That time I got to meet John Lewis

I got to meet John Lewis about two years ago. He was at Comic-Con, promoting a graphic novel based on his history working for civil rights in the South in the 60s. When I saw him, he was standing there all by himself on the embarcadero outside the convention center on Sunday afternoon, as the con was winding down. He was still in his “costume” — the younger version of himself, wearing what I assume to be copies of the suit and raincoat he wore 50 years ago.

I walked up to him and shook his hand.

My job puts me in occasional contact with billionaires and the people who run the most powerful corporations in the world. And while I respect them, I don’t stand in awe of them. Meeting them is just my job.

But meeting John Lewis that day — I was in awe.

He was just standing there alone and in public. He may have had one or two staffers or publicists with him, or maybe he was just alone. No bodyguards, no armored podium. That is a level of physical courage I cannot imagine from most national politicians. Certainly not Donald Trump. When John Lewis was getting his body broken to defend freedom, Trump was getting multiple draft deferments.

One has to draw the line somewhere, even the line is deep within nerd territory.

I had lunch with a friend yesterday who was carrying his phone on a beltclip, which led me to try it for a little while afterward. The phone is more comfortable that way, and more accessible, and I quite like it. Until I see myself in a full-length mirror. And then I can’t. I just can’t. It’s just a big ol’ nerdbrick on my belt.

In my friend’s defense, he was just coming off a major athletic endeavor. When I’m out for my 3 mile walk with Minnie every day, I do wear the phone on a belt clip. When doing athletics, you wear the phone wherever is comfortable, including a belt clip. But the rest of the time no. Just no.

However, carrying the phone in my hip pocket is a little uncomfortable, because the phone is so huge, so I’m experimenting this morning going the other direction, and putting the phone in the velcroed thigh pocket of my cargo pants. This involves using it less, but as I’m at the computer much of the day and have an Apple Watch too, I may not need to have the phone as accessible as I think I do.

Yes, I am aware of the irony of claiming to reject a nerdy appearance while wearing cargo pants.

I switched from the Pebble Time to Apple Watch Series 1 two weeks ago. These are my first impressions.

Here’s where I prefer the Apple Watch: Ability to reply to messages from the Watch, use Siri and voice transcription from the Watch, control podcasts from the Watch.

I love the Workouts app — it is the workouts app I have been wanting for a year now, in that it just tracks my workout and doesn’t give me silly motivational messages or provide social features.

My workout consists of walking Minnie for 3 miles. I go out in one direction for a mile and a half, and turn around and come back. The minimum my workout app needs to do is tell me when it’s time to turn around, and when I’m done. The Apple Watch Workouts app does that. It also tells me heart rate and speed. That’s all I want and need. Anything else is clutter.

The activity rings are growing on me.

Battery life? Not a problem. I charge my Apple Watch when washing up in the morning, showering midday and while getting ready for bed, and wear it at all times otherwise, even while sleeping. I did the same with my Pebble Time.

Negatives: I think the Pebble is a better-looking watch. Also, I had problems getting notifications set up properly on the Apple Watch and I’m STILL not getting them from Facebook Messenger.

All in all, I’m glad I made the switch. However, the price tag is steep –something like $350 for the Apple Watch Series 1, vs. $100 or so for the Pebble Time — and the Pebble TIme provides 80% of the functionality of the Apple Watch. Indeed, you can probably get a PT for pretty cheap now given that it’s been sunsetted, and you can almost certainly get a year or two use out of it after that.

Why I bought the Series 1 rather than Series 2: I don’t feel like I need the built-in GPS, and am not interested in using the Watch while swimming. The Series 1 is water resistant enough to wear while washing my hands and doing dishes, and that’s good enough for me.

Things people say on cop shows on TV


Lieutenant, you’re gonna want to see this.

We got company.

Who’s our vic?

It was a righteous shoot.

The minute I walk out of here, the deal is off the table.

That man is a loose cannon

Take my card. Call me if you think of anything.

You’re too close to this. I’m taking you off this case. Go home. Take some vacation days. That’s an order.

Our victim suffered blunt force trauma to the cranial region following impact by an object.
In English.
He got hit in the head.

I smell decomp.

Big day for saving money

We switched on our solar panels today. We anticipate this will save us an enormous amount of money. Our electrical bills were huge. If you are reading this and you do not live on San Diego, you have no idea. For some reason, electric bills are huge here. I think San Diego Gas & Electric has minks on treadmills generating power, and feeds the minks caviar.

Julie gets all the credit for the solar transition. She did the research and dealt with the contractors and bank. Go Julie.

Also, we cut the cord on cable.

Or, rather, I called Cox intending to just cut off our TV service from them entirely, and use Roku to consume all our programming. However, Cox said if we paid $3/mo more than our Internet service, we could keep our basic cable and DVR too.

I was tempted to offer to pay them $10/mo to take away their awful DVR and not torment us with it anymore. Holy cow that DVR is awful. But in the end I succumbed to reason.

I expect we’ll be watching most of our shows on the DVR anyway — most of our series are network shows. However this does mean we’ll be watching DOCTOR WHO and GAME OF THRONES on Roku.

This will save us a decent amount of money too. We subscribed to a ton of premium channels that frankly we only watched part of the year, or not at all.

These are the Voyages

I’ve been reading “These are the Voyages,” a massive multi-volume history of the making of the original STAR TREK series.

One of the things that impressed me most was the extent to which Hollywood 50+ years ago was an industry town for the production of Westerns, medical shows, and cop shows. They had warehouses full of guns, cowboy costumes, stethoscopes, hospital badges, police uniforms — anything you might need to quickly spin up a TV series in one of those three genres. Set designers, actors, writers, everybody who worked in Hollywood knew how to write in one of those three genres.

Then along comes Gene Roddenberry, and he says “We need phasers, starships — for sets we need a bridge, sickbay, engineering rooms.” And everybody in Hollywood said, “Huh?” What are those things?”

Adding to the complication: Being an adult science fiction fan back then was considered unhealthy by mainstream society. Back then, childhood entertainment and entertainment for adults were demarcated. For the mainstream, science fiction was childhood entertainment — “that Buck Rogers kid stuff” — and for an adult to take interest in that kind of thing was unhealthy.

At least that’s how mainstream society viewed science fiction. There was a thriving subculture of science fiction fandom. And I sometimes think the genre was better off in that ghetto — not mainstream like it is today.