Category - About Me / My Life

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Time Sucks R Us
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Ya gotta believe in something
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Peter’s professional site
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Remember Usenet?
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Documenting the Past
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Random Thought of the Day
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Your Nose is Collapsing
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Hey, I thought of it first!
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Out of Time
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Up and Running

Remember Usenet?

Back in the early to mid 1990s — before the world wide web really took off — NNTP (usenet) was my favorite internet protocol.  I enjoyed others, like SMTP (email) of course and IRC (internet relay chat)… but usenet was my go-to communication hub.  Although strictly text-based, usenet was a really great way to virtually interact, and you could even learn a thing or two depending on which newsgroups you frequented.  There are over 100,000 usenet groups in existence; here are some that I enjoyed back in the day:

  • alt.culture.us.1960s
  • alt.culture.us.1970s
  • alt.folklore.herbs
  • alt.folklore.science
  • alt.med.herbal.moderated
  • alt.music [several groups under this hierarchy]
  • alt.politics.liberal
  • alt.politics.usa
  • alt.radio.broadcasting
  • alt.support.grief.pet-loss
  • alt.tv.degrassi
  • alt.tv.er
  • alt.tv.homicide
  • alt.tv.the-andy-griffith-show
  • ba.broadcast
  • ba.broadcast.moderated
  • ba.food
  • ba.general
  • ba.singles
  • rec.arts.tv
  • rec.arts.tv.soaps.cbs
  • rec.pets.cats.health+behav
  • sci.geo
  • sci.med.alternative
  • soc.culture.mexican.american
  • soc.culture.usa
  • talk.religion.pantheism

I continued to frequent usenet well into the mid 2000s, and then gradually tapered off as HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol — i.e., the web) grew in popularity and ultimately came to be synonymous with “the internet.”  In fact, a whole lot of people out there don’t realize that the internet was actually in existence for a couple decades before HTTP was created. Funny how that happens.  Anyway, I’m glad I had the opportunity to partake, at least for a few years, of some of the earlier internet protocols. It’s kind of fun and “cool” and almost esoteric… kinda like knowing how to drive a stick-shift.

 

 

 

Documenting the Past

I wish I’d had the good sense to have carried a camera around with me 24/7 over the past 50 years. How amazing would it be now to have amassed a comprehensive visual record of all the places I lived, worked, shopped, and recreated? Of people, animals, buildings, automobiles, roads and other infrastructure, residential neighborhoods, downtown areas, retail establishments, restaurants, road signs, foods, drugs, clothing, household items, toys, books, record albums, interior decor, and all manner of natural/rural settings… If only I’d had the slightest clue how much everything would change over five decades.

Yes, the representations of some of these things can be found online — via google images, flickr, and other visual archives and search engines.  But so much that has been demolished, eroded, and/or replaced is now lost forever,  existing only in my (and hopefully a few other people’s) distant memories.

I’ve always loved history.  But back then, all along really, I had no idea how much my own personal history would end up meaning to me, and how much it would break my heart that much of it has simply evaporated.

You know what they say about hindsight… but, man, how I wish I’d had the foresight.

Random Thought of the Day

Even if I acquired great wealth, I would still prefer dives over fancy restaurants. Give me a burrito or a cheeseburger or pizza or Thai take-out ANY DAY over haute cuisine. That uppity food is over-rated, over-priced, definitely over-garlicked, and frankly not all that interesting.

Your Nose is Collapsing

That’s what the ENT doctor told me on Tuesday.

One of the reasons for my visit (not the primary reason, but I won’t go into that right now) is that I can’t seem to get enough air through my nasal valves.  I’ve been using Flonase for quite awhile now, so I shouldn’t be congested; yet, I continually feel like I can’t breathe through my nose. So the doc observed me as I inhaled… and then stuck a thin metal rod up my right nostril, pulled it outward, and asked “is that better?”

Diagnosis:  External Nasal Vestibular Stenosis — i.e., my already skinny nostrils collapse inwardly when I inhale through my nose, creating an obstructed airway.  Apparently, this is something that can happen with age.  Great.  I’m only 52.  By the time I’m 82, will I need to be on a ventilator?

There actually is a surgical fix for this condition.  It involves taking cartilage from the ear and creating “spreader grafts,” which act as wedges between the septum and the upper lateral cartilages, thereby expanding the internal area of the valve.  Sounds great, right?  A piece of my ear shoved up and sewn into each nostril?  Except that the procedure is rhinoplasty and it permanently alters one’s appearance.  Yikes.
nose cones
The less invasive and certainly less permanent treatment involves the use of either Breathe Right strips or nose cones to open up the nasal valves.  Since I’m self-employed and mostly work at home, I suppose this is the best approach for now.  I’ll just have to remember to peel off the strip or pull out the cones before heading out to buy groceries.

I ordered a pair of nose cones a few days ago.  It will be interesting to see if they help, if I can tolerate them, and (assuming that I — because I will — forget to remove them before leaving the house) what kind of gawking they generate while I’m lifting weights at the gym or standing in line at the post office.

 

Hey, I thought of it first!

I just found out about a movie called Happy Feet Two that was released (I believe direct to video) in 2011.  It features a penguin character named Bodicea, who has the nickname of Bo.  Um, excuse me, but how original.  NOT.  If this film was released in 2011, what’s the earliest the story/characters could have been conceived of — 2009?  2005?

I’ve been “bodacia” / “bo” since 1994.

I purchased and registered the internet domain “bodacia.com” in 1995.

So, suck it, Warner Brothers.  You think because you changed a couple of the vowels, it makes your idea unique and means you didn’t totally copy me???

The nerve! 😉

Out of Time

I was born in 1959, which places me roughly in the latter third of the baby boom generation. However, my cultural/historical identity is squarely smack dab boomer. Not that I don’t love the present;  I mean, where would be without the internet, cell phones, domestic-partners benefi ts, aerobic exercise, paleo diets, and at least the dream of stem cell technology?  However, the late 1960s/early 1970s zeitgeist continues to resonate most strongly with me. OK, maybe not the clothes and hair styles so much… but the progressive political and social movements (the beginning of “consciousness raising”) and the popular music. With a few exceptions, I find rock/soul after about 1975 to be pointless. I don’t get most 80s, 90s, and 2000s music. And today’s movies and television?  You can have ’em.  I have no interest in special effects, sitcoms haven’t been any damn good since the 70s, and reality TV shows in particular do nothing for me other than make me sad for our culture.  I prefer good old-fashioned dramatic story telling and character development… and if I’m in the mood for “reality” and/or humor, I’d rather watch old episodes of What’s My Line on YouTube.

Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate the conveniences and choices available in our contemporary society. But today’s commercialism, automation, homogeneity, political/social apathy, laziness, trashiness, and lack of manners and common courtesy and overall substance make me nostalgic for earlier times. Something as simple as visiting a small out-of-the-way town that still has a few thriving mom & pop shops —  and not a Wal-Mart in sight — makes me weep with joy.

I’m trying not to feel old. But sometimes I do feel a bit anachronistic.

Up and Running

In 2009, I started toying with the idea of a blog and of using WordPress.  So I took down my website — which had gone through numerous incarnations over the years, but had always remained in a static format — figuring I’d get back to it any minute.  Three years later (i.e., several months ago), I finally took the plunge and installed the WordPress software. And it’s been a bumpy ride ever since.  After having taught myself HTML and CSS, and after creating/maintaining my own websites for the past nearly 20 years, you’d think I could master WordPress without breaking a sweat, right?  Don’t I wish…  This shit is hella hella complicated.

When I installed WordPress, I was forced to do it in a subdirectory of my domain rather than at the root [don’t ask me why; I really don’t understand].  But that was actually fine with me at the time, as it took many months of playing around with the structure and design and content and widgets (and every other little aspect of my new site) before I got it anywhere near where I wanted it to be.  But for the past several weeks, I’d been wanting to migrate the URL to the root.  So I read one WordPress tutorial after another after another on the subject, and found each one more intimidating than the last.  I actually attempted the redirect at one point and ended up FUBAR’d… so I basically put it all back the way it was.  Web searches for further information on how to redirect the site and reading through many technical support boards revealed just how many people have had (and continue to have) major ISSUES with WordPress.  Changing one little file or moving something to the wrong directory or using incompatible widgets or whatever can spontaneously render your blog inaccessible and possibly even lost forever.  Like I said, it’s complicated.

This evening I was talking with a customer service guy from my hosting company about another matter and I happened to casually mention that I wanted to do a WordPress redirect.  Much to my surprise, he offered to walk me through the process, and in a much easier way than outlined in any of those tutorials.  Score!  So I am now up and running on www.bonniegoat.com.  Go me!

I hope you enjoy visiting this site every once in awhile… but if I bore you, that’s okay, too.  It’s my domain, so I really only need to make myself happy. 😉

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