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Today I discovered that the "mobile app" which can retrieve schedules from my employer's system actually has an Android version as well as iOS, so I installed it on my tablet. Now I can run that app and look at the calendar on my tablet, rather than manually log into the system from home and check my schedule. How convenient.
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I ordered, I do believe, the correct set of piston rings for the dirt bike. They're supposed to be here on Thursday, give or take a day or so.
The big project for this week, however, is to get the riding mower "summerized" and ready for a season of mowing, and then cutting the grass. I was going to do it today--had planned to--but forgot to buy gas on my way home from work last night, and I've just been so utterly pooped that I neglected to set my alarm clock for church this morning. I slept, and after waking up to hit the can I lay in bed surfing the Internet on my tablet (and checking my schedule--see above) and marveling at how amazing this 21st century thing is.
I was thinking about Clancy's Executive Orders and wondering where my copy of it is, and wishing there was a way I could tell Amazon that I own the paper version and get an ebook version without having to pay for it or find the book...and it occurred to me that the novel predated all of this stuff.
Okay, Amazon.com predates the book by two years--1994 vs. 1996--but the first commercially available, dedicated ebook reader was introduced by Sony in 2004. Even so, the book I want to read was in print before the technology existed for me to download it wirelessly to a lightweight device, from which I could then read the words at my leisure. With some effort, in 1996 I could probably have located a pirated PDF of the novel and read it on a laptop, which itself would weigh about as much as an equivalent volume of bricks and which either would have to be plugged in, or else I could only read in about one-hour increments because of battery constraints. (Best battery technology in 1996: nickel metal hydride. You could get lithium ion batteries, barely, but they cost a fuckton.)
In 2014, all I need to do is point my Nook at Barnes & Nobles' web site, give 'em a credit card number, and download the file. I can sit and read for hours on a single charge while listening to music streamed from the Internet (as long as I'm in range of a WiFi access point) and if I get tired of reading I can go over to YouTube and watch some videos in HD, or play a game, or-or-or.
Even ten years ago my Nook was science fiction, for crying out loud.
...and because of this there was no purpose to putting a unique serial number in each printed copy, which a publisher could use to monitor who has downloaded his free .epub and who has not. None of the technology existed in 1996 that would make it necessary. ("Hey, just in case someone someday invents something none of us can possibly see coming or predict in any way, here's a unique identifier for this physical copy which you can use to take advantage of this fantastic invention!" No.)
If I ever write a publishable time travel story, though, I am totally putting in some kind of comment like that.
Actually...one of the nascent ideas percolating around in back of my skull is a story about a time traveler from, say, 1970 or 1985 or something, who happens to visit present day and then goes back in time to report on it to his fellows. It'd be a hoot, I think.
Just as soon as I finish all the other writing projects I have on my list....
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The past couple of days at work, I resorted to NOS to keep functioning.
Monster Drinks has a brand of energy drinks called NOS (licensed from the manufacturers of Nitrous Oxide Systems for cars) and there's an entire cooler full of them near the checkout lanes at work. I generally do not favor energy drinks, because they consist of two basic ingredients: caffiene and SUGAR!!!! Oh, they have ginseng and this and that and the other thing and taurine and-and-and, but the primary active ingredients are C8H10N4O2 and simple carbs. I don't need all that damned sugar.
But the folks who make the energy drinks also manufacture a limited selection of sugar-free ones, and so I--two days in a row--had a can of NOS ZERO, which is sugar-free. It's the approximate color of Mountain Dew and has a semi-lemon-lime-ish sort of flavor to it. Like all energy drinks it tastes like ass (like bitter ass) but it has the benefit of waking me right the hell up when all I really want to do is curl up in a hole somewhere and sleep until summer. It is nice to know that I have the option, so when I get to work and feel like something the cat horked up on the rug, I can slug back twenty ounces of borrowed sleep and function for a few hours.
Of course, today I am paying for it. Stimulants don't give you energy; they merely let you borrow it, and the Laws of Thermodynamics insist that the debt be paid with interest. But, what the hey.
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Work yesterday was actually pretty calm, for a change. No real stress, no huge lines; and I am very, very grateful for that. The business of having five people waiting when you're the only person in the precinct and haven't had a break since you got there four hours ago--that's pretty stinkinous stuff, and it gets old very fast.
Yesterday I had help out front for most of the afternoon, and things were pretty quiet even so. I got 90% of the shipping dealt with before 6 PM, and had only a couple other things to add as the night went on.
I do believe it was the weather: it was nice, no rain, a bit of sun (if windy) and people were obviously enjoying the day instead of going to #MAJOR-ELECTRONICS-RETAILER.
Look, I don't mind having to work, but it shouldn't be constant frenzied insanity. My last boss said "We don't want anyone to dread coming to work," but of course he's got a different job now (where he works from home!) and his boss was dumped in the reorg, so what we have now approximates, "Well, this is what it is, so we have to do it." (Though I notice that the people who say that are salaried employees who make a hell of a lot more money than I do and don't have to spend their whole shift manning an entire department by themselves.)
I need a vacation, that's what it is. *sigh*
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I do expect that this will be the week I get the motorcycle back on the road, though. Here's hoping.