Category Archives: Technology

Blessed Relief

My typical work day consists of seeing clients in therapy, doing formal psychological testing, consulting with other staff, going to meetings, doing paperwork, writing reports, answering and sending work-related emails, and taking care of whatever else my work place might throw at me.

In the midst of all this, I keep tabs on what is happening on my phone and my private laptop that I also have at work.  (I also check the  Blog for activity). My children and Husband are frequent texters. The main job for my private laptop is to provide Bluetooth connections to my sound bar so that I can listen to Classical MPR whenever I have a free moment while I do paperwork.

Throughout the day I also keep track of all the emails I get from the Regulatory Board of which I am the chair.  I can’t deal with the emails that arise when I am working, since that would be frowned upon, even though what I do on the Board is officially State business, and I am a State employee.  I understand the reasoning for this.

I typically get 10-20 emails from the Regulatory Board office each day.  I take care of them in the evening when I get home from work. There was a flurry of activity this morning, and then, blessed quiet this afternoon. I figured out that our Board secretary is taking a four day weekend to go camping.  What a relief!

I wish I were not so tied to my technology. As I read what I just wrote, I can’t believe I do all the things I just described. This just can’t be healthy!

How tied are you to technology? How do you set limits on it and on yourself?

Questions and Answers

Because I have control issues, and because I am a better driver, and because Husband doesn’t like to drive our van, I do almost all the driving.  He says he doesn’t mind being a perpetual passenger.

Living out here means we have to drive long distances to get to places. There is something restful about driving miles and miles in a remote area. I can relax and clear my head. It also gives me and Husband time to have good conversations.  I am fortunate that Husband likes to do research, because when my mind is not focused on work or duties at home, I start wondering about things I see when we travel and ask Husband what the answers might be.   I should also add that when I pose questions, he won’t stop researching until he has an answer. I wonder about the music we listen to (What is the story behind Faure’s Pelleas and Melisande, and how many requiems did Faure write?”), or the terrain we are passing through, or any number of stray topics.

This trip, I somehow started thinking about General Custer, and what routes he took through ND and SD on his first Black Hills expedition. We were driving in the vicinity when we traveled to Denver, so Husband dutifully looked up the route on his phone. Then I started to wonder, “What route did he take to the Little Bighorn”?, since he left from Mandan where he was the commander of Fort Lincoln. Did he go straight west, or did he follow the river boat that took his supplies from Mandan up the Missouri to what is now Williston, ND, where the boat turned south on the Yellowstone River to get close to the Big Horn River. Husband looked that up, too. Custer probably traveled right through our town on his way to Montana. and met up with the boat after it got to the Big Horn.   This led to a lot of discussion on the use of flat bottomed river boats on the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers and the part they played in transporting cannons and equipment.

The only problem with researching while we drive through remote areas is the spotty phone service, but when you have hundreds of miles to travel, there is no rush to find answers, and every so often there is a cell phone tower.

What questions have you had lately? What would you like to research? How do you pass the time on long drives?

Getting Dumb and Dumber?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

According to an article I found on BBC.com, it looks like our IQs are starting to recede, or at least not continue upwards as they have been doing.

Intelligence tests (IQ tests) were invented a little more than a century ago and since that time, our scores have been increasing at a steady rate. According to studies “even the average person today would have been considered a genius compared to someone born in 1919”.  (Unless you’re comparing yourself to Albert Einstein (born 1879), then all bets are off.)  This steady increase in IQ is known as the Flynn Effect.

But now scientists have uncovered evidence that this trend may be slowing down and perhaps even reversing. Does this mean we’ve peaked as a species?

Of course the cause of the Flynn Effect has never been agreed upon by the scientific community; most seem to think that multiple environmental factors are involved (increased health, increased food availability, increased access to education, removing lead from gasoline), but nobody really knows for sure. It’s my guess that if there is a decline of our collective IQ on the horizon, no one will understand that either.

Who is the smartest person you know? Or what smart person would you LIKE to know?

New Phase of the Moon

NASA has been back in the news with the announcement that a return trip to the moon is in the works for 2024. And this means that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is back in the news with HIS announcement that he wants to bankroll 6-8 artists to go with him on a SpaceX flight affectionately named “Dear Moon”. He says that taking artists to space would allow them to “communicate their experiences to the masses in new ways”.

Of course, this project is just in the offing and we’ll have to see if it comes to fruition by 2024.

Would you want to travel to the moon? Or Mars?  Or beyond?

I Forgot

Our leisurely, stay-at-home Sunday turned into a 180 mile round trip drive to the Reservation where Husband works. He was so tired when he drove home on Thursday that he forgot his laptop computer in his office. He usually isn’t so forgetful. He hauls many things back and forth from the Reservation to home and I know he is eager to get on the road at the end of the week.  He needed the laptop  to complete case notes for his private practice. All his note templates are on the laptop. He really wanted to get the notes done this weekend, so we jumped in the van and drove to New Town and back. It took about 4 hours.

The road to the Reservation is a two-lane State highway with lots of twists and turns and steep grades.  Husband  was upset and angry with himself, so I drove. There wasn’t as much oilfield traffic on a Sunday afternoon.    At least we got to see lots of red tail hawks and a bunch of calves getting branded.  It was sunny and the Badlands terrain was green from recent rains.  I also got to see the two raised- bed gardens  that Husband set up for the boys’ addiction group to tend.  I suggested that he put copies of the templates on our home computer in case he forgets his laptop again.  He agreed.

What do you find hard to remember?

 

Reboot

Our Microsoft Outlook went wonky last week, and wouldn’t send any emails, telling me that all our messages were rejected because of abusive behavior on our part.  This happened once before, and the tech guy who fixes our computer had to push some unknown button to correct the issue so that Outlook communicated with our internet provider.  When it happened again last week, I took a chance and just restarted the computer. It did a few upgrades and, voila, our emails were delivered.

I needed a reboot after a stressful late winter and early spring at work and with my regulatory board. Our travels kept me from rebooting in the way that is the best for me, which is pulling weeds and planting new plants and seeds. I finally got to do it last weekend, and, despite developing that weird eye virus, it greatly helped my spirit and made me very happy. It is hard for me to focus on work problems when I am weeding and laying down soaker hoses. It is good for me to worry about cut worms instead of paperwork deadlines. This year we only planted 21 perennials, a record low for us, but our garden beds are really shaping up. I can breathe deep and relax just looking out the windows.

How do you recharge and reboot? Any wonky computer issues vexing you?

Crunching the Numbers

Two years ago this month we hit 5,000 followers on the Trail. So I thought I do some stat updates:

Followers: 7,892
Total # of views: 858,848
Total # of comments: 146,681
Most active recent day: March 22, 2019 (That Ole Devil Moon – VS)
Most active day and time: Tuesday, 8 a.m.
Most viewed post:   R.I.P. Tom Keith – November 1, 2011
Most commented posts:
Chores & the Great Depression (182) – Jacque’s
Finding the Back Roads (180) – BiR’s
Banished Words (180) – also BiR’s
Top recent commenters: PJ, BiR, tim, Renee, VS, Linda, Steve
Today we have folks viewing from: US, India, Netherlands, UK, UAE, Canada, Kenya, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

Nothing earthshaking, I just thought this was all very interesting.

Anybody have a question to go with our stats?