Category: Technology and Me

Aug 27, 2020
By Michael Rupured

Sprinting for the Finish Line

It’s official. After more than thirty years in academia, I’m retiring at the end of the year. The paperwork was signed, sealed, and delivered earlier this month. Now I’m sprinting for the finish line. The original plan was to keep working for at least three more years. I agreed a while back to teach two classes a semester for two years starting this fall. For Fall 2022, I’d cut back to one class and decide if I wanted to keep teaching or retire. I told my boss as long as I was having fun, I’d stay. Lord knows I try, but planning never works for me. Time and time again, something blows any plans I’ve ever made out of the …

May 19, 2020
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Technical Issues

Technical Issues

Technology surpassed my understanding years ago. I’ve been spoiled. At work, a tech support staff sets things up and fixes any problems. At home, Andy did the same thing. Since he died two years ago, I’ve been on my own for tech support — and it ain’t pretty. A box in my living room has been blinking for months. I believe it has something to do with my Wi-Fi. There is no on/off switch. Unplugging it overnight didn’t resolve the issue. Everything seems to work so I haven’t worried about it. The living room TV has three HDMI ports. Cable comes through one. A Roku device is connected to another. I have no idea how, but a slideshow of Andy’s …

Nov 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Weird Accumulations

Weird Accumulations

I am a selective hoarder. Throughout my house are boxes, drawers, and other containers chocked full of things I’ll never use but can’t bring myself to throw away. To find out if my odd collections are universal or unique, I’m sharing them here. Beverage Containers. No event is complete without keepsake plastic cups, water bottles, mugs, thermal to-go cups, mason jars, and other containers emblazoned with some logo or message. I politely decline when possible, but still end up with more than I could ever use. Writing Utensils. Scattered around my house are mugs, plastic cups, and small boxes overflowing with pens, pencils, highlighters, and markers. Some were gifts (fancy pens mostly) and some I bought (markers for various purposes), but …

Aug 27, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My Family Tree

My Family Tree

Several years ago I joined Ancestry.com, and for months clicked on leaves like they were going out of style. My mistake was accepting as gospel every tidbit of information I found. The resulting family tree dates back a thousand years, but is too riddled with errors, duplicates, and other problems to be believed. I learned a lot about my family, but my research raised more questions than it answered. Two branches came to an abrupt end — I never found my mother’s maternal grandfather or my father’s paternal grandfather. Missing two of eight great-grandparents leaves huge bare spots in the tree. In January I sent some spit to Ancestry DNA for analysis. Found out weeks later the sample didn’t work …

Jan 01, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Back to Class

A teaching degree wasn’t an option for me in college. The major was available, but a mountain of credit card debt prevented me from taking off work for student teaching. No big deal. There were plenty of attractive majors in the sea. Ten years later, I graduated with a B.S. in Family Studies. How I ended up in this major and why it took so damn long is a story for another day. Though what I’d be when I grew up remained a mystery, I had a degree, and after 22 years in school, zero interest in graduate school. No degree was required for my first post-college position. Accepting the job as a secretary in the department from which I’d …

Oct 23, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The End of Wisdom

The End of Wisdom

Change is constant, but the rate of change has reached the point where keeping up has become impossible. Once upon a time, things stayed more or less the same over the course of a lifetime. With age came experience, leading eventually, after many years, to wisdom about the ways of the world. Not anymore. The older I get, the more clueless I become. The wisdom gained through experience no longer applies, gets lost in translation, or simply isn’t heard. For most of my career at the day job, we’ve lost positions. Over the last two years, some of those positions have been restored. The result is a workforce that is either very young and inexperienced, or getting on in years …

Jul 17, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Online Shopping: Easy, Convenient & Cheap

Online Shopping: Easy, Convenient & Cheap

The internet has changed the way we shop. Big retailers are closing stores at an unprecedented rate. Shopping malls look like ghost towns. It’s hard to compete with virtual everything. Shopping is not my cup of tea. In fact, thanks to poor or non-existent service, long checkout lines, and people getting in my damn way, I hate it. When necessity leaves me no choice, my goal is always to get in and out as fast as I can. I’ve dabbled with online shopping in the past in search of uncommon, hard-to-find items or gifts for out-of-town family and friends. Buying mundane, everyday goods online never occurred to me. #SlowLearner That has changed. My dog, Toodles, is responsible for a lot …

Apr 03, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Surprising Results

Surprising Results

A paper-based system is my go-to method for record-keeping. The transition to digital files and folders has been slow. My system works. If it ain’t broke…. The complicated, time consuming, and essentially useless paper-based system I created for tracking royalties is broken. Excel would be better, but I’m spreadsheet challenged. Minions handle such things for me at the day job. At home, I’m on my own. Having used it since WordStar dominated the market, I know my way around word processing software. An online app converted a table I created in Word to an Excel file. My ex (he’s doing great!) helped me set up the formulas. Entering five years’ worth of royalty statements took about thirty minutes. Wow! Why did I wait …

Mar 06, 2017
By Michael Rupured

A History of Porn

In the eighth grade I saw my first pornography. A neighbor a year or two older than me was showing off his dirty magazine collection. I’d seen lots of Playboys and a Penthouse or two, but nothing as graphic as the photos in his collection. Where my neighbor found his dirty magazines is a mystery. I suspect his older brother played a role and perhaps a dirty bookstore. They were around in the early 1970s, weren’t they? My scoutmaster had an 8mm projector. I heard about the movies he showed some of the guys, but was never included in the viewings. Being excluded didn’t bother me a bit. In fact, I was kind of glad. A few years later, the manager …

Feb 16, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Great Service

Great Service

As your resident Crotchety Old Man, bitching and complaining is what I do. Exacting my revenge with a withering review is immensely satisfying and more than a little fun. Offering praise is rare. Fairness dictates equal treatment for businesses that go above and beyond the call of duty. My history with cars can be divided into two distinct periods: before and after finding out maintenance involves more than adding gasoline and replacing worn tires. My inability to tell a thingamajig from a watchamacallit cost me a fortune. “Whatever you say, man,” tends to double the cost of any repair. Rather than buying someone else’s problem, every ten years since 1995 I’ve bought a new vehicle and, at first, used the dealer for scheduled …