Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pink Bulbs in Silicon Valley

For decades, Carolin & I slept in a very cold pink bedroom above Wellesley Sq. (built in the the 1920s, the house wasn’t insulated) with a pink lightbulb in its only lamp.

Now that I live with our Maine Coon cat Reggie on the 4th floor of a 4-storey apartment block in Santa Clara, I can’t paint my bedroom walls pink, but I do keep a pink 60-watt lightbulb in a faux ginger-jar lamp. The bulb died a few days ago, so I assumed I could easily get a replacement.

Not so. Most Silicon Valley stores don't stock pink incandescent bulbs: my nearby Ace/Do It Best hardware store, Home Depot, Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) don't, & referred me to Target (assuming it has everything; it doesn't.)

Lamps Plus graciously gave me the phone number of Batteries & Bulbs, a tiny specialty store in a small strip-mall in neighboring Sunnyvale, who gladly told me they had what I was looking for.

Braving Friday's afternoon rush-hour traffic Ginny drove us there & waited nearby in McDonalds while I limped to the strip mall to buy (2) 2-bulb packs of Sylvania Go Pinque 60W bulbs @ $5/bulb. Steep, but worth it; via internet, the shipping alone is as much.

So once again I can sleep softly in Silicon Valley with a pink bulb on.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Reasons not to hire you:

  1. You’re an underachiever .
  2. You’re underqualified.
  3. You’re undereducated.
  4. You’re overeducated.
  5. You’re overqualified.
  6. You won’t work for minimum wage.
  7. You will work for minimum wage.
  8. We’ll be hiring in our next Fiscal Year.
  9. We never hire after the holidays.
  10. We always lay-off after the holidays.
  11. We’re taking over our competitor.
  12. We’ve been taken over.
  13. We're moving operations to China.
  14. We're going Chapter 1l.
  15. We're going out of business.
  16. Would you like to buy the company?

(12 OCT 11, Santa Clara CA)v2

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Q: What's up with those Wall St. Occupiers?
A: They lack
hierarchy & party affiliation,
but they do have real handmade signs.

Q: Where are those Wall St. Occupiers headed?
A: To encamp outside big banks' local branches
holding up real handmade signs saying:

Q: What can you tell a Wall St. Occupier?
A: Anything; whatever you say, there'll be
someone who'll agree with you &
someone who'll disagree with you, too.

(09 OCT 11, Santa Clara CA)v9

Friday, October 7, 2011


Q: What can we conclude

from Steve Jobs’ death?

A: It’s much too soon.

Q: Was he a true ‘Giant’

Of Business, Technology,

Electronics, Electricity?

Q: Of which was he truly

most characteristic? All?

These & other QQ remain

to be answered slowly,

with no iDevice in hand.

(06 OCT 11, Santa Clara CA)v2

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Of the Age of Electricity

A current USNEWS piece by Rich Newman "Where Steve Jobs ranks among the Greats" suggests that Jobs is one of the enablers of the middle-class, as were Benjamin Franklin & Thomas A. Edison, who all made new-technology inventions accessible & desirable to a broad commercial audience (as the world population increased.)

They all were dependent on electricity for some of their inspirations. Franklin, from his simple experiment with lightning & a kite; Edison* for his inventions that required electricity, & Jobs** (ditto.).

They're all entrepreneurs/enablers of the Age of Electricity...which we take to be absolutely essential to the world as we know it, because most of us use it. (Those few who don't are primitives or electro-luddites.)

But is electricity absolutely essential? If not, what's next? (Solar-derived power is still only used to create electric current, as are nuclear, geo-thermal, even water.)

If we do (somehow) move beyond electricity, we will have taken a quantum leap. What if...the next energy source & distribution system were geo-magnetic? (Sci-fi writers have imagined that flying saucers might be driven by some geo-magnetic repulsion/reversal drive that uses the earth's mass & magnetism in its propulsion scheme.)

What's certain is that this will continue to be speculated about in this advancing electronic century. The current media surface noise about Jobs' relative position will have to abate. At the moment, he's too close to us to evaluate rationally. We need a longer perspective. I suggest The Age of Electricity as a technological historical period.

If our current electronic technology (somehow) fails, we will fall back (be reduced to) to the pre-electric age & begin our development again on some new basis. Or not. Does that frighten you?

Notes: *Edison sued & defeated many other inventors, so his achievements may now appear unique, but they weren't. **Jobs refined other people's 'products', raised prices, fascinated fellow tecchies, but was never up for a Nobel Prize.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Out of Work"

Walking up a big street in a big city,

you’re suddenly passed by a line of

people carrying signs that read:

Out of Work

Still Out of Work

Still…Out of Work

going somewhere, walking fast.

You think you’re in a New Yorker

cartoon, but you’re not. This is real.

04 OCT 11, Santa Clara CA)v3

Sunday, October 2, 2011


for carolin combs

If the rich are so nourishing,

Why noteat them? I see

Carolin’s Eat The Rich

slogan on a poster held by

today’s Wall St. Occupiers,

hers in her button-basket

all these decades, rarely

worn, never out-of-date.

(02 OCT 11, Santa Clara CA)v3