Taking a Refresher Course


I have been brushing up on the basics lately. Decided to go back and start fresh (from the very beginning) by learningĀ all the skills that I use on a regular basis from scratch. It has been a great idea! Along the way I have filled in a few of the gaps in my education. Most of what I need to know can be learned just by Googling [so that is an every day event for me and probably countless thousands of other professional programmers]. Most of my day to day activities are focused on Java, though, so I get rusty on technologies that I only use once in a while (like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, etc.). I am particularly enjoying the course assignments; they give me a manageable project to confirm my skills (or in the case of Bootstrap, add to my toolkit).

The nice thing about taking this course is that I do learn about tools and frameworks and libraries that I wouldn’t ordinarily encounter at work. This course is offered by Udemy. I have taken a few of their courses now and I am pleased with the value for the price. Still watch Lynda.com courses on a regular basis also (and they are the most valuable for my professional needs). Just recently found another course [from Harvard] that you may want to investigateĀ on bits!

Happy coding!


Must have been a Tough Year

Had to do a little maintenance to WordPress this morning and notice that I hadn’t blogged for about a year. Oops! We have been busy with family, friends, financial planning, a little travel and plenty of good old hard work at the office. We decided to tackle the storage problem this year; she did most of the heavy lifting, of course, while I was bread winning. She took about forty years of stuff and squeezed it down to about half its original size! The old obsolete stuff has either been shredded, given away or tossed out. Not quite done yet, but hope to be by year’s end.

We had a visit from our friends Linda and Rick recently and wound up watching the new Christopher Nolan film. The sound track was just a bit too loud for my aging ears, but the story was pretty good. Time magazine gave it a long review which I found worth reading.


We had another (off year) election. Not a very good outcome for FDR Democrats this time. Fortunately we have Netflix, so we avoided about 95% of the political ads.

Paul LePage

Lots of folks retiring this year; saw two of my colleagues and a handful of customers walk away. I am still working (and working on my own retirement plan). Investigated a few possible segues to my aging career. Still learning new things (and relearning new things) at every opportunity.


Terrific animated film by talented Korean animators


My day job still holds my interest but not like it did in the good old days. Waiting patiently to see how things turn out. Meanwhile, the financial picture is coming into focus. It looks like we won’t be rich after all. Good thing I never yearned to own a yacht!

Shout out to the California, Ohio, New Hampshire and Massachusetts folks. Highly recommend The Nut Job!

Piano Lessons Over Skype!


The piano recital was terrific this year. I really enjoyed the first Impromptu by Schubert (Op. 142) and highly recommend it. Next we were treated to a terrific set of Brahms Hungarian dances for piano 4 hands. You have to hear it to believe it; even though I had heard most of them before, it’s hard to beat a live concert. What made them extra special in my view is that the lessons were conducted over the Internet with Skype! Amazing!


You’ll have to content yourself with these You Tube recordings (or purchase them) because the recital was not recorded (except in our minds and hearts). Thanks for including me, Irina!

Even I Am Amazed At How Many Memes Are Out There!


I don’t have unlimited time to surf the Internet, but even I am amazed at how many of these memes are out there! This image is from the Know Your Meme site. And I wouldn’t even have started looking if it weren’t for that NPR story. Now I have to get back to some productive activities, but I thought I would share my discovery. Incidentally, I am not a cat (yet).

Grumpy Cat Meme Phenomenon

On my way home from work the other day, there was a piece about grumpy cats on the radio that caught my attention. I think this is a variation on the Hitler Rage Meme; for that matter, it seems a lot like drawing a moustache on a photo (that some of us engaged in as teenagers). Funny, up to a point. But is it really worthy of making a movie about it?

It does have a long history. In my mind it is just another variation on word balloons (a.k.a. speech balloons). According to Wikipedia, this method of expression (commentary) has been with us for a very long time [as early as the 13th century].


Luck or Skill?

Many of you out there have played dominoes; we had the pleasure of visiting with friends at the Clary Lake Bed and Breakfast yesterday. The owners are very experienced dominoes players and generally dominate the game. But last night was very special!
You guessed it! After years of piling up the points, I finally had a lucky night. Slept like a baby afterwards.