Saturday, July 04, 2015

R U Connected?

Back in the late 1990's I started working with a computer at work. I'd worked with a word processor before that and some more ancient forerunners before for programming, but this was the first PC I used to type and file stories.

About that same time I got a PC for home. I had an old Apple in the 1980's, but never got it up and running. It was given to me second hand and even dial-up was a new concept and spotty at the time.

Recently I took stock of just how connected I've become and to say the least it surprised me. I have two computers in my news studio. One to type and file stories and edit sound. Everything we do now is digital. Another computer is used to record and send newscasts and interviews to our AM studio. On the infrequent days I do my own engineering for our AM talk show I work with three computers in that studio. At home I have a laptop.

Then there is email. I have my personal account at home and 5 at work. I'm also responsible for news on our website and a newsletter. At work I have two phones and a smart phone to take to meetings and news events. At home I have two phones and a cell phone.

Then there is social networking, it's just crazy. I have two Twitter accounts and four Facebook accounts. And somewhere along the way put together a LinkenIn account. With the smart phone I am now posting on Facebook and Twitter during meetings and news events. This gives the news more immediacy. My work smart phone is on 24/7.

It strikes me as funny that when I worked in Minocqua, Wisconsin our AM station programming was actually run off a Commodore 64 keyboard and the system was hooked up to a marine battery so if we lost power the memory wouldn't also be lost. That was the late 1980's.

In 1981 I was in my senior year at Northern Michigan University. Taking stock of what I might need for my professional career I asked my advisor if I should take any computer courses. That sage professor said I wouldn't need them! And while I'm taking stock I also write a blog.

Saturday, June 06, 2015


I've been drinking Starbuck's coffee's for years, but until the other day had never actually bought one in one of their stores. A couple months ago I was sent a Starbuck's gift card by someone and I worked up the nerve to finally use it.

Fond du Lac has a Starbuck's so I decided to walk in and order some iced coffee. After I did, with apologies to Seinfeld, I felt like I had walked into a Soup Nazi episode.

First I got into the wrong line. I was in the pick up line and not the line for ordering. Someone nicely informed me of that. Once I got into the line I placed an order for a vanilla flavored ice-coffee. That was my first indication that I did not have the right lingo down. The second came when I got into the pick up line, which really wasn't a line at all. It was more like pick a spot near the entrance where you don't impede foot traffic.

Finally my order came. I didn't realize it at first because there was the lingo problem. To me what was a vanilla-flavored iced coffee came out of the barista's mouth as all together something different. It came out at warp speed and more akin to Klingon, at least to me. I didn't know it was mine at first until I worked up the courage to pick up the cup and read the label. Yep it was mine. The rest of the customers must have thought I was a moron.

One thing I learned from the experience is that apparently you have to have one heck of a coffee buzz going to thoroughly understand the barista. He has the lingo down and well enough to rattle it off like a mosquito. I do plan to go back. I don't believe in the phrase "No Coffee for you!"