Category Archives: anniversary

Midsummer vegetation

(Aug 6 11:49 a.m.)

Half of the season is already over.  (In the U.S., anyway.)  And I checked, mathematically: the midpoint was August 7… at around 2 in the morning.

(Aug 9 2:56 p.m.)

The yellowing is more apparent now in the second half.

(Aug 6 11:41 a.m.)

To update you on things, I’m still having trouble sleeping.  But I’ve had good days.  Seven hours total this morning.

(Aug 3 10:51 p.m.)

No squirrels in the ceiling so far, thank god.  Maybe they finally “got it” that it’s not worth it.  This one—above—barked at me; later, two barked at each other.  And, on my daily walk, I hear little chipmunks hiding from me… into the cracks of the side of the house. Continue reading Midsummer vegetation

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Yesterday marked three years— ooh, pretty flowers

This blog is three years old.  And what can I say?… It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and… whatever else you had to answer to on the final essay in High School English class.  Aah, I remember year one of this blog like it was… three years ago.
Continue reading Yesterday marked three years— ooh, pretty flowers

A Leader Was Born Eighty-Six Years Ago Today

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
—Martin Luther King, Junior

He taught that violence begets violence, and discouraged it.

He knew and did his best not to hate those he disagreed with.

He was arrested twenty-nine times, and lived thirty-nine years.

He said, once, ‘Today, Capitalism has outlived its usefulness.’

He considered Socialism godless, despite what some say.

He was convinced that Mahatma Gandhi had the way.

He was, amid danger, terrified when he marched.

He was not the tallest of men, but he stood tall.

He marched for equal rights, equal justice.

He may have lifted a few facts in ’55, but…

He didn’t make the change all about him.

He was a husband and a father of four.

He was a clergyman and an activist.

He was a sinner and a Christian.

He was a leader, not a victim.

He was a man from Georgia.

He saw tyranny firsthand.

He stood with his honor.

He changed the world.

He committed.

He tried.

Monuments made in his likeness do not make who he is or was.  But you could call him a giant in how he personally served in action and presence not just his words or speeches made from afar.

“I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others.  I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody.

I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.  I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.  I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.  I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.  And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.”

—February 4, 1968, at Ebenezer Baptist Church


Image Source: Forbes/Cause Integration

Friday Fictioneers: Stickers (2015.01.08)

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the prompt, and Jean L. Hays for the photo.

This is my 200th post, by the way.  Milestones, yay, better than kidney stones… I spent only 40 minutes on this one.

“Stickers”
Genre: Just…Fiction
100 words
——————————


Copyright — Jean L. Hays

He shoved his fist into a bucket of popcorn, and laughed, but sadly.  He made a lot of noise, and was asked to leave the theater.  So he left.

Chet was an animal.  But now he was predictably drunk ever since the most horrible breakup.  He was addicted to her.

Chicago is famous for its food, not necessarily its personalities.  Illinois is also known for its bay areas, and water was where he wanted to go, in his depressed, drunken stupor.

He came across the famous Route 66 sign, its stickers, its life.  He decided to go the other way.

——————————

All participation is welcome.  The goal is to write a three-part story in 100 words or less.  You’re also encouraged to “think outside of the box.”

Click here to view the inLinkz for what others have written for the prompt, or add one.

Visit Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple for her own take(s) and her Friday Fictioneers page for more details.  You can follow her blog for the prompt each Wednesday.

TV Fanfare!

Hey y’all. This post thing’s all TV, starting with…

Supernatural!  Episode 200!  Tuesday (today) is a tribute to the fans.  Or another tribute.  (Excluding me.  I’d be ignored, as always.)

They, developers of the show, had already done a fandom ep., but… here comes another.  Season #10, not the best… Oh, why is it–the things I get into tend to go downhill the moment I watch them as they air?  (Am I evil?)

Last Tues (Nov. 4, election day) was the look-back, highlighting some of the best qualities of the show–initially a “monster of the week” thing, the show was, they say; before gaining depth, gaining emphasis on family, some angles of comedy, and some angels/annals of non-comedy.

Mark A. Sheppard (“Crowley”) said he was jealous–he didn’t show up till after “The French Mistake” (season #6, #15), the ep. that broke the fourth wall (where the show’s exposed in the storyline, and creator Eric Kripke got loaded up with squibs for the wildest appearance ever for a…show creator appearance).

The show hasn’t hit a wall as of yet, they say, they say…yet I’d say the ‘Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Ruh-Roh’ episodes particularly stunk.  And to be fair–or at least nice–just those two.

Anyway, Entertainment Weekly gave the show a whole page in the latest “reunions” issue–#1337/8(Nov.14/21), p.102. And they even devoted–at least for the time being–a webpage for a top 20 ranking, out of the past 199 episodes.

And Parade gave a mention too, mixing up the actors’ characters. Jenson plays “Dean,” not “Sam,” Parade.

And Jodie Llewellyn has a Dean GIFs in her Tumblr.  (Dean was actually one of the most popular on tumblr for the year.)

And Now That I’ve Hit a Wall, Here…

Here are some other good shows. Judging both by word of mouth…and of my own brain.

Gotham (FOX): one of the best things you’ll find on the boob tube. Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Tailor) is such a messed up character, messed up in part by his mother (played by Carol Kane). He’s the Penguin, if you didn’t know, and he’s devised a brilliant plan so far, and many, including viewers, did not see it coming–the reveal, last Monday, you might have missed. And one–nay two major figures in the plot, put in mortal danger ’cause det. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) had refused to commit murder, are now safe, it appears. It took the mortal neutralization of quite the number to make it work–lots of violence in the show, though much of it’s been obscured.

Jane the Virgin (CW): a breakthrough hit–well written, as if written for writers. Great acting–say, sometimes too great; e.g., “but I’ve never had sex!” was replayed in a flashback. Its humor is sharp–the Catholic theme and telenovela jokes. She’s finally gotten over her distance with her mother (the mother lied about the father–el presidente, telenovela star, and not a soldier as told when Jane was young. One of the little jokes in the series: way-back flashbacks actually display the text “WAY BACK” (ha-ha). Much of what happens in the show is unlikely, but just watching the execution–superb, trees bien, excellente.

On The Middle (ABC), everyone’s in a state of graduation (or approaching). Sue got her braces of just to get another pair on–clear kind. Axl got his college major down, so he’s back in…there…trapped in the library after hours, but just once. Brick apparently has a GF…a stoic GF. The show’s still set in Indiana (don’t know if it’s shot there; probably not), and it hasn’t lost me as a viewer, though I’ve misses a few days much because of the show’s scheduled time–8 p.m., Wednesdays. This show is also well acted. And it follows the satirical Goldbergs–an oversatirical take on creator Adam Goldberg’s childhood. “Bull-shida” jokes.

I thought Selfie was a turd, and…it kind of is. I avoided it, the initial eps. But fortunately, it’s got its sweet side–what makes it work. Unfortunately, what makes if twerk, too. Or to put it on polite terms, kind of a train wreck without consequence–it pushes the actors to do cracked-up things–sort’a unpredictable that way. But in a good way. Hopefully. Just maybe. A “red-headed Koreans” joke? Stressing out the lead actress with oft-rambling and lingo-heavy dialogue that could make viewers cringe or turn off I’d played by another actress? Awful…but awful sweet at the same time. If only the writers had made it bittersweet instead of awful-sweet, the show would have been considered “respectable.” Then again, the show wouldn’t have worked that way… Whatevs. SnapChat.  Update: the show was canceled (Nov.13); but the fans are trying to get it back.

This post was (initially) created using a smartphone–for all of those wondering why it got published mid-post. An over sensitive touchscreen. You should of heard the curse words coming out of my mouth–“I did not press that!”

Well, peace out, freaks. –I mean, guys.

Blog Reflection Eleventy-Billion

This is it.  I got to #100.  That’s something.
Okay, not so much, given I ramble under the slightest of confidence.
And two (three?) reblogs.

But I do have less a tenuous grasp on the English language.
That’s an accomplishment, yes?


A tenuous grasp.  It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: FX, Comedy Central.

Continue reading Blog Reflection Eleventy-Billion

New Year of Time Forcibly Wasted

Insert “I Lack Tact” Badge Here

And so, Le Clown indicts inducts The Middlest Sister into his Blog roll, as part of the end-of-2012 attention give-away (The Great XMAS Blogroll Induction Extravaganza), alongside David Dixon, Bill M., Denise, John, Tania, Brent W., Nicole, Adam S., Lyssa, Sonja B., Wendy Reid & Miss Four Eyes, and The Byronic Man.  (A ping-back isn’t generated w/o a specific page, right?  I’d hate to piss these guys off.  Or does it matter, given that they’ve all long-already chosen to ignore me?)

The Middlest Finger

And, unfortunately, Ms Bumble became Ms Middle Finger, nicely treating me as if I’m retar— I had already put the FF link up!  First line, with underline.

And why join or keep up with photos that don’t pique a person’s imagination?  Walking on sunshine egg shells with the Non-Self-Disclosure policy, myopia, by itself, means not only physical nearsightedness, but also an inability to see what’s out there, to see through on real solutions.  No offense, but help’s needed on things that are…real.

But that’s not the biggest problem. Continue reading New Year of Time Forcibly Wasted

Libra Time!

Ω

John Lennon up-ticked in his seventies this week (that’s if he was still alive), and the anniversaries of the James Bond franchise and the Cheers TV sitcom, both on September 30 turned fifty and thirty, respectively.  Going into detail of these items misses the point here, so I’ll abbreviate: Lennon had a non-relationship with his father, the gold-painted woman in one of the Bond flicks is still alive despite urban legend, and that I found Cheers to be particularly tedious—I mean, the same set for most of the show?  I only watched so much of it, on Hallmark, because the rest of the programming on television sucks, and I had to catch up on TV history.

What’s the common trait for all of these things that apply to this period?  They’re all Libras.  They were birthed during that thirty-day period that starts at around the twenty-third of the Gregorian calendar’s ninth month.  In other words, Sept. 23-Oct. 23, and adjusted a bit due to the changes in the Earth’s rotation, updates in the calendar, etc.  As far as the birthdays mentioned here go, one of those b’days, b’my mother, who turned the “Big 6-0.”

insulation cake?

(And being busy developing this ray-traced image is the reason why I wasn’t available on Saturday, also having to sleep the entire Sunday off…just to be screwed by Columbus Day, named after a guy that probably promoted the deaths of plenty of Libras…)

Now, I know what you’re thinking (probably not): that age makes me sound oldI’m probably lying about something.  Nope.  My stunted mentality makes sense if you’ve heard in recent news that the lateness in a father’s conception increases the chances of certain birth defects, such as autism.  Hi.  I’m Adam, and I’m a part-time workaholic that’s terrified of people, reduced to a part-time unpaid, unlicensed programmer that can’t sleep during normal hours, and worse.

Anyway, the Libras are said to…tend to be the ones that bring artistry, emotion and harmony into the world, or try to.  And confirmed by my own (insignificant) experience: the needy side of the Libra.  They’re always breaking things, or things are breaking around them, where, via the arts…or attorney, they piece it all back together.  “We rule, what can we say?” said one despotic ruler heartfelt Bumble who publicized turning forty-five on the fourth.  My aunt is also one.  So being a “Pissies” makes me the Black Sheep in the family.  Even so, it rubs off on me…still being a dependent to a Libra.

Recently, a horoscope that would apply to me—if I had a life—said that someone will need my help, while indicating a time of need for…the Libra.  In this case, that person in need would be my mother, who intentionally sleeps late (calls 11 p.m. “early”), has a broken wrist, a broken back, faces the illegal activities of others, and is co-dependent paranoi…..—I think I should wrap it up here.  She recently crossed paths with Ken Jennings (Jeopardy!) at USM, only two yards away, but he was busy.  She also gave me a “heartfelt” thank-you for fixing the awful Verizon wireless phone box.

HyperCard turned 25!

HyperCard stack of cards - 3-D

On Saturday, August 11, 2012, HyperCard turned 25 years of age.

Introduction
For those who are old enough and/or have paid attention, before SuperCard, LiveCode, and even Java, there was HyperCard, the card stack-oriented gem that made software development look easy. It featured paintable cards & backgrounds (in monochrome only) that could be linked together. It featured an English-based scripting language called HyperTalk that allowed users to literally program lines like, “add ten to numberOfApples”. And in HyperCard’s first big promotion, the Mac of the time was sold with it. Priced at $49, the full package came on double-sided (800KB) floppy disks—the kind of ancient floppies that require variable head speeds and, like the single-sided type, don’t work on most floppy drives past the twentieth century.

Advent
It was 1987, and MacWorld Expo unveiled something that would become one of the most influential pieces of software in history.  No one saw anything like it before. Sure, there were spreadsheets, word processors, the virtual Rolodex and other boring, life-sucking, business-oriented etc. software types, but HyperCard was unbelievably simple and easy to use. Before you could say “Mac Plus,” people would be showing off “go to next card” animations, making games, and yes, using it for business, all at no extra cost because of how easy it was (and still is) to make and modify stacks. So easy, a “Can’t Modify” feature and password protection had to be added.

Background
In 1985, Bill Atkinson, with a small-yet-growing team spent a lot of time from start to a user-friendly release, and like many software developers probably ended up working long, hair-pulling hours—debugging on the older machines was slow. Atkinson was crucial in what was known as “WildCard,” hence the creator code WILD. In fact, his face was rendered into an icon, as one of the seemingly infinite number of B&W icons that come with HyperCard, used for icon buttons. He would stick around a few more years for the implementation of code externals (v1.2), sound playback and features that people that still use it (with an older Mac or emulator) take for granted. And no, he didn’t become part of the Google+ team.

Networking and Sound Recording

Audio window snapshot
Audio recorder and editor.

With or without Bill, the team would go on to add 8-bit sound recording (and editing!) and incorporate AppleScript™, Apple’s scripting language for communication between programs, including the Finder (technically an app) and other running copies of HyperCard, even over a shared network. Now users could have stacks, its cards or backgrounds — or the message box, my favorite part — create and move files and folders, manage binary data (as opposed to being limited to C-string text) and communicate with just about everything with ease.

Movies and Color
HyperCard 2.2, one of the most popular versions—especially among schools, was used for the incredible success that was Myst®, the commercial, color game that featured whole pre-rendered CGI environments that the player could move around in. Myst was so successful that not only did the HC team add QuickTime™ movie playing capabilities and Color Tools™, Apple included the Myst CD-ROM with version 2.3.5. Color Tools — which allowed people to literally AddColor, transitions and all — even came with its own painting software built-in.

Split Teams
When Apple decided to have or keep much of its software a property of Claris, they decided to include HyperCard. The reason why you see two credits, Apple and Claris, for the early versions of 2.x: some members decided to stay at Apple. Apple made the new viewer-only “Player” a part of the operating system package, and Claris would distribute the traditional “full” version, now no longer free when users got their Mac OS — HyperCard users were particularly upset with that. Another separate group in the early development of 2.0 decided to even make HyperCard IIGS, a version for the Apple IIGS!

End of the Road
For 2.4, movies were written into HyperTalk, the language originally created by Dan Winkler in 1986.  And 2.4.1, the final version was released merely to fix bugs in the Script Editor external.
HyperCard remained coded in Pascal, and for the Classic Mac OS environment, making it difficult to port or adapt to later versions of the Mac OS, QuickTime and plans of internet streaming. Apple saw expensive updates vs. SuperCard, arguably the color successor, and decided to discontinue their Classic creation.

Stacks for just about everything

Addresses stack snapshot
The Addresses stack (v2.4.1)

While many familiar with HyperCard may know of stacks used for calendars, charts, and music, particularly MIDI, even QTVR panoramas, it’s been recently discovered (or rediscovered) that someone developed a stack to control electric model trains! Besides Myst, a number of software packages have used stacks, at least in the all-in-one Player form, including the 1000 Games CD. As an educational tool, some Macs resold in the 1990s included the Student Resource Set, which featured a HyperCard-based planner.

On a self-promotional note…
I have many stacks of my own, including a virtually-unlimited endpoint polygon maker (with user functions, anti-aliasing), a 3-D world stack (and program for demos)—which can make also polygons into prisms, 8 & 16 bit sound editors (includes reverb effects, mattes, and wave tables for waves and transitions), a sound channel aligner (for when left and right are recorded separately), and an adapted software base called HyperXDB (discontinued), which included a stack with a DOS-like environment, as well as a disassembler (yes, I wrote a disassembler in HyperTalk, using ResEdit’s as a guide).

Okay, that’s enough!
Along with my externals, most of them coded in binary using ResEdit (I’m that kind of geek), the hex-editing externals have been used to alter or merely read binary files, even code, well before scripting languages like Python or Perl would come into play. In 2005 or so, I wrote a script that would calculate all of the prime numbers from 2 to 1,000,003, where the results would be stored in Extended Binary Coded Decimal (XBCD) — ‘F’ would be used as a separator.

Credits

Apple, the Apple logo, AppleScript, HyperCard, Mac, Mac OS, Mac Plus and QuickTime are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.