You Can Stop Upgrading Your Computer Now

The current generation of chips aren’t that much better than the previous, and the pace of progress is now slowing dramatically. At least as far as computing is concerned, we’re starting to look at a mature technological base. It’s possible your children will grow up with computers that are not much faster than you yourself are used to today. But that doesn’t mean that the computing is going to look the same.

The beauty of a mature technological base is that we can finally take stock of what we’ve accomplished over the last fifty years and learn to use it well. The beauty of capable computing, computing that is good enough, and cheap enough, is that it can be used in ways that expensive computing can’t. Cheap, capable, computing will enable a host of uses that were never possible before. After all, if your computing is cheap enough to throw away, what is it that you will be able to do tomorrow that you couldn’t do yesterday?

Source: The End of Moore’s Law Might Not Be A Bad Thing

I used to upgrade my PC every few years. Each time I could see a big change in how it ran and what it was able to do. Last time I bought a new PC I noticed there wasn’t much change. Then, a couple of years later, when I would usually have upgraded… I didn’t see the point. The computer I have was already as good and better than the computers for sale. So, I’m at the end of my upgrading. Unless something goes wrong and I actually need to replace more than just a hardware part, I don’t see any need to upgrade my PC again. It’s nice to be on an affordable plateau. Of course, I’m still not buying into cell phones which I see as glorified email, nothing more.

Message in a Bottle Delayed

messageinabottleSource: 25 Incredible Stories From The World Of Ships, Boats, And Sailors

Pretty unbelievable. One of those things you would guess as false and yet wonder if it’s just odd enough to be true.

Imagine you found (by some long chain of events) a message in a bottle from a long forgotten relative. Just as in this case,  written as he or she was dying then left to be found. You could create a whole story about how the message was left but lost and wandered around for centuries only found by some odd mixture of events. It wouldn’t need to be a message in a bottle. It could be found in a time capsule. It could have been under the floor boards of an old house being demolished. So many options to choose from or invent.

Write the story, from start to finish, all the places and people who became involved in that old message along the way.

What if you Could go Back in Time…?

What if you could go back in time?

What if, one day, when you were a grown-up, you went back to your old home and climbed the ladder into your parents’ attic?

And, way in back, in a dim corner, barely illuminated by the flashlight in your hand, there was a box, a trunk, a large, dusty wooden trunk, with a lock that used a skeleton key?

So you contemplate whether or not to open it, to turn the key and open the lock, carefully, because you don’t know what might be in there, and the attic was a place that you seldom entered when you were a kid, not only because it was hard to get to, but because it was a cold and dark and drafty and scary place, and only the grown-ups were allowed in there.

Still, you want to know what is in the trunk.

Because you know it contains memories.

It is filled with the kind of memories that generations more than a hundred years ago could never have: photographs.

Not only photographs, but the negatives, too, a treasure-trove of memories.

But whose memories?

And when they join you in the present, are they the ghosts that you once thought haunted the attic?

Source: Ghosts – Darrell Noakes

Have you seen rephotography before? I’ve seen it done several times but have yet to try it myself.

Unusual or Obsolete Occupations

What a great list. How many of these did you already know? I can pick out a few. Then there are several I can remember hearing or reading but might not have remembered without seeing the explanation from the list.

Something like this gets me wondering how many of these skills could we learn again should technology fail or we some how end up in a backwards/ old fashioned dystopia?

1. ackerman: a plowman or oxherder
2. alewife: a proprietor of a tavern
3. alnager: a wool inspector
4. arkwright: a carpenter specializing in wooden chests
5. bowyer: a bowmaker
6. brazier: a brass worker
7. catchpole: an official who pursues those with delinquent debts
8. caulker: someone who packs seams in ships or around windows
9. chandler: a candlemaker, or a retail supplier of specific equipment
10. chiffonier: a wigmaker
11. cobbler: a shoemaker
12. collier: a coal miner or a maker of charcoal (also, a ship that transports coal)
13. cooper: a maker or repairer of barrels, casks, and tubs
14. cordwainer: a shoemaker
15. costermonger: a fruit seller
16. crocker: a potter
17. currier: a leather tanner, or a horse groom
18. draper: a cloth dealer
19. drayman: a driver of a heavy freight cart
20. drummer: a traveling salesman
21. duffer: a peddler
22. eggler: an egg seller
23. factor: an agent or steward
24. farrier: someone who trims horse hooves and puts on horseshoes
25. fishmonger: a fish seller
26. fletcher: a maker of arrows
27. fuller: someone who shrinks and thickens wool cloth
28. glazier: a glassmaker or window maker
29. haberdasher: an owner of or worker in a store for men’s clothing or small items used for making clothes
30. hawker: a peddler
31. hayward: an official responsible for fences and hedges
32. higgler: a peddler of dairy products and small game (also, a haggler, or someone who negotiates for lower prices)
33. hobbler: a person who tows boats on a canal or river
34. hooper: a maker of hoops for barrels, casks, and tubs
35. hostler or ostler: one who cares for horses or mules, or moves or services locomotives (originally, an innkeeper, who also maintained stables)
36. huckster: a peddler (now refers to a con artist)
37. ice cutter: someone who saws blocks of ice for refrigeration
38. ironmonger: a seller of items made of iron
39. joiner: a carpenter who specializes in furniture and fittings
40. keeler: a crew member on a barge or a keelboat
41. knacker: one who buys animals or animal carcasses to use as animal food or as fertilizer (originally, a harness maker or saddle maker)
42. knocker-up: a professional waker, who literally knocks on doors or windows to rouse people from sleep
43. lamplighter: someone who lights, extinguishes, and refuels gas street lamps
44. lapidary: a jeweler
45. lector: someone who reads to factory workers for entertainment
46. log driver: someone who floats and guides logs downriver for transportation
47. milliner: a designer, maker, or seller of women’s hats
48. muleskinner: a wagon driver
49. peruker: a wigmaker
50. pinsetter: someone who sets bowling pins back up after each bowl
51. plowright: a maker of plows and other farm implements
52. plumber: originally, one who installed lead roofing or set lead frames for windows
53. porter: a doorkeeper or gatekeeper
54. puddler: a worker in wrought iron
55. quarryman: a stonecutter
56. raker: a street cleaner
57. resurrectionist: someone who digs up recently buried corpses for use as cadavers
58. ripper: a fish seller
59. roper: a maker of nets and ropes
60. sawyer: a carpenter
61. slater: a roofer
62. slopseller: a seller of ready-made clothing, as opposed to a tailor
63. stevedore: a dockworker
64. tanner: someone who cures animal hides to make leather
65. teamster: a wagon driver
66. thatcher: someone who makes thatched roofs
67. tinker: a repairer or seller of small metal goods such as pots and pans
68. turner: someone who uses a lathe to turn wood for balustrades and spindles
69. victualer: an innkeeper, or a merchant who provides food for ships or for the military
70. wainwright: a wagon maker
71. webster: a weaver
72. weirkeeper: a fish trapper
73. wharfinger: an owner or operator of a wharf
74. wheelwright: a maker of wheels for carriages and wagons
75. whitesmith: a worker of tin

Source: 75 Names of Unusual or Obsolete Occupations

Sword Names – What’s Yours?

I’ve heard all kinds of sword names. I like to play RPG online and character names could just as easily be good sword names too. To pick a name for my own sword… that will take some time and consideration. Not too much of the fantasy or dramatic, I’d like a name with some sense of history. Danger too.

Maybe something with a Canadian flavour.

Source for the Idea: English Historical Fiction Authors: Sword Names – What’s in a Name? What’s Yours?

Cold Snap

Of course, ask me tomorrow and it could be something else.

Applying for Wisdom Pills

Yonder crazy woman who is she? Where and what her dwelling?

Good King Wencelas has been on my mind over the holidays. Is it true that people don’t know the lyrics beyond the first couple of sentences? It’s one of my favourites but, I admit, I’d have to have the words in front of me to get very far. (It’s a long song!)

Anyway, tonight I impulsively looked at Craiglist. Not for good reasons. I started with the platonic friends and it went down from there. But, I thought I would check the writing/ editing job posts before I left. Usually it’s a lot of freebie work, scams, etc. But, tonight I found and looked into, Wisdom Pills. I read the site, checked the author bios to see what kind of space they get and I read a few posts. The site looks good. This from someone who has reviewed about 500 writer sites in the past two days with

I had a good feeling about it and… I applied for the job posted. I applied for the midlife topic at BellaOnline this week too. But, I knew that was more about fixing and saving the current topic than something I really wanted to do for myself. It wasn’t a good kind of challenge for me. (I haven’t heard back from them, and likely won’t for awhile, but I’m not going to do it for other reasons too).

Meanwhile… there is Wisdom Pills. It’s a challenge that gives me a bit to worry about and I need something I’m not sure and confident about because I’m letting myself be ok with less, under achieving and just taking on challenges I’m sure of. They aren’t really challenges if there isn’t at least some hint of risk and danger and possible failure. I don’t really think I will fail but… I don’t feel sure about it.

This is what I sent to them tonight:


Wisdom Pills – Something For Your Soul?.

When we Lose our Myths…

When we lose our myths we lose our place in the universe. ― Madeleine L’Engle

Source: When We Loose Our Myths | M o o r e z a r t

Mythology is all part of our history. The farther back in history you look the more you rely on what has been passed down from word of mouth. So much of that has become mythology. But we consider a lot of it distortions of the truth, or just fairytales. Who can really say what the truth was when there isn’t anyone to give a first hand report?

Kill Them All

Extremists, terrorists… kill them all…. Where does that end and which group are terrorists and which are we supposed to believe are not? Kill them all is never going to work. History is the only way to look back and be told who the good guys were. The good guys aren’t even those who tell or publish the stories. The good guys are the people reading the stories, just ask them.