Friday, December 07, 2018

Notes from Bizmo World

Wow, they're not kidding at Steemit, when they say keep track of your own damn password. A lotta geeks dismiss that one, knowing reset with verification is a possibility, meaning you can just reset the password once you have the victim's cell phone.  Not so with this blockchainer.  You don't have the password in memory, which is too long to remember, and you don't get to reset it if you forget it.  You'll never access your account again, another waste of a great moniker.

I was pdx4d.  They generate the passwords for you.  They look like bitcoin addresses.  You're getting warmer.  I did find where I'd backed up the Steemit address, having followed protocol.

Steemit is but one of many social media the next geek generation has cooked up.  You weren't expecting the world to stop with Facebook were you?

I'm using Facebook, as it's not either/or, but as a columnist in Bizmo World, I'm expected to keep pushing to a next horizon.  Have you signed on to Meat yet?  Just kidding.

Lets make it real here and talk about malls.  Sears Discount is suffering from low attendance, another reason to go in, great customer service.  They had their two models of microwave ovens at really low prices, but with a Walmart right next door (next store), that wasn't saying much.

I came in like a robot, checked the LG, had my measuring tape, ended up with the Oster, about the same price but more swoopy or something.  Walmart had some other things I needed.  Then Fubonn, the Asian supermarket complex.  More ramen.  Kimchi.  Couldn't find the soy sauce, will solve it next time.

Portland's 82nd Avenue, an Oregon State road, is our homage to freeway gentrification everywhere, except it's not the freeway, but the business route running north-south parallel to I-205, itself the business route branch-off of I-5, that goes through the center, branching to I-405 to the super-center.

By "freeway gentrification" I mean the strip mall culture of one-story restaurant franchises and assortment of big and little box stores, supplied by truck, the premier vehicle of the I-net, from a layer of warehouses around any hub city, especially those with ports.  Portland has humble freight traffic, and that keeps us connected in a global economy.

You may be wondering what bizmo rig I'm driving through all these parking lots and you'd be right to be wondering, since a bizmo log or chronicle typically features such a vehicle, with its quirks and problems.

Instead, I'm in a four-door Nissan from the late 1900s.  Long time readers of these blogs may remember Razz, a Subaru, and Robin Blue even before that.  Cars get proper names much as we give variable names to other features in a program, including actors, agents, whatever observables.  Mars has a name.

The archetypal bizmo shimmers in the archetypal landscape, between the lines, as we're still busy constructing the lifestyle.  T4P only came along recently.  For now, I'm just blending in as one more noodle lover.  The Oster is working great, and sensed by itself when the baked potato had released sufficient humidity.  There's some real science going on in that appliance.  No Instapot yet, thinking about it.

Fubonn is on 82nd, like the two Walmarts I saw (the one I went into is further south, in Clackamas, whereas the second came after the Entering Portland sign, me coming north).  I go there more often, as it's closer and Walmart - Amazon might be my online supplier of delivered goods, where I'm not the one in the fossil fuel business.

Speaking of which, I have a work sponsor ready to heat more of my building so we've got a truck on the way on Monday.  I'm not a new customer, having been at my current location since 1995 or thereabouts.  Newly married with child.  We used to call Montag but their customer list was acquired by another company.

The microwave just decided to blow one day, kinda like mom's knee (though the latter had more of an excuse). The Magic Chef gave up the magic, after over a decade of service I'm reckoning.  My range is a Magic Chef too, avocado green like from the 1960s, came with the house. 

The antique stove fits with my overall decor, which is likewise vintage, lots of vinyl paneling.  We had the wood paneling in the living room removed, along with the shag rug.  Pine floors.  Looks like a ski lodge where the wood takes some punishment.

A skilled repair person could likely have identified a fried wire in the Costco-bought Magic Chef and made it good as new.  Our consumer culture encourages us to replace, not repair, these small appliances, though there's more of an aftermarket for the bigger ones, like washers and dryers.

I'm not the expert.  I'm the consumer, and some consuming I did.  Thanks to my knowing how to teach Python, I'm able to afford a building with replaceable and irreplaceable gadgets and doodads.  Python and Martian Math as a combo.  That's another popular dish.  We're like a food cart, in a town of food pods (lots of competition).

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

DIY Bizmo


Monday, December 03, 2018

Truck Versus Rail


There's a bit of an apples to oranges flavor to my Blogger post title comparison "Truck Versus Rail" as what corresponds to the rail system are not trucks, but the whole infrastructure of highways, freeways, toll pikes and yes, boulevards. Highways and byways.  Upon those, the trucks ride.  As do trains with engines on rail.  So the apples to apples might be: train engines to trucks.  Both diesel in many cases.

As a kid, I preferred rails to roads because of the added requirement for such things as switches, and switching yards.  Trains brought their own set of challenges.  Round houses.  Trucks had (have) their rectangular warehouses, sometimes solar paneled.

The forklifts run around inside, or even autonomous vehicles, routed to take stuff from here to there.  Switch around among trucks, go multi-modal to trains.  Truck and train actually work very much on the same team.  Both truck trailers (with wheels), and shipping containers (without wheels, stackable), are multi-modal, with an overlapping spectrum of modes.

In adult life, I began to think more about the trucking infrastructure, a prominent feature of the North American economy.  I'm no expert on trade agreements or substance control.  My focus has been university developed exchange programs whereby driver crews gain experience on routes usually considered to be beyond their scope.

Think "Peace Corps for truckers" but don't feel you have to thrust it into the State Department as some official government program.  We're giving analogies, not stating identities.  That being said, I could imagine the existing Peace Corps adding "trucking" to its categories, or maybe it's there already, I wouldn't know.

I did not serve in the Peace Corps however our family sometimes met with, even offered hospitality to, Peace Corps volunteers in the field.  "Volunteer" doesn't mean "unpaid" so much as "not conscripted" as joining the Peace Corps is not some obligatory form of public service, as serving in the military used to be for US citizens.  We were US citizens living outside the US in places where Peace Corps people often work, such as the Philippines (but not in Bhutan).

However, my focus on trucking lately hasn't taken me entirely away from trains.  The different ways to use a rail system other than for "high speed" go through my storyboarding.  Roads and tracks are not that different anyway, in terms of needing to obey constraints on grade.  Both steepness and curvature are considerations, though rail and road follow different constants.  Trucks turn very sharply compared to trains, which need a relatively huge radius to accomplish the same turn.

Imagine your university dorm and classroom is a four train car affair, and as rather button down.  Is this Princeton?  The keg party folks charter a different service, not that we can't serve regional beers, or whatever's local.  You're studying the region you're going through, learning the language, history, tastes.  You're getting academic credit -- as a lot of those truckers are -- from your time on the rails, often intentionally side-lined without an engine, per plan and schedule.

Hooked to all this is the idea of the Personal Workspace (PWS).  Trains might not always carry sleepers.  Most do not.  They could be modeled with offices, work and study spaces.  Ping pong tables make sense when you're parked.

The North American riding public in large degree switched to jets in order to minimize travel times over long distances.  Commuter hops were and are train and bus oriented.  Some American cities have invested lots in rail, Philadelphia especially.  Others rely almost exclusively on the "rubber" tire.

One might also experiment with trains that facilitate hopping on and off.  The moving sidewalk platform has been proposed, and used by Disney with some success.  The train slows to run at the same speed as the mounting belt and the passenger simply steps on or off the train.  Slower belts (moving sidewalks) run parallel and after a few transfers, the passenger is back to standing stationary at the station (why we call it that).