Archive for May, 2010


The Sound of Thunder

When I lived with my parents, I could always distinguish the sound of fireworks from the sound of thunder. The timing of the booms was very different. I seem to have lost this ability. I was pretty sure that thunder was always further apart. At the end of a fireworks display, there is typically a lot of rapid explosions. Thunder was never like this. It’s usually much further apart in time, on the order of minutes, during most of the storm. The culmination could be much closer, but typically no more than two or three per second.

This has somehow changed. Thunder can happen several dozen times per second now. I’m not sure if it’s a geographical, climactic, or psychological change. I previously lived in downtown Manhattan. The proximity to the East River and The World Trade Center could have had an effect on the frequency of lightning strikes in the area. Now I am living further from water and tall buildings. I also seldom see fireworks displays now. They had been very frequent where I lived when I was younger.

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Crippled

I don’t have a decent functioning mouse. My main one died yesterday despite being “virtually indestructible”. The body of the mouse is truly as durable as they claim, but the cable broke at the point where it connects to the body.

I am currently using an old mouse that I stopped using because it stops functioning completely every 5 to 10 minutes. I have an alternative built into my keyboard, but it’s a highly inconvenient tilt button system.This is stifling all my internet activities and all graphics projects are suspended until I get the new mouse. I ordered a replacement online, but the estimated date of arrival is May 19.

The Usefulness of Twitter

I have had a Twitter account for over a year, but I never found a compelling use of it until today. I tried several times to use it as a microblogging site, but I found the 140 character limit to be too restrictive, and the reply feature is very lacking. For blogs, I either use blogstalk or wordpress.

What happened earlier today was a failure of some websites that I own. They didn’t load properly and the hosting company’s website also didn’t load, so I couldn’t contact technical support or get a status update. Theplanet had a router failure in Texas and my hosting company gets it’s internet from them. I first tried Google News, but they are too slow. They take at least two to three hours before reporting anything. I also tried Slashdot, because it’s a technical thing, but they also have delays due to the approval process.

Twitter was the only site that had any information about the outage. Within five minutes, there were Tweets from other site owners who had outages. Most notably, there were tweets from my hosting company. I won’t rely on Twitter as my primary news source, but I will use it again to check on recent events that I don’t see reported in the news found at other venues.

I have been feeling very tense for the past several days. It started as a combination of sleep deprivation and elevated testosterone. This was followed by a fight with a former e-friend who apparently had been harboring secret hostilities over a misunderstanding for nearly a year. The tension peaked last night when I was assaulted by paint fumes from my neighbor. Opening the window did not help, because his windows were also open. The fumes wafted from multiple directions.

I felt an almost instant sense of relief when the rain started falling. It cleansed the paint fumes from the air, and the sweltering heat went away. My mind can finally see a glimpse of peace again.