1. This morning we got up early so I could drive Marcia downtown to run in a 5K race that was staged alongside the Des Moines marathon. It was a chilly, early way to start the day, but I was happy to hang out near the finish line, so I could watch the results shown in the strip above (click it to enlarge): she won her division (based on age and gender), finished 26th out of 682 women running the race, and 135th out of 1,123 finishers overall, including all the men. I was exhausted just watching her sprint across the finish line, well ahead of the main pack of runners. Imagine how all the dudes that she smoked on the course felt.
2. It’s probably not surprising, given how many words I pump out on various keyboards every week, that I am a very accomplished typist. I would readily put my words-per-minute and accuracy rates up against pretty much anybody, and I know that I can hold my own against a lot of really speedy administrative professionals when it comes to moving words from brain to screen. What might surprise people, though, is how I manage to type extremely quickly and accurately without ever having learned the “proper” way to work a keyboard. I do not use all of my fingers when I type, and the ones that I do use don’t ever sit on their home keys the way they are supposed to. I was sitting in a meeting a couple of weeks ago, recording the proceedings in my role as secretary of the corporation, and I found myself actively watching my fingers as they worked, which I don’t think I’ve ever done before. So here’s a synopsis of how hideously I type, by finger, recorded while watching myself pound the keyboard in real time:
Left hand, pinky: Shift key.
Left Hand, ring finger: Not used.
Left hand, middle finger: Q, A, Z, W, S, X, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 keys.
Left hand, pointer finger: E, D, C, R, F, V, T, G, B keys.
Left hand, thumb: Not used.
Right hand, thumb: Space bar.
Right hand, pointer finger: Y, H, N, U, J, M, I, K O, L, P, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, colon, quotation, comma and period keys.
Right hand, middle finger: Backspace.
Right hand, ring finger: Not used.
Right hand, pinky finger: Not used.
I have had several surgeries on my right hand, and I think that the fact that I don’t use most of that hand is probably a function of the fact that it was often wrapped in casts and splints when I started typing regularly in college. I had not realized how much distance on the keyboard I covered with my right pointer finger, though. And I don’t know why my left ring finger never strikes the keyboard. That just seems weird. But I guess it doesn’t matter, in the end, since I manage to do something in a completely inept and unconventional way, but yet manage to achieve above satisfactory results while doing so. I think there’s probably a lesson in here, somewhere. Do you know what it might be?
3. As I’ve noted here before, I don’t watch a lot of television, so when I do, I probably pay more attention to commercials than most people do, since I don’t watch many of them. One of the major themes that I have noted in commercials sponsoring the shows I watch is that apparently having the very latest and greatest in computer and phone technology is a very, very important thing to a lot of people. Personally, I don’t even have any idea what “3-G” or “4-G” or “5-G” means when it comes to my phone, but this seems to be something of deep import to the sorts of folks who camp out overnight to get new tech toys, or who walk around with phone things sticking out of their ears, talking into the air, looking like idiots. I guess I am something of an iconoclast in this regard, as I do everything I can to make my electronic devices last as long as they can. Case in point: I have owned only three computers since 1993, all of them PCs, and all of which I’ve expanded, adapted or adjusted over time to maximize their life expectancies. So I only update my main tech toy every six to seven years, and when I do, it’s usually because something has broken beyond my ability to repair it, not because I am dazzled by its replacement. I guess I am not the target audience for most of those “gotta have the new thing” commercials, huh?
4. Music is an obviously effective communication tool, which is why many artists use their musical talents to make political statements, especially in election years. Here are three of my favorite 2012 tunes that touch on important socio-political themes underpinning this year’s election:
“All Hail the Corporation“ by Andy Prieboy
“Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro“ by Devo