Category Archives: Red Ramblings

Rants, observations and general commentary about life not involving usability.

One hand?

Just saw this on Twitter. Is it true that most of you young pups use only one hand when on your phone? Every time I see my 17 year-old do that I yell at her. With the size and bulk of these new “phablets” it just seems like its begging for a cracked screen.

However, I am always a bit paranoid every time I have my phone out and I’m walking around… even if it is in an Otterbox.

one hand

Because “flapping” in the breeze just wasn’t enough…?

Not really sure how I feel about this one.

On the one hand, it’s cool that they have tech that can do this.

On the other, isn’t this basically the Webster’s definition of “tacky” and “disrespectful”?

This is curious new technology; imagine the US Flag being able to play the National Anthem from the flagpole! How scientists turned a flag into a loudspeaker MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY EAST LANSING, Mich. – A paper-thin, flexible device created at Michigan State University not only can generate energy from human motion, it can act as […]

via New Tech: US flag could act as a speaker to play the National Anthem — Watts Up With That?

Happy Mother’s Day

I never know if it’s “Mothers” (all mothers) or “Mother’s” (my mother)… but either way Happy M Day to all you moms out their.

At this stage in life I have to wish it to two amazing women; the one who gave me life and the one who gave that life meaning in the form of my little girl.

I (and probably all men as a rule) don’t say it enough, but THANK YOU. You’ve long put up with my crap and never once followed through on your threats to kill me.

I would go into some long, sappy essay on a mother’s love but I have to go kill a bug in the kitchen. Good to know I’ve still got some usefulness around here.



Finally, sneakers for me and my bad knees.

I saw this story and thought “It’s about 30 years too late, but hallelujah.” You see, I don’t merely have flat feet… I have planks bolted to my ankles. I have zero arch. Add that to time spent in the Army where your 2-mile run time is more important than your range score and my knees are shot. I would have loved to have a pair of these bad boys back in the mid-to-late 80’s.

Altra’s Torin IQ were inevitable. Sensors integrated into articles of clothing have long been acknowledged to be the next step in wearable tech, and the Utah-based footwear maker just happened to beat most of its competition to the finish line with a pair of running shoes that bake tracking directly into the sole. But unlike…

via Smart running shoes won’t make you faster, but they could help you avoid getting hurt — TechCrunch

For the paranoid in all of us…

From televisions to toasters, all kinds of devices are getting hooked up to the Internet. That’s bringing convenience, like air conditioning systems that can be activated remotely while you’re on your way home from work. But it’s also bringing new privacy concerns, as anything connected to the Internet tends to attract the attention of hackers.…

via 7 Easy Ways to Stop Your Gadgets From Spying on You — Tech – TIME


On Wednesday, March 8th my father passed away at the age of 78.

He fell over the weekend, causing a subdural hematoma . They performed brain surgery Monday to relieve the pressure. On Tuesday his vitals crashed and we were advised that there was nothing to be done. He was moved to a hospice center that afternoon. He never regained consciousness after surgery. My daughter (17) went in to tell him goodbye on Monday.

My mom and my sister stayed overnight Tuesday while his breathing became more and more shallow.

Wednesday I got up and had an urge to read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I thought I had a copy of it already but apparently I never got around to buying it. So my wife and I drove to Barnes and Noble to pick one up before heading to the hospice to spell mom and sis.

When we got to hospice we sent mom and sis home for a shower and food. The plan was for them to come back in the morning. After they were gone I opened up the book and read the first page under the “Dying” section. It said to be honest with the dying and to tell them what they need to hear, that it’s about them- not you.

So, I took him by the hand and said “Pop, mom just left with sis. I want you to know that mom will be taken care of. Me, sis, <my wife>, <sis’s husband>, <my kid>… hell, the grandkids have fights on who gets to be with her. She’ll be safe and we’ll make sure she’s OK. We’ve got this. All you need to do is relax and let go. Love you pop”

2 minutes later he was gone.

I don’t know why I woke up wanting that book. But it told me what needed to be done.

I called sis who literally just got out of the parking lot. She turned around and came back. Now, my wife is a very strong person. I’ve seen her go through multiple deaths in her family and I can count the number of times I’ve seen her cry in 28 years on one hand. However, my mom’s reaction to seeing my dad dead… it was the realest, most heart breaking thing I have ever seen. I really have no words to describe it. My stoic wife was left sobbing in the corner, just watching it.

After a few minutes mom looked at me, still destroyed, and asked “Why didn’t he want me here when he left?”- like it was betrayal. By now the hospice doctor was in the room and she had seen this hundreds of times.  I told her “He was waiting for you to leave so you wouldn’t have to see it. He wanted to spare you that moment.” Hospice doctor just nods and says “It almost always works that way. Men will hang on until the wife leaves. It’s just how things go.”

I then told her what I told him, about her being taken care of and how he was gone less than 2 minutes later. “Mom, he may have been a grumpy old man but there is no arguing that he loved you. He refused to go until he knew you would be OK.”

And that is how my father died.