Thursday, August 29, 2019

Through the Keyhole - September 2019

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SEPT 2019
Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter
Can you guess the location?
"This picturesque bend is a must see if you visit this region.  The water is quite cold and the current swift. Pictures don't do it justice and it is no backyard game..."

Send your guess HERE

So Long White Pants! 
August is but a memory and September is upon us once again.  Summer is officially over this weekend and it is time to put away your white pants.  Or so they say...

The day after Labor Day means three things: Pumpkin spice season is here, the kids are back in school, and you absolutely cannot wear white until Memorial Day 2020. Who cares that it’s still above 90 degrees across the country, you must ascribe to the Starbucks and fashion rules of yore, right? Well, maybe not, at least according to Emily Post.

The idea beyond the “no white after Labor Day” rule first came into the American fashion scene at the turn of the 20th century, according to the Emily Post Institute. Back then, the “summer season was bracketed by Memorial Day and Labor Day,” when city folks would shed their heavily-layered sidewalk frocks for more comfortable and light fabrics at the seaside.

Judith Martin, also known as etiquette columnist Miss Manners, tells TIME, "Not only was there no air-conditioning, but people did not go around in T shirts and halter tops. They wore what we would now consider fairly formal clothes. And white is of a lighter weight."

But don’t blame southerners or Californians for this ridiculous fashion faux pas. As Charlie Scheips, author of American Fashion, additionally notes to TIME, “All the magazines and tastemakers were centered in big cities, usually in northern climates that had seasons."

Those snobby New England elitists used the rule for more than just marking the passage of another summer in Newport and Long Island. They also used the trend to keep a newly upwardly mobile middle class from settling in on their turf. As Mental Floss notes:
“ was difficult to tell the difference between old money, respectable families, and those who only had vulgar new money. By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already ‘in’ felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow.”

So do we still need to follow this archaic rule more than 100 years after it took effect? According to the manners experts above, hell no. In fact, you can wear whatever you want, whenever you want, because you live in 2019.

As the Emily Post Institute notes, of course you can wear white after Labor Day, and it makes perfect sense to do so in climates where September’s temperatures are hardly fall-like. It’s more about fabric choice today than color. Even in the dead of winter in northern New England the fashionable wear white wools, cashmeres, jeans, and down-filled parkas. The true interpretation is wear what’s appropriate—for the weather, the season, or the occasion.

And for all my Millennial friends, you can finally put that summer wool cap away... 
At least the Fall has comfy, attractive clothing (for some)...
Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was Hillary Ross who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Hillary even sent a great picture from when she was in Athens last summer.  What a handsome couple.  Cheers to Ken and Hillary!  Thank you for sharing!
"As the capital and largest city of its country, this place is one of the oldest cities in the world.  The earliest human presence is somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.  That's really old."  
Since I have never been to Athens, I thought it would be good to share some insight from someone who had visited recently.

This blogger post from "Currently Out of the Office" is from a young, female flight attendant (from NYC) who quit her high fashion job to fly the friendly skies and lose her guilt for her love of travel.  It is an interesting post and one worth sharing.  You can find her blog here.

Greece has been on my travel bucket list for as long as I could remember. So when one of my flight attendant friends asked if I wanted to tag along on a trip that he was planning, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.  The ruins of Ancient Greece, the food and the chance to see somewhere new, were all calling my name.
However before I left, I received a lot of “advice” about our first stop, Athens:
“It’s a dump!”
“Spend the week hopping the islands instead.”
“Skip Athens. Don’t waste your time.”
This was all news to me. Sure, I was aware of the country’s political and financial issues over the last few years. But I didn’t think it was enough of a deterrent for me not to go. I was not about to cancel, so I would just have to find out for myself.
After an 11 hour flight from JFK, we arrived in Athens around 10am. Our itinerary included a stay in Athens for two-and-a-half days before heading to the island of Mykonos. I never knew Greece was so mountainous, so my friends and I were oohing and ahhing the entire way to our Airbnb. Based on his smile and nods, this was something that our Uber driver was clearly used to from visitors. Thankfully, by the time we arrived to our Airbnb it was ready for us to settle in. In desperate need of sleep (and showers) we quickly unpacked and settled in.

After some much needed rest, we set out for the night to begin our exploration of Athens. The amazing crew on our Delta flight gave us a whole list of things to see, do and most importantly, eat. It was such an incredibly invaluable resource, not found on Yelp, Pinterest or in any guidebook. We ate at a restaurant that was just below the Acropolis, with incredible views of the ancient citadel and the city. The views paired with all the delicious traditional Greek food we had (I had lamb kleftiko which I dream about weekly) made for a meal that I will never forget. A bit of walking around and some shopping and it was time to head back to the apartment for the night.

The next day, we set out for Acropolis after a long breakfast. It was a good thing I wore sneakers, because it was definitely a hike from the entrance to the top of the ruins. A bit more than I bargained for on the exertion side, but the views of the city the higher up we went made it completely worth it. Needless to say, I got my steps in! (And a wake up call that I need to frequent the gym more often.)

If you’re a reader of this blog (or know me personally), then you know that I love Italy. So I really made it a point to try and 
not compare the ruins and societies of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. But it was inevitable, especially since I was just in Rome last year. The two societies have many differences, but just looking at the ruins, it’s apparent just how similar they were. I did my best to keep the comparisons to a minimum since I was in Athens, and I didn’t want my visit to this beautiful city to be overshadowed. (It just reminds me so much of the Roman Forum…)

We spent over six hours exploring the different ruins in the radius of Acropolis before we realized how hungry, tired and dehydrated we were. Even if we wanted to keep exploring, it was physically impossible. The neighborhood we were staying in had a ton of places to eat, so we settled into one for a relaxing dinner before turning in for the night.

By morning, half the group was either sick or exhausted from the previous day that we opted to split up. Half of the group ventured back into Athens to do more exploring and shopping, while the other half decided to sleep in late and explore locally, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. While I always include the landmarks and “must-see” spots into my travel plans, ultimately, I just love to explore and immerse myself wherever I am. And since sleep in any form is now a luxury to me, I was part of the latter group.
It was early afternoon by the time we left, so lunch was our first order of business. Our lunch quest led us to the least Greek meal possible, fish and chips. It may not have been souvlaki, but it was one of our favorite meals during our stay in Athens. After lunch, we went to a bar for a drink where we met some very interesting locals and drank some Greek liquor that almost put me in the hospital. We had a fun afternoon, recapping the trip and recognizing how hashtag blessed we were. (Alcohol or not, we really were that sentimental.)

Our time in Athens was short, but it was also just enough. Of course I discovered during my visit that Athens isn’t a dump. (I took most of those comments with a grain of salt, btw.) Because it is a city like other around the world that has its good and bad. It’s a city that averages 4.5 million visitors a year, more than its roughly 665,000 residents. It can feel crowded at times. Hagglers can be aggressive. Most areas are clean. Some are not. Maybe it’s the New Yorker in me, but it was all relative. A dump it was nowhere near. Despite all that, at it’s core, Athens is a city with an incredible history and an even richer culture. And despite the naysayers, I’m glad I was able to experience it.

Oh to be young, broke (Dad's money) and traveling again...
This will make you hungry. ~30 minutes
These young folks get a private tour of  Athens...

Depends on your point of view...

Social Scoring not just for communists...Uh Oh.
Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.
In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.
It can also award points for charitable donations or even taking one’s own parents to the doctor.
Punishments can be harsh, including bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist.

Full Article HERE  Almost as scary as AI.

Triumph of the Nerds - 1996
This documentary came out the year TURNkey IT began.  A good watch on how technology got usable.
As everyone knows, binge watching TV shows is something that is done regularly in these days.  People are always looking for interesting things to watch, get hooked on and burn some time on the easy chair.

I am not sure why I thought of this today but there is a very informative and interesting documentary (60 minutes style) that really taught me a lot about how personal computing got going.  I watched it when it was released and was riveted.

It is called Triumph of the Nerds and was released in October of 1996 (6 months after I started this company).  Triumph of the nerds is the story of how we got to where we were when Windows 95 was released.  It stars appearances by Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Bob Metcalf (Ethernet inventor, 3Com founder), Larry Bosack (Cisco), etc. etc.  These guys all started at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) where they literally invented the first GUI operating system that was swiftly rejected by Xerox…  That did not stop them as they went their separate ways and started the companies they are known for.

I thought that many of you would enjoy watching it.  Right now you can find the 3 volumes on Amazon Prime movies or YouTube at:


It is roughly 3 hours of unadulterated fun that tells a good story and one that has continued to accelerate some 23 years later.

My wife enjoyed watching it way back then and although a lot has changed, it all had to start somewhere.  Without these guys and their visions, the world would be a much different place (and we would all be doing something else).  Again, just thought to share.

Police Dog Training - Fur'real
These dogs are really agile and smart.  Don't mess with them.

Sailing through volcanic rock..
This is the aftermath of an eruption of an underwater volcano.  Trippy.

Mascot Down.  Hilarious Outtakes.
During the filming for a White Bear Mitsubishi ad, a polar bear just can't seem to get his balance.
The last fall is definitely the best one though.

Something light to ponder...
1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
5) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandma's lap.

1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jello to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge... mostly sweet, with a few nuts
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.

SUCCESS: How true this one is.
At age 4 success is . . . ... Not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is ... . . Having friends.
At age 17 success is ..... . Having a driver's license.
At age 35 success is . ... . Having money.
At age 50 success is . .. .. Having money.
At age 70 success is . ... . Having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is ... ... Having friends.
At age 80 success is . .. .. Not piddling in your pants.

One Heck of a 19th HOLE
This is the longest par 3 ever with a million dollar hole in one prize.

An Arkansas Dog Story (it is a JOKE)
A young Arkie goes off to college. Half way through the semester, having foolishly squandered all of his money on his girlfriend - he calls home.

"Dad," he says, "You won't  believe what modern education is developing! They actually have a program here at Hendrix that will teach our dog, Ole' Blue  how to  talk!”

"That's amazing," his Dad says.  "How do I get Ole' Blue in that program?”

"Just send him over here with $1,000" the young Arkie says, "and I'll get him in the course." So, his Father sends the dog and $1,000.

About two-thirds of the way through the semester, the money again runs out. The boy calls home.
"So how's Ole' Blue doing son?" his Father asks.

"Awesome, Dad, he's talking up a storm," he says, "but you just won't believe this -- they've had such good results they have started to teach the animals how to read!”

"Read!?" says his Father, "No kidding! How do we get Blue in that program?”

"Just send $2,500, I'll get him in the class.”

The money promptly arrives. The Arkie and his girlfriend are able to buy enough marijuana to last the whole  semester. But our hero has a problem. At the end of the year, his Father will find out the dog can neither talk, nor read. Even though he was always pretty much able to lie his way out of trouble, the Arkie asked his girl friend to help him think of a really good lie to tell his Dad. She very quickly came up with a plan for him.
So she has him shoot the dog.
When he arrives home at the end of the year, his Father is all excited.
"Where's Ole' Blue? I just can't wait to see him read  something and talk!”

"Dad," the boy says, "I have some grim news. Yesterday morning, just before we left to drive home, Ole' Blue was in the living room, kicked back in the recliner, reading the Wall Street Journal, like he usually does”.
"Then Ole' Blue turned to me and asked, so - is your Daddy still messing around with that little redhead who lives down the street?”

The Father went white and exclaimed, "I hope you shot that lying dog before he talks to your Mother!”

"I sure did, Daddy!
"That's my boy!"  ...and then he became President.


Would you drink Chernobyl Vodka?
What can be done with the deserted land in Ukraine after Chernobyl’s catastrophic nuclear disaster? Three decades on, researchers have an idea.
Introducing Atomik vodka: a new spirit produced from crops grown in Chernobyl’s exclusion zone.
A team of British scientists worked alongside colleagues in Ukraine to produce the vodka, made with grain and water from the abandoned region, on a farm near the site of the 1986 accident.
But for those interested in consuming the product, one key question lingers: Is it safe?
According to Professor Jim Smith of the University of Portsmouth, the product has been put through aggressive testing and is free of radioactivity: “This is no more radioactive than any other vodka. We’ve checked it,” Smith said. “We’ve had two of the best laboratories in the world looking to see if they can find any radioactivity from Chernobyl, and they haven’t found any.”

Article and place to purchase HERE.

80s Memes (LMAO)

So Long Dog Days...

Murder Cookies
The cookies are very straightforward and simple: Cream sugar and shortening together with molasses (I used unsulphured blackstrap for a strong kick), then beat in flour and spices (I substituted a mix of nutmeg and cinnamon for the mace). The dough is thick and sticky, and you drop it by spoonfuls and then press them into rounds with the bottom of a glass. I baked at 350 for about 12 minutes (the recipe doesn’t specify a temperature, but the reviews seemed to agree on this).