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Saturday, July 23, 2022

The FreedomBox?

 Listening to a podcast (old) and got pointed to The FreedomBox, which intends to provide anyone willing with the ability to host their own social media.  Right now, you can pick the T place or the F place, most people do.  I stuck with T, but I'm no longer F-ed.

Back in the 1990s, I used to run a BBS.  Certainly had its good points, and some of the offline messaging was quite frankly more useful and usable than the current web forum horrors.  This ain't that. Looks like it tries to replicate the commercial services (which has been done elsewhere) with all their attractions, and most (though not all) of their flaws.

I could buy one pre-built (looks to be about eighty bucks), which'd be nice and simple. Could download the package and install it on that laptop I use as a general-purpose server machine, someplace to park all the stuff I don't want on my main machine.  

 Or I could track down whatever remaining BBS software there might be.  I remember finding some, years and years ago.  But that doesn't do much unless there are other BBSes to connect to.  Most of the message content on my BBS came via some BBS nets from other systems elsewhere in the country / world.  And that's not liable to be much anymore.

I do like the idea of having my own home base, though.  Assuming I can come up with the eighty bucks.


Saturday, July 16, 2022

The keyboard, revisited

Remember the other day I did a post about my two defective iClever keyboards, money I'll never get back?
Well, today I'm trying something stupidly simple, that in retrospect is almost obvious -- not quite, but almost.
Grabbed my USB to Go adapter, plugged in a small but conventional USB wired keyboard, and plugged the adapter into my Fire tablet -- and Bob's yer uncle. Works as well as can be expected.  No touchpad on this particular keyboard, but I only used the touchpad on the iClever keyboards when doing the try-the-touchpad thing.
Keyboard's too damn big and the cable's too damn long to be convenient, but it does work just fine for touch typing, which is important to my aging former-secretary ass.  Downside, the Fire has exactly one USB port, so if the keyboard is plugged in, the power brick isn't.  So typing is inherently time-limited by the Fire battery.
I should take a picture of this setup, if I can figure out which camera to use. I'm not entirely sure how many I have at this point.
Mahalo.

Griz

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Investing looking backward

 DISCLAIMER: You'd read a blog post from me for investment advice?  Are you out of your mind?

  I've been all stressed for a while about some of the individual stocks I've bought.  They seem to have done incredibly badly.

This was from looking at current price relative to what I paid for them.  And as the fella said, "Well, there's yer trouble!"

Like a lot of people, after getting my pandemic layoff, I had way too much time on my hands. And I finally bit the bullet and moved from a strictly-managed IRA to an account where I could buy individual stocks.  Then I bought a bunch of individual stocks I thought were good investments.

The heck of it is, I was right, they are good investments, most of them.

But I bought them when everybody and his cousin was doing what I was doing, buying individual stocks for the first time.  I also bought them during that period when the Fed was buying stocks, too, to keep the market from going down too much.  Neither of these are Bad Things.  But this made many of the stock prices go much higher than they normally run.  And yeah, that's when I bought them.

Well, after all that excitement, the Fed stopped doing what they were doing, and most folks went back to Normal Life.  And the prices of those stocks I'd bought?  Also went back to Normal Life.

So...

I went into my account and looked at the charts for some of my seemingly "worst" stocks.  After checking more recently (huge drops), I checked back three years.  And it turned out that before all the chaos, the price of the stock then was essentially the price of the stock now.  It's not low.  It's just normal again.

Eventually, give it a decade, say, some of those stocks might once again get back to what I paid.  At my age, I might not be around to see that.  So I sold the worst-looking ones (it's inside my IRA, so it's still what it is), and gradually I'm going to move the money to somewhere I like better.  And  I'll take that as a Learning Experience.

Doncha hate learning experiences?

-- Griz

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Let's try this again...

Me being me, I am once again trying my second iClever keyboard with my Blogger app on my Fire, knowing the... well that one key didn't and doesn't work.   According to the Amaon reviews, iClever has very good customer service.  That may be.  But they may have good customer service because they have so many defective keyboards being returned, so they have lots of practice.
I wonder if the one I bought for my sister is at all defective.  I should ask her.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A bit baffled

 I lost my job near the end of July, 2020.  Like a lot of people, I did okay with the extended unemployment and supplements and such.  Then I tried going to school to be a Certified Medical Records Specialist online.  Thought I was doing okay, then I figured out I'd been doing the course completely wrong and had used up most of my paid-for school time.  Didn't manage to finish.

I'm no longer who I was 20 years ago, when a 8 hours a day on my feet, lift 50 pounds job was my usual.  A lifting injury, then too many years in front of a computer, most of that 20 years, and now I'm half-blind from glaucoma.  I want to be working again, and yes there are "lots of jobs," almost all those on your feet lifting 50 lbs ones.  And not many places want The New Guy to be The Old Guy.

I have skills, but I have trouble considering them special skills. I can write, but I know many who write much better.  I can speak, but I know many who speak much better.

I'd love to work on the radio, but there are few such jobs for many desirous of them.  It's a shrinking industry, with a growing universe of young people with YouTube shows.  Besides, I'm not good-looking enough for on-camera (he said, humbly).

I have Social Security, basically half what I was making on the job I lost.  I do look online for the jobs listed there, but find nothing for which I'm convinced I'm qualified. Almost all my jobs over my lifetime have been through Temp agencies, Spherion, Manpower, Kelly etc. And quite consistently, I'd start Temp, be asked to stay the full 90-some days, then asked to stay on "permanently," including my last job.  Which, of course, wasn't "permanent."  In any case, I've never really done job hunting as such.  

Being on the Autistic spectrum makes me about the worst possible person to do a job interview. We're not good face to face, and not making eye contact gives a wrong and unfortunate impression. Even thinking about job interviews makes me. literally, painfully anxious.  And I've noticed a lot of HR interviewers appear to be autistic themselves -- maybe that's just me?

You will note doing an audio-only podcast eliminates the need for eye contact.  Recording public domain books removes worries about what to say, mostly -- the content starts over here, ends over there, get to the end and stop. But that is not exactly a career, ya know?

Years ago a young lady described my podcast as "Some weird guy whining."  Gee, can't think why...

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