11 March 2013

It's the little things that (stop the) count

I drive a rather old car, which continues to serve well after nine years.  When I take it for routine maintenance, there's some of the same kind of anticipation that medical tests bring. Will mechanical inspection suggest a need for some significant intervention?  Happily, that wasn't the case today. There wasn't any reported indication that the car's complex systems of moving parts weren't prepared to continue ticking smoothly as they had for over 100,000 miles.  When I sat down in the car to drive off, however, I found that the seat had slid back to accommodate longer legs than mine and wouldn't slide back forward.  Back into the service bay briefly, where a piece of rubber was extracted from the seat mounting, and off into the day.  It seemed ironic that the vehicle's internal mechanisms kept running smoothly, only to have something far simpler render them briefly unusable for my own purposes.

04 March 2013

Desktop wallpaper (blotter paper?)

I'm clearly not the only person who spends a lot of time looking at computer screens and takes the trouble to personalize them with some sort of image from outside the computer domain.  I usually find myself selecting some natural scene, like this one that's current as of today. Based on an unsystematic over-shoulder survey at offices and conferences, it seems that family members are also popular.  Though a small gesture, the result seems more comforting than one might expect, perhaps as a reminder of being anchored into the physical world.  Even when most of the image is obscured by an email client.