18 July 2022
SETI League
PriUPS Project

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But First

As the saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Purportedly an ancient Chinese proverb, but I don't believe the Chinese had "miles," so who knows?

Updating the proverb: To go to Italy, you have to get out of your driveway.

Mr. Tree, with impeccable timing, decided we should remain home unless we could recruit a chain-saw crew right now. When I moved to suburbia decades ago I decided I needed a chain saw. Although it had an enjoyable evening at a party, I was disabused of the notion of ownership after realizing that it required maintenance, messy fluids, and had to be used regularly in Nature. It never made it to Sedona.

Without a chain saw, and with a heavier-than-it-looks tree across my driveway, I succumbed to a moment of panic. It involved finding a "tree service" and serious overtime payment. But, remembering my small-town Kinnelonian experiences of decades past, I suddenly had the inspiration to put similar-population Sedona to the Question!

Q: Hello, Sedona! ... Yes, it's my driveway, but it's your tree! Can you help?

The answer became obvious within half an hour, to the cadence of chain saws and branch-tossing into the back of a city maintenance vehicle. Thank you!

What some people will do to get me out of the country!

And Second—An Apology to Gen Z

Being a person of the "elderly" persuasion, I've been indifferent to the mysterious characterizations of age cohorts as Gen X, Gen Y, etc. Gen Z snuck up on me! Apparently Gen Z denizens now range in age from six, who surely aren't reading this blog, to age 24, who also aren't reading this blog. I know this because they want to "participate in the digital experience—live." According to Agora,* people increasingly want "Real Time Engagement" video or audio features in the apps they use.

Having participated in video and audio interviews in recent years, and giving liberal interpretation to the word "features," I thought I would enhance my Z-cred by showing a couple of the incredibly sophisticated interactive features I have employed in this blog even before the younger Z-ers were born!

And audio? For a number of months I had the conceit that delivering this blog by voice in addition to phosphor might enhance its value. Click Index and then any of the MP3 links in the early blogs to derive this value, however dubious, for yourself.

Am I au courant or what! And yet, this is an apology. I have been remiss in my audio blogging, interactivity, and video. I did a sea shanty on Tik Tok at the behest of our marketing department but I have neither the time nor inclination** nor skill to "create" in the modern sense of the term. I have an arguable competence in stringing words together with whatever degree of grammaticality and comprehensibility I can muster. If my blog loses the Gen Z cohort, I shall cope.

Oh yes, Google just told me these pages aren't mobile-friendly. They think they're too wide. Fortunately I have less than a thousand I must manually repair. I'll get right on it.

You Would Think a Blogitem Named "Italy" Would Be About Italy

You might turn out to be right. Let's see how far I get.

In a Pizza Pickle

Sedona to Milan is too far and too landlocked to swim or take a cruise, so air travel was the logical alternative. Sedona, you will recall from earlier in this blogitem, is a smallish town, that has a nice—but hardly international—airport. Even Phoenix doesn't seem to have a direct flight, so we had to change aircraft in Chicago. The hours spent wandering the halls of O'Hare International Airport were only partially wasted. There was too much time to obtain refreshment, and several "individual pizzas" were ordered. (I use the passive voice here. I had nothing to do with ordering and, you will find out in the next sentence, very little to do with consuming.) Each individual pizza was delivered to the tiny yet extremely uncomfortable seating area with an individual pickle perched upon the cheesy surface. Chicago: One strike. So the title of this paragraph should have been, with one letter changed and slightly modified punctuation "On a Pizza: Pickle." I tasted it, lived, and have gotten away with the slightly deceptive paragraph heading. As a member of the No-Cukes movement, I believe I acquitted myself honorably.

Having Survived the Pickle,

We walked the few hundred feet to the "gate," by then harboring a Boeing 787 with two welcoming, not-horribly-uncomfortable seats for the nine-hour flight to Milan Malpensa Airport*** in northern Italy. The plane departed on-time; after an airline "meal" I attempted with modest success to undertake a pennichella. I woke up over the Atlantic Ocean and have just now realized that there's (finally!) a bit of Italian content in this blogitem. More "tomorrow."



* I have no idea
** Q: Who said "If you've got the time, I've got the inclination?" A: Click here
Which, you would think from the word malpensa means "bad thoughts" but actually means "a swampy area."

Richard Factor


"Sadie Said No"

Beacon Street Union



Otari manufactured analog tape recorders. Good ones. At the 1983 Audio Engineering Society convention they gave away* this T-shirt, which is a lovely color. But I had to magnify my photo to be able to read the "Otari" amid the psychedelic fluff.

The fluff might have been accidental. I once commissioned a SETI T-shirt that was so busy that it was almost unreadable. I think we finally decided to explain that any ET signal would be very noisy and this was a practice shirt.

* I know that I never would have paid for it.

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