Things I Have Forgotten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week I dreamed I was at work. It has been sixteen years since I have worked for a living, and being at work in the dream was delightful, except for one thing. I couldn’t remember a specific word that I used daily to describe a special property of the material we used to make our number one product. That spoiled my dream. Up to that point I enjoyed being an expert on the material properties. I liked to call myself an expert on the material but I was, and am still far from it, but compared to an ordinary Joe I am an expert. The same holds true for today, I am far from an expert on the use or workings of a computer, but I am further advanced in know-how than the circle of friends I hang with, they consider me a computer guru. I am also one to try to do things with a computer that no one else does, and I get very little help from anyone I know. For example, recently I conducted a class in which the students gave answers to a questionnaire. The result of the answers are meaningless unless they are compiled into an aggregate. I used Excel to do the job. I tried showing the total result to the class via a projector connected to my PC. The results were totally unreadable on the big screen. Nevertheless projecting data on a screen from a computer was impressive. The next week I imported the Excel data into a Power-Point program to display, they were better. I had used Excel in my work but this new Excel was so different it took me some time and experimentation to learn how to work with it. At the end, I concluded that although I finally made some nice graphs that the new Excel didn’t have the capabilities of the sixteen year older versions I had used. In my work I made some really comprehensive and detailed graphs to display data just like engineers did before computers. As the class progressed I kept adding more results to the Power Point until the class concluded. The last session will use the total results to make decisions about improvement projects.

While doing all this it became clear to me that I would like to show the Power Point presentation to more people. I thought I could just plug it in and play it in a loop over and over to use as a backdrop during a dinner. After much experimentation I learned that Power Point is not capable of looping.  To do what I wanted to do I would have to make a movie of my presentation. Not a problem I thought, I am very familiar with iMovie having made a dozen or so movies from my old super eight films. Except the latest iMovie program is now five years newer than the one I used forcing me to learn how to use iMovie all over again. In the process of learning, I discovered it would be easier to save my Power Point slides as jpeg images. You don’t want to know how much I swore at Apple while learning that to be necessary.

As I developed this movie using bland data I added my organization goals into the mix, now the movie was really bland. To spice things up I decided to add some canned videos before, and after my bland data, short, colorful, and informative videos one before and one after. The movie got better, except that the videos would not draw everyone into the presentation, so I added home video snips from my organization activities. This added personality to the thing and tied it all together. Making the movie was becoming easier as I repeatedly experimented with the various elements.

When I had a finished product to my satisfaction I found the loop feature in iMovie and added it; wallah mission accomplished except it wouldn’t loop.

I was giving up at this point and said it is time to burn this project to disk so I can play it on any kind of player. I set it up to burn using iDVD. I’ve used iDVD successfully many times. This time I let the computer run for twenty-eight hours before I finally shut it off to try something else. I examined the disk and there is no evidence of any transfer. I tried playing the disk and it showed up empty. In the back of my head I kept wondering if using videos from YouTube had anything to do with it. Yep it does (most likely because it is copyrighted material). I removed the videos, and the movie burned albeit with out some key entertainment. In desperation I tried showing the original file which I had saved as an MP4 on my projector and it played, but it won’t loop. I gave up and have not touched it since. Maybe it will come to me in a dream.

Today, I was delivering food to a family in need with my Lions Club and the word popped into my head, hygroscopic! That is the property of nylon that gives it the ability to gain or lose moisture from the atmosphere. Then the words nucleated, amorphous, crystalline all popped into my mind; my dream is now successfully finished.

Have you ever heard the adage “I have forgotten more than you will ever know?”

 

A Christmas Poem

soldier-sleeping

A NEW CHRISTMAS POEM

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN’T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
“SANTA DON’T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.”

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.

I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, “CARRY ON SANTA,
IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.”

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.”

This poem was written by a Marine. The
following is his request. I think it is reasonable…..

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is
due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate
these festivities.Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of
what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and
dead! , who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part
to plant this small seed.

May God Bless You and Have A Great Day

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