Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Later Than Usual, But Here Nonetheless

Sad… In yesterday’s The Times (UK): Margaret Thatcher's struggle with dementia revealed in daughter's memoir.” An excerpt:

Lady Thatcher, 82, was advised to stop public speaking on health grounds shortly before her husband’s death. Although it is known widely that she has suffered a number of strokes, her dementia has been far less publicised. The first signs were apparent when she was 75, according to her daughter, who tells of her becoming confused about the Bosnian and Falklands conflicts during a lunch in 2000.

Nowhere is the word “Alzheimer’s” mentioned, but there’s precious little difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia. And, for those of us “of a certain age,” it may be the biggest fear we have about growing old. One can compensate for physical infirmity, but there’s nothing one can do when the mind begins to go. While it’s particularly sad when a high-visibility and much admired person such as Dame Thatcher is afflicted, there are literally thousands upon thousands… if not millions… of everyday folks who are similarly suffering. These people may be living, but they have no lives.



I find this rather interesting, given as how I receive a monthly love-letter (complete with a pittance of a remittance) from those wonderful folks at Ed’s Famous Data Company:

said Tuesday that it has completed its US$13.9 billion purchase of massive systems integrator Electronic Data Systems, and it also revealed that EDS' top-level management structure would remain largely unchanged.

HP had already made it clear that EDS president and CEO Ron Rittenmeyer, would continue in a leadership role. On Tuesday, it confirmed that Rittenmeyer's direct reports would include key executives from EDS continuing in their roles as vice presidents overseeing various regions of the world as well as functions such as global sales, transformation, outsourcing and marketing.

I completely missed the fact that HP was acquiring EDS… the announcement was made this past May and I only found out about it last month. EDS is a great company and I truly enjoyed the 16 years I spent working for them. It makes me a little sad to see they’re no longer independent, but then again, General Motors acquired EDS shortly after I joined the company and held it for a number of years before spinning it off and allowing the company to be independent, yet again.

My bottom line: I really don’t care who owns the company… just keep those checks coming in, please.


Here’s a great idea, at a great price… from the NYT, “Your Photos, Off the Shelf at Last.”

So if you, like millions before you, have a collection of prints somewhere, it’s probably crossed your mind that they really ought to be scanned — converted into digital files, both for protection and for ease of displaying. In that case, you, like millions before you, have probably even decided when you’ll do all that scanning: someday.

Because let’s face it: scanning hundreds or thousands of photos yourself, one at a time, on a home scanner, is a time drain the size of the Grand Canyon.

You could send them away to a company that does the scanning, but that’s incredibly expensive; most charge 50 cents or even $1 a photo.

You’d be forgiven, then, for raising an eyebrow at the offer made by a California company called ScanMyPhotos.com. It says it will professionally scan 1,000 photos for you, the same day it receives them, and put them on a DVD for $50.

So what’s the catch?

Actually, no catch, but lots of fine print.

Lots of detail, including the reporter’s experience with the service (he was pleased), at the link. I think I’ll stick to the do-it-yourself scanning. Once I get around to it, of course. Mr. Pogue’s point about the level of effort required to scan photos is very well-taken. And I’m lazy.


So… SN1 and I were discussing ‘puters today, and we both agreed that a Mac just might be in our future(s). There are more than a few reasons to switch from a PC to a Mac, not the least of which is the Mac’s relative invulnerability to viruses (virii?), ease of operation, yadda, yadda, yadda. After a bit of discussion, we decided to google the downside of Macs... coz there’s got to be something wrong with ‘em, right? And in so doing… we found this:

Well, OK, then. I might just stick with the PC. I mean, Hell… I do have 20+ years of experience with the Wintel conspiracy and no one has ever questioned my sexual preferences based on the computer I use… (Tongue planted firmly in cheek, as I type.)


  1. Just a note to clarify about dementia.

    Alzheimer's is technically Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type. Dementia can be caused by many things including strokes, Lewy Body dementia, Alzheimer's dementia, heavy metal poisoning, medication side effects. Some can be treated, but many cannot.

    Keep praying that the many scientists who are searching for a cure are successful.

  2. My Bride, and many of my friends and most of my co-workers say I'm demented. Their point being?....

  3. Tim: Thanks for the note... much appreciated.

    Dan sez: My Bride, and many of my friends and most of my co-workers say I'm demented. Their point being?....

    Hmmm. The financial guys always say "past performance is no guarantee of future success," but in this case... I think you can include me in with the "many of my friends" group. Based, of course, on past performance. ;-)

  4. Remember my friend that most of my best and favorite dementia I learned from you. Or was that mischief......

  5. Definitely mischief. No animals or human beans were harmed in the making thereof, too (note I purposely excluded plants. Wait. They were already dead, anyway. Never mind.). And as for who taught who what... that was a two-way street, wasn't it? ;-)

  6. Becoming senile/getting Alzheimers is my greatest fear about getting older. And going blind, too. *shivers*

    My Opa (German Grandpa) was very out of it before he died, but he did nothing after retirement but planting his (ample) ass in his easy chair and watching TV. I think I read about some studies recently that have shown a link between staying mentally active (and drinking coffee!) and reduced rates of dementia. I think blogging and reading blogs qualifies for staying mentally active, so hopefully I'm safe!

  7. Lady Thacher should not have to suffer so - no one should. The saddest thing I heard Nancy Reagan say was "We lived such a wonderful life, and even though Ronny is alive, we cannot share our memories." It made me realize how truly devastating it was for everyone.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.