Herman I. May

Herman I. May


30 July 2004

Ambiguous Ending

The Democratic National Convention has ended and I cannot say that I am any more inspired by Kerry as the candidate. Edwards gave, as expected, an impressive speech on Wednesday. However, Kerry's turn at the podium fell short.

There was plenty of praise and self-promotion in the nomination acceptance. Nevertheless, it was lacking in much substance. Based on the theme of we will do better than Bush — as if that were difficult, the oration was wanting on specifics and did little to convey a sense of devotion on the part of the voter. One came away with the sense that Kerry was much revered and respected by his family and comrads in battle; that he was a dedicated patriot; a participatory parent. On the other hand, there were only vague specifics on the means by which he planned to reengineer the quagmire created by Bush and his cronies; how he is going to steer the Nation toward greater prosperity and opportunity; "manage" the Iraq situation.

On a positive note, Kerry did convince me that he would be a friend to the environment. Prior to the convention I had my doubts. Through both his own commentary and that of the numerous praisers over the preceding four days, much more was presented regarding his stewardship over the nearly three decades of congressional service to Massachusetts and the Country. Whether he will continue this progress remains to be seen. Then again, the Democratic Party has a historic propensity for environmental responsibility.

28 July 2004

Obama Comes Through

Extending upon yesterday's post ...

Barack Obama lived up to his potential. Delivering a keynote speech which was both inspiring and bipartisan, he matched the prowess of Bill Clinton's oratory on Monday. He served to reinforce the opinion that he is rising star in the political arena. The content of his presentation to the delegates, listeners and viewers contained nuggest that could appeal to the party faithful as well as Republicans, Independents and the panopoly of other politicos.

27 July 2004

He Still Has "It"

Former President William Jefferson Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention last night. It still amazes me how elequent and engaging he comes across when speaking. Perhaps it is the unavoidable comparison with the ignorance exuded by the current Commander-in-Chief that makes anyone look smart in comparison. Yet that is not quite it either. Watching Gore and Carter speak — even Clinton's spouse, Hilary — just seem to pale in comparison to the fluid ease with which he expresses himself.

The Democrats only have two other stars who are likely to come close to Clinton's elecutive abilities: Barack Obama and John Edwards. Obama is slated to speak tonight and Edwards tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how they compare in both persuasiveness and delivery.

25 July 2004

Dick's Demise

Finally, after eight years, a conclusion of sorts to the mystery of what became of my GGgrandfather, Drury Gilbert "Dick" May

The current administrator of the Grimes County, Texas, GenWeb site at RootsWeb has recently embarked upon a laudable project to extract and post to the TXGRIMES-L mailing list items published in The Daily Examiner late in the 19th Century. A benevolent spirit was sitting on my shoulder when, in the very first posting of this series, the following appeared on Friday, instant.

from the 06 September 1898 edition of The Daily Examiner, Navasota, Grimes County, Texas

Killed near Longstreet
Anderson, Sept. 6
About 11 o'clock this morning Rube Loggins shot and killed Dick May near Hurst's gin, two miles west of Longtreet [sic].  
Bad blood has existed between the two men for some time and they are connected by marriage. They had a personal encounter in Anderson a few day [sic] ago, but were parted by friends.  
Loggins came to town and gave himself up to the authorities. In a statement he says that himself and May met in the road; they had bitter word [sic] and May abused him and spoke disrespectfully of some of his female relatives. They dismounted from their horses and May came at him with a drawn knife thereupon he shot May two or three times and killed him.

15 July 2004

Irresponsible Ignorance

It never ceases to amaze me. The lengths to which the uninformed, the timid, the incompetent will go in an effort to project their own insecurities upon other.

A recent posting to an unconnected site led me to the discovery of an online petition advocating the accelerated installation of bike lanes in South Carolina. Citing the death earlier this year of an aspiring Olympic cyclist in a traffic collision, the altruistic, but nevertheless oblivious, organizer calls upon the denizens of the 'net to rally behind his efforts.

The validity of the premise and the facility proposed are pure folly. Continue on to read more about my feelings as to why.

05 July 2004

True Colors

We received the signed "blue" slip from Oberon's registered owner Saturday. This was a pleasant surprise to me as I had only sent the slip sans signature a week ago, today. Nevertheless, receipt of this document will now allow us to request official transfer of "ownership" to our family.

As is customary for such signature requests, I included a letter and a couple of photos. In the former, I asked that the respondent provide any relevant information and ancdotes for the greyhound they knew as "Gary Lawson". Written on the front of a five generation pedigree was the contribution,

"Sorry never raced — he was from a letter of 5. They were a disappointment to us. They never came up to their potential. Im glad he has found a good home."

It came as no surprise to me that this individual would attempt to blame the canine for their own irresponsibility. Living up to his potential indeed! Our understanding is that the bitch to whom Oberon owes his existence was plagued by the effects of a Demodex canis infestation. We also know that he suffered — and to this day is being treated for — ehrlichiosis. That a demodectic female was allowed to breed at all is irresponsible enough. (Studies provide strong support for the belief that susceptibility to demodectic mange is an inherited trait.) Add to that the debilitating effects of an Ehrlichia canis infection and lethargic, immunosuppressed, underperforming progeny could be expected to be the norm; not the exception!

Obviously, one thing drove the kennel whose breeding program resulted in the birth of Oberon — GREED! We can only content ourselves with knowledge that Oberon is now mange free, though he is still in the process of regrowing hair, and is undergoing continuing treatment for Ehrlichiosis.

Curiously, the respondent suggests that Oberon came from a litter of five. Given that his right ear tattoo ends in the letter "G" indicates that there were actually seven pups; he being the youngest. It is possible that only five survived to a racing age. Yet, this too is incorrect as Greyhound-Data returns six littermates bearing the same left ear tattoo as Oberon — four males and two females. Furthermore, while the males of this litter consistently performed relatively poorly, both of the females did moderately well with one of the two having run in at least 83 known contests, the last as recently as April of this year. At the height of her career she won eleven and placed second or third in eight each. Hardly an underperformer.

01 July 2004

T616 in-hand

How is that for fast service? Well, faster than it may seem ... sort of.

Just yesterday, I indicated that SonyEricsson estimated arrival of the T616 yesterday or today. Yesterday evening, upon returning from a walk with Oberon, I checked the front door to find a slip from UPS indicating that they had left a package with the neighbor. The date of the slip? YESTERDAY!!!

It seems my irresponsible neighbors had taken delivery of the T616 and neglected to pass that information along. This, even though I had seen them the prior evening in their driveway as I was out working in the yard. Nevertheless, the device has finally arrived.

Some first thoughts

The first thing I noticed upon opening the package was that this was not an unused device. The seal on the box was broken and the T616 was not enclosed in a plastic sleeve — as the T226 was. When the battery was installed and plugged-in for initial charge, it was already over half complete in the cycle. This is really not surprising given that the T616 is being phased out and replaced by the T637. Nevertheless, it disconcerting to know that one is getting a second-hand electronic. Especially following such a long wait.

Phone number migration was flawless and painless. All numbers resident in the T68i were migrated to the SIM; this, in turn transferred to the T616; and the contents of the SIM copied back to the new phone. Simple!

Several initial observations ... some good; some not so good.

The WAP browser is significantly faster in the T616 when compared to the T68i. Negotiating a socket with the GPRS network takes less than half the time as with the previous phone and authentication appears to be faster still. It took just a little over twelve seconds to initiate a session. This procedure could take well over thirty seconds with the T68i.

Graphics and the display on the T616 are far superior to those on the T68i. Screen refresh is also significantly speedier. The polyphonic DSP is quite impressive.

Sorely to be missed are the LED indicators for the GPRS network and active BlueTooth. These were much appreciated and utilized features of the T68i. Especially on road trips, when the phone was mounted to the dash and the BT-200 in use, it was nice to have the visual feedback of knowing when one was in range of the GPRS network and, by extension, a strong GSM signal. The BlueTooth LED was useful for reminding when the service was turned "on" — not only to indicate that it was available for use if needed, but also as a mnemonic to deactivate when not required to conserve battery power. Now, the only indication of either is the GPRS scale and the BlueTooth graphic on the display. If the display is asleep, that is just one more step toward discovery of the status.

Most disappointing of all is the fact that there seems to be little increase in signal sensitivity of the phone in general. One of our leading complaints with the T68i was the fact that we could not get sufficient signal in the house to allow for use of the phone at home. At first glance, this limitation appears to remain with the T616. I could get one bar on the GPRS scale in the kitchen, near the back door, and in the bedroom, near the window, with the T68i. This is the same reception that is apparently possible with the T616. Only time will tell whether this phone will actually be any better, reception wise, than the device which it is replacing. It could very well be that we simply live in a hole. aside: I am able to get a respectable three to four bars ... on the roof!)

Following a bit more use, I hope to pen a more in-depth comparison of the two phones. However, on balance, preliminary evaluation would suggest that they are about equal! :-(


continue to the June 2004 archive

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last BBEdited: 2005.08.18