Analog writing….

So I watched a documentary the other day….

It was about the resurgence of typewriters in the writing community. The film also spotlighted the notable writers that have and continue to use vintage and trusted typewriters.

I grew up in a time that I was given a typewriter as a child. My mother inspired me to write my stories. She even allowed me to type on her electric IBM at the office and she was lucky enough to take one home. Back then I just hunted and pecked my way around the keyboard. When it was time to go to High School, the one class I had to take and there was no debate (according to my mother) was typing. She said it would come in handy.

See, she knew that typewriters (and eventually ‘word processors’) was the future of my academic writing. And it would one day the tool to write my book(s).

When I was a small child, I remember my mother going to the community college to take a typing class. Because she was a single mother and poor, she asked the professor if she could bring me and sit in the far corner of the room. The professor took a great risk and trusted that I wouldn’t be one of those children that disrupted the class. I took my coloring books and notebooks. I sat there drawing and writing stories every Wednesday and Thursday nights, for 16 weeks. It was so cool to hear a dozen students banging at keyboards and hearing the rhythm hum and beat of the IBMs typing away!

After the class was over, the professor marveled at my discipline (more like my shyness) and thanked my mother. I couldn’t wait until I could use the machine to write.

So, as I watched the documentary, I decided I want a typewriter again. I have the old manual one I was given as a child. Its lost to the archives of the garage but I will venture to dig it out and maybe clunk away at it once again.

Wish me luck!

Can a Keyboard make a difference?

So I bought a new Bluetooth keyboard.

It was a Kickstarter project. Sometimes I feel like its a gamble with technology on Kickstarter. I’ve supported a couple in the past and they usually just need in a novelty and or broken tech.

Yet, I was very pleased with this one. It was a Keycron keyboard that is a styled and designed with a old fashioned mechanical key setup.

It is so fun to type on this. The clunk-clunk of the keys. It reminds me of the old Commodore 64 or the old IBM keyboards.

Now I’m inspired to write and continue to write on this thing. I will finish the current projects and hopefully write many more!

Where’s the Coffee Machine?!

And, so we stood, confused and dazed.  The coffee machine was missing!  This happened early on a Monday morning.  The coffee machine was the one thing we all looked forward to on a Monday morning – it made the stay in the office tolerable.  It was a miracle of modern technology – it dispensed black coffee; decaf coffee; coffee mochas; cappuccino; hot chocolate; lattes; and hot water.    Some of us even were rumored to worship the coffee machine.  The area around it was a social hangout.  We told stories about our weekends in front of the coffee machine; we discussed the reports in front of the coffee machine; we shared photos of our kids around that freaking coffee machine –  the machine was part of our family.  There was always a line – most of us standing with empty mugs in hand.  We needed it to get the extra wake-up juice that the day required.  There we stood, in disbelief.  Jack Eden had already called building security to report it stolen.   When the security guard finally arrived to take our statements, the management staff strolled up and tried to get us to disperse. 

A few weeks before we all learned we were moving cubicles, again.  Management brought it upon itself to suspend the funding to the coffee machine.  Budget reports showed that it was a huge red line in the bottom line and somewhere the management staff had to decided that the only way to fix it was to have it removed.  No concern was taken on how this would effect the employees or our morale.  The situation  started to get ugly.  Tempers started to flare.  Tensions were rumbling on every floor of the building.  We took it upon ourselves to send emails to anyone who would listen.  The story goes, that even the CEO was aware of the musings of mutiny.  He quickly placed a note on his blog, on the company’s homepage on our intranet – to dispel rumors and sweet talk the employees with his boyish charisma.  The seasoned workers like Rick and Jack saw through the lies and deception.  Rick and Jack spent the rest of the day calling the coffee machine vender and other coffee wholesalers.  Their daily reports and emails went ignored.  The two men worked up spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations and pie charts on the expenses on a company providing the simple life blood of coffee to its employees.  Jack had even called the exact technician that removed the machine.  With a day’s work and math, they came to the conclusion it only cost the company about $10 a day to give 1000s of cups of bold, hot, stimulating coffee to its legion of cubicle prisoners.   

After days of buying coffee from the Starbucks from down the street, the group decided to pitch in for a coffee machine and coffee.   It took several days before building management discovered our bootleg coffee pot.  We were instructed to remove it.  We asked, “why, we’re paying for it out of our own pockets?”  The building management’s excuse was “it’s a fire hazard and the building couldn’t accept the liability.”  That excuse had us scratching our heads – once again – for hours.  How could our machine be a fire hazard yet the one that sat there just days before – for years and years – was not? Did they know the liability of disgruntled employees?

Production had already slipped by 37%. The writing was on the wall. Yes, several uncontrollable naps would happen. Concentration would be lost to staring at cubicle walls for hours at a time. But most importantly, the tine it took for 87% of the staff to walk 1.5 blocks to the Starbucks, waiting precisely 8.6 minutes to order their drink, waiting another 12.7 minutes to get drink, and then walk slowly back the 1.5 blocks back to the building. Before the coffee machine was 20.7 feet away. Now it caused this reckless behavior and loss of production.  It made no sense whatsoever! 

If we were to keep our freshly installed coffee machine, we were gonna have to take it to the mattresses – and bribe a few fire inspectors!