Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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5.25-inch Floppy Diskette Article Archive

The Forces of Habit

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

I suppose it is the very nature of habituation to slide beneath the radar of our normal perceptions. This occurred to me the other day as I noticed I was stuck in a habitual cycle, one which I had become aware of due to a change in circumstance.

For the longest time, the old impact printers at the office were connected to the mainframe system via a gateway PC. Due to the age of this set-up and the frequency with which the PC would lose the connection to the mainframe, I got into the habit of turning my head to peek in at the status display whilst walking past the printer room.

Now that the operation of the mainframe printers has finally been taken over by HIS, the gateway PC sits unpowered, awaiting its journey to the land of surplus. Yet each time I pass the printer room—situated so that I pass it several times a day—I still take a glance inward.

I wonder how long it will be before I stop looking. Will it happen because I have thought about and discussed it specifically or because my brain finally just gets it?

Habit breaking itself is not necessarily difficult. For example, I recently had the driver's window in my car repaired. It had been gradually malfunctioning, first necessitating pressure from my elbow as I raised or lowered the glass to keep it from derailing. This went on for a while before it threw in the towel and quit.

I cannot recall how much time had passed between that day and present, but I figure around one year. So it came as little surprise that I only used my elbow when opening the window once or twice thereafter. And that was that. Never again have I reverted to this learned behavior. I suppose the joy associated with the now-functional window coupled with the passage of time aided my swift acclimation to pre-habit.

Speaking of car repair, since the only system left unrepaired after my recent flurry of automotive expenditures is the air conditioner—which I vow to repair before summer; I am tired of hot, sweaty summer commutes—I am looking forward to making some weekend day trips.

Most recently I took the visiting family to the Wakulla Lodge for lunch and to take the river tour, then up to Havana where we walked around and looked in shops, and finally ended up in Quincy to drive and walk around before heading back.

Next I would like to hit up the Natural Bridge Battlefield State Historic Site, Britton Hill, the Saint Joseph Point Lighthouse and a barbeque restaurant I passed during another trip. The name escapes me but it is possibly Hog Wild BBQ in Carrabelle. All I can remember is that the sign advertised barbeque worth driving 100 miles to eat.

It would be really nice to have a camera before embarking on any further travels. The film SLR I had is beyond repair and I do not have the budget for an SLR digital with removable lenses. I would love to get another film SLR, but the idea of uninhibited picture taking at no cost is appealing right now. Can anyone suggest an affordable but quality digital camera?

The Glass Master

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

Those of you who enjoy the musical compositions of Philip Glass should make an effort to listen to his latest production, the score to the film Notes on a Scandal.

I have not seen the movie and know little about it, but the music developed by Glass is up to his usual standard. Each track contains a segment of that overall distinctiveness found in all Glass music—the comfortable and familiar percussion elements, chord progressions and melodies all have their place in the sun.

As an added bonus for those reading with a thirst for String Quartet No.3 (Mishima) 1957, a version of which was featured in the often-discussed American Express advert Tribeca, several tracks on the score "borrow" elements from that piece.

With a total play time of only 50:41, the conclusion of the disc brings a wanting for more. Fortunately, my enjoyment of the album easily allows for repetitious play.

When you fear you may laser an etching into the often-played disc, you might try these additional albums: Aguas de Amazona (Glass and Uakti), Glass Cage (Cage and Glass with Brubaker), Glassworks (Glass) and Hydrogen Jukebox (Glass).

For more information about and multimedia of the String Quartet No.3 (Mishima) 1957, visit the article "American Express: Tribeca."