Friday, January 22, 2010

A Sage in time

Today's Seekers may be found here.

1. The Sage is thunderstruck that you would dare consider doing anything to endanger this dear, precious, close friendship! Friends always share things. She just happened to share your husband. Rather, when you rent a house together for the next vacation - as you surely will - be certain to return the favor. Then, you can talk with your husband about starting a longterm 4-way. After all, what are friends for?

2. The Sage recommends that you take your wife out for dinner approximately every other night. After you have done this for about two weeks, complain of a cramp and go to a doctor. It's probable there is something else wrong with your digestive tract, but even if there is not, you can invent something when you get home. Tell her that the doctor has given you very specific instructions about what you may and may not eat, and that you would prefer to take over this chore, at least for your own meals, yourself.

3. The Sage once had the misfortune of being the first upon the scene of a young man who was killed instantly when his car rolled. (This is a true story.) The accident was on public property. However, about 30 days or so after the accident, a sign appeared alongside the memorials, informing everyone that on a given date, all of this paraphernalia would be reomved and discarded. This gave the loved ones a reasonable opportunity to take pictures of the memorial and to remove the items they had placed there. Late in the day on whatever date you choose for your own cleanup, discard whatever cannot be given to charity.

4. Long ago, the Sage completed a degree just as a recession took root in the economy. The Sage was contacted by many familiar individuals who appeared to be True Seekers, but when granted audience with the Sage, merely wished to filled the Mystic Cave with items which the Sage could neither use nor afford. Simple tell these misguided souls that you have no interest in any products or opportunities of this nature, and that while you are happy to meet them for social engagements, you would prefer they not contact you for business purposes. As for customers, tell them that you have your own investments, and that your financial advisor has forbidden you to take on any more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Sage ruminates on MP3 players.

The Sage is naming names.

The Sage is in possession of no less than 3 MP3 players. The first was presented by the junior-most Minion, when he acquired a newer one for himself. This one, by Cowon, works very well and holds a charge a long time. It has an LCD display, but only has .5 Mb of storage. This was quite sufficient for the Sage at the time, until the Sage tired of replacing the MP3 regularly or else listening to the same tunes over and over. However, this easily randomized the entire library of tunes.

However, one day the Sage was perusing the clearance row, and acquired a Zen Stone Plus. Again, a fine player. The first one had a display problem, so the Sage returned it on warranty for a new one. The new one arrived promptly, but the Sage was saddened that the gimmicky color option which attracted the Sage to this player was not available for the replacement. This one had 2 Mb memory, much more than the Cowon. However, with the LED display, the charge didn't last as long. This player was only able to randomize the tunes in a given album, not the entire library.

Shortly after this, the Sage acquired a new radio for the Trancendental Carriage. This radio had two types of connectors for MP3 players, along with an "iPod tagging" button. The Cowon, sadly, would not play through either connector, but would charge through the MP3 connection. The Stone Plus played through the MP3 connection, and the Sage was able to search not only through individual songs, but also through entire albums with the push of a button.

The Chief Minion, however, felt that the Sage needed to be able to employ the iPod tagging feature, and found an excellent price on a Gen 4 iPod Nano, with 16 Mb of storage. The Sage initially was extremely pleased. However, the Sage's delight was not to last long.

First, the Sage has yet to finish working through the onerous instruction manual which accompanied the Nano. The tagging feature works well, and the Sage has even worked out how to view what has been tagged. At least 2 videos have been recorded, and there are 3 pre-installed games. However, the Sage is far less than pleased with iTunes.

Additionally, while the Sage is able to play the tunes through the radio, the iPod will not scroll through albums. Rather, the Sage must scroll through every tune contained within the 16 Mb to access desired tunes or albums. While the Nano randomizes the entire album, it appears to randomize the tunes in the exact same order every time. Nor can the Sage figure out how to get the recorded videos from the Nano to the compiter.

Worst of all, the Sage does not enjoy having to resync the entire 16 Mb every time the Sage wishes to add or delete a tune, involving searching through the entire computer's library of audio files, including such things as telephone messages saved for legal purposes. With both of the supposedly lesser brands, the Sage merely adds or deletes tunes or albums at will via the computer, or hits "delete" on the player itself whenever the Sage decides that a given tune should no longer be in the collection.

Bottom line, the Sage strongly endorses the other products, but highly recommends against the iPod.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sister won’t give up on her brother serving prison time.

No, this headline is not something the Sage wrote, but something which appeared atop an article which the Sage recently read. The Sage will not mention where it originated, lest the editors of said periodical be embarassed by their oversight. However, the Sage will comment on the various meanings of this headline.

First, this has the meaning which the writer intended. As one delves deeper into the article, one reads that the subject's brother is imprisoned, and subject hopes tobring to an end that incarceration. While the brother admitted committing a crime, the family feels that the punishment meted out does not fit the crime actually committed. The Sage will not analyze here whether the punishment is just or unjust.

Second, this headline has a meaning completely opposite what was intended. The Sage read this heading to one of the Minions, whose first stated impression was similar to the Sage's own first impression. The Sage immediately pictured a woman cruelly mistreated by her brother, who has sought legal respite from her plight, only to be denied the justice she sought. Still, the woman toils on, valiantly seeking her brother's incarceration.

The Sage believes that editors would do well to read at least their headlines aloud to someone not immediately familiar with what story is being presented, to verify the listener's reaction. Perhaps a better heading might have been, "Sister won't give up on imprisoned brother." Unless the editor believes that the readership is incapable of comprehending words of three or more syllables, this would have served as a much clearer headline, with the added benefit of greater brevity.

Better luck next time, Dear Editor.