July 6th, 2014


The Fifth of July

And So It Begins

While much of the world has been following the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Saturday began another massive sport that Americans don't follow or understand. Le Tour de France. The Tour of France. Which of course ran Stage 1 on the way to Paris from Leeds to Harrowgate. In England.

This year I'll have to choose between live in the morning while running my IV infusion. Or the late night rerun after midnight, as I am right now. NBCsn, formerly Outdoor Life / OLN / Versus over the years, does a great job of commentary, explanation, history and terrific visuals.

I love the beauty of the peloton snaking and writhing along. And the multiple ways of winning -- sprints, climbs, stage and the four jerseys in play -- yellow, white, green, polka dot -- for each day and the whole race. With both team and individual competitions going on together. And the craziness of millions right smack on the side of the road.

Today is special, because the winner of Stage 1 will also win the first yellow jersey of the overall leader.

Ow! A crash just a few hundred meters to the finish. And Mark Cavendish goes down HARD. I hope that's not a broken collarbone he's nursing, a very common cyclist injury. Marcel Kittel wins.

On The Grill

Since we did a movie on the 4th, we saved that dinner for today. Steak, a filet,which we haven't cooked at home in probably more than a decade. My mother's potato salad. And a frozen Cool Whip and strawberry yogurt pie and fresh strawberries.


I should really put up the potato salad recipe in the next few days.

Dr. Phil

I Want One!

I learned to type on a Royal portable typewriter that had been modified with a chemical keyboard so my mother could type my father's Masters thesis in Chemistry at Cornell circa 1950. Yes, the action was hard, but definite. And typing on glass keys was oh so smooth. ***

Back in the PC AT era, I commented that someone needed to make an executive keyboard of wood and brass with glass keys. Not only would it look lovely, it would feel nice to type on. There have been a few, but not widespread.

The steampunk era, along with fans of typewriters, have created a few typewriter keyboards, but they have to have all those keys equipped with switches, etc. And then then don't have all the useful keys.

So in the wee hours last night I saw a link to an article about a successful Kickstarter to produce a modern typewriter style keyboard. With round glass keys. USB or Bluetooth. The platen area can be used to hold a tablet. It doesn't appear to be very large, compared to some 104-key full-size keyboards.

The Qwerkytoys Mechanical Keyboard can be seen here now. Looks like it won't be available until 2015 and the price is not set, though the Kickstarter price was some $250-300. So it's not cheap.

But oh what fun it could be if it feels nice... (grin)

Dr. Phil

*** -- A friend on Facebook asked when the last time I used it. Probably for typing envelopes and possibly when we lived on Henry Street when we first moved down here. But I know I was typing papers and stories up to 1986. After we got the IBM Personal Computer -- the last of the Model 5152s with the scorching Intel 8088 processor running at 4.77 MHz -- and later the Toshiba P321SL printer, the typewriter was set aside.