Over The Transom



Editor’s Note – Over The Transom of Hope & Glory –

Many years ago, in order to be employed by one of the mammoth industrial complex companies, I was interviewed and tested for seemingly days in New York City. During that process, my IQ was tested along with a whole load of other weird aspects of my intellect and capabilities. I succeeded in the process and was offered a fine job. It was a job that would require a life time of suits and socks whilst living in the United States. I was informed that my IQ scores and other matrices were really impressive and I would have no problem settling into the complexity of corporate senior management.

I start this edition’s Transom with the established fact that I’m not a twit and have been tested by others to establish this fact. That can now be open to question as I turned down the spectacular offer and went about the business of staying in Canada and becoming self- employed. However, the fact is, that like so many of us, according to the communications industry, I am now one of the collective ‘dims’ or ‘twits’.

I have kept my boat, the mighty Hope & Glory, pretty simple with regards to electronics. My chart-plotter still doesn’t talk with my wonderful old and but powerful Australian autohelm. Many of my instruments have never been set up properly, but the wind instruments work well as does the compass. All else is vague, and yes, to get to Kingston, I still turn left at the break wall, keeping the shore to port and the open water to starboard. I still take hand compass bearings and often triangulate using the charts to verify position, as I don’t trust the chart -plotter.

My office and home, on the other hand, have become high tech marvels. I don’t know how many radio frequencies are churning through the place, maybe which is what has made me “dim.” We have the normal cell phones and wireless home phone.

Three TV’s on trying out Bell Fibe, Netflix and other streaming services. A couple of Ipads and two notebooks are always fired up. Plus, home computer and wireless printers that tend to centralize things and also transmit the wonderful Sonos sound package that generates wonderful uncompressed music throughout the home. If you are still using MP3 and compressed sound through silly micro speakers and such, just stop, this Christmas give yourself the gift of big, and clean sound. It really is quite lovely.

However, I digress. None of the above is seemingly working properly in my home. As in all contracted engineered systems, a 100% success rate is the contracted norm and, I suspect that
for all the complex systems that each rely on, hundreds of sub systems and interlocking software platforms are working with a 97% acceptable operating rate. This means that at any one time, something is failing and affecting the rest of the interconnected shite. This is just the law of averages The point is, as the owner. I am expected to understand all this and suggest the fix to the technicians who roam around our neighbourhood, always on call, to be sent to a dim home owner by Bell or Rogers.

Somewhere along the road of life, I have seemingly lost the IQ and the ability to manage my world. Nothing is as it should be, because I don’t understand which part of the complex multilayered system isn’t working, or which password has become defunct. Unfortunately, the technician doesn’t know either as he only has to know his little portion of the whole.

All I want are televisions that work and support services that just operate as per contract. What I have is basically an expensive pile of low cost junk, operating on software that was written half a century ago. I gave up when I saw the word “Unix” on my Google screen.

It is time this Christmas for us to rip out the pimped out software and operating systems, dump the lowest cost hardware that will work 97% of the time, stick an antenna on the roof, buy a book of postage stamps, some nice letter paper with matching envelopes and actually save time from our busy lives. Send in your subscriptions via snail mail and I will take cash at the show.

Over the Transom
John F Grainger