That’s a slide — for anyone who doesn’t know, hasn’t seen.
I feel sorry for you.
You have missed an ultimate human experience: the compulsory viewing of someone else’s major life event complete with droning monologue, barks of laughter, and unending stories about people you never met and now hope you never will.
The viewing was held in a room made twilight by pulling down shades and drawing the curtains closed. Light would leak around the edges and create an uncommitted dark. Seating would be close, the room made stuffy by the slide projector and the noisy, breathing humans crowded on not enough comfortable furniture. Children sat on the floor.
Cameras and film were expensive — as was the major life event — and viewing countless slides was an essential activity. You role was to pay attention and follow along in the unfolding story. Don’t hog the potato chips and stop picking on your brother.
Slower than you would think possible, the slide projector would advance, one slide at a time dropping into the slot where a bright light would bring it to life. The projector would hum high and loud with a whishing sound. That was the fan blowing out the hot air to deliver the whooshing, stuffy experience.
It was not uncommon for people to fall asleep. If you were very lucky, you slept through most of the viewing. All you had to do to ensure the satisfaction of the host was to compliment the pictures and thank him for the joy of the slide show.
Most slide shows included an array of blurry vacation pictures marred by fingers, scowling children, and unidentifiable venues.
“Where was that, sweetheart?” The view master would ask his wife occupied with breaking up fights and offering snacks to the guests.
She would squinch her eyes at the screen. Most of the time, she had been at the great event, but these were random shots or stiff arrangements that didn’t look like what she remembered.
With great difficulty, the wife or others might persuade the view master to continue his excellent show. Keep him moving was the guiding principle.
After too long, the show would be over. Lights would be turned back on. The windows would be opened. The audience would stand, stretch, and say nice things while they escaped stuffy, tight confines.
That’s if you were lucky.
If you were family or a close friend, you might be subjected to multiple viewings.
As this cycle around the sun approaches its apex (of course, something similar happens every day, every hour and every minute) an incoherent mix of conflicting emotions assails me. Not really abnormal per se, just perhaps a bit more intense than usual.
It’s been a brutal year civically and politically in the United States. All civility has been seemingly discarded, tolerance gone, hyperbole, hypocrisy and dishonesty reigning. Much more so than usually, or perhaps just more visibly. It’s been a disappointing year in Colombia too. The peace so many longed for, for so long, has been virtually attained but once within reach, is being seemingly discarded by too many. How stupid is that? Paradise within reach but the “Lords of War” again ascendant, or seemingly so. Unfortunately, as usual. The media, seemingly as untrustworthy as it’s ever been, makes it as hard to tell what the truth is in Colombia as it is in the United States, as it is in Europe.
But that’s all on the macro level.
On the micro level where individuals interact quotidianly things seem very different and hope survives. It’s been a year of many new friendships, of undeserved recognition of which I try to make myself worthy. My children and two granddaughters are far away but doing well, a new grandchild on the way. My Citadel and EMA classmates seem as special and unique as ever, tolerant in our diversity, examples for all who know them, a high standard to try and live up to. I found a softball group in Manizales and two teams now exist where formerly there were none, more may be on the way, trivial but important, at least to me. I recall my old softball buddies in the “States” and wonder how they are. Most players on my current team are young black men from the coast, many with families, young men I can help mentor to bring out the best in them, helping develop wise and ethical leaders, something always in such short demand. And I now have pretty steady tennis buddies here, most American expats. Sports have been good to me in many, many ways, teaching me values I treasure as well as a few skills, keeping me healthier than the years I’ve lived would normally account for.
“Expat”, what a complex concept for me, first a Colombian expat in the United States then a United States expat in Colombia. I’ve lived in so many places I grew to love and call home that now, wherever I am there are too many other places for which I yearn, New York and Charleston, Fort Lauderdale and Ocala, Charlotte and Hendersonville, even the various Miamis. So many people I miss so profoundly, something that I expect ought never to change; the consequence of having to confess, as Pablo Neruda did long ago, that I have lived a very full life.
A melancholy day as so often happens in Decembers, the start of several weeks of reflections and regrets but also of joyful memories and gratitude; even space for a platitude or ten. _______
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at www.guillermocalvo.com.
I know that many of you have heard about Registers, Cache, RAM, Hard disks but never understood how they really work. Even though, this concept is very similar in devices like Mobiles, Computers and Servers it can be little difficult to understand their working if you are new this concepts. Today, in my first blog post, I will be trying to explain you about their working with some easy to understand analogy.
To understand their working better, let us imagine that we have a friend named John. He is studying mathematics for his exams which is coming soon. He comes across a type of problem which he wants to solve. He reads that problem and realise that he has never come across this type of problem before.
Now he decides to look for the explanation on how to solve this problem in his notes which was already in his hand. After looking for a while in his notes, he finds out that the explanation is not present in his notes. So he decided to search for the explanation in his reference book kept on the table.
Now he is going through different reference books on the table trying to find an explanation. However, after searching for a while, he understands that the solution to the problem is not explained in any of the reference books on the table. Now, he is left with only one option, which is to look up in his school library to find a book through which he can understand how to solve the problem.
Soon hevisits his school library and finds a book for the same topic as his problem is. He decides to take that book from library and keeps it on his table and starts reading it to understand and later solve the problem. Hurray!
Now lets re-look at the same story to understand how computer memories work. The story begins with a boy name John, who is trying to solve a some mathematical problems. He comes across a problem which he doesn’t understand. He comes to the conclusion that he doesn’t understand that problem. He comes to that conclusion by comparing it with all other types of problem which he has seen before in his head (registers). But it feels almost immediate because of the speed of human brain, which is same with computer registers. It is the fastest type of memory in a computer, but the capacity of a register to hold the data is the least, when compared to other memory types.
Then he tries to look for a similar solution in his notes, which he is holding in his hand. So his hand will be substitute of the cache memory. Access time of cache memory is slower than the registers, but the capacity of the cache is higher than of registers.
Next he is trying to find the problem in reference book on his table. So the table can be considered as a RAM. We can keep more books on a table(RAM), than holding it on hand(Cache). Which says that RAM has higher capacity than that of cache. However the access time of RAM is slower than that of cache.
In the end John was able to find the solution in a book in his library. So the library can be considered as an Hard Disk. The storage capacity of a hard disk is higher than that of a RAM. However the access time is even slower than that of RAM.
We should not forget that after he found the solution in a book in his library (Hard Disk), he took that book home and kept it on the table (RAM), then hold it in his hand (Cache) and then he read the book and transferred that information to his brain (Registers). Which is none or less the way in which the computers work.
This is my first blog post, please share your feedback in the comment. Thank you ☺️
Every time I write the letter ‘y,’ I’m reminded of my father. That letter, in particular, I write the same as him. As I’ve matured and grown older, I’ve often weighed and considered the characteristics I hope to keep that I’ve subconsciously been passed down from him and also those that I’ve needed to define on my own. To me at least, it’s unclear why I write this letter the same. Perhaps, when I was a child I noticed it looked distinctly different from how others wrote it (similarly, I often write my capital ‘Js’ the same way he does) or maybe it’s just that I saw it often enough on notes scribbled in-between the pages of his Bible or the pencil marks on 2×4’s used to build many of the houses we lived in. It’s entirely possible I only wanted to be like him; who’s to say why I’ve been gifted this trait and not others.
We’re similar, him and I, and it wasn’t too noticeable until I struck out after high school and had been on my own for a few years, but we are. There have been seasons of embracing this reality and others of running from it. However, I’m distinctly his. We each have hair that curls up along the tops of our necks when it gets too long, and our body shapes and heights are nearly identical. The faith in Christ I hold so dear is because of him. Although my faith and journey have looked entirely different than his, it’s without a doubt a credit to him for bringing me up under a roof and fatherly protection that sought after God. When I was a teenager, I didn’t care to be like him. I often saw his outlook on my life to be in direct opposition to my own and my desires for it. To be fair, we were in direct opposition at times. Our love looked more like a tennis match that never resolves due to the aggravated batting of hurt and frustration toward the other until our bodies give way to defeat from exhaustion, not resolution.
There were a handful of instances I embarrassed him, brought discomfort, and disappointed him. He felt how he felt though and faulting him for those emotions is something I can’t do. The thought that he perhaps stopped loving me never crept into my mind or heart, but in hindsight, I’m able to see that I wasn’t mature enough to consider him having emotions like you, or I or anyone else has emotions. It’s strange how easy it is to think parents are like robots and function only to provide and discipline, but not feel. My interests weren’t his, or at least not how he pictured them developing, and I get that. Thinking about having children myself one day, I, of course, want them to care about what I care about. I desire that connection. The relationship existing between a parent and child is never secure, and only speaking from the viewpoint of a son, I’m confident my understanding will be destroyed and rebuilt on this topic over and over once I walk into fatherhood.
Throughout each up and down that every parent and child go through, and now that the dust has settled, I see so much of him in me. Despite my previous rejections of this possibility, I am filled with thanks and gratitude for it now. It’s easy not to pay attention to or understand how challenging it is to be a single parent in an expensive town or make career decisions that build equity in the bank of relationship and not self-indulgence & personal security. No parent is perfect, and for many, parents aren’t a part of the equation at all, which is devastating. The simple choice is never to consider what others have done for us and pretend that we’ve made it on our own; or, that each problem or deficiency is a result of wounds brought on by others, often by those who raised us. There may undoubtedly be truth running through those veins, but in this moment, on this misty mid-afternoon day, I’m thankful for both the strikes and the gifts bestowed upon me by him. I am his, and he is mine; tied together by DNA but not without love and friendship.
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My clashing plaid sheets and bedspread will be magical, protecting me from all the evils in this world, despite the fact they look as though they had been salvaged from a World War I bunker.
The music will be sublime (no, not that Sublime). The walls of my room will echo with the sounds of Alan Parsons, Beethoven, KISS and Steve Miller.
This will be my home. My personal safe-space. My own salvation from the dearth of benevolence we have all created.
It’s a personal journey, but one each of us should take. The fondness I have for certain things may not be present in your journey, but take it just the same. Refresh your soul with iridescent memories which make you happy inside.
It doesn’t matter what your room contains or how you visualize your joy, it’s yours and yours alone.
However, what will be universally true and has almost indescribable clarity, is that the baubles and trinkets surrounding us on our individual journeys are merely a vessel to the feelings and connectivity (sans Silicon Valley’s assistance) we all desperately long to recapture.
It’s there. Just reach back. It’s a part of you, or at least it should be. Reach back to a time — perhaps long ago, perhaps recently — when you understood. When you got it.
Back to a time when labels were strictly for canned goods, and hatred was shown by only the weak and cowardly. Color was a question of how many crayons were in the box, and eating “white people” tacos (seasoned ground beef, lettuce and shredded cheddar) was not persecuted as cultural appropriation.
Back to a time when showing kindness to those we came in contact with in our daily lives was expected. The story told in the faces of strangers was merely a book jacket. It was up to us to open the book and appreciate the full narrative.
Back to a time when religion and politics were considered topics of bad taste for mixed company. A person’s religious beliefs and political leanings were kept within the confines of the family kitchen table and the four invisible walls which surrounded it.
You found it, didn’t you? Good for you.
Oh sure, the problems were still there. They’ll always be there. But, they were more manageable. More contained. Our blossoming technology has fertilized too much of the ugliness we’ve sowed over time, and transformed it into a social kudzu, choking out everything it covers.
Get out the humanity Round-Up and let’s spray this bitch!
Maybe Thomas Wolfe was right. Maybe we can’t go home. Maybe what’s done is done and to long for anything from our past hinders our growth in the future.
Or maybe…just maybe…we can change. Learn from the mistakes, and bring back what worked and shaped a kinder humankind.
The image above is a simple C program that prints the size of two data types: int and long int. When this code is executed on a machine with a 32-bit CPU it prints 4 (bytes) for both:
But when the same code is executed on a machine with a 64-bit CPU it prints 4 (bytes) for int and 8 (bytes) for long int.
Why is this?
It’s important to understand the terminology before we go deeper into this.
A CPU (central processing unit) is kind of like the brain of the computer. It sends out signals to different parts of the machine based on a list of instructions. Those instructions that tell the CPU what to do are known as computerprograms.
A bit (binary digit) is either a 1 or 0; on or off; yes or no. It’s how we’ve learned to communicate with computers on the lowest level. Most computers these days are either 64 or 32-bit systems.
The difference between a 32-bit and a 64-bit is the way that it handle memory. The bit size (32 or 64) refers to the memory that it can address. A 32-bit system can reference 2³² bytes of memory (~4GB). A 64-bit system has virtually an unlimited about of RAM.
An int is an integer data type in C that, when declared in a program, take up 4 bytes (32 bits) of memory. The maximum decimal number that can be expressed with 32 bits (11111111111111111111111111111111) is 4,294,967,296.
A long int is another type of integer that is used for larger numbers. When declared in a C program, either 4 or 8 bytes of memory will be reserved for it.
This is where we notice a difference between machines.
Here is a C program that assigns a long int to 2, prints the number, squares it, then prints it again. The program will stop when the number exceeds the maximum range of a long int (4 bytes or 8 bytes, depending on if its a 32-bit or 64-bit program).
Here is what a 32-bit machine would output:
The last number that prints is 65536 (this isn’t the biggest number that a 32-bit machine can produce), but it’s enough to show the difference:
The last number the 64-bit machine produced was 4,294,967,296 (which happens to me the 32-bit maximum). Again, this isn’t the maximum long int a 64-bit machine can produce, but it shows that the 64-bit machine is capable of producing larger numbers because they have 8 bytes of available space rather than the 4 bytes on a 32-bit system.
When writing C programs it’s important to consider how data types will be expressed on different machines. Sometimes the compiler will give a warning if the number you’ve assigned to an int or long int is too big, but sometimes there will be no warning.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions feel free to hit me up on twitter @eightlimbed.
Sometimes objects are all we have to connect us to memories we desperately wish to relive. Looking at what objects people keep dear to their heart can bring a deep understanding of who they are. For me, it was a doll my grandma-grandma gave me when I was born, or so I was told that’s the origin of the doll named Sally. Sally and I’s journey began while I was still a newborn. Her warm silky body brought me back to my grandma-grandma’s hugs. It’s items like these that hold our dearest memories, bringing us back to relive them.
There’s a familiarity in categorizing the worth and sentimentality of an object. What is not familiar is the thought that objects are emotional passengers in our journey through life. It’s safe to say that I don’t think I’ll be giving away Sally’s seat in this journey anytime soon. In the words of Turkle, “We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with.”
Objects can come in all shapes and sizes, meaning different things to different people. These objects impact us deeply. Whether its marking a life transformation, emotional, or even intellectual. The interesting thing is that when we look at the objects, we don’t see the vocational aspects, we see the meaning behind the object; I don’t see Sally as just a doll, I see her as a meaningful piece of my grandma-grandma that will forever live on.
It’s not common for people to recognize the power of these objects, rather they just see the importance without making the connection. The term materialism is long overdue, but it gives the recognition that objects serve a much greater influence than most of us like to admit. Life is not measured in stages, rather its unpredictable with obstacles and changes that cannot be seen by even the greatest psychics and that’s the same for these objects we believe hold an importance; just like life, these objects are fluid.
It wasn’t until my grandma-grandma passed away that I realized Sally was a whole lot more than just a doll. Making the connection between her memory and this doll that thousands of other people may have didn’t matter anymore. I accepted the notion that Sally was forever in this life with me to remind me every day what an amazing woman my grandma-grandma was. This is the same reason why people get tattooed with important photographs or sentiments that hold more meaning than most people understand.
Growing up, my BigBro was a typical older sibling, and would get mad at me a lot. I’m not saying I didn’t deserve it — after all, I was his bratty little sister that would scratch or break his meticulously-cared-for toys. As you may already know, my brother kept up with this attention-to-detail well into adulthood — whether it was keeping his house clean by vacuuming every day or by detailing his cars. Sometimes, he would even be so disgusted by how dirty my car was, that he would clean it if I came to visit him.
Even though BigBro would get annoyed with me, he was never mean. He never tormented me or our younger cousins just for fun. It was quite the opposite — he always took care of us. He always took care of me. He would cook me snacks after school every day: ramen, Spam. And at gatherings, or whenever he was with his friends, he never seemed irritated that I would follow him around. Maybe he was, but he never made me feel like he didn’t want me there.
When I was in middle school, and BigBro was in high school, we had our share of conflicts, of course. He was very strict with me, and I would jokingly tell my friends that he was like my “third parent”. He used to pick me up from middle school, and this one time, when a boy was walking me to the parking lot — I noticed my brother standing outside his car jumping and waving his arms and yelling something, while his girlfriend tried desperately to cover his mouth, laughing the whole time. I finally realized that BigBro was telling me to get away from the boy, and somewhat threatening him — so, the next thing I knew, the boy had taken off. But, I wasn’t mad. Honestly, I would have expected nothing less from my overprotective big brother.
As we grew older, we had less conflict. We didn’t have a lot in common, but that was okay. We still loved each other, and we always good-naturedly teased each other. He would be so silly and snarky sometimes, we would just laugh and laugh whenever we got together.
BigBro was there for me through all of life’s challenges, most especially when I was diagnosed with Lupus while I was still in high school. He worried about me so much because of that, and reminded me on my birthdays how thankful he was that I was still healthy. He supported the Lupus Foundation by running the 5K every year, until his knee made it too painful for him to do so. I was so proud of BigBro’s athleticism and strength. There were times when I thought that he was maybe going a little overboard with his training. But I understood what it was like to have a passion for something — and aside from his family — cycling was it. I admired him for it, and he inspired me to be more physically fit. I would share with him my minor accomplishments as they happened — which were seemingly so small compared to his (something he would remind me of from time to time). But, I knew he was proud of me for trying.
BigBro always tried his best, no matter what he was doing — with school, work, racing — and especially when he was battling cancer. He did everything his doctors told him to do. He endured agonizing side effects, weakness, pain — all things that prevented him from doing the activities that he loved. My brother, the athlete, even let them take his leg.
It was all supposed to be temporary. We told him that he would get his new leg, and that he would be back on his bike, racing, in no time. We joked that we would tell our small nieces and nephews, don’t worry — it’ll grow back, you’ll see.
It was supposed to be temporary.
When my brother was first diagnosed, I was certain that if anyone would be able to beat cancer, it would be him. But I didn’t know what an absolute beast Osteosarcoma would end up being.
I will always remember that night, when BigBro was in the hospital this last time, and we were spending the night in his room. I don’t know how we did it, but with some creative use of chairs, six of us somehow managed to fit by his bedside. I woke up in the middle of the night and found him wide awake watching me. I asked him why he wasn’t resting. He couldn’t speak very loudly at the time, so he just pointed at all of us and smiled. He didn’t want to sleep because he didn’t want to miss seeing us.
During his last few days, BigBro was so worried about us — whether we were all still healthy and whether we were taking care of ourselves despite our grief and stress. I shouldn’t have been surprised. My brother cared for and worried about everyone else.
I see BigBro everywhere — whenever I see a cyclist climbing on his training route, whenever I hear a song from one of his favorite 80s bands, whenever I see a bottle of Orangina, whenever I look up at the sky. When I see something that I think he would enjoy — or experience something and want to share it with him — I remember that I can’t just text him anymore. I can’t just pick up the phone.
As painful as it is to see BigBro everywhere — knowing that I will no longer be able to hug him, or hear him tease me or call me LilSis — seeing him everywhere reminds me that he enjoyed his life, and didn’t waste one moment. He loved his life. He loved his family and friends. Knowing that he was happy throughout most of his time here gives me some comfort and peace. But I will always feel like part of me is missing, that there is this hole in my heart, until the day comes that I see him again.
In an introduction to the book Diamonds Are Forever, George Will, the Washington Post columnist and a former colleague of mine at ABC, began with the following question: “Have you forgiven your mother yet?”
He was talking about baseball cards. More specifically, he was referring to mothers who have thrown out their childrens’ baseball cards. I had a mother like that. She wasn’t being mean or anything like that. She just thought the cards were taking up space, and since I wasn’t around — I had just left for college — decided they had to go. When I found out what she did, I was shattered. “How could you?!!” I exclaimed. “They were mine. You know what they meant to me!”
Looking back, she probably didn’t know. She just saw hundreds of cards stuffed in shoe boxes that were gathering dust, maybe were even a fire hazard, and decided to give them the heave ho. Maybe she thought I had outgrown them. I have no idea. I only remember the puzzled look on her face and her response: “But they were just baseball cards.”
“I’ll give you one Mike Ryba for a Hobie Landrith and Carl Sawatski,” I remember saying. Paul replied he already had two Rybas and, being a White Sox fan, countered by asking for a Nellie Fox and Billy Pierce. “Deal,” I said, “but only if you throw in a Bob Grim, Jim Coates and Kent Hadley.” Bob, Jim and Kent played for the Yankees, my favorite team.
When Paul and I weren’t wheeling and dealing, we’d often flip cards. That involved getting down on our knees and flipping a card toward a wall. Whoever came closest got to keep both cards. Those were fun days.
As years passed, the sense of loss I felt over my mother throwing away my cards gradually receded.
I missed them, of course, but no longer agonized about it. The cards were gone. Time to move on.
More recently, moving on was something my wife Petie and I were contemplating. We’d been living in France since 1978 and thought maybe it was time to return to our roots, namely the U.S. New Mexico with its sunshine and splendid scenery seemed particularly attractive. That’s where we met Chris and Patti Webster.
The Websters operated a real estate agency in Santa Fe. They’d just sold their house and were busy getting rid of stuff they no longer wanted. Some of that “stuff” included hundreds of baseball cards Chris had collected, most of them from the 1950s, just like mine.
“Take them” he said. “We’re moving to a smaller place and I really on’t have room for them.”
For a moment, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven and wasn’t sure what to say. I knew what I wanted to say but instead replied,
“They’re your cards, Chris. I’d love to have them but. . . ” Chris repeated that he and Patti were moving and trying to downsize. He then spread a bunch of the cards out on a table and invited me to have a look.
As I sifted through one pile after another, the years seemed to fall away. Many of the cards were duplicates of those I had when I was a kid.
There was Vic Wertz, Roy McMillan, Camilo Pascual and Eddie Yost. The Mick and his Yankee teammates were there, too along with so many others. They hadn’t aged a bit!
What jumped out at me, however, were four cards of Stan Musial. Each one was different and each had been signed by “Stan the Man” himself.
Today, as I look at each card and recall what it was like, watching black and white TV and seeing those guys in their prime, memories of childhood come rushing back.
Another memory has returned as well.
Not long before my Mom died several years ago at age 94, I good-naturedly kidded her about throwing out my card collection. I expected her to at least smile for she knew I was just teasing.
Instead, she grew serious. Looking me squarely in the eye, she said, “Don, I’m truly sorry.”
As for that question George Will once asked, “Have you forgiven your mother yet?”