About My Father

Author: Lyle

My father passed away about a year ago.  The graveside service was performed by a military chaplain from the Army Fort AP Hill in Pennsylvania, which he would have appreciated.  The weather was rain, which broke when we were finished.

I read these words at the service:

—–

My father’s life was an average life.

He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin
A student, a soldier
An artist, a photographer, a teacher,
A father
A neighbor
A coach, a champion, a colleague
A grandfather
A friend
A handyman, a gardener, a horseman

He always played by the rules
He always stayed busy
He always kept a sense of humor
He always helped people who needed help

In passing, he is surrounded by family, friends, students, and colleagues.

His passing leaves an immense hole in our lives.  But, we will survive and thrive because he prepared us for this.  He knew his time on this world, like ours, is brief, and he did not waste his time.

My father’s life was average, and as it turns out, average is quite remarkable.

—–

The family is very grateful to the Veterans Administration and the staff at the Southeast Pennsylvania Veterans Center in Spring City.  The VA sometimes get a bad rap in the media.  Our experience was the complete opposite.  Every single staff member we interacted with, from the front desk to the physicians, showed professionalism and love for the veterans they were taking care of.

Mom’s Obituary

Author: Lyle

Patricia A. Schofield, 81, of North Coventry

Patricia A. (Gourlay) Schofield, 81, of North Coventry, wife of William Lyle Schofield, Jr., passed away Tuesday August 30, 2016 at Golden Living Center in Phoenixville after a long and brave battle with cancer.

Born in Roxborough, she was the daughter of the late Thomas Black and Dorothy (Jones) Gourlay.  She graduated from Roxborough High School in Philadelphia, and Temple University in Philadelphia.  Her first “real” date was to Sunnybrook Ballroom in far away Pottstown.  As a mother she was a generous provider of balanced meals and uncompromising childhood guidance.  She later worked for the Owen J. Roberts School District as a reading aide and as the receptionist for the administrative office.  A voracious reader her whole life, in retirement she also kept busy gardening, bird watching, visiting family, and dining with her circle of friends.  Pat was a tireless cheerleader of her families’ activities, a life long fan of the OJR music programs and “Jack’s Back Yard”, fearless adopter of home electronics, and full of love for her family, friends, and grandchildren.

Surviving along with her husband is one son Lyle, husband of Caroline, of Silver Spring, MD; two daughters Leigh of North Coventry, and Leslie of Middletown, MD; and two grandchildren Patricia Brooke and Brett.

A graveside service will be held Saturday September 10, 2016 at 12:00 PM at Westminster Cemetery, 701 Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. Visitation will be held Friday September 9, 2016 from 6:00-8:00 PM at Catagnus Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Ltd., 329 N. Lewis Rd., Royersford.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Patricia Schofield to Penn Medicine Friends Fund at https://giving.apps.upenn.edu, or Penn Medicine Development Attn: Thomas White, 3535 Market Street, Suite 750 Philadelphia, PA 19104.

View obituaries or send condolences at www.catagnusfuneralhomes.com

Proof I purchased the article.

Proof I purchased the article.

I’ve had this 4 year old Washington Post article on my desk forever, and dug down to it while clearing some space (my desk at home is an endless queue of things to read).  I’ve mentioned Jason Wilson twice before both in reference to rum, and this article is about a perfect Gin & Tonic.  G&T used to be one of my regulars, but I tired of it a long time ago and replaced it with the straight up Martini as the preferred way to enjoy gin.

But, this article brought me back.  I have tried both the Q Tonic and the Fever Tree versions of tonic water, and it immediately brings the gin & tonic into a more complex and sophisticated taste.  Enjoyable when watching the sun go down after a summer day, and a great pre-meal cocktail for dining.

Exploring all the exotic spice tonics the article discusses seems a bit out of reach.  I recently tried aged gins which are a bit of a trend lately, but felt aging gin in barrels changed the taste of the gin into something that was unrecognizable.  I would guess that wildly different tonics would strike me the same way.  But, I’ve always been a fan of Jason’s writing and what I’ve explored based on that has not disappointed, so I’ll keep an eye out when traveling to try something new.

Unrelated; we’ve tried the Q Tonic Ginger Beer trying to make a “Dark & Stormy” (unsuccessfully, for some reason).  The Ginger Beer (think “Ginger Ale”, not beer infused with ginger) is a real punch in the face of ginger.  Crazy.  You should try it if you like “spicy”.

I just relocated my travel journal from Blogger/Blogspot/Google to another WordPress folder on my server.  The Blogger account was the first on-line posting I did way back in the ancient days of the Internet, and I was happy with Blogger.  Even as WordPress vastly eclipsed Blogger with features, there’s a role for simpler tools and it did enough that I did not feel very compelled to move.

The driver for the move was really more about Google Maps than Blogger.   Google changed their Maps product substantially a little while ago, and I’m in the camp that liked the old version much better.  The new version seems like they shoehorned the tablet/touch interface into the browser and I find it more clumsy to use.  More specifically, they removed the simple feature where you could easily create HTML code to embed a small map in another piece of content – Email, blog post, etc.  I’m sure its still possible, there are certainly still Google Maps embedded in other content.  But, it is no longer a simple cut & paste into a limited content tool like Blogger.

To help insulate me from the changes, I set up a new WordPress folder, and started copying content from Blogger to the new location.  I also found a plugin for WordPress (MapPress) which insulates me from the Google Maps API and whatever changes they make down the road.

A lot of old content isn’t moved over yet, but all the new content is now here.  You can also see the RSS feed on the navigation section on the left.

Side Issue: an example of how intolerable Google Maps has become.  Embedding maps is supposedly still available as long as you aren’t in “lite mode”.  The instructions on lite mode are here, but notice the instructions tell you that the control is on the lower-right and down further lower-left.  When I run it, the control is in neither.

Urbanspoon’s Demise

Author: Lyle

I had been a user of Urbanspoon for quite a long time – I think it was the first app I downloaded on my first iPhone (iPhone 3, if I recall). I was great when traveling for finding a place to eat, and I eventually started adding reviews there and placing Urbanspoon tags on my travel log.  Urbanspoon has recently been absorbed by something called “Zomato“.

The transition has apparently not taken Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 8.08.35 AMmy account with it, I’m unable to log in.  Even as a new user of Zomato I can’t get it to recognize the city I want to search – it seems to think I’m in London, with no way to change this.  The location change widget just cycles on a cryptic “Peabody, Peabody”.   I looked at downloadingthe iPhone app, but the reviews are terrible.  The Urbanspoon user base seems to have mostly bolted, based on the reviews on line and comments on news articles (most are advising to move to Yelp).  This may be a lesson on mismanagement of integrating an acquisition in the long run.

I’m not sure where I’ll move to for searching – most likely Yelp – but I am glad I’ve been keeping the bulk of my content in an app I control directly.

When your web site allows comments you find that you get many notes from your readers that praise the quality of your work:

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These are, of course, automated posts from millions of machines across the globe searching for ways to exploit comment mechanisms.  They seek to create many links back to sites they are promoting; selling things or trying to pump up Google rankings or something. When you think of all the years of technology, hard work to deploy networking systems between homes and cities, and the monstrous amounts of electricity it takes to keep all these computers running its kind of depressing to think that half of the world’s computer resources are for the purposes of spamming.

How Tetris Helped Game Boy Take Over the World.

How cool is it that Woz posted a comment on this article!

Automatic

Author: Lyle

Automatic: An Auto Accessory to Make You a Smarter Driver.

Just keeping track of this link – a very cool idea, and makes me question the need for On Star.

Iceland Gear

Author: Lyle

Documenting gear purchased for Iceland in the winter.

Read the rest of this entry »

How I Lost My $50,000 Twitter Username — Medium.

(Found this article through a link on LinkedIn)

This is a recount of someone who lost their Twitter account through extortion.  A good read, with real useful advice.

I was going in a direction of trying to reduce the number of Email accounts I have to maintain, but when using email addresses to control accounts, it seems like having them point to “unchangeable” domains (gmail.com, yahoo.com, me.com, etc.) is a good strategy.  And, having common exploit apps with personal information (Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn) use the same Email account for management seems like a problem (maintain multiple systems as the administrator account).

While linked systems provides great convenience, the mechanisms for authentication of transactions continues to be a major weakness, relying on common ID numbers and communication links which can be lost or redirected.  There isn’t enough economic incentive for service providers to change because the cost to them is very minor and is just an expense for doing business.  The impacted customers go through huge time and financial loss.  The recent ID theft at Target and Neiman Marcus might be the beginning of a conversion to stronger systems, but a lot of inertia to move large institutions makes this a long process.