It turns out that maybe someone at Google actually heard my rant and at least addressed some of the issues I brought up - the most serious of these was the fact that the posting editor didn't fit the width of my browser as I use it. Well, for whatever reason, it now is...and the Publish, Save, Preview, and Close buttons are there as well. I still don't like some of the other changes but this is workable.
So, thank you to the people who took my criticism seriously and resolved these issues. I appreciate it. I'm not sure when this all happened, since I really haven't been back here much.
It would probably stand to reason that you're all wondering what has happened in my world since September, 2012? Reducing these to sound bites...
- Time Warner Cable, in an underhanded move to extract more money from its customers, decided to start charging $3.95/month to lease the cable modem. In response, I purchased my own DOCSIS 3 cable modem (the Motorola SB6141), my wallet got a bit lighter, and there was a little bit of rejoicing.
- JC is back with more Mental Shrapnel, and some not-so-happy news.
- I discovered a new, amazing, YouTube musician TheUnsungHeroine (http://www.youtube.com/theunsungheroine). Her real name is Kristina Hu, and she takes pop/techno/dubstep songs and interprets them in a classical solo piano style. She has provided the soundtrack to my life for the past few months. Recall that I really have a deep dislike for the anything overtly electronic (see My Musical Journey from August, 2010). Kristina's re-imagining of the style and performing it as solo piano is simply wonderful. She is nothing less than genius when it comes to music (as someone I know said, "She hears those songs differently than the rest of us do.").
- An old friend from grade school passed away shortly after Christmas. I had very little recent contact with him as we both kind of went in separate directions, as frequently happens with childhood friends. He was a brilliant mathematician. In high school, he laid the foundation for a new set of mathematical properties based on the solution of y=x^x for x in closed form (the solution to the so-called coupled exponentials). The last e-mail I received from him was in April when he told me of a heart condition he was suffering from, that he didn't feel he would make it through the surgery, and that he wanted to tell me about the math research he was doing in case he didn't make it. I told him he'd been through tougher things and he'd pull through this. Sadly, I was wrong. R.I.P., Jay. I won't forget you.
- It seems that lots of killing sprees seem to be happening. The world clearly hasn't gotten any better at finding the root causes of these problems than when I wrote about this last (see Gun Control and Other Topics).