Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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10/25/2017


Fred Foy Memoir

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:19 pm

Received the following today from Wendy Foy, daughter of announcer, actor, and friend Fred Foy:

Lone Ranger fans here is a once in a lifetime chance to obtain a very limited piece of broadcast history. As you know Fred Foy was the announcer that opened the radio Lone Ranger program with those memorable words From out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver…

Fred had written a book about the inner workings of the program but was unable to get it published before his untimely death. A signed and very limited numbered (250 copies only) First Edition is being offered as a gift in a fundraiser to set up a museum display of his history in radio and The Lone Ranger in particular. For a tax deductible donation of $110.00, or more, to the museum where his display will be established you will receive one of these special editions as a gift. This First Printing is not for sale. It can only be had through this fundraiser. Numbers will be assigned in the order donations are received. Each will be hand numbered and signed by Wendy Foy, Fred’s youngest daughter. The total amount of your donation will go to setting up the display as all of the production costs are being covered elsewhere. Checks or money orders are to be made payable to The Wabash County Museum only (not to any person). The notation line should say “donation.” They are to be sent to:

Wendy Foy
PO Box 1313
Wells, Me. 04090-1313

Be sure to include the address you wish your copy to be sent to.
The book is being published by a non family member, who upon reading it, felt every Lone Ranger fan would love to have it.

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8/29/2017


My Comments to the FCC Regarding the Removal of Net Neutrality Rules

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 7:11 pm

Submitted to the FCC in reference to Proceeding 17-108; specifically referencing comments by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai saying that what matters is the quality, not the quantity of the comments, preferring a single well-argued legal brief over potentially millions of common citizens demanding of the FCC basic protections:

I realize you are on-record preferring a well-crafted legal brief, but I am not a lawyer. I am just one of the citizens whose rights you are sworn to protect. Just some guy who doesn’t want to see my connection to ANY server, using ANY protocol, throttled because I am not using one of the paid services of my Internet provider - which, of course, in the vast majority of the country has no competition in the marketplace. Someone who depends on the FCC to by rule-making govern the public trusts under your control to the benefit of all citizens, not just a few corporations.

The idea that the governed would even need to argue for simple fairness in packet-sharing, something so basic to the proper functioning of the Internet, is astounding to me. Why Net Neutrality would be something to abolish makes no sense to any rational person with any understanding of the basics of how the Internet works.

And that the United States, the country who INVENTED the connection protocols that allow computers all over the world to be interconnected into this thing we call the Internet would even consider placing the whim of the few corporations controlling access over the desperate need of all of its citizens is truly an embarrassment to us all.

But then, I am not a lawyer, and this is not a well-crafted legal brief, so I assume it is your intention to completely ignore my comments. After all, why would I matter? I’m just a guy who is part of the public in public trust.

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3/23/2017


AOL is Rejecting the OTR Digest again…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:45 pm

Honest, folks, nothing I can do about it at this point - AOL users are not receiving the most recent issue of the Digest, not seeing errors from other systems at this point (always possible eventually). Nothing I can do…once they decide to allow the Digest through, you can always request a copy from the archive server.

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10/20/2016


Another Cloud Storage Service Dies

Filed under: General, News, Cloud Storage — Charlie Summers @ 12:41 pm

A little after noon today I started going through my normal routine, “leveling-up” on the China free cloud storage service 360 Weiyun. But I noticed I couldn’t get the 10 points for file sharing, since it wouldn’t let me share a file. What’s worse, all of the other shares I set up seemed to have un-shared themselves.

I thought this might be some temporary interruption (I am, after all, using this from the United States), but I started doing a little research anyway, and eventually found my way to the forum. There, right at the top, I found the following (translation by Bing):

Dear 360 users:

Hello! 360 head set on the line since the Internet always strictly comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements, and continue to invest substantial human and material resources and technical resources, to crack down on illegal behavior. However, due to privacy of cloud storage, management complexity, some criminals use 360 cloud storage spread pirated, obscene, pornography, illegal files, such as engaging in illegal and criminal activities, serious violations of the legal rights of copyright owners, has brought great harm to the society.

After careful consideration we have tough decisions, closing 360 personal cloud service, Enterprise cloud services. Network disk storage, content validity and security is resolved no longer considered before recovery.

We are about to adopt the following measures:

  • 2016 Between October 20 and February 1, 2017 a member refund. Membership of users, regardless of the remaining days, full refund;

  • November 1, 2016 cloud upload service, upload, transfer and other data including write feature is turned off;

  • 2017 Year February 1, no longer keep cloud data, turn off all users of cloud services and empty data, please be sure to back up your data before downloading.

This has caused you any inconvenience, we apologize and thank you for all the way!

I should mention here that I have just under 100 terabytes of free space I have acquired over the years (97.4 T to be more precise). And it is there I have been storing my offline backups of all of The Bob Edwards Show archives.

And now, I am rather and officially screwed.

Edit: Oh, lord, it gets better; now the web interface won’t allow downloading any file larger than 50M. Of course, that means I can’t pull it to the linux box to put it anywhere else, and basically have to start all over uploading from my home slow aDSL. Really not happy with the Chinese right about now…

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10/1/2016


Adventures in Vaping

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:12 pm

Boy, this one is going to take some ’splaining. I have, for quite a while, been watching the vaping (smoking vapors produced by e-cigarettes and other devices) scene. While I am not interested in ingesting nicotine (see below), I looked at it as an interesting and fast way to consume caffeine - anyone who knows me knows I am terrible in the morning, requiring at least two double cappuccinos and sometimes a caffeine tablet as well just to think clearly enough to know which end of the keyboard to type on, and an energy drink in the afternoon to avoid napping at my chair. Since inhalation works so well for other drugs, why not caffeine? It should hit the system much faster entering through the lungs than through the digestive track…and trust me, in the morning I’m all about how fast I can wake up and feel alive.

(Explanation of my fear of nicotine - I am a smoker. Ok, it is true that I haven’t had a cigarette since the day my daughter was born in 1998, about 10:30am outside the Hershey Medical Center to be precise; but I still consider myself a smoker, just as a smart alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in decades never considers himself “cured.” My addiction to nicotine was very difficult to beat, lasting a year-and-a-half after my last cigarette - and like that recovering alcoholic, I know I am always only one drag away from a two-and-a-half-pack-a-day habit. I have no interest whatsoever in ever going through that again.)

More after the jump…

(more…)

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6/20/2016


So then this happened…

Filed under: General, Television — Charlie Summers @ 11:21 pm



Meant every word, BTW…it’s tough to find for those of us south of the (Canadian) border, but well worth the effort. Snappy dialog, lead actors willing to commit to the scene no matter how intense or silly, and at the center of it all, some real heart. Not to mention an awesome supporting cast, and guest stars like Natalie Lisinska (InSecurity, a favorite sitcom), Ennis Esmer (The Listener), and Nicholas Campbell (I know you think I’ll go with Da Vinci’s Inquest, but nope, my fave is 1987’s Diamonds, which shows I watch a lot of Canadian television). Honest, you won’t be sorry if you track down episodes of Private Eyes and spend some quality time with these people…

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2/21/2016


What better way to leave Italy…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:41 pm

…than to see this while leaving the hotel for the airport…

More pics will be coming over the next few days. Bless the child, she took over two thousand high-res photos during her week in Italy!

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2/20/2016


While we wait for the girl to get home, Scenes from Sorrento

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:16 pm

As I write this her plane is winging its way across the Atlantic. Here are some scenes from Sorrento on Thursday…after seeing these, I think I want to retire there…

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2/18/2016


Team Godfrey

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:52 am

“Team Godfrey,” last evening. Not surprisingly, in front of a gelato shop. ;)

Front Row: Audrey, Tony, Kate. Back Row: Robert, Team Leader Michelle Godfrey, Jack.

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2/16/2016


One More Picture from Florence

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:44 pm

The girl. Note the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, The Duomo, behind and to the left of the redhead.

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2/15/2016


Florence, Italy

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 7:21 pm

The girl is in Florence until tomorrow, when she travels to Assisi and then Perugia.

Have you noticed the pattern in these photos she sends? There will be a tour of a gelato factory tomorrow, so they may lose her completely should she decide to move in. To the factory, I mean…

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2/13/2016


Daughter Kate, Having an Italian Adventure!

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 7:32 pm

Some pics from Kate’s excellent adventure; she was in Verona today:

More pics at the SummersTime website!

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2/5/2016


Copy to close down. I am annoyed.

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 9:53 pm

Copy, the Barracuda file-storage and sharing system, is closing down on May 1st of this year. I am not amused.

Ok, I admit, I didn’t use Copy for my personal stuff. Considering that I have 2 TERABYTES of free cloud storage at Baidu, 10 TERABYTES at Tencent, more than 57 TERABYTES at 360 (that is more than the hard drive space I have accumulated over these many decades!), and theoretically unlimited storage space at Lolabits, I have other places to store my stuff. Problem is, these sites are not in English, and so would be intimidating for my friends and clients to use. (Me, I have no problem if the Chinese government listens to my backups of The Bob Edwards Show, or looks at my vacation photos…I mean, it’s better than the NSA, after all.)

But others may not be so comfortable navigating systems in non-English languages. So I need to find an alternative. Problem is, like I said, I need something clients and friends will be comfortable using. I’ve started researching the alternatives, but am a little saddened to realize that some of the systems I have space on (Tresorit and SpiderOak, for example) no longer provide free accounts of any size, or have time-limited accounts, which is even worse IMHO. Once I choose a replacement based on ease of use and decent space allowances, I’ll post here. Meantime, I been working on replacements, for those (like me) who collect cloud storage space like some people collect bubble-gum cards. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know in the comments section.

I admit I always thought that Copy was relatively safe, having Barracuda behind it. But clearly it was a mistake to trust Copy from the outset…imagine how embarrassed I am that family, friends, clients, subscribers to the Internet OTR Digest, and everyone else I touted the company to is stuck with a useless product that will be eating their files come May-day.

Let me ask you, Barracuda, what do you think the odds are that those of us who are IT professionals will recommend any of your products in the future?

I’ll be posting results of all my testing soon…

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1/24/2016


Snow Day…

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 11:06 pm

A couple of pics from today’s snow day, and the two members of the family who refused to help with the shoveling.

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Making progress…

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 10:18 am

Yes, I can now see my driveway…

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1/23/2016


Frelling Winter Wonderland…

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 1:28 pm

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11/22/2015


Another Issue of The Digest Rejected by AOL…

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 2:05 pm

Folks, I have no idea what causes AOL to decide the Internet OTR Digest is spam, but issue #96 has been rejected to all addresses controlled by AOL. Hopefully this will clear before the next issue releases, but who knows the mysteries of America OffLine?

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10/25/2015


Another Massive AOL Bounce on the OTR Digest…

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 2:44 am

Sorry, folks, but AOL has decided yet again that the Internet OTR Digest is spam, and rejected to all addresses under its control. This usually clears itself out after a day or two, but there is nothing I can do about it - this is all on AOL.

Hopefully once they stop blocking the server, you can retrieve the missed issue via the archive server.

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10/9/2015


CapitalOne - A Lesson in LOSING Customer Loyality for Other Companies

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:43 pm

Edit December 10, 2015: Life is nothing but disappointment - just when I thought CapitalOne was an amazing company with amazing employees, they prove that they aren’t. Their fraud prevention system is so screwed-up they managed to decline my card at a local merchant for some non-existent fraud…and then the Customer Service rep I talked to suggested it was my fault that I didn’t have their app on my phone so I could clear it. Yeah, no accepting that it should never have happened in the first place, no apologies for the inconvenience, just a smug suggestion that it was my fault for trying to buy glassware at an outlet. Clearly the thousands I charge with them every month pales in comparison to the $70-worth of “fraudulent” coffee mugs and extra serving spoons they declined and pushed-off to another card (which, by the way, cheerfully accepted the business).

(*shrug*) So much for CapitalOne. Back to Bank Of America, Chase, American Express, et al - at least I don’t have to worry about their fraud prevention computer triggering arbitrarily and embarrassing me unnecessarily, like another customer who was declined today because they bought a burrito…


Sorry, I have to give you some background information, so hang with me a sec. Our household adopted, or was adopted by, an emaciated stray cat. I will explain this bizarre sequence of events and introduce you to our newest family member in another post on another day, but you need to know that this poor cat is not in excellent shape, and required a pretty substantial veterinary visit. It was the visit, and the Vet’s bill for services, that began this odd yet wonderful journey.

Shortly after we got home from the visit, I received a telephone call from someone purporting to be from CapitalOne’s Fraud Prevention Department. Anyone who knows me knows I do not provide personal information to anyone I do not personally know who calls me - I mean, after all, how can I possibly know whether they are who they say they are, or just some scammer attempting to steal personal information? I politely but firmly told the person I would telephone the number on the back of my CapitalOne credit card. Which, of course, I did almost immediately (I needed to get a stronger pair of glasses to read the d*mned thing…hey CapitalOne, how about making that number bigger for your older customers?).

I was almost immediately diverted to Fraud Prevention, where I spoke with a most pleasant soul, to whom I explained why I pushed off the person who called me. He let me know a fraud alert was triggered by a purchase, gave me the Vet’s practice name, and asked if the charge was valid. I admitted it was, mentioned the cat’s condition, and had a short but pleasant conversation. When we hung up, I pretty much forgot about it, other than briefly wondering why a guy who routinely purchases stuff from England, Hong Kong, and other countries would trigger an alert with a charge a few blocks away. (Much later I discovered the practice bills out of Los Angeles, CA, which explains why the transaction was flagged.)

Anyway, didn’t give it any additional thought…until today.

My daughter had a half-day of school today, and was home when the doorbell rang. I sent her to see what was what (c’mon, what good are kids if you can’t use them as free labor?), and she went outside, but didn’t come back in. I went to the door to see her struggling to pick up a very large, very heavy box left at the door by the UPS delivery guy.

I helped her get the package in, checked that it was indeed addressed to me and not a neighbor, and was completely confused as to why Amazon would be sending me anything. I carefully opened the box, and found inside a smaller, seemingly heavier box…and some paperwork:

A Gift from Capital One Financial Corp

Mr. Summers, it was a pleasure speaking with you recently. We hope your cat recovers smoothly and is back to normal in no time. Warm regards, Affonso.

You could have knocked me over with the feather on the toy mouse.

A huge financial corporation, one of the “too big to fail” companies I’ve always believed should be broken up into parts small enough to implode if their management screws up, sent me a beautiful cat domicile (sorry, can’t bring myself to call it a “cat house” and not giggle like a 10-year-old) along with wishes this poor stray whose luckiest day of his so-far short life was the day he begged food from Katie would feel better soonest.

So to CapitalOne, the huge financial corporation humanized by Affonso, I offer a sincere and humble thank you. So you know, you had me at giving me a half-percent more cashback on purchases than the other cards I carry, and with no foreign transaction fees…but after this act of kindness it’ll be a cold day in Hades before anyone pries the CapitalOne card out of my hands.

So…what’s in your wallet? (Edit December 10, 2015: Right now, Chase, Bank of America, American Express…pretty much anything but CapitalOne. Yep, the Devil must have had a snow day today - between the unnecessary decline, and the unforgivable Customer “Service,” they won’t be getting my business.)

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8/3/2015


AOL is Blocking the Digest again…

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 12:25 pm

Sorry, AOL users, but they are yet again blocking the Digest. Not sure what a, “Remote Protocol Error” means, but all subscribers using AOL missed issue #66. Info on retrieving that issue, once AOL gets its act together, is available at the bottom of every issue.

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