I’m a lucky guy. I have my man cave and backyard oasis. And I have a family that knows I like to enjoy both.
So this past weekend, my wife and daughter fled town to head east to visit relatives in Waterloo. I stayed home, spending time in the aforementioned man cave and out in the yard.
And at the office. And my home office in the man cave area.
That’s where I wrote this column, actually.
But it got me thinking – again – of coming up with a functional office outside. I’d love to sit in our gazebo and work. But the huge problem is screen glare.
I once took my wife’s laptop out there and tried to edit stories and search for information on the Internet. But the glare, even in the shade, was overwhelming.
About the only thing I’ve seen function well outside consistently is an e-reader. My wife’s Kobo works great anywhere, as the e-reader screens aren’t backlit and are designed to be easy to see anywhere.
But laptops and tablets? They’re a different story.
It’s all about resolution, image quality and now touchscreen capability. So screen guards for these devices are generally designed to preserve the view, not cut down on glare. You can easily find screen guards that protect the glass and stop fingerprints, but good luck finding one that allows you to easily see your screen outdoors.
If anyone comes across one in the area, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to use my 7-inch tablet with Bluetooth keyboard out in the gazebo, rather than hide in the man cave during the summer months.
Magical mystery tour
As mentioned, my ladies headed to Waterloo on the weekend, and they stopped in at a mystical place where one of the many Laurie cousins works. Thirty different kinds of brew on tap. About 100 different brands in a bottle. And for the kids, four different brands of root beer.
Sounded like heaven to me.
Turns out it was.
If you’re in downtown Waterloo, or in Cambridge or London for that matter, I’m told it’s worth checking out a Beertown Public House.
But I checked the menu. Beertown doesn’t have one key beer: Yeungling. It’s by far my favourite U.S.-brewed product, but it’s only available in certain states, and not yet in Canada.
You can’t make this stuff up
The federal Conservatives, like any party in power, love to send out their propaganda. A recent mailer touted how much the government is doing for all Canadians, and included Braille so the blind could read all about it too, and learn just what the government is doing for them.
One problem: The Braille was part of an image on the flyer. Reading Braille involved running one’s finger over a series of raised dots that can form letters or abbreviations.
Dots on a picture do nothing for the blind. Well, they may show that the people behind the pamphlet creation are focused on churning out the propaganda rather than paying attention to the details of the content.
Was Ron Burgundy involved?
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still wiping egg of its face following a plane crash in early July. Three people died when Asiana flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport.
An NTSB intern gave a local television station fake, names for the flight crew:
Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.
OK, the intern in Washington with the NTSB made a boneheaded and incredibly racially insensitive move by releasing the bogus names for the South Korean airliner, but the folks at KTVU must have been dozing. Whoever wrote the story should have caught the gaffe.
And then there’s the anchor who read them on the air. It reminds me of Will Ferrell’s character, news anchor Ron Burgundy, who would read anything fed into the teleprompter.
Or perhaps it reinforces the lyrics of Don Henley’s Dirty Laundry: “We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five/She can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye …”
Three producers at the news station wound up getting canned.