“Stressed Out” – by Twenty One Pilots

It’s strange the things you remember and the things you don’t. It makes no sense at all. I can remember getting only 1 thing wrong on my driving test (not stopping before a crosswalk when pulling out of a parking lot) yet I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night.

I get posts all the time from the “You know you’re from Kenosha when…” Facebook page, and they often bring back memories of things I thought I had long forgotten. Recently someone posted an old photo of “Old Market Square”, the shiopping center at 85th Street and Sheridan Road in Kenosha that used to be “Topps” before that. It’s now the Kenosha County Job Center. I remember when the DMV was there, and when Funway Freeway was there, the Old Market Square Theaters, and mastering the pinball machine “Black Knight”, then earning and setting all of the credits I racked up on it.

I’m 52 now. I was that “pinball wizard” back when I was 17 or 18, working as a dishwasher at The Elks Club (now Heritage House, but long abandoned and neglected, but soon to be restored). After Hight School I went on to Gateway to get an Associate Degree in Computers. At some point, my dad got me a job at his work, AMC/Chrysler, as a security guard. I worked there 5 years before I was let go along with thousands of other workers as they shut down auto manufacturing in Kenosha. Who knows how long I might have stayed there if they hadn’t… After that, I got a job at ITO Industries as a Laboratory Technician. It wasn’t exactly a computer job, but it was technical, so a bit more to my liking. And, as it turned out, it became a computer job after all. When I started there, their lab was doing all of their chemical tests using a calculator for all of the formulas, bath adds, etc., and logging all of their results and changes in notebooks. After working there a short time, I quickly realized a huge need for an application that could do all of the calculations and logging for them, and even take that data much further with charting and trending.

I worked on it at home, in my spare time, and it wasn’t long before I had a working program to show them. Management was pretty impressed, and agreed to purchase the application. I chose to keep the rights to the application, intending to sell it to other circuit board manufacturers. I ended up doing just that, and thought it worked out pretty nicely. In the end, I had rewritten the entire application 2 more times. Version 1 was DOS-based. version 3 was the last, and included many more features and functionality than version 1 had, and was now Windows-based. Getting and keeping it running on all the different Windows variations at the time was a bit tricky though, and as Windows evolved, I wasn’t able to continue to keep the application (called “MicroChemLab” or “Microlab” for short) up-to-date and running on newer hardware and newer versions of Windows. I just didn’t have the time to continue developing it.

I eventually got hired by another circuit board shop, CirQon, in Gurnee, IL, and left ITO. I was brought in with the understanding that I would bring my application with me and adapt and implement it fully for their operation. This worked out great, and my employment there lasted until the company went out of business several years later. After that I finally landed a PC Tech job–something that was actually in my field of interest! And the rest, as they say, is history.

Why I wrote this, I have no idea. I guess I just wanted to see how much I actually remembered. There’s a lot more in-between stuff I skipped over, and I’m always digging back there, pulling out old odd and ends when they seem necessary in my ongoing journal I keep, so this certainly isn’t all I remember of “the good ole days”, but it’s enough for a decent blog entry. And it reminds me of a song I like. See the title of this blog entry.

OK Google, figure this one out…

I had an argument with my phone this morning in my car. I’ve been using the hands-free features more often, trying to get used to them, so this morning I woke up my phone with “OK Google, navigate to work.” This has worked many times in the past without issue. This time, however, I was instructed to make some strange turns at odd times, definitely going in the wrong direction, though the ETA looked about right. That’s the main reason I use it–just so I know about what time I’ll be at work–so I can squeeze in a few other things before work whenever possible. So I argued with my phone, tellling it a few times that “this isn’t right!” and “You must be joking!”, but of course, these arguments weren’t stated with “OK Google”, so they didn’t do any good for either one of us. I knew that, obviously, but my phone seemed to be having a brain fart, so I just argued with it to be just as ridiculous.

So once it was obvious I was going to the wrong location, I asked Google “OK Google, what is my Work address?” My phone then displayed my Home and Word Addresses. My Home address looked fine, but my Work address said “Lindenhurst, IL” with no address. It not only “forgot” my address, but also had the wrong city! This made me a little angry, but I was driving, so I said “OK Google, navigate to…” and I spoke the entire address of my work. That worked fine, and now I was navigating to the right location. When I got to work later on, I checked my “Edit work and home” settings in Google Maps on my phone and they were both correct! The exact correct address was stored for both locations! I’m pretty confused at this point. When I google the question “What is my Work address” I do get just “Lindenhurst, IL”, and it says “Contacts – Only you can see this result” at the top of the search result. I checked my contacts, and I don’t have an entry named “Work” though. Not even anything close. Where it’s getting this “Contact” information from, I have no idea. I just wish Google Maps would default to it’s OWN stored Home & Work locations instead of trying to be smarter by looking elsewhere.

Update:  Issue Resolved!  Apparently, there’s a Contact with my name on it that it checks.  So “Jim Trottier” has my Home and Work addresses, and Work said “Lindenhurst, IL”.  I corrected it.  <sigh>