March 8th, 2015

Daily Activities include: horse! local thefts/break-ins

For the first time since before we left for Seattle in December, the kids got to go to therapeutic riding! Wonderful! It snowed very briefly today, but was otherwise sunny and above freezing. The ring was completely cleared out and even had a swale dug out so it would drain as more snow melted. Poor C., who runs the operation, had a terrible time getting anyone to come clear it out, because everyone who has a plow has been working crazy hours keeping roads and driveways clear. She even tried improvising with a snowblower and the drag, but got stuck. Fortunately, the man she hired to come get her equipment out was at that point willing to stick around and clear it, and so the kids get to ride again. And I got to chat with my friend M., as well. A.'s riding partners had gifts for her from Xmas (oops -- we didn't, so we'll have to fix that next week, and a missed birthday as well).

T. and I went to 5 Guys before, and R. and I have each walked around the block once. I ran into a neighbor and walked the rest of the way with her on my walk, and we discussed the recent series of breakins in town (including right across the street). Jewelry thefts, which strikes me as utterly bizarre, but apparently things like gold chains have enough value melted to attract thieves. Weird to think that anyone around here is literally breaking down doors to get at something worth at most a couple hundred dollars. Hope the police figure it out soon; they seem to think it is a very old skool steal-gold-to-buy-heroin type thing. R. says that Nashua recently shut down a pawn shop for receiving stolen goods, after discovering the owner had previously been shut down elsewhere in the state for same.

There is such a thing as being a little _too_ entrepreneurial.

I think this is what R. was talking about in Nashua:

http://patch.com/new-hampshire/nashua/nashua-police-bust-pawn-shop-ring-0

Altho that was retail theft not residential.

Here's the local theft coverage, such as it is:

http://patch.com/massachusetts/acton/2-homes-west-acton-burglarized-police-say-0

There's been a third house as well.

The next p-to-d transition: plastic cards

We're a long ways through the paper-to-digital transition. We read news"papers" online. We read books on e-readers. But it isn't just paper-to-digital; it's physical to digital, or physical to virtual. We watch movies and TV streamed to our devices. We listen to music on our phones and computers.

We still, however, carry around a lot of plastic cards. Loyalty cards have been eroded somewhat by apps. Coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts already have widely deployed and used apps for payment. Some fast food chains use apps for payment as well. Apple Pay is dominating in the digital wallet realm.

But there is still that problem of legal identification. While, at least in theory, you are not legally required to possess or carry identification in most of the United States, in practice, if you want to buy or consume alcohol and/or drive a car, you're going to need some ID. I don't expect passports to become digital any time soon (altho they have acquired an RFID chip), there is the possibility that driver's licenses/state ids will acquire a virtual version some time soon. There are already circumstances where a picture will do just as well (ordering groceries online including alcohol, for example, usually happy to accept a picture of a driver's license, as is WDW when it comes to getting a Florida specific ticket), but what about for truly official purposes, such as a traffic stop?

http://techcrunch.com/2014/12/14/iowa-launches-an-app-for-your-drivers-license/

Maybe. There was some real optimism on the Iowa digital driver's license, but they've gotten a bit more cautious.

"The DOT had set a release for the app on both iOS and Android in early 2015. However, it may not hit that mark due to several concerns, including privacy."

The idea is it would be nice to put the license up but keep the phone locked so the police officer couldn't go looking around and seeing what else you've been up to.

Currently, I use a Speck phone case, to store my driver's license and a couple other cards on my phone. (I used to keep a $20, but I don't any more.) The idea was that if I left the house with just the phone, I'd still be legal to drive and able to acquire. But more or less as soon as I got that case and started thinking in those terms, I started really, really, really wanting the phone to just _be_ those cards. Apple Pay is only going to get me partway there. It isn't going to get me cash at the ATM. And it won't do me any good at a traffic stop, or at airport security.

I feel confident that this _will_ happen. But I'm having a hard time convincing myself it will happen in less than 2 years. Maybe by 5? And probably much sooner in some states than in others.

ETA: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2015/01/07/375658605/a-plan-to-create-put-your-drivers-license-on-your-phone

NPR coverage suggests Iowa may get this done in a year or two. Other sites from December say they hope to have a prototype working in 6 months.

I was fascinated by how rare paper receipts are in Seattle when I went there last December. They are still everywhere in Boston Metro.

Virtualizing ID and keys would make a big difference to me. It's hard to imagine I'm the only one.

In This One Thing, I Mistakenly Thought I Was Being Normal

I was explaining to my friend M., who is not on FB (does not have a cell, even -- retro! but super cool), why I love FB. I love FB because I _love_ getting to see normal moments in the lives of the people I love, but who I don't get to see nearly often enough. I love seeing the sick kid snot bubble photos. I love seeing the dorky pet photos -- when I know at least the pet owner, and preferably the pet. Pet doesn't need to be clever or funny. Just being there is all I'm interested in. I don't care about seeing my friends on the Eiffel Tower; I love seeing pictures of them hanging out at Green Lake with their fam. Mundane moments. The relentlessly everyday-ness, that I don't get to see.

I figured, this is what FB is for! It's what everyone does. Right? So then someone posts a link to ApplyMagicSauce, which will look at your FB digital footprint, compare it to its database of FB likes profiles and guess who you were. My husband and friends were having fun laughing at how wrong it was: wrong age, wrong gender, wildly wrong politics, you name it.

ApplyMagicSauce wouldn't even try to guess, because while I "like" stuff every day on FB, it's not viral stuff, it's not bands or books or movies or games or wildly funny pet videos or political articles or op-ed links or those things that graphically represent statistics (and get them totally wrong, usually) or comics or anything even remotely meme-like.

This _one time_, I thought I was being relentlessly normal.

Shows what I know.

I'm not going to change tho, because there's is just nothing in life that makes me as happy as looking at my news feed and seeing an appalling joke about Nyquil from my friend J., a picture of my 1st cousin 2x removed H., who I've now been watching progress from being a bump in my 1st cousin 1x removed L.'s lovely body to being a vivacious young lady with excellent taste in shoes, pictures of warm weather in Seattle -- warm enough to be eating out on the deck -- and cold weather in New Hampshire, home renovations in England at another cousin's house, a post about my friend K.'s most recent run, updates on the education of numerous young people of various ages and, almost every day, someone's birthday. Sometimes people die, and sometimes people are remembering those who are no longer with them, but there is a beauty in the dailiness that FB captures better than anything other than actually living in a house with other people.