Musical staff

As the Planets Align | Staff/guest columns

We’ve been through a lot of IT-related changes in Time lately.

It’s frustrating beyond belief, like untangling angry octopuses while blindfolded, and I haven’t had to deal with it as much as some of my colleagues.

Each program depends on many others, each with its own username and password, which no one knows about because they haven’t been needed for years.

Meanwhile, a newspaper still has to be published six days a week.

I wish to God that computer technology had stopped in the 1990s. Emails, CDs and DVDs were enough and made life more convenient than their predecessors.

Everything since then has made life more complicated and frustrating. For example, you used to get Microsoft Word on a CD. You have introduced it to your computer and you are done. You owned it. You could use it for years until it is hopelessly obsolete. You didn’t even need an internet connection. Now the software is on the cloud and you will have to rent it forever, paying what it asks for.

And don’t get me started on social media, which has poisoned our culture, destroyed our politics and is destroying local journalism. Social media eats up local ad revenue but brings nothing back to the community.

I recently read an article suggesting that the Internet is literally demonic, summoned into the world by countless passwords that work like magic spells and bound by myriad mystical symbols in the form of microcircuits on chips.

Sure, I don’t really believe it, but sometimes I could swear I hear the web chuckle.

It’s my first week back, and it was already filled with lots of fun and unique missions. Gettysburg is known for a lot of things, but now we can add to the list a junior sock monkey photo from Gettysburg Area High School (GAHS) and a new virtual reality experience.

GAHS Junior Katherine Hansen won a National Gold Medal at the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for the sock monkey photo titled ‘Drenched’. She will be honored at a ceremony on June 9 at Carnegie Hall in New York.

I wrote about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards during my previous stint at the Gettysburg Times. I’ve also met talented GAHS musicians who have qualified for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-States.

Those are definitely the types of stories I missed.

Thusday, Gettysburg Times Photographer Darryl Wheeler and I traveled back to 1863 through Gettysburg’s first-ever virtual reality experience, Ticket to the Past—Unforgettable Journeys, at the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station.

This new immersive virtual reality experience, opened to the public yesterday, features the stories of three people at the train station in July 1863.

Darryl and I were able to select one of the occupants and follow their story while wearing oculus virtual reality headsets. The stories unfolded before our eyes in 3-D.

It was amazing to see President Lincoln arrive on November 18, 1863 at the station for the dedication of the National Cemetery in the Third Ward.

It’s such a new and innovative way to reach residents and visitors.

It was also particularly pleasant to live the experience with Darryl. We had so many adventures when I was previously at the newspaper. We covered the Bermudian Springs graduation ceremony which was interrupted by showers and I held his large umbrella in the winds so he could take pictures. We also encountered people who were ice fishing in freezing temperatures. It looks like there is a weather pattern here.

Skydivers and skydivers are probably tired of hearing people say, “I’ve never seen a reason to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.” Those paratroopers who ended up swinging through the trees near our local battlefield a few weeks ago may have doubts about their profession. I wish I could have been in the room during their debriefing, as I’m pretty sure things didn’t entirely go according to mission plan.

In case you missed it, in Arizona last Sunday, two cousins ​​jumped from two planes in perfect condition. The kicker was, before exiting the plane, each was its sole occupant. The plan was to swap places by “catching” the other plane in the process of descending. One succeeded. The other didn’t, so a fully functional Cessna 182 crashed in an undisclosed desert location while its would-be pilot drifted to earth under its canopy. There are few trees in the Arizona desert, so it’s probably at least been spared the fate of some of America’s best who stopped short of their destination on the battlefield here.

I suspect that’s not the end of the story for the two cousins ​​or their corporate sponsor, Red Bull. Before the stunt, they tried unsuccessfully to get Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for an exemption to several airway laws they violated on Sunday. They’re going to need a lot of Red Bull energy drinks against those steel-eyed FAA investigators.

At the wise insistence of the FAA, everyone who flies airplanes these days gets a healthy dose of “risk management” training and good “aeronautical decision-making.” Pages and pages of exhaustive training on these topics can be summed up in a four-word summary: “Don’t be stupid.” It looks like those Red Bull-infused plane swappers looking for their moment of glory missed that part of the schedule.

So “Confused Joe” is apparently going to give in to his party’s radical socialists and cancel college debt in an effort to buy votes in the upcoming midterm elections.

What does this mean for people like me who worked two full time jobs while going to school full time so I could live, then went to work immediately after school and paid off my student debt ?

Will I, someone who paid off my student debt, get a check from “Clueless Joe?” I have to wonder why did I work so hard to pay off my student debt when we have a weak president who is told by his staff to first wipe the drool off his chin and then wipe some or all of his university debt.

I’m sure there are people smarter than me who will respond to my column today with answers for me. I guess there are institutions that really owe this money, so the government writes off the debt or prints more money to pay off the debt or forces the institutions/lenders to wipe the money off the balance sheet.

I hope someone can explain this process to me because, as we all know, our President has no idea what is really going on around him. Plus someone reached out to me and explained what erasing that college debt for all those gender studies and community activist majors does to the hyper inflation we’re in all facing right now? Maybe I’ll re-enroll in college and rack up $50,000 in college debt before Joey-Boy takes that step, why not, in our growing socialist country, you don’t have to pay for it?

I have an idea for Joe, when he writes off student debt, why doesn’t he just go bankrupt, and I mean BROKE and write off everyone’s mortgage debt? I’ve also seen financial figures that because of Joe’s economy, credit card debt in the country has increased by $3.3 billion. Why can’t Joe just wipe out all the credit cards after college debt and mortgage debt?

I think those moves would definitely buy Joey a lot of votes. What about that damn national debt, what’s that $30 trillion, Joe, please wipe it out then don’t have that debt hanging over of my children’s heads for the next 60 years will make me sleep much better. We know you sleep well. you have often been seen dozing in meetings.

… Two Wednesdays ago, I went out at 5:30 a.m. to pick up the Gettysburg Times hook under our mailbox and there they were, the planets perfectly aligned, just as astronomer Ian had said they would be in a previous edition of our daily newspaper.

Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn rose from East to Southeast in the sky, each above and to the right of the others, as if you could connect them with a laser pen. I took Ian at his word for the order of the orbs, even though Venus was his usual dazzling self and Mars seemed to have a reddish tint. It was humiliating. I’m amazed at how much we know, and don’t know, about the universe.

…Last week’s entry on the southwest quadrant bricks was very labor intensive. I’ll end up walking around the place, but before that, one more tribute to Sam Mudd. I thought of him on a recent Monday when the From the Ground Up crew was out early, picking up the litter after a busy weekend. The weekly cleanses all started with Dr. Mudd, who orchestrated and led the original team of volunteers many years ago. Thank you Sam, and thank you to everyone who followed his lead. Our city is an immaculate source of pride thanks to your efforts.

… I was relieved to learn that the famous Lincoln scholar, Gabor Boritt, is still alive and it reminded me of Mark Twain, who once said, “The report of my disappearance was greatly exaggerated. “