On and Off The Mountain/Stephanie Grubert

The annual Super Bowl is behind us and the fans for both teams filled the Met-Life Stadium in New Rutherford, NJ each hoping for victory. The Seattle Seahawks 43-8 runaway victory, including the fastest score in Super Bowl history with the Seahawks 2 point safety after the Bronco pass on the first play went horribly wrong. I usually don’t watch with dedicated attention for the entire 3-hour game, but even that got my attention.

The biggest positive part about the day was the warmest temperatures in the New York-New Jersey areas in weeks. Fans still needed layers to sit in the open air Met-Life Stadium, but the 45 degrees at 10 p. m. was a pleasant surprise. Newscasters said it was colder in Seattle and Denver at game time. Even though the big game was only about 125 miles from Mountaintop the most ardent football fans I know were not spending thousands of dollars for tickets. Viewing the game at a local pub or at home on a big screen TV gives a better view than being there. Of course you don’t get to experience the euphoria of the crowd, and the price of admission was well worth the thrill for them I am sure.

The commercials once again got multi-million dollar plays. Quite a few of them were released early and while that takes away from the surprise, re-watching the good ones a couple of times are always enjoyable. The Budweiser “Bestbuds” puppy ad was my favorite. Mix a puppy and the Clydesdales and the tears melt many a heart. After seeing one too many Doritos commercials I was yearning for the salty spicy chips. They are like Christmas cookies. Have a few once a year and enjoy! Keystone Pipeline

As expected the president’s State of the Union was a disappointing exercise in bragging about things that just aren’t happening. The news people were quick to point out that the Obamacare debacle was not on the front burner. Health insurance belongs in the private sector. Government cannot administer it effectively.

I am disappointed that the Keystone Pipeline project has not yet been completed. President Barack Obama continues to pander to the environmentalists who object to land disturbance and the use of no more fossil fuels.

The Keystone Pipeline is one project that would give the United States economic independence from the Arab oil fields. Green energy and less dependence on fossil fuels, oil the main one, is a long term goal, but with millions of cars on the roads in the US the evolution to electric and alternative fuels is going to take years. The oil is in Canada, lots of it, and the US is a willing customer.

The latest State Department report about the effects of the pipeline construction on the environment once again gave the green light to the safety of the Keystone Pipeline. Democrats and Republicans must put aside partisan positions to approve this important piece of our nation’s economic puzzle. The Congress makes laws and policy by voting for essential projects and programs. Barack Obama needs to get on board for what is best for the entire country.

Early Spring Mountaintop has been under

the ice cover for so long that the Mountaintop Garden Club’s monthly meeting had a full house last week at the Rice Township Municipal Building. More than 50 eager members came out in the frigid weather to hear a presentation about back yard bird feeding and future community beautification projects. It is always fun to plan for the spring when we can’t fully enjoy the outdoors in winter. I always get my vegetable seeds in February and March even though I know I won’t be planting them until April and May. We are only 45 days away from the first day of spring!

Happy Anniversary Mac There was a special anniversary

last week for those of us in the Apple family. By Apple I mean the Mac and all of its versions, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. The first Mac was introduced January 24, 1984. It was the first mass-market personal computer featuring a graphical user interface and mouse. There was only 128K of RAM (random Access Memory) in the compact machine. All programs and documents were accessed through 3.5” floppy disks. I remember looking at one in a store window around that time. Would I ever have one? The Mountaintop Eagle has used nearly 40 different Macs since 1985. Five are in full service today.

The very next year the Mac was upgraded to a 512K (Kilobyte) machine, which is a half meg of RAM, four times as powerful. That capability is so tiny compared to the average laptop or desktop in use now in 2014 with a minimum of 2 to 16 GB (Gigabytes) of RAM, the power behind the programs. There are approximately a million kilobytes in one Gigabyte. My current laptop has 8 million Kilobytes. That’s a huge evolution over 30 years.

Macs were always easy to learn and use. I bought the Mountaintop Eagle in the fall of 1985. My original equipment included two Mac 512ks, a LaserWriter and an external accessory we called “The Keeper” which had 5 MB of storage. We started producing the Mountaintop Eagle with our Apple set up the first week that I owned the paper. Our first edition was rough. We had different sizes of text and multiple fonts, which are typestyles, on every page. I also used the Mac to keep our subscriber list in order and printed out the mailing labels each week with the Apple ImageWriter. Our accounting and business records were also Mac based. I wanted one system that did it all. The Mountaintop Eagle was the first newspaper in Pennsylvania to produce their camera-ready pages with Macs thanks to the Aldus PageMaker program.

Over the years I upgraded to more powerful versions of the Mac as the technology improved, and the paper looked better and took less time to finish each week.

Without Apple the other personal computer companies would have never evolved to compete on the graphic level. Now 30 years later consumers have a choice, but the Apple faithful are fanatic for the company’s products. A visit to an Apple store will show you what I mean. Many of the young geeks (and I use that term with great respect) working for Apple now weren’t born when the company was formed in 1976 and the Mac introduced in 1985. They continue to preach the word and make products we enjoy every day.