2011.12.14 Mice, men and boys favor the Observer

Written by David Green.

It’s difficult thinking back to the days of the early 1990s when there wasn’t a computer or two in most every home. I had them at work, but apparently none had yet made it into our house.

According to the old By the Way column below, I used to bring a Macintosh home occasionally to work over the weekend and to play a few rudimentary games. This was so long ago that I felt the need to explain the concept of a computer mouse.

Nov. 27, 1991

By David Green

There are times when I bring a computer home from work, but neglect to bring along a mousepad. A what?

Many computers these days have a “mouse”—a small box that can fit in the palm of a hand. There’s a button on top which controls the action on the computer screen. The mouse is connected to the computer via a long “tail” of a cord.

It’s that tail, along with the small, black deposits which a dirty mouse leaves behind, that gives it the characteristic of a rodent.

Like I said, I sometimes forget the pad on which the mouse moves. When that happens, I have to come up with a substitute such as a newspaper.

I’ve often wondered which paper works best as a mousepad. Since I had a pile of area papers home over the weekend, I enlisted Ben to put them to the test.

I figured Ben was going to choose the Tecumseh Herald since he set a new record with it while playing an uneducational game called Breakthrough. The game is very good for the development of hand-eye coordination, however, so of course we allow him to while away great blocks of training time.

I gave him the Herald for a test and he immediately judged it “not very good.” I thought it had a little drag to it myself, and the Blissfield Advance felt much the same way. The Advance has a small section of international news that slowed Ben down every time he moused across it. We were after a pad with some speed.

The Brooklyn Exponent felt firm, which is something that didn’t appeal to Ben but felt good to me. But for use as a mousepad, it was the Delta Atlas that I liked. It gave good control, yet it wasn’t as slow as the others. Ben wasn’t completely sold, but he placed it above average.

The Observer and the Clinton Local should feel the same—same press, same ink, same roll of newsprint, I presume—but that wasn’t the case. Their front page was splattered with photos of football players (they lost to Manchester in the playoffs) and I guess that’s what made them feel fast, yet out of control. Ben used the other side of the page and liked it.

“It feels good,” he said, “but it’s a little bumpy.”

The Archbold Buckeye simply felt good to me, even though it was too slow to go more than a couple rounds in Breakthrough. Ben agreed. Every time he rolled across the article about the former mayor grousing the election, the mouse  seemed to hesitate.

On to Hudson. The Post-Gazette had pretty good movement to it, but as Ben lost a second building in the Missile Attack game, he knew it was too slow. He was running the mouse across a little photo of Jim Whitehouse—a quick wit—but we knew it wasn’t the pad either of us needed.

It was obvious I could never set a record with the Fayette Review. Rolling over the council report slowed me down every time. Ben and I diverged on this one. All that money council was shelling out seemed to give him some pep.

We made it through all the contenders and it was time for the playoff. Missiles were raining down as Ben gave Clinton, Fayette and Delta a second try. He was losing badly, and frankly, none of those rags felt right.

So which one do you like, I asked.

“I like Morenci,” he answered.

Shucks, I didn’t even know he’d played with the Observer. He moused around with one a little more and sure enough, that was the pad for him.

I gave it another try and had to agree that it was the best. I also discovered why it failed to impress me earlier: I used the side of the page that was littered with dried food particles. The darn mouse kept slowing down to nibble.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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