Cringely, like Milton, is blind. But Milton was a better writer.

Maybe you’ve wondered, “What happened to Cringely?” Nothing serious: I just stepped being able to read or write. Cataracts in my family hit like a hurricane, coming on suddenly and wth great force. It happened to my handsomer older brother two years ago and now to me. My medical care is through Kaiser, which does great work on such conditions, but it’s a bit like being in the army. First I wasn’t blind enough and then I was suddenly too blind, kicking me up to a slower level of service. I know, it makes no sense at all. In another 10 days I’m told it will all be behind me and I’ll have perfect vision […]

Can Amazon’s Echo Dot Make a Good SIDS Alarm?

It was 15 years ago this week that my son Chase Cringely died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at age 74 days. I wrote about it at the time and there was a great outpouring of support from readers. Back then, before the advent of social media, parents didn’t get a chance to grieve in print the way Mary Alyce and I did. We shed a light on SIDS and, for a couple years, even led to some progress in combating the condition, which still kills about 4,000 American babies each year.

When you lose a child, especially one who dies in your lap, as Chase did with me, […]

No fracking way! Fukushima is worse than ever

japanbabyRemember the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan? I wrote about it at the time, here, here, here, here, and here, explaining that the accident was far worse than the public was being told and that it would take many decades — if ever — for the site to recover. Well it’s six years later and, if anything, the Fukushima situation is even worse. Far from being over, the nuclear meltdown is continuing, the public health nightmare increasing. Why aren’t we reading about this everywhere? Trump is so much more interesting, I guess.

“The […]

Losing sight of the news

moodyMaybe you noticed it has been a couple weeks since I’ve written anything here. Readers are starting to wonder so I thought I’d post an update. It’s a funny thing about writing, that — for me at least — it really helps to be able to see and that’s something I’m not so good at lately. Over the last few months I’ve lost usable vision in one eye and the other is headed the same way.

It’s nothing serious. No glaucoma or macular degeneration, just cataracts — a result, I’m told, of my lifelong habit of not wearing sunglasses when I should have. I never liked carrying two pairs of glasses […]

A Tree Falls in Reston

yayaThere’s an adage I’ve heard repeated many times that on their deathbed nobody ever wished they had spent more time at work. Well last week right after telling me from memory her Social Security number and less than 24 hours before her final breath, my Mom did just that.

“I so enjoyed my career at the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” she said. “I wish I had worked there longer.”

My Mom, an economist and librarian who died on New Year’s Day, was a nerd.

She might not have identified herself as such, but she was definitely a nerd.

This lady took no prisoners. Ideas and words were important to her. Mastering concepts, too. At her dinner table you had […]