Thursday, September 23, 2010

CheckUp Application

Update.--The company graciously replied it's a known problem with PPC's, and with Intel Mac's, it uses only about a half percent of the cpu at any time. Ok, then it's a cool, useful and helpful tool, but it's not quite an Emily Latella moment.

Original Post.--There is an application for Mac computers, see Apple's download Web page for it. It's a cool tool for some system level checks and work, combining several applications into one handy one. But that said, do not buy and install it unless you're willing to live with a small resource hog on your Mac that you can't control.

Ok, let me explain. First, it installs at system (root) level, so it's out of the user's control to turn on and off. And that's the issue. Every few minutes it does its system checks and uses about 25% of the cpu for the brief time (~20 seconds) it's working. It doesn't use much space (~36MBytes) but uses a lot of cpu. And this time accumulates to become one of the largest users over time.

This is strange since it has Apple's staff pick they didn't see this or comment on it. I won't argue it's useful and helpful, and with more powerful or faster Mac's it probably doesn't impact the system and work very much, but for the old PPC Mac's, it's not wise to install it. You don't need to see your processor drop 25+% while you're working because of this one application.

And it installs a user application in your login account. If you remove it when you don't run the user application part, it only reinstalls it the next time you open the application. Again, it's cool with a lot of good tools, but it should be user controllable for both the continuous running application and the user application parts. All the other applications, even Apple's Activity and Network Monitor applications do that. And they're also not resource hogs.

Anyway, I bought it and like it for some things, like the full memory chip test (took 5+ hours for 4.5 GB and found no errors), but I also uninstalled it, and only plan to re-install it when I need it again. And my cpu is working nicely again with the real stuff of work and not this one which breaks in and steal the cpu for awhile every now and then.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Website work

Update.-- I uploaded the complete Website (all ~400 pages) with some updates to global information for html 5 specifications. There shouldn't be any problems with the presentation, display or operation of any Web page with new, recent and especially older browsers. Please let me know (e-mail) if you encounter any problems.

Original Post.--Over the course of the next few months I will be upgrading the photography Website, and especially the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide. These changes should be invisible for visitors because most are updates to html 5 standards. This is a minor improvement and the changes more tweaks, but it will put them up to date.

All of the Web pages on my Website are produced to the latest html standards and, hopefully, error free, except I admit I only test them occasionally but I don't do anything I haven't done correctly in the past. This is so browsers will render them correctly to the presentation I designed and produced. In addition I don't use any quirks or tweaks, meaning code that isn't in the html standards, so any differences, which I note in the browser optimization statement, are with your browser or personal settings.

This is important if you use Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) which I make no bones I don't account for with any special code because MS didn't produce W3C complaint browsers and because I don't have it on my Mac or don't use it except through emulation by other browsers. This way I don't use or account for IE's unique applications or IE-only code. I know from friends it does render slightly different but that's not my fault, it's IE's fault.

After that there is a lot of new work for the Website outside the photo guide, mostly the history projects, which are way behind, and new photo galleries, meaning lots of images in folders ready for Web preparation and on the light table for scanning. I have no real excuses or reasons unless you accept other other work, like the music project, doing photography, life and health issues and such things which sneak in front of the work.

Anyway, that's the progress to date. And as Rusty Wallace once said, "Stay tuned hotrod, we're just getting started."

JMO - Get some damn balls

I wrote last week about my anger at the Democrats in the Senate, and you clearly have to look at Senator Reid and the rest of his co-horts in control of the Senate, over their ineptness and incompetence when they have 59 votes, clearly a majority on the Senate. They continually balk and withdraw any legislation the Republicans, and a few conservative (asshole) Democrats, which faces a potential filibuster.

Except the Republicans know this and they always threaten a filibuster. Last week it was the extention Bush tax cuts and President Obama's proposal to limit the cut to the first $250,000, meaning everyone gets a cut, just not income over that limit. That's fair, good and right. And the Democrats, kicked the bill down the political road than force the Republicans' hand.

And now it's the Defense Appropriations bill and over the DADT and Dream amendments in the bill. Those are also fair, good and right, and again the Republicans, some who voted for these amendments in committee, threaten and did in fact filibuster. Ok, let them do that, all the way up to election day. Make they pay with their seat in the election.

And this is just another issue the Democrats don't have any backbone or more so balls to do what's fair, right and good for America and Americans. They whimper before the Republicans, pleading for a few of their votes with concessions, which we saw in the healthcare bill and other bills where most of what was fair, good and right was striped from the bill to get votes.

Maybe the Democrats deserve to lose the Senate this year. I don't know what Senator Reid needs to get some balls to do what's need to be done. He obviously doesn't believe the Nike slogan. And he obviously panders than stands, begs and tells, and asks than says. He's the head of the Democrats in the Senate, so why can't he lead to get things done?

Maybe he deserves to lose to one of the worst candidates the Republicans have put up for election. The Democrats have worried about their base, and yet they've done very little to support their base and less to excite it for the election. I'm a registred Democrat only because you have to declare a party here. Otherwise, I'd be an independent, hating both, only the Republicans more.

The Democrats in the Senate have consistently shown just how inept they are. And they expect their base to think it's ok. We've seen President Obama backtrack, or worse jettison, views and support on issues he campaigned on. We know that was campaign rhetoric, but some of it, like closing GITMO, DADT, DOMA, tax cuts, healthcare (remember he promised the publiic option, the first thing he ejected for votes) and so on, can and should be done.

But what did he do? He kicked it to Congress. Like they were going to do what he asks when they're already afraid of their own shadow and are more worried about getting re-elected than helping America and Americans with good Democratic value laws which you can sign and help everyone, help our country, help our environment, and so on. He only talks better than most of the Senate Democrats.

He's only one step better than the Senate Democrats. I know now I can't trust him as long as he's talking. He needs to remember who voted for him (like me) and remember what he promised, and then go for that. Fuck the opposition. The Republicans don't play fair or nice in politics, why does he and the Democrats? Fair and nice doesn't go very far, and it's doesn't win for what's fair, good and right.

So, my advice to the Democrats, including the President, get some damn balls. It's about America and Americans, not your political ass that's important.

Monday, September 20, 2010

JMO - Beware of GOP

With the November elections coming up for all the seats in the House and some of the seats in the Senate, I've written about how voters should really think before they vote. We've all heard the political and election rhetoric, and we all know it's justs hype and bullshit, all to get your attention and get your vote. This isn't unique to the Republicans or the Democrats, but it's happening with the Tea Party, Green Party and other parties.

But what you need to really be aware of, ask questions about and really think through is the rhetoric of challenge. The Republicans have been the party of "No" since Obama was sworn into office as President. They've made it their political strategy and tactics to prevent the Democrats from doing anything substantial or at least not without watering it down to attract Republicans or overcome a filibustter.

They've succeeded. The laws passed under the Democrats are only a shadow of what they wanted or more so what we needed and wanted. And so the Democrats look weak and inept to actually do anything real. While there's some truth to that, as they have 59 seats in the Senate, clearly a majority, they've failed to use it to overcome the Republicans' threats and filibuster. They're spineless and have little courage to do the fair and right thing for American and Americans.

But that aside, the Republicans are only offering criticism of Obama and the Democrats. And they ask you to vote them into the majority, except for what? They haven't offered anything substantial or anything that works for America and Americans, except if you think of corporations and the wealthy - like Bush and his corporate friends running the federal government and the Bush tax cuts.

And if you look at what they have done in the past, you'll see it's what the Democrats have done, only the Republicans, who once claimed credit for these measures, are now denying them as anything but Democratic mandates on Americans. Read the history and you'll see both parties have offered or passed the same measures and sounded the same rhetoric on the issues.
While the Republicans say they're different, they just the same as Democrats for ideas, only differing on who to benefit the most.

So, my point is to beware of Republicans bearing gifts of promises. They've did this during Bush's 8 years and we discovered how bad is was and how bad we are because of it. Do you really want to return to the end of those years. We won't see the buildup where the bubble grew out of control with profits, home prices, stock values, etc. That's gone for a long time. All we'll get from them is empty promises.

And that's what you have to watch, listen, question and think about before you vote for them. What are they really saying. It's the old adage it's not what they're saying but what they're not saying. It's in the nuiance of their words and the words between the lines. That's their real gift. All they want to do is get control of Congress and to use it to help corporations and the wealthy disguised to help you.

This is evident in the Bush tax cuts. The Democratic bill, really Obama's proposal, would give tax breaks to all Americans (only up to $250,000 for those earning more, or the same tax cut as the rest of us), so it's not excluding the wealthy or a tax increase to them, only a return to the pre-Bush tax cuts where they actually paid the same rate. Their rate is lower than ours because of the Republicans. Is that fair or right?

So why argue the wealthy need to keep the lower rate than us? That's what they want control of Congress to do, return to helping the corporations and wealthy with our tax money, at the higher rate than both of them. And think about if they had control of Congess, do you really think they could actually get anything done? Like with Obama and his veto in place for everything they pass and nothing the President wants pass. Is that what you want? A really do nothing Congress? And the Democrats becoming the party of "No" again?

That's their gift to you, for America and Americans. Nothing. The Republicans have no clothes. See them for what they have been since January 2009 and see them for what they are now. That's what you'll get if you elect them to Congress, more of the same "No", except it will be no to America and Americans.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NPR - Third Time a Charm

I wrote in August about the ills with my apartment, first the shower and then the kitchen sink, see essay. Well, as luck would have it, the late 1980's refrigerator in the apartment finally bit the dust, or really dying a very slow death.

It's had a leak in the freezer for years, a small bowl under it works. Then it developed another leak down the back wall. Ok, put another small bowl and cool on. Then this summer during a heat wave (above 90 degrees for 4 days), the freezer couldn't keep anything frozen, just cold and mushy. Not great for ice cream. When the heat wave passed, it returned to normal.

Anyway, it's the old adage about the third time is a charm. Only Murphy's version. I bought a compact refrigerator for the film (where the water leaked into ) so now I can get another refrigerator when I schedule it with the maintenance staff. They want 2-3 days to measure the space and go buy one. But then I'm a great procrastinator with these things.

Anyway, that's the whole thought. Nothing earth shaking, just a small univeral constant, all things break, some more slowly than others. And the old adage is still alive. And I'll keep you posted when the refrigerator is replaced. All that is left is a 1980's dishwasher I don't use except to store dishes and run it once a month to clean it, and a late 1960's stove.

The stove still works although it's been repaired a few time and I've taken it apart twice before to clean it. This summer I bought a convection oven which now does 90% of the cooking instead of the oven. I cleaned the oven recently so now it's a shiny, used stove again. I like the old adage about if it's not broke, keep using it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

JMO - Dear Democrats

Would you please find or get some backbone, or more so, some balls? Yes, all you spineless ones who are afraid to take on the Republicans in an election year. All of you, every last one of you. For the people's sake, stand up, speak up, and push the Republicans to prove just how stupid and hateful of ordinary Americans they are. Yes, you have the majority of the Senate and you haven't used it out of fear.

It's almost too late with the voters this year. They don't like you because you don't stand up for us, everyday, ordinary Americans, like you should. Please put the Obama cut tax bill before the Senate (cuts for all those below $250,000 and all those above on the first $250,000 of income) and make the Republicans filibuster it or vote no. They are the party of no and you let them make you the party of give in to them. They won't budge but you not only budged but helped them say no.

This is your chance to change that. Make the Republicans prove they're not for Americans or America. They want to increase the defiict with the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and then blame you for the deficit. You see this, you know this and yet, you go along without saying anything. What are you? Who are you? And where is your support of those who elected you?

So, put the damn bill up for a vote and show the voters who's where, for whom and for what. Don't delay this after the election. Don't put it off because you're afraid of a filibuster. The Republicans aren't afraid to threaten a filibuster. So challenge them to put up or shut up. Challenge them to say no to ALL Americans. Don't let Representative Boehner and Senator O'Connell deny the Obama tax cut applies to the rich. It does. Don't just say that, put them in the spotlight and challenge them on it.

So Democrats, as anyone may ungraciously tell you, "Get your head out of your collective ass", and stand up with a vote for Americans. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. We're smarter than you think and we're smarter than you at times. We see it. You don't. So how about it?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

JMO - Think Before Voting

When you look at the candidates this fall, and go through your thought process to select the one you think best reflects your values, I hope you think more than just your values, and especially what the candidate is saying. Think about the candidate's history. Think about what the candidate isn't saying, meaning not what they are for but what they oppose without saying it.

But most of all, think about our country.

This is because if you remember the 1994 election when the Republicans put forth the "Contract with America" which turned out to be devasting when they took control of Congress. They refused to pass the President's appropriations bills and they shut down government for two periods, one 6 weeks long and another 2 weeks. They created a backlog of work then President Clinton wanted but couldn't get through to help Americans when they simply refused.

This is pretty much the same Congress when Bush was elected and look what happened. He gave us a right-wing focused Supreme Court which will be there for years, if not a decade or two, past his presidency. He gave us the crash of the financial market when he refused to regulate the industry. He gave us the housing crash when he refused to deal with predator lenders. And worst of all he gave us two wars, one of questionable necessity, meaning there was alternative than invasion, and one of choice.

All of this while he increased the national debt more than any two-term president in history. He squandered a budget surplus which could be used to pay down the debt for future generations for tax cut for the corporations and wealthy, giving us pennies when they got dollars. And he put this country into a deep recession, the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930's. This is what you should think about when you consider candidates.

Do you want Republicans who want to go back to that and not solve the real problems of this country but simply find ways to make the wealthy richer, leaving pennies for us again? Do you want Republicans to return to the rhetoric of talking cutting spending, but spending more on pork-barrel projects, wars, government contracts to corporations, and tax credits and incentives to corporations for oil and natural gas in deep-water, off-shore areas of our coast?

That is what this election is about, our future. Do you want your elected representatives who like the past and want it back, or do you want them to look for solutions to America's problems with at least something which will give us our country, our jobs, our economy, our government, and most of all our future place in the world. I won't argue all the Democratic candidates are the best, but I will argue almost all the Republicans aren't the best.

And that's my point. When you have the Republicans who proved in latest (2008-2010) Congress to be the party of "NO!", conductiong filibusters on any legislation which would help America and Americans. Every legisltation, even ones they proposed, sponsored and supported in past congressional sessions, was meant with a party-unanimous, "No." They voted against their own previous bills!

They've blocked more government and judicial nomination than all previous congressional sessions, even when the Democrats were in power and let the President have his appointees. They have simply dug their heels in and say the only thing they want is tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. They will sell you everything under the sun, but that's their goal, scam government funds, your tax dollars, for the weathly.

This election is about your tax dollars. This election is about your health and healthcare. This election is about your children's education. This election is about yours and our environment, shown is the BP oil disaster, something the Bush administration created with the corporate corruption of the MMS. This election is about returning government to us than them. This election is about "our" government.

And while the Democrats haven't proven to be what they could, and mostly because they like the political spine - I'd say balls but that's inpolite - to do what's right and damn the politics. The Democrats have pandered to the party of NO than the party of the people, us who elected them. They need to get their collective head out of their asses and do their job for us, not the party of NO.

This election is about our economy and mostly about jobs, our jobs and our future. Each of us and our families. It's about being able to afford to live with something to look forward to, a career, good, affordable healthcare, savings, retirement. and everything else everything candidates will sell you and promise, the American dream. But do they have the history for that? Or is it just words to scare you against their opponenent or words for their values they know can't be done in Congress?

That's what's at stake here in this election, yours and our future. Think about that first and foremmost. Don't sacrifice our future for rhetoric or a pretty picture, neither of which is true or real.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

JMO - Season End for Mariners

The (un)official end of the Seattle Mariners' season, as far as I'm concerned, was last night (September 1) when they lost their 81st game of the season, which means the best they can do is to get to .500 for the season, and only if they win the last 29 games. Like that's going to happen when they're already 29 games under .500. In reality their season ended Memorial day when after an 11-12 April they went 8-19 in May and were 19-31 at that point.

It was only time as they routinely lost more games than they won each month except June when they were 14-13. But since then they were 6-22 in July and 13-14 in August. All of this with promises of a great, and probably penant winning, season, except it didn't happen when after starting 9-. They went down hill from there with only a few spurts of wining more than losing, but always surrounded by losing more than winning, often getting swept in series.

As of September 2nd (before tonight's game), the Mariners are 52-81, the second worst record in the American League and even baseball. At this pace, they'll finish somewhere between 95 and 101 loses, just like three of the last five years after their record setting 116-46 season, only to lose in the divisional playoff.

What does it mean? Well, for me, I stopped watching them sometime in August and only really watch when nothing else was on TV or I was working and listened to the on the radio. For now I don't plan to watch or listen very often except maybe the last game to see if they can at least look good going out of the door as a disappointing team for the fans. All their promises in the spring never bloomed beyond buds of hope and then died.

There's always hope for next year, but how much is that worth when you know their track record isn't all that good?