Saturday, December 31, 2011

Really, Enough Already

This weekend (December 30th to January 1st) there are 15 bowl games in 3 days. Yes, just about half of them for the college football bowl game season. Where does it end? Ok, obviously after the BCS championship game, but that's the not question. Have you looked at the matchups for the games?

Why do we have teams with .500 records, and some worse, in bowl games? What did they do to deserve being in a bowl game. Why can't we simply just let only the teams which made the BCS final standing play to get good teams to watch? Why do we have teams which finished outside the top two or three in the league in bowl games, many with only one or two losses above .500.

The college bowl season is absurd, mostly because many of the teams don't deserve a post season bowl game, but really because it's about the money. Outside of the top BCS games, that drives the selection for the rest of the bowl games, and that's the reason the games are absurd. It's not about college footbal but money to the college.

And that is why I don't watch any bowl game. No bowl games are enough for me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Big Brother & Holding Co.

I was thinking about all the talk this year about Amy Winehouse and her life and death. And while I've listened to some of her songs and think she's a very good singer, especially with quite an attitude, I still can't put her above Janis Joplin as she sang and the band played on this album. And it's not just memory and not that I still like Janis and her albums, especially "Cheap Thrills."

The reason I think is in the style which to me makes the difference. Janis didn't come on stage to present an attitude or style in her singing like Amy Winehouse. Janis just sang her heart out, like on "Summertime" and "Ball and Chain", and I don't see Amy could have done that. Maybe in her own style, but not for the song, the pure song. I just don't see it with Amy.

I realize Amy had her style with some really good songs, but personally, I'll listen to this album anytime over Amy's. But then that's me, a child of the 60's and a lover of the San Francisco sound. Add a little help in the way of drugs, and it only got better (yes, been there done that).

Ah, old age and good times then, when young.

Cans of Chicken

I decided to try a very small experiment. The local grocery store sells both Swanson and Hormel white meat chicken in 12.5 oz. net weight cans. Ok, so I bought one of both (actually more but this is the resultant average) to see which has more chicken. All weights in ounces.

                                                         Hormel                    Swanson

Gross weight of can -                   15 oz                        15 3/8 oz
Weight w/o Water -                    10 7/8 oz                 10 3/8 oz
Weight of Water -                         4 1/8 oz                    5 oz
Empty Can -                                   2 5/8 oz                     2 3/8 oz
Weight of Chicken -                      8 1/4 oz                    8 oz

This means of the 12 1/2 oz of net weight a little over one third is water. I did this experiment with Swanson's smaller old and new cans and discovered they added more water for the larger can with less chicken. Sneaky. Now it's clear if you're using a recipe with weight of ingredients, don't trust the can. And I don't know but it sure starts to sound like very expensive water in those cans.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

USA Today Says it All

This from today's (12/22/11) political cartoon. Kinda' the way the Obama administration is going, talk human, civil and personal rights, liberties and protections while subversively doing the opposite. Obama is a fraud when it comes to promising to protect our rights while fighting terrorism.

The war isn't against the citizens, all of us, but the terrorists, and we don't need to be thought and treated as the enemy, but you continue to do that while talking freedom. It's a sham and a shame. But what choices do we have? What alternatives to you? The Republicans?

So why have you taken former President Bush's war against citizens and not only continued but increased it with laws, actions and arrests. We are not the enemy. So why do you treat us like we are your enemy? Isn't your job, being elected by us, to protect us? And the above law in the cartoon protect us?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Democrats

Dear Democrats,

Don't hold federal employees and retirees as hostages or fodder with the Republicans in the House and Senate to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for either short-term gains or all of next year. We too are the middle class you promise to save and support, and being fodder being "federal" is cow pasture material and we are voters too!

We are part of the "All Americans" you and the President talk about and speak of supporting, but you have frozen our salaries or annuities for two years and are talking of another two to three years, all the while our costs, like our health insurance premiums which has gone up almost 100% in the same period, and the cost of living have gone up where we've lost between 10 to 20% of the power of our money in the same period.

Is that what sacrificing means? Is that why we're political fodder for negotiations for other gains? And you really want and expect our vote in 2012 and really want and expect our political donations? What don't you understand we can't afford to support you when we can't afford basic expenses? What don't you understand we can't afford to support you when you betray us?

In short, just exactly what don't you understand we are the 99%, we are the middle class, and we are serving or have served our country in our government, your government, the people's government? What don't you understand about that?


As we're learning from the Citizens United Case, "In politics, money trumps all issues and drowns all voices. Except of course people and votes." And from the old adage, "You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all of the time." Voters eventually figure it out because in the end, they're not stupid.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Website Review

Since I updated the news, conditions and prospects for the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide I started reviewing the suite of 400+ Web pages with the photo guide and my Website. Using some software applications and some traditional walking through Web pages I discoverd over a hundred broken links to other Websites and files.

I also reviewed the very long to do list for the photo guide and Website, which is lengthy for items and time, like 8-9 months full-time work. Yeah, some items long overdue and some time intensive, all of which I had planned to be done by none until the health issues over this last year derailed the plans and work.

Well, I'm getting past those issues. Not that they're solved or I'm well, just enugh to feel better and work again, and so I will be reviewing and fixing the problems with the Web pages first and then focusing on the most important Web pages before looking at those for 2012. I don't have a timeline let alone a date for any of this work anymore, it's just work and see what gets done.

So, the work you will be seeing will be more transparent, nothing obvious except the links to other Websites and files will be working, either removed, moved or fixed. I have some files on Apple's iDisk which don't work and will be moved to my Website for easier access. Some of the links I've discovered no longer have alternative links.

Anyway, that's the news for now. The news for December applies to the rest of winter except the snowplay area at Paradise which the NPS plans to open before the Christmas holiday. I'll be posting that information and you can check the NP's Twitter page for the latest news on the roads and Paradise area.

Friday, December 2, 2011

iPhone Siri and PPA

Apples's new iPhone 4S with Siri, the voice activated answering system to find information has problems. Granted that's normal with new consumer technology when first released in devices, but what Apple has done is a load of cow pasture material. And while I own an iPhone 4G and a first-generation iPad, both of which I like, I find Apple's failure to release Siri with this problem and failure to fix it by offering excuse simply what it is, bullshit.

And that's the report when users ask to locate family planning clinics or women's reproductive healthcare services, the phone answers with other destination, clinics far away or false answers, and does not provide one correct answer to help the person who asked the question. Apple has said it's just the beginning and like many other problems, it will be fixed, it time. That's not good enough. Not for Apple and especially not for women.

This clearly raises the issues what Apple knew of this problem, because clearly any testing would have discovered it as it is a question many women, and some men, would ask, like family planning, birth control, etc., and even abortion. They had to know this was a problem, and denials don't cover the reality. Siri can find all sorts of information for all sorts of extraneous questions but not a simple useful one for women.

Apple needs to come forward with the timetable when the problem will be resolved, and soon on both, and why this problem was allowed to continue into the first production of the first iPhone 4S. This is not a small matter which you put on the list of problems to solve for the teams working on them. This is a significant and important problem which needs an immediate answer to the public and a fix for the iPhone. Not sometime when, but now and not a moment too soon.

If they don't believe that, then have all the female employees at Apple use it to find the nearest family planning clinic, the closest source for birth control information, providers or services, and the closest Planned Parenthood America clinic in need of help. And then see what they get and what they tell their employer.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mark Twain

"It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense."
                                                  - Mark Twain

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What is Wrong Here

Does this mean if you hit one going under 25mph you won't get a ticket? Sorry, just couldn't resist with this sign wondering maybe someone didn't have their coffee that morning when asked to write the text for it, "You want drivers to slow down for the protesters?" I guess stopping for them is optional.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank Us All

All veterans of all the services. Thank us all for our service to our country, the sacrifice of those who gave their life or came home injured or disabled. Thank us all for sacrificing the young years of our lives to protect our nation and the people. Thank us all for the honor of having served.

Thank every veteran you know and every veteran you see. Without all of us, without all of our sacrifice, this country wouldn't be where it is today and where it will go. Thank all those in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. Thank all for believing in our country.

Thank you to all the other veterans. I served with honor during the Vietnam War era, but I thank all those before me and all those after me. We are the ones who served and some fought to make and build this country and we are the ones to protect and defend it from all foreign enemies.

Thank us all. Today and every day.

Liquor in Washington

Voters, you just handed Costco dominate control of the liquor industry in our state. You fell for Costco's $22 Million ads to believe it was in your best interest when in fact it was in their best interest. They were 95+% of the backing for this initiative and you fell lock, stock and barrel. So I hope you realize when small liquor businesses lose jobs or go out of business because they can't compete, they'll have you to show for it.

I hope you realize that all you wanted was cheap liquor to get drunk, but don't be surprised if the prices don't change much and all you're doing is paying Costco and not the state or providing jobs to workers. Costco won't add jobs. They don't give a flying f..k about you, only what's in your wallet.

Voters, you did this to yourself and all of us. Don't expect me to say thank you, let alone shake your hand. You just screwed all of us for this, and you can bet when the facts are in down the road, I'll point at you as the one to blame. You and your ignorance and desire to help Costco and not the state or the people.

I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not betting on it. I wasn't duped, you were.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Well, give Herman Cain his due this election primary campaign.

"I don't have the facts to back this up but I know..." - You can insert any absurb political rhetorical statement of his.

"I have never acted inappropriately with anyone." - meaning, "I act as any dick would next to any hot, young, white woman."

"I do not recall what I don't know." - Ok, but it's right out of the Bill Clinton playbook, can't you be original?

Sorry, Herman, your words look, smell and feel like cow pasture material, the stuff everyone knows and avoids when walking in a field. But you don't seem to realize you did neither and brought it into the room.

Lies and denial aren't your strengths, it's obvious from the reality of it. But hey, you make really bad comedy of it.

Pryor & Cain

With respect to Herman Cain and his round with the press over sexual harassment claims, to bad Richard Pryor isn't alive anymore. I'd love to hear his take on him and his campaign. Where are the good black comics these days for political comedy and satire? Where are they when you need them? Mr. Pryor, you're really missed. The events these days could sure use your genius and perspective.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Liquor & 1183

I'm not against the privatization of the liquor industry under state regulation and oversight. I've lived in many states where it's privatized, some good and some less good. What I am against is Initiative 1183 which hands it to Costco and the big box stores, leaving the vast majority of smaller and the Mom&Pop stores out of luck.

It also cuts out most if not all of the wholesalers who won't have jobs anymore and smaller liquor producers to can't compete with the direct purchase power of Costco from the big liquor producers. It also puts all the state employees out of jobs with little or no prospect of future employment.

As much as the law says, it doesn't stop small stores and markets from selling hard liquor because of the distance to the nearest store of suffiicent size to sell liquor. Without any larger store, a smaller store will have rights to sell liquor, many where the state liquor store currently exists or new stores where they don't exist.

And as much as the law states, the income won't go directly to law enforcement and state regulators overseeing the stores. The money will go into the general revenue funds for uses determined by the state legislature and the governor's office, not to added enforcement as the ads suggest.

If we privatize the liquor industry, let's do it responsibly where every business involved has fair and equal access to compete and there are jobs for people. Everyone knows Costco and the big box stores won't add employeers to sell liquor, they'll just add the work to the existing staff. And restaurants and other outlets won't add jobs either. It's all pure profit for them, nothing added for jobs, people and families.

I voted against both initiatives when they were on the ballot last time and I'll vote against I-1183 this time. This initiative doesn't help and only hurts us in the long run. There are better ways. If we want to privatize the liquor market in this state, let's do it repsonsibly, not favoring any one industry but favoring all and the state to ensure it doesn't add to the drunk driving and other criminal offenses from alchohol.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mr Reid

Senator Reid,

Would you please stop calling Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell "your friend"? Is he really worth more to you than all the democrats in the Senate? Is he really more important than the American people? Is he really worth it to call someone a friend who has done nothing to help you, the democrats and the American people?

He's not the democrats' friend, not the friend of the American people, and certainly not the friend of America? He's not anyone's friend except the wealthy and corporations. So would you please stop calling him that and get your head out of your political ass and start helping Americans and America?

How about it? You are turning into the most ridiculous and worst democrat leader in the Senate in a generation. You are too soft. You are too easy. And you are too submissive to the republiican agenda and Mr. McConnell. You have had your political balls and head handed to you by Mr. McConnell, and what are you doing?

You're whining while calling Mr. McConnell your friend? Yes, it may be in jest, but we, you know the American people, don't see it that way. We see you caving to him and the republicans without standing up and being vocal. Being patriotic. Being for us. Being for America. You're a wimp in a democratic suit, nothing more and a lot less.

Yes, I'm angry at the situation you created in the Senate by giving into the republicans and not changing the rules to prevent filibusters to help this country and the people. You sold us out for your own career and your friend. So why not prove you're a democrat and an American? How about it?

You know what needs to be done. You know what you need to do. You know what's right. So when will you do it? How many Americans will lose their benefits, their health insurance and their jobs? How many while you keep collecting a salary while we suffer at the cost of your friend. Is that your idea of friendship?

It's not mine.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In God We Trust

The House of Representatives voted to reaffirm this is the national motto put on every coin and paper bill, "In God We Trust." Ok, I can buy that, except it's not why they were elected in 2010. Remember why they were elected? It's about jobs stupid, not taxes, money, morality, etc., just jobs. So am I ok with this bill?

Easy, God is God. Every faith, religion and belief has a God. Not their God. Just God. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism (mine) and so on down the list. All have God. Not one God specific to their religion, just God. God is God. Their God is the same Christian God. God is the God of all religions.

So the motto, "In God We Trust" is everyone's God. A God we all can put our trust and faith, spelled out on our currency, every coin and bill. Money for everyone. God for everyone. Our nation under God for everyone. Except of course athetists, agnostics, and other religion which has a different definition of God, but hey, everyone's God still loves them.

Thanks Representatives for reassuring us we of all faiths and religions put our trust in God. Not what we wanted or needed to have it reaffirmed (since it already is law) but we'll take it in good thought. Now can you get back to the business of jobs? Ok, one bill about jobs? You know to put that currency in the wages and pockets of people?

Isn't that what God would do? Isn't that what God put trust in us to do, to help others? How about it? Isn't that also God's work?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Republicans Shut Up

Republicans would you please shut up. Well, wait, let me change that. Republican would you please shut the fuck up. You are the ones creating the class warfare with your rhetoric and with you obstinance to protect the top 1% depsite over 60% of them want to pay more taxes.

But then all of you are in the top 1%, so why aren't we surprised you continue to argue for yourself. In short, it's very simple.

Stop the class warfare you created and continue.

We, the 99%, didn't create this war. We didn't create the term. We're not continuting to use it. We're fighting for fairness this country was built on. We're fighting for justice for all the criminal corruption and fraud you committed. We're fighting for America and the American people.

We're the 99%. We have rights. We have a case. We have a voice. And we have freedoms to speak our case. You're the one who created this war, we're simply fighting it for all the 99%'ers.

Friday, October 28, 2011


With respect to Mississippi's new proposed referendum to define "personhood" in law at the moment of conception (fertiization), I have only one view. Personhood starts with a live birth, anything else regarding a pregnancy no matter the outcome short of live birth, is not personhood. To put it very simply.

A person must first be born.

Nothing less. Mississippi voters, vote no on Initiative 26. Read about it, talk with women about it, and consider the consequence should it pass. Is that what you want your government to do? Think about it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

WTF Moments

Some real WTF thoughts.

First, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell railed at the President this week for "campaigning" than doing his job to help the unemployment problem in this county. He said it's time the President got back to work to give them something to consider. Really Mr. McConnell?

He delivered the Senate and you a jobs bill. He delivered the House and Speaker Mr. Boehner a jobs bill. Yes, a reall bill to create jobs, lots of jobs, about $450 billion worth of jobs. Is that what you asked from the President? Is that what you said he should do? Isn't that what you wanted?

Oh, I forgot, you already know this. You already know because you have a copy of the bill on your desk. You already know what you saying is a lie. A big, fat lie. And you call yourself what? I would call you a liar, but then that's what all politicians are and what all politicians do. But you already know that too.

It's all an act for the media and for your voting base. But for the rest of us, it's cow pasture material, you know the stuff you know what it look like, what it smells like and you try not to step in it. But then you reek of it. That's some we alreayd know, and why we don't believe you beyond the smell of your words.

Second, after the tragedy in Ohio over the wild animal sanctuary where the own of 56 animals let them go and then commited suicide. John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, refused to renew a bill this last spring for the Department of National Resources (DNR) to regulate these farms and wild animal auctions.

And this is what happened. The DNR would have discovered the farm and extent of the animals he had on his farm, and they likely would have shut him down. So did the governor reinstate the rules and regulations? No. He signed an executive order to control animal cruelty.

Wait, the new order would create is a violation of regulation to be cruel to animals? And how would this law have effected this farm and the owner? Remember he commited suicide. You can't prosecute a dead person. Wait, the governor did this for show, not animals, but politics, to say, "See I did something." But the something is empty, nothing beyond fake good intentions.

Then there is Senator Rubio who embellished family history. After being caught in a lie he used to help his campaign as a child of exiled Cuban parents, except his parents left Cuba before Castro returned to Cuba and start the revolution. He told this story over and over, posted it on his Website and made it the story of his family.

And we're supposed to be forgiving? We're supposed to still think he's an honest man? Wait, he's a Senator, lying is automatic to them. I often wonder if they get shots when they take their oath which makes lie and makes them immune from knowing they're lying. Lying simply becomes the only thing they know.

Don't get me started on the presidential campaign, it's full of WTF moments and we still have another year to go. Can I not watch TV when anything campaign comes on? You almost can't get away from all this crap, but at least I don't have to smell it through the TV.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Random Thoughts

Why is truth and honesty the first casualties of election campaigns? Yeah, it's rhetorical, but wouldn't it be nice if it weren't true?

If it's called Department of Defense, why is all of what they do offensive in nature? Why is it defense when we're attacking people in other nations?

Why are we spending more on the military than the rest of the world combined and not seeing them as one source of our bad economy draining the tax money away from domestic needs?

When we (US) will realize we're the world's worst enemy. The biggest asshole on the planet.

Why are those who created the class warfare the ones blaming the other side for calling it class warfare when we didn't?

Why are both parties in Congress owned by the corporations and not the people? Oh, yeah, right, money. They're rich and we're not. So why do we keeping voting for them?

Why do republican politicians keep saying 50% of us don't pay taxes when it's a fact everyone pays taxes. Taxes from local, city/county and state taxes to federal taxes for goods and services and for income. Why do we keep tolerating these people lying?

Why does the Senate majority leader Harry Reid keep allowing the Republicans to filibuster bills when a majority of the Senate wants to pass the bill?

He's had several opportunities to change the rule and he hasn't. He's had promises by the Republicans not to put holds on judicial appointments and filibuster certain types of bills and they've reniged every time, and quickly too. And he continues to let them do it.

Why do the democratic senators tolerate him as their leader?

He's not doing his job. He's not helping the party. He's not helping America and the American people. He's letting them run him over every time. As a leader he's a wimp and the democrats don't have the balls to replace him. So why should we vote for them?

Why can one Senator become the majority?

There is a rule which has allowed one, Senator Rand Paul, to block two years of work on the No Child Left Behind law by the Senate education committe to address the 74 amendments he has or wants to propose. There are 144 amendments to the new version but Senatore Paul wants his first, so he's stopped all work until they agree to his terms.

How can one company, Costco, run the state government out of the liquor business?

Easy, by contributing $22 Million, over 95% of the funding for state initiative I-1183. I oppose this initiative because it will expand liquor sales to a huge variety of retail outlets and put the enforcement burden on the state.

Why would anyone put their checking account on their iPhone?

There's an ad for in iPhone app showing people transferring money between their and a friend's checking account with a touch of the screen. Set the amount and to whom and the money is transferred. Someone can steal your iPhone, add their account, transfer all your money, delete the account and trash the phone.

All in a few minutes and nothing you could do can stop it. You're toast by your own app.

Why do we have two prototype and sports car series in the US, the American LeMans Series (ALMS) and Rolex Grand Am series?

The ALMS only has 8 races each year, including the world famous Sebring 12-hour race, but many of the teams race the equivalent European series which is more extensive and competitive. The Grand Am series has 12 races, including the famous 24-hour Daytona race. Each series uses different technical specifications for the cars where the prototypes aren't compatible but the sports cars are sufficiently similar for teams to run in each.

We used to have one series until 2000 when the Grand Am series split over the type of cars above the sports cars, meaning the "prototype" cars, the Grand Am series using common chassis "spec" cars (currently 4 companies) and manufacturer motors. The ALMS uses manufacturer designed and built chassis and motors (currently only a few European companies, Audi, Peugot, Aston Marin, etc.).

As a fan of European racing, I'd like to see the two combine into common classes for both to run together. I doubts that's possible but it sure would make it easier to know and watch.

Monday, October 17, 2011


This is one way cool album. Great, beautiful voice, intricate sounds and actually audible lyrics. You can hear an interview of her with Scot Simon on NPR's Saturday Morning Edition, here. The preview of the songs on iTunes doesn't do the album, songs and her justice. She's worth the deluxe edition. Enjoy it, I am.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Going to Lion

Well, I finally broke down and upgraded my Mac Pro from Snow Leopard (OS-X 10.6.8) which I like to Lion (OS-X 10.7 and updated to 10.7.2). I bought the thumb drive version as I wanted the physical version if the download went south (read a few stories) and the reality of downloading it on a DSL would really take time, let alone to install it.

That said I started yesterday (Saturday) afternoon about 1 pm and by 4:30 pm had most of it done, only needing to watch it for the overnight stuff (backups) and to followup on the small things and check the remaining applications to get updates if necessary and a few were necessary.

So what did I learn?

For one, you can almost make it replicate the look and feel of Snow Leopard which was my real goal. Lion has the Launch Pad and Mission Control which sits on the far left of the dock (on my Mac) which I simply ignore. I have other apps which do the same thing and better (eg. XMenu for the former and function key F12 for the dashboard). And sadly it's one of those things you can't trash it or face real consequences.

For another some Apple apps changed but not for the better, just different and worse in some ways. I liked the older iCal app, the new one is iPhone/iPad like and it sucks. And yes I have one of each where it does a good job but nothing to write home about as a cool app.

I never used the desktop calendar on the iPad the Lion one is style after in Lion. I simply like the old iCal. The only good thing about the new version is the print option is still the same, producing page size copies I post on the refrigerator to keep track and write notes I don't put in iCal.

The E-mail program is new but you can still get the "classic" look which I switched back to, but there are some tweaks which I don't like, which are defaults you can't change, only switching it everytime with the menu option. One is viewing mail thread. I don't like reading all of them in one window, and you have to switch the view option to see just one at a time.

Another is the Finder window. Well, again, the older version is better. I really liked the border and the bottom pane with the pathname. The new one gives more to click on but simply makes you stop and think too often when trying to look for information, like the pathname (see below), which was displayed on the bottom. They added some features which were formerly third party apps (Get Info button), but not the "Go2Shell" app which still works.

The other option is to buy a third party finder window application. I use Pathfinder which has a lot more features and tools than Apple's, one being multiple windows in one window and two window view to manage files across HD's and folders. It's worth the purchase from the Apple store or their Website.

One of the dumbest things was the widgets. Lion breaks all of them and the widget management tool too so you can't do or change anything. You're stuck and you have to trash the file at:


Then go to the folder /Users/sknowles/Library/Preferences/Widgets and remove all the widgets there. Then after rebooting manage the widget to add all of them back and get new ones from Apple's Widget download page. You have to completely rebuild your widgets. Since I only had a few anyway (don't use dashboard much) it wasn't hard, just irritating.

As for some smaller things, the console window is different, and again like all the new stuff, not better, just different. I wish they had the "classic" look option for many of the basic apps, eg. iCal, E-mail, Finder, etc. The new look doesn't do much for me, just something to get used to using.

One really irritating thing for photographers. All the color calibration tools and software works with Lion but doesn't work with Lion. Yeah really. It turns out the color calibration tools (I use DataColor Spyder 3 since Spyder 2 wasn't Lion compatible but others I've read have the same problem) use a RunTime Environment package incompatible with the one in Lion which isn't current.

So you have to get an update to the RTE (free) to update Lion but then discover the software doesn't work with the new RTE where some features and tools bail out or crash and generate lots of error messages. Those companies need to update their software for the newer RTE and Lion 10.7.2 now. Let's hope they do.

As has been advertised, Apple dropped Rosetta which many applications used as an interface, usually to run on both PPC's and Intel Mac's. And all those apps won't work under Lion, which shows you with a symbol over the icon face. This includes all of Adobe's Creative Suite (CS) 2 apps (which I used two) and some small internal apps in some later CS apps (3, 4 and 5.x).

I was happy to learn National Geographic TOPO! application works, the features and tools I've used. This is odd since NG advertised it wouldn't and they were still only thinking about updating it. They don't need to do that but they should as it has some really bad quirks, like you can't "hide" - it freezes the app and your screen if you accidently to. You have to keep it open and quit/close.

I compared the three major topographic and GPS map applications and NG's is still the best for my use and interests.

Another change is the appearances of many windows. Apple now uses a kinda' faded gray look for buttons which is dumb. You can't change it (I liked the old version). Safari has some problems with the preferences, it keeps forgetting the home page URL in the user settings and starts with a blank page instead. I also prefer the old download window than the new upper right corner popup box.

But there is one really cool feature with Safari under Lion. It has forward and backward Web page scrolling with your mouse or trackpad. It's cool if you're wandering Website and move back and forth between pages, but not so when you working on one like entering information or writing and you accidently scroll back. Oops is the operative word, so use it with care but it's cool.

They also changed the scroll to a hidden one which appears when you need it. Again, I prefer the old style I can see there is more to a window than having to check the right margin or try to scroll to see if there is more to scroll and it doesn't display. It does display in some apps but not all of them, which again, is confusing.

The big thing Apple advertised about Lion is iCloud. Well, it's nice if you want it and use it. I don't, and gladly the preferences pane allows you to just turn it off and keep it off. In short never use it for now. I will have to eventually for my Mobile Me and iDisk account. I store a variety of files there which iCloud doesn't offer now.

There's rumors they may but they haven't yet, but the problems is that these files are used for public sharing and backup which iCould won't offer, only sharing across your devices, which I don't need. I keep my iPhone and iPad updated through iTunes on the Mac and don't have the interest to have some iCloud server (in North Carolina) holding my information) or have automatic up/download between the devices.

This is because I use the Mac for all my purchases through Apple, either the App store or iTunes. And I don't want everything on my Mac on those other devices. The music alone would break them as I learned. I want my Mac to be the center of the work and the iPhone and iPad just limited extensions.

On another note, I would recommend you limit your app purchases through the Apple store for apps which don't use serial numbers or licenses. All of the better or more expensive apps are better bought through the companies' Websites, since new versions, upgrades or updates are always available sooner. Some companies will convert yours with the reciept, but most won't, and many don't provide versions, updates or other tools (eg. subscriptions) through Apple store.

Anyway, that's it. I still have some small stuff to sort out as I work over the next week. Would I recommend the upgrade? Only if you don't want or like to be left behind with updates every company has these days. Many now and almost all major applications for Mac's in the future will be OS-X 10.7 and later, only 10.6.x if you're lucky.

There's some stuff I don't like about Lion, but I'll adjust and adapt, or I'll find a better third party app. That said, you can live without Lion for awhile, but eventually you will upgrade or face an obsolete Mac (been there with my 2006 PPC which took a week to transfer to this Mac Pro for Snow Leopard), so sooner ain't as bad as you think.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I am a 99 Percenter

I am a 99%'er. I am retired in December 2005 from a 32 year career with the federal government, 4 years with the USAF during the Vietnam war and 28 years with the U.S. Geological Survey. My post-retirement plan was to start and build a small, personal photography business and develop a photography guide to Mt. Rainier NP, first a Website, then a general guide book and then some iphone/ipad apps.

I was doing fine until the recession when the cost of the work start to strip my savings I set aside for my business. And then President Obama froze the annuities of all federal retirees starting in 2010 and will last through 2012 and likely through at least 2014 as both parties fight for political advantage making us fodder.

But in the last two years, while my annuity is frozen the cost of living, namely health, auto and other nsurance, rent, utilities, food, etc. has increased 8-10% per year and will continue, I'm not getting any increases in my annuity to help. Simply put, I'm losing money quickly.

To compensate I'm eating through my retirement savings I had for my business, life and emergencies, and in a few years it will be down to its minimum. To compensate I use my credit, and it's increasing faster than I can pay it down. Yes, I created it, but it was with the plan I could afford it, or thought so in 2009 when things looked reasonable.

While I'm still somewhat solvent, if things don't change, like the economy and getting increases to my annuity to overcome the losses and pay for the cost of living, I will be in serious financial trouble in a few years. Just like everyone else in my situation. And then what will I do?

I will join the poor who live month to month and hope nothing serious or major happens to me because I can't afford it. The reality of a good retirement is gone now, thanks to President Obama and the Democrats for not standing up for us and not fighting the Republicans.

So what will you do Mr. President? What will you do for us?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Saving An Inch

Update.--This week I noticed the loaves of this bread are back to the former length. I'm not sure why or what happened to cause the change and back, but after comparing some older bags, thinking they may have just shortened the bag, they didn't, so the inch is back.

Really saving an inch and a quarter (1 1/4"). I buy locally made bread, mostly from the Macrina bakery, and more specifically their Sour Ficelle baguette bread. It's neat for snacks and other stuff (soups, etc.). But recently I noticed the bread didn't seem to take as long to eat, meaning it seemed shorter. So I remember I had some old bags I kept for reason I don't know, but when I compared them by folding them across the top of the label, the bag was shorter, as seen above (same length from label to top of bag).

When I turned them over I noticed to hide the the shorter length the simply folded and taped on the back, as seen below. All in all the bread is just over an inch shorter, going from a 16" loaf to a 14 3/4" loaf.

I can't argue if the company is pressed for revenue and any meager profit (the bakery is not wealthy, just a small, local business) and this is a good way to do it, just make slighly smaller loaves, about 9% with this one type of loaf. It's more a sign of the times and companies keep prices the same while simply selling less.

I saw this with my paper towels which have gone from 165 sheets two years ago to 138 sheets last year and now to 128 sheet this year. Same price, just fewer sheets, so you buy more and the company makes more money. All in the name of profit, fewer employees, less product but more money and profit.

But then compared to Japan, we're living cheaply.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Big Camera Sale

Click for larger view

I finally got around to working on the images for the photography equipment sale. Apologies to the people who have contacted me about some of the lenses. The images of each piece in the sale are coming soon along with descriptions on the Web page for the photo equipment sale.

This is roughly about 80% of my manual focus Minolta equipment I've collected since 1969. I'm keeping a few of the cameras and lenses, some for personal reasons, like my first cameras and lenses, and some for being eceletic stuff I like, such as a brand new XD-11 (in the box) and is a joy to use.

You're always welcome to inquiry for specific pieces of equipment. I have some and sadly haven't done well following up to them about the lenses. I have no excuses, only reasons, which aren't that good. But that said I expect to get some of the images on-line soon. Considering the extent of the equipment, as you can see above, it's a lot of work.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Consider the Possibility

Consider all the terrorism and counter-terrorism experts, specialists and analyists have a vested interest to continue the "war on terrorism" and have a need to continue the government funding for their work. The size of the intelligence and counter-terrorism community, all of the government agencies, companies and organizations, has more than doubled in the last few years and several fold since 9/11.

In short, all of everything they're saying is more of selling us fear of an enemy who is small compared to us, a threat to every American everywhere, and the suspicion that all of us Americans are terrorists. All this is to keep all of us paying them to protect us from an imaginary enemy they keep secret from us, and keeps allowing them to consider us terrorist to conduct secret investigations without a supeona.

We are no more at risk from terrorist than from being hit by something falling from the sky. We're spending billions of dollars on a whole structure built on this imaginary threat. It's been inflated beyond reality to a fantasy. And unless we decide to come to that reality we won't change it.

We are far more at risk from criminals, bad drivers, illnesses and diseases, and natural events than from terrorists. And I don't see the government protecting us anymore than usual. So why such extraordinary measures and costs for terrorists? Because it's the government-industry complex President Eisenhower warned us about when he left office in 1960.

Consider when the US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a CIA drone attack in Yemen. Shortly after that the White House said all Americans should be warned that terrorists may attack Americans, especially overseas. They killed the cleric for his words, not his actions, and now all of us must pay the price of fear and imaginary threats.

It only leads me to believe the enemy aren't the terrorists, it's our own government. When will we get it back? Or will we realize they've won and our democratic republic is lost?

A Question

In our "war on terrorism" and our fight against terrorists around the world has politics and more so morality replaced reality, common sense and our respect for the rule of law?

Or is it a statement of the obvious or a rhetorical question?

No Mr. Obama

Your targeted killing of US-born al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki by the CIA was illegal. I won't argue the Mr. al-Awlaki was the enemy and it would be hard to arrest and extradite him on charges for this alleged actions (remember innocent until guilty?), but that doesn't give you the right to ignore the Constitution.

The Department of Justice has made the case your decision was legal in the war on terrorism, the now (since 2001) permanenet persistent war we will never quit because it's political expedient, but that justification is the same as when the DOJ disavowed the rules regarding prisoners under the Geneva Convention and the legal right to torture.

There is no difference in that you, like Mr. Bush, decided the Constitution doesn't exist for you and your decisions, and you have decided any American citizen can be killed without due process supposedly guarranteed under the Constitution. It doesn't matter how bad any citizen they are, they're all still citizens with rights, which you can ignore.

All you have for evidence is that he incited violence against Americans and the United States and may, note may, have been involved in operations of some of the attempted attacks or attacks. But you have said all that evidence is classified and we will never see the inside of a court, so we will never know, let alone a court, to decide his fate under the law.

Remember the laws we all live under? Yeah, those laws. You have clearly abdicated your responsibilities as President to uphold the Constitution, as you had your hand on the Bible and swore to defend. You are no different and no better, maybe even worse, than Mr. Bush and his illegal actions against people, anyone they wanted anywhere in the world.

You long lost my vote but now you have lost my respect. And who's next in your list of citizens to kill? Or will we not know until you announce they were terrorists and then when asked about evidence you say, "Trust me." Sorry, you've lost my trust for being a nation which is a signatory to the international standard, the Geneva Concention.

Remember that? Right, you don't believe in human rights for prisoners. You don't believe in due process. You make me wonder if you really believe in this country for which it stands.

National Geographic and TOPO

National Geographic (NG) produces a great map software application (TOPO!) with USGS 1:24,000 topographic maps. I've used it when it was made by the predecessor company. I had to buy a new version when I upgraded my Mac Pro to Snow Leopard when there was not available upgrade for the older software.

Now the NG has decided to "investigate the possibility of releasing an update" about an upgrade to Lion (OS-X 10.7), see the statement on their Website:

"Thank for your interest in National Geographic Maps. National Geographic TOPO! software is not currently compatible with Macintosh’s latest OS Lion 10.7 We are currently investigating the possibility of releasing an update to add capability for this new OS but nothing has been decided at this time. In the event that we are able to add compatibility an update will be posted on our upgrades page downloads. Please check this site in the future for a possible update."

Apple has had the developer version of OS-X 10.7 (Lion) out for over a year now and they're just starting to consider to work on an update, maybe? All the customers using or will use Lion for Mac laptop and desktop computers and they're just thinking? Each state of TOPO! cost about $70. That's a lot of customers out of a good product either as new or an upgrade.

That's not NG's standard and customer service. I would readily recommend this software before but since I'm upgrading to Lion soon, and it's the only software which isn't Lion compatible or an upgrade available, and being a necessary application for my work on the Google maps with my photo guide, I won't recommend it until they have a Lion compatible version.

I won't upgrade to Lion until NG has an upgrade or I find a equal or better application which is Lion compatible. Until then NG needs to get their customer service act together.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Long Season Over

Well, the Seattle Mariners finished 67 wins and 95 losses, the 6th losing season in the last 8 years, and all but one with over 90 losses. And Ichiro didn't get 200 hits for the first time in his 11-year US major league career. The team played hard and well but they were simply overmatched most of the time, even with Felix Hernandez pitching.

And while it's nice to say there's always next year, and Eric Wedge did a good job as manager considering all the young players the team had, it's clear the problem is more upstairs. Not their heads but the head of the Mariners, namely the General Manager and the President, but most the former who orchestrates the trades, acquistions (players) and contracts.

He's clearly not up to the job because he keeps buying older players who fail to perform for the team, but then do far better with other teams, eg. Eric Bedard, Shone Figgins, Casey Kotchman, etal. And building from prospects and minor league players, the so-called "from within the organization" only goes so far as we saw this year. And to give the GM a new 3-year contract, it's a, "What are they thinking?", except to keep putting less than a top winning team on the field for the next three years.

Ever since the record setting team of 2001 who won 116 games, losing only 46 and winning at least 20 games every month but one, they have only had two winning seasons and both times finished second in the National League West. We have hope and a future, but then it all went south as they say and we've been going that direction since then. Thats shows it's not the players so much as who puts the team together to get top players who don't perform to their career level.

But that's all games gone by and all we have now is next spring when the 2012 season starts. I'll still be there but this time, like all the fans, we want a pennant and nothing less. And we don't want a GM who short-sells the time on quality players, young or old. Many young players did well, but you can't build on that alone, look at the 2001 team roster to see it.

For now it's just hope and speculation.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Don't Be Fooled On 1183

The proponents of initiative I-1183 are trying to convince you this initiative is good for everyone in Washington, especially residents and consumers. It's a sham, pure and simple. While they argue the opponents are funded by the wholesale distributors who would be cut out if I-1183 passes, it's biggest funder and proponent is Costco. Yes the big retail store chain.

They're backing this to sell cheap liquor to everyone and dump the cost of enforcing the drunk driving laws on the State and local city and county governments. Us the taxpayers will foot the bill for the flood of cheap liquor. They're backing it to cut out wholesalers who will lose the business and the small stores who can not compete with the big box stores.

And against what they say, it won't prevent convenience stores with or without a gas station to sell hard liquor if they meet the requirements, such as in areas where there is not easy access to store which would otherwise sell liquor, meaning most rural areas where buyers can still get liquor at state operated stores.

Do you really want hard liquor to be as easily accessible everywhere and at any time of day or night around the state? That's what I-1183 would do, and then push the enforcement on the state and local governments promising they'll increase staff to handle the work. Really? In a time of state budget crisis, can we expect the state and local government to hire more law enforcement officers?

Do you really want Costco to dominate and control the sale of liquor in the state? That's what I-1183 will do, change the state to private corporations to control, to simply create monopolies on liquor? Yes, the state is now the monoply but at least it's ou4 monoply, profitable for the people, employs people, and is managed to prevent sales outside store hours.

Costco and corporations will not add any employees under this initiative and put a number of state and contract employees out of work in a time of a recession. Those people won't get their jobs back or jobs at Costco. Who speaks for them? Who speaks for the wholesalers and all their employees who will lose to big box distributors?

Initiative 1183 is the typical corporate giveaway at taxpayers expense and pushes the cost of the consequences to the taxpayers. That's not something we need for all of us. We rejected this same measure two years ago. The legislature tried to sneak it through last year and failed in the face of the publicity. And now we have to face it again.

It's time to send them a strike three NO!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Gotta Have One

Saw this in passing. It's not only cute but a gotta have item. Except it's only sold in Hong Kong and Mainland China and the companies listed in search engines don't have a good reputation to give them any money, let alone a credit card number. Even eBay only has the same companies for the lamp. It's not an expensive lamp, all plastic and runs on AA batteries.

Oh well, maybe someday it will show up in the US or elsewhere to actually buy one. Yes, even old folks like cheap cute things.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dear Rachael Maddow

Dear Ms. Maddow,

Listening to your show on MSNBC, it's interesting how excited you are about the end of DADT, and for good reason, both for the military which has never shown the policy worked but actually hurt, and for personal reasons as a lesbian. It's a step forward, as a veteran myself, who has never had a problem with gays or lesbian in the military or in life. It's about respecting people and human beings.

But you have never mentioned DADT never addressed transpeople (transgender people meaning those with GID or live as the other gender 24/7) and the repeal doesn't protect them now. They are still banned fron enlisting. They are still banned from coming out, where they will face discharge if they do. They will still never get all the medical care they need.

Did you do a story when transgender organizations got the President to issue an executive order about transpeople, abolishing discrimination in government service against transpeople and recommending a repeal of discrimination by health insurance companies in the FEHB against medical care for transpeople. It was a significant step for transpeople, you overlooked.

History has shown you and the whole LGB community have forgotten and will continue to forget transpeople and the transgender community when it's expedient. And where will you be and what will you say to get transpeople free in to be out in the military and get the medical care they need for their transition. We're not talking a lot of people, but enough. Is a voice too much to ask?

You did an excellent, albeit with some misinformation, 2 minute segment when Amanda Simpson, an out post-transition women, was appointed by President Obama to a top position in the Department of Commerce. But how many segments have you done for transpeople since in comparison with segments about gay and lesbians? Granted there won't be a lot but why not a few more on important issues effecting them?

Will you? Or will you speak up only when the far right raise an issue against a very public issue about transpeople. I'm not arguing against, I actually appreciate, your segments on transpeople, but the transpeople need your help too. Or will you as most LGB people and organizations, including the HRC and Representative Barney Franks, forget transpeople because it interfers with their agenda and goals?

Two recent changes of note could have easily be covered on your show. The Veterans Administration changed their policy on the treatment of transgender people, including adding some of the care associated with transitions. The Office of Personnel Management, from the President's decision, announced rights and protections for transgender employees as well as a recommnedation to remove the exclusion for transition care under the Federal Employees Health Benefit plan for 2012

While the former went into effect, the latter won't be known until the health insurers release their plans this December for the coming year. For those whose need the transition care, it's a milestone which could help them for the major costs associated with a transition, especially the final surgery to get the marker on their birth certificate changed.

Those are two advancements, long fought and greatfully appreciated by the transgender community, came with only modest support of the LGBT community. It wasn't a LGB issue, so they weren't there, but the trangender community knew this would happen and succeded without them.

That's the history of transpeople, being told to help LGBT issues but only when the issue involves LGB ones, leaving T-only issues to transpeople and transgender organizations. And while you have a good record there, you don't have a great one when you I see all the segments on gays and lesbians and their issues.

So, what will you do now with DADT and the military for transgender people?

Respectfully yours, Scott.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Really Republicans?

Listening to House Speaker Boehner today, I have ask you, do you really think that cutting corprorate tax rates to its lowest in history, cutting taxes on the wealthy, cutting regulations, cutting government spending, cutting, cutting and more cutting is the answer to jobs? Really?

We had 8 years of Bush with all those tax cuts, and we lost jobs, millions over his 8-year administration. We had 8 years of Bush cutting regulations and we lost jobs. We had 8 years of increasing the cost and size of government, yes increase, and we still lost jobs. And now President Obama is at best adding jobs and at worst not losing them.

So what's the difference? President Bush increased the national debt more than any president and passed on a 2009 deficit which added even more (remember the first year of any new president is the previous president budget the new president can't change). And we're worried about Obama deficits?

Reagan and Bush increased the debt every year of their administrations. Presidents Carter and Clinton had near-balanced budgets and even suprpluses some years, the surpluses Reagan and Bush blew and ran a deficit spending increasing the national debt. And you think the Republicans are better at balancing budgets and creating jobs?

Really? Where's the proof? Not the rhetoric. Not the political hype. Not the lies told by politicians. None of that. Only proof. And where is the proof?

Think about it. Do the Republicans tell the truth? The ran the 2010 election campaigns on jobs. Speaker Boehner promised the first order of the House was jobs. Well, we're in the third quarter of his first year of tenure as speaker and there have been no jobs bills from the House. Not even one in the committees.

When Boehner said the was "job creating bills" was his top priority, Ok, where have you been? You only argued against the President and Democrat's bills. You haven't offered any bill of your own, any of the Republican majority, and any of anyone's in the House. None. Where are your bills Mr. Boehner?

Do you really want to elect the Republicans to run the House? Do you really want to elect a President like Perry, Romney, etal who keep saying the same thing as Boehner, only worse? Do you really want to gamble with your and our future on promises they can't specify beyond hype and rhetoric, or just criticism of President Obama?

Hell, anyone can promise anything in a campaign. Even Obama promised a lot he hasn't started let alone done. I'm mad at him. We didn't need a mamoth healthcare bill. We needed jobs. We needed to get out of our wars. We needed to balance the budget without hurting Americans.

In a recession that's almost impossible. Well, actually impossible now and for a few years. And actually impossible for years if the Republicans keep the House. Really? Have you heard any one them talk about specific bills to create jobs? Other than cutting everything?

Remember the Republicans have only one agenda, defeat President Obama. And they'll trash this economy to blame it on him. When President Obama sent his jobs bill to the Congress, what did Boehner say and do? He said it won't happen and the answer lies in cutting. Yeah, cutting.

Anything to keep from bringing it up even in committee. He'll let it die before he does anything, so he can argue it's Obama's fault. Like how when you won't help? Or do you really want to help the wealthy and corporations? Just your friends?

And that's American? That's Patriotic? That's good for the country, the people? We know the truth. We're not that stupid, and you can bet we'll be vocal. You can look good, sound important but we know you're a fraud, you're just a tan in a suit, you're nothing more than wind.

To everyone else, is this what you call government? Is this what you want more of after 2012? Is he who you want in charge of the House? Think about it. Think about it before you say you won't vote for Obama. I don't like Obama, but I don't like the republicans far more because they're not doing anything to help this country, the people and the President.

Think about what will work to create jobs and then think who will do that, and not who will do nothing but whine.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No on I-1183

This November Washington voters will be asked again to vote on an initiative to privatize the wholesale and retail liquor industry, and give companies and retail outlet the legal right to sell hard liquor throughout the state of Washington. I voted against the two initiatives last time, one sponsored by the wholesalers and one sponsored by retailers, namely Costco.

This initiative is an updated version of the Costco one last time, with some accomodation to the state which wasn't in the first one and was only narrowly defeated by voters. The retailers, again namely Costco, tried to get the legistlature to do what the voters wouldn't do but that also failed with the effort became public and the political fallout was too much for the legislators.

And now we have a bill Governor Gregoire signed which gives the state the option to contract liquor stores to private companies. This is a sneaky attempt to do the the voters said no, and the Governor had to step back to say it only gave the state the option and didn't mandate anything. She stepped on a voter sensitive issue and while she's a departing Governor next year, she may have thought it was a good thing but then backtracked.

Yet the bill is now law and who doesn't expect the state to quietly transfer the operation and management of some less viable or profitable liquor stores to private companies. We won't know or realize it until it's done and we find the store under private ownership (contract). Again, she found a backdoor way to get done what the voters said no.

In reality the state runs the liquor stores the most efficient way for the people. Maybe not the consumer but consider what the past initiatives and now this one would do to liquor in this state. It would essentially allow all retail outlets to sell hard liquor anywhere in the state for all the hours of their operation, including 24-hour gas station markets.

Let's not kid ourselves with the sales pitch for this initiative. It argues the money would be spent on law enforcement to fight illegal liquor sales and drunk drivers. Like we need more of this in our communities? And will the state actually spend the money for more law enforcement officers in a time of a recession when politicians are arguing for reducing the number of state employees?

And let's face the reality of what it would do to liquor. Yes, it would sell more as Costco would drive prices of liquor into the ground to sell more and try to drive the competition out of business. And their goal is to dominate the wholesale side to ship in directly from producers and companies, eliminating wholesalers along with other retailers. Cheaper wholesale means cheaper retail. And cheap liquor is good for the state and the people?

We know on the retail side it's unlkely they will drive competition out of business as those will add liquor to their sales inventory and sell what customers buy or find available. We also know, as they have said, that many remote or rural areas will actually lose the liquor stores as there are few, if any, retailers who will offer liquor, and they could easily raise prices to fit the demand, like customers have a choice.

While I can't drink alcohol, or very little (like a few times a year at most due to a genetic prediposition for Hemochromotosis) and I'm against drunkenness, especially drunk drivers (my brother was an functioning alcoholic and died of a heart attack at 48 from that and smoking 2 packs a day), I'm not against the social use of alcohol so long as it's not destructive to others or property.

Yeah, right as the man said taking another drink, "I know how to control my drinking, I do it all the time." Ok, it's the reality I live with. I choose not to drink these day but I also choose to socialize with friends who do. I used to drink a beer on Friday nights at the tavern. It's where some of the best conversation happen. Really. Ok, until we wake up Saturday morning with a hangover remembering nothing.

But I've wandered. I'm still against this initiative as I was against the last two. The state is the best choose to regulate, manage and sell hard liquor in this state. It works and still helps the state with revenue and jobs. The backers of this initiative have said it won't change the revenue side but it will change the jobs side. Do we really expect them to replace the state workers at retail outlets, or just add the work to existing employees?

So, I've already decided to vote no on I-1183.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I Won't Watch

I don't plan to watch or listen to anything this weekend through early next week on or about 9/11. I've long had my fill and while I agree those who lost family, friends or co-workers have a right to mark the anniversary, the rest of us don't need to mark except as a major event in our life and then get on with life today.

What's the old saying we like to use when we're knocked down and hurt? Like, "Get over it." Yeah, melodramatic and over dramatic, but still fitting. The events of 9/11 knocked us down, so why do we keep wanting to dwell on the hurt and pain? Why do we still want to hate? Want to express our anger at people long since gone?

Al Qaeda is almost gone from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The global Al Qaeda network arose from Osama Bin Laden's network in other countries, so let's focus there than on the past. It's time we grew up to face our new realities instead of hating ghost of events past. The future is in front of us, not behind us.

I think the memorial at One World Trade Center is a good idea, we, like every society, build monuments to our past. That's not new, it's human, but people remember those lives lost out of respect, out of honor, out of love, and not out of hate, not out of anger, but out of a sense of our own and time's reality.

In short, it's time we got real and kept the focus on the future, looking back when it's fitting and proper, but not as a constant reminder preventing us from moving forward. I will. Do we really have a choice?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Republicans Hate Americans

Republicans hate America and Americans. Really? Yes, really, or why else are they refusing to introduce bills to create jobs or support the President's or Democratic bills to create jobs? They want this country to fail and they want all Americans to fail. Well almost all, the except are the wealthy and the corporations. They hate everyone who's poor, middle class, elderly, disabled, and so on down the list of why we're not rich or like them.

They have yet to introduce any bill which creates jobs, and you can bet if they did both the President and the Democrats would support it. So where are the bills Mr. Boehner? You can introduce them anytime you want, and in fact promised them in the election campaign in 2010. It's been most of a year now, so where are the bills and where are the jobs you promised?

It's because you don't want to create jobs and you want to make this President, our President since he's the President of the United States, look bad. You want to trash this economy to make the recession worse and turn into a depression, just to get a republican elected president. That's your goal, as you and Senator McConnell said, make this president a one-term president.

That's the truth and you can't escape it. You hate this President. You hate Americans. And you hate America. You're unpatriotic. You're even un-American. It's that simple. You are what you call everyone else who disagrees with you. You are simply talking to a mirror. We see it. We know it. And we won't accept it.

And before you decide to prove me wrong, simply answer the question, where are the jobs bills? You keep talking about them, talking about cutting taxes, regulations and government, you say will create jobs. So where are those bills? I haven't seen or heard any introduced in the House. And you are the Speaker of the House, right? You are responsible for bills in the House.

So where are those bills? You argue against President Obama. You argue against Democrats. But you haven't done anything else. Just words. No actions or results. Why is that? Or are you afraid to be proven wrong that your bills don't create jobs. You said the Bush tax cuts create jobs. Where are those jobs?

It's been 10 years of these tax cuts for the wealthy which supposedly creates jobs. Where are the jobs Mr. Boehner? We're still waiting after 10 years now, and we haven't seen any. You haven't spoken of any. You have only shown the facts the tax cuts haven't created jobs. So where are those jobs?

Americans are tired of your obstinance, tired of your political bullshit disguised as rhetoric, and tired of your arrogance. We want you to do your job and you haven't. You are responsible to introduce bills to create jobs. And you simply haven't. Nothing but hot air. Nothing but bullshit and trash talk.

And while you go about your business playing golf and pandering to your wealthy friends and for the corporations paying your bills, we're suffering. We're out of work. We're losing homes. We're losing money, our life savings to stay afloat, and for many, just survive. You don't care. You've never cared and it's obvious.

So we now see what you think of our President, this country and us. All you do his hate. That's not what a good American does and it's not good for America. You being the Speaker of the House should know and do better. You should know it's about all of us, about the helping all of us, including the President.

And did I ask the question? Where's the jobs Mr. Boehner? You know the ones you promised? Or are those jobs to be created in 2013? More promises for what? Are you that blind and stupid we don't see it and you for the truth? Do you hate us that much you don't care to be honest? Or have you lost any sense of honesty and respect? It sure looks like it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dick Cheney

Has it occurred to anyone that someone should exercise their Second Amendment rights to shut Dick Cheney up over his interview about his book and more so his book? If there is anyone who needs to shut up and retire, it's him followed by Donald Rumsfeldt.

Is it strange both released books on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11? They could have easily published the books sooner, so why now, like it will sell better because of the anniversary of 9/11? Like we'll appreciate them anymore? Or any less?

If the anyone on the right can shoot anyone on the left who disagrees with them, as quoted by Sharon Angle and others, then is it right to shoot anyone on the right when the anyone on the left not only disagrees with them but when the right is being obviously stupid?

What, then there wouldn't be anyone on the right. Wow, what a concept, no stupid wingnuts. But then who will the liberal media have to bitch about? That's ok, there's always a good supply of wingnuts, just go ask any evangelical.

Ok, I'm not serious. Really. Well, maybe not that serious, but hey, if the folks on the right can think out loud, then we on the left have the same right, or does on the Constitution and Amendments only apply to them?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

They Won't Budge

Dear President,

What don't you understand after two and a half years of intransigence by the Republicans? What don't you get about the idea, they're not going to budge on anything!, no matter how small or even how republican? They're not going to agree with you on anything unless you move to the right, as you have been doing since day one in your presidency.

And now I read you want to do more of the same? More small cuts in spending, modest stimulis plans, reform entitlements, etc., all republican ideas and everything republicans want but not from you, unless of course, you give them more and get nothing in return, like the debt ceiling bill of late. Yeah, you got the debt ceiling raised to January 2013 but at what price and cost then too?

Like massive cuts in government spending, entitlements and other programs? Like you'll be forced to extend the Bush tax cuts in 2012 or not get a 2013 budget? Like you'll be looking at a more severe fight over the 2012 budget this year, if it's not just more continuing resolution at 2010 levels, something the Repubicans love?

What don't you understand to think big and bold and then push the Republicans into refusing to go along to show the American people what they're really like and what their real agenda is, to trash this country, the economy and the people. That's their goal, starve government through deep cuts in programs and agencies, cut taxes for the corporations and wealthy, and in short, screw the American people.

What don't you understand when Mitch McConnell said his goal was to make you a one-term president? And then you gave John Boenher everything he wanted in return for promises? Like the Debt commission? Yeah, like that's going to work? Do you really think the American people and the voters are that stupid? Like the previous debt and deficit commissions have worked?

Obviously you do from your rhetoric about negotiation and compromise. But what compromise? All we saw was give-aways to the Republicans. I know I'm being extreme here, but then I'm a 1960's era progressive liberal, one who served during the Vietnam War in the Air Force (69-73), so I'm angry at your quick and easy willingness to give away long held mainstream democratic values and views.

But I'm not stupid to believe you're for us now, but for your re-election. You'll court us with words when we want action and results, something you haven't done to date in your presidency. We want a standup president for Americans than for corporations, the wealthy, and everything else republican. You sold us our for victories, hollow ones, empty ones and meaningless ones.

And now you want to talk small even more, about negotiating and compromising with the Republicans to get small victories to help the economy and the people in small ways. Like we're going to think that's good? And then vote for you? We might, but where's the backbone to standup for us? Where's the balls to show what you believe in for us? Where's the voice to tell the Republicans you want them to move left now and you won't move right anymore?

We'd rather see a stallmate than you move more right. We'd rather see you refuse to give in to the republicans. We'd rather see you propose big measures to challenge Congress to help this country, the economy and the people. Or we'd rather find a president who will. We may not vote for a republican, but that doesn't mean we'll vote for you.

We can give you a no confidence vote by simply not voting for you. We can vote our conscience to express our opinion about you, and if the republican wins, well so be it, because we'll know you didn't win our vote. You didn't stand up for us. So we don't have to stand up for you. We don't have to choose between the lesser of evils, we can simply choose none of the above.

You should not forget that while the republicans won't budge, like you already know that from recent history, we don't have to budge either. We can simply wish you well but you're not our guy to be president because you haven't stood up for us so fare and you've shown you won't stand up for us in the future.

That's the deal. We want action, not words. We want results, not rhetoric. We want a stand up president, one who will stand up for America and Americans. On that we won't budge. Your move Mr. President. You have to move, your choice, but our vote.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Getting Re-elected

Dear President,

So you want to be re-elected? Well, the way you're going, you'll be another GWH Bush real fast, but take heart in the fact people won't decide who to vote for until September and October 2012. And they will vote the old-fashioned way, from their pocketbook asking themselves are they better off than they were 4 years ago.

But that said, right now, you're not winning those pocketbooks let alone getting back all those hearts and minds you broke with your trail of broken, forgotten or misplaced promises. Remember them from 2008? Gee, you don't remember you left them by the roadside shortly after being inaugurated in January 2009. What a short memory you have.

And so far, which I don't see anything changing soon, you're losing the pocketbooks in droves, especially the base which supported and voted for you. I am one of those whose annuity you froze for several years while everything around me increased where I've been losing money now for the second year in a row and will continue to lose money for another few years, all because of you.

Yes you. Not Congress. Not the economy. You, when you froze my annuity and not fixing prices of everything else. I, like the rest of the retired government employees bit the financial bullet for you and what have we gotten in return? Increased costs and losing income. Gee, what a re-election concept, starve the electorate. Into what? More promises of better days and times? Like when?

But that's not the point here. You can be re-elected, but not by what you're doing now moving to the right (your center), abandoning your liberal and progressive base. You left us long ago for negotiation and compromise which turned into conpitulation and surrender to the Republicans, leaving you crumbs when they got "98% of what they wanted" from you, House majority leader Boehner's words.

See why your strategy and tactics aren't winning. We don't care about politics, we want a better life and many people simply want a job and more so a good job to live, not like you or everyone in Congress, but just live and have some money beyond subsistance. Is that so hard to understand? Is that so hard to speak for the people? Is that so hard to fight Congress for the people?

Apparently it is for you. The Republicans have learned two things with you. Just say no. It doesn't matter what, even their own ideas and bills, just say no. Vote no and nothing gets done. And two bleed you to death. Politically I mean, simply put a lot of roadblocks in your way where you can't focus on what's important for this country and the people. But then you keep falling for it.

You keep trying to negotiate moving the right inch by political inch until you've lost sight of the left. No? Like extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy? Remember your promise? And will that promise be forgotten in December 2012 too when the Republicans block lame duck bills again?

Like the debt ceiling bill? Where's the simple bill like the Republicans have done so under Bush, Clinton, Bush and Reagan? You asked for it but they knew you weren't serious because you continued to negotiate with them. They won. And you didn't see it. You should have said you want a simple bill and left it to the Democrats in Congress. You should have stood behind them and you didn't.

What you need to do is simple. Just say no in return. Tell the Republicans what you want, remember it's for all of us - keep that message in mind and in your words, and then don't negotiate anymore. Stand there and make them really move or face being seen as what they are, obstructionists. Just stand still and say no in return, you will not negotiate beyond the center-left anymore.

And then propose jobs bill after jobs bill after jobs bill. Did I mention jobs bills? Don't stop offering them to the House and make them vote on them or show they won't act on them to bring this economy and people back to prosperity. Talk about the future and better times but with bills after bills after bills. Don't stop. Don't just talk, we've heard it and are tired of it. Act and act big.

Big jobs bills. Big economy-improving bills for small businesses and employees. Think FDR. Think big, like this country. Think like all of us. Then act! And then speak out against those who are against you for not doing anything, like every damn Republican in the House and Senate. Hold them accountable with actions. Hold them accountable to us, the voters, the people.

Make them look real stupid. Yeah, I know you're a nice guy and don't want to do that, but do you have a choice? Do you really want to be a one-term president and hand this country over to a conservative, religious Republican, again? Because if you don't start fighting and continue fighting, that's what will happen because your base and the voters are really pissed at you.

Like Big Time! Really big. That's why you have a year to change things, not necessarily in reality as the Republicans will continue to say no and put roadblocks in the way. But you can show them to the people with actions, with loud passionate talks, with words meant to inspire the basic beliefs of people. Not what you're doing now.

You must change or you will be changed by events in November 2012. You're not winning the independents, like me. You're not keeping your base. You're not winning the hearts and minds of Americans. You have to fight their mean-spirited words and actions, not with that or them but with yourself, your words and actions.

That will get you re-elected. And did I forgot to mention jobs bills? Lots of them? Not talk, not promises, just bill after bill after bill. You have the House and Senate Democrats on your side, where they've been waiting for you. Just walk back across from the center-right where you've been these last two years to the center-left and left.

Forget the right. They will only move more right when you move a little, ever so little, to the right. They've seen it and done and you've moved right where they want you. It's time to move back in a leap and stand there. Fixed and angry. Fixed and vocal. Fixed and doing.

And no matter the economy, the people will believe in you and vote for you. Remember they did with FDR during the depression. Keep that in mind. Keep him in mind. And most of all keep us in mind. Americans.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dear Apple

I have a Mac Pro, upgraded December last year from my 2006 Mac PPC, and really love it with Snow Leopard (OS-X 10.6.8). I won't argue or debate with PC fanatics, er. users, about the benefits of each, it's personal choice. I used a PC the last 2-3 years of my USGS employment and hated it. I eventually made it mimic a Sun workstation which I used for 90+% of my work, only using e-mail (Lotus Notes) and MS Office for files folks sent me.

That said, I've been reading about Apple's new operating system, Lion (OS-X 10.7) and I have to say I'm not planning to move to it for awhile, at least 4-6 months while they work out the bugs, when I can also get a physical copy (flash drive) of it as a backup than relying on the App store, and the third party software companies get their versions out which actually works.

So far, from what I read there are a few things which I don't like about Lion and related stuff. First, I hate the Apple App store. I hope Adobe never puts more than basic applications on it and keeps their suite of applications off it. I hate you're restricted to it to ensure you get free updates or upgrades when offered or buy it separate from the vendor.

I hate it doesn't recognize the same application bought before the App store and the vendor only offers updates or upgrades through the App store, meaning you have to buy it again. Some have fixed this but not all have so some have disabled updates or upgrades through the application, requiring you use the App store, and yes, buying it again.

Or not as I have and will let several applications lapse into oblivion.

Second, I don't like the new look and interface. I only want Lion if I can turn it all off and keep the Snow Leopard look and interface. I like my iPad and iPhone, but I don't want that on my Mac. I've read not all can be turned off, so I'm waiting for more information to see what I can control and what I can keep.

Third, I don't like many Leopard and early applications aren't forward compatible for Lion, requiring paid upgrades to move them to Lion. I'm cataloging the cost of these. Some are making their new versions backward compatible but eventually Apple will likely restrict that as they did with PPC Mac's and Leopard with the upgrade to Snow Leopard. It took me a week to sort out what I lost, what broke and buying upgrades.

So far with Lion, I'll found I'll lose Adobe Creative Suite 2. That I can lose except one app as I'm using CS5/5.5 with some CS3 and 4 applications which so far I've read will work. The biggest problem is that printer and more so scanner companies are dropping drivers (using Rosetta) and/or utilities. Nikon's scanner software doesn't work under Lion, but then I don't use it anymore (I use Silverast but it has a paid upgrade due out later in August).

I don't plan to buy upgrades for some applications since I don't use them and haven't upgraded them in the last 1-2 years (a whole version ago). I have some old applications, though, I really like, eg. Adobe's GoLive 9 (separate CS3 app) which may or may not work, I've gotten mixed result. Another, Adobe Image Ready (really simple cool, image map app) is lost as it's in CS2.

It's why I dislike Apple making backward compatible applications obsolete quicker than they should by moving away from universal binaries which run on older PPC and early Intel Mac's. Granted it's their choice, as selling new computer as I did, helps the bottom line than supporting older ones.

Lastly, and mostly, I don't want the "Cloud" (iCloud). I like iDisk for storing files. I don't want to put anything on my Mac in the "cloud" to share with my other devices. I'll use iTunes for that, unless of course you screw iTunes to disable the communications with iPads and iPhones, but I don't think you're that stupid. Yet anyway.

I really hate the idea iCloud is in the OS with all the Apple apps, eg. Mail, Contacts, Calendar, iTunes, etc. I only want that stuff on my Mac or in my Iphone or Ipad through iTunes. I don't want those on the cloud even if it's free. I will turn it all off. I'm angry the cloud won't allow me to store files, images and music for others (or that I've read). It why I have iDisk, to store backup stuff and the public folder to share.

Anyway, Apple, while Lion may be a good upgrade underneath the hood, I'm not looking forward to getting into it and sitting behind the wheel. Yet anyway. I'm still reading the owners manual before I buy. I don't want to get it to discover things I really hate and can't control. I'll keep you posted or at least there is no choice like you did with my PPC.