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.