Thursday, May 31, 2012

Printing Google Books

If you're like me, which I don't suspect there are more than a handful of people interested in old books from the late 1800's to the early 1900's about Mt. Rainier NP or books related to work about the NP, you like the service Google have done to digitize old books.

Ok, really cool stuff to find on Google's Play Books Website, so much since I have an account, I created a library and started collecting PDF's of some of the books about or really related to work in or about Mt. Rainier NP. Well, this week I discovered Google has been both overlord and grinch with their books.

What Google do harm? Wait, that's not Google. "Au contrair, mon ami", as you would discover if you try to actually print any of thoe books. You see Google only made the books they've digitized to read on computers, tablets or smartphones, but not to see a printer to save their pages.

Of course, as PDF's the files are readable by any PDF reader, but Google now offers a free iPad/iPhone app for your library. Yeah, you guessed it, they want to control how you read public domain books now too with the easy, free app. But alas none, not even their app, will print the book.

I was curious about this because I download my library as PDF's which they offer as an option, but then found Adobe Acrobat Pro (both 9 and 10) won't print the file, and neither will it print opening the file in a browser with a PDF plugin, whether Acrobat or any third-party one. Why?

Google embeds every page with a digital image, "Digitized by Google", which you see in the lower right corner of the Google book PDF and which disables printing. So, not to be fooled by Google, I ran one of their books through some free applications I have for letters, documents and books.

That's where I discovered the hidden image, in a big bold letter-image. Really sucks if you ask me. What does Google have with printing a book they offer their users. Well, there are some work arounds, paid or free applications which can open the file to see the embedded images where you can simply remove them, save the file and then print it or export it back into a PDF which any PDF reader can print.

So what did I use? Well, I used Calibre to open the PDF and export to a Rich-Text Format (RTF) file. Then used Bean to edit the RTF file (removing the Google image) and then export a new PDF file. Then I used Acrobat to open and print the new book.

In the end I got the document I wanted and printed, but without the one map which I can view on my iPad anyway. I like print copies to read and take notes. Yes, the electronic ones do that too but a pencil and eraser with tab postit notes still works for me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mac User's Tip

There are lots of books, blogs, forums, Websites, etc. on tips and tricks for using your Mac, including my Mac Pro running OS-X 10.7.4 (more about that). I was a fairly competent computer person at work but only know enough these days to keep the Mac healthy and working, but then it's never crashed or failed, just a few hiccups with third-party applications.

So, the tip is one you often encounter, especially if you monitor your CPU memory with numerous applications or a few larger ones consuming lots of memory, like any of the photo editors, some music/video editors, etc. It's very easy to eat through both active and more so inactive memory to find it's slowing from paging in and out.

You can monitor the numbers with Apple's embedded Activity Monitor application or several good third-party ones, eg. xScan and iStat Menus. These are useful for understanding what the Mac is doing.

The Mac system memory counts free (readily available memory), wired (system use), active (user apps, files, etc.) and inactive (formerly used and reserved until needed). It's the last that an application uses when it's open and leaves when it's closed. This memory is reserved for the application(s) and files if they're reopened so they can load faster.

Occasionally though an application can eat lots of this space due to bad design, forgetfullness or necessity. Some apps just use space like your computer is a free memory buffet, some just forget to clear or release the space when it closes, and some just need it (large image, video or audio files), all of which OS-X keeps it for awhile.

There are many little free or cheap applications, especially on the Apple App Store, freeing up this inactive memory space. They vary is type, interface, features, etc., but they all do one thing to clear the inactive memory to only the system uses and open applications.

And that's the tip.

Don't buy them. You don't need them.

And why pray tell is this a computer truth? Well, it's because Apple gives you the same tool. All you have to do is this.

1. Open a terminal window. If you have never done this, go to the Utilities folder under application and open the "" (click the icon).

Note.--You can set up your terminal features in the .profile file but if you have never used terminal window before read about using it and this file first. Don't open it up if you don't know how to edit it.

2. In the terminal window type: purge

The computer will slow for a short while, including freezing all applications. This is because it's stopping everything while it finds and clears the unused inactive memory (remember some is used and reserved by active applications).

When the prompt returns, your inactive memory is available again. You can check the before and after by opening the Activity Monitor (Utilitie folder again) and click the "CPU" button where you'll see on the bottom the various memory (Free, Wired, Active, Inactive and Used).

Note.--Do not run this command when the backup is running. It uses inactive memory and clearing it will cause it to regenerate the space to finish the backup. It erases the space it used after it's done.

The normal Inactive memory generally runs between 10% to 15% and occasionally 15% to 20% of the Active memory (they're separate but the ratio is the key). Anything above 20% means a number of things, unused memory of an open application, a few closed applications or large files, Time Machine backup running, etc.

Anyway, that's the tip. A simple command, and beats an app all to whatever.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Web Editors

I've been designing and producing Web pages since 1994, when the USGS developed their first Web presence for real-time water resources data, namely the satellite data from streamflow and lake gaging stations around the US. I was in charge of overseeing the Web data and pages for Washington, working in conjunction wiht the national folks in charge of the software package.

I learned to code Web pages with html 1.0, a text editor (vi on Unix systems) and Mosaic browser (if you're old enough to remember this one). I also learned Web designed from a former journalist turned press/public relations specialist for the office. After that it was learn by doing as there were few guides or references.

The journalist taught me the general ideas about Web design using the fundamental principles for standard newspapers and magazines, namely reading the basic 8 1/2 x 11 inch page or 600 x 800 (pixel) Web page, which I've expanded to 900 x 1024 (pixel) page size with a 600 (pixel) wide content. In short what the eye reads with little or no left-to-right movement.

I've stuck with this approach ever since. It's easy to work with for design, the old-fashioned keep-it-simple- stupid idea, and it's why all my Web pages look similar, and yes antiquated, and print without any adjustments to the printer settings. In fact it's how I edit, on paper, and then translate the edits to the computer file.

I've also kept with the coding approach than the approach most of the Web design software package use, the what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) where you move boxes around and write in the boxes or use the graphic user interface (GUI) to enter information about code, tags, etc. For years with the USGS, the standard Unix text editor (vi) was the tool I used, and had to learn html code.

When I retired to work on my own Website I decided to upgrade to a better text editor than vi or its variations. I got Adobe Creative Suite 2 GoLive and after some tinkering I liked it, and still use as my one of my two primary editor. It's dated, from 2008, and has only been OS-X compatible due to Adobe good application design for Mac's and OS-X.

I don't expect it to last many more years as OS-X evolves, but it's a workhorse for easy code writing. Since then I've played with an array of other Web editors on the market to find an equal or better code writing one which has some more and newer tools for checking html and css validity. To date I have seven editors.

Yeah, it's overkill to try a bunch but it's handy when I learn them and can use each one on different sets of Web pages - all my Web pages are independent pages you can access directly or throuth the universal navigation throughout the pages and also, as mentioned, print them as you see them.

But for most work I use two for the majority of my work with another two for other work where I can open sets of Web pages to always be available to update and upload. To that end, here's a basic review of them, remembering I'm focusing on code writing and not wysiwyg design.

First, as noted, is Adobe GoLive, and it's, and noted, dated and my workhorse editor, prefect for just writing code in an easy to read and write format. And it remembers the windows along with the size and position of each one when you open, partly from OS-X 10.7 (Lion) for which windows (pages) and itself (size and position.

Second is Adobe Dreamweaver, which I started with Creative Suite 4. This editor took a long time to learn as it's also a Website management application along with many features and tools for any workstyle from code writing to pure wysiwyg production. The latest iteration, CS6, is ok, so far.

They changed some things I don't like, namely it only works in full screen mode and on a 27" monitor it's overkill, and I'm always readjusting the size and position to similar to CS5 which remember smaller window sizes and position control. I don't know if I'm missing something in the user setting (common) but if not, it's irritating and something to fix.

Third is BBEdit, which I have to say if you just want a great code writer/editor, this is the one to have. It's easy to use with a straight-forward design. The only thing about verison 10 I don't like over version 9.6 is the list of Web pages is on the left and not the right, but that's personal preference.

The fourth is Coda which I recently acquired and after some setup is quite good for code writing. It also has an easy straight-forward design, different than BBEdit but very good for itself, and is easy to use.

That said about these, I would easily recommend that each is worth their price, even if Dreamweaver isn't cheap. It's a package often used by experienced, commercial Web designers. BBEdit and Coda are fair priced and worth it. Now to the rest of the lot.

The fifth is Espresso which I added recently and while it's good, it has this really weird color scheme for the code without any choices except create your own. Not smart since the color scheme is hard to adjust to reading the code and tags, but it has a work design similar to Coda.

The sixth is SEEdit and seventh is RapidWeaver which are ok but have major flaws I don't like. Both of them work from the project workspace and require you to import your entire Website into the project folder for the package.

To explain things, I keep all the files for the Website in the original project and folder setup originally by GoLive and only want any Web editor to read and write those files without having to setup copies or new projects. Simply open, work and save, and as plain text where any editor can read and use the files.

That said, some of the other editors setup project folders, but only for keeping the history of files you work with in the editor, simply file management for the application but not the Website. Dreamweaver, BBEdit and Coda don't setup project files or folders unless you want to link and publish them to your Website. Espresso does have a project file, but once done, it's the same as the others.

The reason is that I manually control what is uploaded through Fetch (FTP) which my Website host requires to interface with their servers. Rage Sitemap Automator also works with the Website host through settings,. I just don't want the editors doing this and I want to either turn this feature off or not use it.

This is where RapidWeaver doesn't work. First, it's for creating Web pages for a new Website than working with an existing one. It doesn't recognize the files I have unless I import the files into the project and system. It's more for the wysiwyg Web designer, and as such I haven't updated it to the latest version, nor plan to do so.

The other one, SEEdit is similar to RapidWeaver but will work with existing files in the same folder. The user interface to me has some quirks I can't get around because there's no user preference or setting for it. Yeah, small stuff, but when you're writing code the small things interrupt your workflow.

Like? Well you can't turn off line wrap. I like to see all the lineup vertically and scroll right for longer lines. The others do this but not this one. For another there's no line numbers down along the left side, only on the botom showing what line you're at. I like number on the left to track where I'm at in the file.

Otherwise, it's ok and maybe worth the $9 they're selling the upgrade, but debateable to me if I'll keep and use it to think about an upgrade in the future. There are better ones doing similar things without less fuss and better interface.

That said, I have to add an eighth application but it's not a Web editor but a text editor. I use GoLive for editing the one CSS file with the Web page (simplicity, remember) and I use TextWrangler for editing the XML files with the Google maps. This replaced Mac's text (OS-X) editor.

Anyway, that's a quick appraisal of the Web editor I use. If I had to recommend any, I'd recommend Dreamweaver if you want to manage your Website and more, including templates, wysiwyg design tools, etc. It's not easy to learn but the best and most powerful of the lot.

For just text editors, BBEdit or Coda are the best. They also have more tools and features to manage Web pages to the Website if you want those along with other tools and features, but to me, they're just great code editors.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Menu Bar Junkie

I have a Mac computer which I really like. I had a Mac PPC which I bought in March 2006, just 3 months before they came out with the Intel chip Mac Pro. Yeah, bad timing since they stopped the PPC at OS-X 10.5, Leopard and many applications companies, including Adobe, dropped PPC version in 2009.

So in December 2010 I replaced it what the last generation Mac Pro, and the same thing now, yeah bad timing, since Apple has released the rumor they may drop the Mac Pro line next year or thereafter. But it's a rumor as they've also hinted they may retrofit the newest generation of chips for them so they don't have to develop a new Mac Pro around them.

This solves two issues, keeping the Mac Pro line alive along with all of the dedicated users, as it's the workhorse of many professionals in many fields, mostly the arts, designers, scientists, etc., who need highend power and speed (processors) and maximum capabilities (4 HD slots with tons of input/output connections). Things an iMac just can't do easily, if at all.

Anyway, since I've started mine, I've become a menu bar junkie. You have to be careful with the applications on the Apple App Store as many aren't even worth the $1-5 price, and especially the free ones. The ratings have value, so read and use caution. I always visit the developer's Website to see what they say there for details and additional information.

Anyway, while I've wasted a few bucks here and there, I've found a bunch which are quite good and handy. That said, I'm running 21 menu bar apps after the normal system preferences which you can display on the menu bar. And pray tell, what do I like? Ok, here's the list, from right to left.

Earth Desk - Buy this from the Website and not the App Store.
DataColor's Spyder 3 - For monitor calibration with their hardware.
Caffeine - Great to keep the window turned on (screen saver).
XMenu - The best for launching applications with custom lists.
Pathfinder - Better than Apple's Finder in most cases.
My IP Address - Handy when you want to know.
Cookie - Great little cookie, flash cookie and database manager.
Smart Report - Monitors SATA HD's.
Simon Monitor - The free version works for 5 Websites.
Tiny Alarm - Great little tool.
Notes Tab - Good for quick notes.
Calendar Bar - Ok if you want just the iCal display.
Twitter - The obvious Twitter interface.
FaceBook Menu Tab - Ditto for FB.
Radium Radio - Great for getting all Internet stations.
MailUnread - Nice Mail interface.
AirFoil - Great tool to send audio from any app to one or more outputs.
CoverSutra - Nice iTunes interface.
NowPlaying - Nice for displaying iTunes song information.
Visits - Good, easy to read Google Analytics interface.
Cursor Coordinates - I keep losing where the cursor is and this tells me.
Weatherman - Probably the best menu bar weather tool.

Anyway, that's my menu bar. The first I'd recommend to get for your Mac is Caffeine to keep the monitor on without changing your system preference settings. The second is a monitor color calibration tool. The third is if you listen to the radio, then get Radium Radio. After that, it's just personal choices and your pocketbook.

Do You Really

After reading the article in today's (5/20/12) New York Times about Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith, I have to ask do you really want a president who's Mormon? Do you really want a president who's every thought, feeling, decision and action is a faith in and a reflection of a religion which has a dubious history and not considered Christian by Christians?

Think about it. I have a friend who lived in Salt Lake City while in graduate school and working for an oil company (he's a PhD geophysicist) for several years. He routinely experienced covert discrimination by Mormons and routinely saw Mormonism expressed and pushed in politics and everything everyone does, whether you're Mormon or not.

He eventually left for Alaska and then Texas, but he expressed his dislike at the way Mormons favor their own and then treat others less, and put their faith in the laws and regulations governing Salt Lake City and somewhat in Utah. He talked about the truths of the Mormon faith, not just the surficial faith the public sees, but the one kept secret within the church leaders. When people who know has said it's cult-like, believe them, it is.

When you combine that religious doctrine, even dogma on many levels, with Romney's win at any cost strategy and tactics at Bain Capital and in political campaigns then you have a very rigid ideologue in the White House deciding the fate of this country. Yes, he would have to adapt and adjust but would he really do that considering his deep faith and rigid world view?

Do you really want a president wanting to run the country, the federal government, like the Mormon Church and with Mormon doctrines? Do you really want a president running the White House like a Mormon home? Our White House as Mormon? Our government as Mormon?

Think about all the regulations he could and would dictate be changed to comply with Mormon values? Think about all the rules and policies he could and would dictate be used to follow the Mormon view of the world, of our country, of our government and most of all of Americans?

President Bush used the phrase, "You're either for us or against us." to determine who was on his side, but the factors used were your political view of his decisions and actions. A President Romney would use the same statement, but the factors would be on faith, are you a Mormon or have Mormon values or not. And if not, even Americans, you're his enemy.

Think about it and ask yourself, do you really want a Mormon president?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dreamweaver CS6

Update (5/22/2012).--I found a work around solution to the window issue by opening DW CS5 which does remember my windows (which, size and position) and then open DW CS6 which does remember which windows and then put them in one (tab form) and resize the window to the open DW CS5 size and position. Since I use both for a different set of Web pages, there's no conflict or problems. Now, I'll wait for the fix to DW CS6, if they fix it.

Original Post.--Well, after playing with Dreamweaver (DW) CS6 for awhile today, mostly trying to get it to remember my workspace window size and position, without any success as it always opens a file to full screen and reverts to full screeen when you change views or modes. It is designed to be used in full screen mode, and to put it bluntly.

This idea really sucks.

I say this because DW CS5/5.5 will remember the user settings for window size and position and always opens them the same every time. Dreamweaver CS6 is using the same files in the same folders for CS6 as it does for CS5/5.5 but it's clear to me right now it's simply ignoring them completely.

And that's what sucks, that Adobe won't give the user control over this feature to set the workspace window size and position to their liking than some default Adobe thinks is better. Yes, it's a small thing, and yes, I may be missing some setting or preference, which I'd love to know what but Adobe's customer help isn't much better (past personal experience).

So, the workaround is to open DW CS6 and just keep it open, even if you're not using it for awhile, even days, or use DW CS 5/5.5 which does work when you close and open it. And hope Adobe fixes this bug, if actually is one and Adobe decided not to allow users to control the window size and position except manually every time they open DW.

Anyway, that's the story so far. There are some other differences which I'm still getting used to and so far it's much the same, it's not that much better than DW CS 5/5.5 for me and my work.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear Adobe

Update.--I spent the afternoon playing with the settings and preferences, and even some of the xml files, and nothing changes. I think the problem rests with the "Workspace" files which defines the workspace window size and position and the host of settings for each window type.

Well, it seems Dreamweaver CS6 (DW) is ignoring the opening settings. I tested this by copying the files from DW CS5/5.5 and nothing changes. These are the files which works with DW CS5/5.5. Anyway, I'll continue with DW CS5.5 for awhile because it works and wait for an update to CS6.

Ok, I have upgraded to Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) Design and Web Premium with Dreamweaver (DW). I moved from GoLive (CS2/3) to DW CS4 then 5 and 5.5. And as usual with all new applications, you lose all the presets and preferences you had with the old version, and with DW this is the hardest part of this application, to reset to your preferences.

Specifically I keep all my DW windows, design and code, to the same workspace window size, 900 x 1024 (width x height) and when I start DW the windows always open to that size. This took awhile to set with DW 5/5.5 and now it's totally frustrating with CS6, and getting to be a reason to just skip DW6 and stay with DW 5/5.5.

This is because it always opens with a full screen view, like on a 2560x1440 monitor, really sucks to see your entire screen full of a window. I really hate this and haven't found the way to set the default window size when starting DW or opening new files. I want to throw DW out the window.

I still use GoLive along with BBEdit and Coda as Web page editors because they allow me to work with groups of files for the Website without having to close or reopen groups of pages. I can just keep them open or in the auto-open setting. And all of these applications remembers the default size of your workspace window.

Why can't DW CS6? With all the features and user tools and function, it can't remember a simple setting, like open all windows this size? Is that so hard to remember or have a user setting? Only you folks make it harder than it has to be, like almost impossible. So, if anyone there at Adobe or in the world at large can tell me how to do this, I'll be happy again.

Canon EOS Utility

Update.--I found Adobe Bridge does the same as the EOS Utility to download images from the camera with two exceptions.

One, you have to use a card reader instead of direct from the camera. This is important because when you plug the camera into the Mac, it tries to run the newest version of the EOS Utility which doesn't work and everytime you quit the app, it restarts itself. Sucks. Two, you have to rename the folder name. Adobe Bridge will not format the Canon's folder name correctly, but close enough you can simply fix it manually.

Original Post.--I have a Canon 5D (the original, not the Mark II) with a number of lenses and equipment, and have used Canon's EOS Utility to connect to the camera and download images into the specified folders with the right filename set in the preferences settings. And then I updated to Lion (OS-X 10.7.X) and the application quit working. And Canon's response?

Well, it took Canon a few months to release and updated EOS Utility 2.10.4 compatible with Lion, except they made the decision to only make it work with newer Canon EOS cameras, meaning the 5D Mark II and not the original 5D. So after some wandering on the Internet and testing I reverted to EOS Utility 2.8, but it only works once after each reboot, after which it stops working, meaning I get one shot to download the images from the camera.

So the alternative is to find another application, except there aren't any. They all start with newer Canon's cameras. All the older Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras (DSLR's) are out of luck. The second alternative is to use the card and card reader, which works anytime, but it doesn't work with any application to load into the right folder with the right (sequential) filenames (Canon removed that option). So the download has to be done manually.

So, while I like Canon's camera and equipment, I can't say they provide the support to all customers, just new ones. The lesson is that they want to keep selling you new stuff and if you don't, then you're out of luck for support, and don't hold your breath waiting for help.

If anyone knows of a download application for Lion for older Canon cameras, I'll give it a try. It's certainly cheaper than buying a new Canon EOS camera. See update about using Adobe Bridge.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A New Long Season

Well, the Mariners are back to their normal self. Ok, just a little better in some areas this year, like second best fielding in major league baseball (today anyway) and decent pitching (near the middle with a bunch of other teams.

But they're near the bottom in hitting, even worse than last year, but as we know, if you can't hit, you can't score runs with all the pitching and fielding in the world. You simply can't come back from games you should - meaning comebacks are reasons to celebrate until you realize they're too few and far between, and you can't win with more than a few runs - same again about scoring a lot of runs in a game.

In short, despite a good team of young players with a few experienced players, the Mariners are simply not showing to be a winning team. And it will be a new long season. With some good things and some good players, but they'll be very lucky to be near .500 and consider that a great season. But it all raises the question.

When will the owners decide to actually build a division-winning team and one fully capable of competing for the pennant and maybe the World Series. We can hope, as we have for 6 of the last 8 season of losing records, and 5 of the last 6 seasons with 93+ game loses (less than 70 wins).

And their start so far, 16-20 (5/14/2012) after a 11-10 start, isn't promising. The fans are slowly running out of patience with the owners and now with the team full of young players not hitting. Their professional baseball players, paid huge salaries to win. There's little the coaches can do, it's up to the players.

So how about it players. Other teams with young players have won and competing in the playoffs in the past. But not us as we have seen now for 8 years since the 2001 record-setting team (116 wins with only 46 loses), it won't be the Mariners. Again for another very long season. Well, maybe I just read about them than watch them.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dear Starbucks

I stop by the local Starbucks in Gig Harbor several times a week, but always on Sunday to buy three newpapers, the New York Times, the Seattle PI and the Tacoma News Tribune ("Tribune"). It's been a ritual to get the newspapers, a doppio con panna and something to eat later while reading the newspapers.

Today (5/13/2012) I was told Starbucks won't be selling the Tribune anymore because of a decision by the newspaper to make them pay for what they order than simply on consignment, meaning they only pay for the newspapers people actually buy and take back the rest to recycle the paper.

I can't argue against that to the point Starbucks needs to consider only ordering what they actually expect to sell than over ordering and returning a good number of daily newspaper. This costs the Tribune money to print and then recycle. It's not good business, so their decision is fair and reasonable to a point.

My point here is that this isn't entirely the Tribune's fault since they overprint the daily newspapers anyway with an expected percentage of non-sales, but here is where Starbucks can help the Tribune and still carry the newspaper. For one, move the newspapers stand where it's visible to cashiers.

Why? Because Starbucks has a policy to tolerate people who take one or more newspapers after buy their coffee and snack, not paying for the newspapers, and then read them. I've seen this happen at least once at every Starbucks I've been to in the Tacoma-Seattle area. It's assumed by customers Starbucks lets people take or read the newspapers for free.

Really? Really, especially the daily Tribune. I've seen people buy their Starbuck's usual coffee and drink and then after paying take the newspapers to a table and read them, and then put it back on their way out, or not as sometimes they walk out with them or leave them scattered around Starbucks and in the recycle bin for others to read.

I've complained to you Starbucks about this over the years and you've done nothing to change it. You make the Tribune pay the cost of helping your customers for your profit. You Starucks don't give your product away, so why do you give away the Tribune? What if the Tribune started giving out free Starbucks coupons or cards for drinks or food? Would you accept it?

No you wouldn't. So why do you tolerate stealing another company's product for your customers? The Tribune's decision is reasonable considering they're trying to survive when you Starbucks are doing ok? So here's the compromise. First don't over order the number of copies you expect to sell. And second,

Make customers buy the newspaper(s) they read.

You can do this with two small changes, move the newstands and make cashier ensure people pay for newspapers they take. Not hard, just good business.

Your decision doesn't change my trips to Starbucks because you're the only store in Gig Harbor which sells both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, so if I want the newspapers, you're where I go to buy it. So, here's the offer, I'll continue to buy a coffee and food if you continue to carry the Tribune.

Otherwise, I'll just buy the newspapers and skip buying the coffee and food. You can screw customers with your decision and I can screw you by doing the same. Fair trade. Good business for me. I save money not buying coffee and food and still get my newspapers, and the newpapers get a paying customer.

And you don't get a cent.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Discrimination at Best

It's discrimination at best and hate at worst. That's what the voters in North Carolina and other states have done to women and minorities. It doesn't really matter if it womens' reproductive healthcare rights, marriage rights, minority rights based on religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or whatever else, it's just what it is.

And that is discrimination, but more so, it's one religious faction of our population pushing a narrow-focused and narrow-minded religious ideology and agenda for themselves, to remake the state in the image they think is right. But it's not right, it's not fair, and it's not what Jesus would do or what God has said.

They simply are using God to promote hate. Nothing less, just hate. And that's not what the Bible says, what Jesus would do, or what God would say.

We're seeing a significant size of population, about a quarter to a third, push a political agenda of hate against everyone else and they're selling it to get a majority of the people thinking it's right and fair, but it's everything but either of those. It's a sham and a shame selling hate as good disguised by marketing.

When they say, "pro marriage", they mean "anti anything other than the marriage they believe and want", and while it sounds good to get votes, it's not good when it comes to real lives, real people. These people have decided our history is irrelevant. They invent their own version of our history to believe it's what God wants.

But does God promote hate? Does God promote discrimination? Does God honor people selling hate? Does God love people promoting hate? We know the answer. If it were reversed they would call them out to say God doesn't hate. But they don't see they're promoting hate, something they would say God doesn't do.

We know, however, their God isn't God. Their God is just a God for them. That's not God. It's hate disguised as God, wrapped in the Bible they interpret to hate than understand, accept and love. They promote their views as love, but it's only love for them, everyone else isn't worth love in their view. To them, everyone else doesn't deserve love or God.

That's why they're wrong. But I don't hate them. I pity them. I don't have sympathy for them, I pray they will learn what God really is than their false God. I don't have empathy for them for I don't want to learn their hate, to practice their hate and to believe their hate.

I have hope for them that they will realize their hate but I'm not holding my breath either because I know people like them rarely change. They're fixed and fixated on their hate in the name of their false God and hateful view of all people. In the end, they're just hateful people and just hate itself, pure blind, blatant, revengeful hate.

Nothing more and certainly not God.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Reasons for and against

There are many reasons not to vote for President Obama, from his unkept or failed promises to his obsession over healthcare instead of jobs, to his outright caving to Repubicans causing the recession to linger longer than necessary, to his failure not to approve spending to get the economy back on track. And many more from women's issues, the environment, minority issues, and so on down the line.

And there are a few reasons to vote for President Obama, but far fewer than the number of reason not to vote for him. But there is one reason more than all the reason against him to vote for him. And that's Mitt Romney. Do you really want Mitt Romney to be President and run this country like he did Bain Capital?

Think about it. Think about his record. Think about all he has said in the past and during the campaign. He's never told the truth about his views. He's never told the truth about what he would do. He's never told the truth about himself. He's just never told the truth, because he only knows to lie.

And so the vote is between a somewhat failed and flawed President and a totally untrustworthy candidate. I'll give Obama his due and give him credit for his accomplishments which have worked, but nothing more. He hasn't won my vote and probably won't by election day, but will I vote for him to vote against Mitt Romney?

I don't know yet. I'm not convinced to support let alone vote for Obama. He hasn't earned my trust in him, but he has time to convince me a vote for the lesser of evils is better than nothing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No Ed

To Ed Schulz and his show tonight (5/2/12) who asks, "What don't you like about President Obama?"

No, Ed, it's not about guns, I'm for gun regulation for public safety.

It's not about Obama accomplishments. It's not about taxes.

It's about his promise to have a public option and then jettisoned it quickly in the negotiations. Most of his 2008 promises never came into reality because he doesn't fight for them. He negotiates them away for a compromise which causes more problems.

It's about staying in Afghanistan for another 10 years after we start the withdrawal the combat troops in 2014.

It's about his freezing my annuity for 2 of the last 3 years with promise he'll freeze it another 2-3 years.

It's about BP and not holding them accountable. It's about opening the Arctic waters to exploratory drilling when it's not needed.

It's about caving to the energy companies on natural gas drilling and fracking to let them protect their proprietary chemicals and not disclose the chemicals until after the well is completed and the damage underground done.

It's about not fighting for repealing DOMA when he really supports it. He hasn't supported LGBT issues because he thinks it's right, but because it's political expedient for votes.

It's about my health insurance premium going up almost 50% in two years thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act. That's what it's for, make me pay more for the same insurance?

It's about not fighting for women's reproductive healthcare, fighting against the states putting more restrictions and prohibitions on access to women's healthcare services. It's about not fighting for funding for planned parenthood and other service providers when states start cutting funding.

It's about his increase in the intelligence and surveillence of Americans for no reason violating our civil rights and privacy.

It's about the increase in TSA in airports which hasn't worked and doesn't work.

It's about his willingness to cave into the Republicans at almost every moment.

It's about all that and more. I won't argue he's the better choice as president but he's not the best from his record. On that he has been lucky and good but not good enough.

That's what it's about. What he could and should have done and didn't.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No Mr President II

Well Mr. President, I listened and wasn't convinced. Why? Because we've won and we're done. We defeated Al Qeada in Afghanistan where the number of them is less than 100 and we killed Osama bin Laden. And that was the objective to the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

That means, we're done. We're not into spending $2 Billion a week to build a nation. We're not in to building an army and a national police and security force. For what? To attack us? To sell more weapons and other military equipment? To give money that is stolen and redirected to private bank accounts?

No Mr. President, another 10 years will only be a waste of time and money. We know the government of Afghanistan, which we know is corrupt and only wants our money, will not fulfill their goals let alone our goals and in 10 years we'll have thrown money not down the toliet but into private hands for nothing.

No Mr. President, it's time to rebuild America and the American ecomony for Americans. It's time to spend that money at home. It's time to leave while we can and not endanger anymore soldiers on wishful thinking and false hopes and promises, ours and theirs. They won't succeed and we can't afford their failure.

As I said before, you've lost my vote now for good. Maybe, but right now I don't see the reasons or the need to support your decision to invest, or really waste, another 10 years in Afghanistan for nothing. Afghanistan in 2024 won't be very much different than it is now, only richer no thanks to the US treasury, the taxpayers' money.

No Mr. President. That's my answer to you. No.

Sorry Barnes & Noble

After reading the news Microsoft is investing in Barnes & Noble for their e-book, the NOOK, and e-book format, buying a 17.6% share and investing $300 Million in e-books, I can only say this to Barnes & Noble, sorry I won't buy anymore books from you and will gladly buy a DRM removal application for NOOK than buy another book.

I've bought 7 books from Barnes & Noble because all new books are proprietary formats now, so it's the lesser of evils between them, Amazon and Apple. The promise of a DRM-free e-pub format is long gone. But there is DRM Removal applications for specific formats for about the price of a book, and given that option, it's cheaper of by the app and convert the books I have away from Barnes & Noble's format.

And yes, the real reason is that I hate Microsoft. I'm not enamored with Apple of late, but they're still better and have better products and software. That may change over the next few years with their new OS-X 10.8 and later system and withdrawing support and new hardware for Mac Pro's. They'll simply become the lesser of evils in computer systems.

But I do have a choice of book formats, but then there is always the old-fashioned, traditional format of print. It's DRM free and reader friendly.

No Mr President

Mr. President,

With the new agreement to keep the US in Afghanistan until 2024, adding another 10 years to the current agreement to withdraw in 2014 and adding another 10 years to the longest war in US history, now already over 10 years old, what exactly do you expect will be achieved in those years and what exactly do you think will be different between 2024 and 2014?

With this new agreement aren't you just encouraging the government of President Karzai to continue his ways of taking our money and doing nothing while encouraging the crime lords, the drug lords, the war lords and the Taliban to continue their ways and continue to make American soldiers targets of all of those groups?

Do you really think Al Qeada will go back into Afghanstan when they have a comfortable home in Pakistan under that government's protection?

Will we have the same discussion in 2022 we're having now? What military strategy is there to stay the additional 10 years?

Will we have the same discussion in 2022 about the cost, now at $45-50 Billion per year and the price of hundreds of soldiers killed and thousands injured per year?

Do we expect Afghanistan will become some democratic, industrial nation capable of self-sufficiency?

Is this about nation building? And if so, what do we expect, when and why? And how much?

Or is this really about China? Is this about keeping China out of central Asia as they're now in Iran? Is this not about the war against Al Qeada or terrorists but about keeping a US presence in the region?

Is this really about our geopolitical presence in the world, and a third-world, authoritarian nation is better than none?

I'm sorry Mr. President, I can't vote for you now. I won't vote for Mr. Romney but I can't vote for the lesser of evils either, of which you are the lesser of evil. You almost changed my mind this last year to vote for you, but now I can't because this is a bad idea, horrible strategy and a worse agreement, no matter how you try to spin it to us.