Sunday, December 22, 2013

ITunes Music Store

Update.-- I did find this iTunes Web page for music which uses the iTunes store to listen and download music, but still you need to know the artist than see the newest or recent music.

I've liked the various types of world music for a few decades, once I found sources to listen and buy the music from around the world, and for awhile the iTunes Music Store was a good source. I say was because they've slowly changed the world music section to be harder to actually find artists and the latest albums.

And today I went to the store to find the links in the world music section have changed and many don't work. I suspect they're switching over the design but it's really a WTF when it's just before Christmas to see the Asian music effectively unavailable unless you know specific artists.

I know Apple has had issues with Asian artists and music because of competition from the major music publishers who have exclusive contracts which don't include selling through the iTunes stores, such as Sony music.

That's a pity since many of the Asian artist would find a market here in the US. I have a number of albums from artist and use Amazon Japan to buy the CD's which I can't get in the US or in the iTunes store. It's a shame the companies can't work something out to market the music worldwide for people interested in the music.

Ok, a rant, and the point besides the obvious? Nothing except why did Apple redesign the world music section and links don't work just before Christmas? Well it's about finding music in the iTunes store. Try searching for recent or the latest from some countries.

Good luck there because they show a long list of artists but in many cases, they don't have any albums by those artists. And if you want to look for new artist or different artists in the same genre of a country, good luck because it sends you back to the main music page.

In short, the store is set to sell the latest American music and forget the world outside what they can sell. It would be cool if they could have a search by country similar to the regular pages, such as a drop down list by continent and then country.

That's not rocket science for the Apple developers, and it cetainly would sell more music. And then get agreements to sell more world music by the other music publishers who don't offer music here or have a store like iTunes where customer can listen and buy.

How about it Apple? Or don't you really care about world music and your customers?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Apple App Store

It would be nice if Apple would require companies with applications in the Apple App Store to keep the Apple version updated comparable to the one they sell on their Website or either post a notice on the page in the App Store that the version isn't the latest available or remove the app or the company from the App Store.

I say this because I continually have applications going back a year which are out of date according to the company and the version on their Website. The companies are clearly not sending updates to Apple for the App Store for whatever reason(s).

In reading about some of the companies they will say they don't like Apple's policies or the process for the App Store. Ok, then don't sell there and don't use the App Store license to bypass selling Apple approved applications.

In addition, many of these companies refuse to honor the license or copy bought through the App Store for the version available on their Website, so if you want it there you have to buy it again where they'll promise to keep it updated.

I've written about this before and while I've moved some application off the App Store, it's only because the company withdrew the application from the App Store and honored the Apple receipt to issue a license for the application on their Website.

Apple needs to address the practice of companies trying to have it both ways with applications, to comply with Apple's policies for applications to have one on the App Store but then only sell the latest or new versions through their Website.

Apple needs to ensure people who buy applications through the App Store will have some assurance that the application will always be updated or upgraded through the App Store or the application will either have a notice it may not be updated or it will be withdrawn.

It's time Apple stopped the con some companies are using the App Store to sell applications which will install and work but not available through the App Store.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

OS-X 10.9.1

What I've seen in the short time I've installed and used the latest update to OS-X Mavericks, specifically 10.9.1 is encouraging but also discouraging as while they're tweaking the underlying operating system flaws they're also playing with the bells and whistles ignoring some residual problems.

First, though, OS-X 10.9.1 handles cpu memory better, but it could be better which I hope they keep going. They've made changes to the file cache where it doesn't seem to get out of hand too often. It still does at times, even maxing out your total cpu memory for some tasks if the memory is available, but it seems to recover some of it.

But they still haven't fixed third party file cache memory when you close the app, especially if you don't plan to reopen it. You still need to use the purge command occasionally to recover the memory or wait for the daily maintenance.

They didn't change the app memory enough to see it reduce if you close apps with no interest to reopen them. It still seems to hold the memory which is what they want to reduce the time to reopen them if the users wants the app later. It's really six of one, half a dozen which is right if the memory is there.

I still get occasional problems with the scrolling with Safari and Mail, but closing the tab or going to another mail sometimes cures it, but sometimes I have to close these apps to get scrolling back. This is something they seem to know about.

Ok, that's the story outside of my obvious anger they broke the menu bar icon control and didn't fix it. If they don't fix it with 10.9.2 I'll buy a third party app to do the same thing, but really that's stupid since the developers broke it and should fix it.

Enough said for now. I'm still waiting for 10.9.2 and until then I wouldn't recommend anyone upgrade to Mavericks unless you want the changes from Moutain Lion.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WTF Apple

I installed the latest update to OS-X Mavericks, OS-X 10.9.1 and I have to say what the title of this post says, What the fuck are you thinking Apple!?

You made improvements to Mail and some of other apps but you didn't fix the menu bar icon order which you broke with Mavericks. It was working great under Mountain Lion and all previous generations of OS-X.

As Steve Martin would say, "But Noooooo!", you decided to break something that wasn't broken in the first place. And with the update, it's now worse than broke, it doesn't fucking work! The user has absolutely no control of the order of the icons on the menu bar now.

Gee, we're supposed to think you folks are good but you break a great feature and tool and then don't fix it!? That really is a WTF moment. I certainly hope you fix it with OS-X 10.9.2 because right now I wouldn't recommend your fucking software over Microsoft.

At least we know they're stupid about their users, now you've proven your equally stupid about your users.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mr Boehner

Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that his insurance premiums will double under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka. "Obamacare") which true because he forgot to add that the health insurance he had was with the Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) Program which is subsidized by the government, meaning us taxpayers, to the tune of 50-66% depending on the plan and family.

Under the ACA that subsidy is gone so his premiums will double. That's reality Mr. Boehner, something the rest of the American people know and live with in our lives. Welcome to reality Mr. Boehner, but then you make $174,000 a year so you can afford the premiums the rest of us have to struggle with every month.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Apple iPad Remote

Apple has what is supposed to be a cool app for iPads, Remote, which controls iTunes through your wifi network. Except it doesn't work! Every time I open it I have to scroll through all the albums, all 1172 of them, to load the artwork, which takes a few minutes, and then as soon as I finish and do something else in the app, it crashes.

And when it crashes, it loses all the album artwork and you have to rescroll through all the albums to reload the artwork. You can start with artists list but then you have to wait while it load the album artwork for that artist, which can take time. In short, it's not useable.

I gave up after the third time it crashed. It may be a free app, but that's more than what it's worth!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

OS-X Mavericks

I know there is a lot of good things to say about the new OS-X 10.9 Mavericks, and many computer geeks rave about how it handles cpu memory better than previous OS-X versions, which in part is true since those versions were notorious for just accumulating unused memory from closed apps you couldn't recover without rebooting.

But I have to add Mavericks is worse for cpu memory and unused applications. While I agree if cpu memory isn't an availability problem, meaning lots of it, and you open, close and reopen applications or files, then it's ok as you won't notice anything wrong and files and apps reopen quicker, if that's important.

The problem occurs when you use a lot of applications, often opening and closing them without regard or interest to reuse them, then you will find the app memory just keeps growing like previous OS-X verisions, and then it will begin compressing the memory for more uses.

This means you have unused and unncessary compressed and uncompressed memory sitting there wasting space. The same applies to files you open and close never to use again, but that memory can be reclaimed with the purge command.

App memory can't be reclaimed and won't be reclaimed until OS-X does some maintenance to remove this memory, maybe. What this means is that OS-X Mavericks will use, or really eat, 1-2 GBbytes under just normal use and 2-3 times opening and closing a few large applications.

And eventually you will have to reboot just to reclaim the cpu memory again, but even then you're back to the same issue of Mavericks eats memory. Rebooting alone uses 3 GB where OS-X 10.7 or 10.8 only used 2 GB and that was recoverable with the purge command. Under Mavericks, much of the memory isn't recoverable.

So, the point here is that while some like it for this feature, I don't even though it's not a real issue most of the time on my Mac Pro. With 16 GB, there was lots of cpu memory available before, but under Mavericks, there isn't after working with Abode Creative Suite applications along with other applications, where I'm back to normal working mode to find I'm over 8 GB just sitting there with 4-5 GB of it closed applications I won't use again.

And that sucks waiting if the maintenance clears it or I reboot to recover it.

Adobe Dreamweaver

I use Adobe Dreamweaver as my main Web page developer and editor in several version, Creative Suite (CS) 5/5.5, 6 and CC (Creative Cloud). I don't recommend the CS 6 version as the user interface and windows were poorly designed for larger computer displays.

I would like to still use them but after upgading to OS-X 10.9 Mavericks and they still work but all three versions produce endless messages every few seconds in the Console window crowding out all the other message you need to look at sometimes with OS-X or applications.

Surprisingly the only Adobe Web design/editor application that works and doesn't produce more about a dozen messages is GoLive (version 9, the last version) which I've used for five-plus years now. It has the old-style user interface and windows, but it works and I'm familar with it.

So, until Adobe updates all the recent versions of Dreamweaver I'll use GoLive and the other Web editors I have an use, such as BBEdit, Coda, Espresso.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Google Map API Job

Update.--If you know someone who can do or is interested in the work, please let them know. There is more work available if the person does a good job.

I'm still looking for this help after I updated this work and posted it on the University of Washington Career Connections blog, Google help wanted. It's $25 and hour for 3-4 hours of work, more if proven necessary.

I posted an entry about wanting, and paying for, help with Google map API version 3, which you can read here. Well, I realized I forgot to tell folks what they can see what I want to do with the one map I want updated where I can translate those changes to the rest of the maps.

So, what I want is to change the Web cam map Web page from version 2 to version three which you can see what I've done so far, which is get the map and nothing else. You can view the source of these to compare the Google API code on the bottom of the page (after the address tags).

That's the script to change, which is mostly the call and load statements as I've found the core block of code for the XML files didn't change, or that I can find or read. Unfortunately I can't find any examples using XML files where I can adapt my code using their call and load statements.

Anyway, that's the update. The need is still there and the offer still good. If you know version 3 code, I'm open to discuss the work. I can quickly load any code into the local Website files using Dreamweaver to test them. I'm also open for someone to suggest changes, enhancements, etc. I can always use the help and learn.

And the pay? Negotiatable but in the $20-25 per hour range assuming a few hours of work for a reasonably experienced Google API programmer or student.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dear Apple

Since Apple plans to seed an update for OS-X 10.9 Mavericks, here's what I want to see fixed.

First, the Menu Bar. Restore the control over the order the user opens them, so they are in the position  right to left as the app is open, just like OS-X 10.8.x, and not random as is now.

Second, fix the Safari bookmarks edit page so it's like OS-X 10.8.x which put all the major folder in a left column and the subfolder in the right section, and the position and folders are kept open when the user returns to the page from other pages.

Third, fix the menu bar apps which open and display from the menu bar only. These broke and don't work under Mavericks. Same deal, fix it like OS-X 10.8.x.

Fourth, fix the activity monitor to look at all HD's, again just like OS-X 10.8.x to show the same information about disk space.

Fifth, purge command. Fix the purge command where it's not a administrator password required command. This is stupid now.

Sixth, fix the memory issue. Mavericks supposedly uses memory better but it's a cpu memory hog. What operating system needs 2 GB's to boot? And what operating system just keeps eating memory just sitting there, like 100's of MB's for what?

This is why the purge command helps. I hate seeing the cpu just keep growing without recovering it when you close files or apps. If I close it, I don't need it, and reopening again doesn't take that long.

And lastly, but more importantly with iTunes, can you please restore the feature from iTunes 10 to keep the album artwork in active memory so I don't have to scroll through the list of albums routinely to restore them?

It is stupid to move them to inactive memory, now file cache, where the user has to keep rescrolling to display the artwork when they're already in memory. Just keep them in active memory where they're always visible.

Anyway, that's it for my suggestions, just restore things you removed. That's not rocket science since you had them and then removed them.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Adobe & Mavericks

Be careful upgrading or updating Adobe apps under Mavericks. They may not install completely or correctly, telling you to uninstall previous versions, except uninstalling them may not work completely or correctly.

I went to upgrade to Adobe Drive 5, having both Adobe Drive CS5 and Adobe Drive 4 on the Mac. The installation shows the pathname to Adobe 4 than a new Adobe 5 folder, and then it bailed saying I had to uninstall Adobe Drive 4.

When I ran the uninstall Adobe Drive 4, it bailed saying I needed some other Adobe software or I could reboot and try again. Rebooting allowed me to uninstall Adobe Drive 4 but installing Adobe Drive 5 bailed with an incomplete installation in the Adobe 4 Drive folder.

But the real problem came during the installation it hung my Finder window and Finder app. I had to a force quit of finder but then just rebooted to recover the system. I'm not sure if Adobe has fully tested all their apps with Mavericks, and especially the installation.

I suspect the individual apps in Creative Suite are fine, it's the system access ones which may has issues or problems with Mavericks, so be careful and to Adobe, please fix it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What we learned

What we have learned about President Obama is that he believes in the omnivorous covert surveillence and intelligence gathering on everyone in the world, including the leaders of governments supposedly our allies in the world, and in the endless, limited, covert war on terrorism fought not with armies but drones and special operations forces.

What we have learned about President Obama is that he is a more miltaristic president that the worst Republican and most intrusive one on the rights, protections, privacy and liberities of Americans. He is simply our worst nightmare of what we thought a bad Republican could and would be as President.

What we have learned about President Obama is that we wouldn't vote for him in 2008 knowing what he has become and what he has allowed this country to become. We simply don't trust him or anything he says anymore. He lies through his smiles and his words.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Intego Backup Manager Pro

I run Intego's Backup Manager Pro to 3 external HD's along with Apple's Time Machine backup. It's been a good backup application doing 4 backups overnight, specifically a HD clone, a HD user folder sync, and backups of the 3 other internal HD's.

Well, the application broke with Mavericks for two reasons. First, as noted, I didn't set the App Nap to disable Apple app nap program for the application and it stalled and then hung. Then after setting it to "Prevent App Nap" it ran amuck using all 13+ GB's before stalling and hanging.

The folks at Intego said to uninstall and reinstall it from the CD (the uninstall on the CD), except the install was a download and Intego doesn't have the uninstall on their Website anymore, if they even had it. So it was off to the Internet via Google.

I save all of my old .dmg install files so I have an old copy of the software to install but I don't have the uninstall, but here's what I found and tried.

First, using the terminal window, go to the directory using the command

cd /Library/StartupItems/'Intego Backup Manager Pro'

Doing a list of the directory you'll find a file

Now run the shell as root, using the command

sudo sh

Enter the root password and wait.

Then reinstall the application from a .dmg file you have and it should work right again with all your scheduled backup setups. You can test it by running them.

Lessons from Mavericks

Here's what I've learned so far with OS-X 10.9 Mavericks.

First and foremst, Apple made changes which don't make sense for users, mentioned in lessons, and really decided to pull a Microsoft trick and dumb down their software taking some features and tools away and changing some to be less useful and productive. Really stupid.

Second, and almost foremost, many third-party app companies have had more than enough time to develop and test new updates or upgrades, so where are they? I've had far too many apps fail and no update or upgrade available. It's really a WTF moment with them too.

What angers me more now is that the response from some of the app companies is something you expect from Microsoft and their third-party app companies, "Just uninstall and reinstall the software, then talk to us." Really?

Ok, the lessons.

One, Safari bookmarks. Apple took away the really neat edit bookmarks page in lieu of the new sidebar, but the new edit bookmarks page is worse if you want to edit or move bookmarks when you have a lot of them, like hundreds in a lot of folders and subfolders. And there's no good third-party bookmarks editor.

Two, more of the same app. They changed adding bookmarks to the top of the folder list instead of the bottom. Why? No reason than they can and did. In additon clicking on the "+" since in the url bar doesn't always add the bookmark. You need to use the menu option.

Three, a big one here with apps. Apple added the "App Nap" option, but to disable it you have to get the info for each application (click on app and "get info" button) to set "Prevent app nap" option. This is important as this interfers with many apps, like backups, streaming, processing, etc. which will stall or bail out.

So, walk through you apps and set them to prevent app nap. This feature is for laptops and unncessary for iMacs or Mac Pros. But then check the app to make sure it runs correctly afterward.

Four, Menu Bar. Apple changed where they start on the menu bar from a nice, orderly right to left to the new purely random order. This is really stupid if you want to keep the apps in the same order after every reboot. This needs to be fixed!

Five, Menu Bar redux. Apple changed the sandbox rules where many apps which open and close the window from the menu bar don't work anymore. The app just sits on the menu bar doing nothing.

Six, Apple's Activity Monitor app. What happened to the HD disk information tool? All you get is the one HD, none of the other HD's. For that you need another app or something, or as sometimes I find, I'm missing something.

Seventh, Apple supposedly made the purge command unnecessary, requiring admin. password to invoke the command, but if you watch the memory usage, you'll see something quite the opposite. Now reboot consumes 1.5 GB's where it was a few 100 MB's you could purge.

Now the memory comes back. It's now "File Cache" which is something other than inactive memory too but still that cache eats memory like a relative's hungry family at a $5 all-you-can-eat buffet which is your computer.

Really, and sometimes you can't release the memory even after the app is closed, necessitating rebooting.

Anyway, that's the list to date. Right now, most of my menu bar apps have issues or don't work and I hate trying to get them into the order they started under Mountain Lion. And I've lost some apps, eg. Intego Backup Manager, which the company used the MS response (above) but forgot to send instructions of how to do that.

Friday, October 25, 2013

More Notes on Mavericks

A quick note to remind folks, the installation of OS-X Mavericks doesn't include Java, from Apple and removes Oracle's Java from your system. You have to reinstall Apple's Java to be current again and then install Oracle's Java, in that order, so Oracles runs your Java applications, eg. Safari, etc.

I know many people hate Java and don't recommend having it, especially with Safari, but some Websites use them for interacting or presenting real-time streaming, and I haven't had any issues with Oracle's version since it's always newer and updated more frequently than Apple's version.

On another note I restarted Time Machine, which I turned off under Mountain Lion because every few days the backup went nuts and ran for 4-8 hours for no reason, eating tons of memory on the TC which it then had to erase to add new backups when it got full. I stopped it and erased the disk.

Under the new memory allocation, the Time Machine runs faster and finishes sooner, taking just over 9 hours for a complete backup it previously took 16+ hours, but still taking the normal 3-5 minutes for the hourly backups. So far, it hasn't run amuck, yet.

What's interesting is that the faster backup eats memory. I shutdown everything for it and during the process, it literally used 13+ GB's pushing the cpu to the maximum 16 GB and compressing files to accommodate it. It didn't fully recover the inactive memory after it was done, leaving 9+ GB of files in the cache. A bug, maybe.

I still have about half my menu bar apps broken and a few major apps broken, eg. Fidelia (audio player) or with issues or problems. I'm not sure who's at fault since Apple released Mavericks to developers months ago to have updates available when it was released.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll add more as I find it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Notes on OS-X Maverick

Well, playing some more with a few of Apple's app under OS-X 10.9, Mavericks, it seems to me Apple is becoming more like Microsoft in restricting users with their apps to specific, dumb-downed options, tools and features, and making the more than the casual user disliking the software.

You can read all the reports, articles and blogs on all the "cool" stuff you can do, all so easy and "trust us" that it's ok. Yeah, if that's how you use your Mac, but if you're in between that user and the experienced user, meaning you like more flexibility and latitude with apps, then you're toast.

I'm kinda' one of those who like to know what's under the hood, so I learn enough to understand the idea or concept and the basic logic and reasoning to things, but I'm more a hands on user with some apps, which is where Mavericks really sucks as the changes didn't add new things but changed things for the better and worse.

In the case of Safari, I liked Safari 6.x under Mountain Lion where I could keep a bookmarks tab open and wander through then to click on the ones I wanted to visit. The major folders were in a column on the left with the major and sub-folders on the right for the major folder you clicked in the column.

It was easy to edit and move links around. That's gone. The bookmarks are now a move in/out sidebar you can't edit or move folders or links, only click. The edit bookmark Web page is like a finder type list view. Meaning if you have a long list of folders, it's work moving links around.

In addition if you click and link and come back to the bookmarks page, all the folders are compressed again. In Safari 6, it remembered where you left and kept you there, so you can continue to other links in the same folder or subfolder(s).

Now you have to reopen each succeeding subfolder every time. How dumb is that? Why couldn't they have kept the old edit bookmarks with the new sidebar bookmarks? Not rocket science, but then they're not changing things for folks like me.

What I do like is the way it handles memory, using each tab for it's only memory allocation, and closing the tab, removes the memory. This is better than one giant memory cache. It's more daemons and work, but better use of memory.

One of the few good changes they made with memory, the rest are argueable about being good or not. Really, because it uses more total memory for the same apps than Mountain Lion, about 1+ GB more over 10-12 GB's. And the purge command is really meaningless now as the memory quickly jumps back to the pre-purge level.

As for mail, it's relatively the same. I really hate they dropped the remote server (host) window to manage e-mail from your Mac. You have go to those Websites to manage it or use the preferences to remove it but that option doesn't discern any you want on the host, it deletes all of the inbox.

There was no reason to remove the remote window, because to run the delete you have to do what exactly what they removed this window in the first place, send the unencrypted password over the Internet. That's a WTF moment I'd like to ask them personally about.

Outside of that and losing about half my menu bar apps, Mavericks isn't a must upgrade from the users persepective as from Apple's who's forcing you to upgrade to match your iPhone and/or iPad IOS 7 system and the iCloud options.

And yes, I hate IOS 7 too. The icons reminds me a kindergarten class designed them. Fortunately my iPad is still on IOS 5 for the few things I use it for, which is mostly documents, but yes, I'll replace it with the new iPad next year with IOS 7.

For now I'm just waiting for the applications to be updated on the App Store, but I'm not holding my breath as I've had a few going back to early this year waiting for updates available on their companies' Website since they stopped sending Apple updates.

Really, it's why I don't recommend buying on the App Store unless it's the only choice. Otherwise, buy it from the company but make sure their a recognized developer or Maverick may not allow or run it.

Apple is being Microsoft, and I hate Microsoft (long story from work computer and computer geeks).

OS-X Mavericks Summary

Here's what I know to date, so you can forget the two previous rants. I was and still am angry at Apple for their habit of dropping cool tools and features some informed, meaning not just mindless users as Apple likes, want to see and know about their Mac and applications.

First, the Activity Monitor is almost completely different, more so with how they define memory. Active memory is now App Memory, inactive memory is now File Cache. Adjust your thinking to their new vocabulary. Same information, different words.

The purge command, which to some seems unnecessary, is useful since the inactive, er file cache, memory can under Mountain Lion and especially now under Mavericks get huge, like 1 GB and even 2-3 GB, meaning it has to start compressing or swapping space. That's not performance, but just wasteful design.

The menu bar apps don't start in the order they do under previous versions. Before they added right to left in the order you opened them. Now it's almost random, and if you want them in order, you have to kill and reopen them until the show in the far left place. A bug they need to fix.

They broke a number of apps which are accessed from the menu bar. They removed a commonly used library or functions, eg. CGContextErase, and sandboxing denies hid control which freeze the app (the feature which open and hides it by clicking on it in the menu bar icon). This includes some social network apps, like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Mail no longer has the remote server window to control the mail on the remote (host) server. I don't know why they did this stupid stunt except Apple doesn't want you now to send unencrypted passwords to those server. They did with all previous versions of mail but not this one.

This means you have to use the preferences to remove the mail on the server, which of courses send the unencrypted password to the server (Gee, oxymoron there with Apple?) to delete the mail there, and it deletes all the mail, meaning you can't store mail there as backup, it's removed by the mail app if you set it.

Apple iBooks. Ok, you can now read them on your Mac. That's a start, but you still can't print the damn thing! What's good if you can't print pages, sections or a chapter if you don't want to read it on the Mac, but make notes or take it somewhere. Oh, yes, use your iPhone or iPad, but even then, still you can only read it, you can't print any pages.

This is why I don't buy iBooks unless there's no choice, and why some authors only provide their books in iBooks beside the obvious it was produced in iBooks Author which only makes iBook for the Apple bookstore, is beyond me.

Safari bookmarks format is different, and sucks is an understatement if you edit or more  bookmarks and have an extensive list of folders and subfolders. Trying to move bookmarks around the window is cumbersome where the old version you could move them in steps without scrolling.

Again, Apple forgets real users in places of the user who doesn't seem to care how bookmarks are handled, just where they are. And I couldn't find a third-party app to edit and move bookmarks in a simple user interface like the old multi-column format.

If you're like me and like the bookmarks bar the opening page in one tab, you have to use the menu bar option now to "edit bookmarks" to open that format. Hitting the column button in the favorites bar only shows the bookmarks, you can't do anything with them.

Safari now puts each tab or window as a separate daemon and when you close a tab or window, it removes the active memory (killing the daemon), but keeps it in cache, somewhere different now than before. There are no more Webpage previews. So much for the cache cleaner apps.

Apple seems to like to keep the third-party app companies working with each update and more so each upgrade.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

OS-X Mavericks II

After playing with OS-X 10.9 Mavericks, I would say in a word if you're thinking of upgrading to it:


What they did was screw up some of the menu bar apps which don't run, but more so the apps won't start in the right position (right to left in order of opening). It eats memory like it's at a free byte buffet (inactive memory is now file cache in the Activity Monitor). It screwed up the Safari bookmarks editing tools and can't hide top sites. And it screwed up mail (no window to remote mail servers).

There's more but I haven't found them yet. And while all the people tout the new tools and features, Apple screwed up the basic useful ones along with some really dumb shit moves (like the menu bar).

They redid memory use, removing some memory when you close things, like tabs in Safari, but eats memory just on rebooting (like over 1 GB) and seems to eat memory just sitting along with reserving memory for closed apps. Each upgrade and update seems to need more memory for doing nothing but rebooting, let alone actually opening apps.

[Update the next morning the file cache was 2.8 GB with no major app open except Safari and the small ones on the menu bar. After the purge command, which now takes the administrator password to run, reduced it to 150 MB, but then using Safari tabs, went to 900 MB.

I can't think who thought this was a great idea, but if you're like me and end up using 12+ GB for apps when working, the file cache will be the restricting factor on the system performance. I will test this this week/weekend, but I don't see it's a good way to run a computer.]

So, don't upgrade until they resolve some of these bugs and the third-party applications companies get their upgrades out to the App Store where most of them are available, provided they don't charge for the upgrade.

OS-X Mavericks

Update.-- I added some notes to the next post on Mavericks about memory.

Well, I updated the Mac Pro to OS-X 10.9, Mavericks, in part to see if Apple fixed some problems and get away from some things I didn't like with Mountain Lion. Well, it's the old adage about the grass and the other side of the fence. And the verdict?

It's worthwhile if you don't like Mountain Lion, but Mavericks has some new issues I like and don't like, mostly what small things I find annoying which I liked with Mountain Lion and don't like with Mavericks.

For one, they supposedly changed how inactive memory with the purge command is handled, eliminating the need to clean it out, but after installing a lot of updates through the App store, it was useful to do, except now you need to be system administrator and enter your password than just the command. Stupid.

Next, it eats memory, especially just sitting there. It doesn't seem to release memory of apps you close, maybe just in case you want them again, maybe. Not! It seems to be a continuation of Mountain Lion with this hidden memory, or at least I can't find.

Safari. Well, it's just more of what there was but they changed the bookmarks. I liked the old version of them with the folder column and the subfolder column. That's gone or I can't find how to recreate it. The old version was easier to move bookmarks. The new version sucks.

And it doesn't remember where you keep the colum divider. I like the finder column view for bookmarks this doesn't have now. And you can't hide the top sites link on the favorites bar. I don't want and don't need it, but I can't find how or where to hide or remove it.

It sometimes seems Apple doesn't think much of users to give them control over the apps for simple things. Stupid again. Looks like a good bookmark editor is in order. Any takers Apple?

Ok, mail. Same as the old mail except one big thing. The command i to open the remote mailboxes is gone, or again, it's not obvious anymore, meaning you have to go to those Websites individually to remove the mail in the remote boxes.

This is what the command i did, open those boxes, but apparently Apple redesigned it for some reason to remove a simple thing into nothing or hidden. Beats me now but this really sucks big time on their part.

Well, iTunes seems the same interface and operation, and it still does not load all the album artwork and keep it in active memory when you open iTunes. This was the default in iTunes 10 which was dropped in iTunes 11 for better memory usage, but they didn't give the user the choice if their computer had the memory. What's the word? Stupid.

Well, there's always something. Apparently there's no consistent positioning on apps which use the menu bar, or if there is, it's not obvious. With Mountain Lion, the new one was always on the left of the last one. With Mavericks, it's hit and miss where it's at.

I'm not sure who was the person(s) who screwed this up but this is really stupid as the apps just position themselves anywhere. In addition many are bailing out with error messages about obsolete libraries. So I have to wait for updates for them but please Apple fix the menu bar location problem.

That's it for now. So far it's the same stuff, Apple acting like Microsoft to dummy down things and not trust users with their own computer.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Getting Paid

While over 800,000 government workers are now furloughed, including Congressional staffers, and almost all the government workers, including Congressional staffers, won't get paid through the furlough, all the members of the House and Senate will get paid as "essential" government employees.

Really, the people who voted to shutdown the government still get a paycheck. It's why they can stand in front of all those microphones and rail about "the government", forgetting they're also part of the very same government, they're getting a government check!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Next Season

Well, the 2013 season rolls into the last day of the season today with the Mariners 19 games under .500 with their fourth straight losing season and eighth of the last ten seasons. And true to form, the first person to go is the manager.

This time though, it's the manager Eric Wedge who quit to refuse a one-year extension of his contract, telling the truth about the Mariners without giving names, that the problem isn't the players, which they lack better ones, but management, specifically the GM and President, for not putting a better team for him to manage.

This is good news to hear since the GM is up for this one-year extension and he's been the source of the failure of the team to put the best team on the field. You can't have four straight losing season with a different mix of players and managers and say it's all the fault of the players and manager.

The truth is it's the management, specifically the GM, who didn't want Eric Wedge to leave because he gives them a fallback to put the blame on next year the team fails with a losing season. When previous managers have gone on to manage winning teams, eg. Bob Melvin with the Oakland A's, and Eric Wedge has managed winning teams.

It's just not the Mariners. They're a good team with lots of good young talent, but they keep trading players who do better elsewhere and keep players who underperform. And their triple-A team, the Tacoma Rainiers, aren't much better for top level talent as many have been up and down with Seattle.

So, with the beginning of the off-season, we'll hear lots of stories about potential, lots of stories about young prospects, and some stories about bringing in proven older players who are past being more than ordinary.

Last year the Mariners finished second in defense, being first most of the year and only dropping because of the player expansion in September using less top level players. So they traded some of those players for power hitters who didn't perform at the career level. What happened?

Well the Mariners finished only slightly better in hitting, but still in the bottom 10, finished worse in pitching, again in the bottom 10, and finished mid-pack in defense. A plan that went wrong all season to finish 4th again in the American League West Division, not last only because of the addition of Houston to the division.

All this leaves the real question, will they fire the GM to find one who believes in the team more than enough to put a winning team together than just talking potential, prospects, and proven players who almost all fail?

And will they find a manager, like Melvin, Wedge, etal. who will get the players to win? We have 6 months to find out whether it's more of the same words or real change.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


NBC Sports Network (Channel) does it again with Formula One, empty promises. I went to watch the live qualifying for the Singapore race this morning (6 am PDT) and sure enough it's European football, but not just for later in the morning to air the qualifying then, but all fucking day!

They don't air the qualifying until 10 pm tonight. Right now I'm getting the live stream information from Formula One's official Website, and pissed off is an understatement about these networks and their promises to race fans.

But then why am I not surprised they have to repay the money they paid to air Barclay Premier League Football, "Every game", like it matters fans miss one game in the whole season for the world's most watched sport, Formula One?

Give me a fucking break. NBC Sports promised no event would be missed with live broadcasts and now they've decided to renige. At least ESPN Speed Channel did a better job of the live broadcasts with only those race delayed to be on ABC.

But we don't even get the qualifying on any other channel except of course if you want to ante up with your cable provider. Yeah, it's about the money. Always about the money. And NBC Sports is just another corporation which sucks.

I'd say "who sucks" but I don't recognize corporations as people. There the Supreme court sucked the American people, but that's a different issue, just related to corporations.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Update.--This evening (9/20/13) the iPhone is down 10% in just 24 hours and I didn't use it very much during the time, which meant it was idle. I haven't done the autolock off and music playing mode which is most of my use of it. I'll keep you posted there.

Update.--This morning (9/20/13) the iPhone with IOS7 is still at 100%, 14 hours after restarting it, so the power issue yesterday is a question, but it's still at ~65% of the memory usage without doing anything, meaning a few apps and it's running at near 100%. So it's just a memory hog, and yes, the icons are still ugly with the dumb gray background hiding the background photo.

Today (9/19/13) I noticed iTunes showed an update was available for my iPhone 4 to IOS 7 from 6.1.3. I, stupidly, updated it and discovered very quickly it was a big mistake. First, the install crashed near the end, and then the recovery quit about 3/4rds through it, so I had to completely rebuild it firmware and contents.

When all was said and done I walked through all the settings and preferences as well as check the performance of it compared to 6.1.3 and realize more so it was a really big mistake for IOS 7 is, in a sentence:

IOS 7 sucks and is ugly.

There's no two ways about. Just with the same apps and stuff, the memory usage went from ~50% (+/- 2%) to 62% (+/- 1%). And in 4-5 hours the battery life went from 100% to 94% where it took ~2 days to drop from just 1-2%. And turning the autolock off, it dropped to 88% in an hour!

That's worse than a hungry full grown pig at a trough.

Really. Apple has outdone themselves at consumptive use, again. They're notorious for creating consumptive operating systems, and this is just another example they don't learn and don't check themselves.

And ugly really is the operative look of the icons and windows. I won't argue some features and looks are cool and good, but all of Apple's icons really suck, in part because I like the transparent look and hate the new white/gray background. I have a cool photo I want to see than the icon.

As for the apps themselves, there's just more ugly and more features you have to check and set. It's like a small car they keep loading more features adding weight it doesn't need. Why not give users choices to add or remove basic apps and define some window settings?

I also discovered the touch doesn't work as well as IOS 6.1.3 in the apps. I have one of the rubber pointer and the slide buttons on Apple's apps really didn't want to recognize it. I had to keep swiping at it a good number of times before it slide off or on.

My advice to anyone is don't upgrade until Apple solves these issues or give users options to reduce the load on the apps you can't control. And if you have, like me, you can wait for the fix, but don't hold your breath, or download the last old version and install it.

Your choice, but you can get instructions for the latter here for the downgrade. If you keep IOS, I can only say if you have an iPhone 4/4S to keep it plugged in or turned off when not being used. Otherwise, it just eats power. As for the looks and features, it's in the eye of the user.

Rules of Politics

Rules of politics

1. Money begets power and power begets money.

2. People are only fodder for issues.

3. Talk is to reaffirm the party faithful and trash the opponents.

4. The goal is playing the game, not getting results.

5. Winning is when the other party doesn't win.

6. Corporations are the only people to care about.

7. If caught in a lie, then lie again. Never be honest.

8. Everything else doesn't matter.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Say Goodnight

Say Goodnight Mariners. With 15 games to go in the 2013 season, the Mariners lost to the St. Louis Cardinals after being swept by the Houston Astros for the second time this season, one of the most inept teams in baseball.

They are now 16 games under .500 and with 15 games to go it's just  matter of how many more games they'll lose because they're playing for next season with the expanded roster. They'll likely be at least 20 games under .500 when the season is over.

This is already worse than last year when they finished 12 games under .500 but better than the two previous season which were more than 30 games under each season.

And this is all on the shoulder of the president and GM of the team who will have 4 consecutive losing season to explain just how good they are at putting a winning team on the field. In short, they suck at it.

And over the winter we'll hear the talk about prospects and off-season trades and acquistions to go into spring training with most the same time and the over-the-hill players good players who think Seattle is a good place to play for a few years for a lot of money, essentially free money because if Seattle didn't take them, they'd retire.

And so it goes, another season lost before it ends. When will this end?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Google Map API Job

I'm still looking for this help after I updated this work and posted it on the University of Washington Career Connections blogGoogle help wanted. It's $25 and hour for 3-4 hours of work, more if proven necessary.

I posted an entry about wanting, and paying for, help with Google map API version 3, which you can read here. Well, I realized I forgot to tell folks what they can see what I want to do with the one map I want updated where I can translate those changes to the rest of the maps.

So, what I want is to change the Web cam map Web page from version 2 to version three which you can see what I've done so far, which is get the map and nothing else. You can view the source of these to compare the Google API code on the bottom of the page (after the address tags).

That's the script to change, which is mostly the call and load statements as I've found the core block of code for the XML files didn't change, or that I can find or read. Unfortunately I can't find any examples using XML files where I can adapt my code using their call and load statements.

Anyway, that's the update. The need is still there and the offer still good. If you know version 3 code, I'm open to discuss the work. I can quickly load any code into the local Website files using Dreamweaver to test them. I'm also open for someone to suggest changes, enhancements, etc. I can always use the help and learn.

And the pay? Negotiatable but in the $20-25 per hour range assuming a few hours of work for a reasonably experienced Google API programmer or student.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mr President

If as you say Mr. President, President Assad has violated the ban on the use of chemical weapons and commited crimes against humanity, his own people, then you should make your case to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, The Netherlands, and not with Congress or the American people. Make the international community decide his guilt, not you alone.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Dear AARP,

You keep sending me cards to entice me to join, and every time I cut them up and throw them away. You are not an organization which represents older and retired people. You are a corporation which uses fake membership to sell people discounts, insurance, and others products.

You make money off older and retired people from their membership dues and from corporations paying you to sell stuff to members. You talk about what's good for older and retired people but you never asked what we think or what we want you to do for us.

You have never polled your members on legislation before Congress. You told the what they should think of bills in Congress, how and what they should tell our Congressional representatives, and how they should vote on issues or candidates.

You spoke not just for member but all older and retired people. You lobbied for us. You decided for us. And you ran ads for us. But you never asked us, especially those of us who aren't members. You acted as if we were members without our permission or approval.

Members don't elect the board governing the organization. They don't get a say in the decisions of the organization. They don't get to speak or write for the publications, only the ads to sell products. They only get told by the organization what is best for them.

You ignore members but not their money and their value to sell more products. I joined when I turned 50 and quit when I turned 52 because you didn't and won't listen to members. You don't care about members, only their money. And with that in mind, here's my answer to your junk mail.

Go Fuck Yourself!

I'll take care of myself thank you. I don't need you or your corporation telling me what I should think or how I should vote, and I don't need the products you and the corporations paying you to sell us.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Questions not Answered

What the President, Secretary of State Kerry and Defense Secretary have not answered are three questions.

First, what exactly do you mean by the threat to our national security?

Second, what does the US gain from any attack against the Syrian military?

Third, what are the realistic possible consequences with respect to other nations?

All I've heard is a lot of chest pounding we heard from the neocons in the lead in into war in Iraq. All Ive heard is the same rhetoric about escalting threats if we don't do anything. All I've heard is the drumbeat of the people in the same job in the administration.

All I've heard is the President's red-line and ensuring "our", meaning the President's, word to the world about taking on threats. All I've heard is about ego and arrogance to say we know the truth and have the proof. All I've heard is "trust us" about the evidence and why we should act.

I haven't heard are the what-if's about nothing changes with the Assad government and military, about what happens to the Middle East, and about what happens with the allies of Syria and the other nations supporting the opposition.

I haven't heard anything more than political cow pasture material. I would rather wait until there is clear and obvious use of chemical weapons by the Syria government against the Syrian people, enough that China and Russia can't deny and the UN can act.

Let's Understand

Let's understand, Mr. President and especially Congress who will vote to authorize the President to order air strikes against Syria, one thing. Getting authorization to target missiles on Syrian President Assad's chemical weapons inventory, both the weapons depots and means to deploy the weapons, is not the same as air warning and air defense positions.

We know, as has been said even by the President, that missiles would target Syria military infrastructure  with the use of chemical weapons, which to him and the US military includes air warning (radar) and air defense (ground to air missiles) systems.

No, they're entirely different parts of the military designed for different purposes and goals, they are not the places chemical weapons are stored or the places where missiles or rockets with chemical weapons are deployed and fired.

But it is always the first goal in any war against an enemy is to attack and damage, if not destroy, their air warning and air defense systems. We saw this with the two wars against Iraq and in the plans for any war with Iran against the nuclear weapons facilities.

And it is always the goal when you plan to attack another nation, and all those promises of not putting military forces on the ground is bogus when you declare this is the first set of targets, to protect the additional missiles and any military operations in that country.

And we know the ships in the eastern Mediterrean Sea have Marines ready to go into Syria on any special operations necessary to carry out the missions authorized by the President. They would want to know their flight path will be clear of any potential enemy response.

So let's understand when the President asks for authorization against Syria under the guise of the chemical weapons, it's a ruse of the real possibilitiy of US involvement in Syria. We've heard this story from Presidents, Secretaries of State, Defense Secretaries and military commanders, as we're hearing it now.

Same story, different country, but the same goal, war. We've had enough Mr. President, find another way.

Monday, September 2, 2013

New Domes shoes

I wrote about the pair of Dome 5-10 shoes I used for walking, putting over 600 miles on them and they're still good but the sole is too thin to for my feet, and I bought new pair of the low and high shoes for the coming fall and winter, to switch off on days or from the weather.

Well I spent August going through a used pair of 5-10 Camp 4 shoes and this week started using the new Dome shoes after a half dozen short walks on errands and such to break them in.

What I noticed about the new Dome shoes doesn't make me happy, especially my feet and toes. The new pair (same size) have a shorter and narrow toe box which is slightly less rounded. This squeezes the toes a bit too much where I have remember to keep the laces across the toes loose.

But the lacing space is wider so the sides of the shoes are shorter. This means more of the shoe's tongue and laces are over the foot than the sides. I don't really like either of these changes. The walks this week were ok with them as they'll still take a few more walks to fully break in.

That said I'm going to watch the fit and wear through the fall to see if I buy new ones next year. I sent the company an e-mail I don't like the redesign but hope that view changes as they wear. For now I'm hesitant to recommend new ones if you need a wider or longer toe box.

I also like the Camp 4 shoes, but they took longer to break in and had not foot or toe problems once I found the right tightness with the laces. The downside of these are they don't wear as well as I went through the toes in just over a month.

I still have another pair of older 5-10 shoes, Mountain Master, but a few walks hurt my feet, along with wearing faster and the toe guard and stitching coming loose. All of these are better than any running or walking shoes, especially for the price.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

No Mr President

We're not buying your war Mr. President. We know a "narrow, limited attack", in your words, would not amount to much more than a slap to President Assad of Syria. He would not care what we do in response to his atttack on the people of Syria, and he'll keep on killing them.

As noted in the news stories, you are asking us to rely on the CIA and other "spy" agencies "proof" the attack was committed by the Syrian military but can't determine if President Assad knew about it and maybe even approved it.

The UN inspectors are only there to determine what chemical was used, if they can, not who used them. So selling us the culprit now reminds us President Bush selling us Saddham Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, sold by the same agencies who lied then.

And even though it's clear chemical weapons were used in Syria, you're still trying to convince us a retaliation is fair and just despite only France being the only ally willing to agree, but not help, with your war.

That's what's not going to work. We've been there before and there is no narrow and limited war in Syria in the midst of a two year civil war. We know your attack would only have a short-term impact on Syria and those in power, and you'll be back again for another attack.

And then what? You promised us no wars of our own choosing, and this is one of those wars of choice. You surround yourself with senior military officials as your advisors and then say you're getting a balanced range of options.

No, not when you only ask the military and your senior military advisors. You're being swayed into an attack that has no guarrantees of success and no promises of avoiding collateral damage, and that's the issue and real question, what if any of those missiles miss their intended targets or hit innocent civilians?

Where will that put this country in the eyes of the world? Right now the best decision is the old adage, "Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor." It's time to wait and see, and only attack when the concensus asks you than you ask them.

Friday, August 30, 2013

No Mr President

President Obama's logic that Syria's chemical weapons is a threat to the national security of the US is the same logic and reasoning Bush sold us the war in Iraq.

Sorry, Mr. President, we're not that stupid this time. Syria's chemical weapons are only a threat to the Syrian people by the Assad government and military, and not a threat to Americans or America.

Don't go down the road to involve us, you know the American people, in another mindless war in the Middle East with no possible exit or solution for us or them.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Century Link

Why in the world does Century Link decide to bring down their Internet connection for users on a weekday at 4:45 pm? I was in the middle of downloading an e-book which buyers have limited downloads in case of problems and which downloads take nearly an hour to finish.

And about 2/3rds into the download Century Link drops the connection, and when it comes back the download starts from the beginning, the nearly hour download all over again, along with all the other work that requires an Internet connection.

Century Link provides good service most of the time, but when they do down, it's almost always at the times users need it the most, from mid-morning to early evening, like how can they inconvenience users the most.

Yeah, it's a vent or rant, but sometimes it's warranted against things like this, to let a download work and come to find it quit because your Internet connection isn't working. And through all of these times Century Link has never credited users' account for the inconvenience.

Like we pay for this? And what's worse, try to find information about downtimes on their Website. Wait, you can't if it's on the Internet you can't use to check them.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

I can't help but notice how many news organizations through their media outlets are calling for Private Manning to receive proper medical care for a transition from male to female, including hormones, while in military prison.

They call it "cruel and unusual punishment" as defined in the Constitution, and rightfully so when it involves the protection of transgender individual from violence, rape and other physical abuse by other prisoners or guards.

Whether it's cruel or unusual punishment to deny non-life threatening medical treatments from a prisoner has been subject to a lot of discussion over the years, and if mandatory treatment should include medical care for transgender prisoners to transition.

Granted the DSM-V stipulates transgender, meaning someone who recognize they gender is differnt than their birth sex, is a condition which is treatable with therapy, drugs and surgery if desired. But whille Manning has received a preliminary diagnosis of being transgender, it hasn't been fully confirmed by other medical professionals.

And that's the question, should Manning get the therapy for that determination, and if so diagnosed, get the treatment of hormones at the government's, meaning the taxpayers', expense. But that's another issue and not the point I want to make here.

While a whole array of organizations and people have asserted the rights of prisoners who are diagnosed as transgender to receive treatment in prison, almost none of these same organizations and people have argued health insurance companies denying the same rights to paying customers is also cruel and unusual punishment.

If it's fair and right for prisoners, why isn't it fair and right for citizens? There are tens of thousands of transgender people being denied coverage under their health insurance for transgender healthcare and treatment, even well after a diagnosis.

Not only are they denied, their record, if they reveal it to the health insurance company by themselves or through the healthcare providers, is almost always flagged and other medical care denied or rejected as related to their diagnosis as transgender.

This is a case of legitimate needs of people paying for health insurance being subject to cruel and unusual punishment by corporations for the same condition. Where are the voices for them? Where is the outrage of the injustice?

Nowhere. And that too is cruel and unusual punishment by those voices aruging for prisoners' rights. Maybe they should be held to their own standards before they yell about the standards imposed on prisoners.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


NBC's Sports Channel (NBCSC) sucks. When they bought the rights to air Formula One they promised more live coverage of the races from practice through the race. But then they announced the package to air Barclay's Premier Football league games, and Formula One now is playing second fiddle.

I woke up to watch the live qualifying for the Spa-Francochamps race today (5/24/13) at 5 am PDT and what do I see, European football. Not the live qualifying for the race as they promised. I like football but there will be far more football matches than Formula One race events.

At least they promise to air, according the the TV schedule, the actual race live starting with the pre-race show at 4:30 am. I will be up and expect them to live up to their promise, but from now on I'm not holding my breath about them and their promises.

I can see live listing of lap times for the practice and qualifying on Formula One's official channel, so what does NBCSC know about tape delay broadcasts that isn't already known that they suck? Nothing. They're as bad as ESPN and ABC was with their tape delay broadcasts of qualifying and races.

I hate networks who pull this kind of shit on viewers, promise more then forget the promise to deliver less. It sucks and they now suck, in the first season of broadcasts too. And what worse is the qualifying would be cool to watch live as it was raining and turned it in to an exciting event, one of the best qualifying this season, better than football.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


We have days in our life we remember, some with events over the years which just seem to happen on one day during the year. The events aren't usually birthdays or other days you normally remember and celebrate, but have other significance for you and your life.

Today, August 21st, is one of those days, for two reasons. The first is that on August 21, 1978 I officially joined the US Geological Survey where I spent the next 27 years and 4-plus months retiring with my military service and other additions with 32 years of government service.

The second is that of August 21, 1991. I went to work that day the normal time but took the afternoon off to trade in my 1985 VW GTI for the car I had planned to buy for several years, had read 1991 was the last year of production for the US market and the dealer found one of the last two in the Puget Sound area.

That afternoon after going through the paperwork I drove home in a 1991 VW Vanagon Syncro I still have today and plan to keep as long as I can find parts and afford the work to maintain it. It's a reliable and durable all-weather, all-season, all-road van which carries near 1 ton.

I drove it home that day only to hear a message on the telephone answering machine my (older) brother had died early that afternoon of a massive heart attack, his second, in their home in Olathe, Kansas. The first trip in the van was to the airport the next day to fly to Denver and then Kansas City.

The second trip after driving home from the airport returning from the funeral was to Westport on the Washington coast on the south side of Grays Harbor. My brother always wanted to see and stand on the beach of the Pacific Ocean.

I put a flower from the wreath from the service into the ocean for him. I celebrate this day for his spirit, a person who was deeply flawed by the pressure of the family but a great person beneath all the flaws. He was the only member who understood the family, he stayed close to our parents as I was told to leave when I was 19.

We were polar opposite as individuals and with six years difference in our age and didn't realize until our 30's that we were closer than we thought and even though we rarely spoke, we knew how much we had in common due to our parents.

Neither of us reconciled our feelings with them, his life and demise to the pressures of being the oldest son and child, and my life to the pressures of being first rejected as a child and ostracized by them later to leave and rarely see them.

That to me is today.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Who are the most vocal opponents of anything related to a woman's reproductive healthcare, and especially abortion rights? Big Fat White Guys.

The very people who are the most ignorant with no possibility of ever understanding woman's issues with her reproductive healthcare. It's not about healthcare, it's about power and control, and the bigger, fatter and more vocal they are, the most stupid they become.

They don't mind screwing women, but damn if they'll let a woman make her decisions of the aftermath of sex with these guys or any man. If the situation were reversed, we all know the BFWG would be on the other extreme for their rights.

Makes you wonder where God went wrong with them. I would add arrogant and ignorant to the acronym but it works for the obvious of who they are, the rest I'll leave to the audience.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

FY Fox Sports 1

Update.--Apparently they're not getting rid of some autoracing, just yet, as they know it's their Speed Channel viewer audience, and our money, that counts, not doing good for viewers, just not being stupid with us.

Original Post.--I've been a regular viewer of Speed Channel, mostly because it carried Formula One and other US and world sports cars events, including ALMS, Grand Am and WEC races, but this morning Speed Channel went dark being replaced with Fox Sport 1 or some such crap channel of the Rupper Murdoch media empire.

Well, Formula One is now on NBC Sports which is doing a good job, but I'll have to look elsewhere for the other races, and it won't be on any Fox Sport cable channel if I have to pay more for it, because that's what it's all about to people here, money.

All Fox Sports wants to do is milk viewers for more money for the cable network and themselves. They won't do it from me now, except for one event I love since being there in my youth, the 24-hour LeMans endurance race. The World Endurance Cup I'd pay to watch, and yes, on Fox if they're the only channel, but not if I have to pay for more than that.

So to ya'll at Fox Sports, FY!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Chief Justice

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts voted 5-4 to overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) which allowed the State of North Carolina to pass the most restrictive voting rights laws in the country and the worst since 1965.

Really, to restrict students, blacks and other people from voting in the 2013 and 2014 elections. Why does this make me think Chief Justice is smiling for his discrimination and racism? We now know just exactly how white he really is and how much he hates young people, poor people and minorities.

And he does it now hiding behind his judicial robe and role as Chief Justice, disguised as legal opinion.

Climate Change

To all the climate change deniers, I have only one question. What if you're wrong?

If climate change is wrong but if we not just prepare but work for alleviating it, then nothing is hurt and no one is harmed, and we're ready if or when it does happen. But if we allow the deniers to prevent us from doing anything and they're wrong, it's too late to change without spending far more money in a very short time. In short, we're screwed.

That's why denying climate change has a price and a cost where working toward it is less costly now and in the future. That's the choice, denying and pay more later or accepting it and pay less over time. And if you still want to deny it, it's cost the future generations, is it fair or right to put the penalty of your stupidity on them?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

You Would Think

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  - Albert Einstein

Like the Republicans in the House of Representatives passing a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act 40 times since it became law in 2009? You would think they were smarter than that, but no, they’re republicans. Intelligence is not a requirement of membership in their party, just blind loyalty to insane causes.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


If you haven't listened to Omara "Bombino" Moctar new (third) CD "Bombino, you should, it's terrific, especially if you love driving guitars and rhythm. It's good, toe-tappin', head bobbin' music.

His second album, Agadez, is good but more slower rhythms. The new one just picks up from the start and goes. He's one of a number of guitarists in or from Africa who really play well and produce good listening music.

It's the music you start and enjoy it through feeling good about it and yourself. Like the cover, it's just speed into you with driving guitars and sounds. Go listen.

Boycott Olympics

I think unless the Russian government rescinds the statement they will enforce the anti-LGBT law banning statements of any type by foreigners and athletes during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sophia the International Olympic Committee IOC should officially withdraw from them or designate them as unofficial olympics if any nation decides not to send athletes and staff to the Olympics for fear of arrest or reprisals by the Russian government.

This isn't about sports now, it's about human rights and clearly the Russian government hates people, not just their own but anyone from anywhere else. It's not about just LGBT rights, it's about the freedom of speech and human expression. And the Russian government does not have the right to discriminate and retaliate against people during an international sports event.

I also think if this doesn't happen, the United States and every nation participating at the olympics should wear rainbow ribbons on their clothes and sportswear during the whole period of the olympics, including any event, in quiet protest and test of the Russian government over their hatred of people.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

If As You Say

If in Lauren Green's, of Fox News, interview with Reza Asian's book on Jesus, "Zealot, The life and times of Jesus of Nazareth", she asserts that, Reza, a Muslim, does not have the right to write about Christianity and especially Jesus, then no Christian has the right to express, let alone write, a view on Islam.

It's only fair, if you assert one position is true, that only Christians can write about Christianity, then the corollary is equally true, that only Muslims can write about Islam, and no Christian of any demonination, has the right to express an opinion, view or judgement on Islam and Muslims.

But then we know the folks at Fox News don't understand that logic, especially and obviously Lauren Green. Truth and intelligence doesn't seem to be the strong suit, just being intentionally ignorant and blind is their stock in trade.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

About to Give Up

I'm about to give up on the (Seattle) Mariners season. They were 12 games under .500 before they won 8 games in a row, including sweeping two series. Well ok those were against sub .500 teams, but then they won 2 of 3 games with Cleveland, losing the last game of the series.

That left them 5 games under .500 and the prospect of getting close to if not at or above .500, but then they were swept by Boston in two games they should and could have won, a 15 inning game they lost on pitching and the other giving up 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning.

And now last night they lost to Baltimore 11-8 to be back to 9 games under .500 and the likely hood of going back to at or over 10 games below .500 with this games this weekend, effectively back to square one from just a two weeks ago.

The problem is several fold but it starts with the fact they have two excellent picthers and the next three are older journey pitchers who don't have good enough stuff to win consistently. So if Hernandez and Iwakumo lose then the next three games are likely lost too.

Add to the fact their hitting is inconsistent and the lineup of full of players with unfulfilled promise which isn't happening, it's hard for the few good hitters to carry the team let alone win games. Their 8 game winning streak shows their potential and their losing streaks shows the reality of the team.

That said, I'm still a Mariners fan (since I returned to the northwest in 1987) but I'm like many who are tired of hearing lots of promises and "If they could...", because it doesn't happen. They're out of the division race and likely headed for 4th place, only not last because of addition of Houston to balance the divisions.

A solution the owners don't seem to want to do is change the General Manager Jack Zduriencik who has posted 1 winning season of the 6 seasons he's been GM. He's had some good trades but he shown more interest to get older players who are approaching or at the end of their career in hopes they'll have a comeback, but few if any do.

I don't know how the Mariners will end the season. They're capable of being a .500 or even slightly better team, but not they way they've played to date, no consistency from the hitting and pitching. They're fielding is worse than last year but still top ten stuff.

But defense only rarely win games, it really only helps to keep from losing them. Pitching and hitting wins games, something they haven't been good at so far. The question is when the fans stop paying attention. The attendence at the ballpark shows many have.

OS-X 10.8.4 Curiosity

I've discovered OS-X 10.8.4 eats unidentifiable memory, or at least it's not obvious from looking the Activity Monitor. What's the curiosity?

When I reboot the Mac Pro and establish the initial state of processes, here's the summary of the memory:

Wired    - 890 MBytes
Active   - 790 MBytes
Inactive - 20 Mbytes

That leaves 1.7 GBytes used and 14.3 GBytes free.

After a week of normal use I return the Mac to the initial state and after the purge command here's the summary of the memory :

Wird      - 1.29 GBytes
Active   - 2.00 GBytes
Inactive - 100 MBytes

That leaves 3.4 GBytes used and 12.6 GBytes free.

I can understand the wired memory increase, but I can't understand the active memory increase of 1.3 GBytes when there's nothing obvious running. I can only suspect Apple changed how it uses previous used applications and reserves active memory for them so they open sooner and faster than if they were in inactive memory.

I notice this because I can close an application and open it later to see it loads and opens sooner and faster. But what Apple doesn't do is provide the user with a tool or command to recover the unused active memory. The purge command only recovers inactive memory.

I know that if the space was necessary for new applications, files, etc. OS-X would recover the memory and use it. But why not give the user a way to recover it now so it doesn't have to page out or swap memory which only adds to the time to load and open.

Anyway, I'm open to ideas but I don't like the way this works especially since some applications are notoriously memory hogs and keeping them in unused active memory after closing isn't efficient except if you use the application again. Otherwise it's a waste of memory.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Question

If you follow a sport team, say baseball in this case, here's a question for you.

If the owners and management of the team fail to put together a roster of better than an average team but the players show streaks of alternating between playing over their heads, say winning 8 or so games in a row and then playing horribly, say losing 8 or so games in a row, do you:

a. root for the team because they're playing hard and it's the fate of baseball they'll never be a .500 team because the team as a whole just is just not that good compared to their division or their league, or

b. root for their opponents.

I ask this because if you root for the team, then that reinforces management they're doing a good enough job to fill the seats and win fans, and even if they haven't been over .500 for the year in more than a few years, that's all they'll do, field an average but noncompetitive team.

If you root for their opponents, then hope they see the problem isn't the coach and the players, they're doing their best and playing their hearts out and maybe replace the real source of the problem, the general manager and president of the team.

This is because it's those two idiots who put the team together and tell the manager, "This is what you get, make the best of it." And the coaches do, but the problem still remains, the two idiots didn't give the coach, the team and the fans more than an average team.

But if you root for the opponents hoping the owners will fire the two idiots, don't hold your breath. They're on longterm contracts which don't have results based cancellation clauses or incentives to do more than field an average team.

Meaning coaches can and are fired for poor results. Players are cut, traded or bought out if they don't perform on the field. But general managers and presidents don't have those clauses and aren't accountable for their results or salaries.

And this is why many teams are average or worse or fail to perform because of problems with players. And if you root for them, then there is no incentive for owners and management to change. The endless cycle of idiots running a baseball team. You get what you pay for.

Why Computers Fail

Sometimes we forget computers are designed, produced, programmed and used by people, so we assume they're correct if not infallable, but they're neither when they're misprogrammed and misused. A case in point is a recent audit I had by the IRS.

Yeah, we all know how much they're loved and more so hated. When I retired on December 31, 2005, from January 1, 2006 to today I've lived on my federal employee annuity, and as much as they promised, until it became political fodder no thanks to President Obama.

This is because the federal employees trust fund is solvent, even far more than the Social Security trust fund. It's because it's paid by the employees and their respective agencies, and over 30 years, employees contribute a fair share to this fund.

And as such it's not really effected by the annual budget except that of the number of active employees as the agencies and employees contribute to the trust fund which is quite substantial today and will be for decades.

The only thing Congress decides is the annual increase for the cost of living. But in 2009 President Obama for political purposes froze the 2010 and 2011 annuity at the 2009 level so that Congress couldn't make it a political issue.

Well, imagine freezing your income for three years while everything else around you increases. I estimate I've lost $250-300 net monthly income over the years since because when the first increase didn't occur until 2012 it was based on the 2009 level annuities and not what would have been by 2011 if it wasn't frozen.

Anyway, that's not the point here, just one I like to make so people can't blame active and retired federal employees for the deficit and debt. We're not a part of it. My point is that when you retire the government, namely Office of Personnel Management (OPM) pays your annuity.

Your annuity is based on a formula of the last 3 years of your salary and the number of years of service and then only increases at the whim of the President and Congress to agree on the percentage, which is why President stupidily froze it for no reason.

During your retirement your annuity comes from your contribution and the trust fund. This is reported on your W-2 statement and "Gross Income" and "Taxable Income" because you've already paid taxes on the portion of your annuity from your salary contribution, and can't be taxed again.

It's the "Taxable Income" I've reported on my 1040EZ form from 2006 through 2012. The IRS in their infinite computer wisdom does random audit comparing the "Gross Income" on W-2 statement with the reported income on your 1040.

See the obvious? They're different. They're supposed to be different because you only report your "Taxable Income" on the 1040. Well, in early June I got a letter from the IRS saying I owed taxes on the difference for my 2011 income on the 1040, based on their computer audit.

Well, I filed an appeal in mid-June and didn't hear anything from them until a week ago when the letter said I'd hear from them within 60 days. Today I got that letter. Really, it took an auditor about 5 minutes to see the error.

The letter said I owed $0.00 and the matter is considered resolved and the case closed. In short, I won and their computer is too stupid to check two boxes on the database for the two incomes. I wonder how many people have suffered their stupid audit to be stressed about something they didn't cause or do anything wrong.

And the IRS wonders why they're hated so much. A person seeing the audit originally would have seen and stopped this. Why didn't they? They just spit out computer results assuming they're right? Ok, some  people will fudge but I didn't and followed the rules.

And for nearly two months I worried about the IRS and will every year I file now to worry if I'm caught again in the same stupid audit, one easily fixed by computers and people. And it's why computers fail.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Five Ten Dome Shoes

I've written about my walking to recover from a pinched Sciatic nerve in early July 2012 which has left the front of my right leg numb from above the knee to the ankle and both legs with balance problems.

Well, the walking has its ups and downs, both the road itself which is now 8-9 miles round trip to town and back and the walking where I get sore muscles or shin splints some days.

All in all though I've worn a pair of 5-10 Dome shoes since January and now have over 600 miles on them to date, and they're due to be retired for their great service and saved for occasional days.

The shoes haven't worn out except the sole, especially with my moderate underpronation abnormally wearing the outside of the heals and toes faster. What's amazing is the shoes are still together, the insides not worn through the lining and the inner sole still intact.

So except for a thin outer sole now, and while they're looking less than stellar, they're still working good. They've seen six months of all sorts of weather and a variety of walking on shoulders, pavement, trails, etc. with no rips or tears or worn threads.

Thanks 5-10 for a great shoe, and yes, I'm buying a new pair soon, and maybe the mid-height model too for winter days. Walking or hiking, it pays to keep your feet happy and healthy.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Thought about Abortion

With all the efforts to ban abortions at the state level by the many republican domainated state legislatures and governor's office, and all the noise from Planned Parenthood of America (PPA) and other abortion rights group, I have a suggestion.

First, though, I'm against all the bans on abortions and believe Roe vs Wade was the right decision for women. And I favor a federal law guarranteeing women's rights to the information, facilities, providers, services and proceedures and prohibiting any state from denying, restricting or prohibiting such rights.

But here's a thought about what happened recently in Texas which is trying to ban all abortion clinics and more so abortions after 20 weeks. Why not remove abortion proceedures from all the women's clinics except the few which can comply with the law for the proceedure.

Why not volunteer to remove the proceedure and keep the clinics open for all the other services? Why not then focus abortion proceedures on the few clincs which can comply? And then why not just bide your time until such time as the rules can be changed or better repealed?

And then you can focus the challenge on the 20-week ban than the restrictions on clincs which provide the abortion proceedures. This will keep the clinics open for all those women who need them and you can then focus their rights and needs for an abortion to those few clinics.

Yeah, it's not a good solution but it's better than closing all the clinics for the few abortions the clinics provide versus the other services. And you can live to fight the legal war against the anti-choice folks in the courts, legislatures and elections.

Sometimes you have to take a step back and sideways to move forward. This would be one of those times. Keep all the clinics open and provide abortions where you can comply with the law. It also saves the PPA and funding for women's reproductive health services.

Just a thought to the PPA.

Friday, July 19, 2013


How many times do we have to watch and hear the President's statement on the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial and the status of black youths in America?

Yeah, it's a problem we need to solve but even Eugene Robinson has it right when he said the President may not be the best person to talk about it as he so hated by the right wing politicians and media.

But what I don't get is why are all the guests on the news shows black? Don't liberal and progressive whites matter to the discussion or is it covert reverse racism our view doesn't count or matter?