Friday, March 29, 2013


Republicans, apologizing for your stupid, insensitive remarks doesn't change your stupid, insensitive remarks, doesn't even change your true thoughts or feelings, it only changes the words you add to your stupidity and insensitivity.

Republicans, changing your message won't bring you more voters. For that you have to change your heart, and that's not likely to happen because you keep making stupid, insensitive remarks, see above.

Republicans, speaking Spanish or talking about women's right won't win those voters when your party platform expressly discriminates against Hispanic people and women.

Republicans, you might want to revisit history, like the Reagan Republican era about conservatism and compromise - like with Democrats, because you're on the "road to nowhere" unless you change and repeat history of political parties who fade into history.

Republicans, oh hell, forget it, you're not listening anyway, you're blind, deaf and dumb and you're looking like the three wise monkeys than politicians, let alone Americans.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Women's Reproductive Healthcare

Instead of fighting all the states' laws denying women's reproductive healthcare, what if there was a federal law ensuring all women have equal rights to reproductive healthcare everywhere and no state or legal entity in a state could deny, restrict or prohibit a woman's right to access reproductive healthcare?

Something like, "The right of a woman to access information, products, facilities, providers, services and proceedures for her reproductive healthcare shall not be denied, restricted or prohibited by any State or any government or legal entity in a State by law, regulation or other legal means for the purpose of denying, restricting or prohibiting the above described rights."

What if there was a federal law guarranteeing the right of all women for their reproductive healthcare anywhere in the US which could not be controlled by any State? One law banning all States from undoing a basic woman's right? Isn't that what the Civil Rights Act is for?

Friday, March 22, 2013

People I don't listen to

Over the years I've grown tired, or really my ears and brain have grown tired, of listening to certain people, either because of the rhetorical or the polemic speeches. And while this includes almost anyone on the right, meaning republicans, extremists, religious leaders, etal, it also includes some on the left, from the center to the extremes.

And who pray tell of the liberals or even progessive liberals don't I listen to? Well, for starters, Ralph Nader. I owned a Chevolet Corvair, a 1965 model, and while he trashed the 1963-4 model, he trashed a good car if you knew how to drive it. I never liked him after that.

While I have a good measure of respect for these people, others are Michael Moore, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, and others I'm at a loss to remember until I see or hear them talking (I often pipe the sound from the TV to the office like radio so I don't see them but hear them).

I'd add Bill Clinton because he always strikes as someone who likes to hear himself talk so he speeches, comments or responses are lengthy for no reason except his voice. I listen to him but only for awhile, after which he's tiring trying to find the nugget in the words.

Everybody else is worth listening to, until they talk too long or ramble for no reason with no point or conclusion. Anyway, it's just my rant about people we hear a lot of on the news shows.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hey Harry

Hey Senator Reid,

How's that filibuster reform going that you agreed to with minority leader Mitch McConnell? Do you still think it was a good deal with him? Even though he has reniged on every part of the agreement, again, like he did with the agreement you made in 2009 and 2011?

You screwed the Democrats. You screwed the American people. You screwed America. And you still think you're a good majority leader? Or are you so blind to reality of what's right? We see it, but apparently you don't.

So what do you do now for us? We want results, not politics.

The Math

Senator Reid,

Here's the math.

The NRA & Gun Inc.   - 41 (Republicans)
The American people - 59 (Democrats)

You tell us we can't win. You tell us you're the Senator leader. You tell us the Republicans and the NRA are more important to fight for than the American people.

The American people want change, banning assault weapons, limiting magazines, universal background checks, anti-trafficing, more authority and money for the ATF, and all the rest of the moderate gun regulation laws. Here's our math.

The American people - 315 million
The NRA & Gun Inc.   - 1

We stand with change. Where are you? Where is your courage? We've been waiting. Here's the math.

80+ die from guns everyday in this country.

They can't wait anymore, they're dead.

New York Times Reader

Update.--See update below.

I've subscribed to the New York Times reader for a few years now and really enjoy it where I can download today's paper, along with the last week of papers to read as I would the print edition.

I'd love other newspapers to do something similar instead of having to access their Website for the junky, clunky presentations to read just today's news as it is in the print edition or read a few sections for the latest stories and information.

So it was interesting today when I checked the overnight backup and discovered why they occasionally go beserk and take far longer than the normal few minutes and why the Time Machine occasionally decides to backup nearly 30 Gigabytes of files instead of the normal few Gigabytes.

Well, it seems the New York Times FAQ's is very wrong about the space the application stores for the newspaper's files. They state in the FAQ that it consumes about 100 Megabytes. NOT! I found the NYT folder in my user library was 39.5 Gigabytes.

Really. That fucking large. It is a monster with multiple copies of files in multiple folders. I'm not sure if it's due to update of Adobe Air over the years or the update of the application, but something is really amiss or as Bob Uecker would say, "Just a wee bit high."

At this point I sent them an e-mail asking if I delete this entire folder will the application recreate it or if I remove the contents of the folder the application will recreate. Clearly they need a user option or tool to clear the folder.

So user of Mac's, check this folder (case and space sensitive):

Mac HD/Users/'name'/Library/Preferences/com.nyt.timesreader.'number'/Local Store/nyt

Use the finder's "Get Info" button to determine the size of the folder and contents. If it's a lot more than 100 Megabytes, it's too large and something is wrong.

Update.--Instead of waiting for a reply from the NY Times Reader office I ran a test. I removed the contents of the "nyt" folder, keeping the "nyt" folder, and opened the NY Times Reader application. This took awhile and didn't load the images, but closing and reopening it worked to restore everything for today with a 61 MBytes folder size. 

So, their advice about the size of the disk space is off a bit if just one day has this size, and a week's worth would be about 100-150 megabytes per day, clearly smaller than gigabytes it was using. And it's safe to check this folder now and then to remove the contents when it gets too large.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


DOF, the acronym for Depth of Field. Decades ago it was one of the key things in photography, taking photos with great DOF to get everything in focus. You needed great lenses with small apertures, often smaller than f16, to get the best DOF.

That's because you couldn't manipulate the photos in the darkroom to get more DOF. Now you can create great DOF in the photo editor, either as a High Dynamic Range image or with standards photo editor tools.

But it's always funny to read comments about images with damn near everything in focus, knowing it was impossible in the field short of a large format camera, which is rare these days (I use one for this purpose) or a 6x6 or 35mm Tilt-Shift lens, and more than likely done in the computer.

So why do photographers fawn over images with great DOF thinking it was done when the photographer was standing there taking the shot? Beats me, because I'll bet it wasn't in the original image, only in the final one.


God or nature, whichever you believe or chose, hates symmetry. Really. Don't believe me. Just look at nature, everything is asymmetrical. Look at people, everyone is asymmetrical. Especially faces, no face is perfectly symmetrical. So why do photographers talk about symmetry so much?


"Photography is about what's in front of the lens."

Nothing less and nothing else.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Apple Store Apps

What is it with Apple Store applications they have to get more complex with more stuff (I'd say more shit but it's a family readership and implies poor quality which the apps aren't just over stuffed) than the user wants or needs?

This get frustrating to find a nice application which does something very useful in a straight-forward simple way and then the update version get worse. They get more bells and whistles than the latest car you can't figure out how to drive let alone use.

Ok, not all apps, just some. And those are?

For one, I love Timer Utility, version 2 anyway. It had a neat big digital clock you can read across the room without being intrusive. So what did they do with version 3 and 4, they dropped the clock and added other features I don't use.

So I now I have versions 2, 3 and 4 in my applications folder. I keep updating it, why escapes me now, and keep renaming the old version to differentiate between them. And I still just run version 2 for it's simplicity and easy-to-read numbers.

Update to TinyAlarm app.-- After using it for awhile I reverted back to the old version because the new version doesn't allow you to delete a time in the list, only edit, and it kept crashing trying to edit one after updating to OS-X 10.8.3. So the best bet with this app is don't buy it.

For another TinyAlarm. This was a cool app for being a simple timer. Not sophisticated, just set a time from the list or with the hands or entering it and it runs, beeping when it's time. So what did they do? They removed that features for a host of bells and whistles.

Of course, they're responding to user suggestions and I can't blame them, but you can't make it like the old version, just click, pick a time and it runs. Now you have to open a window, set all the settings and then it runs, but you can choose the sound from iTunes now.

What used to take 2-3 clicks, now takes 2-3 times more clicks for the same purpose, to set an alarm in so many minutes or at a certain time. They really screwed this app up, but more so you can't run the old version because the Apple App store see it and tells you, "You have an update" and proceeds to overwrite the old version.

I know there is a way to turn this off in the App store because I did it before, so now that's the trick to be able to use the old version without conflicting with anything.

For another Radium. I like this app a lot and it's replaced the tuner with my stereo (ok, not physically as the tuner is still there) where I use Apple's Airport Express to transmit the signal to the stereo and through my place.

What I don't like is the latest update where they replaced the cool looking little radio icon in the menu bar with a heart. Yeah, a heart for a streaming radio applications. Like what's with that? And they don't give the user a choice to put the old one back as some applications do.

So what I did with the TinyAlarm and Radium is use a backup copy of the old one as a new name in the applications folder to run them instead of the newer version, exactly like Timer Utility. Not hard, I just can't run the old and new versions at the same time.

Ok, I'm a curmudgeon. I like VW bugs (owned a '71). I like old alarm clocks. I have a 1930's toaster. I like simple things that do simple things. And I like my applications to be easy to use over and over so I don't have to remember to read the owner's manual all the time to do something simple.

You know an application is in trouble when it has a built-in help pages and a user's manual. That's not saying I don't have or use complex applications, I do have a myriad of Adobe Creative Suite applications, but I use them often enough to be comfortable with the complexity.

Don't get me wrong, I get mad at Adobe when they keep changing a nice application too, especially with upgrades where they remove features you loved. And don't get me started on Apple's road to destroying good applications, they're doing great there with Safari and iTunes.

Anyway, it's just a vent about an update and that sometimes simplicity is a great idea, and application techies like to screw them up for people like me.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Apple Time Machine II

I updated OS-X to 10.8.3 and restarted the Time Machine after stopping and zeroing the TC's hard drive two weeks to sit until after installing the new OS-X. Apparently Apple changed the Time Machine's software because the full backup of HD (not HD2, 3 or 4 which are on other nightly backups) took half the time it did under 10.8.2.

The full backup last time took 17 hours. The backup under 10.8.3 took 8 and a half hours give or take a few minutes. That's good to know if I have problems again if or when it decides to make another full backup it doesn't need.

The one problem I did encounter was that after starting it, it didn't run again automatically, so I turned it off, waited and turned it back on, and it started doing the routine backups and in half the time it took on OS-X 10.8.2, normally about 2 minutes when it took 3-5 minutes before.

On another note, OS-X 10.8.3 didn't solve the other two problems I've had when I reboot and the fact it still won't boot in safe mode which is supposed to remove one of those problems, but I'm working on that.

Anyway, that's it for this time.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

iTunes & iThings

With the connection now between iCloud, Apple apps on Mac and iThings (iPads or iPhones) and iTunes 11, Apple has made, in my experience now, things worse. They're pushing you to move to backing up everything on iCloud.

They're doing this by putting the iCloud as the default interface and backup and then making backup up through your Mac and iTunes tedious. They want to make it so you just set backups for anything automatic across platforms.

That's their plan and to some it's nice if you want iCloud to have everything you do. Think about that. Everything you do across platforms sitting on servers somewhere in the US, maybe, holding all that information you can't account for its security and privacy.

I found this today when I updated Apple Pages, Numbers and Keynote on my iPad through iTunes and then tried to manage the files on the apps on the iPad through iTunes. It doesn't work anymore to add, replace or delete files through iTunes.

First I went to delete an updated spreadsheet on the iPad through iTunes. It worked with iTunes 10, but it doesn't work through iTunes 11. I have to delete it from the list in iTunes and the manually from the iPad. The "Sync" doesn't delete anymore, unless you sync it through iCloud instead of your Mac.

And then I wanted to put the new file on the iPad, which before it would sync through iTunes. Not anymore. What you have to do is put the new file in iTunes for the app, sync the device(s), open the app on the iPad and then add it from the list from iTunes.

If I used iCloud, it would just to it automatically, but then two things would happen. I would lose my control of the sync in iTunes and a copy of the file would be in iCloud. If it was a files of personal stuff, that's not where you want a copy to reside.

I saw this with my iCloud e-mail account when iCloud automatically added it to my iPad even though I don't want it there and now can't delete it from the iPad without causing problems with my e-mail account in iCloud and maybe on my Mac.

I also see this in Apple apps on the Mac which have an iCloud link to automatically push new or updated files to iCloud and to other devices. You have to turn this default off or it will automatically do it with some apps.

In short, Apple is pushing iCloud to be your friend but it's Big Brother. Beware of it and what you do with it, and ask yourself do you really trust Apple's iCloud when it's just a big server somewhere they won't tell you and won't ensure your stuff is save and private.

This is the future of computers and work on them. Beware of what others do for you in the name of helping you do more. Beware.


Why is the discussion of a person’s genitals is completely off-limits except when they’re a transgender person, and then it’s their first question and the issue of how they want to define that person?

Since when does our genitals define not our sex but our gender? When does it define our mind, our personality, our character, our temperament, our soul, our spirit, ourself?

Our gender is pretty much set by the time we’re 6 and everything after that either affirms, confuses or contradicts it, whether it from our parents, our family, our friends, our classmates, whomever. We know who we are and our body is just part of it whethere we like it or not.

So why are people so interested in the genitals of a transgender person and more so a transgender child? Kinda’ disgusting don’t you think?

Note on Applications

Just a small note I learned and have to keep remembering when I updating and especially upgrade third party applications, which is after you install a new application or update or upgrade an existing application, always check the system preferences.

Many applications now under Mountain Lion, OS-X 10.8.x (.2 in my case) add or change the system preferences for their application and if you don't check those preferences you'll find it doing things you don't want, namely check the user account login window to see if it installed itself to open when you log in or boot/reboot.

Also check the notifications seetings. Many applications add themselves to the notification list in the notification center and you have to move them to the "not in notification center" list. Otherwise you get notices you go, "Huh?" and then remember to check the notifications settings.

This is key if you're like me and don't want the stupid little notice. Some applications do this with even the smallest update. Anyway, just a small note, and no it's not in the notification center setting at all. I 'll leave that to you.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Apple Time Machine

I have a 2008 1 TByte Apple Time Machine (TC), and granted it's old, but it's still running, besides the fact I have the two 2006 original PPC HD's also running in an external box doing backups, one a clone of the HD and the other a sync copy of my user directory.

Over the years Apple has revised the both the firmware on the TC and the software doing the TC backup in the system preferences from the original OS-X 10.5 to the latest 10.8.2. I have to say that the latest versions of it sucks.

Yeah, really sucks. For several reasons.

First, you can't actually run diagnostics on the Hard Drive (HD) itself since it's bundle within its own firmware. This means the disk utility can only check the sparsebundle file but not the actual HD, and there's no third party software that can even see it, let alone test or check it.

But you can, as I learned, take it to an Apple store, and yes, they have the software to test the HD in the TC itself. Why don't they make it available or include it in the TC package escapes, but that sucks. It's their "Ninner, ninner, ninner..." thing.

What I hate more is the backup software through the system preferences. The previous version under OS-X 10.8.1 worked fine and the TC hummed away and the sofware did its job, unnoticed. The backup software under 10.8.2 doesn't work continuously.

It works fine for about a week taking 3-5 minutes to do the hourly backup. Then for no reason it decides to make a new complete copy so it doesn't stop, for hours on end, eating the HD space for a whole second copy of whatevery you set it to copy.

I'm only copy the main HD but it takes 17 hours to do a complete copy. I have erased (zero'd) the TC to reset it and it makes a new copy where it works fine for another week or so before forgetting where it's at and starts to make a whole new copy.

It's clear something gets lost. I've run disk utility on the sparsebundle and even erased the .vt100.. index file on the TC where it makes a new one, and it works for another few days before going beserk and running continuously make a whole new copy of the HD.

I have other backups so I'm not dependent on the TC, I only wish Apple wouldn't make updates that breaks things. I know I should replace it with a new I'm told are faster and better (like Duh) or use another HD where I can run diagnostics on it if anything happens.

For now I'm waiting for OS-X 10.8.3 to see if they actually make it work right again, and I'll decide from there whether to get a new TC or an external HD. I just wished Apple actually provided users with better tools to troubleshoot problems and didn't break their own software.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dear Tea Party

Dear Tea Party,

We, the rest of America and Americans have heard your cry to cut government spending. We agree the government needs to spend more wisely, efficiently and effectively, but not cut programs which helps those in needs, education, infrastructure, environment, food safety, employee rights and protections, etc.

You get the idea. Government spends a lot of money everywhere to help all Americans, but we recognize you're interest to cut spending, so we, the democrats and independents, have an offer you certainly can't refuse.

We know that the majority of Tea Party members register as republicans to vote, and we know that the Republican party and many republican politicians in Congress do what the Tea Party members ask, just ask Speaker Boehner who recites you're political rhetoric all the time.

So here's the deal and it's guarranteed to cut the annual deficit and the longterm annual debt by more than you want. We will use the voter registration roles in every state and designate that no federal money will be specifically spent on any government services or program for republicans.

And we will pass a law prohibiting any state or local government from using any federal money to support any service or program for republicans, only democrats or independents. This applies to Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlements programs long used by Tea Party members and Republicans.

We estimate that alone will provide a 40% savings across the board for the entitlement programs ensuring their longterm financial stability. If you want a retirement plan, save and invest your own money, not ours. If you want health insurance, go on the free market you always says works for people.

This also means to ensure you don't abuse the privilege, we will allow state and local government to recoup any costs provided to you as Tea Party members or Republicans, for sevices and programs which are difficult to charge individually, such as roads, police, fire, emergency aid, etc.

In those cases, all those services will be billed to you on a per use monthly basis. Failure to pay your bill will result in the state or local government recouping their costs through legal proceeding on your income, your investements, your property or other financial assests you have.

And should anything happen to you, like a major disaster, major medical bill, or anything of significant personal debt, all we'll say is, "Good luck." In other words, you want less government, then you pay for it. We want government and are more than willing to pay our fair share of taxes for government services and programs.

So, that's the deal. You want to cut govenment, government will cut you out of it's services and programs. We certainly don't want to burden you with being a good American and helping all of us like we all do and all should. But not you.

Oh, and by the way, good luck with your independence from us, the rest of America and Americans. We don't need or want you unless you want to be part of us, all of us.