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.