Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Easy fixins

As I wrote, I'm a lazy cook, or more precisely, a 5-minute cook. Well this ain't too bad if you know what to do and you don't want to eat heat-and-serve meals found in aisles of frozen freezer sections of grocery store. You eat better and it's not that hard. Ok, example please.

Buy a fresh, preferably free-range, turkey breast or thigh (thighs are cheaper but have a different taste). Buy a medium-large potato, white, sweet, yam, etc, doesn't really matter except for personal preference. Buy a few fresh vegetables, eg. carrots, green beans, etc.

Buy your favorite gravy, preferably the only heat-and-serve part of the meal because gravy takes too much and too long to make from scratch or even a mix, for me anyway, as there are so few with little or no wheat.

[Note: If you don't read the ingredients in the foods you buy, start, becaues you'll be surprised all the junk in them, most of which are there to fake the taste (flavor, sugar, etc.) or preserve the food, and little is needed for the actual food itself.

An example is gravy. Read the ingredients and you'll find the main ingredients aren't what the food is sold as, such as turkey gravy where they often substitute chicken and vegetable gravy with turkey flavor along with a lot of spices to hide things.

It's why I have to pay attention since I can't (or shouldn't) eat wheat among a host of other foods, which you can learn about by searching for the word "FODMAPS", really, it's the chemicals naturally in foods my digestive system can't handle or digest.]

I'll preference this story with two appliances I have, a Breville "Smart Oven" which is great to put food in, set the type of cooking, temperature and time, and forget until it's done, and a Breville "Quick Touch" microwave oven, which is an excellent one for the price but has a few quirks.

Anyway, back to the story. Put the turkey, seasoned as you want - I use butter, brown sugar and orange peel - on a broiler pan with the potato, put in the oven, set to roast, 350 degrees for 1 hour, slightly longer for bigger thigh or breast.

Remember to cook the turkey to at least 165 degrees, why the oven is great, it stops when it's done and you can simply change the time to cook longer. It preheats the oven, cooks and shuts off. How hard is that?

I'll preference this with another note when about 20 years ago after cooking with a lots of odd pots and pans, I donated every last one and bought a complete set of Calaphalon commercial hard-anodized cookware and some of their bakeware.

The only exception I kept was a really old cast iron skillet. You can't go wrong with one of these, preferably two if you cook a lot of eggs you can dedicate one for just eggs. You treat them, keep them coated, only rarely wash them and treat them afterward, and they'll be your best cooking friend on the stove.

The Calaphalon cookware is absolutely the greatest stuff you can have for a kitchen. I have the whole suite of pots and pans outside the largest size. They make cooking a whole lot easier and better, and they will last you a lifetime.

Back to the story. You cut the vegetables up into slices, put in a double boiler and steam them for about 10-15 minutes depending on your taste for the firmness or softness of vegetables. Set them aside in a bowl with some butter and seasoning. I melt the butter to pour it on than let the heat of the vegetables melt it.

Once the potato and turkey is done you split the potato, spoon out the inside into a bowl, which will be the one you can, like me, eat from, mash with butter and seasonings. You cut enough of the turkey into pieces and add it to the potato along with some vegetables.

You microwave the gravy, and when nice and hot, pour it over the whole mess in the bowl, and there you have it, a homemade wheat-free  turkey pot pie in a bowl. And you save and microwave the turkey and vegetable to make more of this by just baking a fresh potato, making it quicker to fix next time.

The potato is easy to cook, just clean, put in the oven, set for 1 hour at 350 (I use roast instead of bake as it's a tad quicker), and then repeat the last step above to make mashed potato. Just add the fixin's and you good for another bowlful pot pie.

And, outside the gravy, it's all fresh food which are cheaper and better for you than any frozen food pot pie.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Coconut Macaroons

One thing I'm definitely not is a cook. I'm a 5-minute cook, meaning if I can't make or prepare for the oven in 5 minutes, I don't cook it unless it's something I really want to try, but I'm am decent at some foods in those 5 minutes.

And I'm definitely not a baker by any stretch since that takes far more than 5 minutes to do almost anything baking, but I'll often try somethings once, as long as it doesn't use wheat or other grains which I can't eat anymore.

To that end I scoured as many of the non-wheat brands of cookies and settled on coconut macaroons as a mainstay desert, and found only one brand, All But Gluten (a Canadian company) makes decent ones. The problem was finding stores that carried them consistently.

And that turned out to be Safeway, but only one in a 10+ mile radius of home, the local one, and even though they run out of them long before all the other All But Gluten foods, they don't reorder just them, which I learned why.

The local Safeway stores don't do their own ordering of many products. Because the information about all products sold are transmitted (like all restaurants and stores do now) to regional or main offices in real-time, and those office do the order for the stores.

This means the employees in the bakery department at Safeway don't know what has been ordered and when it will arrive. This does not include wholesale companies who supply and stock the shelves of Safeway stores independent of Safeway, such as breads, chips, beverages, etc.

So after they ran out two weeks ago and hearing the same story, "They're on order." for over a week I bought all the ingredients to make my own coconut macacroons, all 5 of them of which I already had 4, only missing shredded coconut.

Then I learned to make them using this recipe which takes about an hour start to finish, including browning the coconut first, and even cleaning the dishes and utensils. The photo above is the second batch I made today, and they are great, chewy and full of taste.

That said, I doubt I'll buy store coconut macaroons except for the times I'm lazy because these really show how much homemade is different and better with a little practice, even for a lazy cook like me. It's not that hard and you don't need any fancy appliances, just your mind and your hands.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Political Iceberg

What you're seeing with the politics over the 2015 Federal Omnibus funding bill in Congress, and the insertion of Republican amendments after the bipartisan negotiation agreement between Republicans and Democrats, is just the tip of the political iceberg for the 2015-16 Congress under Republican control.

You can bet every bill which passes Congress and sent to the President will have proverbial political poison pill with more amendments, provisions, etc. to undo everything the Democrats have accomplished, including the Affordable Care Act, and/or to unfund everything they don't want the federal government to do, such as immigration, EPA, IRS, education, etc.

And the bills will have enough for the President to want and face the reality of signing it, which they'll sweeten the bill to ensure it, or veto it, and then face the wrath of the media with either decision, sign it and face anger from Democrats or veto it and face the media accusing him of everything imaginable.

If you don't believe it, consider who's in charge in Congress, Speaker John Boehner in the House and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate, both who hate the President and have no reason to negotiate or compromise with Democrats.

And for the next two years this is what we'll get, a President who has to agree with the Republicans to sign bills and face the anger of Democrats or not agree with the Republicans to support Democrats and face the anger of the Republicans and the media.

And you can bet with all their money the Republicans with their PAC's and Super PAC's will spend money hand over fist attacking the President and any presidential candidate and the Democrats from now through the 2016 elections. They have deep pockets now with the changes in the campaign finance rules for donations.

And you can bet with a 55-45 majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell will change the filibuster rules in January 2016 to make filibusters harder for Democrats (so much for Harry Reid's gentlemen's agreement with McConnell) and make every political and judicial nominee a political fight.

The Republicans will tie up everything the Democrats and President wants to do and shove every Republican issue down their throats to accept or be forgotten. Only the Presidential veto will stand in their way, but they already have a plan for that, to make him swallow what he hates with what he wants.

Yeah, bipartisanship was cast adrift after this election, never to be seen again for two years. And the biggest loser is and will be the American people and our democracy. The Republicans will relish in the power to help the corporations and the wealthy and the power to restrict or eliminate everything for us.

This is what the voters elected. This is what they'll get. Don't look at me, I didn't vote for Republicans. To those who did vote for Republicans, if this is what you wanted, and I can't write what I'd like to say to you, and if it's not what you wanted, you got it anyway, and I can't write what I'd like to say to you.

So much for our democracy for the next two years. It's bought and paid for by the wealthy and the corporations and the Republicans will do what they say. Only one person can stand in their way, but he hasn't shown the courage and backbone to do that.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The President

The President, in agreeing to the Republican 2015 federal budget bill, has shown that he's no longer a democrat, but just a politician willing to sell his political values for the right price at the expense of the American people and our democracy. And it shows how he will govern for the next two years, like a Republican with no interest to serve the American people but to serve Republicans, corporations, and the wealthy. We didn't re-elect him for that, nor for selling us out to the Republicans. He has no will or interest to fight, and no interest and will to govern. He has lost the last vestiges of my respect for him as a democrat and President.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Apple Apps

It would be nice if Apple actually tested and debugged their own apps. Their latest iteration of IOS and more so OS-X is full of small bugs which causes user real problems, like bluetooth not working to iPhone 5-series phones with IOS 8, and endless error messages in the console log.

The former is very irritating as it's an IOS 8 with iPhone 5 problem, but not on the iPad with IOS 8 to Mac's on OS-X 10.10 or 10.10.1. I can't run any app which uses Bluetooth on the iPhone 5 to the Mac because the iPhone doesn't recognize the Mac, but the iPad does.

The latter is more frustration as both iTunes and the App store have similar error messages when you open them, only sometimes for iTunes but always for the App store. The messages start just after you open the app and log every 30-60 seconds, even after you close it.

You end up having to reboot the Mac to stop the error message. The first is iTunes which often writes a "discoveryd: Basic Sockets SetDelegatePID() failed...." message This message also often occurs if you open too many apps which requires an Internet connection.

The App Store error message is "kernal: BUG in process suhelper(PID no.): over-released legacy..." which goes on until you close the app, as does the message "storeaccountd: AccountServiceDelegate:..." message which isn't an error message, but a constant message.

You would think Apple developers were better than this to at least read the console log with release versions, and then test and debug those which write a lot of lines, so continuing after the app is closed.

You would think, but apparently Apple is more concerned about adding bells and whistles few people want than fixing the stuff they already have. If OS-X 10.10 was a car, only God would know how many recall notices would be required to fix it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Democrats showed just how politically stupid they can be after the defeat in the 2014 election losing the Senate under majority leader Harry Reid and losing even more seats the House under Nancy Pelosi.

First, they refused to bring up the confirmation of Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General when they have the best chance to get the nomination through the Senate since the Republicans can't block or filibuster it.

Do it now or it won't happen without the Republicans in control of the Senate extracting political blood from President Obama, which may be their reason, to share the blame for the election and get back at him for failing to help them keep the Senate.

In short, political payback?

Second, is the worst stupid thing they did, to re-elect Harry Reid the new minority leader. He was good when he was the minority leader up to 2006, but he was and is worse as the majority leader. He's not the way to go into the 2016 election.

And what's worse is when the opposition democrats, to appear to show the party is in unison, acquiesced when he bought their silence and vote with appointments of some of them into non-important roles in the partly leadership.

In short, nothing changes, and the outspoken voices are now controlled by the leadership.

How obviously stupid is that?

People want to party to be strong, vocal and stand up to the Republicans for the next two years going into the 2016 election. That's not Harry Reid's style. We don't want backroom political manuverings and deals. We want public outrage.

Harry is too close to soon-to-be majority leader Mitch McConnell who reniged on every promise he made with Harry Reid and still Harry Reid shook his hand everytime they "agreed" on the rules, about a bill or some nomination.

And we got more of the same. Nothing gained and everything lost. All in the name of politics and not the American people. And the democrats wonder why even democratic voters hate them? It wasn't just President Obama.

 If you haven't figured it out by November 2016, the Republicans will have all three in their name. And what will you tell us then? Or will you blame us for your failures again?

You know the old advice, "Don't screw this up?" Well, you did. I hope you have your political shovels for the next two years as you dig your own hole. And we won't care. We'll just be angry.

Monday, November 10, 2014

From the start

From the start of President Obama's first and now second term in office, the day of his inauguration in January 2009 when he said this:

“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.”

That afternoon while the President was making his speech and in the inguration parade, the leaders of the Republican party, including soon-to-be Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, were doing exactly the opposite.

They were meeting to sabotage his entire presidency by blocking everything and doing nothing he wanted, said or proposed to Congress. The didn't fully succeed to implement their plan until the 2010 election when they took majority rule in the House.

And with the 2014 election they won majority rule in the Senate. The can and will, as they have already said, do more than just block his effots, they will send him poison legislation he'll have to sign and accept out of political necessity or veto with the accumpaning political backlash from the Republicans.

They will put him in a no-win situation and give him few political outs to do what needs to be done. They ran the 2014 mid-term election with just one proposed campaign policy, "Stop Obama", and nothing else.

Even both McConnell and Boehner have said they agree with the President if he agrees with what they want to do and not what the Democrats to do. They are ignoring the whole Democratic party in Congress because their fight is with the President and they'll simply bury the Democrats with their majority votes.

And now they want the White House in 2016. Will we let them take control, a minority party run by older, white, wealthy men? Will we rise to take back our democrary, our Congress and our government from the party which only knows one word, "NO!"

Will we fight back? Or do we have a choice anymore when our enemy is among us and has power to oppress and suppress us as they have shown and done in the Republican controlled state government, now 30 of which are totally controlled by the Republicans.

We have two years to get our voice heard, get our message out, and get the votes out in November 2016. If we don't we lose our elected government to that minority.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

We the people

We have emboldened the enemy of the United States, our government and the American people. The enemy won the House in 2010 and now the enemy has won the Senate with the 2014 election. The enemy won’t stop until they takeover our entire government with the White House in 2016. Make no mistake the enemy is well funded by the wealthy and well supported by the corporations. The enemy wants to take over our democracy. It’s that simple. That’s their plan and their goal, and who and what we must fight. The enemy of the American people.

The President

To President Obama,

You just got handed your political hat by the many, but not all (me included), of the white voters in this country when the didn't vote for the Democrats because of you. Yes, you. You were the election the Republicans pushed as the failure of this country.

And while that's not true, you have the political reality now of both the House and more so the Senate controlled by Republicans who plan to eviscerate the Demcrats and nullify you. This is not a time to talk about bipartianship as you have failed to see how much that hasn't worked.

This is a time to stand up, speak out and be strong for Democratic values, policies and priniciples and not talk about, let alone agree to, bipartianship the Republicans will offer you in the form of poisoned bills you have to veto and face the Republican backlash or sign and face the Democratic backlash.

It's time you become what we've wanted in a President, a voice, not of reconcillation to lose, but one of strength of values who'll not hesitate to veto any amendment, let alone bills, which will restrict the people or sell this country to the corporations and the wealthy.

The truth is we don't care about bipartianship anymore as we've seen enough of the failures of your efforts and of itself with the Republicans. They will do whatever it takes to weaken if not eviscerate your presidency and power.

It's time to fight! Not talk. Not negotiate. Not compromise. But fight the Republicans. They won't give you anything without getting far more in return. That's not leadership. That's not what we expect or want from you.

It's time you stop being political and start being the President.


Democrats, here's my words of advice for the next two years and 2016 election. It's very simple.

Get you head out of your political ass and get to work fighting the Republicans tooth and nail. Go for political blood if you have to because they won't stop doing what they've long planned, which is in part to gut your power, but mostly to destroy our country and the economy and abandon the American people for corporations and the wealthy.

Fight to get voting rights restored. Fight to get voters registered. Fight to get people, good, smart people to be candidates, not the tried and true white guys, but real people who can and will be elected for governors and more so Congress, especially the Senate. And get voters out in 2016.

Fight for the American people, or you'll find yourself the minority party for years after 2016. That's what's at stake now. You screwed up, now fix it!


Well, it's fair to say the big money of the corporations and the wealthy conned the people into a Republican landslide by making the election about the President and not the candidates running for Congress.

To that I can only say for the next two years you don't get to whine when the Republicans show their true colors and forget who voted for them, but focus on those who wrote the checks and now own them and Congress. You're now just a memory to them as you already were before the election.

This is a time you can rejoice but not whine when there is more partisanship and gridlock in Congress, especially the Senate, as nothing of worth will be done as they push the President into using the power of the veto to stop them. This election wasn't about candidates, it was about the President.

It was an election white people decided to overwhelm the rest of the country to try an impose their power as white. Don't buy that, just look at the Republicans who won and those already in Congress. How many aren't white between 40 and 70. Very few. And remember Senators are elected for 6 years. That will be a long time for voter remorse.

And we're not going to listen to that or you now. You wanted them, their political stupidity, partisanship, blindness and all, you shoved it on all of us now. We get the right over the next few years to say we told you so when they do nothing for you, for this country and for the people, but only for corporations and the wealthy.

And in 2016 we get the right to be angry at you for your stupidity being so gullible and not seeing just how bad things can be with them in power, as we all we now see just how bad they can and will be, thanks to you.

You don't get my thanks, but my anger at you.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sorry If Mr President

Sorry if I don't stand up and thank you Mr. President. You announced recently you're proposing a 1% increase in retired federal employees annuity, and this week it was announced it will be 1.7% to be in line with the calculated Cost of Living Adjustement (COLA).

Well, let me say the 1.7% increase will just cover the increase in rent I pay effective January 1st. It won't cover the increase in my health, car and apartment/property insurance. It won't cover the increase in the cost of my utilities. It won't cover the increase in the cost of food.

It won't cover the increase in the cost of everything else for next year. I don't know where they get the COLA figure or where you got the measely 1% figure, after all you've frozoen our annuity 3 of the last 5 years and only one of the other two years was over 2%, the 2012 election year.

Gee, sounds a lot like election year politics buying our vote with our annuity increase. And so accordingly we might see another reasonable increase for 2016 election year politics? And in the meantime throughout your presidency we've lost money!

You talk a lot about supporting federal employees and retirees but you don't do anything to help us financially, not even speak up for a fair wage and fair increase in salary and annuity for us. You've consistently offered less than fair increases, something the Republicans didn't do!

At least Bush raised salaries and annuities to match the real cost of living increase than some pseudo-number adjustment for what I don't know but not real life. You're worse than the Republicans for telling us one thing and doing another.

Hell, you won't even stand up and fight for us against Congress. You won't offer a fair increase and make the case it's necessary and doesn't bust the budget or the deficit. You don't do anything but offer pennies on the dollar we're trying to live on.

Over the course of your presidency I've lost a minimum of about $300 a month net income from the freeze and pittance of adjustments for the 4 of the last 5 years. Wait, make that 5 of the last 6 years now. Sorry if we don't say thank you, but use a different expression which isn't positive.

Monday, October 20, 2014

OS-X Safari

I use Apple's browser Safari almost exclusively, mostly because just a few years ago it was known to be the least robust and the most W3C comliant browser (Microsoft's Explorer the opposite due to their own non-W3C features and interpretation of standards).

I suspect that's still generally true but I also keep Mozilla's Firefox, Google Chrome, Chromium, and Sea Monkey on the Mac to use for testing Web pages occasionally, Sea Monkey because it has the feature to mimic other browsers including Explorer.

That said, over the last few years I've grown to think Apple is paying attention more attention to how Safari looks than how it works for users, and the latest iteration of it with version 8.0 with OS-X 10.10, Yosemite, is more of this direction.

The look of the new Safari, while I understand is designed to be easier to see (colors, font, etc.) it's worse for most folks who liked the old style and fonts and old setup. So here's what I don't like about it so far.

First, the layout with the fading gray designed, meaning it changes tone from the underlying color of the Web pages as you scroll up and down, is irritating, and it can only be changed with the systemwide setting to turn off transparency which does the same for the menu bar and dock.

Second, the font on the edit bookmarks pages is several sizes larger than with Safari 7 which I like the font style and size. Safari 8 is for the people who can't see or read smaller font, and it can't be changed with any setting.

Third, while it continues to remember the location of the window when you open Safari it can't remember the size of the window you want. I use a fixed size blank image as a local file to set the window size of any browser but only Safari consistently loses the user setting.

Fourth, I want the activity window back they removed with Safari 7 (was in Safari 6). It was handy to keep open to watch Web pages load to see what was slowing the loading or causing problems. There's no good replacement for it as the developer window is for individual Web pages and takes up the window space for the Web page.

Fifth, Bring back the the title bar! This is standard HTML code for people to add it so people see the name of the Web page. There is nothing for Safari 8 which does not make it W3C compliant for displaying header information.

Sixth, bring back the open tab button they removed from previous versions of Safari. Yes, you can hit the plus sign to open a new tab or use the keyboard shortcut (command t) but the button was easier and visible with the other buttons than a small one at the end of the tabs.

Seventh, stop changing the way Safari handles userids and passwords. With every version and iteration of versions, Safari changes remembering to autofill the userid and password for various Web pages, where sometimes it fills and sometimes it doesn't. Be consistent.

What I don't understand is why some of this wasn't caught during testing, which means the developers at Apple either didn't test for it, didn't see it, or knew it and ignored it, which means they don't care about users than about their idea of users.

And that's been a problem the last few years with OS-X itself and some of the apps where they're more focused on enhancements and new stuff or designs than on fixing old problems or not creating new ones. They seem to introduce more new problems than they solve.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

OS-X Yosemite

Well, I succombed to my stupid side with Apple. After installing OS-X Mavericks, 10.9.0, shortly after its release and found it had persistent problems through 10.9.2 and even resident in 10.9.5, I installed OS-X Yosemite, 10.10.0, yesterday. And what prey tell did I learn?

Of course beside the obvious stupiditly installing the initial version of OS-X's IOS for Desktop computer, which I learned the licensed and public beta testers cheered, I have no doubt there are a lot of good thing under the hood of it which makes it better.

But it's clear Apple is making Yosemite for two things. The first is to expand the new iCloud Drive, formerly iCloud for all Maverick users, for everything Apple and hopefuly everything user, as long as the user uses it, which I don't very much (still have 99% of my free space available).

The second is the graphic user interface (GUI) for the Desktop, Apple applications and other stuff you use on the computer, a late 2010 Mac Pro in my case (sorry, no plans yet to move to a new Pro for another 2-3 years when Apple stops supporting them).

The interface is a major change from Mavericks, which I thought was worse that Lion, but then Yosemite is even worse as everything uses flat, 2D views which are very much almost cartoonish looking, like IOS where Apple asked the local elementary school art students to design it.

Yeah, I hate it, from the color of the dock, which mimics the backgroundy you can't change except to the dark mode or the transparency to gray, and the flatness of the icons with the little dots for indicators the app is open.

All the windows are like someone put a translucent screen over them so they're faded and you have to squnit to see what's there. And who thought of the default choices for the folder colors? They had to be on something. I liked the colors and now the mismatch with the folders I've created.

What's worse is that if you change the color or other options in the finder windows, you have to find how to do it globally (haven't found it yet) or by folder, like folks are going to do that. What's wrong with just good ole' plain colors?

Ok, enough there. On to other stuff. First, the installation didn't have any major problems, some small one, Google searches found answers for, but after getting it running I rebooted and it didn't, reboot taht is, where all I got was a black screen.

I had to power it down and back up and then after it booted and was running rebooted again for a clean restart and everything seemed ok, until the Time machine backup didn't start and I had to manually relink the HD. It's running again but uses a lot of GByte's for file cache when it runs.

Second, Safari is another step backward for Apple. Really, they changed somethings you can't control  which seems really dorky since it's supposed to be "user-friendly". I found the font size for the edit bookmarks so large it's hard to move links between folders as the list goes well below the bottom and you have to hold it to scroll where you want to put it.

Apple should give users some control of that font size. It was perfect for me under Safari 7, but apparently big fonts is now the order of the day for this, but all the other fonts are small(er). Go figure their thinking.

And why get rid of the title bar? I like it, it's part of what people code into their header html code so people know what Website they're visiting. Why not give users the option to view or hide it?  And what happened to the "new tab" button"? I like it because it was handy. I hope someone creates an extension for it.

What you will notice the biggest change is iTunes. First books are gone from the iTunes store, they're in iBooks now, which I assume is liked to iTunes for your devices (only have one iBook because the author only offered it there).

Apple continues their really dumb idea of not allowing users to load all the album artwork when you open iTunes and keep it in active memory until you close it. You have to scroll to get all the artwork loaded and then rescroll regularly to keep it in active memory because it's moved to inactive memory and lost for quick display until you scroll again.

They had this with iTunes 10, dropped it in iTunes 11 and now 12. It's very irritating to those who look for albums by their cover to wait for the artwork to load or reload. Apple argue memory isn't the problem except for laptops but then pull this trick to save memory. Make it a user option or menu choice.

I could spend a lot on how different iTunes is with Yosemite, and everyone has their own opinion, but at best to me, you have to spend time and get used to it as you can't change it, whether it sucks or not, it's there, get used  to it.

This is just the start of my walk through. I have some other issues to check, like the bluetooth which doesn't work with the iPhone and rarely works with the iPad, and there I'm getting a list of small things there was no reason to change but they did.

In short Apple has forgotten change for the sake of change isn't always good, and with Yosemite, it's worse, from the cartoonish IOS look for a desktop computer (really Apple?) to the faded look of the application windows, along with the stuff they removed people liked.

Friday, October 10, 2014

CS Monitor

I have a subscription for the weekly Christian Science Monitor, which if you're not familar with isn't about religion but news and information about the world (check their Website), which I started last month with the first month free.

They offer the weekly edition in two formats, print and digital, the latter through their app for iPads and other tablets or through their Website. The price, $5 for 4 weeks, meaning you're billed 13 times a year instead of 12, but then the newspapers do the same with their subscriptions.

That said, I wouldn't use the tablet app, the iPad version in my case, to download the latest, or archive ones which are also available, even if you use a wifi connection. This is because the tablet version of the magazine runs just over 200 Megabytes per issues, which can eat space on your tablet real quick.

What you can do is to access your account through their Website with your computer or tablet, open the issue(s) you want and save them as PDF files (one of the menu bar options) which reduces them to about 20 Megabytes, and you can then open and read them with any PDF or e-pub reader.

Granted you don't get all the features and functions with the tablet version, but you can save a lot of space on the tablet and still read the issue. I use my Mac to access the account, save the issue and transfer it to the iPad through iTunes, but you can also use the iCloud if you want.

I'm not sure this is what the folks at the Christian Science Monitor had in mind, but to me, it's the better way to manage space on a tablet. I also found that their server for the app on the tablets occasionally loses my account which then prevents me from accessing the issues, including those I've already downloaded.

Anyway, just a thought about a good weekly magazine.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


What good is AT&T LTE service if it doesn't work at home? The best I get is 3 of 5 dots highlighted and it won't connect to anything Apple, like the iTunes and App stores, or to many Websites, including my own. All I get is the box saying, "Cannot connect to [insert destination]".

In addition I can't get iCloud to update anything on either the iPad Air and iPhone 5S, along with apps which use the iCloud to transfer data or documents. This isn't new, it's been on and off for years but I would suspect more consistent service in an semi-urban area so close to towers.

I live in a semi-urban area, meaning former rural area converting to suburbs, which is just across the Narrows Strait from Tacoma and near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and just a few miles (where I walk almost daily) from the town (officially a city) of Gig Harbor.

AT&T touts their LTE service and I'm well inside the area serviced with cellphone towers but apparently not good or close enough to count, except of course for the bill I get and pay every month for the LTE service. Why don't they credit people who can't get the service they're promised by AT&T?

I've been a customer of theirs from the early 1990's with the old brick analog cellphones, but apparently that doesn't count much if you can't get sufficient coverage in your own home, just a short distance from cellphone towers.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

OS-X Mavericks

I upgraded to OS-X 10.9 Mavericks and have updated every version since its introduction, and while I would recommend for a number of reasons, I wouldn't for a few which is important depending on your computer.

And the most important of these is memory. OS-X Mavericks in each iteration has become more of a resource hog than any previous version of OS-X, which to me peaked at OS-X 10.7 for efficiency and user control and friendliness.

I say this because I keep the Activity Monitor open shortly after rebooting or starting the Mac Pro I have with 16 Gigabytes (GB's) of memory. As much as folks talk about cpu speed, it's really not as important as memory, in part because most newer one run faster than people use a computer or think while using it.

And what changes that speed is Internet access speed and the number of applications running which goes back to memory. And my gripe against OS-X Mavericks and Apple programmers. They're putting so much into the operating system it's memory consumptive. It's a memory hog.

It is for two reasons. After rebooting the memory wired and system memory related to users applications but not actually application memory starts with about 1.2-1.3 GB's and just grows from there to where after a week it's up to over 3 GB's.

That's the kernal_task, SystemUIServer, and programs. The other part is inactive memory, which is not known in the Activity Montitor window anymore but third-party applications will calculate it.

This is important because every application you open, use and close, only removes the file cache you used, and that's only if you don't clear that or wait for the daily maintenance to clear it. All unused (opened and closed) memory is kept to restart faster if you want to use it again.

This means if you open, use and close a number of applications, the active memory keeps building. And then there is the file cache. After rebooting it will grow to over 2 GB's just from the temporary files the system opens and the user files with application opened on login.

This is where the purge command is handy and something you should become familar with as it's a part of OS-X, but with Mavericks they changed the command to require administrator password to execute and it only clear the file cache and not inactive (unused closed) memory the previous versions of the command did.

This means the total used memory just keep growing. Under Mavericks the cpu now takes nearly half the total memory just to set up and start working, meaning after all my normal apps I use are opened and I've clear the unused file cache. And it only gets worse from there.

When I do start working now the cpu will easily get into the 12-14 GB's range and it's not hard to open applications and files or have the hourly Time Machine backup kick it to hit the 16 GB's of the Mac.  Which is my new problem.

It's a late 2010 Mac Pro, the last of the currently supported Mac Pro's. All previous ones are not OS-X Mavericks compatible and these won't likely be compatible with the next version of OS-X after Yosemite as Apple pushes people to the new Mac Pro's.

So I figure in 2-3 years I'll be replacing this Mac Pro with a new one, probably for the same price plus the peripherals which may not be compatible with new Mac Pro, which is two printers and two scanners.

They will pretty much determine how and when I upgrade since one scanner has no new one available for new Mac. It's a Nikon 35mm slide scanner Nikon long abandoned support for the hardware and software. The other scanner, an Epson V750, has a new model if it doesn't work.

The two printers, an Epson R2400 has new models and the HP 2605dn also has new models. Those can be replaced. The issue is that there are no new dedicated professional level 35mm slide scanners offered today, all are the consumer versions and no match for the Nikon.

Anyway, I wandered off the subject, which is Mavericks and it's pseudo-efficient memory usage. It may be efficient but it's a memory hog doing it, and I don't expect Yosemite to be better but worse.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dreamweaver CC

I've been a longtime users of Dreamweaver (DW), long before Adobe bought the company and when it was one of the few, and the best, standalone Website design, management and development applications from idea to the Web in one application.

That said, I've kept using it as I'm comfortable with it even though 90+% of my work is done in writing code - I don't use wysiwyg Web editors except Adobe Muse I play with for ideas, but since Adobe has released versions (from CS3 to CC/CC 2014) it's almost been different ever upgrade.

And they really screwed it up when they released DW CS6, which was in part why I bought into Adobe subscription service (for that, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.) where they have released DW CC and DW CC 2014, and why this post.

I like DW CC despite a few quirks you can change but after opening I reset a few things and I'm back in business, and DW CC 2014 is similar but seems to remember the settings I change when you open it saving a few keystrokes.

But DW CC 2014 has a frustrating quirk which, according to the Adobe DW forum, is frustrating a number of users, in part because there's no fix, except it's in the next update due out when Adobe decides to release, which is an issue with the subscription model.

Anyway, the quirk is the horizontal scrolling is backward, left move the content of the window right and right move the content left. It is correct in DW CC, so I just went back to using it until the next release of DW CC 2014.

The one good note about Adobe with their applications is that they don't replace versions but add new ones, so if you're like me, you have everything from Creative Suite (CS) 3 to CS 6 and now CC and CC 2014, but only CS 5.5/6 and CC works with OS-X Mavericks (OS-X 10.9.x).

Anyway, small point but interesting how programmers, testers and management can overlook an obvious mistake of scrolling. How many used the app in pre-release and didn't say, "Hey, the scrolling is backward!" and no one said, "Hey, let's fix it."

Monday, September 29, 2014


Gotta love Comcast when they have a whole array of channel for a network, like Encore, but then every channel doesn't show anything but the little box, "This channel should be available shortly", for the whole afternoon for days, even weeks on end. And then freezes your cable box from switching channels because it's locked on a channel that isn't available.

Yeah, that's Comcast for you, lots of channels, but not always available. If there was real competition for cable networks in the area besides the satellite systems, I would switch to say goodbye to Comcast. They charge too much and force you into bundles of channels for just one or a few you want.

I still haven't resolved the problems of the digital audio output which isn't standard and won't convert to analog, which I discovered is due to the different companies Comcast gets their cable boxes. Some brands and models don't comply with audio standards and the technicians can only offer another of the same brand and model which doesn't work.

And we're supposed think they're worth the service for the money.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Do not take anti-biotics unless they're absolutely necessary and always understand the side effects of any anti-biotics you take, and above all else, stop taking them if you have adverse side effects as they may cause prolonged problems long after you take them.

I know this from having to take penicillin from age 3 to 18 and then amoxicillin for most of my life for dental visits, sore throats, etc. Recently I had to take it for 10 days for an infection which didn't completely go away after a week off the amoxicillin, so they switched to ofloxacin, which I have never taken before, and in a day it totally wrecked my digestive system, which a week later still isn't back to normal.

If you don't know amoxicillin is a universal anti-biotic, it kills all the bacteria in your body, including all the necessary flora in your digestive system, meaning it leaves the digestive system almost void of the necessary flora it needs to function and your body has to re-establish the flora over time, usually a few days to up to a week.

This means the longer you take amoxicillin, the longer you may have digestive problems and the longer it takes the system to recover. And then taking a stronger universal anti-biotic is one step stronger and worse, as I discovered. 

I stopped taking the drug the second day and the infection has gone away but the problems from the drug will remain for awhile longer after a week now. Lesson learned and remembered. Don't trust what they prescribe because the doctors say so. Ask questions, get information and be aware of what it does to your body if/when you take it.

And don't take it if you want and ask for an alternative drug, and stop taking it if you do use it and experience adverse side effects and ask for an alternative drug.

Friday, September 26, 2014


I upgraded my iPhone 5S and iPad Air to IOS 8 and this morning to IOS 8.0.2 (didn't update to 8.0.1 after the initial reports), and so what have I learned and is IOS 8 worth it. It depends on what you use the iDevice for and what apps you have on it.

The first results I've had are disappointing to say the least. First, after the startup, the iPhone 5S would have 48-52% free memory under IOS 7 (any flavor) but under IOS 8 it only in the low 30% free memory, so it's obvious a more of a memory hog, and for me, much of it wasted on features, tools and apps I don't use.

The iPad Air's free memory also decreased but it was a memory hog under IOS 7 so going from the mid-high 30% free memory to the mid 20% free memory wasn't so much loss as the battery lasts far longer than the iPhone's battery.

Second, bluetooth between the devices to the Mac Pro works on the iPad Air, but it's a struggle as it takes a few minutes and several tries, but it doesn't work at all between the iPhone 5S and the Mac, which is a legacy problem from IOS 7.1.2 which worked on previous versions of IOS 7 and earlier.

This means that Apple changed the software on the iPhone under IOS 7.1.2 and continued the change to IOS 8 (any version). This is important since some Mac apps use bluetooth to communicate to iDevices (eg. Datacolor Spyder color calibration app) and the problem isn't good for Apple.

Third, Apple adds more apps you don't want or won't use, meaning more crap on the device to take up memory. I create two suitcase icons, throw all of the unused apps in them, and then put the suitcase icons in the last window to forget about them.

This is because I use the Mac Pro to do the work many people use their iPhone or iPad to do, such as the App store, iTunes, podcasts, etc. This way the iPhone doesn't have that personal information on it in case either are stolen or hacked.

That said, the only thing I want fixed is bluetooth to work on iPhones and better on iPads. It's clearly a iDevice to Mac connection which Apple controls both ends, and therefore solvable, so the question is if they actually want to do it over their preference for improvements and enhancements.

Otherwise, that's it for now. I'll live with it as you can't go back anyway, something Apple has been doing for a few years now, preventing downgrading operating systems, which only hurts their reputation as a company.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Next Season

With 5 games to go to the end of the season and the Seattle Mariners, after losing 4 games in a row, all blowouts by the 2 best pitchers and next 2 best pitchers, are 3 games behind Kansas City for the second wildcard team. In short, their season is done.

The team ran out of gas 10 games from the end of the season losing series to Oakland and Houston they should have won and getting blown out by Toronto. The manager is faced with shutting down 3 of their 4 best pitchers for next season, one he already shutdown and two more who have had 3 bad games in a row.

So, what's left? Nothing except the off season trades and acquistions. They need two more pitchers on par with Young and Paxton to make 6 starting pitchers the manager can mix and match better and give the main pitchers more rest days.

They need a first baseman who can play like Morrison and Smoak and hit like both of them combined so the manager doesn't have to decide which is hitting better that day. The manager need consistency from the first baseman.

They need a better DH than Morales who hit under .250, far less than his career. He isn't worth the few good, timely hits he gets because he misses too many opportunities to bring in runs. The new DH should be a solid right hand hitter who can occasionally play.

They need their infieders to hit better than .250, something few of them did (most under .250 all season). The manager needs to make it clear they either hit better or get benched or sent down to triple A. Make them earn their spot on hitting and defense.

They need a solid right hand hitting outfielder. Denoforia was supposed to be that as he hit .275 in San Diego but he didn't even hit .250 with the Mariners. They need to strong right hand hitters to balance Cano and a left hand hitting first baseman.

The one thing they should not do is get players at the end of their careers. They never play to their career average (eg. Corey Hart, Kendry Morales) and don't offer anything positive for the team except just another player trying to get a salary for another year.

After that, they need to replace their closer Fernando Rodney. Good as he is, he's too inconsistent and too often almost loses games to barely win them. He won a lot but too often made it harder than it should have been for a good closer giving teams too many chances to win.

After that, nothing else. Just win like the team which won 116 games.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Today (9/23/2014) with the official announcement of the US-led air strikes in Syria against ISIS (with the knowledge of the Syrian government about incursion into Syria) the President has put on the road to a long war without a strategy (impossible against ISIS), without a tactical plan (other than hit them where they are), without a goal (other than damage their effectiveness), without any thought of victory, and without, above all else, an end, at least until the next president decides to end it.

This is not a moment to say good luck, except for and to the military personnel in combat, because it's not a war we should be fighting, let alone leading. The failure of the Iraqi government and the failure of the Iraqi military are the reason ISIS went into Iraq and will be there until the Iraqi government decides to govern and the military decide to fight, but as long as we're there, we'll be waging this war for them, again.

When is enough of Iraq enough for the American people? We are responsible for the undoing of Iraq, but we are not responsible for the doing of the new Iraq, that's the province of the Iraqi people. We've given them everything they've asked for and more, especially money to build a government, a military and an economy. It's time they decide to stand up and fight for their country.

This isn't our fight anymore, it's theirs.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nothing worse

A noted scientist said, "There is nothing worse than a clear view of a fuzzy concept.", which obviously was applying to science, but it could be what fits the situation currently in Iraq with an inept and incompetent government, a military which won't fight, Shia and Sunni militias fighting each other, and the elephant in the room, ISIS.

A New York Times poll suggests the American people disapprove of the President counterterrorism plan, especially for fighting ISIS, but they should have asked those same people, "What would you do if you were President, considering all the international diplomatic and political issues at stake?"

I doubt any American would answer that with certainty their plan, if they had one, would work there against ISIS or in Iraq, and that's because there is no plan which will work unless we engage ISIS in a full scale war with several hundred thousand combat troops and all the arms, weapons, logistics, etc. they need.

ISIS currently has 30,000 to 40,000 fighters from the region and around the world, and you can bet if we put combat on the ground in Iraq to fight them, that number would double in very little time and increase throughout the war between them and us.

And then be ready to cross the Iraq-Syria border to invade Syria to fight ISIS and face international criticism if not condemnation and the Syria military in return. There is no other solution there with any level of positive outcomes, and this choice would extend the war in Iraq another 2-3 years minimum.

And be ready to justify the loss of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire in the town and cities where ISIS currently controls. We would have to engage them in urban warfare just like we did in the cities in Iraq with about the same results, long, bloody and no victory but stalemate with destroyed cities.

And that is exactly what ISIS wants, to engage the US military in a ground war. They would clearly lose, but that's not why they want the fight. They want to fight for the simple reason to fight the US government. The outcome to them is meaningless.

Is the American people ready for that? More war, more combat troops in Iraq, and Syria, more money and more veterans killed or injured returning home one way or the other. If that's your plan, then go talk to the President about it. Otherwise,  your opinion is worth what everyone else's is worth, including mine, two cents.

The other option is simply understand it's a complex situation and the President is trying to make the best decision better described as the lesser of evils since there is no clear path with no victory. There will always be terrorist groups and militias like ISIS, just look at Syria for the last 3 years.

And in the end, the best we can do if fight ISIS where they're just a small fraction of their size to go into hiding in Syria with the other militias, and then hope they don't arise again while the civil war in Syria continues and the political mess in Iraq also continues.

Any full scale military engagement in Iraq against ISIS is just like Bush's second war in Iraq, but this one would be Obama's, something he doesn't want, something we don't want and something everyone else in the world doesn't want. So the alternative is the original words, "There's nothing worse than a clear view of a fuzzy concept."

Monday, September 15, 2014


When we teach young men to be violent, through sports, in the military, playing video games, watching movies and TV, etc., and we teach them that women are just objects to serve them, should we expect anything different from them when they react and beat women, especially those close to them?

When their first reaction is violence, why do we expect them to think and act differently when we've taught them not to think but to just react and to react with violence?

When we teach them to only see women as objects, the same as those we teach them to hate and act against with violence, why are we still surprised when they prove we taught them well? 

And do we actually think we can unteach them what we've taught them their whole life? 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How Many

How many hundreds of Billions (with a big B) of dollars did we invest in buidling the Iraqi Army and supply them with some of the latest vehicles, tanks, weapons, etc. to discover when they outmanned the miltant group ISIS 10 to 1 they didn't fight and in fact dropped their weapons and fled, leaving all their weapons behind?

The ISIS Army overwhelmed Iraqi forces and secured Iraqi weapons depots and bases with little or no fight. In short, we have supplied the ISIS army with some of their weapons they're now fighting against the Kurdish forces and killing innoncent civilians.

And now the Iraqi government wants more help from us for training (like 7+ years of promised capability by two Presidents doesn't count), weapons, vehicles, tanks, aircraft, etc. They want what they squandered and lost, and we're expected to oblige them again? Really? When does enough become enough to tell them to stand up for their own country and fight for it?

Monday, September 8, 2014


President Obama has proposed a 1% increase in the cost of living for federal employees and retirees, instead the 1.8% increase mandated by law, which means that this increase will be eaten up and more with next year’s increase in insurance premiums, rent or mortages, utilities, food, and everything else everyone pays. It won’t even afford a family of 4 more than a cheap night out each month.
During the entire Obama presidency, federal employees and retirees have lost money every year from a moratium or only small increases on income, and the accumulated loss over those years is close to 10% of their current net annual salary or annuity. And the President really expects federal employees and retirees to think he has supported them.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

It is time

It's time we stopped calling the pro-russian speratists in Ukraine rebels or militias, and started calling them what they are, Russian soldiers. There is plenty of reports that they are former Russian para-military and military soldiers with many of the command structure former special forces from the Russian army.

They have battlefield heavy equipments, including armored personnel carriers, tanks, anti-aircraft artillery and missile (shooting down commercial flight MH-17) along with many on-the-ground combat weapons, but from captured Ukrainian inventories and Russian supplies. In conflicts they're often better equiped than the Ukrainian soldiers.

They are an army and supported and backed by Russia and manned with Russians. It's time we called what they are and not gloss it over for political purposes to avoid calling the Russian government out when they are that government who invaded and are occupying another soverign nation at the behest of the Russian government.

And it's time we acknowledge what Putin is after in Ukraine, which is the southest provinces of the country, for the industry and resouces of the region, for the coastal land and seaport, and for the land bridge to Crimea which is effective isolated with the one land bridge controlled by Ukraine, all the rest by ship or ferry.

As with Crimea, this isn't about ethnic or national pride, it's about economics and international politics. That region gives Russia more resources and access of the Black Sea region he wants, and by supporting the forces fighting Ukraine he gains and plans to keep that region in the name of Russia.

It's time we called it what it is and deal with it as any other nation would be treated if they invaded and occupied a neighboring nation. We don't owe the Russia anything and we owe the Ukrainians the right to defend their nation, including Crimea. On that NATO and the EU with the US should decide and act.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Mitch McConnell, speaking before a select group of billionaires, promised that if the Republicans gain control of the Senate in the November election that he, as would be Senate majority leader, would promise three things.

First, the Senate would do nothing to help the American people with jobs, healthcare, unemployment insurance, worker rights and safety, food assistance programs, and so on down the list of necessary functions of government for the people.

Second, he would do everything to stop President Obama from doing anything, like confirming nominations, assisting in world affairs, and so on down the list of necessary work of the President.
And third, he would do everything to help billionaires with taxes, regulations, oversight, and so on down the list of their wish list.

Yeah, it's in the audio recording of the speech he made to them. That's the Republican agenda, profit from and for billionaires and ignore the American people.

So that's your choice in Kentucky, vote for more of the same obstructionism from the Republicans and worse if the gain control of the Senate, or vote for change, push the Democrats to do what they haven't done so far because of Republican obstructionism.

You can vote to continue a do nothing Congress or vote for a do something Congress.

Friday, August 22, 2014


If all the analysts, pundits, politicians, etal. who extort for political advantage the fear of ISIS coming to the US to conduct terrorist attacks think we should do something, are they willing to commit to fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq? Are they ready and willing to back the President and ask Congress to authorize military operations against ISIS wherever they are in the Middle East?

Or are they just more of the same chickenhawks who just talk but don't have the backbone to back it up and commit to a fight? Are they just the same as they were to rail against the President for whatever political advantage they think it has and ISIS is just another issue to them?

Because if they want to fight terrorists then they have to stand up and support a President who is willing to do the job, and would they then decide to back the President, or just find something he does wrong about that too? Is their talk about the real issue or just talk? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

iTunes 11.3.1

All I can say about iTunes 11.3.1 is that it doesn't like Apple iPad Air tablets. I've had more problems with connections, charging and syncing than any previous version of iTunes. And I've had problems in the middle of syncing when it will lose the app sync and I have to try to fix removed or added apps. And when it does sync, it always seemingly take forever to determine which apps I have on the iPad Air.

You would think Apple would stop relying on users to test their software to find problems or bugs. But then I used to think better of Apple before they developed Lion and now Mavericks with their move to less user control and more of pseudo-Microsoft's "Trust us" approach to operating systems.

Sorry Apple, you haven't earned that trust anymore.


Why do I get the impression the recent and on-going enforcement of China's antitrust laws against European, Japanese and American automakers and parts manufacturers is a government form of blackmail?

They offered incentives for these companies to establish business in China, let them operate for years without oversight, and then suddenly enforce antitrust laws with fines, while small, are significant because while the money will go to the government, it's not intended for the government but Chinese-owned businesses.

We should remember China's goal here isn't for foreign companies to establish businesses in China in cooperation with mandated partnership with Chinese companies, their goal is the eventual ownership of those companies along with the technology of the products and the manufacturing plants.

China's goal is to have all their products sold in China to be produced by Chinese companies for the profit of government-owned companies whether owned directly or through proxies, often high-ranking government leaders. 

We shouldn't forget one day China will be exporting American cars to the US as they now export American company parts and products. Their goal is to establish a network of auto dealerships selling their cars, all designed and built with US automaker technology.

Will you buy a Chinese car? You buy their auto parts, why not the whole car?

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Apparently the Republicans don't understand what the President is doing in Iraq now, but it's really very simple. It's for the humanitarian support of the Kurdish and Yazidi people and the protection of the Americans in Erbil.

We're not there to fight ISIS or to do what the Iraqi military and air force is supposed to be doing, fighting ISIS to drive them out of Iraq for the people of Iraq. We're not there to prop up the corrupt and failed Iraqi government and the inept Iraqi military.

We've already failed at both of those things to remind us we can't do what they won't do for themselves. It's not rocket science, it's common sense, something the Republicans always seem to lack, even when it comes to politics.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


I have a Mac Pro running OS-X 10.9.4 and an iPhone 5s and iPad Air, both running IOS 7.1.2. I use Datacolor's Spyder Gallery apps on the Mac and iDevices to color calibrate them. The process works that you connect the Spyder 3 or 4 tool to the Mac via the USB connection and the color tool on the iDevice.

The app on the Mac then uses bluetooth to communicate with the iPhone or iPad to send and receive information between the device and Mac. This means you have to start Bluetooth on the device and connect to Bluetooth on the Mac.

I do this monthly along with the color calibration of the Mac's monitor, and up through last month the process was flawless. Then updated the Mac to 10.9.4 and the devices to IOS 7.1.2, after which the bluetooth doesn't work anymore between either device and the Mac.

The iPhone or iPad will connect with the code for a second and then returns the message, "Mac not supported" on this device. And as often happens folks on the Apple forum either blame me, aka. the user, for doing something wrong, or ask stupid questions like what I'm trying to do and offer other ways to do it.

Except the Spyder apps use Bluetooth, so there is no work around or other way of doing it. And blaming the user is just computer geeks way of refusing to confess they don't have a clue what to do and don't want to admit that.

And not long after that, others voiced the same problem, so it's not me, it's one of the OS-X or IOS updates which causes Bluetooth not to work with each other. And as usual, sending the bug report to Apple is like sending down the rabbit hole, gone and lost forever.

I suspect it's IOS 7.1.2 since the Mac discovers the iPhone or iPad, sends the code to pair and connects, but the the device drops the connection as "Mac not supported" message which often strikes me that this is typical of Apple's testing process where they don't test or see problems.

So here I sit. Can't go back and there's nothing forward. Both devices have been color calibrated (June) so it's not critical but it is important later when it's clear there is a problem with IOS 7.1.2 or OS-X 10.9.4 for Bluetooth.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Defending oneself

The leaders of Israel say they have a right to defend themselves against the agressive attacks by the Hamas rockets. Yet, Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense system is so successful, only a few percent of the unguided rockets actually land, and fewer do any damage, let alone injure or kill anyone.

All the while Israel subjects the people of Gaza to missile and bombs from warplanes and missiles from helicopters because Hamas has no air defense system, from Artillery and rockets because Hamas has no counter force against them, and from the incursion of forces into Gaza itself.

Where does is say taking such an agreesive offense, supposedly targeted at Hamas but often destroying propery and killing and injuring innoncent Palestinians, is defending yourself?

If Israel's air defense system, partailly funded and supported by the US, works, what more do they need to do to defend themselves? Why not show restraint and make Hamas look the enemy it is and not the Palestinian people? 

OS-X and Bluetooth

This is a critical thing if you are running OS-X 10.9.4. If you are using bluetooth devices, such as the mouse, keyboard and trackpad, and have a wired device plugged into the Mac as well, you can accidently turn bluetooth off without the system giving you the warning message and the second chance.

The bluetooth setup in OS-X is supposed to warn you that turning off bluetooth will disable the input devices in the list with the setup, and then give you a second chance to turn bluetooth off or not. But if you have a wired input devices, like a tablet, it won't show you either and just turn bluetooth off losing the connections to those devices.

In addition if you have the preferences to detect missing keyboard and/or mouse to open the bluetooth window if you reboot, the system will not do that if you have the wired device plugged into the Mac. I learned this recently by accident.

This is really stupid on Apple's part since it knows which devices are bluetooth and which are wired, and should know to detect a mouse or keyboard which is not connected when you reboot. The wired device, which the system know what it is, eg. tablet, should not interfer with the bluetooth devices, preferences or operation.

But it does! 
Do not turn Bluetooth off
if you have a wired device to your Mac!

If you do, you may be screwed until you connect a wired mouse into the Mac to reboot and restart bluetooth or hope the wired device can serve like a mouse, as some tablets can in an emergency, which I learned too.

When I reported this on the Apple forum, the responses were less than positive and the typical IT geek response it's not the system and to blame the user, until one tested it and discovered it really is a bug in OS-X 10.9.4.

It's why I rarely post to the Apple forum, it only gets you ridiculed for being stupid. We're all human but IT geeks forget they're humans first, and geeks second. Their view is that their mistakes are professional, user mistakes are stupid. And they wonder why we hate them.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


The conservative Christians have been and are making an effort to ensure their religious freedom is not restricted by laws and even the Constitution. But what will those folks say and do when the religious freedom of people of other faiths invoke the same rights and protections when some of their values conflict and even contradict the conservative Christians' values?

If the conservative Christians cite their values trumps laws, then doesn't the values of other religious values also trumps laws, and when the conservative Christians cite majority rules on the issues, then aren't they discriminating against a religious minority on religious grounds which is a violation of the Civil Rights Act and the Constitution?

Has the conservative Christians opened up the proverbial Pandora's box of religious freedom for everyone when they only wanted it for themselves? 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Consider the possibility President Putin isn't as much interested in Ukraine as many experts seem to portray his interests there but to test the willingness and resolve of the European Union against their own economic interests and dependency on Russian natural gas and oil.

His interest in Ukraine is political as he had a crony there as the puppet president who was ousted after public protests after which the people discovered he and his friends had used the government and Russian aid to bolster their own financial interests and wealth.

His interest in Ukraine was to unsettle the government where the people would oust the government and he can establish a new puppet president, except he now knows the majority of the people are for their government and want their soverignty and independence for themselves and from Russia.

So he settled for the Crimean peninsula, which was an invastion and occupation for the offshore oil rights than the land, government or people, and for the eastern border area with the majority of Russian heritage, except the local militias weren't armed or experienced for a civil war.

And that's why he sent experienced troops and leaders along with heavy weapons, including artillery, tanks, and personnel carriers, and now we know included surface-to-air missiles which shot down the commerical aircraft with 298 people on board. 

Depsite all that, his goal may be simply a political test of the resolve and willingness of the EU to support Ukraine through the fighting in their country with the Russian backed and supported pro-separatists. 

He knows the US can and will add sanctions against selected Russian people and companies, but he's testing if President Obama will include sanctions against US companies working in Russia or with the Russian government, especially energy and airplane production companies.

But his real goal may just be to push the EU using their dependence on Russian natural gas and oil as his leverage. He's done this with Ukraine using false claims of overdue bills on inflated natual gas prices in violation of the agreements, but after shutting off the pipeline, he's always turned it back on for a reason.

He knows if he actually shuts down the pipeline the EU will revolt against him. That's the certainty he knows about the EU, their dependence but mostly his revenue from the sale of natural gas to the EU. Turning it off stops both, something the Russian economy and government can't survive for very long.

So this is what he's testing, especially Germany and a few other countries who are heavily dependent on Russian natual gas, in short, how long can they survive if the gas is shutoff and what they will do in response and how far will their tolerate his intervention in Ukraine.

Putin is gambling the EU doesn't have the interests to threaten their source of natural gas, but without the sale of it to the EU, Putin and the Russian government is equally hurt, and that's what the EU has to use against him than their fear of consequences.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I don't hide the fact I hate Microsoft. And yes I live in the Puget Sound where that stupid company is king behind Boeing. They're still a company to be hated, and I learned even more why this week when I had to create an account on a medical laboratory system to retrieve my test results.

The lab no longer mails test results to the patient, only the doctor. They have pushed people to enroll on their Website to review and retrieve their results, and they use Microsoft's HeathVault system for their database which means you have to enroll in Microsoft's database too.

I don't have anything Microsoft and never planned to until now, and even after a month of waiting to get them to mail my results they didn't, I had to enroll in their system, but first I had to enroll in Microsoft's system.

That's bad enough since I don't use Microsoft and they now have my information, but it's worse than that as I learned, because they already had my information even when I've never had anything to do with Microsoft, their services or their products.

I know this because when I created the account they showed me all the places I've lived for the past 35 years and asked which one wasn't correct (one was wrong), down to the street name, and I suspect even the house or apartment number too if they wanted.

I don't know how or where they got the information but that's spooky to me since I haven't dealt with them and haven't put past addresses going back 40 years or so in any on-line database or on any application outside of the government.

What also bothers me is that lab company using Microsoft and their software/database system, which may make work easier for them, doesn't create any sense of security in their customers when they see a software company now has your health information.

And all the privacy laws now under the Affordable Care Act are meaningless as they share this information with any company with an interest disguised as a need. Yeah, you're a customer and a product, a product for them to sell you and your information.

All the more reason to really hate Microsoft more. If I could get out from the lab company I would but it wouldn't change the fact Microsoft still knows more about me than they should, they showed me now and teaching me not doing anything with a company doesn't mean they don't know you or have you information.

Healthcare System

The problem with the medical system in the US is that unless a problem is obvious with a patient from the signs, symptoms and the tests, no one in the whole system has a clue what's wrong or any idea what to do next, other than to tell you it's normal and make you feel guilty for being sick, or start the guessing game of conditions and tests and hope something happens to make the problem obvious. Such is the state of our "advanced" healthcare system today. All that money and they still can't answer questions or solve problems to make people better.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Adobe CC 2014

Well, I updated my Adobe CC applications, and discovered some interesting stuff Adobe is doing, but it's becoming clear that Adobe has abandoned Creative Suite (CS) applications, from CS6 on back and moving people to the subscription Creative Cloud (CC).

But then they also decided to abandon CC applications for CC 2014 applications. All of the updates are new applications. So what happened. For one Creative Cloud generates spindumps message and crash reports when you open it.

For one, they've lost the order of the applications in the application window. They used to be alphabetically, but now it's random bunches totally out of order. Did anyone actually test anything before they released it or are they relying on users?

Ok, onward. One, Dreamweaver (DW) CC 2014 won't open. No messages, nothing. It won't open. Muse CC 2014 generates a ton of CoreTex performance note messages, about Client called CTFontCreateWithName... messages.

For another Photoshop CC 2014 takes a long time to open files and the cross-hairs are hard to see in images in the window. I had to use a cursor coordinator application to show me where it was in the window.

I haven't checked others yet, in part because I'm angry DW CC 2014 won't open to see if they fixed anything they've known with DW CC. I'm even more angry they've known about problems with DW CS6 since Apple released OS-X 10.9.0.

All I got in response from them is that the problems have been known and are on the list to fix, maybe with DW CC 2014. So are they with DW CC 2014? I'd like to know if the application would open.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I'm only a casual observer of the political landscape but over the last few years, as many analysts and pundits have noted, the two political parties are changing. That's obvious to anyone, even me, but it's changing in ways no one thought let alone predicted.

With the loss by Eric Kantor in his primary race to a far right Tea Party candidate, and rather soundly too, that leaves questions and a hole in the short-term future of the Republican party, one that more and more House Speaker Boehner has failed to manage let alone control.

With that in mind, to me there are now four political parties. There's the two in the Republican party, meaning the right wing and Tea party members and the old guard traditional conservative members. The moderate, more centrist, members are out on a limb going "WTF."

The Democratic party has two groups, and likely 3 or more if you look at subgroups. There's the ever present left wing liberals which include many progressive independents, like myself. And there's the old, traditional moderate democrats who have shown abslutely no backbone to stand up for the American people, for their own party and against the Republicans.

One lesser group in numbers is the old conservative (blue dog) democrats who are almost extinct in the party and politics, replaced with republicans. What's missing in this mix are the libertarians who are in the Republican party but even they have become their own subgroup.

What all this means is which party has the leadership to keep themselves from splintering apart, and so far it appears to be the Democrats but underneath the surface there's the same tension and stress as in the Republican party, just less public.

The Democrats have the problem they made political decisions in negotiations with Republicans which angered their members because the Republicans have always reniged on their agreements to make the Democrats look weak, taking the blame for everything.

The anger within the Democrats has shown their problem is the divide between the traditional groups of moderates and liberals, moderates winning within the party but losing with the Republicans, causing the liberals to blame their own leadership for their failures.

So in 2014, for what it's worth, that's what I see, lots of divisiveness in both parties, and both need to change to win. The question is the November election to control the House and Senate, and then set up the fight for 2016 in both and the President.

The Republicans need to resolve their internal fight which isn't likely as both sides are far apart on the issues and only united against President Obama, something that's not sustainable in general elections. The Democrats need to stand up and fight for the American people or lose. It's that simple for them. Get some backbone and a voice.

As Rusty Wallace said, "Stay tuned Hotrod, we're just getting started."