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.