Friday, December 25, 2015

TRA Medical Imaging

If you can help it, don't do business with TRA Medical Imaging. They're associated with St. Anthony Hospitals to do the evalution of MRI's. CT scans, etc., but you don't know this until you get the notice from them and your health insurance if they're in your plan or not.

This is important because they may or may not be covered, and if so, may or may not be a preferred provider. And this is where I don't recommend them. I had a MRI on my lower back at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor since they're the closer than Swedish hospital in Seattle where I normally go for tests.

The test was in late May and in July I got the bill from TRA Medical Imaging for the full amount of $241 they billed the health insurance company. The problem is they sent the bill to me before they sent the claim to my insurance company where TRA as a preferred provider, meaning they pay a fixed amount minus my co-pay.

I sent TRA a letter I'll pay after I get the statement from the insurance company of my co-pay. A week later I get the bill again with a letter threatening to send it to a collection agency if I don't pay. This is still before the insurance company acted on the claim. I paid the bill.

A month later I got the statement from the health insurance they paid their amount, which was about  third, $75, of the amount I was billed and I only owed TRA about $11, not the original bill of $241. I called TRA and the representative confirmed my payment, the health insurance payment, and my co-pay, and the fact I was due a refund of $230, which they said should arrive within about 2 weeks.

A month later I called to be told I was still due a refund but the department which issues the check is in another state and has their own review process, despite the department in charge of account approving the refund. They said they would prompt the check department again.

I called month later, but this time they said the health insurance company requested a reimbursement of the amount they paid. I told them I had not received a notice of denial of the amount they paid and I owed the whole bill, and would not recieve a refund.

I asked them to review the bill and I'll contact the health insurance company to confirm it was paid and if or not they sought reimbursment. They agreed to check the account. I hadn't gotten around to calling the health insurance company for a number of reasons, but yesterday (12/24/15) I got the refund.

The story is that TRA is no different than Multi-Care when it comes to money, which is bill the patient before filing any claim, and if they don't pay, threaten them. My experience with Multi-Care is the same, I've always had to go back to fight their demand for payment before the insurance company has acted on the claim, if they even filed a claim.

The lesson for me was never use St Anthony and their system, even though they are a preferred provider, because they charge too much and charge the patient first and then sort out the insurance. In short, they want their money without regard for the patient and their health insurance.

Recently I went back to Swedish Hospital for a CT scan and in 10 years of going to them and their doctors, I have never had a problem with a claim or payment. Swedish is a drive for me, especially battling Seattle traffic and parking, but they will always be where I go. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


No Republican candidate for president understands there is no real solution to Syria and fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (IS). That’s because there is no unified view by all the nations of who supports or fights who. Here’s why in a nutshell.
The government of Iraq doesn’t care about Syria, only IS in Iraq. They don’t want the Kurds to fight IS but not be independent. They don’t want Turkey in Iraq but they have invited Iran into their country. They tolerate the US presence because we write big checks, but they won’t allow a greater US presence, especially ground forces. That’s in the agreement Presidents Bush and Obama signed.
Turkey supports the militias fighting the government of Syria but they’re fighting the Kurds in both Syria and Iraq. They also don’t want the Kurds to have independence. This is why they closed the border to Kurds but not IS or other militias.
Turkey allows our use of bases in Turkey because we write checks and will turn a blind eye to anything they do against the Kurds in Turkey, just not the Kurds in Iraq or Syria, and we won’t push them to close the border to IS or fight the IS in Syria. We’ll be quiet.
Russia supports the government of Syria, and are fighting the militias fighting against that government, not the IS. Russia won’t care about the IS until the IS begins attacking the Russians or Syria forces.
Iran supports both the government and miltary of Iraq and the government of Syria along with Hezbollah in Lebonan who are fighting the militias fighting the government of Syria.
Saudi Arabi, Diubai, Qatar, UAE, etal, supports the militias fighting the government of Syria and they tolerate the IS because they don’t want the IS conducting attacks against them or in their country.
The NATO countries supports the US attacking the IS but they’re not suporting the militias fighting the government of Syria nor the government of Iraq unless the government there requests the help, which they haven’t.
Sounds confusing, it is due one factor. It’s about the politics of Islam, Sunni and Shite. This is why the US policy supporting the Kurds, the militias fighting the government of Syria, and the government of Iraq is politically and diplomatically problematic. 
And it’s why no Republican candidate has offered a good answer about Syria and Iraq. They wouldn’t do anything more than President Obama is doing without creating new, and worse, problems in Syria and with the government of Iraq.
This is why President Obama isn’t doing more, because that would entail more problems and create new problems militarily, politically or diplomatically. It’s also why Congress won’t debate, let alone pass, a AUMF for fighting the IS.
It’s why it’s good campaign and political debate. Just talk and no action. That’s what politicans like to do, talk a lot, but the President have to decide and act

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2016 campaign

I'll make my bad 2016 presidential campaign predictions. First, the obvious, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic candidate for president, but I think Martin O'Malley will the be vice president. Despite both from eastern states, Mr. O'Malley has the experience, intelligence and poise to similar to, but with a different personality, Vice President Joe Biden.

For the Republicans, the convention with be a fight between Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Jeb Bush will have some pull but republicans are tired of the Bush family in politics. For vice president, don't be surprised who gets the node, but it depends on who wins between the two senators. That said, I would expect either to pick a woman, such as Carly Fiorina.

Really, she's out of the race for president but offers better chances for the republicans than Sarah Palin did, although not much considered her resume is much better and her views are way to the right for many moderates. I can't think of other republican women, but I'm sure names will appear.

Well, just a thought and we have the year to find out, but then I'm only the occasional watcher of election news.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Dr. Ben Carson, the current candidate in the republican primary (no elections yet) according to the polls, and he is complaining - I'd say whining but all candidates whine about the media - about the media fact-checking his life story which he has written about in several books.

Well, Dr. Carson, there are good reasons your whining is misplaced, and is just what it is, whining.

First, you're the front runner and that attracts more attention and scrutiny from the media. That's a given in political campaigns.

Second, you have made character and your life story the reason you should be elected president, less the issues which you say very little, but yourself as shown by your life.

And that's where things are going wrong for you because you have not just exaggerated your life but you in fact lied about the events, if not actually made up some events. That's worth verifying your facts and asking you about them when they aren't true.

Third, you have made faith and prayer issues in your campaign, and if anything faith teaches someone is honesty and humility, and you, when the truth is told, are not an example of either. You lied in your books and you lie on the campaign, and now you're whining gettting caught.

You have said it's time for the media to move on about your life, all the while you continue to promote yourself and your life story on the campaign. You can't have it both ways, you can't use your life and they forbid others questioning your telling of your life.

What we are seeing is that your life story isn't what you have written, but your exaggeration or maybe even your imagination of it. Granted you're an exemplary individual without the fabrication, but that only shows you envision yourself more than the reality of your accomplishments.

And for all that, the media is correct in examining your life and reporting the truth behind what you say, especially if the truth proves you exaggerated if not imagined parts of and events in it. You can't hide from it, and blaming the media doesn't show character but cowardice about facing the facts.

And for that you deserve all the scrutiny the media does about you.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Reading the Sunday newspapers - reading three Sunday newspapers is my Sunday morning ritual - I read an article about orthorexia, and how it's now a medical condition, supported by some psychiartrists and psychologists, but not in the DSM IV, yet anyway.

It's defined as the "unhealthy obsession with avoiding what the person perceives as unhealthy foods and focusing on only eating healthy foods." And there are antedotal stories from people who like the term to define themselves.

Well, to me it's a crock. Yeah, simply put, it's just people deciding they want only healthy foods, and while I might see for some it becomes an obsession, it doesn't merit a mental (medical) condition necessitating therapy to change.

I say this because I have a overly sensitive digestive system from decades of taking antibiotics, mostly universal ones like amoxicillin, for a lifelong medical condition (Rheumatic Fever as a child). That has destroyed any reasonable sense of balance with the bacteria in my digestive system.

This has resulted in most foods becoming the enemy of my body, as well as my system sensitive to digestive disorders, one which I'm living with now (unknown bacteria overgrowth or imbalance). And so under guidence from gastroenterologists 4 years ago I reduced my diet to foods which work with my disgestive system.

This required reducing foods to a minimum and then adding, and sometimes subtracting, foods from what I call food experiments, meals where I fix something to test one food. This resulted in eliminating 95+% of available foods, spices, meals, etc.

This means I can write the foods I can eat on a Postit Note and still have room for doodles. And so I have to pay attention to the ingredients in all processed and prepared foods, whether in grocery stores or restaurants. So it's not an obsession, but living with reality.

And while some might call my food habits orthorexia, it's what keeps me healthy as best I can, and if that means spending a lot of time selecting and watching what I eat, then so be it, but it's not a mental or medical condition, it's my life.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


I thought Black Lives Matter (BLM) promised to disrupt Republican candidate speeches. So why do they still keep disruptiing Democratic candidates' speeches when they've made their point with those candidates and the public?

So why aren't they doing what they promised? Where are the news stories of them disrupting Republican candidates' speeches? Where? Or does BLM not think we're not watching and waiting for them to do what they promised?

The Democrats already have heard the message and know the stories, so BLM is preaching to the choir. It's time BLM did what they promised, or else they're showing they're not up to challenging the Republicans and the republican voters about the importance of black lives.

So, how about it BLM?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fox Sports

Update.-- I'll amend this to include the World Series. I'd rather watch the MLB Network shows than Fox Sports.

Original Post.-- I won't watch the Fox Sports pre-game or post-game shows with the American League Championship Seriers (ALCS) for one reason, Pete Rose. For them to have Pete Rose on their show shows a lack of respect to baseball and the fans.

He was banned from baseball for life and should never been in the Hall of Fame. He has spent his post-career life selling himself. I didn't care for him when he played and I couldn't care less since he's left and was banned from baseball.

And Fox Sports shouldn't give him a national platform, and as such I'll watch the games but not the pre- or post-game shows.

First Rule

First rule when listening to politicians, especially during election campaigns, comes from a physicist, "There's nothing worse than a clear view of a fuzzy concept."

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

OS-X El Capitan

Upgrade.-- After working with the new OS-X I've found a few more problems.

First, Mail doesn't work with with the smtp server for my ISP so I can't send mail. This happened with Yosemite and was quickly fixed by Apple, but we'll see what they do now as there's a lot of people reporting problems with Mail.

Second, the automatic Time Machine backups doesn't work. It just keeps reseting the time for the next one does nothing. I have to manually run backups.

Third, the installation turned off iCloud sync for a number of apps so they had be reset.

The problem with Safari 9 and Blogger is fixed, a reboot solved whatever wasn't working before. So it's a, "Huh." response, and on the good side, they fixed Tumblr using Safari. It's loads and scrolls without problems or issues.

Anyway, that's the status so far. Mostly good but some really bad dumb failures by Apple.

Original post.--I upgraded the Mac Pro to OS-X 10.11, El Capitan this afternoon and here are my first notes and impressions. First, it took 4 hours from the start of the download to the final restart, the last 40 minutes doing various checks and restarts to get the initial state memory to stablize.

First impression is that it's slower and takes longer to start and do anything than any previous OS-X version. But that's the norm for Apple and OS-X now as each version increasea the time it takes to do anything anymore.

In short the new spinning rainbow wheel is still the most common response to any command or click.

Second, the initial state takes about 500 MBytes more than Yosemite with the same login and apps, increasing from about 1.2 GBytes to 1.7 GBytes for me. This seems to be the norm for OS-X too, more memory to work.

Advice about the installation.

First, use the command + L to show the log(s) with the installation because the time stalls at various times during the installation and the log(s) show it's working.

Second, open mail first after logging in the first time to convert the old mail to the new mail. This eats memory that's not fully recovered.

Third, get Apple's Java as they don't include it in OS-X anymore. You can click the "Get More" button to open the Web pages to download it. I would get and install Oracle's Java to use as the default if you need and use it, but it stays in the installation if you already have it.

Fourth, restart at least 3 times so everything gets loaded and doesn't need reloading to consume memory on the startup, and stablizes the startup memory.

Fifth, don't forget the purge command to recover the cached file memory which is used after startup and not released. This is about 2 GBytes. This takes adminstrator rights and the terminal window.

That's the initial impression and notes. Otherwise, so far it looks the same to me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I'm not a fan of Multi-Care, but I use them because they have the only health and urgent care clinic in the local area which is covered under my health insurance. I won't go into details over the experience and issues I've had with them, but for a for-profit health care company, they're far from the best.

For one, they've been caught billing patients first even when they have health insurance which covers them and their healthcare services, and often more than double the rate they bill insurance companies, and threatening legal action if the patient doesn't pay.

I was caught by this when they billed $5,400 for a MRI on my lower back when I pinched my Sciatic nerve. It took several visits to get them to bill my insurance company, whom they billed $2,700 who paid the maximum under the contract, leaving me paying $1,000 for the MRI and specialist diagnosis.

But today was a big, "Huh?" Last year I stopped by the the urgent care clinic for a flu shot. They said the main healthcare clinic provides them. So I went there, made an appointment, and got a flu shot. I never saw the bill because it's a mandated coverage and cost by insurance companies.

So today I stopped by the clinic for my flu shot, and after a 20-minute wait a nurse informed me they won't give me a flu shot because they're not my Primary Care Provider (PCP) and they need a doctor's referral for the shot. A flu shot!

My PCP is in Seattle and they don't give flu shots. They don't give referrals either because it's unnecessary since the flu shot is recommended and covered by insurance without question. Then the nurse said I can get the shot at the urgent care clinic (downstairs).

Yeah, upstairs you need to have a doctor's referral, but downstairs, just walk in the door, show your cards and get a shot. And that's what I did, in 5 minutes, in and out. Now I'll see if they bill me or my health insurance company. I'm not holding my breath with them anymore.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bill Maher

“Look, this kid deserves an apology, no doubt about it, they were wrong, but can we have a little perspective about this?” Bill Maher asked. “Did the teacher really do the wrong thing?”

Yes, the teacher over-reacted. All the teacher had to do was stop and ask the student who their teacher was and what it was? And then take the student to the science teacher to verify it was a homework assignment and the teacher knew what it was.

It could have easily been handled quietly without reporting a teacher's fear and arresting the student. Now the student has a juvenille arrest record for no reason than a teacher's bad judgement and over-reaction to a clock.

And yes, I might think if the student was white, black or Asian, the teacher might have not acted the same and been more inquisitive to ask the student first than simply over-reacting out of fear of the student's ethnicty.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Do the executives at MSNBC news realize their low viewer ratings has to do with the fact the vast majority of TV viewer don't care about the early primary, especially the republican one? Really, almost everytime I turn to the MSNBC channel during the weekeday, it's about the Republican candidates, and just as quickly I turn to another channel.

And on top of that many of the news pundits on MSNBC talk about how much the American people don't follow and don't care about "beltway politics", meaning Washington D.C., but then they talk about nothing else but beltway politics and the Republicans.

What don't the executive realize we don't care. There's a whole world of news out there and we want to understand more about the world than the leading republican candidates in the field of 16 or so candidates. The election doesn't really start until spring of next year for many and not until the summer before the conventions.

So leading news shows with more stories of the same poltical BS doesn't get the attention and viewship. It just turns viewers, like me, off. I don't watch MSNBC very much now because they're a political channel, not news channel anymore.

And so with that, I'll continue to ignore MSNBC and stay with reading the daily newspapers. At least I get to chose what I read (or listen), than being pummeleld by needless, mindless political stories, interviews and commentaries. I'll pay attention when the election really starts next year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

No Excuses

The Seattle Mariners are 10 games under .500 this morning. With 36 games remaining in the schedule, they would have to go 23 wins and 13 loses to get to even, and better to get into the playoffs. They've had their chances and there's no excuses for this year's team.

Three of the four teams with a lower team batting average have wining records, two leading their division and the other currently a wildcard team. Only one of the four has a worse record than Seattle.   And only one team with a winning record scored less runs.

This shows you can overcome poor offense with good pitching and defense, as the Mariners showed last year, but also it's the old adage about timely hitting, scoring runs when you have runners in scoring position (2nd or 3rd base), something the Mariners have done poorly this year.

The Mariners are in the top ten in fielding, and five of the seven teams with a better team fielding percentage have winning records, but many with a worse fielding percentage are winning teams, showing that fielding is important but not the most critical part of winning games. Last year the Mariners were in the top three all year.

Only one team with a higher team pitching ERA has a winning record, the Texas Rangers, currently a wildcard team. Last year the Mariners had one of the best team ERA's, especially their bullpen staff. This shows how much pitching matters in winning games.

The overall stats don't necessarily mean much to baseball analysts, but it shows where the team is with respect to other teams, and especially to winning teams. The Mariners have lost games this year from their lack of timely hitting, getting runs with runners in scoring positions.

But the stats show how critical good pitching is to winning, and where the Mariners have failed, and it's the whole staff, even the best of them had bad outings on the mound, but it's the whole staff, 22nd for ERA for starters and 26th for relievers.

The Mariners came into this season with a lot of promise from last year and better hitting (eg. Nelson Cruz), but they have failed in almost every way, but more so with pitching. They have no more excuses for not winning, not having a winning record, and not being in the playoff picture.

No fan is angry with the team, just disappointed. All the promises never paid off from the beginning, never being above .500 the whole season so far and likely to the end of it. They underachieved, and for that there are no excuses.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


When you choose to focus on one race or ethnic group when it comes to police brutality, calling it discrimination, it's discrimination against other races or ethnic groups when you exclude them from your discussion. While you're claims of excess forces against a particular group of victims may be fair, it's not fair to ignore all victims of the same excessive force.

No one doubts the facts of discrimination of black people by some police departments and some police officers in many parts of this country. That's been a tragic part of our history, as well as the times we live in now. And no one doubts the protections police departments and officer have under the law they're sworn enforce.

No one doubts the need to change the laws and change the practices of many police departments and the enforcement of the laws by many police officers.  And no one doubts the need to protest the actions of police officers when it comes to police brutality, and yes, it's often against a particular racial group.

No one doubts that group has the right to raise their voice to demonstrate and demand action against police brutality. But, you can't claim discrimination from police brutality when you exclude all victims of police brutality.

It's called discrimination. You shouldn't make distinctions for political convenience. And while many non-blacks agree with your effort, support the need for change, and want fairness and justice, you shouldn't exclude non-blacks in your fight against police brutality.

Police brutality is still brutality. The color of the victim isn't the issue when they're dead as a result of police brutality. It's the act that matters. Focus on that. Focus on all victims. Fix that because all lives matter, including black lives.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lives Matter

What the #blacklivesmatter activists don't seem to realize, or ignore it if they do, is that everyone matter, every life matters, so instead of demanding full attention on them - notice the white young man shot by police hasn't raised their voice - maybe they should consider these.


In short it's simple.


That's the idea. It's not about you, it's about off of us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sorry no

I've only been kinda' watching and reading the newstories about the activist group #blacklivesmatter, and it's clear to me, they're not succeeding except at raising noise and making themselves the enemy. I don't doubt their goals, motives and passion for the issue and agree with much of what they're trying to accomplish, but I don't agree with their tactics.

What I've seen is activists aggressively distrurpt the events of two male democratic candidates, Martin O'Malley and Bernier Sanders, forcing the latter to leave the stage after refusing to concede the podium and let him speak. But when they were refused the stage for an event by Hillary Clinton they spoke politely with her after she agreed to speak with them.

This was a WTF moment for me. They attack men but not women? Or did the Clinton campaign staff catch on to them and control access to the stage so they couldn't distrupt Ms. Clinton? But then they said they didn't get honest answers from her with direct questions.

Really? A politician won't give a direct answer to their questions. Are they naive or what? They're obviously not naive, but then they used her political answers to attack, like they expected her to tell them what they wanted to hear.

They promise to attack republicans candidates, or so they say they've planned. Really? Like the republicans staff and security are going to let them near any republican candidate to take the stage and demand the audience listen to them rants against white people, at almost all white republican events?

Do you think any security of a republican candidate is going to let black activists into an event where they can disrupt the event? And even if they can get in and try, how far do you think they'll get when security removes them from the stage. Do they expect to be treated with dignity?

All of what I've seen and read only shows me they don't care about other lives, just black lives, and they don't care we may care about other lives in part of the whole country which black lives are just one part of all of us. We care, just not solely on black lives, but all lives.

And that's where I part company with them on the issue of lives. Why not talk about black communities, unemployment, social programs, or the lack of them, guns and violence, and the whole array of issues effecting black lives, and all the rest of the country?

And that's also where I stopped paying attention. If you want my support, don't get in people's face and demand we follow what you tell us. You're not in charge, you're not directing our lives, you're not helping us, so we have a right to say, "Yes, we care, but not we don't about your tactics."

All #blacklivesmatter seems to be doing is turning off the very people they need to help them, those liberal white people they called racists. That's not winning our hearts and minds, but the opposite, it's losing what matters to your cause the most, us.

We're not against you, we're just not for what you're doing for attention. We're not against your cause, we're for it, but in perspective of the larger conversation about answers and solutions, not singularly focused on just black lives like you are and want us. We're not enemy, so stop treating us like we are.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Saving Grace

As much as I live on a very restricted diet and often consider food my enemy, I've come to also realize it's my saving grace. Really, food is a double-edge sword that can make me sick and keep me well. Yes, really.

The trick is that after reading an article in the Sunday newspaper (read four of them, Washington Post on-line, and the New York Time, Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune in print because I like sitting down with big print newspapes) I realized an extreme food sensitivity has advantages.

The author was writing about the loss of real flavor in food with the food industry using some many tricks to make packaged food taste good but often not real. I realized I rarely eat a packaged food product anymore because I can't.

That's because almost every food in packaged food, and restaurant food for that matter where I rarely eat anymore (about once a year), have foods or ingredients which at best will leave me mildly sick overnight and at worst moderately to seriously sick for days.

My diet consists mostly organic or natural foods, including meats (ham and turkey), vegetables, fruits, etc. and the rest are organic or natural packaged foods with few ingredients, like mayonaise, peanut butter, preserves/jam, etc.

In short I don't eat the foods the majority of people eat. I have a simple diet which I stay with along with occasional "food experiments", which are foods not on the list to see if they're still off the list or they're on the three strikes they're out list.

When I get a bad reaction to any food, I don't eat it for awhile, then try it, and if it still makes me sick, I wait longer and try it again. If it makes me sick a third time, then it's, yeah, three strikes you're out (off the list indefinitely if not permanently).

But sometimes food experiments are foods, such as meat, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, etc. which are on the off list (FODMAPS or other rules, eg. "Nothing green or leafy") which I know provoke a reaction, so it's more to reaffirm what I already know.

Anyway, the point of this is that while the list of foods I can eat can be written on a 4"x6" postit note and almost all other foods are my enemy, my diet is my saving grace protecting me from industrial packaged foods, fast foods (yes, those too), and 99% of snacks, candy bars, drinks etc.

My food sensitivities are what's keeping me alive but also saving me.

Bernie Sanders

The two (black) women activists representing the #blacklivesmatter group who interrupted Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders when he was about to begin his speech in Seattle Saturday (Aug. 9th) were rude and I will say racists.

They called the predominately white crowd, "white supremacists liberals", without the notion or thought that similar words of their race could equally apply to them to deny the right of whites to be liberal, progressive or other political views with concerns and interests, including but not exclusive, of interests beyond the black lives matter movement.

Like the economy, jobs, healthcare and health insurance, college debt, and the many financial, social and economic issues facing everyone from local to global. There are far more problems to make just one of them the only matter.

And to interrupt Bernie Sanders was rude to only hurt their cause in the hearts and minds of others. We've all grieved about what happened in Ferguson, Missouri. We've all grieved about what has happened to the lives of young, unarmed black men killed by police.

But what about all the other young people, even children, who are victims of violence, from guns to physical abuse at the hands of family and their friends. Don't their lives matter? Don't their circumstances matter? Don't they count?

Sorry, the world is bigger than Ferguson, especially here in Seattle. And people wanted to hear Bernie Sanders, not two black activists cramming hatred in our ears, demanding we obey them out of fear of being labelled against them.

They only reinforced the view of what many people see and know about some black activists. You're no better than any race or ethnic group spouting hate in the name of a cause. And you wonder why we don't listen and many have turned off their hearing to your words.

We're not supremacists by any stretch of the word, but you don't want to have a discussion about that do you? You just want to yell and demand, and then cry racist when we walk away. Maybe you should look in the mirror with you call someone that.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hard to Watch

The Mariners games are hard to watch this season. Going into the bottom of the 9th inning ahead 5-3 against Colorado and a chance to even the road trip at 5-5 after being swept by Toronto and splitting 4 games with Minnesota, and winning the first two games of the series, the announcer said it all.

"Fernando Rodney blew it." Yeah, he blew another save with a walk, a double and a single to tie the game. Then in the bottom of the 11th, Rasmusson gave up a two run homer to lose the game 7-5 and the announcer said it again, "Oh no, not what we wanted."

The Mariners left 12 men on base in scoring position (2nd or 3rd), including a bases loaded inning and didn't pick up any of them after scoring 3 runs in the inning. All they needed was one or two more runs to avoid putting Rodney on the mound in the 9th inning.

They're 9 games under .500 going 4-6 on the road trip, to know now their season isn't getting any better despite good defense and good hitting by some players. They're pitchers just can't hold games, and it starts with Rodney who is supposed to the the ace closer, blowing 6 of 22 opportunities, most of them recently.

That's it and their season in a nutshell. So what will the Mariners do now? What will the management decide to change since the current roster isn't working to win games, even against teams with losing or worse records?

But then do they have choices? Can they really do something with Rodney? Do they have the players in Tacoma (Rainiers) to bring up and at least give the a chance? They're already brought up some, why not more in place of players who are underperforming, starting with Rodney.

Think about it. Not changing anything else, if Rodney had pitched this season the as he did last year, the Mariners would be at .500 just a few games out of the wildcard race. Just that one change. Add a few more and they'd be over .500. That's what has happened this season.

Small things, with many players underperforming their career or recent years averages. That's all, players not performing and a manager not managing to get them on track. When you add all the small changes, there's only one person who can be held accountable, the manager.

But the problem is that the owners and president of the Mariners don't have many, if any, options. They can't fire the GM or manager now in the season. You can move players, but are there any better ones in the triple-A Rainiers? You can't fire the manager, who would replace him?

So what happens now? We continue to watch them flounder through the season, just playing to get to the end and get out without embarrasing the team too badly? Rodney's already done that. How long do you go with McClendon before he knows he's not coming back next season?

The Mariners games are hard to watch this season, because you know, despite hoping they'll win, they'll find ways to lose, like this road trip and especially today. Don't the fans deserve something better, or at least a team we can know is going in the right direction?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Fork Please

The Mariners chance of anything this season are done. Their closer, not Rodney but Smith, just blew a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins, who have lost 5 of their last 6 home games, leaving Smith with a 1-5 record.

Rodney can't close games, and neither can Smith. And there's no one is left to be their closer. They simply find ways to lose ball games, having a .500 in early June to 11 games under .500 tonight with just 57 games left in the season.

To get back to .500, they'll have to win 34 of the 57 games left in the season, losing just 23 games, and tonight shows they can't even do that, win games they're leading in the 9th inning. All they're doing now is playing to avoid being worse than Oakland in the western division.

In short, they're done and management has some hard decisions to make starting with the manager and the coaching staff, and then looking at a number of players who haven't played their career average. They had a winning team on paper but we see a losing one on the field.

It's time to rebuild, starting with the GM. He's been there for the whole time of their losing seasons bringing in players at the end of their career who don't play up to their career. It's time the Mariners look at how Kansas City, Houston, etc. built winners, to build a new team around core players.

And for that the owners need to start at the top and work down. Change is obvious, the question is if the owners see it in themselves to do it. Fans have had enough of this GM, manager, coaches, etc. Fans want a winning team, not this one.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Car Toys III

Update (7/27).-- Well, the problem with the radio and the van is the radio and the van. An explanation please.

The radio has a removeable face plate, but it’s a constant drain on the battery even with the radio turned off. The tech showed me both the constant and on/off power to the radio are from the backup battery with no wires from the radio to the ignition or fuse box.

The problem is if you turn the ignition off before you turn the radio off, it doesn’t trip the relay to switch to the backup battery meaning the primary battery is still supplying power to everything, including the radio. With the radio off you can turn off the ignition and trip the relay to switch to the backup battery, and then turn the radio back on because it’s now on the backup battery.

The real solution is remove the face plate which shuts the radio off except the minimum power for the clock. No face plate, no drain. So that’s the method now, always turn the radio off first, then the ignition, and if the van is going to sit for a few days, remove the face plate. No face plate, no drain on either battery. It’s simple to put on or take off.

The problem is the VW's twin battery system is not made for new radios.

Original Post.-- The primary battery has died twice since the VW service guy removed the fuse, supposedly solving hte problem. It didn't, and twice I've had to jumper the twin batteries to start the van and leave it running or drive around awhile to recharge the primary battery.

I finally stopped by Car Toys to schedule the work to remove the wire harnes between the radio, ignition and primary battery. The work is scheduled for Monday afternoon. I'll keep you posted on the work, but so far the representative at Car Toys understands the problem and the necessary work.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

It is time

Update July 24th.-- There is no excuse for the Mariner's pitching staff with today's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Happ gave up 3 runs in the first inning, but the offense came back to score 6 runs going into the 8th inning, but then Rodney gave up a two run homer to tie the game and Smith gave up two more runs to lose the game.

Can anyone tell me why the team still has Fernando Rodney? He's blown more games recently than he did all of last year. All he had to do is hold the Blue Jays in the 6-4 lead the Mariners had and he threw a fast ball right down the center of the plate for a 2-run homer.

It's a WTF about McClendon. What is he doing or not doing to manage the team? There are no more excuses for this team. As one baseball analysist said, "If you're not over .500 August 1st, you're out of the playoffs. They can't get back to .500 by then with games like this, let alone in the playoffs.

This team has a lot on paper, but the fans are tired of all the "What if's", the talk about opportunities, almost always blown,  and the talk being positive about losing. There's no positive side of losing in baseball. This game showed it as the Blue Jays came back and won against an inept pitching staff.

All the offense and defense can't overcome bad pitching. They're in the bottom 3 in hitting but they have their games, just inconsistently. But their pitching, one of the best last year, is abysmal this year. All the early season talk is gone and reality is here.

So it's time Mariners decide. And it's time for the owner decide about the coaches. They're fighting for last place in the West and worst record in the American league. That's not a team the fans pay for, no matter how much the sports announcers spin it. You can't hide losing with words.

July 19th Post.-- I just watched the Mariners lose 2-1 in a game with the New York Yankees, losing when Fernando Rodney threw a fast ball right in the place the Yankee hitter parked it in the right field stands in the bottom of the eighth, and then two of the three batters in the top of the ninth struck out.

It's time the Mariners take a hard look at themselves and decide if they want to win or not, because they're not showing it to the fans. They're fighting for last place in hitting, they're in the middle of the stats for pitching and only the defense is worth talking about, being in the top ten.

It's time management of the Mariners took a hard look at Loyld McClendon as manager as he was lucky last year with a team that overachieved and now has a team that's vastly underachieving, fighting with Oakland for last place in the Western Division. And he's the one in charge.

It's time the whole team decided what kind of season they want and how they want to end it because they're now 8 games under .500 and losing more than they're winning since losing 7 straight games to go from .500 to one of the worst teams in the American league.

It's time they decided to play baseball and win, and if that takes change, then so be it. We didn't build Safeco Field for a consistently losing team, which is what they've been all season. It's time they got their act together for themselves if for nothing else than pride.

Or else they're looking at doing the same thing we'll be doing, watching the playoffs on TV. But they'll know they had their chance and blew it.

Accepting Reality

After reading the newstories about the subversive attack interview of a Planned Parenthood of America (PPA) administrator about fetuses and the use of fetal tissue by researchers, and especially today's column by Kathleen Parker, which seems to try to balance the two sides and fails, I was struck with the obvious.

The obvious is that abortion are a part of the choices women have with their reproductive healthcare. Despite all the recently enacted laws restricting access to abortions, which are decreasing not surprisingly as the reproductive information and contraceptives are increasing, does not change the reality of the choice to have an abortion. It only changes the costs and logistics.

But what has angered me the most is the tone people have taken about the video and the fact the adminstrator was lied to and ambushed while doing what she has done more than enough times, have a straight-forward talk about fetal tissue, where and how it comes from and where and how it's handled.

I hate that so few people seem outraged by the lies and ambush by the anti-abortion group who met with the administrator and lied to her about their interests for the purposes of recording it and then make it public with a lies about what was discussed but wasn't (watch the video).

The administrator didn't lie, the interviewers lied and then the group lied. Where's the anger about them? The truth is PPA has been doing this work within the laws for decades. They haven't done anything wrong. They haven't lied about it. And they helped many women with the choices and helped research in to various diseases.

There is nothing in what PPA has done and the administrator said that warrants outrage from the republicans and conservatives, nor from anyone for that matter. People should be outraged at the group and their tactics used to get the video.

But they won't be because they want to accept the lies and make false and wrong charges and demands for political posturing. And they won't accept the reality that abortions happen and the removed fetuses have to be handled within medical standards and legal requirements. PPA does that as they have said.

In then end there's nothing in the story or the video worth outrage. That should be with the group who took it.

Friday, July 17, 2015


As long as I've been a Seattle Mariner fan and as much as I want to watch and support the team, it's hard when after losing 7 straight games in early June, they've played just .500 baseball. You can't be in the playoffs with that record.

You can't get out of the fight for last place in the Western Division of the American League with that record. You're fighting to stay out of last place ahead of Oakland. You have to play better, but more so you have to win games, as some of you have said the team is capable of winning, even a 10 game streak.

How about it Mariners? You want fans to support you? Then win. Otherwise, the table setting is out on the table with the fans ready to pickup the forks. You don't have much time or games now to get above .500 and be in the chase for the Wildcard game and even the lead in the Western Division.

So, what's it going to be? Playing like last year and get in the playoffs or just another losing season we've all come to know?

Thursday, July 16, 2015


A blank roll of film, or snsor for the digital version, and a blank canvas are the same and yet they are different creative modes requiring different creative skills. Maybe a statement of the obvious, but sometimes artists and art critics dismiss photography and photographers as a creative art form.

A painter creates a painting from images in their mind, which is what artist often describe as original art, but the ideas of the artist comes from somewhere in their mind based on their experience, and often something they see or know.

A photographer starts with a similar blank canvas, being film or sensor, and captures an images they want to create later with the presentation of the image. They too create from their experience, and that's the same creativity as a painter.

The difference is simply in the medium, via canvas and paint, or via film or sensor. In many respects of art, that's the only difference as a painter captures a landscape with paint and a photographer captures with a camera.

Both the painter and photographer have to see the image in their mind and see how they want to the final version to look. The only difference is the painter starts with a blank canvas and the photographer starts with something real, but not always in either case.

A painter can see some thing or scene, such as a still life, a portrait, a landscape, etc. and translate it to canvas, much the same way a photographer sees the same thing or scene and captures it on film or with the digital sensor. The only difference are their tools.

Art critics say painters can create a painting from scratch, whether it's a modern painting or an artistic variation of some thing or scene, which differentiates them from photographers, but with the tools in digitial image editors, a photographer can create an image or a variation of an image on a digital canvas similar to a painting.

And with the digital art applications, an artist can "paint" from something from scratch just like an artist uses paint, or import an image and create a artistic variation of it with all the paint tools in the application. The only difference is one paint is physical, the other digital.

Ok, something long known and written and spoken about. Nothing new. It's just a thought I had and expressed because I was thinking about my photography which with the thought I capture images to portray them realistically, where the person sees in the final image what I saw in my mind standing there.

Not necessarily very creative, just me and my images, because when given a blank canvas I can't see what I want to create. I have to see it in real life and then translate that into what I want to create for the final image.

And why an artist I'll never be, but a photographer I can strive to be.

Car Toys Sequel

The local representative from Car Toys called about the situation with the installation of the new radio. In all fairness to him, I wasn't exactly nice and polite during the conversation as I don't like having spent $223 to find their work was the problem which caused the primary battery in the VW Syncro to die.

Anyway, the rep. explained why their technician installed the wire harness to the fuse box and the igntion to the radio. It's the standard setup with new radio on older cars. But, and a really big but, that assumes the car has only one battery.

The rep. explained the new radios require wriring through the ignition to control when the radio is on and off, to prevent the radio, namely the face, from being on all the time (like they can't be on for how long before it's damaged?).

The rep. explained new radio require two power sources, one for the constant power when the ignition is off and one for the radio when it's on, hence requiring the wire harness from the radio to the ignition and fuse box which the old radio didn't have.

That's because the VW Syncro has twin batteries, one primary when the igntion is one and one backup when it's off. The Syncro has a relay triggered by the ignition to switch batteries, but both are charged from the alternator when the engine is running.

And that's what their technician didn't know and screwed up, and why their technician who did have the knowledge and experience, and was there, didn't help or better do the work on the Syncro. It's why the primary battery died.

When the radio is off the backup battery runs the radio, both constant and when the ignition is on or off, it doesn't matter. VW wired the radio from the fuse box from the backup battery, the radio is not in the primary battery circuit.

When their technician wired the harness he connected the constant power to the backup battery (existing power source to the old radio) and the radio control to the primary battery so when the ignition is on, both batteries are powering the radio. Not smart.

When the ignition is off though, somehow the wire harness maintains the connection between the batteries through the radio, which was the drain the VW service technician found when he did the diagnostics on the Syncro, and removing the fuse broke that connection.

Now the radio's constant power and on/off power are through the backup battery as they were supposed to wire it in the first place. The rep. offered to fix the wire harness if I want, but since it's in the system between the fuse box, ignition and radio, I'm not sure if it's worth it for them to have their shot to screw it up again.

Anyway, that's the story to date. If you like Car Toys, fine, but for me, I'm not happy with their work. I like the radio, just not their service and not sure I'll go back for them to fix what they broke and cost me real money to solve.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Car Toys Redux

I wrote about buying a new radio at Car Toys and how they didn't know to follow the instructions to install it, and ended up having to change something in the wiring I didn't want or ask for. Well, they really screwed up the wiring in my VW Vanagon Syncro.

They initially wired the radio through the ignition, even when it's not wired through the ignition. All they had to do was used the existing power wires from the backup battery (Syncro's have twin batteries, one when the ignition is on and one when it's off) to the old radio.

Well, it turned out they wired it hot through the ignition all the time where it was drawing power all the time, and over the weeks, it's been draining the primary battery so that the battery was completely dead this morning.

Not even a turn of the starter, just a mush of sounds and nothing. Well, I got it towed (flatbed tow truck) to the dealer and they hooked up the diagnostics to the system to discover the radio was drawing the power from the primary battery, not the secondary one, all the time.

The removed the fuse to the radio and the drain stopped. The radio still works through the backup battery which is charged when the engine is running. VW radios aren't wired through the ignition, something they knew, or at least one technician knew who was there, but not the one who worked on the van.

I still don't know why the technician who had worked on several Vanagons and Syncros, who knew the wiring setup, and was there at the store, didn't work on it but another technician who had never worked on Vanagons/Syncro did the work. And that is what went wrong.

Their technician didn't wire it right and I'm out $223 because of their bad work, and now I have to find someone or myself to rewire the radio correctly, but I'll be damned if I'll let Car Toys near the van to do the work. I have no interest to pay for them to screw up again, even if all they have to do is undo their work and redo right. I can't trust them to do that.

So that's the followup with Car Toys. Don't go there. They might be good and do good work, but they haven't shown that with me and I'm left with bad wiring in my Vanagon Syncro, and $223 less in the checkbook.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


I'm a very straight-forward writer, and I write the way an English professor taught me in my freshman English class in college in 1967.  After reading my first paper she called me to her office to show me the paper, which was really bad to say it positively.

She asked me what I was trying to say in the paper, and I explained it. After hearing my explanation, she said I should write the way I speak, meaning write a paper as if I'm giving a speech. Write it, organize it, and rewrite it.

She asked where I learned English composition in school and I had to admit I never had the class as we (family, dad in the military) moved so often I attended 13 schools in my 12 years of school including 3 schools in one year. I also missed the year they required English composition.

It worked as I passed with decent grades and have followed that advice ever since, including graduate school and my thesis. It's a good hour's read and you're done and bored. Graduate papers do that. But that's not the point here but a comparison.

I was reading the print version of the New York Times, like I do every Sunday with two other newspapers (Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune, and occasionally the weekend version of the Wall Street Journal), and read this sentence.

"If I don't have zero e-mails in both my personal and work inboxes, I can't sleep."

That's one of those double negative writers like to use to either confuse the reader, or at least readers like me, or try to impress you with the literary style. Or it's just their style, but why not write,

"I can't sleep if I have any e-mail in my personal and work inboxes."

Says the same thing and doesn't stop the reader trying to figure out the double negative. But it's why the writer has a column and I don't, to make simple points complex and literary.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


After using iTunes under OS-X 10.10.4, it's nice to see the folks at Apple have done a few things right, even with the changes, some new quirks and other stuff. And that's all I want to say here, what they did right this time.

This time Apple finally does three good things. First, they load all the album artwork when you open the application and scrolling through "My Music" will display all of it. Second they now share the same album artwork with My Music and Playlists so loading one loads both.

And third they keep the album artwork in active memory where it's always there. You don't have to rescroll to restore the artwork because they moved all but what's in the immediate window into file cache and has to be reloaded into active memory.

That's the great thing, no more restoring the album artwork, it's always there in both places. Sure, this takes memory, about 1 GigaBytes in my case (1380 complete albums), but it's worth it to have it always therre to scroll without waiting for it to restore.

As for other changes. They moved the download progress from the top bar to an icon in the upper right corner which shows when you download anything. You click the icon and the dropdown window displays the information and controls.

This took me awhile to find and get used to but it's proven more useful than the old progress bar. It's something you have to keep in mind. Downloads still don't always download all the updates and sometimes you have to click the "Update All" button twice.

The minibar is smaller when you start it, which is you can stretch outward, but it will always restore the smaller size if you close it and reuse it. Again, something to get used to since Apple rarely announces these changes, you have to discover them after you update.

Anyway, I'll take it and say, "Thanks Apple. It's better."

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Any Ideas II

In March I wrote about tissue masses I have been expelling which I updated to say the lab would only identify them as aggregate bacteria, and when in March the unidentifiable bacteria, whatever it is since it's not a known bacteria infection or overgrowth (negative test results), took over my digestive system.

Well this spring the gastroenterologist has been going through the standard litany of test, commonly know as going down the list from the obvious to the less obvious, and we're out of tests save one which he didn't do recently for medical reasons. Yes, it would be the third colonoscopy in ten years.

Anyway, as anyone knows who had a colonoscopy there's a digestive system cleansing preparation which thoroughly clears and cleans your digestive tract. He didn't do the proceedure, only the upper GI tract endoscope which baffles me why but found some problems there I've lived with most of my life.

Anyway, this not so small (that's a standard tongue depresser to judge the size of it) bacteria mass came out a day along with smaller ones after one of those March pill-like masses came out the day before the day after the non-proceedure, meaning the preparation loosened and exited these little masses.

A week later the system exited a larger one (about 50% larger), and it turns out this is the source of the problem I've been having since November of last year, and especially since January. I know this because of the sudden changes to the body (a big, "Whew!") and everything is normal again.

The tentacles on the top appear to be where it's attached to the lining of my colon, but where it is in the colon is the question. A colonoscopy would have found it, but wasn't performed, yet anyway as they still want to do it but with a different preparation.

If a lab can't or won't identify what specific type (of the millions which live in your digestive tract or invades it as a alien or abnormal bacteria), then they can't prescribe a treatment for specific antibiotics, since specific ones are for specific bacteria and univeral ones destroy all bacteria.

So I'm left with the obvious one gastroenterologist (not the one I have now) said, "Patient heal thyself." I haven't decided when to have the colonoscopy but they want it soon or forget about it, and that's the conundrum.

The preparation isn't the easiest thing to live through for 2 days and then the proceedure itself. I've tentatively agreed to it but not yet. I want them to determine what these masses are (save one for lab analysis) beyond the normal "unidentifiable bacteria" mass, which I also know won't happen.

So I'm waiting to see if the body heals itself or gets worse again. Any ideas or suggestions appreciated.

iTunes & Music

When I updated IOS and OS-X to 8.4 and 10.4, respectively, I turned off Apple Music streaming and library services, iCloud music backup (has been off all along) and iTunes Match for my music library, and now I'm more satisfied it was and will be the right decision not to subscribe to the service.

This if from an article on Apple Insider which describes how the trio of functions work, the cost, and the pros and cons of the services. Clearly if you share your music with Apple, including whatever albums and songs you have and they don't, which they copy, you lose if and when you drop their service.

The last thing anyone needs is to have to reimport all the music you didn't buy from iTunes should you lose the music - meaning Apple accidently or intentionally deletes from your backup - because Apple inserted DRM protections in the songs you had they didn't have but now have because you gave them the files.

Anyway, that's my view, Apple will never see my subscription to their music streaming, library, or backup services. I don't trust them and don't want to pay (again) for my own music. I don't stream music from services when I can listen to almost everything I want in my library or from on-line sources.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

OS-X 10.10.4 Update

A quick note after updating to OS-X 10.10.4. Nothing obviously dumb or stupid on Apple's part, and nothing obviously wrong that I saw in a quick walk through. I have only one suggestion with the update.

After you install it and sign in, after a few minutes, reboot. Then after rebooting, do some of the initial things you ordinarily do when you start up in OS-X, eg. open browser(s) mail, iTunes, apps, etc. Then quit everything and reboot again, and after a minute or so, clear the file cache.

I suggest this because it's my experience that it's the 3rd reboot that stablizes the initial state with the minimum CPU and file cache usage, and it's then the Mac has completed anything extra they put in OS-X and it's working and will work normally.

Just a suggestion, but it's what I've found works for me.  I also run the purge command to reset the file cache once it has stablized. That said, here's some new things I found today after playing with some of the apps.

First, it's not a CPU memory hog but it's more CPU consumptive than previous versions. Just after a few hours and going through other updates and all, the memory usages jump to 2.5 GBytes without iTunes or other big apps open and file cache equally jumps from backups and other apps.

The CPU usage is from the kernal task, software update, submit diagnostic information and installed dameons from the intial state of about 1.5 GBytes after rebooting. And it just keep growing after that, so have a lot of memory available for apps and file cache.

On a good note iTunes is better. They finally get all the album artwork into active memory and shared images between mymusic and playlist (different size album artwork before that loaded separately and moved to file cache after a short time). It's there now and easy to see.

I don't share or backup my music with Apple, so if you want to change that user options for both IOS and OS-X, just go into preferences (iTunes on Mac's and Music on IOS devices) and turn off Apple music (sharing).

I don't backup my music with Apple's iCloud. What I have in iTunes are vinyl (some from the 1960's not in Apple Music), CD's and purchased from iTunes store. I control all my music through my iTunes libary for the Mac and the iPhone and iPad.

I also don't want Apple music streaming (above way to disable) anywhere. I don't plan to listen through Apple's Music service, and yes, I don't subscribe to Pandora, Spotify, or other music streaming service. If I want music, I have my library.

A small quirk in iTunes they changed. When updating apps, it doesn't show you the progress bar for  downloading individual apps. You have to use the download icon in the upper right corner which shows a dropdown box with the download and installation. This isn't obvious (yeah, took me day to notice it).

What else I noticed is the spinning rainbow wheel is more often for small things, which I assume is due to things in OS-X because it's dumb to wait while the Apple or other apps just sit there with the spinning rainbow wheel.

Ok, other stuff? Still working there. Some apps stopped working, eg. Adobe's CC desktop and menu bar apps (just spinning wheel), and it was due to their servers not allowing people to access and log in. After waiting a day and logging in before starting the Adobe CC manager, it worked.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Seattle Mariners

I posted my view of the Seattle Mariners this season earlier this month, and it seems nothing has changed. Wait, it has. They're now 8 games under .500, losing today (6/26) to the Los Angeles Angels on a passed ball in the bottom of the 10th inning, scoring the man from third.

I still contend they have the makings of a winning team to make the playoffs, but they don't seem to be doing that and now are fighting the Oakland A's for the last place in the division. Really. They're last in the both leagues in hitting, near average in fielding and only good in pitching.

So what's the problem with them? Good question the manager should be asking himself and getting the team to playing better and winning, but this may be a place where the best alternative is what you already have, meaning there's not better choices available and you have to go with the team and manager you have.

After all, will the management of the Mariners realize McClendon wasn't the best choice for manager when they selected him after Eric Wedge quit in a dispute with the General Manager (GM) over player decisions. And sure enough the GM repeated the same practice this year of geting players at the end of their careers who don't perform.

Ever since the Mariners hired Zdurienick as GM they've never finished higher than 3rd in the division, and they're on their 4th manager under his management. Kinda' makes you wonder why the owners and team president hasn't thought of why they still have him as GM. He promises but never fulfills.

And that's the sad reality of it. Mariner fans deserve better from this team but not winning. There's no two ways to say, they find ways to lose games. So, while it's too early to say, "Stick a fork in them.", just yet, and the rule is that if they're not better by the All-Star break, they're in trouble and not better by August 1st, they're done.

As one sports writer wrote, they're just a two-week wining streak from being competitive contending for the playoffs, but not if they don't get better. How long can the Seattle sports writers and game announcers keep putting a positive spin on a team that's losing?

How many times do they have to keep saying, "If...", as if the tean would suddenly starting winning? The fans are waiting Mariners. The ball's in your glove now. We can hope, but how long does it take? Or maybe it's time the team, including the executives, to rethink who's running the team?

Supreme Court Ruling

What the opponents of marriage equality intentionally and knowingly get wrong about marriage is that it has two parts. The first is the law legally recognizing a marriage. That’s what the Supreme Court ruled is now the national standard for any two people meeing all the other current existing criteria legalizing marriage.

This is what the Supreme Court ruled no local or state government can deny, although some will try through religious freedom laws, but those laws will be struck down as unconstitutional or in violation of the Supreme Court ruling. No government employee at any level of government can refuse to issue a lawful marriage license.

The second is the religious recognition of marriage through either a ceremony or recognition by the religion or church. This is optional and what the Supreme Court ruling did not touch and has not changed. This is what the opponents want you to believe is the first part of marriage but this is neither required or legally reconized.

What the opponents of marriage equality are doing isn’t just misleading, it’s lying, something they should read their Bible to realize that’s a sin and something good christians shouldn’t do. But don’t tell them that, they’re too busy preaching lies.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Update.-- It appears the update to 10.10.4 solved the problem of the occasional runaway lsregister process, as it runs twice when you reboot and never shows up again, so far anyway.

Original.-- Apple's Mac operating systems have used an application "lsregister" to link files with applications. You can Google this to get a full description of what the application is about and what it does. And it's the second thing that is troublesome.

The program (lsregister) is supposed to run when you reboot to check and update any changes to the registry of files to applications. It's only takes a second or so and doesn't consume any CPU memory. And sometimes during long operations it will launch, run and quit, and again just for a second or so and not consume much CPU memory.

But every now and then it's decides to run every 3-5 minutes and in the process uses about 1 Gigabytes of CPU memory. Yes, a memory hog, and not when it just runs but that it never releases the memory, and you find the app memory has increased by that ~1 GB of memory which isn't really being used.

What's frustrating is that you don't know it's doing this unless you check the Activity Monitor for app memory use and find it's jumped unexpectedly for no reason related to your work and you when you actually catching in the list of apps, it doesn't show more than about 10-15 Megabtyes of app memory.

Meaning it's using memory the Activity monitor is recording for the total but not for it individually, or if it is it's too quick to see since the program only runs about a second, but still keeps the app memory active as kept by the Activity Monitor.

Are there solutions to this situation? Not really permanent ones. There are commands to kill, clear or reset lsregister, but these only work temporarily and still never releases the app memory afterward. The only solution is to reset lsregister, meaning it kills and rewrites itself, and then reboot to recover the memory.

One thing Apple has done with OS-X is take away the ability of the user with commands to recover inactive app memory that you could under previous versions of OS-X. Now it reserves inactive (opened and closed) app memory until memory is needed and then compresses it for later use if needed.

You can't look at the app memory usage to see what apps are listed with their respective app memory usage, something Apple should have in their toolbox but not for users. This would help to show where lsregister is using it for its use and then keeping it active. And it would help if Apple would fix lsregister since it's been a consistent problem with Yosemite.

Anyway, just a rant about Apple's terrible job of testing, debugging and fixing their OS-X in recent years. They still seem to be more interested in more bells and whistles and adding more security than necessary, than spending time fixing the mechanics.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Adobe CC 2015

If you updated your Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) applications to the 2015 versions, you will notice that the installation removes all previous versions of all CC application (CC and CC 2014/2014.1). This is in the installation instruction as the default you can't change or not install CC 2015.

In short Adobe decided to remove all your previous versions for you. The (legal) questions is if they can since you lease the CC applications, or if they can't because they're removing application you paid for which are resident on your computer.

To me, it's a no-brainer, Adobe sucks with this decision. I leased the older version and will continue to use them despite having CC 2015 installed. I use the last 4-5 versions of Dreamweaver for different sets of Web pages so I don't have to keep closing and reopening them. I can simply open and start working.

I also use the last 3-4 versions of Photoshop for the same reason, different single or sets of images where it's easier to manage my workflow. And like Dreamweaver, Photoshop's user interface is very similar between CC versions, although slightly different between CS5/5.6 and CS 6 versions, so they're easy to use.

That said, if you did install CC 2015, you can use any backups, eg. Time Machine to go back and retrieve and reinstall the older versions. Since Adobe's applications are all independent, stand-alone applications, there is no conflict having multiple versions in the applications folder and simultaneously open.

Anyway, that's the update here. I suspect this will be a future policy and practice of Adobe, so watch your updates and check to ensure you have backups of the older versions of CC applications you want to reinstall them after the update.

And yes, even though I like Adobe applications, this company policy sucks.

Friday, June 19, 2015

How much

How much blood do the Republicans in Congress want on their hands before they stand up to the gun lobby and more so the NRA and pass effectively legislation on guns? How many bodies do they want at their feet? How many funerals do they want to read about in the newspapers? How many grieving families have to ask for action? How many Republicans have the courage to stand up and act? How many care more than just words about loss, but then talk about the Second Amendment? What about the people of this country? Don’t we deserve to be safe and secure in public places?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

They Got it All

According to reports the Chinese hackers got the complete personnel file on every federal employee, former employees and retirees. Everything on everyone who is or has worked for the federal government who’s personnel file was a digital record.

The hackers can sell this information on the black market to anyone who can wreck havoc on all those employees and retirees and their lives. And all the blame, all the heads on a platter and all the political talk and apologies won’t undo the damage to all those lives, mine included.

It’s the old adage about the horses and the barn door.  And, “Trust us.”, is not someting the government can use anymore.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

I Would Say

I would have said, as I did the last few years, that by June 1st you could stick a fork in the Seattle Mariners as they are done for the season, and will finish near the bottom with a losing record. Last year they surprised everyone almost making the one-game wildcard playoff game.

And this year they are supposed to be in the playoffs, even challenging for, if not being in, the lead of the western division of the American League. Well, so much for early season predictions as they have proven they can lose with better talented players than last year but underachieving for their career statistics.

They're currently in a seven game losing streak, going from .500 at 24 wins and 24 loses, to 31 loses. Robinson Cano said this was a team that could reel off a 10-game winning streak if they wanted, but he didn't say they could also reel off a 7-game losing streak with the same players.

Granted they've lost two of the starting pitchers, but they hitting is near the bottom, even with the addition of Nelson Cruz who's playing great, because the rest of the team isn't hitting their career numbers, and they're losing games by 1 or 2 runs, something good hitting overcomes.

So far they have to get their act turned around and start winning, and if they can't be at or over .500 by the all-star break, they have a deep hole to climb out and likely won't to make the playoffs. As they say, it's a long season, especially if you're losing, but they have to play better.

I attribute this to their manager. While you can argue managers don't change the win-loss stats, players do, managers set the tone for the team, and I thought they had a good one in Eric Wedge, with a proven record of winners, Lloyd McClendon doesn't and his style doesn't appear to encourage enthusiasm.

This is noted when the Mariners were in a 5-game losing streak recently and all he could say was, "It's ok. They'll get things turned around." So what's the excuse this time in a 7-game losing streak? The team is supposed to be winning and fighting for the division lead, not 4th place ahead of Oakland.

McClendon was kinda' lucky the team overachieved last year to come up one win short of the playoffs. This year expectations are the playoff, and I expect the owners should and will fire McClendon if the team doesn't have at least a winning record and maybe make the playoffs.

The fans deserve it, and yes managers are often scape-goats for team failures, but they have the makings of a good team, they're just not playing to the level they have and can, so how about it Mariners? Do what Cano said, win.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Car Toys

I have a 1991 Vanagon Syncro with the original cassette deck radio. Yeah, right, being old, but I haven't had reason to replace with a CD-radio because the ride is so stiff, it rattles everything and I didn't want to put a CD player to that abuse.

But in recent years there are great versatile receivers with bluetooth, USB and other connections. I've been looking at them for the last 2-3 years and finally broke down to replace the radio with a new generation one from Alpine.

Remember it's a Syncro. It's noisy, windy, rattles and everything else, so it doesn't pay to put anything expensive in it and there isn't much room for larger or bigger speakers where the existing ones are located, so I did some homework and found some models I liked which Car Toys had in stock and could install.

So that's half the story. The other half is that Vanagon, and especially Syncro's, have twin batteries, the primary (starter) battery under the driver's seat and the auxillary one under the passenger's seat. They charge when driven but kept separate by a relay so can't run down the primary when the engine isn't running.

The auxillary battery takes over and runs everything one you shut off the ignition, so VW put the radio on the hot lead to the auxillary battery to work with the ignition off. The folks and techs at Car Toys know this and the sales rep told the installation tech not to wire the new one through the ignition, but as the old radio is installed.

Apparently he didn't hear or wasn't listening, and I watched him through the viewing window wire the radio through the ignition. I wondered why he was taking the ignition cover off and installing a wire from there to the dashboard, and true to form, I thought, "I hope he's not doing what I think he's doing."

Yeah, he was and did, and when he delivered it the radio didn't work with the ignition off. I wasn't happy and explained the situation to the tech. The manager finally intervened to say they'd fix it if I would wait 10 minutes, and they did fix it, but the extra wires from the ignition and fusebox deadend at the radio, wires I didn't ask for, didn't want and now have.

They're harmless and useless now, and it cost me an hour waiting for something they didn't need to do, and someday I'll remove. It was a straight replacement with adaptor harness and USB wire out the dashboard for the iPhone or iPod and another for the microphone, which I also didn't ask for, didn't want and is now tucked inside the dashboard.

Anyway, I like the new receiver to connect my iPhone and play my iTunes music library via bluetooth or USB, far better than the box of cassette tapes I kept in the van. And the folks at Car Toys were decent and did a good job so I don't really have a complaint, except if you get work done there make sure everyone understands exactly what you want before they start.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Just Maybe

When it comes to fighting the Islamic State (IS), just maybe it’s time the President followed the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”, and consider letting Russia resupply Syria with all the weapons it needs to fight and defeat IS in Syria and re-establish governance over all of Syria, and consider letting Iran’s military and Iran-backed Hezbollah militias fight IS on the ground in Iraq while we provide air support and missions against IS in both countries alongside the coalition of other Middle Eastern countries.
We’ve admitted no single military, including the US, unless we put tens of thousand fully supported troops on the ground, can defeat IS, but a coalition can, regardless of their political affliation or diplomatic ties. The Islamic State needs to be defeated, and the sooner the better, so the choice for the US to be all in, like we did before or partner with whomever wants to fight them.
The strategy about the old adage is not new. We’ve partnered with our enemies before, and there is no reason we can’t now for fighting the IS. It’s time to put ego and bravado aside and be realistic with the IS.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


If you want to really appreciate food, take some major, commonly used ingredient out of your diet. Say, wheat. Take everything made from or with wheat out of your diet, no matter how the amount of wheat in the food, just take the food out of your diet. From bread to prepared foods, anything with wheat. Do this for a month, minimum. Then see what you eat and decide how much you like wheat and wheat it does for the foods you eat.

Any bets you can’t do it? If you can, then remove another major food, like meat, such as beef, or starches, such as potatoes, or green/leafy vegetables, or classes of fruit, or dairy products, or eggs, or so on down the list, one group per month for a year or so. Then you’ll see how much food is a part of your life, not just your meals, snacks, etc., but how you live, shop and most of all, how and what you enjoy.

But start with wheat. Any bets at the end of the first month, the first thing you’ll eat is a hamburger on a big bun, a big cinnamon roll or stack of pancakes, or a pizza?


What’s wrong with the American idea is that it’s based on the notion of power. He, and it’s always assumed to be a he, who has the power does everything they can to stay in power, including preventing the rest of society from acquiring the skills to get into and fight for power with education, jobs, access of what those in power have and know.
This requires a systematic operation to appear to be concerned about all the people and selling the dream of power to everyone at the same time covertly preventing anyone else from attaining power. And that takes money to be elected and stay in power. It’s an oligarchy disguised as a democratic republic. And it doesn’t matter the name of the political party, they’re both equally corrupt for the same goals and purpose, to get and keep power over everyone else.
And yes, it was designed from the begnning of our nation when the founders excluding minorities and women. Only white male land owners were included in power, under the guise of democracy. The rest were bought and sold a lie.

Friday, May 15, 2015


The guy leaning against the wall outside
the bar across the street, smoking
before going back inside
after greeting a few regulars
going in for lunch.

The street sweeper washing and
sweeping the lanes of the dust
from the construction in the adjacent lot,
a crane reflected in the windows
across the street.

The locals going by walking dogs,
chatting with each other,
pushing carts of their belongings,
carrying groceries, lunches, etc.,
as on their way somewhere.

The noise of the radio station
from the speakers around the cafe,
the espresso machine and dishwasher,
the conversations between friends
sharing coffee and food.

The noise of the accordion buses
at the bus stop in front of the cafe,
people shouting greetings to friends,
cars with radios turned up loud,
sirens blaring in the distance.

People standing, waiting for their bus,
milling, then in line to step up and
pay their fare or swipe their card
for a ride somewhere as the schedule
shows in the digital board.

Riders departing, avoiding the line
of boarders, to turn and walk away
to somewhere, often in a hurry
as their time is precious to be
somewhere they planned or want.

Patrons walking into the cafe,
to stand in line and hear
the barista ask, "The regular?",
with a nod of agreement and
their money or card in hand.

Single customers, most regulars,
silently reading newspapers or books,
some working on computers,
some checking their smart phones,
and almost all with earphones.

All a dance of people oblivious to
everyone else unless they're in their way,
to be somewhere outside or already
sitting at a table in the Uptown Espresso
cafe on Queen Anne Avenue in Seattle.

Monday, May 11, 2015


We don’t own anything,
even if we think we do.
We chose it,
we paid for it, and
we took possession of it,
but it is not ours,
despite our efforts to keep it,
for when we die
someone else will take it
paying little, if anything,
and think it is theirs now too.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

F-1 App

Using it for the Spanish Grand Prix with the live TV broadcast, it's clear the F-1 app is still a waste of time and money, especially for the $26 they charge for it. It doesn't keep updated in real-time, often minutes late, often jumbles the order, and not always because of pit stops, and often just stalls and you have to kill the app to refresh it, sometimes rebooting the iPad.

They're released several updates in the last two months since my last report and nothing appears to be  better. They could learn from NASCAR's or Indycar's real-time data streaming, and both of those have more cars, NASCAR 43 cars, and Indycar 24-26 cars or more (Indianapolis 500). Those data streams are current and work.

If this version of the app doesn't improve during races then it's more a waste as they're charging too much for an app compared to the free ones NASCAR and Indy car provides viewers. On the good side, sometimes it does actually work as the information is current, but that's too few and far between when it should be for the whole race.

Anyway, that's my view of it. It's your money, and for me, it's still a question, great when it works, but it doesn't work consistently, which may in part may not be due to the app or source but the Internet and ISP, which for me is Century Link, not one I'd recommend for the service.