Thursday, November 10, 2016

What We Know

What we know from the presidential election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton and what he'll bring to the office and do as President is both everything and nothing.

First the election. Trump won with less popular votes than Clinton, 47.5% of voters for him but 47.6% of voters for her. She won the national vote but lost the Electoral College, namely a few key states (FL, MI, PA, OH), which put Trump over the 270 minimum to win.

This is because only 55.6% of eligible voters voted, meaning neither won more than about a quarter of all eligible voters nationwide. That's not a sweeping victory for Trump or a catastrophic loss for Clinton. Only a lot of voters chose neither candidate by not voting.

While the media and democrats will do all the postmortems on the failure of the Clinton campaign, which boils down to a two factors, she is better at being President than running for President and Trump is the complete opposite.

The Clinton campaign didn't have a clear strategy and worse didn't have a plan to encourage voters to her side. She is more than experienced and competent to be President, but just didn't demonstrate the personality to capture voter enthusiasm.

They also didn't have a good slogan or nutshell presentation to describe her views. The slogan, "Stronger together", doesn't work to invite people in and raise enthusiasm, such as "We're stronger together", would be to invite voters to her candidacy.

Anyway, that's left to the pundits and political operatives to sort out the failures to work. She should have trounced Trump in the major states and didn't get her message out well enough nor get enough voters excited to vote.

That's what we know. What we don't know is Trump, someone the media has clearly described as unfit to be President, who will now have to prove he is fit. We know all his business experience, good and bad, is completely useless and irrelevant for being President.

Being President means you have to govern the administrative branch of government, and work with Congress to get your plans into law. There's much a President can do through executive action but most requires Congress, and Trump didn't help himself attacking them in the campaign.

What we know will be the government is completely run by republicans (yes, even the Supreme Court is and will be conservative with more republican appointed justices than democratic ones). And there is little the democrats can do to stop them except the filibuster rule in the Senate.

What we don't know is what they'll achieve, which for now is speculation, but with a some good measure of certainty of their intentions. That is Congress. Trump is the unknown for he's favored some democratic views on Medicare, Social Security, infrastructure spending, etc.

And that's what Trump has to do, not convince people he can do the job, it's too late for that, but actually govern as President. The skills it takes has been clearly shown, and not shown, by past presidents, Trump should learn.

And that's the complete unknown. His personality doesn't fit someone to be President for the longterm, something he's demonstrated and the media has shown. The reality of being President will test him to show if he has the capability (doubtful to many, even some republicans) to stay the course in politics.

That's the reservations people have about him. He seems to like quick decisions, easy answers, and short periods to finish. World events are none of that, either requiring years of building trust with foreign leaders and governments, or working in places with no good solutions involving many nations and much diplomacy.

We saw what happened to the Bush (or Bush-Cheney) administration there with their failures to get things right, let alone finished. Does Trump, with his staff and cabinet, have the necessary people and tools? Consensus to date says no.

The reports to date suggest he'll surround himself with people who are "Yes" types to compliment his ego or who will agree to get their goals done through his approval. This was Bush's failure and probably will be Trump's failure too.

This is because his personality, his ego, controls his thinking. Everything is about him and his name. He's shown he has problems with facts, the truth, complex issues, criticism, opposing views, and so on down the line of character qualities.

Those are not the character qualities you want in a president. He's also shown as short attention span on issues, admitting he doesn't read much in depth, less than Bush who only read summaries and briefs on issues to make quick decisions, often wrong.

Trump is more the extreme. He's admitted having an assistant print all the news stories about him everyday for him to read. That's his focus, himself, his name and his image. A president focuses on others and the issues. The "we" and not the "I".

He's also said how smart he is, smarter than even the best experts, on issues he's almost, if not completely, ignorant about. He assumes what he's gleaned from TV and other sources works for him, but leaves no doubt to the obviousness of his arrogance and ignorance.

And that's the big unknown, what will happen starting the day after the inauguration when everything is presented to him in daily briefings and as events happen. He's not shown the stamina, dedication, discipline, intelligence or interest for it.

Which leaves the question, will he just be a show president, who delegates everything to others and takes the credit for successes and blames others for the failures. If so, it will be a short presidency for him when everyone sees he's the emperor with no clothes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


This last weekend I used a 40% discount coupon from my local (Seattle-based) Metropolitan Market which they give regular customers (freebies or discounts for each week for a month 2-3 times a year) to buy a 6-cup Chemex drip coffee maker.

I've always wondered about the Chemex claim their filters reduce the bitterness in coffee over other drip filter brands. I've long used Melitta filters since buying a Melitta Vintage coffee maker in the mid-1980's (two repairs to date), along with using their standard 1, 2 and 6 cup drip coffee system.

So, twice (separate days) I made pots with the Chemex system and a comparable Melitta system. I use a Braun coffee grinder (burr type with a 1-16 scale set for 3) with Starbucks Kopelani coffee.  I use espresso grind because it reduces the amount of coffee you need per cup and still not clog filters.

And the very subjective taste test results for the two type two times were the same. The Chemex-made coffee had just a slightly less bitter taste than the Melitta-made coffee. Slight enough for me to barely taste the difference, maybe more for some and less for others depending on your taste sensitivity.

So my initial conclusion is that it does make a difference which changes the taste just a bit, but it is worth for the price of the Chemex and filters (about $9-10 per box of 100)? Maybe, if you want to have one, but not if you don't need one unless it's on sale or for a discount.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Everyone has a list of photographers who have made them learn and think. They start with those that got them started, those whose work they admired, and those whose work makes them think. I prefer that last group, photographers who make me look at their images and ask myself what makes it good and what can I do with my photography, not to emulate them, but make mine different.

Every photographer has their innate strengths in their photographic eye and the weakness, those things they just don't see or have to think to see. We're all in this camp. It may reflect some aspects of their personality and perspective or the opposite. For example, I tend to look and see whole scenes and struggle looking at the small things, or even the asymetrical images. So I like to see the work of photographers who do see differently than me along with those who are far better than me at what I like to do.

And so, like everyone, I have my list. And who are they?

Galen Rowell.

Sam Abell.

Pat O'Hara.

Walker Evans.

Henri Cartier Breeson.

1890's photographers, especially those working around Mt. Rainier.

Ansel Adams, but for one image, View of the Sierras at Sunrise from Lone Pine, California.

I have a poster print of this image by Adams because I've been in the area of where it was taken, but more so admire the whole scene to capture a moment. I don't know if this was an instant see and capture photograph, like the one, Moonrise of Hernadez, New Mexico, or a planned one, often his method working in the Sierras.

These are photographers I keep going back to and looking at the body of their work and their books, and also at their character and work as a photographer, clearly far more than I have done or will ever do, but still something to admire and inspire.

Mac OS Sierra

I suspect by now if you're intested in Apple's new operating system, MacOS Sierra, aka OS-X 10.12, then you've already read a lot about it, and likely downloaded and installed it. Good luck there, and I'll just add my comments from yesterday's day-long affair with it.

First, the whole download, install, reboot, review, change, update apps, reboot again, like 4 times, for changes or recovering memory took just over 6 hours, with the rest of the day working on the problems, some of which weren't resolved until this morning.

Anyway, some thought on MacOS Sierra.

First, the console window looks and works differently, and it sucks. I like the old one, but more so this one for another reason, the endless stupid chatter that didn't clog the console in OS-X 10.11. It's mostly geek shit literate users don't need to understand problems with applications the console window was useful to have.

It's clear programmers forgot to code out comments in the applications before releasing them because they're all just repetititive technical chatter about what the computer is doing than anything useful to help see what the app is doing or not doing.

A good example is that the Time Machine (or what HD you use) doesn't have the same basic information it wrote to the console window under OS-X 10.11 about starting, working, memory, HD's, files, etc. Now it's geek talk you have to be a programmer to know but nothing useful about the actual backup.

On the backup, the widget for it no longer works because it's written for the El Capitan version, and the management of the widgets (plus/minus signs in circles) doesn't work anymore, or continues to not work as it didn't work under OS-X 10.11.

This is because they completely rewrote the backup application, something they didn't really need to do after they fixed and refined it over the life of OS-X 10.11. It's back to square one again. Apple keeps reinventing the wheel and breaking it, instead of just refining it.

Onward. This has to be the slowest version of OS-X in its history. Even when working normally, the spinning rainbow wheel is a common response from the computer. That and it keeps having problems with bluetooth to the mouse, taking 2-3 clicks before it responds to switching apps.

Another thing I noticed is the softwareupdated daemon. It's used by the Apple App and iTunes stores when you install or update apps (iTunes moved to this daemon from it's own daemon). The daemon eats memory, using ~1.5 GB's for almost any update, smaller updates are 500 MB's to 1 GB.

The problem is the memory isn't released and can't be recovered, even by the daily maintenance, which moves it to inactive memory, the price Apple says makes reusing apps faster. I'm ok with that but not at 1.% GB's worth for one daemon. It's more than the kernal task uses.

If you don't want to keep it there, you can only update apps weekly or so and them reboot to recover the memory. Hopefully Apple will fix this, but then I'm not holding my breath with Apple updates anymore.

In additon, like many before me have noted, I can't get the debug menu option in the Apple App store (I have the preference set to show it) to clear the cookies, which can be done manually by deleting the files before opening the app, and reset the application.

And typical with Apple with the war with Adobe, it's installs more controls with Safari over Flash in browsers, one asking the user if they want to use flash on a Web page, but you can click, "Always use" to get on with the browser.

And at least Apple didn't remove Oracle's Javascript it did with some upgrades, forcing you to get and install it again. They didn't remove Safari Technology Preview (STP) browser, which was the precuser to Safari 10.

And Apple kept the great, simple bookmarks editor with just a cosmetic change (from STP) which is ok. It's easier to read, but a little harder to move bookmarks without scrolling. This editor is the best of all of the browser bookmark editor, especially Google's Chrome and Chromium.

I have tested all the apps yet, some were removed when the installation flagged them for incompatibility with Sierra. I use App Delete which is a cool little app for removing all traces of most apps, but you have to ensure you don't remove files common with later versions you may have.

I like to keep 2-3 versions of apps, more with Adobe since they last longer with upgrades, and because I prefer them over newer versions, eg. Cookies and Mail Satellite. Some older versions still may not open or work, but the installation didn't flag them as obvious.

I did find Bartender 2.1.6, supposedly Sierra compatible, doesn't completely work with Sierra, so they have some work to do, and hopefully soon as it's the best I've seen for managing menu bar icons (apps).

Anyway, that's the personal notes to date, and I'll add more as I find them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Buying On-line

I have some fairly straight-forward rules when buying on-line, although I've broken them more than a few times because there were no other options, but I also got lucky most of the time. So here's what I've learned and "generally" practice.

First, I try not to use Amazon if I can. I don't like the company, and especially their founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, but I have purchased products not available elsewhere, such is the power of Amazon to control the marketplace.

I don't use their marketplace stores anymore because despite a few successes, I've had more problems with them than successes. They don't vet their on-line stores as I think they should. I had one do a bait and switch because they didn't have the product they advertised, and then refuse to acknowledge it for a refund.

I've had decent luck with E-Bay over the years, but I restrict buying to those with excellent reputations, a long history and perceived honesty in communications. I have been burnt a few times but that's few compared to the many good sellers,

I don't buy from E-Bay of late for anything other than photography equipment, much of which I buy from KEH now and only E-Bay when they don't have it, because I've been burnt more often with the wrong product than advertised.

Ok, onward, to the rules. First I tend to stay with reputable, established businesses if possible, with one exception besides the two companies above, Walmart. They don't get my businesses. Their history of their source of products (China), bad treatment of American companies, and worse treatment of employees can't be denied.

I've only bought one product from their stores, a CD by the Eagles who sole-sourced them to release it. Not a fan of the Eagles for that or any band who does that. True it's business and their right, but it's my right as a customer too.

Anyway, often there are products that aren't available from local stores, established business, reputable on-line stores, so buying becomes something of a risk, and the best you can do is minimize it and don't buy from bad ones again.

The first rule is their Website has to have either a brick and board store or a warehouse you can verify. I don't buy from on-line stores who don't have a physical address on their Website, and a P.O. box isn't enough for me.

I also check their domain name to see who owns it and its history. That tells you if the seller is smart enough to own and manage their domain name (mine is owned and managed by me). Often the domain name is another company who operates hundreds, even thousands of them for other and often short-term businesses.

The second rule is that it must be based in the United States or Canada. It can be a foreign or international company but it must have a US or Canadian address. The only exception to this and the Amazon rule is Amazon Japan for CD's not available in the US.

This is because Apple hasn't made many inroads into Japan against Sony Music which domainates the CD and download music business, meaning buying from Japanese on-line stores, and Amazon generally has what I've needed so far. And it's been fun watching the DHL tracking from Japan.

That said, there's not much beyond these rules. It's a judgement call to decide if the on-line store doesn't have the information and is the only or few stores. It's the old adage, buyer beware and be smart, as best you can.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

IOS 10

Well, I updated my iPhone 5s, which I'm looking to replace in near future for the iPhone SE, not the 6-series or new 7-series because I don't like or want the larger size as I have an iPad Air, and I updated the iPad Air (1st version) to IOS 10.

I suspect IOS 10 is the last version for these devices, as Apple seems to drop the oldest models with new IOS upgrades. My original iPad (still working, but mostly a file backup) has long been obsolete with IOS versions (last IOS 5).

Onward with the story. This was probably the most frustrating upgrade I've had, not because upgrades often change user settings forcing you to walk through all the settings and reset them, if you remember what those were, but because of user functionality.

The first thing you notice is the new way to unlock the device, not through just a swipe but touching the Home button twice (once to wake it up and another to get the login screen). This takes time to remember, because a swipe right now brings the widgets.

And those widgets, something set for you by default and you can edit them. I removed all of them since I don't use that screen. I also don't use the pull down (from top) or up (from bottom) of screen for access to those features.

In short, I'm a curmudgeon who uses the apps. I don't need the shortcuts or summary screens, I just open the app I want. I still haven't gotten the 5s to recognize my fingerprint. It worked the first time for a few times and then never again, even removing and adding the same fingerprint back.

This measn I use the passcode. Anyway, after that there was the new icon (Home) for stuff Apple or somebody wants to sell, but I moved to the last page where I put all the used Apple icons in two folders. The good news is that you can now remove the former Apple apps, so I removed over half of them.

That done, all the apps worked as they have except Apple Music which is Apple's long-standing practice to screw it up everytime with the first version of any new IOS version, and true to form they did a masterful job in many ways.

First, it didn't display the picture for 21 of the 35 artists in the artist list, but it did show all the album artwork. In addition the user interface and functionality also sucks. I'm not sure what they're thinking how people use Music, but this design isn't it for me.

But that's not the worst of it. It's what Apple did with the library that really sucks. I had IOS 9 set for displaying only the music in the device, not any in the iCloud (none there anyway since I don't share my iTunes with Apple) and not any in iTunes.

The upgrade adds all the albums you've purchased from the iTunes store and adds them to catalog with the button to download them if you want. Why? I have them in iTunes, but that's another problem they have between iTunes and IOS Music.

To remove unwanted albums you have to do them individually, and yes, it took an hour to go through and remove all the albums not actually on the device, and get it back to the catalog I had with IOS 9. This really sucks on their part to assume what users want than asking or add a setting.

They did this by removing the control to restrict albums to just those on the device. Now it's all through the iCloud, which is the other problem. I don't use iCloud for backups or music, it's all done through iTunes.

But they broke that connection, and adding or removing songs in iTunes catalog for a device doesn't coordinate with IOS Music in the device. When I removed all the music (the sync button in iTunes), it didn't work. I had to remove all the music in Music on the device and reload through iTunes.

This is a problem Apple has to solve as many users still rely on iTunes to manage the content and music on their device(s). This may have been an initial problem which resolves itself, something I'm still testing adding or removing individual albums.

The good side of this was that I don't keep any music, or didn't, until the upgrade on my iPad. For some really stupid reason the upgrade to IOS 10 on the iPad duplicated the music catalog on the iPhone, so I had to manually remove all the albums from the iPad catalog.

I learned the music isn't really there on the iPad Air, it's only about 100 MB (it's 6 GB's on the iPhone) of just images and probably links to something, but not acutal music files. I have the setting in iTunes to not sync music with the iPad Air, but apparently Apple ignores that now.

It seems Apple wants you to do everything through the iCloud so they can see and control it, for you of course (great selling point about the accessing it anywhere), but it takes control away from you. Now I have add to the test adding and/or removing albums on iPhone to see if it's duplicated on the iPad Air.

Anyway, all the rest of IOS 10 seems innocuous to me, or doesn't interfer with anything I do with either device, so far anyway, but I'm sure I'll learn more and get just as angry with Apple as with the initial upgrade.

And yes, I'll keep ya'll posted.

Friday, September 9, 2016


Some recent stuff I've observed as computers are taking over our lives. Nothing earth-shaking, and known to many already, but just stuff I'm running into more of it now as it seems required to pay bills. So what's the new stuff I've seen?

First, my Primay Care Physician's (PCP's) clinic has contracted out their billing and collection services to a third-party company in Maine (I live near Seattle, Washington). I was curious about this after seeing a bill from specialty medical lab in the Northeast using the same company.

What's even more interesting is the statements from this company offer on-line payment, but through another third-party company. This means you PCP shares your medical billing and financial information (provider) with one other company and two if you pay on-line.

This is not new as larger medical non-profit and for profit medical companies have a separate financial company for billing and collection (had bad dealings with one I refuse to use anymore), but it's moved into the small clinics and doctors so they're absolved of those in-house costs.

Second, is how many companies now allow on-line, even automatic, payment through their Website. But you have to check if that is their Website or a third-party Website under contract. It's important because you're sharing you bank information with these companies.

True, many companies now scan checks and submit electronic copies or digital infomation to your bank. But these companies don't have access to withdraw funds, only submit requests to transfer funds.

On-line banking through these companies requires you give them rights to withdraw funds directly. I get three types of withdrawls now in my banks statements, regular checks submitted by companies, electronic checks, and direct withdrawl requests.

The first two require the banks to process the withdrawls as normal checks. The last, however, is processed as approved by you without further processing. Automatic withdrawls allows them to make withdrawls without approving them individually.

And while automatic withdrawls sound efficient for the consumer to avoid late payments, it's removes the consumer from oversight except after the fact of the withdrawl. So if the company makes a mistake, it's already out of your account before you've had a chance to say, "Hey, this isn't right!"

And now many of those third-party billing and payment companies offer it, you're giving the same information to a company you don't know and worse if you use automatic payment with them. There one example I've seen recently.

I rent an apartment where the tenants pay the pro-rated per tenant cost for landscaping services, water, electricity used for common areas (office, outdoor lights, etc.) for the complex, trash and recycling collection. Those services are provided through the management company from the various service companies through a third-party bill collection company.

This means the individual service provider bills the complex management who then consolidates the bills through the billing and collection company to the tenants with their rent. That company then pays the service companies for the total bill for the complex.

Now that billing and collection company wants me to sign up for on-line payment, even automatic payment. This company provides this services to many apartment complexes in the Pacific Northwest. And this is where I start having issues with it.

The old way was the service provider billed the complex which billed the tenants and then pays the service companies. Now there's a third-party company in between the services companies and the complex, and the tenant, meaning more layers to the whole system.

Right now I just pay the complex management and they pay the third-party billing company which pays the service companies. The billing and payment company doesn't see my account information, only the complex management.

I only have a few companies through on-line payment, companies I've used for decades and trust their computer security is good enough to trust with my banking information to withdraw finds from my accounts.

All the rest I require them to submit paper (only small companies do this anymore) or electonic checks to the bank. This keeps the bank in the loop to review the withdrawl, and whatever level it is, it's better than just granting direct withdrawls.

Anyway, that's the observations. Be careful with on-line banking and payment companies. Check them before you just sign up and share you banking information. It's the way the world works now, but you can be in control to some degree.

BOA Sucks

Everyone, ok, most everyone, knows Bank Of America (BOA). I first ran into them in the 1970's in Californai and learned just how bad they are, and vowed never to bank with them. But now, all these years later, I run into them now and then, and they're still proving how bad they still are.

I've had a line of credit with US Bank and their predecessor banks (the banks they took over) for over 25 years and I've never had a check be rejected or bounce. Never. I wrote one for bill two weeks ago and the company called to say BOA rejected the account.

I went to the company and the woman said BOA, which goes through their company to their parent company, where the account is with BOA, rejected it. Note, BOA didn't say "insuffiicent funds", but "not valid account", and from now on they would not accept any check from me, only cashier's checks.

This isn't my failure, as I asked them to call US Bank to verify the account and the funds, which they said they won't because the decision has already been made and they can't change it. They said the local manager can reset the account to accept my checks, but she wouldn't know until Monday.

So I went to US Bank, got a cashier's check on the line of credit and took that to the company, making it clear where the funds came from to verify it's a valid account with sufficient funds. Then she said there will be a $75 late fee, which isn't my fault since they recieved the check by the deadline, and a $50 bank fee, which also isn't my fault but the bank's.

I said I won't pay it because neither was created by me but by BOA. She said that's the manager's decision to waive the fees, the former the manager can when the account is reset to accept my checks again, and the latter the manager has to inform BOA not to charge being their fault and not mine.

Yeah, you get the picture. Someone at BOA mis-coded the check. I'm not sure if it was submitted, but US Bank said they haven't seen it to reject it. So why do I have to pay for the company and BOA who made the mistakes?

And why are the fees to f**king high? Oh, I forgot, for profit by BOA and companies. Never mind they created the situation which the computers automatically charges late fees. And why do I get stuck now with a company not accepting my checks on other accounts?

I'm sure many people have run into these problems, but this is the first time with this company in almost 30 years and with BOA. I'm expecting I'll have to pay one or both fees to keep the company and/or BOA from filing against my credit rating.

And fighting it would cost more than the fees. They know this and why they set their computers to automatically do it. The banks offer all these services but then can't manage them correctly, and then charge the consumer fees to cover their own mistakes.

Anyway, just one of those days in the era of computer banking. It's not the computers, it's the people setting the rules the computer uses.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Fork

Sadly, after losing 5 of 7 games against the Chicago White Sox, being swept in a 3 game series against Texas and this weekend losing 2 of 3 against the Los Angeles Angeles, going 3 and 11 in all, they're now only 2 games above .500 and 5 games out of the 2nd spot in the wildcard race behing 5 other teams.

You can stick a fork in their season, it's done and toast. Twice they were 10 games above .500 and in the chase for the wildcard game, needing to be at least 12 games above .500, and twice the team went on losing streaks to drop out, and this time it's too close to the end to catch up.

The reality is that they're good team, but not consistently good enough to compete with the best. The best pitchers have failed too often, their defense has stumbled at times and their offense has become anemic at times.

In short, they lost games they should have won or blew them with errors, bad relief pitching, or not scoring when they had great chances. They did themselves in and now they're just playing to end the season and for next year's team.

But even that won't be enough because their minor leagues teams are lacking in depth of players to play at the major league level as we've seen throughout the year. They just don't have the team, better than previous years, and they don't have the future team.

That's why they have a new GM and a new manager, but that's not enough when you can't field a consistently competitive winning team for 162 games, as we've seen this year. They were there, but overachieved to get there and then underachieved to drop back.

So much for another season. Add another fork for is year, and hope for next year, but that's been management's tale to fans, "We'll be better.", but they're not and won't without management doing more to field a better team.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

To Me

To me any man who was eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War era, meaning did not have a valid deferment, and either did not get drafted or chose to enlist, does not have the right to talk about war, veterans and the families of veterans who were killed or injured. They gave up that right when they made their decision not to serve their country, not to agree to sacrifice their life if necessary for their country, and not be able to say, “I’m a veteran.”
This especially applies to politicians, many of whom of my generation made the choice not to serve and then later chose to vote to send men and women into war zones and into combat out of “patriotism” they so proudly express, about protecting America and the American way of life. They chose not to do what they vote the younger generation chose to do, serve their country.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Photoshop CC 2015

If you're like me and subscribe to Adobe Create Cloud applications, specifically Photoshop CC iterations, you will notice each time you upgrade to a new version Adobe removes the older versions of CC apps, not just for Photoshop but other common apps, eg. Illustrator, InDesign, etc.

If you want to keep the old copies you need to restore them from backups, but you also have to check for other folders associated with those apps, namely the /Library/Applications/Adobe folder, as the install program for the upgrade removes the content of the app's folder so the app won't open let alone work.

I learned this with Photoshop CC 2015.5 which removed CC 2015, which I restored but then it wouldn't open telling me to uninstall and reinstall the app. If you're like me, however, and have Time Machine, you can go back before the installation of PS CC 2015.5 and restore the app and libray folder contents for PS CC 2015.

Anyway, the story is that I have all three versions of Photoshop CC, 2014, 2015 and 2015.5, but I have to always remember to restore them after upgrading Photoshop CC. I also still have Photoshop CS versions going back to CS3 but then Adobe doesn't remove them since you own them.

I don't worry about the older versions of the other apps Adobe's upgrade removes because I only use the latest version. Adobe overwrites Lightroom CC updates but not version upgrades so you can keep Lightroom 2, 3, 4 and 5 if you want.

Why keep older versions? I like to use the different versions for different work, so rather than switching catalogs in one app, I can run multiple versions, even simultaneously, to focus on that specific work. I also do this with Dreamweaver for working on different groups of Web pages, and don't have to keep switching groups of files.

There is an advantage to have Apple's Time Machine, although I can't keep it working past 6 months to a year before it has problems and I have to erase the HD and start over. But that's often far enough to recover files.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Lest We Forget

While the 2016 presidential campaign is focused on terrorism, and more so Islamic people, lest we forget one of the worst act of terrorism in the U.S. was committed with a truck bomb on April 19, 1995 by a white evangical christian conservative, Timothy McVeigh.

Let's remember those who died then and there, including children, at the hands of someone who wanted to attack American government and people. He was, and always will be, a terrorist, just as evil as any other terrorists regardless of their ethnicity, religion or political affliations.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Measuring Rivers

I won’t deny I have problems with heights, looking down gives me nausea, but one thing I love is being in a cablecar on a cableway strung across a river, the wider the better, high above the flowing water, the faster the flow the better. I loved streamggaging for the USGS, especially the big rivers with the high cableway, to spend and hour or more going across and measuring the width, depth and velocity to compute a discharge (flow), and sometimes take a moment in the middle to just sit and feel the quiet place. 
I was only worried once during my career, when measuring Blue Creek above Hills Creek Resevoir, Oregon during a flood when I could hear boulders the size of cars (seen in followup measurements) rolling along the bed, moved by the the high velocity, realizing even with a floatation jacket (safety requirement) I wouldn’t survive if I fell in the river. The cableway and towers were well above the river, but it occurred to me when I took that moment to watch and listen to the loud sounds of those boulders I couldn’t see due to the high sediment flow but had a reality check on the power of rivers, no matter how seemingly small.
And of all the hundreds of wading measurements I, some up to the top of my chest waders, I never lost my footing or fell in the creeks or rivers. But there was a time on Gray Creek in the Middle Fork of the Willametter River basin, I had the scare every streamgager has at least once, find yourself in the middle of the creek or river realizing you can move forward across it or go back the bank you started .You were stuck there and this time the during the high flow the rocks on the bed were moving under and around me and started to move me downstream while the flow pushed against the upstream side of my body nudging me down stream too.
After a few minutes I realized I had no choice but to go forward with two possibilities, one I’d lose it and become part fhe flow to extracate myself out safely, or two, I’d be ok and get across, and then come back to make the measurement. The latter prevailed as I realized I was in the deepest and swiftest part of it and still standing, meaning I could finish it, which I did, and without getting wet except for the rain.
It’s the conundrums each of us have and live with.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Seattle Mariners

At the All-Star break the Seattle Mariners are in third place in the Western Division, 45 wins and 44 losses. At one point they were 10 games above .500 but then kept getting swept in series to drop to just 1 game now.

To make the playoffs, currently behind 6 teams (top two play the Wildcard game), they have to return to the form they had when they were winning, and not getting swept in series. They've shown they can do that and have shown they can't.

They're 12th in hitting, 7th in the American League, far better than the last few years where they were consistently near the bottom. They're 10th in pitching, 4th in the American league, not as good as some recent years, but good enough if they had the consistently they haven't shown of late.

Where they have fallen down this year from recent years, ofen in the top 5, is defense, they're 22nd overall, 13th in the American League. This is where they have to improve in the second half, to cut the number of errors to reduce the number of extra outs errors gives opposing teams.

The Mariners went into this season with lots of potential to win the division, and were for a few days, but they've shown they have problems winning late games, something that's plagued them for a few years now. They have to close and win those games.

All that said, there's hope they'll be in the playoffs, but it will depend on how they play, and win, in July and August. Another possibility is that they could also find some trades to bolster the team, but their farm system isn't all that strong anymore to sacrifice too many young players.

It's clear it's in their ballpark now to win, something they can do. They have the team, now they have to do the job. The fans are there. It would be nice for the Mariners to be playing in October.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Nothing there

Update II.-- Watching the news on the FBI report, something struck me that the FBI didn't prove, or say there's evidence, the case for Hillary Clinton. The FBI described the e-mail "chains", but not the specific e-mails Clinton sent.

Everyone knows you don't always include the entire chain of an email in a reply, and you don't always include attachments, meaning it's possible, and more likely, Clinton never recieved or sent the classified information, but only the summary or general information.

And it's very likely Clinton knew not to include or attach classified information in replies in the chain, knowng the recipents are fully aware of the entire discussion and have all the supporting information or documents. This is what the FBI did not say about her specific e-mails, just the chain.

Update.-- After reading more stories of the report, the FBI repors a few of the e-mails did have markings indictating classified, but nothing if the classification was appropriate or just proceedural as the source of the e-mail and/or their information was classified.

This doesn't change my assessment. Clinton made a bad decision using the e-mail server for work, and while it was unethical and a violation of State Department protocols, it doesn't pass the standard for criminal conduct. And the fact the FBI found no evidence the servers or the e-mail were compromised or information stolen.

This means her decision was wrong, but her actions as Secretary of State were not. She wanted to separate her personal e-mail from work, and it didn't work, something people around her and IT people should have spoken to her then.

So, while the Republicans and the campaign folks, especially Donald Trump, will make use of it, it will fade during the general election, as voters focus on far more important issues, such as the economy, jobs, healthcare, education, and so on down the list, the "pocketbook" issues people decide their vote.

As for trust and credibility issues, it's not hard to see Trump doesn't have any of either. His business deals alone prove the point he's bailed on negotiations cheated contractors and sued or been sued to follow the contracts. He's boasted about not cheating and not paying.

Anyway, the original idea stands. While important, it's history, and nothing to consider with the election campaign and voters choice of the next president.

Original Post.-- After hearing FBI Director Comey's press release on the Hillary Clinton e-mail servers operated out of her home in New York in her attempt to separate her work e-mail from her personal e-mail, using a nongovernment e-mail address and domain, I don't see anything out of the ordinary government work except the servers.

To begin with, the only real mistake was the use of the servers, which the Information Technology folks at the State Department should have refused to install and operate, and should have overridden her decision to have one. That's their mistake, only hers for the decision.

The problem was that she used her personal e-mail account to do government communications, something she should have known better not to do, but wanted a way to conduct and exchange with people outside of work. That's something everyone should have avoided, but it not uncommon in senior government service.

The FBI stated that 110 e-mails out of 30,000-plus e-mails had information deemed classified at the time, but none of that information was marked classified during the exchange. This is not new as classified information is often reviewed and classified shortly afterward, and not during unless the information was previously know to be classified.

Directory Comey didn't say of any of the information was known to be classified, but he did say, due to the nature of the subject, they should have known or treated it as classified, except in the heat of the exchanges, that often gets lost in the discussion, and left for later review.

The Director said there was nothing criminal, and while he used the "should" word a lot, that doesn't always mean people did, because sometimes it's an afterthought. The Director also said in handling the information Clinton didn't do anything that hadn't been done by her predecessors, meaning both democratic and republican administrations.

In short, the mistake was the servers, but really nothing else. She shouldn't have used them and should have known to separate work from personal through a different means at the time, but considering the nature of the discussions, she wanted something separate to open discussions, something predecessors have done before.

Anyway, just my thoughts that's while republicans, especially Trump, will make a lot of noise about it, as Gertrude Stein said and the Benghazi committee found, "There's no there there." She make a bad decision. No information, classified or otherwise, was compromised, and no harm was done.

In short, like the Benghazi committee and their report, it's old news and there's far more important things to be discussed during the campaign. As for the trust issue, Trump doesn't have a leg to stand on about that, he doesn't even know what it means.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


I've always had problems with authority, from the time Dad kicked out of the house for disappointing him in my first year of engineering college when I wasn't meant to be an engineer in the first place, and later went on to get BA and MS degrees in Geography.

What triggered this reaction was when I enlisted in the US Air Force March 7, 1969, after the University of Denver asked, but not prohibit, me not to return to enroll, and passing my Army physical and being classified 1-A, knowing the draft lottery would be too late to avoid the draft.

In preparation to starting basic training I went to the barber and got an "approved" military haircut, but after getting to basic training at Lackland, AFB, outside San Antonio, TX, they gave me another haircut which I had to pay.

Yeah, that's the rule, but something struck a dischord against the authoritarian manner how the rule was applied, and while I got through basic training just putting my head down and minding my own business to get through it, the feeling never went away.

I was not cut out for any organization that was so authoritarian. Later in my military service I went through the initial proceedings to determine if they should initiate the court-martial proceedure against me for making an off-hand comments to a senior NCO who was in another organization.

I won't comment on what I said, but a full colonel, the unit commander, who had 2 years in Vietnam, represented me, and they decided against the court-martial process, but imposed a 6 month ban for consideration for promotion, which I accepted because I didn't qualify for the cycle to be promoted.

The irony there was that I did make the next cycle for promotion, unfortunately I would be discharged before I could actually be promoted, but then the same people offered me the promotion and a $10,000 bonus to re-enlist because almost all the lower rank NCO's in the unit were leaving. Hey it was the early 1970's.

Anyway, I went on to get the degrees on the GI Bill and have a good, but could be better, career with USGS, but I never lost the "Question Authority" attitude I had, even when I retired, choosing my own date than being forced to accept one made by my boss.

You see my boss threatened to demote and reassign me for disagreeing with him over my job performance. I always had excellent evaluations and promoted as soon as I was eligible, but I got a boss who was 15 year younger and never worked in the part of the USGS I spent my career.

Yeah, old senior technical, often supervisory, manager with a new, inexperienced senior manager. Not a good fit for me, and we always disagreed over my job and work, which I had been doing and was respected by regional and headquarters, even being on national commitees and an organizational "resource" person.

The issue reached a head when I appealed the evaluation to the region, going over the head of the boss for the water resouces division in the agency in the state. That engaged the ire of our boss too, but the region personnel office reversed the evaluation, changing it to excellent and chastising my bos and our boss for their actions.

His boss had to accept the reversal and apologize for it, or face reprimands for their actions against me. It was a good feeling knowing I won, but it effectively ended my career for the last 2-3 years I had planned to work, but decided to retire earlier on my schedule than theirs.

Anway, after retiring, I joined a few messsage boards to stay connected to a variety of personal interests, and while message boards are often privately run, not Yahoo-type just administered under company rules, I often expressed views counter to the administrator or moderators. Yeah, deja vu all over again.

I'm not outspoken or extremist. I just believe members have the right to question the rules and the moderators and administrators. But they don't think so, and so I got ejected from one message board for proving the hypocrisy of the administrator for allowing some members more freedom of speech than others.

And now I've been effectively censored by another for questioning why a thread on guns and the shooting in Orlando where everyone was civil and respectful was closed shortly after it was started and many members didn't have the chance to post their view.

I posted a general statement against these types of arbitrary decision on the personal judgement of the administrators, which as promptly removed and was sent an e-mail, "this message forum is not a democracy..." And so I posted again with a note I'm taking a hiatus from the board.

And I did the old George Burns and Gracie Allen exit and left the board, but keeping my membership to come back sometime in the future, which is the second time I've left, the last for about 3 years only to find nothing changed when I returned.

And as the old adage goes, there's no third time, because you will almost always succeed, meaning leaving the board by removing my membership which I'm keeping in mind to do if/when return. I only visit it every few weeks so it's not that important to me.

And the exit? At the end of the show there was one short exchange:

George: "Say goodnight Gracie."
Gracie: "Goodnight Gracie."

Yeah, best ending there ever was by two of the best.

Monday, June 20, 2016


Before people get on their political high horse about Islamic extremists hating the US and Americans, let's remember our government has supported corrupt, oppressive governments around the world since WW II, such as the Shah of Iran, Saddham Hussein in Iraq, President Assad in Syria, the Saud family in Saudi Arabia, two presidents in Afghanistan, governments in the Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, President Marcos in the Phillipines, General Pinochet in Chile, governments in Argentina and others in Central & South America, General Park Chung-hee in South Korea, the government of then South Vietnam, etc.
The US has a history of talking democracy but financially and militarily supporting repressive government around the world. We didn’t care about the government’s actions toward their people as long as the country was stable and liked the US government. The CIA often funded coups overthrowing democratically elected government by military force. The DOD often supported those governments with weapons and training to further suppress the people.
This was our foreign policy under Republican and Democratic Presidents and administrations. We talk about democracy but rarely support it, especially when those countries elect governments who don’t like the US government. History is full of examples of this policy, so we don’t have the right to be indignant when we’re held accountable or have the privilege to lie about it. It’s our reality

Saturday, June 18, 2016


The fundamental flaw in the Republican’s foreign policy and about diplomatic relations is that no one fears the US government or our military anymore, and in fact, most enemies love to challenge us and want to fight us, for they know we’re a formidable enemy, but wins, no matter how small, are worth gold in their recruitment and propaganda program. 
They don’t fear our words, they don’t fear our threats and they don’t fear our leaders, regardless of who’s president and which party is in power. Democrats know this, but Republcans ignore it, for they know talking tough is good campaign rhetoric, despite it being meaningless and worthless in reality. It sells to voters and exaggerates our importance in the minds of voters. It’s an illusion. Democrats know this, and Republicans exploit it, because it wins votes, even after the reality proves the rhetoric wrong.
If you don’t believe this, just look at the word where US forces are fighting terrorists. Do you see any enemies fearing the US military? Do you see any of their leaders cowering in fear against our government’s statements? Do you see them running in the face of our military forces? You won’t because they aren’t. It’s that simple. It’s the new world where they have no fear of us or anyone, and will fight anyone to prove it, especially us.

Friday, June 17, 2016


Does Amazon suck or what? Really. I went to buy some nibs for my Wacom Bamboo (2nd gen) stylus. Wacom was out of stock and Amazon was the only major on-line supply store with them in stock. Ok, I order a few packets of 3 nibs per packet, and it comes back I can’t buy it because the order isn’t over $25 and I’m not enrolled in their primier shipping service. 
So I raise the order so it’s over $25 and they charge $8 for shipping for a product that costs all of $2 at most for shipping via USPS. Then it says it can’t complete the order because the product isn’t eligible for shpping. So I order a 2nd generation pen for $9 and the nibs for the stylus I have and the one I ordered.
Ok, it accepts it and still charges $8 for shipping that now costs $3 at most for shipping, but it took it the order and my credit card. At least I get the nibs. And then I do what I always do after buying on Amazon, and recommend to anyone, delete your credit card(s) on your account, so they don’t have it. You may trust them but I don’t because of a bad experience with a third party market company which did a bait and switch on a product that took a month to resolve and credited to my card for the charge. So I always remove it after every confirmed order.
So, to me, that’s why Amazon sucks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

For What

Today I spent two hours travelling to a doctor’s appointment, to get there early as they demand, and then meet with the doctor for 10 minutes, half of the time was a lecture about what he wanted me to do, dismissing what I came to talk about and get help resolving a medical problem, to hear, “Thank you, follow the advice, and come back in a month.”, and then pointed at the front desk. For what I kept asking myself driving home. For what. Nothing resolved and advice I already know won’t work, but you have to prove it because some doctors don’t want to listen to their patients. They’ve already decided what’s best without hearing them. And for this you pay. For what I keep asking myself.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Just a Thought

The media is calling the mass shooting in Orlando as an act of terrorism, despite the FBI clearing the shooter three times of connections to terrorist groups. He was a devout Muslim who was against homosexuality taught by several, and often extreme, sects of Islam, but no different than many Chrisitan faiths which preach hatred and violence toward LGBT people, especially gay men.
He was offended by gay men, and acted on that hate killing innocent men and women, many who were straight. The club wasn’t the main gay club in Orlando and was frequented by many straight people, some of who were killded or injured. It was, in short, a hate crime, not terrorism. He acted no different than other mass shooters who expressed their hate with a gun, whether it was the Aurora theater, Sandy Hook elementary school or wherever.
While you can argue the San Bernadino shooters were terroristsbecause of their history and actions, the Orlando shooter had nothing in common with them except their religion. The Orlando shooter had more in common with the many mass shooters when you take out race out of the argument.
We have become a country where the media demonizes people of middle and central Asia heritage (his family was from Afghanistan) or Muslim, while they give white people and/or christians a free pass on any connection to terrorism. This is xenophobia, disguised as news, when in fact, the media is creating the news than just reporting it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


The hardest thing when you have a medical condition doctors and specialists can’t identify - meaning no cause, no diagnosis, and no treatment - is being so angry at them you can only take out on yourself for feeling so stupid to trust them to cure the problem and heal you. And you can’t express your anger with them because they can’t, and sometimes won’t, do anything and only treat you worse because you expressed your frustration at the whole medical system and them. 
Don’t they understand and follow the Hypocratic oath to first do no harm, when doing nothing is harm, and to keep trying is what they’re supposed to do, to help the patient become better? So you take your anger out on yourself for feeling so stupid to trust them, and violate the same oath about yourself to yourself, first do no harm, because you’re the only person who’ll listen and understand. They won’t and don’t. 
You’re the only one your anger sees. You’re the one who expresses it and receives it, knowing how misplaced it is, but who else is there? 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Will we get to the day after the election and Hillary Clinton is the president-elect to discover the whole process of the last year-plus was a totally waste of time, energy and money, where the media created news and inflated everything and everyone, the political parties blew more money than any previous election, and the campaigns were the nastiest ever? 
Will the majority of voters and Americans feel completely drained of enthusiasm and interest in politics and only the political geeks were energized by the issues and drama? Will it finally show the whole election process needs major overhaul, not just about money, which can be remedied, but with the time spent, a year and a half gone for what, something that could be done, like all the other countries in the world, in 3-6 months, which would limit the money spent as part of campaign reform?
The question will remain, that was asked back in the summer of 2015, can Congress pass meaningful legislation to reduce the time between the first primary to the convention to 3 months and the general election to 3 months, and only have to put laws in place for complete transparency for all the money spent by political parties, candidate campaigns, issues campaigns, PAC’s and SuperPAC’s, define any money spent on political parties, candidates and issues as covered by the transparency law, require all money and donors be reported openly to the public at least monthly, and require the FEC get the funds to do it job to monitor and report violations.
Can Congress do what the American people and voters want, get it done in a timely, cost-effective manner with full public disclosure of all money, organizations and donors? They can, because it will reduce the time they spend raising money and with meeting lobbyists, but will they, now if ever? The people want it and given the voice, would demand it. It’s time for the people to take back our elections.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


In truth, the US military could defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria if it had the orders to do so, but it doesn’t, not because we as Americans don’t want to see it happen, but the politics of the Middle East exclude that option, for a foreign nation to do what they can but won’t do, because it’s about a complex array of issues going back to the post World War II delineation of the countries and going back hundreds of years between two opposing dialects of Islam, along with the economic and political issue of which Middle Eastern nation rules that region.

This is what the Bush-Cheney doctrine with the neocons knew but ignored. And it’s what the democrats don’t want to talk about, that we can’t solve the Middle East without provoking a greater war which is now global. So all the politics aside, the war against the Islamic State is winnable but not in the global political arena where we would become the enemy, something that poltics can’t solve. It’s why, like it or not, we’re there for a very long time with no end in sight and no victory in mind, just less of the worst.

ps. updated for spelling errors.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Yesterday was one of those days you wished you hadn't decided to work on your Mac, because after all was said and done, you spend the whole days fixing software that didn't work right or broke OS-X. Really, one of those days.

I keep track of what updates are available for the apps on my Mac. I use MacUpdate to keep current. I don't use their app or subscribe to their service because I don't like the user interface. Some apps automatically update from the user settings or the company has their own app to check updates, such as Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription.

Anyway, I found one needing updating, Adobe Air, which is free and not in the subscription service. It's been an easy update, but the latest version downloaded and installed, and after finishing I clicked the "Finish" button to quit the app and eject the icon.

That's when the first of the two times yesterday, the installer didn't work. It finished and I was able to eject the icon but the app didn't quit. I don't know what happened, but OS-X had it in the dock as open, and it wouldn't force quit.

When I closed all the other apps I tried to restarted the Mac, nothing. It was hung. I tried to shutdown the Mac down, nothing. It was hung. I powered it off for a minute and restarted it. This is the sledge hammer approach but if nothing else works, this works.

OS-X is good about recovering itself after an unexpected power shutdown, but it is recommended once everything is up and running, to restart or shutdown and restart again to get a clean start, which I did and carried on with the other work.

Ok, onward to installed Datacolor's application for their Sypder 5 Elite color calibration tool. I downloaded it, and ran the installer program. And when it finished and I clicked the "Finish" button, the same thing, nothing.

Yup, the same thing again. The Mac was hung and wouldn't respond to anything, which necessitatd a power shutdown and repeat the process to wait and do it again for a clean restart, and then get everything working.

That done I put Datacolor's icons for the Spyder 5 utility and Spyder Gallery Utility to calibrate smart phones and tablets in the Menu bar. I don't calibrate the iPhone 5s anymore because Apple's bluetooth software on the iPhone won't pair with the Mac but will with the iPad.

I use Bartender to arrange and manage the Menu Bar icons. It's a cool app, but recent versions have problems with some icons and the drag tool doesn't work to move the icon. I'm not sure if it's their app or OS-X, but the two Spyder app icons wouldn't drag to where I wanted.

I finally got them in place but it completely rearranged the rest of the icons, so I had to load all of them and move them to where I wanted them, and the restart the Mac to ensure the arrangement was right. It's not right with the two Spyder icons, but I'll live with where they're at for now.

Update on below.-- The iStat app runs fine now. The first time it ran without problems but the second time the file cache (below) went beserk. The third time today, it's ok, not increasing app memory or file cache, so it may have been an anomaly with the Mac. I'll continue to use it now.

Ok, you can see where this is going, and one would quit for the day and do something else. Not me yesterday as I had one item left. I use iStat to monitor the Mac. It's a good app, and I put the display in the Menu bar, but hidden behind a single icon, which shows below the menu bar, so the block of information doesn't clutter the menu bar.

Well, the app tends to eat app memory over time, and isn't released when you quit the app. This is because it runs 3 daemons all the time, and one continuously montitors all the processes and sensors, etc. going on. This is the daemon that is the problem, which can use 0.5 to 1 GB of cpu, much which is allocated but unused.

And the OS-X daily maintenance doesn't recapture it if you quit the app. So the company sent me a beta version which supposedly eats less and releases unused memory. Well that it does quite well but then out of nowhere it will eat file cache, like your uncle at a free Thanksgiving Day buffet.

It was fine for about an hour but then went beserk and ate 5 GB's of file cache in just a few minutes. I quit the and purged the file cache (a command you should learn to use). I haven't decided to uninstall and reinstall it and try the new version again. I think being a beta version they do some testing and then remove it when the app works.

That's for another day for now. I'm fried of being frustrated at the events.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


it would help if republicans, especially conservatives or christians, opposed to anti-discrimination laws for trangender people open their minds to understand that there is a significant difference between cross-dressers, along with drag queens, transvestites, etc., and transgender people, some defined as gender queer, etc.
The difference is that transgender people want to live in the gender they know they are inside, and not the sex they were born with, and cited on their original birth certificate. This requires extensive medical proceedures with therapists, physicians, specialist, surgeons, etc. and extensive legal proceedures to change their name, gender markers on their local, state and federal documents, and eventually their birth certificate.
Other people, the whole array of them (above) don’t identify in the gender opposite their birth sex, and have no interest to live fulltime in the other gender. They don’t go through any medical or legal process because none apply to them. They simply like to play “dressup”, wearing and going out in women’s clothes. It is not defined in the DSM V as a condition, disorder or disease, but just a innocuous fetish.
This means transgender people, mostly transgender women, live as women, of whom the vast majority pass without notice as women. Only a few who don’t readily pass have been used by politicians and people as examples of all transgender women. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most people have seen, meet, and even talked to a transgender women without realizing it.
The laws protect the rights of transgender people don’t lnclude cross-dressers and the rest of those who are not medically and legally defined as transgender, meaning with Gender Identity, and thus are illegally trespassing entering private spaces designated for the other sex or gender. They’re committing a crime and are not protected by the law.
The important point is that transgender people are not their birth sex. They’re their gender, so a transgender woman is not a man but a woman and vice versa, so calling transgender women “men” is offensive and wrong. And attacking them is not right, and why their rights need protecting to just live like everyone else.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Starbucks Final

Final thought.--- This morning Spotify finally worked on the Starbucks app to show the song playing in the Starbucks, both in the dashboard and in the music (click on music icon in upper right corner). And it didn't take their wifi to work, just LTE. Enuf said from me.

Orignal Post.-- Ok, enough about Starbucks, which I can say because I finally got an intelligent answer from their customer representative about why the information about current song playing at any Starbucks you visit wasn't being displayed on the Starbucks app.

Here is part of the response:

"Some of our stores are equipped with technology through the Starbucks Digital Network. If you're in one of these locations and are connected to our in-store Wi-Fi, the song currently playing will be displayed with the option to purchase it through iTunes.  If you've left the welcome page, it can be found at Unfortunately this is not available in all stores, but we are constantly working to make this functionality more robust!"

This explains a lot, and here's the rest of their response:

"Here are some tips to get this feature to work on your App:
- Make sure that the location service is enabled;
- New music features within the Starbucks App will automatically show you what's "Now Playing" and "Recently Played" in participating Starbucks stores.
- Starbucks customers will need a Spotify account to save or create Spotify playlists.
- You must have a Spotify account to play music and must connect your Starbucks and Spotify Free or Premium accounts to save music."

This means that Starbucks released an app with software features they didn't have the technology in place to work. Along with all the other problems Starbucks have had with their app, it's clear they're resolving them, but it's also clear they released it too early to initiate the new rewards program, with untested and known bugs, assuming any customer problems won't hurt customer loyalty.

And it's clear, just from my experience, they're customer service, while good isn't great and why they handed out a lot of stars and credits, and are offering frequent additional stars for more purchases. That said, it doesn't change much for me, and in fact, makes me use other cafes more often now for the higher priced drinks.

I'll still go to Starbucks, in part because it's the halfway point on my daily walk which has a good Doppio con Panna (tried the non-Starbucks cafes) and I will accumulate stars for that and other occasional purchases, but on trips I'll do what I always do first, find a good local cafe and only Starbucks if one isn't around.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


So it's Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. An ecccentric, arrogant businessman, pseudo-republican, against a conservative democrat. Who's left out? Moderate republicans, liberal democrats, progressives, independents and libertarians. Seem the vast majority of Americans don't have a candidate to represent them this election. just two extreme - in their party - minorities. What a time to need Mae West, Will Rogers and Mark Twain.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Starbuck Again

Update II.-- It turns out the old reward was there after all. The barista today found it when I asked about it, and she discovered you have to enter in the account code twice for the old reward, the first to use earned stars, which the barista did Sunday, and again to see if any old reward(s) were still there, which is was, so I used it.

Kudos goes to both the barista Monday who gave me the free drink and coupon, and the barista today who found the old reward. Since I've used the last to the old rewards, it's now just adding to the stars I earn, all 4 with my Doppio con Panna.

I still haven't gotten Spotify to work on the Starbucks app. It's supposed to show what's playing at Starbucks with your location. It worked before, then didn't work and now after the latest release, still doesn't work. Or, as usual, I'm missing something.

Update.--Yesterday (Sunday) I went to the local Starbucks for the 3 newspapers I buy and I used one reward I had left under the old rewards system, keeping the one (125 stars) I have under the new system. But when I checked my Starbucks this morning for my normal coffee, both rewards were gone, the old missing and my stars reset to 34, the amount I had accured above 125.

The barista explained the barista likely coded in using the stars instead of the old reward but the system used both. Since correcting this would incur another round with Starbucks reps, which I've given up hearing the same story, the barita gave me a free drink and a coupon for some stars.

I'll take it so I don't have to deal their reps again in endless e-mails, which always results, eventually, in them giving me stars or credit, but not worth the hassle anymore. It's clear their system still has problems, which eats customers rewards and stars.

Original Post.-- I wrote about my experience with Starbucks and their new rewards system and iPbone app.  They switched from using visits and purchases to count stars for rewards (free drink(s)) to how much the customer spends, which turns out the break even point is $5, just more than the normal 12 oz drink.

But the majority of customers buy a larger drink or a drink and food, which costs them from $6-10, and where they'll earn more stars and rewards sooner. Folks like me who buy just a regular coffee or a $2 espresso drink lose in the deal where it takes 2.5 times more purchases to earn a reward as before.

That's enough for me not to care about rewards with them anymore. I'll still buy my Doppio con Panna (own cup which gives a 10-cent discount) and use the two rewards and have and the rest whenever I get them. My other complaint was their new system with the new app.

To put it mildly, the app sucks for design and user friendliness. and it was plagued with problems from day one. It lost a reward I earned on the day of the rollout, and they never credited me for it, but gave me 50 starts and a $5 credit on my account.

After that the app kept losing Spotify. I only turn location services on when I use the app, which is almost always when I'm at a Starbucks so they can't track me more than what cafes I visit. In addition the dashboard, the open space for messages, receipts, etc. was always blank except for "Caught up."

They released an update recently which fixed some of the issues, but left one confusing one. The stars are supposed to count to 125 and then credit you with a reward. Except they changed it so the stars just keep adding up and you cash in the stars when and after you reach 125 stars.

In additon they changed the rewards from a 30-day expiration period to a 6-month expiration period for the stars, meaning, as I understand their explanation, the stars will reduce when the oldest reaches 6 months, and continues there after.

So it's use them or lose them. Now that I know that I'll work from there. Since I only use the rewards for occasional special drinks, usually mochas, it's not that important to me anymore. I buy my mochas as other cafes in Tacoma or Gig Harbor, or on trips in Seattle, where they're better and often cheaper, some with better customer rewards programs.

And where pray tell are these cafes? Well there are four excellent local ones, three in Tacoma and one in Gig Harbor (this is correction from the previous entry about these because I forgot one). The best is the Diversions Cafe on the University of Puget Sound campus. And it about a buck and a half cheaper.

The others are a tie. The cafe in the Metropolitan Market in Proctor neighborhood is great and they have a card, buy 12 get 1 free. The other is the Spar Cafe next door to the Spar Pub in Old Town. Great everything about it and it's better than the Starbucks across the street.

The last is the Cutters Point cafe in Gig Harbor just down from Fred Meyer Market. There are two other Cutters Point in the immediate area, one in the Uptown Mall south of Safeway, and one in the Main and Vine Market next to the Starbucks I usually visit. These two are good, the former better, and both better than Starbucks.

So that's the story to date. Starbucks is still the cafe for my turnaround on my morning 6-mile walk but that's about the extent of my business with them anymore, except to use my rewards when I earn them. I'll buy my other coffee drinks at the cafes above.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Harriet Tubman

Letter from Frederick Douglas to Harriet Tubman, the woman whose portrait will replace Jackson on the $20 bill in the near future.
Dear Harriet: I am glad to know that the story of your eventful life has been written by a kind lady, and that the same is soon to be published. You ask for what you do not need when you call upon me for a word of commendation. I need such word from you for more than you can need them from me, especially where your superior labors and devotion to the cause of the lately enslaved of our land are known as I know them. The difference between us is very marked. Most of that I have done and suffered in the service of our cause has been in public, and I have received much encouragement at every step of the way. You on the other hand have labored in a private way I have wrought in my day - you in the night. I have had the applause of the crowd and the satisfaction that comes of being approved by the multitude, while the most that you have done has been witnessed by a few trembling, scarred, and foot-sore bond-men and women, whom you have led out of the house of bondage, and whose heartfelt God bless you” has been your only reward. The midnight sky and silent stars have been witness of your devotion to freedom and your heroism. Excepting John Brown - of scared memory - I know of no one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people than you have. Much that you have done would seem improbably to those who do not know you as I know you. It is to me a great pleasure and a great privilege to bear testimony to your character and your works, and to say those those to whom you may come, that I regard you in every way truthful and trustworthy.
Your friend,
Frederick Douglass
Reprinted from Wall Street Journal from Sarah Hopkins Bradford’s, “Scenes in the life of Harriet Tubman”, 1869.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


The conundrum democrats face in this year’s primary election is between two candidates who are polar opposites politically as you can get and still call them democrats, although Bernie is an independent. Bernie is the archetype socialist. Hillary is the most conversative democrat candidate in decades.
Hillary Clinton has a record of being a conservative on diplomatic and international issues and a strong supporter on the use of the military, more than any democrat since Johnson. She also has strong, close ties to Wall Street, the major banks, financial and investment corporations. Both of those scare me she’s just more of the same, a moderate republican wrapped in democrat cloth. 
Bernie is the opposite about corporationis, and while I agree with his views, it’s clear with the political clout corporations, especially energy, banks, finanancial, and investment corporations, have in Congress, it’s doubtful he could get anything done with more than a few similarly minded democrats.I th
What scares me about Bernie is his total lack of international and diplomatic experience. I like he’s even-handed with Israel, since it takes two sides to wage a prolonged war and both are guilty of extremism, some say Israel more so because their military is far more powerful, supported by the US, and has inflected far worse damage and casaulties.
So, to me, that’s the conundrum. I like Bernie, but I don’t see he’d make a good president, although he could easily suprise people, and I suspect if elected he would be more a centrist to build his administration and not anger too many democrats in Congress.
Hillary clearly is the more experienced of all the candidates in both parties, but her views bother me that’s she closer to GW Bush than Obama. Bernie would be far more moderate with the use of the miltary, but like Obama, he would have to become a centrist there too. Being a socialist doesn’t work in American politics.
So that's the situation. I think both would do well on common issues, such as jobs, infrastructure, the environment,  education, Social Security, Medicare/medicaid, etc, and even issues they may be slightly different, such as healthcare, etc. On those issues both would be good presidents, the old adage, "Six of one, half a dozen of the other."
And that's the conundrum, because you have to vote for one and not the other. But then I'm a fan of underdogs.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Turkey Salad

I live on a very restricted diet, mostly because after a lifetime of antibiotics which started at age 3 for Rheutmatic Fever, my digestive system is effectively shot, meaning it's overly sensitive to food, various abnormal bacteria, viruses, flu/colds, OTC and prescription drugs, etc.

It also adversely reacts to prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes and naturapathic supplements. Over the years I've tried 4 diferent probiotics, from single or two types to complete types. I've tried two types of digestive enzymes. Both the probiotics and enzymes make things worse.

It's the mythy gastroenterologist and may digestives specialist make, "Just take probiotics, they replace all the bad bacteria.", which is not true. None of them will replace any bad bacteria you have in your digestive tract and only add more bacteria the system doesn't need or want.

The second myth is prebiotics. The same folks argue it feeds the good bacteria, which is true, but it also feeds the bad bacteria, which, if you notice their statements, they don't mention. You can actually excerbatte a digestive problem with prebiotics, especially if it can't tolerate starch and fiber.

Backto the story. Over the last 5 years, with suggestions from a gastroenterologist, and research published in 2012 about FODMAPS, we started with a very basic diet by eliminating major foods, starting with wheat and grains. The list expanded as I tried foods and added them to the no-eat list.

When all was said and done, I was down to a list you can write on a 4x6 postit note with room for doodles. But it has all the major food groups, covers the range to provide a more or less balanced diet, minus things like starch, fiber, fat, etc.

The list has only two meats, turkey and ham, not pork or bacon, and only organic meat without additional chemicals, especially things like nitrates and nitrites, meaning not the major brands. It used to include some fish and seafood, but were removed after several adverse reactions.

About once a week I have a food experiment meal where I prepare and cook something I haven't tried or something I have tried but had adverse reactions. I give foods three strikes. The first strike puts a waiting period between samples. The second puts it on a longer period. And the third scratches it from the list.

That said, the local Metropolitan Market (Proctor District in Tacoma) sells a locally raised turkeys. I can't recommend local, organic raised poultry enough over all the national brands. If you've tried them you know national brand turkeys are bland, almost tasteless, but local turkeys have a very distinct, tasty flavor, great for anything turkey.

It's a big difference you'll notice and won't buy national brands again. I go through a half breast in about a weke or so depending on the size, but usually stay with the medium ones to ensure it won't spoil before it's fully eaten.

I've also learned how to remove the entire breast in one piece in about five minutes. It's not hard, and only takes one very sharp knife and your fingers, so you have to make sure you wash your hands before starting this job.

The key is to do remove the breast from the bone while it is still slight warm and the meat is a little pliable, which allows it to be removed from the bone with just the ends of your fingers slowly peeling it from the bone and the knife to cut some parts loose, usually around the ends.

It's cool when you see the whole breast in one piece which makes it easy to cut or slice for any need. Ok, the salad. Sometimes I cut about half the breast into small chunks. I add a little salt to taste (you can always add more later), sliced almonds, coconut and mayonaise.

Mix it all together using only enough mayonaise to hold it together. Let it chill for a couple of hours and it's one very tasty salad for anything. You can vary the ingredients, add spices if you want (I can only have salt, not even pepper) or chopped pecans or walnuts if you prefer them.

It's good for about a week if it lasts that long. It's good in wraps, with fresh vegetables, whatever you like. I like to wrap it in slices of sandwich ham or in a corn tortilla. It makes a balanced, nutritious meal for me, using the few foods I can eat.