Saturday, December 31, 2011

In With The New — 2012

Thomas Edison is holding his awesome invention, the incandescent lamp bulb. That technology has been the standard for years and years.

"But come January 1, when a light-bulb law setting new efficiency standards is set to take effect, it's out with those old incandescents and in with the new."

Apparently any new incandescent bulbs must meet more rigid energy standards;  yet,  competitive types will be the compact fluorescent and LED lamps. It is said that by having the energy-efficient conversion that thirty large power plants can be closed down in the U.S.

Our home has been converted to compact fluorescent for a few years now. Thereby, energy consumption for home lighting is 25% of what it used to be. That is a considerable savings.

The new compact fluorescent lamp bulbs are no longer the stark white color that seemed so unnatural to the eyes. The fluorescing substance in this type is available that give the softer, warmer light that we have come to like about incandescents.

So, I guess this means that stores will no longer carry the "outlawed" lamp bulbs. Be prepared for pricier bulbs with claims that they will last far longer than the conventional incandescent.

Are you ready for the change?

Friday, December 30, 2011

ANOTHER lottery jackpot at risk!

Unknown lottery winner still hasn't come forward after a year.

"If you bought at Hot Lotto ticket last December in Des Moines, Iowa you might want to start looking for that, like, now.

One ticket hit a jackpot worth $16.5 million dollars one year ago and it has so far gone unclaimed. And unless someone can present the winning ticket fast, the money will be gone for good. The chance to claim the prize expires at 4 p.m local time Thursday."

What would we do if we found a winning lottery ticket after the jackpot had expired. In my case, for my emotional health and sanity, I would convince myself that this was meant to be. Perhaps the winnings would somehow lead to my ruin.

What would you do under similar circumstances?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Solstice

The December Solstice is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences. What it means for us here in the U.S. is December 22nd was shortest day of the year. Successive days are now lengthening.

Although days become longer, our oceans influence some yet colder days to come in our new winter season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lazy-Butt Me

"Creature of comfort" I am. That is a euphemism for "lazy–assed bastard." And one may wonder why that twice a year clock setting, once when we spring forward (Daylight Saving Time) and again when we fall back (Standard Time), is such a chore for me.

Finally, after several years of mulling this issue, I bit the bullet. Searching for this item finally revealed a 10" Kitchen Clock. Earlier choices offered a larger clock to replace our current non-atomic kitchen clock. This one seems perfect, and at a reasonable $20 cost.

Atomic clock technology, as you probably know, involves radio broadcast receiver technology. Every morning at 2:00 a.m. the clock's receiver is activated, whereupon it tunes automatically to a time standard server in Colorado. This means that the displayed time on the clock face is always on the money. It never gains or loses time.

Then, on each respective time change date the clock adjusts forward or backward by an hour. Why is this important to me?

Having our personal computers, including iPad, to always display the current time, along with our wireless phones, the semi-annual time adjustments are done without our thinking about it. The time display for DirecTV is always accurate as well. The cordless base and handsets that serve our landline phone system is also up-to-date.

Then there is my bedside clock and our weather station that displays indoor and outdoor temperatures. Same convenience.

This leaves one clock to change manually. That happens to be the clock on our microwave oven. No doubt, some day there will be models that offer the time-change option. I will never replace our current microwave oven just to get this convenience. Nonetheless, when our microwave does fail I will be on the lookout for an oven that has the advanced time-display technology. It is bound to happen some day.

How many clocks in your home must you adjust manually twice a year? Once you start going atomic you will be hooked, I feel certain.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hurtful Hernia

The diaphragm is our main muscle for breathing. The esophagus (food tube) passes through a natural opening (esophageal hiatus) at the diaphragm after which it joins the stomach. A hiatal hernia is when a portion of the top of the stomach slides up through the esophageal hiatus in the diaphragm towards the chest cavity. This results in pressure on the esophageal walls, and often manifests intense discomfort. Due to its location the pain of a hiatal hernia feels like a heart attack.

I just spent fours days in hospital where after two endoscopies and one CAT scan I was diagnosed with two kidney stones, gallstones, and a hiatal hernia. Ouch!

I am home now in recovery mode. As well, I am learning how to live with a hiatal hernia.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Cigarette Pack: $15

As a youth I could buy 3 cartons of cigarettes for $15.00. New Yorkers now spend that for one pack: twenty cigarettes. That comes to 75¢ per cigarette. Crazy!

If ever there was a motivation to quit the cost looms large. A 2-pack per day smoker parts with thirty dollars every day. A month of thirty days calculates to $450. I can truly think of better ways to spend that kind of money month-to-month. (OMG… one year costs approximately $5,400.00.)

Why do people shell out this kind of money? The answer in one word. Nicotine. Highly addictive. On the level of heroin as to how our brains latch on to nicotine's effects.

Yet, as an ex-smoker, I know that quitting is possible once one makes up his or her mind to stop.

The majority of smokers wish they didn't. Are you an ex-smoker? Are you a smoker who would like to quit?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

December Birthday

Our oldest son has his birthday anniversary on December 10th. Birthdays in the Christmas month can add to the financial outlay at this time of year. Perhaps those born on Christmas day (or a couple days before or after) can expect a "combined" Christmas and Birthday present.

Fortunately our son is old enough to be OK with a celebratory dinner that includes his siblings and their families. John's oldest daughter and her boyfriend will be joining us as well.

And getting everyone together for some enjoyable time together is perfect for the beginning of December. As well, where did this year go? Feels like only yesterday that we were starting out in the new year.

Anyone else out there with a December birthday?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Joining The Home WiFi Network


A new HP printer has joined our home WiFi network. The set-up was simple and straightforward. With the old printer there was a "sharing" setting that allowed Shirley to send a print job from her laptop. However, she had to ensure the printer had been turned on manually.

Presently the printer is in a stand-by mode that allows it to spring into action when a device on the network sends its print request. Son John downloaded the Windows version of the new printer driver to his PC, thus joining the WiFi network for his printing needs. (He already had been networked for Internet browsing.)

And my iPad 2 now finds the printer when I wish to print something from the iPad. How cool is that?

Yes… ours is a secure, password-protected, wireless network. Yet, we have expanded the network's function, thus providing great convenience.

I enjoy living at a time of phenomenal technology growth. In mid-year 2012 I will upgrade to an iPhone (something I have successfully resisted up to now). I want to experience Siri's helpful capabilities. By then Siri may have been through a significant upgrade.

I am spoiled. How about you?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Licenses Get New Look

California appears to be going to great lengths to foil the fake ID suppliers in the state. The various elements designed into the California ID and Driver License cards should keep the counterfeiters at bay. Of course, a UV light source might be a bit pricey to obtain.

How smart to have the vertical orientation for provisional and under-21 card holders. No one presenting this ID is going to be purchasing alcohol (unless it is only rubbing alcohol).

Team of students at CCAD redesigned vehicle tags and Ohio driver’s license at request of governor.

This is a pretty cool re-design of the Ohio license tag. The news site offered no image of a newly designed Ohio driver license. Likely it will include anti-counterfeiting elements.

California has redone its license plate design a couple times after the original black plate with orange characters.

I wonder which state has the most interesting design.

Friday, November 25, 2011

In Positive Economic Sign…

…Walmart Customers Killing Each Other

to Buy Shit

Pepper Spraying, Homicide Bullish Indicators, Economists Say

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – In what economists are hailing as a clear sign of economic recovery, Walmart customers across the USA jammed into stores on Black Friday, sometimes killing each other to buy useless shit.

“We have been looking for evidence that the economy is on the mend,” said Davis Logsdon, chairman of the economics department at the University of Minnesota.  “When people resort to homicide to buy a Blu-ray player, that is very, very good news indeed.”

Mr. Logsdon said he was “impressed” by the lengths to which some Walmart customers were going to grab coveted sale items: “They’re using tactics we usually associate with the UC-Davis police.”

With many customers using pepper spray and other weapons to get a shopping advantage, however, Mr. Logsdon advised Americans not to enter a Walmart unarmed.

“If you want to get your hands on a doorbuster, you’d better have a firearm,” he said.  “Fortunately, Walmart is offering several great doorbusters on firearms.”

Walmart and other retailers’ decision to commence their Black Friday sales a day early carries with it an added benefit for consumers, he noted: “Now, Americans will be able to declare bankruptcy one day earlier.”

All in all, Dr. Logsdon said that the increased violence and mayhem at retail outlets across the country was “a testament to the greatness of the American consumer.”

“Egyptians risk their lives for new government,” he said.  “Americans bravely do the same for new flat screens.”

Black Friday Preparations…

Spending The Night
 Standing By For Event
iReport — "I'm at Wal-Mart in Brea and noticed this long row of pallets shrinked wrapped in black for the Friday after Thanksgiving. What is sad is that there is only a pallet of each item, which will be easily sold out in less than 5 minutes."

The comment above easily captures my belief that everything, everywhere, will be sold to the first 100 of hundreds who hit the stores for Black Friday deals. Our daughter-in-law noted that the line jumpers were out in force and the masses in the store were like starving animals at the feeding trough.

I cannot bring myself to do the Black Friday events. I choose to avoid the insanity.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Side-by-Side

Ice Dispensed Through The Door
The refrigerator being replaced still works; however, its ice maker is a little slow on production. As well, the cubes are collected in a deep tray inside. Ice cubes will now dispense through the door.

New front access design accommodates the water filter for easy change-out. What will those engineers dream up next?

James and Stephanie will take the old unit and put it in their garage. They will not need ice cubes from that appliance.

We picked out our new refrigerator yesterday and it will be delivered in the morning between 10:45 and 12:45 a.m.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Mount

Steady Goes The Camera
The Mount
The Cam

A smooth, hard plastic disk adheres to my dashboard. It functions to attach my Garmin Nuvi's suction mount. I Googled "suction cup camera mount" today and ordered the first-pictured item above. It should arrive by a week from tomorrow, maybe sooner.

Yes… I have intended to get one for some time now. My Sony video cam is not that large and bulky thanks to miniaturization technology in today's circuitry.

There have been times when I wish I had my camera to capture snow-capped mountains, attractive settings, and other interesting moments. A dashboard cam seems like the right idea.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Extra Hour Of Sleep, Or…

…Some Will Work An Additional Hour Tonight
Will we go to bed early enough to catch that extra sleep when we fall back an hour at 2:00 a.m.? I have blown that opportunity in the past by staying up into the wee small hours.

Do you have any clocks that automatically adjust to the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time? Our computers will do that. My bedside alarm clock works that way. However, the kitchen clock (analog face) and the microwave oven time (digital) display must be changed manually.

I feel for those who work at night and will put in an extra hour for their shifts. Some will be paid for that additional hour. Others will not. Some companies claim that on the other end, those who go home an hour earlier when we spring ahead are still paid for their full shift and that compensates for not covering the extra hour.

Anyone scheduled to work a day shift on Sunday might show up an hour early when they forget about the time change.

I wish the world would move to a year-round "daylight saving" model.

The Awesome Potato

Enjoy it with Greek Yogurt topping.
Baked potato in the regular oven will be a choice during winter months. It is nutritionally on par with brown rice. The potato has more potassium and vitamin E to offer, as well as vitamin C which rice does not. Both baked potato and brown rice have complex carbohydrate, making them superior to simple starchy foods. As well, both provide protein.

And the topper is the topping. Skip the butter and/or sour cream and go with Greek yogurt. This type of yogurt has twice the protein as regular yogurt. The consistency and flavor are terrific. A zesty lemon and pepper salt or salt-free garlic and herb sprinkled over the potato before topping make for interesting flavor enhancements.

One-half large potato equals 2 carbohydrate servings. Lunch and dinner plans allow one more carb serving, which makes one fruit serving a desirable choice.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Long Grain Brown Rice

Gluten Free
[click image to enlarge]
Brown rice is higher in nutrients that are largely diminished among the white rice varieties. One cup of brown rice provides 45 grams carbohydrate and 5 grams protein. It adds 216 calories to your diet. Brown rice provides calcium and iron; albeit, a relatively low percentage of daily requirement.

A smart way of managing carbohydrate intake is to avoid anything white. This includes bread, potatoes, rice, etc. The one white item that is safe is cauliflower.

With my new re-focus on diet and diabetes management I am more often including brown rice as a cereal choice.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Peanut Butter Prices Skyrocketing

Can you say "global warming" boys and girls?

"Prices for a ton of runner peanuts, commonly used to make peanut butter, hit nearly $1,200 this month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's up from just $450 per ton a year ago. Overall, the USDA projects that American peanut production will hit 3.6 billion pounds this year, down 13% from last year.
"Analysts attribute this drop to the intense heat and drought that hit the southern U.S. this year…"
Al Gore warned us of increased food costs as crops failed due to effects of global warming.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Toilet Operating System

Not A Digital Operating System
w0w… The power-assisted flush of our new Glacier Bay water closet moves waste twenty feet further in the drain line than a conventional gravity-drained toilet. And it uses only 1 gallon of water per flush. Our days of double-flushing are over because the water closet bowl is completely emptied and cleared. And in only about five seconds.

As evidenced in the image above, water never enters the tank proper. The flushing system is the FlushMate device within the tank. A minimum water pressure is required because the FlushMate tank fills, compressing the air above it. This volume of compressed air provides the air pressure needed for the power-assist.

The actual flush is a little noisier than conventional toilets. However, the bowl clears quickly and the refilling takes less than thirty seconds.

Beyond the flushing efficiency is the water conserving benefit. This model sits a little higher in seating than the one replaced. This seems more comfortable for me. Shirley is interested in replacing the water closet in the master bedroom with this model. I think that is a good idea.

Friday, October 28, 2011

GPS Navigation

I was curious. If I cabled my Garmin Nuvi 255W to my iMac's USB port would there be notification of a map update? After all, it had been more than a year ago when the GPS navigation device was purchased. At that time I ran the free map updater. Did I say "free?" Being a new purchase, the Nuvi qualified for a free update within the first ninety days if one was available. It was.

Two choices. A one-time update for $50 or a lifetime plan for $90. I had to be frugal in spite of the costlier choice being the better value. In a couple years I will once again check, then decide if I truly need another update. I suspect I will elect to leave well enough alone.

Having GPS navigation is truly wonderful. My Garmin has assisted me often and can be a dependable time saver when I need turn-by-turn guidance to my destination.

My Garmin Nuvi 255W came with a power cord with the attached FM receiver for traffic updates. When construction or accidents dictate lane closures and traffic back-ups the Garmin suggests alternate routes. I needed that only once, so far, and it was a life saver.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

click image to enlarge

Truth is, now that I am retired it would be quite interesting to sit on a jury for a trial. For me, the most interesting would be a murder trial. The initial jury selection process would be part of the 'fun'.

However, I take medications that sometimes require my immediate use of the bathroom. This urgent need cannot be put off. So, halting a trial proceeding to make a facility visit would be quite disruptive in the courtroom.

Because I am 70 years [young] I do not need a letter from my doctor if I wish to be excused from jury service for medical reasons. I need only sign a release of my medical records in the event the jury administration should wish to review them. In my excusal request I explained my situation, of course.

That request was mailed one week ago and here I am with the "permanent jury service excuse" in today's mail. With mixed emotions I bid adieu to the jury administration.

Have you served on a jury? Was it interesting for you? Would you like to do it again? Or, do you dislike receiving a jury summons?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sumatran Coffees

Coffee Beans — Seeds of the Coffee Cherry

[click image to enlarge]

[click image to enlarge]
Sumatra lies between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in Indonesia. The climate is tropical (hot and humid); yet, more moderate in higher elevations. Coffee production is the Arabica variety, a superior product.

Sam's Club carries European Café Sumatra coffee beans that are grown in the high altitudes. The beans are air-roasted. Freshly grinding the beans when brewing coffee ensures my enjoyment of the morning cup. Many times I brew coffee in mid-afternoon as a special beverage treat.

My twin brother got me interested in specialty coffee beans. He insisted that the best specialty coffees should be freshly ground using a burr grinder just prior to brewing. Now I will have my coffee no other way.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Potential Race Between Black Guy and Mormon Poses Dilemma for Bigots

Doomsday Scenario, Haters Say

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – A looming presidential race between a black guy and a Mormon is creating a major quandary for America’s bigots, a new poll reveals.

According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, a broad majority of likely bigot voters “strongly agreed” with the statement, “If it winds up being between a black guy and a Mormon I don’t know what I’ll do because I don’t know which I hate more.”

Tea Party activist Eldin Brazelton of Oak Park, Illinois, expressed a frustration typical of the bigots surveyed: “We’ve spent the last three years stirring up anger towards a black guy, and that’s all going to go to waste if we just up and nominate a Mormon.”

According to Mr. Brazleton, a presidential choice between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would be no choice at all: “For the life of me I don’t know why we can’t just have a regular President.”

Mr. Brazleton, who considers himself a sexist as well as a bigot, said that the doomsday scenario unfolding for 2012 offered one small silver lining: “At least we know it’s not going to be a woman this time.”

Elsewhere, in response to the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests in lower Manhattan, banking giant Goldman Sachs announced today that it was investing in pepper-spray futures.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Palin Decides Not to Run: ‘I Want to Go Straight to the Quitting Part’

Decision Leaves Moron Vote Up for Grabs

ANCHORAGE (The Borowitz Report) – Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told reporters today that she would not run for President because “I want to go straight to the quitting part.”

“If I launched a campaign, let’s face it, a couple of months from now I’d up and quit,” she said.  “This is a real step-saver for all concerned.”

She said that prior to her decision she had seriously considered running, “but only for the free clothes.”

When asked about her future plans, she said, “Although I’m not running for President, I have no intention of spending more time with my family.”

The former Alaska Governor, who had originally scheduled a thirty-minute press conference to announce her decision, abruptly cut it short after fifteen minutes with no explanation.

The Tea Party favorite’s announcement leaves the remaining Republican candidates scrambling for the moron vote, a key constituency in the 2012 GOP race.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was said to be considering new strategies to dispel the nagging impression that he is mentally competent, an attribute that has alienated millions of Tea Party voters.

Mr. Romney was rumored to be weighing a number of options, such as barking like a dog or wearing a bunch of bananas on his head at the next televised debate.

Meanwhile, still reeling from charges of racism, Texas Governor Rick Perry was reportedly huddling with advisors at his country home, Jewtrap.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Home Made Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken leg and thigh quarters were slow-cooked last night. The meat is now cut up into small pieces. The recipe calls for cooking chopped celery and onion. The chicken broth stands ready. Wide egg noodles will be included for a tasty chicken noodle soup.

This recipe was gleaned from the Internet and calls for corn starch to thicken the broth. However, I plan to substitute that with a couple cans of cream-style corn.

Overall this is a relatively simple chicken noodle soup recipe. It should be quite tasty and nutritious.

Do you have a chicken noodle soup recipe that you like quite well?

DIY Car Wash Soap

For $5 I can get a "touch-free" automatic car wash that includes a spot-free rinse. I clean my car, on average, once every week. Doing the wash and rinse cycles myself will save me around $20 per month.

Shirley and I are now both retired and a fixed income is in our present and future. We shall be creative in finding ways to cut back on spending.

I Googled "Homemade Car Wash Soap" and found an informative article. I believe I will get some Murphy's Oil Soap and try it. Only 1 fl. oz. of that product is required in my bucket of warm water.

How about you folks. Do you have a car cleaning product of your own invention? And do you have some hints for living more economically? Any ideas will be most appreciated.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Banks Raise Fees on Same People Who Bailed Out Their Asses

Introduce New ‘Thank You’ Fee on Debit Cards

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) – The largest banks in the US made history today by hiking fees on the same people who bailed out their asses three years ago.

“We would not exist today without the generosity of the American taxpayers,” said CEO Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, which received billions of dollars of Federal bailout money.  “And we want to thank them by assessing a special monthly ‘thank you’ fee on all of our debit cards.”

Becoming emotional, Mr. Moynihan added, “We think of the taxpayers every time we vacation on our yachts or visit our third homes, and we want them to think of us every time they try to spend $20 on groceries.”

Mr. Moynihan said that even after paying the  new $5 monthly fee, "American taxpayers should still have enough money left over to let them eat cake."

In other news, CNN announced today that it plans to start covering the mass protests on Wall Street in lower Manhattan “as soon as the Michael Jackson trial is over.”

And Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry today blasted President Obama’s decision to kill a terrorist in Yemen: “There are plenty of perfectly good people to execute right here in America.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Poll: In Head-to-Head Matchup, Obama Who Ran in 2008 Would Trounce Current Obama

Popularity of Old Obama Spells Trouble for New One

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – According to a new poll of likely Democratic voters, if a primary contest were held today between the Barack Obama who ran for President in 2008 and the current Obama, the Old Obama would beat the New Obama by a margin of three to one.

While the numbers reflect the enduring popularity of the 2008 Obama, they spell big trouble for the 2011 Obama, who is seeking reelection in 2012.

Most troubling for the President, a significant number of voters -- nearly twenty-five percent -- no longer believe that the 2008 Obama and the current Obama are the same person.

At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney attempted to silence the skepticism of the so-called “Differenters,” the growing movement of people who believe that the 2008 Obama and the current one are two completely different men.

“The President has said that he is willing to submit to a DNA test and he will be releasing a Certificate of Authenticity later this week,” Mr. Carney said.  “Beyond that, we’re just going to have to take his word for it.”

In other political news, Texas Governor Rick Perry said today that he would participate in future Republican debates only if they were “open book.”

At a rally in South Carolina, Gov. Perry explained why he was uniquely qualified to be President: “The way I understand it, the main job of the executive branch is executing people.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pat Robertson Says Falling Satellite Means God Thinks Satellites are Gay

Warns NASA Against Launching Future Gay Objects

VIRGINIA BEACH (The Borowitz Report) – Evangelist Pat Robertson sparked controversy in today’s broadcast of his 700 Club program by saying that the NASA satellite that plummeted to Earth did so “because God thinks satellites are gay.”
“We have to remember that the heavens are where God lives,” Rev. Robertson said during the broadcast.  “If we launch something into outer space that God thinks is gay, He’s going to kick it right back to us.”
Mr. Robertson offered little evidence as to why God might think the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite was gay, but said, “It does have, I believe, a big telescope sticking out of it and I can see why God would not want that in His face.”
He added that the falling satellite “should serve as a warning to NASA not to launch other gay objects into space.”
The televangelist’s remarks were abruptly cut short when a large piece of metal debris crashed through the roof of his television studio and landed squarely on his head.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Microsoft Is Mediocre

[Click image to enlarge.]

Here we are with an "upgraded 'blue screen of death' ." The sad-face emoticon empathizes with the user. The original blue screen simply had no text or graphic display. This blue screen of death often results from a memory management issue for which Microsoft's operating system is infamous.

Random Access Memory (RAM) chips hold information the computer needs while executing code. Eventually that information is no longer needed and should be flushed to make room for new information that can require a large amount of RAM's capacity. Sometimes old data is not flushed from RAM, thus "short sheeting" the RAM bed. Thus: the blue screen of death. (Restarting flushes the RAM.)

Mac owners are not immune to memory management problems; yet, these occur far less frequently than those for PC users. And when they do, the application they are using will unexpectedly quit. However, the Mac OS X operating system remains open and robust.

Consider that Windoze (the software) must operate over a number of different computers (the hardware). Hardware configuration can be different, machine to machine. The Mac's operating system (software) is married to the computer (hardware). This superior 'bonding' (if you will) provides a more stable user experience.

That said, Microsoft possibly has the best operating system for PCs when comparing prior Windows iterations. Linux buffs would argue that point as to the superior operating system for PCs.

PC sales are in a negative, downward trend until you include Macs in the mix. Macintosh sales continue to climb in a financially recessive economy. No surprise there when considering Mac's superiority in function and user friendliness. There is no price advantage with a PC once you add the features and peripherals that Mac simply comes with.

Switching to Mac from PC is easy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Optimum Optimization

[Click above image to enlarge for viewing.]

After having my OS X Lion upgrade running for several weeks I decided to check out Micromat's site for an upgrade to its Tech Tool Pro application. Their app is a full-on diagnostics tool and disk optimization utility.

I was surprised to find that my version 4 could be upgraded to version 6. How did I miss the fifth version? Somehow I did; yet, still got the $40 upgrade price. Ensuring that my Mac's volume directory is "glitch free" is vital to avoiding a hard disk drive crash caused by broken file allocation links.

In the past I have sometimes needed to repair volume structures. Monthly diagnostics keeps things easily corrected when a problem is reported.

The next step is file optimization to stitch together all fragmented files. Next I perform volume optimization to get all free space into a contiguous array. The operating system requires a specific amount of contiguous free space. Full optimization prevents continuous build-up of fragmentation that will eventually stonewall the proper function of the operating system.

Tech Tool Pro is highly rated for its solid dependability. I have used it for years and am pleased to have upgraded today.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weather Or Not

When air conditioning fails our home environment feels like an oven. Shirley's heart condition pushes our repair status into 'emergency' mode. On Sunday the failure was impending.

We called our home warranty service on Sunday because the compressor's fan motor was screeching and chirping. The unit was still cooling our home so we were not having emergency conditions. On Monday morning a neighbor kindly asked if we were aware that our AC unit was making noise. We explained that we had already called for repair.

In mid-afternoon the unit's fan had stopped. We called the warranty company to explain our emergency. They checked with the assigned servicer — who had not yet contacted us — and learned that it would still be Thursday before they could help us on an emergency basis.

Warranty company cancelled the service order with that company and found a shop who could have someone here next morning. I spoke with the repair person who now has some history about our unit and situation.

Hopefully we will have some cooling by early afternoon.

Last week our triple-digits reached 109°F. Yesterday we just hit the triple-digit mark and should once again do that today. Temperatures moderated enough last night to allow comfortable sleep with windows open and house fans working at full speed.

How easily we take our comfort for granted when air conditioning functions properly. Even without health problems everyone wants to escape the discomfort of high heat in their environment. All AC repair shops are being hit hard with service requests as scorching temperatures challenge home AC units.

Hope y'all are comfortable in your homes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Liam Elija Crawford

Adoption Is About Love

James & Stephanie Crawford (youngest son and his wife) have been in the adoption process for a few years.  Last month a birth mother selected their profile from among several. Next she met them and that sealed the deal.

Yesterday Liam was born by C-section and the bonding has begun. Liam may be released from the hospital today. The biological mother will sign a release 7 days after the birth and will have three days after signing to still change her mind.

However, the birth mother states she would not create false hope with James and Stephanie, and will clearly not change her mind. We expect that Liam will find wonderful, loving, caring parents in James and Stephanie.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gas Prices Rising More Slowly, Might Have Peaked

We are up to $4.30 per gallon I am ready for a reversal. Last fill-up costed me $64 plus change. Not good. Are you doing less driving?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Slim Pickin's

The jet tip for my WaterPik broke in two. No problem… replacement should be easy. Or, so I thought.

A stop at Wal-Mart seemed to be the best choice; yet, a search for my item turned up nothing. OK. No big deal. CVS Pharmacy was on the way home. Alas, no luck there.

Not to worry. RiteAid was just up the street a ways. Again, futility. Being somewhat a resourceful person I figured Walgreens would satisfy my need and should now be worth the extra mileage to get there. Batting 1000 boys and girls.

Finally I drove another distance to Target. Aaarg… ! No store carried the WaterPik Jet Tip replacements.

So a digital trip to Amazon.Com rewarded me with a set of two for just $10.99. That is nearly a 50% savings from regular retail.

Meantime I will use my special brush tip. However, I believe the jet tip does a better job between teeth.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

End Of World Alert

Sign Giving Warning
Pamphlet With Literature
Just as any past "end of world" and "judgment day" prediction part of the issue is that people sell their homes and belongings in the belief they will not need them. Apparently many have quit their jobs to join the caravan that travels nation-wide to spread the news.

I truly hate to see people put themselves into such a negative position. Even the Bible notes that no man knows the day of God's judgment. How do these people fail to understand that?

Monday, February 28, 2011

FAA OKs iPad for Pilots’ Charts

"From the earliest days of aviation, pilots have relied upon paper maps to help find their way. Even in an era of GPS and advanced avionics, you still see pilots lugging around 20 pounds or more of charts. But those days are numbered, because maps are giving way to iPads."

No surprise that an app. for Apple's iPad can easily assist aviators.

I have seen one app. that works with our GPS locations to support astronomy. Holding the iPad up to the sky — anywhere — reveals constellations and planets. Tapping one of a constellation's stars or an identified planet allows the viewer to get information about it. Awesome and entertaining (and educational).

The Kindle app. for iPad will obviate my need for a reading light while in bed at night. Yep… I plan to purchase the iPad 2 once it gets released.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gas Pains Return

Locally the Chevron where I fuel up is charging $3.69 per gallon. The Union 76 here is up to $3.95. Last evening Jay Lenno claimed he paid $4.50 per gallon in Los Angeles.

We folks will be paying $5 before long. California gasoline runs a bit higher than our country's average due to required additives.

Now is the time to cut back on trips and plan errands to combine them in a single outing. This will mean not running out when I go to the refrigerator for something, find it gone, and immediately want to dash to the store.  And it is definitely time to not rush when using the freeway. I had ended my 60 mph speeds, opting to do 65 most of the time. Occasionally I would rush and hit 70 mph.

Hopefully everyone (or mostly everyone) will now begin to slow down on the Interstate highways. Last time we were paying high dollar at the pump there were always fewer automobiles on the road.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monster of Libya

His political hold on Libya in near-collapse, this tyrant has proved himself the megalomaniac that he is purported to be. We likely can hold our breath because it will all soon be over for Qaddafi.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Libya Protests Spread As Barrier Of Fear Crumbles

" Col. Qaddafi’s 41-year reign in oil-rich Libya, a country sandwiched between Egypt and Tunisia, is now looking very shaky."

The dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, northwest and eastern neighbors to Libya respectively, have been recently toppled. It appears that Libya is on the brink of takeover. Qaddafi will not last the week, IMO.

Friday, February 18, 2011