Sunday, April 06, 2014

Facebook app suckage

Just a vent post tonight. I have the Facebook app on my iTouch, and this must be the worst app in the world. Why? It always crashes on my first attempt to load it, and even if it does load it crashes when you try to scroll through posts, or it crashes when you try to follow a link in a post. Or it crashes when you try to reply to a post. It is a crashomatic. 

Of course, there is no way to send feedback to Facebook about their app, and it would probably crash too if you tried. 

I'm ready to dump Facebook altogether. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Question of the Day: Freedom.

This question was posed as part of a discussion I was reading today, and it really struck me:

I don't know....I think the cold war definitions of freedom and oppression may no longer be valid. Are Americans truly "free" with Obama as president? Being able to cast a vote doesn't make anyone free. being able to make and keep money and be unmolested in your daily life by the machinations of government is being free. If we actually measured "our freedom" against other people in other countries I think most Americans would totally shocked.
Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oklahoma Sheriffs Visiting State Capitol Ordered to Disarm

This from "The Blaze" (Source Article)

Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert traveled to Oklahoma City, the state’s capitol, earlier this week with 40 other sheriffs from around the state like they do every year — to meet with politicians and lobby.

Everything was going fine in the state capitol building on Tuesday. More than that, “everybody in that building knew who we were,” Colbert told KTUL-TV in Tulsa.

“One of the senators, who they wouldn’t tell us, complained because we were armed in the building,” Colbert added to the station.

Then he said the sheriffs were given a choice — disarm or leave.

“So we all packed up and left,” Colbert told KTUL.

Colbert said he doesn’t know which senator complained, but he has his own beefs about the treatment he and his associates received.

“We’re the people that protect these people,” he told KTUL.

In addition, Colbert said politicians should be more concerned about improving state business than law enforcement officers who happen to be carrying guns.

“If the state troopers are satisfied that we’re OK in that building,” he told KTUL, “I’m pretty sure that the legislators should have something else to worry about such as the economy or something.”

While Colbert acknowledged that some lawmakers have called to apologize about the incident, the insult will be felt for a while.

“Pretty sad day for me,” he told KTUL.

BizPac Review noted that a different account of the incident was reported in The Oklahoman, a paper which serves Oklahoma City.

When the sheriffs entered the Senate gallery, “the sergeant at arms asked the sheriffs to take off their guns or leave the building,” the Oklahoman said. “But a state Senate official says the sheriffs were only questioned briefly before being allowed back into the Senate gallery, still wearing their service weapons.”
I have a couple of comments on this:

  1. Sheriff Colbert, I hope this opens your eyes to the state of things for millions of law-abiding gun owners every day who are forced, under penalty of law, to disarm themselves before going into places like churches, restaurants, government offices, post offices, and yes, even State Capitol buildings, because the presence of that gun on their hip is somehow "threatening", even though no one can see it.  
  2. Sheriff Colbert also needs to educate himself about the legalities of his statement "we're the people who protect these people".  In fact Sheriff, the Supreme Court has ruled this is not true, and you have no legal duty to protect anyone. (Castle Rock v. Gonzales, DeShaney v. Winnebago County). You may have one in your own ethos, but that is not a legal matter.
  3. Someone needs to out the Senator who complained.  I suggest looking for the one who has a package of adult diapers in their office.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Sunday Symposium

Sitting in the Music Building at Alma College today, where my daughter is attending a Woodwind Symposium for Flutes, Saxophones, and Clarinets.  Her teacher, Dr. Miller, is one of the presenters today.  She was pretty excited about coming, and it was by invitation so there are only a half-dozen of each instrument here, making for lots of individual attention for everyone.

Dr. Miller is also going to talk about performance anxiety this afternoon.  This is what she did her doctoral dissertation on so she should have some good information to pass along to everyone.  I'm planning to attend that one!

I am grateful that we are able to provide these kinds of experiences for our kids - they may well have had them when I was her age, but I was never interested in pursuing them the way they are.  I wish I would have been!

We had a snowy drive up this morning, as another inch or so fell overnight.  Road crews were out, and I was able to average about 60MPH, with very light traffic.  The Camry handled it well, but I realized when I got up here that I hadn't transferred my snow brush from the old car yet, so I went and bought a cheap scraper after dropping Lauren off, just in case.  Of course, now the sun is out, and I probably won't need it, but it's good to have it anyway.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Sochi Olympics

Gee, the winter Olympics start today.  I can feel a huge wave of indifference rising up within me.  I have decided that I will not be watching any of these games on TV or internet.  They may come up in headlines that I see in the various publications I read, but I will not read the articles, or watch video replays.

I did read the article this morning about 3 of the media hotels not being finished yet, and was humored.  That may well be the extent of my reading unless the Chechens get restive.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Great Debate: Ham v. Nye

So I watched with great interest the live stream of the debate tonight between Bill Nye ("The Science Guy") and Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis).  I may get into more details and specific thoughts later, but I have some first impressions that I thought I would post.

The question the two gentlemen were debating was this:  "Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?"

Frankly, no debate like this has a winner or a loser - it is always a platform to try to promote your own viewpoint or your own agenda.  In that sense it was just as you might have expected.  I can report that neither Ham nor Nye had an epiphany and converted to the other side.

As my blog headings indicate, I am a Christian, and so you might guess what my rooting interest is in this debate, but in this post I'm mostly thinking about my impressions of the men themselves and how they handled the debate, rather than anything specific about their position on the topic being debated.

I was actually impressed by Bill Nye.  He has received great criticism from what he called the "mainstream science community" for even showing up for this debate, and I half expected him to be something of the vile lunatic that Richard Dawkins has been, and I was pleasantly surprised - he was affable, polite, and even respectful.  I give you full marks there, Mr. Nye.

However, it was very obvious from the start that Nye could not for an instant admit that anything "scientific" could come from a creationist viewpoint, or his entire argument would collapse.  Even when Ham offered up such trivial names as Sir Isaac Newton or Michael Faraday, or even Dr. Raymond Damadian (inventor of the MRI), Nye could not admit that anything good or useful could ever come from creationist scientists.  He kept asserting that there was nothing of a "predictive nature" that comes from creationism - that you can't take the tenets of creationism and say that "based on these things being true, that thing will happen".  Ham continued to give examples, but Nye wouldn't hear or acknowledge them.  This condescension got a little annoying after a while.

In some ways, Ken Ham was disappointing.  Even though he has been a public speaker for decades on these topics, he is not a very polished speaker.  His speech is sometimes halting, sometimes stumbling, and sometimes hard to follow.  I would have thought that with all the practice he has gotten he would have been better at this.  Nye certainly came off better in that area of the debate.  Ham made his points and got his message across, but Nye was much more polished.

I found myself wanting more details about all the points that were being made, that would have made things a whole lot clearer, especially when they were talking about radiometric dating, or about increasing complexity in organisms over time.  So all I really got was a 10,000 foot flyover on this topic, rather than anything to really sink my teeth into, and in that sense it was kind of disappointing.  I guess I wanted a more knock-down, drag-out than I got!  But as I said earlier - no debate like this is won or lost.  It's just a platform.

Finally, the moderator.  If you've ever watched a Presidential debate, the moderator is as much of a player as the debaters (see Candy Crowley), often to the detriment of one or the other side of the debate.  Tom Foreman, of CNN, was tonights moderator, and he did an excellent job of staying out of the way and letting the two principals have at it.  He injected just the right amount of lightness and humor and did a fine job.  Frankly, when I saw he was from CNN I was saying to myself "uh-oh!".  But kudos to you, too, Mr. Foreman.  You did a fine job.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

"He picked the wrong house in the wrong neighborhood"

Well this just crossed my inbox, and I thought I would share it.

This video forcefully and pointedly answers the questions "Why do you need a gun?" and "Why do you need more than 10 rounds?"

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ice Storm aftermath

As you may have heard, parts of the Great Lakes region was hit with an ice storm Saturday night into Sunday.  At 6:00 am Sunday we lost power, and 28 hours later (as I write this) we don't have it back yet.

Fortunately for us, I was one of those tinfoilers who thought Y2K was going to be a disaster, and so we added a woodstove for heat and kerosene lamps for light, and major food storage in our basement, and now all that prepping has paid off, as we are warm, well fed, and well lit.  The water and gas service are still on, so we can still shower and flush.  The kids, however, are a little stir-crazy, and I think I am a little as well.

So, I packed up my laptop and drove in to the office today, and I threw a couple of gas cans in my trunk so I can run the generator my friend Paul Townsend is lending me for a couple of hours to re-freeze my freezers.  Now, my laptop is charged, and I can use it to charge all our phones so we can stay connected a little bit, although cell service is spotty at best.

This may impact our Christmas plans, as we were scheduled to host it for my wife's side of the family, but we may have to go there if the power doesn't come back on.  We'll have to see.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Trade of the off-season, so far

Wow.  Just wow.  Prince Fielder and cash for Ian Kinsler.  I never would have thought that any team would take Fielder and his contract but I'm sure glad someone was, as it was an albatross around the Tigers financial neck, and would have continued to impact the team negatively going forward.

That deal should never have been made at the time.  I postulated a 2-year, 20 to 30 mil deal back then because he was the best bat available at the time, and Victor Martinez had just shredded his knee, but there were probably other options internally that might have been better long-term for them.  Fielder biggest asset is his ability to hit home runs.  But it seems he only does this during the regular season and only if something important isn't on the line.  He now has a proven track record of playoff disappearance (batting average under .200 career, and a handful of RBI), and when the Tigers needed him to step up and carry more of the offensive load late this season because of Miguel Cabrera's injuries, he was unable to do it.  He is Rob Deer with more drama and a bigger paycheck.

This trade brings up some interesting possibilities both offensively and defensively.  Kinsler probably takes Austin Jackson's leadoff spot which is probably a good thing for all concerned.  Cabrera probably stays in the third slot, as you want baseballs best hitter to get that potential extra at-bat every game.  Right now Martinez moves to cleanup, but wait to see what happens now with the opening in left field.  A left handed power-hitting outfielder would look really good there, and V-Mart in the 5-hole worked pretty well this past season.  Jackson then joins Iglesias, and Avila in the bottom half of the order.

The most common defensive scenario has Cabrera moving back to first base, which would probably bring top prospect Nick Castellanos up to third base, with Iglesias and Kinsler rounding out the infield.  Another scenario has Cabrera staying at third, Martinez moving to first, and someone else DH'ing.  Castellanos probably goes to left field in this case.  A third scenario has Cabrera at first, Jhonny Peralta at third, and Castellanos either at Triple-A or in left field, and Martinez staying at DH.

As well as Miggy did at third, for his long-term good he needs to go back to first base, where he will take much less of a physical pounding.  It's better for him and better for the team if he does so.  Then, it depends on Castellanos' ability to hit major league pitching.  If they think he can hit above .270 with some pop he needs to be in the majors, either at third or in the outfield - preferably at third.  If they don't think he can hit at that level, then another year or two of Peralta at third is not a bad or expensive option while Castellanos gets more time to learn to hit at this level.  I don't want Martinez as a defensive regular.  His role is "see ball, hit ball".  Part time fill in at first or emergency catcher - fine.  But his biggest value to the team is his bat.

So now, the biggest holes in the roster are where they have always been; left field and the bullpen.  But now, their ability to fill those holes effectively has been greatly enhanced.

Dave Dombrowski again shows why he is the best GM in baseball.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Gloating tonight

Watched the Michigan State - Michigan game today. I believe the technical term for what we saw there today was "Beatdown". -49 yards rushing. No that is not a misprint. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

No World Series for Motown

Now that this season is over, a couple of Detroit Tigers thoughts. 

1. The biggest weakness this team had is what really cost them in the end - the Bullpen. They tried to patch it all season, but this is THE BIGGEST offseason reclamation project. 

2.  Prince Fielder is ARod with a better personality. You will never win with him in your playoff lineup.  He has not played or hit well enough to deserve the contract he got. Time to admit your mistake and move on. 

3. Miguel Cabrera. On one leg he outperformed Fielder, Jackson, Avila, and Peralta. His case for MVP was only strengthened by his injury. What a disappointment for him to have a scintillating season derailed by injuries. 

4. Jim Leyland. Managed his butt off all season. His detractors are flat wrong about him. His biggest strength and fault is his loyalty to his players and coaches. He needs to let Lloyd McClendon go.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

To all the Washington power brokers currently squabbling over fiscal issues

It is no service to the people of this nation to continue a course that will lead to their ruin.  Neither side has any proposals, nor any idea how to solve the financial problems we are facing.  Neither side will admit that there are no easy solutions.  Neither side will admit to the pain and suffering that will be necessary to truly fix the problem.  Both sides continue to listen to academics whose pretty theories have gotten us into the gargantuan mess we are in, and cannot seem to engage the brains God gave them to realize that the academics are wrong.  Neither side is willing to pay the political price that national survival requires.

Obama, Reid, and the democrats will probably win this fight.  Spending the country into oblivion will continue with only lip service toward actually solving the problems.  And all the lemmings who voted for more of the same will eventually get what is coming to them - ruin.  Ruin that will make the Great Depression look like a frat party.  There will be no FDR to steal money to spend on Hoover Dam and the CCC - there won't be any money to steal, and nobody in the world will take our debt.  There won't be any fuel because Obama has shut down all the mines, wells, and pipelines to make his green friends happy. 

That is what this fiscal battle is about in Washington.  And nobody there has the foresight or the guts to do what is necessary to fix the problem.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tigers Musings

  1. As I write this the Tigers "magic number" to clinch the division is 2, and Cleveland is five back with six to play, so it would seem that the boys from Motown will be winning the division for the third year in a row.  Note to team:  you have bigger fish to fry - no champagne showers until you win the World Series.  A celebratory toast would be fine, perhaps a fine cigar of celebration, because being a division winner is certainly an accomplishment.  But you have been here before, and you have three playoff series to win before you can really celebrate.  Then you have to work on sustained excellence.  We'll talk about that later.
  2. Here's hoping that the injured Miguel Cabrera doesn't end up looking like the injured Alex Rodriguez did last year - a hobbled shell of a player that hindered more than helped.  I know there is no suitable replacement for him, but his performance has tailed off so significantly the last month that he isn't even a "normal" player.
  3. Justin Verlander starting Game 1 of the Playoffs.  Please - not this season.  Max Schertzer deserves that honor more, and Anibal Sanchez should start Game 2 before Verlander.  Game 3 for Verlander.