Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

03/03/2022 Dumb v. Stupid   Leave a comment

I think today I’d like to discuss with all of you a couple of terms that we all hear a lot of and never give much thought to when we do. The terms are dumb and stupid. Many people seem to think that these two terms are interchangeable and mean the same thing, but I disagree completely. I can’t tell you how many times in the course of my life that I’ve been called a dummy, a dumb shit, and a dumb ass. Many times, those words were used to describe me by some of my best friends and family members and were meant to be funny and sarcastic, and they were. I never took offense because I called many of them the same thing as well.

The term stupid was more derogatory than calling them dumb in my opinion. I save the word stupid for people who are no longer dumb but have moved into the stupidity ranks based on things they’ve said and actions that they’ve taken. Here are a few quotes from some relatively famous people who were anything but dumb but were exceedingly stupid if only for a moment.

“The day of the battleship has not passed, and it is highly unlikely that an airplane, or a fleet of them, could ever successfully sink a fleet of Navy vessels under battle conditions.” This statement was made by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1922

“Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous.” Statement made by Sir Winston Churchill, 1939

“That is the biggest fool thing we have ever done . . . The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.” Statement made by Adm. William Leahy to President Harry S. Truman regarding the atomic bomb 1945

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. Statement by Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1972

I think I’ve made some kind of point here, but I’m not quite sure what it is. I guess it just means that incredibly smart and intelligent people caught at the proper moment can make dumb statements. I think calling them stupid would be unfair to most of them. Always remember though that in a pile of dumb people there could be a few sneaky stupid people just waiting to impress you.

BE VIGILANT !

12/10/2021 What Should I Insure ??   Leave a comment

We are deep into the Christmas season now and I’m sure that the great majority of people everywhere are spending and spending and spending. The holidays tend to put a strain on everyone’s purse especially those people with children. I thought I’d like to lighten the mood a little bit and tell you a few facts I happened upon in a book I was reading recently. As you also know I love writing about celebrities and alleged celebrities and all of their quirks and odd behaviors and that’s what I’m going to do today.

For those of us on the not-so-famous list, the following items might seem a bit much. Apparently in Hollywood their personal budgets are a touch higher than ours, and their interests are totally different. I insure my 12-year-old car, my house, my smart phone, and a sizable annual cost to protect all of my computers, tablets, and laptops. Let me now give you a list of some of your favorite celebrities, present and past, and the things they insure, it’s mind-boggling. Here we go . . .

  • American country and western singer and actress, Dolly Parton, insured her legendary boobs for $600,000.
  • Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards, insured his right index finger for $1.6 million.
  • Australian cricket hero, Merv Hughes, insured his mustache for $38,000.
  • In 2006, soccer player, David Beckham, insured his entire body for $190 million.
  • German supermodel, actress, and singer, Heidi Klum, insured her legs for $2.2 million.
  • American actress, Jamie Lee Curtis, insured her legs for $1 million.
  • Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley, insured his legs for $47.5 million.
  • American rockstar, Bruce Springsteen, insured his voice for $6 million.

I hope you don’t think this is anything unusual, because it isn’t. The habit of celebrities insuring body parts goes back many years. The numbers were a little smaller “back in the day” but at the time it was still a great deal of money. Here’s some oldies but goodies . . .

  • American dancer and film star, Fred Astaire, had his legs insured for $75,000 each.
  • British stripper, Frankie Jakeman, insured his penis for $1.6 million.
  • 20th Century Fox film star, Betty Grable, insured each of her legs for $1 million. Hence the origin of the phrase, “million-dollar legs”.
  • German cabaret artist, singer, and film star, Marlene Dietrich, insured her voice for $1 million.
  • American actress, Bette Davis, took out a $28,000 insurance policy against putting on weight.
  • American singer and actor, Jimmy Durante, insured his nose for $50,000.
  • Hungarian food critic, Egon Ronay, insured his taste buds for $400,000.
  • In 1964, the Beatles, were insured for $1 million on their first US tour.

There you have it folks. Be glad you only have to insure your house, car, children, smartphones, computers, and those pesky life insurance policies for you and your spouse. As you can see it could be a lot worse if you’re one of the famous people. I certainly don’t feel sorry for them and I’m pretty sure you don’t either.

14 Shopping Days Left

11/04/2021 Are You Old or Not?   Leave a comment

Are you old? Let me rephrase that. Do you think you’re old? That’s the question everyone knows is coming but nobody wants to deal with. Unfortunately most people who are old know it but again refuse to deal with the reality. Some people just can’t get past the fact that there isn’t one damn thing they can do to combat it. Plastic surgery works for some but eventually you’ll end up looking like a really silly cartoon character. Many have paid for a new young face, fake hair, fake boobs, butt implants, and still insist on wearing old people clothing. Old folks never quite get the hang of dressing properly because they keep sliding “fashion backward” to a time when they were young. They mistakenly think it still looks cool.

Well I’m not complaining about any of those things just willing to pass along some others you should be looking for if you’re worried about getting old. I’m old, I know I’m old, and I went through this list myself just for laughs. I’m not laughing now. In my head I’m thirty years old but this list kicked my elderly ass. If you are experiencing 50% of the things on this list you ARE really old. Have fun . . .

  • Your kids are becoming you and you don’t like them very much.
  • Going out is okay but coming home is better.
  • You forget names but it’s okay since no one remembers you either.
  • Your spouse is counting on you to remember things you don’t remember.
  • The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore.
  • You spend a good deal of your day looking for things you hid so you wouldn’t lose them.
  • You can’t use more four letter words i.e. what?, when?, and where?
  • You notice everything sold in stores is “sleeveless”.
  • What used to be freckles are now age spots.
  • You constantly call your children and grandchildren for help with your computer.
  • You have three sizes of clothing in your closet (fat, fatter, and fattest) two of which you will never wear again.
  • You find yourself spending a great deal of time trying to have conversations with Alexa.
  • All of your favorite songs are now only heard in TV commercials.
  • You find yourself trying to remember what stories you told one person.
  • You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch.

Well how have you fared? Now that you’ve received a second opinion verifying what you already knew, welcome to old age. I’ve been here for a while waiting for all of you to arrive. Just between us, in a few days you won’t remember any of this anyway. I have to go now, it’s 3:30 PM and time for dinner at the IHOP. There’s a 10% discount for old farts so don’t forget your mask and your AARP membership card.

BOOMERS RULE

(Sarcasm Off)

06-21-2016 Journal – June Garden Update!   Leave a comment

It appears that summer is finally decided to arrive. We having much warmer weather during the day and at night and it shows. The garden has really taken off in the last week and things are looking up except for the ghost peppers which aren’t doing well at all. They seem to need hot days and hot nights with a lot of sun to flourish and they’re certainly not finding that here in Maine.  I don’t expect much production from the ghost peppers this year and I’ve pretty much decided to try them one more time next year but in a different way. I intend to plant them either in a cold framework or I’ll build a small greenhouse to try and keep the temperature is high as possible for as long as possible. If that doesn’t work then I’ll give up on ghost peppers entirely and just buy them online. Here are a few shots of the garden taken this morning.

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 The better-half’s flower gardens are also in bloom almost everywhere on the property. This could possibly  be the best year we’ve ever had with a diversity of colors that is amazing.

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We also had a special occasion last night. We harvested the first of the lettuces for this year and they were a perfect addition to our evening meal.

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That’s all for today.  I’m having serious computer issues that need fixing and I hope I’m successful. Microsoft is making my life miserable once again and as usual they’re not much help.

06-19-2016 Journal – Weekly Update!   Leave a comment

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Summer is finally here but it’s been a little disappointing so far.  It’s the middle of June and the nights remain chilly which is doing nothing to help my pepper plants in our garden.  Very disappointing but not totally unexpected, it is Maine after all.

This week I’ve been consumed by these designs that I’ve been creating.  Each day I become more adept at using the computer software to color my sketches.  It’s an interesting process but it’s very detailed and time consuming.  I sat for almost three hours yesterday totally focused on what I was doing and when I finally finished and stood up I was suffering from eye strain and legs that went a bit wobbly. Even with all of that the results were much better than I expected.  The work will continue today and I’m actually looking forward to getting back into it.

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Most people just don’t get it. They see my time spent doing these designs as wasted but they couldn’t be more wrong.  The hours spent in these tasks are the highlights of my day.  The focus needed to complete them is something I’ve grown to need over the years and I’ve looked forward to it since I was a young child.  It’s the best addiction I’ve ever had and I hope I never lose it.

I’m hoping to breakaway for a while this week if the sunny weather continues. I could use some quiet times in the woods taking a few photographs of my favorite subjects . . . dragonflies.  They should be swarming near the swamps in large numbers by now and I plan to make the most of it. Here are two shots taken in 2011 when there were huge numbers of them in the area.

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I’ll be disappointed if I can’t get a few pictures but these cool nights may delay their arrival just a bit. I may be forced to return to the swamp a few more times before I have any success at all. Thankfully I live close enough which makes things so much easier.

ENJOY YOUR DAY

06-13-2016 Journal–High Tech & Low Tech!   Leave a comment

Anyone who’s read this blog over the years realizes how addicted to the Internet I am.  I spend a great deal of my time roaming the Internet looking for odd facts on just about any subject.  With that thought in mind, I thought I’d share some tidbits about the Internet that I happened upon recently.  To me they’re interesting, but to you, maybe not so much.  Needless to say I’m posting them anyway, so here’s goes.

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High Tech

  • Russian Victor Yazykov, sailing alone in the South Atlantic, performed surgery on his own arm by following instructions from Dr. Daniel Carlin of Boston, relayed via e-mail from halfway across the world.
  • Cyberstalking: A man identified only as Roger was the prey in the world’s first live game of human hunting on the web.  It took a week to find him in a Berlin library, counting books.
  • In 1999, a NASA expedition set up the first Internet link to the North Pole and made the very first North Pole to South Pole conversation ever.
  • When a computer glitch occurred in Sydney, Australia, hundreds of programmed soda pop machines began dialing ambulance and fire emergency lines.
  • A company in San Francisco, California, has developed Internet software that is scented with a plug-in device for Web surfers called Smell-O-Vision.
  • The Vatican has considered recognizing St. Isadora of Seville as the patron saint of the Internet.  A clergyman during the sixth century, St. Isadora created a 20 volume encyclopedia, one of the earliest known databases.
  • A ferret named Misty was used by the US Space Command in Colorado to help rewire a new computerized command center.
  • In 1997, 67 million computer e-mail users in North America sent 2.7 billion messages.  Can only imagine how many are being sent these days.

I’m sure you were thrilled reading all of those useless facts but as we all know the Internet is the gift that keeps on giving. Now let’s move on to telephones because many of you anti-technology folks who really hate the Internet love old style telephones.

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Low Tech

  • A company in Japan developed false fingernails that glow when the wearer is talking on a cell phone.
  • Bob Prosser of Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, has a collection of 500,000 telephones, including an explosion proof military phone, a 14 karat gold Swedish phone, and a crank model used by the last Sultan of Turkey.
  • In Shoup, Idaho, there are no power lines, no televisions, and no stereos.
  • An answering machine in San Diego, California , created to take calls from Elvis Spotters has already received over 50,000 calls.
  • The Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Oklahoma, has telephones that are 6 1/2 feet above the ground, for use by cowboys on horseback.
  • The first telephone book was published in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1878, and contained only 50 names.
  • Albert Einstein never memorized his own telephone number.
  • The world’s smallest police station in Carabelle, Florida, is actually a phone booth.

I think that’s enough nonsense for today.  More trivia to follow as it becomes available. Fortunately there’s an endless supply if you know where to look.

06-05-2016 Journal – Miscellaneous Trivia!   Leave a comment

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I think it’s time for more trivia. I’m actually getting tired of talking about gardens and gardening. I need a break and I’m sure you do as well. They’ll be a lot more of that information coming your way this summer so there’s no need for more today.

These factoids will cover a number of categories but I’m sure you’ll find as interesting as I did.  Let’s get started.

  • Half of British women own more than thirty pairs of shoes.
  • In the US, half of children ages 4-6 have played video games, and a 25%  say thy do so regularly.
  • The most expensive age of your life is thirty-four.
  • Ten percent of people are left-handed and twenty percent are left-footed.
  • In the US, the lifetime cost to parents for rearing one middle class child is $1.43 million.

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  • In any conversation lasting ten minutes or longer, 20% of adults will lie.
  • There are a half million semiautomatic machine guns in Swiss homes.
  • Women are estimated to buy 80% of everything that is sold.
  • By late 2006, only 35% of Americans had sent a text message, compared to almost 100% of Brits.
  • Women in almost every culture speak in deeper voices than Japanese women. American women’s voices are lower than Japanese, Swedish women’s lower than American, and Dutch women women’s lower than Swedish.

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  • One third of all houses in Ireland were built in the last two decades.
  • The average American two-car garage is 25% bigger than the average Tokyo home.
  • In 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000.
  • Spammers typically need to send one million emails to get just fifteen positive responses.
  • The total computing power of NASA at the time of the Sputnik launch in 1957 was far less than that available in a typical smart phone in use today.

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I guess that will do it for today. I never stop searching for this kind of off-the-wall information and you can be sure more facts will keep coming your way on a regular basis in the future.

GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY YOUR DAY

03-25-2016 Journal – Organizational Arrogance!   Leave a comment

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Have you ever had your credit card information stolen by someone?  I have.

For the second time in a year my bank sent me a notice that I’m being issued a new credit card because mine may have been compromised.  No explanations as to how or when or why, just shut up and do it. I hate pushy people, pushy governments, pushy companies, and now this pushy bank.  Ordering me to change cards without giving me the specifics seems to be a tad arrogant. If it’s just a preventative measure then tell me that. I don’t appreciate being treated like a moron child, being ordered around by a know-it-all parent. That may have worked when I was five but trust me, I’m no longer five.

I allow these people the privilege of using my money to make money for themselves but this Big Brother attitude pisses me off. It seems to be the way of things these days especially with the government and Big Business. They see us as a pack of slobbering idiots who need their hands held to make any sort of decision.

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Now I get to spend a couple of hours today on the Net changing my credit card numbers on a myriad of websites.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain since they are allegedly protecting my money and accounts but talking down to me is unacceptable.

Over the last five years I’ve had my information stolen twice when unauthorized purchases were made in Canada and Europe. Throw in two changes of debit cards (because of hacked companies) and three new credit cards (for unexplained reasons) and OMFG what the hell is going on. If you’re doing something to benefit me all that’s required is a simple explanation. I guess it’s too much to hope for in these days of big government and big business arrogance. They’re too busy to deal with the feelings of the “great unwashed”.

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I sometimes wonder whether it would be worth it to remove myself from the grid entirely and go back to writing checks and mailing payments. Is simple convenience worth all of this grief and aggravation?  I don’t want to get too crazy but maybe it’s time for some common sense to enter into my approach to the Net, my use of credit and debit cards, and banking in general. I need to think on it for a while longer and try to come up with some good solid solutions to this nightmare.

I’d ask the bank for help but they’d just replace all of my cards once again and send me that condescending form letter as well.

THE BIGGER THE ORGANIZATION, THE LESS THEY CARE.

02-28-2016 Journal – Deadly Statistics!   Leave a comment

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What are two things that most people think about every day.  My best guess would be death and sex. With that thought in mind I decided to supply you all with a list of global statistics  about many things but mainly death. Many of these numbers are current up to and including today. Some of the information is shocking and some is simply unbelievable.

Global Death Rate

Statisticians have calculated the "mortality rate" for the world to be roughly .883 percent.  This means that 1 out of every 113 people in the world died last year.

World Population:

  • has reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011
  • is projected to reach 8 billion by 2024
  • has doubled in 40 years from 1959 (3 billion) to 1999 (6 billion)
  • is currently growing at a rate of around 1.13 % per year
  • growth rate reached its peak in the late 1960s, when it was at 2%
  • growth rate is currently declining and is projected to continue to decline in the coming years
  • average annual population change is currently estimated at over 80 million
  • world population will reach 10 billion persons in the year 2056

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As of Today

"This year" = from January 1 (00:00) up to now

"Today" = from the beginning of the current day up to now

"net population growth" = births minus deaths

145,641 Births today

60,991 Deaths today

22,888,972 Births this year

9,585,278 Deaths this year

84,650 Net population growth today

13,303,694 Net population growth this year

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Technology

37,472,003 Computers produced this year

2,092,893 Cellular phones sold today

$ 74,559,389 Money spent on videogames today

3,316,866,142 Internet users in the world today

82,805,119,987 Emails sent today

229,774,292 Tweets sent today

1,711,619,570 Google searches this year

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Health

1,621,694,128 Overweight people in the world people in the world

1,731,966,562 Water consumed this year (million L)

134,660 Deaths caused by water related diseases this year

661,570,850 People with no access to a safe drinking water source

Natural Resources

Quick Facts: Barrel = 42 Gallons = 159 Liters

31,340,762 Oil pumped today (barrels)

1,158,647,387,197 Oil left (barrels)

13,793 Days to the end of oil (~38 years)

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Miscellaneous Deaths

1,215,470 Deaths of children under 5 this year

54,974 Deaths of mothers during birth this year

268,816 Deaths caused by HIV/AIDS this year

1,313,313 Deaths caused by cancer this year

156,851 Deaths caused by malaria this year

Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking

5,659,200,051 Cigarettes smoked this year

799,386 Deaths caused by smoking this year

399,945 Deaths caused by alcohol this year

171,477 Suicides this year

215,859 Road traffic accident fatalities this year

$ 63,971,038,394 Money spent on illegal drugs this year

How’s that for a quick and dirty summary of the human race.  Chaos, death, destruction, confusion, and life goes just keeps rolling along.

IT’S MUCH MORE FUN TALKING ABOUT SEX

02-24-2016 Journal – Obamascare 2016!   Leave a comment

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There are times in people’s lives when life insists are mucking things up. For me the month of February 2016 is fast becoming a month to remember. Let me explain.

I’m back from my two days without blogging and if I remember correctly it’s the first time I’ve missed posting from my every-other-day schedule. I look forward to blogging each and every time and get more than a little miffed when life starts messing with me.  Healthcare issues are currently harshing my buzz.

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For instance, my two day journey this week was totally consumed by things I absolutely hate . . . doctors, hospitals, examinations, Obamacare, and those always sucky insurance companies. Believe me when I say I hate them all equally.  Someday most of you will be where I am now. Retired from decades of working your ass off and wanting to spend your remaining years enjoying life.  I think I’ll  be the bucket of ice water dumped on your head to wake you up.  Good luck with trying to enjoy yourself.

Over the last few years since my private healthcare plan was scrapped and I was forced onto Medicare the government keeps trying to intrude on my calm.  As we all know once the government gets involved in anything it’s a freaking nightmare.  Getting older is tough enough on the good days but having a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians intruding into your life on a regular basis is madness. The real truth is that the older you get the worse it becomes so start getting your mind right now for what’s to come.

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Look forward to a continuous stream of emails from damn near every government agency you can think of and endless changes made to every part of the Obamacare program and it’s requirements. You’re also required to have expensive tests and scanning’s done even when they aren’t necessary. My doctor told me this week I looked perfectly fine, my BP was good, my cholesterol was perfect, and that I was in excellent physical condition for my age. Hooray for me, right?  No way. The next thing he did was schedule me for sonogram of my torso. Guess who will be footing the bill for that I wonder.  The taxpayers I’ll bet.  This test is mandatory for me to meet the Medicare requirements of my Wellness visit.  What a large crock of crap. How many thousands of other Seniors are also being forced into these tests at what I’m sure is hundreds of dollars per test.

Lets review my last six months of health related activities. My doctor of 14 years sold his practice and moved back to Pakistan because of Obamacare. My hospital was sold to a large healthcare corporation and I’ve had three difference doctors assigned to me since that occurred.  Blood tests, scans of body parts I could care less about, and surveys required by the government to get my opinion of the job they’re doing. It’s nice of them to also keep me aware of just how old I’m getting and all of the healthcare tragedies that might eventually kill me.  Like I don’t know what they are already.

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Today I spent and hour and a half trying to straighten out my prescriptions that I’ve been receiving by mail for eleven years.  I attempted to login to the insurance companies website to confirm my next three months of pills which just happen to be keeping me alive.  I couldn’t log on because all of a sudden they didn’t recognize my name, my email address, or my password.  I was officially a non-person. I then called them for help and became lost in the maze of their computerized menu system that totally befuddled me which I assume is done purposely.  After talking with a young lady from El Paso, Texas for far too long I finally confirmed my prescriptions as required to keep the Medicare idiots happy.  Life was finally good, right? No effing way!

My IPad began screaming that new charges had just hit my credit card from the insurance company and guess what . . . they double billed me. It would have been so much easier for me and the government if I would’ve just died when I turned 65.

Let me look into my crystal ball and try to see what’s coming in all of your futures. Maybe free euthanasia clinics? Possibly cut-backs of critical treatments to save money? We can always rely on the politicians to find the “final solution” to the Obamacare, Medicare, and Social Security cost increases. Thinning the herd may be just the answer they finally come up with.

Hopefully I’ll be long gone before those things become your topics of conversation. 

GOOD LUCK, YOU’LL NEED IT!!

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