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Georgia Tech Wins in OT

Sat 29 November 2014

I guess the oddsmakers got this one wrong!
Posted at 05:41 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The Big Game

Sat 29 November 2014

It is Saturday morning and in about an hour the Georgia - Georgia Tech football game will begin. Georgia is favored by two touchdowns which is not a big surprise to me. Having watched this game for about 50 years I've come to learn that somehow another Georgia pulls it out and wins most of the time. I'm not sure why today should be any different.

I'll make my usual statements that will apply to this and other games today. If two teams play well then the one that makes the fewest mistakes by fumbling the ball, throwing interceptions or giving up big plays will likely win. If Georgia fumbles the ball and throws interceptions to Georgia Tech then there is hope for a GT win. If not then I believe the oddsmakers are correct in that Georgia will win but maybe not by 14 points. I don't know if I'll be able to watch the game - it always drives me crazy.

Thanksgiving was fun for me because I visited with several different people, pick up Tupperware full of leftovers and didn't do anything crazy. It is the time of the year when I can see families together that usually are not together except for holidays. I made one of my world-famous key lime pies and took it to the Barnes residence to include in the deserts. One of the couples at the dinner wrote me an e-mail the same day asking if I would share my recipe. She said it was "the best key lime pie she's ever had!" This may sound a bit outrageous but it is one of the best key lime pies I've ever tasted. My recipe has changed and is no longer a standard recipe.

When I was visiting my cousin Alice and her family I brought as a gift a Western Digital Live media player. I also brought a flash drive with the movie Jersey Boys on it. A few summers ago when I was buying broken Samsung smartphones and repairing them I tried to give one to Alice and she said she'd never use it. She said her regular old-fashioned cell phone was perfect for her. I kept on asking and asking but the answer was always no. Then one day she decided to try the Samsung i997 smart phone and now she can't live without it! She said she had no idea how often she would use and the applications that are available on the android operating system. Well I've tried to give her a media player before but the answer has always been no. So I decided if I brought one over, hooked it up and left a movie I know she will like watching maybe she'll change her mind as she did with the smartphone.

I have been inundated with e-mails about "Black Friday" shopping opportunities. The thing is the e-mails have been coming for over a week now. I must admit there are several rather good deals available and are very inviting. But I don't need anything in particular right now so I have done my best to resist buying anything. I did give in and buy a new Toshiba 1TB portable external hard drive with a USB 3 connection. I don't need it now but I know I will at some point in the future and the deal was good enough to buy one now.

It has been cold here in Vero for the last several days including today. It is only about 61 degrees outside now and it is almost noon. The skys are cloudless but we do have a light breeze. It is most pleasant outside which is how Florida should be this time of the year.

I'm still contemplating on whether or not I will build the computer for Bridget. It's not that I don't want to or don't think that I can the issue I have is this would be my first time to build a computer from scratch and the components she has are all top line expensive pieces of equipment. You only have one shot at putting the processor in properly - if you blow it you may not be able to use the processor or maybe even the motherboard at all. A couple of my computer friends who are knowledgeable in this area have told me I wouldn't have a problem but nonetheless I'm still concerned with damaging someone else's expensive equipment. I very well may ask her to get someone else to assemble it. The computer tower may arrive here today so once I look at it and the parts together I'll make a final decision. Stay tuned.

Posted at 12:43 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Lucy, My Eye, Media Player

Mon 24 November 2014

The movie called "Lucy" was just released on Blu-ray a couple of days ago. I got a copy and watched the movie last night it was good but frankly I expected a bit more. It very much remind me of the movie called "Limitless" I saw about a year ago. In both movies the main character took some kind of tablet which enabled them to use a much greater part of their brain than the average person. I believe scientists say the average individual uses less than 10% of his brain - just imagine what you could do if you could unlock the other part of your brain!

There have been several theories and experiments done with people who are savants. Sometimes the most amazing abilities of the human brain are revealed exactly when things go wrong with it. Take, for example, savants - people who have mental abilities that could only be characterized as superhuman (like having photographic memory, playing music perfectly after hearing it just once, or doing complex mathematical calculations in one's head) but otherwise disabled in every day cognitive functions and social interaction. The trick is going to be how one unlocks the capabilities of a savant without the other disabilities associated with a savant. I've seen documentaries on savants and they are indeed incredible human beings.

It is now Monday and I'm most pleased to report that my eye is back to normal. Apparently I did the right things quick enough to prevent any permanent damage. Nonetheless this is taught me a lesson I shall never forget - I am not cut out to do any kind of manual labor beyond lifting a power supply for a computer. When I tried to do some of these things myself I usually can but it takes me much longer than expected and often the results are not as good as I had wanted.

Over a year ago I gave Catherine a media player which would allow her to play on her TV movies she downloads from the Internet. This is exactly what I do all the time with my Western Digital media player I've had for I guess three years or more. The one I gave Kathryn that she no longer uses is also no longer made. The manufacturer called Iomega was purchased by Lenovo and no longer makes parts for these players. Because she is no longer using it she returned it so I can give it to someone else to use. I have my cousin Alice the Baker in mind. For the longest time I wanted to give her a Samsung smart phone but she said she didn't need it. Then I finally got her to try one like I have and what do you know she can't live without it!

For the longest time people said I needed a tablet but of course I resisted. Then my housekeeper left a tablet for me to use for a week or two and guess what - I had to have one. Tommy and Kathryn gave me the Samsung Galaxy III 10.1 for Christmas last year and I find that I use it every day while sitting in my chair watching television. It's funny how I think I don't need something yet when I get one my only regret was I didn't get it sooner! That could be said about lots of things I have around the house.

This afternoon I had a video conversation with my friend Dan who lives in Knoxville Tennessee. It has been several months since I last used Skype and with the updates it works darn well now. The pictures are clear and not jerky and of course the sound is excellent. It does help that both Dan and I have fast Internet speed but I also think the Skype software has been significantly improved.

I have not checked yet but I believe the stock markets have hit yet a another new all-time high today. One wonders just how long this can go and I'm one of the ones wondering just that! Back in 1999 and 2000 the market seemed like they didn't do anything except go up and then all of a sudden the ".COM" companies went bust. The situation is different nowadays compared to then but all the same markets do correct. They did have a 10% correction about a month and a half ago but since then have steadily gone up. Of course I'm happy about that yet at the same time I have great concern as to what might happen in the near future. If the analysts are right the market should continue to climb through the end of the year and then you'll see some adjustments early in 2015.

Going back to something very basic I decided to bake a key lime pie today knowing that I'll likely want to give it to someone this Thanksgiving week. I have a new recipe I've tried several times and everyone seems to like it. It contains a couple ingredients I was not putting in my previous recipes.

Posted at 06:24 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

My Eye Problem

Sat 22 November 2014

Yesterday I mentioned that I splashed some Clorox in my eye. It hurt and bothered me at the time but didn't seem like a significant event. I followed the instructions on the Clorox bottle and washed my I under my sinks tap water for 12 to 15 min. as recommended. It did not suggest I take any other action or use any medication. As the day went on it got worse. My eyes were watering constantly and my nose was running all of the time as well. This was not good! It felt like some critter with claws scratched my eyeball because no matter what I did it hurt. The only helpful thing was to place a cold washcloth over the eye which gave it temporary relief and when I say temporary I mean about a minute or two.

I could not see out of the eye except a haze.. All I could see were shadows with no definition I can imagine this might be what happens when you get cataracts. This morning it is somewhat better but as I'm dictating this my eyes are still watering although not as bad as yesterday. When I first got up this morning my eye was swollen shut but seems to have gotten a bit better. I can see this will be another day of tissues and eye irritation but at least I can report it seems to be improving. My eye looked like the one in the image on this page.

It is a nasty overcast rainy day here in Vero with a temperature of about 70 degrees. It is not raining hard but just enough to be irritating if you walked outside. I can assure you I have no plans of going outside today or maybe even tomorrow. I made a Publix run on Thursday so I'm set for probably as much as two weeks. The major of things I need to buy a Publix are fresh fruit, fruit juices, milk, and lots of yogurt. My freezer is full of vacuum sealed bags with various casseroles, meats and leftover combinations my friends bring to me. I have a pretty darn good meals-on-wheels program going. With Kathryn, Starr, Kay and my cousin Alice I'm all the time receiving something new. Alice of course is my personal baker.

It's been years since I've had the sense of needing to buy Christmas gifts for a list of friends and family. Now I only by a gift if I see something I know someone would really appreciate. This year I couldn't help but think about my cousin Alice and how useful a Food Saver would be to her. She makes meals for her 88-year-old father but I'm thinking she could make meals at one time, put them in the vacuum sealed bags and then stick him in his freezer so he can choose a meal what ever he wanted one. I've been using a Food Saver for years to keep her cakes and pies fresh which she generously brings to me frequently. I ordered one like I have on Amazon yesterday (Friday) and it is to be delivered tomorrow (Sunday). I discovered that the US Post Office is entered into an agreement with Amazon to deliver packages on Sundays during the holiday season.

It's college football Saturday so you know I'll be parked in front of my TV from now until I can't stay awake any longer. One good thing I can say is my team, Georgia Tech, will not lose today mainly because they don't play today. Their last game of the season will be next weekend against the University of Georgia. Georgia is ranked in the top 10 and will probably be a favorite by two touchdowns. Somehow Georgia always seems to pull something out of their rear end and beat Georgia Tech at the end of the game. I think this game can be a close one but unless Georgia makes lots of mistakes while Georgia Tech remains mistake free I would put my money on Georgia. Of course I want Georgia Tech to win.DOH! But I'm also a realist.

I haven't looked at the schedule to see which teams are playing today but I'm confident I will find several good ones to watch. It really doesn't matter who is playing as long as the game is high-scoring and the lead switches back and forth. That makes an exciting game for me. I guess I better go watch TV because the first game have just started.

Posted at 01:23 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

GT in ACC Championship Game!

Fri 21 November 2014

Last night the University of North Carolina convincingly beat Duke University by a score of 45 to 20 but if it were not for goal line fumbles UNC would have had two more touchdowns. As I've always said the team that makes the most mistakes will have a hard time winning and last night Duke made mistakes. They did not play up to their ability. In fact, Duke was a one touchdown favorite mainly because they were playing at Duke's Stadium.

Do any of you know what this means? It means that Georgia Tech will represent the coastal division of the ACC in the playoff game against Florida State University the first Saturday in December. I never saw all this coming! After Georgia Tech won their first five games and then lost the next two I was just hoping they would win enough games to be invited to a bowl. It is now clear they are bowl bound and if they beat Florida State it could be the Orange bowl. FSU is ranked third in the country while Georgia Tech is ranked 18th. But if Georgia Tech can minimize mistakes while FSU maximizes mistakes then there is hope GT will be the ACC champions. I'm not going to hold my breath on that one!

As I am dictating this on Friday morning my right eye is burning because I managed to splash some Clorox bleach into it a few hours ago. Man did that hurt! I followed the instructions on the Clorox bottle and ran water on my eye for about 15 min. for a while I could hardly see anything but shadows but as a few hours as past I'm able to see things more clearly but not perfectly. I'm hoping I did not manage to do any permanent damage and at this point I am optimistic that I will be okay in the next day or two.

The hardware I needed to mount a high gain network adapter all my carport roof has arrived. With my eyes the way they are today this project will be postpone until sometime in the future. With this high gain antenna outside all my carport roof I should be able to receive many Xfinity hotspots which I can log on to using my Comcast login credentials. I did that yesterday from in the house on one hotspot I could receive and found I did get Internet connection but the speed was rather slow compared to mine modem/router hardware.

This did bring up another question in that is can I improve my speed by upgrading my modem from the Motorola SB 6121 to the newest SB 6141? From what I read they both have the same firmware but the newer model has the ability to band eight downstream channels together were as the SB 6121 can only band four channels together. I assume the more channels that can be banded together and be better the performance should be. My question is that both modems are capable of handling the top speed Comcast puts out on its network in Vero Beach so will the additional downstream channels help my speed in any way?

What I have read on some forms there's no definitive answer to my question. Most people say they can't tell much difference. But what does "much difference"means to them and what kind of other hardware do they have? The only way I know to find the answer is to try the newer model. If I thought it would make a noticeable difference of course I upgrade. I believe Kathryn has ordered one of these newer modems and I'm hoping I can test her set up between the modem she's now using and the new one she will receive. Stay tuned.

It's warmed up here in Vero but still is overcast with a high humidity and a temperature of 71 degrees. That's one of the things I like about Vero is the temperature doesn't stay cold for long. It would be nice to see the sun come out rather than the whitish clouds we now have.

With my eye bothering me as much as it is I think I'll sign off for now. Of course I'll be watching college football all day tomorrow and this afternoon I might watch a movie. The last three movies were rather disappointing. Maybe I can find one with a great plot good acting and will keep my attention.

Posted at 01:51 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The Emperor and Comcast

Thu 20 November 2014

This image is the main picture on the Drudge Report website today. Each day they put one main picture on the page focusing on the top news event of the day. The Drudge Report is a collection of links to different newspapers and magazines around the world covering the major events of the day. Here is the link :The Drudge Report. It is a great place to find current events but I must say rarely have I seen them make a political commentary as this image certainly does.

Over the past several years the president is on video ( 20 times) saying that he does not have the authority as president and it would be illegal to allow illegal aliens to remain in this country. Yet tonight he's going to make a speech in prime time issuing an executive order to do exactly what he has said is the legal. I guess he just doesn't give a rat's ass what the law says because he thinks he is the ultimate authority over all Americans. After the elections last week taking this action will be like sticking it in the face of all American citizens. It angers me beyond my ability to articulate it here - the server on which BillsView is located sensors webpages containing certain unacceptable words many of which you can guess.

Last night the new governor of the state of Texas said in no uncertain terms that he acting as governor of Texas will bring a lawsuit against the president on two different fronts. Congress cannot sue the president but they have something which they can use against and that is the power of the purse. Only Congress can authorize spending on programs and you can rest assured they will not allow spending on this program. They have also promised to ignore all nominations the president did may make for different posts in government such as judges or department heads. They can and I believe they will fight back with the tools available to them legally. This is going to be interesting except it is so shameful our president thinks he's God.

You can't help but notice that most of the country is very very cold and covered with snow. It got down to 49 degrees here in Vero this morning but has now warmed up to a nice sunny 68 degrees. If anyone ever had a doubt as to why people move to Florida today is one of those days that makes it perfectly clear the weather here is better than any place else in the country.

I now have the hardware I need to mount a high gain network adapter on a pole or on my roof to receive wireless connections from around the area. I don't know how many are available but I'm sure there are dozens most of which by the way will be password protected. From inside my house I found to Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots to which I can connect as long as I have a Comcast account which of course I do. With the outside high gain antenna I'm sure I'll find many more open hotspots and even some private networks that are probably left unsecured. Why am I playing around with this you ask? Because I can!

Kathryn has decided to use Comcast only for Internet service which of course is the best in the area. She has had it up to here with their TV and phone systems. They are charging her $7.50/mo. for her modem so I suggested she buy her own modem like I did and save money. A new modem will pay for itself in 10 months so why not? The Motorola surfing board modems are as good as any so I recommended the newer version of the one I'm using which she will order today. Installation is simple but if need be I'll be happy to help her.

She didn't Internet speed test and noticed her speed dropped because she discontinued the other services. Unfortunately Comcast offers its best speed only to customers purchasing one of their "Triple Play" packages. I have a triple pay package except I don't have a phone nor the hardware necessary to make the phone work. Therefore I'm just using high speed Internet and TV although I have this package so I can get the highest Internet speed. Apparently they will only give that to triple play customers; I'm not even sure it's available for business customers. When I checked my speed it was the highest I've ever seen since I've had "Extreme Internet". It varies from time to time for no particular reason I can see.

I am suspicious that Comcast might use their own modems as a hotspot in people's home without the knowledge of their customers knowing about. In fact I think companies that make hardware for use with computers have various ways of spying on or actually listening to the conversation of their customers. You do know that if you have a cell phone and it's turned off the NSA can still listen to your conversation and you whatever images your camera sees. I don't like that one darn bit do you? I'm thinking this new Amazon age device which I requested an invitation to buy will probably be able to do the same thing. I plan on checking it with software known as packet sniffer's which will identify any data going in or out of a device. If I see data going out of the Amazon age when it is off I'll know for sure something nefarious is going on. Stay tuned for more cloak and dagger commentary.

Posted at 03:09 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Computer Scams

Tue 18 November 2014

Today I'm not feeling very well - it seems that a migraine headache is working its way into my brain. Of course I have medications to help but I rather not take them unless absolutely necessary. I have several different types of medication so I start with the least strong this and work my way up until I finally killed a headache. It's not did just yet but most of the symptoms are gone at this point.

Just a few minutes ago I received a call that I knew from the first it was a virus phone scam from India. First, when I first answered the phone there was no one there and then momentarily I heard a noise and someone picked up. That tells me it's coming from a call center. The scam always starts the same way: the phone rings at someone's home, and the caller - usually with an Indian accent - asks for the householder, quoting their name and address before saying "I'm calling for Microsoft. We've had a report from your internet service provider of serious virus problems from your computer." The guy knew my last name but I knew it was a scam all the same.

He called to alert me about a virus that had been downloaded to my computer which would do irreparable damage unless it is fixed immediately. Then I asked him how he knew such a virus was downloaded to my computer? I asked him if he knew my IP address which of course he did not. He simply said that Microsoft knowsa it's my computer at which point I asked him if Microsoft was monitoring my computer activities and if so why?

After a few minutes of leading him on I get tired of talking and told him in no uncertain terms using very colorful language that he was a liar, a scammer, and that I wish a pig with pee on him. He hung up. I found a rather funny video made by someone who also understood he was trying to be scammed and I wanted to share the link with you.

It seems that spammers, hackers and evildoers are multiplying like rabbits. Just this morning on FOX Business news they had a segment on how companies can protect themselves of against various attacks. The engineer being interviewed said that hacking has become an enterprise unto itself meaning you don't have to know anything about computers and you can still rent or buy tools necessary to hack or scam someone else. Even I have noticed that Kaspersky has been more active in the recent months than ever before. Most of the time it's because a legitimate site has advertisement on it and the advertiser has not updated their Verisign certificate which adds validity to a website.

I've looked on a Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot list for Vero Beach. Frankly I was quite amazed at how many hotspots there are all over the town some of which I can pick up in my home. On one form I was reading recently someone suggested that Xfinity might pull a fast one making individual customers' modem/router a hotspot. Fortunately they cannot do that with me because I don't have any Xfinity equipment in my home. All the same I don't think they should do this without written permission of the homeowner.

Yesterday I ordered some specific connectors which should allow me to run a cable from my computer to a high gain network adapter on the roof of my home. I'm not doing this for any particular reason except intellectual curiosity at least at the moment. I'll let you know what happens. In the meantime I still have my headache and I'm going to sign off

Posted at 12:58 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

GT Wins Big

Sun 16 November 2014

This bright beautiful Sunday morning I am very pleased to report that the Georgia Tech yellow jackets defeated Clemson University yesterday afternoon 6 to 28. That was totally unexpected because Clemson was a one touchdown favored and had been playing better doing the year. But if you make too many mistakes even good teams can lose football games as Clemson clearly illustrated yesterday. They through to pick six interceptions, fumbled the ball and their special teams were only average.

On the other side of that coin I have to say that Georgia Tech took advantage of each of the opportunities presented them by scoring touchdowns. They were able to move the ball well against Clemson and while they did not play their best game they did look darn good. There's not much else I which to talk about now because I'm still excited about the game. If Duke University loses one of its next two games then Georgia Tech will play Florida State University for the ACC championship. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that will be possible at the beginning of the season. I am a happy camper this morning.

Before I stop for today I have to mention the movie called "The Hundred-Foot Journey"which was one of those just delightful movies that fills one with joy. It is so refreshing to watch a movie that has a story of great interest and doesn't have vampires, zombies, evil spirits, and other such nonsense found in so many movies today. This could have easily been a Walt Disney movie although I don't believe that was. The storyline was great as was the acting leaving one at the end with a smile on your face. I love movies like this I just wish I could find more.

Now that I am so relaxed and in a good mood because the movie I think I'll watch another one this beautiful Sunday afternoon. I'll of course report back after I see the next movie. By the way, I having 4 guests coming over tonight for dinner and we can all talk at the same time to Matthew. Some of you know about Matthew but for those who do not I think it best just to leave it at that.

Posted at 10:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The IRS, Four Seasons and Drugs

Thu 13 November 2014

Yesterday I received two letters from the internal revenue service - I have never liked receiving letters from the IRS in my lifetime. They almost always contain bad news some of which is worse than others. I read the letters but did not completely understand exactly what it is they were asking me to do - it was about the type of forms I've been filing or should be filing. So I copied one of the letters and send it to my accountant in Atlanta who will advise me. I've not heard from him yet but expect he will contact me relatively soon. Fortunately it seems these were technicalities with regard to filings rather than a demand for more money or even worse an audit.

Why the IRS would even bother with me seems rather strange. I'm retired and have no earned income and what income I do have comes from Social Security and stock dividends/interest. I'm thinking a computer looked at the forms which were filed on time and decided it didn't like them for some reason or another. All of my filings with the Internal Revenue Service are done by my accountant and all I do is sign them and mailed. I'm not particularly concerned.

Last night I watched one of the best movies I've seen thus far this year. In fact it may be the best above Battleship, The Million Dollar Arm and Draft Day. The movie was called Jersey Boys and it was the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The movie started when these four guys sort of met up with one another in New Jersey. One of them recognize that Frankie Valli had an unusual voice. It took place in late 1950s through the 1960s and ended with the group receiving an award in the 1990s. Clearly one of the reasons I liked the movie so much is because the songs they sang in the movie I remember so very well. And I must say that Frankie Valli did have a high pitched voice.

This group released countless records most all of which were big hits. I remember listening to them while driving around in Vero Beach when I was still in high school all the way through my college years. The movie was just damn good but I can understand it was more meaningful to me and those who were born after the height of their popularity. For me certain songs can identify an exact time and place in my memory banks which of course many of the songs in the movie did exactly that. This is a movie I'll watch again and again!

Have you read about prop 36 in California? Basically it reduces felony drug charges to misdemeanors or in some cases decriminalizes possession of small amounts. I'm talking about drugs like crack, cocaine and other drugs which would have imposed a serious prison sentence if you were caught in possession of those drugs. Rather than prison time the people of California decided that treatment and help was a much better alternative than to put non-violent drug users in jail with rapists and murderers.

As a Libertarian, it is my belief that all drugs should be decriminalized. If someone wants to abuse their body and their health by using drugs then as far as I'm concerned that's their business not the government's. Of course if a drug user breaks the law while being high then the appropriate charges should apply. For example, if you are high on cocaine and commit a robbery then of course you should be charged with the robbery but not possession of cocaine. More than half of the US prison population consists of nonviolent drug offenders. I certainly do not recommend or encourage the use of any drugs but for me I think I own my body and not the federal government. It is my view that if drugs were decriminalized there and be less crime as has been the case in European countries where this has been done. Besides, what business is it of yours as to what others do in my home? Please don't take this as an endorsement for drug use but rather an endorsement for individual freedoms.

Posted at 04:37 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Amazon Echo

Tue 11 November 2014

On Amazon's home page they introduced a new really cool gadget and offer prime members the opportunity to request an invitation to buy one. Only prime members could submit a request but there was no guarantee you'll be offered the opportunity to buy one. Nor is there any suggestion as to when this new device will be available for delivery. Now the page which offered the ability to order one if you were selected is no longer there. Like Amazon Fire Stick it only lasted for a couple of days. I ordered a Fire Stick on the two days it was available to prime members with an expectation of delivery by the end of November. Now they are saying delivery will not start until next year! I suspect this new device called Amazon echo will not be available for those who get an invitation for several months into 2015.

The Amazon echo stands only 9.75" tall and is 3.27" wide. Many say it is like iPhone's Siri app in that you can ask it questions, tell it what to do and make notes from anywhere in the room. It is always on but will not activate until you call its name. The default name is Alexa but you can make it anything you want. Here are a few things about Alexa.

Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's always on just ask for information, music, news, weather, and more. Echo begins working as soon as it hears you say the wake word, "Alexa." It's also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound.

Tucked under Echo's light ring is an array of seven microphones. These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction. With enhanced noise cancellation, Echo can hear you ask a question even while it's playing music.

Echo's brain is in the cloud, running on Amazon Web Services so it continually learns and adds more functionality over time. The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.

Echo has been fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response. Its dual downward-firing speakers produce 360 degrees omni-directional audio to fill the room with immersive sound. Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Plus, Echo is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream other popular music services like Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora from your phone or tablet.

Echo doesn't stop working when you're away from home. With the free companion app on Fire OS and Android, plus desktop and iOS browsers, you can easily manage your alarms, music, shopping lists, and more.

Echo is always ready, connected, and fast. Just say the wake word, "Alexa," for:

*News, weather, and information: Hear up-to-the-minute weather and news from a variety of sources, including local radio stations, NPR, and ESPN from TuneIn.

*Music: Listen to your Amazon Music Library, Prime Music, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.

*Alarms, timers, and lists: Stay on time and organized with voice-controlled alarms, timers, shopping and to-do lists.

*Questions and answers: Get information from Wikipedia, definitions, answers to common questions, and more.

*More coming soon: Echo automatically updates through the cloud with new services and features.

Check it out

Posted at 03:06 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Veteran's Day

Tue 11 November 2014

Today is Veterans Day and I wish to express my extreme gratitude for those men and women who have honorably served in the United States Armed Forces. If it were not for them, we would not enjoy the freedom and security no other country has. Of course other countries have freedom and security but none can approach the level of that of the United States of America.

Yesterday while watching the FOX Business News channel the moderator was talking about the economic growth China has experienced and the interest they have in becoming a superpower. Then a retired lieutenant colonel put things in perspective for those of us watching. With all the negative rhetoric coming out to China it helps to know that the Chinese government has one aircraft carrier. Currently the United States has 12 active aircraft carriers deployed all over the globe and although this is not well-known there are two super carriers under construction now. Don't ask me what a super carrier is but with a name like that one can imagine it has the capability to do anything.

Let there be no doubt that our would be enemies are not thrilled when they discover a United States carrier group parked off their coast with two more carrier groups just a day away. What excites me even more is what I don't know about the United States military's capabilities. It's disturbing to think about what those towel head radicals in Syria and the surrounding area are you doing today. Although our government is unlikely to take such action they could turn the entire area into one large piece of glass which by the way is what you get when you set off a powerful thermal nuclear bomb.

On the image above Pres. Lincoln made a comment worth noting. You can read it for yourselves and hopefully you'll get the same feeling that I do. Pres. Lincoln had this uncanny capability of making extremely profound statements with brevity and immense power. One good example of this is the Gettysburg address which can be read in less than 2 min. - when was the last time you've seen any US president make such moving remarks in less than 2 min.? One time I do remember in 1988 I believe when Pres. Ronald Reagan was in Germany at the Berlin wall. While there he said," Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall". And thus the Cold War ended. Mr. Gorbachev was a very astute leader not interested in world domination and under his leadership the Soviet Union changed into Russia and several country states. Besides, Mr. Gorbachev knew that the Soviet Union did not have the resources or technology to come close to keeping up with the United States.

I've noticed that as I've gotten older these days of celebration have become more important to me than in my younger years when they meant little more than a barbecue with a lot of beer. I'm glad is not the case now.

Posted at 12:09 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Big Win for GT

Sun 09 November 2014

I'm more than pleased to announce that the Georgia Tech yellow jackets beat North Carolina State University by a score of 56 to 23. Actually the score for Georgia Tech could have been higher but in the last minute of the game when Georgia Tech was on the NC State one-yard line with two downs to go the GT football coach decided to take a knee rather than scoring another touchdown. Frankly that was the honorable thing to do - making the score 63 to 23 wouldn't have made any difference except to dishonor the NC State players during their homecoming.

The GT team played exceptionally well on both offense and defense earning the touchdowns they made. It wasn't like NC State made a lot of mistakes but rather Georgia Tech just outperformed them in every aspect of the game. Frankly I was rather shocked! The oddsmakers had Georgia Tech a three point favorite but I never expected this. I've always known that the offense was good but yesterday the defense played the best game thus far this year. With only two games left to play during the regular season, the Yellow Jackets will have to play their "A" game to beat Clemson University or the University of Georgia.

Yesterday I didn't do much except watch college football from noon to midnight. It started raining late yesterday afternoon and this Sunday morning it is still sprinkling outside. A cold front has moved through the area and we've already reached our high temperature of 63 degrees for the day. It is nasty and damp outside which is not typical Florida weather.

There are several new movies loaded on one of my many external hard drives which I've not seen yet. It looks like today is going to be the day to see a movie and perhaps watch more of the HBO series called True Detectives. The first two episodes were okay but unless the next two episodes pick up the pace and otherwise grabs my attention I probably won't watch the rest of the first season. Frankly I am rather disappointed because of the high ratings of this series. Maybe I'll spend time today searching for another series with more action.

My Comcast cable service provides over 235 digital channels for me to watch and it's a shame I can't find something of interest all of the time. Am I spoiled or just very very picky? During the weekdays I can keep my television tuned to the FOX Business News channel because I always find it interesting. On Sundays the networks show a bunch of talking heads giving their biased view on various subjects. When living in Atlanta I would never miss the morning talk shows on Sunday but now I rarely watch them at all having learned just how filtered the facts are by the people on the programs.

On Saturday both Starr and Lance's parents made a meals-on-wheels delivery to me. Starr brought me home made chili and Kay brought me a homemade concoction with the consistency of Chile but it wasn't Chile. It had beans, mushrooms, meat, onions and even spinach in it. With either dish I can mix it with rice and it will last me for a long time. In fact that's exactly what I did with what Kay brought me and with some of the Chile. I mixed in rice and then vacuum sealed portions to freeze and eat any time I want.

Not much news to add.

Posted at 02:28 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Pure Evil - Harry Reid

Fri 07 November 2014

Harry Reid is the living manifestation of pure evil. He is malicious, wicked, hateful and as vile a person I've ever seen on television or read about in the news. He is pure arrogance has stopped many worthwhile bills from ever reaching the Senate floor for debate. He acted as the one and only supreme leader deciding based on his own feelings which bills, if any, he would permit the other 99 United States Senators to even see. In person he is hateful and disliked by many members in Congress and in his hometown. Somehow he came to Washington rather poor and now is a multimillionaire which of course is a direct result of his being Senate leader. In my opinion he broke the laws so many times you can't count them but at the very least gets opportunities laid before him as people knelt to kiss his ring. He has calls the Democratic Party to spend untold millions of dollars on direct personal attacks on conservatives he did not like. I've always believed that what goes around comes around and that Harry will get what he deserves.

Yesterday my good friend Starr had her purse stolen out of for garage while she was in the house. Some ballsy low life ran into her garage picked up her purse and ran away. Starr of course was devastated not because of the money that was stolen but the memories that were stolen. She had pictures of her sons, her deceased husband and others which are not replaceable. She also lost her credit cards, drivers license and check book mean she had to spend all day shutting down those accounts and opening up new ones. I know what a pain in the rear it is for me when I get a new credit card because my old one was compromised so I can imagine this was a horrifying experience for her. The low life that stole her purse probably took what ever money was in it and through the purse into a ditch or dumpster. I have a great deal of empathy for her.

Yesterday I made my quarterly visit to Dr. Director - he confirmed I was as wacky as ever! He did give me a new prescription for one of the medications he prescribes which unfortunately is a scheduled II medication. That means the prescription cannot have refills, a new prescription must be written any time you need a refill and I have to personally take the prescription to the pharmacist because it cannot be called in or fax to the pharmacy. Why is this necessary? It's because the idiotic bureaucrats in the FDA think that people who might abuse scheduled II medications will find it harder to obtain them. Really? Do you believe that? I certainly don't because my observation and experience has told me that those who abuse drugs of any nature are always able to get their hands on them and that such regulations just make it difficult for regular patients that need to medication to obtain them.

The damn government should stop regulating everything and telling me what I can't do in my own home. Clearly I understand there should be laws against violent crimes, burglaries and the like but in my opinion it is a total waste of manpower, money and time to attempt to impose other people's morality on the population as a whole. Over half of the population in the United States prison system are there because of nonviolent drug related crimes. As you have probably read or heard drugs are easily available with inside prisons so if you can't keep drugs out of prisons what planet are you from that suggests you can keep drugs from coming across the porous borders of the United States in the North or South or by sea? What a waste of good manpower and money which if you really cared could be spent on rehabilitation rather than the $50,000 per person per year it costs to keep someone in prison.

Another pain in the rear for me is most pharmacies in Vero will not fill a prescription for longer than 30 days on this particular medication. There's no law saying they can't fill a prescription for 90 days they just don't do it. This would mean a monthly trip to your physician to get a new prescription for a schedule II medication unless you are able to find a pharmacy that will fill a 90 day prescription. I found one but it's more expensive than the other pharmacies which will only fill a month at a time. What complete nonsense!

I'm pleased to report that the various e-mail filters I've made for my e-mail program have been an overwhelming success. I rarely get e-mail that I don't want in my inbox. Most of it is filtered and deleted before it makes it to my inbox. I've got some great filters which include individual domains as well as country domains from which e-mails are sent. There's also a series of words which are found in the body of an e-mail will cause that e-mail to be deleted. They're all sexual terms so I'll leave it to your imagination what the list might include.

Tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 Georgia Tech plays North Carolina State University at their Stadium in Raleigh North Carolina. On the surface the game should be close but as I usually say the team that makes the fewest mistakes is likely to prevail. If Georgia Tech can hang onto the ball, complete passes to our team and execute special team functions well then I think GT could be NCS in their own stadium. On the other hand if Georgia Tech both fumbles the ball and throws interceptions NCS is likely to be the winner. I need some sort of medication to calm my nerves while I'm watching the game like Valium for example.

So many things are happening in the world of Bitcoin it has become almost impossible for me to keep up with it. Most all of the events are good but of course there are some letdowns as well. As of now Bitcoin has come back up to an exchange rate of $345 per coin which is a good thing. The unfortunate thing is I bought some coins costing a good bit more than that in the past. I continue to be optimistic that the value of Bitcoin will come back over a period of time because of what appears to be the explosive use and opportunity it offers.

Recently the feds seized another underground web site also known as a "black site"because of the alleged illegal activities. Frankly I'm rather confident that there were some illegal activities on this site but how much I do not know. They didn't go after anyone who visited the site or use the site but rather arrested the person they believe created the site. Some of you may not know there are many black sites on the Internet accessible only through the Tor browser or IRC channels. Out of curiosity I went through the steps necessary to see if I can access a black site and found out that I could. Those sites normally sell things that are illegal like guns, drugs and people. Yes, I did mean to say people. I've heard you can even buy a "hit" on someone or your own personal slave. Getting to the sites is not an easy thing so I think it's best not to mention how to do it.

Posted at 03:44 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The Republican Tsunami

Wed 05 November 2014

I am very pleased this morning to say the Republicans have taken over control of the United States Senate and gained seats in the United States House of Representatives. At this time the Republicans have at least 52 seats in the Senate and that has the possibility of growing even more depending on a runoff and final count. What that means is for the first time in six years Bills passed by the House of Representatives will have a chance to be debated in the United States Senate. Before now that heinous wicked hateful destructive arrogant narcissists Harry Reid has stopped bills from even coming to the Senate for discussion. This person has been deciding by himself just which Bills he liked no matter what anybody else thinks. Thankfully he will no longer be leader of the Senate but very unfortunately he will still be in the Senate.

In the House of Representatives it takes 218 votes to pass a Bill. There are now 245 Republicans in the House of Representatives meaning they can pass just about anything they want to with or without left wing bed wetting liberal support. I'm hopeful the Republicans will take advantage of the new position but at this point is unclear to me exactly what they might do. No matter what path they follow it will be infinitely better than the alternative.

Yesterday I went to have the new mirror put on my car. It was the correct mirror and fit properly but does have a new feature on it my old mirror did not. About 20% of the mirror on the far left side is angled different than 80% of the mirror. I believe this will help me avoid moving into the left lane when there's already a car in the lane. The newer Mercedes have audio alerts if you are about to move into her lane already occupied by a car. I've not checked it out much and it will probably take me several weeks because of the little driving I do. It is nice to have that mirror fixed.

Tomorrow I go see Dr. Director for my quarterly visit with him. Actually I could probably do just as well by going three times a year or maybe even two times a year rather than quarterly but there is a reason for this. One of the prescriptions he issues for me can only be filled for a period of 90 days and cannot be refilled without getting a new written prescription and take it to the pharmacist. It cannot be called in or fax into the pharmacy. This is another example of the limp attempt of the FDA to restrict access to this medication and many others in scheduled II. Does anyone really believe that someone who abuses scheduled II drugs will not have access simply because of his burdensome prescription rule? Hasn't it been true that all abusers of drugs in scheduled II get what they want anyway? This just makes it more inconvenient and more expensive for patients who have a legitimate need and prescription.

The bureaucrats in Washington naively believe that if they make a law everybody's going to abide by it! If for example the restrict personal ownership of guns then law abiding citizens will have difficulty in getting them but criminals will always be able to obtain them. If you think about it, many of the burdensome overreaching laws do much more damage to law-abiding citizens than to the criminal element. What makes matters worse is that Obama was Justice Department selectively enforces the laws and ignores the ones they don't like. For example they have allowed tens of thousands of illegal aliens to cross the US border which in turn puts a great burden on some small communities in the area.

One of the laws Attorney General Holder does not enforce is the US marijuana laws. At the moment marijuana is illegal in the United States yet many states have decriminalized the use of marijuana altogether while many others now allow medical marijuana in their states. Unfortunately the marijuana amendment in the state of Florida was defeated yesterday which really irritates me. 57% of the voters approved of the law but unfortunately it needed 60% to pass as an amendment. What that tells me is 33% of Florida voters don't give a damn if you have a illness or disease which can be aided by the use of medical marijuana. It simply incomprehensible to me that there are people who will deny access to medications which will help tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of American citizens.

I have heard and understand the argument that if medical marijuana were available in Florida that it would make it easier for people to obtain access when they don't need it for medication but rather want it for recreational purposes. In my view it should make a damn bit of difference to anybody what I do in my home as long as I'm not violating somebody else's life liberty or property. Laws made to enforce somebody else's morality on me should be unconstitutional. Why can't I enter into a contract with another adult to engage in sexual activity for pay? How does that hurt anybody else? Why can't I go to my local bar and find slot machines without having to go to land owned by Native Americans? How do these two things hurt anybody else? Well the answer is that they don't! It's just that some people are personally or morally against something and therefore they want to for bid anyone else even though it has zero effect on them.

Statistically speaking in many places when marijuana has been decriminalized the use of marijuana has declined as has the use of other illegal drugs. When the country of Spain decriminalized marijuana illegal use of other drugs and use of marijuana went down not up. That has also been the case in the Netherlands and in Switzerland. We saw what happened when the holier than thou group of people wanted to make alcohol illegal. Will that work just great didn't it? By the way how many articles have you read about people dying from overdosing on marijuana? My answer would be none. When people drive under the influence and hurt themselves or others it's alcohol they have in the system not marijuana. Well I guess I beat this horse enough so I'll leave more for another day.

Posted at 12:24 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Tech Wins Again

Sun 02 November 2014

I'm very pleased to report that Georgia Tech beat the Virginia Cavaliers by a score of 35 to 10. Virginia did make some mistakes that indeed helped Georgia Tech score but for the most part it was Georgia Tech's offense that was working so well. Mistakes can cause you to lose for sure as we saw with Pittsburgh last week but it wasn't all mistakes this time. The team look good and if they play well could have a chance against North Carolina State next weekend. I am not optimistic but hopeful.

The car mirror I ordered for my Mercedes came in on Friday exactly 10 days after I ordered it from a Eastern European country. Shipping was free and delivery was as fast as one could expect. The mirror is new and an original part for the car. It is heated but does not have the automatic dimming feature my mirror now has which by the way is the source of the problem. Next week I'm going to meet Eric at Joe's body shop to have it installed. He said it shouldn't take long and I can wait in the lobby while the installation is completed. It looks like the right part and when put next to the mirror already there it's the same size. I will be a happy camper if this $30 mirror satisfactorily replaces the mirror I have now that if ordered from the factory would cost over $500.

Recently I watched a movie called "Automata" which took place in the future when robots are part of our daily lives and integrated into society. Of course they are programmed not to hurt humans but there's always someone who wants to change that. The movie is about dealing and chasing a few renegade robots. It was a slow movie with very little excitement and very little dialogue. I would not recommend it. The movie could've been much better under the same theme than what I saw.

Today I started watching the HBO series called True Detectives. I downloaded the first season because it was rated high like The Blacklist but in no way does it compare in my opinion. It stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson which for the most part I like as actors. Thus far I've only seen the first two episodes but unfortunately it moves slower than I like and is a bit weird. I've not given up on it yet but if the next two episodes don't get my attention I'm likely to not watch the rest of the series. At the same time I downloaded True Detectives I also downloaded the first season of The Americans. It too was highly rated but we shall see if it has a good enough plot and plenty of action to keep my attention. I'd love to find another series as good as The Blacklist - I'm looking forward to the completion of season two so I can obtain all the files it wants in high definition.

In just two days Americans will go to the polls to vote for the midterm elections. According to the talking heads and most news outlets the Republicans are favored to regain control of the Senate. This will make a lot of difference for the last two years of King Obama regime. I am indeed optimistic that the Republicans will get enough seats in the Senate to out number the left wing bed wetting liberals. We may not know for a couple of months the outcome of the election because some may be close enough for a recount in certain states. I'm also concerned of voting fraud which is one of the very popular methods the Democrats use to get members of their party elected. The classic example of this was the 1960 presidential race when fraudulent voting in Ohio gave John Kennedy the votes needed to become president. This is clearly documented in history. I sure hope voting fraud does not affect the outcome of the elections on Tuesday. Stay tuned

Recently the headlines in a Washington Post article was Harry Reid's 'Begging'. Of course Harry Reid is the obnoxious evil leader of the Senate who should be four cornered in my opinion. If citizens complain about nothing getting done it's not because the Republican-controlled House doesn't pass bills it's because Emperor Reid will not bring the bills to the floor of the Senate for a vote. He just keeps them in a stack in his office. So those who say Republicans are a do-nothing party don't really understand what's happening in Washington. The article contained this sentence, "I'm begging for your help to close the gap IMMEDIATELY!" It's also interesting to note that both Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama have been heckled recently during campaign appearances. One event that his Majesty King Obama attended actually had Democrats get up and leave before he finished his same old speech about evil Republicans.

Posted at 04:20 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)