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John Accepted to Law School

Sat 03 January 2015

I just received an email from John proudly announcing that he has been accepted to Berry college law school for the spring 2015 semester. He worked and studied very hard to pass the LSATs needed to get admitted to any law school. I'm waiting for him to tell me what his score was on those tests.

For the next two or three years he'll have his nose stuck in a book studying for his law classes. I am confident he can do well if he spends the time a good student should to learn the complexities of law or at least where to look. I decided to post a picture of John when we were in the Florida Keys a few years back. My heartiest congratulations to John.

Posted at 05:09 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Yesterday's Activities

Sat 03 January 2015

Yesterday I was tired of watching what was available on my cable. The bowl games were not very interesting and neither were the teams from my point of view. At the time there was very little in the way of movies available on cable or anything else I wanted to watch as far as that goes. So I decided to try my Amazon Firestick to watch a documentary about the recent real estate crash. It was just the thing I needed to watch - something interesting and true.

Then after watching it for a short period of time my screen went blank. I played around with the remote and eventually got the screen back on and was able to continue the documentary at the point I lost it. Then this happened again for no apparent reason. After the third time I decided to figure out what was causing the outage. First I checked the signal strength to the Firestick - it was plenty strong. My Firestick is connected to the same HDMI switch as my Apple TV. Neither of these devices are actually off but rather always on standby. Next I tried disconnecting my Apple TV from the HDMI switch and bingo the picture came back. When I plugged the Apple TV back in I lost the picture again. The issue apparently was the two devices were fighting one another through the HDMI switch. It is a three way switch so I changed the Apple TV port to a different one and it worked fine. The test will be to see if both devices continue to work okay or fight one another.

We've been having some rather unusually bad weather for the last couple of weeks. It happens to be sunny and nice at the moment but there are clouds in the area. For several days in a row it rained and was just gloomy around here. We had high humidity which is unusual for this time of year in Vero. It's not rained hard any day but we've had a constant drizzle just to make things nasty and depressing. I wouldn't want to go to the beach like the folks in the image.

The mystery of the missing tenant next door continues. Now the porch light stays on 24/7 when it used to be on only at night. There is a small table on the deck that's been there for a couple of weeks. I've not seen the tall lean guy who was the tenant nor have I seen anyone else except one college-age person that went in and came right out. The interesting thing is there's no for rent sign up. The lady that owns the building always puts a sign up when there's a vacancy so apparently someone is continuing to pay rent? This whole thing has been rather strange.

My lawn maintenance guy, James, was over here yesterday to work on my lawn. It really didn't need mowing because it hasn't grown much but he mowed it anyway. For the last week or perhaps a little longer my lawn has been covered by leaves falling from the trees around my house - I believe this process has finished because there's no more leaves to fall. I have an automatic irrigation system that waters the lawn on the days, time and length I choose. I've had it set for two days a week to run in the early morning for 15 minutes.

I mention all the rain we've been having so irrigating the yard was not necessary and in fact was too much. The moisture along with the fact the leaves were on top of the grass for a period of time has cause me to have some lawn fungus as illustrated in the image. James called Michael who is the guy that services my lawn once a month with herbicides, pesticides, fertilizer, and anything else it needs. He should be over early next week to spray the lawn and kill the fungus. I want to have a nice green lawn all the time.

Yesterday Starr brought the computer I gave her over for a tuneup. She's had it for a few years now and has done basically nothing. Tuneups don't always work and often take a long time so I decided to reformat the hard drive and install a fresh version of Windows 7. Luckily I found a Windows 7 .iso file that I could burn to a disk which has all the updates through November of this year. After installation I only had to download seven updates instead of 167 like last time. I've got my hands on some AVG Internet Security keys which allegedly are good for several years. That was the security program I installed which is better than any she has used before. The problem as I see it is this better security software will give alerts and Starr won't know what to do. Kaspersky is always given me alerts but I know what to do - this is new territory for her.

Posted at 03:17 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

More Bowls

Fri 02 January 2015

It's Friday January 2nd and there are four more bowl games today. They include the TAXSLAYER BOWL, VALERO ALAMO BOWL, LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL and TICKETCITY CACTUS BOWL. I simply have to laugh at the name of the first bowl - TaxSlayer Bowl, what a great name. For those who don't know there is a website called TaxSlayer.com which aids individuals in completing tax returns and things of that nature. They specialize in offering potential tax saving ideas. The game itself is between Iowa and Tennessee both with similar records of winning just one or two more games than they lost. Of course I'll switch around to see which if any of the games are interesting to me.

In the playoff games yesterday Alabama loss to Ohio State 42 to 35 and Oregon completely in embarrassed Florida State by beating them 59 to 20. The Alabama game was close and could've gone either way. Florida State lost from the very beginning of the game with mistake after mistake - they must've fumbled the ball six or seven times giving Oregon the opportunity to score and of course they did. While watching the game one wonders why these two teams were on the field together because their talent didn't resemble one another. Oregon State was clearly the superior team.

If you look at Florida State's record during the year you will see they beat six teams by less than a touchdown. The closest game was the Georgia Tech - Florida State game when Florida State pulled it out there a*s at the end to win by two points. After watching both Florida State in Georgia Tech play in bowl games this weekend my biased view is the Georgia Tech has a better football team and would be Florida State two out of three games.

There are other games I enjoyed watching like the Michigan State - Baylor game in which Michigan State a won 42 to 41. Now that's my kind of game.

In our local paper I read Sunday's 83-degree high in Vero Beach was one degree below the national high of 84 set in nearby Melbourne in Brevard County, matching the temperature recorded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the National Weather Service. It was 10 degrees above normal and one degree below the record 84 degrees set in 1981 for that date in Vero Beach. We did not have snow over the Christmas holidays.

you've heard me talk about how much I distrust Google because I think they invade the privacy of people who use their programs. I absolutely love the search engine but not much else beyond that. I use Google voice for texting because I have no other method of texting on my computer - I think there might be other programs available.

The image you see is taken from my Kaspersky security software. You can see I have blocked three Google programs - Google updater, Hangouts plug-in, and Google Chrome preinstall. When I say I've blocked the program I mean they are not able to run on this computer and if a drive - by download is attempted it too will be blocked. I've taken the time to review my Google settings to eliminate all search logs and caching of sites. Of course their cookies are blocked as well. In fact, cookies on all websites are blocked except those I specifically allow by use of a utility on my browser.

I've been doing some testing with my packet sniffer programs and can report it will take me longer to understand them. It is interesting to see what sort of data goes to and from other devices on my network. Clearly the most active devices are my desktop and laptop. I'll go into more detail about this once I learn more and can speak with a bit of understanding.

As I was dictating this post I took a screenshot of the devices on my network. You will note that both my Amazon fire stick and Apple TV are active although they are not on. You can't actually turn them off but only put them into a sleep mode. To completely turn them off your you'd have to unplug. There are other devices on the network that are mine which are off and some simply labeled "network device" which was someone using my network with their laptop or smart phone while visiting me. My router gives me the option of blocking any device all the time or during certain hours. Actually it's a pretty cool router.

Posted at 11:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Georgia Tech Wins Orange Bowl

Thu 01 January 2015

In case anyone is wondering, I am one happy camper this morning. Georgia Tech yellow jackets handedly defeated Mississippi State last night in the Orange bowl. The final score was 49 to 34 but Georgia Tech played better than the score indicates. As the game was on I couldn't watch it every minute because of the anxiety and stress that flows over me when Georgia Tech is playing. Why the heck does that happen to an old fart like me? However, this morning I watch the games start to finish on a replay with a big smile on my face.

It was new years Eve in 1966 when yours truly attended the Orange bowl as a freshman at Georgia Tech. I don't even remember who we played but I do remember Georgia Tech lost that game. To my knowledge, GT has not been invited back to the Orange bowl since then. But when they did return they returned with a seemingly unstoppable team. The following was on the ESPN website this morning;

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.-- Georgia Tech players hopped happily, hugged each other and danced in place. The clock had just struck midnight on New Year's Eve, so they had two things to celebrate.

Minutes earlier, the Yellow Jackets had completed a 49-34 victory over Mississippi State in the Capital One Orange Bowl.

Quarterback Justin Thomas was chosen the game's outstanding player Wednesday night after he directed an offense that totaled a Capital One Orange Bowl-record 452 yards rushing. He ran for 121 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for 125 yards and a score. He was named the most valuable player in the game.

It is especially nice to know that most of the great players this year will return next year. The quarterback, Justin Thomas, is simply awesome. He has incredible speed and can throw the ball 70 yards in the air.

Another thing I noticed last night was Georgia Tech's new uniform I've not seen before. They look good! In the image above Synjyn Days scored a touchdown and simply laid the ball in the end zone. The announcer for ESPN, Brent Musburger, commented on what a classy player he was for simply placing the ball down and then walking back to the sideline. Of course I could go on and on but I think you get the flavor of my comments this morning - Georgia Tech won and I'm happy!

There were two other bowl games yesterday but neither were exciting. I watch them off and on but neither got my attention as much as the Orange bowl. Today there are a whole slew of bowl games starting at noon but the best of them will come later today. Here's a list:


Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015

Outback Bowl

(19) Auburn vs. (18) Wisconsin - Noon ET, ESPN2

Goodyear Cotton Bowl

(8) Michigan State vs. (5) Baylor - 12:30pm ET, ESPN

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

(25) Minnesota vs. (16) Missouri - 1pm ET, ABC

Rose Bowl Game

(2) Oregon vs. (3) Florida State - 4:30pm ET, ESPN

Allstate Sugar Bowl

(1) Alabama vs. (4) Ohio State - 8:30pm ET, ESPN

You can probably guess what I'll be doing the rest of the day. If a game gets out of control I'll probably watch a movie instead.

It's January 1, 2015 but I feel the same as I did on December 31, 2014. At least it is not raining today like it was yesterday. My belief is that 2015 will be a good year for many of us and I hope that includes you.

Posted at 12:07 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Happy New Year

Wed 31 December 2014

Posted at 12:51 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Shopping, Gas, and Bowls

Tue 30 December 2014

OMG I made a colossal mistake yesterday afternoon when I went to Wally World (aka Wal-Mart) to pick up a prescription. Knowing that I was going to have to go to Publix I thought I do some shopping while I was getting my prescription. When it comes to shopping at Wally World not everything is cheaper than the same product at Publix and often they don't even have the product I want to buy. But there is a much bigger problem.

Yesterday about 50% of the people shopping had to lean on their cart to prevent from falling down. Many of the shoppers could've moved slower but I just don't know how! It felt like I was a cow in a over crowded cattle car - there are people everywhere moving slower than a sloth with absolutely no awareness of their surrounding environment. It was a horrible experience and one I'll not repeat. It seemed that everyone in the store had to show an ID indicating they were over 60 years old, half blind, slow, with no concern of blocking the narrow aisles. Publix aisles are much wider, the people move faster and are concerned about others in the store around. What little savings may be obtained by shopping at Wally World is simply not worth it IMO.

Yesterday morning John came to visit before he went back to Orlando where he has an apartment. For those who don't remember, John is Starr's oldest son who recently graduated from FSU. He took the LSAT exams a few weeks ago with the idea of entering law school perhaps as early as winter semester. He feels confident he did well mainly because he took a preparation course the previous 10 weeks before taking the exams. For the first semester he'd like to go to Berry College located near his Orlando apartment. He is going on a cruise and will receive the results of his exam the day he returns on January 6th. The picture was taken in Islamorda in the Florida Keys several years ago.

Berry College is not a world-famous law school but does have a good reputation. When he completes law school and passes the Florida bar he'll be able to immediately go to work with this uncle Mark who has a very successful firm in Orlando. My belief is he is certainly very capable of graduating from law school as long as he spends the time going to class and studying a lot. It would be foolish to pass up an opportunity to step into a successful firm which in a few years he could take over. He has another uncle and an aunt that are both lawyers.

While I was out yesterday I decided to fill my tank with gas even though I had about 20% left in the tank which I last filled on June 11th. It costs about half as much this time as it did when I filled up last June. When John was leaving yesterday he noticed my front right tire looked low so while I was getting gas I also filled all four tires to the proper PSI. Each tire was down about seven PSI from the recommended tire pressure. John asked me when I last filled the tires - to my recollection I've not put air in them since the new tires were put on about five years ago. I'm surprised that people at Mercedes in Fort Pierce didn't notice that all my last service trip.

I've not had my car serviced in about two years simply because I've only gone about 2000 miles or less during that period of time. When they service my car they change the oil and add that expensive synthetic stuff - the oil change costs about $150 alone. Why should I take good top quality synthetic oil that's only gone less than 2000 miles? I guess it wouldn't hurt to have it serviced again because I try to keep it in top condition. Years ago I used to change my oil every 10,000 miles or more - my have times changed!

A couple times in my recent posts I've mentioned the upstairs apartment next door and the fact the tenant disappeared one night after a big heavy white person banged on his door between 11 and 12 o'clock on a Saturday night. The day after that incident the police came but did not get in. Since then I've only seen one young college age kid go inside for a few minutes and then leave. I've not seen the guy who rented the apartment go into it in a couple of months now. I did have a sighting of him in a car parked across the street last week but he did not go into the apartment.

Yesterday I saw someone go in but it wasn't the tenant. There is now a small table on the porch that was not there before. My belief is the stuff the guy had in the apartment is still there because I've never seen it taken out. Of course they could've done it at 3 AM in the morning and I wouldn't know. Most of the time I don't pay much attention to the tenants in that apartment but this is the only tenant that apparently had people chasing him.

My old home in Atlanta I lived in for 33 years is now up for sale. It was purchased by two or three young men who planned on being roommates but as things go they eventually moved out to live with her girlfriends, move to a new town for a new job, etc. My plans are two post some pictures available on the Internet by the realtor on another day.

Today there are three bowl games on two of which I think I'll really enjoy. In the Belk Bowl Georgia plays Louisville and in the Franklin America Mortgage Bowl Notre Dame plays LSU. Tonight in the Foster Farms Bowl Maryland plays Stanford. Yesterday's games were good - Clemson beat the snot out of Oklahoma 40 - 6 and a Texas A&M beat West Virginia 45 - 37.

Posted at 12:13 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Sunday Movie, Bowls & Africa

Sun 28 December 2014

Have any of you folks noticed just how many bowl games are going to be played this season? At one point I think I counted 33 bowl games although it seems like there are more. Somewhere I read that there are three or four new bowl games for the season one of which is the Bitcoin Bowl held in Tampa Florida earlier. Today is Sunday and is the only day without a bowl game until January 6. Last night I watched two bowl games - the Duck Commander Independence Bowl and the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The teams I wanted to win in each bowl Duke and University of Miami lost. The games were high-scoring and close so I did enjoy watching them. Yesterday there were a total of five different bowls and tomorrow there will be three games.

Georgia Tech plays in the Orange bowl on New Year's eve against Mississippi State. The people in Las Vegas all think that Mississippi State will win the game by at least one touchdown. Actually I like it when Georgia Tech is the underdog because I believe they seem to play better. If Georgia Tech's defense can stop Mississippi State's offense I think Georgia Tech has a good chance. Will find out in just a couple of days.

Today I watched a movie called "Tusk" rated a 5.7 by IMDb - anything above 5 is usually OK. The IMDb labeled it a comedy/drama/horror movie - what do you expect with that combination? Well in this case the movie was strange to say the least and I watched about half of it although I thought about turning it off sooner. The movie gods were looking over me and cause the movie to freeze after about a hour. The decision to stop watching it was made for me. I would not recommend you seen the movie - I don't want to even talk about the bizarre plot.

A couple of days ago I talked about the series on MSNBC called "Lock Up". Over the holidays they been running several episodes every night. Last night I watched it a bit and reached the same decision as I had before. The people in lockup were there because they were using drugs/alcohol but for the most part somehow seemed to adapt to the situation. That still is amazing to me but I guess you do what you must to get by.

Yesterday I went into my store room famously known as the Dolphin Room to look for some computer related equipment. I was wondering if I can use a WebCam connected to a router with a USB plug without a computer between the router and the WebCam. I do have a router with which I can test this but after thinking about it I've come to the conclusion it won't work because the drivers needed to operate the WebCam will not be found in the router. Of course I can use and IP cam without a router or computer as long as I can supply it with power. An IP cam would be a much better choice than the USB option but it was just my inquisitive mind wondering what can be done.

While in the Dolphin Room I found some actual prints I brought to Vero from Atlanta which included some of my adventure traveling. I can remember the day so very well when the picture you see was taken in Tanzania on the Serengeti. We arrived at this destination via an old WWII DC - 3 airplane from Nairobi. The pilot had to "buzz the landing area" to scare off the wild creatures grazing just below us. I'm talking about wildebeests and impalas - the pilot got within 50 feet of the ground and of course the creatures scattered in every direction.

That Safari with Wendy was among the top two or three adventure trips in my life. Perhaps my first safari in Africa mainly in Kenya would rank number one with this Safari being number two. I'd have to think about it more but maybe trekking through the Himalaya Mountains or cruising through the Galapagos archipelago might be in second place because this Safari was my second one. If you have one out of the country adventure trip to making in your life my pick would be an African Safari. I can't begin to tell you all the exciting daily adventures we had on this 26 day trip.

For the last couple of days I've been working on the packet sniffing applications I mentioned earlier and a way to block a specific IP on my home network when I'm not using the device to which the IP is assigned. On my next post I'll talk about these exciting discoveries while trying to not put you to sleep.

Posted at 05:19 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Packet Sniffing

Sat 27 December 2014

On my November 11th post of this year, I talked about a new device Amazon is developing called Echo. I said then Amazon's 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. 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.

It is always on but will not activate until you call its name according to Amazon. Personally I believe this is a lot of horseshit! I believe it is one of the marketing coups of the decade in that people will willingly let this device listen to their conversations and deliver marketing information to Amazon. They don't say this is what it does but I bet the farm it does exactly that. If you had guests over and with the device "off" you talk about new refrigerators for example you can bet the next time you go to Amazon you'll see advertisements for refrigerators. If you were talking about pots and pans then you would see pots and pans on Amazon's home page. What an exceptionally brilliant idea to get people to willingly put a device in their house which can listen and delivered marketing data to Amazon.

I did put myself on the list requesting an invitation to buy the device when it becomes available. I've not received my invitation yet however I fully expect to once they built enough of these things to me what will be a huge demand. I think it will just be fun to play with but my interest goes deeper than that.

I've acquired the best "packet sniffer" being used today by both amateurs and professionals alike. This software captures "packets" going between devices on your own home network and the Internet. For those who don't know a packet is basically a box containing data which is being sent to and from computers, tablets, smart phones, and any other device connected to your home network. I just recently installed the program called "Shark Wire" on my laptop. Frankly I was rather taken back by the amount of data traveling over my network every minute. I'm talking about hundreds of packets some of which are in plain text and can be easily read without translation. This morning I saw one packet sent from my router to I laptop with the question, "who is this?" Funny don't you think?

This software is so sophisticated and so complicated I've not got a clue on how to use it yet. It would be like installing Photoshop on your computer with no previous knowledge of image editing or manipulation. Worry not, I will learn at least a basic understanding of the information the software collects. Heck, there are a dozen or more protocols I've never heard of before! The image above I made to illustrate my network and the points of sniffing. I want to see exactly what Echo sends home!

Many of you have probably heard of the cable network known as Fuse - they play music and sometimes have a program called "takeover" when they play music from a single artist. For 12 hours today they're playing Michael Jackson videos. I've been watching it often on which reminded me of how surprised I was to learn that Michael Jackson himself designs the choreographed videos and directs how they are produced. He's not simply a talented singer but rather is the whole ball of wax. Many artists you hear can sing but that's about it - what Michael Jackson does goes far beyond that. Much of this I learned by watching the movie "This Is It" - the rehearsal for his last concert before he died.

Of course I don't like all of his music but there is much I do like. One thing that is especially appealing to me is I can understand the words which is often not the case with other artists. The performance he gives in a video or in a concert is rather astonishing if you think about it. I know. I know. He's a bit weird but then if you look through history you will find that extremely talented people are out of the mainstream for one reason or another. I think Jackson could have been a pedophile but I don't know that. Clearly pedophiles are not mainstream. Leonardo da Vinci was gay which was out of the mainstream in his day. Stephen Hawking has lived with Lou Gehrig's disease now for 30 years longer than expected. Sigmund Freud smoked nicotine and cocaine almost continuously. Tesla was known to begin work each day at 3:00 AM and continue until 11:00 PM! Charles Dickens kept his comb nearby and ran it through his hair hundreds of times a day. I could go on and on but I believe I've made my point.

Today there are four or perhaps five bowl games I can watch. The first just started but the one I'm interested in - the liberty bowl - starts at 330 this afternoon. The University of Miami will play South Carolina University - I'm interested in both teams so that should be exciting for me. My team plays in the arms bowl on New Year's Eve.

Bitcoin has not been doing particularly well from a standpoint of the exchange rate in the last half of this year. Today the rate is down to around $320 when it was at $370 or higher most of the summer. The news has been nothing but positive as Bitcoin becomes more and more widely accepted than most ever dreamed. Merchants who accept Bitcoin don't worry because they exchange it for cash on an exchange within a few minutes of receiving the Bitcoin - Coinbase is the "PayPal" for Bitcoins. Of course I'm still holding onto the coins I have and remain optimistic that they will grow in value in the years ahead. I will admit it is disappointing to see its value cut in half over the past six months.

The best source of daily information on Bitcoin is a website called Coindesk.com. Their comment most recently was, "Over the past 12 months, the price has been buffeted by a diverse array of factors, ranging from adoption by payments giant PayPal and technology goliath Microsoft to the massive sell-order from the 'BearWhale' and rumoured clampdowns by the Chinese authorities." I can't tell you what really is going on concerning the exchange rate but I can say Bitcoin acceptance is growing dramatically. Thus I continue to remain optimistic.

Recently I was channel surfing and landed on one of those networks which talk about fashion, actors, musicians, etc. part of the interview I saw was with Justin Bieber who is no longer a little kid. I've not been following his music career but apparently it's doing exceptionally well. The only thing I hear about him is on the FOX Business news when he's been arrested for fighting, reckless driving, DUI, and those sort of things. They showed several pictures but one rather shocked me because he's a different kid now than when he first started singing at 13. Of course when I was in my early 20's I look like he does except without the tattoos! If you believe that I have some old bridges up like to sell in New York.

Posted at 02:55 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Day after Christmas

Fri 26 December 2014

On Christmas Eve there was a major traffic jam on 23rd St. just outside of my house. It lasted for the better part of an hour or maybe more late in the afternoon. The image to the left shows the pictures I took both East and West to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. This does happen around here occasionally but usually it is affiliated with a funeral. This I think was just Christmas eve madness. Doesn't bother me because I'm inside where it's warm and I have a big screen TV. I just thought it was rather unusual.

Christmas morning I was invited to have breakfast with J and Kay Evans which I did. K always makes these awesome breakfast dishes and good coffee. We just set around and talked about this and that for couple of hours until they had to go meet someone to pick up a gift for their youngest son Nicholas. It was a used leaf blower for his new house. They tell me that Nicholas is into recycling big-time and therefore many of the things he will be putting in his house will be recycled meeting used elsewhere first. Let me tell you boys and girls that's a great idea because you can spend a lot of money buying new things for your home when it's totally unnecessary. Believe me I am an expert on that after my major remodeling in Atlanta 30 years ago. I bought all new furniture, kitchen appliances and other similar items. They were expensive but many of them are now in my house in Vero.

I've not seen Nicholas' new house which is in the process of being re-modeled. I don't know where it is other than it's in Sebastian somewhere. I know the whole family has been working on it off and on for a few months now and there's still more to do. Maybe one of these days I'll be invited to see it but if not it's not a big deal. Besides you folks know I don't like traveling much and going to Sebastian is a major road trip for me.

There is a series on MSNBC called "Lockup". It is a prison documentary series which airs on MSNBC. The Lockup franchise also includes Lockup: Raw, Lockup: World Tour, Lockup: Extended Stay, Lockup: Special Investigation, and Life After Lockup. The series explores prison facilities throughout the United States, profiling notable inmates, incidents, and prison operations. A typical episode usually follows one or two inmates as they attend disciplinary hearings, receive visits from family, and interact with other inmates. In some episodes, inmates are provided with personal video cameras ("inmate cams") to use in their cells for recording their thoughts.

At first I had a difficult time in watching this for reasons I won't go into now but eventually I did see several programs. Many of the inmates interviewed in the program seem to be very normal except they are incarcerated for some poor judgment/decision they made to get them there.

With out exception every inmate interview was high on alcohol and or drugs when committing the offenses that got them into prison.

Of course I don't know all the details of a inmates history but from just watching the show it seems to me that some sentences being served were extreme relative to the crime. Of course it could be that the inmate had a whole stream of previous crimes but they don't tell you that in the series. Most people don't make wise decisions when they're under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I can speak from personal experience that alcoholics can make decisions they would not make if they were sober.

An other thing I learned in the series is that most inmates had been there before yet continue a behavior which sent them back to prison again. It would seem to me the way to avoid future incarceration would be to avoid mind altering substances which is the source of poor decision-making. Perhaps that's not true in every case but I bet this is the sticks will show it is true in most of the cases when people return to jail or prison.

The series also shows how inmates adapt to their environment in a way I personally can't see it possible. It must, after a few weeks of imprisonment when you conclude you'll be there for a while and therefore should do the best you can for yourself by following the rules and engaging in extracurricular activity were possible. The whole thought gives me the creeps.

Today there are three or four college bowl games on none of which are significant but could offer great games. If two teams with a record of 6 - 5 playing each other and it's a high-scoring close game than in my mind it's a great game no matter what their record may be. I suspect I'll watch parts of all of during the day.

Last evening I had Christmas dinner with the Barnes clan which I've done every year since I've been back to Vero. MaryAnn is a great cook and once again provided a wonderful feast for us all. How can you go wrong serving medium rare beef tenderloin? She also made a variety of dishes including an artichoke dish, a squash dish, mashed potatoes, green bean dish, mushrooms, salad, and probably of the things I've already forgotten. As always I enjoyed myself being surrounded by my extended family. During the dinner I did offer myself up for adoption but unfortunately there were no takers!

Posted at 12:03 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Christmas Eve

Wed 24 December 2014

It is Christmas Eve and I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and the best to you in the New Year. I hope Santa brings you everything you want and that 2015 is a safe, happy and prosperous year for you. I'm looking forward to next year hoping some good things will happen. Hopefully I'll maintain my health and all my body parts. I'm not sure why but I'm thinking 2015 will be a good year for me.

For the last couple of days I've been playing around with my computer and other electronic gear. Yesterday I did an update including an optional update for my Sound Blaster audio driver. After the update I lost all sound on my computer. I thought about doing a system restore but instead investigated options knowing that the update was probably the cause. My best guess is that Sound Blaster made itself the primary audio driver when it updated. Up until now my default audio device was a Real Tech high definition sound driver. So I went into the panel which controls sound devices and switched from Real Tech to another input and bingo I had sound again. In fact the Sound Blaster drivers and control panel are better than what I was using so I'm not disappointed in the change. It just stresses me when I lose sound for no particular reason.

Today I tried to connect my Western Digital media player to my home network and I was successful in doing just that. What I was unsuccessful doing was in enabling the WD player to access my desktop computer through my home network. I knew what the password to my home network was but it asked for a username for the Western Digital device. I have no idea what username it wanted so I tried several none of which worked. This is really no big deal because I can transfer whatever files residing on my desktop to an external hard drive and play those files just like I do movies. In this case I'm talking about music and/or music videos - I'd like to see what these video sound like on my amplifier rather than the speakers on my desktop.

When I woke up this morning my TV was on a movie channel and just as I turned it on the movie "City Hall" was just starting. I've seen this movie before but it's been a long time so of course I forgot what happened. It starred Al Pacino and John Cusack - this was a good movie. In fact I didn't even get out of my pj's and have breakfast until the movie was over. Generally I like just about any movie those two actors are in. There are several actors that fall into that category of liking movies just because of the actors in it.

I've run on the energy so I think I'll return to my TV chair and watch a while before John arrives.

Posted at 05:48 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Movie, Code, and Hackers

Tue 23 December 2014

Last evening I was feeling rather down for no particular reason. When that happens, I usually put my phone on my answering machine and then select the movie to watch with the hope it would drwa me into the movie. I first started to watch the movie called "I Origins" but after 15 minutes I had to switch to something else - it was entirely too slow for me. The movie was given high ratings on IMDB but that doesn't necessarily mean it's good. I may try watching it again sometime in the future.

Then I tried the movie called "The Equalizer" starring Denzil Washington. OMG was this a great movie! It was full of nonstop action, introduced several different characters and kept my full attention for two hours. IMDB rated it a 7.2 with this brief comment. "A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her." This was definitely my kind of movie.

Denzil L Washington plays Robert, a "retired" CIA black ops dude. The way you retire in the CIA is to fake your death so that all your enemies think you are 6 feet under. He was most successful at this for years but had to step in to help a little 11 year old Chinese girl who was wanted by the Chinese mob and the Russian mob in New York City. Without going into details let me simply say Robert was one unstoppable bad ass. His character was very much like the character in the movie "The Punisher" - and was able to take on a half a dozen tough guys at a time. This movie will go where my short list of movies to watch again.

Something rather unexplainable way has happened to the world famous website, BillsView, you are now viewing. My guess is most of you folks don't know how to build a website using HTML and PHP as I did with Bill'sView. Most of the complicated code was written in PHP over 10 years ago with the aid of a young British college student I found on the Internet. This code is not any of the standard blog type codes readily available but rather a custom-made blog site. I've kept in touch with his young man (whose name has slipped my mind) over the years by sending small gifts via PayPal for no particular reason. This was unexpected to him and as a returned favor he was always available to help me with a code problem.

Without going into boring technical details let me just say that webpages are rendered on your computer screen from the file in which they are located on a server. An example path would be: http://website.com/workfile/notes/page.php. If you wanted to see the web page "page.php" you would use the URL I just made up. Coding a website is specific and only on the proper path should you be able to see the website. However, for reasons I cannot explain yet on my site you can also see the same page by going to : http://website.com/page.php - I have no idea how this works. The text and pictures on my pages are located at : http://website.com/workfile/notes/ - so how does that data get to http://website.com/page.php when there's no code telling it where to look?!

This is probably boring to you but a mystery like this is interesting to me because I want to know how it works. I've had this website for over 10 years and there are a lot of files within files within files on this site. I also use it to test other websites and web applications from time to time. For any of you who understand what I've just said you should be curious too.

About a month ago I was telling you I changed my online financial accounts to require a two step authorization for access. What that means is to get access to my accounts you must have my username, password, and

unique six digit code generated at the time of login

by a tiny device I have to my desk drawer. The accounts I have that Fidelity, Bank of America, PayPal, Coinbase, The Circle and eBay required the six digit code. Just how important is that you ask?

A couple of months ago J.P. Morgan Chase was hacked and millions of customers' private information like Social Security number, date of birth, address, employer,etc. was stolen by the hackers. This morning on FOX Business news the means of hacking was disclosed. Here is a quote from the New York Times : The hackers that stole millions of depositors' contact info from JPMorgan Chase earlier this year didn't use any kind of sophisticated malware like the one that took down Sony Pictures' computers. No, they managed to steal people's info, because the bank failed to upgrade one of its servers with two-factor authentication, according to The New York Times.

"Due to the lack of two-factor, the hackers gained access to sensitive info using just log-in credentials stolen from an employee."

Now you can understand why I implemented two-step login! It was clear to me months ago I should activate to step authorization where ever I can. This realization came to me when I joined a couple of Bitcoin exchanges which required two step authorization to do just about anything. If you have sensitive accounts online you would be foolish not adopt a two step authorization login.

UPDATE : I figured out the code mystery - I missed a .PHP include call.

Posted at 01:11 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Christmas week.

Sun 21 December 2014

Since I woke up this morning I've had a headache. By now you folks know I get these fairly regularly. It got worse as the day progressed but fortunately the medication I have reduces the pain. As I'm sitting here thinking about my headaches I wonder if acupuncture would be beneficial to me? If it would be I certainly wouldn't hesitate to try. Can acupuncture be self administered? Pills are something I would like to eliminate totally and in the future there might be another medication I'd like to try. These headaches are no fun at all but at least I have ways to manage them.

Unfortunately Pirate Bay is still down - my best guess is it will stay down for some time. The alternative sites do have some newer movies and applications but the selection is rather limited compared to Pirate Bay. Many of these less known sites give you a gift when you attempt to download and that is the gift of adware. Fortunately Kaspersky doesn't like adware and blocks the downloads. Kaspersky has gotten so sophisticated that it will block ads appearing on other websites without blocking the whole website. That's rather useful because many people acquired their nasties by simply going to a valid website that unknowingly has evil advertisements on it.

About a month ago I mentioned a new program being released by the people at WinPatrol. It is called WinPrivacy and this morning I received the first link for a download of a WinPrivacy beta version. Reading the issues about this beta version in the email and then investigating what other people say on the forum I've concluded not to download this version but rather wait a few weeks until some of these issues can be resolved. Apparently one of the big issues is the application will not install and a 64-bit Windows 7 operating system which is what I have. So I may not even be able to install it if I wanted to but at the moment I'm not even going to try.

This afternoon I watched the last two episodes of True Detective. This is a HBO series recommended to me a couple of months ago so I downloaded the first season. It started out rather slow in my opinion but I am not disappointed with season one at all. The two main characters were played by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson - they did an excellent job in the series. The plot was interesting and a bit off-color but that adds to the mystique of the series. Naturally I decided to download season two except I found season two is still running with several episodes left. When completed I'll download the season to file.

I'm finding that many of the TV series I watch and previously have downloaded are available to me on either Netflix or Amazon free of charge. I can see myself going to one of these sources to watch a series rather than downloading it. I will say however the 1080P downloads I get are superior to the high definition broadcasts. But then again for the most part series broadcast on networks are 720P meaning the only way to get 1080P is from a Blu-Ray disc. The way I watch TV may be evolving right before my eyes.

Speaking of watching TV I've noticed that just about every network will have a marathon on or around Christmas of one of their more popular programs/series. I'll probably be able to overdose on several different series - as of yet I've not identified which programs will be in the marathon. I'll not be bored on Christmas day and especially look forward to having Christmas dinner with all of the Barnes clan including all five siblings along with their wives/girlfriends/fiances. MaryAnn is a fabulous cook and of course I'll enjoy being around the whole crowd. I think all the siblings are in their 30s now but Ty is close to 40 if he's not already there. I'm so very fortunate to have this family adopt me - I'll be the only one there who is not part of the Barnes clan by birth or marriage.

As usual I expect MaryAnn to prepare all kinds of goodies for the dinner. She always has beef tenderloin instead of turkey - how can you possibly go wrong with beef tenderloin? She'll have hors d'oeuvres, drinks and dinner including dessert. I'm thinking about making one of my world-famous key lime pies to bring as an offering. With as many people that will be there I'll probably have to make two times to have enough for this crowd. My belief is that there will be 13 of us not including the rugrats.

The Evans family always graciously invites me to their holiday celebrations as well. They usually have an eclectic crowd of folks joining them. I am bummed out that two young people very dear to me will not be able to attend this year. I'll likely go early in the afternoon then head over to MaryAnn's house around four which will be the beginning of cocktail hour. My guess is for the boys cocktail hour will likely start around noon. If I were still consuming adult beverages, cocktail hour for me would begin whenever I woke up in the morning!

Yesterday I received an email from my personal take baker, Alice. I was stressed to find out that she is sick with a sinus infection. Of course I hope she gets better soon for her sake but also for my sake - you never know when I might need and emergency cake baked!!

Posted at 05:40 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Movie - Bowl Games

Sat 20 December 2014

This morning I was awakened by a knock at my door. It was my regular post man making a delivery from Amazon. Now days Amazon uses carriers like UPS to get packages in a general area and then turn them over to the USPS for final delivery. Whatever they're doing is working well as I am getting all my deliveries within two days or even less.

The movie I watch was called "Behind Enemy Lines" starring Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson - anything Gene Hackman is in I almost always like. Over the years he has been one of my very favorite actors along with other old timer tough actors like Clint Eastwood. The story took place during the Bosnian war about a Navy navigator who is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him. He gets rescued of course. What I particularly like about the movie was the several scenes containing F-18A Horrents - ever since I saw the Blue Angels this past summer I get a thrill out of watching them fly. The movie was decent and I'd watch it again.

This past week there was a meth lab bust here in Vero. Krystal Adkins, 32, of the 1800 block of 49th Avenue was charged with possession and manufacturing of methamphetamine. It looks to me like she's been sampling her own product for good length of time don't you think? Long time use of methamphetamines can rot your teeth out, cause you to lose weight and create sores all over your body. What a lovely thought - with all those great results why shouldn't all of us try it? Her bail was set at $70,000.

Unfortunately college football season is about over. Today there are four bowl games starting at noon and continuing back-to-back until the last is finished. Some of the bowls of never even heard of before. They are the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl and Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. If the games fall into the category of the type of games I like to watch then I really don't much care who's playing. My type of game is high-scoring, the lead changes hands during the game, the score remains close most of the time and there are some rather outstanding plays. Georgia Tech will play Mississippi State in the Orange bowl on New Year's eve. Between now and then there are 19 other bowl games. Often when the cameras scan the stadiums you'll notice some are only half full. I remember going to the very first Peach Bowl in Atlanta when the stadium was only a third full. I also remember the temperature was in the 30s with a nasty wind making it feel a lot colder. Since then the Peach Bowl has become one of the more famous bowls.

I mentioned this before - recently I've been noticing that I can order a product from Amazon and have it delivered to my doorstep in two days or less while paying less for it than if I were to purchase the same product at Walmart or Sam's Club. Surprisingly this is also true of litter which weighs a lot. I can get a 28 pound box delivered to my door for $17 which is less than the cost of the box at Walmart before taxes. Is Amazon making any money? How?

Many times over the past I've talked about phishing emails and how good they have become. Here are screenshots of just two of the most recent emails I receive. I think the one about checking my Walmart order was rather clever - lots of people shop at Walmart. The other one from Wells Fargo was easy to figure out because I don't have a Wells Fargo account! I wonder what percentage of the people who receive emails of this nature actually respond by clicking on the link which I'm sure requires input of secure information? I hope the text is large enough for you to read it.

Posted at 03:32 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Goverment Omnipotence

Fri 19 December 2014

I am outraged this morning after reading the comments IRS Commissioner Koskinen made yesterday. In a news conference on Thursday he made these comments, "The IRS is considering its own temporary shutdown due to recent budget cuts enacted by Congress, its chief said Thursday. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said furloughs - forced unpaid days off for employees as part of an IRS closure - is one idea reluctantly being tossed about to save money, though they are hoping they will not have to go there." He went on to say, "Budget cuts at the IRS could delay tax refunds, reduce taxpayer services and hurt enforcement efforts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said."

In the recent budget deal, Congress cut the IRS budget by $ 346 million to $10.9 billion. "In some ways, these budget cuts are really a tax cut for tax cheats," Koskinen said. That is a whopping 3% cut - OMG is the world coming to an end? Statements like these are particularly offensive to me because they illustrate the systemic thinking of most all government employees. Would they ever consider consolidating departments, turning three jobs into two, or saving spending in other areas? Of course not!!! Government entities always think in terms of increasing their budget not decreasing the opportunity to spend more money than they need.

In the real world businesses have to make decisions based on revenues. Sometimes this requires laying off employees, reducing inventory, postponing projects, replacing employees with computers, downsizing departments, etc None of these options even enter the mind of Government at all levels. Do you remember the "government shutdown" about a year ago? What did Obama shutdown you ask? He close government functions that would directly affect Americans in an adverse way like closing national parks, stopping White House tours and postponing tax refunds when there were untold numbers of other areas that could be cut without negatively impacting on citizens. He did not cut any of those because someone may come to the inescapable conclusion that may be some employees are not needed! By the way, any government employee who was laid off for a few days simply got a paid vacation because when the budget was settled it included retro active payment to laid-off individuals.

I pay for a subscription to a online newsletter called Windows Secrets. It is mailed to me every week or two and covers a variety of subjects all of which has to do with Windows. Yesterday's newsletter gave me yet another reason to be extremely pissed off at the overreaching government entities. There is a case in federal court in which a search warrant ordering Microsoft to disclose the contents of a specific @msn.com email account. While preparing to comply with the warrant, Microsoft discovered that only the account holder's name, email address, country, and similar information were stored in Microsoft's U.S.-based servers. The true subjects of the search - the emails - actually sat in a server in Dublin, Ireland (most likely because the person who set up the account told Microsoft that he or she lived outside the U.S.).

As required by the warrant, Microsoft disclosed the details of the account to federal investigators/attorneys -

but it refused to divulge the content of the emails because, according to Microsoft, it was outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.

Huge kudos go out to Microsoft for making the correct decision and standing their ground. Unfortunately they lost their battle in one court but are now appealing to a higher court. At that point, an array of companies and organizations - the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Verizon, AT&T, Apple, Cisco, and Infor, among many others - filed amicus briefs supporting Microsoft's position. YFI an amicus brief is a filing by parties not part of the case, who offer information that bears on the case but who has not been solicited by any of the parties to assist.

Do you folks see the substantial consequences of such a subpoena should it be upheld?

This may go all the way to the United States Supreme Court. US government agencies have no right to demand information located in other countries!! I am infuriated that any government attorney believes they have this power! If this camel gets its nose under the tent all hell could break loose! God help us all.

You can tell it is Fall here at the Vero Villa - just about all the leaves on my maple trees have changed colors and are falling off the Trees. In a week I bet they will all be gone. It is a nice sunny day with the temperature at 68 F - very pleasant.

Posted at 11:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Stocks, Sony & Cuba

Thu 18 December 2014

If any of you have been paying attention to the stock market you will know that it has been on a steady decline for the last week. The market has lost about 800 points on the Dow but yesterday there was a significant rally because of the Federal Reserve meeting. In the meeting they decided to keep interest rates low well into 2015 when the market expected rates may go up sooner rather than later. This caused a huge rally with a Dow Jones increase of over 250 points. That is significant and I'm pleased to report it continues to increase this morning.

I looked at the few mutual funds I have and noticed that two of them went down significantly while everything else was up. My mutual funds looked like the red line in the image when it should have looked like the green line. What happened was two mutual funds made a distribution of capital gains and dividends which reduce the value of each share in the fund. But in the end I now have more shares of each of the funds meaning I really didn't lose value as it initially appeared. This is not uncommon in the world of mutual funds. A fund will declare a dividend thus reducing the value per share without informing the owner that a dividend/capital gains was declared and now more shares were issued to compensate for the decline. I should know that by now but it still causes me to gasp.

Now I'm in the middle of installing an operating system on Walt's new Intel solid-state hard drive. I was mostly through with the installation when the screen turned black and gave me two choices either of which I understood. I selected a choice which caused the installation process to start all over again. It is installing now and hopefully I won't have the same problem again. Stay tuned. Update - I did get it installed properly.

By now you've heard about Sony's decision to not release the comedy about the North Korean dictator. North Korea hacked into the Sony system recovering private emails, Social Security numbers of every employee, future operating plans of Sony, and other most private information. As a result, Sony has made the decision not to release the movie at all. My personal view is that is the wrong decision - Sony should not allow that fat little dictator in North Korea to control their business. What company is next?

For a few weeks now I've been talking about the neighbor next door who lives in the upstairs apartment. I have seen no sign of activity although the porch light does stay on all night. I'm sure the guy that used to live there is gone although I never saw any furnishings or belongings removed from the apartment. It remains a mystery.

Emperor Obama decreed the United States will have normal relations with Cuba once again. There has been an embargo for about 50 years I think. I don't like the fact he simply waived his magic wand to do this but in all honesty I to believe there was time to make a change after 50 years. I do not believe they are the threat they used to be and I believe the citizens of Cuba will see an improvement in their standard of living. Because Russia is broke they can't afford to support Cuba any longer. Plus the Castro brothers are both old as dirt and should die soon. It is a great tourist destination with outstanding sportfishing, scuba diving, casinos, and a lot of cheap Cuban made products. Plus those who smoke cigars will be happy to legally be able to get them again.

Posted at 01:14 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Home Shopping

Wed 17 December 2014

Most of you folks know how much I dislike the necessities of having to leave my house. Perhaps that's a reason why I still have gas left in my tank when the last time I filled it was on June 11. Recently I've done some research comparing prices at Walmart to Amazon. In many cases the prices I found for items at Amazon cost less than the same item at Walmart including Amazon's delivery of the product to my front door in two days or less. Except for doctors visits I could probably arrange to have everything delivered to me without leaving my house. I'm trying to do my part in reduce carbon emissions by driving as little as possible. The other advantage to driving as little as possible is the good people of Vero beach are safer when I'm not on the road especially at night! So when I make out my shopping list I'll compare prices at Walmart to those at Amazon to see if it is more cost efficient to order from Amazon. Of course Publix is almost always higher but I like going there.

Speaking of Amazon, I now have my new Fire Stick connected to my entertainment center. The HDMI switch I ordered arrived today and I'm using it to connect either my Apple TV or the Amazon Fire Stick to my surround sound amplifier. The switching device has a plug for a DC power supply - the power supply did not come with the switch as I thought. The good news is the switch works perfectly fine without separate power. The remote control for the switch uses IF which means the receiver must be in my line of sight and close to me. Fortunately the switch did come with an IF receiver which I attached to the outside of my cabinet full of electronic gear. As long as it works from my bedroom chair everything is good. It does work with smooth switching and there seems to be no loss in quality of the signal to the receiver. I still have one more HDMI port in the switch which is unused at the moment. Just wait I'll find something.

The weather in Vero today is exceptionally nice. There is not a cloud in the sky and the temperatures are moderate. I was reminded of the nice days we used to have in the Florida Keys so I looked at some pictures. For your viewing pleasure you'll see a picture of John and me after a lobster hunt several years ago. For those who don't know, John is Starr's oldest son who hopes to get into law school after graduating from FSU recently.

Walt came by yesterday to pick up the two laptops I upgraded for him. One I simply set back to the factory settings while the other I installed Windows 7 ultimate. This was Walt's computer and even after cleaning it up he still thought it was slow which from my point of view I can confirm it was slow. In my view he needed a SSD to make it a sweet laptop. He agreed so I ordered an Intel 120GB series 520 - I have the same Intel SSD in my personal laptop. There was one heck of a sale on just the hard drive at Amazon so we ordered one yesterday - it will be here tomorrow. The SSD was on sale for only $75 which is a bargain for that particular Intel model. Of course that means I'll have to install an operating system again along with some programs which I just got through doing on his old hard drive. Hopefully it will go faster now that it is a SSD drive. That's one of the projects I have for tomorrow.

As I mentioned before Pirate Bay is down. There is a Pirate Bay clone established by one of the other torrent sites to keep things going. Somehow they had the complete database for Pirate Bay so anything that was there before it was shut down is still there. I have downloaded from this site with success and safety. I've looked at other torrent sites and almost without exception you get a bonus when you download a torrent - the bonus is malware used to provide advertisements. Of course my Kaspersky immediately stop any potential unwanted download and I could look in the Kaspersky logs to identify which adware was being stopped. I have to tell you I'm more and more impressed with Kaspersky as I learn more about what it can and in fact does due to protect me. It's simply the best.

This morning I turned on my VPN but it would not connect to a server. I tried several different servers both in the United States and other countries all of which failed. Then later I couldn't even long into my VPN. Of course I fired off an email wanting to know what was going on and within an hour I received an email back saying everything is up and running now. There were some sort of glitch at Astrill - at least it wasn't my program on my computer. Their email said, "There was a short outage caused by some problems with our API servers. This is resolved now. We apologize for the inconvenience." I wanted to download "Tusk".

Posted at 05:31 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Bitcoin Growing/Entertainment Center

Tue 16 December 2014

Every day I checked the Coinbase.com website for the most current news on Bitcoin. There is always some positive news on the website although the exchange rate of Bitcoin has been lower than I would like - it has been in the $370 range but today is down to $345. The headline on the website today was,"Time Inc Becomes First Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin". More and more mainstream companies are accepting Bitcoin as payment for their products and services. The image to the left is what you will see on the checkout page of Time magazine. More and more financial institutions and professional talking heads have stated that Bitcoin is here to stay. I have not bought nor sold any of the coins I have - I plan to wait until the exchange rate gets a good bit higher.

This morning I installed a new Belkin 12 outlet surge protector for my entertainment center. The previous surge protector strip I had could only accommodate six outlets so the upgrade and expansion was a necessity from my point of view. Of course the Belkin strip is plugged into my backup power supply which will keep everything plugged into it running when I lose power. Here in the city limits of Vero Beach where I live power goes out frequently but usually only for a second or two. The only way I know the power goes out is because I hear the several power backup supplies I have come on for a second or two. Yesterday was one of those days where I lost power for about two seconds. My view is back up power supplies are a necessity for electronic equipment. I have four of these devices ranging from 450 W up to 1350 W - the latter is for my computer.

The new Amazon Fire Stick says it will run off the power provided by the HDMI connection but in my case that is not true. Fortunately it comes with a DC power supply which makes the device runs smoothly. Now my issue is my surroundsound amplifier only has three HDMI input ports and now I need another one for the Fire Stick. So I found a HDMI three way switch I plan to try by connecting my Apple TV and the Fire Stick into the switch with one outgoing HDMI cord going to my amplifier. The literature on most switches say power supplies are not necessary because the HDMI cord will supply the DC current necessary. I didn't buy that so I bought a switch that comes with a DC power supply and a remote control. Just what I need - yet another remote control! I ordered the Belkin strip yesterday and received it this morning; the HDMI switch should arrive tomorrow morning. Amazing shipping service for this time of the year.

Many of you have not seen the Vero Villa before I completed the major upgrading of everything inside and installed landscaping on the outside. These pictures are the before and after look of the south side of my house. They were taken from different angles but show the same side of the house. Notice any difference? Now you can see just how much effort I put in designing and installing my landscaping. Actually Walter did the installation but I chose the plants and layout design.

Posted at 03:37 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Fire Stick

Sun 14 December 2014

Yesterday I received my Fire Stick from Amazon - just like Amazon TV only much smaller. It is a device about 20% larger than a USB flash drive but has a HDMI male connector. There is also a small plug on the side of the vice where you can plug in a power supply. The very abbreviated manual included in the device box said better results will come from using the power supply. I found that without the power supply I get no results at all!

To tested I connected it to the 24 inch HD monitor I keep in my closet to hook up to computers on which I work or in this case to test the Fire Stick. Once connected to a power supply it did launch the initial setup but because I already registered in my Amazon Prime account I really didn't need to do anything except connected to my wireless network. I first tried my guest network with total failure because there was no way to input a password. I then tried my home network and was able to login without a problem.

The remote control is about the size of the Apple TV remote - in another words it is small. I was able to see the venue that was available and tried several different video options but I could not connect to any that I tried. I was looking for free video options but the Fire Stick does not indicate if they video is free or if there is a charge. Of course I have not read the online manual which will probably explain all this to me - I just don't like reading manuals. What I did discover is I can go to my online Amazon Prime account and select movies that were free then add them to my wish list. My wish list immediately appeared on my Fire Stick and I could click on the movies I selected and watch them for free. Actually this is probably a better solution for me because I can take my time online reviewing the videos and then just placing them in my wish list. I did not try any of the other services available because most of them require a subscription. The next big thing is to see how I can connected to my big-screen television - maybe I'll try later today.

Late yesterday afternoon I managed to work up one of the worst migraines I've had in a long time. It took more medication than usual to reduce the headache but I was successful. The thing is I don't like using much medication at all especially the ones that can be addictive. I'm sure you can understand my view on that.

Yesterday Lance's mother, Kay, came by with her laptop because her free AVG program had expired and she thought she was without protection. Actually when a antivirus program subscription expires the program continues to work it just does not update anymore. Before she came by her youngest son Nicholas said I needed to reformat the hard drive because it took five minutes for Chrome to open. He was just simply wrong! Both browsers open almost immediately as well as the limited programs on the computer itself. All I needed to do was to put a new license key in for AVG Internet security.

At first my plans were to uninstall the free AVG program and then install Kaspersky - I have real licenses for Kaspersky. Before I did that I checked the Internet and what ever I "Googled" took me to a page that had a list of 10 keys for AVG that are allegedly valid through February, 2018. Because I did not have to download a program I did not see any risk in trying a key. Bingo - the keywords and now she has a fully licensed AVG program.

Unfortunately Pirate Bay is still down but the good news is there are a couple of Pirate Bay spinoffs that are up and running. I tested one yesterday and it worked perfectly well just like the Pirate Bay. It had the same torrents, search engine, up loaders and was hard to tell it wasn't the real thing. Heck, it might become the real thing for me. Anyway I plan on watching a movie or two I downloaded this Sunday afternoon when I can finally take my mind off of their issues.

Posted at 01:19 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Pirate Bay Down!

Thu 11 December 2014

I am in told shock and horrified because my favorite movie venue is GONE! For many years The Pirate Bay has been sailing by the seat of its pants so any downtime is met with concern from its millions of users.

Tuesday morning, for the first time in months, The Pirate Bay disappeared offline. A number of concerned users emailed TF for information but at that point technical issues seemed the most likely culprit. However, over in Sweden authorities have just confirmed that local police carried out a raid in Stockholm this morning as part of an operation to protect intellectual property.

Does this mean that Pirate Bay is gone forever? My guess is probably not - when there is a void usually someone rushes in to fill it. There is already talk about new Pirate Bay sites starting up in different parts of the world. The authority for torrent sites is a blog called "Torrent Freak" and this morning the main article gives hope that Pirate Bay will be recessitated. There is already a site that looks like Pirate Bay that is online now except it has no data at least not yet. Of course there are many other torrent sites but none as reliable and with as much variety as Pirate Bay. I'm rather depressed about all this.

Earlier this week my landscape guy dropped two laptops off for cleaning and/or update. One of the laptops was used for the kids in the family so all I did was to restore it to its original factory settings. That worked just fine but it will need updating and probably some software not included in the original factory image.

The other laptop was Walt's personal laptop he infrequently uses but needs all the same. Most of his work is done on a new desktop I assembled for him earlier this year. By the way he loves the desktop I put together for him. This laptop is old and slow as laptops tend to get after years of use. It even had Windows Vista installed on it. The first thing I did was offload his 22 GB of iTunes music and backup data for his Blackberry then I reformat the hard drive and installed Windows 7 ultimate. This installation took hours part of which was installing the operating system itself and at least two hours of updates. Then of course I had to install programs I know he needed and transfer his music back to this computer. Both laptops are good to go.

My friend Marilynn in Atlanta has a website Lance and I built for her called SpecSolutions.net. Because lances is on the West Coast now any updates she needs I've been doing for some time. This week I added five or six new pages and removed two old pages. I like the site but I don't like the fact that plays music when you first open the webpage or at least it does on many computers. I have code like that blocks so it does not play music on my computers. Have a look.

It is safe to go back to the updating ccleaner version 5. In version 5 you can turn off the monitoring by simply unchecking the activation on one page. For the first time in forever it has a new GUI (graphic user interface). I've not investigated it thoroughly to know if there are other advances but I still think it's a great program for cleaning temporary files and trash that accumulates on a computer.

Remember I mentioned that the kid next door in the upstairs apartment had someone banging on his door late one Saturday night and the police showed up the next morning? The apartment has been dark until yesterday when the porch light came on again and I saw one young guy walk in and almost immediately walked out - he was not the tenant. Since then I've not seen any other activity so I have no idea what's going on yet.

This morning was the coldest morning we've had in Vero since last winter. It was in the 40s here and won't get higher than the 60s during the day. Fortunately the wind is not blowing and there is a clear bright sunny day. Often we would call this a "Chamber of Commerce day".

Posted at 12:08 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

GT to Orange Bowl

Mon 08 December 2014

Yesterday I received an email from Georgia Tech with an invitation to join fans at the Orange Bowl on New Year's Eve. There was a time I would go but Publix and Wal-Mart are my range of travel now. I'm both happy and surprised at just how well the Yellow Jackets did this year. It would be nice to beat the higher ranked Mississippi State.

It is another nasty rainy day here in Vero like it has been for the last 7 to 10 days. I wish the sun would come out - it is gloomy now.

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

GT loss - Just Damn!

Sun 07 December 2014

As you probably have heard by now Georgia Tech loss to FSU last night in the ACC championship game by score of 37 - 35. What might surprise you is that I did not watch the game because I did not want the stress and anxiety I knew I would experience. I always know that I can watch the replay if I want to - I'm not sure I will yet. At this point I cannot tell you that Georgia Tech made a lot of mistakes or didn't play as well as I know they can. The bottom line is that FSU won. It is interesting to note that the three games Georgia Tech loss this year they lost by a total of just six points. That is a pretty impressive record in my opinion and I'm proud of the way the Georgia Tech team played this year. Of course they will go to a bowl game yet to be determined.

This morning I spent about 2 1/2 hours watching the Palladia music video channel on my cable. It seemed the thing to do for relaxation and enjoyment after the disappointing loss last night. The music videos played this morning were all pretty darn good - most of them used acoustical instruments and I can understand the words! Then I watched a few OAR videos I have on my computer. I have downloaded a complete Jason Mraz live from Korea concert video so I might just watch that this afternoon.

This past week on the FOX business news channel they have been talking about this large black man who was killed during an arrest attempt for selling individual cigarettes on the street. It would have been his 11th arrest for the same charge. So how can someone make money selling individual cigarettes on the street? It turns out that a pack of cigarettes in New York City cost $12.50 and if he sold each cigarette for a dollar he could make about eight dollars a pack. Can you imagine? I'm so old I can remember when cigarettes were $.30 a pack although I did not smoke. Of course most of the cost of the cigarettes are New York taxes.

In my last post I talked about a new program called WinPrivacy soon to be released by the people who developed the WinPatrol program I've been using for years. If you want to know more about the new program click on the image and it should take you to another page.

I'm not sure why I've become even more interested than ever in privacy. Maybe it was reading about Canvas Fingerprinting that has inspired me? Yesterday I use my Kaspersky Internet security suite to make some detailed adjustments. In the firewall section I've blocked Internet access to all Google programs. I double checked my browsers to make sure Java has been disabled. I blocked some programs from running at all unless at some point I choose to use one of them. When I did a full scan with Kaspersky eight unwanted objects were found in a Chrome folder inside a Google folder which was stored on my 2 TB "C" drive which I used mostly for storage. It has an operating system on it and I can boot from it any time I want to but I choose to boot from my "J" drive which is my solid-state hard drive.

After some research I discovered a program that will monitor all the devices on my home network and tell me which ones are connected to the Internet, what IP they are connected to, and capture the "packets" going to and from each device. When I finally received the Amazon echo device next year all be able to monitor its Internet activity when it's supposed to be off. This should be an interesting experiment them to think?

Posted at 02:56 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Canvas Fingerprinting

Fri 05 December 2014

You folks know how careful I protect my Internet privacy and how seriously I take the threat of hacking, capturing my passwords, and other invasions into my computer life. This privacy issue is one of the main reasons I am not a member of any the social website/media. I have blocked active script from initiating on any of my browsers and I have blocked my browsers from forwarding me to another site without my knowledge and permission. These techniques are often used to put Trojans on your computer without your knowledge. Even valid websites can have rogue advertisements on them which will automatically execute if you simply go to their website. The two worse places to catch a chosen or virus is on a social site or through email attachments.

The thought of companies tracking my Internet surfing just offends me. My browsers have a little utility known as Do Not Track Me which goes a long way toward not being tracked on the Internet. Many if not most sites want to put a cookie on your browser before you can go to their site. This little utility sends a message back to the site such that it thinks it has a cookie on my computer. It's the only utility of its kind and I've been using it for years.

While on a security form today I discovered a new nasty tracking method called Canvas Fingerprinting. Popular, heavily trafficked websites are increasingly turning to "canvas fingerprinting" in order to track your online movements. Canvas fingerprinting is extremely hard to block, hard to detect, and has become a unique identifier that logs your 'Net history as you jump from site to site without you knowing about it - on desktop and mobile devices. The shocker for the researchers is that while standard cookies, primarily on desktop, have long tracked your movements, with users being able to opt out with ad-blocking software, canvas fingerprinting actually takes control away from the users and is virtually impossible to detect.

Most but not all the sites observed in a test used a content-sharing widget from the company AddThis. When a browser loaded the AddThis widget, JavaScript that enabled canvas fingerprinting was sent. The script used a capability in modern Web browsers called the canvas API that allows access to the computer's graphics chip, which is intended for use with games or other interactive content. An invisible image was sent to the browser, which rendered it and sent data back to the server. That data can then be used to create a "fingerprint" of the computer, which could be useful for identifying the computer and serving targeted advertisements. Your unique fingerprint can be identified by websites which you go to without using a cookie. Just think about it - no matter what website you go to that site knows who you are in more detail than you even want to think about. This sort of crap really pisses me off.

I'm still doing research but the articles I've read thus far have said that the AddThis which it uses JavaScript which enables the fingerprinting to be sent. I have JavaScript disabled in all of my computers so maybe I might be safe but I'm not sure yet. One of the articles also said the utility I have called Do Not Track Me might also block this canvas fingerprinting.

Now comes the good news. A program I've been using for years called WinPatrol is coming out with a new program called WinPrivacy in the next several weeks - maybe before the end of December. Having a pro version of WinPatrol I was given the option to prepay for the purchase of this new program at a 80% discount - I couldn't send my money fast enough! Here is what the new WinPrivacy program will do:

**WinPrivacy rips open the veil of secrecy programs have been hiding behind by exposing every single program on your computer that is using the Internet.

**WinPrivacy tells you from where each program is sending and receiving data, and how much.

**WinPrivacy gives you the power to block Internet Access for any program(s).

**WinPrivacy lets you block any unknown programs from using the Internet without your permission.

**WinPrivacy is highly configurable.

**WinPrivacy removes 3rd party Flash Cookies

**WinPrivacy blocks Canvas Fingerprinting

**WinPrivacy tells you which sites DO NOT use Canvas Fingerprinting

As far as I'm concerned this is a Godsend. I hardly wait to install it. If you do not have WinPatrol you should and while you're at it buy WinPrivacy. Of course if you don't care that the world knows where you go, what you do, what you say, what you buy, with whom you text, etc. then just ignore my suggestion.

Of course I have to remind you of the ACC playoff game tomorrow night. FSU is favored by most everybody with a point spread of4 to 7 depending on which bookie you talk. Yet there are those who say that Georgia Tech is not a sure loser and could end Florida State University's flawless winning season. Nothing would please me more.

Posted at 03:28 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

College Football Rankings

Thu 04 December 2014

There is one more week until we know exactly who will play in the College Football Playoff, but a lot can change between now and then.

The committee has released its penultimate rankings. The Top Four teams are the ones who would compete in the semifinals if the season ended today. However, we know better than to assume the favorites will win in college football.

After a season full of crazy upsets and surprising results, we should prepare ourselves for more twists and turns during championship weekend. Above is a full look at the latest rankings - hopefully GT can mess-up FSU's chances.

Jerry Hinnen of CBS Sports said this:

"Florida State has flirted with disaster all season long against a whole series of teams that aren't as good as Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets' two losses - to Duke and North Carolina - were by a combined 11 points. They won every other ACC game by double digits.

I think it's going to be another come-down-to-the-wire kind of thing. At this point, honestly, I think Georgia Tech pulls the upset. If you're Florida State, you can't just keep doing this game after game after game and expect to come through it unscathed. I think Georgia Tech gets them."

You can rest assured I hope he's right!

Posted at 03:00 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Not Much

Thu 04 December 2014

With a serious migraine attack around midday on Thursday I decided to take the necessary medication with the intent of kicking back and watching a good movie. I succeeded in killing the migraine with the medication and I also succeeded in kicking back but the movie I picked was a real flop as far as I'm concerned. It was called "Guardians of the Galaxy"and was rated 8.4 on IMDB which gave me great hope that it would be a good movie. WRONG! It was full of special effects with a lot of razzle dazzle but the plot of the movie and the movie it self really didn't deserve a grating above two or three on IMBD in my opinion. It just wasn't any good! I usually like high-tech science fiction movies but this certainly was not one of them. I can guarantee you one thing, I'll never watch this one again.

On a different subject I did a routine scan with MalwareBytes on my main XPS computer and to my surprise he found a "conduit" registry entry. The program suggested it was of little risk but I know differently. Conduit is one of the major nasty malware software that can invade your computer. Some versions are worse than others but any version at all is not good. Of course I pulled it out by the roots from my registry - I hope they got it all. This damn malware often comes along with seemingly "normal" updates on programs that are otherwise trustworthy. It really irks me when you get a Java or or even a flash player update. Often it depends on what site you use to download the updates because some are cleaner than others.

I've noticed my fast XPS Dell computer has become a tiny bit slower to open programs than it used to be. Certainly that can be attributed to all the programs I've added to the operating system since I've had it for almost 2 years now. If it were such a pain in the rear and I reformat my solid-state hard drive then reinstall the Windows 7 operating system I'm currently using. I haven't done this because I recognize that soon I'll be having to move to a newer operating system probably skipping Windows 8 altogether and going to Windows 10. I don't see that happening real soon but there are copies of Windows 10 available for testing and I have access to those copies.

We had a cold front moved in and the temperature dropped into the 50s overnight. It was windy and damp both of which are good reasons to stay inside. Fortunately I am well stocked and there was no need to make a run to Publix at least not yet. I'm also working on two different projects at the moment each of which could take all day if I'm not careful. One has to do with helping Nicholas with a new website and the other with my interest in using a high gain network adapter mounted somewhere outside. I've not checked it yet but I'm pretty sure there will be several Xfinity hotspots within range of my antenna. Today I should get the hardware I wanted to help set up a test to see just how far I can receive stations.

Posted at 02:51 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

New Dragon

Tue 02 December 2014

Something weird happened this afternoon. Most of you folks know I have a call blocking device on my phone to block telemarketers and others whom I do not wish to talk. This time it was one of those telemarketers trying to get me to consolidate my credit card balances to one new credit card. The truth is I do not have any credit card balance on my two cards nor do I keep a balance at any time. I frequently paid these credit card balances on a daily basis. What was weird about this particular telemarketer was my caller ID showed my telephone number and my name! I know how to spoof both someone's telephone number and someone's name but I've never seen a telemarketer do it before. So now I have blocked my own number in case it were to happen again. Because I cannot call myself from my own number it will do no harm at least that's what I think.

You folks probably know that after all the years I've been using a computer I cannot type except with one finger. It used to take me forever to type a post on Bill'sView but now I've been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the last couple of years. I had version 11 which I obtained from PB but for some reason it was making more mistakes than it used to so I thought it was time to make a change. If you read some of the blogs in the past you probably found mistakes I did not correct. I'm finding I have to go through everyone and correct mistakes rather frequently. This is being typed with my new Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 12.5 which should be more accurate and has more commands available to me. When I get through with this dictation all read it to see if there are mistakes.

My old Dragon version could not tell the difference between "when" and "win" or "no" and "know" as it should do by the context of a sentence. Thus far this version seems to be doing rather well - I've not noticed any mistakes yet. I can give the various commands to the extent I probably can learn to use my computer without ever touching my keyboard or mouse. That's not my purpose - my purpose is to avoid having to type letters, blogs, forms, etc. I spent about two hours installing the new version and much of that time was used to train it. The more I use it the more accurate it should become.

Today the tower (computer box) for Bridget's gaming computer arrived. I have not taken it out of the box yet but plan to do so probably tomorrow. It was an overcast rainy day in Vero and if I'm going to work on a computer I need all the light I can get. At my age I need plenty of light and glasses to see what I'm doing. You'll remember I mentioned I didn't want to assemble this gaming computer because the parts are expensive and I was afraid I may damage one. The two people I know that have assembled several computers both told me I could do it with ease - easy for them to say. But when I found out that the instruction manuals that were rather thick had so many pages because they were in 17 different languages I discovered there wasn't really much instructions at all. Most of these instructions were pictures and not text. So tomorrow I'm going to take a closer look to determine if this is something I want to undertake.

Thus far I have resisted buying new toys even though there are some great bargains out there. I really don't need any new toys but I did buy a a new external hard drive knowing that I'll eventually need it to hold my digital media. At the moment I have 12 external hard drives holding movies and TV series. They are all the small portable ones which do not need a power supply. The new ones I'm buying use USB 3.0 although I don't think that makes a difference with my media player. Did I mention I left the media player with my cousin Alice the Baker? I don't think she's tried it yet because I'm pretty sure she'll call me when she does. She told me she didn't want one but I think she very well may change your mind when she sees what it can do.

After Thanksgiving I had several Tupperware containers full of leftovers. I put portions in my vacuum seal plastic then into the freezer they went. I now have enough frozen vacuum seal containers to feed me for several weeks. I really love my vacuum seal device and my only regret is I didn't buy one sooner. I did give one to Alice the Baker just before Thanksgiving as a gift I thought she would use.

I've downloaded two different screen capture software programs so I can record whatever is rendered all my monitor. Most of the time I can download the video file directly from the source except I cannot do that with ESPN. Surprisingly I have purchased product keys for both programs because the year old versions were so cheap and for my purposes will work perfectly fine. I've not installed either one yet and when I do I may install it on the other hard drive in my computer. I'm always using my solid-state hard drive but I do have a 2 TB Western Digital hard drive installed in my computer as well. It has an operating system on it so I can boot it if I wish but I use it as a storage device - I can easily move files from the two hard drives at any time.

Well, how did Dragon do?

Posted at 07:23 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The Weekend

Mon 01 December 2014

It was a rather exciting weekend around here. First of all, I still can't get over the exciting end to the Georgia - Georgia Tech football game on Saturday. I know as I get older I cannot watch these games anymore because I'm liable to have a coronary. When Georgia Tech scored the tying three points by kicking a 54 yard field goal with only 2 seconds left I was in total disbelief! This always happens to UGA not to GT. Then when Georgia Tech scored a touchdown in the first overtime but had the extra point blocked I just knew that Georgia would score a touchdown and make the extra point. That's how it always is except this past Saturday Georgia Tech intercepted the ball on the goal line to in the game. What an exciting game it was particularly in the last 60 seconds.

This coming weekend Georgia Tech gets to play Florida State University ranked #2 in the country. Forget the rankings for just a moment, FSU just has a good team and seems to pull it out at the end of every game. There is only one game this entire season when FSU beat their opponent by more than six points. This does give me a glimmer of hope because GT has a good type of offense which FSU has not had to face this year. GT runs the option keeping the ball on the ground most of the time. The secret will be to keep the ball out of the hands of FSU's offense. I'll not get my hopes up and be just totally shocked if GT wins like I was this past weekend.

On Saturday night around 11 PM I was in the kitchen and looked out my window to see some big guy pounding on the door of the upstairs apartment behind my house. This guy kept pounding for several minutes and was yelling obscenities at the same time. No one came to the door but my best guess is no one was inside. I have no idea what this was about but rarely do I hear anything outside of this house because it is so well insulated.

On Sunday morning two deputy sheriffs came to investigate. You can see the poor image I took outside of my kitchen window. They too failed to get anyone to answer the door and my belief that guy has gone. There was a young man that looked like he was going to college and even appeared Polynesian to me. He's had a couple of girlfriends and I know they tangle with one another. I'm baffled as to why some big burly white guy would come beat on his door at 11 o'clock Saturday night? Maybe I'll find out in the future.

Amazingly my Comcast speed has been higher than usual in the last two weeks or so. I paid for their "extreme" package which allegedly provides 105 Mbps although I rarely hit that high. I usually was in the speed range between 50 and 90. Look at the image of the screenshot I took over the weekend. This was not just a fluke because it has happened on several recent tests. Online I read that Comcast is increasing their extreme package in the future and have already done so in four states. Some forums suggested they may be testing speeds which is why mine is higher now? I do know one thing about Comcast that continues to increase and that is my monthly charges!

On Thursday night as I was leaving the Barnes residence it was not late but it was dark. I managed to clip their black mailbox with the passenger side mirror of my car. The mirror came out of the encasement but did not break nor was the encasement bent or damaged in any way. I tried a few times to "pop it back in" but I didn't know the secret. This morning at eight o'clock I took it to Joe's paint and body shop and they were able to repair it in just a few minutes. I am rather confident that if I had continued to try and repair I would've at least broken the mirror and maybe the motor that controls it. The man I deal with there did not charge me so I sent him an e-mail when I got home offering to help with any computer or laptop he has without charge.

Posted at 02:56 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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)

Police Gestapo

Fri 31 October 2014

Last night I was watching John Stossel on the Fox Business News channel. He has a weekly program aired on Thursday night that covers the outrageous procedures and practices of the US government. Last night the topic was on the extreme overuse of police power. The first story was about a gentleman who lost a law suit to the city in which he lives with regard to taxes. Without any notification or request to pay the taxes ordered by the court the local police sent out a gestapo squad that included 30 men in a SWAT team and an armored vehicle just two weeks after the verdict ! The picture to the left was actually taken at the scene. This is government out of control at its worst. To send such force to a law-abiding citizens home in order to collect taxes he only knew were due two weeks earlier is insane!

There were several other stories in his hour-long program about similar events. One such story dealt with the border patrol stopping US citizens as they travel from their home to their work in towns more than 100 miles away from the border. They have unlawfully searched and seized citizens cars or trucks without probable cause and in the cases on the program absolutely nothing was found illegal. These law enforcement agencies think they are above the law and are all powerful. In another case a SWAT team invaded a US Marine man's home thinking there were drugs inside. They shot the Marine 30 times and no drugs were found. They had the wrong house! They shot him 30 times!!!

There are tons of stories like the three I mentioned above where police think they can do anything with their self-appointed unlimited powers. Some think they are God. This is happening all across the United States although you don't hear much about it because the police suppress the news. I do believe there are honest hard-working policemen and women trying to do their best but frankly I think they are in the minority. I do not trust any agency of the law or as far as that goes I do not trust any government agency at all. We are free Americans and should not be under constant abuse, scrutiny, searches and attacks from our own government. I've had some personal experience as you know and I'm really pissed off about this.

For the last week or so I've been waking up about 4:00am in the morning and not fall right back to sleep as usual. I attribute this to the fact there are a lot of things on my mind which immediately start running through my brain when I awake. I'm using the extremely hot bathtub treatment to aid falling asleep again.

Everybody knows what tomorrow is right? It's college football Saturday. Georgia Tech plays Virginia at 330 in the afternoon on ESPNU. Unfortunately Georgia Tech is favored by a field goal. Of course I hope that they when but history teaches me that when they are favored by a field goal they more often lose than not. It should be a close game and the team making the fewest mistakes will likely come out on top. Last night FSU threw two interceptions in the first quarter which were turned into touchdowns by Louisville. FSU has a great team and was able to come back to win the game at the very end.

I don't know how closely you folks follow the stock markets but I want to mention they seem to be on a winning run up at the moment. While I was watching Fox Business News this morning the Dow Jones Industrial average's hit an all-time high. Both the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 are up as well even in this anemic economy. The price of oil dropped below $80 a barrel this week which is equivalent to giving each American household a $700 per year tax break. Foreign investors are fleeing their countries and coming to America for better and safer returns. That applies to both the stock markets and the real estate markets. To top this off, November and December are usually the best two months out of the year so it may get even better than it already is.

Why are the markets doing so well? As I pointed out one of the reasons is the inflow of money from foreign investors. Another more subtle reason is investors think the Republicans will gain back control of the United States Senate which is viewed as good for the economy and good for business. The pipeline Obama has refused to allow thus far will likely be started and many of the abusive out-of-control regulations on people and industries might be repealed as well. As you know Obama has illegally issued executive orders all of which have hurt most individuals and businesses. Even his own party members are fleeing from him like rats off a sinking ship. The intelligentsia of his party now admit he doesn't have a clue on how to be president. I've known that for over six years now haven't you?

Polls suggest there is a good possibility that the Republicans will gain control of the Senate once again but it is not a given. Of course I hope this happens because I believe it will be in the best interest of US citizens if it does. I've already voted but next Tuesday is the normal voting date for most people.

Posted at 01:41 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Litter Jenie Oder Killer Idea

Thu 30 October 2014

For some reason, this past week has been very busy for me with more things to do every day that I expected. It's like I've said in the past, sometimes I wake up in the morning with nothing to do and at the end of the day it's only half done! I have felt that way all week and today looks like it's going to be the same. Some of time has been spent trying to help others and some time I simply get involved in a project and the hours go by.

For example, I have this container called Litter Jenie in which the scoopings out of a cat litter box are placed with the idea of eliminating any odors. I've not had this item very long but it works as advertised - I'm most happy with it. The problem is that the odors it retains inside are released to a certain extent when you deposit another scoop into the container. Well I don't like that of course and therefore I went to work on some ideas to eliminate that much smaller problem.

I thought of a couple ways of doing it but ended up putting some gel like substance with a pleasant aroma on top of the inside lid such that when I open the lid I smell citrus from the gel and not the cat litter odor. Thus far this is working just great. I also thought about putting a small strip of Velcro on the inside of the lid and then attaching some sort of product used in the home to kill odors. I could attach the oder killing substance to one part of the Velcro and then attach it to the inside of the box. I'm thinking about writing the company that manufactures this device and making such a suggestion to them.

In the last week I've been asked to write two letters of recommendation which required research on my part to make certain I include information wanted and needed by the committees to whom I'm sending the letters. These letters of recommendation are different than my normal letter of recommendation because they must cover certain areas of the person recommending. I'm pretty good at writing recommendation letters but in these cases I'm taking extra time to make sure I've done them improperly.

Several posts ago I talked about the new Apple Pay app available on the new iPhone. Before its release the talking heads on television and news reports all said this is going to be the cat's meow. I did say the app is a good idea, probably safer than credit cards and easy to use. The problem is you have to get vendors who are willing to accept and that's where the rub comes. In a business article entitled, "Why So Many American Retailers Are Fighting to Freeze Out Apple Pay" the first line of the article said, "The coalition of retailers at the heart of recent decisions to block Apple Pay says it could eventually embrace that technology that drives Apple's brand new payments service. But it seems that coalition will continue to freeze out Apple Pay." This coalition includes many of the popular retail stores you may use including Walmart, Rite Aid, and CVS just to name a few. Although the app may be good it could fail because vendors won't accept it. More to come.

Tonight Florida State University plays Louisville on ESPN. You can bet I'll be watching that game. At the moment Florida State is favored by one touchdown but who really knows? Last week when Georgia Tech played Pittsburgh the oddsmakers favored Pittsburgh by a touchdown. Well we all know how that turned out don't we? Georgia Tech had a big win with a score of 56 to 28. Many times I have said the team that makes the fewest mistakes as a better chance of winning the game. Pittsburgh turned over the football to Georgia Tech four times in the first quarter of play and that's what doomed them. Tonight I expect Florida State to win but if they make a lot of mistakes Louisville is good enough to beat them.

Recently I watched a movie called Jarhead2 which was about a group of Marines in Afghanistan. Surprisingly the movie was better than I expected in part because the video was so very clear and sharp and the theme of the movie was unexpected. Of course there were a lot of guns in the movie being used constantly. That reminded me of the fact that many of the bullet sounds you hear in various movies were all recorded by someone I knew in my high school using the original weapons to make the recording. He sells these sounds to various studios. His company also makes the best sniper rifle in the world and provides the US government all of the sniper rifles. It is probably prudent for me not to tell you his name.

Bitcoin price resilience finally crumbled this week after two weeks of strength following the so-called 'BearWhale' slaying. The price opened the week at $386, holding steady until mid-week, when it began a steep decline. It closed at $346, shedding $40 over the last seven days Today it opened at $334. A look at the swaps activity on Bitfinex reveals more bearish indicators. The sum of active BTC swaps began to rise sharply on 25th October suggesting that traders are betting that the bitcoin price will fall further. A BTC swap takes place when traders borrow bitcoin at one price to trade it for US dollars, hoping the price will fall by the time they purchase bitcoin again to return it to the lender. The speculators seemingly are the cause for the drop. More to follow.

Posted at 10:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Georgia Tech Wins Big

Sun 26 October 2014

This morning I'm a happy camper because yesterday Georgia Tech defeated Pittsburgh by a score of 56 to 28. This was truly an amazing game and indeed was one for the record books. In the first quarter of the football game, Pittsburgh fumbled the ball the first five times it had the ball. On four of those occasions, Georgia Tech was able to turn the Pittsburgh fumbled into a Georgia Tech touchdown. After just 10 min. of play the score was Georgia Tech - 24 Pittsburgh - 0. As I have said so many times in the past the team that makes the fewest mistakes in the form of turnovers and special team blunders is likely to beat their opponent if the teams are not way off balance in the first place.

This was one for the record books because only one time in the past history of college football has any team turned over the football 5 times by fumbling it in just one quarter. The game would've been much closer had Pittsburgh not made so many mistakes. By the way, Georgia Tech made its own mistakes but it's hard for a team to come back from a 24 point deficit in the first quarter. It was exciting because Georgia Tech had some long runs and/or passes which were fun to watch. The Yellow Jackets have now won six games and they play the University of Virginia this coming Saturday on Grantfield. A point of interest - Grantfield is the oldest college football field in the country among all of the top level football teams. It has been the first and only football field at Georgia Tech since 1879.

Yesterday I went on the Men's Health website to read some articles on men's products. The page I wanted to read was coded such that after being on the page for 2 or 3 seconds it would pop up an unwanted ad of some nature. I don't know what the ad was for because each time it was to pop up my screen went blank. The mechanism used by the web designer was JavaScript but because I'm so security conscious I have blocked JavaScript in my browsers. It is through unwanted pop-up ads like this using JavaScript that some people get infections on their computers. JavaScript is an active code that can do all kinds of things including much harm to your computer. Of course I wrote the webmaster and told him that I was probably not the only person wanting to view his website that could not because of the poor coding. There are other more safer ways to get an ad on a page than by using JavaScript.

You know what I've been noticing a lot on webpages that I visit? After being on the page for a while it will fade behind a dark screen and then in the middle of the page another small screen pops up asking things like if you want to subscribe to a publication, become a member of the website, and other such things. You can easily terminate the pop-up by simply closing but it's a pain all the same. The fact that something can happen on a website that you're viewing without you taking any action at all in itself could be dangerous.

I'm not sure I mentioned it earlier but on Friday I received my Bank of America SafePass card. Is the size of a regular credit card only thinner. In the upper right-hand corner there is a LCD screen which will produce a six digit code when you press a button on the card. The card is so darned thin I'm not sure how they get a battery in it to power this device but it works and works well. Now when I go to my online Bank of America account I put in my username and click next and then it asks me for a safe pass code before it will allow me to enter my password. These codes are for one-time use only and last for only 60 seconds.

I have the same two-step verification on my Fidelity Investments account, my PayPal account and my eBay account except with these I use a small token about the size of the flash drive instead of a card. I wish Amazon would implement such a system. Both of my Bitcoin accounts require two-step verification but in these cases I received a six digit code by using either Google Authenticator or receiving a SMS. I don't like this system because it requires that I have a portable device on which I can receive SMS texts or has Google Authenticator installed. It certainly would be convenient if I could use the one token for all these accounts and maybe one day I will.

I can't believe this. Appearing at a Boston rally for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley on Friday, Hillary Clinton told the crowd gathered at the Park Plaza Hotel not to listen to anybody who says that "businesses create jobs." "Don't let anybody tell you it's corporations and businesses create jobs," Clinton said! What an idiotic statement and just how stupid does she think Americans are? If it's not corporations and businesses that create jobs then who does? Whoops - excuse me. I forgot that one third of all Americans with the job work for the Government. Maybe Clinton thinks we ought to get rid of corporations and businesses and just led government employee people! If it weren't for businesses that created jobs and who would pay the taxes needed to pay government employees? What a completely asinine thing to say.

With the midterm elections just 8 days away there's still a great deal of uncertainty about the outcomes of the contested Senate races around the country. Remember that a senator serves for six years here for only one third of the Senate is up for election or reelection each voting cycle. It will be close but I certainly hope that the Conservative/Republican party takes control of the U.S. Senate with 51 or more members. It's clear that the House of Representatives will remain in control of the Republicans. If the Republicans have the majority in the Senate then they can put a monkey wrench into Obama's outrageous spending and regulatory policies. Maybe then a real investigation into the IRS, DOJ, DEA, Veterans Administration, and other agencies that have been nothing less than dishonest, biased, and illegal in some of the actions they have taken. Will know in about nine days. Funny thing is that Democrats are running away from Obama like rats getting off a sinking ship. All these Democrats that supported his policies now apparently don't want anything to do with the narcissistic disengaged omnipotent Obama.

Posted at 01:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

First Amendment Rights

Sat 25 October 2014

Finally my Yellowjacket colonies on the North side of my house had been eliminated. My guy tells me there were two separate colonies each of which could have tens of thousands of yellow jackets in them. The image to the left is a view of the North side of my house and you can see that a path between the growing vegetation and my house has been cleared. In that area some sort of powder was put out to hopefully stop anything from growing in that area. My yard guy will be able to keep that area clean from now on which will prevent vines from going up the side of the house. This was an ordeal but it is done now.

This afternoon my Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets having another losing opportunity when they played Pittsburgh at 3:30. I looked at the odds and Pittsburgh is favored by a touchdown. Actually I like the fact that the other team is favored which I believe makes Georgia Tech play harder. I wish I could say I was optimistic the Georgia Tech was going to win but at this point I have no reason to be so. Nonetheless I'll watch at least part of the game while switching back and forth to other games I find exciting. For me it's depressing to watch Georgia Tech lose so often switch to other games.

The Democrats never ceased to amaze me in their relentless attempt to control everything we see, hear or do. This time the Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns,blogs, Drudge. What? They want to regulate the Internet site known as Drudge Report? That Internet site does not offer an opinion on either party but simply puts links on their site to newspaper articles found around the country and foreign countries as well. Clearly this is an attempt to block the rights we have under the United States Constitution's First Amendment - freedom of speech. It's the same as telling newspapers what they can and cannot print based on their political views. I am so angry and befuddled by any attempt for our government to regulate speech! Just Damn! The following is a report found in the newspaper called the Washington Examiner. This should make your blood boil!

In a surprise move late Friday a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet based campaigning prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.

Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC's rules. "A reexamination of the commission's approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due" she said. -End of article.

Many of you know about my monthly meetings and the report I must complete for those meetings. Yesterday I was told I no longer need to actually appear but I am now able to fax my report into the office instead. This is yet another step away from this burdensome obligation I have for a year. In fact I'm going to take steps to terminate this obligation altogether. I have no idea what the results of my request might be except to say the person making the decision is a real bitch.

I've been working on a rather cool online system where you can go to a certain URL, type a message, encrypt the message, and then post that encryption on another page. Then another person with the knowledge can go to the page where the encrypted message is posted and then unencrypt it on the same page it was encrypted to begin with. These two URLs will be buried deep inside websites which will only be accessible by using the proper username and password for these webpages. I will use the .htaccess functions that most all other websites used for logging. This will be both secure and hidden and no one will know the URL except me and anyone I might choose to share it with. All the message and encryption will be deleted online. I've been having fun on the project which is continuing.

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

Unfair Government Control

Thu 23 October 2014

I was just watching Varney and Company on the FOX Business Channel. He reported that Texas has become the fifth state that bans the sale of a Tesla motorcar directly to a citizen of the state. The other four states are Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia. This sort of government abuse really pisses me off. Why have the states ban direct cell of Tesla cars to their citizens? The answer is because the Automobile Dealership Association in each of these states have bought enough senators and/or congressman in the state such that the law would pass. The a Automobile Dealers Association simply does not want direct competition to their businesses.

This is an example of government control being bought by a few to benefit a few. What percentage of the population of each of the states do you believe are dealership owners? My guess would be something like .001% of the population actually own a dealership. So how could this will possibly be good for the citizens of each of these five states? The answer is it can't be good! Any laws passed that prohibited the sale to individual citizens of legal products is just plain wrong IMO.

To expand my core set of beliefs on this I think it's absurd that government makes rules to protect people from their own damn stupidity, lack of control and poor decision-making. Why ban a product or service because some people might abuse the product or service? How many people have died from the use of marijuana? I don't know the answer to that but my guess is close do none because I've not read or heard about such events have you?. On the other hand, how many people have died from the use of alcohol and cigarettes? Tens of thousands every year! More people die from legally prescribed medications in this country every year than die from abuse of illegal drugs. Get my point?

I'm a libertarian so I want government out of my life! Government should provide services like air traffic control, a military, certain financial regulations, and things of that nature. Why can't citizens in any state enter into a financial agreement with another adult for sex? Why only Nevada? What about gambling? Why do you have to be a native American to own a casino in most states? I can go on and on but the point is government has become this huge overbearing bureaucracy that sticks its nose into all parts of our lives unnecessarily and makes laws wanted by the very few with deep pockets.

How can the EPA call a man's property a wet space if a puddle forms when it rains thus subject to EPA rules? Or property with a dried up stream which has been dry for 20 years? And why does government continue to pay employees while on administrative leave for wrong doing? Or when an employee really f*cks up they are simply transfer to a higher paying job elsewhere in government instead of being fired? I'm too angry to go on.

Posted at 09:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Mirror and Voting

Wed 22 October 2014

On my E 320 Mercedes the driver side mirror on the door has turned a dark color and is no longer useful. It has been this way for some time but I decided to have it fixed so I could see given the fact that need every advantage possible for safe driving at my age. I called the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Fort Pierce where I have my car serviced to find out about the cost of replacement. They told me the unit would cost $520! Holy crap Batman! $520 really? It turns out that the mirror is self dimming and is heating both of which I can do without.

Using my buddy Google I search for the part and found it discounted at $374 but all I really want is the mirror not the entire assembly. It turns out the big issue with just the mirror is that it must have the proper backing in order to fit into the assembly which is motorized so we can be moved from the inside of the car. I could find mirrors but was having very little luck in finding one with the proper assembly and not extra parts I didn't need. My buddy Eric at Joe's Body Shop and I searched and found one which we think is perfect to be used as a replacement. It doesn't have auto dimming or heating but then again I don't need eating either of those especially heating.

I did find the part on several sites but Eric discovered a new mirror with the proper backing on eBay for under $35 including shipping. The trouble is he will take several weeks to get here because it's coming from the Eastern European country of

The seller has over 8000 feedbacks of which 99.8% are positive. For $35 I thought I'd give it a go. I'm replacing old parts with new ones to keep my car in great shape so I can use it for years. It still has under 80,000 miles on it.

This afternoon I finished watching the first season of The Blacklist; what a great series this has been for me. Full of action and surprises at every turn and I particularly like the character Red. Have you ever notice how he always talks with his head cocked to one side or the other? I'm not sure what that's all about but it certainly makes him stand out as a character. With the bad guy Berlin still free I'm anxious to see what the next season has to offer. It's being played now but I'd rather for the season to end so I can have the whole second season in one file. I watched season one on Netflix but I'm unwilling to wait too long to watch season two if Netflix doesn't offer it soon after its conclusion. Now what should I watch next? The Americans? True Detectives? Season two of Boardwalk Empire? Season three of the Game of Thrones? Or is there something out there I haven't discovered yet that will really get my attention like some of the three or four episode mini seasons often found on the BBC? Stay tuned.

The latest exciting news on Bitcoin is that a formal application for XBT is nearing completion by the Financial Standards Working Group within the Bitcoin Foundation. Application for what you asked? Bitcoin would like to become a formal ISO currency code because then it immediately enters the database tables upon which Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, SWIFT, and other clearing networks rely. BTC would be unavailable due to the fact 'BT' already represents the country of Bhutan. So the 3 letter code would be XBT.

The ISO currently has 164 national members listed here. If a formal ISO currency code were approved it will spur global mainstream adoption of bitcoin more than any other single action. Stay tuned!

This morning I went to the library located only two blocks from my house where I voted early for November's elections. There was a constitutional amendment on the ballot that if passed will allow medical marijuana to be available in Florida. I voted for that amendment for two reasons. First, I believe there are many therapeutic attributes to using medical marijuana for certain conditions. I also believe strongly it's none of the governments business to control what I do with my body in my home. I think I own my body I don't think the bureaucrats in Washington on my body. While I'm not endorsing or suggesting the use of drugs of any type I all the same think that if you want to do so that should be your option. Of course if you violate somebody else's life, liberty or property under the influence of drugs I'm not against the penalties being more severe than if you were not under the influence of something.

I was pleased to read on the Drudge report today the following report, "Two weeks before Election Day, most of the nation's likely voters now expect the Republican Party to take control of the U.S. Senate, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. And by a growing margin, they say that's the outcome they'd like to see." Also for the first time in many many years the majority of women are in favor of the Republicans instead of the Democrats which is a seismic change. As you know I watch FOX Business news off and on during the day but especially in the mornings. The talking heads on the various programs I watch unanimously agreed that if the Republicans take control of the Senate and maintain control of the house the economic outlook for the next two-years will improve substantially. I too believe that to be the case. With control of the House and Senate the Republicans can reverse Obama's burdensome regulations that have stifled our economy and introduce legislation that will increase employment such as the approval of the pipeline that Obama has ignored for six years.

I'd like to be real optimistic that this is going to happen but I have to remember there are voters who don't have a clue about much of anything especially as relates to politics and business. But I can sure hope.

Posted at 11:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Early Voting

Tue 21 October 2014

Today is the first day we can do early voting in Vero Beach. I plan to vote in the next 24 to 48 hours rather than wait to stand in line on the official voting day in November. I have a sample ballot completed so I will just go in and transfer my votes. Tommy and I talked about candidates and the amendments and basically reached the same conclusion. He knew some of the candidates better than I so I'll vote as he will knowing that his beliefs are very similar to mine. I also think will vote the same way on the amendments but I'm not 100% sure of that. What really surprises me is there's one amendment he thinks he'll vote for but it would be a violation of confidence if I told you which one. I have voted each and every time I've had an opportunity to do so since I was 22 years old.

Unfortunately Georgia Tech lost their game to North Carolina by a score of 49 to 43. With less than 2 min. left in the game Georgia Tech was ahead 43 - 42 and stopped North Carolina from making a first down. However there is a pwnality against Georgia Tech which advance the ball giving North Carolina a first down and more time to try and score. North Carolina was held until the last 11 seconds of the game when the quarterback completed a 20 yard pass to receiver in the end zone and thus Georgia Tech lost. I will save the team played well except for the one thing I always say is a big problem for any team and that is turnovers and other mistakes. Mistakes like penalties when you're about to get the ball or fumbling the ball on the 5 yard line as you're about to score. Oh well!

I have received my Symantec token which has allow me to set up a two-step verification login on both my Fidelity account and my PayPal account. I'm going to set up my Bank of America account next. Unfortunately it requires a different token but that's not a big deal for me. This just adds an additional layer of security to my on line accounts where there are equities or cash. I'll let you know how it goes as time goes on.

Bitcoin has been fluctuating a great deal as usual but got surprisingly low about 10 days ago to under $300 per Bitcoin. Today it is closer to $400 per Bitcoin which is where it has been trading for weeks. Every day there is good news about Bitcoin but that has not pushed the exchange rate up as yet. I believe that ultimately will but hasn't done that so far.

While it Publix yesterday I looked into their home delivery service. I can go online to my Publix account to order groceries that will be delivered to me a few hours later. What I don't like is the 10% charge on every item and a delivery charge of $10. If for example I was to buy $80 worth of groceries it would cost me an additional $18 to have it delivered. I'll tried some time just to see how it works because there are occasions when I don't want to leave the house but I do need to pick up some items or perhaps I may be sick. Surprisingly I really haven't been sick since I moved back to Vero except for a couple occasions one of which I think was food poisoning. All those vaccines I take in my limited travel does make a difference.

The weather has been unusually nice for the last week with mild temperatures and low humidity blue skies and sunny almost every day. Today it is overcast but it doesn't look like it's going to rain. I can certainly see why people like to retire in Florida with great weather and no state income tax.

There are only two episodes of The Blacklist left for me to see in the first season. The last episode is a two-part episode so of course I'll sit down and watch them both at the same time. There are two TV episodes I've never watched but decided to download the first season to see if I might like them. Both are highly rated by a variety of sources. I'm talking about The Americans and True Detectives. I also have season two of the Boardwalk Empire I haven't started yet and season three of Games of Thrones. I found a couple of other series I'd like to download but there you are still in the first season and I'll wait to the season complete so I can download the whole first season.

Posted at 10:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Apple Pay

Tue 21 October 2014

As many of you may already know, Apple Pay came online yesterday. This is an Apple application which allows you to pay for products and services by holding your mobile device next to Ray receiver in stores that have receivers. There are many skeptics that say this is really not all that big of a deal; I think they can occupy a large space in the payment options already available to consumers. The biggest advantage that Apple Pay has is that it came preloaded on 39 million new iPhones. On the other hand if you do not have a portable Apple device and it is not available in any other market.

It does have an advantage over the traditional credit card in that I believe payments are more secure and cannot be stolen like my credit card information sitting on servers owned by big companies like Target or Home Depot. I don't see the great advantage over holding a phone next to a device compared to swiping a card. Really? That's a big deal? However the credit card industry is changing now by the introduction of EMV chips into credit cards.

Both of my credit cards have an EVM chip. The chip encrypts information to increase data security when making transactions at a chip-enabled terminal and is a one time use. What that means is credit cards with this chip creates a new code each time it is used and does not contain the credit card holders information like the old magnetic strips found on today's credit cards. In plain English that means if the hacker obtains your personal information, credit card number and passwords they cannot create a credit card with that information like has been the case in the past. So I'm prepared to say that the Apple Pay application is more secure than traditional credit cards it is not clear to me it is more secure than the new EMV credit cards. Besides credit cards are accepted almost everywhere whereas Apple Pay has only a few vendors signed up at this time. Walmart is not one of their accepted vendors.

One might ask what does EMV credit cards and Apple Pay Have to do with Bitcoin? We are talking about apples and oranges in that Bitcoin is an entirely different system not a revision of current payment systems like the other two mentioned above. Bitcoin offers anonymity, can be used in any country and is more secure than the other two but not nearly widely as accepted as the other two just yet. The payment system space is so large I believe there's room for all of these.

The people at Forbes magazine are not all that impressed with Apple Pay for these reasons. Cash and credit cards are not that hard to use. There are a limited number of stores that will take Apple Pay. You're going to have to carry around credit cards and cash anyway. This system really isn't much faster than swiping a card to mention a few.

It is my opinion many people will use is simply because they have an iPhone and think that all things Apple are cool. That is a great advantage. It is an improvement in security but now with the EMV cards maybe not all that much better. Time will tell.

Posted at 10:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Power Outage

Sat 18 October 2014

A couple of days ago around two o'clock in the morning I heard a loud noise which woke me from an exciting dream. Once awake I heard my backup power supply come on which of course means the power went out. I have 4 backup power supplies of different wattages for different electronic devices. I have one solely for my computer, one for my monitor, modem, and router, one for devices on my desk and one for my entertainment center which will power my TV, the cable box and my surround sound amplifier. I find it best to turn off my surround sound amplifier and just listen to the speakers in the TV because of all the power the amplifier takes.

In addition to the fact I can hear the power supplies running because of the fans they had in them I can also hear them beeb every 30 seconds or so while they are on. When the power didn't come back on in a short period I went through my house turning off all my electronic devices and then shutting down my power supplies so the beats would not keep me awake. Looking outside I could see no lights in any direction so this was a major outage in downtown Vero Beach. The power was restored to in about an hour later at which time I got up and reset everything and turn my backup power supplies on again. These devices save a lot of pain and heartache because my power goes out frequently but usually only for a couple of seconds. Nonetheless, a couple of seconds is long enough to screw up some electronic devices and interrupt whatever I'm doing on my computer or watching on TV.

Yesterday I received my Symantec VIP device (Validation & ID) which I will use for two-step login verification on PayPal, Fidelity investments, and Bank of America. Now to log into my accounts I need not only my username and password but a six digit code generated at the very time I'm trying to login. These codes change every 30 seconds. From what has happened in the past with regard to individuals information like e-mail addresses, usernames and passwords have been hacked from companies like Target and Home Depot to mention just two, I thought this device prudent. Last week the largest bank in the United States, J.P. Morgan, was hacked and thousands and thousands of individuals' information was compromised although there have not been any reports of thefts.

It is intuitively obvious to me hackers will be able to get into just about any companies database and steel records. But now if they want to use the records they may have stolen with regard to my accounts they will fail without the proper six digit code needed at login that only I can get. Of course this won't stop everything but it sure is a major step forward when a new six digit code must be used every time you log into an account covered by Symantec VIP. I recommend you do the same.

Well it happened again; my Comcast bill went up about $12 a month starting now. I called Comcast retention and told them exactly what I wanted which was the TV package and Internet speed I already had but I wanted to drop the phone I have not nor will I ever use. Unfortunately the Internet speed I have is only available in one of their "triple play"promotions. The agent I talk with wasn't able to make the changes I wanted but did add a $15 per month discount to my account for being a loyal Comcast customer for over 25 years. Next May the battle will begin again but Intel then there's not much I can do.

Why are there so many damn vampire and/or zombie movies being produced? Every time I look for new movies I might want to watch half of the selection is of the vampire/zombie/horror variety. I assume studios make these movies because they make money on these movies. Generally they're cheap to produce and young people flocked to the theaters to watch them. Movies I like usually cost 10 to 20 times more to produce and that's why there are fewer of them. But then again if they cost 10 times more but produce huge revenues why not produce them? Star Wars is a perfect example.

I am still watching The Blacklist with only four episodes left I think. It's unlikely I'll watch one today because I have college football starting at noon lasting all day and into the night. My team plays at 7 PM against North Carolina University. The game is at their Stadium and their record is decent enough I'm confident Georgia Tech can lose to them. Once again it depends on who makes the most mistakes and which of the two Georgia Tech teams appears to play. Is it the team that executes offense almost flawlessly or the team that can't seem to get their rhythm right? We won't know the answer to that until about midnight.

Just after our I woke this morning there was a HBO documentary called "Sam" which was about a teenage boy with the disease known as Progeria. The disease is an extremely rare genetic disorder wherein symptoms resembling aspects of aging are manifested at a very early age. This 13-year-old boy looked like he was 80. This documentary was especially well done over Sam's whole life up until now. I was taken by the fact this kid has done everything he can to be normal. He has also excelled in just about anything he's tried including having the highest grade point average of his class in the past four years. He has inspired others in so many ways it was rather remarkable to watch. He looks funny and is really ill but is very normal in every other way. He is exceptionally articulate and communicates better than any 13-year-old I've ever met. These type movies can be emotionally draining if you're not careful.

At the end of the documentary Sam was 14 years old. This morning when I did research on Sam I discovered he died at age 17 on January 11 of this year. The only thing I know of this kid is what I learned in the documentary but all the same reading about his death saddens me.

Posted at 10:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Mid-Week Activities

Wed 15 October 2014

In the last 10 days the stock market has had several days where it dropped more than 200 points. Over the past two months or so the market is down about 9%. This is the time that many people will panic which leads to further reduction in stock prices because more people or selling and fewer people are buying. Thus the supply exceeds the demand driving the prices even lower. However, you don't lose until you actually sell a stock which unfortunately many people are now doing.

Historically October has always been a bad month for stocks and this October is no different. However the following months of November and December are usually better bringing the stocks back up. I certainly hope the next couple months follow the historic trends. I must admit it is rather disconcerting that what few stocks and mutual funds I own have gone down 10% in the last six weeks. In the long run stock specialist will tell you this is healthy for the market to have a drop like this which is usually followed with even higher upticks. Let's hope that is true this time.

I spent about half of the day trying to fix my Thunderbird e-mail program that was broken by a recent update. Of course I searched the Internet and found I was not alone in the problems I was having. That is often true about program updates doing more harm than good. I was not able to find a solution but I did find a satisfactory workaround which I will employ until the people at Mozilla get their act together. By the Way, Microsoft is equally as destructive with their updates as many other companies. If it were not for the security issues I wouldn't update at all. Updates usually come with unwanted and unneeded bloat ware which takes more CPU usage for basically nothing.

I'm still using μTorrent 2.2.1 when the current version is up over 3.5. Newer versions have features that I don't want and are not needed.

As I mentioned in a previous post I am pursuing the two-step login procedure for Bank of America, Fidelity and PayPal to mention three. There may be other websites I might choose to implement the two-step login if available on those sites. The tokens I have ordered should be here by the end of the month. My belief is that hackers might be able to get my username and passwords but they'll never be able to get the two-step verification number.

My housekeeper Tracy came today and freshened everything as she does on her biweekly visits. The house always feels cleaner and certainly smells cleaner after she is done. The way I keep my house it is certainly not necessary to have it professionally cleaned every two weeks but it just makes me feel better. Besides, Sally is capable of depositing balls of fur in just a few hours so you can imagine what might accumulate in two weeks. That's why I have to vacuum about every other day.

For the first time in a while I went to Walmart to pick up prescriptions and to do some shopping for bug sprays and a termite foam spray. I believe there are termites in my Dolphin room that are not the worst type you can have but are a nuisance all the same. I'll see of this new spray does any good.

By the way, I've noticed that the prices in the grocery section of Walmart have gone up to almost the level of the prices at Publix. Nowadays you can't rely on competitive prices at places like Walmart when you might find better deals at places known for higher pricing. Walmart never has specials but on the other hand Publix has specials every week like 2-for-1 or buy one get one free.

My intentions are not to be cruel but at a certain level I understand why Robin Williams committed suicide. Last night I watched part of one of his last movies called "The Final Cut" and it was terrible. Very poor acting and a plot that really sucked. If the movie doesn't keep my attention for more than 20 min. then I move on as I did last night.

On the other hand I am really enjoying watching The Blacklist on Netflix. I've seen the first 12 episodes of season one. I actually don't know how many episodes there are in season one but after I watched them I'll start into season two.

I do not have a project waiting for me at the moment. But I'm sure that state will change soon. Most of the time I wake up in the morning with nothing to do and by the end of the day it's only half done. Oh well!

Posted at 05:52 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Internet Financial Security

Tue 14 October 2014

Have you folks been noticing all the reports on TV concerning hacking into financial institutions, government agencies and retail sites? Just last week J.P. Morgan reported that hackers successfully got names and addresses of millions of their clients. I don't know if the hackers also got passwords and Social Security numbers but the mere fact they got into J.P. Morgan which is the biggest bank in the United States worries me.

At the same time they attempted to hack into 11 other institutions including banks and brokerage firms like Fidelity investments which is the brokerage firm where I have an account. They were unsuccessful at Fidelity this time but what about next time? And what about other banks like Bank of America? This gave me pause to think about how I can better secure my online accounts with financial institutions. Clearly two-step verification is the solution for me. In order to log into one of my accounts with two step verification you need not only my username and password but also a six digit code unique to my account which is generated every 30 seconds. To me that means if hackers were successful in getting my username and password they wouldn't be able to get into my account because they don't have the six digit number for verification.

Both of the Bitcoin exchanges I use require two-step verification. I used Coinbase.com and Circle.com. Both of these online companies use the Google authenticator available for smartphones and specifically link my Google authenticator app to my account. If you tried to use Google authenticator on another device, like my tablet for example, it will not work. The authentication is unique to the device on which it is installed. You could also choose to have the company send you a text with the six digit verification code instead of using Google authenticator. I know that Coinbase.com will actually call my home phone and give me a six digit number should I like that option.

I was having an online chat with a representative of Fidelity Investments about two-step verification. It turns out they do not use Google authenticator but instead use Symantec ID and Authenticator token. The token is a device about the size of a thumb drive that when pressed will give me a new code every 60 seconds. What I like about this device is that it separate from anything else and will work with several companies including PayPal, eBay, Fidelity investments, Merrill Lynch, T-Mobile, Bank of America, and the list goes on. If I have a correct understanding then bad people could not access my accounts even if they had my password and username which could be stolen from a company server. Of course nothing is really secure but this is another step in the effort to be safe.

This past weekend Georgia Tech disappointed me by losing to Duke University in Atlanta. The game was rain delayed at halftime for over an hour and when he did start again I was so disgusted with the score I couldn't take the punishment. Georgia Tech did come back to within a touchdown but nonetheless lost the game. This coming weekend they go to play NC State or maybe it's North Carolina. What did I say about losing once they became ranked?

This weekend I watched an especially good movie which falls into the same category as Draft Day. This one was called the Million Dollar Arm. The movie was well produced and had a great story to tell which is one thing making the movie particularly special is that the story it told what's true.

Over the weekend I had several headache attacks starting on Friday and lasting through Sunday. Yesterday I didn't have a headache nor do I have one today. I hate having to take pain medication but I also don't want to agonizing in pain when I have a solution. Hopefully an alternative solution might be made available in the near future.

Bitcoin has been all over the charts in the last couple of weeks. About 10 days ago we went down below $283 per coin but today it as back up over $407 per coin. That's a heck of a swing for just 10 days. The source for the latest news is CoinDesk.com. I read it most every day. The most recent article that particularly got my attention is the comparison between Bitcoin and the Apple Wallet. Apple has a hand up because it came preinstalled on all of their new iphones exposing millions of iPhone users. Articles I've read have suggested it is secure and I'm sure it probably is better than a credit card. However to use the Apple wallet it must be connected to your bank account or credit card in order to function. If you have Bitcoin, they need not be connected to anything and provide much greater anonymity than the Apple wallet. When using the Apple wallet the program itself is going to connect to your bank or credit card in order to validate the transaction. That's not needed with Bitcoin.

The Apple wallet works with US dollars but what about other currencies? Bitcoin is universal. I can see that Apple has an upper hand because they are a huge well-known company with many connections. But knowing the transaction difference between Bitcoin and Apple wallet I'd much prefer Bitcoin when it's excepted. I can go into detail why but maybe I'll save that for another post.

Remember I had to get an AmEx card replacement earlier this month? Well the new card has a chip in it that somehow another is supposed to greatly improve security. I used it today for the first time at Walmart and discovered that vendors have to have a special machine to accept this particular card or lease it appears that way. These chips which store your data and replace the card's traditional magnetic stripe make it harder for hackers to make a counterfeit copy of your credit card if they steal your account information. The chips generate a unique code for every transaction so if fraudsters steal data from a retailer, they won't be able to use that information to make future purchases

I continue to watch The Blacklist and I really like this series. I've watched the first full season of Boardwalk Empire but it's not nearly as good in my opinion. The question is what other series are floating around out there that I would like and how do I find them?

Posted at 05:09 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Fidelity's Security

Fri 10 October 2014

Recently I downloaded and installed the latest Tor browser onto a flash drive. I've had a Tor account for years but you but it was clear I should update to the latest version which is 3.6 .6 fot Windows operating systems. In case you don't know, the Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked. It is one of the very best ways to maintain anonymity while surfing the web or visiting websites. On some sites known as "black" sites you must have a Tor browser in order to access the sites.

I've never done anything with the sites that I have accessed because I do this purely out of intellectual curiosity. Some of you may know of the famous Silk Road website where you could buy just about anything. It was shut down but there are other sites up and running that are very similar in nature. On the sites you can buy drugs, guns, a hitman, and probably human beings. Needless to say you'll not find any of these on the regular Internet. I keep this browser on a flash drive but occasionally looked to see what is new and different. Should you decide to try this browser I would caution you because you never know who's on the other end!

Tomorrow Georgia Tech plays Duke University in Atlanta, Georgia. There is good news and there is bad. The good news is that Georgia Tech is one of 11 teams still undefeated this season and has now nationally ranked #22 in the country. The bad news is the team historically loses the first game they play once they become ranked. It seems that the rankings go to the teams head and they don't play as well as they are capable of playing. We shall see what will happen this time.

For the last week or two I've been having headaches more regularly than usual. Some of them have been rather disabling and required medication I wish I did not have to take. On the other hand I don't want to lie in bed with my head pounding so medication is the only answer for now. I'm hoping there may be some new types of medication available in Florida in the future. I actually do believe that certain things could be very beneficial to me but unfortunately are not available to me presently. I'll do my research so that when I might be able to try alternatives I'll know what to try.

Yesterday Kathryn asked me to repair the laptop for a nursing classmates who said she had a horrible virus. Kathryn brought the Toshiba satellite laptop to me which I booted to see what sort of processor and memory it had. It was certainly a decent laptop and sufficient for most uses the student might have.

Lately I have been changing my method of reparing dysfunctional operating systems. In the past I would take a CD and install a fresh new copy of Windows 7. This was the second time I chose to use the factory built-in utility which will restore the computer to the configuration it had when boxed at the factory. The last time I did this it worked great! This time the operating system was restored perfectly but then something unexpected happened. It turns out that Toshiba will install 47 separate Toshiba programs and reboot the computer after each installation. OMG this process took a few hours and I'm willing to wage the farm that none of the programs installed by Toshiba are necessary for this laptop to function at its top level. It was nothing more than bloatware manufacturers tend to install on their computers. 47 programs. Really? What a total waste and frustration to wait for this process to complete but I did it. I also installed the complete office suite for this young nurse and Kathryn says she will be thrilled.

In the last couple of days I've heard on FOX Business news that J.P. Morgan has had their website hacked and that 10 other financial institutions were also attacked including Fidelity. So naturally I started doing some research on Fidelity and found two conflicting statements that greatly concerned me. The following is copied and pasted from the Fidelity website:


Then I found the statement on a main page that said " Customer Protection Guarantee: We will reimburse your Fidelity account for any losses due to unauthorized activity." These two statements gave me pause for concern so I contacted an agent online this morning. Here is a copy of the text when I use the chat utility:

Joseph Tallarigo: They are both true. The first statement applies to investments you may pick without Fidelity's assistance.

Joseph Tallarigo: The second statement applies to someone stealing money from your account and Fidelity doing a fraud Investigation and reimbursing you for the fraud.

I was satisfied with that answer but I had another complaint. My password includes both capital letters, small letters and numbers. I was shocked to find out I could log into my account using my password with all small letters! Just how brain dead was the security supervisor at Fidelity to make such a boneheaded decision? Well I was told by Joseph that my account was old and operating under their old system. He's right because it is an old account. After being on chat for nearly an hour and talking with the technicians they advised that I just choose a new password in this problem would be resolved. I did that and the problem was resolved.

Now my question is what about the poor slobs like me who don't know their account needs to be updated for better security? Oh well!

I've been going through the episodes in The Blacklist which I really like. Although there is a common theme each episode has something new and different. The AMC's Living Dead series has a common theme as well but the episodes vary so so little that I've gotten bored. So I'll post this and then watch an episode or two of The Blacklist and then perhaps one the movies I recently downloaded.

Posted at 01:43 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The Blacklist

Mon 06 October 2014

Over this past weekend I decided to watch a new TV series which I found on Netflix. The name of the series is "The Blacklist "which is been on TV for over a year now. I had never seen an episode before yesterday but it sounded as if it could be interesting and something I would enjoy. Not only did I enjoy it I thought it was one of the best series I watched on TV since 24. Unlike the 24 series it seems to me you can watch any one episode of Blacklist and not be totally lost. Series like Breaking Bad and 24 almost required that you watch from week to week to know what's really happening. Ultimately this may be true of The Blacklist but thus far it doesn't seem that way. I watched the pilot and first 2 episodes of the series and thoroughly enjoyed them. I'll likely watch another episode or maybe two later today.

As I reported Georgia Tech was victorious over Miami in their college football matchup on Saturday. The next team that Georgia Tech plays is Duke University. While looking at the time the game starts next weekend I discovered that all of a sudden Georgia Tech has now become a nationally ranked team. They are ranked 22nd in the country which I like but unfortunately history tells me that when the become ranked they get beaten more often! I certainly hope it's not true this time and at the moment Georgia Tech is a slight favorite over Duke this coming weekend. They are one of the few teams that are still unbeaten with a 5 to 0 record.

Did I mention I'm having my pharmacy, Perkins drugs, deliver my prescriptions to my house? All I need to do is hand in the first written prescription and then call in for refills. The problem is I only have one prescription they can have refills because all the others require a new prescription each time I run out. A couple of my medications are now in class II according to the FDA which in my opinion is pure nonsense. For some naive reason the FDA thinks they can reduce abuse of certain prescription medications by making them harder to get. My observation is that people who use prescription medication for recreational purposes can always get the drugs no matter what class the FDA may put them in. All this does is make it inconvenient for doctors and patients who legitimately need these medications. This is like so many government programs that may have good intentions but always have bad unintentional consequences.

A few years ago the government decided they would add a 10% luxury tax on certain items like large yachts. Instead of increasing revenues to the government the actual taxes went down because people who wanted luxury items bought them outside of the United States. As a result several.manufacturing companies went broke and the thousands of employees were then out of a job and no longer paying taxes but rather receiving unemployment benefits. The government should simply stop meddling in affairs like this and do the thing they are authorized to do by the Constitution that is protect and defend not collect and distribute. All these rules and regulations are nothing more than a jobs program for otherwise unemployable people.

I have a small Fidelity account online. It holds a couple mutual funds and 3 or 4 stocks. Fidelity has advised me I can now use their "Active Trader Platform" which has pages after pages of charts and other info you might see in a TV commercial. First, I am not an "active trader" by any stretch of the imagination. But if I wanted to use it for whatever reason I must install Microsoft's Silverlight software. I'm one of the nerds that actually reads the privacy and user agreement statements. To use this software, I must agree to allow, "Internet-enabled features in software will send information about your computer ("standard computer information") to the Web sites you visit and Web services you use. Microsoft may access or disclose information about you, including the content of your communications under certain conditions. Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft may be stored and processed." This does not sound like something I really want to do. The problem is that many programs already installed on my computer and yours have similar "rights". There is no privacy anymore!

It's time for me to go watch my favorite FOX Business news program called Varney and company. Stay tuned for more pearls of wisdom from me.

Posted at 11:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Georgia Tech Wins

Sun 05 October 2014

Georgia Tech beat Miami 28 to 17 in ACC play yesterday. The game was tied at halftime but GT came back in the second quarter to score two more touchdowns to Miami's one field goal.

I found this video of the GT kicker being body slammed. That's not nice. Video This video will open in a new window.

As usual the game was intense to me so I had to switch between the GT game and others. This Saturday was not as good as last Saturday. The #1 team Alabama lost to Old Miss 23 to 17. The finish was very exciting.

Today I've been working on a project to send publications out to a friend and now I'll watch a movie some some nature. Probably some mindless zombie movie although I now have Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire I could start. I though the ending of Season 1 was rather poor.

I'm pleased I do not have any other doctors to see this month. Next month starts with my usual monthly meeting. What a waste. I also see Dr. Director at the end of the first week. I'm going to ask him his thoughts on what be a new prescription. That should be real interesting!

Yesterday my News Blog software was not working properly on the server. I spent about 90 minutes trying to figure it out. I have so many files and folders on the BillsView.com server it took time to figure out which combination yields these posts. It is not intuitive at all because the whole site is written in .PHP. I finally resolved it as you can see but the way I solved it is not written in any books. I just used my Georgia Tech logic and some testing. Heck, it took me 30 minutes to find the folder the blog files are kept. Today all is well but who knows what is next?

For reasons unknown to me, the code for my site has changed ever so slightly to require I write my posts with different code. The site was originally designed to post in BB code but I prefer HTML which is much more flexible. Maybe I'll see if I can remedy that before my next post.

It was 60° this morning in Vero.
Posted at 01:25 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

New Things

Sat 04 October 2014

Yesterday I went to an ophthalmologist for the first time since I moved back to Vero. The only reason I went is because my urologist suggested I should have my eyes checked not necessarily for vision problems but rather diseases that what adversely affect my vision in the future. Many of these diseases do not manifest themselves and tell they have already done a lot of damage. So I went to a great ophthalmologist that is a friend of mine from my morning meetings.

I have only good news to report. There is nothing unusual happening inside my eyes nor does there seem to be anything to worry about at least for now. My doctor did suggest I start taking a Bausch Lomb vitamin/mineral pill twice a day called Areds2. I went online and ordered a six month supply of this supplement which has great reviews and should help my eyes as I age.

Today is football Saturday and the first game starts in less than 50 minutes. Like usual I'll probably watch games until my eyes bleed which is especially true today because Georgia Tech doesn't start its game until 7:30 this evening. The University of Miami is Georgia Tech's opponent for today; the oddsmakers call it an even game. Both teams have had good games and they have had bad games. The outcome of tonight's game will likely be based on which team makes fewer mistakes. If Georgia Tech can hold onto the ball and not fumble it as well as complete more passes to our team than Miami's team then I believe GT could prevail. On the other hand special team mistakes, fumbles, and interceptions will certainly give the advantage to Miami.

There are a lot of great games this afternoon before the Georgia Tech game tonight. I'll switch around to find the ones that are high scoring and close to watch the most. There are rank teams that will fall in the rankings after their games today. I can't tell you which ones but I always like surprises.

The visit to my dentist on Thursday last longer than usual because not only did I have my teeth cleaned but a cap replaced that had fallen off. I didn't notice anything unless I looked in the mirror and conceded it was missing. While there I also had images made of my teeth as I do on an annual basis. The new equipment many dentists have to take x rays of your teeth is way cool. They put this small device which is about half the size of a flash drive in my mouth and asked me to bite down. Then they shoot x-rays and in less than a couple of seconds those x-rays appear on a computer screen. How cool is that?

For the last week I've been having more headaches than usual with no explanation as to why it is happening. When I say headaches I actually mean that my head hurts rather than events causing me problems. I have medication that will assist in killing the pain but I don't want to take it any more than absolutely necessary. These medications are addictive and I know from my history I have an addictive personality. I've been taking them for several years without a problem but it's the times when I have to take more than usual that bother me. Maybe a new medicine that will assist me in my headaches will be approved for use in Florida next year. If you don't know what I mean then I need not tell you.

I find myself using my voice recognition software much more frequently than I did in the past. All of my posts on billsview are dictated by using Dragon Naturally Speaking. I've even got to using it for e-mails as well. As time goes by it makes fewer and fewer mistakes once it learns how poorly I pronounce some words.

John was in town yesterday and told me about his new 65" Samsung LED TV with all the latest bells and whistles. He was able to purchase it for a total price of less than $1500 which completely blows me away. It is the latest model and has all the new features including a quad core processor. What? A quad core processor in a TV? Jeez! I remember the day when I first bought a Samsung 42" HDTV back in Atlanta. The highest resolution it had was 720p not 1080p. The darn thing cost me over $3000. Nowadays you can buy a 42" LED TV for about $500. One thing about getting older is that prices go down for most things except medications and food.

While waiting at the dentist office I was reading the latest issue of the Georgia Tech magazine which comes out four times a year. Georgia Tech is creating a process whereby printed circuit boards used in most all electronic devices can actually be printed. By that I mean printed like you would copy a letter! This means a circuit board could be copied as quickly as a a standard copy machine. This certainly should reduce the cost of printed circuit boards don't you think? It also may come much thinner and smaller.

In the same magazine there was an article about a Georgia Tech professor who is making something called "nanoparticles" which are as small as things can get including viruses. These nanoparticles are made primarily of water and design such that when put in the blood system will attach themselves to any cancer cells. Then a chemical to kill cancer can be injected into the same persons system which will be absorbed by the nanoparticles attached only to cancer cells and slowly killed them. Chemotherapy does not discriminate; it kills all cells cancer or not. I'm going to have to spend more time reading this magazine every quarter.

Posted at 01:17 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Corvettes and Diamods

Thu 02 October 2014

CoinDesk.com is the web site I check daily about news in the Bitcoin world. On October 1 the said this, "The Georgia Institute of Technology has become the first university to integrate bitcoin into its students dining and shopping experience." Now the campus payment cards, known as BuzzCards, can now be topped up with the digital currency at the university's BuzzCard Centre, located inside its bookstore on campus. I'm rather proud of my school.

One of my practices when it comes to upgrading software on my computer is that I don't immediately upgrade. Sometimes I may not upgraded all if my program is functioning perfectly well for me. A program call CCleaner I've been using for years to clean my cookies, temporary files, and other unneeded files on my computer. This last upgrade they added a "Active Monitoring" function that runs when your computer is booted. Well I thought this was ludicrous so I wrote the company asking why they added this unwanted feature that you couldn't turn off. Here is their BS response;

1. You always have the latest version of CCleaner

2. Your system is always clean.

WHAT?! The program automatically checks for updates every time it's run so why have an additional function to do basically the same thing? The thing about making sure your system is always clean probably alert you when it thinks you need to run the program. None of this makes any sense to me and I hate to have a program started boot that doesn't need to start unless and until I decide to use. With regard to this program I immediately uninstalled it and then reinstalled an earlier version without the active monitoring. For all I know it might be actively monitoring my passwords, usernames, websites I visit, etc. I believe there are many programs that do exactly that; monitor your behavior. I particularly don't want Google Updater to run at boot or at any time as far as that's concerned. I don't trust Google at all but I do admit they have a fabulous search engine and other programs some people find valuable.

In case you haven't noticed the stock market has dropped rather significantly over the last week or two. Same thing can be said about Bitcoin; it has dropped to under an exchange rate of $400 per coin. Actually market adjustments are historically good things but certainly can create anxiety. I believe both will come back but I don't know when. My view is you don't lose money in the stock market until you sell. That applies to Bitcoin as well. So while the evaluation has gone down I've not actually lost money because I haven't sold anything.

Have you heard about the new Corvette Z06? It will go from 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds, has an engine with over 650 hp and is the fastest car ever built by General Motors?

It looks much more like a European racing car than the traditional Chevrolet Corvette. It is priced under $100,000 but frankly I like some of the older styles better in particular the 1965, 1966 and 1967 models.

Yesterday I went to my inconvenient and unnecessary monthly meeting; what a pain in the butt. This morning I went to my dentist to have a cap replaced that had fallen out. Tomorrow I go to an ophthalmologist for the first time since I moved back to Vero. I don't sense that there's anything wrong with my eyes except I can't see or read things up close without what is commonly called "cheaters". These are basically magnifying glasses you can buy at any drugstore or supermarket. The reason I'm going to see an ophthalmologist is because one of my physicians said I could have problems which I'm not aware that I have. I'm talking about things like cataracts or other damaging diseases. I always thought that if I had an I problem it would manifest its self such that I know there was a problem. I come to find out that simply not true and some diseases could damage my vision unless treated early.

I read in one of the online news sites I go to called the Drudge Report that George Clooney recently got married and that his wedding cost over $13 million! What kind of wedding cost that much? Unbelievable!

Daily I watch the FOX Business Channel but not all day long. There is a program that comes on between 11 AM and 1 PM called Varrny and Company. This program covers financial matters but also interesting things like new digital equipment, new apps and the other day they showed 4 diamonds each of which weighed between 12 and 14 carats. The amazing thing is that each cost at least $120,000 per carat. These were white diamonds not colored diamonds and while they were big there are many many more a lot bigger. Apparently they cost so much because they are part of a DeBeers special collection. These are rare diamonds for sure but no way do I see them being $120,000 per carat rare. Geez!

Posted at 04:28 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Fidelity's New Site

Mon 29 September 2014

Rain, rain and more rain; that's all we have had in the last week. On Sunday Vero Beach's rainfall was 1.43" surpassing the record of 1.24" set back in 1969 and then the following day it rained 1.29". For more than a week we have had record rainfall making it rather dreary around here. In the morning when I shave it seems like I'm shaving mold and mildew not whiskers. Of course we need rainfall to make the citrus industry grow and keeps people's property green. I will say there is a point when I wish you would just stop for while so I can scrape all the mildew off my body.

Since my last post I watched three more episodes of Broadway Empire but I'm not sure I will continue watching the series through the next four seasons. I will likely complete this season and then see how it goes. I can see why people think it because it is interesting and easy to watch but I'm just not as thrilled as many of my friends who recommended the series. Interesting historical characters are introduced with plenty of crime and killings. I do like the main character which is one reasons I have continued to watch season number one.

Last Saturday there were a lot of great games to watch on TV. To me a great game is one that is high-scoring on both sides and the lead changes hands during the game. Several top rank teams at scores in the 30s and 40s and some rank teams got knocked off by unranked teams. Georgia Tech did not lose this past weekend because they did not play. The next game is Saturday against the University of Miami who beat Duke this past week. That game is a tossup and will depend on which team shows up to play. Both schools have had the same problem of good and bad games. Either way it should be interesting and of course I'm optimistic that Georgia Tech will prevail. The game will be played in Atlanta which is the one thing I believe gives Georgia Tech the age.

This weekend I corresponded with Fidelity brokerage company on three different occasions. They are introducing a new website which will be totally different from the present website so I thought I'd look at some of the videos they posted on the Internet explaining the new website look. The videos posted were so very poorly made I couldn't follow the narrator as he went through the use of the new pages. Above I have shown an image of the new website which is hard to see but if you were to click on the image you'll be able see a much bigger picture. See how hard it is to read? Is this the kind of video you would expect a big company like Fidelity to put out on the Internet introducing their new site? How can someone decided they like it or not if they can't see it?

I also don't like the fact that there is not an option to keep the present website which I've been using for years and understand. It could be that the new site will be better but it's hard for me to tell. Also I'm getting of the age I don't like change! It is my humble opinion that the company should make the new website optional permitting their clients to keep the current website if they choose to do so. I know for sure there are many many clients of Fidelity it will get confused and not understand the new site. Frankly I might like it; I was just disappointed in the unreadable videos and the lack of an option to keep what I have. They politely responded and said my information would be passed on to the technical department about the videos and the option to keep the site I now have to management. By the way they openly invited comments from customers on the site so I gave them my view.

The past three days have been bad headache days for me. Saturday was probably the worst day but yesterday was bad too. I have had times in the past when headaches get me down for several days in a row but then usually stop being so disabling and just become my regular daily headaches. Fortunately I have medication to alleviate the pain but I don't like using it. The medication is habit-forming and a class II drug meaning it's highly control. For some dumb reason the feds seem to think that making drugs harder get will reduce the amount of citizens getting addicted to a drug and abusing it. My observation over the years is that people will get whatever they want and even though it might be harder now that's not stop them. The Fed should stop the war on drugs and take the billions if not trillions of dollars spent on the war and put it toward treatment and education.

As a Libertarian I believe I own my body and therefore I can do anything I want with it as long as I do not violate somebody else's life, liberty or property. For example it is illegal to commit suicide so what are the feds going to do put a corpse in jail? Under Emperor Obama's regime the various federal agencies have run amok and out-of-control. Hopefully future elections will change this.

Posted at 10:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Another Typical Week

Thu 25 September 2014

Many of you know I enjoy watching series on television. I particularly like some of the BBC series but this time I started watching an American series. A few people have recommended the HBO program called Boardwalk Empire so I decided to give it a go. I've watched the first five episodes which is a good thing because it means is still has my attention. What I don't like about it is some of the loud obnoxious 20's singing you often hear in the background. I can see several different characters and plots so I'll probably keep watching the first series. There are three more series/seasons available and the fifth season has just started on HBO.

It's been almost a week and I'm still thrilled that Georgia Tech beat Virginia Tech in football by kicking a field goal in the last 15 seconds. This weekend I am 100% positive Georgia Tech will not lose mainly because they don't play. The weekend after this Georgia Tech plays the University of Miami in Atlanta. It could go either way because both teams have been inconsistent and played well sometimes and then poorly at other times.

One of my cousins, Jimmy, has a college-age daughter with a computer problem. She thought it was infected with the "Weather Bug" virus but that's actually the name of a weather program. It just started every time she booted the computer in she had no idea how to prevent it from starting at boot. This is a new laptop that her brother has used and now she wants to use it herself. To put things as they were when she first took it out of the box I did a factory reinstall which was quick and easy. We added the Norton security suite because it comes free with Comcast Internet. It was easy and I got to see my cousin's daughter for the first time in years.

For about a week now we have had rain off and on both day and night. Usually in the summer we get afternoon thundershowers but for the most part mornings are bright and sunny. Not so in the past week. It is so damp around here that in the mornings when I shave its mold that I removed and not whiskers. Hopefully this mess will move through soon.

The other day I watched a strange movie called Shallow Ground. Although it was different than most movies of this nature at the end had the same plot of dead people, semi-dead people and those that will be dead soon. Usually I turn these off after about 20 min. but the plot was so strange I stuck with it to the unexpected ending. I'll not watch it again.

Tommy's wife Kathryn has been going to nursing school for the last couple years after 20 years of successfully practicing law. I'm not really sure what her plans are when she gets her degree and frankly I'm not sure she knows either. As part of their training she is required to attend a couple of AA meetings. I took her to a noon meeting this past Tuesday. AA meetings are new to her and I think she was a bit surprised about how they are carried out. Of course there are a variety of meetings with different formats but for the most part the beginning and ending of these meanings are the same. The meeting we attended had the topic of "do you remember your last drunk?" If you're an alcoholic you can understand that's not all that strange of the question. If she needs to go to another meeting I of course will be happy to go with her.

At least once a week I have a "Publix run" some of which are major because I buy a lot of things and some are minor when I only need a few items. For the first time in over a year or maybe longer I had a major run with a bill totaling under $100. My major runs always go over $100 and that's without buying expensive meats. Whoever says there is no inflation doesn't have to go to buy things at a grocery store. The FOX Business Channel said that the government measures inflation based on income increases and not on food. We all know incomes have not moved much in the Obama recession but prices for necessities like milk and bread have gone up.

I've been keeping busy for the last week and would like to tell you more about it except many things I've been working on should and will be kept confidential. For now I'm going to watch the Thursday night game between Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Appalachian State and Georgia Southern are also playing at the same time so I'll likely switch between games and watch the one with the highest scoring.

Things have been going OK with me. Next week I go to my dentist to have a cap replaced and a cleaning. I'll also see an ophthalmologist for the first time since I left Atlanta. I don't think I have a problem of any nature but my urologist and internist have both told me I should have my eyes checked. I know I need reading glasses but we'll see if there may be another issue.

Posted at 05:47 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Tech Wins!

Sun 21 September 2014

The text under the image you see to the left is "Kicker Harrison Butker #87 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets watches his game winning field goal go through the uprights on the last play of the game against Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium on September 20, 2014 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Butker made the game winning field goal. Georgia Tech defeated Virginia Tech 27-24". To my pleasant surprise Georgia Tech beat Virginia Tech at their home field. Given the fact that Virginia Tech has beaten Georgia Tech last four years in a row I was not very optimistic about the chances of tech prevailing in this game. It came down to the last 15 seconds when Harrison Butker kicked a field goal to win the game 27 to 24. I was a nervous wreck for the three hours the game was on television because Georgia Tech was inconsistent. The good news is that Virginia Tech was equally inconsistent and gave the yellow jackets a chance to win in the very end when they Yellow Jackets intercepted a pass on the VT 20 yard line. That puts Georgia Tech's record at 4-0 but I know that won't last. It was a very exciting game and I may watch it again on replay today.

Speaking of yellow jackets I still have my problem of the nest north of my house. There must be thousands of jackets in this nest and we can't seem to get rid of them. I'm going to call my guy again on Monday and see if we can try another method. I'm thinking we make try covering about a 10 ft. square area with a tarp then secured to the ground and pump some sort of killing agent under it in a fashion similar to an houses are covered and fumigated for termites. Updates will follow.

The value of Bitcoin has been going down steadily for the last 7 to 10 days and got as low as $390 last week. Today it is only at $401 but the trend is up. I expected some bumpy times but I really didn't expected to drop below $400. All the reasons I bought Bitcoin are still valid and I intend on holding onto the coins I have. The news about Bitcoin continues to be good for the most part so hopefully it will steadily increase as the months go on. If I didn't have so many coins now I buy more but for the moment I think it's prudent to just hold the coins I have.

There is a new Bitcoin exchange platform that is easier to join and is based in America. It's called Circle.com and joining it requires less information than my account at Coinbase.com. Joining Circle.com is by invitation only and somehow I was able to get an invitation to establish an account. It's always good to have a backup.

I found a product I've been seeking for years to resolve the cat litter odor that occurs unless you empty the box every day and take the bag outside. This device is called Litter Jenie which has a system that allows you to put clumps of cat litter in the top pull a lever and it goes into a plastic bag afterwords the top a sealed again. I've had it for weekend thus far is performing very well. The next test is to determine how easy it is to cut the full bag to throw away and pull down enough plastic to make a new bag. A packet containing several feet of plastic bag material is included and you just pulled down more as needed. I'm pleased to say it has resolve any odor problems that may have occurred.

When Kathryn had her law practice one or for assistance was named Erica. She called me about a week ago to discuss her laptop problems and to ask if could and would be willing to fix. Her problems were like everybody else's problem once they've used a computer for several years without ever cleaning it well or reinstalling the operating system. It is an Lenova with only a 1.8 GHz processor but it did have 2 GB of RAM. I ordered and installed a new solid-state hard drive and put Windows 7 ultimate on the hard drive. I put several programs on it including Office and Kaspersky. Erica was amazed at the new speed and ease of use after I updated it. This weekend she brought me a box of cookies from some designer shop on the beach. There were more than a dozen cookies in the box and each was as big as a pancake. The ones I've tasted thus far are delicious but I decided to vacuum seal some and freeze them for the future.

I think I mentioned I was having a problem with my copier and ordered a new one. The new Brother all-in-one printer is working as it should and is twice as fast as my old one. It's basically the same one I had only a four-year newer model. I bought it on Amazon for less than $100.

I watched the new Transformer movie which was two hours and 45 min. long. It was nonstop action from the very beginning and kept my attention. It's rather amazing how they make these movies but they sure are entertaining. I will say in this particular version sometimes it is difficult for me to determine which robot was the good guy and which one was the bad guy. The good guys won at the end. I know you're surprised to hear that!

This morning I'm going to watch the latest Captain America movie for pure entertainment and relaxation. It is over two hours long so I have something to do until it's time to eat lunch. Lunch today will be another cookie I received from Erica.

Posted at 10:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Been Busy

Fri 19 September 2014

For some time now I have been hearing static all my telephone when I send or receive calls. I have an old-fashioned AT&T wired telephone with the only option included is caller ID. The caller ID option is required in order for my Digitone call blocking equipment to work. At this point I'm pleased to say it works rather well; every day I see were calls have been blocked. Anyway a AT&T service representative came by yesterday and quickly discovered the problem. It seems that when the cable company drilled a hole next to the hole where my telephone wire was going into my house they nicked the telephone wire which ultimately corroded and calls problem. It is not perfect now but is a lot better than it was before he removed the bad wiring. He said what other statically noise I might hear is a result of the equipment I'm using or the inside wiring/connections. I'm glad to have that problem fixed because it was so irritating as hell to me and to whom ever I was talking.

My cousin Alice (The Baker) was having major problems with her e-mail account at msn. The Microsoft exchange servers kept on locking her account because of what they believed to be fraudulent activity. Of course the process to unlock the account is not simple and although she tried I stepped into convert computer talk to common English. Of course it also affected the e-mail account on her smart phone.

She came over on Wednesday and we spent a couple of hours working on the problem. I got her e-mail account on her computer working properly again and added a two-step verification login. I then had to set up a system for her to receive a code in order to use the two-step login method. I installed the Google authenticator on her smart phone and also set it up such that Microsoft will send a text message with the code. Now her smart phone would not work.

I had to jump through several loops in order to get a specialized code with which to log in to her e-mail account on her smart phone because of the two-step verification. If she never logs out there'll never be a need for getting a new special code again. She is a happy camper today with both of her device working properly and feeling much more secure.

In my last post I mentioned my American Express problem about fraudulent activity on my account. Because my card had been compromised so many times American Express had to close the account I've had since 1972 and open an all new account with a totally new card number. It turns out the fraudulent activity really didn't happen at all but rather was a mistake I made by not coordinating the date of charges to the date the charges appeared on my credit card. Once that was discovered I asked American Express to not cancel my account and just let me keep that card. Of course they had already canceled it and a new card was in the mail. It's probably not a bad idea to get a new card from time to time the only problem is the hassle of changing my automatic charges to my American Express card. I logged into all those accounts online and change the number but I bet I missed some. The new card has a chip in it but I have no idea what it does. Almost all of my charges are made online except for my trips to Publix, Walmart and Home Depot.

The change in account caused confusion as to what payment was due on the old card. I received an e-mail that was incorrect and had to call American Express to get it resolved. It was the problem of closing one account and open a new account that confuse the matter but we got it resolved. All is well at American Express.

Kathryn call me the other day about installing office 2013 on her desktop. I previously installed office 2007 which works perfectly fine but she heard some of her friends at school rave about the 2013 version. I started doing my research and at this point I believe I can successfully install office 2013 with total validation. She was rather surprised at all the hoops I have to jump through to do this but of course for me that's half the fun.

This morning when I was watching FOX Business news the Fed chairman in Dallas whose name is Fisher was being interviewed by one of the talking heads. As you might know Texas is a state that's growing faster than most all other states and attracting businesses away from places like California because of the business friendly climate Texas has. By the Way, Florida also is one of those business friendly states. I mention this only to say that during his conversation he said one of the biggest problems we have in the United States today is the total lack of leadership in Washington. He certainly did not mince his words when he talked about overregulation and over taxation of businesses. I think most of the country would probably agree with this assessment with the exception of those living inside the Beltway.

Last night Auburn play Kansas State in what turned out to be a good game. It wasn't clear until the very end who was going to win but Auburn did prevail. Tomorrow Georgia Tech plays Virginia Tech at their Stadium. I have a bad feeling about this game because Georgia Tech's record when playing at Virginia Tech is not good. If the team is able to play both halves of the game well instead of just one half of the game as in the past three weeks then Georgia Tech could look good. I'd like to be more optimistic but there's nothing to give me reason to be optimistic. Anyway it is football Saturday and I will enjoy watching games until my eyes bleed.

Posted at 02:43 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

It Happened Again!

Mon 15 September 2014

It has happened again - my American Express credit card has been compromised. The people at American Express said this was the ninth time I've had to get a new credit card since I moved back to Vero. My averages are that a new card will be needed about every 9 or 10 months. I am totally befuddled as to how someone gets enough information to use my AMEX card. The only places I use it in person is at Publix, Walmart, and Home Depot. Rarely I use it in a restaurant which most of the time is the Ocean Grill.

It would seem that the information is obtained from some website where I've purchased a product online. Some smaller vendors might very well have a system that allows employees to access charges made. More often than not if I use my credit card to charge online it is at Amazon.com. I don't believe that's the source of the leak but how would I know? When this happens the only alternative is to cancel my card and get a new one which I did yesterday. The charges that were fraudulent were small in nature and added up to somewhere between $100 and $150 I think. Because the charges were so small and the card was being used at Amazon it didn't initially catch my eye. American Express is give me 100% credit for the fraudulent charges and is sending me a new card using next-day delivery with UPS.

This time is different than any of the times in the past. Usually they only change the last five numbers of my credit card when I have to get a new one because of fraudulent activity. This time I will get an entirely new credit card account you with all of the numbers change. Getting a new card is not a big deal but does require me to go to all those sites where my reoccurring bills every month are automatically charged to American Express. This would include things like my phone bill, my cable bill,etc. I wish American Express had a two-step verification but unfortunately they do not.

This past weekend I watched parts of several college football games many of which were exactly the kind of game I like. That is a high-scoring game were the lead switches between the two teams and usually the last one to score wins. That in fact was the case with Georgia Tech when they beat Southern Georgia 42 to 38. Georgia Tech did great in the first half scoring 35 points but almost lost the game because they only scored once in the second half. This is three wins in a row for Georgia Tech but I expect his winning streak to coming to an end. If the team could play too good halves instead of one good half they would have a chance against some of the tough opponents ahead. I'm expecting a breakeven season for GT.

This morning I spent a couple hours with my cousin Alice - she is my cake baker. My purpose in going to her home was to assist in setting up her Apple TV and reconnect her smart TV to the Internet. She had changed her Internet service in didn't know how to reconnect the TV or install the Apple TV. I did both for her rather easily except the Apple device was in a location it could not connect to her router. We moved it around then got it connected and I established her account with ESPN. This service call is worth a cake or two.

Last week I watched a movie called The Signal which had twists and turns I never expected. The ending was rather spectacular really totally surprised me. Unfortunately most of the movie between the beginning and the end was not all that good because it was repetitive in nature. However a new discovery was made often enough to keep my attention. All in all it was okay but not a movie I'll watch again soon. My favorite movies this year have been Battleship and Draft Day. I have several new movies already downloaded ready to be viewed. Reports to follow.

Posted at 03:33 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

PayPal accepts Bitcoin

Tue 09 September 2014

This morning I was watching Fox business news when they announced that PayPal will now except Bitcoin as payment in its products and services. For some time I expected that this would happen I just didn't know when. In my view, PayPal accepting Bitcoin is a really big deal. I've not found how soon they will integrate Bitcoin into their platform but I expect it to be soon knowing that they have been doing testing for some time now. A headline in one of the major international news papers reads, "PayPal Joins Dell, DISH, Expedia, Overstock To Accept Bitcoins As Payment". More details to follow.

Recently the overbearing DEA has made one of the medications I take a class II medication from a class III medication. This means that no longer can I get refills without getting a brand-new prescription from my physician and physically hand prescription to my pharmacist. It cannot be called in or mailed in or faxed in by my physician. This is not new to me because there is a medication I've been taking for years that is a class II medication. It just makes it more of a pain in the rear in to get refills when needed. The reason given by the DEA for implementing this new rule is that this particular medication is being which abused which by the way is in fact true. However making this change will have very little if any effect on those people who abuse the medication in my opinion. The net effect is that valid patients needing to use this medication are now inconvenienced. The war on drugs is a total and complete failure. My belief the only reason it continues as it does is because so many people work directly or indirectly in this area.

Saturday I received my new car cover to keep my car from getting dirt, dust and grime from the road in front of my house. I can wash my car in the morning and by five o'clock in the afternoon it will have dust and dirt on it from the day's traffic on 23rd St. This new car cover is far superior to the one I was using and thus I believe it will do a much better job for me. My old car cover was worn out and had some tears so it was time to replace.

I've been reading on the Drudge report about all the problems Michelle Obama is causing in the school systems. Because new federal regulations that were unwanted and unneeded limit the type of food they can be served to students many just go without lunch altogether. One really stupid regulation in my opinion is that the school cafeterias are no longer permitted to put salt shakers on tables! How stupid is that? Is not the job of the federal government to take control of American children by dictating what they can and cannot eat. This is yet another example of the Obama regime implementing more unneeded, unwanted and detrimental regulations. In fact all of Obama's departments including the DEA, FDA, and EPA have all run amok resulting in job loss and unnecessary expenses to individuals and companies. I hope all of this can be changed in the future.

Recently I've been reading articles about Internet security and one's private information. The fact is your private information is no longer private. Data about you is stored on servers everywhere and your movements on the Internet are tracked by several companies. There also seems to be a major increase in hacking of both individuals and companies. You would probably be shocked at the information Google has stored about you. The Internet is certainly a very useful tool but when used expect no privacy and that any and everything you type is stored somewhere. Buyer beware your

Posted at 12:06 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Another Doctor's Visit

Thu 04 September 2014

This morning I went to see Dr. Fromang for my semi annual prostate exam. I've not had a problem but my father had prostate cancer and most men get prostate cancer if they live long enough. I'm thinking that if I have twice a year checkups I'll have the most options available to me when I get prostate cancer. Notice I said when I get instead of if I get it. Thus far everything seems to be okay.

While I was there David asked me when I last had my eyes checked. Unfortunately that hasn't been for 15 or 20 years I'm guessing. While in Atlanta I had shingles on the left side of my face close to my eye and my dermatologist suggested I have that eye check to make sure shingles did not get into it. David said I should have my eyes checked for glaucoma and cataracts even though I don't have any symptoms. He said both of these conditions are dangerous to my eyesight so I made an appointment with a friend of mine who is an ophthalmologist here in Vero. That's in about a month so we'll see how my eyes are doing.

Another friend of mine told me that I could order my grocery shopping list online from Publix. I fill out a form indicating the products I want and then submitted to them. They will shop for those products and deliver the bags to my front door. Before I try this I'm going to talk to the people with Publix see just how the system works. There have been times in the past and I'm sure there will be times in the future when I don't want to go to the grocery store although I need to. This option certainly would be beneficial to me. Today I'm using the delivery service of the drugstore I use to deliver prescriptions to me. The more things I can have delivered the better.

My faithful printer started printing the lighter pages and making it harder to read printed documents. Of course I did my research online to see what I could do to correct the situation and after repeatedly following the suggested correction procedures I came to the inescapable conclusion that some of my printing heads were clogged and it would be very difficult for me to remedy that situation. I purchased this printer when I first arrived in Vero so it has served me well over the past seven years but it's time to replace. Today I received my new wireless Brother all-in-one printer and now have it set up. Actually the printers may be less expensive than the four ink cartridges that go into them.

It used to be a real pain to connect a wireless printer to your network. My have times changed. All I had to do was to press a couple buttons on my printer and it gave me a seven digit number which I could enter into my router as a network device. That wireless set up was easier than anything I've ever tried in the past. Bonus: this printer is a lot faster!

I continue to have my yellow jacket problem on the North side of my house. In the last two nights I emptied two cans of spray that should kill them but it did not. I've ordered some new commercial type spray and powder to use on the nest. When doing research on yellow jackets I found that nest size varies from 300 to 120,000 cells, although the majority of nests average 2000 to 6000 cells and are 3-6 inches in diameter. For all I know I have a few thousand yellow jackets in the nest! This continues to be work in process. There's a lot of other things going on but I think I've covered enough for now.

Posted at 04:33 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Labor Day

Mon 01 September 2014

Today is Labor Day which for me is not much different than any other day. I find myself working on my computer and other hardware or watching a movie.

I've been having a problem with my printer in that what it prints is light in color. The color having the most problem is black. I've gone through the owner's manual and followed all the steps recommended to resolve the problem. I've cleaned the head five or six times and realign the printer. None of that has worked and when printing something I see faulty the same test pattern. The result is pages printed in black are very light in color and I have no means of improving that. After pursuing as many options as I could find I came to the inexplicable conclusion that it was time to order a new printer. I've had this Brother since I first moved to Vero in 2007. It's given me good service so I don't mind getting a new one although the features will be about the same as the one I have now. My current printer will still scan and fax but just not print satisfactory. The new Brother printer/scanner/fax/copier should arrive in the next couple days.

In an earlier post I mentioned I was going to upgrade a laptop for Kathyrn's friend Erica. On Saturday morning I installed a new solid-state hard drive and then put Windows 7 on it along with the Microsoft office suite and Adobe Acrobat pro. It took about two hours or longer to update the operating system because my installation disk for windows seven is a couple of years old. When she came by to pick up her laptop she was more than amazed at how much faster and better it worked than when she left it with me earlier in the day. A new solid-state hard drive can do wonders for the performance and speed of any computer.

I've been using my Apple TV often on for the last few days and found that entering numbers and letters is a cumbersome task. My resolution to this problem was to order a keyboard which will work with my Apple TV. A picture of the keyboard is shown at the top of this page. It works on Blue Tooth and is so much more convenient than the old on-screen typewriter input. I was actually considering whether I should order it or not which at this point I can see was very foolish. I have almost no patience thus entering letters and numbers username on-screen keyboard is not for me.

In the last couple of days Bitcoin has dropped to the $480 range from where it was at the $515 range. Searching for news that might indicate why it dropped did not bear any fruit. This can be expected because Bitcoin remains volatile and will remain in that state for some time in the near future in my opinion. With my long-term outlook my goal is to simply hold on to the coins I have opened that the exchange rate will eventually go up. There's every reason in the world for to go up but one never knows what actually will happen.

Today I watched a movie called "Plastic"which I enjoyed. It was full of action and was made from real life experiences of the characters in the movie. It was about young college age men stealing credit card numbers and passwords in order to buy things for profit. They ran amok when they cross paths with the wrong guy. I won't tell you what happens but it was one of the better movies I've seen although it can't hold a candle to "Draft Day", the movie I mentioned recently.

Tomorrow morning I have to go for my regular monthly meeting. These meetings usually don't take long so I expect to be home in a short period. The only other thing scheduled for this week is my semi annual prostate exam with Dr. Froemming on Thursday. We will review the results of my PSA test and I'll have a digital exam as well. For me it's not a question of if I'll get prostate cancer but rather when. At least this is one of those cancers that is very treatable.

Posted at 05:47 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Silicone Valley

Fri 29 August 2014

It is Friday afternoon the day after the first "regular" college football games. Last night I watched South Carolina being upset by Texas A&M something that no one expect. If you saw the game, it was clear from the very start that the Texas team was the superior team. This was not a fluke. The final score was something like 41 to 22.

I also watched a good bit of the Georgia State game where Georgia State won 43 to 42 over team I've never heard of before. It was a great game in my point of view because it was high-scoring, the lead changed hands several times during the game and there were several big plays. Tonight there's several other college football games starting around 7 PM. I'm very pleased with my Apple TV because I was able to watch ESPN 3 which carried some of these games on my big-screen TV.

Speaking of Apple TV I watched part of an eight episode series called Silicon Valley on HBO Go. It's about some young guys creating new software or programming techniques and the things they go through to create a business from the intellectual achievements. I've only seen the first three episodes but plan to watch the rest up before the weekend is over. The main character wrote an algorithm that compressed data several times smaller than other compression algorithms available with no loss in quality. Now I can see that that type of programming is worth a lot of money unlike the apps I talked about a couple of days ago.

Yesterday I had my driveway and sidewalk pressure cleaned. It really improves the look of my house from 23rd St. and is something I've done in the past. I'm pleased with the outcome so I'll likely do it again in a couple years as needed.

I had my car detailed a couple of days ago and as usual covered it with my car cover to minimize dirt and dust from 23rd St. getting all my car. The cover I have now is getting old and is torn in a few areas making it less effective. This morning I ordered a new cover of higher quality the claims to be "dust-proof". Allegedly it is also rain proof but still breaths. My current cover I've had for six years and is just worn out and was of lesser quality when I bought it in the first place. The only reason I want to cover is to keep the dust and dirt from 23rd St. from getting on my car such that when I wash it in the morning it will not look like it needs washing again by 5 PM.

My call blocking device sits next to my computer and flashes a red light when I get an incoming call. Most the time my phone rings shortly thereafter because it's a call I want to take. However I've noticed that the red light has been flashing a good bit recently and not getting through. It's been blocking a lot of calls I otherwise would get irritated if I answered. Don't forget it is political season with candidates, fundraisers and poll takers wanting to talk to me. I don't want to talk to them.

A friend of Kathryn's has a laptop computer that is full of junk and needs to be cleaned up and updated. Her name is Erica and she was willing to pay for an upgrade which in this case was purchasing a solid-state hard drive. Tomorrow she will deliver the computer and the new hard drive to me so I can install Windows 7 on the new SSD. She'll want me to install Microsoft office 2007 and Adobe Acrobat. I have both of these programs on a flash drive and can easily installed. I can't wait to see her face when she boots for the first time and see just how fast it is compared to when she dropped it off. I'm not anticipating any problems but one never knows.

Posted at 01:54 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Google Penguin and "App" Companies Valuation

Wed 27 August 2014

I have been negligent in posting recently and therefore I find myself wanting to talk about several topics today.

Yesterday I watched a movie called Draft Day and found it to be one of the very best movies I watched in a long long time. To me it is a high quality movie with a real plot, several subplots and excellent acting by all the characters including the lead, Kevin Costner. If you have not seen it I'm not going to tell you you will love it because I don't know what kind of movies you do like but in my mind this is one of the best I've seen this year. The movie I saw all this year I thought was especially good was called Battleship.

I've been having a yellow jacket problem on the North side of my house where there have been yellow jackets nesting. One nest I got rid of a few months ago but they have returned to another location on the North side of my house. I had my guy who puts out herbicides and pesticides come out to kill them but it didn't work completely. The next time I go to Walmart or Home Depot I'll by a couple cans of the spray I used last time to do it the myself. You Have To go out at night when it is dark soother in their nest sleep and then just flood the entrance with the spray. It took two or three nights the last time I get this.

Why am I worried about these yellow jacket you ask? My yard maintenance guy got stung last week when he was cleaning up on the North side of my house. He said he was hurting for a few days. These yellow jackets will basically leave you alone unless you should be close to their nest and aggravate them. They have a real painful sting.

Yesterday I had my car detailed as I normally do every three or four months. It helps keep my car looking new and makes me think I have a newer car therefore minimizing my urge to actually buy a new car. I plan on keeping my unless there is an event that will prevent like a major mechanical problem.

Bitcoin has settled in the $500 to $515 range in the last two weeks. In my view it is good for the digital currency to trade within a narrow range like this but I'm hoping the range will increase over time. The various blogs I read say that the reason it has not gone up is because there is an ample supply of Bitcoin available because merchants convert their Bitcoin to cash as soon as a sale is made and miners are awarded Bitcoin for their successful work. So for the moment I'm not buying or selling any more coins but just holding for the future as I had planned on doing all along.

At the top of this page you see a image of Google Penguin. It is a new tool used by Google in an attempt to make rankings using Google searching engine fairer. Many websites use what are called Black Hat techniques to draw attention to their website. An example of a Black Hat technique would be to put a lots of keywords on a page using a text color that would hide the words on the page to the viewer but not to the search engines. For example this page could be full of words you could not see if I use white as the text color.

There are other things called "link farms"which are websites use for the sole purpose of putting a link to another website to improve their visibility on the Internet. These link farms provide no useful information about anything and thus a link back to your website from one of these link farms is meaningless. Google is attempting to weed out such websites by the tool they call Google Penguin which checks websites every few months. This morning was the first time I ever heard of such a thing.

Fortunately for me I never use any black hat techniques nor have I ever used any link farms on any of my websites or those sites I might have built for others. There are tools on the web I can use to check my site but I'm still unclear as to what the results of these various checks mean to me. As many of you know I have spent years trying to improve my ranking on Google through organic means rather than using any trickery or an ethical means. I'm very pleased to say that over the time I've become rather good as relates to my Tanzanite site because if you searched a lot of the keywords I think are important to the kind of people I want driven to my site you'll find me listed on Google's first page organically.

When I say organic listing I mean I'm not paid anything to Google for placement although I won't hesitate to do so at some point in the future should I choose to become even more visible than I already am. This new Google tool has only been around for a couple years and has companies that do search engine optimization in a pickle. These companies that charge website owners several hundred dollars a month have used unethical practices and false link backs to improve the ranking of their clients.

This morning I spend a few hours reviewing what all this means and can tell you I'll need to spend several more hours to get a better understanding. Apparently there is a new version of Google Penguin being released soon and I should make sure I've done everything possible to minimize any reduction in my organic placement. I'm sure this will take me some good study to figure out how all this works and how it applies to me.

This morning I was watching one of my favorite financial programs called Varney on the Fox business network. They were talking about valuations of companies that make apps for portable devices. Apparently some people think the company that makes "snapchat" is worth over $10 billion. In my view this is total and complete nonsense because the company does not have any revenues at all and only employees 34 people. It has no physical buildings or inventory and is made up solely of the intellectual property of this app. This is also true about two other apps call "Whatsapp" and "Ubur". Both of the latter companies have valuations over $5 billion apiece and yet neither have any revenues to support such a valuation.

This is the time that I tell you I was alive and well in 1999 and 2000 when the ".com" bubble burst. It was the same scenario as were seeing now with these companies that make applications. Several ".com" companies had few employees and no revenue but yet had valuations in the billions of dollars. That's when the famous ".com bubble" burst. Hundreds of billions of dollars disappeared when this bubble burst. I see no difference between what is happening now in what happened back in 2000. Personally I think this is complete and total nonsense and will adversely affect us all in the coming crash.

Just think about it for a moment - how are these companies that have only an application available going to monetize the application to produce income worthy of $10 billion valuation? I don't see it myself so I certainly would not invest in these type of startups. Such high valuation on the future potential is very dangerous as I personally learned by losing a lot in 2000. When companies like Facebook went public they had been around for several years and had income from advertisements placed on their website. Facebook has further improved their income and thus deserves a reasonable valuation. In the good old days a company was worth about 15 times its net income. Some of these companies today are being sold at 200 times no income. I'm sure some will be successful and become valuable but unfortunately I have no way of picking the winners and losers.

Posted at 01:13 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Obama's Gettysburg Address by Maureen Dowd

Sun 24 August 2014

Maureen Dowd's New York Times article today:

FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40 year old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.

I know reporters didn't get a chance to ask questions, but I had to bounce. I had a 1 p.m. tee time at Vineyard Golf Club with Alonzo Mourning and a part owner of the Boston Celtics. Hillary and I agreed when we partied with Vernon Jordan up here, hanging out with celebrities and rich folks is fun.

Now we are engaged in a great civil divide in Ferguson, which does not even have a golf course, and that's why I had a "logistical" issue with going there. We are testing whether that community, or any community so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure when the nation's leader wants nothing more than to sink a birdie putt.

We are met on a great field of that battle, not Augusta, not Pebble Beach, not Bethpage Black, not Burning Tree, but Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha's Vineyard, which we can't get enough of me, Alonzo, Ray Allen and Marvin Nicholson, my trip director and favorite golfing partner who has played 134 rounds and counting with me.

We have to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for my presidency, if I keep swinging from behind.

Yet it is altogether fitting and proper that I should get to play as much golf as I want, despite all the lame jokes about how golf is turning into "a real handicap" for my presidency and how I have to "stay the course" with ISIL. I've heard all the carping that I should be in the Situation Room droning and plinking the bad folks. I know some people think I should go to Ferguson. Don't they understand that I've delegated the Martin Luther King Jr. thing to Eric Holder? Plus, Valerie Jarrett and Al Sharpton have it under control.

I know it doesn't look good to have pictures of me grinning in a golf cart juxtaposed with ones of James Foley's parents crying, and a distraught David Cameron rushing back from his vacation after only one day, and the Pentagon news conference with Chuck Hagel and General Dempsey on the failed mission to rescue the hostages in Syria.

We're stuck in the rough, going to war all over again in Iraq and maybe striking Syria, too. Every time Chuck says ISIL is "beyond anything we've ever seen," I sprout seven more gray hairs. But my cool golf caps cover them. If only I could just play through the rest of my presidency.

ISIL brutally killing hostages because we won't pay ransoms, rumbles of coups with our puppets in Iraq and Afghanistan, the racial caldron in Ferguson, the Ebola outbreak, the Putin freakout there's enough awful stuff going on to give anyone the yips.

So how can you blame me for wanting to unwind on the course or for five hours at dinner with my former assistant chef? He's a great organic cook, and he's got a gluten free backyard putting green.

But, in a larger sense, we can dedicate, we can consecrate, we can hallow this ground where I can get away from my wife, my mother in law, Uncle Joe, Congress and all the other hazards in my life.

The brave foursomes, living and dead, who struggled here in the sand, in the trees, in the water, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or subtract a few strokes to improve our score. Bill Clinton was Mr. Mulligan, and he is twice at popular as I am.

The world will little note, nor long remember, what we shot here, or why I haven't invited a bunch of tiresome congressmen to tee it up. I'm trying to relax, guys. So I'd much rather stay in the bunker with my usual bros.

Why don't you play 18 with Mitch McConnell? And John Boehner is a lot better than me, so I don't want to play with him.

It is for us, the duffers, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who played here have thus far so nobly advanced to get young folks to stop spurning a game they find slow and boring.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us of getting rid of our slice on the public's dime that from this honored green we take increased devotion to that cause for which Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy gave their last full measure of devotion and divots.

We here highly resolve that these golfing greats shall not have competed in vain, especially poor Tiger, and that this nation, under par, shall have a new birth of freedom to play the game that I have become unnaturally obsessed with, and that golf of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

So help me Golf.

I thought this was funny and well done but sadly it is true. Maureen Dowd used to be a BIG Obama fan. Obama is alienating his biggest fans with his "I don't give a sh*t - don't bother me" attitude.

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

College Football Begins

Sat 23 August 2014

College football season is finally upon us. On ESPN at 3:30 this afternoon Sam Houston State will play at Eastern Washington; I've not heard of either team but at this point it doesn't matter because it's the beginning of the season. The regular season will start on Wednesday when Abilene Christian plays Georgia State. Most the time when I was living in Atlanta Georgia State didn't have any athletic program at all so college football is relatively new to them. What makes this season particularly exciting for me is my Apple TV will allow me to watch many games in different areas that aren't available on regular TV. At this point I don't know how many extra games per week and I'll be able to see but I'm sure it will be a lot.

The next thing I want to say is that Bitcoin continues to fluctuate at great bit but is finally back over the $500 per Bitcoin exchange rate after having dropped to the low $400 rate. This week it has been as high as $530 but right now as I'm writing this it's $511. If you're in it for the long haul like me these weekly gyrations in exchange rate don't mean much because my intent is to hold for a much longer time. I'm still thinking that it will take a year or two to see any real gains in Bitcoin but I fully expect it to happen.

Each day when I read the website Coinbase.com there is positive news about Bitcoin. More and more commercial businesses are accepting Bitcoin now and more and more companies are getting involved in different areas of the Bitcoin community. One of the reasons the Bitcoin has been low recently is that the merchants accepting Bitcoin immediately exchange their payments for cash meaning that the availability of Bitcoin on the open market is greater now than it was before so many merchants started accepting Bitcoin as a payment. There's so much to talk about in the world of Bitcoin that I just want to leave you with my general positive outlook for the crypto currency in the future.

When talking about college football I mentioned my Apple TV. The reason I thought it was it would allow me to watch ESPN3 on I big-screen TV rather than a computer monitor or laptop. I was surprised that so many other football networks were a part of the ESPN family like the ACC network and the SEC network. I can already get some of those games now but I believe more will become available with this Apple TV device.

It also has several other channels available if you're Internet service provider has made a agreement with Apple TV. This includes Netflix, Public Television, ABC and CBS news, the Weather Channel, and my favor free channel other than ESPN will probably be YouTube. There have been many times when I've downloaded videos from YouTube to play them all my big-screen television. Now I have the ability to connect my television directly to You Tube to select what videos I wish to play. Of course some of them are of low quality because of the nature of You Tube but some of them are in high definition. I really haven't used it a whole lot but when I do I'll give you further reports.

I watched the movie Godzilla last night and thought it was okay but not spectacular. Except for the modernization of Godzilla it very much reminded me of the original movies made in Japan 40 years ago. In the past couple of weeks I also watched Need for Speed, Locke, The Quiet Ones. They were OK but not great.

Off to watch TV now.

Posted at 12:50 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

BoA Response

Sat 02 August 2014

After receiving the telephone call from the Bank of America employee informing me that Samsung devices are not compatible with Bank of America's app I decided to e-mail the President of the bank. I send him an e-mail on Wednesday and on Thursday I received an e-mail back from his executive assistant saying they would like to talk with me further. We've been playing telephone tag but I must say I'm impressed with the very timely response and apparent concern about the two issues I brought to his attention. Maybe I will actually get to talk to the President's assistant early next week.

Posted at 03:07 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The GooglePlay Saga

Fri 25 July 2014

Have I got a story for you this morning! You'll probably recall that Tommy and Kathryn gave me a Samsung Galaxy III tablet for Christmas. I keep it by my Master's chair in my bedroom suite so I can use it any time I'm watching television without having to get up and come into my office. I love this tablet and use it every day.

I've got it set up such that it will announce every 30 min. (or any timeframe I choose) the exchange rate of Bitcoin. It also has a Vero Beach Sheriffs/Police Department scanner installed; interesting to hear what's going on in Vero. I've installed other useful apps like Kaspersky, Team Viewer, etc. but one of them I can't get to work and that is the Bank of America app. My research indicates perhaps the signal is not strong enough so I took steps to improve upon that which I will cover later.

Every time I went to download an app from GooglePlay it would say it was downloading yet nothing would download or install. Seconds later the Google Store app would say it's installed when in fact it never downloaded. As frustrating as this was of course I found a workaround remedy I've employed. I simply search for the app I wish to have on the Internet and when I find it at a location other than GooglePlay I downloaded the .apk installation file to my desktop computer and then connect my tablet with my desktop computer via a USB connection. Once the connection is established I'd transfer the .apk app from my desktop to my tablet and then install it that way. All the same I never could figure out why GooglePlay would not work for me when I use my browser to go to the website online.

Yesterday I wanted to install an application costing $2.90 and once again GooglePlay would say it's installed when it never downloaded. I finally called the folks at GooglePlay in an effort to remedy this problem. The big surprise was I found that GooglePlay never was installed on my android tablet in the first place! This is a standard basic installation for all android devices yet my tablet did not have it. The young man trying to help me at GooglePlay was befuddled. He suggested I contact Samsung's technical support. All I wanted was the GooglePlay .apk file to download and install the program. The service technician at Samsung said that simply could not be done and I'd have to do a hard reset of my tablet. This would necessitate my fresh installation of all previously installed applications via the method described above.

Well of course I didn't want to do that so I went to work to see if I could find just the Google play app so I would not have to go through a bunch of fresh installs of programs that I are already had. The technician at Samsung said this could not be done. The technician was wrong! I found the latest version of Google play .apk which I downloaded and after checking the MD5 serial numbers I installed the app, plug my tablet in for charging and then watched TV. This morning I installed the Bank of America app which still does not work but my GooglePlay app does work. In fact it did a couple handfuls of updates on previously installed applications. I was just too hardheaded to give up on what I typically new could be done if someone with enough sense would give me access to the GooglePlay .apk file. It surprises me just how uninformed technicians are at certain companies.

Posted at 10:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

John's Visit

Mon 14 July 2014

 photo diver-john.jpg

This morning Matt Barnes is coming to pick me up so that we can go to the jewelry store on Vero's beach called John Michaels. My purpose in going is to let them appraised the tanzanite gemstone I have on my website, TanzaniteAmerica.com. This is the same gemstone I had appraised several weeks ago by another jeweler here in Vero Beach who actually makes jewelry. This guy (Gary) did not have the credentials as an appraiser but rather based his estimate on 25 years of working with gemstones and making jewelry.

Gary told me he had thousands of gemstones in his shop and has handled thousands over the years. When I asked him how many Tanzanite gemstones he had on hand the answer was one! So here is a guy that has thousands of gemstones but only one Tanzanite; I'm left to wonder just how much he knows about Tanzanite itself? Because it is such a rare gemstone not many jewelers have experience and knowledge about Tanzanite. The place I'm going this morning claims to have a GIA appraiser. We shall see.

John came over yesterday for a very pleasant three-hour meeting in which we talked about everything and solve the worlds problems. Somehow another I got on the subject of wanting a device that would transmit to my television screen in the master bedroom suite what ever is on my computer's monitor. There are devices that can do that if the computer and television are in the same room. I've not been successful in finding a satisfactory device that will work when ever the computer and television are not in the same room. John says they have an Apple TV device that will do that but frankly I have my doubts. I understand the device can stream computer video files from the computer to the TV but my TV set can do that already without any device. What I want to put on the TV is what ever is on my monitor like a webpage for example. John is to test it when he returns to today and report back.

Lots of things are going on in John's life but without his permission I don't think I should discuss them here just yet. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad but some of it may still be confidential. Frequently people tell me things I should keep in confidence and thus have to be careful about what I post here on The World Famous Billsview.com. Recently I was asked to remove a name because of a secret. The chances of anyone revealing this secret to one person is nil IMO.

About a month ago a young man who I guess is in his early 20s moved into the upstairs apartment behind my house. He looks like he might be Polynesian rather than a young man who had one of his two parents of color and the other one being Caucasian. I haven't met him yet but that's not unusual because renters move in and out of that apartment rather frequently. I tend to just keep to myself as most of you know.

Yesterday (Sunday) I saw this guy walking on the sidewalk on the South side of my house and then turned to walk on the sidewalk on the East side of my house. He usually turns and goes through the pathway between my house and the one next to me to the north in order to get to his apartment. This time he went beyond that pathway and came in from the other side of the house next to mine. He did not go into his apartment but rather fooled around with something behind a fenced area at ground level. He never went upstairs to his apartment but rather left by going in the alley behind my house then walking across the street headed toward downtown Vero Beach. This all seems very odd to me because he didn't go to his apartment the regular way, never went upstairs and left to the alley which I've never seen him do before. Of course my curiosity is moving full steam ahead but I have no intentions of going to looking in the fenced area. I guess should take the time to walk outside and introduce myself.

I'm very pleased to announce that my situation has stabilized and will not require anything additional. I have a monthly report to turn in but that's it. After 13 months I can now stop worrying about what they might do to screw with me next. On the other side of that coin I'm thinking about what I might do to screw with them at the end of all this. I've obtain additional information not provided to me before that if I had it before all this never would've happened in the first place. If I remain pissed off enough I may do something about this but for the moment I'm going to go along to get along.

Remember me talking about the filters I put in my email client? I'm pleased to announce they are working well and have had virtually no spam since I set up the filters. I have blocked every domain except the ones that end in .com, .net, .info, .gov, .uk, .ca, and a couple others. There is a possibility that some mail I would otherwise like to receive will not get through my filters but I always have the option of checking my logs to see what emails were filtered and if I find one I want to respond to I will have that option.

I can go on and on but Matt is supposed to be here in about 10 minutes. Stay tuned for future developments.

Posted at 11:13 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Spam !

Sat 05 July 2014

Is there anyone out there who has not been irritated by the spam they receive? Personally it drives me crazy so I try to avoid it altogether whenever possible. The spam filters used by Gmail are among the best I've ever seen. The problem is I don't know how to get Gmail spam filters functional in my Thunderbird e-mail client without redirecting mail to Gmail. I rather keep all of my b.cherry e-mail in one place and that is Mozilla's Thunderbird.

In the last week to 10 days I've been inundated with spam most of which is pornographic in nature. Up until then I've had a pretty good history of eliminating spam e-mails by using Thunderbirds built-in filtering program. For example I have the two a day e-mails from Sam's Club go directly into my trash folder. Other companies do the same thing in sending out advertisements on a daily basis which I have no interest in reading but at the same time I don't want to block the company's e-mail address altogether. So at the end of the day I could check my junk folder and review any e-mail that might be of interest to me without having to run into my office every time I hear the sound notifying me of a received e-mail.

Recently Mozilla updated their Thunderbird program and made some rather substantial improvements in their e-mail advanced filtering utility. They have an advanced e-mail filtering option that if you know what you're doing you can do some rather creative e-mail filtering. I have been playing with the filter for several hours this morning testing the various options I can create in filtering. This new Thunderbird filtering utility is way cool and I'm rather pleased with myself in the work I've completed.

I have written a filter that will send e-mail received directly to my trash folder which I can review any time. The filter looks for specific words in the "Subject" part of the e-mail and if one of these words is found the e-mail is put in my trash folder. Use your imagination about the kind of words I could filter that would be associated with pornographic e-mails; I've got a list of about 25 thus far.

A similar list of words have been put in a different filter for the "Body" of the e-mail. I'm careful not to use some words people may put in your e-mails to me but there are many obvious words I can include.

I've created another global filter that will send to my junk folder any e-mails I receive from Yahoo.com or Hotmail.com. It seems there has been a lot of spam sent to me from these addresses. For those friends of mine who have Yahoo.com or Hotmail.com addresses I've created specific filters to allow their mail to come through. There's only about a handful of people who still use those accounts.

Then I created a domain filter which will send to my trash folder any e-mails received from a address that does contain .com, .net, .org, .gov, .cc, .UK, .ca, .edu, or .nl . This means all e-mail coming from foreign countries with the exceptions of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Canada will be sent to my trash folder. Of course I can see them if I wish but they will not alert me when they arrive.

I've been testing these by using a SMTP program I put on one of my websites servers. This is basically a webpage that has nothing but e-mail information on it. It includes the space for the recipients e-mail address, the subject of the e-mail, the sender's e-mail address, and a place for the body text. By the way the sender's e-mail address can be anything I wanted to be which is how I tested my global domain name filter. I can send an e-mail to you that looks like it came from you by using this utility I've created. It's a way of being anonymous when I send an e-mail.

All these filters were created in the last several hours and the ones I tested worked perfectly. I'll report back in a few days as to the actual functionality of the filters. At this point I'm very happy with myself.

Posted at 02:07 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

4th of July

Fri 04 July 2014

As usual, days fly by without me remembering to make a post on the now world famous Bill'sView.com. Every time I think about doing it something comes up which leads me into a different direction. Here it is July 4th meaning my usual TV programming I watch on weekdays are not on today. I like to keep the FOX Business News channel on all day long. I don't sit and endlessly watch it but I do pick up some rather interesting interviews.

Yesterday I watched a live conference between the president of the IMF and the US Fed chairwoman. I understood what they were talking about but they used words and phrases not common to the mainstream public. It was on for about 30 min. after which I reached the conclusion that not much is going to change in the near future but things are generally improving both in the United States and the European Community. One of these days inflation is going to come roaring in causing prices to go up rapidly in a short period of time. And of course we are due for a correction in the stock market but with money being almost free to use I don't see a correction in the short term. But what do I know?

My favorite uncle, Harold Joines, had a mild stroke about two weeks ago. Harold is the father of my cake making cousin Alice. He's at home and doing well as he approaches his 90th birthday. He continues to be stubborn and wants to do things his way and I don't believe anybody's going to change that. Harold has had a long full life with three children and two grandchildren and I think he's just tired. He's not sick in any way but it wouldn't surprise me if he died in the next few years or so. Like an old tennis player I think he believes it's time to hang up his racket.

Some of my friends have sons in the "marring age group". One came to me for help in selecting a diamond because of my vast knowledge of everything including gemstones. I did a search and found the very best diamond I could given the parameters he gave me with regard to size and price. The diamond was ordered yesterday and should be delivered to my house in the next few days. I'm anxious to see the diamond in person.

At the top of this page you can see a picture of a LED flashlight. This thing is about 6 or 7 inches long and less than 2 inches in diameter. It easily fits in the palm of your hand. It is by far the brightest flashlight I've ever used in fact I can't look directly at the lens when the lights on. It admits 1600 lumens which in layman's terms is a hell of a lot of light. I ordered it on eBay from China and while it took a couple of weeks to get here I think it only cost about $12. At this point I can't see any reason for someone to use a flashlight that is not a LED flashlight with at least 200 lumens or more. The focus can be adjusted to a fine point and light up things a great distance away. If you don't have one of these you ought to get one.

When watching the FOX Business Channel the other day the program host was interviewing a tech savvy entrepreneur who says that companies will identify what you buy at checkout and keep your personal records. I hate this invasion of privacy! If for example you are a smoker and by the one or two packs of cigarettes a day and then you're applying for health insurance your rates might be higher because the health insurance company knows you're a heavy smoker. Same thing could be said about trips to the liquor store.

Privacy no longer exists especially if you use any kind of electronic equipment like computers, tablets, or smart phones. It should bother all of us when we know our private information is being collected and put in a file out of our control and accessible by companies or the Obama regime. If you have your smart phone on a table in a room it has the capability of broadcasting everything that is said in that room even if the phone is turned off. You must take the SIM card out to prevent this! Just damn!

The paint contractor that painted my house inside and out when I first moved here asked my help with regard to his website. He went to an online company called web.com that will design a web sight for free and let you use it for a month without charge. If after a month you like it and want to continue using it then monthly fees come into play. He was paying $125 a month for the hosting of the website and domain name. Of course the site itself was made from a template which contains much more code than is necessary for any one site. This is the basic nature of templates.

He wanted me to help him get away from these high fees. I've learned how to clone websites in every situation except when the whole website is a flash object. In this case there was a lot of proprietory code which I had to decipher and replace with other code performing the same task. I like doing this because it was a project and occupied me for 3 1/2 days before I completed a new website for him that looks like his old website. I zipped a folder with the files needed to render the website and gave it to him so he can e-mail it to Go Daddy where he plans on hosting a site for about $50 a year. That seems to be a lot better than $125 a month don't you think?

He of course expected to pay me but because of we had not made an agreement or understanding as to how much I would charge I decided to give them my work for free. In exchange he said he would work for me if I needed any of his painting or pressure washing services for free or at least a significantly reduced price. I like doing the work because of his rather challenging to understand the code used by web.com and then write it with a different code. My obsessive-compulsive behavior keeps me on a project once I start. I was going to farm this out and help someone else do it but once I got into the project itself I found it would take a lot more time to do that than it would if I just completed all the work myself.

Posted at 02:14 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Orphan Black

Thu 26 June 2014

It has been a while since I posted on Bill'sView. The main reason is I just have not felt like sitting in front of the computer and dictating my random thoughts. It's a nice Thursday morning here in Vero Beach and I'm inclined to mention a few things.

Lately I've been reading more in more about Internet security and watching news programs on television which talk about Internet security. It is intuitively obvious to me now that individual privacy no longer exists. I also believe that now more than any time in the past we have to pay close attention in the area of security for our computers. Don't ever download an attachment on an e-mail from someone you think you know. It could be that person's e-mail account has been hacked and the e-mail may contain a virus. Don't ever click on a link from what appears to be an institution with which you do business like a bank, credit card company, online retailer,etc. Always put in the URL of the institution or business yourself and then go to the link suggest. I didn't like it at first but now I believe double verification on certain sites is a good idea.

Last weekend I sort of turned out of very thing except watching the college world series in baseball and parts of soccer games. I admit I don't know much about soccer and watch it even less but this world cup series has been an overwhelming success. The United States plays Germany at noon today and in order to stay in the mix the US has to either beat or tie Germany.

Yesterday I was screwing around with my surround sound amplifier thinking I wanted to test different settings. My amplifier is more confusing to me then the computer on which I'm dictating now. It has an enormous amount of settings you can choose and speakers you can regulate but unfortunately you have to do it using a handheld remote. That makes it more time-consuming and easier to make a mistake. I did discover a few things but I'm going to have to dedicate time when I can start in the morning and work on until I have a better understanding of how to adjust all the settings. Although my TV doesn't have anything to do with my surround sound amplifier I did discover some new settings on it yesterday.

Of course Bitcoin continues to be in the news every day. More and more vendors are accepting Bitcoin as payment for products and services each and every day. Recently Hotels.com joined although Dish Network remains the largest single user of Bitcoin. Yesterday Intuit implemented their Bitcoin platform for the thousands of customers they have using QuickBooks.

Bitcoin is now listed under stocks on both Yahoo.com and Google.com as well as the financial information provider Bloomberg. This morning Western Union said that they would start using Bitcoin as soon as it became more accepted. My question is why would anyone want to use Western Union if you can transfer money around the world without cost using Bitcoin? If you've ever used Western Union to send money you know that they are rather expensive. Bitcoin is free and is available everywhere not just in some countries.

I've been looking for new movies to download but there have not been many thus far this summer. I suspect that will change toward the end of the summer as blue Ray discs become available for holiday sales. There is a BBC series I've started to watch called Orphan Black; it is really good with a surprise around every corner and continual action. Just my kind of series or movie.

The series deals with human cloning and the ramifications thereof. As each episode goes by we discover more clones of the same female first introduced in episode one. They all have different lives but are genetically equal. At the moment there are two series each of which has 10 episodes. Thus far I'm through episodes seven in series 1. I tend to watch two or three at a time. They are so good I don't want to stop but decide it's best to keep something to look forward to the next evening of a few episodes. Stay tuned.

Posted at 10:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Weekend Things

Mon 16 June 2014

When I was a student at Georgia Tech there was a course I took in the Mechanical Engineering department that after taking it I felt like I knew less than when I started. It was called the mechanics of deformable bodies. Who of you reading this have any idea what I might be talking about? I tell you this to make a point; I watched a movie yesterday that after watching it I felt like I knew less about the movie than I did when it began. The name of the movie was Everwhen. I highly recommend you do everything in your power to avoid getting anywhere close to this movie. I paid attention to it for a full hour and a half and this morning I can't tell you what it was about. Jeez!

The last couple of days we but having real thunder busters here in what is normally sunny Vero Beach. You've heard of raining cats and dogs right? Well over this weekend it was raining elephants and whales. My weather station indicated it rained over an inch in less than an hour. We've not had much rain in a few weeks so this was needed to water our plants for those who do not have an irrigation system. Actually I don't mind the rain it's the gloomy overcast days without rain that I don't like. Those days put me in a depressed mood as was the case this morning. Having had lunch and a couple of strong Cokes Zeros I'm feeling better.

Well Bitcoin took a rather significant plunge last week but overnight it started on the way back up. After reaching a low of about $450 per Bitcoin on Saturday is now back to about $600 per Bitcoin. I've been tracking charts trying to make heads or tails of why the value of Bitcoin moves in one direction or the other and I can now report I am a 100% failure in recognizing any patterns. It just seems to move on news and rumors. The thing is the news is been rather good recently which does not explain the drop last week. Maybe the fact that the US treasury is going to sell 30,000 Bitcoin's at the end of this month may have people thinking the value will go down.

To participate in the auction you must first wire transfer $200,000 to the U.S. Treasury and be willing to pay 100% of the balance after a "block" is won doing the auction. A block consists of 3000 coins and can easily be worth more than $2 million dollars. My belief is that exchanges are likely candidates for buying a block or investment whales wanting a lot of Bitcoin to stash away. Those who buy one of these blocks will not want to sell them right away because that would flood the market and make the value of Bitcoin go down. I think those who believe the value of Bitcoin will go down after the auction haven't thought this through. On the other hand it may go down because many people haven't thought it through and believe it's a negative thing. Remember my famous saying, "perception is in the eyes of the perceiver".

There's a program on television call Mecum Auto Auctions. This program last several hours each day that it's on and many cars are sold doing that time. Most of the cars up for auction are the muscle cars from the 1960s and most of the people buying these cars are people like me who in the 1960s couldn't afford these cars. Yesterday a 1961 Plymouth Barracuda sold for an amazing $3.5 million! What's up with that? Most of the muscle cars sell in the $50,000-$200,000 range although specialty cars can go much higher than that. I'd like to have a 1965 white Corvette convertible but I guess I'm going to keep on wanting one because I sure set can afford to buy one. These cars sell for about $150,000. It is fun to watch the auction which I plan to do in just a few moments.

Posted at 02:04 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

My Week

Fri 13 June 2014

Yesterday morning I received a call from Matthew which is the first time I've had a chance to chat with him in several months. He is doing well and his life is in a state of flux not really knowing what's going to happen next with regard to his situation. People who know Matthew understand what I'm talking about and for those who don't I need not go into further detail. We are all looking forward to seeing him back in Vero Beach very soon.

On Tuesday of this week I resolved that which lies ahead for me over the next 10 months. All I will need to do is to turn in a form on a monthly basis. All fees have been paid in advance. This incident has turn out to be a minor inconvenience but there for several months it was unclear as to just what might happen. Scary to say the least!

On Tuesday I was talking to a lady involved in the "system" and she wanted to know what the heck I was doing there in the first place! Well, that's sort of been my question for over a year now. She strongly indicated there's a lot more going on and that she would be willing to talk to me about it - she's angry too. This lady was so polite and informative; I want to go visit with her again early next week. Depending on what she tells me there may be something I can do to help others in the future. I have the elements needed to follow through; I'm angry, I'm inclined to take action, and I have the resources to put my money where my mouth is. I'll be very careful about this but it could come to be rather interesting.

My cousin Jimmy said his daughter's computer has pop up ads every time she turns it on. He asked if I will look at it and of course I'll be happy to do so. My initial inclination is to reformat everything on the hard drive and reinstall a new operating system. The one problem is that it may have Windows 8 instead of Windows 7 installed. I'm not so sure how easy it will be to reset the computer to factory defaults but I think that's what I'm going to try once I take off important documents, pictures, music, etc. I don't know when I'll get the laptop but it should be soon. I bet she has "Conduit" malware.

My friend in Atlanta from the club has a device that is not a tablet nor is it a laptop but something in between. It's having problems and I said I'd be happy to fix. The tricky part comes because the machine is in Atlanta and I am in Vero. It also does not have a DVD drive which makes installing a new operating system a bit tricky but certainly possible. I think I'm going to ask him to send the device to me once his wife returns from her trip; she has the device with.

The hot news all week long has been in the world of Bitcoin. I've been kept busy several hours each day reading news, watching Bitcoin kickers, and trying to make sense of the whole thing. Click on the image at the top of the page to see a clear view of the graph I've posted. Basically it says the Bitcoin exchange rates dropped over $100 in two days. I've been sitting at my computer watching the live ticker and witnessed it dropping $30 in 15 seconds. That ain't right! Bitcoin is still in the young phase were many news articles and new developments can cause a dramatic swing up or down in a matter of hours or even less.

A couple of days ago the US government treasury announced it would be auctioning off 30,000 Bitcoin seized in the Silk Road operation. The coins will be sold in lots of $3000 and in order to bid you must first deposit $200,000 in U.S. Treasury and be able to pay whatever price a block costs doing the bidding process. This could easily range from $2 million-$4 million or perhaps even more. The average guy is priced out of this auctions only institutional investors like Bitcoin exchanges will want to bid. Of course there can be some whales out there willing to put a few million dollars in Bitcoin speculation which if I were a whale I'd probably do.

I like to take the optimistic view about those things occurring around me. With this treasury auction I believe it will signal the United States government is firmly part of the Bitcoin community. It will be hard for the Treasury to say they don't believe in it and don't think it should be traded when they themselves sold 30,000 Bitcoin. I see this auction as a positive thing. Some are concerned about a huge number of Bitcoin is becoming available in the marketplace but I don't think that will happen. The more Bitcoin available the lower the price per coin and so why would someone buy millions of Bitcoin's and flood the market with them causing the price to go down and thus they lose their investment? DOH! I don't believe the amount of Bitcoin available for purchase the day after the auction will be much different then the number of Bitcoin available the day before the auction. We'll find out the cost of this event occurs at the end of this month.

I could go on and on but I think I've babbled enough for now. I'll try to post more often.

Posted at 06:08 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

John Moved to Tampa

Thu 05 June 2014

I'm mad as hell after my meeting this morning. I was instructed to go to yet another organization for further review. You folks know me understand this is total BS and irritates the heck out of me. Unfortunately I have to march to their drums because if I don't the consequences could be nasty. So I set up another interview for next week and hopefully at that time it will be resolved with no further action needed. I know this may sound petty to some of you but what they are asking is certainly not needed by me and I do not like the inconvenience and irritation of having to leave the house to do this. Heck I rarely leave the house anyway! Stay tuned.

Starr came by yesterday for a nice visit after helping Johnny moved to Tampa, Florida from Tallahassee. He will be working with his good friend from high school, Douglas, on buying and renovating foreclosed properties. My own view is this sort of business can be very profitable but dangerously risky if you don't know what you're doing. The "knowing what you're doing"usually comes from years of experience, guidance by others or both. I am more than happy and indeed I'm eager to help John with my personal experience of buying homes in Atlanta years ago. Douglas is got a good head on his shoulders; John is a great salesman and has proved himself to be a reliable hard worker.

The economy and market for this sort of thing in Florida is good at the moment. Because the real estate property values are coming out of recession now is a great time to pursue such an endeavor. With the right direction & hard work I'm convinced both John and Doug can become very successful economically in a short period of time. I'm not talking about a few months but rather a few years when they can find themselves financially ahead of their contemporaries. I'm very pleased with John's decision to go into partnership with Doug and follow this business past. My only real worry about John is he may be distracted by extracurricular activities hindering the success and growth of their business. If this were to happen I can see Doug and John going in different directions but still being friends.

The world of Bitcoin changes every day and for the most part changes for the better. The president of eBay was on CNBC this morning and announced that his subsidiary, PayPal, will move into the Bitcoin-like digital currency. I would expect them to realize that Bitcoin has a firm footing and adopt that platform rather than trying to create one of their own. Last year iPhone users could install a Bitcoin wallet on their smartphone. Apple decided to stop this practice and at the moment digital wallets are not available for the Apple phone platform. My personal opinion is that this is a huge mistake but I also believe they may be doing this to create their own private digital wallets rather than use many popular and successful wallets available for the Android operating system. Because Bitcoin wallets are not available for iPhones many users have changed to an android or Windows phone.

I have a good bit more on my mind but for the moment I'll save that for later.

Posted at 04:03 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The Purge

Sun 01 June 2014

It has been four days now since I stop my Efudix treatment. The pain is subsiding and the only area that is still tender is around my neck particularly as it rubs against the collar of the shirt I'm wearing. I've been putting cortisone on my neck area which helps with the pain and will help prevent or cure any infection. The recovery is a slow process and likely will take several weeks before I come back to a semi-normal state. However I can already see areas that are clearing up and I can say now based on what I see I'm going to be happy with the results.

Bitcoin has done it again! Overnight the value increased by $25 which is a good thing but I'm unhappy I didn't buy more yesterday before it went up. I bought half a Bitcoin this morning and in less than an hour it went up $12. Increases in the value of Bitcoin are to be expected but not at the rate I've seen in the last several days. In the last week the value has increased from $531 to $660. The last time it was in the mid-$600 range was the middle of February. I'm cautious not to buy more than a quarter or half a Bitcoin at a time. I am reminded of an old fable that goes like this:

A man comes to a stream where he finds a pile of rocks sitting on the shore. A wizard says to him that however many rocks he picks up and carries across the stream will turn to gold on the other side. The wizard also cautious him to be wise about his decision.

The man picked up only a few rocks and certainly much fewer than he was able to carry. When he got to the other side the rocks indeed changed to gold. The wizard's voice came once again and said to him you are a wise man. You've picked up only a few rocks, crossed the stream and they turned gold. Had you been greedy and picked up more rocks surely you would've been washed downstream and drowned.

I need to be mindful of how many Bitcoin "rocks" I buy. There is a correction coming buy I have no idea when. That would be the time to pick up some BTC at a reduced price.

Yesterday I did watch the movie "The Purge". In case you don't know is a movie about a night once a year when anything goes without consequences including murder. The plot was good enough to keep me interested throughout the movie and of course it had to have enough action for me to watch. I'd watch it again but I'll have to wait a couple of weeks so I can forget about what happens in the movie. The one thing about getting older is I can watch a movie and then two or three really weeks later watch the same movie and think it's new!

After I delivered Walt's new computer to him yesterday he gave me his old computer which had smoke coming out of it the last time it was turned on. This is not a good sign. I'll plug it in and see what happens when I try to turn on because he seems to think it was the on-off button that has a short meaning the rest of the computer may be okay. If it is I'll fix it up and give it to the next person needing a computer.

FYI this post was made using my voice recognition software which seems to be getting better and better the more I use it. Actually it is supposed to learn the more I use it but if you read something that looks a bit off it's because I did not completely proofread the post.

Posted at 12:22 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

In the Blood

Sat 31 May 2014

It's Saturday afternoon which means movie time at my place. If I can't find something I like on cable then I go to my extensive library of digital media. Today I picked out a movie called "In the Blood"; it was a great flick. I won't give the details away but will simply say is full of action and the female star in the movie is one heck of a tough gal. Movies with surprises and a lot of action are the kind I like. Later on today I may watch the movie "The Purge" if I can't find something on cable.

Yesterday and this morning I worked on building my landscaper's (Walt) new computer. It was a bare-bones computer that came with the parts needing assembly which meant basically I just had a screw some things in and plug some wires in to the appropriate slots. I ordered it without a hard drive and then separately ordered a solid-state drive to install as the main hard drive. I took the hard drive out of his old computer and made it the secondary drive which also is boot-able. Although it didn't take much time to assemble the computer itself installing the operating system and doing all the updates took several hours. Of course I installed my usual programs like Office, Acrobat Pro, QuickTime Pro, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, etc.

Walt wanted me to install QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Payroll which I did. This software was installed on his older hard drive and I thought I'd be clever and just copy the files and put them in the appropriate spots on the new hard drive. That didn't work. He's going to have to go through the steps to migrate his old files to the new hard drive. I'm certainly not going to do this because it relates to all the books in his business and I certainly don't want to screw that up.

Recently Bitcoin has been on the move. In the last three days it went from about $560 to about $620 today. This was a move I did not anticipate but then again most of the moves Bitcoin makes either up or down I don't anticipate. It was announced on Thursday that the satellite company, Dish network, will now accept Bitcoin's as payment for their service. To date this the largest company to accept Bitcoin for products and services.

Each day on the website called Coinbase.com there are announcements about new vendors accepting Bitcoin, the widening acceptance of Bitcoin, and innovations of this digital currency. I'm certainly glad to have the coins I have and I know I need to buy more as time goes by to fit into my long-term plan. It just pains me to pay several hundred dollars more per Bitcoin than I did just a few weeks ago. Even so, I anticipate the value will increase as Bitcoin acceptances becomes more widespread and better understood by the public.

On Wednesday I stop the treatment of Efudix after two weeks . I have been putting it on twice a day for two weeks. Now I'm in my recover phase which will take weeks. This was worse than my arms or face but in the long run well worth it IMO.

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


Wed 28 May 2014

Shortly after I posted just a few days ago I got e-mails from PayPal saying they were going to reverse the payments to me and return them to the buyer's credit card. It appears that the buyer didn't have the money in his PayPal account to make the purchases and therefore the purchases were charged to his credit card. He fraudulently made a claim saying that the purchases were on authorized and therefore the credit card company took the payment back from PayPal. At this point I understand that PayPal had no option except to take the money back from me to pay the credit card back.

I thought this might happen so I wasn't all that surprised when it did. However I didn't know why the payments were being reverse so I wrote two different PayPal departments asking them to extend me the courtesy of knowing why the payments were reversed. I just stated the reason above.

Much to my surprise PayPal said that they are following a dispute with the credit card company about the charge backs. I don't think they would be doing this unless they thought I handled the transaction properly and it is the buyer that is trying to scam me. They said it may take a month or more but at least the possibility of getting my payments is alive. They said they would use my documentation along with their own to demonstrate why the charges are valid. Anyone who follows the trail as I have will be able to clearly see the big con. Stay tuned.

Today completes two weeks of my Efudix treatments and while I could go on longer I think it's okay to stop. The medication this post be used for 2 to 4 weeks depending on the patient. Since most of the area I've been treating is now turning brown to form small scabs I've decided to stop. Of course it's been a pain and discomfort has kept me awake at night and feeling bad. Recovery will likely be 4 to 6 weeks or perhaps even longer. I think the hurt will be worth it.

My landscape guy called yesterday and said he is main computer died. He mentioned a puff of smoke coming from the computer which suggests to me the repairs were all required equipment I don't have an may not be worth it to repair it in the first place. He asked me did get a bare-bones computer and assemble it for them; the computer that died was a bare-bones computer. I'll tell you more about what it has and how successful I am in the near future.

While it Publix the other day I reached to grab some key lime juice to make a key lime pie for Mary Ann. When I got home I found I got lemon juice instead so I bought key lime juice on my next visit. Just for the heck of it I made a pie with the lemon juice as if it were key lime juice to see if it was any good. You could tell it was lemon juice and not lime juice but it is good. I think this pie can have different toppings much more so than key I'm pie.

Posted at 03:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Mon 26 May 2014

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My Efudix treatment is now in my 12th day. As you can see by the image my whole chest has turned a bright red compared to what it looked like when I first began the treatment. It's at that stage now where it's constantly irritating me because it itches, burns, and just hurts! Nothing has happened that was unexpected but because it's been a couple of years since I've done this on my arms I forgot how painful it can be. Having said that, it was my decision to begin with the treatments in the first place. The expected positive results make the current discomfort tolerable. I feel like I should be an ad for some sunscreen company demonstrating what happens if you don't use sunscreen! When I was a teenager the only thing we use was baby oil with iodine in it; that was a great choice, huh?

I have had an ad on craigslist offering Bitcoin for sale and I've made a few sales in this area. One guy wanted to buy Bitcoin by transferring cash directly to my PayPal account which is an instant transfer. I agreed to do some transfers one after another and saw I was receiving the cash. After receiving cash I would transfer Bitcoin to his wallet. Little did I know that he could later claimed these transfers were unauthorized thus freezing my ability to transfer the payments to my checking account. The whole thing is being reviewed by PayPal and with the screenshots I was able to provide of the timing of his transfers and the timing of my Bitcoin transfers I'm hoping they will consider this significant enough evidence of delivering BTC to release the funds.

I also demonstrated via screenshots that his PayPal e-mail address and his Skype e-mail address/username were one in the same and that he call me from his Skype number. I took a screenshot (caller ID) of his caller Skype ID that included the date and time and demonstrated that was his Skype number. Further research on the Internet provided proof that his telephone number was often used for scams.

Unfortunately there is no PayPal protection for transactions where there is not a physical address involved. They also do not cover losses resulting from digital transactions. However the money has already been transferred and frozen by PayPal so if I get a favorable review it should be released to me. I believe my evidence is overwhelming but unfortunately I think my eyes are only about 50-50. I'll never sell Bitcoin again. Stay tuned.

In the last few days Bitcoin has gone up about $150 per coin. I expect these increases in value but not as fast as they happened. I think a pullback is likely over the next week to 10 days because that's what usually happens. However the long-term trend tends to be up and my belief it will continue to be up as Bitcoin is more widely accepted. When Quicken books adds it to its accounting software there will be thousands of small businesses that use Quicken books that can now accept Bitcoin. Unfortunately the release is still a couple months away but there's little doubt that it will come.

In case I didn't mention it I had my roof pressure washed as well is my house. The company used a pressure washing machine similar to one that would be used on tile floors in a house. I'm more than pleased with the job and the competitive pricing. Hopefully I'm good to go for another few years.

Yesterday I watched a movie called "Act of Valor" which I really like. It was full of action and some tragedies but the good guys win at the end. Over the last several days I watched other movies that they have turned out to be just average at best. My favorite movie for 2014 is "Battleship". Sometime today I'll watch another movie but at this point I don't know which one.

Kathryn is more than pleased with her new lightning fast computer. She was actually rather amazed based on what she has been using. If you don't have a solid-state hard drive you should get one. Later.

Posted at 11:33 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Bitcoin on the Rise

Thu 22 May 2014

In the last few days there has been above average positive news and the Bitcoin community. As a result the exchange rate of Bitcoin has gone from about $430 to its current exchange rate of $522. Naturally unhappy about the increase in Bitcoin value but I'm equally aware that some perceived bad news could cause the exchange rate to drop as fast as it has arisen. We are still in that area in the Bitcoin community that news can have a rather significant impact on exchange rates at any given time.

Just about every day on the Fox Business Channel there are reports about some activity in the Bitcoin community. For me the biggest news I've heard is that Quicken books will add Bitcoin to its accounting platform. This means that tens of thousands of small businesses will now have the facility to accept Bitcoin's without doing anything except continue using their Quicken books accounting system. This means that those people who don't understand how Bitcoin works don't need to understand as long as Quicken books makes it simple to become part of the Bitcoin world.

Most importantly about all this news is that those companies or businesses who have already adapted Bitcoin in their money exchange system have reported nothing but positive results. They are getting new clients and more money is being spent as a direct result of adding Bitcoin. I've yet to read anything negative from a vendor or business about accepting Bitcoin.

On a different subject I have now completed my regular doctors visits until this fall. Everything is good for me but I must say the Efdux treatments hurt a little bit and itch a lot. Nothing different than any of the other treatments I have had and the discomfort is well worth enduring for the results I get. It's been a full week now and I have at least two more weeks to go assuming that I'll make. I continue to be optimistic that I'll complete this treatment.

Recently Kathryn needed a computer for her daughter and asked that I find one for her on eBay. I found one hell of a buy for a Dell XPS mainly because it did not come with hard drives or an operating system. It did have 6 GB of RAM and a PCI plug and video card meaning it was well equipped from the get go. The Intel i5 processor is fast and with the solid-state hard drive I installed this computer would be hard to beat for speed. Catherine decided she wanted this computer for herself and will give her old desktop to Bridget. Today I worked on both computers including installing an operating system and new hard drives in both. While the process took about four or five hours there were no major glitches.

Posted at 05:05 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Quickbooks and Bitcoin

Mon 19 May 2014

Accounting software developer Intuit has announced that it is testing a bitcoin payments service aimed at small businesses. This is BIG in my opinion!

The company describes QuickBooks Bitcoin Payments as a service that enables small businesses to take bitcoin payments without having to bother with bitcoin wallets or even deal with bitcoin at all. The service is being developed by Intuit Labs, the experimental branch of Intuit Inc.

It is a familiar concept, already used by existing payments service providers such as Coinbase, BitPay and Mollie, designed to ease the on-ramp to acceptance of the digital currency.

Intuit Labs argues that checks, cash and credit cards have a number of inherent deficiencies that can be addressed by digital currencies: cash is hard to keep track of, checks have a lot of transaction friction, and credit card fees are high. The question now is when will it be activated.

"We came up with an innovative way to enable small businesses to accept bitcoin payments without any risk or a bitcoin wallet," Inuit Labs claims. My view is as soon as Quickbooks makes their Bitcoin service available businesses will then start accepting Bitcoin.

Then there is this: The Federal Advisory Council (FAC), a group that consults with the Federal Reserve on all matters under the US central bank's jurisdiction, and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors recently discussed bitcoin and its potential benefits at a quarterly meeting. Their minutes said, "Bitcoin does not present a threat to economic activity by disrupting traditional channels of commerce; rather, it could serve as a boon."

Posted at 06:02 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Political Season

Mon 19 May 2014

Well it has started again; I'm beginning to receive political calls wanting me to contribute or support candidates running for election this fall. Just damn! Although I have a call blocking system, I first must receive a call in order to block any further calls from that number. It looks like I'm one the be blocking a lot of calls over the next several months before this fall's elections. All the calls I've received thus far are recorded messages from known political figures. Unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it except block each number when I received a political call.

Kathryn needs a computer for Bridget because now Bridget has decided she needs a Windows computer to go along with the high-end Apple Computer she already has. I think her boyfriend talked her into this and I told Kathryn I help her with a factory refurbished computer from eBay. I came across a great deal for a Dell XPS without a hard drive. That's perfect because Kathryn ordered a new solid-state hard drive for her old office computer and one for another computer that is just so far gone a solid-state drive could not help. I told her when I put the solid-state drive in the XPS she should keep that computer and give her current computer to Bridget. She likes that idea.

My meals on wheels service has been working in overtime. Kathryn sent over one of her great casseroles, Kay sent over a wonderful stew and some grilled chicken. Kathryn also sent some turkey gumbo and some other dish yet to be identified. Starr is into baking muffins she brings to me - they are just wonderful. Trouble is I want more and more.

Thursday of this week I have an appointment with Dr. Director which is my last doctor's appointment for a couple of months. It seems I just went through Dr. season as I do each year about this time. My annual physical turned out fine.

As I mentioned before I was going to start the Efudix treatment on my chest. I started five days ago and I can now feel and see the Efudix results. My chest is all red and itches and will only get worse from here. My dermatologist says that none of his patients try this because it's such a large area, it's difficult to complete the process and sometimes just plain hurts. I'm not sure how far I'll get but knowing the benefits that can result from this treatment I hope to finish the process.

The Bitcoin community is alive and well and grows every day. The value of Bitcoin today is about $450 where it has been for about two weeks. I expect to stay in this range but with a slowly increasing value in the exchange rate as time goes on. Naturally if there is some sort of news either good or bad it will likely cause a larger than usual drop or increase in the Bitcoin exchange rate. I plan on keeping the Bitcoin I now have because I'm one of those who believe Bitcoin's exchange rate will grow faster than some alternative investments in the next few years.

This week I'm having my roof and house pressure washed. The guy said he would be here any day but has yet to show up. Apparently he does contract work for the government which has to be done in a very timely manner. Therefore he's not sure which days he'll be working for the government and which days he can work on his pressure washing business. He said he may start today but it's 10:30 and I doubt he'll come now but one never knows. It's time to have this procedure done.

Posted at 10:42 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

This Week

Thu 15 May 2014

Yesterday, I went to my internist for my regular annual physical. He declared me rude, gross, obnoxious and just plain ugly but unfortunately couldn't do anything to help me. It seems I will be hopelessly stuck with these conditions for the rest of my life. Other than that everything else seemed to be rather normal for a man my age in my condition. My PSA readings were a little high but not out of the acceptable range. Just about a month ago I was .4 of a point lower. I'll continue to go to my urologist twice a year for testing knowing that my father had prostate cancer and the chances are that I will as well.

In the past I've used Efudix on my face to kill pre-cancerous cells. I've gone through this process twice and asked my dermatologist if I could do the same thing for my arms. He said I could but advised me most of his patients do not follow the three-week process. Of course I did - he told me I was only the third patient of his in over 25 years of practice that actually completed the process. On my last visit this year I ask about doing it all my chest and he said I could but no one has really successfully completed the process. He said it was a larger area and chest hair gets in the way. When talking to my doctor yesterday he couldn't think of any reason why I should at least give it a try.

Yesterday afternoon I shaved all the hair off of my chest, took a shower (even though it was not Saturday) and then started with the Efudix treatment. I'm to put it on twice a day for about three weeks. I may not complete the process but it certainly won't do any harm to try. If I do complete the process I will have gotten rid of tons of precancerous skin cells. More will be revealed.

In the past several weeks the Bitcoin exchange rate has remained in the $450 range. The lowest it has gotten this year is about $422 but only for a brief few hours. My anticipation is that it will remain in the $450 range until news causes it to move up or down. It is my hope and anticipation that if it drops $420 might be the bottom. On the other hand, I expect the range to be moving in an upward direction as time passes.

My belief in the value of Bitcoin increasing stems from the fact that more and more people are using this digital currency and each day there are several positive articles about Bitcoin and its uses. Some say that Bitcoin is a godsend to third world countries. Clearly it's less expensive to use for vendors than credit cards. When more of the uncertainty (real or imagined) fades from the Bitcoin community I'm optimistic that the value will grow based on increased usage and a finite supply.

Either tomorrow or early next week I will have my roof and house pressure washed. Actually my house is in pretty good condition but the guy doing the service made me an offer I could not refuse. He was referred to me by my landscape guy (Walt) whom I trust on such matters. In fact Walt was here earlier this week to have fresh mulch spread among my plants and trees; I'm most pleased with the results.

This past weekend I put a new solid-state hard drive into Catherine's older computer from her office. She is more than pleased with the speed one can obtain from a solid-state drive thus eliminating any potential for a new computer. If you have a computer that is working okay but doesn't seem to be as fast as you like the answer is not a new computer but rather to install a solid-state drive. I think a SSD's come ahead of more RAM or a new processor.

Posted at 02:50 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Fri 09 May 2014

I had a phenomenal experience yesterday. You know of course I've traveled the world and have lived on every continent for a month or more (except Antarctica). I've seen and experienced things most people only see on National Geographic. Having said that, at this time in my life what I saw brought tears of joy, excitement and patriotism far above the wonderful things I've experienced.

The Navy's Blue Angles are here in Vero for an air show on Saturday & Sunday but have been training. These magnificent F-18A's painted in blue were flying so low over my house I thought I could reach out and touch them. My house is very close to the airport but that's not a problem - there are no commercial flights into Vero because the Beach population bring their own jets and take up all the space.

I stood outside for over a hour in unconditional awe watching these magnificent warplanes being piloted by the best of the best. They did things I've never ever even imagined before. I had to remember to breath I was so captivated by what I was witnessing.

LOUD! FAST! AWESOME! The last time I can remember being so awe-struck was on the night of the 20th of July, 1969 when I was watching TV at the PIKE house on the Georgia Tech campus. Then stepped outside on a warm, clear (for Atlanta) night with nearly a full moon looked up and could hear the TV when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. That is a moment indelibly imprinted in my brain. The Blue Angles are too. Seeing them only a few hundred feet above me has to be experienced - it can not be appropriately described with mere words.

Posted at 01:22 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Selling Bitcoin

Tue 22 April 2014

It has been a few weeks since I last provided an update. During that time China released several potentially negative statements regarding Bitcoin and the banks in China. Most of those rumors have proven to be just that rumors. But nonetheless Bitcoin fell to a low of about $360 recently but has since rebounded to the $500 level and has maintained that level for over a week now. It hovers just above or below $500 but continues to trade within a small trading range.

We can expect more rumors and news releases which might suggest to some Bitcoin has become unfavorable. This seems to be the natural course of a new product or idea. For those of you like me, the long-term value of Bitcoin will continue to increase. At what pace and when it's hard to tell but like the stock market I see a line heading straight up over the years. Apparently it has become fashionable for some people trading Bitcoin on a daily basis which in my opinion is what causes the fluctuation were now seeing. My goal is to continue to collect Bitcoin and hold them for their future value.

Mike and I have decided to discontinue our mining operations. It has become the inescapable conclusion to us that the difficulty level along with the mining capacity is such that the recovery for mining machines is stretched out much longer than in the past. We have sold one of our machines and shipped it while the other has been sold but we've not been paid as yet. PayPal has the option to hold our funds for 21 days if you are not a high-volume dealer and either Mike or I qualify as high-volume dealers. So I've decided to try my hand at a little bit of Bitcoin selling mostly in my area but online as well.

I've set up a website called Individual Bitcoin Seller to see if I might generate some Bitcoin activity. I'll charge a modest fee for this service which will be significantly less than other fees charged by members of LocalBitcoin.com. Frankly I really don't expect much to come of it.

Posted at 06:00 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Political Email

Fri 11 April 2014

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This is an email I sent to several friends yesterday :

It is normal for me to watch the FOX Business channel all morning to 1pm. The various issues covered and interviews/video recordings shown today made me so mad and depressed at the character or lack there of the Obama goons, department heads, the DOJ especially AG Holder, the IRS ex-head Lerner to mention only a few. This conflict in Nebraska between a rancher and the feds is unbelievable! Are we living in Hilter's Germany or one of the ex-Russian satellites?

It literally greatly magnifies my depression and hope for Americs's future. These Presidential executive orders are crimial. AG Holder selectively enforces the law while Obama simplely ignores the laws he doesn't like. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are the manifestation of evil in America. They lie, call people names, attack anyone who may have a different opinion then they have as dangerous extremists.

They like free speech as long as it's their free speach- others are too extreme and dangerous to big government. I'm also very depressed that the majority of voters re-elected him.

This country is 180 degrees different than the America in which I grew up. I pitty the new generations. Gratefully I have out run most of the deterioration of America. Can you believe 40% of Americans are on food stamps!! Things could be better if the main stream media were honestly report the news and all the news. Just damn!


Posted at 10:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Bitcoin Continues to Grow

Wed 26 March 2014

The number of people and companies using Bitcoin continues to grow at a geometric rate if not exponential rate. Each and every day the website Coindesk.com reports on new exchanges, improvement in security on exchanges, new companies & services accepting Bitcoin expanding worldwide. It would seem that Bitcoin is like a water leak in that once it starts water spreads everywhere and the amount of water continues to grow until the leak is plugged. Only in the case of Bitcoin, there doesn't seem to be any way of plugging the ever expanding Bitcoin "leak".

On Tuesday, March 25 there was the beginning of a Bitcoin conference in San Francisco which is to continue through today. Many of the top dogs in the Bitcoin community were there and spoke on various panels about the various aspects of Bitcoin. I watched some of the conference that was streaming live and heard nothing but positive things about the future of Bitcoin. Of course some of the participants expressed caution about how Bitcoin will be treated by governments, companies and individuals. Which brings me to my next point.

It was only a few days ago that the IRS issued some temporary positions concerning Bitcoin and the taxation they want to associate with Bitcoin. Of course the US government wants to get more and more and more of every dollar its citizens earn so as they can distribute it to people who don't earn it but wanted! This policy of taking from the producers in giving to the unproductive drags of our society has been an ever expanding theme under the Obama administration. I do not wish to go into details about my opinion of the Obama administration now except to say Obama continues to take from producers, expands the welfare state, puts roadblocks in front of businesses and has an exceptionally weak foreign policy which makes their world view the United States as a piece of wet toilet paper. Just don't get me started now.

I've read many things about what the IRS would like to do that would simply be impossible to accomplish. For example, they want to tax the Bitcoins received by BTC miners as income and tax it again as capital gain once the Bitcoin is used or sold. Now what the heck does that mean? The value of the fractions of Bitcoin's earned every day change by the hour so how will it be possible to calculate the income on Bitcoin's earned through the mining process? When Bitcoin's which were mind are used how does the user calculate the Bitcoin bases for capital gains purposes? Then how is all of this reported by the mining pools, the exchanges and on individual tax returns? And how are Bitcoin's treated when the pool in which they were earned is located in a different country? This is nothing but one great big train wreck and it doesn't seem that a solution is attainable!

If on the other hand I buy a Bitcoin from an exchange and then later use that Bitcoin my bases would be what I paid for it at the exchange and my capital gain would be the value I received at the time of the transaction. But will the IRS imposed the cumbersome requirement to report the purchase of a Bitcoin from an exchange by an individual? You can easily see how all these various aspects of mining, buying and using Bitcoin's would be exceptionally burdensome if not impossible. Don't forget that Bitcoin's are anonymous by nature and when bought or sold do not come attached with a Social Security number or tax ID. OMG what a mess!

In spite of all these un-answered questions the news in the Bitcoin community is good. My personal view is that Bitcoin's use will expand dramatically and as a result its value will go up in the months and years ahead. Buy now! I might also mention that Bitcoin continues to generate interest on the Tanzanite American.com website

Posted at 11:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Update on Bitcoin and TanzaniteAmerica

Sun 16 March 2014

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Over the past six weeks there has been a great deal of activity in the Bitcoin community. The largest or second largest Bitcoin exchange called Mt.Gox filed for bankruptcy and individuals having Bitcoin's on deposit there for the most part lost them. It is still unclear as to what caused this catastrophic meltdown but good news did come out of it. When Mt.Gox was having all its problems the value of Bitcoin fell between 100 and $200 per coin. But in a short period of time the value of BTC rebounded to levels it was at before the failure. That signifies to the Bitcoin community and others the failure of any one exchange will not cause the failure of Bitcoin. Many skeptics were very surprised about the positive outcome of Bitcoin's rebound.

Also during the past six weeks the companies and vendors that will accept Bitcoin as payment has expanded dramatically. He continues to do so today. While there are still many skeptics it is my belief that there's nothing which will stop the expansion of Bitcoin use now or in the future. It is true that BTC is not backed by any government but then again currencies that are backed by governments have fallen in value because of the economic problems certain countries continue to have. What about Italy, Spain and now the Ukraine?

The naysayers on Wall Street point to the fact it has no backing and very little controls of any kind. These people say you could lose a lot if you put money into Bitcoin. Well pardon me but can't you lose a lot if you put money into virtually any stock? What about Bank of America going from $50 per share to $10 per share? Or any number of companies who share values have dropped 50% to 80% or more? Having very little controls I think is a good thing not a bad thing in the sense that no government or other entity controls BTC.

Since TanzaniteAmerica.com has started accepting BTC as a form of payment for their top AAA certified Tanzanite I have been receiving many more calls than usual about the purchase of Tanzanite. When potential buyers discover that TanzaniteAmerica.com offers the best investment grade Tanzanite gemstones at only $750 per carat much activity has been generated and gemstones have been purchased. To my knowledge TanzaniteAmerica.com is the only online source of Tanzanite accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. Funny thing is no one has used Bitcoin yet although I believe someone will this coming week.

I'll have a lot more to say about both Bitcoin and Tanzanite in the near future. For now suffice it to say that both are doing well. Of course I'm most pleased.

Posted at 05:29 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

More Bitcoin News

Tue 21 January 2014

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Each day there are several news releases that affect Bitcoin and the Bitcoin community. As recently as two weeks ago the online store known as Overstock.com announced that it would start accepting Bitcoin as payment for purchases on their website. The president of Overstock.com announced their first-day results for exceeded expectations in two ways. First the total dollar amount of sales was greater than expected but more importantly most all of the sales were made to new customers. It seems that Bitcoin is bringing to Overstock.com customers he otherwise might not have gotten if it were not for their adoption of Bitcoin as payment.

Up until now the greatest problem with online stores was the conversion of Bitcoin into currency avoiding the fluctuation in exchange rates between Bitcoin and the US dollar or currency of the country in which sales are made. That risk and volatility has been removed by an exchange platform developed by Coinbase.com. With Coinbase a vendor can immediately change their received Bitcoin payment into US dollars through an automatic transfer into their designated bank account. Coinbase is by far the leader in this market platform and some say it is the PayPal of the Bitcoin marketplace. As an individual I have an account with Coinbase which allows me to transfer Bitcoin into or by Bitcoin from their online website with payment going directly into my bank account or if purchasing Bitcoin coming directly out of my bank account. There is a daily limit on individuals of 50 BTC sales or purchases through Coinbase. To qualify for the ability to buy or sell 50 BTC per day you have to jump through a lot of security hoops to prove who you are and to establish the accounts.

Now that Overstock.com is accepting Bitcoin as payment how long do you think it will be before other online marketers follow their footsteps and do the same thing? It's not going to happen in the next few months but it seems to me it would be imprudent for an online company like Amazon not to accept Bitcoin's and lose potential customers to Overstock.com or other such online stores. There has been news reported about eBay, Amazon and Newegg adopting a Bitcoin except its policy but none have done so yet. There are heart ever many smaller online vendors which are starting to adopt BTC payments. It is my belief that by the end of 2014 the number of stores accepting Bitcoin will have grown geometrically if not exponentially.

With a finite number of Bitcoins available to make purchases one could make the logical conclusion that the value of Bitcoin will go up and the purchase price of an item will become small fractions of the Bitcoin. Remember that unlike other currencies Bitcoin can be exchanged in fractions as small as 0.00000001!

Around the world are continues to be a great deal of discussion and uncertainty about Bitcoin. It is not controlled by any central bank, cannot be printed or made, is exchanged with total anonymity, and most importantly is not controlled by any one entity or country. This "digital currency" is completely controlled by the Bitcoin community and no one else. No one will be surprised if governments try to control it, regulate it, and tax it but just how are they going to do this? The answer as I see it is governments do control banking activities and thus can prohibit transactions by banks with Bitcoin exchanges. Having said that, I am positive some countries will realize the tremendous advantage if they are a country with banks that do not prohibit such transactions. I would relate this to Las Vegas because US citizens can legally gamble in Las Vegas and that's where people go. If major governments limit BTC transactions I would bet the farm that those same transactions would not be limited in some countries or even islands in the Caribbean.

There still is a great deal of uncertainty about the future of Bitcoin but I would claim there is a future and it might be greater than any of us can imagine now!

Posted at 02:14 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

BTC Very Volatile

Tue 17 December 2013

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As I've mentioned in the past, BTC is very volatile. Good news or bad news can send the value of BTC up or down 20% to 30% in a day. The latest bad news comes out of China - Bitcoin dipped to its lowest price in a week, following yesterdays reports that the Peoples Bank of China had banned third-party payment firms from dealing with bitcoin exchanges. What does that mean? It appears it might be more difficult to buy BTC with cash or get cash in exchange for BTC in some places in China.

Of course banks all over are leery of BTC because it will take business away from them, their branches and of course their credit card monopoly. Some banks think BTC is a good addition to the finical world. BTC will continue to flourish and grow but as we've seen will have wild swings. There for a week it was pretty steady at about $875 but not today!

The bottom line is BTC is not a place to "save " money if you are looking at a short time frame. But over the months and years I'm convinced it will continue to go in value. When and how much is anyone's guess.

Cameron Winklevoss Thinks Bitcoin Price Will Hit $40k

Posted at 12:39 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

More About Bitcoin

Mon 16 December 2013

A talented investor friend of mine has offered me "tips" on stock buys and his batting average is good. He does not and has not worked for about 20 years but rather derives his income through his stock trading system. I know a little about it but can't begin to explain it here.

So I offered him two tips about investments since I've known him (about 13 years). One was to buy and hold Tanzanite over a long period which I did. Most Tanzanite I bought I still own but occasionally someone finds my web site - TanzaniteAmerica (which accepts Bitcoin for Tanzanite purchase). Thus far Tanzanite is working well for me but it is not very liquid like gold. Nevertheless I'm in it for the long hall - maybe 10 more years? The value of Tanzanite of the same quality I have is back up over $1200/carat on reputable online dealers.

Recently I told him about Bitcoin (aka BTC). He knew nothing about it until I told him and had many of the same questions others have. I decided to put a copy of my e-mail back to him here in case you many want to know more as well.

You can "Google" the total limit on BTC and find the answer is 21 million. There are about 11 million BTC in circulation and the only way new Bitcoins are generate is via the "mining process" which is nothing more than absolute confirmation of the validity of any coin or part of a coin when transfered. "Miners" get fees in fractions of a BTC for contributing to the verification process which is the source of new coins until 21 million are in circulation. Best video I've found on BTC.

The whole BTC process is created by an open source (anyone can read it) software package and not controlled by anyone. The Bitcoin network (Forbes article) is running the software. BTC can be used to .00000001 BTC size. Thus, as demand for BTC goes up and we get closer and closer to the limit, the value of BTC must go up.

I've researched this extensively and found the software to be a pure stroke of genius. BTC can not be counterfeited but coins can be stolen from "wallets" by hackers. Where and how you keep your coins is important. There are many online exchanges that will host a user's wallet. I choose to keep my wallet privately on my computer and encrypted with a backup. Most users keep their coins in an exchange.
Great News Source

Posted at 04:26 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Reality Check

Wed 11 December 2013

Hashing 1 photo BTC-results.png

It's time for a reality check so I'm going to briefly explain BTC mining. This is the process where by a complicated series of calculations are needed to verify a transaction of person A sending a coin to person B. The calculations are done to prove "A" actually had a coin to send to "B". At this point I won't go into how that is done except to say it takes a tremendous amount of computing power to confirm the transaction. "Miners" are those who use their computers to verify the transaction.

By design, the genius behind Bitcoin designed the software to make the verification process harder and harder based on the amount of the total computing power in the Bitcoin network. That total power is called the "difficulty". A week ago the "difficulty" was at 700+ million calculations. Today it's over 900+ million! Why such a jump in just a week you ask? It's because more and more powerful machines like the one Mike and I own are contributing to the calculations. That translates to a lower payout for hashing machines.

The result is our BTC awards are not as large and will get smaller over time. We have the top machine but unfortunately one of the 4 boards is dead so we are running at 75% of capacity. This morning we have been awarded a total of 1.88 BTC and will likely hit 2 BTC sometime today. Still not bad at all given we were down 2 days because of the ice storm in Dallas which cut internet service. But since Dec. 6th we are work steady on 3 boards. We've sent the burned board back for replacement on Saturday but it's not even left the US because of all the bad weather in Dallas and in the northeast shutting down airports.

We are still having fun!!! Every day there is something in the news which makes BTC go up or down. It has swung $250 this week. Bad news makes it go down of course but it has been rebounding as well. We believe by month's end we will have paid for our machine and maybe made a little. Of course it depends on the total coins and the exchange rate. Stay tuned.

The company no longer makes our machine but is coming out with a much more powerful one (6 times faster). They announced the new machine to their customers only giving them first shot at the first 1500 machines. We got the e-mail a week ago. Mike called and asked my opinion - of course I said let's go for it. They had thousands of orders but only accepted the ones paying with BTC. Mike was busy so I set out to buy $10,000 with of BTC and amazingly I found a guy who would sell me the coins. Because of risk, BTC owners usually will only sell $500 to $1500 worth at a time. With my incredible power of persuasion I got him to agree after sending photo ID's - driver's license, passport, and my original pilot's license. He said OK so I transferred $10,000 to him immediately. He transferred the coins which took about 70 minutes to "verify" then I sent the coins to the company. We have a confirmed order for one Neptune coming out next year. People who sent wire transfer cash lost out and are pissed. More updates to come.

Posted at 03:34 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Bitcoin Mania

Sat 30 November 2013

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Since my last post I've been spending hours each day reading about Bitcoin news in the market place, the ever changing value of Bitcoins and the process of mining Bitcoins. From my research, it seems intuitively clear to me that Bitcoin is not a fad but rather a new currency which will be around for a long time. Because of it's success there will be other digital currency introduced but Bitcoin is where it started in 2009.

Just this week China's Third-Largest Mobile Network Now Accepts Bitcoin - that would be like Sprint accepting BTC here in the US. On the morning of Nov. 29, Bitcoin exceeded the price of gold on Mt. Gox , an event bitcoin advocates say is symbolic for the virtual currency. In case you are wondering the total value of BTC in circulation today exceeds $12 billion dollars. And every day more and more vendors accept BTC as payment. As I mentioned in my last post, Tanzanite America now accepts Bitcoin. As time goes on, I'll talk more about Bitcoin, it's value and Future.

Many people look at Bitcoin as an investment and I can certainly see why. As it is used more and more BTC will go up in value because of demand. The real kicker is there is a finite number of Bitcoins that will ever exist. Unlike precious metals that can be minded or money governments can print, once BTC hit it's maximum number there will be no more which to me means the value will go up. Bitcoin can be used in a domination as small as 0.000001.

As you can tell this has my attention. More information to come.

Posted at 01:19 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Bitcoins to buy Tanzanite

Sun 17 November 2013

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Hello again - I've decided to start updating my blog after a couple of years of inactivity. There's a long story about the past couple of years but today I want to talk about my new project with my Tanzanite web site - TanzaniteAmerica.com. I've decided to accept Bitcoin as payment for my Tanzanite gemstones. To my knowledge I'm the only online Tanzanite dealer accepting Bitcoin.

This past summer I was listen to FOX Business News as I do every morning when a venture capitalist was talking about Bitcoin with exceptional enthusiasm. He said Bitcoin was the new "gold" as a monetary investment and vehicle to buy products and services.

He certainly got my attention so I used my ole pal Google to see what Bitcoin was all about. Basically it is digital currency which is totally anonymous - buyers and sellers don't know anything about each other. It is a universal currency which is used in every country on the plant free of government regulations or central banks' control. It is totally legal.

I decided to buy a Bitcoin and investigate further which I've been doing for the last few months. I'm convinced it is a currency of the future so I wanted to be the first online Tanzanite dealer to accept Bitcoin as payment. For the first time you can buy Tanzanite with Bitcoin and at the moment only my site - Tanzanite Gemstones. Cool huh?

Posted at 03:32 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Computer Help

Fri 10 September 2010

Over the past few weeks I find myself staying busy most all days helping folks with their computer issues. As a result, when I'm not working on a computer I want to relax and watch a movie or something else on TV. Until I have time to post here again regularly you'll have to be patient - what I'm doing is important at least to those I try to help.

It's a non-stop effort pretty much every day. Take Wednesday for example - here's what I did.

First I got up around 6AM to spend 30 minutes on my computer before I went to have coffee with my friends. When that was over at 8:30 I took one of the young guys I'm helping - I got yet another one by the way - to drink even more coffee and chat for over a hour. Then on the way home I stopped at Publix to pick up food for me and Sally.

Five minutes after I arrived home Mary Ann came over to ask my help on their wireless network - they couldn't connect to the internet. When I arrived at their home I tested a few of the "usual suspects" but quickly discovered their router was not broadcasting a wireless signal - no wonder they could not connect. Having foresight, I happened to bring another router with me which I installed - all was well as I headed home for a sandwich. Not soon after I got home Tom called me to say their new network would go out requiring a router reboot - this is not good.

This time the router was sending a signal but the signal would drop the internet after a bit of use - what's up with that? I tested the computers with using my computer and I tested the modem as well as the router but alas I could not find the problem. It seemed clear to me the router was malfunctioning so I went to Best Buy with Tom to buy a new router - same brand they had only newer.

When I installed the router my computer connected immediately but because Tom & Mary Ann's laptops were newer, they both had the new "N" router capability which allowed us to push a button on the router to auto-connect. That's all well and good except it did not work - I spent a hour trying to figure out way but could not. So, I connected their computers the old fashion way - I manually connected them without using that damn button. All is well with the new MABnet at their home.

When I returned home, I had a call and e-mail from Matt saying his mother's computer would not connect to the internet and it was wired to the modem. After all the stuff I did, I told Matt I'll go out in the morning after coffee and my dentist appointment. Lina had a serious problem - her network card said the ethernet cable was not connected but it was! I tried a system restore, I uninstalled then reinstalled the drivers for the network card and I checked all the usual places but still no go - I think there was a hardware failure. I took a quick ride to Best Buys where I bought a new network card and then installed it - Lina had the internet back. It was all that simple because I bought a "standard" size PCI card but Lina has a slim line computer tower - it would not fit. What to do? Billy-rig it of course which I did to make it work.

After days like I described, I do not have the energy or inclination to spend yet another hour typing notes to post here - sorry about that. If things slow down I'll have more time.

Posted at 09:33 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Very Busy

Wed 01 September 2010

I know. I know. I've not posted in over a week. I've just been real busy doing other things but I will be back when - and if - things cool down. I've got two website projects which will keep me busy for a couple weeks I think.

I've also been helping folks with their computers which seems to be a blooming industry for me - I will not let it get out of hand.

Things are good here especially with college football starting tomorrow night. As they say, "I'll be back"

Posted at 01:45 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Steve's Sauce

Sun 22 August 2010

Sorry boys and girls I've not posted in awhile - I've been particularly busy and sometimes just do not have the energy or inclination to put together a brief but important synopsis of my activities. I know many of you are having withdrawal pain - try a very hot soaking bath for about 30 minutes. Soaking hot baths really relax me when I can't go to sleep because of all the crap going through my mind.

The Little League World Series is now in play - I've been watching some of the games. Maybe it's just me but the players seem better this year than last year. These are better executed games from a technical standpoint but the boys still cry when they make a big mistake. I've not seen any monsters this year at least not yet. In years past, there have been boys 12 and 13 years old who were 6'2" tall and 180 pounds! At noon today the games begin again.

Speaking of TV, Comcast has added additional HD channels to their line-up but DirectTV still has more HD than does Comcast. I watch them both depending on what I want to watch - I've got a good movie package with DirectTV and they offer more HD. However, if we get a big thunder boomer, I sometimes lose the satellite signal. I always like to have a back-up. If we were to have a storm which knocks out power my generator and DirectTV will still be up and running along with the rest of my house.

For the past 2 or 3 days I've been helping Wendy and Starr with their computers. Starr's computer is slower than molasses in winter so I put a new hard drive in captain Matt's old college machine then installed windows - it's running clean and fast now. I brought Starr's original computer to my house in order to download pictures & files and then I'm going to put a new hard drive in it.

Wendy's home desk top was slow too so we did the same thing in that she downloaded her data then reinstalled Windows without a new hard drive. The trouble is Wendy is in Ft. Lauderdale and I'm in Vero so when something went a bit wrong it was hard to fix it remotely but we did. It turns out once the XP operating system was reinstalled, some of the drivers were missing. I took control of her machine from here then found the missing drivers on the Dell site - all seems to be OK now.

John was to get initiated into ATO at 10PM last night - I assume that happened. I'm so very pleased John has gotten involved with a fraternity but I'm also concerned about all the demands on time. He has girlfriend, school, girlfriend, the gym, girlfriend, work, girlfriend and now ATO. Did I mention John has a girlfriend - they are attached at the hip it seems. He has 4 classes starting tomorrow (Monday) which means something has got to give. Time will tell.

Tomorrow I go to my dentist for my regular biannual cleaning - I think everything is OK. Later this coming week I go to my dermatologist for my regular biannual checking - I probably added a few nice skin cancers while in Islamorada in July. Then next week I go to my psychiatrist for my regular 20 minute chat and prescription renewals. I'm still whacked but I try to be a happy whacked old fart with enough energy to irritate others.

Steve Fromang dropped off a bottle of his latest bar-b-q sauce - it is truly one of the best if not The Best Bar-B-Que sauce I've ever had. No kidding. He's made a label for bottling the sauce so I think he's about ready to start selling it. I told him yesterday the sauce will sell itself - the trick is to get folks to try it in the first place. No joke boys and girls...I really think Steve could hit a bases loaded home run with this sauce. If any of you want a bottle, I'll ask Steve what he has planned for selling the sauce. Try it, you'll like it .... in my opinion. He calls his sauce "Yo Mamma".

Posted at 09:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Computer Doesn't Work

Tue 11 May 2010

My computer is not working properly. When I get it working again, I'll be back. At the moment, the machine freezes as I'm typing my pearls of wisdom and information thus I can't type more than a brief couple minutes. Hope to get this fixed soon.

Posted at 06:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Officially Old

Fri 30 April 2010

Yesterday was the 33rd anniversary of my 29th birthday - now that I'm eligible for Social Security I'm "officially" an old fart. The good news is that I'm one of the youngest old farts around having just attained the status. Let me take this time to thank all you boys and girls who work everyday to help fund my gov'ment old fart's income. Also, I would encourage to make babies such that in 18 years they too can help fund SS.

Yesterday was indeed busy - I stayed on the phone most of the day and into the evening with calls of congratulations and amazement that I've made it to my ripe old age. It truly very nice to hear from all of my admiring fans. Have you noticed humility is not one of my strong points? I can't help it - it's hard to be humble when you are me!! HaHaHaHa.

TB took me to lunch at the Lobster Shanty over on the river - of course I had Caesar salad and shrimp. The day was beautiful although today it's overcast with very light rain - the weekend should be nice. For my birthday I bought myself something really exciting...4 new tires for my car. You know you're getting old when you can get excited about tires! With the mileage I drive every year, these tires will still look new 3 years from now - I'll never need to buy new tires for this car again.

I have a recommendation for you - don't keep your rubbing alcohol next to your mouthwash! Without paying attention I tried using rubbing alcohol as mouthwash - believe me, it killed every germ in my mouth. I do know of something worse than rubbing alcohol and that would be gasoline - avoid gasoline in your mouth too. See what wise things I've learned over the years?

This week I went out at about 6:12 AM to watch the space station as it went over South Florida. It was very bright and fast moving across the morning sky. I've seen satellites before but I don't recall seeing the space station - cool. Except for the moon, it was the brightest thing in the sky. Once again I'm proving it doesn't take much to excite future officially old farts.

I watched a movie called "This is it" which was to be the name of Michael Jackson's last concert tour but he died 5 days before the tour started. The movie was basically all the songs he was going to sing recorder in the rehearsals for the concert. I'm thinking it was just like a concert except without screaming fans and colorful stage props. I really didn't think I would like it much in the beginning but as the movie went on, I found myself deeply into the movie. There is one inescapable conclusion I got from watching this movie - Michael Jackson has more talent in music industry than anyone I've ever seen. He is so far out ahead of those in 2nd place it's truly amazing. Sure I've seen his music videos before but I always thought with a lot of production people just about anyone could make a good music video. Wrong! In this movie it became very obvious that everything you see and heard came from Michael Jackson. He is the one guy with all the talent - his voice and dancing amazed me. It is true that Jackson was one weird dude but he also was one hell of a talented wired dude. I rarely say this but this movie is one I'll watch again.

Today's picture was taken a few years ago - do you think I've changed much?

Posted at 09:07 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Lazy Weekend

Mon 12 April 2010

It was suppose to be an overcast rainy day here in Vero but the weather folks got it wrong. There are a few white clouds but for the most part it's sunny and a nice 78F this afternoon. For the first time this year, I can feel my body wanting to get outside meaning a trip to the beach. In the near future, I'll be headed over to Con beach to start my preparations for Islamorada this Summer. Besides, my dermatologist will need some nice fresh skin cancer cells to freeze.

Starr came by for a visit to tell me about her weekend in Talahassee with son John. She enjoyed seeing John of course but the visit did not turn out as planned. Seems that some boorish guys John knows from Vero called Friday to announce they were on their way to see John for the weekend as well. These rude guys knew Starr would be there so why would they come - uninvited - to spoil her weekend with her son? They could come any other time but no - they had to come this weekend. Starr did not expect that and although she tried to put a good face on it I know she was very disappointed. It's a good thing I was not there for I would have told these crude primates to stick it where the sun never shines!

This [past weekend I generally stayed away from my computers just to give it a rest - I've not got a project in process at the moment although I've got some things I can do as soon as I choose. Instead, this weekend was a British Mystery weekend meaning I watched some of the British series I've downloaded - I can't find these kind of mysteries on American TV. There are serval British series I've not even explored yet.

Tommy from Comcast came back on Saturday to finish the work on my outside cables. The cable from the splitter going into my office was defective so he replaced it although it was not easy to do so without making a mess. I had to have someone to come out to take down the soffits covering the cables and then have the guy come back on Sunday to put them back. The signal to my office was back to were it should be so at this point I've done everything I can do (I think) to improve my internet speeds. Don't get me wrong, I have decent speeds but faster is always better don't you think? The only other thing I can do at this point is pay Comcast more $$ to provide greater bandwidth to my house. I'm not there yet although I am thinking about testing the higher speeds to see if it's worth it.

I think I'll watch one of the movies In downloaded this weekend.

Posted at 02:53 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Still Busy

Sun 28 March 2010

OK already, I know I've not posted for a few days but I've been busy - retirement is a lot of work! Additionally, I needed some down time to just sit back and watch a movie or one of my favorite BBC series. I'll try to review a few things for you.

About a week ago I mentioned my baking cousin Alice's computer problem - she got infected with the "Facebook email Trojan". What happens is you get an email that 'appears' to be from Facebook containing a zip file with your new password information - the file really has a Trojan which steals your passwords and usernames. Bad that. Well I found and irradiated the bugger but the damage was done. After scanning her machine with 3 different scans, it appeared OK but I decided to run HijackThis as well. There were about a dozen 'nasty' entries I could not find or purge so I tried a system restore to put the machine back a few days before the infection - the restore did not complete even after trying different restore points and trying the safe mode.

What to do you ask? I decided to restore the machine to it's factory defaults but this too seemed to not complete. I ended up erasing everything on her hard drive then ordering a 'recovery disk' from Toshiba. When I ran the CD this past Friday I thought it too was not working so I called Toshiba - they told me it might take 1 tom 3 hours and to be patient. Me, patient? Huh? What is patient? The bottom line is the machine is restored and all updates have been installed. Oh, before I started any of this I did download all her files so they could be restored when I was done. I got a fresh-baked coconut cake for my work. Alice should need help on her machine again soon so I can get another cake!

John called Saturday night to give me an update as to his plans after this school year - this terms ends on April 30th. We talked about several things but I think the one he wants to do most is come back to Vero to be a life guard until we go to the Keys. He tells me he's talking with his two employers in Tallahassee to arrange his return to work in the Fall - it seems this will work out for him. John likes his two jobs and apparently he's liked at his two jobs - imagine that. Now the issue is what to do with his apartment for the Summer - sub-lease it? If so, what does he do with his 'stuff' - young guys always have 'stuff'.

It's been a week since the Texas lady bought a Tanzanite gemstone which means she is keeping to for sure. I thought she would anyway but as the saying goes, don't count your chickens before they hatch - don't spend the $$ until you know it's a done deal. One thing I found intriguing is if I can sell about two average size gemstones a year, I'll have enough income when added to my old fart's Gov'ment income to basically live as long as I don't do anything wild. I have over 30 gemstones so selling a couple a year sounds like a good idea especially if they are in greater demand with less supply.

On March 8th I had one of my migraines which was apparently stopped in it's tracks by that new medication I'm trying. I had two pills so I still have one left to try the next time I think I'm getting a migraine - the good news is I've not had to test it yet. I've had headaches some of which were no fun at all but none were the horrible, disabling migraine types. I just never know when I'll get one nor do I have a clue as to why. Unless I get another migraine on which I can test the second pill, I'll have to postpone my trip back to the neurologist until I do get a migraine. It would be just fine with me if I never needed to return.

There's a lot more going on but I want to have lunch now. You'll have to stay tuned! Key's fever anyone?

Posted at 01:11 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Computer Changes?

Sun 28 February 2010

It was a nasty day here yesterday but now it's sunny and bright albeit cool at 50F this morning. Today I'm copying the whole folder known as "Bill" - which is mostly "My Documents" - from my Vista laptop onto one of my external hard drives. Why you ask? Well, it's always a good idea to back-up your files but in this case I'm doing it because I think I'm going to install Windows 7 on that laptop totally erasing Vista from the hard drive. I never liked Vista so with all the good things I hear about Windows 7, I thought I'd give it a go. When talking to one of my buddies in Atlanta yesterday the conversation let to asking why I've not already done it. Huh? That's a good question - maybe I will.

Yesterday I watched one of my downloaded movies called, "The Lazarus Project". It moved fast in the first 10 minutes then was slow until the last ten minutes - I'm glad I was able to hang on because the ending was good. Would I watch it again .....no - I know the ending so the rest of the movie would be dull. I would, on the other hand, watch Star Trek again because it's full of action start to finish. Maybe I'll; watch another movie today.

Last even the Baptist church across the street had a young people's (teenage to early twenties) party with music playing rather loud. Normally that would really piss me off except I liked the music and it calmed down by 10pm. I remember those teenage years when I went to dance parties OT wanting to dance but tried anyway. My secret was to get in the middle of everyone so my clumsy dance moves couldn't be seen by others. You boys and girls remember Surf's Up A Go Go over on Royal Palm close to where TB used to have an apartment. If you do remember, you're old like me!!

Somehow I got onto the Pallidia channel on Comcast's High Definition lineup as I was walking out of my royal bedroom suite into my office. About ten minutes later I heard what surely sounded like Reggae music coming from my bedroom so I walked back in - I do like Reggae and I can blame Syp for that. It turns out to be a band called Jam Band O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) playing a concert at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. I watched for the next 45 minutes because I really liked their music. It was sort of Dave Mathews type of band which include horns. They were damn good and to my knowledge this was the first time I heard them. Some of their songs have that very recognizable Reggae organ beat which I like. Have you dude and dudetts every heard of them?

Tomorrow after coffee I'm going to TB's office to install the additional memory I ordered for him. This will double the RAM from 512mb to 1gb. This should make Quick books easier to run on that machine - it's amazing how much difference added memory can make to performance.

I've bought 5 Dell computers over the years so I'm on their mailing list for sales and that sort of thing. You know I've been thinking about a new desktop with Windows 7 and more horse power but I've not ordered one because the desktop I have is damn good. Simply put, I don't need another computer. But then Dell puts they type of computer I want on sale this weekend at 30% off the regular price and because I've priced them in the past I know what the regular price has been. The question is should I spend the money just because I have a itch for a Dell Studio computer? I've been thinking about it since Friday when I got the e-mail. I've got until the end of this weekend to decide. Stay tuned.

Posted at 10:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Merry Christmas

Fri 25 December 2009

Posted at 08:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

More PC Work

Thu 10 December 2009

My trip to Dr. Director's office has become routine fat least for now. We talk about me - I of course love to talk about me - and how I've been doing in the past 90 days. For the most part, the answer is well although I still have periods with a lack of energy and interest. I thought about asking to increase my dosage of Adderall but I didn't even bring it up - I want to give it another 90 days of trying this and that without more meds. The only thing I wanted to do is take one pill in the morning without splitting it with 2/3rds in the morning and 1/3rd in the afternoon - I've tested this which is why I requested the change which Dr. director thought it was perfectly fine. My daily dosage has not changed. So I'll go back in March for another session. I really like Dr. Director.

After returning home I started in on Captain Matt's old college computer. After my failure to reinstall Windows yesterday I just went to work on what I had. I deleted almost everything in My Documents after downloading the data to a flash drive for Matt. Next I uninstalled about 70% of all the programs I found which for the most part were way out of date and thus useless - there were games and college programs which needed to go as well. The end result is I recovered a lot of disk space with the hard rive at about 10% usage.

I found some strange folders on the C drive with data which I also removed - I'm not even sure how they got there in the first place. So now I have a cleaner, leaner machine which needed updating. JEEZ! It took about 4 hours to first update to service pack 2 (sp2), then updating to SP3 , then instating the 61 upgrades since SP3. I started down this road because AVG would not install giving a 'God you have an old machine' alert requiring updating. Once completed I could install AVG which caused the machine to be slower than molasses in a Michigan Winter. The problem was AVG required 512 of RAM with only 128 of RAM in the machine - never before have I had to worry about having enough memory. Well it installed but did not function so I uninstalled it. Where can I find an AV program requiring only 128 of RAM? I couldn't so I ran an online scan which found 103 infections and took about a hour - I didn't bother to check the online scan requirements but it too was 512 of RAM. The machine is relatively clean, works fine at least for surfing, and really needs more RAM to be useful.

Bill Voegeli called to confirm my address so as his son, Will, can send me an invitation to his graduation. WHAT?! Will has finished college already? Damn time seems to fly by as I remember him in diapers. Jeez! What was interesting about my address is Bill put my name and Vero Beach into the Bing search engine which came back with me on the top, my address, my telephone number, and a map to my house. Who knew? Google does the same without a map. I also discovered if you search for "Bill Cherry's Blog" BillsView is on the top in both Google and Bing. I know I'm World famous of course but nonetheless I thought you'd need to put in Vero Beach or at least Florida but you do not. Cool.

Today's image is of Will Voegeli and a young lady from his harem. Will is the one on the left.

Posted at 11:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

News Reporting

Fri 04 December 2009

Is anyone but me getting tired of this Tiger Woods daily soap opera? With all the stuff that can really affect our lives going on right now, why start news casts with the Tiger Woods saga. None of what happens there will affect your or my life but what Obama and the Congress does will. Even FOX News has it at the top of their news leads. It seems Tiger has a domestic issue with which he must deal but that's all it is. Jeez!

Then comes these two people who appear to be desperate for attention so they "crashed" the White House State Dinner last week. Actually the overriding question is important and that concerns White House security - I dislike most all of Obama's policies and unmitigatedly disagree with his views but I don't want him dead, just out of office. The breach of security should be investigated but what should be avoided is the very thing these two wannabes want...attention. They are on the news everyday just before or just after the Tiger Woods soap opera. I'm tired of them like I'm tired of Tiger - there are much more important things to discuss.

So Obama had a "job summit " which I understand he only attended at the beginning and close to the end. Just what the hell does anyone thing a few hours of meetings will do for creating jobs? For the most part, many of the attendees do not hire people - the academic types, the union thugs, government employees etc. Oh, I was right on my guess yesterday, the president of Google was there. This was nothing but a show with little or no help for those unemployed. Many conservatives and Republicans have offered ideas which would increase jobs but Obama is going 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

Small businesses want a degree of certainty of the future before they hire people and expand. The huge and expensive health plan the liberals are trying to jam down our throats is certainly a major roadblock in hiring. If you don't know what taxes, costs, and mandates such a bill will impose on your business then smart businessmen will want to wait before hiring. The Cap & Tax bill if passed would dramatically increase the cost to run a business or a home for that matter. Uncertainty will stop the creation of new jobs. Obama is responsible for job loss and increasing unemployment. I hear you now...how can I say that you ask? Well, if Obama was to take the health bill debacle and Cap & Tax off the table saying we first need to get our economy in order before considering them again, I'm 100% positive you'd see immediate job growth. Instead of taxing people and business more, give tax credits for hiring and freeze any tax increases. And for God's sake quite putting America farther and farther into debit!!

My face is beet red so I'll stop before I bust a blood vessel.

Posted at 11:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Busy, Busy

Sun 20 September 2009

Sorry boys and girls but I've been so busy working on several projects that I've not had time to post here and I know how much you rely on my pearls of wisdom every day. Actually to say I've not had time OS not totally correct - I just have not taken the time would be more accurate. You see, when I get started on a project, I don't want to stop until I'm done or I'm so tired I can't go on. This morning I've not started working on a project although I have 3 in the queue now.

John sent his computer to Vero with a friend of his who came in for the weekend. Remember, I got the laptop working but it still could not connect wirelessly - you sort of need that wireless thingy for a laptop. I didn't get the machine until noon but had it running perfectly by about 6:30. Oh great guru, how did you do that you ask? John's operating system had some critical flaws that could not be fixed even though I tried. So, I did a clean reinstall of Windows Vista replacing his sick operating system with a fresh clean one - it took me all afternoon to do that.

First I installed Vista that took over a hour but then I installed 66 updates released since the the CD was released. This was a laborious project because it took forever to download the files and then it took even longer to install all the files. Next I installed some security programs like AVG Security Suite, SpywareBlaster, WinPatrol, MalwareBytes, etc. Then of course I installed Firefox, CCleaner, and other useful tools. Now he has a fresh machine, properly protected, and a wireless adaptor that works perfectly. This was my first reinstall of Windows which I found to be easy but time consuming. John's good to go.

Recently I found a interesting little utility while doing research which I believe will be very useful to me.It takes a picture of your registry when you boot and then when you reboot it tells you what has changed with the option of rejecting changes. This will be useful in identifying viruses, Trojans, malware, and other nasty things that might have sneaked into your computer. The draw back to this utility is that it is just a utility meaning the user has to know what to do with the information it provides - it is not for the average user. It is called Tiny Watcher and can be found free here .

Even I get infections with all my caution and security knowledge. I know you find it hard to believe but there occasionally are new nasty things I've not learned about yet. The tiny watcher along with the paid version of MalwareBytes are my two newest security tools. The paid version of MalwareBytes stops outgoing connection requests when the destination IP is questionable. There is something on my machine now that is trying to connect to an IP in China - I know this should not be happening but as of this morning, I don't know what a application is trying to do that. My detective work is need but in the meantime access to China is denied. I think it might be the MyDoom Virus but I'm not sure yet - stay tuned.

I've got news from DutchieLand - Syp's employer went bankrupt - this is the second company he's driven to bankruptcy! The good news is they are reorganizing which means Spy still has a job unlike the last employer he sent crashing in flames. I talked to him on the phone briefly - all is well with the Arends clan. Djem is growing like a weed and Yari is out of control just like his Daddy. I'll chat with him again soon but I can tell you his life is full and he has no spear time. What you you expect with two growing boys and a demanding job?

I thought'd treat you to poppa Syp and baby Djem.

Posted at 09:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Georgia Loses

Fri 28 August 2009

Just Damn! Georgia lost to California the Little League play-off game last night 11 - 10 but damn it was an exciting game.California won the game with a stolen base on a wild pitch at the bottom of the last inning - Georgia team has been eliminated from the 2009 Little League World Series of baseball. But I'll still watch the games on Saturday nonetheless.

As predicted, my dermatologist found three spots to freeze - this is the first time he's used liquid Nitrogen on me. The other times I've had spots he's actually cut them out and put stitches in because they appeared deeper and of a different type cancer cell. These were my 'normal' pre-cancer cells which I treat myself sometimes with TCA - an acid used to burn away areas of the skin. It cost me $300 which I guess is $100 per spot? JeeZ! I should have been a dermatologists. The good news is nothing else is going on now.

Remember those reddish bruise-like areas on my face I've been talking about? This is a surprise but my doctor told me that the likely cause is my hitting or scratching my face while asleep resulting in a minor bruise looking spots. They do come over night, don't hurt, and like a bruise go away in a few days. Who would have thunk [sic] it? It certainly makes sense now that I think about it.

The other day I mentioned this website in Atlanta who's owner does not like. Apparently some guy came in and changed the site she used to have without her knowledge much less her permission. She is really unhappy although the site functions as it should based on my testing. It appears someone might have done all this to generate a fee for himself. It is clear to me a lot of work went into the site but it is a template and as such has "tons" of unnecessary coding and scripts the owner of the site does not use. I think the guy might have gotten this template then edited it with a WYSIWYG editor. The bottom line is she wants it changed but I said I did not want to edit that confusing template and she should get someone else to do that. She then said she wants it changed, she does not want to keep the template, and she wants the site to be neater and smaller - I can do neat and small.

So, yesterday morning I did not think I'd be doing anything for her but this morning things have changed. The first thing I told her to do and explained how to do it is get control of her domain name from the dude that created this problem. It seems he has the username and password for the domain name account and will not give it to her! The good news is she owns the domain name and thus the company where the domain name is parked should give her a new username and password. Once she has control of the domain name I can point the domain to a different server with a different site leaving this big template behind. I've never come across anything like this before so it should be interesting to see exactly what happens, huh?

Yesterday I bought the DirectTV sports package so I can get a gazillion college games which I thought was going to start last night but it did not. The two channels the game was scheduled to be on did not show the game - was it played I wonder?

Posted at 06:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Rain, Rain

Wed 20 May 2009

We have had a lot of much needed rain since my last posting. My own weather station has marked 1.23" in the past 24 hours. Yesterday was overcast all day with periods of rain so I've not been to the beach in a few days now. No worries, it will clear up again and I'll head back over to work on my base for the Keys.

Starr came by for a nice visit - we must have talked for a couple hours. She had a bad day and just wanted to vocalize what had happened - I'm a good listener. I won't go into the details but it started with a dead battery in the morning and went downhill from there. One thing for sure, Starr is one hell of a strong woman with the uncanny ability to handle just about anything thrown at her - she has a lot more patience than do I. She did something very good for me - she made me realize how insignificant my little problems are to those she and others deal with on a daily bases. Being head of household, working, cooking, and raising two boys is by no means a simple task while I'm sitting her fussing over my modem's IP address! Jeez! It helps to have outside influence in order to keep one's prospective in check.

Have any of you noticed the extraneous posts in my Comments sections? It is my belief those are being made by bots and not a real person. So yesterday I went into my comments files on my host server and deleted them. I don't want to turn off the option of making comments so I guess I'll just have to purge the old comments from time to time. You might also noticed I've removed all posts prior to January 1st of this year - I didn't delete them I simply put them in another file for storage.

After coffee this morning I'm going to meet with Ray to view his site and pick up some articles I believe he wants published to his site. For the most part I think I'm done with the initial development meaning I can move onto another project if I had one which I don't at this point. I expect there will be continuing changes, updates, and editing that will be need for onesuperjuice.com - Ray is a dynamic type guy so I expect his website will be a reflection of his activities. This has been an interesting project and one that turned out to be much larger than expected which is not a bad thing - I like the challenges.

It happened again - I laid down to take a much need nap and just as I was about to go in la-la land a beep started in about 10 second apart. What is going on after all I did take my phone off the hook to avoid any type of interruption? Wouldn't you know it...I'm the one responsible for waking myself up. You see I took one of my portable phones off the hook, accessed a dial tone, and then just put it on my chair. The beep I was hearing is the damn wireless phone telling me it had a low battery! What is it with my attempts to take a nap? Is the nap gods out to get me? Jeez!

I decided to upgrade the firmware in the router which was giving me a problem. In the process, I also reset the configuration to the factory defaults. I think this should have reset my old IP but I didn't check it to confirm that assumption. There really is no reason to switch out my routers again so I'll leave my home network set up alone at least for now.

Posted at 05:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Problem Fixed

Tue 19 May 2009

Yesterday morning I was able to do something I've never done before - I found a articulate, intelligent, and polite Comcast service representative although I did have to move up the food chain. Her name was Joyce and she actually acted like she was interested in solving my problem plus she was very polite. Remember last week when I mentioned I could not get to my own website from any of my home computers? Comcast said they would fix it in 24 to 48 hours ...wrong! In fact the first person I talked to at Comcast was so incompetent she didn't even understand my problem.

Other people could get to my website here in Vero who also used Comcast. I could get to my website if I went through an online proxy so I concluded it was my modem's IP that somehow was not connecting to BillsView. When Joyce got in the picture and I explained what was happening she agreed with my conclusion but didn't know why. Her solution was to force a new IP address on my router and when she did, I could once again get to BillsView. But get this - when I reconnected my router it retained the old IP that was blocking my access to BillsView but only BillsView. So I tried to force my router to change to the new IP including a total reset but it did not work - what's up with that? I had to conclude there was a snafu in the router's software but once again, it only blocks one site. My solution was simple - exchange my router with one of my back-ups and shazam...all is well again. Now I'm thinking about upgrading the software in the old router but it really doesn't matter with the switch I made.

Yesterday afternoon I returned my three almost dead palms to Lowe's - they refunded my credit card which is better than a store credit. I looked around in their garden shop but didn't like anything I say. Next I went to Home Depot but once again I did not much like the plants there either. So I decided to put my silk plants back in my bedroom suite and wait for another day to buy new live plants.

Yesterday afternoon the much needed rain clouds moved in turning the sky really dark. At times we had some really heavy rain and the weatherman says we may get more during this coming week. At this point I'm glad I went to the beach yesterday because I may not be able to go this week.

Did you notice Jeff & Amy have sent in their deposit for the Keys? I don't really need to send in a deposit because Donna never refunds my deposit but rather just rolls it over for the following year. I did not contact her about the lease yet thinking she'll remember me when handling the leases for the rest of the crowd. If she just forgets I'll follow up later knowing that the apartment is available for me - the owner now lives in Scotland and Donna will not lease it to anyone else. With the slow economy, I bet there will be fewer people in the Keys this year compared to the recent years. Good...more lobster available to crawl into our nets.

TB came by yesterday afternoon for a visit - we spent almost two hours solving the world's problems. He, like a lot of us, is ready to head to the Keys for some diving. We did avoid talking about national politics although we did discuss Vero Beach politics along with other things happening here in Vero. Oh, he did mention Drew's boat has been serviced, cleaned, and is ready for the trip South in a couple months.

Posted at 06:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Great Beach Day

Mon 18 May 2009

It was such a beautiful day here yesterday I could not stand not going to the beach, so I did. The problem with going to the beach on a Sunday afternoon is parking but after only one extra pass, I found a spot. I don't remember it being this nice last year at this time but perhaps I was caught up in landscaping and such? There is no doubt that I'm enjoying my trips to the beach - after 41 years in land-locked Atlanta it is about time to get back to my roots.

Skim-boarding seems to be the popular thing to do if you are a male teenager with energy and time. I noticed these guys come and sort of mark their boundaries then like any dominate male they protected their spot from other intruders. There also seems to be a mutual respect that keeps each on their spot so conflicts have not been observed at least not yet. This skim boarding is a lot of work for such a brief ride IMO.

It's about time I raddled Donna Bible's cage - she has not sent me a lease yet although that is not unusual. I think both TB and Tom have gotten their leases in fact I believe I understand that Kevin & Company have as well. Actually I'm not worried it's just my obsessive behavior which wants me to get this all tied up. I think I'll send Donna a FAX because she responds quicker to a FAX than a telephone message in my experience. I've not talked to Jeff to see if he & Amy have theirs yet but I do still think they'll be down.

The three real palms in my bedroom are all but kaput. I got these from Lowe's and like Home Depot they come with a one year guarantee so I'm going to take them back. I'll get credit, not a refund, but that's ok because I just plan to buy 3 more palms to replace these. I'll probably kill the new ones by the end of Summer and go through the process all over again. Once you buy a plant, I don't think there is a limit on how many times you can kill it, replace it, and then kill it again in an un-ending cycle. Perhaps I'll test that theory.

Have any of you heard about this Magic Jack telephone device which costs about $20/year and plugs into a USB port on your commuter? I did some research and found many like the device but many do not. It seems to take over your computer when there is a call but worse, you have to install their software for it to work. If you bother to read the End Users' Agreement you'll discover that once installed you agree to the Spyware that is installed with the phone. This Spyware gathers information on sites you visit and other such data in order to deliver 'targeted' advertisements to you computer. Most people never read the installation agreements and won't understand them if they did. My conclusion is that this appears to be a cheap way to get a second phone line but it 'costs' more in the long run. Plus there are all sorts of things that make it less than what is advertised. Buyer beware!

Today is cleaning day at my house - Charlie and his crew will be over here in a couple house to go over my house top to bottom on the inside. As you know, my obsessive behavior causes me to keep it clean anyway but I don't mop, do windows, or clean bathrooms very well.

Posted at 07:03 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Tanzanite America

Sun 17 May 2009

It happened again - my TanzaniteAmerica.com website was blocked by the host server for non-payment of fees. I thought this was fixed Friday evening but on Saturday morning I got the same e-mail saying I owed for the hosting service. Once again I contacted the host via their online 'submit a ticket' form and included the ID of the last ticket, a copy of my paid invoice, and a copy of the e-mail saying everything was fixed. My site was unblocked late Saturday followed by an e-mail saying it was fixed and should not happen again. Well...when I got up this morning guess what? Gotcha - I bet you thought I was going to say it was blocked again but it was not. I think it is indeed fixed this time - one can hope. The hosting company recently changed their online accounting system which In suspect led to this repeated gaff.

Starr called to vocalize her feelings about a party this weekend for those in the VBHS class of 1967 who will or have turned sixty this year - that includes TB of course. She is conflicted because she thinks it's a lot to do about nothing but at the same time is not sure she wants to miss it all together. There are 3 events - one each on Friday night, late Saturday afternoon, and an afternoon picnic on Sunday. My view is go if you want and if you don't want to go don't - pretty simple don't you think? What I've learned in my coffee group is what other people think about you is really none of your business. So do what you think is best for you and what you feel right in doing and don't worry about what others may or may not say.

We'll talk more about these events I'm sure and my guess is she might go to one but not all of them. The Sunday afternoon picnic over at Riverside park here in Vero appears to be the best opportunity to actually talk with your classmates. The event Friday night is going to include a 'DJ' spinning records which means to me...LOUD. I don't do loud anymore. If I want to see my friends, I'd like to be able to talk to them without shouting. But then again, when you are drinking lots of adult beverages and listen to old 60's rock & roll, shouting is natural! Do any of you remember times when I've gotten up in a restaurant and just walked out (after paying of course) because it was too loud? Oh, and how about two toddlers sitting at a table behind me having a contest to see who can scream the loudest! Jeez!

On Friday I got an e-mail from someone who said they had 5,000 carats of Tanzanite - it was from my website so I know that's how they found me. There was a number (Miami area code) asking me to call so I did. On the other end of the line was a woman who clearly was Hispanic saying her 'partner' had 5,000 carats he wanted to sell. I asked some questions than ant buyer might ask but she had no answers at all. First I was highly specious of someone saying they have 5,000 carats but seemed to know almost nothing - I'm not sure that Bangkok Mark would want to consider such a large stash if it were for real. So I applied the duck theory - if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...it is probably a duck. This looked like, sounded like, and acted like a scam in the making - I just said I can not help and walked away from it.

No beach for me yesterday but if it is nice later today I may go. The beach is active on Sundays but there are no good talk radio programs for me to listen to while sitting in my beach chair. The weather man says there is a chance of rain - I hope so, we need it here.

Posted at 10:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Comcast Mystery

Sat 16 May 2009

The mystery continues - I don't know why I can not get to BillsView.com using my Comcast connection at home. I've checked all the usual suspects by rebooting everything I have..modem, router, and computers. I tried on 3 different computers using both Internet Explorer and Firefox - still no go. The mystery deepens at this point because I still can get to my site via an online proxy server but that solution is not acceptable - I want it working like it was up until Thursday. Another thing - this narrows the problem even more - other people I've called here in Vero using Comcast can navigate to my site. I even asked Kathryn who uses Bell South and she had no problem. It would appear the problem is between my modem and a Comcast server.

I get a "timed out" message when I try to get to my site. Is it possible Comcast blocked my modem IP from getting to my website, and if so, why? When talking to Comcast I got a very polite but clueless service rep who was going to 'escalate my issue' - meaning someone with an IQ above room temperature will have a look. I'm convinced there is a solution to this mess - the problem will be in getting someone smart enough to understand the problem in the first place. I don't want to seem unkind but the service rep I talked to asked me to check my security settings in Internet Explorer while at the time I was using Foxfire. That's affirmative action at work for you - just wait until Obama moves that into the health care industry!! How will you like it when your doctor got his or her position because of affirmative action? That's not to say there are not good doctors in affirmative action programs but wouldn't you rather remove the doubt in your mind? Well?

The next problem I had to deal with yesterday was my TanzaniteAmerica.com site - it was being blocked by the host server for non-payment of my annual fee. Well, not only had I paid my annual fee but I paid it for two years. The good news is I had a receipt along with a "transaction number" which I was able to send to them. It took most of the day before they got around to my response, they saw an error was made, and around 5PM yesterday the site was back up. Of course I checked it every hour on the hour - that's just what I do.

After a lemon-pepper chicken sandwich from Publix I took a 15 minute nap then headed to the beach - the picture today is very much what the beach looked like yesterday.The water was a bit rough but as usual, I did not get in it - neither did anyone else as far as I could see. I stayed just for my hour listen to Rush on the radio then headed back to catch some news on FOX. I know. I know. I'm not suppose to watch it but I couldn't help to be amused by the shit Pelosi has gotten her self in with her lies. I don't like this arrogant , power obsessed extreme left wing kook so to see her squirm is fun.

My lawn service guy, James, has a new lawnmower with a bag to catch the cuttings. It is more of a home-owner's lawnmower than the big, heavy commercial one he was using. The lawn looked great after he mowed and trimmed everything yesterday - the grass was more evenly cut. James really does a good job for me - I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone seeking a lawn service. With the dry weather we've been having, many folks don't have a lawn to mow.

Posted at 06:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Better Today

Fri 15 May 2009

The purpose behind getting sick is to remind you how nice it is to be well. You can't fully appreciate wellness by looking at other's experience, you have to go through the process yourself. Yesterday most a day of recovery - I'm not fully recovered just yet but I'm a lot better today. For the better part of the day yesterday I was napping and doing what 'House' does, chew on some pain medication. You know how you feel when you're not well but not really sick too - that was me. It's too early in the day to say what I'll be able to do or not do.

It was another beautiful day here in Vero again and I wanted to go to the beach for my hour in the sun. But I thought it to be prudent to stay in bed instead which I did. One of the reasons people get sick and stay sick is they do not give their body long enough to recover before getting out and about again. Frankly, I though the thunderstorms of the day before marked a change in the weather pattern but it did not.

Ray wanted to use an article published by Men's Journal but he didn't want all the comments that were made by people reading the article. Like the reviews on hardware I read before I buy something, you usually find more negative things than positive things because only the pissed-off people take the time to vent. So I decided to eliminate the comments but keep the article. Here is the Men's Journal original article and here is the edited version I put on Ray's server click here. To do this you can not just copy and paste because all the internal links refer to the Men's Journal sever. So what do you think? Good, huh?

Starr called to say she feels like she's losing here sanity trying to manage the college entrance for Alex and college transfer for John. Like most young people, neither one has much sense of urgency thinking everything will fall into place. With the recent debacle John had with just two classes one would hope he gets the lesson that you need to handle things as soon as possible and before they become a problem. Saying that "I thought...." (fill in the blank) might leave you out in the cold - just "thinking" something is going to happen will not make it happen! If you are over 30, you know what I mean, don't you?

Something strange has happened - I can't logon to my server or see BillsView from my computer unless I use a proxy. What's up with that I wonder? My first thought is that there's a problem with Comcast and getting to the server for some reason. I'm drawn to that conclusion because I can get to it via a proxy on another server meaning the path is different. I tried pinging the site - the ping timed-out. I called Comcast and they could see the site from the service center in Tennessee. I called Mike Gately to pick his brain but we still had no answer. Later today Mike is going to have his IT officer call me. So I'm using a proxy server for this morning's post. I guess I have today's project laid out for me, huh?

Posted at 05:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Thu 14 May 2009

It's Thursday morning and I'm here at the Dolphin House rather than having coffee with my friends. You see I've had a 'sick' event and I still do not feel very well this morning so I thought it best to stay in. Besides, I don't want to pass the illness along to others - no, I want it all to myself!

When I woke up early yesterday I had a headache which is not normal for me in the mornings. But, I got up, took a Tylenol III pill, had breakfast (it was pancakes yesterday) then headed for coffee. Up return my headache was still with me so I took another pill and then went to meet with Ray, the owner of onesuperjuice.com. We had a great meeting but I'll go into that later.

Next I headed to Dr. Director's office for my first follow up after my new meds profile but still had the hurts. My meeting with him went great and he's now able to confirm I'm totally whacked! DOH...you guys have known that for a long time. He and I are pleased with my progress so I'm going to continue along the same path unless or until there is a need to change. He was amused by my daily logs and research I've done on Wellbutrin & Adderall. He said he could see the improvement over my first appointment - I agree. At last I have this sense that there is a solution to help with my problem which in itself makes me feel better.

I came back to the house to work on some changes and updates on Ray's website. BTW, he is thrilled with my work which of course he should be. I had a BBJ sandwich and laid down still having a increasing worse headache so I pulled out the big guns in my medicine cabinet for pain. After about a hour I was nauseated with the worst headache of the day thus far. For the next 4 - 5 hours I made several trips to the ceramic throne to vomit until there was nothing left. I felt even worse but could not take medication because it would come up just as fast as it went down.

Last year when this happened my director gave me an anti-nausea suppository prescription which I still had in my refrigerator - I got one of those puppies out and stuck it where the sun never shines - no more nausea but still had a horrible headache. I tested myself by drinking some water so when it did not come back up, I took another pill and this time it stayed down. I was up and down all night but I think the worst is behind me. This morning I just have that 'rung-out' feeling you have when you're getting over an illness. The headache is there but not so severe to keep me from typing this - besides I know you folks would get sick yourselves if you did not have your daily dose of my pearls of wisdom!

We finally got some much needed rain here in Vero yesterday. Between 6AM and 9AM my weather station measured over a half an inch of rain at my house. There was rain all around the area but this morning we have another cloudless day. I'd like to go to the each but I think I'm staying in all day. I've not got a clue as to what brought on yesterday's episode but it acted more like a food poisoning than a virus. Trouble with that is I didn't eat anything out of the ordinary and I ate at home. Hmmm....

My plan for today is to rest, watch TV, and of course work on this project a bit more. We are at the fine-tuning point at least for the initial website. I'd like to go back over to the beach if I feel up to it and the weather continues to cooperate.

Posted at 07:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Morning Appointments

Wed 13 May 2009

My plate is full today and I like that. After coffee this morning I'm going over to meet with Ray about his creatively designed new website, onesuperjuice.com. I might be a bit biased about how cool it is after all, I'm the geek that built it. On this site I have two new things I've not ever done before - a "Tell a Friend" link and a "Free Gift Card" link both of which are written in PHP. The meeting this morning is to bring together what I've done, what I still need to do, and some suggestions I have for expanding his marketing using his shinny new site. I think I'm basically done for now unless Ray has some other things he wants me to do.

Building this site was fun so I'd like to do another one sometime in the not so distant future. When I researched Google and the Vero Beach Business Directory I did not find much in the way of competition. There are a couple of firms levels above my current abilities because they can clearly use Adobe Flash and other website design tools. But for the most part, others around town use basic templates with very little imagination. I confuse I get ideas from templates but by the time I'm through working on a site it is almost unrecognizable from a the template from which I got the idea in the first place. This is not true about the work being done by others from my observation.

And another thing, my services are worth 2 to 3 times what I've set as a few so maybe it is time to rethink my fee? One thing for sure, I do not want to look at this as a "job"...I want to look at it as a project I like doing and oh by the way I get a little spending money too. I'd like to be "The Guy" people would like to have help them but only takes projects that interest me.I already postponed what I was told were people who'd like a site because I only want to work on one at a time. Conceded a bit? Maybe but like Babe Ruth once said, if you can do it, it's not bragging.

Then after meeting with Ray I have an appointment with Dr. Director - it is my first in office follow-up. I feel good about the direction in which I'm going but I'm not ready to say the meds and dosages are right for me just yet. I'll bring my daily log of how I've been feeling for the past 26 days along with other comments I've collected during that time. I've also complete a summary of my research on the to medications, Wellbutrin and Adderall - I wonder how many of his patients do this sort of self-study? I'm looking forward to meeting with Dr. director.

Mike Gately called yesterday to suggest that yesterday was the anniversary for entering the 'tank' - he was correct, it was 7 years ago yesterday and although I do a lot of great things, this can certainly be counted as one of the more valuable ones to me and my friends (both of them). It was Mike who suggested it in the first place not knowing how I would react. I'm very pleased I took his suggestion and I bet some of you are too! I'm still saddened by the fact I could not join the Dutchies in the Keys when they first got here but I 'm convinced it was the right thing.

After my busy morning, I might go to the beach again if the weather is good like it has been. I didn't go yesterday because I thought I should take a day off - crowds of women were starting to gather around my place on the beach causing mayhem and traffic jams. They must have 'scout women' that take turns looking along the beach for my inescapable hot bod! I try to hide myself with a hat (see picture) but it just does not work. You know, it's tough being me!

Posted at 05:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Shuttle Launch

Tue 12 May 2009

When are we ever going top stop having such beautiful weather here in Vero? Well of course, but it does not appear to be in the cards for this week. Yesterday I rode over to the beach again for another session in preparation for pool duty later this Summer. There were not nearly as many people there yesterday as there were on Sunday but one would expect that. After all, Sunday is the only day some folks can get to the beach with work and school interfering with beach duty. One of these days I might actually get a toe wet but don't hold your breath - I like 85F or higher.

Sunday I baked some cookies to take to Starr for mother's day - I was going to get her a new car but the dealerships were closed. Cookies require less maintenance that cars and task a whole lot better. Her life is in a flux with John going away to school for the Fall term and Alex graduating from high school in a couple of weeks then off to Indian River State College for at least two years. Before you know it Starr will be an empty-nester like me except the difference being I've always been that way. It's funny how parents always say they want their children to grow up and move on but get stressed when they really do. It happens sooner than you can imagine.

With the website I built finished for now, I found myself looking for another project yesterday. Ray said he knew people who want a site but there is a leap between wanting a site then actually taking the steps to get one. My painter and landscaper still have not followed up on the project with which I'm 90% completed. If I didn't like doing this stuff I'd be angry but instead I'm just disappointed they'd let me go so far only to drop the ball. They say they are too busy but how much time does it take to choose a domain name? I've done all the other work including the text and pictures for their would-be sites. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water......

Now to that which got me excited yesterday afternoon around 2:02PM. The United States launched a shuttle from the Kennedy Space center and this time I had the presences of mind to be outside with a camera. I know. I know. The image is not much but it is the picture I took. It never stops - every time I watch that craft fling itself into space reaching over 18,000 mph I can't help but to get a tingle all over my body. The Dutchies would call that chicken skin. Even in the brightness of the sun in a cloudless sky there is no doubt one is watching something truly extraordinary. You ought to see it at night - it's like the sun came up for a few minutes it's so damn bright.

I did make it back over to the beach for another hour around mid-day - the beach was beautiful. I'm careful not to stay longer than a hour until I can tolerate the exposure to the sun's rays. I was actually tempted to go test the water but decide to save that for another day. It's funny but when you walk over the bluff to go down to the beach the temperature drops several degrees. It's the breeze over the cooler water that keeps the air around the water's edge cooler than out by my car. There were people enjoying the beach but not nearly as many as Sunday. Of course there was the usual gathering of teenaged boys doing this skate-boarding thing at the water's edge. I probably will give my body a rest today.

Posted at 06:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

To The Beach

Mon 11 May 2009

For the past 10 days or so we've been having "Chamber of Commerce" weather here in Vero. Beautiful blue cloudless skies with a nice breeze most of the time although yesterday it was rather still and hot. If it were a bit cooler with a bit lower humidity I would want this weather all the time. The thing is that with warmer weather comes more heating which in turn evaporates moister into the air and then you get the almost daily Florida thunderstorms. I think this Summer weather pattern is just a few weeks away and for many this is a good thing because it will bring much needed rain. There is a drought going on around here except of course at my house where I have my own well - my house looks like an oasis in a sea of dry lawns.

I hit the beach again yesterday for my usual hour of fun in the sun. The beaches had a lot of folks on them relative to the earlier part of the week when 'normal' folks were working and kids were in school. Our beaches have recovered a lot of sand from the storm of two Summers ago but there is a lot of sand that's been washed away from when I was a kid (a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away). Perhaps I'll return to the beach later today if the weather continues to be as good as it has been.

Yesterday was Mother's Day...did you remember Mom? I went to visit my Mom (and Dad) where they are buried here in Vero. It was not a sad thing for me because both lived a good life and in each of their cases it was time to move on when they died. Mom is buried next to her sister, the mother of my cousin who's the GREAT baker. It seems I was not alone in visiting Mom yesterday - there were other folks doing the same thing.

Both Saturday and Sunday I went without taking Adderall to see how I felt compared to today - I took a pill this morning. I can say without question that the days I don't take the medication my energy level is lower - DOH! My purpose is to continue to test myself like a lab rat in order to determine just what I need or don't need as well as how much I may need. Believe me, I wish I could feel good with energy without taking anything at all. On the other hand, I want to take the proper medications and dosages to get me feeling "normal". I guess I've got the rest of my life to figure that out, huh?

I watched "The Pelican Brief" on TV this weekend - boy was that a good movie. I have seen it before of course but I had forgotten how done it. The thing that troubles me is that I believe this sort of heavy-handed, illegal actions are being conducted by the Obama Administration right now! The president has publicly made threats that no other president in my lifetime has ever done at least against the citizens of the United States. Is there any doubt left in your mind that Obama hates achievement and wants to take from those who've earned there property and give it to those who have not earned it? Is there any doubt that Obama wants to punish achievement and subsidize failure? Is there any doubt that Obama wants to take over whole industries so that HE can pick winners and losers? This angers me and makes me sick - as if you didn't already know!

OK boys and girls - here is your chance to proclaim to all the followers of my world famous website just what you think Obama has done you believe is good for the country, it's citizens, and it's way of life. BTW, I can think of some positive things but I'd have to be a hardened socialist. So please post your view in the 'Comments' area for all to view. I promise I will not delete your comment at least for awhile - I ultimately delete all comments because "spammers" abuse the system with links to drug companies or adult sites.

The annual migration of the party monkeys to paradise is only a couple months away. Are you ready? Too bad work interferes with play, huh?

Posted at 06:09 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

It's Mother's Day

Sun 10 May 2009

Posted at 08:08 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Project about Finished

Sat 09 May 2009

This website project I've been working on for the past two weeks has been the most extensive project yet. There are twice as many pages than in any other project and the pages are text-rich. All of the text was written by me based on the research I've done on many other pages found via a search engine. Yesterday I loaded the whole site to the sever we're using - I think the page development is over at least for now. The owner tells me there are more products in the pipeline so I expect additions or modifications in the future.

Thus far today I've been editing the META tags of each page so as to make them search engine friendly. It is my intent to edit more of the tags as well as the text itself but I'm going to take a break now to watch a TV program. It is good for me to walk away then come back with fresh eyes - I tend to have more creative ideas then. By the end of the day I will have submitted the URL to all the major search engines. My guess is I'll re-submit next weekend because if I know me, and I do, I'll make more changes next week. So take a look at all the pages on onesuperjuice.com.

John came by to report on the train wreck he's had with regard to his two classes at the IRSC. It seems that both of them were cancelled for lake of interest so he's had to jump through some hoops to get the classes - they are needed for his transfer to FSU in the Fall. One class he picked up on the Port St. Lucie campus and the other he'll have to take online. But knowing how much John wants to go to FSU in the Fall, I think he'll get the job done. What a mess, huh?

Jason's Dad called me around 11 PM last night and of course I was asleep. He wanted to borrow some money - ya, right, I'm going to jump at that opportunity aren't I? NOT! He said he needed it to buy some medicine for Jason - I did not believe a word and told him no right off the bat. He's an alcoholic with a drug addition problem so I think he was just out of drugs. He didn't bother to tell me what was wrong with Jason nor did he explain why this just came up at 11PM! If there is a real problem then dial 911 for medical help. And another thing - if I were to lend him money now there would be a next time and then a next time with still more emergencies. I hope he never calls again but if he does the answer is still no.

Today I've not taken my Adderall to see how I feel compared to the days I do take it. Oh ...there is a difference indeed. My purpose is to see how I do without it and then I'll see how I do with it tomorrow. I've been keeping a daily log so as I can take it to my doctor's appointment on Wednesday. I'm not sure what will come out of the appointment but stay tuned.

I'm ready for pool duty

Posted at 09:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Beautiful Here

Fri 08 May 2009

Did you miss me yesterday? I got busy to this, that, and the other thing and before I knew it the day was almost over. Most of the day I was writing code, checking what I wrote, and then correcting the errors in what I wrote - believe me, I make errors. Often they are simple typing errors rather than code errors but on occasion I get lost in the Forrest looking for the trees.

The new site I've been working on now for a couple weeks is almost ready for prime time. I have one more page to produce today and then I'm going through each page to edit as needed and fix the links, key words, and titles of each page. Once I've done that I'll submit the site to search engines with the hope of creating e-commerce for the owner. I like working with this guy because he gives me the ball and lets me run with it - I like projects but I do not like tasks.

It has been beautiful here all week so I did go to the beach for a hour yesterday making that the third time this week. If I keep up this pattern I'll be ready for the Keys when the time comes. John is already there because he's been a lifeguard for months now. If it's nice later on today I may return to the beach again today. Oh, there is a beach now after most of it got washed away by that storm two years ago. Funny how mother nature fixes these things, huh?

My yard is looking really great these days. With the longer hours of sunlight and the milder temperatures, everything is growing well around my house. There is a sort of drought going on in my part of Florida now so many yards look really stressed. Thankfully my well is my key to keeping things growing around here and that's a good thing. I'd hate to think what my water bill would be if I didn't have the well!

Jason has been missing for a bit over a week now which is unusual for him - he normally visits a couple times a week. I'm hoping he's found a job or some other positive event has taken place but frankly I've not got a clue. As I'm sure you can imagine, it is sometimes a bad sign when people disappear without notice. I'll follow up as soon as I know something.

Starr is down to having just two kids to tutor now as the school year winds down. We've been talking about John going to FSU in the Fall while Alex is going to the Indian River State College for a couple years like his big brother did. I'm one in favor of sending kids off to college but then there is this minor issue of costs - colleges cost a lot these days so Starr is correctly trying to avoid the room & board along with the tuition & fees. Most colleges cost more in one year than I spent in four years but then again that was a long time ago.

I'm having good days and some not so good days with the meds I'm taking but my overall sense is one of improvement. Next Wednesday I meet with Dr. Director again for my first of what I think will be several follow-ups. In order to intelligently talk about what's been happening with me I've been keeping a daily log. I wonder how many of his patients show up with a daily log and research on the medications I'm taking? Am I a bit whacked or what?

Nice picture, huh?

Posted at 05:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Meeting with Ray

Wed 06 May 2009

For reasons I can not explain, I woke up yesterday just before 4 AM and could not go back to sleep. this happens every once and awhile but thankfully it is not very often. So, I found myself taking a nap in the morning and then just after lunch. This feel now is one of being sleepy for lack of sleep and not that tired - fatigue feeling for which I'm taking medication.

It was a beautiful day here yesterday but I thought I should nap after lunch instead of going to the beach. Nonetheless I just couldn't resist going around 2 o'clock to sit on the beach and listen to the last hour of Rush on the radio. The beach had more people on it yesterday than I think I've seen on any previous visit. I took my camera and got this shot of one of the beauties getting her leather-like skin even worse that it already is. She's one hot babe don't you think? Now you see why I enjoy going to the beach so much, huh?

This morning I'm going to meet with Ray concerning the website I built for him. My intent is to go through each page to see if it renders properly, has the data he wants on it, and the text is correct. The basic pages are done now unless he wishes to add more pages which of course we can do. I need to go through each page to edit the name, description, and key words with the goal of getting him high on search engines in the future - this will take some time and work. We need to discuss just what words he wants the search engines to point to his site once a potential customer looks for the type of product he offers. I'm anxious to see just what he thinks of my work.

Before my 9 AM meeting with Ray I'm going for coffee as usual and because this is the first Wednesday in the month, I'll be our chairperson this morning. I'm not sure what I'm going to talk about but worry not, I'm rarely at a loss for words. Perhaps a discussion of Einstein's general theory of relative and how it is at odds with quantum mechanics - that should cause some eyes to glaze over don't you think? But when I bring in string theory as a solution to the problem, the room should be asleep by then! Maybe I should keep it a bit more basic, huh?

Today is the first day of John's Summer mini-session at the Indian River State College. If things go as he hopes, this will also be the last two classes he takes at the college as it is his intent to go to FSU in the Fall. I'm excited for him going to FSU - the experience of college campus life is something I'm so pleased I experienced. This Fall he'll actually be able to attend college football games featuring the team of his own college. But more important is the contacts he'll make and the learning experiences he'll have.

My yard is looking good these days now that the Spring growing season is here. The grass is green, the shrubs are growing, and James keeps everything neat and trimmed for me. I still get people telling me how nice they think it looks - you know what...the are right!

Posted at 06:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Nice Day Here

Tue 05 May 2009

Believe it or not I've been staying busy with my projects and don't seem to have the time to get my posts out as easily as I have in the past. That is a very good thing for me because I've got interest and energy to work on projects - my meds are clearly helping me although they've changed my appearance a bit (see today's photo). I'll go back to see Dr. Director in a week so we can discuss what has been happening. This probably will not surprise you but I've been keeping a daily log of my progress so as to correctly communicate what has been happening.

There are these two website projects on which I'm working now - one is the attorney from New York again and the other is the new Vemma site. I'll meet with the owner of the Vemma site tomorrow - I think I'm about through writing code but there still is a good bit of editing and checking to do. This new site I've written all the code except for the "tell a friend" page - that uses about 20 different files and is written in .php . It is cool I think and what you see is highly edited from the original files. The website is here if you'd like to see it again.

John is excited about going to FSU in the Fall and has signed his lease along with his friend, David Williams, for a duplex - the other half of the duplex is occupied by his friends as well. What concerns me is that I'm convinced that Alysha will move up and in with him. Why am I concerned? First he needs to concentrate on school and not playing house. Second I'm as sure as I can be that this will create a problem with the guy that pays the other half of the rent, David. He says David won't care but then again David hasn't been faced with a third roommate yet and I'm sure his attitude will change. I won't go into details here but trust me, I'm right on this - I'll share my thoughts with John in private.

Yesterday I went to the beach again and I might go back today. It is another beautiful day here in Vero - I mean a drop dead beautiful day.

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

Great Sunday

Mon 04 May 2009

If today and the rest of the week turns out to be as good as yesterday, I'll be a happy camper. My mood was good, I had plenty of energy, and I wanted to do stuff - the three things I'm hoping will continue with the Wellbutrin. For the record, I did not take any Adderall on Saturday but took what has become normal for me yesterday. I'm convinced the meds made the difference although it didn't hurt that it was a bight, sunny, cloudless day with a good breeze. The temperatures are still in the lower 80's here.

Rumor has it that one of my regular worshipers.....er I mean followers seems to have done quite well on the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. How in the hell they chose the winner with a 50 to 1 odds must have been a fluke. It would be prudent not to try betting a lot now because if one damn good win. Fortunately gambling is not one of those things I like very much and I think it is because I have no control on the outcome. It's a good thing too because I'm sure I'd be a homeless mess once I started and my obsessive behavior kicked in! Congratulations to the winner - I think it's a hoot you won. The only thing I've won is getting selected in a jury lottery. Jeez!

For the past several days in particular but over the past couple of weeks in general I've been building a site. Yesterday I put it up on the internet although I'm not finished with it yet - there is a lot of editing and clean-up I need to do as well adding additional content. I've got to title the pages correctly, use the proper descriptions, and make sure I've got good key words and then use them. Wanna [sic] have a look? Try this link to OneSuperJuice.com . Yes boys and girls...I wrote the text by using research and things said on the corporate site but the coding was all mine. If you know how to look you'll notice it is simple.

Yesterday I took in another movie and it was a thriller from start to finish - it was called "Vantage Point." If you have not seen it I'm not going to tell you "you got to see it" as people have told me about movies they've. I will tell you I liked it and it sure as heck was not boring. The theme is very current so that added to the general feel of the movie. At least it is a lot more fun that watching the depressing news created by Obama!

If today is nice around mid-day I think I might go over to the beach to work on my base for the keys. I had two days last week but needed to give it a rest because I did get a bit touchy in spots. I like listen to Rush while sitting on the beach watching the beach goers walk up and down the shoreline. There are some good looking folks there but then again it should be illegal for some to be seen in public especially in a bathing suite. School is still in session so the kids aren't there yet but in a month that will all change and in a month I should be well on my way to a base for the Keys.

Posted at 06:21 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Working on Website

Sun 03 May 2009

The past few days I've been working on the new website from the time I get back from coffee until the end of the day. Once I get started on a project I tend to keep with it until I complete it. I've got several pages up but still have some other pages to build. At this point I'm seeking additional input from the owner of the site. It is also time to decide on a domain name so I can load the files to the site where editing can continue and the owner can check in to see what I'm doing. I'm pleased with the work I've done thus far.

This site was built from scratch although I saw another site that gave me the idea for the 'look'. I even coded the cascading style sheet as I went along - it may not be very neat but it does what I want. Yesterday I spent time editing my code so as to comply with W3C Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional requirements - I got it at 100% passing (I'm proud of myself). I should also confess I had about 80 coding 'errors' when I started. The page rendered fine across Internet Explorer and Firefox but it is nice to be perfect. When I meet with the owner I'm going to have fun in pointing out the corporate site has 36 errors in it! HaHaHaHa.

It was movie day for me as well - I watched two movies from start to finish. Not once did I check a news site - I wonder if there are any Americans left except us here in Vero after the country was engulfed with the pig flu. I know you need to be careful but give me a break - hasn't the media over reacted? My mind leads me to believe this attention is a Obama diversion so as to do things without folks knowing about it. Remember his chief of staff said something to the affect that you should always take advantage of a crises in order to do things you'd never get away with if folks were paying attention. I'm starting to get depressed so I'll drop the subject.

I've been keeping a daily log of my mood and feelings as well as the medication I'm taking. You see sometimes I stop the Adderall to see how I feel with the hope that when the Wellbutrin fully kicks in I won't need the Adderall - I can tell you I've got a ways to go. For me it's best to write down how I feel on each day rather than trying to remember when I meet with Dr. director again a week from Wednesday. Besides...you folks know how obsessive I can be.

John came by for a nice visit and to handle faxing his lease agreements for his place in Tallahassee with his buddy, David. He has what I perceive to be a decent deal and will be with his friends. I've not seen the place but the key thing is he likes it - I'm sure it will be fine. I'm very happy to see him transferring to FSU to get his 4 year degree.

I'm looking forward to Islamorada this Summer as is John. With the hope of having my meds adjusted properly this may be one of the best trips for me in several years. Tommy continues to get ready leaving nothing undone - he's got his boat being trucked down on Friday, July 10th. John and I will be there next week and all the 'boys' the week after that. Heck I might even go to the sandbar this year!

Posted at 07:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Busy Today

Sat 02 May 2009

You know what I've discovered that might be of interest you you boys and girls? It is not a good idea to place your mouth wash next to your rubbing alcohol in your bathroom and if you do, at least turn on the lights. I got a rather rude awaking when I started to put rubbing alcohol in my mouth ..Jeez! It is also a good idea to label things if you have several bottles of pills without a label and then read the damn label. I have bottles of this or that all coming from the same pharmacy in bottles the same size. Am I getting to that point when I need to distribute pills in one of those weekly pill boxes? Hell no, at least not yet. Or you could be like my Dad, just don't take pills.

I've noticed the days are getting longer - it is no longer dark when I get out of bed to shave each morning around 7:30. I've also noticed the light lasting longer into the evening which is not an issue with me. I just don't like the idea of going to bed when it is light then waking when it is light - reminds me of the Summer I spent about 3 weeks in Northern Norway when it was light about 16 - 18 hours a day! I loved Norway for lots of reasons but I'm not at all sure I could tolerate Winters then unless I was on the coast where the temperatures are moderated by the ocean. But you know what - all of Norway is on the coast!

An old friend of mine came to have coffee with me yesterday for the first time. I'm hoping he will regularly join me for coffee and discussion. For some, including me for most of my life, I did not have time to stop, relax, and drink coffee with friends as I do today. Some of you know whom I'm talking about but I will not mention his name now or in the future unless he gives me permission to do so. I'm confident you understand.

You know what I discovered yesterday? My computer's firewall was not allowing Microsoft to update my machine. I had to install 13 updates yesterday many of which were security related. Trouble is I can't find the setting in my firewall to permit access and downloads from the Microsoft site unless I first turn off my firewall long enough to download the updates. One of my tasks today is to get into the bowels of TrendMicro's OC-Cillan firewall to see what I can do. If it were Zone Alarm, of course I'd know what to do. I like these sort of little challenges. It is important to keep your Windows machine updated - you Mac users don't have this problem, huh Syp?

I've got a busy dad of coding ahead of me and I want to get right to it. More bloviating by me tomorrow. Oh, it is a drop dead beautiful day here where "The Tropics Begin".

Posted at 10:26 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Building a New Site

Fri 01 May 2009

Yesterday I met with the guy for whom I'm building a website. Of course I did my homework by checking out other related sites, the corporate site, and ran several Google searches. I could not find one site in the top 5 search pages when I 'Googled' the key words one would assume people looking for his type product would use. His site is going to have the proper META tags - many don't even have META tags - and will be built in a fashion that makes search engines happy. Over the past several months I've been working on TanzaniteAmerica.com with rather good results. I indeed know some of the tools needed to create a site with a high ranking on Google, Yahoo, or MSN - about 96% of all searches are done on those 3 search engine.

I did not follow the 'look' he said he wanted (although I did work on it) but rather put a site together that I believe will create the best e-commerce site for his product. There are more pages to produce but we've got a good start - I think he really liked my work. There is someone else he has working on a site for his wife's business but the things she suggested to him are totally wrong IMO. We are talking about someone who builds sites for a living so I was surprised about the things she suggested. When I left the appointment my sense was that I'll be the one to build his site and I left him with questions to ask about why she suggested what she did. Stay tuned.

The product to which I'm referring is Vemma and Verve - healthy juice like drinks with an energy kick. I gave one small bottle to John my own personal lab rat to test it for me. He said he liked it, got a good boost from it, and things it is a good product. I bought some for John and I to test together - yes I bought it, I didn't want to ask for gifts. I am very curious on how it will work so I'll drink some this weekend while I'm not taking Adderall. The guy surely is convinced that it's great stuff so I want to find out for myself.

I don't feel a year older today which is probably a good thing at my advanced age. What I'm looking forward to is the social security I will be eligible to receive starting a year from now - that is to say if Obama doesn't screw things up for me. I think I'm over the hump sort of speak but younger works will get screwed.

My meds seemed to work better for me yesterday than they did on my birthday.By this weekend I should have a better understanding of how things are working for me. I also plan to take an Adderall holiday on Saturday or Sunday or both. It's only after stopping the medication will I fully understand what it does for me when I do take it. I also thing I'm sleep deprived because of the Wellbutrin, not the Adderall. When I slowly catch up I'll do better I think - I'm working on that now. When I do wake up during the night - usually at least twice - I toss and turn trying to get back to sleep. But I have a secret weapon - I get in a hot tub of water for about 10 minutes and I've always dropped back to sleep in just a couple minutes once I get back to bed.

I learned the sleep enhancing activity when I had restless legs. But you don't need to have restless legs and it still works, at least for me. It feels good too - very relaxing. So if you have trouble falling asleep, try soaking in a tub of hot water for about 10 minutes then try to go to sleep. Of course a fifth of Crown Royal would work as well but it takes longer and is a lot more expensive. I'll stick with the tub treatment and this Summer you might find me in the whirlpool just before going to bed.

Posted at 05:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Obama Depresses Me

Thu 30 April 2009

I guess I need to express myself about Obama's 100 days in office yesterday. The damn thing is the media covered him and not me on my birthday - what the heck is up with that? Don't the media understand? Jeez!

Someone asked me yesterday why I hate Obama - the premise of their question was wrong. I do not "hate" Obama as so many left wing kooks hated Bush, I just hate his dangerous policies. I'm sure his friends and family like him for the nice man he appears to be. It is is fanatical push to impose his far left ideals on us citizens. Nationalizing the banks and automobile companies is not consistent with the values that built America in the first place. Opening our secrets to our enemies and then apologizing for it is just damn dumb. Going around to other countries to apologize for the evil United States is damn right un-American. He keeps on talking about "our values" - just what values does he mean in the first place? It is his values that are in question here, not the citizens of America!

Yesterday the Main Stream Media had an all day orgasm over Obama - it made me sick. I'd like to ask this very simple question - just what do you think Obama has done to our country in the past 100 days you think is so great? I'd also like you to explain to me why you think it's so great. Is it tripling the deficit? Is it giving away America's security secrets? Is it nationalizing some private industries? Is it apologizing for evil America? Is it sending Air Force One to buzz New York City for a f*cking photo costing tax payers over $300,000? Is it telling the unions they will no longer be audited? Is it his great ability to say what is on a teleprompter? Is it his "blame Bush" attitude on any and everything he thinks is bad? Is it his willingness to create the largest expansion in entitlement programs without debate? Is it the huge burden he's placing on your children and your children's children? Is it the cute dog he got for his kids? Is it his willingness to put people who don't have a clue or have a law-breaking past in his administration? Tell me, just what is it that makes you think Obama is great?! There may be an answer to this with which I agree - just give me the answer as you see it.

While editing some files on my server where BillsView.com is hosted, I found a lot of "comments" that were nothing more than links to pharmacies and the like. These are not dangerous in my opinion but they do take up space and once they get to a certain level they hinder my ability to edit my posts. So yesterday I deleted all the comments on my server - folks rarely look at old posts much less the comments on old posts. I could block the IP's from which they come but the IP's continue to change. So you can still make comments but don't get your feelings hurt if I delete them after a few weeks.

It was a beautiful day in Vero yesterday so for the second day in a row I went to the beach. There was a nice breeze blowing with a cloudless sky. For the next several days I'll not go back until I've given myself a break. Remember there are only about 75 days before it will be time to go down to paradise - I've got to be ready. John has been ready for months given his job as a lifeguard.

How do you like my hot new bathing suit I bought myself for my birthday? I also received a key lime pie hand delivered by TB and a WONDERFUL cake baked by my cousin, Alice - Yummy.

Posted at 05:42 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Hatch Day

Wed 29 April 2009

Today is the date I was hatch a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. As you can see by my picture, I've not changed much in the past 55 years or so - I'm not sure how old I was but I sure was cute, huh? Shut up! I can hear you asking now...you're saying "what the hell happened?" Well boys and girls life happened that's what. If you went through as many years of destructive behavior as I did, you'd be happy to look as hot as I still do! So there - put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Do you know what else happens or happened today? Adolph Hitler shot himself in the head on this date and today marks Obama's 100th day in office - I'm not trying to draw a comparison between the two men but both have done a great deal of damage to citizens of their country. Both men forced their personal beliefs on the population as a whole changing the lives of the common folk forever. On a much happier note, The Netherlands have a national holiday in my honor - it's also Queen's day there as well.

Today is special because I first blessed the people of planet earth 61 years ago today. But it is also special to me because I'm now just one year away from being able to apply for early old fart's retirement benefits and suck the lifeblood out of the poor soles contributing to my cause. Thank you very much to each and every one of you who's currently forced to contribute to the bankrupt program called Social Security. You may think that you too will benefit from the program but by the time you are old enough, you won't be old enough because the retirement age will have gone up. Besides, all of us baby-boomers will have used every penny you put into the system even the increased contribution requirements just over the horizon.

After almost two weeks I've come to the realization that 10mg of Adderall XR is probably not enough to significantly help with my fatigue/tired feeling although I will say the Wellbutrin has boosted my mood. The 10mg of XR is about the same as taking two 5mg tablets of IR (immediate release) twice a day only without the roller coaster affect. So I sent a FAX to my doctor to ask if I could try 2 - 10mg of the XR Adderall for a few days to see if that is better which I hope it will be. This morning was the first day of my new trial so it is too early in the day to tell what affect it will have.

Why didn't I just try it without asking? Because I want my doctor to be involved with my taking this stuff - he said "we" will decide what to do to help me. Of course I could do this without asking but I want to be able to illustrate to my doctor I can follow instructions especially as it relates to a schedule II controlled substance. Besides if it works better as I fully expect it will, I want to be able to report that on my next appointment without surprising my doctor.

Yesterday I went to the beach for the very first time this season. The wind was blowing so it was not as hot sitting there as it could have been. As is my practice, I spent just a hour there but will return for another hour soon - after all, I've got to get ready for Islamorada.

Before I go I'd like to suggest you check out my rant on Obama's first 100 days - click on the Political View link.

Posted at 06:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

John's Job at JI

Tue 28 April 2009

John came by for a visit after his last day at John's Island. He knew his job was "seasonal" so this was not unexpected except to say he thought the middle of may not the end of April would be his last day. The work at JI has been good for him, he's been paid well, and they've treated him well. As a going away gift they gave him the keys to a new 320i BMW - not! He left under good terms so the door is open for returning at some point in the future if the opportunity arrives. Heck, after college maybe he can become the chief finical officer (aka CFO) for John's Island,inc.

This week is finials week for John - it seems he has a test everyday. This will leave him with just two courses before admission to FSU which he'd like to take in the Summer session. There is a problem - these two course are sequential meaning the first one must be done before he can take the second one. If he can, he'd like to convince FSU to let him start the Fall session and take that course along with others then. Frankly I don't see any real reason why they should not accommodate him, do you? I really want him to go "off to college" to experience college life on a campus away from home.

For the last couple days I've been working on a website for the Verve guy - I started from scratch using notebook and writing all the code. I've developed an prototype of the "look" he wanted without respect to developing the CSS file for the page - it looks very basic. Trouble is I don't like it - it is not my "style" but I'm not the one for whom I'm doing it. So before we meet again, my plan is to write the code for the 'look' I like just to give him an alternative. There are many distributors around the country that have their own site but I doubt if he's looked at many. By the way, they are all very similar with little imagination but then again maybe that is what he wants to appear to be part of the Verve family? Maybe I'll see him again this week.

The news continues to be very depressing to me because of the permanent and ineradicable damage Obama is doing to our country. This goes beyond a difference is philosophy but rather permanent wreckage in our safety. What do you mean you ask? The Obama administration is trying to bring criminal charges against members of national security agencies like the FBI, CIA, and NSA. If you are a member of one of these agencies operating under the rules of an administration just how much risk would you take if you think the next administration will charge you criminally for doing your job just because they do not like what the previous administration has done!!! Obama is the first president ever in the history of our country to take political differences and criminalize them. Once it's done the first time, there is no going back......ever!

My only solution is to watch less of the news and then only the FOX News channel - the other networks are so in love with Obama they can't see the Forrest for the trees. They don't report the news as such but rather recall events thought their liberal filters. Oh wise one...how do you know this you ask? Well I've watch the CBS Evening opinion and NBC's World Opinion Tonight then later read accounts of the same stories resulting in a different understanding of events all together. It's really a shame that the next generation will not have things as good as did my generation. But when you are a "follower" and not a "supporter" you might just discover how bad things are after it is too late.

Posted at 05:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Random Thoughts

Mon 27 April 2009

Yesterday I had Jason come over to clean my gutters around my carport - frankly I was surprised at how much debris he collected out of the gutters. With the seasons now I'm not likely to get much additional collection of debris at least not until the Fall. Here I have plain old gutters while in Atlanta I had gutter guards and damn pleased I did.

Talking about gutters causes me to wonder just how the new owners of 900 are doing. My wish for them is that they enjoy the house as much as I did for 34 years.That house was fun for me and I'm glad I lived there. Frankly I was ready for a change so here I am in the Dolphin House with new everything. I've not had contact with the guys except for once when they did not know how to turn off the old alarm system when it went off one Sunday morning. I'm curious on how it went off in the first place? At this point I'm just happy to move on with my Vero house set up after utilizing all my experiences from 900. Many of you were just teenagers when first arriving at my Atlanta river lodge - remember ?

The gas smell with which I had a problem in my John's Island storeroom is all but gone. There is still a bit of lingering odor but for the most part it is gone. Covering the vents on the gas tanks for my blower and generator has solved the problem, A few more days of just opening the room up with the fan blowing air in should eliminate any lingering odors - I'm glad my mind finely figured out what was going on.

When I talked with son Syp in Holland he told me that Sjak is having a tough pregnancy like she did with Yari - I'm sure she'd like to download son #2 today if she could. Unfortunately for her she's going to have to go through this again until she pops out a girl - thus far Syp has only been able to make boys. I guess she'll wait a couple of years again like she did with Yari but that's a real bitch for Syp when he can only have "relations" with Sjak every 3 years! Oh well, these are the consequences of have such powerful swimmers!

I've discovered something rather interesting to me about my new meds. It seems they work better when I eat more protein but perhaps I'm just imaging that...I just don't know. There are clinical reasons to believe that is the case because eating does indeed release endorphins in your brain and proteins last longer than do carbohydrates in your system. So I'm going to do a test with breakfast as soon as I get t Publix - I'm going to buy bacon and eggs to have in the mornings instead of my usual routine of cereal, fruit, or oatmeal. You see I don't want to take any more meds than I am now so I'm going to use other techniques to produce a release of endorphins.

My personal theory - and you know I'm always right - is to do things to help me without more medications. That would include a protein rich diet, walking around for the first time in years, watch things that make me laugh or enjoy via files on my computer, and doing things I enjoy now that I'm getting back my energy and will to do so. What do you mean o' great one you ask? Well, going fishing was a positive thing, going on the air boat rid was positive, working to build websites is fun for me, etc. I think I can help myself by what I do - thinking I can help myself is very helpful as well. Are you getting this?

And finally this funny : The U.S. Navy has stated that the Navy Seals could have acted faster and rescued the Captain of the Maersk Alabama sooner, but had to wait until the White House could confirm that none of the pirates were related to Obama!

Posted at 06:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Tried to go Fishing

Sun 26 April 2009

Yesterday I went with Tommy, Matt, Flynn, and Charlie deep sea fishing out of the Ft.Pierce inlet. Unfortunately the seas were so rough with the wind blowing at 10 - 12 mph and forecasted to get over 20mph by late morning we decided perhaps another day would be better and safer - I agree with Tommy on this. TB has been going fishing for over 40 years having made hundreds or even thousands of trip and when he things we should come back I'm not going to second guess him. I've made hundreds of trips with some of them being risky or bad experiences. Of course the boys were disappointed having come from Atlanta but that's just how things were.

We did clear the inlet and headed out in seas that had to be 5' at times - improvement was not in the forecast. At 6:15am we left the dock and returned about 9:30 so we did have a nice ride in the river and a good time just yucking it up. The only thing that was caught yesterday was a buzz by late morning - no fish but plenty of beer. I'm just happy my meds put me in a frame of mine to want to go in the first place! Oh, I did manage to give myself a small but deep laceration on the base of my left thumb - it was bleeding pretty good.

After our return I came home, watched a little TV, and then took a morning nap around 10:30 having been up sine 4AM. How can you do that you ask with the meds? The dosages of Adderall are so low that it does not interfere with napping - what interferes more is the Wellbutrin. But when I'm tired I can sleep although I'm still getting used to the Wellbutrin. The thing I see is so important is the new meds keep me wanting to do things - like go fishing this morning. The feeling of "fatigue" has been significantly reduced but not entirely - I'll have to give Wellbutrin longer to work properly. Here I want to point out there is a world of difference from having fatigue verses being tired. Thee latter is what everyone gets after being up for a long time or working a lot. The former was with me almost all the time with out regard to sleep or doing things. I can fix tired with sleep - on the other hand sleep does not help the fatigue and sense of just being lethargic at all.

Captain Matt and the crew went to Sebastian for an afternoon of sun, fun, beers, and food but before he left he went out to his Mother's house to download and run the remote TeamViewer utility. Now he can help his mother and grandparents from Atlanta or I can help them from my desktop as well. This remote control utility is really cool - if you want to help someone miles away, you too can do it with TeamViewer - it's a free application for personal use. One caution...you should trust the person to whom you grant access to your computer because they may mess things up or play a trick on you. You boys and girls know how devilish I can be for fun but I've not done anything bad. You see I could send a file to your computer containing a Trojan which would grant me access to your machine without your permission! Bad boy.

Everyone on the boat today was fired up about going to paradise this Summer. It seems Captain Matt has a friend (imagine that) who has GPS numbers for a honey hole he is willing to give to Matt because he's not going this Summer. How great would it be to get the maximum number of bugs before noon based on all the lobster licenses? Yes I already have my fishing license with a bug stamp, do you?

Posted at 06:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Banking Issues

Sat 25 April 2009

I like my bank, Bank of America, and have no intentions of ever changing as long as they don't go belly-up because of Obama' medalling. I did have an issue yesterday that got resolved yesterday to my satisfaction. You see when I opened a safety deposit box in which to store my tanzanite, the BOA customer service rep suggested I needed a Florida checking account now that I live here. At that point I should have asked why but I did not so I got a Florida account which I was also told did not have monthly service fees and it didn't but only for the first year. I thought it would never have fees - wrong! I noticed my account getting lower because of the $20 monthly charge on an account I've never used.

So I went to the bank to close the account and ask for a credit for the service fees which I did indeed get. I turned in my never used in fact never opened box of checks but he could not refund the $49 to me - an outside vendor prints their checks. I was unhappy with myself for not asking why I needed a Florida account in the first place. But I was also unhappy with the rep that told me I needed one when I did not. I'm alright with the solution - next time, if there is a next time, I'll ask more questions.

Did I tell you that Georgia Tech Jeff's company was bought by the two senior partners and then they dismissed (aka. fired) their 4 junior partners including Jeff. That was about 2 weeks ago - the whole deal smells. Yesterday Jeff got an offer he is taking from a company that was considering buying all of Jeff's former company. He is like Syp in that he landed on his feet in just two weeks while we are in the midst of an economic Obama-lead meltdown. The good news is that one of our better lobster hunters will be down in the Keys this Summer for mini-season. Of course he'll bring Amy and Sammy the dog with him.

Of course I've not received my lease from Donna yet but neither has Tommy or Tom. We are not concerned because Donna always comes through for us. Besides, in this economy owners are happy to rent their apartments. These apartments were selling for $500,000 to $600,000 for a two bedroom about 3 years ago - now I've been told you can get a two bedroom under $200,000! The values have dropped but the owner's monthly fees have gone up along with the taxes. If you wanted a place there now would be a good time to buy. For me, I'm happy with leasing when I want to go down.

Here's a letter I should send to Obama - trouble is he doesn't give a damn:

Mr. President ,

Thank you for helping my neighbors with their mortgage payments. You know, the ones down the street who in the good times refinanced their house several times and bought SUV's, ATV's, RV's, a pool, a big screen TV, two Wave Runners and a Harley. But I was wondering, since I am paying my mortgage and theirs, could you arrange for me to borrow the Harley now and then?

Bill of Vero

P.S. They also need help with their credit cards . When do you want me to start making those payments?

P.P.S.. I almost forgot - they didn't file their income tax return this year. Should I go ahead and file for them or will you be appointing them to cabinet posts?

Posted at 04:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Amazing Danny MacAskill

Fri 24 April 2009

I want to start today's Blog with a link to something which appeared in my e-mail before 7 am yesterday morning. It inspired me and really set my mood for the day - very upbeat (the meds helped too I'm sure). Here's a young dude from Scotland that has done things with a bike I've never seen before. Oh sure, I've seen those BX competitions and videos of "street riders" but this guy, Danny MacAskill (age 23), is in a class all of his own - he is beyond fantastic, he is the gold standard in stunt cycling. Maybe you boys and girls have viewed things like this before but I have not. His video, Inspired Bicycles, clocked over a million hits in a 24 hour period - he should be one of the new YouTube stars. Have a look at Danny MacAskill's video it was certainly worth my time and you know how valuable and important my time is! BTW, the music called, "The Funeral" by 'Band of Horses' is my kind of music too. Here's an article about him too.

Yesterday I had more visitors than usual. Gloria Gibbons, Darby's younger sister, came over after my coffee meeting to request my help on her computer. She has a new ISP and needs her e-mail account to be set up which of course I know how to do. But my fat head got in the way because once I set up the account in Outlook, I did not go any farther which was my mistake (second time since 1972) because her new ISP, AT&T, does things differently. They do not use the same ports for sending and receiving as 99.9% of all other e-mail servers so I didn't bother to check that out. I did find their correct URL's for their POP3 servers which were a bit strange too - different than most mail servers. Unfortunately I did not discover this to after Gloria let when I did what I should have done in the first place, a search on the proper set-up for AT&T. Well now I know.

Then Starr came by when here brother dropped her off while he went to Ft. Pierce - Starr and Gloria who've known each other since forever had a good visit while I was running Gloria's anti-virus program for the first time sine she bought the machine in November. She got it installed properly, she just overlooked putting in her license key. My guess is this is a common error folks make when they buy the 'boxed' version of software instead of buying it online. We got rid of some infections, cleaned her temp files, but I initially failed on the Outlook set up.

I was to take Starr home but son John came to fetch her after class. They were headed to clean the carpets at her home then return the carpet cleaner. I want to visit a bit more with John once he has time about FSU and general things. It's scary to think but his little brother Alex will graduate from Vero Beach High School in about a month. Jeez! I think Alec is going to the regional state college but he first has to actually take some measures to get admitted - Alec is real laid back. Perhaps older brother John should light a fire under his butt - do you hear that John?

Then Wendy calls on Skype with some computer issues so I logged onto her computer from my computer to remotely control it why she watched and we talked on Skype - how cool is that? The main thing was to update and clean up her machines - there was not a big specific problem. If you have a Windows machine and have a problem, perhaps I can help from my elegant executive office here in Vero at the Dolphin House.

Warning to the good folks of Vero and surrounding area - Captain Matt will be here this evening along with his personal chef, Charlie. They are popping in just to fish tomorrow and perhaps part of Sunday but I doubt it. I've arranged perfect weather for their fishing on Saturday.

Posted at 05:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Active Wednesday

Thu 23 April 2009

Tom Brennan called to seek my help in replacing their Comcast HD box - because of his recent surgery it is difficult for him to contort his body in the fashion needed in order to complete this project. He'd have to bend down, stick half of his body in a cabinet, left some other equipment, and then repeat once he got the new box. For me that was not a problem and I'm very happy to have helped. What was amazing about the whole process was my interaction with the people at Comcast - it could not have gone any smoother than it did. Amazing...do you folks remember the nightmare I had with Comcast last summer in the Keys?

After several days of research I did in fact order the real Wellbutrin XL from Canada. It is this Canadian company, Biovail, that created it in the first place and then licensed the name from GlaxoSmithKline. If everything goes as expected, I should get a package before I go back to see my doctor in two weeks. I think I want to continue on this Wellbutrin for a few months to see what happens.

My "Archives" are getting close to a year old so I'm thinking about archiving my "Archives" leaving only those months of this year. Why does it make a difference you ask? There are certain things I do when I logon to my BillsView control panel for posting and editing that takes longer the more archives I have available. The issue is I can edit any of my archives which means they all have to load when I logon. The truth is I don't think you folks look at anything back more than a week old and I don't edit anything back more than a week - so why have them there? Of course I'll keep them in a zip file on a portable flash drive for back-up to the online storage I use. In fact everything on my site is backed-up, packed in a zipped file, and put on two different external hard drives.

Yesterday a guy who I knew in High School dropped by just to visit. That was nice although I must admit we've all changed over the past 43 years. I'm still hot of course but some are not as fortunate. We were talking about a classmate, the name I shall not post, that has spent the last 40 years in the sun and now looks like a very over done piece of bacon. Of course my generation never heard of skin cancer - we used to put baby oil with iodine on our bodies to magnify the sun. If I only knew then what I know now things would have been different - I would have put on cream to block a lot of the sun's aging affects.

My good friend Charlie referred me to someone who wants a website - I met with Ray yesterday afternoon. First thing I have to say is he sure is enthusiastic about the product for which he wishes to have his own site. The company manufacturing the product has a very well design site to which he and other vendors have access. I came away with the understanding he wants a 'portal' into the company's site where he has his own editable pages created by the company. I must say they've done an excellent job. I think I can help him but first I want to learn more and see what's already out there.

I know. I know. You want to know what product I'm talking about, don't you?. Well here's a link to the home page of Vemma an nutrition/energy drink. I'll let you visit the site to learn more and as soon as I taste the sample Ray gave me I'll report back. Stay tuned!

Captain Matt Alert...I understand Captain Matt and first mate & chef Charlie are coming in town Friday to terrorize the good folks of Vero and try to catch some poor unsuspecting sweet fishes on Saturday. Details to follow.

Posted at 05:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Mercedes Dealership

Wed 22 April 2009

First thing yesterday I drove to Ft.Pierce to have my car serviced - the Mercedes dealership is very nice but then I guess you should expect that. They had a customer service lounge with comfortable chairs, a TV (unfortunately tuned CNN), coffee, goodies to eat, magazines, and a WiFi connection. Yes I had the presence of mind to bring my lab top and I'm very glad I did. You see when I logged onto their WiFi the first page that comes up is the Mercedes dealership page. So I looked around the page and found a 20% off coupon for the service I was having done. Shazam - I took my laptop up to the service guy, showed him the coupon, and he knocked 20% the service cost.Cool!

As the guy checked my car he found a minor oil leak on top of my engine around some cover. It was not bad but I know leaks never get better - they only get worse so I had the seals replaced. I also found my charcoal air conditioning filters were dirty so those filters got replaced as well.What I like about this place is they took me out into their spotlessly clean shop to show me everything before it was done - I could clearly see what was going on.

I like this place very much and I will come back. But as is almost always the case when you have your car service, they find other issues as I mentioned above. This time the BIG issue was the $335 to change out the seals - the seals were $68, the rest was 2 hours of labor charge. I also had my break fluid and filters replace for another $125. The guy said I could wait but my Mercedes experience is to fix things before they go totally bad. The grand total was over $750 but with the way I drive that should keep me good to go until next year. While I was driving back to Vero my car seemed to be better...whatever the hell that means! Maybe I just want it to be better after $750, huh?

I've been having a stuffy nose for quite some time now - some days are worse than others. I think it is that 4-legged hair factory I live with named Sally Cat that is the source of the problem. I mentioned it to my doctor during my annual exam - he said 95% of all people are allergic to cat dander at some level.I've been using nose spray that works but he told me to stop - it's addictive of course! When TB was over - here's a guy that was born with a stuffy nose - he told me that with the allergy shots and prescription nose spray the thing that works best for him is to wash his nasal cavity out by using a water pick set on low and a saline solution ie. salt and water. So I tried that and the day I did my nose was more stopped up then ever...but the next few days were the best days ever. Today I'm going to try it again - report to follow.

Yesterday was hot here in Vero while I was doing all my running around. But it is late April and this is Florida - what should I expect?!

Posted at 03:33 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Service Today

Tue 21 April 2009

In a few minutes I'm headed to the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Ft. Pierce to have my car serviced. It is not a 'major' service but one I should do if I intend on keeping my car in good shape. They will rotate the tires, change the oil and filters, lube everything, and most importantly perhaps is hook my car up to the Mercedes testing machine to check it's health - kind of like a physical. Hopefully this will be done in less than two hours.

I'll miss having coffee this morning but I wanted to be the first person in line when they open at 8 AM. I do have an appointment for that time as well. Yesterday's coffee meeting was one of those exceptional ones - most are rather "normal" but not yesterday. I sure am glad I was present to participate. You know I may only need to GOP for coffee once a week but I'm not sure which day would be best for me so I go every weekday and sometimes on the weekends. I'm not going to tell you what went on but it was good.

My friend Charlie - as in CleanHouseVero.com Charlie - has a friend who's created a package containing 15 anti-bacterial soap tablets. When you want a tablet you simply push one out through the aluminum wrapping like you would medicine or chewing gum. The question is how do you market this product that by the way has a patient? I think the very best test marketing you could do is point-of-sale in a checkout line at a 7-11, Home Depot, K-mart, car wash, etc. Put a box of twenty out with a very nice eye-catching graphics on the box. I've also thought about people who may want to wash their hands but are without soap...construction workers or farmers for example. People with ready access to water but no access to soap - that's why these soap-less, water-less lotions have been marketed. You have any thoughts?

Yesterday I was trying to decide if the Canadian company Biovail made their Wellbutrin XL up to the GlaxoSmithKline standards - well I got my answer. I spent hours doing research on the internet and kept on finding things that suggested Biovail might actually have created Wellbutrin XL in the first place. I found this, "Specialty pharmaceutical firm Biovail concentrates on making improved versions of existing drugs using its oral drug delivery technologies, such as extended release and oral disintegration formulations." and this, " Biovail developed the formulation for Wellbutrin XL(R) and, in October 2001, entered into a distribution-and-supply agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for the United States and the rest of the world,excluding Canada". But this was the final confirmation, "Biovail developed Wellbutrin XL(R) and licensed the product's worldwide (excluding Canada) sales and distribution rights to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in October 2001. Under the terms of the agreement, Biovail manufactures and supplies all of GSK's trade and sample supply requirements."

What I've discovered is Biovail created the product in the first place and makes it for GlaxoSmithKline. So I walked into my bathroom, looked on my Wellbutrin bottle, and found it said, "manufactured by Biovail of Canada! DUH! I should have looked there in the first place. So what does this mean? It means I can order Wellbutrin XL from Canada at 1/5th the cost of the same product at Publix. I can save $2500/year with pills costing $1.71 each instead of $8.85 each. Jeez! Are any of you taking expensive drugs and paying for it yourself like I am? Consider Canada.

Posted at 05:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

My New Meds

Mon 20 April 2009

It's Spring so I decided now was the time I should cut back all my tall Thai plants. These add color to my landscaping but over the past year they've gotten way too tall and the lower leaves have turned brown. We tested what would happen if we cut them back and as expected, they grew new colorful heads. I did ask James to leave only about 15" out of the ground so we'll see how that works. While he was here on Friday, James also trimmed the other bushes as well. With the 'growing season' upon us and my plants firmly established I think trimming will have to become more regular.

I continue to get compliments from random folks as they go by - I did a great job on the design. I can hear you questioning me! Yes boys and girls, I did the design but Walter installed the plants. Walter also suggested some plants from which to choose of course because I'd forgotten the growth pattern of some. Nonetheless it was my great design talent that has the yard looking so good - Walter did install everything very well. The "jungle" area around my John's Island storeroom is really filling in and in deed is jungle-like. I'm most pleased at this point.

If you like pictures of animals set to music, I've uploaded a power point file to my sever for you to download and view. It is simply named animals.pps and you can get it here . You will need a power point player or program to view the slide show while listening to the music - it will not auto play unless you have power point. The presentation is pleasant but I'm not one to send things like this around by e-mail which is how I got it in the first place. It's 3.6mb in size.

Last night I discovered 4 lights burned out in my landscape lighting circuit. There was one up front by the door and then all 3 on a single circuit which runs to the West of my driveway and behind my storeroom. When all lights on one circuit go out at the same time, I smell a rat. Maybe there was an overload on the system or maybe some critter ate through the wires. When I get back from coffee this morning I'll replace them all and see what happens.

I've been doing some extensive research about my new drugs which has lead me to the conclusion that the name brands and not generics is what I should take for the best results. I can order from Drugstore.com and save about 20% over the local costs but you've got to jump through a lot more hoops especially with the Adderall. The one thing I'm not sure of is the comparison of the brand name Wellbutrin as manufactured bb GlaxoSmithKline verses Biovail of Canada which has a licensing agreement with GSK. It would seem to me that the original manufacturer, GSK, would insist the drug be made the same way if it carries the name brand, wouldn't you agree? Well the Canadian Wellbutrin is a lot less expensive than the GlaxoSmithKline version - it is not considered a 'generic' but the real thing. I'll talk to my Doc to see what his understanding is because I could save $2000 a year in prescription costs.

The next issue is Adderall which once again I want the extended release real thing at least that's what I'm thinking now. Funny but the website Drugstore.com sells 20 - 10mg capsules for the same price as 20 - 30mg capsules. Now comes the issue of splitting the little beads inside the capsules into 3 equal parts which I clearly can do. The drawback is the coating on the little beads are different to cause the drug to be absorbed differently so as to have an extended release affect. My research suggests that I can split them up with the likelihood of getting an even distribution - I'll see what Doc has to say about that.

I'm a mess aren't I?

Posted at 06:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday Syp

Sun 19 April 2009

My first day with my new meds regiment was good - I had one of my headache days but it was not any different than the headache days I've had in the past. Of course I'm not sure yet but I don't think the new 300mg Wellbutrin had anything to do with it. And you know what - I did not take an Adderall because I didn't feel the need to do so. Dr. director told me to take Adderall "only as needed" and yesterday was not one of those days. Now did the increase in Wellbutrin help, was it the knowledge I have the pills, or was it just one of my better days? I think it is way too soon to say it was the Wellbutrin so I'm thinking it was just a good day for me like last Thursday.

I will have to say one thing for sure - just knowing I have help coming from Dr. Director is a positive thing in my life. It voids those feelings of not having a solution which in turn can in itself cause one to feel down, depressed, or fatigued. Don't get me wrong, my issues are real but we're also talking about the complicated human brain and not a physical ailment like diabetes. Visual images, events, or thoughts can change your mood where as external influences can't change most physical ailments. Time will tell.

There were a heck of a lot of people participating in the annual Hibiscus Festival yesterday. Music, food, exhibits, craft vendors, you name it and you could find it there. This was not a fair so there weren't rides but nonetheless it had a very festive feeling to it. Maybe that in itself helped me have a better day, you think? It did cloud up but that meant it was not has hot as it could have been. Cars will parked on every street in my neighborhood. I sure like the fact I live so close to these sort of things.

Yesterday was Syp's birthday - he's now 37 with a job, a spouse , a kid, another kid on the way, a mortgage, a car, etc. He finds himself living a somewhat "normal" life although years ago I was not sure what he was going to do - he could have moved to Jamaica and become a black man. Syp does have a great blessing other than his family - he has always looked younger than he actually is. When he was young, he saw that as a problem but now it is an asset. I'm blessed too...I don't look a day over 76!

It is amazing to me that Syp first found me by a pool in Kenya while on Safari when he was just a teenager of about 14 or 15. It seems almost like only a few weeks ago and not over 20 years ago! And you know what? Before he has time to think Yari is going to be wanting the keys to the car so he can go out and about with his friends. People have often told me time seems to go by quickly and I never used to believe it but I do now.

My cousin Alice along with Boyd came by yesterday on there way to the festival. I have one of the best parking places in town for festivals - my carport. Alice is the person who bakes cakes for me so I'm more than pleased to have them park here. BTW, they of course could park here without the baked goodies anyway but I sure do like the things she makes. I think they are so good that it would make sense to contract a bakery to produce her specialties in mass then sell them at places like local festivals, the Friday downtown market, and the internet.

Here's a picture of Sjak's two boys - I like this one.

Posted at 08:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Great Results

Sat 18 April 2009

Yesterday I went for my annual physical and frankly it could not have been much better. In fact, my doctor started our meeting by saying he could sum up my lab results with one word - that word was "perfect". All the readings where with in the norms and the ratios of of cholesterol were great as he put it although I know my ratios have been even better in the past. My blood pressure was 108/64 and for an old fart you can't get much better than that. This time he took an EKG which once again did not indicate any abnormalities. The only problem I seem to have other than being whacked is my issue with fatigue and lack of interest in doing thigs.

He did double my prescription for Wellbutrin from 150mg/day to 300 mg/day which is the "normal" amount prescribed according to the data I've researched on the internet. Knowing that Wellbutrin is a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor I suggested that adding something that would actual stimulate the release of dopamine with the increase in Wellbutrin might be just what I need. He then said the magic words - I should probably see a Psychiatrist which is exactly what I was going to do in a few hours.

When I arrived at Dr. director's office yesterday afternoon the receptionist could not find my appointment - just damn! But then there was a cancellation so I got to get in to see the doctor right away without a wait. I like this guy and I think he's going to be helpful to my issues. We talked a good bit so that he could find out more about me of course. He said there are several ways to treat depression depending on the cause but with me, the cause seems to be a chemical imbalance and not resulting from external forces. I agree.

The appointment went great resulting in me felling better already. He wanted to increase my Wellbutrin to 300 mg of the XL version but wanted me to take the 'name brand' instead of the generic version I've been taking at the 150mg level. He said it does make a difference in some patients so I'm willing to try anything. He also said to stop taking the Cymbalta thinking that the Wellbutrin is all I need. You know, I think I agree with his assessment and look forward to trying the new protocol. He also thought that a low dosage of Adderall will help until we see how the Wellbutrin works out for me. I'm very optimistic about this path he wants me to follow - I return to see him again in 3 weeks. I finally think I'm going to get relief from these meds - time will tell. The only bad thing is the $475 monthly cost for the two meds. Jeez!

Did you notice the roller coaster picture I posted on Wednesday is back? I sent an e-mail to the PhotoBucket site asking why they took it down in the first place. I didn't get a response but the picture was unblocked when I checked yesterday. I can't imagine what they were thinking to block it in the first place - I can only assume it was some sort of error. In the past, the only think that has been blocked is something that they thought was copyrighted but I'm not even sure about that. Oh, well.

Today there is a big Hibiscus Festival in downtown Vero with all the usual trimmings. There will be music to include vocal harmony, classical, jazz, folk, rock and blues., with food, drink, and displays, etc - I'll likely wander around for awhile to see what it is all about. It's nice to live so close to all downtown activities and restaurants I just wish there was a Publix right down town then I'd use my car even less than I do already. This is a big event I think so there should be lots of festival attendees - I'll know by the cars parked all around my hood. It will begin around 9am then last throughout the day - I hope the weather stays as beautiful as it is now.

Posted at 08:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Doctors Appointments Today

Fri 17 April 2009

The national Tea Parties were an overwhelming success by any measure except of course the Main Stream Media. The New York Times put a riot in Iran on the front page but nothing about the unrest among the citizens in our country who, like me, are fed up with out-of-control spending in Washington and the nationalization of private industries like the banks and auto manufacturers. Even here in Vero there were over 3,500 people (see image)to show up at noon yesterday to support this national movement. ( story here ). I'm upbeat about the uprising of regular citizens who want to take our government back from the out of touch politicians in Washington. Of course time will tell what will become of this movement but for now, things are looking brighter.

For reasons I can not explain the website where I host all my images, PhotoBucket, took down my image of the roller coaster from Wednesday. They say I violated the terms of use but for the life of me I don't know why. It was not a vulgar image nor was it a copyright infringement to the best of my knowledge. So I e-mailed the site to ask what was going on because it is not my wish to violate the TOU agreement.

This is the day I've been waiting for - I go for my annual physical this morning and then meet with Dr. Director for the first time this afternoon. This morning I'll get the results of my lab work from last week along with the 'physical' part of my annual physical - I don't expect anything out of the ordinary but that's why I do these things in the first place. I'll bring my doctor up to date on how I'm doing which I believe will lead to a higher dosage of Wellbutrin. This afternoon will be different - I don't know what to expect. Reports to follow.

Every once and awhile I discover something that just gives me goose-bumps all over my hot body (that would be chicken skin for you Dutchies). I say a performance on YouTube from a British talent show that was extraordinary. When this woman walked out on stage she was judged as been rather plain but once she opened her mouth to sing I felt chills running up and down my spine. Judge for youself

You couldn't have asked for a nicer day then the day we had in Vero yesterday. Not a cloud in the sky, a very gentle breeze, low humidity, and very mild - hot hot at all - temperatures. If it were like this year around I'd be happy as a clam. BTW, do you know where the expression "happy as a clam" came from in the first place? It's because a clam always looks like it's smiling - that is not as Captain Matt would say a Billyism, that's for real.

For reasons I can not begin to explain, yesterday was one of the better days I've had in a long time. Maybe the beautiful day had something to do with it but other than that I've not done anything different. It could also be that after 3 weeks of Wellbutrin, the meds are stating to kick in. Studies having shown that in some patients the effectiveness of Wellbutrin takes several weeks to manifest itself - gosh I hope that is what is happening to me now!!

Posted at 05:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Pressure Washing

Thu 16 April 2009

Yesterday I watched a lot of FOX News as they reported on Tea Parties around the country. This is the first time in a long time that I can remember such a grass roots effort spontaneously erupting around the country by "normal" tax-paying citizens. When you see rallies, they are usually sponsored and paid for by groups like ACORN or MoveOn.org. I bet the main stream media will discount the efforts as being just a bunch of right wing extremist but in fact these events are attended by members of both parties. It will be interesting to see what recognition these events have on a national bases.

One of the good things about high speed internet is that I can listen to the Neal Boortz show streaming live from Atlanta. The only bad thing is that I need to be close to my computer to listen. When is someone going to invent a wireless internet device that that play streaming audio anywhere in your home? It would not be hard to make such a device but I'm guessing there would not be much demand for such a piece of hardware. See what happens when my mind just wanders.

Yesterday I had my roof cleaned after having just put it up about 18 months ago. It had mildew-looking dark areas that simply needed to be cleaned. Although my friend Charlie of Clean House fame offered to do it for free I elected to try to help Jason by hiring his boss to do the job. I'm sure Charlie would do a great job but frankly I don't feel that he owes me anything - I think he likes his website and wants to do something for me. I'm pleased to have him as a trusted friend and that's good enough for me. Oops, I forgot to mention the canisters of chocolate covered pretzels and Carmel popcorn he gives me - this stuff is great.

This week has not been good for me from the standpoint of fatigue. I've not felt like leaving the house because the thought of doing so is overwhelming to me. I want to go places and do things but I've not got the energy. In the past two days I've taken at least two naps during the day. I hope that tomorrow I'll get some help from the doctor appointments - I'm very pleased I've got two appointments tomorrow. There is a solution but I've just not discovered it yet.

Tommy came by yesterday to chat and report on the Vero Beach Tea Party - he said he was very surprised at just how many people where there. I would have liked to have gone but I was taking one of my needed naps during the time it was being held. Of course we talked about the trip to the Keys this Summer and he mentioned Tom & Mary Ann are likely to go as well. Good!

Today's picture was taken yesterday while the pressuring washing dude was on the North side of my house.

Posted at 06:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Tea Party Day

Wed 15 April 2009

If you are like me, you get a lot of stuff sent to you via e-mail. Most of it is of little interest to me but yesterday I got a picture of a "roller coaster" in Ohio I think - the darn thing looks like it would kill people from a heart attach so I decide to post a picture. It has a vertical drop like none I've ever seen before and the rails twist on the way down - can you imagine? Also can you imagine the insurance premium for the operators of this machine which is the real scream machine? Jeez!

Have you ever checked your credit report? I've been checking mine on an annual bases for over 15 years now just to see what's on my report, who's been looking at my report, and to check for errors. The report is free and you can get all three credit services by going to FreeCreditReport.com - it is really free with no strings attached. At that website you don't have to take some sort of trial offer to get the reports. With identity theft such a big thing these days it would not hurt to look there. I also have a modestly price service that "watches" my credit accounts for me incase of an identity theft effort then stops it. It is call Debix - click here and is only $24/year. You may not be as powerful and influential as I am but nonetheless the bad guys may be after you anyway. If you want the service, use promotion code FFGF72T9AS to get 15 months for the price of one year - wow what a deal, huh?

It's tax filing day for those US citizens that have not filed their return as yet. I managed to get my returned filed about a week ago but there were many years when I needed an extension for 90 days. If you seek a filing extension it will be automatically granted but your tax liability will not be extended - it is due tomorrow. It would be almost impossible not to know about the nation wide "tea party" that will take place around the country today as a protest to out-of-control Government spending and the huge debit it is creating. This is not a Democrat or Republican protest, it is an American protest against all elected officials that have facilitated this spending drunkfest.

In case you boys and girls don't remember, I was very unhappy with the damn elected Republicans spending out of control during the Bush Administration and President Bush went along with it - what a disgrace to conservative values. Then along comes the spending kings in Obama, Reid, and Pelosi followed by the Democrat party elected representatives - thankfully all of the Republicans have voted against the spending but I ask, where were they when they were in charge? I'm hoping these "tea parties" will grow into a big movement in America so leveled minded people can take our government back in the elections next year. It's a long way off but I'm optimistic that there will be a congressional shake-up in the 2010 elections. BTW, there is a tea party here in Vero tomorrow - it will be at high noon at the Administration building just about 6 blocks from my house - I plan to walk over to see what goes on. Here's a link to the IndianRiverTeaParty.com site.

The ultimate result of these Hugh deficits created by the politicians is that the cruelest tax off all is just around the corner - that is inflation where everything goes up requiring everyone to pay more for the products and services they get. Mark my words.

Posted at 05:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Pirate Bay

Tue 14 April 2009

I've called Donna Bible again about getting my usual apartment beginning at my usual time. John very much wants to go down to join in the festivities surrounding the annual trip to Islamorada and this year he's really legal! I continue to be optimistic about my meds so I'll have the energy and desire to participate as much as possible which by the way probably will not include hours of consuming adult beverages on the sandbar. I'm also scheduled for pool duty as usual so it's looking good for you participants to have the unbridled joy associated with being in my presence.

My landscaping has become mature in just one year - all the plants have grown filling in the areas where there used to be just sand or weeds. In fact my Thai plants have grown tall so I think I'll ask James to cut them back within about 18" of the ground so they can grow all over again. My other plants are kept trimmed so there's not a need to cut them back. Amazingly I've not had any landscape lights burn out in several weeks now. The newer quality GE bulbs along with fewer hours of on time I think has made the difference. The still go off at the same time around 10:30 but now they don't come on until after 8 instead of 5:30 as they do in the Winter.

How many of you have used a file-sharing application like BitTorrent? If you're familiar with the system it might interest you to know that one of the most popular sites, The Pirate Bay, has been charged with copy right violations. I've been following the Swedish trial because I've visited the site where I first found out about the suit. This is the first major international test of file sharing sites and yesterday's WSJ had an article of interest about the ruling coming on Friday. BTW, I'm not sure you'll be able to go to the link - you may need to be an online subscriber like me.

My little what car is telling me it needs to be serviced - this is the first time it has told me it needs routine service. I had some things fixed on it in Atlanta before I came to Vero but since being here the only thing I've done is oil changes and that new rim I bought a few months back. My experience has been that if I service my MB then it will last and last so my tendency is to do the same again. The problem as I see it is the closet dealership is in Ft. Pierce which is tolerable I guess. They will put a computer on my car to check things , change my oil, rotate my tires, and lube this and that. I probably ought to do this sooner as opposed to later or else I'll obsess about it.

TB dropped by yesterday afternoon with yet another meals-on-wheels delivery from chef Kathryn. It is some kind of casserole but Tommy didn't tell me what kind. No matter, it will be delicious I'm sure as they always are when they come from Kathryn's kitchen. My plans are to bake the dish today and dine on it tonight.

Have you filed your tax return yet? In case you're not paying attention, they need to be filed by Wednesday night. Those of you in Georgia now have the wonderful opportunity to pay Georgia Income tax which can be higher than your federal tax. Don't you just love the way Government spends your money for you - they do a much better job than you can do yourself.

Posted at 05:26 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

John in Snow

Mon 13 April 2009

Easter in Vero was very pleasant - it was warm and mostly sunny. The Baptist church across the street from me seemed to have a record crowd based on all the cars I found in my hood. I spent most of the day watching various things on TV including episodes of Breaking Bad shown Sunday night at 10 PM on the AMC network. It comes on way past my bedtime but with Comcast cable I can watch some selected TV series at will using their "on demand" feature - it's actually rather cool.

My cousin Alice declared she is about ready to retire - she can retire anytime she wants to with over 30 years working for the Vero Beach Police Department. She works in "records" which means she knows about everybody in Vero who has a police record particularly if they are "known" in the community. She's been rather tight-lipped about it over the years but when I've had an occasion to legitimately find something out she has been most helpful were could. Alice is also my house watcher when I go out of town to the keys and is the person officially on my call list along with Tommy. But of course Tommy is in the Keys with me which he always is, calling him would not help much.

Thinking about my "to call" list there really isn't much reason to have such a list. I live in a populated neighborhood so if there was a fire or loud noise my neighbors would know. I'm also rarely gone from the house more that a few hours at a time so the person to call would be me except I don't have a cell phone. About the only time I engage my alarm system is when I go to the Keys - it is a monitored system such that a central monitoring center would get an alert in case of a break-in, fire, or even smoke. But you know what I've learned over the years with my system in Atlanta - it's good to have but monitoring is really not needing all that much. As long as I had an armed system that made a lot of noise the need for calling a monitoring center is minimal.

Here at the Dolphin House I can arm my system for break-ins but there are other things I do as well. Like in Atlanta, if someone comes into my carport at night 6 - 150 watt bulbs come on - that normally scares people away. If they get into my house through the back door or front door I have motion detectors that make this horrible loud siren-like noise that will not go off until it's un-armed - these detectors are in addition to my house's system. Even if the power goes off, all the systems have battery back-ups. In any event, I always alarm my system if I'm gone for more than 12 hours.

Jason came over all sad and depressed because his grandmother is in the hospital and is not expected to live. He was raised in part by this grandmother so it is hitting him really hard. She's not dead yet but based on what he's told me I'm giving here only a few weeks if that. I did my best to comfort him but sometimes words don't seem to help.

John stopped by last night after work for his Sunday visit and to tell me about his trip to Murphy, North Carolina for the past week. He, and his GF along with a another couple made the 10 hour trip to play in the mountains. I could clearly tell he had a great time hiking, swimming, and even playing in a bit of snow. It seems the area had a late season snowfall which was really special for the two who had never seen snow. Now he's back with a full plate of work and school ahead of him along with taking the steps to transfer to FSU in the Fall.

Notice what a difference a day can make in North Carolina this time of year! The pictures were taken about 36 hours apart.

Posted at 06:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Happy Easter

Sun 12 April 2009

Saterday I was totally engery-less...I didn't even leave my glorious master suite except to visit the water closet until mid afternoon. On Saturday mornings starting at 9 o'clock I get to watch Monk, Psych, and The Closer in that order which I did then followed that with a two hour movie. Unfortunately I learned some very distressing news while watch Monk - it seems that no new Monk episodes will be produced after this Summer's season! How can that be? It is a top rated show which wins awards every year. They are called this Summer's season, "The Final Season" - why is that? Damn! I can identify with the character Monk.

As I said, I really felt fatigued yesterday which was a particularly bad day - some days are worse then others. My glimmer of hope is that at the end of the week I'm meeting with professionals that can help me - whether they will or not is another question. I've continued my research on meds and talked to people using some of the meds I want to discuss. The 17th is what I hope will be a magical day for me - it is also the day I think Tom and Mary Ann will be coming down to Vero.

Ty dropped by to bring me a wonderful seafood stew created by chef Kathryn - remember I said yesterday I didn't want to bit the hand that feeds me and that would be Kathryn. She is a great chef so I'm pleased with anything she sends my way. While here, Ty and I talked about the Keys this Summer - it is very plain to me that all the Barnes-Brennan boys are very much looking for to spending at least the week of mini-season which will include part of the week before. I'm thinking about going down around the middle of the month and staying through mini-season. What happens after Friday's doctor visits will have an influence on my final decision but at at this point I'm optimistic.

My copy of the Georgia Tech Alumni magazine arrived announcing the new President of Georgia Tech, George Peterson who is only the 11th president in the entire history of Georgia Tech. I also read that on the last shuttle mission into space 3 of the crew members (7 people) were Georgia Tech graduates! This is not the first time the crew of the space shuttle has had one or more astronauts that are graduates of the North Avenue Trade School, aka Georgia Tech. But I'm not surprised that there are other outstanding graduates of Georgia Tech other than me. You're may think this is a little "out there" but all the graduates of the school have a bond very rarely found in other schools. Graduates of other colleges only have the school's win - loss record in football, basketball, or baseball to bond them together. Clearly Tech's win - loss record in football over the years is not the glue keeping us together. It also appears your chances of being an astronut are greatly improved if you go to Georgia Tech and graduate of course.

This reminds me of just how bad and how long my depression/fatigue condition has been going on. The year before I left Atlanta I was invited to go onto the football field (Grant Field) during halftime to be introduced as one of the very small group of Alumni that drove the Ramblin Wreck while a student. Of course I deserve the recognition as you all surely know but I did not have the will or energy to go. I would have been the oldest alumni there who had the honor - much deserved I must admit - to drive the school mascot car and the only kid to drive it for two years in a row! Ah...those were the good old days - college was a great experience in my life and has remained so even now.

Hope you folks have a joyful Easter day - I'm feeling rather good today.

Posted at 07:21 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Sat 11 April 2009

Easter weekend is upon us already - this year seems to be going by very quickly. When you get older each year that passes represents a smaller and smaller percentage of all the years you've live - got that boys and girls? When you are Yari's age a year is a 33% of your whole life. When you are an old fart like me, a year is only 1.6% of the time I've lived...Jeez I'm getting old. Getting old for the moment is a lot better than the alternative.

When Spy was here we would sit out on my driveway after dinner so he could have a whiskey and I could have ice cream. We noticed the lamp across the street seemed to go off and on at random turning into somewhat of a novel for us. I'm watching the lamp even today and it still goes off and on at random. You know how I can get addicted to things - I hope watch this lamp does not turn into a necessary nightly routine as has ice cream and chocolate!

The switch to Wellbutrin has been a positive thing thus far - it is much better than a double dose of Cymbalta. When I meet with my doctor next week for my physical, I think I might suggest we try doubling the Wellbutrin and keeping the Cymbalta the same. Plus I want to talk to him about meds to fight my feeling of being tired. It is my hope that we can find the combination of anti-depressants that will do the trick but until that happens I'd like something else. Frankly I'm not at all optimistic he'll prescribe anything for me.

When I check my e-mail I found a group picture taking at Tommy's surprise birthday party. Tommy is the guy in the white shirt sitting in the chair - duh! We were having a great time when someone suggested we get a group picture taking before the food and additional adult beverages arrived - that was a good plan. I'm the hot looking guy in a blue polo right over Tommy's right shoulder just in case you could not find me. I bent down so as not to draw too much attention to myself - that would have been rude at TB's party. TB's loving spouse gave the party and is sitting next to him but she has requested not to be put on my World Famous site - she things some folks might think it to be unprofessional. She sends meals-on-wheels over to me so I'm not about to 'bit the hand that feeds me' - literally.

This will not surprise those of you who know TB well but he has already started to get ready and obsess about the trip to the Keys this Summer. While visiting me this week he announced it probably be a good idea to have all the scuba gear serviced before the trip. Actually servicing the tanks & regulators is not a bad idea but it seems to me he did that last year too. You know TB...always put safety first. Of course he's already hired the dude who will trailer the Cracker to Islamorada on Friday, July 10th which is the day he too plans to go down.

Yes I'm likely to go down too although I've not signed a lease just yet - I have , however, talked to Donna Bible with the anticipation of going. John has confirmed he will go for two weeks but he won't be able to stay longer because of all the things he has on his plate to go to FSU in the Fall. And he has to work as much as he can this Summer between trips and the classes he'll take to complete his Associate degree at Indian River State College. I just want my meds to be working so I'll want to do things.

Posted at 08:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

New Toy

Fri 10 April 2009

You know me...I'm all the time piddling around with computer devices. You probably also know that I buy stuff online a good bit. Almost always I can use either PayPal or one of my credit cards but on occasion a vendor might not have accounts set-up or for other reasons especially when I order internationally like software from Germany or generic meds from Hong Kong for example. Well I found something that is new and boy do I like new - being on the leading edge of new technology is cool IMHO.

There is a new device that you can plug in a UPS port and then swipe your credit or debit card - this device is especially useful for those who can not get a credit card but of course could get a debit card including the debit cards like visa you can buy at a store. The device is called MiniTeller. I did my do-diligence by researching the company, product, and vendors that accept such payments. Well I 'gots to haves ones of these' [sic] so I ordered one - delivery is about two weeks. It's sort of like having your own personal ATM machine at home. It's so easy to use according to their site and you never have to give up any of your personal information online. Sorry Dutchies, it is not available in the EU yet.

Every once in awhile I see a video that I think is rather remarkable - I get dozens of videos or vide links sent to me many of which I never watch or don't open. If I were to open everything it would take all day and you folks know how important I am - there are my worshipers needing my guidance. Hmm...I might be going a bit over board but then maybe not. The short video was done without Hollywood special effects - I'm not sure I believe that but like magic, it's fun to be amazed. Here is the YouTube link. What do you think?

When I went to allow the vampires in my doctor's office to suck blood out of me yesterday, they told me my appointment was for today. Nonetheless, they did work me in after about a 20 minute wait which is a shorter wait than I've ever experienced with my Atlanta doctors for scheduled appointments. One thing about the doctor's office is I rarely wait very long to get in or to see my doctor. He's sort of a strange guy in that when I asked him what he liked to be called - expecting him to say his first name - he said "Doctor or Dr. Ulrich works around here." I called my Atlanta doctors by there first name as they did me - they were outgoing but Dr. Ulrich is not...he's a nerd, he's quite, and rarely smiles. The good news is he is like an encyclopedia with instant recall on injures, illnesses, and drugs including the most recent studies - the dude is smart. I'm such an encoragable cut-up I'll get to him. Oh, one thing he and I do sure in common - he is very conservative and dislikes the policies and practices of the Obama Administration thus he can't be all that bad!

Have you seen what Obama wants the car of the future to be? He's got GM hooked up with the folks at Segway to produce a single person "green" car of the future - that is in the near future too. I heard about it on FOX News and found a picture of it to post today. If GM is going to rely on their future making cars like this, GM has no future!

Posted at 05:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Bill Cherry Blog

Thu 09 April 2009

This is an interesting thing for which I do not have an answer. First let me remind you I've been doing things to improve my search result rankings through various techniques. Primarily I'm wanting TanzaniteAmerica.com to appear higher on search engines if various words using Tanzanite are "Googled". Well I've done similar things with BillsView in case any of the vast number of fans I have around the globe want to read my daily pearls of wisdom. So I "Googled" Bill Cherry Vero Beach and the first thing I get is a link to my Twitter account - the second thing is this real estate site with Bill Cherry Blog on it. My This site comes in 3rd on my Google search.

Wondering what the heck it was all about I contacted the site's owner, Paul Kitchens. He immediately responded with a very polite e-mail say he didn't have any idea why it was there and will have it taken down. Google will keep the page cashed for awhile but it will eventually disappear. By the way, Paul's real estate site can be found here. He's got a great site IMHO. Here's one of his modest beach front listings Bermuda Bay Lane - nice, huh? Anyway the end result is that my World famous increasing in leaps and bounds website will be easy to find if you simple Google "Bill Cherry Vero Beach"

Around 7:45 this morning I'm driving to my doctor's office so the in-house vampires can suck some blood out of me. They'll run all the usual tests then I'll meet with my doctor at 10 am a week from today to complete my physical and go over the results. By then I should have a clear handle on how my new meds cocktail is working for me. At this point I'm not going to pre-judge what I'll tell him or how I feel. My current thoughts is I'm better than the last try but not nearly as good as I should and want to be.

My guy that puts fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides on my lawn and plants came by yesterday to give my grass a feeding. The grass is already looking pretty damn good with the real growing season just about to begin. The brown spots are gone thanks to Mike's work. Many of his customers down have him come once a week like I do but he tells me the difference is clear - of course he's going to tell me that. He suggests my landscaping looks good year round while others only look good for about half the year. I'll go with that.

My finished tax return was mailed yesterday morning - I like paying taxes (NOT!) because the Obama government does such a good job of spending. The funny thing is I thought my Atlanta Accountant forgot to send my State income tax return as he always does. DOH! I now live in a State that does not have an income tax! After 39 years of paying taxes in Georgia it didn't occur to me I didn't have to pay income tax here - last year was my first full year in Florida.

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

Remember the Elboroom?

Wed 08 April 2009

Do any of you old farts remember the Elboroom in Ft. Lauderdale? It is THE bar on the Ft. Lauderdale beach we all went to enjoy adult beverages while on Spring break from college. I know some of you back in Atlanta will remember it because we all spent hours and hours in the place. Well I just found out from the Ft. Lauderdale Flash - aka. Wendy - that the place is still there, is still open, and continues to be the center of activity during Spring break in Ft. Lauderdale. Wendy sent me a link to their website in case any of you have nostalgia and want to check it out. Here is the link to Elboroom.com. Even son John visited the place during his recent trip to Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Break. This place is famous although you probably would not find me in there anymore.

In the past few days I've noticed my anti virus software downloading definition updates several times a day. This is unusual behavior because I'm accustomed to seeing maybe one download at boot but that's all. This means to be that new viruses are being detected on a daily bases - the would be bad guys are really active now. In case you don't have your anti virus set on auto check for updates you should probably change that if you can. Some software will only check at boot or even less frequently like once a week. I use Trend Micro that checks several times a hour although I don't know how many times a hour. The better anti virus programs have 'zero-day' protection meaning there are system checks that are not based solely on signatures.

You know what I've noticed as I've gotten older about my brain - it sometimes takes longer to remember stuff. I was at Tommy's party on Saturday when someone asked the name of my spindle palms but I couldn't remember 'spindle'. I knew the name started with a 's' but that was it. Then about 35 - 40 minutes later it popped into my mind. I've found that I sometimes can't remember something right on the spot but within minutes I can. In fact, I can remember something without thinking about it at the time - it just pops up. Some would say it's because I'm an old fart. My reasoning is that indeed I'm an old fart but being old has given me years and years of data to store. So my brain is like a computer that just needs to search my brain's hard drive to find the answer - kind of like using your 'search' function on your computer. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

I'm pleased to report that my storeroom does not have the strong odor of gasoline as it had just a few days ago. I'm thinking the lighter smell that still remains just has not been completely flushed out as yet. So yesterday I but a fan to blow air into the room with the hope and intent that it will replace the lingering smell of gasoline. With the very cool and dry air, now is the perfect time to do this - I don't want hot humid air forced into the room. BTW, did you know that gas does not have an odor until it is added at the refinery? The smell is added as a safety measure so as to warn people of the presents of gasoline or even natural gas in your house or wherever.

Today I wanted to post a picture of Wendy so you new comers will know who she is. She and I have literally traveled the world together including 5 continents - 6 if you include Costa Rica as part of South America. She is in Dubai now with hubby Hal - he's a captain for the UAE airlines on a Boeing 777 (that's the big one).

Posted at 05:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Computer Back-up Battery

Tue 07 April 2009

Yesterday I had a malfunction in my computer set-up - I could not access the internet. The fist thing I checked was my modem and found it indicated it was connected to the internet but not flashing like it does when there is traffic. The next check was my router - it did not have any lights on. Now you need to know that my modem, router, and computer are all connected to my back up battery. The computer and modem were working so I thought maybe the router's 9 volt transformer was not working. I checked the little transformer with an amp meter - no problem there. Damn I though, it must be my router but when I connected it on a different circuit it worked fine. What's up with that?

Knowing that the back-up battery was working on two pieces of hardware I was baffled for a moment until I reset my battery. It did not occur to me that some circuits in the battery would work while others would not. My thought was it was all or none but obviously this is one of the very very rare times I was wrong - the last time was back in July of 1978. So I hooked everything back up but wouldn't you know it - I got a couple cables switched so I still could not connect until I re-configured my router. All is well.

I'm thinking there is a problem with my back-up battery because it went entirely dead while Syp was here. Once I unplugged it then reset it all worked again. It could be I'm getting surges from the Vero Power company that trips the circuit breaker in the battery. Or it could be some of the cells are going bad. My thought is that it's Vero Beach because of what my electrician told me about the electrical service here. It seems to switch between the local power plant and Florida Power and Light. There can be surges upon switching that would be unnoticeable to 110 - 120 volt items but could mess with a circuit breaker in a back up computer battery. Time will tell.

Yesterday I received an e-mail with a file called "original.txt". I don't know who sent it but my security software intercepted it advising it was infected. If you sent it, I'd suggest you scan your Windows based machine now. It says it is a text file but it is not - it is an executable file and will infect your computer. I sure hope you boys and girls have security scanners on your computers unless of course you are a Dutchie with an Apple

I caught another movie on HBO yesterday rather than listen to all the bad news. The movie was called "Insomnia" with Al Pachino and Robin Williams - it was a good flick but not one I'd ever want to watch again. I got caught up in it because I wanted to know what happened and I like Pachino as an actor.

We've had warm days of late but it suppose to get cold - for Vero that is (low 40's) - tonight. I'm hoping it is at least cool with low humidity because I want to 'air out' for storeroom. If my tricks of of yesterday have been a success then I'll not have the smell of gasoline in the room. It's early so I've not checked yet but I will after coffee.

If I'm thinking about going to Islamorada this Summer then I need to start in with my hour visits to Vero's beach. Yes boys and girls, I'm thinking positively about going - I hope Dr. Director can make it enjoyable for me.

Posted at 05:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Gas Smell

Mon 06 April 2009

I'm without much energy this morning but I still have to post a few notes or some of you might go into withdrawal symptoms. It was tuff to get started this morning after eight and a half hours of sleep but I got up as usual. I've got my routine so how could an obsessive compulsive guy not follow it? Of to coffee and then back to type these notes.

When we elected a new treasurer, somehow I got put in charge of the coffee - getting it and then storing it until it is needed. No big deal, I can do that and I'll be happy to do that - I just keep the plastic "cans" of coffee in my John's Island storeroom which brings me to a new subject.

My store room has been smelling like gas a bit - I do keep gas stored in there but in tightly closed plastic gas containers. So where does the smell come from I wondered? I think I might know - I noticed something this morning I had not paid any attention to in the past and that is my generator. There is gas in the generator but then again there is a tightly closed cap on top of it. Oops...I just noticed today that the tightly closed cap has a small air hole in it such that gas can flow - via gravity - to the carburetor. I think the smell of gas might very well be coming from the evaporation inside the generator's gas tank via this small hole - you think?

At first I was going to transfer the gas from the tank into a plastic canister that is sealed - at least I think it is sealed well enough. But instead I decided to see if I could block the air vent in the cap on the generator well enough to keep the fumes inside the tank. I covered and wrapped it with several layers of plastic and then put several rubber bands around the cap. As I'm typing this I've got a big fan blowing air into the storeroom to refresh the stale air in there. I know now I'll have to do the same thing with my gas-powered leaf blower. Will this solve the problem? I'll let you know in a few days.

John came by yesterday before he went home to pack and then drive to North Carolina for a couple of days - he'll be back on Wednesday I think. That sure is a long as hell drive just for a couple days IMHO. He has another couple going with him so they can share the driving duties - I assume they're going in the other guy's car because John's car needs tires. Heck, maybe he has tires by now, I don't know. I don't like drive to Wally World so this is a trip I certainly would not take. Going to the Keys or picking up Syp is about the only two things that will get me out of Vero driving my car.

Not much planed for today. My house keepers will be here in just a few minutes for their cleaning of my clean house by a company called Clean House. Catching name I think. I also expect to hear from Jason today because I asked him to ask his boss to schedule a roof cleaning job for me. I'm trying to help Jason by asking him to ask for me but I also think the guy will do a good job...as would Charlie by the way. I'm going back to my storeroom now.

Posted at 09:09 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Tommy's Surprise

Sun 05 April 2009

After yesterday's comment on E-mails, a couple of you got in touch with me. If you are reading this, you are not including in the few folks who do constantly send me forwarded e-mail. For the most part you rarely send me e-mail "junk" so I always read and look at your mail. So please don't think that those comments were meant for you other than my warning about opening forwarded mail - sometimes your friends might unknowingly send you malware, viruses, or Trojans.

Kathryn gave her hubby, TB, a surprise birthday dinner party last night at the elegant Vero Beach Hotel & Club. The whole evening was great fun and although Tommy said he suspected something, we knew he didn't have a clue - not even the slightest idea. Kathryn pulled the whole thing off including going thought all the steps to make it seem like she was cooking a lunch today suggesting Tommy invite a few friends to join them. I was warned I'd be invited so I played along even acting as if I had forgotten his birthday.

The dinner was top drawer, very professionally prepared - especially eye-pleasing, and tasted as good as it looked. We all had a choice to order from a special menu for the event. There were over 20 people in attendance including his sons and several friends that go back to his pre-teenage years. Kathryn had an open bar from 6 until ten - the boys did not miss an opportunity to hit the Crown Royal except for Finn - a beer drinker to the end. Gifts were not allowed but I could not help myself so I brought Tommy a paper back book entitled, "Sex after 60" - all the pages inside were blank! HaHaHaHaHa.

Many of you probably know that TB and I are not fans of President Obama. All you have to do is read my Political View and you'd know that. Tommy is much more reserved about what he says but I know how he thinks. Today's picture is second gift, one I made yesterday via Paint.net - I've not figured Photoshop out just yet - then sent it to Walgreen's to have it made into a print. It was a real hoot to give it to Tommy last night at his surprise party - needless to say, everyone there enjoyed it. Funny, but I think it looks like I added Tommy to the picture, not the other way around. With the lighting it seems Obama belongs because he's brighter looking like TB's boat. Damn it was fun giving that to him.

Everyone had a great time, TB was surprised, and the evening was a great success. Kathryn pulled this off perfectly and I might add, I'm sure it cost her a pretty penny as well to feed that crowd and keep the bar open for 4 hours with young adults that enjoy consuming adult beverages. Even I had two diet Cokes. I'm very pleased Tommy has such a caring wife and best friend inspire of the fact she voted for Obama!

I've not got much on my plate for today - it is a beautiful cloudless day here in Vero. While talking to Captain Matt last night he reminded me how luck he things we are to be living in paradise year round. Looking out at the ocean last night then going out onto the deck where there was a cool fire reminded me it is rather nice to be in this little village on the Treasure Coast of Florida way from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta. I've said before and I'll say it again - Atlanta is the place to be to make a career for yourself. Vero is the place to be once your done or in my case unemployable anymore!

Posted at 09:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Forwarded E-mails

Sat 04 April 2009

Charile who runs my house keeping service dropped by to talk about the roof cleaning. He seems to think he should do it for free because I've helped him with his website. Well you guys know I like doing the work and it makes me feel good to help another member of my coffee klatch. So I asked him if he would be upset with me if I helped Jason a bit by using his (Jason's) boss to do the cleaning - I didn't want to hurt Charlie's feelings. He totally understood and said he'd so something else for me like clean my carpets. Great - I like the solution to my concerns. Frankly I don't think Charlie owes me anything because it makes me feel good to think I'm helping another guy.

I called Dr. Director's office to see if there had been a cancellation where by I could get in to see him sooner - no such luck but I'm "on the list". My experience is that the more I call - while not being a pest - the more likely I'll get in. Sometimes a cancellation comes in before the doctor's office calls anyone on their list. Well at least I will have had over 3 weeks with my new cocktail which should help determine what I should try next. It's been a week and it's better than before but way short of satisfactory.

Most of the day yesterday I tried to figure out how to have two "submit" buttons on the same page that do different things. The problem is that when I hit either submit button it causes action on the fist "submit" code - have I lost you already? I know there must be a solution but I've yet to find it. Someone has solved this problem and posted it on a help forum I just haven't found it yet. At this point I'm trying to think of an alternative way of accomplishing the same goal. This trial and error approach to learning programming is fun for me - I enjoy the process. I know. I know. I'm a geek.

My cat, Sally, seems to actively watch TV when she is not sleeping which is most of the time BTW. Sometimes she sees something on the screen then jumps off my be charging toward the TV screen. She seems to pay more attention to animals but will charge the screen anyway. I was not aware that cats could "see" a TV screen as a threat or whatever. I can't explain any other reason for this behavior.

How many of you have friends that think they must forward to you every e-mail they get? Most "experienced" computer users have discovered this is not welcomed by most of us. New users are so thrilled that they know how to send and receive e-mail they end up forwarding everything. I have such a buddy in my coffee klatch - he's a great guy but for God's sake I don't need all the e-mails nor do I want them. For me the end result is I just don't read them because they're so plentiful. Now when I get the occasional forward from those who read this famous Blog, then I do look as them because it is rare that I get them. PLEASE do not take this as an invitation to send more!

Another problem with mail that has been forwarded multiple times is that you have no idea if it's infected or not. Dutchies with Mac's don't have to worry but us lowly PC users do. I'm not saying they send infected files on purpose - it's that they just don't know. As you probably know, the #1 way computers get infected is via e-mails. Be careful.

Posted at 09:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

TB's Birthday

Fri 03 April 2009

Last evening I got a call from my dear friend, Mike Gately. He just called to bring me up to date with his family and so I could complain about my efforts to get the right anti-depressant cocktail. His daughter, Rachel, is at that teenage age when parents become boring and cool people just hang with their friends. I think she is in the 9th grade and like her mother and father is very bright. Mike's family is all well and his business is doing well - this sounds too good to be true. Just wait until Obama deems it wrong to own more than one house, have more than one car, or God forbid, be frugal and make sensible judgments.

Mike is 10 years younger than me so he might escape the unbelievable debit Obama is creating but his kids will not. Knowing Mike I'll bet he'll return from work but not from life - rather he'll travel, be a granddaddy, and break things so he can fix them again. His wife, Laura, loves her work and according to Mike is doing exceptionally well. Good for both of them - I need producers to keep paying social security taxes such that I have a small hope of getting some of my contributions back. This should not be a big deal except the liberals have passed laws allowing people who've never contributed to social security to receive social security benefits - there are millions and millions of people in this category.

When I was talking to Mike I explained the doctors I will be seeing in two weeks and the meds I'm on. My thought is to follow their advice but if it doesn't work come back again and again and again if needed until I do get something that works. My goal is to have a satisfactory resolution before the middle of July - if I'm going down to Islamorada I want to enjoy it. If I'm not feeling better, I can sit here in Vero not feeling better for a lot less money. At the present I'm optimistic.

I continue to spend time trying to make TanzaniteAmerica.com more visible for search engines so as to move up in the rankings. While doing all the research I discovered I should rename some of my .PHP files which I did but in so doing I created a problem for myself. If you clicked on some of the links found in searches it would come back with "page can not be found"! Oops! I have a clever solution I think should work until all my old pages are purged and replaced with the new pages. I created a very small file with the old name that redirects to the new, proper page and does so without you knowing it. I hope that doesn't confuse the search engines but I bet it will. The other option would be to have duplicate files with different names - I don't like that one.

My tax info is now in the hands of my accountant in Atlanta - because I have very little income I don't think I'll owe more than the quarterly estimate payments I've made during the year. I've been thinking I should be able to qualify for some Obama taxpayer money give-a-way. I'm old. I have little income. I'm unemployed. I'm unemployable. I need mo money! I want mo money! Obama should take it from those of you who actually work for what you have and then give it to me. Jeez!

Tommy called last night to say Captain Matt and Brother Drew were coming to town for his birthday on Sunday. Kathryn is going to have a brunch for TB, the boys and has asked me to join them so of course I will. Perhaps there will be others there too, I just don't know. I wish I could tell you more but I'd better not.

Posted at 07:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Pressure Washing

Thu 02 April 2009

It's been one week since I started on Wellbutrin - I'm better now than I was before the switch but still not nearly as well as I would like to be. Needless to say, I have to give the new cocktail more time to work it's magic if it will do the trick.I do not plan to return to my doctor prior to my schedule physical on the 17th. It will be interesting on the 17th because I see my 'regular' doctor in the morning and then I have my first appointment with the new doctor on the same day in the afternoon. It will be very interesting to see how they view my treatment based on information provided the same day.

We had a heck of a storm come through Vero the other night. For the first time since last year we had thunder and lightning followed by heavy rain - West Palm Beach had a tornado. I bet TB is happy because his citrus groves needed the rain and it rained more West of town that it did in town. I remember that this was a particularly dangerous time in Georgia because the cold air from the North would clash with the warm air from the south resulting in numerous tornados, heavy rain, and lots of lightning.

My favorite house keeping service wants to pressure wash my roof for me to remove the mildew that's grown there in just one year. Then I have the guy whom Jason works for also wanting to clean the roof for me. This all got started when a third guy randomly stopped buy to offer to clean it for $200 anytime I wanted it done. Well, it does need to be done but who should I get to do it? I think both Charlie and Jason's boss will do a good job for me but I have to admit Charlie has been more persistent. The trouble with Charlie is he wants to do it for me causing me to feel bad about his doing the work - he does enough for me already.

What should I do? The other guy wants to get paid as I would expect that Charlie would want to get paid. He says I do so much for him that it is his wish to do it. OK, so I built him a website but that's something I wanted to do and he has sent me a paying client. Oh, I did put a favorable post on Angie's List which Charlie claims has generated business for him. Here again I put the post there because I felt strongly about the fabulous job he does keeping my house clean - and here's the important part - to my demanding standards.

You know I've mentioned that BillsView.com has become popular with lots of visits most of which I've not got a clue as to who they are. Well out of the blue I got an e-mail from someone who wants work on Messina's site to get it on the first page in a Google search. I don't know how someone can make such a claim on a large service industry. Nonetheless, I did e-mail the person back to inquire about his (or her) service and charges. Of course I've read where other firms on the internet have said they can do the same thing but I remain skeptical. What would happen if say 50 companies all wanting the same results hired the same company - they all couldn't be on the first Google search page. That's what leads me to believe the Google algorithm is so complex there can't be a singular set of rules to accomplish the goal.

I do know that the longer the time your site has been up and running the better it gets rated. Then there are the number of visitors to your site that is also a factor. Unfortunately this site is only a couple months old so it is impossible to show longevity. This is one of the main reasons I put TanzaniteAmerica.com up a few years ago so that I will be in a great position when I choose to really try to market my gemstones. Even now the site gets ranked high on the Google search engine depending on the search terms used. Just using "Tanzanite" as a search term will not show a high placement whereas "Tanzanite FAQ" will.

Posted at 09:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

April Fool's Day

Wed 01 April 2009

Today is the first day in April and it's also the first Wednesday in April so I'll be chairing the coffee klatch this morning as I do the first Wednesday every month. I've not got a clue what I'll talk about this morning but I'll think of something. Our klatch is starting to shrink in size as the snow birds stat heading back home. The size of our little group changes with the seasons.

After yesterday's meeting I went to Wally World to pick up a couple prescriptions, then to get a hair cut - both of my hairs - and finally to Publix for some fresh items. Most of the time I don't have anything pressing so I often wait to gather the need for a trip before I make it - after all it is about 3 miles from the Dolphin House. I noticed the store was full of Easter things like candy, baskets, and plastic eggs of course. I wonder what the Easter bunny will bring me this year?

TB dropped by yesterday to bring a casserole dish full of some delightful mix of cheese, sausage, pasta, and other goodies. When Kathryn makes a casserole at home she often makes enough to fill up another smaller dish for me. It comes unbaked but with instructions on how to bake it. They are always great - I plan to bake it today. She loves to cook so I'm always ready to be her beefeater. Do you guys know just what a beefeater is? It was a person who always tasted the food for royalty before the royalty ate it too confirm it was not poisoned.

While TB was here we talked about the Keys this Summer. He said he did expect Tom and Mary Ann to make the trip unless something happens to prevent the trip but the outlook is good for now. I hope they do come because I always enjoy their company and the chats we have in the pool usually around 10am then often later in the day around 5pm. It is customer to have cocktail hour in the pool before we have dinner which most of the time is together either at the Palms or one of Islamorada's finer eateries. Brother Drew will be taking me out one night because he won the 'guess the picture' contest on Monday.

What a difference a day makes. Monday was a crisp, cool, cloudless day with low humidity. Yesterday was a much warm day with higher humidity and clouds in the area - more like May than the end of March. Today it should continue with the warmer temperatures.

Now that my New York attorney client has paid for my services I'm trying to do what I can to improve his ranking on search engines. There are things I can do but some things are out of my control like the age of his site, the associations to which he belongs, and to a large degree the things he wishes to say about himself and the firm. If I could change that it the site wouldn't appear as good as it does because I'd make it look more commercial. He has used some very good text IMHO so I'd like to keep it like it is with a few modifications that will fit into the text without seeming contrived.

Yesterday I was getting spammed in the comments area of BillsView so I locked the post after a half a dozen showed up during the day. I can lock any or all of my posts from comments but I usually leave them open - I enjoy hearing from you. On the other hand, many of you are too shy to post online and choose instead to send me an e-mail - most of my regular visitors have my e-mail address. Up until now it has not been a problem but if it becomes one I'll just lock the posts from comments instead asking you to e-mail me if you choose. Stay tuned.

You can expect to see Jeff, Amy, and Sam down in the Keys around lobster mini-season. Jeff is a darn good lobster-getter - I hope he does well again this year.

Posted at 06:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Keys Trip?

Tue 31 March 2009

You know if you are a regular reader that I on occasion bring to your attention computer risks. I don't do it very often but when a risk seems to be significant I do mention it. Well we have this infamous Conficker worm thing that is set to go off on April 1st (tomorrow) if it is in your machine. If you have Windows and you've kept your machine patched then you should not have a problem - emphasis on the 'should'. If you have a good anti virus program kept up to date with regular scans, you should not have a problem. If you are just uncertain then download this removal tool from Kaspersky Labs, unzip it, then run the tool by clicking on it. You will see a DOS window open, it will run for a few minutes, and then you know for sure.

Yesterday I posted a picture asking for guesses as to where it was taken. Brother Drew won the contest by being the first to identify it as the sandbar off Holiday Isle in Islamorada. As the winner he gets to buy me a dinner at a restaurant of my choice so now I'm trying to decide between Uncle's and Lazy Days. Are you following me boys and girls? While I've not made the final commitment just yet I'm leaning towards going to The Palms again this Summer - at least that's my current thinking.

Much will depend on how I feel with the meds I'm taking. If I don't want to get out and do things I can stay in Vero and accomplish that without any additional expense of doing nothing. But I'm one who chooses to be optimistic in believing that by mid-July I'll have meds that are working better than they have been. I'm still in the first few days of the new cocktail but I'm hopeful. In addition, I'll see the psychiatrist in about 3 weeks and if the Wellbutrin is not the answer I still have a couple months to try other meds. It just seems silly for me to spend the money to stay inside tired all the time when I can do that here in Vero with a bigger TV screen.

Now that Tom has had such a great out come I'm hopeful he and Mary Ann will decide to go down as they usually do. I know TB is going because he has the slip and Donna Bible is sending him a lease or maybe has by now. I think Georgia Tech Jeff, Amy, and Sam the dog will go down and stay at that bay side villa they rented last time - it allows dogs and of course the Palms does not. When talking to son John this weekend he thinks he too can spend some time down there but with work and school it will not be a whole month - that's ok with me. John wants to come at the first part of the trip and be there for the crowd arrival doing mini-season. So from my prospective I'm more likely to go given these facts I did not have two weeks ago.

Yesterday I received the last bit of information I needed to file my 2008 income tax return. The info was sent to my long time accountant and friend, Tom Westbrook in Duluth, Georgia. Either Tom or Mike Stern have been preparing my tax return since 1972. I expect to get my 1040 back ready to sign and send prior to April 15th. When you don't have income it's fairly easy to do.

My buddy in Atlanta who's website I updated has now deemed me his Technical Officer. When he has any computer questions he calls me and of course I'm able to provide solutions. Yesterday a client wanted to send him a .DSS file but Tom had never heard of such a file - frankly, neither had I. I quickly discover it was produced by a Olympic recording device and needed a Olympic .dss file reader. I found a free player - it was an audio file - and sent a link to his typist so she could hear the digital file and then transcribe it. I even called the client to help them how to upload the file via a utility I put on his site. I like stuff like this - I'm a true geek!

Posted at 05:46 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Working on SEO

Mon 30 March 2009

Yesterday was overcast, cloudy, and we even had a little rain - unfortunately it was a little rain. Vero is a bit on the dry side needing a good soaking rain - TB has been irrigating the groves a good bit of recent. Even though it is his goal to get out of the citrus business he still has to maintain the properties so they are marketable when the market comes back.

I spend almost the entire day on the internet doing research on search engines with the hope I can better learn how to get a website ranked on Google, Yahoo, and MSN - they are the three big ones and if you're good on them you'll cover most of the internet. I've been learning some really cool things to do and equally as important things not to do. My guess is I'll be back at it today because I want to improvethe ranking for TanzaniteAmerica.com and work on the lawyer's site as well. This is a time consuming project but I think it will pay off in the long run.

My cousin Alice and her husband dropped by to give me a freshly backed cake that is to die for. It is so good, so moist, so tasty....I think she should contract a bakery to make the cakes according to her secret family recipe and then market them in specialty shops or more likely the internet. With the research I'm doing I think I could build a site and create traffic to the site. I've got some great marketing ideas as well. She thinks the whole thing is too overwhelming but I don't.

John dropped by after work yesterday to visit - I fed him some cake and he loved it. I don't think he was just saying that, it is great cake. John wanted to bring me up to date on his Spring break trip to Ft Lauderdale. We were talking about places down there when I mentioned the 'hot spot' on the beach when I used to go to Ft.Lauderdale for Spring break. To my amazement the place is still there, still popular, and a place John and his hommies hung out. The bar is called The Elbow Room. When I went there it was by stagecoach but now you can drive your cars. I remember the trips well as we would 'cruise' the strip looking for girls in our covered wagon. Things having changed much over the decades.

My meds are still on trial with me. I think the new meds are causing headaches I did not have before but my mood is better. I'd rather have a headache I can kill with pain medication than a blue mood I can't get rid of with legal prescriptions. It could be simple the addition of Wellbutrin which will take time for me to adjust. I also have some of that ringing in my ears I had once before but it does not bother me. I'm convinced there is a cocktail that will work for me - I've just got to find it. I may have found it and just don't know it yet.

I've been thinking about the Keys since TB has already made his plans and it looks like the Brennan's might make it as well. Does anyone know where today's picture was taken?

Posted at 06:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Sally Cat

Sun 29 March 2009

Well it is warming up here in Vero - my air conditioner is running more and more now including during the night. Actual I prefer air conditioning to having to heat the house so I'm not unhappy. I guess it is time to expect my utility bills to go up, huh? Why is it I still have a "fuel adjustment" charge equal to 90% of my actual electric charges - don't the people at the power company know that fuel charges are down about 50% from last year? What's up with that?

Except for the walk on the beach during Syp's visit I've not been on the beach yet this year. If this warm weather and clear skies continue, I'll need to go grow some nice new juicy skin cancer cells so my dermatologist can pay his rent and buy some new golf clubs. You know what I've noticed about doctor's visits here in Vero - they cost about 35% to 40% more than did the same type visit in Atlanta. That's all of my doctors - my internist, dermatologist, and dentist. I'm guessing they have to charge more for patients that actually pay them to make up for the losses they incur from Medicare. All of them charge about $120 for an office visit before they do anything.

There were a Loy of cars around my house and the church on Friday night and at first I thought the church was having a bigger than usual Friday night event. Wrong! It was the last Friday in March so the streets downtown were blocked off and the monthly Vero FridayFest took place. What a crowd - there were all ages, sizes, and shapes there. Two bands played for most of the time but blessedly not too loud - I had loud. It sure is easy for me just to walk a block to join in the fun. I went to have a look see but did not stay long because it was dying down by the time I figured out it was happening in the first place. My house is so sound proof I couldn't hear a thing.

When Syp was here even he remarked at how quiet it is inside my house. These thick walls, added insulation in the attic, and thick double-glassed windows keeps the noise out and air conditioning in. If I wanted to, I could keep it in the 60's in here in the Summer but frankly I like it to be dry and cool, not cold.

Have any of you noticed my roof? A guy stopped by and said he would pressure wash it and you know, I think it needs after just 14 months. There is dark yuck growing on it when it should be a nice bright white. I think I'll have that done but I must get the vendor to use cleaning material that is bio-degradable so it will not hurt my nice plants when the water runs off the roof. It isn't all that bad so I'm thinking a lite soapy brush on it first and then pressure was will do the job. I'm not going to get Jason or John to do it - I want to be able to really get bitchy if they do a poor job. I've not yelled at anyone in some time now so I want to really explode - aren't I just so much fun? If they do a good job I'll have to find someone else.

Late yesterday I had visits from both Jason and John - Jason was first to come but left about 15 minutes after John arrived. You know what I noticed about these two young men - both of them were smiling at, talking to, and playing with Sally. It is as if I just happen to be living with their favorite girl...Sally. And of course she is a flirt with both of them - she lets John pick her up and Jason can pet her. She took to Syp too even though he is not a cat lover like the rest of us. Is Sally a tease or what?

Syp took today's picture of Sally while she was napping in his bed - she liked napping in Syp's bed.

Posted at 07:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

TanzaniteAmerica Editing

Sat 28 March 2009

It's Saturday and I'm not going to have coffee this morning but then again I rarely do go on Saturdays. We were successful in getting a new treasurer yesterday and we celebrated the last Friday in the month with a nice cake. I love cake - especially the icing on cake. In fact, I've been buying a piece of cake every week from a nice little sandwich shop Syp introduced me to while he was here. Yep, it took a Dutchie from 5,000 miles away to show me a eatery about a block from my house. They have great cakes there, especially cheese cakes. This may very well be my new source for those great New York style cheesecakes. I've decide to try all their cakes before I order a whole one.

I've been getting e-mails from Ryan with updates on his dad, Tom. He'll have to stay where he is for another week and then in "the area" for yet another week before he can return to Atlanta and then eventually back to Vero. He is doing very well according to Ryan but there will still be an on-going protocol he'll have to follow for awhile. With this news I fully expect that Islamorada might very well be in the picture again.

Tommy has already got a slip for this Summer and has called about leasing a condo. When we were talking on the phone this week he said his boys wanted to go again - DOH - and as soon as Donna gets back with him he'll finalize things. I'm not sure what I'll do as yet - much will depend on how my meds are working for me over the next couple months. If I don't want to do anything, I can do nothing here without the additional expense of doing nothing in the Keys.

The first couple of days have given me hope that the new med cocktail is working better than my old routine. The bad news is that those headaches I tend to have seemed to return as well. If I were to make a choice, I'd rather feel like doing something and take pain medication rather than to be pain free and feeling like whale sh*t. Maybe I can have both - a great feeling without headaches. This has father confirmed I'm going to see the new doctor in about 3 weeks.

I've been doing even more research on search engine optimization. I've learned about things I can do as well as things to avoid. My concentration has been on TanzaniteAmerica.com because I fully expect to actually make this an active e-commerce site. Over the past couple days I've spent hours making additions to the site that are almost un-noticeable to visitors but can be "seen" by bots while they spider my site. I've been able to move into the first two pages in a Google search if certain terms are used. I want to move up with other terms as well as move higher with those with which I'm currently on the map.

I'm part of Bangkok Mark's marketing plan in that I'm included on his sites as he is on mine. I'm really not competition for him but it is good for him to be associated with an American site. There may be a time when the economy comes back to life that I will become a US depository for some of his inventory so as to provide overnight shipping. This sort of plan is down the road but now is the time to develop a presences with importance on the internet. My plan is working - now I just have to pray that Obama doesn't nationalize Tanzanite vendors!

Speaking of Comrade Obama I wonder what would have been the outcome for Tom had Obama succeeded in making everyone take government health care? Any of you boys and girls think about that? I'm willing to bet the farm his outcome would have been different! His options would have been limited as care was managed by some pointy-head bureaucrat who's a member of a government labor union. Just think about that - it should scare you...it scares me!

The Barnes-Brennan boys are looking forward to a repeat visit to Islamorada - here is a picture from last year.

Posted at 06:13 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Great News on Tom

Fri 27 March 2009

Yesterday I got a call from TB and Captain Matt regarding Tom - things could not have gone any better! For those in the 'know' - you know what I mean. For those who don't have a clue, I do not think it is appropriate to say anything else without permission. Time will tell what ultimately will happen of course but the word now is very very good.

This morning we will elect a new treasurer at my coffee klatch. I've been obsessing over this to a certain extend because I'm sort of in charge as the only elected official since our current treasurer resigned. I have found a good guy and some people to help him if he needs it - it's sad that I have to ask people because no one came forth to volunteer. But then again that's how I got to be secretary - I was asked and no one ran against me.

My yard is really starting to get bright green again now that warmer weather and longer daylight hours have retuned. It needs to be mowed once a week rather than once every two or three weeks like during the late Fall and Winter. James came to trim and cut yesterday - it looks good. We've needed rain but my irrigation system has kept my yard green while others are still brown. As son Syp will verify, there is a marked difference between the yard and landscaping around the Vero Villa compared to my neighbors. I wish their yards were nicer although mine real sticks out as looking nice. As usual, I'm a beacon in my neighborhood.

I've been thinking about changing the name of my house from the Vero Villa to the Dolphin House because that's what others have named it. I have this dolphin fish in my carport that people see as they walk or drive by and that's how they identify my house. I sort of like the name - The Dolphin House - as it is keeping with my nautical theme found in and out of my home. Many of you know I have mounts on my walls and nautical stuff around inside. So what do you think...should I start using the dolphin house as the name of my home?

The Japanese are crazy in what they do and market - I guess most of you already know that. Yesterday I found a picture of a new product the Japanese are marketing - diet water. No, this is not a joke - you can really buy this stuff in Japan. That's right...diet water! What will they think of next? Frankly if you told me 20 years ago that there would be isles of bottled tap water for sale in the grocery stores for a cost greater than gasoline I would have called you nuts! But you know what, it has happened. And you know what else? If someone were to market 'diet water' in the United States I bet there would be plenty of buyers. I'm not kidding - I really think there would be buyers.

This is my second morning of taking Wellbutrin XL. Of course it is way too early to tell the affects but I have a very positive outlook. I've done my research on Wellbutrin and I did take it before with success. I'd like to think I've got the right cocktail going but only time will tell. Oh, it is not only causing hair to grow on the bottom of my feet and between my toes, but I've also noticed my ears are getting even bigger and more pointed sort of like Spock! If it makes me feel better it will be worth it.

I posted on my Political View yesterday some comments I wish you would take time to read. It was entitled "Obama wants Failure". You've read here on these pages before that I'm scared as to what Obama might do to our country over the next 4 years. I say next 4 years because Obama himself has said he'd rather have 4 great years (in his mind) than 8 mediocre years. What scares me is what he thinks are "great years". He wants to turn America into a socialist - welfare state! Please read the comments by clicking on 'Political View'. BTW, today's video by Dan Hannan is inspiring to me - he's fabulous - I only wish he were an American.

Posted at 04:52 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

John's Back

Thu 26 March 2009

Today I expect John to return from Ft. Lauderdale with stories to tell about his Spring Break adventure down there. I'm not sure when he returns so I don't expect to see him today. I did loan him my SunPass device so he did not have to stop at any of the many tolls you'll find in the South Florida area - I trust he will remember to take it out of his rental car. Rental car you ask? Yep...Starr thought it would be better to rent a car for him because his car needs some new tires. I've seen his tires and his mom is right but by the time you pay for a rental and insurance you could almost get a set of new tires. Hmm...maybe not - tires are pricey and a economy rental probably is not all that much.

One of the advantages I've gained from building websites for others then publishing them to the web is a better understanding of how search engines work. As a result I've edited my own site - TanzaniteAmerica.com - the result of which is a higher placement on Google when certain searches are done. My whole goal is to have a presences on the internet with some history when I actively take steps to market some gems. I think a site that's been around for several years has more validity than one with only a few months on the internet. Savvy shoppers know how to identify these things so I'm taking the steps now for a future marketing campaign.

I picked up my new prescriptions yesterday and took the first Wellbutrin this morning. Nothing is different yet but then again it should take time to start to work. I wish I had another prescription I could be using until it kicks in - if it will kick in like I want. Maybe a two week supply of Adderall would be nice but once again my doctor wants me to go with the Wellbutrin cocktail first. You folks know how patient I am - not!

It was time to replace a couple plants in my house that I've killed with either too much or too little water. I also picked up a nice plant for the back carport door to replace the Christmas flowers I had there for the longest time. When Syp was here we went plant hunting but nothing struck my fancy. Home Depot just got a new shipment in this week of some really nice plants. How do I know the shipment is new - they were not there a week ago and they were still on the big wooden palates used for shipping. I'll probably kill these in a few months and the go shopping again.

Word to the wise from he who knows all things and....has had personal experience. Do not loan money to family and friends if you every expect to get it back. If they have good credit then suggest they borrow the money from a back - you and I are not in the banking business. The exception to this is my very positive experience in making mortgage loans to my friends who can borrow from a bank but it is mutually beneficial to make an arrangement with me. I've had an exceptionally good experience with one dear friend in particular. But if you have relatives who want to borrow money do not loan it if you ever expect to or need to get it back! I'm owed tens of thousands of dollars from relatives on loans I made before the economy tanked and my market investments tanked with it. Now I really wish I had that money now but I can't even get these relatives to respond! This has been my experience - I hope you can learn from it to avoid the same situation yourself.

Today's picture is one that son Syp took of a critter we saw while tooling around the marshes on an air boat. We saw several alligators sunny themselves on the patches of dry land found thought the marsh. Did you know these critters are over 500,000,000 years old? Almost as old as I feel.

Today is a very important day for Tom - we all hope and pray things go well.

Posted at 06:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Change in Meds

Wed 25 March 2009

After the morning coffee klatch yesterday I guy came up and said he would be our new treasurer if nominated and elected. This is one of the guys I had asked that first wanted to talk to his sponsor. There is another guy who said he would do if if no one else wanted the job so I think I'll just tell him someone else actually volunteered. Then there is this third guy but he is way to new to the klatch to take on the responsibility - I'm not sure he'll even be there in a month. So I think I've got my new treasurer and I've called a business meeting for Friday to make to official. This fellow is well liked, comes regularly, and has been a member of our group for 4 years.

My buddy Bangkok Mark has been in contact with me about some exceptional opportunities to buy Tanzanite from some financially stressed dealers. I could grab some very nice stones at a very good price and frankly I'd love to do that because I love Tanzanite. But my brain tells me I have enough for now and I should hold off on buying more. On the other hand, if I could get some exceptional buys it would be like dollar-cost averaging my inventory. I know the market is soft now but I'm equally convinced it will spring back when the economy comes back. No matter how horrible Obama is, I think the American people are better and will survive his nonsense.

Syp correctly pointed out that the US economy affects the rest of the world's economy. So as we get better so will Europe and the rest of the World. With the great positive move in the stock market on Monday of this week I'm hopeful the worst in the market is behind us now. No...I do not see a steady quick recovery but as the ups and downs occur, I think the trend line might very well stay on the upside. Maybe that's just me being overly optimistic but I can't help it - that's how I think.The markets were off yesterday from Monday but that can and should be expected.

I found a funny movie called, "Over My dead Body" that kept me entertained in the morning before I went out to Publix, the post office, and my doctor's office. Yeah, I know - my appointment was for the afternoon but his office called to ask me to come in at 11:00 am so I did. I picked up some chicken for Sally Cat after the doctor's office - then on to my PO box and home to listen to Limbaugh after lunch and a nap.

So what happened at the doctor's office you ask? I got two new prescriptions as I expected - one for 30mg of Cymbalta (down from 60mg0 and the second for 150mg of extended release Wellbutrin. This combo is what I thought I'd get and like usual, I want to be optimistic that it will work for me. I'm not to start on the Wellbutrin for 3 days giving me time to adjust back to the 30mg of Cymbalta. I've taken Wellbutrin before with success so we shall see.

I have my 'regular' physical scheduled for April the 16th and then a new appointment with the my new doctor the following day. If things turn better for me I may postpone the new appointment but if not, I'll keep it. Frankly I think I might just keep it no matter how I feel as a point by which I can start with a specialist on mental health.

Posted at 06:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Doctor Today

Tue 24 March 2009

Yesterday turned out to be a nice day once the morning rain and clouds cleared up. As for me, it was more like one of my "normal" days as well with my routine back in place. Naturally that included fruit for lunch at home, a nap with Sally, then a couple hours on my computer before I watched some more depressing news about the out-of-control- spending in the Obama Administration. You know if I just felt depressed and not fatigued all the time I would know why - Obama. But the fatigue, lack of energy, and lack of out side interests is not Obama's fault at least not entirely.

This afternoon at 1:45 I go to see my doctor. One thing I do like about my visits to him is they normally take place in a timely manner. I do have to wait but at least it is not a long time like was always the case in Atlanta. I hope I did not just condemn myself to a long wait today.

So what am I going to get? I think I'll get a prescription for Wellbutrin to add to my Cymbalta and the dosage of my Cymbalta will be cut in half. I think that based on my research on drug combinations and the general reactions to each medication. You know this may be the silver bullet for me because Cymbalta seems to work better than Paxil but Wellbutrin indeed helped when I took it with Paxil. At least I have the sense I'm taking the steps needed to find a solution.

My house cleaning service came yesterday and that too helped me sense things are back to normal. But you know what...even with his boundless energy driving me to almost need hospitalization, I miss my little Dutch surrogate son, Syp. He was always upbeat and ready for the next activity. Bouncing around my house full of energy and by late in the day full of a few Heinkens as well. That's another thing that has not changed with Syp - he still likes his beer. Not the hard stuff so much but beer. Whiskey was always reserved to an after dinner drink outside on my carport with a cigar. Syp does not some but he does like the ritual of a cigar and a crystal glass with a bit of nice scotch - neat.

I bet this beautiful weather we are having in Vero is down in Ft. Lauderdale with Johnny and the girls. I remember will the annual trip I would take to Ft. Lauderdale during Spring break from college. It was a week filled with fun, beer, girls, and sunburn. There was always a dozen fraternity brothers of mine down there at the same time doing the same thing. We would crash all over the floor of whomever we knew that lived in the area. That was great fun and for most of us a very important part of the whole college experience.

When Syp was here I used my blow-up mattress for the first time - it leaked air. I tried to fix it - see the picture - but it still liked air. Then I bought a very good AeroBed with a built-in inflator that worked really well. It is damn near as comfortable as my $2000 inflatable bed. What I'm willing to do for my Dutchie seems to have no bounds!

Posted at 07:09 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

New Week

Mon 23 March 2009

It is a new week and I've hit the ground running. This morning I went to coffee as usual and also announced a called meeting - called by me - to have elections for a new treasurer on Friday. I've asked several people if the want the office with mixed results but I'm optimistic we'll have a new treasurer by this time Friday. I don't understand why people don't want to server as an elected officer - I've always welcomed the opportunity. You folks already know how important I am so it's nice to get others to recognize it as well.

This morning I made an appointment to see my 'regular' doctor tomorrow about my meds. What I've been doing is not working as was made painfully obvious to me while son Syp was here. When I'm by myself I can be more laid back so I don't always sense how listless I am - not the case with the full of energy Sypster. So I think I need to change my meds although I plan on keeping my April 17th appointment with the psychiatrist. My thought is I will be given new drugs and between now and the 17th I should get a sense of how well they are working. There is a solution, I just need to find it.

This morning I'm going to cash the check from the owner of the website #2 I built. I finally got the money so it's time to get the green in my hands. There will be continued work but now I'm much more willing to help. My next goal is to find a new client.

It poured down rain here in Vero over the night - the rain was really needed. My yard is turning very green and growing fast so my lawn maintenance guy will need to mow at least every week now. In the winter every couple weeks was enough but not now. I like the way things are looking around here now.

Jason came by yesterday to tell me he has a new job as a painter's helper. I'm not sure how long this will last but it could turn into a full-time job as he learns to help and then ultimately becomes a painter. Good painters are hard to come by and if he learns the skill early in his life he'll never be without a job - there is always someone wanting something painted. I'm hopeful for him.

John is headed for 3 days in Ft. Lauderdale this week with his buddy Douglas from California - Douglas is the guy he visited out in Berkeley for a few weeks last Summer. They are going to do the college break - Ft. Lauderdale thing which means beach, beer, and babes. It will be good for both of them to have fun together although John does not have Spring break now - he'll be missing school for 3 days. He tells me he has talked to all his professors so I assume that it will be ok. He his so fired up about FSU I do not want him to mess-up by not completing his requirements for a transfer by going to play for a few days. He promises me he'll be ok - time will tell but I think he's ok.

Syp and I went to the little Cuban restaurant down the street for breakfast several times while he was here. I took the picture on one of these mornings. Notice how bright and cheery the restaurant is painted.

Posted at 09:08 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Lazy Sunday

Sun 22 March 2009

Last night I went to bed around 8:30 and although I woke about 6:30 I didn't actually get up until 8:30 this morning. I needed to catch up on my rest and beauty sleep - God knows I need the beauty sleep. Then it was time to change my sheets and put my Spring/Summer bed cover on and pack the Fall/Winter one away - in case you missed it we are now in the Spring time of the year.

I've not done much today except watch two movies and plan to go watch another one. I just do not have the will or energy to do anything else. I've made an appointment with a psychiatrist but the earliest I can get in is on Syp's birthday, April 17th. I've called tom see if something has opened up but nothing yet. I'll call again this coming week. There is a combination of meds that will help me so my goal is to find them and find them soon.

Tommy came by this morning for a visit as he usually does on Sundays. He wanted to know if Syp got home ok and if I survived the visit. Of course I survived but I sure wish I had my meds adjusted before he came so I could have been a better host. But we did good and I'm confident there will be a 'next' time only maybe this time he'll bring his growing clan. As I think I mentioned, Yari will have a younger brother with which to terrorize sometime in July.

One of the really fun things we did while Syp was here was to go on an airboat ride in the marshlands West of Vero. Today's picture is one our guide took before we left the shore for a tour of the wetlands and all the critters living out there. We saw alligators of various sizes and lots of birds. It is something I've never done before so I'm particularly glad Syp introduced me to my town and it's surroundings. In fact we went to several places I'd never been before - mostly restaurants or sports bars.

You won't believe this but I finally got a check in payment for the website I built a couple months ago. I'll take it to the bank tomorrow and cash it - I'm confident it will be good. The website owner wants to be on the top of the search engines list but I explained that if I knew how to do that I'd be very wealthy by now. I do know some things to do but it will require action on his part. I'll do all I can and as I learn new techniques I'll apply them to his site for free - I'm satisfied with what he's paid me so I'm happy to continue to help.

I still have two other sites 90% done awaiting further input from the owners. I guess it just is not a priority for them so I'll wait until it is. Funny - it would seem to me that business would do whatever they can to increase business in these slow economic times. So I'll see if I can shake some trees and generate some new sites for me to build or update - I've got a couple ideas in mind already.

My house keepers come tomorrow but frankly my house is in good shape even though the Dutch terror was here. Syp is not nearly as messy as he once was and helped to keep things straight and clean - I like straight and clean. I would be a very difficult person to live with over an extended period of time I think. John has learned how to keep our Keys apartment straight as Syp has learned the same. I can't help it - I'm obsessive compulsive for God's sake!

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

I Miss Syp

Sat 21 March 2009

I can't believe Syp came to visit, stayed a week, and now he is gone - where did the week go? In part the little bugger kept us busy most all the time doing something, go some place, or eating. Syp is one of those people who actually wants to eat a meal at least 3 times a day - can you imagine that? I offered to share my peanuts with him but that did not seem to be enough to cure his hunger. So part of the week was spent in eateries feeding this growing boy of mine - after all he has to have the energy to keep on being Papa Syp.

It is unfair for someone to have so much energy - he bounced around as if he was on speed all the time but in his case it was natural. One thing we did was ride around with TB inspecting the groves and looking at his property West of Vero. On Thursday he took us for the TB tour of the Indian River between Vero and Wabasso which was lined with multi-million dollar mansions. There were well groomed homes with 5000 to 10000 square feet in them which server as the Winter homes for the rich and famous and in some cases are retirement mansions for the very rich. Those people pay a lot of taxes in our county and provide jobs for many folks in the area.

On St. Patrick's day I took Syp along with John and his brother Alex to Outback for dinner - after dinner we all came back over to the Vero Villa where the boys had after dinner drinks and I had after dinner ice cream. I went to bed but they stayed up solving the world's problems and doing damage to my bottles of Crown and Chivis. It was good for John and Syp to spend time together without me being there - they had to figure things out without all my wisdom. I wanted John to talk to someone who was like him in a lot of ways but now has a family, a job, and a big mortgage. I suspect John will follow in Syp's path in the years ahead.

I'll be talking more about Syp's visit but now I'm trying to get back into my old, slow-paced life with nothing to do when I get up in the morning but it is only half done when I go to bed at night. I will say I miss Syp in spite of the fact he tried to run me into the ground and sap any bit of energy I had left out of my body. I don't think I'll need to be hospitalized but it was a close call. The trip back to Vero from taking Syp to the Miami airport went by quickly as I thought about his visit and the things we did. I am so pleased with his life and family but I'm even more pleased he has not changed a bit except he's gotten a bit older. The same energetic fun little boy I met in Africa 23 years ago is still there, still fun, still full of energy, and still puts up with me. Amazing!

When I got back to Vero around 8 last night Jason called and wanted to see me. He was not in a great space so he came over, I fed him some food, and we talked for awhile - he felt a lot better when he left. He's lost and lonely - his day is being put into a State institution, his two brothers do not talk to him, his mother lives up the road, so I'm the closes "safe haven" he has where he knows he is always welcomed. Frankly I think he could use some meds like I need but he doesn't have any and doesn't have the means to go to a doctor to get some. I wish he had come over while Syp was here but he said he want to leave us alone to have a good time together. This kid is fragile so I'm going to try to watch him carefully.

Today it is raining in Vero so except for one short trip I plan to stay inside (duh - what's new there?), watch a movie or two, and catch up on my e-mail.

Posted at 11:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

A Day with TB

Tue 17 March 2009

Syp has got more energy that a wild man - always on the go wanting to play like every day is Christmas. Ahhh...to be young again with so much spontaneity and animation. I want to, keep up but sometimes it is tough with the issues with my medications. But Syp is very understanding and we are doing our best.

Yesterday we went for breakfast and Cuban coffee again after I returned from my morning coffee klatch. When I left to go for coffee Syp had crashed on my bed after his air mattress gave out ...again. I decided enough is enough so we went to Bed, Bath, & Beyond where I purchased a very nice Queen size Aero mattress. This mattress is damn near as good as my pricey Sleep-Comfort mattress in my bedroom suite. It has a very comfortable top yet it is firm - the air pump is built into the mattress itself. Syp had a good night's rest for a change although that just means he'll have even more energy.

Tommy came to fetch us after breakfast so we could ride with him as he checked out his tree farms. Those landscape palms he is growing looked very healthy - now he just hopes someone will start doing landscaping again. Riding around with TB is like riding around with the history book - past and present - of Vero Beach. He knows a little bit about everything and a lot about some things. There was not a dull moment as we wandered through his property West of Vero.

We came back to the house so I could take a nap for about 30 minutes and Syp could eat a Subway sandwich. After my nap and lunch we set up the new mattress for Syp before Tommy came back to take us for round two in the afternoon. This time we went way west of town where he has about 200 acres of producing citrus trees. The trip also was so Tommy could check with his crew in those groves. Along the way we spotted several alligators sunning themselves on the canal banks.

On Wednesday afternoon I've arranged for Syp, TB, and me to go on an air boat ride with a guy named Steve who runs Stumpknocker Tours This guy is a friend of Tommy's and works for the fire department on the days he's not taking folks on a tour. It should be a real hoot - I've not been on an air boat in decades and Syp has never been on one. We'll likely see plenty of gators and other wildlife as we skim across the water powered by an airplane engine on a big flat boat.

For dinner last evening I cooked good old comfort food - rib eye steak, Yukon potatoes, and salad followed by ice cream for me of course. We watched a movie call "Breach" which was based on a true story about a spy in the FBI - Hansen to be exact. It was exciting but even more so when you knew it was true as well. After that Syp watched another movie while I got on my computer to read and answer e-mails, check my banking stuff, and look at some of my 'regular' sites. I'm not sure just what we'll do today but I'm sure it will not be boring.

Syp fits right in around here - he has a redneck!

Posted at 08:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Busy Sunday

Mon 16 March 2009

Sunday was a busy day with activities and guests. We walked the half a block to the Cuban restaurant for breakfast and Cuban coffee - Syp of course ate 3 times as much as I did but then he's a growing boy. It is often dangerous to feed him too much because his energy gets so high her starts bouncing off the walls so to use some of that energy we went to the beach. I thought we were going to GOP look at the beach but Syp wanted to walk a bit. So we walked a bit then a bit more and then some more until we had gone from one public beach to the other. Actually it was rather nice with a breeze and a nice sunny day.

Along the way I pointed out the rather nice, up-scale "resorts" and some of the modest $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 private homes on the beach - they are very very nice. There were a good number of people on the beach which I assume for the most part were visitors from the North. How do I know you ask? They went into the water that was 70F and for me to even get close to the water it needs to be 85F or better - locals don't get it such cold water but visitors do. Naturally there were teenagers using their skim-boards to ride the waves at the shore as you will find year around. The walk was very pleasant although for me unexpected - had I known that was what Syp had in mind I would have brought suntan lotion for him and me . You know what is next, right? He got a nice little burn on his arms and neck - yup...Syp is a red-neck!

At the end of the walk we went to a local beach eatery/bar to sit on the board walk and have some drinks. It was cold Heinken for boy and I had diet coke with lime. A seagull visited as you can see in today's picture. It was very pleasant sitting there so we'll likely go back for lunch this week. Having had a later breakfast it was too early for lunch but not too early for beer. After that it was back to the house were Syp was on the internet and I took a 30 minute nap which is my daily routine.

Lunch was around 2 when I made chicken sandwiches with potato salad, chips, and beer of course. Oops! Kid has energy again so we went over the the art festival for a few hours of walking around looking at all kinds of art - from paintings to pottery, to jewelry, it was all there and there was a lot of it. Syp found one artist in particular he thought was amazing - the guy made colored pictures by cutting little pieces out of magazines then gluing the pieces onto a canvas in such a fashion as to make clearly recognizable images.The artist, Derek Gores has a website so you too can see: click here . It was fun to wander around the art festival all held under a grove of old oaks thus the name, "Art Under the Oaks" which is one of the largest shows of it's kind in the country.

When we returned to the House Ty was right behind us and came in for a nice visit. He and Syp talked for a couple hours before he headed out to his grandmother's house for dinner. Then about 30 minutes after Ty left John came by to visit with Syp and join him in a beer. Poor Syp had to be the social center of attention most of the afternoon but he really seemed to enjoy it. While John was here a movie called Ocean's 13 came on so we all watched that while talking as well.

I'm having my usually fatigue problems and I could not go to dinner. No worries, there was left over pizza and salad so Syp did not go hungry but I did not feel like eating anything. I'm so sick and tired of being tired and not wanting to do anything. It is especially bad when I have someone here I want to do something with but just feel like moving is hard to do. I'm not only fatigued now but I'm pissed about the way I feel. God I wish I could do something to make it better!

Posted at 08:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Syp's Here

Sun 15 March 2009

Despite the best efforts of US Customs, Syp managed to slip through security in the Miami airport and arrive into my safe keeping early Friday evening. His flight was actually a bit early although he did take the better part of a hour to get through the various check points. I think Syp and I might have been the only two in the arrival are who were not speaking Spanish. Jeez! Miami is like visiting a foreign country in the US. Too bad I did not have one of the Barnes boys with me to translate - especially Ty whom I think is the most fluent.

To my amazement the trip down only took a bit over 2 hours and 30 minutes even on a Friday afternoon during "rush hour". The trip back too a bit longer because it was dark and we were talking so I drove a bit slower. I wonder what was going on or not going on that caused the traffic to flow so well? Maybe some roads that had previously been closed were open? I hope the trip next Friday back to Miami goes as well.

It is great to have Spy here for a real visit to Vero - he's been here before but only for a couple days many years ago. We talked almost non-stop for the return drive and got back in Vero in time to go to my neighborhood Italian Kitchen and order one of their home made pizza pies. Home made meaning they use fresh ingredients, not canned stuff and make the pizza's fresh from scratch to order. We came back to the Vero Villa, had pizza here and then it was about time for bed.

The roll-away bed I rented was too small for Syp so I got out my queen size blow-up. That worked well until the air leaked out in about 3 hours so Syp spent the rest on the night on the couch. Yesterday morning after doing some sleuthing we determined there was a defective valve on the mattress so we took action - we went to Loew's home store to buy stuff we thought might fix the problem. The washers we bought did not help but the plumber's tape did. This morning the bed had lost air over night but was not flat so today we'll added more plumber's tape to see if we can seal it for good this time.

Tommy came by for a visit and suggested we get a bigger rental bed. I called the place and indeed they did have a bed that was a bit bigger so we exchange the one I had for the bigger one. The air mattress is still the best but if it leaks again we may have to try something else. TB came by at just the right time and was happy to help us.

Mid afternoon we went to visit Tom and Mary Ann before they left for Atlanta - they were to leave this morning. We had a nice visit with them and watched some golf with Tom - he is a big golf fan and plays it as much as he can. They will head up to Baltimore the week after next to get the procedure done - we all hope and pray it comes out well - literally. Syp commented that he watched more golf with Tom than he has ever watched golf before at any time with anyone - he's a soccer fan of course.

For dinner last even we went to get some good Southern bar-b-cue at Norris's in Ft. Pierce - for those in the know around here you'll know their baby back ribs are great and indeed they were. Even I finished all that was on my plate as did Syp of course. The place was crowed and full of a lot of local's with seemingly few tourists. Heck it was a big Saturday night but today is another day and might I add a nicer day. It is sunny and very pleasant here in Vero. Right now it is 20.5 C outside but of course it will warm as the sun gets higher in the sky. We probably will go to a local arts festival after lunch and to the Cuban coffee shop when it opens for breakfast. Life is good.

Syp was on Skype yesterday talking to sweet Sjak and cute Yari as you can see in today's picture.

Posted at 08:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Syp's Coming Today

Fri 13 March 2009

Today is the day - I go to Miami's airport this afternoon to fetch surrogate son one, Syp. He is arriving on a Friday afternoon during Miami's rush hour - his plane is scheduled to land at 6pm. I'll check later today for an update because these planes are often late but almost never early. I'm guessing it will take at least a hour for him to de-plane and sneak through US Customs if they let him get through. Knowing Syp he will probably not have checked luggage but just carry-on so he should be among the first through. It has been 15 or 20 years since I went through Miami Customs but as I recall they move rather quickly. If everything goes well we should be headed back to the village of Vero Beach before 8 and home by 11pm.

Nothing ever goes as expected so I'm going to just play it by ear. If Syp is not too tired I'll have him drive us back to Vero but after that flight he might be really tired. Then again when he first started to visit me 23 years ago I'd fetch him at the Atlanta airport and we'd say up talking and drinking beer until the wee hours of the morning. I'm an old fart that doesn't drink beer anymore and 11 pm is past my bedtime. Did you folks know that Syp will be 37 next month? What happen in between 15 and 37? Hell Bill Voegeli and Mike Gately are both 50! Yes, you heard me - 50! And in 13 months I will be eligible for 'early' social security - I think I qualify for $321/month before withholding. Remember, I've been self-unemployed for the last 22 years so I've not been putting much into SS. That's ok...I invested in the stock market for my retirement that is now worth about 40% of what is was worth a year ago. Damn!

You probably will not see me post on a daily bases while Syp is here but I'll do what I can. I'll be turning my executive office into a bedroom for Syp so he can have privacy from my guard cat at night - all other areas of the house are always open. This office is where I type my notes to post each day before going to coffee and I'm guessing Syp might be sleeping at that time of the day. He used to sleep until the crack of noon but with a job and Yari my guess is he gets up earlier these days.

From today's pictures, do you think Syp has changed much from when I first met him in Africa? Is it just me or is his hairline reseeding? No worries, I think I'll still recognize him.

My palms got their Spring feeding yesterday so I'm hopeful I'll see some good growth over the next 6 months. My Lawn guy also came but decided to come back to mow next week - my yard did not quit need it yesterday. My third visitor of the day was Starr who brought some linens for the roll-away bed I'm going to rent for Syp. I have a blow-up mattress but I think the fold-up roll-away will be easier to move around and out of the way during the day. I'd buy a roll-away bed but I've not got a place to store it when not in use - my John's Island storeroom is pretty much full.

I've been getting those damn automated calls for Sandra Schanze from a company that uses an old address she had - my address - and a reverse look-up for a phone number - my phone number. She has never had my phone number and has not been near this house in years. There must be a way of stopping collection agencies from contacting people who move into houses, condos, or apartments once occupied by dead-beats! I've asked to be removed from the list 4 times yesterday but they still keep calling. Each time I'm told I'll be removed but I'm not. I'm sick of it!

Posted at 06:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Tommy Visited

Thu 12 March 2009

Yesterday when I was trying to post my exciting notes of the day my server was not allowing the data to be posted. from past experience I knew that their filters were blocking the post because of the content. If I put a link to another host company (there are thousands of them) or put any thing at all that might relate to pornography the filters will block the entire post. This rarely happens but occasionally I put something that the filters don't like and yesterday was one of those times. When I was talking about my 'guy' friends I first used 'm*le' instead of 'guy' and followed it by 'friends - the filters did not like that. I also have to be careful about the word enlarge and the context in which it is used. I wonder if I'm going to be able to post these notes without a change?

The Treasurer of our coffee klatch says he will be stepping down at the end of this month and because I'm the only other 'elected' officer it is up to me to do something about it. I need to identify someone who regularly comes for coffee, is responsible , and hopefully honest. We collect money so as to pay for coffee and the rent for the coffee room along with goodies like cakes for birthdays. I have a couple people in mind so I'll pull them to the side and see if I can convince them to undertake the responsibility.

My guy what takes care of the fertilizers and pesticides for my yard and plants came by today to put some anti-fungus powder on a couple of spots in my yard that were turning brown. He says this stuff will kill the fungus and the grass will come back all nice and green. In fact, I've noticed that my grass is starting to green-up as we head toward spring - the fertilizer he put on my yard last month helped as well. Either today or tomorrow he's going to 'deep-root' feed my palms by injecting fertilizer deep into the root system. I've been most pleased with the service Mike provides to me on a monthly bases after all, I spent a lot of money making it look good so I'd be foolish not to take care of it.

I replaced 5 landscape lights yesterday afternoon. Does it seem like I do this once a week? It seems to me like I do it way too often but with daylight savings maybe they will last longer. I did order a case of 12 replacement bulbs from an eBay wholesale store - they are GE bulbs like the original ones with 4000 hours of life expectancy. Time will tell but at some point I might just need to have things re-wired in my transformer. Maybe I can use Syp to stick some wires under his tongue as I adjust the power by looking at the hair standing straight up on his head?

Tommy came by for a visit and we spent about a hour talking about this, that, and the other thing. We see ye-to-eye all most things especially as it relates to politics, taxes, etc. He too is scared of what the new administration is doing especially the affect to will have on his 3 sons in the years ahead. With government spending at unbelievably high levels and still increasing, the workers of today will be saddled with funding interest on the Hugh debit being created by the Obama socialists. Throw in the baby boomers as they are stating to retire and you have an ever increasing demand on social security and the health system. Where is the money going to come from to fund all this? We are both very concerned now more than ever.

How many of you out there think this is a good time to vastly increase the welfare state? I didn't see many hands go up! Obama is loading the welfare wagon but doing nothing to improve the health of the horse that will pull the wagon - the American economy. The Obama administration is acting like a teenager with a credit card for which he does not need to pay the bill every month - mom and pop will pay the bill. But Obama is spending more and more of the money mom and pop make leaving the real engine in our economy - the producers - behind. BTW, I'm not one bit happy with the spending of the previous administration either but this new crowd is way out of control. Is this the change America voted for in November - I think many who voted for Obama would say hell no.

Pictured today is Tommy and two of his sons taking on a fishing trip a couple months back when Matt & Drew caught the sailfish.

Posted at 06:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

New Receiver

Wed 11 March 2009

The DirectTV tech showed up about mid-morning and with the testing I had already done he said it sounded like my receiver was sick. Strange that I could get some HD signals but not others. Nonetheless, it was the receive so he gave me a new receiver and in fact it was a whole new model. This one does not even have vents on the top so I'm guessing the over heating issue has been resolved. That was what I needed and everything is working as it should now. While he was here he also replaced the cones on my satellite dish saying the ones I had were not bad but he just wanted to change them out while he was here. Good. I'm a happy camper again.

I've been getting some very kind input about my depression and meds from some of you who ready my daily rants on BillsView. I know I'm not alone in the way I feel but it is also very comforting to hear from others who have some of the same issues. Not surprisingly it is you women out there who are more willing to talk about depression - I almost never hear from a guy about depression. Even those friends of mine who I know have some of the same problems just shrug it off thinking it is not "manly" to be depressed. Well I'm not one to hide my feelings as many of you already know - I want to talk about what might be my problems so hopefully I can get help. As some old white-haired guy doing an advertisement for a chiropractic school in Atlanta used to say on TV - "Why be sick when you can be well?" (those of you in Atlanta should remember the school). The dude has a point don't you think? If there are meds that can make your life better, then why not live a better life?

?My guy friends don't hesitate in talking about the meds they take for high blood pressure, cholesterol, allergies, etc but at the moment I can't think of a single guy friend of mine who is on an anti-depressant. Well I'm fortunate that I'm not taking meds for anything but depression - at least not yet although my day might come. I did pick a good Dad in that he never took medication except for brief periods of illness - he never was "on" long term meds . Maybe I got more of his genes that my Mom's genes - Mom was on a half dozen pills a day for just about anything you can imagine. So I'll not shy away from talking about and seeking treatment for conditions I want to make better. Stay tuned to see how the increase in Cymbalta is working.

Last night I went out to reset the timer on my landscape light for Daylight Savings Time and to check the lights themselves. Golly Gee Batman - I had 5 lights that were burned out - 2 for the very first time while the other 3 were repeat offenders. Do you think this is normal? It seems to me the lights just burn out entirely too fast. The good news is that with the longer days and daylight savings my lights will be on for a shorter period of time each day. It doesn't get dark until around 8 and I don't keep my lights on later than around 10. In the late Fall they would come on at 5:30 and say on until 10 - that time will be cut by over 60% so I hope these new replacements will last a lot longer.

John stopped by Sunday on his way home from a hard day at guarding the John's Island beach. He says that one of the lifeguards ahead of him may get hired by the fire department which will in turn open up the possibility that he can work at JI beyond his 'seasonal' employment. I for one hope the dude does get the fireman's job although there are dozens of applicants looking to fill the position. I think the JI job for John is good because he likes it, he gets paid well, he gets benefits like food, and he gets to hang around people who own things like companies with private jets (not being bashed by the Basher-in-chief, Obama). John carries himself well and this characteristic can easily be identified by those who are successful - how do you think they got successful in the first place? Maybe John will know something latter this week. He still has the Indian River County job he can always keep and even expand his hours. The most important thing however is school...are you reading this John?

Posted at 06:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Satellite Trouble

Tue 10 March 2009

Remember when I got the referral to CityArtMarket.com by my friend at PeachTreeSuite.com last week? Well I did my homework and came to the conclusion that I don't want to take the time to learn Cold Fusion - the language used on the site. I talked with Bill Voegeli thinking he might want to do it but he said it would take too much work to get up to speed on Cold Fusion which he's not used in years. But he did find a referral I could give to the owner of CityArtMarket which is really what I wanted to do in the first place. I'm not ready to get into e-commerce at the moment with the shopping carts and secure check-outs. So I'm pleased with the outcome for Sherry - I'll stick to the things I know or can easily learn.

Some of my high definition channels on my satellite receiver are experiencing 'plating' - a name given to the slow, jerking action on a digital picture. Most of my HD channels work fine but there are 4 I know of that do not. So I went through all the usual steps with no success so I called for a service man to come out - he (or she) should be here this morning between 8am and noon. How much you want to bet it will be 11:50 before they get here? No matter, I'll be here as I usually am after my morning coffee only this morning I'll be sure to be back by 8 am - they'd come for sure if I were not here!

Where the dish is located I think there could be something in the way but it is not at all clear what. I have something like 18 transponders I'm receiving a signal strength of 95% or better - 2 transponders I'm getting a signal of 0%. I'm thinking something is in the way because the signal acts like it does when heavy rain clouds are moving through the area except there are no clods at all and the dish has a clear site into the South-West sky. If it is a dish problem then it is DirectTV that should be responsible because they installed the dish in the first place.

I think Captain Matt is still employed after a full day at the office - if he's not, I've not received the memo. When he and Brother Drew got back to Atlanta they sent me the picture I'm posting today of their 80 pound hog. It was not as big as the other one in the picture with just Matt but it still is a nice size hog. It seems that the Barnes #38 is not only a good citrus grove but a hotbed of wild game. Turkeys, gators, hogs, raccoons, wild fowl, deer, foxes, panthers, ....I know you think I'm making some of this up but I am not! Yes there are Florida panthers out there. So if the citrus business goes South TB can convert it into a hunting plantation.

I've mentioned my cousin, Alice the baker before. Well yesterday she brought me a fresh - hot out of the oven - strawberry pound cake for me and my guest. Well Syp is not coming until the end of the week and I'm not at all sure the cake will last that long around here. Cakes are part of the 4 basic food groups along with ice cream, chocolate, and salty nuts. To stay healthy I must eat something out of each food group everyday - so the cake may not last.

Posted at 05:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Mon 09 March 2009

I found a letter written by a law student that expressed my feelings and thoughts about the liberal - socialist left exceptionally well. It speaks to how I want to be left alone with the values I have but wish no ill-will on anyone else - I just want them out of my business, my way of life. Their way is so damaging to much of what I believe that it is tearing the fabric of my life and those that think like me apart. This letter conveys that belief in a clear way so I'd like to ask that you read it. Please click here. As always, your comments are invited.

So what got me started off on that political foot today you ask? Well...I did what I didn't want to do yesterday and that was to watch some Sunday talk shows on TV. Why I do this when I know it will usually make me unhappy I do not know - I'm drawn to these shows like flies are drawn to rotting food (I could have used another example but this is a "G" rated site for the most part.) I'd tell you specifically what reallygot under my skin but that would make me think about it all over again so I won't. My blood pressure is rather good not only for an old fart but young people as well - I'm wondering how all this negative economic news and the socializing of America is making it go up? TB says he can actually "feel" his blood pressure "boil" as he puts it so he tries to just leave the room when news is on. Damn I don't like what I see happening!

Yesterday I sent Brother Drew and Captain Matt back to Atlanta so they can go to work to support the dead beats, mortgage defaulters, and anyone else Obama wants to give something to they did not earn from someone who did earn it. I do have hope for the Barnes - Brennan boys because they are good workers and smart young men. They will see what rules with which their lives are guided and then make the best of an unfair situation. They all have good work ethics so I'm confident they will always be standing pulling the wagon as it were rather than riding in the wagon.

Captain Matt starts his new job today at the Equifax corporate headquarters there in Atlanta. He dropped by for a visit the day before he left so we could discuss the best way to get there on his first day at work. I'm really out of the loop as to Atlanta traffic headed downtown at rush hour but it must be horrible. I suggested he ride MARTA to the Arts Center Station then walk the 4 blocks to work. If the weather is good, that would be the way to get to work everyday saving wear and tear on his car. I bet he gets off to a great start and grows quickly within his new employer. I hope so because I need Matt and others like him to contribute to social security so I can have income now that all my stocks have tanked.

When surrogate son Syp gets here Tommy said he would take us fishing assuming the weather cooperates with us. The long range forecast is for mild temperatures and mostly sunny days with the exception of morning showers on Wednesday of next week. The real issue is the wind - from which direction does it blow and at what speed. As long as the seas are in the 2' to 4' range it should be ok to fish - it's when the wind blows and you get bigger waves that fishing is a punishment. Hopefully there will be at least one day when the winds will be light, the sun is out, and we can go offshore trolling hoping some wayward fish runs into our bait. It would be a real hoot to catch some nice fish with some variety but you just never know until you try. TB's new boat is fast, smooth, and will make the trip easier than was the case with his previous boat.

I've not got a lot planned for Syp except the work around my house - pressure washing my roof, replacing some plants, completing some projects, just good old fun household chores. I'm not sure if he'll want to stay in the house where Sally is in charge or stay in my John's Island storeroom..HaHaHaHaHa. Actually I think I'll stick him in my office with a door that closes to keep the guard cat out at night.

As you can see from the picture Tommy had a minor accident with his boat in the Indian River but he hopes to have it patched with some good duct tape by this coming weekend!

Posted at 06:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Hog Hunting

Sun 08 March 2009

What the heck is going on that I'm getting exposed to more nefarious malware or viruses? No, it's not porn sites so get your mind out of the gutter - it's sites I've been to in the past looking at applications that all of a sudden seem to have been hijacked by Spyware. The latest nasty is something called ANG AntiVirus 09 that is a "free" scan that will definitely find something bad on your machine that it likely put there in the first place. Then for $89 you can buy the software to remove it and if you don't it will hijack your browser and present you with annoying pop ups. I did not get infected but it tried to get into my computer. BTW, notice how they use ANG to fool you into believing it is AVG, a good anti virus application?

And then I found another Trojan that got into my system restore files - I'm not sure where this came from but I got rid of it manually. I'm thinking all this bad stuff originated from that download I mentioned a few days ago although one I think came in an e-mail's image file. This is most unusual for me to get exposed but thankfully I know what to do if it happens.

On the bright side of things I found my Adobe Creative Suite 4 is still functioning after a 30 day period so apparently it was not a 'trial' version as I first thought it would turn out to be.Of course I still do not have a clue as to how to use it but at least it works so I have a chance to learn. Not only that but I know how to install the software on any machine and make it work. It is not simple but if you know how to exchange certain .DLL files and edit your computer's Host file then you can get it to work or at least I did. Cool.

The Barnes boys were going fishing on Friday while Ryan was in town but it turned out to be too windy. So Captain Matt and Brother Drew went out to Barnes # 38 and shot an eighty pound wild hog. I talked to Drew Friday evening and he was bubbling over with excitement because he and Matt bagged to hog. I say 'they' bagged it because they both shot at the same time. It seems to me that 80 pounds is a fairly heavy hog is it not? I never was much of a hunter but I know Drew and Matt hunt for wild hogs and/or wild turkeys whenever they have a chance. They don't just shot them - they bring them home to eat.

I asked John if he could get Friday off to rid - or drive - down to Miami this coming Friday to fetch my little Dutchie buddy Syp. He can't get off work so I'll make the dangerous trip alone with my radio and CD's to keep me company. Actually it will not be too bad because the time will have changed and it will be daylight all the way down and probably the beginning of the trip back to Vero. Syp said he'd drive back but I'm thinking he might be too tired after the flight over. Then again, the pure excitement in being in my presences might keep him so full of energy he'll want to drive - I have that affect on people.

In keeping with my thoughts about avoiding the depressing news and watching more movies I say "Oceans 12" for the first time yesterday. I really like those kind of heist-type movies where you don't know what happens until the end. That's why I like the TNT series "Leverage" because it is the same sort of thing. All this got started when I was in college with a TV show called Mission Impossible that later was made in the the Tom Cruse movies by the same name. This is pure escapism for me where I can just sit back and enjoy. I wonder what movie I can find to watch today?

I thought I'd post a picture of the hog Matt and drew bagged. Matt was celebrating with an adult beverage.

Posted at 09:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Sat 07 March 2009

It was Friday so I went to get a haircut and to pick up a new plant. I usually don't have to wait for a haircut but the word must have gotten out that I'd be there. No matter, I got the task accomplished then headed to Home Depot to look at their plants. I found a nice fern-like plant but I failed in finding a plant for the back door table. I finally got rid of the raggedy poinsettias left over from Christmas and now I want to replace them. A nice growing green plant will be find but if I can identify a flowering plant I like that would be even better. All the flowering plants were too small for my pot but I'll not give up that easily and shall try another day.

When I was coming back from getting my haircut I noticed 3 guys holding signs at a very busy intersection here in Vero - they wanted jobs. I've never seen young guys with nice shirts, ties, and well-groomed standing on corners looking for jobs but these brothers were doing just that. The made the local paper for their "novel efforts" and apparently had several offers by the end of the day. Frankly, I'm not one bit surprised - if you dress like you care how you look and then make an effort like these young men did, you're going to get attention of would-be employers or people who may know someone looking for a real go-getter. That's what need more of in this country rather than Obama making victims of as many Americans as he can to turn them into people depending on taxpayers to bail them out. Damn I'm really unhappy with Obama's socialist policies which are making things in our economy worse instead of better - he and his liberal socialist buddies are going to damage our country for years to come!

I called Bill Voegeli about his potential interests in working on the website to which I was referred. It is written in cold fusion which Bill used to write but does not anymore. He told me that to write in cold fusion you need to have a compiler to produce the files for uploading to a server. Jeez! I had no idea the language was so detailed but I now understand why some sites use cold fusion - it is a "safer" language for e-commerce. Bill may have a friend of his that could help so if that's the case I'll refer him to the site's owner. It was prudent of me not to try to undertake this project - it would have been a nightmare for me.

The owner of PeachTreeSuite.com said some of his female visitors thought the image of the secretary was a bit provocative. Huh? I don't get it but women look at things differently then men so he wanted me to change the banner buy adding a dude. Apparently women in business look at other women differently then men look at other women from a business standpoint. I guess I knew that I just didn't understand how women look at one another and I still don't. So as to pick a 'dude' that would be acceptable I picked the guy from his old site, cleaned the image, and then added it to the banner such as to place the female in the background. Actually I think it came out pretty good, don't you agree?

My once-a-week virus scan yesterday picked up a couple Trojans which I'm sure came from the not so innocent download from a file sharing site. The infection was inside my Sandboxie files safely away from the rest of my machine. I had PC-cillin quarantine the files and then I deleted them. That is how Sandboxie should work. Strangely there was what appeared to be a nasty file found outside of Sandboxie and was caught by my real-time virus monitoring - it too I deleted. That one appeared between the time I went to get a haircut and when I returned which was after my morning scan. I'm not sure where this file came from in the first place but I've learned it's best to delete them rather than trying to solve my curiosity as to where it came from in the first place. You got to be careful when you download anything or open something sent to you be a friend. The friend may not know he or she is sending an infected file - real time protection is a must IMO.

Posted at 08:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

What a Meeting

Fri 06 March 2009

Yesterday's coffee klatch meeting was amazing - the chairman talked about his past and it sounded like something out of a Ripley's believe it or not! The things he went through and lived to tell about it kept everyone there hanging on each word he said. I ought not go into details here but it certainly did get my attention. This was not the same old - same old stories where the beginning, middle, and end were all the same just with different characters. No indeed - this one was so out there that I wondered how a guy like this made it to Vero Beach - oops...I forgot...I'm here! My very presence draws people from all over like moths are drawn to light bulbs - I'm a beacon of light in a world of darkness. I'm also so full of sh*t that my blue eyes are turning brown!

Then this other guy told us - as much as he could - about his top secret work with the City of New York, the Mayor of New Your, the Governor of New York, the FBI, the CIA, and Homeland Security. It seemed like I was in the movie theater watching some spy thriller with covert ops and the evil Muslim empire trying to destroy all the good folks in New York. I guess I got to believe this stuff but I thought it only happen in TV shows like "24". This stuff is real and something I pay very little attention to down here in the laid-back village of Vero Beach where excitement is watching the old farts race their electric carts up and down the isles at Publix.

What made the second guy particularly interesting is he was involved with this top secret security stuff before 9-11 and his son was on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. What he related to us was never made known to the general public via the biased left-wing liberal news media. He had facts and details I'd not heard before but stopped short of telling us the really secret stuff because then the CIA would have to kill him. So now you see why I go for coffee every morning - you never know which day will be one to remember like yesterday. I wonder what's on tap for this morning?

One of the "referrals" from Atlanta called about her website asking if I could help. After studying it and her needs for the last day or so I've concluded it would be best if she found someone with more expertise than I have because her site is her business and is a very active e-commerce site. They have constantly changing inventory, a need for a secure, encrypted shopping cart, and a means of securely and automatically handle credit cards or PayPal. The actual pages I could do and create the code needed to allow for an ever expanding inventory but what I'm afraid I don't know enough about is this shopping cart - security thing. I have no doubt I could learn it but do I want to use this opportunity as a means of testing? I know that I don't know what I need to know to be readily effective...you know what I mean?

Her website is written in Cold Fusion which I know nothing about. It could function perfectly well in .PHP but pretty much the whole site would need to be re-coded. .PHP is certainly powerful enough to handle e-commerce but once again I've had no experience with automated shopping carts and I'm afraid the liability is too great for me to tackle the job. Now I could maybe 'sub' the job out but first I'd have to find someone competent to do the work. From what I've seen around here, there doesn't seem to be the technical know-how readily available like it clearly is in Atlanta.

It's been one week since I went to my doctor resulting in an increase in the Cymbalta I'm taking. If anything, I think the last week found me with even less energy but perhaps that is short-lived while my brain adjusts. So I continue to be hopeful that this medication will ultimately turn things around but if not, I'll head back to see what else I should try. The trick is to find the right combination and dosages that will work best for me.

While going through some stuff here the other day I found this picture of me and Wendy while on a two week Nile cruse. In case you're wondering I'm wearing make-up to darken my skin to be more Egyptian-like in appearance. That was a fun trip full of excitement and wonders of the world.

Posted at 06:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Got a Check

Thu 05 March 2009

I should known better! I made the BIG mistake of watching an afternoon CNN show because Neal Boortz was going to be on it. Damn! Yes Neal was on it alright but the pure garbage I watched waiting for him to be on made me sick - literally made my stomach upset with the stuff they were putting out on cable. I promised myself earlier this year I would not watch as much news and especially the pure left-wing liberal blather that gets splashed on the airwaves by the Communist News Network and others. CNN has gotten as bad as MSNBC and let me tell you, that's BAD! Add to that the collapse in the equity markets because of Obama's radical socialist programs and policies and I'm not a very happy camper. I talked enough about this yesterday so I'll move on for now.

Has anyone noticed I've changed the BillsView title to a JPEG from simply using a typed font? Pretty exciting, huh? I'm not sure I'll leave it this way but the image does add a bit of depth to the look but then it also takes me another step from my belief that simple is best. Now there is an image that has to load albeit small. The 'portal' page up until now did not have an images although my daily post always do. Just more playing around with the World Famous BillsView.com.

Ryan and Heather went to South Beach to check things out on Tuesday and plan on returning to Vero tonight I think. Heather has never been to South Beach so that should be a fun trip. Too bad we've had such cold weather for the last few days - it would have been nice to hang out on the beach with the beautiful people. No worries - they can still enjoy some fine dinning and great wines with a trip to Joe's. South Beach is worth checking out in my opinion but it is for the younger crowd with the clubs and dancing - a lot of action doesn't even stat until midnight.

Glory be...I got my first check for a website I built, PeachtreeSuite.com . Frankly I knew I'd get a check from the site owner because I've known and trusted him for a number of years. I sent a bill and within the week I got his check along with a very nicer note telling me how "thrilled" he was with his new site.He gets a big portion of his business from the website and that first started happening a few years ago when I added META tags and got him involved with Google. He was very reluctant to spend $50 per month with Google and now he's over $800 per month. He spends this money because of all the quality business his website generates. I'm as happy about his been "thrilled" as I am about his check - now if I could just get the lawyer to send a check.

One thing that has come out of this Atlanta project is that Tom mentioned what I had done for him at my old Atlanta coffee klatch resulting in 2 people requesting my name and telephone number. One of them asked me to call which I did but got voice mail - the other says they will call me. Maybe nothing will come out of this but you never know. With the stock market where it is it would not hurt to make some extra money so I can eat...nah, eating is not all that it's cracked up to be!

While the economy is tanking and real estate prices are depressed, Vero has one of the more pricey properties on the market. The Gallant Sea Manor has just come on the market for a modest $39,600,000 - it has a great view. Beach property here in Vero seems to be somewhat immune from the collapse in real estate around other parts of Florida and I'm convinced it is because of the uniqueness of Vero's Beaches. Other counties in Florida allow high density while Vero's Beach does not allow buildings more than 3 stories tall - no high-rises except one that was built in the 70's before the low density ordinance was enacted. For the most part Vero has single family homes or condos on the island which provide a limited number of properties. So don't let this bargain slip by - put in your offer today!

So I won't keep you guessing any more, here is a picture of Bill Voegeli's youngest son, Charles. He is a senior in high school this year and like his two brothers does not have trouble attracting the girls.

Posted at 06:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Wed 04 March 2009

I usually don't talk about politics much on this page but today I feel the need to vent. You know what.....I'm worried, no frighten, that the new Obama Administration is driving our US economy right into the toilet with their policies, actions, or lack of actions. Frankly I don't think they have a f*cking clue! I'm not talking just about the difference in political philosophy between the radical liberals and my conservative views but I think radical liberals that knew what they were doing would be doing a much better job than this clueless crew of socialists. They are driving people and companies into the ground with their spend as much as we possible can and forget about the consequences philosophy. Yes boys and girls, I'm indeed afraid for our economy and our freedoms.

No, I'm not just saying that to make a point - I do believe we are in big trouble. The leader of the free world is not making things better by constantly saying we are in a "crisis" without an added optimism. When Obama says he "inherited" this problem he is not even half right. Sure the economy was getting bad before he took office but he knew that for the two years he worked to win the office so why act so surprised? And have you noticed the stock market has gone down 2000 points just since Obama was put into office on January 20th? Every time Obama or any of his administration says anything the markets go down even more.

You know another thing that scares me - Obama is never seen in public giving a speech without a teleprompter. He used one just two days ago to introduce his new secretary of something...Health and Human Services I think. He had to use a frigging teleprompter. So just who is in charge? Who is pulling Obama's strings? Can he really just be a puppet with nothing more that the ability to read teleprompters well? If so, who is setting policy..George Soros? Nancy Pelosi? Barney Frank? Boys and girls, I do not like what I see at all without regard to the differences in philosophy - throw that in and I'm really scared.

Someone has to take the lead and generate some positive optimism and clear out the uncertainty this liberal socialist crowd has generated. They say Obama is "smart" but I'm not at all sure how smart he is trying to bulldoze all his socialist programs into the fabric of American society while the economy tanks. I read somewhere that the first weeks of the Obama administration has created a greater deficit that the last 4 years of the Bush administration put together and it's still growing. Once again I'm afraid things will get worse before they begin to get better.

On the positive side of things, life is pretty good for me. I don't have to worry about my job because I don't have one. The bank and bill collectors are not after me because I pay on time. The biggest issue I have is trying to get the meds I'm taking into the right cocktail balance so I can have a better sense of well being although Obama sure is not helping! I'm in generally good physical health, I have more ice cream than I need, my house is fixed, my car works, and I have friends that care about me including Syp who will be visiting soon.

This morning I will chair the coffee klatch meeting as I do the first Wednesday in every month so I think I'll talk about no matter how bad things are, adult beverages will make them worse for us. I want to express something positive with all the negativity going on - this is a time when some might be in danger and need reinforcement. It certainly will not hurt to hear myself say positive things for my own well being. One thing for sure is that going for coffee helps put things into a much better perspective.

Yesterday I posted a picture of Bill Voegeli's oldest son Will, so today here is a picture of his middle son, North - a freshman at the University of Alabama. Looks like he has a tough life, huh?~

Posted at 06:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Young People

Tue 03 March 2009

Yesterday I did not mention that after Mary Ann, Heather, and Ryan left I got a visit from John. He was headed home from a hard day at the beach looking at the ocean, reading, and protecting anyone foolish enough to go in the water. He was one tired puppy. Not just the lifeguard job on Sunday but that along with a full load at school has got him busy now that he also lifeguards for one of the county pools. It's good practice for when he gets out of college and has to have two jobs to support his family - you know...diapers, baby food, diapers, toys, diapers, etc. His not there yet but I'm sure Syp will be able to clue him in on life after kids.

John is very serious about getting the school work done with the grades he needs to transfer to Florida State in the Fall. I am 100% behind his wanting to go to school up in Tallahassee, Florida - going away to college is a whole different world than living at home. I'm confident John will do just fine adjusting to live 4 hours (or is it 5 hours) away from Vero attending class, working, and participating in college life at a big university. Of course there will be the sports, parts, and girls in addition to school and work - I think it will be great for him and he'll do well.

Speacking of kids in college, I'm sure may of you remember my good friend Bill Voegeli from my Atlanta days, right? I first met Bill when he was 12 at the Cross Creek pool next to the apartment where I lived for the three years between college and purchasing 900 Peachtree Battle Circle. Well that little boy has 3 sons , two of which are in college and a third on the way. Today I decided to post a picture of his oldest son, Will, who goes to the University of South Carolina and I think he's a junior this year. The other son, North, goes to the University of Alabama while the youngest, Charles, is a senior in a private school in Atlanta. My how kids grow up and then have kids and son the kid's kids will have kids.

John's brother Alex turns 18 today. Yet another kid that has made it to the age of being legally responsible for his actions. I talked with Starr a good bit yesterday about where Alex will go to college - she of course is obsessing over the subject while Alex on the other hand has more of a laid-back don't worry all will be ok look on things. I always thought Alex would be a professional fisherman but now he's interested in graphic design because that's what gamers do to turn the obsession into an income stream. What one studies doesn't necessarily correlate to one's career path - look at me going from Physics and engineering into insurance for God's sake. With respect to Alex it is time to apply if you want to be accepted for the Fall session.

It would make sense for John ad Alex to attend the same school but it is not clear that they both can get into Florida State. It's harder to get into FSU right out of high school than it is to transfer there having proven you can handle the work by getting a two year associate's degree from one of the many local colleges around the state of Florida including the one John is attending - Indian River State College. Frankly I think it would be best for Alec to attend a local college to get his feet wet as it relates to college work - he has not really been challenged in high school. Even if FSU were to accept Alex I still think a smaller local college would serve him better - Alec is not dumb by any stretch but he does lack motivation unless it deals with gaming.

Boy did I have a busy morning yesterday. I was talking to Starr on the phone, Wendy on Skype, and then TB walked in to have me look at a spot he thinks is suspicious for skin cancer - I agreed so he'll get it checked soon. Wendy wanted me to help with her nephew's computer in California (here she is at the moment) so I had her download a same utility so I could remotely take control of the computer which I did. While video-conferencing with Wendy on her computer I worked on Simon's computer until the issue was resolved. This remote control thing is cool and works better when I control another computer in the United States as compared to Dubai. By a little after 1 o'clock Tommy was gone, Starr was off the phone, and Wendy went to fix snacks for the kids.

Posted at 06:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Dangerous Downloads

Mon 02 March 2009

Day three of my new medication level but there is no change as yet - then again, I'm really not expecting to see any change for a couple weeks. In the meantime, I wish there was something else I could be doing that would eliminate the fatigue and get me intereste3d in doing more things. Hmm...I know some things that would work but unfortunately they are both illegal and dangerous. The good news is I can get great Cuba espresso just at the corner from my house - that helps, it takes great, and is less likely to cause any negative long term effects.

As I've warned before you need to be very careful when you download things via file-sharing applications. I found something I wanted that was very small in size so how dangerous could it be? the answer is very dangerous if it uses svchost.exe to operate it's functions. I carefully downloaded a file that was about 320kb but I did so using sandboxie.exe - the contained environment which will stop any nefarious software from infecting the rest of your computer. Sure enough, my PC-Cillan immediately popped up a warning that the file had a Trojan in it. So, I could eliminate it while it was still in the virtual environment created by sandboxie.exe. Had I not gotten an alert, I would have scanned the file for infections before I opened it.

Just so you know, I did not get this from the trusted site I've used in the past but rather from some other 'authentic-looking' website - my how looks are deceiving, huh? Even on the site I trust I still scan any downloads before I open them and then open them within the confines of sandboxie. There are a bunch of evil people out there wanting to take advantage of the unsuspecting internet user and they do this just because they can. There are virtually no consequences. I can see how teenagers are targets because they share all this stuff with one-another all the time.

This morning after my coffee social hour I'm going to Wally World (aka Wal-Mart) to pick up my prescriptions and a few other items. I think I'll see if I can find some nice looking table plants for my dining table and bathrooms - I decided to get rid of those expensive artificial orchids Gordon the house stager bought to put in my Atlanta house. I just don't much care for them and although I do manage to kill the real plants I'd rather have real ones. Besides, with my ability to kill them I get to rotate plants to keep the Vero Villa alive and ever changing. It's March so maybe I'll rotate some of my neon lights or then again I might wait to Syp gets here so he can put his artist view into play.

What am I going to do when Syp gets here you ask. Well my white cement tile roof could use a pressure-washing. There is always work to do around my yard (aka garden for you Dutchies). I'll create a list of task to keep him busy after all, isn't that what young people are suppose to do when they visit old farts? Syp has all this fresh new experience from the tasks he's completed in his new house so he should be good at it.

Mary Ann, Ryan, and heather came by yesterday for a visit after they had lunch at the Vero Beach Country club. They delivered the port Brother Drew fetched from Steve for me back in Atlanta. Did you know there is a shrinkage in the bottles of port as the cases travel through different peoples hands? Just kidding - I gave some away in the past I just don't remember who to with the exception of my dear friend, Ross Brown. Anyway, this is the first time in over a year that Ryan and Heather had visited and the last time they were here the house was still under construction. It was nice to have them visit, to bring the port, but they didn't help with my Crown problem - when am I going to get some help there, huh? Maybe Syp will help although I know he's a beer and scotch guy.

Charlotte called and wanted to ask me to lunch with her and an acquaintance of hers she things might like to have coffee with us in the morning. Of course I'm happy to help in any way I can and especially for good friends like Charlotte. I'm not sure this will work out but I'd lover to have lunch with her in any wevent.

Posted at 07:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Sun 01 March 2009

Yesterday I started my new dosage of Cymbalta to see if that will help with my energy/fatigue problem. In the past the medication clearly was helping but not as much as I needed - perhaps twice the dosage will do the trick. If not, my doctor will not increase the Cymbalta dosage but rather supplement it with some other anti-depression drug like Wellbutrin. He seems to think we just need to hit on the right combo at the right dosage levels and frankly I agree. Stimulants will work but they are not treating the cause of the problem so I'd rather fix the cause rather than mask the condition. The fact I have a new plan and a set appoint to return to discuss how things are going is already positive for me.

Lina called the other day to suggest that in part some of my symptoms could be caused by allergies. While I've never considered myself allergic to anything there is is bases in her suggestion. Over the past year I've been 'stopped-up' with congestion a lot more than at any point in the past. I hate to say it but I think it might have something to do with the feline fur factor living under the same roof with me - Sally Cat. I know that the Barnes boys have a definite half-life of being able to stay in my house with Sally around. She deposits clumps of hair everywhere. Perhaps the sheer volume of hair is adversely affecting me - it is something I'll watch and perhaps even have checked out on my next visit to my doctor's office.

While I was discussing my 'condition' with my doctor we talked bout hormones being released in the brain and the an mount of those same hormones that are absorbed back. I Have either too little being produced or too much being sucked back into my brain. I've always sort of thought of my brain as a sponge but for knowledge not hormones. The good news is there are drugs that are safe to use that will help. It is also true that the years I consumed adult beverages might have had an affect on the release or uptake of these brain chemicals - my doctor says there's no definitive studies but my gut tells me that it did have an affect. I know it is the cause of hair growing on the bottom of my feet and it's why my teeth itch!

Saturday I decide to re-code every page on my TanzaniteAmerica.com site so as to comply with W3C HTML 4.0 Transitional code. I'd already changed the home page but now I've gone back to change the 6 other pages. This means that my site should render perfectly in every browser with errors on the page. Very few sites comply and I wanted to do this just for the practice and to prove to myself I can. I can now put the 'validation icon' on my site but I'm not sure I'm going to do that. I did improve on my TanzaniteAmerica.com banner such that the site's name 'pops' out more - I used some shadowing techniques I learned on some site while researching info on Photoshop. Unfortunately I can not validate every page on BillsView.com because they change daily and I frequently making coding errors that are not obvious when you view the site. Only 'static' site can really get validated.

I like the TV options on Saturdays. Many of my favorite programs are replayed from the prior week so I get to see them either again or for the first time. Programs like 'Leverage' and 'Burn Notice' come on past my bedtime so I only get to see them on replay or during one of those marathon things. Yesterday I watched this past week's Leverage and Burn Notice plus part of the all day Burn Notice marathon. Unfortunately the 'season' is over until the summer season comes around. Oh, well.

I just realized today is the first day of March - is this year going fast or what? I guess it is because I stay busy with my various projects that I don't realize that the days are going by so fast. Then again, it could be that I'm an old fart and because my short term memory is not what it used to be I can't remember everything so it seems long ago? As my daddy used to say, "getting older is better than the alternative". Well most of the time that's true but I can think of situations where it might not be true - hopefully those 'situations' are way way in the future for me.

Posted at 08:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Port Wine

Sat 28 February 2009

Brother Drew completed a mission for me when he went by one of my good friend's (Steve Sessler - former college roommate) house to pick up the 11 bottles of port still remaining from yesteryear. This is the port I mentioned a couple days ago and if things go as planned, the bottles should be in Vero today with Mary Ann and Tom. I used to love port and this is some of the very best port I ever had. I plan on using it as 'thank you' gifts or on very special occasions. In years past, a "special occasion" for me would be something like...awaking or breathing.

My friend Steve has lived the great American dream. He started working in a consulting engineering company in 1971 with about 40 employees as a 'grunt' engineer and now he is the senior partner of the very successful company with 250 employees and a client list that includes about half the Fortune 500. He has a beautiful home nestled in the woods in Buckhead as well as a mountain house in North Carolina and a beach house on St. Simon's Island. He and his wife, Linda, have adopted two kids that are still young - pre-teen. I'm very proud for Steve and his family so I won't mention some of the nonsense we did in college at this point.

The other day I was reading about a technique one can use in Photoshop to focus on someone or something in a picture while 'blurring' the soundings. I still don't know much about Photoshop but I did understand the concept and was able to do it in Paint.net. So I took an old photo of a dinner plate sitting on my kitchen counter and then focused on the food while blurring the surroundings. Today's image is the result of my efforts - what do you think? It is not all that difficult to do so you'll likely see it again. I wanted to learn this after seeing it done on yesterday's image of a IRS 1040 form - I found that image; I did not make it.

Yesterday I went to my doctor to discuss my fatigue issue and how it relates to depression, etc. We had a good discussion and agreed I'd first try doubling my Cymbalta to see if that helps and if it is still not giving me the relief I seek he said I should then try adding another drug I once took - Wellbutrin. I had good results with Wellbutrin but not as good as I needed. I've never tried the Cymbalta/Wellbutrin combo but I'm very willing to give it a go. First let's see what happens to doubling my Cymbalta.

My doctor correctly suggested we should try these before adding a potential dangerous drug for someone like me - I'm afraid I might really like Adderall. I am convinced there is a drug cocktail that will be the one I need - the trick is to identify it. So I'm back to being a lab rat again. I'll go pick up my new prescription this morning and see how that works for me. It will likely take a few weeks to really know because of the nature of NSRI's. I have another appointment will him for my regular annual physical at which time we'll decide what the next step should be if this result is not getting it done.

You're wondering if I've received a check from the attorney for whom I built a web site - no, I have not. So now I'm wondering if he tells his client he's going to do something does he really do it? And if he says things that are not true just part of the time, how can you tell which "part" of the time you're in with respect to what he says? I wonder what is really going on here - is he waiting for an Obama bail-out? My buddy that referred him to me in the first place has offered to pay me what he owes by diverting payments to me he is now sending to the attorney. I'm going to consider his offer if I don't get payment.

Posted at 09:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Doctor's Appointment

Fri 27 February 2009

With all the doctors in my life now I decided to go back to the source - my own internist. David Fromang was very helpful in directing me but he's a urologists and not someone who typically studies or writes scripts for anti-depressant or ADHD drugs. I just think I need to go to the guy I've been going to but only a couple months early. I have an appointment scheduled for today at 10:45 when normally I would wait until my annual physical the middle of April. This way I can perhaps try some new meds and then report as to how I'm doing when I have my physical. Some of these meds take several weeks before they become affective - like 4 to 6 weeks.I'm sick and tired of being tired.

To get ready for my appointment this morning I've done extensive research on depression, symptoms, and treatments. I surely have many of the symptoms today but I think I'd have even more if I were not already on as drug (Cymbalta). I want to be prepared and specific about the way I feel and the medications I've discovered that might be worth trying. I'm still going with a SSRI but there are different drugs and each individual reacts differently - I just don't think I've hit on the right combo yet.

I started working on my 2008 tax return. Well what I really mean is I started gathering all the data in order to organize it then turn it over to my accountant. Can you believe my account worked for the firm I first hired in 1972 and now he has his own firm? Tom Westbrook worked for Mike Stern until Mike retired about 15 years ago at which point Tom took over. He is a damn good accountant and a good friend whom I trust to handle my affairs with the Internal Revenue Service. Frankly my returns have been getting simpler every year - when you don't have income and few deductions it makes things very simple!

I've discovered some interesting information about my world famous website, BillsView.com. Some of the people view the site of recent have found it via the pictures I post on my site in particular my 'Political View' section. Apparently some of my pictures have shown up on Google searches which in turn sends those looking to my site. I know because I did some testing myself. One thing I discovered is that my 'Political' pages does not render the way I want it to unless you use BillsView.com as a portal - you can go directly to the page with going through my iFrame. So I guess I need to fix it so it renders well both ways, huh?

All of you internet users beware...Mary Ann now knows how to send and receive e-mail. As soon as she figures out she can shop, buy, and have things delivered from the comfort of her home the bandwidth in her area might get plugged. Just kidding, but I do bet she'll use the internet a lot more than just as an e-mail tool. I've offered my help anytime she needs it when her usual suspects are at work, on dates, or generally unavailable - you know who you are. Now I want to convince her to install Skype and get the rest of her family to do the same. Then again there are people like Syp with Skype who never ever use it although I do find Georgia Tech Jeff on a good bit.

I've got Brother Drew doing me a favor back in Atlanta and I expect he's already done it. I still have 11 bottles of some world-class port wine stored in Steve Sessler's wine cellar up in Atlanta. Drew was to go by to fetch them for me last night and then put it on as cargo on the Brennan Transport service headed to Vero today - Tom & Mary Ann will be coming South for some R&R in sunny Florida. I want this wine so I can give it to people from time to time. Right now I want to give David Fromang a bottle for all the help he's been to me. Boys and Girls...this is really good stuff and now has some some age on it. Wine Spectator gave it their highest possible rating when I first bought it and it is only better now. I sure would like to taste it but maybe a nice smell will work as well.

Today's headlines: Leader of sex-and-massage parlors in Indian River County gets 5-year suspended sentence. The comments are funny - I made one as well.

Posted at 05:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Blood Work

Thu 26 February 2009

I finally called Dave Fromang whom I've known since forever - he is John's uncle thus is Starr's brother and he's a urologists. He has referred me to all the medical professionals I see here in Vero and my dentist. I want to see someone about my energy or should I say lack of energy. I thought I should go to a psychiatrist who would know all about drugs for depression because I think the right drug cocktail will do the trick for me. But David recommended I see an Endocrinologist first to have him check the hormone levels in my blood before I try other SSRI's - he referred me to Dr. Paul Graham here in Vero. I called Dr. Graham's office and asked for an appointment but he wanted a copy of my blood tests from my last physical first which I promptly faxed over to him. I can't see how having all this additional blood work could do any harm and in fact will either point to or eliminate other possible causes for the way I feel. But nooooo! His office called back and said they wanted David to order the blood work and if there was something wrong then they would see me. Of course there is something wrong you idiot - why do you think I want to see you?! Damn!

I don't feel sick but I lack a sense of 'wellness' that's why I thought trying a different SSRI is what I needed. Indeed, it may be what I need but on the other hand if I have some sort of hormonal condition a change in SSRI probably would not help. David said that there could be causes other than serotonin - or lack there of - causing me to feel the way I do. If I could describe the drug cocktail that works best for me it would include a SSRI, some sort of amphetamine to boost energy, and a opiate to increase the dopamine bouncing around in my brain while eliminating any headaches. So should I take Cymbalta, Adderall, and Vicodin...probably not a good idea over an extended period of time, huh? Leave out the Vicodin and maybe I've got something? Could I have ADHD? Now listen to this - Adderall is a brand-name pharmaceutical psychostimulant composed of mixed amphetamine salts, which works by increasing the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Isn't that what I'm seeking - more natural dopamine and norepinephrine? Did you know the drug I am taking - Cymbalta - is a norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor as well as a SSRI?

You won't believe this, but guess what happened? Someone I know takes Adderall to help him concentrate at work which is one of the primary reasons for which it is prescribed in the first place. He volunteered to give me several pills but I took just two (10mg) tablets to test. Shazam! Yesterday was the best day I can remember having in weeks and weeks and weeks. I did not feel "high" (which is a good thing) but I did have a much better sense of wellness. I felt more like I think 'normal' should feel. Nor did I have a headache until I heard about Obama's speech the night before - but I digress again. I have one more pill I'll take this morning to see how today goes. If it is good again then I'll check into get a prescription until I find another alternative. Adderall is not a narcotic but it can be additive and you have to be careful getting off it like I have to be careful with Cymbalta, Paxil, or any other SSRI - you can't just stop.

I talked to David again Wednesday night and he told me what sort of tests he wanted and I know a way of ordering them myself, so I did. There is an online facility out of Atlanta called PrivateMD where you can order just about any test you want at a reasonable cost - I ordered the Male Deluxe anti-aging panel as Dave suggested. I got a private link to a secure website, logged in, and then got a .PDF file which I printed to take to the local lab here in Vero. The lab vampires took three small tubes of my precious blood to be tested. When completed, I'll be able to get the results online at a secure site at which point I'll share the results with you, David and ultimately my regular internist when I have my physical in April.

Posted at 05:03 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Holland's Muslim Problem

Wed 25 February 2009

I have a browser helper recommendation I made that hasn't worked out very well for me of late - it is the program called LastPass. Oh it is fabulous for remembering passwords and making it easy to logon to sites but the form completion part of the package has turned out to be a nightmare for me. It might work on new sites but there are so many sites I go back to for purchasing things on the internet for which it causes conflicts. Maybe I could or should have done something different but I got so irritated the other day when I tried and tried to order something that I just ended up uninstalling the software. I might settle down and try it again some day but I'm over it for now. I hope you have had better luck if you tried it.

Remember I was testing my sites for W3C mark up validation when I found a slew of "errors" on TanzaniteAmerica.com the other day? I went back to look at the code I wrote for the site about 3 years ago and I'm here to tell you I've learned a good bit in 3 years. I had about 3 too many tables on my home page and there were unneeded tags here and there. Once I took a look at what I had done, I could see a way to fix it so I did. Now TanzaniteAmerica has the stamp of approval as having the correct mark-up language. Funny thing is you're not going to be able to tell the difference but the web spiders and other services can. Check it out if you like by clicking on the little icon.

The next question you're going to as is have I checked the other sites I've built, right? Well no I have not but I might at some point in the future. It takes a good bit of work to correct the code to make the web bots happy and I'd rather spend my time building new sites that render as they should although the language is not perfect. The analogy would be like using incorrect grammar but you still get the point across. Most of the time no one really cares expect perfectionist like me and English teachers. The reason I corrected my two sites is to prove to myself I can properly code a site if I'm careful and follow the grammatical rules of code web pages. BTW, I checked some sites like American Express, the Wall Street Journal, and the Scripts-Howard news site only to find they all had tons and tons of errors - in the hundreds. Gosh...I really am a geek!

Last evening a Dutch dude named Geert Wilders - a member of the Dutch House of Representatives. - was interviewed on The O'Reilly Factor which is on FOX News every weekday night at 8 o'clock Eastern time. He made it very clear what Syp has been saying for years and that is their little country is being invaded by Muslims. Although Muslims currently represent less that 10% of the population they act in a fashion that makes them out to be the majority according to Wilders. The number of Muslims in The Netherlands has gone from 55 to well over 1,400,000 in the last hundred years and is steadily climbing. Now listen folks...I don't know a group of people more tolerant of other folks than the Dutch but when they start to feel intolerant against a segment of their society you know things are getting really bad. I mean bad bad! And they are not alone - this is happening in other European countries as well.

In this country Muslims represent a much smaller percentage of our population but all they same they do create problems in our society as well. It's this freedom of religion thing that permits Muslims to do things other Americans would not be permitted to do because Muslims claim religious rights. Not all Muslims mind you but the ones that make a scene make the news. The problem with Islam as I see it is the religion is intolerant of any other faith which is where the problem begins. Kill all the infidels they say. A peaceful religion Islam - NOT! The worst part of this is the fanatics are willing to kill themselves to kill others who they deem to be infidels. What a mess, huh?

Today's image is one I found showing Geert Wilders expressing his view about the Muslim invasion of his country. oh, and before I forget it, there was a Dutch author named Ayaan Hirsi Ali (former member of the Dutch Parliament who is well known for defending the rights of women in Muslim society) who spoke to an overflow crowd here in little Vero Beach on Monday of this week. Here is a link to the story. Small world, huh?

Posted at 04:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Tue 24 February 2009

For the last couple days I've been trying to figure out how to install an Apache server either on my C drive or on a remove-able flash drive. I've tried several different applications in both locations but never quit got the hang of it. I really don't need a server on my computer but it would be a way to learn more about PHP - which was my goal in the first place. I found a video course that teaches PHP but the free server software they use - WAMP Server - doesn't want to install properly on my machine. I tried others that I did get to install but for some reason I could not get them to function like I expected. Frankly the problem is probably me and not the software. I wonder of Syp has a web server on his computer for use in development?

This was a very interesting but frustrating exercise for me. As always, I learned something in the process but I did not learn how to affectively use a server on my computer to test PHP files. Of course I can always test files on the server where BillsView.com is hosted. For those of you who don't know, you can open a HTML file with any web browser but a PHP file is a 'server side' application that does something to, with, or for a web page - like send mail when you complete a 'contact us' form. PHP is really cool and it's the language I use in connection with HTML here on the World Famous BillsView.com. BTW, PHP is a scripting language originally designed for producing dynamic web pages. How do you think I can type something into a browser page on my local machine, hit 'post', and it then appears on my website? It is all done with PHP. In fact, all of BillsView.com pages are .PHP pages with the exception of 'search hints'. I'll learn more but I decided to take a break after two days.

Yes I've been feeling better - thank you for asking. The headache attack has gone away and my restless leg/body condition has also gone away, at least for now. As usual, I've not got a clue as to what was the culprit that caused these two events in the first place. Perhaps I'm not eating enough ice cream? Actually, I've cut back on my ice cream for two reasons - I've got a physical in a couple months and Spring is on the way so I want to look hot in my slim, form-fitting speedo. Stop it! I hear some of you laughing at the visual!

Valid HTML 4.01 TransitionalThere is an organization called W3C Markup Validation service which provides help to web masters and would-be site builders like me as to the validity of code on your site as it relates to conformity to HTML 4.01 Transitional, the current standard in website coding. So just for grins I checked BillsView.com and found I had 15 errors and 3 "warnings" concerning my code. It doesn't mean it will not render but rather I made mistakes - imagine that, me making a mistake - in the HTML. After about two hours I corrected all the mistakes and now I'm 'certified' to proudly display the W3C validation icon (to the left). You've probably seen this icon before but like me did not have a clue as to what it meant, right? Well now we both know - with this validation and $1.95 I can get a cup of coffee at the Cuban sandwich shop. Now to work on TanzaniteAmerica which has 15 errors and 2 warnings!

Captain Matt has put me in touch with that wild man, Flynn. I'm going to arrange for my cousin's son, Tucker, to meet Flynn so that he can quiz him on the profession Flynn's perusing - TV production. Frankly I'm not sure what all Flynn does except to say I know he's produced commercials. Seems to me TB told me he works for Scripts-Howard. I'll know more once all this takes place.

I have to laugh at what CNBC's Rick Santelli said on air last Thursday on the floor of the Chicago Exchange:

"The new administration is big on computers and technology - how about this, President and new administration? Why don't you put up a Web site to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages, or would we like to at least buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure and give them to people that might have a change to actually prosper down the road and reward people that could carry the water instead of drink the water."

You can see the video here. HaHaHaHaHaHa

Posted at 03:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Security Risks

Mon 23 February 2009

From time to time I think I should bring security risks to your attention although for the most part I think my readers are savvy when it comes to computer security. I continue to get newsletters and e-mails from my years of volunteer security work on the Zone Alarm Forum as well as others. One of my favorite is the Trend Micro weekly update and this week I found it rather interesting and very timely based on the economy. To no one's surprise, there are predators that lurk on the internet seeking to take advantage of people who are desperate. In fact, experts theorize that with thousands of tech-savvy workers laid off or unemployed as a result of the global financial crisis, desperation may cause some workers to turn to cybercrime to survive. This only makes bad matters even worse.

First there is "social engineering" - a strategy that cybercriminals use to manipulate people into sharing confidential information. The term refers to criminals using socially interesting, relevant topics to lure users into sharing personal details. One such social engeering trick leveraged the offline world as flyers placed on the windshields of cars in a North Dakota parking lot included a malicious URL. Heeding the fake parking violation warning, victims who visit the website are directed to malicious sites that lead to the download of a BHO (browser helper object) which eventually prompts the user to purchase rogue antivirus or trojans to steal confidential information. Clever, huh?

Then there's the scam-at-home schemes that play on innocent people's trust, luring them into a working relationship in which victims are unknowingly coerced into committing illegal activities. The dramatic rise in unemployment is also motivating cybercriminals to create "job scams" that offer desperate job seekers the ability to work at home if they provide personal details, such as bank account numbers. The fake "employer" then uses this information to open credit card accounts, post to online auctions, and commit crimes-such as registering fake Web sites in the victim's name. Why didn't I think of that? Because I don't have a criminal mind - perverted maybe - but not criminal.

We have already witnessed nations with high unemployment rates, such as those in Eastern Europe, producing a great deal of malware. One reason for cybercrime's growing prevalence and increasing profits is the ease with which criminals can launch operations. Free Internet tools abound to create a variety of nasty Web threats-from free, pre-made phishing kits to free spam templates that exactly replicate the appearance of popular banking Web sites. In fact, researchers at Trend Micro also predict that cybercriminals will take a more proactive approach in recruiting unemployed IT personnel to come work for "the dark side." This could be especially damaging if disgruntled, recently laid-off employees leverage their knowledge and access privileges to hack into previous employers' corporate networks. So as usual... be careful .

Now I come to the point where I want to recommend a password safety utility I download a few weeks back when it was recommended by the folks at Windows Secrets newsletter. It is called LastPass because it is likely the last password manager you'll ever need. It is rich with options, functions flawlessly, and best of all, is free. I've been using it for a few weeks and thus far I think it's a real winner. It is safer and more secure that having your browser fill in your username and password. Give it a go and tell me what you think.

ALERT: Rumor has it that Captain Matt has arrived in Vero to terrorize the community. All you moms out there should keep your daughters at home with the door locked!

Posted at 07:33 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Sun 22 February 2009

Damn I had a bad headache day that even vicodin didn't want to help. It was one of those headaches that hurt so much I felt a bit nauseous as well. I had supper - great home made bean and ham soup, took a pill, had a hot bath, and then went to bed around 9 o'clock. I woke up in the middle of the night a couple times but I did not take an more medication until the following morning when I had a regular Advil. I don't know why I get these things - I wish I did know so I could stop doing what ever it is that causes them in the first place.

My Atlanta 'client' called and was "thrilled" with his new site. He said it even smelled new to him while viewing the pages on the internet. The truth is my client doesn't know how to do anything with a computer other than to check e-mail. When I asked him to review his new site last Thursday he said he'd wait until Friday when his secretary was in - I'm not sure he knows how to even find his pages. There were a few minor things he wanted me to change like put the AmEx card above the Visa card on JPEG image because he likes AmEx better than Visa - that was easy to change in Paint.net (I'm still not into Photoshop just yet). Have a look at the two in the image to the right.

The most difficult task is that he wanted the e-mail sent to him when someone used his 'Contact Us' page to be put into tables with color - he did not want an e-mail with just the info. It seems his old mail form did that although I never new it because I never say it until I put my e-mail address in and sent myself a mail. So now I really did need to get into the bowels of the .PHP code to see what I could do. Why is this so important you ask? Because he wants a 'Contact Us' mail to really pop verses all the other mail he gets so he will not overlook it. It took me awhile but I'm very pleased to say I figured out how to do it and he's right, that mail does 'pop' out at you. I went so far as to have in big (26px) red letters the message , "you've got mail ,Tom" with the data beneath it in table format. This was very satisfying to me when I accomplished writing the code to affect this results.

By mid afternoon the site was edited and up just as the phone rang - it was Jason. He wanted to come for a visit just to talk and because I could now leave my project I told him to get his skinny little butt over here. Of course he hadn't eaten at all that day so I fed him chuck roast, carrots, potatoes, and a salad with a piece of cake when he was done. The kid doesn't eat properly and the only 'home cooked' meals he gets is at my house or his sponsor's house. He needs to find a steady, dependable job that will afford him the opportunity to make plans like a steady living environment, regular hours, regular feedings, ...you know the 'regular' stuff. Now that the court issue is over he needs to move on but as we all know, the economy sucks because of the failings of the Liberals in Congress that caused the housing mess - but I digress. There are jobs, you just got to find them or make them.

I hear you....you're saying, "it's easy for you to say - you're not looking". True, I'm not looking but if I were I'm confident I'd find work. I may not find a 'position' but I would find work doing something until I could find something better. I'm pleased to hear Captain Matt is going to take the job offered although it is not what he wanted, it is a job until he can either find another job or move up within the company. Times are tough but not impossible. I understand Ryan's company is making everyone take a week off without pay in a couple of weeks so I will be seeing him and Heather when they come down to Vero for the week. Captain Matt should be here late today or tomorrow - better stock-up on Crown with vitamin B-12!

Posted at 08:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Matt's Employment

Sat 21 February 2009

So the lawyer who's website I built 6 weeks ago still has not bothered to compensate me for the work. He sent me an e-mail over a week ago saying the 'check was in the mail' - yea, right! I feel a bit silly having to write again and again asking for something I should have gotten the first time I asked. I guess I'm just not a very high priority on his list of things to do. Heck, maybe he got sick and has not been in the office for a week? Maybe he has a gambling problem? Or maybe he's just your standard New York Yankee jerk! I'm going to send my third snail-mail letter today asking for payment. This is beginning to piss me off.

Starr has an interview for a long term sub job at the high school in Wabasso next week. She is very qualified, cares about students, is a good teacher, and is reliable - she should get the job. The trouble is there are probably a couple dozen or more people looking to get the same job and so you never know what goes through the mind of the Principle that will make the hiring decision. I know that jobs are hard to come by here in sunny Florida especially in teaching. With the cut-backs there are a lot of teachers looking for work who want to live in this great Florida climate. Only today I was reading in the paper that the unemployment for the Treasure Coast area is over 9%. My fear is that it will get worse before it gets better.

I don't like what Mr. Obama is doing to our society! He's making everyone appear to be a victim with the only savior being Government. That is a path that will ultimately be very dangerous to the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Pretty soon he'll have Government in every aspect of our lives. I don't like it one bit. Mr. Obama's plans award people who either can't or won't try to make it while punishing those who do try and do make it. Government is become the blanket that covers and smothers everyone like it or not. If you reward behavior you do not like then you'll get more of the same behavior. Socialism scares me.

My solution is to watch more movies on TV and less news - the news depresses me. I'll keep trying to build websites and maybe find someone who'll actual pay me for my efforts. I'm glad I moved out of Atlanta and into this smaller more economical home - I'm disappointed I did not get more for my Atlanta home but I'm pleased I sold it when I did. There is something very comforting about not having things hanging over my head while we go through these current economic times. I'm glad I did not hang onto my house waiting for a better offer - I might still be waiting.

Tommy came by for a visit in between memorial services he was attending yesterday afternoon. I don't know any one who goes to more funerals that does TB. In part because he has lived here in Vero all of his life and has been active in the business community he knows a lot of people. I guess we area getting of the age that we know more and more people who have come to the end of the road sort of speak but Tommy has been attending funerals for years.

It sounds like Captain Matt is going to take a job offered by Equifax and will start in a couple weeks. In the meantime I think he'll be in Vero for the two weeks before he starts to visit, play, and likely fish. Tommy tells me he should be here tomorrow or the next day. Good, my cousin's son would like to meet with Matt's good buddy, Flynn, to talk about the work he's doing. It turns out that Tucker is interested in production and acting. I think he's pretty good at it but is also wise enough to know that getting on the back side of a camera is going to be easier than getting on the front side. I'll get Captain Matt to set something up when he gets here.

Posted at 06:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Helping Wendy

Fri 20 February 2009

The remote control utility I mentioned the other day is cool, really cool. Wendy called me from Dubai with an issue she could not resolve and asked for my help. It seems she has a copy of Windows Office on her machine that was put there by a friend of hers in Ft. Lauderdale - it is a working copy but is not licensed. The last Windows update she installed came with a Genuine Windows Notify utility that put an unwanted icon in her system tray and pops up a balloon every time she uses any of the 'Office' applications telling her they are not 'genuine". She wanted me to get rid of it and it was not a simple task - Microsoft makes it hard to terminate the unwanted icons. The bottom line is I was able to control her machine from my fabulous offices here in the Vero Villa, download a zip file, unpack it, run it, then terminate the irritating program. The lag time between when I moved her cursor and I actually saw it move was about 2 or 3 seconds but then again she's half way around the world. While I was doing that I was able to have crystal clear voice communications via Skype. Cool!

TB informs me he's going to get a slip and make reservations at the Palms for this Summer. It is unclear if Tom & Mary Ann will be able to make it this year but Tommy knows his sons want to make the trip as usual. I also think Jeff and Amy are making plans to go down again this year and will be staying at the bay side villa they rented last time - this place permits Sammy to go along and is actually a pretty neat place. I've not made a decision as to my plans but of course I always like the trip. John is uncertain as to his availability to go this Summer but like me, always enjoys the trip. He has work, summer mini-session at school, and then he plans to go to Florida State in the Fall - all this might through a wrench into his time for the Keys this year.

Do you folks subscribe to the Windows Secrets news letter? There is a free addition and a paid addition - the paid addition is worth the modest expense. Each time I get it there is valuable information in it dealing with security and updates. Plus, they are a goldmine for ideas and programs which I have found most useful...many of which I've shared with you here. If you don't get the newsletter and you use Windows I believe you are missing a truly great newsletter rich with information.

I replaced the 4 burned out landscape lights yesterday with new Sylvania light bulbs - now let's see if these named-brand bulbs last longer than those junk bulbs I've mistakenly bought in the past. I had no idea these lights had such a short life span when I first installed them last spring. Nonetheless I like the 'look' they give the Vero Villa so until I can't afford to replace the bulbs anymore I'm going to keep the lights on for you.

In his heart of hearts Brother Drew is a treasurer hunter - every time he sees an article about treasure found on "The treasure" coast he wants to leave cold Atlanta and join the hunt. In yesterday's paper he found this article about the remains of a Spanish galleon which sunk just East of where I'm sitting right now. The record shows that a lot of ships went down just of the Indian Rive county coast which is why this part of Florida is called "The Gold Coast" - gold has been found here and is still being found here. There is something very exciting about treasure hunting don't you think?

Last night I uploaded all the files for the new PeachTreeSuite.com website. I think all the links work and the pages render in Internet Explorer and Firefox although just a little different - it really is peculiar how the two browsers are different. I'll be talking to the site's owner a little later this morning to see what he thinks. Comments? Oh, here is the old site

Posted at 05:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Individual Responsibility

Thu 19 February 2009

Tommy came by yesterday afternoon seeking help in his car exchange events. He needed me to meet him at his riverside estate in order to ferry him to the car was in order to pick up his Porsche so he could drive out to the Barnes Estate West and fetch his Tahoe - he came by in Tom's little white Lexis sports car (like the one pictured). Moving cars around is like moving boats around - you usually need an extra hand.

According to TB, Captain Matt did have his interview yesterday with Equifax and it sounds like they will make him an offer. It probably will not be as good as his previous job but in this economy I think I'd advise him to take the job until a better job comes along. Some income is better than no income and when the economy improves he'll be in a good position to move up. Besides Equifax will likely need a new CEO soon so why not Captain Matt? I did not send the video files of LaTischa so Matt's safe at least from me.

Yesterday I spent most of the day tuning the pages I'm building for the Atlanta company. I have them all coded but now I'm going through the cross check of the rendering in Internet Explorer and Firefox - as I've come to learn, what works in IE will not necessarily work in Firefox. I guess I should check Safari and the new Google browser but I've not got them installed and together less than 5% of users have these browsers. I also found a great new 'contact us' PHP program that I'm going to use for the new site and future sites. The current 'send mail' code I'm using works but it's old and does not have the flexibility of this new one. Your eyes glazing over?

Starr tells me she had a flat tire this morning and wasn't feeling all that great. I think she and Alex might be getting the crud John has at the moment. I think I'll stay away for awhile because I don't want to get it too. There are plenty of coffee drinkers that seem to be hacking and coughing each morning so I've got enough exposure already.

I'm fed up to here with the news of late! It seems our country has turned into a bunch of whiners expecting Government to coming riding to the rescue. What happened to the proud individual who is responsible for himself or herself? Now it seems the banks, the auto companies, homeowners, people out of a job, etc. all expect the Government to fix everything and you know what, President Obama is leading the charge! This is very disappointing and in my view dangerous to our freedoms in the future - the more that Government steps in, the more control it will have over companies and individuals. We are becoming a socialist nation and the move is not a slow one.

Yesterday there were some homeowners on the news who were face foreclosure because they bought a home they could not afford in the first place. Is it the taxpayer's responsibility to bail them out because of the mistakes they made in the first place? I don't think so but Obama does think so. What do you think if you're among those people who stayed within their means and are paying your bills? It send a very poor signal in my opinion to assist people who should not have gotten into the home in the first place. And tell me, where is all this bail-out money going to come from in the first place? I don't like the economic picture I see looming ahead - it will likely just get worse until individuals start taking responsibility for themselves again.

I'm just going to have to watch more movies - the news is too depressing and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Posted at 03:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Rebuild a Site

Wed 18 February 2009

Let me see if I get this right. We have two submarines cruising underwater in the vast Atlanta ocean and somehow they manage to find themselves in the exact same spot and the exact same time without knowing the other one was there? What? Oh, by the way, they were not enemies - at least 'officially' (Brits & Frogs) - stalking one another. It's not like planes that get close to one another while landing or taking off - these subs were in the middle of the Atlantic for God's sake. Something about this story doesn't smell right to me. Jeez!

Damn - I got three more landscape lights I noticed were burned out last night. I'll get out this morning after the sun comes up and it warms up a bit to replace them. Yep, you guessed it, the lights that are burned out are on the two circuits with which I've had problems in the past. No, they are not the better replacement bulbs but rather older replacement bulbs so maybe when I replace these they will last longer. I still think there is a circuit problem compounded by some poor brand-X bulbs. Sometimes the 'store' brand is as good as or better than the name brand but that is not the case with light bulbs...maybe cottage cheese at Publix...but not light bulbs.

During Darby's memorial - birthday - reception on Monday I ran into some old girlfriends from high school. Some I recognized after 43 years even remembering their names and some I recognized the face structure but didn't have a clue as to their name until or unless someone reminded me. I have to say that for the most part I think women age better than do men from the standpoint of being recognized. True, the gals I knew in high school certainly looked older but the guys looked different in that they have gray, white, or no hair and were on the average 50% heavier. Of course I'm the same stud I was back in high school only a bit wiser with less hair. Ain't [sic] life grand?

Yet another week and still no pictures or other input from the two guys who asked me to build a website. The check that was to be mailed from New York last week has not arrived. But there is good news today. One of the two guys for whom I built a website without being asked called to say he was "thrilled" with what I've suggested for him. This is the site I mentioned a couple days ago, PeachtreeSuite.com soon to have a make-over into the New PeachtreeSiute.com. Frankly I'm a bit surprised that I got such an over-whelming positive response but I did. Now I have to build the other pages to go with the Home page. I was getting a little disappointed from the lack of response from my initial start but then I got the call yesterday that, "made my day".

Starr reports that John is still sick but he did go to work today at the Indian River County pool. Frankly I don't think that was smart from the standpoint of his cold but it also was his 'first day' on this new job. John will be working two lifeguard jobs knowing that the John's Island job is 'seasonal'. I think he should keep trying to stay on up there at JI because it's a good job, pays well, and he has a chance of meeting his future employer.

Sometimes I just have to laugh at the Vero Beach Press Journal - I found this headline in yesterday's paper: "Vero bicyclist charged with DUI after crash with stopped car". The guy was arrested for DUI while peddling a bicycle - store here.

Posted at 06:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Interview for Captain Matt

Tue 17 February 2009

Because I made a special afternoon posting yesterday about Darby's memorial service, I've decided not to go into any more detail this morning. I found myself saddened by all this and frankly think it's best to honor Darby as I did but now move on.

While I was at Darby's service I had an opportunity to talk to Matt's mom, Lina. She told me that Captain Matt has some important interviews today with what was once one of his competitors - Equifax. The details I got from Lina are sketchy but I think I understand that one of Matt's old bosses now works at Equifax and wants Matt to come work there as well. If true, I think this would be a great opportunity for Captain Matt so I hope things go well for him today. I'll do my part by not sending those compromising video files I have of Matt and LaTischa (pictured right) - Matt will owe me one for keeping quite. Then again I want him to start working again so he can contribute to Social security which I should be eligible to receive next year unless Obama cuts me off.

I suppose you've been wondering why I've not been complaining about my restless body-leg syndrome? Well, that's because it has been been bothering me in about a week. I found that if I think it might be an issue , I take a hot soaking just before I go to bed. Recently I've not even been doing that. So the condition came, stayed for awhile, and now seems to be gone at least for the present - I still have not got a clue as to what aggravated the condition in the first place. Go figure!

WOW...President's Day was a big spam day for me - my Google account got 426 spam e-mails overnight. Do you get this many or is it I'm just so damn popular? Have you stopped to think how much faster the internet would be if there it were not full of spam mailings being sent around the world? I guess there is response to these mailings but I've got to believe the percentages are really low.

Michael, the college guy John found to help me, told me about some really cool software I can use to help others on the internet. It allows me to remotely control someone else's computer from my desktop. I can transfer files instantly without having to attach them to e-mails. My thought is I can use this tool if someone has a problem and asks for my help. Michael thought of it as a means of teaching me while not actually being at my house. We could connect via this tool then chat live online via Skype. The whole system is secure and data is sent encrypted between computers. Both sides have an ID number and password number that is unique for each session. Either side can cut the connection if they choose to do so as control can go in both directions. There is a menu of how much or how little control you wish to turn over to another machine. I tried it on one of my other computers and I got it to work as advertised. The software is expensive but free for non-commercial use - what will they think of next?

Do any of you wish to be my lab rat so I can test the software on a remote computer? You can of course what what is happing by sitting in front of your computer with the option of disconnecting anytime. It is software like this that Dell (and other vendors) uses to remotely work on troubled computers. I had an experience with Dell when I first bought either this desktop or my last laptop - it sure made it easier than trying to listen to someone in India walk me through steps to identify an fix a problem. Well...any takers?

Posted at 06:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Darby's Memorial Service

Mon 16 February 2009

This afternoon I attended the memorial service for my friend Darby. It was a rather formal event held in the Episcopal Church here in Vero - there was not an empty seat in the house in fact chairs lined the walls. The service lasted about 90 minutes and then there was a reception of course. I think the whole affair was very fitting for someone who has contributed so much to the lives of people here in Vero.

There were a lot of people I sort of 'recognized' but I didn't know who they were. People change in the 43 years since I last saw some of them. I never ran into some of my High School teachers which was sort of fun.

Tommy and I went together so he could tell me who some of these people were. Darby would have been humbled by the turn-out I think. I'm pleased I was among those honoring his life.

Darby will be missed.

Posted at 06:17 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Fool's Gold

Mon 16 February 2009

Another day without a contact from the dude who was trying to scam me. This whole event causes me to pause and think about with whom I'm doing business or trusting. I wouldn't think about pulling a scam like that so I don't automatically think others would try such a thing. But I've learned differently and today I'm a lot more cautious than I ever used to be. The years of volunteer work on the security forums has really paid off in spades for me. I've been able to learn from others' mistakes instead of my own. As the old saying goes, "if it looks too good to be true it probably is".

Yesterday I went to fetch John so he could use my car to go to work while his mother and brother used his car to visit his aunts across the State. John was sick with at least a bad cold but perhaps the flu so he wisely stayed at home. For his sake I hope it is a cold and not the flu but he had flu-like symptoms. I've not talked to him since.

When I walked into his home I had to laugh - there were bodies on the couch and floor from the night before. John's brother, Alex, had some friends over to play games and "hang out" into the wee hours of the morning. It reminded me of the living room in my fraternity house the night after a big party. I think it is cool to have gatherings like that and most importantly not drive home later at night. I don't know how much beer was consumed but there was some consumption going on. However, even if you are not driving impaired, 2 out of 3 people on the road after midnight likely are impaired. Better just to hangout then sleep over IMO.

Here I go again...designing something for someone who did not ask for it. This time my target is the Atlanta based company for whom I've done work in the past but it was always for free. I know the owner well and among the things I know is that he's so tight he squeaks when he walks. Nonetheless, I have gotten him to spend money on things I thought he could use in the past and each time it was a resounding success. His website is visually impaired and has things on it that do not work. It has not changed in over a decade but it has worked. I just wanted to see what I could do to update it a bit without making such a drastic change that it becomes unrecognizable from his present site. I know that older farts like me usually don't like change so I was very careful not to update it beyond his comfort zone.

What's that you say - you want to see the old verses the proposed new home page? OK, I can do that for you. Here is the present PeachTree Suite website and here is the shinny newer version I created. See what I mean about making it a bit more pleasing without a drastic shift in the look? I view it like getting a new paint job on an old car - it's the same old car but it looks newer. Now the question is will the owner agree and if he agrees is it worth anything to him? The effort was well worth wild for me because of the knowledge I picked up in writing the HTML with a cascading style sheet. So what do you think boys and girls?

Jason came by a couple times yesterday just because I'm such a nice lovable guy...with food in his refrigerator. Just joking - I do feed Jason from time to time because among other things the guy never has any real home-style meals. He eats fast food and take-out stuff all the time like a lot of young guys his age. He wanted to get my blower out to blow the leaves and rake parts of the yard which he did. I would be happy to have it done everyday but I'm not going to do it nor am I going to ask anyone else. Now Jason's task on hand is to find a 'regular' job working 40 hours a week that is dependable and steady. It's tough now with the dragging economy but there are jobs, you just have to find one.

I caught another movie on TV yesterday - it was "Fool's Gold" with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. It was good fun with a lot of action, wonderful diving scenes is clear water, and good humor. I will say the directors made what I believe was a big boo-boo. Part of the movie was suppose to take place in Key West but the scenes associated with the movie at the time definitely were not shot in Key West - Key West does not have islands with hills like depicted in the movie. I don't know where it was filmed but it wasn't in or around the Conch Republic.

Posted at 05:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Jason's Out

Sun 15 February 2009

This has become humorous - the dude implying he wants to buy a tanzanite just will not give up. He has sent me 3 other e-mails offering the full purchase price (of what I'd ask) plus an additional $100 for overnight shipping. Yea, that sounds like something I want to do doesn't it? His language syntax and grammar are consistent with the e-mail scams I've found by doing my research. I really think the dead give-away is the dudes complete lack of interest in the stone as to size, shape, color, clarity, etc. - he just wants me to send it whatever it is. Finally I sent him an e-mail saying if he did not want to use one of the three services with whom I have accounts - PayPal.com, Escrow.com, and WesternUnion.com - then I'm sorry but I can not help him. It's been 24 hours and I believe he's given up.

So how does the scam work you ask? You see, AlertPay is a valid online money transfer service but it has a shady reputation compared to the three I mentioned above. The scam artists will send a genuine-looking e-mail saying the funds have been transferred and you (the seller) can now ship the goods. The trouble is the e-mail does not come from AlertPay but a faux site looking like AlertPay. But the real funny thing is even the 'valid' AlertPay customers are not happy with the service which was started in Canada 4 years ago by a guy named Patel - isn't 50% of the population of India named Patel? The moral of the story is to be very careful with whom you deal - Buyer beware and seller too.

Good News - Jason is out of jail after just 3 days.Although he was sentenced to a week, he was given credit for the day he was arrested as a 'full' day and then the State of Florida lets people out early for 'good behavior' in situations like Jason's - a non-violet drug related offense. He came by yesterday morning and was as happy as he could be. Once this incident is behind him now he can move on with the rest of his life. Now he needs a steady job and safe place to live - meaning 'safe' for bad influences. We had a good talk so let's see what he does next; I'm optimistic at this point but then again that's my general outlook on life.

When Syp comes next month I would like him to meet and talk with Jason. For reasons I can't explain, Syp has an uncanny depth of perception when it comes to other people. He sees and understands things quicker and clearer than anyone I've ever met. On the other hand people can pull the wool over on me because for the most part I want to think positive things about people. This I got from my Dad - he was the most positive trusting guy I've ever known. I always think this trusting thing is cultural in that Southerners are more trusting than Northerners. I think that is the case because in general Southerners are more trustworthy than Northerners. My Dad did say, "trust everybody but check everybody too".

I met Michael yearly yesterday evening as planned. He turns out to be a nice young (20 years old) college student who appears to be very interested in his education. He takes an 'overload' of courses with the intent of transferring to the University of Florida next Fall. John was there as planned but came in a few minutes late - I recognized Michael fro John's description plus he was the only young guy in there with a laptop opened. We started to get to know one another even before John got there. He seems like a real nice young man and I think he can be useful to me with respect to the Adobe software. I asked him enough questions and he volunteered enough information for me to know he's not just blowing smoke. The next step is up to me - I need to get some questions I have with respect to editing then call him over for a session. Weekends are best for him and you know me, I don't care.

He showed me a site he built for someone here in Vero - it looked clean and attractive but nothing real fancy. What amazes me is how much he's able to charge for his work! If he is right, I might be selling myself way too short on my charges. I'm just going to have to do more research into what people really pay for sites - I know I'm low but that is by design until I get a few websites under my belt as they say.

Todays picture I took of Jason yesterday morning when he came by. He's one happy camper to be out of jail.

Posted at 08:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

AlertPay Scam

Sat 14 February 2009

Posted at 08:46 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

A Murder of Crows

Fri 13 February 2009

After a hard day in my office yesterday I decided to sit back and watch TV. The political stuff going on now sickens me so I found a movie for pure entertainment on HBO. The movie was "A Murder of Crows" staring Cuban Gooding and Tom Berenger - it was a good mystery movie and as you know, I like mystery movies. I didn't know 'who did it' until the end and it was not the person I though was guilty all through the movie. I enjoyed the escape from the depressing political news - I think I need to watch more movies.

You know I think what is happening in Washington is bad for America's growth and independence. The Liberals have dramatically increased spending and I don't mean "stimulus" spending - I mean over $200 billion in new entitlement spending and steps towards socialized medicine. A stimulus should be immediate, targeted, and temporary but this crap coming from the Liberals has very little of that - over 50% of the spending is not to begin for two or more years!

Anytime you rush something you are setting yourself up for abuse and mistakes. I'm afraid American taxpayers will be crippled by this bill for many years in the future. There is nothing I can do about this massive abuse and waste so I might as well what more movies. It will probably take years for the Obama-Liberal voters to see what they got is not what they thought they were getting. The arrogance of the Liberal leaders is disgusting. They are lying to our citizens with such regularity I'm begging to think even they believe what they're saying. Very very sad and disappointing but what am I to do? What more movies!

I sent an e-mail to my first website client about a payment and he immediately responded with "a check will be in the mail today". I believe him...I just think I'm not very high on his pecking list nor should I be. Having been in business I understand that some bills get paid before others and sometimes bill-paying comes after taking care of clients. It will be nice to actually get a check because this will be the first money I've earned since my payment for Jury Duty in 2001. Now if I could only get my other two clients to finish the picture-taking and review I'll be able to publish those sites as well. I've not heard a peep out of the computer services company for which I built a site without being asked. I learned in the process and I continue to learn each day I spend time on this stuff.

I got a call from one of my very favorite members of the Atlanta coffee klatch to which I belonged. He's a guy about 10 years younger than me and is totally whacked! I mean funny and off-the-wall although he really does need and take medication. His purpose in calling was to ask about medication I might have tried or I'm using for OCD. Actually I'm not currently taking in OCD-specific drugs but I did tell him about the others I have taken and about Cymbalta. There are people in Atlanta I miss and Hugh is certainly one of them. He falls in to the rarefied group of people I deem to be real "characters". We have a real character in my coffee group here too - different than Hugh but a real character nonetheless.

I decided to put a listing on CraigsList about my Tanzanite. I'm not desperate to sell any of my gems but you never know when someone wants to buy one. The listing is free and already I got a response. I responded to the inquiry but I'm not at all optimistic as to the results. The person sending the inquiry has very poor grammar skills and uses a Hotmail account rather than a ISP account or domain name account. But you never know!

Posted at 06:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Jason's Sentence

Thu 12 February 2009

Yesterday I went to court with Jason as did his coffee klatch sponsor - this was his sentencing day. He did plead guilty when we went to court last month and as such he was not entitled to have anyone there to speak on his behalf. Nonetheless this Judge, Joe Wild, permitted us to be an advocate for Jason before the court. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I thought this judge was fair - he confirmed my belief yesterday. Knowing that he could have gotten up to a year, it was his belief the District Attorney would only ask for 30 days in jail while his public defender asked for 15 days. After Jason's sponsor and I talked, the Judge sentenced him to 7 days with credit for time served. Frankly the out come could not have been any better unless he just let him go on the spot.

As I left the courtroom I could see the gleam in Jason's eyes because his outcome was so good. I wanted the court to let him go and I think I made a good case for that. Maybe I'll be an attorney when I grow up. It was very clear to all of us that our presents there made the difference. We were the only ones in court today to ask to speak on behalf of a defendant - this reasonable judge took notice. Now I'll see what the rules are about visiting him while he's in jail. I would like to see him not smoke anymore when he gets out of jail because he'll have to stop while in jail.

At 8:10 this morning I go to have my teeth cleaned. This time last year I was going every week to have all that work done but now I think I'm done with most things except the cleaning. I'm wearing my 10 year mouth piece every night except those rare occasions I fall asleep before I put it in. There are no teeth issues going on in my life now and that's a good thing. Cleaning here in Vero costs more than in Atlanta but the systems and tools they use are more up scale as well. Heck, I'm worth it don't you agree?

I've been cleaning up my own BillsView.com pages of the extraneous code left over from past years - I've slightly changed the look as well. What a mess some of these pagers were but they are better now...not perfect by any means..but better. I was trying to eliminate all the tables from my home page which by the way I was able to do with cascading style sheets (CSS). The issue that has kept me from making the changes to my page are two fold. First, the pages seem to render as I like them in Internet Explorer and Fire fox now. Second, I'm having some 'spacing' problems when I use 'head' or 'title' tags - these seem to be less flexible then go old text tags. My guess is the problem is with my lack on understanding of the way tags render so for now I'm keeping my tables. In this case, tables are in fact the easier method to design the pages.

The economy sucks and is visiting it's misery here in Vero Beach. The county's largest private employer, Piper Aircraft ( story here ), just "permanently laid off" (aka FIRED!) 300 employees yesterday. Of course this is happening all across this State, Country, and indeed the world. It will likely get worse before it gets better so my advise to you boys and girls is keep being a good employee so you have a chance of keeping your job. Employers don't have a lot of options in front of them - it will take time to crawl back out of this hole but I'm confident the economy will come back.

What I'm more concerned about is the economic and political mess that will be created by the Liberals in charge of our Government. They after all are the ones who started this whole mess by forcing lenders to make loans to unqualified borrowers which in turn caused the real estate meltdown which begat the economic meltdown. If Barney Frank and Chris Dodd had not pushed the 'Community Development Program' forcing lenders to give mortgages to anyone who was breathing this mess would never have happened at least at these levels. What is really really scary is these are the same bafoons in charge of the "Economic Stimulus" plan which is nothing more that the cumulative spending wish list of liberals. Be careful with your savings and keep your job.

Posted at 06:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Court with Jason

Wed 11 February 2009

The change has taken place with my World Famous website, BillsView.com - you the domain name and server account are the same. If you have book marked either BillsView.com or BillsPost.com you should end up on the same site. On Tuesday I made the change to auto-forward anyone going to BillsPost.com to the new BillsView. Did you get all of that? Now you made find some errors in links deep in the bowels of my site and if you do, please let me know. I have chosen to leave my PhotoAlbum hosted on the BillsPost site but all the links should work. Please let me know if you've found something that does not work.

One thing I've discovered in the transition is that my page files are a mess! They are a mix-match of code I learned as I was moving through my understanding of HTML, JavaScript, etc. The original pages were done with a free wysiwyg HTML editor with way too much code - which by the way is very typical of HTML editors. I think I'll spend some time going through the files to clean them up just for my benefit, not yours. I'm also testing a new site visitor's program written in Perl to see if the information I get might be useful to those for whom I build a site. M

In a few hours I expect to go to court with Jason where we will find out what is to happen to him. During his first appearance he pled guilty to possession of a syringe because he volunteered to the police officer he had one. If he had said nothing, he might not be in this fix because he was stopped for not having a tail light on his bicycle for God's sake. I don't believe the policeman would have "probable cause" to search him so it is his honest that got him in this fix in the first place. The whole damn thing stinks IMHO.

Supposely the 'State' ran a test on the needle to see if it had illegal drugs on it. Well, Jason tells me it was a legal drug but he did not have a prescription for the drug - I think he said it was Oxycodone but I'm not sure. But what if he had been duped by his drug dealer and it was some over-the-count something? Should he go to jail for simply admitting to a cop he had a needle while riding his bike? And what kind of message does this send to Jason who had stopped using drugs and was honest to perhaps a fault? It just smells like rotten fish to me. I'm going to court to be an advocate for Jason - report tomorrow.

The guy that was to meet John and I on Monday never showed. It wasn't John's fault 'Mike' didn't show, beside I did get a chance to visit with John for a hour - John said he will follow up with missing Mike. John had a test Monday night and one again yesterday but I've not heard from him on how he thought he did. I do know this...John really wants to go to FSU (Florida State University) in the Fall and I bet does. Going away to college at a State University for his last two years will be good for him IMO - his mother agrees and John wants to go. I'm even getting a bit excited for him because I remember the 4 years I went to Georgia Tech were 4 years of growing and developing life long friends.

Recently I discovered Bill Voegeli has a page on Facebook - why am I not surprised? I found today's picture among those on his page. It's a great shot of Bill and his son, Will who is a student at the University of South Carolina.Can you tell they are related? Doh! Bill is a pretty handsome man to be 50 years old don't you think? Like his Dad, Will is a strong, active young guy who's into mountain biking and just about anything else out doors. BTW, Bill has two more sons one of which attends the University of Alabama while the youngest is still in High School. All three are really great boys with the blessing of having good genes from their mom and dad.

Posted at 06:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Health Things

Tue 10 February 2009

Is it just me or do others feel the way I do ago folks who are sick? I'm sorry for anyone that is sick but if you are I think you should stay at home until you get better. People who bring their colds and flu into a closed environment when they are not required to be there are rather inconsiderate in my opinion. A few weeks back when I got that minor cold from going to court with Jason was different - people in that courtroom were ordered there by law. On the other hand, gatherings or events were attendance is optional and by choice should not be attended by folks who are sick in my opinion. Am I wrong? You folks who know what I'm talking about know what I mean.

I'm on my second week and third injection of vitamin B-12 which I believe is helping with my energy levels. Maybe it is doing nothing in reality but as long as I think it is that's just as good. Perception in the eyes of the perceiver becomes reality. This whole thing could be a placebo effect but until I think I'm wasting time and money I'm going to keep it up - at least until I run out of syringes and the vile of B-12. The process is easy, painless, and frankly not expensive. I think each injection costs about $1.50 including the B-12 and the syringe - at my doctor's office it would cost $45.

I'm also continuing with the use of salicylic acid about once every week or two for the treatment of keratoses (a pre-cancerous skin condition). The last time I went to my dermatologists he could not find anything needing to be cut, frozen, burned, etc. and in part I think my self-treatments have helped. All it does is slightly burn the very top layer of skin resulting in a very slight peeling - nothing as bad as a real sunburn. Once again the treatments are relatively inexpensive and like B-12 I don't think I can do any harm. I do have to be careful to wear sunscreen if I'm outside for extended periods of time but I should do that anyway.

I've been doing a lot of reading about search engine optimization (aka. SEO) which according to Wikipedia is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Basically you want traffic to your website without having to pay Google, Yahoo, or MSN advertising dollars to send traffic to your site. There are several things you can do which cost nothing but the time to do research and then edit the code on your pages. I'm not clear as to how affective these steps are in practice but I've researched enough to identify the common themes from different sources. So I'm going to implement these changes on a site who's content is totally my choice and that would be TanzaniteAmerica.com - you see I just did it. What you ask? I put a link to my Tanzanite America site on another site, BillsView.com. One of the repeated common themes is to get links to your site on other 'valid' sites meaning pages with real content and not just a link farm. TanzaniteAmerica.com is going to be my laboratory for testing SEO techniques.

Another thing I'm planning on doing in the next couple days is to load all of my relevant pages you're seeing now to a new account, BillsView.com. Currently the domain name BillsView.com is now being forwarded to BillsPost.com - I'm actually going to establish an account such that BillsView.com will go directly to that domain. Now why didn't I do that in the first place you ask? Well in the beginning, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, BillsView.com was forwarded to my Comcast pages before I actually bought space on a host server. Now it is time to make the change and there are several valid SEO reasons as well as other reasons for making these moves. I'll let you know when it's done. In the meantime you should automatically be forward.

Posted at 08:13 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Syp to Visit

Mon 09 February 2009

The BIG NEWS today is that we are going to have a Dutchie invasion here in Vero Beach on March 13th - Syp is coming for a visit. His loving and caring significant other has purchased a round trip ticket for him as a birthday present. It was a total surprise to Syp when he was told Saturday night. I knew because Sjak has been in constant e-mail communications with me for about a week concerning dates, airports, time off work, etc - she did it all. She called Syp's new employer, checked for flights into Miami and Orland, then bought the ticket. In my book, I consider this a very self-less, generous, loving thing to do - send your spouse on a one week get-a-way without going yourself. Instead she will be taking care of Yari, the household, and working while Syp will have the joy and ecstasy of being with me!

This whole idea came about in Sjak's mind because they have not been able to visit in the past couple of years since Yari was born and because Yari is expecting a sibling in July their opportunity for visiting will continue to be minimal for the next few years. Young kids, new jobs, new house, responsibilities , etc all get in the way of playing in the Keys each Summer. I understand family must come first. Won't it be nice to see the Whole Arends clan when they can travel again? Maybe by then the American boys will have a spouse and kids for the Arends' kids to play with in The Palms' pool? You boys need to get busy and stop all this practicing you're doing!

I'll get Syp in Miami on Friday, March 13th around 6pm. He has promised he'll drive us back to Vero if I come fetch him - everyone knows I like to have a driver for trips longer than about 10 or 15 minutes. I'm not sure what we will do but one thing I'm pretty sure of is that it will seem like I'm driving back to Miami the day after he gets here. When Syp was young he would stay for a month or more and it would seem as if the time accelerated while he was here. I'm looking forward to his visit so if you who know Syp can get to Vero you now know the dates. Isn't working a real pain in the a*s - it gets in the way of screwing off.

Syp has been in Vero once before a long time ago. Since then I've gotten rid of the bugs that attacked that nice Dutchie blood the time he was here. I hope he'll be pleased with the fresh look of the Vero Villa even though it now has an attack cat on patrol - Sjak tells me Syp is not fond of cats. And while he's here he'll be able to have a video call with his family back in DutchieLand anytime he wants. Perhaps I can even get him to help me with Adobe given the fact that is what he uses on a regular bases at work. More information to follow.

It seems I'm not along in the restless leg-body thing - I was talking to Mike at his lake house in Texas when he told me he too had the condition. His doctors recommended a calcium supplement which I will get to add to my vitamin routine. Lina has had the problem as well but she finds relief in her massage chair. I find relief in a hot tub of water. For the past several days I've only had to have one or maybe two soakings and usually within the first hour or two of going to bed. This episode is not over yet but it has minimized since it first started.

Today's picture is one Syp and his very sweet, kind, generous, sharing, attractive spouse Sjak . I think this was taken BY...Before Yari...on one of their visits with us in the Florida Keys. If I knew how to use Photoshop I could improve this image that was scanned from a paper picture. They are still a cute couple don't you think?

Posted at 06:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

TV Saturday

Sun 08 February 2009

Yesterday I learned something rather remarkable with respect to programming. I discovered that with a properly written cascading style sheet (aka. CSS) you can pretty much eliminate the need for tables. All the parameters you want to set for your header, body, footer, spacing, colors, fonts, sizes, etc can be done in the .css folder. Now I know most of you have your eyes glazing over at the moment but for me this is really a cool thing. I never did much like tables mainly because I was never proficient with them. I'm not saying I'll never use tables but the CSS thing has got me fired-up. Those of you who've tried to use tables probably can appreciate what I'm saying. In addition, the cascading style sheets can be more accurate and flexible - I think! At this point I don't know enough to say which method works best for a specific application.

Saturday I think is my new favorite day for watching daytime television. The shows on TNT and USA that I like the most during the week are replayed on Saturday. Many of these shows come on after I'm in bed or about to go to bed so even if I see the beginning I often miss the end. Burn Notice, The Closer, Monk, Psych, and others come to mind. I used to like the BBC for weekend entertainment but they've fallen out of favor with me. Yesterday was a very relaxing in front of the TV day.

Do you boys and girls keep your computer updated and patched? I'm talking about applications beyond Windows. It's these 3rd party programs you need to pay attention to if you are not doing so. There is a cool, free program that will keep you on top of the patches or updates available for your installed programs. It is called Secunia PSI and you can get it free here . I found out about this program via my Windows Secret newsletter and I've been using it for several months now and I think it is wonderful. What is your excuse for not installing it? Huh?

While I'm on the subject of safety and security I will also mention the free browser helper called WOT - Web of Trust. You can get this browser helper here - it works with both Internet Explorer and Firefox. I bring this up because I've been snooping around the world of torrents only to discover there are many sites. Now here's the real interesting thing about torrent sites. Of all the sites out there I found the only one (at least thus far) that is 'safe' according to the WOT check. All other sites throw up warnings about being unsafe, scams, spammers, and a den of virus infections. My point is that if the site I went to in the first place was dangerous I would have known it. This too is something you folks should have installed - it's free and it might save you from getting a nasty thing deep inside your computer. You've been warned!

Jason called to ask if I would drive him down to Port St. Lucie to see his Dad who's in treatment there. You know how much I hate driving places even places I went to go. Although I didn't want to let him down I just said I don't like the way I feel when I have to drive places. One of the great things about Vero is everything I want to get to in this town is less than 10 minutes away.

I got an e-mail from the Florida Game and Fish commission inviting me to renew my license - I could do it online so of course I did. Yes, I included the lobster stamp just in case. I like renewing things online because it makes things so much simpler like driver's license, fishing license, money on my Florida SunPass, etc. What did I do without computers? Oops, I remember, I drank a lot of adult beverages.

Posted at 07:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

My Goof

Sat 07 February 2009

I had my post ready to go and then I managed to delete it or hid it in a place where I could not find it. I think I may have saved it deep in the bowels of my 500GB external hard drive. Then again I had to reboot this morning which I suspect is the culprit of my goof - I didn't first save the file. Oh well, such is life and so I wanted to put something up today to let you folks know I'm ok. I'm not going to retype everything but rather save the best parts for tomorrow.

Tom and Mary Ann came by for a visit and so Tom could share his chocolate milkshake with me. It was tough but I agreed to take half of it off his hands. When do you ever remember me turning down ice cream? I think they will be headed back to Atlanta today or tomorrow so that Tom can do what he needs to in Atlanta on Monday. At this point I'm not certain when they will be back but with the butt-cold temperatures up there I suspect it will be as soon as they feel they can. I don't miss those temperatures in the twenties and teens. Today's picture was taken about 10 months ago of Tom & Mary Ann in their Vero estate.

On Monday of this past week Jason was over and asking me what I was doing. I explained I'm been trying to learn a bit about Adobe but I needed help. The next day he came in with a business card of a friend of his so I checked out his friend's employer's website only to discover they install & repair machines - they don't work with Adobe. At the same time I noticed their one page website was rather bland for someone in the "computer" business. So without being asked and with out permission I went on to build a 3 page site for the business.

On Friday afternoon I loaded the files to one of the servers I used then sent a link to the business's owner. I don't know if he'll be happy, pissed off, or want to sue me but I didn't think I was doing any harm. I've not heard back yet but then I don't expect to hear anything until next week if at all. It could be that the only reason he has a site at all is to provide e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Perhaps all his business comes from the Yellow pages or referrals? On the other hand, he might think what I've done is a good thing - you think? I guess we'll find out next week.

Perhaps that's how I can get some business - look for rather plain sites with 50 times the code needed to render the page and no Meta tags? I could prospect right here on my computer then contact the respective business? The thing is I believe many business owners think websites are expensive and they can be for sure. But for a few hundred dollars I can perhaps create a more attractive presents and help their business as is the case with CleanHouseVero.com. See what happens when you get old, have time, and are basically a nerd?!?

I was looking around to find sites on the internet to help with my understanding of Adobe. My God - that is a whole sub-industry of the software itself. Adobe has a site called tv.adobe.com that has so much stuff on it you need to get lessons on how to find the videos that will help you learn about the software. You can buy a collection of CD's put out by Adobe that costs about $250 - $300 with nothing but help videos. I looked at some online videos and the problem I kept coming across is they expect you to have a base understanding which I do not have or that you just want to learn about CS4 already having knowledge about CS2 and CS3. Like I said, this could keep me busy way into the next decade or two.

I cooked a chuck roast with carrots, potatoes, and onions last night thinking I may have a hungry mouth or two to feed this weekend. I suspect John or Jason will come by and both of this young men are always hungry. I had some last night and it was great - reminded me of what Mom used to cook.

There is a 'Burn Notice' marathon on the USA Network today - this is one of my very favorite programs. I plan on playing with my computer a bit then take in a couple episodes of the series. I feel asleep during Monk last night so I'll have to see if it is being replayed later today as it usually is.

Posted at 09:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Adobe Tutor?

Fri 06 February 2009

Have any of you noticed how much you pay each month in the way of taxes and fees to use a telephone? I happened to look at my phone bill yesterday although I usually don't because I pay it automatically via a bank draft. My pone is only $22.45/month for a basic plan with caller ID but the taxes and fees are over $11/month. That's a 50% tax in my book! Do these taxes and fees apply to cell phones as well? Actually I think I've got the least expensive package you can have because I only pay for the long distance service I use and that rarely goes over $5/month. I know. I know. You folks spend a lot more than that so why should I complain? It's the taxes and fees, not AT&T.

I'm having a hoot playing with the new software - I mean a real hoot. I had no idea how powerful this software is compared to the stuff I've used in the past like Paint.net and Site Spinner (a wysiwyg editor I used to use). For the last couple of days I've been playing with Dreamweaver instead of Flash - it is much easier for me to understand. Damn is it cool! You can edit pages in HTML then see the results of your edit immediately in a split window. As you move your mouse around the page the other side of the window highlights the HTML that is associated with you mouse location! Wow golly gee. And I've not even scratched the surface yet.

I know I could use some help other than that which I find on Google. So I asked John if he could identify someone at his college with the know-how and skills to teach an old fart some new tricks. He found a fellow student named Mike who lives in Vero and seems to know something about Adobe software - I know almost nothing at this point. Our plan is for John to meet Mike here at my house for an introduction and then I can take it from there. I have no idea if this student will know what I want to learn or even if he's willing to teach me if he does know. I'll of course pay him for his efforts and it seems to me college kids can always use extra money. Stay tuned.

Jason found out Wednesday his public defender is gone and a new one is coming - he has an appointment on Monday and I'll go with him. It is my belief that he could help himself in front of this judge whom I deem reasonable if he's willing to do some footwork. I made the suggestions I know will help minimize his sentence and I'm suggested these steps more than once. But you know the old saying, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink". I know he can help himself and let's see what he does.

One thing about Jason's case I want to discuss with the new public defender and that is the lab results. You see the syringe was to be tested for drugs but thus far Jason does not have any results. He admitted to using drugs earlier but who is to say they were illegal drugs without the lab results? Jason might have thought he was buying a legally prescribed painkiller from someone to grind up into a solution then shoot it but what if the seller gave him something else that was not illegal - is it illegal to shoot a legal drug into yourself? I don't think so. All Jason knows is the pill was blue; I have legal sleeping pills that are blue you can buy at a pharmacy. Sop if the State does not have lab tests proving something was illegal I think he stands a good chance of getting off. He was only charged with possession of drug paraphernalia - a syringe. He didn't have any drugs on his person nor had he taken any in a few days. I think the whole thing is a bunch of BS!

Posted at 06:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Thu 05 February 2009

This morning I'll be the chairperson for our coffee klatch - I do this every month usually on the first Wednesday but another member asked to switch with me. So what am I going to talk about you ask? Well, what have I been talking about here all week? Addictive behavior of course. I almost never think about doing anything in the mornings except join my friends for coffee that is until my additions take over. This week on Monday morning I wanted to stay at home to explore Adobe Flash - that's all I could think about upon awaking. But the years have going weekday paid off - I joined my friends and then came back to see what damage I could do. My point is going to be that I find it prudent not to allow anything to get in the way of my morning routine. You see, if I do I'm fearful it will become too easy to let other things get in the way and suddenly I'll find myself out of touch with my coffee group.

I was talking to Bill Voegeli yesterday about Adobe CS4 when he informed me I started working with what he thinks is the most difficult application in the suite - Flash. That is a relief at some level giving me faith I'll be able to figure these things out. Bill has been using Dreamweaver and Photoshop for years in his business of professional surveys for charitable organizations. When I asked how he learned he said time, a lot of time - like me, BV is self-taught. I find now as I always do Google is my friend. There is a site I found called 5min that has a huge library of 'how to' videos on just about anything as best as I can tell. They have videos broken down into segments so as to get directly to one's questions without explaining everything that comes before or after. Of course that assumes you know what comes before and in my case I've not got a clue. I sense this site will be very useful to me.

Just for kicks I added a feature to the first image on Geek Website Designs that has become popular with respect to images when you click on them. It is called a 'lightbox' - click on the Clean House LLC image and see what happens. Do you like the affect or do you think it is hokey? I've seen online vendors use it to focus on a product once a visitor to the site clicks on a thumbnail image. This is particularly true with furniture stores, office fixtures, etc. I'm not sure I like it but my purpose of putting it there was to show the technique. The second image is not coded as yet.

I've had two good nights in a row with just one soaking after going to bed. Maybe this improved pattern will continue. Lina called me the other day with a great suggestion - she said I could likely benefit from a massage chair. I totally agree. My neck and back get sore from sitting here at my machine working all day and the massage thing would help with my restless leg issues as well. The probably is there are dozens of chairs out there ranging from about $500 to well over $6000. What is one to do? I've started some research but clearly I would want to try some chairs in person as well as talk to people who know the chairs. No, I'm not going to buy one by this weekend but I surely can see the advantages. Besides, I could use an extra chair in my bedroom suite for when I have visitors. Today's picture is that of a Panasonic chair for $2500.

Posted at 04:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Addictive Behavior

Wed 04 February 2009

My restless leg/body condition is still with me after I thought I was about over it. There is something going on in my life that is aggravating it but I know not what. I'm guessing it is my obsession of spending endless hours on my computer exploring the Adobe software - just Flash at the moment - and working on websites. Perhaps I can get a handle on the causes as the week progresses.

Some how Tom Brennan found my first attempt at a website on Google. He was looking for BillsView.com but found my old site which is where I pointed the domain BillCherry.us before I changed it this morning. Those were the days when I first tried to use a wysiwyg html editor (aka 'what you see is what you get' HTML editor) and I didn't even know how to use the editor much less understand any of the code. I just found these .GIF's and imported them into the editor then published. If you know how and are so inclined have a look at the source code for that page. Funny, huh? Now compare that with today's BillsView which by the way needs to be cleaned up a bit I must admit. I'm glad Tom found that page so I can look back at where I started and see what I've learned.

Now here's something funny about the old site - I put a link to it for you to see but my host server would not permit it to be posted. Apparently this host I'm using, which I think is fabulous, will not allow links to other hosts to be published. They have powerful filters as I've found when using certain words that could have been conceived as pornographic in nature or advertisements for such things. I don't mind - I just find other ways of saying the same thing. So if you want to see the 'old' site it is at this link without the "*" in the URL: http://www.fr*eewebs.com/billcherryatl/index.html - this is a free hosting site.

If I choose to get an understanding of Adobe as I did the first little freeware HTML editor I used, I could actually build some rather dynamic websites. That is not my plan but as the saying goes, I take things one day at a time. It's the exhilaration I feel that washes over my body as I discover how to successfully do something with Adobe Flash or any other project as far as that goes. I like to learn - it is fun for me. With this new suite of software I could be busy for years to come.

Yesterday I was talking about addictive behavior which can lead to outstanding performance in work, school, sports, etc. I'm reminded of that because of the recent news about Michael Phelps with the bong incident. A few years ago he had a DUI as well and I believe, no...I'm sure he has addictive behavior to the extreme - in his case he likes the rush of drugs which is bad but he also likes the rush of being the very best swimming athletic in the World. I'm convinced you don't get to the top of your game, your sport, your business, your hobby, unless you have additive behavior. The feeling you get of success for work well done is addictive as crack cocaine, but usually not as destructive.

Look at other individuals that are at the top of their game. Many people have God-given talent but few people are so committed to take it to the top. These are folks with extreme addictive behavior - Tiger woods comes to mind. You see it all around us - people who do things because they love it and not because they need the money...can anyone say Rush Limbaugh? So boys and girls, my innate addictive behavior is not all bad as long as I focus it in a positive way.

My spam is on the rise again. Before I went to coffee yesterday morning I dumped all the spam in my Gmail account but found 192 new ones by the time I returned just an hour later. Just imagine how fast our computers could be if all that bandwidth being used by spam were released for other things. I wonder what percentage of the spam sent actually leads to a transaction of some kind?

Today's picture is an example of the kind of skill I'd like to master with respect to Photoshop.

Posted at 05:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

My Addictive Behavior

Tue 03 February 2009

I think the endless hours I've been sitting at my desk with my legs all crossed like a pretzel has aggregated my restless leg/body condition. I had to get up 4 times over night when I actually thought I was about over it. There seems to be no real harm because the hot baths give immediate relief, but I don't rest all that well so I'm a bit tired the next day. This week I'll pay close attention to what I do and the results I get.

Boy do I ever have addictive behavior - but those of you who know me also know that about me - now the rest of you know. I get started on anything and I can't let go. It could be building a website, working with a new program, eating ice cream, or watching The Closer on TNT Monday nights. Too much of anything is generally not good for you including sun exposure, eating ice cream, or working on a computer - I have all of these addictions. Thus far the only side affects is the restless leg-body thing and the muscles around my neck get sore from working on my machine. Thankfully these are things I can recognize and live with them.

Yesterday I looked deeper into the website where I retrieved some software. They had dozens of links to complaints about copyright infringement, etc. There standard answer is as follows

As you may or may not be aware, Sweden is not a state in the United States of America. Sweden is a country in northern Europe. Unless you figured it out by now, US law does not apply here. For your information, no Swedish law is being violated.

Please be assured that any further contact with us, regardless of medium, will result in: a) a suit being filed for harassment, b) a formal complaint lodged with the bar of your legal counsel, for sending frivolous legal threats.

It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are ....... morons, and that you should please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.

Please also note that your e-mail and letter will be published in full on http://www.thepiratebay.org.

Go f*ck yourself.

Polite as usual,


I found the letter to be rather amusing but I certainly understand the concept of intellectual property. So if I record a song from an FM station, burn it, and play it for my enjoyment or the enjoyment of others am I breaking the intellectual property concept? And is that different from making a CD from someone else's music library? The BIG stink seems to be with music and videos at The Pirate Bay. BTW, couldn't they have used a less 'in your face' domain name?

Yesterday I talked with John about finding a fellow student at the Indian River State College that understand Adobe and would be willing to give me Somme lessons. Of course I'm willing to pay and don't all college kids need extra spending money? I think I could be taught fairly quickly the things I want to learn first - the other things might very well last into the next decade. I've never ever seen software so complicated as Adobe. I thought Paint.net took some skills but that's a cake-walk compared to Adobe software.

My landscape guy, Walter Sanders, e-mailed me yesterday to say he likes the site I built for him - good say I. He wants to work with the text (of course) and wants to add pictures including the Vero Villa. My goal was to give him a complete site to edit rather than trying to start one from scratch - I've done that so now it's up to him. Same with Jim the paint contractor - it is up to him to get me the pictures he wants me to publish.

Posted at 04:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Adobe Suite

Mon 02 February 2009

If you read yesterday's post you'll know I'm deep into this web design junk. If I get really good at it I'll need to use my skill to supplement my income once Obama & Company create hyper inflation everywhere except in the stock market. Besides, I like the creative challenge and the nuts & bolts of programming. But to get into the big leagues I'll need powerful software to use for those really special flash sites.

I can buy flash templates but in order to edit them you need software like and including the following:

* InDesign CS4
* Photoshop CS4 Extended
* Illustrator CS4
* Flash CS4 Professional
* Dreamweaver CS4
* Fireworks CS4
* Acrobat 9 Pro
* Adobe Bridge CS4
* Adobe Device Central CS4
* Version Cue CS4

All of which comes packed in the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium software for the modest price of $1799. What? No wonder some designers charge a lot of bucks for flash work because of this pricey but very powerful software. The suite is over 3 GB in size and you need a machine that has a lot of RAM. My machine qualifies.

Well I'm not about to go there but then I got a call from John when I mentioned this very nice and very expensive software I found. He said his friends get movies, music, etc from a file-share place called Torrentz...for free I might add. So what the heck, I checked it out and sure enough the suite was there posted by a trusted user. Now is when I should add that viruses and Trojans are all over these file-sharing sites so normally I would not even think about going there. But then I have the advantage of opening files and programs in a virtual space on my C drive so as to avoid infection - I told you all about "Sandboxie" a few weeks ago. I decided to give it a go!!

This was not a simple process and your computer competence needs to be above the average user to jump through the hoops. Shaazam - my 3 years of volunteer work on the Zone Alarm Community Forum taught me what I needed to know. How to download, then unpack zip files and then use software to extract the unpacked .ISO files into a useable executable file. Then you needed to modify your 'Host' file to added the loop-back to the 14 servers used by Adobe (do you boys and girls know what and where a host file is?). Next you had to open deep into the bowels of each of the 12 programs, navigate through a minefield of .DLLs to the license key .Dll, rename the .DLL, and then install a new license key .DLL into each of the program files. You with me? Then you need a special utility to generate an acceptable and usable key. Follow that? Oh, did I mention you need to disconnect from the internet once all the downloading is done and before the installation?

Are your eyes glazing over? I love this kind of stuff - it is almost as good as ice cream and chocolate. Now the real killer is it took over 6 hours to download the files via my utorrent program followed by another 90 minutes (or more) to install the software once it was ready to be installed. But you know what - I did it! The good news is all the software seems to be working as it should although I do not know for how long - I have a suspicion it could be just a 'trail' peroid. The bad news is this software is levels above anything I've ever used before and after 3 hours of tinkering I still don't have the slightest clue...but, I can learn. If I do use this software and turn it into a money making utility then I'll buy a key for the parts I actually use in order to get continued use, updates and support. My guess is I'm months away from getting anywhere near the level of understanding needed to use these tools - that is if I get there at all. I bet my little Dutchie buddy knows how to use this stuff don't you Syp?.

Posted at 01:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Sun 01 February 2009

My newest website effort is looking better every day. This is a site I built for my Landscape guy , Walter sanders, who installed all my landscape, landscape lights, and excellent irrigation system. I sent him an e-mail after my other two Vero Beach sites and he said he'd been wanting to ask me. Well I put a complete site together finding pictures on the internet and writing the text having doing a lot of research on similar sites. It is all original but Walter is surely going to change it once he reads it. Want to see it? Have a look here at Tropical Lawn Care. Naturally I built something I like but fortunately Walter likes it too.

By now you can tell my preference for sites are those which are simple, centered in a page, and only take-up about 50% of the page or less. BillsView.com and TanzaniteAmerica.com were built the way I like them so other sites have followed. The CleanHouseVero.com and MessinaandAssociates.net take up about 70% of the page but are still both in a "frame-style" look. With the two under progress now, the frames have gotten smaller Tropical Lawn Care and QualityPaintingByJimBoineau. I know the last URL will be a long one but that's what Jim wants. By this time next week I hope to have them both published to the internet but as of today they are work in progress on one of my sites.

This whole process has gotten me to look around Vero to see who's doing what. You know what I discovered? There is very little competition I could find - and what I did find was either poorly done or over the top expensive. A local guy has a site called DNA Web Services and if you look at his work it is not that impressive to me and when you check his portfolio across browsers some site fail! He is in the $1000+ range and his hosting starts at $20/month for a third as much space, a fifth as much bandwidth as I'm able to offer not to mention all the bonus stuff. Maybe I've priced myself too low..you think?

And then there is IktomeDigital in Ft. Pierce - just have a look at what they charge! Click on the $3500 bike site (number 2 on the list) ...Jeez! Maybe I'm missing something but to build that site for $3500 seems awful high to me or...maybe I'm better than I think I am and should be charging more? And what about what you get for $6500 - Absolute Impressions - sixty-five hundred dollars?! OK. I'm not going to get out of hand here - I'm not a professional so lets just see if I even get another request. I've still got a lot to learn but when you are old, unemployable, a geek by nature, then II could become dangerous !!!

Friday night, I got a call from an old high school classmate of mine who had just heard about Darby's death. She used to date Darby along the way and was rather upset. I immediately knew who she was once she told me her name and I could 'hear' her voice as been the good friend I had in high school. It was indeed nice to talk to her again but unfortunate to be under the circumstance of Darby's death.

Now here comes the amazing part. She lives out of state and discovered Darby's death by reading BillsView.com!! Somehow, and she did not remember how exactly, she discovered BillsView last year and knew all about my remodeling, move to Vero, etc. Yet I had no idea she knew and was following my daily nonsense on BillsView until the telephone call Friday. Jeez! What an amazing thing, huh? Well, I know I get between 150 and 200 visitors everyday and except for about 10, I've not got a clue whop they are. I'd never guess an old classmate would have stumbled on my site then followed my nonsense but I think that's really cool!

Posted at 06:08 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Getting Better

Sat 31 January 2009

As I had hoped, my restless body affliction seems to be going away a bit each day. Last night I only got up once and when I did the symptoms were not as bad as they had been. If this pattern continues then I should be back to "normal" next week - at least as normal as I get. I wonder why this happens to me in the first place and why does it only happen at night when I try to sleep? Does it have something to do with circulation and if so is this an omen of something worse perhaps? I'll bring it up to my doctor when I have my physical just to see what he has to say.

The episodes have left me feeling tired during the days which I conclude is a result of disruptive sleep. But then again I think I should have more energy in general so as I mentioned the other day I'm thinking about seeing a psychiatrist who should be more informed about brain farts than my internists. I'll write myself a note to call Dave Fromang - John's uncle - for a referral.

Yesterday morning I got a key lime cake out of my freezer which I brought back from Islamorada this past Summer. I cut it into quarters and took some to Mary Ann & Tom knowing how much Mary Ann likes this cake from the Islamorada Bakery there close to the Palms. Nothing like enjoying a bit of fond Summer memories here in the dead of Winter. There are probably other great key lime cakes I could get here in Vero but there is something special about having one from the Keys.

I had to replace two more landscape lights but this time it was from two different zones and the lights I replaced had not been replaced since they were first installed. How do I know you ask? Because they were GE bulbs and I've not bought GE bulbs before. So it was good they lasted this long which is more in line with what I expect. I'll never buy any of those brand "X" bulbs from China again - they are piss poor.

Have you boys and girls been following what Congress and the Obama Administration is doing to us? They are out and out lying about this $850 billion spending bill.They call it a "economic stimulus " bill but very very little of the bill has anything at all top do with stimulus. As her majesty queen Nancy Pelosi said last year a stimulus bill should be quick, targeted, and limited. This bill is none of that! A lot of the spending is in the outer years like 2010 and farther so it is not quick. It increases 'entitlement spending by almost $200 billion dollars and you know that is surely not quick, limited, and targeted - entitlements go on for ever and ever. There is so much pork in this bill it is astonishing that Congress dare call this a stimulus bill !!

Did you know the money supply has doubled in 12 months when you have to go between 1929 and 2007 to see the last time it doubled! What does that mean you ask? Inflation will be out of control in a few years when all that money chases to little product. The bigger long-term worry is inflation not the recession we are currently experiencing. I think some targeted, limited, and immediate spending could be useful but this bill is none of that. I'm surprised and pleased not one single Republican voted for it and in fact 10 Democrats voted against it as well. There is nothing bipartisan about this bill - the only thing bipartisan is opposition to the bill. There is nothing "new" in Washington as Obama promised - it is the same old same old!

What a difference a year makes. This time last year the Vero Villa was still being renovated and now it has become my home.

Posted at 06:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

No Income Yet

Fri 30 January 2009

The economy is affecting my little cottage industry of building websites. My first client has not paid the invoices I've sent as of yet. It could be he pays bills once a month so I'm going to wait until February before I take his site down. I'm glad I decided to stay in control of all aspects of his site and I will follow this procedure for any future sites I might build. I will be the one who owns the domain name and the hosting account. The paint contractor's site will be published as soon as I get more pictures he wishes to have on the site. On my landscape guy I'm waiting for him to give me a clue as to what he thinks he might want. In the meantime I've played with a few different approaches and looks. More to follow.

In this process I've learned how to use my image editing software better. Today's pictures is an example of what I've been testing. Oh, if it were only true! Captain Matt thinks I might become dangerous with my ability to manipulate images - nah, it ain't [sic] going to happen. I'm just having fun with it but the purpose is learning how to change images to meet a requirement for building a site. If I were to actually buy the powerful software that's available no telling what havoc I could raise. As it is I'm using a free application called Paint.net which was developed by students at the University of Washington and is an 'open source' software package. Open source means anybody is free to make plug ins for the program.

What a difference a day makes. yesterday it was mostly sunny with a high of 81 but then some rain came in front of a cold front to mix things up here. It is suppose to stay in the 60's here today and get in the lower 40's overnight tonight with a cool day tomorrow as well.

I've not been feeling well this week although I've not felt sick either. when you are sick, you have symptoms like congestion, coughing, fevers, nausea, pain, etc. I've had none of that - I've just not felt well. This leads me to believe I may need to have my anti-depression drug modified or changed. No, I've not felt depressed as such but depression has other symptoms like lack of energy and a sense of not being well. It could be the restless nights I've been having. I have my annual physical scheduled in April but I'm thinking about seeing a Psychiatrist before my annual physical. It was my internists that prescribed Cymbalta but he's an internists not a psychiatrist whom I believe would be more versed in treatment. What the hell, it's another way for me to do my share of pumping money into the economy.

When I went to coffee yesterday morning a guy sat next to me that coughed and sneezed while I was there. He even coughed up something onto my pant leg..Yuk!! I finally just got up and left because I don't want to get whatever he's got. I may have left too late but I hope not. I think it is damn rude to go cough and sneeze on someone or in a meeting. If you are sick, then keep your damn sickness to yourself and stay at home! This meeting is optional, not mandatory. You will not lose a day's pay if you miss a meeting. Coming to it sick is very inconsiderate of others that are there. I may not go back this morning but if I do, I damn sure will not be close to him or any other virus carrier.

Posted at 05:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Sprinklers Fixed

Thu 29 January 2009

Kudos to the City of Vero Beach. After I called about my sprinkler problem day before yesterday they sent a dude out early yesterday morning. The problem was a cracked pipe and my man "Bill" fixed this morning before 9 am (see picture). You folks know it makes me unhappy to have my systems not working as they should so I was very pleased with the response time of the Vero Public Works Department. Today's picture is that of Bill fixing the break. BTW, 'Bill' is from Vietnam so I've not got a clue how he got his name.

A couple weeks ago I was talking about the positive affects of vitamin B-12 in the area of energy and memory. I was reminded by Captain Matt talking about the shots his Mom was getting on a weekly bases so I decide to purse it. I got online and ordered 25 syringes and a 30 ml vile of pharmacutial grade B-12 from a Canadian pharmacy. The B-12 came with a doctor's prescription label on the box but I never talked to a doctor nor did I fill out a questionnaire - I guess you're not likely to become a B-12 junkie but then again they don't know me! I'm addicted to more...more of anything, just more. The syringes came from a supply company in New York without a prescription as well; Florida requires a prescription but that didn't seem to bother the seller.

Next I recruited two human lab rats on which to test the needles and the B-12. Both of my rats - and you know who you are - were willing participants in my experiment. In both cases they said the needle was painless and that's because I ordered a very small gauge needle. It is too early to tell how affective the vitamin has been on my rats but it wasn't too early for me to try it myself. So last night I injected 1cc of B-12 into my body and this morning does seem to be any different than any other morning to me. The good news is all three of us are still alive it's just the new hair growing on our palms that is a bit strange! I'm going to keep this up on a weekly bases for awhile to see what benefit it may have on me and my rats. If you want to know more about B-12 you can find it here .

Yes I had another restless night with my restless body but I don't think it was as bad as the night before. tonight will be the test because if I reduce the amount of times I get up in the middle of the night to soak in my tub then I'll start to believe these symptoms are fading away as they did about 10 months ago. Then it took several nights but each night was better than the night before. The only side affect from these restless nights is that I'm tired the following day. Not that I want to sleep the next day but just a sense of a lack of energy. Maybe the b-12 treatments will help offset the affects of a restless night with a restless body. One can hope.

Posted at 06:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Restless Body Syndrome

Wed 28 January 2009


Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day here in Vero although it was a bit windy. I beginning to understand more and more why old farts like to come South for the Winter. You know we had cold weather last week which very much reminded me of Atlanta but to my surprise, I'm glad it's warming up again. Does that mean I now officially qualify as an old fart? The next thing you know I'll be going to supper at 4 PM to catch the 'early bird' special at the local cafeteria. Well as my Dad always used to say, getting older is better than the alternative!

Just Damn! I had a very bad night last night with my restless body syndrome. My legs and arms tingled all over and I could not lie still to go to sleep for more than about an hour. I was up 5 different times getting into a hot tub of water to soak for about ten minutes then back to bed. The hot tube treatment does work but it also wears off and needs to be repeated. I don't know what causes this but I'm pleased the treatment is as easy as a hot tub of water. I hope this goes away soon like it did the last time it happened in the Spring of 2008.

My Dad used to have restless leg syndrome which gave him fits over the years. Me thinks I could have got the gene that causes this problem - a problem by the way that usually affects only old farts. There is medication but like my medication for clinical depression it is something you have to take everyday, not just as needed. I don't want to go there if I can avoid it. Now the Cymbalta is the only daily prescription I take and frankly I want it to stay that way. I do take over the counter stuff and prescription pain medication but only as needed. When I see what ails my contemporaries I'm very fortunate with my general health. Oh sure, I'm whacked but there is not medication or cure for that.

I've been trying to transfer my domain BillsView.net from InMotionHosting to GoDaddy where I park all my other domains. What a bunch of hoops you have to go through to make the switch. I started on Friday of last week and only yesterday did I get all the codes, passwords, and permissions to move my registrar which unknown to me was a company known as Melbourne IT Ltd. Well I think I've got it done and now it will only take a few more days before I'll have all the domains in one spot. I've got about a dozen or so but 7 of them are ones with Tanzanite in the name. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of them but having the option is something I like.

The City of Vero Beach monkeys that tore out my old sidewalk to replace it for a new one managed to screw-up my rather pricey irrigation system. One zone does not work at all which suggests to me the pipes are broken or more likely disconnected deep underground. I just hate sh*t like this. Here I am minding my own business and trying to make my property look good then along comes the city to screw my system up. And what for you ask? To replace a couple of sections of sidewalk that had cracks in them. That's it!! Just minor cracks.

I called the dude at the City in charge of breaking property owner's irrigation systems yesterday and he is to send someone out at 8 this morning. I'll miss coffee but I'll be here for the repair crew. And by the way, while there here I'm going to point out the ruts in my yard caused by that damn bobcat. I know the City has the right to do the work they did but I also think I'm going get them to fix the damage they caused. Other property owners around me don't have to worry because their yards look like sh*t anyway! Just damn!

Captain Matt came by last evening to say good bye as he plans to head back to Atlanta this morning. He brought some pictures he found at his Mom's house for me to scan then send to him and his brothers before I give them to Tommy. Here is a picture of us in Chubb Cay taken in the mid-1980's. I hosted TB and a buddy of mine from Canada, Patrick on a 4 day fishing trip. The hot babe was our mate - we had a GREAT trip.

Posted at 07:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Geek Stuff

Tue 27 January 2009

Remember I bought a new-old recondition Dell Optiplex computer a few weeks ago? This one has a small profile - about the size of a laptop only thicker - to use for testing, playing, etc. It came without a mouse or a monitor - it is just the computer but it's a powerful little dude. Anyway I figured out how to control it from my regular desktop through the Remote Management tool in Windows. That was fine and good but it did need to be connected to my home network via a CAT5 cable. I ordered and installed a wireless adapter but I could not control it remotely while connected wirelessly. Then I was talking to Mike yesterday and the subject came up about remote management because he has a computer at his lake house he's controlling from his home. What I didn't know is that I need to change a specific function in my Linksys router to allow Remote Management and when I did...shazam, it worked. Now I can place this computer anywhere in my house and control it from my desktop wirelessly. Cool, huh?

So now you're asking what the purpose in all this is, right? Well boys and girls, I'm getting close to the point were I'll be able to connect to other computers from my home in order to help folks if they have a problem - Lina or any of you. But also I'll be able to connect the Optiplex to my 67" Samsung using the TV as a monitor. Why would I want to do that you ask? Well there are episodes of some of my favorite TV programs available online for free like Monk, The Closer, Burn Notice, etc. Plus, I think I can buy movies online and have them streamed to my computer anytime I want. Actually I'm more interested in the TV series, but the movie thing is cool too. Updates to follow.

As many of you have noticed, I've been improving my skills with my image editor, Paint.net. It is not Photoshop but then again it's free and Photoshop costs hundreds of dollars. The folks out at the University of Washington started the project years ago and it continues to grow. With their 'open source' policy, other developers have made plug-ins that will come very close to mimicking the options found in Photoshop. This software is so powerful and complex it takes a long time to learn how to use it. I'm finding new skills useful in my attempt to make even cooler, more professional websites.

My work on the new website is progressing well - I'm now waiting for the client to give me any other pictures he wants. Yesterday I took pictures on the Vero Villa and a church he painted to put into the 'portfolio' section; it was his request. Then I found other pictures of homes in Vero to add to other pages. I'm not sure he'll like any of them but at least we have a space-holder until I get ones he does want to use. If you lost the URL, you can just click here .

I got another job in the workings as well. my landscape guy called and said he wants me to build him a site as well. I sent him an e-mail just to see if he might be interested and he said he wanted to ask me earlier but was afraid to! He thought I wouldn't want to mess with it and frankly at the time I might not have said yes but now times are different and Sally & I have to eat. It's better work and more fun than standing at a door saying, "Welcome to Wal-Mart" ! Walter is to get some of his thoughts together and then I'll take it from there. I'm thinking about opening offices in London, Hong Kong, and Dubai.

Posted at 07:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Restless Body

Mon 26 January 2009

I've had one of those restless body events in the last two nights, but not nearly as bad as some episodes in the past - I only got up once to take a hot bath around 11:30 pm and then slept until Sally decide it was time to wake me so I could scratch her ears. Sally usually wakes me a couple times during the night to give me the opportunity to pet her or scratch her ears. Usually I obey her wishes and then go back to sleep. The restless body syndrome was nice bothering me after Sally woke me ; what bothers me is not knowing what the heck causes it in the first place. Fortunately the episodes are few and far between.

Sunday morning I re-watched The Bourne Ultimatum until 10 o'clock - what a great movie, huh? This movie is one nonstop chase scene with Bourne just knocking off anyone in his way. I liked the plot, the action, and the overall theme of the Bourne movies. At the end you don't know what happens to Bourne but you do know he is still alive. Because the movies have been so popular I bet Hollywood will make another movie and I'm guessing we'll see Bourne being called out of "retirement" by someone high up in the US Government to go on a vital mission to save America. No, I have no source on that it's just something I would do if I were a producer. Once you got a hit series then Hollywood always goes with more like in James Bond. Time will tell.

I got the mystery of the sendmail.php file resolved. The hosting company I use for all my accounts was not the one I used for BillsView.net. It is a different host with different programs running on their servers. I set this account up with InMotionHosting because at the time I thought I needed a host that provided streaming video services and my "usual" host did not. As it turns out I did not really need that option so I'm going to close the account at the end of my one year contract and transfer the files over to BillsView.com which I can use for my live webcam via the JavaScript web page I was using at the other host. I do not need a separate host as I first thought when I set it up in March of last year. I'll transfer the domain name - BillsView.net - to GoDaddy with all my other domain names. Why so many domain names you ask? Well about 8 of them are for Tanzanite related sites which I bought a couple of years ago thinking I might use them in the future to market my Tanzanite. I'm not sure I will but I have the option and if I choose to I could maybe sell the rights to the domain names.

For the first time in many months Sally got sick on my carpet.I head it when it happened so I was able to get up and clean it up right away. I don't know why this happens but it is my belief that's just what cats do from time to time. I do not think she is ill as such but rather probable ate something she should not have in my house. During the night she is on patrol and I'm sure she finds critters out to chase like small insects or a lizard - Florida is full of lizards which I think make cats sick.

John came over for dinner last night after another hard day at the beach protecting the folks on John's Island. No, the island was not named after my John but a guy by the name of John Turk whom I actually knew as a teenager. He owned from the Indian River to the ocean for about 20 miles North of Vero's beach on AIA. Today that land is worth a fortune when acre lots sell for $1,000,000 and more. Anyway, I cooked our John a New York strip Publix had on a sale for only $7.99/lb instead of the usual $12.99/lb - in these tough economic times you have to be a prudent shopper. I like cooking for him as it gives us a time and reason to visit - the guy does have to eat to keep his strength going so he can save people. This picture was taken last night.

Posted at 07:06 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Fishing Trip

Sun 25 January 2009

It was a good thing I did not go fishing with TB, Captain Matt, and Flynn yesterday because I had a toss and turn night Friday night. I woke up at 3:30 and could not go back to sleep until about 6 AM and then only for another 45 minutes. As a result I was tired and I still have my congestion from the cold. I feel fine it's just this damn stuffy nose I keep on having.

Captain Matt reports they had a good day catching dolphin off and on the whole day. When you catch fish in frequent intervals you tend to pay more attention to the baits and you're more alert. The dolphin ranged in size from just schoolies to some good keepers in to 10 to 20 pound range. Matt also reported several strikes they did not get including some that let the unmistakable mark of a billfish - if you've seen the marks you'll know exactly what I mean. I guess I need to be on board to get the sailfish to bite, huh? Matt had his wet suit on today because it was cold - see picture.

The City of Vero Beach poured the new concrete for my sidewalk repairs and much to my surprise no one wrote their name in the concrete. It dried in about 24 hours without incident. What I don't understand is the sand the City workers put over my grass where they drove that damn bobcat. I hope they've not killed the grass there because I sure have spent a lot of time and money getting my lawn looking good. So what's up with the sand? Why did they put it out? It was done on purpose I'm sure. Maybe I can find them working in this area tomorrow and ask.

I've been testing a new mail form page for my new client on the same server I've loaded the pages. The 'send mail' function does not work. So I loaded the files to another domain of mine and got the function to work there. What's up with that. I now you need to use the ASCII file sending function when you use an FTP client so I know that was right. This was driving me crazy - more so that I already am - so I created a folder on my computer with the 'sendmail.pho' and 'contact.html' files in it the via ASCII I used my FTP client to upload it to BillsView.net and BillsPost.com (aka. BillsView.com). I sent the same folder the same way to each domain. It worked on one but not the other. Huh?

Now me thinks something is not as it should be at BillsView.net but I know not what. I opened a help ticket with my server host asking them to look into it. I bet it is something simple I'm missing but I've not got a clue as to what. These folks have a great host package but they expect their clients to know what they are doing. They don't offer help with programming at all but I'm convinced this is not a programming problem. By the way, I use BillsView.net to test scripts and host my live webcam. I also just store stuff there as well.

Talked to Starr yesterday to ask about her hearing and to inform her Darby died - her family and Darby's family were neighbors as well and each family had 8 kids. Of course she was sadden as we all are but at the same time Darby had been suffering so it was his time. Starr is finally have her hearing loss checked out because it is an issue, a big issue. How can you teach or tutor if you can't hear? I think she should be able to qualify for Social security disability. One ear is and has been deaf for years and the other one is about to go. Up until now she has really not done anything about it so I'm very happy to see her take this move. Stay tuned for updates.

Posted at 06:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Darby Died

Sat 24 January 2009

My friend Darby past away overnight Thursday after a very long battle with cancer. He has been fighting it for over 18 months but the recently discovered brain tumors did him in. The tumors put him into a coma and then his system just started shutting down. All of us who loved Darby will miss him but we also know he's no longer in pain. Darby's life-force has left his body to rejoin the infinite amount of information and energy that ebbs and flows throughout the cosmos.

I've been told that the memorial service will be held on February 16th, Darby's Birthday. He would have been 61. Details are not available and the only thing I know now is that he will be cremated. May he rest in peace.

Tommy and Captain Matt asked me to go fishing with them today but I decided I'd better not go until I'm sure I'm over my cold. I actually feel pretty good but I also know it is going to be very cold this morning on the Florida Cracker until the sun gets high in the sky. Once you get cold while on a boat there is no way to get warm - you just stay cold. Today's picture was taken the last time I was no the boat and it was 20 degrees warmer that morning! I'm grateful to have been invited - Tommy is always generous to ask. My hope is they catch some fish and have a great day. Reports to follow.

Yesterday I got a call from the guy for whom I built a website without his knowledge. He liked it and has decide to move ahead with actually finishing the site and the publishing it to the internet. I spent all day revising the work to fit what he wanted and then uploaded my second attempt for his review. You can see it here. It is still a work in progress of course because we need to put pictures of his actual work on the site, not ones I randomly found on the internet.

When I started the project I really did not have any idea if Jim even wanted a site - it was my version of a 'spec house' only in this case a 'spec website'. Had he not been interested or wanted something entirely different I could still save the work and use it at another time. As usual, I learned some new tricks of the trade as it were with respect to tables. You have to really cross-check your work in Internet Explorer as well as Fire fox but cause the two browsers don't render the data the same. I think the site renders the same in both browsers now. My current problem is I can't get the 'Contact Us' form to function properly but I will.

Shazam....another paying client.

Posted at 06:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Sidewalk Work

Fri 23 January 2009

When I returned from coffee yesterday morning I found 5 City of Vero Beach workers and a bobcat on my sidewalk. They were here to take up some broken/cracked sidewalk sections so that they can be replaced with new sidewalk. Some of the sections they wanted to take up had very minor cracks but that did not stop them from removing them anyway. They told me it was for "safety" reason and to replace the 3" slabs with 6" re-enforced concrete slabs. Why you ask? Because when the last big hurricane came through Vero in 2004 the City's repair and clean-up trucks drove on sidewalks around the city and crushed them. The new sidewalks should be strong enough for just about any truck to drive on top of them.

I was out there with my camera taking pictures in case they screwed up my landscaping or ran over my sprinkler heads. They were nice folks who's intent was honorable but all the same they could mess up something and if they do, I want the city to fix it. Thus far I've not discovered anything they've broken they had not intended on breaking. Today's picture is of some of the guys doing the work. Two of the workers were the same two who's picture I put up about a month ago.

Yes my cold is better; thank you for asking. The treatment routine seems to be affective although my nose still is stuffy. I find myself waking up at night breathing through my mouth because my nose is completely blocked. So last night I put on a Breath Right strip before I went to bed and it really helped. The dude that invented the strips sure has helped a lot of folks breath easier. I also use a nose spray called Afrin which is also very useful. Frankly I think some of the stuffiness could be because of Sally the hair factory. I've never been allergic to much of anything but a lot of anything - like cat hair - could trigger an allergy, couldn't it? I know that my visitors have to limit their time her if they are allergic to cats like Tommy and Mary Ann. Captain Matt is allergic as well but he takes medicine while here - a dose or two or three of Crown!

I worked on a new website for the paint contractor who painted my house inside and out. This guy is top drawer in my opinion and I say that having had had a good bit of experience with painters over the past 35 years or so. He does not have a website and at one point said he thinks he should have one. Here's what you might find amusing - I built the prototype site for him without his knowledge. I called Jim and told him I wanted to send him a link to something so let's see if he loves it or hates it. Take a look here at the work I've done thus far - what do you think? The important thing will be what he thinks.

To my knowledge, Darby is still in a coma - without food or water I guessing his time running out quickly. I think the family did the right thing by just letting nature take it's course rather than sticking tubes down his throat to keep him alive a few days longer. It's Darby's time.

Posted at 06:40 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Keys this Summer?

Thu 22 January 2009

Brother Drew many a very interesting point about the name of my new soon to be World Famous website. He suggested I go with the name GeekWebsiteDesigns.com because not only is it universal, it might get some traffic because it sounds similar to Geek Squad, the company that can install or repair computers or home theaters. Drew correctly pointed out Geek Squad are co-branded with Best Buy and very well known. When I was coming up with a name, the Geek Squad group did not even enter my mind - my name evolved out of e-mails sent to the people for whom I was building a website when I signed them Bill the Geek. I'm going to follow Brother Drew's suggestion and set up the account as GeekWebsiteDesigns.com.

It was a cold day in Vero yesterday and again this morning with the morning temperature around freezing. What made it worse was the wind - Vero gets a lot of wind, a lot more than Atlanta as I recall. It was a bright, sunny, cloudless day which made it very nice even if it was rather cold. I'm not sure the high temperature got out of the 50's yesterday. We should warm up for the weekend but frankly I'm liking this bit of a cold snap.

I went to Home Depot and Lowe's to search for replace plants for my bedroom suite - the plants in there were going to die if something was not done. They have a one year guarantee but instead of taking them back to Home Depot I gave them to John to take home and plant. If these palms were put in the ground and watered, I think they will spring back to life. John suggested his Mom would like them so now it's Starr's mission to nurse them back to life. Home Depot had crappy looking plants but much to my surprise Lowe's had 3 healthy looking palms like the ones I gave to John. They were $5 more per palm than the same palm at Home Depot but they were good looking. Lowe's has a one year guarantee too so let's see if I can kill them before Easter.

I had 463 spam mailing in my Gmail account overnight. Jeez! That is amazing to me. I still get about 8 to 10 spam mails in my Comcast account too but it usually is not overwhelming. I've concluded the best way to eliminate spam is to use one of my domains as my main e-mail account. I never get spam at my 'Bill at billsview dot com' e-mail account. I spelled it out to hide it from bots. It is the big e-mail handlers that get the spam like Comcast, Yahoo, Gmail, etc. Maybe I'll slowly migrate my e-mail address - I'll let you know of course.

Tommy was over the other day and asked what I thought about the Keys this Summer. It seems he got a call from Donna about some clothes found in the condo he's been renting and the owner thought they might be his. He and I agreed that we are both open to trip down this year but there are several things that will influence that. We'll have to see what Tom & Mary Ann's situation is this Summer and the amount of time off the boys can get for a trip. Of course Captain Matt is willing to leave his schedule open until the end of Summer for duty in the Keys - he's a real trooper don't you think? I'm not sure what John will be doing and I know that the Dutchies will not be coming because Sjak will have just recently downloaded a playmate for Yari. No word from Jeff and Amy but then again I've not asked.

Today's picture was taken from my balcony at the Palms last summer.

Posted at 06:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Wed 21 January 2009

My friend Darby has slipped into a coma from which he will not recover. Now it is just a matter of time before the tumors on his brain shut his systems down. He said on Thursday he was ready to go home and by that he did not mean his condo. He has been surrounded by family and friends who love him and now it is time to let go. His wife and daughter have accepted the ultimate outcome and now it is just a matter of win - likely soon, very soon. I'll miss my friend Darby but I too have come to the conclusion he has fought long enough. I remember when my mother died it was my Dad and me that were relieved she did not have to suffer anymore. I feel the same way about Darby. Today's picture was taken in November with Darby, Charlotte Terry, and me.

My cold is improving but slowly as most colds do. Yesterday my sore throat was all but gone and only the stuffiness and that general feeling of not feeling well was still with me. This has been one of the mildest colds I've had since I can't remember. Colds usually get me down for a week and then another week before I really start to fell normal again (at least as 'normal' as I get). I'm hoping this is it for the 2008 - 2009 Winter cold season for me.

Captain Matt came by to pick up a Windows XP operating system back-up CD to re-install Windows on his mother's computer. I tried to fix it and I did really improve it but there are some nasty bugs deep down in the bowels of her machine. Reinstalling XP is a lot cleaner and frankly easier solution to her problem. I've never installed an operating system but I think it is rather easy - we'll soon find out when I hear back from Captain Matt.

I keep changing the wording on my soon to be famous Geek Website Designs web pages. I have them all up on my BillsView server but I'm getting to the point of setting up a separate account for that site. The only issue is what domain name I should use - GeekWebsiteDesigns.com or VeroWebsiteDesigns.com? Or...maybe I'll come up with yet another name I like even better. If any of you loyal followers have an idea, send it to me. I'm not sure where this is going if anywhere at all but for the time being I'm having fun and it fills my days.

While doing some research on SEO I came across some rather interesting data. Much to my surprise my website, TanzaniteAmerica.com, has been sighted as an "authority" on other websites as it relates to Tanzanite. Imagine that - others use me as their qualified authority on questions dealing with Tanzanite. The site has also received a positive rating by the online security source...Web Of Trust. These are the folks who offer free software which reports on sites as you navigate the internet and prominently alerts you before you navigate to a dubious site. Many sites have adware, Spyware, and other malware associated with going to them. My purpose in creating TansaniteAmerica.com a couple years ago was to establish a baseline of knowledge and authority on the internet such that I'll have a history when I really try to sell some Tanzanite. I still get inquires but no one has bought a stone yet. I'm waiting for the mines to dry-up before I really advertise.

This morning is the coldest morning I've had here at the Vero Villa; it is 36F or 5C this morning. The "official" Vero temperature is 33F or 0C now.

Posted at 06:40 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

My Cold

Tue 20 January 2009

Today I'm pleased to report my cold did not evolve into one of those monster colds with pounding headaches, nausea, congestion, and over-all shitty feeling type colds. I still have some congestion, a bit of a sore throat, and that sort of overall "I've got a cold" feeling but this time it's minor. In fact, I can't remember the last time I had such a minor cold - I just hope I've not counted my chickens before the cows come home. So now I'm wondering why? Was it because I started using Zicam at the very beginning signs of a cold? Was it the large doses of vitamins B & C? Was it the Vick's vapor rub all over my chest? Or maybe it was that wonderful Barnes Groves Pink Grapefruit?

The makers of Zicam would want you to believe it is their medication of course. I think it was more probably the combination of treatments rather than any one treatment. Thus the next time the rhino virus shows up in my hot body again, I'll go through the whole regiment again. But first let me get over this one.

My soon to be published website has a simple look that I like and now the text has been revised about 5 times - adding words, taking out words, changing a few sentences. I still have the urge to say more than I have so I might add an additional page. I'm also thinking the design might be too simple especially for those who think they want more flash, colors, etc. Of course I know how to do that I just personally like the simple site. Shall I illustrate what I mean? One of the largest law firms with offices around the world is BakerBotts - look at how simple is their home page. Now you can see where I got the basic idea for my new site.

The other question I have addresses the name of the site. Should it be Geek Website Designs or Vero Web Designs? I've tried to come up with a name using the word 'view' as in BillsView but I've not hit on something I like that is not already registered. Got any ideas boys and girls? The best names should be short, easy to remember, and a .com or .net domain IMHO. No matter, I'm having time playing with this whole thing and learning more about SEO.

John came by for a visit after work on Sunday. He had a haircut but it was one of those style-looking cuts where you can't tell he had much cut at all (see image). Sort of reminds me of expensive restaurants - the more they cost the smaller the portions. Same thing with hair stylists - the more they cost the less they cut. Nonetheless he does look very well manicure these days as he should working at John's Island. When John left I sent him home with the three palms that were in my bedroom - I just about killed them but he said he'd plant them and nourish them back to life. With some real sunlight, water, and TLC I think they will recover but they were doomed in my bedroom. Now to head out to Home Depot to get some new plants to kill.

Posted at 06:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Mon 19 January 2009

Yesterday Tommy, Captain Matt, and Wild Man Flynn asked me to go with them to the World Famous Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival. Would you know it, my funky feelings of the past few days has mutated into the beginnings of a cold with a terrible sore throat and stop-up nose. So although I would have liked to go out there on a beautiful, cloudless, mild day I though it best to stay inside and nurse my cold. I didn't feel real bad but if I start to do stuff and ignore the symptoms I'm afraid the cold could get a lot worse and last a lot longer.

At this point I'm on a vitamin C, Zicam, throat spray, and headache relief regiment. I stick that Zicam stuff up my nose 3 times a day and take 4000mg of vitamin 3 times a day - the other stuff I take as needed. I also have a secret weapon here in the house - TB brought me some fresh red grapefruit from one of the Barnes' Groves best trees to eat. For those in the know, you'll agree with me that Tommy's grapefruit is awesome and does not need FDA approval.

I'm really disappointed I did not go to the Frog Leg Festival. Boys and Girls, this is one real Southern country style fair with food, rides, and those little booths whose sole purpose is to take your money in exchange for some worthless trinket. This is a prime example of one of the things I like about Vero - you can find old style small town activities that are rated "G" for good family fun. What a difference between the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival and the Greek Festival in Atlanta for example. Both are fun but on opposite ends of the pole.

Jason came by with a hole on the left side of his body about waist high. Turns out he had a big boil that needed to be cut open and drained of all that nasty stuff you get in boils. I saw it on Wednesday and told him he needed to see a doctor but like most kids he did nothing. Friday night it hurt enough and was big enough that he did go to have it drained. He'll be fine of course but the doctor did tell him he came just in time before it created another issue.

So I've been doing research on SEO's (Search Engine Optimization). For the most part, I think the website that do this for a fee are basically worthless. They advertise submitting your site to 100, 300, 800, 1600, etc search engines which is a bunch of crap. I found that 98% of all searches are done by just 4 search engines the others are either not used or portals to one of the big 4...Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live, and Search.com. And another thing, auto-submissions don't work because some of 4 require you to put in a security code to manual submit.

There are tricks to be learned about getting ranked high on a search engine and I'm learning some of them. This information is free if you just look for it. There is rather expensive software available claiming to help with SEO however the first one I tried didn't help one bit - it just generated a lot of useless data a company could sell to a client. By the way, most of this data can be obtained by other means if you know how and of course I do. With a working understanding of .PHP and MySQL one can get all the information these other sources sell.

My New York attorney client was willing to pay extra for submission and information but I chose to submit him manually to the big 4 and then I re-wrote some of his META tags based on the new knowledge I have on search engines. Now to see what happens.

Posted at 06:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Sun 18 January 2009

So I was better yesterday than I was at the end of the week on Thursday and Friday. I'm not sure what is going on if anything at all. frankly I think that I'm just going to have some days better than others after all, I'm not in my 20's anymore. All you young farts ought not laugh because your time is coming too. Oh, and by the way, that nice firm lean body of yours will get soft, flabby, and bigger. Some of youhave already experienced this haven't you? I can remember when the two mid-thirty's kids - Syp & Jeff - had about 6% body fat and were as lean and fit as two young men could be. That was about 15 years ago and oh my how times change. HaHaHaHaHa

When Captain Matt was over the other day, he mentioned his mother received a B-12 shot from her doctor to boost her energy. Well, you've heard me speak of my lack of energy from time to time even after consuming 3000 calories in a gallon of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream, right? Well I think there really is something to this B-12 stuff. When I was working back in the Big A, I would take clients to doctor's offices for insurance physicals and while there see "older" people come in for a B-12 shot. I asked the doctors and they all said it was to boost their energy.

So I did my usual research on the internet which confirmed my belief that B-12 can help boost energy as well as provide other positive side affects. There seems to be almost no bad affect from B-12 and apparently you really can't overdose on the vitamin. What seems to be the real important thing is how you take it...swallow a pill, put a pill under your tongue, by injection, or by a patch. Almost all of the reports suggest injection is best meaning the more direct access the vitamin has to your system the better. Pills seem to uniformly come out on the bottom for effectiveness except by the manufacturers that sell the pills. So I'm going to give vitamin B-12 a try either by patch or injection. Stay tuned.

Sometimes when I go for coffee in the morning I'll find myself sitting next to a noise maker. What do you mean you ask? I mean someone who's in constant motion, grunts, snorts, coughs, mumbles under his breath, or is eating aloud. Some thing that bringing those crunchy breakfast bars and eating at the coffee klatch is a good idea - I think they sound like a cow chewing it's cud. For those of you city-slickers who have actually heard a cow chew it's cud you'll know exactly what I mean! It is damn distracting - why can't these people eat quieter food or better yet, eat somewhere else?

Speaking of things that irritate me...I don't like to talk (or listen in this case) on the phone to someone who is doing something else while talking to me. I mean anything else that makes a distracting noise like eating, drinking, doing the dishes, etc. Women are the worst offenders but some men do it as well. It seems that every time my dear good friend Charlotte calls she's doing something else too. Last week she was riding her damn bike; I heard here huffing and puffing while the wind noise drowned out half of her words. Drive in car car and talking is ok... you can put the windows up and turn on the air conditioner. Talking to me while doing pots & pans and eating & drinking is something I just don't like. You've been warned! Wow...I feel a lot better now that I bitched for awhile this morning - did you enjoy that?

I'm sick this morning - just DAMN! My throat is really sore.

Posted at 07:21 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

River Landing

Sat 17 January 2009

My design website is coming along but I took a day off yesterday because I didn't feel good. Georgia Tech Jeff called on Skype and suggested I might be feeling bad because I thought I should be feeling bad after going to the germ-infested courtroom with Jason on Wednesday. Well the headaches were not imagined but at the same time I think there could be something to Jeff's view on this. I took some headache pills with codeine and they helped a good bit - I try to avoid the hydrocodone unless I really hurt.

So I've been thinking about the website's name - I started with Geek Website Designs and actually bought geekwebsitedesigns.com. Then I thought maybe I should have something more un-beat and Florida-ish like SeaBreezDesigns.com, SeaBreezWebsites.com, or VeroWebsiteDesigns.com...what do you guys think? Then of course I can create a name out of thin air with absolutely no meaning but could sound good - that's what the dude did when he named his ice cream Haagen-Das. Got any recommendations for a cool & catchy name for me floundering website design adventure? Your suggestions are welcomed.

I have a comment about the US Air plane that went for a swim in the Hudson river on Thursday. I'm pleased there were no fatalities or serious injuries. But I don't think the captain in charge of the flight was such a great Hero - no, he was a true professional doing his job. Why do you think air line captains get paid the big bucks? Well it's not because they can fly an airplane - for God's sake I've got a pilot's license. No, they get paid $200,000 a year to know what to do if something goes wrong like on Thursday. Flying is not all that difficult - landing a plane with 100 passengers in a river takes a cool head under fire and lots of confidence and experience. So this captain is a true professional doing what he is paid to do.

Sure I can see why those who were on the plane viewed him as a hero...but remember, it was his life on the line too. A hero in my mind is someone who does something extraordinary above and beyond what is or was expected. Tell me...when you get on a plane don't you expect the pilot in charge to be able to handle an emergency? I sure as hell do. What you do not necessarily expect is a bystander to run into a burning build to rescue people from death like my friend, Charlie did when he ran into the World Trade Center in 2001 - now het's a hero. It was not his job nor did anyone expect the action he took. Others might have done the same thing and I would call you a hero as well. Do you see the point I'm making? I will yield to the opinion for those on that flight, the Captain would be a hero in their eyes. The Main Stream Media now suggests that when the Captain walks on water the bottom of his feet don't even get wet!

Wouldn't you know it - the one time this week I did not take my phone off the hook when I wanted to take a bit of a nap, the damn phone rang and woke me about 15 minutes into what was going to be a much longer rest. This time it was once again from someone I did not know but at least this time it was someone with whom I ordered something on the internet. They called simply to say my order was being ship. Why didn't they just send a damn e-mail like 99.9999999% of every other online vender? Jeez! Do I have bad luck when I try to take a nap or what?

Posted at 08:16 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Not Feeling Well

Fri 16 January 2009

I was feeling a bit out of sorts yesterday although I'm not sick with anything - at least I don't believe I'm sick. Shut up!! I can hear you now saying..."you are a sick puppy". No I'm not. I'm just from a different planet. I think I need some good reset and less stress - choosing which Godiva to have or ice cream to eat is stressful.

One fella [sic] that I really like at my coffee klatch decided to have a coffee-free day on Wednesday and reported his activities to us yesterday morning when he came for coffee. The good news he just took a day off so I hope to see him regularly again. Stuff happens but the important thing is to get back on the road after running into the ditch. Many of you know I was a very reckless driver for many many years - too many years. I hope to see my buddy this morning.

My own website design site is still under construction. I continue to learn new things each day I work on it which is good for me - I like learning stuff. What I am a bit surprised about this time is how careful I need to be to cross check the page rendering in both Internet Explorer as well as Fire fox. With the last two sites I built there was little difference in using the browsers but this time I'm noticing more differences. The real problem is I'm not sure what I'm doing differently this time than I did the last two times. Oh sure, the pages are different but the basic coding is not that much different; at least I can't readily see what I've done differently. I'm still hopeful of having something published soon - by the end of the weekend.

I'm getting spammed to death on my Gmail acount. I clean it before I shut down in the evening and by the next morning I've got between 250 and 300 new e-mails in my spam folder - this morning there were 257! I used to get about 30 or 40 and all of a sudden it has increased by more than 100 between 9 PM and 6AM. Of course I get dozens and dozens during the day as well. I just hit the delete all button and move on to the next thing. I just wish I knew what site I entered this address that caused the flood. Do you have the same problem or are you a lot less popular than am I?

Just so you can get a feel for the direction in which I'm headed - at least at the present - with respect to the yet to be published Geek Website Designs home page, here is a screen shot. I took a full screen image so as to give you the correct view of the actually size of the page - I chose not to fill but half a page. Click on it for a bigger image. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery boys and girls?

It is Friday at 6:05 AM and I don't feel all that great this morning. At the very least it seems I'm going to have a headache day but in addition to a headache I feel a bit of nausea as well. I've not got a sore throat which is my usual warning of an impending cold so we shall see. More complaints to follow.

Posted at 06:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Day in Court

Thu 15 January 2009

We went to court yesterday as scheduled and wouldn't you know it, Jason was among the last to be called. I sat with him for almost two hours but I found it rather interesting. Yesterday for the most part was a hearing to hear the plea from those charged; only a couple of people actually got sentenced yesterday. The judge seemed to be very reasonable based on the facts as presented in the hearing. I have a good feeling about the outcome for Jason when he goes back on February11th - I will go with him again. In the meantime I'll get him prepared to present himself for the best possible outcome - I learned what this judge looks for in someone who comes before his court.

What I didn't like about yesterday is all the people in the courtroom coughing, gagging, hacking, sneezing, etc...the damn place must have hundreds of thousands on nasty germs floating around in the air. It was a petri dish for the rhino virus. . If I get sick in the next week, we will know for sure where I caught the virus. I'm hoping they were just all chain-smokers having smoking coughs and not virus coughs.

And another thing...where do these people come from? When I go around town I rarely see the drags of society as I saw in court yesterday. I must assume these folks are in a social level where life is a real struggle for them, they are poorly educated, and have very few positive things happening in their lives. Not all were like that of course but not one single person other than the attorneys in the courtroom had a coat on. And very few had a tie like Jason. Well I guess the folks that wear coats and ties buy their way out of problems?

When I was settling in to watch a bit of news on FOX News channel, captain Matt dropped by for a visit. He's still in town helping his mother with some health issues and wants to see things settle down before he heads back to Atlanta. I think it is a matter of the right drug cocktail and she'll be able to manage without Matt. Like I've mentioned before, I've gone through the same experimentation with the drugs I take. It would not be appropriate for me to go into anymore detail except to say I do believe there is a good combination that will benefit Lina once it is identified.

I've also been working on a site to talk about my great professional skills in building a website then publishing it to the internet. I've started on a plan but didn't like were it was going so canned it and started two others. In the process I found something I think would work on the first plan so I'm back to it now. My goal was to have something up before the weekend but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. Stay tuned.

Captain Matt is featured today as he takes a break from the riggers of working at The Palms this past Summer.

Posted at 03:16 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Web Pages

Wed 14 January 2009

At 1:30 this afternoon I'm going to court with young Jason where he will face the judge. The DA offered a year probation, some fines, and some evaluation as a sentence if he were to plead guilty. Jason doesn't want that - he wants to go to jail so as to avoid a year's probation and the fines (about $600). His public defender thinks she can get the judge to sentence him for 15 to 30 days which will avoid the probation and other costs. If he gets 15 days and is "good" while in jail, he can be out in about 8 days. While I personally hate the thought of jail, Jason sees it as a 'job' that will pay him $600+. Stay tune.

Speaking of young people, John came over for a visit last night to bring me up to speed on his school and work. He has a lot on his plate with classes Monday through Thursday and then John's Island duty Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. What I was particularly pleased to hear is he really wants to go to Florida State in the Fall meaning I think he is finally focused on completing college then joining the work force with a career in mind. Up until now, it seems he was going to school because that was just something to do between work and play. I see something now in him I've not seen before - a real commitment to his education. Needless to say, I'm most pleased. Once John decides he wants to do something I think he'll put the effort in to make it happen.

I've replaced 3 of the landscape lights that were out before the rains started yesterday - I've got two more to replace today. The bulbs I replaced had come apart at the seam where the lens was attached to the casing. I think these lights were poorly manufactured which has caused the problem. The lights I put in were more expensive 'name-brand' lights so let's see what happens. One other thing - it is still the same circuit giving me the problem. The lights on the two front circuits have never burned out since they were installed. So I think there is still a circuit issue otherwise why have other lights not gone out?

I've been working on a new website for me. I've got the domain name GeekWebsiteDesigns.com but I'm not sure I'm going to use it. I may just create some name because I like the way it sounds even though it could be totally meaningless. I started with a designed, didn't like what I was doing and then started something else. On my new path I came up with an idea that I'm now going to experiment with on my original idea. No, I've not got anything for you to see yet but I should by the end of the week. I want something simple, attractive, and informative - the issue is these attributes are in the yes of the beholder so your input will be most appreciated.

There seem to be basic categories of sites; those that are selling products, those that are selling services, those that provide information, and those that entertain. For the most part, I find the simpler the site the better I like it and by the way the quicker they will load. It took me a long time to understand simple is better - do any of you remember my first attempts at publishing pages on the internet? I found this page still lurking on Comcast.

Posted at 09:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Landscape Lights

Tue 13 January 2009

Jason has been found - he was cleverly living in his apartment when I went by yesterday morning. When I asked him were he has been he unfortunately reported he has not been drinking coffee over the weekend. Hmm! Well I'm going with him today to meet with his Public Defender to see what's up with his court date tomorrow. As of Friday, the lab tests still have not been reported with regard to the needle. From my point of view, those results are important to his case. I'm beginning to smell a rat in the District Attorney's office because they made an "offer" of an outcome without having the results of the lab tests? What's up with that? Does it make sense for the prosecutors to make an offer without the results?...I don't think so, do you? I'm very interested in what we will hear this afternoon at 4:15.

Yesterday I talked with my friend Darby's sister. She reports he is slipping away a bit each day which I think is par for the course for a growing brain tumor. He is at the point where he does not recognize all his visitors - it is indeed sad.

My thanks to my two favorite critics, Syp & John, for their generous comments on my very professional work building Messina and Associates PC. Now that I fine-tuned each page I think I'm satisfied with the work I did on this project. The better news is my client is most pleased with his new site and the fact I did it so inexpensively for him. Actually I was sort of doing a favor for Chuck's friend but at the same time he will pay me a bit for my remarkable design. I'm done with this project for now but I am going to do some research on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for this and other sites.

You know what I might do next? I might just build a simple site for Geek Website Designs - what do you think? If anyone else wants to look at my work I can put it on display there. I do have 5 working sites under my belt now although one needs some updating and cleaning - that would be PeachtreeSuite, a site I built several years ago. This site has stuff on it that no longer is functional but the owner wanted at the time. It needs some updating, revising, fixing, heck...it needs help.

I needed to run my dishwasher about the time I was going to bed - it smelled on the inside. So I figured I'd be awake long enough for it to go through it's cycle so I started it. When I went to bed, I couldn't hear the dishwasher because it is so darn quite. You know, I never noticed that before because I would start it as I went out the door in the morning. The dishwasher I had in Atlanta sounded like an attack helicopter was landing. I'm most pleased in my new discovery of something in this house I've had for a year.

The 3 new landscape lights I put in a week ago are already burned out, kaput, don't work, finished, dead...Just Damn! Mind you the other light on that circuit is still working - that would be the old one I did not replace. What the heck is going on? I think it could be the lights that came in a 'no-name' box; I think they were especially piss poor lights in the first place. My last order of 10 lights were all Sylvania lights which I assume are better quality. This time I'm going to put in the name-brand lights with the hope they will last longer than a week. But you know what? There is still something wrong because the burn-out problem is always on the same circuit!!

Posted at 06:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Mon 12 January 2009

I'm getting worried about Jason - he's still missing. I could have gone out of town on a job but the kid has a court date on Wednesday and a meeting with his public defender on Tuesday afternoon - I'm going to be at both meetings. Perhaps I'm just a bit too paranoid but it is unusual for me not to see and feed Jason at least one day on the weekend. I'll go by his apartment again this morning after coffee.

John has had to buy some books for his classes which is not unusual. What is fringing amazing is they cost $450 I think for just 4 books (he's taking 4 classes). That's a real racket IMO because the professors get gifts and goodies from the book publishers to use their books. Where else can you sell a book for $100 that no one really wants to buy much less read?!? And why do the course books change so often - does math, science, English, and accounting change that often? I think NOT! Jeez, poor John has to work several weekends to get enough money after taxes to buy the stupid books. Of course you need books for school but this smells like a scam to me.

My house keepers come this morning so I'll get to talk to them in person again since I built their site. Charlie is having a great time with it which makes me very pleased. It's ok for me to tell you my Charlie is Charles Sereika, the same guy who's story was told in the movie "World Trade Center" with Nicolas Cage . Google his name and you'll find out he is an amazing brave man who ran into the burning World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 to save lives - here is an article about him. You know, I built his website before I really knew who he was - to me, he was just a great, honest businessman with a little cleaning company who's service I found second to none. As my Dad always used to say, what goes around comes around and in my small way I've helped him.

I've completed the preliminary work on the website I've been building. It is not finished but the first 7 pages are up on the web - you can see them here. I need to adjust the left hand column on each page so that it will be more uniform. Now I'm waiting to hear back from Anthony Messina as to what editing he wants done or changes made. My real quandary is what is a fair charge for building the site, getting the domain name, and then hosting it. I've already completed the work and paid for the name and web host myself so I hope I've not made a mistake here. More to follow.

In the process of all this I tried to identify a "fair" charge for services as I've provided. If you go to a discount "big box" online website building and website hosting service they charge on average $100/page and up plus from $20 to $60 per month to host it. So to be fair, I don't feel I should charge Anthony for all the time I spent on it (although I'd like to) but rather for something in the range of what he'd have to pay someone else. Just because it takes me 30 minutes to figure out a line of code others could understand in 2 minutes, I'm not being fair to charge him for my learning curve. I told him what I thought was fair to both of us so let's wait to see how he responds.

Posted at 06:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

On My Soapbox

Sun 11 January 2009

Jason has been missing in action for the past 3 days - I expected to hear from him either on Friday or yesterday. The public defender helping him called me late Friday with an offer from the state but I can't find Jason. He sometimes goes out of town to work so I'm hoping that is the case now. I plan on going over to his apartment if I don't hear from him by noon today. It is not like him to disappear off my radar scope.

Boy was I tired yesterday after spending the whole day working on this website for the lawyer. My shoulders go sore from the way I was sitting at and using my keyboard - it was very nice to take a whirlpool bath again last night. I should take breaks but once I get going on a project I go until all of a sudden it is dark outside and I've not eaten all day. Hmm...nothing that a quart of ice cream will not fix. The good news is I see light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train headed my way.

I uploaded all the files I've done thus far to the server I've set up for the 'client' and then sent him a long e-mail last night about the work. I expect a good bit of editing and additional work will be needed because I had very little information from which to work. What I did was research site after site after site representing law firms to see what others putt up. I think I did a pretty good job with the scarce information from which I had to work -have a look. Now it is up to Anthony to get back with me so we can finish the site. Oh and believe it or not, my house keepers say they have others who want a site - am I really going to do a few of these?

Before I went to bed I watched a recent movie about the FBI chasing cyber criminals and one in particular that would kidnap people then slowly kill them live on streaming video. I got caught watching it but in the end I didn't much like the movie. I don't even remember the name of the flick. Oh, well. I rarely stick in front of a TV for the two hours it takes to watch a movie but as I was getting ready for bed and I was tired, I watched this one.

After coffee the other morning I was asked for a ride to Publix by one of our attendees - this is a guy I like and who has done some work around my house for me. He and I along with Jason went through the store as he was picking up a few items. I noticed he had no regard for price and repeatedly said , "it doesn't matter; I'm not paying for it" - he has food stamps. I say all this because it further confirms what I've always believed - when it's other people's money (in this case, taxpayers) many folks don't give a damn and are reckless. That morning I saw him buying things I'd never buy because in my opinion they are too expensive and not a good value like 'Greenwise' milk Publix sells for $6 a gallon or expensive cuts of meat not on sale.

It is this attitude that it's not my money that gets our country deeper into a finical mess with the huge waste in welfare. I'm not saying everyone on food stamps acts like this in fact I'd like to think most folks who qualify for support do not. But can you just imagine the out - of - control costs we'd face if there were "free" universal health care!!! Imagine all the people who would run to the doctor if it were not their money being spent! Don't get me wrong - I want to help and support people who need it through no fault of their own. But it pisses me off to see people living on "the system" without a care or making any effort. This pervasive attitude of "entitlement" is destructive to our society and wrong. Let me now step down from my soapbox.

Posted at 08:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

New Runner

Sat 10 January 2009

I've been having some real strange dreams of late - not bad dreams just strange ones. They seem to combine things from my life in Atlanta to my life here ion Vero but now and when I was growing up here. Some people from Vero have joined some people from Atlanta in this new Verolanta town in which I live in my dreams. I guess my brain is trying to sort out what's going on in my life...good damn luck!

My friend Darby has had is last radiation treatment ever according to his sister, Gloria. His cumulative lifetime treatments are at their max and any more treatments might cause his demise even quicker than the cancer he has ravishing his body. According to Gloria he has lost all his hair again and his mind is slipping away. Frankly, he was slipping the last time I saw him but apparently it is worse now. Darby is at home and under hospice care. I'm afraid his being here in the big blue planet is drawing to a close although he still had enough in him to go to the Ocean Grill for Patty's birthday a few days ago. He sure has been a strong fighter - I'm not at all clear I could have gone through what he's gone through and still be here.

It is time to change the rug in my back entrance hallway again. The holidays are over and I want to replace the red "holiday" rug with something more universal in appeal. So after doing my homework on the internet I found a rug I liked and decided to order it from the same place I've been buying my rugs. This online vender has a low price guarantee and will credit you 50% of the difference between their price and another vendor's price if you can find it for less. So of course I did my research and found it for $60 less which means I get a $30 credit towards the purchase. That's not a lot but it will save me enough money to buy a 24 piece box of Godiva chocolates! Anyway, the rug is made with Turkish wool with the designs in the "Europa" collection known to be faithful reproductions of Eastern European designs. I ordered the rug yesterday - it's pictured here today.

Yes boys and girls I did watch some of the Florida - OSU game Thursday night. Frankly I got a bit tired of all the commercials but then again what do you expect in this play-off game. I know TB and all my other Florida Gator fans were thrilled with the win. What parts of the game I did see sure were intense - these were two really great football teams and from my point of view deserved to be in the play-offs. There is no way in Hell that my school will ever get to this level of play but I do hope they can be as competitive next year as they were this year - that would be fantastic.

Yesterday's hot Vero Beach Press Journal headline, "Fellsmere's Frog Leg Festival adds beer to menu" - full story here

Posted at 08:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Geek at Work

Fri 09 January 2009

Yesterday I spent working on the yet to be published website for my lawyer "client". I've decided to build two different designs from which to choose. The one he does not chose I can always save for another site and in the meantime I got the learning experience that comes with this programming. Yesterday my two areas of concentration were tables and .css style sheets. You can make your web page design easy to change or modify if you use style sheets. There are a few tricks that apply to style sheets and tables I come to learn with respect to certain attributes - I will not bore you with the details.

I continue to enjoy doing this but you know what...at the end of the day I'm a bit sore from working at my computer all day. The solution? Well a nice hot whirlpool bath sure is nice and relaxing after a hard day at my office. I'm glad I decided to have that tub installed.

After coffee yesterday I went by Steve Fromang's office to offer my help with regard to his machine. His sister Starr (John's mom) told me his machine needed help. When I arrive some dumb jerk was sitting there chocking down cigarette smoke and informed me all was fixed because they defragged the machine - Steve was in Ft. Pierce for the morning. I offered to look at it anyway but this rocket scientist said all was under control - ya, right! I bet I can find a half dozen things needed fixing so I'll go back when Steve is there. The truth is this guy probably should not have allowed me to get at the machine without Steve's authorization. I'll go by again this morning.

I want to help Steve because Starr asked and I've known him all his life. But while I'm there I also plan on quizzing him on Jason's quandary given the fact Steve handles cases like Jason's all the time. Maybe he can give me some advice as to what Jason should do to affect the best outcome in his case. It might be smart to drop the public defender and get Steve to handle the case because the cost might even be less than having some probation payments in the hundreds of dollars?

You've heard me speak of the news letter I get called Windows Secrets, right? They provide excellent information about Windows and the various applications and problems associated therewith. Today they report that Vista is looking more and more like the Edsel of the computer industry. Combine this news with reports that Windows 7 may ship as early as mid-2009, and it looks like Microsoft is ready to relegate Vista to the binary scrapheap. People are willing to pay big bucks extra to get XP. Eric Krangel reports on the Silicon Alley Insider blog that Dell has gradually been inflating its surcharge for "downgrading" a PC from Vista to XP. The bite rose last June from $20 to $50, then spiked in October to $100, and now is a whopping $150. The fact that Dell's customers appear to be willing to pay this amount or more to avoid Vista may be the greatest indictment of Microsoft's unloved OS - what do you think?

I have Windows XP Home. Windows XP Professional, and Windows Vista and I for one do not have a problem with the Vista OS. The issue with me is that there are so few many programs compatible with Vista compared to XP that I prefer the flexibility of XP. Sure there are more and more Vista applications each day but the software world will never catch up with XP. That's why all of my desktops - and I have 3 now - run a version of XP. I know. I know. Apple is the best of the best as my little Dutchie kid would say.

Was there a football game last night?

Posted at 06:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Jason's Quandary

Thu 08 January 2009

Wow! I continue to be busy all of my waking hours - I didn't even have time to watch FOX News at 4 PM like I normally do each day. From the time I got up yesterday at 4:30 AM I was going all day with the exception of a brief 25 minute power nap at 12:30. I did not want to get up so damn earlier but I woke up and starting to think about the website I'm building. As is the usual case, once I start obsessing on something I might as well just get up so I did. Yesterday was indeed a long day for an old retired Florida fart.

After a breakfast of shredded wheat with blueberries I went to chair my coffee klatch gathering as I do the first Wednesday in each month. It was a great meeting as it always is with me at the helm full of my wise cracks and endless humor. We have our business meeting on Friday which now will be held quarterly instead of monthly - I was successful in getting that changed last year. Frankly, we do not have enough business that requires monthly meetings and we can always call one if needed.

I started re-writing the initial pages of the website I'm making and then got a wild hair to build a whole new page. So most of the day yesterday I was writing and editing the style.css file and editing pictures for a newer more complex site. My plan is to do both and then ask for feedback from the attorney for whom I'm making the pages.It is easy for me to decide I like this or that but of course I want him to like whatever I do - it is his firm that is important not my whimsical choices of colors and design. This project is keeping me out of trouble that's for sure.

In the afternoon I went with young Jason to meet with his public defender about his up-coming trail on charges of riding a bike at night without a tail light and possession of a needle even though he did not have drugs and was not under the influence of drugs - in Florida it's illegal just to possess a needle. Frankly I think something seems wrong if police officers don't have anything better to do than to rain hell on a young man because of these two charges. Wouldn't you think the damn cop would have given him a warning about the light rather than charging him and then searching him? Just damn! Well we didn't find out anything so we'll go back next Tuesday when the tests of the needle should be back. I'm guessing that some residue of something will show up but I think it will likely be the strong, dangerous prescription drug valium. Oooooooo.

What irritates me is that my tax dollars are going to pay for this type on nonsense. Jason could go to jail at the worse or be put on probation which for him is bad because he has to pay the court about $200/month in probation fees for as long as it lasts. The kid doesn't have $200/month for this shit and may have no choice but jail. What have we come to in this country when someone like my little buddy Jason can get in so much trouble while Madoff destroys the life savings of hundreds of people and he's confined to his multimillion dollar apartment on the upper East side of Manhattan? Where is the proportionality? I wonder what I have in my house that could send me to jail and I don't even know I have it? Good then John is 21 now or I might get sent away for contributing to the delinquency of a minor if I offer him a beer!! Jeez!

Do I look like a geek or what?

Posted at 05:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Very Busy

Wed 07 January 2009

Where have I been you ask? It seems that my plate has been full for the last few days; much fuller than usual. Folks have asking for my help and I've been spending time with each trying to do what I can. Take yesterday for example. After my morning coffee a couple of my coffee buddies came over to the Vero Villa seeking my saga advice on this, that, and the other thing. they were here for almost two hours as I mesmerized with my brilliance and never-ending stories many of you have heard at least once. Then another guy without computer knowledge came over to seek my help on applying for a free cell phone online. It seems that the Sate of Florida will give a cell phone for up to a year with 60 minutes a month free air time to people who are on government assistance. Then yesterday afternoon Captain Matt came over for some training on how to clean and protect computers against baddies like adware, spyware, viruses, and other unwanted malware. We used his laptop as the control machine to clean and protect.

In between the people who came by I was working on the yet to be built website for my New York lawyer client. I got myself in a bit of a bind in that I put a simple "sample" site together based on another person's work to show him what I can do. Well he liked it and wanted me to move ahead making his site. That's all well and good until I got deeper into the code on the "sample" I sent him only to discover the author of the code was not very good at writing code. That's my bad - I should have been more careful as to the sample I sent out in the first place. The HTML and JavaScript on the page was a mess. The person who wrote it used twice as much code as needed to accomplish the page design and in so doing severely limited the page's flexibility. To make a long story short, I found myself writing all new code while attempting to keep the basic "look" the same. I'm going to do more work on it today.

I like writing code so this process is fun for me. It will take me longer than someone who's actually had training because a lot of what I do is trail and error - edit, check, and then edit again. Each time I do this I learn something new and thus I get better - if you even imagine me getting better than I already am!! Yesterday I did buy the domain name and set up an account on a server separate from where the domain name is parked - I can get server access for a lot less than what is charged at the registrar, GoDaddy, but on the server I use you got to know what you are doing because there is no help except if there is a 'server' problem.

This afternoon I go with young Jason to meet with his public defender in regard to that ticket he got when stopped for not have a light on the back of his bike. The big deal is not the missing light but rather the fact he had a needle on him at the time which is illegal in Florida without a prescription. No, he did not have drugs, he was not high, and the needle didn't have any traces of drugs but to the Vero cops, he is a criminal. My God...don't these City of Vero Beach police have better things to do then to hassle a young guy on a bike? In Atlanta, this would be a big joke. BTW, he could have had a gun and that would be ok - guns are allowed but needles are not. Isn't there something really wrong with this picture? Jeez!!

Did any of you boys and girls see the error code in my Archives at the bottom of this page? I didn't think so. Do any of you ever look at the Archives? I didn't think so. Well I moved reduced the archives from 12 months to 6 months and stored the others elsewhere. That was not the problem - the problem was some of y 'Comments' had grown huge from people posting trash on my site. No worries, with one click of the mouse they are all gone.

Today's image is expresses what I'm like when writing code.

Posted at 09:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

John's Visit

Mon 05 January 2009

I got a late start today because I've been pre-occupied with the website I've been building and the new one I will build. The owner of the site, CleanHouseVero.com, is afflicted with the same obsessive compulsive behavior I have in that he wants things just the way he wants things - sound familiar? I'm just like that too so I have no fault in doing exactly what he wants my only issue is that I'd like to make all the changes in one operation instead of dribbles. I think his site is good for now although we may be changing the picture on the Contact Us page. All in all we both think it came out pretty good for an old retired Georgia Tech geek who's had no formal training in website design or coding.

John came by last evening with a wonderful gift - a pint of vanilla and a pint of chocolate chip ice cream from the Boardwalk ice cream shop on the beach. My early thoughts are confirmed - they have really good ice cream. The trick for me is the texture of the ice cream which of course is directly related to the butter fat in the ice cream. You can give 'flavor' to ice cream but the 'taste' is more than just the flavor. John has correctly learned the most direct way to my heart is through my stomach with some wonderful ice cream or chocolates. Thank you John.

He also gave me some of those aromatic Yankee Candles knowing how much I like to burn things with scent. These candles are levels above your average candles because they burn longer and give off a very pleasant aroma which you can actually smell. Many of the scented candles are hard to smell - they just don't have the same kick you find in Yankee Candles. We burned the pumpkin one last night and discovered the longer it burned the more scent was released. It smells best when the wick is in the center of a liquid pool of wax. Naturally my body odor is fabulous but sometimes a change is nice.

While we are on John, he goes back to school on Wednesday with 4 courses this semester. That means he'll have to go to the first Summer short session to take two more courses before he can transfer to Florida State in the Fall. Yep...he says Florida State is where he really wants to go and his mother and I think that's a great idea. I'm 100% behind him on this choice. Now he'll have to make certain he does the work to get the grades and courses necessary to transfer. I'll be watching.

This morning I went for my semi-annual visit to my dermatologist here in Vero. He looked me over, declared my hopeless but announced there were no spots needing attention now. This is new to me because my Atlanta dermatologist always found about $250 to $350 worth of freezing that needed to be done. I think the Atlanta group just needed to get at least $250 out of every office visit but Dr. Jack McDonald just does what is really needed. His office visits are $110 but that's it unless he does more and more for him is surgery, not freezing. No matter...as long as I don't have anything nastier than usual growing on me I'm a happy camper.

I created a logo for Geek Website Designs - what do you think? Why the name you ask? The name comes from what I call myself when I've been sending e-mails to Charlie - I sign them Bill the Geek. I did go to Georgia Tech and I did have a slide rule I could hang on my belt though I usually just carried it. No, I did not have a pocket protector but many students at Georgia Tech way back then did. BTW, I bought GeekWebsiteDesigns.com just for the hell of it. There is nothing there yet but give me time.

Posted at 11:09 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Unwanted Contacts

Sun 04 January 2009

Someone out there has been playing around with my e-mail address and telephone number. Yesterday I got about 4 or 5 calls from health insurance company representatives who were "following up on my request for information". That means someone who actually knows both my e-mail address and telephone number purposely and without my knowledge submitted my name online. There is really no way to prevent these things from occurring so I decided just to be polite to those who called and apologize for the childish behavior of some prankster. No harm done and everyone that called has been very understanding. It is good to see people in the insurance business actively following-up on a Saturday.

The guy for whom I built a website wants me to build sites for other folks as well. he has someone who's already contacted me and he says he knows more. I know Charlie means well but do I really want to get into the business of building and maintaining websites? And if I do, what should I charge for my services? The one way to find out is to see what other small-shop entrepreneurs charge for building, hosting, and servicing a web page. What I've discovered is this could be a nice little enterprise for me - I would be doing something I like doing, helping others with what they want, and generate a bit of a cash-flow as well. So do I want to do that?

My research has taught me how I should charge for my services. With my really, really small overhead, I can do this on the cheap relative to other real commercial operations. In looking at work that others have done for which they've been paid, I've discovered some of them know less that I do. When I look at the code they use, I know better, more efficient ways of doing things. Plus I noticed some site produced by other small business people are not cross-tested on different browsers. Yep...I could do a decent job, at a very competitive price, and maybe just have fun doing it. Hmm - me thinks I needs to thinks about this.

Later this morning the folks from Clean House will be over to review my work and learn how to log onto their cpanel; a cpanel is the control interface between your computer and your server for the administration of your website. Making minor editing changes is something I think I can easily teach them but I'm not sure if they even want to know. It's like when I take my car in for a repair...I wanted it repaired, you can generally tell me what was done, but I sure as heck do not want or need the details. I think Charlie will be the same way in that like many folks he things programming is like Greek and in a way he's correct - it is a different language.

This afternoon Jason is coming over for a visit. I've got a small list of things I want to suggest he do as well as find out how his week has been. He has a cell phone but keeps on running out of minutes so I can't always keep in touch. There are some issues with which he needs to deal but they are all solvable with some time and effort. Doing nothing is not the solution - we need to take action and I'm going to be the catalyst for action.

My junk mail in my Gmail account has quadrupled recently and the only reason I think it has is because my address was posted on Facebook. I have no other reason for getting this much junk shit because that e-mail address is not published anywhere. Oh sure, I've always gotten some random e-mail junk but not in the huge volumes I get now. I think I'm going to cancel my account at Facebook unless I can find another reason. Got any ideas?

Posted at 09:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Computers and Programing

Sat 03 January 2009

Is this the Chinese Year of the Ass? Well, the Donkeys are in power in Washington so it is The Year of the Ass whether the Chinese want it to be or not! What I want to know is why the Liberals are still so damn angry and hateful even after they won the House, the Senate, and the White House? I'm not angry..oh to the contrary - I'm rooting for President-Elect Obama to be a great President, to turn the economy around (as promised), and to keep America safe (as promised). I do not want him to fail like the Liberals wanted President Bush to fail. I will not be trying to sabotage the Obama administration like the Liberals sabotaged the Bush Administration every chance they got. I will not be calling President-Elect Obama a loser, the worst President ever, or dumb as a stump as the Liberals called President Bush. To the contrary, I hope Mr. Obama is a great President and accomplishes great things for America and Americans.

I will not abandon my conservative principles of a smaller government, less taxes, and individual responsibility. But I am willing to give the Democrats the benefit of a doubt until they demonstrate why I shouldn't. There are many positions with which I disagree but the Liberals got elected, so they got the gold. You know about the "golden rule" don't you? He who has the gold rules. I'll keep expressing my opinion - as if there ever was any doubt - and act in a fashion consistent with my conservative beliefs. You see there is a possibility that someone may not agree with me 100% but not necessarily be totally wrong - imagine that! Time will tell but I continue to be baffled as to why the Liberals are still so hateful, angry, and full of self-centered arrogance. Hmm?

I continue to get new, unwanted e-mails in my Gmail account which I attribute to FaceBook. So I decided to change my account's e-mail address to one that never ever gets random spam. This is my controlled test of just what is happening with the information on FaceBook - I'm beginning to believe I should just shut down the account all together. It might be good for people who are young and networking but I'm neither young nor am I networking. Frankly I think it is sort of silly and as Arnold might say more intended for a "girly-man". OK. OK. I know I'm hot and in demand but there is just so much of me to spread around! Don't you see how hard it is to be me?

I spent a good bit of the day working on the website for my house keepers, Clean House - you can clink on the link to see what I've done. I found a basic look I liked and asked my friends if they liked it and they did. So I built the pages, found the pictures via Google images, and put it all together. They edited but the basic layout and language is what I put together after reading other sites - not much is original on the internet these days except the world famous BillsView.com. My friends think I'm good enough at this to actually charge for doing it - what do you boys and girls think?

I went with Captain Matt to his Mom's house to see if I could help with her computer. I don't know how people do it but like many I've known her machine had a lot of crap on it. She also had about 15 programs starting at boot that need not start at all most of the time. The machine would take forever to boot and then run like molasses in Winter. I stopped a slew of programs from booting at start-up, cleaned a bunch of unknown crap off her machine, and got it protected against Spyware and Adware. It is not 100% because she's managed to get some real nasty stuff on it that hides every time I kill the operating process. When Captain Matt gets back from Palm Beach, I think we'll reformat her computer to clean up everything.

Posted at 07:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Yellow Jackets Embarrassed

Fri 02 January 2009

The Peach Bowl was the worst game of the bowl season! Not only was it Georgia Tech that got humiliated but the game was not any fun to watch no matter which two teams were playing with the exception those who were for the winners. No one really likes such a lop-sided game - there is no fun or excitement if you know who is going to win. The games I've enjoyed are those who's score was like 30 to 32 or 21 to 24, not 38 to 3!

I'm so very disappointed in the game because Georgia Tech played so very poorly. They could have still lost and I would not feel as embarrassed if the score was closer. It looked to me like the Yellow Jackets did not even belong in a bowl game with the score although they did have some good plays. As usual, it is the mistakes and turn-over's that lead to Tech's demise. When Georgia Tech got a penalty of the kickoff I had a real bad feeling. Then LSU just marched down the field and scored. I stopped watching after the score was 14 - 3 so I can't even comment on the rest of the pitiful performance put forth by Tech. I thought the team was better than that and frankly I lay a Loy of the blame at the feet of the coaches for not getting the team better prepared. Pathetic! And now I have to wait 8 whole months with that bad taste in my mouth before another game!

A couple months ago my coffee klatch friends in Atlanta wanted me to join Facebook so they could keep in touch with me. I'm very suspicious of online social networking sites because of privacy issues and spamming. I joined anyway knowing I could delete my profile at anytime but as yet I've not had to do so. All of a sudden I get e-mails in my Gmail account (the e-mail address I used on Facebook) that I suspect are coming as a result of Facebook. There is no way I can check it for sure but either someone with access to my profile and thus my e-mail account or some internet bot is picking up the address. I'm not sure but I'm going to watch this closely and if needed, just delete my account.

This morning from 10 am till noon my coffee group here in Vero has their New Year's Day gathering. I'll be going to contribute my pearls of wisdom for the coming year - don't invest with Madoff! Before the meeting my housekeeping service guy is coming over so I can help him set up a site. My plan is to get a domain name for him and an account on the server I use, Siteflip. He wants to be able to change and edit the pages, pictures, and text I created for him as I fully expected he would want to do. My challenge is to see if I can train him enough to do that without my help -NOT! He has zero knowledge of HTML so I know I'll need to sit with him to do this or he'll have to tell me what he wants and I'll do it for him. The point is I got him going on his own site as a gift to him for the New Year.

Three landscape lights burned out in 24 hours - what's up with that? I'm not beginning to believe the irregular power supplied by the City of Vero Beach is to blame. Sometimes the power runs "hot" like above 130 volts but that has little or no affect on most devices running 120 volts. But with my lights at 12 volts, the increased power can cause the lights to burn out quicker than they normally would if a proper and steady current was being supplied. Not much I can do about that except to just replace the $10 bulbs as needed. Damn...these landscape lights are more costly to run and maintain than I guessed.

Todays holiday image was taken at Kathryn's Christmas dinner party in the Barnes River estate kitchen. Yes, I am all lit-up like a Christmas tree with lights - it was Christmas after all, what do you expect from me?

Posted at 07:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

It's 2009 !!!!

Thu 01 January 2009

Posted at 08:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Peach Bowl Tonight

Wed 31 December 2008

The College Football Bowl games have been unusually good this year compared to past years. Good in that the scores have been close, the lead in the games has gone back and forth, and each team has scored several touchdowns. Tonight at 7 I'll be watching what I hope to be Georgia Tech's win over LSU in the Peach Bowl. In general, the SEC teams are better than the ACC teams but because the Yellow Jackets beat the Georgia Bulldogs this year, I think they could beat the LSU Tigers. If Tech plays a good game without turning the ball over too much, I think they stand an even chance to win. The odds makers have Georgia Tech as a field goal winner over LSU but the beating line has been wrong several times this year. In fact, Georgia Tech was suppose to win games they did not and visa-versa. The Game will be on ESPN in HD.

I spent most of the day yesterday creating a website for my housekeepers, Clean House. All the language on the site is something I wrote just to get my friends started on their own website. Here is the link to my server where I'm doing the testing: Clean House . Of course I'll help them get their own host server and set up the files as they want them once they tell me what they want. I may be way off in left field which is why it is almost impossible to build a site without input from the "client". What do you boys and girls think?

Another project I undertook yesterday was to work on my new old Dell Optiplex. I researched the latestest latest data on the best Anti-Virus software limiting it down to Avast, Avira, and of course the old stand-by AVG. All probably would do a good job on the Optiplex based on my intended usage but I selected Avast; this software seemed to be liked by all reviewers with the biggest draw-back of a hip GUI which is sort of meaningless if it works the best. So I loaded, registered it, and did my first scan to set a baseline for future scans. I have to admit the user interface is rather funky but there are other 'skins' available. Imagine that, an AV program that can be skinned like a media player which BTW is what it looks like. Oh, one cool thing about this application is that it talks to you - it has an audio file with several "canned" statements that's cool.

The second thing I did is install a Netgear wireless card in the form of a USB plug-in device. Yep, it looks like a USB flash memory stick but it is a wireless-G adapter. You first had to install the Netgear drivers but once that was done I got it to connect to my 'Vero Villa' secure network although it could not even find the network at first. I had my wireless access point turned on but hidden from devices not already in the network - I forgot I did that. The good news is it connects wirelessly but the bad news is I've not been successful in getting my Remote Desktop connection to function wireless although I do have it working when wired to my router. I think there is a bit of fine tuning that will allow me to remotely connect wirelessly - I'm going to work on that again.

Captain Matt reports it was a rather rough day off shore when they went fishing yesterday. They got some sailfish strikes but did not hook up to one. You can tell a sailfish strike by the markings on your ballyhoo - these markings are only made by billfish. Of course it could have been a marlin but that is unlikely in the depth they were fishing. Of course if I had been there we would have gotten a sailfish like the last time. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Posted at 07:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Dutchie Villa

Tue 30 December 2008

Got an e-mail yesterday from number one son Syp that included some pictures of their new Dutchie Villa on the inside. Today's main image is of their living room with Syp and Yari at play on the couch - Yari is trying to explain to his Dad how to use his (Yari's) toys. The house looks very comfortable and has come a long way from the train wreck condition it was in when they bought the house in August. I'm pleased to report Syp has learned his good taste in nice earth-tone colors from me. It even appears to me orderly which is not at all consistent with Syp's attitude of, "I'm a mess looking for a place to happen". Could it be he's actually grown up and out of that behavior? Nah! I'm sure poor Sjak has to work on him just like Yari every day.

The pictures he sent are of his main level - I do not have pictures of the upstairs yet. My guess is that the project that was to be finished by December 15th is still in progress although Syp has not admitted that to me as yet. If you would like to see all the pictures, I've loaded them to my server - they can be found here . Did I ever mention I own the domain BillsView.net? That's where I put extra stuff and it's where I experiment with different pages and the way they render. In fact, that is where my webcam is hosted along with various directories. I test pages there before I load them to BillsView.com.

My little buddy Jason came over to visit last night on his way to do his laundry - I forgot how much of a pain in the rear it is to do laundry when you don't have a washer/dryer and a car. I usually feed Jason when he is here during feeding time which for him is just about anytime. He needs to gain some weight having come off the stuff he was doing a few months back when food was not important. He's about 6' tall but only weights 135 lbs with no body fat at all. Don't worry, if he hangs around here from time to time I'll force-feed him ice cream and chocolates to as well as good food. He's in the process of re-building his life and has a job working for a company that installs sprinkler systems. The next thing we need to do is get him through this issue with the courts coming up next month.

Kathryn set me an e-mail suggesting she was going to roast a whole pig this weekend and server it with great comfort food like black-eyed peas and collard greens. You better believe that Tommy and his sons will love that feast and she's invited me to join them. Unfortunately Brother Drew has returned to Atlanta after deciding not to retire just yet. Captain Matt might go back to graduate school instead of back to work in this poor market. Frankly, if I were Matt, I think I'd go the graduate school route while the employment picture looks so bleak then present myself for hire with both experience and a MBA in a couple years. Besides, going back to school also means more time off for important things like fishing and diving.

Starr loaded up her two sons and headed over to Sebring to visit her sister, Dawn. She and the boys are scheduled to return today. Now that Alex has a job at an Italian restaurant, he can't be gone too long and of course John needs to save lives over on John Island's Beach.

Tommy, Captain Matt, and a friend of Matt's are going off shore fioshing today. They invited me but I decided not to go today but I will agin if invited in the future. I didn't have a lot of energy yesterday and unless I felt especially good today I'd get tired and would want to head in. If it were only a half day trip I might have gone but if there is a late bite like last week the boys could be out until dark again which would only be natural. Maybe lighting will strike again and they'll get a sailfish - that would be really cool.

Posted at 06:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Receiver Problem

Mon 29 December 2008

Saturday and Sunday were both lazy days for me in that I did not sleep well either night. I would sleep for an hour or two then wake-up, stay awake a little while, then go back to sleep. This was repeated several times both nights. Last night I sleep better in part do to the fact I took a whole Trazodone and not a half of a 25mg tablet. We'll see how the day goes and if the sleep I got was good or not. Admittedly these are minor issues but thankfully that's all I have a present - minor issues.

I took all the poinsettias out of the house and replaced them with small, live house plants. I've always liked house plants as you know and having the poinsettias reminded me that live plants make me happy. Isn't it great that I can go buy a plant for $4 or $5 and be happy? Only a couple years ago I was buying Tanzanite at $4000 to $6000 per order to make me happy. Yes I still have all those gemstones locked away in my bank safety deposit box where they will likely remain for several more years. The good news is the value of Tanzanite has not gone down in this economic slump but the bad news is not may folks are buying luxury items in this market. Oh, well!

I've been having problems with my HD DirectTV receiver over heating and going out. So I bought a 4" electronics fan to place on top of the receiver in order to cool it - this fan is so very quiet you can not hear it running but it does move a lot of air. I'm convinced there is a major flaw in the design of my receiver because I've found many other people experiencing the same problem when I did a search on Google. Well if finally died on Friday meaning that turning it off all together then resetting the receiver failed to get it to come back.

I called DirectTV and of course they walked me through all the steps I knew I should try in order to solve the problem. Nothing worked so an appointment with a Direct TV technician was scheduled for yesterday. The technician showed up on time, replaced my defunct receiver, and I'm good to go again. He did check a few things that is mandatory in the service call process but having had Direct TV for 14 years I sort of knew it was the receiver that finally burned out - I was right of course. Normally there is a charge for a service call but since this was the first call I can ever remember making for a problem, they waived the charge and actually credited me for half the month as well. I like direct TV and if it were not for the rain issue, I'd not have Comcast except for basic service and high speed internet.

A bit of excitement at the Baptist Church just across the street from me occurred. It seems that a homeless guy that did odd jobs around the church decided to off himself before the Sunday service - he did it in the church office according to the reports I've gotten. I was told about this, I did not get it from my scanner. I can't remember hearing an emergency vehicles or police cars - I guess you don't have to rush to the scene when the dude is already deceased. That's all I know at this point but it does confirm once again that my neighborhood is exciting, huh?

All you Georgia Tech fans will enjoy this greeting sent out by the Alumni Association - click here. Remember the Peach Bowl is New Year's Eve at 7 PM featur