Copy Stores Fail To See An Opportunity.

On April 18, 2019, a redacted version of the Mueller Report was released to the public. Within hours of the release, downloaded versions were available in .pdf format from a number of sources.  I personally like print.  I like to highlight and make margin notes.  I contacted my local Staples store and found out that each page would cost about 12 cents.  The report has something over 400 pages which comes out to be about $48.  Amazon shows that a book form will be out about April 30th for $9.20.   Any copy store like Staples has a brief window where they could offer to print the book at a really good price. This just might be a clever promotion to get customers into their stores, a loss leader.  Counter to that is that some right wing nuts might find this objectionable.  I tried to use Staples web site to share this view but of course they think they know every subject matter and failed to offer general open communication.

I am now printing out sections of the report using my home printer.

CAUTION:  There are some reports that the Kindle edition is flawed in some way.

 

Posted April 22, 2019
Posted in Book Reviews, Books, News, Politics, Vendors | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

LG V30 Cell Phone Does Work With Fitbit Ionic

LG V30 Cell Phone Does Work With Fitbit Ionic

I had a Fitbit Blaze and was really disappointed using it with my LG V30 cell phone. I did research and found some people claiming the Ionic would properly marry with my phone.   I found a good price in a local store and purchased it.  I have since found the Ionic to be pretty good marriage to my LG V30 phone.

Ionic wrist strap: Odd concept and a bit hard to attach. I personally do not like it. I found that the wrist band needs to be very tight to get best heart rate readings.
Link to phone: Good. Way better than the Blaze.
Messages between phone and Ionic: Acceptable
Fitbit Cell Phone Application: Very good. (See below)
Global Position System (GPS):  Yes

Ionic Applications:

I did remove all the paid to use Ionic applications. I am nearly totally against paying monthly fees when not a necessity. I make it a habit to check my monthly credit card payments to see if there is any charge that I do not recognize. This is how I discovered money being sucked out of my bank account.  It is really easy to remove or add applications when using the cell phone Fitbit software.

Time: Accurate.
BPM or heart rate beats per minute: Way better than the Blaze but far from being accurate most of the time. The user understands that the unit not tight to the skin can make for a bad reading. When the reading jumps up to about 140, I know it is an error and I wait for it to provide a more accurate reading which does come shortly.
Steps: I can only guess it to be somewhat accurate.  When I get to the steps I set for the day, 10,000, the Ionic gives you a short fire works award display and it vibrates.
Calories: I have no idea how the Ionic comes up with this calculation. On the cell phone, you need to input what you eat using the cell phone application and then the cell phone unit does the math to deduct your exercise to come up with your calorie total.
Timer: Very good. Stopwatch and countdown included.
Alarms: Very good.
Tips: Not impressed.
Wallet: No verdict as I have not used this feature.
Relax: Never used this.?Exercise: Very good. You need to go to your Fitbit application on your phone and look for “Exercise Shortcuts” when viewing the Ionic sub menu. You can choose up to 7 items out of 9. You slide the one’s you like the most up to the top by placing your finger on the short 4 horizontal lines just to the left of the exercise.
Coach: Not impressed. I do not use it.
Settings: Includes some simple settings for you to consider and set.
Vibration: This occurs for alarms, rewards, notifications, etc.  Very good.
Display:  I found this display to be clear, sharp and detailed.  Very good.

Mileage: This pops up when you choose to walk or hike from the Exercise option. No way so far to determine how accurate it is but I just love to see how many miles I walk or hike.

Here are the free Ionic applications I have added:

News: Fair. Not as elegant at the NY Times
NY Times: Very good.
Weather: Pretty darn good. You can also add more than one weather reporting location for a total of 3.
Stocks:  Good for stocks that it offers but it does not track all stocks.
Torch: In case I need a flashlight the Ionic screen turn white and bright.
Med ID: A very nice simple application to show emergency responders some of your important medical information.
Wiki Places: Shows local places to consider visiting.
JayPS Maps: I can not use this application when I walk because I always run Exercise > Walk or Exercise > Hike. The Ionic is not able to run two applications at the same time so this application has never been used.  I am keeping this application as a backup to help me find my location in Alaska.

TIP: when looking at the clock face, use your finger and swipe downward and you should see news and notifications.  It took me quite some time to discover this.

NOTE: I gave my Fitbit Blaze to a friend who has a Apple cell phone and it works perfectly with that phone.

Disappointments:

  • When I set my Ionic to track my walk or hike, the unit seems incapable to multitask.  I can not see my messages or any other application.  Only one application at a time seems the rule.
  • A friend of mine, sent me a image with text message.  The text went to the Ionic.  The image did not and I do not expect it to. But, I think the image locked the text message into my Ionic so I could not get rid of the message.  I tried everything.  Nothing worked to erase the text message.  Finally, I had to press the left side button switch and the bottom right side button for a very long time to initiate a device reset.  The reset did erase the message.

Summary:  I have slowly warmed up to this device partly because it has taken me a lot of time to explore it’s many capabilities.  I have slowly grown to appreciate this Ionic and the cell phone Fitbit application because the marriage between the two really expands beyond them rated and used separately .

 

Posted April 18, 2019
Updated: April 19, 2019
Posted in Cell Phone, Fitness, Health, Health Products | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Wrong Polaris Debris & Leaf Bag Saved Me About $30

I asked my daughter to buy me a Polaris debris and leaf bag for our model 180.  Well, I thought our model was 180 because the people who we purchased the house included some documents of items included with the purchase of the house.  We were given quite  few documents for the pool equipment.  When the bag arrived, I noticed that it was incorrect. It was missing the quick connect plastic ring clips.  It only had Velcro, no clips.  The Polaris 280, 480 and 3900 use “tear drop” shaped clips to secure the bag to it’s cleaners.

The image shows the “incorrect” bag for our pool sweep. It is missing the quick connect clips and the top bag zipper. Not that that bag has a rather long connection collar. I had to cut my 2 inch PVC pipe long enough to go up the full distance of that collar which is about 4 inches.

The bag shipped to us did not have quick clips to attach the bag to the pool sweep.  It was also missing a zipper at the end of the bag to allow quick removal of the debris and leafs.  I then discovered that my daughter did purchase the correct bag for a 180 model.  We must have had a newer model and the prior home owners failed to include that model in the documents given to us.  This new bag is way cheaper, costing close to $13 while the proper bag for our pool sweep costs just over $45.  I decided to find a way to make this cheaper bag work.  It was easy.  I removed the old ruined bag from the fitting by using screwdrivers to pry out the outside ring.

This image shows the concept for this project. The bag is at the top. Into the bag is a 2 inch PVC pipe cut to 4 inches so it extends up into the bag . I found that the bottom of this pipe did not have to be glued into the bottom parts as it fit very tight. The bottom parts consist of the old bag clips and a 2 inch PVC coupling had been inserted into the bag clip portion. Later, I would use irrigation primer and glue to marry the bag clip to the union.

I discovered that a 2 inch PVC irrigation pipe joint fit rather perfectly into the top of the part that clips to the pool sweep.  It was a bit slack but the irrigation glue should fix it in place.  I wanted to maintain the largest opening for leaves to pass upward into the bag.  I measured the diameter of the bag and it was close to the 2 inch pipe diameter.  I then cut  an irrigation pipe that slips into the 2 inch joint for a distance of 4 inches because the bag has a rather long stiff collar with a long side slit.  I wanted all the debris and leaves to go up into the bag and not slip out of that side collar opening, which is the reason for the rather long, 4 inch pipe length.

This image shows the full complete modification. The new bag slips down from the top, over the top ring and ends at the 2 inch union. The long pipe length was needed to ensure debris would pass completely into the bag. Note that a ring (not seen in this image) has been removed from the bottom clip part so as to not interfere with the new bag. I had to remove the prior ruined bag which was locked in place by a hard to get off ring. If you want to save time, just cut the old bag with a sharp knife or razor saving you form removing the outer ring, which is a pain to get off.

I decided upon 4 inches because the bag has a rather long throat and I wanted the pipe to go up into the bag.  I was worried that the bag just might slip out of the plastic pipe upward.  I needed a solution to that problem.  I found an old 2 inch PVC joint and cut just a little off of it.  I then glued that small ring to the top of the 4 inch pipe to the bag would not slip off.

The above image shows the completed new construction.

This pools sweep modification PVC parts cost less than $5 for new parts.  The correct bag would have cost about $45. The new bag, my daughter purchased cost only about $13.  In just under 2 hours I had created a modification to the pool sweep that saved me just over $30.

Posted in Home Improvement, Pool | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris France Fire – A Question

Typically when there is such an important historical building being renovated, there should be a fire watch.  A fire watch is a person who walks around the work site, usually when normal work is completed for the day and most workers leave the work site.  It is this person’s duty to look for any fire and quickly report it and try to extinguish it if possible.

Question?  Was there a fire watch?  A fire watch is a person who’s job is to constantly examine the premises looking out for any fire possibility.

When in the Navy, we had a fire watch every night when the sailors were sleeping.  Our barracks were wood structures which really necessitated this precaution.

Reference: What is a fire watch in the military?

Posted April 15, 2019
Revised April 16, 2019
Posted in France | Tagged | Leave a comment

Why Brexit Is based on Ignorance

OPINION:

Let me outline why Brexit is based on ignorance. The list I provide is not in any order of importance:

British self importance, born out of their past feats of empire and now that empire diminished, has led to a nation feeling less being a sole powerful nation. Britain was once the whole puzzle while now it is just a piece of the puzzle. Britain was once in control of everything Britain and controlled a very large empire. Now, as part of the EU, it has been forced to minimized their national ego by being just a part of a larger organization. For some, leaving the EU places the destiny of England back into the hands of the people and that is the attraction for some voters. Problem with this thinking is that the world has changed and people need to shift with it. Alliances thwart war. Alliances increase commerce and thus national economic growth and help individual prosperity. No borders should be the new norm between nations. This is the reason why young people have an advantage of not being stuck with what may have been correct in the past for England. The younger voter rejected Brexit as has been measured in studies.

Immigration “problem” is seen as being out of Britain’s control when the EU demands open borders. The EU nations share open inter-state borders as part of the Schengen Agreement, allowing free flow of people between nations

The major influx has come from non Christian nations of Africa and parts of the Arab world. Open borders threaten the religious purity because those coming from Africa and the middle east typically embrace Islam, not Christianity. Then there is the white supremacist population that looks down upon anyone not of the same culture.

The Brexit vote reveals a very common pattern throughout the world where rural voters are less sophisticated, even less intelligent, not from IQ but from lack of education and way less interaction with other cultures as is the case in cities. This “problem” has been in place in Turkey, United States, Philippines and other nations.

The rural less intelligent vote is partly responsible for the rise of right wing movements toward totalitarianism. The “ME” feelings gives the citizen a stronger sense of self and results in the feeling of us being protected against them. This plays into the hands of the right wing politicians of any country as this base of me first supporters can be very resolute and a core adherent for a politician.  Donald Trump and the US Republican Party is a very good example of a politician and party gaining resolute adherence from the white supremacist element.

Rural voters may be more prejudice than city dwellers because rural folk have way less contact with different background people. This has possibly led some voters to think in terms of raising borders again:

Once again, the feelings of ME against the OTHERS is attractive to some voters.

Young voters are more sophisticated than their parents for a number of reasons. The young have left colleges and universities with fresh knowledge and in some cases better facts and fresher outlooks. The young have less ties with the past mainly because they just landed here and have newer views of their environment. The young have accepted more the new forms of social media, which alone is a significant force upon the citizens.

“The broad consensus among economists is that Brexit will likely reduce the UK’s real per capita income in the medium term and long term, and that the Brexit referendum itself had damaged the economy.” (Wikipedia)

Summary: The British were sold the Brexit idea from the old guard, individuals that apparently may have self serving and flawed, skewed views of their country’s destiny. This rather ignorant idea started from politicians who have ideological beliefs rather than humanistic goals. Then, it got traction with the general public due to societal flaws, outlined above, deficiencies that are shared with many other nations such as rural ignorance, me vs we politics, national pride, etc.

 

Sources:

 

Posted April 12, 2019
Updated: April 13, 2019
Posted in England, England, Opinion, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Department of Injustice – Opinion

Opinion

A number of recent Department of Justice incidents seems to paint this government agency as having a pro Republican bias and out of this propensity may lead the United States into being a dictatorship.

The first incident was when FBI Director Comey decided to make a late-October, 2016, announcement that the Clinton email probe had been reopened. The FBI is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice.

The second incident was when the Department of Justice McCabe decided to publicly confirm the existence of the Clinton Foundation probe.

“In each case, FBI officials violated Justice Department policy against disclosing sensitive information about investigations close to an election, and in each case they did so to the disadvantage of the Democratic candidate” Hillary Clinton and to the advantage of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

The third incident is when William Barr, the US Department of Justice Attorney General, failed to release the full Mueller Report to congress and the American public allowing Donald Trump to promote his version that he was innocent.

It appears to some that the Department of Justice could be now called the Department of UnJustice for ignoring the norm to not promote one political party over another.

This is a problem for a number of reasons. First, is the expectation that any national government agency should act without bias and adhere to norms and policy. Second is the apparent Department of UnJustice allegedly throwing flower petals on the path for the Republican Party that seems to be on a trajectory to diminishing the United States from being a Democracy as outlined in the book How Democracies Die.

References:

Posted: April 8, 2019
Revised title:  April 13, 2019
Posted in Opinion, Politics, United States of America, US Government | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Toyota Auto Service Problem

After buying a Toyota RAV4 we needed to take that car in for service when needed.  After calling the dealership prior to each visit I soon discovered that when I call the dealership, I am actually talking to someone in a Texas call center.  This posses a problem for me because after making an appointment and arriving at the dealership, the person who greets me at the dealership has utterly no idea that I have an appointment.  So what is the purpose of the call center?  When you drive into the dealership, there are two dedicated traffic lanes.  One if for no appointment and the other is for appointments.  I always pick the appointment lane.   But, I figure there is utterly no difference in both lanes.

The last week in March, 2019, I tried to call my local dealership at about 10:15 am to see if they could do the service in time for my daughter to get the car at 5 pm. She had work at 6 and I needed the car ahead to make sure she would not get fired from her job.  Problem for me is I could not talk to anyone at the dealership service, only the call center.  The call center would not have the answer to my question.  I requested that someone call me from the dealership so I could ask how long the work would take.  The call center lady took my call back number and told me someone would get in touch with me.  I have yet to get that call!

So, why does Toyota have a call center in Texas which, from my experience, has no communication with the local dealership?  Why not allow the customer call the dealership service department?

Posted March 2019
Posted in Automobile, Repair | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Muller Report Is Complete – No New Indictments – Why? – Opinion

With all the individuals around President Trump have faced criminal charges being convicted, pleaded guilty, charged/indicted, totals to 34 individuals including foreign nationals.  With this presidency being considered the most corrupt.  How is it that Muller fails to bring indictments against the president and his children?  One possibility is that Muller did find significant damning facts.   It would be rather difficult if not inappropriate for Muller to indict the president and individuals close to him.  Would it not be way more prudent for the Justice Department, to hand over the facts to congress and let that body take appropriate action?

 

 

Posted March 23, 2019
Posted in News, Opinion, United States of America, US Government | Tagged | Leave a comment

The World Happiness Report shows the US is dropping more every year.

The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. This year’s World Happiness Report focuses on happiness and the community: how happiness has evolved over the past dozen years, with a focus on the technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies that have driven those changes.

This year’s happiness report focuses on happiness and the community: how happiness has evolved over the past dozen years, with a focus on the technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies that have driven those changes. Special chapters focus on generosity and prosocial behaviour, the effects of happiness on voting behavior, big data, and the happiness effects of internet use and addictions.

In 2017 the US was ranked 14th.  In 2018 the US was ranked 18th.  The United States is now ranked 19th in 2019.    The report even devotes a special chapter 5 to  The Sad State of Happiness in the United States …” (see below).

One reported factor, in this decline for the USA, is  “Overall, activities related to smartphones and digital media are linked to less happiness, and those not involving technology are linked to more happiness.”

 

Posted March 21, 2019
Posted in Countries, News, Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Impressions of the Cohen Testimony of February 27, 2019

Opinion

Following are impressions of the Cohen hearing, listed not in order of importance:

Impression 1: My overall impression was why were the February Tuesday and Thursday hearings secret? What does congress want to hide from the people?

Impression 2: With some minor exceptions, I felt that Cohen was sincerely telling the truth.

Impression 3: The 5 minute rule for the interrogators was way too short. It seemed that the Q and A seemed to improve toward the end of the 5 minutes and were rushed and cut short resulting in incomplete answers. It seemed that an unrealistic inquiry approach was more important than grilling for the truth which further painted the hearings as a show piece to pacify the public.

Impression 4: The Republican hearing members attacked Cohen and utterly failed to defend Trump which came across as the most pathetic effort to support the Republican Party. The Republican hearing members came across way less capable to work toward serving and saving our Democracy. All the Republican hearing members appeared to be political party boot licking; party first, not the people.

Impression 5: Some Republican Party members in the hearing room and out seem to sincerely support President Trump which puts into question their education, reasoning ability, and intelligence level.

Impression 6: I found the next day newspaper reports shockingly deficient in their analysis. No paper that I examined, on line, raised the Cohen hearing story as being highly important. The Washington Post even took the approach to list all of Cohen’s ambiguities and sounding like they were taking the Republican view of attacking Cohen. It seemed that every paper, that I viewed, utterly failed to see and report the impression that I came away with. You would think that the long building list of negative factors being revealed about Trump, that our county is being led by an alleged self serving crime boss, might be a bit more important than Trump’s unsuccessful meeting with the North Korea leader. The newspaper reporting, today February 28, is not fake news but a bit incompetent.

 

Posted February 28, 2019
Posted in Politics, United States of America, US Government | Tagged , , | Leave a comment