President Obama vs Netanyahu The Fourth Week Of May 2011

May 24th, I listen to NPR program, interview show, where political authorities commented on the wonderful performance of Prime Minister of Israel’s very good address to Congress and then comparing this performance to President Obama’s speech a few days earlier.  Almost all the authorities seem to credit Netanyahu and detract Obama’s efforts.  Congress seemed to faun over Netanyahu.  My opinion was that Obama seemed to be talking to the audience of the world and not too convenient constituents.  He seemed to make proposals that would further the political process while the Netanyahu and the US Congress seemed to pander to conservative ideals which, if we look at history, cement rather than lubricate progress.

I for one, applaud President Obama for pressing for change, seeing the broader picture and working toward a better world outcome.  I fault Netanyahu for being old in his viewpoints and intransigent toward any political movement.  I fault the US Congress for being lap dogs to a man and country that wields so much power in this country.

Poposal For A Palestinian And Israel Solution

Israel will not allow Palestine to achieve sovereign power status – ever.  The reason is that an independent Palestine country would then be “allowed’ to wage unfettered war with Israel.  Both sides are intransigent in their view of the situation, their religious beliefs and their political approach are wedges and these wedges are cementing the stances of both parties.  Currently, and one can easily reason for the foreseeable future, this situation will not improve.  For the rest of the world, and even for Palestine and Israel, we all need a viable solution.  We need to examine more options.  We need to move forward toward a workable solution, if there is one.  Unless there is a drastic new initiative, one that is so radical, that it will be laughed out of existence or momentary contemplated we will be treading this political water for our life times.  We really need at this point in time some modicum of hope.  We need to think of all possible solutions, especially new ones. Even a momentary contemplated solution that is way off base might throw some water on the burning fires raging between these two nations.

Any solution that will work needs to rely on the fact that both countries reside side by side.  Political and social solutions need to work out some form of mutual conflict resolution.   Way in the future, one would hope, the two states  would modify their behavior toward one another and just get along as good neighbors.  We will not see this happen in our life time.  Why not try something radical to propel history forward?  Why not jump ahead sooner so we are not forced to view the inevitable change from heaven or hell?

Here is a truly radical solution and I mean way out there.

Here is the radical idea: Create one nation with Israel and Palestine as one combined nation!  Get both countries to form a single sovereign power, single state department, single military, single social support network, single banking system?  Why not form a unified government with two near independent sub states but with an over riding unified government body?  Each sub state would be run by governors and smaller sub state governments empowered by an agreed upon overall constitution.

This would NEVER happen because these two houses really do not like one another and more importantly do not trust one another.  On the other hand, this idea does have some real opportunities.  The negatives are so obvious that I will not list those.  But, let me list some positives.

Positive points:

  • The Israel settlements would no longer be such an important issue because the settlements would be within the same sovereign nation.
  • Ports and borders would be completely open to full unfettered commerce.
  • Economic development would be shared.
  • Political problems would no longer be international but internally resolved.
  • Religious shrines would also be shared.
  • The social impact of bringing these two divergent nations together should, one would hope over time, mollify religious hatred.
  • Other Arab states, run by dictatorial powers, would no longer be able to use the Israel and Palestine conflict to deflect their crimes toward their people.
  • Option:  If this “marriage” turns out to become a divorce, the process might still form some bridges for more sincere working solutions, mutual respect possibly, between the two states.

I am not being blind to the huge undertaking of resolving the really huge and broad issues to get this into some form of political, social and economic order.  The differing personalities on both sides, alone, surely will render this idea into the crazy and laughable category of ideas. The odds are way against this proposal.  But, if nothing else, is it not a remarkable, mildly crazy and a vicarious dream of hope to think about?

Nena – Made In Germany

For me, German music just did not exist except my once a year visit to a very large German restaurant during Oktoberfest and listening to German bands perform beer hall music during that event.  Then one day, late May, 2001, I asked my daughter who sang the “99 Luftballons” song and she said it was Nena.  I had never heard of Nena as a name to recognize.  I next used iTunes to locate this performer and found some Nena  albums.  The ratings for a number of albums were full one hundred percent approval, which is a bit unusual.  I then found the “Made In Germany” album and proofed just about every song using iTunes.  I could not find one song I did not like.  Gabriele Susanne Kerner really came across, in that album, as accomplished, composed, and seemingly comfortable.  She seemed to really enjoy singing.  She has very good control of her voice and imparts, in my opinion, a youthful and a bit playful singing style.   Pictures of her really show a rather beautiful women.

Another surprise was the perfection of the band.  A very good singer can carry a band but this outfit was most impressive.  While listening to the “Made In Germany” CD, I honestly tried to find flaws, as one might expect from a live performance, but everything flowed very smoothly.  There were some spontaneous breaks in the “action” but it was rather cute how these were treated and I did not mind and quite enjoyed these momentary diversions from linear singing.   For me, I found that Nena to be a portal of sorts, like the Beatles were for the British.  German music, in my mind, is no longer fixed in time to the beat of the oompah.  I now like listening to Gabriele and the musicians that compliment and complete her sweet sounds and think this German music is special.  (Posted on Nena’s facebook page as a review May 22, 2011)

Removal Piston Assembly From Pac Fab 2″ PVC Backwash Valve

Most home pool systems have a backwash valve that allows the owner to send pool water through the filter, typically diatomaceous earth, to rather quickly and cheaply clean the filter.  I encountered a major problem with our backwash valve.  I could not make it function properly.  It would not slide the plastic handle completely down and thus I sent a small stream of water out of the pool when the pool pump was running.  When I tried to take the valve assembly apart, the piston refused to come out.  I followed the directions from the manufacturer but it would not budge.  This article is an addition to the instructions that come with the unit.  Please note that this process will require you to buy two new O rings.

Theory behind this repair. If you have not replaced the O rings within the past two years, there is an increased chance that the O rings will enlarge.  Over time the rings will enlarge so much that the valve can not function properly.  Swelled O rings will make removal of the valve impossible.  We will therefor attempt to remove the O rings so we can pull the plastic handle of the valve out and initiate a proper repair.


  1. You should already have released all pressure from the system and drained the filter of all water.
  2. Unscrew the two large plastic valve nuts that connect your filter to this backwash valve.  I found the Husky 8 inch strap wrench (SKU 181 364) to be perfect for this task.  This wrench is a bit tricky to use and there is no instructions as to how to use it.
  3. Once the two nuts are totally loose, backed away and unlocked from the filter unit, slide the filter unit out of the way so you can easily view inside the backwash valve.  You now should see two large openings.
  4. Use a hefty, thick wire, clothes hanger and form a C or J at one end using a pair of pliers.  We will use this wire to hook the O rings inside the valve.
  5. Position the valve about half way up and down so the plastic plates holding the O rings are centered in your view when looking into the openings of the valve.   You may need the use of a flash light to view what you are doing.
  6. Carefully slide the close hanger hook behind the O ring.  I snagged the O ring by sliding the coat hanger along the top of the O ring with the hook parallel with the ring and then twisted the hanger down and around so the hook came behind the rubber ring.
  7. Pull the ring out until it breaks or use some cutting tool.  I just pulled until the O rings broke.  You will need to do this through the top and bottom valve openings.  Make sure you remove both O rings from the valve.  You should end up with two broken O rings.
  8. The plastic valve handle should now easily be pulled completely up and out of the valve.

Follow directions as to replacement of the O rings in your manual.  Be certain you apply the silicone to the rings before assembly.

In my case, the O ring at the bottom opening was so swollen, that it stopped the piston from being withdrawn.  Once the O ring was cut, the piston was able to be pulled apart.

Dancing With Magazines and Newspapers.

It all started when I was offered a year’s subscription to the Wall Street Journal for one year, an introductory rate.  The cost seemed most reasonable, just over one hundred dollars.  I said yes but after one year the cost more than doubled.   I quickly canceled when the rate went up.  In about three months, I get a call offering me the introductory rate again for one year.  I said yes but had to also say yes to auto renewal.  I was told that I could cancel when the rate went up at the end of the year.  I have a special laptop calendar devoted to yearly events ONLY.  I put birthdays, subscriptions, yearly bill notices, times to fertilize the yard, furnace filter change dates on that calendar.  I put the expected annual renewal date for the Journal on that calendar.  On that exact date I canceled the Wall Street Journal.  The pattern seems to be that I must wait about three months before I can expect a call offering me another introductory subscription rate.  I have just found out that other people I know go through this dance with other subscription publications, such as Time.

I propose that the Wall Street Journal just give up and offer a standard price of $100 per year.  It would save us from having to dance.

Problems with

  1. I purchased a men’s cologn from  The actual shipper turned out to be some small apartment business run by an alleged student. The item shipped was a less than half size.
  2. I purchased a cell phone application.  I had to remove my cell phone cover to reveal the model number to specify the correct software.   Upon placing the cover back on, I noticed that a second software was selected as as a future purchase.  I tried hit the back key to get out from purchasing the item but late found that I had been charged.  I here by state that I did not say “YES” for that sale.  I went into the Amazon web site and it seems that there is no mechanism for getting you money back.  I do NOT recommend using the Amazon Appstore because it allegedly lacks purchase confirmation.

Getting iPad to Sync With MacBook Pro

The secret for me to get my SplashId Desktop version 6.0.1 to synchronize with my iPad was to turn the firewall OFF!

  • Do NOT attempt to syncronize using Bluetooth.  It will NOT work.
  • Plug in the serial cable between the iPad and the laptop USB port.
  • Open SplashID Safe desktop on your computer.
  • Open SplashID on your iPad.
  • Turn off the laptop firewall. (Apple menu>System Preferences>Security>[unlock the padlock with your logon code]>press the Stop button.
  • Confirm that the correct IP Address is written.  I found that worked and (desktop IP Address) also worked.
  • Activate “Sync” button on the iPad screen bottom right.
  • Wait for the synchronization to complete.
  • Remember to turn ON the firewall when finished.