Google, Allegedly, Rather Stupid Sports Cell Phone Option

July 6, 2019:  Tomorrow I want to watch the final women’s soccer match with the Netherlands.  I did a search on my cell phone to find out when the game would start.  Google presented a new cell phone option called “Sports”.  I decided to give this desktop option a try.  After I installed it into my phone, an option appeared: “Who you’re following” and World Cup was right under that text at the top of the cell phone screen.   “World Cup” thus showed up as the most prominent option.  I chose that menu option but it only showed 2018 games only.  I think those games were men’s.    I could not find 2019 games.  I had to go into “News” menu item and scroll down to find The Washington Post story “Locked on and still hungry, U.S. soccer enters World Cup final aware of its legacy.”  I click on that option and the news article shows.  I sill can NOT find the rather impossible male chauvinist, obfuscated, rather incompetent path to find any information on WOMEN”S SOCCER”!  I gave up looking for women’s soccer.  I deleted the Google option form my cell phone.  I am looking for news not history.  Simply incredible.  Simply stupid!  Simply incompetent.

Possible Reason Why Retail Stores Do So Poorly Against The Internet

It has been long held belief that local retail stores that do poorly is partially due to stocking the wrong product. I much rather shop at a local store than on the Internet for some products, like clothing and shoes. Here is a prime example. As the winter of 2018 and 2019 gets colder I start to reach for my pull over long sleeve shirts that partially button down in the front, typically 3 or 4 buttons. I require a typical shirt collar that lays flat. I do not like knit shirts. I had tossed out about 10 shirts for donations as they no longer pleased me or they showed wear. Here are my results from shopping locally for replacement shirts. I list each store I visited followed by the total shirts I found:

Ross Dress For Less = 0 Brea Calif.  The only Ross Dress For Less that I found amazing was in Santa Barbara – huge selection at great prices.
Nordstrom Rack = 0  Most of their stock is expensive.  Their discount racks did not work for me.  Their selection of varied items was limited.
J.C. Penney = 0  I found no shirts that even came close to what I needed. They did not carry a varied selection.
Kohl’s = 3 separate recent purchases. (they had only one shirt in the store and I liked it and purchased 2 more of different colors, from their web site.  I went back a few days later and found a terrific heavy long sleeve shirt. They only had one so I ordered 2 more from their web site.  A few weeks later, my daughter needed to buy black work pants.  She found those pants at Kohl’s).
Burlington Coat Factory = 5 (They sell overstock clothing like Ross. They sell coats only in the cold season I was told.) I purchased 2 shirts here but I got screwed because one casual shirt needed to be dry cleaned.
Walmart = 0  Selection was simple, typical, uninspiring and very limited styles.
Nordstrom = 1 for over $100 (I did not buy any product here.)
Banana Republic = 0
Macy’s = 2  I had to go to my local Macy’s because their web site showed a pack-able Hawke & Co. men’s vest.  I was so impressed with this vest that I purchased a pack-able coat which I LOVE!.  I have to admit that I almost never shop at Macy’s thinking they are expensive.  I think I will give this store future visits.  Their stock does seem quite varied in styles.

In summary, I did find a lot of shirts that were short sleeve. Excuse me but winter is upon us. I want long sleeve. I found a lot of shirts had partial zippers, which I have too many of and I have no use for. I have found that my knit shirts collars fails to lay flat easily if there is a partial zipper and the I slide the zipper up closer to the head. I much prefer solid fabric and not knit shirts for this reason. I really do think the store buyers for many if not most of these stores, are not doing a very good job of buying what the public wants. I have seen more crap garments hanging on the clothing store racks in my opinion.
So far, Kohl’s is a surprise solution for me.  It seems their buyers offer a more varied selection. 

A new, rather radical, solution for local stores, that also have Internet sales, is to offer items in the store for people to try on but don’t sell the remaining single items in each size unless the item is being deleted from being offered in the future.  While the item is current, do not sell the last small, medium and large sizes but instead offer the customer to see if it fits and if they like it enough to buy it and would pay to have it delivered.  The store could even offer a discount for any delivered item.  This would drastically cut down store inventory but hopefully not sales.   The store could then expand in store product for the customer to try on.  From my experience at Kohl’s, this worked perfectly for me.


Posted Jan 2, 2019.
Updated Jan 24, 2019
Updated March 9, 2019 when links to this failed: pack-able Hawke & Co. men’s vest.  I was so impressed with this vest that I purchased a pack-able coat which I LOVE!.




NFL Football & Networks Fail To Meet Some Of Our Needs.

“The rules about what games local TV stations are allowed to air are crafted between the NFL and networks which carry the games (FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network). Local affiliates (i.e. FOX31 Denver) have little control in the process – and are sometimes at the mercy of the decisions made on-the-fly by the network.”

I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a close friend of mine loves the Philadelphia Eagles. I have come to enjoy following that team also. The problem is that the corporate operators don’t care about our wanting to watch the Eagles games. Eagle’s games are seldom televised on the west coast. It appears to be all about what is best for the networks and the NFL.

Channel checking the huge station choices offered by my cable company, I am amazed at how many stations are simply awful and in my opinion, a waste of channel space. It is really retarded that there is not a second tier system where there are more sports networks that can bid on out of area NFL and other sports events and fit into my cable channel choices.

CERT TIP: Coaches Wristband

Last revision: May 1, 2016

Let me start this post by defining some abbreviations that you need to understand before reading my main post.

CERT stands for Community Emergence Response Team.  These are city volunteers that are trained to go out into their neighborhood after a disaster and administer aid.  These individuals may very well be the first individuals that give aid.  City governments offer free classes and typically follow this up with simple protection gear for these volunteers to use.

RACES stands for Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service It is a group of amateur radio operators that volunteer their time and equipment to offer emergency communications to some U.S. government agency whether that is city, fire or police.  Some cities put one RACES member into a geographical area to serve as long distance communications member because in large cities CERT FRS radios might not make good communications to city government due to distance.  RACES typically have the capability for a city to send messages very long distances.  Their role is typically to maintain constant communications with CERT groups, city, the county and even state agencies.

FRS stands for Family Radio Service.  These radios do not require a special license so CERT members can easily use these radios. The radio manufacturers advertise these radios will communicate up to 30 miles.  Do not believe it.  Two miles is average.  This is a short distance radio system.  Some cities use this type of radio communications for CERT individuals and teams.  These radios are cheap and very easy to use.

Back to my story:
I had taken CERT class years ago and cribbing, extracting people from collapsed buildings, was probably, the only skill I still remembered.  Our city RACES group members were encouraged to sigh up for the CERT class again if we had not taken it for a long time to refresh our memories.  I decided to take the class again.  When we got to the section covering triage, I fully expected that I would forget what I had learned.  I asked a friend of mine who had taken CERT about a year ago and asked him if he could remember the triage procedures.   He could not.  I rather quickly came up with a solution.  I remembered seeing football quarterbacks having a wrist band that showed vital play information on their arm.  I looked for this device and quickly found them for sale.  The one web site I read reviews about this device revealed that the military uses these.  There are a number of these wrist devices.  I decided upon the SteelLocker Sports X200 Adult Play book Wristband.  It cost me $7.99.  It does not use Velcro to adjust to your size arm but a soft elastic sock, about 6 and 1/2 inches long, which holds a 5 and 5/8  by 3 and 1/2 inch plastic sewn in window.  If you have a thick arm, I suggest that you look at Velcro adjusted wristbands.  The top page part of this wrist arm band window lifts up so you can use both sides of the top portion and then view the bottom.  You thus have 3 windows.  You slip in your paper notes into slits along one side.  I measured and cut my notes to 2 and 1/2  tall by 4 and 1/2 inches wide.

Image shows a wrist band on the left arm. The top page can only be seen.
Coaches wristband showing outside first page (of 3 pages)


A wrist band is shown and the top page has been lifted up so the bottom of the first page shows the second triage procedures and then under this top page and resting next to the arm is the final of three pages showing the final triage procedures.
Coaches armband top page has been lifted up to reveal two more pages of triage procedures.

Following are my list of note pages:

These pages were updated May 1, 2016 after I had Captain Alan Wilkes from OCFA, who also teaches CERT, looked over two of my pages.  He reviewed only Triage 1 and 2 pages only.  He did not like my long winded presentation and said “stay out of the weeds”.  I took his suggestion and added a single page called RPM (see below).  I still think there is a need for TRIAGE page 1 and 2 because most of us hardly ever have to use these skills.  People who have to TRIAGE more frequently probably only need the RPM page.

Top page: Emergency radio frequencies: RACES, Red Cross, Hospital Group, FRS frequencies.  Each is fully labeled as to ID, repeater shift and PL tone.

Optional radio template:

RADIO Template

Page 1:  Triage procedures in .pdf form.  I created these documents using Pages.  Font size is 7pt.  I confined the text into a 2 and 1/2 inch high by 4 and 1/2 inch wide space so it would slide into my X200 Coaches Writstband (adult size):


Page 2: is a continuation of the triage procedures.


Alternate top page:

Here is a single page that show, in a very brief form, how to perform the whole TRIAGE process.  This single page is intended to replace page 1 and 2.  Another idea is to put the RPM page as the top arm band page.  You could then open the arm band to see TRIAGE PAGE 1 and TRIAGE PAGE 2 for more detail.


I am still going over these documents to ensure they are accurate for content and clear in how to use the directions.  If anyone sees a mistake or improve the wording, let me know.

The reason I went to all this trouble is that triage is what scares me the most.  The triage process we are making life and death decisions and I do not want to screw that up.  I want those procedure to be ready after I forgot them.  I put this arm band into my CERT backpack.

Another, being prepared, solution was suggested by Mrs. Anna Lee Cave, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the City of Brea, California.   She sent me this link:  and recommended the Field Operations Guide.

I hope you find this helpful.

Bird Feeder, Scoop n’ Funnel Review.

I love using my Cedar Works Scoop n’ Funnel for putting bird seed into my bird feeders.  This device offers two methods of putting bird seed into a feeder.  One method is to close the valve shut, dip the scoop into the bag of bird seed and then dump the contents into the bird feeder.  Most feeders have a rather small opening at the top and his funnel bottom fits perfectly.  I never use the scoop method but rather put my bird feeders on the ground and then put the small opening funnel into the top.  I then carefully aim the bird seed bag contents into the funnel top opening.  This funnel also has a slide valve to shut off the seed from flowing out of the funnel when you lift the funnel out of the bird feeder, a really nifty feature which gives this device TWO methods of filling your bird feeders, scoop and funnel.  I seldom use the valve but every once and a while I overfill the funnel.  You only need to close the valve and then move the funnel back to the bird seed bag to dump the extra seed back in the source bag.

I have no idea where I purchased this funnel.  I have had it for years and love it.

October 2015, I decided to review this product and part of the review process was to check the Internet and see where I can be purchased.  It is hard to find.  The cost should be close to $5, well worth the cost.

  • Cedar Works (Not sold by this company?)
  • Product #: 100080570
  • Mfg Part #: BE203A
  • UPC: 016544552035

  • Pennington  (Seems to be a current product as of March 2019.)
  • Classic Scoop N Funnel

I do recommend this funnel!

Since the first product review, I found that I can no longer find this product being sold by Cedar Works.  The closest product is Pennington Bird Seed Classic Scoop N Funnel.

Bird feeder funnel.
Bird feeder funnel.


Updated: 3-6-19 due to 404 Not Found error for the link to the product.  I removed the link.  I then found that Cedar Works no longer shows this product.  I have tried to track down a good vendor to provide a web site link but the company Pennington fails to show this in their catalog.  I also updated how to use the device.
Changed URL to Bird Feeder, Scoop n’ Funnel Review.

Gardeners Globe Cage Bird Feeder and Mixed Seed Globe Cage Feeder Review

A near perfect bird feeder is Gardeners Globe Cage Feeder and Mixed Seed Globe Cage Feeder (see picture below).


The problem with these feeders is they only let small birds enter.  Another problem is that California squirrels apparently are very intelligent.  “My” squirrels can unscrew the lid and get to the inside top of the feeder.

Squirrel opens bird feeder lid to feed from it.
Squirrel opens bird feeder lid to feed from it. Sorry but my daughter used her cell phone camera to take this inferior picture.

I decided to lock the top lid into its closed position.  I did this by drilling a carefully positioned small hole for a small screw to be put in and lock the lid.  If you decide to improve this bird feeder and also wish to drill this hole make darn sure that the lid is turned to be locked so the holes line up properly.  Do not drill anywhere close to the wires.

Image shows a globe bird feeder with lid lock screw drilled and lock screw being applied.
Globe bird feeder with lid lock screw drilled and lock screw being applied.


“My” squirrels now need to get a Phillips screw driver and learn how to use that tool to unscrew this bird feeder and get to its treasure.

I conditionally recommend these feeders.  You could start out to see the intelligent level of “your” squirrels. If they are low wattage light bulbs, you may not need to drill a lock hole.

Short Circuit LED Light Show Classic White Product Review.

My daughter and I were shopping at Home Depot for some Halloween decorations when she spotted a light bulb that would randomly turn on and then off to simulate a short circuit.  She had to have it so dad purchased it for her.  The first bulb lasted one night but then would not flicker.  The bulb stayed on solid.  We returned the first bulb and purchased another and it too stopped flickering within a few hours.  We returned that bulb too and will not buy any more.
Short Circuit Light Show LED
Product number: 1001 261 480.
Cost: $9.98
Not recommended.


Review date: October 2015
Updated again: 3-6-19:  Link Short Circuit Light Show LED to the product was removed.

Thwarting A Squirrel Attacking My Bird Feeder

I really have no idea when or why I started to feed birds but I have not stopped since starting.  It seems that in a lot of endeavors I try there crops up some element that tends to spoil the experience sometimes.  For me it’s squirrels.  I had no idea going into this hobby how much a squirrel can challenge my bird feeding efforts. I started putting my bird feeders in the back yard hung from a patio cover.  The feeder was free from attack for a month or two but then those fur ball beasts found it and would find all kinds of ways to get into the feeder.  I placed the feeder way out from anything that the squirrel could use to get to but I was amazed to see them leap great distances on to the feeders and feed themselves.  I moved the feeders to the front of the house and I had about one month of non intervention before they discovered the new location.  I put up a plastic shield over the top of one feeder but that only protected the feeder from rain.  I then purchased a Squirrrel-Be-Gone Wild Bird Feeder (purchased at Home Depot) which has a very clever door system.

Image shows the Squirrel-Be-Gone Wild Bird Feeder label.
Squirrel-Be-Gone Wild Bird Feeder label.


There is an outer box shield that aligns to bird feeding stations if there is no heavy weight on the outer box.  When a squirrel jumps on this box the outer box slides down closing all the feeding ports.   Birds do not weight enough to close the ports.  This outer box has a spring that allow for this action.  It took the local squirrels a week or two to start opening the top lid.  The top lid is held by a spring but my squirrels must work out at the local gym because they lift that door with glee.

Image shows the top of the bird feeder and the spring that keeps the lid down.
Image shows the bird feeder top lid. Note the spring that holds the lid from squirrels getting into the top of the feeder.

I tightened the spring and found that one squirrel ate the plastic down from the top.  That bird feeder had to be thrown away.  It was a battle of wits and I was running out of ideas.

One day I found that the bottom of the bird feeder had dropped, probably from a squirrel attack and all the bird seed fell to the ground.  I drilled two holes and put screws with bolts to anchor the bottom plate.

Suddenly, one day, I thought of the perfect solution to the top being lifted by “my” squirrels.  I would cut a plastic PVC pipe about 5 and 1/2 inches and slide it down the bird feeder hanging loop. I could easily remove that pipe when I needed to remove the lid and put more seed into the feeder.

PVC pipe cut to 5 and 1/2 inches slid down through the bird feeder wire.
PVC pipe cut to 5 and 1/2 inches slid down through the bird feeder top wire hanger.

The reason the pipe works is that the wire hanger comes out of the feeder at a much wider distance than the diameter of the pipe.  When the squirrel tries to lift the feeder lid, the lid  presses down because the lid can not go straight up because the wires are held close together by the pipe in the shape of an inverted Y.  This PVC pipe system has worked for over six months now.  I even removed the spring that holds the top lid down as I found that it was no longer needed and putting bird feed seeds into the top was much easier.  The squirrels still try to lift the top lid to get to the seed at the top of the feeder but the wire and pipe combination is way too much for these little fur ball beasts to overcome.  Finally, a humane being outsmarted a squirrel!

The Squirrrel-Be-Gone Wild Bird Feeder is not recommended unless you are willing to modify it.  Now that I made improvements to my feeder, it is my favorite feeder.

Updated:  3-6-19, Squirrrel-Be-Gone Wild Bird Feeder (purchased at Home Depot) link removed because timeout error.



Targus model TA-51EB-BLK Bluetooth wireless headset review.

I purchased a Bluetooth wireless earphone, Targus model TA-51EB-BLK.  The headset, after about one month, would only last about 7 minutes or less and then die.  Internet reviews also seemed to complain that the headsets would easily fall out of the ear and I can confirm this.

Targus model TA-51EB-BLK Bluetooth wireless headsets are not recommended.


Macintosh CD/DVD Drive Not Recording.

I am in the middle of  editing a wedding movie.  I plan to offer the client three separate movies:

  • Short ceremony
  • Long ceremony
  • Reception.

I make a DVD movie after each step.  I finished the long ceremony movie and play it to my test audience.  I had no record or playback problems.  I was told to clean up an audio track by one person.  I made the recommended change and then save that movie. That part of the project, long ceremony, is done.

I then took the long wedding ceremony and cut out all the clips that seem extraneous to the main ceremony such as people arriving and a rather long procession at the end of wedding showing the married couple leaving followed by some of the audience.  Cutting the long movie only took less than one hour to complete.  Short ceremony movie is done.

I next needed to make a new DVD offering up the short and long versions.  I use iDVD because it offers pretty nice introduction screen and menu system..  All of a sudden my Macbook Pro failed to complete the DVD burn process.  The burn seemed to almost complete but it showed one minute to go for completion when the disk was ejected.  When I examined the iDVD disk when they were ejected, they did not look that any burn took place.

I went to my wife’s iMac and loaded the iDVD archived footage and tried to burn the project there.  It too failed but in a more dramatic fashion.  I could not even successfully push the disks into the drive. They immediately refused to go in and did a quick eject.

Solutions I tried.

I took the house vacuum cleaner and vacuumed out each of the DVD ports.  I don’t think this helped much.

I inserted a DVD cleaner.  This is a DVD with some very small brushes on it that supposedly cleans the DVD lens.  This DVD cleaner turned out, for me, to be an indicator of how well the drive would accept disks.  If the disk refused to go in, I was in trouble.  If the computer accepted the disk, I was pretty close to fixing the drive.  I do not recommend the Memorex Lens Cleaner for Mac computers.  I think it is intended for Windows.

I zapped the PRAM on each Mac computer.  This method also failed.  There are some  Internet reports that this might work.  There should be no harm trying this.

I next used compressed air.  I first turned the computer off.  I held the compressed air upright with the supplied tiny hose slightly penetrating into the DVD “door”.  I pressed the trigger for a full blast of air to be shot into the drive and kept shooting while I swept the hose across the full width of the DVD slot.  I am pretty sure this is the best solution.  My wife’s iMac really needed this treatment.  I had to shoot it twice with compressed air.   I used Dust-Off product to do the cleaning.  Make sure you turn the computer off before spraying the DVD port with this air blast.  I would also make sure that your computer cools down if it runs hot.  Make sure that you hold the can upright and NOT sideways or upside down.  You do NOT want the “liquid” to be sprayed into the computer!  This solved the computer part of the problem but I still had issues with the DVD blanks I was using.  Some DVD disks are way better than others.

I tried different DVD discs and found disk selection is very important:

  • Sony DVD-R, AccuCore  YES, good recording.
  • Memorex, DVD-R, 16X, 4.7GB/Go  NO.  I purchased these from Walmart, September 2015.
  • Memorex, Lebelflash (obsolete format) DVD-R  16X, 4.7GB  YES, good recording.  I use this disk to give to my customer as final product because the label has been burned into the top of the DVD.  The label will not peel like a paper label.  The label will not contaminate (over time) like a marking pen.  But, you can not get media for this any more.
  • Imation DVD-R,  4.7GB   YES, good recording.

Use good quality canned air to clean the inside of your DVD drive.
Use recommended DVD’s (see list above).  Check the Internet for other recommendations.

P.S.  I wasted pretty much one whole day trying to resolve this problem.


Updated: 3-6-19 because DustOff link went bad, 404 error, so I removed it.