Water Heater Blues

Last Sunday, I returned from a business trip, and on Monday, I went out to the garage to do the bags of dirty laundry. What did I see? Alas, the water heater was doing a steady drip-drip-drip from the bottom. Damn, it was dying. Continue reading →

Vera – itv series

I have been on a British police procedural show binge lately, with shows like Hinterland, Shetland, DCI Banks, and Wallander, all extremely well produced, and very entertaining.

A couple of weeks ago, Hulu recommended a new show, “Vera” based on characters by Ann Cleeves, and some fantastic acting by the cast. Based on cases, murders, and well developed stories. 4 episodes per season, and 3 seasons on Hulu (out of 8, BOO!) Continue reading →

Benefits of leaving Facebook

It has been a week since I began the process of deleting my Facebook account, and I have a couple of observations that I can share:

  1. I do have more time. Yes, when I have a spare moment and grab my phone, I have the muscle memory that tries to load the Facebook app. But, then I go to the NY Times, or Twitter and life goes on
  2. My iPhone 6s battery lasts a lot longer. I knew that Facebook was a battery hog, but seriously, I can get to the end of the day, and still have 40% of my battery remaining. Prior to deleting the app (and messenger, and whatsapp) I was topping up the battery by 1:00PM every day.

I do miss my posse on Facebook, and many/most of them aren’t on Twitter, so I had to say goodbye probably forever, but I haven’t been tempted to cancel the deletion process.

This time, it seems permanent.

Ditching Chrome

Facebook is currently in deletion process. In 14 days, unless I have a moment of weakness, my account will be irrecoverably removed1. While this will be painful, it is for the better.

However, there is one more goliath that I need to wean myself from. One that is infinitely more entrenched, and intertwined in my online life. One that will probably be impossible to completely cut out. Continue reading →

The breakup – Ditching Facebook, permanently

This isn’t about me, it is about you. Seriously. I knew that you were abhorrent in your privacy practices. That you encourage people to over share, and that in the guise of creating a community, you have built walled silos and self reinforcing echo chambers. I knew that, and I continued to ritualistically log in, to swipe and share funny memes, to shake my head at obvious fake news (oh, when The Onion and The Borowitz report are the rational seeming posts), to make like minded friends (again, with the reinforcing of my biases), and to laugh and bond with my virtual friends. Continue reading →

Maintenance Day

I have been busy this weekend. Some changes, some consolidation, and more to come.

First, I have exported all the posts from the sister site, tralfaz.org. That was my original home (and my original domain, as the .com variant was being hogged for a long time). All those posts are here now, and searchable. Almost 800 posts in total added. All the images and formatting should be good. Some spot checking of posts look A-OK.

Originally begun in 2009, there were very few posts from that time. However, I really picked up the pace of posts in 2011, through the wee hours of the start of 2017, when I really created the tralfaz-dot-com site. Those 7 years, tralfaz-dot-org was my main property. It will remain up for some time (and there are plenty of people who have posted trackbacks to that site) but it will eventually disappear. Continue reading →

More notes on Music

When we last checked in, we had come to the conclusion that the two “winners,” Spotify and Amazon, were the two services I kept subscriptions to. Both offered excellent coverage, deep catalogs (more on this later), and quality apps for computers and my iPhone (presumably for Android too).

I will admit that I have been listening more to Spotify. Their “Daily Mix,” personalized for my tastes, are outstanding. 6 playlists, that are fresh, and quite appropriate to my preferences. Spot on. Continue reading →

Review: Bissell SpotClean ProHeat Pet

Two weeks ago, we adopted a sweet little girl who proceeded to have some accidents on our carpet. She was (and remains) timid, and the stress of the new home, changed food, and her anxiety led to first diarrhea and then piddles on our carpet.

While the carpet was sell used when we moved in (at least 8 years of heavy, rental use), we we kept it, and have had it professionally cleaned a couple of times. Fortunately, we weren’t expecting perfection, and the traffic areas are pretty grungy (closing in on 2 years since the last deep clean). Continue reading →

Our new addition – Lizzie

It should not surprise anyone who has been paying attention to this blog that we had to say goodbye to Garrett in January, at the ripe old age of 13. Since then, the house just hasn’t felt right. Sure, it is nice to not have to worry about feeding, and keeping the yard locked and safe, and to be certain to not stay out too late. But all that convenience pales in the absence of a buddy.

To partly fill the void, we have been sitting two wonderful Greyhound girls, Falcon and Clara who have brought joy, a bit of chaos, and the love of a greyhound back into the house. But still, something was missing. No permanent addition to our family. Continue reading →

The Simpsons – the early years

The addition of a Plex server, and the digitization of my DVD and Bluray discs, has given me ample opportunity to revisit some of my old favorites that haven’t been brought off the shelf in a long time. Among this collection is the first four seasons of The Simpsons. 1989 – 1993 episodes, and many essential classics. Continue reading →