Doc Savage eBook Fun

When I got my first eBook “Reader,” a Sony PRS-700, in 2008, I went stumbling around for books.

One of the things I stumbled on was an archive of the 180+ Doc Savage books, in .lrf format, for the Sony Reader series. (yes, I am aware that they were not “legal” to download, so if you are offended you can move away now).

The .lrf format worked great on the old Sony reader. Table of contents, chapters, and all navigation worked.

Cool. Continue reading →

Amazon Music – A review

I have in the past blogged extensively around the streaming music services, and my waffling back and forth until I chose my current preferences – Apple Music for the on demand streaming, and Pandora for ‘radio’. Both have a place in my dock, and I don’t mind paying for them.

Along the way, I compared Google Play, Amazon, Spotify (a former winner) as well as the two I settled on.

Amazon’s music offering was not chosen because it had a less than satisfactory web app, and the iOS app was weak. A benefit was access to much free music just due to my Prime subscription, but again, that list and roster kept changing (and it still does). This was before their plan to give access to their whole library “Unlimited Music” (for $7.99 a month – prime subscriber price, or $14.99 for all members of a family). A latecomer, they are entering a crowded market, but have made a solid entry. (Launched on October 12, 2016) Continue reading →

Diet Update

Update – 1/15

Continuing on the thread of finally losing some of this weight I gained that I wrote about first on 1/8, today is the weekly update.

On 1/2, I kicked the effort off. That day, I stepped on the scale, and it was an eye-boggling 263.2 pounds.

I will be honest, I had been hiding from the scale, and this number shocked me, but I was not surprised.

While it isn’t a New Year’s resolution, as I know that would be doomed to failure, it was a wake up call.

Today, when I woke up and stepped on the scale, it read 254.4 pounds. Of course, in the first week, I lost about 5#’s of probable water weight, so that lead to a precipitous decline that wasn’t real. Now I am settling into a routine.

Continue reading →

Gee, you think the other automakers are cheating?

For the “No duh” files:

All car makers are likely cheating on their emissions testing. Sadly, the VW fiasco was not a one off, now that Fiat-Chrysler has been caught cheating via software on the diesel emissions test.

Truth is, the engineers are clever, and the regulations have C5-A sized loopholes for them to leverage. Perhaps this will lead to an improved testing regimen, one that is much more difficult to game. Continue reading →

Why Republicans aren’t pushing to investigate the Russian Hacking

A well written analysis as to why the congressional Republicans prefer to ignore the ramifications of Russian interference in our election last year. That seems like a catastrophically bad idea to me.

The CIA’s assessment that the Russian government probably had a hand in the hacking the Democratic National Committee servers and the subsequent release of leaked emails written by members of the party sent shockwaves across Washington Dc. To Democrats, the alleged Russian cyberattack was a deliberate campaign against their presidential nominee; an unprecedented act of…

via The GOP would rather live in dangerous ignorance than get the truth about Russian hacking — Quartz

Waking up in a Libertarian USA

A dream sequence of waking up in a Libertarian USA

Joe Conservative wakes up in the morning and goes to the bathroom. He flushes his toilet and brushes his teeth, mindful that each flush & brush costs him about 43 cents to his privatized water provider. His wacky, liberal neighbor keeps badgering the company to disclose how clean and safe their water is, but no one ever finds out. Just to be safe, Joe Conservative boils his drinking water.

Joe steps outside and coughs–the pollution is especially bad today, but the smokiest cars are the cheapest ones, so everyone buys ‘em. Joe Conservative checks to make sure he has enough toll money for the 3 different private roads he must drive to work. There is no public transportation, so traffic is backed up and his 10 mile commute takes an hour.

On the way, he drops his 12 year old daughter off at the clothing factory she works at. Paying for kids to go to private school until they’re 18 is a luxury, and Joe needs the extra income coming in. Times are hard and there’re no social safety nets.

He gets to work 5 minutes late and misses the call for Christian prayer, and is immediately docked by his employer. He is not feeling well today, but has no health insurance, since neither his employer nor his government provide it, and paying for it himself is really expensive, since he has a precondition. He just hopes for the best.

Joe’s workday is 12 hours long, because there is no regulation over working hours, and Joe will lose his job if he complains or unionizes. Today is an especially bad day. Joe’s manager demands that he work until midnight, a 16 hour day. Joe does, knowing that he’ll lose his job if he does not.

Finally, after midnight, Joe gets to pick up his daughter and go home. His daughter shows him the deep cut she got on the industrial sewing machine today. Joe is outraged and asks why she doesn’t have metal mesh gloves or other protection. She says the company will not provide it and she’ll have to pay for it out of her own pocket. Joe looks at the wound and decides they’ll use an over the counter disinfectant and bandages until it heals. She’ll have a scar, but getting stitches at the emergency room is expensive.

His daughter also complains that the manager made suggestive overtures towards her. Joe counsels her to be a “good girl” and not rock the boat, or she’ll get fired and they’ll be out the income.

His daughter says she can’t wait until she’s 18 so she can vote for change or go to the Iraq War.

They get home and there’s a message from his elderly father who can’t afford to pay his medical or heating bills. Joe can hear him coughing and shivering.

Joe turns on the radio and the top story is a proposal in Congress to raise the voting age to 25. A rare liberal opinionator states that it’s an attempt to keep power out of the hands of working class Americans. The conservative host immediately quashes him, calling him “a utopian idealist,” and agreeing that people aren’t mature enough to make good choices until they’re at least 25.

Joe chuckles at the wine-swilling, cheese eating liberal egghead and thinks, “Thank God I live in America where I have freedom!”

Yep, sounds like a dream. A feverish nightmare.

Showergate

Yesterday1, a cryptic message came across my phone. The NY Times flashed a headline that last week both Donald Trump and President Obama were briefed on an unsubstantiated, but deemed credible report that Russian officials had a dossier on President-Elect Trump that was potentially damaging.

Reading the article, it was quite clear that it was un verified, and possibly unverifiable, but that it contained information that would be embarrassing to the incoming administration.

Then Buzzfeed (not linked, because they are clickbait) posted an image that highlighted that Trump was party to orgies in Moscow and St. Petersberg with prostitutes, and that waterplay (a.k.a. “Golden Showers“) was involved. Also that Trump purposely did this in the same hotel that the Obamas stayed at during their state visit, and even the same bed. Continue reading →

Living with Crippling Self-Doubt

While I have been successful at my career, I live in a perpetual belief that I am not good enough. I constantly feel like I am a fraud, and at any time someone will come along and unmask me.

Of course, all evidence points at the opposite, that I am quite competent, and capable, often exceeding expectations, and gaining the trust of my managers/executives and peers. Continue reading →