Thursday, October 25, 2012

Your destinations affect the quality of your journey through life. Invest in travel which exposes you to new cultures; not just scenic overlooks and entertainment.

The valued gained from overseas travel to diverse cultures and places is a hard expense/investment for many to measure and justify.  As a result, countless American's each year, stick to "the basics". Simply choosing to travel or drive to domestic destination. Those that they are either already familiar with; or which seem to offer the best value; the best "bang for their buck".

In starting to plan our spring vacation to Europe and/or Asia this year; I'm reminded just how often the destination not only serves as a new place to visit, but also a new way of seeing life.  I am forced to make such mutual considerations, given the impact traveling has had in my own life thus far.  Not only the way in which we often measure our successes and failures, but also the way we view it's potential and the course in which it holds.

Also, keep in mind we are just one week away in this country, from selecting who will be or remain the President for the next 4 years. (and many feel their opinion and view on such things, is vital to the future and success of this country.) So many thoughts are therefore directed at how we come to choose such leaders and what motivated these choices.  I thought I might also draw that connection when discussing these befits of non-domestic travel.

Oddly enough, I have to admit; that as time and travel have come to pass in my adult life; the traveling itself has definitely had a bigger impact on the way in which I view life, both here and around the world. Much more than the simple passage of time.  So as I and others around me have aged, I have also witnessed, both; the narrowing views of the exclusively domestic travelers I'm surrounded by; as well as, the broadening affects on views and greater understanding of those who have made efforts to vacation abroad over the course of their lives.

As the saying goes, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." But even more than this, it allows a person to start re-examining how or why they became a person who sees the world with such a narrow, limited perspective.

     ...excuse me, while I digress once more on the topic of our pending election...
Within this heated political climate, and especially one which reveals so many of the conservatively constricted; perhaps at times destitute opinions, we are surrounded by here in the south; I have also found it very telling, when the most narrow, constricted, confused opinions I hear, are 9.9 times out of 10, sourced from voters who have indeed, NEVER ventured away from the shores of North America.
(For this matter, very few have traveled beyond a 5 state region! With perhaps the exception of some rare, individual destination flight or cruise taken to or from California, Florida, New York, Alaska, a Caribbean Island or elsewhere; on an apparent, "once in a lifetime" venture; spent primarily within a hotel, ship, beach front or on a mountain. In other words: seek to tour an entirely new culture, not just a single destination.)
     ...sorry for that...
The beauty and humility which can come from seeing ancient cultures which possessed lifestyles far beyond the comfort and luxuries of our own; or sharing a dinner with some of the nicest people you've never met, who all originate from a place, society and culture you have no connection with; can be an utterly wonderful experience! The type, movies, plays and books are written to share; but are easily yours to have.

Such profound reviews as those offered when traveling to different ways of life, can not only allow someone to overcome unfounded fears; moreover, it helps them respect and discover the abundant possibilities which surround them, even while they are at home. Thereby drastically expanding those daily choices and views; which were previously well outside the reach of more limited exposures to life and subsequent thinking.

Imagine, realizing once again, that you are not too old to grow and learn. Imagine the pride you would feel, discovering you were a broader, more open; a more understanding person this year than the last. Imagine, not being trapped within the confines of mindsets gleaned from only one mall, one neighborhood, one church, one cause, one family, one mind. Imagine the real world...

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventures. Ones we can all grow from if only we strive to view them with our eyes open. Whether you're day-dreaming, teaching your children, having a conversation with your friends and family, or voting; doing so with a closed, limited view of the world, is not only cheating yourself from experiencing a more capable life, full of wisdom; it is also cheating those around you of a more fulfilling, richer experience as they share their life with you.

Don't cheat yourself... Learn to think outside the confines of your own mind, the borders of the small world you currently live in. Don't just count on a book, the TV, a movie theater, a James Bond film or a Disney World trip to tease you with what life can actually be, smell, taste, sound and feel like when it is not trapped inside one person's typical realm of living and limited travel.

Find out why God didn't make you the smartest person on the planet. Find out what real beauty can look like, find out what new taste can inspire. Find out what you're missing...

Then learn to vote, share and live as if you don't have all the answers; or even the slightest knowledge of the real world. Become excited by that possibility, by that fact! Not scared of it, while clinging firmly to the desire to avoid any other truths or examples.

If you can't let go of your own personal limits in reasoning and considering of others unlike yourself, you'll end your life completely restricted by a white knuckled grip on ignorance and partial views. The types of limits which will never offer perspectives benefiting you or your loved ones on a level representative of your real potential. And that would be a shame for all of us.

In the future, book travel which reveals a new life, not just a new destination. Discover new cultures as well as new sights. Allow the most entertaining aspect of travel to be the positive difference it creates in your own future, and the lives of those you effect.

(My own written Facebook profile, represents just a small portion of my personally expanded views gained from traveling beyond our shores. It can also be read in the following blog: )

10/16/2013 Update:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fear is an effective bait for conservative positions. Our children deserve better!

Definitely the very sensible position you would hope more of us would have, and take, for our students; which is what makes the GOP's stance of eliminating methods for encouraging critical thinking from our Texas Public Schools so utterly devastating. As if our school system isn't already backwards and devastated enough as the 27th worse ranked in the nation.  :-(
(Further exacerbated by the fact the U.S. is already ranked 28th in the world!)

To summarize the GOP's position within the formal 2012 Platform, they recently published back in August; it states (and I'm paraphrasing):
"Critical thinking skills can serve as nothing more than a "behavior modification"; having the potential of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs."  The fear the GOP then further encourage parents to consider and adopt, is the idea that a student who is encouraged to "challenge their current fixed beliefs", will then become a student which will ultimately wish to "undermine parental authority."

Fear, is always such a wonderful bait for conservative positions, isn't it?  Sad...  :-(  So ironic, to encourage parents to, "fear the undermining of parental authority"; in order to encourage the blind allegiance of those who are susceptible to such fears, as they seek comfort through conformity and party loyalty.  Offer them fear of their own children's advancement and ability to think with critical pragmatism, so you can in turn corral those who have lost the very same ability by believing such nonsense.  So poor kids, never had a chance.

My first thought when I read the GOP 2012 published Platform was; how in the world would ANYONE feel it is healthy to encourage a young, student to simply conform to their own current level of "fixed beliefs"?!  I mean we're talking about a growing, living, young, students. Isn't the whole point, to encourage them to see who they might become; versus stagnating, right where they are or where they can be held back to conform to be.  Very sad.  Very telling of our countries decline in education and worldwide competitiveness. Shameful...

We must find inspirations and hope from speakers like Sir Ken Robinson:
In order to cope with the current disastrous leadership we are witnessing within our own political landsacape, which forces us towards "conservative" positions, at a time when radical changes are so desperately needed. (RSAnimate Productions are always enjoyable to watch as well: (Same speaker, different speech.) )

Regardless of how some choose to sugar coat the GOP's current 2012 Platform of the State's 2013 goals for our school's curriculum; (or how some attempt to more narrowly point to curriculum's associated with Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) & Outcome-Based Education (OBE)); the discouragement to teach skills related to establishing knowledge, comprehension & application; represents one of the scariest versions of continuing to limit our countries potential by forever limiting our students thought processes and/or ability to learn and think for themselves.

Many GOP supporters of such limiting "traditional" teaching methods, will simply tell you there is no modern mechanism for empirically measuring a students performance when they are offered any form of objective learning skills; therefore we must stick to age old  methods focused on rote learning and memorization.  Such as the dependency on flash cards and word memorization and spelling exercises in order to teach a language  versus any newer approaches of "Whole Language" instructive techniques focus on meaning and strategy instruction. The list goes one as to the nature of limits presented and maintained in every subject of elementary and secondary education.

You can read the platforms full report, in it's entirety, for yourself at the following link:  (Go to page 12, the section on "Knowledge-Based Education")
In contrast here is the Democratic Platform:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apple's 9-12-2012 iPhone 5 - Glorious, if not Anticlimactic, Keynote

Oddly enough, the new iPod Nano was probably the biggest surprise of Apple's latest Keynote, hype event. Yet, I agree with many of the posted critiques; the Nano's icons do look ridiculous.
Apple says its core biz is software with superior design. Seems an unfortunate miss on the new nano code...
The loss of the old Nano is a tragedy. That was one of the coolest little things Apples ever made. Of the 1/2 dozen product in their store, I always gravitate to that one. Makes one of the coolest watches around... :-)

All they had to do was add Bluetooth to that little guy, (perhaps integrated caller ID, text and MMS to the iPhone) and they really would have had a winner!
(RIP) Rest In Piece, cute little 2011 iPod Nano
Meanwhile, I'm not sure just copying a two year old, OLED Sony Walkman design & functionality is the best way to keep up an "innovator" charade. Certainly not with a device that lacks any ability to leverage their app store.
At least they further eliminated the usefulness and aesthetics of any existing docking accessories without an adapter. An adapter will look just great on a "nano" version of tech.

Not to mention, they're back to a video capable, small iPod product, but without camera or camcorder capability. Well, I guess we know what the next big, exciting, update for this product line will be.
...What a tiresome marketing cycle!

As for the iPhone 5 itself...
If Apple didn't posture themselves as the Gods of design and "simple solutions", "that just work", it wouldn't be so darn ironic and satisfying at times to point out their shameful contradictions. This was a big, Apple day, so here's a Big D reply.  ;-)  (I live near Dallas)

We knew they were going to once again abandon standards... But why the one that connects you too, and provides power from, the rest of the world!?!?

It would have been a welcomed surprise today if apple had innovated a "transitional" plug that accepted both the 30pin and the new style, "lighting connector". (Great name, I love things that plug into a wall socket, to feature the description of "lighting" on the other end; featuring exposed contacts no less.) A flexible, dual capable plug on this phone, would have offered a transitional opportunity for at least this one product line. (Who are we kidding with this "space constraint" story? They had room left over at the bottom to oddly, I mean "innovatively", relocate the headphone jack.)
There is a reason the new USB 3.0 Standard fits retro, USB 1.0 and 2.0 ports on existing PC's.  This is the way good standards are written and designed.  Apple's desire to so blatantly squander the investments of literally millions of loyal customers by ditching the 30 pin connector, they've insisted on using for every other iPhone and Touch product is rather shameful. They should have ditched it when they got rid of the need to power a hard drive, and worry about various analog standards of connectivity and output! (Everyone isn't made of money, and carriers don't subsidize the handful of a dozens charger and adapters you would need to compensate for this loss.)

Not to mention the 1000's of products still hanging on shelves and within millions of homes and cars which need some ridiculous adapter to further challenge the brilliant "fit and finish"! All the chargers folks struggle to keep handy at the office, night tables and next to their PC. When they've already had to avoid, simple, unified USB solutions.

USB 3 micro B
"USB 3 micro B" (which includes HDMI) would have been more than adequate, and then could have at least, value justified this solution as move towards an industry standard; such as the HDMI inclusion on the new Macs. (Apple could have even acted like they came up with it; as in Apple's CDMA-LTE Qaulcomm designed and manufactured LTE chip or the new cortex A15 CPU ironically designed and manufactured by Samsung.) They could have called their USB knock-off plug the "UB Apple, no flip, no magnet plug"! Taadaa...)  Don't they already utilize mini-USB, on their smallest iPod form factor?? So there is no rhyme of reason to their "innovation"-vs- conformity???

Since existing iPhone owners will be expected to buy and learn to use cumbersome adapters in order to utilize future docks and apple add-ons. I would see more purpose and advantages in simply learning more about adapting the use of Apple iPhone product with the actual industry standards of the world.

Just buy any multitude of adaptations on Amazon:

Perhaps most surprising is Apple misplaced, yet repeated tendency these days, to further acquiesce only partially towards the rest of the mobile computing industry.  Simply bizarre timing, allegiances and delivery. To finally introduce a 16:9 screen! Really! When one of your primary goals from the get go was to sell iTunes store related media; and your CEO at the time was chairman of Pixar, but it never dawned on you in the initial iPhone / Touch design to make it a 16:9 product?
4:3 = 1940 NTSC TVs   ::   16:9 = early 2000's HDTV
Apple is the maker of Final Cut Pro HDTV video editing software, for goodness sakes!! Obviously the odd, dated aspect ratio of not only the original iPhone, but also the current iPad, has no real, solid justification. I guess it is just "art"...!  Although, I thought such claims; certainly where related to consumer electronics; should typically hold merit in both form and FUNCTION. Meaning a media playback device that honors the intention and viewing experience of the media it plays.

At least they still avoided the convenience of a removable battery or user expanded memory. Who wants such things after all, in a product that continues to upgrade its camera(s); and subsequently render traveling with additional point-n-shoots less necessary. Heaven forbid you travel Europe or head to a once in a lifetime event and shoot more 1080p video than your phone's built in memory, (combined with all your existing apps, music, and bought movies) can hold.  ...Just give em another two years I guess, to "innovate" that.  They can call it the "mini-micro-nano A6 SD".  ...sweet!

(Every other phone in the world "gets it"!)
And don't even get me started on the nature of all the swelling Li-Ion batteries, naturally bloating after a few 100 recharge cycles. That chemistry has certainly done wonders for the mouse pad, located above MacBook batteries and countless bright spots on ageing (but far from old) iPhone screens. Just allow your loyal customers to plop in a new one; without spending a $50-$80 bucks in service fees! ($30 fee variants are dependent on the model; who knows why? It's like the obscure pricing on added internal RAM. Absolutely, NOTHING to do with current industry pricing.)

Being a self proclaimed "artist" really shouldn't instill in you a pride, which prevents you from learning from your repeated mistakes!  ...but who are we kidding...?  An experience in "standards", consumer loyalty, value and satisfaction only a "fanboy" could truly appreciate.  Thank God for long-term, subsidized, carrier contracts!
(Heaven forbid, you keep your oddly proportioned phone, slap in a NET10 SIM, and get unlimited everything for $45 bucks a month, on the same AT(and)T towers. ...a'la European style, GSM value; as it should be.)

P.S. Still no true multitasking! Really! What is the point in more CPU cores, when you can't seem to author more apropos, multi-threaded OS code?  More on this in the previous blog entry:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An Apple a day... keeps the long term carrier contracts updated

There are those who have little doubt tomorrows announcement of Apple's new iPhone, will result in one of the largest example of sales in relation to upgraded hardware in the history of computing and mobile tech.  And if you look at the data, where related to existing early version of iPhone still being utilized (since it's 2007 release) and the many reasons one would have to wish for an updated device; i.e. bigger screen, fast data speeds, an updated version of iOS; there are reason even more current devices will be traded in.

There is also Techbargains survey, which shows that 22 percent of Android users are willing to dump their current handset for the new iPhone, while 38 percent of BlackBerry owners say they will buy the new iPhone. However, it is far easier to sell to existing customers than it is to convince people to switch platforms. Surveys also indicate the strongest demand for the new iPhone are current iPhone owners.

64 percent of iPhone 4S owners say they will buy the new iPhone, along with 71 percent of iPhone 3G owners. However, the crowd most eager for the iPhone 5 is iPhone 4 owners, with a massive 74 percent saying that they will buy the new iPhone. Keeping in mind, less than 20% of U.S. based iPhone owners would ever pay full price, at a time of sale, for such a device. 80+% depend on deep carrier subsidies in order to consider their purchases or upgrades. Nonetheless, there is little doubt the carriers are ready to entices with typically incentives for upgrades, involving additional 2 year extension to existing contracts, or renewals for those who completed their last sentencing.

Little can be said for any "innovations", or new tech being the real impetus for the iPhone update this week. The aging iPhone platform is at least 18 month to two years behind other hardware offerings.  Apple should have upgraded it' data speed 12 months ago. And only the cheapest handhelds, still feature 3.5" screens. And none of those the odd squarish aspect ratio Apple originally choose.  Regardless, there are many who have waited for their fair shares of years to see a refresh and many will be excited to dump there old equipment.
I obviously have no cell phone carrier, nor Apple loyalty left in me...
And perhaps excitement for a new, improved, belated update to iPhone's hardware, is better left for aesthetic assertions; as in, .04" thinner-esq ogling; as well as other less-technical anticipations and critiques.  If so, sorry for focusing on some of the more techy restraints and lacking, missed opportunities of the highly anticipated iPhone 5 update.  But I do think it is worth noting why, even this update, will be lacking in so many, typical Apple fashions.

I'm afraid, once again, it will be more about Apple marketing and gifted hype, than anything having to do with a true innovation or significant advances in technology for the industry. (An explanation from a former Apple CEO, as to the real magic of Apple: )

Avoiding the obvious criticisms of still preventing it's HD, multiple mega pixel shooting public from being able to insert or remove a 64GB micro SDs whenever they choose. And staying away from any goals one would ever have of replacing their battery (either once it's li-Ion naturally bloats, after continued cycles, or) while on a long trip or away from a recharging venue. Let's just talk Connectivity, OS limitations and form factor. (Not in that order.) :-)

Obviously no reason to further "innovate" here. Just huge reasons to "catch up." Resolutions need not be improved, since by Apple's own claim, their ppi (326 pixel per inch, to be exact,) is already at a "retina limitation".  Of course trusting such magical claims and definitions of perceptions or end user limitations, evidently has more to do with marketing BS, than any individual measure an optometrist would offer; pertaining to the varied nature of each individuals visual acuity.  Unfortunately, less the less inspired, but more prudent, judicious nature of conserving the use of excess pixels when their redundancy is useless (such as when watching a 1280x720 HD offering from the iTunes library,) and instead focusing on CPU, GPU and LCD conservations providing for much better battery life.

It is nice to think Apple will finally be abandoning the obscure aspect ratio & dismal size of it's current ridiculous screen design.  I think when Apple copied the LG Prada's capacitive touch screen phone & design, (despite the many Sony consultations, advising otherwise,) they should have avoided the temptation to duplicate LG's anemic size and aspect ratio; since it was never befitting to any offerings within the vast Media library Apple enjoys it's users to purchase from. 

(Of course when they introduced the iPhone it had no direct app store connectivity, and it was still sold as a "companion device", to systems still offering less support of HDTV than to DV, despite 2007 being late into HDTV production demands. Who knows what take Apples eye so far off the ball?)

However, it is rather shameful to think of all the 10's of 1000's of extremely costly accessories and automotive interfaces, the new "Dock Connector" will render useless without some ridiculous adaptation. Typical of dumping Firewire 800 for Intel's Fiber Channel, or finally ditching Display Port for HDMI. However, you would think by learning that their "innovations" are either very limiting or not worth the publics support, they might have at least chosen to standardized this products main dock connector and the public's opportunity towards an already comprehensive and widely adopted solutions, such as the USB 3.0 Micro B / HDMI capable, hybrid connector.

(Apple does such a great job at repackaging commodity hardware, while insisting on trying to venture out on a limb where related to methods of connectivity to third party peripherals; but such practices are a HUGE disservice to its customers. I know the goal is control and "pigeon hole" folks towards "Apple Only" options, in order to up sale and licencing requirements; but it sure seems like a dated concept!)

I doubt there will be much mention of Apple being no less than a year and a half late, offering any headset based 4G support. Instead I'm sure Apple will spin their desired focus towards issues like finally, officially, functioning (without crippled, stunted data bandwidth,)  on the T-Mobile network as much more than it is. (A new carrier is certainly the best way to increase sales, with a now dated platform,)  This more broadly capable radio can be touted as more than it is given the fact T-mobile opted for the more "international standard" of LTE frequencies; whereas AT&T unfortunately bought into a crippling partnership with Qualcom, thereby limiting it's opportunity to a rather North American standard of LTE "bandwaves", I'll call them. ;-)
(However, it will be interesting to see how apple avoids the inevitable law suits promised from Samsung over this upgrade; given the recent billion Apple garnered from Samsung over the physical shape of their phones. More here on Samsung LTE patents and Apple potential infringement: )

This was an ironic choice between the two major U.S., GSM carriers; given the fact, such compatibilities where related to Voice and HSPA frequencies experienced an opposite favoritism in the past.  AT&T equipment is much more globally compatible (200+ countries) than is T-mobiles, once you leave North America.

But what Apple won't share with you, if they choose to tout "Global or GSM Carrier compatibility", is the fact that their U.S. sold, incredibly subsidized equipment, is NEVER able to reap the typical benefits of international, i.e. GSM freedom or compatibility, when traveling. Due to Apple's unparalleled arrangements with carriers, preventing unlock codes from providing anything more than a placebo effect, when attempting to use overseas SIM chips.  (Hence the reason, NO ONE, can fault Apple's innovations, when it comes to contracts and patent buyouts and the incessant "trolling" that follows!)

I imagine there will be little to no talk about "Mulititasking", since there is little change in opportunities to Apple's redefined version of crippled-tasking, worth mentioning. Will be interesting what they imply any additional cores will do for the sake of new "revolutionary" apps (other than perhaps more Nvidia GPU's, for the sake of better gaming.)

Android running as a VM on top of Linux is hardly a "limitation", given any modern CPUs ability to handle multiple threads of simultaneous instructions. In fact it lends itself incredibly to exploiting modern, multi-core CPU and GPUs.  While maintaining a less current version of the Google OS; which either shipped with your phone, or the version your provider chose to OTA upgrade; is much less of a hassle or disappointment than completely disabling the bizarre imitation of "multitasking" Apple devised; when using one of their 1st or 2nd gen devices.

As far as choosing between "crippled" or limited, mobile OS experience, Apple has gone above and beyond in their contrived implementation of iOS.  It is VERY ironic, given the impressive UNIXesq background, the infusion of BeOS offered OSX when that transition was made after reinstating Steve Jobs. Apparently his "vision" of the future of mobile CPU's just wasn't as astute. Perhaps understandable since, as he put it, "they are not a hardware company."

Monday, July 30, 2012

You Have To Ask Yourself, Is Fear And Loathing Your Guide To American Politics?

A friend recently posted the following quote on his social network "wall":
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." -Winston Churchill

The quote garnered responses like: "Too bad people don't know that's where we are headed (or where we already are)."

Hmm ...because nothing good has ever come from American's working together, or attempting to be more than the sum of their parts??  After all, that's how we become a "Super Power"...
...we avoided combining resources. Right?


I'm afraid folks started rashly confusing something called a, "spending deficit", with our country's ability to actually afford running our government.  In fact, any country such as ours; and certainly one with the most successful GDP in the world, can more than afford each and every year of our current and proposed Federal Budget. (Which is typically much less than 16% of our GDP)

The problem is, our tax receipts and method of "balancing" anything in Washington, has become an abomination of any responsible approach to finance.  Putting off the reasonable approach of immediately paying for the things we can very reasonably and easily afford.

For decades now, Washigton's method of "Political Finance" has instead been about delaying a person's feeling of obligation, and devising creative, misinformed areas of blame for the resulting debt.  Such practices were and are initially put in place to please deep pocketed constituents; arranging for "creative" practices with regards to tax incentives and an INSANE reckless choice of abatement and debt management; over responsible, sane, approaches to debt free finance.

** I'm just not sure how such mistakes equate to dumping on the idea that American's do EXTRAORDINARY things when we pull our resources and work together?

Asking the middle class to continue shouldering the largest percentage of any effort involving our Federal Budget, (not to mention something as mundane and needless as debt management; a.k.a. interest paid to the Chinese and Middle East;) is simply, ridiculous nonsense!! Especially, given the VERY disproportionate way in which the GDP is garnered. Such practices are certainly no longer the answer; and never should have been.  They are cleaver political schemes, run-a-muck!

** None the less, the middle class voices, and voters, seem to be susceptible to this continual, sensationally marketed message, being campaigned and sent down to them.  (So we end up misrepresenting quotes like the one above, and acting as if the U.S. is crippled!  It's crazy really...  Our leadership is the only thing causing a limp!)

Simply bizarre to watch how well we've been toyed with! ...and a bit embarrassing!  But such irresponsible behavior and manipulation of public opinion, is why guys like Rupert Murdoch and his unethical business practices, as well as all related, dominating, influences; over, at least a subculture of public opinion, are banned from their native countries.  Most governments have learned (the hard way; including ours,) how detrimental such continual influences of controlled press and media can be on their country's long-term stability, and ability to function as a Democracy.  Therefore, other Democracies luckily pass and uphold laws, preventing such perversions; well before the pockets of their congress were lined in such a way as to prevent such common sense approaches.

** When private interest is able to effectively undermine our public's sensibilities, we all lose something VERY valuable!  Our public sovereignty!

Many more of us should carefully rethink this non-sense of continually defending something, representative of a disproportionate method of dealing with our tax receipts and the avoidance of responsibly paying, up front, for the opportunity, privilege and power of a Federal Government, such as ours. ...Something, we, as the majority of the public at large, stand to gain from in no way; long or short term!

** Otherwise, we will all end up getting exactly what is deserved. vote, no power, no say, no sovereignty, no future.

Incidentally, as for the quote: Churchill became saddened and fearful of countless aspects of social power and control, given the events he was witnessing unfold.  Many of which were a social anomaly at the time, spawning from Hitler's well timed influences over a starving aspect of Europe's Germany.  Churchill, rightly so, become an individual, forced to be often guided by fear. (As was the case with much of the world at the time.) He witnessed the very worst in mankind.

If you want to understand more about how such fear is now dealt with in Europe, you should look into Germany's mandates as to how they assure they never forget such atrocities and how they teach their future generations to avoid falling prey to such tyrannous leadership and influence.

You have to ask yourself, is fear and loathing your guide?  ...and at the very least, study the context and timing of such messages; and what forces were being brought to bear at the time; and by what means had they come to power.

Otherwise, the context of such quotes, has little meaning for us American's.  For that matter we felt Churchill's entire war and struggles had little meaning for us, until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  The man felt shamefully and painfully alone, most of the time! (Hidden away in a bunker, isolated and unable to see his family and closest companions.)  Life at the time, was simply an utter nightmare! Despite knowing he was rightfully fighting the most evil forces his modern armies had ever been required to engage. :-(

We are now able to review such history and decisions with very different eyes. ...opened eyes.
Don't be inspired to close them.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Even Canon Folks Might Start Embracing The Future of Digital Photography Now! :-)

Good news for aspiring amateur photographers!! There is one more reason to avoid buying another, bulky, dated, piece of DSLR camera hardware. Avoid it like the plague!! Even Canon fans can finally revel in the fact, Canon has finally announced its official Mirrorless, Interchangeable lens, consumer entry, the "EOS M": Which features a sensor and specs nearly identical to their Rebel T4i, pro-sumer line.
The bad news, it won't be out until October, 2012. The good news, while Canon is indeed way behind the pack, there are several other, EXCEPTIONAL options, worthy of your immediate investment; as nearby to you as your nearest Best Buy. So again, avoid the bulk of the aging DSLR designed camera equipment like the plague! It is so 1990's! :-S

Cannon certainly has a GREAT DEAL of catch up to do with the Mirrorless, Interchangeable lens category of photography hardware at this point, but few doubt they are up for the task. Of course for those who would rather just experience all the many benefits of the Mirrorless world now, such as, faster focusing, better high-ISO performance, more accurate white balance, and better image quality overall, not to mention an ability to quickly learn how to use more than the 1/10th of the features most amateur photographers manage to embrace; just go grab a Sony NEX-C3 or NEX-5N. (For the "Pros", look into the NEX-7)

(Full sized sensor, "mirrorless", Sony NEX-5N, next to an iPhone)

Even better, this is the state of the art, because it is both affordable, compact and easy. Such pieces of inspiring hardware are now supported by; 16 to 24+ mega pixels at up to 10 fps (frame per second) shooting; 1080p Highdef (HDTV) movies and 60fps (frames per second); APS-C size HD image sensor; Sweep Panorama mode; Auto HDR (High Dynamic Range); Live View and Tiltable 3.0" LCD Touch Screens; and of course E-mount 18-55mm full size lens and adapters for any old lens you may still wish to use.

Put simply, the current state of the art in photography hardware, means you can have all the performance of those old, full size, DSLR designs, in about half the size and half the weight. It's now about capturing your memories in any quality and style format you wish and with complete ease. The best camera is not only the one you know how to fully utilize, it is also the one you have with you. And lugging around a full size DSLR through the formative years of your new baby's growth, visits to the parks, or just a stroll with grandma around the mall, is hardly practical. Not to mention the detriment it is packing for those fun overseas trips when your scared such bulky equipment will either stick out like a sore thumb for thieves, or be crushed while being slung between numerous trains and plane connections.

Don't sell yourself short. And whatever you do; just don't let another person (or yourself,) be talked into grabbing yet another, dated, mirrored BULKY, DSLR, designed with countless, conventional film holdovers, in a day and age of fully digital sensors. Mirrored, bulky, DSLRs are built the way they are because they are a bi-product or a bygone era!

The large, "mirrored", DSLR style cameras are large, slow, mechanical, and complicated, due to the decades of research and development which no one wished to quickly abandon. Much of the current and past designs were simply associated with film, and certainly the need for a backplate area of the camera that use to sit between the two dispensing and receiving rolls of film. And managing the challenge presented to not only expose that momentary glimpse of light onto the film or retrofitted digital sensor; while also providing a method by which a preview of the framed shot was first and during each photo offered to the photographer behind the lens.
(Above image, is an ingenious "Digital Camera Back" adaptation, for analog film cameras)
 The relentless and vested interest in bulky, DSLR, camera designs and all the dated, traditional nuances of approaching the more mechanical natures of handheld photography are fascinating. It must be assumed that many are rather emotional, but perhaps even more are financially encouraged; due to a personal collection of lens, batteries, etc.. But the financially vested interest in continuing to market and sales such swollen versions of technology to average consumers and amature photographers must be the predominant motivation for the few reluctant manufactures.

Whether you take into considerations the manufacture's massive investments in patents or the millions in assembly lines and production tooling dedicated to the 1000's of specialized mechanism, optics, fittings and the multitudes of all the varied, numerous, supporting accessories and devices.  It is obvious abandoning such dated methods of processing and previewing live photography has not been an easy risk for many of our major brands to swallow.

Nevertheless, unless you are a press pass carrying, side line shooting, jungle crawling, professional portrait producing, wedding photography shooting guru! Stop the madness! No normal, occasional or daily shooter, with a travel bug, a new child, or a hankering for bird watching, air shows and nature hikes; should try to imagine that they will enjoy lugging, firing up, learning and using, with any amount of skill and efficiency, the girth and learning curve now associated with the dated designs of full size, pro-summer and/or professional DSLR style cameras. I can't believe I'm still seeing average consumers still making this mistake? I know the guys at Best Buys floor are of little to no help; but the internet is there 24/7.
Cutaway diagram of "traditional", digital DSLR camera
I'll put it to you this way. You bought a "Smartphone" so you can launch apps and text with ease; you no longer drive a stick, so you can sip your latte in peace; you enjoy having air conditioning because no one like to constantly sweat. There are certainly technology and conveniences, that you just shouldn't argue too much about, once you see the benefits and enjoyment they provide.

Therefore, if capturing photos of superior quality, (meaning far better quality than a simple "one click" or that of your cell phone's provision,) are a passion and a priority for you; then combine that exciting goal with the same sensibility which has lead you to other streamlined, clever, affordable, useful advances in modern technology.

FYI: A DSLR (digital single-lens refl ex) camera employs a mechanical mirror system that directs the light travelling through the attached lens upwards at a 90 degree angle allowing the photographer to compose the shot through the viewfinder. As the shutter button is pressed the exposure takes place: the mirror swings out of the way and the shutter opens allowing the lens to project the light onto the image sensor.

NOTE: I last blogged about the advantages of the new Mirroless camera's in Feburary of 2012:  Prior to these "full size" sensored mirrorless offerings, I also offered some blog entries pertaining to the Micro 4/3rds formats being produced by Panasonic and others.  Such as the G1, now updated to the DMC-G5.

(Incidentally, Sony's next generation of offerings, ( will indeed be even smaller, and will virtually overlap the world of "one click", pocket camera offerings; leaving the lower end of that market to be cannibalized by the advancing quality of Smartphone handset based tech, not to mention completely innovative solutions from company's like Lytro.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weather your creativity is deductive or contemplative, never let it down!

I remember the first time I tried to define for myself what I truly felt a creative idea represented. After years of toying with the concept of true creativity, I came to my own conclusion that there were basically two types of creative inspirations. Those which were "contemplative" and those which were "deductive".

I view those which are represented in the works of a Michelangelo as highly contemplative; when they are an example of such painstaking sculpting; such as, a work like the Pietà.
A work which was rendered from a huge monolithic piece of indescribably strong stone. A medium with the relentless expectation that every move made by the artist is flawless. One chisel to deep, or a single inaccurate strike, will permanently maim the desired work beyond repair. (At least towards the final stages of such work.) And yet from this medium of cold, hard, stone, a Michelangelo imagined, and had the skill to deliver, a static image; which represents a seemingly living, emotional, gut wrenching story or broken flesh, broken hearts, and broken hopes.

So with "contemplative creativity" in my own mind, comes the birth of an idea from a void of limited inspiration. An idea, which manifest itself from a space where there was nothing discernible to guide or inspire it. And oddly enough, even my example of the Pietà is far from a perfect example of such contemplation. Given the fact, both scriptural accounts and religious exuberance, each played a sizable part in inspiring the hands of such artist, final results. But the transformation of cold marble to that of soft flesh is more to the point of the type of contrast and pure manifestation this final piece provides as my own definitive example.

As for "deductive creativity"; it is perhaps best defined as a "trial and error" method of arriving at your final result. The notion of placing a desire, wall, shape, color or artifact in one corner of your landscape, then spinning it, overlapping it, cropping it, contrasting it, only to finally arrive on the layout you feel is either the most aesthetically pleasing or functional, or a balance of both.

While such deduction are not quite as rare or perhaps even earth shattering as the examples I would typically define as "contemplative", such astute measures of discernment and application are not to be thought less of.  It is a rare individual which can regularly and reliably deliver a balance of form and function when needed.  Or create examples of abundant expression, while not overwhelming any desired story.  What ever the balancing act, expression or endeavor is, when a person is gifted in their own right, they are a "creative" that some audience will find great value in.

Recently a friend posted a quote from the modern mil maker, Jim Jarmusch, ( which broke down his own encouragements concerning the personal bouts of inspiration one might face of inspiration.  He terms these "authentic" methods of inspiration.

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it." — JIM JARMUSCH

And since we also all tend to live in the "real world"; and for most of my viewers are based in a free-enterprise markets, such as the United States; I'm going to add a cautious sentiment and encouragements for those making their way through this capitalistic, make all spend all society.

My first word of caution towards a fellow "creative" is concerning those who would rather flippantly, choose to pillage one's inspirations and authentic zeal. Life is simply too short to entertain their company or allow their destructive antics to have a lasting impact on our soul for creativity.

There are also those who choose rather happily to ride the tail coat of other's creativity and inspiration for many years. Those who possess enough sense of self-preservation to not completely squash the drive of the ones they desperately depend on.
Eventually, even such formidable, clever, leaches will drain the life out of those driving them toward their agendas. Some come in the form of people others are large corporate entities. And unfortunately, often; only hindsight or a fortunate gift of wise mentoring, has the slightest chance of revealing the potential damage.

None the less. It does no good to ever stay down when one has been tripped. So enjoy the ride and always get back up as soon as possible when even you've fallen or fallen prey. - Oh, and find a trusted mentor. :-)

Michael Hulme


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Apple Would Have To Sell 50% More iPhones To Equal Google's Current Android Platform Install Base

Hard to believe there are now 50% less Apple iPhones, than there are Google Android phones!  Given the fact the Android platform (Sept '08) was released a year after the first iOS device (Sept '07).
I knew the average consumer would soon catch on the the many advantages of Google's Android platform, but I had no idea it would happen so dramatically and quickly.

The historical data for the last year, paints even more of the "Smartphone" story:
Poor BlackBerry went from 20% of the Smartphone market just a year ago, to 8.1% this week! Whereas Android, went from 39% to 51.8%, & iOS from 28% to 34%.
So Android increased by another 13% of the total market share, while iOS took an additional 6%.

It's definitely just a two horse race at this point, with Google managing to deliver twice the results.  And this gap between Google and Apple will grow even more drastically if Nokia indeed decides to jump ship from the Windows Phone platform and also adopt Google's Android.

Now if U.S. consumers would just stop signing up for those OUTRAGEOUS, subsidized, post-paid, cell phone, voice and wireless data plans! Given the fact alternative "pay-as-you-go" plans will typically offer unlimited EVERYTHING (Voice, Text & data,) for somewhere between, $45-$60 per months!!

So even cell phone users living in the State, can now experience the values their European counterparts have always demanded; if they just shop a bit better, and avoid walking into those brick and mortar major carriers retail outlets.
...i.e. By saving money through providers and plans such as:
NET10 (GSM on ATandT): -or-
TING (CDMA on Sprint): -or-
PAGEPLUS (CDMA on Verizon) -or-
RED POCKET (GSM on ATandT): -or-
(Each of the above offerings are MVNO's; meaning they resale other carrier's cellular bandwidth, follow the equipment advice in the "fine print" below accordingly.)
Perhaps the best unlimited data ONLY deals are, T-Mobile $30/month Monthly 4G and Virgin Mobile's $35/month Beyond Talk plan with an Android phone or BlackBerry Phone.

Many more details on these types of offerings are available in articles such as the following:
(Combine such services with free offerings like Google Voice to experience the ultimate convenience and value for mobile communication and wireless mobile data/computing.)

Fine print when choosing your desired handheld, Smartphone equipment:
I can't really recommend a phone for you as everyone's needs and tastes are different. But here are some things to keep in mind.
* To use the phone in Europe it must support the 900 and 1800 mHz GSM bands. To get 3G in Europe the phone must support the 2100 mHz UMTS band I.
* To use a phone on T-Mobile USA it must support the 1900 mHz GSM band. To get 3G on T-Mobile it must support UMTS band IV (1700 downlink, 2100 uplink) (aka AWS)
* To use a phone on AT&T it must support the 850 and 1900 mHz GSM bands. To get 3G it must support UNTS band II (1900 Mhz) and UTMS band band V (850 Mhz).
(AT&T phones are all compatible with Europe's 3G GSM freguencies. Most recent T-Mobile branded phones support the required frequencies for Europe including 3G but check the specs before you buy as a few don't.)


Friday, July 13, 2012

Affordable Health Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare) A Bill That Ignores So Much, while Accomplishing Even More

I have no delusions about the Affordable Health Care Act's ability to address the abomination our insurance industry has made of American medicine and the affordability of our care. It accomplishes little to nothing to correct this quagmire; this INSANE system, we have allowed to run-a-much for so many decades. And regardless of what it will or will not achieve towards putting these insurance company's in their place; there are the minimal establishments it offers which MUST NOT BE OVERLOOKED OR UNDERESTIMATED.

I am merely hopeful and confident, an individual who has no other fair way, to step up to this table of bloated, "managed health care" non-sense; can at least, count on approaching the desperately needed attention and care they require when the time comes! But this bill goes far beyond this!!
It will quite simply save the lives of countless citizens, while preventing bankruptcy for 10's of thousands of others. In addition, it will offer countless millions an the opportunity I mentioned above, to finally seek care they would have otherwise neglected. And perhaps the most "American", capitalistic, benefits, will be the opportunity for many of those who have felt shackled to a pathetic means of livelihood and income to finally feel compelled to pursue something much more befitting of their aspirations, talents and potential; without the fear they will be denied coverage elsewhere.

What is the point of trapping American's in situations where they fear adequate coverage will be unaffordable or completely denied, without a current (often dead-end) employers' continued involvement and medical policy related compensation? Our country was not built on such trappings.

Our insurance industry has architectured a system which assures your health care is un-affordability; unless, you pay them a monthly premium; which you also can't afford. And then by design, they are able to refuse, reduce and deny any portion of coverage and/or service cost they see fit.

In addition to this insanity, some voters act as if a fear of "socialism" is their impetus for avoiding government intervention. This is absurd given the hypocritical fact that no one can afford medical care without depending on insurance, and insurance in and of itself is a socialized, group participant, economy of scale. 
In many cases, our fellow citizens don't even have an employer capable of absorbing the $20,000 per year overhead in order to assure their family's premiums are covered; in addition to whatever generous salary they've been offered; (or in many cases, instead of offering them anything all that generous; take your pick.) The Affordable Care Act is additionally extremely sensitive to such costly challenges to small business owners and those individuals braving self-employment. Hence its' provision of tax cuts for small business to help offset the costs; and the aggressive, largest middle-class, tax cut for health care in history!

If government scares you; (and Cigna, Aetna, Hamanna, Blue Cross / Blue Shield, etc., inspires you;) in turn you don't feel systems chosen by the people for the people will ever, ultimately offer a better say or better control than purely trusting the board members of each of our 1/2 dozen, major health insurance companies; (as they only cater to shareholders;) which have bastardized our medical system for all of the years; then so be it. Vote for the continued inactivity which has been the only course of action the federal level of GOP" leadership" has bothered to convey on such matters for as long as any of us have been able to vote.

On the flip side, if you feel such lacking responses to one of our country's most pressing burdens, places to many families and individuals into perilous of a situation. And you feel such liabilities for so many can't help but place an additional stranglehold on the health and well being of not only our individual citizens, but also our country; then vote to lesson the priority of the insurance company's shareholders, (although they will still get paid handsomely given the embedded compromises,) and increase the ability of our citizens to survive a bit longer.
A voter is either naive to the challenges our health care presents to countless millions of families and individuals here in the U.S., or they feel it is high time the government get involved and provide a survivable alternative.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Broken Trust Takes A Huge Amount Of Time And Repentance To Heal!

Such sentiments are certainly true, if the person involved in breaking trust, possesses little to no sense of repentance; nor a sincere ability to ask forgiveness. And so many are indeed guided by pride; perhaps seeing apologizing as a weakness rather than a strength. Life is simply too short to put up with such folks. 
Life is too short to put up with anyone who finds it necessary to put down those around them for the sake of bolstering their ego, pride or position.

However, I do think true forgiveness is a very necessary part of life. It is often required; most of all, for our own personal healing.

Otherwise, the constant presence of the pain that person's transgression caused, simply continues to hurt and deteriorate us. Even though their carelessness or abuse has long since passed or ended.

I've often wondered which was more challenging? Truly forgiving someone; or teaching a person to ask forgiveness that has never understood the real nature of sincerely offering an apology?

I find it near impossible to offer forgiveness to those who have little to no concept of repentance. (Meaning they never actually ask to be forgiven.) But I've still had to slowly try, in many situations; over the course of many years; in order to more effectively move away from the pain their ignorance originally caused and the trust they broke as a result.

In those cases the trust is typically very permanently damaged!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Social Progression From Resentment And Prejudice, wouldn't that be something?

Here's another "beautiful sentiment" floating around the social network walls of some of my favorite Right Wing Nuts.
I think the humor is just lost on anyone who has ever struggled, or been around those who do. I was raised with a good margin of wealth, but that lifestyle changed in my early teen years. I was then able to see very vividly, another side of going without; struggling, and wondering what the future would hold.

I remember how refreshing it was in college to take my first Sociology courses, and really gain a better understanding of the VAST differences in the challenges and values I never imagined between social classes.  Just one of which was the absolutely perplexing learning curves, varied classes often face or never obtain, were related to saving a dollar or understanding the value of one.

Such as, never been taught or understanding, turning off an electric light when one leaves the room would save money at the end of the month.  And as for the pressure to try and fit in or have dignity in one's self, through spending money on something which shouldn't be afforded at the time; it is often just as surprisingly and complex as all of our fellow Americans of each and every class and status who are eating themselves to diabetes and death.

It appears, even folks who know better, can't always do better!

The more ways in which folks find to make light of such disparities, versus understand them, the less likely such nuances and challenges within our society ever are to change.

I'm not sure when it became patriotic to criticize, not only our American leadership, but also our fellow Americans; versus, offer any real solutions? Nevertheless, it seems this country is on a roll.  Just hard to imagine when any of us have witnessed a productive manifestation of hatred, resentment, prejudice, judgment and raw criticism?  Many folks are evidently counting on our country being the first to ever benefit from such behavior.  I'm afraid such delusions will never pay off.

Comparing The Poor To Wildlife Is Only The Beginning

The insanity has got to stop!!
Several people whom I respect have begun circulating the following image; typically, with the caption:
"Great advice from a park ranger."
My most restrained response, thus far, was the following:
"Very sad insinuation when photos like this are circulated to lesson our sensitivity towards the human condition, poverty, or philanthropy; not to mention the programs developed with regard to all three. 

Nor am I convinced there are many children, growing up from impoverished circumstances which would come to respect, and therefor grow, from being compared to a park Ranger's advice on how to handle bears. Therefore, I'm not sure there is any hint of valuable mentorship, wisdom, or accountability being offered within such misleading sentiments.

I could be wrong? Perhaps it's very inspiring to a certain group. I'm just not sure I would ever care to count on the folks finding inspiration in such messages if I or my wife were ever in a pinch or precarious stage of life, or heaven forbid, without food on our table!

The despicable nature of today's politics and the resulting G.O.P. message is truly shameful! :-("

I'm so completely disgusted with the mentality being bred by today's politics!
Such distributed newspaper clippings are just the latest in an endless, careless, barrages of GARBAGE which now circulates throughout our lives; breeding ideals of judgement, prejudiced, lacking wisdom, and an inability to relate to anyone outside of your current success or social stratosphere.

It's bad enough when a Rush Limbaugh states publicly; following a natural disaster where over 100,000 people lost their lives within a few hundred miles of our boarder; that "the Haitian earthquakes were a custom ordered disaster for Obama to shine." I can cope with an uneducated, shock jock, looser like him, bread and paid to say anything and everything to his constituent of oddly titillated listeners.  However, when well-meaning members of our general population have started finding some patriotic comfort in also blasting those whom have needs, or disparaging the programs designed to help during trying times in life; we have lost our ever loving minds!!

You see, none of the folks being influenced to further proliferate such garbage sentiments, are getting paid the millions of dollars a Rush Limbaugh is.  And even if you were, you can probably tell how much respect I feel folks who think making the almighty dollar is a valid excuse for undermining others.  (Refer to my past blog entry: "Real Men"

I'm actually losing more and more relationships to this sort of insanity!!  It does make me truly sad!  People whom I respect for a number of reasons; folks who even claim to be guided by the life, death, humility and grace of Jesus Christ, if you can believe it; are actually being inspired by political rhetoric, more it seems than by their own good sense of morality and perhaps their own faith.

And I'll admit the most ironic thing for me, is the fact that NONE of these "friends and family" could tell you anything about the money they have personally contributed in their life towards those geniuses, down and out embezzlers that are out there robbing our social programs of all their good merits. NOR can they possibly quantify the amount of money they have personally contributed to the federal government that has gone towards the building of bombs, tanks, fighter jets, jet fuel, dessert air conditioning, the rehabilitation of countless wounded soldier and civilians.

BUT I WILL PROMISE YOU THIS!!!  Every one of us, has spent far more in just the last ten years, on wars we have no grasp, goal, benefits or understanding of, than we EVER will the alleged, "con-artist", indigent of our country; whom have all somehow managed to pull the wool over our eyes and outsmarted the system in order to take from our good and generous nature!  Give me and everyone around this sad realm of  insinuations a BREAK!

I'll say it again, you're either part of the problem or part of the solution; and many folks are on the very WRONG side of such fights. I wish I were better at discouraging these misdirected, angered, folks just how to avoid being a HUGE part of the problem when it comes to offering this country a legacy which history will avoid holding us in contempt for!

**A separate words of advice about the "News" you're listening to these days:
The people of this country have really got to rethink if a Billionaire (a.k.a. Rupert Murdoch, a.k.a. Newscorp), whose nefarious business practices and abuse of the media caused him to get THROWN OUT of his own country, are worthy of undermining the morality, philanthropic abilities, influence of the middle class, and proud spirit of this country?

Incidentally, in that last statement; I'm not talking the bad type of "pride"; the one typically touted as a "sin"; causing us to think we are "better", MORE deserving, somehow having more to lose than the next, etc.; I'm talking about a pride in knowing with confidence that the "Super" in our "Power" was ultimately a label, generously offered to this country, not because of our ability to fight; but because of our ability to care and steward this world towards the good and right decisions necessary for the type of long term prosperity and leadership any country should actually take pride in.

If you don't understand the power of the press and the media, you are kidding yourself. And if you don't think a man who single-handedly owns more of this influential vehicle than anyone else in our country, isn't able to manipulate his viewers, then again, naivety is simply not your friend.

Start questioning, whole heatedly, the source of your mis-founded insensitive and prejudicial influences; before it is too late for you to even remember what your actual, personal values, once represented.

I've started writing about these atrocities more, since it is after-all an election year; and it would be nice if each of our votes, (here in the bible belt,) counted for something more than bitter resolve, prejudice, pride, or a local, possibly family or church "tradition"; such as those you don't even know enough about to question, therefore you don't. You just punch the button and scoff at whatever point you're instructed. That's not leadership, and it's sure not a "vote", nor a personal choice one should simply surrender to any man's political campaign.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is Your Own Method Of Voting, A "Tradition" Worthy Of Our Country's Future?

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at a Senate hearing:
"Many of those sources of which we are absolutely dependent are in volatile or potentially volatile places on Earth, and some of those oil suppliers probably don't have our best interests at heart. We would never depend on those oil suppliers to build our ships, our aircraft, our ground equipment, but we give them a say in whether the ships sail, the aircraft fly or the ground vehicles operate, because we depend on them for fuel."

Given the fact our Navy is likely the world's single largest consumer of liquid fuels; it is certainly refreshing to see seemingly, common sense approaches, being touted as a future at least some branches of our armed forces might experience; even if right wing nuts were able to restrain such sensible approaches from having a lick of prudent impacts on the lives of the general U.S. population.

Here are some additional quotes and thoughts to grow on:
Mabus later added, "When anyone says we can't afford to invest in developing alternative sources of energy, my reply is, we can't afford not to! We can't afford to wait until price shocks or supply shocks leave us no alternative."

Its' always an entertaining notion when folks against aggressive alternative energy solutions, and subsequently related technological, social and political progress, also claim they are in a camp with "fiscal conservatives"; given the fact that every time the price of a barrel of oil goes up by one dollar (as in a single $1 bill per BARREL), it costs the military $130,000,000 MILLION, according to the Pentagon.

Secretary Mabus, "Alternative fuels can't become competitive with oil unless there's demand for them; however, demand at commercial scale will never be possible unless there's a supply to meet that demand."

This is simply the kind of logic, morality and capitalism you would be hard pressed to explain or teach to a predictable 25% of the conservative leaning, voting population. And that is simply a shame with respect to the future of their beloved GOP.

As is always the case, you are either part of the solution, or part of the problem.

Real fun fact about the folks who would sway you to vote with that far right wing crowd I was previously referring to:
You'll typically see arguments in our part of the country (Texas that is,) directed not only against alternative energy, but very poignantly against our military branches support of the additional cost such technologies now endure, by an outspoken U.S. Representative by the name of Mike Conaway.

Before serving in the House, he was the chief financial officer of Arbusto Energy Inc, an oil and gas exploration firm operated by George W. Bush. (His recently, 2005 created, Texas District #11, stretches from Midland to Frederiskberg.)

Unfortunately and ironically he now serves on not one, but four committee seats in Washington:
I'm sure he considers himself "Part of the Solution", but the interesting part is the fact that within our democracy our votes and our own sensibilities; versus any man's agenda, desire for power, or personal career goals; still remain the driving force behind the directions this country turns and the legacies we will leave to history.

Such men's goals, ambitions, and lacking vision for our country; clearly guided by his and a few other individuals own livelihood; is far too small a matter to be influenced by. We must each focus on the future our country must offer as an example of prosperity founded on ethics, sensibility, sustainability and true progress.

To not show the world how to develop and uphold such core values, versus carelessness, conservative squandering in a time of much needed course correction or individual prosperity over movements which affect the whole of mankind, is by any definition shameful.

I say it again, you are either part of the solution, or part of the problem.

Why even show up to the polls if the only thing you can offer is, "tradition", loyalty to a group, influences outside of your own personal testimonies, influences which deny the things you actually feel are right and true; or worst of all, feelings of anger inspired by a rhetoric you never bother to analyze versus simply react to.

Any or all of these nasty influences and hindrances will only serve to at best stagnate our nation, and at worst dismantle it's chances. Study the problem, don't react and flail. Anger and hate never produced anything history was proud of, and negativity accompanied with resentment hold no better opportunity for our country.

Consider the actual influences from the messages you are receiving on a daily basis: If they are sponsored, then only be loyal to the products they represent; versus the unrelated views they utilize to capture your viewership. If they are politicized, then understand most attempts to vie for your vote will include lying about the facts. If they are traditional, then understand; this country was founded on non-traditional thinking and the types of bravery, originality, individuality and innovation which we certainly can't afford, at a time so far advanced from those glorious founding years; to have squandered by beliefs or denials perpetuated by one's own local or family "traditions"; or their hate, fear, lacking facts, or sponsored viewership.

We all may wish to feel our country can rise above such limited influence and potentially corrosive manners of thinking! But do we deserve it? Regardless of what we personally deserve; our country and our unique foundation and sustained survival up until this point, definitely deserve more!

I for one feel, The United States of America, deserves radical improvement, radical accountability, radical solutions and a voting population with a radical determination to ignore their own past hang-ups or daily titillation in favor of a future and a patriotism far better than recent decades of squandered votes have delivered.

Research sources:


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Get Your Virtual Assistant NOW!

It's official! "Fancy Hands" is one of the coolest services I've ever discovered or signed up for! Just incredible! If you are a person who feels busy or has procrastinated ANYTHING lately, you must look into this service!!

It provides an arsenal of "virtual assistants" (all U.S. based!), you can subscribe to on a monthly basis in order to complete virtually any minor task you wish.

I have now "posted" over 3 dozen task to my new account just since Monday; (Luckily I chose the "unlimited" plan!) and they have yet to let me down on anything I've needed their assistance with.

From researching a local ear Dr., to finding a better price on a high-tech, carbon Fiber component I needed.  From the creation and organization of simple Calendar entries, to compiling current pricing within a shared Google spreadsheet full of CPU components I'm wishing to order.

They have found service providers for me, such as house cleaners, and have informed Groomers when I was bringing the dogs in; as well as let the carpet cleaners know I would be late meeting them at the house via a message I called in to them while in the car!

From personal domestic task to minor professional assistance! INCREDIBLY handy!  I can post my request via website, email, or simply phone in and leave a message with my need. They jump on it, and presto!

Basically any calls, research or simple considerations I was procrastinating, I threw their way! Has been the most productive three days in a long time!

Obviously, I highly recommend it!!

I continue to find new and exceptional ways to exploit Fancy Hands AMAZING Virtual Assistant services!

Recently, I've even resulted in depending on their assistance for researching any Mac or PC tech support issues. Lord knows most IT departments are neither timely or worth a darn; certainly not when the issue is application related or discipline specific. (No offense to IT folks, those just aren't your primary obligation.)

So whenever autonomy let's me down :-( or just gets in the way, by becoming too time consuming; I just throw the issue's description and the remainder of any research I began, their way; and let them call, wait on hold and summarize the appropriate provisions and solution notes offered by the responsible software vendor/developer. (They have even created forum postings for me on respective support sites, and waited for a crowed sourced answers to surface. A very resourceful yet sometimes tedious way to obtain the needed insight for an issue.)