Update to Apple OS X Yosemite and all is well

Posted By on October 19, 2014

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Against my better judgment I upgraded my iMac to Apple’s OS X Yosemite this weekend … bold move after my frustrations with iOS 8 and my older iPad2. So far all is well and it should be an easy to adopt upgrade … particularly since it was free. I’ve had my frustrations with both Apple OS and Microsoft Windows upgrades in the past, but this update seems to be well tested and planned. Yes there are a few visual adjustments to make on my part, but all in all the added functionality is excellent. Long live OS X Yosemite.
Winking smile

Glen Campbell performing I’m Not Gonna Miss You

Posted By on October 18, 2014

glen-campbell-03Glen Campbell was always a favorite entertainer, singer and songwriter while I was growing up … especially that 1975 “Rhinestone Cowboy” year. He was one of the few musicians enjoyed by both my parents and me, which either made me an “odd” teen or very fortunate to have similar musical taste? 

Unfortunately for his family, and many senior citizens’ families, age brings with it some very sobering health conditions — Alzheimer’s disease being one of the more frightening. Like Glen Campbell we’re dealing with memories issues in our family too. My brother’s mother-in-law recently passed away having declined quickly dealing with Alzheimer’s and both my wife’s mom and my father are showing signs of dementia. We both are hoping its “normal aging” and that with proper geriatric health care they will be able to retain most of their memory and continue to enjoy life.

Recently Glenn Campbell release a music video that is sure to bring a tear to those knowing family or friends struggling with aging and memory loss.

He’s lived a life of up’s and down’s and had an impressive musical career – his discography.

I’ve tried and I have failed Lord
I’ve won and I have lost
I’ve lived and I have loved Lord
Sometimes at such a cost
One thing I know
The world’s been good for me
A better place awaits
You’ll see
   –Glen Campbell, “A Better Place”

Wild card teams will face each other in MLB World Series 2014

Posted By on October 17, 2014

worldseriesschedule2014NickiTimBluhm_G5_NLCS2014 

Nicely done Nicki and Tim Bluhm (Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers mentioned multiple times on my blog)! They sang the National Anthem in game 5 of the NLCS as San Francisco clinched the pennant in a 6 to 3 win over the St Louis Cardinals.

Nicki & Tim Bluhm (mp3) NLCS Game 5

It will be a “wild” World Series seeing the two wild card teams prevail in the fall play-offs. Game 1 of the series will be Tuesday October 21st and hopefully stretch for 7 games … as we sure need a distraction from Ebola, ISIS and the political incompetence in Washington DC (my opinion).

Visiting Dad, having breakfast and enjoying the fall colors

Posted By on October 17, 2014

I stopped to check in on Dad this week while driving as is my work routine since my mom passed away in 2012 (1 year 10 months ago to the day). We had our normal breakfast at Bob Evans in Sidney, Ohio and I filled him in on Katelyn, Drew and Taylor (sometimes it’s dinner, depending on my appointments). Dad is doing “ok,” although he is struggling with a few nagging issues like weakness in his legs and dealing with lapses in memory. Both my brother and I are paying closer attention to it, but unsure when to be concerned enough to do much more than bring it up to the doctor and monitor. We hate to see him lose his independence, because when he is sharp, he is very sharp … but then there are “those times.”

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I took the photo above in Dad’s backyard as we took a walk (click photo for larger); we walk as much for fresh air and exercise as enjoying the autumn foliage … although my mom would have really enjoyed the beautiful fall colors in her yard.
Sad smile

Tooltip: Carabiners for boxed end wrench storage

Posted By on October 16, 2014

Here’s a tip for using carabiners to organize boxed end wrenches that was posted on Lifehacker. Since I keep most of my wrenches in my drawered tool box, this is unnecessary and would slow access … but I do keep a few wrenches in soft tool bags in the trunk of my car and on the boat — hmm? Not a bad idea.

carabinerswrenches 

It’s tough keeping your tool chest organized, especially when you have loose wrenches rattling around in drawers. Grab a few carabiners and gain control of your tools.

Carabiners are readily available at any camping or sporting good store and come in a variety of sizes and colors. You can also find them in almost any hardware store or home center, typically in the check-out aisle.

LINK

World economic conditions impact the financial and oil markets

Posted By on October 15, 2014

djia140115It’s October … why would anybody be surprised by the market heading violently in the down direction? I posted earlier this afternoon while watching the market selloff across the board and figured the end of the day deserved an update. 

At one point the Dow was down 460 points with most stocks moving sharply to the down direction. By the end of the day, the DJIA closing down only 173.45 or 1.06% to 16,142 made the close tolerable. A few areas are concern are also a positive – that of oil prices. With WTI nearing $80/barrel due to plenty of crude oil on the market, gasoline and other fuels are less expensive. Unfortunately it is happening due to an economic slowdown in many areas around the world. This also impact our U.S. energy sector, one of the bright spots in the economy. Here’s a short audio clip of Chris Faulkner, the president and CEO of Breiltling Energy discussing his concerns with Kelly Evans of CNBC:

Breiltling Energy CEO Chris Faulkner with Kelly Evans on CNBC (MP3) 10/15/2014

Hmm, U.S. Bakken oil costs $60 to pump out of the ground and an additional $10-$12/barrel to transport. How much profit can be made if oil prices go much lower than $80/barrel? An energy slowdown in North Dakota?

Market sell-off impacts Apple shareholders and market cap

Posted By on October 15, 2014

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Will the Apple event on Thursday do much to ease the pain $AAPL shareholders are feeling in Wednesday’s afternoon sell-off? Share prices dropped over 3% in the last couple of days with today taking the biggest dive.

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Policies need to change to stop Ebola and protect U.S. citizens

Posted By on October 15, 2014

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WSJ’s “Ebola’s Deadly Reach” map of locations

I understand our government’s reluctance to over react to the deadly Ebola virus, but disagree with the lack of precautions being taken to prevent the spread by those traveling from Western Africa to the United States … particularly by air.

Commonsense dictates that we expect too much from airport 141010-ebola_0screeners that ask questions and take surface temperatures of those entering the country. The risk of someone arriving who doesn’t have signs of Ebola and may only have come in contact is too high.  Just because they don’t show symptoms when they arrive, doesn’t mean they aren’t transporting the virus. We should at minimum error on the side of caution and temporarily restrict access to the general populace by travelers in the short term, at least until we have a better handle on things. When even the medical workers who know the dangers and take every precaution to wear protective gear are getting infected, having a traveler roaming around because they don’t show symptoms when exiting a flight is not the best way to retard the spread. We don’t know yet, but perhaps even having it on their person or luggage is too high of a risk. A quick read of what experts do know makes it clear that our current policies aren’t good enough.

Slightly Paraphrased below:

The Ebola virus can live longer on hard surfaces than porous – surfaces such as metal and glass. As well, there have been lab studies showing that dried samples of Ebola virus can survive for days; but other studies have found the virus doesn’t survive more than a few hours outside of a host.

It’s important to note that in the tests where the virus lived for days, they were kept in the dark, at low temperatures, around 4 degrees Celsius, which helped the viruses survive.

Battery replacement for my Uninterruptable Power Supply

Posted By on October 14, 2014

IMG_4026Most offices (home and commercial) protect their computers and electronics with at least a surge strip and many of us with Uninterruptable Power Suppliesor UPS units. I’ve owned a couple from APC (now Schneider Electric) and over the years have been frustrated with having to replacing the expensive back-up batteries. The replacements are costly to replace and really don’t last that may years … considering how infrequently they are used.

SO … instead of replacing the batteries again, I’ve opted to run a a couple heavy cables with clips through a grommet in the side of my APC 650 box. I am clipping it to a spare 12 volt car battery (the older, but new-ish, separate starter battery that I replace on the boat). If I were buying new, I’d opt for a deep cycle marine battery, but the “Platinum AGM” will have to do for now. I’m hoping for at least 5 or 6 years?

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I ran the garage shop night bulb (LED 60 watt equivalent) for 12 hours overnight on battery power and noted that it dropped the larger battery’s voltage less than 1 volt. I’m checking now to see if the APC unit’s charger will return that “1 volt.”  Once I move the APC box and battery back to my home office and plug in the big iMac, cable modem, external hard drive, NAS, 8-port VPN firewall and wireless access point we’ll see how it holds up. An update to come.

Archiving Bing maps aerial photos before they are gone

Posted By on October 13, 2014

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Before my childhood home photos are gone from Bing’s Maps, I wanted to archive a couple aerials of the house where I grew up in a rural Curtice, Ohio on Lake Erie. Although my family moved to the “metropolis” of Sidney Ohio when I was in high school, my fondest memories were of growing up on the lake.

I’ve mentioned growing up here a few times before (Link 1, 2, 3 … with old photos), but since our old house was torn down a couple years ago, I wanted to save the last couple images left on Bing. What is amazing to me is that this old house survived several owners, a couple of significant floods (the bigger ones in 1966 and 1973). Eventually the Corp of Engineers added the rock dike to protected the homes and all those living in lower areas inland. Unfortunately for us with beach frontage, this pretty much ruined the view and activities on the water that were part of my youth. I’m glad we had those years.

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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.