Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Siren Song of Google Circles

It's one of those days where I believe there's nothing I can write that hasn't already been posted somewhere on the Internet, but people repeat talking points about issues when the issues don't get resolved.

Message boards are teaming with people sharing things they find elsewhere, but don't you dare ask a specific question about something and expect an answer. Most of the content shared on Google+, Facebook, MySpace, etc. is generated elsewhere. If you want professional interaction with specific answers to your questions, you must find a dedicated site like WebMD.

Most online communities are made up of like-minded individuals. One must really make an effort to step outside ones own box. There may be unimagined perspectives beyond the realm of the standard opposing viewpoint. We must keep asking ourselves why we are comfortable where we are, and ask if this comfort of like-minded company within our Google Circles isn't really an isolated island of Sirens, keeping our eyes and ears couched in emotional validation while our rights and property are being looted. And, every time I share something I have to wonder if I'm just preaching to the choir.

Growing up I had very little control over my own impulses to seek out validation for its own sake, instead of delaying gratification to sit through important information being taught in school. Chronic anxiety disorder will do that. In school I was easily distracted by girls, food, other misbehaving students and the natural beauty outside the window.

My  brain was craving Dopamine. I've known about this since my mid thirties, yet I can't resist seeking satisfaction. Ten years on my vices are now pizza, ice cream and social media. Since our nation faces an epidemic of obesity and diabetes, I suspect too many of us never learned early enough about our impulses and how to deal with them.

Monday, November 12, 2012

An Affair to Disremember

The danger to our freedom to communicate electronically has never been more evident than the misguided ridiculous attempt to wave in front of the public, the secret affair of the CIA Director as some sort of "Asymmetrical Threat of Email" story intended to portray U.S. Intelligence and secrecy teetering on the precipice of annihilation because someone in the hallowed halls of national security was bumping boots and his low-security emails were mined for stank.

The news media knows that the allegedly shocking story about the affairs of former CIA Director David Petraeus would cause to get "the vapors," the radical fundamentalist right-wing conservatives who held their noses in support of Mitt Romney in the last election. No better way to start the end of days celebration then to force to resign, someone who is likely not in favor of war with Iran.

The House of Representatives is likely holding the last-ever session of the GOP. A political party is on its last legs when it must pull out all the stops and rely on emotional appeals, voter suppression and misinformation rather than arguing valid points based on scientific evidence.

Bloomberg is following up on the David Petraeus scandal with leering relish. Lawmakers on Capital Hill are looking forward to every lurid detail. My life isn't affected by it. Maybe stories like that published in business news should be consigned to a sections called "The Money Shot." Perhaps Intrade might have use for this information.

How newsworthy is this affair to you?



Friday, November 9, 2012

Education and skepticism

Did you ever stop and think about how you are taught? When you were doing research in school, did you ever find information that was relevant to your course work, but also relevant to another area of study that would require enrollment in a whole new degree program, like communication, business, and psychology? The separation of these three and other areas of study is sometimes called "stove-piping," not unlike the stove-piping of intelligence information between the F.B.I., C.I.A., and D.O.D. that if shared between the aforementioned agencies, could have prevented the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

The term "stove-piping" was used frequently in the media after that, and again used in reference to the invasion of Iraq regarding the claim that Saddam Hussein acquired Yellow Cake Uranium and was constructing weapons of mass destruction.

As a communication student, I lifted the technique of stove-piping and held it up against other aspects of our culture. Outside my normally required line of study for my coursework I found myself in the gray area between communication, psychology, and business; finding the conspiracies of social engineering, eugenics, and oligarchy.

Certain educational materials appear to be intentionally kept separate and appear to be inaccessible behind financial obstacles, such as the high cost of tuition or the high cost of subscriptions. The information is alleged to be available at public libraries, but how would you know exactly what to look for that would maximize your benefit?

You are conditioned to value certain things, and based on your conditioning, you search for information to improve what you believe is progress, along a specific path. This is called "Social Engineering." Through social engineering, generation after generation of people become pregnant as teenagers, drop out of school and become accustomed to following their parents and grandparents as prisoners, government social program participants, government social program employees, police officers, fire fighters, factory workers, miners, health care professionals and many other types of employees.

Meanwhile, a small number of people in different social circles became the "captains of industry." Many are the children of industrialists who long ago hired professionals to manage their estates. They have unlimited time and access to the most privileged scientific findings that give them an advantage in society. These people are sometimes referred to as "nobility," having the free time from the usual labor of survival to create and discover new things, and to become famous in our history books.

It's true that history is for the winners and the masters, and not for the laborers who followed them. How did your own behavior toward other people change after you first learned about slavery or the Holocaust? Was it more dangerous to ask why certain people treated others horribly, or is it more dangerous to ask why certain people were treated horribly? Did you find yourself aligning with an extinct ideal in history that is now considered inhumane and pathological? Maybe we should question the motives of teaching history that continuously recounts the denigration of certain people.

It's always healthy to question even the most seemingly mundane piece of information placed before you. Prepare yourself with questions beyond the information in the materials, especially about the way a class or culture is portrayed a certain way, and how it makes you feel about those people today.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Watching the markets

I'm keeping a close eye on some stocks, a couple I recently bought were KID and ITI, which seem to show sustainable growth so far. Tomorrow morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics is schedule to release the unemployment numbers for October. Today I'm guessing there will be movement toward stocks that are affected by the release of this data. I figure I might go back to last month and track down stocks with surges in trading volume during the immediate days prior to and after the release of the unemployment data.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Another new blog.

I just added another blog called "The Cringing Consumer: Facing up to my responsibility as a consumer." I have this disorder where I'm afraid to post on the same blog because it would bury previous posts, and I also love to compartmentalize my posts into different contexts. That way hopefully, a blog will gain persistence of attraction by specific audiences, and other blogs with no traffic can be happily eliminated without interrupting the overall aggregate. As if I don't already have enough irons in the fire, pardon the cliche. I actually started the blog at tumblr, but I prefer the design control here at Blogger.
CringingConsumer  (C) 2012 Fred Slocombe

I almost bought a bag of Halloween candy yesterday, but I knew I would probably eat the whole thing, so I'm sticking to the cereal variety pack with plain yogurt.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Severe Weather Conditions from The Weather Channel

Local Severe Weather Alert for Seattle, WA (98155)

Seattle/bremerton Area
Special Weather Statement in effect



THIS WEEKS DRY WEATHER PATTERN AND EAST WIND WILL INCREASE THE FIRE DANGER

LOW HUMIDITY

IN COMBINATION WITH AN EAST WIND PATTERN

AND MILD AFTERNOON TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THOUGH THIS COMING WEEKEND. THIS WILL INCREASE THE RISK OF WILDFIRES AROUND WESTERN WASHINGTON. THE PROLONGED DRY WEATHER SINCE MID JULY HAS CAUSED ALL FUELS TYPES TO DRY OUT AND ARE RECEPTIVE TO FIRE. THESE DRY CONDITIONS WHEN COMBINED WITH THE STATE OF THE FUELS WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR ROADSIDE FIRES AND WILD FIRES TO CATCH AND SPREAD AS WE HAVE SEEN IN RECENT WEEKS. EVERYONE IS URGED TO USE EXTRA CAUTION WITH FIRE. THE MAIN CAUSES OF FIRE STARTS ARE:
OUTDOOR BURNING INCLUDING CAMPFIRES BURN-BARRELS AND GRILLS.
BURNING MATERIALS THROWN OUT OF VEHICLES.
VEHICLE TOWING CHAINS DRAGGING ON THE PAVEMENT.
DRIVING OVER DRY FUELS.
FIREWORKS.



Sent from my iPad

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The unintended consequences of Citizens United

MoveOn.org and many other progressive movements want very badly to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United, which opened the floodgates of big money to political campaigns.

The perceived purpose of Citizens United is that the elite very wealthy will have a political advantage over the poor huddled masses. It was believed that to win politically, one only needs the ability to repeat one’s own message enough times to win, regardless how false or misleading the message.

It’s a horse race of gaining ground in the minds of voters. All you need is the message with the strongest emotional glue to stick in their minds, and the simplest idea to easily pass between voters without distortion. This form of message is typically an emotional appeal that evokes fear of punishment from God, attack from any cultural outsider, crime, threat to children, threat to personal freedoms, etc.

This kind of message works very well on people who are easily influenced by peer pressure, people who are raised in isolation from other cultures or lack different sources of information. People whose lives are entrenched in a corporate culture are highly exposed to these kinds of messages, and must act in accordance with their corporate masters, or face being ostracized by their peers.

This kind of political tactic has been applied since organized hierarchies used propaganda, likely the beginning of recorded history. This method was made more visible in the United States with the advent of corporate personhood.

The small business owner knows he or she relies on the good will of the neighborhood, but other types of business owners are absentee owners who could not care less about the local community. It seems that these latter business owners are in full support of Citizens United and Corporate Personhood.

Every time technology advances forms of communication to the public, what follows is an effort to consolidate control of communication, but there is currently an effort to keep the Internet neutral so that it does not become completely controlled by a few people.

The Internet has become so prolific that for the time-being it is “out of control” and nearly everyone has access to a wider variety of perspectives than ever before in recorded history. With the Internet comes the shining light of scrutiny on the old tactics of repeating false assertions to gain political advantage.

A perfect example is the ability of the news media to fact-check Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention in 2012.

The Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court has given so much latitude to those who use deceptive communication that they have inadvertently exposed themselves as charlatans. These kinds of messages were previously communicated to specific audiences in state, county and municipal politics with great success because they were isolated from the scrutiny of the Internet. Thanks to Supreme Court Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas, the newly found freedom of Citizens United has become a trap to ensnare self-centered social predators who attempt to gain power through deception.

So, what is the real motivation to overturn Citizens United? It turns out that granting more freedom of communication to groups that previously lurked and worked in the shadows is exactly the kind of medicine our society needs.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What I've been up to lately

So. Everything is great here. I have my apartment fully furnished. I have my bed, a dresser, a kitchen table with four chairs and a coffee table that has four small padded stools that fit right underneath, perfect for playing board games or cards. Ironically, there are no open parking spaces here at my apartment complex. All the parking spaces have been assigned. There's no parking on the street nearby either. If anyone wanted to come visit, I would have to drive to pick them up and drop them off. This arrangement is perfect for anyone seeking a high security environment. All the front doors of all the units face out into a central courtyard.

About a week and a half ago I woke up totally pain-free for the first time in years. I think I'm finally recovering from the years of misery in Illinois. The summer here has been a complete pleasure and I can't wait to see what the winters are like around Puget Sound. I have a couple of meetings with local groups coming up and I can't wait to start meeting people with similar interests.

I still while away my free time with Photoshop or on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Yelp and a few other sites. I don't watch television anymore but I do listen to local radio stations. Many of my blogs at www.spfld.net have been neglected for a while, but now I have the time to dust them off, at least for now.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Severe Weather Conditions from The Weather Channel

Local Severe Weather Alert for Seattle, WA (98155)

Seattle/bremerton Area
Special Weather Statement in effect



A SPELL OF HOT WEATHER IS EXPECTED OVER WESTERN WASHINGTON LATER WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

OFFSHORE FLOW WILL GIVE HOT WEATHER TO MUCH OF WESTERN WASHINGTON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY. THIS HOT SPELL IS EXPECTED TO BE SIMILAR IN MAGNITUDE TO WHAT OCCURRED EARLIER THIS MONTH

BUT IS EXPECTED TO LAST A DAY OR SO LONGER. THE HOT WEATHER IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP FIRST ALONG THE COAST AND OVER THE SOUTH INTERIOR OF WESTERN WASHINGTON ON WEDNESDAY. TEMPERATURES SOUTH AND WEST OF THE OLYMPICS AND IN THE SOUTH INTERIOR WILL LIKELY REACH 90 DEGREES LATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. CONTINUED OFFSHORE FLOW ON THURSDAY WILL CAUSE THE HEAT TO SPREAD TO THE REST OF WESTERN WASHINGTON. THE ONLY PLACES TO ESCAPE TEMPERATURES WELL INTO THE 80S OR 90S WILL BE NEAR THE WATER IN THE NORTH INTERIOR AND ON THE IMMEDIATE PACIFIC BEACHES. MANY LOCATIONS FROM SEATTLE SOUTHWARD IN THE INTERIOR WILL SEE TEMPERATURES RISE WELL INTO THE 90S ON THURSDAY. MINIMUM TEMPERATURES THURSDAY AND FRIDAY IN THE URBAN HEAT ISLAND OF THE SEATTLE METRO AREA WILL REMAIN WARM

IN THE MID 60S. WHILE THE COAST WILL SEE TEMPERATURES COOL DOWN INTO THE LOWER 70S ON FRIDAY

THE INTERIOR WILL REMAIN HOT. AN INLAND PUSH OF MARINE AIR WILL LIKELY PROVIDE RELIEF TO THE INTERIOR ON SATURDAY. OPEN WATER CAN BE VERY INVITING DURING HOT SPELLS. IF YOU PLAN TO BE IN OR NEAR AREA LAKES AND RIVERS THIS WEEKEND

BE WATER SAFE AND WEAR A LIFE JACKET. ALSO

LIMIT TIME SPENT IN THE SUN AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO ENGAGE IN ANY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.



Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Democrats and Republicans find common ground

Congress has forgotten about the debacle of FEMA during Hurricane Katrina. There's not much worse than having unqualified people in charge of government agencies during times of disaster.

The memory of cronyism was insidiously overshadowed by the persistent blockage of President Obama's political appointments by Republicans. Now most Democrats and Republicans have finally come together in solidarity and voted on "A bill to reduce the number of executive positions subject to Senate confirmation" (S679).

They definitely have something in common. They all want bargaining chips for their political campaign contributors and they don't want their precious golden-egg laying geese to suffer through hearings and committees.

If you are planning on running for office, you need all the money you can get and now you can promise a political appointment to someone without meddlesome congressmen dredging up their dirty history. You may soon be able to promise your friends anonymity as they take over FEMA, Homeland Security, or other positions you may want to fill in order to build the nest for your and your future generations.

I first heard about this in an email from a Democrat affiliated organization that wanted me to call up and thank my congressmen for voting in favor of S679.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Stuck with old data on my websites

I've been trying all morning to update my website information (hosted by Doteasy) and I cannot establish a connection to change the location at www.fredslocombe.com from Springfield, Illinois to Shoreline, Washington on my home site. This raises the question of whether or not it's of any value to have one's own domain name anymore. Once upon a time it was fashionable, but now it seems like a waste of money to register and maintain a domain on the individual scale.

Most of my domain names are proprietary to where I no longer live. I'm considering gifting them over to people who still live in Springfield, Illinois. I'm sure they would jump at the chance to win www.spfld.net or www.spfld.tv (unfortunately I still have the "SPFLD TV" Illinois license plate. I wonder of the Illinois Secretary of State's office would allow transfer of that license plate ownership too?

It's going to be a while before I can get around to dealing with that just yet. I need to strategize new whole new approach to the Puget Sound area. Should I register yet another domain? Probably not. I can just as easily create a new blog for nothing and lay it out with all kinds of gadgets.

Off to other things now.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Update

I left Springfield, Illinois almost Immediately after Memorial Day for the Pacific north west. I drove across the country on Interstate 90, through parts of Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Mntana, Idaho and finally, Washington.

I stopped at Mount Rushmore, The Devil's Tower and Yellowstone along the way. There were times when I thought my car was not going to make it up the mountains, and other times where what seemed like hours would pass on the road with only the road itself and the fences to indicate any human had been there at all.

Now I'm living in Shoreline, Washington, just a few minutes north of Seattle. The temperature can barely climb over seventy degrees here this week while the rest of the country is roasting in a drought and heat wave. However, it is only early July.

I just opened a new bank account but the bank has a hold on my funds for two weeks until they clear, so I'm holding my breath while my old bank account dwindles to near nothing because I cannot yet transfer my automatic payments over to my new bank. Not only that, I can't even begin to furnish my new apartment. Luckily I had enough to buy a small bed, but that's it. It is going to get extremely close. I'm near panic every day over that plus my car is long overdue for an oil change.

Cross your fingers.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why am I back in Springfield?


Downtown Seattle from the
top of the Space Needle.

How long has it been since I was back from Washington State? One week or two? Every day here in Springfield washes into the next. It's the same routine. I've been looking at jobs here and out west still.

I had a Hell of a time trying to find an affordable apartment in the Pacific Northwest. I looked on the Internet and used apps on my iPad to find well-recommended and affordable studio apartments, but after finally flying out and spending a week visiting those places, none of them had the affordable units available. The people I spoke to said those units were occupied and then they offered me a more expensive unit. I was very disappointed.

The lessors I visited all said that they rent to people who have been employed steadily for six months. They all quoted me rates of $730 to $750 per month and then told me that monthly income must be at least three times rent. If that's the case here in Springfield with my previous job, I would only be able to afford rent of about $330.00 which is one-third of my net income from the state of Illinois' minimum wage after deductions, and that's if I am allowed to work a full forty hours per week! Most minimum wage work is part-time. I just don't understand business owners are so callus about the lives of their employees. They appear to only see payroll expenses.

I also spent several days applying for jobs in the Pacific Northwest. Most of the prospects replied that they would keep my application, but to contact them once I get settled out there. So, there's that catch-22 situation. Lessors want tenants who are already employed and employers want local tenants. I could get a cosigner, but there is no guarantee that my job prospects will come to fruition before my cosigner is slapped with debt. I refuse to put family at risk. It sickens me that some people are so eager for tenants to risk the financial health of their families.

So I come back to Springfield and sit here in my room day after day, continuing to apply online for jobs. I'm beginning to think that job boards like Careerbuilder.com, Monster,com and other job sites don't get solicited by employers, but instead these job boards go fishing around employer websites for open positions and then post them on their own boards. I received automated responses that appear to be from the employers, but I think they are fake, because I think I heard from one original employer in the last month and had only one interview.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rating IHOP coffee in Seattle

Rating IHOP coffee in Seattle

After tasting the coffee from Seattle's Best, Starbucks, and Panera actually around the Seattle, Washington area, I had breakfast at international House of Pancakes (IHOP) and Denny's where I had the displeasure of their attempt at coffee.

IHOP coffee is by far the worst I've tasted since coming to Seattle. First it's so hot you can't taste it. It has no odor what-so-ever, even though it's dark like coffee should be. Very strange! Plus there is no wifi here at all, as if it's been shielded from coming in from surrounding sources as well. After several attempts at tasting the coffee, a faint flavor of metal coffee pot emerged.

When I was in the Navy, I was accustomed to the odor of water that was raised to a deadly 600 pounds of pressure in the ship's boiler and then cooled. IHOP coffee reminded me of that kind of water treatment.

Denny's was only marginally better. It had some flavor, but barely. I think Denny's and IHOP purposely make bad coffee because they would lose money on seating if people came for just the coffee. The rest of the menu items taste great, which begs the question of whether or not the food is good for you.

Since healthy eating through better choices and smaller portions is becoming popular, it might be wiser to invest in the small coffee franchises. The old breakfast buffets like Shoney's have already gone the way of the dinosaur. Logically, the public will become gradually more aware of the causes of the obesity epidemic and evolve their eating strategies. Eventually, dairy may soon also be a target of criticism, but that's another blog.


Sent from my iPad

Monday, April 30, 2012

Gout and the Internet: Claims in conflict.


There are still conflicts regarding food you should or should not eat as a Gout sufferer.

Some sites claim that coffee is a diuretic and should be avoided while other sites claim that five or six cups of coffee daily reduces gout in men. Sites are often at odds over which foods are higher in purines than others, which foods are high in purines yet pose a lower risk than other foods just as high in purines.

Chicken or poultry is often debated as a food that should either be avoided altogether or a food that contributes to the reduction of gouty attacks. It is also claimed by some that dairy products contribute to acidity of one's body and aggravate inflammation, while others claim that dairy products reduce uric acid.

It is overwhelmingly agreed that Cherries, Blueberries, Strawberries and other dark-red fruits are good for the treatment of Gout, however, Fructose recently appeared on lists provided by clinics as a food to avoid, and now Apples have come under contention as a either a source of fructose to be avoided, or one of the fruits that allegedly help reduce uric acid and mitigate gout attacks.

Some sites recommend the consumption of fresh lemon juice with a glass of water after meals. A recipe of a small amount of baking soda (less than half a teaspoon) mixed with two or three Tablespoons of lemon juice in a tall glass of water is suggested to rapidly reduce symptoms, but you must mix the lemon juice with baking soda first and let the chemical reaction take place first before adding the water so it doesn't foam up in your stomach.

Tofu has been suggested as an alternative to meat for gout sufferers by some sites while other sites contend that Tofu should be avoided because of its high purine content. Tofu is a product of legumes which are listed as foods to avoid.

It is implied by these opinions that animals are a much higher source of purines than plants, however, one doctor told me directly that diet has very little to do with how much uric acid is produced in the body, and he told me that in 2011.

Changing the alkalinity of one's blood or urine by consuming potassium citrate or sodium bicarbonate has a majority of recommendations, however, some commenters at online forums contend that blood PH cannot be changed in this manner. It has been suggested that uric acid can be neutralized in the urine in this manner which prevents the formation of kidney stones.

I personally tried this recipe with varying results. Most likely the recipe fails because I was too late in heading off the acidity of my body and the uric acid levels are already too high to do anything about it.

One symptom I noticed right away before the onset of a severe gout attack was perceived as a slight allergic reaction to a meal I consumed which included Asparagus and Cottage Cheese.

About an hour after eating dinner I began to feel a slight tightening of my esophagus and mucus production in my throat. My breathing was only slightly difficult for about two hours. Four to six hours later, the severe gout attack began and lasted throughout the night.

I noticed on a few occasions that constipation and symptoms of feeling "under the weather" preceded severe gout attacks, but it's difficult to remain alert to the precursors of gout attacks because they are so subtle as to go unnoticed.

At this moment I am feeling slightly dizzy. I think if I don't put my feet up very soon, my circulation in my legs is slowing down to a point which may allow uric acid crystals to form again in my joints. Here are the sources where I found conflicting information about how to treat gout.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001459/
http://www.drhoffman.com/page.cfm/547
http://arthritis.about.com/cs/gout/a/foodstoavoid.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gout-diet/MY01137
http://health-compendium.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=134&Itemid=9
http://www.livestrong.com/article/265333-diet-for-people-with-high-uric-acid/

I must rest now.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

So what?

So what about me? This blog is supposed to be about me, but I resist writing about myself. Maybe I take for granted my skills and assume that everyone else can do the things I do, and I'm afraid I'll embarrass myself if I brag about something that everyone else takes for granted as well. For example,  I sometimes wonder if my spell-checker is working or not, so I must occasionally test it by deliberately misspel[l]ing words. Yes, it is working, so I must be pretty good at spelling. However, I lose a lot of points on punctuation, grammar and composition. I slack off on my own blogs. I know I shouldn't because I would like to show them as portfolio material.

I recently collected some of my old blog posts and self-published them in a book called "Fred Slocombe's Menagerie of Madness" at Lulu.com. No rules applied in that publication. Just a collection of extremely short stories. I often entertain myself with crazy scenarios and conspiracy theories when I'm bored. Some people really think I'm crazy but some of those stories actually are coming true, almost like Nostradamus, but without all the enigmatic quatrains. One story I called "Genetic Weeds" is about a chemical company developing a herbicide alongside a genetically altered weed that could only be destroyed by that specific herbicide, but the weed mutated.

How much of a stretch is it for anyone to read the news and mentally extrapolate the long-term outcome?

I fell in love with photography when I was in the 4th grade. I would get together with friends and we would set up shots like a comic book. Back then we had to send the film all the way to Saint Louis to get developed and it took a few days, but it was fun to finally take the photos and glue them to a sheet of paper to tell stories. That was some time around 1976. Of course as soon as Adobe Photoshop came out I was instantly in love.

Suddenly I'm reminded of all the frustrating interruptions in my life that kept me from doing what I wanted creatively. High school graduation led to the necessity of finding work, which led to joining the Navy, which kept me at a frustrating distance from computers from 1986 to 1990. I'm still angry about it. When I enlisted I already taught myself Applesoft BASIC and was teaching myself Apple Assembly language. By the time my enlistment was up everyone was learning C and I didn't have the time to catch up. I wish I left for Silicon Valley back in 1983.

I'm getting the urge to shift gears right now and take a few more steps toward another major goal I have in the near future. Enough about me for now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This is a test

This is a test
I'm sending this from my iPad but my normal blogger account is overly [p]rotected so I hope this will work.

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Warm weather angst

It's warm here now in Illinois. I'm getting very impatient. I'm filled with the urge to quit everything and hit the road.

I wish I could export my iTunes playlist or create what we once called "mix tapes" to express how I'm feeling. Here's some of my music list.

It's a Long Way There -- Little River Band
Ventura Highway -- America
More Than a Feeling, Hitch a Ride, Don't Look Back and The Journey -- Boston
Big Log -- Robert Plant
Ramble On -- Led Zepplin
Going to California -- Led Zepplin
Road to Nowhere -- Ozzy Osbourne


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Personal update

I've been fighting Gout for the last two weeks. The last three days I had off from work I was bed bound, getting up for the occasional meal, tending the cat, and bathroom breaks.

I believe the worst is over. I'm able to put my left shoe on with less pain than the last several days, however, I will be working the next four, so I'll see if the pain continues to subside or exacerbate.

I finally got a little extra money so I can get my car's front end aligned properly, and maybe get meds if necessary for my Gout. I really hate having Gout, it has such a stigma associated to it from myths that is has been mostly ignored by science and used by profiteers for their own ends. All the information on the Internet and direct recommendations by physicians and nurses is so contradictory that there appears no straight answer. The field of Gout research appears the same as the field of research in Diabetes, weight loss and dieting. It's almost so ridiculously varied that I want to try to prove a conspiracy by the organized Health Care Industrial Complex.

The health information subterfuge is a weapon to exploit the poor. It's not enough to ignore people when they are down, they must keep you down, and all it takes is a continuous flow of disinformation.

I don't have health insurance through my employer and I earn minimum wage. If it were not for my additional income I would have died a long time ago, having smothered myself to death in a bid to finally rid myself of pain. I suppose that's the way the world works, survival of the fittest and all that.

Ironically, I am a security officer at a hospital. If you are a health care professional, how secure do you feel now that you know security officers are treated so poorly? How does that bode for your security? Some Emergency Room personnel are well aware of this and call the local police for assistance instead of calling their own security officers.

As far as minimum wage is concerned in Illinois, a retired state employee I know personally, gets a check in the mail every month that is three times the minimum wage. Likewise, the starting salary for a janitor working for the state of Illinois is three times the minimum wage. Why does the state government mandate such a huge disparity of income for its citizens?

Businesses want to sell things and make a profit and the state wants to earn more sales tax revenue, yet they both don't want to create the demand necessary for that end by raising the minimum wage. It just doesn't make sense. Oh, and don't give me that bullshit about "inflation" being uncontrollable.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Internet squatting may soon pay off.

For over a year now I have been gradually orchestrating an exodus from Illinois, as I consider the state of Illinois to be a rife with bureaucratic dynasties and fiefdoms constructed on the foundation of "it's not what you know, it's who you know."

Everyone I know has nothing good to say about their supervisors, managers, bosses, and anyone appointed by politicians to manage something. They got their positions based on their relationships rather than their knowledge, and the fabric of properly functioning society in Illinois is rapidly losing threads in the form of people who have actual skills and knowledge.

Over the years I have been minimally maintaining a certain number of Internet domain names and Social Media accounts (SPFLD.net, SPFLD.tv, BachelorTimes.com, and many others), hoping that one day a void will be created by the collapse of the main-stream media. Until today, I was preparing to drop those domain names altogether, or hand them off to other local media talent before I left Illinois for good.

Now, Gatehouse Media has me thinking about staying and hanging on to those domain names. Gatehouse Media has been gradually consolidating the State Journal-Register, stripping away pieces from Springfield a little at a time, laying off Springfield staff little-by-little in a strategy one might call "creeping normality."

Today I heard that Chris Britt, Springfield's own political cartoonist for the State Journal-Register was, shall we say, "let go." One of very few liberal progressive voices left in Springfield. I'm reminded of Mark Thoma getting fired from WMAY AM 970, a local radio station where Jim Leach now remains as the one token liberal voice. Somehow that's supposed to make the radio station "balanced."

Springfield, Illinois is a hotbed of conservatism. There are enough conservative business owners in Springfield who, if offended by liberal progressive views, will pull their advertising and cause financial shock to the local main-stream media outlets.

Since local businesses have an overwhelming grip around the throats of all local media outlets that are dependent upon advertising for their survival, the only honest information can be found in media outlets that get all of their funding from subscribers. Not even PBS or NPR can escape influence because they have corporate sponsors.

The only remaining honest sources of information are from people who have independent sources of income, and who can disseminate their information freely to anyone who has access to the Internet. Springfield, Illinois has thousands of independent voices that fly in the face of corporate main-stream media, what else explains why the State Journal-Register is shriveling up into a dry, empty husk of its former self? Answer: because their only subscribers are dying of old age.

 I've been working the night shift and sleeping all day. I think every five minutes or so, about leaving for the west coast, leaving Illinois behind me forever. But, now there will soon be a massive void in the form of local news media that will need to be filled with unbiased information grounded in reality, rather than one-sided perspectives. There may be a business of my own making in my future, and new careers for writers, photographers, videographers and artists.

I just need to organize a plan of action, acquire the facilities for the means of production, and develop a revenue stream for the effort. It's going to be a strange new model, but I can only do so much out of my room in my mother's condominium.