Archive: Thankful to have my family within driving distance

Posted By on September 16, 2019


A quick post to the blog archive with a few photos from this past weekend. Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn came down to go to the Cincinnati Zoo with Taylor and Megan on Saturday. They had a great time.


Of course Brenda and I enjoyed having Annalyn around for a couple days too! She is growing up so fast and is just so much fun to have around. I’m amazed at how much routine she picks up on; she knows where everything is, helps me in the kitchen, the workshop and loves reading with me and sitting out on the backporch having a snack.


Shocking to have such a great zoo in our own backyard.

Do you have a REAL ID yet? If you fly, you have until Oct 2020.

Posted By on September 15, 2019

The Wall Street Journal Middle Seat writer reminds us that in about a year, just before the 2020 election, there will likely be a few more airport delays and angry passengers attempt to use their “old” driver’s licenses as an ID in order to pass through the TSA screening line. UGH! One can only imagine the frustration of getting to the airport only to be turn away because the ID that you’ve been using for years is no longer valid due to the new REAL ID regulationsor standing in line behind angry travelers in that situation.

Check out Scott McCartney’s WSJ MiddleSeat column or follow @MiddleSeat on Twitter.

I discovered another difference between my wife’s travel preferences and mine this weekend: Her driver’s license is compliant with REAL ID regulations, and mine is not. tsaidlookActually, a TSA screener at Raleigh-Durham International Airport discovered it for me.

This week’s Middle Seat (by coincidence) looks at the looming hassle ahead for travelers because of REAL ID. If you use your license as your ID, and most of us do, then you may have an unexpected trip to the DMV within the next year. That’s even more fun than a TSA patdown.

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, your license has to have a REAL ID star on it, or you have to use your passport at TSA, if you have a current passport. Or you’ll probably miss your flight. TSA says after numerous extensions, it’s not kidding this time—REAL ID is going to happen next year.

We’ll see. The prospect of millions of angry travelers right before an election probably isn’t good politics. In a few states, you still can’t even get a driver’s license that complies with REAL ID requirements. But telling everyone they have to comply by a certain date and then saying "just kidding" isn’t good policy, either.

REAL ID may turn out to be a real mess.

Safe travels,

Scott McCartney

Find me on Twitter @MiddleSeat, or email

The path of potential TS Humberto looks eerily familiar

Posted By on September 13, 2019

Tis the season for tropical storm watching as forecasters expect a similar path as Hurricane Dorian for potential Tropical Cyclone Nine turning into Tropical Storm Humberto (oom-BAIR-toh). Travelers along the east coast of the U.S. and those particularly in the northern Bahamas already suffering from Dorian will need to keep their guard up. Perhaps modifying plans is called for? 


Tech Friday: Insect repellents and my AfterShokz headset

Posted By on September 13, 2019

Just a heads-up for others using AfterShokz bone conduction headphones while doing outdoorsy kinds of things where bug spray is used – DON’T. I love my Aftershokz Bluetooth headphones, most likely because it enables me Trekz_vs_Off190909to hear things around me while still enabling me to clearly hear talk and music.

For me, being deaf in one ear is challenging when using a normal “in-ear” or “over-ear” device, so leaving my good ear open while still hearing the headphones is a big benefit. I’ve boasted about them before and will continue to use them … but WON’T be using products with DEET when hiking or working outdoors while wearing them … or expecting much from customer service.

I was hoping that the company would give me better advice, but it seems they didn’t realize … or at least George didn’t realize … putting insect repellent on before wearing them will damage the plastic used on the Aftershokz headsets. I was also secretly hoping the company might offer me a chance to upgrade at a discount, but they were not anxious to do anything – a bit disappointing. AfterShokzCustSupportHere is a bit of the transcript and advice when using AfterShokz after I asked about using them with insect repellent.


Politics and Google – Dr Robert Epstein and Mark Levin #video

Posted By on September 12, 2019

No matter your political ideology, everyone who values integrity in our elections and in political campaigns, should be concerned with how information is life-libery-and-levindisseminated and prioritized. Nowadays we depend no a very few sources that we hope are unbiasedly sifting through and helping us search information and news. For the past decade or so we have grown to depend on, and expect Google to help us find the data and information without bias, but in recent years this “searching” and “prioritizing” is suspect.

This past weekend, Mark Levin had an interview with Dr. Robert Epstein Ph.D., who in July presented his research to the Senate Judiciary Committee, about how Google (with 92.62% market share as of June 2019) has and manipulates “search” to influence users; the information they highlight, rank and prioritize to the first page of search results, and auto-filled in the search bar determine what you see. Watch and listen to the 12 minute Life, Liberty & Levin Fox News interview below and decide for yourself:

Does Google purposely skew search results to manipulate elections?  


Patriot Day -; Are you as vigilant today as the day after 9/11?

Posted By on September 11, 2019

Remember to pause for a moment of silence at 8:46AM this morning … and if you fly a flag, lower it to half-staff as a mark of respect for those who died on on 9/11.


Patriot Day :– A day to remember. A day to never forget.

On September 11, 2001, four commercial planes were hijacked by terrorists, lead by Osama bin Laden and the Sunni Islamic network of Al-Qaeda. The Islamic operatives deliberately flew airliners full of passengers into the Twin World Trade Center Towers in New York City and also into the Pentagon in Washington DC. The fourth airplane, assumed to be headed towards the Whitehouse, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania due to the heroic actions of passengers who refused to let that happen – what heroism. 

The loss of life and damage caused by the biggest act of terrorism on United States soil was horrific and unimaginable. Nearly 3000 people died in the attacks and the economic impact continues to be felt 18 years later in the cost of security and by a never ending war in the Middle East. Americans, and all who stand for freedom, need to remain vigilant and must continue to defend our citizens, our nation and way of life.

Snoozing while a Tesla autopilot is in self-driving mode?

Posted By on September 10, 2019

If you are an innovative automotive manufacturer (ie. Tesla) or just a citizen who doesn’t want more government intrusion or regulation, then behavior like this needs to be stopped or prevented in the first place. I appreciate having my freedom and don’t want a bigger nanny state, but I know when seeing this kind of irresponsible “napping,” while a vehicle’s autopilot is engaged, that even more regulation is on its way.   🙁

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.
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