Maybe it is my age … or just the latest swing to the radical left by Democrats staging themselves for a presidential primary to challenge President Trump in 2020 … but this whole anti-free market socialist tilt has me concerned for the direction of our country. It is no longer the political quarrel over the size of government, how much politicians spend on different programs or even how to fairly tax citizens and corporations … but whether we even want private industry, competitive capitalism OR want a takeover of business by a central government who dictates it all – in other words, socialism.
It is not like the crowd advocating for bigger government, dictating business decision-making and a flat-out takeover of private industry has any evidence that socialism works … but to the contrary, there is plenty of evidence showing just how risky going down this path can be. Even a little commonsense should remind the average American that removing the profit incentive stymies innovation and much of the motivation that comes from the risk and reward of investing, paying for your own choices … including higher education (paying for it ourselves generally makes us take it a bit more serious). The same applies to working hard, if there is a payoff in the end, we tend to be motivated to make better choices. If we all pay for whoever wants to go to college (ie. sleep late, skip class, party, study abroad, etc. for a 4, 5 or 6 year undergrad degree – or even eventually drop out),what’s the incentive for someone who knows they are not the right fit for college and instead goes to work in a trade, pays taxes and starts a family out of high school? Wanting government to provide more than a “safety net” does not make economic sense … so think twice before advocating for such a radical shift?
Although I’m fond of shopping online for convenience, selection and to compare prices … I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with accuracy in fulfillment of merchandise being shipped by “prime” but from an third party vendor. In a recent order, I not only received the wrong product, but also an obvious opened and returned product (the correct item but with plumber’s putty all over it).
I’m already skeptical with Ebay listed products and private store pages, but increasingly have been finding that Amazon and Walmart (Jet.com) are unreliable when it comes to getting what I’m expecting. Am I the only one seeing this trend?
Current issue and hassle: I ordered 2 Oiled Rubbed Bronze Pop UP Drains (Amazon’s Choice) for the phase2 master bathroom update later this spring … but the Amazon Seller Allwin-Houseware either supplied the shipping warehouse with used and wrong products or Amazon screwed up. Not only do I not have the expected drains to put into the new vanities and sinks, but now have to hassle with a return to the UPS Store and “try” to reorder the correct drains again. Frustrating … and no wonder I’m still partial to a locally owned Ace Hardware or big box retail store like Home Depot or Lowes.
This is project for work as I wanted to demonstrate to a customer what I was referring to when I encouraged them to add a simple “read a script” podcast channel or simple YouTube video component to their marketing. It is a way to capture audiences who have moved away from reading articles and blogs … and instead gravitate to podcasts and YouTube. Just ignore this if it does not pertain to you … or send me a message if it is something you want to consider.
There is isn’t anything wrong with my current 2014 Apple iPad, it is just getting older as far as technology goes, and is a little sluggish (or so it seems). It is still the single most used tech device that I have … and the reason I’ll likely replace it with another when the time is right.
I enjoyed using my wife’s Samsung Chromebook Pro and while it is an excellent laptop replacement for those needing only cloud-based apps and near zero updating headaches, it is not the laptop or tablet replacement for me. My Lenovo laptop is a fine back up and travel computer, but like all Microsoft Windows OS devices, it requires continual scanning, backups, updates and fidgeting. Compared to previous computers, it is far quicker to boot, has a reasonably good screen, is lightweight and with the touchscreen and fully folding keyboard is also “kind of” a big tablet … but definitely not an iPad when it comes to relaxed reading or battery life.
My friend Jeff Pitts has been my closest friend ever since our college years at Ohio Northern University(also the only guest blogger so far). Besides college, he was on my bachelor party trip, years and years of hiking and camping … including a great trip to the Canadian Rockies with my son Taylor, who has become the real backpacker. There is likely little we do not know or talk to each other about … and tease each other about. Although we took different paths, we’ve both followed interests in computers, technology and communication, although he has excelled using IT it to his career advantage (now in cyber security), where I tinker with computers and use technology as a business tool. Thankfully we’ve both share what we learn with each other and assist where we can, whether it helping with jobs, climbing a career ladder or getting a foot in the door to sell my business services (thanks Jeff).
As both of us inch towards 60 (me first, I’m afraid), the physical aspect of aging is no longer the joke that it once was. He reminded me of this when he asked, “do you remember when you would Photoshop hair loss?” Yup … unfortunately I do and it is no longer as humorous as “I thought” it once was! (ok, so with this linked photo I’m still immature)
Without being cruel or posting openly a “then” and “now”#TBT photo of either of us … I thought it better to include a couple Throwback Thursday photos. The black and white (above) was from December of 1979 (Christmas college break – fishing trip visit on the St. Johns River) … and then the others from almost a decade later attending an Orlando Hamfest, an amateur radio and computer convention (semi-sore subject since it took me until 2013 to catch up to Jeff when it comes to amateur radio licensing). Nevertheless, we had a great time in Florida as we always did and DO no matter where we are – the photos below were from a road trip from his home in Winter Park to Cape Canaveral in his uncomfortable and seemingly unsafe Suzuki Samurai. I can still remember my teeth chattering and the ride being so unbelievably rough; I’m amazed that a decade later that I would have even considered a Toyota Rav-4(although vastly better than the Samurai). The RAV4 ended up being Brenda’s most reliable and incredibly functional vehicle …and went on to help someone else after 265,000 miles. We sure have had some good times and made some great memories.
Are you looking forward to Major League Baseball for 2019?
At this point, even the Cincinnati Reds look like they have a shot … although first pitch for opening day is scheduled for 4:10PM against the Pittsburgh Pirates and who knows where we’ll go from here?
Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the season and hope to enjoy a few games at Great American Ballpark and on the home theater. By the way, did you know that officially the MLB starts before opening day on March 20th? The Mariners and Athletics begin a two-game set in Japan today … even though the “national holiday” for fans isn’t until March 28th, 2019, the official opening day.
Nothing like getting bogged down in wasting a weekend trying to repair a quartz clock that should just be replaced!
I had the best of intentions on Saturday morning as I was up early and had my weekend project list ready to start. Initially I started to organize my workbench after ordering new bearings and seals for the Volvo diesel water pump and for a “keep away the birds” project that I’ll share later … but instead caught myself trying to fix a “cheap” quartz clock off Encorefor a second time. Initially, I suspected salt air and high humidity corrosion, but after cleaning the battery terminals it still would not tick. So instead of sticking to the project list, I cracked open the case and dumped all the tiny gears all over the bench. At that point I knew I should just throw the old $10 battery clock away … but curiosity got the best of me and I needed to figure out “what makes it tick.” Eventually I cleaned the corrosion off the contacts and was able to get the mechanism to jiggle the initial gear (left). Of course I could not stop there so with a magnifying glass proceeded to put the tiny gears back together over and over again by trial and error.
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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee
lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.