I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Microsoft - attack of the Jello Brains

I was looking through the news on MSNBC and saw one of their staff tech writers had an article about the upcoming Windows 8.1.  Not to my surprise he was fairly positive about the new Windows 8.1 which Microsoft is rolling out, first as a beta version on 6/26 to certain users, and then later in October to everybody who happens to have been cursed with Windows 8.  At that time there were 79 comments, the vast majority being negative.  Did you expect anything else?  Quite a number echoed my own lament, that Microsoft would have developed and OS geared for tablets and phones.  The author, himself, echoed what seems to be Microsoft's stand that PC's and laptops are on their way out and that hand held devices are on their way to ruling the Internet.  Horseshit.  That being said, I wonder if he wrote his article on a tablet, or better yet, his phone.  One has to wonder if he sat there with his new HTC and, using that little keyboard, wrote his lengthy article.  If he didn't he's a phony (bad pun). 
Bad news for the modern man
If he wrote it on a laptop or PC he's a Jello brain.  I suspect that as an individual who get's paid by MSNBC he has to be pro horse shit to get a paycheck.  As such, his propaganda isn't supposed to really ameliorate the complaints, just satisfy the higher up Jello brains at Microsoft who dropped a turd in computerland.  While it might be okay to view a spreadsheet on a tablet, or even phone, all of the data entry involved requires a keyboard.  I used to work in accounting, I know.  Even though I may make some notes on my tablet, most of my writing is done on either an Imac or a laptop.  Right now I'm using a laptop with Windows 8 and while I can access blogger through the Start screen, I don't.  I skip that Start screen, geared for a touch screen, and go right to the desktop.  The Jello brains at Microsoft chose to ignore the workhorse, the PC and laptop, and aimed straight for the tablet and phone.  What Jello brains they be.  Convenience for some is inconvenient for others.  With so many customers, one can only wonder why they would choose to turn their backs on so many.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day parasites

For those of you who don't know it, tomorrow is Memorial Day here in the United States.  This day was set aside as a National Holiday when we could remember those who have given their lives so we might live free.  This is also the day American Retailers have decided is the first "great holiday' of the summer season.  They want you to remember to go out and buy that expensive new patio set, or that new grill.  Sales abound!  You cannot turn on commercial television without being assaulted by ad campaigns which cost a veritable fortune.  You see this holiday is really all about spending money and nothing else.  Oh, sure, towns and communities will have small parades in which aging veterans will walk or ride down streets, but there will not be throngs of people, they'll all be out trying to get the best possible deal.  The small community in which I live had a parade, but it was last Sunday, May 19.  Hhmp, that makes perfect sense to me, I mean, you don't want to actually have the parade on the designated holiday, it might interfere with some one's barbecue.

This is not to say I'm against retailers taking advantage of the holiday, I just feel they need to be a little more honest with the American Shopper.  For them it is about making a buck, not about honoring any of those who have given their lives for the United States.  And the American Shopper needs to understand that all those flags being used to decorate sale merchandise are not meant to honor anybody.   They are, however, meant to grab your eye.  Admit it, they are catchy to look at.  People need to understand that in this case, however, they're being used to tease you in to spending your money, into adding to the balance of your credit card, and for giant retailers that is their only purpose.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Facebook goes to Hell

Hey, remember when Facebook was nice?  Not the puppy dog, kitty cat nice, but nice meaning free from hard core commercialism?  Back then you actually had to look for something to 'like.'  You know, your favorite musical group?  TV show?  Movie?  And once you did choose to 'like' it, nothing really seemed to change much.  Boy, those days are shot to shit, aren't they.  No matter where you go on the Internet these days, you are being asked to "like us on Facebook."  This is because everybody and his fricking brother is selling Ad space and the only way to generate revenue is to have you and all of your friends start clicking on their ad.  As you all know by now, every time one of your friends likes someone, everybody on his friend list finds out.  What's really funny is sometimes I look at these 'likes' and can't help but wonder what in hell is going through my friend's head.  And then I wonder, should I really have this guy as a friend?  I mean, look at what he likes!  Yikes!!

And it isn't only your 'friends' who are making recommendations.  Hell no.  Facebook does it.  You see they have this monster computer buried away under a giant mountain which is constantly reviewing your profile.  Constantly.  You see Facebook wants to make a lot of money selling Ad space too, so every time this giant computer infers even the most vaguest of links between your profile and some commercial venture willing to pay them big bucks, Facebook will suggest you 'like' a page.  Do I ever click on their recommendations?  Hell no.  Let's be perfectly honest, my profile is rather vague, so no matter what they suggest it's most likely not going to pique my interest.  Will they every stop sending me recommendations?  Hell no.  You see I have  pudding head friends who click first and think later.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pudding head dentists

My dentist is not very happy with me, not at all.  My dental plan covers your basic cleanings, fillings of two sides, and extractions if necessary, but not much more.  Every time I go to the dentist my hygienist gives me a periodontal exam, which is not covered in my plan.  I just called and had them permanently cancel that particular exam because I got tired of paying money out of my pocket every year for something that never changed.  My gums are in good shape, but that didn't stop my provider from performing and charging me twice a year for an exam that really was not that necessary.  My dentist would also like to put a number of crowns in my mouth so I might have a perfect smile.

This is not me!!

Are they necessary?  Hell no.  I have been an avid milk drinker since early childhood.  I still drink at least one glass a day, sometime more.  All that calcium has given me strong teeth and bones.  I didn't need to go through an extraction because the tooth, which had crown on it, had cracked.  It took my dentist almost 2 hours to get that tooth out of my mouth.  So why does he feel I need to put crowns on 5 or 6 teeth?  Most likely to put money in his pocket.  When he started counting off those crowns I interrupted and told him that I had been proactive.  I had already checked with Met Life to see what was covered.  Even if I were paying for their most expensive, most comprehensive plan, the end result would still be several thousands of dollars out of my pocket.   Of course, he doesn't really care who pays for it, as long as somebody does.  The poor man doesn't understand how much of a pudding head he is, and he's not alone.  Ain't that a shame?  So, he isn't happy with me.  Tough shit.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More pudding heads at Microsoft

In case you didn't know it, yesterday was the big reveal for the new Xbox.  I received emails reminding me to watch and I ignored them.  However, I'm sure there were quite a number of people out there who were glued to their tablets, and phones and monitors breathlessly waiting in anticipation.  What did the get?   Unlike the Playstation 4 reveal they got a chance to see the product.  Last evening I watched and read some of what Microsoft made public and I was not impressed.  A Kinect is necessary which is going to raise the price.  You will be able to tell it if you want to play a game or watch TV, sounds okay, however I immediately started wondering if this was a service you will have to pay for, like the Xbox Gold

There had been a lot of mish mashing chat going on about whether there were going to be DRM issues.  If they were going to build some sort of digital management into the new Xbox, how was it going to effect retail merchants like Gamestop.  Hell, there are quite a number of gamers out there who play through a game and go trade it in on something else.  How would the new Xbox deal with this issue.  In fact there was so much chitter chatter going on Microsoft finally came out unofficially ahead of time and said that was not going to be an issue.  Of course they were right, it isn't an issue, however those pudding heads at Microsoft weren't completely honest either.  Old games aren't going to play on the Xbox One, only new games.  They did say there will be 18 titles available when the system hits the retail market.  Ain't that enough to give you a little boner?

I think this is going to be very, expensive

This means that if you only are interested in playing one or two of those titles, well, that's it until something else you might find interesting gets released.  You're not going to be able to run out to Gamestop and buy another game, not of them will work.  The Halo you love to play so much on your 360 will not play on your One.  So, if perhaps you've never played Halo and decide to give it a try you will need to play it on your old system, not the new "One" which may have cost $700 to purchase.  This means that the games I already own, some of the near and dear to my heart (like Skyrim) will not play.  Do you think this is a really good selling point?  I don't.  Will I run out and buy one?  Hell no!  You have to remember, the same pudding heads who thought Windows 8 was a good idea, and who now have to come out with 8.1 because of all the hate, also thought about the new Xbox One.  Will people really give up their 360's for a One or will they wait until reason hits the pudding heads and they  come out wit some sort of update that gives a little common sense to their insanity. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Xbox 720, will it be dicked up by the pudding heads at Microsoft?

Since I have an Xbox 360, I received a special email from Xbox to watch the reveal of the new Xbox 720 on May 21.  I'm off work that day so I put it on my calendar.  Should be interesting.  There has been so much hokey pokey info being leaked about the game system, no one is really sure what to expect.  Now and then I will just do a search to see what turds are being dropped on the unsuspecting public, each and every one being dubbed 'official,' or 'from a reliable source.'  The Internet is littered with photos of controllers and consoles which may look a bit on the nifty side but fail logically.  Here's one:

I'll admit the keyboard is neat, but why the screen?  If I buy one, it's going to be attached to my 60" flat screen.  You know?  The one with the amazing sound system?  And are those arm rests on either side? Hhmmm, I guess that's for when you chose to lie on the floor to play your game, or stream your movie, or watch your video.  Maybe Microsoft just wants you to be comfortable.

Actually, what will really be interesting, is how the Xbox 720 is going to tie into the re-release of Windows 8.1, because they are both linked together.  Face it, Windows 8 is an unmitigated disaster, and don't think Microsoft isn't learning a very expensive lesson.  You can change the OS anyway you like, just as long as you remember the customers.  Don't give them something geared towards a product they don't own, like a tablet or phone with Windows 8 installed.  Like I said in an earlier post, there are a lot of pudding heads at Microsoft.  Supposedly 8.1 will provide fixes for the complaints that have been shrieking around the Internet, one of them being the disappearance of the "START" button.  My big complaint is that every time I move my mouse from left to right the Charms pop up and the system pauses, waiting for me to select one.  Yo, pudding heads at Microsoft, it's a mouse, not a finger!  I can't take it off of the screen.  The pudding head who came up with that concept needs to be canned.  The problem was too many pudding heads were not thinking about what the consumer has right now on their desk, or in their hand.  No, they were thinking about what is supposedly coming down the line.  How stupid can you be?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

There are pudding heads at Microsoft!

For those of you who didn't know, not too long ago Microsoft came out with a new product they called Windows 8.  I'd heard about it but not experienced the joy until I purchased a Samsung laptop (mostly for gaming) and discovered the pre-installed OS was Windows 8.  Five seconds after playing with it I realized there were some really high level pudding heads at Microsoft.  They have foisted an operating system on the public which is primarily designed for tablets and phones, not for laptops or PC's.  On a tablet or phone, a single swipe will scroll your apps either to the left or to the right, on a laptop you need to use your arrow keys to get to the desired app.  If you use your mouse and it strays to close to the right hand side your "charms" pop up, and then you have to wait for them to disappear to continue. You need to corner you mouse in the lower left hand corner to get to your actual desktop,  which is where I do most of my games are loaded.  You would have thought some pudding head at Microsoft would have realized most small businesses are not going to want their associates dicking around with a bunch of apps.  No, they want their associates working.

I read where one of the pudding brains at Microsoft was touting the fact that 100 millions licenses for Windows 8 had been sold.  She did not say there were that many satisfied customers, in fact customer sat did not even enter the news release.  However, if you do a search, there are vast numbers who are not happy.  Quite a number are running Windows 7 instead of the new OS and I suspect it's all because of the new Start screen.  I'm sure there were not be nearly the number of complaints if it were effective on desktops and laptops instead of being a massive waste of time.  How bad is the problem?  I understand that a number of the pudding brains at Microsoft have decided to pool their intelligence, the end result being a major patch which is supposed to be released in September.

Microsoft should have approached Windows 8 from two different angles since they do have two disparate customers, those who mainly use PC's and laptops, and those who use tablets and phones.  While some of us may have both of these product lines, the OS on each group needs to be different.   Instead they chose to lump them altogether and ended up with this fiasco that will probably, in the long run cost them more then they even vaguely anticipated.  It's time for the pudding heads at Microsoft to put on their thinking caps.

Friday, May 10, 2013

There ain't no gold in them there dental plans!

Another funny thing which happened to me when I was making my bi-annual dental visit was my dentists suggested I replace several aging fillings with crowns.  Now I will be the first to admit my teeth are old, and it's true some of the fillings my even be considered relics of some dental dinosaur period, but I'm and not about to fork over a boat load of cash to replace them.  You see, he first brought up the subject of crowns about two years ago when one of my molars cracked under the weight of a vintage filling.  Not being one to be easily snookered in, I said, "hhmm let's wait."  What I did do was check out my dental plan to see what was actually covered.  Notice I said 'dental plan' and not insurance.  Too many confuse the two.  What you purchase through payroll deductions is a plan and it is quite specific on what it covers.  The plan I purchase from Met Life has 3 levels that you could label 'good, better and best.'  I have the good plan.  It does not cover crowns.

Nor does it cover root-canals. It does cover fillings completely, as long as they're only on one side of the tooth, after that it only covers a percentage.  This means that if you have a little cavity that's mostly on the top of the tooth with just a teeny bit on the side, you're going to have some out of the pocket expenses.  I know this to be true since I had one.  

In my plan, crowns are covered at the top level, or 'best plan.'  Of course, you are limited to one crown. Also, at that level, you are required to pay a  hefty deductible, just like in real insurance.  Add the deductible ($1000) to the total of my yearly payments ($820) and subtract that from the total cost of the crown and Met Life's expense is between $50 and $100 dollars.  Now I know there are some who will argue something is better then nothing.  Horseshit.  According to my dentist I have 5 teeth that will need crowns, sooner or later.  Of course I didn't buy insurance, I bought a plan that is minutely specific on what is and what isn't covered.  My plan does cover extractions, which indicates to me Met Life would rather the tooth be pulled then fixed.  Now isn't that a sorry thing?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I had a dental appointment today to have my bi-annual teeth cleaning.  Honestly, I have no problem with going to the dentist mainly because my hygienist prattles away all the while shoving sharp, pointy tools deep into my gum line.   Her name is Theresa, and her subjects are quite diverse.  In fact, I often tend to forget the torture she doing in my mouth because you never know what's going to pop out of hers.  Today she told me she and her husband, Mike, had just gotten a new puppy, a Yellow Lab they named Mookie.  On previous visits she had filled me in on their previous dogs, a Rottweiler and a Black Lab, both of whom came to have sad, sad endings.  She had also filled me in, some time ago I might add, that she could not have children so their dogs became substitute kids.  Mookie, at fifteen weeks is evidently the delight of their lives.  I'm glad.  Dogs are fun.  One of the best things I've ever done in my life was get a dog.

A facsimile of Mookie

This morning, as she began carving the gum away from my upper left molars, she told me how Mookie had an emergency Vet visit last week: a lower tract disturbance as well as a UTI.  At that point I had no idea what a UTI was, little did I know I was shortly going to find out.  As she was detailing Mookie's ordeal, she said that the puppy, "has these long hairs growing out around her vagina and they seem to hold her pee.  I think that's why she had the UTI.  We wipe her with towelettes but I don't know if they work.  Does your dog have hairs growing out around her vagina?"  Her next sentence was "You seem to be bleeding quite a lot around these molars, are you sure I'm not hurting you?"  I didn't answer because my mind was still stumbling around the dog's vagina.  Now I've never been to Dental Hygienists school, but I'd be very surprised if there wasn't some form of course on the propriety of certain subjects.  You know?  Things to stay away from, like politics, and religion, and your puppies' vagina.  This is not to say I was offended, in fact far from it.  This was just one of those things you don't expect to hear in the dentist's chair, and I have to say, I've been laughing about it all day.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The sad lesson Kelly Ayotte is learning

The legislation on background checks for those wanting to purchase firearms failed, I was not surprised, even though, from what I've read, a large majority of Americans would prefer them.  However, there have been interesting results as a result of the vote.  Some Republicans have found their  poll numbers dropping, Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire is one of them.  A few days ago she held a previously scheduled town hall and came face to face with those disgruntled voters who put her into office.  It was not a good day for her because she was forced to defend her vote.  I've seen videos of her standing there, water bottle clasped to her chest as though it might offer her some protection, and felt somewhat sad for her, but only somewhat.  As a public official, she was voted into office to represent the people of New Hampshire, not the Republican Party.  I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican, you are in Washington to represent the people of your state.  You need to give them your allegiance.  You are their voice.  You are their vote.  This is what makes a good politician.

Kelly Ayotee, good senator or good Republican?

I understand that on the day of this town hall Ms Ayotte showed up with a Power  Point to explain her vote.  Bad idea; if you need to rely on a Power Point to explain yourself then you've made a mistake.  She was not voted into office to be a loyal Republican.  She is in the United States Senate to represent the majority of the people of New Hampshire; sometimes this means acting like an Independent and voting against the party line.  She is learning a sad lesson and a good one.  The people who elected you are not cows easily led by the nose, they will not always low quietly while you present a Power Point.  They have minds and wants and needs, and most importantly they have beliefs and opinions and votes.  The sad lesson Ms Ayotte is learning?  The voices of the people of New Hampshire are the ones which count.  When they whisper in her ear, she needs to listen. 

The GOP has a problem with flexibility

I used to work with a chubby, little guy who could easily have passed for one of Santa's elves, given a change of attire, who constantly damned the LIBERAL MEDIA. Everything disagreeing with Beck, Drudge or Limbaugh was a lie.  I was truly amazed that someone could be so far to the right that even centrist opinions were the spawn of the devil. Any spoken word with even a hint of dissent was dismissed.  This is the type of thinking which puts oligarchs into power.  Of course, he was a Republican. Sadly to say, there are a lot of people out there who believe the same shit he does.   Being someone in the middle, I am always amazed that these people do not understand they are the mirror image of those on the left.  Actually, they are more like the mirror image of the mirror image because every time someone disagrees with them they criticize.  What an easy life it is for them.  Their approach reminds me quite a lot of the old Communist regimes in which dissenting voices were sent to gulags.  There is no flexibility for them, no compromise for them; so rigidly is the pole holding up their beliefs mutual concession is not an option.  There is none

Dissenting or middle of the road, make you choic

now and never will be a middle ground.  Too bad for the GOP, for it is in this unyielding ground which they have chosen to plant their seed. They have chosen a "take no hostages" attitude towards the American voter, which is why they are having problems.  Compromise is not a word in their lexicon, yet compromise is necessary for survival.  For your average married couple, give and take is what keeps them married.  The Republicans don't want a marriage with the American people, they want sole ownership.   They want a Leave it to Beaver relationship with Ward setting the rules.  As a result, they are slowly losing voters.  If the far right doesn't move more then a little to the center they are dead in the water.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ronald Reagan is killing the GOP

I have to admit that now and then I really do have to laugh at the GOP because  long time ago they had this candidate named Ronald Reagan who managed to get himself elected president.  They have put him on this Olympic sized pedestal because of his landslide re-election.  Even though his second term in office was quite flawed, they have transcended him into almost god-like status.  What they failed to realize was that by doing so they were initiating the slow death of the Republican Party.  They didn't understand that by being an older gentleman, and surviving an assassination attempt, he had become a grandfather figure to many Americans.  They voted for him in such numbers because they liked him, not necessarily his politics.  They still don't understand his politics had nothing to do with his massive re-election.  Of course, the GOP will never honestly evaluate his second election.  They aspire to greatness.  Like the aging beauty queen, they pack on pounds of makeup to gloss over their wrinkles in order to see beauty every time they look into the mirror of the past.  By doing so,  they are letting Ronald Reagan kill the Republican Party.

Grandfather figure and Party Killer

During his second term in office a lot of shit went down.  There was this little thing called the Iran-Contra Affair in which the United States sold weapons to it's enemies in order for those enemies to get them in the hands of the Contra Rebels in Central America.  Oops, not a good thing.  If I remember correctly, he was the first sitting president forced to testify before Congress because of it.  And the Republicans fell into a frenzy of hate which still rankles them to this day.   They believed his amazing re-election gave them free reign to to what ever they wanted.  They were terribly wrong.  Instead of trying to comprehend this, they went to the dark side.  Every president they have gotten elected since then has lived down to the standards they, themselves, have set in their hearts.  By failing to grasp the true nature of that election they have done themselves in, Ronald Reagan is truly killing the GOP.  Slowly, but surely, he is wiping them out.