Category Archives: opinion

My thoughts on Window 10

Greetings, readers. We are back in action after my Friday off. Today I am going to share with you my thoughts, likes, and dislikes about the Windows 10 upgrade I downloaded on the computer last Thursday.

It did take quite a while to finish; well past the time Rebecca left. Here are some of the good points.

By clicking the start button I have several choices at my fingertips, or in this case a mouse click, with lots of new and interesting features. From that button, I am enjoying a very easy-to-use calendar, I can link multiple email accounts there, manage my photos, and much, much more. Also, I can finally download many desktop themes, which I could not do with Windows 7. I love variety and all those extra backgrounds have really given my computer a new and exciting look. I can choose from multiple sandy beach pictures, photos of the forest, wonderful city skyline pictures, and the snowy Christmas set. These have really made my computer look nicer and come alive. The computer seems to start up, boot up, and shut down much faster, which is good.

What did the Windows 10 update not do? I was hoping beyond hope that it would help the AVG antivirus eliminate the pop-up ads that have plagued this computer for about 2 years. The first day it seemed to, after that not so much. I’m still learning exactly what Microsoft Edge is. I believe it is the new browser they have. I like the look and so far I have had no problems with it.

Time to give ratings. For the Windows 10 look: a 10 out of 10, no pun intended.

For new features: a good solid 7.5.

For problem fixing: well I really wasn’t expecting it to run like a new computer, only a 5 out of 10.

On a side note, on Friday, the blog will be a R.I.P. tribute piece to the great Muhammad Ali who passed away on Friday, June 3rd. And next week will be another short week for us with blog entries on Wednesday and Thursday. Doctors, doctors, doctors, ugh.

That is all the news I can think of for now, so until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

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The technological age is starting to scare me

Greetings, readers. I have seen YouTube videos and read on-line articles dealing with the wonderful new technologies in computers and robotics. It is causing me to wonder how much technology is too much. One TV commercial sells a doorbell with a little camera in it that, via your smart phone, you can see who is standing at your front door. The only benefit I can see from this is to make it look like you are at home even when you are not, in case that person is up to no good. Or, if you have forgotten an appointment that someone shows up for, you can apologize and tell them you will hurry home, if possible. The big problem I have with it is, depending on how much it costs, is it could be a waste of money. If the UPS man shows up, and you miss him, you have the option of asking him to leave it at the front door or hold on to it if you are afraid of theft.

Another interesting invention I’ve seen, created in Asia, are life-like humanoid robots which come complete with inter-active learning skills. Most can carry on a conversation, and some can get you your favorite beverage, and actually remember what it is after they are told once. I have no problem with that to a point. But when are humanoid robots going to take jobs from humans, such as working at a retail store, because they are so much smarter? These robots are absolutely incredible, but we need more jobs for people, not fewer.

As far as automobiles go, back in the 1950s and 60s, anyone with any kind of mechanical know-how could fix his or her car. Today we are driving junior space shuttles. A friend of mine told me that her car quit and would not start and all that was wrong with it was an oxygen sensor. Not the oxygen intake, the sensor itself. Think of it, folks, one sensor and the whole car shuts down. Too computerized for my liking.

Do I want to go back to the 1800s and live a life where there is no technology? No, I’m not saying that. But there has to be a point in time where we say an invention is just a little bit too scary. If that turns on us, we could be in trouble. Enough is enough.

Please chime in, in the comment section, with what you think about the technical advances of the modern world. Until Friday, have a nice day, take care, and happy reading.

Fuller House is a success

Greetings, readers. I was pleasantly surprised this past Friday evening as I began to watch Fuller House on Netflix steaming. Last June 3rd, I wrote a blog entry called Is Fuller House going to work, where I talked about my excitement for the new show. Once it was aired, I was only going to watch one episode, and I must admit I had my doubts about whether it would be good or not. Granted, the first two episodes did mirror the original series, Full House, quite a bit, but the acting made up for it.

Fuller House revolves around D.J. Tanner, played by Candace Cameron Bure, who was widowed and with three sons, Jackson, Max, and Tommy Jr. As the series opens, D.J. had been living with Dad after her husband, a firefighter, was killed in action. As each character entered the kitchen in the opening scene, the action stopped for the applause. Then D.J. walked in and the episode picked up in tempo. As it turns out, D.J. is a veterinarian now and was running late for work. As everyone sits down to breakfast in the familiar kitchen, Uncle Jesse states, “Damn, we all still look good.” Did the opening scene seem drawn out? Quite frankly, I would say yes. But I enjoyed it.

My favorite scene of the entire series so far was when Stephanie, played by Jodie Sweetin, asked where her little sister was. Danny explains that Michele is in New York City, running her fashion empire, at which point all the cast members break character, look at the camera, and give the Olsen twins a pointed look. I must admit that I was disappointed that the character of Michele was not in the series, but it still worked. The character that stayed the same the most was Kimmy Gibbler, played by Andrea Barber. As she walked in abruptly through the Tanners back door, it was as though it was still 25 years ago.

I very rarely binge watch, but with Netflix streaming bringing out all the episodes at once, I said what the heck, let’s do it. I started at 6:30 in the evening and was done by quarter ’til 1:00 in the morning.

My high points of the series: Danny Tanner is remarried to new wife Terry; although the character was only on for the pilot episode. Second, Stephanie cannot have children; it was a bittersweet ironic twist that somehow made the series feel real. Lastly, they were still in their old house; to me I think they had to do that, for any other dwelling wouldn’t have looked right.

Now for the down points: The first two episodes had a lot of copy cat writing from the original Full House show. If I had written the pilot, I think I would have changed the plot line and not have D.J. be a widow. Second, to me the show was a little too sexy; from revealing strapless dresses to very sexy club dancing, this would not have been allowed on the networks back in the 80s. Thirdly, too many forced hugs. In the original series when the girls were younger, the cute hugs followed by the aww of the crowd was sweet. In Fuller House, it just looked forced. I gave that a hand-wave because I was used to this in the original series. Lastly, I was disappointed that neither of the Olsen twins agreed to come on, even for a cameo; I really missed them and the character they played.

I’m very pleased to say that more episodes were ordered, according to John Stamos, only days after the original 13 aired. I was hoping that it wasn’t going to be a once-and-done project.

My favorite new characters were D.J.’s middle son, Max, played by Elias Harger. He is a marvelous young actor with loads of personality and a beaming smile. Also, major thumbs up to Kimmy Gibbler’s daughter, Romona, played by Soni Bringas. Her charm, wit, and fantastic dance moves bring energy to the show; she can dance and she knows it. Good job, kid.

What’s my final overall score? Fuller House is a soft, fluffy sequel to an 80s show that was also soft and fluffy. It isn’t meant to be serious drama. It is a cute, well-done re-make by Miller/Boyett Productions, and John Stamos as executive producer. My final score is a very solid 8 out of 10.

Until tomorrow, when the top ten list of my favorite Super Bowls appears, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

A Wednesday ‘pre-blog’ blog entry

Greetings, readers. I told all of you last Friday that I’d have a Top Ten List ready to go for you today. Although it is ready – pretty much – I’ve decided that today’s main blog entry will be my review and personal feelings about the Netflix original series, Fuller House.

Ever since I heard the series was a possibility months ago, I have waited patiently. On February 26th, my patience was rewarded with 13 episodes… all at once!

All the details, later today. 🙂

 

Many topics to talk about, including American Truck Simulator

Greetings, readers. We are finally back. Yay! After a week of working on the blog by myself, Rebecca is here once again to help me. Obviously, I can write the blog by myself, but after all this time I just feel more comfortable with my editor friend by my side to catch any little mistakes I might make. She already caught one from my last blog entry.

Not that I’m going to title this hodgepodge whatever, but I do have several topics to touch on. So here we go.

First, I’ve been thinking about this question: Is the National Football League fixed? There have been rumors that since the early 2000s, the NFL has been “steered” in certain directions to allow the powerful teams to make the playoffs. The stronger the teams in the Super Bowl, the better the ratings. Or, at least, that is the NFL’s way of thinking. Let’s take this past Super Bowl for example. The great Peyton Manning,  perhaps the best to ever play the game, is all but certain to retire. I would have been shocked if Denver lost. Carolina quite frankly looked pathetic, though Denver’s defense did play a great game. What also makes me wonder, is that I saw part of a YouTube Top Ten List video, pointing out that the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl just months after 9/11. What are their colors? You guessed it, red, white and blue. Is this hard-core evidence that the NFL is fixed? No, but it raise my eyebrow. Add in that this team has been proven to cheat since then and the NFL has barely spanked their wrists.

Topic number 2. Recently, I’ve been enjoying, on YouTube, reruns of the 1970s sitcom Maude. It is a Norman Lear spin-off of All in the Family and is it hilarious. There is one interesting thing. You would never see that show being produced new today. Maude’s husband, Walter, played by Bill Macy, is a strong-willed proud man that did not like his wife to work outside the house. Add that to the fact that he was a drinker early in the series, and you can imagine some of the arguments they got into. Maude, also strong-willed and very liberal, would also argue with all the other characters when she thought it was necessary. The only episode I did not care for and will not watch again, was the ground-breaking Maude’s abortion episode. Was it well done? Absolutely. It is just that my own personal religious beliefs made that episode a chore to watch. That is not the case with the rest of the series. Most evenings I will sit with my snack and have out-loud belly laughs. Norman Lear can do that to me every time, whether it be All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, or The Jeffersons.

Topic number 3. All I need is $100 and I will never want a car again. Today, I want to tell you about perhaps the best video game I have ever seen. It is called American Truck Simulator. People who play Euro Truck Simulator 2, and make videos for YouTube, have been talking about the new game for two years. Where is American Truck Simulator, we all said. When it came out on February 3rd, we found out why it took so long. On the up side, the level of detail on the maps is incredible. There are three trucks to choose from and you can drive in California and Nevada. Arizona will be added soon. The few people who are giving this game a thumb’s down bring up the question, after two and a half years of development, why are there only two states? My answer to them would be this: You try producing maps with those kinds of graphics, fabulous detail and clean game play, and we will see how long it takes you. How long will it take to complete the lower forty-eight? Probably about two years. Can I wait? Hell yes. This game also has the potential, if the manufacturer desires it, to include Mexico, Canada, and Alaska. All I need to do now is get a steering wheel and pedals to clamp to a table, so I have better control of the steering. The left and right arrows on the keypad make for marvelous wrecks. I must admit, I am getting better at it with the arrows, but I’m going to see if I can’t scrounge $100 together and get one of the cheaper gaming wheels. As for the most expensive one, which is $299, that is out of the question.

Lastly, a quick note about the weather. Yesterday we had snow, ice, and slush. It was not a good combination to go out in. I needed to take my girlfriend to her follow-up doctor’s appointment. Yay, us, we did not slip and fall.

Well, you are all up to date. We’ll have another new blog entry for you, possibly as early as tomorrow, though if not, then definitely on Friday. Take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

Do we really want Donald Trump as President?

Greetings, readers. I’m finally going to do it. I’m going political. There comes a time when every blogger has to put his or her two cents in about the presidential candidates. I’m taking my two cents out of my pocket today.

Over the years I’ve tried not to offend anyone. I’ve been Mr. Safe. That might very well end today. What follows, I feel very strongly about, and I’m going to share with you my personal feelings on candidate Donald Trump.

From what I’ve seen on the Yahoo! news page and heard from TV news anchors, Mr. Trump will say just about anything that comes to his mind. He does not stop to think rather said language is offensive or not. That is where he is going to get himself in the deepest trouble. I know for a fact he has taken potshots at women, and Latinos. Well, Mr. Trump, right there you have just pissed off a huge contingent of voters. Oops.

The other big concern I have is his lack of foreign policy experience. If his temper and mouth go unchecked, he would be very likely to insult or anger a foreign head of state, causing us to lose allies, which we need in these terrorist times. I’m not saying he would get us into a war, but the odds are high that he might. The man scares me.

I would suggest to Mr. Trump that as an alternate strategy he use his business smarts to aid our ailing economy, and also create opportunities for the physically and emotionally challenged. I have a handicap, though slight, and there are lots of people like me who could benefit from just such an endeavor.

I do admire his courage during his bid for the presidency, but I fear he lacks the necessary skills to be taken seriously. I know that at this point he is leading most preliminary polls. I’m just worried about when the first crisis happens. In good conscience, I cannot vote for him. My vote will go to either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Until tomorrow, I bid you a good day, take care, and happy reading.

The blog’s new look

Greetings, readers. I thought it was time for a change to the look of the blog. We had the previous style for quite a while, and as people say, change is good. The new theme is called Big Brother. I really don’t know why it is called that, but it is. I was drawn to its simplicity, great look, and, being a Penn State fan, the blue on white color scheme.

I wanted to try to put a picture of Keekee back on the home page at some point. I don’t think that I’ll do it with this choice. The colors would clash. Also, without a picture, the latest entry is visible on the screen without scrolling down. I was afraid that Rebecca wasn’t going to like the choice, but she did. We are both very happy that all the tabs for other pages are clearly visible up top, and no one has to search for them.

Another reason for this blog entry is that I am considering taking a personal day tomorrow. So if I do take that day off, we will have our quota of two weekly blog entries. It’s very important to me to do this. I enjoy relaying what goes on in my life, and Rebecca has told me that some blogs start strong but don’t get added to for months at a time. Although the comments are few and far between, I do have a nice number of followers. Never having any negative comments, I must be doing something right with my choice of topics.

I mentioned before that I was going to discuss topics a little more controversial at times, such as news and politics. In a previous post, I mentioned the Washington Redskins and their team name offending people. I can also see the same thing happening with the Confederate flag. I do not like racist people and do not condone it in any way. I learned that the suspect shouted racial slurs before and during his shooting spree in the church in South Carolina. Today I saw in the news that TV Land is pulling the reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard. The show’s famous car the General Lee had a Confederate flag on the roof, and that flag is extremely taboo right now. In 1865, when the civil war ended, both sides of the conflict became once again the United States of America. The Stars and Stripes is our national flag. People in this country should learn to put their differences behind them. There is enough hatred in this world, why don’t we show the rest of the globe that the color of our skin means nothing. It’s a person’s heart, mind and soul that is important.

Until next week, take care, have a wonderful 4th of July weekend, and happy reading.

Tweet, Tweet, Twitter

Greetings, readers. For approximately two years I’ve been on the social media network called Twitter. I like it very much and it’s great fun. I follow almost all the Star Trek stars, some of my personal friends, and tons of sports teams. It’s nice to keep up with what’s going on in short little Tweets, as they say.

When I first began, I had a devil of a time compacting my thoughts into the 140 character allotment. I kept forgetting that every hit of the space bar counted as a character. In two years, I think I’ve gotten somewhat better at being more succinct. It’s actually a challenging writing exercise for me to think of what I want to say and then make it fit. I will confess that on a few occasions I do need to compose two connected tweets because what I need to say just can’t be chopped down.

My pros for Twitter are these: I like its current format and relative ease on how to find everything. Now that I am used to it, that is. It is easy-peasy to follow people and 35 people have followed me back – including the Minnesota Vikings pro football team.

My cons for Twitter are these: My biggest one – I know it’s because I’m not famous – is that almost no one replies to me. I can count the number of responders on one hand. Including my cousin, and a video gamer who goes by the handle Jamin000, and an inspirational blogger with cerebral palsy. Another con is that sometimes, especially early on, my blog entry would not appear in my Twitter feed as it should have, and I would need to go back and re-establish the link in WordPress. In the last few months it has been working much better in both my social media places.

Now here is something that is both a pro and a con: You don’t need to have someone following you to follow them. That makes lurking a little bit easier. On Facebook, you have to either like someone if they are famous, and have them like you back, or send a friendship request and have that person accept it before communication begins. To me, I like that little bit of added security.

Rebecca and I both have the habit of checking Twitter and Facebook one after the other. The two seem to go together. I must admit to liking Facebook a wee bit more. However, the more I use Twitter, the more comfortable I get with it.

If I had to give Twitter a mark out of 10, I would give it a healthy 8.5. I’m not the kind of person who would stay on something such as this if I didn’t really like it.

Until next week, have a great weekend, stay warm, and happy reading.

Happy day after Thanksgiving

Greetings, readers. Another Thanksgiving has come and gone and I am happy to say that I did my new routine. That consisted of sleeping in just a little, making coffee at home, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and then I walked down to a local diner and had a wonderful turkey dinner. The meal came complete with all the trimmings, several kinds of pie to choose from, and delicious coffee. All the proceeds went to a charity so I tipped well. The servers and other staff were mostly volunteers; I’m sure it felt good to give of themselves.

After dinner I was planning to watch the afternoon football games. Well, whatever it is that is in turkey that makes you tired said, “Joe it is time for a nap.” I didn’t fight it and dosed off from 3:00 to 6:00. I am happy to report that it did not infer with my sleep cycle as I was fearing it would. When I woke up from my nap, I had some eggnog, broke out the Christmas lights, and decorated the apartment. I plan to put some pictures of the decorations in the picture gallery soon.

Keekee was treated to extra treats throughout the day and I did my best to let her know that it was a special occasion.

Another thing I did yesterday was make and receive phone calls to friends and family. I heard from my Aunt Marilyn, friend David, and a great friend Sue whom I know from Bear Spring Camps.

As I always do when I have a day off, I thought today was Wednesday. No, it is only Friday. That’s okay though because I am planning a restful evening and a leisurely weekend which will include D&D gaming.

On a personal opinion note, something I’ve never really done before, boo hiss and bah humbug to K-Mart; as I understand it they forced all their employees to work on Thanksgiving day and threatened to fire them if they did not comply. To me, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Easter should be days set aside to be with family and loved ones.

Until Wednesday, take care, stay warm, and happy reading.

Hawaii Five-O classic ’68 to ’79

Greetings, readers. As a binge TV watcher, the latest show that I have been enjoying is the classic Hawaii Five-O. The way I have been enjoying it recently is that I will watch one episode per season. Watching it that way makes it very easy to see how much Jack Lord aged during those years. Hawaii Five-O was one of my favorite programs along with The Waltons and M.A.S.H when I was youth. Here are my thumbs up and thumbs downs for this series, classic Hawaii Five-O.

In 1968, when the series began, the 30-something Jack Lord had a look and feel of a James Bond. Everyone wore short hair, thin ties, and polished shoes. Steve McGarrett was the super cop, the head of the fictitious state police. To me the first season was hysterically funny although the series was a drama. Characters Chin Ho, Kono, and Dan Williams, when asked if they knew anything about the case, would always reply something to the effect that they had no new information. This would leave super-cop McGarrett to be the one who figures out the crime. After a season or so of this, thank goodness, CBS decided to change the format slightly. The other characters added more and didn’t appear so stupid. Steve McGarrett, however, remained the one who always cracked the case.

In the early years, when I was a youth, Steve McGarrett had a wonderful black car, a 1968 Mercury Park Lane Brougham. From season 8 to season 12, his classic car was replaced with a new model. I liked the old one better. I read on the internet that a car collector purchased the original Hawaii Five-O Mercury. I wish I was that person; I would love to own that car.

At the end of season 10, Kam Fong, who played Chin Ho Kelly, wished to leave, so his character was killed off. That made me very upset because I liked him, yet it gave Jack Lord the opportunity to shine with his acting skills, as his character swore to Danno that he would not rest until he caught the killer of his friend. James MacArthur, who played Danno, hung around for one more year. No mention was ever said about where he went or what happened to him. For their final season, season 12, three new characters were created; Lori Wilson, the first female character to join the team, the Hawaiian strong man who played Truck, and Danny’s replacement, Kimo. I have to be honest, book him Kimo didn’t have the same ring as McGarrett’s catch phrase book him Danno.

Two quirks I have with the series; one minor and one major. The minor one I believe took place in season 9 where the Hawaii Five-O team was magically transported to a different building. I believe this was because the Iolani Palace was being renovated in real life. The major one, which makes me chuckle every time I see it, happens in the later seasons during car chases. One scene McGarrett will be driving his new Mercury Marquis, then the next scene he’ll whiz by in his old car, and back and forth it will go. Obviously the editors didn’t care; to them a black car with McGarrett in it was fine. When you have seen the episodes as many times as I have you can forget storylines and pick up little details like this. To them cutting and slicing was probably being cost-effective, to me I call that bad editing.

I did give the new Hawaii Five-O that started about 4 seasons ago a trial run. Although it is still on the air, I don’t watch it. To me there will only be one Hawaii Five-O, what Netflix streaming calls Hawaii Five-O (1968) Classic .

That’s our post for today. Feel free to chime in with your favorite shows in the comments, and for my friends on Facebook and Twitter, leave a comment on there if you wish. So have a good day, bundle up if you are in the deep freeze, take care and happy reading.