Taking a Break

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This blog will resume in early September.  Thank you for your continued support.

Two Updates — One Now and One Coming Soon?

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This week’s post is about two very different updates to 2 devices, one of the updates should be available to everyone, the other limited to a slow rollout.

 

First up is the Microsoft Windows 10 update.

 

This upgrade is supposed to be “free” to everyone with Windows 7/8.  This is a wonderful idea at least in concept.  As I and possibly many others have done, they clicked the Windows 10 icon in the system area and set up a reservation awaiting their shiny new operating system.

 

The problem is that now a week later, I have reserved the update twice and have yet to see any indication that the update is coming anytime soon.  As Microsoft states on their website, the update could be coming in the “coming days or weeks”.  Who really wants to wait weeks while everyone else is joining the party now?  Rumors are that nearly 14 million machines have already been updated with the new software.

 

As a person who was part of their “Insider” program, I should have been amongst the first to receive the update, but it seemed that I just wasn’t on their list of people at the head of the line.

 

So my frustration had been building and I went and checked out another page on Microsoft’s website.  On that page, it said that I could upgrade now with their “media tool”, which effectively made a DVD version of the software that I could install on multiple machines if wanted.  I actually prefer this idea more so that way I have a hard copy in case something goes wrong and I wish to revert back to Windows 7.  It is nice that Microsoft is giving its customers a year to decide on the free upgrade as I have heard of some problems with the update.  My plan is to update tomorrow to the new OS and I hope all goes well with it.  I will report back in a future post with my thoughts on this new toy.

 

The other update I am waiting for is for my android phone.

 

When I bought my phone last year, it updated from version 4.3 to 4.4.4 immediately after setting up the phone.  However, the phone did have some problems with the update and showed the picture of a “dead android” guy, when I updated.  This was scary but resolved after the phone downloaded the update a second time and seemed to repair itself of its own problems.

 

So now since last November, we have seen the latest version lollipop 5 released.  There are a few different releases out there and depending on carrier and phone would determine which version update that phone would receive.

 

While most carriers throughout the world have received the version 5 update, U.S. carriers have been rather slow at rolling out the update.  Mind you, if you buy a shiny new phone, chances are it may have version 5 already on it, but older phones such as mine are still waiting for the update.

 

In the meantime, Android version M has already been announced for a release this fall.  I highly doubt that my phone will ever receive this update as it has yet to receive the current version.  I would rather wait now for M then have version 5 given the length of time it has been already.

 

I expect any update which should have happened at the end of July may not happen until as late as September given the current release pace.  I will let you know if and when I receive my long yearned for update.

 

Overall, it seems that updates should not be difficult.  When an update is available, it should be available to all not just a select few or even worse everyone but me.

 

Stay tuned for updates.

From One Spring to Another

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It was a little over a year ago when I spoke about Formspring.me.

 

At that time, the newly reborn spring.me site seemed to work without problems.

 

That was until the last couple of months, when the site started having a lot of glitches.  Among the problems were webpage errors and duplicating questions and answers.  It also had problems connecting to Facebook.

 

However, all those problems seem to be over as the site appears to be dead.  Even though it seems to be an operating site, nobody has posted there since last Friday.  Apparently the site shut down while still looking like it was up and running.

 

When I posted a question, why there were no questions in my inbox in 4 days, one lone follower explained that the site was shut down and many had fled to another site.  Also, the spring.me site links pointed to a dating application.

 

Welcome to retrospring.net.

 

I joined this site on Monday and while it seems somewhat like the old spring.me site, it seemed closer to the now-defunct youreply.net.  While I have found some of the old followers from the old site so far, most are still missing.  I hope to go through my followers list to get some back.  So far there are a little less than 5000 users on the site, but as time goes on I expect this to grow quickly.

 

While the site seems fairly polished, it still lacks some features that spring.me had.  Since I didn’t use any of those features, I don’t have a list of those missing features, but this site seems fairly complete.

 

Being a new user of this site, I don’t have a lot of details of this site, but I encourage anyone to join this site if you want to have some fun asking questions.

 

You can find me at https://retrospring.net/louisbrownusa.  Hope to see you there.  Just a note:  I will follow anyone who follows me at least for now.

 

Hopefully, this site will live longer than the last 2 did.

 

 

 

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Way Over the Edge

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This week’s post discusses one human and one flag, both of which seems to be getting no respect for reasons that are less than reasonable.

 

First let me start off with the human:  Donald Trump.

 

A couple of weeks ago, Donald seemed to turn the world upside down when he announced his run for the Presidency.  His claim of all Mexicans being bad people who are coming across the border left a firestorm behind as companies started abandoning him everywhere.

 

Let’s look at some of these abandoners:

 

  • NBC television network. Sure the company is still stinging over the whole Brian Williams thing, but by dumping the “Miss USA” and “Miss Universe” pageants was just totally uncalled for.  It is understandable why “Celebrity Apprentice” was cancelled given that Trump’s run would not be allowed.  However, it should be noted that Al Sharpton, who is employed by sister station MSNBC makes many more inflammatory comments than Donald does, yet Sharpton is still employed.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?
  • Univision television network. They dumped the pageants as well and Trump is suing them for hundreds of millions dollars for backing out of a contract.  While the amount is excessive, my hope is that Trump gets something out of this broken contract besides cancellation.
  • Macy’s. They are going to stop selling Trump clothes and Trump branded beds.  Seriously, as if they really need to get rid of more overpriced merchandise.  Of course, the local Macy’s  has a large number of non-US born employees so I would assume that this is the case nationally, which means they didn’t want to offend all their low wage employees.

 

Overall, nobody likes to hear the truth and Trump is speaking the truth despite how much it really hurts.  It would be nice if the other Presidential candidates would get a backbone and start saying something that they would do if elected to the highest office.

 

Honestly, I like what Trump has to say despite what so many haters don’t like him talking and considering him a “sideshow” or a “clown” – it is the others that are the real clowns.

 

Now onto the non-human:  the confederate flag.

 

Yes, this flag got a lot of attention after pictures surfaced of the church shooter posed with the confederate flag.  As disturbing as it was, the flag quickly sparked outrage by many as to why it is still being displayed anywhere.

 

Yes, this flag does represent a time when the nation was divided and slavery ruled the landscape in the south, but now it seems to be part of the southern culture more as an icon than a remembrance of the past.

 

This is the problem.

 

People have wanted to get rid of flying the flag over the North Carolina capitol building, which the state has been taking a lot heat over.  However, it has gone far beyond that.

 

Now it seems that the flag is not welcome anywhere.  NASCAR wanted people to leave their confederate flags at home or they could trade them in for a US flag at the day of their races, just as an example.

 

But the biggest crossing the line is the removal of the “Dukes of Hazzard” from TV Land as the flag is shown prominently on the show’s General Lee car.  Anybody who ever watched this show would realize that this flag never was part of any storyline that I could remember and was mostly just decoration than used to cause any harm.  Compare this, however, to the extra short shorts that Catherine Bach wore on the show, then we can talk about some possible offensive stuff, otherwise this show was fairly innocent.

 

This brings me to this point:  Where is the line of being offensive and being politically correct drawn?

 

Will every show have to come with a warning of possible offensive material?

 

Will Donald Trump have to be preceded by a notice that he could spew out truths that the world would not like?

 

Will society crumble under political correctness?

 

I may not know the answers to these questions but I do know that I personally will always tell it like it is, both in this blog and my Staples blog.  After all, somebody needs to hear the truth no matter how much it hurts.

The Law of the Land?

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Warning:  The following post contains material that may be offensive to some readers.  Reader caution is STRONGLY recommended.

 

Note:  The following is being posted in both blogs this week as I feel it is important enough to appear in both of them.

 

Yes, everyone the government has officially gone wild and stupid.

 

Back when I was in school many years ago, I learned that we had 3 divisions of government:  executive, judicial, and legislative branches.  Nowadays, these divisions have been crossing paths with each other because each of them wants to make laws that we are supposed to live by.  Of course only the legislative branch has the power to make laws.

 

Tell that to our government today.

 

Recently, the President made an executive order regarding immigrants and last week the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states.  The latter is what I am going to talk about in this post.

 

Nos while this may seem fine on the surface, let’s get to the real problem here.  Quite a few states have yet approved gay marriage and some have rejected it more than once.  To have the courts decide what is good for the country in one fell swoop is not only a bad move but creates the type of problems that have been plaguing this country for years.

 

For someone to call this “the law of the land” makes me sick, as this law was forced down the throats of people whether they want it or not.  Let’s add to this the following things that irritate me just as much as just passing the law:

 

  • Lighting up the White House in the rainbow flag colors. What can be worse than having the “People’s House” not representing all the people and being paid for at taxpayer’s expense?  When you don’t represent everyone you should not force the values on everyone else.
  • Having people change their Facebook profile picture to be covered in the rainbow flag colors. Do these people even have a clue that their so-called support is just flaming the fire of those who don’t like having a law slammed down their throat?  Apparently all these rainbow people have not done their research on this “law”.
  • The celebrating in the streets by those who feel like they won the lottery. Truth is, your rights are still limited despite being the law.

 

It is this last point that is the most critical of them all.

 

Even though gay people have the right to marry, the bigger question is who will marry them.  Any religious leader can still deny a gay marriage performance if they don’t want to do it.

 

Add to this that places like bakeries can deny a customer who wants to create a wedding cake for a gay couple as well.  Let’s even add more to this as gays can be fired from their jobs, denied seating in restaurants, and can still be treated like second class citizens.

 

And the gays think they won the marriage battle?

 

Honestly, what has now happened is a Pandora’s box of problems that will sprout and raise its ugly head.

 

Oh sure, those of you wearing blinders waving your rainbow flag and showing your gay pride by changing your Facebook profile pic may feel happy, but the truth is that the gay community has won nothing.

 

NOTHING!!

 

Are you people hearing me?  If anything, the passage of a law that goes against the views of the people will cause nothing but problems.  More discrimination and more hatred will be coming.

 

If the black community think that they have been hated lately, that is nothing compared to the firestorm against the gay community to come.

 

Since the Supreme Court was a 5-4 decision, the court was pretty much evenly divided, however since 2 of the justices on the affirmative side have performed gay marriages, they should have recused themselves from making a decision on this case.  If that happened, then this law never would have passed whatsoever.

 

So here is the problem with our court system.

 

Instead of going by the Constitution, which makes no mention of gays in it, the justices decided to go by their own personal beliefs to put forth their decision.  Let’s forget that there were any evidence to support either side, the fact that the court even made a decision on this at all just proves that the court wants to make its own laws just like the Congress does.

 

It is bad enough that Congress can’t make laws but to have the courts step up and make laws just shows how wrong our government has really become.  It appears that the courts wants to make laws and then execute them in any way they like even if it means screwing the American people.

 

Now let me say that I am not in favor of gay marriage, however I do have several gay friends.  I am not a racist or a bigot but I do believe in what the religious teachings I grew up with are.  Even though I no longer practice religion, I still stand behind the faith that I have known all my life.  I do however support the idea of gay unions just not the idea of redefining marriage.

 

Of course now the courts have opened themselves up to yet another problem.  What about those who are bigamists or those who believe in marrying their pet horse?

 

Shouldn’t these people be given their rights as well?  Shouldn’t they be given the chance to be happy as well?  Should we not discriminate against these people either?

 

If you are going to give rights to one group, it should be fair to give rights to all groups.  Certainly we don’t have a fair and balanced court system if they refuse to have everyone get an equal playfield.

 

Certainly if I had my way, I would be impeaching the Supreme Court and remove them from their lifetime tenure that they so enjoy.  I believe that our entire court system is riddled with problems and that judges should be replaced on a regular basis.  Of course, only Congress can make that decision unless the Supreme Court wants to make a law barring that from ever happening.

 

Finally, let me say that our entire government system is broken.  Those of you who read my blogs probably already knew that.  However, I do believe that we need an honest system where everyone is fairly represented and that we don’t have laws shoved down our throats without the type of representation that this country was built on a couple hundred years ago.

 

It seems that the more we try to go forward in advancing equality for all, the further we seem to go backwards.

 

Unfortunately, our Pledge of Allegiance statement of “and justice for all” seems no longer apply to everyone anymore.

 

Our only hope is that someone will try to repeal the national gay marriage bill and allow states to make their own decisions on if they want it.  It was the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.

 

For those of you, who read this and appreciate this, thank you.

 

For those of you, who hate me for what I have written, maybe you should really dig deeper into what you personally stand for.

 

In the end, I know I will be hated for what I have written, but I did forewarn you.

 

To all, thanks and let’s repeal this ugly law.

 

 

 

 

Going Back to Go Forward — Hilary Duff Style

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She’s back!

 

Yes, Hilary Duff has come back into the world of entertainment.

 

In the 8 years that she has been gone, she has gotten married, had a child, got tattoos (which she said at one time she would NEVER do), and gotten a divorce.

 

While she has never really been off the radar screen, she has not been doing anything in the entertainment field for quite a while.

 

However, this doesn’t mean that her return to the entertainment world has been stellar.

 

In the last few months she has costarred in the TV Land series “Younger”.   Honestly I do not like this show at all because it seems to be just a watered down version of shows like “Sex in the City”.  I could live without all the sex talk that this show has and this show is not the least bit funny to me.  Unfortunately this show will have a second season whether I like it or not.  Maybe I am just not the show’s target audience.  However, I don’t think that Hilary’s fans are the target audience for this show either.  I would have preferred a “Lizzie McGuire” sequel show sort of like what happened to “Boy Meets World”.  Well, maybe someday it might happen.

 

Now we have the release of her new cd that happened in the last week.  While I have not heard more than a couple of tracks from the cd, I must admit that she sounds like the same sort of kid style music that she released years ago.

 

While the lyrics may sound adult, the singing itself sounds like she did 10 years ago.  Whether this is a good thing or a bad one depends on your perspective of her.  Certainly her audience has matured and so should her music and her voice, but it seems someone is manipulating her voice to sound the same as it did back then

 

This leads me to the major issue that I have had with a couple of live performances that she has recently been on in the last week.  Both “Live with Kelly and Michael” and “The View”, it appeared that she was lip-syncing her song “Sparks”, which she performed on both shows.  On both shows, the performance sounded exactly the same with no change in pitch or any other inflections in sound.

 

However, after the “Live” show, the hosts quickly interviewed her after the performance and it was apparent that the microphone that she was holding was not working because it had a hollow sound when she spoke.  Of course, being a live show maybe they thought nobody would ever notice the difference.

 

While this is not the career-ending type of appearance that Ashlee Simpson made on “SNL” a few years ago, it does however bring up the long-standing question as to whether she lip-syncs her songs or performs them live.  I used to be part of yahoo groups that made this a major discussion and the consensus was that she was lip-syncing her live performances.

 

Quite honestly, I would love for her not to have to resort to this type of behavior, but it seems that this is the way she is always going to perform her music.  I will say that I like the song and the bits of other songs that I have heard but I have to give the performances a score of 3.

 

As far as the cd itself is concerned, I have not had a chance to listen to the whole cd yet I refer fans of hers to buy the deluxe version at Target, which has a couple of bonus songs for the same price as other stores have it at.  Just a note, that this edition will probably be available while supplies last only, so if you want it don’t wait until the holidays to buy it as I don’t think it will be around then.   So I will not grade this item at the foreseeable future.

 

Overall, Hilary Duff’s return is a mixed bag.  She is trying to perform like she did as a child, but her grownup role just doesn’t work.  If only shows like TRL on MTV were still around to make her more relevant to today’s kids.  But then again MTV is not relevant anymore either.

 

However, the early 2000’s are not dead for girl group Dream is reuniting to perform together again.  If they sound like they did back then, I think my head is really going to explode not that it hasn’t already done that.  Stay tuned.

My 2015 Commencement Address

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Warning: The following post may be offensive to some readers.  Discretion is advised.

 

Welcome folks to my annual commencement address!

 

This year I am not only addressing those graduating school, but I also have some brief advice to others as well.  I am going to do this in a top down fashion starting with those graduating college.

 

Fellow college graduates, you have that wonderful degree that you just received from your favorite school with a degree in Amish electronics.  The problem is now that you have that paper but for some stupid reason you cannot find a job using that degree.

 

Ha!  You just became the victim of going to college and wasting money on a useless degree.  Of course, if Obama has his way, that money you paid for that degree will be forgiven and you will not owe anything for it.  That’s right, friends, get that useless degree and enjoy those years not having to join the workforce.

 

Naturally, you will have to join the workforce at some point.  While places like McDonald’s could be an option that is not what you were going for.  So your only choice is to get some low wage job that you can get, more than likely retail is certainly a fine choice, just like your humble speaker did.

 

Now onto the high school graduates, you are in the pretty much the same boat as the college grads.

 

You have the choice of spending money you don’t have to go to a college for a degree that will be useless in 4 years or so or you can go out and get a real job in the real world with the high school education you have.

 

Naturally, many students are not prepared for college.  I was one of them.  I found myself in trouble very early but I persisted and kept at it until I got my degree after 8 years of going part-time.  I could never get into a work-study program with my major because apparently I was “too rich”.  Seriously, too rich when I was taking out student loans every year to survive, what are they thinking?

 

This brings me to the point of a disclaimer that I have been hearing that “a degree doesn’t guarantee a job”.  It used to be that colleges would offer job placement assistance, now all they do is send you out the door with a “good luck” attitude.  They should just hand you a Walmart name tag at graduation instead.

 

Now for the kids in middle school and elementary school, you are the rebel group.

 

You spend your time with your little smartphones.  You play games, texting, talking to your friends, and using them to help you cheat on tests.  You may also be using them to send out those inappropriate pictures of yourself to your friends and to everyone else in the world as well.  Believe me, I have seen pictures before and the parents should be ashamed of not teaching proper etiquette.  Instead the parents shame their kids on the internet, sometimes with tragic results.  One child just recently committed suicide after being public shamed by their parents.

 

Which finally brings me to the parents and the little babies in their lives; you are the ones who should be acting like grownups here.

 

You opt out of vaccinations because people like Dr. Jenny McCarthy (not a real doctor, by the way) say that they cause autism.  You do other readings from others who echo these false claims.  Sure, you can send your kid to school unvaccinated, but you run the risk of not only having the kid getting sick but also spreading disease to others as well.  I am not just talking about in school, but any public place as well, such as shopping malls, where large numbers of people gather.

 

As livings in one of the states with the highest opt out rates in the country, I am disgusted that such behavior can go on.  When I was young, I could not even go to school unless I brought in proof that I was immunized and then the school secretary called the doctor to verify the information.  Back then, there were very few exceptions and if you didn’t follow the rules, you weren’t allowed to go to school period.  We should go back to those ways when everyone was protected.

 

Now I place the blame for this on parents.  You know you are a bad parent.  You may even be a single parent.  You may be a single mother.  You may not even know who your child’s father is.  You may have even had several children and don’t know who any of the fathers are.  Just watch any of the afternoon TV programs and you will see this played out in all its glory.  Parents need to become more aware of their children and more responsible people.  You are raising the future generation and you only get one chance – don’t screw it up!

 

In conclusion, let me say that society is going to hell fast.  We are all hating each other.  Authorities are not being respected.  People are becoming liars just so that they can get ahead in this world.

 

So people put down your gadgets and look around you.

 

We are becoming a world where nobody likes each other and just want to create chaos everywhere.  Add to this, a President who is out of touch with reality and wants to do nothing to make the world a better place.  I am ashamed of the USA and you should be as well.

 

Remember after 9/11, how we all came together united as one nation.  What happened to that?  Now we are beating each other in the streets, murdering each other, setting fires to local businesses and creating chaos everywhere.

 

This needs to stop today and we need a leader who can bring forth the kind of change that will bring us back to the greatness we once had.

 

Soon, we will be electing a new President.  I recommend that everyone pay close attention to each of the candidates and see how each of them plan on bringing this country back to greatness.

 

After all, we are ONE NATION.  We are AMERICA!

 

You are now free to go and continue to live your lives.

 

Thank you and good day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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