Some Endings…(and some that SHOULD Be)

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Here we are well into 2017 and this is my first post to this blog of the new year.

I had decided to wait long enough for the political dust to settle, but I figured that everyone is so polarized that I could be waiting forever.

Certainly, 2016 was not a fun year as my health took a major step backwards and I had several longtime friends decide to no longer want to be friends, some who were friends over 30 years.  Apparently, they felt that I was too polarizing for them.

I also didn’t want to offend any friends if I could help it.  As an examle, one of my friend’s father had passed away.  I decided to make neither a comment or leave an emoticon as I felt that the last time I made any comment I was blasted by one of their family members as I felt that the picture was funny.  Unfortunately, I decided not to let my feelings known in this very sad occasion.

It was best that I kept a fairly low profile when my health started slipping.  At this point, I still am not out of the woods regarding my health and therefore haven’t been writing much.  It is for this reason that I will not be offering any future annual predictions.  However, I will give the results of last year’s predictions.

So here are last year’s predictions and the results:

  • The Dow will slip to a low of 9,000. (No, didn’t happen.)
  • JCPenney will file for bankruptcy and close all its stores. (No, didn’t happen however the future of the local one is questionable as I write this.)
  • Sears/Kmart will close at least half of their remaining locations before going out of business by year’s end. (Not yet)
  • OfficeDepot/OfficeMax will shut all their locations to allow Staples to buy the company and satisfy the government. (Nope)
  • Playboy will have centerfolds again by September after suffering a huge drop in readers and its main focus will be on getting celebrities to pose for the pictures. ( They have returned so I was only about 5 months off..so I am calling this partly yes.)
  • Nickelodeon will replace all its programming with imported teen shows similar to what happened to Teen Nick over the past few years. (No, but the future of the network is in jeopardy.)
  • Star Wars 8 will be delayed as a major accident on the set causes filming to cease. (No, but the death of Carrie Fisher may slow down the next one.)
  • The Muppets will not see a second season. (Who really thought this mess would not get cancelled?)
  • The Voice gets cancelled. (Despite no big name winners, this show still slugs along.)
  • A new format superseding Blu-ray will be introduced, but will fail as it will not be embraced. (If you call Ultra 4k a new format, then it has not been a huge seller yet, but then again 3D discs are becoming scarce.)
  • MTV, CMT and VH1 will merge into one station. (The future of these Viacom stations are questionable at this point.)
  • Windows 10 will experience a widespread update problem that causes updates to fail for weeks. (Although some problems have existed, updates have been not interrupted much.)
  • Kylie and Kendall Jenner will both get pregnant. (As far as I know, this didn’t happen yet unless a big bombshell happens.)

Out of 13 predictions, I am calling 6 halves and only 1 fully correct.  I may bring predictions back in the future if people request it, otherwise they are history.

Now onto other topics:

“Girl Meets World” has officially been cancelled by Disney Channel.  After 3 seasons, this show has been tossed to the curb.  While I haven’t finished the last 4 episodes, I have no idea how this series will end.

I have read that there is an effort to have this show be revived somewhere else.  One of them was Netflix.  I don’t think this would be a good choice as this show is more of a linear show and not one that could be watched in some random order.  Since I don’t have this service, I cannot think that this would be a great move.
Another option would be to put this on Freeform or as I like to call it the “Harry Potter” network since these movies are always on.  They have 3 series “Switched at Birth”,”The Fosters” and “Pretty Little Liars”, all of which are soon ending.  The problem with putting the show on this network is that there are only 2 comedies and neither are what I would call family-friendly.  Unless this network revamped its entire lineup, this show would never have a chance.

My choice would be to put this show on Friday nights on abc, preferably at 8:30pm – the slot currently occupied by “Dr. Ken”. The best thing about putting this show on Friday is that it’s predecessor was on that night for several years.  Hopefully, this could happen and save this good show.

However I cannot say the same for “Riverdale”.  If you grew up in the 1970’s, then you might remember the Archie cartoon series or if you are older you might know the comic book series.  Unfortunately, this show is not a thing like it’s pedigree should be.  This show is more like a fanboy sick fantasy than a really great show.  This show has it all: murder, interracial relationships, lesbian kissing, and sex, just to name a few.  This is where the show has many of its problems.  Like many shows of this type, it all starts with a murder and the show goes downhill from there.  The only difference is that this show uses the Archie comic characters as the basis of the story.  Like “The Muppets” from last season, this show deserves to die quickly and not be rebooted at all.  My score: 1

This show has absolutely no redeeming value and it’s sick lesbian kiss between Betty and Veronica was just too much to unsee.

Finally, I want to discuss the current state of the Time Warner/Spectrum merger.  Here in Maine, it has not happened yet.  We have been promised an updated program guide and still no changes.  Ads are still running with the TWC moniker and no indication of the Spectrum name can be found.  Rumor is that changes are supposed to happen by the end of this month.  The only changes to date is to the phone app, which is nothing more than rebranding the TWC app with the Spectrum name.  I really expected more than this especially after all these months since the merger.

To wrap up this post: 

  • My predictions have ended.
  • “Girl Meets World” has ended.
  • “Riverdale” should end.
  • Time Warner Cable should end it’s name locally and embrace its Spectrum name.

Finally, 2017 will be a year of anniversaries, 3 of them none that are overly happy.  Two will be discussed in my other blog, the third in this one.  The first will come next month.

My next blog post here will be the start of my Florida trip from last year.  It won’t be a boring travel log, but rather a look at interesting things along the way.

Until next time, comments are always welcome here or my Facebook page.

The Last Post of 2016

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To say that this year was not a tough year, would be an understatement.  

At least, for me, it probably was the worst year I ever had or close to it.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly for the first half of the year, then it seemed everything went wrong.

First, my computer became the victim of a bad Windows 10 update, which made me having to start from scratch.

After I got that pretty much solved, I became technically blind in my left eye and not much better in my right.

The healing process has been long and hard, but hopefully in January, it will be pretty much over.

Beyond those issues, 2016 also saw a number of longtime friends decide to become former friends for reasons unknown to me.  However, with one of those friends, I know it was them just being a jerk for not accepting my opinion on a political topic.

It seems that anger dominated the political process this year as it was less about who you voted for rather who you voted against.  I found myself a couple of times showing anger against some of the candidates even going as far as writing emails to my own party criticizing their choice of candidate.  Ironically, the more times that I responded to their email donation unsubscribe list, the more of them I received.  Eventually, it appeared that they blocked my email address as I noticed that my later emails bounced back to me despite that I was still receiving contribution emails from them.

In the end neither candidate deserved to win as we now see that the swamp that should be drained is now being loaded with billionaire alligators.  So much for supporting the little guy.

I suspect that the next 4 years will be great for the rich while the dwindling middle class continues to suffer.  I don’t expect to see my own situation to improve over the next year as my health still seems to waining somewhat.

This brings me to the ongoing continuation of this blog.  I plan on alternating writing for this blog and my newly renamed “Retail Land” on alternating weeks.

At least that is my plan for now, however there may be times when one blog may go for a couple of weeks without a post.  The reason for that is that sometimes I just don’t have a good topic for that blog for that week.  Hopefully, that does not happen often and that I remain healthy enough to write for both blogs.

For now, I am using the WordPress mobile app to write my blogs and it seems to get better all the time.  I recommend this app for those who want to do mobile blogging.

Finally, I want to briefly discuss this holiday season.  As some of you may know, I don’t really celebrate this time of year nor do I say any holiday greetings to anyone.  I started doing that many years ago as I felt that it was inappropriate to do so.  

This year it seems that people are more ignorant and rude more than ever in public.  Add to this that many sales associates are uncooperative and it leads to a very unhappy holiday season and many angry people.  Combine this with the ongoing political anger and nobody seems happy anymore.

Overall, I feel that 2017 will become another so-so year as much of the anger will last for several months.

Now what is ahead for the new year.

First up is my annual crystal ball look back and forward.  I will then go into highlighting my Florida trip from last year.  Along the way, I also expect to see a major upgrade to the Spectrum (former Time Warner Cable) system.  I will report on that when it becomes available in my area.  Some areas may already have it so maybe it might be more refined by the time I get it.  As far as any other topic goes, that will be a surprise.  As always, things can change as events warrant.

For now, this is all I have.  It you wish to contact me, you can do so through Facebook, Twitter, or email.  I will usually respond within a few hours.

Until then, I will return in January.

Back From The Dead (For Now…)

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​Yes, I am still alive much to the disappointment of many of you.

The last few months have been extremely difficult for me as I had given up most everything because of a medical condition.
This was not a simple problem:  I was basically blind in one eye and was quickly losing vision in the other.  Whether I liked it or not, I needed surgery to reattach my retina in my left eye and fill holes in my right eye.

The recovery process has been long, lonely and very difficult.  I spent many hours watching YouTube videos on my phone to pass some time as I could not see my laptop.

It is ironic that right after I was getting my laptop back to a working version of Windows 10 again and much lost on it, my health would immediately take a nosedive.

What happened to me basically happened overnight and was very frustrating along with scary.  While I have regained most of my sight back, I still need another procedure done on my right eye early next year. 

Now onto the business at hand:

My plans right now is to continue my postings alternating between my 2 blogs on a weekly basis.  I will, however, be not doing any postings during the last 2 weeks of the year, as I normally never post during those weeks.

My plan is also to resume where I initially left off and that was with trip to Florida earlier this year.  

I will also be doing my annual predictions in early January as I normally do.  However, this year they will be posted exclusively to my rants blog.  I also plan on discussing some post election thoughts as well in early 2017.

Now for some changes that will happen.  I am officially renaming the “Staples blog” to “Retail Land”.  The reason is that I find myself writing more about other retailers than I do about Staples.  This does not mean that I will not write about Staples is that they are dying whether they want to admit to it or not.  I plan on writing my next post about what I found shocking on a recent visit to a Staples store.  To some it may not be, but I look at it as the dismal future of the company.

I am also changing the name of my Facebook page as well to “Retail Land”.  I am hoping that it will grow more than the very few who liked it in the past.

Eventually, I may change the page format to each of my blogs to make them different from one another, but that it is the future.

For now, until next week, email me or leave me a comment below, or visit me on Facebook and become friends with me.  Don’t forget to like my Facebook page as well.

Good bye for now.

Unwanted Hiatus

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Due to a medical condition, I will not be doing anymore blog posts until further notice.  Additional information is available on my Facebook page.  Thank you for your continued support.

Unwanted Hiatus

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​I have some bad news.

Last week, I tried to update to the latest build of Windows 10.  After nearly 3 weeks of failure, it finally downloaded and unfortunately it caused one major problem.

My computer kept crashing not allowing me to do anything with it.  I could not even rollback to the previous build of the operating system.  So I had to do the worst thing possible: boot to the recovery system and backtrack to Windows 7.

In doing this, I lost everything on my computer or at least on the surface.  I am going to try to recover most of my important files, if I can and then reinstall the programs I use to write my blogs.  

This means that I will be dedicating most of my computer time to repairing my system, hopefully and getting back within a month.  Until then I will not be writing any posts to either blog, however when I do return I plan to start with the topics that I previously announced.

Let me say in closing that I have never experienced an incident that caused an upgrade to fail like it did in all the years that I have been using Windows, but there is a first for everything.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I will keep you posted on my return.

Until then, happy computing.

Half Year Review

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This week’s blog post is being presented in both of my blogs as the information is relevant to both blogs.

 

Tomorrow, we will be exactly half way through the calendar year.

 

This means at this point that I look back at what has transpired over the last 6 months.

 

On the Staples blog side, the merger that didn’t happen was the big story and appears that the company has suffered greatly because of it.  Whether or not the back to school season will save them is yet to be seen, but if it continues to be as bad as what it has become in recent years, I predict more closures will result along with more cutbacks.

 

On my other blog, no topic was really a standout topic with the possible exception of the Time Warner Cable/Charter merger.  Another topic gaining some traction is the continued problems with the ongoing updates to Windows 10.  As I write this, I am still awaiting the download of the latest build.  Each build seems to be getting less stable as features seem to crash more frequently.  I will report on both of these topics as the need arises.

 

Now for the overall state of both blogs, I must say that I am disappointed.

 

While both blogs seem to have at least 50 followers, it seems that nobody ever seems to comment on either blog much anymore.  Maybe it might be that the topics are not interesting or maybe the inconsistent updates of my posts.  It could also be the length of the posts as well.

 

Recently many of my posts have become much shorter on average.  The reason is that I feel that people may be more engaged if the posts were shorter.  I would appreciate hearing from my followers if they prefer longer posts or shorter ones.  My preference would be to take long topics and break them down into several posts if it is a long topic, but I would like to hear from you.

 

While I do have some disappointed about how things have been in the past, I do have a couple of topics of interest on the upcoming docket.

 

Up first, which will be on the next post to both blogs and run for a few weeks, will be my recent trip to Orlando, Florida.  In case you wondered where I was the first couple of weeks back in early June, I was with my family on their anniversary trip to Orlando for the umpteen times.  Granted I left just hours before the weekend of horror happened with the 3 major events that rocked the city.  Since we drove down there, I have much to share about things that happened along the way and down there.  Yes, nothing really went as smooth as one would think.  This topic will be of interest to both blogs and I hope that it will be interesting as well.

 

After I complete that topic, my plan is to bring the topic of the game show revival that is happening this summer.  I have recorded these new shows, but have yet to watch any and am anxious to compare them to their older versions and how they stack up.  On the Staples blog side, I plan on discussing more of the retail downturn and what companies may be next to bite the bullet.

 

Overall, I think that the topics upcoming will bring great interest to both blogs.  As always I appreciate any comments and any topic suggestions.  You may reach me here or by becoming my friend on Facebook.

 

Until then, enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend.

 

 

 

Facebook’s Many Problems

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When I joined the Facebook community a little over 7 years ago, I thought maybe that I could keep in contact with my friends from my former job or even more so those people who I went to high school many years ago.

 

Little did I realize that there would be so many issues along the way.  Having some people friend me and then unfriend me months later for no really good reason given.  Why did these people friend me in the first place if they knew they had no intention of wanting to continue to be my friend?

 

Add to that the few that have even blocked me for no real good reason either.  To uncover those who blocked me, I created a second account under an alias to spy on others and find out who blocked me by testing their URL with my primary account.  I was shocked at how many people have blocked me even though they never really friended me.

 

However, Facebook has more issues than that as far as who hates me on their site.

 

Recently, it was reported that the site’s trending topics have been slanted to support certain viewpoints.  I will say that I see significant differences in trending topics between my 2 Facebook accounts.  I believe that part of this is because my primary account has so many liked pages and my secondary account has hardly any liked pages at all.  Could they be slanting trending topics toward topics that I have liked pages of before?  It certainly appears that way.

 

Now onto other issues with Facebook:

 

When I started using Facebook, it was on a PC with a browser.  When I got my smartphone, I started using the Facebook app.  However I found the app to be huge and a significant space hog taking up as much as 280mb of precious space.  It has slimmed down somewhat since then but it is still unusually large,  I have tried many of the so-called alternative wrappers of Facebook, which usually are rather small but are hindered by a large number of ads or just don’t work properly.  Currently, I am using the Chrome browser on the phone to access Facebook.  If anyone knows of a really good Facebook alternative app, let me know because none seem to work well for me.

 

The next problem has been with Facebook Messenger.  This program started out as being part of the Facebook app but has since been separated into its own app.  This too is a fairly large program and since I don’t communicate much at all with anyone using the PC version, I find this program totally useless.  However, Facebook still thinks that I need this to use Facebook.  I think not.  If I regularly had any conversation at all with anyone, then I might consider it, but I see it currently as a waste.

 

Next up is the onslaught of friend requests that I have received lately.  I know that most of these requests are fake, but I accept most of them just because I want to report the content in which they are sharing.  Many of these fakes delete their accounts within a few days but others have lingered so they may very well be real.

 

I report at least one post or profile daily.  However, the results from these reports mostly are disappointing as many of them are not considered violating their “community standards”.  This makes me wonder if a real person is looking at what I am reporting or if this is being done by some sort of bot program making the decision.  My usual feedback is negative if the offending item is not removed.  I would say that 80% of the posts are not deleted.  This is a high percentage of material that should not be on Facebook, but somehow still remains.  Sometimes after several times reporting the same post, it does get deleted.  However, nobody should have to report the same thing multiple times to get something deleted.

 

Overall, Facebook continues to be a very mixed bag of frustration, happiness, and hatred.  It doesn’t seem that there is a way to ever make anyone ever happy on the site, so sometimes I still wonder why I stay there except to announce the postings of my blogs.

 

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