Showing posts from April, 2013

A Test

I have a test for you: write down your current, general feeling about America on a 3x5 card and place it in a desk drawer. Now, starting tomorrow morning, do not read a newspaper, do not watch the news on TV, and do not click on any news web sites for one full week. At the end of the week, write down your thoughts about America based only on what you saw, what you did, and what you experienced for that week without news. Then get the original card out and compare the two. My guess is that the week without news will be more positive and hopeful.

Without the news ravaging you with hyperbole and sensationalism, I'm willing to bet your opinion of people, places, and things will generally improve during that week. I bet that you will focus more on the people you meet and interact with, how things are for you (personally), and the economy of your personal area over the vast threats that Fox and MSNBC news are insisting you listen to.

Without having the Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olberm…

Cherry Picking

When I write a blog, I try hard not to cherry-pick my statistics or my sources. I try to present both sides, or what I find to be the most prevailing attitude or opinion on a subject, and then express my opinion about that (whether I agree or disagree). You can argue how successful I am at doing that.

Facebook (FB) is an incredibly useful tool for getting in touch with people I used to know and finding connections that have been broken. I'm back in touch with a number of my extended family members as well as high school chums that I lost contact with over the years. Some of my good friends who went off to live their lives I have gotten back in contact with and have found out what has been going on.

However, one of the worst parts of Facebook is that people can post just about anything... and they do. The worst thing is that people post "factoids" from people, companies, and activists without vetting the information first. I see a ton of repostings that are simply bad inf…

Congressional Term Limits

Why does it seem like the Right is moving farther right and the Left is moving farther left? Yet Presidential elections always and consistently show that the most moderate person gets nominated for their party and the person who appeals best to both sides (and is, therefore, the most moderate appearing of the two candidates) is the one who gets elected. It used to be true in Congressional elections as well, but now seems to be the person who talks the loudest or has some sort of name recognition gets elected.

I firmly believe that America has about 10-15% radical Right people, 10-15% radical Left people, and between 70-80% of the people are moderate. They may be moderately Right/Conservative or moderately Left/Liberal, but each side has some things they can agree with from the "other side" and this vast majority of mostly moderate people can calmly sit down at a table together and come up with compromises and solutions. Yet the rhetoric in Congress between the parties, as we…


In general, I like UPS. They are an efficient model business that moves millions of parcels around the entire world on a daily basis with few screw-ups. However, I have to share my current issue.

My wife and I ordered a replacement TiVo drive from, a company I have dealt with and is a good resource for people using the TiVo DVR. However, it turned out that the problem was not our hard drive and whatever the problem was caused the hard drive to become corrupt. So we needed to return the product. I got the RMA information from them and followed it. We found a drop-off location in Calais, ME and took it there.

On Friday (April 5) I noticed that the person entering the address had miss-keyed it. The address we were sending to had four nines in it (9999) but they had only keyed three (999). So, on Friday, I first called our UPS drop-off location to see if they could do anything about that from their end. The nice lady tried, but she could not change the address. I then went to…