An Almost Unfilled Prescription

This is not what you want to see first thing in the morning.
This is not what you want to see first thing in the morning.

I think I may have mentioned before that I am not a morning person. As you can see on my t-shirt design pictured below, my daily prescription is coffee in the morning to get started and bourbon in the evening to relax. As a result I have no problem-solving skills until around 10:30 AM. So when I was faced first thing in the morning with a clogged needle on my indispensable coffee dispenser, I was devastated. Continue reading “An Almost Unfilled Prescription”

This Season’s Baseball Thoughts

Close friends know I’ve only recently become a serious baseball fan. I haven’t said much about the sport this year because I’m an avid Cubs fan and I don’t wanna do anything to upset the karmic applecart. So this is just a few comments about baseball in general.

If you have an interest in baseball at all you know that the last couple of years they’ve instituted the play review. It give a team a chance, up to a point, to question the umpire’s call. With the use of video replay, watched by a group of officials in New York, they can check out a play using frame by frame video to see exactly what happened. Its very cool and as many times as not its proven the umpire’s original call accurate.

One of the type of plays not eligible for review is the balls and strikes call at the plate. Now this to me would be a logical limitation dues to time constraints, etc. if it wasn’t for a little thing usually called Pitchtrax. There’s a few other copyrighted or sponsored names for them but they all come down to the technology that shows the exact position of the ball as it passes over home plate. It can tell to a high degree of accuracy if the pitch was thrown as a ball or a strike.

If you watch baseball for any length of time and keep an eye on the Pitchtrax you will see quite a few missed calls at the plate. I’ve seen missed calls that, at least in the long term, changed the final outcome of the game. Don’t get me wrong, I know umpiring is a tough job right up there with dog catching. I wouldn’t want to make split second decisions like that with literally thousands of opinionated sports fans watching. But thats the point! Let the machine make the call whether the ball passed over the plate, or not. The ump still has to determine if the batter swings at it, or if the ball hits the batter, or if its fair or foul or any number of other possibilities.

And while I’m at it I’d like to place my vote about intentional walks. That’s what its called when the defending team elects to walk a batter on purpose. They do it often when a very good hitter is at the plate. Currently its done by the catcher standing up and setting a target several feet outside so the batter cannot hit the ball.

There is discussion is about changing the rules so that an intentional walk can be done without the obligatory outside pitches and they just give a pass to the runner to first. I don’t like this one bit. The reason for the change is mostly to speed up the game but the game is also about ball handling. Even if this is usually a simple play, something weird could happen like it often does in baseball. As long as the pitcher has to throw the ball to the catcher they are using skill and ball handling. If one of them were to drop or miss the ball the offense could take advantage. With the simple pass to first, opportunities for both teams are lost.

Ok I probably won’t bore you non-sports types with talk about baseball anymore this season. But I have to warn you that football season is coming and am not a fan of that sport so I will be curmudgeony about it.

As Easy As A.B.C. ***UPDATED!***

WikiLeaks has released a group of emails from the DNC that shows a portrait of graft and conspiracy. Some examples are below and you can find a huge list on

When I first heard the controversy over the Hillary Clinton emails my first thought was “Why was she using a private server?” As a former network administrator I know of no good reason to set up a private email server and lots of bad reasons. I also know how hard it is to keep any server secure. This private server was setup when State Department’s policy was that all normal operations were to be on an authorized system.

ExtremelyCarelessThe pattern of questionable conduct seems to go on and on. When the House Oversight Committee asked if she had used private email the did not reply. This could be considered lying by omission. The State Department later responds without a satisfactory answer. Later the State Department told the committee investigating the Benghazi tragedy that Clinton used the private server exclusively as Secretary of State. The list of ethical questions goes on if you study the story.

Now, I have no problem with personal email accounts. Hell, I have four at last count. A personal email is not a problem until someone with clearance sends classified information through an unsecured server. That is the big problem there. The FBI called it “Extremely Careless.” Do you think someone who wants to be president should be allowed to be “Extremely Careless” with classified material?

I think the answer to that last question is as easy as ABC! Anyone But Clinton.

A sample of the links to WikiLeaks show the true nature of the DNC. More can be found at

DNC conspiring to create false Trump information and release with Reuters.

DNC Hillary supporters infiltrated Sanders campaign.

DNC making fun of black woman’s name.

DNC member killing horses for insurance money.

Don’t Trust Technology

Find this and other words of wisdom at my shop.
Find this design and other technological words of wisdom at my shop.

All my life I’ve worked with technology. This has given me a innate distrust of anything more complicated to operate than piece of paper. It has always been my experience that tech is guaranteed to fail you at the time of most critical need. Of course it doesn’t help that I’ve always been involved in leading edge technology. But even the simplest device seems to spend its time waiting and conniving the best way to inconveniently make up for all the convenience it has supposedly brought into my life.

You have to realize technology can be any non-organic helper of man. This means that 10,000 years ago, a campfire was state-of-the-art technology. Now at this point we are talking about the art of staying warm at night. But the campfire was the first thing other than another cave person (I don’t judge) or animal (I REALLY don’t judge) that kept a caveman warm at night.

Let’s begin with the simple garage door opener. Oh I’m sorry. Today they call them garage door operators. When I found that out a couple of weeks ago I should have known that new ones were not gonna be an improvement. Merely a new set of experiences.

The compound has a detached double garage and the old garage door openers (because thats what they were called back when they were put in) were getting noisy and slow. One had even started spewing lubricant until there is now a dark, oil-colored stripe down the middle of one of the doors. Add to that, daughter-of-Snowball refused to quit using the remote with the sticky button so it was a crap shoot whether the door would remain down in the time it took her to walk to the house.

The nice, new door operators have an web interface so I can sit in my easy chair and know if the doors are up or down and close them if needed. I even get texts when the doors open and close which is an option I’m sure was designed by the father of a teen-aged girl. We don’t have anymore of those but its still a nice thing to know. So far I have only found the door stopped half-way once for no reason (door tech still hates me). With all of this brand new, state-of-the-door tech I still never feel like I can drive or walk away from the garage until I wait and see with my own eyes that the doors are closed.

This week I learned another technology that I can’t trust. I realized this when I walked into the bathroom and stepped on a soaked throw rug. I let out a scream that would have made a longshoreman proud. For no discernible reason, the toilet had surrounded itself with water.

The bowl was clear and at the normal level, the tank had filled and was quiet. So after removing the offending rug and with plunger in hand, I encouraged Snowball to flush the toilet while we both analyzed the proceedings. It worked perfectly – of course.

The only theory we could come up with was that earlier that morning one of us had made an especially fiber-laden deposit and the bowl was temporarily unable to drain at the rate of the tank. This is only a theory because I sure as hell don’t watch the operation of the toilet if I can help it. It’s just another technology that waits for the opportunity to fail me.