Posts Tagged With: rant

A NEW OPERATING SYSTEM IS NOT FUN.

I’m switching to a new operating system, and a new computer with system 7. Oh, joy. Jim is helping me and encouraging me by saying, you’ll love system 7 over Vista when you get used to it.

This morning, my new operating system allows pop up videos to interfere with my blog, right in my face, will not click off immediately, though it has an off X button. It won’t respond until after you’ve hit it two or three times.

Jim spent about five hours yesterday getting my programs to behave. Nice. Now I can open old documents on my new computer. But, it won’t recognize my old documents in the same form. And instead of clicking on a document to open it, I now, I have to click on the doc, then on O F and then on okay before it will open. Three clicks. And to save any changes I have to…. oh well, bitch, bitch, bitch. You get the point. It is going to be a long week and without Jim’s help, I’d have pitched the S-O-B by now.

WordPress had an announcement about all the coming changes this morning. I watched a video and looked at three different presenters, themes, was one. Another was apps. Apparently there are 27,000 app makers that want to work with WordPress. I can see the changes coming. Why allow users the convenience of one click when three will be better?

I have people tell me they love our site because it is so clean and to the point. I might be long winded but, I don’t have distracting stuff all over my site.  If the presenters have their way, everyone will have to put up with a certain amount of advertising. My daughter alerted me that when I post comments, there are ads next to many of the comments. Don’t you just love it?  We gave up TV because commercials drove us nuts. When it gets too thick, I’m giving notice.

You can tell I’m frustrated. I apologize for bending your ear when everyone out there has faced something similar. We are all in the same …

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SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN

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Leaving Ashland, we stopped at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center. They were celebrating the grand opening of a new exhibit about Aldo Leopold and the docent teasingly said this fall basket of mums matched my clothes and I should have my picture taken with it. The building is quite impressive but I found the displays rather plastic. A voices about Native Americans film was poorly done. The see-through lighted-from-behind screen was shadowed by the exit sign lights and other invasive light made it difficult to see.  The exhibits are designed to play with and press buttons and the story and pictures, except for a 75 foot tall mural, just didn’t give me a satisfied feel, or peak my curiosity, except for this sign:

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Just the sign, then very little about people settling here and struggling to make it. Duluth is in Minnesota, maybe that is why. But, Highway 2 is on a direct line to Duluth. I guess I’m jaded. I’ve seen so many wonderful visitors centers that give you a strong feel for where you are.

The Leopold exhibit was sparse. Aldo Leopold was one of America’s foremost conservationists.  He is renowned for starting the national wilderness system, founding the field of wildlife management and ecology, and writing the conservation classic A Sand County Almanac. He devoted his life to the question, “How do we live on the land without spoiling it?”  A question we are still asking today.  But, no counterpart of what Wisconsin has done to fulfill that goal. I asked the docent where I could see some big sugar maples, some huge hemlocks and pines and birches. She said there are a few stands here and there, on an island, or a park. Except for a nice garden in front of the center, it is surrounded by grass. A beautiful viewing tower to look at twigs for trees and grass. It makes me wonder, is this state way behind in recognizing the very lessons that Leopold brought to American consciousness? I was truly disappointed.

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This map is suggesting that climate change is a reality and this is what could happen. While we travel around the country we hear people everywhere, say:  “This is unusual weather. It isn’t usually like this.” At Ashland, a storm blew up like a veritable tornado. Campers commented at how unusual it is to get so many violent storms. In Michigan, the humidity and weeks on end of higher than normal temps? people were shaking their heads, “don’t know, this weather. My barley heads are bigger this year, but my corn is destroyed,” etc. etc.

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The center had an artists rendering  of the extinct American Carrier Pigeons that were so important during WW1. I was amazed at how beautiful they were and wonder how our society let them die out. It bothers me still that these things happened. In fact, one poster of a former Wisconsin governor claimed, “We have enough great forests to last our population forever.”  If only they knew what greed could do.

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When we reached Superior, we spent the night at the Richard Bong Veterans Historical Center. Richard Ira Bong above was a WWII fighter pilot who surpassed Eddie Rickenbacker’s record for downing 27 enemy planes. Just a young kid of 18, his  first battle netted 6 kills. They stopped him at 22 kills thinking their new, young hero would make a better emissary for selling war bonds.  He got bored with that and asked to go back to battle. Then they stopped him at 40, for fear they’d lose their hero as the war just about over. This center is unusual in that it is mostly devoted to this one man’s exploits with a lot of war statistics and memorabilia to fill a huge three-story building. It is located here because Richard Bong was born and raised in Poplar, WI, just  a few miles away from this center. His control of the Japanese air attacks made a huge difference in the outcome of the war. Many battle plans rested on his ability to perform and he is fittingly a great American Hero. Well worth a visit. This visit came as a positive, in one way because I’d just finished reading In Harms Way, by Doug Stanton, about the horrible shafting the Navy dealt Major McVay, the commanding officer of the Indianapolis when it was sunk by a Japanese sub. It took until 2001, 56 years after the sinking, to exonerate McVay.

And, a negative because I am so anti-war. Not that WWII wasn’t necessary, it was. But most wars are over American expansionism, our corporate interests in foreign countries, intervention in foreign countries leadership, ideology, religion, lack of tolerance for other nations culture, oil, business.  Look at these statistics of World War II:

Of a global population at the time of 2.3 billion people, 85 million served as soldiers. Sixty million died, 38 million of them civilians.

2/3 rds of the Jewish Population was annihilated.  The Soviet Union lost 27.5 % of their population. 17% of Poles died. 19.4% of Germans died. 3.67 % of Japanese lost their lives.  All countries lost some.

I read here General MacArthur’s  statement after the war:

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We do have a better world. But we don’t have freedom, tolerance or justice. We give our freedoms away, piece by piece. We are at war on our city streets. Tolerance and justice are still unmet goals as a nation.

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Protesters then were women and had I been old enough, I’d have been there with them.  I do appreciate that I had the right to protest, a freedom much diminished, narrowing and threatened as I write.

Amen!

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SPOTLIGHT BIG BROTHER

I didn’t mean to rant again but I’m remembering something from the early 1960’s. As a young married, I attended a City of Fremont public meeting about a planning issue. I no longer remember what my publicly stated objection was, but within weeks, my neighbors were getting visits and calls about me, what kind of person I was, my habits and etc. I was under investigation by the FBI. Those were the J. Edgar Hoover days.

Also, before I got married, I worked for Alameda County. I showed up for work with a bumper sticker supporting Don Dillion for mayor. He wasn’t a mafia member. He was a local businessman who owned a citrus orchard. This was a local city election, but the county told me I had to remove my bumper sticker. I was furious but I needed the job and did it.

And, when I did marry, I had to quit my job because employees were not allowed to fraternize (let alone date) each other. Marriage? Out of the question.

Now, the Patreaus/Broadwell investigation has led to intrusive examination of private emails.  Democrat Patrick Leahy needs a healthy dose of censure from activists for his new and even stricter revision of the House of Representatives SNOOP law.  It is tiring that regular ciitizens like thee and me have to be government watchdogs. Not only guard dogs of the intrusive and corrupting influence of money, but the perceived and over rated dangers of email correspondence.

Most egregious, Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, OSHA, Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission? Why should they be  allowed to subpoena my private information, with no judge to approve their need to know? They don’t even have to notify us that they are looking or have looked for as long as a year after the event. Unacceptable.

It isn’t law yet, but be aware if you have concerns. The entire document is available at this link if you wish to read it for yourself. That is, the discovery content from the online news organization from C/Net:

http://m.yahoo.com/w/legobpengine/news/senate-bill-rewrite-lets-feds-read-your-e-mail-without-warrants-191930756.html?orig_host_hdr=news.yahoo.com&.intl=US&.lang=en-US

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BICYCLING AMERICA

I have friends who walked across the United States at 61 and 63.  They came up against the brick-bats of a world made for cars 28 years ago.  Their journey revealed the total disregard for humans over the automobile.  It was evidenced in driveways, street crossings, short cuts, freeway overpasses without pedestrian or bike lanes,  attempting to cross bridges with signs  that warned NO PEDESTRIANS ON BRIDGE. Especially dangerous were freeways, four or five lane highways with no place for a walker or bicycle to cross without walking miles out of their way, and often no meridian center to stand on to make the second half of a crossing.   The highway engineers were basically saying, you cannot cross this river or this highway, or this freeway if you are on foot. And, now, they wall freeways in with huge costly edifices to protect  residents from noise.

This week I learned about the guy who got a $42 fine after killing a bicycler. Then another about a driver (who refused toxicology and breathalyzer tests) who plowed into five bicyclers. Five!  Outrageous. The number of bicycle deaths is unacceptable.  I got a message from Pot Calling the Kettle Black from Delaware who has a blog about bicycling in his state. It seems to me its time to go National with this problem. There must be a bike organization in every state.  In any case, check out his blog at:

http://www.bikede.org/2011/10/19/pot-calling-the-kettle-black/#comment-1397

And BikePortland.org as well. If you are unfamiliar, as I was with the bicycling community, you will learn a lot. My whole perception of bicyclers has been quickened by this accident and has changed me forever. It shouldn’t take an accident.  Previously, I thought of bicyclers as hobbyists, racers, trekkers, exercisers, but not as pursuing an alternative method of everyday transportation and long distance vacation travel, even though my youngest daughter is a bicycle commuter.  It could be your son, daughter, parent or grand child who meets an offending vehicle on a bike.   PLEASE DRIVE SAFELY AND MAKE IT A POINT TO SEE BICYCLES AND PEDESTRIANS.

As I said once before, the words are inadequate.

http://bikeportland.org/2011/10/04/collision-on-hwy-101-north-of-gold-beach-leads-to-serious-injuries-60050

Maybe we should tax vehicles by the mile and more people would  stay off the road or use alternative methods of travel  for short distances, and promote public transportation.

Geez!  All I do is rant anymore. Must be time for me to get back on the road.

 

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