Author: Kevin

Benjamin Booker – Believe https://youtu.be/uBzpGUBvKzg

Benjamin Booker – Believe

Congrats to Mark Buehrle on getting his number retired. 

Congrats to Mark Buehrle  on getting his number retired. Here are all 27 outs from his perfect game.

What’s the deal with Android and the Nexus 5X?

What’s the deal with Android and the Nexus 5X? I was using this phone almost since it was released to the public and it was a good phone… for about a year. After that the phone got bogged down like a Windows XP machine that hasn’t been rebooted in 2 years. This happened to me with the Moto X and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

First there would be random crashes of apps as well as Android itself. Then, while trying to use the camera app it would crash or lag or lag then crash. But, the most frustrating thing over the last 6 months was the disappearing picture problem and this problem only occurred on the Nexus 5X. I never encountered this on any previous phone.

What’s the disappearing picture problem you say? It’s when you take a picture, see the preview in the little gallery icon in the lower right of the screen, close the camera app and go on about your life. You open the photos app later to look at your photo and it’s not there. So you open the camera app and you can see the photo you  took in the little gallery icon and then **poof** it disappears. Gone forever.

There must be some God awful memory management happening in Android for this to happen. In my mind, what is happening is that the picture is taken, loaded into RAM, but for some reason never makes it onto permanent storage in the phone.

Things got so bad with my Nexus 5X that I briefly flirted with the HTC U11 (which I didn’t like at all and promptly returned) and ended up buying a Pixel. Originally when the Pixel came out I refused to buy it because it was too expensive and kind of homely. But, if I want a good smartphone without getting trapped by Apple the Google phones are the only choice. The pure Android OS is still the best for me… for about a year per phone. Then it all goes to shit.

Why?!? Google fix this fucking OS please!

Preference for black coffee may correlate to psychopathy.

Image by: Nick Youngson

Preference for black coffee may correlate to psychopathy. I’ve been drinking my coffee black for more than half my life. Does this confirm or debunk the study? Be kind people… be kind for I may be a psycopath. >:o

If you like your coffee black, you may be someone who prefers strong flavours, takes good care of their health, or just wants to drink their coffee the way it’s supposed to be drunk.

Or, you may be a psychopath.

At least, that’s according to a new study published in the journal Appetite, which found a correlation between a love of black coffee and sadist or psychopathic tendencies.

From indy100.com

Supreme Court Unanimously Affirms the Right to “Offensive” Speech.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously the other day that the right to offend someone with your words is a natural right protected by the U.S. Constitution. Thank goodness.

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that a law denying federal trademark protection to names that are deemed disparaging is unconstitutional. “It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the unanimous decision (though the justices were split on the exact reasoning).

While many observers saw the case as a potential win for the Washington Redskins — who have sought to keep their trademarks in the face of claims that the team name is a racial slur — the decision actually concerned the Slants, a small Asian-American band from Oregon that describes its style as “Chinatown dance rock.”

When this case made it to the Supreme Court I was concerned given the current climate of speech in the country. With “safe spaces” and the anti-“cultural appropriation” crowd it’s getting harder and harder to just speak your mind for fear you’ll be mobbed by some person or group that has taken offense.

I’d like to point out that my family and TV station here in Chicago was way ahead of its time using the name “The Slant”.

Maybe we’re not doomed yet.

From the New York Times

If Amazon completes their purchase of Whole Foods even I may shop there.

If Amazon completes their purchase of Whole Foods even I may shop there. I don’t particularly like Whole Foods. I’ve always found their prices and pretension a bit too high for my tastes. But then today it was announced that Amazon made an offer to acquire the Austin based grocery chain and suddenly shopping there is much more attractive.

The reason is Amazon has amazing customer service. Sometimes things go wrong and when they do Amazon has, so far to date, never let me down. The most recent example happened just today. This started yesterday when I went to install some Internet access points at one of my offices that I ordered from Amazon. As soon as I opened the box I was suspicious that the devices were not new. They were shrink wrapped as if there were new but the devices inside the box were just a bit off.

When I installed them I discovered relatively quickly that they were indeed used before as the devices did not behave like a brand new product out of the box. It’s not that they didn’t work or were damaged it’s that someone had already set them up on their network and returned them for some reason. Whether or not Amazon knew about this is unknown.

But, here’s where Amazon makes it right. I chatted with customer support this morning and simply requested a discount because the items were used and explained to them how I knew they were used. The customer service rep couldn’t offer me a discount but instead offered to ship me replacement units with the request that I return the used ones within 30 days. It’s a win all the way around. Other retailers may not have offered this type of replacement so easily or may not let me keep the devices currently in use until the replacement arrives.

I’ve been an Amazon customer almost since their inception and if their prices remain competitive and their customer service remains excellent I’ll continue to be a customer for as long as I have money to spend.

That long story brings me around to Whole Foods. If Amazon close on this purchase the good will they’ve built with me over the last couple of decades only makes me want to patronize more of their businesses. Good luck to Amazon and maybe you’ll see me in the organic whatever aisle. I suppose everything there is organic something or other.

The failed state of Illinois.

The failed state of Illinois. This is starting to get so ridiculous that Politico is writing us up. Something has got to give and I fear it will be us, the taxpayers.

Illinois has compiled $14.6 billion in unpaid bills. It’s running a deficit of $6 billion, and its pension liability has soared to $130 billion.

That’s not the worst of it. The state’s nearly two-year failure to pass a budget has sent its bond ratings careening toward junk level, downgraded a staggering eight notches below most other states.

Wait, there’s more!

What does the crisis all boil down to? It began with an ego-laden brawl between two powerful men: Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan. Rauner was elected in 2014 as the first Republican governor in Illinois in more than a decade, vowing to “shake up Springfield” in a campaign that demonized Madigan — the longest serving House speaker in state history — and targeted “corrupt union bosses.”

Upon taking office, Rauner, a multimillionaire businessman, laid out a list of policy demands that initially included right to work elements as a condition of signing a budget into law. Rauner wanted changes to laws affecting workers’ compensation, collective bargaining and state property taxes, among others. Democrats considered the agenda an attack on unions, which the governor had vilified, saying they had too much power in Illinois politics. Rauner called the measures pro-business and necessary to address decades of financial mismanagement.

But Madigan, who has served as speaker under governors from both political parties, was loath to condition the passage of a budget on the governor’s political agenda. Each side dug in, with unions rushing behind Madigan and Republicans — tired of being shut out for years by Madigan and thrilled to have a generous donor to their campaigns in the governor’s office — lined up behind Rauner.

But wait! There’s even more!

With no solution in sight for the almost-two-year budget standoff, both Rauner and Madigan have sought to flood political campaign accounts with record amounts of cash aimed at broadening their grasp over the Democratic-controlled Legislature. But to pin the blame on Rauner and Madigan is to simplify the crisis, observers say.

“Every single member of the General Assembly has a vote. We’ve been asking for a long time, who do we blame? When we started, we went and visited over 40 legislators in both parties and said, please don’t do this. Exclusively, they’d say: ‘It’s their fault,’ and point to the other chamber. The other leader. I’m like: You are elected, you have a vote,” Durbin said. “So for us to boil it down to two individuals is a bit of a cop-out. Right now, the General Assembly and the governor — none of them are choosing to do what’s in the best interest of the state.”

From Politico

Holy say it ain’t so Batman! RIP Adam West 

Holy say it ain’t so Batman! RIP Adam West. The Batman of my youth has passed away.

The first mainstream media columnist I’ve seen finally said it.

The first mainstream media columnist I’ve seen finally said it. Here’s a tip of the hat to Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal. No other story or opinion piece that I’ve seen in a main stream news outlet is reporting this little bombshell from Comey’s testimony yesterday.

Mr. Comey explained that he had lost faith in then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s ability to handle the affair, in part because she had directed him to describe the probe in public as a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” That one of President Obama’s political appointees outright directed the head of the FBI to play down an investigation is far more scandalous than any accusation aired about Mr. Trump. Mr. Comey said it gave him a “queasy” feeling. But did he call on Ms. Lynch to recuse herself? Did he demand a special counsel? No. Mr. Comey instead complied with the request. Then he judged that the only proper way to clean up the mess was to flout all the normal FBI protocols. Vive la resistance.

From the Wall Street Journal

A half-Korean and a Filipina walk into a hospital… (This doesn’t end in a joke)

A half-Korean and a Filipina walk into a hospital… and forever did the world change.

There are few events in your life that change you in any profound manner and for me one of those was having my first child. You leave for the hospital one person and hours later (or in Melissa’s case 10 minutes after hitting the emergency room) you become someone totally different. Suddenly someone else’s life is in your hands and it’s of your own doing. You are now responsible for everything that happens to that person for at least the next 18 years.

Daughters are a different animal than sons. I don’t care what anyone says. Raising daughters is a conundrum. There are inherent differences between girls and boys and men and women and those differences need to be acknowledged. But, acknowledging them doesn’t mean you have to be limited by them. You can be tough, opinionated, straightforward, accept no bullshit, and still keep your femininity. After all, there’s nothing wrong with being female.

In many ways Jenny raised me as much as I helped to raise her and I can honestly say that she is one of the most perfect things I have ever had a hand in creating. I feel she is the embodiment of what modern women should aspire to be. I’m proud to be her dad.

Happy 30th JennyB!

Here’s a video I created years ago when Jenny graduated high school and was going off to college. Enjoy!