Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Thoughts for Augest 27, 2015

  1. This has to be some sort of record. Hurricane Ignacio may approach near the Big Island on Monday, and Hurricane Jimena is following just about 4 days behind it. That's some 5 storms in just over a month that come within 1000 miles of Hawaii and whose effects are felt.
  2. The 'trade Kam Chancellor' talk is heating up. Look at it this way: Trading him is going to result in huge returns -- at least a 1st-round pick for 2016 with a bunch of lower picks, or a mix of picks and a pretty good player. I think this coming weekend's preseason game makes all the difference: IF Shead and Bailey continue to show growth and perform at a high level, Carroll and Schneider will be inclined to go with them and trade Chancellor the following week. At USC, he was fun to watch because you knew he'd bring the boom, but that he was often in position to make that interception. His leaving early was a reaction to Sarkisian getting the job instead of Orgeron -- and it was an error -- but if he gets to start the regular season for Seattle, it'll all be worth it. Now that everyone knows he's going to start the game against SD, fans will be tuned in to see who he is.
  3. For months Netflix has been bypassing every one of the DVDs in my queue that are on a short / long waiting list. So I gave them the middle finger and removed the half of my queue that didn't have a waiting period. Next Monday, we'll see what happens.
  4. Three days after US stock markets tumbled and many people freaked out, the Dow Jones Industrials is now 1.18% higher than when it closed last Friday. That should validate my mocking of idiot conservatives who blamed Monday's plunge on Obama.
  5. I've never experienced food poisoning the way others have described it. I've never had stuff coming out from both ends at the same time, ever, and I've never had bloody stool. I've never had a purge event last for more than a day. I'm thinking maybe people might want to eat my poop to populate their bodies with my gut bacteria -- I have an iron stomach. Heh.
+5 Quick Links
  1. Ted Cruz' recent actions remind me of a Bunny Suicide.
  2. Oscar Mayer recall: Turkey Bacon. I do not recall liking turkey bacon.
  3. Sept 27 - Closest lunar perigee of 2015, and also lunar eclipse.
  4. Sept 1 - NFL rosters cut to 75. GTK.
  5. In China, anything can be faked, including Goldman Sachs.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

5 Thoughts for August 25, 2015

  1. Oil prices are now at about what they were at the bottom of the 2008-2009 global recession. Sadly, gas prices aren't. Is it price fixing in gasoline retail markets? The divergence is huge right now. Regardless, what this highlights is that NOW is the time to buy that hybrid or electric vehicle, and not when oil prices jump -- at that point you'll be competing on price for hybrids and electrics.
  2. Right about now, do you suppose that USC AD Pat Haden is regretting hiring Steve Sarkisian over Ed Orgeron? Sark's in the middle of getting a divorce, sold his home, and apparently has an alcohol problem that he's going to seek help with. I suppose that if he wins and reaches the championship game, all is forgiven.
  3. Something I didn't know: If you're a resident of Multnomah County, you can visit the Oregon Historical Society in downtown Portland for free. All these years and I haven't gone once -- I must rectify this.
  4. A researcher tells us what we already knew: Search ranking can affect choices. In a behavioral paper, Robert Epstein shows that one could modify search rankings to change the outcomes of elections. But here's the rub: He argues that this is why Google's algorithms must be regulated, yet he doesn't quite seem to get that Google modifies its algorithms to minimize SEO (Search Engine Optimization / aka search engine rankings) manipulation. If you regulate algorithms the unintended consequence will be that the unregulated Super PACs will thus be able to have greater influence on search rankings, and election manipulation. Be careful of what you wish for, Robert Epstein. An amusing discovery somewhat buried in his research paper: Self-identified Moderate Republicans were the most easily influenced voters when it came to search ranking manipulation, while self-identified Democrats were among the least vulnerable.
  5. My brother (in-law) sent me an email telling me that he discovered Chromecast, and was casting KODI (XBMC) to his TV via computer. I had this grin in my face as I read it, because I'd played around with Boxee (an HTPC front-end GUI similar to XBMC) some 7 years ago, and of course I've had my Chromecast for two years, now. With his config however, I would think that the Nexus Player would be better -- I should probably email him back explaining this.

+5 Quick Links

  1. Still pissed at Bush. I offer retort via CeeLo, to Jeb's comment linking Anchor Babies and Asians.
  2. Former Portland Archbishop Levada caught DUI while weaving in traffic, in Kona.
  3. All about Deez Nuts. Seems to describe the 2016 GOP field.
  4. Metromile did a study, using Google Auto's data, showing costs savings from self-driving.
  5. Just in case you didn't know whose side Randy's Donuts was on.

Monday, August 24, 2015

5 Thoughts for August 24, 2015

  1. Tebow did not look good at all. His throwing accuracy was off the charts bad, when scrambling. If you watch the video carefully, he went back to his old habit of drawing the ball down and back, instead of keeping it up and with a quick release that he had showed off earlier. He honestly showed good form in preseason week 1, so for Tebow to revert to old habits this quickly, I would be shocked if he plays QB in the NFL, which is to say, I would be shocked if Tebow remains with the Eagles.
  2. This past weekend in Portland could be called the Great American Smokeout. The last time I'd seen this much smoke was back in Los Angeles in 1993. The only difference between then and now, was that back then, we were getting ash falling like snow -- I suspect if you're in the Gorge you might be seeing the same thing, however.
  3. Republican politicians are blaming Obama for the stock market fall. Best dumb quote so far, comes from Mike Huckabee: "The chickens are now coming home to roost." He's Chicken Little come Christian Doomsayer. 
  4. TD Kiko just keeps moving westward of the Hawaiian islands, and so far looks like it's going to steer completely away from them, which is remarkable because of how closely it was tracking to previous hurricanes. Whew!
  5. When I was really young -- as in elementary school age -- my dad introduced me to Tommy Kono. I knew about him -- that he was a gold medal winner in the Olympics in weight lifting, but at the time I didn't realize just how prolific he was. I don't suppose too many people know who Tommy Kono is, but he was an elite athlete long before there were elite athletes. This popped into my head because today's Google Doodle is of Duke Kahanamoku (celebrating his birthday), and it feels like we should be celebrating Tommy Kono, once in a while, considering he's still alive.

+ 5 Quick Links

  1. Blackberry Passport running Android -- Blackberry fans have never been happier.
  2. Dismaland. All you need to know is that it's by Banksy.
  3. Asshole racist says Anchor Babies term was meant for Asians, not Hispanics.
  4. Ferguson, MO judge withdraws all arrest warrants prior to Dec 31, 2014. Huge.
  5. Elon Musk's Hyperloop is gathering steam -- folks from Boeing, NASA working on it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

5 Thoughts for August 22, 2015

  1. I'm looking at vacant lands for sale, and it just annoys me to no end, that brokers feel the need to tell you that you've got to do your own due diligence -- this is code for 'severe restrictions on what you can do with the land'. In some cases, the lot is too small to build on, based on its zoning; in other cases there are conservation limitations that raise the cost of doing any work on the site. The way I see it, if you know what the restrictions are, just state them, otherwise you're just being an asshole looking to make a buck off a fool who doesn't know how to perform a short-form due diligence.
  2. Dion Bailey looked pretty good with his start for Seattle against KC; had his receivers covered nicely and was otherwise around the ball. He was trying too hard at times though, instead of just flying around with his instincts, when he played at USC -- his junior (final) year he had 5 interceptions.  It makes you wonder if Seattle might just let Kam sit out the entire season and not pay him a dime, while letting Bailey start? I suppose though, Kam just needs to figure it out and find a way to save face before he loses his spot on the team.
  3. Staying on the Seahawks, Thomas Rawls looked really good -- he's hard to take down, and seems to have great balance on his feet, able to turn himself around and keep moving forward. I think he's going to oust someone from the backup RB roster.
  4. Okay, one last thing about the Seahawks: They signed George Farmer who was released earlier this week from Dallas. Excited and hopeful that he makes at least the practice squad, this year. Surely there is a spot for someone with a 4.35 40-yard dash, who beat out DeAnthony Thomas in high school.
  5. This sort of job posting on Guru, is exactly why I've stayed away from it. If you read it carefully and understand the law, this person is asking for someone to violate the law. If an Engineer or Architect has signed stamped drawings, only that person and the people under that person's supervision can alter the drawings. And there is no such thing as simple cosmetic changes to a building's exterior. When you change something, a whole series of other things in the drawing set end up requiring changes -- it's one reason why the industry has moved towards parametric modeling programs like Revit.

+ 5 Links

  1. Elizabeth Warren summoned by the Veep -- looking for support or encouraging Warren?
  2. Ipsos/Reuters: Trump with 19 point lead.
  3. How to kickstart anything. Funny.
  4. Steve Sarkesian's last post-practice presser was short -- he's mad at his offense.
  5. Americans (and a Brit) to the rescue. The lead? An Air Force medical technician in pediatrics!

Friday, August 21, 2015

5 Thoughts for August 21, 2015

  1. Earlier this year Josh Duggar was forced to admit that he had molested his sisters and other young girls when he was a teen, and quit as the head of the conservative Family Research Council. Yesterday Gawker outed his memberships in Ashley Madison -- a site that was dedicated to cheating spouses. Gawker also believes that it has found an OK Cupid account linked to him. Josh Duggar offered his defense: Porn addiction. He's so toxic, I would not touch him with a 10 foot pole wrapped in latex, using a remote-controlled robot, while on the opposite side of the planet, for fear that I might catch Duggar germs.
  2. I have stumbled upon a means to shut down a subset of online trolls, The False Expert: Submit to the False Expert, that with their seemingly high level of knowledge in a particular (sometimes obscure) subject, that they should share more on the subtleties of their knowledge that pertain to the matter at hand. I have done this three times in the past week and the False Expert has always disappeared.
  3. This is just my opinion, but if he doesn't want to play, why not trade Kam Chancellor for the Cleveland's Tashaun Gipson? You get a guy who might be just as talented, but on his last year of a rookie contract. It gives Seattle an opportunity to avoid concessions at the start of the second year in a four-year contract, lets Chancellor have a fresh start to renegotiate a bigger contract, and allows Seattle to essentially trade horizontally but affording some cap space next year to sign Bennett with a longer and bigger contract.
  4. Adoree Jackson kicked a field goal in practice, yesterday, which begs the question: Is there any position that he can't play? Can he get into the Summer Olympics, too? He's going to win the Heisman.
  5. Folks, Hawaii's facing yet another tropical hurricane threat: Tropical Depression Kilo looks like it'll strengthen to a hurricane while tracking backwards towards Kauai. Its path looks like a cross between Iniki and Iwa. Scary as hell, that this is the third time in a matter of just over a month that Hawaii's facing yet another hurricane threat. Combined with last year's cluster of close calls, what we're seeing is unprecedented.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

5 Thoughts for August 20, 2015

  1. If you were looking to invest in a smart home and wanted it to be future-proof, Google's latest product, the On Hub router, is probably your best bet, for three reasons: (1) It will be continuously supported with automatic software upgrades, (2) it is Zibgee-compliant (one of two open standards for the Internet of Things), (3) and is already a beast, spec-wise. That is, if you're willing to plop down $200. Oh, and its demand is very high, so it'll take a while before you'll actually get your hands on one. So what can you do with the IoT? You can set up a home security system, have your home automated to do a bunch of things when you leave or arrive, control the thermostat, power and devices remotely, or communicate remotely with your pet -- and I'm talking about what you can do right now, not 10 years from now.
  2. There seems to be some confusion about what "Black Lives Matter" means. Obviously all lives matter, but what BLM is saying, is that the lives of black people are being ignored, by way of current policies, laws and bias, hence, a reminder to white folks that black lives matter...too. When I hear a politician respond to the issue of BLM by saying that all lives matter, it makes me question their suitability as a public servant, considering the shallowness of their thinking. 
  3. Everyone is mischaracterizing Judge Berman's actions in the Inflategate arbitration. Everyone seems to believe that Judge Berman's grilling of the NFL's lawyers is a sign that he will rule against them, but they seem to have forgotten this tiny snippet: "Berman warned the NFL that an arbitration decision could be set aside if a key witness didn't appear at an arbitration hearing." It seems to me, if you combine Berman's questioning and his warning, what he is essentially saying is that he will rule that the NFL was more likely correct, but that the penalty was too severe. Don't believe the sports media's reporting, that Berman will rule in favor of Brady and let him get off without anything -- they're applying superficial interpretations of the judge's actions, thus far.
  4. Funniest movie I've seen on DVD this year: What We Do in the Shadows.  This mockumentary is right up my alley. If you're not laughing by the end of that clip, you don't have a great sense of humor. This deleted scene is a riot!
  5. The internet is a giant library my brain's repository, thus allowing me to "remember" ideas that I vaguely recall, by entering a few keywords into a query. While it may seem that I have an unfathomable depth of knowledge in a wide variety of subjects, the truth is, my brain is a keeper of keywords, and I merely enter those keywords into a search engine to recall the full idea. San internet, I'd be an absent-minded professor at best, or worse, a beach bum. In fact, that's a big part of what this blog is about -- I remember making an entry about a subject, and by keeping good tags, I can recall it later, to check my own memory. Oh, and I also use Pocket, Google Drive, Google Keep, Pinterest and photographs to help me remember things.