It doesn't take much to make me happy, but then it doesn't take much to annoy me either.

15 MAR 2024 - 'Kay, gotta vent without sounding like a total geek.

My company nearly lost certification to do business in EU. Somebody dropped the ball (doesn't surprise me but that's a diff topic) and the impact to our group was that new labels needed to be added to our product. With a medical device company, you can't just slap any old label on a product, it has to be validated first. Which means working with devs overseas as well as local devs, coordinate shopfloor people to run validation, and validation engineers conducting the tests. Me and a co-worker are responsible for setting up configs to get the labels to print. It's a lot of work, a LOT of work, and any little thing not set right will stop the whole process.

The twist this time was our test servers, normally used for validation, were unavailable. Thus management, in a rush to avoid an EU shutdown, decided to do validation in the production environment.

Now PROD (production environment) is a highly controlled setup. Inventories, labor hours, orders, shipping, accounting, business forecasts - everything is tracked in PROD. Which is why WE DON'T MESS AROUND WITH PROD. Golden rule - don't mess with PROD - only fools disreguard at their peril.

[Side note: I messed around with PROD a few years ago and VP of production had a little talk with me. Wasn't pleasant.]

To do validation, normal PROD configs have to be changed - but those changes cannot affect ongoing production... I ran out of new swear words. 

5 MAR 2024 - Okay, so been using MS Expression for the site, and it's great software, but... Microsoft is no longer supporting it. Stopped updates in [checks notes...] 2012. So this is 12 year old software. Because of that, I checked around to see what other options are available as far as websites go, and there are some services out there but they want subscription type money. Like $10-$30 per month. Mostly geared toward commercialization, offering to setup product sales and such. Not what I'm interested in, I just wanted something to be able to post blog notes and maybe post some photos.

So sticking with MS Expression. Wish me luck.

1 MAR 2024 - Friday night cigar in the garage, been cold out in the 40s overnight... indoor man cave works.

Had a small scare last week, right eye started acting funny with bigger more black floaties, flashes of light, and a weirdly distinct floating pattern of dots. Ended up going to ER where they ruled out a detached retina. Made it into eye doctor week later to discover it's just aging. Once detached retina was ruled out, I sort of gave a sigh of relief and was ready for any news. Nothing dramatic, it ususally isn't - but yeah...

DT still battling the hip problem. On meds to treat nerve pain, it sort of works but also makes her drowsy during the day - not fun either.

Outside of that life is pretty routine. Still doing the work thing, though it's now with a bigger company. Bought out by a larger company, which hasn't been too much of a change, just more rules and regs to follow - old company had 5K employees, new has has 50K.

Also been able to work from home since 2020 - only recenly had to show in the office 2 days a week, and at that don't have to stay the full day - can put in time meeting other folks and after 5-6 hours we head back to beat traffic. That's the piece that kills... traffic - spending over an hour in rush hour traffic each way, and that's even using the commuter lane - yeah that is too much. I'll work from home as long as that pony rides.

29 JUL 2022 - Turning 64 in a few days. Joy.

Nah, honestly it's just another year. I'm blessed with very good health, at least as far as what I can control. No complaints...

Not sure if it's from getting older, but I'm much more committed to working out. Still doing P90X, and for whatever reason I'm even more committed to it than ever before. It's a very balanced program, with upper and lower body, abs, stretching, and even a martial arts routine. My approach is to just show up, put on the gear and start the video, and at the very least do some amount of whatever they're doing. With that strategy, I've been able to do the entire workout and have been sticking to this for about a month now.

This is impressive - it's difficult to exaggerate the mental and emotional boost I get from finishing a whole workout, let alone the obvious physical conditioning. And it's a grind, no doubt. But something really clicked when I allowed myself to back off and just do a few reps of each exercise. Recognize when I'm tired, and just do enough to check that off the list and go to the next one. The first 30 minutes I'm usually fresh and energetic. But then I get tired and my goal shifts from building strength to easing up and gaining aerobic stamina from finishing the workout.

Now there's a second aspect to all of this that is huge, something else that I've gained a much better grip on, and that is my eating habits. I don't think my diet has improved tremendously, I still enjoy burgers and fries on occasion and probably could use more fresh produce. But - losing weight is a beast of a job, and I've corralled this one by simply limiting snacks.

Used to be I was snacking all day, eating meals, and continue snacking at night. Cookies, chips, ice cream, pies or pastries - there were times when I simply could not eat enough. The result was tapping the scale at 218 back in April when I went in for a check up. That was a cold slap in the face - I have never weighed that much and something woke inside of me.

So I stopped snacking and the weight really melted away. This will sound really unhealthy, but I dropped about 15 lbs in a month, just by no longer eating snacks. I eat two meals a day, lunch and dinner and that's it. I try to control portions, not overdoing each meal. But I've noticed that when lunch or dinner rolls around, I'm hungry. It's good thing, rediscovering hunger, that adds to the enjoyment of a meal.

That's some of what has been going on. I updated the Aging page and have some ideas for posting more in Photos... kind of reawakening my interest in updating this site. Nice...


31 MAY 2021 - Happy Memorial Day...

memorial day

memorial day

memorial day


24 MAY 2021 - It's Monday and I'm sitting here updating the site because I took today off from work. Too much vacation, and the company is asking everyone to burn some down... which, since they combined sick leave with vacation, I think is a questionable thing to do. But I've been griping about that for 20 years now to no avail.


  • The virus is still with us, or it's not, depending on one's ability to suspend the truth. Several states in the US have dropped all restrictions including social distancing as well as masks. And yet other states are continuing to enforce measures that limit social interactions. A variety of experts claiming "science" have arrived at contradicting conclusions, which means the average man on the street has no clue who or what to believe.

    Side note: A good friend of mine and his family came down with Covid. He and his wife were hospitalized in ICU, while his adult children merely had flu symptoms. This was a huge wake up call for me - up to now I was very cavalier about getting sick, believing odds of myself getting it were extremely remote. I've been vaccinated so my personal fears are still diminished, but watching what my friends had to go thru was alarming... not so cavalier now I guess.
  • Still working from home, with no estimate of when we will return to the factory... I'm good with that.
  • I've read quite a few books, including another Ron Chernow work about Ulysses Grant. Chernow has won my trust in that he examines historical figures in a fairly objective light. He doesn't avoid critical comments about character flaws or questionable decisions while also highlighting their accomplishments.
  • Daily workouts are going strong - I'm currently at 142 days, almost 5 months, of meeting my goal of 5 workouts per week. The more I do it, the more I'm convinced P90X is one of the better workout programs out there. Upper body, lower body, abs, yoga for balance and stretching, martial arts for coordination, and each workout has an aerobic quality as well. It's the whole package and every time I think about trying something else I wonder if it will be as comprehensive as P90X.
  • Finally able to visit Willie again without needing a mask. I've been vaccinated, and he's been vaccinated, but it took a bit before his home recognized the reduced risk. But now I'm able to enter thru the front door with a mask, and visit in his room without a mask. I can live with that.


12 JAN 2021 - It's surreal. Twitter bans the president of the US, Facebook pulls all posts with the words "stop the steal", and the conservative app Parler is first kicked out of first Google's apps store and then Apple also. At the end of the day, Amazon booted Parler from their server hosting platform.

All in one day.

Like I said, surreal. How does anyone not see the obvious free speech issues getting trampled by Big Tech? Where were concerns about violent protests when "mostly peaceful" BLM crowds were burning buildings, rioting, looting, and making cops lives miserable - all in the middle of a pandemic?

I'm also hearing stories about financial companies refusing business of people associated with Trump.

I gotta say - in a way it doesn't surprise me. I knew if liberals ever regained power they would act upon the blinding hatred that had been obviously brewing for the past four years. I was hoping enough rational people could forestall this event by noting the crazy contradictory BLM protests ("Virus? What virus? This is more important!") and vote against them. But I didn't take into account the weasels in the Republican party (Brian Kemp) that would allow Dems to steal the elections. That I did not predict.


03 JAN 2021 - Working out is a physical thing, but I find having the right mental approach is invaluable. Without a good mental approach, commitment lags and workouts no longer take place.

Lately I've found this progression of thoughts to be the best:

  1. Pre-workout: Just show up. Don't think about how much you plan to do or what intensity. The most important idea at this point is to put on your workout clothes and start the workout.
  2. Beginning the workout: This is a warm up and takes about 10 minutes. Go thru the motions without committing to how much will be done. For me, a mental bargain is taking place in my head that allows me to end the workout at any time, even at this point, and still be satisfied that a workout has been done.
  3. Middle of the workout: Usually this is about 20-30 minutes into the workout. At this point, if I've stuck with it, the juices are flowing and the feeling of accomplishment is great. Motivation is at it's peak.
  4. Post midpoint: After 30 minutes it's much easier to quit knowing that a significant amount of exercise has been achieved. But I find that by lightening the load and telling myself to just go thru the motions I can gain extra cardio benefits by continuing. The desire to quit is overcome by the rationale that I can easily do upcoming sets because I've given myself permission to lighten the load.
  5. Pre-completion: There's a point about 10-15 minutes before finishing that I realize if I just stick with it, a full P90X workout can be done. That is huge, and the motivation factor zooms to a new height. With this new found resolve, nothing stops me and the workout is finished.

This is the outline of how I convince myself to first start and then complete a workout. It's all sort of held together by the sticky notion, and internal deal I've bargained with myself, that I can quit at any time and still feel like something has been done. Even at the very beginning when I'm just warming up, the deal is I can quit at any time. And this safety valve sort of releases the pressure to "workout" - it allows me to progress thru each step without having to spend an enormous about of will power "gutting it out."


mask22 NOV 2020 - And the virus is apparently still a threat and a new set of lockdowns is being enforced. Crap. What a steaming pile of crap.

Sorry, but I've lost all faith in the ability of any institution to reasonably manage things.

It really started with airport security, where we all line up and have our papers examined while undergoing bag and body searches. In the end, it doesn't really filter out the bad guys because the bad guys aren't dumb and will do other things to spread harm. And it leaves us, the good guys, with this kabuki theater of security where we go thru the accepted norms of intrusion to gain a feeling of safety. But the amount of safety gained is minute compared to the inconvenience not to mention violation of constitutional rights.

Now we have a virus running around, and there's great dispute about how to handle it. Some want to roam freely while others fear for their lives and demand everyone hunker down and wear masks or else "people will die!". And science is no solution at all - every single person claiming one stance or the other will do so while clutching their favorite "scientific" study. "You can't argue with science!" Wanna bet?

Science sold their souls a long time ago. Studies claiming one thing will be proven false later on by other studies proving the opposite. Peer reviewed articles have been shown to be a bunch of fake science, many of which were "reviewed" by uncaring if not quid pro quo "scratch your back and you scratch mine" peers. Many if not most claims could not be replicated. Even worse, how is this allowed to happen without academics losing their positions of authority? How are publishers not shamed out of business?

Because of this, claiming anything - ANYTHING - supposedly supported by "science" is useless. Science is no longer the voice of sanity... especially about the virus, it jumped ship and joins the rest of the craziness in a storm of uncertainty.

Which brings me to the virus. If I cannot rely on science then I have to rely on my own methods which primarily include anecdotal evidence. I realize this is a limited form of supporting truth, but when nothing else is reliable then this is all that remains.

My anecdotal evidence shows that after eight months only two people that I know of have actually gotten sick from Covid. Not hospitalized, just sick. Many of my friends and acquaintances have been tested thinking for sure they had the disease - nope. Only two, friends of mine who are husband and wife, actually tested positive and were actually sick. How did they catch it? In the middle of this crisis they flew down to Las Vegas for a quick vacation - not the smartest thing to do, but we all make mistakes. The point is, they got sick and recovered and hospitalization was not required.

More evidence... my son, who lives in a care facility and has been hospitalized four times in the past year for pneumonia, was exposed when one of the workers at his home tested positive for Covid. The home isolated the individual and had everyone tested - and nobody came down with Covid. This despite the fact that my son and all the other clients at this facility have physical situations that are extremely vulnerable to any communicable disease. They were all tested, multiple times... nothing.

So based on anecdotal evidence, which is much more reliable than "science", I can confidently say the chance of me getting this flu is very very rare. And all this kabuki theater of wearing masks and shutting down businesses is bullshit to the extreme.


04 NOV 2020 - So apparently it's okay to steal things now... good to know. 12 DEC 2020 - And for those asking for evidence, I double dog dare you to watch this.

These are my predictions if the election theft holds up:

  • The Deep State will remain hidden and able to continue coordinating events similar to the BLM protests and Portland riots.
  • Speaking of BLM, since they are no longer necessary to bring down Trump, they will disappear. Bye bye BLM - a good worker puts tools away when they're finished being used.
  • China now has unfettered influence over a bought and paid for politician. For nearly his whole term, Trump has been accused of pulling strings for Putin. Compare Biden's China policies with Trump's treatment of Russia.
  • Shutdowns from the virus pandemic will disappear - again, once the job is finished the tools are put away.
  • The Dow Jones Average will return to pre-Trump level of 18K, a 35% "correction".
  • Trump's effort to reduce business regulation will disappear with a renewed interest in regulating evil corporations in order to save the planet from imaginary environmental disasters. And higher taxes of course to pay for all that faux hysteria.
  • Unemployment levels will return to pre-Trump levels. Democrats will open the border which essentially floods the job market with cheap labor - also known as "not a living wage".
  • Peace in the Middle East? It's over...
  • Energy independence; Biden will bow down to the Greens insistence that coal and fracking are evil. Instead of a net energy exporter, the US will return to importing foreign oil while subsidizing terrorist countries.
  • Instead of busting online monopolies, Democrats will allow Google, Facebook, and Twitter to enhance their grip on social discourse and shutdown opposing views while claiming to filter for fake news. There's too much risk that freedom of speech will contaminate the liberal narrative.

More importantly, the blatant stealing that was unabashedly on display will have far reaching consequences. If you argue with someone and it escalates to throwing a punch, the person who has been hit will most certainly return a punch. The political arena is no different - if Democrats felt justified to openly cheat, why on earth wouldn't Republicans return the favor. There should be zero amount of surprise at what is going on and where this will end up.

UPDATE 15 JAN 2021: Oh man - I forgot the easiest predication of all...

  • Biden will not finish his term. Starting his term at the age of 78, whether by plan or by accident, Biden will be replaced by Kamala Harris before 2024.

UPDATE 16 JAN 20201: Guns.

  • Not only will they come after gun owners, but there will be an "event" that triggers the excuse to confiscate all guns. Initially they will wait for an unfortunate incident, but if that doesn't come about soon enough then expect something planned. The "violent riot" at Capitol Hill where the only violence that happened was a Trump protestor getting shot by police, but somehow that justifies burning up the Bill of Rights.


05 OCT 2020 - Still working from home, though the virus restrictions are slowly lifting. Most businesses are open if they've managed to not go under. I feel sorry for people who invested in a new business at the beginning of the year - unless they had deep pockets or were using disposable income, those investments were surely lost money. Not good.

Bought a DSLR and started doing photography. I think I was always interested in taking pictures, just never pursued the itch until now. In writing a review of everything learned so far, I'm pleased with all that has been accomplished - along with learning the ins and outs of a DSLR, a work flow has been established for processing pictures (because there are a LOT of pictures) and a few Lightroom skills have been mastered.

I like the results. But more so, I like the feeling of having improved at something that was totally foreign just a year ago... not in my wildest dreams would any of this have been imagined.  

26 JUN 2020 - Virus update... the Wuhaun Flu marches on and everyone is still sheltering at home. The percent of deaths versus cases continues to drop dramatically, but instead of focusing on that everyone now is concerned about when a vaccine will be available. And as with most flu vaccines, that will take some time. If the past is an indicator, even what is developed will be unreliable in my opinion. Now that I'm in the "golden age" a flu shot has become a yearly event, but my understanding is these are somewhat hit and miss and there are no guarantees. With that in mind, I'm not pinning my hopes on a Commie China Virus vaccine to save the world.

But life goes on. All across the country communities are making efforts to reopen. Small businesses in particular need to get going again as they have been hardest hit. The restaurant industry has been decimated with rules forbidden dining in unless it's outdoors on a patio - good thing we're now in the warm season... the few customers that dare to support an eatery would all but disappear in cold weather. Other businesses are required to monitor the number of customers in their buildings, so just about every place has a line of people waiting outside. Masks are required in public, a rule I'm still very skeptical about.

Avoiding large crowds is good policy in my book and seems to be the general "health expert" guidance. That eliminates sporting events whose leagues were trying to get back to normal. Basketball just gave up on an idea of finishing the season in a closed community similar to Olympic Village. Lebron will miss what might be his last opportunity to get a ring before aging out. Picture a sad millionaire... [EDIT: Just found out the NBA is pushing ahead with the "Olympic Village" idea to finish the season. We'll see how long they continue if flu cases spread.]

We're still lucky to be working from home, yet the possibility of layoffs taints the good fortune. Companies everywhere are hurting, and that includes where we work. But we're both setup on the kitchen table with VPN connections and frequent Teams conversations with co-workers. It's actually working a lot better than I thought.

The virus has taken a huge toll in the form of mortality rates, but the economic disaster remains and for now looks to get worse before better. Everyone seems to have adapted, but this is still not good... not good at all.


01 APR 2020 - Well it's April Fools day but Coronavirus (AKA Commie China Virus) is not a joke. Shelter at home is now the standard across the nation, if not world, and is being extended beyond the middle of April to the end of the month. Only "essential" businesses are allowed to operate and police are starting to bust groups of people gathering in public. Most places remaining open such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, etc. have policies in place that ensure people maintain six feet of separation with as little contact with workers as possible.

I will admit to being skeptical at the beginning of all this, however stories are surfacing of a bridge tournament, choir practice, and college spring break parties that are spreading the infection even to the point of death. The fatalities are for the most part only affecting the elderly, but once in a while a normally healthy person succumbs to the disease.

It's not good.

Me and the Puzzle Master have been working from home for nearly two weeks. I've been home since moving my sister down from Tahoe last week, but the Puzzle Master started WFH ahead of me and hasn't left the house since the beginning of March. And she has no plans to change.

But my employer is planning to restart the factory next week. They've announced everyone in the building will be tested for fever with those disqualified being sent home. Not sure how that will work if the virus is still peaking, but no doubt any workers who can be efficient from home will remain there.

Again - it's not good.


14 MAR 2020 - Coronavirus is here. Started in China, spreading to the outside world, and has now infected the imaginations of every right thinking person. Hoarding is the big thing now, with stores unable to keep toilet paper on the shelves. Not sure why TP is a big deal, but apparently people who've run out cannot replenish. Not good.

Sports leagues are postponing or cancelling games. Schools are shutting down. Employers are asking people to work from home. The world has a fever, even though very few are physically sick.

My prediction is that by mid-April this will be a forgotten story. What started and peaked in China several weeks ago is now over and the big virus stories are happening in Europe. With the US shutting down travel, it will be interesting to see if the same rate of infection happens here.

Again, I don't think this will be much more than a normal flu season. Check back in a few weeks for an update.



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