Many apologies . . .

I know I didn’t post anything each of the last 2 Saturdays. The reason was that I literally couldn’t. The “new post” page on my blog wouldn’t fully load, no matter how many times I tried to load it or refresh it.

So, how am I writing a new blog now? I discovered that I hadn’t updated my Firefox web browser. I was at least 5 updates behind the current edition, and the version I was running simply didn’t work anymore. Serves me right for not paying enough attention to the details. Anyhow, on Saturday I’ll resume my weekly posts.

I don’t understand . . .

Well, before I start describing things I don’t understand, please let me “set the stage” as we’d say in literary or acting circles. Yes, I have been an actor, and have written short stories, and have read so many works by acknowledged masters of literature that I could be a collegiate graduate assistant in any area from British Literature to Ancient Mythology.

I have been told, so many times I’ve lost count, that I think like a lawyer. I can see both sides of any argument, and plot the path to resolution for either side. That does not mean that I am totally ambivalent. On the contrary, I have very clear preferences for how things develop. But that leads to the next set of things that are weird, if not unique, about me.

Not only do I have an above average vocabulary in general English language, but I also have a strange array of specialties. I’m a trained US Army Medic who was being fast-tracked to becoming a Physician’s Assistant, so I have a good Medical Vocabulary. Not an MD, but good. In my personal library I have copies of Black’s Law Dictionary, Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, Grey’s Anatomy, several copies of the PDR (Physician’s Desk Reference), Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, the Oxford English Dictionary (2 volume compact edition), and a few other reference materials. I am well versed in using all of them.

I’m also a person who was among the first to recognize what eventually became known as HIV in the European US Military Medical community. One of my patients in 1981 was a victim – probably of a contaminated blood transfusion.

I’ve always had a gift for being able to see big ideas, and explain them to other people in plain language. So, please take the following – not with a grain of salt, but with the forewarning of a NORAD escalation to DEFCON 1.

I don’t understand why, but The United States is under attack, by cyber terrorists. The terrorists do not hide in the shadows. Instead they act as major platforms of social media and information distribution. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and a dozen other companies.

What they are doing is CAUSING the continuing fracture of our society. Whenever you do a search in one of those services, they automatically search your recent online activity and give you back ONLY the results that feed your world view. In other words, they feed your bias. That is, as far as I can tell, the ONLY reason why the US social fabric has become so incredibly fractured that everyone seems to feel that anyone who disagrees with them (about anything) is nothing less than Satan Incarnate.

It’s one of the oldest military strategies in the books. Divide and Conquer.

There is a documentary you all need to watch. /thesocialdilemma.com thesocialmedia.com

Another thing that I don’t understand is the push to force a national adjustment to the minimum wage law. The current federal law is that the minimum wage is around $7.25/hr. I’ve certainly worked for less, and was thankful for what I got.

But, now we’re being bombarded by people demanding that the minimum wage be increased to $15/hr. Do the people making this demand truly NOT understand the implications of the demands they are making?

There is no corporation currently working in the USA that will increase the wages of their minimum-wage staff by 100% without passing that cost increase on to the people who purchase those products they sell. That is only the VERY ABSOLUTE MINIMUM of the changes which will result from mandating a pay increase to $15/hr.

Do you enjoy $15 pizzas with free delivery? Well, with a $15/hr minimum wage you can expect the price to climb to around $25/pizza for the same product. Do you love the $0.99 value menu at your favorite restaurant? Expect to start paying $2.50 per item unless the quality becomes so poor that it wouldn’t sustain the nutritional needs of a colony of amoeba 5cm square for 12 hours.

This experiment has already been enacted to law in the US State of Washington. The result was that all fast food companies, from McDonald’s to Burger King, replaced all of their minimum wage tellers with computer/robotic tellers that drew no wages at all. 10k people were forced OUT of the workforce because bleeding-heart liberals tried to make their lives better. Can we afford to replicate this on the national scale?

Last Saturday . . .

The most recent last Saturday, while I was sleeping, my wife was (as is her usual routine) running around town doing her grocery shopping.  When she got home, she started bringing in the groceries, only to find a potentially dangerous spider perched on the inner door handle of the back porch.  After some online research, she thought she’d identified it as a Brown Recluse.

So, she brought the groceries in through the front door.  I was still asleep, and never heard the scream she said she delivered when she saw the spider.  However, I’ve never had any reason to doubt her, so if she says she screamed, I believe she did.

Somewhere around 6 hours later, I woke up, and heard her tale about meeting the spider.  Since an exhaustive search didn’t locate it, I continued about my normal routine.  At around midnight, I noticed a need to take out the trash, and in the process of doing that, I had a very short but adrenaline fueled adventure!

You see, my wife saw the spider on the outside door handle of the inner door of our back porch.  When I was taking out the trash, I went (as is my normal habit) through the back door.  It’s the most direct route to the trash dumpster.  Only after I’d already opened the back door, and walked through it and closed it, did I remember her story to me about the spider.

Spiders are one of the very few life forms on this planet that I have anything approaching a phobia about.  To suddenly find myself halfway between safety and a potentially deadly spider, without having realized I was putting myself in the cross hairs before I got there, caused about 3 seconds of INTENSE panic.

The end result was, I finished taking the trash to the outside dumpster, and returned to the interior of our home, without having any problems of an arachnid nature..  However, it took six hours and several glasses of vodka before I could relax enough to try to sleep.

Facebook?

Several years ago, I had a Facebook account, and quite deliberately closed it because they refused to grant users any control over their content, history, contacts, or privacy.  However, recent developments have forced Facebook to make dramatic changes, to the point that I’m considering creating a new Facebook account.

If I do create a new Facebook account, it will be linked to this blog, so my question to all of my subscribers is this:  Would you consider it a positive change to be able to contact me through Facebook?

If you have any opinion, either way, please leave a comment below letting me know what you think.

Heads Up . . .

Just a quick note to tell you that I suspect a new fraud scheme is in use.  I got a call today that set my nerves on edge.

First off – the caller had a computer-generated voice, like he is using some voice-masking software to hide his real voice.  Second, he said he was calling from Publisher’s Clearing House.  When I asked what he was calling about, he said it was in regards to a cashier’s check for $4 Million USD that I had won in one of their giveaways.

I do enter PCH contests quite often.  That also means that I get correspondence from PCH on a regular basis, and more than once I’ve gotten “advance notice” from them telling me EXACTLY what to expect if I win a major prize.  Never have they said anyone would attempt to call me before they arrive at my door to deliver the “big check”.

Anyhow, I told the caller that I was at home, and if the Prize Patrol was in town attempting to deliver my prize, they would have no trouble finding me.  He hung up.

Simple economics . . .

Well, it looks like my run as an internet blogger is coming to an end, due to simple economics.

When we first moved to this area, we had a fairly reasonable rate for internet service, and we were happy enough with the provider that when I cancelled my cell phone we called them up and got internet phone for the house, using the same number.  The main problem is that they have been the only broadband internet provider we could use in this area.

Over time our internet cost has escalated to where it is no longer affordable.  It is now nearly 50% higher than it was when we started with them, and the quality of service has declined noticeably.  The last 3 months in a row, the bill has gone up every month.  There is another provider that has started moving into the area, but they can’t provide service to our address yet.

So, I’m going to call Cox in a few hours, to see if we can get a slower package, or find some way to reduce our bill.  If we can’t, it will be time to pull the plug on our internet, and that might take our phone with it.

My apologies . . .

My wife has pointed out that not only did I miss making a post last Saturday, but that it has been a while since I’ve posted anything other than Saturday posts.  Here is why.

I’m still holding on – waiting for the chance to place the order for the last device I’m willing to try to change the conditions living in this body is forcing me to cope with.  My wife said that we should be able to order it by the end of June – and that means before the end of this month now that the calendar says it is June.  I’ve been bouncing from one storm to the next, and one migraine headache to the next.  Sometimes they overlap, sometimes the migraine fills the gaps between the storms, but it is indeed rare that I don’t have to put up with how my body deals with either.  Sadly – I vaguely remember writing a similar statement during the spring a year ago.  Or was it 2 years ago.  Oh well – the heavy storm cycle won’t last forever, and I’m still hopeful that the migraines can be altered as well.

My sleep, when I get it, doesn’t leave me feeling rested or rejuvenated.  I walk about with a mental fog so thick that even things I know need doing get forgotten.  I have a “brilliant idea” for a blog – and by the time I get to my computer I either forget the idea or how I was going to make the point.  It happens to other things as well – I once boiled a pot of coffee almost dry by forgetting to reduce the burner temperature after it started perking.

Anyhow, before I get up from the computer, I’ll be selecting the post for tomorrow, and getting it scheduled to post.

Problem solved . . .

I wrote a few weeks ago that I had received an email from WordPress saying that I had 90 days to set up the 2-step verification, or I’d loose access to my blog. I opened up the Help FAQ on the 2-step verification, and it was even worse than my worst nightmare. They didn’t just want to send me a text message when I lost my password or something – they were going to send me a NEW text message EVERY TIME I LOG IN!

After weeks of searching for an alternate site, and frantically hand-wringing over how much this world seems to be rejecting participation from people like me (individualists, loners, people who value privacy) – – –

I sent an email to Customer Support (WordPress calls them “Happiness Engineers”) asking if I had any options. Today I got a reply. Here is the text:

Hi there!

A while back an errant email was sent out telling users they had to set up second factor authentication. The email was an error, and you are not required to do so, you won’t lose access to your site.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Have a great week 🙂

So, I’m going nowhere, and this blog will continue exactly where it is.