Sunday, October 20, 2019

Friday 5 for October 18: Doubt

The questions come from Scrivener's Friday 5 page.

I doubt if any of this will be good.

1. What were you recently sure of, but are now having doubts about?

As a pessimist, I am never 100% sure of mostly anything except for death and taxes, since anything else can and sometimes do go wrong.

Currently I am having serious doubts on whether I can continue on my current track until January 2020. And then I have to figure the rest of that year out.

Lately I have been having serious doubts about the operation of my car. Perhaps it is time to get rid of it.

2. What’s something you’d like to see this weekend but probably won’t?

I still have a chance to see and photograph the sunset if I make an effort. All plans to catch the sunrise have been scrapped for this weekend, as it has for most of my life since July.

3. When were your doubts pleasantly verified?

Usually when something bad happens and it is manifested. Then I think I should have either done it earlier or not do it at all. It largely depends on the situation you are in.

4. When were your doubts pleasantly disproven?

Sometimes when my friend tells me about a process that is new to me that I doubt when I first hear about it. I am a skeptic and not that open to adopting new ideas right away until I can read more about it and see it verified through another information source or by another person.

5. What’s something you have absolutely no doubts about?

We will certainly die. The only thing we can do is try to put that fate off for as long as possible.

Yep, this week's Friday 5 is a downer. No doubt about that!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Friday 5 for October 11: Enclosures

First off to 勝美 and onebadscrivener: Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my last blog entry. While I frequently diss Apple, I still recognize that they make the best operating systems on the planet and some of the best hardware too. As for mittens, yep, in Hawaii those are rarely used.

Now onward with this week's Friday 5: Enclosures.

1. What’s something (besides an electronic device) for which you spent extra money on a protective case?

A toothbrush case is a good thing to have to hold your toothbrush in. You can rest assured that while the implement is being stored mostly in your dark bathroom, nasty critters such as cockroaches are not climbing on the bristles that you will later put in your mouth!

2. What product’s packaging do you find excessive or inadequate?

Anything and everything that comes in a hard to open BLISTER PACK. Lots of small, hard consumer products are packaged in a blister pack. Most of them are horrible things to try and open without injuring yourself. Why can't products be put in a simple cardboard box with a cheap plastic film window for display purposes. Why blister packs?

I guess they don't want people stealing the product from the store? They don't want you to open the product when you get home? What? What?

File this under "Annoyingly Excessive".

Runner up: Any new high tech Apple and other devices. Packaging made for vain people who want to do un-boxing videos. [sigh]

3. What are your preferences for food storage containers?

PLASTIC works wonders. Sterilite, Rubbermaid and other similar containers that I can find for sale, hopefully cheap at WalMart will usually get my purchase when I need them.

4. This coming week, what would you like to be shielded from?

Bills, bill collectors, pop up ads, useless notifications, annoying spam emails, telemarketing phone calls, uninvited guests, and other annoyances in everyday life. It's the same crap every week. This is never ending.

5. What’s something interesting you’re keeping in a plastic storage box in your home?

Let's see.... In a big Sterilite container(s) I have the following:

1. Apple G3 iBook Laptop computer - screen is messed up, boots OSX.
2. HP Netbook computer - needs new hard drive; should get an SSD for that and install a Linux on it.
3. Tons and tons of old photos and negatives (various containers) - needs sorting and purging; from my film days.
4. A container of some older film cameras. Minolta, Yashica, Ricoh, Kodak and a few others... various models. Most probably do work.
5. Plastic containers with DVDs and CDs. I've pretty much stopped buying these since I had to do a great big purge back in 2016 to make room in my cluttered apartment.

Lots of somethings.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Friday 5 for October 4: Time to Face the Strain

From Scrivener's weekly Friday 5 blog:

"Hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday 5! Please copy these questions to your webspace. Answer the questions there; then leave a comment below so we’ll all know where to check out your responses. Please don’t forget to link us from your website!

When I first posted this, its title began, “Friday 5 for March 11…” Can you tell I dislike autumn?"

Um... it is October 4.

1. When did you last make an adjustment to your daily getting-ready routine?

Started about late July, dealing with an unintentional vehicle. It's a long story that tires me, and I don't want to get into it.

2. When did you last try a new personal hygiene product?

Last week. Don't know if I will change to this... but it is called Magsol Magnesium Deodorant.

3. What food or drink item have you most recently added to your regular consumption?

Nothing too recent. I have to keep on staying on my diet of regular vegetables,  fresh fruit, some chicken and fish basically. I have tried and like some of the frozen ready to microwave, low sodium frozen packaged alternative veggies as either a main dish or a supplement. They have some good ones for sale cheap at $2.59 in Target. I am sure they are cheaper on the U.S. mainland.

4. What’s a brand-named product you recently abandoned your loyalty to?


Once upon a time I used to be a loyal user to all Apple products that I could afford and own. I have owned several Macintosh computers from desktops to recent laptops like the MacBook Pro series.

I bought into the iPod ecosystem and have seven of them in my inventory, including one iPod Touch.

That is where I began to sour.

After several years of ownership of those iPods, I found that the built in batteries don't last very long. When I spend $200, $400, $600 or more for a device, I expect the damn things to last a looong time... much like how my old CRT TV, Radio Shack stereo mixer and other audio gear have lasted... But no... not the iPods... after 5 years of regular use, the batteries drained and did not hold a charge for very long... nearly 10 years on, the iPod Touch like totally died. Will not boot up, not even when placed on the AC powered dock or speakers.  I paid $500 for that thing.

If I could easily replace the batteries on these things I would. But to get into any Apple iDevice, you have to pry the darn thing open, fiddle with complex disassembly and reassembly just to get the battery out and put a new one in. Often it will take a rocket scientist like person to do it. In the case of the iPod Touch most websites I went to concluded that to replace the battery is not worth the time and effort... so again they mandate we chuck it. How sad that most users will have to chuck otherwise perfectly working devices on the account of a worn battery!

Apple... you suck!

iPhone? iPad? All potential carriers of the same battery ware problem. I read somewhere that the iPhone doesn't have a very long shelf life as Apple has shown to throttle them down and shutting older models out of their precious, walled gardened ecosystem. At the low end of $800 for an iPhone, to me it is not worth the price you pay if the darn thing is not going to last beyond five years.

Mac OS is a great operating system. I love Mac OS. However newer Macs seem to suffer from the same problem of not lasting as long as their predecessors. What makes me even more sour on many newer Macs is that Apple took away built in ports that we have come to know and love, like the SD card slot and CD drive. They obviously don't want us burning our CDs to iTunes like it was before.

Hell, they even discontinued iTunes, though I kind of understand that since it became a huge feature laden piece of bloatware. I am just afraid that whatever succeeds it will have some kind of utility to rip and burn CDs... even if I have to get an external CD / DVD drive.

The best Mac I ever owned was my Power Mac G4 tower. That was an affordable Mac that had plenty of expansion options. It is too bad that Apple did not continue to make similar models with Intel processors. Now if you want an expandable desktop Mac you have to buy the super expensive MacPro model.

Most Mac models have no expansion and the laptops have the dreaded built in batteries. While I am not totally shut out of considering another new Mac, I am certainly not going to buy into the higher end models.... nor another laptop from Apple. What I am looking at is to go back to the desktop and get a Mac Mini of some sort.

As for a laptop, I bought into Chromebook some years ago, and I am looking to update that to a newer model, at a much lower price over a Mac.

Windows you say? I use those at work. Not going there.

As for portable devices, that leaves me with only Android or some other type of lesser known OS. Sadly Android makers are following in the footsteps of Apple and offering more devices with dreadful built in batteries.

It is lucky that in 2016 when I was forced to switch providers and a phone, I got an Android with a removable battery. I already switch out the battery once and I probably will do it again down the road instead of buying a new phone. That is how these things should be... maximize our investment for the longest time possible. Even Android with their lower prices on the mid-tier are not cheap. All I ask is for the damn things to last.

So what is this stupid obsession with "thin" anyway? Thin is what brought us those dreadful built in batteries on phones, tablets and laptops. Enough already with the built in batteries.


Are we going to wait for the day when someone's MacBook Pro, iPhone or high end Samsung phone catches fire and explodes a passenger jetliner in the air sending it crashing down to the ground, before the government starts to mandate that all devices with built in batteries are banned from flights? At the rate we are going, this could happen someday.

So to the manufacturer's out there... get off the built in battery bandwagon and offer us devices with easy to remove batteries. It may save lives!

OK.. enough of this rant. I think I'll go spin some vinyl records on my 40-year-old vintage Technics turntable now.

5. What item in your wardrobe have you recently moved out of the regular rotation?

Regularly have to replace socks and underwear... You do too? Right?

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Friday 5 for September 27 - For Ric and Ben

The following questions are from Scrivener's weekly Friday 5 blog. I started working on this last week, but only now got around to finishing it. Happy and safe driving folks.

1. Where did you go the first time you drove by yourself?

I  became a legal driver several decades ago when I was 15. Where did I go the first time I soloed? I probably went about 2 miles to downtown Honokaa, went to the store and then another 2 miles to home. I think. It was so long ago how can I totally remember that? But a short drive would be the thing I would have done.

2. Who was the first non-family non-instructor you drove anywhere, and where did you go?

Again this was so long ago, I don't exactly remember. More than likely it was one of my school classmates. Can't even remember where I went.

3. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done behind the wheel?

Again many, many years ago on a two lane highway I was trying to pass two large, slow moving trucks at the same time.... um.... the tiny little Toyota I was driving did not have enough power to accelerate on the slight incline going up the highway. I had barely passed the first truck when a large car was coming straight for me.... um.... the two trucks were fairly close together.... luckily the driver of the truck I passed slowed down and I think the one in front sped up a bit and left me an opening so that I could get back into my lane.

As soon as I made it into my lane, the oncoming car passed swiftly by. It was only a few seconds to spare.... if the opening was not there, I probably would have gotten into a bad accident and perhaps died.

4. What’s the nicest drive you’ve ever taken?

I haven't been to or drove to many places outside of Hawaii. Therefore most of my driving have been done in Hawaii. For each island that I drove on, here are the nicest places:

Kauai island - Back in 2005 I drove all the way to the end of the road up to Kauai's north shore. Going through Hanalei and passing over that iconic steel bridge that gets flooded out during heavy rains was nice. The road up there ends up at a nice beach. Everything in Hanalei and the North shore of Kauai is green, wet and beautiful.

Island of Oahu - Driving in Honolulu sucks because of traffic... and it is not very scenic except maybe passing near Waikiki Beach. Driving out to Waimanalo and Kailua is pretty scenic along Kalanianaole Highway... Otherwise the most scenic drive is on the long and winding road up and down Tantalus drive.

Island of Maui - The drive up to Haleakala crater is always nice. The last time I did that one was back in 1983. Long before that my Dad drove us along the Hana Highway to Hana and back to Lahaina... decades ago.

Island of Hawaii (Big Island) - There are plenty of roads that I consider scenic on the my favorite island. Here is a list of them:
  • Kohala mauka highway, from Waimea town to Hawi along the slopes of Kohala Mountain. Beautiful drive especially in the late afternoon during "golden hour" to get a view of Mauna Kea and other areas from the height advantage of Kohala... the colors of the setting sun are nice from here.
  • Anywhere along the Hamakua Coast, Highway 19 from Hilo to Honokaa. There are several older side roads which offer drivers beautiful green scenery. The scenic highway between Pepeekeo and Papaikou is especially green and beautiful. If you have $$, a stop at Hawaii Botanical Gardens is well worth the price of the high admission... at least once to take pictures.
  • Puna / Volcano area - Many scenic spots in this hostile area, recently overrun by lava last year. Volcanoes National Park and the Chain of Craters road within are must do drives and stops.
  • Ahualoa Road / Old Mamalahoa Highway to Waimea - A nice scenic drive through a forested but homesteaded area, and then through several miles of green pastureland to the main highway near Waimea.
  • Mana Road - If you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, this is a nice road to take if you have access through the higher back country of rain forest and pasture grasslands.
  • Unfortunately I have never driven up the roads to Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa, nor all the way through the Saddle Road. When I am on Hawaii Island, those roads don't go where I need or want to go, and I don't have access to a 4 wheel drive vehicle without paying money to use one.
5. Who’s the worst driver you know?

The ones who cut in front of you all of a sudden, and those drivers who lane dive while you patiently await your turn in the designated lane.

R.I.P. Ric Ocasek. Benjamin Orr. #TBT