Old Gear Learns New Tricks

Posted September 25, 2013 by stana2z
Categories: Current Events, Reviews, Tech

Tags: , , ,

Apple trotted out some new phones recently. They’re very pretty. Most of the event was about the hardware. For me though the software was overlooked, or not emphasized enough for those of us with old hardware.

iOS 7 is the news, not a gold iPhone with a better camera or a funky color plastic back to be covered by an equally funky case. Fingerprints, as most biometrics, are an OK way to “keep honest people honest”. However, if the “real” bad guys, on a mission to get your data, pics of your pets, and grandma’s phone number, gets your phone away from you, then your screwed anyway if you don’t notice it’s missing and wipe it. Sure, all that stuff is cool. Don’t get me wrong. If my iPhone 4 ever dies before iPhone 6 hits the street I will most definitely plunk down $200 for a 5S instead of looking for a refurb 4 on Ebay. But as I started to say at the beginning, my biggest surprised was how well iOS 7 runs on my iPhone 4 (No, not a 4S. A plain, old 4).

The update process was, almost, too easy. I plugged the phone into the MacBook, selected software update and let it go. I answered a few questions, clicked “OK” a few time and then went to bed. When I awoke I was greeted with a new lock screed with round “Buttons” and a short intro. I upgraded the apps that support iOS 7 and after another hour or so, all was running. I’ve been using the phone, as always as my primary communicator and PDA over the course of almost a week now. While I had a slight learning curve on some of the features and movement of some controls, it realy wasn’t that big of a deal to me. I’m a pretty quick learner.

Speaking of quick, It seems the more I use it, the phone now seems to be “learning” how I use it and the applications. I’ve been observing longer battery life under almost identical conditions day/by day. I’ve read a few things that hint at more power management “smarts” built into the OS and I’m glad its a function that got trickled down to the older hardware. Also, there are some apps take a bit longer to load (especially the native iOS 7 ones, due to the slower processor. However once up and running, these new apps seem much “snappier” than their older bretherin.

How’s Siri’s performance? Don’t know. Don’t have it. I use Google audio search and the Voice command app. So I don’t mis what I never had. Likewise with the panorama function on my camera. I have the AutoStich app for that. My most favorite feature is the control center. That should have been done a LONG time ago…

Now sure, there are some features that I don’t get on my older gear, like some of the animations, and translucent colors. Better flash and filters before you take the pictures. But as I said before, I have apps for that, Camera+ as my primary photo app, for example, and AutoStich for panoramas, and that’s OK.

Bottom line, I can make phone calls, take pretty good pictures, be organized, use the cloud for synching (very cool) and do everything else my old iOS 5 (yep I double jumped) used to do. Best of all, the iOS upgrade was free! I put my phone in a brand new Otterbox case for $50 (my old one was pretty rough looking) and, except for the size of the screen, most casual observers cant tell the difference! So thanks to iOS 7 and new protection from sudden gravity bursts, I’ve got a “new” phone for less than a nice dinner (Open Table) and a movie (IMDB). HA!

BTW, I upgraded my iPad 2 as well!!

Would You Like to Super-Size for $5 More?

Posted August 29, 2013 by stana2z
Categories: Current Events, Food, Rants, SFW

Tags:

In case you’ve been asleep, don’t have access to radio, television, the internet, or can’t read. The kids that work the fast food restaurants are whining for more money. They want $15 an hour. Yep, $15 an hour to START at McDonalds, KFC, Hardees, Subway, and the like. Many are supporting them. WTF?

The whole concept is that you can’t make a living at what they pay at these places. No kidding! I don’t think entry-level burger flipper is listed as a life-long career. It never was. This idea was to start out at these places and then move up via in-house promotions, education and experience. The whole idea of the system was for high school age kids to start out there, while still living at home, to make some extra bucks for (dating myself) their own clothes, albums, phone, car, gas, whatever. Then, if they decided to go to college, they had some experience to get another job, either with the same company, or a competitor where the university was. They probably earned a bit more due to experience or got promoted within. Upon graduation, they left. Those who didn’t do the college path, if they stuck with the company would move up, get promoted, educated and compensated. This was the strategy for the company’s expansion – Grow your management team from within. Every heard of “Hamburger University”? That’s where McDonalds trains managers and franchisees. One small hitch, you must be LITERATE in the dominant language of your store’s country.

So, you fast-food folks who want to start out making top dollar, guess what? That means YOU have to do some EXTRA work and NOT get paid for it to get ahead. That’s called a WORK ETHIC boys and girls. If you want to earn more money, then here’s a few things you can do right now to deserve it. Dress appropriately in the prescribed uniform without added bling and gunk on your face and at least wash and iron the thing so it doesn’t look like you slept in the uniform. Be polite to all customers. Remember that if the company doesn’t have customers, it don’t need you! Get the frickin’ order right. It isn’t rocket science (BTW most rocket scientists started at less than $15/hour, it was called an UNPAID internship.). Pay attention to what you’re doing instead of gossiping with your pals. Learn how to make change without relying on the stupid register. Learn to speak properly and in English. Bi-lingual means you speak BOTH languages equally well.

I read a statistic that said McDonalds trains more people than the US Army. I can believe it. Those who demonstrate a good work ethic and motivation do get rewarded. I remember watching “Under Cover Bosses” where this counter clerk at a fast food place got placed in a Management Fast track and got his own store afterwards because he stood out. He had no college, in fact he had to get his GED requirement waived by the CEO. But he wanted it and was willing to work (for free) if necessary, to get it.

To those who support the strikers, imagine this. Take any and everything on the menu of your favorite store and DOUBLE the price. That Happy Meal ain’t so happy anymore is it? Do you honestly think that if the corporations are forced to raise pay they’re going to eat the cost themselves? I’m sure some stupid liberal will continue, and succeed in getting you your little raise, but if no one want’s a $12 Big Mac combo, they won’t need anyone to cook them either… Presently, having no job pays $0 and hour.  The whole welfare thing is another rant to be had…

Who’s to Blame?

Posted December 15, 2012 by stana2z
Categories: Current Events, Rants

Tags: , , , ,

A tragic event happened at a school in CT. Bummer. I too pray for the families of the fallen just as much as I pray for the families of the other fallen all around the world. Military personnel at a base in Texas, Chinese kids that got knifed at their school (google it), folks at a mall in Oregon, a pop star’s plane crash victims in Mexico, Cyclone victims in the Solomon Islands, it doesn’t matter.

Dying before “your time” sucks. My fiancé’ did that. She was walking in “knee high” surf and got caught in a rip-tide and drowned. So I kinda know what it’s like to loose someone you love before their time to a random event. So (pardon language) if you don’t think I have anything in common from those who have suffered recent losses in a “random” event that they had no control over, TAKE OFF!

Do I blame the lifeguards? Nope, they don’t control the surf. Do I blame “Mother Nature”, well that’s kind of stupid… Do I lobby to close all beaches? Equally idiotic. In the case of the tragedy (yes I do feel it was a tragedy) in CT, do we blame the school? Did they know what was going to happen? Nope. Gun laws? Bad guys don’t make a habit of following the law. “The system”? Which one? Who’s to know? Who is qualified and anointed to make that call? Obama? CT Governor? PTA? Not likely. However, everyone seems to be jumping in to “correct” this issue in the future.

What issue? Crazy people with access to guns? Um… at present the law doesn’t allow crazies to have them. BUT, Hospitals, due to overcrowding or budget constraints, are allowed legally to deem nut jobs “safe” and send them out into society with prescriptions for meds that they might or might not take or OD on. WTF? Dogs are more scrutinized for being “a threat to society” than humans. Oh, that’s right, most dogs don’t have pro-bono lawyers at their service. If the leash don’t fit, you must acquit. No publicity in dog cases…

We, as intelligent Americans, we must be cautious of those who stand to, or attempt to, make gains (financial, legal, political) from tragedy. Just like the “carpet baggers” of the post Civil War (look it up), there are plenty of people both in the media, private industry, and the government that will use this, and other tragedies, to forward their own agenda. They will continue to harp on THEIR issue, mostly by sensationalism or “tugging at our hearts” via “in depth” reporting, with financial compensation that doesn’t get mentioned. Stay tuned for a “Movie of the Week” or a “Hallmark/Lifetime/Oprah/Dr. Phil” special on this.

Some will use this event to draw attention away from “bigger” issues. Others will attempt to add more regulations, or more Government oversight where it’s really not needed.

So…

Be thankful for what you have. Mourn others’ losses. Keep your eyes on the “Big Picture”. Look to the facts, not the fantasy. And try to have a Happy Holidays in spite of the fact that the “real world” can really blow sometimes…

Mai Tais and Me

Posted March 23, 2012 by stana2z
Categories: Food, Humor, Rants

I’ve tried them here.
I’ve tried them there.
I’ve tried those darned things everywhere.
Not to be rude, but hard as I tries,
I just don’t like them fricking MaiTais.

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I was presented upon check-in with coupons for two free Mai Tais. Not to waste a free drink, I bravely went to the bar and ordered one. I struck up a conversation with a nice couple and as the dreaded rum and juice concoction arrived, I proclaimed my distaste for the stuff and began the task of choking it down. It was then that my new bar buddy spoke up.

“Son.” The guy said.

“The reason you don’t like Mai Tais might be that you’re drinking it wrong.”

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What? Drinking it wrong? I know neither of us had that much, yet.

He continued.

“See here, first off, DON’T MIX IT! It’s a layered drink for a reason. Second, do NOT use the straw. The layers are meant to be tasted top-down, not bottom-up. This forces you to get the dark rum first, and then “chase” it with the spiked juices. Also, Save the fruit garnish for last, or skip it all together. It’s just added sugar. THAT’S how to drink a Mai Tai.”

He must have been right. His wife/daughter/niece was nodding her pretty blonde head in agreement.

I gulped down the one in front of me, had a glass of water, and ordered the second one, no fruit. I resisted the urge to stir it and removed the straw. Wow! Quite the different taste. By the half way point, the float of dark rum was gone leaving only what amounted to a tropical light run and fruit juice. Very nice.

So, I learned something new. Mai Tais taste different when sipped and not mixed.

I still don’t like them,
And that’s all right.
I’ll just have a Miller Lite.

The 12 Days of Facebook

Posted December 14, 2011 by stana2z
Categories: Current Events, Humor, SFW

Tags: ,

On the 12th day of Christmas my Facebook gave to me,

12 girls I’m blocking,
11 friends just watching,
10 corny topics,
9 busted friendships,
8 friends complaining,
7 stalkers stalking,
6 party invites,

Five drama queens!

4 game requests,
3 photo tags,
2 poking friends,

And a creep who won’t stop in boxing meeee!!!

Happy Holidaze!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get your Grinch on!

 

NBA Season is on. Big Deal…

Posted November 28, 2011 by stana2z
Categories: Current Events, Rants

With an agreement pending, it looks like there will be a 66 game season starting on the 25th of December.

Golly, thanks for the Christmas present NBA. NOT!

These clowns (no offense Harlem Globetrotters, you guys know who’s buttering your bread) who make all that money for running around in shorts for a couple of hours, and the greedy owners who charge an arm and a leg for a ticket, merchandise, food, etc. have no idea how real people make money and support their favorite team, even if they suck. Well, it’s time for all of us to boycott (that means don’t support) the NBA, its sponsors, advertisers, merchandisers and media outlets. It’s that simple. When they go through a whole season without any money coming in, then they’ll start to realize who really controls the league. THE FANS!

Here’s the deal.

NBA players and the owners have decided that, they both want to make money and that there’s plenty of it to go around. Fans continue to pay ridiculous prices for tickets, shirts, hats, shoes, and anything else players or teams decide to endorse. Crying, writing letters and the like are no way for fans to get their message across to the teams, players and owners. The only way is MONEY. So, it NBA fans boycott this season, then maybe the parties involved in this fiasco we call “professional basketball” will get a clue on where exactly their revenue comes from.

But gee whiz, how am I supposed to support my Basketball Jones?

If you’re a true fan of the game of basketball, there are plenty of equally exciting and honorable to encourage the growth of the sport. Here are a few that come to mind.

  • NCAA Basketball – Root for your local, or favorite college team, provided it doesn’t have a current sex scandal (sorry Clemson). Most colleges that have a football team also have men’s AND women’s basketball. I personally think it’s a more exciting game to watch. Most of the times, the officials actually call the game according to the rules. You know items like Traveling, Double-Dribble, and Palming or Carrying. The tickets and regalia are cheaper, and you support your college of choice.
  • WNBA – The ladies, in my opinion, tend to play better basketball than the men. They shoot a lot more; they pass the ball and generally look more like a team than three superstars plus a rookie and a guy on his way out.
  • High School basketball – These programs keep kids off the streets and are prime targets when the money gets tight in favor of alternate culture studies, sensitivity training, and other things besides Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Proceeds go to the team for stuff like uniforms, tournaments, and equipment.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs – Another fine organization for helping the youth of America learn sportsmanship, team play, and values of hard work and discipline. Support your local Boys & Girls clubs by either putting your kids in one of their Basketball programs or just donate what you would have spent on NBA tickets to them. It’s tax deductible, and you won’t look like the creepy person with no kids watching the game(s).

What else is there?

C’mon, there are plenty of other sports on the TV. Football, Hockey, College BB, College FB, College Hockey (in some areas). There always are plenty of sports on TV. Here’s a thought, GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY! If it’s too cold, then DO SOMETHING other than sit in front of the box watching. Heck, go through last season on EA Basketball if it will make you feel better. Hey, why not go to the gym and PLAY basketball. You know with real sweat and everything? Bring along a cheering soundtrack if you think it will help. A pick-up game of H-O-R-S-E still burns more calories than a Lakers – Bulls game while sitting on your butt. Save that NBA money for yourself this year.

Don’t feel bad for the players or the owners, they have plenty of loot from last year’s fleecing of the fans.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Help

Posted November 25, 2011 by stana2z
Categories: Current Events, Humor

Tags:

Want to participate in Black Friday or Cyber Monday but have no one to shop for?

No Problem!

My personal size chart, shipping address, color pallet, and nearest auto/boat/RV dealerships available upon request. Just comment on this entry with your email address.

Act before 12/25 and receive a free, personalized, hand written Thank You Note via delivery method of your choice!
(In Person deliveries require transportation, lodging and per diem in advance.)

Pass this on to anyone. It can be for Hanukkah, Kwanza, whatever the occasion.

I’m an equal opportunity giver.


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