I’m glad I don’t fly much

So today supposedly a bunch of people are going to refuse the airport scans and request the pat-downs.  I think it’s pretty stupid.  I don’t feel sorry one bit for the people getting patted down a little too much.  It serves them right.  I feel more sorry for the TSA people that have to pat down the idiots. 

First, if privacy is what they are worried about they may have a point.  The only images of the scanners I have seen have been online.  I am not sure how valid they are, or if they are photoshop jobs.  You may be able to see a little bit of an outline of some boobs or a penis, but who cares.  Aren’t we all adults here?

Second, if health reasons are what they are worried about they really shouldn’t.  There are two technologies being used in the new scanners.  Millimeter wave, and Backscatter X-ray.  There is no heath concerns with Millimeter wave scanners.  They use radio frequency radiation that is non-ionizing and cannot cause cell damage leading to cancer.  The Backscatter X-ray scanners on the other hand uses ionizing radiation which can cause cell damage and lead to cancer.  The thing is there is similar naturally occurring ionizing radiation all around us.  In 42 minutes of ordinary living, or 2 minutes in a plane flight, you would be exposed to the same amount of radiation.  So the amount of radiation you are getting from the scan is almost nothing.

You deserve to be felt up if you refuse to go through the scanners.  I don’t agree with the extra “security theater” the TSA is putting on though.  I think the new body scanners are a waste of money.  I don’t think the TSA has ever caught anybody trying to blow up a plane.  All this extra “security theater” is just telling the terrorists that they are winning.  The TSA always seems to be a step behind.  I can think of so many attacks that could happen that really couldn’t be stopped.  What would happen if someone set off a bomb waiting in the security line?  Then what would we do?  You really can’t stop anybody that is willing to kill themselves to cause terror.

I think the TSA should be doing stuff that can actually make us safer.  Taking off our shoes, throwing away our fingernail clippers, and putting our liquids in plastic baggies really doesn’t make us much safer.  Wouldn’t the money spent on these scanners be put to better use on educating TSA agents, and coming up with strategies that actually make us safer, and maybe less inconvenienced?

iPad version 4.2.1

imagesI bought an iPad two days after they became available.  I usually don’t buy version 1 products, but the iPad looked so good I couldn’t wait.  So I have been using it now for seven months and totally love it.  It’s the perfect couch computer.  It’s so handy to have on the couch to either look something up on IMDB, check sports scores, or check up on Twitter.  I also think it’s a great ebook reader.  I have read many books on it, and prefer it over paper books.  I have never read a book on a Kindle though.  The smaller size, and non-backlit screen may be your thing, but I love the color screen and multiple uses the iPad has.  It has pretty much replaced my laptop on short trips.  Longer vacations I need my laptop, but if I just want to keep up with my RSS feeds, my iPad does the job.

Yesterday the long awaiting iOS 4.2 came out.  I was looking forward to it coming out since the day I bought my iPad.  It finally brings the much needed folders, and multitasking.  My iPad now seems even more useful.  The update does one stupid thing though.  It changes the screen orientation switch into another mute switch.  It boggles my mind why they did this.  I use to use that switch all the time.  Now it takes four button pushes to lock the screen orientation.  Holding the volume button down for a second or two has always muted it.  Why do we need another mute switch?  There are only four buttons on the damn thing, why do two of them have to be mute?

We will see if I miss the old screen orientation lock.  If I miss it too much, I will might just have to jailbreak it again.

New printer

So a couple of weeks ago I bought a new printer.  The ink for my old printer was getting harder and harder to find.  Target was the only place that had it, and last time I bought some it was covered in a layer of dust.  Yeah, it wasn’t a very popular ink cartridge.  I figured the days of easily finding ink for that printer are numbered.  I was low on both black and color ink, so —for almost the price of the ink— I just bought a new printer.

If I remember correctly this the fifth printer I a have bought, and every time I am always amazed at the new one, and kind of shocked how crappy my old one was.

The first printer I bought was back in the early 90s.  It only printed in black.  I was amazed at how crisp and clean the black was and, gasp, it could print different fonts.  It was much better than those dot matrix printers we had in school.

A few years later I bought my first color printer.  It could print color, but really couldn’t handle pictures.  Just some basic color in documents.  It was my first and only HP printer.  After that I started buying Epson printers, and that is all I have bought since.

My third printer was my first Epson and I was amazed how good of photos it could print.  Looking back at those photos now, they are pretty crappy.

My fourth printer is the Epson printer that I am getting rid of now.  It prints pretty good photos.  I can’t really tell the difference between my printed photos, and printed photos from stores.  Nowadays though, it’s easier and probably cheaper to just get photos printed at stores, so I seldom print photos at home.

My new printer is an Epson WorkForce 633.  I’m sure the print quality is better than my old printer, but honestly I can really see a difference.  Printers have gotten so good now that print quality really doesn’t matter much anymore.  It’s other features that I love about my new printer.

It’s an all in one printer, like most of them are nowadays.  It’s nice to have a scanner again, since mine went to hell a few years ago.  I don’t really scan much, but it’s nice to be able to.  It has a nice document feeder too, so I can copy or scan multiple of pages easily.  The thing I really like about it is it’s paper try.  I can put a half of ream of paper in it, and not have to worry about paper levels for a long time.  Plus it holds the paper flat, so it doesn’t get all curled up. 

It’s WiFi, but I don’t really see a benefit to that.  It still has to be plugged into my computer to scan, so it didn’t eliminate and wires.  The only advantage I can see of it is that other computers on the network can print when my main computer is shut off, but my computer is never shut off, so who cares.  It’s probably more of a feature for noobs that don’t know how to share a printer on the network.

My favorite features are probably the speed —It prints super fast— and that it can print double sided.  It’s pretty cool how it prints one side, sucks it back in, and then prints the other side.

Have I really typed this much about something as unsexy as a new printer?  Holy crap.  Well, I don’t by printers too often, so I guess I really notice the changes when I do.

All my book are eBooks or Audible books now

My “to read” book list is always growing faster than I can read.  From time to time I just buy a bunch of them in the Kindle format to keep my wish list down.  I now have over 20 books I haven’t read yet on my iPad, but getting them on my iPad is the first step.  Once they are there, I will read them eventually.

For some reason, I haven’t gotten around to reading any of Phil Plait’s books yet.  I have no idea why I haven’t.  I read his blog every day, and love everything he does.  His first book, Bad Astronomy, is not available on Audible.  I moved it right to the top of my Audible Wish List, which is another wish list that grows faster than I can keep up with.  It will be my next Audible listen when I get my next book at the end of the month.

The iPad might not be the most perfect ebook reader, but it works great for me, and has more uses than just an ebook reader.  I now seldom read paper books.  It’s either an ebook, or an audible book. 

I hate the fact that Audible, and Amazon’s Kindle books contain DRM though.  In the past I refused to spend money on DRMed products, and probably still wouldn’t if it wasn’t so easy to remove.  It’s a little bit of a pain, but I strip off the DRM from my Audible, and Kindle books right after I download them.  I want to be able to read or listen to my media the way I want.  I prefer the iBooks app on my iPad over the Kindle app.  Once DRM is removed, I can read Kindle books in the iBooks app.  Just like Amazon’s MP3s, and now iTunes, as soon as a non-DRM book store opens I am there.

Politics Schmolitics

I’m not really a political junky, but you have to pay attention to be educated enough to vote intelligently.  That seems to be getting harder and harder with all the misinformation news networks and politicians spread nowadays. 

I don’t consider myself a member of any particular party.  I do my research and vote basted on the person, not whether they have a (R) or (D) next to their name.  Lately though, the GOP has been so wacky, I can’t honestly vote for any of them.

My main gripes about the GOP is how anti-science they are.  Anybody that denies global warming, or evolution, and wants to dumb down our children by teaching creationism in science class, is not fit to run our country. 

They GOP is so hell bent on cutting taxes for the rich, and cutting spending.  Isn’t a tax cut mathematically the same thing as increasing spending?  So they really want to increase spending and cut spending?  What?

What inspired this blog post was this video of Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann.  How she got re-elected I have no idea?  I thought Minnesotans were smarter than that.

In the video she goes on and on about some made up numbers pulled out of someone’s ass about the cost of Obama’s India trip.  It doesn’t matter how wrong them numbers are, she says them over and over, and other news networks will pick it up and pretty soon misinformation is as good as true.  It’s one thing for political pundits to pull numbers out of their asses, but a politician?  They should know better.  It’s this kind of misinformation spreading that drives me nuts. 

Then Anderson Cooper tries to get her to tell us where they are going to cut spending.  That was one her key re-election topics, and she had no idea where to make the cuts.  I guess it was just something that sounded good to get re-elected.

In a perfect world both sides would deal with only the facts and work together for the benefit of the American people.  Sadly it’s not a perfect world, so the American people are left confused to what the facts really are, and have to wade through all the misinformation, to decide who to vote for.

Oh well, at least the Sun will come up tomorrow.

8th time seeing Motion City Soundtrack

We had a great weekend in Minneapolis.  First Avenue is my most favorite place to see a concert.  We got there early because the Wife hates crowds.  She gets claustrophobic.  We have to either be right up front, or way in the back, so of course I like to get right up front.  It was another great concert. 

First Avenue is famous for the stars on the outside walls with some of the greatest bands that have played there on them.  This year they did a makeover on them, and they look better than ever.  I should have taken some pictures of the new paint jobs, but I didn’t think of it.  The line we were waiting in was on the opposite side of Motion City Soundtracks star, so I didn’t see their star.  They did move Prince’s, Soul Asylum’s and a few other Minneapolis band’s stars to easier to photograph places.  Our line was next to Motion City Soundtracks bus.  We saw Joshua Cain from Motion City heading into First Ave, and we saw Jesse Johnson go on and off the bus a few times.  Valencia had someone out side taking pictures for their website.  I may or may not be on their flickr site.

The Concert started with Valencia, who I have heard of, but never heard.  They were great, and I ran into one of them after the show and bought a CD from him.  I love supporting great bands by buy their CDs right from them.

Saves the Day was band number two.  I love them, and have most of their albums, but I am never impressed by them in concert.  This was my third time seeing them, and they always sound better on their albums.

Say Anything was the third band.  They were great, but I wish I knew more of their older stuff.  It was also great to see Kenny Vasoli playing bass for them.  I have seen Kenny’s old band, The Starting Line many times.

Motion City Soundtrack was amazing as always.  The only problem is that they have enough albums out now, that they don’t play many of our favorites off their first album, but that happens with every band.  They still rocked the place, and it was awesome to finally see them in mine, and probably their favorite venue.

To shave or not to shave?

So there is this company in town that tests generic versus brand name drugs.  I am sure everybody from Fargo knows what I am talking about.  Basically they pay people to be guinea pigs.  The studies are about as safe as can be.  It’s not like they are testing untested drugs.  They just compare brand names versus the generic to make sure they are similar so the generic can get onto the market.  Most of the time you are given a low enough dosage that you don’t feel any affects, at least I have never felt any.  I usually do a few a year when some easy ones come up.  It’s not like we need the money.  We are doing pretty well, but it’s hard to pass up an easy $1000.

The one I am doing now is a patch study.  I just have to wear patches on my hips, and go in on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays for a check and replacement, for four weeks.

So for the last three weeks I have been going in three times a week to let people peak at my underwear and hips.  Yesterday I was getting a little reaction, so they had to move my patches.  They moved them in an inch or so, but now they are only and inch or so away from my pubes.  I am not a shaver.  I don’t know if many guys are, but I’m not.  I am all natural down there.  Now I am wondering if I should trim them back a little.  It’s going to be a little tricky to expose the patches without exposing some pubes.

I guess I will have to make the call when I am in the shower tomorrow.  I don’t think my decision will be blog-worthy though.