Monday, October 31, 2016


Tesla's Solar Roof May Be Available Next Year

Tom Randall |
"The plan is for Panasonic to produce the solar cells and for Tesla to put together the glass tiles and everything that goes along with them. That’s all predicated on shareholders approving the $2.2 billion acquisition of SolarCity, the biggest U.S. rooftop installer, on Nov. 17.... "

Click On Bottom Right Corner To Enlarge

This is not the first time I heard about something like this. I wrote an extensive piece similar to this on July 19, 2011 entitled "Nearly Unnoticeable Solar Electric Shingles".

In it I wrote why I'm so enthused. I also mentioned they've been available since back then. Check it out.

Avoid Debit Cards

What I Learned When My Husband's Debit Card Was Stolen
Kerry Hannon, Contributor |
"With credit cards, federal law limits your loss at a maximum of $50 if your card is lost or stolen... If someone uses your debit card before you report it lost or stolen, your liability really depends on how quickly you report it. Within two business days after you learn about the loss or theft, you could be responsible for up to $50, according to federal law. More than two business days after you learn about the loss or theft, but less than 60 calendar days after your statement is sent, you could be on the hook for up to $500. After 60 days, you might not be reimbursed at all."

My Comments About The Article Above
I encourage everyone to set up eAlerts for each of their accounts. I've never thought it wise to allow auto pays nor any other method whereby someone gains direct access to checking or savings accounts. Auto pays can go terribly wrong if the billing gets screwed up. Neither do I think it wise to link checking accounts allowing them to tap into savings for any reason. No auto anything is a good rule to follow.

If someone whacks your credit card it's one thing. Entirely another if a checking account gets hammered rendering someone useless to pay any other bills. In addition most credit card companies offer ways to generate temporary account numbers with capped dollar amounts for online use. For example my cell phone carrier and several merchants I deal with save credit account numbers. I generate temporary numbers with a cap for within a few dollars of what I'm purchasing. We've all seen what can happen when hackers gain access to some of these merchant's sites. In my case, fat lot of good it will do them.

Always keep them separate from savings. Linking the two could drain them both. Why anyone does this is beyond me. I use savings as a means to completely separate the two Since today's savings accounts pay less then 1%.what would be the point otherwise?

I see no good reason for the use of debit cards. Most credit card companies charge $0 if the monthly balance is paid off I haven't paid a single dollar interest or fees in years. Nearly every employee and Social Security retiree receive their money via direct deposit. If something gets messed up, unlike debt cards, credit cards provide a cushion for up to 30 days allowing someone to make a much smaller payment on the balance until things can be straightened out..

Gift Cards Suck tells us 10 Reasons Why Gift Cards Suck

Money explains Why You Should Avoid Gift Cards At All Costs – Fraud Sucks

Each year an estimated $1 billion on gift cards go unredeemed, while $5-7 billion on gift cards expire.

I'll explain a few experiences I've had with them.(1) For one merchant I had a $50 gift card. The total came to $45. Nothing in the store was less then $10. So we wanted the $5 difference. No way. Tough boogers. So the person who gave us the card was screwed out of 10% of what they spent.

(2) The late mother-in-law, with all good intentions, gave me a $100 gift certificate for the former 'Today's Man'' which filed for bankruptcy. I was told it couldn't be used. I filled out the forms they gave me. Six months later I received a 50 page settlement explanation why we were SOL for the entire $100. Between the postage and the packet itself must have cost $10. I'd rather have gotten the ten bucks.

(3) Since that time we received several restaurant gift certificates which cost me more then I would have spent somewhere else given the choice.

(4) We also received tickets for two NYC food tours for the both of us. Ok that's nice but it cost us ninety bucks for the bus to get there each time. That's $180.

Anyone who wants to do something nice for someone make it easy on yourself. Give them cash instead. That way they can spend it on whatever, wherever and whenever they like. An alternative might be lottery tickets. Neither of these obligates the receiver to spend their own money in order to use them. Neither shortchange the giver nor restrict where they can be used.

It may seem cold, but cash is everybody's friend. I'm certain all too many times gifts enclosed with refund receipts end up being cashed out anyway. Same goes with wedding gifts. Who wouldn't prefer cash over a bunch of over priced items from their registry list?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

God Sakes What's The Matter With These People!

"No rape charges have yet been filed against the actor who was indicted for child porn possession earlier this year"

So is the fallen Mark Salling of 'Glee' a 'Christian' songster
an ex-Christian songster?

According to the 'New York Daily News', "He was also accused in a 2013 lawsuit of forcing unprotected sex on a woman who said that although she consented to having protected sex with the actor, he proceeded without using a condom. Salling and the woman settled out of court last year, with the actor giving her more than $2.7 million."

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Happy Halloween

Over-The-Top Trick Or Treating (REPOST From 10/29/2011)

Although I'm not uploading film from this year's, this is exactly the way it was again last night
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

At the risk of sounding like a cranky old man.. Friday night was trick or treat night in Allentown.

Every trick or treat night here in the Westend of Allentown we get inundated with trick or treaters. I have no problem with the Halloween handouts. What I do have a problem is the huge numbers of them. There are a total of 4 kids who live in our half block on both sides of the street. So let's say there's as many as 15 more or so kids living to either side of our half block.

How then do you account for all these kids?

Video was taken from one of my surveillance cameras while we were away.

We go to one of our kid's houses each year where both their neighborhoods have 10x's as many children and yet 1/5th the number of trick or treaters. You may ask what accounts for this number of kids and why do we leave?

Well we used to burn through 15 bags of candy in the first hour alone even though we only handed one piece out to each. That's over the top. I've watched SUV's and/or vans pull up and unload 5 or 10 kids. They'd hit the houses, then pile back in the vans and go down to the next block. Then the next.

It's quite obvious downtown parents set about to go hit up the richie's in the Westend. I certainly can't blame parents for wanting to come out here where's it's safer. BUT on the other hand, we can't go through 12 lbs of candy in one hour either. It's taking advantage.

Blame it on the parents, I suppose, but I AM NOT WEALTHY. I AM ON Social Security and so are about 5 of my neighbors. If you will note in the video the guy handing candy out across the street on his front porch ran out about 45 minutes into this (around 6:45 PM).

So no hard feelings, but this is the choice we made for ourselves. It's a shame for the kids who actually do live in our neighborhood. But it does speak to the kind of attitude that seems to pervade in the culture of Allentown, does it not?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Because It's Halloween (Music Video)

Here's ISTO's rendition of Screamin' J Hawkins classic
"I Put A Spell On You"

The man himself being non PC in '83'

Broadway Christmas Coming To The Lehigh Valley

For folks who don't want to spend the time and money to visit Radio City's Christmas Spectacular in NYC Easton State Theatre is offering a Christmas themed show of it's own.

It will take place on Thurs. December 1st & Fri. December 2nd @ 7:00 pm.

You Can Purchase Tickets Here For $60/$55

I'm not being compensated to promote this

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Few Things On My Mind Today

Should police ride white stallions or black ones?
At this point I suggest they ride Zebras so no one will be offended.

Out of the last twenty or so posts I've done 40x's the amount of usual traffic was on the one I did on MLB uniforms possibly being manufactured overseas. It was picked up on Facebook and on other social media sites. Apparently deep thinkers aren't my forte when it comes to this blog.

Although I have a heavy volume of readers thank God this isn't a problem for me. I've thoroughly scrutinized comments left on many other sites both locally and those in mainstream media. Nearly 90% are critical of the authors or others who leave comments, I feel the only value comments should offer are those which further contribute to the subject or offer a reasonable argument to what was presented. Most comment sections have become chat rooms where one-upmanship seems to be the name of the game. I like to think many of my visitors understand this percept. Those who aren't so understanding is why their comments never appear here.

We just had a birthday party at my daughter's house. She focused on her three year old twins and their party guests. She invited a sing and sign teacher to entertain the kids and they loved it. Amongst the attendees were the parents who are fellow nurses, doctors, surgeons and others she works with at the hospital. To me they look like kids themselves. One little fellow who attended is now our great grand son named Chase.

Idioms Make Learning English Confusing

Idioms & ponderisms make it harder for people coming to live here from other countries.Why do we say an alarm is going off when it's actually going on?
Why offer a penny for thoughts when most aren't worth two cents?
Why is a baker's dozen not twelve items?
How is it your nose runs, but your feet smell?
Why a hot water heater. Shouldn't we need a cold water heater?
In sports why do they call 3 points a hat trick when nobody wears them?
If idle hands are the devil's tools what does he use to get things done?
The whole nine yards. Why not ten?
To drink like a fish. Do fish drink?
Why do people play at a recital and recite at a play?
Why does night fall but never break and day break but never fall?
Why does a man get a hernia and a woman a hysterectomy?
Why do they call them apartments when they're all together?
Why is the word abbreviation so long?
If olive oil is made from olives, what do they make baby oil from?
If pro and con are opposites, is congress the opposite of progress?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth?
If the teacher taught, why isn't it also true that the preacher praught?
Why does winding up a watch start it, but winding up a project ends it?
Does our head have have hair or hairs on it?
Why call them resturant waiters when we do all the waiting?
A non-stop flight has to stop some time doesn't it?
Why is it called a one night stand if neither were standing?
How does daylight savings time store daylight?
Isn't planning before something much the same as preplanning itslef?
How can airlines preboard passengers before they begin boarding them?
Why do we pull up a chair, isn't it high enough?
Back and forth. Doesn't something have to go forth before it can go back?
Lucked out doesn't mean you ran out of luck. shouldn't it be lucked in?
Saying watch your head is as impossible as trying to bite your teeth
If someone does something behind your back, could they do it in front of it?
How did Roman's do math without a Roman numeral for zero?
Do we fill in a form by filling it out?
Bandages are wound around a wound
A farm can produce produce
Can a dump refuse refuse?
It's bad idea for a soldier to desert in the desert
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes
A farmer once taught his sow to sow
How come an eggplant has no yolk?
Shouldn't an apple look simular to a pineapple?
Why are boxing rings square?
1 goose. 2 geese. Why aren't 2 moose meese?
If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
How is a slim chance different from a fat chance?
Is a house burning up as it burns down?
What race is the human race?
Why doesn't Buick rhyme with quick?
Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
If 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?
If nothing ever sticks to Teflon, how do they make Teflon stick to the pan?
Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATM?
Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
Why is it called a TV "set" when you only get one?
Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?
Is there another word for thesaurus?
Is there another word for synonym?
If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
Why is a pear called a pear when there is only one?
What do they pack Styrofoam in?
Why does the word monosyllabic contain five syllables?
If you were scared half to death twice, would you be 100% dead?
If you asked a librarian where the books on self help were would they tell you?
If you can't drink and drive, why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor, and why do bars have parking lots?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Internet Pop Ups Warning-- Don't Do Them

Nearly every site is now using them. They really get under my skin. First off they are "java" scripted meaning we don't know what they will do.

They are absolutely unnecessary. These serve only two purposes. It either benefits a site monetarily or there's some other nefarious reason for them. Merely clicking on the "X" or "SKIP" is an acknowledgment for whatever purpose the web creator designed them to do. Nearly 90% are cookie dependent. Meaning if someone simply refreshes the page they will go away. If they don't go away leave the site. None should be so important as might risk one's security.

Clicking on them provides a means for a web designer to acknowledge your approval for something you may or may not fully understand or agree with. Common sense should dictate why they would be necessary in the first place. In short, don't never ever do it

This goes double for a pop ups claiming you've been infected.

I've already ran across some that refused to let me close the browser. Here's how to get around this problem. Press the CTRL-ALT-DELETE keys simultaneously. This will bring up the "Task Manager". Chose "end the task" option for the browser. Restart the browser and use the tools menu. Under the internet options delete the files. Then close the browser, restart and repeat this procedure a second time and you'll be A-OK.

Above all else never ever acknowledge a pop up of any kind no matter what.

Kids Today Are Nuts!

All the following news stories occurred over just the last seven days

"Two kids were severely injured after a group attack Tuesday afternoon near Dieruff High School involving about 50 students, Allentown police said. The victims were punched, kicked and pistol-whipped by about 20 people in the crowd, police said. The pair suffered concussions, lost teeth, bruises and cuts..."
School Bus driver attacked by two students in North Memphis

West Oak Lane, Pa.: Witnesses say dozens of teens attacked students on board school bus

Philadelphia, Pa.: Race fears fester after huge flash mob of alleged ‘black teens’ attack random victims and cops after Temple football game

Penn State, Pa.: Police disperse post-game rioting after Penn State win

Kansas City: Teenagers with rocks attack mother, children near Plaza

Port Barre, La.: Teens’ brazen attack on officers caught on bodycam ‘could have been the next Ferguson,’ police chief says

SYRACUSE, N.Y: Police arrest two teen girls for assault of 61-year-old man caught on viral video

McKeesport, Pa.: 3 teens arrested in connection with grocery store attack, robbery

WIGGINS, Miss.: Officials investigate claim of noose around H.S. student's neck

Kansas City, KS.: Two teens sought in attack on 82-year-old priest

GRANTVILLE, Pa.: East Hanover teen charged for racially motivated attack

ST. JOSEPH, MO.: Two teens in custody in death of 17-year-old St. Joseph teen

NEW HAVEN, CT.: Yale professor attacked, robbed by group of teens

SAN RAMON, CA.: Brutal Attack Near San Ramon Elementary School (by Teens)

I suggest perhaps we give them a more useful outlet in which they can focus their aggressive tendencies. Say like reinstating the Selective Service. Ok sure not everyone will work out to be a great soldier, but six weeks in boot camp for these thugs would be better then locking them up with their own kind.

I'd rather they washout in boot camp then be put back on the streets after a short stay with some of their BFF's. in lockup learning how to become even a bigger idiot then they already are. Dollar wise it wouldn't cost much more. Which would you rather?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Where Are Space Aliens Signals Hiding?

Since there's so little intelligence to be found of Earth I decided to do a piece where a greater amount might be found elsewhere :-)

The SETI group has been looking for these signals since 1985 So far nada. The main area of research has focused around the 1612 MHz to 1720 MHz set of frequencies. Here's a few things I've considered why they may be coming up empty handed.

There's four main components to any radio signal. The bandwidth, frequency per second, the type of modulation used. and what type of information could be stored within the envelope (the carrier frequency itself). The first challenge would be to identify a electromagnetic carrier. SETI is searching mainly between 1.612-1.720ghz. The reason is in space the 1-10ghz frequencies travel nearly unimpeded. They've mainly focused on that range because there are millions upon millions of signals that first must be ruled out before moving on to the others. A very long and exhaustive tasking in itself. However even my home phone uses 5.8ghz. So it's not to say there couldn't be millions of other frequencies an alien civilization may have chosen yet still be within that range.

This brings us to the carrier envelope itself. Even if we should stumble on to such a carrier would we even recognize it. Take for example our TV's. They are specifically designed to recognize a certain bandwidth. Either too wide or too narrow they are little more then an unintelligible electrical brick even if they were tuned to a proper RF's envelope carrier frequency. Anyone who's ever played with a shortwave radio knows how important it is to adjust the radio's bandwidth enabling it to receive properly.

Assuming we have the right carrier frequency and bandwidth we need to understand how the useful information is modulated. Older TV's used amplitude modulated (AM) sine waves . Today's TV's use frequency modulation (digital 1 and 0's). There is yet a third type called pulsed width modulation (PM). Each can transmit useful information in of themselves or in some other combination with the other two. For example, older TV's once used sine waves which relied on the proper width and frequency of a horizontal pulse buried within the signal. Without it you'd have no picture. In fact in the early days of pay TV providers would flip the Horizontal Sync pulse upside down preventing customers not paying for it to receive such broadcasts.

In addition to these there's also Phase-shift keying (PSK). Frequency-shift keying (FSK). Amplitude-shift keying (ASK). On-off keying (OOK). Quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), a combination of PSK and ASK and Continuous phase modulation (CPM). As you can see identifying which one can be a laborious time consuming task especially if the resulting information itself is encrypted for privacy reasons.

The bandwidth used is determined by what kind of information one wished to convey. Today's digital TV video has a bandwidth of 6,000,000hzSec. Human voice only requires only 6,000HzSec. So it follows any intelligence aliens wished to convey could contain either a much larger bandwidth then we now use or one much smaller.

Today's fiber optic communications relying on light waves can carry 10,000's of signals. It should be assumed alien signals would have this same capability dependent on their various bandwidths and the carrier frequency chosen.

Let's kick it up yet another notch. All these types of communication already might be ancient history to alien civilizations. I'm not about to go into all the details of the possibilities quantum communication may offer. It's said this type of communication could overcome the time it takes for light and electromagnetic waves to travel the vast distances within the universe. Quantum physics suggest distance (hence time) may not even be a factor in such a form of communication. As of yet receivers of this type are in their infancy.

Assuming beings elsewhere have moved on to quantum communications (overcoming distance and time) it may be no wonder we are unable to listen to anyone outside. We might as well be beating a stick against a log hoping to get a response.

The thing we need most to concern ourselves with. If we are ever able to master such a communication it would be most wise to listen first to what they are saying before we start making our presence known. It could threaten our existence. I'd hate to think somehow we flew under their radar for millions of years then by making our presence known they consider us no more significant then how we feel towards insects. It's always a wise idea to listen before leaping into something we know little about.

8 years ago I made this silly video about this very thing

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thanks For Your Service Suckers

"Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war.

Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back. Nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses — and slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse... a federal investigation found that thousands of bonuses and student loan payments were given to California Guard soldiers who did not qualify for them, or were approved despite paperwork errors."
My Comments About The Article Above
I not sure what's going on here but it looks like somebody is getting the short end of the stick.

A Humvee can cost upwards to $220,000. Should 14 soldier's bonuses for service be worth less then just one of these 281,000 vehicles built for service? If you subtracted their bonuses we could still pay for over 260,928 Humvees. Hardly a drop in the bucket considering in 2010 we spent over $165 billion in Afghanistan & Iraq. $20 billion on air conditioning alone,

These so called overpayments in question represented only a fraction of what we wasted. Seems to me we're sticking it to the very people we should be most grateful towards.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Will MLB Uniforms Be Made Overseas?

Under Armour, Majestic deal could shift MLB uniform manufacturing overseas
By Jon Harris •Contact Reporter | The Morning Call
"In 2015, the publicly held Under Armour's products were made by 44 primary manufacturers, operating in 16 countries, according to the publicly traded company's annual report. In addition, approximately 63 percent of its products last year were manufactured in China, Jordan, Vietnam and Indonesia, the report states.... An MLB spokesperson did not respond to a question regarding whether the league requires the on-field uniforms to be made in the United States. "

My Comments About The Article Above
Although it's not been officially announced at this time this is not something I like to hear. If they do pull something off like this it would be totally disgusting.

Every dime they make comes from American fans and TV networks. Even their stadiums are built on the backs of taxpayers in the United States.

If players are no longer wearing American made uniforms (in what's considered the most American sport we have) in my eyes this would be slap in the face. Baseball fans should react accordingly by not showing up.

Don't be surprised if bats, footballs and all the other equipment ends up being made overseas one day either. Even teams themselves could come under foreign ownership. But I'll assume as long as they get a good seat fans could care less.

Unfortunately nobody sticks together anymore. Nearly every single citizen pisses and moans about trade deals but when it comes to what they can do to help support U.S. manufacturing suddenly everyone goes MIA. It just seems to be who we are.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Social Security Retirees Screwed Again In 2017

"That amounts to an increase of just 0.3% -- the smallest ever put in place to help cover higher prices. That's still an improvement from this year, when the lack of inflation kept benefits from increasing at all."

My Comments About The Article Above
Here we go again. Face it no one on SS will ever see increased SS income ever again. Not at the top levels nor the bottom. The reason is even if retirees now get this crummy .3% increase it's wash because of Medicare payment increases.

Forbes goes into great detail explaining how the "hold harmless provision helps, but the bottom line is...

The government's major explanation as to why is gasoline prices came down. Never mind seniors aren't commuting everyday to work. Few are blowing around in gas guzzling RV's in their golden years either. The real fact is most seniors' expenses goes towards eye glasses, dental care, hearing aides (which aren't covered), for medicines and other medical costs.

I wish to remind everyone someday we all will find ourselves in this very same place if fate is kind. I doubt few will be able to save a half or a million dollars cause that's what it'll take. I hope people like the woman in the video are not counting on their kids to write checks. Her offspring will have their own problems paying rent/mortgages, raising kids and paying off sudent loans. About all I can say if she and others don't give a hoot about their elders, neither will their kids. What goes around comes around. How awful!

Allentown Mayor Flexes His Muscles.. Again

What the mayor wants, the mayor gets.

"Council members learned Monday of Pawlowski's latest salvo when officials inside City Hall reported that Walker, who council rejected 5-2 Thursday, was leading a staff meeting. City spokesman Mike Moore confirmed Tuesday that Walker has been hired...."

My Comments About The Article Above
Yes it's legal. The mayor can do it. The problem I have is the mayor disrespecting council. At the council meeting he was overly aggressive towards those who dared defy him. It's obvious that his attitude towards council is as if they are nothing more then a speed bump in the road. He reminds me of a child who always had his way then becomes defiant and mean the first time he doesn't.

What remains in question is council's ability to cut off someone's salary. After looking through the charter it appears council does have the right to set salaries by ordinance for department heads. However there's nothing specifically stating they can eliminate salaries whether it be a director or those beneath such positions. Nor have the power to eliminate such director positions established by city charter.

In case someone gets the bright idea council could appoint a director who could then fire this guy, only the mayor can hire and fire directors. Council doesn't have to approve them, but they can't appoint directors. Only the mayor can do that.

Something else to consider is the city budget procedure itself. If council fails to agree or approve the mayor's budget w/o his agreeing to changes charter dictates it goes into effect in January. Therefore if council attempts to manipulate the budget in some way or another trying to eliminate this guy the mayor's pretty much going to get his way.

After all that we've been through I think it's long overdue we take another look into the city charter giving council more power. The reason I feel this way: (1) Every meeting it's council who gets all the crap from citizens complaining about things they have little or no control over. (2) The mayor (who calls most all the shots) is not required to be in attendance even though he's most responsible for what citizens complain about. (3) I'd rather have seven members input and in agreement then just one guy who has all the say. It certainly would be harder for influence peddlers to sway 8 minds over one. That just of the mayor's.

I'm not sure how all this will play out, but one thing's for sure... payback is a bitch. No good can come from this bickering. I cannot help but think council won't hold animosity towards the mayor after this. It's not good government nor for the people of Allentown. This needs to change. Failure to change the charter on how the city conducts itself can only lead to more distrust not only from the people but those involved in higher levels of oversight such as the FBI.

The founders of this nation understood government powers need to be spread around. Left in too few hands leads to the results of which we may be experiencing here in Allentown. This is why I think it's vital that we take a second look at the city charter to see what's worked well for us and that which has not.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Four Quick Comments

RT reports. "The UK bank servicing RT has given notice that it will close the broadcaster’s accounts, without explanation. The UK government has denied any involvement in the bank's decision. RT’s assets were not frozen and can still be withdrawn from the accounts."
COMMENT: Why aren't they using banks in Russia?

The BBC reports, Julian Assange's internet access was cut.
COMMENT: About time. Why is the Ecuador embassy allowing this to be used as his headquarters? The original mission of WikiLeaks was to expose world corruption. Instead for the last year it became nothing more then propaganda machine much like Tokyo Rose and Radio Pravda once used against Western governments. Let Assange rot there staring at the four walls. Who cares.

A local GOP headquarters was fire bombed in N. Carolina.
COMMENT: The Trumpster immediately tweeted it was Clinton's "animal" supporters who did it. Although it's too early to tell did he ever think it might be one of his own supporters? After all wasn't it he who accused his own party of turning against him which might have inflamed one of his kooky followers. Too soon to tell, but assume nothing till the perps are caught.

Tobacco Bad. Dope Good
I went online to order pipe tobacco like I've always done. It seems suppliers aren't allowed to ship into Pennsylvania. Yes I've paid the taxes and shipping all fair square and legal. Now it seems it isn't. OK smoking sucks and is a bad habit but... the president over the weekend made it legal now to bring back as many cigars as you like from Cuba. There's an ever increasing number of states that think smoking pot is A-OK. I'm a bit more then outraged at the hypocrisy. Screw the traditional American tobacco farmer. We're talking about the big buck$ here.

Long ago I didn't like smoking marijuana. Not only because I didn't like it's effects but the smoke gagged the hell out of me. How we got to the point where weed is accepted and smoking cigars is OK dumbfounds me. The way I take it, as long as a doctor prescribes expensive weed or questionable drugs everything is fine because there's lot's of money in it for everyone

Tobacco on the other hand has become out of favor as if far worse then being tanked up on alcohol. Wine sales on the internet and selling beer in stores is now looked upon as favorable. Many of the same stores that discontinued cigarette sales on their premises now promote alcohol instead. Yeah like they care. This is about the almighty dollar. Not people's health.

I've said this many times. I will repeat this once again. Which would you rather? A pilot of a plane having five cigarettes before he crawled into the cockpit or one who had five drinks? Same goes with anyone driving a cab or operating a train. Ok sure tobacco is not a good thing, but compared to alcohol, prescription drugs or marijuana use why is tobacco coming under more fire then these other three?

I'll tell you why...
It's all about the big buck$

The dirty secret is the medical costs for prescription drugs, pot smoking and alcohol use far outweigh what we've been told tobacco users costs us in both dollars and lives..

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Syrian Refugees Yesterday's Jews

I cannot help but draw a parallel to the human suffering Jews once endured with those of the many innocent peaceful Syrians who want no part of this horrific war taking place in their homeland. Innocents unwelcomed in almost every part of the world in which they seek refuge.

No one, not Jews, Syrians nor anyone else should have to endure this kind of suffering. It saddens me that we've learned so little from the past.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pennsylvanians, Illegals In Our Own Country?

Sure seems like it in this ever increasing crazy world.

According to the Pa. Dept. Of Motor Vehicles.."In 2012, Pennsylvania’s Legislature enacted Act 38, which bars the Governor or PennDOT from participating in REAL ID. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has notified PennDOT that it will grant no more extensions to Pennsylvania. As a result, effective Jan. 30, 2017, Pennsylvania residents will need an alternative, secure form of identification to gain admittance to all federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants. The only exception is admittance to federal facilities for the purpose of applying for or receiving federal benefits. Each federal agency determines which secure identification it will accept.

DHS also pointed out that if Pennsylvania does not come into compliance by Jan 22, 2018 (or is not granted an extension), Pennsylvania residents will need to present an alternative form of identification acceptable to the Transportation Security Administration to board a commercial flight.

Further according to the TSA.."Beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license or state ID or another acceptable form of identification to fly within the U.S."What a pickle this puts us in. Here we are finding ourselves sandwiched between the federal government and leaders of our state in some sort of pissing contest. I don't know how this will play out but I do hope it means we can't get subpoenaed to federal juries (including grand juries) because we would be barred from federal courthouses. Stick that in your pipe!

I highly doubt this will play out well with the airlines since 23 other states are not in compliance either at the present time. Well at least the skies will be less crowded meaning less flight delays.

As far as I'm concerned this getting way out of hand. First the feds required everyone to get a social security number from the first day of birth. Now this, Surely embedded ID chips beneath our skulls from birth can't be far behind.

Revelation 13:16-17
"He required everyone--small and great, rich and poor, free and slave--to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead... so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark.."


No doubt about it the late baseball great Yogi Berra was known for his sayings almost as much as he was for baseball.

Here's a few I came across.Nobody goes there anymore. It gets too crowded.
You can observe a lot by watching.
Go to other people's funerals or they won't come to yours.
It gets late early out there.
The future ain't what it used to be.
I never said most of the things I said.
Pair up in threes.
I usually take a 2 hour nap from 1-4 pm.
A nickel isn't worth a dime anymore.
It’s like déjà vu all over again.
Never answer an anonymous letter.
Cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.
It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.
If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.
Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.
Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.
Slump? I ain't in no slump... I just ain't hitting.
He must have made that before he died.
90% of the putts that are short don't go in.
I don't know if they were men or women running naked across the field. They had bags over their heads.

Yogi Berra at the 2009 St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame Enshrinement Dinner

Yogi Berra interview on Charlie Rose (1998)

Medicare Reform Law

The American Medical Association is reporting-- "A final rule released on Oct. 14, 2016 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) details the final regulations for implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the historic Medicare reform law that repealed the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula last year."

Doctors have complained for years how each legislative budget session required congress to approve how much they will be reimbursed. Failure by congress to do so threatened their livelihood. This bill is meant to delete that problem.

The way I see it this was long overdue and demonstrates how both parties on either side of the aisle can work together to produce something useful. I figured I'd post this because I haven't seen media pick up this story.

If you check out the link it looks extremely complicated (well at least it goes way over my head). However be that as it may, hopefully this will be an improvement for physicians, Medicare patients and add to Medicare's sustainability.

For others, they'd rather see paint dry I suppose. But I felt it was worth mentioning.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Allentown Council's Honeymoon With The Mayor Is Over

Last night (10/13/2016) Allentown council met to either confirm or deny the mayor's four appointees. They accepted two. One withdrew and the fourth was rejected. However this wasn't the big news.

For the first time in a very long time council left their rubber stamps at home choosing instead to challenge the mayor. Needless to say the mayor didn't take too kindly to it.

At one point the mayor took a swipe at councilman Julio Guridy's supposedly $90,000 salary for his position on the Joint Toll Bridge Commission after he dared to confront the mayor (55:40 into the following video). Maybe the mayor's jealous he was passed over by state honchos, who knows.

In my opinion the former police chief, who now sits on council, wasn't too thrilled either since his salary was far lower and the mayor kept putting him off when he held the position. Worth noting-- The very next chief the mayor appointed came from out of town. Council at that time approved the mayor's recommendation for over a $20,000 salary increase. Yet he lasted little more then a year when both him and his son took the city to court. In essence my impression is the council member was trying to make the point more money didn't work out too well the last time council took the mayor's recommendations. Although the councilman fully supports and voted in favor of the mayor's appointment feeling he was very well qualified, he still had issues giving someone more money before council has a chance to look over the mayor's budget proposal for next year

Seems to me the overall theme of the meeting was questioning of the mayor wanting council to buy a pig in a poke. That is to say approve a bunch of salary increases weeks before the mayor presents his budget to council. Council wasn't having it this year. It appears to me this was the major bone of contention which raised the ire in the room. That and having to sit through another one of the mayor's Powerpoint presentations.

Video Of The Oct. 13, 2016 Meeting

If this doesn't play in your browser GO HERE

Size Of The Universe

     It's crazier then you imagined !

"An international team of astronomers reported Thursday that the universe might be 10, or even 20, times larger than we previously thought, containing as many as 1 trillion or even 2 trillion galaxies."

My Comments About The Article Above
Keep in mind this is only an attempt to define the "known physical universe". Assuming the creator is unfettered by the constraints of time for all eternity this should come as no surprise. If we accept the so-called big bang which was said to have occurred 13.772 billion years ago it still doesn't explain that which was before.

Quantum physics suggest far greater creations beyond the physical. Quantum theory goes so far as to say whenever a observer begins to observe they will find whatever they are looking for.

For those so inclined of a religious nature the Bible confirms such-- "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." I suggest this is the act of creation itself.

It is said if God were to hide there could be no better place then within. If we are the "observers" this implies we ourselves are not only part of the creator but may be the very being we seek playing a part in creation itself..

Perhaps this latest discovery lends yet another hint towards this never ending paradox in the world in which we live.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Allen Organ Craftsmanship Is Alive &Well

Before I start I will repeat, as I often have, I'm not sponsoring nor receiving remuneration in any manner for what I'm about to say.

Recently Allen Organ in Macungie Pennsylvania posted a few videos how they assemble their instruments. I've embedded two of them here. The reason I did is because I not only fully support local companies, but encourage people to buy American whenever possible.

It's been many decades since I once worked at Allen Organ right after high school in the 'final inspections' department. A few impressions I left with were the following. (1) Although the company isn't the highest payer it was a company that maintained the highest skilled employees around. (2) They were patient and took whatever time was necessary to fully train employees. (3) The same applied to the organs. Not a single one left that plant (no matter long it took) until every single one left without a scratch or single note was left out of order. (4) When I was employed we did several expensive special orders for well known celebrities who they've kept in confidence. (5) A lot of what they taught me about integrity, doing things right and not compromising has stuck with me for years. Not bad for a kid just out of high school who they've risked giving a chance to learn these values.

I'm thrilled to see (by these videos) much of those same values and local opportunities still remain today. Anyone looking into purchasing one of these instruments will be hard pressed to find the same quality of genuine hardwood cabinetry still being used today along with extremely well designed electronics inside.

One more thing I want to add. I can't speak to today's employees, but when I worked there I never met a finer group of people. These were great times for me. Some hosted picnics for each and other. A group of us also went outside working hours together for bowling and other activities. My second checker overseeing me belonged to the Allentown band. So many memories. A kid couldn't ask better for his first job. I'm very pleased to see after all these years Allen Organ is still thriving and remaining an important part in this Lehigh Valley industry.

Where I'm At (The Mood I'm In)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Most Amazing Synth Performer I Ever Come Across

Believe me I've watched a lot of keyboard performances of every kind over the years, but never anyone who came close to her.

All of her videos can be found HERE

I've played around a lot over the years with my Roland SC55 and my midi software on this computer. How she does this live and in real time defies anything I've ever be able to come up with. Some of my sequences took weeks trying to tweek system exclusives, rhythm changes and all the other razzmatazz that goes along with sequencing. None of them ever came close.

Absolutely amazing and extremely humbling. I doubt anyone comes near her talent anywhere in the world when it comes to live performances.

One Of My Own Past Roland SC55 Efforts