Substitutions not recommended

I’m sure I’m not alone in leaving my charging cord attached to my computer. This allows for overnight charging as well as updates. I always have another as a back-up for when I’m at work, but for the most part, I use the one attached to the computer.

Sadly, the cord started to fray. I’m gonna blame the cat here, because he’s annoyed me. But let’s face it, there are people in my household who unplug devices by the cord not the plug.

So I looked online and sure enough there was a cord that was supposed to work for both my iPhone and my iPad. Apple approved it and, hey it was less than half the cost.

I plugged my phone in and waited, and waited, and waited. It took nearly twice as long to charge.

Hmmmm. Was I going to have to pull out my angry eyes?

I even used the outlet charger and still it was sloooooow. After my phone was fully charged, I decided to use the cord on my iPad.

It said it wasn’t connected. Not to the outlet or the computer. It wasn’t charging at all. Which made the cord pretty much useless.

In the end, I bought a longer cord from the Apple store, free shipping to my house, and delivered the next day. It works like a charm. Guess, you do get what you pay for.

Until next time!

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Friday Futurecast: The Grid

The end of the electric grid is coming. There are books written about it. And, not all of them are fiction. Some are based on the cascading blackouts that have happened. Others about an EMP pulse from a solar flare or nuke. Take your pick, there’s a book out there.

You see there are 3 electric grids in the US: East, West, and Texas.

And while there are utilities working to minimize the damage and contain the domino effect of a cascade failure, the area potentially effected could be catastrophic. Direct damage notwithstanding, when hurricanes damaged Texas and Louisiana, the disruption to the flow of oil/fuel to our power plants could knock even more generators out of commission, leaving more folks without power.

To protect our grid, we should look into local generation of power:  the most independent sources being solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal ( and possibly terragen). Provided the EMP isn’t global, the systems should be able to isolate their communities, in effect stopping the domino effect by removing a domino here and there. It may even help to restore power to affected areas faster, depending on the cause. To jump start competition, we just stop subsidizing the oil, gas, coal industries. Heck, we’d probably come out billions of dollars ahead, and not just because of the bill from these millstone industries.

Of course, there’s the jobs created as capitalism generates competition, jobs would be localized to maintain the infrastructure, schools and businesses could sell their excess energy to keep their operating costs down. Lastly, with everyone owning their energy, their power can’t be shut off and given to someone else because of their socio/economic status.

Yes, I can envision a world where electric companies can ‘see’ where your power is spent via computer chips in your appliances. Imagine the number of fridges and TVs fried by an odd power surge, aiding the designed obsolesce already built in. Imagine life-giving equipment being cut off, not forever, just long enough to kill those dependent on the machines or to impair a witness, preventing them from testifying.

Who knows, maybe the microwave will actually spy on us. Alexa already has. And let’s face it, the toaster oven has always been a bit off:D

Until next time!


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Phoenix Comic Fest in Pictures

One of the best things to do at Comic Fest is to watch my favorite characters stroll by. Here are some of the awesome Cosplayers:










I have so many more pictures but who could top Santa and Jason having an ax battle?

Until next time.

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Happy Memorial Day

To those of us in the US, I wish all of you a happy Memorial Day. In addition to the epic grill sessions, I hope you take a moment to remember those who died in service to this country. Perhaps a virtual tour.

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Arlington Cemetery: Home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Changing of the Guard.

The Wall:

Or the memorial to WWII in Washington DC:

or Pearl Harbor/Valor in the Pacific:

or the WWI memorial in DC: or the Museum in Kansas City:

Here is the memorial for the Forgotten War:

Please share links to others in the comments below.

Until next time.


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Friday Futurecast: VirtualCons

I’m at Phoenix ComicFest today and I couldn’t help but think about future conferences.

Gazing into my magic ball, I see people attending virtual conferences. Like most things the tech will arise from the porn industry—giving sensory and full stimulus to the simulation. Aided by the gamers who would refine the experience.

The first con attendees will have to go to a box or abandoned warehouse to take advantage of their e-ticket. NOTE: Cosplay does not imply consent to pixel mixing:D

Conference goers could mix in the world, meet their favorite author (hint-hint), and eat the delicacies provided by the vendors. 3-D printing would allow purchases to be ready for pick-up when attendees leave or would arrive via drone delivery upon a scheduled time.

As the tech increased (Because, let’s face it, the folks attending many of these cons would invent the technology), folks could don avatars to better reflect the mental image they have of themselves or their favorite character. Complete with voice change.

I see a pool of Deadpools.

And it would be awesome.

Naturally, this would extend to traveling to exotic locations and would be really awesome if you plan to break into a place. LOL

Until next time.


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Taking a risk

In an effort to stretch my branches, I decided to take a risk this last weekend. The risk was two-fold. One, it involved food. And the second is because it involves bacon.

You see my oldest had mentioned there was a way to cook bacon in the oven. She said it tasted good, just as good as pan fried. I’d heard this about microwave bacon. And the hubbinator hates microwave bacon.

I’d also heard this about turkey bacon.

We’re not even going there. But no, just no.

Either way, I decided to try baking the bacon. The risk was magnified because it was the hubbinator’s birthday and I was making eggs Benedict.

My daughter told me to bake the bacon at 425F for 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes. 40 minutes is a long time to wait for bacon. So I double checked the instructions on line until I found one I liked better. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes.

Well, it didn’t take 20 minutes. More like 16 minutes. And yes, it was just as wonderful as pan fried bacon.

However, you could only cook one pound of bacon at a time. Yes, I know. The horror. Which means I still had to wait 40 minutes for enough bacon for all of us for the breakfast. And lastly, because I used the same pan, I did get spatter when I added the new bacon to the grease.

But the second batch cooked even faster than the first.

So the moral of the story, I’ll bake my bacon when I remember and I don’t have to cook 2 pounds.

Until next time.

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Trees versus Shrubs

This last weekend, we went took our kids out to dinner to celebrate the hubbinator’s birthday. It was over food truck tacos, raw fish sandwiches, and craft beer that our oldest told us about trees and shrubs.

Not the kind that you plant in the ground.

These terms refer to people. Trees are folks that like to branch out, to try new things and new experiences.

Shrubs are people that don’t expand far from their comfort zone. They eat the same things, and go to the same places. In other words, creatures of habit.

I think there’s a little of each in everyone. Certainly, when it comes to food, I am a tree. When it comes to looking at things from different points of view, I’m a tree. When it comes to learning, I am a tree.

But there are times when I’m happy to be a shrub. Like when there are lots of people involved or when fish is involved.

So here is to morphing between trees and shrubs.

Until next time.

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