• Just a few of the pictures I took during my fall trip through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

  • Autumn is when the Upper Peninsula of Michigan shows it’s true colors. #puremichigan #michiganders #906

  • For some reason the posts I wrote yesterday using the iOS version of the micro.blog app did not publish. I had to go in to the web site and update the posts.

  • It was a beautiful day today on the shore of Lake Michigan in the U.P.

  • Another trip and another reminder of the stupid hoops I have to go through to get a picture I take on my Pixel 2 posted on this blog. It’s been years!

  • Last year I wrote about the excitement I was seeing on the Internet about an expected tablet from Google. Google did announce and start selling the Pixel Slate that later announced it would no longer make. A lot happened in just one year.

  • Back in the mother land.

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday historians will look back at this period in U.S. history and think of it as “an aberration” during an event at Amherst College, reports the Boston Globe.

    I hope she is right, but I don’t share her optimism.

  • One thing I found interesting in Microsoft’s announcements yesterday is the starting price for the Surface Pro 7 at $749, lower than other Surface Pros that I can remember. My guess is that model will have low end specs, which Engadet shows are an Intel Core i3, 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage. The RAM looks the least appealing.

  • I watched the 2019 Microsoft Surface event and I have to admit that I like what I saw of the Surface Neo and Duo. Microsoft has basically taken the concept of using two desktop computer monitors to a mobile device, the question is whether that works with large or small screens. I also wonder about their durability, but we have had foldback screens on notebook PCs for a long time now, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

    I also think the Surface Pro X looks very nice, I can see it as a decent competitor to the iPad Pro, but the $999 starting price is too high. My reaction first reaction to it is that it looks like what the Google Pixel Slate should have been.

    It’s ironic that despite Microsoft’s cloud first/mobile first strategy, they are developing some really nice looking hardware.

  • I suspect the Trump presidency has been one of the most financially expensive presidencies ever.

  • The achilles’ heel of the U.S. Constitution are political parties. The model of government the U.S. Constitution established was designed to forge a republic of “United States” from southern and northern states, within the context of slavery. The Constitution was not written to address and mitigate the power of political parties and thus I see the possibility of a constitutionally enabled dictatorship.

    How would a constitutionally enabled dictatorship look like? First, you neuter the electoral college. Next, you remove all power from the minority party in Congress. Next, you have 60% of the U.S. Senate made up of party of the President and more than half of the House also the same party as the President. Finally, you have all Supreme Court justices of the same party as the president. All three branches align to one party and then Congress and the Supreme Court do nothing more than rubber stamp anything the President requests and you have in place a dictatorship.

    The Supreme Court is not supposed to be political but it now totally is ever since the Reagan administration.

    The Congress is supposed to be the primary means of checks and balances but that too has turned into nothing more than alignment with the President since Vietnam.

    The fourth estate, the press, is now corporately owned and no longer fulfills its defacto role in government given to it by the first amendment.

    And finally, we seem to no longer really have U.S. Citizens, instead we are people who see themselves as Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat.

    You don’t need a civil war. Democracy in the U.S. will fail without a single shot fired no matter the interpretation of the second amendment.

  • In my opinion the standard for journalism today is The Athletic. Note first they provide a free trial. Next, most of their stories are written by professionals who know how to write, and many of them go into more depth than you will find in most publications, print or online. Finally, they have beat writers who cover my favorite professional sports teams.

  • If memory serves, there has been much consternation about The Correspondent, which apparently has launched. They want me to be a member to read their content but don’t provide much in a way for me to determine the quality of the content.

  • Last year the Cubs and Brewers played game 163 and this year the Cubs are home watching the Brewers play the Nationals in the NL Wildcard game.

  • Another Goat On The Northside

    Joe Maddon will not be the manager of the Chicago Cubs next year and that is not a surprise given they did not meet expectations this year. In a world where people both have too high and too low expectations for professional sport coaches and managers, the common playbook front offices take when teams under-perform is to fire the manager.

    Yes, change is needed, and yes, it is easier to fire one person, the manager, and not the team. But, Maddon is not the reason why the Cubs did not make the playoffs. First, and foremost the reason is that Cub players did not do their job. The same players who once ground out at bats in 2016 where doing nothing more than swing for the fences all this year. Second, the Cubs lineup is nothing but the same style hitter, with no diversity on the bench or apparently in the farm system, and the talent, that’s on the Theo Epstein and the front office.

    Frankly, up until this point, what Epstein and the front office have done is succeed with the easy decisions and fail at the hard decisions. How hard is it to tank year after year and stock pile on draft picks that every talent scout in America says is a good bet? When Maddon became available, was it really hard to quickly decide to drop Ricky Renteria and sign Maddon?

    Be careful for what you ask for, you just might get it. Now Epstein has to make one of the most important decisions of his tenure, who to hire to replace the manager that guided your team to the first World Series in 108 years. David Ross might be a good guy in the clubhouse, but will he have the players attention any more than Maddon? Will Joe Girardi be too hard? Who Epstein hires is crucial towards getting the most out of all the the talented players that are now starting to enter the end of their contracts.

    Worse of all, the attention on hiring the next manager redirects attention away from the real heavy lifting of the offseason, which is to make changes to the lineup so that you get more professional at bats. Changing the lineup means moving one of the core players who won the World Series, which is something Epstein has refused to do to date. If you only replace the manager and keep everything else the same, why should we expect a different result?

    On Saturday Epstein announced that Maddon will not be returning. If next year is no better, who will be the scapegoat then? You can’t fire the entire team.

  • Google Assistant crashing issue plagues some Android users - 9to5Google I’ve had this issue on my Pixel 2 and cleared the cache and uninstalled the most recent update to resolve the problem. The update has been reinstalled so I assume clearing the cache was the real trick.

  • I have a problem with Republicans critiquing Democrat election strategy because they don’t want Trump to be re-elected. Trump represents your party. You put him in office and Republicans can remove him via either impeachment or the election. Have a backbone. Stand for the country or stop hiding behind false patriotism.

  • I’ve got a Sandisk USB-C storage drive that I have been using with my Pixelbook. For some reason the write speed has become incredibly slow, making it nearly impossible to write large files.

  • The Lovable Losers Of My Youth

    The common denominator for all my favorite professional sports teams is that they were losers during my childhood. The Green Bay Packers were the siberia of the NFL during the 70s and 80s until Reggie White started playing for them in 1993 and three years later won the Super Bowl. Ever since 1993 the Packers have been at or near the top of the NFL.

    The Chicago Cubs were the epitome of “lovable losers” for a century. Even though the Cubs flirted with chances to make it to the World Series in 1984, 1989, and 2003 but it hasn’t been until the last five years that they have consistently been at or near the top of the league, and you know they won it all in 2016.

    Like the Green Bay Packers, the Detroit Red Wings were also once the dominant team in the NHL but during the 70s and 80s they were known as the “dead Wings.” The owners had to give away cars to get people to come to their games. In 1997 the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup, and of my favorite teams they have won more championships in my life time, winning again in 1998, 2002, and 2008. Since the calendar turned to the 2010s the Wings have been in a rebuilding phase.

    Finally, the Detroit Pistons where also perenial losers during my childhood but where the first of my faves that I witnessed winning a championship in 1989, and again in 1990 and 2004. Frankly, the championship they won in 2004 is one of the most gratifying because nobody really expected it and they upset the perenial champion Los Angeles Lakers. Like the Red Wings, the Pistons are rebuilding but apppear to be nearing returning to the tops of their league sooner than the Wings.

    Over my life time I’ve seen the long road it takes to get from basement to top floor of a professional sports league. I’ve seen how it takes for a team to learn how to be a champion, particularly from the Red Wings who had huge playoff failures after being the best team in their league the entire season.

    Of all my favorite teams, the Cubs have the most talent and I expect will have chances to win championships again in the foreseeable future. The MLB’s farm system enables a franchise to have more control over its future if they have the right leadership. The NHL is similar, which is why theirs and the MLB front offices have such a huge influence on their long term success, much more than in the NFL and NBA that seems to depend much more on health and luck.

    I am dissappointed that the Chicago Cubs will not make the playoffs this year. I will always love the Cubbies, win or lose, but I much better like where they are now, a very good team that can disappoint than a bad team that surprises.

  • Will the Chicago Cubs win another game this season? The last weekend is coming up, but they haven’t won since the collapse. Have a chance to spoil the Cardinals hopes of winning the division, but I don’t think that matters. Sad ending to the season.

  • I am going ahead and installing iPadOS on my iPad Pro. Got to take the plunge at some time.

  • I have installed iPadOS on my iPad Mini. I like having more icons on the home screen, I now have only two home screens on the Mini. Not sure that Today View is the most useful on the Mini. I don’t like that cut the width of the widgets in half.

  • So, what if we made a really big Bulletin Board System, one that could be dialed-in to from any city, and where thousands of people could interact, rather than just a few? - paleotronic.com

  • I am receiving emails from various iOS app vendors warning me their apps are not compatible with iPadOS and to not upgrade my device if I need their app working. I don’t think I have seen this happen before and given Apple’s beta cycle, I am surprised that this is an issue.

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