Category Archives: The Life

My mobile hosting experience with Project Fi so far

I left Verizon Wireless in a huff this spring. I’d been on the service since 2011 or so on one of their plans for the deaf which knocked down the standard monthly price to just under $60 but charges for any and all calls that your phone makes. Add to it the number of voice mails that I received and what it would cost for a person to review them… It was an annoyance, as was forced-on-me apps by the service. I won’t list a data-cap complaint because I did not tend to use my Samsung Galaxy S III for web browsing or social media / data heavy apps; TXT/SMS, photography and offline apps were more useful for me and using Wi-Fi was a work-around with data anyway.

It was because my Galaxy was aging that I wanted to get out and move forward. I was reminded by my older brother that Google has a mobile entity of its own called Project Fi. I had two friends tell me they used Project Fi and it worked for them – utilizing Wi-Fi for data knocked down prices. The prices were there already seemed low enough: $20 base rate (phone + TXT/SMS) and data at $10 a gigabyte… And money saved from unused data each month. It sounded like a good chance to take… Continue reading

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Filed under testimonial, The Life

The Starbucks Store online is ceasing

Well, damn…

Store.Starbucks.com is going
away, but you can still find all your
favorite coffee and merchandise at
your local Starbucks® stores.

This was sent via email this afternoon. It doesn’t reflect the frustrations that the store was causing me (and who knows how many others) this spring and early summer… Perhaps you can take that as a sign of what was to come?

I had been on the Starbucks Store site a few weeks ago as I wanted to see if its problems still existed. The shop had been upgraded, or so it seemed… and it’s product lineup thinned? I have a tendency to buy Verismo pods in bulk (and had done so regularly through the store) and that was no longer an option.

I took a run over to the onlien store after getting the email announcement, and while I ran into the login issue (“We must have taken a coffee break”), I found myself able to shop again. It made me wonder if I had been scammed with spam in my email inbox?

Nope. And you can read about it on BuzzFeed.

 

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Filed under interweb, The Life

Regarding Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria relief

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by | September 30, 2017 · 2:38 PM

Thoughts on the civil protests by sports and entertainment figures

Some see it as just a cry for attention. Others see it as a defilement of a national symbol and the country itself. Some don’t have the curiosity of what had led to many NFL players (and other athletes in other sports leagues, later musicians and entertainers) to take a knee during the US National Anthem. Why be “disrespectful” to what’s been engraved on American society as a sign of love and dedication to the stars and the bars and the country it represents? Why have these people, in the highly public places of their respective careers, seemingly insulted the men and women of the US military who have fought for and died for the country? If there is a cry for attention through the act, that attention is to be aimed at the questions. Continue reading

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, Politics, Sports

Silence and song; the musical demo of “Slowly, Her Name Fades Away”

How does a deaf composer get the attention of the music industry? Think about that for a minute, would you? It happens to be a serious question asked by a man who is currently sitting in an unsound situation.

I’m not Ludwig van Beethovenfar from it – but I can say that my toe is in the proverbial water of the music industry at the moment. Okay, actually it’s actually my entire foot up to my ankle or lower shin (that comes by way of me having spent time trying to promote the Pretty Voices over the past year). It goes by way of words and actions, not so much plucking piano keys and writing orchestral symphonies.

See, I wrote a poem back in the fall of 1998 (a long long time ago in a galaxy not-so-far away) that I’ve clung to over the years. It’s a poem I had intended for inclusion in a self-published poetry book… It’s also something I thought could be done in a musical arrangement to make it into a song.

So, when I got frustrated and vastly slowed this past spring, and while I still had thoughts tying said-poem into a musical arrangement, I made an inquiry with the Nashville Song Service if the lyrical-verse really could be done as a song. Indeed, it got the green light. Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Poetry, The Life

This Labor Day Weekend, in memory of Jerry Lewis, let’s fight MD

My reaction to the news of comedic legend Jerry Lewis’ passing two weeks ago was to urge friend son Facebook to make a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the organization Jerry work for with his annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon which aired from Sunday night of Labor Day weekend until Monday evening on Labor Day.

It’s short notice and I would imagine more people are having a weekend than on the web reading blog entries from someone like me (“Who the hell is this  guy?” ). But I think we, the American public, should act this weekend for Jerry and for those stricken with Muscular Dystrophy.

I posted this on my personal Facebook account, aimed at friends. I post it here:

I’m not playing on this, ladies and gents: Starting tomorrow around 7 or 8 PM EDT (or was it 9? I forget) we may want to make donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (and press the idea until Monday night with friends and others we have contact with).

It’s in honor and memory of Jerry Lewis.

The idea of a time-to-do-the-deed is simply there for viral sake. As was already noted, the annual rite that was the MDA telethon’s hours of broadcast was from Sunday night until Monday evening.

It’s in honor of Mr. Lewis, ladies and gentlemen. It is out of sympathy and support of those battling MD. The time is not exactly prime for an effort like this, as the damage and suffering in Houston caused by Hurricane Harvey has already drawn generosity from America and the world…

Just consider the donation. the battle with MD goes on with or without national focus. It’s just going to be a dimmer battle without Lewis at the helm.

The MDA donation page can be found here.

 

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, Medical

Avenues to contribute toward aid and relief post-Hurricane Harvey (via Mile High Hockey)

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Filed under interweb, The Life

Daylight Standard Stupid

This is a simple public service announcement because of a pretty simple flaw I see repeatedly coming from businesses or those who are trying to be pretentious and official in declarations online (via social media or on their own web sites):

Unless you are in Arizona and a few other selective locations throughout the United States, you cannot schedule things for a Standard Time.

It’s ridiculous to have to explain this but the United States of America is currently in daylight savings time (or daylight time). That’s what the whole “spring forward” thing is in March. The country doesn’t move back to standard time until Sunday, November 5th at 2 in the morning.

So business posts something like this…

…they’re basically saying the event starts at 1 PM EDT because we’re in EDT now.  If you want to be pretentious on time and date and don’t understand the time difference, do yourself a favor and just list the time as ET, CT, MT or PT which applies specifically for the zone you’re in.

Really, it’s not rocket science to know the differences or to get around them entirely in listing a time. Don’t look so uneducated.

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Filed under Tampa Bay, The Life

Suffering an unsound situation

A little piece of electronics fell a distance that was just over five feet.  60 inches of travel, making contact with a wooden floor. It wasn’t a heard action. It wasn’t an outright noticed incident either. It had fallen from behind the ear of this author as he sat on the edge of his bed and made preparations for use of the device itself.

And the only action derived from noticing the fall and reclaiming the object has been silence.

I went stone deaf in 1997 after a necessary operation to reduce/remove an acoustic neuroma; an inter-cranial benign tumor from my head. That tumor had already played a part in me losing hearing in both my ears during the previous four years. The surgery, for the sake of having a life, had to happen though.  When the operation occurred in December ’97, I was also implanted with what is known as the Auditory Brainstem Implant, a variation of the Cochlear Implant – a device that brings the hearing world to those who are implanted with it and who use an external sound processor to enable it. For a deaf person to adopt this technology is a chore – to learn a new dimension of life. For a late-deaf adult? It’s a miraculous resumption of a realm of living.

I’m living in silence right now and I’m in hell.

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Filed under Medical, The Life

America is better than the hate being bred

With events transpiring today in Virginia, I want to take a moment just to state what I find is a truth in society:  People are people are people. No race is supreme to others, no gender tops the other, no sexuality makes someone better than another and no one’s beliefs make them holier than thou  (though all too many times in this country and around the world, religious beliefs are the basis for division and acts of hate).

One of the great characteristics of America history is how it was looked upon by immigrants as the land of opportunity. That was not aimed at one specific type of immigrant, nor a specific country of origin. So many of America’s great accomplishments were achieved through the eclectic social masses of this nation. You can’t look past that, nor can you defend one-over-all within the borders of this society – to do so proves your absence from it.

Standing together is what has made this country great. The press for division which has embodied 2017’s politics is damning it.

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Dependability is offline at Tampa Bay Online

The site known as Tampa Bay Online – www.tbo.com – has been around for decades. TBO was once tied to both Tampa Bay NBC affiliate WFLA News Channel 8 and former print publication The Tampa Tribune (both media entities were owned by Media General). Let me stress that with the decades aspect of Tampa Bay Online as TBO started out in the early 1990’s in a form that was accessible through the Prodigy dial-up network and America Online. It’s sort of hard to explain things before the internet as you know it now – some people were exposed to it well before the general public. I was introduced to the Net through Prodigy and later AOL.

Back to the topic, TBO has been around a while as a media hub (to say the least). With the Tribune leading the charge so often, the flavor of news and writing from the Trib (with its right-leaning slant) was always on display but its general news coverage was complimented by video coverage of news stories that News Channel 8 reported on.

Yet a downfall has been rampant for a while: Media General sold the Tribune in 2012, and while the new ownership vowed they were here to stay, it didn’t play out like that. I’m not sure if there was an official end-partnership between the Trib and WFLA but things scaled back and ceased after the Tribune moved away to its own property. In the spring of 2016 the Tampa Tribune was acquired by print news rival, the Tampa Bay Times. The Tribune ceased to be while certain columnists, reporters and employees were imported to Times staff while others were dismissed. TBO.com has continued operations since then but has become a quizzical online destination for news information in the area. Continue reading

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Filed under interweb, Tampa Bay

Best of the Bay and the Bolts for 2017

I may have touched on this Best of the Bay thingie while talking about music (sweet music…music everywhere) but the topic of note is the one that my name is usually linked to: The Tampa Bay Lightning. Creative Loafing’s 2017 reader poll doesn’t lack nor neglect notable aspects of the Bolts – directly or indirectly – which sets the table for Lightning fans to show support for cogs they know regarding the club.

Mind you, there may be more nominated aspects and assets with ties to the franchise (Amalie Arena, or perhaps a locale within the arena). What’s being cited here is from the section called People, Places, Politics which features categories pertaining to public figures, locations and sports. Continue reading

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Filed under Raw Charge, Sports, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

Members of the Tampa Bay music scene

I’m a regular in a Reddit subgroup that represents the entirety of the Tampa Bay area, /r/tampabay.  Most of the citizens of the cities in the Bay area aren’t members of that group, they’re in the singular cities like /r/tampa, /r/stpetersnurgFL, or not in a city subgroup as all (hey, power to the people – it’s not like everyone goes on Reddit to talk about local life).

Anyway, a couple of months ago on the less-populous /r/tampabay subreddit, a new-resident sounded a disdain for the lack of original musicians in the Tampa Bay area:

So, I’m starting to think there just doesn’t exist any kind of local music scene here at all, unless you consider septuagenarians playing jurassic-rock covers a “scene”. Please tell me I’m wrong. The only show that I’ve gone to in a year and a half was when I flew back to Ohio to visit. This is depressing.

This opens up a question of where in the Bay area they were looking for performances and when – it’s not like it’d happen every day of the week. It’s also not like you can expect original music by local band members to be available at a golf resort or at a bar/pub/club/tavern deep in suburbia.  Oh, it likely happens but you’re more likely to get cover acts in small time locales like that.

Lack of local music scene, though? No… That’s not the case. Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Finding entertainment from a politically-inexperienced president

A man with no political experience finds his way into the Oval Office and becomes President of the United States of America. He’s got to learn more than just the day-to-day job at the office, which is vastly different from the day-to-day world which he’s used to.

Yeah, that sounds awfully familiar and vastly understated for the moment, doesn’t it? Perhaps it’s the previous version of the above summary that help some people give Donald Trump so much leeway to be so out-of-character and non-traditional as President? The problem with that is how the previous version wasn’t egotistical and profit driven, nor was he so ideological or politically driven that he alienated so many.

After 114 words, you should be wonder who the hell I’m making reference to with this “previous version” stuff… Continue reading

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Filed under Movies, Politics

National security violated, and that’s not a partisan issue

Can we stop playing games here and address an ultra serious situation in the United States of America at the moment? The national security of the nation has been compromised. Investigation and action are necessary to deal with the issue and that breach involves the acting President of the United States. That’s a factoid, period. There is no debate other than twisting the story to try to feed those in denial or those paranoid.

Denial and the prospect of collusion acceptance is furthering the nation into political  mire that teeters just above third world status. It’s funny how it contradicts the rallying cries of “make America great again” and “drain the swamp.”

Do you disagree with that? How things didn’t really happen or that they’re allowed because it would have been fine if a candidate from the other party had partaken in the issue? See, this is where you can be critical toward the media – the one that you watch and listen to, your hard right/alt-right element of the press – because bending the truth for loyalty toward a member of the US government whose political campaign encouraged the compromising of the United States Electoral System is wrong. And for me to call it wrong sure as shit isn’t a partisan inspired factor.

Let me further stress that: The Trump-Russia scandal is not a politically partisan issue. As I’ve already said, it is an issue of the national security of the United States. Continue reading

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Filed under Politics