WDYDT – November 1, 2018 – Cook for Your Pets Day

I’ll make this quick, because today is bowling day for me. I’ve looked at a few things, but I have to leave in less than a half hour.

Today is National Cook for Your Pets day. I no longer have any pets, but I know there are some people who cook for their pets every day. You might want to try it once in awhile. It can be fun and if it’s really good, maybe your pet will share.

1. I grew up in Chicago where it seemed people who worked for the city government were experts at scamming the government. For instance, I remember a picture of some a Chicago Streets and Sanitation crew planting trees. One guy dug the hole, another guy took the tree off the truck, a third guy put the tree in the hole, a fourth guy pushed the dirt back around the tree, and a fifth guy supervised the other guys. There may have been a sixth guy in the truck who was the truck driver, but he wasn’t in the picture. The story said it took the crew at least  a half hour to plant a tree.

I thought about that after reading this story about a guy running for a seat on the Irvine, California City Council. I don’t know if this was one of the ways he financed his campaign or if it was simply the best job his mother could find, but he was seen dropping her off in a nearby town, Laguna Beach, where she sat in her wheelchair in the downtown district with a sign that reads, ‘please, help me.’ The story did not say how much money the 86-year-old woman panhandled in a day.

2. Apparently those who watch Fox News got to see a guest on one of the network’s shows who claimed the migrant’s who are marching through Mexico toward the United States will be spreading any number of dangerous diseases and if we let them in to the U.S.A. we will also be opening our doors for a number of potential epidemics.

3. These were a couple of the comic strips I saw today, that thought were funny:

4. This was a great costume. I hope he went door-to-door with it and didn’t just drive around the parking lot.

5. I didn’t have time to add this before I had to leave for bowling (I bowled well and probably added five points to what is a 150 average, getting closer to my usual, which around 160). My team didn’t do as well, but we split on the day. So, if you like watching birds or like to collect bird feathers you might find this article about identifying bird feathers as interesting as I did.

That’s my five things for today.


WDYDT – October 31, 2018 – Halloween

An early half hour of my day was spent watching an enjoyable, somewhat funny, somewhat emotional video with James Corden and Michael Buble (never thought of Michael Buble as someone who didn’t like saxophones).

2. When I started buying things on Amazon back in 2004 I thought of it as little more than an online store. Over time it’s become much, much more than that. It’s gone from being a struggling online bookstore to being the king of e-commerce as well as the dominant force in the cloud computing industry it pioneered. It owns many other online retail sites, a number of brick and mortar stores including the Whole Foods grocery chain, and appears to be entering the health insurance industry. It stands to reason that it would also become a major player in the advertising world as a web-site where advertisers want to place ads just like they do on Google, Facebook, and thousands of other sites. In fact, according to this article Amazon might soon be making more money selling advertising than either Facebook or Google https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/10/27/heres-amazons-next-10-billion-business.aspx

3. You’ve probably seen this question when registering for access to a web site, “What is your favorite food?” I always have trouble with that one. Today my favorite food might be pizza, tomorrow it might be lasagna, and tomorrow it might be Pasta Puttanesca. I’m sure you noticed all three of those were Italian dishes which is probably because that’s what I grew up eating. Since then I’ve learned to like French, Mexican, Indian, American Indian, Ethiopian, Moroccan, Afghan, and Turkish foods. I’ve never learned to quite like Greek Thai, Chinese, or Japanese cuisines very much, although I wouldn’t run out to the nearest pizza place if Psari Plaki or Phat Thai was being served. Nevertheless, I never pass up the chance to learn more about my favorite cuisine. Years ago on my first trip to Italy, shortly after checking into my hotel in Rome I bought a slice of pizza in a nearby shop. The pizza maker commented on my Wisconsin t-shirt. I was delighted that he spoke fluent English. He told me all the cheese on my pizza was imported from Wisconsin and that he had learned how to make pizza in New York City. We agreed that was odd, an Italian going the States to learn how to make a dish that was born in his native country, but that’s why his crust was not Neapolitan, but New York style. Anyway, those were some of my thoughts while reading about different pizza crusts:  https://www.webstaurantstore.com/article/101/types-of-pizza.html

4. Then I looked at the comics… I thought these were funny.

Committed comic strip 10-31-18 - fairy tales Real Life Adventures comic strip 10-31-18 - Halloween







5. Then I read about the way one particular 19-year-old Boston fan celebrated the Red Sox World Series victory: Of course he got arrested for it, but he wasn’t the only one there who had a strange way of showing the joy a World Series can bring its fans.

That got me thinking about sports fans, because I was always under the impression that Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Los Angeles fans could be terrible. So, I looked it up. Turns out San Francisco didn’t even make the list, but Boston did, twice!


Tired of Being Tracked and Followed Wherever You Go On the Internet?

I have reached the point where I am tired of searching for a specific product or simply searching for anything and less than two minutes later see an ad for what I was looking for or something related to my search. I realize advertising is part of the Internet and, although I try to block as much of it as I can, I still expect to see some advertising. However, what really bothers me is that whatever Google is always tracking me. I’ve tried using search engines that don’t track you such as Duck-Duck-Go, but I got tired of seeing search results in other languages. So, today I discovered another tactic.

This is what I did. I went to https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity

Google My Activity page

and clicked the three little dots in the upper right, and chose “Delete Activity By” On the page that opened under Delete by Date I chose All Time and clicked Delete.

Next, I went to:

Google Activity Controlsand turned everything off, pausing everything.

Finally, I went to

Google Authenticated pageYou might be surprised that Google has a description of you. I took a look at it before I turned ad-personalization off. Some of these are very minor interests, but it explains some of the ads I’ve seen.

I did not install a browser plug-in to help with it, because it would just be wasted space on my computer.
Just to be sure I did some searches then opened https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity again. I was happy to see it said No activity.

Next Facebook
I clicked on Ad settings and turned everything to either Not Allowed or No One. Then the next tab down, Hide ad topics I turned everything under Alcohol, Parenting, and Pet to off.

You might find it interesting to look at the Advertisers you’ve interacted with. I think they include advertisers your friends and friends of friends have interacted with. My list totaled 357 for a Facebook account that’s existed for less than two year and included a district attorney candidate in Oklahoma and a real estate agent in Florida, and car dealerships in Michigan, New York City, in South Carolina, New Jersey, 4 in Georgia, 2 in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, 3 in Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Kentucky, Washington, 4 in Florida, Indiana, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, and three here in California where I live even though the last time I looked for a car to buy was in 2009.

A couple other things to try. You can add one of four extensions to your browser to block most ads: Ad Block, Ad Block Plus, Adguard, or uBlock Origin.

Brave Browser logoAlso, if you hover your cursor over your browser icon you’ll see a list of possibilities you can open. One of them will be something like New Private Window or New Incognito Window. Choose that and you will open a window that stops your browsing from being tracked, but you’ll also have to log-in to any site that requires a login and password.

Lastly, there’s a Browser I often use called Brave https://brave.com/ that automatically blocks trackers and ads and it claims to be faster. Or you can choose to see ads that reward the publishers of those ads when you look at the ads or go to the sites.

“We produce jobs…

Yesterday Donald Trump said, “Democrats produce mobs, Republicans produce jobs.”

So far in recent U.S. history that has not been the case. Take a look at these.

Chart indicating Private Sector job growth has been better under Democrats

Not only has job growth been better, so has economic growth.

chart showing economic growth has been better under Democrats

Furthermore, a recent report by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs included this quote.

Quote from Woodrow Wilson school saying Democrats are better for the economy

Now, watch the entire story on MSNBC (I know, if you’re a Republican you might think this is fake news, but it doesn’t take much to do some research, see if you can find evidence to the contrary. Perhaps Trump’s administration is performing contrary to recent Republican Administrations, but so far much of what he has claimed is because of what his administration has accomplished concerning job creation has been due to actions by the previous administration).


Are Trump’s Supporters Stupid?

Not long ago I read that a Trump supporter wondered why liberals and Democrats think Trump supporters are stupid?**

I don’t think Trump supporters are stupid, but I question their common sense because…

  • The guy they support has owned a fraudulent University, intent on scamming poor people;
  • has made it his business practice to stiff his creditors;
  • has proudly bragged about his own history of sexual abuse;
  • has made up stories about seeing Muslim-Americans in the thousands cheering the destruction of the World Trade Center;
  • has bragged that he could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t care;
  • has illustrated his own character by telling that cute story about the elderly guest bleeding on the floor at his country club, the story about how he turned his back and how it was all an imposition on him;
  • has mocked the disabled;
  • has bragged that he doesn’t read books;
  • has told his supporters to beat up protesters and he would hire attorneys;
  • has told the people at one of his rallies to confiscate a man’s coat before throwing him out into the freezing cold;
  • has often been unable to talk with foreign dignitaries without insulting their countries and demanding that they praise his electoral win;
  • Angry Donald Trumphas removed expertise from all layers of government in favor of people who make money by eliminating protections in the industries they’re supposed to be regulating;
  • has continued to profit from his businesses, in part by leveraging his position as President, to the point of overcharging the Secret Service for space in the properties he owns;
  • has started fights with every country from Canada to New Zealand while praising Russia and quote, “falling in love” with the dictator of North Korea;
  • has said it was difficult to help Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria destroyed so much of that country because it was the middle of water;
  • has separated children from their families and put them in cages, managed to lose track of 1500 kids and opened a tent city incarceration camp in the desert in Texas while claiming that those people are just “animals;”
  • has curried favor with neo-Nazis and white supremacists while refusing to condemn them for their acts;
  • has responded angrily in reference to the Central Park Five when they were compensated as innocent men convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, and he said they should still be in prison; and
  • has laughed in your face through the thousand and one other manifestations of corruption and low moral character and outright animalistic rudeness and contempt he shows not just for people like me, but also for you (yes, you Trump supporter) the working American voter… and yet you still show up grinning and wearing those MAGA hats while threatening to beat up anybody who doesn’t agree with you.

That doesn’t mean you’re stupid. It means you’re frustrated. It means you don’t know where else to turn. It means you feel out government has failed you. I feel that way, too. In fact, in the early days of Trump’s campaign, I thought he might make a decent President, that was until he started saying he wanted to make America great again. America is great. It doesn’t to be made great. It is the greatest country in the world today. I once considered moving to Italy. The place is crawling with history and art, and it’s so romantic. I also once thought about living in England. It’s also loaded with history and its various towns are so quaint looking with all those narrow curving streets. However, I could never leave this country. I could never leave the possibilities this country offers. I could never leave the beauty of its mountains, plains, and rivers with the golden beaches of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific. I could never leave this country with New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Boston, St. Louis and all the other cities, that offer so much strength and diversity. I could never leave this country with its thousands of small towns that have their own quaintness rivaling the narrow streets of Italy’s and England’s small towns. Mostly I could never leave because of the people here, the people like you who work so hard and diligently and know that this is a great country and that we are all blessed to be here.

That’s why I don’t understand how it is that people who are all good Americans are unable to see that Trump is using them. Just as a child uses his toys to help him act out his fantasies, Trump is using his supporters to help him with his fantasies. His fantasies are that he’s not just a great business person, a great deal maker, but that he is the greatest President of all time in what he believes was once a great country.

This is still a great country. This is not Russia. Russia might have once upon a time been a great country. Vladimir Putin wants Russia to be great again. The United States does not need to be made great again. It is great and if you don’t believe that, then maybe you are stupid.

**Thanks to Adam-Troy Castro. I took his original Facebook post, rewrote much of it and added my own thoughts.