Coping: With all kind of Friday Notes

imageIf I had a bunch of those sticky notes, they would be covering the computer screen this morning because there are so many little details to cover related to computers. Many sent in by readers and a few are things that just popped up in the news scans overnight.

Speaking of notes:  I assume you know Win-7 and beyond has Stick Notes built in?  Go to programs (or the search line in Win 8/8.1) and type Sticky Notes and run it.  Then, pin to your task bar.  When you need to make a note, one click on the task bar.  One click and they go back into hiding.  It’s a lot easier than using the task planner in Outlook or Project, but then we’re supposedly retired….still, computers matter.

Today is another one of those soft landmarks in computing because with shipping of the new MacBook, the world’s first implementations of USB 3.1 (*USB-C) will be on store shelves sooner than later.

ComputerWorld has a rundown on the six main features of it, but the dumbed-down version is that USB, which was never designed as a power plug – at least in earlier versions – will now support a 100-watt load.  And it will also supper 10-gigabit speeds, so this will, no doubt over time, replace the Thunderbolt and Firewire and maybe Lightning.

If you’re not an Apple fan, the same tech is launching in the new Google Chromebook Pixel, although what anyone would update a PC just to get a USN port that is faster is beyond me.  Current 3.0 technology can press up 1 gb transfers and, seriously, what is so damn important that those kind of speeds matter.

I don’t know how many boardroom-level meetings you have been to, but it’s sometimes just nuts the way people get into (language alert) dick-measuring over whose computer is faster.  It’s true absurd.  Like load times matter if the PowerPoint is playing smoothly?  Sure 24-cores or a portable Cray about be nice too, but part of life is learning to live in the sweet spot of things.  Just like people who won’t install Win 10 when it comes out until at least the first service pack comes out….you know the type:  Untrustworthy.


An inquiring reader wondered what kind of input device I used with voice recognition software?

The answer (for years now) has been the Plantronics Audio 995 USB Multimedia Headset with Noise Canceling Microphone – Compatible with PC and Mac which will set you back about $60 bucks.  The good things:  I can walk around with it on, carrying on conversations while out in the shopt ditzing around with this or that – wireless if fun.  And the frequency response is clearer than on some of the cheapo microphones that are sometimes packed with product. (ahem….)

On the other hand, it’s not perfect.  A few weeks ago, my buddy Gaye up at and I were chatting and I was on the treadmill and she complained about noise from my end.  Well, turns out the Plantronics 995 is susceptible to wind noise – the problem went away when I turned off the face-fan on the treadmill.


OK, next computer items has to do with the UrbanSurvival web site.  I’ve made a decision to move everything over to the website in a month or three.  The reason?

When I started UrbanSurvival, it was the center of the universe for prepping, futuring, and lots of other things including getting back to the land after sailing for 10-years following by being a serious software sales road-warrior for a few.  In the meantime, the name was seriously ripped off.  The term “urban survival” has been ripped off by hundreds of outfits which have, effectively, made it very difficult to sort out what urban survival is.

Big changes have gone into effect at the US Patent and Trademark Office – and the cost to resigster a trade name for the internet is down to $225 and it’s a do-it-yourself process any idiot can do – if you have a credit card.  Downside is that it’s $450 to protect both the name and the server name (because it’s two  classes of filing) but once done, you’re on solid legal ground.

Whether it’s worth it to hire an attorney when people begin to infringe when you become wildly successful, is another matter, but there’s big money in trademark and copyright infringement.  As this article over here says, some brands are losing 60,000 visitors a month to trademark and name rips…welcome to my world.

To hell with that battle (with the rip off artists).  I have trademarked Peoplenomics, so as soon as the Trademark registration is finished, that will happen.  By the way, and the Rural Pioneer name, relative to anything on the Internet, is a registered trademark, so when you get a chance, drop by other there – we’re posting a few items there, including some great contributions from Oilman2, who as you know, is building a similar flee the city and get sustainable site to our home about 40-minutes south of us near Crockett, Texas.

Done yet?

Nope.  Two more items to cover in the computer arena.

First is the ad on the right side of this page.  What is it?  Well….the Amazon ad has replaced the Google ad. 

Now, you might be asking “Gee, George, why do that?”

Well, Thursday I happened to be working on a few tweaks for the site (registering for comments had gotten turned on, needed to migration to a new caching program (so the site may seem faster this morning, hopefully), and I turned off the need to register in order to make a comment on any of the articles around here.

I swapped it out because the “other guys” whose ads were there previously, started serving an ad that headlined “Ure  DOWNLOAD” which I did not authorize.  I would have just killed the ad and been on my merry way except for the fact that when I clicked on the ad, it trying to install malware and that just pissed me off – so out it went.

Amazon doesn’t do that, so they land in that spot.

And last – but certainly not least – I turned off registration over on the comments section.  Mr. Stupid somehow managed to turn it on, but it’s fixed down, so no more blood type and DNA samples to post a comment.  However, if you’re a troll, looking to George-back (which there seem to be a lot of…) don’t waste your time: I manually review everything that is posted.

There, pretend like a great big service pack has just been installed in our relationship…,Restart Now?

Life In Training

My resting blood pressure (watching TV, evening) was 116/61.

That may not seem like a big deal if you’re under 40, but when you get to be over 66 it is a big deal.  I was diddling around with a life expectancy calculator this week and discovered that if I exercise for two-hours a day, my life expectancy jumps from 82-83 up to 90-91.  We’ll get into this another time.

But here’s the bonus”  Turns out that if you drink 2-3 drinks per day (depends on body weight) the experts say that can actually add 0.7 months to your life expectancy.  What?  A seven month bonus for a couple of glasses of Italian vitamins with and before dinner?  Hell yeah. 

This is not medical advice (duh) and I don’t want you dropping by the local version of Muscatel Meadows for a pint of Night Train, but just be aware that the more active you are, the better your long-term outlook.

The weight loss is working, but I’m taking a break at –13 to eat a bit.  Made my vegetable and meatball soup for dinner last night and pigged out.  Every 10 pounds, or so, taking a break is a good thing.

Don’t know if I mentioned I use oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, but while I was killing time on the treadmill (2 miles a day) I did some research and was shocked to find a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed significant levels of gluten in oatmeal brands at the time.

Granted, the study over here is 10-years old, but it’s still worth cruising the celiac disease sites to pick up on whose oats are cleanest, from the gluten perspective, since Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health is a fine starting point if you want to blow off some pounds.

Oh, one other note (since I keep detailed notes on my exercise/weight loss which I may put into a 99-cent ebook):”  I discovered that when I have a cup of cocoa in the morning before working out that my end point diastolic is 10-12 points higher than if I don’t have cocoa.  Son tells me it’s the caffeine in cocoa. By keeping detailed notes (I can explain the process in a column if you’re interested) you can make some interesting discoveries about how your particular bag of bones and skin works.

Damn numbers….But from 2-years from a high of 142/90 to 116/61 presently is what I think any practitioner would agree, effective blood pressure control.  I still wake up now and then just dreaming about high octane coffee now and then….

Since Time Is All We Have

Yesterday’s treadmill time was spent listening to a 40-minute presentation of diet and nutrition that was pretty good.  When it was over, I worked out what will be happening around here over the weekend – treadmills are wonderful places for phone conversations and working out priority lists.

Stacked up on the computer is a classic series of Earl Nightingale motivational lectures and the balance of my Behavioral Economics class  work.  I didn’t enroll, but constantly feeding the brain is about the best thing in the world.

Once I’m through those, it will be a course in instrument flying.

But this gets me to a point:  There are lots of places where people can “plug in” brain food.  I haven’t gone so far as to listen to the all-news station in the shower, but I’m not commuting, either.

Still, if you have ideas other than traffic reports in the shower and audio books in the car, let me know?

Also, I’m hunting around for a good .MP3 server service for the audio version of Peoplenomics.  Another wild-eyed dream…again.,suggestions welcome.

Free Money Department

Daughter Allison called Thursday to thank dad for saving her money.  Since she’s now working much closer to home (like 5 miles) I told her to call her insurance company and get onto a reduced mileage plan.

Ended up she saves $35 every six months by dropping from 12,000 miles a year to 5,000 miles per year on the vehicle…so if you’re really skinning the pennies, this is one route to look into.

I have to remember to do that myself  (easy for parents to give advice, we just sometimes don’t follow it).  Still, stated mileage policy is a way to save a bit…

OK, Woo-Woo and Such

Several good comments on the disappearance of Woo-woo.  Turns out not to be missing according to some reader comments, starting with this from Don in Odessa:

Don’t know if it means anything at all, but for the past few months I have noticed that three to four times a day I am seeing numbers on the digital clocks around the place with the same numbers across the face. i.e. 1:11, 3:33, 4:44, 5:55, 12:12, 10:10 11:11, Even when I wake up in the middle of the night it seems more often than not this thing happens so it is not subconsciousness thing happening when only when I am awake. The weird thing about this … well weird thing, is I don’t remember seeing 2:22.

I had a weird little number deal show up.  Remember that bass guitar (used) we picked up?  Well, that hit the credit card yesterday: $119.02.  The other charge on the card?  The annual data updates for the airplane’s iFly 720 GPS:  Also $119.02.  And no, the items were not the same base price and one included shipping and Minnesconsin tax while the other was Texas taxed.

Hell, I should have run out and bought a Lotto ticket – or $119.02 worth of ‘em!  (Or bet on 2, 11, and 19…)

I missed the one about the dying mother and the voice saying “Save my kids” out of Spanish Fork, Utah last weekend.  Serious Woo, for sure.

Topics Always Welcome/ Time Seeds

With Spring almost here, it’s time to work on taxes this weekend.  If you have any ideas you’d like explored (*projected into the future) please drop me a note.  Peoplenomics is really on the practical side of life (investing, gaming the system and such) while the free side is more along the likes of anything goes, depending on mood swings.

Have a great weekend and see you back here Monday.  Remember when putting your priorities together for the weekend the concept of time seeds.  Ask yourself “What is it that I can do this weekend – or on this project – that will pay be a return in 3 to 5 years?

Example:  When we were rebuilding the house, I put in backer for a wall-mounted television.  As it turns out, we never used it (looks better on a piece of furniture, but planning ahead for the “just in case I….” stuff is always worth doing.

Write when you break-even.



Coping: With all kind of Friday Notes — 15 Comments

  1. WHAT? You have not got your IFR ratings yet?, It is a nice lifesaver when haze and Smoke tends to blend the air and ground into one blind mess Or those Cumulus creep up on you. N5754F.

    • I would need to add $4K worth of electronics to IFR cert the mouse. What does a used 430 with indicator and a GS go for? $6000 for the 430 and another $1.5k for the FS/LOC display…
      At age 66, the payback period on $2k instructor, $400 on a boot camp for the ground school and check ride.
      Figure 40 hours at 10/gallons an hour (400 gallons) *$4 = 1,6000 in fuel
      Assuming no “luxury add-ons” like a marker beacon rcvr – we’re at $11.5K
      Now, realistically I will fly MAYBE another 1,000 hours before going West. So that pencils out to $12 an hour and much more work keeping currency.
      So for $12,000 how many VFR miles can I fly (flight following and FP) and just take the odd hotel day when needed?
      That’s 1,150 gallons of fuel and 150,000 miles of flying…
      So if I sit on the ground, write and drink beer instead of scud running (which I grew up on in the PNW) then I get to “fly for free” if I don’t do IFR…if that makes sense?

  2. My Win7 Home Edition doesn’t have “sticky notes” but does have Notepad, which I have a link to on my tool bar and use frequently during the day.

    • Try going to the search box, lower left (click on ball) and enter sticky notes and tell me if it finds the program. Should be there…

  3. George, Please do not shut down the free site, You and Elaine and the kids are like family, been reading your site for many years, its the second site we read everyday. I know it does not pay your bills, but not everyone can afford to pay, but still need your help. I stop to help everyone i come across broke down on the side of the road, this does not pay the bills either, but the good karma is worth more then money. Please don’t leave us. Also don’t care what time of day you post, sleep in, we can read any time of day. Thanks for all you do.

  4. i bought 3 -100by 33 ft rolls of greenhouse plastic about 4 years ago and finally opened and used some for a temporary tractor repair shelter ,well come find out i was short changed the plastic was only 100 by 27 but iam good for making something out of something non compliant by making that mistake i found so many more options than i had ever realized which gives new hope to the down and out and upcoming moment SO BE IT

  5. As far as a .mp3 podcast service, I don’t have personal experience with it, I occasionally post videos to youtube and that’s about it, but one of the people I listen to (Scott Johnson of Frogpants Studios), uses SoundCloud, according to the rss feed anyways, for his network’s podcasts.

  6. separate entities is like investing in more than one stock, open 10 more ,maybe one you will be able to transfer to your son or daughter when your time comes ,but until then make some mistakes so others can learn from them and when and if, when you hit it big ,you can say i did it my way and it worked because i dabbled until i felt the options were to great to resist or just maybe just maybe mind you ,you had a dream or a wakeup call and you took a dare not to be normal but to be all you can be ,AN ONLINE MARINE OF WEB INSIGHT, you may not be good and satisfied with all your accumulated junk but there will be a moment of truth when you say THIS IS WHAT I NEED RIGHT NOW

  7. Pi (3.1415) is tomorrow, will not happen again for a 100 years.


  8. Hey George,
    If you want useful “stickies” check out this link:
    I know Microsoft would like to pretend they provide useful apps but wouldn’t it be nice if Microsoft Sticky Notes allowed you to set a date and time for the sticky note to pop up and to be able to set recurrences of a reminder…also ToDo lists…Its all in Stickies…and it is totally free..who would have thought a small independent programmer would outshine Microsoft :-)…The only thing that has kept me using Outlook was the reminders feature and Notes feature…The only thing lacking and I am sure there is a solution; is to be able to encrypt the Stickies such that you can keep a Sticky on a page with access info…73

  9. Google Urbansurvival (one word) and you’re right George. A lot of people using the term . . . urbansurvivalnetwork; urbansurvivalsite; etc.

    But you, my friend have the original. Could be worth copious bucks to the right venue. I would prefer you keep it, but I know there are a lot of jerks out there trying to use some variance it. It is a hassle, but keeping Peoplenomics and Urbansurvival separate keep a certain logical differentiation in my mind. One I knew was economics based, the other a hodgepodge of facts and thoughts.

    Whatever you ultimately decide, I’ll follow because I enjoy your perspective on many things.