Posts By: DR2

So Trump walked out of another interview – Can you really blame him?

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So Trump walked out of another interview – Can you really blame him?
Well, in case you’ve been under a rock for the last day or so and totally missed the latest barrage from the all knowing, self righteous media, Trump walked out during another interview.  And since the media didn’t get the incriminating negative sound bite they could use against him on page one for the next week, they’re crowing like jackasses about it.
Well, who can blame him?  Certainly not me or anyone else that actually thinks for themselves and has an IQ that gets bigger as you square it.
Face reality.  Ever since Trump showed that he actually had a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating Clinton, the media has been allied against him in any and all ways possible.  To call the “main stream” media “liberal”, “biased”, “left winged”, “unbalanced” or any other of well earned and deserved labels they’ve been assigned by the voting public would not only be more than fair, it would be monikers that were well earned and justified.
Trump’s not an idiot.  He, like the rest of us, fully see that the biased “interviewers” have an agenda to come out of their session with at least one sound bite that they can twist in the most negative presentation they can find and use against the president.  And, they will run this clippette as their lead story or page one for as long as they can milk it.  Further, they have a nasty and assanine habbit of asking the same question 10 different ways with the hope of getting the answer that they want.  Can you call this “Making the news”???
Then there’s their habit of continued hammering on one subject with the hope of getting their negative sound bite…
Trump’s not an idiot.  He, like the rest of us, clearly see through this bullshit and won’t stand for it wasting his time.
Frankly, I fully applaud him for ending interviews that are clearly going no where and are a total waste of time.  He should CONTINUE this policy until the lame stream media gets back to REPORTING the news and not trying to make it.
But then, do you ever think there will ever be unbiased and responsible reporting done by the media?  Frankly, if you do, then you also believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy.  It’s clear by their irresponsible actions that hell will probably freeze over before the media acts responsibly and with unbiased reporting.
OH, and in case you’re one of the idiots that’s complaining about Trump’s taxes – They’re in a VERY SAFE PLACE FOR ALL TO SEE!!!   They’re right underneath Obama’s college records, his birth record, Obama’s passport application,
Obama’s immigration status as a student, Obama’s funding sources to pay for his college, Obama’s college records and transcripts, Obama’s selective service registration along with Hillary’s email log and the 66,000 missing emails….which frankly I’d much rather see than Trump’s boring taxes!
I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.


Verizon’s FiOS – Something to be avoided

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Verizon’s FiOS – Something to be avoided – Updated 4/25/2017
As those in their market service area are well aware by now due to the deluge of mail, phone calls, barrages of TV and radio advertisements, not to mention the pages and pages of print ads and mailers, Verizon has a product called FiOS.
FiOS is Verizon’s all in one answer to putting voice, internet and cable TV functionality in your home and to do so at a low cost – low cost at least to them.  Once they get all the fiber run in an area they then can pump a wide variety of goods and services down that one single little piece of fiber optic cable into your home.
Now, I have to admit, Verizon services and support are generally about as good as it gets.  You usually don’t end up with a brain dead technician to answer your tech support calls, coming out install or fix any of your problems, unlike some cable companies I know.
My problem with FiOS isn’t the services or support, it’s what happens AFTER they install the product to a home or site that has existing telephone service.
Keep in mind that with a regular telephone that is wired to your house with what we call “twisted pair wiring”, that the power supply that drives this connection, gives you your dial tone and makes things work when you pickup the phone is supplied by the telephone company.  They generally do a very good job at making sure that there’s power to the phone lines even if there’s no power to the house.   Your home can be as dark as a cave and there’s a good chance your telephone will still work.  This comes in handy for things like natural disasters from storms, power loss due to bad weather, your neighbor deciding to play Paul Bunyan and dropping a tree across your power line, or any of many other reasons we’ve all run into at one time or another in our life.
But, this all changes when you convert to FiOS.  During the conversion process, your copper cable is disconnected.  All power supporting the cable, internet and telephone functions is provided by you in your home.  Yeah, I kinda wondered if the power companies weren’t in on this as well when I first started thinking about it.  But the big hazard comes in when you lose power to your home.  At this point, you are switched to a very small short term running uninterrupted power supply (UPS) which is also installed with the FiOS.  How long this will keep you up and running will depend on its size and age.  Like all rechargeable batteries (of which this is one) they tend to deteriorate over time and they also have a short finite life when they’re fully charged.
The kicker is, when this UPS goes dead, your whole house goes dead.  Forget making any phone calls.  It just won’t happen.
For a good part of the population, this may not be a concern or just a passing pain in the tuckus, but, for the older parts of our population, this is a concern.  These are the people that may have a medical or other issue and need to be able to call someone for help or other logistical issues or needs.
When I first published this, I was fairly immediately hit with comments about how one could go out and recharge their cell phone on their cars, or how the current trend was away from copper and into fiber due to the amount of additional services we could have marketed to us.  Well, what about the older parts of our population that may not be able to go out to their car and recharge their cell phones?  And why do I need to buy additional services from Verizon, or whomever, if the current works just fine and even in a disaster?   Speaking of disasters, this now means that in a Katrina type event, you now not only have to wait for your local Telco to fix THEIR wiring, you have to wait also for the power company to send power to your house.  Is this really goodness?
Let’s look at the demographic trends of our population.  Guess what, we’re getting to have a much larger older population segment.  This trend is not in question. They’re going to be a concern due to their lack of availability to call out once the touted 4-hour limit of their UPS is dead.  This segment is growing and it’s not going to stop.  They can live VERY well without cable TV, but they can’t live without the means to call for help.  And for many shut ins, this is their social network.
So, I asked a Verizon representative about that and their reply was “go buy a cell phone”.  Now, let me get this straight, you want me to go buy another phone which is very expensive just to be able to call you and tell you that your service is broken and my house needs power and the phone at my house doesn’t work?  Well, their response is basically “yes”.  Granted, many of us already have at least one cell phone so for most of the reporting part isn’t an issue…unless you don’t have access to it…or the battery is dead…or you’re in one of the many dead cell zones that the Verizon Bimbo and his army of “technicians” just haven’t found yet.  Hello Verizon, can you hear me yet?  My house is in one of those partial dead zones.  And I’m on a ridge about 1200 feet about sea level.
Then, nobody is talking about what’s going to be done to handle all the toxic waste created from all these UPS batteries when they go dead and are past their usefulness time!?  If you figure out how many houses in the US have a phone in them in a metro area, figure that they’re going to need their battery replaced every 3 or so years.  In a short period of time, we’re going to dumping a lot of batteries in landfills and when they start to leak that’s a lot of lead acid that’s got to go somewhere.  Hello Al Gore, where are you and why aren’t you thinking about this as well?  Or are you too busy flying around in your private jet and calculating how big the carbon footprint of your house is this week?  Want to retire early and rich?  Figure out a way to PROFITABLY recycle these  batteries!
My recommendations are thus:  Avoid FiOS totally.  If you MUST have FiOS make sure that they install it separate from your existing telephone lines and if you’re a multiple phone line home (which many are due to internet dialup from several years ago), make sure that at least your main line is still a twisted pair copper wire connected to the home telephone switched network.  If they can’t guarantee you that you’ll keep your original copper line for telephone voice calls, you need to tell them “NO THANKS!”.
I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, From Where I Stand.


Verizon gets a lesson in remedial business management 101

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Verizon gets a lesson in remedial business management 101
Any current or former Verizon user that read this past Friday’s Wall Street (4/21/17) had to get a good chuckle out of the article on how Verizon had posted its first quarterly loss due to customers leaving them for the competition.
Gee!  Was ANYONE REALLY SURPRISED???
For those of us that have been constant and loyal Verizon customers for many years, we’re finally seeing Verizon(VZ) waking up and realizing that the basic tenets of undergraduate business school concepts still hold true – it’s the CUSTOMER, stupid!
Back in 2011, VZ decided to punt unlimited data plans from the cell phone service plans it provided.  Further, and even more annoying, if you wanted to upgrade your cell phone hardware, it meant having to buy a new service plan as they wouldn’t let you grandfather your old plan with any unlimited options, to the new phone.  Well, there was a way around it and I still kept my unlimited plan when I upgraded, much to the chagrin and consternation of VZ.  You can’t imagine how many spam calls I’ve gotten over the years from VZ telling me how much greater the new plans were – but of course they were NOT unlimited data and would charge me a tonne of bucko$ after a certain data useage – not to mention slower speeds for actually using the unlimited data you were paying for.  Add to that when you had to leave your current units for iPhones or whatever, VZ had removed the automatic hotspot capabilities that allowed you to turn your cell phone into wifi hotspot.  But, you could buy more hardware at a high price and pay more money to get the same functionality you had before.  This attempt to ripoff customers didn’t last very long.
Enter AT&T, Sprint and everyone else with their unlimited plans, acceptable service hardware and all at a much cheaper price.  Basically, someone at these companies had a clue at what doing market analysis really is and actually figured what the customer really wanted and how to make money selling it to them!
It didn’t take much marketing from the competition for people to realize that the Verizon bimbo that was always wandering around asking if anyone could hear him, was costing them too much and they didn’t have what they used to and more importantly WANTED.  It also didn’t take too long for the Verizon bimbo to realize this as well and he switched from Verizon.  Gee, go figure.
According local sales reps in the stores, the very recent and sudden changes in plan offerings to include unlimited data and much better pricing structures was a huge surprise that they were only informed of, literally, until minutes before the public was.  Kind of sounds like VZ had a major “oh shit!” moment and a major reality check! Gee…wonder why….
My guess is that in the future business schools will be adding this to the litany of case studies that undergraduates will have to endure.  It would make another of the many good case studies of how you will lose market share by not offering what the customer wants and is willing to pay, as well as being too arrogant to be aware of your market competition and think that just because you’re currently the 800 pound gorilla on the playground that things can’t change against you…and quickly!
Interestingly enough, we’re seeing other former market share “gorillas” thinking the same thing and also seeing that they’re losing market share.  In my opinion, this list would start with none other than IBM…
I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.


Watching them as they go…

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Watching them as they go…
This week two friends of mine lost one of their parents.  Another is going to lose her father in short order.  It’s the time in life when we become parents to our parents and for many it’s a transition they’re not ready or prepared for…not that anyone could ever be.
It wasn’t long ago that we looked out and saw our parents and grandparents in the audience as we performed in school.
Then later as we looked out it was only our parents…and then too soon they weren’t there when we looked out…
Now our kids look out to us as the cycle of life continues its ever churning spirals of reality.
Watch them closely, while you still have them in sight.
I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

Don't Quit

 
 




Don’t Quit

I don’t usually go for sappy stuff like poetry, but I ran into this little parcel of writing this week after reading one too many postings from people that were clearly in need, one way or another. So, I pass it along. Perhaps you know someone you could or should pass it along to as well.
 
Don’t Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will;
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low and the debts are high;
And you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When all is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint on the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things go wrong that you must not quit.
– John Greenleaf Whittier
 
I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, from where I stand.


Filing your taxes – when Free really isn't – are you being "monetized" ??






Filing your taxes – when Free really isn’t – are you being “monetized” ??
OK, so you’re intrigued by those online services and all that nice software that says they’ll do and file your taxes this year FOR FREE! Hmmmmm… We all like stuff for free, but hold the phone here folks – there’s more happening here than you may be aware of…
You may not be aware, yet, but you’re being mined and sold. Yupo folks, once again if it sounds too good to be true it most likely is.
It would appear that there’s really a growing and big business in mining as much information about you from your tax forms and from all those piles of paperwork that you have to use to create those monstrosities that you have to send the IRS each year! Think how much information you really tell about yourself when you file your 1040. Do you have any loans? Investments? Outside business interests? Student loans or college payments of any sort? Well, it’s all on your 1040 and it’s all there for whomever is doing your electronic filing to mine, aggregate, package and sell to whomever will buy it. The latest buzz word is call “monetizing the customer” – uh, that’s you! And it’s big business and big money.
SO, if you don’t want to be sold you may want to read the fine print and make sure that your privacy stays that way – private.
I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, from where I stand.


Easter – What's the real reason for the season?






Easter – What’s the real reason for the season?
OK, you usually hear this around mid December – people talking about “the reason for the season”, but does anyone really study history enough to know the REAL reasons for any of these religious centric holidays?
Based on the Biblical historical record (and yes, I think it’s a correct historical record), Christ died and was resurrected during the last weekend of Passover. I think most of Christianity will easily agree with me on that.
Interestingly enough, the Biblical record makes no references to brightly coloured eggs or bunnies. So, what’s really going on here?
Well, like it or not, Easter is yet another pagan holiday season that Christianity felt it had to adopt for its purposes. You would think that Christianity would follow the Biblical historical record in celebrating the death and resurrection of their Saviour and celebrate it when it ACTUALLY DID HAPPEN – uh, that would be the last weekend of Passover.
But, the calendars tend to create a bit of a problem here. This year Easter and Passover actually happen on the same week, but this is NOT case on a REGULAR basis! Consult your calendar if you disagree with me. Sometimes the two events are several WEEKS apart! Gee! Go figure!
The Jewish calendar dictates when Passover occurs but, who and how do we determine when Easter occurs? Well, for that we need to look at the historical record.
In 325AD, the council of Nicaea determined that Easter would be the first Sunday after the first full moon, occurring on or after the vernal equinox. From then on, the date of Easter depended on the ecclsiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox. Hmmm….doesn’t sound like Passover to me. Let me make this simpler, Easter is the Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the March equinox. Sounds more like a Druid event than a Christian one.
If we look further, we find that the term “easter” we find that the it directly refers to the mythical goddess “Eostre” – sometimes also referred to as Ostara or Ishtar. So, we’d be just as accurate to be saying “Happy Ishtar!”. Oh, by the way, her symbol was a bunny or rabbit because of the high reproductive proclivities of rabbits…and I’m sure you’ve heard several humorous analogies during your life.
Chances are the Germans brought us the colored eggs from their traditions, but then, there’s also the ancient Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex, yes Ishtar again, in which bunnies and eggs play a big part.
If you really want to dig deeper into this, you’ll find origins going back to Nimrod and his family as well. Interesting reading on a rainy afternoon when you’re really interested in finding out the real roots of how you got where you are now…not just what your preacher is telling you.
Christianity has a bad habit of attempting to sanitize old pagan and druid customs, rites and celebrations and attempting to make them Christ centric events. But is this right?
Christianity could also declare the color green to be called brown…but would that make it right or better yet – correct?
I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, from where I stand.


Reds – Bewitchingly good munchies in Salem MA






Reds – Bewitchingly good munchies in Salem MA
I just returned from a trip to Boston. While up there decided to take a side trip up to Salem and checkout all the historical witching lore and the old port there.
Frankly, I can now say, been there, done that. It’s going to be a few years before I return to play tourist in Salem. But, it may not be the last time I return to Salem for another reason.
If you’re going to be a good judge of places to eat, you need to be not only a good eater but a good cook. I’m fairly decent at both endeavors as my kitchen and scale will both testify. And, you’ll find that the biggest eating establishments don’t always make for the best eating experiences. This is why when a little hole in the wall in downtown Salem was recommended to me I as a place to meet for lunch I was curious to check it out…and oh how I wish we didn’t have to worry about things like cardiologists!
There’s a little place on the northeast corner of where Front Street meets Charter, it’s called Reds. It’s not only full of locals, but it’s also got a menu of items that will have you rolling out the door totally satisfied.
I chose the chicken piccata and a Greek salad. Based on the prices in the menu I figured a nice bowl of salad and good lunch portion of piccata… WOW! Well, they didn’t warn me that the portions there are not small. they’re HUGE. I could have made a meal from either the salad or the piccata! And delicious is an understatement…it was incredible! I’ve not had piccata that good in a very long time and unfortunately, my schedule doesn’t have me going back to Boston again for a while…but when I do, you can bet that I’ll be tying up at Reds and putting on the feed bag for another great meal.
And I’m still smacking my lips, all the way From Where I Stand.


Baseball! It's opening day!






Baseball! It’s opening day!
There’s really nothing quit like it. The feel of the crowd. The smells of the stadium. Popcorn, peanuts, crackerjack…and let’s not forget a really nice big fat juicy hot dog with
mustard and ketchup!
The boys of summer are back! It’s opening day! Pop a cold one, sit back, break out your glove and you may get lucky and catch one!
The crack of the bat brings with it jargon of suicide squeezes, double plays, the long one going deep and many other terms that once again put us in the annual cat bird’s seat of fun.
No matter how you listen to them or watch them, there’s really nothing like an afternoon or evening ball game to round out a day.
As a kid growing up in DC metro. I used to listen to the then Senators on WTOP or if there was an Orioles game on WBAL it took priority. With glee I would call up the scores recording line at the
Washington post in the mornings when I missed late games and eagerly listen to the recording tell me how the Senators had lost again and the Orioles had won. I used to cheer when
Big Frank Howard struck out and Boog knocked in another homer. Ah, the days of being a kid and the life of baseball. It’s almost 50 years later and I’m still a kid and hope I always will be.
So! Take me out to the ball game….take me out to the park…..
I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, from where I stand…


Government – Don't we have enough already?






Government – Don’t we have enough already?
I ran into this recently in a Facebook posting.  I’m not 100% true if a college professor actually made this claim and failed his class, but I have to submit that the concepts presented here are 100% on the money.
Given the current trends in Washington to tax us into oblivion, run our lives and socialize everything we do and think, I have to wonder how much longer things will last if people don’t have the want and courage to strike out on their own, to make goals and try to achieve them as a way of making themselves, their family and yes, their country a greater place because they had a goal and didn’t depend on mindlessly following someone else’s goals.
Our generation has little more than to look back at the Vietnam era.  Frankly, we bombed, burned and killed the heck out of Vietnam and Southeast Asia.  We had many immigrants come to the US either directly or via France, Canada or other means, many with little more than the cloths on their backs and a suitcase.  In less than half a generation these people and their families are land owners, they’re running their own businesses, they’re successful and their families are growing.  This happened because they had goals and went for them.  They didn’t sit back and complain that the government “owed” them something.  They SOUGHT opportunity and went for it.  That’s the American way!
So, I submit this for your contemplation and consideration:
Is this man truly a genius?
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
It could not be any simpler than that.
These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.
At the end of the day, this is a trend our country is heading towards that we need to stop, or we’ll become another third world country.
That’s the way I see it, From Where I Stand.