The Endless River Of Scammers

You may have noticed that I’m on a quest to rid my telephonic devices of the spam callers of many forms. It’s becoming apparent to me over these many years that they’ve wasted a few minutes at a time that this is a fruitless effort.

If you ignore them, they keep calling.

If you tell them you’re not interested, some of them keep calling.

If you tell them you want to be on the di not call list, some of them keep calling – because they’re in foreign countries and feel the rules don’t apply to them.

Regardless, I answer them every time they call. When one scam fails, they – whoever the “they” is – always have to seem to have another one ready to go.

Where are the service providers in all of this? In my case, Spectrum. They offer you the means to only block 30 callers. The scammers can spoof countless numbers.

Meanwhile, I will continue to take every call I can. I know their scams and I have varying strategies in how to deal with them. What’s more, they can stop calling me and remove my ability to be dilatory anytime they want.

Almost Uncharted Waters

For the third time in under a year, the United States has launched a manned rocket, SpaceX, to the International Space Station.

There always seems to be the attitude that these manned shots have gotten routine, despite the accomplishments and the tragedies. I get that – if your favorite team always wins, it gets kind of boring.

But what went unnoticed by the media by this launch was a rather significant point. The US, save one occasion with the Gemini program in 1965, has always put up one manned rocket (or shuttle) and put it back down before putting another one up.

The last manned crew to the ISS went up in November. It hasn’t come down yet – and that was the plan. It is scheduled to splash down in a few days.

The Russians have done simultaneous flights several times. If I remember right, they once had three ships in orbit simultaneously, or at least planned to. Counting today, the US have only pulled this off twice.

It’s not an accomplishment that comes to the top of mind, but it’s none the less impressive.

Are You Sure That’s The Right Album?

Some of you may have heard of Jim Steinman’s passing yesterday at the age of 73. It made me think of my freshman year of high school, venturing by bus to Pinellas Square Mall one Saturday in the spring of 1986.

CBS had just released Bonnie Tyler’s latest album, Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire. The album wasn’t even remotely the commercial success of Faster Than The Speed Of Night, but I didn’t know that was going to be the outcome when I got it.

It was also around that time wrestling was so big that Hulk Hogan had his own cartoon series and had that powerful theme with vocals going, “Hulk! Hulk!!”

I put side one of Bonnie’s album and hear the first track, Ravishing. It sounds the same as the Hulk Hogan theme! I gently lift the needle and examine the album print. Was someone playing a practical joke on me?

I put the record back on and eventually Bonnie starts with the vocal. Yep, it was Hulk’s cartoon instrumental with different and a lot more lyrics.

An interesting piece of marketing for sure, but Steinman had a lot of ideas that were repackaged and refined.

The Next Jake Paul? Probably Not

Sorry for the lack of blog entries as of late. But I have been a few other places.

On Friday and Saturday, I’ve appeared on the YouTube channel of AlRedSoxFan. One talking about a computer wrestling sim called Wrestling’s sim, another just being general chit chat with Dave Gardner, co-host of the Digital to Dice Podcast.

Thinking there may be a future in this if time and fate allow it.

Here are the chats in chronological order.

Just Another Moral Paradox

It was announced this morning of April 13 that one of the companies making COVID vaccines, Johnson and Johnson, is being halted due to concerns of blood clotting.

That’s the vaccine that Walmart was offering that was a one shot process – that I would have gotten in the next week or so.

I don’t want to sound like a tin-foil anti-vaxxer here, but I’d stay away from getting these shots if you can get away with doing so, at least for now. In my personal life and travels, I don’t know of anyone who is or has tested positive for COVID.

But that’s my life – your mileage may vary a bit or a lot.

The other big question in my mind is that these strains popping up all over the world may have the ability to make any of the vaccines out there now ineffective.

I’m sure that conscience of our country will put public pressure on us to get the shots just as they did with the masks. I just don’t want to be the fool who rushes in where mortals fear to dread.

It’s That Time Again

With that stimulus money rolling in, I figured it was time to get a newer phone. And so, my white gold iPhone 6 (white gold is actually pink by the way) was retired and an iPhone SE has come my way.

Getting a new phone is a pain in the butt, because they give you a SIM card and you have to put that in the box phone. They give a device to jam into a small hole into the phone so the card socket pops out. You then put the tiny card in to the socket and pop it into the phone.

The problem is that it isn’t as easy as it sounds, and a lot could go wrong and often does. I wish the phone manufacturers such as Straight Talk could come up with an easier way to do this. I imagine someone out there preloads the phones or you go to the stores and the employee does it there.

If a small detail goes wrong, it becomes a giant headache.

On the whole, the phone works great. You have to find a bunch of passwords – usually I keep those on Chrome. But once all that is done, it’s like your old phone never existed.

Unless you see it in your dresser drawer next to all the other phones you’ve used.

All Star Game For Rent

Major League Baseball disinvited their all-stars to Atlanta in July as the league retracted the city from hosting the event over changes in Georgia’s voting laws.

I’m of the opinion that this sets a terrible precedent. Keep within the reigns of political correctness, or we’ll punish everyone in your metropolitan area to bring you to heel.

Personally, I think it would have been more courageous to continue the notion of holding the game there. Bring consciousness to the political issues at hand. But alas, we live in a world where the great political conversations of our day never get held, because they think there’s more to be gained that way.

Sooner or later, those discussions are going to occur. Burying heads in the sand just leaves you with sand in your hair.