He Who Shall Not Be Named

Very few things in life piss me off. But there are exceptions – one of which is playing out on the cell phones and computers around the world, thanks to Facebook.

(I post this not knowing what WordPress’s policy is about mentioning a certain name, but I can live with whatever the outcome is.)

If you watch the media everyday, the name of the CIA whistleblower that started this latest impeachment escapade with the President is kept from your knowledge. If you’re on social media and are following the impeachment proceedings, you know that there is a strong chance that person is a man named Eric Ciaramella, and that’s been known a few weeks now.

Everyone on the Democrat side of the aisle has warned everyone else not to out the whistleblower even though transcripts released earlier this week failed to redact that very name. The Constitution tells you that you have the right to face those accusing you of something – it says nothing or has not been amended to protect whistleblowers.

In their infinite wisdom, Facebook is now censoring posts with the name of Eric Ciaramella in them. I had one such post removed from my Facebook page but wasn’t warned not to do it again.

This is what the Nazis and the communists did – and I think regardless of how you feel about our President, at least stand up for our rights when they face a threat like this.

To those in America approving of such censorship – if history is any indication, you won’t get away with this.

Year 49

So how do I use this iPhone app thing again?

My 48th birthday was yesterday, and it came with a couple of surprises. One was an iPhone 6 so that I could have a cell phone again for the first time since January.

If you want to see total panic, try dropping one of those itty bitty cards that they give you on a carpeted floor with a hungry cat looking on nearby. I found it and placed it in the slot of the side of the phone, and all was well.

I also got a backpack, which may come in handy in weeks ahead.

Looking forward to what this new year of life brings to me.

Updating The Update From The Previous Update From A Few Updates Ago

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It was yet again time for yet another Windows 10 update – this time, I received something called Version 1903 which was released back in May. There were no great shakes to the upgrade that I saw, though those of with higher-end computers might think otherwise.

My problem with these major upgrades is how Windows handles them.

When you download the thing, they never seem to tell you how long it takes or how big the download is.

When you install the update, they never seem to tell you how long it will be before it’s installed.

When the computer reboots and runs through its new paces, that takes a while too, and – you guessed it – they never seem to tell you how long THAT takes either.

I’ve been a Microsoft Windows guy all my life, and I get that they and Apple are the only computer games in town for the most part. But you know what? Some of us don’t have an infinite amount of time for your upgrades – so, how about communicating a bit better on that front, pretty please?

Quirks, Clocks, And Bugs

Every now and then, I get the video editing bug – but I don’t do the most obvious things when I get such a bug.

Nearly ten years ago to the day, and before such “animation” could be done on a video editor – I created a ten-minute clock on a green screen for use on YouTube. Many people commented something like: why on Earth would I want to do a thing like that? I didn’t know what they meant by that, really – that I took the time to make the clock, or why I put it on a green background.

For one, I thought it would help other video editors out putting it on a green background – because that background could be edited out by using an effect called chroma-key. When your local weatherman is showing you the conditions and the various maps, they are usually standing in front of a green screen. The stations chroma-key in the various maps and graphics, and that’s how you get local weather – a concept television has used for decades.

It also used to annoy me back in the space shuttle era that unless they were showing the old, massive countdown clock at the Kennedy Space Center, or unless the launch commentator briefly mentioned it – you had no idea how much time remained at various points before the launch. For one launch video in 2009, I did just that – superimposed the “green screen” clock so you knew at all times how much time remained before liftoff, up until there were just 10 seconds remaining.

I’ve always said I’d do another video someday for a 15-minute clock, and thanks to modern video editors available for free like ShotCut, it’s a lot more easier to do now. DaVinci Resolve looks like another nice free editor, but I only have 4GB of RAM on the machine I use everyday – which is more compatible for Shotcut’s purposes.

I guess if you wait long enough, everything you want to do you can do for free – is that the moral of the story?

Did We Go To The Moon?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Since we’re now in the eight-day period where 50 years ago the Apollo 11 mission was taking place – this will be the first of three posts dedicated to the moon landing.

I thought we’d get the biggest question out of the way: did we actually land on the moon – or was the event just a big hoax? For one reason or another, our space program has yet to do anything bigger than the lunar landing with its astronauts since – and technically, our manned space program is in mothballs and has been now for eight years. We provide astronauts to be launched on Russian Soyuz rockets, yet we don’t have spacecraft of our own for the time being.

I was born in September of 1971 – two years and a month and a half after Apollo 11’s inaugural lunar trip, and when Apollo 17 made our final lunar journey to date, I was all of 15 months old. I’ve spent most of my life living on the west coast of Florida about 150 miles away from Cape Canaveral – though I once visited the Kennedy Space Center once in 1982. My memories of the space program seem to be the saddest chapters of its history – the Challenger disaster of 1986, and Columbia’s failed return home in 2003.

As for the moon landings being hoaxes, I’ve always been one to put that in the “not entirely impossible but improbable” category. I don’t think every conspiracy theory out there is a totally impossible notion – I’ve wondered if Lee Harvey Oswald really did kill JFK in 1963, for example, and what the true motivations were for killing the President. I’d say for every one conspiracy theory that’s real, you could probably find 10-20 that aren’t.

But the moon landings being hoaxes – that would seem to me to be a tough one to keep covered up all of this time that has gone by, so I’d say no.

Facebook Deactivation Attempt Number Whatever

Photo by Sanni Sahil on Pexels.com

It gets to the point perhaps where all of the attempts get farcical – but here I go again. I’m again experimenting with life without Facebook.

If you’ve been watching the news as of late – we’ve got another “racism” controversy involving the President getting into it with four rather young and novice members of the House of Representatives. When Mr. Trump suggested in a tweet Sunday that perhaps “The Squad” should go back where they came from, things got a bit chaotic. The Democrats and in turn the media accused the President of being a racist.

For what it is worth – my opinion (as of this moment – July 16, 2019 at 11am Eastern time) is he is still not a racist by my definition of the term. To me, someone who is racist uses racist slurs – and I’ve never seen any record of Mr. Trump using that kind of language. If there is proof of him ever using those words, my opinion will likely change – but at this moment, I have yet to see such proof.

Facebook (and Twitter too), being what that has become, always seems to provide someone who can’t handle someone like me having their own personal opinion. Someone from your past always seems to be around magically to be your own personal “thought police” to try and set you straight in effort to tell you, yes, that POTUS is a racist – and don’t mind the Congresswomen who won’t condemn Al Qaeda or Antifa. That debate will go on – somebody will win it, and somebody will lose it.

So I keep getting around to this idea of a limited social media sabbatical, and who knows – maybe it will stick this time. Besides, I enjoy doing this a bit more.

EDIT, 7/18/19: I came back after a couple of days. I know – I’m weak as water, but I keep trying.