My First Coding Job

  Many moons ago, in a land far, far away. I wrote my first code when I was working my way through school as a night computer operator. I was so bad at being an operator that I thought they'd fire me, or move me into an accounting position. The reason I was so horrible was that the nightly job consisted of stacking thousands of cards into input hoppers on the computer, and placing critical control cards that had to be absolutely without error in exactly the right place in the stack. It wasn't an impossible job, but to an 18 year old with the attention span of a gnat, I made errors. When I made an error, part or all of the run was trashed and the day people had to rerun my stuff. In desperation, I started reading the manuals, all written in Spanish (Miami), to figure out how I could make the job easier to run and less prone to silly errors. The manuals, were excellently written with lots of examples and flowcharts. IBM really knew how to get the point across. It took me a few we

Review of Android App RadarNow! by ChatGPT

I posed this question to ChatGPT. "Please write an 300 word essay describing the android application RadarNow!. If you're able to read reviews, please summarize the comments from users. " RadarNow! - A Comprehensive Weather Radar App RadarNow! is a cutting-edge android application designed to provide users with real-time weather radar data and forecasts in a user-friendly and accessible manner. With its simple interface and powerful features, RadarNow! has become a go-to choice for weather enthusiasts, outdoor enthusiasts, and everyday users seeking accurate weather information on the go. At its core, RadarNow! offers a detailed and interactive radar map, displaying live weather data from multiple weather radars across the United States and other supported regions. This feature enables users to track rain, snow, storms, and other weather patterns with exceptional precision. By utilizing the latest radar technology, the app provides up-to-date and reliable information, all

What is God?

  2017 Eclipse taken from 10,000 feet over northwestern Tennessee People have been asking the question since time began, and after 50 years of contemplation, I believe I have a reasonable answer. Throughout most of history, God has been regarded as a supreme being in many cultures. The similarities are striking. One aspect that I find interesting is that the supreme being is always depicted as all-knowing and all-powerful. When a child is killed and eaten by wolves, it is attributed to God's will, and the will of God remains unfathomable. Except for the organizers of religious institutions, who claim to possess a direct line to God's ear and can hear God's thoughts.  The question is often posed as "Who is God?" rather than "What is God?" I believe that anthropomorphizing the existence of a supreme intelligence unnecessarily complicates matters. The question should be "What" rather than "Who" since no one in the entire history of human

A Simple Plan for Success

  Daily I read about gridlock in the Congress regarding some bill or whatever that can't be passed because there's no bipartisan support. In the Senate, one senator stops all progress on virtually anything the Democrats want to get done. They blame the senator, but in reality, the fault is in the bills they're trying to pass. Virtually every bit of legislation proposed have so many pages that the people voting on them couldn't possibly read it all. They have all sorts of silly stuff catering to one group, one district, one company, and it benefits nobody else. The left and the right are both guilty of this practice that nets out to zero progress for the American people. What I propose is so simple that it can't possibly be done: Limit each bill to one single objective. For instance, "Mend the Bridges". It's the perfect title for a bill that could not only fix one huge problem in the USA, but also create a framework where parties with divergent viewpoin

Effective Gun Control Through Ammunition Control

The gun control battle is lost. It's pointless to try and control access to guns. If sales stopped today, there would be many millions of weapons left on the streets. Guns last a very long time too. A hundred year old gun will still fire if maintained properly. So how can gun deaths be reduced and even controlled? By controlling the consumable part of the death chain: The ammunition. It's simple. No bullets. No bang. Gun enthusiasts the country over will likely rebel instantly over such a thought, unless there's something in it for them. That's the key to making this work. If it was a win-win for everyone, then it could be passed. How could ammunition control be a plus for the average gun enthusiast? By removing the barriers that the vetted enthusiast has to jump through now. "Trusted Handler" A program, similar to the TSA's "Trusted Traveler" could be built so that vetted enthusiasts would receive a card, good for five years, that would allow th


We all know about the proto bully: A big kid that beats on a small boy. That's the typical picture. Bullies come in all sorts of flavors. Some are overt and more are covert. They don't physically attack. They mentally abuse their victims and their goal is to terrorize, demoralize, and demean their targets. I don't know what drives a bully to this kind of behavior but I can imagine it is essentially nature or nurture. Nature in regard to maybe being dropped on their head as a toddler and nurture in that their home life wasn't very pleasant. Whatever the reason, they are poisonous to a civil society. All bullies have one thing in common: Unfiltered meanness. When they say or do something cutting and demoralizing, they aren't joking. They aren't fooling around. They mean exactly what they say because they have no ability to filter out the meanness. People make excuses for bullies all the time. They say "He was only joking" or "You took it the w


Whenever I see the name STIHL, I think back to the early 90's, when STIHL hired me to do a month long complex data conversion project. Upon delivery of the finished product, they told me I did a great job and were happy. I asked for my check and I was told it was going to be mailed from corporate. My terms for one time customers have always been payment upon delivery. I made an exception because STIHL was a national brand. 30 days later, no check. I called their office and they told me they changed the specifications and my work was no longer relevant. I wasn't going to be paid. Well, that was an $8,000 mistake on my part. About three months later, I get a panicked call from a VP regarding the tapes they gave me that I used in the project. The tapes I had were their only copies and they needed them back fast. I told the VP that yes, I had the tapes. He asked how quickly I could get them down to their office. I replied "I can see them from where I sit and they a