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/ October 13, 2016 / Comments Off on For the record

For the record

Trump is an absurd candidate and has proven to be an epic disaster as the Republican nominee. I never thought he had a chance of winning the presidential election, but I was wrong about that. He has a chance. With less than a month to go, it looks like his self destruction will prevent the unthinkable, but it is way too close to becoming a reality.

As a candidate, Hillary Clinton pales in comparison to Obama, which was clear when she lost the nomination 2008. She probably would have lost against a typical Republican. But she is qualified to be President.

Trump and Hillary are not equally bad candidates. Trump is a historically bad candidate and a villain. I’m confident I’m on the right side of history on this.

Hillary might not end up being good at the job, but she is clearly the better choice between the two. I’m With Her.

I’ve seen some commentary that Trump has ruined it for the Republicans. Bah! Trump is the result of many years of Republican pandering to the fringes of the right. Trump is the monster born from the tea party and Fox News, weened on populism, xenophobia, racism and misogyny.

There is a significant danger that Trump’s attempts to delegitimize the election will take root and grow into a cancer. The Republican party, its leaders and supporters must fight hard against this or risk the destabilization of the government and the permanent destruction of the GOP.

Please, vote.

A great look at one my favorite bands, playing on Minneapolis public TV station KTCA, around the time of their classic album “Hollywood Town Hall”.

Set list:

  • Wichita
  • Two Angels
  • Settled Down Like Rain
  • Waiting For The Sun
  • Crowded In The Wing

The current lineup of The Jayhawks, sans Mark Olsen, have a great new album out called “Paging Mr. Proust”.


The following statements are true, but there are forces at work trying to convince us they are false.

  • Human rights trump religious and national rights.
  • The Earth’s climate is getting warmer, the change is outside of typical patterns we’ve measured in the past, and human activity is a significant contributing factor.
  • Evolution is an accurate explanation for the variety of life on earth.
  • Government is the source of much of what we value as a social animals.
  • Reducing taxes does not necessarily lead to economic growth.
  • Corporations are not people and should not have equivalent rights.

I would like our public institutions to acknowledge these truths and to stop arguing about them. I would like to support companies and politicians that publicly express support for these truths.

The craziness of the current political environment, with fringe candidates getting serious votes in the presidential caucuses and primaries, is a sign that a correction to the center is needed. We need to start with fighting for truth, and that includes not being afraid of calling out people who peddle in falsehoods.

As a kid I hated using telephones. I don’t really know why and I’m sure there are some social anxiety issues at the root. Even today, I’d much rather email or text than call someone. My ideal phone conversation goes something like “I’ll be there in a few minutes and we can talk then.”

That being said, I’ve been fascinated by mobile phones and mobile computing since I was a teenager. My first exposure to a portable phone was at my first job in the late 80’s as a “roadie” for a local Detroit event musical outfit, The Jerry Fenby Band. I would ride along with the Jerry in his van and help haul the gear into the country club or event center and setup the equipment. Jerry had a phone installed in the van, and he’d use it to call his wife, the band’s singer, on the way to the gig. It seemed like a ridiculous luxury and I’m sure it costs $5 per call.

In college I worked at Sears in the computer, word processing and phone department. We sold mobile phones and phone contracts on commission. The paperwork was a nightmare, and most people who applied were denied credit. I learned a lot about phones during this period, but I didn’t own one myself. I attended college before mobile phones were common, which is a significant demarcation between the pre and post connected generations.

I started using mobile phones when my work places started buying them for me. I’ve rarely paid a monthly carrier bill that I wasn’t able to expense. That is definitely a luxury and a big reason why I was an early adopter of smartphones.

At the time of this posting, I’m using the HTC One M8. I’m also using an Android Wear Watch, the LG G Watch, which is a useful companion device. And I have an iPad 3, so I’m familiar with iOS.

UPDATE 9/30/16: My daily driver is now the Samsung Galaxy S7 on Verizon.

Here is a partial list of the mobile phones I’ve used, with a focus on smartphones from the last 10 years.

Motorola StarTAC


Audiovox SMT 5600 (Windows Mobile 2003) (HTC Typhoon)

Blackberry Curve 8330

Blackberry Curve 8330

HTC PPC 6700 (HTC Apache) (Windows Mobile 5.0)

PPC 6700

Google G1 (HTC Dream) (Android on T-Mobile) – 2009

HTC Droid Incredible (Android on Verizon) – 2010

Samsung  / Google Nexus Galaxy – 2011 (Android on Verizon)

Galaxy Nexus

HTC EVO Design (Android on Sprint) – 2012

HTC EVO Design

HTC One M7 (Android on Sprint) – 2013

HTC One M7

HTC One M8 (Android on Verizon) – 2015

HTC One M8

LG G Watch – 2015

LG G Watch

Samsung Galaxy S7 – September 2016

Samsung Galaxy S7

Best Buy logo

Over the holidays, after nearly three years at Navitor, I decided to move on to another career challenge by joining Best Buy. As Senior Product Manager on the BestBuy.com eCommerce team, I am managing the applications responsible for the customer’s account and profile information, self service, digital rights management and more.

I am thrilled to work on one of the top eCommerce sites in the United States. Best Buy is playing an important roll in helping people buy and use the wide range of technology that is so pervasive and increasingly important in our lives.

Charlie just turned ten and is finishing up the last few chapters of the last Harry Potter book. Sam is almost eight and is in the middle of book 5. Jodi and I both read all the books as they came out and have enjoyed revisiting them with the boys. We’ve been watching the movies, but only after Sam finishes each book. It will be a bittersweet day when Sam finishes the series. I would understand if J.K. Rowling doesn’t revisit her world of magic with new books, but I know I would be first in line if she does.

This is lovely.

Todd Snider has put together a top-notch band and recorded a killer set of cover songs under the moniker Hard Working Americans. Do yourself a favor and buy this one, it’s a keeper.

Hard Working Americans

Track list (with original songwriter)

“Blackland Farmer” by Frankie Miller
“Another Train” by Will Kimbrough
“Down to the Well” by Kevin Gordon and Lucinda Williams
“The Mountain Song” by Kieran Kane
“Stomp and Holler” by Hayes Carll
“Straight to Hell” by Drivin’ N’ Cryin
“Welfare Music” by The Bottle Rockets
“Mr. President, Have Pity on the Working Man” by Randy Newman
“Run a Mile” by Dan Herron and Chuck Mead
“I Don’t Have a Gun” by Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack
“Wrecking Ball” by Gillian Welch