Drunk Christmas Tree

Go home Christmas tree, you’re drunk

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Just about the most awesome polar bear video I’ve seen!

The cloud fails when you’re in the clouds. For anyone who travels a lot or takes overseas flights, you quickly learn the value of apps that will work locally on your smartphone or tablet. Sometimes I have brilliant ideas that come to me in the middle of a flight. On a long flight, I have a lot, which kills my laptop battery. This flight was short, but the ability to blog this without access to the internet is awesome… Makes me wanna blog more while I’m traveling. And pickup a Bluetooth keyboard for my android!

Warren Buffet said it. Nick Hanauer said it. The rich should pay more taxes.

I have great news for them any *anyone* who wants to pay more “taxes”!!! They can do it right now! At this very moment!

Purchase more US Treasury Notes. Here’s the link: US Treasury Notes.

Guys like Hanauer can easily afford the tax accountant to ensure that any additional tax deduction from the Treasury Notes can be offset by purchasing even more of the Treasury Notes. Best part is that you don’t have to wait for Congress to pass a bill. They can start today!

It’s the annual nonsense that we all have to deal with: Vehicle Registration. Every year, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has to send out letters requesting payment. Then most of us go on-line, make the payment, and wait for our tags. Meanwhile, the average length of vehicle ownership is more than five years. Why doesn’t the DMV offer multi-year registrations?

Think of it like a domain name registration. When you register your domain name, you have options to register for years at a time. Most places give you a discount when you register for three or more years at a time. They took Econ 101. They know that money today is almost always worth more than it will be in three+ years. You give people a little bit of a discount and they will take it.

The DMV would still have to issue new tags each year, but it could save a ton of money in postage every year by not having to send out the annual reminder. Not everyone would opt-in to multi-year renewals. Maybe the family or individual doesn’t have the money all at once. But for people who don’t want to have the hassle of registering every year and want to take advantage of a 10% discount on their registration over a five year period, it would be great!

This would also give California a shot in the arm if people started doing long-term registrations right now. Of course, the logic should be that the money would be received now when there is a massive budget deficit and bad economy and not relied upon in five years when the economy would recover and the state would make money from other methods of taking money from our pockets.

I’ll start with a little back story…

I admit. I resisted getting a Blackberry for awhile, mostly because of the douche factor of Blackberry users at the time. I knew I would have to give up my Bluetooth earpiece if I was going to douche out with a Blackberry. I finally cracked and became addicted to my Crackberry within days. What a cool device.

Then along came the (h)i(pster)Phone: iPhone. No way was I going to support the evil empire of Apple. I didn’t have to wait too long for an Android phone. Droooooooid… Awesome phone at the time, but having played around with a few iPhones, the OS had a long way to go.

Once I could have more than one Google account on my phone, I was set! I haven’t considered any other device since then. The Gmail app on Android is amazing. The swype keyboard on my HTC is amazing. I have even gotten an Android tablet.

Still, something is missing…

It finally dawned on me! Tablets are great for the consumption of information. They are easy to handle, portable, and functional when it comes to consuming information. However, if you are the producer of information, tablets are severely lacking. Say what you want about the mouse and keyboard, but the speed at which you can produce results on a digital system is directly related to your keyboard and mouse usage. While you might be able to find someone with brilliant tablet on screen typing speed, I guarantee you that the vast majority of tablet users won’t even get remotely close to my typing speed on a traditional keyboard.

A tablet hooked up to a traditional keyboard? Ok. Now you’re talking about something useful. Now, you’re talking about something for producing rather than just consuming.

It seems like every time they launch something new they completely forget about this little app they have called Gmail! I’m not sure why Google does this… As much as I use Google for searching, I use Gmail more than anything else. I would venture to guess that most people that use a Google product use Gmail more than anything else (except maybe Google Analytics – can’t think of web life w/o Google Analytics!)

A quick search (on Google, of course). shows that a couple of years ago, my guessing is spot on!

So, why wouldn’t Google immediately extend the attachment processing in Gmail to include the ability to save the document into a Google Drive? Was this an oversight? Too much additional code? Or just plain stupidity?

Captain Obvious will point point that one can just download it into one’s Google Drive folder… Well, thank you Captain Obvious, but you’re missing the point. I don’t want to save it to my local drive and then have it sync to the cloud. I want Google to take it and put it into the cloud for me. That’s what I’m paying them zero dollars a month for!

In all seriousness, expanding the download to allow you to save it to your Google Drive would truly allow you to have your Google cloud everywhere. What if I’m on a trip and using a computer that doesn’t have my Google Drive on it? Or using a library computer? What if I’m using my Ubuntu install instead of my Windoze install? What if I’m just checking my email on someone else’s computer? What if I’m using my phone to check the email? Why waste the bandwidth Google? Why have your second most popular product (#1 in the world of consumable products) be an afterthought? C’mon guys! Gmail is the best product you have! Hands down the best email system on the web! And you completely neglect to integrate Google Drive directly with Gmail? That’s just sad 😦

Edit: Obviously, I’m talking about images, PDF, etc. None Google Docs attachments

The Gay Kiss Cam

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook the other day. It got me thinking about the Kiss Cams I’ve seen. I’ve been to a lot of sporting events, so I’ve seen a lot of kiss cams. The attempted “gay” kiss cam is done at almost every sporting event, and I think it’s hilarious! Just like when they get a couple to kiss and then try to get the husband or wife to kiss someone hot sitting next to them.

Yes, most people cringe at the kiss cam when it’s on two dudes. News flash, the majority of men aren’t gay. But have you seen a kiss cam when they put it on a brother and sister? Seriously! Talk about unreserved hatred and disgust! We going to ban those too? No, because is ridiculously hilarious to watch someone not want to kiss someone else with some much passion!

I understand McCarthy is coming from a good place, but here’s why we shouldn’t stop the gay kiss cam:

It’s sports. It’s about coming together and cheering for a team with people you don’t know whether they love cock or not. The baseball on the field doesn’t care if you’re gay, straight, black, brown, white, yellow. It might care if you are a dog, but that’s about it.

Since the minority of people in our population are gay or doing a three way with the person sitting next to them, it’s funny when you put the camera on two dudes or two chicks or pan over to the lady sitting next to the couple to try to get the husband or wife to kiss her. It’s hilarious, and if you can’t find the humor in it, get out of America’s favorite past time and go troll under a bridge.

Maybe we need more gay kisses on the kiss cam so people stop being so sensitive about it. I’ve seen it at a couple of games. It’s hilarious! It’s as great as when they find the guy who looks like Santa Claus in the audience during December basketball games. Everyone wants to see Santa make out with someone! It’s awesome! Same sex kiss and move on to the next people on the kiss cam.

Most importantly, what if a gay couple was at a game and really wanted to be on the kiss cam but had no chance because we end up with a stupid ban on gay kiss cam attempts? That would suck! Everyone LOVES the kiss cam! Everyone should get a kiss cam opportunity!

Several years ago I chose to not have a personal computer running Windoze or MACOS. It was just going to be Ubuntu for me. It wasn’t the easiest decision. It started off with some dual booting. As time went by, my Windoze and MAC machines were useful for only one thing: iTunes.

Anyone wanting to fool themselves into believing that there has been a legitimate alternative to iTunes on the market over the last several years is just fooling themselves. Now, I’m sure some might be thinking, “What about Spotify?” I’m not a hipster, sorry.

So, I haven’t been listening to much music lately. My music collection has stagnated at just under 500 tracks for the last couple of years. I’ve made numerous attempts with mp3tunes and other software to reclaim my music rights from Apple to no avail. That is until Google Music & TuneClone saved the day!

First, Google Music got me interested in music again. I had really gotten so used to not having easy access to music, so much to the point that I didn’t really care too much about music. I didn’t even know about “Party Rock Anthem” until months after it had been out. Sad tangent there… My 10-year-old nephew kept saying “Everyday I’m shufflin” one day when we were going somewhere. I had no idea what he was talking about. Google Music is so easy to access and use on my Android phone. It’s like the days when I had an iPod like everyone else who doesn’t know better about the evil Apphole empire 😛

Second, TuneClone makes reclaiming your DRM music possible. It’s pretty simple how it works (although, it’s going to cost you $35). It creates a virtual CD on your computer that iTunes reads as a regular CD and will burn disks to. You burn your DRM music as CD audio with test and TuneClone takes care of the rest! The result is a single directory of your playlist (in my case, my entire collection) as MP3 files that you can then drop into your Google Music folder, sync, and listen to anywhere!

A few clicks here and there, and I have my full music library back… Well, throw in a couple of hours of converting the music too, but the main point is that I finally regain my music rights AND have a music interface that’s not a pile of junk that requires multi-step syncing or doesn’t have my full music library available.

GE is looking to cut the cost of solar panel installations in half by engineering a system that would make it possible to roofers and contractors to perform the installation as opposed to higher costed specialized labor. They want to get the total cost down to roughly $21,600 (from roughly $35,000).

Here’s how our Federal government can quickly solve energy problems as well as stimulate the economy in a real manner. We all know that Obama and Congress love spending money. Heck, throw W into the spending mix too, and you have the largest deficits and national debt in the history of the world! Unlike most spending our Federal government does, this spending would actually bring about some real value to America.

Our Government Just Prints More Money Anyway

Spend another $700 billion dollars to install the $21,600 systems on homes in America. Now, the first argument might be that we need to evaluate whether there is enough sun coming in to make this worthwhile. Well, good news, someone has already done that! There is plenty of sun hitting the majority of the United States to make this worthwhile.

The $700 billion investment would put solar systems on approximately 32,407,407 houses. Now, that’s not taking into consideration economies of scale. Manufacturing that many solar panels and performing that many installations would considerably drop the costs associated with the installations. We could easily see a 20-30% drop in total cost, but I’ll stick with the 32.4 million installations for easy math. That’s roughly 24.93% of the estimated 130 million houses in America. With these solar panel systems producing an average of 85% of the house’s energy needs, that means a drop in existing energy consumption by 21.19%

What would happen if our need for energy from existing sources dropped by 1/5??? Well, simple economics would shift the price of energy down. For global warming worriers, it would mean production of 1/5 of our energy now comes from solar. Of course, it wouldn’t really mean a drop in household energy cost by 20 percent. Production from other sources would decline to keep prices from plummeting by 20 percent, but there would be a substantial decline in the cost of energy for the end consumer. Even if it was a 10% decline, I’ll show you at the end just how substantial this could be!

True Trickle Down Economics

Now, let’s get into the worker value! Solar panel production would skyrocket. Solar panel producers would need to hire more employees, put more people to work, order more materials from their suppliers… It’s true trickle down economics. But that’s just the production side of things! There’s the installation side as well. Thousands of workers would be put to work making good, hard-working money! These workers would be driving, eating, buying clothes for their families, etc. True trickle down economics. Local economies around the US would greatly benefit from this massive rise in employment and their subsequent spending!

Now, let’s talk about the true economic savings as energy costs in the United States drop by 20% I’ve mentioned in Energy Based Inflation that rising energy costs have an impact on EVERYTHING. There’s no escaping the cost of energy in our current economy. Every company and every job requires energy. For some companies and some families, energy is a massive expense! For someone like me with a house but no kids, my electric bills are very low. Still, my house could produce enough energy for me and half of what the family that lives across the street from me needs!

But wait! There’s more!!!

Electric cars will become viable global warming worrier alternative energy vehicles. Currently, electric cars don’t really save much (if at all) in greenhouse gas emissions because of the fact that America gets so much energy from coal… This solar panel plan would make electric cars much cleaner than gasoline cars, since American would not be getting 21.19% of our energy from solar. Greenies rejoices!

So, what would the ROI be for our Federal government to print another $700 billion dollars? Well, we can start with the amount that Americans spend on electricity (Retail Electricity): $350,438,000,000. Yes, that’s $350 billion Americans spent on energy in 2009. Now, earlier I reasoned that while there is a 20% energy savings, our costs would only drop by maybe 10% because production from other sources would adjust to compensate for the sudden massive increase in energy production by solar. Even at just 10% that means Americans will be saving $35 billion (yes, BILLION with a B) in energy costs/year.

Collectively, we can go spend that money on other things, save it, invest it in retirement funds/stock market/kitchen remodel, etc. The savings for $35 billion dollars would significantly stimulate the economy because we aren’t just going to sit on that $35 billion. We’ll spend/invest it! We, the people will stimulate the economy from a legitimate and long-term value add from our Federal government. Much better than a couple of $600 “stimulus” checks we got from W! Or the great W/Obama bank/auto bailout.

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