Intruder Alert.

So now there are charging cables that can be used to hack into your iDevice. Vice.com reports that hackers are making cables that look and act like a regular iPhone lightning charging cable, but there’s extra electronics in the cable that gives them access to the device it’s charging.

Luckily, I’ve never plugged my device into an unknown charging cable but I am going to start looking twice at these public charging stations that are showing up all over the city.

Weather Meteogram.

I think I have finally found an iOS Weather app that I truly enjoy. It’s beautiful to look at, it provides a lot of information at a glance, and it appears to be quite accurate. Weather Meteogram uses Dark Sky for weather data, but it presents it in a much improved interface. If you’re looking for a new weather app experience on iOS, take a look at Weather Meteogram.

Here’s a link to the app store.

Random.

I have no idea if the photo is in its proper orientation or not, so my apologies if it’s sideways in the page. Remember, it just works.

So when Earl works at night I have some time on my hands. I like going for walks in our beautiful city, especially during the nicer nights that are typical of this time of year, but I’m not crazy about walking the same route day after day.

To break this monotony, I will just hop on the ‘L’ and head in either direction and jump off at some random stop and then walk around the neighborhood. Often I’ll walk back in the direction of home. It’s a great way to get to know the surrounding neighborhoods and do things like find restaurants we wouldn’t otherwise know about or see some of the beautiful parks we have scattered throughout The Windy City.

Tonight I walked around Lincoln Park, heading back toward Lakeview before jumping on the ‘L’ a few stop south of our stop. It was a great night to walk and I’m feeling centered as a result of the activity.

Still Pumped.

I mentioned a while back that I had started rewatching “Star Trek: Voyager” from the very beginning of the series. Today I watched my daily episode; I’m in the middle of Season 4. I’m still thoroughly enjoying rewatching the show and Janeway is still my favorite captain of the entire franchise.

The “Star Trek: Picard” trailer came up in my Youtube video suggestions again this evening so I watched it again. I am still getting goosebumps when Voyager’s Seven of Nine (played by Jeri Ryan) appears on the screen.

I’ve never been able to stomach “Star Trek: Discovery”, but “Picard” has enough familiar elements hinted in the trailer and press I’ve seen thus far that I’m already budgeting for CBS All Access when this series is released.

I just have a feeling it’s going to be awesome.

Reading ahead a chapter or two and it looks like Riker and Deanna Troi are also going to be in the new series this season and there’s talk of Voyager’s Doctor appearing in the second season.

Is there a small possibility that we’ll see Kate Mulgrew’s Admiral Janeway as well? I really, really hope so.

Potential Boom.

Last week, Apple announced a recall for a specific model of their MacBook Pro line. In line with this recall was an FAA announcement that this certain model of MacBook Pro would not be allowed on passenger and cargo flights, much like the Samsung Galaxy Note a year or two ago. It seems there was an issue with the battery and a concern that the computer would catch on fire or explode, especially with the variable pressure encountered during airline flights. I paid little attention to this announcement other than surprise that an Apple device would be in company with the likes of something made by Samsung. I figured the recall affected a small handful of computers and Apple would carry out the battery replacement program, some pundits would gripe, and that would be that. I felt slight disappointment in the creeping mediocrity Apple has demonstrated over the past couple of years, but I wasn’t super surprised.

Well it turns out the recall affects the last version of the 15-inch 2015 MacBook Pro (the late 2015 model). Not really knowing the specifics of the recall until this morning, I was a little surprised when I ran across another news release and realized my beloved laptop could be part of the chosen pack; an entry of the serial number in Apple’s informational webpage confirmed my suspicions.

Apparently my MacBook Pro could explode or catch fire at any moment. The website advised to stop using it immediately and arrange for the recall. The issue is, I’ll be without my computer for two or so weeks, because they have to be shipped by ground, since they’re banned from flying.

Honestly, my MacBook Pro has flown thousands of miles over the past four years.

Now I’m a little ticked. If Apple went ahead and allowed for batteries that could be swapped out this wouldn’t be an issue. But the battery (or batteries, I’m not sure) are soldered into the motherboard and so the whole computer has to be ripped apart by a qualified technician.

On the bright side, I’ll have a new battery in my computer which was just starting to show signs of battery fatigue. On the not so bright side, I’m going to be without my MacBook Pro for a while.

My question is, will the FAA allow my computer on a flight after the repair has been made? Is there going to be some sort of little sticker that indicates a battery repair?

We can’t afford a new computer at this time. I’m going to just get this one fixed and hope for the best.

I hope it doesn’t explode in the meanwhile.

Alternate.

So I had planned a cross-country flight from Waukegan, Illinois to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for yesterday. Earl and I were to fly in the DA-40 to Oshkosh, grab a crew car from the FBO (Fixed Base Operator), have some lunch and visit my Dad’s name on the EAA Memorial Wall. I try to visit once a year and it’s always occurred during EAA’s AirVenture (the world’s largest aviation gathering). This was my first time to Oshkosh outside of AirVenture.

In the days leading up to the flight I had been monitoring the weather. I had planned to fly up at 6500′ and fly back at 7500′, passing outside of Milwaukee’s airspace. I knew the weather was not going to be crystal clear but I was hopeful that we could make our way up and back without having to go too far out of our way to avoid rain. As a VFR (Visual Flight Rules) pilot, I must stay clear of clouds and that’s usually easy to do.

The weather at Waukegan would have made for a beautiful departure, but the forecast indicated that coming home would have been tricky. Thunderstorms were predicted to pop up, but the placement and timing was an uncertainty. I was ready to go; we were even at the airplane with the canopy open and I was starting to get my electronics and like in place, but something in my gut told me not to go.

I always trust my gut.

We ended up driving to Oshkosh instead. It was beautiful the entire time we were up there. Looking back at our home airport, however, showed rain storms and impressive gusts blowing through the area. Getting home would have been a tricky deal and would have involved threading around storms, possibly landing at alternate airports and subsequently waiting for storms to pass.

If I owned my own airplane without obligations to be back at a certain time, I might have considered it. But in a rental in a time slot? I didn’t need the extra pressure.

It was a wonderful day to drive.

Earl and I drove straight to the airport and visited the Memorial Wall. Seeing Oshkosh in its non-AirVenture state just connected me more to the experience of aviation. One of the closest times I ever spent with my father was when he invited me to join my grandfather and him to Oshkosh for my 16th birthday back in 1984.

Oshkosh will always hold a special place in my heart.

Earl and I are already booked for our trip to EAA AirVenture next July and I’m looking forward to the experience. I’m hoping to have my instrument certificate by then. In the meanwhile, I’m happy with the decision I made yesterday.

I look forward to becoming a very old aviator.

Caturday.

Truman has settled in nicely over the past 6 1/2 months. He has a routine and he’s gotten used to the fact that weekends are not the same as weekdays. He’s not a super cuddler, he prefers to be near you rather than on you. He’s also the first cat I’ve known to show a complete disregard for the human between point A and point Z; for example, while traversing from a spot on the floor to the spot on the couch, he’ll use me or Earl as a stepping stone just as if we were a cat tree, a coffee table, or a chair. He doesn’t care if we’re napping on the couch. I’ve been startled more than once by him jumping from the floor directly onto my stomach while making his way to a his favorite spot on the couch. This is startling. I’ve learned not to drop a string of curse words at him. He doesn’t care about curse words anyway.

I am slightly concerned about his weight and we do our best to keep the treats and feedings under control. His feeder measures his food in “paddles” and we reduced his feedings by one paddle per meal. He has gained 1 1/2 pounds since moving in with us. We have a lot of playtime to keep him active.

He can be feisty.

Commute.

So the last two days of work have been all about training. The company has a few offices in Chicagoland, but as an official remote employee, I’ve never been to these offices before. However, since some management training became available, I decided to sign up, dust off my badge, and make a trek to the ‘burbs.

Having never officially commuted for work in Chicago, I left myself plenty of time to get to the office. I needed to travel about 25 miles by car (17 miles as the crow flies). I allowed myself 1 hour and 45 minutes, because I am no stranger to Chicago and I know how traffic works.

It turns out I needed 1 hour and 30 minutes of that time. I had just enough time to grab a cup of coffee, meet fellow employees in person, and settle into my seat at the training room at a comfortable pace.

I actually loved the experience of commuting again, despite the traffic doing what it does. It was much more interesting than the commuting I engaged in back in Upstate New York, where I’d wave at the same cow or have to slow down for an Amish buggy delivery milk day after day, but being able to people watch other commuters on the various expressways along my route was a refreshing change of pace.

I might have to head out to the offices more often.

I Like You.

It’s Wednesday night. It’s summer and it’s time to dance. From 1985, here’s “I Like You” by Phyllis Nelson. One of my favorites from my DJ days.

Tariffs.

As seen in The Verge:

The United States will delay proposed tariffs on many consumer electronics imported from China, the Trump administration said today, giving a reprieve to gadget makers that are hoping to wait out a trade war between the two countries.

It’s amazing to me that many of the Trump supporters I know have mentioned they voted for him because he was so decisive, yet he whips his decisions around more than Sybil on a good day.

I’m no economist but if the United States can’t compete with overseas goods without charging excessive tariffs, then something is wrong with the way things are done in the United States. If we are going to be a capitalist society, we should be a capitalist society all the way, instead of imposing rules and fees and tariffs.

Just my $0.02.

Full story in The Verge.