Truman has decided that when he’s inspecting who is entering that end of the house, he no longer wishes to be on the landing at the top of the stairs. He now feels the first step from the top is more appropriate for his presence.


Lucky and Jinx stopped in my office for a visit. They’re actually a little concerned because Mike it out of town for work until Sunday, so they want to know where the kibble and treats are coming from.

Truman told them to calm down a little bit.

Actually, Lucky and Jinx are just wonderful and have developed quite the personalities over the two years they’ve lived with us. I’m happy to call them family.


Meteorological summer hasn’t kicked in yet, but Mother Nature is feeling it’s time for the hot weather to kick into high gear here in the Sonoran Desert. It’s a little early in the season for weather this hot. The National Weather Service is saying we could be breaking some records.

I am thankful for air conditioning.


As I get older, I’ve been finding it harder to focus on tasks. I’ve never been one for “deep focus” if the activity is not on my checklist of intense interests. Unfortunately, work tends to not be on that list.

In the past I have listened to music to try to eliminate distractions around me. This generally works, but over the past few years I’ve noticed that anything with lyrics in the music tends to be a distraction as well. I blame this on listening intently to the words, a habit learned since becoming a pilot, where I’m always listening to my call sign from Air Traffic Control.

There’s a part of me that wonders if this increased struggle with maintaining focus at work has something to do with my couple of rounds of COVID since 2020. I know most of the world believes COVID was a hit ‘n run sort of thing, where we got vaccinated, and if we feel recovered from it we were just as we were before we contracted it. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I know that I’ve never been able to shake off a certain amount of brain fog since my experiences of having COVID.

I have found that listening to soundscapes like thunderstorms or even brown noise has done wonders for my focus at work. Luckily, I’m in a position that lets me enjoy such a thing. I alternate between my Apple AirPod Pros and my Bose noise canceling over-the-ear headphones.

Today I discovered an app, via the Apple Store Story page, called Portal (link to the Apple App store). A beautifully designed app, not only is it a joy to use, but it provides gorgeous imagery to go along with the amazing soundscapes. Here I am enjoying the sights and sounds of a waterfall in Iceland.

At $49.99/year (or $250 for a lifetime) it’s a bit on the pricey side. I just started the seven day free trial today. So far in the past hour I’ve knocked out more work than I’ve knocked it in the previous three.

Peace of mind and feeling grounded through better focus might be worth that price of admission.


While I was out on the Great Plains chasing storms, I apparently missed Microsoft’s announcement of their latest ventures. While I don’t have a lot of Microsoft in my life, outside of work where it’s mandatory, I still like to keep tabs on what’s going on with the company. And of course, since it’s 2024 and everyone has discovered that cryptocurrency isn’t what it was cracked up to be, Microsoft is joining the chorus of screamers going all in on “A.I.”. They’re doing this with their new line of PCs, called Microsoft Copilot+PC, and a new feature to Windows 11 called “Microsoft Recall”.

First of all, I don’t really need to meet the marketing genius that came up with the term “Copilot+PC”. Talk about unsexy and clunky. But whatever, it’s Microsoft, not Apple coming out with this new line of computers so my expectations are lower.

But let’s talk about Microsoft Recall. As I understand it, Microsoft Recall is a nifty new feature in Windows 11 that will take a screenshot of whatever you’re doing every three seconds and throw it into a database on your device and keep it there for three months. Looking at the news? Captured. Look at photos of your last vacation? Snapped. Look at porn? Gotcha. Look at your bank statement? Grabbed. It’s all there in the new Microsoft Recall database that lives on your computer so that Copilot, Microsoft’s version of “A.I.”, can go back and tell you where you stored your photo since you can’t remember where you stored it.

First of all, if you don’t know where you’re storing things on your computer, and secondly, if the existing Microsoft search can’t find it, perhaps you need to reexamine your computer use methods. A good chunk of the people I know using Microsoft products tend to just throw everything on the desktop anyway, so if it’s not there it’s probably not important.

Can we talk about what a privacy nightmare Microsoft Recall can pan out to be? Yes, the database is stored locally on your computer and for all intents and purposes, your data on your computer should be encrypted. Windows 11 offers this right out of the gate. But imagine if someone grabbed your P@ssw0rd! Not only do they now have access to the here and now, they also have access to screen shots grabbed every three seconds for the past three months.

What the heck.

Now, not to be too shiny in my tin-foil hat, but Microsoft isn’t exactly know for their strong privacy practices. Microsoft is rapidly introducing ads of all persuasions into their products, and how long will it be before the magic “A.I.” takes a gander at those every-three-seconds-for-the-past-three-months screenshots and determines what’s your likes, dislikes, etc. are and starts fashioning ads after those tastes? I keep thinking back to an old podcast featuring a prominent tech guru of the time (we’ll call her Gina Patrani), where the speaker was touting the wonders of the just released Gmail. “I don’t mind a few ads based on keywords from my email if it let’s me have this fantastic new email service for free.”

What that little approach turned Google, heck the entire tech sector, into today is a whole ‘nuther ball of chaos we’ll discuss when I’ve had a few drinks at breakfast.

There is no way that Microsoft is going to let that gold mine of three months of data just sit on your computer and not get mined for the revenue generation potential it promises. Corporations don’t work that way and with every corporation shimmying and needling every scrap of user data possible to turn it into a revenue stream, anyone with any sort of understanding on how the world works will agree with me.

I can’t imagine how this new feature, one that you must opt out of because it’s on by default, will be received by lawyers and doctors and bankers and stock brokers and the like. As mentioned earlier, my workplace has an unnatural love for all things Microsoft, but I can’t imagine a screenshot every three seconds and stored for every three months would be received well when it comes to the company’s proprietary secrets. Though, admittedly, I bet the folks that monitor employee productivity will find it a hoot and a half; it’s one less thing they have to install to monitor the my computer.

I’ve been using computers for a very long time. I’ve been writing software for a very long time. I’ve been online in some fashion for nearly 40 years. In the interest of your personal technological safety, run, do not walk as far away from these new PCs as possible. Breathe as much life out of your existing equipment, switch to something else (Linux, Apple, etc), or hope with the rest of the world that this idiocy does not see the light of day.

And as a quick side note, no government, and especially no government in the U.S., is going to step in to stop these sort of advancements from happening. There’s way too much lobbying and other ways for elected officials to benefit from these sorts of “A.I.” ventures.

I have been clamoring for years for our technology to be moving forward again. Trust me, this ain’t it.


Joe Biden is far from perfect as President of the United States. Personally I’d like to see some younger candidates on the ballot, but that’s not going to happen with the political machine that runs Washington, D.C. The eldest generation is going to hang on to every ounce of power possible until their last dying breath.

That being said, choosing between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, a convicted felon where he was found guilty in 34 out of 34 charges, and with three more trials looming on the horizon, seems like a no-brainer. It’s not an awesome scenario, but when it comes to common sense, it seems like voting for the guy that isn’t a convicted felon would be the patriotic move.

But brains and common sense no longer prevail in these here United States in the 21st century. We’ve got our toe on a society reminiscent of “Idiocracy” and every day I wonder which is going to expire first, the United States as we know it today, or me.

Don’t be stupid in November.


The whole family went to the movies together last night. We haven’t done this since before the pandemic. A part of Chris’ birthday celebration, we went and saw the latest “Mad Max” movie.

I never watched the “Mad Max” movies from then or now, but I have a general idea of what they’re about. I’ve seen plenty of clips over the years. They’re not really my cup of tea; I found the story of “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” mildly interesting. The cinematography was spectacular. Some of the camera angles and shots in general were quite engaging. I really liked that aspect of the movie.

The closest theatre is part of the Galaxy Theatres chain. I believe it’s the only one in Arizona. It’s a very nice theatre, situated in an old Basha’s Supermarket location. The seats are very comfortable and the theatres seems to be quite spacious. There’s also cameras concentrated on the audience to monitor phone use and the like; there are several warning messages before the show alerting the audience to not use your cell phone as you will be removed from the premises.

I really like that.