Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

Biden and the Silicon Valley Bank Failure

I’ve been having an ongoing discussion about whether Biden was politically motivated to blame Trump for the Silicon Valley Bank failure. My friend thought it was underhanded for Biden to blame Trump. Well…

The Federal Reserve just published a report about why Silicon Valley Bank failed. There’s articles about the report but I went and found the original report. The first 4 pages are a letter summarizing the report. Read it, it’s in pretty plain English.

It blames the bank managers at several levels and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (IE, Trump’s gutting of the Dodd-Frank Act.)

So, was Biden politically motivated about blaming Trump for the SVB failure? No, the experts have been saying that all along, as long as Biden also includes all the managers that screwed up too, which he did in his statement on March 13th, when he said, “Second, the management of these banks will be fired”.

As a last out, If you don’t trust the people that run the Federal Reserve to write honestly, well I’ve got a Bitcoin mine to sell you.

Goodbye Twitter

I wrote this on Twitter

Goodbye Twitter. Twitter will start blocking autoposts from my blog ( Find me there or on Facebook ( Ping me directly to tell me how to find your online life!

I wrote it in response to this email from the Jetpack team

Hi Lee,

Since our initial communication, Twitter decided, on short notice, to dramatically change the terms and pricing of the Twitter API. We have attempted to work with Twitter in good faith to negotiate new terms, but we have not been able to reach an agreement. As a result, we will need to remove the functionality.

When Twitter removes access on April 30, 2023, your Twitter connection on Jetpack Social will cease to work, and your blog posts will no longer be auto-shared to Twitter.

You will still be able to share your posts to Twitter manually by pasting the post link into the body of your tweet.

In addition, you can still auto-share your posts to Tumblr, Facebook, and LinkedIn. In the near future, we are adding the ability to auto-share to Instagram and Mastodon. We are continuing to release new features in Jetpack Social, so keep an eye on the Jetpack blog for more updates.

We’re truly sorry we can’t continue to support Twitter in Jetpack Social. Please feel free to contact us if you would like assistance.


The Jetpack team

ISO a 17″ Laptop Computer

Can you help me find a laptop computer with a 17″ screen with speakers that don’t suck? The Lenovo Yoga 7i and (poorly named) HP 17-cn2063cl that I’ve brought home are unusable to watch videos on. As is the LG Gram 17″and MSI gaming laptop at Costco.

The Macbook sounds stupendous but it’s so stupidly cute with it’s 13″ screen, I just need more screen real estate! I’m not spending $2,500 on a 16″ Macbook Pro, but hmm, maybe $1k a used 16″ 1999 Macbook Pro??

I’ve been a Windows user for.. umm.. 31 years so I’m a little nervous about switching to Mac. Then again, Windows 11 took several steps away from what I think of as “Windows” I just end up googling for solutions to every problem anyway.



Institutional Racism Today

My school district held a training on racism on September 11th, 2020, It gave me a very real wake up call.

Mr. Adofo Bandele went to WCCUSD. He graduated high school in 1975 having never learned basic reading, writing, or math. He passed through the entire system without an alarm being raised. He never failed a class. Adofo described a 2-tiered system for blacks when he went to school: If a black student was disruptive and couldn’t read, they were failed out. But a courteous student like Adofo was passed through. He learned to read on his own at age 26.

He said that he was assessed and placed incorrectly. Wildly more importantly, he said that black students that he works with at WCCUSD today are still being assessed and placed incorrectly but this doesn’t happen with white students. He was given fake grades to push him through the system. Black students aren’t given fake grades any more but they are still being poorly placed.

“I work with African-American students that can’t read and are in an English class that they’re going to fail and they generally do… and when I ring the bell “Like hey look this student can’t read, why are they in this English class?” The response I get has not been helpful, and in fact I’ve been called a troublemaker for constantly raising this issue about what’s happening to black students in these classrooms that they aren’t prepared for… but still I persist. The thing is though, that I’ve never had a white student that couldn’t read and was placed in a class that they were uncapable to deal with. Every white student I ever had this issue was addressed immediately and that white student was taken out of my hands and placed in a situation that they thought was better for him. However my African students they do not do this. They leave them with me and they generally end up failing these classes because they wasn’t prepared to take them in the first place. It’s a failing situation that we keep putting black students in to this day, right now. Just as it was when I was in the district. So you know, something has to change. A lot has to change.”

He went on to say that black students aren’t given false grades any more, they are failed. 

Watch all of Mr. Bandele’s presentation


Lee Reviews Children’s Books

I’ve kept track of Abigail’s library books since she almost the beginning. This has been a boon for knowing what books to return to. I offer the list up to the universe for your family!

Looking for a book recommendation? A good place to start is searching for books with a rating of 7 or higher.

Abigail’s Book List

Initially I kept track of one book per line. Eventually, I started making additional entries for books we got multiple times since her preferences have changed over time. A highly rated board book might eventually get a low rating because she had outgrown it. It’s an imperfect list but a very good start!


All of the Audio Controls On Windows 10

There are so many ways to control sound on Windows 10 that I sometimes forget them. Here is a list for my own reference:


Clicking on the speaker icon in the far lower right system tray
And then click on the carrot that pops up. This changes the default audio output. Great for choosing between your bluetooth earbuds vs bluetooth earbud AG mode vs computer speakers

Right-clicking on the speaker icon in the far lower right system tray
There’s a bunch of options and submenus here!

Start | Control Panel | Sound
In this area, each device (ie Bluetooth earbud, speaker) will have different Enhancements here. My MPOW earbuds have Bass Boost, Loudness Equalization (a compressor, hurray!), Headphone Virtualization (a nice stereo expander).
You can also enable or disable devices here

Start | Control Panel | Device Manager | Audio inputs and outputs
You can update or disable drivers here

Start | Control Panel | Device Manager | Bluetooth
More with the updating and disabling drivers

Start | Control Panel | Realtek HD Audio Manager

Here’s a good article about audio settings and equalization

You can google “Dynamic Range Compression Win 10”

Dominion Voting Systems vs Fox News Case Settled

Since Fox News only covered it for 4 minutes in total, I will mention it here, in case you missed it. Dominion Voting Systems settled their defamation case against Fox News. Fox admitted that all of their headliners were intentionally lying to it’s viewers about Dominion allegedly rigging the presidential election against Trump and for Biden. Fox will pay Dominion $787 million dollars in the settlement.

Watch the statement from Fox as read by Fox News reporter Howard Kurtz on Your World with Neal Cavuto April 18th, 2023 from 1:20pm to 1:23pm. “We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.”

Twenty minutes after the announcement above where Fox News admitted wrongdoing, they posted an article on their website, see below, with a title that denied any wrongdoing. Though paradoxically, Fox admitted wrongdoing in that same segment.



Hot Tub Electricity Usage

We love our hot tub! It’s a Saluspa Laguna that we got from Costco for about $450 last year. It seems small at 177 gallons but it is just perfect.

Megan uses it several times a week, and maintenance is easier than we assumed.

A huge bonus is that it doubles as a tiny pool for Abigail and friends to play in. The bottom is soft and flat, unlike most hot tubs, letting her stand or sit in it as she likes. We lower the heat so she and her friends can splash in it on a hot (or not so hot!) day. We were concerned that the flat bottom wouldn’t be comfortable to go hot tubbing in but it really is just fine!

The only bother is that it does use quite a bit of electricity, especially in the winter.
I did some tests and here’s what I found:
We run the hot tub at 104 degrees

In the winter, with temperatures about 45-50 degrees, the hot tub uses about 10kwh/day. Using the aftermarket heat blanket reduces that by about 3kwh per day. When the temperature dips below about 40 degrees, the heater can’t keep the temperature at 104 without the blanket.

In the summer with temperatures about 58-68, the hot tub uses about 5kwh/day.

It is only worthwhile to turn the hot tub off for 3 or more days. Otherwise, there is no energy savings.

Our electricity costs about $0.35/kwh. So in the winter it costs about $105/month to run (10kwh * 30 days * $0.35). With the cover, it’s about $73/month.

I got a CleverSpa Universal Small Round 180cm Thermal Hot Tub Cover for about $90

I think on May 1st, it’ll be warm enough for us to put the cover away until the fall. :-)


The Wizard of Oz

Abigail played in her first play last week! Hurray for second grade!

The MASEP production of The Wizard of Oz, directed by Lew Williams played two shows on April 11th on the Madera stage!

You can jump to some highlights with Abigail! She comes on stage as the Munchkin Roq right here in the black sleeves and flower shoes. She flies in as Winged Monkey #2 here, and here’s her curtain call!

(The camera work gets better after about 5 minutes, after I figured out what the heck I was doing!)


Burning Man 2023

We’ve got tickets to Burning Man! Planning on joining up with Kidsville. You?