Social Distancing Game Night Links

We’ve been social distancing now for about three weeks. I really miss my friends. I was able to do facetime with a friend the other day and I really enjoyed seeing them. These times are hard.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some cool websites we found to better connect us with our friends. These are primarily game websites since Bri and I are both big into board games. Here’s the list:

  • – This is Dominion online. We played this last night until like 3 AM. The free version just has the base set. It’s only like $5 a month. Totally worth it. One membership gets you all the Dominion sets as well as the ability to play with six people. You only need one membership for anyone to join you. It’s free to join.
  • – This is a free, virtual card playing website. They have Cards Against Humanity! They also have a bunch of other games you’d usually play in gradeschool like Go Fish.
  • – JackBox games are always fun! We started playing them years ago with friends. You play them with your phone. You can do them distance now as well. I recently played Drawful with coworkers. We shared his screen via Slack and all talked through Slack and drew on our phones. JackBox games do cost a bit of money though.
  • – A neat website you can play four player card games like Spades, Hearts, Bridge, and Pinochle.

I’ll update this post with more social distancing fun stuff when I find it.

Democrats Who Need To Be Primaried 2018/2020

I’m going to grow this list. I wanted a place which I could update to tell people (and remind myself) of the democrats who are just not on our side and who need to lose their seat.

This is a national list and I’ll try to update it with big votes in the coming months.

Name State Reason They Need To Lose Notes
Baldwin WI Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Michael Bennet CO Voted to reopen government 1/22/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Blumenthal CT Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Brown OH Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Cantwell WA Voted for CR 1/22/2018
Cardin MD Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Thomas Carper DE Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Casey PA Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Chris Coons DE Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Cortez Masto NV Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Joe Donnelly IN Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Duckworth IL Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Dick Durbin IL Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Diane Feinstein CA Voted for FISA reauthorization
Hassan NH Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Heinrich NM Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Heidi Heitkamp ND Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Doug Jones AL Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Tim Kaine VA Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
King ME Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018 he’s actually an independent
Klobuchar MN Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Leahy VT Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Joe Manchin WV Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Claire McCaskill MO Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Menendez NJ Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Murray WA Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Nelson FL Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Gary Peters MI Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Reed RI Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Schatz HI Voted to reopen government 1/22/2018
Chuck Schumer NY Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Shaheen NH Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Smith MN Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Stabenow MI Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Jon Tester MT Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Udall NM Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Chris Van Hollen MD Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Mark Warner VA Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Whitehouse RI Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018


Progressive Sources

Something that I had forgotten to blog about in my lessons learned from the election 2016 was all the progressive media that I now listen to instead of the hallow,corporate-owned, corrupt, in-bed-with-wallstreet MSNBC. Here’s a list of my favorite progressive heroes and independent media I trust and that I draw strength from:

  • Jimmy Dore – The one and only. I met him in Philly. Listen to his stuff religiously.
  • The Humanist Report – Hosted by Mike Figueredo. Good progressive and political commentary on the latest news.
  • Redacted Tonight – Hosted by the amazing Lee Camp. Every Thursday they do a live taping of Redacted Tonight in DC. Lee Camp was also in Philly along with John F. O’Donnell. He’s the only quazi-celebrity to make it to my quotes page.
  • The Young Turks – Been a fan for a while now. I used to watch Cenk Uygur on MSNBC a while ago. His tone and political views got them to fire him (same fate for Ed Shultz). But I’d watch TYT for election results during the primaries since we were all on the same side (Bernie) and they give it to you straight.
  • Let The Madness Begin – Two awesome dudes who do short progressive vlogs talking about the latest in politics.
  • Debbie, The Sane Progressive – This woman is awesome. She rants and raves about Bernie and the progressive movement and what the democrats do, etc. I also met her in Philly and she gave me a hug.
  • Secular Talk – Just started to listening to this guy, Kyle Kulinski. Very knowledgeable dude.
  • Democracy Now! – I actually don’t watch Amy Goodman as much as I should. They cover the most important topics on the show and have great guests.
  • Cabin Talk – Claudia Stauber, who I saw in Philly but I met her a few weeks back at the Take Back Democracy DC rally, talks the latest in Bernie, progressive politics, etc.
  • Progressive News – Hosted by Tim Black. Awesome guy. I met him at the Take Back Democracy DC rally. He was also in Philly with Black Men For Bernie. I don’t watch him as much as I should.
  • The Trews – Russell Brand’s youtube show. It’s pretty good. I catch it from time to time. Always complaining about republicans.

Wow, I got quite a list of progressive heroes!

I also listen to Best Of The Left podcast from time to time.

Another few dudes to add to the list are:

  • Greg Palast – He does investigative journalism and documentaries especially in the areas of election fraud, where he’s an expert. I met him in Philly. He sat on one of our posters! Catch his latest documentary, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
  • David Sirota – I follow him on twitter. He’s a REAL journalist with the IBTimes.
  • Jordan Chariton – He’s with TYT Politics. I would follow him on twitter but he tweets too much! I love him anyway.
  • Jeremy Scahill – I follow him on twitter. Co founder of the Intercept. I’ve been following him for years. Big into our military involvement.
  • David Shuster – I’ve been following him for years as well. Tells it like it is. He was on MSNBC for a while.
  • Edward Snowden – Of course!
  • Julian Assange – Wikileaks. Keep fighting!

But don’t think I don’t get MSM as well. I still check Google News to get my fill of corporate owned MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, etc news. I read a lot of articles everyday.

Curing World Hunger

The United Nations put a price on solving our global food crisis (world hunger). The price is around $34 billion a year (in 2008 it was $30 billion a year).

Put that number in prospective… in 2015 the military budget was $598.5 billion which is almost 20x more than it would cost to provide food for all the food insecure people on the planet.

Even if we weren’t to cut anything from our military or any other budget, we could still cure this problem and be a hero to all the world. (Just imagine how much respect we’d get if WE helped that many people.)

The population of the United States was 318.9 million in 2014. Assuming about half the population pays taxes that’s 159,450,000 who pay taxes. If we were to raise taxes to fund the necessary $34 billion a year to cure world hunger, we’re looking at a tax increase of $213.24 a year. That’s roughly $0.59 a day!

I think solving food insecurity in the world is worth another 59 cents a day I have to pay in taxes.

Not So Good Things About Hillary Clinton

If you know me, you know I Feel The Bern and am a Bernie Sanders supporter to the very end (even going so far as to write his name in if he’s not the Democratic nominee come November). And I know it’s not Bernie’s style to go on the attack as he’s never run a negative campaign ad in his life. But since Hillary is going on the attack against Bernie, I thought it well to attack her a bit.

So here’s a list of stuff I compiled that do not paint Hillary Clinton in a good light. I believe she’s very corrupt, wrong for our country, and here is proof.

Verizon Wireless “Surcharges”

Isn’t it bull s**t that we have to pay “surcharges.” They’re getting to be ridiculous. These “surcharges” cost me $13 a month. My Verizon bill is almost $200 for two phone lines, 700 minutes, unlimited text, and 6 GB of data on one phone and unlimited on the other.

But these “surcharges” go up every month it seems.

When I hover over the ? on my bill, a bubble appears which explains their surcharges

It states:

Verizon Wireless Surcharges – Includes charges to recover or help defray costs of taxes and of governmental charges and fees imposed on us by the government. Other Charges and Credits – includes charges for products and services, and credits owing.

So it’s the governments fault? I see. The government charges too much in taxes so they need to pass that onto their consumer. Makes sense.

But wait. It turns out they don’t pay taxes! What the f**k? They actually make a s**t ton of profit and still pay no taxes. They even get money back from the government!

At least they create jobs right? Nope. Turns out, their tax breaks don’t even create jobs.

It’s such bull s**t. I think I’m going to start to complain. Why should I pay more to pad their bottom line even more than it is now when they pay nothing in taxes? I pay taxes! You pay taxes! Why should we pay more of “their taxes?”

I’m fed up with this country sometimes. It’s bull s**t.

Spread the word.

Why America Shouldn’t Be Considered A First World Country

Everybody thinks the US is a first world country. However some things in this country make it less than great. I think that America isn’t really a first world, but somewhere between second and first. We show a lot of the same behavior or characteristics of a country that isn’t first class. Here are some examples:


We’re way behind a lot of other countries who are not first world; like Cuba. The Affordable Care Act did great things but we’re not there yet. Every citizen isn’t guaranteed healthcare yet. Our life expectancy (#51) and infant mortality rates (#50) are still higher than a lot of other countries. Even some which we consider worse.

Women In Power

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the US is 80th in the world in women in parliaments. There are only 20 senators who are women and 79 (or 18%) are in the house of representatives. We still haven’t had a female vice president or president. Even the Philippines has had a women president.

Incarceration Rate

We’re number one in prisoners per capita at 716 per 100,000 population; behind Russia at 490 per 100,000 population. We blow Mexico out of the water. They only have 209 per 100,000 population. We’re less than 5% of the population yet we have almost 25% of the prison population of the world. First world countries start around 100 on the list, but we’re number one in incarceration rate.

Birth Rate

We still have a lot of kids in this country which isn’t like a first world country. And it’s really funny too. Other countries have a lot of incentives for their citizens to have kids, but not in the US. We don’t even get paid maternity leave. The only thing guaranteed for us is under Clinton’s FMLA; and that’s unpaid.


We have the highest number of guns per capita (and the highest gun deaths). We have 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun deaths per 100,000 population. Switzerland is behind us with less than half our number (45.7 per 100 people).

Income Inequality

We’re not doing well here either. We’re worse than countries like Egypt, Niger, Iraq, Iran. Even India and Ethiopia have better income equality than we do. Our gini coefficient is at 40.8.


The United States is always high when it comes to military expenditures. We’re number one in defense spending. In fact, according to the World Bank, we spend 4.2% of GDP on military. We’re in the company of all third world and below nations. The UK, only 2.4%.

Tesla Car Fires

I’m not getting how news of the third Tesla Model S has sent stocks plummeting and people skeptic about electric cars. I’m doing some math here to try and illustrate why this shouldn’t be such a big deal.

According to Tesla, there have been around 20,600 Telsas sold (including the Roadster; around 2,500 Roadsters were made). 3 Teslas have caught fire… So 1 out of 6,867 Teslas have caught fire.

According to the US Beureu of Transportation Statistics there are 254,212,610 registered passenger vehicles on the road as of 2009. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 152,300 vehicles catch fire per year… So 1 out of 1,669 cars catch fire each year.

I was attempting to find how many new cars catch fire per year but I wasn’t able to find that data as this may seem to some comparing apples to oranges.

I still feel safer in an electric than in a gasoline powered car. We shall see if the NHTSA launches an investigation and what they find.

Janny’s Review Of Motorola Droid Razr HD

Motorola Razr HD

I finally decided to upgrade from my Droid Incredible. I had that phone for over three years and it took a long time for me to finally decide to upgrade. It was the best phone I had in my entire life and I do miss it. However it got slow and had quite a few bugs…

Anyway, this blog post is my review of my new phone; the Motorola Droid Razr HD. I decided to go with the middle child of the Razr’s… it’s between the regular Droid Razr and Droid Razr HD Maxx. I was back and forth on phones at first… I was between the Razr, Razr Maxx, Galaxy S III, and the new HTC Droid Incredible.

So I’ve had this new one for about a week now. It’s pretty cool so far. Having the Incredible first helped. The learning curve was very little. I was able to figure out stuff pretty quick.

The tricky thing was getting my apps onto the new phone, which was why I was hesitant to upgrade in the first place. I actually put an ad on Craigslist for porting over the progress in my one app, Paradise Island. After hooking up with this one cool guy, he was able to root my husbands old Droid Incredible and his new phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note II… he was able to get his progress in his island… After I got my new phone I hooked up with him again and rooted my old and new phone and was able to port over my island.

Anyway, on to cool stuff:

  • Basically everything my old phone (Droid Incredible) had that was cool.
  • It has unlimited number of “pages” (desktop screens). They are always to the right. To the left is phone management and settings.
  • The GPS (Google Maps) is awesome. It loads right away unlike my old phone. It takes a few seconds to get your location and destination.
  • I have three browsers: Chrome (came with the phone), FireFox, and Dolphin. I could download these on my old phone but they’re awesome on my new one.
  • It’s a bigger screen.
  • I can unlock and go right to text message, wherever I was before, phone, or camera… no waiting.
  • Front facing camera.
  • It’s light weight and durable.
  • It always has phone, people, apps, text, and camera.
  • The user community is amazing. I can google any question I have and someone has run into the same issue and has a solution.
  • BATTERY LIFE IS AMAZING SO FAR. So glad I didn’t get the Maxx. I can already not put my phone on the charger for two days and be perfectly fine.
  • It tracks data use and you can turn off Mobile data.
  • Loud ring tone. Which is a great and bad thing. At work I need to put it on vibrate since the lowest level of volume is a bit loud.
  • Movie quality is amazing. Youtube videos look awesome.
  • My emails look amazing since it does HTML email… however it still doesn’t load copy & pasted images. It also creates a vertical scroll sometimes depending on the message.
  • Internet speed is awesome since it’s 4G LTE.
  • The speakers are loud! This is really good for getting calls or watching video in semi-loud places. You can actually hear it!

Not So Cool:

  • The email client isn’t the easiest to understand. In fact, I don’t even know how to get to drafts yet. And the settings are hard to find and understand.
  • The settings in general are kinda hard to understand at first.
  • Connecting it to the computer the first time didn’t work. It wanted to install this Motorola software that ended up not working. Since I got the phone rooted, it comes up as two drives, which is exactly what I want and expect.
  • The weather thing didn’t work until I added a city to it.
  • Connecting to WiFi was a lot easier with my old phone. I didn’t need to know the Security thing.
  • There’s no way to clear all in your notifications.
  • I can’t get Skype to work (which is a problem with Skype and not the phone)… I need to figure out better video conference software… anyone have any suggestions?
  • The calendar isn’t as easy as it was in my old phone.
  • Not sure how to change my avatar on texts yet.
  • Desktop still doesn’t rotate.
  • The keyboard doesn’t have the quick keys on the asdfghjkl; like it did on my old phone. It’s taking some getting used to and I need to hit space then backspace to add a period/question mark after my sentence.

Now I have my phone rooted… I still need to figure out cool things I can do with that. I also have an app that should keep the root should I decide to upgrade to the next version of Android.

But all in all I’m loving the new phone so far. Everything’s fast. My island is doing well. It’s good. I’d give the phone 9/10.

How I’m Better Off Than I Was Four Years Ago

With this question about “are you better off than you were four years ago”, I thought I’d blog about how I am better off than I was four years ago.

Here’s a few examples of how my family is better off under Obama:

  • Obama helped my Aunt Ruth by bailing out the automotive industry. Without that, my Aunt would have lost her health insurance.
  • Obama extended unemployment benefits, which helped my mom.
  • The Cash For Clunkers program helped Bri’s parents trade in their old van for a Honda Civic.

Note that this is just a list of what Obama has done that effects me personally. He’s also done a lot more that’s good for our country such as federal support for stem cell research, killing Osama bin Laden, overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, bills for veterans, signed START, overturning Bush’s deregulation for endangered species; the list goes on and on. Almost every area that you can think of, Obama has done something about.

I’ll probably blog again a little closer to the election with other stuff that matters.

2009 Firearm Statistics

– 11.5% of homicides by firearm
– 30 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 21,262,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .14

– 32% of homicides by firearm
– 173 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 32,731,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .53

– 29.9% of homicides by firearm
– 188 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 81,799,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .23

– 1.8% of homicides by firearm
– 11 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 128,057,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .01

United Kingdom
– 6.6% of homicides by firearm
– 41 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 61,827,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .07

United States
– 60% of homicides by firearm
– 9,146 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 307,007,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: 2.98

Statistics from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2009 data)

Totally Harassed By Unknown Numbers Update I

After my previous post, this harassment didn’t stop. I received calls again at 2:51, 5:22, 6:37, and 8:23; with another call today at 11:40.

As I explained, I had spoke to Verizon yesterday and blocked a few of these numbers. I got this app on my phone, Call Control, which lets you block three numbers for free (then you have to pay for the pro). I also blocked another number with Verizon.

All those numbers again, plus a new one:

  • 561-463-5521
  • 443-419-2016
  • 443-816-1645
  • 216-282-5522
  • 877-874-5811
  • Restricted

Bri was actually able to call them yesterday. They are some education service that finds a school for you (for a fee)… much like Education Connection. Bri was able to get their location and a persons name (just in case we need to file a restraining order). Their PO box (if you’d like to spam them, please), is the following:

PO Box 515381-67004
Los Angeles, CA 90051-6681

We’re compiling all the information (when they call, what numbers, what’s said, etc) and will be filing a law suit if this does not stop.

Totally Harassed By Unknown Numbers

I don’t know what really to do about this issue. It started yesterday afternoon, I got a call from a 443 number that I didn’t recognize. I decided not to answer it. They called twice but didn’t leave a message. I basically ignored it.

Then starting at 8:03 this morning, I get a call asking for a “Vanessa”. I said they have the wrong number and hung up. It wouldn’t stop after that. They called again at 10:17, 10:23, 10:31, 10:42, 11:24, 11:31, 11:35, 11:58, 12:06, and 1:50.

They call from various numbers and sometimes their number is blocked. Two of the numbers I looked up. It seems they’re some company asking if people want to go back to school or something. It’s a total scam and complete bull shit.

Around 11:30 I texted Bri about it. He said that I should call the police. He did for me and they said to call Verizon, my carrier. They weren’t really helpful as they suggesting downloading an app that blocks numbers and blocking them with Verizon. I did both and haven’t gotten a call yet.

Here are the numbers that they call from (besides unavailable):

  • 561-463-5521
  • 443-419-2016
  • 443-816-1645
  • 216-282-5522

I’ve tried several times to speak to these people. I asked them to please stop calling and remove me from their list… the other times, they just hang up on me.

Good The Dems Have Done, Get Out And Vote! Nov 2 2010

As promised, my list of achievements the 111th Congress and Barack Obama have accomplished:

  • American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the stimulus) – tax credits for home buyers, making work pay, etc
  • Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (health care reform) – ends lifetime caps, no denial for pre-existing conditions, etc
  • Student loan overhaul – cuts out the banks or the middle men saving over $63B
  • Increased fuel efficiency standards – 35 MPG by 2016 when it was originally by 2020
  • Overturned the EPA (Bush) ruling that California couldn’t set it’s own MPG regulations
  • Allowed federal funding for stem cell research
  • Expanded the federal hate crimes bill to sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Dismantling of nuclear weapons and limiting when they can be used
  • Withdrew troops from Iraq – did so three months before the planned timeline
  • Equal pay for women
  • Two Supreme Court Justices – two women
  • Car Allowance Rebate System (cash for clunkers) – statistics say increased fuel efficiency an average of 9.6 MPG or 61% for cars turned in
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act
  • Increased federal regulation of tobacco
  • Set fuel efficiency standards on trucks and vans for the first time
  • Tax incentives to hire the unemployed

In these times we’re living with a global recession of this magnitude, of which experts have claimed would take generations to clean up, you have to admit they’ve done a lot of good with the bad hand they were dealt.

I’ve felt that extreme dislike for the Democrats; extreme dislike for Obama. But I realize, this list, this blog post, I could go into so much detail of each item and it would seem endless; and I’m sure I’ve missed some. These are just highlights. If you go into specifics about these, you really do see a great picture of the grand things Obama and the Democrats have accomplished in just two years time.

If I may ask, give them two more years. If after two years, things are still hellish, then vote them out. Putting the Republicans back in office would spell disaster for this country (as we’ve seen), and this time, it’s worse. There are so many extreme candidates in this race like Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, and Rand Paul. Lord knows what our country would look like if they get power.

Regardless, I plead with you, like I have before, go out and vote tomorrow, November 2, 2010. Even if you’re 100% discouraged by anything and everything, just go. Every vote matters and every vote counts. This nation is too hurt to sit this one out. Get your say. No one can stop you. There’s nothing to fear.

Janny’s Review Of Droid Incredible

I’ve been playing around with the Incredible for about a week now. I got it earlier than it was released and got a pretty sweet deal (two Incredible’s for around $300). I signed another 2 year deal with Verizon for 700 minutes, unlimited text, unlimited data, etc for about $180/month for two phones.

I took pictures of everything on my flickr.

After having it for a week, I have to say, this phone does rock. Here’s a list of stuff that’s cool and what’s not.

Cool Stuff:

  • Android Market has tones of apps. Pretty easy to use interface too.
  • It’s FAST. I mean FAST. It’s probably faster than my internet connection at work.
  • It knows which direction I’m facing! It’s that precise.
  • The traffic on Google Maps is awesome. It has like all the roads, even the Pike and 28! You can also zoom in and out with your fingers. It also has satellite view.
  • It got a lot of information from Facebook. Once it recognized the name, I was able to port over their information (even their avatar) on my phone.
  • The camera is pretty cool. Here’s a picture I took: Dimitri At His Desk
  • The five desktop screens. I’m worried I’m going to run out of room for my shortcuts and widgets.
  • The desktops are cool. I have mine set on a phone one with water that I can tap. There are lots more downloadable on the Android Market.
  • The GPS on this thing is AMAZING. As you’ll read, I have a compass app which pinpoints my precise location. It also knows what direction I’m facing. I’ll never be lost again.
  • The browser is pretty brilliant. You can zoom in and out with your fingers. It resizes everything for easy viewing.
  • The icon on the top shows new messages and emails, which is nice.
  • It has a pretty loud ringer. That’s what I hated about the Voyager, it was too soft.
  • It’s light weight. It’s lighter than the Voyager. It fits naturally in your pocket and hands.
  • Getting and placing calls takes getting used to. If your face isn’t near your phone during a call, it recognizes that and it pops up a screen with talk time, end call button, and phone pad. It also says what city the phone is registered on on Caller ID.
  • Good software to read pdf, doc, xls is really good. I wouldn’t want to write a paper on the phone but I probably could.
  • The app Note Everything, saves stuff to the card so I can easily get it from the phone via USB or card reader.
  • I can easily send more than 1 picture at a time.
  • Of course, multitasking!

Not So Cool:

  • I can’t figure out how to pull up my contacts while in a phone conversation. I needed to yesterday. I had to hang up, pull up the number, then text it.
  • If you have your mail sync with your phone, if you send or delete a message, it won’t save it in Yahoo Mail. It doesn’t put the message in the trash upon delete and there’s nothing in my sent folder in Yahoo from any email I sent with the phone.
  • I haven’t figured out a way (I don’t think there is one) to save individual texts. It has it in a long conversation, which is nice since you can see what was said, but I can’t delete individual texts, I’d have to delete the entire conversation.
  • Android Market has a lot of repeat apps… they may have over 50,000 but how many of them are actually unique?
  • Some of the cooler apps cost money where as online they are free.
  • The FaceBook App needs some work. It limits what I can view on people’s profiles. Nor does it have events yet. It would be cool if it automatically put events in your calendar.
  • Maybe I just haven’t figured it out yet, but the Google Maps needs a layer for gas stations and food and stuff.
  • Maybe it’s a bug in the widget but it doesn’t show the sun until around 11AM on my phone… it’s still the moon.
  • It asks for birthdays in my contacts, but it doesn’t notify me of birthdays or anything, so that’s pretty useless.
  • The keyboard is quirky and takes some getting used to. I added a few words that weren’t words and I’m not sure how to delete them from the library. I (as well as Brian) often does a “.” instead of a space. I miss the Voyager full qwerty keyboard with actual buttons.
  • Not all apps rotate when you turn the phone. The desktop doesn’t even rotate. YouTube videos have to be viewed horizontally.
  • I couldn’t figure out the camera at first. I didn’t know how to take a picture. Then I tried the bottom button, and that worked. That’s the only thing I use that button for. You can use it to maneuver screens but it goes in the opposite direction you’d expect.
  • Battery life isn’t so great. But if you get the Task Killer app, that saves a lot. Before I had that, my battery would barely last a day. Now it lasts until I put it on the charger at night.
  • Figuring out the ringer is kind of annoying. It only has three modes (which are called profiles): Normal, Vibrate, and silent.

Apps I Downloaded:

  • 10001 Cocktails (Which came in handy in OC… I looked up some drinks and ordered them. The bartender was impressed!)
  • Advanced Task Killer Free (A must! You have to get this in order to close your apps. If not, your apps will run in the background sucking up resources and batteries.)
  • Air Horn (To make as much noise as we can!)
  • Bubbles (Just a goofy application to create bubbles and pop them.)
  • Compass (VERY precise. Gives you longitude and latitude as well as the address  of where you are. It identifies EXACTLY where I am.)
  • DrunkBlocker (So I don’t accidentally call people when I’m drunk.)
  • FlashLight (Pretty cool, so you can see where you’re going.)
  • Google Sky Map (Awesome app!)
  • MeetroDC (So I know when the next trains are coming.)
  • Moon Phase (Tells what phase the moon is in and when the next full moon is.)
  • Note Everything (A notepad kind of thing which also has a white board.)
  • Shazam (To identify songs.)
  • Twidroid (For Twitter.)
  • Urbanspoon

Basically, the phone is awesome. Totally worth it. It took a lot of getting used to. It took Brian an hour to figure out how to get my ring tones and it took a long time to figure out how to customize the desktops. I’d give the phone an 8.5/10.

The Recent Passage Of HCR In 2010

Unfortunately I don’t have much time to write about this since work has been real busy. I just wanted to say a few things about the bill.

I don’t like the whole thing. I’m not in love with it. I don’t like a lot of stuff that’s in it. Having said that, I do believe it’s the best we can do right now and if I were a member of congress, I would have voted for it. I wanted more in the bill like a lot more regulation on insurance companies and a robust public option (let alone ANY public option). But like Kucinich and other progressives, I had to put those wants aside and realize this bill is the best we can do now.

People who won’t compromise get in the way of democracy. The entire Republican party basically refused to compromise. They couldn’t see the good things about the bill like no exclusions on preexisting conditions and adults can stay on their parents health care until 26. Even Bart Stupak wanted to vote no on the bill unless Obama issued an executive order for no funding on abortion (which that was assumed in the bill anyway… I guess Stupak just needed it underlined and in BOLD).

Stupak did compromise and he did vote for the bill (to which he does deserve a thank you). Republican’s couldn’t and I believe they’re on the wrong side of history yet again.

Now, what I’m scared of is people not knowing or realizing that this bill helped them, just like how some people don’t realize that Medicare is a government run program. I’m worried that those teabaggers will not realize that when they get sick, their insurance company can’t drop them like they used to before this bill.

I’m also worried that when (big IF) the Republicans regain power in 2012, they’ll get the credit for the bill when it takes effect in 2014 (kinda like Obama took credit for the new GI bill which Bush passed). I’m also worried that they won’t get the bad rep for NOT supporting it.

I do hope that progressives won’t give up on wanting a single payer universal health care system like the other first world countries. Nancy Pelosi declared HC solved. Progressives don’t think so. I just hope they don’t give up the fight. I know I won’t.

Enough ranting… I also wanted to point to a good resource about information about the bill: . It’s a bipartisan site with lots of good stuff.

Health Care Links

Since I’ve been staying very current on the health care reform debate, I thought I’d post some of the best articles I’ve found in my months of research on this subject. These articles prove to be much ammunition for those who are against HCR or those right wingers who think our system is better than single payer or socialized medicine country.

Oregon Live – Five Myths About Health Care Around The World – Probably one of the best articles I’ve ever read. It debunks the five biggest myths about single payer and socialized medicine.

Blast The Right – Transcript 152 – Debunking Conservative lies about the health care debate.

Blast The Right – Transcript 154 – Debunking more lies from the right about HCR.

Blast The Right – Transcript 155 – Part III of debunking the right on HCR.

ABC News – How Health Insurance Companies Hurt Policyholders – The real death panels of the health insurance industry, as told by an insider.

Newsweek – What’s Not To Like About Our Health Care System – A view of our current health care system.

Huffington Post – GOPers Decrying Socialized Medicine – Some Congressmen from the GOP have actually used government run hospitals for their surgery, yet they are against it.

US Health Crisis – What Real Canadians Think Of Their Health Care – A video of actual Canadians and what they think of their health care system.

IPPF – How Our Health System Screws Over Women – A look at what women are put through thanks to our messed up health system. Sheds some light on our shamefully high infant mortality rate.

Families USA – Dying For Coverage In Maryland – A PDF of the suffering Marylanders go through without insurance. Some good facts on why insurance matters.

Maybe reading these will convince some that a single payer system is the way to go… The very least being a public option.

Overeating & Weight Problems

I’ve always had a conspiracy theory about weight problems in our country.

I was watching Bill Maher last week, he had David Kessler on his show, talking about his new book The End Of Overeating… basically confirmed part of my theory.

My beliefs are that the food companies/restaurants are causing us to be obese.  They sell these huge portions figuring they can sell more food for more money. We don’t really have a choice in this matter. It’s not like I can go to one of the places at the mall and ask for half a serving, it’s all or nothing. We’ve become accustom to eating that much food. And when you buy a meal like that, not eating all of it is just a waste if you throw it away.

I’ve never had problems with my weight, however, but when I started to notice the scale going up to uncomfortable levels (155-160), I decided to cut back. I ditched the typical mall food ($6+ for more than a serving), and started to eat either a pretzel, a subway sandwich (6 inch), a steak sub, or an ice cream. (Also saved money too.) I also started doing a little exercising, but the big thing is cutting back. I think I’m a healthy weight now and tend to keep up with what I’m doing.

Stopping yourself from eating is always a hard thing to do but it needs to be done. I only eat until I’m completely full about once a week. Other than that, I really limit the amount of food I take. It takes a lot of discipline, but it is possible. Don’t eat until you’re full.

Verizon FiOS Ordeal

So Bri and I recently moved to an area that is FiOS ready. To those who haven’t heard of FiOS, it’s supposed to be the bomb as far as internet, phone, and TV go.

Bri and I wanted to keep the same number we had at the apartment. That required us to wait two weeks before Verizon installing it, so they can port the number. Also, it required us to keep our Comcast account active (even though we couldn’t watch TV, Internet, etc). We made an appointment with Verizon and they were scheduled to come out on a Friday. Brian took the day off to get it installed, along with Brinks.

Verizon never showed up. Nor did they call to tell us they weren’t showing up. Supposedly, there was an error in their system saying we couldn’t get FiOS. Come to find out, they also could not port over our number, which they claimed they could do. Hours on the phone later, we set up a new appointment. And, no, they couldn’t pull some strings and get dispatch out there early for us, nor could they install it on the weekend or on Monday.

We now had an appointment for Wednesday between the hours of 8 and 5. I didn’t want to take the day off because leave is very important, and I have to save it for Dad stuff. I bribed one of my friends to come up and spend the day waiting for Verizon.

They showed up, I guess, around 1PM and proceeded to install FiOS. I get a text saying it would cost $55 per TV to run wire so we can have cable. The house CAME wired with Coax. According to the techs who were installing it, it wasn’t Coax, but a thicker wire. Whatever, Bri and I weren’t home so we couldn’t tell.

When I got home, I let them do their thing, thinking they are professionals and wouldn’t mess anything up. Was I wrong. When the guys left, Bri and I walked around the house to see what they had done. They had CUT our wire to our current Coax system. Not only that, they INSTALLED Coax! The very thing we had wired throughout the house!

Brian called Verizon (yet again). They are supposed to call him back sometime today. We are NOT paying for the Coax installation which we already had. It’s been ridiculous. If they say we still have to pay, we’re probably going to take them to small claims court or something. We can also, hopefully, get the dudes in trouble who installed the stuff. They did a horrible job anyway. They even left their twisty ties on the floor so my cats can choke on them. Nice, right?

Needless to say, I laugh every time I get off the phone with these assholes and they say “recommend us to family and friends”… Yeah, right.

My opinion so far, I watched around 3 hours of TV. Picture is fine. HD is fine. More HD channels than Comcast. Internet is very fast. Honestly, it’s the same as Comcast. I see no real difference. It is NOT the bomb like it’s made out to be.

Bottom line, don’t get Verizon. They’re jerks. I’ll update later about how it all turns out.

Get Out And Vote! Nov 4 2008

I’m not good at writing things that are inspirational and meaningful but I would like to take a minute to try to write how important it is to vote.

Like I was telling some of my friends who are not registered to vote and aren’t political: Voting gives us a say in our country. Voting gives us the power to choose our future. Thinking that the entire system is corrupt is no excuse. Many have fought (and still fight) and died for this right we have. Many in the world do not have the opportunity to decide anything in their country. We should take advantage of the rights we have.

The 2000 election was decided by some 537 votes. That’s it. Saying your opinion, your vote doesn’t matter simply isn’t true.

Please, get out and vote TOMORROW, NOVEMBER 4, 2008. If you’re not sure where you vote visit for your location.

A quick note on voter fraud: No, the election for Democrats is not November 5, it’s November 4, like EVERYONE ELSE, on the SAME DAY, regardless. And no, you won’t get arrested for not paying child support or if you have a speeding ticket or whatever else you may have heard if you try to vote. They are Republican scare tactics and they are UNTRUE to try to get you not to vote. Don’t let that happen.

Another quick note, don’t let poll numbers discourage you to vote either. Get out to the polls no matter what. Even if you’re 100% confident your candidate will/will not win, still get out there. Your vote DOES matter.

Furthermore, don’t let long lines to vote discourage you. Please wait it out and get your say. Maybe try to coinvince your boss to let you go early so you can get there, or try to go in the morning or during lunch. But get out there regardless.