Santa Cruz Xmas boat parade

Becky and I had a lovely time viewing the annual boat parade from the west side of the harbor.  People on the boats and on shore enjoyed the good weather.  I think my favorite was the Peter Pan themed pirate ship being followed by the crocodile.Peter Pan

Bose Hearphones Review

I’m generally a fan of Bose equipment; I’m very satisfied with Bose QC headphones and a wireless speaker, and recommend them highly.  But I’m writing this somewhat negative review of the Hearphones because as I write this, it’s hard to find reviews.

If you are looking for ‘phones that amplify all the sounds around you, these are great.  But my application is different.

It’s hard for me to pick out a companion’s conversation in a crowded venue, like a restaurant or trade show.  The Hearphones have a feature that’s supposed to only amplify a focused area in front of you, using directional microphones.  It did not work for me.  This setting did indeed knock down a lot of the background sound, but replaced it with an irritating low-medium frequency hiss and did nothing to amplify the sound in front of me.  In fact, it was startling just how bad this worked.  There was SOME amplification of sounds 15 feet in front of me, but not of someone 2 feet in front of me.  I really wanted these to work and I tried all adjustments.

Lest you think this is purely a negative review, it is not.  There are two great things about the Hearphones.  First, if you want all sounds to be amplified in a 360 degree arc, they work great.  Second, Bose offers a 30-day hassle free money back guarantee.  I returned mine and it indeed was no hassle.  Your results might be different than mine. There’s a video review on YouTube from a lady who likes these ‘phones.

Total Eclipse of the Sun

Drove up to Prairie City Oregon for the solar eclipse of 2017.  About 1400 miles round trip but worth it.  Shared the experience with about 250 people, a few of whom watched some of the event through my telescope.  Here’s a shot taken with my old Celestron C90.
As you’ve probably heard, a picture doesn’t do the experience justice; it’s pretty thrilling to see live.  And we were all grateful for very clear skies!

CSU Drops Algebra Requirement – Halleujah

I’m so impressed that the California State University system dropped the algebra requirement.  Impressed … because it’s more forward thinking than I normally give our established academicians credit for.  In his book “In Defense of the American Teen“, author Ryan Teves makes a compelling argument to give young people a basic education, then allow them to pursue their passions. Forcing people who do not want or need algebra is just plain stupid.  So I say “congratulations CSU!”  Keep innovating and keep your curriculum relevant!  You are in the business of serving students, not academic dinosaurs. celebrate

Next, let’s try to get the people in charge of K-12 out of the dark ages.

 

California Dems screw us again

It appears that it’s a hardship to pay for your traffic fines. So, now, you don’t have to pay traffic tickets in CA.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-driver-license-fees-20170629-story.html

Keep in mind that we have the worst drivers in the US.

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/06/29/study-finds-us-city-with-the-worst-drivers/23008744/

Or if you believe this website, we only have the 2nd worst drivers.  I’ve been to Utah, and I dispute their claim to be #1.

http://eservicesco.com/2017/01/13/10-states-worst-drivers/

Biggest news of the year/ decade

Seems like everyone is focused on politics, president Cheeto-head, the Kardashians, ISIS, or the crisis-of-the-month.  But this little tidbit almost slid by my radar:  94% of the jobs created in the past decade were not traditional 9-5, full-time jobs.  According to this study, conventional jobs are disappearing. You know, like jobs with benefits.

For those of us who are boomers and maybe Gen-Xers, it’s not a huge problem.  We mostly already have jobs.  But millennials have to figure out how to carve out a living with small chance of buying a home, getting health insurance from an employer, or providing for retirement.

Something to think about when the government thinks about shutting down health insurance subsidies and cutting back on social security benefits for those just entering the workforce.  And I guess that Uber drivers can always raise their families in their vans, which is OK as long as the founders of Uber are zillionaires.