Monday, February 29, 2016

Nightcap 2-29-16

So much for there being a correlation between stocks ad oil. Stocks were down today. but oil was up. I'm glad I did not make that trade. The rest of the news today was not all that important. There were plenty of stories about the Oscars, which I am glad I did not watch. Not only did I not want to be lectured about race and all the other liberal issues, but none of the movies or people I liked won anything. Also, why is it that the movies people like usually do not win? The highest grossing movies of the year were basically never mentioned. Are the customers that ignorant? I think not and that is also one of the reasons I did not watch the Oscars. The other story was all about what might happen tomorrow in the Super Tuesday primaries. Frankly, it is not going to be much of a surprise. Trump and Clinton are going to walk away with the majority of delegates and will be in effect, the nominees for president. If that is not scary, I do not know what is! That was it except for the usual crime, mayhem, and disasters.

What do you think?


I firmly believe that reading is the foundation of learning. If you truly want to learn something, you first need to read about it and gather as much information as you can. Unfortunately, I do not think our school system does a very good job of teaching kids how to read. And even when they teach them how to read, they sure do a good job of making sure they never want to read again after they get out of school. I think that's a shame because reading is the way to make sure you are always learning. In an age when change is the norm, being able to learn, and continually learning is the key that will make sure you always have a job. So reading is essential. Maybe things will change in the future and reading becomes the foundation it should be. How well are you reading?

What do you think?

Just get started

How do you go about creating more things? How do you write a book? How do you write a piece of music? How do you write a blog post? The first thing you need to do is just get started. In fact, I have found that to be the hardest part of creating anything. Once you get started, the rest is much easier. It's like getting a large ship moving. You have to use a lot of energy at the beginning, but once it's moving, all you have to do is steer it in the right direction (stopping is also difficult - just look at the Titanic). Creating is very similar. You have to use a lot of energy and focus to get started, but once you do, it's much easier to keep going. Do you have something you need to get done or something you want to create? Just get started and the rest will begin to fall into place.

What do you think?

Leap year

Today is a unique day. Today is February 29 which we don't get to see but every four years. Sure it is going to be just like any other day, but at least it is something unique. The best aspect of having something unique like this is that it moves you out of your comfort zone, if at least for just a little bit. When something unique happens it is also a great way to get new ideas. Why? Because it at least makes you think differently. It is when we think differently that new ideas appear. So for this leap year day may you at least have a few more new ideas.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Clinton wins big

So Trump won big in Nevada and now Clinton won big in South Carolina. These are the front runners going into Super Tuesday next week and they look good to pick up the majority of delegates. After the dust settles on Tuesday they will more than likely be the nominees for the next presidential election. I think both will make horrible presidents and it is going to be a long four years no matter which one wins the presidency. How did it come to this? Maybe we are just getting what we deserve? I truly believe you reap what you sow and this all could just be the result of all the stupid things we have done over the last 50-75 years. God have mercy on us all because it is going to be a horrible four years ahead of us and we are going to have the worst president in history (no matter who gets elected).

What do you think?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Being recognized

I went to my local pizza place the other night and had a refreshing experience. As I walked up to the register the manager was placing a pizza in a box. He looked up at me and said "Hi Walter your pizzas already". I was a little shocked. He recognized me. More than that, I am not really a regular customer. Sure I come in every two or three weeks for a pizza, but not often enough to be a regular? I was a little shocked. He recognized me. Sure I come in every two or three weeks for a pizza, but not often enough to be a regular? Is that often enough to be recognized as you walk into the store? It was actually very nice to be recognized and to be addressed by my name as I walk in the store. I wish more businesses were like that. As a result, I left a nice big tip and of course I will be back for more pizza. Maybe we should all work a little harder to recognize those people who frequent our businesses? Maybe it would go a long way into increasing our sales and profits?

What do you think?

Nightcap 2-26-15

Stocks were basically flat as was oil. The week ended with a whimper. Donald Trump seems to continue gaining momentum. He might even take Florida next week. If Trump wins the majority of states next week he could very well wrap up the nomination. There was nothing else of great importance in the news. The only thing the press seems to be talking about other than Trump are the upcoming Oscars on Sunday. I am only interested in one category, best film score. I hope John Williams wins another Oscar for his music for Star Wars VII. At 84 this might be his last oscar nomination.

What do you think?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Chromebooks in the classroom

My wife is going to be working at a new school here in Southern California. One of the things that she was told they would be doing is using Chromebooks. I think that is awesome. I believe Chromebooks are perfect for the classroom. No, they are not the best at doing everything, but they are perfect for students. Why? First they get the job done. Second they will be seen as a tool for learning and for schoolwork and not a cool device for playing games. Third, they are affordable to buy and continue using. I think the new school my wife will be working at is making an awesome choice. I also believe that there are many other schools and school districts making the same choice. That's why I believe Chromebooks will have a future for a long time.

What do you think?

Gasoline - California style

I got lucky today in that I was able to buy gas at $2.05 a gallon. Unfortunately it will be the last time I will be able to do so for a while. It turns out that here in California we are so brilliant that we mess everything up. The price of gasoline is going to shoot up as high as $.30 more over the next few days. Why? Because the state of California is requiring refiners to change their formula of gas for the summer. Now they have done this every year at this time for quite a few years, but right now it feels so wrong. Just when we are about to pay less than two dollars a gallon, we are going to have to now pay more. Do you want to know how to mess things up in your state? Just do exactly what California is doing and you will get the same results. It is frustrating to live someplace where people think they are brilliant, but they are actually dumb rocks. Oh well, I will just enjoy the low price for now till I fill up once again next week.

What do you think?

Ideas - write them down

Ideas are all around us. All you have to do is keep looking for them and you will find them. Ideas are also fleeting. They come in an instant and then there are gone. So, if you want to make sure you have them at your disposal, you have to write them down some how. I have used several methods over the past few years to help me do that. One thing I try to do is to make sure I have something to write on and to write with at all times. Currently I like carrying index cards and a pen with me and I use them to jot down the ideas I get. I also use my iPhone. I have a document in my notes application which is dedicated just to ideas. So when I get an idea, I just open up the document and write down what is crossing my mind. Actually, since I discovered the dictation function on my iPhone, I just talk to my iPhone. That is actually working well for me at the moment. In fact, that is where the idea for this blog post came from. I had the idea a couple of days ago, so I wrote it down. Then today I just looked through my list of ideas, and this one popped out as one I wanted to use. Then I wrote this post. Ideas are always there if you go looking for them, but you also have to write them down or they disappear.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Algorithms and the price of oil

I have noticed of the past few months that whenever oil was higher stocks are higher. I've also noticed that when oil was lower stocks were lower. My suspicion that there was a correlation has actually been confirmed a little bit. I was reading today that since much of the trading on Wall Street is done by algorithms, most of it is automatic. In other words, it is a computer driven market. It also turns out that one of the components in the algorithms that are used is the price of oil. So when the price of oil goes up the algorithms kick in and they buy stock. When the price of oil goes down the algorithms kick in and they sell stocks. That clearly explains the correlation I've been seeing in the stock market. That might be an interesting trade. I wish I had some money to actually do the same thing the algorithms are doing. To bad I don't. Plus, I know that as soon as I made the trade the algorithms would be changed and I would lose my shirt. By the way, stocks closed higher today. I wonder what oil did?

What do you think?

You find what you seek

No matter what you think of him, you have to admit that in some things he was right. Jesus said "seek and you will find". I have come to believe he was exactly right. You always find what you look for. If you go looking for trouble, you will find it. If you go looking for love, you will find it. If you go looking for a "few good men" you will find them (and possibly the movie as well). If you go looking for ideas, you will find them. I read recently that the number one reason bloggers fail is because they run out of idea. I have come to believe that the only time you run out of ideas is when you stop looking for them. If you keep seeking ideas, you will always find them (and sometimes they will find you.

What do you think?

Making money online

It turns out that making money online is not as simple as many make it out to be. I have been trying to find a way to make money online for about two years now. I have not been all that successful. Now, I have made a little bit of money, but not enough to quit my day job. Is there a way to make good money online? Well, the advertising model does not seem to be working as well as it used to. I just don't think people click on ads anymore. I think to make money online today you need to offer a product or service. In other words you need to be a business of some kind. Does that mean you cannot make money just from blogging? I am sure that for some it is possible, but it is now becoming clear to me that just by posting your thoughts online there is no way to make a full-time living. So, over the next few months I am going to look at ways to offer some products or some services in addition to blogging. At this point I am not quite sure what that will be, but obviously it will be related to want I blog about. Does that mean I will stop blogging? Absolutely not, because I frankly do this because I enjoy it. Will I stop the advertising on this site? No, maybe that still might work. Plus, it doesn't cost me anything. What I will be doing is adding some kind of product to sell or some kind of service to provide in the future. You never know, maybe I hit on something that actually will make me some money ?

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nightcap 2-24-16

Stocks opened lower as did oil and things looked as if they would stay lower for the day. Then oil rallied and stocks followed, so the markets and oil closed higher today. What a see saw it is! If I had any money to bet, I would just follow the price of oil. Stocks seem to be doing so. To bad I don't have any money to bet! What was interesting today was the Saudi oil minister saying that OPEC was willing to let oil slip to $20 a barrel. So is that where the bottom in oil will eventually be? Ouch! The only other interesting news was on the decisive win by Donald Trump in Nevada. Things are not looking good for the rest of the GOP candidates as Trump gains more and more momentum into Super Tuesday. Trump could very well be on his way to winning the nomination. Besides the usual disasters, mayhem, and crime, there was nothing else that stood out today. Lets see what tomorrow will bring.

What do you think?

Clever advertising?

I just saw a bug exterminators truck with the tagline "we do creepy" at first I thought "well, at least it got my attention". Then after a while I thought "do you really want to be known as the guys who do creepy"? These days, when we need to get somebody's attention, it might be easy to go and find something that is novel. Unfortunately, you have to be very careful what you choose. I'm not sure that being known as the guys who "do creepy" is a wise choice.

What do you think?

Public libraries

I paid a visit to my local library today. What surprised me the most was that they are still relevant. You would think that with the Internet they would fade into obscurity, but that does not seem to be the case. I found my local library to be busy and with plenty of people around. I found a nice quiet spot where I could access the high-speed Wi-Fi network, and I spent some time writing, surfing the Internet, and I also wandering around the books. There was also a nice selection of newspapers and magazines to look through. So public libraries are far from being extinct. I still think they serve a purpose, and I plan to visit one as often as I can.

What do you think?


Creating stuff is all about focus. The reason being is that everything that is created first begins in the mind. In order for something to become real it first has to be thought of in the mind. You have to make it up in your head first. Focus is how you do it. In order to start the process of creating something you need to bring your mind to think about only the thing you're creating. You need to aim your thinking on just the specifics regarding what you want to create. That's how you actually make stuff up, which is what creating is all about. Focusing your mind is not easy. What is easy is to let your mind drift off in a million directions. It is also easy to become distracted with things that keep you from creating. It also doesn't help that we have thousands of things we can go and do that will keep us distracted. If you want to create, work on focusing your mind.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Nightcap 2-23-16

Stocks were lower today as was oil. The markets have been a see saw lately. Up one day, down another. It's as if investors are not sure what direction the market is supposed to go. Personally I have found that stocks have basically been following oil for the last few months. If oil is up, stocks are usually up. If oil is down, stocks are usually down. The correlation is not perfect, but more often than not, it has been the case. The other big news tonight is that Donald Trump look like he is the likely winner in Nevada. So Trump rolls into Super Tuesday next week with all the momentum. If trump winds a majority of states next week he will most likely be the Republican nominee. There was nothing else of great importance in the news today (other than the usual mess).

What do you think?

Dealing with criticism

I have been a musician for 40 years. I have been a composer and arranger her for 30 years. I have been a music teacher for over 20 years. I have also been involved in quite a number of varied pursuits. The one thing I am constantly reminded of is that no matter what you do someone is not going to like it. Unfortunately when you put yourself out there in some form someone's going to come back and tell you what you doing wrong. Sometimes criticism is necessary. Maybe you do need to do something different. Maybe you do need to be made of where of something. Maybe you need to do something better. Sometimes though, is just a kick in the gut. Well, if you are going to take any kind of artistic risk, or any risk at all, be prepared to be criticized. It is just the way things are. It is the way the world works. Learn to take it with a grain of salt. Look at it as a way to improve when you are criticized. But also realize that sometimes it's just noise. Do the best work you can and leave it at that. If it is not good enough for somebody, screw them. There is an anything else you can do.

What do you think?

Productive commute

I spend a lot of time in my car commuting back and forth to work. It takes me almost an hour to get to work and another hour back home at the end of the day. One of the things that has bothered me the most over the last 15 years is how unproductive my commute was. I just sat there in a sleepy daze as I drove in and a mind numbing haze as I drove home. That has all changed since I discovered the dictation function on my iPhone. Now I talk to my iPhone and get a ton of writing done. In fact, as a result of talking to my iPhone, I am now writing over 4000-5000 words a day rather than the 1000-2000 I was writing before. Now it is a little distracting to talk to my iPhone while I drive, and I am not even sure it is legal, but I have managed to make it work without wrecking my car or incurring the wrath of a local law enforcement officer. I do not recommend this for everyone, but I sure enjoy the huge boost in productivity. Now if only driverless cars were introduced faster, I could actually write some music on my commute.

What do you think?

The greatest invention

What is the greatest invention ever? While there are many contenders, I would say the greatest invention ever was the printing press. Before the printing press in the 1400s, mankind lived in the dark ages. After the invention of the printing press you have the Renaissance and then the modern age. It is the printing press that made what we have today possible. It is the ability to mass produce knowledge in the form of books that has transformed our lives. It is the printing press that made modern medicine possible. Without the sharing of knowledge in the form of books, modern medicine would not exist. it is the sharing of knowledge through mass produce books that created modern science. It is modern science that has given us every technological advancement we have. I could go on but I think you get my point.
I also believe that the modern evolution of the printing press is the Internet. It is through the Internet that the vast majority of knowledge is shared today. It is this sharing of knowledge that will create our future. I also want to make an observation. The most important contribution of the printing press is the sharing of text. It is the words in the books that were printed that transformed the world. If you take a look at the Internet, the vast majority of information on the Internet is still text. It was text that transformed the world and it is still text that is transforming the world. It is the power of the written word.

What do you think?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Nightcap 2-22-16

There was a nice rally in stocks today in spite some terrible data out of Europe and elsewhere. Oil was also higher, which was probably why stocks were higher. Here in California gasoline prices are still falling, so it's great for us all at the pump. Tomorrow we have the Republican caucus in Nevada. Lets see who pulls off a win. If Trump does then he will have some added momentum going into Super Tuesday next week (I can't believe Super Tuesday is already here). Maybe we will finally get a break from al the pointless debates (unless of course you bomb and it costs you all the momentum you earned going into it - just ask Rubio). Besides the hand wringing by Apple over unlocking a terrorists phone, it was another quiet day (except of course for the usual crime, mayhem, and disasters). By the way, were we not supposed to get a lot of rain this winter in California? What happened? We have had hardly any rain.

What do you think?

Losing my passion

Lately I feel as if I have lost my passion for writing music. How can I regain my passion for writing music? First, how did I lose it? I think I lost my passion for writing music when it became a "have to". Somehow when something becomes something you have to do, it loses its ability to drive your passion. How do I regain my passion? I think all I would need to do is make it a "want to" once again. How do I do that? Well, I think it first starts with how I talk to myself. If I keep saying I "have to" do something then to become something I have to do. If I keep saying it is something I "want to" do then it becomes something I want to do. That's so simple isn't it? Next, I need to remember why I started writing music in the first place. When we go back to why we began something, we remember what it was that excited us in the first place. That's what I need to do. I need to go back to the beginning. Why did I start writing music? Finally, I just need to have fun with writing music. When something is fun then you want to do more of it. When he becomes a chore that's when you avoid it.

What do you think?

Gasoline update

I wrote a few days ago about the price of gasoline, so I will not rehash what I wrote. I just want to add that the price keeps falling here in California. I paid $2.08 a gallon yesterday. Prices have not been this low since the great recession in 2008-2009. If the price continues to fall it might go below $2, which would be awesome for me. Unfortunately it is more bad news for the energy sector. If this is not an indicator that we are in a recession, I have no idea what else it could mean. How else could we have gas so low unless demand has dropped of as a result of an economic slow down? In the mean time, I will enjoy the savings at the pump.

What do you think?

Quantity versus quality

When it comes to doing something creative should you focus on quality, or should you seek for quantity? I have discovered that if you want to produce quality work the best way to do it is through quantity. In other words, the more you create the better you create. Why? Because when you do a lot of something you end up practicing. The consequence of practicing is that you get better at it. When you are better at something you produce quality work. So you want to make great things? Then make a lot of it. Write more. Sing more. Paint more. Create create create. When it comes to creating, quantity leads to quality.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Nightcap 2-21-16

It was a quiet day today. Lots of stories about the primaries yesterday, but nothing new. So will Trump and Clinton be the nominees? One of them might be president. Now that is scary. For today then, just the same crime, mayhem, and disasters that happen everyday.

What do you think?

Chromebook pro ans con

I answered this question today:

What are the pros and cons of the Chromebook computer?

Here are my thoughts:

1. Inexpensive to own and run
2. Fast on the Internet
3. Access full desktop web pages not mobile sites
4. Super long battery life
5. No infections from viruses
6. Great for basic computing

1. Limited to web apps
2. Must have WIFI
3. Can't do more than basic computing
4. Printing is limited

I own just about every kind of device and I always come back to using my Chromebook. It just works the best for all I want to do.

Finding your niche

I believe that finding your niche is much like finding your passion. In other words, you have to look at your life and find those things that interest you. What do you like doing? What do you like reading? What do you like watching on TV? How do you spend your free time? If money wasn't a concern, what would you do? If you won the lottery, how would you spend your time? Answering these types of questions will help you find your passion and your niche. My passion is in writing, the news, and the economy. I am passionate about blogging, creativity, the Internet, and finding a way to make money on the Internet. So that is what I write about. It is also where I will find my niche.

What do you think?

Note: I am thinking of moving my blog. Check my new site out

Finding something to write about

Though sometimes I struggle to find things to write about, The reality is that I always find something. That brings me to the conclusion that there is always something to write about even if it's the most mundane and simple thing. You just have to keep putting words up on the page and then pick something and write about it. It is all about the making choices. Sometimes the choices produce great things. Sometimes the choices just produce words, but you are still making progress. It is all about making progress.
What do you think?

Nightcap 2-20-16

The big news tonight is that Donald Trump wins big in South Carolina and Hillary Clinton wins by a narrow margin in Nevada. Are we looking at the next presidential contenders? It could very well be. Unfortunately, I don't really care for either of them, so if it is these two candidates, oh well we are screwed anyway. The best news was that Jeb Bush has suspended his campaign. What a waste of $50 million. Super Tuesday is in a little over a week away. That will seal the deal. The rest of the day was basically uneventful except for the usual crime, mayhem, and disasters.

What do you think?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Reasonably priced quality

You do not have to reinvent the wheel to make a living. All you need to do is provide a quality product or service at a reasonable price and you will be just fine. I am at a local burger chain here in town called the Habit. They make good burgers and grilled sandwiches at a reasonable price. The place is clean and the service is good. As a result the place is busy and they are making a nice living. The recipe for success is not a mystery. Make stuff that's good. Provide quality service. Sell it at a reasonable price. Rinse and repeat.

What do you think?

Devices I use

Lately I have been using two devices extensively. The first is my iPhone. I use it like everybody else does as a phone. I also use it to write. I use the dictation function extensively during the day. it is the main reason I have become so prolific lately. The other device I have been using extensively is my Chromebook. I use my Chromebook to dictate what I write. But, I usually use my Chromebook to surf the Internet, do my basic computing things, and edit what I write. With these two devices I do 90% of my work during the day. I also use a Mac Mini to write music. And finally I have a Windows laptop that I use to do most of my school work. Part of me wishes I can have one device that does everything, and I probably can use one of my devices exclusively, but I have found that each device has a strength. Whether it is portability, or functionality, reliability, each device I use has a weakness. Or now then, I want can't handle devices at my disposal until something better comes along.

What do you think?

Nightcap 2-19-16

Stocks closed mixed today, but had their best week of the year. Oil was a whipsaw this week and basically ended unchanged. Gasoline is much cheaper though (as I wrote about earlier this week). Besides the usual crime, mayhem, and disasters, it was another quiet day in regards to anything major or important happening. Tomorrow should prove interesting with the primary in South Carolina. Maybe we finally will have a possible idea of who the nominees will be? Or maybe it just will make things murkier. Supreme Court Justice Scalia will be laid to rest this weekend as well. How long will it be till his spot is filled? I did find it interesting that his death has not caused more uncertainty and selling in stocks. Maybe what happens in the Supreme Court is not that important? Or is it that greed trumps liberty and justice?

What do you think?

Note: I might be moving this blog to another site. Please check it out at:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Brain dump

If you have not noticed, my blog is basically a brain dump for me. It is where all my thoughts end up. Some would say that it is probably not the best way to build an audience. Why? Because obviously I am all over the place with topics. As I wrote earlier it is a good thing to focus on specific topics. I think I try to do that, but I am also just writing about whatever crosses my mind. My blog for me has always been an experiment. I am just trying to see if I can build an audience and maybe make some money by just writing about what I think about. So far I have not made much money, nor have I built a huge audience. But, I do have a small audience. I have made a little bit of money. And most importantly, I am enjoying what I'm doing. So please forgive me if I bounce around from topic to topic, but keep in mind I am just posting what crosses my mind. Thank you for understanding and for reading.

What do you think?

Just a note, I might be moving my blog. Why don't you visit my you site and tell me what you think?

Blogging tips

I read an article today that made a few good points about blogging. 1. Be consistent and post regularly. 2. Try to get to know your audience. 3. Be personal. 4. Be clear and concise in your writing. 5. Be focused and stick to one topic per post. 6. Keep it short. I think I do all of these except #2. How do you get to know your audience when they are anonymous? Read the article for more information.

What do you think?


I have been blogging now for about two years. I wish I could say I have been consistent in publishing posts, but I have not been. I started off well, but then I lost interest along the way. That's why my posting history is blotchy. It is only recently that I have return to publishing my posts more consistently. Blogging is clearly a labor of love. The only reason one should ever blog is because they enjoy doing it. Why? Because nothing else is guaranteed. There is no guaranteed way to build an audience. There is no guaranteed way to make money. There is no guaranteed way to have success. If you're going to blog, you just going to have to enjoy doing it. That is the only way you're going to be consistent.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Nightcap 2-18-16

Stocks ended their rally today. Maybe a bit of profit taking? Oil was down as well at around $30 after being higher. Gold and Silver did well. Besides the Pope and Donald Trump exchanging barbs, it was a quiet day (except for the usual crime, mayhem, and disasters).

What do you think?

The price of gasoline

I just filled my gas tank and was pleasantly surprised. Gasoline here in Southern California is now $2.15 a gallon. we have not had gasoline this low since the great recession. In other words, it has not been this low in 7 or 8 years. I actually filled my gas tank for a little over $15. How awesome is that? So the price of oil dropping like a rock is fantastic for me at the gas pump. But what does it say about the economy? I think gasoline and oil are telling us that things are not healthy in the economy. If the economy was healthy, then why is gasoline dropping so much? Why is oil dropping so much? Yes there is a case to be made about overproduction in oil. But does that account for the drastic drop in prices? I don't think so. The only thing that would account for prices dropping this dramatically is a slowdown in the economy. In other words, there has been a drop in demand which has forced prices to follow. I look at gas and oil as a canary in the coal mine. And the canary has just died. It's great for me at the gas pump, but I think things are not going to turn out so well overall.

What do you think?


What do I think I'm immigration? My mom and dad are immigrants. They came from Argentina legally in the 1950s. Then they became citizens of the United States. Finally, they renounced their original citizenship in Argentina, just because they were so proud to be Americans. We are a nation of immigrants. That's what makes us unique and special. Yes we are free, yes we have a wonderful constitution, and yes it is all about liberty. But, immigration is also part of our story of success. That is, legal immigration is part of the story of our success. In the past we basically turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. We did so because frankly, we could afford it and we needed the cheap labor. Today though, we can no longer afford illegal immigration. We cannot absorb millions of people who have no skills, low education, no assets, and basically have very little to offer to our economy. We can no longer be the solution to poverty for the rest of the world. If we are to keep our economy healthy, we must control our borders. We must make sure that the only people who are immigrating to our country are the people we allow. It is a matter of saving our economy, our way of life, and the future for our children.

What do you think?

The driverless future

A few days ago I wrote a blog post about how there does not seem to be any disruptive new technology on the horizon. I think I was wrong. I think we have a specific technology that will probably transformer our lives over the next couple of decades. It is the driverless car and truck. The car or truck that drives itself is truly something right out of science-fiction. It seems impossible that one day we will not have to drive ourselves to work, or all the trucks we see around us as we drive will not have a driver. The reality is that someday soon we will start seeing driverless vehicles on the roads around us. At first it will be just a trickle of vehicles. Just a novelty. Eventually that trickle will turn into a flood and then almost all the vehicles on the road will be driverless. As I think about this, I'm struck by how much our lives might change if we all had driverless vehicles. Just imagine that you are on your way to work and you can do something else with your time instead of driving. Imagine all the productive things you can do? (Of course there are also a host of unproductive things you can do as well). But can you imagine not having to drive when you need to go some place? Here I am at this very moment driving into work. How amazing it is going to be when I could freely write, and think, and do something creative while I'm on my way. I think driverless vehicles are going to transform our lives.

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The future of music

I have been a musician for 40 years, a composer and arranger for 30 years, and a public school music teacher for 21 years. Music has changed tremendously over the last couple of decades, and will continue to change for the next few decades. The reason music is changing is because of the digital revolution. What you can do on a laptop today you needed a full symphony orchestra to do in the past. What you can do on a laptop today you needed a full recording studio to do it in the past. What you can do on a laptop today you needed a publishing company and a printing press in the past. It is just amazing what you can do with the laptop and some software and maybe a midi keyboard and a laser printer. Today with a laptop you can create music for just about any kind of ensemble. You can create music in any kind of genre. You can then record it, master it, package it, and sell it in variety of formats. That is what has changed music and what is also going to continue to change music. We are living in the age of the one man orchestra, recording studio, production company, publishing house, and anything else you might want to do in music. I am continually surprised by what is possible to do on a laptop today. And it is just the beginning.

What do you think?

Education in the digital age

Whole sectors of our economy have been changed as a result of the digital age. The music industry has been turned on its head, the publishing industry is completely different, and TV and media sectors are also be revolutionized. The reality is that the digital age will affect every sector of our economy. Is the digital age having an impact on education? It is, but it seems to be having an impact on higher education more than primary sector. For example, you can now easily earn just about any degree online. Just about every University and College has an online program. We are now also starting to see more more high school online classes and fully online programs. I think this is just the beginning though. I think in the next decade or two education will be completely different than what we see today. How different? I am not sure, but I think it will look much different than what we have today. I just hope it is better.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Nightcap 2-16-15

I think the big news today was that Russia and Saudi Arabia decided to put a freeze on oil production. I was not sure what that meant, but it seems that Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to not increase production. Increased production is not what they need to worry about. They need to cut production. Well, the oil market did not fall for it. Oil is still at around $28 a barrel. Saudi Arabia and Turkey are sending troops into Syria. What will Russia do when that happens? Now that will be interesting. Stocks were higher today. The news on the freeze helped spark a rally. Lets see if the rally has legs or if it is just a dead cat bounce. Besides the usual crime, mayhem and disasters, there was nothing else of great importance in the news today. Lets see what tomorrow brings?

What do you think?

Writing when you're tired

It is nearing the end of the day and I'm tired. As a result, the words don't flow as well. It takes me longer to think of things to write about. So here is my observation. Try not to write when you're tired. Now sometimes you can't avoid it. You have to write and you're tired so you just work through it. But the best time to write is when your brain is fresh and you're not tired. One thing you can do is try to take a nap if you're tired. Even if it's just a short 15 to 30 minute nap, it would help you out and probably help you make it through whatever writing you need to finish up. Obviously the best thing you can do is try to get plenty of sleep and do your writing when you're at your peak when it comes to energy. In the end though, just get the words on the page any way you can no matter how tired you are.

What do you think?

Writing – making progress

Since I have discovered the dictation function on my iPhone I have become very prolific. I am averaging 4000 to 5000 words a day. That is 3 to 4 times more words that I was writing before I started using dictation. This is now the third week I'm using dictation, and it is now becoming much easier than it was at first. I have learned how to say things so my iPhone will put it into text correctly. It takes a little bit of practice to make it work correctly. I have also found ways to keep putting the words up on the page, as I have discussed in my other posts. This all started as an experiment. I wanted to see what I would be able to do. Guess what, it has been a huge success. Clearly this will be something I will continue to do, because I am making very good progress and I have become fantastically prolific.

What do you think?

Big trouble in Brazil

Brazil is a beautiful country with many rich resources. Unfortunately it is in big trouble. Retail sales are down 11 of the last 13 months. Thousands of companies filed for bankruptcy last year. Unemployment is high and climbing higher. Add to that the outbreak of the Zika virus and you can see that Brazil is in big trouble. This summer Brazil is scheduled to host the summer olympics. Can it afford to do so? Will they contain the Zika virus before the games begin? Will the games themselves be affected? It is going to be interesting to see what happens in Brazil. I think the rest of South America is in for the same fate. How will this affect the world economy and specifically the U.S. economy? We will have to wait and see.

What do you think?

Oil production news

It was announced today that Russia Saudi Arabia will be freezing oil production. I am not sure exactly what that means, but at least it sounds like some good news for oil. The price of oil has been in a free fall for a while. Though this has been good news at the gas pump, it is been horrible news for the oil industry as a whole. With oil hovering around $30 a barrel, the oil industry has been decimated. This is especially true hear in the United States. Thousands of workers have been laid off, and we are just beginning to see a wave of bankruptcies throughout the industry. With this announcement from Russia and Saudi Arabia maybe we have seen the bottom in oil prices. Unfortunately for the economy here in the United States it is too late to keep us from what I believe will be a severe recession. Though this is positive news, and we will see a rally in the stock markets today, it is too late for the oil sector.

What do you think?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Nightcap 2-15-16

It was a very quiet day today (as was yesterday). In the U.S. the only major thing going on was the Grammy awards. There is still a lot of noise about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Scalia. It will be interesting to see how markets react tomorrow. It will also be interesting to see if and when a replacement is nominated and confirmed by the Senate. My guess is that the Republicans in the Senate will actually step up and stall any nomination that Obama might attempt to get passed. Besides the usual crimes, mayhem, and disasters, there was nothing else in the news that was interesting.

What do you think?

Creatures of habit

I did something today that reminded me that I am a creature of habit. I was driving home with the intent of picking up lunch on the way. My mind drifted off and I completely forgot to pick up the food. I didn't realize that I had forgotten until I was pulling into my neighborhood, so I had to turn around and go back and pick up the food. How can you tell your a creature of habit? When your mind is not focused, what do you find yourself doing? For me it was driving home instead of going to pick up lunch. My body is so accustomed to going on automatic when I going home that I completely forgot to go and pick up food.

We are all creatures of habit. It is also our habits that either help us to be successful or hinder us from being successful. I think it's a good idea to take a look at your life and take stock of what habits you currently have. Maybe it is time to make some changes? Now stopping a habit it is very difficult. It can be done, but it takes a lot of energy, effort, and time. What is easier is to start is a new habit. Maybe that's all some of us need? Maybe all we need is to start a new habit that helps us be successful?

What do you think?

Chromebook and web pages

One thing I enjoy about my Chromebook is that when you access webpages on the Internet you get the full desktop version. That is one thing about using a tablet or a Smart phone that I find annoying. I do not like mobile websites. They do not have the full breath of functionality that the desktop version does. But, using my Chromebook I have access to the full site. Not only that, my Chromebook is actually much faster accessing the Internet then any other device I have. So I find that my Chromebook is the best device to access the Internet fully and quickly.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Writing when you have nothing to say

For the last two weeks I have been averaging roughly 4000 to 5000 words a day. Now I do that mostly by dictating to one of my digital devices, which has enabled me to write so much. One of the drawbacks of writing so many words a day is that I usually run out of things to write about. In order to continue being as prolific as I have become I have developed a way to find things to write about. First I have a list of topics I like to write about. So if I am stuck, I just review the list and see if anything comes to mind that I would like to write about. Another thing I like to do is to surf the Internet and see if anything is worth writing about. The last thing I like to do, which has become something I do quite often, is to just keep putting words up on the page until something worthwhile materializes. I just keep writing whatever is going through my mind. Eventually as I keep doing this, something interesting does find its way onto the page. Then I just write about that. This last technique has worked every time I've used it. If you are writer and your stuck, just start putting words on the page no mater what they are. Eventually something interesting will appear.

What do you think?

Making money from a blog

I have had my blog now for about two years. Unfortunately, I have not made very much money from it. One reason I have not made very much money is that I do not have all that many viewers. Hopefully by publishing more posts on a daily basis, I will increase the amount of viewers that come to this blog. Another reason why I am not making very much money from my blog is that people no longer click on the ads. I know that I rarely do when I visit a blog or website. Maybe we should charge for how many people see the ad and not how many people click on it? I doubt that would happen because it would mean that advertises would have to pay more for the ads that they aren't currently running. It would also mean that Google would have to change its business model. I doubt that will ever happen. In the meantime if you feel inclined to support this blog, please click on the ads. It would be greatly appreciated.

What do you think?

Socialism does not work

Why do people think socialism is a good thing? Can't they see that it always fails? Look at Greece, look at Venezuela, look at most of the European countries. They are all falling apart. Why? Because socialism does not work. When the government owns a large section of the economy, and the vast majority of people are employed by the government, you quickly run out of money to pay for it. The reason is that there is not a large enough private sector to pay for it all. Everything in government is paid for by the private sector. The government does not make a profit. The government just takes from people who do. Eventually, there is not enough people earning enough money to pay for what the government is doing. Thus they end up going broke. Cannot people see that? It is clearly evident that socialism does not work. Unfortunately, I think people just don't want to see what is clearly evident.

What do you think?

Nightcap 2/13/16

The major story for the day was the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. I believe he was the most conservative member of the Supreme Court and his death will make a mess of things. What will happen to the pending cases before the court? Will Obama get to nominate a replacement? Will they be confirmed by the Senate? Will congress stall till the next president takes office? Yes, this is going to be a mess and it could not have happened at a worse time. How will the stock market react? Will the uncertainty lead to further selling? Or will this just be taken in stride and everything go on as normal? I think things are about to become very interesting. Besides the usual crime and mayhem, there was nothing else of major importance in the news today. At least it wasn't a quiet day.

What do you think?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Reading - Changing habits

My reading habits have drastically changed. I used to be a voracious book reader. I used to read several books a week. I no longer read that way. Now I spend my time reading headlines or headings and skimming the rest of whatever I am reading. I can't remember the last time I finished reading a whole book. Why did my reading habits change? I am not sure, but have a couple of ideas. I think reading on the internet has changed the way I read. Text on the internet is meant to be read quickly. Lots of headlines, headings, and bullet points. I have also become increasingly aware of how much "filler" and "padding" there is in books. I just want to get to the point as soon as possible. Finally, I think my age is finally showing. I just do not have the patience I used to have. So are my new reading habits bad? There are some that would say yes, but I just think they are different. They way I am now reading is neither bad nor good. It's just the way I read.

What do you think?

Nightcap 2/12/16

The stock market rally today and it was up about 2% across the board. Oil had a huge rally today it was up about 10%. Unfortunately it is still under $30 a barrel, but at least it is not $26 a barrel. Also, oil rally on a rumor. There is no real news about a production cut. If a production cat is not forthcoming, then we're going to see oil drop it back down to $26 or $25 a barrel. And, if there is no production cut we might see oil go much lower. There was nothing else in the news that was important. Yes there was a shooting at a school in Arizona, there is the normal celebrity gossip, and the rest of the mayhem, and disasters that are occur on a regular basis. It was a quiet day to end a basically quiet week.

What do you think?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Moving jobs to another country

There is an article on the internet about an air conditioning company that is moving their manufacturing from the United States to Mexico. They are doing this because they believe it is the only way they will remain competitive. Is it a good move? If the manufacturing will be of the same quality, then of course it is. The reality is that it just cost too much to make things in the United States anymore. Also, you have to deal with the diminishing quality of the workforce. We no longer have the quality work ethic we had 50 years ago. Talk to any business owner and the biggest problem they have is finding quality employees. Are there better employees in Mexico? You know, I personally don't think so, but at least they are cheaper and that is what the company needs. This is another reason why we are going to have a very difficult time over the next couple of decades. Not only are there going to be fewer and fewer jobs because of the digital revolution. There will also be fewer and fewer jobs as manufacturers take their manufacturing to other countries because frankly, it's just cheaper. Things are going to be very interesting over the next 20 years.

What do you think?

California - Is it a nice place to live?

Here in California we are experiencing a heat wave. Today it was about 85 degrees here in Southern California, so we are having summer in winter which is different. I was scanning the headlines for the rest of the nation and I noticed that in New York City it is so cold that they had to cancel and Ice Festival today. Yes, the weather here in Southern California is terrific. But, is this a good place to to live in? If you went by the weather it is a fantastic place to live, but that is not the only factor that affects the quality of life. Southern California is probably one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. The cost of housing is one of the highest in the nation, taxes are very high, and so is electricity, natural gas, and especially gasoline. While the rest of the nation is quickly approaching a dollar a gallon for gasoline we are still at $2.50 a gallon. Why? Because of all the taxes that are involved and all the restrictions on the formulation of gasoline imposed by the state government. The traffic is horrific here in Southern California, the crime rate is high, and the poverty rate is also high. California is also a socialist liberal paradise. If you want to live in Northern Europe, why bother moving there. Just move here to California, there's not much of a difference except maybe the weather is a whole lot better.

So why don't I move to another state? That's a great question and I wish I had a good answer. I think the reality is that we're kind of stuck here because we owe more on our home than it's worth, and the kids are going to college here. Hey, at least the weather is nice.

What do you think?

The digital revolution

I was just looking at some information on Netflix. It has sales of about 5.5 billion dollar a year with a net income of $300-400 million, but it only has about 2200 employees. How can a company with such a large amount of sales only have 2200 employees? It has so few employees because it outsources as much as possible. I was just reading today that Netflix has finally closed down Its last date center. It now has outsourced all its data to Amazon (which is actually ironic since they are competitors). So not only does Netflix have very few employees, it doesn't even own the servers that its data is on. Talk about radical outsourcing! This is a key feature of the digital age we are living in. You can now create a company that earns billions of dollars a year with very few employees. I would dare to say that you can literally create a multi-million dollar company all by yourself. Is that truly possible? I believe it is so.

I think this is one aspect of the digital revolution that is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because well, you can create a multi-million dollar company all by yourself. The curse is, if you are not the owner, who will you be working for? The digital revolution is offering great opportunity to those who are capable of starting their own companies. But, it is a curse to those who will need to find jobs. Why? Because there will not be enough of them. The next couple of decades are going to be very interesting.

What do you think?

Chromebook and dictation

It turns out that Google has a dictation function on Google Docs, so I am not limited to just using my iPhone for dictation. I was not aware that Google Docs had this ability. I am using the dictation function in Google Docs right now as I write. I am also using it through my very inexpensive Chromebook. And one more point, it is all free (except for having to buy the Chromebook first). The great benefits of using a Chromebook is how inexpensive it is to do just about anything you would like to do with a computer. Here I am creating a blog post while using Google Docs and dictation. All of it is free to use. that is one of the best benefits I'm using a Chromebook. I keep asking myself the question of why would you purchase something more expensive when you can get the job done with a Chromebook that is so much less expensive?

One more observation. I actually think the dictation function here in Google Docs is more accurate than the dictation function on my iPhone. Here in Google Docs I am having to do a lot less editing to make sure everything is right. Now, I am going to continue using the dictation function on my iPhone because it's so much more portable. In another words, I can write anywhere I go using my iPhone, but with my Chromebook and Google Docs I am limited to writing only when I have access to Wi-Fi. But, when I can have access to Google Docs I am going to use this dictation function more and more. the reality is that I can put words up on the page much faster using the dictation function rather than typing. Plus, with the volume of writing that I do I do not risk getting carpal tunnel syndrome.

What do you think?

Nightcap 2/11/15

Stocks closed lower today, but not at the lows for the day. It seems there was a little rally at the end of the day. Oil was down to $26 a barrel but has since moved higher. The Democrats had another debate tonight. Nothing else of major importance happened today. Besides the usual crime etc... it was a quiet day again. Let's see what tomorrow may bring us.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Oil disaster

The price of oil dropped to $26 a barrel today. I remember predicting a few months ago that the price of oil would drop below $40 a barrel and that would be horrible for the economy. Here we are at $26 a barrel and it is a total disaster. Oil related businesses are starting to lay off well paid workers by the thousands. Many of the businesses are in financial crisis and I'm sure we will see a whole slew of bankruptcies and the near future. Unfortunately oil may go even lower. There are reports that storage facilities are just about full and they might have to turn any new oil from their facilities. If and when that happens oil will drop even further. Are we ready for oil to be lower than $20 a barrel? I personally like paying less for gasoline. But, I do not like seeing the destruction of one of the most productive sectors of our economy. This drop in price is going to have negative ramifications for many years to come. if you are in any way involved in the oil industry buckle up it's going to be a bumpy ride. Actually I think that is the wrong analogy. I actually think the oil industry is like the Titanic on a collision course with an iceberg.

What do you think?

The digital revolution and the impact on people.

I just read a report on the impact of automation on jobs. It is estimated that over 45% of jobs are at risk of being taken over by some form of automation. How can you know if your job is at risk? Simple, how easy is it for your job to be done by a computer? I was looking at a list of jobs that are not susceptible to being automated and most of them are in health care. I guess if we want a job in the future we all need to work in the health care industry in some capacity. My concern is this, what are people going to do if their jobs are taken over by automation? In the past when jobs were lost they were replaced by other jobs (like car jobs for horse and carriage jobs that I wrote of before). Unfortunately there are no new jobs being created by the digital revolution. I think we are in for a massive societal unrest and upheaval in the not to far away future (if not sooner). How are people going to earn a living? If you can find an answer you will make a fortune.

What do you think?

See the article at:

Chromebooks v. Windows laptop

I was reading a review of a new Chromebook model last night. The comments regarding the new device were not what caught my attention. What caught my attention were comments in regards to buying a Windows laptop instead of a Chromebook. The reviewer made the point that buying a $200 Windows laptop would be much better than buying a $200 Chromebook. I disagree. Sure the Windows laptop will allow you to download programs that the Chromebook will not, but the inexpensive Windows laptop will not run anything that would justify owning one. For example, you might be able to download Photoshop but because of the lack of memory and a poor performing main processor you will not be able to do much with it. What you end up owning with the cheap Windows laptop is a cheap Windows laptop that can only do a few more things than a plane Chromebook.

Having owned both types of devices I think the Chromebook is a better value. First, Chromebooks usually have better quality components because in order for Windows laptops to be as cheap as a Chromebook they skimp on quality. Second, Windows laptops are way slower than Chromebooks. Third, Chromebooks marks have double the battery life. Fourth, sure you might have more functionality with the Windows laptop, but you have to pay for it. Once you buy the Chromebook you really never need to pay for anything else. Finally, with a Chromebook you never catch a virus. For me, that is one of the best selling points for owning a Chromebook.

If you're going to buy a $200 laptop, buy a Chromebook. If you want greater functionality then don't buy a $200 Windows laptop. Buy a $500 Windows laptop and spend a little extra money for a better machine. In the end, if all you are going to do is some basic things with a laptop, save yourself the money and buy a Chromebook. I use mine all the time and enjoy it. I think it is the best value for the money market.

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nightcap 2/10/16

It looks like most stocks sold off at the close. The DOW and the S&P closed down. The NASDAQ was higher a bit. Oil also closed below $28. The FED chair was talking to Congress and stated that rates will not be cut, but that the rate of increase will probably be slowed. Fiorina and Christie are out of the running for president. That was quick. I am surprised Carson is not out yet. He has had a very poor showing so far. Bush should be out, but I think he still has some money left to plug along for a while. South Carolina will shake things up a bit more in about 10 days. That was all that happened today that was interesting besides the usual crime, mayhem, and disasters. Maybe tomorrow will be more interesting?

What do you think?

Climate change

It sure feels like summer once again here in California. It was almost 90 degrees today. It is so odd to feel this kind of heat in February. I know that those who believe in climate change are excited to see this. They use an anomaly like this to prove what they believe to be true. I believe in climate change. It happens all the time. Sometimes things get warmer. Sometimes things get cooler. I do not believe in man made climate change though. I do not believe in man made climate change because there is no way to prove it. So called climate scientists are just making educated guesses as to why there might be some climate change. Should we cut back on pollution? Of course we should, but to say that we need to radically transform our way of life in order to survive his poppycock. I especially do not believe we need more taxes to fix the problem.

What do you think?

Is it to late?

Is it ever too late to get started on something? I see this question asked all the time on the social media site Quora. For example, I have seen someone ask: "am I too old to learn to play an instrument"? So, is it ever too late to start learning to play an instrument? The answer is depends. If you want to be a virtuoso soloist and you are older than 10, then the answer is yes it is too late. If all you want to be able to do is play the instrument well, it is never too late. I think this applies to just about anything anyone would want to start doing. If you want to be in the top of your field, or a top professional, or some kind a virtuoso, you must start at an early age (or even younger) because of the level of competition. The others at that level have started when they were early and you will just not be able to catch up. If you just want to be good at something, and maybe even make a living from it, it is never too late to get started. I know this firsthand. Now I have been a musician for 40 years. That is I have played the drums for 40 years and I have also been a professional at it. I am also currently a music teacher in the public school system here in California. About a year ago I decided I wanted to learn to play the saxophone. Was it too late for me to get started? Well if I wanted to be a jazz soloist and make records, yes it was too late. But if all I wanted to do was learn to play the saxophone well, then it wasn't too late. I'm here to inform you that I can actually play the saxophone fairly well. Will I make a living playing saxophone? Probably not. But I can play just about anything I want to.

So, the bottom line is it is never too late to start. But, you might not play with the New York symphony if you are a little older than 10. Is that a bad thing?

What do you think?

The debt monster

One of the biggest problems we have in our nation today is the amount of debt we have accumulated. The amount of debt that we have in our nation is staggering. If you add up what the federal government owes, what the state and local government owe, what corporations and businesses owe, and what individual and families owe, the amount is so immense it blows the mind. It is in the many trillions of dollars. I would actually do the math for you, but it's so large that doesn't really matter. In fact, I think it's so large that I doubt it will ever get paid back. So what is the implication? The implication is that essentially we are technically bankrupt. In other words, we are broke as a nation, and as a people. The other conclusion I come to is that the next few years are going to be difficult to say the least. This debt monster that has been created will wreck havoc and it is going to be ugly.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Nightcap 2/9/16

Stocks basically closed slightly lower as oil sold off again down below $29 a barrel. How much longer can oil producing nations endure these low prices? Trump and Sanders win in New Hampshire, which was what the polls were showing all along. Kasich in second was a bit of a surprise. Rubio was trounced. I guess debate performances do mater. Now let's see who drops out of the race next week. Other than the usual crime, mayhem, and disasters, there was nothing else of major importance in the news. It was basically a quiet day.

What do you think?

Technological advancement

I was thinking today about technological advancement. Right now in 2016 it does not feel as if we are on the cusp of anything new that will be revolutionary. Is that an accurate perception? If you look back at significant technological advances you come away with an interesting insight. Most if not all effectual technological advances were not foreseen or were expected. Take the automobile. Yes people thought they were great, and a novelty, but did they realize it was going to transform society as they knew it? I don't think so. Take the airplane. Though there were several people working on making it work, no one thought it was possible. But when the Wright brothers got it together, it transformed the world. The same could be said of the telephone, the computer, and even the Internet. No one truly guessed that they would be so transformative, but they were (and still are). Maybe we are living in a time when no new technical advances will be made, but maybe we are not? Maybe just on the horizon is something that will blow our minds. Wouldn't that be amazing?

What do you think?

Talking to my iPhone

Just recently I discovered a way to considerably increase my productivity in regards to writing. I have discovered the dictation function on my iPhone. I just started to talk to my iPhone. As I talked to my iPhone it turns what I say in the text. At first I was not sure how this would work out for me, but, the more I have been using it, the more I have written. Though I considered myself prolific, I was not prepared for how prolific I would become. I used to average about 1000 words a day. Now, I am averaging over 4000 words a day. Turns out, I can talk to my iPhone faster than I can type. Now most of what I create using the dictation function on my iPhone is not useful in any manner but, every now and then I create a gem. This reminds me of an adage when it comes to creating. In order to create something of quality you first have to create a lot of junk, and that is exactly what I'm doing by talking to my iPhone. I create a lot of words that I probably will never use. What I do get to do is practice a skill that is helping me write more more useful things. Who would've thought that by just talking to my iPhone I would transform my writing life? If you have an iPhone (or any other smart phone) you might want to give the dictation function a try. Is it perfect? No, but it does put words up on the page much faster than typing.

What do you think?

Continually surprised by my Chromebook

I am continually surprised by my Chromebook. For example, this weekend I attempted to watch the Super Bowl through AppleTV. Unfortunately, for some reason, the video feed was not working. So all I did was fire up my Chromebook, plug it in through the HDMI port to my big screen TV, and to stream the game through the Internet. Not only was I able to enjoy the game, the picture quality was outstanding, the sound was terrific, and I truly had an enjoyable experience. I was able to do all that on a laptop that cost me less than $200. If it is possible to do that on a laptop that costs less than $200, why are all the other laptops so much more expensive? I know that I lose some functionality by using a Chromebook, but I have yet to run across something that I am not able to work out in someway or fashion. My Chromebook continues to surprise me.

What do you think?