Archive for February 2017

Getting started on Twitter

February 23, 2017

why do you hate Twitter? I might be able to help you with that. :-)

This is a Twitter guide for most of us. Celebrities, politicians and journalists will use Twitter in a very different way than most of us.

I’m not a guru or even a great guide writer so I will just start, you can ask questions (via Twitter) and I will improve this as we go.


Twitter is *not* like any other communication method. It is super efficient for discovery and diversity of information.

Every other form of communications from voice (ie. conversation, lectures, speeches, etc) to all the various forms of writing (books, news, blogs, letters, email, chat, etc); all of these have a single source at any given moment and one or more listeners.

Twitter allows a listener (or reader) to actually listen to and even respond to multiple sources all at once. Of course it’s still actually one at a time, but Twitter enables ‘following’ many sources effectively all at once more successfully than any tool before it. Tech nerds might want to correct me referring to various tech solutions that preceded Twitter (ie. BBS, Net News, Reddit and many other examples).

Some might think that your Facebook News Feed is ‘the same’ but really it’s not close. Facebook has it’s value and I use both.


Imagine you are at the most interesting event or gathering you’ve ever attended and you can sit in a comfortable spot and sip and nibble your favorite treats while following however many conversations you find interesting. You find more interesting people and discussions for whatever reasons you choose. You drop in on and walk away from conversations without concern or reservation.

+ It is about who you follow and NOT about what you tweet.
+ It is strange and perhaps confusing at first.
+ Lurk mostly, just scanning and reading, maybe marking favorites.
+ Limit your retweets to start with, to avoid overdoing that.
+ Don’t give any thought to who or how many followers you have.

When you follow someone you can go discover who they follow and perhaps who follows them. It is as easy to unfollow as it is to follow and since none of this is based on personal relationships (like Facebook) it doesn’t really matter; follow, unfollow and follow again later.

Just Do it

Create a twitter account at
Follow me by searching for @strick or go to

Follow these (or not)

When you think of some favorite writer, actor, whomever or whatever search for them or it and follow if you want.

Visit and find others to follow.

Now just go back to and start reading. If you see a source that looks interesting follow it. For now just read and follow and read and follow.

Send me a reply on Twitter to ask a question or just say Hey and I’ll follow you. Then you can ask me questions via Direct Message if you don’t want everyone to see your question. However, I encourage asking them via replies so others can see them.


Our HDTV recap of the last 10 years

February 21, 2017

Today, Feb 2017

I am still using the Channel Master 4221 antenna that I bought for about $30 at Fry’s 10 years ago to support HDTV and pretty much the same setup.

50 feet from the antenna is a powered signal amp with antenna in and two lines out. One goes to my desk and the other to an old 14″ HDTV in our dressing area. At my desk I can watch and DVR using EyeTV software on an old iMac.

Now that we’ve eliminated Spectrum Cable TV I’ll split it three ways to provide a new line to the living room.

Hard to believe it’s been 10 years!


Here’s all the nerd details in several posts I wrote ten years ago.

Feb 2007 (10 years ago)
My cheap HDTV for $107 + shipping!
My cheap HDTV (part 2)
Hardware vs Software for TV on my Mac
two months later I found
My new HDTV Antenna
and also wrote
Comparing Antennas

Alt-Facts (or perhaps Alt-Logic)

February 15, 2017

Alt-Fact: If this fact was true last time I checked then it is still true.

Alt-Fact: If this fact is true sometimes then it is always true.

Alt-Fact: If my opinion is right then your opinion is wrong.

Alt-Fact: If I win that means I am right.

Alt-Fact: If I defeat my opponent that means I win.

Alt-Fact: If I am certain then there is no need to test my belief.

Alt-Fact: If you can not prove I am wrong then I am right.

Alt-Fact: If I can prevent you from proving I am wrong then I am right.

Alt-Fact: If enough people confirm my position then I am right.

Alt-Fact: If I eliminate my opponent(s) then I am right.

Alt-Fact: If how I do this has been working then I am doing it right.

Alt-Fact: If you do not catch me doing wrong then I did not do wrong.

Alt-Fact: If I stick to my story then I am right.

Alt-Fact: If everyone I trust says I am right then I am right.

Alt-Fact: If I distrust you then you are wrong.

Alt-Fact: If I label you as wrong then you are wrong.

Alt-Fact: If people I trust confirm that you are wrong then you are wrong.

Alt-Fact: If I do not like your truth then you are wrong.

Alt-Fact: If you scare me then I should eliminate you.

Alt-Fact: If a rape can not be proven then it did not happen.

Alt-Fact: If a rapist can not be found then there is no rape.

Alt-Fact: If there is no dead body then there was no death.

Alt-Fact: If Republicans are wrong then Democrats are right.

Alt-Fact: If your canidate is a lier then my canidate is a better choice.

Alt-Fact: If my religion is right then your religion is wrong.

Alt-Fact: If some members of your religion believe _ _ _ _ then all members believe same.

Why have you suffered so? (copied from someone I do not know)

February 10, 2017

The paragraphs below are lifted from a Facebook page.

Conservative friends–please comment and help me understand what you are needing and wanting right now. And please don’t say “For people to give him a chance.” He’s getting a chance, and progressives are reacting to things we think are important. By the way, I agree that we shouldn’t be reacting to every single thing he does. I’m actually not resisting the confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee. I’m trying to look at each of his actions individually and really ask myself: is it necessary to speak out against this for the good of our country or can I let this one go?

”A new administration-supporting Facebook friend told movie producer Scott Mednick, “We suffered for eight years. Now it’s your turn.”

Scott wrote a thoughtful response asking how, specifically, his friend had suffered under Obama:

“I am surprised you would wish suffering upon me. That of course is your right, I suppose. I do not wish harm on anyone. Your statement seems to continue the ‘US v THEM’ mentality. The election is over. It is important to get past campaigning and campaign rhetoric and get down to what is uniting, not dividing and what is best for ALL Americans.

There will never be a President who does everything to everyone’s liking. There are things President Obama (and President Clinton) did that I do not like and conversely there are things I can point to that the Presidents Bush did that I agree with. So I am not 100% in lock step with the outgoing President but have supported him and the overall job he did.

And, if you recall, during the Presidential Campaign back in 2008 the campaign was halted because of the “historic crisis in our financial system.” Wall Street bailout negotiations intervened in the election process. The very sobering reality was that there likely could be a Depression and the world financial markets could collapse. The United States was losing 800,000 jobs a month and was poised to lose at least 10 million jobs the first year once the new President took office. We were in an economic freefall. So let us recall that ALL of America was suffering terribly at the beginning of Obama’s Presidency.

But I wanted to look back over the last 8 years and ask you a few questions. Since much of the rhetoric before Obama was elected was that he would impose Sharia Law, Take Away Your Guns, Create Death Panels, Destroy the Economy, Impose Socialism and, since you will agree that NONE of this came to pass, I was wondering:

Why have you suffered so?

So let me ask:

Gays and Lesbians can now marry and enjoy the benefits they had been deprived of. Has this caused your suffering?

When Obama took office, the Dow was 6,626. Now it is 19,875. Has this caused your suffering?

We had 82 straight months of private sector job growth – the longest streak in the history of the United States. Has this caused your suffering?

Especially considering where he the economy was when he took over, an amazing 11.3 million new jobs were created under President Obama (far more than President Bush). Has this caused your suffering?

Obama has taken Unemployment from 10% down to 4.7%. Has this caused your suffering?

Homelessness among US Veterans has dropped by half. Has this caused your suffering?

Obama shut down the US secret overseas prisons. Has this caused your suffering?

President Obama has created a policy for the families of fallen soldiers to have their travel paid for to be there when remains are flown home. Has this caused your suffering?

We landed a rover on Mars. Has this caused your suffering?

He passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Has this caused your suffering?

Uninsured adults has decreased to below 10%: 90% of adults are insured – an increase of 20 Million Adults. Has this caused your suffering?

People are now covered for pre-existing conditions. Has this caused your suffering?

Insurance Premiums increased an average of $4,677 from 2002-2008, an increase of 58% under Bush. The growth of these insurance premiums has gone up $4,145 – a slower rate of increase. Has this caused your suffering?

Obama added Billions of dollars to mental health care for our Veterans. Has this caused your suffering?

Consumer confidence has gone from 37.7 to 98.1 during Obama’s tenure. Has this caused your suffering?

He passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Has this caused your suffering?

His bi-annual Nuclear Summit convinced 16 countries to give up and destroy all their loose nuclear material so it could not be stolen. Has this caused your suffering?

He saved the US Auto industry. American cars sold at the beginning of his term were 10.4M and upon his exit 17.5M. Has this caused your suffering?

The deficit as a percentage of the GDP has gone from 9.8% to 3.2%. Has this caused your suffering?

The deficit itself was cut by $800 Billion Dollars. Has this caused your suffering?

Obama preserved the middle class tax cuts. Has this caused your suffering?

Obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. Has this caused your suffering?

He signed Credit Card reform so that rates could not be raised without you being notified. Has this caused your suffering?

He outlawed Government contractors from discriminating against LGBT persons. Has this caused your suffering?

He doubled Pell Grants. Has this caused your suffering?

Abortion is down. Has this caused your suffering?

Violent crime is down. Has this caused your suffering?

He overturned the scientific ban on stem cell research. Has this caused your suffering?

He protected Net Neutrality. Has this caused your suffering?

Obamacare has extended the life of the Medicare insurance trust fund (will be solvent until 2030). Has this caused your suffering?

President Obama repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Has this caused your suffering?

He banned torture. Has this caused your suffering?

He negotiated with Syria to give up its chemical weapons and they were destroyed. Has this caused your suffering?

Solar and Wind Power are at an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?

High School Graduation rates hit 83% – an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?

Corporate profits are up by 144%. Has this caused your suffering?

He normalized relations with Cuba. Has this caused your suffering?

Reliance on foreign oil is at a 40 year low. Has this caused your suffering?

US Exports are up 28%. Has this caused your suffering?

He appointed the most diverse cabinet ever. Has this caused your suffering?

He reduced the number of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Has this caused your suffering?

Yes, he killed Osama Bin Laden and retrieved all the documents in his possession for analysis. Perhaps THIS caused your suffering?

From an objective standpoint it would appear that the last eight years have seen some great progress and we were saved from a financial collapse. Things are not perfect. Things can always be better. We are on much better footing now than we were in 2008.

I look forward to understanding what caused you to suffer so much under Obama these last eight years.”‘

Copy & paste to share.

News sources to support

February 4, 2017

Twitter at it’s best !

Based on the Tweets listed below by Jan, Beau and Andrew this page will be where I collect a list of Real News sources to support.

New York Times
The Guardian
Associated Press
Reuters News
The Economist

Note 1: PBS is the only ‘TV’ source here. IMO TV is NOT a trustworth news source

DISCLAIMER: People I respect recommend and subscribe to these sources. You are expected to do your own Extreme Vetting and have your own opinions.

Jan Chapman ‏@mamadelapaz 1:48 PM – 4 Feb 2017
Me too. #supportsanity #celebrateclarity #bethechange

… and …

Beau Willimon ‏@BeauWillimon 2:22 PM – 3 Feb 2017
Press should boycott altogether. Or leave when he speaks. He has zero respect for press. Why give him this platform?
“New Yorker and Vanity Fair Pull Out of Correspondents’ Dinner Partie”

… and …

Andrew Sarver ‏@sarver_andrew 12:51 PM – 4 Feb 2017
@BeauWillimon @nytimes I’m buying a year long subscription to any and every publication that does not attend the WH Correspondent’s Dinner.

… and this from earlier this week …

If they even exist, what are the best non biased news sources out there?

Several responses agreed that bias happens, be a skeptic.
I call your attention specifically to comments (below) by Laura Brown, Dan Moran, Lindsay Marshall and Matt Lutostanski.

Sites mentioned in response (as of 12:30 CT, January 30 2017):

+ New York Times
+ Wall Street Journal
+ KUT (On Point)
+ Reuters
+ Washington Post
+ The Atlantic
+ The Hill
+ Real Clear Politics
+ Slate
+ The Economist
+ Allsides
+ The Guardian
+ Al Jazeera
+ The Daily Signal
+ Vox (left leaning)
+ The National Review (right leaning)
+ Dan Rather on Facebook
+ Ben Swann on Facebook
+ Jake Tapper, Glen Greenwald on Twitter

(no particular order, correct me if I missed some)

Standout comments (imo):

Laura Brown I don’t think they exist. I always start by searching for the opposite of what I lean towards so I’m not just confirming my bias. For instance: I’m prolife and was wondering about the truth of PP, so I searched “planned parenthood does provide necessary prenatal care” (found out about 5-10% of facilities actually do) Read that info, then compare it to what I’ve read in stuff that leans my way, and research the facts of the specific discrepancies I find. I’m sure there’s a better way, but I think it’s almost impossible to write without a slant.

Dan Moran Honestly, I follow about 30 different reporters on twitter and I click around on their articles and tweets.

Wilson Tenney I follow individual news people on twitter. Jake Tapper, Glen Greenwald, etc…

Don Strickland This is a perfect time to learn that Twitter is NOT about what you tweet. It is ALL about who you follow. Think of it as being able to listen in on all the best conversations in the room at the most fun event you’ve ever attended.

Rachel Altsman I’ve seen people on both sides quibble over this infographic, which makes me think it’s probably pretty accurate.

Lindsay Marshall There are no unbiased sources. What you want to do is go for a balance of bias, and seek sources that work hard to uphold the standards of professionalism for journalism. So your big sources will be typical: New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NPR, BBC. But you have to read them with a fair measure of skepticism (though not cynicism – that will lead you just as far astray as believing everything in print no matter what). I also like The Hill for news relating to Congress – it’s usually the most timely and least partisan.
If you’re looking to balance political opinion writing, Real Clear Politics is kinda one-stop shopping for that. It’s a news aggregate site that just collects and links to all the political commentary being published that day – you can scroll through and see the full spectrum.

Matt Lutostanski I agree with the posters above. If you say “MSM is nothing but lies”, it implies you are not smart enough to read an article and uncover the bias yourself, so you’re willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Bias happens, it’s not always some devious conspiracy. That being said, I really like NPR/WaPo/The Atlantic. I regularly read Slate/The Economist, but understand there is a bit of an agenda in what they cover and how they cover it.

Kayleigh Rust NPR is your best bet for non biased. But Vox (left leaning) and The National Review (right leaning) are both great media networks that present facts, not fiction, and report on all issues, not just the ones they want their constituents to hear. I’d also recommend following Dan Rather and Ben Swann on Facebook. Both are very active and well rounded fact reporting journalists.