hits, so far...

I am a retired U.S. Government worker, soon to be graduate student and an aspiring writer. The book I am presently writing is based upon my career with the government.
 
     For now this weblog is my online journal. You'll find my opinions on a variety of topics, some light hearted humor, concert reviews and links to other things on the web that I find interesting. When the spirit moves me, I may also include longer essays.

And, check out the link at the top of the "Interesting-Free Stuff" Page... Free Software!  Fully licensed. You can tell the good ones by the amount of positive and negative comments displayed with each offering. Sometimes they give away a real winner. It changes daily so check back often

E-mail me:   mike.morrone@live.com


August 9, 2018 

Google Home...Update


After my August 1, 2018 post, I reached out to one of the local CBS affiliate radio stations and informed him of Google Home no longer streaming any of their content. I contacted Jared Hart, Program Director for CBS affiliate WPHT AM 1210 radio in Philadelphia. His station as well as KYW AM 1060 and WIP FM 94 are all local CBS affiliated radio stations, and none of them are streaming over a Google Home device. I also went outside the area and tried to stream Pittsburgh's KDKA AM 1020, another CBS affiliate. The same result was encountered. 

On August 7, 2018, Mr. Hart replied to my question. Here is his response:

On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 12:07 PM, Jared Hart <Jared.Hart@entercom.com> wrote:

Mike,

 

Thanks for reaching out, we always appreciate listener feedback and technical questions. I am so sorry for the delay, Google has not been super-responsive to our company. Amazon was very quick to help us transition from Tunein to Radio.com, but Google Home has told us that they are working on it, but we still haven't gotten a timeline.

 

It should be back up and running very soon, but that's all that Google has told us. We're so sorry for the inconvenience, there are obviously lots of platforms and we're trying to address all of them.

 

Jared Hart

Program Director, Talk Radio 1210 WPHT

 

Entercom | Philadelphia

400 Market St, 10th Fl

Philadelphia, PA 19106

O: +1 215-351-3704

M: +1 215-650-7532

As you can see, the problem is clearly Google. So far I have not heard anything from Google past my initial chat with Julie.  If  anything else comes in I will post it here.

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August 1, 2018

Google Home...Don't Buy It!

This year I was the recipient of a Google Home and a Google Home Mini. They were fun to play with Wi-Fi gadgets. For example, because my home is equipped with a Nest thermostat, I can raise or lower the temperature on my home's HVAC system with a few simple voice commands. But what I found most useful about it was it enabled me to listen to several of my favorite radio stations. I live a good distance from the Philadelphia Metropolitan area terrestrial radio transmitters so occasionally my radio reception leaves a little something to be desired. Using the Google Home to listen to the radio helped me overcome that...until today.

I instructed my Google Home to play the feed from the local all news station and a funny thing happened...there was silence. Next I asked Google Home to stream the local talk radio station and received a canned message, "The station you are trying to listen to does not stream over the internet."

This is totally wrong. Let me explain.

For quite some time, most of the local radio stations streamed their content via an app called "TuneIn".  However, the most popular stations have been advertising for several months that as of August 1, 2018, they would be leaving "TuneIn" and streaming their content over the "Radio.com" app. I presumed that Radio.com would be available on my Google Home devices. But that turned out not to be the case.


I initiated a chat with Google Home support person, Julie. After a few probing questions, Julie informed me that TuneIn was their (Google's) radio partner in the U.S. and I Heart Radio was their partner in the U.K.  This little factoid surprised me on several fronts. 

As I previously stated, these stations have been advertising for several months they would be leaving TuneIn and switching to Radio.com. I was surprised to find that Google is partnered with a provider that lost all (or most of) their content. It seems to me someone at Google was asleep at the switch. Julie suggested I pair my phone with one of my Google devices and listen to the broadcast content using the two devices. However, if I'm going to listen on my phone, why would I need a Google device?  

Julie told me she would pass my issue along. As of now I do not know how far it will go. I will take this opportunity to thank Julie for her attempt to help me, but really, I'm not expecting much.

I found out that as of today I have two very expensive electronic paperweights! So my advice if you're thinking of buying a Google Home device, save your money or buy another product like Alexa or the Apple version.

If I receive any further response from Google I will post it here...

******************************************************************************


February 12, 2018

               The Philadelphia Eagles 

               

The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions. I have told just about everyone I know that it was my firm belief that I would never see it in my lifetime. This is one time I am glad to be wrong. 

I have been a life long Eagles fan. I remember their first Super Bowl appearance in 1981. I didn't think they had a chance against Oakland. But when they reappeared in 2005 against New England, I actually thought they were going to win. Then came the fourth quarter and it all fell apart. 

What made the difference? I think player personalities may have played a role in the loss. Some of the 2004-05 team members were strong personalities. The 2017-18 squad seems to have a strong team "next man up" work ethic. 

It is rare when a guy like Nick Foles goes from being back up to starter and can achieve such a high level of success. He kind of reminded me of Clint Longley, quarterback for the 1974 Dallas Cowboys.

Longley was the back up quarterback for Hall of Famer Roger Staubach. I remember watching the Dallas vs. Washington game on Thanksgiving, 1974. Every once in a while the camera would zero in on Longley who was on the sideline with a clipboard following each play as it took place. Abruptly, Staubach went down with an injury. At the time the Cowboys were down 16-3. Longley methodically led the Cowboys on three touchdown drives, the last one culminating in a last second hail Mary touchdown pass to Drew Pearson. The Cowboys won, 24-23. It was a very memorable game but there is a big difference. Dallas did not win the 1975 Super Bowl.

Enter Nick Foles. When Carson Wentz went down, everyone (including me) thought the Eagles season was over. Week after week the Eagles were the underdog as they made their way through the playoffs.

                         

Foles showed a confidence and poise that led to the amazing result. I would say winning the Super Bowl was the bread and butter. Beating the defending champion AFC team, led by the same quarterback who led the crushing defeat in 2005 was the dessert! Super Bowl Champs!

          Go Eagles!!!!
      

************************************************
December 16, 2015

There's an App for That...

     For about the last three years or so I have been using IOS Apple type devices more frequently than I use my PC. I use two browsers, Safari and Google Chrome. I have been using google less and Safari more because Google is too quick to make itself the default browser , and seem to generate a lot of advertising based on my browsing experience. The truth be told, I don't need to keep seeing ads for months after I have bought something, but that is what Google is all about.
So, I find myself using Safari almost exclusively.

     As I browse the internet I keep getting notices to the effect, "There's an App for That". For example, if I look at a house on Realtor.com, I get the App message. But it doesn't end there. Discover credit cards, The Drudge Report,  CVS Pharmacy, Amazon, Netflix, Crackle, and SEPTA , all sites I visit on the internet, have their own APP. I wondered why I would need their app when each of these sites is available by using my browser. The first thing each app wants to know is if you, the user, will give it permission to use your location. The next thing it wants to do is send you push notifications. I think this is a little too invasive. Developing apps has to cost money and time. In short it's all about advertising.

     I am amazed at how willing people are to give up their most personal and intimate details on apps like Facebook. My cellular carrier did away with its unlimited data plan for this very reason. When I renewed my contract a couple of months ago, the rep told me that Facebook, as an app, is the biggest data hog on the internet. If you are involved in some shady activity, be careful what you post on Facebook because it is out there for the world to see. People protest loudly if a government entity goes after their personal information, but yet they freely give it up by using social media.

      I try to avoid using apps because they junk up the phone and invade it by grabbing my location, my contacts and whatever data I may happen to have stored on the phone. Maybe it's old fashioned, but my privacy still means something to me, How about you?
********************************************************************************************

             
 January 4, 2014     

AN ACTUAL CRAIG'S LIST PERSONALS AD   

To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Savannah night before last. Date: 2009-05-27, 1:43 a.m. E.S.T. 

I was the guy wearing the black Burberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend, threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message. 

First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason. 

My girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening. Obviously you agree that it is a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head ... isn't it?! I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse walking bare-footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. [That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again]. 

After I called your mother or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I went and filled up my gas tank as well as those of four other people in the gas station, -- on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful! I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!] I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb ... after I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car. Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. 

Ma Bell just now shut down the line, although I only used the phone for a little over a day now, so what 's going on with that? 

Earlier, I managed to get in two threatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target. The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number etc.). 

In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you ... but I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider, the career path you've chosen to pursue in life. Remember, next time you might not be so lucky. Have a good day!                                               


Thoughtfully yours,  XXXXXX P.S.. 


Remember this motto ... An armed society makes for a more civil society!  contributed by a reader...keep them coming! 


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               My Favorite Government Worker Joke  


I've always pride myself on being able to get (this joke) as well as give . This is my favorite joke about government workers. In every great joke there rings a certain element of truth.  Read on...

The Four Cats 

Four men were bragging about how smart their cats were. The first man was an Engineer, the second man was an Accountant, the third man was a Chemist, and the fourth man was a Government Employee. 

To show off, the Engineer called his cat, 'T-square, do your stuff.' T-square pranced over to the desk, took out some paper and pen and promptly drew a circle, a square, and a triangle. Everyone agreed that was pretty smart. 

But the Accountant said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said, 'Spreadsheet, do your stuff.' Spreadsheet went out to the kitchen and returned with a dozen cookies. He divided them into 4 equal piles of 3 cookies. Everyone agreed that was good. 

But the Chemist said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said, 'Measure, do your stuff.' Measure got up, walked to the fridge, took out a quart of milk, got a 10 ounce glass from the cupboard and poured exactly 8 ounces into the glass without spilling a drop. Everyone agreed that was pretty good. Then the three men turned to the Government Employee and said, 'What can your cat do?' 

The Government Employee called his cat and said, 'Coffee Break, do your stuff.' CoffeeBreak jumped to his feet....... ate the cookies........ drank the milk...... sh*t on the paper....... screwed the other three cats....... claimed he injured his back while doing so....... filed a grievance report for unsafe working conditions....... put in for Workers Compensation...............and went home for the rest of the day on sick leave............. 


AND THAT, MY FRIEND IS WHY I WANT TO WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT!!   
                                       
Mike MorroneĀ on the web

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