Thursday, January 30, 2014

How can we do it better?

I have determined that there are roughly 35,000 Facebook groups devoted to the city of Maricopa, where I reside. There are 7,000 that are solely devoted to selling, buying, giving away and hoarding stuff. And then, every development in town has their own community group (or 10-12).

There are groups for crime prevention, crime rumor proliferation, and there are probably a few secret ones for crime planning, as well.

All of this data to sift through, and that's only one Social Media platform.  The PD has one person dedicated as the Public Information Officer.  It is physically impossible for him to do his PIO job, as well as keep an eye on what's happened digitally in town.

The Block Watch coordinator is trying to get a handle on some of the rumors, but it's too much for her, too.

I think it's time to go to the Chief with a proposal for the VIP volunteers. Maybe some of us could help the PIO with the "connecting with the people" details online.

Something has to be done, and failure is not an option. We cannot afford to not engage our customer in their desired mode.

The answer to, "Is that the best you can do..." always no.
A better question is, "what resource would enable you to do even better?"
We have the technology, the volunteers and the desire to get it right.  We just need to take the next step.

(Hat tip to Seth Godin's blog. Also, group count might be slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect.)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Falling From The Sky

I walked outside this morning, and found moisture falling from the sky!  I don't think much of it will fall, but it should be enough.  Someone washed their car this weekend, and jinxed us!

I sure hope we get more of it, and soon.

Friday, January 24, 2014

100 Years of ARRL

This year, the American Radio Relay League celebrates it's 100th birthday.

They're celebrating all year long. Here is a PDF document with information.

What will the next 100 years bring us? Even smaller radios? More options in the palm of your hand?

Maybe now is the time for you to get your License, if you're not already a ham.  If you are a Ham, are you active?  Need a new radio? wrote a neat little article about purchasing your first radio.  Here it is.

Tips for Choosing your First Radio for Your Ham Station and getting on the AIR! By N4UJW

Maybe join a ARRL Affiliated Club in your area, too. Become active in your community.

Become Radio Active in 2014!

73, de n7fan

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oh Boy!

14-0120011999 Toyota Sienna CE14-01200314-01200414-01200514-012006
14-01200714-0120081999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE
1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE
1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE1999 Toyota Sienna CE

1999 Toyota Sienna, a set on Flickr.

On Monday, I purchased a new vehicle. Well, new to me, at least.

It's a 1999 Toyota Sienna CE, with 190,000 miles. Now I get to figure out what to do with all the space inside. I'm thinking pile carpeting, fuzzy dice, and a bar in the back.

It has some bumps and bruises, but no leaks so far!

Via Flickr:
Photos of our new/used Toyota Sienna.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chained to the computer

Since we put our youngest son in K12 home-based schooling, I serve as his Learning Coach, and have to keep an eye on him while he works.

So, I'm chained to the computer next to him most of the time.  It's terrible...but I'm actually getting stuff done that I've "meant to do" for the longest time now.

Updating social media channels.
Consolidating social media accounts.
Linking accounts together via IFTTT
And spend time working on Travel Agency stuff that I had almost given up on.

The other benefit is that I get to spend time with my son that I would be missing if he was at a brick-and-mortar school.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Invasion of the Tamale Makers

It was a overwhelming invasion.  I woke up yesterday to a house full of people making tamales. When I left for work, they were working hard.

When I got home this morning, everyone was asleep, but the results were plain to see:

It appears to have been a successful party.  Apparently bed time was somewhere around 2am.

Friday, January 10, 2014

WordPress or Tumblr...or Blogger

After a LOT of thought, I've decided to go back to the same blog platform I started out with.  

WordPress wants to charge me for subdomain redirects.  Tumblr isn't a good platform for traditional blog posts (text), and it didn't deal with multiple media very well, either.

So, I've moved back to Blogger.  We'll see how everything goes. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wordpress or Tumblr?

I have played with WordPress once in the past.  It was very newbie-unfriendly.  So I used Tumblr. I’ve been happy with it.  But, recently someone recommended that WP was “the best.”

Once again, I’m looking at WordPress. There are a lot of options that I would possibly use, but the big sticking point is custom domain mapping. I currently have my blog set as a subdomain on my home website. ( Tumblr does this for free.

WordPress wants $12/yr for the same thing. I don’t think so.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Too Much "Reality" in our lives?

Can someone please tell me why I should care about Kim Kardashian (sp), Denise Richards or any number of other bimbos who grace the channels of our TV sets?

Who made these people interesting? Is this the final (hopefully) evolved state of the old “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” TV show with Robin Leach?

Are our lives so superficially shallow that we need to watch “Real Orange County Housewives” or NY Housewives, or Army Wives, or…well, you get the point. It seems that there is nothing on TV worth watching anymore. There are so many channels on cable now, that they have to contract pure filth and crap to show to viewers or all you would see is a test pattern all day.

If I have to hear more commercials about another singing, plastic surgery performing, OB/GYN tattoo artist in Beverly Hills, I’m going to scream.

Of course, then I could turn on Dr Phil, or Dr Laura, or Oprah, or….

Where’s my prozac?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sometimes the Good Guys win.

On my way to work tonight, I found myself behind a Lincoln Town Car that seemed to want to share everyone else’s lane.

After following the vehicle for a mile, during which time he managed to not sideswipe any cars in either of the lanes he was occupying, I dialed 911 on my phone.

During the 3 mile conversation with the Call Taker, and Dispatcher on the side, the driver managed to cut off two other vehicles, brake check about a dozen times, and swerve from lane to lane. When they finally decided to actually change into a lane, as opposed to just taking half of it, they used their turn signal! (hurray for small victories!)

After 3 miles of weaving and braking, the car suddenly darted into the left turn lane and took off Westbound on Lower Buckeye Rd. Apparently there was another driver on 911 also, because they were able to follow them West.

I left my number with the Call Taker, told them the officers could contact me if they wished, and continued on my way to a gas station and then work.

About 10 minutes later, I received a call from an officer stating that they had stopped the vehicle, and they wanted a brief, verbal statement. I gave it, and he said he would be back in touch with me in a little bit.

30 minutes after that, I received a call from another officer, who asked me all kinds of questions (how many people did I see in the car; could I tell if the driver was male or female, etc). He stated that the driver was a female, and she had admitted to drinking.  He took my address, name, DOB and a more complete statement, and asked if I would be willing to testify as a witness, since my 911 call had formed part of the “probable cause” basis for stopping her.

I said YES!  I can’t stand drunk drivers and the destruction they cause.

I’ll be watching the mail for a subpoena , or a phone call from the Prosecutor’s office.

Sometimes the good guys win.

Thank you Phoenix PD, for a job well done!

PS: This makes up for the 911 call I made on a vehicle, in the same area, who was driving 20MPH in a 40, in the rain.  PPD stopped the car, and then came back to tell me that it was a little grandma who was terrified of driving in the rain, so she was being extra careful.  I felt horrible.

This stretch of roadway is the sole access road to a Indian casino/resort, so there is a lot of “questionable” driving that goes on down there in the evenings and early morning hours. DF