Trump’s Continued Incompetency is Getting MORE Dangerous

This stuff isn’t going away. Trump is deteriorating our international relations, instigating wars and stresses between nations, provoking and condoning violence within our own country, and continuously ignoring common sense politics that have driven this country for close to 250 years.

Now, we have to worry about nuclear war with North Korea. North Korea is run by a horrible little man that has no ethics (like Trump), but provoking him with undiplomatic drivel normally used in a middle school playground is unnecessary and dangerous. Nuclear war is not a way to show power. It is a way to show either desperation (North Korea) or ineptitude (Trump). Nuclear war would kill millions of innocent people. It is only an answer for animals.

We now have to worry about nazis in our own country. Last night’s post emphasized the terrorism that exists within our borders. This segment of society hasn’t been so vocal and brazen in a hundred years. Why are we going backwards?

We now have to worry about critical damage to the sciences. Trump has no education about basic science. He believes the human heart only has a finite number of beats in a lifetime, so exercise is bad. utter nonsense. He is defunding climate science despite the fact that those repercussions are being felt right now, and they will only get worse at a rapid pace. Trump wants science dead despite the fact that science is the only reason he is alive right now.

We have to worry about deteriorating economy. Trump is wrong on almost every economic front. His “America first” mentality is not the way to grow economy. His plan to kick out 2-3 million immigrants does not grow economy. His plan to replace and repeal the ACA will not grow economy. His plan to hinder renewable energy development (aka: science) will not grow the economy. Any one of these things might be fine, but all of them together are a recipe for economic disaster for Americans.

We have to worry about having a liar and a manipulator as our president. This guy is a horrible human being. He advocates sexual assault. He lies constantly despite recorded evidence that he is lying. He promotes and provokes violence, white supremacy, and racism. He uses the office of President as a way to leverage his own businesses. He is too stupid to realize when he is being manipulated. This joker has the nuclear codes. This moron can pardon anyone. This trash can destroy the United States of American. Literally.

Resist.

What is the Alt-Right? This is It.

Watch this video. It is 22 minutes of truth about what we are dealing with in this country. There are parts of our country that are disgusting, despicable. Deplorable. These people claiming to “protect history” are the worst of the worst. We can call them Nazis, white supremacists, alt-right, Mitch McConnell, or Donald Trump, but they are all on the wrong side of history.

I cancelled my membership to the ACLU this week due to their support of free speech at all costs. That is wrong. Somebody died over this version of free speech protected by the ACLU. If free speech is inciting violence against other – any others – it is wrong. This should be self-evident, but apparently too many people in this country can’t think for themselves. Of course, those people are a small minority. They are literally terrorists. But it’s still too many people. Free speech is a right, but there are obvious boundaries. For all the good they do, the ACLU does not know those boundaries. This trash must be marginalized.

Resist.

It’s Payback Time!

Right now, I’m eating a “superfood” salad from a nearby restaurant while I’m out of town on a business trip. It’s part of my masochistic plan to run my second ultramarathon. The salad is not masochistic, but the running is. My body seems to have made some changes to metabolism since I turned 42 (I’m 43 now), so it has been an uphill battle. But I’ve been maintaining my long runs, and they have actually been enjoyable.

Today, I took a leap. I signed up for my second ultramarathon. But it isn’t just an ordinary ultramarathon. It is a double rematch!

  1. As mentioned above, I’m fighting an uphill battle. I’ve gained more weight over the last year and a half than ever in my life. It bothers me because my lifestyle has not changed. I still run. I still eat relatively healthy and vegan (mostly). I don’t eat fast food, drink sodas, or binge-watch TV. Why is this happening? So I have to prove to myself that I can still do this. 43 is still young. I still have big plans. I love doing long runs. I need to do this.

  2. I signed up for the Crystal Springs Trail Run. And I have history with this run. Back in 2012, I signed up for the Crystal Springs marathon distance. I started having knee pain around mile 9, and it only got worse over time. I pushed through, but at mile 21, I pulled out because I thought I might be doing permanent damage to my knees. It is the only DNF I have ever had. Worse yet, I was wrong about the knees. I recovered very fast. I could have made it another five miles easy. It was a mistake to drop out.

Now, it’s time to bitch-slap the Crystal Springs run. I am not doing the marathon distance. I am doing the 50k this time. And I’m going to finish even if I have to crawl. I love those trails through the tall redwood forest. It stays cool and shaded, and it’s beautiful. It gives me a lot of motivation to go back to these trails five years later to get my payback. This 50k is going down.


This is a strategic selection. It gives me enough time to prepare and gives me enough reason to push through this one. I almost guarantee that I will not be getting any PR on this route, but I don’t care. I have a lot to prove to myself. This is the perfect situation. I have a 20 mile training run tomorrow after driving home for 5 hours. I’ll be running into the night on my home trails in Orcutt. Wish me luck. Updates to follow.

March Challenge Recap

The March Chalenge is over. Therefore, stats must follow. Here they are:

  • Total number of miles run : 167 miles
  • Elevation climbed during runs : 25,069 feet
  • Total hours spent running : 33.7 hours
  • Total daily miles including walks (according to Apple Health app) : 366.8 miles
  • Average total miles per day (according to Apple Health app) : 11.8 miles
  • Total number of steps (according to Apple Health app) : 661,393 steps
  • Average number of steps per day (according to Apple Health app) : 21335.26 steps
  • Total number of miles run in 20+ mph wind : 37.1 miles
  • Total number of miles run with one or more dogs : 52.8 miles
  • Total number of miles run with one or more German Shepherds : 52.8 miles
  • Total number of miles run with a non-German Shepherd dog : 20.90
  • Total number of runs with coyote encounters: 1 run
  • Total number of runs with salamander encounters : 1 run
  • Total number of trout encountered : 0 (sadly)
  • Average number of Half Domes climbed : 5.01 Half Domes
  • Total number of runs when I got at least mildly lost : 2 runs
  • Total number of podcasts ingested : 71.3 podcasts
  • Total number of regrettable runs : 0 runs
  • Total number of painful days : 29.3 days
  • Total miles run in darkness : 55.9 miles
  • Totsl hours listening to Dillinger Escape Plan : 12.806 hours
  • Total number of road miles run : 30.06 miles
  • Average number of dollars spent protecting democracy : $235

There were some good times and some low times. But overall it was a really great experience. If you are interested, feel free to read back in the Activity blogs. Or do your own challenge! Enjoy!

Five Mile a Day Challenge

At work, we are having a step challenge for the month of March. I usually get a bit competitive, but this time I decided to get competitive with myself. Halfway through the first day (yesterday), I figured that I could get the max number of steps per day (which is set at 20,000 for this challenge) if I simply took around three less-than-ten-minute short walks during the day plus a five mile run. I have done a challenge in the past where I needed to run a 10k every day for ten days straight. It was relatively easy, besides trying to find the time. The first 4-5 days, my body seemed to be adjusting to the daily workout, but after that, it was cake. So I figure five miles a day for 31 days straight could be a great way to kick up my running habit and motivate me to get out there.

So, I decided that halfway through yesterday. I accomplished the goal of 20,000 steps. I repeated today. No problems. I feel good. I am having fun planning out the challenge. I am going to post a few runs from Sunday onward right now with the hopes to have all 31 runs documented. Follow along if you want to see how it goes. Some days will probably be boring, but I expect some days to be very interesting.

In Their Shoes

During good or bad times, it is good to step back and consider what we have been given as citizens of the United States. No, things are not perfect, but they are really quite good for most Americans compared to the standard of life in other countries. It’s easy to forget the plight of people in other countries, the total sense of helplessness they may feel, the dangerous situations they may be subjected to no matter what choices they make.

It is especially important to keep this in mind now that Trump is in office. His ban of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen hurts the refugees in those countries. So take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. We have been hearing about the crisis in Syria for years now. due to civil war. We have seen that people in Syria are in a life or death situation. Many of them have made the choice to flee to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. Some die trying. Almost everyone has seen the sad photo of the dead toddler on the beach. His name was Aylan Kurdi, and he drown along with his 5 year old brother and his mother.

Put yourself in the shoes of a family that is fearful for their lives. They only want to raise their children in a peaceful place, but they do not have that choice. Terrorized by the war, they flee because making a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea is a safer choice than staying in Syria. Imagine the journey in a small boat as they tried to make it to Greece by sea. Imagine the horror they all felt when the boat capsized. Their father probably tried to save them, but they were too far from shore.

That is only one of millions of similar stories. Seriously, put yourself in their shoes. Or think of how you would handle the situation if you saw this happening to them right before your eye in real life. Wouldn’t you rush to help them without even considering race or religion? That’s not a drowning Syrian family. It is a drowning human family. We’re all human.

Now think back at the glibness of Donald Trump when it comes to a travel ban. Think about those words he said over and over, “America first! America first!” as that Syrian family is drowning. If you were the most powerful person in the world, would you not try to save some of those families? I truly believe most people would help, but we are so disconnected from the harsh reality of the lives of those in need because we are so sheltered in our American world. Instead of, “What’s happening to the refugees?” we ask “When is the new iPhone going to be released?” Our lives are so different, it is difficult to imagine the dramatically different world of those living in war-torn countries.

Do you want to be the person that yells “America first!” as the family drowns or the person that says “We welcome you regardless of your religion.” When you are drowning, how would you like people to treat you? When you can’t hold your breath any longer and start breathing water into your lungs, do you want someone to pull you out or turn their back on you and walk away as you sink?

Please consider this as Trump continues his devastating decisions. It’s about more than just you and me. We need to look out for each other.

Going Forward

Lately, I have not been posting on my website. I’ve been too caught up with work, the loss of our first dog, and the election of a demagogue as our nation’s president. But after the first 10 days of his election have passed, I see the resistance is strong. And that makes me stronger.

It’s time to reactivate this website. Yes, you will see more political posts. But you will also see the exertion of my energies, read about getting lost on the trails during long runs, listen to music that allows me to release my frustration through arpeggios and choruses, maybe see what it is like to win again.

If you have ever read Howard Zinn‘s A People’s History of the United States, you see that the resistance bleeds into everyday life. It becomes part of their culture. Those are people that really suffered. We are not there yet, but I still feel that infiltration into my day to day experiences. I see images in my mind of clowns in the White House almost every waking hour. Then I read the news, and it is all confirmed. It is consuming.

I have it good. I am not at risk right now. I am a privileged white man. But I deeply care about the oppression of other people. I care about it so much that I feel I made a misstep in my life. Maybe I should have gone down another path. But I am still in a position to help. As Propagandhi aptly said, “But that’s exactly why priviledged fucks like me should feel obliged to whine and kick and scream- until everyone has everything they need.”

Keep you eye on this space.

Is There No Evernote Alternative?

Recently, Evernote increased their prices and limited the free plan to only two devices. Evernote has clearly been struggling for a while. Their CEO and founder left a year ago. The COO left a few months after that. And finally the CTO left in May of this year. This is a sign of a struggling company. I am not against reasonable price increases, but a price increase after such an exodus is a really bad sign.

I have been looking around for an alternative to Evernote for a few weeks now. But before I get to the problems with those alternatives, I want to make it clear that I don’t really want to leave Evernote. But Evernote itself has been slipping and causing annoyances, so I want to cover those issues first just in case anyone else has been going through similar problems.

Evernote

  • Evernote relentlessly harasses me with pop ups to upgrade on the Mac app as well as in the iOS app. I currently subscribe to their Plus plan because the Premium plan is not worth the money to me. But even being a paying customer, Evernote continuously asks me if I want to update to Premium. It pops up in the sidebar. It pops up when I try to do a search. It pops up on all of my devices, so it seems neverending. And I already pay. Not acceptable.
  • Evernote is relentless with their Work Chat. I never use Work Chat. No need for it. But I consistantly get pop ups telling me that I have a Work Chat waiting for me or “Have you tried work chat yet?” Please, stop botthering me. This is not a paid feature, and I am a paying customer. Stop. Please.
  • Evernote still has problems with syncing across devices. Just in the last few days, I have tried to delete a “Test” note a half dozen times. I have perfomed a sync after every deletion, but the note keeps popping up again. If you can’t sync a deletion, how can I be sure Evernote will sync a new note? I need to trust the system, and that is difficult.
  • Evernote does not allow a user to export notes in a format that is very worthwhile. Part of the problem with this is that Evernote has its own rich text formatter. It does not support markdown, even though it seems like that should be easy to implement. I want to own my notes. I don’t want them locked in Evernote.

I complain, but Evernote does have a lot of features that I really like. One of the most important is the search feature. If I need to find a note for work, I usually nweed to find it very quickly. It also allows me to add PDF files, images, and audio notes, which makes it very versatile. I have found that the combination of these features is difficult to find, and I have been testing many apps.

Here’s a list:

Together (for Mac)

  • Together looks like a great app, but it failed at accurately importing my Evernote notes. I emailed support, and they got back to me with a request for log files. But that was it. No response. So that is tough.
  • There is no web interface for Together. The good side of that is that I truly own my notes. The information is saved on my computer. Nobody is viewing my data or selling my information. But I do sometimes want or need a web interface since I work on a Windows 7 computer at work. It is also nice to have notes in the cloud just in case my hard drive fails or my house burns down. I do have backups, but data in the cloud is almost always easier.
  • You can’t create checklists in Together. I use checklists a lot in Evernote, so I really miss these.
  • The app doesn’t look like it has been updated in a while. I don’t know what that means, but it makes me more hesitant to invest my data in an app that may not be actively developed.

Apple Notes

  • I really thought Apple Notes would be the best replacement to Evernote. I can save images or PDF files, create checklists, and everything is free with Apple devices. There is even a web interface, and I know I can trust Apple not to mine my information for ads or sales to third parties like Google does. But after import of my Evernote notes (about 668 of them), things got really slow. This doesn’t work. When I need to access a note, I need it fast. The app seems unresponsive, but it actually just lags really bad. This can be even more frustrating than not registering a keystroke.
  • Apple Notes search does not seem to work. According to Apple’s own support document, it does not search the note titles. It only searches the body of the note. But, at least on iOS, I performed tests searching the body of the note, and no results were returned. This may actually be part of the first problem above. Maybe it is just really slow, but really slow is a dealbreaker.
  • The other thing is that when results are returned, it does not highlight search word(s) in the note. If I have a long note, I may not know where in the note that text occurs. Again, I need to find things fast. I don’t have time to scan the note to attempt to find the phrase I just searched for, sometimes only to find it is not the note I was looking for.
  • I hate the look of Apple Notes.

Microsoft OneNote

  • If you search for alternatives to Evernote on the web, a large majority of websites pick OneNote as their top pick. I installed it on all of my devices and tested it for a week. One initial problem is Microsoft was not released a Evernote importer for Mac yet. Only Windows. So I lose all of my old notes until they release something. That is not good. It defeats the purpose of having that kind of service to begin with.
  • OneNote has some really weird behaviors. On my iMac, every time I launched the app, it took me through the initial setup screens. Every. Single. Time. This did not happen on my Macbook. So why only on the iMac? It is an annoyance that costs me about five clicks every time I open the app.
  • When I tried to log into OneNote 2010 on my Windows work computer, it worked fine for about two days. Then everything disappeared from the notebooks. The notebooks were still visible, but they were empty. When I log into OneNote Online, everything was still there. I researched the problem for a few hours, but nothing worked. I contacted Microsoft for technical support via chat, but that was just worthless. The agent was clearly not focused. He/She asked for my name and contact info and then literally said, “Hi Kris, can I please get your name?” What do you say to that? You just asked for my name, and then you used my name in a sentence asking for my name. Comical, but time wasting. No surprise, the agent continued with unhelpfulness asking me to do the same thing more than once, forgetting answers I had already given. Microsoft support has not changed in decades. It was useless back when I used MS products, and they remain useless.
  • I didn’t test the app long enough, but I am pretty sure everything is saved in OneDrive, so I would eventually have to pay for storage. I am not against paying for something really useful, but it is a consideration. Over the course of many years, the price will get higher and higher as the storage keeps increasing. One good thing about Evernote is that you get a allocation of space to upload every month.
  • I personally really hate the way the screen is arranged in OneNote. It is typical Microsoft: too many features, too much clutter, ugly interface, lack of keyboard shortcuts, etc. Did I mention it is really ugly?
  • UPDATE: Apparently, as I wrote this, Microsoft had already released their Evernote importer according to 9to5mac.com. There are still problems with OneNote, and I haven’t tried the importer, but it appears that is one problem resolved. However, when I reinstalled OneNote on my iMac, the application got stuck on a loading screen that never goes away. As I mentioned above, there are lots of weird bugs, but this one makes the application completely useless.

Zoho Notebook

  • I really don’t recommend even trying this one, but I’m mentioning it here because it came up in my searches. Zoho Notebook does not have any Mac app or web interface. They only offer iOS apps. That’s a big red checkmark in my book, but I tried it anyway. I didn’t get far.
    When going through the setup screens, Zoho Notebook doesn’t allow me to create an account. I get a useless error message. End of story. Can’t use it. What about support? I always want to give the developers a chance to fix the problem.
  • I submitted a support ticket to Zoho, but after more than three days, I still have not received a response. I also still can’t create an account.
  • Looking at Zoho’s website, it almost looks like an ad agency. There is a link to “Sales & Marketing,” “IT & Help Desk,” “Finance,” “HR,” and “Business Process” (whatever that is). Their logo looks like some colorful infant building blocks. Why? The impression I get from this page is that of a corporate machine talking down to thier customers as if they are babies. I also found that they do not charge for their app or storage for the app. So what is their business model? Judging from the website, I assume the worst. As the saying goes, if you are not paying for the product, you are the product. Stay away from this option.

So where does that leave me? There really isn’t any good option. You just have to choose the least annoying option. And I think Evernote is still the best option. But I really hope that changes. For my personal needs, it does the best job of search, storage, and useful features. However, Evernote has some really big problems that make me hate it. If your customers hate your app or service, you are failing. I am only using Evernote begrudgingly. I hope somebody else jumps into this market with a sustainable option. Or I hope Evernote gets past their desperation, always asking for money (even from paying customers), and realize that they need to remove the barriers they have created that make me hate using their service. Evernote used to be enjoyable to use. They can do it again.

One final thought: in searching for alternatives to Evernote, I ran across an alternative Evernote client for Mac called Alternote. Although they do not have any iOS apps yet, it appears that they are working on them. Alternote offers a clean interface to evernote that removes almost everything that I complained about above. It is simple, but they is some power hidden within if you want it. No Work Chat. No popups to upgrade to Premium. So if you are going to use Evernote, I recommend Alternote. It’s not free, but it’s worth it. Hopefully, they still find it worth their time to invest into the development of Alternote 2 and the iOS apps.

Close Menu