Bob Fairbairn

Good intentions, the internet “rathole” and finding gold

This morning I am sort of waiting for some work that is coming my way today. A DAC to test, the fireplace guy to clean, and a quiet house to do some test podcast recording. I am reading and there is @Agiletortise mentioning the Drafts action to post to A reminder to read the MacStories article about the new version of drafts. And what appears to be an interesting podcast “Fundanmentally Broken”

Thanks @Manton for enabling this!

Well the intro and outro music had been selected and imported. The outline for the first microcast is in draft form. I have studied Ferrite Studio and practiced. I guess tomorrow when the house is quite I should record….. Scary!

Before starting a Microcast. A few questions for the group.

I have this “idea” for a microcast to take place of some of my blogging. Would you mix the blog and the cast in the same stream ? Do you think a microcast should have it’s own domain name? How regular does a microcast need to be to keep folks happy?

So many things before “commit myself” or get committed,…


Taking some of my thinking “public”

Apple and “How do to even more with iPad”…

Barred Owl

The owl was perched on a sign post as we were returning to our vacation cottage.

To “Mirkwood”

This is on one of my local walking routes. The light makes me feel like the walk into Mirkwood!

The Cardinal

Move on, nothing to see here ...

I left FB once and came back for my small business and to see things from my family. I tried pretty hard to use FB to improve my customer interactions but I never paid them any money for improving my results. I hoped that people around me would see value and tell others. I guess it does not work that way. About 2 months ago I turned off my business pages and stopped posting.

I did not understand how the new FB app platform worked and that it allowed xfiltration of data or actually what data is being collected. No I did not go look either. I really wanted the system to help me with my business and to see what was happening with far flung family. What I found was a lot of noise with very little signal. I do not think that any of us know what we are giving FB for free and what they are scraping up from what we leave around the internet.

As I collapsed my presence down to close family I found that about 30% of the posts in my “timeline” are advertisements disguised as “posts” or FB trying to sell my business services. I also found that they did not deliver family posts to me that I wanted to see and I could not find them but others saw them. I do not understand what FB is hiding or why a linear timeline seems to beyond reason.

So where does this leave me? I really do not know, but I will be deleting my FB account today. I do not celebrate this; it is just a fact. I may miss some pictures or moments from my grandchildren’s lives, I may miss some of the things that my son in Germany does. I will not miss being torn apart by participating in the farce that is FB. Others around me will show me some of the pictures and videos….

I am working to figure out how to create a safe and simple place for my family to share things with each other. I do not know how I will do this. I do not know how to reduce the siren call of “Just Post on FB”.

I do know that is time to “Move on, nothing to see here!”

  • RJF

AirPods continue to amaze me. Today I am listening to podcasts while working around the house. I went to the basement to boot up the iMac and the AirPods started to break up. I was confused then discovered that my Phone was on the second floor at the opposite end of the house. SMILE!!!

New 12.9 in iPad Apple Smart Keyboard today. Third one! Replaced under warranty. Genius says all too common occurrence…


I live and work in the USA and Tax day for me is the day I do both my business taxes and my personal taxes. I usually have to wait till about March 1st to get all the data in. This is risky with all the scammers out there,… My son just got a 1099 this week that should have been here in January!.. We have gotten three different proof of insurance forms from BCBS IL for my wife. I think they got it right the third time.

So as a macOS and iOS guy tax day for the business means I have to have a PC around because all the tax software for Buisness appears to be only on PCs. Now I have a very simple business so it is not hard. I have been using HRBlock software for a couple of years and up till this year it is just OK. This year has been terrible. I have found it impossible to move the data from one PC to a new one so that I can not be bogged down with the two year old Core i7 machine (that is a joke folks). I should have just re-entered the data instead of trying to import from last year. The program is spitting out forms that have no data on them with things like #VALUE where there should be nothing. The UI is terrible and is about 10 years old Windows style. The documentation and messaging is cryptic. But It is done. So the e-file of federal is done, with the round trip to the printer/scanner to “sign” the special form that lets you e-file. The drive to the post office is done to mail the state taxes that the software will not allow you to e-file.

—- Phase one done —-

Then I tried to use the personal software to do my personal taxes. It kept trying to update itself over and over again. It did import finally and I tried to get started. Boy was that a mistake! I do not know how may times I got the (Not Responding) messaging and could not enter data. They say that there is an update schedule for March 28th so do I have to wait to file>?? WTF??

So I abandoned ship and got the Mac version of TurboTax. And it just worked. Yes there are some cryptic questions, but hey this is the US Tax system built by folks that want to try to obfuscate things because “they can”???

Tax software is a lot like accounting software, it never works like “real people” want it to. And lets not forget payroll, what a MESS.

Now all the data is in for the home taxes and I am “cooling off” to review with my wife later.

I can dream that all of this should just go away for something simple and automated. Really folks this should not be that hard.


iPad Pro 12.9 and Smart Keyboard “issues”

So my iPad Pro connected to the Smart Keyboard keeps beeping and changing the battery icon to charging. It does this 10- 20 times then stops. When I do not have the Smart Keyboard plugged in this does not happen. No it is not plugged into power… I am on my second keyboard for a another symptom where the on screen keyboard keeps popping up like the attached keyboard is not there. IF tip the ipad forward the onscreen keyboard disappears.

Nesting Great Blue Herons

Near my home is a Heron Rookery (Heronry). Two years ago I counted over 90 nests. I think it is still growing .

Every now and then a “tool” comes along that you cannot pass up

Two walks. Living history farm and forest trail. Ahhh!!

Started using a new “gadget “ in the stereo. Cleans up the USB audio by re-generation and galvanic isolation. Big Smile on my face!

Anyone using the Apple US holiday calendar seeing new holidays that are notUSA. ?? Including one tomorrow called “holi”. Seeing it on two Apple ids. It is making my wife 😡 and that is the last thing I need today. Guess I should file a radar.

Yuk, sore throat, feeling funky all over. Getting nothing done today😕. But I got two new books to read today. So rest, music in the background, read.

So I have this Lenovo Yoga 920 I am setting up and it goes to sleep. I keep pressing on the fingerprint reader to wake it up….. Well it should wake up eh!!??!!

Spring is here; well the Red Wing Blackbirds are back, we have seen the Sandhill Cranes. It is over sixty degrees. A great day for a walk.