The Elephant in the 2015 Dodgers’ Clubhouse

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If it hasn’t become apparent to everyone who follows baseball, with a recent sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers by the Colorado Rockies, there is a elephant in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.  This elephant that not many in Dodger management seem to want to talk about is the Dodgers’ bullpen and good pitchers or lack thereof.   This year the Rockies sweep has kept the Los Angeles Dodgers’ magic number stalled at two, but the bigger problem that needs addressing is why they have struggled at all–since 2014.  To me and other fans, it has been simple to figure out–the Dodger’s pitching, particularly the bullpen, needs fixing.  However, for unknown reasons to us fans, upper management went for supposed hitters (who have also struggled) yet if a team expects to win a tight game it is essential they be able to hold one run games.  So now we are seeing what happens when a baseball teams’ bullpen leaks.  Until the Dodgers get their pitching fixed by adding good, solid  pitchers (starters and relievers), I predict they continue to have trouble winning games–even if it means the need to win one against the last place team.

 

Related interest:

Los Angeles Dodgers Rockies Sweep

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Not Worthy

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Some of the Republican candidates running for president this year are more conservative or left of middle than others. They would each attempt to right a sinking ship called America and actually fix many problems our nation faces today–instead of making things worse.    However, I don’t believe America deserves any of these fine individuals to be our leader.   Americans, through our choice to elect Obama not once, but twice, have proven our unworthiness to have such valuable person in the White House.   We don’t deserve a person who will actually fix problems rather than create them and most assuredly not a person who will place God’s laws above all else.

When we choose a person who deliberately wants to destroy us through negotiations with a terrorist country (Iran) while failing to secure the release of innocent lives being tortured in that country we deserve to suffer the consequences of such recklessness.    If we elect a person who repeatedly champions immorality as is seen with his view on abortion or gay marriage while defending the actions of some to murder police officers but at the same time ignores the mass murdering of blacks (in Chicago, Baltimore and elsewhere)–we cannot expect peace.    And when we support a person who makes unlawful executive actions and campaigns for the implementation of illegal legislation such as Obama Healthcare to control the people it becomes pretty clear to some why America is falling apart.  These actions are only a breadcrumb of the damage that has been done and is being done by our current president.

For some of us who read the Bible, we know why this is going on.   And we also know the One who will right the ship and have final say.   While in the meantime, we also know “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving.” (2Cor4:4a)

Admittedly, there isn’t much peace to be found–if any.  But is there hope?  Can any of this damage we have incurred at our nation’s expense be undone? Can there really be true individual or collective peace at all?  Yes and the only way is if we repent.  We each must each repent of our sins against God.  God’s standard for what is perfect and good is different from ours.  God is perfect and holy and cannot have sin (see good person test) in His presence.     Have any of us been perfect?  Are any of us without sin?  If we are honest, the answer is clearly no.    We have all broken His perfect, holy commands and deserve judgment.

But do you know where you are going after you die?   If God’s coming judgment upon human kind is real, does this concern you?  None of us are promised tomorrow.   Why not take the complete good person test linked at my website, AreYouGood.us today?

“It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27

“the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:4

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”  John 3:36

Related interest: 

http://www.noahthemovie.com/

http://audacitymovie.com/

http://180movie.com/

Photo source

Strings Attached: Revisiting Windows 10 Store and In-App Purchasing

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After a $240 mishap with in-app purchasing in the store located in Windows 10 (also in Windows 8.1)  I have been doing a little research into the monster that I believe is in-app purchasing.

It use to be many years ago (ok maybe only a few) that one could go to a favorite store in town to purchase a complete game for a computer for around $40-$50, take it home and have fun with it, end of story.    Today we find gaming is changing in many ways.  Not only are younger and younger kids getting involved, it is becoming easier and easier to access them.   When we talk about in-app purchasing, it basically means that within the app store there are purchases to be had within games and apps themselves.  Usually these games are free or are available up front for very low-cost.   However, these games and apps come with what I call, “strings attached”  and allow the game or app to be unlocked a little bit by little bit for a small charge (usually $2-$4 and sometimes even $$50-$99 and more).   Perhaps two dollars doesn’t seem like much for a game but like I said there are strings attached.  What can happen is, that in order to advance within the game one must put forward the $2 and to advance to another level or unlock more features another $2 must be charged and so on.  Now imagine if a person did this for more than one game or app.  It can add up, especially if the purchase is $100 and more than once.  Now imagine if your kids or grand-kids had their own computer or tablet complete with Windows 10 and did this purchasing for you–over and over without you aware of it.    Let me hope you are aware of the potential for this to occur (even for adults) so it doesn’t happen.  But if you do know what your kids are doing, even then it is sometimes difficult to detect what is or isn’t a in-app purchase until after it has been authorized.   This where I think it would be nice to be able to disable them completely with ease.

Now, on an iPad or iPhone it is quite simple to control in-app purchasing.  It’s simply a matter of enabling or disabling in-app purchasing restrictions.  Yes Apple, and most smart phones have a toggle switch to do this.   So why does it appear this feature is missing on a Windows computer?  The short answer is, I don’t really know but it’s hard not to think money or a deal with the app developers may be involved.  Or perhaps it’s just a giant oversight that nobody has yet to discover except me.  I doubt it.   Whatever the reason, besides banning your kids from using a Windows computer (specifically Windows 10) or from using a Windows 10 tablet you may wonder how to prevent this inadvertent in-app purchasing.

The only way I know how is to completely remove a payment option from within a Microsoft account you have linked to the store.  It will be necessary to be sure payment options are removed and added whenever a purchase is desired.   Other than that it gets a bit messy because I am not sure all “free” apps can be opened without a payment option in place.  Adding and removing a credit card for every situation seems less than user-friendly.   But another question I want to address is why does appear so easy for anyone to authorize the transactions of in-app purchases in the first place?

I believe the answer to this is actually quite obvious.   First, we know in-app purchases are put in place by developers to make money but at what cost to the consumer?   In-app purchasing is a trap waiting to catch unsuspecting kids (and adults).   Their goal is to not only catch us but to catch lots of us.  Unfortunately, for we consumers it is a developer’s dream that we have allowed it this way because overall this seems to be what we want.   Therefore purchasing apps in a piece meal kinda way has become the norm for how we buy and will continue to buy apps.    Would you rather pay $50 for a program up front or play a game that says it’s free (with in-app purchases available).    In a society where people are driven to seek out instant gratification, many are choosing this way of purchasing which appears “free” until they find out later it’s not all true.

I believe Microsoft is partly to blame–at least for the time being.  I will tell you why I believe so in a minute.   Of course, free apps with in-app purchasing capabilities isn’t all bad for the consumer.    I don’t think there is really anything wrong with trying out a game or app for “free” before you buy.  It’s great for the consumer and it can only help a developer’s reputation in the long run.   That is until we discover there are “hidden” or even hefty additional charges.  When a developer hides their charges, I would consider them more devious and money hungry than helpful.  In addition to hiding in-app purchases, it seems to me to be less than honest to include in-proportionate over inflated prices for simple virtual software.  The “try before you buy” way works fine when one can be certain about additional charges and when the prices are proportionate and value matches with what you get.   Of course a kid doesn’t know what value is necessarily nor even cares about the ins and outs of game prices.  So a parent must be aware of what is going on when it comes to what their kids are doing online.

In Windows Store,  Microsoft doesn’t seem to have an option to enable or disable in-app purchases and I as mentioned already, I have found some in-app purchases are even disguised as part of the game!  This where I believe Microsoft could do a better job of protecting its customers from inadvertent in-app purchasing and mistakes.

So while I don’t necessarily like the way of the future as it pertains to pc games or app purchasing and in-app purchasing procedure, I really dislike the inability to easily enable or disable in-app purchasing from within the Windows App Store.   A simple toggle switch would go a long way in making Windows Store a safer experience for everyone who uses it.

If you have found a way to do this (without the need to connect or reconnect payment options under a Microsoft account or even set-up permissions for a separate user) please share it with me and I believe many people (including myself) will thank you.

 

 

Related interest: http://www.imore.com/problem-app-purchases-and-what-do-about-it

X people, Employment Killers and Real Hope

I don’t know of any kind of work or place of employment that does not involve more than one person for it to be considered a workplace.   (But if you know of any I would love to hear it)  Whether it be during any stage of the hiring process or involving the exchange of goods or services –more than one person is necessary for the work to work.    This news can become a trouble for any person who really doesn’t enjoy (or has a fear of) working with people.    More specifically–for one who is fearful of the expectations involved in completing a task and doing it correctly for another person.   Of course, there are exceptions to these fears of task completing correctly for others, along with the overall unknowns involved but in general terms, fear of some type is always involved.   On a personal note, I might add the fear involved isn’t the same fear as being scared of a bear.  A better word to describe the fear I mean might be apprehension and many times coupled with inexplicable sadness to a point of immobility.   It is probably true, one might become immobile upon coming across a momma grizzly bear defending her cubs but for me in such a situation the words panic, terror and adrenaline rushes and no time to think come to mind.   And yet fear is the common denominator.   I call these people X people.

Now I believe many people live and even enjoy the challenge (and some don’t even consider it a challenge) of just doing whatever may or not be involved to complete the task(s) or work.   To these people living to exceed the expectations of others is what comes to mind when they wake up in the morning.   These folks (which is a majority I believe) are able to adapt and with relative ease to whatever situation is thrown at them.  Whether it be 4am, 6am, 10pm or later time has little effect on outlook and circumstances.  My wife is one of these people I am speaking of.   I believe people who are able to adapt the quickest and in the most efficient way to any situation usually do the best at whatever they set out to achieve.  I don’t believe it’s the smartest person who succeeds but the person most adaptable and fearless.   Now, if this type of excellence comes naturally for them, fear will rarely play a part in the process–despite what they may claim publicly.   Maybe you are this type of person (we’ll call an A person) and can adapt on a whim.   I am sorry that I cannot relate to you very well but I am excited (although not much excitement) but nevertheless, there is some personal excitement for your success.  Yea!

But what happens when you are not the A type person?   What happens when you are an X type person?  Let’s take a closer look at what I think a person X looks like.

We have already discussed fear as it relates to work and the X person.  And you probably have guessed or already know I consider myself to be fitting like a glove into the X category.  This has been the case for sometime now–from birth actually.  But unfortunately, what this really means is that us X people are not really enjoying living our life and forget about living it to it’s fullest potential.   On this earth, we just exist and live to survive and eat to survive etc but not much else really happens (as it appears).  Sure things happen to us, like they do with everyone else.   The weather changes around us,  the rain or snow falls and we get cancer or have kids, get married and don’t get married but whether it be the good, the bad or the ugly, what we do with circumstances and how we perform service for others is quite the trouble.

First, as I alluded to already, our service for and to others is virtually non-existent.  And positive circumstances are hard to come by even if none of what I’m talking about compares to being locked up and tortured for one’s faith.  This is happening more and more.   Of course for me,  there are days and hours when fear and apprehensions are lower.  And during these up times service for others appears more achievable and general circumstances are also interpreted in a more positive light regardless of the situation.   However, the reliability for predicting when this might take place in any given day is almost non-existent.  Perhaps better fitting descriptions for what I am describing are social anxiety and depression.   You may have heard about these little nuggets of crap.  Whatever your thoughts are about the terms, these two experiences coupled together with fear can be a real killer to just about anything faced in life.

Is there hope?  I hear there is but I don’t believe medication is usually the answer and at many times I have seen it make problems worse.  For me,  the underlining trouble with medication is that it treats symptoms and does not fix what is broken.   Real hope only comes from one place and His name is Jesus.  So you don’t get the wrong idea,  Jesus won’t make your life free from problems.  Perhaps just the opposite will occur as is the case for many followers who right now are being physically and mentally tortured for their faith.   But the only real hope and the one that really matters is, is your relationship with God and what you decide about Jesus Christ who is God Son–God manifest in the flesh.  If there is an afterlife,  where is it that you and I will end up after we die?  If you haven’t already,  I “hope” you will take the good person test linked at my website www.AreYouGood.us before you run out of time.

LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.
Indeed, You have made my days as hand breadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.

Psalm 39:4-7

Related interest:  AreYouGood.us

The Rainbow Promise

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God created the rainbow.  The rainbow was a visual promise (covenant) to Noah of the Bible (and is to all flesh) that God will not flood the earth again.  (see Genesis 9:14-17)   The rainbow is beautiful because God created it that way.

I find it intriguing how we as human beings can fulfill Bible prophecy and God’s teachings without even knowing it.  Look at Romans 8:7–“The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”  In other words, we naturally have a hatred directed at God.   Enter the gay pride symbol: the rainbow.  Human beings have taken something God intended beautiful and have trampled it underfoot by making it (the rainbow) a symbol for sinning against God.  Therefore as the Bible already states, this is all done because it’s our nature to break God’s law (sin).  Without being born again spiritually (to get a new heart from God) we will not be able to please Him nor will we have a Savior from the wrath to come.

“It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36

“God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”               1 Thessalonians 5:9

Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 ESV

Related interest:  http://www.audacitymovie.com/

http://www.areyougood.us

http://www.180movie.com/

photo: [source]