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Quote of the day

For the Empire, it is, as Elvis sang, “now or never.” Lenin spoke of “useful idiots.” Ours aren’t even useful, but they call the shots.

Fred Reed

Quote of the day

“Tragically, our nation has now, for the second time in a few years, seen a president afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Bill Clinton’s fabled memory has broken down. During his August 17, 1998 grand jury testimony, it failed him dozens of times.  It’s a shame, because he really needs his memory now. He’s been the victim of so many lying and designing women: Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Linda Tripp, and Monica Lewinsky. He has disputed their accounts of his behavior with as much vigor as a memory-impaired person can, but it’s tough. On the other hand, one advantage of having Alzheimer’s is that you keep meeting new women.”

  • Joe Sobran.

Thought for the day



This woman found her map

The name of this blog is “Searching for Accurate Maps”. The original inspiration for that name was something said by Catherine Austin Fitts: “we need accurate maps in order to plot a safe course in this world”, or something like that, that’s not an exact quote. But it caught my imagination and I thought how true it was: if you have an inaccurate map, that’s almost worse than no map at all.

Well, a couple of days ago, I came across this talk below (ignore the goofy photos that have nothing to do with the content of the talk), given a long time ago by a woman I’d never heard of. I respect the blogger who posted it so I thought I’d give it a whirl for 5 minutes or so. I ended up listening to the whole hour-long talk.

The lady is forthright and funny. At one point, her life, which was going down the toilet fast, took a turn for the better – she made a sensible, inspired choice, and found God. I’m not a Christian or a believer in any religion, but I found her talk absorbing and moving.

I’m not suggesting that Christianity is the map. All  I’m saying is that, it struck me that here was a person who was not searching for an accurate map, but who had found one, and was busy making her journey meaningful by using this accurate map. What is the use of searching for accurate maps if you do not find one and then use it?

Couple of great quotes: “when I look at the person I was, I feel I am looking at a Siamese twin. And one of us had to die that the other might live.”

She understood that one of the reasons we human beings are on this planet is to learn how to love. I can’t remember her exact words but it’s somewhere towards the end of her talk, after she found God.

Happy Cherry Blossom viewing

This year, it was wet and windy and cold for much of the cherry-blossom season. I managed to get a few photos towards the end. Help yourself. (Click on image to see larger version.)

Please check out Nara resident Stardust English Talk’s photo blog whose photos are much better than mine.









Successfully downgraded my ipad2 from iOS8!

First day of class. Plug in my iPad and get ready to show my presentation. My iPad is projected successfully onto the big screen, then…. blank! And an error message: “device not supported on this iPad”. What “device”?

Fiddling with the connections does no good. Abort the project. Initiate Plan B.

Apparently, I’m not the only one with this problem. There are lots of unhappy campers out there. The problem is caused by iOS8 which no longer supports any generic 30 pin adapter (not by Apple), but only a pure Apple-brand VGA adapter. Way to go to **** off a lot of customers, Apple.

Solution? Buy a pure Apple-brand adapter, of course!

Or, for those cheapskates who refuse to spring for the real thing (like me), the solution is to downgrade from iOS8 back to 7.1.2.

Here’s how: How to Downgrade iOS 8 to iOS 7.1.2 on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

Warning: even if you back up your device first, you cannot restore from that backup because it’s an iOS8 backup.

The article above tells you to download the iOS 7.1.2  firmware for your iPad. Trouble is, there are several different versions. I bought my iPad in Japan so I went to a Japanese site that explained how to downgrade. The instructions are the same, but it has a pull-down menu for all the different iPad versions. Which one is the right one?

First, you have to identify your iPad model. Here’s a page that helped me. It narrowed down my search to just 2, after downloading and trying to restore from 3 incompatible firmware files. The 2nd one worked. I downloaded the ipsw files from this Japanese site (with nice clear screenshots).

Things have not been going well for Apple recently, have they? These two articles helped restrain me from sleeping on the pavement outside the Apple store to get my hot little hands on the latest gizmo.




Dropbox Cuts Pricing And Adds Great Sharing Features

I’ve been a Dropbox user for several years now. I rely on it more and more, and use USB thumb-drives less and less.

Dropbox has a referral system which gives you 500MB for each referral who joins and installs Dropbox, up to a max of 16GB (if you join after clicking the link above, I’ll get yet more space!). I’ve accrued an extra 3GB this way, and I use just 2.5 GB of my 5.75 GB, so I use the free version, as the number and size of my files don’t justify the Pro version.

But I was still glad to read in a recent blog post by paperless master Brooks Duncan that Dropbox have dropped (geddit?) their prices to compete with Google Drive and others.

I was particularly interested in some of the new features that have been added. Here’s Brooks:

New Sharing Features

Dropbox outlines their new features in their blog post, but the key changes are:

  • Password protection: You can now assign a password for a shared link. This is great! You’ve always been able to generate a link to a file or folder, but theoretically anyone who came across that link however unlikely that may be would be able to see your information. Now you can password protect that link. More on that here.
  • Expire shared links: Another great feature when it comes to going paperless. Often when we share a link to a file, the recipient only needs access for a short period. You’ve always been able to review and remove those shared files, but now you can set the link to expire automatically. Here is how it works.

Filepost offers the same service and there’s a Filepost Japan, too. I was toying with the idea of using Filepost when I read Brooks’ article. Filepost isn’t really a storage service like Dropbox, tho; it’s just for sharing files on a short-term basis. Back to Brooks:

  • Folder Premissions: One of the problems with sharing a file with someone via a file syncing service like Dropbox is that if the person deletes or modifies the file, it is deleted or modified for you too. You mark a recipient as read only so they can see a folder but can’t mess it up. More on that here.

via Dropbox Cuts Pricing And Adds Great Sharing Features.

I recommend DocumentSnap Solutions’ Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap’s free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.


James Garner – R.I.P.

James Garner, April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014.

Here’s an obituary in Britain’s The Daily Mirror. And here he is in the last movie he acted in: not perhaps a great movie, but an interesting story; the lead is appropriately annoying and the little girl is delightful. Interesting dialogue, too.


The Moment Now

Prem Rawat teaches us that people live in two minutes: the minute that just happened and the minute that’s on its way. The past and the future. He teaches us to live in the third minute, which is the here and the now; how to just appreciate being alive.

Find out more at

“We just got wired into the system”

You may soon get a call from your doctor if you’ve let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of picking up candy bars at the check-out counter or begin shopping at plus-sized stores.

That’s because some hospitals are starting to use detailed consumer data to create profiles on current and potential patients to identify those most likely to get sick, so the hospitals can intervene before they do.

Blogger, investor and entrepreneur Karl Denninger warned about this back in the ’90s.

Then there was this well known video of a guy trying to order a pizza in the future. Congratulations! The future just became the present: