Suits Me

I think it’s a known fact that I watch RFD-TV. My first exposure to that channel’s programming was some years back, before RFD was available on our local cable system, when its parent corporation put the channel’s programming temporarily on FamilyNet.

Tomorrow, as I just discovered from belatedly watching last Wednesday’s “Western Sports Weekly“, FamilyNet becomes the Cowboy Channel, dropping (most of) its heretofore predominantly nostalgic TV programming for rodeo and rodeo-oriented fare. RFD-TV has been sponsoring an annual rodeo called The American, the success of which has convinced the corporation there is sufficient demand for Western sports above and beyond what RFD, with its agribusiness and agrarian lifestyle focus, could offer.

I’ll watch, to see how well they pull it off. The first few days of primetime programming certainly brings plenty of rodeo events.

Update: Linkback to Dustbury: Not their first 24-hour rodeo


Profit Takers Gonna Take Profit

I couldn’t be a day-trader. The learning curve would’ve been a bitch and I’m not sure the subject matter would’ve fascinated me long enough to master it. Besides, I’ve always had the “don’t just do something, stand there” temperament where crowd behavior is concerned. I find what everybody’s not looking at far more interesting than what they are — which is almost always each other’s backs.

The market’s been a bit volatile the last couple of weeks, and I’m not sure what’s causing people to stampede back and forth like that. Maybe there have been reports in the financial papers that are making people lose whatever ephemeral confidence they may have pretended they had in their investment strategies. Maybe they’re panicking because their favorite TV shows are on hiatus.

The ups and downs would be less annoying if there were none of my money in play. I keep telling myself not to look at the closing figures every day, and maybe now’s the time to take my own advice.

If You Don’t Want It in Your Own Neighborhood, Just Say So

An L.A. smoke shop cashier takes the passive-aggressive route to oppose changing the name of a street in his (her?) own neighborhood.

“Changing the name here won’t change anything because it’s already a black neighborhood[.] Why not take it to Beverly Hills? Why not change Rodeo Drive to Obama Drive? Because it’s a white neighborhood? You’re changing the street, you’re spending the money, might as well change it there.”

I wonder how this person would feel about having a street in a black neighborhood named for George W. Bush?

Doooh Doooh Doooh, Lookin’ Out Her Screen Door

Kitty Houdini is pondering how to effect her next escape now that the screen doors have been blocked. I’m less than confident the grilles will hold up if she gets serious about it, but as long as it’s rainy outside I don’t think she’ll give it much of a try.

Next week though, the sun will be out — and if she can, so will Kitty Houdini.

We’ll just have to see.

In other news, the phone clamp I ordered arrived today and I think I’ve got it set up in a workable spot. The charging cable arrives tomorrow.

Before the clamp arrived I tried another excursion, this time using the Google music player instead of Amazon. I also ran the navigator app as I’d done the other day. Mobile data usage appears to still be an issue but I think this is from using navigation. I’ll have to see if offline mode is an option.

Also, I’ve found that if the music player app is already open when I get in the car, I don’t need to do anything with my phone when I’m driving, Auto or no Auto. I don’t know if that’s a recent innovation or something I just never bothered to try before.

Update, Friday: offline maps will only save me mobile data charges if I set the maps app to wifi only, and if I go beyond where my saved maps extend, I’m out of luck.

Oh, well. I really only use navigation when I’m going someplace I’m not sure how to get to. On those rare occasions I can certainly justify a higher than normal phone bill.

‘Nother update, July 2: I now declare the containment of Kitty Houdini a success. Now if we could just string together a few days without rain in the forecast I still have a bunch of chores and projects I’ve been wanting to get at.

Good Ride, Cousin

Just found out about this on tonight’s Western Sports Weekly, a (ahem) round-up of the week’s rodeo news on RFD-TV every Wednesday night. In this case, it’s the College National Finals Rodeo.

A Sam Houston State University freshman from Victoria, Texas, Lane McGehee dominated the bareback riding. He won two of the three preliminary rounds and scored 79.5 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Spicy Chicken to place second in the championship round, a point behind Sheridan College’s Hunter Carlson. McGehee’s overall win was by an almost unheard-of 16 points.

Never met him, but I think I noticed his name on a past season’s report on the National High School Finals Rodeo. Can’t wait to see him in some PRCA events, but I gather that’ll be a while.

Just One More Friendly Reminder

If you call me and get my voicemail, leave a message. No exceptions; violators’ numbers may be summarily blocked.

If you call me and your number won’t display on my caller ID, you will get my voicemail, because I never answer calls from undisplayed numbers. What should you do? See above.

If you can’t call me without blocking caller ID, or if leaving a voicemail is against your religion, then don’t call me.

To Boldly Go Where No Mustache Has Gone Before

Mrs. McG’s car has in-dash navigation, but mine does not. This means I am dependent on a third-party device — or a passenger reading a map — if I want to navigate.

For a number of years now this family has used Garmin GPS devices, but in the last couple of years I’ve found them increasingly troublesome and unreliable; in particular, the newest Garmin will not keep an update — it may work for one trip but revert to outdated maps on the next.

In this day and age of Google Maps it seems obvious to rely on it, via a smartphone, for navigation, but fiddling with smartphone apps while driving is bad (m’kay?) and the only USB-A – to – USB-C cable I have doesn’t handle charging well.

Google has addressed one of these issues by making its Android Auto app, which originally was limited to certain vehicles (or others with compatible aftermarket sound systems) usable in any vehicle, thanks to the Google Assistant and Bluetooth. All I’ll need to try this thing out is a good charging cable and something other than my belt holster to hold the phone.

I’ve had such lousy luck with suction-cup holders for (coincidentally) the Garmin that I won’t even consider them. Vent mounts might work in a climate where I’m less dependent on the air conditioner but I can’t have any of the vents blocking air flow. So I’ve ordered a cockamamie gooseneck clamp thingie that may do the trick.

The Auto app should also make using my phone’s music app more user-friendly so I can quit enduring the lousy sound quality from my thumb drive.

What remains to be seen — aside from whether the new cable can keep my phone charged and the gooseneck clamp mount can keep my phone from falling under my feet at the first speed bump — is how much cellular data it uses. I’ve gotten used to rarely paying more than a dollar each month for data usage, and from what I’ve read Google’s map app doesn’t seem to be a big problem data-wise, but there may be some troubleshooting and settings-adjusting in my immediate future.

If this test works out, future vehicle purchase decisions are likely to include the question of built-in Android Auto compatibility.

Update, after a test drive: I ran music through the Amazon Music app and had tracks play that were not on my phone. Supposedly I had the app set to only access tracks that were on my phone, but that doesn’t seem to have carried over. As a result I wound up with a rather large data usage for such a brief time — as of now, most of my month’s data usage occurred during that one outing. Oddly enough the battery usage (I don’t have the cable yet) wasn’t all that bad.

Next test I’ll use Google’s music app — it and Amazon were the only options — with (again) only downloaded tracks supposed to play. We’ll have to see how my data usage looks then.


Just took a lurk through one of the calmer backwaters of political Twitter, leaving me more determined than ever to never open another Twitter account.