Monday, September 11, 2017

Bullies with Badges

There has been an alleged (sometimes obvious) case of excessive force being employed by law enforcement officers making the national news on a regular basis lately. After attending the Mayweather/McGregor prize fight in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 26th, [Michael Bennett], a star NFL (Seattle Seahawks) defensive end, found himself with a knee in his back and a pistol pointed at his head.



In all fairness, I cannot blame the cops for initially taking Bennett into custody. For they were responding to shots being reportedly fired in a nightclub section of a casino, and there was this rather large (6'4”, 274 pounds) man hiding behind a slot machine, who attempted to run away when he saw them. Quite frankly, I would have shot him for daring to wear such a hideous suit of clothes out in public. (Just kidding...kinda.)

Seriously, I have been made well aware of not having the natural temperament to be a law enforcement officer. For I would want to put a hole in someone just for giving me grief over enforcing a minor infraction while letting a person get away with just about anything up to murder if they were nice in their dealings with me. No, neither way is acceptable.

Maybe not. For fearful constituents demand greater protective measures while oppression breeds rebellion that adds all the more to the fear. It is literally the proverbial vicious circle.

Be assured that it is really not any worse now than it has been down through the ages. For it is just that with more and more always carrying cell phones with the capability to record videos that can be instantly broadcast to billions, less and less goes unnoticed.

Nonetheless, law enforcement has brought much of their trouble upon themselves. For instead of seeking to treat everyone they meet on their beat as those they have sworn to protect and serve until a situation warrants a different approach, far too many officers assume that far too many are guilty (or at least probable perpetrators) of some criminal activity. Yes, race has proven to be a factor.

Much of that comes from the top down. I still shake my head in disgust over hearing the answer given by the chief of police in Los Angeles, California during a press conference twenty-some years ago. He was asked why so many of the officers under his command generally treated people so disrespectfully. His answer was, “We are not out there on the streets to make friends. We are out there to keep the peace.”

Come on now, would you not be much more likely to feed the police information if you were on a friendly basis with at least the officers you regularly see in your area, which could make their job much, much easier? Why is this so hard for law enforcement to understand and cultivate?

Speaking of disrespect, it now appears to be standard procedure for officers to always aim for center-mass when pulling the trigger of their firearm, which is likely to result in the death of a suspect. Should not anyone authorized to carry a firearm be skilled enough to simply wound someone when no other means can be used to take them into custody? Yes, there are situations where a wounded suspect would be even more of a danger to innocent bystanders, but there have been many killed by officers who did not need to die.

On the other hand, I can see where killing a suspect would save the authorities a lot of money. For there would not be any expenses for hospitalization incurred—not to mention no trial and incarceration expenses.

Yes, defending against a wrongful death lawsuit has to be quite prohibitive, but bullies tend to not worry about such. Who else would want to wear a badge if things keep going as they have been?

Speaking of bullies, they are generally cowards by nature, and how cowardly is it to shot first at someone just thought to be armed? This has been happening far too often.

As with everything else, it is all in accordance unto our Heavenly Father's will, but just because He has allowed things to go bad does not mean that they have to stay that way. In many cases, bad situations are meant to encourage us to want to get closer to Him.

Of course, I could be woefully deceived. What say you?

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Bad Stewards

During my formative years, I was taught in a very conservative Southern Baptist community that Christ Jesus entrusted His church to conduct His affairs in this world until His glorified return, and that its members were to give/tithe at least 10% of their resources (mainly in the form of money they had been led to believe they had earned) to fund this work. The doctrine is called Stewardship, and I now know that it is incorrect in a number of ways. I will be focusing upon only a couple of them in this piece, though.

First of all, Christ Jesus is not absent from this world. Yes, there will come a day when He will visibly return in all of His most awesome glory to openly rule over this entire world, but in the meantime, He is just as much everywhere, all of the time, in Spiritual form as He ever has been. Secondly, Christ Jesus has always known everything that there will ever be to know about everyone since long before He created this world. Subsequently, there is no entrusting anyone with anything. That is, at least not in the way we naturally think. Yes, He wants His chosen servants to help the lost and confused to get to really know Him by being shining reflections of His goodness and mercy against the darkness of Spiritual ignorance, but that is a far cry from calling Christians to truly seek and to save the lost, which is what far too many have been lad to believe.

Alas, even if it was true that believers are called to be Christ Jesus' hands and feet in His absence, why are so many conservative Protestants screaming the loudest about removing the illegal aliens from America and closing the borders to all but a very select few new immigrants? How can they seriously tell anyone about the love of Christ Jesus after leading the charge against some of the most helpless people in this world?

No, they are not thinking about that. They are just thinking about not sharing the bounty they sincerely believe they have worked hard for with mostly Catholic immigrants, who have illegally entered this country—regardless of their reason being absolute desperation.

Hey, these hard-core conservatives are the kind of people I grew up with, and I am not chunkin' rocks at just Southern Baptists, neither. For there are plenty of Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Pentecostals and even some Catholics involved.

In all fairness, we most definitely need much better border security measures to guard against terrorism, drug trafficking and plain, old-fashioned smuggling, but who I am talking about here are desperate people just wanting to escape abject poverty and no hope of it ever getting any better in their places of birth. No, I do not want people coming in who do not really want to become Americans, but even the vast majority of those pose no threat to our American way of life.

I do not mind some accommodations being made for those not growing up speaking English. For I am all too painfully aware of just how difficult the language can be to master—especially American English, with dozens of words meaning basically the same thing and/or something completely different, depending upon the context and/or correct spelling. For example: John loved going fishing in his Ranger bass boat when he was not out on tour, playing bass with his rock band.

On the other hand, I do not think it is at all unreasonable for those wanting to actually live here to have to have at least a rudimentary grasp of the language to get along well. After all, I cannot imagine moving to France and fully enjoy living there without knowing more than a few words of French.

All of the screaming about illegal aliens taking jobs away from good, tax-paying American citizens is pure nonsense. Do you want a seasonal job harvesting fruit and vegetables? How about working on the line in a chicken plant? Beef or pork processing, then? Oh, I forgot about lawn care and housecleaning. Now, those are jobs that many red-blooded Americans dream about having.

Besides, how can anyone truly in their right-mind refuse to share what they can with the less fortunate? For they know full well that everything they have has been a gift from our Heavenly Father. Even the desire to work hard is a gift from Him.

So, just how many self-proclaimed good Christians truly are in their right-mind? I know now that I was not until our Heavenly Father changed me, which did not happen until 29 years after I went forward to publicly accept salvation and be baptized.

Even if you do not want to believe any of that, did you have a choice of where and when you were physically born into this world? Can you really afford to place all of your bets upon your ability to be successful at this supposed game of life, governed by the law of the jungle?

What comes next? What if it is indeed true that many of those on top in this world will be on the bottom in the next? How can a few, very short years in this world compare with the whole of eternity?

Of course, I could be woefully deceived. What say you?

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Grey Lives Mattered

There was world-side outrage over the Taliban destroying two gigantic [Buddhist statues] that stood as significant pieces of the region's history and ancient culture. Aside from that, their artistic value was priceless. It was the same in regards to ISIS looting and destroying priceless artifacts of the ancient Assyrian Empire in [Iraq and Syria].

Yes, it is the way of this world that the victors reap the spoils and despoil the treasurers of the vanquished. Many Protestant churches were burned while the Catholics held power in Britain a few hundred years ago. The Protestants returned the favor when they came out on top. Does this make it right?

Please understand that I am not a Klansman, Neo-Nazi or white supremacist in any way, shape or form. In fact, I despise everything those organizations stand for. Nonetheless, I think it is an absolute shame that unbridled political correctness is effecting the destruction of Confederate memorials in this country.

What's next? Do we rename the United States military installations named for Confederate war heroes? [Fort Benning] in Georgia was named after Confederate Brig. General Henry Benning. [Fort Bragg] in North Carolina was named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg. [Fort Gordon] in Georgia was named after Confederate Lt. General John Brown Gordon. [Fort A.P. Hill] in Virginia was named after Confederate Lt. General A.P. Hill. [Fort Hood] in Texas was named after Confederate General John Bell Hood. [Fort Lee] in Virginia was named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee. [Fort Pickett] in Virginia was named after Confederate Major General George Pickett. [Fort Polk] in Louisiana was named after Confederate Lt. General Leonidas Polk. [Fort rucker] in Alabama was named after Confederate Colonel Edmund Rucker.

Should we level the Washington and Jefferson memorials in Washington, D.C. because they owned slaves? The White House was mostly built by slaves. So, it has to be razed—right?

On the same note, how about doing away with the Ford Motor Company and all of its affiliates? After all, [Henry Ford] was right in there with Adolph Hitler when it came to antisemitism.

Come to think of it, should not all traces of the Holocaust be completely removed because of how offensive they may be to some in one way or another if political correctness is to be followed wherever it may lead? Be assured that there is great wisdom in having vestiges of even some very dark times in full view of future generations in the hope that they are not repeated.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pulling the Plug on SiteHoundSniffs

It is with great sadness that I must announce the closure of SiteHoundSniffs.com on September 27, 2017. The email address associated with the site (jerryebeuterbaugh@sitehoundsniffs.com) will also come to an end on that date. So, if someone sends you an email from that address or leaves a comment on your site appearing to have something to do with SiteHoundSniffs.com after September 27, be assured that it is not coming from me. If you want, you can email me at fishhawk7@gmail.com.

What you just read is now on the home page of SiteHoundSniffs. I had such high hopes, but there is simply not enough traffic to justify the expense required to keep the site going for another year. It was because of our main computer suddenly dying on August 9th that kept me offline for around three weeks, and the $210.00 we spent upon purchasing a refurbished one ate up the funds that could have kept SiteHoundSniffs going.

Another reason for ending SiteHoundSniffs is that I am to spend my available time and energy upon writing again, and the content of many pf the articles to be published here will undoubtedly upset a great many in one way or another. Alas, there does not seem to be a lot of tolerance going around these days—even among the more bleeding heart liberal types.

Oh, and I am to start leaving regular comments here and there again, which will certainly stir-up some “stuff” when I may not be in full agreement with the author of the article or even some of the other commentators. Be assured that my comments will always be respectful, but that does not count for much to far too many when I am trying to convey something they vehemently disagree with.

Oh yeah, I foresee getting into all sorts of trouble, which would cause most advertisers to shy away. It probably would not help drive more traffic toward SiteHoundSniffs, neither.

It was an easy decision to let the site directory end while I was thinking that only three people had visited it in July. A closer look at the stats available to me proved that I had been looking in the wrong column. For that total of three in July was referring to the average page-views per visitor, and SiteHoundSniffs had actually received over 40,000 hits in July. When consulting a very close friend, he wondered just how many of those hits came from web-crawling bots—not actual people. Nonetheless, we simply cannot really afford to spend the $200.00 necessary to renew for another year, and our Heavenly Father wants me to focus upon the real purpose for entering cyberspace in the first-place.

Yes, that includes publishing at least a couple more books. I have two more crumbs/chapters to add to the end of [The Crackerhead Chronicles] swirling around in my head, as well. I will see about converting [FishHawk Droppings] to pages instead of posts to make it easier to insert new books in the order they should be read.

When the previous main computer died, we lost use of MS Office. The copy we had was from 2010, and we had already installed it upon the two computers allowed by its license. So, I am learning how to use the free [Apache OpenOffice] program, which is proving to not be as difficult as I feared. I have discovered that it can even convert documents into a PDF!

Arlynda and I's physical health is as poor as ever, but at least we do not appear to be getting any worse. Arlynda's mother (who had been living with us) dying last January 15th) has been a rather bittersweet experience (to say the least). At least we have been able to clear-out some of the clutter. She had a lot of hoarder to her, and we still feel like we are doing something wrong when finding an empty cat food tin and throwing it in the trash. Be assured that we sure wish our turns to be delivered from this prison of a world will come much sooner than later.


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Saturday, June 10, 2017

SiteHoundSniffin' 101


As many of you-all already know, I have been trying to reconnect with my children for the past several years.  Sadly, it has not been going all that well for a number of reasons I will not disclose, but I have been recently told that one of my grandsons is an internet whiz.  This has bolstered my hope that he will want to become involved with SiteHoundSniffs much sooner than later and take the reins of the directory when I can no longer hold them.  So, this piece is more for his benefit than anyone else, but I suspect that many of you-all are dying to learn just what is going on behind the scenes.  Of course, many of the following steps can be automated with a few lines of code that I hope my grandson will want to learn (if he does not already know it).

Step 1: Find the site.  Since I already have links to around 10,000 sites, this step mostly involves looking in a private list, and with each site usually having links to several other sites, the begating goes on and on.  Virtually all of the sites on my private lists came from individual’s blogrolls and favorite sites lists.

Step 2: Quickly glance over the site to see if it has enough content to justify inclusion.  A site with less than a dozen posts is usually dropped unless the entries are truly outstanding in one way or another.

Step 3: Seek to find the actual name of the owner and an email/Facebook address to send private communication to.  This information goes in the “Littermates” MS Excel spreadsheet.

Step 4: Google Bookmark (not to be confused with Google Chrome Bookmarking) the site under zzzd (don’t ask).

Step 5: As part of the Google Bookmarking process, the site name (sometimes) will come up in a separate dialogue box.  Copy and paste it to a blank area of the MS Word Notifications document (again, don’t ask).

Step 6:  Also on the separate dialogue box from the bookmarking process is the site’s URL.  Copy and paste it to the dialogue box involved in attaching a hyperlink to the site’s name in a Word document.

Step 7:  Copy the hyperlinked site’s name and paste it to the first column of the “SiteHoundSniffs Master MS Excel spreadsheet.

Step 8: Click on the hyperlinked site’s name to insure that it works.

Step 9: Copy the site’s URL from the browser address bar and paste it in the second column of the “Master” MS Excel spreadsheet.

Step 10: Type the corresponding Littermates row number in the third column of Master spreadsheet.

Step 11: Seek to find the country of origin for the site.  If found, type it into the fourth column of Master spreadsheet.

Step 12: Seek to determine what the site is really all about and list each category in a column of the Master spreadsheet.  No, one cannot rely upon the site title.  For a site that sounds like it is about Cooking/Foodstuffs may be actually about humorous observations, and a site that looks like it is from India may be actually from Singapore.

Step 13: Make a screenshot of the site header/logo if the “Save Image As” function is not available from right-clicking.

Step 14: Resize the site header/logo to 300 x 100 (pixels).  This might involve a few additional steps to make the image more presentable.

Step 15: Go to SiteHoundSniffs.com and pull up the “All” page in the categories.  Click-on “Edit Page” at the top.

Step 16: Scroll down though the content in the text-editor box until you come to where the new site should be placed in alphanumeric order.  Left-click to the right side of the image immediately ahead, and click “Enter.”  Then click-on “Add Media” in the text-editor options.

Step 17: Click-on “Upload Files” when the “Insert Media” dialogue box comes up.  Click-on “Select Files.”  Find the folder where the Site headers are saved on your computer and upload the new site header to the SiteHoundSniffs Media Library.

Step 18: The new site header will be already selected in this first round, and the dialogue box will be shifted down to where the image link can be pasted/typed in at this time.  Another way is to link the image through the options in the text-editor.

Step 19: Click-on “Update” to the right of the text-editor.  After the update has been made, click-on “View Page” above the text-editor.

Step 20: Click-on the new site image to make sure it is correctly linked.

Steps 21(+): Repeat the previous steps (with a couple of exceptions) involved in adding the new site in its other categories and country, along with “News.”

Final Step: Send a notification email or Facebook message to the owner of the site that explains what SiteHoundSniffs is and gives an option to have the site immediately removed.  This notification is left as a comment when a way to send it privately is not found.

Removal Steps: If an owner wants their site removed, most of the previous steps are reversed.  The Google Bookmark tag is switched from “zzzd” to “x,” and the owner is notified that their site has been completely removed from the directory.

Yeah, I have probably scared-off my grandson, but by the time he is old enough to take over the management, there might be some revenue rolling in.  Besides, a code can be written to automate most of the steps, which will drastically speed-up the process (not to mention make it much, much easier).

Speaking of not being so easy for me, I am currently trying to learn what to do to develop an app for Android smartphones and tablets that will enable people to simply give the icon a tap to go to SiteHoundSniffs.  I would also like to develop an iOS/Apple app, but I discovered that one has to have a Mac to run Xcode, which is the Apple developers platform.  Android Studio is needed to develop Android apps, and there are free versions of it for both Windows and OS/Apple computers.  Now, there is a way to run Xcode on a Windows computer, but one has to download a free VMware program that converts a portion of their computer into a Mac.  One has to also purchase the latest version of Mac OS X (at this time).  So, I will probably just hire some to write the iOS app if the Android app proves to be fairly popular.  Oh how I would like to go on another rant about just how rotten Apple truly is, but this would probably be cutting off my nose to spite my face.

Alas, it will probably be a year or so more before there is any advertising revenue to share, but the steady growth of the traffic has been encouraging.  There are now over 1,500 unique visitors from all over this world coming by each mother, and the number would rise exponentially if more of the Littermates would start promoting the directory more.  Hey, it is in the best interest of us all.

Our physical health is basically the same.  The last two times Arlynda went in for a [paracentesis], they pumped-off over eight liters of fluid.  Getting her to the hospital and back in the house is very hard on me, but her feeling much better afterward makes it well worth it.


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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Nicole's Bird-Watching Tip


It is much to my chagrin that negative feedback often counts for a lot more than the positive to me, and far too frequently, I feel rather apologetic when approaching someone about [SiteHoundSniffs]—as if I am doing something wrong.

Adding all the more to my shame is listening a little too intently to the whispers in my ear about it being quite obvious that our Heavenly Father is not supporting me in my endeavors concerning developing the new site directory.  “After all, would not the site have gone viral by now if He was?”

Yeah, I know where those whispers are coming from, but it still hits home a little too hard for my comfort.  Long after I have borne too much in my own very personal opinion, our Heavenly Father eases my burden in a myriad of ways, and this time was extraordinarily special to me.  For He arranged for the following email to be sent way.

Hello,

My name is Jessica Lowe, I am a middle school science teacher in Colorado. My class is working on a project I have assigned that aims to get them outdoors and identifying wildlife and learning about what’s in our backyards and surrounding areas! We really enjoyed the birding and other wildlife resources and information on
 your page https://sitehoundsniffs.com/birdingwildlife-additional-text-links/.  Several of my students are choosing to create a plan to identify and observe birds for their project. I thought this would be an excellent idea to encourage hands on learning and exploring the nature and science that is all around us!

One of my students who is working on bird identification, Nicole, found this article
http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/birdwatching-guide/ about bird watching. It gives a lot of great advice for beginners and I wanted to share it with you so you could add it to your resources for others, especially those who are interested in getting into birding as a hobby or kids who are doing similar projects.

Thanks again for the great information and help with my students project! Please let me know if you decide to add the article Nicole found to your resources, I would be very excited to show her and the class that we were able to contribute. Have a great day!

Best Wishes,

Jessica Lowe

WOW!!!!!!!!!

I am not ashamed to disclose that I choked-up with emotion while I was reading that email to Arlynda.  For it completely blew out of the water all of those negative comments and emails sent my way during days past.  Furthermore, it adds another layer of armor around my heart for when I run across another [proper English lady] and much, much worse.

No, I am not able to add Nicole’s bird-watching link to SiteHoundSniffs, but that does not take anything away from what a helpful article it is, nor how astute Nicole is.  Hey, she reminds me of what a wonderful kid I used to be!

Oh how I wish there were many, many more teachers like Ms. Lowe.  At least we can be confident of the children she teaches having a distinct advantage over others.  For practical application of what is in school textbooks is truly invaluable.  Hey, it was not until after I had been on the job at a machine shop for several weeks manually laying out the drilling pattern for [combine] wheel-flanges that it came to me that I was actually using trigonometry, which I had taken a class in during high school a few years before.  Ms. Lowe’s students are learning such lessons before having to fight for survival in the real world (naturally-speaking, of course).   

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nick V's Hedge, Site Badges/buttons and Nasty Bugs


If you are wondering about the new background to [SiteHoundSniffs], it is rows of [Nick V’s Hedge].  The rest of this mess is an attempt to connect the dots.

I have been fairly open about Grayson not being all that impressed with the appearance of our site directory.  Quite obviously, my best efforts have not been making his tail wag.  So, it especially stung when I received a reply to an email I had sent to a particularly-proper English lady about displaying her linked site badge/button.  She started off with saying that I really did not need to ask for permission, and then she went on about the fact that she would not normally want a link to her site on such a woefully outdated and homely site as SiteHoundSniffs.com.  To be perfectly honest about it, I was a little miffed and removed all traces of her site from our site directory.

As I was trying to go asleep a little later, the thought about using a high-definition image of mowed grass (in honor of Reenie, Arlynda’s long-gone love of her life, who needed a patch of grass to go on) crept in.  The first thing I went to do after getting out of bed six hours later was find such an image.  I quickly found a suitable one and made it the new background.  When Grayson saw it, he gave me one of his looks and pranced out of the room to leave me a present in a strategic place (he has never required a patch of grass to go on).

Plan B had to formulated, but my best efforts were getting in the way again.  Miraculously (I am really not joking about that) the solution was already in hand.  For after I read the emailed reply from the particularly-proper English lady and took action, I sent an email to Nick V about displaying the linked badge/button to his [Floral Friday Fotos] site and asking permission to display the linked headers for his [Melbourne Fresh Daily], [NixPages] and [NixPixMix] sites.  In his reply, he suggested that I might want to also include his [My Desktop Daily].  While going through this site to determine which categories it should be listed, I came upon his high-definition photograph of a hedge, and Grayson did his [Whirling Dervish] dance (he is always lurking about) to signify his delight.  For Yorkies feel right at home around hedgerows.
   
Linked site badges/buttons?  It was brought to my attention that I had been ignoring the fact that site owners with a linked badge/button wanted backlinks to bolster their search engine rankings, and displaying them avoided having to always obtain permission first before displaying a linked site header.  This made me literally grunt, “Duh,” to myself.  For I had already been clued in on the absolute truth of the matter truly being that most could not care less about whether or not their linked headers were displayed on SiteHoundSniffs, which included not caring enough to actually give permission.  So, site owners with a linked badge/button are sent an email informing them of what I have done and given the option to have their site removed.

If you are wondering about backlinks bolstering search engine rankings, there are several things that go into getting to the top of the results list when you search for something with Google, Bing, Yahoo and the other search engines.  One of them is the amount of quality backlinks a site has, and according to the research I have done, SiteHoundSniffs is a quality backlink site.  What determines a quality backlink is whether your link seems to belong on a site, such as links to other pet sites on a pet site, and since SiteHoundSniffs is a site directory, links to all legitimate sites most definitely belong.

Another thing that was recently brought to my attention is that I have been lax at making as sure as possible that a site is safe.  For a little notification thingy shows up on our Google Chrome address bar when an unauthorized script or Adobe Flash Player tries to download something onto our computer.  Our BitDefender anti-virus program also gives a notification when something funky is going on, and the image below is a screenshot of this.


In all fairness, one has to be looking for these notifications, and I have been focusing on other things.  Therefore, I am now going back through all of the sites listed to see how many I may have missed for the benefit of visitors with lesser anti-virus protection.  I am sure that there are not many, but it only takes one nasty bug getting through to make for a really bad day.  Yeah, most of the nasty bugs out there these days only seek to steal your information—not shut down your computer, but those are the kind that can stay on a computer for a long time before being detected and removed.  When you have one, you can change your passwords to sensitive sites all you want and the bad guys will still know what your passwords are.  Sigh.

P.S.: Nick V's hedge proved to be a little too dark to make for reading ease of the text to the [Home] and [Littermates] pages.  So, a high-definition image  of a New Zealand cloud formation from [WallpaperCave] now serves as the site's background image.  I hope you like it.

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