I’m Having A Lot Of Trouble Coming Up With Any Sympathy

What economic problems?

A tale of woe by Max Abelson: Bonus Drop Means Trading Aspen for Coupons

Some choice quotes:

“People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress,” said Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in New York who specializes in financial planning for the wealthy. “Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?”


Scheiner said he spends about $500 a month to park one of his two Audis in a garage and at least $7,500 a year each for memberships at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester and a gun club in upstate New York. A labradoodle named Zelda and a rescued bichon frise, Duke, cost $17,000 a year, including food, health care, boarding and a daily dog-walker who charges $17 each per outing, he said.

(I think our stupid cat may cost something like $17,000 a year. It seems like it anyway.) And…

“These people never dreamed they’d be making $500,000 a year,” he said, “and dreamed even less that they’d be broke.”

Poor, poor guys.

What’s That Thing She’s Sitting On?

Push Bike
I got a few questions about the bike that my daughter is riding in this picture. It’s generally called a “push bike” or a “balance bike”. The concept behind it is explained pretty well in an article by Josefine Köhn-Haskins, Push Bikes and Balance Bikes for Children. And there’s other good information by Bonnie Rochman in Bye-Bye, Training Wheels. Hello, Balance Bikes.

Josefine explains the general idea:

Starting a child on a balance bike makes it easy for him to learn riding a pedal bike. Most kids will be ready by the age of five or even four.

We’ll see how it goes. Neil has started learning using training wheels and it’s taking him a while. But we might have started him a year too early also. I took his training wheels off last Saturday.

Josefine also mentions this:

Children can start using a balance bike as early as age two. But do not expect them to sit on the bike and just race off.

Um, no. We have a little daredevil girl.

These bikes can really speed up, especially downhill. And most youngsters discover the fun of rolling downhill with their feet up pretty fast.

For Gillian that took all of 2 minutes. She fell off her push bike several times, which is not the usual course of action for these things. But she always got back on. To go back to the top of the hill again.


Making Apple TV And OpenDNS Play Nice

Apple TV / OpenDNS

The Apple TV is a great device for streaming TV and movies, particularly if you live in the world of an Apple ecosystem. OpenDNS is a great service for serving up fast DNS records. Unfortunately, they don’t get along.

If you don’t have both of these items, or you don’t even know what they are, this post is not for you. This post is for those who are having problems with the pairing and are lucky enough to be sent here by a search engine.

When OpenDNS and Apple TV are used together, sometimes starting a show on the Apple TV takes forever. Not quite literally forever, but so many hours that you give up and never watch your show. Have you had your Apple TV tell you your movie will be ready to watch in 6 hours? Do you use OpenDNS severs on your router? I can tell you how to fix it.

Not everyone seems to have this problem. It can also be sporadic. My Apple TV was slow when I first got it but then starting working well. I thought something got updated on the Apple TV or in the pipeline to fix it. It hummed along fine for a several months.

Then the slowness came back and it was horrible and it wouldn’t go away. I was extremely frustrated. It took some thinking and some digging and some experimenting, but I did conclusively confirm that OpenDNS was causing the problem. The technical details are unimportant. You’ve probably already read them somewhere else if you ended up here. Something about CDNs and being directed to one close enough and that not happening and causing major delays in your streams. What matters is that turning off OpenDNS and using your ISP’s DNS servers fixes the Apple TV.

But that sucks. OpenDNS is great. It speeds up your Internet access. It can block undesirable sites from your entire network. I didn’t want to turn it off just to make my Apple TV work.

But I did. For a while.

Then the solution hit me one day. It’s simple, but I never once saw this solution in any of the numerous sites I visited and read for hours while trying to get these things to play nicely together.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Find out the DNS server your ISP gives you by default. It should show up on your router if you don’t manually specify your own.
  2. Switch your router back to using OpenDNS.
  3. Go to your Apple TV network settings and manually set up your network instead of doing automatic set up. I think you may have to give the Apple TV a static IP address. You certainly get to tell the Apple TV what DNS server to use during manual setup. That is where you will now enter the DNS server you found in step 1.

Your Apple TV will now use its own DNS server and ignore the one specified on your router.

Praise the Apple engineer who decided it was good to let you do this. I can find no apparent way to manually set the DNS server on my Roku box, so it usually sucks at streaming shows. My Apple TV? Not a single problem since I did this. And the rest of my network still goes through OpenDNS.

I hope this simple (and obvious) solution helps others who run into this problem.

Hats Off To Molly For Admitting This

Molly Wood
Molly Wood has always been one of the most negative tech journalists out there when it comes to Apple products. Now she seems to have done a complete turnaround, as explained in Why Apple Is Winning. She nails it here:

Apple’s killer strength, as everyone knows, is its laser-like focus on “insanely great” products, coupled with its ability to build an iron-clad ecosystem that just keeps selling more Apple products. And in a time when tech is simultaneously getting more pervasive and more complicated, Apple’s focus on simplicity and usability has never been more relevant. “It just works” is all I, at least, have time for when it comes to my tech.

And this (emphasis mine) is exactly what I have been saying is the real key to why it makes sense for your average Joe to go with Apple:

But even worse than fragmentation is the fact that Android is still more complicated, in the same way that Windows is, to operate and troubleshoot. If something goes wrong with your iPhone, you take it to the Apple store, or, at least, forum posters are all talking about the exact same hardware, OS version, and most likely, problem.