Apple’s iOS 11.4 = pOS 11.4

The worst part of camping in Arizona’s monsoon season ain’t what you think.

It ain’t wondering whether your tent’ll survive the pounding rains and bouncing hail.

It ain’t wondering whether your tent – (and perhaps with you in it!) — will become airborne like Dorothy’s house in the “Wizard of Oz.”

It ain’t the hard ground reverberating beneath you when bone-crunching thunder rolls across the night skies.

Ain’t ain’t the bold bright lightning strikes — and spectacular they are in Arizona! And that undeniable vulnerability of lying on forest ground in a little tent wondering whether a bolt will strike a tree just outside. Or the tent itself.  Well, there are worse ways to go.

The worst part ain’t the mud.

Or the uncertainties inherent in Camping Without End. A gentle way of saying that I’m homeless and am boondocking in an Arizona forest –during the state’s July-August monsoon season to boot!

No, the worst part of this scenario is: Apple’s iOS 11!

How can that be, you ask!

I must preface. I’ve been an Apple fan  since it arrived. Some 25 years I’ve been a loyalist. A looong time! Nothing except Apple in my personal life

I’ve ridden their ups and downs. Been patient through their failures, celebrated their successes. Have never owned anything BUT Apples neither have I wanted to. Through the decades, I’ve come to their defense when appropriate and forgiven them their egos and missteps when necessary.

I’m also a (not so) closeted geek. A superb troubleshooter. Am intimate with Apple products. I learn my way around — because I LIKE to and I think it’s necessary. If a problem’s seriously beyond my domain, only then do I turn to tech. With whom I get along very well, unsurprisingly.

Establishing this Apple cred is paramount to what I’m about to say:

iOS 11 (most recently 11.4.1) is A. PIECE. OF. SHIT.  Repeat: A. PIECE. OF. SHIT.

iOS should be called pOS 11.

Two words.


This ain’t a techie blog. I’m not about to bore you or myself by retracing and detailing the innumerable steps, tests and functions tweakings I’ve attempted to MAINTAIN. BASIC FUNCTIONAL. BATTERY. POWER through a day.

Context. My phone’s merely a year old.

Previous version — 10.3.3. — worked just fine. Sure, it wasn’t ideal — what software is?! — but it certainly got me through a day with minimum to moderate use with power to spare.

It was quite unfortunate — nee by accident — that iOS / pOS 11 got downloaded onto my phone. It was neither my desire nor intent. Once there, I couldn’t remove it (since Apple had signed off on iOS 10).

Thus began the nightmare. Instantly. No exaggeration. The battery drain was IMMEDIATE. Massive. Undeniable.

With absolutely no changes, not even a most minor of tweaking, made to my phone! Just BOOM! Like the bus is running. Then the next moment, huge breakdown. No obvious rhyme or reason

Back to camping in monsoons.

It’s challenging all right. Dramatic. As living in the elements is. As a human being, you rise to those challenges. You reason, you plan best you can, you respond, you factor in conditions You do this, don’t do that. You survive.

iOS / pOS 11, unfortunately, is a gigantic thorn in the side compared to “living within Mother Nature and her monsoons.”

The TREMENDOUS battery drain — even WHEN IT IS NOT BEING USED and EVERY SETTING HAS BEEN TURNED OFF TO SAVE POWER — requires me to charge the phone a few times a day.

Hard to do when you’re camping. No outlets in the dirt!

So I rely on external sources — primarily cafes and my car’s USB port.

But doesn’t much matter. ‘Cause I can go to bed with it fully charged and wake up to half-juiced. Even when it’s not in use and setting after setting’s turned down or off toward power-saving!

This post, these words, truly they can’t convey the ABSOLUTE. FRUSTRATION — and DISLIKE — that has developed for Apple — with whom I’ve partnered in electronics for decades — as a result of iOS / pOS 11.

BTW, if you’ve any reason to doubt me — and you don’t, on this matter I write with authority  — then I invite you to google “iPhone iOS 11.” Complaints and experiences with immense and UNFIXABLE battery drain identical to mine are rampant.

I had to get this off my chest. I’m homeless. I’m camping in a tent in a forest in monsoon season.

I DEPEND on my phone to be there — just in case something happens.

I DEPEND on my phone to retrieve email or simply check a site. Can you say!

I DEPEND on my phone to hold a charge LIKE IT USED TO before iOS 11.4.1 (got accidentally downloaded, wiping out all that was good prior).

I DESIGN MY DAY around power supply: in cafes, at fast-food joints, in my car.

Otherwise, bye-bye battery juice. Why even have a phone then?

Rather, why bother having an iPhone?

More precisely, why bother having an iPhone with iOS / pOS 11.4.1?

Piece of shit indeed.


Yes, Virginia, there ARE just two types of people

“There are two types of people,” said my dad in one of his random bits of wisdom that’s remained in my brain for some 50 years.

“The Takers and the Givers,” said he.

Oh. How. Right. He. Proved. To. Be. That life has proven him to be.

My edition:

“There are two types of people. The Talkers and the Listeners.”

When you strip the statements down to their basics, the fundamental is identical. Takers = Talkers. Givers = Listeners

I’ve been seeing — rather, listening — to it in action for the past 1-1/2 hours. At a cafe. Two gals guesstimated 20-21 years old at the next table.

The blonde has been yammering yammering yammering for just about the entire time. Spilling out her evidently boyfriend problems in dull dramatic detail. “Like he said this, then I said that, then he said he didn’t know how to do that, and I said …” you get the picture.

Her friend with long dark hair has been listening listening, rarely commenting and even more strikingly not riveted to her cell phone, which is the modern American custom.

Irony is, from what I overheard before popping in the earbuds and dialing up Pandora, the gist of the Talker’s — the blonde’s — ceaseless chattering is Dull Drivel.


oops, dozed off

Meanwhile, the friend with the straight long raven hair who’s hardly said anything comparatively has much more to talk about. Much more interesting content at least.

She’s about 6 months pregnant.

I am that Raven. Minus an infant-in-creation. Or the hair.

I’m the one who Listens Listens Listens Listens Listens Listens and Listens to the entire world. To the entire fucking world.

I am the Giver in my dad’s equation.

And in this current scenario, the Blonde Chatty Cathy is the Taker. Take take take take taking up air space. Taking up time and energy from Raven — who should be cited for her patience.

This scene got me thinking. If Blonde Chatty Cathy is already so ENGROSSED in her own adolescent-y stuff, is such a selfish Taker and Talker at age 20 (ish), what’s she gonna be like when she’s 30, 40?

Because by that time, you can’t blame Diarrhea of the Mouth on youth or immaturity.

I can tell you what she’s gonna be like: One in an infinite number of middle-aged women who doesn’t shut the fuck up.

It’ll be all about her, her kids, her husband, what they’re doing, not doing, what she said, what they said …. blahblahblahblahblahblahblah ………………..


So dad, you were absolutely spot-on.

There’s two kinds of people in the world: The Takers and the Givers.

The ratio in my observation: 80% to 20%.

AND: There are the Talkers and the Listeners.

That ratio: 95% to 5%.

Praise the lord for Pandora and earbuds!! — for without ’em, well, either I’d-a grabbed the long hair of Blonde Chatty Cathy and dragged her outta the cafe caveman/woman style …. or this post woulda been bursting with profanities!

The final word I leave to this dear ol’ dude:



Befriending Napolean Hill

What would it feel like to be really wealthy?

A query not about the money exclusively but the lifestyle. The comforts, the security, the liberation from worry, stress, never having enough, the constant struggle to stay afloat, nee survive.

A query much on my mind for various reasons, tops among them my stepmother. She’s rich and in no way ostentatious. In fact, given her life tending to her farm and animals, you’d unlikely suspect her riches.

She’s just off to Europe — for 4 months!! Be assured that she’s not hoofin’ & backpackin’ it. Not at 69-ish!

I’m thrilled for her. And share her love of travel. Therein lies my envy. That she can pick up and go and (a) have a home to return to and (b) plentiful money still in the bank — my dream life!

At 61, I’m really contemplating how to make this last leg of life — well, to be blunt — fucking way better than legs preceding.

Enter Napolean Hill. Author of “Think and Grow Rich” in 1937. Fascinating story and man. Tome’s considered not merely groundbreaking but THE Go-To book on creating wealth and abundant living.

I’m so ready to learn what Hill has to teach!

Downloaded the ebook (for free!), read the intro late last night. Today I’ll begin Chapter 1. My goal’s to read slowly, mindfully, shift my consciousness to wealth and abundance (and away from what I was given (and not) growing up).

I’m a Napolean Hill initiate.

Ready, eager and willing to transcend impoverishment for better. Even if I can’t yet visualize what a wealthy, comfortable and secure life would look like to me, I’m game to start that journey.

Speaking of which, safe and amazing travels to my stepmothers over the next 4 months!

As she begins her particular journey, so do I.



Craigslist: A mirror of humanity

One of the toughest, smarmy-ist gigs on the planet is craigslist.

Craigshitlist as I sometimes call it but that’s neither here nor there today.

I’m selling some items before a move. Quality items, well cared for like everything I own, and worth some bucks. A few have sold for pennies on their values; others have gotten no nibbles despite practically giving ’em away. So discouraging.

Anyhow, to the story.

I had this router. A Belkin. Mint condition. Original box even! A few years old but still perfectly useable.

I posted it for $5.

No nibbles.

So I posted it in the Free section.

Then I got a bite. Only then did I get a bite. Guy named Mark.

Then I had second thoughts. That in efforts to clear out, I’d been hasty in marking it from $5 to free. And I had.

I reposted at $5.

I so informed Mark.

Then he revealed himself. Wasn’t what he wrote or the way he wrote it. Was perfectly concise.

It was his message between the lines.

He wouldn’t pay (even) 5 bucks for it but would happily take it when it’s free.

That turned me off completely. Ticked me off.

I pictured him taking it then turning around and selling it for some bucks on ebay or wherever. No verifiable evidence but a hunch.

Turns out it didn’t sell for even 5 bucks.

Rather than give it to that guy, I donated it to Best Buy’s recycling, mint condition, cables ‘n’ all!

As for Mark, I simply let him know the router was gone. End of story.

Though not really. The experience reminded that some, many, people want something for free.

They’re unwilling to contribute even a penny. Or appreciate a fantastic bargain when presented.

I hate those people. Probably ’cause I’ve had to work so damn hard and earn everything, beginning with my breath in infancy. Whether I have is debatable.

I’ve NO concept whatsoever of entitlement, deservingness or receiving anything for free. Quite the contrary. Material for therapy.

Sooooo, story short, Best Buy got my router and Mark the Taker got zip. Despite logic, and a perfectly fine email exchange. My gut said otherwise and I went with it.

No second thoughts no regrets — save for a world of Takers.

“There are two types of people,” commented my dad when I was like 12. “Givers and Takers.”

Whooooooooo-hoooo was — is — he right! Proven right by life. That’s all today.



Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.

I hang out in a very cool cafe. It’s eclectic without being pretentious. Cool without trying to be cool. It’s Berkeley circa 1973 meets Arizona Real.

Plus best Americanos in town hand’s down!

A post-worthy as the cafe is, it’s not today’s subject — but rather a moment in that cafe.

As I settle at my little round table, this captures my attention.


Notice the guy in the white hat.

He’s reading a book. Intensely, focused.

Not a computer screen. A book!

As a lifelong reader of books — books of actual papers, inks and spines, not cyberspace — I’m both joyful and saddened by societal shifts in literacy when I see someone reading a book.

I could’ve left the moment — worthy unto itself — there.

But extraordinarily curious minds need to know, explore, learn learn learn for life!

I certainly did not want to interrupt or interfere with this fine moment.

I know how I get when I’m reading and writing. I’ve always said that bombs could be going off around me and I’d continue reading and writing. I’m that focused. That AT ONE with words.

What IS that older gentleman, 50-ish, in the hat reading? He hasn’t moved or even looked up in a good 30 minutes.

A kindred spirit. I am in love!!!

True, he’s reading not from the big thick book, rather a second thin paperback, and scribbling notes. Perhaps he’s taking a class.

To satisfy insatiable curiosity, I employ my phone camera’s zoom.


Ah ha!

Heavy stuff, Goethe. Prolific prolific & creative thinking human being …

A jump onto Amazon for a better look:


Excerpt: “Rüdiger Safranski’s Goethe: Life as a Work of Art is the first definitive biography in a generation to tell the larger-than-life story of the writer considered to be the Shakespeare of German literature.”

Reckon there ain’t a single American under age 30, perhaps 40, with rare exceptions of students and individuals of arts, writing and culture, who’s even heard of Goethe, never mind read him.

As we speak, the guy in the white hat is reading from that book. Thick too! — about 3-4 inches. He appears to be on … about page 15. Work’s cut out for him!

Praise and glory to all who read books.

A beautiful moment at the cool cafe indeed.

Only fitting that the headline bears his words …


Yes, Virginia, rain really happened


The song of every living creature in Arizona at the moment! From trees to cacti to single blades of grass to animals of earth and sky and human beings … we’re connected in singular Rejoice!

At last: It has rained.

At long long long long looooong last.

From Severe to Moderate to Extreme — as defined by the National Drought Mitigation Center — whichever category your location, all agree that Arizona is in a drought and suffering.

I live in high mountain desert abundant with evergreens and pines. Not my pic but everywhere’s this drought on display:


For too long, precipitation has been record-breaking nil or nearly so.

Snowfall in my area alone last winter was laughable and temps warm — foreboding the dangerous wildfire season we’re experiencing.

BUT! the monsoon season is approaching. (Dollars to donuts you didn’t know Arizona has monsoons.)

Fingers crossed it’ll be a doozy and deliver 2 years’ of backlogged moisture. July and August will tell.

Meanwhile, Arizona is at long dry last getting a small taste of that manna today. Rain. Actual rain.

Not the heaving thunderstorms predicted. Media/forecasting overdramatizing. Yawn.

Light showers. We’ll take ’em. We NEED ’em.

REJOICE! sing all living creatures collectively.

I can feeeeeeeeel it all around me. Hear it in bird chirps. In the light drip-drip-drip from the leaves.

When did we last hear this?!

Even I, too a living creature albeit not deprived of moisture, marvel at the difference elusive water makes upon the world.

I had to grab my phone to capture these celebratory moments, these rare sights unseen. Kinda like shooting Bigfoot.

For these brief showers are ceased. If not by day’s end, certainly by tomorrow, Sir Sol of Arizona shall be back on full shining display, erasing all traces of moisture. Happens that fast in a dry climate.

I wanna capture it all on (digital) film! … this wondrous world wetted … that shall pass all too quickly like a dream … return to burning dry all too cruelly … leaving all of us to ask tomorrow: “Did the rain really happen?”

REJOICE! Yes, Virginia, rain really happened.




bootiful petal pool


hear them sing!

EVERYTHING looks refreshed! …

from the clothes rack to flagstone to wooden yard trim … all things spring to life when the rains arrive …


raindrops: captured for posterity


from bone-dry stone to glistening


hey, where ya been, ye rain gods?? we’ve ALL missed you


I can see clearly now.

Or can’t.

Forced by necessity and years, I finally got new glasses.

My prescription is strong and I wear progressives. Particularly with progressives, which can be tricky, a correct prescription is imperative.

As I’ve done for years, I went to Costco. Starting with the optometrist, an independent contractor.

It started quite badly with his associate, whose very unprofessional behaviors I reported to the main man — who to help rectify the matter conducted another exam.

The new specs and (prescription) sunglasses arrived. I was so excited! I very rarely get new glasses, partly due to cost. I pay entirely out of pocket.


The fittings — ever tricky since I feel EVERYTHING down to the minute detail — went extraordinarily well. Certain individuals just have the right touch in adjusting frames. Getting that person makes all the difference!

Left the vision department to stroll through Costco. Within 2 minutes, I knew the brand-new specs weren’t right. By the blur cast upon everything to the right.

As the day wore on, I put both my daily-wear glasses and sunglasses to the test. Each, in their own ways, worsened my vision!

Example: License plates I could read with my old pair were illegible, blurry. With the old ones, I could make out a place maybe 20 feet back. The fresh pair, I need to be feet away from the car’s tail.

Ditto with road signs and streets that I could read with my old pair are now blurred, illegible. I need to be right under ’em before they clarify.

The pervasive blur makes me feel very unsafe on the road. And if you knew me, you’d know that I feel and practice an ENORMOUS and passionate sense of responsibility on the road. For the lives and vehicles of ALL as well my my own.

(To all you texters and phone users, fuck you. Go have your distracted-driving accidents with your own kind and leave us good drivers alone and alive.)

Back to the new specs. It’s like looking through the worldly window wetted with rain.

Is the problem the prescription? The lab’s crafting? Or some of each?

When my 3.5-year-old glasses markedly better correct my vision than new specs, something is wrong. CLEARLY. (ha)

Whatever the source, I’ve now got a big problem.

I hate having to put Costco (and/or the optometrist) into the position of potentially redoing not one but TWO pairs of expensive progressives.

But is it fair that I bear the cost of specs that worsen rather than help my eyesight? Specs that I won’t wear because the old ones offer better correction?

Perhaps I’ll go back to the old prescription, tweaking though it needs. It’s a costly problem, terribly unfortunate.

And while I struggle to absorb the burden rather than place it upon Costco and/or the optometrist, I can’t overlook one fundamental fact: It is my eyesight. It needs correction on and off the road, at all times every day except when sleeping.

I can see clearly now … a consult with Costco is in my future.