Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blocking Political Spam

With the midterm elections three weeks away, political “advertising” is heating up. Thankfully I’ve found a way to stymie the system. Note I do not claim to have beaten them; it’s just one battle in a long war.

I have met no one other than a politician who thinks that when you sign your phone up for the “No Call” list that politicians shouldn’t be barred from robocalls and the like. However, since politicians pass the laws, they exempted themselves.

I found an app for my cell phone that now allows me to avoid their robocalls and pitches for contributions. “Mr. Numbers” works on Android phones. I’m sure there are equivalent apps for Windows and Apple operating systems. I’m not even claiming Mr. Numbers is the best Android app. But here is what it allows me to do:

I set the app to block all restricted callers. These are folks who do not display a callback number. My theory is that if they don’t want me calling back, I don’t want them calling in. I originally did this to avoid telemarketers who get around the no-call list because they have some superficial link to a provider I have or had in the distant past. What I discovered is that as a bonus I no longer get political advertising or calls for contributions.

It’s a blessing I am passing on to you, unless you enjoy stringing folks along, in which case I don’t want to ruin your fun.

My only concern is that the politicians will outlaw software that restricts their “first amendment right to harass me” – er –their “free speech.” It’s a war and like any war the instruments of battle will escalate. Right now, I have the advantage and I am enjoying it.

~ Jim

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2014 Goals Progress

Another month has dashed by, and it is time to fess-up to how I did with my twin goals of exercise and weight. Good news all around. I met my exercise goal for the month and reduced my weight below the 12-pound weight loss goal for the year.

The key for the last quarter of the year is to maintain exercising and keep off the lost weight through the end of the year. Overall on exercising, I now have had more months of success than failure and have the opportunity to end on a solid note.

Keeping weight off after losing it has been a continual problem for me. On average I've gained three pounds in the last three months of the year. If I were to do that this year, I would still technically meet my original goal, but it would not feel like a success. Therefore, I'm mentally resetting that goals so success means that I continue to maintain the current 15-pound weight loss.

Check back in a month and we'll see how I've done.

~ Jim