How to Survive Naked and Afraid

When Discovery launched Naked and Afraid in 2013, I didn’t plan to watch it. Survival shows are not new, and the provocative title didn’t appeal to me. Survivor, for one, has been around for more than fifteen years and was responsible for the concept of being “voted off the island.” Reality shows have been with us for decades. Naked and Afraid just sounded like more of the same.

For whatever reason, I ended-up recording the first episode, which was broadcast on June 23, 2013. The routine hasn’t varied much:

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Wi-Fi Wonders Come at a Price – maybe loss of your Privacy

Wi-Fi is Wonderful

The constant supply of data to your smartphone, tablet, and other mobile devices makes life easier. The reliable connection to the Internet without using your data plan allotment is priceless. That’s why your family and friends all ask for your Wi-Fi connection information.

The Dark Side

However, the Wireless Access Point (WAP) that provides the signal to you and yours can also be a spy in your home or office. The default configuration when you take it out of the box makes it easy for the bad guys to take control of it.

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Emerald City Comicon draws 80,000 fans to Seattle

When I previously wrote about comic book shows and their fans, I was talking about small-to-medium shows like the Jet City Comic Show. Their site states that “Jet City started in order to fill in the void for a quality one-day show for fans and dealers.

Comic-Con International is the 800 pound gorilla, and Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) bears a strong family resemblance. This year they brought in 80,000 fans and took over the Washington State Convention Center in the middle of Seattle, despite the Department of Transportation shutting down multiple vectors into town. The DOT earned some jabs from Comicon attendees after declaring that there would be “no major events this weekend,” but it didn’t keep the fans away.

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The End of an Era – SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy

If you fly, you’ve seen the SkyMall catalog in the seat-back pocket in front of you. It’s been a great business model, marketing to a captive audience that may have nothing better to do for hours than watch the in-flight entertainment and read the seat-pocket reading material.

Of course a lot has changed since SkyMall came into being a quarter-century ago. Catalogs are getting thinner, and though paper catalogs aren’t going away just yet, less are printed every year. Due in part to reduced mail volumes, the United States Postal Service is losing money, and is slowing service while raising rates.

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What You Can Learn from how Costco and Consumer Reports Deal With Quitters

I’ve been simplifying my life, which included a cancellation binge. I cancelled my Consumer Reports subscription, and allowed my Costco membership to lapse.

Deafening Silence

Costco logoI was puzzled that Costco never made any effort to find out why I was no longer a member, and never even acknowledged my departure as a customer. Their emails kept coming, and when I unsubscribed from those there was again a deafening silence.

My experience with Consumer Reports was completely the opposite. I unsubscribed online and was immediately surveyed as to why I was leaving, how they could do better, and whether I’d consider coming back. They even asked if I’d be interested in joining a focus group with fellow ex-subscribers.

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Gone But Not Forgotten – The Lakewood Four, Five Years After

This morning as the sun was rising, snow was falling on the memorial commemorating where four Lakewood police officers were killed. The community still remembers that day that drew the community together, five years ago today.

Heart in the Snow

Heart in the snow at the Lakewood Police Officers Memorial outside Blue Steele coffee in Parkland, WAAn early snow is on the ground, and the wind-chill is in the mid-twenties, but business is unusually brisk at Blue Steele Coffee. People make a point of coming here to pay their respects on November 29, remembering that morning in 2009 when four officers paid the ultimate price.

Permanent memorials were dedicated one year later, here and at the Lakewood Police Department’s headquarters. The one outside the coffee shop was built on the corner where the original, makeshift memorial had grown.

Four Coffee Cups

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Always asking "What are you trying to accomplish?"