Category Archives: General

Amazon Go Grocery is the perfect answer to the Social Distancing question

Grocery stores are not my favorite places.

In the best of times shopping carts are covered with germs, whether or not you can see them. Annoying as it is to find all of the carts are wet (which is common here in the Pacific Northwest) the silver lining is that you know the rain water has given them a rinse.

I generally think of the belt at the cash register being the biggest health risk. One grocery store chain said they are now cleaning the belts at least every 30 minutes. That is less frequent than I’d like to see during “normal” times. I tend to stack things on the belt to reduce the number of items that actually touch that belt.

Now with social distancing the checkout line is an even bigger concern. Standing in a line of strangers, and setting my groceries on checkout belts that I’ve never trusted to be squeaky clean, I can’t help but wish there was an Amazon Go store in my neighborhood. No checkout line and no checkout belt means nobody and nothing touches your groceries except you and the employees that stock the shelves.

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Confessions of a Fitness Tracker Virgin

I’m not much for New Years Resolutions, but the fitness tracker I’d been given had been sitting on the desk, staring at me for over a month. The box begged to be opened, and the band placed around my wrist, never to be removed.

Then again, this Fitbit model is only water resistant, so at least we would have some time apart while I was in the shower.

Here’s what I discovered, about the technology and myself:

What’s In the Package

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Gone But Not Forgotten – Remembering the Lakewood Four, Ten Years After

Black Friday has another meaning this year. November 29, the day four Lakewood police officers were killed south of Tacoma a decade ago, lands on the same day this year as the kick-off of Christmas shopping season.

Of course Black Friday marks the day when retailers’ finances traditionally get “into the black” for the year. This time of remembrance for fallen officers is also a good thing.

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Why I Donate Blood

Folks who know me know I give blood, and do it as often as I’m allowed to. (That’s every 56 days, which means six or seven times a year.)

One morning the staff double-checked my stats and told me where my unit of blood was going: Straight to the hospital, where it would be used for a baby’s surgery. How can that not melt your heart?

What is your Favorite Cause?

When GeekWire selected me as their Geek of the Week, they asked about my favorite cause. That was an easy choice: “Blood donation. You donate a pint of blood and around an hour of your time, and you give a gift that’s priceless.

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The Superhero, the Producer and the Director

When I was invited to a screening of The Space Between with director, producer and actor Amy Jo Johnson, I knew I was going to meet a superhero. Johnson was an original Power Ranger. (The first Pink Power Ranger to be specific.)

I ran into the Power Rangers once at Emerald City Comicon but they were cosplayers. Johnson is the real deal, both as a Power Ranger and an actress in general. Her dozens of TV and film credits include starring roles in FelicityFlashpoint, and The Division.

The Superhero and The Space Between

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Fighting Back Against Package Theft and Porch Pirates

I got a surprise when my latest shipment arrived from Amazon. Though their app has been providing delivery notifications for a long time, this one startled me.

Photo Finish

Screen shot of the Amazon app showing a package in front of the doorstep where it was just delivered.
Photo of a package at the moment of delivery

Not only did the app tell me when the package was delivered, but it included a picture of it in the place where it landed.

The photo was crude. You wouldn’t be able to identify either the package or the doorstep in a lineup. However, I recognized the location where it was delivered.

The photo was so bad that I wondered how it was taken. A typical police body cam would have done a better job, even while clipped onto an officer being dragged by a car. Still, it met the need.

did take the opportunity they provided to “Tell us what you think about this photo.” I responded:

It’s a really poor quality picture, but still useful. Of course a better photo would be more useful if I didn’t find the package waiting for me.

I.E.: You can’t definitively identify the package or the location, but it’s a step in the right direction.

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