Small City BIG Salaries

Below is a list of salaries for the small bed room community of  Upland.  Upland has a population of approximatively 77,000 people with an median household income in 2009: $65,330.  This is a small city is it only 15 square miles. So the city manager makes seven times the median income of the city. even the lowest paid position,  Fire Battalion Chief makes more the twice the the cities median income.


Position…Salary / Compensation (salary+benefits)

City Manager…$368,529 / $460,625

Police Chief…$229,724 / $306,621

Fire Chief…$170,698 / $242,390

Public Works Director…$177,030 / $236,004

City Clerk…$175,606 / $231,230

Finance Director…$168,659 / $225,418

Police Captain…$160,940 / $221,201

Community Development Director…$165,422 / $219,618

Police Captain…$160,940 / $219,175

Police Captain…$159,566 / $216,217

Assistant City Manager…$159,569 / $214,418

Human Resources Director…$159,230 / $214,132

Fire Division Chief…$149,066 / $211,156

Fire Battalion Chief…$149,363 / $207,787

Library Director…$150,269 / $202,742

Fire Battalion Chief…$143,830 / $201,274

SOURCE: City of Upland


Something is wrong when city salaries have ballooned to this magnitude. How can the city staff pay themselves these outrageous salaries. Why do normal human beings think this it is OK to take this kind of money.

It is because they think it is their money. After all if we need more money we will just TAX the population more. It is an endless supply of money.  Well it is NOT just an endless supply of money. We all work hard for our money to provide a good quality of life to our love ones.  So the public sector needs to get real and come back to reality and stop these huge exorbitant salaries. Instead of cutting programs and services cut your dam salary back to a normal salary.

Keep your hand out of my pocket.


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Dumping Cable TV

Sep 03 2010 Published by under American Consumer, Changing scene, Geek stuff

We have dumped the Cable TV feed. Just got tired of all the games the cable provider was playing and the cost. We still get internet through cable but no Cable TV.

At first it was a tough. You know Cable TV withdraws.  Not being able to watch all the shows you get hooked on. Plus with the Tivo you were always able to keep a nice stock of shows to watch at your convenience.

Well after some digging on the internet and services like Netflix Watch Now we were able to make it through the first few months. Watching the LOST series filled up a lot of TV viewing time.  The six seasons of  LOST added up to  over 100 episodes.  Most of LOST was streamed over the Netflix service.

We are stilll streaming a lot of content form Netflix. There a lot of great show to watch Like Dr Who,  MI-5,  Dexter and more. We have also been exploring several of the cable networks wed sites , like USA network, SyFy and History. These networks release full episodes any where form 1 to 7 days after it airs on Cable. The problem here is they only keep the 4 most recent episodes and you can not easily record then for time shift viewing.

Another great web site for content is Hulu. There is a lot of content, some of it old, mostly episodes of previosu seasons or just the most recent 4  episodes.  But if you look around you will find some gems. Just the other night I found a DIY sires called Cool Tools. There are not an current episodes but there are three full seasons of shows.

Hulu is also starting up a paid service for $9.99 per month called Hulu Plus. I would be happy to pay the money if they gave me better access to current cable shows. After looking through the info on the Plus service it did not seem to offer much for the money. But is it early and the service is not in full release yet.

So we have survived the first 90 days of NO Cable TV.  Give it a try it is easer then you thing, plus you save a boat load of CASH.

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Have you gone Key Less yet?

Aug 03 2010 Published by under Future things, Geek stuff

How things change. I use to have a pocket full of keys. You know a key for the house, and key for the car and Key for work and some how the number of keys just grew. Will now I do not have any keys in my pocket and guess what I do not need any keys for normal daily  life.

The world is going key less, in respect to the old fashion metal tumbler keys. Now days I carry around electronic do dads in my pocket. For the car it is great. You do not even need to take anything out of your pocket to unlock the door. It just automatically unlocks for you. Just grab the door handel and poof the door pops open. Then to start the car just push the button on the dash. That’S it.

For work, it is a wireless iButton that allows Me to unlock and open the door. Not as hands free as the car access. Still the same iButton can get you in the main office door and any other door you are authorized too open.  The iButton access can be limited by time of day or even the day of week. Plus when a employee leaves you just deactivate his iButton.

Now your saying, what about your house , well in the car there is the home link system that allows me to open the garage door, so who needs a key to open your house. and if your not in your car there is an outside keypad that you can use to open the garage door.

All this stuff is not rocket science, and has been available for almost 10 years. So what is the big deal. The big deal is the adoption rate of the technology recently and the low cost. It seems this technology is every where. Makeing it easer for every one to go key less.




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Steve Jobs out of Touch

Feb 24 2010 Published by under American Consumer, Changing scene, Geek stuff

steve-jobsThe iPad look and sounds cool, but who will buy it. When I talk to friend and co-works I always a are you going to buy and iPad? I asked the same question a few years back about the iphone and always got a resounding yea you bet, as soon as it comes out. No matter how long the lines are or how much it cost.

Well the response, i’am get now, when I ask the question about the iPad is “No I’am not going to buy the iPad for myself”. Then they continue “I will definitely buy it for my parents!”

Parents! Why are you going to buy it for you parents? “Because, it is easy to use and does not have a mouse.”

I though Apple product were always for the generation x and y’ers not the old baby boomer’s of the 50′s.  You know the cool products that the young persone has to have. The fancy packaging, the modern stores, stuff that a baby boomer would never identity with.

So what happened? Is Jobs designing products for a different generation?  Is this a planed marketing change? Or did Apple just miss-read the masses? Or is Steve just getting old like the rest of us Baby Boomer’s?

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Save Electricity Without Doing Anything

Jan 22 2010 Published by under American Consumer, Geek stuff

cutoffSave electricity with out doing anything, well almost. You do need to buy this handy new plug strip. The gizmo works like a  normal power strip/surge protector. With a twist.

There is a USB cable attached to the plug strip, strange right. Not for this new plug strip. You plug the USB cable into you computer. Then plug all your peripherals into the plug strip. Now the USB controlled power strip will turn off all your peripherals when you turn off your computer. And that is when you star to save money. The manufacture clams a 10% savings, for me that $25.00 a month.

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Blu-ray Disk Push Blu-ray Techonlogy

I_believeI do not get it! You already bought the Blu-ray player. You bought or rented a Blu-ray disk. You bought the high definition television to watch your Blu-ray disks. You are knowledgeable about high definition. After all you own all this Blu-ray hardware and software. Yet when you pop in the Blu-ray disk into your Blu-ray player  there is a 30 to 60 second commercial about how great Blu-ray is.

Well, ya I know Blu-ray is great, you already sold me on the Blu-ray technology. Otherwise how would I be viewing the Blu-ray disk. So why are the studios putting these Blu-ray commercials on a Blu-ray disk?  Beats me!

It has got to be the dumbest strategy I have ever seen. It is like preaching to the choir, we already believe  in the Blu-ray technology. So why the commercial? I just do not get it?

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Upgrade Sony Tivo to Tivo HD

Oct 27 2009 Published by under Changing scene

sony_tivoThe upgrade from the 2000 vintage Sony Tivo to the Tivo HD was like getting exposed to Tivo all over again. Back in 2000 I did not get or understand  the Tivo revolution. Why would anyone spend $500 just to recoded a TV show. After all I have my trusty VCR.  You do remember what a VCR is right?  Will someone gave us a Sony Tivo for helping then set up a medical office. That Sony Tivo change the way I watched television for ever.  Now I was watching what I wanted when I wanted.  Plus if the phone rang I could pause live TV. All these were first at the time, back in 2000.

Well I have been very slow to upgrade to  a newer Tivo. After all mine dose the job. It has the Tivo lifetime service.  I have converted the phone only Sony Tivo to a ethernet connect unit with a giant hard drive.  The Old Sony Tivo will store almost 200 hours of television. What else did I want.

let me tell you what I wanted…I wanted, to be able to recorder in HD, I wanted to be able to recored two shows at a time, I wanted Netflix streaming, I wanted YouTube, I wanted Yahoo weather, I wanted Pictures and video from my PC and Mac and the list goes on and on….tivo-hd_11-300x224[1]

So I finally found a Tivo HD unit, with lifetime service, for under $500 and I jumped. And now I have all kinds of options all with a touch of a button from the Tivo remote.  Like I said back in 2000 Tivo changes the way you watch television and now Tivo changes the way I use my television.

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Better TV with Widgets?

Oct 08 2009 Published by under American Consumer, Changing scene, Corporate America


To solve the question, that was asked earlier this year “Who Decides What IPTV You Watch?” the industry has responded with the TV Widget. TV widgets allow you, the consumer, to break free from the iron fist of TV manufactures deciding what internet content you watch on your TV.

Several TV manufactures including LG, Samsung, Sony and soon to be Visio have introduced flat panel televisions that have Yahoo Widgets. Yahoo Widgets is a set of software that connects your TV to the internet and presents information kind of like an iPhone. The information comes from the internet but the user experience is not the normal personal computer browser model.

Visio has taken the Yahoo Widgets one step further. Not to be tied to Yahoo and Yahoos release schedule, Visio developed their own widget platform for Visio televisions. Visio developed there own platform using Adobe Flash. So it will be a very open platform. It will also support Yahoo’s Widgets, so you get the best of both worlds.

Visio is planning on releasing a SDK or software developer’s kit, so any one can develop a Widget for the Visio television. You could even develop a custom home automation interface or a interactive Game, the sky it the limit.

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Who Decides What IPTV You Watch?

Are only certain Networks channels displayed on your television set because the television manufacture has done a deal with that network?No, you get all the network channels that are broadcasted in your area.

So then why are Television manufactures making deals with internet video streaming sites and only displaying the ones they get paid too? It would be like Mitsubishi making a deal with NBC and CBS only. And since they do not have a deal with ABC you cannot receive ABC on the Mitsubishi Television. We would all thing that was nuts.

Will that is exactly what is taking place in today’s market. Television manufactures are only allowing streaming services that they cut deals with. No deal, no access through the television.

If the smarts are in a TV to receive, for example, Netflix, then the TV is smart enough to receive others. True the software for streaming is not standardized today BUT it should be. Manufactures should not be controlling what Internet Streaming sites work or do not work on a given television.

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PC Guy Late to the Mac Party (part three)

Jul 02 2009 Published by under American Consumer, Changing scene, Geek stuff

OK as promised the speakers! The most unique speakers are the Audioengine A5 speakers that I will be using inside the house. For the outside I will be using Polk Audio Polk Audio Atrium 45p Self-Powered Loudspeakers.

You have two options when doing multi room audio. One option is to use a central multi room amplifier, or option two is to use self-powered speakers. A central amplifier can get expensive and complicated real fast. So to keep things simple I choose to use self-powered speakers.

Self-powered speakers also keep the wiring simple. You also have the choice to go wireless when using the Apple Airport express. If you decide to use wire you can use your existing Ethernet wire. The Audioengine speakers have a unique setup that allows you to plug the Apple AirPort Express right into the back of the speaker, for 110v power. Audioengine provides a short audio cable to connect the Airport express to the Audioengine speakers. The cable is just the right length. No extra cable to bundle up. Keeps the installation nice a neat. So, if you are using a wireless Ethernet connect you will only need one A/C power connection to the speakers.


Audioengine A5 speakers


Indoor speakers

-  75 watts peak per channe l

- auto power on and off

- power outlet for Apples Airport






Polk Audio Atrium series 45p self powered speakers
Polk Audio Atrium 45p powered speakers

Outdoor Speakers

- 25 watts per channel

- case is build to Military specks

- blue Polymer Woofers






But you say you do not like using Apples iTunes. There is a software application called Airfoil for Windows that will solve your phobia with Apples iTunes, and still give you access to multiple Apples airport express locations. More on that topic next time.


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