311 Performs in New Orleans

Peter Egan Attends His Tenth 311 Concert in New Orleans at Champions Square

By: Peter Egan

311 still has “it” after 27 years performing as a band

311 Symbol

Friday, August 04 2017, Peter Egan attended his tenth Three-Eleven concert in his lifetime, and the band didn’t disappoint. The performance (not including “New Politics” and any other opening acts) lasted about two-and-a-half hours, which was barely enough time for the group to play MOST of their albums, while performing nine songs from their new release, Mosaic311 Mosaic.

It would be easier to identify the albums from which 311 did not perform aNick Hexum song than to list those from which it did. 311 performed a total of 24 songs, including the extended version of Applied Science when band members take their traditional break, followed by all five band-mates beating on the drums simultaneously.

The set list for the show is as follows:

Song Title – Album

  1. Perfect Mistake – Mosaic
  2. All Mixed Up – Blue Album
  3. Homebrew – Grassroots
  4. Too Much to Think – Mosaic
  5. Beautiful Disaster – Transistor
  6. Extension – Mosaic
  7. Stealing Happy Hours – Transistor
  8. Come Original – Soundsystem
  9. Hey, Yo (Not “Hey You”) – Mosaic
  10. Bass Solo – (N/A)
  11. What Was I thinking? – Transistor
  12. Wildfire – Mosaic
  13. Amber – From Chaos
  14. Freeze Time – Soundsystem
  15. Applied Science – Music
  16. ’Til the City’s on Fire – Mosaic
  17. Do You Right – Music
  18. Too Late – Mosaic
  19. Beyond the Grey Sky – Evolver
  20. One & the Same – Mosaic
  21. Unity – Music
  22. Down – Blue Album
  23. On a Roll – Mosaic
  24. Freak Out – Music
  25. Creatures (For a While) – Evolver
Peter Egan and friends at 311 concert in NOLA
Peter Egan enjoying the 311 show with friends.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the heck out of the show, and I’m most certainly not complaining when I point out that not a single song was performed from Don’t Tread on Me, Uplifter, Universal Pulse or Stereolithic. And of course that’s not counting all the independent releases, bonus tracks on compilation albums and other vintage 311 that you can hear on YouTube or at a 311 Day concert, but not on a studio album.

311 Performs in New Orleans, LA

Let me please make one thing very clear. I enjoy all of 311’s Music. It doesn’t matter what songs from which albums were performed at a given show, I’d have had a good time if I was there and Three-Eleven was playing. That being said it struck me as odd that there were four consecutive studio albums from which not a single song was performed during an entire concert. I can’t help but wonder if this is 311 catering to the more casual fans by mixing in the songs they’re sure to know along with the newly released stuff, or if it’s a reflection of how 311 perceives their four most recent studio albums preceding Mosaic. I would like to think it’s the former and not the latter, as there are just too many good songs on DTOM, Uplifter, Universal Pulse and Stereolithic to leave them off the set list for quality reasons.

311 Performs "Applied Science" in New Orleans

In my personal opinion, the high-point of the show was when the band performed Freeze Time, the opening song from the Soundsystem album. If I had to pick out a low or drawback of some sort, the first thing I’d do is complain about the band only performing 24 songs, or roughly two albums worth of work.

SA Martinez goes off during 311's 2017 show in New Orleans

I’m one of those spoiled 311 fans who has been to multiple 311 Day (March 11) concerts in my lifetime, and have seen the band play on for more than four hours on multiple occasions. That has to taint my opinion at least a little, as 24 seems like a perfectly reasonable number of songs to perform on a promotional tour.

311 Concert in New Orleans

If forced to pick my least favorite moment from the show (assuming there’s a gun to my head), it would have been Amber. Amber is not a bad song, it’s actually a pretty good song all things considered. However, this isn’t your average band we’re talking about, and it is my personal opinion that Amber got far more recognition than it deserved based on the quality of the song itself relative to all other 311 songs. The reason I believe this is that for decades 311 has been perceived more as a “guy band,” and the women in attendance were mainly brought there by male 311 fans.

311 in NOLA 2017

Amber got the attention of female fans, and I’m all about there being a record number of females in the audience (out of any of the ten 311 shows I’ve been to, as there was in early August of 2017 in Champions Square in New Orleans. If Amber is in any way responsible for that, wonderful. I guess the band has to take the majority opinion into account when determining which songs to play in a limited allotment of time. I just don’t think it’s as good a song as it is promoted and perceived to be relative to other 311 songs. If I could have replaced it in the set list, there’s not much 311 has ever done that you couldn’t substitute in there and at least from my opinion improve the musical quality based solely on the songs performed. Literally, just pick any song, from any album or from no album, I’ll probably like it more than Amber.

311 Mosaic Tour in New Orleans

Anyway, I’m a spoiled fan who just has to learn to accept that the band has to throw female fans a bone every show to keep them engaged. I do understand this. However, the August 04 show in New Orleans in 2017 seemed to have not only a much higher ratio of female fans than past shows I’ve been to, the female fans were every bit as into the music as were the male fans. Perhaps the perception that 311 is a “guy band” can be put to rest now?

311 Mosaic Tour in New Orleans

On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this show an 8, and that’s only because I’ve been to two 311 Day events and I know first-hand from experience what this band is capable of when they’re really motivated to please an audience. They can’t match that level of intensity every night on tour. Hence why they only do those shows once per year, max.

311 2017 Summer Tour in New Orleans

I really can’t find anything to complain about. The venue was much better than in an enclosed arena where police are looking to meet arrest quotas. The 8 was a pretty arbitrary score from a biased observer. For a concert of its nature (a stop during a summer promotional tour), this show was a ten (out of ten). It’s not plausible to compare every 311 show to 311 Day, and I’ve come to accept that with time.

When a band has been playing and making music together for 27 years uninterrupted, they may release more albums than they can touch upon during the nature of a given live performance. When you’re truly as great at what you do as are Nick Hexum, S.A. Martinez, Tim Mahoney, Pnut and Chad Sexton, these are the sorts of problems you start to create for yourselves over the course of nearly three decades.

311 2017 Show - Peter Egan

When as a fan my biggest complaint is that I didn’t hear songs I wanted to hear, and think through what it would have taken for me to have heard every 311 song I’d like to hear at a concert, I’d need a lot more than one night and they’d need more than one show. There’s just that much great material that this band has put out over the years.

If either a 311 Day concert or cruise is announced at any point in the not-too-distant future, I will eagerly buy tickets to whichever it is, and if it’s the cruise, I’d arrange for some vacation time.

Peter Egan at the 311 show August 04, 2017 in New Orleans

311 is the greatest rock band (arguably the greatest group of musicians) in my generation, and I’ll soak up every show, 311 Day and Cruise I can before they decide to hang it up.

If you missed it, 311 put on an awesome show Friday night, August 04, 2017 in New Orleans. As a writer, all I am able to do is encourage you to attend the next one near you, whoever you are and wherever you happen to be reading this.

How to Chum for Catfish

How to Chum for Catfish

Increase your catch by learning the strategies and techniques behind chumming for catfish

By: Peter Egan

Note: The instructional videos are at the bottom of the article. If you’re only here to watch the videos and learn to chum, scroll down until you see the videos.

Ever since I became an adult and started living on my own (with the exception of when I was enrolled full-time in college), there has been one constant — I’ve lived on or near the water. After Hurricane Katrina shut down Tulane’s campus, destroyed my uptown New Orleans home and forced me to take a semester off from school, I’ve resided one or near a large body of water.

From 2005-2011, I lived in a home located on a bayou just off the Tchefuncte River. From 2011-2012 I lived in a beachfront condo along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. From 2012-2014 (October of 2014 to be exact) I lived in a house three blocks from the beach about two miles from the Condo I had lived in previously.

In October of 2014, I returned to Covington and now find myself in the same house on the bayou and 150 feet from the Tchefuncte River.

The reason I have always sought out places of residence near large bodies of water is simple: I love to fish. Freshwater fishing (like the Tchefuncte, the bayou on which my home resides or the pond at my parents’ house growing up), inshore saltwater, beach fishing, marsh / brackish water, offshore — it’s all fishing to me and I enjoy it all.

Peter Egan's Fishing Store
Peter Egan's Fishing StoreOf course every form of fishing and even every species of fish when you get right down to it has its own unique challenges which require different approaches in order to achieve results. Living on the Tchefuncte River, I occasionally fish for bass, but the river has become so over-fished post-Katrina when the area’s population more than tripled that bass are pretty hard to come by. You really need a bass boat with a trolling motor and an assortment of various tackle to even have a chance at catching Power Pro Fishing Line - 20 Pound Test>more than one or two small bass on a given day in the Tchefuncte. A good day bass fishing in the Tchefuncte and all the connected bayous and lagoons would consist of maybe 3-5 bass total, perhaps one weighing over 1.5 pounds. It’s really not a good river in which to fish for bass – especially when you stop to consider the near-constant boat traffic and the fact that on some weekends, 20-25 different boats all troll down the bayou upon which I reside. Most are probably clueless to the fact that there’s already been a dozen other fishermen who’ve thrown every lure at every angle imaginable by the time they make their way down my bayou. Maybe they’re not and they just don’t care. I don’t know and don’t much care myself.

My preferred species of fish to target in this river at least are catfish.

There are several reasons for this: For one thing, catfish are far more abundant than are bass or crappie, the other two primary game fish targeted by fishermen (the river is nearly extinct of Alligator Gar, a species that thrived in the river pre-Katrina, due to over-fishing). Catfish don’t require a boat, trolling motor or tackle box full of expensive artificial lures of every texture, shape, color and size. In terms of food, catfish are delicious, and the taste of fried or broiled catfish rivals that of the other freshwater fish species commonly eaten. That said, catfish are the only freshwater fish on the menu of literally every seafood (and many non-seafood) restaurant – at least in the southeast United States.

A day of bass fishing might yield 3-5 fish on a good day. Panfish (sunfish, bream, perch, bluegill – many species with countless names but all basically the same fish) are easy to catch and taste good. However, they’re small fish and even the larger ones are only a few ounces. Crappie (aka: sac-a-lait) are the exception, as they can grow to be several pounds, but unlike other panfish, crappie can require elaborate tackle and techniques to catch. For the most part panfish are easy to catch and taste good, they’re just a lot of work to clean and there’s not a lot of meat per fish.

A day of fishing of catfish on the other hand can yield dozens of fish, hundreds if you care to catch that many. The fish can range in size from a few ounces to 50-60 pounds on the large end of the spectrum.

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

The maximum size of the fish varies depending upon the species. Channel Catfish, which are the most common species in the Tchefuncte (and in the southeastern United States in general), can reach a size of approximately 40 pounds, however this is extremely rare. A large channel cat is anything over 5 pounds. I’ve caught a handful in the Tchefuncte over 10-12 pounds, but just a handful out of hundreds of fish. Most will range between 1-4 pounds. They’re not huge, but are delicious and widely considered to be the tastiest of the three main species of catfish found in the Tchefuncte.

According to Wikipedia:

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is North America’s most numerous catfish species. It is the official fish of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee, and is informally referred to as a “channel cat”. In the United States, they are the most fished catfish species with approximately 8 million anglers targeting them per year. The popularity of channel catfish for food has contributed to the rapid expansion of aquaculture of this species in the United States.

A member of the Ictalurus genus of American catfishes, channel catfish have a top-end size of about 40–50 pounds (18–23 kg). The world record channel catfish weighed 58 pounds, and was taken from the Santee-Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina, on July 7, 1964. Realistically, a channel catfish over 20 lb (9 kg) is a spectacular specimen, and most catfish anglers view a 10-lb (4.5-kg) fish as a very admirable catch. Furthermore, the average size channel catfish an angler could expect to find in most waterways would be between two and four pounds.

Channel catfish will often coexist in the same waterways with its close relative, the blue catfish, which is somewhat less common, but tends to grow much larger (with several specimens confirmed to weigh above 100 lb).

Source: Wikipedia

Blue Catfish

In addition to Channel Catfish are Blue Catfish. Blue Catfish are not quite as common as Channel Catfish in the Tchefuncte, but they’re plentiful nonetheless and based on my anecdotal evidence would appear to be the second-most commonly found species in the Tchefuncte.

Blue Catfish

Blue Catfish differ from Channel Catfish in appearance and in size. Blue Catfish have a blueish tint, don’t have the spots commonly found on channel catfish, have a dorsal hump and over 30 rays on the anal fin (compared to the channel catfish, which generally has between 25-29).

More importantly, Blue Catfish can grow to over 14o pounds, with several documented cases of anglers catching blue catfish in excess of 130 pounds, and a handful over 140. Generally speaking, throughout my history of fishing the Tchefuncte, the Blue Catfish I’ve caught have been larger on average than the Channel Catfish, and most of the fish weighing over ten pounds that I’ve caught have been either Blue or Flathead Catfish, which we’ll discuss next.

Blue Catfish (underwater)

Blue catfish, like their close relative the Channel Catfish, make for great table fare. They’re slightly below the Channel Cat in terms of their taste.

Blue Catfish will eat almost anything, dead or alive, that they can fit into their mouths.

Blue Catfish (2)

According to Wikipedia:

Blue catfish are opportunistic predators and eat any species of fish they can catch, along with crawfish, freshwater mussels, frogs, and other readily available aquatic food sources. Catching their prey becomes all the more easy if it is already wounded or dead, and blue catfish are noted for feeding beneath marauding schools of striped bass in open water in reservoirs or feeding on wounded baitfish that have been washed through dam spillways or power-generation turbines.

More information on Blue Catfish: Wikipedia

Flathead Catfish

Flathead Catfish are the third primary species of catfish found in the Tchefuncte River. They can grow very large, and have an approximate maximum size that is comparable to the Blue Cat. Commonly referred to as “Tabby Cats” among south Louisiana anglers, Flathead Catfish have one distinct difference from Channel and Blue Catfish: their feeding patterns.

Flathead Catfish

Yeti CoolerYeti Cooler

Flathead Catfish prefer life prey. Whereas Channel and Blue Catfish will eat almost anything they can smell, feel or catch (and fit into their mouths), Flathead Catfish are somewhat more carnivorous and prefer to eat smaller fish, crawfish, insects and worms.

Flathead Catfish are good to eat, but their taste is not quite as delicious as Channel and Blue Cats. Flathead Cats certainly taste good enough that were you to catch a nice-sized one, it would go in the Yeti (ice chest) as opposed to being released.

Additional Information about Flathead Catfish: Wikipedia

Magic BaitGenerally when I fish for catfish in the Tchefuncte or Bogafalaya Rivers, I’ll catch all three species, Typically using live worms, nightcrawlers, occasionally liver and sometimes Magic Bait or another brand of “Stink Bait” for bait. I also chum constantly, so I don’t have to travel beyond my back porch to catch as many catfish as I so choose.

This brings us to the reason for this article. Chumming for catfish can greatly enhance your catch and make fishing trips infinitely more fun if it’s done properly. Luckily for my readers, I’ve assembled a series of videos I filed outlining the chumming techniques and strategies I personally use.

Full disclosure, I use Magic Bait’s pre-made, commercial chum as one of the main ingredients in my most common chum mixtures. I recommend buying it online, as you can get it a lot cheaper at Amazon than at Bass Pro Shops. If you click the image or the link it will take you to a page where you can buy the product. I endorse this product because it works. I use it. I pay for at least a bag a week, every single week. Sure, I mix it with various other ingredients to concoct my proprietary chum blends, but it is my genuine belief that the Dinner Bell Fish Chum from Magic Bait is an excellent starting point and a perfect base around which to build your chum.

Flathead Catfish (2)

I also explain different chumming techniques and strategies depending upon your goal. Specifically, I outline two separate strategic approaches for both short-term fishing goals (meaning a one-time fishing trip to a spot you may or may not have fished before but don’t have access to regularly enough to continuously chum the area). The other strategic approaches involve long-term chumming. This is for anglers who either live on or near a body of water, or who have easy access to the water sufficient to maintain a permanent chum bucket and change it out every week or so. Since I live on the water, I obviously prefer the latter approach, but I recognize that few people have this luxury, so I’ve included instructions for those who cannot for logistical reasons maintain a constant chum spot.

In the effort of full disclosure, the four videos combined make up more than half an hour of video recordings. However, I can promise you that if you devote the time to watching all four videos, you will not regret one moment of it, and you’ll emerge a better fisherman. Every line of dialog contained within these four videos was included for a specific reason. If you miss one line you could very well miss something very important.

In other words, pay close attention and watch the videos in order, one-through-four, from beginning to end; at least if you wish to become a better fisherman and know when and how to chum most effectively depending upon your specific goals for that particular fishing trip.

The videos are below.

Chumming for Catfish

Four-part video series featuring expert fisherman Peter Egan of PeterEgan.net.

Chumming for Catfish – Part 1 (Introduction)

How to Chum for Catfish – Part 2

How to Chum for Catfish – Part 3

How to Chum for Catfish – Part 4


Hopefully you’ve watched the above videos and learned when to chum for catfish, how to chum for catfish and which tactics to use depending upon long-and-short-term-goals.

As you can see, the techniques work. My line wasn’t in the water a minute before I caught the first fish.

I’ve been chumming consistently in the time since these videos were filmed. I’m planning on fishing the spot with a friend the weekend of May 05-07, 2o17, and I will update this post with photos of our (sure to be solid haul of catfish).

Statistics (12th Edition)

Review: Statistics (12th Edition)


By: James T. McClave and Terry T Sinich

ISBN-13:978-0321755933
ISBN-10:0321755936

Statistics (12th Edition)

Worst Textbook I’ve Ever Been Subjected To

Grade = F-

That colleges and universities are using this book as the course textbook is borderline criminal. I couldn’t write anywhere near as poorly as this book is written if I tried.

The run-on sentences and overall poor choice of wording ensure that the only people who can comprehend book are mathetiticians. Mathemeticians shouldn’t be writing books.

People who can actually write who also understand probability and statistics should be writing text books for core curriculum classes that every student must take.

This author appears to have written this book primarily to impress his peers with lots of completely unnecessary words, sentences, data sets, etc. This book wasn’t written for business, marketing or public relations students only enrolled because they have be.

Perhaps the worst part of the book and maybe the entire topic is that after the first few chapters, the remainder of the book is filled with run-on sentence word problems in which a majority of the information provided isn’t even relevant. The reader must make his or her way through a massive wall of text just to extract the data, half of which isn’t even relevant to the problem. So… for each practice question, the student loses two minutes of his/her life he/she will never get back again because some airhead wrote a book for his own ego instead of for the students the book was intended to teach.

To pile it on top of that, after the first few chapters there is nothing that could be put to any practical or useful purpose. These are just equations and formulae that are assembled because somebody found a new way to use w calculator. There is no use, purpose or practical application for 65%-70% of the material in this book.

Universities and professors should value writing quality when deciding upon which texts to associate with their courses. Ten minutes of trying to read this disaster of a text book would be more than enough to discern that its rambling, words and symbols are introduced from the start with no reference or definition provided; and when terms are defined the language is ambiguous so the student is constantly guessing or assuming due poor structure and an even more disgraceful butchering of the English language.

My advice to any student in need of a math class to find one that does not use this book. Better yet, find an algebra class instead. At least algebra is practical and improves your thinking process. It is the mathematical version of logic and deductive reasoning (critical thinking).

The book is only marginally more valuable than being totally worthless. I say marginally better because there is some, limited and poorly-explained information that could theoretically be of use outside of a classroom setting. Such information is the minority of the content, and even what useful information is present is poorly explained.

Overall, I have no choice but to give “Statistics” (12th Edition) by James T. McCabe and Terry T Sinich a grade of F-.

Overall Grade = F-

Samsung Galaxy Autocorrect

Autocorrect on Samsung Galaxy is BAD

By: Peter Egan

This is a follow-up to a product review of the Samsung Galaxy S7 I wrote a few months back. This article echos many of the same sentiments but delves into deeper detail. After a few more months of frustration, I felt the need to expound upon my grievances with the Galaxy S7 and why I’m rethinking the purchase despite many of the phone’s features being adequate-to-good.

I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy S7 for about the past six months. Before that, I had a Motorola Android Maxx that I’d had since late 2014, and the amount of abuse it took in the 2+ years I had it finally caught up with it, and I was forced to get a new phone.

The factor that separated the Galaxy from the other smartphones available at the Verizon store was the fact that it still had a traditional audio port.

I already have lots of audio equipment, including everything from speakers to headphones/earbuds to a little device that I plug into the audio port while I’m in the car (or near any FM radio) and it broadcasts Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edgewhatever audio is on my phone through my car speakers, boat speakers or any other speakers hooked up to an FM radio. It does this by broadcasting to one of five possible relatively obscure frequencies that generally aren’t used in commercial radio and are rare in the few instances where commercial broadcasting exists along these frequencies. If my memory serves me correctly, the gadget that plugs into my phone is capable of
broadcasting at 87.9, 88.1, 88.3, 88.5 and 88.7 megahertz (MHz). Megahertz are the unit of measurement for FM broadcast frequencies. The number on the radio dial stands for the number of megahertz at which that frequency is broadcasting. FM stands for frequency module, and the number on the radio dial or screen is the frequency.

Galaxy S7

Anyway, it is a cool little gadget that lets me listen to whatever I want from my phone using my car speakers, which are much louder and of higher quality. I use it nearly every day.

I didn’t want a phone that would have required me to buy all new bluetooth-equipped audio equipment because the phone wasn’t compatible with my existing audio gear. That, ultimately, is why I chose the Galaxy S7 by Samsung.

For the purposes of serving my audio needs, the phone has been wonderful. My only complaint is that the speakers built into the phone itself are so weak a almost always have to plug the phone into an external audio device to hear all the sports talk shows I love so much (looking at you Matt Moscona).


The phone also has a much better camera than my previous phone. Photo and video quality are the two areas I feel like I got a significant upgrade when I switched to the Galaxy from the 2013 or 2014 Android Maxx.

HOWEVER, the older model Motorola phone I had for more than two years prior had one feature that was significantly better than that of the Galaxy. I’m talking about Autocorrect.

The Motorla phone had an extensive vocabulary, knew how to spell, would automatically fix typographical errors and in the rare instances in which I wanted to say something it didn’t already know, it took note and learned. It learned my writing patterns so well that it would often finish my sentences – literally – sometimes after just a few words. It knew what I wanted to say, it was super-intuitive and had the capacity to learn even more than its already extensive out-of-the-box knowledge. It was a smart phone in every sense of the term.

The Galaxy S7, in contrast, gives me the impression it’s autocorrect and word suggest features were programmed by someone with a first-grade reading level, no grammar skills, a VERY limited vocabulary and zero command of the English language.

It regularly fails to recognize even the most common of words, like “even” for example. It suggests even be “eben” and even takes the liberty of changing my correctly spelled, extremely simple and common word and replacing it with something that isn’t even a word. Google says it’s a name of Hebrew origin, but I strongly doubt the programmers who weren’t familiar with the word “even” knew that.

That’s just one example. The Galaxy S7 is unfamiliar with literally hundreds of words I use regularly. More often than not, it changes them to words it does know, forcing me to go back, delete it’s autocorrected suggestion, retype my word and click the check mark to tell the phone that what I typed is in fact what I intended to say. This would be less bothersome if the phone remembered these occurrences and learned the words I teach it by overriding its autocorrect, but it doesn’t . I have to repeat the same process over and over with the same words. Every now and again it seems the phone will pick up on something and typing on it becomes a little less tedious, but those instances are the exception rather than the rule.

What’s more, the phone has no idea how to handle possessives involving apostrophes. Oddly enough, it does understand contractions for the most part, although it never knows whether the word “it” followed by an S should have an apostrophe or not. It defaults to the apostrophe’d contraction of “it” and “is”. It will automatically change any usage of “its” not involving an apostrophe to the contraction with the apostrophe. It’s like whoever programmed the autocorrect is completely oblivious to the fact that “it” in the possessive is spelled “its” with no apostrophe.

I have spent countless hours undoing the damage inflicted upon my writing by Galaxy’s imbecilic autocorrect, which is probably more accurately described as “auto-incorrect”.

The phone just underwent a full-scale operating system update, and I was disappointed but not surspriaed that this issue (autocorrect) was not addressed in the update.

Samsung Galaxy Virtual Reality Headset

My advice to anyone seeing all the cool commercials involving people having these mind-blowing experiences in virtual reality with a Samsung Galaxy hooked up to a little headset such that it resembled the virtual reality headsets worn in the 1990’s Aerosmith video “Amazing,” is to refrain from buying into the hype. Think practical.

How often do you really expect to be able to play with the headset before it becomes repetitive and boring?

If you’re an Android person, for the love of God go with something made by Motorola. There was a time when I would have included LG here, but the last LG phone I had was complete and utter garbage, and it destroyed my opinion of them as a company. They may be back to making good phones, I don’t know and can’t speak one way or the other. The last one I had was so bad it would take a lot to convince me to ever but another one.

I’ve had iPhones in the past and they’ve all served me well. The autocorrect wasn’t quite as good as my Motorola’s was, but it was decent enough and even back in 2013 my iPhone at the time would have been an improvement over the Galaxy in just about every way except the camera, and from what I’ve read Apple has made some pretty big strides of their own in this area.

Ultimately the amount of time lost fixing typing errors committed by the phone (the Galaxy) hasn’t been worth the positives associated with the phone. If I had to do it again, I’d buy an older Motorola phone online – one with an audio port – instead of driving to the Verizon store and choosing a phone from their limited selection consisting of only the most recent models.

I hate the idea or bluetooth-only external audio, and will continue using a phone with an external audio port until I can no longer find one in person or online.

Just be wary of the unfortunate autocorrect on the Samsung Galaxy, and if that’s a problem for you then you’ll have to weigh that against your desire to have a phone with the features that Galaxy has that are as good or better than those of competing models.

Tchefuncte River Fishing Report – April 05

Tchefuncte River Fishing Report – April 05

Following the storm that passed through the Covington/Madisonville area on Monday, April 03, the water level of the Tchefuncte River is higher than normal, and the water is very muddy.

Typically, the water is muddy from Friday afternoon through about mid-day Monday (on a weekend wherein the weather is pleasant) from all the boat traffic. Both non-fishing boat traffic and fishing have increased at least tenfold since Hurricane Katrina, and in the opinion of this author the river is being over-fished.

Tchefuncte River

I live on a bayou just off the Tchefuncte, and every day there are at least a half-dozen boats that pass up and down the bayou using their trolling motors fishing for bass mainly. I’ve counted as many as 24 boats one Saturday. Perhaps there was a tournament that day?

Every now and again I’ll see someone using live bait, which could technically put them in play for just about any species of fish found in the river. I would estimate that nine out of ten are using artificial baits, which would strongly suggest their target is largemouth bass.

The fishing report for April 05, 2017 is as follows:

Conditions:

  • Water Clarity: Poor
  • Water level: High
  • Outlook for bass: Below-average (see below for additional info)
  • Outlook for catfish: Below-average (see below for additional info)
  • Outlook in general: Poor

Largemouth Bass Outlook, Advice

If targeting bass and determined to fish today or tomorrow, I’d recommend planning the trip for early morning or late evening. Water clarity is so poor right now that sight-baits won’t bring much success. Use something that makes noise or chops up the water to alert the bass to its presence. Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits along shorelines and over lily pads, weedless top-water frogs (and any other weedless top-water bait that can be fished over lily pads), chatterbaits and even diving top-water minnows that have a rattle inside them to make some noise. If the fish can’t hear or feel the vibration of the bait, you’ve got very little chance because unless you happen to place it literally right in front of the fish’s face, it probably won’t see it.

Catfish Outlook, Advice

Catfish Chum
Click the image for more info

If fishing for catfish, I’d strongly recommend chumming your fishing spot and being patient. Fish near the chum or past the chum in whichever direction the water is moving that day. Magic Bait makes a good catfish chum that I’ve had success with before. Combine one bag of chum with one bag of their actual catfish bait into a perforated minnow bucket, add weight to the bucket and wait for the fish to arrive.

Traditional tactics like using jugs or noodles (pool flotation toys cut into pieces) may bring success due to the amount of space covered by this technique, but the degree to which the water is muddy is making it difficult for the fish to smell in addition to making it virtually impossible for them to see. If fishing with a rod and reel, I would definitely chum and wait at least an hour before declaring the day a failure. 

Tchefuncte River - Catfish Feeding

One last note: the catfish in the Tchefuncte have been more aggressive in their feeding of late right at dusk and dawn. I regularly feed them cat food in my bayou and I’ve noticed they completely ignore it if I throw it out at any point during the day when the sun is up. At dusk, or after dark, the demolish every morsel that lands in the water. Take it for what it’s worth.

As you can see in the above photo, the turtles are gorging themselves while not a single catfish is anywhere in sight. Worth noting is that this is the same spot I feed them every day. This time it just happened to be a few hours earlier than normal, and the fish were nowhere to be found.

This is a relatively new development for me. I’ve traditionally had success fishing for catfish in the Tchefuncte mid-day during all seasons of the year. I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind why they seem to be feeding less aggressively during the daylight hours, but whatever the reason that is my observation and I hope the above outlook and advice help make your next fishing trip a success.

Totally.me combines social media activity in one place

Totally.me collects, aggregates social media activity

I came upon a pretty neat site lately that is offering an interesting service. Imagine is all your social media accounts were to be combined into one place — all your Facebook posts, all your tweets, all your pins, all your Google+ shares, all your LinkedIn updates, all your Instagram posts — all published in the same place.

Now imagine if you can combine multiple accounts from these social media outlets into this singular source for all things social… For example, suppose you have a couple of Facebook business or community pages in addition to your personal profile. Imagine if you have a personal Twitter account but also one for your business. Same goes for Pinterest and on down the line… That is in essence what Totally.me is.

Peter Egan's totally.me

To be totally fair, this isn’t entirely a new idea. I remember a nearly identical service being offered by an organization called RebelMouse, which at the time, offered this service free-of-charge, as is the case with Totally.me. RebelMouse has moved on to for-profit endeavors and has a notification that it’s free service was to be discontinued last year sometime, but the two accounts I had set up with it remain active, although the menu of administrative options has been drastically scaled-down to the point not even the account owner can make changes at this point.

If there’s any meaningful difference between the two it lies in how each respective site is coded. Whereas RebelMouse used javascript for pretty much the entire page except for an optional ‘About Me/Us’ box you could affix to the top-left corner of your page. That part was normal html, but all the social content was coded in such a way that search engines could not crawl it. That may well have been by design, I have no idea. What I can say is that the way Totally.me appears to be coded, there will be a log more content on each user’s page that is able to be indexed by search robots, leading at least in theory to more visitors to the site through search engines, if in fact they are indexing the social content on the Totally.met pages and returning them in search results.

One other possibility is that if the pages are crawled, social media could become a valid way of going about getting a web page indexed, if in fact these pages are being crawled and the links within the individual posts to the various social media sites are being acknowledged, then posting a link of your new blog post to Twitter or Facebook might actually lead to the page being indexed.

Peter Egan's Totally.me

That’s all just a theory, however, as I can’t say for certain that I know how all that stuff works, nor can I really say with certainty anything else in this post except that Totally.me takes whatever social sources you plug into it and creates a page whereby all posts to all social media sites are shown in the order they were posted (regardless of the venue).

One other pretty significant difference between Totally.me and RebelMouse is that users can comment on Totally.me posts using the Facebook comments software. So your twitter post can spark a conversation on a completely different site where it was posted automatically, at least in theory.

SocialSear.ch and Tags

Another difference between the two sites pertains to hashtags. As of now Totally.me links each hashtag in your social posts to a hashtag page for that term at the site socialsear.ch. RebelMouse linked all contents of a given social post back to the original post.

If there has ever been a site that aggregated and combined posts containing the same tags drawn from every major social platform and displayed them all in one place, I’m not aware of it. This seems to me to be a unique idea, the potential of which could be massive. I admittedly don’t know the vision of the site’s creators, but whatever it is I like it.

SocialSear.ch

socialsear.ch

These differences might be enough to make Totally.me a viable long-term idea whereas its predecessor fizzled out after a while as there was nothing that could be done with the pages other than observe them and their contents, and click back to the original posting. Time will tell…

If you have a desire to keep better track of your activity on social media sites and think having everything you post to all of them collected, compiled and displayed in one place could be beneficial to you, then Totally.me might just have something worth signing up for.

If nothing else, it’s a cool little tool that’s fun to play around with and that really puts your activity into perspective.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Review

Samsung Galaxy S7 Review

By: Peter Egan

Samsung Galaxy S7 Not Without Major Flaws

Overall Grade:  C

Update: The auto-correct feature on the Samsung Galaxy 7 is so bad I had to revise this review and downgrade it from a B- to a C, and I still feel I’m being generous.

Seriously though, if you’re in the market for a new smartphone, do yourself a favor and get a Motorola (if you prefer Android) or an iPhone. Don’t let the commercials with the people blown away by the headsets fool you. If a phone can’t spell 9 (and this one can’t), what are the odds that it has other deficiencies? Here’s a suggestion for anyone thinking of getting a new phone: Shop Amazon Warehouse Deals – Deep Discounts on Open-box and Used Electronics.

Sometime towards the end of November 2016, my two year-old Motorola Android Maxx smartphone started to malfunction in ways that indicated to me that it was time to get a new phone.

Most importantly, it stopped charging altogether no matter the charger (although mysteriously started charging again once I brought home its replacement).

However, there were other flaws. The screen was cracked, it only occasionally picked up the WiFi at my house (although it never had a problem picking it up elsewhere), and the actual reception is relatively poor where my house is located. Maybe the metal roof has something to do with it, but the bottom line is that when it decided to detach from WiFi, I was missing important calls, texts, emails, etc.Samsung Galaxy S7

So I decided it was time to get a new phone. After what seemed like an eternity at the Verizon store (this is a testament to their staff taking the time to explain to me in detail the ins and outs of every phone in-stock, not a complaint), I settled on the Samsung Galaxy S7. The deciding factor for me was that I can still plug headphones and speakers into the S7. I’m not ready to go wireless, I don’t like Bluetooth and I’m waiting to see what type of audio quality (and volume) these wireless speakers have to offer before I restrict myself to a very new technology about which I have plenty of reservations.

My take on the Galaxy S7 from Samsung

Don’t let the commercials with the kids (and old people) mesmerized by virtual reality headsets reminiscent of 1990’s Aerosmith music videos fool you into buying this phone. While the Galaxy S7 has some positive features going for it, there are also some major drawbacks. If I could go back in time two months, I’d really have to strongly consider paying an extra $150 and getting the Motorola phone, sucking it up and just deal with the Bluetooth audio being imposed on me.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Headset

Let’s recap some of the positives and negatives of the Galaxy S7.

The positives:

  • The camera is very high-quality: The photos I can take on this phone are indescribably better than those I had become accustomed to with my Motorola Android Maxx. The camera on this phone is incredible, and may be it’s best feature.
  • There’s plenty of space: I like apps, and photos — lots of them. This phone lets me have them both.
  • Call quality is about what I expected.

The negatives:

  • Typing: Texting, Facebook, Messenger or anything else that involves typing. One of the things I loved about my old Motorola phone was it really was a “smart” phone. It’s auto-correct feature actually corrected typos, and it had a capacity to learn new words, acronyms and abbreviations that may not be standard English but which are part of my regular vernacular.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is the dumbest “smart” phone I’ve ever seen in this regard. It takes the liberty of changing words I spelled correctly to misspelled versions of the same words, different words altogether or my (least) favorite of all, nonexistent words. And God-forbid if you ever have to hit the backspace button to fix a type, the Galaxy S7 lacks the capacity to recognize that you’re still typing the same word, and will treat any new typing you do as though you’re typing an entire new word as opposed to correcting a word you’ve misspelled. Then it will combine the new word it thinks you were trying to spell with the portion of the actual word you were typing that you typed (this applies even if you type the entire word, spelled correctly, but had to hit the backspace button to fix a letter).

This is a remarkable pain to deal with. The worst part is, after a month with this phone, it has shown no capacity at all to learn my typing tendencies, and still takes far too much liberty with regard to inserting auto-correct into places it has no business being. I’ll likely end up just having to turn the feature off entirely because it’s wrong more than it is right. Sure, it’s good for fixing “its” to “it’s”, and other common mistakes made involving apostrophes (especially the ones I deliberately make because auto-correct fixes it). However, I’m not sure that the auto-addition of an apostrophe here or there justifies the amount of having to delete entire words and slowly type the word I want typed, then click the “check mark” symbol to confirm with Galaxy that I indeed intended to type the word exactly as I did. With such a limited vocabulary (Galaxy S7 really doesn’t know many words compared with my 2 year-old Motorola), this gets very annoying.

I haven’t found any other significant flaws so far, but the auto-incorrect is a pretty major one. If I encounter any more I’ll update the review accordingly.

Overall, I give the Samsung Galaxy S7 a C grade. While the camera is fantastic, there’s plenty of space and there are lots of cool features I don’t care about but some people undoubtedly will (like the headset), the Galaxy S7 is the “Special Ed” of smart phones. Its ability to make typing more difficult than ever before on any device (phone, tablet or computer) is remarkable in itself, and would earn this phone a C- were it not for the camera and the quality of photos.

My advice to someone shopping for a new phone is to consider whether or not sounding like a complete idiot in typed conversations (or taking the time to fix Galaxy’s inexplicable errors) is important to that individual or not. If it is, I’d strongly consider looking into other options, because there are plenty of other phones on the market now with great cameras, and that seems to be the main thing the Galaxy S7 has going for it. An older model Motorola phone has all the positives associated with the Galaxy and is very intuitive and intelligent. Motorola phones made this decade have vocabularies that exceed that of your average six year old (the Galaxy really is that dumb — it has a VERY limited vocabulary and is incapable of grasping the concept of an apostrophe, as well as incapable of learning via user behavior).

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy 7 gets a C because of the camera and the plug-in, traditional external audio device port. If you plan to buy one, expect to turn auto-correct off because this phone is so incredibly stupid you’ll have to in order to come across as an incoherent idiot who uses words out-of-context, non-existent words and is unable to spell properly, much less deploy proper use of grammar.