2013 Volvo XC60 – The Bluetooth is a Bit Wonky with my iPhone

I just bought a 2013 Volvo XC60 that I love but the Bluetooth is a bit wonky with my iPhone.

Phone calls and Siri work great through the Bluetooth but the navigation apps on my iPhone do NOT work unless I have the Media/Bluetooth selected. If Radio is selected the Apple Maps/Google Maps do NOT ‘speak’. (It has to be on Media/Bluetooth). If I am NOT listening to an iTunes song at the time of using Apple Maps/Google Maps (Bluetooth selected), the Nav does NOT work.

This is corroborated by my friend who also has a 2013 Volvo.

I don’t think that I could possibly the only person to complain about this? Does anyone have a solution?

I was wondering if there was some kind of update to the Bluetooth that is more compatible with the new iPhone? Or maybe I could buy a new version of the media computer from a 2016? Would it fit?

Finding The Skinny Gene

I am throwing my hat into the diet advice ring with my own observations and successes with losing weight. If you know me personally, you’ll know that most of my life, I’ve been thin and when I try to espouse diet advice friends will usually say, ‘you’ve always been skinny, what makes you the authority on losing weight’?  But if you ask anyone for advice wouldn’t I be the best choice of someone to ask? And while I was thin all my life, I hit my fifties and I had gained more than 25 pounds. I didn’t notice until a relative posted a photo of me on Facebook from the side, sitting on the couch.

After the shock of seeing that photo, I looked around at my friends and noticed that everyone was fat. It seems that the only skinny people my age that are thin are the ones who work on it. A lot people my age are on some kind of antidepressant and we all know that makes one fat. Sedentary life along with a slowing metabolism (and maybe a daily Zoloft) is a deadly combination for gaining weight. My literal prescription for gaining weight is my antispasmodic medication. It’s first side effect listing is weight gain.

Analyzing the skinny gene: From my observations (not referencing scientific research here) I’ve noticed that there are skinny people and fat people. I believe that it is less of a ‘skinny gene’ an more of an ingrained healthier approach to food.  I am not saying that skinny people can’t be fat or that fat people can’t be skinny. But it will be far more difficult for someone with the ‘fat-gene’ to stay skinny.

If anyone has a ‘skinny-gene’ I do. I a have a fairly healthy approach to food. As an example, at around 4:30 PM after working most of the day, I may get a few hunger pangs. The first thing that I do is look at the clock and say to myself, dinner is at 6:30 and maybe, I may get a drink of water. At 6:30, I go make a salad then dinner. Someone with the ‘fat-gene’ may be able to do this but it probably comes with the ‘denial’ baggage and maybe some sort of anxiety which leads to snacking after dinner as a reward for denying food all afternoon.

Unfortunately all dieting is comprised of some sort of self denial. I can understand why most people are over weight. Most people have pretty shitty jobs with some boss or another standing over them yelling or dehumanizing or whatnot. The last thing you want to do when you are on lunch break, finally with some alone time is to practice self-denial with food. Dieting is also a total bummer when you see how little food you actually need compared to how how much you want. But I’ve found (as one with the skinny-gene) how to approach dieting to get the most out of the smaller amounts of food you’ll be eating without too much pain.

The first diet commandment which you shouldn’t believe and have to throw out is having goals. In my opinion goals just set you up for long term failure. What is the first thing you do when you’ve met your goal? Eat? And what do you do when you haven’t met your goal? Eat? So, how to avoid goals? Make a commitment that

from this day forward you will eat healthier and be thinner. I pig out sometimes if I’m out to dinner with friends or a BBQ or something. I don’t beat myself up. No guilt for the falling-off-the-wagon binging. During the week I’ll be back to being more disciplined. It took me a long time to lose 25 LBS. Remember the commitment said above, this is the long run not goal oriented. And it’s much healthier to lose weight slowly. This is a life style more than a diet.

What to eat? When to eat? How much to eat? Number one rule; eat like a human being, not like a hyena at the kill. Even if you’re at McDonald’s if you eat slowly you should get full before you over eat. I’ve found that during the day at work, I don’t need a lot of calories. In fact I feel more awake and productive in the afternoon if I eat fewer calories at lunch. For Breakfast I will eat a high bran cereal, not just good for shitting but bran is bulky and makes you feel full. Drink water during the day if you feel hunger. (Try to keep

breakfast under 200 calories). For lunch, I prefer corn chips to stale bread so I find the best cheddar I can find and will eat a small amount of cheese with a few chips (maybe 7 – 10 chips). Now this is paltry but if you eat slowly and drink a large cup of black coffee or water it’ll definitely sate you until you get home from work.

For dinner, try to avoid anything wheat, try quinoa which is great. Eat a big salad. If you’re going to make pasta or rice and meat, chicken, etc, double the meat and halve the rice or pasta.

As you can see it’s not really a diet. The idea is that you try to stay under 500 calories for breakfast and lunch because most people are busy and hunger

pangs are easier to ignore during the day. This also leaves you with at least 1000 calories for dinner which is actually hard to eat in one sitting if you eat at a human pace. To avoid snacking after dinner, I find chewing gum after dinner is sating. It’s more of an urge to masticate rather than any real hunger.

If you try it be sure to write me and tell me whether it worked or not and what problems, etc. Remember, the adage: This not a sprint it is a marathon. If you feel you’ve over eaten over the weekend or a raucous dinner, or lingering vacation, no harm no foul, back to it during the week.

A Brundlefly of Science Merged with Religion

Have you noticed lately that the there has been this weird marrying of science and religion? There has been this Brundlefly created, where the definition of science has morphed into some kind of belief system and the true definition of science which comprises of theories that can be tested and verified has been thrown out the window.

At first the creationist movement seemed kind of quaint to me.  I seriously ached to go to the Creationist Park and Museum in Kentucky.  This idea that dinosaurs roamed the earth just a few thousand years ago has that Jurrasic Park kind of excitement attached to it, a fantasy just like any of the hundreds of weird sci-fi movies one can enjoy.

I was astounded when Todd Akin Innocently volunteered to a news reporter a few weeks ago his theories on ‘legitimate rape’.  How a woman’s eggs clench up when the rape is legitimate, somehow rationalizing that any woman’s pregnancy is from legitimate sex. He said he heard it ‘somewhere’, without divulging his source.  This was obviously the beginning of a difficult go at defending his anti-abortion stance. He never named who he had heard this ‘legitimate rape’ theory from, most likely from some brochure from an anti-abortion group.

The most dangerous melding of science and the bible has to do with the whole Anti Global Warming movement.  Anybody can point to some kind of research or study that debunks climate change but in my opinion it all stems from the belief that god created the Earth in a perfect form. Everything on Earth is for us, created by god, and therefore we can’t fuck it up.

I want to keep my prostate

I wasn’t going to ever write about my medical problems, or if I were, I was planning to create a whole new blog dedicated to such, but at this moment I feel that there are many people in my situation and I had the need to vent.

I am about to endure my 3rd Prostate biopsy.  I’ve had a cancer diagnosis for a while and I am choosing to live through Watchful Waiting. My GP just told me on my last visit that the statistics of death for those who are Watchful Waiting are the same as those who do nothing.  If this is true, I really could just forget the whole thing and go about my life and have the same chances of surviving with – or dying from – Prostate Cancer.  Watchful Waiting is exactly like having the Immunity Idol on the TV show Survivor.  If you use the Idol too soon, you are seen as a foolish, paranoid wasting a chance to be able to use it when you really need it most.  If you are voted off the Island while still holding on to the Idol, you are seen as foolish by not recognizing the obvious signs.

Thanks to the School of Being Healthy

10 years ago I was strong-armed into having a prostate biopsy by my urologist. At that time my PSA was about 2.5 well under the 4.0 cutoff for the Prostate antigen.  The biopsy showed pre-cancerous cells.  I was about 42.  I held out on another biopsy until about 5 years ago, my PSA was hovering about 3.5.  In one of the 12 samples the results showed a few of the super slow growing cancer cells that most men die having (but not dying of) well into their 80’s.

Allowing that first biopsy was probably the worst mistake I ever made.  My doctor, whom I respect and like, gave me this argument at the time: Don’t you want to see?  You probably don’t have cancer and then we don’t have to worry.  This was ten years ago mind you, the consensus and dogma of the time was to test up the (literal) wazzoo, destroy as many prostates as possible, save lives.  I am now living with the diagnosis of cancer.  Upon receiving the results of each of the first two biopsies, my Doctor suggested to me that, “patients usually choose to destroy their prostate at this point with this diagnosis.”

With this cancer diagnosis, I can’t go back to ignorance.  Long before the US Preventative Task Force came out with their recommendations to stop all PSAs for any healthy men, studies had been coming out furiously over the years about the men who needlessly destroyed their prostates and that a large percentage of men died with prostate cancer but not from it.  But I, with the diagnosis of Cancer, am now tethered to the prostate roller coaster with PSAs every 4 months.

I promised my Urologist that if my PSA didn’t go up I could wait 5 years before my next biopsy, next week is 5 years.  Plus my PSA did go up a bit.  It’s hovering around 5. Probably nothing to worry about… Stay tuned.

Thanks to Your Cancer Today

Why Not to worry about PSAs: PSAs can fluctuate wildly due to a lot of different factors, and I’m sure everyone who has had a PSA has experienced the insane PSA anxiety when it’s high.  My PSAs go up and down.  I have pretty chronic Prostatitis.  This can raise my PSA about 2 to 3 points. You can imagine how it freaks me out when I see high numbers, but usually with a course of antibiotics these numbers come down.  What I have to look for and truly worry about is PSA numbers rising quickly over a short period of time.  Other things that can screw up a PSA is having sex or masturbating to close to a PSA, this can raise the numbers a point or two.  A tough tennis game, swimming, hard exercise and such right before a PSA blood test can screw with the numbers too.


UPDATE (as of March 2012): Believe it or not the test was clear, whew! 4 more years.

Steve Jobs and Life in General

Steve JobsA couple of weeks ago, on the evening of October 5th, I was about to start dinner. My wife comes home from work and as usual, sits on the couch and checks her iPhone for Twitter and Facebook updates. She looks up at me, “Oh my god, Steve Jobs is dead.”

I began to feel myself crying. And just a little over 6 weeks since my own father’s passing, I became teary over someone I did not know personally, although in some respects Steve Jobs was in my life as much if not more than maybe even my father. Steve Jobs had really become a kind of patriarch of modern life, it was really he that was Apple: completely synonymous. Even I, who is now typing this Post on a Windows 7 computer, who does not personally own any ‘i’ anything am affected daily by the new world that Steve Jobs created. Every modern computer device that is not Apple evokes the Apple design and concept.

My next phone may be an iPhone, but what about the phone after that? Will Apple still have the vision with out the patriarch?

Why I Think Dr Keith Ablow is a Douche


Being a pop-psych doctor on TV doesn’t necessarily immediately qualify someone as a douche.  I have a great respect for Dr Drew Pinsky, even though I’ve heard him talk out-of-his-ass a few times about celebrities’ personality disorders without (I’m sure) ever having met them.   But I guess that is part of being a TV psychologist:  analyzing someone from afar and having the gift of being able to give an on the spot diagnosis.

What makes Keith Ablow seem like such a douche to me is the outrageous agenda that colors his diagnoses.  The first part of his agenda is that he is such a media whore, he’s written novels, he’s a celebrity life coach, he’s had a couple of failed talk shows, self-help books, etc, (see Bio).  By comparison Dr Drew emits a true sincerity and to me his pop diagnoses do not seem outrageous or irresponsible.

The agenda that irks me the most is Ablow’s affiliation with Fox News, it just completely rubs me the wrong way.  It’s obvious now that anything he says is slanted toward the Fox right agenda.  (And nothing against Fox per se, especially where politics are concerned, all is fair in love and war, and I’ve been known to be a Bill O’Reilly fan even though our politics tend to deviate most times.)  But the thought that some, supposed doctor could filter his prognosis through the distorted lens that is Fox News Broadcasting, just seems incredibly douchy and disgusting to me.

The most relevant example of Ablow’s douchyness comes with his amplified objection to Chaz Bono’s participation on Dancing with the Stars.  It irks me as much that he is media-whoring up a controversy to get on all of the news and talk shows, (most likely looking toward the future for some resolution to meet Chaz on some talk show couch. I’m sure he is just wishing that Opra was still on the air) as the fact that he is using homophobia or some type of xenophobia as the agenda for his objection to Chaz. Ablow says that children will see Bono as a role model to ‘kindle’ and emulate.  This is just an absurd assertion. Using myself as an example, no matter how much I want to be gay, I’m just not attracted sexually to men and I just don’t get the whole Lady Gaga thing.  To think that someone would want to change their gender on a whim is absurd.  If anything, Chaz should be respected and celebrated for his ability to make difficult decisions in his life in order to find the ultimate truth about his existence on this planet and for not towing the line of what the current status quo is for normalcy.

Ablow goes on and gives another example of why Chaz shouldn’t be on DWTS: that transgendered people do not go on to live physically as healthy lives as the non transgendered and if a child sees Chaz on TV they will then go on to live unhealthy lives.  This is such bullshit, basically he is saying that Jacky Gleason should not be on DWTS because kids would get fat and hilarious and go on to live unhealthy lives. (Obviously Jacky Gleason is dead and couldn’t appear on DWTS, but I couldn’t think of any other funny, fat people at the moment).  Or, OK, Carrot Top shouldn’t be on DWTS because he takes steroids and dyes his hair too much.  Or Elton John, because he wears bad glasses.  Or Tony Hawk because the kid watching DWTS will later go on to break their neck on a bike.  I can go on and on.

So, even though I hate Dancing with the Stars and probably won’t watch it, (I have too much on my plate as it is now with House Hunters, Survivor, now X Factor and America’s Next Top Model) .  I will still be rooting for Chaz though, remotely and passively while watching 2 Broke Girls… By the way, I didn’t even scratch the surface about the fact that Chaz looks like a dude and what kid watching DWTS would even know that he was formerly a girl at some past time anyway.

Post Script: Below is an Ablow attack on Bill Maher that is just stupid, douchy and colored by the Fox News agenda:

Eulogy for My Father

Morris Brown
Morris Brown

My first memory of my father outside of his role as my dad was in the spring of my senior year in high school. My classmate and friend, Phil and I traveled to Israel, the first time traveling unsupervised as part of our high school’s senior curriculum. We later had to write a paper on our experience for credit before we could graduate.

Previous to that spring of 1977, Morris was to me, I guess, as most dads were then, hard working – even though I wasn’t exactly sure what he did – and a great provider. My mother was the nurturer, my father, semi-aloof behind the newspaper.

It was a generous gift of my parents to send me to Israel that spring. On our trip we took a planned bus tour with other Americans to Masada. Through the hot Israeli desert, up to the high bluff in the 110 degree heat, I began chatting with another American on our tour, a bit older than me but not by much. He said he was a New Jersey lawyer. So, just to make conversation, I mentioned that my father was a lawyer too, “Morris Brown, do you know him?” “Your dad is Morris Brown?” he exclaimed. I will never forget the expression on his face; to me it seemed a strange combination, a mixture of respect, awe and terror. I assumed immediately that it was because Morris was such a force to be reckoned with in court. This was not the last time this happened either, in fact where ever I traveled since then, if I ran into a New Jersey lawyer, they would know Morris Brown. “Tell you father, I said hi.” Most would request of me. I would always try to remember their names to relay back to my dad.

Coming from modest means in Carteret and on a lark taking the bar exam after college, he came in the top 5 percentile on the exam and went to Harvard Law School. Morris was incredibly motivated to do well in life, he knew that success was not defined by how wealthy you are but by how generous you are. He was one of the most gracious, generous people I’ve ever met. Generous almost to a fault, I’m sure anyone here; who ever tried to buy lunch would agree.

My father would tell me this story: There is this town; it is the toughest town in the state. He would begin.  And in this town there is a neighborhood; it’s the toughest neighborhood in the town.  In this neighborhood there is a street; the toughest street in the neighborhood. As you go down this street, with every house you pass the street gets tougher and tougher.  And you want to know what? He’d say; I lived on the last house on this street!

In more recent years I shared my father’s passion for enjoying the newspaper. When visiting, I’d usually have some gnawing question about a piece of news I read that day. “What’s this about congress having to pass this bill now?” I’d ask. He’d answer me with patients and with such an incredible grasp of the material, I was in awe, and frankly envious. He knew every congressman who was involved with the bill by name, what state they were from, what their politics were, why this bill needed to be passed now, what previous presidents tried to pass this bill before and so on. I could only imagine trying to win an argument in the courtroom with someone so brilliant, someone who could retain so much of the material plus view the bigger picture.

My father tried to be stoic during my mother’s long battle with cancer. On the morning that my mother died about 10 weeks ago, he offered the best advice anyone could give. Be strong, he said, we all knew what was coming. I looked up at him and saw he was completely devastated, frail and sick himself, he was still able to see outside himself, still looking to provide for his family.