Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Smart Home Version 10?

Original Web Front End
Ok, maybe it’s not version 10 but I have been through a LOT of major version changes in my home automation / smart home history. Starting way, way back in the 1980’s with a Commodore Vic20 running as a dedicated controller for turning on and off X10 lights based on my “programmed” schedule and some X10 control pads around the house, through SEVERAL different PC versions of X10 based controls, to a dedicated Time Commander+ setup in the middle 1990’s, to a TC+ version and my own interface to fake keystrokes into the control software, then an integrated TC+ and web services version.
WAP Access - Simple Pull downs

Around this time some very basic WAP pages were developed to allow remote phone access for those nice limited Nokia phones. It worked just fine and was just a list of things to scroll up or down to and click on. With smartphones showing up the mobile interface was updated to a full html style page and formatted to fit the small screen. That interface is still the main front end I used day to day but is on it’s way out. Next to an expanded version of that with Arduino and ESP8266 end points and now my migration from my now “legacy” system over to a dedicated Raspberry Pi3 running Home Assistant / Hassio. That could be more than 10 actually.

Mobile Web Access
I’ve been questioning myself over what is the next version or phase of smart home I’ll be moving to for a while. Actually for a few years now. Obviously X10 is dead and has been for some time but that is what all my controlled devices were built around. Watching the Z’s (Zigbee and ZWave) battle it out, I never made a commitment to either. I did buy one Insteon wall switch that could do both X10 and their own power line carrier (PLC) but at their price point I could see it was going to be way more than I was willing to pay for budget wise to move everything that direction.

Then along came the Internet of Things (IoT) and WiFi device disturbance along with what seems like a million different protocols, options, and “apps” to use. I always loved how my home built web service put everything into a single site of controls so there was no way I was going to “app hop” to turn lights on, then arm the alarm look at cameras, etc. In the meantime I was slowly deploying my own ESP8266 IoT things on my network for temperature monitoring and some endpoint / relay controls but using my own HTTP API processes to do so. I had checked out Smartthings when they were a startup but after being bought out and up by a corporate giant my interest waned.

Hassio Control Screen
Finally during my wanderings around the web I ran across Home Assistant, or more specifically for me Hassio. I had actually recently picked up a Raspberry Pi3 on a whim as I knew I really needed to learn more about them and I had a $50 gift card on Amazon burning a hole in my pocket so to speak. I’ve coded in microcontrollers for years, check that, decades from 68HC11 devices through BX24 chips and for the last several years on the Arduino platform. I’m not saying I’m good by any means, just have been using them for my own fun. Seeing Hassio was basically made to run on a Pi3 with little effort I figured it was worth a try. Honestly the install was dead simple and before long Hassio was running and finding devices on my network.

So my goal now is to slowly, well I really want to do this quickly but time and money come into play so it's slowly, migrate all my old light switches, inputs and outputs, and automation routines over to Hassio and grow it from there. I’ve migrated quite a few switches, have text to voice working, have Alexa and Siri listening and responding, and am working on migrating my automation routines over. Learning YAML and its idiosyncrasies was a bit troubling at first as I am a quite sloppy coder but after a few thousand errors and fixes I’m getting better.

HA Dashboard Master Screen
Although the Hassio control screen does it's job well, it's just too much at once and not that easy to customize. Fortunately, the wonderful HADashboard add on for Hassio and Home Assistant, makes it super easy to build out new web interfaces to replace what I’ve built before. With HADashboard one can configure multiple dashboards and customize them for the particular endpoint display as needed. For example my small old phone displays are laid out different than my larger phones versus the Android tablets versus the old Ipad devices. You can setup your “widgets” and then include them in your dashboards adding easy re-usability of existing code.

I have to say version “10” (or maybe even higher) of our automated home is better than the old versions of the past and continues to improve. There is much work to do including moving inputs and outputs such as the washing machine, dryer, garage doors, alarm system and other sensors over to the new system but this will actually be easier as ESP8266 end points will be much easier to build out than running wires everywhere.

Watch for more details in the future as this decades long adventure continues…


Home Assistant/ Hassio:
My ThingiVerse Things for 3D printable items I've used:

To learn more about Home Assistant and DIY Smart Homes in general check out these Youtube channels:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Believing in Change

I believe in change. I’ve been a change driver my whole life through technology and the deployment and use of it. “Change is the only constant” as they say. The older I get the more I do see the other side too however. Age brings experience and when you see what works historically you stand by it.

Change isn’t always good. Most software companies motto should be “new ways to do things you already know how to do”. Add a couple new features and then change how you do the rest. Do I want to still be using Windows 3.11? Of course not but then again I don’t want to have to use “search” to find a simple setting that used to be two clicks away.

But on a bigger note, I can’t support change that is more destructive. I can’t support change that criminalizes victims and makes them the bad guy for defending themselves. I can’t support change that victimizes criminals and looks for outside excuses for their actions no matter their race, creed, religion, or culture. I can’t support change that ignores laws such as immigration when there are legal methods in place. I can’t support change that disrespects our country and those that have fought for our freedom. I can’t support change that seeks to legitimize violence to suppress free speech and then uses free speech to justify their actions. I can’t support change that attempts to divide our citizens by race, religion, geolocation, or culture. I can’t support change that encourages reliance on others and ridicules self reliance. These may be change, but there is good and bad change and sometimes it seems we can’t see the difference.

These are changes we have seen for years now that is destroying what we are about as a nation and change that does not move us forward but backwards as a nation. I can only hope we change how we see these actions sooner than later and keep what works, actually appreciate living in the greatest nation on the planet, and actually change what needs to be fixed instead of tearing down what works.

That’s my two cents of change...

Friday, January 27, 2017

Does Your 3D Printer Tweet? Or Email or Text?

Does Your 3D Printer Tweet?
Or Email or Text?

Get an email, text or Tweet from your 3D printer lately? No, why not? Well, OK, it’s not REALLY from your printer but it’s still pretty handy to get a notice when that print job is done if you’re not sitting there babysitting it.
If you’re using PronterFace or any other PC based printer control that supports external commands you can easily get email or text notifications when print jobs are done or if there is an error. In fact with some free email to Twitter options such as TwitterMail.com you can put your 3D printer online and have it Tweet when it’s done.
This will cover how to do this on a Windows machine for the details but Linux gurus can easily replicate the end results I’m sure.
PronterFace has an option under the Settings / Options menu item and the External Commands tab to run external programs for printer start, printer final, and printer error situations. With this we can run any program we want to for our purposes we will use some simple VBScript to make it happen. This could just as easily be done in PowerShell if you’re a PS expert.

First we need ability to use an SMTP server somewhere. If you have an account with SMTP.com or are running your own SMTP server somewhere then it’s easy. For a local SMTP server just ensure the IP you’re PC is using is able to send email through the server if local and make sure you know a valid username and password for either option.

You can even use Gmail to send the messages if you desire but it takes a little bit more and lessens the security on your Gmail account. If you want or need to use Gmail it might be best to create another GMail account just for this to insure your main account doesn’t have any other risk. The reason is that you do need to lower the security level for “Less Secure Devices” after you log into the Gmail account by visiting this link and making the change: https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps. Additionally you will have to store the email password for the gmail account in open text in the script which is obviously not good either. Once you turn ON access for less secure apps, our script can then send email through that Gmail account.
Once you have an SMTP server accessible then the rest is rather simple. We can setup the following command in the PronterFace or other print controller to run your .VBS script to email the notice. In PronterFace your external command should be like this: “Cscript.exe C:\3Dprinting\SendEmail.vbs” where the path is where ever you put the VBS script from below. The script is a little messier with the TLS requirements vs if you run your own email server and can simply whitelist the IP of the host computer but either works.

Super easy way with your own SMTP or use something simpler like SMTP.com:

Set Arg = Wscript.Arguments
If arg.count > 0 then strJob = arg.item(0)

SendEmail “WhoTo@from.com”, “Gray Hair 3D printer just finished print job “ & strJob

Sub SendEmail(ToAddress, Subject, Text)
 Set MyEmail=CreateObject("CDO.Message")
 MyEmail.From=”MrWallace@Protowrxs.com” ‘ Whatever you want/need the FROM to be
 MyEmail.Configuration.Fields.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusing")=2
 'SMTP Server
 MyEmail.Configuration.Fields.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver")=""
 'SMTP Port
 MyEmail.Configuration.Fields.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverport")=25 
 set MyEmail=nothing
End Sub

More Complicated when using GMail:

Set Arg = Wscript.Arguments
If arg.count > 0 then strJob = arg.item(0)
‘Call the sub like this
'SendEmail "", "", ""
SendEmail “WhoTo@from.com”, “Gray Hair 3D printer just finished print job “ & strJob
Sub SendEmail(ToAddress, Subject, Text)
    Dim iMsg 
    Dim iConf
    Dim Flds
    Set iMsg = CreateObject("CDO.Message")
    Set iConf = CreateObject("CDO.Configuration")
    iConf.Load -1
    Set Flds = iConf.Fields
    With Flds
        .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpusessl") = True
        .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpauthenticate") = 1
        .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusername") = "@Gmail.com"
        .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendpassword") = ""
        .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver") = "smtp.gmail.com" 'smtp mail server
        .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusing") = 2
        .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverport") = 465 'stmp server
    End With
    With iMsg
        Set .Configuration = iConf
        .To = ToAddress
        .From = "@Gmail.com"
        .Subject = Subject
        .TextBody = Text
    End With
    Set iMsg = Nothing
    Set iConf = Nothing
End Sub

Tweeting Your Print Info using TwitterMail.com

You can have your printer Tweet when it’s done as well by using the free Twittermail.com or TwitterCounter.com service.
Visit the http://www.TwitterMail.com site and login with your Twitter credentials. Once logged in go to the Settings / TwitterMail option and you’ll see a unique @Twittermail.com email address that can be emailed to in order to Tweet something. Then you can simply email to that @twittermail.com email address to Tweet your printer message.

Doing the Text Thing

I’m sure there are some better ways of sending an actual text and this will likely only work for some carriers but at least for AT&T one can send an EMAIL to @txt.att.net and it will forward it as a text messages. I believe Verizon and other carriers offer similar but have no clue on non US carrier options. It work for me on AT&T at least.

Other ways? Your Way?

Of course this will not work if you are printing from an SD card or MKS controller, etc that I know of. But I usually have a PC running my print jobs so I have a bit more control over it.
 Do you know a better or different way of doing this? Post up your solution.

Friday, May 13, 2016


Don't be so Left you don't see what's Right but don't be so Right you don't see what's Left.

Make sense? Let me explain then. When did we become a nation of Left VERSUS Right? Where did the balance go and the blinders go on where we can't see that politics, like everything else in this world, has to have a balance or things simple are not sustainable.

So don't be so Left you Can't see what's Right. That we can't see its Right to want people to support themselves and be responsible for their own lives. It's Right to abide by the second amendment and allow us to bear arms. It's Right to insure business and capitalism grows and provides jobs and economic growth. It's Right to allow freedom of speech and expression even if you are offended by it. To see that it's Right to have a strong military even at the cost to protect ourselves and our interest. We have to see it's Right to use natural resources to better our world and lives.

But don't be so Right you don't see what's Left. We have to take care of those Left behind in today's world and help them succeed. We have to deal with what's Left over from racism and history and acknowledge the hate and work towards solutions. We have to insure big business leaves something Left for the middle and lower class that isn't just left overs. We have to insure what's Left of the world and environmental resources is everything that was there to start with to sustain it long term. We need to understand there is room Left to have other or even no religious beliefs if one so desires. 

We need a mending of extremes in this country to restore the balance required to survive. But it should be noted that sustainable "balance" isn't two extremes way out on each end of the limb balancing each other out as that situation is ripe for catastrophic failure when, not if, one extreme fails taking the whole system down. 

You don't have to agree with me, your neighbor, your friends, family or the President of the United States, but you do need to understand that "United We Stand, Divided We Fall" and recently we seem to be more divided than I've ever witnessed in my life at least. Time for all of us to look for the balance. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Age of Magic?

Do we live in an age of magic? Yes? No? Follow along and see if you agree or not...



the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices,etc.; legerdemain; conjuring:
Things we take for granted would likely be magic to those from the past, or even really for us here today. Look around your house, do you know HOW your TV works today? Your computer? Your cell phone? Heck anymore even your computerized refrigerator? You drive your car every day but I bet you have little knowledge of how the thing really works inside, computer controls and all?

Now think about someone from 75-100 years ago seeing this stuff.... "Maaaagic". Today we take this stuff for granted but most of us do not really have a clue how it all works. Of course things are only going to get worse... or is that better? With the advancement of artificial intelligence and self learning algorithms even the experts that designed and started them admit they really do NOT know how it is now working after being trained. Would it all be magic if we jumped forward 75-100 years? I'm sure it would!

Indecernable human looking robots with the knowledge of the Internet and beyond hooked into their brains for instant ultimate intellegence. But more than that the ability to understand, feel, express, and either have compassion... or have true anger at the "robot repression" of the "past". Will they integrate with humans or force humans to integrate with them? Maybe just toss us aside as a nuisance. Sound too far out? So did a handheld device that billions would own that you can ask questions by voice and see or talk to someone around the world anytime you want to just a few decades ago. 

Even today, from self learning AI algorithms that schedule your planes push off times to those that automate the selection and delivery of your on one orders, to those that will drive your future self driving car, to learning the best settings for your personal home heating and cooling, the magic continues. The magic of yesterday is the reality of today. Will it be white magic or black magic? Only the robots know for sure. 

BTW yes that is a robot girl, HRP-4C is her name and that was seven years ago - More here:

Friday, April 29, 2016

What About the Cars?

So what is it about cars that so many people around the world just seem to love?

Me and the old '69 in 2015
20+ years off the road was way too long
It's not just an American thing, people from all over the world have a love for cars and trucks, although obviously different types and tastes. Non car people just can't "get it" just like I can't "get" someone wanting to watch most (non car related) TV shows I guess.

It's actually rather amazing of how many different types of car aficionados there are. Some just want to buy and sell them, some want to just own them, some want to drive them, some want to race them. Some want them perfectly like new from the factory even thirty or forty years later and some want them cut up and modernized, some want them fast... OK, most car people want them fast, but some want them slow and powerful.

Just looking at racing types alone there are so many options from dirt roundy rounders to drag racing, rally racing, road racing, drifting, stock car, F1, city to city, off road, Baja, hill climbing, rallycross, ice racing, and obviously many more not listed here including my least favorite demolition derby car killing.

Sure there is the constant bantering of Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge vs every other brand out there but get the bunch together and they will likely all help each other get a car running or ooh and ahh over some cool ride that rolls up. Some of us like the street, some like that strip, some like the dirt and some like the auction houses better but most will appreciate the efforts of others with just a few arse-holes as the exception.

Some of us may not want to own a 48" tired lifted F350 or a bagged Merc cruiser, or a rusted Rat Rod, or a strip only dragster or a turbo four cylinder powered 80's car but most of us still appreciate each vehicle for what it is and where it came from. The history, the work to get it where it is now, the vision and persistence of the owner.

There are car people that never touch a wrench and car people that wrench daily. Owners that never drive and drivers that never own. Everything from lawyers and doctors to teachers, computer programmers, bank presidents and fast food workers (those are not in any order in the car world) that are "car people". There are still shade tree mechanics and mega corporate sponsored multi car operations but they all have a love of cars in common.
If this were the 1980's I'd be a rich man...

Obviously I have my favorite types of cars and trucks and own some of those and I have my favorite type of car person. My favorite type of cars are Fords overall with the street being my environment. However, the car people I actually admire the most are the do it yourself people that like the DIY world. Likely because that is how I am, also likely to a fault, but seeing the work someone has done themselves instead of farming out to someone else always earns more respect from me personally.

I honestly like building more than driving them and tinkering through the challenges of getting it all working, updating it and even making it as original as can be with the resources at hand. From rebuilding an engine from scratch, welding in new panels, wiring it all up after the mice had their day, and seeing it come back to life after years of decades of neglect. My weakness is paint and body but I have a few years left I hope, maybe that will work out. I've also always wanted to do more interior work as the little I've done felt quite satisfying.

So if you're a owner, building, tinkerer, engineer, or just trying get it running again, hats off to car people. The future is sketchy at best for our breed with a changing world ahead. Enjoy the now and go work on your ride!
Time Flies - Go Work on your Project

Friday, April 22, 2016

Divided We Fall...

I know everyone has heard the "United we stand, Divided we fall" saying. The saying goes back to Aesop and has been used in America for centuries. In my opinion it stands true today but today we are in the divided side, not the united one.

From race, sexual orientation, and religion, to politics and wealth, and even law enforcement we seem to have fallen out of balance and many feel it's "my way or no way". Sure there are many bad things that have happened here over the centuries but we generally stand together in the end despite our differences for an overall bigger need. We used to seem to know that we MUST all stick together in the long run in order to survive and thrive. 

Today the drive for "tolerance" seems to have no tolerance. I personally think I have tried to have the "live and let live" mindset and that seems to be the exception any more. I don't HAVE to agree with your politics, lifestyle, "genderality", sexual orientation, religious beliefs, race or other differences but unless you are trying to force me to do the same against my internal guidelines, or are harming another person or property, you should be able to do what you want. Of course, there are exceptions that ruin lives, place loads on society or others that need to be understood but again, those are exceptions.

Life is a balance and the balance must be kept. Nature is a prime example of the need for balance. When something in nature gets out of balance, things go bad quickly and damage is done until balance is once again achieved. Everything must be sustainable to continue to exist. The world, nations and individuals are no different in my opinion. 

However, to me, achieving balance isn't accomplished through forcing others to change their beliefs, it is accomplished through understanding of both sides by both parties and mutual agreement at some point. You shouldn't have to be ultra liberal or ultra conservative to be elected to lead us, neither is self sustainable. You can't riot and destroy things because you disagree with something that happened, especially when the full story isn't known, there are processes for this. You shouldn't bastardize gays or others in the name of your religion known for love and forgiveness and you shouldn't deem all non believers of your religion must be killed. You can't suck up 98% of the wealth in the world and expect the world to keep functioning in balance. There is no balance in any of these and is not sustainable, at least in a country as diverse as the USA.

By concentrating on our differences instead of of common traits, common situation, common time of the world we live in, and common needs, we could be so much better off. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of "drama" in that way of thinking and drama seems to be the lead mindset in the world today, especially in the extreme media and self reporting we hear and read each day. By listening to the extremes we only reinforce our belief in the extremes thus propagating the differences instead of the common concerns. 

Are there inequalities on America? Sure there are, just like any other place on earth. But don't use extremes to justify the means. There are usually underlying reasons for things that need addressed and burning or stomping flags or outlawing them isn't going to help either. It's just a diversion and another extremist expression that the drama driven world loves to see. 

But United We Stand does NOT mean united on the Left or united on the Right, it means United as Americans of all races, creed, religions, ages, economics and all.

Believe in what you want to believe, lets others do the same, and remember this country has survived by being "United", not divided and until we once again become the "UNITED States of America" our future is not in balance and questionable at best. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Man writes blog, you won't believe what happens next!

What is it with these types of headlines anymore?

Does every headline have to be drama driven click bait and not tell you anything real about the story?

The older you get the more you remember the "Good Old Days" I guess... the days when a headline told you the premise and the story the details. You didn't have to play the drama of "You won't believe what happened next" to want to read the story.

Back when you could actually read a story without having to click "Next" fifty times to read the next tiny portion of the story or wade through forced advertisement inserts between every third or forth piece. Or even before the world of "Idiocary" where content actually filled the majority of a website instead of that tiny area of content with ads surrounding everything else?

Remember the hilarious big screen from the 2006 movie Idiocracy?

Now take a simple look at a "Health.com" story and compare - we are almost there. Even the content from the move TV show is pretty accurate with today's content we have available... :-/

Sure that's the web versus the actual TV but have you tried to watch a TV show and the full lower third is filled with ads, logos, and other "information" you could well do without?

Welcome to the world of "Free" where the content may cost no dollars but life is measured in time, not money and that continues to get sucked away clicking "Next" or waiting for the ad for something you'll never buy timeout or play through.

 Yes, I remember the good old days... and yes there were ads on TV back then but there were far fewer and far less invasive.

Have a happy life and keep clicking on the click bait and the NEXT button, life will be over before we know it.

Footnote: Yes, for those technically inclined reading down through this: I know there are ad blockers, host file modifier options, and other browser options. Not so much on a tablet though, especially iOS, and that is where the future lies for most.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

So what have *I* done?

IF you get older you always seems to look backwards to see what have you really accomplished, what have you really gotten done, what have you experienced in your life. Sometimes it is with regret, sometimes it may be with pride, sometimes it is with "what the heck just happened"? I'm no different and usually I'm in the what the what the heck just happened category.

You can look at the past, you can plan the future, but you can only live the now. I'm sure we've all heard that before and it's not bad advice. I like to look at it from the "learn from the past, hope for the future, but enjoy the present" mindset.

I know that's really hard sometimes when you're stuck behind a desk, or vacuuming the floor, or doing things that you'd rather not be doing but that moment is really all we have.

But really looking back for me I've had fun doing the many different things that I have none. I've always been a "jack of all trades and master of none" kind of person and I've actually enjoyed that experience. From knowing how to take apart a bicycle, a motorcycle engine, or even a car engine, fix it or make it better, put it back together and then enjoy the results, I've created the solution and code that let's me control things and see what is going on in our house from anywhere in the world in 1999 way before "online house" meant much, 

I've built things from small robots that entertain and roam around the room or let me tell them what to do and talk back to me, to RC lawnmowers help me mow, made stop motion videos out of Lego, built custom chopper bicycles from junk bikes, and turned an old riding lawn mower into a go cart.

I've "saved" a few cars from being scrap like my 1988 Turbocoupe, 1985 Mustang SVO, and 1989 Ranger 4x4, kept my 1969 Mustang that was first car in 1974 and nearly completed rebuilding it with nearly everything done myself. I already have another rescue under way in the form of a 1966 Galaxie 500 fastback that Austin and I are building. 

I've built a some patios and car ports, put up a few fences, developed a few database back ends and websites, and written code that keeps a lot of a city running. I've raced radio control cars and won a few trophies, flown quad rotors in the rain and lost one, rode MX motorcycles way above my head and fell off a few times in the process.

Sure I haven't solved world hunger, saved any lives, or changed the world in any manner and doubt I ever will. I haven't made a million dollars, created any businesses, or make something the future will be proud of. I have, however, had a bit of an varied life learning, trying and doing quite a few different things and enjoyed the experience of it.

If you're still reading this you may be thinking wow this is a lot about "me" but then again that is what the title is called, "What have I Done" :-) Note that I did say "IF one gets older", not when. First we must count ourselves lucky if we are the fortunate ones that "get" to get old as many are not so lucky. 

So "Learn from the past, hope for the future, but enjoy the present"... it could always be our last "present" we have.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Losing Our Balance...

Balance... Simple word, dire consequences when not maintained. 

Everything has to have and maintain balance in order to survive. From Mother Nature and wild life, the overall environment, and even the planets, there must be balance or everything goes awry. From financial systems, government, the economy in general, and down, yes down to politics, a balance must be maintained in order to survive and thrive.

I suggest we, as a people, a nation and a world have lost our balance, or even worse, it appears we are trying to maintain the balance by moving to the extremes of each area to keep it there. Using extremes, be it super rich vs super poor, big government vs no government, using all natural resources vs nothing can be used or extreme left vs right wing politics, to try to keep balance by extremism is very very risky.

Trying to balance by radical extremism is literally a recipe for disaster because if you actually win, you really lose. You can't use up all the natural resources this earth offers and expect to stay alive as people, nations, companies, or planet. You can't have only an upper elite of super wealthy as they cannot spend enough to sustain the economy that got them there to start with. You can't have a government that provides "free" health care, schools, income and more as there will be no working people to pay for it. You cannot have the only choices in politics be pure socialism or pure capitalism as well as each cannot sustain a long term balance.

Trying to maintain balance by by radical extremism is like walking a tight rope with your balance pole being too long and large weights on each end of the pole, but each weight could care less if YOU succeed as each weight is shifting and falling apart as you walk. It might work for the short term but you're going to fail in the long run.

Are we all really that extreme, are we all really radical haters anymore. We seem to so easily label each other as extremist. You can't support law enforcement without being a racist? You can't be a Christian without being labeled Islamophobic? You can't be Islamic without being labeled a terrorist? You can't cite the continued lowering of gun related deaths without being a gun fanatic but you can't talk about trying to lower that number more without being a 2nd amendment hater? You can't talk about the un-sustainability of either uncontrolled socialism or unbridled capitalism without being labeled one or the other. You can't talk about illegal immigration without being a white extremist? What's happened to the civility of our "civil" society? Are we all really that insecure that we can't work together for a better outcome but instead fall to name calling the first time we disagree? When will the main stream media start focusing on news instead of manufactured drama? These all negatively affect how we accomplish living on this planet and nation and they are all quickly falling to the extremes.

There has to be a better balance with less extremism and more cooperation on everything in our world. Sure moving those balancing weights close to you while you're on the wire may make the balancing act a little harder but with the weights being shifting radicalism you're less like to fail, fall, die, or kill your country or planet. Radical extremism, be it wealth, policies, race, environment, politics, or beyond, only creates a system of future failure when one side starts to fail and the fall to the other side will not be pretty for anyone.

When will we see how important keeping a proper balance is for everything?

                              I'm hoping I see it in my lifetime but I'm not holding my breath for sure...