DateSeptember 11, 2015

Government Shutdown Looming (Again)

In 2013 I got a 2.5 week unpaid vacation from my job. My start date with my new job was pushed back a day because the government still wasn’t open. And it may happen again. The government runs out of money Sept. 30th. In less than three weeks, Congress needs to come up with an approved spending plan for the next year.

Or it shuts down. Again.

Republicans are going to get blamed for a shutdown, no matter what happens, by the general public,” said Stan Collender, a budget analyst and executive vice president at Qorvis MSLGroup in Washington. “They have too much baggage, too much history and it only seems to happen on their watch. But I don’t think they care.

They don’t care. They think they can “win” somehow by shutting the government down again.

Apparently 2013 is too far away for them to remember?

Q. I hear Ted Cruz is involved. Didn’t he have something to do with the last shutdown?
A. That’s right. In September 2013, Republicans led by the Texas senator — who is now running for president — insisted on shutting off spending for the Affordable Care Act. (You may recall him reading Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” from the Senate floor.) Obama refused, and the government closed down for the first 16 days of October. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors were furloughed and federal services including national parks were closed. Republicans relented after public opinion turned against them. (Emphasis mine.)

If they shut the government down again, I don’t work.
I don’t get paid.
I don’t get back pay like Federal Employees do.
I don’t get to pay my bills.

I get sent on an unpaid vacation without a firm end date.
It happened to me in 2013.
If it happens again, it’s going to be a huge burden on myself and my family.

I am just one of hundreds of thousands of government contractors working in all areas of government who will be harmed by this. I don’t want it to happen again. I can’t afford for it to happen again.

There used to be a time when government jobs were desirable (and I’m sure they still are if you’re a Federal Employee). But for contractors supporting the government in roles they’ll never hire, it’s increasingly a risky proposition.

Emergency Medical Data and Music Sleep Timer for iPhone

I recently learned two quick tips for the iPhone. I’m not the first person to find them and I’m sure they’ve both been covered elsewhere in more detail. But I hadn’t seen them before and thought they’d be useful to others.

Medical ID for iPhone

This week I saw a tip on Facebook I hadn’t seen anywhere before. There’s a quick way to add emergency medical information to your iPhone and make it accessible without having to unlock the phone.

First, find the Health app on your phone.

Health App icon

Open the app and touch Medical ID.

Health app

Click Edit and enter your health information and choose one or more emergency contacts.

Health app's emergency medical ID

Now you, or more importantly, friends, family or medical staff can get access to your vital data without your help.

To access it, swipe to unlock your phone.

Phone unlock PIN screen

Instead of entering your PIN or using Touch ID to unlock, click Emergency.

Click Emergency and now Medical ID is visible.

Click Medical ID.

Medical ID information

Now your vital medical information is readily available to anyone who may need it to help you. (Phone number removed from photo, but it will be visible on with the emergency contact(s) chosen.

Sleep Timer for Music

My wife wanted to listen to music with a sleep timer. I couldn’t think of a way to do it in the Music app, but Apple has this covered. Hint: You need to use the Timer.

This tip is even easier.

Open the Timer.
Select how long you want your music to play.
Instead of a sound for When Timer Ends choose Stop Playing.

Timer for iPhone screenshot

Now you have a sleep timer for music!

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