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From The Chief Editor's Desk


The "dog days of Summer" have arrived, and with a vengeance. Around where I live in the Kansas City area, we've been under heat advisories, on top of the flooding that has been plaguing our area. Just when the water levels were on their way down, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was forced to release more water from upstream reservoirs. That sent already overflowing rivers and streams back to flood stage levels.

Our temperatures have been relatively mild up through the third week of June. But during the last week of June, things started heating up. Now, we're having temperatures in the mid to upper 90s (°F), and low temperatures staying in the 80s (°F) for several days. You would think that low temperatures dipping into the lower 70s (°F) would offer some relief, but anyone who's been to the U.S. Midwest knows that the humidity is atrocious during the summer. All of that humidity can push the "Real Feel" or heat index (what the temperature feels like when you add in the humidity levels) over 100°F!

Thankfully, the milder temperatures earlier in the month afforded us the chance to take the kids to the Kansas City Zoo, as well as a free air show at Whiteman Air Force Base in nearby Knob Noster, Missouri (the home base for the majority of the U.S.'s 20 B-2 stealth bombers). At the latter, we witnessed flight demonstrations and static displays of many aircraft, including a B-29 Superfortress, P- 51 Mustang, A-10 Thunderbolt, F-22 Raptor, B-52 Stratofortress, and B-2 Spirit Bomber. Ryan and Dad took in a baseball game, which somehow managed to dodge passing thunderstorms to get the game played. Plus, every Thursday night, the local movie theater on the town square shows a family-friendly movie outdoors on the side of the building. We take the kids, along with some lawn chairs, drinks and snacks, and take up temporary residence in the theater's parking lot for a few hours to watch the free movie. The kids always have a great time, even if they aren't always that into the movie that is playing.


Also, during the month of June, we both got new smartphones. We went with the Google Pixel 3. Yes, there are a LOT of problems being tied so closely with Google. I acknowledge that. For us, it was a hardware decision. We use our smartphones ... A LOT ... to take pictures of the kids. So, it makes sense for us to be able to get the smartphone that has the best camera. I did ... briefly ... consider going with an iPhone, for one -- and only one -- reason: Apple does an exemplary job of protecting user privacy, which is something that Google totally sucks at. But, the closed Apple/iOS ecosystem, coupled with Apple's stranglehold on the iOS App Store, were reasons enough to quickly put the idea of switching to the iPhone to rest. Even though the latest iPhone has a really great camera, it isn't as good as the camera in the Google Pixel 3.


This month's cover comes from our visit to the Kansas City Zoo, where they have viewing windows where you can view the penguins swimming underwater. The cover image is of some of those penguins swimming underwater, taken through one of the large viewing windows with the camera on the Google Pixel 3. Hey, a penguin is the mascot of Linux, so taking pictures of the penguins at the zoo was a no-brainer.

Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity and prosperity.

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