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Review: Asus ROG Zephyrus G GA502 Gaming Laptop

Asus ROG Zephyrus G GA502 Gaming Laptop

The Asus Republic of Gamers Zephyrus G GA502 is an affordable Ryzen 7 3750H 4 core, 8 thread based gaming laptop with both AMD Vega 10 graphics and Nvidia Geforce 1660ti graphics onboard, with the latter featuring 6GB of dedicated memory. The model I purchased was $1,200 and features 16GB of RAM and a 120hz display panel, the base model, retailing for $1,100 features a 60hz panel and 8GB of RAM.

Initial impressions are good; if you’ve ever bought a Republic of Gamers product, you’ll know the unboxing experience is something special. Opening the lid of the box presents the GA502 to you, pushing the product up towards you. Picking up the laptop for the first time, it felt solid with a brushed aluminum lid featuring a large ROG logo, while opening the lid felt like very sturdy, with little flex in the panel.

The big downside is that the GA502 is a fingerprint magnet. Before I even powered on the laptop, it had dozens of fingerprints all over it. For those triggered by this, I’d advise a pair of white gloves, because finger prints are unavoidable, no matter how careful you are in handling this laptop.

Taking a tour around the GA502, starting on the top, there is a full-size, white backlit keyboard, which is fine by me, I set my desktop RGB keyboard to white and leave it. The keyboard includes the usual FN keys for quickly changing settings, dedicated volume up, volume down and mic on/off buttons as well as a dedicated button to launch the ROG Armoury Crate software, which allows for the control of many laptop functions. In addition to the keyboard, there is a multi-touch gesture-controlled touchpad, which is responsive enough for most people, although I prefer to use a mouse, whenever possible.

On the right side, there are two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, exhaust vent, and a Kensington lock slot. While the left-hand side features a power input, Ethernet port, HDMI port, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C port and finally a combination headset, microphone jack. An impressive array of I/O given the thinness of the GA502, the only omission is a card reader, which is not a deal-breaker for me.

Another omission is a webcam, Asus elected to go for a smaller overall size, a 15.6in laptop in a 14in footprint, meaning the bezels are too slim to include a webcam. I have mixed feelings about this, if I had noticed this instore, I might not have bought this laptop, but it’s not a big enough issue for me to return it. But it is a consideration, as you will need to carry a separate webcam for video conferencing on the go.

It would have been nice if Asus provided a basic webcam in the box, given the $1,200 price tag for this laptop, or even included a built-in chin bar webcam, which is not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

This is not something the average user is likely to do, but I elected to wipe the Windows 10 Home install in favor of Windows 10 Professional as I will be using this ‘gaming’ laptop for productivity work. This caused an issue with the install of Sonic Studio 3, which is now a UWP (Universal Windows Program), I never managed to get Sonic Studio 3 to work, despite meticulously following Asus’ install instructions.

I did find a workaround, I installed EqualizerAPO and Peace GUI for EqualizerAPO. This gave me the control over the sound equalization I desired. Which brings me onto the second negative, the speakers/default sound profile. The speakers are downward-firing, which makes them sound a little muffled and bass-heavy, lacking mid-range clarity, thankfully it was fixable with EqualizerAPO and Peace.

The volume gets decently loud with no distortion, even when pushing the speakers past 0db, as long as the input level is not clipping, the sound is loud and clear, with the help of EqualizerAPO and Peace.

The panel is an IPS ‘like’ display with good viewing angles, comparable to my IPS Dell U3415W, although it could be a bit brighter in my opinion. Not to say it’s dim, it’s fine for indoor use, but outdoor use in bright sunlight could be an issue. It’s also a matt coated display, which cuts down on reflections, but as a result, the display looks more muted than a glossy display. However, it’s good enough for tasks requiring color accuracy like photo processing in a pinch, but not as good as my 100% sRGB Dell desktop monitor.

Storage is fast, the 512GB Intel NVMe PCIe 3.0 x 2 drive boots to Windows 10 Pro desktop in just 11 – 12 seconds, with auto-login, enabled. In use it feels snappy, with little to no delay between clicking the icon and the application loading, there’s nothing to complain about here, gone are the  days of spinning rust.

Moving onto some benchmarks, I guess I have been inspired by the tech Youtubers than I watch, starting with the Cinebench R20 CPU benchmark. The first run was kinda disappointing, only managing 1399, which was slower than an i7 4850HQ, but I discovered the ‘myAsus’ background service was doing something in the background. I disabled that service and rebooted, ran the benchmark again and came out with a respectable score of 1808, putting it between the Intel i7 6700HQ and the desktop i7 7700K.

The Ryzen 7 3750H CPU maintained a respectable 3817Mhz boost clock throughout the benchmark and reached a maximum temperature of 88°C, but that was at the cost of noise, the fans ramped up significantly, to a point where it could be annoying, I guess that’s the price you pay for a slim chassis.

Asus ROG G GA502 Cinebech R20 Scores

Moving onto the Unigine Superposition GPU benchmark on the 1080p high setting. The Geforce GTX 1660ti Max-Q managed a respectable 6795 points with a minimum framerate of 40.89, a max framerate of 62.11 with an average of 50.83 frames per second, reaching a maximum temperature of 76°C.

Asus ROG G GA502 Unigine Superposition Scores

And finally, Wi-Fi performance, using the internal wireless card connected to my AT&T BGW210 wireless AC router, from roughly six feet from the access point, it managed 158Mbps download and 202Mbps upload, which I am ecstatic about, 100Mbps+ on Wi-Fi is great. This is not limited by my internet, I have symmetrical gigabit fiber to my home, my wired desktop can manage over 900Mbps up and down.

Asus ROG G GA502 Wi-Fi Speedtest

Overall, I would recommend the Asus ROG Zephyrus G GA502, it’s a solid all-round performer, good for productivity and gaming, with a couple of shortcomings, such as the lack of webcam and the downward-firing speakers and poor out of the box EQ. For many, you can save $100 and get the base model, it comes with the same CPU, GPU, and NVMe drive, it just lacks the 120Hz screen and extra 8GB of RAM.

FINAL NOTE: The marketing images are misleading, the ROG logo on the back of the lid is not illuminated like the marketing photos show, it’s incredibly dim, infact, until I turned the lights out, I thought that it was not illuminated at all. I wonder how many RMA’d the laptop thinking the backlight was not working?


Formula 1 British Grand Prix 2019

British Grand Prix 2019

Would you believe it? the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was another good F1 race with minimal interference from the stewards, the second race in a row. It seems like Formula 1 and the FIA have been listening to the widespread criticism from fans over the few races before Austria, two weeks ago.

Despite being an exciting race to watch, it was the same predictable result with Lewis Hamilton claiming his sixth British GP victory, with Valtteri Bottas taking the chequered flag in second place. Hamilton was fortunate, as Bottas, who pitted first and at race speeds, was looking likely to retain the lead, before a safety car period, in which Hamilton pitted, allowing the British driver to displace his Finnish teammate.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc gave us a great show, battling throughout the race, often going wheel to wheel, switching places with Leclerc ultimately winning out thanks to his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel rear-ending Verstappen after the Dutchman passed the German around the outside of Stowe corner on lap 37. Verstappen finished 5th and Vettel 17th after a +10 secs time penalty.

At the time of Vettel rear-ending Verstappen, they were battling for third place, so in a way, it was karma for Leclerc, who lost out to Vettel and Verstappen due to the safety car period, in which, Ferrari elected to not stack both their drivers, pitting Leclerc two laps later than Vettel. I would say that was another bad strategy call, rather than Ferrari favoring Vettel over his younger, and arguably faster teammate.

The race stewards did hand Vettel a +10 second time penalty for his part in the lap 37 incident with Verstappen, which was a non-consequential penalty for the German as he was running at the back of the field after a stop for a new wing. I’m no fan of penalties for racing incidents, but I guess that the stewards had to give Vettel some sort of penalty as it was clearly his fault and it did cost Verstappen a podium.

I’m no Hamilton fan, but respect to the guy for setting the fastest race lap around the current Silverstone layout using 32  lap old hard tires, beating his teammate, Bottas’ time on a set of fresher soft tires.

As we approach the mid season break after the Hungarian GP in three weeks time, it looks like Red Bull are going to be Mercedes’ challengers for the second half of the season. But, we know that Mercedes are all but certain winners of the drivers and constructors titles for yet another year, neither Red Bull nor Ferrari have what it takes to overturn Mercedes advantage with half the season already gone.

British Grand Prix 2019 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:21:08.452
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +24.928s
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +30.117s
4. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +34.692s
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +39.458s
6. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +53.639s
7.  Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +54.401s
8. Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo) +65.540s
9.  Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +66.720s
10. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +72.733s

Financial Restructuring… Again!

Debt Consolidation, Again!

I have taken out a second loan of $12,000 to pay off our credit cards, from American Express at 9.99%, because the amount of interest being charged, which comes to almost $200/month, with the majority of that, $119 coming from my wife’s Discover which had a $6,300 balance and a 22.24% interest rate.

I wasn’t thinking of getting a loan, but when I logged into americanexpress.com to make my payment, a popup message offered me a loan of up to $25,000 at an interest rate of just 8.99%. I was intrigued enough to investigate and ended up applying for a $12,000 loan over 48 months at an interest rate of 9.99%, a little higher rate because I elected for 48 months, not 36 months for smaller payments. This combines 4 separate payments and interest charged will be $54.24/month and a payment of $304.30.

I didn’t need all of the $12,000, the actual balances owed was $11,000, but I know that the trailing interest is coming. I fell foul of this last time I took out a loan to pay off credit cards. I expect the trailing interest to be around $150 in total, the remainder will be used for a hotel when we see Korn in Denver.

Overall, we will be paying less, a saving of roughly $150/month and more of our money will be going to the principal balance, meaning we have more money in our pocket and the balance will be paid down at a much faster rate. Combined with a good chunk of that loan being paid down at tax time, maybe $3,000, we should be free and clear within two years,  that is, if wifey can control her credit card spending.


Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix 2019

Austrian Grand Prix 2019

I very nearly didn’t bother watching the Austrian Grand Prix after the previous two Grand Prix, in which the biggest story had been the stewards, not the race. But I’m glad that I did, a race broke out and the stewards didn’t ruin it, and best of all a Mercedes was not on the top step, Austria was a win for F1 fans.

Both of F1’s young guns, Charles Leclerc, on pole, and Max Verstappen were on the front row, ahead of Bottas and Hamilton on row two. But, the race of the twenty-one-year-olds appeared to be called off when Verstappen’s Red Bull went into anti-stall, causing him to drop back to eighth place off the line.

Rather than losing his head, Verstappen used his frustration to make pass after pass, first, Lando Norris, on lap 7 for 6th place, then Kimi Raikkonen, on lap 9 for 5th place. Then, into 4th place on lap 31 thanks to Hamilton having to stop longer than usual in his pit box for a new front wing after cracking it on a curb.

After his pitstop, Verstappen chased down the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and made the pass for the final podium spot on lap 50. And after the minor drama of a temporary power loss, caused by a bad exhaust sensor, the Dutchman quickly closed the gap to Valtteri Bottas, passing the Finn for 2nd place on lap 56.

Just one car and driver stood between Verstappen and victory, that was the driver who started alongside him on the grid, Leclerc. Verstappen caught the Frenchman on lap 68, but Leclerc fought off the Dutchman, getting better drive out of turn 3 in the run down to turn 4 to maintain his position.

One lap later, at the same turn 3, Verstappen lunged down the inside of the Ferrari, running deep into the corner, pushing Leclerc wide, and the two rivals banged wheels as Leclerc attempted to rejoin the track. Mad Max Verstappen had taken the lead against massive odds, especially after his disastrous start.

Although, when I saw that the incident between Verstappen and Leclerc was under investigation, my heart sank, I was expecting the Dutchman to be stripped of his win, but after three hours of deliberations, the stewards came back with a racing incident verdict, which was clearly the correct decision.

Finally, there was a little bit of retribution for Sebastian Vettel, overtaking Hamilton’s Mercedes on track for 4th place on the penultimate lap. I have to admit I would have been happy to see Leclerc win his first F1 race, but Verstappen was sublime in the way he responded to dropping so far back off the line.

Let’s hope for more races like this during the rest of the season, without interference from the stewards. The Austrian Grand Prix is what F1 should be, racing should not be decided in the stewards room.

Austrian Grand Prix 2019 Results

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:22:01.822
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +2.724s
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +18.960s
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +19.610s
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +22.805s
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1 LAP
7. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +1 LAP
8. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +1 LAP
9.  Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) +1 LAP
10. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) +1 LAP

How fucking stupid am I?

Facebook Sign Up Page

Of course, that was a rhetorical question, I know how stupid I am. The backstory, 10 months ago, I created a secondary Facebook account to manage my employer’s Facebook pages, due to being bombarded by company page notifications day and night, and work was starting to take over my whole life, so I separated my work and home lives, also removing work Email from my smartphone.

Two days ago, that decision to move my employers Facebook pages onto a separate account really came back to bite me on the ass. Facebook has disabled my account because I had broken the rules on accounts. This was not a malicious act, I genuinely did not realize that I was not allowed to create an account specifically to manage business pages. And it’s impossible to actually talk to someone at Facebook to try to fix this. I have sent them a scan of my drivers license, green card, credit card (with numbers blurred out) and my AT&T bill in an attempt to recover my account, but I fear that will fail as although I used my real name, I used the formation date of the company as my date of birth.

I really wish that Facebook forced you to read the terms and conditions, instead of just showing a tiny link on the signup page, saying you must agree to these terms and conditions, who actually clicks that link? I have other opinions about the stupidity of Facebook’s policies, but this is about me beating myself up.

Now, the reason I am really angry with myself is because I am an experienced IT guy, and I preach to others about the importance of having a backup. And, in this case, there was no backup administrator, which means that any pages that did not have an editor or secondary admin have also been disabled, including the pages for some of our biggest clients and our primary page with six years of history.

I have barely slept in the past few days, my stress level is through the roof and up into the stratosphere, which is having a knock-on effect of exacerbating my depression, causing me physical pain. My employer has been incredibly understanding, much more than I probably would have been if I was the boss.

Some might say, it’s only a job, it’s not your money that is being potentially lost. But, I don’t feel that way about employment, if you are going to take on the job, you put in 100%, like it is your own company and your own money on the line. And, I feel like I have failed my employer and the trust they have put in me.

Financially, the damage is limited, Facebook was not a large lead generator, 95% of leads come from other sources. But, I still feel terrible about the situation that I have caused through not taking steps to prevent the situation. This is 100% on me, and it will take a long time for me to get over this mistake.


Facebook Account Blocked, Twice

Account Bloicked By Facebook, Photo Confirmation

Since the weekend, I have been repeatedly blocked from accessing my personal Facebook profile due to suspicious activity. I believe that the suspicious activity they refer to is the three ‘boosted’ adverts I launched last Friday, previously I had only had a single paid promotion running at any one time.

I use my Facebook account to maintain a number of business listings for my employer, as Facebook does not allow for business accounts, all business pages need to be administrated by a personal account, despite Facebook’s Business Manager. It’s completely illogical to have business pages maintained by individual users on Facebook and not a company profile, administered by a chosen person or group.

Despite my account being suspended, Facebook are still taking my money for the paid adverts, which I suspect triggered this deactivation. The latest message I get when I attempt to log in says “We’re always looking out for your security, so until then you won’t be able to use Facebook”. If Facebook is so damn concerned about my security, they would have killed the adverts and stopped charging my credit card.

However, free scheduled postings that I had created are not being published, hampering my marketing efforts. This tells me everything I need to know about Facebook as a company, despite my account deactivation, anything that I pay for continues, while free services are stopped. I can’t even monitor the paid promotions, which I do to maximize ROI, sometimes canceling a promotion early because it’s not delivering, which is often the case in the property management industry from my experience.

Anyway, I digress, here’s a walkthrough of the events of the last couple of days. I logged into my Facebook account yesterday, morning, June 25, 2019, as I do every weekday morning to be greeted with a message about securing my account due to suspicious activity. Initially, I didn’t think much of it, as it’s quite common for websites to periodically confirm your identity to maintain account security.

First, I clicked the Recaptcha to confirm that I am not a robot, then it took me a page to send a text message to confirm my identity. Now, here’s the issue, the phone number I used to sign up to Facebook is a landline, i.e. a telephone, not a cellphone. After talking with our telephone service provider, I was able to receive a text message through their SMS subsystem, which unlocked my account for 30 minutes.

Account Bloicked By Facebook, Text Message Confirmation

When I signed up for my Facebook account, I was able to verify via a phone call, an option not presented to me for the security check. Again, this defies logic, I am able to sign up and verify an account via a phone call, but not for the security check. Not everyone uses a cellphone number for their Facebook profile or uses the Facebook app on their phone, due to privacy concerns, which has been in the news recently.

Moving onto the next stage of the saga, after the 30 minute grace period, I get another onscreen message, asking me to upload a photo of myself, I took a fresh photo of myself with my webcam, and submitted it, this was, at the time of writing, 16 hours ago with no response from Facebook.

Leaving me without access to more than two dozen business pages, as I am the only admin in my employers Facebook business manager, which in hindsight was a very bad decision. If I cannot recover the account, I lose control of my employers business assets on Facebook, which is simply unacceptable.

From what I have been reading online while researching this issue, the Facebook photo confirmation process can take anywhere from 1 hour to 48 hours to one week or even never, leaving users locked out.

I have to pray that our Facebook overlords will allow me access to my account, it’s literally out of my hands as I write this. I honestly wish that I didn’t have to use Facebook, but regardless of my views on Facebook as a company, it’s billions of active users means it’s too big to ignore as a marketing resource.

Update: Jun, 27 2019, 14:02

I have my answer, and that answer is that my account has been deactivated.

Facebook - Your Account Has Been Disabled

My only recourse now is to send Facebook a scan of my drivers license, green card, and credit card (with the numbers blurred out) and an AT&T bill with my name on it, to prove that I am a real person. Given my experience with Facebook support overall, I’m not hopeful that this action will change the outcome.

Final Update: Jul, 15 2019, 12:29

This has been ongoing for three weeks now, and it’s time to put it to bed. Clearly, Facebook is not willing to engage with me to resolve this issue, so it’s time to move on. If I did not need to use Facebook as a business resource, I would delete my account, at this point, I’d rather not have anything to do with Facebook. But, alas, I’ve started over with the business pages, I built them up before, I can do it again.


Formula 1 French Grand Prix 2019

No Racing Allowed

The French F1 Grand Prix was a new low for Formula 1, it had as much interest as watching paint dry, in fact watching paint dry might have been more enthralling. Mercedes won the race without breaking a sweat, with Valtteri Bottas following Lewis Hamilton home. After some initial hope that Bottas might take the fight to Hamilton, that challenge has faded away, just like F1 viewership over the past few years.

For the second race in a row, the story was not the racing, if we can call it racing these days? The story is, what myself and many others consider, overregulation of the sport. There were two, well, technically three events, for which race stewards handed out 5 second time penalties, which would have previously been considered hard racing. But no more in the overregulation era of the “pinnacle” of motorsport.

The first incident was on lap one, between turns 1 and 2, when Sergio Perez, left the track, seemingly of his own accord, then followed the ‘penalty box’ route around the inside as instructed to do by the race director, and came back on track two places ahead of where he left the track. The penalty was leaving the track and gaining an advantage, which technically is correct, but, what was Perez supposed to do?

It seems like Perez was caught between two rules, rejoining the track after the marker and gaining an advantage after going off track. I think the punishment was incredibly harsh, a better solution would have been to instruct Perez/Racing Point to give back the two places gained within, say 3 laps. Or was Perez supposed to stop his car and wait for the entire field to go through before rejoining the track?

The second and third incidents were on the final lap. both involving Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian driver had been chasing the ailing McLaren of Lando Norris, who was suffering from failing hydraulics. When finally, Ricciardo dived into turn 8, understeered into turn 9, cutting the corner, forcing Norris off track as he rejoined. Obviously, the FIA had to penalize Ricciardo, as otherwise there would have been cries of foul play, in Mercedes favor after the events of the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks earlier.

For the record, I think that Vettel’s penalty decision in Canada was also a bad one, instantly killing what could have been the most exciting race of the season. It’s almost like the FIA and F1 wants to kill the sport.

The third incident happened seconds later when Ricciardo went to the right of the white line that delineates the track limits to overtake Kimi Raikkonen, who had slipped through when Ricciardo understeered off and Norris was pushed wide. Again, I believe that this is hard racing, not rule breaking. The constant investigating every minor incident and penalizing drivers is really starting to grate on fans.

Formula 1 Viewing figures have been steadily dropping over recent years with the dominance of first, Red Bull/Vettel and second, Mercedes/Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, the sport has become a snoozefest. The perceived overregulation, engine, fuel and tire limitations, meaning drivers are unable to race balls to the wall, are all killing Formula 1 in my opinion, big changes are needed very soon to save the sport.


My Blog Got Hacked!

My Blog Got Hacked

My afternoon was spent going through my blog and reverting to previous versions of my articles, as my username and/or password had been compromised, and the hacker had made subtle changes to my write-ups to add links to various business websites, which were loosely related to my write-ups.

Obviously, the first thing I did was change my password, which is kinda annoying as I had been using this password for the best part of 10 years without an issue. I have tracked the date back to early October 2018 that I got hacked, and found 29 posts had been edited to add links. Some edited posts went back as far as 2006, while others were posted more recently, as recent as just one month ago.

The only reason I noticed the hack is because I received a rare pingback, and the pingback text made no sense in relation to the post on my blog that was linked to. When I investigated, checking my blog, I found a link to a website I had never heard of before. So, I investigated further and found another post with links I did not create. Keen to find how bad the hack was, I searched for and found a plugin, which allowed for sorting by last modified date, amazingly, that’s not a stock feature of WordPress.

And once sorted by last modified date, 29 of my posts had been edited with the aforementioned links, going back roughly eight months. Thankfully WordPress has a feature that allows you to compare and restore revisions of each post, highlighting the changed content, making it easy to spot the edits. Despite this, I still spent more than 90 minutes checking and restoring posts to remove the links.

I’m not sure whether the hacker used my Email/password combo on my server, or if they got into my blog via WordPress.com, which is linked to my blog via Jetpack. The password was different on my self hosted blog and WordPress, either way, I changed both, which will hopefully stop any further intrusions.

If you’re a WordPress user, be it self hosted or otherwise, I would recommend checking your blog for these links to random businesses, especially, if the hack did originate from WordPress/Jetpack.


Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix 2019

Canadian Grand Prix 2019

We are seven races into the F1 season and we’ve had 7 Mercedes victories, and this one should not have been. In my opinion, the only real talking point of the Canadian Grand Prix is the 5 second time penalty for Sebastian Vettel for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner and forcing another driver off the track.

The only question to be asked is “did Vettel intentionally drive back onto the racing line to block Hamilton?” Having watched multiple, onboard and trackside replays, I believe that Vettel was struggling to control his car after his turn 3 error doing all he could to avoid contact with Hamilton or the wall.

But first, the start, which was nothing to write home about, no change of position in the top five, Valtteri Bottas did lose out to Nico Hulkenberg, who had a traction advantage starting the race on the red marked soft compound, whereas Bottas started the race on the yellow marked medium tires. Max Verstappen, who started lower than normal due to a red flag in qualifying compromising his Q2 lap, also lost out to Lando Norris on the long straight from the hairpin to the final chicane, due to the same tire advantage.

Norris, later on lap 9 had an overheating brake problem, which caused his McLaren’s right rear suspension to melt and fail, forcing the Briton to pull off the track at the end of the pitlane and out of the race. This was after McLaren pitted Norris for an early precautionary stop to try to avoid this very issue.

Nothing to do with racing, but Kevin Magnussen was being a massive dick to his team complaining about his car saying “this is the worse experience I have ever had in any race car ever”, over the team radio, for everyone to hear, after his HAAS team worked late into the night to give him a car to drive after he smashed up his car in qualifying. Magnussen is not that good a driver to be pissing off his employer, there are plenty of other drivers that would be chomping at the bit to replace the Dane at HAAS F1.

So, back to the main talking point, Vettel’s penalty for what I would class as a racing incident. It destroyed the grandstand finish that we F1 neutrals were hoping for. Once Hamilton knew he only had to finish within five seconds of Vettel to ‘win’ the race, the race was over, as is the drivers and constructors championship with Mercedes claiming seven victories from seven races. I think the FIA scored an own goal with this penalty for what I consider to have been a Vettel mistake, not a deliberate attempt to block.

If it was a clear action with the intention to block or push Hamilton off track, then I would say that the penalty was justified, but you can clearly see in the onboard replays that Vettel was sawing at the wheel as he came off the grass, indicating he was struggling for control of his car at more than 100mph.

There has been a lot of talk of the FIA being in bed with Mercedes, which I had dismissed, but I’m starting to wonder about that now. There always used to be the meme about FIA standing for Ferrari International Assistance, and I think there was some truth to that, and I really disliked it. Now, it seems to be the same with Mercedes, a hell of a lot of marginal decisions have gone the way of the German team, including the thinner thread tires, that benefitted Mercedes last year, being used all season in 2019.

I would say that Vettel’s behavior after the race was somewhat petulant, but it’s understandable and I might have done the same myself if I was put in the same situation. However, I did like when Vettel switched the position marker boards in Parc Ferme to make a statement. I have been reading many people online labeling Vettel ‘cry baby’, but all F1 drivers are like that these days, Hamilton included. Let’s kill team radio and get back to racing instead of the constant crying over the radio, woe is me.

Ultimately, the FIA had the opportunity to rejuvenate interest in the 2019 F1 season as we move into the second third of the season, but now with only one team winning in the first third of the season, fans will be losing interest as the season result is a foregone conclusion. The FIA overregulation is killing the sport, the governing body needs to have a more hands-off mentality and let drivers race, instead of penalizing drivers, often inconsistently, ruining the first true battle between Mercedes and Ferrari of the season.

Canadian Grand Prix 2019 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:29:07.084
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +3.658
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +4.696
4. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes) +51.043
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +57.655
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +1 LAP
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +1 LAP
8. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +1 LAP
9. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +1 LAP
10. Danill Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +1 LAP

Ascension Via Christi Fails Us Again!

Via Christi, Dr Denise Huskey Tells Erin She Will No Longer Be Her Doctor

When my wife called her doctor’s office, Via Christi Clinic, E 21st St to request a refill of her medication, she was informed that her doctor, Dr. Denise Huskey will no longer be her doctor because they claim that my wife had missed 3 appointments in the past 12 months, which is news to us, we are aware of one.

Today, we got the letter from Ascension Via Christi (see image at top of article).

The first thing to say is that Erin is at the doctor’s office at least twice a month, sometimes weekly. Erin has Fibromyalgia and Lupus, and needs extensive PCP care. This has come as a major blow as Erin was unable to find another primary care physician, it seems that no doctors are taking on new patients, so she will be stuck with a nurse practitioner, who will have limited ability to provide the level of care that Erin needs, and Erin’s health is not going to get any better, it will get progressively worse over time.

We are thoroughly confused by the alleged missed appointments, we are aware of only one. The only thing we can think of is that after an emergency room visit for a Lupus flare, Erin made an emergency appointment to see Dr. Huskey. And because of the frequent visits, often the emergency appointment is within a day or two of the next scheduled appointment, which might explain possible late cancellations.

After I tweeted my displeasure with Via Christi, they responded asking Erin to call. And when she did, they said she missed two appointments on the same day, just 2 hours between them. This sounds like a clerical error to me, why would Erin make two appointments to see the same doctor on the same day?

Dr. Huskey and her staff have not been perfect themselves, on multiple occasions, they have forced my wife to wait for her medication, including her pain meds and insulin. Despite having been in the doctor’s office just days before, when the pharmacy calls the doctors office, they get told that Erin needs to make an appointment to get her prescriptions refilled. My wife is in the doctor’s office every 1 to 2 weeks, but nothing is ever mentioned about issues with prescription refills until the pharmacy calls the doctors office.

My personal experience with the same doctor’s office has not been positive, my doctor, Dr. Timler, never saw me at my appointment time, despite being there 15 minutes early. Usually, 5 – 10 minutes after my appointment time, I would be taken to a room and the nurse would take my blood pressure, temperature and ask the reason for my visit. Then, I sit there for anywhere between another 15 minutes and an hour, to be seen by the doctor for 3 – 5 minutes. So, I decided to drop them sometime ago, seriously, they complain when you miss an appointment, but no apology when they inconvenience you, repeatedly.

While I am bitching about Via Christi, about 4 years ago, when getting a CPAP machine for my wife, we were told that it would cost no more than $200 after insurance, so we made the assumption they had checked with our insurance. But, no, they had not and our insurance would not cover it, and we received a $1,000 bill. In the end, we never paid anything, because I kicked up such a public stink about it.

But, wait, there’s more, after we were involved in a car wreck back in 2010, which jacked up my wife’s back, after the at fault drivers insurance liability ran out, we were stuck with a huge bill into the 3,000 dollar range, and Via Christi’s collections department, tried to force us into a high-interest loan, so we could pay them what we owed them. This was at a time when we were on a significantly lower income, and of course, my reaction was one of anger, telling them to stick their offer where the sun doesn’t shine.

And remember that Via Christi is supposed to be a Christian organization, where care is supposed to come before profits, but this is bullshit, of course, any company that takes actions like those described above is not Christian in any way, shape or form. I refuse to give another red cent to Ascension Via Christi.

I don’t know what we are going to do, a nurse practitioner is not going to cut it for the care Erin needs, if only there was a website where you could find doctors that are taking on new patients. Erin called several doctors offices and none are taking on new patients, which leaves us in a sinking boat up shit creek.