Whatever You Think, You’re Wrong

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • In difficult times it’s natural to want an expert to tell you the definitive answer. We don’t deal well with uncertainty. Right now the social medias are chock full of people pontificating, lecturing, and shaming people by posting whatever “expert” opinion happens to fit their view of the world. The problem is… nobody really knows diddly squat yet. Seriously. Whatever you think we know is probably wrong to some extent. Every study you cite, I guarantee I can find an opposing study that says the opposite. It will be years and massive amounts of data analysis before we really understand this zombie bat flu virus. Seasonal influenza is probably the most studied virus ever – and we still don’t fully understand everything about it. This shit is complicated and takes a crapload of research to make any meaningful progress.

    This doesn’t mean there aren’t elements of truth in all the stuff you see being posted. It’s just that the real truth is nuanced, and will take a lot more data and time to tease out. Is Hydroxychloroquine an effective treatment? Possibly, given a very specific set of conditions we don’t understand yet. Are masks effective? Probably, given certain environmental conditions. Lockdown vs herd immunity? Way too early to fully make a judgement. The point is that real science takes time. Take every breathless claim posted on Twitter/Facebook/YouTube with a grain of salt.
  • The real failure is our governments inability to react quickly to actual measurable trends. They pick a one size fits all strategy and choose to die on that hill rather than adapt when data shows things aren’t what we originally thought. The under 65 and no comorbidities crowd aren’t impacted in any statistical meaningful rate by this pandemic. So why aren’t we modifying our approach to protect just those folks? Instead we’ll make everyone suffer because, god forbid, we admit we didn’t fully understand when this started. Changing your approach with the arrival of new (verifiable) data is the very foundation of good science. I think I read that somewhere.
  • We were finally able to join the modern era in internet speed. We live in the very first neighborhood built in our city so our infrastructure has been lacking. I was very pleased a number of years ago when we were able to upgrade to DSL and a blistering 33 Mbps download speed. They just ran fiber to our area and this morning I’m seeing 881 Mbps. Praise be, as the Handmaidens say.
  • Our hospital is virtually out of hand sanitizer. At least two-thirds of the containers on my floor are empty. How is this possible? As usual, reality on the ground doesn’t match the fancy claims our government makes.
  • I never saw Breaking Bad when it came out. Binge watched it the last couple of weeks. What a fantastic series. Just started Better Call Saul and it seems equally good.
  • Joe Rogan’s podcast jumping to Spotify is an interesting development. Google/YouTube’s censorship strategies are starting to get noticed.
  • In our corner of the world, this has been a cold, wet spring. It needs to get warm and dry soon or I’m going to lose it. Every day my motivation to go outside and recreate dwindles… which leads to my not caring what I eat. This is a poor combination. Sitting at home reading internet conspiracy theories on the social medias for hours is no way to go through life son

Song of the day: “Shut up and let me go” The Ting Tings

Won’t Get Fooled Again

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Peaks out from under covers… is it safe to come out now?
  • I’m going to go out on a limb and say – it’s ok to use a little common sense now and again. Are you old, have known comorbidities, immune or pulmonary compromise? Taking care of a family member in that situation? Then I’d take this very serious and isolate yourself. Don’t feel well or have a cough? Wear a mask and be respectful of distancing. Be mindful of washing your hands or using hand sanitizer more frequently. Otherwise – it’s time to rejoin society. Go out get some sun, eat out at a restaurant, and interact with your fellow human beings. We cratered our economy. It needs to get going ASAP or we’re facing a dark future. We just printed $7 trillion dollars out of thin air. That’s not sustainable.
  • I have now used the 3-2-1 method of smoking my babyback ribs twice. They come out fabulous. I won’t be going back to my old method.
  • The government experts suffer massively from institutional inbreeding (TM Pat Mac). They appear completely unable to think out of the box and react to new or changing information.
  • That permit we were waiting for? Not only got it, but got the preferred date we wanted. We’ll be climbing Mt Whitney via the main trail mid-August. I’ve done it previously, but a few people in the group haven’t. This is a consolation prize for our failing to summit via the mountaineers route a few years ago. We turned around 300 yards from the summit.
  • My hospital issues one paper surgical mask that I have to wear for 12+ hours and make last three shifts. I don’t know where all these millions of masks are going you hear about on TV, but they’re clearly not filtering down to the healthcare workers in my state. I have sores on the top of my ears from wearing the damn mask for so long.
  • Interesting cross training observation. I did almost exclusively skate skiing all winter. No running or mountain biking since last fall. Starting running again now that it’s spring and it felt like I was starting all over. Sore muscles and gasping like a three pack a day smoker. With mountain biking it felt no different than last fall. No change to climbing or endurance.
  • I have not tried to get the COVID serologic test. I probably should. The last time I posted to this blog I’d gotten sick after Mrs Troutdog traveled to Vegas. Felt crummy for a handful of days and spiked a mild fever for a few days. This was early Feb. I think it’s a 50/50 that it was the China virus.
  • The toilet paper hoarding is further example that humans are easily frightened herd animals that will do unexpected and dangerous things when spooked. The hand sanitizer and disinfectant hoarding I get. But TP? Seriously people? I hope it’s a wake up call that you need a reasonable food and water supply, sanitation items, guns and ammo, a good first aid kit, and apparently now toilet paper. Dr Fauci and Govs’ Newsom, Whitmer, and Coumo aren’t coming to save you when SHTF. Oh, and bourbon. Plenty of bourbon.

Song of the day: “Won’t get fooled again” The Who

It Could Be The Ebola

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  •  I work in a hospital. I am literally surrounded daily by nasty bugs. I never get sick. Never. Mrs Troutdog has a new territory and had to fly to Vegas and LA. Sure enough, several days later she feels like crap. And… several days after that I now have the Ebola cold. It sucks majorly to feel horrible on my precious few days off. I don’t do well just sitting around. I tend to get very negative about life in general, nap, and buy useless junk on Amazon.
  • Speaking of bugs, have you been following the news about the latest epidemic? This year alone there have been 19 million cases, 180,000 hospitalizations, and 10,000 deaths. Oh wait, that’s the flu not the Novel Coronavirus. But yes, let’s freak out about 12 cases in the US. How about we put our critical thinking hats on people? (no, not the tinfoil one)
  •  We’re applying for a very hard to get permit for an outdoor activity today. Fingers crossed. More to share if it comes through.
  •  On that crazy running goal I was contemplating… I clearly haven’t been watching enoughDavid Goggins, because I bailed. I can’t seem to muster up the discipline to get my ass up early every single day. More importantly, Mrs Troutdog yelled at me for thinking I was 25 again. It was all in all very demotivating. I need to find some focus with activities and hobbies. I lurch from hobby to hobby, never getting good at any one thing. I think part of it is I have zero structure to my life. I know what days I work and beyond that, there is no plan. On my days off I wake up and try and figure out which of my 37 hobbies I’m going to do. No goals, no plans. There are certainly times I wish I had a more structured calendar. I’m sure there’s a YouTube video somewhere to help with this.
  •  I’ve completely enjoyed watching the goat rodeo that is the DNC this week. They better right their ship in a hurry if they want any chance of competing in the general election.
  •  I spent some time talking to one of our hospital case managers about insurance. Major insurance company A owns insurance company B. Patient who has insurance company A gets approved for rehab in hours. Patient who has insurance company B routinely takes 72 hours. The approval agent is THE SAME PHYSICAL PERSON for both company A and B. It defies description how convoluted our system is.

Song of the day: “Walkin’ On The Sun”  Smashmouth

Groundhog Day, Again

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Everyone has their own version of Groundhog Day. Some issue that keeps returning time and time again. Mine is this blog and posting creative content to the social medias. My last post was the end of December and after that I started asking myself why? (again)  What’s the point of writing and posting? I’m not angling to become a columnist or make a living with an award winning blog. Same with photography or YouTube videos. I love the creative part, but then ask myself why bother?

    Each time I post a picture or a silly video, if I don’t aggressively promote it to Facebook, etc… it will get a couple of likes or views (or none). But I don’t like the idea of promoting myself because then it makes me feel that I’m only doing it for the vanity of clicks and likes and views. That’s not me. But like the tree falling in the forest, if I post a picture or a bit of writing and nobody sees it… what’s the point?

    Yes, I know that all the creative advice stresses that you need to be creating for yourself. If you enjoy it that’s all that matters. If other people happen to see it and like it, then it’s icing on the cake.

    What prompted this is that out of the blue someone followed this blog the other day. It surprised me since I hadn’t posted anything in so long. It instantly sparked a feeling of enthusiasm towards writing simply because someone cared enough to read what I wrote. Let’s be honest, everyone likes validation of their efforts. Being creative, whether it’s writing, photos, or video is a time commitment. And time is not something I have a huge abundance of. So why am I doing it and should I bother continuing? Sigh… my Groundhog day.

  • In other news, I took up skate skiing. I thought that I was reasonably coordinated and in ok shape – I should be a wiz at this. I got humbled very quickly. It’s hard. As in I can’t go more than a couple hundred yards without stopping to get my heart rate down. I’m sure it’s because I have zero technique and need to invest in some lessons quickly. But… I’m loving it. I’ve even given up some epic downhill days in favor of skate skiing. What’s wrong with me?
  • The impeachment clown show is the end result of the horrible divide in the country right now. This is a partisan hack job of the worst sort by both sides. What worries me the most is that it creates a precedent for any single party control of the legislative branch to remove a president for any reason because the minority won’t have the votes to stop it. That has the executive branch serving at the will of the legislative branch – and I’m pretty sure that’s not what the founders had in mind. If you see this any other way you’ve already been sucked into the biased vortex of whatever mainstream cable news outlet you follow. Do you really think any of these politicians from either side care one tiny bit about you? No – it’s about power and fundraising. Don’t be naïve.
  • I’ve been off the Keto wagon for a while. In support of Mrs. Troutdog, I’ve gone back on. Re-breaking the carb addiction is hard. I’m pretty well fat adapted and it only took a couple of days to be back in ketosis. Unfortunately I’m having dreams about baked potatoes, bread, and rice. The addiction is real.
  • I had a TBI patient who was unpleasant, aggressive, and spent most of the day yelling and cursing the clinical staff. In the midst of yelling every curse word he could think of at me, he stopped and said “You have really nice hair”. So I have that going for me. Hey, at my age the fact that I still have hair is a bonus.

Song of the day: “Don’t doubt ur vibe” Emo G Records (a.k.a. Elon Musk. Yes, that Elon Musk)

I Have A Booty Issue

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • I have a confession. I think about booty way too often. No, not that booty you filthy animals, this booty. Pirates Booty, a tasty snack that has no nutritional value. It’s like crack though… once I start I can’t help myself. How come we never get addicted to say, carrots?
  • Whenever you hear/see that a bison attacked someone I always cheer for the bison. It’s usually a clueless tourist doing stupid shit and Darwin has a way of taking care of business. In this case, the poor guy and his girlfriend did nothing wrong. Except I wouldn’t have gone back to the same park after the first attack.
  • My refrigerator died. The freezer went to minus 14 and the fridge part had no cooling at all. I’m usually not very good at fixing things, but I consulted Dr Google and YouTube. Ordered a $40 part from Amazon, one trip to the hardware store and we’re back in business. We live in an amazing time. The entirety of all human knowledge is instantly available to us. It wasn’t that long ago and this would have been at minimum an expensive repairperson or more likely a new fridge.
  • I really like this post on Maximum Enthusiasm. I was reminded of it yesterday. Mrs Troutdog doesn’t like to cross country ski. She will, however, go snowshoeing. I don’t get snowshoeing at all. Why go clomping around like an uncoordinated 5 year old when you can glide and go fast? Anyway, I went snowshoeing with her yesterday. And after being slightly grumpy for the first ten minutes (because real athletes don’t snowshoe), I actually really enjoyed myself. I even said that it was the perfect way to end the afternoon. Life is what you make of it.
  • The United States is going to lose the 5G war. The implications of that are very serious and will define our role in the next tech revolution. This is a very good article on it that barely touches the subject. We need to take the China threat seriously. Too bad this sort of thing never gets discussed in elections.
  • I hope everyone survived the holidays and that your Festivus feats of strength and airing of grievances went well. I’m not one for New Years resolutions. Tim Ferris suggests that a review of last year is more productive than making resolutions. I’ll probably just stumble forward day to day without much of a plan. Its worked so far!

Song of the day: “Who will save your soul” Jewel

Join The Space Force

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • We now have an official sixth branch of the military – the United States Space Force. I happen to think this is a good thing. Combined with reviving the US Space Command, we’re actually planning and thinking ahead for once. With SpaceX driving faster/better/cheaper access to space I think commercialization and conflict in that area is going to happen faster than you think. Hate this president, like this president… one thing you can’t deny is that he gets shit done. You may not like what he’s doing, but that will be for historians to decide on the positive/negative impact.
  • Speaking of space, I watched Ad Astra with Brad Pitt last night. Well, I didn’t watch it with him, he was in it. Not bad. A tad slow but all in all worth a watch. I felt the portrayal of commercialization of space was a realistic look at the future.
  • Most of the day yesterday was spent knocking snow off the roof, then shoveling the resulting massive piles to other places, plowing the driveway, hot tube maintenance, wood chopping. You know, basic dude stuff.
  • On the subject of fixing things, I have about a 50% success rate with repairs. Our fridge has been on the fritz for a while now. The freezer is at minus 11 and the main compartment wont go below 50. This is bad. I finally consulted Dr. Google and it looks like it’s just a bad evaporator fan. A $70 dollar part that’s in my limited skill set to replace. As soon as the magic brown truck shows up with my part we’ll see what happens.
  • I’m researching password managers. I can barely remember my own phone number, let alone multiple long passwords. God forbid if someone got into my twitter account and hijacked my follower. Keeper is the one I’m leaning towards at the moment.
  • According to climate experts the earth was destroyed 20 years ago. You should listen to the experts.
  • For the three people who actually read my ramblings, I’m at work saving lives (or eating tasty snacks) for the next three days. Y’all have a merry Christmas if I’m still allowed to say that.

Song of the day: “Middle of the road” Pretenders

I Have A Problem

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Confession time. I have a weakness. A dirty little secret. I’ve developed a.. rice problem. Yes, rice. I never eat rice. As in I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate rice. It’s not that I don’t like it, it just never occurs to me. Then a month ago I was shopping at Costco while hungry. This is a bad thing. The end result was I came home with a 25 pound bag of jasmine rice. Since then I’ve had a huge bowl of the stuff daily, sometimes twice a day. I’m craving it. I literally wake up in the morning thinking about it. It’s medium in the glycemic index so it’s not the most horrible thing I could be eating, but certainly not something I should be consuming daily. Such a strange craving. So now on top of all the other bad habits I have, I need to break my rice addiction. Sigh…
  • The Far Side comics are now online. This is a good thing. Gary Larson even wrote a long letter explaining why.
  • I had fresh powder yesterday for my first day of the alpine season. This makes me happy. Also, I should have done more some squats over the summer. I’m not walking so well this morning.
  • I wrote the other day that I’d ordered some pants from Northbound Gear. Still very happy with them, but I discovered that one of the pairs was missing a belt. No biggie, sent email to customer service asking if they could send a replacement belt. Received a reply back informing me that my pants had been delivered. Hmmm. Not what I was asking. Sent another email. Received a reply back this morning asking for images of the pants?? Ok. Stay tuned.
  • Still undecided on the running goal. Still drifting towards no. But… I really want to. Can I go from couch to goal, or is it just stupid and I’m begging for injury? Skiing yesterday showed me my legs are not nearly as “in shape” as I thought they were. I’m paralyzed with indecision.
  • We’ve been thinking about a vacation. We have a timeshare in Mexico we haven’t used in a while, so why not go there? The US state department just updated the Mexico danger map. The odds of an issue in a resort town are pretty low, but still. It’s incredibly sad that Mexico is a failed state. Fantastic people, food, sights, and resources. Corruption and cartels have ruined it.
  • I’m working Christmas eve and day. That means well intentioned patients family members bring us large plates of every possible cookie, chocolate, and candy. It’s a serious willpower test. I may bring bowls of rice to distract myself.

Song of the day: “One Day” Matisyahukid in a coffee shop performing it and doesn’t realize the guy at the counter is Matisyahu.