Category: Cool

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)

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.

The Shocking Truth

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

  • I am utterly flabbergasted at the number of people, in today’s day and age, that don’t wear a seatbelt in the car. Somewhere in the ’80’s the seat belt chime was standard in every vehicle. You have to go out of your way to not put on your seat belt today. Every single week (yes, EVERY week) there’s someone on our hospital floor who was ejected during a motor vehicle crash. Here’s the shocking truth just in case you weren’t aware… when an object travelling at a high rate of speed comes to a sudden stop – all that energy has to go somewhere. That energy is you being shot out of the vehicle like a cannon. Trust me, the outcomes aren’t good. Shattered pelvises and femurs from hitting the dashboard on the way out. Broken arms, destroyed shoulder joints. Broken ribs and pneumothoraxes. And last but not least – life altering head injuries. Wear your damn seatbelt.
  • On a whim I ordered a pair of pants from an ad I saw on Instagram (I never do that). So far I’m really impressed with the Northbound Gear pants. Tough, warm, and good fit. We’ll see how they hold up over the ski season.
  • We’ve set a record for the most number of days without a sunspot. It’s a good thing the sun has no impact on climate.
  • My resting heartrate is definitely bradycardic. We have so many stroke patients on our floor I’m freaking out now about my stroke risk. Time to make an appointment with my doc so he can talk me off the ledge of hypochondria. I’ll also be asking to add the Apo B test to my blood panel to find out more about my cardiovascular disease risk. Which is silly because I know that regardless of the result, the answer is to be strict with a better diet. Which I won’t do. I like nachos too much.
  • The Senate just passed the most recent National Defense Authorization Act. Under this deal we will be borrowing $2.75 Billion every single day to fund it. Eh, pocket change. Walking around money. But what’s really important is that you get outraged over this shinny object over here…
  • Gordon protects his little humans every day. We don’t deserve dogs.

Song of the day: “Freaking Out” Juiceboxxx

I Am Freaking Out

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

  • We recently had three patients on our floor that were early to mid fifties and in relatively good shape (compared to the overall population). All three had a sudden stroke. We also had an extremely nice patient who suffered a horrible, life altering, work accident. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time. These kinds of patients freak me out and make me want to sell everything and travel the world because you never know…
  • I passed a coworker in the hall and I said the standard, “How’s it going?” as I walked by. He replied with great enthusiasm, “Amazing!”. It was such an unexpected reply I had to stop and laugh. It actually brightened my day a bit.
  • I stumbled on this emergency dog carry harness. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I get pretty far out there with the hound and I’m not sure how or if I could carry him out? Seems like a good idea but it’s expensive and a bit large to pack.
  • The possible crazy running goal I’m toying with… Now I’m on the fence, scared, and thinking it’s a pretty stupid thought. From near zero to goal would be extremely hard. I have no desire to build up with smaller goals, or do anything similar beyond. I’m too damn old for that. It would simply be a one time, “could I do it?” thing. Still a few weeks to decide. I’m trending towards no. I simply don’t know if I have the mental discipline to do the training.
  • Pat Mac’s Basic Dude Stuff cracks me up.
    * outrage warning for millennials
  • We got a pretty good dump of global warming this week. Cross country and downhill season starts (for me) next week! That pesky work thing keeps getting in the way of my fun.
  • Speaking of snow, I was totally planning on doing this run sometime this year. I may have to rethink now.
  • Staying on the snow theme, I’ve really been enjoying Cody Townsend’s “The Fifty” project.

Song of the day: “Pancake” by Jaded

Staying Focused

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

  • The receipt for my WordPress renewal showed up in my inbox this morning and reminded me that I haven’t bothered writing anything since April. There’s a number of reasons for it, but mostly I have the attention span of a hamster. The number of hobbies I have divided by the available hours in the day plus day-to-day life activities is a mathematical problem that would take some theoretical Einstein/Stephen Hawking level shit to solve.
  • I’ve experimented with a bullet journal in the past. I’m not one for carrying around a book, so I opted for an electronic version. Maybe it’s time to revisit it to try and keep myself somewhat focused.
  • Speaking of minimalism, I’m trying a new wallet. I liked the previous one, but it had no option for cash and I didn’t care for how it slid around in my pocket. I just got this one and so far so good.
  • Staying on the EDC theme, I stumbled on the KeySmart. I really like it… except I literally have only two keys on my keychain. Probably not worth it.
  • Very intrigued by the new Mavic Mini. That would mean committing to actually making videos, which should be easy since I built a PC specifically for video editing. The problem is that I need to get over my aversion to speaking to a camera and videoing myself. As they say, I have a face for radio.
  • I finally got around to getting my TSA Precheck. Renewed the passport. Now it’s time to watch 1,200 hours of YouTube videos on where to travel. I anticipate actually booking a trip sometime in 2021.
  • November was rough in the exercise department. I got sick, recovered, and then got my first ever case of food poisoning… resulting in a nightmare 14 hour airline travel day. Recovered, then crashed on the motorcycle and messed up my foot. Grrrr.
  • Generally I do better with goals. When I have something to plan and focus on I’m more likely to train and stay committed. I’ve been toying with a crazy (for me) running goal, but can’t decide if I want to commit to the required training time. Or if I could even do it. I’ll have to decide in January. Stay tuned.
  • Mrs Troutdog got me the PowerBeats Pro. I’ve never worn earbuds before. It’s been nice to get back into to music.
  • A podcast worth listening to: Joe Rogan with Tulsi Gabbard and Jocko Willink.

Song of the day: Fight! Smash! Win! Street Sweeper Social Club

The Perfect Weight Loss Hack

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

  • Clickbait titles amuse me and I couldn’t resist. Anyway, I’ll reveal the hack over the next few posts. Here’s the first part. Go find a BMR calculator that includes activity level. This one seems to work well. Enter in the data and see what your number is. Now here’s the crazy part – go eat less than that number. I guarantee you’ll loose weight. Boom! Mind blown. More to come.
  • I was fascinated by this article. I had no idea that there was such a thing as the Open Skies Treaty and we actually let other countries conduct surveillance flights over our military installations. I can’t decide if it’s no big deal, or our openness will come back to bite us some day.
  • I haven’t been very good lately at keeping up with friendships. The older you get the harder it is. It’s certainly a perishable skill that I need to work on. Been thinking about it, so I contacted a couple of buddies I hadn’t seen in a while and made arrangements to meet for lunch and a couple of beers. It felt good. Go do the same.
  • Watched “The Dawn Wall” last night. Well worth a watch but not as well done as “Free Solo”. The “rules” for big wall free climbing are unclear and the movie never explains it, so there are parts that may leave you wondering why they’re doing some of the things they do. At any rate, I may have to go dig out the climbing shoes. What could go wrong?
  • I’ve never been a huge fan of Lindsey Vonn. Her persona always seemed very cold. I was more of a Julia Mancuso fan. Lindsey recently launched a YouTube channel. She’s much warmer than I thought and has a dry sense of humor you don’t normally see.
  • I made a huge step in my street photographs. I actually went up to someone as asked if I could take their picture. If you’re not an extrovert this is a very weird and intimidating thing to do with a stranger. Wasn’t a great picture, but I crossed that hurdle.
  • Data tampering? But, they’re scientists how could this be? In related news, U.S. Oct-March temps were the third coldest recorded. But whatever.
  • Both political parties are full campaign mode trying to inflame their bases. Independent of the realties of each sides message, the left has gone full negative by devoting all its time to attacking the president. Traditionally people want to vote for something, not against something. It will be interesting to see what happens this go-round.
  • The Insta360 looks extremely cool. Inspiring enough I may have to dig out the GoPro and film something.

Song of the day: Florence + The Machine “Kiss with a fist”

Notions Of Cool V.022

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • The American middle class is shrinking… but it’s because more people are moving to upper income levels, not dropping down. This is not what we’re being told (and not what I thought). The point of this is that you always need to be thinking like a contrarian. The narrative pushed in the media is not always true. Being a skeptic is good.
  • Speaking of media narratives… clearly these “journalists” failed to do even the most basic research when they declared the recent flooding as due to, wait for it, climate change! Unfortunately that region floods and has been doing so forever. But it’s different this time I suppose.
  • Here’s a cool animation of the worlds most populous cities by year from 1500 to 2018.
  • I went to the golf driving range yesterday. It went about as expected. Which means poorly. I came home and was in the process of scheduling a lesson when I stopped. I realized that of the 47 different hobbies I have, golf is not important enough to me to invest more time in. I’ll continue to play from time to time, but I no longer care. I’ll go flail about and enjoy the company and walk. A good decision I think.
  • A hobby I do care about is photography. I did an hour walk downtown to grab some photos. I got absolute crap because I wasn’t focused and didn’t pay attention to what I was doing. I will be renewing my efforts to learn and get better. What I can’t decide is sharing my work – do I post the good the bad and the ugly or just the occasional few I really like?
  • For the most part the media is unable to admit they were wrong about the Mueller investigation. They continue to double down. One of the best examples is chief Trump obsessed former republican morning host Joe Scarborough. The title of this mornings column is “The Mueller war is over – and President Trump won”. That is also the first sentence of his column. Literally the second sentence and every remaining paragraph is dedicated to declaring how horrible Trump is. Good grief. I don’t like Trump, but at this point I’ll vote for him just because I like seeing these pompous media asses get kicked in the teeth.
  • I made a bold move yesterday and decided to go minimal with my wallet. I rarely carry cash and wanted something that would fit in my front pocket. Ordered one of these. Stay tuned for a review.
  • Having hit my weight goal, I now need to decide if I’m going to continue down the keto road, or transition to a paleo-ish low glycemic way of eating? I don’t know yet. Part of me wants to continue keto for a while longer and then check my blood markers. Curious if this has impacted my triglycerides? The other part of me wants nachos.

Song of the day: Rage Against the Machine, “Guerrilla Radio”

Notions Of Cool V.021

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • It’s hard not to laugh a little after the Mueller report release. But, as I said before – if you find yourself disappointed, or was hoping this was going to “take down” this president… you are part of the problem. Are you really more interested in allegiance to your tribe than the overall interest of the country? In two years we have another popularity contest and you can vote for the sock puppet of your choice. Until then, let’s try to keep our economy moving forward. Deal?
  • Speaking of sock puppets, if the democrats 2020 entire message is going to be the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, and Trump is evil… they’re going to lose.
  • This is an interesting look at an issue with the Tesla autopilot. I’m a big believer in autonomous vehicles… but we’re still in the beginning stages. It shouldn’t be shocking that there’s problems. As a former software test guy, I’m fascinated at what must be an unbelievably complex test environment for the Tesla software.
  • Yesterday we struggled to get a urine sample from a patient. When we had success I sent it down to the lab. Who then called me to tell me they threw it away. Why? Because I wrote “UA” (for urinalysis) on the label instead of “UCC” (for urine clean catch). Bureaucracy and mindless process drives me insane.
  • I listened to a podcast that had two really smart people with a bunch of letters behind their names debate the cause of obesity. Is it hormone driven metabolism and storage triggered by sugar or is it genetic driven by the brain? The discussion went way into the weeds and devolved into name calling and utter dismissal of the research papers the other guy cited. The entire time I had two thoughts. First, this is what science is – have an idea, do an experiment to prove it, and let your peers try to disprove it. Second, it’s interesting and not surprising that two very smart guys have widely differing opinions on an extremely complex subject – both backed by oodles of research. This almost sounds like… oh, I don’t know… climate research?
  • Cloud kitchens partnered with some sort of Uber model are going to be a huge deal.
  • It’s time to start playing golf again. I spent most of last summer vowing to quit this evil game. I really wish I didn’t enjoy golf, because I hate it so often. I’m generally pretty good at every sport I’ve done – except golf. For the life of me I cannot hit that goddam little white ball. Maybe this will be the season

Song of the day: Morgan Heritage “Nothing To Smile About”

Notions Of Cool V.020

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • The Mueller report dropped. As of this moment we know nothing other than the AG has it. The alphabet channels on all sides of the spectrum are in overdrive spinning and speculating. My thought? I don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on – you should be relieved if there’s nothing in the report. Why? Because it’s bad for country if there is. It would impact the markets, economy, etc… If you’ve been hoping and wishing for some bombshell finding, then you’re part of the problem. Do you really want a president Pence if you’re on the left?
  • The real problem this country faces, and always has been, is China. China will take over as the dominate superpower at some point.
  • I suck at any sort of construction. It doesn’t stop me from trying, but I clearly missed this part of woodshop class. Remember when we actually had wood, metal, and auto shop in high school? Anyway, I manage to strip most screws I attempt to put in or remove. Sigh…
  • A new route up Everest? A cool episode 1 video. Yes, I’ll be watching this one.
  • We managed to find a guy. A handyman. A laborer. Everyone needs a guy who you trust. This guy is from Peru. Came here knowing zero English and started out as a dishwasher. He’d eat scraps from peoples plates while working because he didn’t know how to order something from the kitchen. This guy works his ass off. We are very soft in this country.
  • I’m struggling with the bullet journal. I suppose it’s like any habit. I started out strong, then days go by and when you go back to it… it seems silly to write down things that you already know. Right now it feels forced to write stuff in it. I’ll keep at it. Maybe my thoughts will change.
  • Speaking of writing, I wonder if people like the list form of thoughts vs. a single blog topic? Ultimately I’m doing this for me and I enjoy this more, but I am curious though?
  • No new Instagram stories. Maybe this week. I might drift back to the Facebook. We’ll see.

Song of the day: Propellerheads, “History Repeating”