Tag: Food

Innovation And The Road Trip

  • On a recent two day road trip, it dawned on me just how behind the technology curve the automobile industry is. With the notable exception of Tesla, the interior of the modern vehicle hasn’t changed in a decade. For the most part every car still uses the same knobs, buttons, and analog gages they’ve always used. The most aggravating lack of progress has been around the phone. The modern smart phone has been in existence for 14 years. The smartphone controls everything in your life – navigation, music, your wallet, contacts, and communication. It’s a required piece of equipment for virtually every human being in the modern world. And what have today’s vehicles done to integrate this vital piece of hardware everyone uses? Nothing. They’ve added a USB port. Ever single driver today is using their phone for directions and communicating while driving. And you still have to go buy a third party plastic phone holder of some sort with a suction cup to mount somewhere. Cities are still having to pass “hands free” laws because making a phone call still isn’t nicely integrated into the vehicle. How hard could it possibly be to design a phone holder and charger that’s a seamless part of the dash? And as Tesla has so capably proven, there is zero reason why vehicles can’t have a smart screen display showing every possible bit of data about your car as well as, gasp, interfacing with your phone. Ignoring the electric part, Tesla continues to highlight what dinosaurs the auto industry have become.
  • Speaking of electric, I started the series “Long Way Up” with Ewan McGregor. It’s a continuation of the classic Long Way Round and Long Way Down series of long distance motorcycle trips. The twist this time is that they are on all electric motorcycles traveling from the tip of South America to Los Angeles. I’m only on episode three, but spoiler alert, it’s not going very well. Let’s just put it this way… they have a giant truck following them with a massive diesel generator to keep them charged. As I said in a previous post, we have a ways to go with electric charging infrastructure.
  • And while on the subject of motorcycles and phones, I have a decision to make. My new motorcycle has Apple Car Play integrated into it’s touch screen dash (which is more modern than most vehicles produced today). The problem is that I have never entered the Apple ecosystem. For whatever reason Honda chose not to support Android Auto. So for me to fully utilize all the fancy wiz-bang features on the motorcycle, I have to switch to an iPhone. Except, breaking news, literally just a day ago Honda announced support for Android Auto starting in Europe. So, do I hold out for eventual integration or switch over to Apple today? Sigh, why can’t everything just work?
  • Who knew you can order completely customizable Oreo cookies?
  • A violent BLM protest/riot injured two police officers in NYC yesterday. The mob also attacked and injured a journalist because the crowd started shouting “he’s a cop”. I’m not clear on the state of things now – do we still care about riots, or is that not a thing anymore?
  • The recall Gavin Newsom has obtained enough signatures to require a recall vote. This should be interesting.
  • We’ve had a pretty mild winter so far, with nothing but a bit of rain. I was super excited to get the new motorcycle out for it’s first ride. And… we’ve gotten 3+ inches of snow the last few days. I suppose I’ll have to spend my day planning out trips for this summer. I think the goal is to see how many quirky roadside attractions I can visit.

Song of the day: Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (Live)

Enjoying The Inside, Outside

  • As humans, it’s normal to take things for granted. Your health, your car starting, the sun rising, and indoor dining. I’m lucky that my state has allowed indoor dining for the most part during this horrible gift from China, the SARS-CoV-2 virus (I don’t think I’m allowed to say China or Wuhan virus anymore). Well, the last two days I’ve been on a road trip of sorts and my travel partner and I stopped in a cute little town and went to a promising looking brewpub. The hostess scurried outside and asked us if we had reservations. Who needs reservations at a brewpub? We said no and she replied that the only seat she had left was outside the tent and not under the heaters. What? We said ok because we were starving, so she seated us at a lone table away from four other tables under a makeshift tent. Keep in mind the outside temperature was in the twenties. This was all very confusing. I ran back to the car to get another jacket and then went inside to wash up in the facilities. Once inside I saw all the chairs stacked up on top of the tables and it suddenly dawned on me. This state does not allow indoor dining. It’s twenty frigg’n degrees and the state is forcing people to eat outdoors. I watched patrons arrive carrying huge thick blankets. The people in this state are so desperate to eat at a restaurant they’re willing to bring blankets and sit outside in twenty degree temps. Meanwhile, all the restaurant workers are inside walking around without masks. They only put them on when they came outside to serve patrons. What sort of dystopian nightmare is this? When our food came it was good… for about thirty seconds and then was stone cold. BECAUSE IT’S TWENTY GODDAM DEGREES OUTSIDE! It’s hard to describe the absolute lunacy that is a health official who thinks all this is a viable solution to the problem. And I’m saddened that as thinking, voting, citizens we’re all just meekly going along with this nonsense.
  • The aforementioned road trip was to pick up the new motorcycle I’ve previously mentioned. Oh, she is a thing of beauty. I’m already in love. This particular bike was pretty hard to find, so I ended have to go to a different state to buy it. Not an issue other than we’re currently experiencing a pretty significant snow storm, or a “winter weather advisory” as the weather service call it. I’m not a particularly smart fellow, so it didn’t dawn on me to rent an enclosed trailer. So my new beast had to travel across three states through a snow storm to get home. She was covered in a thick layer of road grime and ice by the time I got her in the garage. But, it’s an adventure bike and that’s what it was intended to do. It’s not some fancy Harley that only comes out when it’s a perfect 70 degrees. I figure it was the perfect baptism to adventure. I will however be spending the rest of the day cleaning her up. And dreaming about the adventures we’ll have. Once it stops snowing.
  • Twitter has decided to ban Project Veritas and it’s founder James O’Keefe’s accounts. Yep, no censorship here. Move along people, nothing to see.
  • This is an excellent video talking about the problem with electric vehicles. It’s not the cars that are the issue, it’s the lack of charging infrastructure. I have no problem with the idea of electric vehicles. I’ve even toyed with the idea of putting a deposit down on the Tesla Cyber truck (Mrs Troutdog would kill me). This country simply doesn’t have the infrastructure to support large numbers of electric vehicles, nor the drain it would put on the electrical grid. Not to mention how we’re going to produce all that electricity with only solar and wind power since we’re getting rid of all those nasty fossil fuel plants. I wonder if there’s another source of electricity that’s clean, safe, and proven? Like, say… nuclear? Why in the world this isn’t being even spoken about by the Green New Deal zealots is beyond me.
  • One of the many topics that came up during the previously mentioned road trip was the sad state of our public schools. For better or worse, Covid was the perfect inflection point for fundamentally changing how we teach our kids. We have the technology. We have the entirety of human knowledge instantly available. We have the ability to present information in ways that were unimaginable when I went to school. And when forced to move to remote, technology driven teaching, what did our educators do? Nothing. They’ve continued the same old way of teaching we’ve been doing since the beginning of time. We literally have clung to the Prussian education system from the 19th century. Someone stands in front of the class and lectures and the obedient students attempt to memorize. The only difference is they’re trying to do it on Zoom. Kids, make sure not to miss your 1pm Zoom math class! Why, why, why? This will be harsh to hear, but what should happen is to get rid of half the teachers. Replace them with IT people and digital content creators. The remaining teachers would be responsible for driving the curriculum and measuring student progress. The student to teacher ratio should only be limited by how many papers/projects/tests a teacher can grade. Those teachers can be, gasp, located anywhere in the country. We want teachers who can put out amazing interactive digital content that engages kids in the same ways they’ll be working and producing at their jobs in the future. Meanwhile I suspect we have many teachers that lament we no longer have library books and encyclopedias to look up facts. If I had kids and was forced to go the “remote” learning route, I’d certainly be looking into some sort of Khan Academy type of learning. Our public schools are doing our kids a massive disservice and the teacher’s unions and elected officials are happily going along with it. Change is scary. But pretending the digital age isn’t real is dooming our kids to fail in the future.
  • And because at heart I’m still a ten year old who likes fart jokes, enjoy some mugshots of people with crazy fake eyebrows.

Song of the day: Hole – Celebrity Skin (live)

I Got The Funk

  • I got the funk, man. No not a Lenny Kravitz Always on the run funk, but a weird head to toe body funk. Headache, body ache, joint ache, plugged up sinuses, brain fog. I had a trifecta of circumstances that came together at the same time. I managed to hurt my back somehow a week or so ago, so that’s ached since then. I got my second China virus vaccine a week ago and that really put me down. At the same time Mrs Troutdog has had a pretty wicked cold, which I clearly caught. I rarely get sick. I don’t do well just sitting around, so throw in feeling crappy and, well, I’m grumpy. I think we’re on the upswing though. Just a headache today. Fingers crossed we’re back in business tomorrow.
  • Watch this short clip and tell me that Biden is not a confused, 80 year old grandpa. Love him or hate him, there was never any doubt that Trump was in charge and running the show (often to his detriment). On the other side of the coin, you cannot convince me that Biden is the conductor of this oncoming train. Once you get past 70, it’s the infrequent exception you still have the mental horsepower you once had. Trust me, I work with the elderly day in and day out. There are very few folks in that age bracket I’d want making a difficult decision for me, especially after multiple days of long hours. So my honest question is, who’s really running the show behind the scenes? Somebody is setting the daily agenda, deciding what the policy focus will be, etc… Who is it? Is it his chief of staff, Ron Klain? Is it Kamala? Her chief of staff, Tina Flournoy? There’s rumors former Clinton advisor Minyon Moore has been a gatekeeper for the Biden transition. Is it her? Is it Jaime Harrison, the new head of the DNC? Will anyone in the media ask, or is that verboten for fear of being deplatformed?
  • A green zone has been erected in Washington DC to protect our ruling class. It’s pretty startling to see the images. What I can’t find in my extensive 30 seconds of searching, is who ordered all this? Was it the secret service? I don’t think they have the power to call up the national guard. The mayor? Did Trump order all this? Will it be permanent as some rumors suggest? Will the media go through great lengths to hide it in their inauguration coverage, or will they highlight it as necessary to protect against crazed, Viking hat wearing, Trump insurrectionists? It’s all pretty pointless because, as we all know, walls don’t really work.
  • I’ve made it to season two of Mr Robot. Really good. I’m not much of a prepper, but we’re prepared for a small amount of time. What we don’t have is cash. I never carry cash. Ever. The show reminded me that it wouldn’t take much for the electronic banking system to be interrupted. When that happens, I’m screwed when I need my Pirate Booty fix and all I have is plastic.
  • A friend of mine is really into cowboy action shooting. It’s like modern three-gun competitions, but old-west era guns. And cowboy outfits. Anyway, I joined him the other day to watch. The club we were at starts their match by turning to the flagpole, removing hats, and reciting the pledge of allegiance. It was nice. But here’s the odd thing. It made me feel like a rebel. Like folks would probably ridicule it if they saw it. If I told someone on the street I went to an event where we cited the pledge of allegiance, I’d immediately be tagged as a right-wing Trump supporter. Think about it. That’s where we’ve gotten to in this country.
  • I wasn’t feeling good last night, couldn’t sleep, so spent way too long going down a musical memory lane. I stumbled upon some of the original MTV segments (I had a crush on Martha Quinn), but while I liked watching MTV, most of what they played wasn’t really my genre. Like my politics, my musical taste is… complicated. This lead me down a rabbit hole of old school massive concerts. I wonder if we’ll ever have big shows again? Unless it’s a rave, the kids and music today don’t seem to lend themselves to the concert scene. Unfortunate. There’s just something about the energy of a live show.

Song of the day: Veruca Salt – Seether (Glastonbury ’95)

Is Politics A Prisoners Dilemma?

  • I was thinking about the apparent lack of awareness politicians on both sides have of the pulse of the people they’re supposed to represent. They tend to rush to solve the wrong problem because they need to be seen as “doing something” about whatever’s in the news. We just had a large mob of very angry people rally to express their dissatisfaction with something that devolved (as mobs do) into violence. Politicians rush to “fix” the end result of the situation – we need to call in the national guard, they must condemn all violence, we need to put people on no-fly-lists, we need to impeach, etc… While all of that may or may not need to be addressed, I don’t hear anyone on the left asking the real question – what happened to make all those people so angry and what could be done to address that? It reminded me of the Prisoners Dilemma. Two prisoners in solitary confinement, no way to communicate with each other. If one snitches on the other, he goes free and the other serves his sentence. If both snitch, both serve their sentence. If neither snitches (because snitches wind up in ditches), both serve reduced sentences. Politicians (especially today) seem to be wired to always believe politics is a zero sum game. The only way I can win is to ensure someone else loses. We’ve entered the era of scorched earth politics. Tearing up a state of the union speech or driving pointless impeachments to score points is more important than asking what’s more beneficial for everyone. Both sides are guilty of this… Republicans just really suck at it. I wonder if we’ll ever get back to a point where folks recognize if both sides accept a little pain (compromise), everyone benefits in the long run? (Don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical. Never going to happen.)
  • I had to laugh. A couple of days ago Tucker Carlson had a line that made me snort out loud: “Once Donald Trump leaves the scene and it’s time to divvy up the spoils of the United States Treasury to begin the great piñata party of 2021…” And sure enough, yesterday Biden rolls out a $2 trillion dollar stimulus spending plan. This will be followed by another $1.3 – $2 trillion dollar infrastructure plan. It’s gotten absurd to the point there’s no reason to even fight it anymore. We’re printing money out of thin air. Hell, if we’re already printing trillions, we may as well print another four or five. Give every American with a drivers license a brand new car. And pay for their insurance. And create a guaranteed auto buyback program for all the existing vehicles and loans. Can you even imagine the stimulus this would bring to country? It would resurrect the failing auto industries, create new manufacturing jobs for the entire supply chain, improve our air quality, put more money in the pocket of struggling families by getting rid of a car payment, and help the most disenfranchised be able to get a job. I think that’s a damn fine idea. I guess you couldn’t require a drivers license. That would be discriminatory. Anyway, put me down for a Tesla Cybertruck.
  • I was reasonably productive yesterday with planning. I resurrected the Bullet Journal and starting looking into some travel ideas. I agree that putting (figurative) pen to paper does help organize thoughts. Next up will be working on the daily routine and thinking about hobbies.
  • For dinner last night I made a deluxe grill cheese and tomato soup. Thick sourdough, two kinds of cheese, bacon, grilled onions, sliced tomato and avocado. Probably a 2,500 calorie meal, but worth it. Now I just need to go run approximately 50 miles to break even.
  • We watched the History of Swear Words last night. Pretty good. Nicholas Cage was able to poke fun at himself. Nice to see actors who are comfortable enough to do that. It’s said that swearing is a sign of intelligence. If so, I should be a rocket scientist.
  • A list of red flags in job interviews. Reminded me of an answer I got frequently when I was a hiring manager at Microsoft. I’d ask the candidate how they would find out the answer to something and I’d frequently get the response: “I’d Google it”. Uhmm… you’re interviewing at Microsoft, are you really that dense? If you’re going say that, at least make the case why one search engine is better than the other. That I’d respect. This is beside the issue of being so unaware that if all I needed was someone who could “Google” something, I could hire a random street person (or sixth grader) and be just as successful. This of course was back in the day when Microsoft was the Evil Empire and Google’s code of conduct slogan was “Don’t be evil”.

Song of the day: Meredith Brooks ( Live) Lilith Fair- Bitch 1997

I’m A Little Lost

I am not a planner. I have a little routine I follow on work days, otherwise I wake up and see what the day brings. That’s it. The sum total of how I manage my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about it. It’s a pretty blessed, idyllic existence. I have lots of hobbies that I cycle through depending on the mood of the moment, never excelling or mastering any of them. I get the basic home maintenance/repairs done, but usually because something broke. It never dawns on me to be proactive for that sort of thing. I like the idea of travel, but get overwhelmed at the idea of planning something so I usually don’t get beyond the random surfing of the internet for two hours stage. I’m kind of a Labrador retriever. A bit goofy, dumb, and happy to do whatever happens in the moment. While it’s worked for all these years, it leaves me with a continual, nagging, feeling of unrest. I have the time and means. I have no excuses for not accomplishing more with my life.

If you’ve been following along at home, I mentioned yesterday that Mrs Troutdog and I made the decision to begin what she calls “divesting from work”. I changed to a part time status at my job. The purpose is to start laying the groundwork for what retirement will eventually look like for us. I sat down this morning and tried to think about what I want to accomplish with this additional time. And I got paralyzed. I literally don’t know what to do. Should I make a master list of house projects? Maybe I should review all my hobbies and set some goals and plans for just a few of them, rather than sucking at a lot of things? I should probably get a meal planning and shopping routine going and tie that to a regular exercise regime. Perhaps I should set some travel agendas, both weekends and longer trips and start figuring out the cost and logistics?

I want to make a change. Not because I’m unhappy, but because time keeps marching on. And that scares me. Left to my current habits, two years will go by and nothing much will be different other than I’ll have more time for random hobbies and no travel will have occurred unless someone else plans it. I’m not satisfied with that, but struggle because I don’t know how to change – but also because I’ve never seriously tried.

I did quite a bit of reading of ‘self help’ type of blogs this morning and the consensus seems to be that you have to create a routine and you have to write down plans. The routine is both the simplest and hardest to get done. If it was that easy I’d be working out every day. But it’s clearly the foundation for everything else, so I will create a routine (this sounds suspiciously like a New Years resolution). The planning seems harder to me. I’ve tried the Bullet Journal in the past. I really enjoyed the process of setting it up… but after a few weeks I get tired of updating it and it fades away. I need a way to put down on paper (figuratively, I’m an electronic kinda guy) what I want to accomplish. Maybe I’ll just resurrect the Bullet Journal. I’m open to ideas if someone has something else that works for them. I need a way to see broad categories of things we want to do. Motorcycle trips, weekend sightseeing trips, big overseas trips. Do I want to investigate photography classes or work on my pitiful YouTube channel? Are there training goals for running or golf or skiing? I need to have a way of looking at that big list of things and then map that to a calendar. If I don’t put it on a calendar it likely isn’t going to happen.

This is a good problem to have. But it’s ridiculous that I’m so paralyzed by it. It’s also why I’m not a fabulously successful CEO. One of the problems with aging is that it suddenly dawns on you how little time you really have left. What do I want to do with that remaining time? I do know I don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted it. Interestingly, all of this started with a text message from Mrs Troutdog with a link to a travel video of Wyoming and saying she thinks she wants to travel the US by motorcycle. I’m truly blessed to have a partner in life who’s willing to think out of the box and take risks. She got the ball rolling, but I feel it’s on me to keep the momentum going. It’s an exciting time and also a bit scary. Changing how you’ve lived your life the last twenty years feels… challenging. In a good way.

I will now probably spend the rest of the day making lists and watching YouTube videos about living off the grid in Belize in a Sprinter van.

The Authentic Voice

  • I don’t have a list of resolutions for the New Year. No goals that probably won’t be met. No platitudes about becoming a better person or striving for world peace. I’m in a unique place in life. I’ve been very blessed. Through a combination of dumb luck, good planning, seizing opportunities, and hard work, Mrs. Troutdog and I find ourselves at a happy crossroads. Retirement is looming around the corner. What is that going to look like? Will I spend my waning years puttering around my workbench in the garage? Will we be taking exotic motorcycle trips across southeast Asia? Maybe I’ll finally become a world famous YouTube star, or figure out what it is I’m actually trying to say with this blog. Perhaps I’ll start taking pictures again or figure out once and for all which of my 27 hobbies I want to focus on? When you were younger the saying was “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Well, here I am all grown up and I still don’t know. So that’s my plan for the year – to try and get a handle on what I want my remaining time on this planet to look like. To find my authentic voice. What do I want to say, do, and leave behind. It’s not an achievable plan. But I think it’s a good theme for the New Year.
  • I finally made the Machaca. I think it came out pretty damn good. It will certainly be a do-over. There’s so many things you can do with it – tortas, street tacos, breakfast, burritos. Good stuff.
  • I don’t know why I find this so frightening. The engineering is damn impressive. It’s amazing where we are from a technology perspective. I guess I just don’t trust human nature. The sci-fi conspiracy theorist in me envisions getting tased by one of these things as I try to enter a store without my Covid-39 passport.
  • You’re already seeing the media reporting the administration is bungling the rollout of the China virus vaccine. What a disaster, only 3 million doses have been given by the end of the year. We were promised 20 million dammit! Ignoring what an amazing R&D accomplishment this has been, the media conveniently doesn’t report that 14 million doses have been shipped. The bottleneck is at the local level. The same thing happens with every hurricane, wildfire, and flood. Clearly we don’t teach civics any more. We are a republic of independent states. The federal government can supply resources, but it’s up to the individual states and cities to implement those resources. When you saw those rows of empty school buses unused and flooded while people frantically tried to evacuate during Katrina, that was the state and cities fault. The federal government (FEMA) prepositioned those assets and the local authorities didn’t use them. It’s a dangerous road to go down letting people think that a massive, federal big brother is in charge of everything. The framers would be appalled at what their republic has become.
  • This article about the imprisonment of Assange is a bit convoluted, but a good read. What we’ve done to him is a travesty. I really liked this statement: “Whether a society is truly free is determined by how it treats its dissidents, those who live and speak and think outside of permissible lines, those who effectively subvert ruling class aims.”
  • I finished my last shift and last task of the year, New Years eve, in a fitting fashion. Giving a soap suds enema to a confused, combative patient who hadn’t pooped in a week and vomiting up tube feeds every thirty minutes. Thanks 2020 and fuck you. Moving on to 2021!
  • Finishing up with pics of the best dogs on the planet, the mighty Vizsla.

Song of the day: Beck – Loser (Live 2003)

Are You Ok With Censorship?

  • Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic. He also has a YouTube (Google) channel with about 90k subscribers and does a daily show. Yesterday they shut him down, demonetized and pulled down his video. His crime? He mentioned the lawsuits about alleged voter fraud in the election. Here is YouTube’s reason: “Content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of the U.S. 2020 presidential election is not allowed on YouTube.” I don’t care what you think of the claims. I don’t care if you’re the most lefty, leftist, left leaning person around. This should make you mad and frightened. The freedom to speak your mind is a basic tenet of this country. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s conspiracy theory being spouted by a tinfoil hat wearing prepper living in a bunker somewhere in Wyoming. They have the right to say it. Today, the outlets we have where we can speak our mind are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the mainstream media. ALL of them are actively censoring content they don’t approve of. Other content creators are talking about this story but are having to be very careful to not mention certain “trigger” words so YouTube won’t take down their videos as well. This is not ok. As the old saying goes, you may be ok with this today because it fits your political narrative but tomorrow – they may come after something important to you. Do we really want thought police? I don’t know what the answer is. I do know this shouldn’t be a left/right thing. I’d hope that as a thinking person you’d believe in the whole “I do not agree with what you have to say, but will defend to the death your right to say it”. The influence of big tech on how and what we think is going down a dangerous path.
  • New York just shut down indoor dining with no end date. Kiss the restaurant industry by-by. LA and New York are in a race to see who can crater their economies faster. At least LA is protecting essential business… like Hollywood. Somehow the Hollywood lobby was able to score an exemption and be declared an essential business. I wonder how that happened? The little taco shop around the corner? Not so essential. I guess it’s a worry, if we’re locked down and there’s nothing new to watch on Netflix what are we to do?
  • We have a local produce place that bakes amazing pies. Family is in town for the holidays (A.K.A. superspreader event). I’ve eaten a lot of pie. There’s no point to this other than I’m still wearing the fat pants and haven’t been able to get out and ski. This scenario is not moving in the right direction. Fortunately the storm window looks to be open the next few weeks and the pie is almost gone. There’s hope.
  • This is horrifying. A couple is kicked off a flight and left stranded with no luggage or car seat because they couldn’t get their two year old to wear a mask. Is this really what we want?
  • Struggling to find something good today. We’ll go with a dog who stole a GoPro and filmed his chase.

Song of the day: Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry Be Happy

I Caught A Case Of The Apathy

  • Yesterday I was mad and frustrated. I was fed up with people on Facebook posting virtue-signaling Covid case count memes. Frustration at the lack of media coverage around alleged election fraud. I’ve had it with government lockdowns and killing of the economy and small businesses. I’m pissed that nobody in government is ever held accountable for anything. As a healthcare worker I’m exhausted with the hospital working conditions and no end in sight. I sat down and started writing a long post about all this. About two-thirds of the way through I suddenly felt a huge wave of apathy settle in. Why care about any of this? It feels like the massive engine of the deep state, big tech, and the media empire is an unstoppable force. Nothing will change. There’s too much money, too much power, too much corruption. What’s the point? Why bother writing (venting) for a grand total of about three readers? I deleted my words and walked away. I’m not as apathetic today, but I do wonder if I’d be happier if I stopped paying attention to the news? I suspect this blog would do better if I just focused on one thing… cooking or fly fishing or something.
  • A powerful solar storm is occurring Dec 9/10 that may produce northern lights visible in many northern states. We had cloud cover last night, so no luck. I’ll be looking again tonight.
  • It’s amazing how shameless the media is. They’re now shocked that the Hunter Biden investigation went largely unnoticed prior to the election. WTF. How do these “journalists” look at themselves in the mirror in the morning?
  • My hospital is drowning. Our staffing shortages are dangerous. Despite what the media reports, it’s not entirely due to covid. The city and state are frantically waving their hands in the air and desperate to do something to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. The solution? Let’s pass more regulations preventing youth sports and further limit restaurant capacity. That’s like when someone says they can’t afford new tires for their car, the government solution is to try and create smoother paved roads to reduce tire wear. How about, oh I don’t know, add resources to the health care system? We have a perfectly capable national guard who could spin up a response within days. I get that there are cost and liability issues when interacting with private entities, but I’m pretty sure we can figure that out. Rather than fix the leaks in the dam, we’re too busy educating people on the importance of wearing Gore-Tex and galoshes.
  • I saw an ad for a bracelet with a little symbol for every national park you’ve visited. Made me look up my list. I’ve been to 13. Not bad. How many have you been to?
  • Watched Hillbilly Elegy. Very good, highly recommend.
  • This is seriously freaky. Don’t watch if home alone at night.
  • Still have not made machaca. Haven’t forgotten, the timing just hasn’t worked out yet. I have a week off coming up and plenty of snow in the forecast. Skiing and cooking sounds like a fine way to spend my time.

Song of the day: The Who “Young man blues – live at Isle of Wight

The Delicate Art Of Zoom Cooking

  • Last night Mrs Troutdog and I participated in an on-line Zoom cooking class. It was sort of a corporate thank you gift. They sent a meal kit with all the ingredients, aprons emblazoned with the corporate logo, and a bottle of wine paired for the meal. Everyone connected on-line at the appointed hour and a celebrity chef walked us through putting our meal together. Or at least that’s how it was supposed to go. To the chef’s credit, this would be a hard forum to work in. He’s got an hour to get this done. It’s not in-person so people can’t really ask questions. Because it was real-time there was no way to go backwards if you missed a step. The chef was high energy and moved quickly. The end result was a frenetic hour of us trying to chop, stir, sauté, and mix while desperately trying to keep up. There were zesting accidents that drew blood. Literally every bowel, pan, and dish in the kitchen got pulled out at some point. We were laughing like maniacs as we just randomly threw ingredients in pans because we’d missed what he did. It ended up being pretty fun, but the kitchen looked like a war zone at the end. Good times, but I sure miss doing things in person with people.
  • Project Veritas dropped another recorded call from CNN. In it they discuss that they are not going to air the Hunter Biden emails. If you’re an honest person and have been a fan of CNN, I’d hope this at least makes you wonder what else they’re choosing not to report.
  • The great shearing event happened yesterday. To my great surprise, Mrs Troutdog said she likes my hair a little long, it just needed to not be so unruly. I feel sorry for the hairdresser trying to interpret my cutting instructions. “We’re trying to cut it today, so it will grow out correctly in a Brad Pitt look. Not Fight Club Brad Pitt, but Legends of the Fall or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Brad Pitt. Can you do that?” She gave me a long look and said, “so do you want it above the ears or over the ears?”. Sadly, I did not come out looking like Brad Pitt.
  • While they haven’t all been Democrats, the vast majority of the “rules for thee, not for me” crowd have been. Why is that? At some point, people are going to have had enough. The randomness of the rules shutting down bars, restaurants, and boutiques, yet the Walmarts and Costcos remain open isn’t going to be tolerated forever. At some point this is going to get ugly and violent. Do these power hungry elites really want to put our police in the position of enforcing arbitrary rules on some poor schmuck who’s going to lose his business? I can’t eat at a restaurant, but I can go to Home Depot and stand in line with hoards of other people to buy tacky inflatable Santas and other Christmas crap? I hope people start pushing back soon.
  • It’s interesting how peoples perception of distance changes. We’ve got friends who just moved to our little town from LA. Previously they would have thought nothing of driving 45 minutes to go 20 miles just to do an errand. I caught him yesterday complaining that there was no easy route to get out of the neighborhood to the store (that’s two miles down the road).
  • The clock is running out for Trump. The electoral college votes on December 14. Seven business days left to make something happen. I don’t see it occurring. Do I think there was pretty significant fraud? Yep. To the level that Powell and Giuliani are claiming? Not so sure about that. Mrs Troutdog gets frustrated at me for being so pessimistic, but I think the swamp, the establishment, the deep state or whatever you want to call it, is just too entrenched. These people don’t want the status quo to change. I honestly don’t think the republican party wants to be in charge – they’d have to actually take a stand on something and that might risk their re-election chances. Much easier to run to the TV cameras and make fiery speeches, then go back and do nothing. Sorry, I’m a little cynical today.

Song of the day: X “More fun in the new world (live 1983)”

Behold, The Phat Pants

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

  • That title has no meaning other than a poor attempt at being edgy and hip. But yes, this morning I had to put on the fat pants after yesterday’s ridiculous food coma. I hope you enjoyed your non-socially distanced Thanksgiving as much as I did. In reality I only show up for the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and pie. Mission accomplished.
  • Are we still allowed to say Black Friday? I’m so confused at the rules lately. Is swarming the local Target for a $99 TV acceptable, or is that a super spreader event?
  • Who would have guessed that IKEA’s best selling item isn’t furniture? It’s meatballs. They sell 150 million a year. Say it with me… “Tha’s a-lotta meatballs”.
  • So let me get this right… Biden, who literally didn’t campaign, who only held a couple of events that had like six people in those weird crop circle things, who answered no questions from the press, is unable to utter more than a few coherent sentences without a teleprompter, who only won 16% of the counties in the country… somehow got 11 million more votes than Obama did? I get the Trump hatred, but this just doesn’t add up.
  • Twitter’s not even trying to hide it anymore. So they block retweeting and clicking on the link to the Powell Georgia and Michigan lawsuit filings. They put a “disputed election information” label on every tweet the President sends out, and they ban a PA state senator for holding a hearing on voter fraud. I’m going to keep saying it – I don’t care who you voted for, this should scare the hell out of you.
  • Russian internet videos never cease to amaze me. Flash bang Friday, what could possibly go wrong?
  • The strange history of Chuck E. Cheese.
  • The interstate highway system, drawn as a subway transit map.
  • And finally, the saga of Gerald the turkey. Worth a read.

Song of the day: Shabba Ranks “The Jam ft. KRS-One