- When we first moved to our little town the population was 242,000. Not small, not too big. Just the right size to have some culture; a university, theater, museums, great restaurants, and a few larger employers. Not so big that we had traffic, crowds, and all the other blight that comes with bigger towns. Today our population has grown to 455,000 and much of that in just the last few years. People are fleeing the big cities in droves looking for a better quality of life. I can’t blame them. As cities grow the small problems become big ones and quickly become unsolvable. And that’s exactly what we’re facing here. I can’t blame people for wanting to move here, as that’s what we did. But the common refrain you hear from us longer term residents is “don’t bring your California attitudes”. And sadly, that seems to be what’s happening. Although I don’t know if it’s specifically due to California, but more likely just a facet of increased population. Traffic has increased dramatically. Just in the last year or so I now have to check what time it before getting on the road so I don’t get caught in commute traffic. People used to happily let you merge and it wasn’t uncommon to see a tractor driving on the road. Now it’s road rage time. Nobody lets you merge and frustrated tailgating is common. I’m starting to see graffiti pop up all around town. The homeless problem and panhandling is now noticeable. Property taxes are skyrocketing and there are now bidding wars on any houses that go up for sale. We’ve talked about downsizing, but we couldn’t afford to buy even a smaller house or condo now. There was no such thing as a lift line at our local ski resort, and now it looks like some of the Tahoe crowds on the weekend. It gets hard to find parking at local trailheads and the number of clueless people on the trails is discouraging. We used to be able to walk downtown on a Friday or Saturday night and go to just about any restaurant. Now, reservations are mandatory and parking is a challenge. Crime is becoming an issue. Just last night there was a shooting at the university, something that would be unheard of when we first moved here. I’m honestly not complaining, I understand it’s the nature of an ever swelling US/world population. That growth isn’t going to stop and all those people will continue to look for something better. With the current push (and ability) to work from home, the exodus from big cities will only increase. It just makes me a little sad. It’s hard to see your town change. Maybe someday we’ll escape and go find a new small town, but I doubt it. The older you get the harder change becomes. Meanwhile I’ll look back fondly at that brief moment in time when our town was just the perfect size. Oh my god, I’ve become one of those people – “I remember when…”
- I may or may not have solved the Android Auto issue with the ginormous motorcycle. I decided the other day that the problem was the USB connection on the phone. It’s always been a little loose (it’s a really old phone) and I think what’s been happening is that the connection comes loose with the vibration from the motorcycle and then Android Auto disconnects. This is a pain because on a motorcycle you have to pull over and fiddle with your tank bag to reconnect the phone. I started the research into a new phone and then stumbled on a new bug being reported with the latest release of Android Auto. When the charging reaches 100%, Android Auto disconnects from the head unit. It’s a known and well documented issue. Well… I never bothered to look at what my charging level was when I pulled over to reconnect. Sigh. Apparently more research is needed. How did people even travel without smartphones?
- Suddenly ski season is reaching a close. We’re down to just a handful of weeks left. This is point at which I panic and wish I’d done more skiing this season. I shall now commence to ignore most responsibilities for the next few weeks so I can ski. It’s not my fault… I need to maximize my ski passes. Every additional day I go reduces the cost per day from what I paid for the pass. We’d be losing money if I don’t ski!
- Speaking of changing seasons, I put shorts on the other day to go to the driving range. It’s time to start chasing that silly white ball around the course again. I don’t know how it happened, but my shorts somehow shrunk. I could barely get the top button fastened. Dammit. Operation senior fitness needs to really kick into gear soon.
- While on the subject of eating, I committed a blasphemy. I cooked baby back ribs in the oven. Gasp! The barbeque gods may smite me down. Anyway, they turned out pretty darn good. Not smoker good, but decent. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not opposed to doing them that way again.
- I wonder if Biden has recovered enough from his teleprompter speech to come out of his room yet? Still no sign of an actual press conference or state of the union. Nah, that’s not strange at all. Meanwhile, gas prices are skyrocketing, the crisis on the border is getting worse by the day, and the administration is starting to talk about tax increases. Yeah, didn’t see any of this coming. The longer we go without an appearance, the more the press will become restless and less amenable to keeping their questions to what flavor of ice cream the president prefers. I honestly don’t know if Biden has the ability to field non-scripted questions for any length of time without committing a serious gaffe or becoming hostile. It’s hard to decide which is better, a puppet being run by an unseen group, or a President Harris? Y’all could have had Tulsi. Just saying.
Song of the day: Kid Rock – Bawitdaba – 7/24/1999 – Woodstock 99 East Stage (Official)
- I saw a doctor on CNN the other day saying that even though you’ve had Covid or received the vaccine you still need to wear a mask and social distance. Something about you could still be shedding virus even though you won’t get sick. It sounded odd at the time, but it wasn’t until this morning that it dawned on me. The authorities managed to back themselves into a corner with their mouth diaper mandates. We have no way to know if you’re already immune, so they have to continue the mask mandate for everyone. The problem is that as more and more people become immune, the backlash against wearing a mask will increase. So the next logical step is some sort of identifier showing that you are immune. Zeigen Sie mir ihre papiere. Show me your papers! Andrew Yang, potential NY mayor candidate, just proposed this. Airlines are already talking about it. It’s coming. This is right up the new administrations alley. A multi-billion dollar government program to roll out electronic Covid Id’s. Soon to be tied into your social credit score. Think that’s far fetched? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are already actively censoring speech. These companies already know everything there is to know about you, including your location at all times. Is it really that far of a stretch to think this information won’t be compiled into an individual ranking system? It is, after all, for your own good.
- Speaking of mouth diapers, that’s one of the new changes when skiing. Yesterday was my first downhill day of the season. Everything went fine, I managed to not hurt myself which was my main goal. The new rules are that you have to wear a mask when in the lift lines. Fine. I understand the resort is simply trying to comply with rules so they don’t lose their lease from the forest service. I’ve never been able to wear a face covering when skiing. Too hot and restrictive. I dug out an old buff I had and used that. The problem was that it just didn’t work well with the helmet chinstrap. It bunched up and I couldn’t get it pulled up with my gloves on. Within an hour it was soaking wet and disgusting. The lift attendants would yell at you if you didn’t get it pulled up in time as you got close to the lift. The only negative mark on an otherwise great first day on the slopes.
- Peter Navarro released a 36 page report detailing the overall election fraud allegations in the presidential election. It’s well worth reading. Even if the numbers don’t add up to enough to dispute the results, as independent thinkers, we should want to clean this mess up so there can’t be fraud claims in the next election. Both sides should want that. It shouldn’t be terribly difficult. Moving forward, all voting shall be in-person and require a photo ID. Allow extended early voting to fully accommodate people with scheduling issues. Absentee voting (not mail in ballots) for deployed members of the military and college students. That’s it. And don’t give me the whole requiring an ID to vote is discriminatory bullshit. You need an ID to function every single day as an adult in this country. Go to your polling place, show your ID, vote. Let’s not make it more complicated than that. Unless of course you have other motivations for pushing mail in voting, etc… ?
- Lots of talk about pardoning Edward Snowden. I tend to be in the camp of nope on this one. He willingly signed all the NDA and classified document regulations when he was hired. You don’t get to violate those just because you don’t like the information they contain. He stole the data and leaked it – both against the law. He then fled to Russia to avoid prosecution. Sorry, I just don’t see him as a hero. If you agree with what he did, then anyone should be free to leak classified data.
- Tiger Woods’ kid is just impressive. Most kids his age are still struggling to tie their shoelaces.
Song of the day: Bush “Chemicals Between Us” Guitar Center Sessions
Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.
- If you’ve lost a loved one, a friend, a business, or your job this year due to the damn Wuhan Flu it’s going to be pretty hard to be thankful. Interestingly, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the middle of the civil war. Some days it feels like we’re drifting towards another civil war. But if Lincoln could find something to be thankful for during one of the worst periods in this countries history, so can we. I urge you to take a quick look at images of Haiti, Jamaica, or the slums of India. Read through some of the world poverty statistics. In Sub-Saharan Africa 41% of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day. 9% of the worlds population still practices open defecation due lack of modern plumbing. Yeah, we’re pretty damn lucky to be living in this country. So yes, today gather your friends and family close and be thankful for the blessings we enjoy.
- Sydney Powell’s lawsuit in Georgia did drop late yesterday. I have to admit, some pretty shocking allegations. What’s more shocking? Complete and total media silence. Crickets. You may think she’s a crackpot and these charges are tinfoil hat conspiracy theories… but how is it possible that the media seemingly universally ignores it? It’s at least worth exploring. Twitter is even blocking people from retweeting the link to the legal filing. I don’t care what party you belong to, that should scare the hell out of you.
- I am not thankful for sweet potato casserole. That stuff is an abomination and has no place on the table. And no, adding marshmallows to camouflage it isn’t going to fool me.
- I love my dog. Mrs Troutdog’s friend had to put hers down a day ago and, well, I just have a hard time thinking about it. My Instagram page is almost entirely pics of my hound. There’s no point to this other than I love my dog.
- It’s time for LA restaurants to rise up en masse against their mayor. The county public health director has a B.A. in community studies and a PhD in Social Welfare. I’m unclear on how that qualifies you to destroy business and jobs? Because science, you know.
- If you haven’t seen Charles Barkley’s golf swing, please behold. Even if you don’t know who he is or like golf. How did such a talented athlete go so wrong?
Song of the day: Rage Against The Machine “Killing in the Name (from The Battle Of Mexico City)“
Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.
- Filed under, “This time will be different”. Yesterday was the first day of the skate skiing season. Two observations. First, I don’t remember being this uncoordinated last year. Zero balance. It felt like I’d never seen skis before. Second, I’m weak like an eighty year old grandmother. And a bonus observation: I don’t remember my ski pants being that snug. What the hell? Why do I keep doing this to myself? At my age I can’t afford to be lackadaisical anymore. Every year I feel my balance and coordination getting worse. My strength is terrible and I’m starting to feel it in my back when doing activities. I have a fantastic home gym, so I have zero excuses. I’m pissed at myself and can’t let this continue. The problem is that I hate working out. As in, seriously hate it. I love sports, just not the gym. Time for me to just suck it up and get it done.
- It’s always a mystery where some of the decisions come from at our hospital. Clearly some management types have never actually worked the hospital floor. For example, they recently took Coban away in a cost cutting measure. Unfortunately, Coban is a staple of an RN’s daily life. It’s the duct tape of the nursing world. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a miracle substance that sticks only to itself and not the patient. It allows us to avoid using medical tape on frail, elderly skin. We can take it off and not remove half the hair on your arm. For example, just the other day I removed an IV from an elderly gentleman on significant amounts of blood thinners. Since they removed our Coban wrap my only option was paper tape that sticks for approximately 10 seconds and then falls off. I put a dressing on the IV site and he immediately began bleeding like I’d sliced an artery. We’re talking major crime scene – blood all over the bed, the floor, and him. I kept stacking trauma pads on his arm and trying to wrap it up in the stupid paper tape which kept getting soaked and not sticking. I probably wasted twenty minutes trying to solve something that should have taken two minutes. All in the name of cost savings. Sigh…
- At the moment it’s not looking good for the Trump campaign. Sydney Powell spent the last two days on the news shows talking up the blockbuster bombshells that are going to drop starting today. Meanwhile the Trump campaign issued a statement late yesterday saying Powell is acting on her own and is not an official lawyer for Trump or the campaign. Very curious.
- Because I am a dork, I spent a bunch of time this morning trying to understand the Covid PCR test and the meaning of Ct and amplification. In a nutshell, it looks like our “positive” results may very often be picking up virus loads so small they wouldn’t be contagious or remnants of virus from weeks prior and the person is no longer shedding. The commonly accepted amplification rate is less than 30. For some reason most of the Covid PCR tests are using 40. Basically the test may not be useful in identifying people who are actually in the contagious stage of the illness. We’re making public health planning more difficult unnecessarily.
- I have a strange new addiction, possibly related to my ski pants no longer fitting. The other day I had a massive craving for chips. I searched high and low for chips, crackers, anything. All I could find was croutons. I’m now eating bowls of croutons every day. Very odd, I know. I’m a complex creature.
- I have struggled with golf ever since I started the sport. I was pretty good about taking lessons this summer and made a little bit of progress. Then suddenly it all collapsed. I couldn’t hit the ball more than a few feet in front of me. I’d already committed to playing a round with some friends and was resigned to a miserable day of golf. A few days before our round I stumbled upon something called the “Single Plane swing“. I devoured most of the YouTube videos I could find, and then did the one thing you should never do. At the range warming up for our tee time I decided to try the new method. The first swing… a beautiful shot. Second swing, same thing. I played one of the better rounds I’ve played in a long time. This swing looks and feels goofy. I’m bummed that I discovered this just before winter because my options to practice are limited until spring. It will be interesting to see if this was a fluke or the real deal. Fingers crossed.
Song of the day: The Smiths “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
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”
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”