- I am constantly amazed at the number of my elderly patients who never traveled further than a 100 mile radius from where they were born. It’s a way higher number than you’d think. We’re here on this planet for such a short time, how do you not have even the slightest interest in seeing beyond your little town? I’m honestly not trying to make anyone feel bad, it’s just that you realize you’re only here once, right? And that expected expiration date is not guaranteed. What made me think of this is the story of the Black Swallow. I stumbled on this and highly encourage you to read it. (it’s a short read) The life this guy had is like straight out of a swashbuckling fiction novel. This is a Netflix series just waiting to happen. What makes it more amazing is the time period he did it in. Reading his story just solidifies my desire to maximize the time I have left. In the adventure and experience department I’d rate my life as maybe slightly above average. I’ve had the opportunity to do some things that not everyone has done. But at the same time I also spent years never taking a vacation, toiling away for the corporate overlords, because I thought that was what was important. I don’t have regrets because it’s afforded me the opportunity to do things today… but part of me wishes I’d been a little more adventurous back then. I look at the youth of today and worry that the adventurous spirit is gone. They’ll have spent a chunk of their formative years locked down, tethered electronically at all times, afraid to interact with other humans. I feel fortunate to have grown up in a different time. I saw a tweet that expressed it perfectly:
“Today – Son: I’m going outside to play.
Mom: Ok, check in every thirty minutes so I know you’re safe.
When I was 11: We’re going to the dump, someone said the hobos killed one of their own there and we want to find the body.
Mom: Ok, but do not bring a dead body back to this house”
I’m a little too old to chuck it all and travel the country living out of a van, or go join the French Foreign Legion, but I can keep my vow to start seeing and experiencing as much as possible in time I have left. How about you?
- I don’t understand how the crunchy granola, global warming crowd, doesn’t rise up in outrage over John Kerry being appointed Climate Czar. The man is a gazillionaire via marriage, who lives in multiple mansions and jets around the world in a private jet. Yet, he’s going to lecture us about doing our part to “fight” global warming? And don’t give me bullshit about “carbon offsets”. That’s one of the biggest scams ever produced. And he uses it only so he can self-justify his carbon footprint and not have to fly commercial with the common folk. “Private jets are the only option for a man like me” he said. What a pompous ass. Think about that as you’re dutifully washing out your used mayonnaise jar to recycle and car pooling to reduce your emissions output.
- Continuing with the experiences/adventure theme, I started collecting a list of trips in my, and surrounding, states. Single day and multi-day trips with various attractions and sights. It’s addicting once you start looking at the possibilities. It’s already a several years long list. Time to get cracking!
- As a wanna be photographer, there’s something that you may not realize. Every photo you take, regardless if it’s an expensive DLSR or your phone, contains what’s called EXIF data (exchangeable image file format) imbedded in the image. It’s metadata that shows what kind of camera or phone it is, the time of day, where you are, GPS coordinates, exposure settings, etc… When you post that pic to social media they do strip it out, but they also use it. This is how Instagram knows how to suggest a location when I upload a pic from my phone that I took a day ago. I wonder what else they do with that data? Just saying…
- Continuing the theme of big brother tracking you, we all know that social media uses your search history to serve up ads. Well, at some point I looked up catheters to show Mrs Troutdog a picture (she’d never seen one and didn’t believe me when I described the size. “You put that big tube up there?!?!”). Anyway, ever since then I’m continually served up ads for catheters. Usually the ads go away after a while when algorithm figures out a new topic to start serving you. But not catheters. It’s been months and I’m still seeing them daily. What is Facebook trying to tell me?
- Speaking of keeping lists, the Bullet Journal is officially dead. It’s just not for me. I like making lists of things, but the act of having to maintain something daily just doesn’t work. Great idea and I can see how it’s perfect for lots of people. I’m too scattered for it to be effective. I will continue with making lists of ideas, projects, and travel however. That’s been a positive thing. Giving some structure to the randomness that is my brain is a positive step.
Song of the day: SKRILLEX – Bangarang feat. Sirah [Official Music Video]
- Way back in 2019, then candidate Biden showed his concern for out of work coal miners by encouraging them to simply learn to code: “Gimme a break! Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program for God’s sake.” When more than a thousand journalists were laid off later that year, many of them were inundated with “learn to code” memes on twitter. In a move foreshadowing it’s current purge, Twitter promptly began shutting down accounts of anyone tweeting the offensive and obviously racist meme. Climate czar John Kerry seemed determined to keep the theme going yesterday by telling potentially out of work oil and gas workers they can just simply learn to make solar panels. Probably good advice since we’re going to need a lot of ’em. Biden wants the US to run completely on “clean energy” by 2035. Currently clean energy supplies 6.8% of energy production. 5.5% for wind and 1.3% for solar. Hydroelectric adds another 6.5%, but I don’t think we’re talking about damming up more rivers. So… in 14 years we’re somehow going to replace ~85% of our energy infrastructure? It’s hard not to laugh at statements like that. Except that those cute little feel good statements will come at a cost. Biden’s already thrown out a $2 trillion figure for his climate plan. And yesterday the nominee for the commerce department, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, said “the administration would have to remain open to new taxation on middle class families in order to fund policies on climate change and infrastructure improvement”. So I guess the plan is to tax us for the privilege of covering every square inch of open space with wind and solar farms? I wonder if its too late to invest in Solyndra?
- I live in a small town. The last few years it’s grown rapidly due to the mass exodus of people fleeing states like California. Unfortunately they also bring their California values and attitudes. Where I see this the most is driving habits. Way back when, we had little traffic and people were generally courteous. Most people would wave you in to merge and would generally keep a reasonable distance on the freeway. Now it not uncommon for other drivers to cut you off, people are reluctant to let you merge, and cars on the freeway ride your bumper. It’s only going to get worse as more people discover the joys of not living in a huge city. I have no point to this other than I saw an article listing the top 20 megacities in the world. Tokyo has 37.3 million people. I can’t even fathom what it would be like to live on top of that many people. I get claustrophobic just going to Costco, so I don’t see myself moving to a megacity any time soon.
- Hunter Biden apparently still has a 10% stake in a Chinese equity firm, despite saying he would divest. President Biden said no one in his family would engage in foreign business if he was elected president. Then again, he also lied about not having any involvement in his son’s business so I don’t know why we’d believe him now. Interesting that the press is no longer obsessed with investigating a president’s business dealings.
- Apparently everything we thought we knew about herd immunity was wrong. You catch the disease or get a vaccine and you develop an immunity to it. Enough people do that and you break the contagion cycle. Seems simple enough. Now “medical experts” and the news are continually advising that even though you had the vaccine (or the ‘rona), you can still get it and/or transmit it to others. Therefore you still need to wear the mouth diaper at all times, socially distance, and eat only outside at restaurants except now it’s cold so we eat outside in tents that make the outside the inside. Sigh, I’m so confused. So we performed this herculean effort to create a new vaccine that everyone is now angrily pointing fingers at each other because we don’t have enough of it, yet it doesn’t work? Or it does work, but not until everyone gets it? Or, I’m going out on a limb here, we can’t enforce the silly mask mandate unless we start tattooing a giant I (for immune) on peoples foreheads. Ok, that would be extreme. I guess we could start issuing some sort of bracelet or badge you wear indicating your covid-free status. I don’t think anyone would try to sell counterfeit versions. Besides, it’s not like there’s any historical evidence that forcing a certain group of people to wear a label would be bad. Until we sort this out, I guess we’ll all just have to keep wearing the mask. Sorry, not just one but two now. It’s almost like they’re worried that nasty piece of cloth on your face isn’t really working.
- I entered the lottery for a river permit this summer. Of course I’ve just jinxed my chances by saying it out loud. This summer is shaping up to be quite busy. This is a good thing. I better update my bullet journal. Oh, wait I haven’t looked at it for multiple weeks now. I’ll try again to motivate myself to use it, but I don’t hold high hopes. It just doesn’t seem to work for me.
- Photos of a 1965 Soviet submarine. It had a crew of 78. I cannot fathom (see what I did there? I’m so clever. No? Sigh, a fathom is a unit of measurement for depth of water. 1 fathom is six feet) how horrible it would have been to serve on one of these.
Song of the day: Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Official Video)
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”
I am not a list making or post-it note kind of guy. I am confident that I’ll remember everything. Which, of course, I never do. I’m not a planner other than some vague goals floating around in my head. As a result I’ve been feeling like I’m just drifting from day to day doing whatever task or activity seems to pop up at the moment.
I’m not unhappy with that other than a feeling that time is accelerating and I’m not really accomplishing anything. A few days ago a video popped up on YouTube about bullet journaling. I don’t know why I felt compelled to click on it, but an hour or so later I was convinced enough to give it a try.
The traditional bullet journal is an analog book and a system of tracking and planning. Looking at some of the examples people put together… they can be very artistic and clearly they have time on their hands. That not me. I’m not going to lug a book and a pen around. Way too hipster.
So yesterday I created a digital bullet journal using Microsoft OneNote. Because it syncs to the cloud, it’s available on all devices and I’ll have it available everywhere. I probably spent two hours putting the basic format together. I must admit I really liked the act of thinking about what big ticket things I wanted to get done in the next six months. But it does seem silly writing down the things I want to do today. I’m thinking about them already – why write down what I already know I need to do? I’m all-in though. I’ll keep at it for long enough to decide if it’s helping.
Is this going to make me more productive? A better planner? I don’t know. I do recognize that actively thinking about and committing to words the things I want to accomplish makes it more likely I’ll work to achieve them.
Who knows maybe a year from now you’ll find me in a coffee shop ordering a double soy no whip frap, then sitting down and opening a fancy hardbound bullet journal. Maybe.