- So the LA county health district agreed to let outdoor dining reopen. But after careful study of many peer-reviewed academic research papers and consulting with the high priest of Covid (Fauci), they have banned restaurants from having their televisions turned on. I shit you not. The new health order reads: “Televisions or any other screens that are used to broadcast programming must be removed from the area or turned off. This provision is effective until further notice.” These people have lost their minds. I literally don’t know what to say about this other than I hope every restaurant in LA county says a big F-U and turns on their TV’s. Thank god we finally have an administration that believes in science again.
- An excellent list on how to be a man in 2018 (yes I know it’s now ancient). All young men should read this. It’s from GSElevator, who you should follow. I was and then then Twitter did it’s thing and unfollowed him for me. Didn’t realize it until someone else retweeted something from him. Those wacky guys at Twitter.
- Speaking of deleting, Google removed at least 100,000 negative reviews of the stock trading app Robinhood from the Google Play app store after angry users sent a flood of critical reviews that caused the app’s rating to plummet on Thursday. Nothing to see here, move along.
- Having spent approximately 10,000 hours researching, I finally decided on which motorcycle to buy. I skipped on down to the local dealership, ready to plunk down some quan on a fantastic new machine. Ah, nope. Turns out dealerships have specific ordering windows and are only allotted a certain number of specific bikes based upon their sales revenue. The bike I wanted was not on their list. The purchasing manger said that if I wanted to put down a deposit they would try to get one, but no guarantee. When asked if they did get one, when would it be, the answer was maybe April. Sigh. I’m trying to give them money, why is this so hard? Looks like I may be doing a multi-state trip to find one.
- So how many domestic insurgents did the troops in DC’s new occupied green zone repel today? It must have been a lot. Otherwise why would we still have many thousands of troops in place? I wonder if any journalists are going to ask the question? I visited DC a few years ago for the first time. Thank god we did because I have a feeling it’s never going to look the same.
- This guy is an actual firefighter who green screens himself into silly TV drama scenes and makes fun of their portrayals of fire fighting. It’s pretty funny.
- And finally, because it’s Saturday and I’m all out of outrage for the week, a list of the 50 best cult movies. Like any ranking list you’ll never get everyone to agree, but The Big Lebowski is number one and I’m good with that.
Song of the day: New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle [Live in Glasgow]
- Today’s inauguration theme is “America United”. For half the country that’s a pretty bitter pill to swallow. The national press is churning out piece after piece with pithy phrases like “Now, the healing can begin”, or “It’s time to unite and heal”. You’ll also see plenty of “Let’s tone down the rhetoric” and “Biden deserves a chance”. Is that what we should do? Should the folks who opposed Biden be the better person and offer a more gracious and conciliatory tone? It is, after all, for the good of the country. At the end of the day aren’t we simply one united states, standing arm in arm, singing kumbaya? The celebrity world certainly thinks so, as evidenced by the noted scholar Chrissy Teigen (discovered working in a surf shop after a grueling high school academic career) who says today, “Today our great national fuckup is over, but the shame will last forever… Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have the guy with barely enough well done steak with ketchup fueled brainpower to power a lightbulb who doesn’t even know how to close an umbrella run the country. History will not be kind to you, you absolute psychopath.” Journalists at least have risen above the petty insults, asking only “How Do We ‘Deprogram’ Millions of Racist, Violent Trump Supporters?” I’m not so sure simply rolling over and exposing my belly is the right choice. Something tells me no quarter will be given by the victorious army. I’m not an animal. I simply want what’s fair. After all, isn’t one of the Left’s central themes all about fairness? All I ask is that Biden be treated exactly the same way Trump was. No more, no less. Which pretty much means screaming like a rabid chimpanzee on Adderall 24/7.
- At the end of the day, I’m actually pretty shallow and selfish about all this. Although I may write words that seem like I’m passionate about one side or the other, the truth is that I really don’t care. What do I care about? I want the market to go up and the economy to be strong. I don’t want my taxes to increase. I don’t want us involved in any more wars on foreign soil. I want to be able to say whatever drivel is on my mind without fear of being de-platformed. That’s it. I don’t really care who the president is as long as I can happily go off skiing, hike and run with my dog, ride my motorcycle, and enjoy time with friends and family. Everything else I leave to the passionate, woke, hipsters who will inherit this mess, to sort out. If the government will just kindly leave me alone, we’ll all be good.
- Vulture put out a list of the top 50 greatest westerns ever made. Hang ’em High didn’t even make the list. Are you serious? The Outlaw Josey Wales is only 29th? Unforgiven and Searchers as numbers 2 and 1 I’m ok with.
- Covid case counts have been dropping in 48 of 50 states for weeks now. To steal the tweet, the press won’t discover or report on this for weeks. When they do they’ll report that it was due to Biden’s mask mandate. Science, you know.
- I found a bucket list of 75 things that any resident of my state should do. I’ve done 19 of them. Need to start pumping up those numbers.
- I’m fascinated by the idea of doing either day or multi-day trips entirely on the older byways. Like route 66. Basically a slow drive through Americana, stopping at every “worlds largest ball of string” exhibit and small town museum. I know it’s been done a gazillion times, but what a neat photo essay that would be.
- A decision has been made on the new motorcycle. Now, just need to figure out how to acquire it. Stay tuned.
- And last, I sincerely hope the new administration is successful because I’m too old to rebuild my retirement accounts if they’re not. Also, #notmypresident. Am I doing it right?
Song of the day: Bush Machinehead LIVE 1996
- I am not a fan of the comic book movie genre. For the most part all the Spider Mans, X Men, etc… were either just a meh, or I never saw them. With one exception. Deadpool. I re-watched it last night and had forgotten what a good movie it is. The opening scene alone is genius. There’s not many films that can be funny, poke fun of themselves and their industry, break the fourth wall, have killer special effects, and be an honest to god love story. The Wade and Vanessa segment of them falling in love just makes you smile. And to get away with the stereotypical Dopinder as the Indian taxi driver… well I’m not sure you could do that with today’s woke diversity culture. If you didn’t like Deadpool, then we can’t be friends. And I have a small confession. I might have a bit of a man-crush on Deadpool. Wait, that sounded weird.
- This is a very easy to understand explanation of how the new mRNA vaccine works. What we managed to create, test, and roll out in under a year boggles the mind.
- I may have unfairly bagged on the new Wonder Woman films look the other day. I thought it looked like it was filmed with an ultra sharp camcorder. I then watched a couple other movies and they all looked the same way. Turns out it may be due to my fancy new ginormous 4K TV and something called the soap opera effect. This article describes what may be going on. In a nutshell the TV may be applying motion smoothing to the standard film frame rate of 24. I’ll be experimenting today. Stay tuned.
- Video appeared yesterday that seems to show Canadian police forcibly arresting a man for having a New Years party with, gasp, six people. WTF? Is this really what we want people? Oh, but that won’t happen here you say. New York is currently attempting to pass a law that would “permit state officials to remove and detain state residents if they were deemed to be a “danger to public health.” What could possibly go wrong?
- I nearly spit my coffee out laughing when I saw the Portland mayor hold a press conference and admit “My good faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical Antifa and anarchists”. He’s now asking for state and federal help to stop the violence. Wait, do you hear that? It’s a tiny little violin playing. The people of Portland can suck on it. They voted (and re-voted) these clowns into office. You made your bed, now lay in it. I have no sympathy. They’re going to have to figure out how to solve it on their own.
- Who would have thought that an idea as simple as we should audit the spending of the Fed would be controversial?
- Todays the day. I’ve been planning to visit my garage gym again for months now. Today I will. Question is, will I use it or simply admire it? Stay tuned.
Song of the day: Salt-N-Pepa – Shoop
- I’ve been out of technology for roughly eight years now. When a tech challenge comes along it’s a painful process to try and dredge up past knowledge of how things work. Like trying to start an old lawnmower that sat in the garage for several years. Runs great once it starts, but takes a lot of pulling, fiddling with adjustments, and a few curse words before it gets going. The brand new ginormous TV was delivered and installed in a room we’ve mostly never used before. All is good except the Wi-Fi signal in that room is pitiful, resulting terrible buffering when watching my Real Housewives episodes. No problem, just install a Google Wi-Fi mesh network. And… the Wi-Fi signal is even worse than it was before. Long story short, there were multiple factory resets, some cable changes, changed the router to bridge mode to get rid of the double NAT, a small prayer to the network gods, and we’re back in business with reasonable speeds. All in all, probably still easier than helping grandma set up a Zoom call.
- To become a politician you have to be a massive, tone-deaf narcissistic asshat. After De Blasio told everyone to stay away from the New York New Years eve ball drop, he and his wife showed up and danced on stage. Sometimes it’s unfortunate we’ve become too civilized to simply run people like this out of town.
- Continuing with yesterday’s Fed vs state and local thread… New York is sitting on 2/3 of the Covid vaccines they have. It must be Trumps fault.
- Please look at this chart and tell me where the science is showing that masks are working. Montana implemented a mask mandate and South Dakota didn’t. Can you spot the difference? You can’t even talk about correlation and causation because there’s nothing that points to any sort of correlation. Here’s the chart of California. Please show me where in the data it shows masks are doing anything. Japan was a fanatical mask wearing society before all this and they’re now seeing a spike in Covid. How could this be? Again, this doesn’t “prove” that masks don’t work. I’m simply saying that at this point we should be seeing signals in the data that would give some indication of correlation, and it isn’t there. You know, science and all.
- Just like last year, the entry date for a big running race is coming up. And just like last year (well, many years if you include the annual Leadville 100 mountain bike race) I spend roughly two weeks wondering if I could do it. It’s beyond a stretch goal and the odds of a disastrous failure and injury would be very high. I think I’m mostly interested in seeing if I’m mentally strong enough to commit to the training and perseverance it would take to accomplish something like that. And bragging rights. And then I come to my senses and back away from the keyboard. But that little voice in the back of my head keeps whispering…
- It’s day 11 from my Covid vaccine and, according to researchers, I should have roughly 80% protection at this point. Another 10 days until my booster and then I’ll be immortal. Or was it invincible? I get those confused.
- Speaking of immortal, watched the new Wonder Woman movie last night. I never saw the first one, so it didn’t make much sense to me. Not the strongest script ever produced, that’s for sure. But what really bugged me was the film format. They filmed it in 4K Ultra HD, whatever that is. They must have filmed it in a higher frame rate because it just didn’t look right. It looks like some sort of hyper-realistic video. It didn’t look like film at all. I didn’t care for it.
Song of the day: Spin Doctors – What Time Is It? (live TV 1993)
- The other day I was accused of being xenophobic. I’d received my Covid vaccine and posted it to the social medias and said: “Got my anti-Wuhan plague vaccination”. Someone posted they were glad I got the vaccine, but did I really need to add the xenophobic comment? This is not the first time I’ve referred to SARS-CoV-2 as something originating from China. I believe I’ve also called it the China plague, China virus, and early on I think I called it the Wuhan bat soup virus. Colloquial naming of viruses based upon their place of origin is not new – MERS, Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, Spanish flu, West Nile, Norwalk virus, Zika virus, etc… Having said that, I clearly wasn’t using a common colloquial name. I was using a location name as a derogatory term. I’m bothered by the media’s rush to immediately whitewash where this virus originated from. The damn thing came from Wuhan China and lack of transparency is preventing us from knowing if it was from a lab or mother nature just doing her thing. I’m angry at the government of China and what they’ve done to world with this pandemic. I’m angry at their seeming lack of remorse, the cover-up, the buying up of global PPE supplies before the rest of the world realized what was coming, and the lack of aid they’ve contributed to combat the virus. In short, the government of China is not our friend. The definition of xenophobia is “fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign”. I see myself as one of the least racist or xenophobic people you’ll meet. In my head I assume everyone can separate feelings about a government vs the individual citizens. Of course I’m not blaming the general population of China or Asian people for this pandemic. But after reading that comment and thinking about it, I realize what I think and what I write may not be perceived the same way by others. Especially, in this case, someone who’s of Asian descent. I’m an average white dude in the United States. I have no concept of what it feels like to be a minority. Thinking about it I can see that some folks may not get that I’m referring to the collective government and not people when I make derogatory comments. Now, I personally think we’ve become a little hypersensitive with our outrage culture. I would assume that if I say “Mexican drug money” most thinking people would realize I’m referring to the Cartels, not the Mexican people as a whole. But maybe not? In my push to be witty and brilliant, maybe I tiptoed across the line into perceived racism? If I did, it wasn’t what was intended. I’m not going to stop writing in fear of possibly offending someone. But I will make more of an effort to put myself in someone else’s shoes and think more before I commit words to virtual paper.
- In a related note, when I posted the aforementioned comment, I included a picture of the little sticker they gave me when I got my shot. It said something like “I got vaccinated. #StopCovid”. I deleted the post. Why? The sticker also had the name of my employer. After thinking about it, in this age of outrage cancel culture I don’t trust the thought police. I find it frightening that it’s entirely conceivable the censors at Facebook and the Karen’s of the world could ensure this goes back to my employer and cost me my job. It saddens me that I even have to think that.
- On a more positive note (not), Rand Paul released his annual 2020 Festivus Report on government waste. Take time to read through it. If that doesn’t make you mad, I don’t know what will. You do realize this is your money they’re spending, right? As in, the money you see deducted from your paycheck every month. I’m not sure people grasp that sometimes.
- I just started the series “Mr. Robot”. Very good so far. Soon to be even better on the spectacularly ginormous TV that is soon to be installed in the new living room.
Song of the day: Fatboy Slim – Weapon Of Choice
- 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“
Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.
- I have a small rant. Ok, I rant about a lot of things, but this time I mean it. What is it with the giant car key fobs that weigh like two pounds? I drive an older truck and it has a normal key and a tiny little fob to do the lock/unlock thing. I can also, gasp, just use the key if I don’t want to carry the fob. My wife has a newer vehicle with the fancy keyless, pushbutton start thing. Her key fob is ginormous. Do these manufacturers not realize that normal people sometimes do things where you don’t have a huge purse or backpack to store this brick? Like going for a run, a bike ride, or in my case yesterday, cross country skiing. I clipped the massive key fob to the waist belt thing I wear (DONT call it a fanny pack) and skated off down the trail. The damn key fob was so big it kept falling out of the little pocket in the waist belt and dangling on my hip like a giant set of janitor’s keys (hint, foreshadowing). The trail conditions were a bit challenging yesterday and sure enough, my skate skis went out from under me on some boiler plate ice while going ludicrous speed and I landed directly on my hip on that damn key fob. Now, I’m not a tiny fellow so that’s a lot of weight coming down on a hard plastic brick. It was already swelling by the time I got home. This morning I have a hematoma the size of baseball on my hip. It’s time to rise up and rebel people! Just say no to gigantic key fobs!
- A few days ago I wrote about investigating the Ct and amplification value of the Covid PCR tests. Sure enough, yesterday we got a call from a friend who was in the exact situation I wrote about. Son is coming home from school for Thanksgiving, had a Covid PCR test done before leaving and it came back positive. He’s completely asymptomatic, feels great. If that test used a high amplification (greater than 30) he could have contracted the virus weeks and weeks ago and is no longer contagious. He also could have gotten it a few days ago and is highly contagious. What are the parents to do? (they opted to quarantine him in his room).
- Is today the big day? Yesterday Sydney Powell said today she’d be filing the first blockbuster, bombshell lawsuit in Georgia. Trump’s legal team also said they’ll get legislative hearings starting today in Georgia and two other states. Georgia came back and said it’s not a hearing, just an informal presentation. The two other states said this was news to them. What a shit show. One of Trump’s biggest failings has always been the lack of someone who can ensure a clear, consistent message that doesn’t contradict what everyone else is saying. Unclear why that wasn’t obvious with the level of media hostility they’ve faced. When you know the media will pounce and ridicule the slightest mistake or inconsistency, it becomes even more important to get the message right.
- Yesterday, thirty-two people read the words I wrote. Now, in the blogging world that’s a laughable number. But since my usual number is zero, and I often ask myself why bother, that’s huge. Thank you!
- A compilation of “If 2020 were a…” memes. Because really, 80% of my internet time is only for the memes.
- If you didn’t like the film “The adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th dimension“, you’re dead to me.
Song of the day: Stick Figure “Weight of sound (live)”
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
A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.
- I listened to a pretty good podcast with Renee DiResta about the Russian trolling and social media tactics. The Russian government is clearly in it for the long game. The bulk of their influence happened because they understand we’re all members of one tribe or another – republicans, democrats, car lovers, gardeners, etc… We’re very susceptible to wanting to think like our tribe.
- I also started watching Amazon’s “The Widow”. I’ve seen the first two. Not bad, a lot of moving parts. Keeping my interest so far.
- Stumbled upon an intriguing service – Steady MD. Basically an on-line doctor. Communicate to your doc anytime via txt. Interesting idea. The monthly fee adds up to more than I spend in a year on health care, so probably not worth it for me.
- The 2020 election cycle is going to be a train wreck. A horrible, nasty, divisive train wreck we won’t be able to look away from. A good time to stay away from the standard opinion news sources and do your own research. Whatever side you’re on, challenge your personal mindset. Don’t be a tribal lemming.
- The icefall doctors have arrived at Everest. The climbing season begins. Not on my bucket list.
- George Hincapie launched a hotel, “Hotel Domestique”. An interesting post career investment for a former cyclist.
Song of the day: Anna Lunoe “303”
A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old guy (who still thinks he’s 20) finds cool or worth pondering.
- The problem with the gun control debate, as is the case with so many things in government, is that it’s busy solving the wrong problem. The gold standard should be to apply the law retroactively to all the high profile shootings and ask, “would this have stopped it?” In virtually every case the answer is no. So why continue with feel good measures that only impact the 99.9% of law abiding gun owners?
- Found a great Netflix series, Black Mirror. There are four seasons of independent episodes – think modern Twilight Zone. Worth your time.
- Had to spend $1800 to have a crew remove snow from my roof. Was getting seriously worried about the weight. Lesson learned for next year.
- Had a patient who has complete left side hemiparesis from a new stroke tell me: “when I fart now it’s the strangest feeling… only one butt cheek flaps”.
- I just heard about the #learntocode controversy on twitter. More to come on this. The fact that our outrage culture has an issue with this amuses me. The thought that Twitter is banning people because of it is disturbing.
- Wingsuit flyers. Yeah, no thanks. Cool to watch though.
- One more storm, then forecast for March is dry and warmer. I see some serious vitamin D, spring skiing in my future.
- I mentioned melanoma before. Scared me enough that I have my first ever dermatology appointment in two weeks.
Song of the day: Amerie “Thing”