Tag: News

Scammed By A Headline

  • Brace yourselves – I’ve discovered some shocking information… the news is dishonest. I know, hard to believe right? While I’m certainly not the sharpest crayon in the box, I feel like I have a pretty good sense of what’s garbage and what’s not when it comes to the news. Unless it’s something you’re predisposed to believe is true because you’ve seen it day in and out. Confirmation bias. If it’s what you expect to hear, then it’s easy to blindly believe the words in front of you.
  • Here’s the backstory. I have been a longtime cycling fan. Starting in high school I dabbled in a few races and briefly thought I was a “real” cyclist. Reality set in pretty quickly and I evolved to a weekend rider and TV race fan. I watched the grand tours religiously year after year. There were days I’d be late to work because I got up early to watch the Tour de France in real time. I was, and continued to be, a big fan of Lance Armstrong through every tour and even after his fall from grace. A few years ago he started a podcast on YouTube with George Hincapie that gave the best race analysis you could find. Lots of “inside the tour” details and great tactical discussions. Every day of the tour I’d watch the recorded replay of the stage and then Lance’s podcast. As the big names all started retiring, I began slowing down on following cycling. Lance’s podcast revived my interest again. And then last year we had all the BLM protests. Sure enough, what pops up in the news headlines?
    • “Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong goes “woke,” cancels bike shop’s contract with Austin police”.
    • “Lance Armstrong’s Bike Shop Cancels Police Contract – Still Wants Cops To Protect Them From Threats”.
    • “Lance Armstrong’s Texas bike shop cuts ties with Austin police”.
  • God Damnit! Why can’t these celebrities just stay in their lane? I watch/follow them for their athletic ability or acting, not their politics. Why do they have to ruin things with their woke opinions? That was it, I was done with watching the tour and Lance’s podcast. I did not follow a minute of cycling last year or this year. I didn’t even realize the Tour de France had started this year until I saw the headline about the idiot spectator that caused that huge crash.
  • I was telling someone why I no longer followed the tour and was looking for one of the articles about Lance. Suddenly an article I hadn’t seen before appeared. Turns out Lance found out about the bike shops decision while he was on vacation and didn’t agree with it. He contacted the Austin police chief and brokered a thirty minute meeting with the chief and the bike shop to try and work something out.
    • Armstrong said ” the shop’s decision to cancel the contract is “not a situation that I support.” He also said he was “sick and tired of everybody screaming” at each other over the issue, which pitted the business against the police and some members of the public in a war of words”
  • Turns out Armstrong is a sworn sheriff’s deputy in Colorado. So… I got suckered into some sensationalist news headlines and made a snap judgement about something without making much of an effort to research further. What’s that old saying about assuming something? I lost a few Contrarian street cred points over this one. So what’s the lesson learned? The news lies. Media will always go for the sensationalist headline without bothering to do much, you know, actual journalism. Don’t let yourself be so easily swayed by “popular” opinion. Oh, and this year’s Tour de France is shaping up to be a really good one!

Song of the day: The Clash-Police And Thieves 1977

Yo Hippy, Get A Haircut!

  • Everyone has a chore they hate doing. Dusting, mowing the lawn, cleaning the inside of the microwave, organizing the Tupperware, everyone has something they dread. For me it’s getting a haircut. Don’t ask why, I just do. Maybe in part it’s because in my head I’m convinced I’ll soon look like Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall. The reality is closer to greasy Appalachian trailer park resident. The same with facial hair. Any day now I’m going to have a Jack Murphy beard. Reality is… well not that. So my cycle is let it go until it’s embarrassingly long and I’m coating it in major amounts of hair goop to keep it out of my face (or wear a hat every day), then shave it all off. And every time I cut it I swear I’ll schedule a haircut every five to six weeks like clockwork. At my age I guess I should just be grateful I still have a full head of hair to worry about. Anyway, today’s the shearing day.
  • Speaking of hats, an update on the surgical cap. I don’t particularly like it, but it’s doing the job and saving the tops of my ears from the surgical mask ear loops. It’s clear that even though they say “unisex”, they were designed for women. I ordered something that’s more like a doo-rag to see if that works better. Stay tuned, part two.
  • The injury update – I have a bruise that goes from my hip almost to my knee. It looks gruesome, but doesn’t really hurt. When I landed on the key fob it created a tennis ball size hematoma. All that blood has to go somewhere. It looks like I got hit by a truck.
  • So Project Veritas manages to secretly record CNN editorial calls for months. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that CNN is nothing more than a propaganda machine for the left. I’m sure secret Fox news meetings would be similar. Never air anything that hurts your political agenda. These are not news organizations. I’m not sure we even have just straight news anymore? For me the most humorous part is CNN “referring this to law enforcement” when they have no qualms about doing the exact same thing.
  • I was going to make a joke about the woman who “lured” a 14 year old boy to her home and had sex with him. I suspect my sarcasm wouldn’t be appreciated by the outrage crowd, so never mind.
  • I had a patient go AMA last night. For those who don’t know, AMA stands for “against medical advice”. The patient had a fall a week ago, finally came in and had an unstable vertebral fracture. The neurosurgeon ordered bedrest until a rigid clamshell brace could be fitted. The patient completely ignored the bedrest orders and spent the day walking around the room (complaining of pain) despite everyone’s attempts to describe the potential for further injury. At the very end of the shift the brace arrived and the patient took one look at it and said hell no I’m not wearing that, I’m leaving. After spending the better part of an hour (and ignoring all my other patients) trying to convince this person to stay and wear the brace, printing paperwork, explaining the consequences of leaving AMA (the massive bill insurance won’t pay), etc… the patient packed up to leave. Several minutes later he hit the call light so he could ask where his pain pill prescriptions were? I informed him that if you leave AMA there are no more scripts. Cue the lengthy, expletive filled rant on how we don’t care about people and do we not understand he’s in pain? Oh, and can I help him get his shoes on because he can’t bend over that far. Is it any surprise that I’m becoming very cynical about the human population?

Song of the day: Nena “99 Luftballons (Live 1983)”

I Had A Bad Day At Work

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

  • Everyone has a bad day from time to time. For most jobs that’s no big deal. As an RN, a bad day has consequences. Yesterday was one of those days. Nothing bad happened and there wasn’t any one thing that caused it. Just one of those perfect storms of events. Short staffed, a super complex patient, a bunch of last minute discharges and transfers, multiple missing lab results, and some ridiculous bureaucratic decisions from management that make everyone’s life difficult for no apparent reason. The result was that I wasn’t a very good nurse. I barely kept my head above water all day. I’m sure my patients did not have a good experience. I think I stressed out the CNA unnecessarily. My documentation sucked. I was pretty rude to an EMS transport crew for showing up early. I caved in an ate a doughnut someone left in the breakroom (ok, two). Fortunately I have great coworkers and they kept me from drowning. It was one of those days that I drove home almost two hours late due to all the charting I never got to finish during the day, and wondered why I was even doing this job. You start questioning if you even have the skills to be a decent nurse. This morning I casually looked through job openings, wondering if it was time to make a change. Fortunately I have a long break through Thanksgiving to recharge and think critically about what I could have done to make that day go better. I still like the profession… I just worry that I’m running out of the mental energy it takes to operate at such a high focus level multiple days in a row.
  • Shortly after the beginning of the great China Plague, my hospital decided that all employees need to be screened as we enter. At first it was a long series of questions about symptoms, travel, and people you’ve been in contact with. Then they added swiping your badge at the entrance. Next, temperature checks. Now they also have someone entering your name and unit into a database. We’re given a different colored sticker for your badge each day to prove you’ve already been screened. There’s often now a line of employees waiting to be screened so they can get to work. So as a contrarian I have to wonder – with all that cost and effort over the last 7-8 months, has the hospital identified a single employee who may have had Covid and prevented them from entering? Does anyone from management ever ask if the outcome is worth the cost? Or is the appearance of doing something more important?
  • For reasons unknown to me, I’ve become addicted to car crash videos. YouTube collections of crazy drivers and crashes. It’s reinforced several things. First, I don’t trust other drivers. Second, I will never drive in Russia or third-world Asian countries. That’s where 90% of these videos come from. Clearly traffic laws in those countries are merely suggestions. I don’t think you can appreciate the degree to which we’re rule followers in the US until you see how people drive in other places.
  • I’m desperately looking for a news channel. Just plain news. I don’t want opinion, spin, or bias. I just want someone to report the important things that happened in the world today. Why is that so hard? Anyone have any suggested channels or sources?
  • I was talking to a co-worker about food and the conversation sparked a memory from years ago when I lived in San Diego and a favorite post-surf meal. Roberto’s Taco Shop and a Machaca Torta and rolled tacos (hey, I was young and burned a crapload of calories). Research has begun. The quest to make my own machaca has started.

Song of the day: Surf Punks – My Beach (Live at the Whiskey A Go Go)

It Could Be The Ebola

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

  •  I work in a hospital. I am literally surrounded daily by nasty bugs. I never get sick. Never. Mrs Troutdog has a new territory and had to fly to Vegas and LA. Sure enough, several days later she feels like crap. And… several days after that I now have the Ebola cold. It sucks majorly to feel horrible on my precious few days off. I don’t do well just sitting around. I tend to get very negative about life in general, nap, and buy useless junk on Amazon.
  • Speaking of bugs, have you been following the news about the latest epidemic? This year alone there have been 19 million cases, 180,000 hospitalizations, and 10,000 deaths. Oh wait, that’s the flu not the Novel Coronavirus. But yes, let’s freak out about 12 cases in the US. How about we put our critical thinking hats on people? (no, not the tinfoil one)
  •  We’re applying for a very hard to get permit for an outdoor activity today. Fingers crossed. More to share if it comes through.
  •  On that crazy running goal I was contemplating… I clearly haven’t been watching enoughDavid Goggins, because I bailed. I can’t seem to muster up the discipline to get my ass up early every single day. More importantly, Mrs Troutdog yelled at me for thinking I was 25 again. It was all in all very demotivating. I need to find some focus with activities and hobbies. I lurch from hobby to hobby, never getting good at any one thing. I think part of it is I have zero structure to my life. I know what days I work and beyond that, there is no plan. On my days off I wake up and try and figure out which of my 37 hobbies I’m going to do. No goals, no plans. There are certainly times I wish I had a more structured calendar. I’m sure there’s a YouTube video somewhere to help with this.
  •  I’ve completely enjoyed watching the goat rodeo that is the DNC this week. They better right their ship in a hurry if they want any chance of competing in the general election.
  •  I spent some time talking to one of our hospital case managers about insurance. Major insurance company A owns insurance company B. Patient who has insurance company A gets approved for rehab in hours. Patient who has insurance company B routinely takes 72 hours. The approval agent is THE SAME PHYSICAL PERSON for both company A and B. It defies description how convoluted our system is.

Song of the day: “Walkin’ On The Sun”  Smashmouth

Notions Of Cool V.022

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

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

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

Notions Of Cool V.021

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

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

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

Notions Of Cool V.018

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

  • This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with news today. I like to think I’m reasonably plugged in… and I had absolutely no idea this happened last week. 1000+ people dead and 1.5 million at risk of water-borne disease or starvation. Meanwhile, Bob in Ohio was outraged at something someone said. We have a fantastic panel to discuss…
  • A neat video about cycling. I couldn’t do it, but a great reminder that we’re only here once. If you get hit by a bus tomorrow, are you happy with what you’ve seen and done?
  • Speaking of bikes, my town is installing this in one of the downtown parking garages. Yay for bicycle friendly!
  • Jim Acosta is the very definition of douchebag. I get it, he generates equal love and hate traffic. And yes, there are Acostas on all sides of the political spectrum. Sad that this has become the new norm for “news”.
  • I did not hit my weight target this week. It’s mostly meaningless… just a goal. Next week for sure.
  • Bullet Journal update: it went strong for a month, then faded. I still like the idea. I resolve to resurrect the habit.
  • A patient was unhappy with his diabetic menu choices, so his wife brought him Burger King and a supersize chocolate shake. When his blood sugar was 320 he was shocked. He was actually angry and accused us of giving him some “pill” that was making his blood sugar go up. It was a battle to convince him I had to give him insulin.
  • “This will be your favorite patient. Super nice and rarely calls for anything”. Sadly as a nurse, I hear that in report maybe once every three or four weeks. The vast majority of the hospital population are grumpy, sour, demanding people. They’re also in the worst possible health – much of which is due to lifestyle choices. I see a clear correlation between your upbringing, mental attitude, emotional stability, and overall health outcomes. It’s not rocket science, but it’s striking when you see it in front of you every day.
  • My internet went down for approximately 7 minutes today. It was a terrifying vision of the pending zombie apocalypse.

Song of the day: Charlie Feathers, “That certain female”

Notions Of Cool V.009

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old guy (who still thinks he’s 20) finds cool or worth pondering.

  • As an RN, my day looks like this: Wake at 0500 (or 0400 if working out). Out the door at 0620. End my shift and leave at 2000 or 2030 (8:30pm). Walk in the door and decontaminate and change. Inhale food. Watch approximately 15 minutes of news then bed. Repeat x3 days.
  • The flu season has not yet peaked.
  • The Grand Canyon has a new Junior park ranger. She’s 103. I’ve only seen the Canyon once and it was identical to the movie Vacation. We were driving to Oklahoma in the winter. My sister and I begged to detour to see it. We litterally pulled in, got out of the car and looked for fifteen minutes and left because it was so cold.
  • Netflix is usually a wasteland of straight to DVD films, but we stumbled upon this one by accident. The Way with Martin Sheen. Excellent.
  • I’m in search of a small (pocket sized) penlight that has a low lumen level for eye exams. Every one I’ve used so far doesn’t survive being dropped or dies within a month or so.
  • I’m fasinated by how massive the diet industry is. People literally are desparate for someone to tell them what to eat. And what they seem to really want is the magic bullet – “Eat this super food for 12 days and loose 25 pounds!”
  • I’m not making fun of a sad mental health issue (well, I guess I am), but if you’re going to end it all by jumping off a building… make sure it’s tall enough. The end outcome may not be what you wanted. Pro tip, five stories isn’t high enough.

Song of the day: Kid Rock “Bawitdaba”

Notions Of Cool V.008

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old guy (who still thinks he’s 20) finds cool or worth pondering.

  • Wrapping up... So weather isn’t getting more extreme, the models are wildly inaccurate, Tuvalu isn’t sinking, the troposphere isn’t warming, and we had a 19 year pause in warming. The business of science is to be skeptical. At minimum all this should make folks think hmmm, maybe there’s more factors here than we originally thought. I’m open – please change my mind. What exactly is the crisis?
  • Was listening to an older podcast with Tim Kennedy. The obesity epidemic in this country has gotten so bad the military doesn’t have a large enough pool of people to select from for special units. This seems like sort of an issue, no?
  • Same podcast I learned that Josef Mengele, the angel of death Nazi, died of old age and a stroke on the beach in Brazil. That’s disconcerting. I’m going to have to watch his show now – Hunting Hitler. I had no idea that we actually don’t know if Hitler died in that bunker as we’ve been taught.
  • I sincerely hope the current North Korea summit goes well. The last thing we need right now is to get in a pissing match with a nutcase.
  • Some interesting thoughts from Tim Pool. There are more people and states in the country that identify as conservative. However there are more registered democrats than republicans. Trumps approval ratings are up and the view people have of America is up. I don’t see AOC’s rantings, the open borders thing, or Bernie being a positive thing for securing Michigan, Ohio, or New Mexico. Very early still.
  • A friend introduced me to this game – Geoguessr. Be careful, it’s addictive.

Song of the day: Sugar Ray “Fly”

Notions Of Cool V.007

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old guy (who still thinks he’s 20) finds cool or worth pondering.

  • Continuing… The earth has warmed – this is not debatable. The warming has been roughly eight tenths of a degree Celsius. And shockingly, this is more or less what greenhouse gases demonstrate in laboratory conditions. What has not happened is the model predictions of runaway exponential temperature increase. So, change my mind – where is the crisis?
  • The new skis are the bomb. Very happy with my choice. Volkl M5 Mantras. Of course, calf deep powder didn’t hurt. The ski is a touch beyond my skill level, which is a good thing.
  • To the best that I can tell I have been in ketosis. Yesterday’s test was after two fried eggs with cream cheese and avocado, followed by four hours of hard skiing. Ketones were 1.5 mmol/l. (suggested range is 0.5 to 3)
  • As an RN, time management is everything. I’m not good at it and it drives me nuts. I’m going to make a full press effort to tame this beast. The conventional wisdom says to implement hourly rounding. The theory is that if you’ve addressed pain and toileting, you’re less likely to be interrupted by call lights. Hmmm. We’ll see.
  • I can’t find anything I agree with AOC on, but she gets social media. Politicians on both sides need to figure this shit out or she’s going to clean their clocks.
  • For the tech dorks, a great blog on security. In my mind I’m still a tech guy, but most teenagers have surpassed me at this point.
  • It’s shocking to me how primitive vehicles are in terms of software, connectivity and interacting with mobile devices.
  • Hard not to laugh at this meme of Senator Klobuchar emerging from a team meeting.

Song of the day: Rebelution “Inhale Exhale”