- The year was 2017. The number one song on the Billboard 100 was Slide by Calvin Harris. The best picture that year was Moonlight. The bad orange man was sworn in to office. And Google (don’t be evil) released the Pixel 2. That was a different decade and I was determined not to get sucked into the iPhone cult, so I switched from my crank operated flip phone to the Pixel. Actually, my only reason for going with the Google phone was the camera. I’m all about the Instagram selfies. I’ve been pretty happy with it (the phone, not the selfies). I’ve had zero issues other than a loose USB-C port that’s been the source of some charging and connectivity problems. But, technology marches on and it’s time to upgrade. Well, I don’t want to upgrade but I have to solve the navigation problems with the ginormous motorcycle and this is step one. So which phone? I pulled up a comparison list of specs for the top sellers and after 30 seconds my eyes glazed over. I don’t care about specs. I’m not in the corporate world any more, so I’m not trying to do Zoom meetings on my mobile. I only do a few things with my phone. I send text messages so I don’t have to actually speak to humans. I take pictures. I attempt to use navigation/maps. I look up random facts on the internet while waiting for the coffee to brew. Oh, and once every month or so I actually make a phone call. That’s it. I don’t need a 1.21 Jiggawatt processor to send text messages. So, which phone to buy? Between the latest Samsung, Pixel, and iPhone models the cameras seem roughly equal. I’m not taking pics for museum quality prints… I don’t need an f 1.7, wide angle, super view, dark mode, lidar enhanced, espresso capable, quad lens. I take pictures of the dog for Instagram (he’s very popular). Mrs Troutdog is a faithful citizen of the Apple ecosystem and has been putting out some heavy pressure to switch over. I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed, but I’m a Microsoft guy and I’m just not ready to switch to iCloud to try and get cross-device syncing to work. So it’s between the Samsung s21 and the Pixel 5. Samsung’s camera is probably a touch better, but I’m not a fan of how they over sharpen their images. I’d rather ruin images by over saturating them myself. Besides, I’d have to sell off some Bitcoin to afford the latest Samsung. Looks like I’m staying with team Pixel. I’m heading to the store this afternoon so stay tuned. I’m extremely gullible and susceptible to salespeople, so who knows what I’ll actually come home with. I might be sporting a fancy new Xiaomi Redmi, featuring background data sync with China’s office of state telecom security cloud service. Free cloud storage!
- If you haven’t been following along, the Chauvin trial doesn’t appear to be going well for the state. The possibility of a finding other than murder is looking more likely. And as I’ve said before, Minneapolis will burn if that happens. I wouldn’t schedule a vacation trip to catch a Minnesota Twins game anytime soon.
- 60 Minutes was once the pillar of investigative journalism. After their hit piece on Florida gov DeSantis, it’ll be hard to trust anything they publish moving forward. If you haven’t seen it, here’s what 60 Minutes aired vs what his full answer to the question was. I don’t care if you like the governor or not, you can’t watch that and still say it was unbiased reporting.
- A baby elephant trying to be fierce. Because who doesn’t like baby elephants?
- Today is the official end of winter. Well, for me. I had fully intended to get a couple of last days of skiing in this week before the resort and ski trails close this weekend. Life got in the way and I’m not able to go. So that’s it. Done. Winter 20/21 is over. Now starts the countdown to full snow melt and summer activities. Around these parts it’s known as “mud season”. I’m not a fan. Guess I’ll just have to ride the motorcycle for the next month.
Song of the day: Bush – Swallowed – 7/23/1999 – Woodstock 99 East Stage
- Last night I watched adventure photographer Jimmy Chin’s Master Class episodes. My biggest takeaway was his passion for what he does. His description of how he got his first big “break” really struck me. He was in his early twenties, living in his car, and drove to Berkley to try and see a big name adventure photographer. He showed up Monday morning at his gallery and was told the photographer was too busy, come back tomorrow. Jimmy waited in the gallery all day. Then came back Tuesday and waited all day. And Wednesday, and Thursday, and Friday. At the end of the day on Friday the photographer came down and gave Jimmy two uninterrupted hours of his time, which eventually helped spawn his career. While I was watching this, all I could think of was “never in my life have I had that level of passion for anything”. Sure, I have hobbies and things I enjoy doing. But I’ve always been very casual about them. I might practice a little. I’ll do some research to buy gear, find locations, etc… but I can honestly say I’ve never gone all in, 100%. The same thing with work. I’ve always been successful with my careers. I work hard and do my job well. But I’ve never been interested enough to take more classes, join committees, or fully immerse myself in my profession. It’s always just been a job. So is the problem that I just haven’t found my passion yet, or I’m too lazy to actually fully commit to something? I don’t know. I’m happy be-bopping around from hobby to hobby. But I also lament not being very good at any one thing. So, maybe today should the day I fully commit to something and go all-in? So when introduced at parties people will say, “I hear you’re a really good <insert amazing activity>”. Hmmm. Now I just have to pick one. I wonder if doughnut connoisseur is a thing?
- As I wrote “doughnut connoisseur” I thought, you know that might be a good YouTube channel. Travel around giving doughnut reviews. You laugh, but I stumbled upon a YouTube channel that’s a guy who posts minute long videos of “day in the life of a school bus driver“. He has half a million subscribers. There’s simply no telling what will work or not. I’m willing to go all in on doughnuts.
- I was going to go all outragey on the Georgia voter suppression, voter ID, Jim Crow story. But I just can’t. Don’t have it in me. Unless you’re a zonked out meth head sleeping in the gutter, you know damn well that you have to have an ID to function in life. What strikes me the most about this is that the democratic leadership, along with the helpful idiots in the media, keep pushing this narrative that it’s racist and voter suppression to require an ID to vote. How do you look yourself in the mirror and then go push what you know is a false narrative? Are voters really that stupid? Wait, don’t answer that.
- The military’s Special Operations Command decided that what the really scary, badass, and most dangerous units in the military needs is a “Chief of Diversity and Inclusion”. SOCOM proudly announced the hiring of Richard Torres-Estrada, proclaiming “We look forward to his contribution in enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of #SOF through diversity of talent”. Terrorists everywhere will feel better about themselves knowing that the folks coming to kill them are appropriately diverse and woke. Apparently the military no longer bothers to do background checks however because they then had to immediately reassign him while they investigate his string of anti-Trump posts, one of which compares Trump to Hitler. You can’t make this stuff up.
- I’m done with winter. I had a bit of a funk day yesterday. It was cold, gray, and crazy windy. I had zero motivation to go outside and that led to a full day of moping around doing absolutely nothing. I hate when I do that. It’s time for sun and warm weather activities.
- Biden will remain in office for at least the next two years. Why? The Senate is split 50-50. The Vice President breaks the tie. Should they decide grandpa Joe needs to go, Kamala becomes president and the Senate is deadlocked. It takes both houses of congress to approve any new VP President Harris appoints. So… they will continue to wheel out Biden for proof of life from time to time until we see what happens in ’22.
Song of the day: The Romantics – What I Like About You
Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.
- Let me see if I’ve got this right. Four years of non-stop obstructing, harassment, bias, calling half the country racist, xenophobic, white supremacists. Tearing up state of the union speeches for political theater. Literally calling for your supporters to get in the face of the opposition at gasoline stations, restaurants, and shopping at department stores. How many videos have you seen of leftist/Antifa/BLM crowds chanting and screaming in the face of people in restaurants just trying to eat a meal? (none if you only watch CNN) And NOW you’re the party of unity and healing? A man, who’s stated mentor was an actual racist and member of the KKK, said that he decided to run when he saw the president support white supremacy. Seriously?
Look, I could care less you supported. Personally I think 90% of both parties are twatwaffles who care only about power and enriching their inner circles. But if you can’t at least admit there’s hypocrisy, media bias, and big tech influence… then you, my friend, are seriously part of the problem. A problem that can only be fixed by becoming a contrarian. Make an effort to expose yourself to many different opinions, not just the ones you agree with. Soon, you’ll realize that most of the steaming turds that run the media (which includes social media) and politics have only one purpose – to separate you from your hard earned quan. I implore you – please don’t be naive enough to believe these folks actually care about you. As the saying goes, if you aren’t paying for something you consume – then YOU are the product being sold.
- In my never ending attempts at being creative, I’ve been really trying to learn how to make little videos for the YouTubes. It’s working out about as well as my blogging and photography have gone. But, I enjoy learning new things so it’s all good.
- Just know that if I see you driving alone in your car and wearing a mask, I will laugh at you. Not to go down the mask rabbit hole, but just to illustrate for you that in the real world there is no “scientific consensus” about mask wearing… I’ve been observing the comings and goings of the various doctors at my hospital. Surgeons, neurologists, hospitalists, residents, there is no conformity on mask wearing. Some wander around with a paper procedure mask dangling from one ear. Others wear an N95, covered by a procedure mask and a face shield on top of that. These are folks who are smarter and more immersed in science than most of us and there clearly is no universal agreement on “the science”.
- Ok, ok, just one more point and I’ll stop. Please find me a graph of any country, state, county, or city that shows the ‘rona case count dropping significantly after a mask mandate. I’ll wait.
- Today was our first snow. I’m looking forward to forgetting politics and focusing on winter sports. I don’t care many times I see it – the first snow of the year and we run around like little kids. Every damn time.
- Mrs Troutdog informed me that I’m buying a new motorcycle and gear. My bike (and gear) are from 2005. Can’t say I don’t get the most use possible out of my stuff. The problem is that I’m so overwhelmed by indecision that it’s now winter. I have five more months to consume every YouTube bike review and further paralyze myself. I expect to make a decision sometime around 2023.
- If the news, media, politics, or the ‘rona are getting you down, do the following. Step 1: Open a beer, pour a glass of wine, or pop some champagne. Step 2: Scroll through images of Quokka’s.
You’ll feel better, I promise.
Song of the day: Katy Perry – California Gurls ft. Snoop Dogg