Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Guards

... are always good for a busy day blog. I got these two shots yesterday. Enjoy!

I always love these group photos that look like album covers. This is a substantial crop of a photo that was pretty overexposed. I was able to use some Photoshop filters to make the Guards pop out a bit more. Still, it's the pose that works for me. They're a power trio!
The Guards, sacked out after maneuvers in the local park. The weather has broken, so it's cool enough for them to run about in the canyons and have a good time. The cooler weather has the rattlers snoozing, so it's safer for them as well.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Don't Tease The Lion

One thing we know about Trump is that he gets revenge when he feels wronged. Apparently, today's indictments from Mueller were against Paul Manafort for tax fraud and other odds and ends, but that's not the point. If Trump decides he's had enough and it's time to go nuclear on the Democrats, there is practically no limit to what a team of prosecutors can find to indict Hillary and her goons. It would be a fire that swept through the Clinton allies, the DNC and all their cronies to rival the one that scorched central California recently.

I've seen those Tom Steyer ads running in prime time, agitating for impeachment and they seem as tone-deaf and ill-considered as the NFL protests. Trump runs the Justice Department and all its prosecutorial powers. The Democrats are up to their fascist, little necks in massive crimes including bribery, racketeering, voter fraud and improper handling of classified materials. Trying to indict the Trump team seems like jumping head-first into the lion's den. I'd have a good time watching the Democrats get incinerated, but I can't understand why they'd keep trying to trigger it.

My other thought is how sad this all is. From Trump himself on down, it's like we've got a particularly catty pack of high-school, popular kids running the government. The only thing getting done is Jimmy pointing at Susie and blaming her for Jeremy dating Alisha who was two-timing Rashad who was sleeping with Maria. Tax reform and repairing the ObamaCare mess is nowhere to be seen.

Meanwhile, the normals are getting up and going to work and doing a great job of it. Dig the economic growth, employment and business confidence numbers. Imagine what we could have if the teenagers in DC would just shut up and do their jobs.

Oh yeah, this is going to end well.
Update: Well, that didn't take long to blow up in everyone's faces. Here are more details from CNN, who are not known for their pro-Trump stance.
Federal investigators' interest in Manafort and Gates goes back well before the special counsel was appointed. For about a decade, Manafort worked for Yanukovych and his Russia-friendly Party of Regions. Manafort's work spurred a separate federal investigation in 2014, which examined whether he and other Washington-based lobbying firms failed to register as foreign agents for the Yanukovych regime.

Gates joined Manafort's lobbying firm in the mid-2000s and handled projects in Eastern Europe, which later included work for Yanukovych.

Yanukovych was ousted amid street protests in 2014, and his pro-Russian Party of Regions was accused of corruption and laundering millions of dollars out of Ukraine. The FBI sought to learn whether those who worked for Yanukovych — Manafort's firm, as well as Washington lobbying firms Mercury LLC and the Podesta Group — played a role. The Podesta Group is headed by Tony Podesta, the brother of John Podesta, the former chief of staff of the Obama White House.
Emphasis mine.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Kids Or Race?

I got into it briefly on Twitter earlier this week with some progressive who was ranting about whiteness or white supremacy or something similar. It was pretty standard stuff. I just posted the illegitimacy rate graph and was accused of hiding racism or masking whiteness or having my SS uniform dry cleaned.

I'm still trying to figure out what "whiteness" is and why I should care. The conversation was so surreal that it made me step back and wonder just what it was we were discussing in practical terms.

If I had to name the one thing that motivates me, it's that I want life to be better for children. I want more of them to have opportunities to have fun in sports, do well in school and have less stress in their lives. When I coached Little League, for example, I would take the fatherless boys to professional hitting and pitching lessons. Almost all of them were terrible players who became good players after a lesson or two. The difference it made in their self-worth was huge. Unhappy became happy.

If that's your goal, more success-fed happiness for kids, where does whiteness come in? In all my years doing this, I never saw any traces of racism anywhere, but I saw a lot of fatherless children in pain.

Population statistics are by their nature crude measures of what it's like to be a member of one of the bars in a histogram, but I would argue that they will work as a rough proxy when looking for causes. Dig this graphic from BlackDemographics.com.


I'm sorry, but after looking at this, I still don't get the whole whiteness and white supremacy panic. Kids growing up with a single mom are hosed and after that, I really don't care and don't understand why I should. From that table, it looks to me like traditional families have the disposable income and probably the spare time to help their kids succeed.

Pardon the descent into Godwin territory, but the whole thing has a strong Nazi feel to it. Instead of Jews, it's whiteness as the mysterious, all-powerful force oppressing der Volk. The only difference I can detect is that the modern, race-obsessed progressives don't have any real ambition. Instead of wanting to militarily crush whiteness, they just want to scream it into submission. It's a difference of degree, not kind.

Feel free to take me to task in the comments for that analogy. It's been leaping out at me more and more as I read about whiteness paranoia freakouts in our universities. When I start thinking about the practical aspects of the thing, it really seems Nazi. If I was an 8-year-old boy and I woke up every day in a world permeated by "whiteness," I don't think I'd be affected nearly as much as if I woke up every day in a household without my dad. When you care more about race than children, I think there is something dreadfully wrong.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dallas From 10,000 Feet

I shot this during one of my flights last night and rather liked it. I think it might be worth a click. Enjoy!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Ice Cubes

I'm back on the East Coast, giving talks and pontificating in an annoying manner. The crew and I call it "playing concerts" and I like to go with the Van Halen motif. My brains are a bit scrambled today, too much so for a real blog, so I'll leave you with this quote from my wannabe-professional-alter-ego. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Advertising

I'm on Untappd. I like to try new beers, particularly IPAs. Untappd connects with your Twitter account. Every 5 beers of a particular style, it gives you a trophy or medal or something like that and posts it to your Twitter account, if you let it. I let it.

Recently, I crossed the Level 70 mark on IPAs. IPAs are my passion. That means I've tried more than 350 different IPAs.

Restaurants have started asking me for beer recommendations on Twitter.

It makes me wonder what might have happened if I had focused the topics on this blog 12+ years ago. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Forest Through The Clouds

Flying back to the East Coast today, I got this shot. I like the effect, but sadly, I don't think you can see some of the leaves changing color below like I could in person. Oh well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tough Guys Read Fairy Tales

... and delicate snowflakes read dystopian fiction.
The past few decades have seen a profusion of “young adult” fiction—books written for a teenage audience—which seem to have a peculiar obsession with future dystopias.

There’s the one where everything is controlled by the Capitol and teenagers are forced to fight to the death for a televised audience. There’s the one where teens are locked into a narrow career path for life based on their apparent aptitudes, which seems like a perfect way to capitalize on the anxieties of college-bound kids in the later stages of the higher education bubble. There’s the one where emotions have been outlawed, the one where teenagers are forced to run through a giant maze for some reason, and so on.
I would argue that the reason for the glamorization of zombies, criminal violence and apocalypses is that our bellies are full, there are roofs over our heads and we don't really have any existential threats. Heck, you can stay on your parents' health insurance until age 26. Back in the day, lots of folks didn't have health insurance at all. When life is dystopian, you don't read dystopian.

P. J. O'Rourke said it well in his essay about Somalia in All the Trouble in the World. In the snippet below, a bunch of reporters are sitting around, drinking on a New Year's Eve in Mogadishu.
Still, we thought, this wasn't the worst New Year's Eve we'd ever spent. We had a couple more drinks. We certainly weren't worried about ecological ruin, shrinking white-collar job market, or fear of intimacy. All that "modern era anomie" disappears with a dose of Somalia. Fear cures anxiety. The genuinely alien banishes alienation. It's hard for existential despair to flourish where actual existence is being snuffed out at every tum. Real Schmerz trumps Weltschmerz.
When I was a young pup just out of school, I had an elderly office mate who had grown up on a dry-dirt farm in Kansas in the 1930s. He certainly didn't wallow in Death Metal music, Grand Theft Auto video games and stories about violent mutants in an eco-catastrophe future.

This just occurred to me: Wouldn't it be cool if they made a movie where the inhabitants of a post-apocalyptic world re-embraced the legends of King Arthur and fairy tales? It would be a lot closer to reality, I think.

When the world is tough, tough guys spend their lives thriving in the midst of big obstacles, they don't seek out fiction that echoes what they see all around them.

Yeah, I'm reading Arthur Rackham's Red Fairy Book. You got a problem with that?

Monday, October 23, 2017

When The Levee Breaks

... the flood waters come in. Dig this article from a former NPR CEO wherein he describes a year spent among the normals, far away from his liberal bubble. One tidbit will suffice for this discussion.
I spent many Sundays in evangelical churches and hung out with 15,000 evangelical youth at the Urbana conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect among thousands of college-age evangelicals, but I certainly didn’t expect the intense discussion of racial equity and refugee issues — how to help them, not how to keep them out — but that is what I got.
Like everyone else in the US, I've spent my life marinating in progressive lectures from the media, entertainment and academia. Recently, I've taken to following second-string progressive thinkers and politicians on Twitter, just to get of sense of how they think, what is important to them and to make sure I'm not living in a bubble.

The progressives all see me as evil. I'm racist, sexist and homophobic. I hate immigrants and Muslims. They are fighting against a massive tide of hate, at least in their minds. That's where the quote above is so destructive. Once you realize the normals aren't full of hate, what do you have left? Debt? Social pathologies? Crime? Mountains of dead babies outside of the Planned Parenthood abortion mills?

Blue states like Illinois are in serious financial trouble because they followed blue policies. The workers' paradise of Venezuela is in full meltdown. The actresses who lectured us on Trump's misogyny were covering up for Weinstein's worse misogyny all along. Obamacare is in its death-throes and it's hard to find defenders of the previous administration's foreign policy outside of the Ivy League idiots who constructed the mess. Black America is an ultra-blue, self-inflicted train wreck of violence, failure and suffering.

Oh sure, the hard results of the progressives' work have been less than ideal, but you have to realize that all this time, they were fighting against the forces of hate.
I certainly didn’t expect the intense discussion of racial equity and refugee issues — how to help them, not how to keep them out — but that is what I got
If the normals are motivated by love and concern instead of hate, then what do you really have left?

It's best just to flip them off and seal up the levee as best you can. Otherwise the whole construction of the progressive world view will dissolve in the flood.

Here we see progressives fleeing for safer locations such as universities and late-night indoctrination talk shows.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Rule Of Thumb About Rallies

If there are weddings with more guests the same weekend in the same town as the number of people at your rally, then you're not a big player on the national scene and don't deserve news media attention.

Well, that is unless you reinforce one of their pet narratives. Then you'll get wall-to-wall coverage even if you can only bring 80 people to your event.

The annual March for Life is massive, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, but it gets nowhere near the media attention as a couple of dozen white supremacists.
The news media needs the white supremacists. It's a wonder they don't hire people to go to their rallies to juice the numbers.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

It's Going To Be A Good Weekend

... because the Toon won.

I swear, when my teams win, the weekends are sunny, warm and fun. When they lose, the skies are grey and the wind whips cold air that knifes through my clothes.

Yes, I'm crazy, but in a good way.

Smile on, lad. You've captured the way I feel right now.
This is what sports are supposed to be. It's too bad the NFL has decided to scream at me instead of bring me joy.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Crisis Of Faith

This little tidbit goes a long way towards explaining the unhinged rage of the left these days.
A University of Connecticut professor is calling for a “more expansive inclusion of feminism” by colleges to help female students recognize the oppression they face.

Cristina Mogro-Wilson, who teaches social work at UConn, surveyed 118 students pursuing a Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree and found that the overwhelming majority of respondents—94 percent of whom were women—do not believe that “discrimination and subordination” are “salient issues in women’s lives.”
The women who said that the patriarchy and its oppression weren't a big deal had gone through 5-6 years of indoctrination in a field, many of whose courses were designed for no other purpose than to instill in them the catechism of social justice which is predicated on belief in this oppression.

This is a bigger religious collapse than anything American Catholics are experiencing. At least most of our fallen-away members still believe in God. They just don't come to Mass any more.

As the faithful fall away, the remaining zealots become more zealous and seal off their worlds from heresies to prevent further erosion. That's why we have late-night talk show hosts flipping off Trump voters or saying they don't see a need to talk to them. That's why the NFL players are allowed to kneel, but the Dallas Cowboys couldn't put stickers on their helmets to honor fallen cops. Everything is collapsing in the real world, so the preaching has to become more strident and less tolerant to make up for it.

Well, that's my thinking at least.

Jimmy Kimmel reading from Ta-Nehisi Coates as his opening monologue about 6 months from now.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Applauding Intolerance

I had a couple of longer posts in mind dealing with this issue, but this one will provide kind of a meta-take on what I'm seeing. I'm in a hurry and don't have links for these, but they are all Googleable.
  • Jimmy Kimmel recently said "riddance" to Trump supporters and said he really didn't want to have a conversation with them.
  • Seth Meyers flipped off Trump supporters on air.
  • The Princeton newspaper posted an editorial that said, in essence, that conservatives shouldn't be granted free speech because their ideas are horrible.
I could go on, but it's worth noting that the first two were met with applause and approval. These are the very definition of closed-mindedness and that from the progressives who pride themselves on being open-minded.

Obviously, that's rubbish. 

What amazes me about this is that you can't convert people without talking to them. If you won't converse with them and not just preach, you can't change minds. The MC Escher attitude of the left would make more sense if they were coming from a position of power, but they're not. I don't think Republicans have ever been this powerful in terms of elected positions held.

So the left is historically weak and is determined to lock themselves in a tiny room with only themselves. I can't make heads or tails of it. The only thing I can think is something I've said here before - they've become a suicide cult.

There's no way out if you won't talk to people who think differently.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

In Which I Destroy And Annihilate The Pro-Choice Argument

So a sci-fi writer I've never heard of has utterly destroyed and annihilated and smushed under his boots the pro-life argument. Here's the conundrum he used to zap us hypocritical pro-lifers:
There's a fire and you have the choice of saving a 5-year-old or 1000 viable embryos. Which do you choose?
Of course, all the lying, scumbag, misogynist religious fanatics pick the kid instead of the embryos, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that they don't really see the embryos as human. Or something like that.

So now that we've done that, let me utterly destroy and annihilate and smush under my boots the pro-choice argument.
You're a time traveler in 1904 Germany. A woman is pregnant with a child who you know will kill Hitler in 1936. She insists of getting an abortion. Do you prevent it and force her to take the baby to term? No one else can kill Hitler because of the time-space continuum or Boyle's Law or the thermocoupler on the warp drive has gone into singularity. Her baby is your only hope.
Or maybe this one, made specially for a sci-fi dude:
You're on a spaceship carrying the last survivors of Earth to a new home planet. All of the women are pregnant, but each can only carry this baby to term and never have another. All of the ones pregnant with girls want abortions. Do you force them to give birth?
Or how about this:
You're on an undiscovered island in the Pacific where there are dinosaurs. There's a balloon on the north side of the island and a life raft on the south side. You only have enough battery left in your phone to make it to one before you can no longer play Bubble Blast. On the balloon is a new battery, in the life raft there's an inverter and power supply, but only enough fuel for an hour of charging. You're carrying corn and a fox and there's a duck nearby. A wizard shows up out of nowhere, riding a Kodiak bear and demands your shoes. Do you try drawing to the inside straight or do you bluff and not ask for any new cards?
Oh yeah, I forgot, you were playing poker with someone and they're going to do something horrible if you lose and then the world will burst into flames or you'll die of boredom or get scabies, I can't remember which.
And that's how you destroy and annihilate and smush an argument. You're welcome.

Remember, as you're playing poker, you're surrounded by dinosaurs. That's just like what happens when a woman is prevented from getting an abortion.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

SDSU Gear Is Offensive To Me

I was thinking about the support for "Merry Christmas!" from The Donald that I posted yesterday. I came up with an analogy for the people who object to calling those decorated pines "Christmas Trees" and the rest of that nonsense.

As a wannabe Southern boy, I'm a big LSU fan. I live in San Diego. I am a distinct minority. On college game days, I see lots and lots of people in SDSU gear. If I got offended at that, I'd go see a therapist, I wouldn't demand everyone else change to be more "inclusive." This whole objection to Christmas is idiocy.

Counter argument 1: Religion is different! Think of how the atheists feel.

Rebuttal: The atheists think it's all fairy tales anyway. The thought that I'd object to fairy tales is similarly stupid.

Counter argument 2: Religion is different! Think of how the Jews or Muslims feel!

Rebuttal: A college football game lasts 3 hours, not including tailgating. A religious service is typically an hour or so. Most people don't even go to their services every week. I'd say college football is a bigger deal than religion. Further, it's not uncommon to see drunken fights in the stands at a game. That's pretty uncommon in church. It looks like college football engenders more passion than religion.

Conclusion

SDSU gear needs to be restricted to college-football-free-speech-zones. After this weekend's loss to Boise State, I might find a lot of support for that idea.



Sunday, October 15, 2017

So. Much. Winning.


Winning the culture war for us normals is YUGE.

Wiping out ISIS is good, too. "Kill them all" turns out to have been a better strategy than whatever it was we were doing before. "ISIS facing imminent collapse in Syria's Raqqa" is a good headline to read.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Sleepy

Sometimes you need to see a picture of a Chihuahua mix snuggled up in bed.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Aw, Shucks, I Love You, Too

I saw this in traffic the other day and was touched.

Wait, they were thinking of me, right?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Free Speech For Nazis

On Twitter, I recently started following an NPR guy who specializes in racial issues. By specializes, I mean he is utterly obsessed with der Volk. In this case, his Volk. Reading his Twitter feed is a trip through the looking glass. Everything makes sense locally, but when referenced against wider reality, it's almost all deliberate distortions.

Recently he mentioned by retweet that "Detroit is 80% Black. And 33% of the city’s 230,000+ jobs are held by Black Detroiters" and linked to the Detroit Free Press article from which the statistic came.

I followed the article link and then read its predecessor. At the NPR dude's local level, it looks like whoever is doing the hiring is racist. However, there are no demographics given on the people doing the hiring, so it's impossible to verify the implicit charge of racism. Furthermore, in the article is this tidbit.
Why those jobs, those company relocations or expansions, haven't resulted in more widespread employment for Detroiters -- it's complicated. Twenty-two percent of Detroiters lack a high school diploma; 33% have a high school diploma or a GED. Just 7% have an associate's degree, and 13% have bachelor's degree or higher, according to the Detroit Future City report.

Companies hired to build the new hockey arena say they can't find sufficient Detroit residents with experience in the skilled trades to meet city-mandated hiring quotas for the project's construction.
As there are no direct quotes from the employers it's hard to figure out what's happening. After all, it's not the applicants decision process that's being questioned here, it's the employers'.

Following the link to the previous story in the series, you get this tidbit.
Contractors building Little Caesars Arena have paid some $2.9 million to workforce training funds as required by being unable to find enough Detroit residents to work on the mammoth construction project.
That directly contradicts the implications of the tweet and therein lies the problem. The facts appear to be these: black Detroiters lack skills, work needs to be done, the employers hire as many Detroiters as they can and then pay fines to provide training for the unskilled. It's kind of hard to find racism in all of that. It sounds pretty benign to me.

Mein Kampf is a racial screed of epic proportions. It's filled with generalizations without data, cherry-picked anecdotes and opinion masquerading as fact. The more I read the NPR dude's Twitter feed, the more parallels I see. The only thing lacking is international ambitions. Mr. NPR doesn't seem to have a goal outside of getting his audience worked up with racial paranoia.

And this is why we need to let the Nazis have their rallies. If we don't, NPR may find itself without a platform from which they can howl at the rest of us.

I think this is an NPR board meeting. I could be wrong.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Biology Wins

Biology always wins. Catalyzed by the Harvey Weinstein revelations, lots of skeletons are starting to come out of closets in Hollywood and elsewhere.

Dig these tweets from a successful writer who was sexually and emotionally abused by an unscrupulous, powerful man. It's part of a series of tweets which is well worth your time. They describe her experiences and how other men in the industry didn't stand up for her and why she couldn't do it for herself.
Where did chivalry go, Carina? Where were those knights in shining armor ready, willing and able to do battle for a lady? Why are you facing powerful men all on your own?

Because we asked for that. We approved of that. We didn't want all of the restrictions, restraints and self-denial that is required from both sexes to civilize men. We don't civilize ourselves naturally. Women and religion civilize us. Left to our own devices, we become Harvey Weinsteins or pusillanimous weasels who allow the Harveys to dominate women. It's pretty hard to find a primitive or pagan society where women were much more than property*.

If you want the freedoms of the court of Caligula, don't expect any Lancelots.

'How Sir Lancelot slew the knight Sir Peris de Forest Savage that did distress ladies, damosels and gentlewoman.' from 'The Romance of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table', illustration by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939).
* - So much for Indigenous Peoples Day, eh, Carina?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Day Late And A Wampum Short

So yesterday was Indigenous Peoples Day when we celebrate the diversity that comes from digging for tubers in the dirt with sticks. Or something like that. A typical celebrant posted to Twitter an image of a gorgeous Indian Princess flipping the camera the bird with a predictable message directed at Christopher Columbus. The Native Babe was wearing makeup, had her eyebrows perfectly sculpted, delicate silver jewelry and elegant clothes made in a factory. Her teeth were perfect and white.

That's exactly the image you think of when you think of the pre-Columbus American Indians, isn't it?

I made a snarky reply, but upon further reflection, I could have come back with a two-word response.

Kumeyaay orthodontia.

Oh yeah, I'll bet dentistry with rocks as surgical implements was a big hit with the locals here in San Diego, circa 1490 AD. If that isn't a thing of great pride to throw in the face of the descendants of the Euro-invaders, nothing is.

Welcome to the office of Dr. Mokopa. Please be seated, the doctor will be with you soon.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Bump Stocks And Motives

A few thoughts on the reactions to the Las Vegas Massacre.

Bump Stocks


I didn't know what a bump stock was until a week ago. Now, right-wing pundits I respect are telling me that they're the only things keeping Barack Obama from invading my house and eating our dogs. Meanwhile, a gun expert says the things are a novelty at best as they make the gun terribly inaccurate. The only real way to use them is to spray bullets into crowds.

Why are they legal?

Motives and Evil


Andrew Klavan, whom I adore, penned a very unusual piece of idiocy on the matter of Las Vegas and gun control.
Mollie Hemingway said something on the Special Report panel that was so compassionate and illuminating, it cooled my outrage. "We're pretending we're having a debate about gun control," Mollie said, "but we're really having a debate about the nature of evil and whether a big enough government can contain it." It was an observation so womanly wise that a mere news discussion couldn't address it. The rest of the panel ignored her and the talk immediately turned to the utterly meaningless effort to ban bump stocks.

But of course, she was right: that's exactly what we're really talking about. The left sneers at conservatives for "doing nothing," but conservatism understands the tragedy of the fallen world: we can only choose between freedom with evil and slavery with evil, because no government is large enough to make evil go away.
One part is right, a government large enough to prevent all evil turns us into slaves. The other part is wrong and stupid. Bump stocks should be banned and taking them away isn't going to lead to progressive overseers whipping us.

Motives and Guns


Mark Steyn, another pundit I love, went full nut job on the topic of the motives of the killer. He approvingly quoted someone who said that the lack of a manifesto or a past history of extremism meant that the guns themselves were the message. The guy had a pile of guns, all bought legally. His massacre was a deliberate gift to the gun control crowd.

So a man who is that much against gun violence killed 50+ and wounded hundreds to prevent gun violence? Are you insane?

My explanation: He shot the people and kept quiet about it because that's what the voices in his head told him to do.

Gun Control


Finally, we come to the left. I won't bother to quote all the hate-filled screeds and cries for Second Amendment advocates to die, die, die. Instead, the message I hear is that the same people who want to prevent Ben Shapiro and Charles Murray from speaking on college campuses promise that they won't go full tyranny on us if we just disarm peacefully.

Right. We'll get back to you on that.

Conservatives reply to Las Vegas: You can have my Hummel 150mm schwere Panzerhaubitze auf Gesch├╝tzwagen III when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

I'm Not Sure About Uber

... not because the rides were bad or late, but because of what it allowed me to do.

I went to a bachelor party last night where we hit a pair of craft beer bars. The gang went on to a third and maybe more, but I bailed after two. Drinks were bought, the conversation was interesting and fun was had. Too much fun. Because I had taken Uber instead of driving, there was effectively no limit to what I could consume other than biochemistry. While I enjoyed the company, I didn't enjoy having too much to drink. I would have had a better time if I'd stopped at two pints.

Therein lies the trouble with Uber. It removes the guard rails completely. It's not just Uber, of course, it's taxis, Lyft and all the other ways of getting home without driving. A designated driver changes the equation because it means at least one member of the crew is stone cold sober and can act as a friendly conscience and try to prevent you from imbibing too freely. After all, it's his car that's going to get trashed if everyone is completely blotto.

While I love craft beer and having a good time with the lads, this just isn't my scene. The last time  I did something like this was about 30 years ago. I'm thinking another 30-year hiatus would be a good idea.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Bachelor Party Tonight

.. and I'm going to Uber it for the first time. Old dogs, new tricks.

We know the couple very well and love them both. We laughingly call the bride-to-be our daughter and she calls us mom and dad. They're both a lot of fun.

So anyways, the guy calls me up while I'm shampooing the carpets in the middle of a Santa Ana. He tells me we're going beer-bar-hopping. I replied, "It's about a hundred degrees here and I'm cleaning the carpets because my wife asked me to do it. It's not too late! Save yourself! Don't make the same mistake I did!"

"She's right here in the room and can hear what you're saying."

Pause.

"Make the same mistake I did!"

:-)

Tomorrow: Hangover blogging!

Friday, October 06, 2017

Let's All Yell At Each Other!

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post and kind of an endorsement for libertarianism.

Social media after a tragedy like Las Vegas: Someone you don't know does something horrible to someone else you don't know and you start yelling orders at other people you don't know, demanding they take action or change their opinions about something.

Really?

How about if we just try to help if we can and do as little yelling at each other as possible.

(Says the guy with the blog and Twitter account that routinely yells demands at people he doesn't know.)

Thursday, October 05, 2017

The Mass Shooting In Las Vegas

... is not a time to whip out our favorite political hobby horses. It is a time for falling into the arms of the Eternal Love.

If you think this finally makes your point about laws and regulations or illustrates the need for liberty and rights, get over it. It doesn't. It shows the need for love, forgiveness and understanding.


And if some crazy blogger who uses his deceased cat as a pen name isn't enough, here's St. Teresa of Calcutta accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. If that's not a mic drop, nothing is.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Welcome To The Catican Bayou!

We love to throw parties and I love to cook Cajun, Creole, Southern and Caribbean food. During my Dixie Adventure a few months back, I noticed all the signs for the different bayous and decided I needed to name our house the Catican Bayou, at least for parties. I'm going to have a wooden sign made for it that I can hang up whenever we have a bash. I've been playing around with Adobe Illustrator and I've come up with a design I like.


What do you think?

Update: Yankee though he is, Ohioan at Heart made a good suggestion. He said "The Catican Bayou" just doesn't sound right. Dropping the definite article might be better. When I was researching these signs, I noticed that almost none of them had a "Welcome" portion. With that in mind, here's a second, simpler version that might be better.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Dealing With A Toddler Of A Body

Lately, my body has been banging its spoon on its high chair, screaming at me, "No! I won't sleep! I won't! I won't! I won't!" Exercise, no exercise, it makes no difference. Caffeine doesn't seem to be the issue, either. I'm just having to work through my body's sleep-related Terrible Twos.

Or something like that.

I was very blessed. My kids very rarely threw fits in stores. Of course, if they did, it went badly for them.

Monday, October 02, 2017

So Much Winning!

About a year ago, my favorite podcast was GLoP - Goldberg, Long and Podhoretz. Those three worthies, who normally wrote about politics, discussed movies and TV on the podcast, for the most part, with some politics as well. I was a big fan of all of them and Jonah Goldberg in particular. I think he's witty and tremendously well-read. I don't listen to it any more. All three of them have completely missed the boat.

When Trump took on the NFL, Jonah and John Podhoretz made the standard, erudite conservative noises on Twitter. What a shame the president is lowering himself to slam the NFL! How terribly gauche! I don't read his work any more, other than to skim his weekly G-file column to see if he's managed to get a clue, but I'm sure Jonah knocked out a long piece chiding Trump for being such a child. I'll bet he worked in references to the Whigs and the Code of Hammurabi and words like sesquipedalian and elucidate. Everything he would say would be correct, well-considered, self-consistent with his previous works and completely worthless.

Like almost every other large organization out there lately, the NFL sided with the social justice warriors against us normals. That's not news, the entertainment industry and academia do it all the time. Only this time, a big organization got punched in the face for their troubles. For the first time I can remember, a massive entity paid a substantial price for flipping us the bird. Other groups might have second thoughts the next time they want to indulge in some noxious virtue signalling. That wasn't going to happen without Trump being his normal, combative self.

When the Supreme Court jammed gay marriage down our throats and ANTIFA clones began to shut down free speech, the culture war went from cold to hot. Those were followed up by lectures from celebrities, news channels doing a propaganda blitzkrieg and formerly respected entities like the New York Times questioning the need for freedom of speech and doing their best to rehabilitate communism.

In the middle of a hot war, you need combative allies, not thumb-suckers who are going to write essays about Woodrow Wilson. The folks at the National Review and Commentary have been doing that for decades and it resulted in a total surrender of the culture to the progressives.

Is it ugly, what Trump is doing? Yes. Is it gauche and over-the-top? You bet. Does he dismember the truth at times? Yep. So what? He's winning some battles in the culture war. That's not something we've been able to say in a long, long time.

This misses the point as well. Why is the NFL even involved in this? It sells football games, not social justice. That's a 46% loss of good will in exchange for nothing. Not winning! Losing bigly!