Friday, November 30, 2018

I Wish The Aztecs Had Won

Blogging from my phone and struggling to insert an image, so this will be a quick thought.

I know a young man who works for a university. He's full of the hipster orthodoxy about white men being the source of all evil. It dawned on me recently that the dominant culture is a choice between a small number of candidates.

Would we be better off having derived our society from the Aztecs?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

On Camels And Eyes Of Needles

"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter heaven," said Jesus.

We always interpret this as rich in terms of money, but what about rich in terms of abilities? If you're attractive, isn't vanity always nearby? If you're intelligent, isn't scorn a close friend? If you have the ability to focus and work hard, isn't intolerance of sloth living in your house?

My mom has a gardener who is one of the nicest guys I know. He's not stupid, but he's not a genius, either. He has the virtues of honesty, humility and gratitude in spades. He's closer to heaven than I am, I'm sure of that.

When I see flowers, they sometimes remind me of that man.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sunset At Sunset Cliffs

This was taken last night on my way home. Here in San Diego, we don't get dramatic sunsets all that often as the sky is either perfectly clear or socked in with low clouds. A good sunset needs clouds in the foreground and a clear horizon. We got it last night. I left the photo large, so it's worth a click.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Would Twitter Ban The Pope?

Unless Pope Francis has made some changes in the last few days, I think we Catholics are still using the Bible for some stuff. I know it's mostly minor as we strive to combat Global Warming Climate Change and plastics in the ocean, but I'm pretty sure we reference the thing once in a while.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, anyone who denies that men can become women, women can become men and either can become gender-fluid muskrats is being shut down, banned or deleted. What would happen if the Pope got a wild hair and decided to dust off his Bible and tweet something about Genesis 1:27?
God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Or maybe he could down a few shooters and get really crazy, quoting Genesis 5:1-2.
This is the record of the descendants of Adam. When God created human beings, he made them in the likeness of God; he created them male and female. When they were created, he blessed them and named them humankind.
Would Twitter ban the Pope?

Not to worry. I doubt we'll ever find out. He's busy with the super-important stuff like open borders for everyone. He doesn't have the time to deal with minor things like the obliteration of the family which is the foundation of all civilization.

I'm not saying Twitter-banning the dude would be altogether bad, either.

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Second Try At Night Sky Photograpy

... and it came out much better than before. I think having the proper shutter speed made a difference. I also learned that you need some foreground elements so the viewer can make sense of what they're seeing. The top one has some trees and a horizon, the bottom one doesn't.

Let me know if you can see anything distinct. In the Photoshop processing, I played with the exposure setting which brought out the foreground, but I can't tell if I did it enough. For me, it depended on the backlighting on the monitor. If the room was a bit dark, the images looked great. If not, well, your mileage may vary.

In an case, I left them really large, so they're worth some clicks. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Taking 585 Pages To Say Goodbye

... sounds like the kind of thing a completely psycho girlfriend would do.

Which is a good approximation of the EU.
BRUSSELS—More than two years after Britons voted to break from the European Union, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and the leaders of the remaining EU members approved a hard-fought, 585-page treaty setting out the terms of the U.K.’s divorce from the bloc.
I think that if I had drafted the UK's response, it would have been a single image.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Problem With An Improv Culture

... is that you can't predict what's coming next so you can't prepare for it.

I'm working out an idea that there are essentially three religions in the world.
  1. Islam
  2. Christianity
  3. Secular Progressivism*
In Europe and the US, the Secularists are the dominant culture. Intellectually, they're the children of the postmodernists who are trying to discard anything they consider "white" and, more particularly, anything they deem to have come from white men.

That's a problem.

What they're really doing is throwing away 6000 years of civilizational evolution, an evolution based on trial and error. All of that experience is being discarded because they feel it is tainted with "whiteness." The upshot is that they are now forced to create their culture on the fly, like improv performers working out a scene. Each time a new wrinkle is introduced by someone, the other actors have to quickly recalibrate their parts and go along with the flow or they risk wrecking the show and earning the wrath of the others.

Sort of like the feminists who are freaking out over equating trannies with women. Also sort of like the gays who are discovering that Muslims aren't all that welcoming, despite what the academics in the grievance industry say about oppressed groups banding together to fight patriarchal whiteness.
The 2016 survey was carried out by ICM and it revealed that 52 per cent of British Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal, compared with 5 per cent among the wider population.
Then there's the problem of what to do about men. The secularists did away with the white, patriarchal tyranny of chivalry. Hurrah! They also did away with feminine modesty and chastity. Hurrah! Now they're trying to figure out how to re-civilize men. Whoops! Don't worry, they'll get there. Oh, wait, now people aren't reproducing and men aren't pursuing college or careers. Quick, hold another conference so we can solve that one!

Was it always this complicated to be a guy?

And therein lies the rub. The secularists, as they build their Rube Goldberg machine of a culture, are making everything up on the fly with no manuals like the Bible or the Koran and having discarded the experience of the icky, white, male West, are finding that Hope and Change isn't a plan. It's kind of a mess.

This simple demonstration illustrates how we will achieve societal peace and harmony while pursuing every conceivable sexual desire and abandoning the traditional (YUCK!) family.

* - What an unwieldy name! I don't like it at all.

Friday, November 23, 2018

This Is What Happens When You Stop Reading Shakespeare

An opinion piece wherein Nature takes the side of psychotics.
According to a draft memo leaked to The New York Times, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposes to establish a legal definition of whether someone is male or female based solely and immutably on the genitals they are born with. Genetic testing, it says, could be used to resolve any ambiguity about external appearance...

The proposal — on which HHS officials have refused to comment — is a terrible idea that should be killed off. It has no foundation in science and would undo decades of progress on understanding sex — a classification based on internal and external bodily characteristics — and gender, a social construct related to biological differences but also rooted in culture, societal norms and individual behaviour.
Here are some of the characteristics of a psychotic with the applicable ones further defined.
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions - A delusion is where a person has an unshakeable belief in something untrue.
  • Confused and disturbed thoughts
  • Lack of insight and self-awareness - People who have psychotic episodes are often unaware that their delusions or hallucinations aren't real.
When we ditched the white, European thing because they were horrible people, like Shakespeare, Aquinas and Newton, we threw out all of their accumulated wisdom, too. Now we're having to make up a culture from scratch. The end result is that we follow postmodernist madness down one rabbit hole after another. Hence, we've reached the point where a formerly prestigious journal like Nature is arguing against basic biology.


Here, old Will is pondering how he to oppress minorities.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thankful For Sunsets

... like this one I shot while on the way home from work a few days ago. I left it large, so it's worth a click. Enjoy and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

If You Leave Illinois, We'll Give You A BMW

Illinois owes $129B in pensions. There are 12.8M people in Illinois. That works out to about $10,000 per person - every man, woman, child and transgendered otherkin. If you and your current life partner live together in an open arrangement with one adopted child of indeterminate gender and one elderly relative, your household will be responsible for about $40,000 of that debt.

On Carmax this morning, I found this lovely 2018 BMW M240 for about that price. Note: when that car gets sold, that link probably won't work any more. Sorry about that.

A late-model BMW sports car or paying off a debt run up by politicians buying the votes of selfish, fiscally-illiterate, government employees. Hmm. Is that a tough choice? Over at Crain's Chicago Business, some youngster has penned an editorial that says Something Must Be Done. It's sad, really. He's just now waking up to the realities that his pension-imbued Illinois Public Teachers Union members left out of his education. There's only one thing that will be done, sweetie. Someone's going to take a bath, either you or the elderly. Right now, it's you.

That is, unless you move to another state, in which case you won't be on the hook for the bill and you can go buy that Beemer. Just do the rest of us a favor, OK? Try to learn something from this and don't take your blue state idiocies into a red state and ruin that place, too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

You May Not Be Interested In The Culture War

... but the culture war is interested in you. That's what Leon Trotsky would say these days.

I had an interaction with a progressive today that shocked me. I know enough to not take a position one way or another on the social justice topics of the day, but the fact that I was ambivalent enraged them. They dialed the crazy up to 11 instantly, complete with f-bombs. It was like dealing with a violent psychotic, which is something I've done in a past life. Thank God the interaction was online.

I hastened to agree with them, gave them what they wanted and ducked out. I had absolutely zero confidence that anyone in authority would have given me any protection at all. It was chilling, to say the least.

Leon Trotsky - A progressive who liked violent rhetoric and violence in general until he was killed with an ice-axe. I'm guessing at the point where the axe entered his body, he began to consider the possibility that he should dial it back a bit.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Debt And Immigration

If you want to know why so many people are fine with the illegal immigrant invasion force entering the country, take a look at this.

We can have whatever we want, simply by printing money and/or issuing bonds. Taxes don't go up when spending goes up, so policy issues are decoupled from fiscal reality. In the short term, that is.

I saw one of those quote-photo memes this morning saying something about how we should send judges and lawyers to the border instead of soldiers so we could process the immigrants instead of turning them away. The chick who posted it was going to feel no ill effects from letting them in and felt guilt about closing the door on them. Why not be compassionate if it's free? Fight the HATE!

However, if letting them in socked her with a higher tax bill, she might see things a different way. At least there would be another side to the debate, a side not filled with HATE.

In case you're one of those people who wants to make everything about Trump, I'll let you know I'm no fan of him in this regard. A one trillion dollar deficit in the middle of one of the greatest economic times in our history is unconscionable. Unfortunately, there is no meaningful fiscal conservative political movement any more. We're all drunken sailors now.

Until that changes, and I hope it does when we see Japan or Europe go over the edge, these immigration debates will be all emotion and no substance.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Catholic Church Needs To Change With The Times

... said some activists priests in France, 1787, Germany, 1937 and America and Europe today. "It's high time we made changes! The Jacobins Nazis Social Justice Warriors have the right idea!"

If we go that route, we'll need to stay fluid. Dig what happened to Meghan Murphy.
On Thursday, an ardent Canadian feminist who has supported the #MeToo movement but has opposed a bill that would encode gender identity and gender expression into Canadian law furiously revealed that Twitter wouldn't let her say that men are not women.

Meghan Murphy, who founded the feminist blog and podcast Feminist Current in 2012, had tweeted in October, “Men aren’t women tho,” and “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between men and transwomen?”

On Thursday, Murphy revealed on Twitter that she had been notified by Twitter that her language in the tweet had violated their rules against hateful conduct.
That's kind of the problem with chasing the modern zeitgeist, isn't it? It's a moving target. Compared with the solid architecture of 2000 years of accumulated genius codified in the Catholic Catechism, it's a bit of a lightweight.

Say we want to properly embrace the LGBT crowd. Just how do we do it? Do we embrace the Obama '08 version? Gays are cool, but marriage is only between a man and a woman. Do we go for the Obama '12 version? Gay marriage is cool, but only women are women. Or do we go with Obama '18? Men can become full women and vice versa.

Embracing the latter two will mean substantial rewrites of the Bible, starting with Genesis. "Be fruitful and multiply" was ... what, a suggestion? A bit of poetry? Apocryphal?

How about the Catechism itself where we acknowledge the supremacy of science over theology? I guess we need to dump that as evolutionary biology, heck, biology itself needs to be jettisoned.

Lately, I've heard plenty of progressive Catholics, including several within the Pope's inner circle, make noises about changing with the times. In essence, they're choosing Kamala Harris and Corey 'Spartacus' Booker over St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine.

Yeah, I don't think I'm pulling the trigger on that trade.

Aquinas and Augustine for Harris and Booker? Even the Browns wouldn't make that deal.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Mature Women Should Read Children's Stories

Tired of politics and non-fiction brainiac books, I've gone back to listening to children's books from around 1900. This time, I found the complete set of Oz books, read by Sean Murphy, for less than a dollar on Audible. That was a no-brainer, so I bought it and listened to The Wizard of Oz on the flight from San Diego to Providence on Tuesday. I tried to get into The Marvelous Land Of Oz on the return flight, but I gave up very early in the book.

I can't tell if it was the writing or the reader, but I was distinctly underwhelmed. It could not hold a candle to the Edith Nesbitt books I listened to a while back. First off, Sean just doesn't work as a storyteller for children. He tries hard, perhaps too hard, but he just doesn't have the warmth and ... love, is it? ... you need for the job. Sean's got a bit of the gay voice lilt* which doesn't help. Instead of being immersed in the story, you wonder about Sean. It was like having a flute play the saxophone line in a jazz piece. The voice artist worked hard, but it wasn't right.

Since the performance moved slowly and words were simple, I was able to imagine reading the prose as he went along to separate the performance from the story. What I really wondered was how it would sound if a woman read it.

My mom was (and still is) a great mom. She read me lots and lots of stories when I was a child. As I was sick a great deal of the time, she had lots and lots of chances to do so. She would even do a very nice, British accent when she read things like Peter Rabbit. There was so much love and warmth in her reading! That's certainly why I associate children's books with happiness.

It's got to be a woman reading the book. My Air Force pilot dad, who was away much of time, would tell me stories that he made up, but he didn't read to me and that was probably a good thing. His masculine voice and firm diction worked for his farm-based stories, but it would have been completely out of place elsewhere. Children's books need a woman reader or the spell is broken.

Just now, I'm walking through the Audible versions of Oz, trying the sample excerpts to find a good one. Meh. There are lots and lots read by young women, but they don't seem to work, either. You need that rich, mature, woman's voice. You need a mom's voice.

A first edition.

* - I despise identity politics with a passion, but I would argue that there are vocal characteristics to certain groups. Men and women have different voices, blacks and whites have different voices and, sometimes, gays and straights have different voices. It's not that it carries with it a personal judgment, it's that some voices don't work for some things. For example, a black simply must be the voice artist for a reading of Uncle Remus or the whole thing can be dismissed out of hand.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Not San Diego

No, it's Rhode Island during the first snowstorm of the season. It was very pretty.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Worrying About Nuclear Global And Warming War

... or something like that.

The Pope, who I as a rabid papist am inclined to support, said in a recent interview that he's worried about global warming climate change* and nuclear war. Whatever. I guess he's opposed to Mr. Mobutu wanting reliable electricity in his African hospital when his wife needs a c-section. Global Warming, you see, is caused by third-world people wanting to do away with filth, starvation and disease, the elimination of which will require the use of energy which spews CO2 into the air.

Oh well. Where Papa Frankie came up with nuclear war, I'm sure I don't know. I think his talking points from the progressives are a bit out of date.

Meanwhile, birthrates in Japan, Europe and America are below replacement, which means Muslims are an ever-increasing percentage of global population. Traditional families, the source of civilization, have been decimated in Europe and America as we pursue pleasure. Porn is completely destabilizing sexual relationships all over the world. I guess those aren't a big deal as they don't involve "global" issues, only the problems of normal people.

I have a dream. Someday, our elite will have something in common with regular, everyday Joes and Janes.

Ha! What a hopeless romantic.

I'd also like a unicorn.
* - Poor Pope Francis is behind the times. He doesn't realize that we've moved on to Climate Change.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

It's Over When You Surrender

... like the Brits have done to the Muslims.
A Pakistani Christian woman’s appeal to Britain for asylum has been denied because her arrival in the country may stir civil unrest, HuffPost UK has been told.

Asia Bibi, a Christian farm labourer, was released from prison in Pakistan on Wednesday after being acquitted of blasphemy. She had spent eight years on death row after an argument with a group of Muslim women in June 2009.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned Bibi’s 2010 conviction for “insulting the prophet Mohammed” last week, saying the case against her was based on flimsy evidence.

But her acquittal sparked violent protests led by Islamic religious hardliners, and the government has now agreed to try to stop her leaving the country.
That sounds a lot like the numerous American universities that have surrendered to the mob veto of ANTIFA and social justice warriors in all manner of things.

How hard is it to grow a new spine once yours has eroded away?

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Malibu Fire

... is dropping ash in San Diego, ~150 miles away. Check out the film on the top of our birdbath.

Meanwhile, wife kitteh was absolutely murdered by her allergies yesterday. We suspected smoke from the fires and this confirmed it.

If it's throwing ash down here, it's huge up there. God bless the firefighters and the victims of the blaze. Here in San Diego, we managed to escape 2018 without a major fire, but that will come in time. They always do.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Manual Doesn't Lie


I spent a little time today trying to figure out why I hadn't been able to set the shutter speed when I took my night sky photos a few days ago. The manual said to turn the front dial to adjust the speed. I didn't see a front dial, so I kept turning the back one and nothing happened.

It turns out there's a small front dial on the, err, well, front of the camera. Duhhh. I spun the dial and the shutter speed changed.

No worries, I discovered the other morning that the night sky where I live is not too bad and I might even start with some moon photos just to get the hang of it.

That is, now that I know the front dial is in the front.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

You Don't Know What It's Like To Be ... (Blank)

I can't stand that argument. It drives me crazy. It's illogical and marks deep ingratitude. It's ugly and divisive. Until this morning, I couldn't think of the logical fallacy in it. It seemed impervious to debate as whatever you said could be countered with yet more characteristics the left associates with oppression.

I know a blind fellow at work. He's a scientist. I've worked with him on making our web applications more accessible to screen readers. If you've never used a screen reader, it's amazing what it does and what it requires on the part of the consumer. The thing starts at the topmost element in the Document Object Model (DOM) of the web page and reads it to you. Hitting the tab key moves you to the next element. I think ctrl-tab takes you back to the previous one.

Pictures and input elements like forms must have alt text associated with them so the screen reader can tell the blind person what it is. Without it, they can't fill out forms and don't know what the picture is showing to the rest of us.

To use a screen reader, you have to keep a mental map of the web page in your head. Imagine memorizing the map of the DC subway system. And the NY subway system. And the Chicago El and the LA bus system and on and on and on. Each website has a different map and the blind person is picturing the DOM in their heads as they walk through it with the tab key.

Meanwhile, the rest of us just zip around with the mouse and click on funny lolcat memes.

Whenever I hear arguments like, "You don't know what it's like to be black!" or "You don't know what it's like to be a woman!" I want to reply, "You don't know what it's like to be blind!" The obvious reply would be, "Yeah, well, you don't know what it's like to be a blind, black woman!"

That's not the way the thing works, though, is it? The blind dude doesn't live in a world of blind people where he might have some advantages because of his skin color or sex. He lives in the whole world and has to compete with all of us for jobs, respect, social status and mates. It doesn't matter to the blind guy that he doesn't know what it's like to be a black, blind guy because his disadvantage is orders of magnitude worse than skin color or sex, if those even carry with them disadvantages at all, which is debatable.

In fact, if he met a black, blind woman, they'd immediately have a close kinship born of having to learn how to live in the world of the sighted. They'd be able to have deep conversations about screen readers, crosswalk voices and how to set up a bedroom so you don't fall over everything. Heck, they might even fall in love because they finally met someone who understood them.

Meanwhile, in the world of the grievance culture, most of us are sighted, healthy, reasonably attractive and enjoy the fruits of our ancestors' hard work and ingenuity. Life's pretty easy, all things considered. Certainly too easy to walk around telling each other that we don't know what it's like to be an Eskimo lesbian.

Oh yeah? Well, you don't know what it's like to be a short, one-eyed, one-handed, transgendered, lactose-intolerant, vegan pirate!

Friday, November 09, 2018

A First Try At Night Sky Photography

Was both rewarding and frustrating at the same time.

Wife kitteh, who was being a good sport, and I went out to dinner last night and then drove out to Sunrise Highway in the Laguna Mountains so I could play with my Fujifilm X-T10 camera and try to get some night sky photos. The night was moonless and clear and the place has very little light pollution, so everything was set for some good photos.

I spent some time in the afternoon trying to set up the camera properly. I put it in manual mode, set the ISO at 4000 and tried to learn how to manually set the shutter speed. I was able to figure out everything but that last part. No matter what I did, the thing stayed at 1.5 seconds instead of the recommended 15-30 seconds.

Lesson: Don't try reading the manual in the car at night. If you're doing that, you're doing things wrong. However, wife kitteh came home very hungry, so setup time with the camera was cut a bit short as noms were required sooner than expected.

Lesson: Set up all your gear ahead of time and take some shots, even if it's in the middle of the day. I had planned to look through the manual during my lunch break and work through the settings, but, as usual, the workday had other plans and I never got to it. Hence, I was working out the settings at the last minute before we left.

Lesson: If you're in the mindset that the first two or three times you try something new you're going to make a total hash of it, it's all good. I had no expectations other than figuring out what I had done wrong the next day, which is today. When you learn new things, you asymptotically approach competence as you keep trying.

In the end, I was actually happy with a couple of the shots, however they managed to sneak their way into my camera in spite of my best efforts at ignorance. In the end, it was very cold up there and I was a bit unhappy with my inability to set the shutter speed, so I took some shots in random directions to use as teaching aids today. I came away with some nice full sky shots and one or two horizon ones. They're not professional grade, but they look like I meant to do them.

I left these quite large, so I think they're worth a click. In fact, you'll need to click on them to see them properly. In thumbnail mode on the blog, they look like black rectangles. Enlarged, they look like black rectangles with tiny, white dots, which, I'm sure you'll agree, is much better. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

On Assignment

Tonight, I'm heading up to the Mount Laguna area to try to take some Milky Way photos. More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Least Important Election Of Our Lifetimes

... was yesterday.

Important stuff

The only thing of significance that was at stake was the restoration of democracy through the continued remaking of the Federal court system. President Trump has done an outstanding job nominating judges who will interpret the law rather than make it. The high profile cases of gay marriage and abortion took the issue out of the hands of the people and handed it to 5 Ivy League creeps in black robes which is the opposite of democracy. We won yesterday. Hooray for us!

Not on the table

The big issues of marriage, debt and sovereignty weren't going to be determined by yesterday's elections because neither side cares about them at all.

The Democrats have become Nazis without ambition. They're fixated on identity groups, particularly racial. For all that, blacks remain an idea to them, not real people with real problems. And the real problem there remains what it has been for decades - the destruction of marriage. No one, black or white, red or blue, was talking about it. We talked a lot about race, but we didn't talk about reality.

We have full employment and peace and we're still blowing through over a trillion dollars of borrowing a year. That's not just unsustainable, that's insane. Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter. There are no adults in the room when it comes to money so it hardly mattered which way things went.

The Republicans had the legislature for two years and couldn't bring themselves to build the wall. Instead, we got children being separated from their parents, caravans of light infantry heading for the border and a whole lot of hoo-hah about ICE and sanctuary cities. No one really cares to allow Americans to define what it means to be an American, that's a job the legislature wants foreigners to do by migrating at will.

End result

So in terms of significant changes for the nation, the only big deal was the courts and we won that one, handily. We'll have another two years of good Federal judges being confirmed. If Ruth Bader Ginsburg goes to that Big Abortion Mill in the Ground Sky, the two squishy (R) chicks - Murkowski and Collins - can do whatever it is they do instead of standing up for normal Americans during the resultant Supreme Court nomination cage match and it won't matter. I'll take that, considering it's all that was offered.

For now, fiscal responsibility at the Federal level is as dead as this yellowjacket.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

How To Make Voting More Rewarding

I voted today and while waiting in the long line of Handmaid's Tale cosplay characters, crossdressers and furries (this is California, you know), I came up with some ideas to improve things.


Add a selection to the ballot, up at the top, called NEVER. If you pick that, you don't need to show up any more, it will vote NO on all ballot measures on your behalf from there on out.

Wife kitteh is voting no on everything because she wants the idiots in the legislature to do their jobs. I'm voting no as a kind of parlor game, like hiding Easter eggs from 3-year-olds. How long will it take them to find the obvious solutions? Whee! What fun!

Clickbait Polls

We need to have questions on the ballot like, "Who's your favorite Monkee?" or "Are the Doors the most overrated band of all time?" That would be cool.

By the way, the Doors question would have two responses:

  • YES
  • I'm high on weed right now

Asking for Help

Jokingly, I tweeted out that I hadn't been following along and had no idea how to vote. I asked for suggestions. Here was my favorite response.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Living In The Past

While I was at the general's funeral last week, I spoke with one of his grandchildren who worked with a tribal government that shall remain nameless. She was trying to help them find new sources of revenue, including tourism. She told me that simple tasks were difficult because skilled personnel were so thin on the ground within the tribe. For example, she had great difficulty getting them to give her an invoice for some work they had done. It wasn't that they were being stubborn, it's that they weren't used to doing such things.

We discussed our different experiences with American Indians on reservations. She confirmed what I had long suspected, that most of the talented and motivated young people left the reservation and never came back. The reservation just didn't have anything to offer.

What is the point of clinging to the Old Ways? It's pretty clear that the Old Ways aren't paying off any more. Hanging out on the reservations in New Mexico is a pretty depressing experience. The available jobs are not exciting at all. Casino work must be the best they have to offer and even that isn't breeding a new generation of intellectual and artistic leaders. It all seemed so very confining to me. It's as if the reservations were a prison, physically, mentally and psychically.

Then there's the ferocious problems of substance abuse on the reservations. Why not get loaded when there's not much else to do?

What happens when your reason for existence has vanished into the past?

Sunday, November 04, 2018

A Happy Photo

I promise I'll contribute to the acrimony and yelling on the Internet again in the near future. Today, I came across this photo in my gallery and it brought a smile to my face. It's deliciousness in a pre-nom state. I thought it might make you smile, too. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Evictions And The Homeless

Once upon a time, I bought a house so I could scrape the lot and build a custom home on it. The house came with renters, at least one of which was a self-wounding drug addict. It was as sad a story as you can imagine and a sobering reminder of why illegal drugs are illegal. It was a woman who had fled her mother and her husband to run into the arms of drugs. I met both of them, who were desperate to save her. I pray that they eventually did, but having seen that story play out before, I wouldn't bet on it.

In the four months before we bulldozed the place, the renters stayed. We got a total of one month's rent out of them. They knew they didn't have to keep a relationship with us and they were going to have to leave anyway. Their credit ratings and our references for future rentals meant nothing to them, so they simply occupied the house. This being California, there wasn't much we could do. The eviction process is prolonged and expensive for a landlord. In the end, we decided to remain friendly and just let them know when the place was going to be demolished. They left a couple of days in advance of that.

Had they wished, they could have stayed a few more months and thrown a huge wrench in our schedule. If someone lives in your house and claims it as their residence with no other place to go, they are considered tenants in California with all the rights thereof. That means you need to go through the full eviction process to get them out. When you read stories of adults living with their parents and wonder why the parents don't just kick them out of the house, that's part of the reason why.

An eviction process takes months. Just getting to the point where you can file papers is a month. Imagine what it would be like to live under the same roof with someone, particularly one of your children, who knows you dislike them so much that you'd throw them out in the street. If they're desperate and/or addicts, things could get really dicey. If you're elderly, fearing for your safety would be natural and sane.

That's something to consider when you let Junior move back in with you.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Red By A Pixel 3

There are too many things going on right now in Real Life™ to allow for decent blogging, despite lots of topics. Yesterday, we had a bit of a family crisis, so I didn't have the time to knock out anything at all. Today, the best I can offer is a photo from my brand-new Pixel 3.

I really like the phone. It's a ton faster than my Galaxy S7 was, which, after the most recent update, we struggling to navigate using Google Maps. Twitter was a horror of slothfulness. The new Pixel 3 is greased lightning.

The camera, which is supposed to be the biggest selling point of the phone, doesn't disappoint. I took some outstanding family photos yesterday, but I don't want to share those here. This morning, I shot some bougainvillea flowers outside my office. Here's a section of one of those photos. I love the way the veins on the flowers leap out at you. I left it large, so it might be worth a click. Enjoy!