Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023
I fully realize that people get set in their ways and are reluctant to change their way of thinking. And yet... radical change does happen from time to time. Change is never easy. Change can be the hardest thing there is. Sometimes when you make big changes you lose people in your life. You might even lose your family. And I would never diminish the difficulty and sadness that this can bring. Which is why people who cannot abide denying the truth and who risk everything to pursue it are heroes. That's not overstating things. Heroes.
This morning while I was waiting to start a Zoom call with the Bitch that is Dutch, I saw a video that might very well be the catalyst for change in some people's hearts. Not all hearts, of course. But maybe some.
And for that reason, here you go (and here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
There's two things I have to say before I post this. The first is short. The second may take a while.
The first thing I have to say is that Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the guy who's speaking in the video, lost his seat last November after it was redistricted. And, it's like, the guy isn't perfect... you look at some of the stuff he said and did and you're like "Whatever." But I can tell you one thing, this is the kind of man I'd rather have in public service... flaws and all... than most of the shit we get. And it's our loss. He's a lawyer, he'll be fine even if his political career is over.
The second thing I have to say is pertains to when (then) Representative Sean Patrick Maloney said "So you keep having them, we'll keep raising them." And by "you" he's referring to straight people and by them he was referring to their unwanted and abandoned kids. And it bears repeating that a big chunk of straight people are as dead-set against him being able to marry the person he loves as they are dead-set against him being able to adopt a child. You know, the same straight people who advocate for abortion to be made illegal, but would never in a million years adopt a forced-birth baby or do anything at all for that child after it leaves the womb. The same straight people who would rather an "unadoptable" child never have a home with people to care for them instead of them having a good home with gay parents. The same people who quote every lasts piece of The Bible that can be twisted to support their narrative while conveniently ignoring parts that can't. The same people who think that rules apply to everybody but them because they're "the right kind of people." The same people who have scandal after scandal after scandal proving how hypocritical they are, but still think that the "do as I say not as I do" line of thinking is valid.
You know. Those people.
People on their fourth divorce who, when presented with this video, will click the stop button the minute he says "I've been with my husband for almost 28 years because they consider his marriage to be what's "destroying the country" (a lot of whom will go into politics because trading off hate and hypocrisy is easy money).
If the "pro-life" movement was actually "pro-life" you'd think that making sure the product of forced-births had a home and family would take priority over whatever bullshit nonsense they think about marriage and adoption. But think again, because they'd rather have anything... ANYTHING... except a happy family that looks like this...
But maybe. Just maybe their kids will be able to see through the bullshit and, despite their hypocritical worldview upbringing, be able to make that change. And make it knowing that they're risking everything.
Maybe they will be able to step up and become the heroes we need them to be.
Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2023
We've become so polarized as a society that love/hate is assumed. There's no room for subtlety or shades of gray.
As an example... after the passing of Barbara Walters I was asked about her and said I "...wasn't a fan." Which was somehow interpreted as me hating her. I then had to explain that I didn't hate her, didn't wish her dead, appreciated her being a trailblazer for women in journalism and inspired women to consider journalism, and also liked that she advocated for women's issues. And even though she had some good interviews, she also had some truly shitty interviews. Setting aside some of the idiotic softball questions she's asked people (the whole "...what kind of tree would you be" fiasco is just the beginning), her 2000 interview of Ricky Martin showed what a disgusting, abhorrent piece of shit she could be. So disgusting and abhorrent that she eventually had to publicly express regret for having done it.
And the list goes on and on.
You don't like something... you love it.
You don't dislike something... you hate it.
And there's no in-between.
But there should be. You should be able to dislike something or someone without being labeled a "hater." Getting back to Barbara Walters... I just didn't think enough about her to have that strong of an opinion. Hate? Really? I try not to hate anybody, but if I were to admit to hating anyone, Baba Wawa wouldn't even be on my radar. She wouldn't even occur to me in that context.
I mean, she did give us this absolute GOLD...
The old addage "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" has entirely new relevance today. It's not because you shouldn't talk shit about people... it's that if you even hint at anything negative, people will escallate it toward hatred very quickly.
And Lord only knows that we have more than enough hate in the world right now.
Posted on Sunday, January 8th, 2023
Don't worry about me being buried under snow, again, I'll manage just fine... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• I Can See Clearly Now! I didn't want to spend $720 to replace my two damaged windows... but it turns out it was money well-spent. If for no other reason than I can actually see out of them now. Having to try and look through condensation and sediment that was inside my old busted windows was impossible in cold weather. And since the kitchen window is the ONLY window on either floor where I can see out the front of my house... and my bedroom window is one of only two useable windows on the ENTIRE 2ND FLOOR... they're probably the most important windows I have! Ironic how that works! But typical, huh?
• Sing! This is Dave Grohl's daughter, Violet...
Gorgeous. Musical talent very much runs in this family.
• As It Should Be. Tennessee Becomes First State to Charge Child Support to Drunk Drivers Who Kill Parents. Absolutely shameful that this is not the norm in all 50 states. Actions should have consequences... especially for something as dire as this. I'd ask my Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell where they're at on this, but it's probably the same place that digital driver's licenses are for Washingtonians... nowhere. They're too busy cashing their Big Pharma checks... or whatever it is that's more important to them.
• Big Ships! Now this is both fascinating and cool...
When things get bigly huge is when they get very interesting. Where do they get the materials to build something so massive?
• Order-Free! Netflix occasionally likes to experiment with their content. I like to encourage this, even though it rarely results in big wins. Their latest is Kaleidoscope, a heist series with episode colors instead of episode numbers, that you can watch in any order (and which Netflix shuffles for every viewer)...
My order was Black, Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange, Violet, Red, Pink, and White. Black is always first. White is always last. I don't know that my order is better than any other, but I like that Yellow was first because one of the very few twists in the series would be ruined otherwise. Ultimately this isn't a bad show... it's just not a great one. Probably because the episodes can be watched in any order, they have to be self-contained. They can't really build upon each other to create a narrative. And they can't really do anything monumental because then they could spoil something if watched in the wrong spot. They're all just meh after a while. Which is to say that though I enjoyed the series at first... by the time I was half-way through I was disappointed. The ending was kinda fun though. I'm not sure exactly how this concept could be improved in the future, but I wish Netflix luck in trying.
• Themes. Angelo Badalamenti died last month. He was a phenomenally gifted magician who had a long and interesting career, mostly scoring film and television. But what he's probably best known for is his collaborations with David Lynch. The guy made Twin Peaks what it was...
It's not exactly like his life was cut short... he was 85... but as I always do when somebody with such talent passes, I can't help but think he left us too soon.
• Old Amsterdam! Few shows made such an immediate impact on me as New Amsterdam (the second one, not the first one about an immortal in New York City, which was also very good). It's a hospital drama in a sea of hospital dramas, but one that feels quite different to me. And it's ending this month. It got an abbreviated final fifth season...
Over the years it's had some amazing stories told, and I'm a bit sad that it's not going to be around any more (even though the drama outside the hospital had gotten a bit stale). All I know is that this cast... starting with Ryan Eggold... better end up on great new shows as soon as possible.
Until next week, buckaroos.
Posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023
Three years ago today I received an email about the coronavirus from the charity I worked with (worked, as in past-tense, because it closed down). The previous day the World Health Organization had announced the coronavirus outbreak in China, and our director was wanting to bring it to our attention so that those of us impacted could be made aware (if they weren't already).
All of my travel for the organization was mostly to Washington, California, and Hawaii... with occasional jumps to London, Amsterdam, Orlando, and New Orleans... so it was something I skimmed through, paying only half-attention to it.
On Valentine's Day, 2020 I was told that my international travel had been suspended indefinitely, my travel for March and April was canceled, and I wasn't to schedule anything new through June... when surely everything would be under control.
In no time at all everything escalated and we're still dealing with the shit.
So Happy Coronaversary to me, I guess. I'd express hope for the future, but it's exploding all over again in some places. Though there's always news on the horizon about new efforts to combat it. Apparently scientists have figured out where COVID starts gaining traction in our respiratory system through the nose, so maybe there's a spray coming up which acts like a barrier to stop it there. Then we only have to worry about touching our eyes or whatever, so it's an interesting idea.
Until the next pandemic.
Not that everybody listens to science any more.
Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2023
There are days that I take a look at the news coming down the pipe and I'm overwhelmed to the point of no longer being able to care. It's like... how much crap can we be expected to handle before our brains are going into complete meltdown? I don't really know. My brain is at capacity.
Not a great start to the week to be sure.
Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Today I fell down an anti-vax, anti-science, flat-earth, we-never-landed-on-the-moon rabbit hole of stupid that still has me shaking my head. It's like... the "expert" that gets cited is always just some guy. Or some disgraced doctor. Or some "trust-me-bro" media personality. And the "data" is usually opinion masquerading as facts. Or good data interpreted badly. Sometimes people don't bother reading past a headline to form a complete opinion... even if the headline has absolutely nothing to do with what's actually happening.
But the big mystery for me is how the world's ENTIRE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY and THE VAST, VAST MAJORITY OF DOCTORS AND SPECIALISTS are all on the payroll of NASA or Big Pharma or whom-the-fuck-ever. Do you know how many doctors there are worldwide? How many scientists? The money needed to pay off every last one of them would exceed all profits of all these entities that are supposedly paying them to keep quiet about the "truth."
Am I saying straight-up that vaccines are 100% harmless and NASA isn't hiding shit? Oh hell no. Anybody that certain is selling you something (probably "nutritional supplements" guaranteed to cure COVID!). And I am always open to the possibility that new facts and new data may come to light which can refute any science or data currently in evidence.
But this whole "My wife's cousin's best friend's co-worker's neighbor's electrician's dog groomer's pediatrist's mortician says that vaccines cause massive blood clots in every vaccinated corpse they examine!" is about the most sublimely idiotic excuse for "research" imaginable.
But, to an increasing number of people on this planet, that's the "reasearch" that matters, so good luck to us not going extinct or whatever.
Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2023
Fantastic Voyage was released just six months after I was born in 1966. I didn't see the film until years later thanks to cable television. It's the work that I most attach to Raquel Welch, who sadly passed away today at 82 years old.
But this was not the first time that I saw Raquel Welch in anything. I'm pretty sure that it was Mork & Mindy. I didn't know who she was, but my mom was quick to identify her when I asked WHO IS THAT?!?
Not from when she first walked on the screen like this...
But later on when she walked on looking like this...
Something that made a very big impression on my 13-year-old brain.
From there I made a point of watching anything with Raquel Welch, wherever she appeared. Up to and including Legally Blonde and Eugenio Derbez's How to Be a Latin Lover (her final film project). But it's Fantastic Voyage that I most associate with her (though the original Bedazzled and One Million Years B.C. are in the running)...
Fantastic Voyage was similar to the Disneyland ride Adventure Through Inner Space (which followed the movie the following year), which is why I probably crush on it so hard (as if Raquel in her skin-tight scientist suit wasn't enough)...
Alas, no appearance by Raquel Welch in the ride.
Rest in Peace to an iconic Hollywood bombshell.
Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2023
Today I had to start work at 5am. But then, half-way through the middle of my project, I found that I was missing some information. With an hour to kill before anybody would be available, I decided to drive into The Big City so I could pick up a few things at Home Depot. I also dropped by Walmart (which is across the street) so I could see if they had any of the Chobani Flip yogurts I haven't tried (they did not, darnit).
As I was driving back home, I was in the passing lane to pass somebody who was going 55mph in a 60mph zone, when all of a sudden this massive pickup came ROARING up on my bumper. It was outrageous. First of all, I was actively passing somebody. Second, I was going 65mph, which is over the speed limit. With nothing better to do... I slowed down to 60mph. I was still passing the car in the right lane, I was just doing it slower because the guy up on my ass was being a dick.
Sure it was petty, but it's still better than slamming on my brakes... which would have likely ended up with him slamming into the back of me.
If I were in the passing lane and not passing somebody and not driving the speed limit... then yeah, by all means, climb all over my ass because I would totally deserve it. But I did not deserve this at all, so fuck you.
And speaking of fuck you...
Everybody who thinks racism is “over” in America should really take a look at this (here a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
She will be exposed, in the meantime support this business.♬ original sound - TizzyEnt
And this video is a "cut-down" version. The full video features her being heinous for longer, if you can believe it.
If there's anything worse than some fucking piece of shit unloading their racist bullshit all over some workers who are just trying to do their job... it would have to be accusing the wrong person of being her. Some poor woman was misidentified and is getting attacked online because she kinda-sorta looks like that pieces of shit in question? Terrible. SHE didn't do anything.
Where I live there is a large Hispanic population and I’ve seen this happen in real-time. A little boy practicing his English while walking down the aisle of a store with his mom? Ridiculed and lambasted for being unAmerican. Mexican restaurant with Mexican music playing? Read to filth for being unAmerican. Just speaking Spanish in general? Could get you physically attacked for being unAmerican. I was at the airport where a Mexican airline was playing Mexican television and had to watch some asshole yell at the service desk for being unAmerican.
UnAmerican? These people are American citizens paying American taxes and contributing to American society’s melting pot with their language, art, food, and customs.
AND, AS A REMINDER, THIS COUNTRY HAS NO OFFICIAL LANGUAGE! We are a nation of immigrants on stolen land. Any heinous piece of shit who thinks that “speaking English” is what defines us needs to pick up a history book.
Because if there's anybody who's giving a big "fuck you" to America in this video... it's her.
Posted on Sunday, February 26th, 2023
The weather continues to be a hot (then cold) mess, but I'm committed to warm vibes... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Puppers! Every week I click on the latest one of the "We Rate Dogs" videos to see if the dogs were good again this week... and every week I have to really hold it together so I don’t burst out in tears. This week is no exception (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@weratedogs Top 5 Dogs of the Week #weratedogs ♬ Metamorphosis - Danilo Stankovic
• DIE! TikTok is overrun with funny videos which use music from the Dumb Ways to Die song. I decided to look up the entire thing and was surprised to find that there's a cute video to go with it...
Most of us are going to die dumb. It's a part of life.
• COOKIE! HOW DARE THEY! HOW DARE THEY GIVE A NATIONAL TREASURE LIKE THE WORLD'S ONLY COOKIE FLUTE TO LIZZO TO PLAY?!? OF ALL PEOPLE! I mean, sure, she's a world-class renowned flautist, BUT I AM DISGUSTED TO MY VERY CORE! SHOW SOME RESPECT, SESAME STREET! THESE ARE OUR COUNTRY'S TREASURES!!!
You laugh, but I'm betting Tucker Carlson is writing a rant about it as I type this. The dumbass went off with his manufactured outrage over candy mascots, so you just know his panties are in a bunch over this.
• Busters! The movie We Have a Ghost is actually not half bad. They gave Jennifer Coolidge hair by Tammy Faye, which is epic. And, let me tell you, David Harbour deserves all the awards. His character can't speak, so he has to sell every scene by force of will, and he does a fantastic job with it...
Streaming now on a Netflix near you.
• Facts. There is an actual danger to kids in this country. And it ain't drag queens...
@newgirlny_fl Things you won’t hear from LibsofTikTok or #rondesantis #trans #transgender #thisiswhattranslookslike #mtf #lgbtq #lgbt #🏳️⚧️ #rainbowmafia ♬ original sound - Kristen B
Drag queens have been entertaining people for decades. Hell, Bugs Bunny was in drag in a number of his cartoons. But now that bigots are wanting to divert attention away from what's going on in their own back yards, it's suddenly a problem. Milton Berle and Flip Wilson want their wigs back.
• Life! And while we're on the subject... NEWSFLASH: Proposed South Carolina bill could make abortion a death penalty eligible offense. — Preserving the sanctity of life... as only death can. Jesus.
Onward and upward...
Posted on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023
When the term "woke" was first being tossed around the internet, I thought it was over-used, but ultimately a good thing. When you are no longer asleep at the wheel while people are suffering around you, that's woke. Keeping your eyes open with compassion and caring for people who are being continuously persecuted by a systemically flawed society is woke. Taking action to make sure that everybody has a seat at the table is woke. And those are... bad things?
It amazes me how people are so quick to weaponize something to distract from their bullshit. But that's the modern world for you, I guess. Every time you turn around people are attacking "wokeness" and "woke mind poisoning" and "woke culture"... almost to an almost hilarious degree. It's like... okay, you want people to go back to sleep and close their eyes to injustice? Maintain the status quo which only works for precious few people? Really?
But what really blows my mind is how everything is how everything that detours from the status quo is considered "woke" now... whether it makes sense or not... whether it has anything to do with actually being woke.
I don't usually share graphics created by other people, but I came across this one and nearly pissed myself laughing, so here you go...
Brilliant creator unknown.
Now-a-days it seems like for every step we take forward as a society, we're taking two steps back. Sure people have always been resistant to change, but now it's fallen below a debate we can have and become a non-stop hate machine from our politicians and the media.
Which isn't terrible surprising, really. History shows that hate is a fantastic tool for manipulation.
Especially when people don't even understand what they're hating.
It's just whatever they've been conditioned to hate.
UPDATE: And then I saw this...
BWAH HA HA HA HAAAAA!
Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023
With all due respect to Peanuts (widely considered the benchmark for comic strip exceptionalism), I think that Calvin & Hobbes is the greatest comic strip of all time.
Not only was it drawn in a style that flawlessly conveyed the energy of the strip, Bill Watterson created stories that are a master class in economy of words and images. I marvel at what he managed to accomplish within the constraints of a daily strip. His is a skill that has been sorely missed, and I keep hoping that he'll do another strip one day... even if it's limited in scope or duration. Anything Watterson does would be incredibly interesting to see.
I have re-read my The Complete Calvin & Hobbes set cover-to-cover many times, but that doesn't stop me from reading the daily online strips.
Today's strip is this...
Yet another triumph by Watterson.
But getting back to my marveling over his mastery of economy of words and images... look what happens when you get rid of the last panel...
Without the punchline, it is a much more ruthless skewering of today's "I'm Special and Deserve Full Credit for a Lackluster Job!" culture. It is what makes Miss Wormwood's response of drinking Maalox straight out of the bottle so funny.
And then look what happens when we remove the first panel...
Without the setup to soften the impending joke... Calvin objecting to his C-grade... the strip is considerably more vicious in nature. Calvin's demands are more of a direct attack. And if the words weren't accompanied by drawings of a cute kid, I'm note sure they would hit as funny, even though the concept of being recognized as "exceptional" for less-than-exceptional work could be seen as funny in any context.
Which brings us to the meat of the strip, which is this panel right here...
Now, to me, all of a sudden the strip (when stripped down to this single panel) is hilarious. All context has fallen away, so this becomes a scathing comedic commentary on government and industry. Congress excels at demanding exceptional recognition for doing a minimal, mediocre, crappy job. They run their re-elections on it! I look at this one panel so beautifully putting into perspective as to why our culture has been built around "American Exceptionalism," and here we are... it flows from the top. Congress demands exceptional recognition for less-than-exceptional work... people see this... people vote on this... and suddenly we're all about being "the best in the world" at everything, even though we're getting our ass handed to us by other countries in SO many areas.
Education being at the top of the list.
Forever moving the goalposts so we can be the greatest in everything is the real American Way.
It's a lot less work than putting in the actual work.
Posted on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023
The TikTok hearing is about as fucking embarrassing as this country gets.
A bunch of bought-and-paid-for ignorant idiots who have zero concept of how technology works have jumped on the bi-partisan bandwagon to distract everybody from the fact that they're a bunch of useless pieces of shit, and American citizens are supposed to be cheering them on?
@otto_aguilera They sure aint old and out of touch… theyre all full of youth and knowledge 🙄🤦🏽♂️ #fyp #tiktok #tiktokban #politics ♬ original sound - Otoniel Rodriguez
And so TikTok will likely be banned, thanks to Facebook paying off politicians to be all angry about it and get rid of their business rival over shit that Facebook does ALL THE TIME!
What's amazing is how these fucking lobbiest taint-lickers ask questions of TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, then don't allow him to answer and refuse to listen to anything he has to say. This is what counts as discourse in government?
We have fascists at the wheel deciding what we get to read by burning books. What we get to watch for entertainment by banning drag shows. How we identify by banning trans persons. Whom we get to love by banning same-sex marriage. And what websites and apps we get to use by banning fucking TikTok.
Didn't we fight wars against exactly this kind of bullshit?
And the fact that this is starting to become bi-partisan behavior is not lost on me. It just proves what I've been saying all along... politicians will do and say whatever they fucking have to in order to stay in power... even if it means selling out the country to do it... and it doesn't matter one fucking lick what team they play for.
All while telling us that they're doing it "for our protection."
What we actually need protection from is the fucking government.
Facebook can sell our private data to Chinese companies and Congress doesn't bat an eye. Because they're paid not to. But a Chinese company collects our data and suddenly Congress is outraged. Because they're paid to.
Until money gets pulled out of the equation, this is exactly the kind of stupid shit we vote for.
At this rate, it's only a matter of time before Blogography gets banned to "protect us" from my being critical of the government.
Our fascist distopian future is now.
Posted on Sunday, March 26th, 2023
Is it really Spring? It kinda feels like it might be... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• RIP DPReview! Back when I bought new digital cameras and wasn't using my iPhone camera for 99% of my photos, I was a massively huge fan of DPReview. Their reviews are stellar and they provide information in a way that makes it easy to decide what you should be buying. Unbeknownst to me, Amazon bought out the site in 2007. Knownst to me, Amazon has decided to kill the site. This is sad, but understandable. Like I said, I haven't used it in years (the last time being 2017 when I was buying gear for my Antarctica expedition). Still... sad.
• BEES! Not only are bees cute and smart, they also like to have a good time...
@ianisfun Replying to @the_wizard_e_fod #sciencetok #beetok #minds #consciousness #greenscreenvideo #greenscreen ♬ original sound - Ian Slater
Sad that they're having such a tough time of it.
• Theft! Fuck this shit. The Met should be absolutely mortified at their behavior. I know I am...
@hyperallergic “I prayed for his safe and prompt return to his homeland. I prayed to the four directions and then moved on to the main gallery. About two minutes into my brief dance, a member of the museum’s security team approached me and stated that I wasn’t allowed to dance there without permission.” - Sophiline Cheam-Shaprio #archeology #cambodiandance #cambodianartist #greenscreenvideo ♬ Three Miles to Tallehayo - Fableistic
Bad enough that Cambodia's treasures were stolen from them. But this?!?
• CELSIUS! I'm not a big fan of sparkling/flavored waters. Unsweetened tastes like somebody ate a bunch of fruit, then farted in the can. Sweetened is okay, but very hard to find. Artificially sweetened tastes like somebody ate a bunch of fruit and chemicals and farted in the can. But now I've discovered CELSIUS drinks, and they are ever so dreamy! Natural flavors that taste amazing... a dash of Sucralose for sweetness... and they even have dietary supplements in them! Like green tea! Like ginger! Like vitamins!
My favorite so far is Fuji Apple Pear. Dang that's good stuff! Love it! If you're looking for a sparkling water that doesn't taste like somebody farted in a can... give it a try!
• About Time! NEWSFLASH: “Click-to-cancel” rule would penalize companies that make you cancel by phone. — If you can sign up with a click. You should be able to cancel with a click. Only shitty fucking companies with no confidence in their product force you to call to cancel. It's pathetic and gross and companies like this should be fined. Hard.
• Deflect Deflect Deflect! NEWSFLASH: Florida GOP lawmaker who wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill facing up to 35 years after pleading guilty in COVID fraud case. — All of this shit... all of it... is just people distracting from their heinous shit with attacks on other people who have done nothing to them. Hypocrite fucks.
Now back to our regularly-scheduled blog.
Posted on Friday, March 31st, 2023
After Subway was told that their spokesdouche Jared Fogle was a child predator rapist piece of shit, they decided to ignore it because he sold a lot of their shitty sandwiches. They didn't ditch him until the FBI arrested the asshole in 2015. I never ate at Kidfuckers very often, but decided to stop altogether because I didn't want my hard-earned money going to a repugnant company that placed their profits over getting a child rapist off the streets.
I have eaten there a few times because I was in an unfamiliar city and knew there would be a vegetarian option... but I avoided them whenever I could.
Then today I saw that they were having a Buy One Get One Free on foot-longs. I had skipped breakfast because I was working all morning, and decided to just do it. I ordered two different veggie sandwiches online, picked them up, then went into the office so I could eat one of them.
And was immediately reminded why I never ate there very often in the first place.
Lord their bread is horrific.
It tastes like glue. And the cheese is now cut so thin that it might as well not exist... which is to say that the only thing to distract you from the taste of the bread is whatever toppings you can stomach. Which, for me, doesn't include meats.
So, yeah, I won't be doing that again.
If there's no other option than Subway, I'll just buy a couple of cookies and a bag of Lay's and call it good.
Six years until Subway Jared is released from prison. That's a hundred years too soon.
Posted on Monday, May 29th, 2023
I am a huge supporter for those in military service even though I often despise how they are utilized by those in power, and horrified how they are treated after completing their service. I've always done what I can. I donate to veteran's charities... I promote and advocate for MIA/POW programs... I support organizations who send care packages to those serving far from home... I give my time helping organizations which support veterans in crisis... and I do my best to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country not just on Memorial Day, but every day.
And I am absolutely gutted at how their sacrifice has been dismissed by so many who claim to love America.
Fascism is on a shocking trajectory upward, and I cannot fathom how those who died while fighting fascism abroad would feel about it washing up on our shores today.
Every day I see so-called Christians who know so very little about the teachings of Jesus Christ (and the lessons put forth in the Bible) advocating for a Christo-Fascist State where the government tells you what apps you can use, how you can identify yourself, who you can love, what you are allowed to read, how you worship, whether or not you have access to healthcare... and a shitload of other basic human rights that should be a given in the "Land of the Free," but are quickly becoming exclusive to a select group of people. It's so very sad, and yet too many people are willing to sit back and let it happen because it "doesn't affect them."
Until it does.
At which point it's too late.
To all those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms that are quickly evaporating, I'm truly sorry. Your sacrifice deserves better.
Posted on Thursday, June 1st, 2023
I have friends in the LGBTQ+ Community who mean more to me than taco salad. I cannot imagine my life without them. I cannot imagine our world without them. And I do not suffer bigots gladly who would do them harm with their words or deeds.
Wishing everybody all my best for Pride Month and every month... and hoping that society does better to make you feel welcome, safe, and loved. For all you give to us... for all the lives you enrich with your authentic selves... I will ever be your ally and friend...
Of all the crap that inundates us at the beginning of Pride Month, this amazing retrospective on how the song I'm Coming Out... errr... came out... by the incredible Nile Rodgers himself...
Now I guess we brace for the legions of Christo-facists inserting themselves into LGBTQ+ spaces to tell them that they don't belong along with all the other horrible things they say because they have nothing better to do than persecute people whose lives HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM.
Oh well. Something additional to take pride in I guess, because you must be doing something right to get them so pressed over something that HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM.
Posted on Thursday, June 8th, 2023
Buddhist precepts value life. All life. Which is why I catch spiders and take them outside. Why I don't eat meat. Why I care for stray animals and try to help alleviate animal suffering. And why I try to extend kindness to people, even when they may not seem to deserve it.
And let me tell you, sometimes it is very, very difficult to do so.
Pat Robertson died.
And he made it impossible for me to value his life.
I am not going to go all hyperbolic and say that he was "evil incarnate" or anything like that. There are others far more deserving of that label. But he sure preached evil and encouraged others to follow in the evil he preached. Which is why I am not sad that he's gone. The world is a better place without people like this encouraging raw hatred in the name of "Christianity"...
I've studied The Christian Bible more than most Christians ever will. I know this is fact because all too often I run across "Christians" who have no fucking clue what they are talking about. They parrot whatever they've been told to believe and recite passages they memorized... all while attempting to force it into whatever narrative they choose to ascribe to. They want to hate gay people, they pull passages and pervert them to hate on gay people. They want to hate women, they pull passages and pervert them to hate on women. They want to hate foreigners, they pull passages and pervert them to hate on foreigners. Whatever it is they hate, there's a passage somewhere that they point to in order to justify their evil. They neither know nor care about what meaning may be behind what they unleash on the world, and have zero interest in studying to find out if what they say actually means what they claim it does.
All while missing The Big Picture of what Christianity actually is.
I joined a "Bible Study Group for Non-Christians" in 2014. Every year we alternate between New and Old Testaments, trying to put their teachings into context so we can better understand the Christian Worldview and better relate to those who profess to live their lives according to Holy Scripture. Because we are not Christians, we study many different viewpoints from many different Biblical scholars and put a heavy emphasis on historical context. We are not interested in forcing The Bible to fit any narrative, we just want to understand the teachings (some of which are quite beautiful... sorry Bible-haters!).
As you might guess, the study group's goal of understanding Christians... especially modern-day Christians who use their Faith as a weapon... gets more and more difficult with each passing year.
Indeed, when we examine some of the things which are said "in the name of Christian love" we outright wonder if we're reading a different Bible than those who promote such rabid hatred against God's creation.
I mean, on some level I get it. The Bible is far from definitive, no matter how much people will claim otherwise. It's parable. It's allegory. It has meaning which is lost in translation. It is self-contradictory. It's a mish-mash of ideas and perspectives which add a frustrating level of obscurity. All of which contributes to why you cannot pick-and-choose passages and claim that they support your narrative. You instead have to look at The Big Picture of what the Bible stands for and the overall arc of what it's trying to say.
Which ain't easy.
On face value, The Bible is wide open to interpretation. This is why we have so many "factions" of Christianity. Different groups interpret Scripture in different ways. Different groups read in historical context in different ways. Different groups interpret the languages in different ways. And that's all well and good. I have zero problem if somebody wants to interpret The Bible in a way different from what I do. Where I absolutely do have a problem is when the teachings of The Bible are perverted far past any rational interpretation. I have an even bigger problem with people who want to rewrite Scripture to persecute people.
And this is something that Pat Robertson excelled at.
He tossed fundamental Biblical precepts right out the window, honed in on Scripture he could pervert to convince people to send him money or hate gay people or hate women or hate foreigners or hate whomever was on his radar that day. But what's truly shocking is that he claimed that God literally told him to do this. Now, I don't want to go down the whole road of what the Bible teaches us about false prophets, but the fact that anybody could follow his deranged ranting and think that it genuinely came from The Almighty and could in any way be supported by Scripture is just mind-blowing. I cannot for the life of me comprehend how somebody could listen to Pat Robertson then look at their Bible sitting on the nightstand and think "Oh yeah. Pat's right on the money with that one!"
And yet Pat Robertson managed to whip up a vast following.
It would be easy to say "Well, yeah. People want to hate things, and Pat Robertson's hate-filled preaching fell in line with what they want to believe is okay to hate, so they supported him." Except I don't really believe that. Many, many people who fell in with his bullshit were kind, decent, well-meaning people who were taught to hate. They were corrupted to be that way.
Because there's big money to be had in the Hate Game.
And Pat Robertson loved the money.
It bought him mansions. It bought him private jets. It bought him luxury. It brought him fame.
Which, if you've made an even cursory examination of The Bible, should be a huge red flag.
Irony can be so ironic sometimes.
But I digress.
Every time a disaster happened in areas that Pat considered "sinful" (New Orleans, for example) he was very quick to hop on it as "God's wrath again the gays" (or whomever was his current favorite group to hate). And yet when disaster fell upon those Pat considered pious persons, it wasn't God's wrath... it was grave misfortune caused by wicked people and we should pray for them (and send Pat money so he could pray for them, I guess... there seemed to be a fucking price tag attached to everything he did).
It was the boldest form of hypocrisy you'll find, and yet people ate that shit up.
And to me, this will forever be his legacy. Hate and Hypocrisy.
I stopped caring about Pat Robertson after he stopped appearing on The 700 Club or interviews preaching hate. I just didn't care. He was gone from public consciousness, and that was enough. I was not sitting at home every day "wishing for him to die" (or whatever it is I'll be accused of). So the fact that he's finally gone from this earth is neither here nor there. Though, if I'm being honest, I did crack open a beer for breakfast today. I don't consider that to be "celebrating Pat Robertson's death," because he simply didn't matter to me after he disappeared. But I did appreciate the milestone of yet another hateful old bigot being called home to whatever God he worshipped for Judgement.
Because given the horrific levels of hateful persecution Pat Robertson espoused which went against everything The Bible is supposed to stand for, he's no doubt burning in a hell of his own making for all eternity. At least one would certainly hope so. Few things would illustrate "poetic justice" better than Pat Robertson being treated in death the way he treated others in life.
Posted on Sunday, June 11th, 2023
Recovering from being deathly sick has never been more fun... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Toast! Awww... my little Toast nightlight arrived!
It's a nightlight that I put in the dark corner of my kitchen next to my toaster. Get it?
• Buses? These captchas are getting frickin' stupid ridiculous...
So what? Now we're just supposed to be clicking on every fucking square on these idiotic things?
• Good Omens 2! This looks even better than the first one. The casting was note-perfect for these characters, and seeing more of them is something I am very much looking forward to...
It's weird how flawless the casting was for these.
• Schlage Rage! It went something like this...
ME: "I hate my Schlage Sense smart lock SO much. Flames... flames... on the side of my face... Which lock should I get to replace it? Preferably one with HomeKey."
HOMEKIT FORUM MEMBER: "Definitely the Schlage Encode Plus."
ME: "IS THIS SOME KIND OF JOKE?!? I hate hate HATE the Schlage I have now!"
HOMEKIT FORUM MEMBER: "I understand. I agree. But know that all the bad things on the Sense have been improved one thousand percent on the Encode Plus. And be sure to get the Plus if you want HomeKey."
OTHER HOMEKIT FORUM MEMBERS: "Hard agree!"
ME: "Just so you know, if I hate this lock I am coming back to haunt all of you."
• Hilarious! Zuckerberg on Apple Pro Vision: "Our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social. It’s about people interacting in new ways and feeling closer in new ways. Our device is also about being active and doing things. By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themself. I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want." This is the stupidest fucking thing I've heard this week. How many times have a GROUP OF PEOPLE all put on their Facebook Quest VR goggles and sat around interacting in the same room? Nah, buddy. They're sitting alone on the couch! How is the Facebook headset more "social" when you're wandering around as a cartoon floating torso that's always gripping hand controllers? Apple at least went with uncanny valley avatars that attempt to look like you and leave your hands free...
Apple's take will cost HUGE MONEY... to start... but it will get cheaper over time. Facebook, who has lost millions (billions?) trying to do VR... and ultimately failing... shows Zuck's statement for what it is... fear. And bullshit. I'm not sure ANY of this is the "future I want." But I'd take Apple's vision over Facebook any day.
• Crossing the Street in Vietnam! Not a lie. Which would have been fine... except I had my mom with me, and most intersections are far busier than this one! I'll never forget the first time we went to cross a street. The intersection actually had a crosswalk signal (many don't). But it was totally ignored. We had the light but it made no difference at all... you're just expected to cross like this...
@travelwithpat Crossing the street in Vietnam is something you need to prepare to do #travel #vietnam #tiktoktravel ♬ Super Mario Bros Main Theme
But still... it's s country like no other and worth a visit. As is this guy's TikTok.
• Church & State? Okay, government funded Christian schools are a thing now... so are they going to also fund Muslim schools? Buddhist schools? Hindu schools? So much FOR FUCKING SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!! This is a big slap in the face to all Americans, even if they consider themselves "Christian." Absolutely outrageous. Can't wait until the government is forced to sponsor Church of Satan schools because they're so fucking stupid that they don't have the fist clue about the can of worms they are opening. Jesus. OR NOT. THAT'S *YOUR* FUCKING CHOICE IN THIS COUNTRY!!!
And now I guess I had better make my bed, take a shower, and try and get some sleep .
Posted on Sunday, June 18th, 2023
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there (including mine). It's a good day to celebrate it... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Extracting! The first Extraction movie was pretty good. I enjoyed it quite a lot. But the second one? Extraction 2? Holy cats! They like took everything from the first movie... which was already intense... and just ramped it right up past eleven. So good! In other news... I'm in love with Golshifteh Farahani now. I mean, I already fell for her by the end of the first movie... but now I'm like "I want to have your baby" level of in love. If Chris Hemsworth does, in fact, retire from acting... there is no reason what-so-ever that the franchise couldn't continue with Nik in the lead. Zero. She would be incredible...
I'd watch a Nik-centric movie as a spin-off for dang sure. Please, Netflix, get on that ASAP. Just back up a big dump truck full of cash to Golshifteh Farahani's house and make it happen! A prequel with Ovi would be ever so good!
• Misogyny Nation! Why does this country hate women? I mean it... they hate them. The USA despises women, considers them nothing more than breeding stock, and considers them an expendable resource when it comes to making more Americans...
With each passing day I grow more and more disgusted in what we're becoming.
• Blork! I love Mexican Street Corn. I order it any time it's on the menu. I'm addicted to Mexican Street Corn dip. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to see that Cheetos Mexican Street Corn dip flavor. But, alas...
When I can't even bring myself to eat them at work... a place that I will eat anything just because it's there... you know they're bad. What a shame.
• Fast Car! This is a surprisingly good cover. It takes a lot of balls to take on the original Tracy Chapman classic... but he nails it...
And that's not something I say about a lot of covers out there.
• Studio Idiocy! HEADLINE: Avatar 3 Pushed a Year to 2025, Two Star Wars Movies Head for 2026 and Avengers Films Delayed. Lord. If this keeps up, I'll be dead before half of them Marvel stuff I want to see are even released. This is truly making me not give a shit any more. Disney has stalled all momentum in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They no longer build towards anything... they just putter around at random, and will then complain when all of us who have no more fucks to give don't turn up for the movies.
• Good Beatings! I am not a violent person. I abhor violence. It's everything that's wrong in our world. That being said, it's a good thing that I'm not in charge of security at this museum...
Even though the painting wasn't damaged, there's the possibility that it could have been. And for that alone these assholes deserve to have the ever-loving shit beat out of them. Who the fuck makes their point by being such fucking shit-heads? Makes me want to go out and do whatever I can to cause more climate change just to spite them.
• Mateoooo! And now, because I really like you, I found out that Mateo Lane's new special if available on YouTube. But who knows for how long?
Mateo is darn funny. And he's got a lot of good stuff on his YouTube Channel.
Enjoy what remains of your Sunday, party people.
Posted on Thursday, June 22nd, 2023
You're probably best off skipping this entry.
I know that USA Today panders to the lowest common denominator (i.e. people as a whole are stupid as fuck), but this headline! Isn't it a foregone conclusion that if debris was found there could be no survivors? Like what... the passengers would just be hanging out 2-1/2 miles down on the sea floor waiting for a ride back to the surface?
But anyway... I have a few thoughts on this tragic situation, if you care to hear them.
As an aside... the irony of people dying because warnings were ignored while going to see the wreck of where people died because warnings were ignored, is not lost on me.
Posted on Friday, June 30th, 2023
I am really torn on this whole "link tax" bullshit that's getting signed into law by certain countries.
Essentially this boils down to governments forcing major media companies like Google to strike agreements with news organizations. That way, when you search for something on Google (or Facebook or any company that monetizes results based on another company's content) and a result from a news organization pops up, Google has to pay them money because their content has been monetized by Google.
On one hand, it's like... okay... Google is making money by serving ads in their search results or news feeds, so why shouldn't the news organizations showing up in those results get paid for making Google rich with their hard work?
On the other hand... why the fuck should Google be held responsible for other companies not monitizing their own content? If you don't want Google to make money off of you, then no problem. Add code to your website's HTML instructing Google bots to not crawl your content. Problem solved. Why in the hell are governments getting involved in this? And if you're going to pass laws for news organizations to get paid for making Google money... why not everybody? Why not bloggers? Blogography is heavily indexed by Google, and I have a lot of content that gets looked at by Google search referrals. So where is my money??
I have to say... I am kinda on Google's side this time.
Which is something I haven't said very often.
Google is merely refering people to your content. It should be up to you to monetize everything once somebody clicks through to visit your site and read your stories. Run ads. Offer subscriptions. Whatever. Just be grateful that Google is sending you the business. How else will people even find you if you're not getting Google search referrals?
With the recently-passed "link tax" law in Canada, Google is telling the Canadian government to fuck off. They will just remove all Canadian news sources from appearing to Canadians who are now legally required to be paid. Sure Google will have less content in their search results to monetize... but they won't have to pay anything out either. I'd argue that this doesn't benefit Canadians at all, but what do I know? Google said the same thing to Australia and France, but eventually capitulated. It will probably be the same for Canada.
And the USA is likely going to be adding a "link tax" soon.
If I were Google, I'd do some things...
Ultimately I think it's important that news organizations get paid for their work. But to put that responsibility on Google is outrageous. That should be up to Google. And if people don't like it... then everybody can tell Google bots to not crawl their site until Google agrees to fork over the money and share their success. That's how the market works. If governments wants money to go to news organizations, then have that money come from the government.
Regardless of how this all shakes out, to have governments jumping in the fray is a terrible precedent. Today it's Google... what's tomorrow? Me? Every time I share a news story I'm going to be responsible for paying them money? I call bullshit. They should figure out their own monetization just like I do (which is $0 since I don't charge for anything, but still).
Have a government-mandated monetized weekend, everybody!
Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2023
When I got home from work today, I was just... numb. Didn't have the energy to do anything except plop down in front of the television with an ice cream cone. Which sounds more entertaining than it was because I never bothered to actually turn the television on.
Instead I told Siri to put on some music while I caught up on the news.
And the first headline I see? FDA grants full approval to new Alzheimer's drug meant to slow disease.
Now, this is a hell of a long way from an actual cure. It costs $26,500 a year, it has been linked to death, it only slows progression for around five months, and it's more for friends and family than the person with dementia, but it's a step! And, from somebody who's intimately familiar with it... from somebody who would have given anything to have a chance at five more months with my mom where she was still mostly herself... I'd have paid the $26,500 and been grateful if it in any way helped.
And that's the way science goes.
AIDS, some cancers, and many diseases are survivable now, and it all started with a step. A step just like Leqembi is for dementia.
But there will always be those for which the science came too late.
For those left behind, I guess you just cling to the consolation that other people may be spared what you had to go through.
Posted on Sunday, July 30th, 2023
It's Sunday. There's bullets. And life goes on... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Why Is The Clicker Called The Clicker? I actually remember this thing! This is a fascinating, fascinating story about the dawn of the television remote control, which went like this (here's a link in case YouTube is being a flaming pile of shit)...
ULTRASONIC?? I had no idea! Seriously, read the story. Worth your valuable time!
• Van Dyke! Speaking of things I had no idea about, here comes this fascinating look at The Dick Van Dyke Show (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
I love running across stuff like this!
• In Your Love. Christ. Now they're burning Tyler Childers T-shirts on TikTok. Over a music video. Have you ever seen such a fragile group of snowflakes in your life? Guess they gotta act so ridiculously triggered in order to reaffirm their heterosexuality or Christianity or whatever it is they're so pressed about this time (here's a link in case YouTube is being a flaming pile of shit)...
It's a tragic love story that fits the song he wrote. But because it's two guys who fell in love, people are losing their ever-loving minds? For the life on me, I don't understand why people care about things that have zero affect on their lives.
• Thank You! I may have laughed for a solid two minutes after watching this (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
Jesus. If saying "please" and "thank you" is too much for you to bear, just ignore it.
• Ski! THIS IS WHAT COURAGE LOOKS LIKE! She's in fourth grade! Turn the volume up on this one (here's a link in case YouTube is being a flaming pile of shit)...
Was I the only one holding their breath on this one?
• Spaced. After Anthony Rapp came forward with his story, thirty-some-odd additional men accused Kevin Spacey of sexual assault. He publicly apologized to some of them (including Rapp, who was a 14-year-old boy at the time of the alleged assault), came out as gay as a reason(?) for his "clumsy flirting" (AKA grabbing men's crotches), then said he was going to evaluate his behavior and get treatment. But in court he said that absolutely everything he admitted to and apologized for and "evaluated" was just something his publicist told him to say. Even while he admitted that one of the men who accused him of assault looked uncomfortable as he left.
My opinion of Spacey has nothing to do with "hopping on the condemnation bandwagon." It's thirty-plus accusations and Kevin Spacey's own words I am choosing to listen to. I'm not telling anybody how to feel about the guy... if a victory in court exonerates him of all wrong-doing in your eyes, then you do you... I'm just saying that grabbing men by the crotch is sexual assault every bit as much as if he were to grab women by the crotch, and I am not going to write off thirty men by saying they're overreacting to "clumsy flirting." You might as well be saying that they should be honored that a celebrated and powerful actor like Kevin Spacey would deem them worthy of being molested. I will not do that. I refuse to do that. No matter how "gentle and romantic" Spacey thought it was.
Hope you can enjoy what's left of your Sunday.
Posted on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023
Posted on Friday, August 4th, 2023
I subscribe to a number of newsfeeds and scroll through the stories each morning. Lately I've been seeing more and more stories like this: How Louisiana's Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws Forced This Gay Heart Transplant Cardiologist to Move. The story's tagline is "The director of the pediatric heart transplant and heart failure program at the state’s only heart transplant center for kids is packing up his husband and two kids and leaving."
And it's as sad as you'd expect...
“When I came back Louisiana almost exactly 5 years ago, I came with the goal of building one of the highest quality pediatric heart transplant, heart failure, and ventricular assist programs in the country. I felt that kids in Louisiana should be able to get the same quality healthcare as any other child in the United States. We have been quite successful and I’m so proud of what we’ve built. My plan had been to stay at my current institution until I retired. However, over the last year, Tom and I have watched state legislatures across the south pass anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Louisiana’s last legislative session was no different. While they failed to override the governor’s veto on two of the three bills, the message is very clear. Tom and I have discussed at length the benefits of continuing to live in the south, as well as the toll that it takes on our family. Because of this, we are leaving Louisiana. Our children come first. We cannot continue to raise them in this environment.”
He and his family are moving to Long Island, New York where they are wanted.
And it's the children of Louisiana who will pay the price for the hateful, disgusting legislation which has forced a much-needed doctor to flee their state. The politicians who create legislation like this don't give a shit. They're wealthy enough that they can take their children out of state for medical care if they need to. And apparently the voters that keep electing these assholes don't give a shit either.
They'd rather see kids suffering and even dying than to see a family with two dads go unpersecuted...
And this is not an isolated incident. Famillies are fleeing Texas, Florida, and other states which are making it unsafe for them to exist there. Which is to say that the people who support this repugnant shit are getting exactly what they want... a Christofascist State which farts in the face of everything this country is supposed to stand for. You can be as free as you want and believe what you want... so long as you live and believe how you're told to. And if you don't want to fall in line with the Christofascist regime that's been put into power, then you can get the fuck out.
And so they do.
And these states are far poorer because of it.
Lives are endangered because of it.
There was a Supreme Court case a month ago where a shitty fucking website designer invented a gay couple so she could fight her way to highest court in the land and be told that she could refuse service to gay people (not that any gay couple would ever hire the talentless piece of shit to design a website for their wedding, mind you). And of course she won. Which means absolutely nothing for random extraneous services like website design... but it means a fuck-ton when it comes to potentially lifesaving services like a hospital. And then there's those things that aren't life-threatening, but could be seen as adjacent. What if the only grocery store in your small town won't sell you food because you're gay? What if the only gas station for 100 miles won't sell you gas because you're trans? Short-sighted hatred has long-term consequences.
Given the Supreme Court ruling and the hate-legislation being put into State law, those who have the means and opportunity to escape the hostility are doing exactly that. And godspeed to them. Hopefully one day, not so soon from now, people will start to realize what a terrible mistake it's been to ruthlessly persecute entire segments of our society who add value to our lives. Maybe then they will start to dismantle the shocking level of hate forced into law and welcome back those who wanted nothing more than to exist in peace and do what they can to help their community.
I have no idea what LGBTQ+ people who don't have the means to flee states passing hate into law are going to do.
Probably try to live the best life they can under unimaginable cruelty.
Such a legacy for The Land of the Free.
Posted on Monday, August 7th, 2023
My allergies are of the itchy, watery eyes and runny nose variety. Nothing life-threatening, but certainly a horrible inconvenience when I am trying to, you know, LIVE MY LIFE as best I can while doped up on Benadryl all the time.
Where I do have a life-threatening condition is when my idiopathic angioedema gets triggered and my mouth, tongue, or throat swells up so badly that I can't breathe. Usually, if I am awake, I can feel a tingling before the swelling happens so I know to take my massive pills filled with antihistamines to reduce the severity of the swelling before it happens. But if I am asleep? I wake up in a world of panic in the middle of the night... then have to dig out my epi-pen from my bag in case the swelling endangers my life.
I've actually only had to use the epi-pen once. It was not a fun experience. I felt like I had been hit by a truck, then passed out. When I woke up the swelling had subsided enough that my breathing was okay enough to not worry.
As the swelling is ideopathic, there's no known cause and it can happen at random.
But there is one thing which can trigger a reaction more reliably than others... mushrooms. No idea why. It took me a while to figure out that fungi can cause trouble for me. And it's odd, because I never ate mushrooms as a kid... I only discovered I liked them when I was an adult.
But anyway... I used to carry epi-pens with me everywhere just incase I (or somebody else) needed to use one.
But then the cost of epi-pens became so outrageously expensive that I stopped carrying them after they expired. I decided that I would just be more careful about not eating mushrooms and stop eating well before bedtime so I can be sure there wasn't a food I ate going to trigger any swelling.
As I understand it, you can buy generic epi-pens for a reasonable cost... or maybe it's to order them from Canada or something. I never thought to do it because I've been doing just fine. But recently I saw a video which makes me think that I need to seriously look into it.
This is kinda a crazy story. And a happy coincidence that Dr. Mike was on a flight when a guy had a serious problem...
If I were on that flight and had an epi-pen, it would have been really handy.
In other news... a tick bite can cause a meat allergy? I had heard of this, but never knew it could have deadly consequences like this.
One more reason I'm happy to be vegetarian, I guess.
Posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2023
I'm just gutted today.
This morning when I woke up at 5:30am I had a lot of emails with a lot of work attached to them. I set to the tasks at hand and only stopped long enough to feed the cats at 7:00am. 49 minutes later, I got a text telling me that Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii was on fire. And not just a little on fire... a lot on fire. The flames had started to invade downtown along Front Street, and many of the historic buildings were being destroyed.
The news only got worse as the day went on.
The first time I visited Lahaina was in 1987 with friends...
And, up until it caught fire, it never changed that much.
Sure, over the years different businesses have come and gone from the city. Including "Longhi's"... an Italian restaurant with a verbal menu that I loved (and was very sad to have seen closed). And the first Hard Rock Cafe I've ever been to (and was also very sad to have seen closed)...
But, by and large, the one thing you could count on is that Lahaina would be much as you remembered it. I was trying to count up how many times I've been to Maui, and I think it ended up being eleven or twelve times. And I walked down Front Street of Old Lahaina Town at least once every trip. It was a tourist trap for sure, but the restaurants and galleries and shops kept taking me back.
I have a lot of great memories with my friends from the city. And some great memories with my mom as well (I took her along on a couple business trips to Honolulu where we diverted to Maui for a quick vacation). She love poking around Lahaina... and loved eating at "Cheeseburgers in Paradise"...
And I'm trying to wrap my ahead around the fact that it's likely all gone. The historic buildings. The many homes. The shops. The restaurants. The galleries. All of it. And that's really difficult for me to accept.
But it's more than that.
Lahaina is home to a massive banyan tree... one of the largest in the United States. It was brought to Lahaina from India in 1873 and just kept growing and growing. Which means it's been a fixture in the city for 150 years...
Survived 150 years, and is likely gone. Just gone.
I've studied photos of the devastation, but either the tree has been utterly wiped from existence or I'm looking in the wrong place. But, in my defense, it's almost impossible to know what I'm looking at despite having been to the city over a dozen times.
This is a nightmare scenario. But a bigger nightmare could be to come. When they rebuild the city, are they going to try and recapture the charm and uniqueness of the structures? Or will everything be replaced by a bunch of cookie-cutter buildings, condos, and strip malls that destroy the city again?
Time will tell.
As it always does.
Posted on Thursday, August 10th, 2023
I did not sleep much last night.
My head was overwhelmed by the fire in Lahaina (which I talked about yesterday), and I kept grabbing my phone off the nightstand to see if there was any news. Which there really wasn't. Just a few minor updates and repeating the same news over and over.
This afternoon more information started to trickle into the newsfeeds. Apparently the fires are either out... or at least contained... and photos of the devastation are being released. It's a sobering sight to see almost the entirety of a city wiped off the map... and profoundly sad to so many, including myself...
Photo by Richard Olsten/AFP/Getty Images
I had mentioned yesterday how heartbroken I was over the 150-year-old Banyan tree which was brought from India and planted in 1873 when it was only 8-feet tall. Eventually it grew and spread to cover an entire city block.
Miraculously, at least some of it seems to have survived. Whether or not it can actually be revived I have no idea, but it would be amazing if at least part of it can be salvaged and allowed to grow out to its former glory...
Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP
Down on the street, things look much more grim for the poor thing, but people have come forward to say that banyan trees are tough to kill, so nobody should be giving up hope just yet...
Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images
I dunno if I'll sleep any better tonight... but at least there's a little hope to cling to, and that ain't nothin'.
Posted on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023
It's strange how you see something that would usually be forgettable... but it sticks with you for one reason or another and you just can't seem to let it go.
Like a meme, for example.
Yesterday this popped on Facebook (I think?) and it's been stuck in my head ever since...
It's shockingly profound.
Some kids have to be abused at home only to end up going to school and getting abused there as well. Their life is unrelenting misery no matter where they are, and the idea that just having a friendly face at school so they have something to look forward to could very well be the difference between life and death.
Especially in a day and age where kids who are "built different" are facing an increase in persecution and hate trickling down from lawmakers.
And it's one of those things where you can't even appeal to people's compassion and empathy. You say "We've got to start creating a kinder world for these kids to exist in... they're literally killing themselves!" and, all too often, the response is "Good!"
Even when the kid in crisis is their own.
But hopefully there's enough kind-hearted parents out there to take this message to heart and do their best to raise children who will at least not make things any worse and (hopefully) makes things better by offsetting the horrific environment that some kids can't seem to escape.
The world will only get more cruel if they don't, and that won't work out well for anybody.
Posted on Friday, September 1st, 2023
I accept that everybody has their own politics. I pretty much have to because I am to the point where I loathe Republicans and Democrats alike (though the Republicans seem to reach jaw-dropping new lows in hypocrisy with each passing day, so it's no longer an equitable level of loathing). I am, above all, a humanist... and believe that governments should always, always service the betterment of the people it governs. That hasn't been true in a very long time, and I've resolved that voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil.
But there are things that enrage me about politicians which have absolutely nothing to do with their politics. I would loathe and detest them for their actions regardless of party affiliation. Literally makes no difference to me, because what they say or do has blown so far past their politics as to make them irrelevant.
Which brings us to Vivek Ramaswamey (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@drivenprogressive1 Vivek Ramaswamey has a secret #politics #liberal #news ♬ original sound - Driven progressive
Exploiting dementia sufferers for cash? Seriously?!? Fuck this colossal asshole forever. Fuck him sideways and up-side-down. Fuck him to hell and back. Fuck. Him.
I already knew that Vivek Ramaswamey is a colossal piece of shit... but it turns out I was giving him way too much credit.
This is unforgivable and repugnant on every possible level. And not one of those levels has anything to do with him being a Republican. Except for the Republicans who could possibly support this horrific monster, which goes without saying.
Posted on Friday, September 8th, 2023
I don't really give a crap about President Biden... but I was pulling for him to win the election for the side-benefits. Including the fact that Ajit Pai, one of the shittiest fucking assholes on the entire fucking planet (who would gladly kick a puppy in the head for a nickel) would most certainly be demoted as FCC Chair (though with Biden, there were no guarantees).
And don't feel that I'm being particularly abusive towards Pai... I feel the exact same way about anybody who opposes Net Neutrality.
Rather than be demoted, Pai resigned. Which would most certainly make my Best Moments of 2023 List, if I had one. When I heard the news I yelled "THANK YOU! Now take your stupid-ass giant coffee mug and fuck off, you boot-licking piece of shit!"
I really, really wanted Gigi Sohn in the FCC. She would have lead the charge to have a free and open internet for everybody by going after shitty fucking telcos and cable companies who want to impose fees for accessing certain content, blocking content of their competitors, slowing internet speed to squeeze money out of everybody, and generally making the playing field as uneven as possible so what kind of internet you have depends on how much additional income you have to throw at it. But Republicans fucking hated her because they're sucking telco and cable company dick for cash at the expense of the people they represent (and some like-minded Democrats opposed her as well) so there was no way she was going to be confirmed.
Her replacement nominee, Anna Gomez, isn't the attack dog I was hoping for... but her support of net neutrality WHICH EVERY AMERICAN, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN, SHOULD 1000% DEMAND... makes her a good choice, and I'm shocked she managed to get confirmed. Five Republicans who give a fuck about the internet being a tool for everybody did their damn job and crossed party lines to vote in favor.
But of course assholes like Ted Cruz, who never met a corporate dick he refused to suck for cash and never met a person he refused to exploit for fun, is railing against her.
How the fuck these clowns continue to get elected just boggles my mind. They OPENLY AND ACTIVELY WORK AGAINST THEIR CONSTITUENTS IN FAVOR OF THE CORPORATIONS THAT OWN THEIR WORTHLESS ASSES! And Lyin' Ted's sycophants just eat this shit up... believing that net neutrality is a bad thing, because Cruz brands it as "Obamacare for the internet." And Ted knows that they won't research what it ACTUALLY IS because saying "Obama" makes it automatically bad. Even if it's a fucking lie.
Jesus. When is a giant meteor just going to eradicate the earth?
Posted on Monday, September 11th, 2023
I keep saying that my post from 2016 is my last word on 9/11. I keep finding new things to say (but if you want to read that post, here you go: The Last Night of the World).
The reason for this is because the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 will hang like a spectre over this country for a very long time. It's the most deadly terrorist attack in human history, it took place on US soil, and that ain't disappearing any time soon. 2,403 people died at Pearl Harbor and look how Pearl Harbor is still with us almost 82 years later. 2,996 people died in the 9/11 attacks. And when you consider that those born directly after the attacks are now 22 years old and that some of those have had children... we're now two generations after the fact. That's a while.
Yet in many ways it seems like yesterday.
Regardless of how it feels, the 9/11 conspiracy movement only seems to be growing.
And of course there's people who buy into the bullshit because they never meet a conspiracy theory they didn't choose to believe. At this point I'm waiting for aliens to be blamed, because what else is left? All I know is that it's incredibly disrespectful to those who died and the people who cared about them.
But anyway... back to the something new I was talking about.
It's the dogs of 9/11, and it's remarkable (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@weratedogs Remembering The Dogs of 9/11 ❤️ #weratedogs ♬ original sound - weratedogs
We Rate Dogs is one of my favorite TikTok accounts to begin with. But this took it to the next level for me.
Posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2023
Love her or hate her... Katie Porter always brings the receipts and always knows the score. And what this doesn't show is that AMERICAN TAXPAYERS fund some of the R&D that goes into these drugs in the first place and get high prices in return. But Big Pharma has a massive lobby that doles out billions to buy off our politicians so they tell us lies.
This isn't just Republicans... a lot of Democrats are sucking Big Pharma dick. Here in Blue Blue Super-Blue Washington State, our Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell voted against cheaper drug re-importation from Canada out of "safety concerns" because of all the massive deaths in Canada from their un-safe drugs that you read about in the news every day. Oh... I misspoke... that doesn't exist. Nope. It's just bullshit to cover the fact that they take money from Big Pharma and are safeguarding their billions in profit...
If they took money out of politics so that politicians would have to service their voters instead of servicing the dicks of corporations for cash, how much better off would this country be?
I don't know.
But I'd sure like to live there.
Posted on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
This morning I checked into Facebook, which is a morning habit I can't seem to break. After scrolling for a minute, a friend posted this...
"I have a trans friend who lives in Chicago who was working as an aide in an after school program. The company she worked for was contracted by the school district and they were based in Indiana. As a result, she just got fired for being trans, because that's the law in Indiana now, even though she works in Chicago. She was legally fired because she is trans, and for no other reason. She has no legal recourse for this. This is the country we live in."
After reading it, I commented thusly:
American Freedom: where you’re free to be who we say you can be, not who you are.
I've written a few times about my friend Margot... who is one of the most funny, generous, kind people I know. She's a good member of her community. She works hard. She pays her taxes. She never had a bad word to say about anybody. And she's donated tons of her times to causes she believes in. By every metric you can throw at her, she's a model American citizen. And proud to be one.
Margot isn't a close friend. But we do keep in touch. We exchange memes. We share life's happenings. We talk about our hopes and dreams. I love her as I love all my friends. She is inordinately special to me because of who she is as a person.
Which happens to be a trans woman.
I'd say that this has absolutely no bearing on our friendship, but how could it not? Her being a trans person has shaped her into the person I care about so much.
She's been physically assulted twice. That I know of. The last time, she had to be taken to the hospital. What made her deserving of the attack? She was walking home after meeting up with friends. She got assaulted for merely existing. All she's doing is playing the cards she was dealt to the best of her ability, and that was enough reason for her to be beaten. And this doesn't even account for the number of times she's been verbally assaulted, which I'm sure is a lot. I know how people are.
Which is to say that I know how society has conditioned them to be.
And it starts from the very top.
Anti-trans legislation is spreading like a plague, and good people just trying to live their lives are suffering because of it. People hate them, and want to write that hate into law, so they do. It's not just Indiana, just look at this map from TrackTransLegislation.com...
So, yeah, our laws are conditioning our citizens to hate Margot for absolutely no reason. They don't care who she is as a person. They don't give a shit what's in her heart or how much she does for others. And yet they elect people who do heinous shit (like passing laws against her) just because they can. She's done nothing to anybody, and yet here we are.
God bless America. This is the country we live in.
And of course the excuse is always about "protecting women" or "protecting children" or some such bullshit. If "protecting women" were true, they'd be passing laws guaranteeing women's right to abortion care, but instead women's lives are in mortal danger because if something has gone wrong with their pregnancy it's illegal to help them in places. If "protecting children" were true, they'd be passing laws against churches having access to children, but instead kids are being sexually assaulted in record numbers by churches. Every time I've seen an anti-trans argument comes up, it's easily refuted. There are still people out there who believe that a seven-year-old can walk into a hospital and demand sex-reassignment surgery and get it, which is a lie. And despite the fact that hormone blockers have been used since the 1980's... for forty years... for all kinds of reasons (and are reversible) there are people who believe that they are dangerous instead of saving the lives of trans kids.
So miss me with your anti-trans bullshit.
Because all of it is just people being suckered into a huge misdirect. They don't want to persecute the untouchable politicians, pastors, and priests who have actually been sexually assaulting kids, so they blame it on trans persons and drag queens so people have a place to focus their faux outrage.
Which is grounds for actual outrage.
And yet an awful lot of the 99% of people who aren't trans persons don't give a shit. On the contrary, they actively participate in the massive misdirection going on, gleefully and willfully ignorant of the fact that it protects those who are the real danger to others.
It seems to be the new American Way.
And what American Freedom has become.
Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023
The Maui wildfire that devastated a community has provided too many sad stories all too regularly. Victims are still being identified six weeks later, wealthy real estate predators are descending on people to buy their land, and people are struggling.
But amidst all that... there's hope.
The Maui Banyan Tree, planted in 1873 and aged over 150 years, was horribly burned in the fire. But today I saw this...
Life sometimes finds a way.
Posted on Sunday, September 24th, 2023
Summer is gone. Fall is here. But not everything is getting colder... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Sloth! Maybe the sweetest thing you'll see all day...
Now that's a grateful mom.
• Name! Maybe the coolest thing you'll see all day...
• Death Cab for Postal Service! The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie are on tour... which I already would love to see. AND THEN...
Depeche Mode's influence is a joyful thing to see. If only old Depeche Mode was more influential on new Depech Mode.
• And Cake! I knew that Fiona and Cake was going to be glorious... the bizarre, weird, wonderful world of Adventure Time couldn't HELP but be glorious... but it's so much more than that...
I honestly don't understand how they come up with this stuff. Every detail is sweated to a ridiculous degree. Cake the Cat is more like a cat than a real cat.
• YAS, QUEEN! I need to start carrying one around in my pocket! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
That could never be me. But I find Bee TikTok to be fascinating.
• Swim Creative! He looks so happy. But I’d probably look that happy if I were going to be gettin’ some too! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@creaturevids Part 1: Puffer Fish Constructs A Masterpiece of Love #love #pufferfish #ocean #fypシ゚viral #animals #fish ♬ original sound - CreatureVids
• Still Disgusting! Good job Michigan on banning child marriage! They've done more than Washington State has. If you want to marry a child in this state that's 17, all you have to do is get parental permission. ANY AGE LESS THAN THAT just requires a redneck judge to sign off on it. ANY. AGE. Want to marry a 10 year old? You can in Washington State if you find the right judge! 5 year old? Cool beans if you find the right judge! — This is categorically fucking disgusting. And if you read into this, it goes much deeper than the creep factor of an adult being able to marry a child. Children often cannot get support for domestic violence from a spouse... they get turned away at shelters because they can be "unsafe for children." WAY TO GO WASHINGTON STATE! Any of our legislators want to fucking DO something about this? Nah. They got lobbyist dicks to suck for cash. Fucking assholes. Not only should every last one of these mother fuckers who aren't ACTIVELY WORKING TO CHANGE THIS be removed from office... they should be thrown in fucking jail. I am NOT kidding. This is gross negligence and party to child sexual abuse of a minor.
And now I'm off to clean my kitchen.
Posted on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
My fellow Americans... I have my pick for President of the United States in 2024.
Representative Jeff Jackson of North Carolina's 14th District is everything right now. His TikTok is mind blowing. He’s effectively the anti-politician, and for this he’s respected on both sides of the aisle. He’s a Democrat, but Republicans regularly comment about how he would get their vote. And that's what we need.
Brutal honesty, transparency, and accountability is what EVERY AMERICAN WANTS and the political party is incidental.
This guy does not give a single fuck about party affiliation when it comes to calling out wrongdoing. He made that abundantly clear in his latest (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@jeffjacksonnc Rep. Jeff Jackson (NC): Bribery indictment #fyp #politics #nc #charlotte #raleigh #greensboro ♬ original sound - Jeff Jackson
Why can't more politicians be like this? We've got Democrats propping up straight-up asshole criminals like Nancy Pelosi whose husband clearly manipulates stocks based on insider knowledge (she denies it, of course, but come on... how many fucking coincidences do you need?). Republicans won't end their adulation of Twice-Impeached Former-President Trump despite the mountains of evidence that he's very clearly a fucking criminal (seriously... have you read his indictments and NINETY-ONE CRIMINAL COUNTS? Jesus! It's all right there! How can anybody think he's innocent?). And that's the way it goes. Asshole criminal politicians everywhere you look. They spend more time covering their asses than they ever do being concerned about the citizens who elect them.
Except my guy.
Who I fully admit I'm suspicious of. Because he's just too good to be true. The more I research the more I like him (Wikipedia has a nice summary). The guy works hard. He's very smart. He tirelessly crusades for government transparency. He wants people to support him not because of any party affiliation he has, but what he does. He's in the National Guard reserve and was called to duty at the end of his very close Senate race. He didn't defer. He went. Despite the fact that it might cost him the election. He still won.
I wish every American would take the time to go to his TikTok and really listen to what he's saying. At least while you still can. Because of course the fucking piece of shit dark money advocates are trying to silence him.
Of course they are!
He's a threat to absolutely everything these assholes stand for: OWNING THE GOVERNMENT. And they don't want you to know how the government works and what they're doing (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@jeffjacksonnc Nuclear weapons on attack submarines? - Rep. Jeff Jackson #fyp #politics #charlotte #nc #raleigh #greensboro #durham #asheville ♬ original sound - Jeff Jackson
I mean, don't you think that the American people should know when the government is spending THIRTY BILLION DOLLARS of our money? Well, weapons manufacturers obviously don't want that. And the politicians they pay for definitely doesn't want that. But here's Rep. Jeff, letting you know the score.
And you should definitely understand what's going on with Team Outrage (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@jeffjacksonnc Rep. Jeff Jackson: Team Outrage. #fyp #politics #charlotte #raleigh #nc #northcarolina #greensboro #durham #asheville ♬ original sound - Jeff Jackson
So, yeah... this is my guy. If I were any kind of power in the Democratic Party, I'd encourage Vice President Harris to retire, slide Rep. Jeff Jackson in the spot, then see what happens. Because... HOLY SHIT WOULDN'T YOU LOVE TO SEE THIS KIND OF TRANSPARENCY COMING FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL LEVEL?!? I know I sure would. My God... he's even willing to wade into the whole ARE ALIENS AMONG US? debate (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@jeffjacksonnc Rep. Jeff Jackson: Aliens? #fyp #politics #nc #charlotte #raleigh #durham #asheville #greensboro #aliens ♬ original sound - Jeff Jackson
"It was kinda great."
As we really maybe actually could be. If only we have more people like this in our government.
Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
This morning when I was scrolling through Facebook, I ran across a post taken from Tumblr about the FEMA alert which will be blaring on everybody's phones and televisions tomorrow.
I have a lot to say about this heinous idea, but more on that after the post. Please be sure to pay attention to the last line, which reads thusly: "If this doesn't make sense, then good news it's not for or about you but still reblog it because you never know who may need to know this"...
FEMA is doing an emergency alert test on all TVs, radios, and cell phones on October 4, 2023, at approximately 2:20pm ET. If you live in the US and you have a phone you need to keep secret for any reason, make sure that it is turned off at this time. Yes, I'm doing this months in advance, and yes, my blog has very little reach, but I figure better to post about it more than less.
OCTOBER 4, 2023
TURN OFF YOUR OTHER PHONE AND DO NOT TURN IT ON AGAIN UNTIL YOU ARE ALONE AND SAFE BECAUSE THE ALARM WILL COME THROUGH AS SOON AS THAT PHONE IS POWERED ON.
AGAIN I REPEAT:
OCTOBER 4, 2023
THE ALARM WILL COME THROUGH AS SOON AS THAT PHONE IS POWERED BACK ON. SO ONLY POWER IT BACK ON WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.
OCTOBER 4, 2023
If this doesn't make sense, then good news it's not for or about you but still reblog it because you never know who may need to know this.
On the post I wrote this for people who might be confused...
"I take it that this is meant as a message to people in situations with domestic abuse or are in situations where they might need to have a secret second phone for emergencies so they can call for help even if their primary phone is taken from them. They are just being told to turn off that phone and wait until they are in a place where they won't be discovered so that your secret phone isn't outed. — For this reason, I find it abhorrent that you cannot opt out of the test. This is 'government overreach' that is endangering lives... and I don't know why we aren't talking about THAT instead of 'THE GUBERMINT IS ACTIVATING THE COVID VACCINE!' or whatever."
And I stand by every fucking word of this. Used to be that you could opt out of these tests in your phone's notification settings...
But now the government has the ability to override your settings... even if the reason you have these settings is because you have a secret phone which could put you in life-threatening danger if discovered.
I honest-to-God do not fucking understand how anybody thought this was a good idea. Literally putting already-vulnerable people at risk is considered the government looking out for us? Nobody... at any level... stepped up to say "Hey, I know that FEMA alerts are important, but it's even more important that we don't put one set of lives in danger while looking out for another set of lives?" Or maybe somebody did step up, but they were shouted down over the "lesser of two evils" stance. Which means that woman in an abusive marriage or that gay kid in an unsafe family or that trans guy being bullied at work, well... too bad for them, I guess.
People talk about government overreach all the time. Big corporations which get fined for polluting water supplies... rich people who think they are above paying taxes... ex-presidents being held accountable for doing heinous illegal shit... it's rampant. But those are not cases of government overreach. Those are specific situations where things are actually functioning as they should be. But this FEMA alert? This right here? This is government overreach of the worst possible kind, and I wish we were talking about it.
Posted on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
A couple weeks ago a friend and I were chatting about life and we somehow got around to the worst jobs we've ever had. Mine was easy... picking cherries. His was a bit more complex.
My friend had lost his job when he was in his late 30's. Nowhere was hiring in his field, he needed money to pay the bills, and so he took a job waiting tables. The pay in restaurant work is not great, but when you wait tables you can pick up some fairly good money on tips, so that's where he went.
Then he had to clarify. He actually didn't mind the work at all. It was the job he hated.
Sure it was long hours on your feet spent trying to keep multiple balls in the air... all while trying to serve people who can be less than patient... but there are worse ways to make a living. I understood this perfectly, having had worked in restaurants myself.
The problem could be summed up like this...
One week into the job, he passed a dinner bill off to a couple of guys in nice suits. He was anticipating a good tip, which was money he needed, so he was in a good mood as he picked up the ticket to run their credit card. But when he got to the register, he saw it.
NO TIP! was written on the line that was reserved for it, and he was genuinely puzzled.
He took the receipt back to them to get a signature and said something like "I'm new on the job... can you tell me where I went wrong so I don't make that mistake again?"
The guy who paid the bill looked up at him and said something like "Oh? Were you looking for a tip? Here's a tip... go to college and get a real job if you want more money instead of asking for a handout."
My friend worked at that same restaurant for over a year until he got a job that was profession-adjacent to what his experience was. He eventually used it as a stepping stone to get a job that was better-suited for his training at the same company. Which made the fact that it initially paid less than what he earned at the restaurant entirely worthwhile.
So while the work of waiting tables was okay, the job of having to put up with occasional shitty people was the worst he had ever had.
I wish I could end my friend's story being able to say "Six months later, the guy who treated him so badly showed up asking him for a job, and my friend laughed at him and said HERE'S A TIP: DON'T TREAT PEOPLE LIKE GARBAGE WHO MIGHT BE THE GUY HIRING YOU FOR A JOB ONE DAY! HA HA HA!" But that only happens in internet memes. And in movies, I guess.
A tip is not a handout.
Many states (and all states back then, I believe) pay wait staff something called "cash wage." Which can be something ridiculous like $2 an hour. It was meant to be supplemented by tips so that somebody waiting tables could earn minimum wage. If they did great work and could hustle at a good restaurant, they could do better than minimum wage. Of course now there are states (like my own Washington) where the "cash wage" is the minimum wage... and so a tip is, in fact, a tip. But that's not true everywhere. And it gets worse when you recognize the fact that you don't keep 100% of that tip. You have to "tip out" (share the tip) with cooks, bussers, dishwashers, cleaners, and the like. Some restaurant owners even step in and demand some of the tips you earned.
So, yeah, my friend getting stiffed on a tip by two assholes accusing him of wanting a "handout" might be an amusing anecdote if tips were, in fact, fully additional to minimum wage. But for him it meant something like not being able to put food on the table because he was probably making $2 an hour.
And it wasn't like he wouldn't have rather been working at a "better job," if that was an option, so the "advice" he was given wasn't even helpful. It was just cruel. And can you imagine how cruel it would be if your family didn't have shitloads of money to send you to college so you can "get a real job" and you had to make your way on your own? And I resent the implication that waiting tables isn't a "real job" in the first place. To be a good waiter takes skills that would bury a lot of people. It's an honest job that takes hard work and an ability to be personable and friendly even on your worst days.
In countries like Australia, all wages are living wages. Which actually works out in the end because even though things are more expensive because people can make a living at one job instead of having to work three jobs, it balances out because everybody can do more than just work to live, and they have enough money to do more than just scrape by.
Like eat out at restaurants from time to time.
But here in America? Well, if I can't afford to leave a tip, then I accept that I can't afford to eat out, and instead make meals out of whatever I've got rattling around in my cupboards or stuffed in a corner of my refrigerator somewhere.
Washington State may have a cash wage that's equal to minimum wage, and our minimum wage is pretty good here, but I have no idea what my waiter's circumstances are. They could very well be working to support a family, pay off medical bills, put a parent into a nursing home, or any of a million different things that minimum wage isn't going to touch. Because that's what "entry level, minimum wage jobs" are designed for now-a-days. With the goverment shipping all our "good jobs" overseas, people are doing the best they can with the job they could find.
And I won't tell that person to "get a real job" by writing "NO TIP!" on their ticket.
Posted on Sunday, October 8th, 2023
The world is falling apart, again, but there's calm amongst the storm... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Woooooo... ZOMBIES! Any COVID vaccinated people had the FEMA test tone activate the 5G to turn you into an undead zombie yet? Because I got all six COVID vaccinations and still nothing. I wish it would hurry up and unalive me so I can be a real zombie right now instead of a work zombie who only wishes he were dead.
• Fly Spirit Airlines! Honesty. How refreshing!
What the heck is this? LOL. Still glad I'm not traveling non-stop.
• Satisfying Sound! There's a silly little app called Klack that makes old-style keyboard sounds when you type on a Mac. Right down to the "clunk" sound that the spacebar makes! (and the heavier "click" you get when pressing the backspace key). It's just $4 and I cannot express how much I love it. Makes typing more fun than it has a right to be. If you have a Mac and you're curious to know what it's about, here you go.
• Calling All Speakers. There's so much that could be said about the idiocy surrounding Kevin McCarthy getting ousted as Speaker of the House. The dumbass brought it all on himself thinking he could both suck up to the MAGA contingent and go around them, so there's no real sympathy to be had. But anyway... here's one tweet and two videos comment that says it better than I could...
And now this...
And of course Jeff Jackson has the scoop (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@jeffjacksonnc Rep. Jeff Jackson (NC): The Speaker has been fired. #fyp #politics #nc #charlotte #raleigh #greensboro ♬ original sound - Jeff Jackson
Now I guess we sit back and see what nightmare comes next.
• GHOSTS! Hallmark Channel has a movie with ghosts?!?
It was actually pretty good. If you're looking for a totally not spooky movie to watch to psych you up for Halloween, give this one a shot.
• Your Government in Inaction! Government exists to sit on progress. It's coming up on a YEAR since Digital Driver's Licenses were proposed for Washington State. Still hasn't made it to fucking committee. Honest to God... I have no fucking clue what these assholes do all fucking day that shit never gets done. We should have the damn things by now for people who want to opt-in to using them. A year, AND NOTHING... and lots more steps to go before it gets to sit on Jay Inslee's desk for another fucking year...
At this rate TELEPORTERS will be invented before backwards Washington State has digital driver's licenses. What the fuck is it going to take to get representatives in government who actully want to get shit done?
• NEWSFLASH: California governor vetoes bill to make free condoms available for high school students, citing cost! — THIS SHOULD BE THE DECISION OF THE PARENTS! — And I agree. Except there are dipshits who are all "MY CHILD WON'T HAVE PREMARITAL SEX BECAUSE WE ARE A CHRISTIAN FAMILY!" who are essentially endangering their children's lives and inviting unwanted pregnancies because their kids are sexually active despite their ignorance (see: Sarah Palin, and shitloads of other "Good Christian Families" who end up with grandchildren because of premarital sex). So the truth is that abstinence-only education doesn't work. Kids are becoming sexually active whether their parents want it or not. And a decision has to be made as to whether we, as a society, protect these kids from their parent's bullshit. Unfortunately, Gavin Newsom made a bad call. I don't give a single fuck WHAT parents think. IF YOU WANT TO CURB ABORTION NUMBERS... GIVE CONDOMS TO EVERYBODY AND MAKE SURE THEY KNOW HOW TO USE THEM! As for cost... can you really put a price on essential shit like this?
Best of luck. To all of us.
Posted on Monday, October 16th, 2023
Keith Giffen has died.
If you're a comic book fan from the 1980's and 1990's, you're undoubtedly familiar with his work. He's created and co-created some of the best stories and characters of the day. His humor drove books like Lobo and Ambush Bug and the hilarious Justice League reboot. But my favorit of his works was with The Legion of Super-Heroes. He co-wrote amazing story arcs like The Great Darkness Saga and the highly underrated Five Years Later Saga. The first twelve issues of the latter were some deeply satisfying stories for long-time Legion fans like me...
So many years of entertainment thanks to Mr. Giffen.
Rest in Peace, sir.
Posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2023
I am not exactly obsessed with the whole Taylor Swift & Travis Kelce dating drama. Except to say that I'm a fan of the both of them. I was a fan of Taylor after her album 1989 was released. I was a fan of Kelce after his talk show appearances... and then really a fan after he hosted Saturday Night Live back in March of this year.
Then the world broke when the dating rumors started.
And, weirdly enough, that wasn't all that broke. There are a number of people losing their shit over it. People hating Kelce because he's dating Taylor. People hating Taylor because she's dating Kelce. It's just so frickin' bizarre. Why do people care this much?
And now this (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
Dead. Legit dead.
Taylor Swift is probably a billionaire. If not, she's getting really close after the serious bank she's making on her Eras tour. She's got to have a net worth thats 25 to 50 times bigger than his. The idea that anybody thinks Taylor Swift is "gold digging" anywhere is laughable. Doubly so when a man is publicly stating it's inconceivable that a woman could possibly have more money than a man.
Fortunately, critics and their absurdity mean absolutely nothing to somebody with the kind of money either of these people have, so I guess there's that.
All that's left is the laughter over the absurdity of it all.
Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2023
I used to vote for candidates independent of party, mixing Democrats and Republicans on my ballot depending on which one I felt was best for the job. The Republicans lost me during the Trump Years, so now I just leave a candidate blank if I can't find a Democrat worth voting for. Something that happens more often than it really should.
It would seem that I've landed on a "I don't really give a shit about politics because the vast majority of politicians are assholes" platform. I'm sick and tired of career politicians who don't give a fuck about anything except money and power for themselves. The only time they ever do anything for anybody else is when they are trying to win votes.
Given the insane idiocy that's permeating the House of Representatives right now, I keep seeing this image being shared around...
Original artist unknown. Believe me, I looked.
The Republican Party is massively fractured, and Democrats are having a laugh-riot fanning the flames of their destruction. What's hysterical is that Republicans are blaming Democrats for the madness of not being able to elect a Speaker of the House despite the fact that they hold a majority of seats! That's right... it's the House Minority Democrat's fault because they keep voting against candidates that are put up for the job, and Republicans can't get their shit together to do it themselves. And it's like... shocking! Senator Mitch McConnell famously said that he would make it his mission in life to deny Democrats absolutely everything when he was running the show in The Senate. Then proved he was serious by voting against absolutely everything, even Republicans are in favor of it, just so he could deny Democrats a win at all costs. That's the level of petty we're working with here.
So why the fuck would Republicans ever expect Democrats to respond in any other way? They sure the fuck don't.
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy bashed Democrats every chance he got. It's being reported that before the vote on whether to oust the guy, Democrats were played a "greatest hits" collection of McCarthy being an asshole towards them over and over again. Hmmm... I wonder why they wouldn't vote to save his job?
This is just example #42,543,238 of why I wish our complete shambles of a political system could be rebooted and started over. It's not working any more. The entire country is "Us Against Them" even though there LEAGUES of common ground that could be covered which would benefit everybody. But nobody's interested in that. It's all about fucking over the other side and then blaming them when nothing works. All in the name of worshipping a bunch of millionaires who don't give a single fuck about them.
Abolishing money in politics, initiating ranked voting, and establishing term limits would be a good start in American Government 2.0... but, alas, everybody would rather fight amongst the ruins over which politicians get the priviledge of fucking them over.
So we get the government we deserve, I guess.
Posted on Tuesday, October 31st, 2023
This is classic. Just look at the look on that cat's face.
Happy Halloween y'all.
UPDATE: Yikes. I bought 70 pieces of candy. I ate two. I had eight left. Which means I had 60 kids. Last year I think I had only around 45?
Booo. BOOOOOOO! I wanted more candy!
Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2023
I honestly don't have a problem with what other people believe. Unless what they believe persecutes or intrudes on others, in which case I have a very big problem with it.
But anyway... Halloween.
With each passing year I see more and more people going apeshit over Halloween. They think it's evil. They think it's "Satan's Holiday" (or the day Satan impregnates his bride, which is like a holiday, I guess). Which is fine. Like I said, people can believe whatever they want to believe. But when you try to shut down Halloween activities that other people want to enjoy? Fuck you. Fuck you sideways. You don't get to use your faith to dictate how other people live their lives. People who, by-and-large, aren't "celebrating Satan" but simply dressing up in costumes and having fun.
But if all you're doing is telling other people what you're into then have at it. You do you. I 1000% support this guy...
On the plus side, he managed to spell all the words correctly ON HIS HALLOWEEN COSTUME! Refreshing!
But tell me honestly... do Christians cease to exist if they stop performing for people who absolutely do not care? (kudos to his adorable kid for taking Satan's Holiday seriously and dressing up as a bear disguised as a human though).
Then there's the other end of the spectrum. I happened across a woman named "Sam" who is a Catholic convert and had this to say about Halloween: "Repeat after me: HALLOWEEN IS A CATHOLIC HOLIDAY. Stop letting secular America steal what’s ours and turn it into everything it’s not."
Stop letting America steal what's ours?!? Wow. CLEARLY this woman is blissfully ignorant of Catholic Church history! Because, yikes. That's quite a take.
BUT THEN... you keep reading and, yep, she's selling something...
Now, so far as designs go, this one is actually darn good.
"I created these pieces as a way for you to promote the faith, decorate your homes, and maybe spark a conversation or two!"
Well, I was born into the Catholic faith. So I could just as easily say "Stop stealing what is ours to make a buck off of our fatih." But whatever. I am astutely aware of Catholic Church history, so this is actually very on-brand. And besides, I haven't been Catholic since I got evicted from Intermediate Sunday School for daring to ask "Where can I find purgatory in the Bible?" (probably just as well... the Primary Sunday School teacher liked to pretend he had a tail and invite us to chase after him and grab it... and by "it" I mean "his ass," so who knows what would have happened at the Intermediate level).
Meanwhile, back to Catholic Halloween...
"All Saints Day," as it is celebrated by Catholics, is about as far from "The Devil's Holiday" as you can get. I found this being shared on Facebook...
What's funny is that a comment on where this was posted had somebody ask if the guy in the bottom-right corner was Pokemon Trainer "Ash" from the video games.
And, while that's not the case, it's actually not as far off as you might think! That is not Ash... that's Carlo Acutis, who was beautified by The Church three years ago in 2020 (which means he's well on his way to being canonized as a saint)...
Though they are probably actually thinking of Pokemon Trainer Red (not Ash), who wore a red shirt and had a backpack like Carlo does in his most recognizable photo...
Carlo was actually a fairly interesting guy... a computer geek who loved video games and creating websites for The Church (his most famous being a site devoted to cataloging "Eucharistic miracles" that went live mere days before his death at age 15 in 2006). Odds are he will end up being a new Patron Saint of the Internet, which is a slightly more suitable choice than St. Isidore of Seville, who was assigned that glory by my favorite Pope... John Paul II.
As you would expect of somebody of his status, Carlo was entombed, then opened for public display, in Assisi (where he wanted to be buried since Saint Francis of Assisi was one of his most favorite saints)...
I have always been fascinated by Catholic Saints, even though The Church is a long ways behind me. It probably has to do with the many, many Catholic churches I've visited in my travels. They are always adorned with visages and artifacts from the Saints. Plus I love the movie Millions which buys strongly into Saint mythology.
I remember when Carlo's tomb was opened for veneration, there was a huge buzz across the internet that he was found to be "incorrupt." Which is to say that his body hadn't decayed like I normal person would. But, in fact, that wasn't the case. They had reconstructed his face out of silicone so that people visiting his tomb could see him as he was in life.
Which is not to say that he's all there for the viewing.
Only his undertaker knows for sure how much of him is actually there.
As with what happens to those in line for sainthood (or canonized into sainthood), they removed all kinds of parts and pieces to distribute them to churches as "first class holy relics." "First Class" being a piece of them. "Second Class" being something they owned. And "Third Class" being something they touched (dead or alive, I think). Holy Relics are a Very Big Deal in the Catholic Church. It was reported that Carlo's heart ended up in New York, which shocked me to my very core. I figured a finger bone or a piece of flesh... maybe... but his heart? That's like the top tier kind of relic! Alas, it wasn't his whole heart, it was a small fragment of his pericardium from his heart. Kinda. I mean the pericardial sack is just the membrane they cut through to get to the actual heart... but still pretty impressive.
He's going to be a saint one day, after all...
I know that Carlo's mom presented some of the relics to where they would be enshrined. And I sincerely hope it's because she wanted to instead of her being convinced to do so against her will. I'd think that going on a world tour with the blessing of The Church to hand out pieces of your son would be highly traumatic to a mother... but a Catholic mother? They be wired different (apparently she was raised in Rome but didn't consider herself to be Catholic until her son converted her, but still).
So, yeah, I hope everybody had a fun Halloween. Or, if you think it's absolute evil, I hope you had fun condeming Halloween.
You do you.
Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
I have written before about the decade I spent getting out of credit card debt. It was a slow, very painful process, and I have tried my level best to not go back to that life*. It's not always possible because emergencies do happen, but I've been fairly lucky overall.
The process I used to get out of debt was the "snowball" method where you consolidate as much as you can into lower-interest debt, then pay off the remainder by making minimum payments on everything except your smallest balance. On that account, you throw the maximum amount of money you can to get it paid off. Then you move to your next smallest balance. And so on. Until finally you're on the low-interest mega-balance, which you put every last cent into paying down.
I think the process took just over seven years, where I only spent money on the absolute bare essentials... eating and living as cheaply as possible so I had the most money to pay off debt.
Back then I used a spreadsheet to budget and plan.
Now I use financial apps which link to your various accounts and estimate your bills so you can get an overview of how much money you have and how much you owe. They're really handy.
For the longest time I used Truebill, but they started sending my financial data unencrypted through the email and said "Oopsies, there's no way to stop this from happening," so I moved on to Mint which had been bought out by Intuit. Mint is a fucking abhorrent app. I hate it with every fiber of my being. You can't turn off notification, which are constant and annoying. You also can't turn off ads, which are also constant and annoying. But it's free... so whatever. I deal with it.
Except now Intuit is shutting down Mint, so I'll be saying goodbye. Because it's so shitty, I won't miss it. What I will miss is having a way of tracking my finances that's free. Rocket Mortgage bought out Truebill, so what I may do is go back to that to see if the privacy bullshit has been cleared up. So long as you don't update more than daily, it's free.
Or maybe I'll move on to a paid solution and see if it's worth it to me. I mean, anything is worth not going into debt again... I just mean that it's worth not going back to a spreadshet.
*Well, except for my mortgage, because it's actually cheaper to go into debt buying a house than it is to rent now-a-days.