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It’s The Actual Overreach Which Kills You

Posted on October 3rd, 2023

Dave!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"...

onetwothreemany writes:
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.

absurdistraccoonsterrorizelocals writes:
OCTOBER 4, 2023
OCTOBER 4, 2023
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...

Government Alert Opt-Out.

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.


Bullet Sunday 823

Posted on September 24th, 2023

Dave!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)...

@texasbeeworks #bees #nature #summer #tiktok #fyp ♬ original sound - Erika Thompson

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

Good fishy.

• 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.


Hope Finds a Way

Posted on September 20th, 2023

Dave!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.

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The Dogs of 9/11

Posted on September 11th, 2023

Dave!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.

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…Like a Big Pizza Shit Pai, That’s Amore

Posted on September 8th, 2023

Dave!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?


Regardless of Party Affiliation

Posted on September 1st, 2023

Dave!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.


Bullet Sunday 818

Posted on August 13th, 2023

Dave!Don't worry about all my looming deadlines at work, I still have time for you, dear reader... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

• The Bicycle Thief! All this pupper wanted was some pets... even if it was from a bicycle thief...

I hope that the dog didn't run away. That would be worse than losing a bike because your automated garage door opener (likely) screwed up (it's happened to me).

• Cat Coaster! I can't get enough of this (here's a link in case Instagram is being a dick)...

I wonder if, from the cat's viewpoint, they feel like this is the real deal? And that has me wondering if it's traumatizing. Though I suppose they could alway jump out.

• Virus! Yeah... I'll take all the vaccinations. All of them. SCIENCE, BITCHES!

Even that might be enough to save me, but at least I can say I tried.

• Strange New Gorn! Despite a bit of a continuity problem when it comes to the Gorn, the second season finale for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was incredible...

My mind is still boggling at the thought that this is my favorite Star Trek now. I never, ever thought that anything would eclipse the original series for me.

• Florida? The repugnant shit going on in Florida to teach kids that slavery was a good thing because enslaved people learned “job skills” that could be used after emancipation can be easily refuted. But this gentleman vividly illustrates why it’s a bullshit concept that doesn’t deserve any consideration (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...


Florida’s efforts to rewrite, redeem and santize the worst parts of American history *for white comfort* is exhausting. Here’s why, from Tennessee.

♬ original sound - Garrison Hayes

Fuck FOX “News” and their white suprematist agenda forever.

• Rao No! Well, shit. Campbell's Soup bought Rao's Homemade sauces. Guess we can kiss that brand goodbye. Like every other great brand that gets bought by a mega-corp, Campbell's is most certainly going to fuck up the recipe with cheaper ingredients so they can squeeze more money out of it. The way Kraft fucked up Boca Burger is still very fresh in my mind. It was good while it lasted, I guess.

If there's one thing you can count on, it's that companies with billions of dollars to throw around will ruin the brands they absorb, despite them always saying "We won't change a thing!" Because do you know how many times this has been promised? Current CEO of Campbell's says "WE WON'T CHANGE THE RECIPE!!!" But then he gets replaced or fired and the new CEO is all "WE MUST USE CHEAPER INGREDIENTS TO GET MORE PROFITS!" and then it's "WE ARE CHANGING THE RECIPE TO REFLECT CURRENT TRENDS" or some such bullshit. I do not believe it for one second. Not one. This has happened an astronomical number of times with a crazy number of brands. Profits are always the focus of these huge companies. ALWAYS. Maintaining the integrity of Rao's isn't the priority. It's a short game to buy the brand and squeeze as much money out of it as they can before they ruin it. And then they're on to the next beloved brand.

• RUINED!!! I had to step away from my TikTok "For You Page" for a while, because people who "Had their Maui vacation ruined!" or "Had their Maui wedding ruined!" or what the fuck ever were enraging me to entirely new levels. There was a "social media coach" bitching because her 25th birthday to Honolulu was ruined when her flight was cancelled... SO SHE WENT TO MAUI... and took away much needed resources from people trying to survive the fires. I’m amazed... but not surprised at these assholes. This guy says what I’ve been thinking (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@thomas_thevillain_bishop #Inverted it’s not about you. It’s about survival.#fyp #thevillainsguild ♬ original sound - Thomas Bishop

Sorry about your vacation... but there are people still missing. Have some perspective for crying out loud.

And that's a wrap on bullets.


A Little Hope To Cling To

Posted on August 10th, 2023

Dave!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...

A smoldering Lahaina Town.
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...

The Lahaina Banyan Tree shows a little life maybe?
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...

The Lahaina Banyan Tree shows a little life maybe?
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'.


Memories of Old Lahaina Town

Posted on August 9th, 2023

Dave!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...

Old Lahaina Town in the late 80's

Old Lahaina Town in the late 80's

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)...

Old Lahaina Town in the late 80's

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"...

Mom 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...

The Lahaina Banyan Tree

The Lahaina Banyan Tree

The Lahaina Banyan Tree

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 August 7th, 2023

Dave!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.


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