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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Morning Rant

Trader Joe's Vitamin D Homogenized Milk

Went to pour some milk into my coffee, had to open a new carton. Didn't go well, so I told Trader Joe's what I thought:

Paper carton was too well sealed. You are supposed to pull apart the flaps and then fold down the spout. The flaps came apart well enough, but the spout was sealed as well and so I almost destroyed it while prying it open. I don't think this was user error, I grew up with these milk cartons and never had any problem with them until the bean counters started squeezing everyone and everything. Could it be that proper maintenance of the sealing machine costs more than it costs to install those stupid plastic spouts and install them? Those plastic spouts with the pull rings are stupid. Whenever you open one, when the seal finally breaks free of the spout, it flings drops of milk onto the counter, drops that have to be wiped up. 

Yesterday at lunch Jack was complaining about some kind of electronic gizmo. He gave up trying to get it sorted and went and bought a new one. We berated him for not dunning the manufacturer. This is why the world is going to hell. Companies are building and selling all these new gizmos that fail in short order and no one complains, it's easier to go buy a new one.

Meanwhile the nozzle on dutiful Dennis' garden sprayer had broken, so he checked into buying a new one. Ask the internet and the internet delivers. New nozzles are available for the low, low price of only $12. Meanwhile, you can buy a complete new sprayer at Home Depot for $10. Of course, if he buys a new sprayer, he is now stuck with getting rid of the old one. Since it's been used for weed killer, it is hazardous waste and Waste Management probably wants $50 fee to dispose of it, which would be a bargain if it allowed you to bypass the long lines at the public collection events, events staffed by the worst sort of annoying busybodies.

Bah, bah, bah and humbug.


Trump is a Witch!

Darth Vader proclaiming the death Obi-Wan Kenobi

This is old stuff. I have been dismayed by the growth of the Imperial Presidency. The President can't go anywhere without an entourage of thousands along with a fleet of aircraft and motor vehicles. Obama came to town once upon a time and entire freeways were shut down so his eminence could see that there were no traffic problems here. Color me irritated.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Feedly doesn't work on my computer anymore. I might be able to fix it if I read the directions and followed them, but fuck that shit. I have no interest in delving into obscure computer crap (unless it's something that tickles my fancy).  Google / Chrome has a RSS Feed Reader extension and I have been playing with it and I stumbled across this little gem which I found illuminating. 

As I was rebuilding a pond wall today, I thought of another element behind why many people hate Trump so much—so much more than we should expect in reaction to his actual governing. We know that many folks find him distasteful and lacking in class. Sure, but why would that trigger such hatred—why not simply some eye rolling and dismissive remarks? It then struck me that these people find Trump guilty of sacrilege; he has committed abomination in his presidential duties. Leftists in general and some patriotic Americans on the right understand democratic politics in a religious, sacrosanct way. So, when Trump scandalizes them by boorish behavior mixed with politics, he commits acts that merit a good burning at the stake. Many (most?) American right-wingers (correctly) see democratic politics as a circus, and we delight when the clowns drop the pretense and act the part. For the people who see the Popular Will as the closest thing to a divine instrument that they can imagine, however, Trump is a blasphemer and a heretic. Let him be anathema! - Arimathea, August 2019

P. S. Should it be "a RSS Feed Reader" or "an RSS Feed Reader"? I can usually tell, but this time I can't decide.

 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Lake Oroville Drought

Lake Oroville Drought
1st photo - 2018
2nd - april 27, 2021
3rd -last week

Lake Oroville is the one that had problems with the spillway not too long ago. Looks like the California drought is pretty serious.

Via Posthip Scott

Monday, July 26, 2021

Uwe Gemballa


Why Was the 90s' Biggest Porsche Tuner Killed By Gangsters?
Donut Media

Here's an entertaining little tale about cars, financial skulduggery and murder. I had never heard of Uwe Gemballa or his cars before, but that's not surprising. Back in the 80's and 90's I pretty much had my nose to the grindstone and didn't have the time or inclination to follow automobile fashion. Still, fancy, high performance cars were a thing back then, and if you look back at the 20th Century, it has always been a thing, well, for as long as there have been cars.

If you look at the entire history of the automobile, there must have been somewhere north of a zillion fancy, high performance cars produced, so what happened to them? Well, some of them ended up in the scrap heap, and some of them are occupying obscure corners of  dilapidated barns, but a bunch of them were stored away in private garages, museums and warehouses, which makes me wonder how much warehouse space is devoted to these cars. If you figure there are a million cars squirreled away and you figure 200 square feet per car, that's like eight square miles of storage space. If the fancy car habit keeps growing exponentially like it has been, how long before the entire planet is covered with automobile storage? Reminds me of Cemetery World by Clifford D. Simak, a science fiction story that posits that in the far future Earth is just one big graveyard.

I've never liked Porsches. I am not sure why. It could be envy, except I like Italian exotics just fine and they are even more expensive than Porsches. The only reason I can come up with is that their engines are buried in the back. American muscle cars have the engine up front and when you open the hood all the glory of the engine is on display. You open the rear deck on a Porsche and all you see is a grimy mess of wires and widgets. No, no Porsches for me.

I'm not quite sure what qualities I am looking for in a video to make it a worth posting here. I suspect it's about 50% the quality of the video and 50% what kind of mood I am in. In other word's, it's a crap shoot.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Catholics

St. Mary Catholic Church, High Hill, Texas

I have a very tenuous connection to the Catholic church. My father was raised a Catholic and I was baptised in a Catholic church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My dad abandoned the church, I don't know why. His experience in WW2, his education in physics after the war and my mother's influence probably all played a part. My parents were scientists, so I was raised as an atheist. I became a Lutheran when I married my wife. It was painless, I may have had to recite some formal phrases but I do not remember what they were. We attended a Lutheran church for years while the kids were growing up, but we haven't been for a long a time.

There are a few bloggers I follow who are Catholics. I read them because I like what they say and how they say it. They write clearly and logically. Joseph Moore (Yard Sale of the Mind) and JMSmith (The Orthosphere) are a couple of my favorites.

Anyway, Joseph put up a post that is nominally a rant about something the pope has done, but he gives a brief historical summary of Catholic churches and the Catholic mass. I always wondered about Catholic churches, why they were so big and fancy. He gives us some background. It's pretty great.

I always found church services tedious in the extreme. I suspect it might be because I am a little too tightly wound. I am not good at sitting and relaxing unless I am stoned. Not everything I do is productive, solitaire games consume hours of my time. One thing I noticed about church was that after attending a service I was a bit calmer during the week. The calmness was nice, but it didn't quite outweigh the tediousness of the service. Maybe if I got stoned before I went to church it would be tolerable.

Joseph's explanation of the mass goes a long way to explaining why the Catholic church continues to be a large part of our civilization. 

P.S. Word of the day: ineffable - too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Innocent (2021)


The Innocent | Official Trailer | Netflix
Netflix

Another foreign police / crime / murder mystery series. This one is based on a book by Harlan Coben, the king of trashy murder mysteries. I tried reading one of his books, it was awful. But that's neither here nor there. Horrible movies have been made from great books and great movies have been made from horrible books.

Let's see, what do we have here?
  • the big, tough guy who has been to prison. He has a special hatred for the guy who got him sent to prison. Any 'normal' person would give that prick a wide berth, but not our hero, he nurses his grudge, quietly.
  • the female head detective. She is unusual in that she has been given some complicated back story, not that I remember what it is.
  • a bad guy operating a strip club that fronts for a brothel. Bonus: for special customers willing to pay, he has underage girls imported illegally from eastern Europe.
  • then we've got the hookers. Boy oh boy, do we have hookers. This show is basically all about hookers.
  • the crooked cop. He's not just crooked, he's vicious and he's got a high level position in the Special Crimes unit.
It's not a great show, the plot is ridiculously complicated, but it holds together fairly well. We've got good looking women doing all kinds of things: normal, hooker type activities and sometimes exhibiting a bit of initiative. Sometimes they screw up and sometimes they get it right. 

There are a few technical screw ups, but hey, it's a TV show, they aren't going to get everything right. Things like a couple of women can barely push a body off the back of the boat. How the devil did they get the body onto the boat? And there is no way to open the doors of a freight truck from inside after the doors have been latched. I don't know how many times I have seen that in show, I wish they would stop doing it. 

Netflix, Spanish with English subtitles, 8 episodes approx. one hour each.

Shelby Ford F-150

2020 Shelby F-150 Super Snake Sport