Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ideas that Can Change Your Life

Shane Parrish had a recent thread on Twitter that simply said,"Name one idea that has changed your life." There was a lot of gold in the responses. Some of my favorites (other than some of the Farnum Street ones I may have already linked to in the past):

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." - Anne Dillard

"If it takes 2 minutes or less do it now. Don't put it off."

"Money's only value is how it allows you to spend your time."

"You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do." - David Foster Wallace

"Our expectations and our fears of our future selves are self fulfilling." (AKA "He who says he can and he who says he can't are both right.")

"Easy choices hard life, hard choices easy life." - Jerzy Gregory

One of my favorites in life was not on the list; "It doesn't count unless you do it." - Doug Stanhope. I always hear this in my head when someone says something like, "I was thinking about doing X" or "Doing Y would be a great idea."

Who Did It Better?

Charlie Chaplin in the "original" meme.

Or Stan Lee co-created Mister Fantastic in the updated version?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Interesting profile in the NYT of Shane Parrish and his Farnham Street blog. Forget how I found Shane's blog and podcast but I'm really glad I did.

- Jocko Willink's Veteran's Day message. Should be must reading for everyone.

- Good look at the year Drew Brees is having and how it could change how people look at his legacy.

- Speaking of Shane Parrish - the surprising power of the long game.

- Heh Heh

- 10 amazing facts about Stan Lee

- Speaking of Stan Lee - I think this photo sums up how many of us felt at the news of passing

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Boston sports primer - people who complain about Tuukka Rask taking time off for personal reasons are not Bruins fans, people who complain about Al Horford's contract or play are not Celtics fans, people who bitch about losing to the Titans Sunday are not true Patriots fans and finally people who sing Sweet Caroline at Red Sox games molest collies... Interesting - A bubbling pool of mud is on the move and nobody knows why. Also Bubbling Pool of Mud would be a good name for a Primus cover band or a euphemism for a loose bowel movement... And speaking of bowel movements - sorry but the Chic-fil-A "tonight is nugget night" promotion sounds more like something Danny Thomas or John McAffee would tell their mistress than something geared to make me hungry... Love this photo... Words in a Cunning Order would be a good name for a blog or a publishing company... Don't find someone who looks at you the way Trump looks at the President of Morocco...

Stan Lee

American icon Stan Lee has passed away at age 95.

Interesting interview of Lee by Rolling Stone from a couple of years ago about the origins of the X-Men.

My daughter tells me that the Stan Lee cameos may continue after his death as he reportedly filmed several two years ago when his health was in question. I'm hoping that's true.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Elon Musk asked Tesla owners what they'd like to see improved/fixed and the responses were pretty interesting. (And no I don't own a Tesla.)

- The US had the largest decline in CO2 emissions in the world. Another example of how the Paris Accords were nothing but a sham.

- Good advice

- Eddie Rickenbacker (a personal hero of mine) on witnessing the end of World War I

- Heh Heh - love Rondo!

- Finally some common sense! The Union of Concerned Scientists becomes the first major environmental group to public support nuclear energy.

- Devastating - the carnage of World War I in two images

The week in Musk World

Busy week in Musk World with a series of comings and goings. The week started auspiciously with SpaceX's Starman, still seated in his Tesla Roadster, passing Mars.

Meanwhile on Earth, Elon Musk walked the distance of the Boring Company's tunnel under LA. The tunnel is scheduled to open December 10th. That should be fun.

And Robyn Denholm was named new Chair of the Tesla Board. Interesting to note that she has a telecommunications background.

That telecommunications background might come in handy to help Musk on Space X's Starlink satellite broadband project. Things aren't going so well there with Musk recently "allegedly" firing several top engineers working on the project.

Of all of Musk's "projects" I feel that the Starlink idea is the least feasible. And it seems I'm not alone in my skepticism.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veteran's Day

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month an Armistice was signed to end the carnage of World War I. November 11th became Armistice Day cross much of the world but Wold War II caused the day to morph into Veteran's Day instead because what's the point in honoring an Armistice agreement that wasn't adhered to?

There is a point in honoring the Veterans who fought in both these wars and others or who have worn the uniform. Recently saw this description of what makes a "veteran":

"A 'Veteran' - whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve - is someone who, at one point at his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'the United States of America', for an amount up to and including his or her life."

The men and women who risk or who have given this "last full measure of devotion" are more than worthy of a Day in their honor.

By the way, that railway car used to sign the Armistice in 1918 was later used by Hitler as the venue chosen for the French to sign their surrender to the Nazi in World War II.

US - China Trade Relations

The White House has warned Wall Street executives to stay out of the US-China economic negotiations. I agree with the White House here because the "greed is good" ethic should not extend to enriching yourself or your firm at the expense of what is right for your country. Force the CEO's of these firms to have to register as "foreign agents" if any and I mean any of the firms underlings tries to engage in this sideline type negotiations.

Imagine how the average investor will react if a firm like say Goldman Sachs is constantly referred to as "Goldman Sachs a registered foreign agent of China". Make it so because in my mind when I hear about these executives engaging in these sorts of things all I can think of Ellis from Die Hard. And remember how "helpful" Ellis was in that movie.

The efforts to make China play by the rules isn't just limited to President Trump's tariff. The US, the EU and Japan are also submitting proposals to the World Trade Organization to curb China's "cheating" when it comes to trade.

Finally, the election results on Tuesday also seem to indicate that voters in general are in support of the Trump Administration's battle vs China when it comes to trade. Honestly though I think that support may be overblown for the simple reason that the average voter is either not paying much attention or doesn't care. If they support or oppose Trump their reasons for doing so are pretty much baked in by this point and don't rest on him trying to finally reign in the Chinese.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Happened 43-years ago today.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- It's near impossible to fully appreciate the good JJ Watt did in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey but this Yahoo! article is a good start.

- This thread is awesome. The story has such a great punchline that I literally "laughed out loud" and the comments are just as good.

- And speaking of awesome (in the literal sense) - the Grand Canyon

- Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass) was 80-years ago this week.

- I love Ben Franklin

- This is a sad recognition of the state of things. Description of things that could be reports of today's news but 2200-years earlier. And a reminder - Kristallnacht was only 80-years ago.

- Ford may be "teetering" on the edge of a Junk Bond rating but I feel confident in the management and products of the company. I drive a Ford and I would recommend it to others.

Happy 243rd Marines

Today is the 243rd birthday for the United States Marine Corps.  In honor of the Marines - here's my favorite Ronald Reagan quote:
"Some people live their entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. Marines don't have that problem." -- January 1995

Friday, November 09, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

An underlying problem with today's media is they don't spend enough time telling people about heroes like Major Brent Russell Taylor and too much time on self-aggrandizing asshats like Jim Acosta... Heh Heh... This Steven Pressfield post on What Works and What Doesn't (when it comes to motivation for writing) reminds me of the quote from Annie Dillard - "How we sped our days is, of course, how we spend our lives"... There should be a unit of measure called "the Acosta" where every time Jim Acosta appears on air CNN loses .01 ratings points and for every five times CNN loses an advertiser... I think President Trump would win a lot of good will among GOP die-hards by offering an important posts to Scott Walker. Can you imagine the number of heads on the Left that would explode if he tried to make Walker Secretary of Education?...  Heh heh - speaking of open positions in the Administration... Conversely in a show of bipartisanship new House Speaker (assuming that happens) Nancy Pelosi should throw Hillary Clinton to the wolves over the email server investigation. I think this would secretly please many people on the Left who just want Hillary to go away and it would make Pelosi look evenhanded in any moves against Trump regarding the Mueller Investigation. Just saying... 

Theory of General Relativity

A little brain candy this morning.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Conspiracy Theories

Heh Heh - via

Political Prediction

If the nation is heading towards a new debt crisis as the very respected Ray Dalio has predicted - and if it happens in the next two years - then Donald Trump is almost guaranteed to be re-elected in 2020.

Now that the Democrats have re-taken the US House of Representatives and especially if Nancy Pelosi is made Speaker once again - if a debt crisis happens (no matter the cause) - the Democrats will take the brunt of the blame in people's minds.

"The economy was doing great until the 'crazies' took control of the House" will be the talking point of every Republican up for election in 2020. Correlation will absolutely equal causation in the political ads. And President Trump will once again echo "Jobs Not Mobs" as THE campaign slogan of 2020.

I'm certainly not rooting for a debt crisis. And I agree that to avoid this all the Democrats would have to do is not be crazy. But I'm a realist - thus the prediction. Donald Trump will be a two-term President. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- NASA's InSight Mars mission to test what's under the surface of the Red Planet

- Supreme Court declines to take on Net Neutrality challenges. And I'm honestly confused on how to feel about this.

- Wow - I want to try this to see if it works (but I'm not sure if I own a sewing needle and thread)

- New discovery sheds light on mystery of pyramids construction

Supplementation with spermidine could improve memory of adults at risk for Alzheimer's. But if Pharma companies want adult males to swallow this they are definitely going to have to come up with a better name.

- Deadwood movie is in production! And the gang's all back! But I do wonder what the plot will do with Gerald McRaney's character (have an idea but will keep it to myself).

- And speaking of Alzheimer's - AI detects Alzheimer's six years earlier

Flotsam and Jetsam - Election Results Edition

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just a reminder that none of our politicians are perfect. Even George Washington had his faults. He didn't like whiskey for one... I want to buy rolls of these stickers and wear one every day... If you raped Peter Pan could you also be charged with statutory? Or would it be elder abuse? Exactly how old is Peter Pan? Asking for a friend... I still think the word "orgasm" should be replaced  with the word "culminate"... From now on if someone tells me "You look familiar" - I am going to respond with "Ya you too. Were we in a police lineup together?" Just to see how that goes over... Heh Heh... Biological Puppets would be a good name for a band... I'm putting the words "Election Results" in this post just to see how many Google hits I get...

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

One Year Ago Today

Last year on this date the Red Sox announced Alex Cora as their new manager. And Cora made this "prediction":

"Every win we're going to celebrate... hopefully there's like a hundred and something... if we do that that means we're going to have a parade here in Boston." - Alex Cora November 6, 2017.

Give that man a new contract!

Link Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- I wish this unicorn was on my ballot because he would have gotten my vote. (Can't believe how non-plussed the girls watching seem to be - I would have been going nuts!)

- Inigo's guide to networking success

- Your periodic reminder of how to get rich (without getting lucky)

- I wish there was someone on my ballot that I loved as much as the guy on the right loves his pint

- I would so love to try this!

- Well when you put it that way

- I completely agree with Bill Belichick on this. Anyone who knows anything about Belichick knows there's no coach in the NFL who respects the military more or whose actions prove that respect.

Elected - Alice Cooper

For some reason I can't quite put my finger on - this song has been playing in my head today.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Daylight Savings

OK time for my yearly screed. Daylight savings is stupid. And we should get rid of it. Can you think of anyone who is actually in favor of daylight savings? Me neither.

Why do we continue to put up with this stupidity? Oh and don't forget to turn your clocks back an hour tonight because we are all dumb monkeys.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Iran Sanctions

Looks like the Trump Administration will reinstate all sanctions against Iran - possibly as early as Monday.

And I say good! George W. Bush identified the Axis of Evil but only Trump seems to be doing something about both North Korea and Iran.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Suddenly NFL people are wondering if Nick Mullens is going to do to Jimmy G what Tom Brady did to Drew Bledsoe... Any time I see Newt Gingrich - I picture him as Santa's gay half-brother to see if it makes him more likable... 10 Commandments of Irish Pub Etiquette... Quote of the Day: "I am an old man and have known many troubles, but most of them never happened." - Mark Twain... Heh Heh... Rental Soap would be a good name for a band (or a really bad business start-up idea)... When a bad guy with a gun meets a good guy in a cowboy hat...

Bob Feller

Hall of Famer Bob Feller would have turned 100-years old today. He won 266 games and struck out over 2,500 batters but that's not the impressive thing about this hero.

Just 2 days after Pearl Harbor Bob Feller volunteered for active duty in the Navy. He was the first professional athlete to do so. Ted Williams always said that it was Feller's patriotism that he always admired most about the man and Williams admiration of Feller was great. 

Rest in peace to a hero who did Cleveland and America proud..

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Podcast Recommendation

Really enjoy the back from the dead Jeselnik & Rosenthal Vanity Project podcast. This podcast is the rebirth of the old Rosenthal & Jeselnik Vanity Project which was cancelled by the NFL Network.

 I may be childish but the humor of this podcast is right up my alley. Don't expect much hard NFL news and especially don't expect predictions.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just a reminder - the Red Sox magic number is now 163... Ben Franklin's thirteen necessary virtues. Sound life advice then - sound life advice now... I still say that salad bars should be re-named "vegetable buffets"...  This is such an emotional photo... "The wide world is all around you: you can fence yourself in, but you cannot forever fence it out." - JRR Tolkien... Henry Miller's 11 commandments of writing... Halloween came and went last night as quietly and as uneventful as any Halloween in my life. I hardly even knew it was Halloween...