Monday, December 31, 2018

Ryan Tannehill

Looks like the Dolphins are going to have both a new GM and head coach. I think they need a new QB too.

Ryan Tannehill was the 8th overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft. The very next pick was potential Hall of Fame linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Looking back at the draft is 20/20 but it should be noted that both Russell Wilson (75th overall) and Nick Foles (88th) went in the third round. Ah what could have been.

It is clear that Tannehill isn't a franchise QB and hopefully (for Dolphins fans) the new GM and head coach realize this and move on in a new direction.

Linky Links

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

- Interesting story on how a group of Russian engineers have been scamming slot machines around the world

- Cool - MRI showing what happens inside our mouths when we speak

- US Surgeon General says it's high time to relax marijuana rules

- Am I an awful person for laughing at this?

- North and South Korea hold ceremony to start the linking of railroads between the two countries. The story of the progress being made here is vastly underplayed by the US media. I wonder why?

- Your periodic reminder of things you control

- Are we approaching the end for Rob Gronkowski? I agree with Tm E. Curran - I think this season will be Gronk's last as a football player.

If Only They Could Make This a Law


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Michael Crichton

Author Michael Crichton was way ahead of most when it came to "fake news" and "junk science". This is quoted from a speech he gave in 2003: 
...The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance. 
We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems....

Why the Catholic Church is So Against Masturbation

Everyone has trouble talking about sex with their kids. I don't care how cool or hip or how with it you think you are - you are still going to have trouble talking to your kids about sex. 

Even God had trouble talking about sex. Seriously. If you read between the lines in the story of the Garden of Eden - you see how uncomfortable God was in talking about sex. 

Start from the beginning. God made Adam in his image but with one major difference - God was smart whereas Adam didn't know any better because he did not eat from the tree of knowledge - yet. Think about that for a minute. You have a dumb male - a naked male at that - in perfect health just bopping around the Garden of Eden with really nothing to do. Every guy knows what that means. 

Adam must have spent all of his time playing with himself.

There must of been a first time when Adam discovered the hard-on. It was probably morning - a BEMHO (basic early morning hard-on) - not to be confused with a HOFNAR (hard-on for no apparent reason). Can't you picture it? Adam, "Hey what's this?" And of course the first thing he does is to touch it. "Hey it feels pretty good to rub this thing. Hey - this - is - great! Now I know how I'm going to spend my day."

As an aside - God gave Adam the job of naming all the plants and animals. So you know Adam must have also named his newly found best friend. That's why men give their penis a name to this very day. It's a throwback to the Garden of Eden. (I call mine Mr. Happy.)

Now God used to roam the Garden of Eden in those days and you know he must have walked into Adam when Adam was jerking it. God, "Whoa - Adam? What are you doing?" Adam, "Just rubbing myself God. Hey watch what happens when I go really fast." God, "Adam that's fine. That's something you do in private." Adam, "Private? What's that? I'm the only one here. I'm in private everywhere I go." God, "I really have to do something about this guy."

So that night God took one of Adam's ribs and created woe-man and the Bible tells us that is was so that Adam would not be "lonely" but really it was because God was probably tired of seeing Adam playing with himself all the time. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Shattered by Eddie Vedder and Jeanne Triplehorn

This remains one of my favorite things on the Interwebs.

This Week in Musk World

Fairly slow week in Musk World as the end of the year approaches and effort is put into getting as many Tesla cars delivered before the end of the year (and the reduction in the $7,000 federal tax credit).

But end of year also means time for publications to make their "best of" selections. Speaking of Tesla Model 3 named 2018's Vehicle of the Year by the Detroit News.

Will the Tesla Semi be 2019' Vehicle of the Year? And speaking of 2019 - it is projected that Tesla vehicles will have driven 2.3 BILLION miles in Autopilot mode by the end of next year. Autopilot is helpful even when a human is in control as this video of Autopilot saving a Tesla owner from crashing attests.

Interesting map of Tesla's Supercharger locations.

JFK, Trump and Joe Sr.

Many people have commented that JFK never would have survived today in the world of social media and hyper scrutiny. That JFK's womanizing would have kept him from reaching any real position of power in today's politics. Well if you want to buy into this magical time travel level of political reality - there never would have been a need for JFK to become President of the United States in the first place.

If Joe Kennedy Sr. were alive today he'd make the ultimate candidate for President. He was more ruthless than the Clinton's. He was richer than Donald Trump and would have been able to self finance the entire campaign. His moral flexibility was astonishing. And his political ambitions put them all to shame. The only reason JFK ran for office in the first place was because his dad was basically making him.

If Joe Kennedy Sr. were alive today he'd be the ultimate candidate. And you know what - I'd probably vote for him.

Friday, December 28, 2018


The story Cinderella was written in 1699 by a Frenchman named Charles Perrault. In the original story, Cinderella wore slippers made of squirrel fur but when the book was translated into English the word "vair" (squirrel fur) was mistranslated as "verre" (glass) and the rest is history.

Linky Links

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

- Perhaps the best (and most humorous) argument I've seen in favor of nuclear energy. 19 minutes long and in Dutch (with subtitles) but well worth the time (even if just for the laughs).

- Heh Heh

- Naval's Laws (great life advice)

- Interesting - in 1981 44.3% of the world lived in extreme poverty and last year that number dropped to just 9.65%. We live in an era of abundance.

- It is a small step from having these robots dogs do jobs on construction site to having a billionaire training them to hunt the "most dangerous game" for his enjoyment. Just saying.

- How to exercise when it's the last thing you want to do

- Trying to follow the players and the interests in Syria is so hard.


A great example of karma is Mike Leach who was basically fired as head coach of Texas Tech for how he supposedly mistreated Craig James son Adam.

It should be noted that Mike Leach was the only coach to offer Adam a scholarship and only did so at the behest of Craig James who had made the same plea to his alma mater SMU who declined.

Craig James is a homophobe and now a pariah in college football while Mike Leach has found success as the head coach of Washington State who will be playing Iowa State today in the Alamo Bowl. Texas Tech has not come close to succeeding to the same level they enjoyed under Leach.

It is hard not to root for the likable Mike Leach.

And hard not to think karma was real for all involved in this story.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

What's Next in Afghanistan?

Interesting look at what may happen if the President follows up on his stated objective of getting the US troops out of Afghanistan. While reading the article by Dr. Schroden my brain had several thoughts which I thought I'd jot down here.

First give President Trump some credit when it comes to negotiations. Yes he said he wants to pull the US troops out of Afghanistan but that was the equivalent of his opening offer. (Remember his opening offer to North Korea was nuclear war!) Afghan officials and other interested parties in the region (and the world) don't want to see that so they may come to the table with offers to help shoulder the load to avoid this. It occurs to me that Poland and other former Eastern Bloc counties could use some real-life combat experience to strengthen their position against Russia and what better place to get that experience than Afghanistan?

Also the article mentions the draw down of 7,000 troops in Afghanistan. Those 7,000 troops could be drawn down from other countries. We still have over 35,000 troops stationed in Germany. Trump could easily close a couple of the military bases we still maintain in Germany which would serve a dual purpose. First it would get those troops home and secondly it would be another negotiating chip to use in his trade war. The communities located near those closed bases in Germany would suffer economically and the message would be clear - do you want me to close more bases or do you want to lower your tariffs on US goods? 

The US still has over 54,000 troops stationed in Japan. President Trump has a good relationship with Japan PM Shinzo Abe and a win-win situation could easily be created by converting the US bases on Okinowa into bases under joint control of US and Japanese forces. The US could reduce the number of troops we have stationed there to make room for the Japanese troops and this development would be a boost to PM Abe's political standing while getting even more US troops home. President Trump could even have Japan buy some more F-35's and a new missile defense system to sweeten the pot.

A stronger Japan militarily also acts as a buffer to China as the two are historic rivals.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

So Tom Brady has announced he'll definitely be back for the 2019 season (and maybe beyond). Meanwhile I fully expect drama queen Ben Roethlisberger to play Hamlet this offseason about whether he'll be returning or possibly retiring. Steelers fans - you know this is true... What's the worst that could happen?... I would love it if MLB would start referring to left-handed pitchers as "left-wingers" and right-handed pitchers as "right-wingers" just to mess with people... Extra Cheese would be an awful nickname to give to a girl. Even if she is from Vermont or Wisconsin... Americans... I still say that if the day after Christmas can be Boxing Day then the day after Saint Patrick's Day should be Hangover Day... "We don't beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well." - Randy Pausch...

Niall Ferguson on Why Today is Similar to the Late 15th Century

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Happy Birthday Pudge

Today is Carlton Fisk's birthday. Fisk was drafted by the Red Sox in 1967. He was the 4th choice overall. Who went ahead of Fisk?

1. Alec DiStaso P Cubs
2. Michael Flanagan P Yankees
3. Ken Singleton OF Mets
4. Carlton Fisk C Red Sox

Can you imagine if Fisk had been taken by the Yankees? Do you think the Cubs wish they had a do-over on this draft? Ken Singleton was good (3 All Star games) but he was no Rusty Staub and he certainly was no Pudge Fisk.

Happy birthday Pudge. Can't believe you just turned 70-years old!

What's Going on in Syria?

President Trump announced that he plans to pull US military forces out of Syria. The critics immediately speculated that this will create a power vacuum that will be filled by Russia, Iran or Turkey - all outcomes with negative connotations for US interests. The withdrawal from Syria also seemed to be the final straw for General Mattis who announced his resignation.

But into the vacuum caused by the US's impending withdrawal is stepping Saudi Arabia and the United Arab EmiratesFrance is also vowing to send troops to protect the Kurds in Syria.

To my untrained eye this seems to be good developments. The US troops are taken out of harms way in a country where the US doesn't seem to have any national interests at stake.

Saudi Arabian and UAE troops counterbalance Russia in that the Russian economy is based on petrodollars and creating wider issues with two of the largest oil producing nations is in no way in Russian national interest, especially over Syria. Meanwhile French troop counterbalance Turkey because both are NATO members and if Turkish and French troops engage each other it in no ways obligates the US into action.

That's the way my untrained eye sees it.

Some pundits seem to see it similarly

Others argue that the wider struggle is against Iran and pulling out of Syria is harmful to our success in that struggle. I cannot say that this is incorrect. Iran is our enemy.

A complicated situation to say the least.

Devil Maggots

A long time ago it was just me and my young son at church. He was wearing a wool sweater and he complained that it felt like something was "stinging" him in the back. I explained that what he was feeling was the Devil who tries to bite his way into the bodies of little boys who can't sit still in church. The Devil, I continued, takes the form of an invisible maggot with sharp pinchers who once in the body of the little boy who doesn't do as he is told, will multiply until Devil maggots are oozing from the ears and mouth. For some reason my son had nightmares that night and couldn't sleep a wink. 

I was only kidding about the "Devil maggot" thing above. I actually told my son it was his wool sweater and that he should have worn a T-shirt under the sweater like I had told him. He slept fine that night.

Devil Maggots would be a good name for a heavy metal band though.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Have you exercised your tongue muscles lately?

- Wait - what? Does Jimmy Stewart say "fuck me" in It's a Wonderful Life?

- This is an example of why members of the military love General Mattis

- When they put up or sign or pass a law telling you not to do something stupid it is always because someone did something stupid. I'd love to hear the origin of this law.

- Economic growth from Octavian to Obama. We live in an era of abundance.

- This is a wicked cool little library

- Started this off by talking about exercising your tongue muscles so it seems fitting to end it talking about exercising your foot muscles. 


I wish I thought of this!

A Christmas Wish

Every year at Christmas I re-read A Christmas Carol. It is a very short book (not even a long short story really). It is my personal Christmas tradition.
"Spirit! are they yours?" Scrooge asked, horrified. He could say no more.

"They are Man's," said the Spirit, "and they cling to me, appearing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all beware the boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."

- Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol
I hope in the year to come that you can work to erase ignorance in your life and want in the lives of those you love. 

Merry Christmas - God bless us everyone! 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Prior to the second day of the Battle of Stirling the Scots knelt and prayed. Edward II saw this and assumed they were praying for mercy from the English. He was mistaken. The Scots were praying to beg forgiveness from God for what they were about to do to the English forces and their allies... Interesting - according to physics a can of Diet Coke will float in fresh water but a can of regular Coke will sink because of the density of sugar... The crazy-straw sinuses of one particular dinosaur... It would be interesting to track the increase of oral herpes in states that have legalized marijuana. Vape pen sharing is not exactly the most hygienic of things... Hot Urine would be a good name for a punk band. Playing tonight - Hot Urine!... I think if someone managed to cross an Etch-a-Sketch with an iPad type device it would be the best-selling gift of the Christmas season... "Knowledge is a skyscraper. You can take a shortcut with a fragile foundation of memorization, or building upon the steel frame of understanding." - Naval Ravikant... 

A Good Life

Via Zig Ziglar

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Earthrise at 50

The famous Earthrise photo turned 50-years old today.

A photo that may have changed mankind's perspective forever.

Linky Links

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

- Interesting perspective on US involvement in Syria. I'm not saying I support this opinion because I don't know the facts well enough to have an opinion. Just saying it was interesting. (Via Borepatch)

- What would Aquaman really look like according to science?

- So now everyone's taking shots at Tom Brady?

- Joan Crawford explains how to throw a successful party. Key take-aways - no dirty hippies and NO WIRE HANGERS!

- I hope Jim Comey goes to jail

- No need to call me Lord

- This would be even funnier if Gravy Hot Tub was a band

This Week in Musk World

The big news this week was the opening of The Boring Company's 1.14 mile tunnel in LA. The $10 million tunnel has one end in a parking lot owned by SpaceX and the other end in Hawthorne, CA. Next up for The Boring Company may be a 17-mile tunnel from downtown Chicago to O'Hare Airport. It might be a "bumpy" ride before these tunnels become reality. Right now the tunnel that just opened in LA might just be the world's greatest amusement ride.

The cost of just under $10 million per mile could be The Boring Company's "killer app" as underground subways in the US cost anywhere between $600 million per mile (Seattle U-Link) and $920 million per mile (LA Regional Connector). And Must thinks he can do it even more cost effectively than $10 million per mile.

For some Tesla owners the big news this week might be the ability to make your car "fart". Technically it's Tesla's Emissions Testing Mode but it comes with the choices from six different fart noises. Lost in all the fart hubbub is that a "Romance Mode" was released at the same time.

Meanwhile CNBC reports SpaceX is raising $500 million to pushing its valuation to $30.5 billion. I remain skeptical of the Starlink network because of latency issues that are inherent in satellite broadband and other consumer related issues. In other SpaceX news - the Dragon 2 capsule got a high profile visitor last week in VP Mike Pence.

For investors Tesla was by far the best auto stock to invest in for 2018. With profitable quarters forecast for 2019 and things like the 54,000 square foot showroom that opened this week in Eindhoven my guess is that Tesla will be the best auto stock of 2019 too.

Just saying but Tesla stock would make a nice last minute Christmas gift (Hint Hint).

10 Commandments of Logic


Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Name of the Wind

Recently read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and I can recommend it highly. When asked to describe the book I'd say, "It's like a cross between The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter." And it is.

The book stayed with me in my head for several days after finishing it. To the point where I went back and read it a second time. If that's not a strong recommendation for a book I don't know what is.

I was given the book as a gift from my son and I'm ashamed to say it took me this long to finally get around to read it. It won't take me long to read the second book in the series, The Wise Man's Fear which I fully expect to get as a Christmas gift.

Hint hint.

Linky Links

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

- An interesting look at Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama and the song's meaning.

- Just when you thought that Facebook couldn't get any scummier. I'm not on Facebook but I'm sure these maggots have my data too. If you're still on Facebook take a long look in the mirror an ask yourself why.

- The unusual books that shaped billionaires, mega best-selling authors, and other prodigies. So many books - so little time.

- And while we are talking about books - here's Shane Parrish's recommended reading list for 2018. I'm getting fearful of getting a complex related to the knowledge that there's so many great books out there that I haven't read or even heard of!

- And once again speaking of books - a day long trip to the Last Bookstore in LA is now on my bucket list

- Interesting opinion - why Vladimir Putin is a terrible strategist

- This is such a great story. Syracuse should be proud of getting such a high caliber recruit.


On this day in 1944, the 101st Airborne is surrounded at Bastogne.

Looks like someone's found a reason to re-watch certain Battle of the Bulge episodes from Band of Brothers today.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Our entire moon - including the side we can't see from Earth. (When my son was young I convinced him that giant mushrooms grow on the dark side of the moon. I'm an awful person.)

- Mr. Money Mustache on how to retire early. Good advice but won't work for everyone (like me since I missed the boat on saving early in life)

So basically the Russians supposedly influenced our election by telling people "You can't hold hands with God when you are masturbating?"

- Wicked cool

- Funny - he doesn't look 28

- Santa's "super powers" vs those of traditional super heroes "based on careful scientific analysis".

- The best exercises for a strong back

Smartphone Disrespect

Excellent advice. I know I'm often guilty of Smartphone Disrespect - sometimes doubly (because I have two phones).

I will endeavor to do better!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Taking a page from the books of others - I am placing the blame for the Pats loss Sunday to the Steelers squarely on Global Warming. It wasn't the penalties, the mistakes, the turnovers - it was Global Warming. I will now stick my head in the sand.. Baseball Hall of Famer Pud Galvin was born on Christmas Day 1856. He was nicknamed Pud because he made batters look like "pudding" at the plate not because he was a dick... Who knew? Peter Gabriel's first choice for the female lead on the song Don't Give Up wasn't Kate Bush - it was Dolly Parton!... Random thought - Spare Time would be a great name for a bowling alley... "Ball Peen Hammer" sounds like it could be a sex act straight from the Urban Dictionary. Is "peen" even used in any other phrase?... The 1951 version of A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim is the best ever made. The second best is the 1999 version with Patrick Stewart... Kirsty MacColl was killed 18-years ago today. RIP...

Season's Greetings from Bill Belichick

Linky Links

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

- Clay Matthews deserves to be in Canton.

- The oral history of how Fox got the NFL rights from CBS. Changed broadcasting forever and propelled Fox from being another UPN or WB network into being a major player. (Long read but well worth it)

- Not sure if I've heard of an energy tease before

- These always tug at my heartstrings. Always

- Government shutdown looming? Not so much

- Heh heh - awesome!

- Interesting - in 2019 OTT (Over the Top) streaming revenue will surpass movie box-office revenue for the first time

Monday, December 17, 2018

The West Wing - In Excelsis Dio

One of my favorite moments from The West Wing. Gets me every time.

Russ Roberts on Socialism

Russ Roberts recently published two articles trying to explain Socialism through a thought experiment. The first part basically outlined what he "has" and how he got it. He then compares himself to a shoe shine woman who earns less and wonders if his income is justified.

In the second article he basically makes the case for socialism. He points out that if everyone was guaranteed the same income then nobody would probably sign up to be a garbageman. What he doesn't say, but I think it was implied, was that if there weren't enough garbagemen and the trash started to accumulate - the government would "compel" some people to be garbagemen and other professions that people wouldn't do if they weren't getting paid a decent wage. It wouldn't take long before there was a whole lot of "compelling" by the government and suddenly some pigs would also become more equal than others.

Looking forward to part three of the series.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Fairytale of New York - The Pogues

Fairytale of New York is back in the UK Top 10. Something that should be a holiday tradition.

We need to adopt that tradition in the US.

Linky Links

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

- This is 100% true!

- This is actually a pretty big deal - Texas now an exporter of LNG

- Congress approves bill that makes CBD legal at the federal level and also allows states to grow hemp

- This is what the collapse of an economy looks like. This is what socialism does.

- A cat is a cat is a cat

- I laughed way too much at this

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observation.

The NBA three-team trade gone bad over the wrong Brooks reminds me of the story of how Angels owner Gene Autry once told his GM to "get that outfielder from the Red Sox" so the GM signed Rick Miller. Autry meant Dwight Evans... This is such a great story. Charles Barkey is an American treasure... I think the maximum an NHL coach should be with any one team is 9-years. That's the longest Scottie Bowman coached with one team (the Redwings - he spent 8-years with the Canadiens). Just like a US President has a max of 2-terms an NHL coach should have a max of 9-seasons. Call it the Scottie Bowman rule... Cool - California election resolved with Dungeons & Dragons dice...  9 also happens to be the number of Stanley Cup Championships Bowman won as head coach... Excellent life advice... Studies suggest that there has been a big uptick in women watching male gay porn (like guys watching girl on girl I guess). This poses two real dangers for straight married guys. First friends may find the Internet history and assume it is the husband watching the porn or second the wives may come to think that the average male is much better endowed and can "last" much longer than their hubby. Congress should do something about this!... 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

London Calling

This week in 1979 The Clash released their third studio album London Calling. One of the great albums of all-time.

Today also happens to be the 63rd birthday of Clash bass player Paul Simonon. It is Simonon who is pictured smashing his bass guitar on the cover of London Calling.

Happy birthday Paul!

Linky Links

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

- The DMZ in Korea is being dismantled. If unification or something close comes to North and South Korea how does President Trump not get awarded a Nobel Prize?

- We've all had days like this

- Quitter!

- This is sad - the annual Rolling Thunder ride is coming to an end. 2019 will be the last ride.

- Very cool

- An update on Craig James (who I still think is a dick)

- World GDP by Country - it is fascinating to watch

Einstein on God

“We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library, whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different languages. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend but only dimly suspects.” - Albert Einstein

Friday, December 14, 2018

Pull the Plug

The other day I started thinking about the phrase "pull the plug". Most people think the phrase has to do with pulling out the electric cord and turning off the power on something and specifically many think of "pulling the plug" on someone plugged into life-support equipment at a hospital.

I, however, think the phrase originated with a bathtub or sink plug that you'd pull when you were done with your bath or whatever.

Couldn't find a definitive answer to this question but since there seems to be some use of the phrase in the 18th century - I'm going to go ahead and say that I was right. And now that I've written all this down - I can finally stop thinking about this stupid phrase.

US Blues - Grateful Dead

Just felt like hearing some Dead this morning.

Linky Links

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

- And now it feels like Christmas!

- Cool - how Warren Buffett found Berkshire Hathaway: a 56-year love story

- This might be cheesy (and French) but as a dad it really hit home

- If you see this and don't immediately think of the movie Mystery Alaska then you aren't a true hockey fan

- Heh heh - awesome!

- Cool illustration of the Mercator projections vs the true size of countries

- Heh Heh

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Cheers to a Merrier World

Linky Links

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

- Intuition vs Rationality: Where one stops and the other starts

- Why Uber's self-driving car killed that woman. Uber seems like the type of company that is only concerned about safety after the fact and only if bad PR is hurting the company. I don't think Uber will last long-term. A new technology or more customer friendly company will replace them.

- Have the feeling you may not be seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson much on TV till this is resolved.

- This is quite a booklist.

- GM Layoffs: A tragedy caused by embracing government subsidies not markets. Get woke go broke indeed!

- When the histories are written one of the main tragedies of our era will be recognized as the subversion of pure science to political or PC considerations

This Week in Musk World

We start off this week in Musk World with the above video of Jay Leno explaining why Americans should be rooting for Elon Musk and Tesla. I agree with Jay 100%! Tesla has created close to 50,000 new jobs. How can you not root for a company that does that?

To be fair not all the jobs at Tesla will be in the US with Gigafactory 3 set to open in China mid 2019.

Yet the big media attention story was Elon's appearance on 60 Minutes. Not exactly a love story but even 60 Minutes couldn't diminish the company's accomplishments.

Tesla is growing with 11 new stores opening this week. And as always no need to have an appointment for a test drive at any of the locations. These new locations also mean more new jobs - for the people who built these locations and those who will staff these locations.

In other Musk World related news - the SpaceX Dragon has visited the Space Station 16 times. The latest this past Saturday.

Tesla may also be getting into the GPS business. Which when you think about it would be a natural crossover expansion of their auto-driving electric cars and SpaceX experience.

Next week Musk World sees the Boring Company product launch. And as usual probably some surprises. Never "boring" in Musk World. (Sorry couldn't resist.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Linky Links

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

- NASA's Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space. The second NASA probe to do this but still a tremendous accomplishment that should have garnered more attention than it did.

101-year old WWII vet credits his longevity to having a Coors Light every day. Coors hears of this and does the right thing.

- I was in Miami watching the Army/Navy game but this pre-game benediction brought tears to my eyes. Where do we find such men?

- Screw Nike. BTW - Nike's stock price is down about $7 since they announced the Kaepernick ad campaign.

- Godspeed former President George H.W. Bush from his Secret Service detail. Interesting - did not know his Secret Service code name was Timberwolf.

- Actor Philip Bosco has passed at age 88. I agree with Alan Sepinwall - my favorite role of his was as the bus driver (or "blufftony" driver if you like) in the movie Quick Change.

- Another story that was grossly under-reported was President Trump's progress in world trade at the recent G-20 meeting in Argentina.


"Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them." - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

At the time the final play of the Miami/Pats game was very, very disappointing because of my rooting (and not insubstantial monetary) interests but I must say the sense of elation and joy of the Dolphins fans really was something to see and experience... So crazy it just might work... This win over the Patriots was really the Super Bowl equivalent for Dolphins fans. The high point of their season and a highlight for them that will be cherished the way the Flutie miracle in Miami pass was for BC fans... Drinking with quiet determination is often the best form of drinking... America's sustained competitive advantage stems from our vast natural resources and our freedoms. Of the two our freedoms are by far the most important and irreplaceable... Heh heh... The way I view Sunday's loss to the Dolphins is it was an early gift from the Patriots. Merry Christmas Miami...

Net Neutrality

I can see both sides of the Net Neutrality "argument'. Honestly I'm pretty ambivalent. Yes I want the freedom to do what I want without ISP's favoring one website over another but treating the Internet like a utility or a Bell operating company with the regulations and commiserate paperwork will just serve to strangle new small providers. 

Here's what I propose - I will support whatever side that says their solution will require a $1 charge to leave a comment on YouTube videos or review items on Amazon. All of those funds would go directly to paying down the national debt.

So let it be written - so let it be done.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Presidential Poker

Probably the two best poker players to occupy the Oval Office in the 20th century were Harry S. Truman and Richard Nixon. However, before I can discuss them in poker terms I need to point out that I hold to the theory that poker players fall into four basic categories. 

1. Players who don’t know what they are doing. These of course are the best ones to play against. 

2. Players who try to judge the others players around the table. Amateur psychologists who play the person as much or more than the cards. They try to figure out who raises when they have nothing and who raises when they are loaded and play accordingly. They will stay in to the end with shit cards if they think the other guy is bluffing. 

3. Players who play the odds. They know the probabilities and do not stay in a hand unless the odds are in their favor. An extreme example of this type of player is the guy who will only stay in a 7-stud game if his hole cards are a pair or Ace/King. (If you just played the odds you are almost guaranteed to win but poker wouldn't be much fun.) 

4. This guy is a combination of the player who can player the other players around the table as well as know the probabilities involved with the cards exposed at the table. This is the most dangerous type of player to play against. Basically, anyone who has ever made it to the final table at the World Series of Poker would fall into this category. (By the way - just like everyone thinks they have a sense of humor - everyone who plays poker sees themselves as a category 4 player.) 

Harry S. Truman fell into this forth category. Truman was a regular at Vice President John Nance Garner'’s poker game when Truman was a Senator. (Interestingly – Truman would later replace Garner as VP. Garner is also the man who described the job of VP not being worth a warm jug of spit.) At these games Truman became friends with Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and members of the House from both parties. Truman’s reputation as honest, smart and humorous came in large part from participating in these poker games. 

Truman would often play poker a few nights a week. The games could be with friends from back home in Missouri, newspapermen when he was traveling or other Senators back in Washington. Poker is something Truman did for fun and relaxation. It is a habit he kept throughout his time in Washington including all his time as President. (I should note that although poker may have been a habit with Truman – losing was not. Truman was an excellent poker player.) 

Richard Nixon was a very different person from Truman and they also differed greatly when it came to poker. 

Nixon was raised a Quaker but that did not stop him from either joining the Navy or from making a tidy sum playing poker in the service. 

Nixon was poor (as was Truman) but didn’t have Truman’'s ease with people. Nixon, however, had a great analytical mind. At his height, Nixon was a category four player but in his heart he was really a category three player. Nixon knew the odds and liked to take advantage of them when they were in his favor. 

Nixon was such a good poker player that he was able to finance his first run for Congress with $10,000 he won playing poker in the service (that was quite a bit of money back then). The higher Nixon rose, however, the less poker he played. By the time he became Vice President – Nixon had stopped playing altogether, 

I have to think that if Nixon had kept his wit and person reading/interaction skills sharp by playing poker that his Presidency would have had a much different ending. 

Important To Remember

Especially this time of year it is important to remember that almost all setbacks are temporary. Let "This to shall pass" be your mantra.

Depression is a serious issue and if you or someone you know is struggling make sure they know there is help.

Suicide hotline (800) 273-8255. Please ask for help.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Bowie and Bing

As big as David Bowie was - back in the day Bing Crosby was bigger. Much bigger.

Now Bing is mostly forgotten. As will be David Bowie in a few years. It's the way of the world.

Both Bowie and Bing would trade all of their fortune and fame to trade places with you today. No matter what your circumstances these past giants would love to breathe the air once again. And if given that choice do you think they would sweat the small stuff?

Think about that.

The Truth About the Island of Misfit Toys

It is the Christmas season which means soon holiday classics will be on TV constantly. I need to get off my chest the truth about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. The thing about the misfit toys wasn't that they were squirt-guns that shot jelly or cowboys who rode ostrich's. The really strange thing about these "toys" was the fact THEY WERE ALIVE!

Now any high school biology student can tell you that life comes from life. These misfit toys were probably the offspring of some sick minded magic elves who must have gotten too "friendly" with some of the toys they were working on and fondling day after day. They were put on the Island of Misfit Toys probably as an attempt by upper management of Santa's Workshop to cover up some of the sick shit that was going on when the lights got turned off at night.

Let's be clear here - we aren't talking about misfit toys either - we are talking about FREAKS! If my kids got a choo-choo with square wheels that was alive - I would freaking BURN IT WITH FIRE! I would also then have to start spending thousands of dollars on therapy probably for the whole family. You could bet that Christmas and Santa would take on whole new meanings (and nightmares) from that day forward.

God help the children who ended up getting those freak misfit toys on Christmas morning.

And don't even get me going on the heroin backstory to The Little Drummer Boy.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Periodic reminder to Steelers fans - your team lost playoffs games to both Blake Bortles and Tim Tebow... Talk about being consistent... Every time I'm tempted to give a Nobel Prize winner too much credit I remind myself that former Enron adviser Paul Krugman won one for economics and that Yasser Arafat won a Nobel Peace Prize...  Heh heh - Run, Tommy Run... Still on the fence about President Trump but if he were to name Alice Cooper US Poet Laureate that might put me over the top...  Remember - until you pin me Festivus is not over!

Linky Links

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

- Amazon's eye for sports could shatter TV as we know it. Good!

- Love, Happiness, and Time. Interesting and gratifying way to view the world.

- Interesting - if the American Dream is for children to do better financially than their parents then the American Dream is not only alive and well it's thriving! Long read but worth it!

- Christopher Buckley with an excellent remembrance of George HW Bush (aka the Vishnu)

- A guide to tipping in the US. Agree 100% with the $1 per drink at a bar suggestion. In most of the places I go that works out to more than 20% but it's worth it for the shit they let me get away with or for what they have to put up with (insert smiley face emoticon here).

- Marriott had a data breach that could effect 500 million people. That's more more the population of the US.

- If this doesn't make you tear up even just a little - I serious don't want to know you.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

This Week in Musk World

Another busy week in Musk World.

Tesla has now achieved production rates of 1,000 Model 3's a day. If Tesla is able to keep this up then the $35,000 Model 3 could be a reality as soon as May of 2019.

1,000 Model 3's a day is impressive but that's nothing compared to the 3.5 million battery cells produced by the GigaFactory which as this video points out is Elon Musk's key to Tesla's future.

Solving production issues has allowed the Model 3 to become the 4th best selling car in the US by volume and the best selling passenger car by revenue. The success of the Model 3 has spelled doom for hybrid electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt. GM vows that they will be jumping into the all-electric car market with both feet in the coming years. But based upon the continued progress of Elon Musk and Tesla - they might be too late.

The cars Tesla is producing are getting used in the real world with the company announcing over 10 billion miles have been driven in Tesla cars already. With an amazing 1 billion miles being driven while under the autopilot feature. And Tesla keeps on rolling out improvements to its Navigate and Autopilot functions. 

It wasn't all roses this week in Musk World though. Elon was once again chastised for smoking pot on the Joe Rogan podcast. This time by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. As NASA starts launching new moon based initiatives it will be interesting to see if people like Mr. Bridenstine emerge as villains in Musk World as behind the scenes politics may require NASA strongly leaning toward established partners like Boeing and Lockheed Martin's ULA instead of SpaceX.  I wouldn't bet against Elon and SpaceX though. Their more nimble approach has already allowed SpaceX to become the world's most prolific launcher of rockets and they also have the backing of Wall Street and Google. Remember the government also invested heavily in GM and the Chevy Volt - how did that work out?

And now your very cool moment of the week - double sonic booms as the SpaceX Falcon performs its vertical landing.

Killing Kennedy

Marilyn Monroe once famously sang Happy Birthday to You (Mister President) to JFK. What's lesser known is that Kennedy never paid the licensing fee for the song.

That was the real reason he was killed. The Happy Birthday to You folks don't mess around.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Conspiracy Theory - the NSA developed and started the whole Elf on a Shelf thing to acclimate future generations to 24/7 surveillance... I'm going to have business cards printed up that say "Chris Lynch - Public Intellectual and Thought Leader" because why not?... In the near future the word "distaff" will be replaced by the word "nodick" because people in the not-so-distant future will be morons... George HW Bush sledding with Arnold Schwarzenegger because why not... I'm going to try to mix in the phrase "it's like trying to take blood from a penguin" today in conversation. Don't even know what that means but I like the way it sounds... The ESPN "Fansville" commercials have me convinced that only stupid people drink Dr Pepper. If you're smart and drink Dr Pepper you should be insulted by these commercials... FACT: Donald Trump has not been defeated in the Octagon by any other President living or dead. You can't argue with facts!...