Thursday, December 31, 2020

Linky Links

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

- A Nihilist's Guide to Meaning (long but thought-provoking read)

- Richard Feynman: The pleasure of finding things out

- Why alcohol is the secret to humanity's success

- Viasat asks FCC to perform environmental review of Starlink. Though I don't think this will be successful it does pose a viable risk to the future of Starlink.

- Regrets of the dying. Worth reading - especially if you are about to make any resolutions.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

So in 2020 Boston sports fans saw Mookie Betts sign with the Dodgers, Tom Brady with the Buccaneers, and now Zdeno Chara with the Capitals. Fuck you 2020!... Still one of my favorite Venn Diagrams... Morbid thought but am I the only one surprised to learn that Gene Hackman is still alive? He turns 91 in January... If you think about it - the novel Moby Dick is an exhaustive story about an elaborate murder-suicide... Wallaby Pockets would be a good name for a young adult lit hero character. I think the Harry Potter series of books would have been 10% better if the title character was called Wallaby Pockets instead... So according to the NYT Hilaria Baldwin cannot self-identify as Spanish. But what if her preferred pronoun was Senorita? Would that meet their moral guidelines? I find it amusing that if she instead wanted to be known as Henry Baldwin the NYT would instead be crucifying anyone who criticized Henry's choices... Beethoven on a Fender Guitar would be a good name for an a cappella group... 

Zdeno Chara

Won't lie - it was a bit of a gut punch to learn that Zdeno Chara signed with the Washington Capitals. Like another 42-year old future Hall of Famer, Tom Brady, I was convinced that Chara would end his career in Boston. But I guess that wasn't meant to be. 

Unlike Brady, who wanted to move on from the New England Patriots,  the decision not to resign Chara seems to have been the Boston Bruins. Chara signed with the Capitals for just $730,00 with incentives which could bring the contract up to $1.46 million. For a guy who can still be a top 4 defenseman on almost any team - that's cheap money. Capitals fans have to be ecstatic with the signing. 

Even at age 43 there's nobody in the NHL who wants to fight the 6'9" Chara. He's still capable of one-punching even the toughest tough guy. But don't get me wrong - Chara was a fun guy who didn't take himself too seriously - especially when kids were involved. And the above video where Chara answered the bell in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals WITH A BROKEN JAW shows how Bruins fans felt about him.

I think the Bruins will struggle to replace Chara's toughness and presence. Some of their skill players will suffer for his absence. 

Chara is not just respected in Boston and the NHL but also internationally. In the 2014 Winter Olympics he was chosen to carry the Slovakian flag at the opening ceremonies. Well deserved big honor for a big guy.

He will be missed in Boston. And the Capitals with Chara are now my second favorite team in the NHL. I'll still be rooting for Zdeno for as long as he chooses to play. 

Neil Gaiman's New Year Wish


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Eisenhower's Warning

" holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become captive of a scientific-technological elite." - President Dwight Eisenhower during his Farewell Address.

Ike's warning of a "military-industrial complex" is much more famous but given our current state of things - I think the above warning which was also in his Farewell Address may be more apt. 

Dangers from "scientific-technological elite" may be among the top dangers facing this nation. 

Linky Links

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

- Watch out for streaming service price hikes in 2021

I for one welcome our robot overlords

- Dan Wetzel on how to fix college football

- COVID-19 bill starts a 180-day countdown for UFO disclosures. Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get any weirder.

- How Will You Measure Your Life? Excellent life advice.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The past few years being out at midnight (or even awake) on New Year's Eve hasn't been a big thing for me but I like that being my choice. Not the government's. Something fundamentally wrong with that... I think a good idea for a business would be replica 3-D printed Megalodon jaws and teeth. You'd find someplace in your home to display those - wouldn't you?...  Conspicuous Stupidity would be a good name for a band (or a rather apt descriptor of this point in US history)... John C. Woods - Master Sergeant, Master Executioner, but apparently not a very competent fellow... Kamala Harris has not yet resigned her U.S. Senate seat - and neither has Joe Biden! Seriously though - why hasn't Kamala Harris resigned her Senate seat? Makes you wonder...   

Dr. Suess


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Linky Links

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

The Day the Dinosaurs Died (Long but interesting read)

- Matt Taibbi on former Havard President Larry Summers' comments on the proposed $2,000 stimulus checks. 

- 22 quotes from a recent Charlie Munger interview

- Kevin Simler - Ads Don't Work That Way (another long but interesting read)

Quotes for Today

 Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day." - Jim Rohn 

"Your library is your paradise." - Desiderius Erasmus

"No man is a failure who has friends. Unless he has no money. Then he's a miserable failure." - Henry F. Potter

"I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it." - Steven Wright

"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Elliot 

"The most important trick to be happy is to realize that happiness is a choice you make and as skill set that you develop. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It's just like building muscles." - Naval Ravikant


It is interesting to note that Sam Phillips - the man credited with discovering and helping to make Elvis Presley into a star - only made $35,000 off Elvis (by selling his contract with Elvis to Atlantic Records). Phillips, however, made millions from being an early investor in the Holiday Inn corporation.

I just find it interesting that Phillips' fame comes from playing a part in a cultural phenomenon from which he made very little but his main financial success is likewise very little known or remembered. Our society will make make a bozo who appears on a reality show famous yet a man who makes millions by building a business and creating hundreds of jobs can walk down any street in anonymity. 

Funny world we live in.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Long Read Linky Links

 Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I share.

- Paul Graham - What You Can't Say. Good advice for dealing with the "anti-yellowists" of today.

- Long but interesting interview with Tobi Lutke founder of Shopify

- 7 ways to retain more of every book you read

- Another long but fascinating read - thirty-six thousand feet under the sea.

My Secret Will

I've decided that I'm going to have a secret will that only the executor of my estate will see. That "secret will" will have funds to hire an Elvis impersonator to attend my memorial "party". At the party the Elvis impersonator will sit in the back and not speak to anyone unless spoken to.

If asked the Elvis impersonator will say one of three things in his best Elvis voice:

"I fucking loved that guy."

"Wasn't Chris just the best! There was nobody outside of the King that I admired more."

"It's too painful to talk about the great times we had. I just fucking miss him."

There will be a few hundred dollars put aside for fake Elvis' bar tab because I'd fully expect him to tie one on in my memory.

I'll be dead - but I'll still think it's funny.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

There was a large bomb that was detonated in Nashville. The media has been lagging in reporting about it because they need to know the motivation of the bomber first before framing the story. That in a nutshell is the state of our media today... In Star Wars they are called Tie-Fighters but nobody in that universe seems to wear ties. Minor detail that bugs me... Wonder if you could get a Super Bowl bet on the Kansas City Chiefs vs the Field? And what would be the odds on the Field? I like the field... People who have to shovel the snow never dream of a White Christmas - just saying... Instant Entropy would be a good name for a demolition construction company... Part of me would like to see a version of I Will Survive sung by Donald Trump with Joe Biden as the feckless lover... The only people making a better return on investment this fall than people who invested in Bitcoin are bookies taking NFL action... 

Happy Birthday to Ray Bourque


Happy birthday to Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque. Above is one of my favorite moments of all-time in Boston sports history and a moment that in a nutshell shows how classy a guy Ray is.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Linky Links

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

The best Western movies ever made. Every Clint Eastwood "Man with No Name" movie should have been on the list.

- SOAP was such a great and under-rated show.

- Posted without comment

- Good news?

- Jordan Peterson on writing

- The Gift of Grace

- Why I'm Losing Trust in the Institutions. The CDC and the WHO have proven to hot garbage.

The Peanut Friends TV Show

Here's an idea for a TV show - take the format of the show Friends (including opening song and everything) but instead of the cast of Friends you'd have a real-life grown up versions of Charles Schulz' Peanuts characters.

Instead of a coffee shop - most of the action would take place at a piano bar with Schroeder being the "piano man". Lucy van Pelt, despite having a Ph. D in psychology, is the hostess at the piano bar restaurant (just to be close to Schroeder). Each week Lucy could give an psychoanalysis of whatever issue one of the gang is dealing with. Sort of a running gag. Schroeder could insist everyone call him "maestro" as a Seinfeld shout-out.

Charlie Brown's sister Sally could be played by a blonde hottie and the character would be sort of a slut. His best friend, Linus van Pelt could be played by one of The Big Bang actors who could geek slap big sister Lucy any time one of her on the spot psychoanalytical diagnosis makes no logical sense.

Peppermint Pattie and Marcie would, of course, be lesbians. Maybe Sue Lynch for Pattie and KD Lang for Marcie? Pig Pen could be a recovering drug addict. How could this not work?

And for Charlie Brown - I picture a bald Bill Burr or a younger version of Paul Giamatti. I would seriously watch this show if it were ever made.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Quotes for Today

Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"Vision without execution is hallucination." - Walter Isaacson

"If you open your mind too much - you brain will fall out." - Tim Minchin

"I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet." - Gandhi

"Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescus the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." - Psalm 82: 3-4

"Writing comes easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until your forehead bleeds." - Douglas Adams

"I don't want to believe. I want to know." - Carl Sagan

"Never regret anything that made you smile." - Mark Twain

Farnam Street Knowledge


- The Code of Hammurabi: The Best Rule to Manage Risk

- Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform

- How to Do Great Things

Seemed Like a Good Day to Post This


Friday, December 25, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Outside of the lockout season (2004-2005) this will be the first season in NHL history that the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens do not play each other in the regular season. I think this sucks!... If you added the three words, "Harry Potter and..." in front of any scientific paper - you'd automatically make that paper 100% more interesting to read... New Mexico walks back from "free" college tuition promise - can no longer afford it. You will see many State promises "walked back" in the months to come as the reality of the drop in tax revenue becomes a reality (been saying that for a while)... Used Sushi would be a good name for a band... A "quantum leap" in general vernacular is used to denote a huge jump forward but shouldn't it be used to denote a tiny change instead? The quantum world itself is beyond microscopic... President Trump on election fraud. Must watch... 

Merry Christmas




The Christmas Truce


Very interesting bit of history. Be sure to watch till the end for the reminder that war is hell. Memento mori.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Santa was a Badass


Linky Links

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

- 20 Tips for a Positive New Year (from last year but still great advice)

- They are all gross hypocrites. She's only remorseful about getting caught. Their cure is worse than the disease and those like her are part of the problem not part of the solution.

- Andrew Yang has filed paperwork to run for NYC Mayor

- VDH on China being happy to see Trump go. This is not good for America. Don't trust China - China is asshole!

- The "Value" of Christmas. Well said!

Merry Christmas from Your Lawyer


Linky Links

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

- Are the Democrats waking the sleeping giant?

- Tom Brady has an A+ troll game

- Not a fan of Newt Gingrich but he makes very valid points. Is there anyone reputable from the Left who would dispute his argument? 

- AT&T having trouble selling DirecTV

- Statement from the President on the passing of Chuck Yeager (just seeing this now)

Christmas Carol 2020


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Quotes for Today

Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes." - Jonathan Swift

"Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance." - Eckhart Tolle

"The bully is the man who acts on the assumption that he will not have to fight." - GK Chesterton

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." - Marcus Aurelius

"The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately." - Seneca

"It is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are those least suited to do it... Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"There are two ways to live your life. On is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

Sadness and Anger

Returned Monday after spending a long weekend in Florida as part of my now annual tradition of attending the Patriots game in Miami with my girlfriend (who happens to be a Dolphins fan). This year was much different than the others. There was an undercurrent of sadness and anger pervading the entire trip. 

I get it we are in a pandemic. But the feelings of sadness and anger were palpable. 

My girlfriend and I also took a trip to Florida in June and it was much different. Everyone getting off an inbound flight was wearing a mask then but nobody else in the airport was. This time around everyone was wearing a mask. To not have a mask on in the airport was verboten. Outside the airport it was a little better.

Our first night there we actually saw a live band for the first time in months. It was a Motown review at the Tin Roof in Del Ray and we were allowed to actually dance to the music! It was glorious. Little did we know that would be the only band we'd see the entire trip. Other places would have a single guy on guitar but no bands (the Elbow Room in Fort Lauderdale had two guys on guitars). There was something seriously off.

Of the people on the street - 80-90% weren't wearing a mask but everyone had one for when they entered an establishment. Even with the cops it was 50/50 whether they'd be wearing masks. But the choices of what places to go to was lessened because many places were closed (many I fear for good). And the crowds that would make this trip so festive just weren't there. Seating for the Patriots game was limited to 20% capacity and with no tickets to be had thousands just stayed home. And with no crowds there's no tourist cash and the cycle turns vicious. 

Normally the bars in Fort Lauderdale by the Sea have the air of a Patriots rally for this game with the street outside the Village Grill / Pump House bar shut down to make room for one live band after another. This year nothing. It was dead. Same was true in Fort Lauderdale and in Hollywood Beach. 

At the game there was no tailgating and you had to wear your mask at all times. It was worse than the airport. There was an assigned usher whose sole job was to be the mask police. I spent most of the game on the lookout for the guy just so I could enjoy an occasional airgasm. I'll never attend another game where mask wearing is mandatory. It's just not worth it.

The airline attendant on the Delta flight home was even worse than the usher at Hard Rock Stadium. She seemed actually looking for a confrontation with anyone who would not meekly comply with mask conformity. But you had to grit your teeth (under your mask) and quietly seethe.

Which brings me back to sadness and anger. There's only so much we can collectively take. I fear we are quickly reaching the point of many becoming the Michael Douglas character in the movie Falling Down. There's a reckoning coming fueled by a river of underlying sadness and anger in this country. You can feel it coming.

I fear we have made the cure far worse than the disease.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Probably not a popular opinion but I think President Trump should veto the $900 billion stimulus package. He should insist on $1,200 cash relief for citizens on a single page bill... John Heisman - the man for whom the Heisman Trophy is named - used to supplement his income when he was coach of Georgia Tech by being a Shakespearean actor in the offseason. I just find that an interesting tidbit of history. Can you picture Nick Saban doing Hamlet after the bowl games are over?... I knew it!...  With Jacksonville now in line for the 1st pick in the draft I wonder if Gardner Minshew is now on the Patriots radar as a potential QB for next season... The term of the day is "hapax legomenon." That is something that is only mentioned once. An example would be Gopher wood which is mentioned just once in the Bible (Genesis 6:14). That was the wood Noah was told by God to use to build his ark... Editing My Reality would be a good name for a blog... I wouldn't be surprised if that next Christmas the hottest gifts of the season are AI/Deep Fake Hogwarts-style moving portraits. The technology is not too far away from making this a reality... 

A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


America Today


The saying a decade ago was:

America is not at war. The Marine Corps are at war. America is at the mall.

Today the saying may as well be:

America is not at war. Communist China is at war. America is on lockdown.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Read this a few days ago and the thought has stuck in my head. That's probably because I feel that it is true. Where all the dead homeless in LA and San Fran?...  A Democratic Party slogan could easily be, "Everyone gets what [insert your preferred pronoun here] deserves." Only half joking - students of history may recognize how truly awful this suggestion is but sadly many, many more will actually think this is a cool idea... Think I'm going to start calling everyone "Doctor." Can't be too careful these days (plus this way I'll never have to remember another name - everyone will just be "Doctor" to me)... Caligula was Topher Grace?... President William Henry Harrison drank hard cider from a gourd - a fact that just sounds funny when said out loud... Put me in the camp that thinks the Patriots should start Jarrett Stidham for the last two games of the season. The fans have seen enough of Cam Newton to know he's not a keeper. If Bill Belichick plays Newton instead of Stidham then he's just being a dick (or trying to tank the last two games on purpose).. 

Linky Links

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

- NYC restaurant owners ban Andrew Cuomo. Restaurant owners in Mass should do the same to Charlie Baker.

- Physicists measure the shortest unit of time to date - just 247 zeptoseconds. That's the time it takes for a photon to cross a hydrogen molecule.

- Researchers have achieved sustained long-distance quantum teleportation. One of the fist steps in the future of computing.

- Multi-screening may mess with your memory. Multi-tasking is an awful habit.

- Found myself fascinated by this new car. But at about $200,000 I had no desire to own one or even drive one. (HT Execupundit)

Dana White is a Hero

Dana White is a hero. His courage and resourcefulness saved his business.

"I'm not afraid of the media. Why should anyone listen to the media? Who are these people? What makes them experts? What have they ever accomplished?... It's easy to criticize from the sidelines when you risk nothing and do nothing." - Dana White

Dan Wetzel gets it - Dana White was right all along.

Good King Wenceslas


Good King Wenceslas is one of my favorite Christmas carols. Did you know that he was a real person and that on September 28, 935 AD he was killed by his brother? Now maybe you can think of that cheery fact every Christmas when you hear the tune. At least you can take comfort in thinking no matter how stressful your family gatherings are at least you probably won't be killed by one of your siblings.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Linky Links

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

- Forget New Year's resolutions and conduct a "Past Year Review" instead

- Steven Pressfield: Don't look back and don't look down 

- I don't like the NHL's new divisions. Putting the Canadiens and Bruins in separate divisions is like putting the Yankees and Red Sox in different divisions. Like spitting on league history. 

- The third leading cause of death in the US is medical errors. This isn't new news. 

- Interesting - everything you might think you know about MSG is wrong

- Reminder that the New York Times has always been unreliable

Cool Stuff

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.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence." - Leonardo da Vinci

"Actually we're better when we're sober... But it's not as much fun... So we get drunk." - Shane MacGowan

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." - Marie Curie

"I'm not upset that you lied to me; I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Me and my wife were happy for 20 years. Then we met." - Rodney Dangerfield

"When it comes to medicine and nutrition, subtract before you add." - Naval Ravikant 

"You have power over your mind not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." - Marcus Aurelius



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.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Annie Lennox


 Another of the Christmas songs I enjoy (but never seem to make it into the rotation of songs you hear).

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Quotes for Today

Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"When immigration is done by single individuals, it is immigration. When done by groups, it is invasion." - Nassim Taleb

"But test and prove all things until you can recognize what is good; to that hold fast." - 1 Thessalonians 5:21

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said Let us pray. We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land." - Desmond Tutu

"Jill Biden has the same degree as Bill Cosby." - Dan McLaughlin

"You get paid linearly for analyzing and solving problems and non-linearly for spotting and seizing opportunities." - Shane Parrish

"There's one thing worse than change and that's the status quo." - John Le Carre

Seasons Greetings from Bill Belichick

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Linky Links

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

- This looks like a cool exhibit

- Just love this photo - Stonehenge's groundskeeper mowing the grass in 1955 

- It's a Wonderful Life in 30-seconds (re-enacted by bunnies)

- Ho Ho Ho

- Santa Claus was a shroom-tripping shaman?

- Santa painted into great works of art

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

It would be cool if Adult Swim had a New Year's Eve show featuring a zombie Dick Clark who would just appear every few minutes to say, "BRAINS!!"... "Bonnet de douche" means "shower cap" in French but doesn't it sound more like a snarky version of the insult "ass hat?"... Heh Heh (a little economics humor)... Is it me or does it seem we hear from Dr. Jill Biden more often than we do from her husband President-elect Joe Biden? Does that trouble others as well?... Is Iron Man III a Christmas movie? Give it a re-watch just saying... I think if DuckDuckGo came out with a video platform it would immediately become a success as a rival to YouTube.They could call it DuckDuckShow... Has to be asked - Joseph was a swarthy, Mediterranean Jew so would a snow white baby Jesus have made it more or less likely for him to believe in the Immaculate Conception?... 

Father Christmas - The Kinks


One of the Christmas songs I actually enjoy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Linky Links

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

- Matt Taibbi - "Amazing" Hypocrisy: Democrats Make Wreck of Covid-19 Relief Negotiations  

- If you're wondering what to get me for Christmas

- New Yorkers should be still angry with AOC over Amazon (but not angry enough to vote her out I guess)

- Never forget

- Trump's peace deals mean the anti-Israel boycott movement is dead. One can only hope so.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Part me wonders if all the strange and horrible things from 2020 are because George RR Martin never came out with that last damn book... Heh Heh - Smokey Robinson wishes you a happy Chanukah... Wait are some people seriously trying to give Tammany Hall style politics a historical rehabilitation? Seriously?... There's a fish that survives dangers by hiding in the anus of a sea cucumber. The fish is called the Pearl Fish but I like to think of it as the James Comey Fish... It may not seem like it but China didn't pass Japan in terms of GDP until 2011... When people shake hands and say, "How do you do?" I instinctively sat, "How do I do what?"... 

I Believe in Father Christmas - Emerson Lake and Palmer

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Still One of My Favorites

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Kent Brockman is perhaps the most respected name in journalism these days. I'm only half-kidding about this...  Kennedy in a Hat would be a good name for a band... This may be true of a Southern woman but if a guy from New England tells you "Keep talking" he means if you don't shut your yap you're going to catch a beating... The word "panned" comes from the French word for "breakdowns." So in essence when a movie is "panned" by critics it is usually because it "breaks down" and things don't work... WTF? Seriously - WTF?... "Charles Bronson was an aircraft gunner" is both a true statement (he flew on 25 B-29 bomber missions in WW II) and something which would make a great song lyric... Just a reminder - starting this February dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism (and the homeless will mysteriously vanish from any and all news reports)... If "evade" means to escape - shouldn't "vade" mean to get caught?... 

Ho Ho Ho


(Now I have a machine gun)

If I still sent out Christmas cards - this is the one I'd send out this year.

And yes - Die Hard is indeed a Christmas movie (and Dick in a Box also qualifies as a Christmas song).

Monday, December 14, 2020

Linky Links

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

- A doctor on 9 things that could go wrong with the new vaccines. My worry is that #3 and #9 somehow get combined.

- After the pandemic, a pile of IOU's. The pandemic has caused $12 TRILLION in new debt worldwide.

- Cool - Cell signaling technologies. This could easily be hosted at an art gallery.

- John le Carre has passed aged 89. The Russia House is an under-rated book of his and his The Tailor of Panama his most fun. 

The American Medical Association rescinds previous statement against prescription of hydroxychloroquine.  Did the science change or the political situation?

- "This is obviously not good" is the understatement of the decade

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"Comparison, a great teacher once told me, is the cardinal sin of modern life. It traps us in a game that we can't win. Once we define ourselves in terms of others, we lose the freedom to shape our own lives." - James Collins 

"If you diet, invest, and think according to what the 'news' advocates, you'll end up nutritionally, financially, and morally bankrupt." - Naval Ravikant

"Hey! It's Enrico Palazzo!" - Anonymous Fan 

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

"First generation millionaires give us libraries, second generation millionaires give us themselves."- Gary Wills

"Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done." - Robert A. Heinlein

"You despise in others the worst parts of yourself." - Shane Parrish


"To the best of my knowledge he had never even voted, and then someone must have told him something about politics, some convincing lie, or he read something - it's usually one or the other - and he stopped being funny and turned mean and silent. That wasn't so bad, but then he stopped being silent." - Charles Portis The Dog of the South

Jingle All the Way!


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations. 

50,000 medical and public health scientists and practitioners have signed the Great Barrington Declaration. Aren't we supposed to be listening to the scientists?... Heh Heh... You know what's a cool nickname that deserves to be brought back - the name Speed. You never hear anyone called Speed anymore... Funny because it's true!... Weed and Hot Sauce would be a good name for a band... President Trump got a big ovation at the Army/Navy game yesterday... The differences between generations - growing up COD meant "cash on delivery" but now it means Call of Duty. Also back then LBJ was a President not a basketball player. Now get off my lawn... So Elon Musk announces his move to Texas and now Oracle has announced they are moving their HQ from California to Austin. California is quickly going to run out of other people's money... Also funny because it's true... 

Abe Lincoln was a Badass


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.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Linky Links

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

- The Willie Mays and Charlie Brown connections 

- How to publish your own book (HT Steve Layman)

- This was a very touching version

- Matt Taibbi: YouTube Ban is Un-American, Wrong, and Will Backfire

- A very good deed by an Iowa church. But $8,000 being able to buy $5 million worth of medical debt to me shows how overpriced and messed up our medical billing is.

- Cool - Scotland has the best names for its snowplow fleet

Remembrances of Days Gone Past

Snagging, Skitching and Bumper Riding When I was a kid we called it snagging. 

On a day when snow was packed onto a street, you would wait for a car to slow down at a stop sign and then you would crouch down and sneak behind the car, put your hands underneath the bumper of the car, and squat in a catcher's position with feet parallel about shoulder's width apart. The car would speed up and you would "ride" away. It was great! I lived for snagging. In college I continued to "snag rides" and I learned that it was common in other parts of the country but it was called by different names. Some called it "skitching" and some called it "bumper riding" others "bumper skiing." Everyone who grew up doing it - loved it. I probably started snagging about 3rd grade. I would snag with the older kids. It was great. You have to understand that I was a city kid. My parents weren't rich. Snagging is something kids did that got us outside (we had no cable TV back then - circa 1975).

The Metric System and the USA

Opposition to the metric system remains strong in the US. Mostly due to the "Go Fuck Yourself" attitude of most Americans.

Nobody comes right out and says it but many Americans oppose legalizing marijuana because they are afraid that it is just a gateway drug to the metric system. All that grams of this and grams of that. I also believe that Pokemon Go died out as a fad in the US mainly because they were trying to force good law abiding citizens to participate by metric measurements. Hey Japan do we need to remind you that the Imperial System of Measurement won the War in the Pacific in World War II? Darn tootin'.

And while we're at it - you can keep your Royale with Cheese! In America it's a Quarter Pounder with Cheese! USA! USA! USA!

Cool - Fire Tornado Bubble

Friday, December 11, 2020

Origin of Term "Grandfathered"

Say a State changes its drinking age from 18-years old and moves it to 21-years old - people aged 18, 19, and 20 would be "grandfathered" and not subject to the new 21-year old drinking age. People 17-years of age? Well they're screwed.

The term "grandfathered" has become well known and pretty benign but the origin of the term "grandfathered" has some serious racist overtones.

After the Civil War many of the Southern States instituted some new voting restrictions aimed at making it difficult for newly freed slaves to vote. Poll taxes, literacy tests and other nefarious rules were put in place but these new requirements had to also apply to poor whites. How to get around these new rules then? Add another one that said "if your grandfather could vote so can you". Of course prior to the Civil War only whites could vote and if your grandfather could vote - that means you're white too and thus it's A-OK for you to vote. 

That's how the term "grandfathered" was born. As I said before the term is pretty benign now and at some point you have to just accept your past and move on but honestly now knowing the origin of "grandfathered" will make me second guess using the term again myself.

Linky Links

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

- Why Slack agreed to be bought for billions by Salesforce.

Six things to know about Texas' petition to the Supreme Court

- UFC antitrust lawsuits granted partial class action status. This may drag out for years.

- Essential facts about Covid-19

- The glorious, almost-disconnected boredom of my walk in Japan. It was a 620 mile walk and the article is an interesting read.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I wonder if President Trump will be attending the Army/Navy game on Saturday. If he does I'm guessing he'll be roundly applauded by those in attendance. I'd like to get back to another one of these games... As God as my witness - I thought Charlie Weiss was going to be a success as the coach of Notre Dame. Major mea culpa... Heh Heh... Every building, school, bridge and park in West Virginia currently named after Robert Byrd should immediately be re-named after the State's true favorite son General Chuck Yeager... Thinking it over and I think Breath by James Nestor was the best non-fiction book I read this year while The Long Ships book by Frans Bengtsson was the best fiction book... How awesome was Chuck Yeager? He was the one and only person Bo Jackson ever asked for an autograph... Think I speak for most New England Patriots fans when I say I hope they move on from Cam Newton as QB next season... 

Important to Remember

Especially this time of year it is important to remember that almost all setbacks are temporary. Let "This too 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.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Linky Links

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

- SpaceX awarded close to $900 million in federal RDOF auction 

- The Textron Systems BattleHawk looks pretty cool. Although my opinion would change greatly if it were used by US police forces to break up peaceful anti-lockdown demonstrations (I kid)

- Steven Pressfield: Practice = Professional

- The San Francisco real estate market is in trouble 

- Interesting - did Bob Dylan sell his copyrights in order to avoid higher taxes in a Biden Administration?

- Another example of why Chuck Yeager was THE MANLIEST MAN

Quotes for Today

Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"The trouble with conspiracy theories is that, when seen in isolation (particularly without broader context), they follow impeccable logic." - Nassim Taleb

"Events are in the saddle, and ride mankind." - George Ball

"If COVID quarantine is a foretaste of retirement, I'm not retiring." - Amity Shales

"The science of today is the technology of tomorrow." - Edward Teller

"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm."- Publilius Syrus

"Luck favors the relentless." - Shane Parrish

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu

Kurt Vonnegut

When I was 15, I spent a month working on archaeological dig. I was talking with one of the archaeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those "getting to know you" questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What's your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don't play sports. I do theater, I'm in choir,  I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.

And he went WOW. That's amazing! And I said, "Oh no, but I'm not good at ANY of them."

And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: "I don't think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you've got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them." 

And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn't been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoy them. I had been raised in a very achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could "Win" at them. - Kurt Vonnegut


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 08, 2020

Wim Hoff with Jordan and Mikhaila Peterson


Going to watch this one a few times.

Linky Links

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

- Heh Heh 

- Interesting look at the guy who bought Green Mountain College in VT

- AKA the Saddest Christmas ever (wonder if Mario Lopez will cover this too)

- Daniel Knauf answers what it's like to be a show-runner

- A dire warning from a restaurant owner on Long Island

- Wait what? A Galactic Federation? Peak 2020.

Chuck Yeager

General and American icon Chuck Yeager has passed away aged 97. He's probably best known for being the man who broke the sound barrier. Something that was immortalized in the movie The Right Stuff.  

As great as that was I'm guessing he was probably more proud of this accomplishment.

But for me this was an example of why Yeager was so great. Yeager had the right stuff but he didn't hold it against those who did not.

Chuck Yeager was an American original. We will not see his like again.

The Death of John Lennon


It has been 40-years since John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman in Manhattan. Like many I learned of Lennon's death via Howard Cosell while watching the Patriots on Monday Night Football

Gerard Van der Luen has a much more personal remembrance of the death of John Lennon.  

Lennon was an infinitely interesting guy who counted among his friends people you may not have expected like Peter Boyle (John Lennon was best man at Boyle's wedding) and Monday Night Football's Howard Cosell. It can't be denied that Lennon's cultural significance is beginning to fade. As is even more true of his friends. When's the last time you thought of or heard Peter Boyle, Howard Cosell or Harry Nilsson mentioned in conversation? Life is fleeting and fame only slightly less so. Memento mori.

I still can't help but think of a "what if" situation. After shooting John Lennon - Mark David Chapman just stood around waiting to be arrested. What if he didn't? What if Chapman just stuffed the gun in his coat pocket and just started walking away? A slightly over-weight, average height white guy in a city with millions of people matching that description. He had no motive that the police would have been able to discern on their own. How could they have fathomed that they were to look for a guy who was delusional about being Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. If Chapman just walked away would the police have been able to find him? Would we have to this day all sorts of conspiracy theories about "who really killed John Lennon"?

Monday, December 07, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Never seem to see this mentioned but Dwight Eisenhower was as much an outsider to the Republican Party before running for President as Donald Trump was. Ike also had no experience in elected office either... Soon - Soon... Once a week in NHL states that are still in lockdown and once the season starts - the local NHL team should host a game at an outside venue where some fans can attend. The Bruins, for example, could host a game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro... Jim Harbaugh eyes NFL return. What teams would be interested? The Lions, Jets, and Bears? This smells like something planted by Harbaugh's agent to build up interest in his client... Think it would be a mistake for the Bears to go with a college coach but there may be one exception. Think Josh McDaniels would be the best choice for Chicago... 

Linky Links

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

- This looks like an interesting project (too bad I can't read or write shorthand)

- Cool: Asteroid space capsule completes 5-billion kilometer journey touching down in South Australian outback. This could help answer questions about formation of the early Earth.

- Good on Guy Fieri

- Is it bad that I really want to taste this concoction?

- Heh Heh

- So tell me again why it is logical for Canadians to be against global warming?

Quotes for Today

Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"Government does not exist to make us equal, but to treat us equally. It does not exist to make life fair, but to treat us fairly." - Andrew Klavan

"A book that burns in your belly - something that has to be written before you can go on to something else." - Teddy White (on what makes a "bestseller")

"If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company." - Jean Paul Satre

"In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir gopher.'" - Carl Spackler Greenskeeper

"If you're not seeking approval, they have no power." - Shane Parrish

"The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. And the first to forget is the happiest." - Unknown

"Don't brand yourself.You want to be the kind of person others brand while you keep learning, improving, and moving forward. It's hard to be true to yourself when you've tied yourself to an idea that, years ago, you thought was your best." - Neil Strauss

Pearl Harbor