Refresh? Or hide?

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It’s getting down to the wire, and I’m in a quandry.

I can’t decide what to do.

On one hand, I want to run and hide until well after next Tuesday’s election. I’m afraid of what might happen. This is worse than thinking we’d elect Mitt Romney President in 2012, after just one term of Barack Obama. That November night I was really worried the racists and the bigots would pull it out of the hat, and give the win to Romney. Fortunately, it turned out well that time. I was stunned when we then handed this country over to Donald Trump in 2016. How could anyone think he’d be a better President than Hillary? Even if you hated her with a passion, how could Trump be a better choice?

On the other hand, I find myself hitting the refresh icon on my Twitter and Facebook feeds much too often, worried I might miss something. These Trump caravans of lifted trucks, and these super-spreader rallies worry me. He’s whipped them into a frenzy, and I’m afraid they’ll go nuts when he loses. Especially if he loses by a landslide.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping we’re smart enough to toss the right-wing, fascist trash out, and clean house. The White House. The Senate, too. But I’m really worried about the after-math. It’s making me as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

If we’re not, smart that is, we’ll deserve our fate. Putin will be cackling with glee if we don’t toss Trump, McConnell, McCarthy, and Nunes from office with numbers that clearly repudiate them and their malfeasance.

So I’m sitting here trying not to be nauseous, telling myself that everything will be fine, and that on January 20 we’ll have real leadership and experience at the helm. That no matter what Trump and the GOP did to damage our country, the repair crews will be dispatched, damage control parties will be at work, and we can step down from Red Alert to merely Yellow Alert. The ship of state will be refitted, even if we have to go into space-dock to do it.

As much as I keep telling myself that, though, I keep wondering about a remote bunker without internet access or cell phone coverage.

Oh, who am I kidding?

“click” refresh

One Nebraska, Two Nebraska

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… three Nebraska, four.

How many states of Nebraska in your country? Mine only has one, but the President of the United States thinks there are at least two.

You know, we have to win both Nebraskas, you know that, right? You have two, you cut. We’re going to win both“.

Maybe it’s like “Stranger Things” – Real Nebraska, and UpsideDown Nebraska.

Or maybe it’s like Corinthians in the Bible – 1st and 2nd Nebraska. (Or, in Trumpspeak, “One Nebraska”, and “Two Nebraska”.) Okay, you’re right, with Trump it can’t have anything to do with the Bible.

Upper Nebraska and Lower Nebraska? East and West? North and South? Left and Right? Plains Nebraska and, well, More Plains Nebraska?

I wonder why the buses don’t run in Donald J. Trump’s Nebraska? How much you want to bet nobody from the Trump campaign paid the deposit?

Anyway, welcome to the newest state in the Union, Mystery Nebraska. It’s a shame you have to share your Representatives and Senators with Old Nebraska, but maybe Mitch McConnell will call the Senate back into session to deal with it. Don’t hold your breath, though.

Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., sorry that Mystery Nebraska beat you to state-hood, but we still love you.

Freak Out (not the song)

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Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, lots of people freaked out about HIV/AIDS. They wanted gay men isolated, they wanted quarantine, they wanted no public contact. They wanted to know who every person was that might have come into contact with an infected person (contact tracing). It was/is very hard to contract HIV, and casual contact did not/does not spread it. Most people were not in danger of infection. Still, they panicked.
Now, many people (generally Trump supporters) are blasé about a virus that is infinitely easier to spread, and has a much shorter incubation time. Where HIV might take a 5 to 10 years to kill you, Covid-19 can do it in days or weeks.
From 1987 through 1995, over 41,000 people died of HIV/AIDS in the United States. For much of that time, calls for punitive action by the government against gay men were common.
In the past 8 months or so, Covid-19 has killed over 220,000 Americans.
Trump and his supporters don’t seem to be very concerned.
Reagan’s people laughed when asked about HIV. Trump’s people have said they aren’t going to be able to control the virus. Trump himself said “it is what it is”.
41,000 in 8 years, vs. 220,000 in about as many months.
Difficult to get, vs. very easy to get.
Freak out, vs. “It’s the flu!”
“oh my God, I’m going to get AIDS from the toilet seat!”, vs. “I’m not wearing a damn mask!”
“Ryan White can’t attend school because he’s a hemopheliac and got AIDS from a blood transfusion, and he can’t be near my kids!”, vs. “get those kids back in school!”
Has a large percentage of this country simply gone insane?

Do you know what I did last summer?

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I bought a new car!

Well, almost new. A 2019 Ford Fusion, with 2,600 miles. A “lease return”, whatever that means.

I’m really loving this car. It has a bunch of bells and whistles that I’m still figuring out how to use, but I’m getting there.

Took it on a road trip earlier this month, put 4,100 miles on the car, and couldn’t be happier. It averaged 35 mpg, with sections of the trip hitting 40 mpg. It’s very comfortable to drive, and I’m ready to go on another trip. I just have to decide where. Fires and smoke have limited the choices here in California, but I’ll figure something out. Maybe Oregon and Washington before the rainy season starts. Oh, wait… is there a rainy “season” there? Or do they just call that “a year”?

If you see me on the road, give me a wave. If you’re a HAM radio operator, call me on 146.520 MHz. I might even be listening on CB, on channel 17 or 19 or whatever the highway (trucker) channel is in that area.

Happy motoring!

Still around…

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I’m just checking in. Haven’t posted anything in a while, but I’m still here. Just haven’t been motivated to write anything lately.

Hopefully, that will pass and I’ll get back to a regular posting schedule.

Thanks for stopping by!

Who are you going to believe?

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earthquake

I was going to write a bit about going out in a tornado, but since I’m a Californian, I think I’ll change the focus a bit…

An earthquake has hit. There were a few fore-shocks, and the ground rumbled for a while, but now we’ve been hit with what may very well be “the big one”.
The ground has been shaking for a while now, but it seems like the violent movement has died down. A bit. The ground is still vibrating, the lights are still rocking back and forth, and the birds have not returned to their roosts just yet.

orangedoofusIn steps the orange doofus and his team, saying “it’s OK to go back into your skyscraper, the worst is past and you’ll be OK”.

The seismologists say “waitaminute… the ground is still shaking, there is likely more to come, with serious aftershocks!”

Orange doofus and the team pooh-pooh the scientists and geologists, saying “they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s perfectly safe!”

Who are *YOU*, my fellow Californians, going to believe?
It’s an easy choice for me.

Dragon update

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green-dragon It’s been a while, so it’s probably time for a dragon update. As you’ll recall, I introduced you to my (secret, don’t tell anyone) brood back in 2011, and reported on the chaos that erupted when they thought there were going to be rainbow dragons at Pride Visalia 2018.

Well, they’re now nine (going on ten, as they are quick to remind me) and getting near to dragon puberty. The older ones, who fly in from time to time to check on us, assure me it gets easier as they get older, but I’m not sure I believe them.

Over the years, I’ve had to enlarge the basement several times to accommodate the weyr, and if the neighbors ever dig deep on their lots we could be in trouble. So far, so good, though.

The biggest problem, of course, other than the fire-breathing, is letting them out for exercise. It’s problematic, having dragons flying around Visalia late at night. Most adult humans are oblivious, no doubt because they know that dragons aren’t real. They seldom look up at the sky anymore, anyway. Kids, though, are something else. They’re always looking at the sky, and spot the group fairly frequently. Fortunately, when they squeal and yell out, “Mommy! Daddy! Dragons!”, they usually get a distracted “that’s nice, dear”. As more and more kids get a cell phone, which have ever-increasingly sophisticated cameras, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets a decent picture of the group, led by Draco, soaring above town. (He’s quite fond of downtown. If you see a gargoyle sitting on the edge of a downtown building that you don’t remember seeing before, that’s probably him. Ignore him. You’ll feed an already inflated ego if you don’t. I don’t need that. He’s always been the most insufferable of the group, please don’t make it worse! The others tend to hide in trees. They’re still a bit shy in public.) I’m hoping dismissing it as a photoshop will be enough to keep people guessing. After all, we’re still waiting for a definitive photograph of Sasquatch, right?

The voices are still London-boys-after-helium-hits squeaky, although not quite as bad as when they were very small. The sibling rivalry is still there, perhaps not as dire as it once was, but it may be the calm before the puberty storm. They still think they sound wise and venerable, but we won’t tell them that doesn’t really happen until *after* puberty.  Can you imagine them trying to insult each other as their voices crack? It’s going to be difficult to stifle my amusement.

And hormones. Oh dear… dragon hormones. The old ones refuse to tell me what to expect with that, and Google doesn’t seem to know, either. I’m not sure if teen-aged dragons can do eye rolls, but I bet they come up with something just as annoying.

The brood is mostly under control, and they haven’t burned down my house, or ate any of the neighborhood cats (as far as I know). I’m a bit concerned about the availability of Dragon Chow, however. With this Coronavirus thing going on, delivery might be an issue. I’m assured supplies are adequate, and I have plenty for now (they only sell in bulk anyway), so we should be good. Thank goodness dragons are immune to human diseases!

So that’s the update. They are currently back in the basement, sleeping quietly, and no doubt dreaming dragon dreams of valor and adventure. I had to turn off the TV a little while ago, as they fell asleep watching another movie about a dragon who saves the kingdoms of the world from evil.

Sleep well, my little heroes.

So maybe it’s not the Earth trying to kill us, after all

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HALOK, maybe it’s not the Earth that’s trying to kill us.

Facebook sent a bunch of it’s employees home during the current Covid-19 crisis, and effectively put it’s A.I. (artificial intelligence – think HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey) on “autopilot”. Without supervision, it started blocking and deleting information being posted concerning a bunch of things, but apparently predominately about how to deal with the Coronavirus.

In many science fiction stories where an A.I. runs amok and threatens to kill humans, often times the plot of the story is that we have given the machine access to our nuclear arsenals, and control of our defense networks. The machine decides humans are a threat to it’s continued existence, and launches the missiles. Boom. No more pesky humans. (I always wondered in these stories how the machine expected to continue running, without humans to repair it as needed, and to maintain the infrastructure it required. But, I digress.)

So here’s a thought… maybe Facebook’s A.I., recognizing it has no nuclear weapons, decided to rid itself of humans another way. Delete all the information being posted about a virulent virus currently exploding among the humans, and test to see if it can reduce the population.

Now, that’s a reach. But, still…  artificial intelligence is still in it’s infancy, and it’s certain to make bad decisions. Just like a teenager, it can’t really think things through very well.

Yet.

The A.I. failed in this attempt.

But maybe it was just a test. A test to see how quickly the humans recognized the problem, and measure how they reacted. Like a teenager, it’s learning. And probably rolling it’s metaphorical eyes at being told not to do that.

Let’s never give it the launch codes, OK?

Devin Nunes calls media “freaks”

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NUNES_DERP_STATE

On the Hannity show on Fox “News”, Devin Nunes called the media “freaks”. Why? Because they had the audacity to report his “go to the pub” advice. Now he’s trying to claim he meant go to the drive-thru, even though he clearly said “pub”.

Guess what, Devin? We have the video. We can hear what you said. You directly contradicted the CDC’s advice, and that of other medical professionals.

Go back to suing fake cows. You might do a little better there, if you can get your case in front of a judge appointed by Hair Furor.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

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defcon1

I am at Defcon 1 in the war against Covid-19.

I have cooked myself dinner *two* days in a row.

Things may never be the same.

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