Interesting Times

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Can you believe it?

You know the ancient curse: May you live in interesting times. The last day or so I’ve been watching a lot of people feeling terribly cursed. There is much gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments is heard throughout the land. Many Chicken Littles are certain the sky is in free fall.

That remains to be seen. Maybe the apocalypse is nigh, but, as far as I know, all we have heard from President Elect Trump so far is his victory speech. Meanwhile, the media frets about all the crap he said on the campaign trail (the trail of fears).

We’ve jumped out of the airplane. Now it’s gonna get interesting.

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Seriously? Seriously?

surprisedI hope you know what you’re doing. I get the part about voting for him. What I don’t get is being fooled by him. And I’m not sure who’s getting fooled. Is he what he appears to be, or is it all just an act?

He’s a real estate salesman. He doesn’t design buildings. He doesn’t actually build them. He just puts his name on them. He “gets it done” but what about how he gets it done?

What is his word worth? Is he an honorable man? A decent one? A kind one? Do we have any fucking idea who this guy really is?

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I Voted, 2016!

I Voted

Damn right, I did!

You did, too, right?


Cast Your Vote!

ballotAs I was downloading my sample ballot and poking around the web for information about local issues and candidates (because that’s what good citizens do), I was struck by the profound sense of pain, fear, and sorrow I felt.

The feelings were so overwhelming I found myself, once again this election cycle, silently weeping. And praying that God would touch people’s hearts and minds with a measure of grace and decency.

How have we come to this? How have we gotten so far from our ideals and founding beliefs? How have we gotten so evil?

In a few days the ballots will be counted, and we’ll know if we’ve embraced that evil or rejected it. In a few days the future direction of our country will be set.

At this point, I can only repeat the brilliant words of Leon Wieseltier from his appearance on The Colbert Report:

“A democratic society, an open society, places an extraordinary intellectual responsibility on ordinary men and women, because we are governed by what we think, we are governed by our opinions. So the content of our opinions, and the quality of our opinions, and the quality of the formation of our opinions, basically determines the character of our society.”

He went on to say:

“And that means that in a democratic society, in an open society, a thoughtless citizen of a democracy is a delinquent citizen of a democracy.”

And, truly, that says it all. I can’t say it better or add to that.

So I won’t.

This November 8th, be sure to vote.

And, please… vote for decency. On just that count, the choice is clear.


The National Disgrace

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Do it in the name of sanity and decency.

Please.


Go, Cubs, Go!

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Well, whadda ya know, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series after being down 1-3 and pulling off a come-from-behind victory that took us all the way to extra innings in game #7 (after a weirdly brief rain delay between the ninth and tenth).

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The Penis Election

pumpkin-vomitWhat a sad and pathetic group of ape-descendants we turned out to be. After the Dark Ages, the human race had high and lofty aspirations. We saw ourselves so vastly evolved from our animal origins. We had the power of nuanced communicative language, of higher thought and rationality, of powerful evocative art, music, and literature.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the human experiment is a fail. The answer to the Fermi Paradox is that “intelligent” species actually aren’t intelligent enough. All our technical toys turn out to be exactly like giving an ape dynamite and a lighter.

And after several thousand years thinking we’re better than animals, we prove we’re not by making this election cycle about penises.

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Sideband #61: Tock

relaysYou’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop, right? The tick to finally tock? (My clock is — as usual — running a bit behind; this should be #62, but that’s another story.) Today’s tale involves electro-mechanical logic! Computing with relays rather than solid-state gates.

Rather than the tick-tock of a mechanical clock, the tock-tick of lots and lots of relays! Aisle after aisle of racks of relays, many thousands of them all clicking away like chattering insects. That’s what is (or was) inside some of those windowless buildings found in every neighborhood with local phone service.

However, today the focus is quite a bit smaller…

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Live From…

I am not a fan of the trend of sports or news casters set up in a public place with a background of passersby. I think they’re noisy, distracting, and gimmicky. They also tend to bring out ape-like behavior on those in the background. Both CNN and MSNBC have done this for major campaign events, in particular the debates.

Onlookers have used the ability to “get on TV” to display various signs advertising their political or social views. During the third debate, at UNLV, I got a kick out of a sign someone had made about “Daef people”…

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I wasn’t sure who “Daef people” were, but apparently they need equal access (to something; couldn’t tell at this point).

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Obviously, the sign maker meant deaf people, and as someone born with a serious hearing deficit (and who is progressively becoming deaf in my older age), I certainly sympathize with the cause.

But I am going to mock someone who apparently cares a great deal about an issue, but [a] not their spelling of the key word of that issue, or [2] their own precision in putting forth their point.

If you can’t even spell the key word of your issue, why should I take you seriously?

Apparently someone clued them in at some point, and they tried to correct the sign:

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And now we can sort of see what deaf people need access to: Jobs.

I guess they ran out of ink in their Sharpie to fill in the lower words or do a good correction to the all-important key word.

Why am I picking on someone trying to make a good point (and a point I support)?

Cause [1] I’m an asshole (never denied that), and [b] I’m so god-damned sick and tired of living in a world filled with wall-to-wall fuckups and half-assary. How is it even possible for someone to misspell the central word of their whole deal?

Gives us daef people a bad name, it does. (One might think that text would be all the more cherished by those who can’t hear speech.)

Note to everyone: Check your work. Twice.

Especially if you’re going to advertise it on the TV machine.

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Reminds me a bit of an old bathroom wall graffiti joke:

First writer: I like grils!

Second writer: You mean girls!

Third writer: Hey, what about us grils?!

Check your work! Check it twice!

Spelling matters.


MN Twins: RIP

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Tracking the inglorious ending. [click for big’n]

I’ve been putting off writing this post for two reasons: Firstly, my Minnesota Twins had such an awful year (worst ever) that it’s just too depressing to even think about (let alone write about). Secondly, this insane election season has been distracting, disgusting, and depressing, so it’s been a pretty shitty summer, and I’m feeling very out of gas and unhappy.

But as the MLB World Series begins today, and I’m pretty thrilled about both the long-suffering Cleveland Indians and the long-suffering Chicago Cubs being there (and hugely conflicted about who to root for), today seems the day to finally get this done.

I just wish it didn’t feel so much like an obituary.

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