Category: Politics

So this morning a snap decision was made in my head that it was time to start trimming back my collection of PEVs.  The first potential target of that effort is the Ultron scooter.  The scooter is fast and fun but really just a rougher version of the Dualtron II Ex we already own.  I bought it originally because I thought I needed it to keep up with Cindy when she is riding the Dualtron.  It’s true that none of my EUCs can comfortably cruise 30mph for long periods of time like the scooter can but an easier/less expensive solution is for Cindy to just slow down a little bit, lol.

So I listed the scooter on OfferUp this morning, the same place the RV has resided for months on end.  I have no idea how easy/difficult it will be to sell but it will be sold, guaranteed.  It will be nice to get some of the money spent back in my wallet and to have one less PEV sitting in the dining room.

Today on my drive to work I had the GoPro running the entire time.  My goal was to have Auto Pilot engaged as much as possible to demonstrate how it handles different road types and situations.  It will be a bit challenging to edit the footage in a way that makes it decent but I will get it to work.  Non-Tesla owners find this sort of stuff very interesting to watch, I know I did.

For those of you out there that digest the waste product that comes out of President Trump’s mouth without any intellectual analysis like a human centipede, I wanted to make an effort to break one link of the chain of madness for you.  One of the things Don has been spewing regarding the trade negotiations with China is that tariffs are a good thing that benefit the US, bringing billions of dollars to the US government.  Here is a quote from the other day “Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier & quicker to do…”

Ok since Donald evidently doesn’t understand the logistics of tariffs here is the cliff notes version.  China does NOT pay the tariffs.  The businesses in the US that buy/import goods from China pay the tariffs. Those increased costs then almost always are passed down the chain to the consumer meaning every Tom, Dick, and Harry is paying the tariff, not China.  I have also heard Trump say these tariffs have made the US government billions of dollars, again ignorantly.  He seems to think a tariff is a check written by China that is deposited into a federal government account.  Nope, it basically is a tax on goods that we all pay.

So this explanation does not mean that I think that the China/US trade imbalance is not an issue, it is.  For decades the Chinese have stacked the deck by basically playing dirty pool.  However as is often the case with President Big League, whether it is intentional or just pure ignorance, he is misleading the populace on how this all really works.  The unfortunate thing is how many millions will accept his ignorant/false statements as facts and will quickly move on, looking for the next piece of poop to munch on.

 

 

Yesterday I heard a good portion of the Michael Cohen testimony.  There wasn’t a lot of new things revealed although I did think it was funny that Trump threatened the schools he attended to not release his grades or SAT scores.  Despite obviously being a flawed individual, I think Cohen came off as pretty sincere in his intent to “repent”.   Backing up some of his statements with documentation was just another log on the fire of Trump’s credibility.  If anyone has any doubt that Trump is a habitual liar, so much so that he believes his own fabrications, it is incredulous to me.

I ironically got some additional context and history on why Donald is the way he is last night.  A buddy of mine from work that shares my general political feelings said he watched the first episode of a documentary on Netflix on our president, called Trump, An American Dream, a very tongue in cheek title.  It starts back in the the mid-70’s and documents his history which is honestly very interesting.  I never saw Trump’s father before, wow he seemed like a cartoon character. He used similar repetitive use of words like tremendous, amazing, and spectacular, a speaking pattern his son obviously picked up on.  Roy Cohn, one of Trump’s early all star lawyers looked like he was straight out of the Godfather, what a creepy dude.

Even way back then you could see all of the same traits that were sort of funny and entertaining when he was just an ambitious real estate tycoon that worked NYC for hundreds of millions of dollars in tax abatements. Those traits unfortunately don’t make for a competent president.  If you have a Netflix account you should give it a watch.

Yesterday my additional parts for the new computer arrived,a NAND stick style SSD drive and an additional 16GM memory stick.  The SSD is  a Samsung which is Bthe ONLY brand of SSD I use.  I have had great reliability with them but the biggest reason is their migration software is fantastic and works perfectly everytime, making migration a piece of cake.  To make it all work I had to buy a cheap USB enclosure for the new stick and then transfer the data to it using one of the high speed USB ports.  The process took a little over an hour which wasn’t bad.  When I was finished I was up and running with 3X the space on my C drive than I started with.  Doubling up the RAM to 32GB was probably less necessary but can be useful for things like video editing/processing.

Later I got back into WoW to see if I could get it running smoothly.  The video card in this system is top tier so running an older game like WoW should be a piece of cake.  Well I fought on and off with it for about an hour trying various settings.  The only way I could keep the game running decently is by turning certain graphic features off or way down which is definitely not how it is supposed to be.  I should be able to max out everything without issue.  I need to load up another game to see how it responds graphically.  If it runs without issue at high settings then I at least know my issue is WOW specific and not a hardware problem.

I saw Bernie officially declared for the 2020 presidential race yesterday.  I love Bernie and I am pulling for him but I have to be honest, there is part of me that thinks he is just too old for the job.  He is currently 77 years old and would be scraping 80 by the time the election comes around.  Yes Bernie still has good energy and seems to have solid health but still, the demands of that job just do not seem appropriate for an octogenarian.  If Bernie was the only progressive candidate that has declared I may feel differently but there are several younger candidates with similar platforms that may be equally good options.

It is a bit disconcerting to see so many declaring so early. The end result must be strong support from the party behind a unifying candidate.  God knows Hilary better steer clear of 2020.  Her love/hate relationship with the country was responsible for letting Donald in the door, which will be looked back on as the most embarrassing presidency in the history of the United States. I know tons of staunch Bernie supporters were so pissed about how the DNC rigged the system in Hilary’s favor that they refused to vote for her, throwing their vote into the wind for the independent candidates or GASP, maybe even Trump as the ultimate FU.  Sanity must prevail this time around.

Last night I worked on crafting my official to do list for my upcoming six day staycation.  The list is substantial with six or seven items on it but there is no MASSIVE project on there.  Some of the jobs are straight out grunt work like putting down more mulch and dumping more top soil in the chicken playground area.  Then there is the grinder type items like repainting the roof of the chicken coop which is going to include being up there with a shop vac to try to scrape/vacuum all the loose paint before I redo it with very expensive white Flex Seal.  Then there are the two technical and tedious list items, ripping apart my Msuper to tighten the axle nuts and replacing the hot bed wire on my AnyCubic Chiron.  Both of those tasks should be lots of (un)fun.

It is winter so this is THE time to get unpleasant outdoor tasks completed.  The extended weather forecast looks amenable during my time off.  As always I will push myself hard during the front end of the time off to get as much done as possible with the hopes of enjoying some guilt free, less laborious hours towards the end.

Am I the only one that finds it incredulous that the government shutdown has lasted this long thanks to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter? You may recall that Trump was ready to sign legislation to keep the government fully open in December, without wall requirements.  However once Rush and Ann pronounced that Trump would be weak for doing so he quickly reversed directions and started trying to brain wash his acolytes that NOW there is a national emergency at the border, that somehow something has suddenly changed that mutated a situation that has existed for decades into a “crisis of the soul”.

The shutdown that Donald proudly and defiantly proclaimed he would take responsibility for in the meeting with Schumer and Pelosi now has been retcon’d to be the Democrats fault for “not caring about border security”. The same border security that Trump said has improved very, very greatly under his presidency.  The fact is that illegal border immigration is at a 12 YEAR LOW. Somehow that declining trend is being spun as a national emergency that is just a veiled attempt for Donald to please his hypocritical base of core Trumpettes.  It’s utter lunacy.

Of course nothing has changed, except that the Democrats now control the House of Representatives, which is the true crisis in Donald’s mind.  It will be interesting to see who blinks first.  As he has demonstrated countless times, Donald is essentially a man-child that is apt to tantrum easily when he is told no.   There has been no parent to discipline him for the last two years.  It’s time to bring out the paddle.

The baby hens managed to find their way up to the coop for the second night in a row meaning they should be good to go from here on out.  Hopefully in a month or so they will be large enough to start introducing them to the adult hens.  They have to be big enough where they can hold their own from the bullying that is sure to come.

Last night I spent a lot of time getting some EUC stands I had made for a few days posted up on the store.  My inventory is once again on the low side so I need to start another dedicated production run.  I am sending out another couple stands today.  I also shot a video last night that was requested, illustrating how to install the optional light on my Ranger skateboard.  Nothing earth shattering here.

Yesterday I saw a good portion of the impromptu press conference Trump had in the lawn before flying to Texas to build more wall hype.  First, for the sake of our country, this man should never speak without a script during the remainder of his presidency.  His inarticulate, bizarre, ignorant, childish, and evasive answers are a national embarrassment.  As I watched him talk about concrete versus steel walls, national emergencies, and insulting various news media along the way I was ashamed that this man somehow was elected to the highest office in the country.

What is most disappointing is it is my generation that contains a big chunk of his zealous followers. Somehow they ignore the outrageous things that are being said and done on a daily basis, instead following his directives in an almost cult-like fashion.  My Facebook feed is filled with “hell yeas!” of former classmates that toe the Trump line in an amazingly rigid fashion.  I wonder how this has come to be and what was different on their paths versus mine? What would shape their thought patterns in such a way that they would actually support the actions of Donald.

Well I can tell you one difference for sure in almost every case.  I was never indoctrinated into religion as a child, something that I was somewhat confused by back then.  However looking back I am actually grateful that my parents did not introduce me to the concept of religion where you believe something because it is what you are told to believe as opposed to making that determination yourself based on what you experience, think about, and your own personal values.  People with a religious background are accustomed to being told what to think and do, hence following the word of Trump as if he is one of the disciples may not be much of a stretch for some.

Whatever the reason is ultimately, I truly get depressed and saddened when I see the hateful, me first f everyone else vitriol that is consistently spewed from those I spent my school years evolving with.  It’s far too easy to just write off Trump supporters as ignorant, self serving, racists at their core, because I know these people are not ignorant and I assume most are not racists either.  My only hope is during the next presidential election cycle enough people are motivated to get off their ass and make sure the country is never again put in the hands of a reality tv star that ironically has such a loose grip on reality itself.

To be clear, I am no fan of Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer.  I think both of them are not viable representations of what the anti-Trump mindset should be.  Both of them are too divisive, much like Hilary Clinton.  We need the alternative party to have some fresh faces and new blood that has not been in mired in Washington for decades at a time, thanks to the ridiculous lack of term limits in Congress.

In Florida politics, I have to admit I have been somewhat pleased with Ron DeSantis first few days in office, despite him not being my pick for governor.  I thought it was refreshing he has been pushing back at Rick Scottism, reversing a number of lame duck appointments Scott made as he was walking out the door in return for political support.  He also told the SW Florida Water Mgmt District board to basically GTFO after they ignored his request to wait to negotiate a deal with Florida Sugar before he took control.  The board instead gave the deal approval without waiting.  Ron is giving them their walking papers as a result.  He also announced a nearly one billion dollar initiative to help clean up the mess on our waterways that results in toxic and deadly algae blooms polluting our area for most of the year. Good job Ron.

This weekend I hope to make inroads on a big list of items I have planned for an extended weekend I have set up for the following week.  I took off three additional days around MLK weekend to give me a big chunk of time to get shit done.

 

You may recall last week I was pleasantly surprised when I thought that Apple sent me a replacement watch instead of sending back the problematic one I sent in.  The email I got from them said no problem was found.  So the watch has been working fine since last Wednesday but after the gym yesterday the phantom shaking/scrolling had returned.  It got progressively worse throughout the day.  When I checked the serial number of this watch I realized they did actually send me back the exact same watch, they just put it in a nice box and wrapped it in plastic….

So of course I was annoyed.  I called this morning and spent roughly 45 minutes on the phone arranging for a second repair.  This time I have the direct number of a supervisor I can talk to if it is not handled better this time around.  He took detailed info of the symptoms.  As I was on the phone I realized another twist, when the watch is off my wrist it is not as jumpy.  I also uploaded two videos to Apple I shot on my phone demonstrating the behavior.  I am hoping this second attempt will yield the outcome I am looking for, just give me a different watch please Apple.

Once again Cindy and I had to put the baby chicks to bed using a hand off technique.  At this point I wonder if they will ever understand the concept of conventional chicken night time roosting behavior.  At least the more Cindy and I do it the more adept we become.

Want to see the huge 3D mess I worked on over the weekend?

I have to admit I didn’t watch Donald’s address regarding the “Crisis of the Soul” aka building a wall.  The recaps I read sounded utterly ridiculous, much like Trump’s “answer” to a reporter that asked him about his cornerstone campaign promise that Mexico, not US taxpayers were going to pay for his infamous wall….

 

So after at least 5 years, I finally ordered a replacement PC for my office.  We had been tied to Windows 7 with our old cashiering platform.  Now that we have migrated away from it there was no reason to not update to a current Windows 10 set up.  The last time I upgraded my PC years ago I simply moved the data and programs across intact.  With going to Windows 10 that is no longer an option so I am doing some major virtual housecleaning.  There are at least 10 years of stuff on my old system that I need reevaluate to see if it is still needed or not.  Thus far I have found a ton of it is obsolete.  Once I migrate to Windows 10 I will keep a safety net by keeping my Windows 7 workstation up and on the wire in case there is something I missed.  Starting fresh with a new PC is something I used to experience every couple years.  Now like most things since getting older, that cycle has slowed down.

Last night I wanted to complete the construction of my Raspberry Pi gas station skimmer detector.  When I was trying to finish it on Sunday I noticed one of the solder points had broken loose.  Last night as I was futzing around I broke another one loose so I had to fix it as well.  Finally I got everything buttoned up.  I did the final changes in the OS so that it loads the skimmer detector code automatically when the device boots up.   The Pi can operate headless with just a power connection for skimmer scanning but I can still attach a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to it if I want to have a micro pc on demand.

So two years ago I recall the incredible shock and disappointment as the majority of the nation did when the most under qualified, divisive, smallest vocabulary possessing candidate in American history was elected president.  Since that day the number of outrageous, illogical, and downright stupid things coming out of the White House has become one big blur.  As a populace we have become numb to Trumpism because it bombards us each and every day.

Well today (if you were smart you early voted) is the day we all need to wake up from the haze and send a clear message that we are not a nation of isolantionist, racist imbeciles, that there are consequences for bad behavior, and that two years of utter madness and chaos is where the line is drawn.  There are far more non-fanatical Trump voters, if enough get off their ass and vote victory would be assured.  Hopefully tomorrow is a day with a bright light in the distance and a new direction.  I need a reason to feel some sort of restored faith in humanity and common decency.  Please vote.

So after eating dinner last night we pushed off towards Victoria Park.  In the back of the Prius we had my 18L and Cindy’s MiniPro.  We have ridden Victoria Park before during this time of year but I am not quite sure that we did it on Halloween itself.  Eh, how bad could it be?  Bad.

We parked about a half mile away as we normally do and headed in via sidewalk.  We had various obstacles along the way, namely people that weren’t willing to step to a side and vehicles that parked in the grass and pulled in far enough to obstruct the sidewalk.  But hey, it’s Halloween, we knew this was part of it.

Once we turned into Victoria Park it was just a mass of humanity, the type that typically makes me want to just head the opposite direction.  The Halloween music I was playing through the speakers in the wheel was immediately drowned out by thousands of people jammed into a small area.

Cindy threw together last minute a cute unicorn costume for herself.  My costune consisted of black make up around my eyes and my Soldier 76 jacket.  I thought with the temps in the mid 70’s I wouldn’t be too hot.  I found myself sweating through my shirt within the first 15 minutes.

I brought the 18L with me because I thought it would be fun to play music as we rode.  I didn’t really give much consideration to how it would be navigating the large and heavy wheel through a sea of people.  It got very tiring very quickly trying to ride slow along with having to stop and start countless times due to a lack of space.  Cindy had a much easier time of it on the MiniPro than I did.  The crowd was so thick in spots that I really got to see nothing except the bodies all around me that I was trying to avoid.

At one point I dropped the wheel when a little girl was walking at me while looking the opposite direction.  I immediately stopped but as I was dismounting she bumped into me, causing the wheel to fall on it’s side.  Luckily unlike Gotway wheels, which will immediately spin up and bounce around like a bucking bronco in that situation, the KingSong immediately shuts off once it crosses 45 degrees.  Nobody was hurt and of course my immediate reaction was frustration at the kid but I quickly corrected myself, knowing that I was the one riding a wheel in conditions that were not good.  People in large quantities are always going to result in these types of situations.

Eventually we got into some streets that weren’t quite so congested which was nicer, allowing us to roll more freely. As always we got countless comments about our vehicles.  Most people have just never seen an electric unicycle before and are simply amazed by them.  Unlike years past, I made no fuss when Cindy asked if I was ready to leave around 45 minutes after we got there.  It just was not that much fun.  We both agreed that in the future, riding there sometime the week prior to Halloween is the way to go so we can actually enjoy the experience without having to focus all of our attention on avoiding human pylons.

Donald swooped into SW Florida last night, ruining Halloween for all of the unlucky kids whose parents felt being in an arena with the Supreme Big League Leader was more of a priority.  As always he basked in the chants of his fanatical followers and got them riled up with his anti-immigrant barbs.  His most impressive statement was calling the part of the constitution that deals with our laws regarding immigrants as “crazy”.  It’s awesome when individuals cherry pick what parts of doctrines they embrace.  While these people hold the Constitution up as the holy grail when it comes to the second amendment, when the same document offers protections for immigrants, you know the people that founded our country, the Constitution no longer is sacred.  I swear even though I have no memories of the decade I was born, in many ways it feels like a large portion of society has regressed back 50 years, courtesy of the most awesome, incredible, awesome, I mean really, really awesome President this country has ever had.

I had a discussion with my buddy regarding the Florida governor’s race.  He and I share an intense disbelief that Trump was actually elected president and we both generally have a similar political mindset.  For this reason I was somewhat surprised when he said he thought Andrew Gillum was too extreme of a candidate for Florida governor and that he might actually vote for DeSantis, a Trump acolyte in most ways imaginable.

I asked him to explain what was too extreme as to me, his platform points are very similar to Bernie Sanders, a candidate I wish would have been able to vote for instead of Hilary.  My buddy didn’t like promises of free college, free healthcare, and ads that say he wants to raise taxes 1 BILLION dollars in Florida.  His premise was he didn’t necessarily think having those things free was a terrible idea but he doesn’t want to be the one footing the bill for all or most of it.

I told him I didn’t agree and it sounded like he was watching too many DeSantis ads with ONE BILLION IN TAXES and nothing else on the screen.  However when you actually dig into the proposal, you see it is far less scary and serves the greater good.  Gillum claims that companies in Florida as a result of the ridiculous Trump tax cuts (that have us posting one of our worst deficits ever btw), received approximately 3.3 billion dollars of additional revenue as a result.  I can assure you the vast amount of that money went straight to the bottom line with a ridiculously tiny amount actually benefiting the lowly average  employee.

Gillum is proposing reclaiming about a third of the federal handout to serve the greater good, not the corporate executives, not for stock buybacks, for the average Joe.  Trying to provide more affordable healthcare and making higher education more attainable for the younger generation are noble causes and worthy of investment by others.  Too many times people that do not need any assistance or help stereotype those that do as lazy or leeching off society.  Without a doubt, there are plenty of individuals that are doing just that and I condemn that behavior as strongly as anyone.  The difference is I am not willing to throw the countless legitimate people that benefit from these programs to the side to spite the abusers of the systems.

For me, I am willing to contribute more of my income to help serve the greater good.  For a large portion of our me first population, that is not the case.  For my own personal benefit, DeSantis would likely serve my needs better, however I have no hesitation in voting for Gillum.

I have very minimal hope of Gillum actually winning.  The fact that he is black means all of the closet racists in Florida, and there are a lot of them, have a reason to get all riled up.  It’s like poking a hornet’s nest.  The only chance he has is for the democratic voters to turn out in massive numbers.  If 100% of the eligible voters voted in every election, democrats would never lose in Florida or at the federal level.  Without a doubt, apathy on the democratic side is the biggest reason we are where we are today. Old angry white people, which now includes people of my generation get out and vote.

So what was the point of this rant?  Oh I don’t know.  Vote for who you want, whether it is for the greater good or just good for you personally is a decision everyone has to make for themselves.   The political climate in our country since the turn of the century has been nothing but disgusting and I see no light at the end of the tunnel.

 

 

The weird insta-fatigue feeling was still hanging around yesterday.  At the gym my bench press buddy asked me a couple times if I was ok, apparently I just looked really tired, which I was.  I finished my session with 15 minutes on a cross trainer and I felt terrible, like I had just got done a half marathon.  I was tired and almost felt like I had chills for a short period of time.    Again, it is exactly how my body feels if I have the flu or a bad cold, but I don’t.  Outside of this fatigue I feel normal.

My appointment is today with the onsite med clinic.  I don’t expect anything definitive to come out of it but hopefully it will be the starting point of some sort of tests or a referral to figure out what is going on.  I can only hope something is identified that is a clear culprit which can be remedied without a major impact on my day to day activities, I just don’t have time to be sick.

So it didn’t take long for Ron DeSantis, the Trump endorsed republican candidate for Florida governor to put his foot in his mouth, something he must have learned from his mentor.  When talking about the prospect of Gillum (a black man) being governor he included this, “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.”  Now of course there was a large segment of people that immediately jumped all over this as monkey is a word racists like to use when referring to black people almost as much as they enjoy using the N-word.

Now I will give DeSantis the benefit of the doubt.  I certainly hope this wasn’t a “dog whistle” as Gillum referred to it, to the large sect of closest racists in Florida.  However, an educated, thoughtful politician would/should know better why that choice of words was inflammatory.  At the very least he is guilty of being a dumb ass, the last thing we need in the governors mansion after Rick Scott slithers his way out of there.

It’s a sad state of the world when my initial reaction to Gillum, a Bernie Sanders endorsed candidate, is that he has no shot to win in Florida, because he is black.  Hopefully I am incorrect.  The only path to victory he has is to mobilize HUGE turn out on the democratic side which he did in the primary, trouncing his opponent in the four or five biggest urban counties in the state. It’s going to be a vicious, ugly, and depressing election season that again lowers my perspective of the state of our country, but what else is new?