It seems like there has been a steady stream of famous entertainers dying unexpectedly over the last few years but none have saddened me as much as the news that Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, killed himself yesterday via hanging.
Without a doubt, Linkin Park has been my favorite musical group of the last twenty years. Their mostly dark, angry music connected to me in a way that few others have. Despite the the downer vibe in a lot of their music I found it’s effect on me to be just the opposite, it pumped me up.
It is sobering to know the voice that brought me all of that energy over the years has now been silenced forever. The fact that he willingly turned off his own lights gives a sense to just how dark a person’s life can be, even when seemingly surrounded by light.
A lot of YouTubers are talking about Logan and Jake Paul, brothers who each have YouTube channels that are exploding in popularity. I was familiar with Logan from my days on Vine, the 6 second video service that is no longer around. Logan was very popular on there. So anyway I was curious what all the fuss was about so I went to his channel and watched one of his daily vlogs.
Wow, if there ever was a YouTube channel encapsulating everything disturbing about the state of youth in America, this is it. (Logan is 22) The videos are a perfect fit for the constantly distracted, ADD riddled, smartphone addicted young people of today. It seems that Logan leans heavily on his Vine background in his video style. No segment goes more than 10 seconds without a jump cut and the video was filled mostly with loud, idiotic, or ridiculous behavior. His brother’s channel is basically more of the same.
Evidently being a moron/maniac is a very lucrative field. By conservative estimates, each brother is likely pulling in between 1 and 2 MILLION dollars per MONTH from their channels. That is incredible. I can only hope the persona he puts out there on video is not who he really is. To me, as a rapidly approaching half centenarian, the idea that this sort of entertainment is wildly popular just makes me shake my head, lean back on my rocking chair, take a drag on my pipe and profess how kids today just don’t have a clue….
This weekend will be the last “standard” weekend for awhile. Next week Cindy and I are going to the Supercon in Ft Lauderdale and the next two weekends we will be rolling through our northeastern road trip. I look forward to stuff like this but also have trepidation at the same time.
So we still have been getting daily downpours that make it impossible for the standing water on the property to dry out. Hell we need a solid week of no rain to not only allow it to dry out but also for the subterranean water table to drop a bit so every single rain event does not instantly result in standing water. I still have my sump pump in the chicken backyard running 24/7 to try to accelerate the process. Last week I read that we are basically in a 200 year high rain cycle, meaning it is the most rain we have had this early pretty much since they started recording it.
Last night I called my dad to see if the sale on his Alfa went through. The answer was, not yet. It sounds like a frustrating and bizarre situation. He actually had a check clear and be deposited in his account, only to have the funds removed the following day. Evidently the buyer neglected to provide some documentation to the bank so they pulled the funds which seemed very strange to me. I would assume funds are only deposited once all T’s are crossed and I’s dotted. The car is still in dad’s possession so at this point it is just more of an annoyance that the entire process has to be delayed another few days, but dad doesn’t mind waiting. He almost is glad to wait to mildly punish the buyer for not doing what he was supposed to do. If it was me, I would be more worried about the deal falling through.
Dad also told me about more BS that is going on with the sale of his two (bad) investment properties in Arizona. Much like me, he invested in land during the real estate boom and like me, that land is now worth a small fraction of what was paid for it. Anyway trying to complete the paperwork for the sale of a property on the other side of the country is a hassle and some of the expenses associated with the sale, like phantom road fees really pissed dad off.
Pissed off are the two words I would use to describe the tone of most conversations I have with dad. The list of things that piss him off are nearly endless. His approach to things that piss him off can be counter productive at times but he always has been the type of person that will make a stand on principal, even if that principal may not be deemed worthy of such effort in other’s eyes.
I certainly do share some of his anger at what the world has mutated into but I try to focus that energy into finding a way to keep my personal sphere of existence as happy, fulfilling, and content as possible. I gave up a long time ago thinking my opinion or actions meant much of anything in the big picture which is a sad statement but a true one none the less. Unless I am willing to pick up my life and relocate to a Scandinavian country I just have to be content to navigate around the landmines of corruption, greed, and ignorance that are so prevalent in the US today.
The good news from the dad conversation is once the land and car sales go through, the purchase of a high end solar power system can commence which will have far greater tangible benefit to my dad and stepmom down the road.
So I once again received my annual SiriusXM renewal which once again was a ridiculous $283 for an annual subscription. Of course I had no intent of paying that much so I did the same thing I have done the last five or six years, threaten to cancel. My last interaction with Sirius, like many of them over the years, was pretty shitty when I transferred my service over to the radio in the Tacoma., so I wasn’t looking forward to another phone interaction.
It’s a pretty simple process, when you get into the phone menu you select the cancellation option which puts you in the queue to talk to a live person. I have given my speech so many times it comes out very easily. Basically I say I received my renewal notice, I can’t afford to pay that much and I would like to cancel my subscription if I can’t pay the same rate I paid the prior year. Saying you “want to cancel” is the key phrase. Once I said that my rate magically was cut almost in half. I’ll be paying roughly $145 for the year subscription, once again. I was also pleased that the phone rep this time around wasn’t an asshole.
Today is Amazon Prime day so if you are an avid Amazon customer you may be able to score some sweet deals. Our Amazon Echo and Dots continue to amaze us with the new features that are added on a regular basis. We voice ordered a couple early Prime deals last night and the Echo will give us a voice notification of shipping updates as they occur.
The Alexa calling feature that was recently added is pretty cool, it’s like a PA system for the home. Cindy used it last night to open up a two way voice channel to me as I was sitting in the office while she was driving home from teaching a class. Of course if you are concerned about privacy, having a device that is constantly listening is not going to be for you. However if you are like me and operate on the premise that there is no real privacy in today’s world, you just roll with it.
Last night after work I changed in to my gym clothes to stop at Home Depot. I wanted to load up on sod to lay over the area by the shed we back filled with top soil. Load up I did, with 25 pieces of St Augustine grass which turned the bed of the Tacoma into a big sandy mess. When I got home I wasted little time getting to work.
I have a pretty effective method of preparing the sod. After thoroughly soaking the top soil I brought over one of our rolling wagons which I fill with about an inch of water. I then grab a piece of sod and lay it in there grass down exposing the dirt/root side. I take the hose and lightly spray the dirt ensuring the sod has a nice wet contact point with the top soil to make sure it “takes”. I then carefully place the sod and wet it again thoroughly with the hose. When it is all in place I go back with a large rake and tamp the grass down followed by one more dosing of water. My technique works well but the real key factor is watering it every day to make sure it doesn’t dry out. During wet season this happens automatically but during this time of year we need to hit it with a hose to ensure success.
After I was done I was a dirty mess and the truck was worse. I spent a good 20 minutes in the driveway trying to get all the sand, dirt, and grass out of the composite bed of the Tacoma.
So like most, I was sort of shocked that Trump fired James Comey yesterday. Well let me back up. Maybe I was not shocked he was fired, I was amazed at the reason that was provided for the firing. No, it wasn’t that Comey was sniffing around the Russia election tampering scandal. The reason was the way he handled the Hilary Clinton email situation, lol! So Trump, who applauded Comey for bringing in the second round of email scandal a mere couple weeks before the election, which surely was a big factor in the outcome, now cites that as the primary reason for the termination of the FBI director? Wow I don’t think I could write a better script.
When you factor in the recommendation came from Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is yet another shady character in the Trump team who recused himself from the Russian involvement investigation, it just looks even more suspicious. You have to wonder just how long the American public, regardless of their political leanings are willing to let this buffoonery continue. It truly is an embarrassment to our country to be governed by someone so woefully incompetent to fulfill the responsibilities of the presidential office. After only a few months there has been enough scandal and controversy to make a feature length film. If you would like to keep a close eye on the latest shenanigans just tune in here – https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/
So when I walked into the gym yesterday the eviction notice was on the door indicating as of Tuesday the gym would be officially closed. It obviously was a depressing thing to see but not unexpected, despite my being told flat out by the gym manager that the gym would not be closing. He claimed the gym was “transitioning” to being a corporate owned location which would be a good thing. At the time when he told me that I hoped he wasn’t the type of person to lie to my face. Evidently, he is.
So it felt strange going through my last workout with my bench press buddy. Despite my various complaints about the gym over the years it still was probably my best gym experience since moving to Florida outside of the one year or so World Gym was around before Planet Fitness took it over. I tried my best to make my last day at Retro memorable, attempting to decline bench press 250 pounds for the first time ever. I got close but required a slight spot to get it up.
I talked to some of the remaining staff before I left, telling them I appreciated them sticking around to the end. I had not seen the manager for the last three or four days. I exited the building with a slim glimmer of hope that I may work out there again someday if the space is reopened under a new owner, something that has been talked about as a possibility.
So what went wrong? What caused the gym to go out of business a second time under a different owner? Bad management would be my first guess. Ironically the gym reopened with the same manager it closed with previously. At the time the talk was the ownership was the problem, not letting the manger run things. All that was supposed to be different the second time around. It was different, the owner let the manager run things as much as I could tell. The end result was the doors being locked, again.
Almost as soon as the gym reopened less than two years ago they began work on renovating an unoccupied adjacent space. It was supposed to be a huge group class room as well as having offices for other wellness services like chiropractor and massage services. Well for some reason, perhaps non-payment of contractors, just like their rent money, the renovation took FOREVER, only completing a couple months ago. The gym also never did any marketing to announce their reopening, I never saw any advertising for the gym outside of a few Facebook ads.
They didn’t do a good job of upkeep, as I mentioned before, they had a LOT of broken equipment, however with their apparent dire financial situation I guess I can understand. The one thing that I didn’t understand was a lack of simple maintenance and cleaning that doesn’t cost a dollar. All it requires is someone giving a damn. In the past month they actually hired a woman that was doing a good job of cleaning the place, finally.
Cindy was one of those employees that had been unpaid up until this point. She got lucky and finally got paid last evening, in cash, as all bank accounts for the gym have been frozen. I wish I had my phone with to take a picture of the sign apologizing for the lack of paper towels and toilet paper, they had no funds to buy any.
So my plan for today is to verify the doors at Retro are locked and if they are shoot over to Planet Fitness so I can join on a month to month basis. I will be holding out hope that Retro reopens under some other name within a few months. If not I will be forced to work out in the house the Lunk Alarm built for the foreseeable future.
Cindy and I watched the Walking Dead season finale. Let’s just say it left me feeling unfulfilled.
So I had another frustrating day on Friday trying to get answers from my dealer about my truck. It was supposed to be ready for me to pick up while they wait for a part that will take a month to become available. Instead after leaving multiple messages for my service advisor to call me back for status, I had to call right before I left work and wait on hold to talk to the guy for 10 minutes only to find out nothing was done and the truck was still not put back together. There was no sensible explanation for why this was, only that I couldn’t get the truck till Saturday. I explain the entire interaction in this venting video.
When I got home Friday I was already annoyed as shit by the dealer bullshit. I got home before Cindy so I was bull rushed by four crazy dogs. Perhaps because of my state of mind I made a poor decision to let all four dogs in the back yard while the chickens were out. The chickens were on the other side of the yard so I thought the dogs could pee quickly and I would take them right back in. Well the chickens spotted me and came running over to see what sort of good stuff I had for them since they associate me with good stuff.
Well Bowser, the big catahoula mix spotted the chickens and started heading that way. I went into full emergency mode, forgetting my aching knee and sprinting after Bowser as he started running towards the birds. The chickens are used to being in the yard with Sadie and Elsa without issue so I don’t think they realized at first that Bowser was a threat. He got dangerously close to several of them as I was sprinting after him while screaming at him to stop. I finally chased him away into the back yard. He ignored my screams as I chased him. He finally stopped and got into a submissive position, knowing he was in trouble. I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and used my voice of God tone to reiterate how bad that was. I walked him to the door holding the scruff.
Now of course the ultimate fault in this incident was my own. Having him out there without a leash or at least the buzz collar was just a dumb thing to do. We really would like to make Bowser understand the chickens are off limits. Tank seems to be getting the idea as he did not approach the birds. After the incident I was a bit frazzled, thinking about just how awful I would have felt if something happened to one of the chicks.
Saturday morning I was up early with Sadie to go participate in the Run for the Paws 5K, my first year doing so as a participant. I got there with time to spare, arriving before 7 for the 8AM start race. This was the first time I saw a number of people in the running club, some of them since last January when I timed the event. Many handshakes and hugs were exchanged and it was nice to see all of the friendly faces. Sadie and I mostly stuck with Ali leading up to the race helping her attend to a few minor details.
So I had very low expectations for Sadie with the event. She is a good 20 pounds overweight so running is just not her thing. She is no youngster anymore either. I had totally expected we would be walking the race and I even expected to cut the course so we didn’t go the complete 3.12 miles.
So the race started and I began walking at a brisk pace. Soon I realized Sadie was sort of pulling me a bit so I started into a slow jog. She seemed very excited and happy with all of the other people and dogs running by and she wanted to be part of it. She ran much further than I expected and even after we slowed to walking we would pick up running after a bit. So not only did she complete the entire distance, I bet she ran close to half of it.
For a good portion of the last part of the race we were running/walking with Ali’s boyfriend which was cool. He and I get along very well. When we got to the last few hundred yards I started again with a very slow jog, encouraging Sadie to finish strong. I could tell how exhausted she was at the end, I was practically pulling her along. Ali was at the finish cheering us in which was very cute. Once we got through the finish chute I sat on the grass so Sadie could rest, she was so, so tired. I told her how proud I was of her. Somehow it seemed like she felt proud as well.
When I got home I had to waste an hour and a half driving the loaner vehicle back to the dealership to pick up my Tacoma. On top of the run around I was given I had one last annoyance, the car wash the service advisor said would be done was not. The last time I was there they “forgot” to do the wash as well. Later in the afternoon I just washed the truck myself.
Despite having a pretty busy morning I had a work filled afternoon. I weeded the property, did a few odd chores and mowed the grass. The good news was the cool temps made outside work not all that unpleasant. Late in the afternoon I even found a little time to go take my Gotway Msuper out for a 5 or 6 mile cruise.
On Saturday night I was home alone with the four dogs while Cindy, Katie, and our friend Kim went to a country concert at the fairgrounds down the road. I am not a country music fan in the least so I was quite happy to just dog sit. I was going to play WoW but the dogs were carrying on. Bowser and Tank figured out how to use the dog door and were barking constantly out by the pool. I came storming out and opened the slider while yelling “What are you doing??!!” Well all of a sudden I hear a splash. Evidently Elsa was out there as well and I startled her enough that she fell in the pool. I ran over to the deep end and was ready to jump in and grab her but she somehow managed to get out by herself.
So after that incident I spent the rest of the evening watching the new show I am trying to catch up on Man in the High Castle on Amazon video. It seemed like the dogs calmed down if I was in the great room with them, all four of them were snoozing away while I laid on the couch.
The weather Sunday morning was pretty miserable, raw and wet. The steady light rain combined with temps in the low 50’s made EUC riding a non-option. Cindy and I wound up running to Home Depot mid-morning to pick up a new bathroom faucet, a sort of impulse move. The old faucet was sticking a little when used and was low quality builder grade stuff.
We picked out a nice Kohler replacement along with some plumber putty and teflon tape. Since the weather was still shitty I figured I may as well dig right into it. It’s sort of hard to believe with the various home repair/maintenance tasks I have done over the years, replacing a bathroom faucet has not been one of them. Of course I figured this was yet another opportunity for a YouTube video.
Getting out the old faucet was not too difficult although the hot water feed side was much more corroded than the cold side. The old faucet used solid copper feed pipes. The new faucet uses modern braided feed lines which are much more forgiving. When we bought the faucet I thought we were replacing just the faucet, I had no idea you normally swap out the drain as well in this scenario. Cindy helped me with a good portion of the swap out. After maybe an hour of work it was done and looked good.
There was a pretty bad puddle of water in the cabinet this morning despite things being leak free in our initial test. I think I already know where the leak is from, where the drain is inserted into the existing pvc pipe. I probably didn’t let the water run long enough in the initial test to fill that pipe to the point where a leak could be detected.
Cindy and I did some more discussion regarding fencing and the chickens. I have come around to the idea of creating a sub-fence for the chickens that would enclose the coop area and extend behind it considerably. It would allow us to contain chicken damage while protecting them from untrained dogs. If we want to allow them full access to the backyard some days we can simply leave the gate open. It will not be an easy job.
In addition to constructing the fence I am going to need to put some additional bushes/trees in that area for cover. I also am thinking about building a deck that the chickens can hang out under since they love to hang out under the large shed a good portion of the day. The other issue is laying things out in a way that compensates for the flooding that can occur during wet season back there. I may try to raise some of the ground with top soil and sod. I don’t want the chickens wading in a pond all day long like ducks.
So President Trump has certainly been making a big splash with his statements and executive orders thus far. His latest brain fart was ordering a temporary ban on entry to the country from certain Muslim countries creating a firestorm of backlash, even more so than him floating the idea of a 20% tax on Mexican goods. The guy just has no clue and zero comprehension of the big picture on any issue he thinks he is addressing. This circus comes as no surprise to me and I wonder why others seem to be so shocked by these ill advised actions. He got to where he is by being loud and appealing to the lowest, dumbest common denominator. Why would anyone think he would be different once seated in the White House?
So last night Katie arrived at the house with her two dogs in tow. (more on that later) As I went out to the driveway to see what she needed help with I saw the two recycling bins and one large trash can laying across the driveway with their contents scattered everywhere. Katie said she heard someone hit them just after she pulled in.
So I went down to clean up the mess and it was a disaster. I swore repeatedly as I was cleaning up the trash and broken glass that was scattered all over the entrance to the driveway. I just was enraged some asshole would be careless enough to hit our cans, although it has happened many times before.
I reviewed the footage from the DVR camera that is shooting out the driveway. At almost exactly 6:40 PM I see the idiot hit the cans not with his truck but with the trailer he was towing behind his truck. Of course he didn’t slow down for a second after the impact. I can only hope that if karma does exist, it smacks this jack ass hard.
So like I mentioned, Katie brought her two dogs with her last night, the first time they both have been at the house. We are still in the process of trying to figure out just how these living arrangements will all work out but part of it will be Tank and Bowser being at the house at least part of the time. I felt badly for Elsa when these two high energy dogs came charging in the house, she looked desperately for somewhere to hide. Eventually she settled down a little bit.
Now if you know me, you know I like calm, controlled, clean environments. Having three dogs in one house is a recipe for the exact opposite. I of course have a lot of concerns about the dogs destroying things as well as the associated mess. We have the house pretty much closed off so except for Katie’s bedroom, the dogs are kept on the hard flooring surfaces. We have covers on the sofa’s but I worry it won’t be sufficient. Bowser is a huge dog, probably 80-90 pounds so his destructive potential is quite high. We had Tank in the house before. He is a french bulldog so size-wise he isn’t bad but he is a drool/snot machine which has it’s own challenges.
Cindy has assured me she would be doing what is needed to keep the house reasonably clean and organized which is an effort hopefully Katie will assist in. I am sure Cindy could sense my anxiety as Katie’s dogs ran around the living space like maniacs. I found myself thinking about how I was accustomed to living for a long time without any animals short of Tuki in the house peppered by Sadie visits. I reminded myself that this is only day one and things should settle down over time. I also focused on the big picture that this is the way we could finally facilitate getting Katie out of a situation that had nothing but dead ends at every turn.
So my Dufisthenics blog site which is hosted on GoDaddy has been running slowly for awhile. Usually that is due to some plug in behaving badly so I have been disabling and deleting them. Despite my efforts the site still is lethargic. So I figured what the heck, I’ll just call GoDaddy and ask them to check the site to see if they saw anything else going on.
So I call them up and get a woman on the phone in a couple minutes. I explain to her the problems I was having and asked if I could get some help. “Absolutely!” she said. All it takes is me agreeing to a $79 diagnostic charge. WTF, the $300 a year I am already paying doesn’t qualify me for site diagnostics?? Evidently it does not.
I said no thanks. The woman did say she could send me an email with generic WordPress troubleshooting information and it was free. Wow thanks a lot, a free Google search, how generous.
I had another disappointing interaction earlier in the week when I contacted a company named Hisense regarding the Chromebook laptop I bought in May. I only used it a handful of times and now the battery is completely dead. It will not run for one second on battery power. It only will work while plugged in. When I contacted Hisense they said since it was a refurbished unit it only had a 90 day warranty.
I knew the warranty duration was short but hoped the representative would step out of the box and offer remediation since a battery should not croak so quickly. I expressed this desire to them. The response I got back was basically “too bad, so sad”.
Do you think Mitt Romney feels a bit “punked” right about now? He got on his knees and went on two dates with Donald only to be shunned and replaced by Putin’s good buddy Rex Tillerson. Poor Mitt. I would say his political career is officially over. You can’t talk as much shit about someone as he did and then come running with your pants around your knees when a cabinet position is dangled in front of your nose by the same individual.
Tomorrow is my 49th birthday. I can hardly wait, for it to be over…
Yesterday I was in a sour mood all day for obvious reasons. I had thrown my EUC in the trunk of the Prius with the intent of riding it after work at the Naples Greenway. Well I decided to also take the wheel out at lunch as well, riding the Msuper just felt like it would be a better mood elevator than the gym. I rode over 8 miles over my lunch hour and enjoyed every minute of it. The ride after work at the Greenway was awesome with cool temperatures and beautiful skies. It’s hard to explain what riding an EUC feels like to someone that has never rode one. It’s a different experience from riding a bike, perhaps because it allows you to focus more on your surroundings and less on the effort required to push you through the surroundings. In total I put between 16-17 miles on the wheel during the day and still had over half of the battery charge remaining, amazing.
So for some reason I have never in my lifetime educated myself as to why the electoral college system exists. This year was the second time in my lifetime where the presidential candidate that won the popular vote did not win the electoral vote. I would think when it happened back in 2000 I would have looked into the college but I cared less about most things back then.
So anyway, one of my friends posted an article explaining the origin of the electoral college and why it is basically ridiculous it is still in use today, some 200+ years later. Believe it or not the electoral college was enacted to account for slavery. Yes in 2016 we are still using a system that was made so slave owners could get additional voting power for the slaves they owned. Even though the slaves themselves could not vote, each one counted as 2/5 of a vote that would be attributed to the slave owner, allowing them to gain voting influence based on the size of their slavery endeavors. I am amazed and disgusted that a system that has such a dark origin is still in use.
There is absolutely no reason for it at this point in time and evidently there is some movement to do away with it. A number of states have agreed to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact which would ensure that whatever candidate wins the popular vote is the winner, regardless of electoral college shenanigans. Feel free to read up on it here. It makes no sense that every other elected office is a reflection of the popular vote yet the most influential position in government is not.
Sure, Trump enthusiasts will see this point as simply sour grapes which is understandable but it doesn’t change the fundamentals. Whomever gets the most votes should win, period, no matter what party that benefits. The same simple logic should apply to the presidential primaries. It was absolutely maddening watching the super delegate stacked deck system in the democratic primaries, making it nearly impossible for Bernie to win, despite Trump-like grass root support with MASSIVE numbers everywhere he went. If you get more votes than everyone else you win, keep it simple, stupid.
So with the election fun going on I neglected to mention my Tacoma is back at the dealer. Cindy took it there Tuesday after the ABS warning light came on once again along with odd brake pedal feel, not something to screw around with. The dealer gave Cindy a loaner Corolla to use. The truck was there all Tuesday afternoon so I called Wednesday morning between 9 and 10, wanting to get an update on what they found. I got my “service advisors” voice mail so I politely asked him to give me a call back to fill me in.
Well around 2pm I still heard nothing so I called again, annoyed that the guy couldn’t take 60 seconds to give me a call, even if nothing was determined yet. This time I got a person on the phone. I said I called in the morning and asked for a call back and got none. The woman checked in the computer about the status of the truck and could only tell me it was still being worked on. She said she would again tell my service advisor to call me back.
So now it is 4pm and the guy has not called me. WTF. So I call back once more with more anger in my voice. I explain that twice I have called asking for an update and have been ignored. I wanted to know what was going on with the truck. Just because I have a loaner doesn’t mean I don’t want my truck back asap. I get another woman that says my service advisor is not at his desk. I tell her that I will be at the office until 4:30 and I need the guy to call me back before I leave. She assures me she will get the message to him and she is sure he will call me back. Well of course you know the next part, he didn’t call.
I didn’t realize that Cindy had also sent the guy a text message around the same time as my last call. She had his cell from our first trip to the dealer. The info in the text was a bit confusing but the last thing was the guy was meeting with the shop foreman at 10 am today about it. Huh? You have to schedule a time with the garage to find out what the fck is going on with a vehicle? So anyway, I am now ready for a not so friendly exchange when I call the dealer later in the morning to sort through exactly what the hell they have been doing with my truck for the last 48 hours. I need the truck back today in order to complete the tree trimming project that is on the books for tomorrow. How I get to that point is probably going to be aggravating for sure.
So anyway, the big monster on my three day weekend is doing the annual tree trimming project where we trim 25+ trees all in one day. It is one of the more miserable tasks I endure each year. The only positive is the 32 foot ladder I plan to rent should at least make some of the high tree trimming less dangerous. After the task is done the rest of the weekend should hopefully be downhill and more enjoyable. Trimming the trees is the precursor to putting up the Christmas lights in a couple weeks so I will look at that as the light at the end of the tunnel, even though hanging the lights is a pain in the ass as well.
Cindy spotted the coyote yesterday morning pacing the back fence line, surely considering jumping the fence to pick off another one of our birds. Cindy ran at the animal screaming bloody murder which was enough to send it running the other direction. It was a clear warning that we need to pick up our awareness of what is lurking outside the confine of the back yard.
So last night Cindy and I fell asleep after watching a couple hours of the election coverage. At that point it seemed clear that the election results were much closer than the professional pollsters predicted. You could sense the apprehension in the NBC News staff as the comfortable HRC win that was widely expected was not coming to fruition. Despite this, when I closed my eyes there was still a clear path to her securing the win, of course the plan hinged on her securing PA, a state that has voted democrat for president for nearly three decades. Well even my former home state let me down, flipping to red when I awoke this morning, along with pretty every other battleground state on the map.
I was lucky to at least sleep to a little after 5:30. Cindy awoke early in the morning and saw the result and literally cried herself to sleep eventually. I shed no tears myself once I confirmed the results as I ate my breakfast. I just sort of shook my head in both disgust and amazement, Idiocracy had actually come to be.
I can spin myself around in circles trying to analyze how a ruthless business man, reality tv star, and man of marginal intelligence that shits on gold plated toilets was somehow seen to be representative of the type of change that America really wants. To me it is representative of just how easy it is to use simple psychological warfare to steer the populace. Stalin famously said, “A lie, told often enough eventually becomes the truth”
There were two candidates this year that represented the uprising against the political status quo in the country, Trump and Bernie. Even though both of these candidates wanted to uproot the establishment, there couldn’t have been a larger difference in the way they proposed doing it. Bernie is well spoken, well versed, experienced, and knowledgeable about everything he identified as problems. He had detailed plans of action to make every one of his proposals come to fruition. Donald had none of that. He relied almost entirely on vague generalities. Everything wrong was “terrible” or “a “disaster” and his plan of action to address all of it was more or less “I will fix it, trust me” with next to no ideas or specifics on how any of it will be accomplished.
I just struggle to understand how people could dismiss the constant red flags that have come up during the Trump campaign. They were literally endless. In the end the only way I can sum it up is people wanted change so bad that they will take it any way they can get it, even if it is change for the worse evidently. I can only hope that the damage that is inflicted to civil rights, the environment, our allies, and the economy is survivable. Ironically, the only thing that may slow down the march into the abyss is that same, lobbyist controlled congress is largely still in place. In order to carry out many of his campaign vows he will require their support which I think is unlikely he will get in many cases.
So anyway, being a sore loser in the end does not really accomplish much. I will be thrilled if the doom and gloom I am feeling today proves to be ultimately misplaced. I will be happy to admit my failure in judgement if that happens. Maybe I am the idiot and the country will rally around having a reality tv star for President. History is filled with brash leaders that rallied their country to support efforts that we now view as atrocious. Of course these efforts always have a very bad ending. I can only hope we have not started writing the next chapter in that book.
The reaction to the election result from Wall Street and the rest of the world is pretty shocking, in a way mimicking 9/11 with plummeting markets and worldwide condolences.
There was one shard of good news from the election results with Florida finally passing medical marijuana. After the presidential election results we are going to need it. In the end, we will get what we deserve.