Friday and the week in review

A Friday Haiku

Seventeen shot dead

In another school shooting

Thoughts, prayers, useless.

Another school shooting

You would think after Columbine, we’d have done something. Wasn’t that a horrific enough tragedy?

But no, nothing was done. And Sandy Hook, where innocent grade schoolers were killed. America was sick to it’s stomach by that one.

Still, nothing was done.

Now 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Members of Congress shed their crocodile tears, send their thoughts and prayers, but do nothing while cashing their bribes from the National Rifle Association.

How many more children need to die before the parents and survivors finally rise up enmasse to confront the spineless members of Congress and demand action?

What will it take to wake up our government to the gun epidemic in this country?

It only took one mass school shooting in 1996 for Australia to do something.

Trump sent his thoughts and prayers, then dared to blame the school, the families, students, and law enforcement for doing nothing, knowing the shooter was mentally unstable.

Actually, you orange turd, they did do something. They notified the FBI, but because you rescinded the Obama-era initiative aimed at helping keep the guns out of the hands of the mentally unfit, the FBI couldn’t do anything and the shooter was free to legally purchase the weapon used to commit this heinous crime.

Blood is on trump’s hands, as well as the hands of every congressperson the NRA has bought and paid for.

In fact, trump is also to blame because he is such an intolerate, hatefilled asshole, his attitude has has given the green light to every bigot, racist, mysoginist, homophobe and the like that their type of behavior is now not only tolerated but encouraged. They are out there openly spewing their hate and invoking trump’s name.

The shooter, as it turns out, was a member of a white supremacist group and was trained by them.

He was a homegrown, trump-approved domestic terrorist.

But rest assured, the outrage over this new tragedy will soon pass, nothing even resembling gun reform will be proposed, and the NRA will keep sending out it’s blood money.

Then we all get to pretend we care when the next mass shooting happens.

And gunnuts everywhere get to caress and fondle their handguns and rifles secure in the knowledge that no one is ever going to take their murder machines away.

Weigh-In Friday

I gained a pound, although my phone app for our scale didn’t record it, so we’ll pretend the gain didn’t happen.

If anyone is looking for a poster boy for yoyo dieting… right here.

You did What?

I pulled a shoulder muscle while sleeping. Don’t ask me how, but I woke up Sunday morning with pain shooting through my shoulder blade.

It still throbs today. I’ve been using rubs and taking pain meds (something I rarely do), yet I can’t get comfortable trying to fall asleep and the pain wakes me up when I finally do.

I haven’t done any arm exercises because of it and even when running, because you swing your arms, it hurts.

I don’t know what I did but I wish it would heal already. It’s making me cranky and I suspect because I’ve been sleeping poorly, it is responsible for the weight gain.

The Winter Olympics

I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw a shout-out to all those great athletes from every country joining together in the spirit of athletic competition.

I believe the Olympics should be free of political distractions, so it angers me when pence and his wife refused to stand when the Korean delegation entered. That just made America look petty. His stupidity reflects on all of us internationally.

I guess when he protests by not standing, that’s all right, that’s different when black athletes don’t stand.

I’d also like to point out to everyone who kept reposting a pic of the North Korean leader’s sister throwing eye daggers at pence as if they all approved of it because pence, the fact is, her hate isn’t directed at pence the way ours is. She probably doesn’t even know pence from Adam. She’s glaring at what he represents: the United States of America.

She’s glaring through a lens of hate that has been indoctrinated into all North Koreans since birth that America is evil, the Great Satan, out to destroy their lives, their country, and their very way of life.

She doesn’t know a thing about his hateful beliefs, his prejudices, his anti-gay stance, his belief in conversion therapy, not any of that.

She’s just an evil product of an evil totalitarian regime glaring at her country’s enemy.

In fact, if she knew pence like we know him and how he is part of a great fascist movement bent on destroying the America we all know and love, she’d probably be high-fiving him instead of glaring.

Consider that the next time you feel imclined to share her glare.

And finally, I should point out that Chloe Kim, who won Gold in the Women’s Halfpipe, is the daughter of immigrant parents.

Last word

Go have a great weekend. Monday is President’s Day. Go buy some furniture on sale or whatever it is we’re supposed to do on President’s Day.

I leave you, as always, with a song.

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Random Friday

A Friday Haiku

Government shut down,
Congress cannot do their job,
Vote all the bums out.

Weigh-in Friday

I’m fighting another cold or maybe the same one. I’ve been sick most of this year so far with colds and a bout of bronchitis. Because of the cold this week, I didn’t run or exercise and yet, my body was always wanting fuel, probably to battle the cold.

So I was expecting to have gained weight when I stepped on the scale, but surprise! I had lost 0.8 pounds.

Don’t ask me how.

2018 Government Shutdown #2

khangress-gov-shutdown-meme

If you blinked, you missed it, but it was there. The government shutdown for about six hours or so because several Senators delayed the vote until past the midnight deadline.

Specifically, Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), suddenly had a conscience over how this budget plan would bust the deficit wide open, completely forgetting that they had signed the #GOPTaxScam about six weeks ago without any qualms whatsoever. Not a peep.

But see, according to conservative logic, the tax bill is all right because even though it will blow up the deficit, it puts money back into the “people’s” pockets. Granted, when conservatives talk about the “people”, they don’t mean you and I, the middle class, or the working class struggling to make ends meet, they mean the wealthy, the rich, the well-to-do.

This budget plan they just passed, however, is a spending plan and conservatives don’t like that. Conservatives don’t like to spend money unless it’s for the military. Anything else, to them, is considered an entitlement and should be cut.

So you see, there are good deficits and bad deficits, according to conservatives. Good deficits happen when they are giving the rich a tax break, but if you spend money to feed and house the poor, give medical aid to the elderly,  or educate children, then that leads to bad deficits.

Oh, and see you in a few weeks, this Continuing Resolution is only good until March 23rd, when we get to go through the whole shutdown scare again.

Backwards and in high heels

This 1982 Frank and Ernest cartoon by Bob Thaves seems apropos for events this week:

ginger_frankernesttoon

Only now it should read, don’t forget that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) held the House floor for 8 hours, giving the longest speech in that chamber for at least a century, sipping only water, while in four inch heels.

That’s impressive. You go, girl.

Last Word

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

I leave you, not necessarily with a song, but a movie clip of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Enjoy.

-30-

The simple truths found in fiction

I’m currently reading, Have Space Suit-Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein for the first time.

So far, it’s very entertaining and it makes me wonder why I haven’t read more Heinlein since I enjoyed Stranger in a Strange Land some decades ago.

The protagonist is a young man, Clifford “Kip” Russell, fresh out of high school, who wants to go to the moon. He works for the moment as a soda jerk in a pharmacy (the story was published in 1958 when pharmacies still had counters where customers could order fountain drinks and sometimes burgers and hot dogs, like a tiny diner).

He has a run-in with the town bully, Ace Quiggle, who verbally abuses Kip. Kip’s boss comes over and Ace leaves.

Heinlein writes:

The boss and I were alone shortly after. He said quietly, “Kip, a reverence for life does not require a man to respect Nature’s obvious mistakes.”

“Sir?”

“You need not serve Quiggle again. I don’t want his trade.”

“Oh, I don’t mind. He’s harmless.”

“I wonder how harmless such people are? To what extent civilization is retarded by the laughing jackasses, the empty-minded belittlers? [Emphasis mine.] Go home, you’ll want to make an early start tomorrow.”

As I read that, I was struck by how relevant that thought is today, some 60 years after it was first written.

I believe today we are seeing to what extent civilization has been retarded by those laughing jackasses and the empty-minded belittlers.

Those laughing jackasses and empty-minded belittlers have managed to elect one of their own, the biggest laughing jackass, the most empty-minded of all belittlers: trump.

Heinlein predicted the rise of the deplorables!

This is why I love fiction. Hidden within the action, the adventure, the exotic situations, while the characters are weaving their way seductively through the plot, the author sometimes inserts some very provocative philosophical points of view.

Ofttimes the message is covert and you need to do some analysis to find it, but sometimes it is overt and waves it’s little hand at you saying, “Here I am. Underline me and spend a little time thinking about what I have to say.”

Or am I the only one who reads with a pencil at hand, ready to underline any line that strikes my fancy?

-30-

It’s Friday!

A Friday Haiku

Fountain pens write with

An elegance and beauty.

They’re usable art.

Weigh-In Friday

After last week’s significant weight loss, this week I gained some of that back to the tune of 1.3 pounds.

I blame the night of baked fish and vegetables. My body obviously rebelled against healthy eating, thinking I was trying to starve it.

Won’t make that mistake again.

Time for new shoes

It’s getting close to the time I should start researching and shopping for new running shoes.

My current shoes were purchased last spring. I had two pair, actually. A pair of Brooks Adrenalize GTS 17 and a pair of Hoka One One Clidton 3.

I have my Brooks to ky older son several months ago when I noticed he was running on a pair of Asics that were several years old, so I’ve been running exclusively on the Clintons.

I really like the Clintons. They don’t have the stability of the Brooks, but they provide much more cushioning.

I like cushioning. Even though I’ve evolved from a heel striker to landing midfoot, I still land rather heavy (I am overweight).

Therefore, because I love doing research, I’ll be doing that for the next few weeks or so, narrowing down my choices of a nice chushioned running shoe.

If you have any suggestions, I’d like to hear them.

Jazz

I’ve recently become more interested in jazz. I mean, I’ve always had a slifht interest in it from the first moment I heard “Chameleon” from Herbie Handcock’s Headhunters album on the radio way back in the day.

I became interested in what was then called jazz fusion, a blending of rock, R&B, and jazz that had it’s heyday in the 1970s. I enjoyed the music of Return to Forever, Al DiMeola, Weather Report, Jean Luc Ponty, Larey Coryell, Jan Hammer, Tony Williams, and Billy Cobham, to name a few.

But I also came to jazz indirectly from my father’s love of Dave Brubeck, as well. I mean, really, who among us hasn’t thought our parents’ music was lame? So, it wasn’t until many, many years later, after my father passed and I inherited all his 10-inch vinyl jazz records that I started to become more interested in traditional jazz.

And of course, that interest translated into research. Yes, I love doing research, reading and learning everything I can on a certain subject.

Which brings me to the etymology of the word jazz and the above meme that the word might not mean what you think it means.

Rather than regurgitate what I learned, it’ll be simpler to post a link to the website, “A Passion for Jazz! Music History & Education,” and their article, The Etymology of Jazz.

Enjoy.

State of the Uniom

I’m not even going to talk about that orange turd’s pathological lying. He even tweeted he had the highest audience rating in history!

A fact that was easily debuncted. His ratings were the lowest in the last 25 years. Are his supporters that gullible?

In fact, all his lies are easily fact-checked. Are his supporters just that lazy, that ignorant, or simply so hateful of everything good and righteous in America that they want to see it all dragged down and destroyed?

Because if they loved America and what it stands for, it’s diversity and opportunity for all, and the entire concept of America as the melting pot of the world, then they’d see trump as the hateful, bigoted, xenophobic, un-American elitist that he really is.

Covfefe!

Keep resisting. Keep on fighting the good fight. Don’t let the trump regime normalize facism and hatred.

End Note

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Since I mentioned it above, I’ll leave you with Chameleon.

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It’s random Friday

A Friday Haiku

Government shutdown

Trump was nowhere to be seen

Where are the adults?

It’s hard to write a haiku about a government shutdown because Continuing Resolution is eight syllables.

Weigh-In Friday

Let’s start out the week in review with some good news (to offset the angry rants toward the end).

The scale says (say that like Richard Dawson doing “Family Feud”), I lost 1.7 pounds! Yowza!

And that was all done through exercise. My diet lately is less than ideal. A homemade egg and cheese McMuffin for breakfast. Ham and cheese or PB&J sandwiches for lunch, a Siggi’s yogurt and an apple or clementine for a midday snack. And then our normal overly processed dinner, although this week was probably worse than normal, which is why that weight loss number is rather surprising.

Here’s a review of our evening meals:

Monday — chilidogs and chilifries

Tuesday — pizza from Jet’s Pizza

Wednesday — a boxed dinner similar to Chicken Helper only Velveeta’s version

Thursday — since my wife was at a work-sponsored event and it was just my teenaged son and I, we had Jeno’s Pizza Rolls (a 90 count and 40 count bag, if you’re keeping score).

Yeah, I probably just gave any nutritionists reading this nightmares.

Run, Ferret, Run

It was a good week for running. I ran last Friday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

After a sporadic November and December and then being laid low by bronchitis for two weeks, I’m taking it slow to get back into proper running shape. I don’t want to rush it and end up with a stress injury.

My runs at this point have been for 15 minutes at 5 mph. An easy pace that doesn’t leave me gasping for breathe.

The last three runs, I increased the time to 16 minutes, and the average pace was slowly increased by 0.1 mph increments to 5.3. Last night’s run, after I hit a mile, I increased the last five minutes of the run to 6 mph.

Tonight, I’ll increase the time to 17 minutes and set the pace to 5.5 mph.

I’m way off my personal bests of last year where I was running 5k in about 29 minutes. But as I said, although I’m impatient and chomping at the bit to get back to that faster pace (which is why I finished last night’s run at 6 mph), I know it’s best for my health if I keep taking it slow for now.

Government Shutdown and another C.R.

As a Federal employee, I’m really getting fed up with not knowing if I’ll have a job at the end of each of these Continuing Resolutions. I really wish Congress would agree to a real budget instead of kicking the can down the road every few weeks.

It’s ironic because I took my Federal job for several reasons. First, I believe in serving my country. I was a Boy Scout, in the U.S. Navy, worked part time in college for the local school system, and now I’m a Fed. Second, my work history was rather woeful. I worked for close to a dozen private companies that all folded underneath me, leaving me unemployed. The last one happened at the start of 2009 during the recession and I was unemployed for nearly two years. The longer I was unemployed, the less employable I became because my job skills were no longer “up to date.” So, I applied for a Federal position thinking it would provide job security.

Job security! That’s funny in retrospect since every end of the fiscal year we go through these rounds of failed budgets and Continuing Resolutions to keep the government funded for just a few weeks more. We’ve suffered through threats of shutdowns and actual shutdowns, the one in 2013 lasted 19 days. This one, three. And we’re looking forward to another threat on February 8th, when this C.R. ends.

Join the Federal workforce they said, it’ll be fun they said. Right, the pay is low, the benefits are shrinking, the GOP demonizes us, and there’s always the threat of losing our jobs.

Good times.

Winter Wonderland?

I don’t know how your winter is going, but ours is all screwed up. We live in Wisconsin, Milwaukee specifically. Our annual average snowfall is about 52.4 inches (133 cm) per winter. And our average high temperature in January is 28 °F (-2 °C) and the average low is 13 °F (-11 °C).

This winter, we’ve experienced a few weeks of subzero weather (Fahrenheit-wise) alternating with unusually above average temperatures.

Earlier this week it rained all day Monday, it turned to snow on Tuesday, and today they’re predicting temperatures near 50 °F (10 °C).

At one point, South Carolina had more snow from that one freak snowstorm several weeks ago than we had received all winter long.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I hate shoveling. And I have yet to need our snowblower.

Granted, we still have plenty of time. March of 2017 we were hit with a record setting snowfall totalling nearly a foot and a half of snow in some parts of the city.

So, I’ll shut up now before the Fates hear me.

Milwaukee’s Racing Sausages

For more than 25 years, the Milwaukee-based Klement Sausage Company has been synonymous with the Milwaukee Brewers’ world famous Racing Sausages.

But this year, that all changed. The Milwaukee Brewers abruptly, and without explanation, broke off negotiations, and then signed with another company. Furthermore, the Brewers completely denied Klement’s any chance to make a counter-offer or renegotiate.

It was a dick move on the part of the Milwaukee Brewers. That isn’t how you treat a 25 year working relationship.

Many fans began to speculate who the new company might be. There are a lot of great sausage companies in Wisconsin, including the other Milwaukee-based sausage maker, Usinger’s, which already has Bob Uecker, the Milwaukee Brewers’ radio announcer, as a spokesperson.

There’s also Cher-Make Sausage based out of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the Sheboygan Bratwurst Company, and Old Wisconsin Sausage Company, just to name a few.

Did the Brewers select any of those?

Nooooo. They went with Johnsville.

Yes, that Johnsonville. The one that donates tens of thousands of dollars to the campaign fund of our crazed conservative governor, a puppet of the Koch Brothers, who slavishly passes their ALEC-influenced agenda that is ruining our state.

The Brewers couldn’t have made a worse choice. Combine that with how wretchedly they treated Klement’s in doing so, makes this a decision that will leave a bad taste in the mouths of Brewers fans for years.

To show our displeasure with the backstabbing treatment of Klement’s, Brewers fans should collectively turn their backs on the Sausage Races this year.

I know I will. They’ll always be the Klement’s Racing Sausages to me.

Last word

And that brings another week to an end. Hope you have a great weekend. Go support Klement’s sausages and boycott Johnsonville.

I think tonight I’ll grill some Klement’s sausages in our 50 °F weather to show solidarity.

I leave you, as always, with a song. Enjoy.

Resist.

-30-

Looming large

Loom

The Free Dictionary defines loom as:

Noun 1. a hand-operated or power-driven apparatus for weaving fabrics.
2. the part of an oar between the blade and the handle.
v.t.
3. to weave (something) on a loom.
[before 900; Middle English lome tool, bucket, Old English gelōma tool]

Verb 1. to come into view indistinctly with an enlarged and often threatening aspect
2. (of an event) to seem ominously close
3. (often foll by over) (of large objects) to dominate or overhang

Faber-Castell Loom

To be honest, I’m not sure which definition Faber-Castell had in mind when they released their Loom line of pens back in 2010. Unless they meant the third verb definition of loom over: to dominate the pen industry.

I don’t know if it’s done that, but the Loom fountain pen, introduced in 2012, does get a lot of very good reviews.

The Loom series comes in many colors and finishes. I just picked one up in what they call a piano finish in lime green.

The fountain pen comes nicely boxed with one ink cartridge and a dummy cartridge. If you want a converter, that’s an additional cost of $5 available separately at most fine pen stores online.

I had bought the converter as well as a sample of Diamine Sherwood green ink. Unfortunately, I was all fumbly and managed to spill the ink on my fingers, running pants, my running shoes, and all over our wood floor without getting any into the pen itself. (Note: Magic Eraser helps get ink off of the wood floor.) So sadly, I cannot write a customer review on the ink like the Goulet Pen Company wanted me to.

Therefore, I installed the lone ink cartridge Faber-Castell included, placing the dummy cartridge in the barrel as well to keep the ink cartridge from jostling loose while being carried.

First impressions

It’s a sharp looking pen. Easily one of the nicest looking pens in my collection. Like my Parker 45 Flighter, it’s a dressier pen.

Ergonomically, it feels good in the hand. The ribbed rings on the plastic grip section, as well as the slight bulge in the middle, offer an secure hold while writing.

The pen doesn’t slip between the fingers as you write. (I don’t know if that’s an issue for you, but some pens, like cheap ballpoint stick pens, slip right through my grasp as I write and I’m continually having to readjust my grip.)

The barrel is long enough that you can write with or without the cap posted, unlike my Waterman’s, which has a very short barrel and needs the cap posted or it pokes me in the webbing of my thumb.

And the pen with or without the cap posted, is not a heavy pen. It seems equivalent to my Parker and sone of my other pens. Maybe I’ll weigh it when I get home tonight and post the results at the end of this post.

And the Loom writes very smoothly, which I found surprising because it has a fine nib. I tend to find fine nibbed pens somewhat scratchy, but this one is as smooth as my medium nibbed Parker 45 Flighter, which has a gold nib versus the stainless steel nib on the Loom, and the Loom is very much smoother than my other gold nibbed pen, the Waterman’s UWO (Unidentified Writing Object, I still haven’t identified the model). I wonder if the Waterman’s is extra fine?

The nib even writes when turned upsidedown (meaning instead of the nib facing upwards, I had it facing pageward). I’m not sure what the proves, but I’ve seen some YouTube pen reviewers do it, so I figured I’d mention it.

My one complaint, and it’s a minor one, is with the shining, metal barrel, as well as the shiny, metal pocket clip. The smooth, polished, metal finish attracts fingerprints like shit attracts flies. I’m constantly wiping it off, but that’s just me. The shiny barrel however, is what attracted me to the pen in the first place, so as I said, it’s a minor complaint and one I can live with.

Size Comparison

Here is the Faber-Castell Loom sandwiched between a Pilot G-2 gel pen and a Papermate Stick ballpoint pen.

Yes, I stole the pen from the Radisson. Doesn’t everyone steal hotel pens?

With the cap posted, the Loom is longer than the Pilot G-2 and almost as long as the Papermate stickpen, yet it neither feels too long nor does it feel top heavy with the cap posted.

Long Term Impressions

I’ve had the Loom for nearly a week now. It travels well in my shirt pockets although it does create a little more bulge than my Parker 45 Flighter does, but not enough to be obnoxious.

Unfortunately, it makes my shirt pocket rather crowded if I also try to carry my phone there as well because it’s a rather large LG V20. To solve that issue, I might just get a belt holster for my phone.

I also noticed when I’m out walking at noon and the sun is shining, the shiny, metal “jewel” on the top of the cap reflects little blinding asterisks of light into my eyes. Hardly a deal breaker.

The Loom doesn’t cause writing fatigue even during longer writing sessions.

I hand-wrote a ten page scene from my new novel-in-progress in my notebook and felt no fatigue in my hand or wrist whatsoever. I could have easily written much more, if the scene hadn’t been complete.

The pen rests perfectly between the fingers and doesn’t make me want to unconsciously squeeze it. Great for long writing sessions.

Writing Comparisons

I did some sample writing of some of my other fountain pens to compare. The pens I chose were my Rotring Skynn (which I misspelled Skinn on the samples), which was my very first everyday fountain pen (using a standard blue ink cartridge), my Esterbrook J (using Parker Quink blue ink) and my Waterman’s UWO (using Diamine Oxblood red), both of which I brought back to life by replacing their bladders, and my Parker 45 Flighter (also using Quink). My Loom is using the blue ink cartridge Faber-Castell supplied with it.

As you can see by the sample smear, they all wrote “wet” to a degree, which means there is no issue with ink traveling through the feed.

The Rotring Skynn and the Parker 45 Flighter were the wettest writers. They both leave the ink glistening and easily smeared if you don’t wait for it to dry. I wasn’t surprised by the Rotring since it has an XL nib, but I didn’t realize how wet the Parker writes.

The Esterbrook J came in third, but since the nib is a 1551, which I believe was their entry level “student” nib, it isn’t surprising that it is also the scratchiest of my pens (not including the cheap Chinese fountain pens I acquired off of eBay over the years).

The Waterman’s was the driest writer and I don’t know if that’s because the nib is so fine, but it does keep up with fast writing, despite the few hickups seen in the loop-de-loops. That was more me rolling the pen off of true as I wrote.

The Waterman’s and the Esterbrook were more finicky about keeping the nib true to the paper.

The Loom wrote dry, but not scratchy dry. It wrote very smoothly and consistently and the ink flow was always constant, without ever having a hickup. Again, I think that’s a symptom of having a fine nib.

I then tested for bleed-through. I have noticed on some spiral-bound, 3-hole punched notebooks that you can pick up for cheap during “Back to School” sales, that some of my fountain pens have a tendancy to bleed-through the paper, making writing on both sides an impossibility.

The pens are in the same order, the Rotring, Esterbrook, Waterman’s, Parker, and Faber-Castell.

As you can see, the Parker has the worst bleed-through. The others bleed-through only occasionally.

Verdict

The Faber-Castell Loom fountain pen retails for about $45 and the purchase of an ink converter, the price hovers around $50.

The pen has great fit and finish, a gorgeous design and aesthetics, and is a very smooth writer.

If you’re considering a starter fountain pen, like the Pilot Metropolitan or the Lamy Safari, you wouldn’t do wrong spending an extra $20 to $30 to step up to the Loom. You’d get a much better pen and probably wouldn’t be looking to upgrade so quickly.

The Loom, at it’s price point of nearly $50, looms over the competition. In fact, you’d have to jump to the over $100 level to find a pen that surpasses the Loom in looks, quality, and writability.

Faber-Castell hit a homerun with the Loom.

EDITED 1/25/2018:

Measurements

Rotring Skynn – 20g with cap, 19g without cap.

Esterbrook J – 14g with cap, 9g without cap.

Waterman’s – 13g with cap, 7g without cap.

Parker 45 Flighter – 20g with cap, 12g without cap.

Faber-Castell Loom – 31g with cap, 25g without cap.

OK, so my sense of weighing things is way off. The Loom is the heaviest of my pens, but it doesn’t feel heavy, nor do you have to worry about getting a hernia trying to lift it.

-30-

Friday Roundup

A Friday Haiku

If you’re sick, stay home

That’s good advice to follow

But who gets sick leave?

It’s Flu Season

I heard a new study that shows the flu can be spread through the simple act of breathing. A person with flu doesn’t need to cough or sneeze to spread the infection, they spew their germs everywhere just by exhaling.

The recommendation from doctors? If you are sick, stay home. That way you don’t spread the infection to all your co-workers.

The problem with that advice? Who gets sick leave any more? Most people have combined leave; they only get so many hours per month for keave and they have to share it between both vacation time as well as sick time. And because of that, people are reluctant to stay home when they are sick because they don’t want to use up all their leave they were saving for a vacation to the Corn Palace.

Isn’t it time for a Federal regulation mandating every worker gets sick time, in addition to their regular leave time?

That way, when someone gets sick, they stay home and don’t infect the entire office. Isn’t paying one person to stay home cheaper than losing an entire office to the same illness? One man hour versus half a dozen or more lost man hours?

Weigh-In Friday

After taking a wrong turn with my diet and exercise regimen, I believe I’m back on track. Despite still not feeling 100%, I ran twice this week and plan to run tonight after work.

And the scale says I’m down 1.6 pounds from last week. Woot!

How to know what is the correct side of an issue?

It used to be difficult knowing which side of an issue to take. Both sides often had reasoned, well thought out arguments to persuade you their side is the correct one. You had to determine where you stood using logic and critical thinking skills.

And even when you made a decision, you could still be swayed to the other side by intelligent, cogent debate or when presented new facts about the subject.

But in today’s political climate, all that has changed. Now it’s a very simple matter to make a decision, to form an opinion, and to choose where you stand on an issue.

It’s incredible how simple it is.

Just look at any issue, even one you know absolutely nothing about and all you have to do is figure out where trump stands on that issue, and then you take the exact opposite view.

For example, DACA. He wants to end it, therefore, the correct position is to be for seeing it continue.

The recent GOP tax plan that passed. He supported it, therefore the correct stance was to be against it.

Net Neutrality. He wanted to end it, therefore the correct position is to support it’s continuation.

By following this simple advice, you will always be on the correct side of the issue, any issue, every single time.

Now I’m not saying that you no longer need to be informed or educated on political issues, civics, and current events. On the contrary, an informed and intelligent electorate is needed to battle the current fascist regime ignorance (and an archaic Electoral College) installed.

The Resistance will only succeed by staying on top of current events and by making our voices heard.

The Fake News Awards

Look, I hate giving the orange turd and his ignorant paranoid views any additional coverage, but the very thought of a (fake) President furthering his own anti-American agenda by discrediting legitimate news outlets should appall every American, regardless of political affiliation.

The orange turd is doing what every totalitarian regime has done throughout history, and continues to do to this day, trying to keep the public uninformed and in the dark about what he is really doing, which is betraying our allies, cuddling up with our biggest enemy, Russia, and tearing down all our rights, freedoms, and protections to create an elitist oligarchy that will only benefit his own greedy self-interests. He is trampling upon the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and everything that makes this country great.

His Fake News Awards are just another step in that process. By delegitimizing the Fourth Estate, and legitimizing the hateful white supremicists at Breitbart and FoxNews, he is trying to establish an official state news organization similar to the Soviet Union’s communist-controlled Pravda.

He must be stopped. We must continue to resist. We cannot allow the normalization of hatred, bigotry, racism, homophobia, and sexism to continue unabated.

We must, all of us, continue to stand vigilant against the approaching oppression and fascism. Evil, like cockroaches, scurries for cover when exposed to the light of truth.

Final Word

I apologize. I didn’t mean to get that heavy-handed with my post, but sometimes you can’t help but shout in anger and frustration when faced with the continual onslaught of negative hate-filled news from the White House.

Therefore, I’ll try to keave younwith an upbeat happy song. And no, it’s not “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” or even “Happy.”

This one is somewhat okd school:

This one is more recent, even if it does seem like a tourist jingle:

Enjoy and have a good weekend.

Keep resisting. And stay healthy.

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