Friday week in review

A Friday Haiku

First day of Autumn

Someone needs to tell Summer

Ninety-five? Really?

Edited to Add: Milwaukee reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit today. Broke the 1937 record of 92 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here we go, Brewers, here we go!

Only 10 games left and the Milwaukee Brewers are still in the thick of the National League playoff race, despite losing two crucial games that would have tied them with Denver for the final Wild Card berth and brought them a game closer to the Cubs.

Win or lose, if they make the playoffs or don’t, this is already one of the Brewers’ most exciting seasons.

For one thing, no one expected this (except us true blue fans). Every so-called experts predicted the Brew Crew would be cellar dwellars, battling it out with Cincinnati for last place. After all, they had that fire sale, getting rid of all their star players, except for Ryan Braun, and filled their roster with farm club no-names. The Brewers were essentially fielding a Triple-A team, or so the experts claimed.

Did the Brewers even see the script for this season? It’s doubtul because they immediately surprised everyone by jumping into first place in their division from the very beginning and didn’t let up until the All-Star Break. Not only that, they led the league in home runs, RBI, and several other stats. For a time, they were the best team in baseball.

In other words, this lowly small-town team of Triple-A ballplayers dared to disrespect the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs as well as the perennial playoff contending St. Louis Cardinals by beating the pants off of them.

And here we are, on the final lap of the baseball season and the Brewers are still in the thick of it. Second place in the division and still within reach of a Wild Card.

True fans couldn’t be happier and even if they miss the post-season, we can’t complain. They did more than exceed expectations, they knocked them out of the park. They’re a very young team and as they’ve shown, very talented with a lot of heart. They have fun and are just plain fun to watch.

Brewers tear off Erik Thames’ shirt to celebrate his walk off home run against San Diego in June 16, 2017.

This season was all about team-building and gaining valuable experience, especially on how to deal with the intense pressure of a playoff race.

Whatever the outcome of the season is, this team is no longer is a bunch of no-names. In a short time, everyone now knows Domingo Santana, Zach Davies, Eric Thames, Travis Shaw, Josh Hader, Corey Knebbel, Manny Pina (Lucroy who?), Orlando Arcia, nerd boy Eric Sogard, Keon Broxton, Brett Phillips with his 80-grade arm and they’ve put the rest of the league on notice. These guys are going to be contenders for many seasons yet to come.

It’s a great time to be a Brewers fan.

Weigh-In Friday

I’m up again by a couple pounds. Sometimes a little cheating is fine, but losing track of how much you cheated isn’t. It’s like trying to keep a mental tally of your finances instead of writing it down in a ledger, then veing surprised when you get an overdraft notice from the bank. “I could have sworn we had more money!” Our minds like to play tricks on us.

I take some solace in the fact that despite gaining weight, my fat percentage still went down and my muscle percentage went up.

The never ending edits

You’ve heard of the Never Ending Story? Well, I’m trapped in the never ending edits.

I would have hoped I was past the creation stage and well into the pokishing stage of my manuscript, but that isn’t the case.

As my editor side goes through my story to correct flaws in tense, fix passive sentences, and so on, my writer side is also going, “Hey! I have a great idea to add here! How about if…”

And it isn’t just one or two scenes the writer side is considering. It’s every crucial scene. New ideas for dialog, for subplots, and setting as well. Some minor, some major. Not edits, but actual rewrites.

Shut up, writer side, you aren’t helping.

Worse, now I’m worried I might have fallen down the research rabbit hole, that never ending time suck where you go to verify one thing only to have that topic lead to another topic and another and another. None related to what you started out researching, but all addictingly interesting enough to draw you in and hold you there. A prisoner to your own desire for more knowledge.

Help me.

The GOP wants to kill us

There is a lot of buzz going on about how scary the recent release of the remake of Stephen King’s It is. But there’s something even scarier on Capital Hill. It’s a two-headed monster called Graham-Cassidy and it wants to kill us all.

Millions will lose their health insurance. Many due to pre-existing conditions (which they say are covered but they really aren’t), necause the bill has no guarantees they can get coverage.

States that accepted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, would lose their funding, but more importantly and scarier, there will be complete changes to how Medicaid is funded to all states. This is the GOP saying “Fuck you” to the elderly and disabled.

This is the worst of the Trumpcare repeal and replace bills yet!

Call your Congressperson. Complain. Give them an earful that we’re tired of their conservative bullshit. Save the ACA.

Unless you want to die.

TheRump wants to kill us too

If there is one thing this week has shown, it’s how much of a divide exists between the deplorables and the rest of the world.

The great orange turd addressed the United Nations in his own inimitable style. In other words, he appalled all civilized people everywhere with his ignorant and bellicose rhetoric, threatening to destroy another nation.

But not everyone was shocked or appalled by TheRump’s insane patter. On the contrary, my Twitter feed exploded with praise for King Cheeto. “It’s about time we had a real President who stands up for Murica!” They want him to destroy a nation. Any nation. Do they look different from us? Speak some funny language other than English? Kill ’em! Kill ’em all! They think going to war should always be our first option in negotiations. Diplomacy is for wimps.

It should come as no surprise the trumpettes admired his angry posturing, his childish namecalling, his chest pounding and threat displays and saw them as something to be proud of. And that’s why Hillary appropriately named them deplorables.

Currently reading

Last night I was digging through my To-Be-Read pile of books and came across “Weird Tales: The Magazine That Never Dies,” an anthology of short fiction that had appeared in that magazine over the years, edited by Marvin Kaye. I picked it up and started reading and couldn’t put it down. I’ve always enjoyed pulp fiction and Weird Tales had some of the best by some of the great writers of the day, like Ray Bradbury, H. G. Wells, Fritz Lieber, August Derleth, L. Sprague de Camp, Robert Bloch, Tanith Lee, H. P. Lovecraft, and Richard Matheson to name a few.

I leave you with a song

For your listening pleasure, a song with which to start your weekend and also to ring in Autumn.

So fell Autumn rain, washed away all my pain, I feel brighter somehow, lighter somehow to breathe once again

So fell Autumn rain, washed my sorrows away, with the sunset behibd somehow I find the dreams are to stay

So fell autumn rain

From “So Fell Autumn Rain” by Lake of Tears

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What Happened really

Hillary Clinton has another memoir out. This one titled, “What Happened,” where she whines about why she lost the election.

I haven’t read it, nor do I plan to. I don’t need an entire book to know “What Happened.”

Nor am I interested in her blame game. Hillary’s going to accuse James Comey’s last minute surprise for her loss. She’ll blame the media for their unwarranted emphasis on her emails, for their lack of coverage concerning her stand on the issues, and for their wall-to-wall genuflecting of Trump.

Let’s clear the air on one thing, Hillary won the popular vote, a fact everyone seems to forget when they discuss the election. Hillary earned 3 million more votes than Trump.

How then, did Trump win the election?

The truth of the matter is, and she continues to attempt to debunk this, Hillary ignored the midwest.

She claims she didn’t, that she went on some sort of Rust Belt Tour. I don’t recall any tour. I do know Hillary lost four key states and those gave Trump his Electoral College victory.

I can’t speak for the other three states, but I can surmise that the reasons she lost Wisconsin apply equally to those others.

There is only one reason Hillary lost and that is, Hillary literally ignored Wisconsin. Completely. Totally. She visited our state once in 2016 and that was back in February. Just once.

Voters have poor memories and eight months is an eternity. Voters want to know what you did for us lately. What Hillary did was ignore us.

Voters want to be wooed. They want to know someone cares. They want to know someone is going to work hard for them, represent them, fight for them.

As much as Trump is a bigot, a misogynist, a homophobe, a hateful asshole, he understood the need to woo those same types of people to his side.

While Hillary treated Wisconsin as a flyover, Trump was here spreading his message of hate to the back woods rednecks. Hillary however, had an even larger pool of potential voters from which to draw from, but she ignored them.

Arrogance was Hillary’s downfall. Hillary, and her campaign arrogantly felt because Wisconsin hadn’t voted Republican since Reagan, and that Trump was no Reagan, that she was a shoo-in here.

She arrogantly took polls showing she was ahead by a good margin in Wisconsin, and those three other key states, as gospel.

But Wisconsin did vote Republican and the polls were wrong. Why? For one thing, the deplorables lied. They didn’t want to admit in public they were supporting a white supremicist who made fun of the handicapped, so they lied. For another, many of the voters polled as supporting Hillary never showed up to vote.

We could blame Voter ID laws and Republican attempts to suppress voters, which played a minor role, but the real reason no one showed up to vote was because they felt voting didn’t matter.

Neither candidate went to the inner city of Milwaukee. Trump visited Milwaukee, but mostly white areas. His message of hate and blame wouldn’t have gone over very well on 6th and Walnut.

And yes, Hillary was head and shoulders the better and more experienced candidate, as well as a better human being. Period.

But she never came to woo the key voters: the inner city minorities. One criticism leveled against these non-voters is Trump’s win is somehow their fault, they should have voted even if just to prevent a bigot from winning, but people don’t think like that. Voters shouldn’t have to think in terms of preventive voting or voting for the lesser of two evils.

Voters want a clear cut choice. They desire someone to vote for, not against.

Hillary should have campaigned in Milwaukee. Hillary should have walked the streets. Shaken hands. Told them she cared. Offered them hope. Explained how she planned on helping them economically. How she’d bring jobs. Make neighborhoods safe. Improve schools. How she could make their tomorrows brighter.

All Wisconsin voters wanted someone they could rally behind. Someone to get excited about. Someone who made them feel like human beings instead of polling statistics.

Had Hillary campaigned in Milwaukee, she could have drawn upon those voters who overwhelmingly put Obama into the White House twice.

But Hillary didn’t do anything. She never came to Wisconsin in the months and weeks leading up to the election. She never showed her famous “it takes a village” compassion.

And because she showed no interest in us, she received the same amount of interest from us and potential voters stayed home in droves.

In “What Happened,” Hillary will probably blame everyone else for her loss. What she needs to do is take a long hard look in the mirror.

Hillary has no one to blame for her loss other than herself.

The 2016 election is long gone now. Dwelling on it does nobody any good. Instead of books that dredge up the past, what we need to do is move forward and do everything in our power to resist and obstruct the current fascist regime, and work toward the ultimate goal of removing TheRump from office.

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Friday Rants

This Friday, I’m all ranty, and it all has to do with buyer’s remorse. But first:

A Friday Haiku

I cannot help it

Another weekend is here

That makes me happy

Rant 1 – Cellphone Buyouts

I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest scam you could fall for is the “we’ll pay you up to $650 per line to leave your current cellphone company!”

We fell for it when we switched from Verizon to US Cellular.

The first problem you encounter is, you have to pay off your previous carrier first. In our case, that meant having to come up with over $1,200, which we didn’t really have.

Second, you need to prove you paid off the previous carrier, which means an itemized bill showing paid in full. It took me over six weeks before I finally could get our final Verizon bill. After several phone frustrating ohone calls, I eventually had to go to a corporate store to get it because I was locked out of my Verizon account almost immmediately.

Third, our new carrier has a waiting period, which no one mentioned. What are they waiting for? Who knows? But because we’re out that $1,200, we haven’t paid our US Cellular bill yet either.

Fourth, you have to turn in your old phones! No one told us that. We sold our phones so we’d have some spending money (for silly things, like food) while we waited for our rebate, because againz we’re in the hole $1,200. So now we’ve learned that because we didn’t turn in our phones, our possible rebate will be halved.

Fifth, we trusted the store reps to know what they were doing, but they didn’t. They didn’t tell us about turning in our phones, which we would have done on the spot if told, but additionally, the rep didn’t submit our claim properly. Only one phone, mine, was submitted and it looks like US Cellular, once that unspecified waiting period is over, is planning on giving me back a measly $40.

When all is said and done, the entire process cost us just under $2,000 and they think they’re going to call it square by giving me $40? Fuck you.

Rant 2 – Zagg screen protectors

The US Cellular rep talked us into buying Zagg Invisible Shield screen protectors for all our phones. (Well, mine is some other company, but same difference.) Each cost $50.

These aren’t the soft, flexible plastic screen protectors, these are some stiff product made from a hard glass-like substance.

My son managed to crack his the next day. My wife dropped her phone and the shield just popped off. Let me say that again: it just popped off! And mine has a crack in it as well.

They do come with free replacement warranties, but now I’m reading a ton of complaints about these Zagg shields.

So now I’m wondering if I should just take the $200 hit and chalk it up to experience because having to replace a poorly designed product every few weeks seems like an exercise in futility.

Don’t buy these hard glass protective shields. Find yourself the cheaper, flexible ones or go without one. Aren’t these new smartphones supposed to be made of near-indestructable Gorilla glass anyway?

Rant 3 – Fire and fury

The latest news is about a mentally unstable bully threatening to throw nukes around and a North Korean dictator who seems to know exactly which buttons to push.

TheRump has escalated tensions between the USA and North Korea by announcing we would respond to any missile attack with a fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen. (Either he’s never heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or he’s trying to outdo those events. Considering how ignorant he is about everything, I’d go with the former.)

When the entire world balked at his words, that he was not helping things and his rhetoric was inflamatory, TheRump replied, his fire and fury comments weren’t tough enough! That our military is “locked and loaded” and if North Korea “does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody’s seen before, what will happen to North Korea.”

In other words, TheRump can’t fucking wait to push The Button. He thinks this is a game. We’re all stuck in the middle of a standoff between two small-minded schoolyard bullies trying to see who has the bigger dick.

Nobody wins a nuclear battle. Russia and China, South Korea, Japan, they’ll all suffer from radiation fallout. And who isn’t concerned that dropping nukes on North Korea won’t cause a chain reaction? Russia will retaliate. China will retaliate. Missiles will fall like rain and the world will burn because we elected a moron.

You know, I warned you this would happen if the orange turd was elected. I wrote this the day before the election, and it looks like it could come true.

I’d ask if the trumpettes were having buyer’s remorse yet, but I get the feeling ya’ll are pumping your fists and whooping it up, believing you finally got a manly president who won’t take shit from all them pesky feriners.

Funny thing is, our Founding Fathers envisioned the Electoral College would protect us from electing an egomaniacal psychopath. Won’t they be surprised when we all turn up in Heaven with radiation burns.

“Well? How’s our great experiment in democracy doing?” Benjamin Franklin will ask.

“Sit down, Ben, have we got a story to tell you.”

Weekend

Didn’t want to leave you all depressed about our future, so here are The Dictators singing “Weekend.”

Have a good one.

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Friday Roundup

Bad Friday Haiku

Friday makes me glad

It means the weekend is here

And I can sleep in

Obamacare Haiku

They tried to kill us

But Obamacare still lives

Fuck you, GOP

More rain, less run

This was a bad week for running. It rained Tuesday and Thursday so I didn’t run (yes, I know I have a treadmill) and today I just felt blah, which seems to becoming a usual feeling.

I just seem to be lacking in energy. Maybe I need to take some vitamins and minerals. I know I should take more Vitamin D to compensate for all the rainy cloudy weather and to counteract my S.A.D. And I just read that potassium, calcium, and magnesium deficiencies (brought about by exercise, thyroid problems, and taking a diuretic for HPB) can cause cramps, which I’ve been getting in the soles of my feet lately.

Usually I do take a multivitamin, but I ran out a while back and they’re so damned expensive.

My favorite multivitamin was by OneSource for Men 50+. They had a whopping 4,000 IUs of vitamin D3 (take that, S.A.D.!). And they were inexpensive, about $5 for 60. But for some inexplicable reason, Walmart discontinued them.

One-A-Day, Centrum, and Nature Made can’t hold a candle to OneSource. So I need to find a substitute.

Any suggestions?

Weigh-In Friday

I went up 0.4 pounds. I blame the lack of energy and the gloomy weather, which makes me eat more. (Did I ever mention how much I love Cheetos?)

If only I had a powerful megavitamin to take. Damn you, Walmart!

Beginning a new hobby

If you read yesterday’s blog post (and if you didn’t, go read it now. We’ll wait. Hmm hmm hmm hmm *hums theme from Jeopardy* Oh, you’re back? Good.) I mentioned I was interested in, or reinterested in, learning how to draw.

Here is my first attempt at a chair:

I did it all freehand (no rulers or straight edges) with a mechanical pencil. It’s basically a visual copy (meaning I didn’t trace it) of an exercise in the drawing book I checked out from the library.

As you can tell, I need a lot of work on understanding three-dimensionality, particularly perspective and shading.

“What about your attempt at an apple?” some reader shouted. Yeah…. No. That really shows how poorly I translate three-dimensinal objects into two-dimensional renderings.

*looks at his readers faces*

Fine. Here. I told you it was atrocious.

Who laughed? I distinctly heard someone say, “What the hell is that on top? A window?”

This I did from memory, as I didn’t have an actual apple to look at. I have always had trouble interpreting circular objects, such as balls, cones, and cylinders, in three dimensions. That’s my attempt to show that side of the apple is shiny (and curved). I think I saw that effect used in cartoons.

Oh, well, back to the drawing board.

Scout Jamboree

As a former Scout Leader, to say I’m appalled by the speech TheRump gave to a group of Scouts is an understatement.

This man-child simply cannot talk without it being about how great he thinks he is or how terribly he thinks he’s being treated by the Free Press and other political opponents.

Every speech he gives is filled with lies, half-truths, hatred and paranoid vitriole; such content might almost be considered appropriate for his normal audience of supporters, which is usually brain-dead, deplorable racists and mysoginists, but these were CHILDREN!

These weren’t potential voters (not for several years) and they certainly weren’t there to attend a partisan political rally. They were there to have fun. Learn various outdoor skills, like camping and woodcraft. To exercise their bodies and minds.

Not to listen to the incoherent, rambling ravings of an orange turd cursing, attacking his rivals, and insulting a former President of the United States.

Now can we start impeachment proceedings?

Obamacare Repeal

The Republicans have been trying to repeal Obamacare since day one. During Obama’s presidency they voted over 50 times to do so. And failed every time.

Last night was their latest attempt. It failed as well.

These failures must really gall these old white men. Deep down in their white-hooded souls they’re seething with racist rage because all their attempts to sponge away the legacy of this uppity black man, to whitewash the shameful memory of a black man ever having occupied their White House, have been twarted.

And to all their failures, the best response is:

Fuck you, GOP.

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Freya’s Day

Welcome to another action-packed Friday blog! Let’s get started, shall we?

June Challenge Day 16

I’m still running a mile every day and still doing it in the morning. I know, right? Me, getting up early and running fifteen days in a row? Inconceivable!

I’m not sure what gains I’ve made. I do feel more erect when I walk, so it must be benefiting my core, which is good because I sit at a desk all day at work slouching.

And my legs feel more muscly, less flabby. And as I mentioned before, I feel more sure-footed carrying my elderly, 70-pound dalmatian upstairs at night.

Cardiovasularly, it’s hard to tell if I’m making strides (strides… Running… Ha!). If I push myself to a pace of over 6.7 mph, I tend to start gasping and I’m not sure if that’s helping or hurting my progress. 

I’ve always heard that you should be able to carry on a conversation. Well, that’s only going to happen if I jog at a slow pace, not run, and what’s the fun in that? Besides, I run solo; who am I going to talk to? The television?

Photographic Proof of Bigfoot?

I think I should have taken some semi-naked photos of myself before I started the June Challenge so I could compare and see if I’ve had any visible physical changes. I really regret not taking any “Before” pictures a year and a half ago so I could see how far I’ve come. (I imagine they would resemble a hairless version of the infamous Bigfoot picture.)

Oh. OK. Nevermind. Now that I see him, Bigfoot looks in better shape.

The photos would be helpful because now I look in the mirror and I don’t see much change, but considering I’ve dropped 30 pounds, there must be a change. Photographic evidence woukd have been nice to verify it.

The tape measure, after all, only shows minimal changes in size and that always depresses me. How is it possible that I’m now down to a 34 inch waist in my pants but the tape measure still shows it is 38 inches?!?

Weigh-In Friday

I’m down a pound from last week. I’m at 201.8. I’m still above my lowest weight of 198.6 from back on May 12th.

However, looking back, in the last month I’ve dropped -3.4% in average body fat and gained +2.3% muscle mass. 

So why can’t I lose the weight? Because I love junk food, that’s why. I love salty snacks, especially cheddar and sour cream potato chips. Don’t leave that bag near me or it is gone. Put a few in a bowl and I’ll be fine. Wait. It’s empty already. Just one more bowl.

And last night, I baked the Bigfoot-sized bag of frozen Jeno’s Pizza Rolls for dinner. Sorry, not sorry. Had a craving. Usually I’m good with portion control for dinner, but last night I went a little overboard stuffing those delicious little pizza-filled wonton-like things in my mouth. It was like the old Alka-Seltzer commercial:

https://youtu.be/VFKifpMtlNs

On Becoming an Auto Geek

I’ve never really been a car guy. By that, I mean, a guy who fusses around his cars, spending entire weekends in the garage massaging and oiling and pampering them.

Sure, I like cars. One day, I’d love to get a classic muscle car and attempt to restore it, except we haven’t the garage space for that and to me, a header is the thing at the top of a document.

The closest I came was my 1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z. I did change its oil. And I hand washed it. Applied polish. But to be honest, I never understood the process. 

Did you know that polishes and waxes are two totally different things? I didn’t. I learned washing from my dad, who also wasn’t a car guy. You got a bucket of hot, soapy water (dish soap, why spend money on car wash soap?). Then you’d dry it with old beach towels. Then lather on some Turtle Wax. Voila. Done.

And after the Daytona, I kind of lost interest in band washing, mostly for two reasons, 1) We were living in an apartment without access to an exterior hose, so automatic car washes became a habit, and 2) None of our cars really had a very impressive looking paint job.

And up until recently, my philosophy on car washes had devolved to, “If the rain can’t get it clean, it ain’t getting clean.”

That changed when I got the Fiat. Part of the reason I was attracted to it was the paint job, olive green metal flake that sparkles in the sun.

So I’ve been researching how to detail a car to preserve and protect that shine. I’ve spent hours on sites like Autogeek.net watching videos on car detailing.

Thursday, my order from Autogeek.net came. I can’t wait to take my new random orbital polisher and the detailing products to our Vibe and see if I can’t make her shine again. She’s got a bad case of neglected, oxidized paint. White? I thought she was supposed to be dirty dishwater grey?

Stay tuned.

Making Baseball Great Again

Did anyone watch the Congressional Baseball Game last night? It was very enjoyable, and not because the Democrats destroyed the Republicans 11 to 2. 

No, it was enjoyable because you could sense, despite the athletic competition they were in, that there was a sense of comraderie that probably hasn’t been evident in Congress for a long, long time. 

Sad that it took a shooting to make everyone realize that, despite our political beliefs, we’re all still human beings.

And who knows how long it will last.

The part of the game I found touching was (and I swear there was something in my eye), at the end when the Democrats received the trophy for winning, they called out the manager of the Republican’s team and gave it to him to put in the office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana to keep until he recovered from his wounds.

That’s the spirit of cooperation and civility we should all be living every.single.day.

Currently Reading:

The Complete Guide to A Show Room Shine by Mike Phillips

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Randomosity

It is Random Friday, where I cover a lot of topics in a short time. Hang on.

Fuelishness

When I first started driving, I got into the habit (some might say weird compulsion) to keep a notebook in the car to keep track of fuel and mileage. Its something my mom did, and still does. Whenever you fill up your car with gas, you note the date, odometer reading, how much gas you put in, and then you can figure out how many miles per gallon you’re getting.

This is useful because it often can indicate if there’s a problem with the engine if the MPG starts dropping radically.

I got away from this a few decades ago, but I just started up again recently. I found a phone app called “Fuel Buddy” and it tracks all the fueling information and even calculates the MPG for me so I don’t have to wear out any brain cells.

Fuel Buddy also allows you to track several vehicles and has options to automatically sense what gas station you are at. You can set service reminders for various components, like the battery, engine oil, spark plugs,  tire rotation, etc.

So far I’ve found on our last fill up that our 2004 Pontiac Vibe got 26.27 mpg, which is pretty good for an older car that does primarily city driving, and the 2013 Fiat 500 Lounge got 33.35 mpg. I might have been driving it a little aggressively since I first got it, so I’m going to see if I can better than on the next fill up.

First Outdoor Run

Yes, you read that correctly. Tuesday, I went out for the first outdoor run of the year. We finally had nice weather, no rain, and it was in the low 80s.

I wore my Hoka One One Clifton 3 and they were so cushiony, it felt like I was running on a wrestling mat instead of a cement sidewalk.

I did fairly well, and ran well over a mile and a half before I had to rest walk for about half a block or so. It seemed like I was always running uphill. How is that possible? I’m pretty sure M.C. Escher did not design my neighborhood.

I’ll have to relearn to pace myself, but it was nice being outside instead of on the treadmill watching TV.

I ran a total of 3.14 (pi!) miles in 36:13. Way off my personal treadmill best of 28 minutes and change for 3.11 miles (5k). My average speed was 5.2 mph, which isn’t bad since I had about 4 walking breaks thrown in there. And my fastest pace was 9.1 mph! Call me The Flash! Or maybe The Flash’s older, out of shape brother, The Slump.

The only drawback to outside running is my shoes got dirty. They don’t pick up dirt and grass and debris when I run on the treadmill. I’ve grown accustomed to having my shoes looking like new, so seeing the sole no longer pristine white sort of depressed me. Oh, well.

Took the Plunge

My phone did, that is. Fell right off my belt and took a half gainer into the toilet bowl at work. I guess the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge really is waterproof because it wasn’t harmed at all.

Luckily, the water was still disinfectant blue from when it had been cleaned the day before, meaning no one had used it yet.

I wiped it off, smeared some hand sanitizer on it, and it was good to go.

Weigh-in Friday

Sorry. I didn’t weigh myself this morning, which is probably just as well. Despite returning to salads for lunch this week, (the last several weeks I was eating PB&J or lunch meat sandwiches), I ate a lot of junk food the rest of the time: pizza (three times, restaurant and frozen, and leftovers), burgers  (twice, both at restaurants), a shake, cheesecurds, and heavily salted snack foods. So I wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d climbed back over the 200 pound mark.

First Place!

Thought I’d mention it, since nearly every baseball pundit predicted we’d be in last place,  the Milwaukee Brewers are in first place in their division, leading the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.

Nyah! Nyah!

Star Trek Discovery

By now, most trekkies have seen the first real trailer of Star Trek Discovery and pissed their pants. Amirite?

Or you’re in a state of quiet uncertainty. You dont want to get too excited in case it sucks, but you’re still eager for anything new from the Star Trek franchise.

Or you’re one of those skeptics who are trying to figure out, if this is supposed to be in the Prime timeline 10 years before Kirk, why does all the equipment and special effects look like they’re from the Kelvin timeline?

I’m actually part of a fourth group. The ones who are angry as Hell that CBS isn’t airing Star Trek Discovery on over-the-air network CBS, but instead has chosen to hold the franchise hostage and extort money from loyal fans by forcing them to watch their pay service, CBS All Access.

I don’t know about yoo, but I don’t deal with terrorists. Why should I pay for a service that has only one watchable show on it? I mean, I can’t even name another television program that airs on CBS.

Fuck you, CBS.

If I have to, I’ll wait ten years for the show to make it to Netflix.

How the Elimination of the Fairness Doctrine Fucked Over America

I read something appalling recently. Although that the approval ratings for the Orange Turd are the lowest in the history of approval ratings, there are 96% of those who voted for him, STILL SUPPORTING HIM!

Are you fucking kidding me?

So you have to ask yourself Why? And the only answer possible is they are uninformed on the issues, they only hear one side of the argument, the side they already agree with. There is no critical thinking involved. They are spoon fed their opinions from Fox News, Breitbart, and conservative talk radio.

There was a time in America where the people were better informed. They could make better decisions because they were more knowledgeable about current events and understood both sides of an issue.

If you’re old enough, you probably remember when news programs had Point-Counterpoint discussions where they’d discuss both sides of an argument.

They did that because it was an FCC  requirement.  They had to give equal airtime to opposing views to keep their broadcast license. During elections, if they had one candidate on, then the station was required to give equal time to their opponent.

It was called The Fairness Doctrine and it became law in 1949. And it worked. Most Americans, if they regularly watched the news, had a basic understanding of issues and could make informed decisions. It helped Americans to think for themselves.

But then, in 1985 under Ronald Reagan, that rule was rescinded. Without the requirement to present both sides of an argument, conservative talk radio was born and its angry,  one-sided ignorant rhetoric quickly found an audience among white bigots who felt disenfranchised by a progressive America.

Talk radio hosts were able to inflame these white Americans into believing all their supposed woes were because of illegal immigrants, non-Christians, libtards, feminazis, ecoterrorists, gays who were forcing their lifestyle upon them, and the like.

And their hate and ignorance continued to grow because now they could feed their ignorance by listening to only one side of the news–conservative–and they lost the perspective to see things from the other side. It became easier to name call than have an open mind.

And the Orange Turd found he could capitalize on their hate, their bigotry, and their ignorance, and he road a massive wave of racial, homophobic, sexist prejudice into the White House.

And despite his every lie, every scandal, every illegal activity, his supporters still love him because they are completely uninformed about these activities and have the opinion (handpicked by the Orange Turd himself) that everything negative said about him is “fake news” and all part of a witch hunt to tear him down.

And that is why we need The Fairness Doctrine back: to try to bring some sanity back into politics, to gradually re-teach people how to think for themselves, and to inform them of all sides of the issues.

Resist to stay informed.

/rant over

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Topic Stew

Question: What do my ADHD and Friday blog posts have in common?

Answer: An inability to stay focused on one topic.

So fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Running and judging progress

I suck at judging my progress in my exercising or weight loss programs. What I mean is, I forget where I started and focus on the now and often that now looks like I’m not progressing.

For instance, in running, if you were to ask me have I improved any, I’d probably say, “a little.” Because I can’t see, or remember, where I used to be. And I even keep a training log! I just don’t look at it.

So when Facebook wanted me to post a memory from last year, I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you, because I finally had concrete evidence that I have improved. Here is that memory:

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How things were back on April 26, 2016

That is from April of last year. My Facebook comment was something like, “Look what I did!” and I was proud of it. I had run one and a half miles in under twenty minutes at an average of 4.6 mph!

So when I saw that, I really was amazed to realize I had indeed made a ton of progress. Just recently I set a personal best running the 5k (3.11 miles) on the treadmill in 28:45 minutes at a 6.5 mph average.

Sometimes you need to look back to move forward.

Weigh-in Friday

I broke the 200 pound barrier! Whoohoo! 199.9, baby! Booyah!

Earbuds and driving

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of people driving around with earbuds on. Seriously? You’re behind the wheel of a 2000 pound bomb! All your attention should be focused on safe driving, not distracted and deaf to everything around you.

Why do they do that? Do they think it makes for safe, hands-free phone use? Maybe, but now you can’t hear emergency vehicles and other sounds that could warn you of impending dangers.

If that’s the reason, then get a single-ear Bluetooth device so you still have one ear free to listen to the traffic sounds around you.

If, on the other hand, you’re listening to music, well, then you’re just an irresponsible asshole. Get off the road.

I thought for sure earphone wearing while driving was illegal, but I checked. Guess What? It’s legal in 35 states! That’s whack. And you’re still an asshole.

Another advantage to driving stick

Unless I chew gum or munch on candy (which isn’t good for my teeth or diet) while I drive, I have the unconscious habit of biting my nails and cuticles, often to bleeding. Hey, I said it was unconscious.

But I’ve been driving stick now for over a week and I just realized, I haven’t been biting my nails. I guess because I need both hands to drive there isn’t any time to gnaw.

Bluetooth woes

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know how much I can’t stand my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge because of a whole laundry list of reasons.

Add “the Bluetooth sucks” to that list. It just won’t connect to the Blue&Me in my Fiat. I’ve tried deleting a ton of apps in case they were interfering and it finally manaves to pair, but it still won’t connect, which is weird, right? It’ll pair but not connect?

Red Sox fans hurling epithets

For many of us, the news this week of Red Sox fans shouting racial slurs and epithets is downright shocking. Seriously? We aren’t past this yet? Sure, I admit we haven’t eliminated racism, but many of us thought we had at least sent that sort of pig ignorance underground, made it so racists could no longer be overt about their hatred unless they wanted to be severely castigated by intelligent society for their repugnant views.

But now, it seems racist and bigoted thoughts have risen from under whatever rock they had been hiding under and are becoming normalized. Why? Because of Trump, that’s why. He’s made that sort of hatred and vile judgemental anger acceptable among his voting base. 

And that is why they are deplorable.

And speaking of deplorable pig ignorance

Hasn’t this man — sorry, Trump isn’t a man, he’s got all the emotional maturity of a child — hasn’t this illegitimate buffoon said, and done, enough ignorant bullshit to get him impeached? I mean, Andrew Jackson is just the latest in showing off his amazing stupidity. Hasn’t he embarrassed us enough on the world stage? Aren’t Americans fed up enough with his lying, cheating, and vacation golf every weekend to shout a collective “you’re fired!” yet? Haven’t we learned by now that “Make America Great” really means “Make America Great Again for Trump and his family and businesses at the expense of the poor and middle class?”

Isn’t it time to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment and get this orange asshole out of office?

And speaking of orange assholes, Milwaukee has a statue dedicated to Trump:

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Trump’s orange anus

Thank god it’s Friday!

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