Random Randomness on a Friday

A Friday Haiku

Rain rain go away

And you had better not freeze,

No ice ice baby!

Weigh-In Friday

Good news. I lost two pounds.

*Does the happy weight loss dance*

Now if I could only figure out what I did different this week from last. Although, I did buy a medicine ball and I’ve been doing various exercises for my core with it.

Writing and OCD

I don’t know if I really have OCD, but I have ADHD-induced obsessiveness.

I’m refering to yesterday’s blog where I mentioned I was sinking into a research quagmire because I felt a scene needed a humorous anecdote to balance a tense moment where my MC is combating a demon, specifically the Egyptian demon Ammit, the devourer.

Have I completed the research and continued with my almost finished edits on my novel so I can start having it beta read?

No. To show just how obsessive I can be about being as factual and historically accurate in my fiction, even an urban fatasy faerie tale, I’m reading the entire text of “The Egyptian Book of the Dead.”

Just so I can write one short paragraph.

Tell me that’s normal behavior and all writers do the same thing.

Please?

Wisconsin is rejoicing

Yes, Wisconsin is rejoicing, or at least the intelligent part is.

Paul Ryan, who has represented Wisconsin’s first congressional district, is retiring.

What will the legacy be of Ryan’s 20 year career in Washington? One of complete and utter failure.

Looming largest for the people of Wisconsin was his total inability to prevent the closure of the Janesville GM plant, which had provided significant employment to the area for 90 years.

Ryan will also be remembered for not having the balls to stand up against Trumpy the Clown with his insane outbursts and unpredictable shifts on every position that have made the United States a laughing stock to the rest of the world and has put us on the brink of nuclear war against two countries, so far.

Ryan, who for 20 years was touted as the Republican’s budget wunderkind despite never being able to pass one of his budgets, will now be remembered as the architect of the most financially ruinous budget ever passed, one that screws the middle class, widens the gap between the rich and the poor, all while crearing a fiscal conservative’s worst nightmare of an out-of-control deficit reaching record heights never before imagined.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, as they say. May Kharma make Ryan’s retirement as financially uncertain and and terrifyingly insecure as those of the elderly he has screwed, and tried to screw, over the years.

Once more for those in the back, social security insurance and Medicare are not entitlements, they are benefits we pay into throughout our working life.

Paul Ryan will not be missed.

Smart missiles, stupid leader

On April 11th, Trumpy the Clown tweeted: Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

The next day, he then tweeted: Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”

Wow. Trumpy the Clown sure has Russia guessing now, doesn’t he? “Will he? Won’t he? Golly gosh! The suspense is unnerving.”

When Trumpy’s lawyer had his office raided and files detained, Trumpy went on a twitter rant: “Attorney-Client privilesge is dead!” and “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!”

He’s also ranted about his wall, about sending National Guard troops to the border, how our relations with Russia are the worst ever because of Meuller and the “Fake and Corrupt Russia Investigation.”

And today he’s ranting about Comey, calling him a “proven LEAKER & LIAR,” how everyone in Washington thought he should be fired (at least every one of the voices in Trumpy’s head, anyway), and so on and so forth.

Anyone else see the striking resemblance to Captain Queeg from “The Caine Mutiny?” Trumpy the Clown is sinking deeper and deeper into an arrogant, self-possessed, delusional paranoia. I predict he will soon tweet: Aah, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt and with… geometric logic… that Crooked Hillary, that leaker Comey, the conflicted Meuller, and the Fake News are all out to get me and ruin America! But the people know I’m great… the best President… better than the failed Obama!

Sad!

It’s sad that we allow him to destroy the dignity of the office of the President of the United States and our country’s standing among the world community.

Forget impeachment.

Guys! The 25th Amendment is there for a reason: to rid ourselves of unstable, dangerous people like Trumpy the Clown.

Last word

It’s the weekend. It should be Spring, but it isn’t. Not that I’ve ever really seen a Spring here in Wisconsin. Maybe once, back in the 1960s, I think we may have had a real Spring with warming weather, April showers, and May flowers.

Either that, or I have a false memory courtesy of Al Jolson.

I do know that for as long as my wife and I have lived where we can plant flowers around the house, which is about 20 years, we’ve experienced a May where the ground was thawned enough and there was no danger of a killing frost to allow us to plant only a handful of times.

Despite my haiku suggesting otherwise, I’m never surprised or disappointed when it’s still cold in April or May. This is Wisconsin. Wisconsin doesn’t care what season your calendar says it should be.

Therefore, this weekend’s forecast of freezing rain, snow, ice, and a winter weather advisory is just par for the course.

Enjoy your weekend no matter what the weather.

Keep resisting.

And, as always, a song.

-30-

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Haphazard Friday

A Friday Haiku

It’s random Friday

Haphazard, arbitrary

Aimless, Irregular.

Johnny Cab

If you’ve ever seen the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Total Recall, you’ll recall (um…) that the Johnny Cab was the automated taxi Arnold uses to get away from his pursuers.

That idea is no longer science fiction but becoming science fact. Call them what you want, driverless car, autonomous cars, or robocars, they are coming to a street near you.

A robocar, once the technology is perfected, will have reaction times in the nanoseconds. A danger will be seen, processed, and evasive action taken all in the same moment a human mind would simply register that there was a danger.

Consider in the United States, 37,000 people die on our roads every year. Another 2.35 million are injured or disabled. Worldwide the number of deaths in road crashes is 1.3 million, with an additional 20-50 million injured or disabled.

Human error accounts for 93% of all traffic accidents. Even if you just consider impairment due to alcohol or fatigue, that’s 45.5%.

Traffic accidents are the ninth keading cause of death. Your chances of getting into an accident is 1 in 114 over your lifetime. Robocars could virtually eliminate traffic accidents.

Except, the technology isn’t there yet as a horrible traffic fatality recently showed. What went wrong?

The way it looks now, the Uber robocar was in the right lane of a two lane road divided by a median, traveling at 38 mph when it struck a woman walking her bike.

To a human driver, she appeared out of nowhere because she was wearing dark clothing and not crossing at a cross walk. Any human driver would have struck her even if they had managed to brake or swerve.

Yet the robocar didn’t brake or swerve even though it isn’t hindered by darkness or dark clothing, or even poor weather conditions. Their array of laser sensors (Lidar), cameras, ultrasonic sensors should have easily seen the woman as she stepped into the road and crossed the street. It certainly should have recognized her as an oncoming danger and reacted long before she was in the robocar’s path.

But it didn’t. And now they have to figure out why. In the meantime, there are cries from technophobes that this illustrates how dangerous robocars are and they shouldn’t be on the road at all. As if it’s the technology’s fault alone.

There is enough blame to go around. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has no guidelines regarding robocars. The state of Arizona has extremely lax regulations regarding robocars, and in fact, encourages these companies to develop and test their robocars on their roads. And lastly we have the company developing these particular robocars, as well as Uber (who see a chance to get rid of those pesky drivers so they can make 100% profit on each trip), testing on busy streets in real time.

I won’t even mention the human safeguard inside the vehicle, who appeared in the videos to be texting or something and was completely taken by surprise by the pedestrian.

This incident begs the question: Why aren’t these robocars on test tracks? Or using ghost towns? Or any road simulation that doesn’t endanger people?

Once perfected, robocars could save tens of thousands of lives, millions worldwide, but it’s still too soon for real world testing.

One tragic accident shouldn’t halt research into perfecting robocars. But for the time being, robocars should be removed from being tested around humans.

Teen suspended for voicing opinion

A Nevada teenager, Noah Christensen, called his Representative’s office to exercise his right as a citizen to express his opinion on an issue he felt strongly about.

He called Rep. Mark Amodei’s office and spoke to an aide about the gun reform issue, how bump stocks should be banned and the minimum age for purchasing a gun should be raised. He ended his emotional appeal by saying Congress needed to “get off their fucking asses” and do something.

Christensen, for exercising his First Amendment rights, was given a two-day suspension from Robert McQueen High School, where he is a junior.

What the absolute fuck? Talk about an overreaction.

First, as a Republican, Amodei should be used to having people cursing him and telling him to get off his fucking ass.

Second, the teen is nothing more than a scapegoat. The Congressman is angry and scared that teenagers are becoming a political force, daring to challenge the NRA and gun policy, and he saw this as an opportunity to slap one of those uppity teenagers down.

Third, the Principal of the high school is a gutless wonder caving in to the demands of an overbearing politician, who had overstepped his bounds. The Principal should have stood his ground, shown some backbone, and told Amodei to go pound sand.

Another Continuing Resolution

Well, Congress passed an appropriations bill to avoid another government shutdown but now Trumpy the Clown is threatening to veto it — because it doesn’t address DACA.

Oh, like he suddenly gives a shit. Does he think we forgot he is the one who rescinded DACA in the first place?

He told GOP leaders earlier in the week he’d sign the bill, but now because he got hurt feels over things people said about him (like he’s a moron?), he’s threatening this veto. What a child. But there seems to be a lot of them in Congress these days.

We have until midnight before the government shuts down, again

National Security Advisor pick is unhinged warmonger

If you aren’t scared of Trumpy the Clown’s pick as National Security Advisor, then you aren’t paying attention.

Terms like “unhinged,” “reckless,” “wrongheaded,” “extremist,” are being bandied about when those who know him speak of John Bolton.

Statements like, “Bolton now represents the greatest threat to the United States,” “Bolton is an unhinged advocate for waging World War III,” and “This is dangerous news for the country and the world. I hear the drumbeats of war,” should greatly concern us all.

Trumpy the Clown used to be surrounded by adults who could rein in his aggression and chest-pounding, but in Bolton we have a warmonger who doesn’t believe in negotiating with North Korea and will encourage the Moron in Chief to push the button.

We’re living on the edge and the edge is getting narrower by the day.

Trombone Collection

We now have four trombones in the house and I am the only one trying to play them. Two of them my sons played in band, but to concentrate on their studies, they both have set that aside.

The third, we picked up at a Goodwill. It was a beat up 1964 Olds Ambassador, which I’ve cleaned and polished and practice on.

The fourth was a steal off of eBay. It’s a 1947 Holton Collegiate and in really good shape considering it’s 71 years old.

Here’s a picture of the Olds (top) and the Holton (bottom).

You can’t tell from the picture but whereas the Olds is your traditional yellow brass, the Holton is more of a rose brass. A little darker and richer looking than the standard yellow.

I could start my own trombone quartet now.

Weigh-In Friday

Despite the mirror making it look like I was a tad thinner, depite my pants hanging on my hips a little looser, despite my step feeling a little more spring in my step, the scale mocks me with a 0.7 pound gain.

Damn you. I really think I need a newer, more reliable scale. This Yunmai isn’t cutting it. It often gives different readings depending on where you place it in the bathroom.

Anyone have scale suggestions? It doesn’t necessarily have to have Bluetooth and an associated phone app to track things, but those are nice features. As long as it’s reliable and accurate.

End Note

Have a great weekend. With luck, the government won’t shutdown and I’ll still have a job on Monday.

Keep resisting. Let the children lead the way. It’ll be their world soon enough.

As always, I leave you with a song.

-30-

Friday randomizer

A Friday Haiku

Daylight Savings Time

Spring ahead clocks this weekend

It’s a one hour tax.

Daylight Savings Time

Yes, this weekend we turn our clocks ahead one hour. The government continues to steal an hour from us every Spring.

When are we going to rise up and demand they stop this irrelevent and unnecessary Time Tax?

Daylight Savings Time might have made sense — to someone — at sometime. But not today. We have electricity. We have energy efficient lights. We aren’t afraid of the dark.

It also makes no sense because they have it during the summer, when the days are longer anyway. How are we saving daylight if we’re already getting more of it?

It’s time to put a halt to this primitive practice.

National Nap Day

On the bright side, Monday, March 12, 2018 is National Nap Day.

It’s your chance to defy the government and get your hour back that they stole.

Protest DST and take a nap on Monday, people!

Try the trombone, they said, It’ll be fun, they said

I’ve been practicing/learning the trombone for a couple weeks now. I’m learning how to read notes on the bass clef, something I haven’t done since I quit piano as a young’un. I practice scales. I’m “taking lessons” on YouTube with “Beginning Band with Mr. Walls.” He uses the Hal Leonard Essential Elements for Band, Trombone 1 book, which I have. And I’m also using a metronome to learn how to keep time as well.

I find that I have good days, like Wednesday, where I was hitting all the correct notes, blowing them strongly and accurately. I was able to play the first partial Bb all the way up to the third partial Bb. I was like, “Yeah! Now I got it!” I felt happy when I finished.

And then last night, my lips just wouldn’t cooperate. I kept double buzzing (unintentional split tones, in other words, it’s like one lip is playing one note while the other lip plays another, or so I read) and nothing I did seemed to correct it. Instead of a good strong sounding note, I kept getting this raspberry-like blaaaaap! wavering between notes.

Those days make me wonder why I bother.

It’s frustrating and I’m not sure how to eliminate it.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse

It’s absolutely amazing. Just when you think trump has reached total incompetence and he couldn’t sink any lower, he says, “Hold my beer and watch this!”

Now he’s trying to spark an international trade war by putting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

I guess trying to get us into a nuclear war wasn’t good enough for him. Now he wants to bring economic ruin to us all as well.

And speaking of that, when am I supposed to be seeing all this winning in my paycheck from the #GOPTaxScam they passed end of last year?

All I’m seeing is a ballooning deficit, which Paul Ryan blames on entitlements — like Social Security and Medicare — and not his beloved #GOPTaxScam.

I love how the Conservatives have gone from calling welfare and food stamps entitlement programs to expanding their definition to include benefits we directly pay for!

Assholes.

When this regime took power last year I didn’t think it was possible for them to take away all the progress the USA has made in the last 50 years, but they proved me wrong.

But then, I didn’t think the Democrats would be complicit in rolling back all our rights and protections for workers, the disabled, minoritues, and the environment.

I had expected the Democrats to put up a fight, to obstruct and resist. But it seems they lack the backbone for that.

With such wishy-washy leaders in the DNC, I don’t see much hope in stopping the trump crime family and his evil cronies, even if the Democrats take back the House and Senate in November.

Final thoughts

And on that happy note, I wish you all a good weekend, although I don’t know how good it’ll be since we’ll all be tired and cranky from losing an hour of sleep!

As always, I leave you with a song.

Take care. Keep resisting (for all the good it’s done so far). Fuck trump.

-30-

Just another random Friday

Friday Haiku

Christmas is coming

The children are excited

Adults, not so much

New ADHD-fueled interest

And just like that, I have a new interest. I should have seen it coming when I blogged about the knife I found from my father-in-law (I reworded that sentence to avoid making father-in-law possessive because I’m not sure if it is father’s-in-law or father-in-law’s).

My new sudden interest is, of course, knives. Since that blog, I’ve purchased a new folder by Schrade. It caught my eye because it’s aesthetically completely different from my 40-year-old Buck 503 knife.

I also purchased a knife sharpening system from Lansky because, well, I’ve never ever been able to figure out how to sharpen knives.

Sure, I’ve tried. I’ve had people explain it (but have never had anyone teach me), I’ve read books, and I’ve watched videos. Yet for whatever reason, the concept escapes me in actual practice.

I just can’t maintain a consistent angle as I drag the knife across a sharpening stone and more often than not the edge ends up as dull as when I started. I suspect I’m just not coordinated enough or don’t have the attention span to maintain a concise angle through the entire process.

Because of this ineptitude, I’ve resorted to those drag through sharpeners. Sure, you get a sharp edge, but those things also are very aggressive in removing metal. After years of use your nicely shaped knife blade has been reduced to nothing for than a icepick thick filet knife.

So after watching several YouTube videos of people getting their knives so sharp they can shave with them (one showed the guy splitting hairs! I’ve always wanted to split hairs), I decided I needed a sharpening system that held the knife and stone at the precise angle throughout the entire process.

Thus, the Lansky sharpening system. It’s inexpensive, especially when compared to those $300+ systems out there. I chose the Natural Arkansas hones because, well, I don’t know. Maybe natural and Arkansas triggered a more pleasurable response than their other offerings.

Maybe I’ll make a video sometime of shaving or splitting hairs.

Balisong

No, not the Bali Hai song, I’m talking about those flipper type knives known as butterfly knives that originated in the Philippines.

While in the Navy, an old salt was talking about those knives. He was telling me a story about why they were called butterfly knives. He said, when sailors were stationed in the Philippines, they’d often have Filipino girl friends. Jealous girl friends, who, if they thought you were cheating on them *snigit!* they’d suddenly flip open one of these knives and ask, not so gently, “You butterfly?” The appropriate response to which, if you wanted to remain intact and unpunctured, would be a wholehearted, “No! Me no butterfly!”

Anyway, that’s what I was told. It could have been just another sea tale for all I know.

Anyway, the reason I brought up the topic of balisongs or butterfly knives is because my ADHD has made them the next must have it now thing. So I’m reading up on them and watching YouTube videos. They’re like very sharp, very dangerous fidget spinners, so of course, I want one.

Although, I wonder how well I could flip considering my general lack of coordination. I haven’t even been able to finger roll a pen very fast (think of the Top Gun classroom scene where Val Kilmer’s character, Iceman, spins his pen), so I doubt if I can achieve moves like the following:

Maybe I should start with an unsharpened trainer first, since we never seem to have an adequate supply of bandaids in our house. I swear someone is eating them.

Flynn folds

If you’re a #Resistor there has been some good news today.

Mike Flynn has plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI, re: the Russian Probe.

Amy Siskind tweeted: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said on Friday that President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea is a sign that the House Judiciary Committee has enough evidence to probe the president for obstruction of justice.

Good times.

Not welcome here

The Orange Turd is such a bumbling jackass, who is not only straining all our relationships with our allies, but now he’s not even welcone to visit our staunchest ally, the United Kingdom.

Anyone who had the erroneous belief President Obama somehow made America a joke needs to open their eyes to what the Orange Turd is doing. No one is laughing at is, they’re embarrassed by us and don’t even want us to visit them any more.

The manchild is a witless buffoon who needs to be removed from office ASAP.

He’s campaigning for a child molester for Cripe’s sake!

Impeachment isn’t enough for him, we need to invoke the 2tth Amendment and get rid of him completely.

End note

Today’s the first day of December as many of us rush headlong into Christmas and debt. Try not to think about that and just have a great weekend.

I leave you with this:

-30-

Must we review this week?

NOTE: For some reason WordPress posted a duplicate of this blog post. One filled with typos. I deleted it. Unfortunately, that was the one that had the most likes.

It’s Friday and you know what that means. Right. A haiku.

A Friday Haiku

It’s been a long week

Trump displayed more ignorance

We all need a drink

Running pride

My oldest son has recently begun running regularly on the treadmill. As a running father, I was pleased to see it. I never made him run. Haven’t had any discussions about running. He just one day started.

I asked him once how far or fast he would run and he gave me a shrug that he didn’t know. Not that it matters, I was just being nosey.

I did notice he was running in an old pair of Asics I had given him years ago and had been his regular street shoes. So, I sacrificed my newer pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 that I alternated running with my Hoka One One Clifton 3.

After all, a good pair of running shoes is essential to staying injury-free.

Maybe I’ll bring my Runner’s Worlds home from work and see if he wants to read them.

Weigh-In Friday

I didn’t.

Well, not officially. I didn’t use my phone app to record it, but I did sneak a peak. I’m down 1.2 pounds.

I need to eat oatmeal fir breakfast more often. I had it on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Yesterday and today I made a bacon, egg, and cheese English muffin sandwich.

And maybe salads for lunch next week.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

As part of a team-building exercise, we took a Myers-Briggs personality assessment. I received my results and, not surprisingly, I’m a INTP.

First, they have things split up into four groupings. Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. To various degrees, we all fall into one or the other of those pairings within those four.

As an INTP, my preferences are Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Perceiving. My snapshot reads “INTPs are rational, curious, theoretical, and abstract, prefering to organize ideas rather than situations or people. They enjoy working alone with ample autonomy for their own ideas and methods.”

Pretty much. I’ve always been introverted and curious.

A couple things that I found interesting. It said, “Thinking is yiur favorite process, the one you use most frequently. It is used in the inner world.” That’s very true. And it’s probably why I write.

The other interesting thing was, “If you are stressed, you may Become opinionated and unwilling to change your point of view.” I do, especially arguing with someone on-line. “Have unexpected and uncontrolled emotional outbursts.” I thought that was because of my ADHD? “Be hypersensitive to suspected slights.” Yes, I’ve not spoken to people for months. “Take criticism very personally.” Which is why story rejections put me into a fetal position for weeks.

In a couple weeks, we meet as a team with the Interpreter to go over our results. Should be interesting.

But if I’m being honest, I’m not sure how accurate something like this is. I mean, sure, it’s much more believable than astrology or numerology, and probably more accurate than an Internet meme, like, “Which Star Trek Captain are you?” But compared to a real assessment by a real psychologist? I don’t know.

Another Haiku

Nero fiddled, Rome burned

Marie said, “Let them eat cake.”

Trump golfs and tweets hate

About Upon Reflection

When I began this blog many years ago, I wanted it to be a fun place, where I’d think (see Myers-Biggs above) and reflect upon the day’s events, society, writing, entertainment, and other things that interested me.

In college back in the 80s and early 90s, I wrote a weekly opinin column for the smaller conservative newspaper and it was called, “Upon Reflection.” Why the conservative paper? Because the larger, campus-sponsored one, the UWM Post (yes, we had to fund ourselves) had so large a writing staff they couldn’t guarantee anything you wrote would make the paper.

Whereas the UWM Times was just starting out and you could pretty much pick your own assignment. For a long time, I covered the UWM Police beat. Then I moved into production, laying out the entire paper.

I had approached the founding editor early on about doing an opinion column, like Mike Royko, or locally, like Joel McNally at the daily Milwaukee Journal or Art Kumbulek at the more liberal independent Sheperd Express (sadly, they’ve since corrected the spelling). Well, the UWM Times board at the time didn’t think I was conservative enough (oddly enough, when I contacted the Sheperd Express to work for them, they said I was too conservative). I wasn’t interested in politics then so I wasn’t really liberal or conservative.

It wasn’t until they all graduated that I used my tenure (ok, I threatened to not do the layout any more and since I was the only one who understood Ventura Publisher, they capitulated) to get my own column.

I wrote an extreme caricature of an angry conservative, at first. For example, my very first column was about instituting a death penalty for people who won’t get off welfare. My tone pleased the founding board and my column became very popular, but it also generated a lot of hate. I was even challenged to a duel once, except he didn’t leave his name or a contact number. That would have been fun.

Eventually, it evolved a moderate slant where I’d sarcastically slam both sides of an issue. Playing both sides against the middle was more interesting.

I’m sorry, I forgot my point. Anyway, I didn’t want this blog to become a political rant, liberal or conservative, and until last year, I had succeeded.

But then America’s toilet backed-up and out came a slimy orange turd and we didn’t have a plunger big enough to clear the vile obstruction of hate, ignorance, and bigotry that resulted.

And with a racist asshole in the White House spewing an average of three lies per day, I have no choice but to write about politics. The only way to fight cockroaches is to keep the light shining on them.

And lucky you, I’ve run out of time for an orange turd update. I wanted to talk about his ignoring Puerto Rico, how he set a new record for the number of lies told in one week, 40 (and he averages 3 lies per day since January 20th), the GOP tax plan to gut funding to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as some other vile shit our current Congress has committed.

Sorry.

We’ve almost reached the weekend

Have a great weekend, or as good a one you can. I leave you with two songs to get the weekend started.

This first one is gypsy punk! How can you not love that?

And the second song, I’ve rewritten some alternative lyrics for the chorus for you to enjoy. It takes a bit of work to match the song’s timing, but in no time you’ll be singing it loudly for all to hear.

Wish we could turn back time

To the good dope days

When we had a Prez

Who cared and was intelligent

-30-

Friday roundup

A Friday Haiku

You can stand or kneel

Doesn’t matter which you do

But take off your hat!

Weigh-In Friday

I thought I’d get this out of the way first because the rest of this blog is political ranting. You have been warned.

My weight is up 0.4 pounds to 203.2 pounds. Way up from the beginning of August when I was down to 19i.6 pounds.

It’s frustrating to lose traction like this. I don’t believe I’m eating more, althoigh I have been eating pb&j for lunch instead of salads.

But the main problem, I believe, was my tinkering with my blood pressure meds, which caused me to bloat up to 208.

I’ll really have to crack down on all extra snacking, get motivated to exercise harder, and see where I stand next week.

It’s always so disheartening to lose ground.

Writing progress

My manuscript is coming along nicely. As mentioned last week, I’m going through my list of search words (and even added a few more, “just” and “that”), and making my sentences more concise.

And my mind stays in writing/rewriting even when I’m not in front of the computer, revising scenes in my head. Then I have to hope I remember it by the time I get to the computer. So far, I have.

One thing happened that I thought was interesting. My mind had two scenes, completely unrelated, that it was mentally revising simultaneously. Don’t ask me how that’s even possible, but it happened and I can’t explain it.

And when I made those edits to the scenes, they flowed better, were much tighter, and, I hope, will have a more visceral impact upon the reader.

The take a knee controversy

Let me tell you right off, this is much ado about nothing. As a veteran, I’m more offended by the assholes who don’t remove their hats or talk during the playing of the National Anthem then I am about how people choose to be reverent.

Let me also say, that when joining the military we take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America (as well as the Prdsident, which makes me glad I don’t serve under the orange turd).

I did not take any oath to protect and defend the flag or the National Anthem or to care one way or the other if someone is allegedly, according to said orange turd, disrespecting said flag or anthem.

Additionally, nowhere in the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, or the Amendments to the Constitution does it mention anything about the flag or anthem.

It does, however, mention a little thing called FREEDOM OF SPEECH. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s in the First Amendment. Go read it and shut the fuck up.

And take off your goddammed hat, asshole.

Respecting the flag

No one cared about the flag until the orange turd started his tweet shitstorm against the NFL.

If people actually cared about the flag, they wouldn’t allow it in advertising. They wouldn’t use it as “wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.”

If people cared about the flag, they wouldn’t use it as decoration or have it “embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use.

But the same people up in arms about someone kneeling before the flag ignore how they themselves disrespect the flag every day.

Go read the United States Flag Code and shut the fuck up.

Are you really concerned about disrespect for our flag? Complain to advertisers when they use it. When you see a tattered and worn flag flying outside a business, call them and let them know they should replace it. If a business leaves the flag out overnight but has no special lighting on it, complain about that, too.

Archie Bunker lives

All in the Family was a sitcom that ran for nine seasons from 1971 to 1979. Created by Norman Lear, it dealt with some heavyweight issues of the day, like race, homosexuality, and other taboo subjects, and centered around the character of Archie Bunker, an ignorant racist, bigot, misogynist, homophobe, who loudly expressed his beliefs in every stereotype imaginable. He was meant to be so utterly foolish and exaggerated in those beliefs that it would allow us to see just how absurd bigotry in our society was.

Archie Bunker was never meant to be a role model, and yet, he certainly became that to an entire segment of the population known today as the deplorables. They even elected an Archie Bunker clone as President!

A clone that spouts ignorance, hatred, and prejudicial views daily from his Twitter pulpit.

The more we go forward in this country, the more the deplorables try to drag us back. Sad!

Master of Deception

Archie Bunker is, excuse me, TheRump is a master of deception and misdirection. He’s like a stage magician who distracts us with one hand while he does the actual illusion with the other hand.

In the case of the orange turd, he distracts us with tweets about silly, unimportant things, like the NFL taking a knee, in order to keep us from seeing what’s in his other hand.

In this case, he’s trying to hide the Russian investigation into collusion and influencing the election, the use of private emails by his family and Administration, the vote in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare (which luckily we saw and it failed…again), the fact that he was going to ignore the plight of Puerto Rico (and didn’t even know they were Americans!), and the current GOP proposal to “streamline” the tax code.

The GOP doesn’t want us to take a look at their tax proposal, because if we did we’d see it is just more of the same old GOP nonsense of lowering taxes on the rich and corporations and making the middle class foot the bill.

For example, the elimination of the estate tax is being touted as a great benefit to the middle class. Bullshit. It’s going to benefit the first family, their cronies, and many serving inside that regime. The rest of us? Unless you’re expecting to inherit an estate worth more than $5.45 million, this tax will never affect us. So don’t let them bullshit you that this helps the middle class.

Another example, the current economic advisor, Gary Cohn stated that the typical American family making $100,000.00 a year would save $1,000.00 with the GOP plan. The reality is, the typical American family only makes $74,000.00, while the median American family only makes $55,000.00, half of his estimate. In other words, although they say the middle class will benefit, they don’t even know what the middle class is!

In fact, the GOP tax plan is just more trickle down voodoo Reaganomics. This gives tax breaks to the wealthy, who then go on the piss on the rest of us.

Stop being distracted!

Tha-tha-tha-that’s all folks!

And that concludes another Friday roundup. I hate that current events and a certain orange turd force me to write political rants, I’d rather write about something fun, as I’m sure you’d rather read something fun, but it is cathartic, and it is necessary we continue to resist and obstruct this white nationist regime.

So, have a great weekend and keep on fighting the good fight.

I leave you with a protest song I’ve already posted on my Facebook and Twitter feed. It should be obvious it’s NSFW. Enjoy!

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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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