Loud And Clear

I’m getting the messages to just check out of just about everything.

Last night, I decided to look at the festering cesspool that is Facebook because I was concerned about something that’s going on with a friend.

It recommended I add a blogger/former podcaster I follow vaguely as a friend.

No. How did you pick that up, you spies? I deleted your apps, and have consciously limited my time on your site.

Just not doing it anymore.

Another Saturday

Another week in the books. I still need to figure out how to remind myself that reconsideration is not a bad thing. In very basic military operations, as a leader, you conduct an After-Action Review (AAR) after you’ve finished what you planned to do.

If you have no plan, nobody can ever analyze how you performed.

Where I am, lately, though is reconsidering my initial reactions to news items and ads I’ve seen or heard lately.

The first one was this story out of the US community most-aligned with the DDR.

My initial reaction was, “you chose to live/work there.” That was quickly followed with a variation on the “Learn To Code” meme.

I shouldn’t think that way. The bigger issue is government force to compel compliance with measures taken to address a virus that has a very low fatality rate.

The numbers are presented here. If you’re under the age of 50, doing some quick math, the fatality rate of the virus is 0.02%.

For people over 70, even, the fatality rate is less than six percent.

Trust the science!!1!

Yes, also, do the math.

I’ve said before that I expect that I will probably catch this virus at some point.

I have as much concern about it killing me as I do about dying from a laundry list of other inane things. As the weather gets cold, if I find myself in a place that often serves raw oysters, I might eat some.

The next thing I’m reconsidering is writing off individuals who make misguided political endorsements. There’s been a commercial running here in Virginia in support of Terry McAuliffe, you know, the man responsible for state troopers dying because of actions taken by his party’s local officials in Charlottesville in 2017.

There is a doctor, Joseph Sakran, who’s appearing in TV commercials in support of McAuliffe. My initial reaction was, “can I figure out a way that this guy never treats me?”

In spite of hand motions that are almost as strange as Carey Wedler’s, I shouldn’t just write him off for having incredibly incorrect conclusions about politics.

What he’s doing with these sorts of ads, and I understand that strategy was very effective for President Biden last year, is a form of Argument From Authority, which is a logical fallacy. (Another good take on that is here….)

Doctors used to also recommend Lucky Strikes.

Doing the AAR on that, did a doctor’s recommendation actually help anybody by leading them to choose Lucky Strikes?

Maybe.

I wonder how much advertising might be nullified if advertisers avoided use of those fallacies.

Who knows?

A Saturday

Twenty years after what ended up being a really terrible Tuesday.

In those days, my air schedule was Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8p-6a. On Saturdays, I worked 0500 – 1300. I had Monday and Tuesday nights off work. I was taking something like eighteen credit hours at school, was active in a few campus clubs, and was a senator in the Student Government Association.

I’d moved back home with my parents because I really didn’t have the money to support me living on my own in Newport News. My health, then, too, was starting to be a bit strange. I attributed that to the odd sleep schedule with early morning or late afternoon/evening classes. I can actually recall one of my first cases of optic neuritis while I was pitching in an intramural softball game.

But my schedule was to write college papers late into the nights on Monday and Tuesday to get a lot knocked out in my couple of nights off.

I have no idea what I did that Monday night. I don’t think I’d been out the night before; I often would do things like read in an all-night diner.

But I had a couple of things I needed to turn in on campus that morning.

I heard the reports of the attack on the radio station while I was taking a bath, getting clean to go to campus.

The second plane hit when, or just before I was diving to campus.

I decided a few days ago to look at what I’d written on OD. One of my classes had a professor who required some strange writing practices.

“This Means Something!”

8/27/2001

Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Must buy DVD. After payday.

There comes a point, I think, where everyone who is not an idiot realizes that he’s not an idiot. Much of my time is spent writing something or the other. It could be my very informal writing here for my own sake, it could be writing at work for public consumption, it could be writing at school doing formal legal writing, and so on. I have all these conflicting styles in my head, and sometimes I have difficulty adjusting when I’m forced to use a style.

I have a class this semester that requires me to use this very restrictive (very stupid, too, IMHO) style. They’ve got a grandiose name for it, but it slips the mind at the moment. I had to write a paper using this style on Thursday night. It seemed to me that the paper was a serious piece of shit. I felt quite uncomfortable turning it in, as I didn’t think it was good work. It did, however, conform to the model nearly perfectly. I ended up with an A- on the assignment; most people totally bombed it.

Maybe I can do this school shit afterall. It makes me somewhat hopeful for law school, at least. I’m not the dumbass former teachers had convinced me I was.

On a totally unrelated note, has anyone else been following the latest hubub over the crop circles that look suspiciously like the glyph sent out by Aricebo in 1974 and the face on Mars. Those are just freaky when you put ’em side-by-side. “This means something!”

*yawn*

I’m in an odd way lately otherwise. Have kind of this feeling that something is going to happen. I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet, though. Nothing bad, just something that I’m unaccustomed to. It could very well stem from the much different treatment I’m getting at school now. This is *not* how I’ve been treated in the past.

Well, half-right on the last paragraph. I wish I could remember who that professor was, and what it was all about.

I might be able to dig up the TeX files. I think they’re around somewhere.

But I appreciate that she really was making me do something outside my comfort level. Things like that did help me write more effectively.

But the Memberberries are kicking in.

When I got into the Student Center on campus where my club office was, it was pandemonium. The place was just filled to the brim with people trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

There’d been a concerted effort at my alma mater in the couple of years before to add a bunch of on-campus students, and many from Northern Virginia. Many, many, many rich kids stumbling around campus trying to figure out what this weird suburban campus in Newport News was all about.

I don’t remember exactly when the news floated across the assemblage that the Pentagon had also been hit.

Okay, now it’s really real. And there’s probably people there on campus who’d been personally-affected.

I phoned the newsroom at the station, and asked if there was anything I could do. I drove to Norfolk, and was actually stopped at the MMBT by Virginia State Police asking where I was going. I didn’t have press credentials, but I had something like a piece of mail in a station envelope in my glovebox. “Carry on.”

When I got to the station, I went to work doing various coordination things around the newsroom. I don’t know if I spent much time on the air — maybe a few local news updates.

I was on the air until the afternoon drive programming started. I went home, got a couple of hours of sleep, then was back in time to be on the air at 2100.

The days that followed are kind of a blur. I know I probably worked probably twelve, thirteen hour airsifts.

Trying to keep up on my school work wasn’t a big concern; I think the campus was eventually closed for the rest of the week.

The first post-attack writing I have is this:

9/18/01
To answer the coming questions, yes, I’m back for the moment. We shall see how it works, and if I can deal with the frustrations that go along…..I have some new tools that should make my experience better. I’ll leave it at that.

I can’t really describe what I’m feeling or what’s going on. Of course, my life has been busy since Tuesday with the associated problems…..work, friends, and especially school. One student’s mother was killed in the Pentagon, and another had a cousin killed and another injured at the WTC. To top all that off, the president of the university sent out a quite insensitive e-mail lecturing us that it shouldn’t affect us, and that we needed to concentrate on our studies so as not to let the terrorists win. Fuck him. I have no respect for him anymore. I didn’t have any classes on Tuesday, but I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate if I had.

Then on Wednesday, a student died in a motorcycle accident.

It’s just been hell.

I haven’t been able to quiet my mind or body since all this started. I feel like it’s important that I do something, but there’s not a hell of a lot that I can do. But if the United States is going to engage in war, I’m going to try to be a part of it. I cannot fulfill my dreams in a country where anyone has to worry about terrorist threats on a daily basis.

So I’m thinking about leaving school and joining the military.

But I’ll write more later.

Obviously I didn’t leave school or join the military. I stayed in radio for the next few years, finally leaving after I decided to make a change — maybe do neat IT work, maybe go to law school.

Instead, I met a college girl in 2006, and am still with her. She was in high school on 9/11.

Never know what’s going to happen.

I could write some about the aftermath, but I’m not sure what the point is. Afghanistan made sense to me. Iraq I was very much against until I heard Tony Blair pitch it to parliament.

But I think my inclinations were correct. It’s really something that stretches over every administration that’s been in power during my adult life.

Oh well.

End of a week without

I didn’t write this week, though there definitely was temptation. Obviously, it was a horrible week.

Obviously the big story of the week is the disaster that is Afghanistan. Obviously, I’m connected to the military. My entire childhood was spent as an Army Brat. My dad would talk about the thing that brought him closest to resigning his commission was Operation Eagle Claw, which he referred to as “Desert One.” What happened in Afghanistan was a modern equivalent.

I have ideas about what happened, but I don’t know that any single person is to blame.

But it doesn’t really matter.

It’s over. They failed. Move on.

In the background, however, unscrupulous politicians are at work trying to capitalize on the situation. (I get that they would like a different word that doesn’t include “capital,” but…)

I just want to go somewhere else.

Twenty

Finishing thoughts, reactions, etc.

So, today’s the last day of this bout of feeding my writing compulsion.

Except for forgetting to kick it off on day one, I’ve done it every day.

Some of these have been incredibly brief, but I’ve been distractedreally busy.

I still need to figure out what to do to kind of actually take a break from it all for a while.

I’m sure I touched on it last year, but I am jealous of Dave Rubin’s moth of disconnection during August.

How the hell he pulled that off as a political pundit, I don’t know.

I do wonder what it’d be like to have a week a bit like I had as a kid at Boy Scout camp. The world goes on outside, but I don’t care.

Instead, I’m always listening, reading, etc.

I care about things like TV audiences.

I have the show listed on my DVR, but I can count on one hand the number of episodes I’ve gotten through. it’s no Red Eye.

I’m wondering if part of what I don’t like about it is the strange socially-distanced set arrangement.

Who knows. During the month, unfortunately, the utter stupidity of government’s response to a now rarely-fatal virus.

I don’t know if it’s true, meaning I haven’t seen corporate press corroboration, but purportedly, there’s a plan by truckers in Australia to just block all the roads to protest lockdowns.

I should probably wrap this up, however. My plans for the rest of the year are a bit unclear at this point. I have my trip to NYC in October. I’m planning to take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off.

Otherwise, no idea. I need to fill my fantasy league.

Nineteen

Yet another day of sort of free-writing.

I am finished working for the week. Naturally, I’ll probably check email because I’m a glutton for punishment that way, but habits are hard to break.

So he writes just after he removes his fingernail from between his teeth….

I need to figure out how to tune out for a while.

I’m wondering if I had my own roomette on a train whether they’d bother me about wearing a mask in there.

So far, I’ve not seen that Amtrak is going to try checking vaccine passports.

Got into a brief discussion on Twitter with Matt Welch after reacting to his column.

I’m just not going to participate. I’m not going to go as far as a fake passport, but I do appreciate what they’re doing.

Thaddeus Russell said when it came out a few weeks ago that one of the government agencies was planning to ban menthol cigarettes trying to figure out a way to produce them.

Yes. Or kits to make them. Either or.

I’ve always lived trying to stay in others’ good graces. But why? I just won’t do anything with them at all.

You can leave.

Eighteen

I’m going to resample a prompt I’ve done a few times, but it seems appropriate for today.

Nervousness. Write about what last made you really nervous.

I guess there’s been a few times during the public health disaster, but really not many.

I’m really wondering if I can get there anymore.

I’ve completed what I need to do, and really don’t have many things that really make me uncomfortable at this point.

Do what you want; I don’t care. Was it Ray Lewis who proclaimed something like, “I’m a machine; you can’t hurt me, jerk?”

So, what else? Another shot. Yay.

Maybe I can delay that until after my NYC trip. Maybe.

Seventeen

Very long, very exhausting day.

But I think I’m showing how to use new tools effectively. What I got accomplished in about 45 minutes would likely have taken three days using the old methods.

News.

Obviously, there’s still a ton coming about what’s going on in Afghanistan.

I’ve listened to a few takes on various podcasts, etc., but there’s really no way to sugar-coat this.

The Operation’s over.

We failed.

Let’s try not to do that again.

You can point all the fingers you want. Every President since 9/11 bears responsibility. The current administration, and the corporate media will try to pin it on someone they don’t like, but what’s the point?

For every excuse found, there’d be an easily-found counterpoint. When you’re not playing for one of the two big teams, it doesn’t really matter.

Speaking of not being on teams, Tim Tebow was released. That brings me to the bit I’m recycling from my drafts folder —


Thanksgiving Football

From Thanksgiving 2014:

Also, what the fuck, NFL? Six NFC teams? Part of the draw of Thanksgiving football has always been that one game was a conference rivalry (often in-division), and one cross-conference game. Lett us not forget Leon in the snow at Texas Stadium.


The games were actually pretty good this past year. Thanksgiving Football is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Keep the early games as they were previously; one cross-conference, one divisional. Lions and Cowboys. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. The nighttime game can be all-AFC. Somewhere cold with snow would be pretty neat. I could definitely go for seeing a game in Buffalo, Cleveland, New England, etc..

Enough. Four more days. Three more entries.

Sixteen

Going to free-write more today. I have an off-in-the-ether friend who has a birthday today. I’m not saying anything directly about it because I do hold a grudge…for many years now. It’s something that kind of, sort of began with the early stages of my physical maladies.

But, at the same time, there’d been an instance not too long prior where I was going to be late for an appointment, and I didn’t care. This individual had been late for me several times previously, and I was fine returning the disrespect. And I still beat him/her to the event. Whatever.

I’m kind of eager to apologize often when one isn’t necessary, but I’m reluctant to do when one is requested.

In my life, there’s few things for which I think I should express regret. I can plausibly explain why I did what I did.

It sort of relates to today’s big news story, where the West is running away from Afghanistan.

What we’ve done since we killed OBL is over. It didn’t work. Move on.

Fifteen

Going to hit the wayback machine to revisit what will be five years ago in November.


Halftime. When was/will be the halftime of your life?

This was a rather dark prompt now that I look at it again.

Do I think I’m past the halfway point? I don’t know. Am I there in other aspects of my life? Yes. My professional career? Yep. This particular job? Certainly.

On so many things I ask myself why I continue on. Maybe NoJoMo should be one of those.

I will probably write next year; I don’t just quit, even when I have good reason to. I’m a Saints’ fan, so I’m watching Buddy Ryan Jr.-B’s defense get a good start on serving up the fortyburger in FedEx Field……

So, a bit of freewriting as the Redskins score, what am I looking forward to the next few few months?

  1. Thanksgiving. For the first time in a very long time, I think I will be able to actually enjoy eating this year. Actually being hungry for the first time in almost twenty years is something new.
  2. Travel. My wife and I are planning a trip, and I’m excited about that. The only details I’ll reveal are that French food will be consumed.

That jewelry commercial was more than a little hetero-normative……


Listening to this, and nodding vigorously.

Difficult to know what the halftime of my life is, really. If I’m only in the third quarter,

And if it’s very late, I don’t really care. I’ve done what I can do.

Going to fail the segue on this, too, but it’s a big like I feel about so many things.

Yesterday I was more than a little upset that the corporate press wasn’t covering an earthquake in Haiti.

I don’t even know.

I’m going to finish this streak, then try to get through until…..