Starting The Long Weekend Early

I have satisfied the hours in my pay period, so I stopped working at 11. A lot of what I was doing, anyway, would have been disrupted by patching operations on my work PC.

Good episode of The Fifth Column (unfortunately, I can’t find a link this morning. A lot of my concerns in the past week and a half have been related to what’s happening in response to what happened at the Capitol last Wednesday.

The government cannot end The Internets. Barring something like the firewalls like the Iranians or the Norks have, it’s impossible to silence everyone.

One of the things that’s gone through my head for a long time now is, “You Can Leave.” (Yes, I did just edit that; spotted a spurious vowel…)

But where to go?

On the Internet, it doesn’t matter. You can’t stop the math and science that goes in to technology. No matter how vehemently you decry that there’s ways to get around just about everything if you can think independently.

There are other things that fall into similar categories — short of killing people, you can’t stop them.

So, what’s on tap for this weekend?

Well, HR Geeks Jitsi.

Supposedly, there’s going to be competing virtual drinking games kicking off with Jonny, and other folks swirling around the Peddling Fiction podcast.

Speaking of that, one of his webinar on chart analysis is here.

But the technology is there, and there’s no way to stop it.

But you can leave what you don’t like. So, out of the cesspool that is Facebook again.


Feeling a bit like Dante from Clerks today.

There are problems left and right, and I wasn’t even supposed to be here!

One of the downsides of being fully-remote, I guess.

At the same time, it’s really nothing new for me. Since I started in radio in 1998, with a few exceptions, I’ve largely been working jobs that require me to at least be available 24×7.

Whatever. I try to get things done, and care about making sure it is. Perhaps that’s a flaw in my personality.

I did take a nap in the middle of the day. Strange dream, there.

But today’s the last day of the challenge, so I can not look tomorrow; that’s a good thing.


Today’s prompt is about letter-writing. They want me to write a letter to a friend or family member.

No, if I was to write something, it’d be to a few folks who were supervisors during my lean years.

I’d started down a whole thing, trying to forgive, asking for forgiveness, myself, but, no, I’m not going to do that. I was treated horribly, and I reacted badly to that. Why should I write apologies?

Instead, perhaps I should just bits of notes to some of those who are to blame.

Dear M.,

There’s really not a lot I have to say. I hope you’re physically-well, and the same for your throng of kids. I also hope that you can look at yourself in the mirror as you straighten your tie against your off-colored collar. You know who else insisted in dressing like that?

Dear D&T,

I really do apologize. I was a mess, and that was largely due to some of the things that were going on with my health. It’s not easy doing work that’s not really your forte, while trying to get a wife through college, and dealing with a body that’s completely going crazy. How you handled dispatching me is still a bit of a sore subject, but I kind of understand, I guess. You did do the wrong thing by not bringing me on full-time after I’d done what I’d agreed to od. I understand that that might have been out of your control, but, still, paying for all of my insurances with after-tax dollars, as well as just getting paid less when everyone else was on vacation. Yes, I got time off, but I just got less money.

Dear D.,

I did what I could, but there’s only so many miracles I could have worked iwth the tools provided. I told you how I could get things done, but you were unwiling to make any changes. I hope your agricultural product sales are going well; it’s the sort fo work to which you are suited.

Dear L., et. al.

I hope you’re doing well selling streaming devices you hack so you can get HBO Now trials forever. Those sorts of skills are worht more than the ten bucks a month the services cost. For those of up here, well, come at me. No, you’re not brave enough to punch a disabled guy. I know you really want to do that. I get it.

So, yeah, there’s a lot negative I could say, but I’m tired of trying to piece it all together. It does give me an idea of who I’d actually speak to, at least.


Put together the most attractive charcuterie board possible, but you can only use foods you already have in your fridge and cupboard. 

For a variety of reasons, I really don’t have the ability to do that. One of my low-carb frequent snacks lately, however, has been these cheese sticks wrapped in various types of cured meats.

If I had the ability to go out to a brassiere, or a grocery store, I might consume such a thing more often.

I do need to start through some of this wine I have sitting around. So fine meats, cheese, and wine? Yes, I’d like to do that. Maybe I’ll find some time.

Today I’m fighting with things that used to annoy me, and have largely been automated on modern platforms.

I’m very happy Let’s Encrypt is around.

I also listened to a followup on what I was bitching about on one of the entries last week. Someone else listening had noted the same thing I did; a point so emphatically made was untrue by the time most people got the opportunity to listen.

No, you can’t have one trusted source. Even if Chuck Todd says you can. Even if the president says you can. You have to take information from various sources, and arrive at your own conclusions. You also need to remember that constant information isn’t distressing to all people.

Speaking as someone who earned money doing this in a previous part of life, nobody really gets upset if you give the air temperature several times an hour. That additional information doesn’t really cause stress; people are accustomed to it.

I did listen to him today, and I give credit that he came out and admitted what I noticed — that his information so earnestly provided, was overcome by events in the few hours the podcast had been out.

As I say with the tagline for this site, everything gets deleted, eventually. The same goes for a perfectly-tailored news narrative. We have always been at war with Oceana.


Today’s chllenge: Clean out something/somewhere in your house or fix something you have been putting off fixing. Post on the chat wall – what did you do today?

My question on the message board was something along the lines of how do you take a picture of GNU Tar? Well, actually, the one on this Mac is BSD Tar, but….

This weekend, however, was spent largely playing around with how to pay my protection racket coverage that’ll allow me to keep working in government if I’m able. An anagram of this particular organization is “potamic.”

To that end, the short week after Memorial Day I’m taking off to sit and watch shit I can count as CEUs. I have an ungodly amount of leave I need to burn, anyway.


They did actually post that there’s no challenges on the weekend, so I won’t be looking tomorrow, at least.

Given that there won’t be another weekend in the challenge, a day without checking probably isn’t a bad thing.

So, what’s up. Got my new iPhone SE 2020. Let’s see how long the battery on this one lasts. My old iPhone 7 was only good for probably like an hour with a podcast playing.

*looks away to watch video on the Saints’ draft pick last night*

I was distracted by the HRGeeks video chat last night.

Maybe I’ll find motivation to watch the last four rounds today, but I doubt it.

I’ve been on my boycott-all-things-{Facebook, Amazon, Google} kick lately, so I ordered a webcam from a site I used to use for pretty much all of my hardware needs. (And I guess software, too, if you consider the boxed copy of Windows Velvista I bought for a gaming PC I built in probably 2007)

Turns out it was a third-party seller. In Hong Kong. They set up the USPS shipping label when they’d sent it out of their warehouse, and on to the boat to the US. I guess it’s been sitting in customs jail in Los Angeles for about ten days now. Pfft. If it was more expensive, I’d cancel the order, and dispute the charges on my credit card. But it was like nineteen bucks total with shipping. Hat-tip to Harry Browne.

(The basic idea is that you set a threshold for arguing about price differences. His threshold, when the book was written in something like 1970, I think was a hundred bucks. When I first read the book, a hundred bucks was a big deal to me, so I set my bar much lower. Even when I was completely broke in radio, I think my threshold was $20. I should probably reassess that limit, but, regardless, the price of the webcam was less…)

And, because I lost focus on that passage, I found this address, and am distracted. Oops.


Today’s challenge: Did you know there are health benefits of origami? Why do people fold paper into little animal shapes? For most, it is because it’s fun and it looks nice. But for others, it is a way to relax; a way to let the day’s tension melt away. Today, pick an origami project and send a picture of your completed project to

Um? Another one in which I’ll not participate. I wasn’t that good at things that required patience or manual dexterity even before the MS really kicked in.

That also explains the radio my mother wants me to figure out.

Mine has all sorts of issues with just the radio/amp. The turntable spins, but not anywhere near its rated speed (78 RPM, I’m guessing).

I’d replaced the one tube in it that was blown, but I still couldn’t really get audio out of it. *shrug*

I also don’t have a soldering iron. Or a place to work on it. Or a working multimeter. Or…

If there’s someone who’d like to hack on it, I’d pay for gas to/from suburban Bad Newz, and parts in exchange for bringing it up here to the bank of the swamp.


Today’s prompt: Reconnecting with nature has been shown to be beneficial for easing some of the symptoms of depression. The very act of being in nature promotes mindfulness and gratitude. The inherent ‘peace and quiet’ of natural environments can help to clear your mind of unnecessary worries and reduce feelings of anger and tension. Today, go for a walk in nature, if weather permits. If it’s raining, open the windows for a bit and listen to the rain and practice some meditations techniques you learned the other day.

Yeah, I’m not doing this one. Doing the planking challenge yesterday was tough, but walking across the apartment is tough enough. I’m not sure where my boots are. Maybe I could meditate on that, and remember where I put them.

So, challenge failed.

Listening to Vladimir Zelenko on Adam Corolla talking about his experiences with the malaria drugs w/ COVID-19. Snopes says Unproven. Yes, so are you, Snopes. So are you. Blessed Sister Rachel on MSNBC would say they’re 100% correct. Maybe one of the hospital corpsmen could wave to her on the way out of NYC.

So. What else?

Had a revelation last night looking at stuff with the latest bailout bill. Panic! Big banks are getting loads of taxpayer (well, future taxpayer, since they’re just inventing money at this point….) funds to big banks, and other big corporations.

The government is causing this problem as its reaction to a public emergency. But, ultimately, the proximate responsibility is the governments’.

Still, in the case of the oh-so-evil BIG BANKS, for every piece of paper they have that’s going bad, they charge interest partially to address the risk of making the loan.

I get the George Bailey speech about where the money is, that it’s not all in the bank. Got it. But this isn’t an issue with fractional-reserve banking. This is about risky loans made willingly. Perhaps some of them were at the behest of government, sure, but, ultimately, the banks chose to make those loans.

Let Them Fail.

I’m sorry that people who had nothing to do with it, aside from entrusting these reckless banks with their money, might get hurt.

But that’s what the FDIC and NCUA are there to protect against. If you’re foolish enough to have more than the limit deposited, that’s on you. I don’t care about Karen, the perky mortgage broker. I don’t care about Bill the branch manager.

You two could have stopped this. You chose not to. Yes, something bad’s happened, perhaps exacerbated by government action, but it doesn’t change the fact that you chose this.

Let Them Fail.

Yes, it’s gonna hurt. But without failure, they’re just going to prop things up, and reinflate the bubbles like they did towards the end of the last decade.

Let Them Fail.

And never reemerge in their former form.

Karen deserves to lose. And saying that really isn’t sexist unless you want it to be.


Today’s prompt was planking.

First, I’m in horrible shape. I really need to start hitting the workout room at the complex where I live.

When it reopens.

Second, I tried to do some, and my spastic legs kept me from doing it very long at all.

What else. Hmm. Yeah, I’m finished with Facebook. Again. More. If the HR Geeks folks wanna moderate the group, they know how to get in touch with me.

Maybe this weekend, I’ll mess with the mailing lists again.

But yeah, there’s nothing nice to say about the things the Didn’t-Used-To-Be-Evil letters company, and Facebook are doing.

Sarah showed me some of the things she was having show up in her feeds just because of what she’d shopped for, not on those apps, but on other apps on her phone.

A couple of quick examples. The first from Al-Reuters (if anyone remembers that meme from, say, 2003, congratulations?). But more on point, this from RCP.

Another of the problems with the big media, you know, the ones Chuck Todd says it’s dangerous that we don’t trust, is that things change so rapidly that they can’t keep up. If you limit your exposure, cap your time, you’ll remain in a state of perpetual ignorance.

I was trying to listen to this just after the morning newscast was talking about, and my phone was getting alerts about, a test approval.

But you should stay in our shield of self-imposed ignorance.



Do an art project or build something today. 

I’m really not feeling that creative today. Sorry. Feeling kind of lousy, I mean, better than Kim Jong Number Un, but still a bit rough.

And writing more because it’s a compulsion.

I was in a bad mood today, too, largely because of what I was seeing in relation to the COVID-19 lockdowns, and some of the things going on in Montgomery County, Democratic People’s Republic of Maryland (DPRM). Interview/story.

The same police who are so upset about people protesting about being told to stay at home would be the ones forcing people to stay home…where they could come in and shoot them in the middle of the night.

In my avoid-everything-Chuck-Todd mode, I’ve been bouncing among different local TV morning shows. The past couple of mornings, I’ve found myself on Get Up DC.

The first few times I saw it, I gave up, and went back to WJLA, or Fox 5. This week, however, I’ve found myself heading back over ot WUSA. I like the tempo, and I don’t really care about the polished plasticprofessional delivery.

This morning, however, there was some real animus towards the people who wanted to just leave their houses, or whatever. And nothing towards the cops who broke in, and shot a guy sleeping in his own bed.

Get your fucking priorities in order.

I would also submit that the local if-it-bleeds-it-leads media are actually fostering this sort of behavior.

Would people show up to a rally if there weren’t cameras around?

Also, how are you, yourselves, not potentially aiding the spread of the virus by not staying home, yourselves? Practice what you preach, and maybe the protestors dwindle.

Just like your graying audience.

And that’s the real problem, isn’t it. You’re important. No, not as important as you think you are. Sorry to break the news. (And I’m sorry I’m takin’ your jobs.)