Rants

Random Randomess

Just keeping the blog name relevant here..

Seems to me that Mars (AKA the red planet) is turning into an interplanetary Club Med.  The UAE, China, and now NASA have all sent rockets out that way.  I’m thinking that a Motel 8 with an attached Denny’s will be built soon.  But we all know that it all comes crashing down on 5 April 2385.  What, you don’t watch Star Trek: Picard?  Shame on you.


Seems mother nature is at it again.  #Floriduh is once again in her sights as a tropical storm is bearing down on us.

But it’s only a tropical storm so us natives don’t get too excited. We just check the battery cabinet, grab another adult beverage and call it a day.  Besides this is, as of now, a rather disorganized storm. Not to mention it is expected to cross over Hispaniola and its rather tall mountain range, a known storm killer.  As the image show, the current track takes it east of us which means the strongest part of the storm will be on the other side, out in the Atlantic.  I am so very happy that I am not working my last job anymore.  I would be getting ready for another stay in the lovely EOC if the storm does hit.  Tropical storms are anything but predictable, so this may change.  Watch this space!


On the genealogy side, I found two cousins that appear to be on the Campbell side!  This is most unusual, as I’ve always maintained that my Campbells won’t do a DNA test lest we be connected to a 15th century cattle raid.  We Campbells’ aren’t the most trustworthy lot, after all.  As both these matches are just beginning their family trees, I can’t yet place them on my tree.  Hopefully, they will take my offer to help them get going and we can find our common ancestors.  Only time will tell.


I did enjoy the way many of our news outlets stated the testimony of several of our big tech companies had before members of congress yesterday.  To paraphrase “Congress to grill tech CEOs”.  I offered to bring the charcoal, but nobody took me up on the offer.  Their loss.


Things here at the house are changing.  Seems that our granddaughters will be here full time.  Meaning my thoughts of a “quiet retirement” have been changed.  Not that it bothers me.  I look forward to having them here to do their remote schoolwork.  The tech available at our house is much better than what is available at other family members homes.  I will have to get at least a part time job to offset the additional costs that are associated with having two more folks here full time, but in all honesty, I was already looking. 


Remember this meme from before the 2016 election?

It’s becoming more and more true.  Our “Dear Leader” will not say if he will accept the November election results if he loses, and today floated the idea that the election should be delayed “…until people can properly, securely, and safely vote???”.   The “last president” indeed.  I do fear a civil war is brewing.


For those of us here in #Floriduh (and I can call it that as a native-born son), our “Dear Leader” Governor Ron DeSantis has spawned several new memes.

I have long referred to him #GovRonDeMoron or #GovRonDeVirus, but #DeathSantis fits so much better.  Once we can get rid of him we can go back to being #Florida.  Yes, #FloridaMan and #FloridaWoman will still help keep us #Floriduh, provided of course that they survive.


Seems that beers sales are bouncing back.  Well, I had nothing to do with that for once.  I’ve been avoiding beer as of late, although the growler of Pale Ale son-the-younger brought home from his work last night was very tasty.  The main reason I’ve been avoiding beer is the carbohydrates.  I am trying to lose weight although at my age that’s neigh on impossible.   I’m hoping that even a part time job will get me out of the house enough removing me from the snack box.  Whisky on the other hand is a genuinely nice substitute.


Wifey and I are ready to go back to Scotland. Who’s with us??


Have to figure out where all the coffee is going. It seems we are buying bags and bags of beans every week. You don’t think my being home all day has anything to do with it, do you? Nah…


Finally, get out and #VOTE.  Yes, I’m talking to you.  I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, nor ask you who you did vote for.  I will ask you if you plan on voting.  I will vote via mail this year.  Having been in the military for so long it seems second nature to me.  Plus, I hate standing in line for anything!


Here is a totally unrelated video for you.  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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I’m A Hallmark Movie Widower

In all honesty, I’m not just a Hallmark Movie widower, I’m a TV widower. I just do not care for much TV. Sure, I watch some cooking shows (food is very important in this house), and the occasional NCIS episode. I also enjoy a few shows on Discovery, Animal Planet, and the National Geographic channels. Even the new HBO show Avenue 5 has my interest. For two main reasons, Hugh Laurie, and it’s only 30 minutes per episode. The Army taught me you can put up with damn near anything for 30 minutes. Case in point I had an Army dentist try to do a root canal on a long dead tooth. I was in the chair for over 4 hours while she drilled and poked and tugged to no avail. And quite a bit of that time the novocaine was not exactly effective. So, it can be done.

But as far as your usual sitcoms and other reality shows (thinking Below Deck here), I just cannot tolerate them. So I either have to go to another room, or put in earplugs. I have issues reading with the TV going. Music doesn’t bother me, but the spoken dialog interrupts whatever I’m reading.

As Jackson Browne sings;

“It’s like a song playing right in my ear
I can’t sing
But I can’t help listening”

For A Dancer © Swallow Turn Music, Wb Music Corp

The fact that Wifey likes these shows doesn’t bother me. She can watch whatever pleases her. She doesn’t watch when I have one of my few sports on. She’ll read or play a game on her tablet. Besides, I usually fall asleep within 30 – 45 minutes anyway. TV basically bores me.

But these Hallmark movies are so very strange. They’re pretty much the same story just with different actors. Lately it’s been the Hallmark Mystery Movies that have taken over the TV. At least they don’t all have Candance Cameron Burke staring like the majority of their Christmas movies seem to. Some people are just too damn cheery.

And what’s up with Christmas movies on in July?? Talk about your holiday creep! I rant and rave about anything Christmas that comes out before Halloween as it is. But July?? Give me a break.

So, what do you watch, or avoid? Oh – Wifey is in the living room watching some cop show while I’m typing this. I would be in our bedroom relaxing, but the granddaughters are currently in our bed playing a game on Wifey’s laptop.

Here’s today’s vaguely related video. It talks about a TV show, and besides it’s my favorite Dire Straits song. Now excuse me, I need another beer.

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 6 September

(AKA Yet Another Traffic Rant Edition)

It’s been a bit since my last Stuck In My Head post, and even longer since a traffic rant. So I combined both. Consider this a 2-for-1 deal. Don’t say I never gave you anything either.

I guess the area is returning to normal after our near brush with Hurricane Dorian. Today’s traffic was much heavier than it should have been. When my work schedule was moved to a half hour earlier the traffic on the way into work became much lighter. On the way home, however, is every bit as bad. The 30 minute shift allows me to miss the school buses now. That’s a beautiful thing. There is a city bus that sometimes gets in my way. I can time that bus and avoid it most days. But as we all know, city buses are not the best at time keeping. Their routes can vary by up to 10 minutes or more. Even so, this particular bus only has 3 stops before it turns off onto a side road and is out of my way.

Usually, the first of two main problems I have on the way to work are yard crews. They tend to hog the left lane and travel way under the speed limit pulling their big trailers. And since I tend to regard the speed limit as a mere suggestion, they do tend to get my dander up. The second issue are the garbage trucks. I go right past their work yard to and from work. If my timing is off and I have to stop at the traffic light at the entrance to the yard, there will be 4 or 5 trucks in front of me. But that’s not as bad as it sounds. These guys (I say guys since I’ve only seen men driving the trucks) are much better drivers than the average moron on the road with me. They tend to do the speed limit, or just over, use their turn signals, and leave space between each truck for cars to maneuver. Their biggest problem is they aren’t the quickest thing to get up to speed. Plus, it’s hard to see around them.

Now, this morning, I didn’t have any garbage trucks, no city bus, no school bus, and only one yard crew. What I did have was some work truck doing 25 MPH in the left lane (the speed limit is 45 MPH – I’m usually zipping along at 50+ MPH) with about 10 cars behind like baby ducks following mama duck, and the usual folks in the right lane turning into various parking lots, and side streets, and doing about 15 MPH.

AARRRGGGHH!!! On my next vehicle, I’m getting the Photon Torpedo option. Just blow these jerks and their vehicles into subatomic pieces.

I can hardly wait to see what traffic adventures await me on my way home today. At least it’s Friday, well, at least it’s Friday on the calendar…

What does this have to do with a song? As one of my favorite DJ’s on SiriusXM, Earle Bailey like to say; “I hope this is the only traffic you get into today”.. And this song has a permanent home in my head. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Mama Told Me There Would Be Days Like This

On the way in to work this morning, I had great post in my head, even tied in with a video. Then I showed up and let’s just say, it all went to hell in a handbasket really quick.

But (and there’s always a but, isn’t there), it really started last week. During my younger days, back when I was active duty Army, we averaged 22 months between moves. You read that right. We moved on average, every two years. This meant two things; we lived out of boxes quite a bit, and we didn’t collect much stuff.

We’ve now been in this house just over 22 years. Not only is there crap everywhere, it’s falling apart. We have had the entire house repiped for inbound water already. Now we seem to have a drain leak under the slab as well. We only found this out after having the majority of the kitchen drain system replaced.

Yes, you can see right through the kitchen wall!

Luckily, our home owner’s insurance is working with us. Otherwise we would probably just walk away from the house and let the bank take it back. We’re that fed up with the whole situation.

But that has nothing to do with today. Well, not a lot about today anyway.

I had a task set for early this morning at work. I am usually the first tech in every morning, so I had set up to do some work on a computer before everyone else showed up. Shouldn’t take more than an hour tops. Cue the “best laid plans” meme…

Starts off, my tool kit was missing from my desk. I do have a second set, but the pieces are nowhere near as useful as this kit. The screwdriver bits are not exactly the correct size, and as I still have my wrist in a brace, it’s difficult to get hand tools to work correctly at any time.

The main task was to clone a hard drive. Not the most difficult thing believe me. We have hardware and software to make this as close to hands-off as we can be. Naturally, it was anything BUT hands-off.

To make this as quick and painless as I can for those not tech oriented, here’s how it went down.

  • Can’t find my good tools
  • Had to use the old crappy tools
  • Took replacement drive down to the machine to clone it
  • System will not boot to my USB drive (Hiren’s) to use the software
  • Bring both drives back up to my desk to try the hardware
  • Let the clone device run for 30 minutes, nothing happening
  • Plug the dock into my Ubuntu laptop – and nothing. The laptop won’t even boot with or without the dock
  • Plug the dock into my laptop and boot to the Hiren’s USB to clone
  • 2 hours later the software says complete! Yay!!!
  • Plug the new ssd into a test machine – won’t boot (There is no joy in Mudville)
  • Reclone the drive using a different test machine
  • Same error after that clone attempt
  • Did a quick repair, well actually, a co-worker did the repair since he has that test machine we were using
  • Took the new SSD back down stairs and tested
  • Finally!! It booted. (And the peasants rejoiced!)
  • Total time for the “one hour max” job – 4 hours!

I will say this once again – I hate Micro$oft! Windows is without a doubt the biggest computer virus of all time.

Early morning texts this morning with Wifey;

The “pig” is a local brewery, The Red Pig. In retrospect, I’m not sure beer will be strong enough for today. May have to go straight to the whisky!

But, it’s finished for now. Here is the video I had planned for today, even if I can’t remember what I was going to post! It’s my favorite Bob Dylan song Tangled Up In Blue. In a way, it’s still kind of fitting. I’ve been tangled up in something all day, and my language has been quite blue!

Blood On The Tracks is also very telling for today….

Peace,
B

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P.S. Feel free to send me a beer, or a scotch, or a bourbon.

What’s Stuck In My Head – 20 September

Sorry, I haven’t been keeping up with this series as of late, but I’ve been up to my you-know-what with my genealogy.

This song runs through my head on a regular basis. I’ve always enjoyed Bruce Hornsby’s music, either solo or playing on other folks records. And this one fits right in line with my social justice thoughts. “Did you really think about it when you made the rules?” Such a great lyric.  Especially when paired with the command “But don’t you believe them!” at the end of the song.

Then this morning I get up and see this tweet on my timeline;

tweet

And that doesn’t just fit in with this song I don’t know what does. This administration doesn’t give a rats ass about folks on the fringe of society. If you’re not a rich white republican male, you do not matter. This country is in a sad state right now. That’s all I’ll say about this, I will get off my soapbox now.

So here’s The Way It Is. I hope you enjoy it. (And yes, I realize this may be a repeat, but this song means a lot to me. Plus I should probably start a spreadsheet or something of the songs I’ve already posted.)

Peace,
B

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Truth! (In Advertising??)

Let’s talk about a strange, but very interesting, ad. I don’t know if this commercial runs outside of the USA, so for reference here it is:

So let’s pick this apart shall we?

First, while it is true that text messages are being broadcast into space, after all everything that has ever been broadcast by humans has been sent into space. How do you think aliens are learning our anatomy & physiology? They’re not abducting us and doing rectal probes. They’re watching all the p0rn and sexting messages were sending out. Basically, aliens have as much of a screwed up expectations of our sex lives as a 16 year-old boy.

Second, if you were the astronaut in space, do you think you’d actually be monitoring text messages? I won’t even go into the lack of a lag it the messages. I know here on earth, my texts don’t get delivered in real-time. Can you imagine the bounces a message would have to take to finally make it to someone in space?

Next, both of characters are in a night-time scene. This would mean that the “space station” she is working on is close to the terrestrial location the guys is locked out of his car. That would indicate that the station is in a geosynchronous orbit. But the space station isn’t in that type of orbit. In fact it makes a complete orbit around the earth about every 90 minutes. So they would both see the same moon for a very short time.

Lastly, if one member of a couple is an astronaut I think they could afford something a bit more fitting of the astronaut’s earning capabilities than a Hyundai.

But that’s just my opinions.

Can you find any other “not quite right” moments in this commercial, or any others? Leave a comment if you do (or feel free to pick apart my pseudo-science).

Peace,
B

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Let’s Butcher Another Song, Shall We?

This morning on the way to work (later than usual due to a morning doctor’s appointment) I tweeted this:

tweet

Yes, I was once again stuck behind non-driving fools. The guy in the left lane even had the right turn signal on, for about 2 miles, and then turned left, with the right blinker still blinking away! #SMH

I do have a problem with the song I parody in the tweet. It gives clowns a bad name! As a registered clown, I take a bit of umbrage on this point. But I’ll let it slide because the video is just so trippy!

crop clown makeup.jpg

Skeeter the clown. (ca. 1982)

Peace,
B

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Adult Supervision???

So today I was doing the vinegar and water treatment to our several years old Keurig coffee maker and saw this:

MVIMG_20180623_152058.jpg

And I think to myself, “Adult supervision”? Where in the hell am I going to find an adult to make us coffee every morning?? And coffee is just one rung below beer on the beverage scale to me. I am screwed!

The only reason I can even be considered an “adult” is the fact that I am older than dirt. I passed that magical age and entered into “adulthood” about two centuries ago. I really don’t care for any of those chain coffee shop “coffees”. Their coffee always tastes burned, and besides that, the average age of anybody working there has to be about the same as my granddaughters. They sure as hell ain’t even close to “adult” age. Although they are growing like weeds.

So what’s an old fart like me to do? Well, I will continue to grind my coffee about every two days and continue to make my coffee without any adult supervision. Because, dammit, I’m a rebel!! Ok, not really. But I need my coffee.

How do you like your coffee?? I take mine black. “Army” style!

Peace,
B

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A Case For Charity

So on the way home from work this afternoon, there were two people on two different corners asking for help.  The first one was your basic down-on-their-luck looking person, with a sign that was basically illegible. The second guy though had a great sign, “I need a beer” was all it said. Now that is a concept I can get behind (although I am currently on day 6 of no beer while I try to get my cholesterol and triglycerides under control, again).

I don’t bring these encounters up lightly. I take the homeless problem seriously. Especially among my fellow veterans. But today, I couldn’t help these folks. I have basically stopped carrying cash.  Not that I’m afraid of getting mugged, but because an ATM card is just too convenient. There really isn’t any reason to carry cash. Or is there?

This reminded me of an encounter Wifey® and I had outside a local store a week or two ago. As we were leaving the store a young man with his family, significant other, and two small children were asking passers-bys for help.  The gentleman was wearing a clean Subway restaurant shirt and hat leaving to believe that he had a job. Of course, Subway, and similar fast food jobs are usually part-time minimum wages deals. And we all know that a single person, let alone a family can’t live off of minimum wage. I guess it’s obvious I support the $15 an hour minimum wage initiative.

As usual, neither of us had any cash and told them we couldn’t help them. But as we were pulling out of the parking lot I realized I did have a credit card for that store. I could have taken them into the store and bought them at least something that would satisfy at least part of their need. I will admit that I was almost in tears because I failed to help another fellow.

And that leads me to another story (yeah I know, shut up already).

Many years ago, when I did call myself a “Christian”, which I no longer do, this happened at the church we attended.

It was while I was setting up for a Wednesday evening Bible study/reflection time (I was on the soundboard as usual) when a down-on-his-luck gentleman approached me asking for money.  Well, this time I did have some cash on me. I gave him all I had, a whopping $5. After the guy left one of the members of the church, a deacon no less, said to me “Why did you give that bum money? You know all he’s going to do is buy beer with it!” My reply and one I still use to this day when I asked the same question was “Well, what the hell did you think I was going to do with the money?” Basically, I gave the guy my beer money, but I knew I had some more beer at home.

And if I had any beer at home today, I would have given the guy with the beer sign a beer or two. Share and share alike!

I’m sure some folks reading this (there is somebody reading this right?) will disagree with my view on helping folks that are not as fortunate as themselves. And while, as I said, do not call myself a Christian, I believe the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels (and I don’t think they are exact quotes, or if the human Jesus even said anything close to the words) are a good guideline for behavior towards our fellow humanity. Especially in regards to what is usually termed the “least of these”. To me, that means anyone on the fringe or outskirts of society. From what I’ve read of the New Testament, they tend to use the terms widow, orphan, poor, and occasionally refugee. In today’s world that would mean (to me at least) the homeless, the LGBT people who have been rejected, the refugees that have come to live with us (in or from ANY country, of ANY race, creed, color etc.), the indigenous peoples and ALL the other people of color, women, I could go on. But that’s another post.

My dear-ol-mother used to try to stop me from helping folks when I was younger.  Her favorite phrase was “Charity starts at home”. But then the question becomes; “define HOME”.  Going back to the Bible, even Jesus was asked a similar question, “Who is my neighbor?”, his response was the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you don’t know that parable click here to read it.  Of note on that parable is the Jesus Seminar released a book several years ago Sayings of Jesus” where they examine the sayings attributed to Jesus in the four Gospels. This parable was one of the few that all the participants agreed was a very probable saying from Jesus. (OK, I promise no more Bible references. I’m not a Bible scholar.)

No matter your belief system, I bet in some “holy” book you will find a varient of the “Take care of the ‘least of these'” command. I know you will find it in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qu’ran because I’ve read all three.

So what are your thoughts on helping today’s “least of these”? I’m not just talking money. It could be time spent with people in the hospital or an assisted living facility. Or visiting people in jail. Helping at a homeless shelter, a food bank, the list goes on. I admit, that I fall very short in this area. I try but fail. So for me, it’s usually a monetary donation. But when I was underemployed, it was time.

So do you do anything to help? Even if you don’t (no judgment here), leave a comment on your views on this subject. I welcome any open and thoughtful discourse. However, I do reserve the right to delete any derogatory comments.

Peace,
B

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Maybe A Repeat

Pretty sure I’ve posted this video before, but I’m not looking through old posts to see. But this one of my favorite songs of all times. Up there with Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic”.

I think anyone with a “mental illness” ( I am bipolar type II), can relate to. As the song says;

“No matter how fast I run I can never seem to get away from myself. No matter where I am I can’t help thinking I’m just a day away from where I need to be.”

We can never match what we expect. Some of us are fucked up, and will never be whole, no matter what your belief system is. We will not be raised in “new incorruptible” bodies, nor will we be reincarnated into a new body to try again. All that happens, is we get dispersed into the cosmos and maybe, MAYBE, parts of us come back co-mingled with parts of others… “We came from stardust, and to stardust, we return”.

Peace,
B