kaizen
what's been floating my boat lately:
  • hiking

  • "How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think."
    -Hitler-
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    -Albert Einstein-


    9/20/23( 21:40)

  • Today was a good day. Started off not really wanting to go to work and feeling the mid week slog more than usual. Maybe Merritt picked up on it. I sat on the couch with the girls and Merritt snuggled with me for a while and asked me not to go when I told her I had to get going. Then she asked if she could go to work with me and I reflexively said no. Then I thought about it more and she asked more and I said sure let's play hooky. Zoe asked if she could too and I said no and then I thought better of it and said okay. Took them to work and the day turned out to be more fun than usual. Went to the warehouse and set up two guys doing work there. Left the girls at the warehouse with Meryl and the guys. Then went to the new house to setup two more guys there. We should have the permit finally either tomorrow (Thursday) or Monday (building department employees don't work on Fridays). Showed them what to do and they worked on that. Then I went to another job for an inspection and got a little work done there. Passed inspection which is always nice. Also met with PG&E about a new meter array we're going to put in there. They said it's going to likely be several months to get it done. Then I went back to the warehouse to pickup the girls. Meryl went to SF for another inspection there. Then I went with the girls to my favorite lunch/burger spot and the lady who knows me got to meet the girls. We got burgers and fries and an oreo milkshake. Then we went to another job to check out one of the guys who was doing painting there. He's the new guy (Mitchell) and unfortunately I don't think he's going to last in the long term, but that's another story. Then we went back to the new house to drop off trash at the dump truck that I store there now. Went over a few more things with the guys and then went to HD to pickup materials. Girls helped with that. Clerk didn't ring me up for a couple items so we ended up getting a couple freebies. I'm not complaining. Then we went do Jamba for an afternoon snack. Then we went to another supplier to pick up a special order item. Then we went home before 4p. Got a decent amount done and got to hang out with 2 of my favorite people all day.
  • Merritt said she wished she never had to go to school and that they could just hang out with the family and learn that way. I agreed and I've felt that way many times as well.
  • Not sure if I've mentioned it before, but Jesus lives at our new house now. He had some problems with his living situation so we offered for him to live there for a while. He set up a ghetto cold shower situation in the shed, but, other than that, it's basically a studio apartment for free so he's happy.
  • Monday was a bad day. Went around doing the rounds checking out the guys at different jobs. Went to a job in the hills and had intended to only be there a few minutes to drop off materials and check things out. It turned out to be closer to 15 minutes and when I came out all the doors to my truck were open. I knew what happened of course, but I was hopeful that they didn't get everything....but they did. All my cordless power tools were stolen from the truck. $4k worth of stuff. Some form of theft happens every year. It's just the reality of living in Oakland. For me, it's not just a thing that happens on the news. It's not a thing that just happens on Next Door. It's a thing that is a real part of my life consistently. Sometimes it's only a couple hundred bucks (like a few months ago when they stole a bunch of drill bits from the truck in the middle of the night in our driveway). Other times it's thousands, like it was this time or the time 5 years ago when they got $12k+ worth of tools.
  • They also got Jesus' power tools. Carlos had his truck locked so he was spared.
  • Yes, I need to lock my truck every time even if it's for a minute. On the other hand, this is a shitty way to live. People understand that when you say a woman was asking for it by wearing a short skirt - there's absolutely zero tolerance of that argument in polite society. But the "you should always lock your doors" argument is literally enshrined in signs throughout the city. "Always lock up" "Don't leave valuables behind" Just imagine signs in the night club "cover your drink so you don't get roofied" "cover up so you don't get groped" What a world we live in.
  • Anyway, it was a shitty day, but I've moved on.
  • While I was at the warehouse today I talked with a neighbor who was fed up with the homeless people living in front of our warehouse. He asked why I hadn't done anything to get them to go. As best I can figure, people look at me as a white guy and think I have some sort of power. "Surely a white guy complaining to the city will solve this problem immediately." I clued him into the reality that the city doesn't give a shit as evidenced by the 9 months of inaction despite my constant hectoring of them. He was surprised that nothing had been done. He told me his neighbor was a slob and was piling up trash in the backyard. I looked back there and sure enough it was basically a massive dumpster. He said the rats are coming into his yard. This is the reality of how people live. I got his contact info and will loop him into the correspondence, but I doubt anything will be done. I don't want to be a community organizer. That's what city council people are supposed to do. We offload that responsibility to them to keep society running. Unfortunately it doesn't work in Oakland. So, I might become a community organizer in the next few months...gathering signatures, etc. to pressure the idiots in the city to do their fucking job.
  • People have a lot of buzz words/phrases these days. One of them is having a "feeling of belonging." The supposition is that dominant groups have a feeling of belonging that "historically marginalized peoples" don't have. As a person in the dominant group I can say I've never had a feeling of belonging. The implication seems to be that being a white guy means that you automatically fit in and have this magical feeling of belonging that empowers you and "centers" your identity. Lots of buzzwords and not a lot of sense, imo. I don't really feel it. That's my "lived experience" and you're not allowed to deny that anymore so...
  • Didn't really watch the Republican debate, but heard some highlights. Seemed obvious that Vivek won it, but most of the media missed this fact. He did get a bump afterwards and that was predictable despite (maybe because of) most of the media not liking him. Basically the mainstream legacy media doesn't understand the average Republican voter. Unfortunately we have a broken culture that revolves around attention. If you can get attention then you are good. Pathetic formula, but it seems to be pretty simple. It felt like there was a time when other things were valued, but now it's mostly about the clicks and views.
  • For some reason there's been a debate lately about drag queens. One side says that drag queens are perverts and the other side says they're saving the world or whatever. The weird thing is that it seems like it's a hill that people are willing to die on to allow them to have story hour for elementary school kids. I just fail to understand why a person would fight so much for a drag queen story hour for elementary school kids. I don't know the full history of drag, but it seems to me like it's basically guys dressing up like women. They are not trans. Why is that a necessary artistic form of expression for elementary school kids? Why is fighting against parents not wanting that in their school a worthy fight? Conservatives see this as creepy or not age appropriate or "grooming" behavior. Of course you could ask the other question as well - why fight against drag queens reading stories to your kids? Liberals see this as hateful and exclusionary.
  • A lot of the time when I'm talking about these issues I'm referring to polite society, not the trailer park consensus (as a simplistic contrast). There are different norms depending upon where you are. When I'm talking to my guys (who work for me and are mostly immigrants) they will say things that wouldn't fly at the dinner parties I've gone to.
  • In polite society it's much more acceptable to say "the future is female" or "what do we even need men for?" These are popular memes and laugh lines in polite society. In polite society the idea of a patriarchy, in light of these kinds of comments, is kind of comical. In polite society comments about my idiot husband go over just fine compared to my ditsy wife who doesn't know how to drive or whatever. Sure, once you go to Wal-Mart those realities flip. But if you went to Berkeley and run in the circles I'm in, the Wal-Mart reality is not the daily reality you likely experience, and yet that's the world that is depicted in the conversations people have about politics, gender, race, etc. These people get to have the best of both worlds. Freedom to demean men/white people and act like perpetual victims, while also existing in a cultural framework that fully supports them and even puts them on a pedestal.
  • I've seen a lot of "the future is female" shirts in the last couple years. If we're going to play the game of checking the origins of things we don't like then let's do it with that. You know the game - police in America have roots in slave patrols, which is a way of supposedly showing that police in America are racist and maybe we should just abolish the police. That "future is female" idea came from a feminist who argued that future society should only be 10% male (though she didn't argue for genocide, to her credit). From wikipedia:
  • "In her early career, Gearhart took part in a series of seminars at San Francisco State University, where feminist scholars were critically discussing issues of rape, slavery, and the possibility of nuclear annihilation. Gearhart outlines a three-step proposal for female-led social change from her essay, "The Futureľ-If There Is Oneľ-is Female":

  • I) Every culture must begin to affirm a female future.
    II) Species responsibility must be returned to women in every culture.
    III) The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race.
    Gearhart does not base this radical proposal on the idea that men are innately violent or oppressive, but rather on the "real danger is in the phenomenon of male-bonding, that commitment of groups of men to each other whether in an army, a gang, a service club, a lodge, a monastic order, a corporation, or a competitive sport." Gearhart identifies the self-perpetuating, male-exclusive reinforcement of power within these groups as corrosive to female-led social change. Thus, if "men were reduced in number, the threat would not be so great and the placement of species responsibility with the female would be assured."
    Gearhart, a dedicated pacifist, recognized that this kind of change could not be achieved through mass violence. On the critical question of how women could achieve this, Gearhart argues that it is by women's own capacity for reproduction that the ratio of men to women can be changed though the technologies of cloning or ovular merging, both of which would only produce female births. She argues that as women take advantage of these reproductive technologies, the sex ratio would change over generations.[14]
    Daphne Patai in her book Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism summarizes Gearhart's essay as, "The future must be in female hands, women alone must control the reproduction of species; and only 10% of the population should be allowed to be male".[15]
    Mary Daly supported Gearhart's proposals, stating: "I think it's not a bad idea at all. If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males."
  • I've pointed out before that this game is silly and inconsistently applied. It's a shit argument and here are a few more examples that I've come up with to test whether or not you want to bring up this argument in the future:
  • public education had roots in the KKK wanting to take students away from private catholic schools an put them into public, protestant schools. Guess we shouldn't be for public education anymore.
  • planned parenthood had roots in the eugenics movement. Oops.
  • holistic college admissions began as a way of excluding Jews who did too well on grades/tests. Guess we should go back to just using grades?
  • the terms gender role and gender identity and sexual orientation were coined by John Money who was an abuser and all around piece of shit. Guess we shouldn't use those terms anymore.
  • minimum wage in the US drove up black unemployment. Bacon Davis prevailing wage law was seen as a way of getting black people to not be in construction. The last time black unemployment was lower than white UE was in 1930, which was when minimum wage began. Hm, abolish minimum wage because of its racist beginnings?
  • gun control laws were originally meant to keep guns away from blacks. Let's not have gun control anymore, then?
  • occupational licensing laws were meant to keep blacks out of certain jobs.
  • pink lemonade was literally invented by a racist clown.

  • 9/12/23 (14:40)

  • Part of being liberal is that you tend to be more open and that usually includes being more inclusive. This manifests itself in being the type to include more letters in the LGBTQAI2S++ community and all that. But it also means you're more likely to put up with wackos running around the city, including the library, making things difficult. Per the linked article, even people in Oakland have their limit when it comes to crazies bothering people in libraries. Hopefully these things are all adding up to a realization to the fact that there should be limits to being inclusive and open and tolerant. Taken alone, these things are fine and dandy. But all things have their limits and this city is beyond reason when it comes to the oftentimes nice inclination to include or tolerate diversity and all that.

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