kaizen
what's been floating my boat lately:

"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-

9/13/21 (21:30)

  • CA recall for governor Newsom is tomorrow. When we did the recall the last time I was against it. I thought Davis was getting a raw deal (still think so) and I thought it was a slippery slope to recalling every governor any time they messed up on something. Now, though, I think we're in such a crisis in our society that we need to restore accountability at every turn at the cost of most of our other priorities. Of course, I think this needs to be equally applied (that's the real definition of accountability after all). The fuck ups from Newsom on: COVID overreach, EDD abuse/ineptitude, wildfire/forest mismanagement, homelessness, water issues, exodus of people for other states, general lack of business friendly environment, his douchey haircut, his French Laundry dinner without following his own guidance, etc. all have lead me to vote yes on the recall. He needs to be held accountable for all that and more.
  • A couple things...I don't think he'll be recalled. If I were betting on it then I'd bet he'd survive. The ruling class types often talk about how much better a Parliamentary Government is than our system. One of the hallmarks of such a system is the ability to call an election at any time. Well, that's what the recall is, but it's done by the citizens, not by those in charge. These same people also often lament the lack of democratic rule in this country. Well, here's democracy at work. The people getting an extra chance to decide whether or not the governor is working for them or not.
  • Now, I'll be the first to admit that what happens after the question of a recall is flawed. For those who don't know, the vote is yes/no to recall the governor. After that you get to vote on his replacement should the recall pass. The winner of the most votes in that second portion of the ballot becomes the governor. Since there are 40+ people on the ballot, it's very possible that the new governor would have only 15% of the vote. This is even more true since many followed Newsom's selfish advice to not vote for anyone as a replacement. So, there will be many Newsom sheep who vote "no" to recalling him and then leave the second part blank. You know, because they love democracy so much. The same people who constantly complain about the Senate not being democratic enough. You can't make this shit up.
  • The process issue is particularly annoying for me because it comes up every time a Democrat loses, but hardly ever when a Democrat is in charge. I've written about this before in an effort to not be one of those people. After Biden won, I laid out what his ambitious agenda should include and it was largely (and primarily) focused on process and voting reform. Things like some federalization of voting standards, DC statehood or representation under Maryland, representation for Puerto Rico, etc. Of course, here we are 9 months into his presidency and none of that has really been tried. Vaccine mandates, free stuff, infrastructure, but nothing that would fix the more fundamental issues. It's almost as if Democrats like having excuses.
  • At any rate, Democrats in this state have been in charge at every level for 10 years and I haven't heard a single word on reforming the recall process. They complain about it now, but did nothing about it before. If you're in charge of Congress and the governor's seat and you don't at least try to change a thing then you are implicitly saying that you are fine with that thing as it is.
  • So, I voted to kick Newsom to the curb for the aforementioned reasons. I tried hard to find a Republican I could stomach voting for. I wanted to mix things up and send a message. But I honestly couldn't find anyone I agreed with on enough stuff so I ended up voting for the Democrat who is most likely to get the most votes. I'm not very proud of this vote.
  • Just wanted to get that on record before tomorrow. Work is super busy but I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Have 6 guys working for me most days now and hopefully will get that down to 4 soon and then back up to 6 if we get the new house. I'm hoping to hire a really skilled person who can help renovate the new house if we are able to make the funding for that work.
  • We're doing all sorts of loan paperwork the last year. Refi the house, SBA loan for the warehouse, loan for the new house. Super tedious and annoying.

  • 8/26/21 (21:01)

  • The last couple days have been eventful. Yesterday I was trying to wrap up a job where we were painting a 2500 sf house on Anza in SF...along with replacing lights, new counters, etc. prepping for sale. I tried to get another painter to do the paint, but he ghosted me. I worked with him once before and he was okay. I didn't really want to do this job so I tried to give it to someone else, but it didn't work out. Yesterday was our last real day there and so I had the trailer there loading the old counters and trash the owners left behind, etc. Of course it's in SF so I had to double park to load things up so I had my blinkers on for a while and then I figured I'd just turn them off. Well, the battery died so that was great, but I have a jumper pack so I tried that out and it didn't work. Bad connection on the terminals. Meanwhile the neighbor is trying to leave her driveway and I've pinned her in. Got her to drive on the sidewalk and she got out. She was nice about it.
  • I'm supposed to be helping Meryl at another job right now, but obviously can't make it so I send Antonio. Finally charged up the jumper pack and Jesus cleaned the terminals on the battery for a better connection and we got it started.
  • Meryl texts me that she got a parking ticket. Second one in two days.
  • Took the trailer to another job and double parked again. Left it running while Victor and I unloaded building materials from the truck and loaded more trash into the trailer.
  • Then I go to another job where we're supposed to replace some lights, hang a mirror and troubleshoot a non-functioning light. I figure out that the switch is bad and luckily (actually I'm just well-prepared) I had an extra switch - 1 with dimmer and 1 without. Unfortunately I have to unhitch the trailer to get to the drawers in the bed of the truck to access the extra switches.
  • Then we figure out that Meryl didn't bring the swag hook for the light I was troubleshooting. Luckily I have one with me in the truck at all times. Cut my thumb while trying to fish it out of the back of the truck (it was super full from the last job). Bleeding everywhere. Tape it up with electrical tape and move on.
  • The mirror was supposed to be removed by the painter and patched since it is glued to the wall, but of course he didn't do his job so now we have to do it for him. Use some picture hanging wire (always in our staging kit) to saw back and forth behind the mirror through the mastic to get it off. Worked like a charm.
  • Then I get a call from the internet company ready to setup internet at the warehouse. I drop by there and they say it will take 2.5 hours and I need to be there the entire time - company policy. I can't convince them that I don't care... if they just lock the door on their way out it's fine with me. So I reschedule for a Sunday so I can sit there watching them work on my day off.
  • Then I have to deliver a check to the countertop guy because he can't wait 3 days for the check to come in the mail.
  • Then I go to the dump to unload the trailer. Dump trailer is great because I can just press a button and it raises up to unload everything and then the hydraulic piston lowers back down to get ready for the next load. Only it doesn't lower back down because it's out of batteries. I google "is mercury in retrograde" and it turns out it isn't so Astrology (oddly) doesn't explain this shitty day. Luckily (or maybe not) I was charging the jumper pack while the truck was running since it was depleted a bit from having to start it last time so it was at 100%. I hook it up to the trailer battery this time and get the trailer lowered. Uses almost 70% of the pack's charge doing it, but we're all good again and back on the road.
  • Go home, unload the trailer and the truck (it's about as full as it gets with paint supplies, tools, drop cloths, primer, mud, etc.) and then drive to the smog test station since I'm due for that.
  • Then I drive to get the girls and then to the auto parts store to buy a new battery. Get home and all is fine.
  • The number of times my day could have been majorly derailed is crazy. This is an atypical day, but it's the kind of thing that happens every couple weeks. There are just so many moving parts to what I do. 5-6 people working for me. 4-12 jobs running or pending at any given time...it's just a matter of numbers. Someone is going to get COVID. Something is going to break. We're going to run out of something, etc. I could have been at the first job waiting for roadside rescue to come for a couple hours. It would have cost me a lot of time and money. Luckily I was able to send Antonio to take care of the other job. Luckily I charged the pack while driving so it was ready for the trailer issue.
  • This morning the truck started okay and I had Jesus replace the battery. Other crew is in SF working on a small framing and drywall project, we're in Oakland trying to finish some molding and paint for a woman while she's out of town. Run out of molding so I have to run and get some more.
  • Along the way I check out a job for the property management company. Woman complains that her blinds are too dirty. She spent 4+ hours cleaning 2 of them and they are still dirty. There are 9 in the 120 year old apartment she's renting. The ones she cleaned looks fine to me. I tell her if that's not clean enough then they will need to be replaced. It's a shame because they are nice blinds and I don't really want to send them to a landfill and spend $1,000 on new ones (though I add that the property manager would most likely be willing to do it). She agrees that it's a shame, but doesn't seem to understand that she holds 100% of the power in her hands. If she says getting a cleaning crew there will suffice then they remain in the apartment, not in the landfill. Instead she continues to complain about how dirty they are. "You can't see it as much right now, but at night it looks like the yellow stains are moving." At this point I pretty much just shut down and take measurements for new blinds. Then she mentions that the air quality is really bad with the fires and that she can hear everything going on outside and both these problems come back to her windows. They rattle and aren't air tight. That's because she's renting a room in a 120 year old building. I try to say this nicely. I try to point out that we can seal up the windows with foam gaskets, but that the house itself is leaking air everywhere. This all goes in one ear and out the other. People have no clue how leaky old homes are. People have no idea how much old dust is in their walls being carried with the air that's leaking  through the baseboard and outlets and shower escutcheon and plumbing penetrations and cabinets and attic access ladder and everywhere else. So they get all worried about the little bits that they see as if shoring that up will do anything. You're plugging up the hole in the Titanic with your finger as if you're doing something meaningful.
  • I was supposed to go to another little job, but the customer texted that she couldn't be there after all.
  • We finished up the molding/paint project and started taking up all the paper we put down to protect the floors. Unfortunately the floor guy didn't do a good job so the tape took up some of the finish. Should have been a clean exit, but now I have to go back tomorrow to refinish 3 spots. We used delicate surfaces tape and it still took up spots. I can't imagine how bad it would have been if we hadn't done that. I carry wipe on poly with me in the truck so I tried to touch up with that, but the color match wasn't good so I'll try again tomorrow.
  • Then I get a call from Meryl who is at the Anza paint job and the garage door won't close. We do a video call and I tell her how to fix the issue. Cleaners probably hit the garage door sensor on their way out or something so it wouldn't close.
  • Then I get an email tonight that there's a gas leak on a job we worked out. Turned out it was actually a job where we coordinated Home Depot replacing the range. According to the tenant PG&E turned off her gas because the install wasn't done properly. So, now I have to go there tomorrow morning to fix that.
  • No one does their job so I have to pick up the pieces. HD, cleaners, painter, floor guy, etc. This is basically a constant issue for me. It's the kind of thing that drives some builders and remodelers to keep everything in house and be extremely picky about the jobs they take. As soon as someone else is in the picture there's an opportunity for failure. It's hard enough to rely on yourself, but relying on others is a losing venture. That said, there's truth to the adage that if you want to go fast you go alone, but if you want to go far you go with others. I value getting shit done and the only way that happens is with help. That means you have to put up with all that comes with it, but you get more done that way in the long run.
  • Customers are the worst part of the job. We have a big job we've been working on for about two months now. They keep adding more things and also want it to be done faster. I'm not sure how those things go together. In the contract we stated that it would be 8-11 weeks if the house was vacant. The week the project is supposed to start they ask if we'll be done in 6 weeks. Huh? The timeline is literally in the first paragraph of the contract. These are people who made notes/amendments about stuff on page 9 of the contract so it's not like they didn't at least look at it. The first day I went there I told Meryl they were going to be trouble. How did I know? Because my little man told me. Actually, the real clincher was the Volvo in the driveway. Volvo drivers are trouble. He's an engineer and she's a doctor. Triple Trouble. Once did a couple jobs for a shrink who owned a Volvo and lived in Berkeley. That was also triple trouble. Three strikes and you're out.
  • Never lost money on a job I didn't take. Need to remember that more often.
  • So, this is pretty much my life on a daily basis.
  • "Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." -Eisenhower. I live this daily as well. At noon my plan for Friday was one thing and then at 8p tonight it was totally different. Sometimes I wonder if I just shouldn't plan at all. It's basically pointless since shit comes up all the time. Someone calls in sick. Customer cancels a job. Materials not available. Shipment delayed. Emergency job comes up. Every day it's something new. Adapt and overcome everyday.
  • After you workout you feel sore the next day, but that soreness is usually a "good" sore. Is it actually a different physiological soreness or is it just your interpretation of the same feeling? I think it's the latter. Framing and how we interpret things is so important and we know this in so many ways and yet we insist on framing things in damaging and unproductive ways all the time. Just think about that with all the crap we're going through and talking about these days.
  • Is it possible to have a similar feeling about the stress you go through? Stress is something similar to a mental workout so is it possible to interpret that mental exhaustion as a good soreness? Definitely more difficult. Can't workout 24/7 either, but you can be stressed out 24/7.
  • A business' value is the sum of all the problems it has solved. We're a pretty valuable business by that definition.
  • "My World Is Empty Without You" may be the best song ever. Holland-Dossier-Holland and Diana Ross. Doesn't get much better.

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    8/18/21 (22:25)

  • We have 5 guys and 1 assistant working for us now and we're busier than we've ever been. 2 guys are out with COVID right now so that's slowing things down a bit. Part of the issue is that a lot of stuff we do people want done right away so they can put the house on the market or move in or just have the project over with. Everyone wants things done ASAP. If it were just me then, theoretically, I would have months worth of work in the pipeline, but the reality is that much of this work has an expiration date. If I can't get something done in the next couple weeks then they'll go to someone else. So, I either need to pass on it or mobilize enough help to gather that money. This is the current status quo, but who knows what will happen in a year. In the meantime I've been thinking of employees as tools. I want to have the best tools in place to accomplish any given task. Invest in the right tools and your life is easier or you can do more. Part of the implicit deal I have with my guys is that I keep them busy 40 hours a week and they take less than they would take if they were trying to hustle for one job at a time. During COVID that meant that I had them work on my house to fill in gaps in the schedule. But I pretty much always kept them busy (there were just a few days that Moises had other jobs that he did) because I think of that as my responsibility.
  • Product shortages continue to be a thing. I guess there's a real problem with the supply chain - things backed up at port, not enough truck drivers, etc. And everything compounds because we're so interconnected. My own theory is that most people are slacking off to some extent during this BS. They're working from home and I just don't believe the studies that find that people are more productive at home. I believe it's true for high achieving people with high trait conscientiousness, but the majority of people aren't conscientious enough to be left at home and get a full 8 hours done. When the cat's away the mice will play. So, pre-COVID, people worked 8 hours and actually got 6 hours of work done. Now they work 7 hours and get 5.5 hours of work done. Each person in the supply chain is working 2.5 hours a week less, some people aren't working at all because they've discovered they don't like working or whatever, some people are sick, etc. All that together equals shortages and general annoyance.
  • I think we need to go for a moon shot on the power issue. Electrical generation is a huge issue, though it is kind of in the background most of the time. With more electric cars we'll need more electrical generation. With more warming more people will get AC units and we'll need more electrical generation. In CA we're going to be decommissioning Diablo Canyon soon and that provides something like 9% of CA's total electrical generation even though it runs all the time and produces energy at something like 60% of the cost of the average kWh in CA. If people really cared about global warming and thought it was going to be the end of the world (as many people say without exaggeration) I think nuclear would be the obvious choice. I have historically been reluctant on nuclear and still think it comes with a lot of potential downside, but I think it's got to be part of the mix going forward.
  • Back to the original point, though...we need to shoot for fusion or some other kind of game changer in the energy sector. Something that addresses global warming and gives us cheap and abundant/scalable power would solve a lot of issues. Not just global warming or pollution, but also clean water, which is poised to be another big issue in the future. With abundant, cheap power we could go fully into desalination like Israel or at least like San Diego which gets 10% of its drinking water from desal. With cheap power we could then pump that water to wherever we need. Unlocking cheap, clean power would be a huge game changer. Fusion is always 50 years away so maybe that's not the way to go. Maybe the answer is battery technology and solar/wind. Whatever the answer...we need to put a lot of effort into the unsexy pursuit of clean/cheap energy.
  • The CDC is now recommending a third shot for some when the first shot hasn't even been approved by the usual standard. So, is the usual standard total bullshit or are we cutting corners or what?
  • Trying to get anything done on almost any government webpage is an exercise in futility. I think it's a pretty weedsy problem having to do with the government procurement process, but the bottom line is that government websites almost always suck. I deal mostly with CA sites so my experience is limited to that. But we brag about how we're the #6 economy in the world and the hub of technology and all the rest, but we can't put together sites that are designed intuitively or function as intended. Get 1,000 CSU and UC students to intern and they could solve most of these problems in a year. The brain power is there, the political will to make it happen isn't.
  • The olympics in track and field saw a 36% increase in national records and 45% decrease in testing from WADA. This from the more or less podcast. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that my theory and prediction on this was correct. More records, more doping, less oversight.
  • Michael Lewis has a book out about the pandemic and in one of his interviews he agreed with me and said that blaming the pandemic on Trump is really a mistake. The pandemic is about a lot more than Trump, and blaming his actions/inaction is a distraction from the larger issues. This may be the way in which Trump is the most damaging...like many bad things, it's often the outsized response that can do more damage than the bad thing itself. Trump was a POS, but blaming everything on him and not learning the right lessons really stunts our collective growth. In this way, Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real (and damaging) thing.
  • Liveleak.com shut down pretty recently. It's too bad because this was one of the places online you could go for the stories that the regular media wouldn't touch. Of course, in true internet style, this meant it had a lot of unsavory stuff on there, but being able to see unedited/uncensored dashcam video or citizen video of stuff was really helpful when trying to get the real story. Then again, you were pretty much guaranteed to see someone die any time you went there so there's that.
  • What's wrong with "eh" as a word indicating indifference or dissatisfaction? Why did we need to turn it into "meh?" If it ain't broke why fix it?

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    8/9/21 (20:17)

  • First day back to school for the girls. Pickup and drop off were a disaster so tonight we got an 800 word essay on the new policies for pickup and drop off. Signed by the principal "In partnership, (Principal's Name)" I just don't understand the world or other people.
  • Officially the owners of a warehouse now. Got all our stuff moved out of 5 storage units a couple weeks ago. More inventory coming in means we would have had to rent probably 2 more units, so we got it just in time. Been working on sorting all the stuff, getting utilities set up, planning on upgrading electrical panels, putting in a bunch of shelving, etc. Luckily lumber prices are coming back to earth so we're not paying an arm and a leg for that.
  • Biden had an amazing flip flop the other week. On Monday the NYT reported, and Jen Psaki said, that Biden didn't think it was the federal government's place to mandate vaccines for its employees. Come Wednesday of the same week the NYT reported that they were reconsidering their position...on Thursday they decided that vaccines would be mandatory. I mean, this is kind of a big thing to change your mind on in a few days. Maybe you think they made the right decision, but to go from it's not within the purview of the federal government to do such and such to then doing that thing within a few days seems like a large reversal. Obama was also infamous for this on the immigration issue. Early in his administration he said he couldn't unilaterally change immigration policy and then, later in his administration, he issued executive orders doing exactly what he said he couldn't do. This from a professor of Constitutional Law. The expansion of presidential power continues as the shirking of responsibility from Congress continues. It's pathetic and without bounds. Both sides do it and then complain when the other side does it.
  • Simone Biles got a lot of hype come this olympics. It got me looking into who the actual G.O.A.T. in gymnastics might be and I found that, in my opinion, it has to be Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union. She had 18 total medals and 14 world championship medals (back when they only held the events every four years, compared to every year today). She's undoubtedly the greatest gymnast of all time in terms of hardware relative to her era. She was also raised by her illiterate single mother (a cleaner) after her father left when she was a baby and then died at the battle of Stalingrad. Not only is she the better gymnast, but she's a greater inspiration.
  • Regarding the Biles controversy, which came after I decided that Latynina is the actual GOAT...I think she let a lot of people down and she damaged her legacy. There are a lot of people who have as much pressure as she does and they don't quit on their teams. In fact, I can't think of another person who is called the best of all time or embraces that title, who walked away from a major competition in that manner. The closest one that comes to mind was when Scottie Pippen took off his shoes in the playoffs - and that is a pretty infamous moment in NBA history and it hurt his legacy as well. Though no one would ever call him the best ever.
  • On the other hand, I think our culture is pretty epically flawed in the way it deals with celebrities. We lift them up far too easily and for many of the wrong reasons. And then we capriciously tear them down at the slightest provocation. It's a double edged sword and it turns many average and below average people into famous, rich, insane idiots. Britney Spears is a perfect example of this. She's probably of average intelligence and she is praised and hated for all sorts of mostly dumb reasons. She's put on a pedestal far too easily, driven to insanity, given way too much of a platform, way too much money and then it all crumbles around her because she's not super human. We almost did the same thing to Dave Chappelle, but he's above average and he got out just in time.
  • South Park did an episode about the modern day human sacrifice aspect of our culture and it captured things pretty well...per the usual for them.
  • Is it appropriate to point out that toxic femininity is at play here? Gossip can be a very useful social mechanism. It's an extra judicial, informal social accountability mechanism that can warn other women (or anyone) about guys who are shady or business people who cheat or any number of things. It's mostly a female thing the way that many of the things that are ascribed toxic masculinity are mostly a male thing. Unfortunately, if taken too far, gossip and the desire for it can also throw innocent people under the bus, ruin reputations, lead to paparazzi, etc. I don't think a lot of guys are the ones clicking on the stories about Simone Biles' meltdown or buying her book or creating a demand for pictures of her going to the grocery store. Just saying.
  • Re: the free Britney stuff...this is a classic example of government overreach. When taking away a person's freedom the bar has to be higher than it apparently was in this case. She's not entirely there mentally. She's not the sharpest tool in the shed. She should also have full control over the money she earned with her labor. From the information I've gathered (without looking into it independently), she appears to be in good enough condition to determine her own fate. The State and her father have the burden of proof to prove that she's not capable of taking care of herself, and that bar should be set very high.
  • Athing Mu was a highlight of the Olympics. She ran the 800m and led wire to wire. She's so smooth and a great runner. Hard to believe she's only 19. Great runner.
  • Grant Fisher got #5 in the 10k and I thought ran a good race. That's a good finish for a US runner. Centrowitz didn't qualify for the 1500m final and that was a disappointment. There was a US BMX biker who was in silver medal position with one run to go. Instead of going hard for it she did two jumps and sat out the last 40 seconds of her run. I'm not sure I understand that.
  • Something that's been going around lately is that the police started with slave patrols. The implication here is that since that's their history it explains their present, or it demonstrates the true purpose of the police is to keep black people in check. I think I've touched on this before, but this is just a really bad argument. It's like saying that Planned Parenthood is fundamentally about eugenics since Margaret Sanger was the founder of PP and also a Eugenicist. The next step of the argument is to point out that Blacks are disproportionately represented in abortions. Evidently the modern environmental movement also has racist and eugencist roots. So, do we not trust PP or environmentalism any more?
  • Froggender is a thing now. Hopefully you're keeping up with the growing list. Einstein was right to change his mind...the universe definitely is expanding.
  • Idiocy anywhere is a threat to intelligence everywhere. Is that how that quote goes? Something like that.
  • 99% invisible had a podcast episode a while back talking about the design of flags so of course there was a racial angle and they had a black guy on who said that he feels safe when he sees a red, green, and black flag. There's also been some talk lately about how the American flag is triggering and threatening for some people. This is a sad state of affairs. Regarding the red, green, and black flag maybe Tupac should weigh in here...

  • "I've been trapped since birth, cautious, 'cause I'm cursed
    And fantasies of my family, in a hearse
    And they say it's the white man I should fear
    But, it's my own kind doin' all the killin' here
    I can't lie, ain't no love for the other side
    Jealousy inside, make 'em wish I died
    Oh my Lord, tell me what I'm livin' for
    Everybody's droppin' got me knockin' on heaven's door"
  • Apparently four capitol police officers have committed suicide since the 1/6/21 insurrection. There's a lot here...1. This seems like a very high number of people to commit suicide because some idiots broke into a building you were supposed to be guarding. What drives that many people to kill themselves over that? I'm having trouble understanding why that would be your response to a stressful time. PTSD? How many officers responded to this? 4 out of X kill themselves? This seems a lot less stressful and a lot higher suicide rate than, say, WW2 infantrymen. What's going on here? Does this have any precedence? Rodney King riots....how many police officers killed themselves after that? 9/11 responders? I haven't found any context from the media on this. Another media fail.
  • 2. This "death by suicide" term is part of a larger change in language that has been going on the last several year and I can't say I'm a fan. Death by suicide implies it just happened to you. Conspiracy theories aside, suicide doesn't happen to a person. It's something you choose to do. If we want to eliminate the idea of free will altogether (some do) then this seems like a step in the right direction, but count me out.
  • Overall there seems to be a linguistic shift towards language that removes agency. You're not a bum anymore. You're not even homeless. You're "experiencing houselessness." You don't commit suicide, you "died by suicide." There are many more examples of people changing culture with language. Sometimes it's in ways that are supposed to be kinder and gentler, but often it's just sissy shit that treats people like a leaf in the wind. It's called learned helplessness. It's real and and it's rampant. It's not reality and, even if it were, it's not helpful. People who feel like they have no control shoot up schools, cry about every little slight, and can't handle the realities of the world. The world isn't easy. Get tougher. What kind of weaklings are creating the manual of style and usage books these days?
  • Speaking of being tough. I see prostitutes walking the streets pretty regularly and so I think about their lives pretty regularly. I recently heard a podcast with an ex-prostitute and she was talking about dealing with her customers and her pimp and the usual stuff. It occurred to me that they would make great employees. A reformed (clean) prostitute would probably be a great worker. She can handle herself. She's confident. She's tough. She won't put up with any bullshit. She won't complain about working hard for 8 hours. Someone who has been a drug addict and had to deal with all the shit that most of the street walking type have to deal with is definitely going to be a better, tougher worker than most of the people in the general employment pool. I'd hire one in a second if she was clean and wanted to learn the trade.
  • In the attention economy your attention is like a vote. And yet people who hate the guy are still paying attention to Trump. Notice that you're "paying" attention. This is fitting. Stop paying attention to him. He's a dumb ass.
  • Advertisers, as a group or sector, are arguably more powerful than tech. Harder to group them together since an advertiser could be anyone from Budweiser down to me advertising my business. But just remember that all the shit that tech does for eyeballs and tracking your every move is so that they have more to give to advertisers.
  • NYT apparently can track moods of their viewers and gives advertisers the option to choose what mood they want to advertise to. So, maybe they have the ACLU as an advertiser and the ACLU can say that we only want to show our ad when someone is feeling outrage or anger. This is crazy.
  • If you've seen enough documentaries on the subject you've seen what women generally choose their birth environment to be like. I wonder what the average birth environment would look like if guys gave birth. Would it generally be dark with people around telling them how great they're doing? If I were giving birth I'd probably want to do it alone. Just leave me alone. This sucks and you talking isn't helping.
  • Have you noticed how the media doesn't talk much anymore about political spending? 10 years ago this was one of the biggest issues that the media covered. They talked as much about the Koch brothers and Mercers and Citizens United as anything else at the time. So, has the problem been solved? Well, in a sense, yes it has. See, the Democrats now outspend the Republicans (2) (3) so it's no longer an issue for the media. Because they are partisan, not ideological. They don't care about the ideas, they care about the parties.
  • Gun ownership rates are falling and may be at the lowest rate in our country's history. At the same time, the number of guns is at its highest. I wish we had fewer guns and more people owning them. Part of the problem we have is one of understanding. I know plenty of people who are scared just at the sight of guns. They know almost nothing about them. They think that the only thing a gun does is kill people. Some people are a little more nuanced and say that a gun only kills (I guess they include hunting animals in their calculus). Maybe I've drunk the kool-aid, but I believe the adage that guns don't kill people, people kill people. I wish people knew how to handle a weapon so there wasn't an irrational fear of it. Same goes for electricity or power tools. But in modern society people are disconnected from many of the things in their life. Most people don't need a gun like they did on the prairie and so they know nothing about them. Most people (city dwellers any way) just pull up an app to have an electrician fix their broken outlet instead of trying to fix it themselves. People have less and less connection with their own existence. Pretty sad, really.
  • In keeping with a more Libertarian/Anarchist bent I think the idea of Restorative Justice makes a lot of sense from a purely hypothetical point of view. The logistics of it might not make it practical, but the idea is a good one. Instead of getting 5-10 years (or whatever) for felony assault, RJ would have the victim of the crime engage with the perpetrator of the crime to come up with a suitable punishment/method of atonement. In practice, this requires a lot of work and some sort of middle man or facilitator to help things along. But this seems like a much better ideal to strive towards than a judge or mandatory minimums or the rest. True, the victim of the crime isn't the only victim - even of a simple assault, but the idea holds that those most directly harmed by the criminal action ought to have the greatest say in what happens to the perpetrator. I think simply locking a person up does a lot less for society, the victim, and the perpetrator than RJ could. If you steal all my tools, for example, maybe I would want you to do 1 year in jail or maybe I would prefer that you work for me to work off the harm you did. Maybe an apology. Maybe I'd want you to go to the flea market where you sold my tools with a sign that reads "I'm sorry for stealing tools. Learn the lesson from me - stealing tools hurts people." This kind of thing is almost impossible with a society our size, but moving in that direction is a lot better than what we have now - which is almost the worst possible thing I can imagine.
  • Heard this break down the other day...average door dash order is $35.55. Driver gets $8.91. Restaurant gets $19.97. Door dash gets $4.85, which comes to $.90 after costs.
  • Heard a podcast (I think it was the NYT Daily) the other day and they were talking about Cuba and the problems they're having now. They gave 3 reasons for the current troubles - Trump, Venezuela collapse, and COVID. In other words, it's never their fault. It's not the failures of communism in Venezuela or Cuba. It's not Cuban culture or leadership. It's everybody else. Interesting.
  • We have friends who own a small cafe and music venue. They were updating their insurance and were asked if they wanted shooter coverage.


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