what's been floating my boat lately:

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

03/14/18 (21:20)

  • tough to keep up these days. lots of work going on.
  • gave ethan a raise the other day and talked about safety being very important because worker's comp. insurance is costing me $10k/year. 3 days later he cut his hand and needed 15 stitches. i always have a first aid kid on site and i had a packet of quick clot in the truck so the bleeding stopped real fast. drove him to the er and was there for 4 hours. he was changing the blade on the circular saw and, while holding the allen wrench, managed to hit the safety and trigger thus causing the saw to turn on and turn the allen wrench in his hand - which tore it up pretty good. he went into shock as i was getting him into the truck, but we talked about stuff on the way there and i managed to keep him awake. i think he passed out a couple times while i was parking the truck though. he'll be okay, but i'm a man down now with 3 projects in full swing and several little jobs that i can't manage to get out of.
  • overall i'm happy that it wasn't worse. i was fully prepared and the er was close enough that i could drive him there quick. he feels real bad about it. i think it'll be a good learning experience going forward and hopefully remind him to take everything very seriously. worst injury i ever had was working for someone else. cut my finger pretty good with the reciprocating saw. probably could have used a couple stitches, but i managed to avoid it. other than that i've been pretty lucky so far. little injuries are kind of inevitable, so you just have to minimize the risk as much as possible. in the meantime i'm paying him (trying to avoid a worker's comp claim) and keeping him busy reading safety manuals and the like.
  • after spending half the day at the er i drove him back to his truck (which we keep at home depot during the day - convenient location, need to stop there anyway, lots of cameras, lots of traffic) only to find that it had been broken into. i paid for him to get his windows tinted and he always covers all the tools with a blanket. and yet someone still broke into the truck in broad daylight and made off with probably $2500 worth of my tools. it was a great day. biggest money losing day of my life. he's out of money-making commission for a couple weeks, i lose a bunch of tools, and my insurance will definitely be going up. good times.
  • there are times in life when something isn't your fault, but it's your problem. i think this is a concept that seems to fading in society. first of all, not many people take responsibility of their own lives so, to them, virtually nothing is their fault. secondly, the idea that something that isn't your fault could be your problem to deal with just doesn't seem fair. people seem almost obsessed with the idea of fairness lately and this plays out a lot in identity politics, but that's another story. the concept of fairness is nice, but can really only be very narrowly applied. say, zoe get to play with a toy, then it's only fair that merritt also gets a toy. beyond that i'm not sure how much we should really spend time worrying about fairness. things aren't fair. if you're in a position to make them fair for good reason, then do it. if not, then you need to move on with life. there are plenty of times when shit on the jobsite isn't my fault, but becomes my problem. that's the job. that's life, too. i've spent energy worrying about it and it never does any good.
  • there should be a website for uncomfortable facts, just to trigger people a little and rile them up. not really sure why some facts upset people. so long as the facts are real, i don't see a problem. i'm a truth fundamentalist, though. the truth, as much as we can know it, is a good unto itself. there's important context and all that, but a simple fact shouldn't be upsetting. most serial killers are white men. most kkk members would rather vote for trump than hillary. women have a lower workforce participation rate than men. blacks as a group have a lower iq than asians as a group.
  • "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." - alice walker
  • "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - eleanor roosevelt
  • these are two quotes from two feminists who i think most people probably look up to in some way. it's interesting to see where they place the emphasis in these two well-known quotes - on the individual. it's not outward facing - about society or oppressors. it's about the agency you have within to make yourself feel equal. or the power that you have, but may be foolishly discarding. these aren't quotes about victimhood. they're quotes about personal agency.
  • on bill maher's show the other day he had salman rushdie and rushdie responded to a question about mass shootings. maher asked something like why are these shootings happening so much now? rushdie said "one word - guns." he went onto say that we have too many guns in this country. it's a really simple answer and it sounds like it makes sense and it's easy to pin things on guns, but anytime someone says the answer is as simple as one word i think you have to be highly skeptical (especially if you happen to agree with them). in reality, gun ownership has declined over the past 40 years. there are more guns than ever, but there are more people than ever. and the people who own guns now tend to own more guns than they did in the past. it's really not as simple as more guns = more mass shootings. bowling for columbine addressed this almost 20 years ago and people still seem to think it's just a gun issue.
  • so, that's one part of my frustration over this issue. i wish people on the left could be more honest and open to information about guns, but that's probably not happening any time soon. the other part of the frustration is that we really need to have common sense about the topic. normal people should be able to have guns (as many as they want), but they should have to pass some basic tests to make sure they're not nuts. private sellers should have to leave some paper trail and check to make sure that the buyer isn't a nut job. these are basic reforms that i think most people agree on, but of course haven't happened yet. part of that is because of the NRA. it's also because of a conservative fear of the slippery slope. "who determines mental fitness?" "if you go after ar-15s today, why won't you go after hand guns tomorrow?" these are valid concerns (though liberals probably wouldn't concede this). as i've said before, ar-15s aren't he problem when it comes to annual gun deaths - hand guns are. if you're outlawing ar-15s, then it seems like you'd be morally justified in outlawing hand guns. legally, not so much, but morally it would follow that ar-15s kill a handful each year and hand guns kill thousands, so... as you can see, it doesn't take much for a conservative gun enthusiast to think that his hand gun might be the next thing to be outlawed 5, 10, 25 years from now. tough topic (despite the chatter to the contrary from both sides, which seem to think it's pretty fucking obvious that guns are evil or that gun rights shouldn't be infringed).
  • god made man and samuel colt made them equal.
  • something i've been talking to the girls about a lot lately is the relationship between freedom and responsibility. with more freedom comes more responsibility. when you're free to go to the bathroom on your own it means you're responsible for wiping your own ass and washing your own hands. when you get to drive it means you are responsible for operating the vehicle in a safe way. the same goes for guns or a variety of other things in life. the trouble is that humans want freedom, but they eschew responsibility. it will be a life long lesson, so i figured i'd start with them early. with every new freedom comes a new responsibility. with great power comes great responsibility.
  • are people still thinking about oprah as president? god, this shit kills me. the answer to one unqualified celebrity president is another? she's given dr. phil, jenny mccarthy, and dr. oz a platform. i think that's disqualifying enough. jesus, people.
  • 5% of the population owns almost 75% of the stocks.
  • people (including me) talk a lot about big corporate power. the funny thing is, though, that a lot of these big companies aren't as durable as we might think. i think about microsoft being the unquestioned 800lb gorilla in tech when i was growing up. they still have a decent market cap, but it's google, amazon, and facebook that rule now. the government did part of that by cracking down on them. but if you look at the fortune 500 from 1955 to 2016, only 12% of firms stayed on the list in that 61 year period. new firms are constantly rising and falling and absorbing others.
  • “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” - einstein (supposedly). this always struck me as a bit of an exaggeration. i mean, there are other pollinators on earth. maybe not in the same numbers (?) or maybe not quite as good (?), but surely honey bees can't be that important. then as you age and learn more about the world you find out that honey bees didn't even exist in the u.s. until the evil europeans brought them here. yup, honey bees are a non-native species. i guess north america was a barren wasteland until that moment. thanks for all the edible plants in north america european settlers. thank you very much.


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