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-

7/11/21 (14:55)

  • I finally had the time to get the vaccine. 80% of eligible bay area residents have had at least one shot at this point. Nevertheless I hear about the Delta variant every day from local news outlets. Meryl asked me last year how long this was going to take to get back to normal and my answer then and now is that we're not going back to normal. 9/11 changed normal and so with COVID. Some people will wear masks all the time, some will wear them every winter/flu season. When will Newsom and our leaders stop worrying about trying to squash every last death? When will schools go back without masks? When will the media stop covering it every day? What's the opportunity cost of focusing on this as opposed to something else?
  • I think the media is reluctant to give up on good stories like Trump or COVID or terrorism so we'll probably be living with this as a story for another year plus. Schools without masks... I think this may become a mandatory vaccine situation for kids. Right now the vaccines aren't approved for kids under 12 so there's some cover for my kids, but eventually they'll be approved and the unions will probably push for mandatory vaccines like they do for so many other things. Doesn't matter that there may be other effective treatments available. Doesn't matter that it was an emergency use vaccine. Doesn't matter that the mRNA technology hasn't been proven over time like traditional vaccines. Those in power make decisions that allow them to stay in power. They don't make decisions to protect their constituents. They are in the business of power preservation and self-improvement (in the worst sense of the term).
  • So, I think there's a decent chance in my area that vaccines will be mandatory in the next couple years for kids going to public schools. If not, they will probably still need to wear masks. The issue is about politics and the unions are in charge so that's the direction we're going for now. Perhaps things will change and parents and students will get sufficiently fatigued by this b.s. and push back, but it doesn't look like that now.
  • I'll ask this question again - what's the end game here? What are the criteria for Newsom and others to get us off the COVID 24/7 train? Vaccines are widely available for free and highly effective. We're still requiring masks in schools. We're still limiting large gatherings. I don't think an end game or a return to normalcy are part of the plan for most of these people, which is part of the reason we'll never go back to the old normal. Once you have multi-million dollar investments for metal detectors and security apparatuses at every stadium, and the fear from the public that something bad could happen, it becomes difficult to go back to the old system.
  • Close escrow on the warehouse in 8 days if all goes well.

  • 7/1/21 (21:10)

  • Printers suck. There's a reason a copier was in perhaps the most infamous scene in Office Space. We can put a man on the moon, but we can't make reliable printers that actually know when there's no more toner left, don't require some crazy hidden reset sequence, etc. I hate printers.
  • Actually, I hate most software also. Sometimes it's the printer that is awful and other times it's the software that can't seem to figure out where the printer is (even though it knew last week) or know that I want to print 24x36 architectural drawings on a printer that is made for this purpose. Yesterday it prints fine. Today it can't find the printer or says it's offline. Makes total sense. I have very little fear of AI taking over the world any time soon.
  • We've been looking for solutions to our storage problem for a while now. Meryl has the staging business and currently uses about 1500sf in storage facility space. It's not run very well so there have been two break-ins, problems with the gate not being operable (limiting access to inventory), and rodent issues as well. Altogether not great. Also, we have the issue of wanting to move and my wanting to have a larger shop/storage for supplies. At any given time I'll be renovating 1-5 units and may have lights, vanities, toilets, etc. in storage for those projects. So far we've stored these things in our shed, garage, porch, basement...but that's not very clean, secure, or sustainable.
  • So, the original goal was to have everything in one place - new house, new shop, and new storage for staging stuff and my work stuff. That's proving pretty difficult. Long story short, we found a place that's 7000sf and will cost about 2.5x what we're paying monthly for separate storage units now. Bad news is that's a lot of extra money and we need to fork over a down payment. Good news is that the rent won't increase every few months like storage does, the building could appreciate, we'll be in charge of access/security/etc., and we could rent out some of the extra space to recoup some of the costs if we want. Neighborhood-wise it's pretty close to the prostitutes and one of the good size homeless encampments so that's good. Seriously, though, it's actually closer to where Meryl's jobs are so it's better than our current setup.
  • NCAA lost it's SC case so they'll have to allow athletes to get paid. This is a no-brainer that has been a long time coming. 40 years ago a free education was pretty much in line with the value that the athletes were bringing to their schools. Then big money came to college sports with ESPN, etc. I think it'll be more fair going forward, but there will be a lot of unintended consequences so it'll be interesting to see how things pan out.
  • John Oliver has gone full retard, which is unfortunate because I used to like him. One of the recent essays he featured on his HBO show was about Asians. He dug into how AAPI is a more diverse group than you might first think. He (rightly) pointed out (as I've done before) that some Asians do better than others and that it doesn't make sense to group Filipinos with Chinese with Maldivians. I've pointed out before that Asians make more on average than whites. I've written about how white vs. black is a less interesting comparison than Asian vs. Black. But his explorations into this was pretty clearly motivated by a desire to uphold the woke narrative of white supremacy. Ironically, the wokesters are seemingly as invested in the white supremacy narrative as the KKK, only in a different way. The KKK wants white supremacy to be the Truth in that they want whites to actually be superior. The woke crowd wants to continue the narrative that white supremacy as a power structure is True and must be dismantled. Anything that shows white supremacy might not be True is a threat to their worldview. Both seem to want to believe in it. Bizarre.
  • So, Oliver needs to show all the horrible ways in which Asians have been treated (all true) and then needs to show that some Asians are still not doing very well (in order to maintain the white supremacy narrative). But he, like many others, seem to stop digging there. Why show that Thai-Americans aren't doing very well relative to Taiwanese-Americans, but ignore the fact that Dutch-Americans aren't doing very well relative to Russian-Americans? He shows the limitations of race when talking about Asians, but doesn't seem able to apply the same thinking to any other group. He's curious when it comes to Asians and how different groups have different histories and income levels, etc., but only when it supports his narrative. This is the problem with ideologues.
  • The other problem I have with Oliver and Noah (who I could only stand for about a month after Stewart left) and some of the others of this ilk is that, unlike Jon Stewart, they seem to really not like anything about the country. Stewart would offend the Left and (more so) the Right. He would talk shit about the government and corporations and the media. But he'd also (occasionally) talk about some of the great things the country offers. He actively worked to get the 9/11 responders money for medical treatment. Oliver seems to just think America is a shit hole: racist, poorly run, corrupt, full of idiots, etc. Every silver lining in America's history has a cloud. Anything we did well before, or are doing well now was racist or shitty in some way or should be better today. I shit on the country as much as the next guy, but I will pepper in some positivity from time to time because I'm not a total asshole.
  • Speaking of Jon Stewart. Here's his take on the lab leak theory, which is now gaining some good traction. Like I said before, I'm pretty agnostic on whether or not it came from a lab (though I'd probably bet on it if I were forced to pick a side today), but I'm more concerned about the way the media and medical elites handled the entire question. Rejecting it out of hand early on. Banning or limiting any discussion of it on YouTube, Facebook, etc. Calling it a conspiracy theory. Never addressing the facts...just a lot of hand waving. And of course the media carried water for this narrative the entire time.
  • Here's the problem with doing that...trust is gained by the drop and lost by the bucket. Fauci, FB, NYT, CDC, WHO, etc. all lose credibility when they reject the idea out of hand and call it a conspiracy theory and limit the discussion. Then those same entities expect us to take the vaccine because they say it's good for us. The vaccine that uses mRNA technology which hasn't been used before. The vaccine that only has emergency approval (fastest approval ever). If the vaccine had anything wrong with it would we hear about it or would it be rejected with the same hand waving? These are the questions that come up when you've been lied to. Once bitten, twice shy. When your wife cheats on you then you're going to second guess every text she gets or every guy friend she has or every explanation she gives for where she was.
  • So, yeah, there are legitimate reasons (other than Tuskegee) for people to be vaccine hesitant. One of my neighbors is a pretty liberal lady from what I can tell. She's a lesbian living in Oakland so there's that at the very least. She's a teacher and they are going to require her to be vaccinated and she told us today that she's thinking about quitting her job because of it. I don't think she's a tin foil hat person. I don't think she's a Trump or Q-Anon supporter. And she's not Black so there isn't the Tuskegee angle. John Oliver is the guy who will shit on the US government and large corporations every minute of every show he puts out, but then berate people for not trusting those same entities when it comes time for a new vaccine. It's odd to say the least.
  • In case you think I'm arguing for not talking the vaccine, let me set the record straight...It's not that I think the vaccine is a government/corporate mind control device or a plot to keep us under control or any of the rest. What I'm arguing for, what I'm often arguing for, is some reasonable middle ground. The John Olivers of the world will shit on anyone who isn't lining up to take the vaccine right away. Yet they're the same people undermining the confidence in the system every single time they open their mouths. "Your government sucks and everything it does fails, is corrupt, and is racist. Your economic system sucks. The corporations you give money to are controlling you and will kill you if given the chance. But you're a selfish Trump supporting idiot if you don't run out and get the vaccine (which is manufactured by those same corporations and tested [sort of] by that same shitty government) NOW."

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