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.
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,
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
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
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
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)