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

  • "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-



    6/29/24 (21:17)

  • 3 updates in a month is pretty good. Just need to get away from netflix and youtube and go on the computer in order to get it done.
  • Tomorrow we'll be celebrating my birthday. 45. Still alive so that's good. Could be only half way done with life if things work out well. Or I could go tomorrow. It would be early, but not totally unusual.
  • Celtics won the finals which was expected. I didn't think they would do it in 5 games, though.
  • Oilers were able to come back after being down 0-3 and pushed Florida to a game 7. Fun, but anti-climactic.
  • Anna Kendrick distracted by her own cleavage. But teenage boys should just exercise self restraint. Sure.
  • More and more stuff coming out that supports the lab leak as a real possibility. Not much talk about it. I guess people are pretty over it and just want to move on. It would be nice to have a commission to sort some of this stuff out and figure out what we should have done. What we knew and when we knew it. What advice was good and what was bad. What "conspiracy theories" were discarded simply because of who might have endorsed them. Etc. Regardless of where it came from, I think a formal post mortem of the entire pandemic would be useful. Did it for 9/11, but I don't think they've done the same for COVID.
  • Movies and stories embody societal lessons. It's one of the reasons they are so important. It's better, easier, and more profound to tell stories like Aesop's fables than to just tell the next generation the best way to act. A good story has, embodied in it, the lessons society has learned. The stories that last are the ones that have the most eternal, important, relevant lessons. For this reason alone we can't simply discard books like the Bible.
  • James Thurber is underrated.
  • Tora Tora Tora is an interesting movie. Joint production between two former adversaries (Japan and US) about the war they engaged in a generation earlier.
  • Just because the effect of a thing benefits a group doesn't mean that that group caused it to be that way. This is a point a lot of conspiracy theorists don't get.
  • Some day my kids will leave the house and I'll be sad.
  • It's said that America is a great place if you're ambitious and smart and want to be an entrepreneur, but it's a bad place to be dumb. I agree with this. It can definitely be ruthless.
  • Speaking of which...the city of Oakland finally did something about the homeless encampment in front of our warehouse. Took 18 months of us hassling them, but they finally took the kids to CPS and got rid of the other people living on the street. Amazing how long it takes. For the record, these are people who were dealing drugs and guns, stealing things, taking up space on public walkways, etc. These aren't just out of work janitors or whatever. 18 months.
  • I was walking around the building the other day and a young man with a dog was walking in the opposite direction and I gave him a little what's up nod and kept walking. After a bit I turned back around towards my truck and he was turning back and saw me so he asked if I worked for the company that owned the building. I said yes (without telling him I owned it). He asked if we had anything to do with getting the homeless people out and I hesitated. He said it was a good thing for the neighborhood and I said yeah we worked on it, but it was a lot of people who were pressuring the city for 18 months. I didn't want to admit to doing it when he first asked because I wasn't sure which way he was going with his questions. He mentioned that it was nice to have the parking back and to have the neighborhood be cleaner again, etc. and thanked me for helping. Hopefully the neighborhood is a bit nicer now.
  • Went to see Nikki Glaser live in April. Don't think I mentioned it. We don't do many shows like that, but it was fun. I wish I went to see more stand up.
  • New house is moving along nicely. We're putting up drywall now. It's all hung and getting mud now. We'll prime the walls in the shop hopefully this week. In the main house hopefully it will be next week. Needs more mud and then they need to sand all the mud. Things can fly once you get the framing up and we've been doing that for the last couple months. Roofing and siding are progressing nicely. We have a metal roof on most of the building and then a torch down on the office. The torch down went on Friday. Those guys are really rough around the edges, but I think I got them to do their best work, which is good enough for the office. I had briefly considered having them do the metal roof, but decided against it and I'm thankful I did. Although the other metal roof guys missed one detail that I wish they had done differently. We'll see how it shakes out over time.
  • Just listen. You're welcome.
  • My new music pipeline is as small as it's ever been, but I still get some good stuff coming in. I should listen to music more often. I've got my podcast addiction under control now. I'm at a sustainable level. I used to have 300 podcasts in the queue and it's currently under 25. I have 85+ books in the queue, though, so that's another problem. I just finished a biography of US Grant that was like 50 hours long so that took a while to get through. Pretty underrated president. This was my second biography of his.
  • What's more important to make the money or determine how it's spent? Women responsible for 70-85% of spending. 1  2  3  4
  • Biden/Trump debate this week was a shit show. Biden performed exactly as expected. Trump was better than expected. He was surprisingly restrained (for him). There's no one driving the car here for the Democrats. Maybe we'll get an open primary and it will give us some hope, but right now we're dealing with a guy who isn't fit to be president. I've been calling him "drool cup Joe" for a few years now, so none of this was a surprise. Any reasonable person can see that. That said, I prefer his team/wife/whatever running things over Trump. But we have to be honest about it. I'm honest that it's not Biden running things and I'd still vote for him over Trump. Dean Phillips was my pick, so I'm hoping for an open primary where someone half way decent gets picked.
  • NYT podcast the day after the debate had Astead Herndon (they're political commentator) saying he didn't expect Biden to be so bad. It really makes me wonder what the hell these people are watching. Because if you've been seeing the same stuff I've been seeing for the last 3 years, you can tell he's not all there. To expect him to do any better in a 2 hour debate is just wishful thinking. These left wing commentators are living in a bubble of their own creation and they do it at their peril.
  • Democrats are the party of academics and often pride themselves on their intelligence. In academia, I was always told that you're supposed to be able to present both sides of an argument. In Debate you are given a topic and you're supposed to be able to argue either side because you might know which side you're arguing until the day of the debate. But it seems like the political class of commentators has completely missed the memo on this. To be so clueless about the other side's arguments and set of facts shows a willful ignorance. I don't know if it's arrogance or what. I've grown up expecting Republicans to be the party of willful ignorance, unable to fairly present the other side's arguments. But, these days, it seems like both sides are horrible at it. Each side is living in its own world.
  • At any rate, there seems to be a collective shock from the liberals that Biden wasn't a perfectly functioning adult. It's as if they haven't been watching him at all the last 3 years. So now we have what we have. And at this rate Trump is going to win the election. 95% chance that doesn't lead to a major failure of our country, but do I want to take that kind of chance with something so important?
  • Another thing the NYT podcast missed lately was that they spent two podcasts talking about the Alito flag scandal. It's absurdly comical that they tried to make an issue out of a guy flying a couple flags. One was the American flag upside down. The other was an Appeal to Heaven flag. Neither is very controversial in my opinion. The city of SF flew an Appeal to Heaven flag until the Alito "scandal." I've flown an American flag upside down. It's a distress signal. We're a country in distress. I don't see much of an issue. Then NYT went after him because he said America needs more "godliness" or something like that. What a joke. The fact that they think this is a scandal just shows how far they have strayed from the rest of the country. A lot of the country still believes in a god. I don't. And I don't want god in government. But having someone who believes in god in the Supreme Court doesn't bother me. Further, "godliness" could mean any number of things, many of them I would probably agree with even though I don't believe in god. Further, your favorite recent president (Obama) was a strong believer in god. Had a reverend at his inauguration. Went to church all the time, etc. NYT needs to get a grip.
  • Went to a Giants game at Oracle the other day (free tickets from the lumber yard I shop at a lot). They had a land acknowledgment. This has become a thing in the woke sphere. Basically they say "we want to acknowledge that the land we're on was historically occupied by the Ohlone people for time immemorial." So that's been a thing for a while now and you can feel however you want about it. I'm not going to say anything about it right now, maybe another time. The funny thing in this instance, is that it's literally untrue. European people actually made that land. All of Oracle park is build on landfill. None of that landfill was created by native people. So, maybe get off the high horse long enough to think about things before you say some dumb shit just to kiss ass? I dunno.
  • What's the statute of limitations for apologizing for this stuff?
  • Midnight so I should get some rest.
  • Other than Taylor Swift stuff, Gayle's "abcdefu" is one of the best new songs I've heard in the last few years.

  • 6/13/24 (18:50)

  • In the last month I've seen more rentable scooters on fire than I have seen being ridden by actual customers.
  • I had chatgpt compile a list of teams in the nfl and mlb that are still in their original home city. 5 MLB teams and 7 NFL teams. Apparently even the Yankees moved from Baltimore. So, the norm is that teams move. It would be interesting to see how many of those teams have moved in the last 40 years or so, but I think you get the point.
  • I hear a lot of women talking about how they want to be have a social impact and give a hand up to the next generation and all that. This is a virtuous thing. However, being altruistic or having a work/life balance or any of those things is in direct contradiction with making as much money as possible. It's precisely because Bezos and Musk are sociopaths that they make so much money and skew the average man's salary so much. You can't be virtuous and have a socially minded business while also being in the .01% of earners. Our system doesn't work that way and yet we act as if it's mysogyny that is the biggest impediment to women being uber rich. To wit.
  • I heard a podcast with Nobel prize winner Claudia Goldin and she talked about how Economics is a mostly male subject, but that if you make economics about people then young women students tend to be more interested in it. She was basically getting at the way it's taught and understood and how you could teach it in different ways to appeal to women more. I find this to be true. However, saying essentially this same thing is why James Damore was fired from Google in 2017. 2017 was a tough time for truth telling, I suppose.
  • I often try to think about how the world would be if things were as people claim they are. So, if I told you that living in Oakland was like Mad Max and a post apocalyptic hellscape, then you might imagine what that would actually look like and compare it to reality. You might expect long lines for gas or people fearing things would be stolen frequently or people buying more guns to protect themselves or people having fights and shoot outs in the middle of the street. None of those things are reality so my description would be classified as an exaggeration. What would society look like if it were as truly white supremacist as some people say? There would be legal or de facto segregation. Maybe lacrosse stars would be more important culturally than basketball players. Maybe country and bluegrass would be more relevant than hip-hop. Maybe the education system would put a positive spin on slavery or colonialism. The more big ways in which reality disagrees with the the hypothetical, the larger the exaggeration.
  • Why are bus stops almost always at corners? That's where the stops are - at least if it's at the end of the block rather than the beginning. So that part makes some sense. But sometimes they are at the beginning of the block and it just slows things down. The ideal would be to always have a turnout lane that they could pull into while traffic continues around them. In which case it could be at any point in the block and maybe the corner isn't always the best place. I wonder.
  • Credit card deliquencies are up. Maybe a sign of coming recession? We've been due for a recession for a while. Not sure how this economy is working.
  • The city posted notice in front of the warehouse that they will be cleaning up the illegal encampment. 18 months after I first reported the encampment they might be actually taking action. We'll see how this sorts out.
  • Speaking of which, there was a shooting in front of the warehouse the other day, so that's cool.
  • I guess one of the major contributions to women's studies from Judith Butler is the idea that gender is a performance. It's not tied to biology at all. This is where the gender vs. sex stuff comes from, I gather. Sounds a lot like when black people say to other black people that they're "acting white." What is a drag queen then? He's acting like a woman, but he's not a woman? How is acting like a woman and putting on a woman's face any different from black face? If I wear black face and do stereotypically black things, as drag queens do, but do it in a friendly way (not mockingly as black face often is), then that's all good, right? I guess I'm just retarded because it doesn't make any sense to me.
  • Apparently the city of Oakland has a task force to inspect your trash to make sure you're sorting it correctly because it helps climate change or something. They have trash police, but can't help if your car is stolen. Got it.
  • If you have a policy of explicitly looking for and hiring people based upon their gender or race then would it be any surprise when people question if people actually earned their position? If you know that Harvard lowers the required SAT score for Native Americans then wouldn't it be logical to wonder if a Native American from Harvard had a lower SAT score? This is obviously the issue with affirmative action. We're not supposed to talk about it, but we all know it. Perhaps AA is still worth it, but that's a shitty cost for those people who would have earned it even without AA.

  • 6/10/24 (16:53)

  • Been out of the habit of writing here, but I need to get back into it. Plenty to write about.
  • Been watching a lot of the NBA playoffs. I had Boston winning it all from the beginning. That prediction is looking good right now. I also had MN facing them in the finals after seeing their first two games against the Nuggets. That turned out to be wrong. They went 2-7 in their last 9 playoff games, which is just nuts to think about.
  • Business has been very busy lately and I've brought on some temporary help as a result.
  • New house is chugging along. Insulation is done. Another inspection this week and then we can do drywall after that. Hopefully no more issues from here on out. This is the stuff we know better so I'm expecting it to be easier as we get towards the end. Biggest drag is that we're still waiting on EBMUD to give us a date for installation of the fire sprinkler main. It's a 4" line directly from the water main and it's going to cost an unknown amount of money. Basically a major pain in the ass with an unknown cost and timeline. We haven't even gotten a rep yet. Fucking horrible.
  • Maybe the most American thing I've seen. Sad.
  • One thing that's encouraging is that it seems like a lot of famous assholes are getting their comeuppance. Trump and P. Diddy are the most recent I can think of. For the record, I've never liked the Diddy or seen him as anything more than a joke. Turns out he's a world class piece of shit also. Maybe getting people killed and beating his girlfriends and paying people (Jonathan Oddi) to have sex with his girlfriend while he watches and all sorts of weird shit. Hopefully the accountability continues.
  • If you identify as a woman does your driving acumen instantly decrease? If you identify as a man do you get 30% more rapey?
  • I saw an advertisement for one of these online mental health companies recently and they advertised the fact that you can pick the race of your therapist. This is progress. This is progress?
  • If you're like me and want to see a multi-cultural society work then reality is pretty depressing. People would rather have a shrink of their same race. Blacks do better when taught by blacks. People self-segregate to be amongst their own race. Girls do better in all girls schools. Etc. The reality seems to be that people, when it comes to major interactions, would rather be with "their own kind." If you're going to a restaurant then the race of the server doesn't matter. If you're going to school or church or to a shrink, then people rather be in a monoculture. Sad.
  • One of the major foundations of modern progressivism is the idea that we should believe individuals. They speak in absolute terms about this and make no mistake about its importance. So, we get slogans like "believe all women" or "your truth" or, with trans identity, the messaging is about trusting the individual when they say they feel like whatever gender. Basically, you're not supposed to doubt what a person says because they know best what they are experiencing. Are there any limitations to this? The most radical progressives I think wouldn't put any limitations on it. But there has to be some limit. Society has to sort that out. In the old paradigm we would require evidence. But sometimes that isn't available, which complicates things like sexual assault. On the other hand, just trusting whatever a person says about everything doesn't seem all that practical either. Some percentage of people are mentally unwell, after all. It will be interesting to see where things land in the next few years.
  • Foster kids graduate college at a 3% rate vs. 11% for the bottom quintile of income earners vs. 35% for the average American. 60% of foster boys end up incarcerated at some point in their life. So, if you're a fostered boy, you're 20x more likely to go to jail than to graduate college. I just googled what percentage of black men graduate college. First hit said "As of 2022, 22% of Black men over the age of 25 had earned a bachelor's degree or higher, according to the Census' American Community Survey." So, there goes the race explanation. And the income explanation doesn't fly either (3% vs. 11%). Assuming these numbers are correct (got them from a Coleman Hughes podcast), it seems as though family might be important.
  • I don't like the word "deserve." To deserve a thing is to be entitled to it. I don't like entitlement. I think the opposite of entitlement is gratitude. We need more gratitude.

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