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Sunday, December 26, 2021

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

A brief note

One of those little things I'd have put on Twitter, back before I deactivated my account there.

I've continued my habit of listening to "historical" podcasts, that is telling my podcatcher to play all episodes in order instead of just grabbing the latest, as is more usual.  Found one called "Coronavirus 411," apparently having something to do with the CDC.  

In any case, it is interesting to hear them list the cases in the US so far, currently from February 2020.

All 15 of them.

The world round

 Repeatedly being shown this commercial on Bloomberg TV (for the little graphs of the market indexes) without listening to the audio.  And over and over I get annoyed with this lady bending over to pick up one of those five-gallon plastic water bottles to replace the one she'd emptied.

Sure, it's possible to safely move the things, I've done it many times.  But certainly not the way she does it.  Apparently the character she's playing (I doubt the actress injured herself) doesn't realize how heavy that much water is.

Basic rule I learned in the late 1980s in cooking school, "A pint is a pound the world round."  That's the approximate weight of a pint of water.  It's actually 1.04 pounds and change, at 62 degrees F, but close enough for estimating.

So, a pint is a pound, roughly.  Two pints in a quart, so a quart weighs about 2 pounds.  Four quarts in a gallon, so eight pounds in a gallon.  So... that five gallon bottle weighs about 40 pounds.

You do not try to lift 40 pounds with your back, you use your legs. 

I know this far too well, given I foolishly decided I'd be fine to throw a 50-pound sack of chemicals on my shoulder to haul it up to my line at the plant, cause all the younger machine operators were doing it.

Then I went to the Workers Comp doctor, got surgery, and spent six months on extremely light duty.  I knew better, but "all the other guys do it..."

Water doesn't seem like it should be all that heavy.  We lift a gallon here and there with no major concern (eight pounds), so we don't think of water being that heavy, especially when we're still young, immortal and indestructible.

Till we get injured.

Lift with your damn legs, lady!  Geesh.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

The Great Lack of Resignation

 I've listened over and over to the various narratives applied to what happened when so many Americans didn't come back from the lockdown, and inconveniently, also didn't die.  The news outlets often call it "The Great Resignation."

When the lockdown started they said folks who could work from home would be fine.  Since I'd already been working from home for a couple years, I figured no problem, we're all set.  Yeah... not so much, because my work depended on other folks being able to go work at people's houses, and those people wouldn't want that anymore.

After various short-term attempts to keep us on the payroll, a whole lot of us got laid off. I lost my job within a week or so of hitting 62, so I started collecting Social Security, and unemployment, and the supplements.  Funny thing, all of the senior folk I know of got discharged.  At least some of the younger folks (like my neighbor) kept their jobs (at the same company).  Musta been an oversight.

 So I have particular reasons I'm not working right now, I'm too damn old for anyone to want to hire me.  But what about overall, what about so many folks not being willing to risk their lives to come back to work?  Lots of stories They tell.  And you know who They are.

I've heard the one where we're lazy.  To which I reply words roughly like "Thank you, the horse you rode in on and everything you stand for."

I've heard the one where we're not patriotic enough. See above, let's not be repetitive.

Here's what I discovered, determined, whatevah.  I sat down with my calculator (yeah, the one on my Windows computer), looked at what my regular State unemployment was and how that would work out as an hourly wage.  Came out to about seven and a half bucks, basically what the Minimum Wage has been since about 2009 if I recall correctly.

Then I added the State amount and the Federal supplement together, and calculated what that would be as an hourly wage.  And the result was about $15 an hour -- what folks have been saying recently the minimum wage should have been if we hadn't been suckers for more than a decade.  Or longer, but that's another discussion.

So for a fair number of months, I was making what should have been the minimum wage, and several dollars more than I'd been making per hour for all those years in my job.

Fella on a financial podcast, one of those from CNBC, made what he thought was a telling point on that subject, "Well, like one percent of workers actually get minimum wage."  Might even be true.  But if that $15 bucks an hour is what the minimum wage should have been, I spent the last decade working for less than the Minimum Wage.

 Well, part of it, and part of it as a Displaced worker after the last big financial disaster.  Again, another discussion.

And that's not just affecting the folks who've been getting what the Minimum Wage has been.  That's affecting all the people who've been making less than $15 an hour, and probably still are.  Including me, if I wasn't forced into a half-assed retirement.

So it ain't laziness or lack of patriotism. It's way too much time to think, and clear evidence that while we were spending X years working hard, "keeping our noses clean," taking what we were given and saying "Thank you sir may I have another..." 

...we were getting screwed blued and tattooed, while billionaires became trillionaires.  And all the people stuffing money in their bank accounts and selling $100 phones for $1000 knew that very well, and didn't give a crap because They Got Theirs.

We had felt resigned to being treated that way till we died.   And then we stopped feeling resigned.

Heard a fella on one of those investing podcasts talk about how ridiculous it is for someone like me to feel I should be able to be retired at such a young age. And how it'd even be healthier for me to still be working till I retire two years before I die, if that.

Must be nice.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Zoom Dysmorphia

 I'm still not back on Twitter, so even brief things I want to comment about end up here.  Honestly not sure if I'll go back; I've been off Facebook for a long time now, and I don't plan on returning, even though I'll never hear about the next High School Reunion.

Anyway, Daily Tech News Show just mentioned something called "Zoom Dysmorphia."  People seeing themselves on screen while doing video conferences are becoming uncomfortable about their perception of their appearance, and even seeking plastic surgery to correct perceived flaws.

Had a couple passing thoughts about that.

After more than a decade of (intermittent) podcasting, I'm pretty comfortable with the sound of my recorded voice.  I also DJ in Second Life, same deal, same comfort.  In fact, I think I sound pretty good, and people tell me I do.  

So I'm a bit frustrated with folk who won't be on the podcast because they're anxious about how they sound in recordings. You probably sound better than you think, and you at least don't sound as bad as you think.  That's true for most people, albeit not everybody.  

And I think it's the same sort of discomfort as this visual dysmorphia. It's a new context for your self-image, you haven't changed.

I'm also struck by the fact that if conferences were held in Second Life instead of Zoom, to quote an old saying, "nobody knows you're a dog." And as for voice, well, everyone sounds like crap on SL Voice.

Then again, I am likely not the only one who's known for a long time that Second Life is really a better option in most senses.  Some smart coder needs to create Zoom compatibility in Second Life, which you'll note would do what some of these Virtual Reality conference systems are attempting to offer.

I get that Ford "invented" the automobile, to a certain extent.  But let's not claim he invented the wagon, or the wheel, or the internal combustion engine. 

 Nobody's built the VR version of the Model T yet. 

So in the meantime, hitch up the mule you've got to the cart you've got, you'll still get there.  The Shiny New Thing isn't always the best choice.

"Zoom dysmorphia."  (sigh)

Friday, November 26, 2021

I will say this...

 As part of trying to put my YouTube content into Playlists, I started listening to "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill.

Now I will grant that Mill's stance on most things was one a Christian of his time would have taken.  But ya know, I listen to his arguments for listening to those who disagree and realize I'm not listening.

And then...

I counter to myself that my objection is not to disagreement with me. My argument is with listening to those who are not at all interested in disagreeing with me, because that might result in me disagreeing with them.  They don't want to dispute, they want to insult.  In their inflamed eyes, I am not wrong because of what I believe, I am wrong because I am stupid,  I must be because I don't immediately agree, and bow down to their indisputable superiority.

If you're looking to explain why you think I'm wrong, I'm likely to listen.

If you looking to explain how I'm a stupid POS for having the nerve to have a belief other than yours, thank you and the horse you rode in on and everything you stand for.

And your mother, and your mother's Army boots.  And your father, not that you know his name...

A great number of people disagree with me, and they are quite often correct.  

 On the other hand, I learned about bullying in Kindergarten, and my "zero tolerance for bullying" is a bit more radical than any school with a "Zero Tolerance For Bullying" policy, but has not zero bullying.  Gave me a whole 'nother attitude toward bullies.

I'm all about free speech.  But (a) your freedom to swing your fist ends at my nose, and (b) your freedom to attempt to insult me ends at the end of your nose, if'n ya know wudda mean.

Let's talk.  (grin)


YouTube -- people seem interested, but do I have the skills?

 As it happens, for many of my podcasts over on there are corresponding copies in automatically created video form over on Basically it's a "card" of the cover graphic for the audio version with the audio attached.

Some folks have asked if I could turn those copies into playlists, and that isn't very hard if all the files actually made the trip to YouTube.  Where they didn't I'd have to find a way to either get the rest over or manually create these half-baked YouTube videos.  Or, I could re-record them with me in talking-head mode, thus making them more (or less) acceptable in YouTube.

One whole book (Eugenics) is now a playlist there, because I had all the files.

Everlasting Man is very popular, but not all the files are on the YouTube side.

There may be others I can turn into playlists successfully, but we'll see.

Really don't feel comfortable trying to do live or recorded videos.  Might be a lack of enthusiasm for my own appearance, might be an Autistic thing, might be a current lack of capacity to edit video.  Used to have a program for video editing, but that was when I was in broadcasting school, and that's long gone for whatever reason.

So... guess I'll do what I can, and scratch my head over the rest?


UPDATE:  I've now created playlists of five of the books I've recorded on my podcast.  Still have several to do.  In one, I wasn't able to include one chapter because I couldn't get Libsyn to resend the file, so I couldn't include it.

So possible, yes.  Easy, not so much.

Thursday, November 25, 2021


 So, two things:

Since I don't have Twitter anymore, I don't have a place to drop short bon mots I think are clever -- if they're not clever, they're not bon mots.

Other thing, Kewl Term from the "It's a Thing" podcast, namely: Google-splaining.  (Punctuation my own, choose your own.)  Somewhat derived from the term man-splaining, which same term annoys the heck out of me. But I digress.

Basically, when someone did a Google search or two ("my own research") and then feels they can explain the details of something to everyone, including people who actually understand the subject, they're Google-splaining.  They may have used any of the search engines, but it's Google-splaining.

I like the term for a number of reasons, especially that when you hear or see it you instantly know what it means.

Didn't ya?

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Something nice

 Was being let through a bunch of YouTube shows about Star Trek, and ended up in "Star Trek Continues," a fan fiction collection of episodes intended to follow ST:TOS in the same style, with the same characters, albeit different actors.

Nice to see that Grant Imahara got to play Sulu.  I'm sure he was thrilled to have the opportunity, or so it seems to me.  Died a while back, but got to live some dreams.

Live your dreams while you're young enough, strong enough and healthy enough. You won't get more later, of any of the four.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Something stupid

 So, I made one really horrible pun on Twitter and got a big response.

Then I said something impulsive and in extremely bad taste and got a big response.  Most of it angry, and rightfully so, it was a terrible thing to say.

So I deleted the post and deactivated the account, and 30 days from now my account will be deleted, as long as I keep my hands off of it.

I don't want to be that guy, and I don't want to be in a place that makes me feel that way, so I am liable to just let it die.  Already quit Facebook months ago, I honestly forget how long.

Social media is not media, and neither is it particularly social.  So barring major changes, I'm done with it.

I apologize.  That was hideous.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The quick brown fox jumped over the lay dog

Well his is awkward.  Wanted to do a gadget video for the 
Gi Wi show.  I was going to show all three, well four, of my bluetooth keyboards, including this new iClever keyboard I really like.  When it works.

My third one was an iClever keyboard, foldy thing, lovely form factor.  Had to stop using that one when the D key stopped working. iClever keyboards are tri-fold, and it happened the D key is right on a fold, so I figured that was why it failed, so I got another of the same kind.  Worked fine, until the one letter key stopped working, not on a fold.  Can"t directly tell you which key stopped working, because I can"t type that one.  But okay, alphabet, X, then Y, and then... yeah, that one.

Hard to write an email to the GisWis without that key doncha know.  (sigh)

Saturday, August 28, 2021

A bit of copy-and-paste from Twitter, because I can.

Was chatting with @jangles on Twitter and decided much of my post-by-post on twitter should be a longer-form article. And this ain't it, but this was easier.


 Funny, as you'd of course, know, we at #SecondLife have "owned the term" #metaverse for a long while now.

 I'm often struck by the similarity between the current "story" and GK Chesterton's "The Everlasting Man," where the character of The Church keeps coming back with "we've been doing that for ages now..."

 I am an expert on absolutely nothing, but I'd be happy to come on FIR and rant outrageously on the ongoing missed bet of #SecondLife. I'm sure @LindenLab wouldn't want me to. Not that they can apparently be bothered. (Heck, you've been on -my- podcast...)

 I shall have to skip ahead a bit then, I'm about a year behind on one of my podcatchers, not quite as far on the other, but I follow the FIR podcasts on both. So you and I are publicizing #SecondLife. Where's @LindenLab ? Didn't they used to have @EdelmanPR ??

 Stop by and say hi to Grizzly Silversmith sometime you're in the neighborhood. (grin) If they listened to me (they don't), @LindenLab would have you lead their PR efforts.

 "Including the community." The community is not virtual (checks) yep, I'm still a real person, all of us are. As for SL being "too fringe," well by definition if it does achieve mainstream adoption it's not "too fringe." And as for that technobump, all of them have one.

 Every online service has a "learning curve," a bump to get over to understand it enough to live there. The Wild West was supposed to be the theme, but the Rail Barons made an uglier and more industrial foundation, till it was no longer wild.

 Another often forgotten aspect of the Snowcrash Metaverse. SL tried to create the Metaverse and then bring businesses in. In Snowcrash, the businesses created their own connections, -then- everyone else came. Why and how is a good question. Check out M. Darusha Wehm 's series.

 Darusha's series creates imagery of a society built around a 3D immersive online reality, true. But the interactions of most are very pragmatic -- it's where you work, and on top of that it's a place to live. And life there can be as intense as anywhere else. Anyway...

So many of the obstacles of the Metaverse have already been faced, and to an extent overcome, well or badly. So many we haven't resolved are dealt with by the VR wannabes with vague waving of hands. Wanna see how AR does and doesn't work? Come to SL.  

Wanna see what happens when you open up your society to all comers, nice or not so much? " Ich bin ein Berliner." We've already been there, and we didn't find a great solution, but I suspect neither will They. But we will "pay any price, bear any burden..." We've proved that.

 So "I for one welcome our new Metaverse Overlords." Yeah, right. I ran a BBS back in the 1990s, and along came the Web with their so-much-better alternative, which doesn't work near as well, and sometimes not at all. I'm not skeptical, I'm realistic, because I live the reality.

 So, yeah, Metaverse guys, bring it on. But don't bring something lesser or something phony. Bring something better, or don't waste my time.

 I note that, sure, the VR Metaverse wannabes sometimes might produce a "butterflies and flowers" loving and cozy environment. But that's what you get if the only people who -can-come have to afford an expensive 3D headset. We've got "regular folks." Many are nice, not all are.

 If you want a snide comparison, the founders of the US created a noble society "where all men are created equal." In a society where all MEN were also land owners and often slave owners. Easier to be noble when you own someone else who does the work, and they're not included.

 Ditto for what the US actually became. Easy to say if you give folks all the truth they'll make wise decisions. But many won't, many will be manipulable, and some of those fooled will be the loudest voices when the news is circulated. And then there's news.

 I have a half-assed theory. Human societies always depended on our storytellers to inform us what is normal and righteous in our tribe. In the '60s our storytellers were TV fiction and TV/newspaper news. Now our storytellers are algorhythms, in particular Facebook and YouTube.

 But those algorhythms are -not- at all focused on providing with truth, righteousness or what should be. They search for engagement. And getting y'all pissed off is more engaging. So I suspect we're taught our truths are all about being pissed off. Anger and indignation are News.

 So my suspicion, my theory if you want to go that far, is that we're being taught our societal truth, our normal, is anger and rage and hate. We may, to save ourselves, need to kill the messenger. We need our storytellers back.

 I don't think you can kick off the bad behavers, because the algorhythms are telling them that hate and rage are anger are our social norms. So the behavers aren't going to stop, because they're being told by our Storytellers that -this- is Normal and Right.

 The part about convincing Managers to convince employees to support righteous behavior assumes that Our Glorious Leaders at the top actually want employees to actually -have- opinions, rather than wanting them to shut up and not say anything negative about the company.

 I saw with my last employers on the one hand create several mechanisms for employee communications -- and then make sure that "regular" employees never say anything they weren't told to say by the Bosses. Communication is both ways, or is non-existent.

 I understand why, I don't know I'd do better as a Boss, it's unlikely I would. But if you're unwilling to ask, you can't complain when you don't get answers. And when you get a Potemkin workplace, you get what you asked for, worthless as it is.

 And no, I understand exactly why I'm mostly unemployable. Might be another Autistic thing. I will tend to give an honest answer. And I tend to be utterly baffled by less-than-honest questions.


Episode Zero -- A Minor Local Celebrity

With "Meditation Impromptu" by Kevin MacLeod Originally posted to Libsyn under my original setup around 02/2007.  When I ran out ...