Friday, September 30, 2016

The #NeverTrump Republican Argument Against Evan McMullin


I haven't paid a lot of attention to Evan McMullin's presidential campaign other than one early column on his likely motivations. But this morning's Erick Erickson column is a bit of a challenge that I think should be answered. The column concerns USA Today's condemnation of Trump but non-endorsement of Clinton. Erickson closes his opinion of that piece out with:

It'd be nice if they highlight Evan McMullin. He is a sound alternative.

In what universe is McMullin "a sound alternative" to any of the top three (by polling) candidates for president?

Apart from a year as a Goldman Sachs investment banker, McMullin appears to have spent his entire adult "working" life on one government teat or another. First the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Then the CIA. Then Congress (as an advisor/policy director to House Republicans). Almost no private sector experience, zero electoral political experience, and so far as it's possible to tell (I'm allowing for the opacity of CIA employment here), zero executive experience.

He's also only on the ballot in 12 states representing a maximum potential 84 electoral votes. He's a write-in candidate in 18 states, bringing his maximum potential up to a winning 317 electoral votes (that's per Wikipedia as accessed this morning -- I suspect Richard Winger of Ballot Access News might offer different, more accurate, numbers). He's neither on the ballot, nor a write-in option, in two of the three largest states (he's a write-in in Texas, but totally absent as an option in California and Florida).

I don't support Gary Johnson, but if I was a #NeverTrump Republican, it wouldn't even be a close call between Johnson, McMullin and Trump when it comes to traditional "qualifications" to head up the DC gang. Johnson became a multimillionaire in the private sector (construction) then won two terms as a Republican governor. He's also on the ballot in 50 states and DC.

McMullin's not "a sound alternative," he's a punchline.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Choice Not a Leppo


On the one hand, it's not likely the state of Florida will count a write-in vote for Darryl W. Perry (it's too late for him to register and appoint electors here).

On the other hand, it's a vote I can cast without guilt. So I may just cast it's anyway, as if I was a libertarian voter in one of the 17 states where he's all formal and stuff.

Speaking of Trump ...


... that last post was a digression from where I intended to go. I clicked through to the account of Trump's visit to the Versailles Restaurant in Miami from a different Miami New Times piece -- a piece about Trump having apparently illegally (versus US embargo laws) done business in Cuba.

Thing was, I was prepared to find something likable about Trump. The US embargo of Cuba has been instrumental in keeping the Castro brothers and the Communist Party in power for half a century. I'm not sure if every violation of the embargo law is heroic per se, but it's definitely not something I'd hold against Trump or anyone else. Bringing about the beginning of the end of that tyrannical idiocy is one of the few things I've applauded US president Barack Obama for.

Unfortunately, even if it's true that Trump violated the embargo himself, according to the New Times story he "has said he would reverse all of Obama's decisions to relax the embargo and would refuse to lessen any sanctions on the island nation until Castro released political prisoners and restored some civil rights."

So he may be a hypocrite (the other possibility is that, as with so many other things, there's no real way to know what he actually intends because he reverses himself every three minutes or so on most issues).

Trump, Totally a Teetotaler?


Camera 1:

I've never had a glass of alcohol. I won't even drink a cup of coffee. -- Donald Trump in an interview with Esquire magazine, 06/17/16

Camera 2:

The Versailles spokesperson confirmed that the presidential hopeful ordered a colada and a croqueta and then commented on how strong the colada was and that the croqueta was "good." -- "Donald Trump Visits Versailles With Rudy Giuliani, Thinks Coladas Are Strong," Miami New Times, 09/28/16 (the Versailles menu lists two kinds of colada, both alcoholic)


Not that I care whether or not he drinks. But it seems like his claim that he doesn't (in fact, never has) might be as questionable as any number of other statements he's made.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The More Things Change, 2016 Edition


It's been years since I last re-read Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72. Over at CounterPunch, Eric Draitser pulls out a very relevant/prescient quote from it:

"That's the real issue this time," he said. "Beating Nixon. It's hard to even guess how much damage those bastards will do if they get in for another four years."

The argument was familiar, I had even made it myself, here and there, but I was beginning to sense something very depressing about it. How many more of these goddamn elections are we going to have to write off as lame, but "regrettably necessary" holding actions? And how many more of these stinking double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the at least 20 million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote for something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?

Now with another one of these big bogus showdowns looming down on us, I can already pick up the stench of another bummer. I understand, along with a lot of other people, that the big thing this year is Beating Nixon. But that was also the big thing, as I recall, twelve years ago in 1960 -- and as far as I can tell, we've gone from bad to worse to rotten since then, and the outlook is for more of the same.

I can't get excited about Gary Johnson. In fact, if I didn't plan to get out to vote for Paul Stanton for US Senate, I might not be able to work up the enthusiasm to go vote at all.

But if I do vote the presidential spot on my ballot, I sure as hell won't be voting for Clinton just to beat Nix ... er, Trump ... or vice versa.

Thanks For Asking! -- 09/28/16


This week's AMA thread, and the podcast to follow, are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:


You ask (in the comment thread below this post).

I answer (in comments, on this weekend's podcast, or both).

Yes, anything.


Monday, September 26, 2016

New Bike Update


OK, so I've put 30 miles or so on the new $80 bike, enough to have a semi-informed opinion.

Took it out for its first 10-mile-plus ride this morning. I'm still thinking it felt like a lot of bike for 80 bucks. Enough bike that I'm not going to feel bad when I have to pop a little for new tires, etc. over time. I still need to futz with the fitting just a little (maybe another half inch up on the seat height), but it's pretty comfortable.

Keeping a reasonable pace (breaking a sweat and feeling some burn in the quads most of the way, but not all-out heavy-breathing stitch-in-side cardio), my speed averaged 10 miles an hour.

Last time I got serious about cycling, I had a burr under my fur about distance (I worked up to, and tried to keep at, 100+ miles per week). This time around, it's about time spent keeping the muscles moving (I've been at 40 minutes and change each morning and am now working up toward an hour).

That is, I don't really care much how far I go; I just plan on riding 25-30 minutes away from home, then turning around and coming back. But knowing that the turnaround point at the Archer end of the Archer-Braid trail is almost exactly 30 minutes away is nice for not having to keep an eye on the clock.

On my walking days (once I get tired of walking and biking every day I'll start alternating), I do care about distance and speed: I plan to work up to three miles and then stay at that distance but start increasing speed, until I'm running the three miles (5 kilometers).

My best running time ever for 5k is 20 minutes 25 seconds. I want to eventually beat it. Granted, when I did that last time, I was 18 years old and in pretty good shape, about 2/3 of the way through boot camp. Then again, although I didn't know it until one of my knees made a sound like a rifle going off just as I crossed the finish line and started to slow down, I did it with two broken kneecaps. So I guess it kind of evens out. And frankly I'll be reasonably happy once I'm running the three miles in maximum passing time for the old Marine Corps physical fitness test (28 minutes). Better than 20:25 is just my motivational goal.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 97: The Wreck of the Old


This episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:




In this episode:


  • Thanks For Asking! (A night out with Lorenzo Mendoza; The Week in Stupid, part 1; Sorry, not very scary story);
  • The Week in Stupid/Scary Story Redux (Gary Johnson and Jill Stein on climate change, me on nuclear weapons)

Congratulations to my sponsor, Darryl W. Perry -- he's the new chair of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, and LAVA Flow Podcast host Rodger Paxton is the new vice-chair!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The (New Bike) Saga Begins


This whole thing kept threatening to go sideways and turn into yet another one of those "I can't believe I fell for the old 'order something online from Wal-Mart and everything goes wrong' routine again" posts ... but everything seems to have worked out.

So I saw the bike on sale for $79.xx, online only and couldn't resist, even though this is Wal-Mart and even though something seems to go wrong every time I order online from them. It looks like a lot of bike for $80 -- and since it would probably cost $100-$150 to do the things I'd need to do to get the Trek 7000 back in operating shape, that's a good deal. Hey, if nothing else I will end up with a new set of brakes (needed for the Trek) and a new set of tires (probably needed for the Trek), right?

Order placed. For once, the order actually seems to proceed apace instead getting stuck at the "processing" stage and ending with a refund instead of the arrival of what I ordered. Site-to-store, available for pickup on Wednesday.

First hitch: Wal-Mart advertises that when you buy an unassembled bike from them, you can have it assembled, free, at the store. So I call the store to find out about that. Yes, I can have it assembled. No, I can't just ask to have it assembled. I have to show up to claim it when it arrives and ask then. Kinda silly. But anyway, Tamara drops by when it arrives, asks for assembly, gives them my name for pickup (it was ordered on her Wal-Mart account), and is told no problem, it should be pretty quick, they'll call.

So I plan to ride into town with Tamara on Friday morning, have her drop me off on her way to work, pick up the bike, and ride it home before the heat of the day (daytime temperatures are running 90 degrees fahrenheit this week).

But on Friday morning, there's still been no "your bike is ready" phone call. About midday, I call the store to ask when the bike will be ready. Oh, the bike is ready, they just forgot to call. So I plan to get into town in the evening, pick it up and ride it home as things are cooling down but before it gets dark.

We arrive at the store. I do look briefly at bicycle lights, but there's a good hour of daylight left, I have some crap at home that will probably work as a stopgap, and I prefer to order little doodads like that from China for a buck or two a pop instead of paying ten times as much here. So I head for the pickup desk, which is unattended, but the people at the function next door say they'll get the guy. I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

The guy finally shows up, unlocks the storeroom and brings out a bicycle.

Here's the bike I ordered:

Here's the bike I got:



They're not the same bike. At least they don't look like the same bike to me. The advertised one is light blue with light blue tires. This is dark blue with black tires. On a lookover, my impression is that they're giving me a better bike than I paid for, and I say so. But the guy checks the order number, etc. and says no, that's the right bike. OK, fine.

Except that when he rolls it out and I feel the tires, there's very little air in them. Can I get those aired up, or is there a place to do so? They're aired up, the guy explains. Their machines have an auto-shutoff -- if the tires were aired up any more they would explode. Yes, he really says that. OK, fine.

So I finally get out of the store with the bike and instead of an hour of daylight remaining it is getting dark. I carefully (because I don't want to ruin tires and wheels) ride the bike two blocks to a Dollar Tree, where I do luck out -- a buck apiece for 1) a strap-on rear light actually intended for bikes; and 2) a clip-on-your-hat light that should do in a pinch (fortunately I had resisted the temptation to remove the plastic bill from my bike helmet).

Then I gingerly ride the bike another two blocks to the nearest gas station where I pay $1.50 for air (air is getting very expensive these days). Those tires that would explode if they were aired up any more? One is at 24psi, the other at 14psi. The tires are rated for 50psi.

Then I ride the 5 1/2 miles home in the dark. The hat-clip light isn't ideal, but everything works out, no unfortunate encounters with animals, automobiles, invisible potholes, etc. A very pleasant ride even though I haven't gone through the process of fitting the bike to my height, etc. yet. By the time I get home, I'm more convinced than ever that I somehow got handed a better bike than they charged me for.

So my near future exercise plan involves walking one day, biking the next instead of walking every day. Glad to be back on wheels.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Presidents Who Couldn't Get Elected These Days


The press seems to obsess over presidential candidates' health these days (perhaps they wouldn't, or at least not quite so much, if some of those candidates weren't secretive and dishonest about it). From Wikipedia:

On September 24, 1955, while vacationing in Colorado, [Dwight D. Eisenhower] had a serious heart attack that required six weeks' hospitalization .... As a consequence of his heart attack, Eisenhower developed a left ventricular aneurysm, which was in turn the cause of a mild stroke on November 25, 1957. This incident occurred during a cabinet meeting when Eisenhower suddenly found himself unable to speak or move his right hand. The stroke had caused an aphasia. The president also suffered from Crohn's disease, chronic inflammatory condition of the intestine, which necessitated surgery for a bowel obstruction on June 9, 1956.

Fortunately for his political aspirations, this stuff occurred after he was elected. But even after the heart attack and intestinal surgery (but before the stroke), he was re-elected in a landslide.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I Used to Love Groupon


I've purchased a number of Groupons proper -- essentially discount certificates for restaurants, attractions, events, etc. -- without incident. The Groupons always worked and I was always satisfied.

Memory dims over time, but I'm pretty sure I've ordered a thing or three from "Groupon Goods" over the years. These are actual physical objects, offered for a nice price and shipped direct. I don't go to the site to shop on my own -- normally my first online stop for things I want is eBay, followed by Amazon for some things, NewEgg for others, etc.) -- but if I see something "on special" via email and it's something I want, I'll click thru.

So this morning I got the second or third in a series of Groupon emails:

EXTENDED!
EXTRA $10 OFF
YOUR NEXT GROUPON


I clicked thru, and among the things advertised on the landing page were "Groupon Goods" type physical things (clothing, jewelry, electronics, etc.).

There's something I've been planning to buy for Tamara -- she's been wanting a "fitness tracker" bracelet for some time now -- so I searched on the term "fitness tracker," selected one for $16.99, clicked "buy," entered the coupon code ...

"Sorry, this coupon cannot be applied, check the code rules." There's no link from the email to any "code rules."

So I think to myself, maybe this deal is for a limited set of things. Instead of searching, I'll go back to the email, click through to the landing page, and click on the links Groupon actually shows me to see if those things include any fitness trackers.

So I end up at a fitness tracker that way, and the good news is it includes the same desired features AND is $10 cheaper -- just $6.99. Which, with $10 off, no minimum, sounds like "free." Heck, I might just buy two, that would be only four bucks out of pocket, right?

Except that there's no way to tell it I want two. Click "buy" and it goes straight to payment.

And except that, again, "Sorry, this coupon cannot be applied, check the code rules."

And except that it's $6.99 + $5.95 shipping, so now we're talking $12.94.

But what the hey. I have been meaning to buy something like this for someone I care about, and $13 is a very nice price for a bluetooth fitness tracker that includes sleep analysis and such. Click. Buy. Done.

Oh, except during the payment phase, it keeps insisting that my address isn't one they can ship to. Turns out their "cartographer" thinks my street address ends in "Lanes" rather than "Lane."

And except when the receipt email arrives it turns out that there's $1.29  in sales tax that wasn't mentioned on the payment screen. So now it's $14.23. Which is still a pretty good price.

But it's also the sixth ass-chapping little problem in a single transaction. First the code doesn't work for what I select. Then I go back and jump through hoops to find something the code works on and it still doesn't. Then it won't let me buy two of something I'm willing to pay full price for. Then it wants nearly six bucks in shipping on a seven dollar purchase that couldn't possible cost more than one dollar to ship. Then it basically tells me that I don't know my own address and it does. Then it charges me an extra $1.29 without telling me first.

I'm guessing I won't be clicking on extra-super-special Groupon deal emails in the future. Even writing off all the ADDITIONAL problems, the FIRST problem made the price of my purchase $10 more than it was advertised as.

Thanks For Asking! -- 09/21/16


This week's AMA thread, and the podcast to follow, are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:



Ask me anything (yes, anything) in the comment thread below this post. I'll answer in comments, on this weekend's podcast, or both.


About Experimenting on the Troops


Transcribed from the last few minutes of last night's episode of Free Talk Live (I think I'm attributing the quotes to the correct hosts):

Cody: If you're going to be punished for not wanting to have a shot put in you where you don't entirely know what is being put into your bloodstream ...

Ian: You can better believe they're experimenting on members of the military, I mean, there's a long history of them experimenting with things that are not even available to the mainstream ...

That's the kind of statement that tends to get certain people yelling "conspiracy theory! Put on your tinfoil hat, got a conspiracy theory here!"

So by way of supporting the show hosts, I want to relate a real-life, first-person account of something that probably isn't quite "experimenting on members of the military" as such, but pretty damn close.

In early 1991 at Camp Five in the vicinity of al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, members of my unit were rousted out to receive a vaccination.

Specifically, the first dose of what was supposedly a two-dose anthrax vaccination.

From boxes of syringes clearly (visible/legible from several feet away) marked EXPERIMENTAL -- DO NOT USE ON HUMANS.

I never got the second dose and it never occurred to me to ask others from my unit whether or not they did (there was a point at which I left my permanent unit on temporary assignment to a provisional outfit). If they didn't, I can think of a few possible reasons why:


  1. The war started and ended pretty quickly -- maybe it was over before they got around to administering the second dose.
  2. Units were moving around a lot in a very chaotic situation -- maybe the second dose didn't catch up with our medical people before the unit went home.
  3. Maybe there were enough and bad enough negative reactions to the vaccine that the powers that be decided it was more trouble than its possible utility (if Saddam used anthrax) was worth, and they canceled its deployment.
Or maybe some other reason. All I know is that when I attempted to exercise what I thought was a US-recognized right to refuse medical treatment, I was told "take the vaccine or take a court martial." I decided the former was preferable to the latter.

When I say it probably wasn't experimenting on the troops as such, what I mean is that the purpose of administering the vaccine appears to have been actual use versus a perceived possibility of exposure to anthrax on the battlefield, as opposed to someone just saying "hey, let's inject a bunch of troops with this and see what happens!" But of course appearances can be deceiving. Maybe the war was just an excuse for doing exactly that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Now It's Just Getting Stupid


One of the Libertarian National Committee's quadrennial priorities is getting the party's presidential campaign to sign a contract covering things like sharing of data (e.g. the LNC letting the campaign mail to its list of members; the campaign letting the LNC mail to its list of donors, etc.).

It's enough of a priority that at this year's national convention, a bylaws amendment was proposed that would have required candidates for the presidential nomination to sign such contracts to be eligible for the nomination. That amendment was rejected for the perfectly good reason that it would have empowered the LNC to game the nomination by offering contracts that some candidates could or would not sign.

So anyway, ever since the nomination, there's been a bunch of back and forth between the LNC and the Johnson campaign regarding a contract.

As of yesterday, the LNC's chair (who was given authority by the LNC to negotiate and execute the contract) had signed a contract.

What's in the contract? Apparently the only people who know are the chair, the LNC's lawyer, and the Johnson/Weld campaign's negotiators.

And apparently there's a clause in the contract requiring secrecy as to its terms -- forever. Even LNC members have to sign non-disclosure agreements just to see a contract that binds the committee and the party to whatever secret stuff is in it. Regular old party members and donors? Don't bother asking, you don't rate.

Thanks to Region 1 representative Caryn Ann Harlos for fighting like hell against this bullshit.

In other news, Johnson/Weld campaign promise: "No hypocrisy; full transparency."

Somehow, I'm just not feeling it.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 96: Chastity and Continence, But Not Yet


This episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:






In this episode:


  • Thanks For Asking! (The Social Question, Dave Barry Hearts Sheldon Richman, Election Systems, Johnson/Weld Heresies);
  • Three things about the Johnson/Weld campaign.
Sorry this one ran late, folks -- it was recorded on Sunday but the program I use to join segments was acting up and I couldn't get that done until this morning.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Yes, There is a New Episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast


I think it's even a pretty good episode.

But you can't hear it yet, because Audio Joiner is running like molasses and doesn't seem to want to finish the part where the various segments, intro music, stingers, and ads get melded into a single MP3.

I'll keep working on the problem, but I'm not sure the episode will be available tonight.

Andrew Cuomo is Obviously an Ignorant Slut


Like so:

"A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism," Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Sunday, vowing that authorities will catch whoever is responsible.

The thing about terrorism is that it is defined by two things:


  1. Targeting (civilian non-combatants as opposed to government military or police forces); and
  2. Intent (to terrorize the populace so as to pressure "their" government to change its policies)

If a car bomb takes out the head of the Genovese crime family, no, it's not terrorism.

If someone firebombs a bar that he got kicked out of to get revenge on the owner, no, it's not terrorism.

Was the Chelsea bombing terrorism? Probably. There were multiple devices, apparently set up location-wise, etc. so as to inflict casualties on random passersby. But not just because it was a bomb exploding in New York.

Friday, September 16, 2016

My Latest Conspiracy Theory


Tamara's car broke down last night.

Someone obviously doesn't want me to get out to see Snowden today.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

FiveThirtyEight May Be Catching Up With Me


Back in June, I wrote:

In November, assuming he's the GOP nominee (I still think a successful national delegate rebellion is just barely possible), Donald Trump will win every state that Mitt Romney won in 2012. He will also win Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, he will at least be competitive in New York and New Jersey, and he may even put California in play.

The only thing I'd change at this point is backing off on the New York/New Jersey/California possibilities. IIRC, my prediction has Trump winning the election with 280 electoral votes.

So today, over at FiveThirtyEight, David Wasserman describes a scenario in which ...

Clinton would carry the popular vote by 1.5 percentage points. However, Trump would win the Electoral College with 280 votes by holding all 24 Romney states and flipping Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Maine’s 2nd Congressional District from blue to red.

Looks kinda familiar, doesn't it? My money is still on Michigan (for the same reasons as Ohio and Pennsylvania -- large blue collar hardhat worker populations of the type that gave us "Reagan Democrats"*) rather than Iowa and Maine, but anyway ...

Yes, Wasserman does describe that scenario as "very unlikely." But that the idea is even coming up should tell you something about what directions things are moving in, and where.




* Of course, it's hard to track where the traditional "union worker or resembling same" vote is going. I had an email from the AFL-CIO the other day boasting that ...

We released poll results this week that showed Trump's support among union members in battleground states -- who are a key group we're talking to with our canvasses and phone banks -- has dropped from 41% to 36%.

... (and begging me to help them further that trend -- no, I'm not sure how I got on that list), but not all union workers are created equal. Sure, the non-police public sector unions like Service Employees International Union can deliver their members' votes for Clinton, but I suspect the Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers, United Steelworkers, United Auto Workers, etc. will have a much harder time doing so ... or finding out whether or not they can.

That is, if I am a union auto worker in Detroit or a union steel worker in Pittsburgh, I may nod and say "yeah, sure" when the president of my local seeks reassurance that I'm in line for Clinton (ditto when a pollster calls; you never know who's listening), but that doesn't mean that's how things will work out in the voting booth.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris."


Colin Powell sums Hillary Rodham Clinton up perfectly in that juicy email quote, courtesy of The Intercept, doesn't he? He's obviously pretty pissed that she dragged him into her Servergate scandal:

HRC could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me to it.

I Want to Ride My Bicycle ...


In a "Thanks For Asking!" exchange a couple of months ago, I wrote:

I haven't been riding much lately because I'm torn between putting money into getting the Trek back up to snuff or buying a sub-$100 single-speed -- the kind that has a flip-flop hub so that it can be a "fixie" or just a regular single-speed. I'm leaning toward the latter course. It would cost quite a bit less than doing the things the Trek really needs, and I suspect I could get $50 for the Trek just for its frame.

After several months of walking (and occasionally running a little) for my daily exercise, I've finally gone with that latter course. On the way:


New, on sale, for about $80. Things my beloved Trek 7000 need to get back in shape would cost far more than that. It could use new tires, the brakes are about shot, a full tuneup including getting the wheels trued (that alone would run $50-$75 on sale, and at the last tuneup the mechanic showed me some things that would eventually need, and probably now need, attention).

When the thing arrives, one of two things will happen based on how I like it:

  1. I'll ride it -- probably every day in lieu of walking; or
  2. I'll cannibalize it to get the Trek back up and running as a daily exercise bike.





Thanks For Asking! -- 09/14/16


This week's AMA thread, and the podcast to follow, are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:



Operator's manual:


  • Ask me anything (yes, anything) in the comment thread below this post; and
  • I'll answer in comments, on this weekend's podcast, or both.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I guess I'm a Morning Person Now




If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed that some time before 6am most mornings,  two posts appear on my timeline:


  1. A notification from an Android phone app called Charity Miles that I ran (actually, I walked) a mile, or a mile and a half, or whatever, this morning. It's a pretty cool app because every time I log a walk (it handles outdoor walking/running, bicycling, and treadmill walking), the mileage is translated into sponsored donations to charities (I usually select Habitat For Humanity or St. Jude's Childrens' Hospital, but sometimes I mix it up, they have maybe 25 to choose from).
  2. A photo, usually one taken on my morning walk in the dark (like the one up top of this post) that I have sent to an app called Donate a Photo for Charity, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. I'm allowed to upload one photo a day and when I do the company donates a dollar to a charity of my choice (once again, several to choose from, and I usually go with Operation Smile, an organization that provides surgery to correct kids' cleft palates).
Point being, I used to sleep in until the last possible moment before getting to work. Now I get up no later than 4:50am (that's when my alarm goes off, but I often wake up on my own before that), throw on some clothes, walk for 20-30 minutes, start the morning coffee brewing, take a shower, and start working at maybe 5:30am or a little later.

Kind of feels like the old Marine Corps days. I don't know if it's the exercise, the "early to bed, early to rise" thing (often I miss the "early to bed" part), or both, but it feels pretty good.

Except for this one thing: I expect some kind of unfriendly animal encounter one of these mornings.

So far, the animal encounters have just been cats staring at me from the side of the road, armadillos crossing the road in front of me, etc.

But often when I'm walking, I can hear a coyote or three howling no more than a quarter mile away. My walk usually (I vary the route, but usually) takes me over by my church. I'm reasonably certain there are wild pigs in the jungle over there, and a couple of weeks ago a bear dropped in for a visit.

This is a little bit of a pickle for me. I don't see much traffic that time of the morning, but it's not unusual for the traffic I do see to be ... well, police-heavy. Open carry is (unconstitutionally) illegal in Florida and I don't have (or want) a[n unconstitutional] "permit" to carry concealed, so I'd rather not pack heat for my morning walk, because I just know there will come a day when a deputy sheriff stops me either to find out who I am and what I am up to or to ask me if I've seen someone else that they're after (that's happened before -- the first week I was here -- and I've seen other chases, helicopters included, in the neighborhood; hell if I know why, it's a peaceful place otherwise).

So when and if I do come face to face with Ms. Bear, Mr. Boar or Mr. Coyote, if he or she is confrontational for whatever reason, I guess you'll get a really cool picture that morning, if I live to post it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Word PSA


A tenant is someone who rents an apartment, house, business space, etc.

A tenet is a principle or belief.

Yes, I wrote this post in lieu of hunting someone down and working him or her over with a hammer.

Not so much out of adherence to the non-aggression principle, nor even by way of avoiding a short career as a Fark.com headliner (you know which tag) for being arrested while screaming "ET! Not ANT!" over your quivering, bloody, shrieking body.

No, what saved you is that at least you didn't also use an apostrophe to indicate the plural. That would have probably resulted in some quality hammer time.

Thank whichever deity you happen to worship for your good luck.

That is all.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

What if ...


... it's actually ricin or polonium?

Hillary Clinton is being treated for pneumonia (after leaving a 9/11 ceremony visibly ill but her campaign claiming she just got "overheated").

And you know who uses ricin and polonium, don't you?

The Democratic Party's strategy this year seems to be to blame Them Russians! for everything.

What if they've decided to kill off their presidential nominee and blame Them Russians! for that, too, so they can stick Biden in the slot and maybe win the election?

Yeah, it's a bizarre conspiracy theory. But I just wanted to get it on record that if it's a bizarre conspiracy theory that turns out to be true, I'm the one who (or at least among those who) told you first.

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 95: Enough With The 9/11 Already


This episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:






In this episode:


  • Thanks For Asking! (What I would do about a leppo; stranger fiction; sick Clinton; Thom Hartmann is not a leprechaun; Garrison pickup stuff);
  • Yes, it's 9/11 and no, nothing has changed (the 15-year-old essay I read is available here).

Friday, September 09, 2016

I Had a Strange Dream Last Night


I dreamed a commercial.

"If you suffer from moderate to severe erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor about Aleppo."

My Daughter Caitlin is 26 Today


I'm thinking it wouldn't kill her to get in touch with Dad. There's a handy contact form up top of the site, even.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Thanks For Asking! -- 09/08/16


This week's AMA thread and the podcast to follow are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:




Ask me anything (yes, anything) in the comment thread below this post and I'll answer in comments, on this weekend's podcast, or both.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

If There's One Thing I'm Not Known For, it is Sensitivity to Sexism


Really. If I had a penny for every fell look shot my way for saying something thoughtless or disrespectful or insensitive, I wouldn't be able to get around my house for all the pennies stacked up everywhere.

So when even I notice it, I suspect it's pretty bad.

Like when a dude writes an op-ed about former US Senator, former US Secretary of State, and current Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and:


  • Identifies her main opponent, Donald Trump, by his full name; then
  • Refers to her as merely "Hillary" seven times over the course of two full paragraphs; while
  • Also checking off the "dutiful wife" box; and
  • Doesn't mention any of her credentials or qualifications until a paragraph and a half in; and
  • Doesn't bother to mention her last name or prepend an honorific until the third paragraph.

It's not about supporting Clinton. I despise her and everything she stands for (the latter being pretty easy since the only thing Hillary Clinton stands for is the aggrandizement of Hillary Clinton).

It's about treating her as the serious threat to peace and freedom (and possibly existential threat to the human race) she is, rather than implicitly dismissing her as "the little woman."

Sunday, September 04, 2016

The Kn@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 94: The Horse I Rode In On


This episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:






In this episode:



Saturday, September 03, 2016

Powerlessness Update


So the power was off for about 18 hours. No biggie. Understandable.  I mean, there was a hurricane,  after all.

Then the power was on for six hours or so. Yay.

Now it's been off again for about 12 hours for no apparent reason. It's on two blocks away,  just not here.

Time to stop fucking around, Clay Electric.


Friday, September 02, 2016

I Feel so Powerless


Hermine came through last night. Not as bad as I expected, but the power has been out for about 12 hours now. Just a short phone post to let my enemies know they didn't get me this time ...


Thursday, September 01, 2016

I Ain't Marching ... er, Standing ... Anymore


Not after listening to the first half hour of last night's episode of Free Talk Live:





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