Spring color

I’ve taken some pretty shots around Fallbrook lately – we’ve had a few sunny days. Here are a couple of shots of a micro-park just outside of the village.

The park is called The Palomares House – I don’t know the history of it, but now I’ll; have to look it up.

Most days of the year it’s unremarkable. But this year, the rain has produced a bounty of flowers.

Then of course there’s Kathryn’s labyrinth on the lower section of our property. It looks great this time of year.

What we’ve become

The all too predictable news about a family in TX, shot dead by the man they asked to stop shooting rifles in his front yard, is a sad reminder of the state of our culture. Offend someone, get shot. The cartoon below says it perfectly. What a terrible society we’ve become.

I used to think that folks saying they would leave the country fleeing gun culture, or abortion laws, or expensive health care, or the surveillance state, were over-reacting. Now I’m not so sure. If I were starting out in adult life, starting a family, I can think of quite a few places that would make more sense to live.

I want to be clear, I love America and appreciate the life and opportunity I’ve had here. But the America I experienced is disappearing, and this new version is…not good.

Book banning super-Karens

This continues to be a travesty. An outrage. One super-Karen from the odious Moms for Liberty gang decides that Florida children can’t read books by Jodi Picoult, Bernard Malamud, Judy Blume and Nora Roberts (among others). Just one shitty person with a complaint, no review and no due process. For this alone, Ron Desantis should never be allowed to approach the White House. He foments and supports the worst kinds of fascist control.

Books are….everything. Books can rescue a poor child, or a child in a weak educational system. Books paint the picture of what the future can be to someone who has no role models, no access to the larger world. So these trolls are taking those possibilities away from Florida children, showing them only an increasingly narrow Christo-fascist world view. These people, these book banners, are pure evil.

Whole lotta crazy

There’s a whole lot going on in the world, too much to stay focused on any single thing. More Trump trials, Biden announces a second run for Prez, wars continue in Ukraine and Sudan. Asshat Tucker Carlson is off the air, for at least a little while. The Supreme Court is deeply corrupt and no one seems to care much. Republicans continue to fight culture wars and fail to do anything useful. Red states are moving as fast as they can toward Gilead. It’s all kind of exhausting. We need some humor to offset the crazy.

That in mind, this movie looks pretty damn funny. I hope the full movie lives up to the trailer. We need a good laugh.

Lesson learned

Turns out that a really bad night’s sleep leaves you feeling worse in the morning than a hangover. I ate healthy, had no alcohol, went to bed early, got to sleep easily but then woke up at 2am. Never really got back to sleep, so this morning is awful. This is my reward for trying to live healthy. No good deed goes unpunished.

This is also the best argument I know for a couple of glasses of wine in the evening.

Avocado Festival 2023

We went to Fallbrook’s annual Avocado Festival today. It’s a big deal for our little town – over 100,000 people expected.

It’s a half-mile long array of tents selling arts, crafts, clothing, hats, carnival food, and everything avocado. Avocado fudge, avocado gelato, avocado soap and perfume, avocado oil, and lots of guacamole. Avocado wood carvings…you get the idea.

We had perfect weather, got there early and out before the heat and the crowd got bad. Hopefully the pictures tell a good story.


Poor Mitchell Ashley. He’s now being remembered for writing one of the worst tech predictions ever, in 2008.

Apple iPhone Doomed To Failure — Windows Mobile 7 Plans For 2009 Leaked“. From the unfortunate article:

You might assume from this blog post that I’m very anti-Apple. Actually I have a very long history using Apple products, beginning with the Apple II Plus and the Mac Plus. There was a long period where I was an Apple zealot and evangelized the benefits of Mac over Windows. But as both the Mac and Windows matured, Apple products became no less complex to use and maintain than the Windows platform. The gaps between them closed and the hassles just weren’t worth what you have to give up to be a Mac user.

Apple’s inability to gain any significant market share means the options for software products are much more limited and hardware is much more expensive. That’s still true today, despite my friends efforts to try and tell me a Mac Pro notebook or desktop isn’t much more expensive than the comparable Windows machine. Just price them and you’ll see what I mean.

Apple iPhone. Enjoy the limelight because it won’t last long.

Yeah, I’ll go charge up my Windows 7 phone now. As Neils Bohr famously said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

Old friends

An old friend from my time in Akron OH (1979-1987ish) shared a photo with me today, and it brought back so many memories, almost all of them good.

Those years in Akron were some of the best of my life. Great job with horrible bosses (plenty of stories there). The peak of health in my adult life. Playing Go at lunch with the other aerospace engineers every day, playing basketball most evenings after work, golf with my work buddies. Getting to work on world-changing technology with people smarter than me. My best friend in those days, in the picture at top left, was everything I wasn’t. Worldly (he had been a lot of places I hadn’t), from a family of means, confident, and emotionally mature. He and I spent a ton of time together, great times I still remember. I’m thankful that he was thoughtful enough to share that picture (and others) with me.

In that period my Mom died and late in that period, Emily was born. The worst and the best of times. In retrospect, I can see that Mom dying sent me into a tailspin that took years to recover from. I ran away from people and places who would have supported me, but I was too dumb and broken to make good decisions at the time. 20-20 hindsight.

Taking a cue from the photo, here’s to old friends!

Slow news day

This article has made me rethink my rather simplistic idea to team with the Mexican government and have the US military go after the fentanyl cartels. How do you team up with a government that is infested with cartel cronies? If, as the article says, what we are dealing with in Mexico is a completely corrupted government, there’s not much hope of doing anything productive.

This article explains a lot. The pandemic scared people, and scared people do weird things. One thing US citizens did during the pandemic was buy guns – 60 million of them! And these are just the ones we have records for, not the ones sold by individuals at gun shows or out of the trunk of a car. Scared people with guns – that’s why we’re seeing innocent people shot just for showing up at the wrong property. Don’t think I’d want to be a Doordash driver right now.

SCOTUS is supposed to rule on the abortion pill issue today. Whatever the outcome, it’ll turn a slow news day into a big one.


Lotta headlines today about the SpaceX Starship blowing up, and that the launch wasn’t successful. Bullshit. Anything that got off the launch pad was successful, and I’m sure this test launch gave SpaceX engineers a wealth of data to analyze and do it better next time. the people who write those headlines either don’t understand the meaning of “test” or don’t care. People forget that SpaceX blew up a lot of Falcon 9s before evolving it into a very reliable launch vehicle.

It *is* interesting to speculate on why stage 2 didn’t separate as planned. Mechanical failure? Software or firmware glitch? We’ll find out. But this launch included a full Super Heavy burn, transition through MaxQ, and a lot of other milestones. Can’t wait for the next try.

I did something yesterday I seldom do – I gave up on a book. Adrian Tchaichovski’s Cage of Souls. Just too damn depressing and too slow paced. I liked his Children of Time series, but not this one. Can’t win ’em all, I guess.

Also, first Faux News and now Lindell has to put his money where his mouth is. I sure hope the courts make this asshat pay up. $5M will hurt a bit.

Finally, and sadly, we have a fourth incident just this week of innocent folks being shot by someone just for crossing their property line. A little girl and her parents were shot by a neighbor upset that a basketball rolled onto his lawn. A basketball! It’s insane – what has to happen before people understand that many, many folks who have guns don’t have the maturity/ability/training/confidence/education to own one? I’m not against gun ownership, but I *am* against gun ownership by just any idiot. You should have to earn the right, to prove that you are trained, capable and responsible. Until that happens, we’ll keep getting this result.

Marketing case study

I have to say, the well-educated but clueless Anheiser Busch marketing VP who decided to make Bud Light “less fratty” has pulled off quite a feat. By misreading her customers, she’s now managed to lose customers on both the right and the left of US culture. Now both liberals and conservatives hate the brand – this’ll be a marketing case study for years on how to NOT do your job. So far Anheiser Busch has lost about $5B in market value due to the fallout. I’m sure she joined the firm to “make a difference”. Mission accomplished.

First the good-ole-boy crowd got really pissed off by the new marketing campaign featuring a trans person on the Bud Light cans. That led to a lot of can shooting and Bud Light renouncement over Twitter, and will probably depress sales of Bud in the Xtian-country-guns segment of America for years to come. And that was Bud Light’s core customer base.

Now the LGBTQ community wants to boycott Anheiser Busch, Bud Light’s parent company, because of their rapid and some say cowardly retreat back to good-ole guns, God, and country marketing. No woke here now, they say. So the original target of the marketing now feel abandoned and betrayed.

I’d sure like to hear her exit interview, and/or her interview for the next job.