Nightmares

This is a nightmare, something out of a Kafka story. I’ve seen this shunning dynamic in action lately, and it’s ugly. There’s no empathy, no room for thoughtful discussion of one’s actions, no sympathy and no forgiveness. Once accused, the unfortunate person (99% men) can lose everything.

Of course there are sexual predators in the workplace, and they should be dealt with decisively once revealed. But that wasn’t the case with David Sabbatini – he was just a guy who had a consensual relationship with someone else in the company. How many people in America have met their mate in the workplace – I would guess millions. But no more, if the workplace Puritans have their way. In Sabbatini’s government-funded and university-driven culture, accusation=truth, there is no due process, and once accused, you’re done.

And in other crummy news, this sure didn’t take long. Oklahoma just passed a ban on abortions effective at the moment of conception. Next it’ll be effective on the first kiss or the first lustful thought, I suppose. So now a fertilized egg has more rights than an adult woman. And for extra fun, OK has adopted Texas’ plan to deputize the population and offer bounties for anyone turning in those who participate or assist, in any way, in a woman getting an abortion. That should make for some interesting neighborhood pot lucks.

Beautiful Thursday

Another day, another 13 e-bike miles, this time down at Broad Run Park. Beautiful bike trails and a beautiful spot. And speaking of beautiful, here’s a flower garden front yard on Frankfort. This lady’s yard is bright and cheery all year.

And our little house, above the title.

V’ger

The fact that Voyager1 is now in interstellar space blows my mind. It’s 14.5 billion miles away, or almost 21 light-hours. This is the first object humanity has ever pushed outside our solar system, and the fact that it’s still working (more or less) after 45 years blows my mind again. NASA doesn’t get everything right, but they sponsored some great engineering back in the day. And inspired a weirdly-detailed Star Trek character.

Following the space theme, this collection of Milky Way images is pretty great. Awe-inspiring, otherworldly. Literally.

I really wanted to attend the Kauai Writers’ Conference this year. This conference has been on my radar a long time, but work always got in the way. Then COVID. And now the Norway trip we’ve scheduled is on the same dates. One of these years…

Instead, I’m attending and sponsoring Imaginarium. I wanted to support a Louisville-based writing event, and this year’s event looks good. It should be a confluence of creative people from all walks of life. It also occurs during my birthday weekend, so that’s fun. That means I’ve only got 60 days left to polish some of my work and get it ready for workshops.

Pictures from a spring day

Got some nice pictures from our last couple of days.

Here’s a leafy tunnel that is the sidewalk in front of our house. The lushness of everything this time of year makes me feel good.

And here’s a colorful spring basket outside Volare.

Hudson’s kiddie soccer practice last evening, at Beckley Creek Park.

And another action shot.

And finally, the prettier-than-expected railroad tracks along Frankfort Avenue.

Aim low

My Dad has a new, upgraded phone to make it easier to reach him – what a great idea! But he can’t hear the default ringtone on the phone, so now no one can reach him. Unintended consequences. When I get there (soon) I’ll have to set his ringtone to something within his limited range of hearing.

The foody list from this trip is just the usual suspects so far – Parlour, Con Huevos, Joella’s, Red Hog, and Green District. I have aspirations for Barn8 and Porcini (or maybe Volare), but we’ll see how it goes. I have to say, the pepperoni balls from Parlour are some of the finest snacks ever.

The weather so far on this trip has been perfect. Rain at night a couple of times, and sunny and mild during the day. Humidity mostly on the low side. San Diego weather in Louisville – go figure.

I’m running two parallel calendars these days – one for my work/consulting gig, on their systems, and my personal calendar on my Mac app. So far I haven’t found a way to synch those calendars via software, so I try to do it manually and end up doing a shitty job of it, missing appointments. How hard would it be to release a simple-to-use calendar synch tool? I can’t be the only person with this need.

My big plan for today is a long walk somewhere. Pretty ambitious, I know. But that’s the kind of person I am these days – aim low and be happy when I exceed expectations.

***

Update, post-walk. I realized something on my walk. Living in Socal has made me lazy and cynical about getting outside and doing something when the weather is nice, because the weather is ALWAYS nice. Why go now when tomorrow will be just the same, day after day?

In KY you have 3 months where it’s cold and wet, maybe real cold. And the other 9 months it may rain at any moment, so when you get a beautiful morning your mindset is completely different – you can’t tell yourself “I always have tomorrow”. So you go for the walk. It’s probable that this fits my personality better because this is the rhythm I grew up with. The eternal sunshine of Socal just feels weird to me.

Middle of May Monday

After two days and 25 miles, we like the new e-bikes a lot. Great way to see the area – so far we’ve ridden the riverfront park and Cherokee Park. Two parks down and at least 20 more to go. Louisville’s park system is pretty great.

The Supreme Court today reinforced the idea behind Citizens United, that corporations have the same free speech rights as individuals and cannot be limited as to their donations to candidates. Basically, public offices are now a very, very lucrative gig – more than ever. Bribes to elected officials are now pretty much legal.

And now Sweden plus Finland are joining NATO. I don’t imagine this was the outcome Putin wanted. Russia versus the civilized world.

And another grand jury has convened to investigate TFG, this time for the possibility that he stole classified documents for personal profit. In any other time, this would be the story of the decade. (It still should be, but who the hell knows why certain stories get traction and others don’t.) The investigation is gaining steam, and who knows, this might be the one that leads to a conviction of TFG for something, anything. Yeah, and unicorns.

Saturday morning coffee

Here’s a great article on cryptocurrency and why it’s a terrible idea. My favorite quote:

This is a virus. Its harms are substantial. It has enabled billion dollar criminal enterprises. It has enabled venture capitalists to do securities fraud as their business. It has sucked people in. So either avoid it or help me make it die in a fire.

Yeah, what he said.

We’re looking at buying some e-bikes for the KY place. Here’s the front runner – an Aventon folding bike. We won’t pay for them via cryptocurrency.

At least the Russians are doing something useful in their war in Ukraine. They’re proving that private, encrypted comms links are better than cell phones in wartime scenarios. Your cell phone – a tracking device that allows you to make a phone call.

Christopher Walken would definitely be in my top 10 nominations for Emperor of the Universe. And for Dune part 2, he got the job.

Embrace your mistakes

We made it to Louisville yesterday after a shorter-than-expected flight to Chicago and then a longer-than-expected flight from Chicago to Louisville. That 45 minute flight turned into a 2.5 hour flight due to a very long wait on the runway after pushback. No explanation, just a hot wait. Upon arrival, a sublime dry-aged cheese burger from Red Hog made the travel day worth it.

A CA congresscritter (John Cardenas, Democrat) is being called out for paying his wife $424K of campaign funds for “wellness support” or somesuch BS. Campaign funds have become slush funds for politicians and their families – it’s corruption, pure and simple. Should be a crime.

Missouri decides to compete with Texas and Florida to become the dumbest state in the nation by passing a law forbidding pharmacists to dispute the efficacy of ivermectin against COVID. The Daily Beast’s tagline is classic: “Beating a Dead Horse”.

Heart of Darkness: Astronomers have published the first image of the massive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Turns out that most galaxies (all?) have a similar black hole center. That actually makes sense – given a black hole’s massive gravity well, it makes sense that over billions of years stars would cluster around them, forming galaxies.

As much as I love Kentucky, I really despise KY’s US Senators. Here’s what the execrable Rand Paul is spending his time on lately.

And after all that shitty news, a joke is needed. “I told my wife she should embrace her mistakes… so she hugged me.”

Sleep deprived movie review

Sleep deprived. It’s a terrible feeling – bleary eyes, a heavy mental fog to contend with, physical fatigue, trouble focusing – it’s right up there with a hangover as the worst way to spend a morning. And I’m definitely sleep deprived this morning. Was awake for a while almost every hour last night.

It began when we watched Matrix Resurrections and its run time took me well past my normal bedtime. I was pretty disappointed in Resurrections. It had some great nostalgic moments, but in general it was way, way too dependent on no-gravity fight scenes and massive amounts of bullets. You’d think that in the 60+ years of Matrix time that had passed, and the real-world years (at least I think this is the real world) since the last movie, that new modes of shooting people would have been featured. Lasers. Disintegration rays. Mental disruptors. Something. But no, we got old-fashioned guns and bullets. Lots of bullets.

We’ve seen it all before, and it got boring. The best parts were seeing how well Neo and Trinity have aged in the real world. Even given movie effects and makeup, they’ve aged gracefully. That part of Resurrections worked. But in general, it wasn’t a movie I would recommend to anyone. Kind of meh.

I don’t think all the weird dreams I had and the too-frequent wake-ups had anything to do with the movie, but who knows. Maybe one of the scenes contained a neural infection. The weirdest dream I had involved a round of golf where no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the ball off the first tee. In this dream, I was helpless and hapless – nothing I tried worked. I ended up roaming through the course without clubs, wandering through a nightmare landscape involving caverns, cliff faces that had to be climbed and a huge lake/waterfall covered by some plastic substance that you had to crawl over. Like I said, weird. And the fact that I remember this dream and others is unusual.

OK, on second thought, maybe a movie about the way-too-uncertain nature of reality did contribute to my restless night. All I know is right now the morning coffee isn’t working and sleep deprivation sucks.

Triskaidekaphobia

Another day, another unhinged quote from The Former Guy (TFG), discussing Mark Esper’s new book in which he describes the crazy shit TFG wanted to do.

“This is a complete lie, and 10 witnesses can back it up. Mark Esper was weak and totally ineffective, and because of it, I had to run the military,” Trump said. “I took out ISIS, [Iranian commander] Qassem Soleimani, [Islamic State leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi, rebuilt the military with $52.5 trillion, created Space Force, and so much more.”

Via Newsweek

He had to run the military!? Right. He’s the poster child for megalomaniac narcissism. He should never, ever again be allowed any governance role in the US.

In less maddening news, I have a new watch/health monitor – a Garmin Vivoactive 4. I like it so far – it fits, feels, and looks better than the Apple watch. It’s a bit more complicated to set up and use, but that part never worries me. I think I got the 45mm version (it’s hard to know for sure, the Amazon and Garmin sites don’t make it easy to determine), so it’s a decent size on the wrist. The Apple’s display is brighter and better, but the Garmin has more features, hugely better battery life, and the aforementioned better look and feel. The watch is part of my latest “get back in shape” plan.

Aaaand…just realized that Friday this week is a Friday the 13th. Yikes. Have to be extra careful that day – I’m not generally superstitious, but something about that date freaks me out a bit. Maybe I have triskaidekaphobia.