Election 2016

From Wordsworth to Michael Stipe. It’s hard to believe this song was written in 1987 and not in response to the 2016 presidental election.

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

by R.E.M.

“…Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn.
World serves its own needs, dummy, serve your own needs.
Feed it off an aux speak, grunt, no strength.
The ladder starts to clatter with fear fight, down, height.
Wire in a fire, representing seven games
In a government for hire and a combat site.
Left of west and coming in a hurry
With the furies breathing down your neck

Team by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped.
Look at that low playing! Fine, then.
Uh oh, overflow, population, common group
But it’ll do. Save yourself, serve yourself.
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed,
Dummy, with the rapture and the rev-‘rent and the right, right.
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light
Feeling pretty psyched.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

Six o’clock – TV hour.
Don’t get caught in foreign towers.
Slash and burn, return.
Listen to yourself churn.
Locking in uniforming, book burning, bloodletting.
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate.
Light a candle, light a motive.
Step down, step down.
Watch your heel crush, crushed.
Uh oh, this means no fear, cavalier.
Renegade steer clear!
A tournament, a tournament,
A tournament of lies.
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
And I decline.

It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It’s time I had some time alone)
I feel fine…”

With the sorry result of this election season, I agree with R.E.M. from almost 30 years ago and say,

I decline.

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Calling Icarus

I went to scan a photo tonight. Slapped it on the scanner and pressed ‘Scan’ on my desktop computer…

And got a warning message “No scanner found”. Huh?

I looked at the scanner. It was powered on. I looked at the cables. They were plugged in.

Well, stuff happens. I cycled power on the scanner and tried again…

And got a warning message “No scanner found”. Huh?

Well, pshaw. I cycled power on the desktop, logged in as me, and…

The desktop locked up, ignored all keyboard and mouse inputs.

Rrrrrr, I mashed the power button on the desktop until it shut down. I waited a bit and powered the desktop on again.

I logged in as me, held my breath, and pressed ‘Scan’…

And lo and behold it worked.

The moral of this story is if you really believe Google or Tesla or Ford is going to bring you a driverless car in the foreseeable future, just remember, these are the same people who can’t make a scanner reliably talk to a desktop computer.

Icarus, call your office.

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Keeping it Green

It’s February, months since harvest, months to go until planting. Nothing to do [1] except sit by the fire and think. I’ve been re-reading Wendell Berry’s “Our Only Earth” and I was struck by the following passage enough to get out of my chair [2] and write it down.

The predominant agricultural science of the universities, the corporations, and the government is still almost unanimously promoting industrial agriculture despite the by now overwhelming evidence of its failure: soil erosion, salinization, aquifer depletion, nutrient depletion, dependence on on fossil fuels and toxic chemicals, pollution of streams and rivers, loss of genetic and ecological diversity, destruction of rural communities and the cultures of husbandry.

In the farming community we’ve been nearly united against something called the “Waters Of The United States” (WOTUS), a plan by the EPA to define what waterways may be regulated. We’re enraged by ‘government overreach’, we assert that no one knows better than the farmer how to protect the waters of the United States.

All the time ignoring algae blooms in Lake Erie caused, at least in large part, by runoff from farm fields. Ignore that Grand Lake St. Marys in Ohio was unfit even to touch, because of farm runoff.

Sign  posted on Grand Lake St. Marys
Sign posted on Grand Lake St. Marys

Ignore that there is a huge dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi, caused by farm runoff. Ignore that the drinking water in Des Moines is unfit to drink almost half of the year because of nitrogen from farmer’s fields ending up in the river.

Just what I’m thinking about on a February night.

1. That’s a slight exaggeration.

2. And that takes a heap o’ motivation to get me out of my chair, I tell you what.

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Keeping it Clean

I’m not a “greenie,” [1] but I was watching a cooking show tonight, one of my favorites, American’s Test Kitchen. They were making a curry and roasting peppers in the oven. To do that they lined a baking sheet with foil.

I like the idea of keeping the baking sheets clean. We scrub and scrub and scrub ours and they’re still blackened and pitted. It’d sure be nice to have pristine baking sheets that look like new. Maybe I should line my pans.

But if I line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, I’ve not only spent money on the foil, but the foil then has to be thrown away. I can’t recycle it with food baked on it. An irreplaceable natural resource headed for the landfill, all because I wanted a baking pan to look pretty.

I love my pans, I really do. And I wish they looked perfect. But does it really matter how shiny they are?

I don’t think so.


noun informal derogatory
a person who campaigns for protection of the environment.

Ok, yes, I am.

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All the Nutty People

If you’ve heard even a smidgen of news in the past few weeks, you’ve heard how Indiana’s state legislative and executive branches of government managed to take one of the founding principles[1] of our country and turn it into joke worthy of national mockery[2].

Viv Sade mentioned to me all the letters to the editor she was getting from “nuts.” Where do all the nutty people come from, I wondered. That rang a bell, and what follows just flowed forth.

“Governor Pence”
Sung to the tune of “Eleanor Rigby” [3]

Ah, look at all the nutty people
Ah, look at all the nutty people

Governor Pence bars the flowers from the church where a gay wedding’s been
Lives in a dream

Stares at the statehouse, passing the laws that keeps the gays in their place
Surely we can save face?

All the nutty people
Where do they all come from?
All the nutty people
Where do they all belong?

Senator Long writing the amendments to a law that none will obey
No one will yea
Look at him working, doing Freelands bidding when there’s nobody there
What does he care?

All the nutty people
Where do they all come from?
All the nutty people
Where do they all belong?

Governor Pence’s hopes died in the spring and were buried along his campaign
No one was sane
Senator Long wiping the dirt from his hands as he walked from the grave
He still was paid.

All the nutty people (Ah, look at all the nutty people)
Where do they all come from?
All the nutty people (Ah, look at all the nutty people)
Where do they all belong?

1. In case you haven’t heard a smidgen of news, it’s freedom of religion.

2.Yeah, I’m piling on.

3. The original song, in case you really live in a vacuum. YouTube video of Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

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Didn’t Even Ask

I was in [1] Fort Wayne this week at lunchtime so I stopped at my favorite fast food chicken place, Lee’s on West State, for lunch.

I ordered up a tasty lunch, an all-dark-meat-spicy-crispy snack with a soft drink. When young lady behind the counter rang me up I was a little surprised that my soft drink wasn’t an extra charge with a snack. But the world moves faster everyday, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that I wasn’t up-to-date with the intricacies of the Lee’s menu.

It wasn’t much of a surprise at least until I sat down and looked at my receipt. The sweet young lady behind the counter had given me the “senior citizen’s discount.” A free soft drink!

She could’ve at least asked if I was old enough![2]

1. Well, within about 5 miles of Fort Wayne, close enough for an excuse to go to Lee’s.

2. I am, by 2 years. Phbbbbt,

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So now Steve Wozniak has peddled himself to sell Cadillacs. Did he not make enough money selling Apples as better than PC’s that he now has to sell himself, huskstering Cadillacs as somehow better than Chevy’s?

Shame on you, Woz, shame.

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It’s New, It Must be Good

Do you like this new theme for my blog? It’s just ok, I think. But it does look nice on a mobile device [1]. And being an old fellow with old eyes I really like the big and bold fonts.

On the non-mobile view I don’t like the menu on the left. That’s prime real estate, the post should be there, and the menu on the right. I’ve always been a wannabe journalist [2], and when I worked on the newspapers in high school and college I was always most interested in layout. That menu just doesn’t belong there. I haven’t explored the theme options much yet. Maybe I can move it.

1. Mobile device == a tiny screen that you can’t see anything on, especially in sunlight, and you can’t type, nor hover over any item. But mobile devices are really expensive, fragile, and have outrageous monthly charges, so they must be good.

2. Hence this blog.

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Just in case you thought Cadillac couldn’t get any dumber than their ELR commercial last year [1], they rolled out this brain-dead wonder this year set to David Bowie’s “Fame”.

Honestly, did no one at Cadillac listen to the lyrics? Or did they assume anyone simple enough to buy a Cadillac would never actually listen to a David Bowie song?

“Fame, puts you there where things are hollow”

– like a Caddy, which is just a Chevy.

“To bind your time, it drives you to, crime”

– Clearly we want our luxury automobile brand to be associated with committing crime to buy one.

“Feeling so gay, feeling gay?
Brings so much pain?”

– Well, that makes me want to rush out and buy a Caddy.

If this is the best GM can come up with maybe the President should’ve let GM go down the tubes.

1. Have you forgotten this one? Now the second dumbest commercial ever made.

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Me and My Apple

I’ve been trying for 3 weeks to get signed up as an Apple Developer so I can publish a mobile app to the App Store for my favorite client.

And I’ve been thwarted at every turn. D-U-N-S numbers that don’t match. Legal entities that are inconsistent. A multi-step enrollment process that you have to go through every step from start to failure every time. 14 day turnarounds to update a record in a database.

Now, my company’s revenue is about 3×10-5% of Apple’s, but it just seems like a bad idea to make it difficult for people to write applications to run on your platform.

Edit 12/12/14: This story has a happy ending. I finally gave up on their email support and called them on the phone. A real person answered the phone. After describing my problem, he put me on hold for a minute. He came back on and said everything looked like it should work. I tried it again and read off the error message I was getting. He went away for another minute and then came back and said, “try it now.”

Lo and behold, it all worked.

That’s the first time I’ve been impressed with anything Apple’s done.

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