Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Climate 'disaster' in Texas only economics, really

 Yes, it's cold in Texas right now.  

Lots of folks are awfully chilly and uncomfortable.  Many have even died.  The weather is like that, and has been like that since man crawled out of the ooze.  And mankind has always prepped for this sort of thing depending on where they chose to live.

If you chose to live in the northern climates, you took precautions to ensure that you had firewood, sturdy structures and plenty of stored food for the stiff winter weather that was sure to come every year, year in and year out.  Additionally, if you were concerned about municipal power outages, you purchased a back up generator to help nudge you through those limited duration outages.  

In southern climates, people would choose to ensure their livability there by having homes with air conditioning, and buying cars equipped with A/C.  Since it rarely dipped below freezing in much of the south, not much thought was given to back up generators or huge capacity furnaces, that would just be throwing away money preparing for a winter that never came.  Public utilities also made these same decisions and did not invest in equipment that would withstand extreme cold temperatures since those extremes were hardly ever seen, that and a customer base that would not stand for such foolish 'just in case' spending of their hard earned money.

It's simply a matter of economics.  Northerners do not invest in huge swimming pools (for the most part), and southerners do not invest in huge furnaces and back up generators.  No need to spend all of that dough on a steaming hot summer or killer freezing winter that never comes.  Just a waste of money.

Now that this polar vortex has reached the Mexican border and frozen much of the subtropical south and southwest, those people who have been affected may think differently going forward.  Not much anybody can do about it now, but I will bet that more than a few southerners will probably pop for a back up generator and then let it sit idle for the next 50 years in preparation for that next cold snap (that will likely not arrive in their lifetime again).  

Another good bet is that the southern public utility companies will not make the investment in infrastructure improvements to overcome such extreme cold temperatures - the southern public will not tolerate power rate increases that will result by these preparations for another winter polar vortex such as this one to come again - it won't.  

At least not anytime soon.

So, in the meantime if you are in the Houston area, just head over to Mattress Mac's - he'll put you up for a night or two.  Do not, however, try and crash in Joel Osteen's mega church - it's locked up tighter than a drum.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Fox poll: 49% say their neighbor supports Trump

A recent poll from Fox indicates that of all respondents, 49% thought their neighbors were voting for Trump, and 38% thought their neighbors were Biden supporters.  If these poll numbers hold up, Donald Trump could register a landslide re-election on November 3rd. 

I don't put a lot of faith in polls, especially polls sponsored by left-leaning pollsters such as Quinnipiac,  ABC, NBC, CNN, etc.  They all were indicating a Hillary Clinton landslide in 2016 virtually up to election day, and all of these guys are still saying that the Dems will kick butt in a few weeks.  

We shall see.  If the polls stick to their guns and predict a huge Biden win, and then Trump rolls to an electoral college landslide, their credibility will drop to virtually the same as a steaming pile of dog excrement. 


Sunday, October 4, 2020

"Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation" - why bother?

 I've watched several episodes of "Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation," The main characters of the show, Luis Elizondo, Christopher Mellon, John Podesta and others, have convincing evidence that there are indeed unexplained craft in our skies that can accelerate to body pulping G's in fractions of seconds, perhaps in excess of 30,000 mph, and dive into the ocean without so much as a splash.  Sonar has tracked one of these craft doing in excess of 70 nautical mph underwater - twice the speed of anything current technology allows.  

OK.  I'm convinced.  This does not seem to be the goal of these guys, however, to convince some tin foil hat guy in Illinois such as myself that they really exist.  These UFO's have technology far beyond what has been achieved by the best military scientists in the world.  We have chased them, tracked them, and videotaped them.  What I don't understand is that the staff of this show seemed to be intent on making aware to everyone watching and in positions of power that these craft are a threat to national security.  They move with impunity, and have the technology to completely evade our efforts to intercept them, nor do we have any capability to limit their movements within our defense perimeters. 

What exactly do the guys on this show want their audience to do about any of these things?  We couldn't possibly shoot them down or destroy them, no way.  Yet there they are, year in and year out, with military pilots and intel types having encounters year in and year out with these bogies since the 1950's, or probably even earlier than that.  Luis, Christopher and the boys on this show are still asking the question "what if they are hostile?  We need to be doing something to mount a defense against this threat, why are we doing nothing?"

The answer clearly is "duh."  There is NOTHING we can do about these craft.  And they are clearly NOT hostile, and haven't blown up any aircraft or naval vessels, although the odds are very high that they could wipe out a carrier strike group with the push of a button by an alien finger. Or tentacle, or whatever kind of creature that pilot these craft engage their technology with.  Maybe even just thought waves.  Nobody knows, and if you ask this tin foil hat guy, nobody really needs to care.

If they wanted to wipe us out, they have the technology to wipe us out.  Why bother giving any more thought to it?  These UFO's have proven so far that they are benign actors, they go out of their way to avoid contact with our military, and mounting a trillion dollar effort to develop weapons that can be brought to bear on these things will certainly amount to not much more than a BB striking the hull of a battleship.

Simply go out and buy a roll of Reynolds Wrap tin foil, fabricate a hat, put it on and you are good to go.  No need to spend any more time pondering any of this.  

Sunday, September 6, 2020

You Democrats voted for this, now live with it

We have now passed the 6 month mark of the introduction of the COVID-19 virus into the U.S., and are approaching 200,000 deaths as a result.  Mind you, these numbers are suspect as quite a few observations have documented that many deaths that have been attributed to the virus are in fact due to other factors.  One recent observation was a young man who was diagnosed as having COVID-19, was asymptomatic and subsequently got into a motorcycle accident and died: the official cause of death? COVID-19.  Yes, these numbers are as reliable as the sworn oath of a sumo wrestler to lay off of the all-you-can-eat buffet at Golden Corral.

Our response to 'flatten the curve', in order to keep the plague from overwhelming our hospitals was to shut down the economy.  That worked, as far as any reasonable observation can attest.  OK.  The curve was flattened.  Success. Now, politics rears its ugly head, and we now see a red state versus blue state continuation of government intervention of the Wuhan virus.

Red state politicians see the devastation to our once record setting economy that the shutdown has caused, and are easing restrictions, with cautions put forward.  Blue state policies?  Continue with crushing shutdowns of businesses that are simply wiping out once thriving businesses in their own communities.  Red states are opening up, blue states are closing down.  It is clear to see that the blue state governors and mayors of Democrat controlled cities see political advantage to keeping people from making a living: apparently, they seem to think that these poor downtrodden constituents will blame their woes on Republicans and particularly Donald Trump in the up coming elections.

News flash for all of you Democrat voters out there who voted in these tyrants who are now telling you that you can't make a living: it's YOUR fault that you are broke if you live in a blue state, county or Democrat controlled large city.  The plurality of you and your liberal neighbors who put these power hungry ogres into office deserve the government you elect.

You elected these guys who are now killing your businesses, not your Republican neighbors who were in the minority.  Now live with it.

I suspect that come November, there will be a backlash against the political interests of Democrat governors such as Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) and Gavin Newsome (D-CA).  Their once cobalt-blue unassailable majorities may see some cracks.  

Monday, August 17, 2020

Universal mail-in ballots a guaranteed dumpster fire

 With any luck, President Trump will prevail in discouraging this dumb idea of a universal mail-in voting scam.  The Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect of this, however, as the opportunity for fraud, malfeasance and skulduggery are enormous.

Almost no state has a thoroughly scrubbed and up-to-date voter registration roll, and to simply mail everybody on this list a ballot is a lead pipe cinch to have ballots wind up in the wrong hands.  There are dead people, cats, dogs and goldfish that are on these lists.  And you can bet your bottom dollar, you can bet the farm, you can bet your life savings that these ballots will be harvested by Democrats.

Once harvested and in the hands of Democrat hucksters, they are opened and screened for exactly how the voter/corpse/cat/dog/goldfish voted: if they voted Republican, they go right into the trash.  If, however, these ballots have the right boxes checked, namely votes for Democrats, then they are submitted.  If a ballot is undeliverable, that would also be a Democrat vote.  See how all of this works?

Once these universal mailings of ballots go out, and come back to be counted, you can be fairly certain that every dead person/dog/cat that got a ballot is voting for a Democrat.  As the old joke goes, grampa was always a staunch conservative, and voted for Republicans all of his long life.  At age 92, grampa was called home to Jesus, and he has been voting Democrat ever since.

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are going to push this mail-in ballot scheme as hard as they possibly can: millions and millions of Democrat votes hang in the balance.  And zero Republican votes.

A complete dumpster fire, if you ask me.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

"The Assistant" - a critical review

I just finished watching Hulu's proprietary film "The Assistant," featuring Julia Garner as Jane, an aspiring film producer early in her career following her graduation from Northwestern University and a few paying interships within the industry.

The film follows Jane (no last name), a lower level assistant to a powerful entertainment figure who is never shown or identified other than "he", "him" and "his" throughout a stressful day in their Manhattan office building.  As a low level assistant, Jane's job consisted of answering phones, taking messages, making coffee, fetching lunch, cleaning up the crumbs on people's desks after lunch, and other menial jobs associated with being on the bottom of the corporate ladder.

The writer and director of this film, Kitty Green, obviously based this entire plot upon the malfeasance that Harvey Weinstein oozed while sliming his way through the entertainment industry via his company Miramax.   

Jane's day was jam packed full of degrading moments: all the elevator scenes (of which there were many) always had the important stiffs get on and off the elevator first, of which most were men.  Courtesy of course suggests that women are allowed this, but not in Kitty Green's world.  Nope, the pig beastly men just treat poor Jane like a baby treats a diaper.  When a gorgeous model shows up for an audition, Jane is asked to show them into the audition, and the good looker jams her coat into Jane's arms, much like Meryl Streeps ' character Miranda does to her underling in"The Devil Wears Prada," and Jane is expected to wash the dishes and coffee cups of her superiors while they jibber jabber about all things movie-related as they pretend she is not there.

Essentially focusing on the endless little indignities that Jane suffers throughout this never ending day, the big shot executive has the gall to hire a cute little waitress from Boise Idaho, without a lick of movie industry experience or a high falutin' Ivy league college degree, to help Jane work the phones.  During the course of her initial hiring, this former waitress from Boise is put up in a luxury hotel, and later on Jane learns that her pig of a boss also books himself into this hotel later on that evening.  The office chatter confirms that this happens all the time, no big deal.

Jane's tolerance for these never ending insults is just too much for her, and she approaches the human resources guy with her concerns about the situation.  To her frustration, the HR guy sums up her complaint as 'bullshit,' crumbles up the notes he took and tells her on her way out, "don't worry, you're not his type."  And then he promptly calls her boss and tells him about their conversation.

Her day ends up in silent despair, as she walks back to  her apartment in the closing scene.  What?  The boss doesn't get his come-uppence?  No satisfaction for the way Jane is treated throughout the day?  The movie ends leaving the viewer thinking "what, that's it?" 

Kitty Green suggests without putting it out there that such is the life of virtually all young women in the workplace: they are abused, mistreated and maligned by male jerk bosses, and nothing is ever done about it.  And Kitty Green would be right: although only in a sliver of our society: the entertainment industry, which she works as a writer/director.  Everybody in the country knows that this industry is the filthiest, slimiest, dirtiest most corrupt businesses in the United States.  The casting couch as been around for at least a hundred years or more.  And the downfall of Harvey Weinstein has not caused all of those casting couches to disappear.  Hardly.  More of them spring up every day.  

Kitty Green sees, like we all see, the human condition.  People are not perfect, and some are downright evil.  And pretty people, or talented people who have been doted on by everybody from their kindergarten teacher all the way through their high school football coaches or beauty pageant officials, think of themselves as above everyone else, and often treat everybody like crap.  It is the human condition.  

But more so in Hollywood than anywhere else.  It has been said that the measure of a person's character can be seen by how they treat somebody who cannot possibly improve their position or help them, such as waiters, bellhops, cashiers and others in the service industry.  

Kitty Green's "The Assistant" is not an expose on life in the corporate world.  Far from it.  Watching this movie just reaffirms that people are flawed, and that life is not fair.  Or, in the words of President John F. Kennedy: "loif, loif's not fay-uh."

And to that I would say, 'duh.'


Sunday, July 19, 2020

What makes a 'bad cook?' Let me count the ways....

Some of the worst cooks I know think they are 'good cooks,'  my Aunt Sally leading that list.  She thinks some of her fare should be in the "Joy of Cooking" or a Betty Crocker cookbook.  She really does.

Sad to say, Aunt Sally does everything wrong in the kitchen.  Absolutely everything, to include:

1.  The worst transgression a cook can make is to serve food that is supposed to be hot cold.  A juicy steak is no good cold.  Nor are french fries, pizza or any number of other hot dishes.  Aunt Sally figures that just cooking it is good enough, put it aside and wait for the other stuff on the stove to get done, then serve it all up the same time.  No.  Don't do that.  Timing is a crucial part of good cooking.  Pay attention to the cooking time on the dishes you plan to serve, and time them to come off the stove or out of the oven simultaneously.  To do otherwise makes you a bad cook.

2.  Substitutions of ingredients on a proven recipe, never a good idea.  Cooking is nothing more or less than chemistry; all the ingredients interact together chemically to produce the desired effect.  To change anything, and I mean ANYTHING to include ingredients or quantity of ingredients in a proven recipe is to ruin it.  Margarine is NOT a substitute for butter.  It may look the same, but chemically it is nowhere near butter.  Splenda, or other sugar free products are NOT a substitute for real sugar, and skim or soy milk is nothing like whole milk.  Not the same stuff at all, and these different ingredients act completely different when heated.  They are NOT interchangeable.  But you can't tell Aunt Sally that.  

3.  Fresh ingredients are critically important to good cooking: it really matters when you use fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and breads.  Frozen green beans are NOT a reasonable substitute for fresh green beans.  And canned green beans should be outlawed in any recipe, they are complete junk.  Frozen leftovers should never be used in a proven recipe, but don't tell Aunt Sally that, her world will be turned upside down.  She actually thinks that previously cooked (well done) and then frozen sirloin steaks are a good idea to serve to guests when re-heated in the microwave oven.  No, no that is certainly not a good idea.  I know this to be true from personal experience.

4.   Cookware and stove tops can make or break the difference between good and bad cooks.  Having some good quality non-stick pots and pans in inventory is a good start.  Aunt Sally has no such equipment; all her cookware was purchased at some point during the Reagan administration.  Some of it was at one point Teflon non-stick, but all of that has since been scrubbed off: well, almost all of it.  There are still a few flakes of the stuff in every mouthful of her fare.  To make matters worse, she has an electric stove top.  Controlling the temperature of these electric elements is virtually impossible, and to suggest she pop for a gas stove top is akin to waving a crucifix at Dracula, or telling a sumo wrestler that he can only eat at the salad bar at Golden Coral. Let's just say words will be exchanged, heated words.  She's going to be buried with that decrepit old electric stove top, as she will never willingly part with it.

If you want the stuff you cook to be edible, just keep things simple: follow the recipe exactly with no substitutions, serve it up at the right temperature, use fresh ingredients and cook it in cookware from this century on a gas cook top, and likely your food will be considered 'tasty.'  Break any of these rules, and you qualify as a 'bad cook.'

Just like my Aunt Sally.