Category Archives: Freakin’ Idiots!

No Context For You – June 16th

So, for last night’s post, were there zero likes because no one actually read it, or was it because folks read it and it didn’t make any damn sense?

What I truly love is waking up at about 02:30 with my brain going, “Knock, knock! You forgot the punchline!”

With that title referring to an old joke, I never mentioned which old joke. So, for the record after feeling good, having the computer issue, and then not feeling so good, the old joke in question was the one about discovering that the light at the end of the tunnel being an oncoming train.

I didn’t say it was a particularly good joke.

And once I powered down the system, let it sit for a few, and turning it back on, it powered up just fine. No worries.

Still not out of that tunnel, but maybe that actually is daylight. Stranger things have happened.

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Paul, Photography

No Context For You – May 03rd

I have few coherent words at the moment given the news of the past 24 hours and the rage it has ignited in me. And that doesn’t even take into account the ongoing horrors in Ukraine.

So take an odd picture without any context, because there isn’t any there to be had.

Meanwhile, while thinking about the 19-year-old, Eisenhower Republican, Midwestern, raised strict Catholic Paul who would be totally gobsmacked to see mid-60’s Paul sharing this, have some interesting and possibly extremely useful information for the days ahead…

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Moral Outrage, Paul, Photography, Politics

Just Dandy!

Normally I have my phone set up with the “Silence Unknown Callers” option turned on. It does a marvelous job of letting through anyone in my contacts list or anyone who I’ve called, while sending spam calls straight to voice mail. Anyone who is not a spammer has the option of leaving me a message and if it’s important I’ll get back to them. (Spammers who leave a voice mail are just slow learners.)

But today I was expecting a work call from someone who wouldn’t be in my contacts list yet and who would probably be calling from a number I wouldn’t recognize, so I had that feature off. And of course, that’s when the spam call came in.

I was in a good mood, so when the semi-cheerful voice clicked in and asked how I was, I didn’t suggest any anatomically impossible sexual acts, I just said, “I’m just dandy!”

Friends – I’m here to tell you that I’ve stumbled on an amazingly fun and entertaining way of screwing with the heads and wasting the time of these folks!

They’ve learned some English, but they don’t know any colloquialisms! No jargon! No aphorisms!

“You’re sandy?” was the response I got.

“No, DANDY! In fact, I’m FINE and dandy!”

“You’re bendy? I don’t understand.”

“Oh, my poor sweet child, they taught you English words, but they didn’t teach you how to speak English! D – A – N – D – Y, ‘dandy!'”

“Mandy?”

“Tell you what, call me back and give me your spammer phishing spiel when you figure out what a ‘colloquialism’ is and how to spell it!”

Just think of what I could do with a heavy Southern accent! Or a New England accent where I say “wicked” or “wicked bad!” with every line of bullshit served.

I’m telling you, we could have their heads exploding at the other end of the line, like a bad remake of “Scanners!”

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Filed under Farce, Freakin' Idiots!

Insanity & Stupidity On The Upswing – Again

Officially, the United States has over 963,000 deaths from COVID so far. That’s a very conservative number, due in large part to states such as Florida very deliberately undercounting COVID deaths. The actual number is almost certainly more than twice that.

And yet, almost every state has gotten rid of most mask mandates, except for possibly in hospitals and on public transportation. Businesses can still put their own mask mandates in place, but few if any will.

“The pandemic is over!” Bullshit. Anyone who thinks that is a fucking idiot. In the US, while the numbers from the “fourth wave” caused by the Omicron variant are decreasing, we still have something like 1,500+ deaths a day.

A! DAY! 1500!

Boy, we freaked out of our minds over 2,977 deaths on 9/11, didn’t we? But now we’re losing that many of our family and neighbors every 48 hours and no one cares.

What brings this to the forefront and has me so pissed off tonight?

The grocery store yesterday morning.

After over two years of almost 100% compliance with masking requirements, things changed in an instant with the lifting of the mask mandates. It’s been a week or so and last week there were still mostly folks all wearing masks, one or two not, but this week? It’s over folks. Even here in blue California where the loudmouth idiots protesting masks and vaccines were a vocal but very tiny minority, this week the masks came off.

Maybe half of those in the store (besides the employees) were masked. Maybe.

Next week I expect it to be less. And less the following week.

Okay. Whatever. I will continue to wear a mask at all times indoors in any public place, but that’s just me. And a small minority of other sane folks.

For the politicians and those at the CDC who caved to the insane rantings of the vocal minority, I have a question:

Now that you’ve let go of the reins and gone to useless “recommendations” to stay masked, what are you going to do when the numbers start climbing exponentially again?

The genie’s out of the bottle. Pandora’s box has been opened. There’s no going back.

When we’re back to infection rates and hospitalization rates and death rates that make the fourth wave look like a picnic (and remember, we’re STILL at rates that would have horrified us during the first wave), how do you re-start mask mandates and get any compliance whatsoever?

Herd immunity? Never going to happen.

At some point enough people will die, and the health care system will be overwhelmed enough to collapse, and the morons still won’t wear masks, but enough of them will die slow, horrible deaths so that the rest of us can get on with our lives and do what we need to do to stop this.

Until then…

 

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Filed under Death Of Common Sense, Freakin' Idiots!

Play Ball

So, they finally made a deal and Major League Baseball will at last get going, a month or so late. Spring training will start on Sunday and will be about three weeks instead of six or seven weeks, and opening day will be pushed back a week.

But the games originally scheduled for that first week will be re-scheduled, not cancelled, so we’ll have a full season.

A couple of COVID-related rule changes will be abandoned, which I think is great. I was not a fan of having games in double headers only being seven innings instead of nine, and the whole “start with a guy on second base in extra innings” was particularly stupid.

The designated hitter is now universal, which is meh to me. I liked the strategy in having to work around someone who realistically can’t hit (especially since most of them couldn’t bunt or do much of anything else these days) but I also like the offense, so that’s a wash.

Expanded playoffs? Okay. At least it’s not the NHL or NBA where half the league gets into the playoffs every year.

I know that I should be pissed off and I probably swore that I would never go to a game again, but we all knew that was just a temper tantrum with nothing behind it. If they had blown off half the season, or more? Sure, maybe it would have happened. Now? Sorry, I just don’t have the energy or the willpower to turn my back on one of my lifelong major sources of entertainment. There’s too much that sucks these days to give up something I have so much of a connection to, even if they did piss me off.

I’m weak.

Sue me.

But as with this strike or lockout or “work stoppage” or whatever you choose to call it (don’t explain it to me, I don’t care) I have to wonder. It doesn’t matter if it’s baseball or teachers or grocery store clerks or steel workers or whatever. In the end, when you come to a deal and move on, is there one, single compromise or agreement that couldn’t have been made BEFORE the “work stoppage?” One? Anything?

Or did you just waste all of that wear and tear on our nerves, all of that stress, all of that anger, just so that everyone could have a temper tantrum and a glorified dick measuring contest in public?

 

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, LA Angels, Sports

Riders On The Storm

It’s been a long, long day and I’ve got a while to go yet – some deadlines are more serious than others and payroll’s one of them.

I’ve been listening and watching live webcams from Ukraine. I’m shocked every time the air raid sirens go off and you can hear announcements being repeated over loudspeakers in the middle of the night. On the other hand, one camera is probably on a church bell tower of some sort and the ancient, mechanical chimes that sound at :15, :30, :45, and the top of the hour are enchanting, as are the crows being especially raucous just before dawn. The juxtaposition is … something.

Looking for something different for music to process payroll by, I opened Sirius/XM Channel 26, “Classic Vinyl.” The first song up is The Doors’ “Rider on the Storm” from their “LA Woman” album. Listening to it was transformative. That was an album I got when it came out in 1971. I would have been fifteen and VERY into music. I listened to this album, and this song, until I wore out the grooves. I had a pair of headphones that were bright red with Snoopy on one ear and the Red Baron on the other. I would kill to have those back, but they fell apart from overuse. And that was probably over forty years ago, so I’ll be having a bit of a mind blowing and “Jesus F’ing Christ I’M OLD!!!” moment now.

This should give us some interesting payroll results…

Anyway, “Riders on the Storm.” Yeah. Look around at the world and check to see what kind of progress we’ve made in 51 years.

Or not.

Payroll.

‘Cause I’m an adult.

Damn it.

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Hey MLB – READ THE ROOM!!!

An open list of suggestions to the MLB Players Association and owners, who are currently involved in a months-long pissing contest which is delaying the opening of spring training camps and threatens to very soon delay or eliminate a chunk of the regular season —

As I said above – READ THE ROOM!!! In case it might not be obvious to all of you chuckleheads, we, the American and baseball-loving public, are ***NOT*** in the mood for your shit right now.

  • Russia is invading Ukraine while Madman Putin threatens worldwide destruction.
  • It’s year three of COVID, where we still have over 1,800 deaths PER DAY in the United States, but the CDC is bowing to political pressure from morons and cultists and reducing mask useage mandates.
  • It’s year seven of the GOP revealing itself as a fascist cult and enemy of democracy in the United States.
  • The aforementioned fascist, white supremacist, anti-science, anti-knowledge, anti-democracy cultists are trying to ban and burn books, ban medical care regarding abortion and medical treatment for trans folks.

Given all of this, we’re exhausted, frustrated, and furious. We need a break. We were really looking forward to going to the park, sitting in the bleachers, having a beverage and a couple of hot dogs, and catching a game.

But again, it’s the greedy billionaires vs the greedy millionaires, debating once again which group is the most clueless and selfish.

Guess what, guys? WE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS. We really and truly don’t.

But we’re going to care a LOT for completely different reasons if you don’t pull your heads out the bodily orifices where you’ve stuck them. If we don’t actually have baseball to go to in April, if we don’t have a way to shut out all of the things above for a couple of hours, if you can’t see common sense and compromise, we’re all going to be mightily pissed off.

We’re not going to be pissed off at the players. We’re not going to be pissed off at the owners. We’re going to be pissed off at ***ALL*** of you.

You think you’ll get by because you have massive TV and radio contracts… which are worthless if you’re not playing games. You have massive naming rights on your stadiums… which are worthless if no one’s in the stands.

Consider also all of those who rely on you for jobs at your stadiums, parking, office staff, and all of the tens of thousands of suppliers and merchants near your stadiums. Bars, restaurants, and so on.

It’s been one thing when you’ve pulled this stunt before, in relatively good times. We got by, although your finances and attendance and popularity always took a hit.

No worries! The fans will always come back! Right?

But these aren’t good times, relatively or not. Things sort of suck right now. We need a pick me up, we need a break – and you’re going to pile on just to prove that you can be more petty and shortsighted than the other guys?

Think very, very carefully about that decision. Take a look at what’s going on in Ukraine and ponder how badly Putin has miscalculated. Your decisions are inconsequential compared to Putin’s mistakes, but for those who love the game, who need the game, and whose livelihoods depend on the game, they’re non-trivial.

Don’t screw up.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Freakin' Idiots!, LA Angels, Paul

Take Care

Hey, y’all! You know all of those tips and suggestions that you get about internet security and safety that you’ve been ignoring about 99% of the time?

Now’s the time to take every one of them incredibly seriously 24/7/365. The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And you can bet your ass that they’ll be scattering spam and phishing and ransomware out there like cluster bombs. Touch one of those by accident and you’ll be extremely messed up for a long, long time.

So remember:

NEVER open an email of any kind unless you know who it’s from. Hopefully you’ve got a spam filter that these malware laced little threats get put as a first line of defense. If so, assume that everything in there is in there for a reason. And even if something slips through to your regular email box, be suspicious of everything.

NEVER go to a site based on clickbait. C’mon, folks! Be smarter than that! Why do you really care for two seconds about Kanye or Taylor or Beyonce at all to begin with? You all know what these things look like. With what’s going on in the world right now, one of these days real soon now it’s going to take you not to a mindless site filled with vacuous celebrity drivel but instead to something that’s going to lock your computer and erase everything on it.

It seems obvious but I know folks who have fallen for it recently – NO ONE WITH THE IRS, FBI, POLICE, CIA, M6, YOUR BOSS, OR ANYONE ELSE IS COMING TO COLLECT A BILL WHICH YOU CAN ONLY PAY OFF IN GIFT CARDS. Okay, so this isn’t necessarily part of a Russian World War III plot, but you’re more likely to get one that almost kinda sorta looks like it might be legit in the near future. IT’S A SCAM!!! Trust me, if the IRS is going to come after you, you’ll get something legal IN THE MAIL. If the police or FBI want you, they’ll just kick your door in. If it’s a creditor, they may make your life a living hell, but they won’t be paid in gift cards.

Make sure you have a good anti-virus program, make sure it’s running, and make sure that its definitions are current.

Make sure you have a full backup of your computer and make sure that it’s offline and not going to get locked and/or corrupted at the same time your computer does. Better yet, get three external hard drives (hell, you can get 10+ terabytes for about $130, and drives over 20Tb are now available) and make three backup sets. Keep one at home (NOT plugged into the computer), have one nearby but not at home (can you store it at work? can you and a friend swap holding onto each other’s?), and have one way off somewhere (do you have a family member in another state?) where it can’t be touched.

As the above proves – BE PARANOID!

My computer holds tens of thousands of photos, video, financial documents, not to mention all of the entertainment content (music, videos, publications, books, and so on) that I’ve purchased over decades. One mistake, one idle moment of curiosity instead of paranoia, and I’ll be staring at a screen with that laughing skull thing that Jeff Goldblum had on the alien mother ship in “Independence Day” while forty years of content goes away.

I would be seriously pissed for the rest of my life about that. (When our car got broken into in Montreal and my briefcase stolen back in 2004 they took a couple of memory cards full of photos that I’ll never get back again and I’m still pissed!) I choose paranoia instead.

Actually, it’s not paranoia – there really, REALLY are folks out there who are and will be trying to mess up my life like that. And yours. And everyone else’s if they can. It’s random, it’s evil, but it’s happening.

It’s war. Literally.

Be smart, be prepared.

And start yesterday.

 

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Filed under Death Of Common Sense, Freakin' Idiots!

The Universe Doesn’t Care

Not to be too much of a buzzkill, but the Universe doesn’t care.

It doesn’t care about Russia invading Ukraine.

It doesn’t care about Putin masterminding Brexit to divide Great Britain or corrupting the American elections to get the Mango Mussolini into the White House.

It doesn’t care about COVID, or the evil forces manipulating the system to make a significant slice of the population anti-science and stupid.

It just doesn’t care.

Yesterday there was NOTHING but bare branches on this tree. Today, it’s got a dozen of these gorgeous pink flowers sprouting. Not sure if the Universe actually cares about this or not, but it’s what the Universe is doing every day and actions speak louder than words.

The Universe is going to move on its merry way, with or without us. If every human being on the planet woke up dead tomorrow morning, this tree would still be exploding with spring flowers.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. But it tells me that the only ones who will EVER give a shit about us is … us. Not the Universe. Not any invisible old dude in the sky.

Nope. It’s just us and only us.

So we had better get our shit together and do a better job about caring about us, ALL OF US, or the Universe will be short one human race in its entirety.

And it still won’t care.

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War Again

Mad men leading us to the brink again, an invasion that could lead to a larger conflict with no good way out, and a full-blown nuclear exchange just a little bit closer to reality.

Doomscrolling is hard, but ignorance doesn’t seem any better.

Take a moment.

Breathe.

Watch the clouds.

The helplessness and anger are strong.

How did we get here? More importantly, how do we get out?

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