Category Archives: Freakin’ Idiots!

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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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Photography, Weather

Deuces Wild!

Lots of twos today. “Tues”day. 02-22-2022. Celebrating, or at least noting the occurrence, at 10:22 PM, or 22:22 02-22-2022 if you’re on military time. I think that I missed precisely 22:22:22 02-22-2022 exactly for a whole new level of obsessive-compulsive behavior.

We humans do love our numerology and symbolism. Especially when it means NOTHING.

Days are well defined whether we’re here or not. The year is a fact, or at least can be defined for any body orbiting a central star. It’s just Newtonian celestial mechanics.

It’s that zero point, that starting point that’s tricky. Year zero, month zero, day zero, hour zero, minute zero, second zero is when? And how do you know? Hell, 2/3 of your units are 100% arbitrary!

But we’ll ignore that when someone finds “prophecies” in a document thousands of years old, totally made up, 100% fiction, translated from one language to another to a third to another… And based on that we’ll calculate to seventeen decimal places when the end of the world will be, or when a god will return, or when the alien mothership will show up in our skies to take only the select few home to Valhalla. Or something like that.

It’s a matter of hoping we have a shred of control or order in a Universe which has very little order and over which we have very, very little control. So is it better to believe nonsense and feel better, or to face the cold, hard truth and feel like shit?

Tough call.

I’m going to go with acknowledging the ridiculous, use it as an excuse for some joy (although, damn it, today was also National Margarita Day and I didn’t celebrate or observe the holiday!) because we all know there are too few reasons for joy, and avoid letting anyone pick your pocket or mistake your celebration for gullibility. If someone tells you that their precise to seventeen decimal places calculation means you should give them all of your life savings, maybe skip that round of grape flavored cyanide and have a margarita instead.

Just make it yourself. Just to be sure.

The fact that the deuces were wild today doesn’t mean that the cosmic slot machine is going to spill out treasure.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Freakin' Idiots!

I Could Drive That!

Boring sunset – clear and a million. Makes for a limited canvas for the colors to be painted on.

But wait – what’s this? It’s been a noisy and dusty and HOT day, and I think I’ve identified the source of two of those three.

I’ll bet that there’s no alarm on that thing, and maybe they left the keys in it.

How hard can it be to drive? Push a couple buttons, see what happens, learn quick!

What could go wrong?

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Filed under Farce, Freakin' Idiots!, Photography

Long Valley Flowers

Last Saturday we were in Palm Springs. One of the things that I love to do but don’t do nearly often enough is hiking out in the woods and getting out into the wild a bit.

Outside of Palm Springs is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which goes from the desert floor (at about 2,600′ elevation and 110ºF+) to the top of San Jacinto Peak (at about 8,500′ elevation and 65ºF). At the station on the top there’s a fairly steep ramp that goes down about 100′ to the floor of Long Valley where there are a couple of short (0.75 miles and 1.50 miles) day hike trails. I took the longer, “Desert View Loop” trail.

Along the way I saw these flowers.

They really stand out!

No clue what they are. A Google image search found a lot of African flowers that are bright red and growing out of pine needle ground cover, but the closest I found for a southwest US setting was captioned “scarlet gilia, also called skyrocket.” That ‘s probably not quite correct, but it might be close.

Anyway, when I eventually go out on what I thought was going to be a 30 minute day hike over flat ground and instead spend two hours going 2.5 miles at 8,415 feet including two fairly steep trails going up a couple hundred feet and thin air with (STUPIDLY!! 🤨 Yes, I do know better 😫 ) no water at my age thinking in my poor, pathetic brain that I’m still 25 instead of 65, when that day comes and it finally kills me (I hope that day will be far in the future, but…), plant some of these on my grave. 😁

 

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Filed under Death Of Common Sense, Flowers, Freakin' Idiots!, Health, Paul, Photography, Travel

Never A Team Of Psychiatrists Around When You Need One

“You’re seeing a whole team of psychiatrists, aren’t you?”

Watching one of the all-time greatest movies while simultaneously watching psychotic folks with nuclear codes on mania inducing steroids Tweet nonsense, and that line comes up.

If only.

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Movies, Politics

Left Turn Into Absurdity

Sometimes when the world is going out of control and the whackadoodle news stories are hitting faster than you can read them (you know which ones I’m talking about), the only choice to to take a hard left turn into absurdity.

Thus I found myself at lunch, avoiding the news as much as possible, awash in deadlines and data entry, hauling around large pieces of equipment heavier, more bulky, and more awkward than I am.

No harm, no foul. I think.

What does it mean? It means after last night’s debacle I figured out how to post pictures again? Maybe? And maybe even links?

And there aren’t any holes in any walls! It’s a winner!

Don’t worry. None of it matters.

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Filed under Castle Willett, Freakin' Idiots!

Infinite Corporate Stupidity

I took some really nice pictures of the full moon rising tonight.

I can’t show them to you on my website, because WordPress in their INFINITE CORPORATE STUPIDITY has “upgraded” their editor. They’ve done this once or twice before during the seven and a half years that I’ve been using them to host this site, but always in the past I’ve been able to go back to the original, “classic” editor. Not this time.

Nope, now I find out, after an hour and change of having my blood pressure raised by some tech support chat person who’s only help was to send me links to the “Learning The New Super-Duper Ultra Fancy Wow-You’re-Gonna-Love-It WordPress Editor” documents and to “check my spam folder” for all of the notices they say they’ve sent (I’ve never seen a single word) about the imminent, fundamentally destructive change in their product.

So I have no idea what this is going to look like, or how long it’s going to take to figure out how to do fundamental things like insert a photo or a link or change formatting.

I did find a way to turn on the HTML editor. As long as there’s a learning curve to be battled, maybe it’s just time to do it old, old, old, old school.

Now, where did they bury, hide, stash, or otherwise conceal the Categories pulldown menu? Where would I put it if my goal was to make it hard and really piss me off even more? Hmmmm…

Yep, there it is!

(Oh, yeah, and for shits and giggles they apparently just announced that Trump, Melania, and about half the White House all are COVID positive. Fun times!)

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Writing

Things I Learned On My Morning Commute

If I’m fooled by the fact that it was relatively easy to get on the freeway… (Going past several schools and into a TERRIBLE intersection that gridlocks in a heartbeat means that a normal 6-7 minute drive to the freeway normally takes 12-15 on a good day and has taken as much as 25 minutes.)

And then I’m disappointed by the fact that the freeway was clogged and jammed and slow… (Once I get ON the freeway in the morning, it’s almost always been wide open, “maximum freeway speed” all the way to the office.)

And my head is distracted by a dozen different things… (There’s a lot going on!)

And the route to the new office is the same one as to the CAF hangars… (The old job was to the east, where the new job is to the west out on the 101 Freeway, just about half as far as Camarillo is.)

If I’m not paying attention it’s very easy to be sitting in the #1 lane, cruising along at 75 mph (“maximum freeway speed”, as opposed to the 65 mph speed limit) as I suddenly realize that the overpass I just went under was my exit to the office.

Oops!

Fortunately, there are exits every mile and I know the area well, having run it all repeatedly when training for the 2011 LA Marathon with a Road Runners group. Take the next exit, double back, five minutes wasted, a lesson learned.

That should have been the biggest problem I had today!!

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Filed under ALSA Golden West, CAF, Distracted Driving, Freakin' Idiots!, Los Angeles

Twitter Time Out

There’s a story I tell about my childhood transition from six years of Catholic school in Kansas City to the public school system in the Chicago suburbs.

Suffice it to say there were…differences…between the two environments. In Catholic school I was an altar boy, incredibly sanctimonious, indoctrinated into Catholic doctrine, and probably on the fast track to be the first American Pope. A few short months later as I hit middle school in the Buffalo Grove School District I was frantically trying to keep my head above water socially and stumbling through a process by which I might become a thinking human being again.

The punch line to the story is, “I started that summer thinking that if I told someone to ‘go to Hell,’ the ground would open up at my feet and Satan would personally appear to escort me to Hell on the spot. By the end of the summer, I was telling people to fuck off and not thinking twice about it.”

That line came back to me today as I’ve been put in 12-hour Twitter Timeout for “potentially abusive behavior” when the only thing I can think of that I possibly would have done is tell some wannabe bot account to “go to Hell.”

Who knew that my pre-teen psychological terrors would come to life fifty-plus years later courtesy of an overly aggressive Twitter algorithm?

(Warning – my Twitter presence is much more political and swear-ish than this site. I don’t suffer fools gladly, and there are a lot of them over on Twitter.)

Perusing my timeline this afternoon, I ran across this:

Bullshit right-wing propaganda, probably from a bot account. I was in the mood to respond, as I had been to similar subhuman cretins for a while.

“…some potentially abusive behavior…”

I don’t see it. If we can’t call a lie a lie and call a liar a liar, we’ve lost. It’s a bot, so the account should be deleted. If somehow it’s actually a human, they really do need to think about their life choices.

And then I said “Please go to Hell.” I didn’t even remember saying “please.” How is that “potentially abusive?”

About half a second after posting this, I got a message from Twitter:

The only thing I can think now is that it might be coincidental that this notice showed up just as I posted that particular response. I had been on a roll for an hour or so. Nothing anywhere near meeting any rational definition of “abusive” or “threatening”, but I do recall the phrase “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” being used several times. It was sort of a theme for the day, in particular to a string of right-wing, wannabe fascists who think that…

(*breathe*) (*again*)

Let’s say that we strongly disagree on a number of political and social topics and our visions for the future of our country are highly divergent.

In “Bull Durham” (an all-time favorite film) Crash Davis only gets thrown out of a game by an umpire after using a certain “magic word” in an argument. Maybe I’ll try that next time. At least then I’ll know WHY I’m being put in Twitter Timeout!

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Filed under Death Of Common Sense, Freakin' Idiots!, Moral Outrage

Whiskey Tango ACTUAL Foxtrot??!!

Apparently about this time of year in New York City there’s this “fashion” thing called the Met Gala.

Have you seen the pictures from this thing?

What.

The.

ACTUAL.

Fuck.

This is a joke, right? Lots of “celebrities” and “icons of the fashion world” all dressed up in outfits that are like a mushroom induced fever dream of a rabid ferret if that ferret had 220 volts of electricity running through a pair of smoking, burning jumper cables attached to its testicles.

Given the massive amount of coverage that oozed into my social media feeds despite the fact that I am 1000% the exact opposite of anything resembling the demographic for this lunacy, the coverage and reporting on it must have been equivalent to that of the first moon landing or D-Day.

WHY??!!!

If I never hear another word or see another picture from this event it will be 10,000 years too soon.

If anyone out there thinks I’m totally out in left field and wants to explain what a wonderful and uplifting event the Met Gala is – please don’t.

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!