Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TWTW November 21st through the 27th: Giving thanks and Weather

It was Thanksgiving week here in the US. That meant time off from work. But this post will be mostly about weather.

Between Saturday and Sunday we went from Spring to Winter in one day. Saturday it was about 70 degrees and then the rain came. It rained and rained and rained into Sunday.  Sunday the temps dropped to 40. As I sat in my place listening to the rain fall outside I decided to take a video mostly for the sound.  Some stupid train had to come by and ruin it.

I had a good Thanksgiving. I spent time with my parents and my  oldest brother eating good food and watching a lot of football.

On Friday I bought a new phone during "Black Friday". I had been nursing along the  cheap phone I had bought a couple  of years ago. It had gotten to the point were it was difficult to get it to charge and the notification LED no longer worked.

Saturday night I went to bed really early (for me) at 10:30. I woke up early and went for a walk in the cold.  It was really foggy.
There are trees not that far away

Later that day I was sitting on my computer with the Bears game (OHH are they terrible this year) just starting. I looked over to see the opening kickoff and things looked really foggy on the field. I wondered if they set off a bunch of fire works before the game. I minute later I glance over at Jobu all curled up in his bed. Wow it was also all foggy over by Jobu.. Wait a minute? Did I leave the burner on. I rushed into the kitchen were burnt butter smoke was pouring out of the frying pan I had left on the stove.  In the almost 40 degree weather I had to open the windows and turn on the fan for about a half hour to clear out the smoke.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Some Post Election Words for a Few Groups

 I don't really talk about Politics on this blog. The recent election have made me consider putting my neck out there for a few posts. In my head I have planned out three or four posts. Not being a supporter of either party gives me a different perspective on things.

To start it off here are some thoughts to  few groups after this election.

Republicans: You are now in charge. You control the Presidency, the Congress, and shortly the Supreme Court. You tell everyone that your vision for America is the best. Well then implement it. For at least two years no one will be able to stop you. No excuses. Come up with your plan and bring it fully into effect. No more blaming someone else. The government of this country is now yours, use it. You won't. Oh you'll do a few things but you will still need a reason for people to vote for you in four years.

The American Left: First, it is now clear you have some things very wrong about a large swath of the country? Now is a time to listen and learn. The narrative you have been using for the last several years no longer works. Time to come up with a new one. Sanders offered you a chance at a new version. You didn't take it and the old ideas failed. Secondly, listening does not mean being silent. By wise in speaking out. Continue to push for what you think is right.

The American Voter: I have a draft post sitting in my blog from 2013. It is a lament about how the American Voter is misinformed, easily propagandized, and irrational. It seem clear that nothing has changed in three years. Oh and before you get all self congratulatory thinking, "yep those other people on that other side", I mean all ya all.  An informed intelligent American voter is like an hen's tooth in a haystack. Political strategists from both parties have done this intentionally. They want an easily controllable voting population that is susceptible to propaganda. Like Pavlov's dogs they want you to react with emotion when they ring their bell. Become smarter and better people.

The Media: In my heart is a special place full of seething contempt for the media. My words to you are simple. Stop lying! I don't care if you are just some blog or a world respected news agency. Stop lying! Stop misleading people. Be sources of truth. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

During all the food and football today take some time to be thankful.
Generic Thanksgiving gif stolen quilt free from the internet

To keep the tradition alive here are some things I am thankful for.

Giving Thanks: Being able to give thanks is something to be thankful for. Not only does it mean there are good things in our lives, but thanksgiving itself has positive impacts. It improves both physical and mental health, and has a bunch of other positive benefits. I have been meaning to start a daily habit of being thankful but haven't gotten around  to it. Each night I would think of five things that I am thankful for.

Mom: I think she has deservedly made this list every year. I don't know what more I can say about her. She's one of the strongest, most loving, and dedicated people in the world.

God in control: I am very thankful that God is ultimately in control. This is a great source of hope.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

TWTW November 14th through the 20th: Every Day is Friday

Every Day is Friday 

So my boss went on a vacation this week. He will be out until after Thanksgiving. He left Tuesday at noon. This lead to the week long running gag that everyday was Friday.  We'd leave the office saying "See you next week."  The problem is that the human brain is stupid. I actually started getting confused that it was Friday. I would go to bed thinking, "Glad it's Friday I can sleep in tomorrow." Then I would wake up all happy it was Saturday only to remember that in fact it was Wednesday. When It actually got to be Friday I thought it was Thursday.

Seasons Change Quickly

Saturday morning the temperature hovered in the upper 60s. Then the rain came. Lots of rain blowing sideways. By the next day it was below freezing. That's the way weather works here in Illinois. We tend to skip Spring and Fall. 

The Vacuum is Dead

There is a monster that lives in Jobu's very own house. It spends most of the time sleeping but don't be deceived. It will awake.  THE VACUUM!!!!  The Vacuum is the only creature that can both howl and eat at the same time. It has a particular taste for Jobu fur.  Sunday morning the Vacuum awoke and proceeded to try and eat all the Jobu fur. The Vacuum had trouble eating up all the floor. It didn't seem to be sucking very well. So I dissected the Vacuum as seen above. For some reason this terrified Jobu even more than usual. I thought he would be happy to see is live in nemesis in pieces.  I tinkered a bit and put it back together. I did find a bolt it had sucked up. As of writing this I haven't tried it out to see if I actually fixed anything.

$%# Happens

Just a short funny happening I remembered. I put Jobu's....uhh. waste in a plastic shopping bag that I have in a little trash can. I then tie it up and throw it away. I was taking the bag out when it ripped open. Used litter and poop fell to the floor. I stepped on a bit and yelled out a very common exclamation.  I then looked at what I had stepped on, said out loud "literally" and started laughing. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

TWTW November 7th through the 13th: Well Nobody(almost nobody) Predicted That

I have continued waking up early since the time change.  In fact I even got in a couple of workouts in the morning before going to work. I really like the extra time in the morning. For the last several years my mornings have consisted of waking up and then rushing around frantically to arrive to work late. 

What else can I talk about?  What else could have happened this week??  Tuesday morning after going for a jog in a light drizzle I went and voted. As the results came in I, like most people, became more and more shocked. Almost all predictions got it wrong. We went into this election with many predicting this might be the end of the Republican party. In fact the Democratic party is the one in turmoil. Not only did the Republican party win the Presidency, but they control both houses of Congress and will gain control of the Supreme Court.

 I have a lot more to say about it than I am here. I don't know If I will ever write the thousands of words I have come up with over the last several days.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

TWTW Octoboer 31st through November 6th: YEAH FALL BACK TIME CHANGE

The most important thing that happened this week was obviously the Cubs winning the World Series. But I already wrote about that.  The whole year was amazing. They begin with such an amazing start. Arrieta started the years with the most amazing run of pitching I have ever seen. They stumbled a bit before the all star break. I got so distraught that I declared that the Cubs would not even make the playoff.  Boy was I wrong. The easily won the division and cruised into the playoffs.  The playoffs were very stressful but still amazing to watch.  Being the eternal pessimist I couldn't the Cubs out many times but they kept finding the ways to win when they had to. Once they were down 3-1 games in the World Series I came to terms with them not winning. I got myself all ready to appreciate the great year they had and to be prepared for a good run next year. And lo and behold they pulled it off winning three games in a row.

The other big event of last week was the good time change. I love falling back. Suddenly I can wake up all early and get to work on time. It usually only lasts a week or so but It's wonderful for the little bit of time it lasts. In fact on Sunday I got up early and have done all my laundry by 9:30 am. I  then went for a jog and had a very productive day.  YEAH FALL BACK TIME CHANGE

Sunday, November 06, 2016

I am a Fan of the World Series Champions!!!

It was a dark and stormy night

Or it was going to be. It was Wednesday evening. The deciding game seven of the World Series between the Cubs and Indians was to be played that night in Cleveland. I planned to watch the game in a little bar down the way a bit. I found that I could watch the game with a small crowd not a big place going crazy. I had been checking the radar watching a line of storms grow quickly closer and closer. I tornado had even been reported. I had to make a decision. Do I try and beat the storm or wait until after they had passed and risk missing the start of the game.  The walk would only take me like 10 minutes I had plenty of time to make it.

About half way through my walk the wind picks up and a light showers starts.  I decide to put my working out to use and start a slow jog just in case the storm is coming faster than I thought. As I round the final corner and am only about a few hundred feet from my destination the storm hits. A torrential downpour of giant freezing drops begins pelting me. I take off on sprint. As I sprint the final hundred feet across the parking lot I notice the welcoming glow of the open back door. My friend who runs the bar is standing in the door way looking puzzled as a stormed past.

With the weather I expected nobody to show up, but we ended up with a nice small crowd of maybe 14 people or so.  As the night went on and the comes cruised toward victory I become hopeful that I might actually see the historic event. Then something happened. Sitting there I had a great sense of deja vu.  They were going to bring Chapman in and he would blow the save. I was as certain as if I had actually seen it happened. I even texted it to a friend so somebody knew I had seen the future.

All went exactly as I had foreseen it and the game was soon tied.

They went into extra innings and then they had a rain delay. I decided I couldn't wait for a long rain delay. I would go home and ignore the game. I could find out tomorrow that they had lost. The rain delay ended quickly. Before I could even settle in the Cubs had scored two runs.  Cleveland had one last chance. They managed to score a run and then this happened...

I waited and dreamed all my life for that moment. People have dreamed and died waiting for that moment.

I was a fan of the World Series Champions. I hugged everyone, even the Cardinal fans.

Friday, November 04, 2016

4 Common Misconceptions About Voting Third Party in the USA

Though I don’t tend to tell people (online at least) who I vote for, I make it no secret I vote third party. This had led to several comments that have made it clear people don’t seem to understand how voting third party in the US works. Here is my tongue in cheek response, in no particular order, to 4 common misconceptions.

1. Voting third party is throwing your vote away

When I walk into a polling place with my ballot intending to vote third party I do NOT crumple up the ballot and throw it into the trash can. I fill it out and turn it in. Now when the check my ballot they do not throw it away either. They actually take my vote and apply it to the candidate I have chosen.

2. By not voting for major party candidate A I am voting for major party candidate B

The assertion is that by not voting for A I am in fact voting for B. Now there are a couple of problems with this reasoning. If by not voting for A means a vote for B, would not voting for B mean I am voting for A. So in this model by not voting for either I am both voting for both and not voting for both at the same time. This confusion over how voting works extends further. When they process my ballot and find out I voted for third party candidate C they DO NOT apply that vote to either A or B. They actually give my vote to the candidate I chose

3. You shouldn’t vote if you can’t win

I don’t even have anything funny or clever to say about this. It’s just plain old stupid.

4. You should vote for the lessor of two evils*

If you have the choice between voting for Satan, A lessor demon, or a respectable person, the moral choice is the respectable person/platform. Hmmm my ballot has Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and reasonable human on it. Stalin killed more people but Hitler was really bad... Let me get out my evil scale to determine which is the lessor evil. 

* I do acknowledge cases in which this may actually be a choice you can make with a clear conscience. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

TWTW October 24th through the 30th It Wasn't Supposed to be Like This

Most of my life I've dreamed of the Cubs making it to the World Series. I imagined it as a time of unbridled joy as unicorns danced in the field until the Cubs were inevitably crowned the champs.  It didn't occur to me that there would be another really good team trying to win the thing as well. I never realized how anxious I would be with each pitch, or how sense of encroaching doom. They played three games over the weekend and I really only watched about  a total hours worth. I couldn't take the stress.  I watched a movie, I read a book, I took a walk. Anything to avoid the games.  This was supposed to be a happy time.