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Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Terrible Waste



So I cleaned my apartment this morning because I’m having people coming for a visit. I somehow screwed up the dates and they won’t be here until the week after next. I feel like such an idiot. That’s 10-15 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Too Close for Comfort?



Is there a clinical name for fear of running out of coffee filters? I usually buy my filters in a supermarket chain here in Valencia called Mercadona but the other big chain, Consum, is downstairs in my building. I had thought about buying more filters the last 2-3 times I was shopping at Mercadona but forgot. I was beginning to feel very uneasy about the possibility of waking up one morning without a coffee filter. It was time for drastic measures which meant looking for filters in the supermarket in my building. If I had to pay an extra 20 cents or so then so be it. Can you put a price on piece of mind?

I looked around for filters the other day downstairs in Consum but I couldn’t find them, even after asking two people who worked there (I think they worked there). On my next trip to Consum I found them, not in the coffee section but in another area (why wouldn’t they be with the rest of the coffee products?). When I got home and put them away in my big cupboard I saw that I already had a back-up box of 100 filters. After a quick calculation I estimate that I don’t need to panic again for another 7 months or so.

Friday, June 16, 2017

How Can I Help You?

It always cracks me up when grandmotherly type women approach me in a store with questions like I work there even when I’m wearing dumb-looking bike gear workout clothes or carrying a backpack—and this happens constantly so I guess I just look like a store clerk. I used to apologize and say I wasn’t an employee but now I just try to be as helpful as possible. If they ask me a price I always say “one euro” which is a really great deal for an iPad.

Siempre me parto de risa cuando las mujeres de tipo abuela se acercan a mí en una tienda con preguntas como si yo trabajara allí, incluso cuando llevo ropa ciclista o tengo mi mochila—y esto sucede constantemente así que supongo que me parezco un empleado de la tienda. Solía disculparme y decir que no era un empleado, pero ahora sólo trato de ser lo más útil posible. Si me preguntan un precio que siempre digo "un euro", que es baratísimo para un iPad.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The News Will Not Be Televised!



Village Idiot

I pointed out in a previous post that our military elite have failed us worse than any other, including bankers who destroyed the world economy in 2008. I may have to hedge my bets and place television news people in a tie for the worst of our elites although it makes me cringe to place some moron like Wolf Blitzer among any sort of elite. I don’t put Fox News in this failed group because they have actually been hugely successful in what they do: disseminate far-right propaganda handed to them from various right-wing propaganda mills like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute to name only a few. So yeah, Fox News is always on point and effective in brain-washing the barely literate folks who tune in, ditto that for conservative talk radio.

In the center-right of TV we have the major news outlets like CNN, CBS, NBS, and all of the million little local “news” outlets which are little better than shopping flyers passing on gossip and doing countless bits on cute animals and other mind-numbingly stupid pabulum. They remind me of a cat chasing around a laser pointer, constantly and endlessly distracted by absolutely everything thrown in their way. For example, how much TV air time was spent laughing about Trump’s spelling error in his tweet message “covfefe?” As if all we have to worry about concerning our new commander in chief are his problems with spelling.

Or how many hours did TV reporters blab about what a good time everyone was going to have in American bars while listening to the former FBI director’s testimony? I could go on to list hundreds of idiotic items aired by the major networks that they try to pass off as news but the bottom line is this: if you are getting your news on TV you probably are ill-informed and probably misinformed on a lot of important issues. Mostly TV news just wants to scrape the very bottom of the barrel for grisly sex crimes and stories like this from CBS News: "Geese defecate on crowd of people, including children, at Disneyland." Not Disneyland! Not on the Children!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Conservatives' Views on Climate: Version #892



From Ross Douthat (in my defense I have to read his columns with a clothes pin on my nose. I find his stupidity offensive. I can't believe that The New York Times pays him for his loathsome opinions):

“Lukewarmers accept that the earth is warming and that our civilization’s ample CO2 emissions are a major cause. They doubt, however, that climate change represents a crisis unique among the varied challenges we face, or that the global regulatory schemes advanced to deal with it will work as advertised.

So conservatives move the goalposts yet again. Conservatives are like passengers on a slowly sinking ship who say there’s no problem but are forced to move up a flight of stairs to maintain the view out of their porthole. First they said that it was all a hoax (many still cling to this piece of intellectual flotsam). Next they said that perhaps temperatures were rising but it was all part of a natural cycle. Next they denied elevated carbon emissions and maintained any changes in climate were not due to humans. Their beliefs have now morphed into this ridiculous variation. The only consistency in conservatives’ positions on climate is their complete disdain for science.

Over the course of my adult life I haven’t moved my goalposts at all in this debate because I don’t have any goalposts; all that I have is the word of almost every scientist on the planet. I have never put my faith in the words of some hack like this Douthat (rhymes with ass hat) guy or someone in the pay of the fossil fuel industry. I’ve never had to change my story or invent some new fantasy because I have relied on the best minds on this planet to guide my opinions. If I’m wrong on this subject then at least I can say that I’ve been in good company.