Pete Hegseth has prompted me to start a list of people whose hands I should avoid ever touching, along with anything those hands have touched. A list I didn’t think I would need until he admitted on air that he pretty much never washes his hands because, and I quote, “Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them. Therefore, they’re not real.”
Not being one who watches FOX News I had to look up who this yahoo is and, according to his Wikipedia profile, he’s a graduate of both Princeton (BA) and Harvard (MPP) so his views that germs don’t exist because he can’t see them is surprising. I suppose he must not have taken any science classes in his time in school. Unsurprisingly he considers himself a Christian, which implies that his need to see things in order for them to exist has some exceptions.
On the plus side, if he sticks to his resolution to “say things on air that I say off air” then chances are he’ll be unemployed before too much longer. Which is a shame as his lack of hygiene may be our best bet for bringing down FOX News.
The folks over on the Magnetic Games YouTube channel put up an absolutely amazing demonstration using magnetite sand and a couple of powerful magnets that allows you to see a magnetic field in action:
What surprised me about this video is how it looks like scientific illustrations of magnetic fields. I had always assumed it was much like so many other scientific illustrations in that it was an approximation of reality. Kind of the same way as our models of an atom don’t look anything like what an actual atom looks like as explained by the folks at SciShow:
So, yeah, I was surprised when you could clearly see the lines of the magnetic field as they pulled in the sand. And that’s my science geekery for the day.
I used to watch the Super Bowl for the ads, but thanks to the Internet I don’t have to anymore. This is especially good as many of them aren’t that great, but this one for Amazon Alexa? Yeah, it made me laugh.
Funny, but it probably won’t get me to buy an Alexa when I already have two Google Home Minis in the house.
The only other ad I found interesting was a short one for the upcoming Captain Marvel movie, but I won’t bother including that here.
I’ve been writing up TMFWMYC articles for years now and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from them it’s that when Jesus speaks to you, nine times out of ten, you’re probably better off ignoring him.
Take the example of James A. Mucciaccio Jr. who did about $50K of damage to his 2000 Ferrari coupe when he heard the call to drive it off a Palm Beach dock into a lake from none other than the Son of God himself:
Police said Mucciaccio told them he was waiting for a friend to pick him up by the dock. When the officer told Mucciaccio he couldn’t park on the dock, Mucciaccio reversed toward the road but then suddenly switched into drive and drove into the inlet “at a high rate of speed,” the report says.
Police said Mucciaccio, who Palm Beach Fire-Rescue said was uninjured, “was able to exit” the car before it sank and was eventually helped onto a boat by a passing fisherman.
After reaching shore, Mucciaccio walked back to the officer, police said, and said Jesus told him to drive off the dock “and into a 6-foot window.” Mucciaccio also told police, “Money is going to be irrelevant in two days; remember to smile,” according to the report.
The passing fisherman who helped Mucciaccio to shore told police that Mucciaccio said he drove into the inlet because the “officer on the dock was Egyptian and he did not believe in Jesus.”
Now it’s possible that Jesus just doesn’t understand how cars are supposed to be utilized — it’s not like they were around in his time — but that seems like some really questionable advice.
Now I can already hear you furiously typing in the comments about how clearly this guy was nuts and Jesus didn’t actually tell him to drive his car into the lake, but the news article notes that the police haven’t stated if Mucciaccio had or would be charged with any crimes even though he did $1K of damage when he sideswiped a metal ladder that was town property on his way into the water. Clearly the police accepted his claim as God’s honest truth and who are they to stand in the way of an order from Jesus even if it doesn’t make any sense?
UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me that my math skills suck. SEB is actually 17 years old, not 18. 2018-2001 = 17. That’s what I get for posting about it in 2019 and doing the math based on the current date instead of, you know, the actual date of the anniversary itself. Still, we’ve been around longer than a lot of other way more popular websites so that’s still something to gloat about even if I do need remedial basic math tutoring.
I missed my own Blogiversary. I started blogging on December 2nd, 2001 with a stupidly simple post that only said:
Well, it took awhile before I found a layout I was happy with, but I now have a home page up and running and some of the links even work. Seems like the part I have the hardest time with when making pages is the layout and coming up with some graphics that won’t cause visitor’s eyes to bleed the instant it comes into view. I’m still not certain what sections I plan to put into place, but the page as a whole will reflect my interests and opinions.
And that was it until January 10th, 2002, but it was a start. At the time I was creating pages by hand which is probably why there wasn’t much activity until we got into January when I got a script called Coranto set up to make updating a little easier to do. It was the crudest form of not-really-a-database system that updated flat HTML files to make the site. Then on February 3rd I made the move to the MovableType blogging platform and things really took off. For awhile there I was blogging quite a bit, but these days my output isn’t too dissimilar to what it was in those early days.
I had no idea what I was going to do with it back at the start and I assumed it was going to be a lot like many other endeavors I’ve undertaken over the years and only last a few months. Frankly, no one is more surprised that I’m sitting here 18 years later blathering away about whatever catches my attention. There were a couple points where it looked like I was going to have to shut it down either due to unemployment or just growing too big for the hosting services I was using at the time, but we squeaked through and a lot of you were with me during some pretty rough times.
Eighteen years is particularly amazing when you consider that Facebook didn’t exist until February 4, 2004 and YouTube wouldn’t arrive until February 14, 2005. Hell, MySpace wasn’t even a thing yet (August 1, 2003) and I beat Friendster by a year (March 22, 2002). You’ll forgive me for being somewhat impressed with myself.
I’m not as active as I was and my audience is not as big, but I’m still plugging away. Looking back and seeing the stuttering start I made at blogging makes me feel a little better at the similarly rough start to vlogging and streaming I’ve had. There’s a lot more involved in these new ventures which means it’ll take me longer to get into the swing of it and perhaps I’ll never manage to do as well at those things as I have at blogging, but that would be OK too. Much like when I started, I don’t know how much longer SEB will continue, but I’ve not run out of things to babble on about yet so if I had to guess then there’s probably still a ways to go.
Until then, a big thank you to those who have dropped by over the years to see what I had to say. You’ve made it all worthwhile and I am still amazed and humbled by it all.
We somehow managed to make it through yet another year and, boy, am I beyond happy that 2018 is over. Last year started off with me headed to the hospital in the wee hours of January 2nd where I’d spend 5 days while they figured out I had a disc extrusion that was pressing on my L5 nerve root. I really learned to appreciate morphine during this time.
That was a shitty start to the year and, while it wasn’t the WORST year I’ve ever had, it didn’t improve a whole helluva lot in the coming months. Thankfully, I managed to complete my eighth full year of employment without issue making it the longest I’ve been at one job in a very long time. Alas, Anne was let go from her job in late spring and didn’t get back to work until just before Christmas about a week after her unemployment benefits ran out. She’s only had a few days or work total because of the holiday and this job doesn’t look like it’ll last more than a couple more weeks, but she will be returning to the data entry job she was let go from last spring for a couple of months worth of work so at least that’s something. Made for a very lean Christmas this year.
Still, we have managed not to fall behind on mortgage payments meaning we have a very nice roof over our heads, food on the table, and cats who keep us on a regular schedule. I am optimistic that 2019 will be an improvement over 2018, though given the political climate right now I’m not sure I could articulate why. I didn’t do as much vlogging or streaming as I had originally planned to, but I’ve decided not to beat myself up too much about that. Instead, I will attempt to seize the moment whenever inspiration strikes rather than sit and endlessly agonize over how to do it.
I’m not much for New Year resolutions as I learned a long time ago that I will just end up disappointed, but I do intend to try and improve on the things I need to improve upon (diet, exercise, etc.) and continue to be awesome at the things I’m awesome at (mostly just being me). Here’s hoping 2019 is a better year for ALL of us.
Just a quick entry wishing you and yours and safe, happy, and healthy Christmas from all of us here at SEB.
Not a lot of loot to talk about this year as the budget was tight, but I did get a new pair of monitor headphones, an authentic coo coo clock, and Spider-Man: Homecoming on bluray. Still, we spent lots of time with friends and family enjoying good company and food and will probably have gained a couple of pounds before it’s all done and over with. Here’s hoping your day was everything you had hoped for.
So I spend about 20 minutes in this video trying to articulate why I hate Fortnite that has nothing to do with how the game itself plays (I’ve never played it) but the bad influence on monetization it’s having on the rest of the industry. This is completely unedited, badly argued, probably riddled with factual inaccuracies, and plenty of profanity, but, hey, it’s content!
The following bit of idiocy has shown up on my Facebook wall twice now and it has annoyed me to the point of insomnia. So here I am, awake at 1AM when I should be asleep, writing a blog post about it because I’m not dressed enough to vlog it.
Also, not sure I could vlog about it without losing my temper.
The second person to have shared this is a family member, I won’t say whom, that I normally would assume would see the flaw in that statement. Being the sort of person I am, I couldn’t let it pass by without commenting on it. My reply in both cases was: “America isn’t a race so it’s not a racist statement to make. Unless what you really mean is that you’re proud to be a “White American” which is what a LOT of people mean when they say this. In which case, yes, it’s racist as fuck.”
A few hours later I saw I had a notification of a reply to my comment. It was from a friend of my relative who tried to keep her comment simple. It read: “Les Jenkins see shut up”.
My, but what a compelling counter-argument that is. This reply to me is what has me so annoyed that I’m up at a ridiculous hour in the morning typing away at my keyboard when I should be asleep. Hell, if the original message had simply read “I’m proud to be an American, share this if you agree” then I’d probably would’ve let it pass without saying anything. The addition of the “they are scared to be called a racist” bit is just baffling when you take the statement at face value. The only people who could possibly be worried someone would see that statement as racist is someone who actually meant “proud to be a white American”, which is exactly the unspoken intention many on the Far Right mean when they say it.
For whatever reason when I woke up around 12:30AM to use the bathroom, my thoughts while sitting in the dark came back to this post and the barely coherent reply to my comment I got. The more I thought about it the more questions I had. Questions like:
What, exactly, makes you proud to be an American?
Is it that you were lucky enough by random chance to be born here? Is it that we have the largest military? Is it our economy? Our criminal justice system? Our legislative system? What, exactly, is it that you think is worthy of pride for the simple status as a citizen of this country?
Is it the self-aggrandizing, narcissistic, callow former reality-show host of a President that makes you proud to be an American? Because, honestly, I find that to be a bit of an embarassment. We’ve put an inept, self-absorbed ass in the White House whose biggest motivation is cultivating unwarranted praise and some of us are gleeful about the damage he’s doing. That’s nothing to be proud of.
Is it our policy of family separation of migrants looking for asylum that you’re proud of? We pulled upwards of 12,000 kids 18 and under — 2,400 of which are 12-years-old and younger — from their parents and put them in cages. We then did a piss-poor job of reuniting them with their parents even after a court order to do so. We still haven’t completed the task in spite of being well past the 30 day deadline. Some of them may never be reunited having been sent into the foster/adoption system where the government lost track of them.
Are you proud of how our current Administration has managed to alienate long-standing allies? How about the trade wars that are causing everyone from Harley Davidson and GM to America’s soybean farmers having to make hard decisions about what to build where or, in the case of the farmers, allowing their crops to rot in the fields because the countries that used to buy them have slapped them with high tariffs in retaliation? The trade wars have impacted our farmers so much that Trump has promised to bail them out with taxpayer money when they could’ve just made money by selling their products as they had been. How is that something to be proud of?
Maybe you’re proud of how out of the 35 major countries that comprise the OECD, we rank 32nd in the mortality rate of children under-5 years old? Only Chile, Turkey, and Mexico are below us. In the CIA’s list of 223 nations our under-5 mortality rate puts us at the 56th spot. Fucking Cuba is in the 43rd spot.
Maybe you’re proud because of the rampant wealth inequality in this country which was only made worse with the massive Trump tax cuts that were passed in the last year? The tax cuts that were supposed to “pay for themselves” and result in “higher employee wages” and which haven’t done either thing, but has exploded the deficit to record levels which the Republicans are now trying to use as an excuse to cut Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. I suppose if you’re part of the 1% that might be reason to be proud to be an American. That’s assuming you pay much in taxes in the first place.
Perhaps you’re proud of how we’re ignoring the growing climate crisis and the resulting shitty world it’s going to leave for your children and grandchildren once you’ve kicked the bucket? Hell, we’re not just ignoring it, we’re actively rolling back policies that would help to mitigate it while trying to hide or destroy any science that suggests it’s an actual problem. But at least you won’t have to drive one of those sissy Prius cars, am I right?
Personally, I love my country, but I’m not very proud of it most of the time as of late. The above are just a few of the reasons why. None of the above is anything to be proud of.
I’m a day late, but with good cause. Traditionally, we’ve alternated between my family and Anne’s for Thanksgiving dinner each year, but with my mother-in-law having been in Colorado for many of them, that’s not been the case for the past few years. However, with her having moved back home, this would’ve been her year so we made plans for that.
As it turns out, she asked to hold it at our place as we have more room at the moment and we were happy to oblige. This also made it possible for both families to attend for the first time. We played host to my MIL, Kathy, SIL, Angela and her husband Rob, BIL, Aral and his wife Lynn, SIL Alica, my mother, Mary, brother, Wes, and niece Jasmine. Our wonderful dinner was a group production between Anne, Kathy and Mary with contributions from several attendees and it turned out great.
As an atheist, I am often asked around this time of year just who I am thankful to. The answer is obvious and simple. I’m thankful to all the people you see in those photos above. Each and every one of them, along with many friends and family that could not be here yesterday, have had a positive impact on me as a person and for that I am very thankful to them.
Here’s hoping you had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as I did with the people you are thankful for being a part of your lives.