Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Honey Badger Genius

This amused me tremendously.

Exit Stage Left Even, Eric

When I was in grade school and high school, I was a cantor and reader at Catholic Mass.  I lead songs, I read scripture, I did the whole church thing at my parochial school.

I also liked to watch cartoons when I was very little, and Snagglepus was one of my hilarious favorites. "Exit, Stage Left" (though he'd frequently exited "stage right").  

So the first time I heard the voice of the very parochial, very entrenched establishment "Majority Leader" of the Republican party, Eric Cantor of Virginia, I did not think of a Catholic mass cantor, nor a Jewish temple Cantor.  And now, tonight, that Eric Cantor has LOST his primary against a "Dave Brat" (professor of economics at American University, I read), I immediately thought of Snagglepus exiting, to the LEFT of his right wing nationalist xenophobic opponent.  Wow.

Exit, stage left even, Eric.

Anti-immigration double down.  Pay off the national debt (even though it's been dramatically paid down in the last 2 years) double down.  Rage against Obama double down.  Koch brother's out-of-state millions influx double down.  Supply side anti-Keynesian economics double down.

Good luck Mike Dickinson.  Hopefully Brat's nationalist, xenophobic perspective will help to galvanize reasonable Virginia 7th district voters.

Monday, June 2, 2014

John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality, Perfectly

Last Week, Tonight's host John Oliver is another person who is perfect for the job he is in.  He does an amazing job in HBO's Last Week Tonight each Sunday.  I laugh, I want to cry, it's funny, enraging & relevant all at the same time.

Last night he explained Net Neutrality, and how evil the Obama administration is for taking Comcast's top lobbyist (Tom Wheeler)  and installing him as the head of the FCC.  (Vice covered it here (link) as well, but I didn't see it on Vice last month, and Oliver made it MUCH funnier)

Hooray for John Oliver!

FCC.GOV/Comments...  come on internet trolls & haters.... there's just 118 days left for you to let the FCC know exactly how you feel.

Awesome at His Job

Neil deGrasse Tyson is awesome as the host of Cosmos.  Each and every episode, revisited from Carl Sagan's original series, is marvelously presented.  Awesome graphics, pitch perfect writing, and precise delivery.  A "spokes person for the sane", a "voice of reason", Neil is the perfectly approachable, affable, charismatic scientist showing the common man who knows nothing about science what is really happening in the world, the universe, throughout time.

And no, it's not 6000 years old.  But if you want to believe that, that's fine for you to believe, just don't push that belief into the science class room, or onto my or my friends' kids, or grand kids.  A belief is not a fact.  And if facts contradict or challenge your beliefs, then that's a problem you have to grapple with, not I.  I trust in the facts, as peer reviewed and tried and tested, proven by controlled experiments.

And Seth MacFarlane...  you are a crazy, twisted, bizarre man, but thank you for funding the Cosmos revival.  Perhaps it is some kind of "penance" for having created Peter Griffin... I don't know.  =)

My Efficient Water Company

My efficient water company, Moulton Niguel Water, left me this notice on my door last Friday:
I was concerned because I thought I'd have zero water from 8am to 3pm.  So Sunday I began  making more ice, filling the Britta pitcher, Nalgene bottles, hiking water bottles, cat water dishes.  Since I work at home and I didn't want to be "without water" I was trying to be prepared.  I recalled how last Friday, all along my street, there were 3 or 4 MNW company trucks with flashing lights, multiple crews, they were working on my neighbor's meter across the street, and it seemed to take most of the entire day that I was working for them to get done.  I asked a supervisor what they were doing: "upgrading meters, going to digital".  Ok.

So I was very surprised when at 830am this morning, there as a knock at my door.  I found a water company employee standing there, and I asked "how long will the water be off?"
"Ten minutes" was his reply.  Wow...   just 10 minutes!   So I slipped on some shoes, and watched as he efficiently removed the old cast iron body analog turbine driven meter that was 30 years old.  He replaced with a plastic body digital meter that can be read from the street with a RF signal.  The batteries last 20 years, and the accuracy of the new meter is 2X better (.05 gallons, vs .1 gallons per minute) so slow leaks can be observed (and billed for) more accurately.   Supposedly the new meter relies "on magnets" to sense the water coming through the straight pass through the middle of the meter (I could see clear through, no obstructions).

A small army of crickets came rushing out of the meter's enclosure when the old meter was disconnected and some water trickled out.  I asked the technician if he's ever seen scorpions or snakes in the enclosures, and he admitted to seeing snakes and tarantulas, but never a scorpion, though his colleague had picked up a meter with a scorpion on it and was not aware he'd almost been stung.  New gaskets installed, fittings tightened, and the water was back on.  Very impressive, very efficient, very friendly service providers.

If only my internet provider (Cox), Direct TV, gas company (The Gas Company, literally), and power company (San Diego Gas & Electric) were that efficient!   The CR&R trash pick up is fast, friendly, and efficient...   I guess 2 out of 6 is better than zero out of six...  and I don't live in the 17th or 13th centuries, as billions of people in the world do today.

My name is Prince Oberon, you keeled my sister...

I watched GoT's "The Mountain and the Viper" last night, and I kept thinking near the end of the episode of Mandy Pantinkin's "My name is Inigo Montoya, you keeled my father.  Prepare to die."

I will not spoil it for you if you have not watched it on DVR or Amazon or HBO-to-go yet...  but I was a little disappointed at the ending.  No, I was very disappointed at the ending.  If you're looking for extreme violence, the "The Mountain and the Viper" will satisfy your blood lust.