Monday, September 21, 2020

when to fill RBG's Supreme Court seat?

Apparently, the time to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's now-vacated Supreme Court seat is now, and both the left and the right are keenly aware of this.  The timing of Ginsburg's death couldn't be worse in terms of national harmony and stability:  should the GOP ram through another Supreme Court Justice hated by the left, we will see rioting that will make the rioting up to now look tame (driving more voters to Trump).  Here's Tim Pool:



A grim quote from the comments (edited for clarity):

"It's not fair" says the party that spent years using fake evidence to impeach a president.



Sunday, September 20, 2020

busy, busy, busy

NB:  your pardon for a very random post.

One thing I prep before a month-long walk is my toenails.  For whatever reason—probably my clumsiness—I have less luck clipping the toenails on my right foot than I do on my left foot:  I always end up with bleeders.  I know from experience that, if I'm going to go for any sort of distance walk, I can save myself unnecessary pain by clipping my toenails several days before the walk so they have time to heal.  Walking with wounded toes can be irritating and even painful, plus there's the inconvenience caused by the slowly seeping blood.

I still haven't bought myself an extra battery for my cell phone, and time is running out.  Technically, I can do the walk with the equipment I already have:  I've got a portable power pack to charge the phone while I'm on the road, and since I'm motelling my way across the country, I'll always have access to electric sockets in the evening with which to recharge both my phone and my portable charger.  I may have mentioned before that my charger—which is fairly new—doesn't have quite the capacity of the one I used last year and in 2017.  It's good for maybe one full charge of the phone, but that may be enough:  this time around, I'll be camping for only one single night.

Interesting development:  my buddy JW has invited himself along for part of the walk.  He says he has a bunch of vacation days that his company is requiring him to burn off, and I've turned him into a distance-walking addict, so he and I are in the midst of arranging the when and the where and the how of JW's segment hike.  I don't want JW doing a segment during which I have a rest day:  that would be boring to him.  We also have to think about whether he'll be driving to our meet-up location or taking a bus/train to get there.  I've suggested the latter to him:  if he insists on driving, he'll have to double back, at some point, and go back to his parked car.  Far easier to bus over to a meeting spot, walk with me a few days, then bus back to Seoul from the bus terminal in whatever town we find ourselves in.  

I admit I'm a bit worried about having JW along.  He tends to have his own ideas when it comes to agendas:  he prefers to set his own, and when he does that, his agendas tend to wreck whatever plans I've made.  I told him very clearly that I'll be following a strict schedule during my walk:  wake up at 5, be out the door by 5:30.  I won't be deviating from that schedule except on rest days.  Will JW be okay with following my lead, or will he insist on coloring outside the lines?  We'll see.

This is one of the reasons why I normally prefer not to hike with anyone else:  the clash of intentions, however benign.  Don't get me wrong:  JW is an awesome walk partner when we do our segment hikes along the bike paths at and near the Han River.  But this hike is different, and it's become rather personal (and private) to me.  The fundamental difference between me and JW is that he's a typically sociable Korean whereas I'm a dyed-in-the-wool introvert:  JW would never do any of these hikes on his own.  It wouldn't even occur to him to do so.  In fact, I asked him about that one time, and he replied, "No, too boring."  So from the get-go, he's missing the point about the silence I enjoy when walking alone.  For him, the hike is fundamentally a social experience.  For me, it's my chance to shut up and listen to the world preach its sermon in its own arcane language.

The proofreading that I'm doing at the office is taking me about eleven hours per day to accomplish.  This leaves me with very little time and energy for trip prep.  I'm not too worried, though:  there's little to prep.  

I do plan to leave the office early on Friday, around 5 or 6 p.m., so I can train out to Incheon and grab a bunk in my favorite little motel, the Techno.  The walk on Saturday will actually be over 30 km in length:  there's a "pre-walk" of 5 km that I have to do to reach the seashore:  3 km from the Techno Motel to the subway at Geomam Station, another 2 km from the next-over station to the seashore and the Ara West Sea Gate, where the Four Rivers Trail officially begins.  So Day 1 is a doozy at 35 km, and I won't be taking an extra night of rest as I usually do for over-30K days.  Day 2 takes me back to my own apartment for the surreal experience of sleeping in my own bed while on the Busan-bound walk, then I launch myself east and eventually south toward Hanam City, Yangpyeong, picturesque Yeoju, etc.  Once I leave Yangpyeong, I have to remember to take a picture of that multicolored, brickwork shwimteo that looks like a bus stop.  I'm kicking myself for not having photographed it last year.

Anyway, before my thoughts get any more random (I'm at the office, but you can tell where my mind is at, I think), I'll leave off here.  I'll continue to figure out the nightmare that is new Blogger, and who knows?  If I come to terms with it by the end of the hike, I might just stay with new Blogger, flaws and all.

PS:  I had ordered a bunch of Survival Tabs, but they got stuck in Customs, and I've tried to contact Hanjin Shipping about the problem, but Hanjin's website has an out-of-date phone number.  I'm seriously thinking of physically traveling out to Hanjin's facility to talk face-to-face with someone, but I also know that, since I'm camping only a single day, if I don't have nutrition for a single day, I won't die of starvation:  I'm way too fat for that.

PPS:  it occurs to me that I'll be missing all three presidential debates and the VP debate.  I'll be following along on the trail via YouTube and the alt-media, though:  Tim Pool, Styx, etc. will have plenty to say.  I tend not to blog about political stuff during my walks, so I'll save any commentary for when I'm back in civilized Seoul.



Saturday, September 19, 2020

impressive, touching, inspiring, intimidating

With thanks to ROK Drop for highlighting this video of a British guy who speaks excellent Korean and who, with a team of friends, makes documentary vids about everyday life in Korea.  His Korean skills are at a level I can only aspire to, but after watching him, I'm motivated to apply myself more to learning the language.  I also enjoyed the quiet, unadorned style of the video below, which simply shows what it shows without any pretentiousness.  The end result is impressive.  This is the polar opposite of garbage like "Eat Your Kimchi."


 



ululate!

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a feminist and cultural icon, passed away on September 18 from complications related to pancreatic cancer.  She was 87, having joined the Supreme Court in 1993 at age 60.  Over the past year or so, those around her had tried to keep her health status as vague as possible, and her death is cause for liberal anxiety:  another seat is now available on the Supreme Court, and Donald Trump—assuming he wins the upcoming election—will doubtless nominate someone whose very existence will raise the hackles of the left.  One of Ginsburg's final "fervent" wishes was for Donald Trump to leave office after his current term.  I don't think that that wish will be fulfilled.  I hope Ginsburg didn't leave this plane of existence filled with the same small-minded, Trump-deranged bitterness that motivated John McCain to be such a stick in the mud before his own demise.  Let Justice Ginsburg be remembered for her accomplishments on behalf of women's rights.  RIP.

Styx on RBG:

 




Friday, September 18, 2020

another video stolen from Justin Yoshida

They say you should steal from the best, which is why I steal from Justin.

 



 

sigh...

I have a little more than a week before I'm off on my trek to Busan. I don't think I have the time to start a blog on a new platform, given how much time I have to spend at work before I leave on Saturday the 26th, so as awkward and as painful as it is for me to say this, I'm going to stick with Blogger at least for the duration of this upcoming walk. I don't think Blogger has switched over on my cell phone yet, and I'll be blogging from my cell phone all the way down to Busan, so if my user experience on my phone remains the same, then blogging ought to feel about as normal as cell-phone blogging usually does. So expect Kevin's Walk 4 to appear on your radar soon. I'll let you know when it's ready for prime time.


UPDATE:  Kevin's Walk 4 is live.

UPDATE 2:  Blogger did switch over on my cell phone, at least for the new blog.  Dammit.



pris au dépourvu

Well, it happened, and I wasn't ready for it: Blogger has just switched all the way over to its shitty "new Blogger" format, and there's no option to revert to "legacy" Blogger. I thought I had more time before the changeover, given how vague Blogger has been regarding when it planned to go full-on shitty. But I guess the time is now, and I still don't have a WordPress site up. I'll get to work on that right away. Meanwhile, pardon our dust as we dismantle our edifice here and prepare to move elsewhere.  Me, I feel as if I'm being chased out.  Was it like this for the Seoul merchants who lost their real estate when then-President Lee Myeong-bak started digging up streets to re-expose and reinvigorate the Cheonggye Stream?

NB:  my 2020 walk-tee design is up over at Teespring. Click the tee design in the right-hand margin and scroll waaaaay down to the bottom to see the new design... which, truth be told, is much like last year's design.



Thursday, September 17, 2020

stolen from John Mac's place

The ultimate simile:


And yet more hypocrisy:






The Critical Drinker vs. "Star Trek Into Darkness"

I've only just discovered The Critical Drinker, whose shtick is that he's a drunk, angry, vaguely right-leaning Scotsman who watches movies and critiques them by speaking a mile a minute and lacing his criticisms with "Fuck off, movie!" In the video below, the Drinker takes on JJ Abrams's "Star Trek Into Darkness," and he jabs at Abrams's tendency to showcase events that seem significant, but that have "all the impact of a left hook from Stephen Hawking." (I love that line.) I am now subscribed to the angry Scot.






courtesy of my buddy Tom

Do this for me, will you? Go to YouTube and type (or paste) "ka chingu news 평택미니스톱" into the search window, then watch a few of the top ten videos in that search. A quick summary if you're lazy: some crazy person slams his car into a Mini Stop convenience store, then begins driving his forward and backward inside the store, steamrollering everything inside. Meanwhile, a gaggle of cops is standing around looking totally useless and acting stymied until a couple of policemen take the initiative to go into the store, grab the guy, cuff him, and take him out to a waiting police car. The perp, meanwhile, smashes up the store's interior for around five minutes before the cops do anything.

My buddy Tom sent me a link to a video of the incident, which apparently happened in Pyeongtaek. The video had been uploaded to Facebook, but I did the above search to find the same video, plus many more, on YouTube. I just watched one of the videos and took some time (with the aid of Google Translate) to read some of the comments. Unsurprisingly, the comments to the video ranged from cynical to mournful, from "That's hilarious!" to "If this happened in the States, the guy would've been shot" to "Think about the store owner's and employees' livelihoods." I agreed with all the commenters. The situation sucked and was ridiculous. When Tom sent me the video link via Kakao, I reacted with this:

Wow. Where to even begin. That was a perfect example of mass retardation. No one did anything right. Not the driver, who was fucking nuts or drunk or high; not the police, who kept blocking each other's movements by bunching up like idiots; not the bystanders, who just stood there drooling. And why the fuck did the police allow the guy to demolition-derby the store interior for several minutes? Neutralize him, drag him out of the car, and get a truck to gingerly pull the car out of the store.

Korean law enforcement is a joke. Not saying I want the sort of brutality we sometimes see in the States, but Jesus, this was an embarrassment to watch.

If you've now seen the video(s) in question, you'll have noticed the preternatural calm with which the perp, flanked by officers, marches to a police car. I'm no longer sure he was drunk: were he drunk, he'd likely be stumbling. He might've been high, or he might have insane or insanely angry, becoming calm only after having made his "point." I wonder where I need to go to follow up on news about this individual. He's obviously a train wreck, spiritually speaking, and I admit I'm morbidly fascinated by what would provoke a person to do what he did. It's certainly in the Korean spirit of grandiose but ultimately useless gestures, like the guy who, years ago, protested in downtown Seoul by stabbing himself only partway in the gut.

I may have mentioned the incident witnessed by me and my father when Dad was in Seoul to visit me. This must have been about fourteen years ago, when I was a prof at Sookmyung. Dad and I were in a subway, minding our own business, when a drunken ajeossi in his fifties started screaming and raving. Everyone gave him a wide berth, and then the guy started kicking at one of the subway's reinforced windows. He kept at it until the glass started spidering and dimpling outward. Then, when the train came to a halt at the next stop, he very calmly (and, to my eyes, furtively) made his way out of the train and disappeared into the crowd of exiting passengers. Another grandiose, useless statement had been made. The incident in Pyeongtaek has that same colossally stupid look and feel.

Much of the story seems to be told here in Korean subtitles. Lots of legal-sounding vocabulary that I don't know. But I'm learning! (This video also illogically splices in scenes of police activity in other countries, including the US. Why? No fucking clue.)

UPDATE:  my bad.  The guy turns out to be a 30-something woman. Angry mom.



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

one final look before goodbye

Sean sends me and my brother David this final photo of Sean's chihuahua Maqz, who will be put down in just a few hours. Sean writes:

He’s sleeping right now under Mom’s old Christmas sweater that I’ve kept with me all these years. After he goes later today, I’ll be snipping a piece of the sleeve to send with him on his journey to see her again. He’ll be able to remember the scent faster to find her faster.

Godspeed, Maqz.


Flags are at half-staff today, so this will likely be the only thing I blog.


UPDATE: earlier today (Wednesday, Seoul time), I got the update from Sean that Maqz was now on his way. He says, "Things are somber, but we're okay." I guess that's all there is to say about that. I wrote to Sean:

I don't know much about afterlife-related matters, but if there is an afterlife, then I hope Maqz is busy chasing after all his favorite things. You guys mentioned Mom, so here's hoping that, when he's done with a good day of running around, Maqz returns to her and gets pampered the way he used to here below. That would be a dog's heaven, I think.



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

a good lip reading?

Is it possible for a Bad Lip Reading video to contain a good lip reading? Apparently so. In the video below, when Ben Kenobi murmurs, "That's no moon," the lip reading is: "It's not a moon," which is quite close to the original line. Go figure.






artwork

Here are some cartoons I've been drawing for the textbook we're working on. The idea, as I think I explained a while back, is that you have a six-panel cartoon story, but only five panels have content. The student matches the scrambled sentences of the story with the pictures (which are in order), then has to write the story's final sentence and draw the story's final panel. The images below are 1000 pixels wide, actual size, so click on them to enlarge.

This first toon isn't really sequential art; it's more like a list of things that biologists might study: land animals (represented by a tiger), terrestrial plants (Venus flytrap), sea creatures (octopus), and sea plants (seaweed). The fifth panel, when matched with the prose, deals with the question, "What don't biologists study?" The answer to that could be any number of things: planetary orbits, the composition of rocks, etc.

Once the following picture is colored, it ought to be easier to understand. An earthquake hits while class is in session; the students run out, but the teacher hides under a desk, per the usual instructions associated with earthquakes. But everyone leaves the building, and the school collapses. What has befallen the teacher?


This next one is lame, and I think I need to redo it. The chapter is on Gregor Mendel, father of genetics. I start with a Punnett Square showing two parents with dominant and recessive alleles: B for brown eyes, b for blue eyes. This means that such parents have a 25% chance of having a blue-eyed kid. The subsequent frames show kid after kid being born, all three with brown eyes. The fourth kid is coming, and the parents think this is their one shot at a blue-eyed baby. What comes out, though, is a Satan-eyed horror inspired by the movie "Rosemary's Baby." No blue eyes for you guys! Sorry! (Note that the parents' reasoning could be seen as a variant of the Gambler's Fallacy.)


The cartoon below is based on a true-life incident that I blogged about: a stupid criminal who marched into an establishment to raid the cash register. The proprietor, you'll recall, shooed everyone out the front door and locked the door, trapping the dumbass inside. The police weren't long in arriving.


This next one is about the fickleness of fame and fortune. A man sits alone and depressed, then he gets an idea for a book. He works furiously on it and gains fame, fortune, and glory... but it all fades, and he's once again alone and depressed, with nothing but copies of his book for company.


I kind of like the story for the toon below, even if the art isn't all that special. Some kids are running away from an unknown danger. A horrifying-looking clown beckons them to come with him, but the kids balk. The clown becomes more insistent while the kids continue to hesitate. Suddenly, a new, more menacing threat appears: a huge, muscular man dressed as a policeman and carrying a nasty-looking truncheon. Maybe the clown's not the real threat.


The toon below is for a chapter on Greenpeace. I'm not the biggest fan of that organization, although I'm sure some of its members mean well. I decided to portray Greenpeace in a dramatic, over-the-top way, which explains the story. Somewhere in the ocean, a whale-hunting vessel is chasing a whale that's desperate to get away. A Greenpeace Zodiac appears and pulls alongside the whaling ship, but this doesn't stop the harpoon operator from aiming and firing his weapon. The harpoon flies toward its target, and the stoic Greenpeace boatman heroically flings himself into the path of the harpoon. Kids ought to love drawing the panel that comes next. Some—the more morbid ones—will draw a man with a harpoon in his gut. Others, more clever, will draw the man snatching the harpoon, rolling in the air, and redirecting the deadly shaft away from the whale.

As you see, I sucked at drawing the Zodiac, and I sucked at Photoshopping the "Greenpeace" label onto the Zodiac's curved front. With more time, I might have been able to do a better job.


In the pic below, I totally stole the boy's image from the silhouetted boy who figures in the Amazon Kindle logo. I plead guilty. Just know that I hand-drew the boy: no tracing, no scanning-and-copying. Freehand. Anyway, as you see, a boy and girl are playing chess (I found a side-view pic of a chessboard and turned it into a silhouette). The girl makes a move that makes her smile while the boy frowns. The boy then makes a move that satisfies him and annoys her. The girl goes again, looking supremely smug. The boy, incensed, turns into a ravening monster. What happens next? A feminist might draw the girl as an even larger monster. A non-feminist might draw the girl, still human, screaming and running away.


In the pic below, a fortune-teller tries to persuade a skeptical man that there will be an earthquake (see the cracking ground in her crystal ball?). The man scoffs and leaves, still laughing. Once outside, though, the man feels the earth tremble as the quake begins. The earth splits beneath the man's feet, and he finds himself hanging on for dear life, calling out for help that will not come.


I used a lot of clip art for this final picture. My alterations and rearrangements ought to keep me safe from copyright claims; for instance, I added the guy's warding gesture in the fourth panel, the one where he's saying no-thanks to the offer of a cigarette. In the end, though, as the fifth panel's closeup implies, the guy feels tempted to smoke. What happens next? Does he walk away? Does he take a puff?


So that's a glimpse of my lame art. Given more time and care, I could doubtless draw better, but I've never been more than a chicken-scratch cartoonist. I'll never be a Picasso or a Rembrandt, or even a Bob Ross. But the boss thinks I draw well enough for us to make another textbook that would be full of my artwork, so I guess we'll see what happens.



a Trump-Biden debate hosted by... Joe Rogan?

I'd say yes to a four-hour debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, especially if it's moderated by Joe Rogan. Rogan, 53, sits somewhere in the liberal/libertarian part of the political spectrum: a bit of a paradox, he's an accomplished, disciplined martial artist as well as a dedicated, it's-all-good pothead, not to mention an often-hilarious standup comedian who has called other comedians (like Carlos Mencia) out for joke-stealing. He'd like for there to be fewer oppressive regulations, and he wants people to just leave each other alone (unless he's chasing after joke-thieves). At the same time, he's not against certain government programs (he was open to Andrew Yang's UBI plan and was a Bernie Bro for a time), and he's definitely pro-legalization when it comes to drugs. Rogan runs a podcast that recently moved from YouTube to Spotify, a Stockholm-based service mostly known for music streaming, not for talk-radio-like podcasts. He has also made the physical move from regulation-filled California to less-regulated Texas, and he's been openly considering voting for Donald Trump. Rogan tends to invite guests who have far greater intellectual candlepower than he does, and it's obvious he's learning from his guests and is fascinated by what they have to say. At the same time, Rogan is obviously no intellectual slouch himself: he has matched wits, blow for blow, with the razor-sharp Tim Pool the several times that Pool has been Rogan's guest.

That's all background for those members of my readership who have no idea who Joe Rogan is. (Tons of his videos are on YouTube; look 'em up and familiarize yourself with his style.) And this is the selfsame Joe Rogan who floated the idea of a four-hour-long debate between Trump and Biden. Get this: Trump has already eagerly said yes. I can see why, too: the three official debates will be a sham, automatically stacked against Trump. As Styx notes below, the biased moderators will give Biden all the time he needs to stumble through his near-aphasic sentences, but when Trump speaks, they'll cut the man off while asking him venomous questions, unlike the softballs they'll gently toss Biden's way. Rogan, by contrast, will give both candidates a fair hearing, and he won't go easy on either politician. Such a debate would make for lively, exciting viewing, and in theory, it would take place in the cozy confines of Rogan's studio (a format that Tim Pool, below, thinks ought to replace the overly showy, substance-free debate formats currently in vogue).

Biden has yet to say yes to Rogan's proposal; Styx theorizes that Biden and his team will lamely try to ignore this proposal in the hopes that the excitement fades away. If Biden fails to say yes to this admittedly grueling four-hour format, he'll be in danger of appearing to pussy out (although I'm sure his team will have some ready-made excuse to explain Biden's absence). If Biden fails to show up, there's also the idea that Trump could appear alone with Rogan, and they could hash out whatever issues Rogan chooses to bring up.

So here are Tim Pool and Styx, talking about this move by Rogan and Trump.



A lot of us are hoping this happens, but deep down, we know Biden will never say yes.



a meditation on tee shirts

My boss very kindly offered to have my tee shirts made locally by a tee manufacturer he knows. I said that that would be great, so I gave the boss several photos of the tees I own plus graphics files to allow the tee manufacturer to print my design onto his shirts. When the boss came in yesterday (Monday) with the tees he had collected over the weekend (I offered to pay, but the boss waved me off), I was initially delighted... and then I saw that the designer had, bizarrely, changed up the fonts, using the much-hated Comic Sans font in place of the brisker, more serious font I had originally used. Here's a shot of the boss's friend's tee, front side:


As you see above, "Kevin's Walk" is in Comic Sans, which is highly disappointing. You can also see that the printing method was radically different: the "ink" appears to be some sort of rubberized substance. I don't know enough about tee-printing methods to say for sure what method was used here, but I worry about how well the images on both sides of the tee will withstand wear and tear. I think the boss is hoping that I'll wear "his" tee during the walk, but honestly, I don't think I will. That being said, the crispness of the tee's image is impressive, and I also noticed that the new tees (there are two) didn't have that nasty, pungent, chemical reek of an off-the-press Teespring tee. These tees were wearable from the get-go.

Below is a pic of a golden tag with two Chinese characters on it. The characters say teuk-dae, or literally "special big." This apparently applies to clothing that's an especially large size. I had given the boss "4XL" as my tee size, and this was the result. The Korean-made tee is actually slightly larger than the Teespring tees I own. The fabric feels pleasantly smooth to the touch, but it doesn't feel flimsy. Overall, the general quality of the Korean tees is better, I think, than Teespring's.


Here's the back of the Korean tee, which also features changed fonts:


I noticed that the graphic on the back of the tee didn't have a black background. Ignoring the design in my data file, the guy had re-created my design using different fonts and no background, simply printing white lettering and borders right onto the black fabric of the tee. The lettering is composed of the same rubberized "ink" as the design on the tee's front. It annoys me that the tee guy presumed he could do my design one better, and while I'm not bothered by the font changes on the tee's back, I do worry that the lack of a black background will mean that the white lettering will crack and peel off more easily. You'll see what I'm talking about in a moment. Below is a Teespring tee with my design on it the way I wanted it, black background and all. By making the design a huge, single rectangle, I'm keeping individual design elements from peeling off, cracking, and/or fading. Behold:


And here's the back of the same tee, with the black background in place:


Here are the two front-face designs, side by side (Teespring on the left, Koreanized design on the right). The Korean design is longer vertically, but slightly narrower horizontally:


Lastly, here's a shot of an earlier Teespring tee that, through the simple act of washing it several times, is already showing wear and wear because the design does not have the black background to support and lock in the design elements:


So while I appreciated my boss's efforts to have a set of 2020 tees made for me, I think I'll be sticking to my 2019 tees for this walk. The boss offered to get new tees done here specifically because I hadn't put up a 2020 design on Teespring, and it would now be too late to put such a design up and order tees to get here on time for the walk's start date.

It's the thought that counts, though, right? I'll keep the boss's tees (I'm wearing one right now as I type this), and over time, we'll see how well these Korean shirts hold up to months of wear and tear. I had thought about asking the boss to have his friend make two more tees, this time explicitly following the design I'd given him instead of presuming to know what I wanted. (Koreans often have a nasty, frustrating habit of trying to do your thinking for you instead of simply asking your opinion before making an effort on your behalf.) Then I thought to myself: nah. Too churlish. I'd look like a selfish ingrate.

For what it's worth, the boss is aware that I hate the Comic Sans font, so maybe I already look like an ingrate.



sad news from the States

My brother Sean just wrote to say that he and Jeff will be putting Sean's chihuahua Maqz down via in-home euthanasia around 6 p.m. on the 15th, Chicago time. Maqz was, as I wrote in my reply to Sean, a naughty little booger when I met him, but he grew on me. It's hard to believe we'll shortly be living in a world without that stout-hearted little dog, but time and life are always grinding mercilessly forward. It's a bit premature to be offering condolences since the euthanasia hasn't happened yet, but I do offer my sympathies. This can't be easy, not after all those years of faithful companionship.






fake news from the far right

I saw news early on Monday that Tom Hanks had supposedly deleted three years' worth of tweets from his Twitter account, had acquired Greek citizenship along with his wife, and was now using Greece as a haven to avoid impending charges about pedophilia because in Greece (supposedly), pedophilia isn't treated as a crime, but rather as a disability.

Well, the real story is that Hanks and his wife did indeed gain honorary Greek citizenship based in part on charity work they've done. Hanks owns property in Greece as well, and he and his wife see it as the most beautiful spot on Earth. As for pedophilia: no evidence, no substance, just rumors burbling out of the minds of the febrile far right, quite possibly from QAnon partisans. Oh, and visit Hanks's up-to-date Twitter feed.

Don't let confirmation bias tempt you into believing everything you read.



Gad Saad's prognostication

Psychologist Gad Saad, a well-known tweeter who also runs the popular The Saad Truth podcast, is asked what he thinks about the upcoming US presidential election. His answer is worth a listen, especially his "sniffing the cork" metaphor from Arabic culture.


Basically: you might not like Trump as a person, but you ought to agree with his decisions and policies. This is approximately the position I find myself in: Trump is a despicable asshole, but I can't argue with most of his choices as a leader.



four via Bill









imagine a world run by twenty-something girls

Ryan Long with another hit:






Monday, September 14, 2020

Yoda talks about his... stick

Since I was already in the humor-saturated corner of YouTube, I followed another algorithmic recommendation to a Bad Lip Reading video that pokes fun at "The Last Jedi":


I have to say that I enjoyed the return of 1980-era puppet Yoda in Rian Johnson's film. His appearance was a fan-service moment for sure, but the dialogue between him and old Luke was also important and meaningful. That was easily one of the best exchanges in a deeply flawed film that still managed to be chock-full of ideas.



Aaaaaaaagggghhhh!!! (with thanks to Justin)

Presented to you with almost no context:


And:


With thanks to Justin Yoshida, who found the dino vid first.



alt-media assault

Styx on the creation of a new Soviet Union in America:



Tim Pool on the scandalous purging of crucial cell phones by Mueller's team:



Styx on CNN admitting "the wind is shifting in Trump's favor":


In 2016, I would never have said Trump was going to win by a landslide, and in fact, he didn't: his electoral-vote count was 306 to Hillary Clinton's 232—a wide margin of victory, but hardly a landslide at 56.9% of the total electoral vote. To me, a landslide is when the candidate takes over 70% of the total number of electoral votes. Now, like a lot of alt-media pundits, I think Trump might actually pull off an electoral-vote landslide, even if he fails to take California (55 electoral votes) and New York (29). 70% of 538 total electoral votes is about 377 votes. If we assume Trump wins all states but New York and California, he'd win 538 - 55 - 29 = 454 votes, i.e., 84.4%. I'd say that's conceivable this time around, and it'd be a huge fuck-you to the people who want to destroy the Electoral College. California and New York would be effectively muzzled, and even if Joe Biden carried those states by vote margins in the millions, it'd be all for nothing. Is the wind shifting in Trump's favor? I'd say it shifted long ago, and we have the riots and the scaredy-cat responses to the pandemic to thank for that.



Sunday, September 13, 2020

"it's the economy, stupid"






the Bundang round-trip walk

I slept for a goodly part of today after I finished my mammoth walk early this morning. The walk occurred over the space of about ten hours, from 8:40 p.m. to 6:40 a.m., but I rested in three thirty-minutes shifts, so the actual duration of the walk was closer to 8.5 hours. That's an average walking speed of 4.12 km/h. Not ideal, but apparently close to normal: Naver Map, now new and improved, calculates walking time on the assumption that average people walk at a rate of around 4 km/h. Interesting: most hasty Koreans seem to walk at around 6 km/h.

So how'd the walk go? It went well, overall. There were some irritations—hot spots on my feet caused by minor friction inside my shoes. When I got back to my place, I fully expected to see incipient blistering, but there was nothing. My feet were achy even before I began the walk; at this point, I'd say the aches are diabetes-related and caused by overconsumption of sugar. I've experimented with my sugar levels, and less sugar does indeed seem to correlate with reduction of achiness. Like the guy who needs to have a heart attack to figure out he has to straighten out his life, I'm now finding that the fear of losing either or both of my feet to diabetes is motivating me to cut way back on sodas. I can't promise to banish sodas fully from my life, but I can make do with diet sodas and only occasional sugary sodas.

But I digress: the walk went well in terms of pain levels; I took ibuprofen at regular intervals, just as I did during the big walk last year, and this kept the pain from increasing. (I'd been worried about building a tolerance to ibuprofen.) I wore my newfangled hiking socks, and they performed well, as did the orthotic insoles I had pulled from my old size 12s to put inside my size 13s. There's still some friction on the tops of my toes, as well as on the right side of my right pinky toe, but the pain was bearable. As I've gotten into the habit of telling people: I'll keep walking as long as I can stand up and put one foot in front of the other. So the overall "quality of life" during the walk was satisfactory, and I think I've learned that my body can still take this sort of punishment for the month that I'll need to go from Incheon to Busan.

Walking at night is something I've done before—twice when doing the "crazy" sixty-kilometer walk from my place to Yangpyeong. Such walks tend to be quiet, and depending on my route, there are either few to no people or a surprising number of people. On nighttime walks past Hanam to Yangpyeong, the path has generally been empty or sparsely populated; last night, however, the road to Bundang and back had a lot of people on it, and there were only a few scattered moments during which no one was in sight. I was surprised (and if I'm honest, sometimes a bit resentful) to see that many dedicated bikers and walkers out on the path. But who could blame them? Last night was cool—cool enough that the 85% humidity didn't affect the pleasantness of the walk. Some bikers trundled by with their obnoxiously bright headlights on; one dude blasted by on what appeared to be motorized rollerblades; he was wearing powerful lamps on his head, his chest, and even on his knees. Music blasted from speakers strapped to his person, and he was easily the most bombastic thing I saw on the trail all night. Along with bikers and walkers and that one rollerblader, there were people on electric scooters. Another dude was on a uni-wheel scooter that apparently had a super-powerful motor; the guy was bookin'. So I didn't lack for company last night as I lumbered slowly along with my trekking pole. Some fellow walkers, walking briskly, passed me as they marched to whatever their destination was. Some of the older ladies did typically Korean things like clap loudly or sing while walking; one woman repeatedly threw her hands up in the air and behind her head, looking for all the world as if she were summoning tentacled, chthonian creatures from the depths of the earth. Fellow walkers and bikers spanned the spectrum from young to old; when I used to night-hike up Namsan at 3 in the morning, back when I taught at Dongguk University, my fellow walkers were almost always older folks.

The Bundang route is basically a straight shot south, following the Tan Creek, which turns into something like an unnaturally straight canal as it approaches Seongnam City, where the Bundang district is. Much of the path is well-lit by street lamps, but the long stretch that runs a few kilometers next to the air-force base across the creek is lit only by faint green lights set into the middle of the bike path, and weird electric lights at ground level at the path's creekside edge. Those lights tended to turn on and off, doing a little peek-a-boo as I walked past them. Because the nighttime temperature was so cool (in the high 60s Fahrenheit, or 18-20 degrees Celsius), there were almost no insects buzzing around those lights.

I was tired by the time I reached Jeongja Station in Bundang, my halfway point. I did a U-turn and began heading back to my place. The return leg felt a lot longer, I have to say, but at the same time, I was glad to be testing myself this way: this walk was a sort of shakedown cruise for the big walk to come. I took two nighttime photos as I began my walk. Around 5 a.m., toward the end of my trek, the sky began to lighten, and I was finally able to take some more photos. Here they are, for your delectation:


In the above pic and in the one below, I finally answer a question that had been bothering me for a long time: around Christmastime, the tree in these two photos (which is near my apartment building) is covered in electric lights. I had long wondered whether those lights were on the tree all year long. As you see, the official answer is no.


I took the above tree shots barely five minutes after starting my walk, i.e., around 8:45 p.m. Saturday night. Below is a photo taken much later, about three or four kilometers away from my apartment. You see the moon, along with a bright star that is actually Venus, also called the Morning Star (which is a name sometimes applied to Satan):


After 6 a.m., it was bright enough to take pics of some flowers along the final stretch of the walk:


And finally, a shot of that final stretch:


My feet ache, but I can control the pain with my ibuprofen. Strangely, my right foot wasn't swollen before I crawled stinkily into bed this morning, but as of this evening, it's back to being a bit swollen. With the walk totaling over 55,000 steps, I think it's safe to say that whatever stress fracture I suffered this past February has healed strongly. I had no bone-related issues last night. Verdict: all in all, I think my body is ready for the upcoming hike. There will be blisters in my future, but no worse than before. I'll continue to limit my sugar intake in the hopes of losing more weight before my launch date (Saturday, September 26), although I don't expect to lose much. I now have less than two weeks before I'm on the trail; there's still some prep to be done, but there's no need to rush quite yet.

So there you go: all the hiking news that's fit to print.



Tim and Kim: Pool interviews Klacik

Remember Kim Klacik? Tim Pool scored her for an interview, which makes for very interesting viewing:






over 55K steps

Here's the step tally from my all-night walk to Bundang and back, which took me close to nine hours over a distance of 35 kilometers:



So I've now officially walked to Bundang and back. I'll have more to say once I've had a chance to rest. I've canceled the walk later today with my buddy JW; am simply too wiped out to do it.

More soon. With pictures.



Saturday, September 12, 2020

this had to have been made by an American

Your moment of hilarity for the day: "Harry Potter with Guns"!


I love Harry's forehead scar. The gun animation is often janky, but that's part of the humor.

The pandemic has left a lot of bored, smart people with video-editing software plenty of time to labor at the Devil's workshop.



Tim Pool and Bob Woodward's "downplay" nonsense

Trump was apparently caught on audio talking about his desire to "downplay" the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to avoid panics. Here's why that's nowhere near as significant as deluded minds might think:


Bob Woodward got famous for one thing, and that was long ago.



stepping out

I'm going on a long, long walk tonight to Bundang and back. That's about 50,000 steps and around 35 km, i.e., about the distance from Hanam City to Yangpyeong. I'll be starting a bit after 8 p.m. and, presumably, finishing a bit after 5 a.m. Sunday morning. Later on, I'll be doing a roughly 17-km walk with my buddy JW; JW proposed the walk without knowing I'd be doing the round trip to and from Bundang, but I said yes to JW's proposal because that, too, will be part of the test of my feet's endurance. I need to find out whether I can survive two days in a row of punishment; if I can, then I ought to be able to survive a month's worth of walking on the trail to Busan. If not, well...

Tonight, the weather is supposed to be cool and possibly rainy—not my favorite weather to walk in. I'm going, anyway. Wish me luck.



the third gyro

I hope this is a better shot than the previous ones. Here's the third gyro, devoured last night:


No more tzatziki, and no more feta. All gone. I still have plenty of gyro meat, but I made an interesting discovery earlier in the week: gyro meat goes well with dill-flavored comeback sauce, so I can make some very nice lamb sandwiches with the leftover meat.

Oh, yeah: I took that pile of leftover red onion and caramelized it last night. Am not sure who will be eating the onion, but it's there for the taking.



seen online







Styx on election dynamics (and rigging)

This includes a review of all Trump has accomplished despite ruthless, relentless opposition:






"Dune" reactions

The reactions to the "Dune" trailer appeared instantaneously and everywhere. Here are two.

I continue to watch nerdy Charlie at Emergency Awesome:


And here's one of my two go-to movie critics—Jeremy Jahns:






Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday luncheon with gyros

Today's gyros were a hit. I got an "It's really good" from my boss, who normally only ever grunts, "It's good" when he's eating anything I make. My coworkers also enjoyed the meal, and they offered their compliments. Here's a shot of the first gyro I ate:


I surprised myself by eating only two gyros instead of my intended three. The flatbreads were small enough for me to eat three, but for whatever reason, I lost momentum and stopped at two. The wraps were quite delicious, though, so it's certainly not for lack of tastiness that I stopped. The tzatziki once again came out perfectly; I pride myself on doing a pretty good version of it. I rebel against certain cooks' advice to use a grater to shred the cucumbers; I think this is a wasteful mistake: it's better to use a spoon to de-seed the cukes, then to mince them finely into tiny cubes. Mincing disturbs the cell structure far less, and it also preserves the fresh, lively crunchiness of the cukes, i.e., you've created a good texture in your tzatziki. If you follow the path of the shredder, the shredding releases a ton of water from the cukes because you're ripping willy-nilly through the vegetables' cell structure. You're then supposed to gather the shredded cukes up in a cheesecloth or tea towel and squeeze the hell out of them, draining them of their precious life-fluids. Some claim this intensifies the flavor of the cukes; I counter-claim this nullifies the cukes' freshness and crunch. So, yes: I mince. As for the question of salted yogurt releasing the water of the minced cukes: I have never had a problem because I salt my tzatziki very modestly, and my method works every time. I made this particular batch of sauce Wednesday night; on Friday morning, as I was prepping the food before taking it to the office, I popped open the tzatziki to give it a check, and voilà: no pooled water. The sauce had held together exactly as intended. So, there.

I'm not sure why I'm rhapsodizing so much about a Greek-style yogurt-cuke-and-dill sauce. I guess it's a point of pride for me—one of the few things that I do perfectly in the kitchen—and consistently so. Other things that I do turn out slightly different every time, but with tzatziki, it's as if there were some karmic link—between me and the sauce—that guides my hand.

As you see in the pic below, we managed to finish off all the meat I had placed in the skillet, which was only half of the meat I had brought. (Wanna come over?) The tzatziki is mostly gone; I had obviously brought way too much red onion, and the tomatoes and lettuce weren't gobbled as extensively as I'd thought they'd be. There's some feta left over; we all agreed that the cheese was remarkably good: mild and creamy without being too sharp and tangy. I came to the office with 18 flatbreads; I'm not sure how many are left, but I think the supply was reduced by more than half. My Korean coworker grabbed an extra flatbread for himself to eat with some of the vegetables. Nice guy that he is, he let me build my second gyro with the meat that remained in the pan, although I guess I could have heated up another handful of meat, given that I had another kilo of it in a plastic storage box.


And here's my second gyro:


Forgot to mention that we invited the lady staffer two doors down from us to come and share in our meal. She's in her forties and very giggly, but she's also remarkably open-minded about foreign food. She had stopped by before when we were doing Tex-Mex, and she loved the food that day. Today, she came back with a clean plate and thanked me profusely. (I assume she didn't toss my meal in the trash!)

I'm always frustrated by how my phone camera can never pick up the details of the gyro meat itself. This is partly because I insist on cooking the meat until it's crispy on the outside, so it's always dark. But even when I try to offer you a closeup view—


—the meat is still too dark (and, alas, the pic is out of focus... again). Ah, well.

We also had bananas Foster, which my Korean coworker declared was gogeup-shik, i.e., haute cuisine. I smiled at that; despite being boozy, the dessert has never struck me as particularly posh. I didn't serve dessert until an hour had passed after the end of the main meal (my coworkers thanked me for that; they wanted time to digest). The boss observed that the dessert was very sweet, but I don't think he was complaining: he ate his share. Sorry for the lack of bananas-Foster pics, but you've seen this dessert before.

So that was lunch. It was strangely satisfying, even if I didn't eat my third gyro. I still don't have the texture of the meat quite right, but I'll keep working on it.



a mindful 9/11 to you






Thursday, September 10, 2020

à faire ce week-end

We're having our Greek-gyro shindig in the office tomorrow; I've made the tzatziki sauce, and it is glorious. But this coming weekend promises to be busy and a bit harsh:

1. I need to shop for a goat's foot for my trekking pole.
2. I need to concentrate on creating a WordPress blog (I've opted to go with WordPress as opposed to Squarespace so as to avoid having to deal with too many website-related doodads).
3. I need to do that long-ass walk to Bundang and back to see what sort of shape my feet are really in. There's a small chance that I might have to cancel the walk if my feet experience too much pain. More news on this as it happens.

There's other stuff that needs doing, but I can't remember it right now. The price of getting old is unasked-for oblivion, and the awareness that your mind is slowly fraying.



"Dune" 2020: official trailer #1

Behold the trailer for "Dune":


Denis Villeneuve is directing this two-part saga, which may turn into a series of movies following the Dune novels. As I've said before, Villeneuve is the perfect director for this sort of film: he's comfortable with science fiction; he has a sense of the epic; he has a deft human touch when it comes to directing his actors, which leads to better-than-average characterization. I've enjoyed his previous efforts: "Arrival" and "Sicario" and "Blade Runner 2049," all of which showcase his love of a good story and his dedication to his craft. Villeneuve is on record as saying that "Dune" is his dream project: he's been fascinated by the novels since he was a kid. As I wrote in the "Blade Runner" review: Québecois director Denis Villeneuve has earned my trust. I'm expecting big things from "Dune"; this may be the one movie this year that tempts me to see it in an actual theater, just so I can experience its visual magnificence on the big screen. My fear, though, is that I'll be crestfallen at the very end when the words "To Be Continued" appear on the screen. I think Part 2 will be coming out sometime in 2021. I wish it would hurry up; I'm not getting any younger.



slow on the uptake

I'd been wondering whether the debates were even happening, given the state of the nation and Biden's mental decline, but then I just saw this on Wikipedia:

Presidential debates are scheduled to take place September 29, October 15[,] and October 22, 2020. The vice presidential debate is scheduled to take place on October 7, 2020.

So it's on, baby. Let the fun begin!



seen on Instapundit

Instapundit apparently saw this quote on Facebook:






pas de masque, pas de service

Seen on a taxi:






losing white voters, gaining minority voters

Even while he loses white votes to the idiotic "woke" crowd, Donald Trump continues to make more inroads among minorities than any of his Republican predecessors ever did. Biden, meanwhile, keeps losing ground among demographics that traditionally (and blindly) vote Democrat. He continues to lose his marbles as well; Tim Pool humorously relays Joe Rogan's analogy that voting for Biden is like taking a flashlight with almost no battery power into the woods with you for a long nighttime walk.






Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Ave, Matt!

If you haven't been visiting Matt's blog Gusts of Popular Feeling, you've been missing out on an epic adventure that is currently playing out as a series of blog posts: Matt has been relating the story of a Vietnamese man named William Nguyen, who is currently living in Australia, but who spent time in South Korea. Matt's most recent post about William seems to conclude the story (at the very least, it's the conclusion of Nguyen's memoir as related by Matt), but because the blog entry ends somewhat abruptly, it also leaves room for more to be said. It's been a fascinating journey thus far; click the above link, and you'll see, in Matt's post, links to all the previous entries he's written about this one aspect of the arrival of Vietnamese folks on Korean shores. Very much worth your time.



officer needs assistance

Just watch:


Some thoughts:

1. The officer needs some serious training in the principles of grappling. Even after you end up flat on your back in a grappling situation, it's possible to control your opponent when he's in the higher position. Along with being out of shape, this officer was lacking in crucial skills.

2. Cynical commenters over at Instapundit (where I saw this tweet) are saying that the other locals beat up the aggressor not to help the cop but rather to keep their community from being burned down by Antifa rioters should the cop contrive to shoot the aggressor. That could be the case. Such thinking is entirely plausible given current events.

3. Street justice, with or without the use of guns, is becoming more of a thing these days. As long as the police keep pulling back (often at the behest of local politicians who kowtow to the "woke" crowd), we'll increasingly see scenes like this. And they'll only get bloodier.



do you agree?

Styx seems to think the US economy under Trump shows "staggering strength":






Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Tim Pool vs. Michael Malice

Michael Malice made an impression when he appeared on Tim Pool's Timcast IRL podcast. Wikipedia describes the smart, outspoken Malice as "a New York City-based author, anarchist, columnist, and media personality." He had plenty of interesting things to say on Tim's show, and as some commenters wryly observed, he's one of the few guests who managed to put Tim in his place, shutting Tim down every time he tried to do his ego-inflated shtick. Of course, Malice himself hasn't an ounce of humility in him, either, so this was a sort of low-grade battle of the egos. That said, the actual content of the exchange was more important than the ego-jousting subtext. Here are three videos of Pool and Malice talking over a range of interesting topics. First up: how Trump breaks old paradigms:


Next: Malice on "the church of leftism":


My inner religious-studies student perked up during this exchange, which goes deep into the idea that what we're seeing, especially from the far left, has all the trappings of a religion. As when Michael Crichton spoke and wrote about how environmentalism is a religion, the word "religion" is here being used to mean something like "institutional Christianity," even when Tim Pool describes today's leftism as "a nontheistic* religion."

Finally, Pool and Malice discuss the evil nature of The Atlantic:


Sorry for the pun, but the above was all news to me. Malice has apparently done his homework. In one of the above interviews, he also mentioned having "written the book on North Korea," so I'd be curious to look up what he's done. (Ah: he's written a book titled Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography [sic] of Kim Jong-il. See here.)

You'll have noticed that Malice wears a ridiculous propeller beanie during the interview. As he says at one point, the beanie acts as a filtering device to separate deep people from superficial people: if you can't get past the beanie to hear and take seriously the content of what Malice is saying, then sorry, but you're not among the deep.



*My own background in Buddhist studies makes me uncomfortable when people use "nontheistic" in this manner. What regular folks mean by "nontheistic" is probably closer in meaning to a term like "atheistic," i.e., godless. The non- in "nontheistic," however, is taken by those of us in Buddhist studies as referring to a nondualistic reality. The example usually given, to describe a particular philosophical spectrum, is that of the rational, the irrational, and the nonrational. From a dualistic perspective, the first two terms make sense, but the third term makes sense only when you step off (or out of) the bipolar spectrum into a reality that transcends dualistic divisions between this/that, yes/no, you/me, etc. According to that way of thinking, Buddhist tradition and practice point you toward the nontheistic: there is no obvious "yes/no" answer to the question of, for example, whether God exists.



Monday, September 07, 2020

gyro-meat update

I'm back at my place, and I've sliced and cooked a sample of my gyro meat. In a word: awesome. It's tender, and what's more, it crisps nicely in the pan, smells amazing, and tastes the way I want it to taste. As usual, I jazzed up my gyro meat with a Middle Eastern-inflected spice blend: salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, cayenne, chili flakes, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, oregano, basil: gyros by way of North Africa. I emulsified the beef and lamb meat in my food processor by adding a bunch of neutral oil (olive oil may or may not turn bitter when blitzed, so I used soy, then added olive oil after pasting up the meat), plus a bunch of panko to soak up the oil and improve the meat's texture. The panko definitely helped the meat turn crispy very quickly in the skillet. Result: insanely good flavor. And when the meat is matched up with the rest of the gyro elements—even more insanity.



revised vacation calendar

Here's the new and improved, color-coded vacation calendar:


So as you see, I'll be using six comp days to cover a good fraction of the early part of my upcoming vacation. Chuseok and Hangeul Day will cover another four days, and then my paid vacation will kick in during the latter half of October. I currently have 53 comp hours; at 8 hours per day, that's six days that I can take off. The boss said I could take from 9/26 to 10/26 off, but I think I can be in the office again on 10/26, which is a Monday.

Tonight, I'm cutting out of work early, heading back to my place, and test-frying some gyro meat. God help me, I ate two naan flatbreads yesterday. They were both quite good. Imperfect, like last time, but good. They'll work well with the gyro meal.



the Dem implosion continues

Utterly unable to help themselves, the left-Dems continue to rampage, and the leftie news media continue to cover for the rioters, gaslighting in the most obvious way. Much of the American public is savvy enough to understand that this is all bullshit, and by ones and twos, even the Democrats—the sane ones, I mean—are leaving the party they used to trust. Tim Pool talks about what he calls a collapse of support from within the party:






death threat

GOP Congressman Paul Gosar recently received a nasty death threat from a retired teacher named Margaret Kathleen Spangenberg (whose photos make her seem like quite a nice old lady). Here's the text of her voice-messaged threat, which she was (1) stupid enough to leave as a recording after (2) taking no pains to hide herself from caller ID:

"So, the way I see it, since you supported a child rapist who has 65 years of crimes and you are doing shit about Covid, and I've had people die, I think it's totally ok for me to come with my gun and shoot you in the head.

That's what we think of you[,] Mr. Gosar. You're a murderer supporter[,] and you are just going down. Murderer, murderer, murderer supporter, you are going down.

And we’ll make sure we’ll send lots of protestors your way too.

You’re a real big fucking piece of shit."

I had a chuckle at the insult "murderer supporter," which sounds hilariously puerile (Spangenberg is a retired elementary-school teacher). I also had to wonder if Spangenberg wasn't committing the Bane Fallacy. You may recall, in "The Dark Knight Rises," that Bane—the main villain—says to a federal agent threatening a member of Bane's team: "Perhaps he's wondering why someone would shoot a man before throwing him out of a plane." By the same token, is Spangenberg first threatening to shoot Gosar in the head, and then send protestors to his house? She may need help with how to make sensible threats.

Article here (credit to Instapundit). Apparently, Rep. Gosar has been threatened several times before, and no arrests have ever been made. Personally, I think it might be nice to track this old lady down, drag her out onto the street, and administer some tough-love justice.



bread and meat

My gyro meat and naan flatbreads are done. The meat is in loaf shape inside two gallon-sized Ziploc bags, waiting to be sliced and pan-fried. I should probably hack off some of the meat, fry it up, and see whether it passes muster; I'll do that soon.

Later this week, I'll buy a cucumber and make tzatziki. I don't want to make the sauce too early for the Friday shindig, so I'll put it together, say, Wednesday night.

The major prep is now out of the way. I need to crumble my feta—a task that takes only a couple minutes—and slice up my black olives. The lettuce, tomatoes, and red onion will all be prepped Thursday night so they're fresh when I serve everything on Friday. The naan is in the freezer alongside the gyro meat; I'll take it out and thaw it Thursday night.



attack of the Styx

BLM likes creating Trump voters by attacking restaurants:



If you're following alt-media, then you know about this:


Trump is doing what he can to right the ship, but we all need to help by making sure (1) China doesn't fuck things up further, and (2) the misery-loving, America-hating left doesn't blast another hole below the US's economic waterline.



Sunday, September 06, 2020

what gaslighting looks like

Leftist violence? Silly boy—there's no leftist violence going on! It's all righties!

Within the first five minutes of the video below, Tim Pool gives an incredible demonstration of the extent to which the left has hijacked public discourse to push a gaslighting narrative, to wit: the violence on the streets that you've been seeing is all coming from the right. Those of us who rely on alt-media sources know better, of course, but many in the US are still hypnotized by the mainstream media, which is a thoroughly leftist organization.


Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes, including low self-esteem.
Wikipedia

Hold fast, retain your sanity, and do what you can to push back.

ADDENDUM: more gaslighting here: