Thursday, July 16, 2020

Larry Elder's "Uncle Tom" reviewed by Tim Pool et al.

Good discussion of a documentary film by Larry Elder, "Uncle Tom" (an epithet used by liberals and leftists against black conservatives), which just came out as both on-demand video and DVD (I've purchased both formats, and I'll be reviewing the documentary soon).

Do watch this exchange to the very end, even if you do it at 1.75X speed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

seen on YouTube

Here's a joke (found on YouTube) for you physics nerds and physics-nerd wannabes:

Heisenberg, Schrödinger and Ohm are in a car. They get pulled over. Heisenberg is driving, and the cop asks him, "Do you know how fast you were going?"

"No, but I know exactly where I am," Heisenberg replies.

The cop says, "You were doing 55 in a 35." Heisenberg throws up his hands and shouts, "Great! Now I'm lost!"

The cop thinks this is suspicious and orders Heisenberg to pop open the trunk. The cop checks it out and says, "Do you know you have a dead cat back here?"

"We do now, asshole!" shouts Schrödinger. The cop moves to arrest them.

Ohm resists.

Every once in a while, YouTube comments contain some wit. There's still hope in the world. (But my inner cynic whispers that the commenter who wrote that joke under this video probably didn't make it up himself.)

Bertrand Russell to the rescue

With thanks to Michael Gilleland, who quotes some choice bits from the writings of scientist and thinker Bertrand Russell—a man blessed with, according to Wikipedia, many a noble title, including The Right Honourable, Viscount, and, if I'm reading this right, Third Earl Russell. Herr Gilleland often cites old texts that have current relevance, and such is the case here. One Russell quote in particular struck me:

If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. If [someone] maintains that two and two are five, or that Iceland is on the equator, you feel pity rather than anger, unless you know so little of arithmetic or geography that his opinion shakes your own contrary conviction. The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.

Robert Pirsig, author of the 70s classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, noted the same thing: we're most ferocious about the things we're the least certain of. As Pirsig says, no crowds are out there desperately screaming that the sun will rise tomorrow. Contrast that with some of the three-word slogans being shouted right now.

What Russell failed to anticipate, alas, is that subjectivity has crept into the hard sciences and the mathematical disciplines. I've already mentioned, with the help of John Pepple, that the postmodernist school of thought sees rationality as a tool of the white oppressor. Little by little, truth gets deconstructed into nothingness. That way, no one is oppressed, no one is offended... and no one knows anything.

watching Bobby McFerrin

I had a brief moment where I broke down and cried last night. Maybe I have to turn in my man card for confessing that, but that's the unvarnished truth.

I had been emailing and texting back and forth with my brother Sean, the professional cellist, who is on the cusp of moving away from the DC area and to the Chicago suburbs (into what appears to be, according to the real-estate listing, a huge, palatial "ranch"-style house with plenty of interior space, a sun's worth of natural light, four bedrooms, and 2.5 bathrooms). I had emailed Sean a link to a Joe Scott video about the power of music. Scott's video mentioned an old video clip that I had seen years before: the clip was of Bobby McFerrin at a neuroscience conference, demonstrating—with the help of the audience—the instinctive and pancultural nature of the pentatonic scale.

McFerrin framed his demonstration by evoking the concept of "expectations," and he showed what he meant by first singing two or three notes on the pentatonic scale while hopping from spot to spot on the stage as a way of visually representing those notes. McFerrin encouraged the audience to sing the notes he had presented to the audience, and once he got the audience singing a simple tune, he then hopped a bit farther than he had hopped before, i.e., to a spot on the stage representing a note he had not yet taught—and the audience gamely sang the note anyway.

The audience instantly realized something incredible had just happened, and McFerrin paused long enough for the audience to laugh at itself and applaud this discovery: it was an expectation, perhaps wired into the human brain, that if you progress in a certain direction on a pentatonic scale, you'll intuitively know what the next note is.

Now armed with this knowledge, the audience was ready for what McFerrin did next: he hopped back and forth along an imaginary piano keyboard, humming a melody that wove in and through the now-complex sequence of notes the audience was singing in time with his hopping. Incredibly, McFerrin took the audience far up and far down the scale—farther than any of the notes McFerrin had taught his listeners... and there was no problem. Everyone understood, without further prompting, which note to sing.

Here's what I emailed Sean after I had found the video clip on YouTube and rewatched it:

By the way, I found a clip-sized video of Bobby McFerrin's appearance at that neuroscience conference. His entire audience-enhanced performance is on the video. God help me, I actually cried while watching it just now. That caught me by surprise... I wasn't expecting to be moved by the mere rewatching of a short segment I'd seen years ago. But McFerrin's demonstration is such a simple, beautiful, joyful moment of human communion. We could all probably use a bit more of that these days.

I've been angry rather a lot on this blog of late, and I realize I may be contributing to a growing problem rather than helping to solve it. It was good to be reminded that there's always, always more to this world than just anger. There is also beauty, and sometimes that beauty catches us unawares. Here's the brief video that I found and watched last night:

Maybe that clip won't touch you the way it affected me, but I hope it at least puts a smile on your face and makes your day just a little bit better.

Tim Pool on the latest Dem shenanigans

As Pool puts it: the Dems sow chaos and blame Trump for it.

I recently saw a video claiming that, with the way mail-in ballots are working now—i.e., with so many mail-in ballots being rejected or otherwise discounted—the people most likely to be disenfranchised are racial minorities, i.e., blacks, Latinos, etc. In other words, the Dems are pushing for mail-in voting (ostensibly because it's safer during a pandemic), but this is likely to end up suppressing pro-Dem votes. I love the left for its utter obliviousness to irony.

some Patriot Post memes

a new travel companion

Saw this little critter during a walk Tuesday night:

Yes, Poison Girls: that's a crab. Now, I know that there are land hermit crabs and aquatic hermit crabs, but this is the first time I've seen a crab-crab just chilling next to a bike path, sixty kilometers from the ocean. Is it some sort of river crab? Is it a full-on terrestrial crab? I have no clue. Any biologists among my readership should feel free to pipe up right about now. The crab was perfectly still when I happened upon it, so I initially thought it was dead. When I leaned close to get a decent shot of it, though, it started moving. I got a photo before the crab went anywhere (sorry for the blurriness), but my camera's video function doesn't have a "nighttime" mode, so I ended up deleting the crappy footage I managed to shoot.

Tuesday night's walk was the first walk of any significant distance since my toe infection. Only 11,000 steps, but a guy's gotta start somewhere. It was a perfect night for walking: we're in mid-July, but the night was surprisingly cool, and the sky was just scoured by a thunderstorm on Monday, leaving Seoul's air-quality index in the teens and in the green. I'm still thinking about doing a long walk around 1 a.m. this Saturday morning: five hours to Hanam City, then take a 6 a.m.-ish bus back to my neighborhood. If the nights during monsoon season are going to be like this, then I might as well take advantage of that situation.

Tim Pool re: black voters

An angle you don't normally hear:

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Ave, Dr. V!

Dr. Vallicella has a message for people fleeing shithole states like California:

DO NOT come to Arizona! It's just too damned hot here for you snowflakes. And on top of that[,] everybody is packing heat. That's why you don't hear any honking on the highways and byways. "An armed society is a polite society."

We are racist to the core[,] and rattlesnakes are everywhere. There is nothing here but hot sand and dirt[,] lightly covered with some [desiccated] but still prickly-as-hell vegetation. Go elsewhere! Oregon and Idaho would love to have you. Or better yet: wallow in the shit you shat. Enjoy the sanctuary that your sanctimonious silliness has built.

Preach it!

Alas, we're seeing liberal white flight everywhere, and the problem is that these morons will bring their blue-state voting habits with them and create yet more shitholes wherever they go. I'd say "stay the fuck out of Virginia," but at this point, my home state is a lost cause.

bonne fête!

(image credit)

Pour la plupart des Français, il est grand temps de faire la fête! Il y en a qui refusent de fêter cette occasion pour des raisons historiques (arrière grand-père assassiné pendant la Révolution, par exemple), mais en général, le 14 juillet est un moment pour célébrer la France et son crédo, ses valeurs: liberté, égalité, fraternité.

Bien que je ne sois pas d'accord avec la politique gauchiste de la généralité de la population française, j'adore le peuple français—sa culture, sa cuisine, son art, sa joie de vivre—son coeur chaleureux et accueillant. Ce sont les Français qui nous rappellent qu'il faut prendre le temps de s'amuser, de respirer, d'apprécier les choses, et de ne pas trop prendre la vie au sérieux. Mais paradoxalement, tout comme avec la philosophie du bouddhisme zen, la culture française met l'accent sur l'idée que, quoique l'on fasse dans la vie, il faut le faire d'une manière profonde. Nous, les Américains (et les Coréens aussi d'ailleurs!), on peut beaucoup apprendre des Français à cet égard.

Donc je lève mon verre en hommage à la France. Bon anniv! Et vive la liberté!

two views of the "Boycott Goya" movement

CNN: Goya Foods boycott takes off after its CEO praises Trump

Here's one big, fat lie from the above-linked article:

Trump began his campaign by criticizing Mexican immigrants for being "rapists" and bringing drugs into the United States. He has spent much of his presidency trying to build a wall along the southern US border and enacted a policy that separated children from parents when they were apprehended at the border.
First: "Mexican immigrants" makes it sound as if Trump were criticizing legal immigrants. The people Trump was criticizing were and are illegal border-crossers, not immigrants. There is nothing legal about what those people have been doing, so gracing them with the term "immigrant" is a flat-out lie. Trump, in that speech, was targeting a very specific demographic, and while we're on the topic, any reference to "Mexicans" is not a reference to race: the term "Mexican" doesn't designate a race, for Mexico, as a country, is racially and ethnically diverse. To think "Mexican" is a racist term is itself a racist way of thinking. Second, Trump isn't "trying to build a wall"—he's actually building it, and he has put up a couple hundred miles already (somewhat misleading source here; an arguably better source is here).* Third, CNN fails to note that Obama's family-separating policies were worse, and that much of the supposed "family separation" on Trump's watch has had to do with removing children from the clutches of child traffickers. CNN is an utterly shameless pile of garbage.

While CNN lies, the Victory Girls speak the truth: #BoycottGoya Fails Spectacularly

Background: Goya is a hugely popular brand known especially for its Latin-themed canned-food products (NB: Goya does more than just Latin food). I've bought plenty of Goya in my time, and it's a brand I implicitly trust—not because the food is awesome, per se, but because it's dependably good. Anyway, the CEO of Goya Foods is Robert Unanue, and he recently went on video and on the record (during a White House visit) to praise President Trump, whom Unanue described as a fellow "builder." Certain prominent Latinos took notice and took offense, and the #BoycottGoya movement was born.

I have no idea how many folks in the Latino community might seriously boycott Goya, but at a guess, the percentage will be low, partly because so many folks rely on Goya as a mainstay, and partly because US Latinos, taken as a group, aren't nearly as leftist as Latinos throughout the rest of the world. The Cuban community in Miami, for example, is as likely to vote Republican as it is to vote Democrat because those good folks know what real communism and socialism look like: they experienced it firsthand, and that's why they got the hell out of Cuba. Many of these Cuban-Americans look with horror at the creeping leftism overtaking so much of American culture, and they will do their utmost to preserve their hard-won (and well-deserved) freedoms. It's hard to see #BoycottGoya succeeding.

*If you're imagining a hundred-foot-tall, solid wall with machine-gun towers every hundred feet, then you have no idea what the wall currently looks like. Several companies are quietly working on the wall, each building according its own standards and using its own resources (although always in concert with what the president wants). So Trump's border wall isn't a single, unified, standardized thing; it's a patchwork of different styles of barrier. Note, too, that "putting up the wall" entails shoring up barriers that have been in place along the border since before Trump took office. Wherever fencing might be found, for example, better fencing is being put up. It's also important to realize that there are parts of the US-Mexico border where no wall is necessary. In such rough terrain, no plans have been made to build sections of the wall; that would be a waste of money, time, and effort. Trump has quietly done an end-run around Congress (especially the recalcitrant, Democrat-dominated House of Representatives) to get this project started. It is now entirely plausible that the wall will be finished by the end of Trump's second term. If all you read and listen to are mainstream-media sources, you'll have no idea that any of this has been going on right under your nose.

Monday, July 13, 2020

when Allen West speaks, I listen

If you're a racist who believes all black folks ought to vote Democrat, I give you Allen West:

Hope you learned something about black folks. They're not cookie-cutter Democrats.

Styx on the sheer nerve of hat-in-hand Minnesota

Allow your state to turn into a riot-ridden shithole, then beg the federal government for funds to repair the damage you, in your idiocy, allowed:

I agree: it's good that Trump said no to doling out funds.

ADDENDUM: here's Tim Pool, reacting to the same chain of events:

Commas, Part 7

Commas, Part 1
Commas, Part 2
Commas, Part 3
Commas, Part 4
Commas, Part 5
Commas, Part 6

You've doubtless heard of adjectives, eh? They're the words that modify (by which we most often mean describe) nouns. The word big in the phrase the big dog is an adjective. The word horny in the phrase the horny dog is also an adjective.

But what about the big horny dog? Should that be written with a comma between the two adjectives?

Yes. Yes, it should. But why?

Welcome to the world of stacked adjectives. They come in two main forms:

coordinate adjectives
cumulative adjectives

Think of it this way: let N be a noun, and let A1 and A2 be two coordinate adjectives. This is the situation we see with big, horny dog.

A1 = big
A2 = horny
N = dog

→ a (A1, A2) N = a (big, horny) dog

In a coordinate-adjective situation, the two adjectives have equal status, but more important: each adjective directly modifies the noun, hence the need for a comma to separate the equal-status adjectives. So to break this down logically: saying "big, horny dog" is like saying, "The dog is big, and the dog is horny." The independent clauses on either side of the and have equal weight, and just as you can separate two independent clauses with a comma-conjunction, you should separate your coordinate adjectives with a comma. In other words:

A1 modifies N, and
A2 also modifies N.

In a cumulative-adjective situation, as with the phrase horny police dog, the adjective farthest away from the noun modifies both the closer adjective and the noun. So when we speak of a "horny police dog," we are not saying "The dog is horny, and the dog is police." We are only saying that "the police dog is horny." So the cumulative-adjective logic looks like this:

A1 modifies both A2 and N, and
A2 only modifies N.

Or for you coder types, we could use "nested" logic:

A1(A2 + N) [i.e., "horny" modifies both "police" and "dog": it's a horny(police dog), not a (horny police)dog—a dog employed by horny policemen]

This may strike certain grammar scolds as a weird thing to say because we've all been taught that adjectives can't modify adjectives: only adverbs can modify adjectives (e.g., "Those're some awfully big titties, there, Jethro."). Well... consider this a not-so-rare exception to that sacred rule. It happens every time there are cumulative adjectives.

There may be times when it's unclear whether you're dealing with coordinate or cumulative adjectives. In such cases, it's fine to make a judgment call, but in many cases, it's not. I wrote a post on this topic back in 2015. In that post, I quoted Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. the Grammar Girl, who offered the following interesting locution: exquisite custom houseboat. As my post title from 2015 asks: to comma, or not to comma? Is the adjective pair exquisite custom an example of coordinate or cumulative adjectives? Hint: is it proper to say the houseboat is exquisite and custom? If the answer is no (and it is no), then you're looking at cumulative adjectives, so there should be no comma. The basic rule, then, is:
Coordinate adjectives take a comma between them;
cumulative adjectives don't.
Simple enough, I hope?

In the comments section or on a different writing surface, rewrite the following sentences with commas if needed. Do not rewrite if there's nothing to correct. Highlight the space between the brackets to see the correct answers.

1. Barton entered the malodorous chow hall, hungry despite the reek of bull testicles.
2. Breasts flapping defiantly in the gale, Wonder Woman aimed her thunder-spear directly at Death Rhino's ponderous dangling scrotum.
3. Whining putrescent lovers of central planning can eat my nasty leprous crotch.
4. The nimble battle cruiser Penetrator slipped past the oblivious enemy fleet, launching behind it a clutch of deadly sexual-arousal torpedoes.
5. My bloated disgusting cat desperately needs to follow the keto diet.

[1. Barton entered the malodorous chow hall, hungry despite the reek of bull testicles.
2. Breasts flapping defiantly in the gale, Wonder Woman aimed her thunder-spear directly at Death Rhino's ponderous, dangling scrotum.
3. Whining, putrescent lovers of central planning can eat my nasty, leprous crotch.
4. The nimble battle cruiser Penetrator slipped past the oblivious enemy fleet, launching behind it a clutch of deadly sexual-arousal torpedoes.
5. My bloated, disgusting cat desperately needs to follow the keto diet.

another leftist self-contradiction revealed

Dr. John Pepple is always intelligent, but every once in a while, he's witty, too. Regarding leftist pro-lockdown, anti-freedom hysteria about the pandemic, Pepple writes the following (emphasis added):

Yet, leftists in my area are taking [the pandemic] seriously, and some have even gotten quite hysterical about it. Some of these people are in their 30s, and I have to wonder exactly what they are worried about. What percentage of people in their 30s have died? Mighty few. Are they worried about permanent damage from getting ill? That might be reasonable, but no, that doesn’t seem to be their concern. They are worried that they will get it, and that then they will die. Do these people understand statistics at all? They quote facts at me (“the number of cases is going up”), and then ignore the facts about who is most likely to die. Or they quote facts at me and make extrapolations, and when I point out that I made an extrapolation about Sweden that didn’t pan out, they don’t seem to get it because “the scientists have spoken, so that’s that. You don’t want to be anti-science, do you?” Well, actually, since science is a construct of white supremacists, maybe I should be anti-science. Heh.

That's a very good point. The idea of science and rationality as tools of oppression comes right out of postmodernist humanities academe. For PoMo folks, rationality led to huge piles of corpses during the twentieth century, thanks to science's role in developing and honing the technologies of war. Forget the fact that blaming science in this way is as stupid as blaming religion for the sins committed in its name: the root causes of human evil go much deeper than mere systems and institutions, straight to the human heart. But Pepple's post hilariously highlights that the left's own position doesn't stand up to scrutiny: on the one hand, the left (largely thanks to PoMo) derides science as a tool of the white oppressor; on the other hand, the left uses "science" as a cudgel to bash the "anti-science" right. The left has trouble seeing its own hypocrisy in this case, as in many others. Selective alliance with "science" never ends well when it comes to intellectual and moral rigor.

debt report

A month or so ago, I broke through the psychologically significant barrier of $10,000 remaining on my scholastic debt (consider that my total debt was at—according to revised calculations—around $100,000). I now have about $8,500 to pay down, and at a rate of $2,500 per month (I send home about $3,000 to cover other expenses as well), I can have this paid down in four calendar months. That's four more months of belt-tightening pain to endure, and if I decide to take a long walk down to Busan this October (I'm currently negotiating with my boss), I won't be sending any big bucks to the States during that month because I'll need funds for the walk itself. A lovely vacation will prove to be an obstacle.

It bothers me to be this late in paying down this debt, but life got in the way, and yes, even my budget has been affected in gross and subtle ways by the pandemic, which has reshaped all our lives. But I'm still on course to be debt-free soon. I might be celebrating later than planned, but I'll be celebrating all the same, and once I'm out of the woods, I'll take stock of my future.

Wow. Four more payments to go.

new pasta roller ordered

Having rather quickly given up on the idea of an in-Korea search, I've ordered a substantially more expensive pasta roller from I've also ordered more paprika, oregano, and bottled powdered garlic. In my iHerb basket, I've got a 16-ounce bag of whole fennel seeds poised to be ordered, but I'm holding off on that for the moment.

It's a bit sad to say goodbye so soon to my current pasta roller, but if it's already starting to jam on me, then I have little choice but to replace it with something that will, I hope, turn out to be better machined and sturdier.

I may be sick of lasagna, but I'm curious to try making other types of pasta, like ravioli, bow tie, and cappelletti/tortellini. Expect more photos as I continue to experiment.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

bipolar Tim Pool swings Trumpward again


Tim Pool is aware of his own vacillation between the poles of "Trump is sure to win big" and "Trump is likely to lose." He claims it's a one-time-only oscillation from Trump-optimism to Trump-pessimism caused by SARS-CoV-2 and the current riots. I disagree: Pool has produced a series of videos that clearly alternate in their view of Trump's electoral prospects. This is why Pool is constantly called a "fence-sitter" or a swallower of "the world's slowest red pill." Only a day or so ago, Pool was moaning about Trump's chances—not because he likes Trump, mind you, but because Joe Biden represents a far worse alternative. In the following video, though, Pool once again skews cautiously op-Tim-istic in his view of Trump's chances.

Make up your mind, Tim, and commit to a position.

officially sick of lasagna now

One last lasagna hurrah:

I had a little bit of cheese mix left, plus many more sheets of my pasta. I also had some leftover meatballs, plus the remaining half-bottle of some Ottogi-brand spaghetti sauce. My leftover cheese mix (a combination of shredded parm, mozz, and heavy cream, with garlic powder and parsley) was meager enough that I had to reach into my freezer to grab my Costco "Mexican" brand of shredded cheese, along with some yogurt to make the mixture spreadable. I boiled four pasta sheets and stacked my final personal-sized lasagna in a Korean-style fired-clay naembi (visible in the above photo). No salami or pepperoni this time—just straight-on beef from the meatballs. As personal-sized lasagnas go, this one was a bit of a monster ("Sagnamon"? "Zanyamon"?), but after I took it out of the oven, it cooled and deflated a bit, looking less monstrous as a result. The taste was okay, despite the generic bottled sauce and the pre-shredded cheese that no sane chef recommends, but having eaten lasagna three damn days in a row, I think I'm done with lasagna for the next little while.

when a correction isn't a correction

My buddy Tom is a good fellow, but he's in the grip of Trump Derangement Syndrome. This means he often opens verbal and text conversations with something new about Trump—mostly links to articles offering utterly useless critiques of the president (e.g., "Trump gave a speech without wearing a mask!"). The usual garbage sources get cited: CNN, The Huffington Post, etc. I sigh and give Tom's links a cursory read. Occasionally, I'll react to them, but always in a low-key, detached manner. Today, Tom sent a screen shot of a tweet that he thought was witty, and I guess because it had a language-Nazi tone, he thought I'd get into it:

So I texted Tom back the following reply:

Greenfield is probably right about Trump Jr.'s not being very grammatically astute. I'd bet that the book was either ghost-written or heavily edited.

That said, the title is technically fine in the singular. English has a tradition of using the singular when people would normally use a plural. Brad Pitt's character in "Inglourious Basterds" says something like, "The German will come to fear us" instead of, "Germans will come to fear us." One of the textbooks we're working on at DYB has a reading passage about a bird: "The fulmar vomits at its attacker in self-defense," not "Fulmars vomit..." We write "Father's Day" (singular form) even though the holiday is for all fathers, etc.

Think of it this way: when you see a singular noun being used in a plural sense, add the adjective "typical" in front of it to understand the intended meaning:

● The typical German will come to fear us.
● The typical fulmar vomits at its attacker.
● (The Typical) Father's Day

And by that logic:

● The Typical Democrat's Defense of the Indefensible

If the complaint is one of clarity, then yeah, maybe putting the apostrophe in the plural position might've eliminated nitpicks like Greenfield's. But from a proofreader's perspective, Greenfield's snarky tweet is an unnecessary "correction," which makes him look foolish. Surely there are more substantive things to criticize than Republicans' inability to write. (And I'd agree that GOP pols often seem consistently unable to string words together in a mistake-free way. This goes back at least as far as Reagan, whose personal letters show he was English-challenged.)

Tom wrote back: "That is one hell of an explanation!" Cryptically, he added, "Too many exceptions, methinks." I'm not sure what he means by that, but Tom often writes in a way that only he understands. Heh.

As for Greenfield's non-correction... I feel the same irritation that I feel when a commenter "corrects" me when I'm not wrong. This time, though, there's that political dimension: Tom thought another blow had been struck against the Trumps, but no: Jeff Greenfield only succeeded in beclowning himself.

(NB: Greenfield's incorrect "it's tree" is doubtless a deliberate mockery of Trump Jr.'s supposed gaffe; I'm pretty sure that Greenfield is smart enough to know the difference between "its" and "it's." That said, Greenfield's deliberate error is more a matter of diction [word choice] than of grammar, so he might still be guilty of a dumb mistake here.)

Ethan vs. Chef John: \ foʊˈkɑ tʃə \

Here are two videos showing how to make focaccia, one of Italy's most famous breads. The first is from Ethan Chlebowski, to whose channel I have now subscribed. The second is from my old standby, Chef John, to whom I've been subscribed for years. Based on looks alone, I can tell you which focaccia I'd rather be eating. For whom would you vote?

good riddance, fuckers

(via Instapundit)

Florida homeowner shoots 3 intruders, 2 fatally: sheriff

(Homeowner was exercising his Second Amendment right to defend himself, sheriff says)

A teen was facing charges for a would-be armed home invasion robbery in Florida in which his two accomplices were shot and killed and he was wounded, authorities said.

The person who shot them was the homeowner victim who had a gun and used it to defend himself when he encountered the intruders in his home in Wesley Chapel shortly before 1 a.m. Friday, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

“The victim in this case was exercising his Second Amendment right to protect himself in his home,” Nocco said.

Luis Casado, 21, and Khyle Durham, 21, were shot as they walked down a narrow hallway toward the homeowner, the sheriff said. They had guns and covered their faces with black masks.

Jeremiah Trammel, 19, was shot after Casado and Durham went down, Nocco said. He said he ran out of the house as the homeowner went to get another gun to replace the one he had because it jammed.

Nocco said Trammel didn't get far. A neighbor with a gun caught him and then held him until deputies arrived.

Haw haw.


My goal, for the past two weeks, has been to get rid of leftovers. After the lasagna I just made, I had a leftover cheese mix, leftover meatballs, leftover pasta, and some spare salami and pepperoni. So why not buy a bottled tomato sauce and make a mini-lasagna?

The cheese topping might have come out better this time:

I inserted more pasta into the lasagna this time, but when the thing was done baking, I had to figure out how to get it out of its container (would've been a shame to eat it right inside the baking dish without being able to enjoy the sight of a nicely stacked mini-lasagna). I ran a knife around the circumference and turned the baking dish over, resulting in an upside-down lasagna over which I sprinkled some Grana Padano:

Not bad, overall, but if I do this again, I won't bother with strongly flavored meats like salami and pepperoni. The meatballs (which I crumbled) will be enough. I might, in fact, have enough leftover material to make yet another mini-lasagna. If so, I'll do it right this time.

my first time listening to Tucker Carlson

This may be the very first time I've actually sat through a talk by Fox News talking head Tucker Carlson. Carlson generally gets praise from the right for his outspoken opinion pieces. Here he is below, talking about how elements on the left don't want Joe Biden to debate Donald Trump (at least, not without saddling Trump with all sorts of onerous preconditions):

Assessment: Carlson doesn't sound all that different from the alt-media sources I listen to, so I don't think he adds much, if anything, to the current discussion. He has a huge platform thanks to his status as a Fox News bigwig, but the content of his rhetoric is no more or less cogent, informative, or intelligent than anything I've already seen. I'll give Carlson credit for not sounding as loud and obnoxious as righties like Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Alex Jones—all people I studiously ignore. But is that high praise?

is the US dissolving?

Tim Pool wonders aloud whether we, as the US, are at the end of our collective rope:

"The Supreme Court just gave away half of Oklahoma." That's pretty stark. And as Pool notes in the video, this sets a very ominous precedent. The US is being eaten from within. All is cancerous now.

linguistic geekery

An interesting tour through the pronunciation of food names with Adam Ragusea:

The comments below the video point out several humorous hypocrisies. Since Ragusea has a background in journalism, a certain measure of hypocrisy isn't surprising.

A few quick remarks:

1. I agree that it's hypocritical to reject pretentiousness and then invent something called "Ragusea's Law," even if I think the law makes sense.

2. Ragusea's pronunciation of the French "le McDo" is wrong. He says, "le mack dooh," but en réalité, the French say, "le mack doh." This is another example of how journalists don't do their homework and end up reporting falsehoods.

3. In Italian, the "ch" combination sounds like a "k," hence "bru-SKEHT-dah" for bruschetta.* To pronounce the "sch" sound in a provocatively German way might raise hackles in Italy, even if Benito and Adolf were buds. (Italy and Germany were enemies in WWI.)

*And the Italian word for "why" is perché, pronounced "pair-kay."

Saturday, July 11, 2020

pissed off at Tim Pool

In the following video, Tim Pool hectors his friend Adam Crigler. This isn't a new state of affairs; Pool often comes off as overly intense and way too arrogant. He's routinely dismissive of Adam's opinions. I've written before about men and their tendency toward oneupsmanship; Tim's attitude and language make for the perfect example of the sort of dickhead mode of discourse that we guys fall into. With Tim, his replies to Adam are always along the lines of, "But the real point is..." or "But what you're not getting is that..." He's dismissive, he's arrogant, and in my opinion, he's not a very good or respectful listener.

So having had enough, I wrote an angry comment beneath the video (please pardon my awkward Korean; Pool often talks about his quarter-Korean heritage, so I thought I'd test his Korean knowledge with a little peep-to-peep message):

[I tried writing a comment before, but it got deleted. I assume this is because I either (1) hit a nerve, or (2) left a URL (to my own blog) in the comment, and the algorithm swooped in and ate everything. So here's try #2.]

야—친구한테 싸가지 없는 새끼 처럼 행동하면 안 돼! 전쟁 날 때 곁에 싸울 사람이 누구일까, 어?
Hey—don't be a dick to your friends. When the war happens, who's gonna be fighting alongside you, huh?

You like talking about a coming civil war, but if one is really coming, you're going to want your closest mates in the foxhole with you. What's their motivation to fight alongside you if you're so insecure that you constantly have to be the smartest guy in the room? Acting that way doesn't make you seem smart: it makes you seem stupid and petty. You're better than that, and Adam and Lydia both deserve better from you. So stop dialing your intensity up to a self-righteous 11 (as you accuse others of doing), calm the fuck down, and show those good people some respect. Lay down the good karma now, Tim; you'll benefit from it when the shit hits the fan. And be happy that Adam is your friend; he's a much better man than I. If you spoke that dismissively and arrogantly toward me, you wouldn't have any teeth left.
—a fellow part-Korean peep

NB: if this comment also gets deleted, I'm going to keep reposting it until it sticks.

Yeah, I was angry. I admit it. And I generally like Tim's videos, but every once in a while, I have to step back and take a breath because Pool is always cranked up to 11. He's intense and often full of righteous anger, while also seeming to vacillate in his views of Trump and conservatism. Maybe Tim Pool is best taken in small doses. I recently unsubscribed from all of his channels so that my daily queue isn't flooded with a torrent of his videos. I still watch his stuff, but now, I pick and choose what I watch instead of feeling obliged to watch everything. This is a much better arrangement, psychologically speaking.


To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
—Abraham Maslow, misquoted

To a man with his head up his ass, everything looks like a colon polyp.
—Kevin Kim, polyp-biter

Friday, July 10, 2020

Styx on why he's not voting for Biden

Styx offers five reasons for not pulling the lever for Biden:

lasagna: gone

The lasagna was a hit, and it's now all gone. We four guys ate about 90% of it right there in the office; everyone had two servings. What was left was taken home by my Korean coworker, who called his wife and asked whether it'd be okay to bring home some more of my food (he had taken some some leftover spaghetti sauce last time). He told me that his wife shouted, "What're you asking me for? Just bring it home!" I consider that a compliment. And I think I may have a fan of my cooking outside the office now.

I had brought along the extra pasta, some sprinkling cheese (Grana Padano, a mild cousin of Parmigiano-Reggiano), and the lasagna itself, which was a heavy bastard. I'm actually shocked we all ate as much as we did—especially my boss, who is as big a guy as I am, but who doesn't seem to eat that much. (He's nine years older than I am, so he may have learned some prandial life-lessons that I have yet to learn, e.g., how to pace oneself.)

When I tried to pull the lasagna out of my oven during this morning's final bake, the wire rack inside the oven suddenly collapsed (that's never happened before), probably because of the awkward way that I'd been tugging the rectangular baking pan out of the oven. The lasagna fell with a heavy clunk, finding itself at an awkward angle. It had been put together very sturdily, though, so only a tiny bit of grease from the red sauce leaked out. I managed to extricate the lasagna before anything horrible happened (all without burning myself), and then I turned the lasagna around and reinserted it so that the surface of the dish would be evenly heated (I love how my oven has top burners that can function like a broiler; thanks, Charles). A few minutes later, and the lasagna was done. I left it in the oven to cool down a bit; in the meantime, I prepped for work. Disaster averted. In the picture below, however, you can see the wrinkling in the top cheese layer, caused by the lasagna's drunken lean inside the oven:

My apologies for the ugly shot that follows, but here's my plate, with a partially eaten first serving of lasagna on it:

The whole thing looks like a horrible, bloody mess, but I have to say that it tasted pretty good. My American coworker, the one whose wife is a chef, declared my lasagna better than the one his wife had made.* She apparently belongs to the Béchamel school of thought, but my coworker further complained that she had mixed together her cream sauce and her meat sauce before assembling the lasagna, and he didn't like the diluted effect that such mixing produced. I saw a photo of my coworker's wife's lasagna, and I told him it looked gorgeous. He made a face and complained about taste and texture. Not having eaten the Missus's lasagna, I'm in no position to judge it. All I can affirm is that it looked mighty fine.

In other news: my pasta roller already seems to be dying on me. It's a cheap piece of crap, and I really ought to shell out for a better roller. I'll see what I can find by shopping around here in Korea as opposed to relying on GMarket or other local online providers. I might try Amazon if I'm desperate; we'll see. My roller is still usable, but I just can't use the three widest settings on it without it seizing up on me while I'm turning that crank. Very annoying.

This turned out to be an eight-layer monster. Here's how the layers went, from bottom to top:

1. meat sauce (leftover spaghetti sauce)
2. pasta
3. cheese mix (mozz, parm, romano, garlic powder, parsley)
4. meat sauce (leftover spaghetti sauce)
5. pasta
6. cheese mix (mozz, parm, romano, garlic powder, parsley)
7. meat sauce (leftover spaghetti sauce)
8. one final sprinkle of a mozz/parm combo

Somehow, it all remained inside the baking pan. Getting the pan into my No Brand heavy-duty shopping bag proved to be a chore, but I managed to do it without spilling anything or burning my fingertips. Lugging the bag to work was a chore, though; as I wrote earlier, the lasagna was pretty damn heavy. It was a bit like carrying two gallons of milk. How'd we eat all that?

The homemade pasta tasted pretty good, even on its own. I now have what I consider a standard formula or recipe for pasta: one medium egg per 100 grams of flour, one pinch of salt per 100 g of flour, and one "glug" of olive oil per 300 g of flour. I saw some online chatter about not putting salt in your pasta because the salt crystals can tear up the dough when you roll everything out flat. That confuses me, though: if the salt dissolves, even partially, when it combines with the moisture of the eggs and the oil, craggy salt crystals shouldn't be a problem. Am I missing something? I haven't suffered any torn dough yet, so I feel that the warning about salt can be safely ignored. If you've suffered a salt-related pasta disaster, send me pictures as proof of the danger. I'd really like to see this problem up close.

Anyway, the process of making this lasagna was rather lengthy, but overall worth it. I finally got rid of my extra meat sauce, and the meal made a few people a little happier. I now have a lot of extra pasta to deal with; luckily, I have some leftover cheese mixture and some pesto. In my apartment building's downstairs grocery, they sell prosciutto, so I might buy some of that and see what sort of mischief I can make with all these carby leftovers. Onward and upward.

*To be fair, she was trained to cook Korean and Japanese food. She's very interested in Western food, but for her, that's more about tentative exploration than deep dedication to proper form and technique. As I noted before, though, her red-velvet cake was bang-on delicious. I think she's making an effort to be as true as possible to the Western dishes she encounters. It's too bad, really: my coworker doesn't read my blog, so he has no idea I'm praising his wife's cooking off in some obscure corner of the internet.

lasagna: the build

Thursday night, I rolled out pasta sheets and made a lasagna, which I then par-baked. I'll finish the monster Friday morning; it needs another 30-40 minutes of cooking before I lug it into work. It's an almost literal monster for sure; I wonder how much it weighs.

Below: me and my pasta sheets:

How's it hangin'?

A closer look:

Top rack:

I've taken the sheets off the rack and have begun the boil-and-shock process described in Adam Ragusea's video. This involves boiling the pasta sheets for two minutes, then moving them immediately into a bath of ice water. Once the sheets have cooled, they need to be moved onto clean towels (Scott brand paper towels, in my case) and patted dry. Once dried and rested for a few minutes, the sheets are ready for stacking inside the lasagna.

Here's the boil:

Here's a wide shot of the assembly line:

I had brought out my meat sauce and cheese mixture to allow them to reach room temperature for maximum spreadability:


Pan: buttered.

Below, the build begins: sauce, pasta, cheese, repeat. I managed only seven layers, which meant only two layers of pasta. Since I had so much spare pasta, I wrapped it up and will take it along with me in case there's any whining from the crew about a lack of pasta: I'll simply boil the spare sheets and slap one on my charges' plates.

I had envisioned making twelve sheets of pasta: four sheets times three layers. The sheets ended up being larger than what I needed, and I discovered that I needed only three sheets per layer, plus the little trimmed bits to cover any exposed spots. Here's the build, in progress:

Nearly done:

Spare sheets, wrapped and ready:

A wide shot of the final product, topped with a mixture of el-cheapo Parmesan and low-moisture mozzarella (which is also the el-cheapo kind):

Lastly, the food-porn shot:

The idea was to par-bake the lasagna before I went to sleep, then to bake it the rest of the way just before going to work. I'll have shots of the final product later on Friday.

three via Bill

Bill Keezer links to the following images:


Seoul mayor Park Won-soon has been found dead in a forest. He was 64. My buddy Mike actually broke the news to me around 1 a.m., Seoul time, via text message, so I found out about Park from an American source. Apparently, authorities had been looking for Park since he'd been reported missing by his daughter. He disappeared a day after allegations of sexual harassment had surfaced against him. Park, when he went missing, had turned off his phone and had reportedly left a "will-like" note, which was found by his family.

Park's mayoralty didn't register much in my consciousness. Unlike previous Seoul mayor Lee Myung-bak (who became president of South Korea, then got taken down for corruption and imprisoned in the wake of President Park Geun-hye's own imprisonment), Park didn't have any grandiose pet projects to offer the people, e.g., Lee's restoration of the Cheonggye Creek in downtown Seoul, or the possible building of a Seoul-to-Busan canal (Lee was obsessed with waterways, I guess). According to certain news articles, Mayor Park had received praise for his local handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Seoul. I don't know the extent to which Seoul—which is the seat of South Korea's national government—is run by the mayor's government or by the federal government, but if the Seoul-based handling of the pandemic has been mostly the work of Mayor Park, then I offer sad and belated praise for his light touch.

At a guess, Park's death was a suicide—maybe by hanging, maybe by a long fall. ROK Drop, linked twice above, speculates that Park may have pulled a Noh Mu-hyeon. You'll recall that President Noh, in the midst of his own corruption scandal, went for a walk in 2009 and ended up plummeting off a local cliff.* I imagine we'll learn more over the next few weeks, and my inner cynic predicts that this issue will be immediately politicized. I had hoped that, by living in Korea, I could have avoided the insanity gripping Western countries like the US and the UK, but South Korea looks to be on the precipice of teh krazee. I hope I'm wrong.

There's way too much urgent news to keep track of these days; culture continues to accelerate, spinning itself ever tighter and tighter. I often wonder whether it's better simply to say "fuck it" and just unplug from it all. The world will continue on its merry gyration; people will continue to be varying degrees of kind and cruel, smart and stupid. Same shit, different day, right? Meanwhile, Seoul's mayor is dead, and things are going to get interesting. Maybe Korea will go nuts, or maybe this country will once again offer an amazing display of surprisingly civilized behavior—as happened during the Park Geun-hye demonstrations, and as has been happening as the country deals with the Wuhan Virus pandemic.

*Suicide is regarded very differently in East Asia than it is in the West. Part of this has to do with the difference between a "guilt" culture and a "shame" culture. In anthropological circles, guilt is seen as a private condition—something between you and your conscience, or between you and God. Either way, the focus is on the individual, and on individual integrity. In a guilt culture, how you act, even when you know no one is looking, matters ethically. In shame cultures, such as those in East Asia and the Middle East, shame is a public emotion that has everything to do with how society regards you. Your self-worth is measured by how the public views you; your "honor" is very much linked to things like your social status/position and your reputation. How you look externally is more important than who you are internally. Look dignified, and you have dignity. If, in reality, you're a criminal, then just don't get caught.

In such societies, which also tend to be group-first in orientation, ejection from the group is tantamount to death: to be cut off from the hive is to be shorn of all that makes one human. Sustained disapprobation is little different from outright physical rejection, according to the shame-culture point of view. And that's why suicide is a plausible out: one does much to recover one's honor by voluntarily paying the ultimate price for having fallen in status. Who, after all, can question the sincerity of one's remorse when one is willing to expiate one's sins by dying? Such self-sacrifice does much to restore the honor of the dishonored. To an Easterner, then, Western notions of suicide as selfish, cowardly, and overly rash ("a permanent solution to a temporary problem," as Westerners like to say) make little sense.

But as much as my above explanation of the two cultures might seem to favor the guilt-culture orientation, I sometimes wish American politicians were more East Asian: American pols (and American celebrities, too, for that matter), when their corruption is exposed, simply puff themselves up and deny any wrongdoing, stubbornly clinging to their twisted, abominable, delusional worldview. Facing the opprobrium of the masses is no problem for leprous souls with no conscience. American politicians (and celebrities) would never consider suicide as a way out—perhaps because, like other Westerners, they see suicide as a coward's solution. Me, I think such politicians are cowards for not opting to run themselves through, to dive off a cliff, or to hang themselves. They could learn from the Koreans.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

to boil, or not to boil?

I'm making lasagna pasta for tomorrow's lasagna (which is itself an effort to get rid of a ton of spare red sauce I'd made over a week ago). The question is whether to boil the fresh, flexible pasta before building the lasagna. Answers vary, and there are vocal adherents of both schools of thought. Right now, I'm leaning toward the "yes, boil it" camp, which argues that the pasta gains a bit of bite and resistance (and, therefore, texture) through the act of boiling it (and, according to some, the act of letting the boiled pasta sit for a bit before you begin stacking your lasagna layers). The most convincing video I've seen on the subject comes from Adam Ragusea ("rah-GOO-see-uh," not "ragù say," as I'd been mentally pronouncing the surname):

The "no, don't boil" camp appears in these search results.

seen at Instapundit

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Tim Pool's hilarious discussion of Kanye West

Too funny:

something a bit happier

A pair of non-racist dogs in Thailand:

mass murder through disinformation

Some well-deserved righteous anger over thousands of unnecessary deaths:

Styx on statues

This video contains a modest proposal that begins around 8:24:

Styx's proposal is funny, but unlikely to be implemented. My variant of the proposal involves, as I wrote earlier, taking up a sniper position.

an Eastern European puzzles over Western leftists

Yeah—I wanna know what the fuck their problem is, too.

Tim Pool with the Claira Janover (Stabby Girl) followup


Tuesday, July 07, 2020

I assume he's speaking to white leftists

Whoever the intended audience might be, I like this:

fud: eetn

I brought the rest of my pulled pork to work yesterday, along with the coleslaw and some pickles. Everything's gone now. My Korean coworker confessed to having eaten four or five sliders, ignoring the doshirak (a sort of bento-style boxed lunch) he had brought with him.

The plan last night was to make some sauerkraut so I could munch that alongside some kielbasa, but I ended up being too tired to cook. So kraut will be tonight's project, along with creating some pasta dough to roll out Thursday night as part of Friday's lasagna, which I've now promised the crew. I'm just trying to get rid of my leftover spaghetti sauce (which tastes fuckin' fantastic, by the way... as with gumbo, time is definitely an ingredient in spaghetti sauce); I have a tub of it, so why not use the sauce for a good cause, eh?

I also have plans for the liquid left over from my slow-cooking of the pulled pork. It's full of glorious fat, and it seems ripe for making some kind of gravy. To that end, I've bought nearly a kilo of beef with which to make more meatballs—less Italian-style, this time, and more the sort of neutrally flavored meatballs that could go Swedish or could be used in a sweet-sauce preparation. No sweet sauce this time around, though; I'm sticking with pulled-pork gravy. That ought to be interesting. I'm wondering what starch would go best with it. Maybe potatoes... maybe Spätzle...? I've got a huge tub of sour cream, which is an ingredient in Spätzle dough....

Tuesday night: make kraut, fry up kielbasa, buy a chunk of Parm for lasagna
Wednesday night: make gravy & meatballs + maybe Spätzle; make pasta dough and fridge it
Thursday night: roll out pasta dough, create lasagna
Friday morning: bake lasagna, take to work

Expect photos.

you don't touch Saint Frederick

Frederick Douglass is one of the few historical figures whom I deeply admire. He enjoys the status of a saint in my mind. An autodidact who escaped slavery and went on to speak eloquently on behalf of the plight of his people, and on behalf of the equality of all human beings, Frederick Douglass truly is an American hero, a towering figure from our past who deserves our utmost respect.

So imagine my fury when I read that a statue of Douglass had been ripped off its pedestal and dragged over to a nearby river, presumably in an attempt to dump it in the water. This desecration occurred in Rochester, New York, at the very place where (and on the very date when) Douglass gave his "What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?" speech, 168 years ago.

More and more often, I find myself fantasizing about taking up a sniper position not far from certain statues, just so I can expose a few rioter-plunderer-desecrators' brains to the open air. Maybe it's good that I'm in Korea because, were I in the States about now, I might very well be in jail. And without a single twinge of regret.

a good video on face masks

In a time of COVID-19, people in the US still wonder whether masks are a good or a bad thing. Part of the confusion stems from politics; part of it is from the ever-changing scientific advice we receive from experts who seem to vacillate way too much. The following video doesn't tell the whole story (e.g., it says nothing about the possibility of rebreathing pathogens, nor does it explore the issue of washing one's mask), but it provides a good argument for why masks are likely a good thing. I haven't changed much from my original position that masks do little to protect oneself, but I'm increasingly convinced of masks' practical utility when it comes to the protection of others. The video also offers dramatic evidence of why it's unwise to allow your nose to hang out of your mask. Watch and learn.

While we're on the subject of COVID-era hygiene, the video below was news to me: soap apparently does kill bacteria. This wasn't what I learned while working for an infection-control company: what I learned was that soap, at best, lifts dirt and pathogens off your skin and washes everything down the drain. According to the video below, though, even regular soap has antibacterial properties... which makes me wonder what difference there is between regular soap and specifically antibacterial soap. Whatever the case, it's reassuring to know that hand-washing is a reliable way to deal with germs.


A double-whammy of decease—truly the Day the Music Died. Both Charlie Daniels and Ennio Morricone have passed on from this plane of existence. Daniels died at 83 of a stroke; Morricone died at 91 of complications following a fall. I'm not much of a country-music fan, but even I appreciated this awesome commercial in which Daniels starred:

As for Ennio Morricone, well, I grew up with his music. Here are three tributes that are part of my permanent playlist on YouTube:

RIP, Maestros.

Tim Pool on Kanye's presidential bid

Tim doubts Kanye is serious:

I agree that Kanye isn't the most stable of dudes.

Here's Styx on the same topic:

Monday, July 06, 2020

Saturday "linner"

The Saturday shindig at the boss's apartment went well. The boss wanted to do it potluck-style, so everyone brought some kind of food. The boss's wife made a very tasty pot of galbijjim, or braised short ribs and rice. Others brought potato salad, japchae (cellophane noodles with meat and vegetables), fruit, large loaves of bread, and red-velvet cake. I brought homemade pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, and store-bought slider buns, which were, aside from the potato salad, the most American dishes there.

Everything was excellently made; I stuffed myself by eating three platefuls of food. The fête went from about 3 p.m to 7 p.m. It was a long subway ride out to and back from Suwon, just outside of Seoul. Here are a few pics of the feast.

Fruit featured prominently as a typically Korean dessert:

A lovely red-velvet cake:

Braised short ribs and rice:

A wide shot:

Pulled pork, up close:

A very delicious potato salad:

A good time was had by all. There was so much food that there were plenty of leftovers; I'm bringing my remaining pork and slaw to the office Monday afternoon so we can finish that off together. I have to wonder what happened to the tater salad and the japchae; the latter doesn't keep for very long. No matter: we all left my boss's residence with pleasant memories of a delicious meal.

first roach in five years

Killed my first roach in five years of living in Daecheong Tower. It's an old building, and you'd expect there to be more roaches, but this critter is the first one I've seen. A few blasts of my disinfectant spray, and death was swift.

scammers abound

Some banners about real-estate scams: