On Memorial Day

Remember as you say ‘Happy Memorial Day’ to friends and family that the holiday is meant for solemn rememberance of those who gave their lives in defense of this country – not for barbecues and retail sales.

Also remember that those who are currently serving and veterans have holidays in their own honor (Armed Forces Day & Veteran’s Day, respectively). Those days are for them – veterans came home (myself included), and active duty are still alive. Memorial Day is for those who didn’t come home.

All Part of the Plan

So today the inevitably doomed GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act was pulled, after they realized that it wasn’t going to pass the vote – a vote that Trump forced this Friday (probably because he doesn’t want it to interfere with his golf game in FL, right?). How I see it is that this – while it appears on the surface to be a big blow to Trump & the GOP (and it is – but read on), is that it’s a win for everyone.

  • Trump gets to blame the GOP for drafting a bill that wasn’t going to pass in the first place
  • The GOP/Paul Ryan will blame Trump for forcing a vote on it before they had gotten enough support
  • American citizens win because the Affordable Care Act remains intact so far

Funny though – Trump is blaming the Democrats for not supporting it. What, exactly, did he expect from them?

Notwithstanding those three points – two of which allow Trump and the GOP to each save face to some extent – it still is a blow to the administration and the GOP as a whole. These clowns have nearly unfettered ability – control of both houses of Congress and ‘control’ of the child in the White House and are still unable to get one of their chief talking points accomplished. Unreal.

I like to hope that we’re watching the GOP unravel before our eyes – the unfortunate part is that it affects the entire country and the lives of its citizens.

Ahhh…Moving.

More specifically – the packing for the move. Basically the time in one’s life where you discover how much junk you have as you place it all in boxes to marvel – once again – at the same junk as you unpack it in the destination. If you’re doing it right you pare it down as you pack, so as to not move junk from point A to point B. But most of us know ourselves better than that.

Fortunately, when I moved from SC to WA I literally pared down a 3BR 2.5 bathroom house into what fit into a ABF U-pack pod (which I highly recommend, by the way). So much went to Goodwill, some was sold, and the rest went to the dump. Probably the best thing I ever did – since I knew I had a finite amount of space I had to cut the emotional attachment and make some decisions.

Decision making tips when deciding what to keep, and what not to:

  1. Do I need it?
  2. Do I want to keep it?
  3. If I do want to keep it, is it unique/one-of-a-kind/hard to replace?
  4. If I do want to keep it, and it’s easy to replace, should I really keep it?
  5. Is it more economical to keep it or just buy new when I get there?

For #5, most of mine was just easier/cheaper to buy it when I got to WA as opposed to trying to cram it in the pod. I had a 11-year old living room set that was basically free. I sold it for $100 and bought a new set in Seattle. Bonus: I got something that wasn’t massive and also was 11 years newer.

Lots of things you can do to decide what to keep and what to toss – or buy new later. If anyone has any tips, feel free to comment below.

First One-blundered Days

So it’s still within Don the Con’s first 100 days, and yet here we are with at least two of his appointees recusing themselves from things they have a conflict of interest (Sessions last week, and Tillerson just today). And of course, how can we forget Flynn’s resignation/firing mid February. Naturally ‘conflicts of interest’ seems to be a theme of the entire administration and the appointments to positions therein.

Included within the first 100 days of turmoil (I’m putting it lightly)  is the ever-present Russian element in all of this – just how much did Trump & Co. collude with the Russians? And most importantly – if it is so innocent, then why does each and every one of them feel the need to be deceptive about it or just flat-out lie about it? It’s truly mind boggling, but then again they don’t have much incentive to be honest, as their dear leader Trump himself is blatantly dishonest.

And lest we mention the unfounded allegations that the previous administration bugged Trump’s phone lines. Oh, please. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if there were some wiretaps found, and the culprit ended up being the Russians?

This administration is a train wreck. I’m still curious when the ‘man’ in the White House will be impeached – hopefully before he does any real damage to the country.

Rental Car Companies = Shysters

Every time I go on a trip where I rent a car, I am reminded of how shady car rental companies are. You think it’s all easy – you plan ahead and book the car ahead of time along with whatever else you need to prebook for your trip. And then you arrive.

Maybe you wait for your bags and then trek off in a shuttle bus to wherever the airport has relegated the rental agencies to, or maybe there’s a counter right there at the airport. On my last trip, we waited about an hour in the cold December weather at PHL for what the rental agency (after an annoyed call) said “we only have one bus running.” I wonder now if it was a tactic to just exhaust us into acquiescing to their tactics do once you get to their office (similar to car dealers who try to tire you into accepting their sub-optimal deals).

Upon our glorious and long-awaited arrival at the rental center we were offered every possible upgrade. Did we want a Ford Mustang? No. What about-No. Please, really, I just want the $15/day car I signed up for.  I understand the insurance offering – that to me makes sense – and yes, I understand if I crash the car I’m liable, etc etc. Aside from the upsell attempts – which are annoying, yes – the slowness in the whole ordeal is amazing. All the typing and tabbing in what I imagine is a very old green-screen database, then the dot-matrix printing and the signing and then wandering out to find the car.

Renting the car is second only perhaps to the ‘convenient hassle’ that air travel has morphed into these days.

Yes, this is a random post – here’s what spurred it on: NY Times: Renting a Car? Know the Rules of the Road (soft paywall – though I recommend you subscribe)

First Time for Everything

There once was a time when online newspapers were free to read; that time is long gone. I’ve never paid for an online news subscriptions, as I could usually find the story I wanted to read somewhere for free or find a way to get past the x number of free articles per month pay wall.

Yesterday I paid for a subscription to the New York Times. I don’t live in New York and have zero interest in local NY stories or even ever living in NYC – but that’s not important.

What’s important is that Donald Trump hates them – hates them with a passion. And honestly, that’s almost reason enough to buy a subscription. You have to remember that Trump hates the truth; as a liar it’s his arch enemy. So the fact that he hates the NYT means they’re doing their job. And that I can get behind.

For all two of you who read this (I’m being generous) I encourage you to support your local news outlet if you can. Especially if Trump hates them.

False Start

I resurrected this blog with the intent of trying to write more – so far I have failed. I host this myself, so I worked on setting up fun things like a reverse proxy in front of it so I could use a single IP and redirect to different hosts based on the hostname, and making sure it was secure, etc. /geekmode

Once upon a time I used to make it a point to write every morning, before I’d venture off to work when I was a police dispatcher. Those posts at 0500 weren’t my best. I look at them back in the archives and I shudder. I have thoughts of deleting them all but I feel like that’s not a good idea. The ability to look back on things from your past and recognize that you’ve (hopefully) improved in some form or fashion. I hope when I look back at these current ones the reaction will be better.

First Trump Disapproval Rating Lowest of Any New President – EVER

This should really be no surprise – the man wasn’t the most popular elected person, and the actions he is taking are those which most Americans disapprove of.  A staggering 53% of Americans polled disapprove of Trump.

If our thin-skinned maybe-legitimate maybe-legally-elected President can take anything from his low ratings: most Americans do not want you in that office. You have no mandate, and you’re doing things contrary to what America means and has stood for for well over 200 years.

Third Time’s a Charm

This is probably the third incarnation of this blog, dating back to the early 2000s when it lived in a form known as ‘LiveJournal’  and then migrated to WordPress, back and forth between hosts and finally just set to private and was largely forgotten for the last three years. I find it interesting that the last post I made was about being in Seattle for a job interview. I didn’t get that job in 2013, but I got one here midway through 2014 and so, here I am.

I am not entirely sure what purpose this site will serve, but here we go again.