Tag: random

Zombie Monster Invasion

Anya went almost eight years without developing any imaginary monster fears — right after she entered preschool, she thought there were generic monsters that might be lurking. But I invited them over for tea and cake, we’d chat with them, and she was OK with our new monster friends. She read The Last Kids on Earth series six or more months ago. Tonight, about twenty minutes after he went upstairs to bed, asked to come down and say goodnight again. She was worried that monsters were going to fly zombies into the house. She sat with me, and I explained that the best thing about imaginary fears is that you can come up with imaginary solutions. And eagles are great protection from zombies. And there are a lot of eagles in our area — big golden guys, even bigger bald eagles. Lots of eagles. And they all eat zombies (and probably monsters). She’d forgotten to take the compost out, so she took out the bowl. And realized she forgot to bring the chickens into their coop (which was really odd since she went outside with food and water specifically to bring the chickens in … and she did fill up their food and water. But left the chickens in the tractor). She apologized to the chickens, snuggled them all to warm them up, and came back into the house. I sang her a goodnight song and we chatted about the eagles perched on the top of her bed — a golden girl she named Goldie, a bald eagle she named Balder, a golden guy that didn’t get named yet, and Balder’s mate was over at the lake getting a fish for them (we told them to eat over the fish tank so they didn’t get fish guts all over Anya or her bed). Goldie had an egg that she gave to Anya to keep warm. There were a few zombies, and Goldie ate them. All of the eagles have kevlar jackets that prevent zombie bites, so there won’t be any zombie eagles. Then the egg hatched. Anya put fifty kevlar jackets on the baby eagle (and herself) to protect them  from zombies. And Goldie got some small fish from the lake to feed the hatchling. So Anya’s feeding her baby eagle while three grown eagles watch over them. Hopefully that’s sorted the zombies.

Musing on Pardons

 
Trump’s potentially got exposure in issuing pardons if he’s covering up crimes in which he was involved. Bit of a legal stretch (and proving corrupt intent would be difficult). No point *now* with the OLC policy against indicting a sitting president, and we’ll probably get another “for the sake of unity, put the past in the past” administration. But it seems feasible.
 
And I’m curious how pardons impact 5th amendment protection. If you’ve got a pardon for *your* part in the crime, you’re not being ‘compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself’ and I expect could be compelled to testify against others (including Trump) who were involved. Or be charged for failing to provide honest testimony.

Web Stats

Since my website has a lot of information about Microsoft Teams, I can see when a lot of new Teams users came online during the lockdown. Now that people are returning to offices (and, I expect, are more familiar with the platform), I’m starting to see fewer search engine referrals. But I’m still 3-4x the numbers I’d seen pre-lockdown.

Future Idea — Anya Job

Scott had a business idea for Anya — mobile concession stand at the park next door. To me, it seems an easy sell in their off-season — have thermoses of hot cocoa and mulled cider. But he was thinking in the summer, selling their ice cream and bottled water.

Pants?

A friend pointed out that pants offer a little protection for me, but they are a lot of protection for you … So we can all stop wearing pants now, right? And protesting stores that require customers to wear pants! Freedom! Liberty!

Rules for the Zombie Apocalypse

Rules for the Zombie Apocalypse:
  1. Don’t let the zombie bite you
  2. Don’t let the ship full of zombies dock. Anywhere.
  3. The zombie apocalypse is the one scenario where walls will work (zombies aren’t that smart or nimble); build a big one
  4. Don’t get lax about safety just because it is tiring. (Really, don’t!)

Also, Anya is working on a plan to train the raccoons to defend our property.

I’ve seen the future …

This will go totally meta — he’s going to deny having denied that he denied denying collusion. At some point, dude is going to deny having been Trump’s attorney / spokesperson / lacky. Then we’ll meander our way into a whole “je pense, donc je suis” discussion because maybe we don’t even exist at all. Bad debate tactic, but I’m coming to see Trump’s approach to public discourse like the guerilla warfare American Revolution approach to European combat tactics. Considered terrible form at the time, but effective as anything. Which, sadly, dictates that we’ll *all* be debating substantive topics by throwing baseless attacks, making shit up, and derailing the conversation with a heap of crazy.

Maths: The Wall

I think the wall is a completely stupid idea — based on emotion rather than statistics about the source of immigration violations, not an effective solution even if the problem were people sneaking across the border. But I am seeing a way to get this whole debacle sorted within the Executive branch (which may not be legal, because government budgeting isn’t quite the same as corporate budgeting). When we’ve got projects that are under-budget, the extra money can get moved over to some other purpose. Well, if we can shut down the government for no good reason during budget negotiations … what if the Executive branch shut down all those “non-essential” services for a while to free up money that can be transferred over to DHS? How long would the government need to be shut down?

 

For a five billion dollar wall (again, HA!) … since the FY2019 budget is like 4.4 trillion dollars, we spend 12 billion a day. Say 90% of that is essential. Five days of shutdown would fund the wall. Which doesn’t make the wall a good idea. Or mean Congress should just approve it to get the whole debacle over with. But it certainly says something about government spending that the wall is half of a day worth of spending. And it certainly says something about our government that it gets shut down over half a day worth of spending.

 

 $         5,000,000,000.00 The wall
 $ 4,407,000,000,000.00 FY2019 budget
 $       12,073,972,602.74 Daily spending
 $         1,207,397,260.27 10%
4.141139097 shutdown days

The Military Industrial Complex

Will withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan be move that swings Senate Republicans against Trump? Matt Taibbi speculates exactly this. I’ve wondered why Republicans stand by Trump so relentlessly — it’s not like Pence *wouldn’t* deregulate environmental and financial industries, create refugee crises at the border, and cut taxes without a care to deficit spending. Figure it’s got to be the 30 percent (or whatever) of the voters who actually think Trump is doing the right thing. Say the country is split pretty evenly between the two parties — and that the 50% on the Democratic side aren’t likely to be talked into voting Republican … that means Trump’s deplorables *are* the majority of the Republican voters. Now a historically successful (not to mention reasonable) ploy is to adjust your platform to appeal to more voters … but evidently no one wants to walk that path. Motivate your voters or put the other guy’s voters off works too — but the circus act that is the Trump campaign is about the pinnacle of motivating voters, and no one is sure who is running next cycle to dissuade people from fully supporting the individual. So they’re sticking by Trump … unless. Could the military industrial complex — and all of that money — be the thing that turns them?

The question makes me think of Trent Lott. Who had all sorts of faults, but public opinion turned on him when he said “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years, either.” Which … anyone who bothered to find out could have known Lott liked Thurmond. It’s like Capone going down on tax evasion — yeah, I’m glad the dude got put in prison (or resigned from office, or thrown out) but over that?!?