Saturday, February 28, 2015

RIP, Spock

I normally pay little attention to celebrities. There are a few who produce work I like. Leonard Nimoy was one of them. I practically grew up on Star Trek.

Sooner or later, death comes for all of us. I figure at 83, Leonard Nimoy earned it. He will be missed though.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Benefits of Freedom

Aaron Cleary celebrated his 40th birthday with a two week motorcycle trip. Aaron is debt free and job free. He makes enough money from his Internet businesses and books to do what he wants.

Younger men, do not let yourselves become slaves to debt and circumstances. It will hamper your choices. You'll become a cubicle wage slave, dependent on some crap job that kills your spirit with nowhere else to go.

I think for my 40th birthday last year, I had about enough for lunch at Texas Roadhouse.

I Was Happy To Hear The Oscars Have Declining Viewership

I never pay attention to these award shows. I can barely tell them apart. Oscars, Tonys, Academy, etc. Makes no difference to me. I'm glad the rest of America is finally catching on.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bill Burr Takes on Steve Jobs

Bill does raise a good point. Steve Jobs didn't really "invent" anything. He led, inspired, and whipped a team of people into producing them. Bill complains that he showed up at "nerd fests" without the team of scientists and engineers who did the actual work. Conan brought up a good point when he said he was not going to walk out on stage with all the writers on his show.

I'm not convinced the devices Steve Jobs was credited for would have existed had he not walked the Earth.

Remember in 2007 when the iPhone came out? What other devices were on the market? We had Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Palm, and a bunch of no-named crap. Most only came with about 64 to 128 MB of on-board memory. Some had SD card slots, but in my experience, those did little to expand the on-board memory. The shitty Windows Mobile phones I was using required all applications to be installed on-board, which ate up all of the local memory.

One of the retorts people gave to the iPhone's (at the time) massive 8 GB was "well, it's limited to 8 GB. MY device has a theoretically unlimited memory with hot-swappable SD cards." Yeah, but who wants to keep switching out SD cards? Oh, crap, I want to listen to this song and run this program, but they're on different cards!

Whether you think the iPhone was a good device or not, I consider it a game changer. Finally, Microsoft, RIM, Palm, and all the others were FORCED to start producing new, reliable devices with applications and on-board memory. Microsoft folded Windows Mobile and retooled for Windows Phone, which is a pretty damn good platform EXCEPT for the limited application support.

Also, remember the bad old days when you wanted ONE SONG, but had to spend $20 on a CD full of 9 other crappy songs just to get it? In part, because of the work Steve Jobs did, we can now buy that one single song and ignore the rest of the crap put out by the music industry. We can even get most of them DRM (or as I call it, CURM- Customer Use Restriction Management) free. Remember having to drive with hot-swappable CD's? Now I can get in the car and run a single playlist off my iPhone over BlueTooth. Awesome.

Steve Jobs was as flawed as any other man. But he was a leader and a visionary. I respect his legacy and I'm glad for the work he left behind. I like the iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs, and single-song purchasing capability he left us. Now, where the hell is his revolution of the television he supposedly came up with right before he died?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hitler on Brian Williams

One of the great things about the modern world is being able to make Hitler rant about our first world problems and current events.

And somebody had Hitler take on Brian Williams "misremembering" whether he was in the helicopter that got shot at, or the one that safely landed unharmed.

I guess journalists assume since they never bother to check facts, nobody else does either. 

Why Do Old People Act Like Everything Is The First Time?

I know, respect your elders.

But when you're out and about, dealing with them can sure be annoying. First, they drive way too slow. They should not be allowed to drive anymore.

They also move really slow. I hate getting stuck behind an old person in a narrow aisle or walking through a door.

Several years ago, I went to Ponderosa on a Sunday late morning (quick, before the Baptists get out of church!) There were two old women in front of us. At Ponderosa, you order an entre, get your drink, then sit down and eat from the salad bar until your steak or chicken are done.

These two old women were absolutely mystified by how the soda fountain worked. I couldn't understand why. But they were, and I had to wait for several minutes until they figured out how to get liquid into their cups and move on.

Another disturbing aspect of these two older women (I estimated them to be in their 70's) was at the salad bar. There were some tasty looking buttered rolls. Between the two of them, these old women squeezed just about every roll before choosing one each. I started losing my appetite.

I was nowhere near as courageous as I am now. I wanted to ask them in any of the 7 or so decades they've been on this earth, was this the first time either of them EVER ate at a Ponderosa type restaurant?

Another aspect of old people that pisses me off is when they pay with checks. Almost every time I get stuck in line at a store behind an old woman writing a check, when she's asked for ID, she has to spend several minutes searching her purse for her driver's license.

I assume most of them have been writing checks since the 1960's or so, and always wonder why they always act so surprised and unprepared when asked for an ID.

I always tell myself, when I am an old person, I will not act like the old people who annoy me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How Do You "Misremember" Not Being In A Helicopter That Got Shot At?

I pay little attention to the mainstream news, and I'm about 2 weeks behind in my independent media podcasts. But I've been hearing rumblings about Brian Williams taking himself off of NBC Nightly News over some scandal.

Vox Day has a post giving some details. He didn't source his quotes, so I'll just use the quotes in his post.

On Wednesday night, the world we live in became a confusing and unfamiliar place and most of us wandered the land not knowing what to believe when Brian Williams admitted that he was never in a chopper that was hit by RPG fire in Iraq in 2003. Brian was actually safely traveling in a different chopper....
 After getting called out on the lie he told, Brian said in Wednesday night’s broadcast of the NBC Nightly News that he “misremembered” the whole thing.

I don't get politicians and mainstream "journalists". I just assume they're all psychopaths and narcissists, but still, how do you "misremember" an incident like that? It's like a few years ago when Hillary claimed she'd been under sniper fire until people checked the facts and discovered that no, she wasn't.

It's easier to assume everything these people say is a lie, and that they can't be trusted.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

The Value of Advice

I have come to the conclusion that advice from other people is worth exactly as much time, effort, and money as they're willing to put into helping you follow it.

People are full of advice about what YOU should be doing. Most if it requires more money, energy, or commitment than you're capable of. Or maybe you don't give a crap, and it's easier to endure the suck than to work out of it for now.

Case in point: People are constantly telling me how I should take my ex-wife to court to sue for custody of my children, since I pay so much in alimony and child support. When I ask them how I'm supposed to pay for a lawyer and court fees, I get a blank stare, followed by something like "I don't know man, but you really should do it."

It's easy for people to offer advice in a vacuum. No matter how good or bad said advice might be, THEY aren't on the line for following it. But they somehow think they know what's best for you.

My advice: do what I do and blow it off. Or come back with something like "OK, you seem so insistent that I do this. How much would you like to contribute to my legal fund?" Bring up the PayPal or BitCoin app on your phone for effect. That usually shuts them up.

Then there are the people who ask you for advice, and argue with you about it. Or expect you to do all the work and make all the decisions for them. Then they ignore it.

I've reached the point where I don't usually bother offering advice unless I'm asked by somebody serious about following it. Also, it has to be an area where I have some knowledge or expertise in.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

I watched Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit on Netflix yesterday. It's a darn good movie.

I read a lot of Clancy's Jack Ryan books while I was in the Navy. At one point, I was trying to collect all of them in hardcover. I was mostly successful.

So far, there have been four Jack Ryans in movies: Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Afleck, and Capt Kirk (Chris Pine). So far, I think Capt Kirk is the best.

There were some differences between this Jack Ryan and Tom Clancy's original character. Both were in the Marines and suffered a back injury. The original Jack Ryan was an historian. This one is a finance wizard. Thinking about it though, Clancy's books were written for the Cold War. This movie was for today. I imagine if Clancy wrote his books today, he'd probably go this route. Today, currency wars and terrorism are more of a threat than renegade KGB agents and submarine captains.

The financial threats in this movie were very real. I wonder if the scriptwriters read Jim Rickards' books (Currency Wars and The Death of Money), or if they used him as an advisor. The scenario in the movie seemed like it came right out of his books.

It was a good movie. I highly recommend it, and I hope there are future installments. 

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Can A Truck Get You Laid?

According to this, yes:

That has to be at least partly scripted. Although I'm sure an F-150 would make me look cooler than my Focus does.