Sunday Rant – 1520

PN:


Joe’s Comment – I grinned my silly grin reading these gems from Stephan Pastis.  In my world, not a damn thing changed with social isolation, social distancing.  Call me Rat!  Or Rat Bastard, if you think it appropriate.
Rationale for my behaviour (if you like such stuff) is down below in the “Echo Chamber” segment (INTJ).  Yes we are fond of socializing on occasion.  We like people as individuals (we abhor mobs).  Our hot pursuit of personal interests takes first consideration most of the time.
Rub my wooden head for luck, outside of a few shortages at the Wholesale Club (wholesale groceries), and Amazon withdrawal symptoms, I am enjoying the counter-balance of cheap fuel (although I drive less than 100 miles in two weeks (160 km. for the measurement handicapped)), and very little traffic.
No one I know has contracted COVID-19, or been ill, or been tested; a few have no work at present but not under duress: all is well in Joe’s world.
Your CCP virus (Chinese Communist Party) experience may be different.
I sympathize with you should yours be tragic or inconvenient.
My sympathy to all who are affected and effected by this current pandemic.  The world averages 3 to 4 pandemics a year (watch the “Sunday Sermon” below the fold).  If that be so, there will be 2 or 3 more to come in 2020.  Roughly 56 million people die each year (modern times).  Will this year be different?
Better stay alive to find out!
Meanwhile, the economy, like electricity, is only useful when it is flowing.
I hope the geniuses who are “in charge” have a plan….. not a short circuit.

 

Happy Easter – Redux
That time again.
Hopefully, we will have many future Easters.
Imagine if you will, the earth not spinning, not orbiting the sun, but in a state of stasis, no night, all day……
It has dawned on Joe and me that annual observations, celebrations, milestones, and miscellaneous repeating events have a subliminal affect on us – a calming, a metronomic effect, a sense of time unfolding according to a rhythm or plan.
Not chaos exempt.
More like chaos tolerant.
Every year we get older there are new fashions, new inventions, new technology, changes, new people, new hope.
Every year there is calamity, disorder, tragedy, unspeakable horrors (Joe says like the Obama administration), death, destruction, pestilence, and environmentalists.
More succinctly, it is situation normal: all fucked up (SNAFU).
Except Easter.
Easter is different, not just to Christians and the ideology of Christianity, but to everyone around the world.
Easter is the same story every year.
The mysterious story of a man doing what no man before or since has done.
Joe and I take a slightly different tack, our sails set hard against the eternal relentless wind (Joe says hot air); voices demanding physical evidence, scientific proof, data, data, more data!  We are cynical: to those who consider this extremely important (on both sides of the argument), even if they saw it, they wouldn’t believe their lying eyes.  As Yogi Berra said says, “there are some people, if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ’em” (as long as the English language exists, and a human is able to read them, Yogi’s amazing quotes will be alive, hence present tense).
Some folks abhor the word “hope”: they advocate action not emotion.
We understand their perspective, but it is not without flaw.
There is a very thoughtful Easter 2020 post by “The Silicon Graybeard” here.
His Easter post is worth reading every year, but this year has additional meaning to Joe and I.  Is this our understanding, our knowledge, our maturity making a difference?  We’ll go with the Yogi Berra quote for now…..
A selection from Mr. Graybeard’s excellent post –
The other religions of the world are about ritual and ultimately about self, about proving yourself worthy; Christianity is about grace.  You’re not worthy on your best day; you’re saved by Grace.  No other religion teaches Grace.  Islam teaches that Allah is unknowable.  Christianity teaches that not only is God knowable, he wants us to know him.  Islam doesn’t teach salvation, it teaches servitude to a fickle, arbitrary, distant Allah.  Christianity teaches forgiveness by Grace; that you’re given a gift you don’t deserve by a God who wants a close personal relationship with us.  I like the way the Message translation talks about being saved by Grace (Ephesians 2: 8) –
It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving.”
For Joe and I, the concept that ideas are viruses, are memes, is staggeringly intuitive.  Richard Dawkins is given credit for the concept in his book “The Selfish Gene“, 1976.  Here is a link to an essay “Viruses of the Mind“, published in 1991.  Richard Dawkins is an adamant non-believer, an atheist supreme, a denier of doG.  Joe and I thank him for his memes and mind viruses, for that concept is the core of Easter every year for us.
Jesus is our Avatar.
Christianity is a meme.
The bible is a gang of viruses.
And every Easter Joe and I are reminded that, through the grace of doG, with renewed hope, we strive to be a better man, to be worthy.
And that is good enough for us.
No way is it Charlie and Lucy –

About the picture above of our favorite flower, found with his buddies on the east (sunrise) side of the attached garage.  This flower is one of three that appeared this year; in previous years there have been more.  Joe and I have lived in this house since January, 2005.  We have never, ever watered these daffodildos, fed them, or weeded around them.  Yet every year, just like clockwork, always at Easter time, here they come again.  Last fall the cold caught us by surprise; our failure to put things away is evident.  As you can see below, the daffodildos don’t care about neglect.  They have their own agenda, their own lives.  Lilies are not Easter flowers to us – our special Easter flower is a bright yellow daffodildo –

 

COVID-19 (aka Kung Flu)
Echo Chamber
Joe and I have bookmarked an immense number of web pages.
Really, like 500 or so.
Why do such a thing?
To help remember details and data.
To assist coherent communication of ideas.
To amuse our little pea brain.
It is our Nature©.
We shall explain…..
Bottom line, speaking Social Styles®, we are a very (very very) strong Expressive.
Myres-Briggs Personality Type™ INTJ or INTP, based on the weather (or not) (49-51 on the Judging and Perceiving).
Big Five Personality Traits©, our strongest core is Empathic Idealist, followed by Analytical Thinker.  Practical Caretaker is third, and pulling up the rear is Logical Mechanic.  Joe always jokes that this last one is why we have 30+ Ford vehicles in our yard (Empathic Idealist – gotta save the whales Fords!), have a solution/application in mind for each one (Analytical Thinker – love devising plans), but we spend more time helping other people with their “problems” (Practical Caretaker) and have little time for our own projects (Logical Mechanic – lacking the real-world goal accomplishment gene).
In short, we have spent many “cycles” learning who we wuz (we thought), who we am (we think), and most importantly, how to catalog/interpret and communicate with those who aren’t like we/us/Joe and me and the other 35 (so far) in our head(s).
Of these three “personality” tests, (I’m leaving out many others we have tried but found wanting (i.e. “Colors”), we think Social Styles is the easiest to quickly comprehend, so here’s our argument, à la Social Styles.

Expressives are intuition oriented,  relationship oriented, risk taking, competitive, communicative, quick to responder, poor time management folks.  In short, Expressives are Tell and Emote focused.  Great people for spawning new ideas, generating interest, inspiring others.  On the down side, Expressives must be careful to manage time, focus on completing projects.
Joe says a picture is worth whatever, and a video is worth X times a picture.
Here is a short video of an Expressive doing his (sorry ladies) thing:

Hint – in the above example, Elmer (a very early Elmer at that) is NOT the Expressive.
And again for the Analyticals (who always need more data):

Porky is also not the Expressive.
From the real world of our yutes, a TV example.
Once again for the Analyticals (the Amiables got it right away and the Drivers are getting bored):

The four Social Styles are Driver, Analytical, Amiable, and Expressive.  The Social Styles are plotted like so –
Back to the hundreds of bookmarks.
Joe says it consumes lots and lots of “cycles”, lots and lots of time, when you know you have a link, but who didn’t bookmark with a good indexing system, Dave?
Later dude, later.
Joe says that’s enough “proof of concept”.
We’ve proven our “Expressive” credentials to all readers with the exception of the Analyticals who have read this far so far.
Any Analytical worth their salt is never satisfied there is enough data….

Joe and I thought (as deeply as we are capable): how could we help others during this very stressful time of communist/socialist levels of government control/tyranny (for some more than others – read above comments)?
Oh! Corona! (Doo-da-dee, doo-da-dee) (the drummer’s mask cracks Joe up to pieces).
Long ago and far away (in Galactic measure) we were told that “violence is the answer – what is the question?”
Joe and I beg to differ.
Humor is the answer, no matter the question.
Humor and Hope.
The fact that there exists music, art, literature, architecture, technology, and all the many wonders around us, creations of the human mind, is proof that despite the tragedy and grief of life, people persevere regardless.
We don’t know if it is a test of character, a signpost on the road to insanity, a cowardly act of submission, but we hope with all our shared heart to laugh in the face of Death no matter which direction the Grim Reaper approaches our personal node of energy in the space-time continuum.
Death can’t touch me, can’t touch us, can’t touch this life.
Our father (Donald Lloyd), who art in Heaven (we pray) was singing that old Sunday School fave, “Jesus Loves Me” on his death bed we’re told.
Can’t confirm (we weren’t there, to our shame).
We’re hoping we’re cogent enough to have an extensive litany of wonderful music, memories of art in all its forms, the glory of civilization, the warmth of humanity, and humor, blessed humor, to take with.  Be a good Scout!
After all, it must be a long trip, for only one (according to scripture, heatedly debated) has returned to “tell all” (thank you Ms. Morrison), and most people don’t believe (it).

All the preamble above aside, Joe and I offer the following somber analysis: as with the plethora of viruses now occupying your corporal self, unless your immune system has tackled the task of creating antibodies specifically for COVID-19, you will react when exposed.
Our analysis in Sunday Rant – 1220 is still valid.
The “area under the curve” represents all the population under study (national, world, local, etc.).  Flattening the curve in the absence of any mitigation or medical solution/miracle will only stretch the time for the population to be infected or exposed.
Once infected, the only variables that can change the number who die are your personal health (immune system/antibody vigor), population-wide mitigation strategies (“social isolation”, masks, vigorous and thorough cleaning, etc.), and the development or application of new or existing medications to treat a persons viral infection.
In short, Joe says you won’t know until you get it.

To take your mind off the problem (if it was ever a problem for you) here are some sources of never-ending belly laughs, guffaws, snorts, grins, with a side dish of culture, politics, and whatever, baby, lights your fire (this last musical reference for James Aubrey C. – the first time you told me the name of the album these “Les Ports” people released, I laughed and laughed and laughed as if the cow had jumped over the moon).
Them was our days.
The Babylon Bee
We start grinning just thinking about clicking the BB link.
Jesus and Mary on a Lambretta (she sits side saddle), eating a taco!
A few BB snarks –

If you don’t think the above is spot-on side-splitting ascorbic humor, here’s another –
If you think funny is better than money (we do! we do!), go see the Bee.
Earl of Taint
The Earl is nasty and wickedly funny.  Really.  Tears of laughter –

Woodsterman
Joe and I peek in on Woodsterman every week.
Great memes.
Great humor.
Great examples –

EatGruelDog
Another laugh-fest.
On the snarky side.
Not too political, but when it is, Libertarian for the most part –


For more of a literary snarky humor, there is a website we check weekly.
It is called “WilderWealthyWise“, the thought chamber of one John Wilder.
A recent rant from Mr. Wilder titled “How I Learned to Love the End of the World” is well worth the read.  Here’s a quote to whet your interest –
I think I’ve always thought about what’s known today as “prepping” – even at a young age. When I was young, we lived deep in the mountains. How deep? The next closest kid anywhere near my age was ten miles away and probably 2,000’ lower in elevation and was actually a yeti that had moved there from Tibet to get away from the crowds. The nearest grocery store was twenty miles away. The nearest movie theater? Fifty miles.
When you live nearly so far from civilization that tourists try to pay you in beads and pantyhose, you have to think ahead. Ma Wilder did. Ma had designed the house with remoteness in mind. Her pantry was always full, and it was huge. She built in a pantry that consisted of one entire fifteen foot wall, floor to ceiling, a foot deep.
The pantry was always (and I mean always) stocked from floor to ceiling with canned goods. Freezer? Not one freezer. Two. And they were always packed to the brim with food. Well, with the exception of when Pa would let the inventory go down so there would be room to fit half a cow. Literally. He’d buy a “side of beef” which was half of a cow. Minus the hooves, of course.
Ma Wilder had also designed a root cellar that the contractor built. For those of you not in the know, a root cellar is a small building (8 foot by 8 foot by 8 foot) that is 90% buried to keep vegetables so they will neither sprout nor spoil. In order to do that, the cellar is dark and cool, like Nancy Pelosi’s heart. Ma Wilder kept hundreds of pounds of potatoes there. I should know – I was often the guy taking them down in fall and hauling them up in winter. And to be clear, we kept the potatoes in the cellar, since Nancy Pelosi’s heart isn’t big enough to hold a French fry.”
Joe and I remember how our parents and grand parents canned and stored provisions.  Not because they anticipated hardship.  Both sets of people came from a time when refrigerators, deep freezers, electricity, running water (in the house!), and supermarkets simply did not exist.  For the most part (even in New Toronto grandfather Thomas made a huge garden every year), they ate what they grew.

 

Jericho Greene
Damn, Joe and I like Mr. Greene’s ranting.
Always passionate, always consistent, almost always well informed.
In this rant where he comments on Bernie Sanders closing down his bid for Democrat nominee, his overall criticism of the Democrat Party is sparkling water to a parched listener.
Joe grinned so hard the top of his head damn near fell off.
Mr. Greene continued with a full head of steam to offer opinion on the “coronavirus bail-out $$$”, and was quite opinionated about the “four whores of the apocalypse” (AOC and her cadre).
All in all, a loud, angry, profane reflection on the very emotional and illogical progressive movement in American politics:

 

PragerU
Joe and I were arrested twice in our short, sweet life (so far).
Book him, Danno!
Spent a drunken night in jail on one of the arrests – in Dawson City, Yukon, of all places.
We didn’t like it.
We didn’t find Jesus there, like so many on death row do – our crime was fighting while drunk.  The patron saint for drunkards is St. Martin, and we didn’t see him, either.  Joe argued that we weren’t fighting.  We were trying to fight while drunk, ’cause we are terrible at fighting – sober or otherwise – hence it wasn’t really a fight.  The RCMP felt that a moot point and let us free in the morning.  Our fellow cellmates were all Indians / Indigenous People / Assholes (Joe wrote that last one).
We also weren’t innocent (we were trying to fight, AND we stole blankets from the even drunker Indians).  But we were grateful the next morning when we sobered up that none of the policemen (they were ALL MEN) took up my offer to fight them with their “hats off”, let alone an assaulting a police officer charge.
Joe and I thank doG that Olaf the Berserker was too drunk to make an appearance.  We would have been dead or in prison (our dear sweet Olaf is a different story).
One thing we are convinced of is had I acted that way in today’s world, our path in life would have been altered for the worse.
Rafael Mangual, Deputy Director of Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute, explains how “plea bargaining” often is responsible for reduced sentences and charges.  He actually has data to support his argument that there are bad people in jail.  And the progressive jackals who are lobbying to release up to 50% of the incarcerated in America don’t live in neighborhoods where these bad boys and the much fewer bad girls (deficient in testosterone says Joe) will return to if released.
Joe and I have personally brushed up against this end of our culture twice.  We have friends with direct experience as well.  Our position is for the most part you don’t go to the slammer for picking daisies in the park.
Most of the time.
What say you?:

 

Joe’s Garage
Hydraulic Press Channel
Joe loves wackyness.
The Hydraulic PressChannel on YoubeTube squishes stuff all to pieces.
In the following video some cubic inch samples of pure metal are squeezed between an anvil and a hard piston to the tune of 110,000 Kg force.
As an added extra, a blue gumby like figurine gets the same treatment.
Go to the channel link above for lots of squeezyness.
What’s not to love?:

POLITICS, POLITICIANS, WACKJOBBERY, HUMOROUS, STUPID

 

SUNDAY SERMON

This week the sermon originates with Gad Saad interviewing Dr. Paul Offit, an immunologist, virologist, and co-inventor of a vaccine credited with saving many lives.  He is professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Joe and I found this very interesting, including the FACT that there are 3 to 4 declared pandemics every single year.  His statement that “Angela Merkel is the leader of the free world” made us shoot our libation out our nose, but otherwise a man who is very familiar with the world of itsy-bitsy nasties and how they work.
This discussion covers coronavirus, the study of infectious disease (including ease and method of transmission), mental health concerns associated with cultural upheaval, and the path forward:

 

WEATHER (OR NOT)

This week in Vernon was mild, sunny, cloudy, and a bit windy at times.
No snow!
No rain either.
What Joe calls a good start.
The furnace still pops in and out during the night and early morning.
We have had snow here at this house as late as April 18th (2008).
The work to transform our back-yard to lawn now that the 89 foot tall white oak tree is gone must wait for the ground to dry enough to run RobertaCat without bogging in the clay.
For the meantime, Joe and I are doing work inside the house, for it is damn near 60 years old and has timed-out plumbing, partially finished basement, and two bathrooms needing a reno.
The days are getting longer.
The natural vitamin D factories in our skin are ramping up production.
Life is good!

 

Joe (focused) Mekanic
p.s.  Ramirez, with 6 feet of separation –

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