Thursday, April 08, 2021

Friday Links!

Come for the snacks, stay for the links.

Leading off this week, something so powerful and beautiful that it made me tear up: Letter to My Younger Self.

From Wally, and it's fascinating: Kuleshov Effect. This is concerning: Scientists Implant and Then Reverse False Memories in People. These are beautiful: AI photo restoration shines a light on life in old Ireland.

From jdv, and it's staggeringly bad: Soviet Lord of the Rings.

The Man You Trust (Update)

I haven't given an update on The Man You Trust for a while because I couldn't quantify the remaining work with enough precision to give you an end point. 

I can now. 

At most, there's another three months before this goes off to the copy editor. Then, I decide on publishing. 

It's been a long haul. 

Over four major drafts (and an infinite number of minor ones), it's grown to about 85,000 words. It's taught me I didn't know much about writing. 

I learned, though. I hope so, anyway.

What I believe that means in terms of a purchasing date is sometime this fall. The delay won't be with the writing anymore.

I appreciate all of you hanging in there and politely forgetting that I said this would be completed at least a year ago. The extra time has been put to good use.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Training Table

During my fever dream period Monday night, I had an idea. 

I have lots of ideas. Many of them are stupid. Make your own determination here.

This would be called "Training Table," and it would be a series of frozen meals specifically tied to college football programs. So you'd have the Crimson Tide version of Training Table, or the Wolverine version. 

The people in charge of athletic nutrition at the universities would come up with half a dozen or so different food combinations for frozen dinners, based on what their athletes eat. So you'd be eating the same food as an Alabama linebacker (pure marketing), if you were an Alabama fan. 

The most popular players from that season would have their names/images on the box, and they'd get a cut of the profit.

So for obsessed college football fans (they are legion), it would be a chance to eat like their favorite program and feel even closer to their team. 

Plus, if you ate a bajillion of these meals for a specific team, you'd "win" a limited edition commemorative coin or something, which you could resell for big bucks (again, pure marketing).

Profitability pyramid (scheme):
1. Schools make money. 
2. The athletes on the boxes make money.
3. Consumers get coins they can resell to recoup all the money they spent on the meals (theoretically). 

It feels like a money printing opportunity. 

No, I'm not still feverish. I can see why you'd ask, though.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Thank You, Vaccine

I have superhero antibodies, apparently.

I woke up at 2:30 this morning, freezing. Added a blanket, and when that wasn't enough, put on a Patagonia base layer. 

After drifting in and out of sleep for the next four hours, I woke up. 

I got out of bed. In retrospect, this was a mistake. 

Every day since the pandemic started, I've taken my temperature. It's always within a few tenths of 97.5F. This morning it was 100.5. 

Good, I thought. 

What wasn't good was that I was extremely nauseated and was having trouble walking because I felt so weak. Also somewhat dizzy.

I made it to the kitchen and toasted my Pop-Tarts. I put them on a paper plate, started to lose my balance because of the dizziness and sent a Pop-Tart into low Earth orbit. 

Didn't fall, though. Just had one Pop-Tart instead of two for breakfast. 

I felt very hot from the fever, then I suddenly got cold and had to put on my heated winter jacket at the setting I use when walking outside in 20F. 

Eventually, I warmed back up.

After slamming a fair amount of caffeine over the next thirty minutes, I managed to regain my senses. Then I edited at one-quarter speed for the next four hours. 

I'm functional now, though I won't be leaving the apartment today. I don't think I could walk more than thirty or forty yards. 

Still, I'll take it. Happily. Thanks, Pfizer.

Monday, April 05, 2021


I received the second jab today (Pfizer). 

Meanwhile, Michigan is lousy with COVID right now, unfortunately. The good news is that the vaccination infrastructure is absolutely humming. Hopefully, we can get over the infection curve before the people who have stopped paying attention take us back up again.

Several of you warned me that the second Pfizer does sometimes comes with a pretty strong reaction, so I'm ready for a rough couple of days, if necessary. Totally worth it. 

This is Very On-Brand

 We have family memes at this point. I guess everyone does. 

Here's the inside of the birthday card Gloria gave me (a repurposed Easter card, which is also a thing that we do):

The Easter Birthday, Redux

It was my birthday on Sunday.

What a lovely morning. I thought I'd treat myself to a blueberry scone from the bakery across the street. What a a delightful treat for my birthday. 

I walk across the street, full of anticipation, with a smile on my face. 

The bakery is closed. 

Damn it, Jesus, not again. Come on, man, you got resurrected. I can't even get a scone.

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Friday Links!

Phew, what a long week. 

Leading off, a searing article from The Atlantic: Private Schools Have Become Truly Obscene.

Here's a palate cleaner: This woman, 82, dresses to the nines each Sunday for virtual church. Her selfies have become legendary.

This is from bg, and it's incredible: Search the Louvre

Ah, that's better.

From Tim Lesnick, and it's amazing: Astronomy Picture of the Day.

From Wally, and yuck: Bitcoin Mining Corp Buys $30 Million of Nvidia CMP GPUs. Trek nerd alert: 40 Acres. This is huge: A Warmer Superconductor Found. These are fascinating: Cult classics: the faded glory of California's fringe sects – in pictures. A little bit of intriguing history: We Found Ford's Incredible Turbine-Powered Semi-Truck 'Big Red' That's Been Lost for Decades

From C. Lee, and it's amazing: Mafia fugitive caught after posting cooking show on YouTube. What a story: Buffer overruns, license violations, and bad code: FreeBSD 13’s close call. This is an astonishing article: The Mystery of ‘Harriet Cole’. Absolutely true: Stop Blaming Tuskegee, Critics Say. It's Not An 'Excuse' For Current Medical Racism. I'm not holding my breath (yes, a terrible pun): Where Are All the Aliens? Maybe Trapped in Underground Oceans. The Digital Antiquarian is so ridiculously excellent: System Shock. This is fantastic: Food Fads Have Always Been Ridiculous. Just Ask the Great Masticator. This was definitely true for us: What is the dining table really for?

From John W., and if you ever wanted to hear Beethoven through scorching electric guitar, here you go: Ludwig van Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata ( 3rd Movement ) Tina S Cover. Also, Tina S is apparently a cold blooded killer.

From Meg McReynolds, and it's a classic: A Brief Guide to the Worst Flight I’ve Ever Been On.

Eli 19.8 Update

He's going to Oxford for a full year. And he received his first dose of COVID vaccine, which is a complicated story involving identifying a massive imbalance in supply and demand in adjoining states. 

I receive my second dose on Monday. 

I'm going down to Ann Arbor on Saturday to hit golf balls together and have dinner. 

On Sunday, the hellscape of the Easter birthday. I'm ready.

I Don't Think Lyrics Can Get Any Better Than This

And the Mayan panoramas
On my pyramid pajamas

That's rhyme craftmanship. And, believe it or not, it's from The Alan Parsons Project.

Information Versus Knowledge (one last thing)

Tim Lesnick expressed it much more eloquently than I could. He said that more and more people have become observers of information rather than creators of knowledge.

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