December 31, 2019

The Plumbers Have Left

This is the second time (the first time they had to have the city come in and do some things on the city side of the line). They've all left again now, but THIS time everything flushes. The bathroom is now clean and the poo smell is leaving.

I'm letting the nominally clean tub soak in bleach water for a few more minutes, but soon I will take a shower for the first time since Saturday.

This, has been hell.

Out of consideration for our readers the picture is unrelated to the recent unpleasantness and instead looks forward to a brighter tomorrow.

Timely Art by Hagane Akagashi

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2019 Gives Us Another Kick In the Gut on Its Way Out

Syd Mead just died.

The visionary artist and futurist (perhaps ironically, best known for the art direction of Blade Runner) who's generally optimistic aesthetic defined "the future" for a generation has just passed away.

Support his family by buying is art here.
Screw 2019.

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Meanwhile: in His Secret Lair, Far Beneath the Earth's Crust...and Mantle, and Outer Core, and Inner Core and Mantle and Crust Again...

...or ( if you're not on this side of the planet) just Ambient Irony, Pixy's embedded several AMVs including this really well edited piece built around a song from Shaka Ponk of all things...

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December 30, 2019


The city sewer has backed up into the downstairs bathroom.
Hours later, this is beyond my ability to clear.
The plumber was supposed to be here an hour ago.
I just got a text indicating he will be here "before 5" which is in 3 hours.
I am SOOOOO happy I paid the nominal fee for plumbing insurance.

I'm going outside to breathe now.

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It's fan-fic so watch it now because the Disney lawyers will be targeting it with ion cannons soon.

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December 29, 2019

Meanwhile, in the Constellation of Orion

One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes takes time from whatever Ren-Faire she's attending to bring us some news from the intersection of astronomy and explodimology.

It seems that he colossal red-giant star Betelgeuse, the right shoulder of the constellation Orion and heretofore one of the brightest stars in the night sky, has, over the past 3 months started dimming and over the last few weeks dramatically so.

"Unless,being 2019 and all, the light from the shoulder of Orion is dimming due to smoke from the attack ships on fire."


If theories about these things are correct there is a possibility that the star will erupt in a supernova...soon.

A super Nova of Betelgeuse is not unexpected as the star has long been thought to be near the end of its life, though that being measured in millions of years the notion that we'd see it in our lifetimes was (and still is) considered remote.  However, if it does explode sometime in the next few months or years, the death of Betelgeuse could have profound effects on earth.

Such "profound effects" might include having every hysterical click-baity doomsayer prattling on about the end of the world ad-nauseum, as well as speculation in the media that the obliteration of Orion's shoulder is due to Russian collusion or global warming and celebrations in certain quarters of the replacement of the previous ableist constellation with a more diverse one.

However, at 430 light years away (give or take 100LY) Betelgeuse is far too distant to provide a radiation hazard from a super nova. The non-secondary effects are likely to be  limited to having the star be much brighter than a full moon for several weeks or months resulting in near daylight at midnight at certain times and presenting two suns in the daytime sky during others. If it transpired, we will notice it but on the off chance that it actually goes all 'splody the only dangers it would pose are likely to be people walking into trees while looking at it.

Of course, whatever transpires from this, it will have already happened...330-530 years ago.

That orange thing in the upper left (our left, not Orion's left )'s going away...someday.

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My Hero Academia Continues

Season 4 of My Hero Academia started off disappointing, with a first episode that was a  remarkably uninspired recap episode. This was a cunning misdirection that may well have cost them some viewers because the subsequent 10 episodes have pretty much all been excellent.

As of now, this is by far the best season yet. The new villain in this series is quite frightening in his competence and terrifying in his methods and goals in a way that overshadows even the previous seasons antagonists. He and his group aren't mere nihilists, they have a concrete, logical and terrifying plan.

In contrast the protagonists are, well, HEROES, who are idealistic and determined to do good, even though they aren't entirely clear on what that is. This season's story has managed to build up tension quite well and as the heroes investigate and peel back the layers of whats actually going even a few dry Police Procedural episodes add to a growing sense of unease until they figure it out and punch the audience in the gut with their conclusions. All the while character development is happening left and right.

The pace thus far has become break-neck, and, surprisingly enough managed to maintain this despite being most undeniably a shounen show.

That is, there comes a point in any shounen manga where the story digresses into telling it's own fan-fic, and the audience is assailed with backstories, sidestories and angsty drama focusing on fairly minor characters who get into pointless struggles while we the reader/viwer tries to remember what the actual main plot was about. Being faithful to its genre,  My Hero Academia has this particular conceit, but whereas this trope normally stops the plot for a sports arc or something, season 4 is using this to provide something akin to a three ring circus that has provided logical exposition advancing the the plot quite a bit while not harming the very zippy pacing.

This season has also done quite a bit of world building, explaining how these 'Pro-hero' outfits actually work. It turns out they are like the Police Specials in San Fransisco (before they were  nuked from orbit in recent years), Chartered private firms that work closely with the regular police force but provide hyper-local security, policing, and in this fictional case civic engagement, role models and the use of their peculiar talents. Seeing the whole system of police bureaucracy, trade associations and disparate companies come together as a well oiled machine was kind of neat.

Of course the best laid plans cannot prevent the enemy from having a vote and as I type this the villains have used their franchise most efficiently. This is another area where the show has been better than average. Unlike so many storied today, our heroes are not a handful of competents in a sea of morons. Rather, the good guys (in general)  range from quite capable to 'BATMAN' but the villains are smart, inscrutable and powerful. This whole arc has been really well done in that regard.

The season's not half over yet and it's not at all clear they can keep this up but I for one will be watching to find out.

Plus Ultra!

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December 26, 2019

Meanwhile, Here in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Virginia's governor is looking to make a name for himself outside the minstrel show and child sacrifice circuits. The legislature, which recently went blue is looking to help him out with this, and in the process provide the rest of the nation with a helpful primer on what to expect from progressive electoral victories in the future.

Her earlier video which goes into detail about the incoming laws is here. It is on You-Tube and so likely to vanish in short order. There is a pithier but more profane backgrounder on this situation from Razorfist.

This situation is much more serious than a lot of people realize and has frightening potential to turn pear-shaped in very short order once these bills start getting passed in early to mid January. The volatile state of affairs is unlikely to be helped by bored aspie hotheads coming to the state with the intention of participating in the opening phases of what they eagerly refer to as "The Boogaloo".

If this thing comes to a head, it will not be catharsis, it will not be a bar fight, it will be hell on earth. Legislators are literally talking about using the national guard to go door to door to "enforce compliance" and there is an addendum to the odious bills being drafted that will allow all those county officials and sheriffs that support the sanctuary movement be removed from office (and presumably arrested). Partially in response, Tazewell County has voted unanimously to raise a Militia. It should be noted that this county mobilization  is explicitly legal under the State's constitution for the same reason that our state's motto is Sic Semper Tyrannis.

Virginia is unlikely to be an example to the rest of the country, but, one way or another, we have an excellent chance to be a horrible, horrible warning.

Admiral Josh Painter has his usual insightful thoughts on the matter.

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December 25, 2019

Here We Have an Interesting Contrast to the Previous Post


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I Swear This is One of the Best Christmas Albums Out There

Vince Guaraldi is best known today for Peanuts music of course, but he already had a pretty epic resume' and was a Grammy Award winning jazz composer when he took the first Peanuts job as a lark.

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December 24, 2019

"Hey guys...

...the Brickmuppet's arms fell off or somethin' so those of us in his imaginary 2-d staff have been tasked with scouring the internet to find something for an appropriate Christmas Eve Post.

But unlike him, we've got lives and a Christmas party, so we'll just reach into this bag full of pixels, find something Christmassy to post and dedicate it to Andrew Torba

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It's Over

This young lady exquisitely exemplifies how I and most of my coworkers feel this evening....

Art by is by Itou,who understands what Christmas is like today.

I believe I personally lifted over 10,000 parcels today, mostly in 50 pound bags of small packages. This was a light day compared to previous weeks. I got home, sat down in the chair to take off my shoes and...suddenly it was six hours later. I am SO tired of all the winning, but can take solace from the fact that the hurting will soon fade.

Blogging will resume shortly.

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December 19, 2019

It's Christmas Time.

Very Christmassy Dorothy Haze by Christopher Ortiz

People are scurrying around to pick up gifts and prepare for next week's festivities. Those who celebrate other holidays are performing whatever rituals are their custom and those of us who work in the shipping industry are left to shriek angry, desperate epithets against the whole affair from far beneath the piles of boxes that threaten to crush us.

However, idiocy does not take off for the holidays, and while most of us are distracted there are still quisling retard grifters who are in profound need of mockery.

Fortunately Dev, Lilith and Scrump have graciously taken time out of their holiday preparations to dump on Andrew Torba and Gab.

This gives a good overview of the situation and adds the interesting tidbit that Gab has lost over half its base, but a good deal of that seems to have been from before the decision to ban all NSFW content.It actually seems to have begun in October, possibly as a result of Gab Trends. It is therefore possible that this whole kerfuffle is an attempt to stem the bleeding by making Gab the go to place for Mennonites and Shakers.

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December 17, 2019

116 Years

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December 14, 2019

A Few Christmas Anecdotes

I've been an employee at U.P.S. for 27 years. In all that time I've never seen a Christmas like this one. I've seen it get heavy, but I'd never seen every day for over a week be higher than our peak day last year, nor heard the belts grinding from too much volume all day for three days. I have never, ever, until Tuesday, seen a 53 foot trailer come onto our lot bulging like a can with botulism. The other day one of the drivers from one of the big sort hubs came in to help after dropping off a load. He said that the hub was so packed that it took him 25 minutes to get from the bay door where the trailer was parked to the guard shack at the gate.

Young lady who understands what Christmas means to me is by Itou.

I honestly don't think I've been this sore every day since basic training.

Frankly, this is not any failure on the company's part, we're just experiencing the biggest Christmas EVER and our physical plant wasn't designed for an economy this good. It does bring a smile to my face to see all the Amazon packages coming through though. It seems that after declaring that they didn't need us and were never going to ship with us again...well... it looks from my modest vantage point that the Bezos brigade completely choked, as we've been getting trailer upon trailer of Amazon boxes that Amazon couldn't handle, and, despite this unexpected surfeit of cardboard, at least at my building, we haven't rolled anything over to the next day yet. Everything's gotten delivered. The hours are quite insane though.A few years ago I worked some double shifts and still didn't make as much overtime as I have this week. Today was odd, we actually finished early, however, as a result Monday's start time has been moved up to Sunday.

Monday's gonna suck.

On the other hand, I've lost 13 pounds and my pants are threatening to fall off.

Meanwhile, my current mastery of basic household chores, web-presence and Christmas preparations can be described thussly...

Blogging may remain light for a bit.

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December 11, 2019

A Headline of the Crazy Years

Pigeons Wearing Cowboy Hats are Roaming Las Vegas, and Nobody Knows Why

That headline gives all the pertinent information conveyed in the several hundred word article.

Other outlets are covering this important story, the NYT reports that there is a rodeo in town, but they deny responsibility.

Oh look. There's video...

Things fall apart
The center cannot hold

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December 10, 2019

Anti-Vaxxers Making A Difference

All schools and public services are shut down because of a measles outbreak in American Samoa, which has declared an emergency and is engaged in a massive, belated, vaccination campaign.  The situation is even worse in the nearby Kingdom of Samoa which has over 4800 people sick and over 70 deaths, mostly children.

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December 09, 2019

Meanwhile: Over at Gab

The "free speech" site is wielding the banhammer of chastity and the  admins are flooding the site with what appear to be imitation Chick-Tracts made from Wojak memes.

I guess No-Nut-November ran off the rails over there.

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A Primer on COPPA

We've mentioned this before, but here is an actual lawyer talking for just under an hour about the COPPA mess.

A reminder: Today is the deadline to send polite feedback to the FTC on this looming fiasco.

He provides some suggested talking points for creators here.
He also has some suggested talking points for viewers here.

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This Could Be Really, Really Bad...

....or it could be Brilliant!

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