Monday Links – Light Week

Crazy week at the day job, so the only a few items. And I have two of them because they were sent my way by The Brother.

From the Smithsonian comes an article about the history of a failed attempt to import hippos to the US to be low-cost meat. Kind of reminds me when the US Army experimented with camels for working in the Southwest back in the 1840s.

From the Internet Archive comes an old Army fact sheet on fascism.

Lastly, one of the local stations has an article on USF being admitted to the American Association of Universities. Yay, we have a new Ivy League school. Sorry, just can’t get up the requisite enthusiasm for my alma mater.

Friday Quote – Michael Rectenwald

“If we want to foster real diversity in higher education, we had better consider not only diversity of identity but also diversity of thought and perspective. It is this kind of diversity that we are supposed to recognize and foster in the first place.”

Debt Ceiling Deal

Getting close to the wire, Congress and the President have come to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. There was some concern as the deadline loomed due to me being a government worker, and a default would result in me missing paychecks.

I’ve listened to those who complained that we shouldn’t have to fight to finance spending that was already authorized. In a way, I agree. However, this seems to be the only time that any sense of fiscal responsibility shows up in Washington. It certainly wasn’t when the spending was authorized.

A lot of this has to do with Congress not wanting to do its job. Too many want to peacock for the cameras, raise money, and raise their profile for a later lobbying or punditry job. They are more than happy to let the administrative state and the courts do their job.

More Journaling of Life at Ward Manor

This is more just journaling rather than commentary or prognostication. Let’s go through some sagas.

  1. The Zillow Incident – The Wife gets various Zillow notifications because she’s been watching some properties down our way for other family members. Last week she gets one and pops it open. Her first thought was it was strange to see houses down our way that have the detached common-wall garages. The only other place she saw that was at my old Tampa house. Then, it hit her. She was looking at my old place – which had just been put on the market. Why didn’t she recognize it? Well, let’s just say a busted pipe in the ceiling and resulting mold mitigation didn’t leave much standing on the inside when we sold it. The folks who bought it did some really nice upgrades and repairs. I’m kinda tempted to swing by if they have an open house.
  2. The Hotel Saga – Last week, The Nephew graduated from high school. Due to the timing of his graduation, the work commitments The Wife and I had for the day of the graduation, and the notorious traffic between west central Florida going anywhere near Orlando, The Wife and I decided the best option would be to go over the night before, check into a hotel, work the morning, and then go over. As we’re packing and making our final preps, I go to find the reservation email so I can load the address into the GPS. Hmm, can’t find it. This precedes about an hour of The Wife and I trying to retrieve the email, then calling the couple of places we think we have reservations to confirm. Okay, did I just forget to make the reservation? We booked a room we wanted, but due to the short timing and the upcoming holiday weekend, there was some extra to be paid. Guess what? As I woke up the next morning, my calendar helpfully reminded me that I had a reservation – at another hotel we didn’t even think to check. Yeah, some stupid tax was paid.
  3. The Unknown Shopper – The Wife and I use Instacart with our local Publix for pickup. It keeps us out of the store and those tempting impulse purchases. This week, we went to the store to pickup our groceries and both spots were filled. It would be frustrating if they were filled by folks waiting for pickup. No, it was just assholes who wanted to use the closer spots. We went in and retrieved our groceries. Which resulted in a couple of the store staff saying “Oh, this is what you look like.” Apparently, we have a bit of a reputation.
  4. Adventures in Garage Reorganization – Memorial Day morning was spent cleaning out and reorganizing the garage. The impetus was The Wife’s acquisition of additional storage for yarn. First thing was to take some of the decoration bins up to storage and bring back the ones for Independence Day. While we were up there, we found additional yarn that was stashed when MIL moved in some 18 months ago. While I was wrangling with shelving, The Wife and MIL set up our six-foot table and a smaller two foot table. When I looked up from moving shelving units and getting some up on risers, they had covered both tables with yarn. My first thought was “Damn, that’s a lot.” Then I remembered the reactions I get from people when I discuss ammo inventories. Um, yeah, that’s probably enough for a while. Particularly since we found an additional black tub full. While they were in the midst of sorting and classifying their yarn, I mounted a Sig Romeo to my FPC. I also mounted a spare Streamlight. Yes, they’re both on the top rail. Yes, it looks goofy. I’m going to try it out and see if it works.

Monday Links

Happy Memorial Day! We’re going to start off with several Reason articles.

First, the face of teachers’ unions during the COVID pandemic only taught for three years, but is expected to get a full pension. I’m of the opinion that if you’re working for the union, the union should be dealing with your benefits.

Next are a couple items on the reshuffling of the political parties. I’ll let the headlines speak for themselves. The left-right spectrum is mostly meaningless and the rise of right-wing progressivism. Just as the labor market is in flux, the political market is similarly in flux. Fun times.

Finally, an article from The Volokh Conspiracy discussing a recent Florida Supreme Court decision that loading and openly carrying a gun on your property is not criminal use of deadly force. Although, if you’re having to face multiple attackers on your property, it may be more prudent to have your weapon already loaded. Or get behind cover to load and wait for the police.

In the vein of self-defense, we have an article from The Hill about a “prank robbery” going horribly wrong when the pranksters came across an armed civilian. And this kind of outcome won’t slow down these kinds of pranks. Because the dumb fucks think it won’t happen to them.

Now for our light items.

I think this is probably vapor-ware, but this Extreme Tech article depicts a “laptop” with six monitors, dual AMD Epyc “Genoa” 96-core CPUs, and 24 DIMM slots for up to 6TB of DDR5 memory. And it weighs 55 lbs. Um, yeah. There’s part of me that wants one in a kind of morbid fascination way.

Finally, we have a Variety article on Weird Al. Because Weird Al.

I’m Not Much Of a Wine Guy

Last weekend, The Wife and I took my mom to a local winery for a tasting. As the post title states, I generally don’t do wine, but I figured I could at least try some and enjoy the food.

We went to the Bunker Hill Vineyard. We each got six samples of wines we chose from their menu. I know I’m not big on dry wines, so I chose mine from their medium dry wines. Mom chose hers. The Wife chose hers. We traded. Some we liked. Some we didn’t like as much. Here’s what came home with us: Black Tea Wine, Black Coffee Wine, Strawberry Wine, Spiced Apple Wine, Sparkling Cucumber Wine.

What also came home with us was a jar of Apple Butter and Key Lime Marmalade.

If you happen to be in the West Central Florida area, I highly recommend you swing by. It’s good stuff and a fun time was had by all.