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kingmudsy  ·  153 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Twitter fact corrects Donald Trump’s tweets.  ·  

    He gazed up at the enormous circledot. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the golden badge. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved mk.

(jokes obv mk, we love u man)

b_b  ·  196 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Every State's Least Favorite State  ·  

I tear people down, because I'm sad on the inside

kleinbl00  ·  202 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'We just can’t feed this many'  ·  x 2

I was going to lay down that pithy Claire Wolfe quote from 30 years ago but you know what? I'll play.

Revolutions have the unfortunate tendency to replace one repressive regime with another. Russia exchanged monarchs for kleptocrats; Iran replaced an autocratic monarch with an autocratic priest; Egypt replaced one autocratic general with another. Fortunately revolutions tend to hit concentrated power much harder than diffuse power. It's easy to overthrow a general. It's a pain in the ass to overthrow a House of Commons.

Before you can overthrow a democracy you have to replace it with an autocracy. You are free to argue the Republican Party in general and the Trump administration in particular are hell-bent on this goal and I will not argue with you. Where we can dicker is how successful they're being.

Obamacare survives because McCain threw a thumbs-down into the middle of the works. That's the power of one man in our structure of government - what took a dozen years of orchestrated attack was unwound by one man who suddenly grew a conscience. I think we can both agree that there are many people within the Trump administration who are doing everything they can to unwind what we've got - Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller come immediately to mind - but ours is a structure where, broad strokes, it's every bit as hard to tear down as it is to build up.

And ours is not a centralized society. Everyone in America has gotten used to turning locally; local newscasts are experiencing a renaissance the likes of which they've never had and the argument for States' Rights has never been clearer. What I remember most clearly about the run-up to the Iraq War was the tireless efforts by the White House to shape popular opinion through manipulation of the popular press. The end result was the phrase "MSM" whereby suddenly, the default view became "if you're seeing it on NBC it's probably a lie." This is the void Putin & Co rushed into and it got them an election, just like the void got Bush and Cheney a war. But it's one of those things you can pull once.

The rantings of Fox News aren't crazy enough for who's left so we've got to huddle around weird websites for QAnon news. The President panders and pumps OAN, whose ratings are known only to OAN (which substantially impacts their advertising rates, which indicates their ratings aren't even worth discussing). There is not a major news source on the air that hasn't outlined the outright lies and mistruths promoted by the White House and no one is even pretending this stuff is normal anymore. We're progressing through the process started in 2003 when the world was forced to learn how to vet news sources and honestly, REALITY WILL WIN. It's just easier. Journalists are generally a lazy bunch and constructing a narrative out of things that happened is overwhelmingly easier than constructing a narrative out of things that didn't, particularly when anyone with a phone can query additional sources.

Politically speaking we've had a splinter faction hell-bent on tearing us apart who now have to deal with the reality that success means pulling together. Every minimum-wage slacker you've ever excoriated is now standing in front of you selling you Cheetos while you retreat to your compound. And both sides of that exchange know it. We have an entire ideology that has steadfastly rejected expertise who are now clinging to any expert they can find. And we have states shipping supplies to one another in defiance of the federal government because we're all fucking pulling together.

And what has this done to society? What has this done to work? What has this done to education? Colleges are fucked but they'd been on the ragged edge of moving online anyway. Vast swaths of the service sector are suddenly unemployed. And we're all learning that there are a whole bunch of jobs that you can do a half-assed job at without ever needing to be in the office.

Would you take a 50% paycut if you never had to come to the office? 'cuz if that means you can move from a place where rent is $1000 a month to a place where rent is $300 a month... you start sharpening your pencil. ButterflyEffect and I were chatting about a marvelous cabin he's found for $172k up the fuck and gone some place where he could never commute to work... but considering it's less than a third what properties cost where he's forced to live, "telecommute from a cabin in the woods" becomes a lot more practical for everyone.

And suddenly your deep red hinterlands are full of Bernie-voting rose-wearing DSA fuckers drinking your redneck beer, buying your redneck groceries and engaging you in fucking conversation about the school levy.

Here's what I think: I think way too many of the Republican right-wing small-government ideologues have been on tape way too many times saying exactly the wrong thing over and over and over. People have sand in their panties right now about the absence of Joe Biden without observing that right now, the race is between Trump and "not Trump" and the constructive thing is to let Trump keep going on TV during prime time and appear keenly non-presidential. 77% of respondents polled want vote-by-mail. That's an eaaaaasy state initiative. Will it happen this time? I dunno. What I do know is that we're in the middle of a census right about the time everyone's being forced to stay home and it doesn't ask about immigration status but it does give you ten different choices of hispanic.

I don't know if you could craft a better repudiation of 'boomer, conservative thought than COVID-19. I'm not thankful we're going through it, but I'm not pessimistic about what happens after. Amazon got zero subsidies for building in NYC and they did anyway and that's because at the local level, Amazon got the middle finger.

I don't think we serve up rare cuts of oligarch. I think the smart money recognizes that the prudent move is to take a lower profile and I think that the rest of the country recognizes that the way we used to do stuff is inferior to most of the choices we're about to make.

cgod  ·  281 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 22, 2020  ·  x 2

A few years ago another coffee shop moved in three blocks from my shop. It pissed me off because I knew the numbers and we were going to be eating each others dinner to the extent that I was pretty sure that they wouldn't make it but that they would hurt my bottom line pretty bad.

It was a nice couple who opened it, they had a background in dance performance and were pretty thin on service industry experience. They had a nut roasting company in back of the shop and decided they would open a retail location for their nuts and open a cafe to help make the whole thing balance out. They had a nice big nut display. Their coffee was decent and they had FOOD! They had stuff like quiche and egg sandwiches and shit like that. Another thing they had that didn't were walls painted in mocha and espresso shades with a natural edged counter all cut from the same tree. I know many people thought I was doomed, it was a very nice counter. Friends said that I should start doing food to stay competitive (I just have bagels and pastry).

I think it wasn't long before they nice couple realized that nuts weren't a destination shopping attraction, the nut display dwindled to a few shelves but they reportedly sell a lot of nuts online and to fancy shops. They double downed on the food and became more ambitious. You could get a motherfucking breakfast there with potatoes eggs and toast on the weekend. Food margins are way shittier than coffee margins and it entails a whole bunch of work and forethought to keep the machine running. The two of them couldn't man the shop and keep the nuts flowing alone so they got employees.

I know my numbers and and could pretty well judge their costs in relation to how busy they were and what their prices were. They were right about FOOD bringing em in. They were a bit busier than I was but all that labor and the worsening margins meant that the return on the work wan't panning out. I knew baristas who worked for them and they said it was a shitty unhappy place to work. I'd go in for a cup of coffee and not see the owners working or see the owners and note their strained smiles and weary eyes.

On a sidebar, why don't I have FOOD! Food has shitty margins when you have to add an employee to give any kind of decent service. If I had food I'd have to work significantly harder to eek out a relatively small amount of extra profit. I also know that the thousandth time I scrapped cheese off a plate I'd go down to the basement and hang myself from the rafters. I suppose it mostly comes down to the fact that there is a value to happiness that a small increase in marginal profit and brow sweat can't make up for.

So, I kept my head down, donated to local causes and kept getting to know the people in my neighborhood better. Most importantly I made better coffee than the other guys, all I cared about was coffee and relationships. The other shop changed their hours about ten times in a year and a half trying to find the magic hours to bring in the most money and keep labor and work to a minimum. In the end they opened later than I did and closed earlier. I loved it.

One day the other shops roaster came in to pitch me on his wares.

He walked in, saw who I carried and said "Oh, you are carrying Courier!."

He had half a dozen bags of coffee in his arms.

"You aren't going to be interested in switching roasters, Joel is the guy that inspired me to go into coffee, he's a great guy and his coffee is amazing." He gave me a few single orgins and told me to look him up if Courier ever went out of business.

I kept my head down for a year and a half and waited for them to go out of business which they finally did. They said they had to quit for personal reasons, which may to some extent be true but when you aren't making any money or having any fun personal reasons are nagging.

They immediately sold the business to another nice couple. This couple also had a background in performance and little food experience. They really went all in at the FOOD! They tried it all and were good at very little of it. I had one of their bland $7 quiches and wondered that anyone would buy such a thing twice. One of my friends got and egg sandwich and tossed it out declaring that it tasted oddly of fish and tossed it in the garbage. This couple slowly worked their own shop less and less relying on expensive employees to cover more and more shifts.

Their employees were mostly unhappy and gave shitty service. I work my shop 6 days a week for about fifty six open hours. I have two ladies who cover the seventh day alternating every other week and pick up an odd shift when I need it. They are both gems who trust to always act in my best interest and to treat people as well as I would. Neither are the all that great as baristas but they are both decent. I never worry about the shop for a second while they are there. I also have a friend who can pick up shifts who is an ace barista and great with people.

My service is consistent if a little wild and weird sometimes. When the group home goes out for coffee they come to my shop, I know their names and talk to them. I've got the vast majority of the minority business because I am happy to get to know and grateful to put coffee in the cup of almost each and every person who walks in the door. One of my black customers who has become over time one of my friends remarked that she didn't like to go in the other place. She said they were all smiles but she could tell that she wasn't welcome there. I let every mail man, UPS driver or construction work crew use my bathroom, they've become customers and the word has spread that a person out working can always get a glass of water and use the john at my place. It's really my joy when I look out on the floor and see every slice of my neighborhood life sitting at my tables. It took a couple years of development to get there but it's probably the thing that has made me the most proud of my spot. I'm sure that there are more than a few people who hate my spot. They hate the color scheme, they hate that I don't have food, they hate that I don't have lilac rose marry infused honey lattes, and they hate that I don't have all natural edged counters cut from the same tree. I'm not kid friendly. I'm not kid unfriendly but if the shop starts to look like a fucking day care with children running around and bouncing off things like bumper cars I'm like to put on NWA until things thin out a bit.

Finally the next nice couple has their dreams shattered by my unwillingness to lay down and die and just make room for the new order of natural edged counters all cut from the same tree. I worked like a dog (I like working, its not all that hard but it's long and I almost never have bad days). I kept love in my heart for all the people who chose to support me. I'm grateful for having had this chapter of my life be at least moderately successful. The second couple were out of business. I went to their equipment sale and purchased a Ditting grinder an almost like new Mazzer for $900, what a fucking deal. The Ditting is a godamn dream.

It's been a few months since they went out of business and I knew sales were up but I hadn't run the numbers and compared them to last year. I figured I was up about 30%. I just ran the January numbers and compared them to sales last year and I found that I was up 66% from last year! It's huge. It's money coming in long after fixed costs have been taken care of. I could probably make more money doing any number of things but it wouldn't be my gig and my customers. It makes me feel pretty great.

They are going to tear my shop down in about two years and I'm ok with that. It'll only be two years of the type of money I had hopped would be coming in all this time but it'll be all the sweeter for having buried a pair of starry eyed dancers dreams by being consistent and friendly and enjoying almost every day of my work life.

kingmudsy  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 8, 2020  ·  

I've got permanent bags under my eyes. This is mostly owed to my larger than average eye sockets, but partly because I'm always staying up past my bedtime. I've been putting thought into why I'm constantly giving myself insufficient sleep for no good reason, and this is what I've got:

I'm good looking. I'm smart. I'm funny. People want to be around me, and I tend to attract them easily. But even around family, I have a baseline level of discomfort. If I spend too much time with someone, I accumulate a nauseated feeling in my stomach that's only relieved by periods of solitude.

Night is the perfect time, because everyone else is gone. They're asleep or they're kindred spirits and don't expect my acknowledgement any more than I want theirs.

I love what nighttime sounds like.

Even the highway by my house is silent but for the perfectly digestible sound of one or two cars pushing like boats through a river of asphalt. The night is so still that the sound of my parent's antique modem clicking away in the kitchen can be heard clearly from the carpeted living room. The TV is on, and although I've muted the late-night advertisement for a new and innovative CPAP machine, I can still hear the small whine of static electricity arcing from red to green to blue. This small whine is overwhelming. I can smell it if I focus on it. It smells like hot dust. If I'm feeling particularly aspirational, I know that birdsong will eclipse the modem and the pixels when the sun stretches its first amber fingers and brushes their tips over the roofs of my neighborhood.

'Alone' to me means 'relaxed.' People bring tension, and they take me from my thoughts.

I'm still sussing out the underlying reasons here, but that's the basic phenomenon - I can only relax on my own, and I'm always alone at night. I think for now a simple description of the phenomenon is good enough. I'll keep sussing, and maybe I'll bring you an epiphany next week.

zebra2  ·  330 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 4, 2019  ·  

So the album releases on Friday, but it's on Bandcamp already

https://elkbird.bandcamp.com/album/nature-expansion-pack

Go ahead and take a download code for it!

zebra2  ·  386 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

You can’t prove it. This is a perfect pubski. I won’t tell you anything.

flac  ·  463 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 24, 2019  ·  

Y'all. The wedding suit is DONE (almost).

Still needs doing: strap for the vest, slip-stitching on vest/jacket/pants, sleeve buttons for jacket, hem for pants, lots of cleaning up (unfortunately, there are some small iron burns on the lapels of the jacket which I'm trying to figure out how to deal with).

This was the biggest sewing project I've undertaken, and I am generally really pleased with how it turned out. The suit fit me really poorly as-is because I am pretty lanky and fall in-between two sizes, so I had to do a lot of alterations, and still might do some more here and there. Unfortunately, this was after I had already bound the seams of the jacket with bias tape, so the insides of the jacket are not as clean as I would like.

The suit is made of a linen, which was fucking HORRIBLE to work with because of how much it stretched and shrunk throughout the process.

All told, it took three days to sew - one for the vest, one for the pants, one for the jacket. This was my first time making any of these patterns, so there was lots of learning to do.

T-Minus 17 days til the wedding. Still need to make rings, but that can wait another day.

insomniasexx  ·  611 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who Is Left on Hubski?  ·  x 3

hellloooooooo, this is how my life is now.

kleinbl00  ·  874 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore: Telephone culture is disappearing.  ·  

'K. So. That was delicious.

The "disappearance" of "telephone culture" is a direct consequence of place and decorum in that telephones used to be for places. You had a home phone and an office phone and if you needed to be reached at the office you had a number. If you needed to be reached at home it was presumed it was someone who knew you personally, wanted to know you personally, or had something important to communicate.

A phone was not an obligation - a phone was a tool for communicating within certain settings. And because phones were controlled by large monopolies with ridiculous build cost and tremendous vertical integration it was exceedingly difficult to sidestep the decorum associated with calling a phone number. And if you didn't connect, you didn't connect. If it was important, you'd call back.

Answering machines, which are older than Alexis Madrigal, allowed people to leave messages. This allowed people to screen calls, which has been happening since before Alexis Madrigal was born. Where things got messed up for the phone company, however, was when they went digital.

Because they couldn't do it all at once. Your digital system had to be backwards-compatible with your analog system, and your analog system had to be backwards-compatible with the first phone systems installed back in nineteen diggity-two. Which meant, effectively, that the controls on digital technology were adequate for nineteen diggity-two.

The same technology that allowed the phone company to give you voicemail allow VoIP pirates to phonebank the shit out of everyone from a call center in Bangalore. Once it's become data you can do anything with it. The original PCS transport protocol is literally 10BaseT. You're on a computer now, bubba.

So they made them smaller and they put one in everyone's pocket and phones were no longer about place. I fought them for years using this very argument: "I am not a place. If you need to reach me, you can reach me AT home. You can reach me AT work." For a while cell phones were things you called in an emergency because they were expensive. Texts, despite being free sideband metadata, were equally expensive. And then things were deregulated such that texts were free and calling was cheap and suddenly

you

could not

escape.

And that's the thing Madrigal doesn't get (because he's a fucktard). "Telephone culture" has vanished because there's no goddamn freedom from it. There's no longer any unreachability because the number everyone has (and it's on Facebook and it's everywhere and VoIP is so cheap that you can literally dial every number sequentially) is in your back pocket. Which means if someone is calling you, they're fuckin' interrupting you. You can't get away from that thing.

So yeah. People text first because it's polite and asymmetrical. If you're the kind of person who responds to texts too quickly, people email you. You likely chat with your friends on the phone, but rarely... but when you do, it's important.

I work freelance. We're hired on the phone. Random-ass number calls you, you pick up because it is likely a producer who got your name from a friend or coworker and they don't want to waste time. They want to take your pulse and answer any questions. I once almost got fired off a job because I cracked a joke (wish I had in retrospect). Voice communication is more important now, not less.

My wife delivers babies. She's got a client portal in her EHR. She answers texts from patients all the time. But every single one of them - ALL OF THEM - call when it's time for the baby.

That most reclusive of species, the early-20s woman, who never talks to anyone on the phone anymore, CALLS my wife in the middle of the night to say the baby is coming.

Telephone culture isn't dead. It's just been elevated. And if you don't get that, you deserve to get hung up on.

glowinthedark  ·  981 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Impromptu LA Hubski meetup Feb 20  ·  

Hello world.

b_b  ·  1077 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Democratic civil war? The Left already won  ·  x 2

    The central challenge for Democrats in taking back the White House will hinge on the party’s ability to persuade a majority of Americans to support a more progressive agenda going forward.

Apparently, Mr. Sosnik isn't familiar with how the Electoral College works. A plurality of Americans already vote democratic, and have so in all but one presidential election since 1992. Democrats' problem isn't one of majorities; it's one of geographics. That is unlikely to change anytime soon, and moving further leftward will accelerate, not decelerate this phenomenon.

The leftward lurch has some real perils in it. The numbers cited above I think don't paint the whole picture. Immigration, e.g., wasn't much of a partisan fight until like 2015 when the Muslim Ban was first proposed. Immigration reform was the darling of W and the Kochs and was opposed by Bernie Sanders as recently as the beginning of the primary season. That dramatic 52 point shift has seen a lot of its movement only in the last couple years. Similarly, we're seeing a dramatic increase in "single payer" devotees in just the last half year. Democrats and liberals should be wary of getting caught in the "against Trump" vortex, and not let it color their chances of ever winning another presidential election.

Speaking of, NYT published an OpEd today calling for Al Franken's resignation. That's the level of crazy liberals are going to rise to in service of all things "against Trump". Of all the moronic OpEds NYT has published over the years, this one got me particularly pissed off (because when Erik Prince or John Bolton publish one they're easy to laugh off), because it represents the worst of the left mob: letting a staff writer (as opposed to a one off partisan) call for the head of one of America's finest senators because, well, Roy Moore is a child molester and Donald Trump is a rapist and we don't like them so everyone gets a trophy.

People need to keep their heads. America and the Democrats don't need a leftward push, especially one that's driven by "against Trump". We need a push toward sensible regulatory and tax reform, driven by a shared sense of community and compassion. That's not a leftist agenda, even though it sounds like one in today's world. It's a humanist agenda that the left has the best mandate to push. It will only happen, however, if we move past the identity driven leftism that's currently en vogue.

lil  ·  1080 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: This is my tarot  ·  

OK, to answer your question

Position 10: The Ace of Pentacles. This card suggests that we will keep going

We may get cut down, but like the tree stump in this card, it is still alive with new branches growing from it. We don't know what has become of the old tree? All that remains are its many rings - it was old, but not wise enough to sustain itself.

The glow in the centre of the stump keeps it alive leading to the new growth.

Stay grounded, leave the light on in your heart.

lil  ·  1154 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Elemental haiku  ·  

This poem is handy to know. Recently a friend of mine dropped his iPhone into water. People said to put it in a bag with rice, a common response.

(Note - just checked the rice-cell phone solution here.)

The rice soution gave me a chance to quote Fire and [R]ice.)

  Some say the cell phone will end in fire, some in rice.

From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who

favour fire

But if it had to perish twice

I think I know enough of hate

to say that for destruction rice

is also great

and will suffice.

My friend said, "Wow, did you make that up just now?"

Clearly he wasn't a Frost fan.