Hubski thoughtful web.Hubski Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions #technology #ai and Prayers, the Game #thehumancondition #commentary as depressingly political as I like to get five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment - The Washington Post #guns #secondamendment a result of the rulings in Heller and McDonald, the Second Amendment, which was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were “well regulated,” has given federal judges the ultimate power to determine the validity of state regulations of both civilian and militia-related uses of arms. That anomalous result can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of its draftsmen. As so amended, it would read:“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands. Those emotional arguments would be nullified by the adoption of my proposed amendment. The amendment certainly would not silence the powerful voice of the gun lobby; it would merely eliminate its ability to advance one mistaken argument.'s Hallucinate Together #iwroteathing few of my thousands of pictures from Nepal #travel #outdoors Hubski! So I mentioned in this week's Pubski that I was in Kathmandu. Now that I'm back in the US with a laptop, I can actually share a few (25ish) of my pictures. I'm planning on making a long blog post about the trip on my website, as well as making a video of highlights (like swimming with elephants, trekking and paragliding) but that will take a few weeks. I literally have 6,000 plus pictures to go through, ha! So for now, feast your eyes on Nepal!Overview of the trip: - Flew into Kathmandu, met up with a good friend who is Nepali (came to the US when he was 19) and acted as our host. - Traveled to Pokhara, learned it's my favorite place on the planet and that I want to stay there forever - Poon Hill trek around the base of Annapurna/Machepuchere/other absolutely giant Himalayas. Saw a metric shitton of goats and water buffalo due to festival. Got licked by a baby buffalo and bit by a leech. Fun times! - Hang gliding in Pokhara - Traveled to & explored Bandipur - Traveled to Chitwan NP, searched for Rhinos, found monkies and hogs. Swam with elephants. Got entirely too hot - Back to Kathmandu and visited our host's family for day 10 of Dashain. Got decked out in tika and SO much food - Visited 3 of the 7 world heritage sites in Kathmandu Valley. Found out that smiling at baby monkeys = threatening the monkey. Got chased by monkeys. - Headed back to the states! I'm happy to answer questions about the trip here, but like I said I'll share with you guys my long blog post + video once those are done =) Namaste! @mk's talk at Google: Increasing Human Life Expectancy through Stem Cell Rejuvenation #foreverlabs #showhubski Pump Skimmers #hacking #security Packer: What Ta-Nehisi Coates Gets Wrong About American Politics #politics #society you construct an entire teleology on one cause—even a cause as powerful and abiding as white racism—you face the temptation to leave out anything that complicates the thesis.drops mic :: SO2 pollution map #environment #maps's a bunch of other projections and pollutants in the menu in the bottom left. great nutrient collapse #science #environment atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention. S17 in photos -- #sellingwithtng #tellhubski that time that Forever Labs was asked to join Y Combinator? I do and I'm finally ready to talk about it with Hubski. TLDR - It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I just finished going through the worlds most famous tech incubator, Y Combinator. Feel free to ask me questions about it, if you'd like. Here's a photo of my partners in crime, mk, ecib and me:Here's a photo of some amazing founders we became close with: GuggyDropleafAlpine Roadsmk and Vinayak of ZendarOur Advisor, Geoff Ralston - Greatest human being ever.tng and mk workingWhat is great about YC is that it is never really "over." You are always alum. Now we are raising a round of financing. Wish us luck!! -TNG short atmospheric music piece I made #music #hubskioriginalmusicclub while back, I saw this post on the music in Blade RunnerWhich inspired me to pull out my Volcas and try to make an 80ish synthscape. It's just a short little thing but I like where it's going. I sat on it for a while and then just slapped some finishing touches on it today. Days of Heroin - This is What an Epidemic Looks Like #thehumancondition #goodlongread A Visual Guide #ethereum #technology's done! At least, version 1.0 of the big Ethereum explainer that I wish was already written. Any feedback is welcome. I moved a bunch of stuff around so please tell me if it's unclear somewhere. I'll proofread over it some more and will probably post it to /r/ethereum somewhere in the next days! goobster mk kleinbl00 insomniasexx Solar Eclipse: with bonus science #2017eclipse #science thousand seven hundred sixty-five years ago, Nabû-nāṣir deposed Nabû-šuma-iškun, ending the Chaldean's rule of Babylon. Nabû-šuma-iškun had been a despised tyrant, and his many crimes and sacrileges were recorded in a chronicle at the time: • imposed forced labor and corvée • did not shave • mutilated the fingers of his apprentice scribe • brought a leek to the temple and gave it to the priest • committed insult and unspeakable slander • etc.Under their new leader, the Babylonians prospered, and employed their innovations in the arts of writing and counting to advance astronomy. They kept detailed records of planetary motion, observed the comet that would eventually be called Halley's, and discovered subtle patterns of lunar movement.The Moon follows various cycles depending on one's point of view. The synodic month from one full moon to the next is about 29.5 days, the anomalistic month between perigees is about 27.5 days, and the draconic ... well, it's complicated, and Greek scientists needed a computer to sort it all out.The Babylonian scientists noticed that these cycles interact to form a pattern that repeats every 18 years, 11 days, and 8 hours. Therefore, when the Earth and Moon happen to line up with the Sun, causing a solar or lunar eclipse, it is possible to predict another similar eclipse later on. Halley would call this cycle the Saros, borrowing a term from the Suda, the Wikipedia of the Byzantines.A single Saros series lasts for over a thousand years. There are 39 active today, numbered 117 to 155, together causing solar eclipses about every eighteen months. (They are enumerated in the Five Millennium Canon, with Saros 0 beginning on -2955 May 2 and previous series denoted by negative numbers.)Solar Saros 145 began with a partial solar eclipse in 1639. Eighteen cycles later, in 1963, a Saros 145 total solar eclipse crossed North America from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts, mostly over Canada. Peanuts ran a series of eclipse-themed comics in the week leading up to the July 20 event, with Linus warning of "severe burns of the retina" if anyone looked at the eclipse.The next Saros 145 eclipse, in 1981, passed over the Soviet Union, with little fanfare (the extra eight hours in each cycle give the Earth time to turn a third of the way around).Then, on August 11, 1999, at the end of the millennium, the great Y2K fin de siècle total solar eclipse passed over the U.K., Europe, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and India, promising the end of the world or something.I went to Paris to try and see it, and had a nice trip, but the weather made my eclipse viewing experience little better than that of Linus.Fast-forward eighteen years, eleven days, and eight hours, and the Moon was destined to cast a shadow on North America once again: the Great American Eclipse.The date has been noted on the various calendars I have kept since 1999. I still have a clipping from Le Monde I tucked into a book I was carrying on that trip.Only recently, however, did I become aware of an opportunity to get a mega-dose of science on 21 août 2017. posters by Tyler NordgrenI had driven past Oak Ridge, Tennessee on two trips to the BFC, and recognized it from Richard Rhodes as one of three important Manhattan Project sites. I reserved a seat on the Oak Ridge National Laboratories public bus tour at the American Museum of Science and Energy which would make a special stop in the afternoon for the eclipse.It was easy to pass time in the AMSE until the tour started. There were dollhouse reactor models, many artifacts, and a photo of Oppenheimer on almost every wall. I took a picture of a Norden bombsight and sent it to John Coster-Mullen, who had kindly given me sightseeing tips when I visited the Navy Museum.Union Carbide, a primary postwar Oak Ridge contractor, created Apollo Lunar Sample Return Containers, and a moon box and chunk of moon rock were on display.I visited the museum shop to buy a gizmo for the kid and a National Park Service passport book because it seemed easier than starting a patch collection. Now I am obligated to go to Los Alamos and Hanford.Once on the bus I took a seat next to Jarrod, a nuclear power worker who had brought his wife and daughter from Ohio. He was, like me, avidly consuming the Manhattan Project lore, but also carried a new DSLR with a big lens for the main event in the afternoon. Our tour guide, Richard Raridon, worked for 30 years in the computing division at Oak Ridge and kept us entertained with stories from the old days.The first stop was Y-12, where giant calutrons separated the lighter uranium isotopes needed for fission by projecting them through a magnetic field. Generating this field in so many machines would require thousands of tons of copper, which was in short supply during the war. Mr. Raridon told the famous story of the engineer meeting with the deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury, asking to borrow silver to use in place of copper. "How much do you need?" "Six thousand tons." "Young man, you may think of silver in tons, but the Treasury will always think of silver in troy ounces." So goes the lore. They eventually borrowed over a billion dollars' worth of silver for the project, and Mr. Raridon pointed out that the busbar going around the top of each calutron "racetrack" was a solid silver conductor about a foot thick.We next drove past the Spallation Neutron Source, a modern peacetime project that provides neutron beams for industrial and scientific research. Then the X-10 Graphite Reactor, the world's second atomic reactor and a demonstration for the later wartime production of plutonium in Hanford.Finally we got back on the bus for the ride to K-25, the giant, mile-long building that enriched uranium by the gaseous diffusion process. Larger than the Pentagon, and the most expensive component of the Manhattan Project (which sent only 4% of its budget to Los Alamos), it was constructed in less than two years and took five years to demolish, finishing in 2013. Oak Ridge facilities consumed about one percent of the nation's electric power during the war.The museum arranged for a stop at the K-25 site, now a vast paved area with scattered commercial industrial buildings around, to view the eclipse, and we arrived about 20 minutes before the 2:32:42 p.m. show time. I closed one eye as I got off the bus to develop some dark adaptation. I set up my cheapo sports camera on a pocket tripod and checked the framing to include the bus and some landscape and the sun, still quite bright and high overhead at 64° altitude. I set out my binoculars and took a few glances at the crescent sun through the eclipse glasses.My plan for my first, and possibly only, total solar eclipse viewing was to just take in the experience and not futz around with gadgets. But fifteen minutes turns out to be a long time to stand around waiting. I took a shot through the glasses with the phone to see how it would come out.Grainy. I went back to check the framing of the camera again, and noticed that I did not start the recording, so I did that. I checked my bearings with the compass app and kept an eye out to the west. It was getting darker, but not dramatically, probably because light perception is logarithmic. People reported that it got cooler, but I didn't notice in my building excitement.During the last minute, I noticed a ridge of dark clouds at the western horizon that had been invisible against the bright sky moments earlier. The sun was a thin crescent through the glasses now, but I wasn't going to look for the "diamond ring" or "Baily's beads" effect at the beginning, to try and preserve dark adaptation. A nearer cloud in the western sky turned gray, and then we were in the dark.It was an immense moment. The familiar eclipse image was hanging up there where the sun was a moment before. I gawked and lost my composure. This likely has more to do with two decades of planning and anticipation and worry being consummated all at once then any majestic grandeur of the scenery. After all, we knew what it was going to look like. Oppenheimer said that badass Sanskrit line when he saw the first atomic fireball, and I had considered memorizing some cool Latin phrase for deployment at the right moment, but didn't bother. Obviously Oppie knew he was going to say that, and he knew he was later going to be interviewed and say that he had said that. I didn't have an audience, so my exclamations were more profane than profound. I got a few WTFs out of the way and pulled myself together to make the most of my one minute forty-three point three seconds of totality.Through 10× pocket binoculars, the corona was majestic, with fine texture visible in few eclipse photos, stretching and curling farther than one diameter away from the edges. I didn't notice any features of the moon's surface but didn't think to look carefully, nor did I see any prominences.A tiny star was visible at ten o'clock to the eclipse, apparently Regulus. Other stars or planets were easily visible in the dusky sky, but I didn't waste time trying to identify them. I gawked through the binoculars then gawked with naked eyes then gawked again through binoculars. Then I put the binoculars down and looked all around, at the sunset-red atmosphere along the horizon in every direction. There were some voices but most of the sound came from the idling engine of the tour bus.Jarrod was leaning over his tripod, bracketing like mad. I checked the "3425" mm:ss notation I had scribbled on my palm, then my watch, and saw we had just over a minute to go. I looked back up.The sky was broken. There was a black hole where the sun was supposed to be. It was deeply unsettling. Come back, sun, I murmured.I don't believe the ancients were all so puzzled by total solar eclipses. When the sun and moon are your clock and calendar, it's pretty simple to work out where the invisible new moon is, and pretty obvious in the days after an eclipse that the moon was in the right place at the right time, even if you can't pin down a motive. But I fully understand how they saw an eclipse as an ill omen, unnerving as it is to see the sun blotted out.I took another long gaze through the binoculars, savoring the experience of looking directly toward the sun through magnifying lenses. Then I watched the last seconds unassisted. I don't want to diminish the importance of the widely-dispensed advice about ocular health, but it was quite easy to look away shortly after the diamond ring appeared and from then on use protective filters.As the sky brightened, the eclipse was about 51% complete, but I was already thinking about the 500-mile traffic jam rapidly forming between me and a 10 a.m. meeting at work Tuesday morning. Our tour group loitered around a while, and finally boarded the bus. On the road back to the museum, a line of about 20 cars formed at a red light, and Donnie the driver said it was the worst traffic since the [1982] World's Fair. Someone had asked about some pool, so we made a detour to drive by the Oak Ridge Outdoor Pool, now or then one of the largest in the world, or the southeast, while I frantically tried to download traffic data over the overburdened cell network.The drive home was fine. I managed 70 mph most of the time, with typical slowdowns for accidents and construction giving me an average 59 mph speed over 378 nonstop miles, surely my personal best for distance. It rained some too.I don't like to recommend things; inflating expectations seems to promote disappointment more than anything else. But I do suggest we say yes to opportunities to have new adventures whenever possible. Just days before the event I was only half sure I would go, with fears of car trouble or traffic nightmares or bad weather giving me doubts. For the price of a motel night and two tanks of gas, I formed memories that I will enjoy in my last days, if they are not crowded out by greater experiences.Saros 139 is just around the corner, with more to come. looking upphoto courtesy of Jarrod Nolan Thanks to Lee and cW for live previews from the West Coast, also to ButterflyEffect and am_Unition for online companionship from Tennessee though we were, regrettably, unable to meet in person. your #Eclipse2017 Pics! #eclipse2017 #science didn't make it to totality but I didn't let it stop me from having fun playing with the shadows!I knew I would be posting pics for you guys and gals, so I made a special pinhole projector for the occasion:It's a hubwheel! Here's what it looks like not held far apart:And my favorite part - the tree shadows!My observations were that the light after approximately 80% felt like it was about 5pm. The dog thought it was a fine time to take a nap. I am for sure making it to totality in 2024, even if I have to walk! Owners of Hubski: Indoor Exercise Advice? #askhubski #thepuppycondition I mostly just needed a place to vent, though any advice would be great!)This is Cooper. He's around 3 years old. He's a Doberman terrier mix. A rescue twice over. He is adorable, loving, and a huge fucking handful.To avoid the quagmire of poorly explained emotions, turn to page 26------------CooperMy partner and I got him this past week. We knew he would be a lot to deal with. He's very reactive to other dogs (barking, lunging), and has a boatload of energy. That's okay, we thought - we have a lot of time on our hands, we can just take him for walks. We live at the end of a cul-de-sac. Turns out, every single house (except for one) owns at least one dog, most own two. They almost all have fenced in front yards, where their dogs are always running around. This means that the furthest we can get without Cooper getting freaked out is about 20 yards, on a good day.That's okay, we thought - we have a fenced in yard too, and the neighbor on the other side of the fence doesn't have a dog! Turns out that there's a reason for that. Mrs. Jenkins, pt. 1Our neighbor is named Mrs. Jenkins. She told me her first name once a few months ago, but everyone seems to just call her Mrs. Jenkins. She's about 80 years old, and has lived in her house for 52 years. I live at the edge of Cully, one of the historically black sections of Portland. Mrs. Jenkins and her family are one of two remaining black families on my block - the rest are, largely, white couples under the age of 30. A few families that have been here for a while, but it's mostly renters.Mrs. Jenkins, I learned yesterday, is terrified of dogs. She was chased by a pack of dogs and bitten when she was a child - I don't know much more of the context than that. Her house is adjacent to 5 other houses - each and every one of those houses has a dog. Her yard is fenced in on all sides, and there is a beautiful garden along the perimeter. Tending to this garden seems to be one of her favorite activities, and she spends most of the morning doing so. Cooper is good with people. Sure, he gets excited when I get home, but he doesn't bark at people otherwise. Except, of course, at Mrs. Jenkins. And her family.The Last OwnersI don't know much about Cooper's past - we got him from a couple who were living in an apartment complex on the outskirts of Portland. It was... not so great. They were hoarders, and had been feeding him pretty much only hot dogs. He had a shock collar on, which they gave us for free. It was clearly meant for their other, bigger dog. On our walk to the car, his owner Vince was giving me advice on being the "alpha", and letting me know that he tried the shock collar on himself, and the highest setting wasn't too bad, so that's what he uses on Cooper.This couple had gotten Cooper from a shelter. He was going to be euthanized soon if they didn't adopt him, because he had gotten into a serious fight with another dog before and his owners abandoned him. I guess he was in a pretty rough condition when they got him. They told me that if he attacks another dog again and the owner alerts Animal Control, he'll be killed.They don't know much about his first owners, but they think he was being trained to be a guard dog.Mrs. Jenkins, 2Back to Mrs. Jenkins. She has tarps on all sides of her fence, except for the side connected to us. She put them up because she was afraid of the dogs that kept jumping at the fence when she was gardening.She's putting up some tarps on our side today. Cooper hasn't lunged at her or anything, but he barks at her when she's gardening. Again, she and her family are the only people I've seen Cooper bark at. I don't know if this is a thing that is even possible, but I think the dog's first owners might have trained him to bark at any people of color he saw. I feel more than a little insane for thinking that. Even if not, I have no idea why the only person that he barks at is the one person in all of Portland who doesn't like dogs.I feel acutely aware of the fact that I am starting to impose on a neighborhood that was once largely black. All my anxieties about becoming a part of gentrification are coming to a head, and I'm having a hard time dealing with it all.Enough SleepI know that these are small problems that feel dire just because I've been getting less sleep than usual. I'm waking up earlier to take Cooper out, because I can actually take him for a walk at 6 AM without worrying about other dogs. And if I stay up till 1 AM, the other dogs are asleep already, and I can walk him then. I've been spending a few hours a day doing leash training with him. He doesn't pull as much anymore, which is a start. I know that his pent up energy is the biggest problem here, and once I can actually walk him safely, everything else will start to fall into place. He can go to sleep sooner, and hang out in the yard without freaking out. I can slowly socialize him with other dogs. Mrs. Jenkins can take down some of her tarps. It all takes a lot of time. I just want everyone to be okay in the meantime.Page 26TL;DR: Any advice for getting Cooper some indoor exercise while I'm working on leash training him? I've been playing tug of war, and he's getting a lot of his food out of a Kong now, which tires him out a bit. He can also walk around in our yard, as long as our neighbor is inside and he is on a leash. Issue 21 isn't just 🔥🔥🔥, but it's 💥💥💥. At least, I think those are explosion emojis. #goodlongread promo videos aren't your thing, here are my personal favorites from this month's issue:Cleaning Up After the Dog: "Pull plastic bag from pocket and wave it like a flag or diploma. Make sure many people congratulate your care for the community."A Senior Citizen’s Guide to Internet Pornography: "Your favorite search engine is the best place to start your journey into the sexually explicit. Many seniors use Yahoo! and Google for looking up old friends or getting the show times of movies to nap through. But did you know that search engines are also a great way to find out about young horny sluts who like having their feet massaged?"Jeezus Changed My Oil Today: "Jesus takes my money, smiles, gives me the change, waves me on my way. Have a good one, he says, then turns to the next car in line, pops the next hood, pulls out his oil wand to service another and I imagine he’s cleansed my car saintly, extracted my sins and my guilt, my oily intentions like a drive-through confession."[Trip Report] PCT Washington Section Hike #tripreport #blog.violinist's taken me quite a while to get around to writing a trip report for my hike of the Washington section of the Pacific Crest Trail (hereafter referred to as the PCT). I have no good excuse other than that the last week and a half has been rather unproductive in general and I just haven't felt like forcing myself to write. nowaypablo and others who expressed interest in reading the trip report, sorry about the long wait!BackgroundI first started thinking about hiking the PCT in January, when I accepted an offer to be a Software Engineer at Google, with a flexible start date. I graduated on June 11, and elected to set my start date on December 4—almost 6 full months after graduation. Having grown up in western Washington, I hiked quite a bit in the North Cascades, and had dreamed since I was little of hiking the PCT. I decided that since I wanted to do a lot of hiking this summer, hiking the Washington section of the PCT would be a good way to do that.As the spring academic term started, I began to plan for hiking the Washington section (approximately 505 miles) this summer. The more I researched, though, the more I began to contemplate hiking the entire trail—2,650 miles through Washington, Oregon, and California. Hiking the entire trail would take up more of my summer / fall before beginning work (which was beginning to seem quite expansive and daunting), and I was always impressed by people who had through hiked a long trail. (Several of my college friends have hiked the Appalachian Trail, which is ~2,200 miles.) At first I applied for a permit to section hike just the Washington portion of the trail, but shortly thereafter reconsidered and applied for a permit to hike the entire trail southbound.Hiking the trail southbound is the less common of the two directions. Last year, about 10% of the 3,500 permits issued to through hike the PCT were issued for southbounders (or SOBOs, as they're commonly called). If I were a northbounder (NOBO), I'd want to start hiking in April or May in order to be through the lowland desert before the worst of the summer heat. As a SOBO, however, I could start at the ordinary time, even after a June graduation. SOBOs generally aim to start by the beginning of July, though the exact start date depends somewhat on how much snow there's been the previous winter, and how fast the snowpack is melting. (The North Cascades hold the world record for the most snowfall of anywhere in the world, and 12 feet (3.66 meters) of snowpack is not uncommon.) This last winter was an uncommonly high snowfall, and the spring was cool, so the snow melted relatively slowly. My target start date, therefore, was mid-July.PlanningI acquired gear over the course of the spring. My goal was to have an ultralight pack, so to that end, I purchased a new pack, a new tent, a new sleeping pad, a new stove, and various other gear. When all was said and done, my base weight was just over 15 pounds, though I think by the time I got off trail in Cascade Locks, it was down to 12.5 lb or so. Base weight, for those unfamiliar with the metric, is the weight of everything in the pack but consumables. My actual pack weight would vary over the course of the trip, from ~35 lb (estimated) at the heaviest, with a week's worth of food and 5 liters of water, to somewhere between 15 and 20 lb at the lightest. I'll talk about the specific gear I used at the end of the post, for those who are interested in the full gear description and how it performed. Below is a picture of all my gear.Planning food is somewhat more complicated for SOBOs than it is for NOBOs. The trail in Washington is quite a bit more isolated than it is in southern California, so hikers must ship packages to themselves at 4–5 resupply points through the state. Immediately upon arriving home from graduation I set to work planning food. My breakfasts were the same every day: granola with peanut butter protein powder. For lunches and snacks, I assembled a huge variety of snacks—24 flavors of granola bars, 6 types of dried fruit, 5 types of nuts, and 17 different sorts of junk food. I calculated calorie density of each type of snack, and the average across all of them was 125 calories / oz. This was exactly what I'd been aiming for. That meant that my diet starting out—about 3,000 calories / day, would weigh 1.5 lb, and when I ramped up my food to 4,000 calories / day, I'd carry 2 lb of food per day. My dinners would be my lone hot meal, and I had three recipes I rotated: beans, rice, Fritos, and cheese; ramen noodles with Thai peanut sauce; and pesto with ramen noodles. The picture below is a sample of the food I shipped to myself. I repackaged almost everything into serving sized (snack or sandwich) ziplock bags.I shipped food to myself four places in Washington state: Stehekin (a little town in North Cascades National Park, with an 11-mile shuttle ride from the PCT), Stevens Pass Ski Area (on Highway 2), a gas station at Snoqualmie Pass (I-90), and the Kracker Barrel store at White Pass (Highway 12, 0.5 miles off the trail). I tried my best to pack an appropriate amount of food each time. It was challenging because I didn't know when my trail appetite would kick in. Most sources say that the your appetite will approximately double about 2–3 weeks into the hike, so I had to account for that in shipping food. As it turned out, I ended up having a ton of extra food at my first three resupplies, because I made faster time than I'd anticipated, then almost running out of food before reaching my 4th resupply.In order to prevent this from getting more tiresome and longwinded than it already is, I'm going to provide a short description and a few pictures of each section.Section 1: Harts Pass -> Canada Border -> StehekinMy father and John, close family friend joined me for the first section. It's quite a drive to the trailhead, about 4.5 hours from my house, so it was a good thing they joined me or it might have been hard to get a ride. The United States doesn't allow crossing the border via the PCT, so hiking the entire trail southbound requires first hiking 30 miles north to reach the northern terminus on the border, then returning south. (Canada's policy is much more reasonable, and they provide a method to preapply to cross the border via the PCT.) My dad and John were going to join me for the 60 mile round trip to the border and back. The views between Harts Pass and the border were fantastic, as were the views south to Rainy Pass. Rainy Pass to Stehekin was kinda boring. I resupplied out of the car before continuing on south.Section 2: Stehekin -> Stevens PassStehekin is a small town in North Cascades National Park, reachable from the PCT via a 12-mile shuttle ride. It has a post office, so I had sent a resupply package there for the next section: 110 miles to Stevens Pass. The trail so far had been quite remote: I had no cell service between the Canada border and Stevens Pass, and only passed 3 roads: the road to Harts Pass, Highway 20, and the road to Stehekin. The section from Stehekin to Stevens Pass was primarily through the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Glacier Peak is one of the higher peaks in the North Cascades, but most Washingtonians don't even know it exists, since it is so incredibly isolated. This section was beautiful, remote, and felt very wild.Section 3: Stevens Pass -> Snoqualmie PassThis ~75 mile section was quite nice, though I didn't find it quite lived up to the standards set by the previous, but it had lots of beautiful lakes, a few challenging stream crossings, and quite a few friendly mosquitoes.Section 4: Snoqualmie Pass -> White PassThis 99 mile section was dominated by Mount Rainier. When Rainier was in sight, it was some of the most superlative hiking of the trip. Unfortunately, it took the first 2 days of this section to reach Rainier.Section 5: White Pass -> Cascade Locks, ORThis was the last section, and the longest at 150 miles. I carried 7 days of food, though I finished it in a bit less than 6 days. It began with the Goat Rocks Wilderness, which fully matched the first section in its jaw-dropping splendor. After one night in the lowlands, the trail ascended again into the Mount Adams Wilderness, which was quite nice also (though smoke blowing down from forest fires in BC limited visibility to 2–5 miles). After that there was about 70 miles of boring trail through fairly nondescript forest and quite bad mosquitoes.Goat Rocks WildernessMt Adams WildernessA river crossing on the trailAlmost to Cascade Locks:Thoughts on Quitting the TrailI began this trip intending to hike the entire PCT southbound. I found after hiking largely by myself for the state of Washington (23 days including 1 zero day) that I didn't really enjoy hiking by myself after about a week. I spent some time listening to audiobooks and podcasts, and a lot of time just inhabiting my own head. If I were doing this trip with a friend or had found hiking companions who travelled my speed, I'd probably still be on trail. I'm planning on hiking another 500 mile section in the High Sierra in September, so it seems I haven't entirely been dissuaded from wanting to hike long distances.While the scenery was captivating, the isolation was less pronounced, as my attention was fully occupied in appreciating my surroundings. Hiking through generic young forest, though, made the boredom more pronounced.Gear ReviewOverall I was very happy with the gear I chose to take on this trip. The only item I already know I'd like to replace is my stove—it was very effective, but not particularly light. My list of equipment can be found here: I'll go through each major item below with my thoughts.Sleeping Bag: Feathered Friends Swallow UL1 lb 15 ozI was very happy with my sleeping bag. It was too warm on all but one night, and I used it as a quilt most of the time. I'd probably like to switch to a quilt in the future for the weight savings, but overall this is a quality piece of gear I was happy to have with me.Sleeping Pad: Thermarest NeoAir XLite WR (Women's Regular)12 ozI feel like I could easily substitute the Small size of this pad for the Women's Regular and save some weight. I really like the comfort and warmth of this pad though.Pack: UltraLight Adventures Circuit41.6 ozThis pack carried all my equipment like a champ. If I can reduce the weight and bulk of the equipment I carry for future trips, I feel like I could use a lighter pack. Still, at under 3 lb, it's pretty light and very comfortable even with a 30–40 lb load.Tent: TarpTent Notch26 ozThe TarpTent Notch is probably my favorite single piece of gear that I brought. It's a double-wall one-man tent that sets up using two trekking poles. The waterproof floor is made of sturdy silnylon fabric, so I didn't need a ground sheet, and was so quick and easy to set up that sometimes I threw it up quickly to eat dinner inside if the bugs were bad.Stove: JetBoil Flash Lite12 ozAs I mentioned above, this was my least favorite piece of gear. Many people I met on the trip had a small stove like this plus a small titanium pot like this, a system which would be less than half the weight of mine. Note that the 12 oz doesn't include the weight of fuel or a fuel canister.Water Filtration: Sawyer Squeeze2 ozI was relatively happy with the Sawyer Squeeze. I'd like to try the Katadyn BeFree, as I've read good things about it, but probably won't spend the money on it right away as this system is perfectly serviceable.Electronics: iPhone SE + Anker PowerCore 10000 & charger cords / brickI was quite happy with my electronics system. My iPhone served as my primary camera, while the Anker PowerCore sufficed to charge the phone 4 times in between towns.This has gotten pretty long. Feel free to ask questions about other pieces of gear I used, I don't think I'm going to type up the smaller items individually.Edit: I realized that I forgot to link to a couple of Google Photos albums I made of the trip.Album of (almost) all the flowers I sawLots of pictures from the trip secret is out: mk, ecib, and thenewgreen, have been in YC S17. #foreverlabs #showhubski doesn't excuse the Tuesday Pubski, but it's been a crazy three months. someone gives you a badge, can you then give it away?'m just curious about how badges work - if someone gives you a badge, is the badge removed from circulation or can you pay it forward? #12: "White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America" by Nancy Isenberg #bl00sreviews…I'm confused. Usually you're deeply and reliably snarky. This is… ambivalent?Naaah, dawg. This here be a powerful book.Perhaps it's due to what you think of as a unique background.My background is hardly unique - Tell them where you're writing this from.…Seat 1A, first class for my fourth flight of this young month. But it's not like I paid for it.Who's comparison-shopping Porsches and Mercedes in his spare time?I drive a '95 Dodge. I'm looking at used cars. My cousin likes to call himself an opportunistic depreciation monkey. If I blow $15k on a used Porsche it'll be less than I spent on my wife's Honda.Wouldn't happen to be the same guy who spent half a day on Rodeo Drive looking at quarter million dollar watches, would it?Like I was gonna buy one of those. Market research for a career I'd need an associate's degree to pursue.Pretty sure I saw an IWC Schaffhausen Portuguese Tourbillon on your wrist not a week ago.I have also driven Ferraris. That does not mean I will purchase one.Because you can't, fucker. You're a deeply aspirational sonofabitch but you and I both know that your ass grew up on food stamps, that cockroaches and mice were regular roommates and that Rit dye turns Thriftown scrapings into sort-of new clothes and having relatives that live in the poor hispanic community down the hill doesn't make you cool, it makes you an auslander, even if their 1600 square feet and half acre of beans is the largest house you've ever seen. You know what, kid? Nobody else's parents told them to hit first, hit hard and look out for knives. Nobody else's mother used a stilletto to peel apples. Nobody else's dad told them that the easiest way to kill a mouse is to step on it, even if you're barefoot. Nobody else's parents saved the bladders out of boxes of Gallo wine for storing used motor oil. You could BUY that Ferrari and you'd STILL be white trash.I'll have you know my great grandmother hosted Daughters of the American Revolution meetings. Four generations of Herwits went to Harvard. They still do.You're not a Herwit! You're three generations removed from that, white trash. They kicked your grandfather's folx out when they ran out of money, and they kicked your grandmother out when she married your loser goy grandfather. And what about the dirt farmers on your dad's side? They finished what, sixth grade?Eighth. Sixteen hundred square feet. A veritable mansion. Built it out of masonblock themselves, didn't they? You buried them in a dirt lot so far out of town you'd never been there before, after the Masons forgot their song mid-way through.Shut up. They bought those plots themselves back in the '60s. We never knew. Sweet tea, wasn't it? Six Lipton bags and a cup of sugar? And what did you call her cookies? "white trash cookies?"What the hell else would you call a box of yellow cake mix with all the liquids replaced with Wesson. My great uncle helped invent LORAN - You never met your great uncle. The family stopped talking to your grandfather when he dropped out of Harvard upon knocking up the Jewish girl. Your family drove two hours out of their way, went around his lake, parked in his driveway, and then left without so much as knocking on the door. You might as well have been singing "Here's your one chance Fancy", White Trash. Your grandfather was a machinist.A machinist who was regional president of the AFL - yes, yes, yes, white trash, who was mandated early retirement and died bitter in a two bedroom hovel in dirt-poor Albuquerque, surrounded by Hispanics. Funny thing about Hispanics in New Mexico - lots of their families have been there four hundred years and have counties named after them. They might be poor, but they'll never be trash like you.Can we talk about the book, please? There is no "we", white trash.So the interesting thing about this book is it lays bare the fact that here in the land of the free home of the brave, we have since the very beginning followed the exact same classes and structures as English society but that due to our foundation as a representative democracy we have to pretend we haven't. Isenberg starts by pointing out that most of the immigrants to the United States were indentured servants who faced worse contracts than they got in England, that they tended to die a lot, that they always got the shittiest land even when they were free and that the power structures in place were such that whatever valuables they had were generally consolidated into the holdings of genteel land-owners who recreated an Elizabethan social structure where the elites still held 99% of wealth with only 10% of the population. Further, that the exploration of North America has always been a process of "waste people" moving into undesirable lands, dying by the droves, establishing a toehold and then being swept aside by the desirable class. American history is one long lather-rinse-repeat process whereby a frontier is bought dearly by the poor who are then swindled by the rich and the reason we accept this is - actually she never says why we accept it.I think this book is valuable to me through synthesis of some other stuff I read. There's a fascinating book called "Fame Junkies" wherein the reasons why we follow gossip are explored. And fundamentally, we have a biological imperative to align ourselves with the strongest members of the tribe, and we have a sociological imperative to find common ground with strangers through gossip. Therefore, you're going to follow a leader just because he's a leader and you're going to talk about leaders because you have nothing else to talk about. And while Isenberg spends dozens of pages laying out chapter and verse how eugenics was practiced on the poor, how you can't have a discussion in the US for the past 200 years about the poor without discussing breeding, and how stereotypes of morally lax inbred hillbillies are older than the United States, she misses some big stuff that only hit home because fuckin'A, there aren't a whole lot of people you can make fun of anymore. Furries and Honey Boo Boo. That's pretty much it.Allow me to break the narrative for a moment but one of the things that both Methland and The Great Unwinding hammered home is that in the United States, if you're successful it's because you deserve to be and if you fail, it's because you're immoral. You didn't work hard enough. You didn't strive. But here in these United States it isn't the proletariat we worship, it isn't Tom Joad, it's fucking Kennedys and Kardashians. I've got friends that are friends with Max Landis and allow me to say this once and for all that the way you get ahead in Hollywood is by being rich and related to someone else who got ahead in Hollywood and if you aren't, Fuck You. I knew James Coburn's son briefly. Coburn never did shit for his kids. It horrified everyone I talked to because fuckin'A why don't you do shit for your kids? What's the point of nepotism if you can't go by Emilio Estevez wink wink nudge nudge? Nicholas Cage totally got to where he was by being talented, not by being Francis Ford Coppola's nephew, right? And look. That's me. Eating a warm chocolate cookie at 30,000 feet, a complimentary double of Woodford Reserve at my elbow, pissed to fuck that I'm not getting the same opportunities as Uncle-Frank-Directed-Godfather. Let's say you're my grandpa in Bastrop County Texas and it hasn't rained in a year and the cows are dying and nobody's giving you shit and you gotta put your kids in the trailer and drive around for two years looking for fuckin' work before you luck out and get an apprentice plumber job with the AEC. Except it isn't 1952 it's 2017 and your kid's got real promise and she might actually make it out except apparently some Asian kid in Denton is gonna get her slot or some black kid in Houston is gonna get her slot or some Mexican kid in Fort Worth is gonna get her slot because if you're Hispanic or Asian or Black you're a minority but if you're not? And you can't afford school because fuckin'A you can't afford cheese? Well, you, son, you'reWhite trash.And you don't deserve shit.It has been argued - conclusively - that the hardships faced by minorities eclipse the hardships faced by white people, particularly when controlling for socioeconomics.Sure. But what that means is that a poor black kid might get to go to college while a poor white kid gets to shoot meth. And the thing about the demagogues? They don't blame the poor people. The white folk get to look around and notice that everyone has an excuse why everyone around them isn't succeeding but if they're not getting ahead, it's because they're fuckups. They lack breeding, they lack drive, they lack ambition, they lack intelligence, they lack pluck, they lack.That sure looks like you slagging on your peeps, white trash.Call me a follower.How are you not doing exactly what you slagged on that dumb bastard for doing? Isn't that a rags-to-riches story about a kid who used the social safety net to escape poverty?He didn't UNDERSTAND it, though. One thing about this book - it makes the point that you improve the livelihood of everyone in the US by employing and educating the poor white trash. Roosevelt's New Deal did this; LBJ's Great Society did this. And ever since - You mean the LBJ that signed the Civil Rights Act and promptly lost the South to Democrats for the next fifty years at least, right?The very same. "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."Lyndon B Johnson to Bill MoyersThis is perhaps the least focused review you've ever done. Just sayin'.Fuckin' Trump, yo. On the one hand, he was mostly voted in by rich pricks who want to pay zero marginal tax. On the other hand, we keep pointing to his base as these poor dumb pricks that vote against their best interests every chance they get because Democrats are shiftless atheists that aren't doing their best to keep Darkie down. And what it really comes down to? What it really fuckin' comes down to? Is we need to throw money and education at the poor dumb bastards so they'll be less poor and less dumb. Clinton said "when people think, we win" but thinking has been discouraged amongst the poor since sixteen diggity two. I look at that heinous graph I linked yesterday and I know two things: (1) Piketty made it really goddamn clear that being middle class is an ephemeral thing but once you're a goddamn rentier it's fuckin' hard to fall and (2) that fuckin' bleeding-hot 99.9th percentile wealth class are the guys who can afford quarter million dollar watches and if the past thirty years prove anything, they prove that those guys are winning the economy. "100 year goals", as Gem said. I really like that. That really stuck with me. My hundred year goals, from 30,000 feet drunk on $40/bottle bourbon, are fucking socialism. We follow the alphas and the alphas are rich and so long as we're stupid and struggling we're gonna watch Kardashian and live Boo Boo and we're fucking doomed and I would really like my grandchildren to not live in a neoVictorian shithole. And this book, more than any I have read, point out what a neoVictorian shithole we've created for our poor, how fucking little we ever do about it, and how our entire social structure makes the poor and uneducated the only group in America that we can all make fun of, that we can all slag on, that we can all blame for our plight without ever once goingwait a minutehang onif they don't know any better are they really to blameBecause we DO. We DO know better and somehow we all thought we'd get our message across with clever Youtube videos. The shows most of America watches are not the shows the intelligentsia watches and sweet jesus christ we've got a machine-made reality TV star running the goddamn country and I know like six people that worked on that show that spent weeks or months hanging out with Trump, spent their days on the goddamn jet, and here I am, flying back to work from a quick weekend with my family, daughter at private school wife with a private practice in a half million dollar build-outand Iam goingto mix some reality TVand there is blood on my hands.Redden, who is now forty-seven, works ten-hour days as a cook and dishwasher at the nearby Cookie Jar Café, and he was hesitant at first about taking time off to appear in another film. For one thing, he had always regretted being the poster boy for “Deliverance” ’s Gothic view of rural America. For another, he hadn’t enjoyed working with the film’s star, Burt Reynolds. “Burt didn’t want to say nothing to nobody,” Redden says now. “He wasn’t polite. And he made us look real bad—he said on television that all people in Rabun County do is watch cars go by and spit.”Success is climbing high enough up the ladder to piss on your forebears.And if my daughter goes to Harvard I will have erased three generations of societal decline, getting my goddamn bloodline right back to where it was in 1938. Jesus Christ what a fucked up society we've created. LET'S FUCKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.NEXT UP:Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's not get carried away. These things are supposed to be infrequent.They seem to like it around here, though, contrived narrative structure be damned.Well it won't be Water Knife because while Bacigalupi is occasionally brilliant, that book is garbage. And I doubt anybody gives a fuck about Toland's Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945. So I guess they'll just have to subscribe to the tag.Wait a minute. Isn't it like 9am?I cheated. hard to post from space. Here there be proofreading. dealwithit.gif[Trip Report] Combat Field Training 2017 #tripreport #showhubski you guys! I got back a few days ago from a month of training out in the woods of upstate New York. I might have posted a trip report earlier but i spent the time since I've been back in a party-hopping drunken stupor in the Hamptons. Combat Field Training is just a bunch of rising sophomores at West Point sent out to the woods to dick around for a month, blow things up, spend a couple nights in the field and learn how to patrol in enemy territory, survive and evade, utilize platoon and squad tactics when setting up patrol bases, ambushes, raids, recon missions. Basically, we learned many things that involve laying down in the dirt for many, many hours at a time while bugs crawl up your sleeve and you pray they're not the poisonous ones.Here are some pictures! We rucked a lot. Rucking is walking with a big backpack on. Average 50 pound ruck, 20 lb equipment vest, plus weapon and ammo. Crew-serve weapons (machine guns and big machine guns) and their ammo and equipment get distributed to unlucky platoon members. Can you spot the machine gunner laying prone?We ate these! They suck! But sometimes they have m&ms that expired 2 years ago.We looked like this! Is the face paint necessary? No but it looks badass. Each company of cadets was trained, advised and later hunted down by Special Forces ODA, who are ghost-people that get paid to travel the world and kill. They were batshit crazy individuals with incredible tactical knowledge and a great desire to fuck with cadets. Actually though, we learned a lot from the SF guys about who our current enemy really is, and what our current wars really look like. We were also followed around by a Task Force of 11B guys (Infantry) from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. They were responsible for grading each individual and correcting us when we fucked up before ODA could find out. If they failed, we got blown out of our base or movement with simulated artillery rounds, and cadets were randomly selected with a "You're fucking dead!" after which we would have to carry them and their equipment to an absurdly faraway Casualty Collection Point to be 'revived.' I once had my "entire fucking leg blown off you fucking windowlicker" because I did not move tactically enough when assaulting the nearby enemy. I was in debt to the guy that had to drag me until I had to save him the next day for not identifying a tripwire connected to a (fake) IED on the road. This is what C4 looks right after detonation when being used to clear concertina wire. The C4 is a "push" charge, so when we stick a lot onto a metal picket and detonate a charge in the C4, it will turn the picket into a hot knife that cuts barbed wire for us and clears the way. Two female cadets, not in my company, decided to eat a piece of C4 as per recommendation of a very stupid Specialist and were sent to a hospital, and then removed from West Point :( A Taiwanese exchange student decided to steal a chunk of C4 and put it in his backpack. He was removed from West Point and then apparently sent to jail :((We goofed around a lot. It was very hot in the porta-potty, according to my buddy. We had a rest day on July 4th! The lake was wildly beautiful.When we weren't doing field exercises related to patrolling, we visited "lanes" for a day or two in the field where members of a particular branch of the Army taught us about their branch. I was able to command a tank crew of my buddies in a $7m combat simulator system, fly in a black hawk, shoot Howitzers and two different mortar systems, various C4-related and combat engineering (destruction) stuff, and so on. During some day-time solo land navigation I found a downed huey in the woods and carved my initials in it. It was hidden on a hill which was on top of a couple more hills. In hindsight, it was on top of a mountain. Depending on the scenario, we were allowed to build a hooch, which is kind of like a house:The one above is a very, very nice hooch. This is the only pic I'll post that isn't mine because it exemplifies my month of training very well. I mean just look at his face!Here's an incredible album of much better photos if you're interested: month of training ended with a 5-day, 4-night Field Training Exercise (FTX) which included a total of 8.5 hours of sleep and a whole load of insanity that I could never begin to write out in a post like this. In a civilian environment I could easily last 2 weeks in the woods at this point. In a pretend "hostile" environment as a pretend enlisted soldier, 5 days and 4 nights was more than enough for me. In the end we ran 8.6 miles from Camp Buckner back to West Point. It was a lot of fun! This is my squad when we got back; I'm taking a knee on your left.Now that I've completed CFT, I'm promoted to the rank of a Cadet Corporal, which is 2nd-from-the-bottom at West Point and the same as any other Cadet rank (i.e. irrelevant) in the big Army. When I start my next Academic Year in 6 days I'll be accountable for 1 or 2 incoming freshmen and learn the basics of taking care of subordinates in a non-hostile environment. I'm happy to answer questions! I'm even happier to be done!Here's a GoPro montage my buddy put together: anyone know anything about personal finance stuff?, I recently came into a bit of money, not a ton, but more than I've ever had in my life, and I don't quite understand what to do with it. I've tried to read some online info, but I just feel more overwhelmed than before I started, and there is absolutely no consensus whatsoever in the slightest, and everyone seems very confident that they are right.I contacted a couple of financial advisors, but those interactions have left me feeling a bit off-put, I feel pretty protective of what I do have and I'm kind of a control freak, so I want to understand the reasoning behind the suggestions they made. However, it all seemed very opaque and information I read either goes over my head just slightly or seems misleading. I'm used to reading scientific publications and if anyone tried to published some of the graphs I keep seeing from financial services groups, they would be laughed out of the room.In the end, I'd like to understand exactly why I would put my money somewhere, and then feel fine about just leaving it alone. Anything that requires even the slightest management on my part is going to make me too obsessive, I'd like to trust someone who knows what to do to inform me, but no one seems to in the business of instilling confidence.I'm for sure not asking anyone to make a plan for me, I just need to know if there resources that I am missing that would help me understand this process better? I'm thinking about just throwing it in an index fund and walking away, but how do I figure out which is the best one for me? I get how they work, but the details beyond that are kind of lost on me and I'm tired of talking to people who are motivated by their slice of my pie to inform me.I know this is a very privileged problem but I was not raised around financially competent people (my dad just tells me to buy gold because the end of the world is coming), and I'm feeling really stressed out by this whole affair. Trip Report: Jasper and Banff National Parks, Alberta, CA #tripreport #tellhubski've been listening to a lot of Bluegrass this past year. It's nice. I don't think I'm going to be sitting in jam circles anytime soon, but the music is generally good and fun listen to. Or maybe I'm just really, extraordinarily white.ANYWAY, BFX, DIDN'T YOU GO BACKPACKING OR SOME STUPID SHIT? YOU'VE ONLY BEEN POSTING ABOUT IT IN PUBSKI FOR MONTHS NOW.Yeah.Why Canada? Why Backbacking? The first is easy to answer. My thought is that our neighbors to the north have a beautiful country, and that the Canadian Rockies are a remote, rugged, and elegant wilderness. This was later proven to be true. Plus, Canada 150 is an amazing opportunity to travel for cheap, given that the National Parks are free this entire year even for people who aren't citizens of Canada! The latter isn't an easy or straightforward answer. I have a habit of wandering, both physically and mentally, and there's a draw to such an expansive and possibly difficult endeavor. There's a solace in backpacking, a challenge to yourself and the possibility for an increased awareness of and humility towards nature and your own abilities. It's worth mentioning that this was a solo trip.DAY 1Mostly a driving day to Kamloops, BC. The border was interesting, I was briefly detained and my car was searched. I don't think Canadian Border Patrol was very happy or trusting of the "I'm going on a solo backpacking trip" answer, and totally not trying to sneak in to bum around your country with my backpack! The drive got more and more scenic the farther from the Puget Sound I got. Things start to become high-desert and the hills are much unlike those of Western Washington. There really wasn't much to note here, it was a nice night at an AirBnB, I met an obnoxious naval engineer who was the type who felt entitlement simply because he is an Engineer. And then I went to sleep.DAY 2To Jasper! This day would be a 10km hike into camp, along a 24km loop trail off the town of Jasper. The way into town takes you past Mount Robson, a truly intimidating and prominent peak. It's the highest point in the Canadian Rockies, and a grueling mountain to try and summit. My first attempt to start the trail was thwarted by a rather deep cut reopening, and having to spend a half hour tending to it. Nearly cut my knuckle to the bone a week before embarking on this trip, a great thing to do to yourself when you could really use all of your fingers...after getting that sorted out I somehow ran into a black bear about 2km into this. A little guy, off the trail, who was a bit too curious for comfort. Unclip the bear spray, talk to it, back away, and wait. Fortunately he went up and over the trail, and wasn't seen again after that. There was a bit of paranoia though, given how densely wooded and small the trail itself was.On top of that, I didn't see a soul until hitting camp, which was surprisingly nice. The tent pads were relatively close to the lake, which was drinkable with a filter, and the bear poles weren't too far away. I ended up spending the night eating dinner with a few college age girls from Montreal. They had been trekking their way across Canada mostly via train, and were at the Calgary Stampede the night before (what would turn out to be a commonality of this trip) a nice wake up from one of them at 11pm as they couldn't figure out how to use a bear pole. When did I become the person to ask all these questions to. It's an odd transformation.DAY 3Cold and windy in the morning makes for an unfun time tearing everything down. Hike back out, once again not seeing a single person (which is oddly unnerving) and then into town for some lunch before hitting the next part of the backcountry. Found an odd laundromat/coffee house hybrid and had to try it. Actually really glad I stopped in this place, it was so weird, so quaint, and so not touristy compared to everywhere else in Jasper. I met a really nice and interesting couple from NY, a Jewish Husband and Wife not much older than myself, who had recently done a three day trek through the woods. They were on their way back, but we spent a good hour chatting about life, jobs, and "figuring it out". We're now friends on Facebook!I haven't really mentioned yet that there were and are some awful wildfires in the interior of British Columbia which made this a bit challenging. The air was heavy at times, and the views were hazy at best for large portions of jasper. Hitting Lake Maligne was stunning, mountains on either side...including the trail I would soon take.Another 10ish km trek up to camp, at about 2150m of elevation. Except this time I got hit by a snow thunderstorm on the way up. Snow, thunder, lightning, sleet, wind, you name it. This went on for a good 30-40 minutes while I just huddled and hoped not to get hit by lightning. Once again I didn't see many people. There aren't many pictures of this part of the trip. I was cold, damp, and fairly miserable with this night and the next day. The conditions were not friendly towards me, despite having been prepared to be wet and a bit cold. I think the lack of people was putting a sour twist on my mood as well. You spend a lot of time thinking about why you're going this when you're on the down trodden side of things. Then you remember that it's the journey that matters, not necessarily the destination. Well, that and getting back down.DAY 4The original plan was to hike to another campsite on this thru-hike, and then hike back into town the following day. Waking up to 30 and up mph winds and cloudy skies with a chance of thunderstorms put an end to that idea, given the previous days conditions. Knowing when to turn back is important...I still don't know if this was the right decision to make, but I made it...I ended up booking a night at a hostel in Banff, and proceeding to drive down there.The Columbia Icefields are insane. I've never seen anything quite like that. Massive glaciers which are all sadly melting down due to climate change...I doubt generations down the line will have this opportunity. I ended up day-hiking nearby, on a trial which takes you up and over the treeline and opens up into views of mountains in any direction and a gorgeous meadow. On the way up I met a couple, he of Pennsylvania, she of Germany. She had flown out here recently to meet up with him on his trip around North America, they've been working out a long-distance relationship for over a year now and he's hoping to move to Germany. A key point: A former Engineer who just doesn't want to do it anymore because it doesn't help people. Meanwhile, she just got a higher education job at one of the premier technical universities in Germany.The hostel! Man, the hostel was cool! It was taco night and things were way cheaper than anywhere else in town. I met a couple of Australian girls from Perth, a guy from another part of Australia, some Germans, a Scotsman, an Italian, you name it, the nationality was probably there. Nothing like drinking, eating tacos, and getting to know each other. It's nice to now have connections in Australia should I ever want to go there (hint: I do!). The morning though...Day 5Breakfast in the hostel, then off to the woods again!Let's Talk About BobSo. Bob. The guy in the bunk under me. An older gentleman, likely in his mid 50's who is travelling around with his girlfriend. A bit gruff, but talkative once you get him going and happy to share stories of his years of travelling. I mean years. Denali, long canoeing trips, backpacking in extremely remote places, you name it, he's probably done it. Unfortunately he's not able to as much, due to exposure to Asbestos robbing him of much of his lung capacity. There's a sense of longing from him, it's not extremely evident, but it felt like he missed being able to truly explore nature.The Three Rules of Hiking1. Lighter is Better.2. You don't always get what you want, but you do always get what you need.3. Learn as You Go.Along with a variety of other little tips, tricks, stories, and one beautiful poem that I'm keeping to myself (sorry, Hubski). To think, this entire thing started over him asking me where the oatmeal was...More trails. More amazingly gorgeous trails. Banff rules. I mean, look at this. So green. So mountainous. I was hiking this awful fire road for the first 4km, gravel, and uphill with nothing to look at...but at least I was doing it with this guy and his 18 year old son, they're both from around Calgary. He's an architectural technologist who would rather be working in the ministry and spends a lot of his free time supporting his son through hiking, camping, and mountaineering trips. Really great guy.Camp for the night! Also the buggiest night I've ever experience. Swarms upon swarms of mosquitoes and flies, never ending and everywhere. Met a couple of people around my age who turned out to be employees of Parcs Canada in the information wing, and were backpacking their off days. One guy, one girl (his supervisor)...whom I'm pretty sure were interested in each other. They had a lot of questions about nature and parks in the US. I had a lot of questions about nature and parks in Canada. We shared some bourbon. It was a great conversation.Day 6To the next campsite! I joined up with two girls from Maryland who were out here and heading to the same campground. It's surprisingly easy to meet people on backcountry trails and campgrounds, and to hike around with them. Well, as long as you're not creepy, I suppose. One o fthem is moving to San Francisco partly because of being jaded with her employment and situation on the east coast, the other is thinking of joining AmeriCorps. They're both in the midst of change, which I think is an odd theme of the backcountry. The backcountry doesn't change, maybe that's why we're all so attracted to it. The weather is unstable, our lives are unstable, but yet everything remains in its place.Skoki Lodge! Well hello there, National Historic Site where a Royal Honeymoon recently occurred. We kind of invited ourselves in and had a rather awkward encounter with the two people living/working there. Our ultimatum: We can stay, but have to leave when guests start to arrive. The result: Sitting around in a gorgeous historic lodge, playing jenga, and encountering two Germans. One of whom decided to play piano while we were all sitting around. It was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip, I had been looking forward to seeing this lodge for some time.The rest of the way to the campground was short and complete with some very fresh brown bear scat on the trail. As in, still steaming. There were reports of a bear in the area, but fortunately we didn't see it on the way to camp, another one nestled in a valley and picturesque views. And another thunderstorm, but this time I was at least already set-up when it hit...A few of us did an evening hike (sun doesn't set until 10pm this far north) and caught a nice glacier-fed Alpine Lake not too far from camp. Which, by the way, makes me question the accuracy of distances on topographic maps. There's no way it was 6 miles round-trip, it was probably 5 or we were secretly going much, much faster than we though.Day 7A trudge of a hike all the way back to the trailhead, some shifting weather, a long uphill section, and then a blistering downhill section. You really get some great views out this way. Leaving the backcountry was hard. A solo trek passing people I met, almost none of whom I will see again. Past some places I hopefully will see again. There is a beauty and sadness in having awareness of how limited your time is. It was a long, slow, and somewhat sad trek back, leaving behind the life of a traveler is a difficult thing. Your conquests, connections, and battles are lost to the inside of a car as you drive back into town. Ended up meeting oyster and drinking and feeling way too fucking drunk after a single drink. I could be a super cheap date if I lived up in Banff. No Hubski stickers were exchanged, thank God. Boring is a new way to look at front country camping, but that's how I spent my night so I could get up early and head back home...and get Tim Hortons for the first time in a couple of years...By the NumbersJasper/Banff by the Numbers:Days: 7 (Excluding Travel Days)Campsites: 5Bear Encounters: 1Porcupine Encounters: 1Driving Distance: 1151 miles (1852 km)Backpacking/Hiking Distance: 62.50 miles (100.6 km)Backpacking/Hiking Elevation Gain: 9500 ft (2900 m)Pack Weight (Start): 45 lbsPack Weight (End): 32 lbsWhat Can Be Learnedlil, I was thinking of you when I started writing this section.1. Just enjoy it! Let go of your anxiety and engross yourself in the moment.2. Lighter IS better.3. Inclined head helps with sleeping.4. Two parks in one go is one too many. Depth over variety.5. Coffee at high elevation isn't the best idea.6. Bears really don't want to see people.10. People in the backcountry are kind, resourceful, strong, and so incredibly interesting. Acknowledge that this is a niche group and continue to seek out their company.What Can be Repeated1. Interactions with others! Be confident. Be kind. Be respectful.2. Food! Pack it lighter but generally the same items.3. Knowing your limits and understanding when to stop.There's one life, one body, those are two things we all share in common. What you do with them is where we differ. I have developed this sense of wanting to test myself and body to see what it is capable of. Throwing it against nature, and exploring the world as it currently exists. There is too much beauty to pass up, too many opportunities to grow and develop as a person. "What Ifs" are avoidable, and this is just the start.Thanks for reading.'bl00's Reviews #11: "The Story of Civilization" by Will and Ariel Durant #bl00sreviews #tellhubski're just here because you couldn't get a T-shirt.That's not entirely true. One does gain an interesting perspective on history when one drinks from the firehose.You're just here because you want some "I can't believe you ate the whole thing" comments.I get comments like that all the time. I am a man of extremes. You're just here because you want some validation. Go ahead. Spell it out. 11 volumes. 10,000 pages.All of it experienced as audiobooks. So 484 hours, 16 minutes. which as we all know is the worst possible way to experience the written word.Zero fucks given. Listen, straw-man-who-hates-on-audiobooks: I have time to sit down and read about once a week. I have two and a half fucking hours a day to listen to audiobooks. And you know what? The same people that get all orgazballs over podcasts? Hate the shit out of audiobooks.That does not change the fact that it's a shitty way to experience a book.You know what's a shitty way to experience a book? Not reading it. If it weren't for audiobooks I would have "experienced" about four books in the past ten years. As it is, I'm somewhere over 250. And yeah- my comprehension prolly isn't as great as it would be if - no, you know what? Fuck you, straw man. Because my recall on the audiobooks is objectively better than the recall on the written books because you can't skim an audiobook. Says the guy who finished Durant at 2.5x.And consumed most of it at 1.7x because for some reason audiobooks are read through molasses. But hey, let's stop talking about process - this is a one-sided conversation pretending to be two, bud. You're only arguing with yourself.For an audience, I know. It's dreadful. Look. There was a Bloom County cartoon that came out the morning after "The Day After" played on CBS…Could you be more off-topic?Srsly. I just subjected myself to 485 hours of European history and I'm here to say, it's nice to know the sun still shines. It's surprising how much of a patriot the experience has made me.It's almost as if the authors hated the shit out of Europe.They DIDN'T, though. They loved the fuck out of the French. This has been far and away the most francophile experience I've ever had. They loved the shit out of philosophers, too - Will wrote like eight books about the fuckers when he wasn't busy condensing all of history into 11 volumes. It's fair to say that The Story of Civilization spends more time on Hegel than they do on all of the United States. It's fair to say that they spend more time on Mayer Anschelm Rothschild than they do on Benjamin Fucking Franklin, and the only reason they give him any time at all is because he spent time in Paris. The only time South America is mentioned is when Gauss goes there. Africa doesn't exist. The Story of Civilization, aside from the first book, is really The Story of Europe from the Pyrenees to the Urals with occasional forays into Spain, Italy and Russia but only when there are French people there.So really, an extraordinarily slanted overview of world history.And how. But lemme tell ya - it's the slant we all grew up with. I can easily say that the two history classes I took in High School were Cliff's Notes of the first seven books. The pedagogy of Durant is the pedagogy of "world" history.You like to use the word "pedagogy" without knowing what it means.It means a method of teaching. The Durants were big fans of "integrated" history whereby they go through the same period a dozen different ways - politics, music, science, art, fashion, theater. So you'll spend as much time on Mozart as you will on Waterloo and you'll hear the same names over and over again because it's all "integrated". The goal, I guess, is to give you a rounded worldview. Mostly you learn how little you care about Madame De Stael. That is because you are a savage.No fuckin' doubt. But as a savage that has sat through the equivalent of 10,000 pages of world history - 10,000 pages of survey, asshole - Shut up. Walk with me. A 5 credit-hour lecture class under the academic quarter system is an hour lecture, five days a week, for twelve weeks. That's sixty hours of lecture. 485 hours is eight fucking quarters of lecture. That's 40 credit-hours. 45 credit-hours is a minor in History at UCLA. And survey or no, I sat through an hour and a half - at 1.7x - on fuckin' Hegel. That doesn't make me an expert on Hegel by any stretch but it sure as fuck entitles me to the opinion that I don't need to spend any more time on Hegel.So in other words, you sat through twelve man-weeks of audio to justify your anti-intellectual opinions about subjects you scorn. Got it.Not at all. I'm very glad I went through all this. It gave me a better perspective on the world as we know it, and the world as we've learned it. A survey view of the Renaissance and Reformation, for example, gives you context. Suffering through a hundred hours on "the Dark Ages" teaches you they weren't "dark", they were pointless. John Gardner makes the point in The Art of Fiction that we don't teach the books that are good, we teach the books that are easy to teach and by calling them "The Age of Faith" the Durants make a much better point about that thousand year history than convention allows, and by convention I mean Gibbon, and by "allows" I mean "ignore it because it's pointless."Scorn AND the assertion that you know better than the experts. Got it.So the thing about historians is they have a perspective. They have a worldview. Gibbon was the first fucker to take on the Roman Empire since Pliny the Goddamn Elder and for that we thank him but his perspective was pretty much "everything between the Peloponnesian War and the Expulsion of the Moriscos is irrelevant because it was anti-intellectual." That's an easy viewpoint to defend in 1776; a little rougher in 2017. History is of, for and by historians and they tend to worship the writers that came before and argue about whether or not they were right. Primary research takes a back seat to synthesis. The Durants definitely traveled the world absorbing all they could, but they also read what came before and regurgitated it through a new perspective. And there's a definite impetus to not discount that which has come before. Spit out that quote. You've been dying to vomit it forth for weeks now."By the middle of the twentieth century," says the Encyclopedia Britannica (XVI, Ioa), "the literature on Napoleon already numbered more than 100,000 volumes." Why add to the heap? We offer no better reason than to say that the Reaper repeatedly overlooked us, and left us to passive living and passive reading after 1968. We grew weary of this insipid and unaccustomed leisure. To give our days some purpose and program we decided to apply to the age of Napoleon (1789-1815) our favorite method of integral history - weaving into one narrative all memorable aspects of European civilization in those twenty-seven years: statesmanship, war, economics, morals, manners, religion, science, medicine, philosophy, drama, music, and art; to see them all as elements in one moving picture, and as interacting parts of a united whole.Your point."Pardon us for writing the 100,001st book about Napoleon but we were bored."Once more with feeling: your point. This is an extraordinarily chatty way to slag on not only a Pulitzer-prize winning series of books, but in a way, the whole of academia.It took me 4,000 miles in the saddle to get through 485 hours of audio. I'm obviously synthesizing this in real-time - So maybe STFU until you know what you want to say...No I want to put this fucker to bed and nobody said you had to read it. HERE'S WHAT I'LL SAY: by couching the history of the world in terms of the history of philosophy, the Durants make a compelling argument that you are what you read. It's basically the argument Edward Said made in Orientalism - the Western world is flummoxed and condescending about everywhere else in general (and the Middle East in particular) because the only time they give any thought to a civilization other than their own is when they're fighting it or subjugating it. If you had no sense of the world outside Europe from 500BC to 1800AD you'd think it was all "here there be dragons" and shit and you would most assuredly regard brown people as savages. And while the Durants are not the history of the world as seen from Western Europe, they are a perfect exemplar of the gestalt view. More importantly, by not waving hands and saying "none of that matters" about the stuff that isn't easy to teach, you get a better perspective on the grinding hopelessness that European society inflicted on itself. I'm not joking when I said these books made me more of a patriot. One cannot get through these books without hating, individually and collectively, the English, the French, the Spanish, the Germans, the Austrians, the Italians, the Greeks, the Swiss, the Swedish, the Dutch, the Russians, the Portuguese (who barely get a mention!), the Irish and the Scots. History is fundamentally one long litany of rich people being fuckers to poor people, of aristocrats fucking each other over every chance they get, of the little guy being crushed in the wheels turned by the big guys. The book that won the Pulitzer is Rousseau and Revolution. It's 1092 pages, or 57 1/2 hours. And I sat through the whole book hating Rousseau and wanting the Revolution to come and cut off the heads of all these fuckers. And then it ends right as Louis 16 abdicates and you have to read The Age of Napoleon to get to The Reign of Terror and it's so much worse than you thought it could be that you just want to hug your kid. And Americans have been horrible to each other and horrible to Natives and horrible to Blacks and horrible to the Japanese but I'm sorry, we're an enlightened bunch of pacifists compared to Europe. This series has caused me to see World Wars I and II as the inevitable outcomes of mechanization applied to longstanding internecine hatred and callous disregard of human life. The Durants start this whole series with a (comparatively) thin volume called Our Oriental Heritage that is literally "everything that isn't Europe" (or the Americas, or Africa) from 10,000 BC to 1925 and I gotta say - I'm pullin' for the Persians. I'm pullin' for the Indians. The Durants don't come out and say that Spain didn't return to Moorish levels of prosperity until Franco died but that's due in no small part to the fact that when they wrote the book, he had another 40 years to go.And the Durants start half of their books by reminding you that for most people in the periods they cover, life is placid, calm, cheerful and family-oriented and that it's the ones they've written about that get the shaft. Whenever they have an actual good ruler to talk about, they generally say something like "we wish we had more to say but he ruled for 40 uneventful years and died in bed." But fuckin'A there's a lot of history to Europe that basically boils down to one royal family killing another by proxy through the extinguishing of hundreds of thousands of peasant lives. Francis Fukuyama caught a lot of shit by titling a 1992 book "The End of History and the Last Man." But man. If "history" is bodycounts on a map, please god let him be right. The whole integrative approach to history argues that the heads-on-pikes aspects aren't the most important. There are plenty of monuments to artists and thinkers. But there are more monuments to tragedy and you can't sit through 485 hours of European history without the keen perspective that it's mostly heads on pikes. Anybody clamoring about how Trump is the "end of democracy" or we're in end times or some shit just becomes laughable. Things have been so much worse and I, for one, am happy to be descended from brave adventurers that noped the fuck out of everything I spent the better part of a year listening to. Browder's testimony before the Senate on Putin corruption #news Lewis on the (lack of) transition in the DoE after the election, and the concomitant risks #uspolitics #energy guess that's the closest I can get to 'realistic' painting #painting wouldn't say that I have something good to share, but it's sort of a relief that it's over now. rd95, you likely remember asking me about painting something realistic. Here's my sixth, and final, attempt:I had to slightly change the saturation because this camera seems to muddy everything with a bluish tinge. I don't think that I'll be able to improve from that, though. There's very little about posture alone that doesn't irk me. Drug #americana #nostalgia few weeks ago, flagamuffin posted this article. His post made me super nostalgic for one of my favorite places on earth:Standing inside the front door, you can see the western wear store across the street.Stone Drug is the kind of place where they remember your name. You can get your prescriptions, buy some candy, or a greeting card... or a flashlight, a John Deere baseball cap, a tin rooster to decorate your kitchen, a hammer, diabetic compression socks, a book, knick-knacks, shampoo, a pocket knife, acne cream, or a stuffed animal (my daughters' new obsession).Mike Stone, the owner/pharmacist, wasn't in that day, but I was delighted to see both his son and his daughter behind the counter. Mike is the kind of guy who not once, but twice, opened the place in the middle of the night to fill an emergency script for my sister's kid... And even though Mike seems like a standup guy, my favorite part of Stone Drug, is Joyce:She is salty and mean. She has worked the lunch counter for 35 years. I've been buying her "lunch special" since it was $3.95 (it's now $7.24). Almost every time I go in, she is talking about quitting, because Mike is "such and ass" (she always whispers the curse word). When I lived near here over a decade ago, I used to eat lunch at Stone Drug 2-3 times a week. After a few months, when I thought of myself as a regular, I asked her if I could open a tab. "Hell No!" came the response. When pushed for why, she said "cuz I don't trust you". I even offered to put $100 in the drawer, pre-paying my tab. "I don't want to have to keep track of that!". When I told her I'd keep track of it on a little sheet of paper that would stay in the drawer with her. "But I don't trust you!". It became our little shtick. I'd ask every couple months. The response was always the same. This went on for years, and I still don't have a tab.The lunch counter is the kind of place where people come to gossip and laugh and even mourn... Joyce and I often joke about how I know she keeps a fifth of Jack behind the counter for herself and her "favorite" customers (a little extra funny since we're both LDS and don't drink).Joyce isn't getting any younger... and neither am I. I'm always a little worried for the day I get the phone call from my sister telling me Joyce has died. Stone Drug is always the first place I go when I come visit my sister. Joyce still won't give me a tab, but now when I go in, Joyce always gives me a few of my favorite candies, leans in and whispers "these are on the house". Joyce is one of my favorite people... and I have a sneaking suspicion that I might be one of hers. pain was beautiful, because it meant I cared a lot once“This is what it’s like” says your instructor, watching you carefully for mistakes Training you on bandages, splints, and the cruel rhythm of chest compressions Teaching you what kills right away, and what takes a while longer. Telling you that sometimes all you can do is hold a hand and say something kind. And you listen, wide-eyed.“This is what it’s like” says your crew chief, pulling you up into the ambulance. Showing you streets, the bad stretches of interstates, the homes of frequent fliers. Reminding you to check pockets for knives and arms for track marks. Relaying experience’s thousand little lessons, unteachable in the classroom. And you listen, working hard to show your worth.“This is what it’s like” say your patients, pointing to where it hurts. Screaming with pain, clutching an extremity turned the wrong way. Groaning and sweating, grabbing at their chest saying it’s just like the last one. Lying still and silent, unknowingly trusting a stranger with everything. And you listen, replying with soothing words.“This is what it’s like” says your gear, speaking in clicks, beeps and error messages. The defibrillator whines its way up to 300 joules, saying it’ll try but no promises. The ambulance growls, bouncing and rattling over potholes as you try to start an IV The BVM whooshes, fighting to push breath into a ruined airway. And you listen, hoping that together it’ll make a difference.“This is what it’s like” says the notch in your shears, bearing witness. Reminding you of that one, the one no one could have saved. Pulling you back into the dirt and blood of the scene, unbidden. Making you feel old, far older than you should be by now. And you listen, wishing you didn’t have to. “This is what it’s like” says the calendar, slowly passing time Marking out your shifts, 12-hour gambles on what’ll come your way. Quietly telling you it’s almost time to renew your license again. Studded with anniversaries you’d prefer not to remember, but can’t quite forget. And you listen, stunned that it’s been this long.“This is what it’s like” you say to the newbies, watching them carefully for mistakes Training them on bandages, splints, and the cruel rhythm of chest compressions Teaching them what kills right away, and what takes a while longer. Telling them that sometimes all you can do is hold a hand and say something kind. And they listen, wide-eyed. hours of outreach work this year, not counting setup and tear-down. About 300 hours total over 55 events since January. Write that shit down, document every-fucking-thing and submit paperwork. Wait two weeks or so. And in the end you get these pretty little pins showing that you have done something that only 800 some-odd people have done. I'm tired, I'm a bit stressed from work and life, and the health situation is not in a good place. But these two awards have hit me a bit harder than I thought they would. The awards are numbered, and I honestly believed that there had been thousands of the awards given out. I know other people are doing astronomy outreach, they must not be paying membership dues and doing paperwork. With these two small bits of metal and ceramic and enamel, I have tangible proof that 2017 did not entirely suck a bag of erect cocks.If the motto of our small community is "pushing back against the darkness" then I can say, with no hesitations, that I am doing my part. I think I found it!?It looks a lot like the Fontainemelon trademark that you see twice in this list, registered in 1880 for the region in Switzerland. Found this by Googling 'Schweiz uhrwerk apfel' and it was the first hit. It actually does lead back to that site of yours when you Google for Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon SA. Check that advert, it has the logo!edit: hah, wasoxygen was slightly faster. Damn ninja!'s a heck of a rabbit hole.It appears to be something from Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon.(Second GIS hit for "makers mark" arrow swiss from Pinterest, fourth related image)"This is what it's like," said the recruiter, showing me the screenshot of a first-person shooter."This is what it's like," said the CO, as we stood drenched in sweat from head to toe."This is what it's like," said the EOD, defusing a mine that would have taken his knee."This is what it's like," said the veteran, as our unit rotated out for some rest again."This is what it's like," says the evening news, reminding me of things that I made myself do."This is what it's like," says my former spouse, with one last spiteful glance towards my house."This is what it's like," says the therapist, and puts me in pain that I didn't know could exist."This is what it's like," say people like myself, who can't know their pain and don't think to help. baby was born. She's beautiful, healthy and awesome. Just like my other two kids, the first song she ever heard outside the womb was "I Will" by the Beatles as sung by me. We spent the night in the hospital and my wife and I watched the Tom Petty documentary. This little girl entered the world to the Beatles and Tom Petty. My kids and I have been listening to the entire Cat Stevens catalog in heavy rotation. Here is the little one: talk to this dude've taken to referring to my time in Los Angeles for work as the time when I'm within the event horizon for the black hole. Communication in or out is tricky and time stretches to the point where your frame of reference is no longer valid.This time last week I was in Los Angeles which appears to have boosted the Schwartzchild Radius.My daughter is in an immunotherapy study. It's going to take years but there is a high likelihood that she'll be less allergic to peanuts on the other side. I phrased it to her as "how would you like to help other kids be less allergic to peanuts?" and she went all in, despite the fact that they had to make her back itch and draw her blood. Then her bloodwork came back with low immune response levels (probably because she had the sniffles) so she had to go in again. She likes the "magic cream that makes her arm tingle" but still, she's four and has had her blood drawn twice in two weeks with no complaints. The administrator told us that they really hope they can get her in because while they can't tell me her peanut IGGs, her regular IGGs are the highest in the entire study. Go kid. Glad you're more allergic than anyone else they've ever seen. not.Had lunch with my buddy. Told him I'd done reasonably well in cryptocurrency, told him that if I couldn't use it for shit like chemotherapy copays what the fuck can I use it for, told him that the point you stop being able to be proud and refuse charity is well before the point where your relatives put out a GoFundMe for you and cut him a check for a thousand dollars. He cried and said it was really valuable to him to have long-term friends around (we've known each other since we were 4) so I punched him in the face and told him to stop being such a pussy. We now have a regular lunch date for as long as I'm in town.Saw Front 242 and Severed Heads in Los Angeles. mk did not because he is lame. We got wasted - 60ccs of bone marrow aspiration be damned, I drank like four doubles of well bourbon and blasted my fucking mind out with EBM. The last time I saw Front 242 I ran lights for them and everyone was 20 years younger. The local alt-rag made fun of Front 242 back then for being totally into their music and dancing around like "a bunch of boojie boys" well past their primes because alt-rags are always bullshit. And here it is 20 years later and there's Jean-luc DeMeyer, 60 fuckin' years old, black leather jacket, sunglasses at night, rockin' it like it was '85. And the audience was not nearly as gothy as it would have been in Seattle - i mean, there was a guy in a hawaiian shirt and a fanny pack. And fuckin'A I was wearing goddamn cargo shorts so who the fuck am I to say of my buddies is insecure. I told him to be more like Jean-Luc De Meyer - rock the sunglasses at night. That mutherfucker has known exactly who he is for 40 flippin' years and nobody remembers that bullshit alt-rag review but me while he's still sitting there headlining sold-out houses ten thousand miles from home. And then I got home and dropped my kid off at school wearing fuckin' house slippers and the same goddamn cargo shorts and realized that everyone else was all dressed for work'n'shit and I realized I have no fucks to give.A friend turned me onto a Boeing gig doing tedious webcast shit. Sure, why not. So you talk to the recruiter. She wants a "resume." Oh, right. Out here in the world they still care about that shit. Fine, here's a thing I did in Pages like three years ago which I refuse to install on my computer to fix the address and email so here's a PDF with some wrong info because I can't be sussed. Then they want an "interview." Oh, right. Out here in the world they still care about that shit. Fine, okay, I'll pick up the phone, yeah, your rate is half what I make but so long as you give me enough work to not fuck up my unemployment checks until I get to my real job I'll take your money. What's that? You want me to fill out a profile on your website so that other recruiters can reach me? I mean, Okay...At some point in the not-too-distant past I gave OftenBen a ration of shit about millennials because everybody harshes on the next crew but Millennials are the first posse that thinks it's okay to show up to an interview in flip-flops or some shit. It's a trope that's been in Forbes, Huffington Post, Time, whatever. Ben, I owe you and the rest of your generation an apology. Flip flops are what you wear to interviews you don't give a fuck about. The fact that you don't give a fuck about the interview doesn't say anything about you, it says a lot about the job being interviewed for. It says a lot about your regard for the culture that wants you to jump for their bullshit hoops. I'm about to be 43 fuckin' years old and I have successfully opted out of that culture. My contempt is cushioned by disinterest and success; I can easily see it coming from a position of despair and resignation. Hipsters? Hipsters are the kids that aren't putting up with your bullshit and still feel kind of okay about themselves. A fully enlightened millennial generation will be a sea of vinyl-listening, avocado-toast-eating, flip-flop-wearing hipsters.I've been to four watch-making classes. I'm learning not a lot and having the time of my goddamned life. The watchmaker at Vacheron Constantin recommended a book that is hard to find and very expensive. Turns out one of the instructors at the class scanned that fucker to PDF but never read it. It's DOPE. Did you know that there are really only five gears in a watch necessary to tell time? Did you know they're really fuckin' fun to take apart? Did you know that ten years building scale models, 20 years working with surface-mount electronics and 30 years tuning carburetors and otherwise performing fine work on motor vehicles gives you orders of magnitude more manual dexterity and fine motorwork than your peers? I didn't. I do now. I'm fuckin' good at this shit.That's a pallet fork. It's about 4mm wide. Turns out that 10x macro lens that clips onto your phone that you got in your stocking can be really goddamn useful. So yeah. Took apart a pocketwatch and got it back together again in the amount of time it took everyone else to take it apart. LOVING IT. With a semi-decent CNC machine I could build these things from scratch all goddamn day long and be a pig in shit. I would be utterly and completely divorced from this bullshit "show the recruiter where on your resume the bad career touched you" society and walk around in my goddamn cargo shorts and house slippers all day because I don't have a boss to care.Finally, my car is dying. It needed $1500 worth of work six months ago and still does. Then I gave a buddy a thousand dollars so he wouldn't fucking die and figured maybe, as a 43-year-old man, I deserve to drive something that doesn't smoke when it warms up and doesn't have gorilla tape keeping the headliner out of my hair. So I'm negotiating on a Porsche 911 carrera cabriolet because my inner douchebag clearly wants out. Even better, it's the shitty 996 water-cooled one that Porsche nerds love to hate because apparently every time you turn the key Ferry Porsche spins in his grave because it's water-cooled and made with Boxster parts and has headlights like fried eggs and and and. Here's what I know - if I can get a car? That sold for $80k? With 21k miles on it, new tires and $15k worth of service just done on it for less than the price of a Prius C? I'ma do it.State farm wants $7 less per month to insure an '02 Carrera than they do to insure a '95 Dodge. Put that in your pipe and smoke, thenewgreen, I might be rippin' through San Fran at some point soon because taking a ragtop Porsche up the PCH in fall sounds like a pretty nice birthday present to myself.__________________________________________________________________wellthatwascathartic I'm apparently failing to explain is that I want more consideration, not less.What you're explaining loud and clear is that you feel the people responsible for the truth on the ground are not giving it the proper consideration. When I called you out for arguing (as a grad student) that you knew better than the law, you doubled down:That's not my luminary genius insight but professor after professor after professor has taught me.I took one (1) acoustics class. It was taught by the two acoustics Ph.Ds at UW. And we started the class with one of the profs explaining the measurement rig he had pointed out the window: see, the buses outside were loud, but it was spring and soon the trees would be covered in leaves and it would be much quieter. et voila. Acoustics.We believed him - I mean, I was 22 and the actual math of the attenuation of a shit-ton of leaves is intensive. Nonetheless we never did end up comparing beginning and end. Once I started working in the field I relayed this story to my boss and she laughed uproariously and showed me the B&K chart listing attenuation on the x and "meters of forest in hundreds" on the y. These are acoustical professors with Ph. Ds prestigious enough in their department to fund a boat that flips on its tail for sonar studies. And we learned all sorts of great stuff about nodal analysis, resonance, deep channels and the like which provided a fundamental basis for the practical knowledge that I then picked up in the field. Because "practical knowledge" wasn't their thing - they were busy rewriting the theory. And for environmental acoustics, the theory was laid out by a dude a hundred years dead.We'll disregard my profs' erroneous assumptions about the way environmental acoustics work. We'll even disregard the fact that when they were busted, they shined it on as if it never happened. We'll focus instead on their attempts to broaden the body of knowledge that we all benefit from and thank them for it. We'll even spot them the assumption that if my boss were to walk into that room and give them a lesson on the acoustical isolation of leaves, they'd listen interestedly, ask intelligent questions and have a rigorous debate about the mathematics at play.Because nobody comes out ahead when we assume everyone else is a fucking idiot.FIIC. Field Impact Isolation Class. A two-digit number that takes two trained professionals two days and ten thousand dollars worth of equipment to arrive at. Lucrative, no? I mean, we couldn't roll one for less than $3k. Which means we didn't get to roll them nearly often enough. And we spent a day burning through the math in custom bullshit Excel spreadsheets that sucked and that wasn't any fun either. So when we were presented with an opportunity to test some composite floors so we could build up some better mass law models, my boss paid me to schlep concrete and sand up to the 4th floor of a condo for six weeks so we could do our own testing. Contribute our own models. Put in our own research. I billed out at $150 an hour, dude, and she sank 240 hours into it. So I'm glad you're "all worked up." You should be. You "want the underlying assumptions, biases and structural issues unearthed and discussed" which can only mean you think they aren't. You "want to know in which context they work and in which context they don't" as if you think people don't fight over this shit every goddamn day. And I've been trying to say this a dozen different ways and you aren't hearing it, probably because it's offensive, and because it assails your worldview:The experts in the field know more than the people they measure.That's it. That's my beef. That's my fundamental observation, that in any esoteric body of knowledge, the practitioners of that knowledge know more about that knowledge than the people who encounter that knowledge glancingly. No matter how broad your evaluation of mapping and GIS, it will never be as focused as the mid-level bureaucrat in some forgotten town who has jurisdiction over where roads go in his township. The argument put forth in your essay is that the experts are fucking idiots. When I tried to find something about objective vs. relational you came back with "no, it's that the experts are fucking idiots." When I came back with "you know, the experts I've worked with seem to know their shit" you came back with "they don't know it nearly enough because research." So yeah. I'm fucking offended. Your argument hinges on the idea that the practitioners of a science are incurious about the theory of the science, which is the argument people always make, so often that you actually whipped out So you sound to me like yet another arrogant engineer who thinks their numbers are always a good enough substitute for the truth.Dude.DUDE.The "arrogant" engineers are the ones that know they know more than you and are sick of having to explain it. They're the ones whose knowledge is called into question because somebody just did a study somewhere. They're the ones being forced to (temporarily) rewrite their entire code of behavior because some expert somewhere in another unrelated field has better PR.These are Assistive Listening Devices. They cost about $300 each, plus about $1000 for the transmitter. And thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you have an auditorium that holds more than a hundred people you have to have enough of them for five percent of the audience. That means if you have a school somewhere with a gym that seats 300 people, $5500 is going to be spent on shitty FM radios that nobody ever listens to... rather than band instruments, rather than gym equipment, rather than art supplies. This happened because a well-meaning audiologist argued back in the mid-80s that deaf people were being left out of public events because they couldn't hear, and a lot of them couldn't afford hearing aids, so clearly any public building should be forced to pay to bring them in so that they would be "handicapped-accessible." And none of them ever get used - you wanna stick someone else's grody earthing in your ear? - but they're mandated by law and building inspectors across the US have to count the fuckers every time there's a permit issue. Millions of these things, mouldering away in closets. Repeat for in-class reinforcement, smartboards, etc. What usually happens next is some journalist gets a bug up their ass to investigate waste and comes after whatever the it-thing is and administrators are pilloried for wasting money on that thing that only has one study to back it but ALS has hung on for three decades because the ADA was written by the Pope, effectively, so here we are. But fundamentally? People who don't know telling people who do know bones it for everybody. My argument, simply put, is it's dangerous and offensive to assume that the people doing the majority of the work are in the knowledge minority. And the fundamental argument put forth by this argument - and by you - is that if we have a number, and everybody agrees on it, it reflects calcified thinking and oppression of the populace. I don't want to paradigm shift my way to glory, I want people to stop and think about the values and methods they pick. The only way you could want this is if you hold deeply the idea that "people" aren't already doing it.And fuck right off with that shit., man, these grammar conversations are crazy to me.I steal a descriptor from my friend, who is in linguistics, and describe myself as a Grammar punk. To quote them:"Language is inherently based in communication- it is understanding in structure, not structure for structure's sakeIf you understand what someone is saying and choose to be difficult about it for the sake of correctness, you're being a loathsome pedant."The point of language is to be understood, and to me it doesn't matter what length of dash you use. Yes, the semicolons are incorrect, and they do prevent understanding. But dashes?And like, I'm in a Historical Performance program. It is the subset of classical music for musical pedants. They have arguments about the correct amount of commas needed in their tuning, and where your 3rd and 6th intervals should be depending on time and location in Europe. Despite that level of daily pedantry, the concept of em vs en vs hyphen in a real world situation is still a bit mind blowing to me. bought a house when I was 18. Got it for 20k right after the housing crash. Paid for it with student loans since the bank wouldn't give me a mortgage. In hindsight this was probably a risky move but it worked out since I was able to sell it for 85k after graduating. They'll let you take out as much money as you want with student loans. I think they were disappointed that I was able to pay everything back right away, kept trying to tell me that it was a bad decision financially. Strictly speaking, it was. Maybe you can make more money if you let yourself float some debt, but money ain't worth your freedom (in my opinion).Anyway, I spent the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college fixing the place up a bit. Sank another 15k of loan money into it there. Neighbor was a roofer, and I helped him replace the rotten rafters and reshingle at a discount. I got some concrete and patched the foundation where it needed it. Kitchen walls were basically mush thanks to leaky pipes, but my uncle's a plumber so we redid all the pipes and put in a second bathroom. Then it was just new cabinets and appliances for the kitchen after some drywall/spackle/paint where needed. When the summer ended I rented out the other rooms (3bed/2bath) to some friends to help with future expenses.But the problems seemed to never end. One of my friend/tenants wanted to run an ethernet cable to his room a few months in. Prissy liberal northerner who don't think wifi is good enough. So we climb up into the attic with a drill to thread one through the wall. While crawling around, I get the fucking shit shocked out of me and ended up putting a dent in the drywall of the ceiling. There was a live wire just hanging out up there. At which point it became prudent to try and trace down any other electrical issues. Fortunately, we left enough access points in the walls where we were too lazy to drywall (behind the bathroom mirror, in the bedroom closets, basically the whole room with the air handler). It's way easier to just get some access plates and screw them into place instead of doing the full 9 yards of drywall repair. Also makes your life easier for future efforts.One of the windows ended up getting a bit of a leak, too. Went to plug in my phone one night and my hand just went right through the wall to the outside. While repairing that, I found the beginnings of a termite infestation. Fortunately only the beginnings. Had to get the whole place treated. Thank god we made those access points in the walls.Place also had a crawl space at one point, but a former owner buried the access point. Apparently the place flooded, and rather than pump out the water they just buried it and sealed the water down there. Concrete foundation was above the crawl space, and post-burial expansion is probably what had caused the original problems with that. House must've been moved at one point, foundation and all, and just put down on top of that hole. Found out about it when a gator dug out the old entrance and moved in. It just saw a nice, secluded pond across the street from the main waterway with a driveway right outside to sunbathe on. I never knew how loud a gator was until I had one living under my bed. Things fucking stink too. Tasted pretty good.I could go on. I had that place for three years. Sometimes, it wouldn't need much work beyond mowing the lawn and cleaning and shit. But once or twice a year, that place ate up a few weeks to a month of my life. Was sad to hear the whole neighborhood pretty much came down during Irma. Old Florida neighborhood of wooden houses: only lasted that long by luck.Crazy shit happens all the time in the world. If you own and are responsible for a part of it, it can take you on a fun and crazy ride. Make sure you're ready before claiming responsibility. If you want to own something, you've gotta make it a part of you and give it the care it needs. Don't just treat it as a way to make or save money, and don't leave shit as someone else's problems. Insurance companies are just there to let you pass the buck and not feel guilty or repair it yourself good and proper. Dive in and make that house and land a part of your being and it will be worth it. Otherwise, when the shit hits the fan you'll just see yourself as a victim and try to duck out. If you don't want responsibility: rent. If you want to make a part of the world an extension of yourself: own. If you don't think you're ready to truly meld with a piece of the Earth, you have no business leading it on or playing make believe. Taking care of your place on this planet is a sacred duty that deserves no compromise. If y'all'r the kind of fucker that'll be fine with just letting others take care of your life for y'all, you ain't the kind of person that deserves to take care of this planet. tl;dr: the Earth is a tender lover. This is a wonderful thing with the proper care and attention, but also easy to abuse and take advantage of. Be aware of this if you want join with a piece of her.Just my thoughts on the matter.'s a great Frontline that answers all your questions. Unfortunately it hasn't been digitized. The problem with trading up the chain, simply put, is that law enforcement only knows what criminals tell them. They are not constructing parallel cases. They're not making the roads safer, they're filling their quota of speeding tickets. Torture doesn't work for the same reason - if you tell me you'll stop pulling my toenails off if I tell you who gave me the IED, I'll stick with the pliers so long as my source scares me more than you. Which means all I need to do is give up someone who scares me less than you do - and there's no downside to iteratively throwing names out there.Let's say I've got four buddies - Alex, Bob, Chuck, Dave and Elvis. You've got my phone and you know that I call all of them. You're going to throw me down the forever hole unless I give up my dealer, and you suspect it's Alex, Bob, Chuck, Dave or Elvis. I play cards with Alex. Bob occasionally buys weed from me. Chuck's a single dad who hits me up for money. Dave gets me work sometimes as a bricklayer and also loves to share his collection of child porn. Elvis works for the Zetas cartel.I'm going to give them up in the following order: 1) Chuck because he's a drag on my bottom line2) Alex because I lose money when I play him, even if it's usually fun3) Bob, because I'll miss that income4) Dave, because I'll really mis that incomeNever) Elvis, because I don't want my entire family to end up beheaded on the side of the road outside AmarilloPresume, for the sake of kindness, that the DEA can rule out Chuck and Alex immediately. They are obviously, visibly harmless. Bob? The DEA is going to squeeze Bob, who will give up his own list that also doesn't include Elvis. Each one of the people on his list will be squeezed until eventually someone is stupid enough to flip a supplier. That supplier is then going to play the exact same fucking game. Elvis is doing just fine, the DEA is chasing their tails, and low-level addicts are suddenly drug kingpins because they're all narcing on each other.Let's add some financial incentive to the pot, shall we? Every single person who gets implicated is also subject to DEA seizure. That means they get to take anything that touches drugs. Did you drive a car with drugs in it? it belongs to the DEA. Did you ride in a friend's car with drugs in it? It belongs to the DEA. Store drugs in your house? It belongs to the DEA. Store drugs in your landlord's house? It belongs to the DEA. Along with everything in it. Let's take my buddy Dante. He was addicted to Meth. He got clean for the sake of his life, and for the sake of his son. And then his buddy, who helped him get clean, told him that he needed 2 kilos of coke to make it across town by 5 or the Zetas would kill him. So my buddy Dante got the keys out of a mailbox, got in the car and started it up.The car? The DEA's. The drugs? The DEA's. Dante's buddy? Trading up the chain, giving up Dante rather than the guys the DEA wanted because Dante couldn't make him show up headless on the side of a freeway outside Amarillo. Dante, of course, had no one to give up so he was charged with trafficking and faced a ten year bid for a first offense. Lost his truck, lost all his musical equipment, is a felon forever.Well yeah. Shouldn't have gotten in the car. No shit. But if you think policing, public order, the war on drugs or any civil good has been advanced by this travesty of criminal justice you're not only high, you're evil. And that's what's wrong with it. Dante is real. The seizures are real. The dead on the side of the road outside of Amarillo is my sister's ex-boyfriend. And here's the DEA, getting low-level smurfs to snitch on each other for fun and profit while the Coast Guard siezes 225 tons of coke. woke up at 4:30 Saturday morning prepared to do the hardest thing I've ever attempted.It did not go as planned. for numbness to set inToday we are learning how big of liars mk and steve are regarding pain levels.--- 3 hours later They aren't liars. It's not painful at all. Like actually maybe a 1 or 2 with the most pain the numbing needle. But it is something crazy happening to your body and you will react as you do in those situations. randomuser shakes. I sweat and get lightheaded. I haven't donated blood in forever because I'm so small that I am basically done the rest of the day. It's short enough tho that even with anxiety and body reacting, it's over before it becomes unbearable. I also had a really emotionally, long, long draining day yesterday, hadn't eaten anything before the procedure and, as always, am running on little sleep. I would not recommend doing it under those circumstances. Having a watered down Gatorade helped heaps tho.---The next dayDefinitely sore. Sorta feels like if you slip on ice really, really hard except its not on your tailbone. But tender to the touch, sore and achy around, and some weird, unexpected pains if you move a certain way. I took 400mg advil mid day, with 250mg norco at 9am and 6pm. I am tiny + low tolerance though, my 200mg norco is likely your 500mg norco.So basically, my recommendations on how to make it not as shitty as my experience:- Do the procedure later in the day when sleeping for 15 hours won't hurt much.- If you are a naturally anxious person, take half a valium beforehand.- Let the doctor know UP FRONT that you are nervous and do not want to know the details or see the things they use. (Kevin apparently got a much more in depth description of the procedure than I did 😂)- Get a good night's rest and make sure you have eaten a good breakfast (but probably a good while before the procedure because if I had thrown up, it would have been nice to throw up essentially nothing).- Headphones + favorite music (I did this, as I always do for things like this, and it helps keep me calm). I actually posted this original photo as I was waiting for the numbing to work and texted my brother up until the first needle ("brb getting stem cells taken")- Bring a watered-down yellow gatorade (watered-down because I find gatorade to be far too sugary and strong in general, but definitely too sugary after something like this). - Drink a little bit of gatorade or suck on a sugar cube before the procedure to help get your blood sugar up.- Remember to breath and that it's literally over in like 5 minutes, but prepare to spend at least an hour in the doctor's office between explanation, preparation, numbing, the actual procedure, and giving yourself 15 minutes to cool down / calm down afterwards.- Ask the doctor for an extra gauze / tape for yourself for the next day. I'm sure most people have things at their house that would work but we're in the middle of moving so kevin got cheap-y hotel face circle + painters tape this morning I'm in the hospital for a week or so. My transplanted kidney is experiencing some antibody mediated rejection. It's got some permanent damage, but with treatment and increased immune suppression, I should get a few more years of use out of it. Grateful for everyday since 2009. Grateful for my donor, and his family. Grateful for good healthcare. Grateful for my kiddos. Grateful for all the people who have supported me since my kidneys failed in 2007.That's a buddy of mine, couple weeks ago. I've known him since I was three. He's center left. I'm center right. This was my seventh birthday.He was my main rival through elementary school; the other smart kid. We were the twin towers of nerd-dom. Only he got distracted by other stuff and basically flaked out on school; I think he literally got perfect SAT scores but his academics blew. He now thinks it was the paint chips he ate as a baby because apparently he's got other hallmarks of lead exposure. Me? I started hanging out with the overpass kids and noped the fuck out of academics pretty hard so by the time anyone gave a fuck about achievement we were both too cynical to care.The out of pocket cost for these treatments will be approximately $5000. Worth it, but extremely difficult to cover, especially given the amount of unpaid leave from work he has had to take (2 weeks so far, plus at least another 10 days in the next two months for chemo). He's a good, hard-working man who hasn't been able to catch a break when it comes to his health.We have lunch when I can find time; it's always striking to me because I show up wearing WTFever and he shows up in coveralls with his name on them. perfect SAT score. My life was no bed of roses but fuckin'A. He's gonna die. He's three months to the day younger than I am and he's gonna die. He's got two kids; one just graduated high school, I think, and the other is three or four years out. His wife got him all the way through recovery and then decided that she didn't want to be anyone's wife anymore. And his commute is miserable and he's gotta deal with shit like dialysis AGAIN.I've done well in Ethereum. It's play money, too. And my instinct is to frickin' pay off his gofundme. I mean, there's a girl on the roster there a thousand miles away whose existence I'd forgotten until yesterday and she put $250 towards this guy she prolly hasn't seen in more than 20 years. I've had lunch with him like twice this year and I haven't been here for half of it. Maybe that'll buy him another couple years. But then I put my name on it and it hangs over both of us. Maybe I don't put my name on it and then it hangs over me. I don't know.His parents are government employees with rippin' pensions but he doesn't talk to them anymore of course and besides, he's a grown-ass man. A grown-ass man whose sister is begging on the Internet to pay his medical expenses because we live in the most advanced Western democracy in the world with the best healthcare in the world and the best doctors in the world and we're crowdfunding someone's renal failure. I make reality television for a living and my daughter's inhaler costs me $5. Her epipen costs me $5. Her ER visits? A whopping $70 ZOMG. I get hot towels when I fly and he finishes out the day with Gojo and growing up, his was the house the nicest one I'd been in and his mom was on the city council and their cars were always new and I hunted mice so I could sleep and here we are and I don't understand how we've created a society where a million little choices by a million little kids lead us to this place where I keep my bike tools in a Harry Winston bag and he's begging the Internet for another couple years on this earth, please. So I'm home, and I slept in my own bed, and I started a class in taking apart watches and I've got a feature and a short to mix and what really fucks me up - and has been fucking me up - is my buddy. I sent him a text saying we were setting up a standing lunch date, my treat, he picks the day of the week and the place. I haven't heard back. America. firmly believe that "single payer" would get a lot more support if people stopped talking about it in grandiose themes and noble vignettes and started talking about it in real terms. All the liberals I know are in heavy favor of "single payer" without any of them knowing what the fuck it is.HERE'S WHAT THE FUCK IT IS.I've got a medical facility - Al's Medicine. Al's subcontracts to Betty the Biller and Cindy the Client Specialist. I operate in a state where my medical facility is covered by Medicaid. We also take private (employer-provided) insurance, which is underwritten by the following insurance firms: Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z.Al's must sign individual contracts with Q, R, S, T, U, V and W. These contracts are "take it or leave it" binding: they say that for ICD code 1, Q will pay Al's $7.50 but for ICD code 1.000000001, Q will pay Al's $0.00 because fuck you, Al's. Note that Q might pay Joe's $6.50 or $9.50 or^2 for ICD code 1. Q is entirely within its rights to do so. Al and Joe, on the other hand, are contractually forbidden from discussing their rates for ICD Code 1. If Q gets wind that Al and Joe know what the other are getting, they can drop both because fuck you, Al and Joe. Also know that Joe might not get anything for ICD Code 1 because Q has decided that all of Q's contracted healthcare clients can drive 75 miles to Al's for those services because fuck you, Joe. Also know that Q can tell Al's they'll pay $7.50 for "services" verbally and in writing, but when the actual contract comes through the actual number listed is $2.25 because fuck you, Al's. Also know that they won't tell you what ICD codes they'll pay for, they'll just say "services" and let you resubmit your bills over and over and over again until you find the ICD code that pays out the most because fuck you. Also know that the ICD code they choose to pay for can and will also change because fuck you.A few other notes: Al's might have to provide, for example, rhogam shots to prevent babies from dying from blood type incompatibiliy. These rhogam shots might cost Al's $28 but Q is going to pay $7 because fuck you, Al's. If you ever wondered why hospitals charge you $40 to hold your baby it's because they're trying to claw back the $21 the insurance company isn't paying for medicine they're required by law to administer (for example). Also note that your involvement, gentle consumer, starts when you get an "explanation of benefits" from the insurance company listing all the outrageous charges the doctor hit you with. It will provide no explanation. It will show how generous they were in all their disbursements and then show you that your doctor's office is going to bill you STILL MORE MONEY because they're such bloodsuckers.This is where Betty Biller and Cindy Client Specialist come in. Betty makes 10% by pickaxing all the money she can get out of Q. Betty's whole job is knowing what Q pays out on. Betty knows which ICD codes Q pays out what on, and can turn your "normal child checkup" into 42 different codes that pay the maximum rate Q has contracted to pay. She is literally a medical billing bounty hunter. Betty is the back office side while Cindy talks to you, the client - here's what's coming, here's what it means, here's how to get your insurance to pay for this ahead of time, here's how to get preapproval for that. For those keeping track at home, billing specialists outnumber doctors 2:1 in this scenario.Multiply times insurance companies R, S, T, U, V and W, who all have their own rates, all have their own codes, all have their own geographic exclusion areas, and probably have seven or eight sub-plans so that it's not actually "V" it's V.a, V.b, V.c, V.d, V.e, V.f and so on. Suddenly, Betty and Cindy look positively useful and you will pay them gladly because the act of billing for care takes three to four times as many man-hours as actually providing that care. Betty and Cindy make good livings and their existence is entirely parasitic on the insurance companie's deliberately opaque, byzantine and antagonistic reimbursement practices.Not Y and Z, though. Y and Z contract through Medicaid. Medicaid has no patience for that bullshit. They will pay the following amounts on the following ICD codes. Anybody who contracts through Medicaid bills those codes and gets that money. It is known. Y knows, Z knows, Al knows, Joe knows, and all of Al and Joe's clients can fuckin' look it up. And when Medicaid's reimbursements lag behind the real world, it gets turned into a bill that goes to the legislature that raises the rates for everyone. Al's, in fact, might get better reimbursements out of Y and Z (because of medicaid) than they get out of Q, R S, T, U or V. Unfortunately you as a patient don't get your insurance through Y and Z because you make more than the poverty level for your county. You get whatever insurance your job provides, which might be V.c, might be Q, might be nothing because you drive for Uber and fuck you. As a provider, we get to choose who we contract with. We do not get to choose what those providers pay us. And if 50% of your clients work for Microsoft, you bloody well better be able to take V.c, despite the fact that they reimburse at exactly half what Medicaid reimburses at (which is funny, because all your Microsoft mommies make six figures). R, on the other hand, may decide that they'll never cover you because they have enough of your specialty in network, never mind that the nearest provider is a ferry ride away (because this way they don't have to pay for those services). As an insurer, you get to decide who you contract with. You can pick the providers that are the stupidest, that will accept the lowest rates, that have the lowest conflict rate of you arguing over charges. And you get to discuss this with the HR reps of companies large and small, none of which have any background in medicine, medical billing, accounting or statistics. To no one's surprise, they choose on price.But the poor people? They pay what the state says they pay, the insurance companies collect what the state says they collect, and they contract with the providers the state says they contract with.THEY STILL MAKE MONEY.They're still private insurance companies, privately managing your health care, privately paying out private doctors. It is not "socialized medicine." It is not "universal healthcare." It is not the National Health Service. The healthcare industry is something like a tenth of the US economy; you're never getting that. But you go single payer and all of a sudden things go from back-room knife fights between Q, R, Betty and Cindy to state-mandated pricing and state-mandated coverage.My future is tied to health care. I've got more in a medical practice than you have in your house. And I'm a big booster of single payer.And so's Aetna, who in this example is R. original transaction sent 0.00859833 BTC to your new address, paid 0.00025 BTC in miner fees, and sent the remaining 0.0002924 BTC in "change" back to the original paper wallet.Of that remaining 0.0002924 BTC, I sent 0.0002424 BTC to myself, and paid the last 0.00005 in miner fees. The paper wallet now has nothing left. I probably could have used a lower fee, if I had been willing to wait longer. The transaction backlog isn't as bad as when you tried it.I also stole your 0.0002924 in Bitcoin Cash from the same address.I recovered the private key by filling in the blanks in your picture. The private key was on your receipt twice -- once as a barcode and once as text. You covered up part of each, but not the same parts -- QR codes actually start laying out the data from the bottom right. So I could reconstruct that corner using the beginning of the text.This was how far I got before my phone could scan it (with a bit of difficulty):Even if I hadn't been able to fill that much in, the combination of you showing most of the QR code, plus its built in redundancy, means that it would likely have been feasible to brute force the remaining bits of the key. 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. a great time yesterday watching the eclipse! And apparently the blog post featuring my photos and videos is beating all kinds of view records:'s been a really fun summer so far, and it's only gonna get better with burning man next week. I don't think I've ever been more exited. Even had an unexpected bonding moment with this lady that works at the Georgia office yesterday that not only knew what burning man was (that I so far had to explain as going camping at an art festival in the desert to everyone else at the company) but has been at many festivals before and had some great tips to share.Will be in LA the week after that (sept 4th to 12th at least). WHO'S IN TOWN? kleinbl00? may just ramble here for a second to see how people reply because I don't want to specifically talk about my life right now and I've learned to accept the blunt tool aspect that language has and I don't know if that is a fact many people understand explicitly. There is just no way to apply logic to my behavior or reactions and I'm not sure that doesn't apply to everyone. I'm pretty certain of it in fact. Sometimes I fold entirely under pressure that may not seem very intense from the outside and sometimes I can soldier through objective tragedy. I don't exactly remember what's on this list and I looked at it again because it's meant to be amusing in part: there's more than a few things on there that have happened to me, even in the last year. It's hard to explain how that feels because it's just complicated. I feel like I deserve a gold fucking star sometimes for just waking up or not crying at a given moment when that's a hard thing to resist. Everyone deals with things they aren't appreciated for that are internally important. Difficulties that are not important enough to mention but would be so greatly appreciated if anyone noticed at all the level of a quiet struggle. And that seems to be my life. A very slow process of coming to be grateful for anything I have or am afforded and the smallest recognitions of any signal from someone about how hard it can be for me just to not accept failure or any number of undesirable things that would be easy to give in to. This is something that is in large part my fault. But there are a lot of difficult to recognize or understand factors in my life that I deal with every day that I cannot overestate the amount of effort it's been to function at a level where if I fold it's a goddamn surprise to everyone looking at me. And that has forced me to educate myself and accept faults of my own that people who have them can exist easily without recognizing and just generally be open to the fact that I don't often know what the fuck is even happening. But that has given me an empathy that I do want a gold fucking star for one day towards people who no one even wants to look at and people who are easily dismissed for reasons that I've learned to see as incredibly judgemental because I have a taste of how bad life can be in ways that people in the first world have no appreciation for since they've never, for example, had to weigh the benefit of carrying everything you own against its weight and the stress that will create to hold on to objects that are not very basically essential. I have done that. And I have not given up and when I've tried to I've failed. Just general advice I've learned through experience, personal or by observation, smiling itself can be nearly impossible sometimes so. Or comforting in its ease at a moment. I feel like people in America sprint through life and are surprise how short it is when they accelerated its speed by worrying about duvet covers or taking cold water for granted. Everyone reading this should understand the levels of grace they've been afforded just by having electricity and internet access. Billions of people right now are comfortable being unsure how they will next eat. I want a gold star sometimes because the very low level of optimism I seem to put off is a lot more than people who I think have none and whatever level of give a fuck I have left is important and probably hard fought. received from others and the badges you earned by persisted posts and comments are in different counters. One does not influence the other.It's like a gift to put on your mantle piece, man. You don't just give your recognition away. ;) don't get to give away badges that your content has been given. think that badges don't go to "you" per se... they go to the post. So this post has been badged, not you.There is a secret sauce algorithm that determines when you earn badges to spend (posts, comments, shares, etc). That algorithm might include a factor of having your content badged... That I don't know.I hope that helps. once had three mice. I named them Theodore, Buttercup, and The Holy Spirit. They were feeder mice meant to be fed to snakes. I had them for about 6 months and they helped with my depression. Mice are particularly hard to pet, and they started to hiss and bite at me whenever I went to feed them in the cage. This went on for awhile and on one particularly bad day I decided to kill them off. I rationalized that they were feeder mice that were going to die anyway. I took a half empty jar of peanut butter and put then waited awhile before I put the lid on it. I woke up the next day feeling the absolute worst, and I was worried that my family would come in and notice that my mice were missing. I bought three more mice and pretended that everything was fine, but in the back of my mind I felt that there was an aura of fear left behind by the previous trio and these new mice knew that I was a mouse killer. I kept them until I left to find myself across the US and I couldn't find anyone to take care of them and I didn't have any friends with snakes so I decided to kill them in the same way, in a peanut butter jar. I don't trust myself to take care of pets or plants right now. If you buy a succulent I'll buy a succulent. are important psychologically. They demand nothing from us other than water and light, yet they are a living thing whose existence depends on us. By requiring our care they allow us to shift our focus from ourselves to something else, but at a much lower concentration than pets or humans. They're useful for staving off depression. The hard part is when the depression wins.Mine started about ten. I'd had a couple houseplants and an aquarium in my room in 5th grade; when we moved in sixth I took the opportunity to plan a large skylight (which I never got - my parents put them in two other rooms but) and hang up a couple 4' grow lamps. By the time I was sixteen I had maybe 25 pots of various foliage, two aquariums and a hand-me-down cage full of finches. By the time I was seventeen my sister was stealing my shit to sell to her friends, my parents weren't interacting with me unless it was to give me shit, I was a full-blown exercise bulimic and I was trapped.And I let it all die.At one point I went away for four or five days and my parents broke into my room because they suspected there were things to be fed in there. They apologized when they realized everything was long since dead.But they never wondered what the fuck happened, and they never did anything about it.I like green, growing things. My own little Silent Running in the middle of the fucking New Mexico desert was my escape capsule. And the fact that I couldn't keep it alive still messes me up. The fact that my parents never gave a fuck made me angry for a very, very long time. think this game is an interesting response to the original manifesto as well the final panel of that, in the background of the street scene, they have the Led Zeppelin icons as a sign. I dig that. That was a cool comic also! Learned a lot. time I see a solution like this, I just think about how little we learned from rat park.