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goobster


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following: 9
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hubskier for: 1470 days

Writer by trade. I makes da words purdy.

My #meetHubski interview is here.


recent comments, posts, and shares:
goobster  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tesla Wedge

.... where's my popcorn ...

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

So it really is another PT Cruiser...

Bummer. I'd hoped there was "more" underneath. So that Nismo could do something amazing and make an Abarth-Fiat-esque modification to the basic Juke... for... I dunno... the Baja 1000, or something! :-)

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tesla Wedge

Love that flat-tracker front wheel... there's something about that "light front end" look that I just love.

I'm a BMW airhead guy, and love restomods, but I am so torn on this one...

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tesla Wedge

I'm still in love with it, for all the reasons people hate it.

The key thing is that Truck Guys are brand-devoted. Be it a Ford, Chevy, Freightliner, Kenworth, or whatever, the guy driving the truck identifies far more with the brand than with the actual vehicle they are driving. Guys driving light-duty vehicles (any truck you can drive without a special driver's license) are looking for the next model they are going to buy from their preferred manufacturer.

You are never going to get a Ford guy to buy a Chevy. Period.

So if you are launching a new truck, existing truck owners are NOT GOING TO BUY IT. There is literally no feature, widget, addition, or buzzword you can put on your Ford that will make a Chevy guy buy it.

So there is no reason to build a truck for those guys.

But there are a bajillion Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu, and 1/4-ton pickups from American manufacturers out there. And there has been no development in the light pickup market for probably 20 years. These vehicles have 250,000 miles on them, and have been workhorses for people for decades.

There are also people out there who would like a truck, but are not "truck people".

And then there are people like me who just are fucking DONE buying gas, and love Musk's audacity enough to pay a premium for his weirdo vehicles.

The polarizing design is the only reason for the design. To alienate those who would never buy it, and to energize those who are tired of fuckwits in lifted Ford F-250s rolling coal on every Prius they pass.

I think it's brilliant, and I love it.

And in the end, it's a car, so it is always going to suck in comparison to the beauty of a motorcycle! (... ducks and runs away...)

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

The Tate Modern is a wonderful museum. It is also very close to the Globe Theater, which has a BRILLIANT tour!

And from the front of the Tate you can walk across the Millennium Bridge, and up to the Victoria & Albert. I did this with my wife when we were there a couple years ago, and it's a nice day worth of touring and taking in an enormous range of history.

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

I once lost 9 people in just under two years. Five of them to lunatics with guns. One who died instantly at his turntables when, while bopping his head to the music in his headphones, his undiagnosed spinal meningitis kicked in and basically turned him off. They say he was dead before he hit the ground.

There's no answer. There's no easy solution. There's no rhyme or reason to when or where you will go to pieces.

It just happens, and breaking down is not a weakness in character or a problem you can "solve".

What I found most helpful was to going and doing things that I know they specifically would have liked. Being active, doing something I may not have done by myself before, or simply thinking "If Drew was here, he'd seriously dig this!" helped me make new, positive memories, of the person and established a new positive narrative that I associated with them, rather than just their death.

Good luck with your journey, my friend.

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

I still have - and will always have - an inexplicable and undying love for the Juke.

It's my kind of weird.

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 27, 2019

He sounds like an amazing guy... what a fun thing to do in the middle of his performance!

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: He. Tweeted. This...

The official response from the White House is that this is not Photoshopped. And when asked why his head was attached to an official Rocky promo poster shot, they said it wasn't.

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Post-Thanksgiving Writing Prompt

The remnants of the rose bushes were still swinging back and forth slightly, as they dangled from the front bumper of Aunt D's battered old 1972 Chevy station-wagon, with the faux wood siding and faded green paint. The last of the air in the inflatable Santa Claus wheezed out from beneath the car's bald tires. Steam rose from the hood as the driver's side door creaked, then was thrown wide open.

Gathered on the porch, we were silent, holding our breath, to see what emerged from the scene.

"Ooof. Erf. Bugger it!" Aunt D cursed under her breath as she wriggled her bulk out of the door of the vehicle.

A massive hat brim appeared briefly before catching the edge of the door jamb and flying off her head... a mass of grey hair with died purple streaks fell out around her, and she ducked back down behind the car again.

After a bit more grunting, Aunt D stood up, hair up in the hat, hat re-affixed to her head with even more pins, a bright smile on her face, "Well hello you lovelies!"

Everyone on the porch waved weakly in response, partly from dread, partly from the astonishing scene unfolding in front of them.

Squinting at the assembled group on the porch, Aunt D searched for a face. "Ah! There you are. Come here Little Johnny and help your Auntie D with the presents."

My 55-year old uncle - who has preferred to go by Jack for the last 35 years - winced slightly, then found his feet propelled toward his Aunt D as if powered by some other force. "Coming, Aunt D." I've never seen a man go so quickly from middle-aged to 9 years old. His shoulders drooping, feet scuffing along, as he made his way to the wreckage on the front lawn.

The holidays had now officially begun...

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ekranoplans never die, they just get huge.

I bet it has a range of 9 miles... after trying to get up to speed on the water, fully loaded!!

Probably needs the entire length of the Mediterranean to get off the water...

goobster  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 27, 2019

Funeral services are a delicate thing to get right. Sounds like your Grandfather inspired the best in everyone, and they all came out to celebrate him.

I've been the emcee/host for a very large celebration of life, and it is a delicate thing to navigate.

    ..."It's borderline sovietology, a shadow analysis to determine if those missiles in Romania are anti-aircraft or anti-ballistic missile..."

The innumerable layers underneath that comment, are chilling for those of us who remember the Cold War...

I guess KB's comment below demonstrates why the Republicans have already won 2020: The Democrats still can't figure out who they are, what they want to do, and 8 of the 10 people whose names you recognize running for the Democratic nomination are completely featureless, feckless, and unable to pull together any sort of compelling message.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are voting for Republicans. It doesn't matter what the middle aged white guy says; as long as there is an R next to his name.

That's the battle. And the Dems have lost it. Again.

goobster  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 27, 2019

I love it. I love every New Zealander I have ever met.

So what is the $5 or $10 or $20 you are paying for meds? What is the payment for? How is it calculated?

goobster  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 27, 2019

Thanks for the early Pubski. Tomorrow is my company's annual Turkey Fry, which is a 200+ person potluck of fun and chaos and drinking, and it starts at 11:AM, and everyone basically leaves when they are full. We will be back in the office on Monday. Love this job!

The bad news is that my tennis elbow is back with a fucking vengeance. Been in pain for more than a week, after twisting my wrist slightly putting a jar back in the fridge.

Today was my physical therapy appointment. It was supposed to be the last one, as my treatment of the last two months had basically gotten me back to normal again.

My therapist diagnosed nerve damage, and traced it up into my shoulder and neck - my first rib, actually - and did a BUNCH of work there to release the tension in my wrist, because my wrist hurt too much to touch.

So now I am back again to not being able to use my right hand basically AT ALL, for the next couple of months. I have a series of new nerve-treatment exercises to do regularly, to help "floss" the problematic nerve and get it on the path to healing.

In the mean time, any activity with my right wrist - including playing guitar (which I will be doing this weekend in the recording studio), and riding my motorcycle, and writing (on Hubski, too), and removing the old forced-air ducting so I can close up the gaps and keep all the heat being generated by our new heating system INSIDE the house, and a hundred other things - are on hold for the foreseeable future.

Which includes my motorcycle rebuild project. Which I found out isn't going to happen either, because there are some weird design anomalies with this bike that make it REALLY hard to modify and get running right again (gee, I wonder if that is why it only lasted for 4 years in Suzuki's product line?), so I just need to slap it back together and sell it on to the next sucker.

But after my wrist heals. :-(

goobster  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 27, 2019

Stephen Colbert just did a week long series on his trip to New Zealand. He's sitting chatting with one of the guys from Flight of the Conchords and Lucy Lawless (notice whose name I remembered easily, and whose I didn't...), and he asks them about how health insurance is in New Zealand.

Dude says, "It doesn't exist."

Stephen is kinda caught off guard for a moment. That wasn't in the script.

Dude continues, "If I get sick, I just go to the doctor and it's taken care of."

Stephen gets it - his entire framework for discussing health care is fucked - and smiles.

Dude continues, "Even you. If you get sick, you go in, they fix you up, and you leave. For free."

They then go on talking about the canned spaghetti sandwich they are eating, and what a delicacy it is.

Fuck, man. What would it be like to live in a civilized country... ?

I've always held out hope for Zelenskiy to be what Tymoshenko promised for the country, but she got railroaded and set up as the fall guy for a standard Russian op in Ukraine.

But ... Zelenskiy was a comedian before running for office.

Trump was a TV star with a checkered real estate past.

I'm afraid these two are both going to just be the vapid approval-seekers that most on-air personalities are, and both will quickly live up to the idiom of power corrupting absolutely... sigh

Yes and...

... there is the angle taken by the author that everything the Republican Party has ever stood for - American imperialism overseas, the military-industrial complex at all costs to quality of life at home, the imposition of Democracy on every culture on the planet, eternal war under the guise of anti-terrorism - is suddenly the "failed state" and due to the "deep state actors" that are some vaguely defined people in the past.

Not Strom Thurmond and Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan and John Boehner and G. W/HW Bush and Dick Cheney and ... every Republican that has served in office back to Reagan!

And it's just crazy enough, that I can actually believe that people who still call themselves Republicans - like my Mom - could actually believe this horseshit.

I mean... yesterday Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in one sentence that her comments about "people in the FBI losing faith in James Comey" was just something she "made up on the spot", and IN THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE says that the thing that really upsets her the most is, "being called a liar."

The capacity for the Republican mind to complete alter the facts, history, and their own words to meet some fluid "core set of beliefs they have always held" is truly a thing to behold.

And it's going to fucking work, too.

That's the scariest part. They've already won 2020, and I think are setting up for 2024 now.

goobster  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 20, 2019

I lost a very good friend to a Russian bride mill, back in the late 1990's.

He was a programmer at Apple, and targeted for all the earliest web scams. Lonely, divorced, British, and a workaholic, he had no game at all.

So when a pretty Russian girl began chatting him up online, he fell head over heels.

Then came the medical issues that prevented her from flying. Once she got those sorted out, then she'd be able to come visit him in Silicon Valley and they could consummate their virtual love.

The complications from the surgery weren't bad, but she didn't have the money to deal with it properly... you know how it is in Russia, everybody wants their under-the-table bribe to make sure you get the right meds, or the room with a window, or the right doctor...

But she recovered quickly, thankfully. She was ready to travel, once she got her passport and visa situation taken care of.

Which ... wow ... these cost a lot of money! I had no idea!

And the wait list is soooo long! It'll be MONTHS before I get my visa...

Fortunately, my cousin works at the passport office, and can bribe the right person to get mine to the top of the pile... buuuut... I haven't been working, due to a little relapse that has me in bed again. Sooooo....

This went on and on for 2 years, or so. They planned the wedding and everything.

My last message to him - before I was blocked - was something along the lines of, "So, have you seen her in person yet?"

He never told me the exact numbers, but I think he was in for around $100k.

I suspect he is still single today.

goobster  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Talent May Be Shifting Away From Superstar Cities

If I were going to start a tech company today, I DEFINITELY would not do it in any of the traditional tech hub cities, like Seattle.

The tech workers here are entitled dicks.

The accepted metrics that HR uses, is that there will be 25% employee turnover every year, and any employee that has spent more than 24 months at a company is not "maximizing their earning potential", because they can move to another company and get a bigger salary than their existing company can support in annual raises.

Which means that our hardware and software engineers don't stay around long enough to even launch the product they are working on, before they go off to another company.

I've got friends in HR at Amazon, Google, Expedia, Disney, and here at my company, and the story is the same. 24 months, and out. (That's also when your Amazon stock vests. People literally wait until a week after their stock vests, and then are gone.)

And none of these people are actually that good, honestly. Generic programmers with little experience or genuine talent. Just code grunts who call libraries and link methods and pass variables like librarians file books. No actual talent or skill needed... just code factory workers.

The point is, that's kinda who you need to make today's modern web/SaaS apps work... basic skills that can link together prewritten libraries, under the guidance of one software architect who put together the plan and designed the final product.

So do that ANYWHERE. And for a reasonable salary. With better living conditions. And less of the big city bullshit.

I saw this shift happen back in the 1990's, too. The same states came up then, that come up in this article: Montana, Oregon, the midwest, progressive southern cities like Huntsville...

I would LOVE to see a decentralization of the tech industry. A coder that worked for Microsoft and Amazon and Google and three no-name startups for 18-24 months each is NOT as asset... they are a liability, because they will be gone from your offices before they make any impact at all, and they don't care one whit for whatever your company is doing. They just want more zeroes on those 40 paychecks you are going to write them.

Screw that shit. I want a TEAM who has some PRIDE in what they are doing, and they build their talent and skills over time, honing a great product they are committed to.

And I don't think you can do that any more in the big tech hubs. So more power to the outlier cities!

goobster  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 20, 2019

My boss basically told me that I'm going to just idle for the rest of the year. He's got me lined up for a new position that will be coming along in Q1 of next year, and I hit all my goals and targets for this year, so he said I should just work on some personal development projects... whatever interests me...

So, yay! Fun!

In other news, my wife, brother, and sister-in-law and I are planning our trip to the UK next year. It's a fun exercise, since they haven't been there before, but my wife and I both have. We are putting together a rough agenda, and have a couple of things nailed down (staying in a castle in Scotland!) to plan the rest of the trip around.

Facebook

Mostly have weaned myself off Facebook at this point. It is amazing how quick and easy it was, once I removed the app from my phone. Turns out that accessing the site from a mobile web browser is absolute shit, works terribly, and many features just fail on mobile. Makes it a lot easier to not use it.

I spent some time the other night scrolling through my newsfeed and notifications to see if I missed anything about it, and ... nope. Nothing.

I do miss posting photos of my dog. I think her face makes people happy, and .... well, I'll let my wife post photos of my dog to FB now.

Yoga

Began my yoga journey yesterday. I'm an old stiff guy, who doesn't work out or stretch or anything. But, after losing a bunch of weight, I'm kinda jazzed about my body, and want it to work better. I also really enjoy the meditative nature of yoga, and that you can literally do it your entire life.

So. Last night I went to my first class. I'm figuring twice a week for 3 weeks in this special "Yin" class they have, where there are only about 5 or 6 poses, but you hold them for up to 5 minutes at a time. With my stiffness, normal yoga classes move too quickly between poses... my muscles finally start loosening up, and they switch to a new position.

With this Yin class each pose is held for a long time, so you can breathe into it, and let those muscles and joints stretch slowly.

I was goddamn transformed when I got home last night... I was in a different state of mind... it was amazing.

I'm all-in on this shit, man!

goobster  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 20, 2019

Zagreb, Ljubljana, Novi Sad, Sarajevo. All fantastic cities, cheap, with vibrant youth culture, art, music, and a genuine passion for making foreigners feel welcome. I'd bet you could find someone to crash with there in about 2 days, and have a wonderful time.

They are also beautiful in winter.

And they support the slower pace of life, too... the "cafe culture"... maybe instead of blasting around the world to different sites, it would be good to nest somewhere for the winter. Maybe get a job in a coffee shop or art gallery, to keep the pennies coming in, while you just chill and dig in to the local culture and scene.

Damn.... maybe I'll quit my job today and go do that myself! :-) (Except, my old dog is getting down to her last few months, and I need to be here for her... and for my wife, when our dog passes.)

goobster  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results

I guess we have different definitions we are working from, and that's where we are parting ways.

A search engine's sole goal is to help the customer find what they are looking for. Search for "snow tires" and get reviews of snow tires, manufacturers of snow tires, and installers of snow tires.

SEO's sole goal is to redirect that user's attention towards something possibly related (but probably not) in the effort to derail the user's initial intent. Same as advertising: Distract you from what you are doing, to get you to do something else. Search for "snow tires" and get "ski lift tickets".

SEO is the focused practice of derailing high quality search results, and distracting the searcher.

As such, any company that tweaks their algorithm to break SEO is someone I consider a friend.

goobster  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Is It Time Gauguin Got Canceled?

The application of brush strokes, the mixing of paint colors, the visualization of a scene, has little to do with the way they live their life.

Remove the name "Gauguin" from the painting, and there are many admirable qualities, which we are right to admire, learn from, and study.

The problem is with the cult of celebrity. Attributing the art to the individual outside of the context of the art.

I'd love to see a museum remove all the names from the paintings; let the work stand on its own. See what happens to the viewers' experience when they have to weigh the piece solely on the evidence presented on the canvas (or in the physical sculpture), divorced from the name, the celebrity of the creator...

I'm sure this has been done many times in the past, and there are studies showing the results of these experiments... but I feel like the art stands alone from the individual.

(Then, someone can study the personalities of artists separate from their work, and provide some deeper understanding of the problematic social proclivities that seem common in many artists, and why those with weird tendencies may also produce other interesting work. But burdening the art with the creator's issues does not seem productive to me...)

goobster  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Boomers Want to Stay Home. Senior Housing Now Faces Budding Glut.

Shit. If I'd had the option to live in a grain silo near work where my meals were prepared for me and people came in and washed my sheets three times a week, I'd have HAPPILY lived there, in my Silicon Valley days.

Your Google/Microsoft bus or Uber picks you up at the front door at 7:am, and you arrive at work at 8:am, having put in an hour during the commute on your laptop. The delivery guy brings you food within 30 minutes of arriving back at home the same way at midnight.

Sleep. Wake. Repeat.

AND I don't have to wash my toilet or do my laundry?

It's the Amazon techbro "mommy won't let me live at home anymore" dreamland.

Now I'm thinking about the movie Wall-E...