a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
goobster's profile

x 82

following: 9
followed tags: 23
followed domains: 1
badges given: 29 of 29
hubskier for: 1584 days

Writer by trade. I makes da words purdy.

My #meetHubski interview is here.

recent comments, posts, and shares:
goobster  ·  16 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 1, 2020

My company is going to post an increase in year-over-year revenues during Corona. Largely due to deals that my team has worked on, or brought in house. For a $150m company, that's no small thing, and it keeps me in a job.

Working from home suddenly clicked yesterday, when I moved my desk from the dark and cold basement, up to the main floor of the house, next to the big windows in the living room. Once I got set up, everything finally "clicked" into place, I found my flow, and did a marathon 3-hour straight session of productivity. After I came up for air, my wife said, "Wow... you were really deep in it there! Super-focus!" She said it felt like I was like a giant battery or reactor, generating energy. Pretty cool...

I definitely am having mental effects from the State Of The Union. I've definitely been pushing it down and ignoring it, but I can feel that septic tank is almost full and is going to need emptying soon. Need to figure out how to do that in a way that doesn't get effluent on the people around me, and makes use of the resources and people I have at hand...

goobster  ·  16 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 1, 2020

1. Do you have or have you had the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Possibly, but I don't know. Can't get tested. (I'm in America, so...) Went to San Diego about a month before Wuhan went crazy, and everyone on the trip came back sick with a mysterious dry cough/flu thing that none of us could shake for about 4 weeks. Then COVID happened, and we all looked sidelong at each other... and there's been some persistent flu going around my office (which does a LOT of business in China) for a month or so. It's been around my team of 5 people about 3 times... and that was just around the time I went to San Diego, too.

So yeah; probably. Fine now, tho.

2. Does someone you know have/had it?

Kinda. My sister works with seniors with Alzheimers, and has been in/at all of the senior homes in Seattle that you have seen in the news. She does NOT have it... but many of her clients do.

3. Do you know someone that has died from it?

My sister does, of course. I do not.

4. Have you lost your job or been financially impacted by it?

Still have my job.

Flights back from the UK were hosed, so it cost me some extra money to get a flight (and seats) that were acceptable to me and my family. Car rental had to be extended, so that cost some money. An extra hotel room at the end of our stay, as we waited for our flight. Paying someone to do grocery shopping for us, while we are quarantined at home.

I think that might be it...

goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Shad. The revolution

Wow. I never thought I'd hear someone talk about London! I have two friends I met in Budapest (Canadians) who were originally from London, and are back there now.

It's a small Hubski world.

goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Estimates Show Wuhan Death Toll Far Higher Than Official Figure

Hat tip to the author for the use of the word conurbation:

    "...Seven funeral homes currently serve Wuhan -- a huge conurbation of three cities: Hankou, Wuchang and Hanyang..."
goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: This Is Not the Apocalypse You Were Looking For

I have a different take from the author. I don't see things as "fine" and "worth saving", I see 40% of my life one month ago being completely irrelevant and undesirable. Shit I'm going to jettison as soon as a I can muster enough care and energy to actually do something.

I'm shit at keeping in touch. My wife is constantly telling me about conversations she is having with people I genuinely love, but haven't spoken to in a year or more. We will get together with friends and have a beautiful time... and then I never contact them again.

That shit right there? That's gonna change.

Buying stuff instead of making it? Like food? Yeah. That's gonna change.

There is a LOT of Life Before Covid that is best left in the past. I'm looking forward to 6-9 months from now, when life is "back to normal" but "normal" is significantly different and more intentional than Life Before.

goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hungary government gets sweeping powers

When I lived in Budapest (late 1990-early 2000's), Viktor Orban was the young liberal firebrand, standing in the face of the old holdover Communists who had managed to retain the reins of power after the fall of the USSR in 1989.

It was inspiring to see a young guy up there, speaking of liberalization and embracing NATO and the EU and moving to a western-style democracy. Business flourished. The old, regressive, anti-foreigner ways of Hungarians made way for the influx of western business and people, who brought money and skills and training to the Hungarian people.

The Central European University taught brilliant courses, and brought in young people from all over the world, who mixed with the local Hungarians and lead the boom in creative small businesses, and high tech innovation. (Ever used Prezi? Yup. Hungarians.)

Then Viktor Orban started to change.

And, long story short, he followed the EXACT path of power corrupting the idealistic people. He got a little power. The old guard pushed back against him, so he got petty and used his new power to squash them. Which created backlash amongst his people, who felt that he was abusing his power. Which led him away from his base that got him elected, and into the arms of the old authoritarians. Who were being run by Putin.

And now, you have a textbook Putin puppet despot, just like all of Putin's other fiefdoms (most of which end in "-istan").

But this one is in NATO. And is an EU country.

Putin now has a seat at the Big Table.

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Your minority car preference.

Morgan V-Twin 3-wheeler

By all the gods there have ever been, if I ever have $70k burning a hole in my pocket, I will be getting one of these. (Yeah, they start at $45k, but then you have options and shipping and licensing and the initial two services (probably at 600 and 1500 miles, like most motorcycles) ... it's gonna be $70k. Just own that number, and make peace with it: $70k.)

I would drive this every single day, rain or shine, and I would have the MOST AWESOME WARDROBE to support my lunatic habit.

Oh... right... add $3k of appropriate clothing and accessories from Filson.

goobster  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 25, 2020

The pendulum swings mightily, doesn't it? :-)

I'm getting into the flow better today. Had a couple of video meetings yesterday and this morning, and it's been funny ... I can't even remember the industry terms we used for common things! I keep waving my hands... " You know... the thingie-thing that the customer has to fill out before the tech can go on site for the installation...? What is it called?"

But the cobwebs are falling away. I don't expect my workload to increase, though, so taking this all in the spirit of Ying, is a great suggestion. Love it.

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 10 tips for writing a truly terrible journal article

I bet they never covered how to create a robust archive and indexing system for everything you write, either? And that leads to the self-plagiarism problem, too.

If everything you write is properly documented and archived, then you have the tools you need to do the due diligence on your past writing.

But how many college students even back up their computer? Much less keyword their documents. Or create indexes of their writing - both final papers and incomplete work - that they can use to find things later?

We are smart monkeys, but without proper training, all our tools are glorified hammers.

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 25, 2020

Prior to my vacation, my job was kind of winding down. I do a lot for my company, and am an important resource, but my boss and I are having a hard time defining exactly what it is I do... and more importantly, who should pay me to do it.

I fully expected to come back from vacation to a day of work, where my boss said, "Thanks for everything you have done, but we are restructuring and do not have a position for you any more."

Enter COVID-19.

Now all the things I did as a sideline - people walking by my desk asking me questions, or inviting me to impromptu meetings, or getting me involved in other projects - has really perked up. People are MUCH more interested in my input/opinion on their project, when they are working alone in the echo chamber of their spare bedroom or den.

So here I am, sitting at home, on my work computer, without much to do other than answer questions as they pop up. And I'm bored. But people are clearly relieved to have me back and available again.

So maybe I will still have a job after all this is over!

In other weird news, the huge vehicle fleets we generally work with (5-30k vehicles) are taking advantage of the down time to make some purchases and get some projects rolling! Our sales are actually UP over last year, and we look to come out of Q2 with a significant profitability INCREASE.

Weird times.

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm back

Sadly the wife is gluten free, so there will be no bread-baking in my house. :(

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Now that we're all working from home...what does your setup look like?

Blindspot: I didn't consider the fact that Amazon shipments have been suspended. Derp.

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm back

I did! I brought three bottles of whisky:

- Talisker 6 single cask,

- "Big Peat" a blend of Islay's finest,

- and another bottle of Ailsa Bay that I can get in the States.

I also got a plushie Highland Cow in a tartan hat for my mom, as well as MacGillivray and Buchanan tartan fridge magnets for her.

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm back

Oof. Not much of a vacation for you, it seems. More stress than relaxation!

I just saw that Boris closed the UK today. Everything is on lockdown, no in/out. We kinda/sorta debated about staying in Inverness. The hotel was basically empty, but had to stay open. So we would have been the only people there, and the four staff that we had gotten to know. That's a pretty safe environment... Inverness doesn't see a lot of international tourist travel, but has the National Health safety net in place. So if we were asymptomatic, and in a place with no documented cases, and a quality health system... were we better off just bunkering there and waiting out the epidemic? Or come home - through at least 3 international airports - to a city/state already on lockdown, no effective healthcare system in place, and a Cheeto soaked in Mountain Dew leading the country?

I will always wonder if Inverness wasn't the right decision to make...

goobster  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Now that we're all working from home...what does your setup look like?

Man... I checked Amazon, and they can have to to me somewhere between March 30 and April 7. My quarantine ends April 7th... although I will still probably be working from home for a month of so after that, it doesn't help me NOW.

goobster  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Now that we're all working from home...what does your setup look like?

You can also get them used from Ducky's in SoDo for about $200, or 1/4 retail price!

goobster  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Craft Fair v3.5 - March 13, 2020

After this jacket, find a shit/jacket/whatever you like. Get it at a thrift shop for less than $10.

Then carefully take all the seams out, and lay out the separate pieces.

That, more than anything, will help you understand clothing construction, and how things morph/change over time due to wear. You will see pieces that no longer lay flat, due to shaping around the body part (like shoulders and elbows), and understand where seams are under the most stress, and where the most wear and tear really is. It's a pretty cool experiment, if you are looking to grow your knowledge of how clothes are constructed.

goobster  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm back

It was like living two weeks in the past, honestly. We were walking around like time-travelers, seeing the Brits all being nonchalant about the virus, gathering in pubs, hugging, not doing the basic hand-washing/no-face-touching stuff.... all while back home, our families can't get toilet paper, can't go outside, and people are literally dying.

Then, by the time we left, the UK is fully two weeks ahead of the US. Everything is closed. No public gatherings. Our last hotel forced people to sanitize before touching the door handles or entering the the hotel.

goobster  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm back

Wait... is that a euphemism?

goobster  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Craft Fair v3.5 - March 13, 2020

I've had a couple of coats like this, and have always called them a "photographer's coat" or jacket.

This one, however, is a "fast fashion" style item, made to last a single season and probably 5 washings, before being tossed aside.

Your decision to put time into repairing it is admirable... but eventually you will lose. The fabric fraying at the edges? Yeah... that's happening microscopically at the seams, too, and they will eventually burst, talking the seam allowance with them, and making repairs impossible.

Have fun with it, but know that this coat is not long for this world. :-)

goobster  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 375th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

I like it! I especially like songs like this that start off setting a slow pace/intro, and then pick up pace as they move along. It's a fun dynamic that is hard to pull off in a band. Thanks for the tip!

goobster  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Elizabeth Warren drops out of presidential race.

Roughly 80. Or 7.5 more presidents.

goobster  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Elizabeth Warren drops out of presidential race.

There is absolutely zero chance that Biden can beat Trump. There is not a single person that voted fo Trump that would vote for Obama=the=Evil's Vice President.

Biden is a wuss. He's flustered and addled. And he doesn't stand for anything. He has zero talent to speak off the cuff, and to counter the unrelenting stream of lies and bullshit that we KNOW will be spewing from Trump's facehole during the debates. At least with Warren, when Trump went fully bully-mode, you'd see Trump women joining with Warren in solidarity against a male attacker.

Trump and his cronies have spent three years stacking the deck - the courts, gerrymandering key districts, the AG and the Supreme Court are just Republican banana republics, and they put cronies and complete assholes in key electoral decision-making roles. They are about to solidify that for the next GENERATION with a completely so poorly mis-managed Census, that the Democrats won't even win in their home districts with a majority of votes.

So Trump gets re-elected. More of the same happens.

EVEN IF an interesting/alive Democratic candidate can be found in the mid 2020-2030 timeframe, the system will be so completely rigged that there's no way they could win.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, an ENTIRE GENERATION of Americans will have grown up under completely non-functioning, authoritarian Republican rulers, and will not know anything different. Will not even be able to comprehend how things could be better. (I already see this today. People younger than me don't see any functioning part of government at all, while I saw pollution in Los Angeles basically ENDED, national parks preserved (and lost again), and the fall of the fossil fuel industry to superior technologies. All due to government programs. Shit... I remember when insane homeless people actually had places to go and get care, rather than just become sidewalk speedbumps.)

Shit, that's true even today.

So yeah. I'm gonna make it to about 80. That's another 7.5 presidents.

Oh well.

goobster  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "It's just that most Democrats aren't all that much like you."

The only press that unions have gotten in my lifetime is when they go on strike.

I was well into my 20's and had been working for a decade when I first figured out what a union did that was at all POSITIVE. All I knew was the UAW was striking again and GM wasn't making/selling any cars for some reason.

I expect people today have even less understanding of the purpose of a union, unless their parents were die-hard unionists.

goobster  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet Patient 31

All that data on all those people she was in contact with ... and no idea where she contracted it. But if one little detail comes to light, it could connect all the dots... and lead to an entirely different population of infected.

Did she stop at a food cart and buy an apple? or a coffee? Use a public restroom in a busy place like a train station? Man... working the data on an epidemiological outbreak must be fascinating, electrifying, and terrifying.