Now Here’s a Guy Who Gets Me


I teach programming classes for a living. The classes are 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 12 weeks. I put a lot of preparation into it because I want students to have the best, most up-to-date and relevant instruction.

It’s a good job for me. Programming seems to me like an important, valuable skill . . . it’s allowed me to make a living doing (for the most part) things I like and things I’m good at.

It gives you a lot of options. You don’t have to work for a tech company. Almost any field of endeavor now uses software and data and they hire programmers. You can work in education, healthcare, finance, sports, whatever energizes you.

So it’s good to have a job where I feel like I’m helping people. The downside is that the students can’t really tell good instruction from bad instruction.

Yes, they can assess whether I’m articulate and a pleasant person to spend the day with, but they really can’t assess the prep that goes into organizing the material, keeping it current, making it comprehensible and breaking it into 8-hour chunks of valuable educational activities.

The only person who can appreciate that is my teaching assistant, my TA. Today was his last day. He’s leaving to take a new job (which he should . . . he’s a talented guy and being a TA is not a long-term career).

As part of a note he wrote me, he said

Honestly i think you’re a savage and you provide the students with so much and you don’t take shit from the back office. Thank you for everything. I’m going to miss working with you.

Now here’s a guy who gets me. (By “back office,” he means the sales and marketing guys who want to tell me how to teach the classes.) The single most underappreciated quality of my career — and by “underappreciated” I mean it’s embroiled me in a great deal of conflict — is my unwillingness to take advice on how to do my job from people who don’t know how to do my job.

Thus spoke The Programmer.

We Giveth But We Also Taketh Away, Just Like God

Car crash

“As driving behaviors evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic, XYZ Insurance Company is working to reduce auto rates in every state. The national average for those rate reductions is 11%, saving customers a total of approximately $2.2 billion.

“‘Current driving data and claims experience show a considerable decline in miles driven and fewer accidents,’ said XYZ Senior Vice President Kristyn Cook-Turner. ‘As a result, we’re looking for ways to continue supporting our customers while we monitor and adjust to trends.’

“‘On the flip side, we’ve also noticed that a lot more of our customers are getting sick and dying,’ Cook-Turner continued, ‘so we’ll be correspondingly increasing premiums for health and life insurance.’

“‘You win a few, you lose a few.'”

You’re Not Gonna Like the Way You Look


I went for what I thought would be a quick stop at Men’s Wearhouse to buy a tie. The salesman informed me that they were selling ties on a “buy one, get one free” basis.

The selection wasn’t very good in my opinion. I picked out one tie I liked and spent another 30 minutes trying to find a second tie that I wouldn’t feel bad being seen in. Several times I was on the verge of checking out with just the one tie but it just didn’t feel right to pass up a free tie.

Ain’t That Peculiar?


Mayor Says Seattle Will Move to Dismantle Protest Zone, After Second Shooting in Less Than 48 HoursTIME

It’s peculiar how leftist radicals get hold of a piece of ground and all of a sudden they love guns and border walls . . .

Seattle CHOP

Orwell: “You Can’t Say I Didn’t Warn You F*ckers”


Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building had been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

— George Orwell, 1984

According to KMOX radio in St. Louis, a petition has been started with hopes of changing the city’s name and — wait for it — taking down a statue of Saint Louis IX in Forest Park. The petition creators say the city’s name is “outright disrespect” to Jewish and Muslim residents.

A statue of Christopher Columbus in Tower Grove Park was taken away last week.

King louis statue tonemapped.jpg

A Couple Observations

  1. Police officers sure went from heroic first responders to satanic killers in a big hurry.
  2. If there are essential workers, what are the rest of us? Non-essential workers?

Joe Biden: 50 Million Americans Are “Not Very Good People”


Robots Read News

Planet Berkeley: Strawberry Creek


Thomas Jefferson: Unity!

Thomas Jefferson

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.

— Former Defense Secretary James Mattis

My fellow Americans –

That is the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever read about politics. The Democratic party platform, as I understand it, is:

  1. If you’re not white, you can’t make it in America because of racism.
  2. If you are white, you can’t make it because of One Percenters and Wall Street fat cats.
  3. If you’re a woman, you can’t make it because of sexism and misogyny.
  4. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

They’ve got race wars, class wars, culture wars, gender wars, all going on at the same time. It’s everybody against everybody.

Unite us, indeed!

Thomas Jefferson

My Boyhood Sports Icons Are Dying: Wes Unseld


Wes Unseld was the second overall pick by the Baltimore Bullets in 1968. He was the only player other than Wilt Chamberlain to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award in the same year. At 6-foot-7, he played center and averaged 14 rebounds a game for his career. He played in four NBA finals with the Bullets, winning one, in which he was voted MVP, in 1978.

He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.

RIP Wes Unseld

Wes Unseld

Milwaukee Police Chief Accused of Being Inattentive. His Response May Surprise You!


Protests Considered Harmful?


I saw multiple people on TV this weekend looting stores, running out with a “Black Lives Matter” sign in one hand and stolen merchandise in the other.

Maybe we should stop having these Black Lives Matter protests. The majority of the TV coverage is black citizens stealing things and setting things on fire, which doesn’t improve anyone’s lives and probably, in terms of prejudice and race relations, makes things worse.

In this case, the George Floyd case, I haven’t heard one person say that kneeling on someone’s neck and killing them is good police work. So it’s really a protest against no one, except the one guy who did it and he’s already been fired, arrested, charged with murder and condemned by everyone from the president of the United States on down. There’s no opposing viewpoint to protest against.

The mayor of Atlanta, who is a black woman and therefore allowed to say things like this, said at a press conference a couple of nights ago:

You’re not honoring a legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. You are not protesting anything running out with brown liquor in your hands, breaking windows in this city. T.I., Killer Mike owned half the West side, so when you burn down this city, you’re burning down our community.

If you want change in America, go and register to vote. Show up at the polls on June 9th. Do it in November. That is the change we need in this country.

You are disgracing our city, you are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country. We are better than this. We are better than this as a city, we are better than this as a country. Go home. Go home.

What Does a Man Really Need?


Little Richard, 1932-2020

[Trigger warning for language :o]
Little Richard

It’s very easy for people to forget what rock and roll really is. Look man, I’m forty-seven years old, and I grew up in Wyoming, and I stole cars and drove five hundred miles to watch Little Richard, and I wanna tell you somethin’ — when I saw this nigger come out in a gold suit, fuckin’ hair flyin’, and leap up onstage and come down on his piano bangin’ and goin’ fuckin’ nuts in Salt Lake City, I went, “Hey man, I wanna be like him. This is what I want.”

David Briggs, quoted by Neil Young in Waging Heavy Peace

RIP “Little Richard” Penniman

Happy Mothers Day


I have so many dreams of my own, and I remember things from my childhood, from when I was a girl and a young woman, and I haven’t forgotten a thing. So why did we think of Mom as a mom from the very beginning? She didn’t have the opportunity to pursue her dreams, and all by herself, faced everything the era dealt her, poverty and sadness, and she couldn’t do anything about her very bad lot in life other than suffer through it and get beyond it and live her life to the very best of her ability, giving her body and her heart to it completely. Why did I never give a thought to Mom’s dreams?

— Kyung-sook Shin, Please Look After Mom

Souplantation, 1978-2020

Souplantation store front. La Cañada, California.

Souplantation is closing all of its restaurants permanently, a casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

I was probably one of their last customers . . . we had dinner at the Irvine location a few days before restaurants had to close for in-person dining. The place was at least 70 percent empty at that time. It is hard to believe we’ll never be able to go there again.

Souplantation was one of our favorite family restaurants, maybe the number one favorite. This feels like the death of a family member . . . so many Souplantation memories . . .

RIP Souplantation

I’m Going to Start Robbing Banks


Why do you rob banks?
Because that’s where the money is.

Willie Sutton (probably apocryphal)

I’m going to start sticking up banks. Not long ago, if you walked into a bank wearing a mask over your face, someone would immediately reach for an alarm or a gun. Now it’s required.

I could walk in and clean out the teller before anyone suspects a thing.

I think I’ll hone my craft first by knocking off a few gas stations and convenience stores.

“Can you describe the suspect?”

“I can’t, officer. He was wearing a mask.”

One Thing Is Certain


How the Media Completely Blew the Trump Ventilator Story


FEMA acted quickly — much faster than is possible in the regular process — to get so-called notifications to purchase to ventilator manufacturers, so they could start work and hold their inventory, which ensured it wasn’t lost to foreign countries. The Defense Production Act was invoked with General Motors to get production moving as quickly as possible, and not back-loaded later in the summer.

“We are going to be swimming in ventilators.”

Last year, according to administration figures, the country produced 30,000 ventilators. This year, it’s going to produce something on the order of 200,000, and they are already coming in. “The balance now is growing daily,” the White House adviser says of the federal stockpile. “We are going to be swimming in ventilators.”

By any measure, that’s a success, certainly compared with where we thought we’d be less than a month ago. If the media weren’t so devoted to gotcha idiocy, more people might know about it.