Sunday, April 30, 2017

Man Robs Restaurant Cashier; The Cashier Just Kinda Shrugs

In this image from a security camera, the guy in the blue
sweatshirt is robbing Jimmy John's employee Tuker Murray,
who seemed vaguely annoyed durng the whole episode. 
Tuker Murray has to be the most relaxed person in the world.

He's an assistant manager at a Jimmy John's restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri.

A few days ago, a guy came in to rob the place. The whole thing was caught on a security camera, which you can see at the bottom of this post.

The robber, after first pretending to order food, produces a gun and shoves it into Murray's face.

I love Murray's body language. Not this again!

He was wearing gloves food preparers use to prevent the spread of germs, and then this guy comes in:

As Buzzfeed News describes it:

"Murray took his damn time pulling off his gloves, slowly opening the cash register, and looking like he doesn't get paid nearly enough for this crap.

Murray told Buzzfeed News he 'did not get the feeling' the robber wouldn't actually shoot, so he wasn't scared - but he was pissed off."

In other words, Murray was just annoyed by the whole thing.

(Another manager, partly visible at the beginning of the video, went to another room and called police.)

The next day, police arrested Terry K Rayford, 54, and charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Other charges are very, very likely pending.  Authorities say Rayford was on parole at the time of the Jimmy John's robbery and had several felony convictions for first degree armed robbery.

Murray told TMZ: "I was actually surprised when the detective told me that he had done like 12 other robberies and been to jail before, 'cause it was amateur hour."

After the robbery and the police left, Murray stayed at the restaurant to continue his shift.

Here's the video of a very chill Murray during the robbery:

Friday, April 28, 2017

Wacko Anti-Semitic Politician Scams Voters Who Hate Anti-Semites

Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a whack job running for New York
City Council, set up a fraudulent GoFundMe page
to raise money for his campaign
I have to agree with the New York Post: For an anti-Semite, Thomas Lopez-Pierre has a ton of chutzpah.

This idiot is running for New York City council. He doesn't have the slightest chance of winning, given he's running on a platform that calls for stopping "greedy Jewish landlord" from committing "ethnic cleansing" against blacks. 
Told you Lopez-Pierre is a whack job.

This guy is a Democrat. To nobody's surprise, Jewish groups and others are working to get Lopez-Pierre kicked out of the party.

A GoFundMe page called "Stop Thomas Lopez-Pierre Hate Campaign" popped up. According to the New York Post said the GoFundMe page raised $5,781.

Here's the chutzpah part. Says the New York Post:

"But anyone who donated hoping to actually stop Lopez-Pierre is going to be sorely disappointed. - because the page was created by the candidate himself to scam money from his foes.

'I call it bait and switch,' Lopez-Pierre actually bragged to The Post."

Yes, he's right. It's bait and switch all right. I wonder if he can also be brought up on fraud charges

On his campaign page, the candidate says he's a Christian "saved by God's grace."

Asked by CBS New York whether "grace should keep you from lying in such a flagrant way," he responded, "I'm a sinner."

He's right on that count, too.
Lopez-Pierre said he's going to use the money he fraudulently raised via GoFundMe for marketing expenses in his campaign.

Maybe not so fast. GoFundMe says it's frozen the account while it investigates, so this dude might not ever get the money.

As if anyone is going to vote for him.

Lopez-Pierre is trying to win a primary election for a seat in upper Manhattan.  An incumbent named Mark Levine, who happens to be Jewish, is extremely likely to win the seat.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wild Boars Enlist Selves In War Against Terror

Wild boars like this one stampeded and killed 3 ISIS militants
I know terrorism and ISIS is not a laughing matter, given how many thousands of people these militants have killed.  

However, I can't resist a little sense of satisfaction about what happened to three ISIS fighters in Iraq recently.

The militants were hiding in some bushes, planning another ambush, when a herd of wild boars stampeded through, killing the three militants. 

The militants had executed a couple dozen people trying to flee the area, so these three militants got what they deserved.

This is an awful thing to say, but I hope their deaths by stampede was painful and terrifying.

Locals said the militants probably disturbed the notoriously short-tempered boars while they were setting up their attack.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Could Get Rich Selling Muddy My Muddy Filthy Jeans Like Nordstorm's

You could buy these jeans covered with fake mud from
Nordstrom's for $425 a pair, but why would you want to?
One of my johs is a gardener, and I get right into the work.

By the end of the day, my jeans, or Carhartts, or shorts, or t-shirts are caked and mud, dirt and sweat.

You wouldn't think that's so attractive. Or stylish.

However, I learned today that Norstrom's is selling something called the Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans for a whopping $425 a pair.

What makes these jeans so special? They've covered in fake mud, or what Nordstrom calls "caked-on muddy coating," which makes the jeans look like you spent the day in a mud pit or something.

According to NBC26, Nordstrom says the jeans "embody rugged, Americana workwear that's seen some hard working action," and that when worn, the show "you're not afraid to get down and dirty."

Sorry, but I can assure you anyone who spends $425 on a pair of jeans has never worked in the dirt a day in his or her life. It would ruin the $1,000 manicure.

Surprise! Pretty much everybody, including me, is totally mocking these jeans.

However, some of the criticism is overwrought.

Says NBC26: "When he discovered the product this week, 'Dirty Jobs' host Mike Rowe posted about them on his website, saying the Nordstorm jeans were proof of 'our country's war on work.'

'They're a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic - not iconic.....Jeans made to look like you work hard so you don't have to.'"

Rowe is right that the few rich idiots who would buy these jeans are trying to be ironic. But they're also stupid.

However, in my experience, it's rare to see people mock workers who do manual labor. Who genuinely get dirty to get the job done right. Who make people's homes, businesses and such look and be perfect. Or as close to that as a human can muster.

I have both an office job and an outdoor gardening job. Whe people see the gardening work I do they are impressed with it. They sometimes note my dirty clothes, but in an admiring way. That I got into my work. That I wasn't afraid to tackle the task at hand.

I think Rowe has too little faith in Americans' admiration of hard physical work, despite Nordstrom's stupid jeans out there.

Then there's the question of who would actually wear these jeans. I agree with the Daily Beast when the said this:

"Who is Nordstrom's target market for them? You would not wear the mud jeans in the city, because you would look ridiculous, and people would edge away from you. You would not wear them in the country, because people would kow you were a total fake. In both places, you would look like an ass."

I know this is all a media stunt. Nobody is going to actually buy these $425 mud jeans. Nordstrom's is just trying to get their name out there, and I'm as complicit as the next guy in this endeavor.

I also noticed since I started working on this piece, ads for these Nordstrom mud jeans are following me around the web. As if I'm going to buy these stupid things

In any event, I'm always looking for ways to make more money. I think I can outsell Nordstrom by offering a bargain.

I'll wear jeans or Carhartts or something while I'm doing particularly strenuous and dirty garden work. Then I'll sell those pants to some rich fool for the low, low price of, say $300 a pair.

A big buzzword in advertising these days is authenticity, and what could be more authentic than my own Carhartts covered in good old Vermont mud and dirt?

True, they can't put these clothes in the washer, because they'll get clean.

But rich people have disposable income, so they can dispose of the jeans when they get done with them. Or they can give them back to me so I can use them again. Then, these rich fools can just buy another pair of muddy pants from me for their next night on the town at some fashionable, swinging hot spot in Manhattan or wherever.

Any takers among you fakers?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This Awesome Worm Eats The Scourge Of The Earth: Plastic Bags. Seriously!

Will it be waxworms to the rescue in the war against
those awful plastic grocery bags?
The latest thing on environmentalists' hit list is all those plastic bags you take home from the grocery store or wherever.

They don't break down easily. They get caught in the wind and hang themselves up in trees and wires and such and look horrible. They waste space in landfills.

A lot of local and some state goverments have either banned or are considering banning these bags. It's the lateset environmental movement du jour.

Even if we stopped providing all those plastic bags tomorrow, what about the zillions of them that already exist? What do we do with them?

One answer: Wax worms.

Bear with me on this one.

According to Atlas Obscura, scientists have tried to get bacteria and fungus to break down these plastics, and they can, but the process is painfully slow. So slow that it's not worth the effort.

However, was worms are awesome. Says Atlas Obscura: 

"Frederica Bertocchini, a biologist at the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology in Spain, noticed wax works had managed to eat their way through the plastic bags they were kept in. While other organisms can take weeks or months to break down even the smallest amount of plastic, the wax worm can get through more - in a far shorter period of time. 

The researchers let 100 wax worms chow down on a plastic grocery bag, and after just 12 hours, they'd eaten about 4 percent of the bag, according to findings publishes Monday in the journal Current Biology. 

That may not sound like much, but that's a vast improvement over fungi, which weren't able to break down a noticeable amount of polyetheylene after six months."

The theory is that if you get a HUGE crowd of wax worms working together, they can make real progress in the plastic bag wars.

By the way, the worms aren't just good chewers. They break down the plastic into ethylene glycol, which you can use to make polyester or antifreeze.

Great. Maybe the wax worms an also produce ways to keep your car running when it's 30 below, or create tacky 1970s-style fashion.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Pentatonix Made Me Cry Today (In A Good Way)

A Pentatonix cover of "Can't Help Fallin In Love" has me
thinking of my late dad, my marriage and how well things have
worked out. An essay in this post. 
I totally admit I'm a Pentatonix fan boy, having posted a few entries into this blog thingy about them and their a capella music.

Today, Pentatonix made me cry a bit.

Because I'm a sentimental fool.

Pentatonix dropped a new video today. It's their rendition of "Can't Help Falling In Love."  You can see and hear the video at the bottom of this post.

Zillions of people have performed this song.  Perhaps Elvis Presley is the most famous example.

"Can't Help Falling In Love" was one of our wedding songs when me and Jeff got married. As I like to tell anyone, my wedding was by far the best one I've ever attended. (Duh!) And I'll always remember like it was yesterday that moment when they sang "Can't Help Falling In Love" at our wedding.

So yeah, I've got an attachment to that song, to say the least.

I think it's interesting that Pentatonix released this video today on what would have been my father's 97th birthday.

Dad died a year and a half ago.  But here's the thing. Dad always worried about me. Would I do OK? I had some rough times as a kid. Would I slip back into trouble? Would anybody be there for me if I needed someone?  Would someone catch me if I fell?

There was a very noticeable change in how my father regarded me after I connected with Jeff, and after he met Jeff.

Dad still loved me as much as ever. But I could tell dad had stopped worrying about me.  Because I had Jeff. Jeff would protect me. Jeff and I would protect each other. Everything would be OK. And it is.

When I watch the video of my wedding, there's a great moment before the ceremony started. My dad was already seated, and Jeff's dad came in.  You can hear my dad loudly and warmly greeting Jeff's dad by saying, "I saved a seat for you."

Jeff's dad and my dad instantly connected and bonded. They were fast friends.

Jeff's dad is now gone, too. I like to think that my dad and Jeff's dad met up again somewhere in the afterlife, and they're having a great time. And neither of them is worried about us because Jeff and I are doing just fine.

And here I am on a routine day when nothing special is going on, and I'm getting teary-eyed over Pentatonix singing "Can't Help Falling In Love."

It's 5:15 in the afternoon as I write this. I can hear Jeff snoring softly as he takes an afternoon nap. The dogs are curled up with him, just quiet and happy. I'm trying to summon the energy to go out and work in the garden, a garden that both Jeff and I love and are building together.

Everything is OK. I can't help falling in love with Jeff every day.

Dad was right, as always. I'm OK. I guess I'm writing this because I miss my dad on his birthday. But everything is OK. Dad and Jeff made sure of that.

So watch the video below and if there's anybody in your life that you love, and makes everything alright, hug them and tell them everything is OK.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Oops. Looks Like This Ferry Operator Didn't See That Wall There

The smushed up bow of a large ferry that crashed into a
wall in the Canary Islands in the past week.
Here's one way to come ashore. Or one way to have a bad day. To make it worse, it was all caught on video.

According to local media in the Canary Islands, the ferry with 140 people on board slammed into a wall recently in those Canary Island.

Luckily only minor injuries have been reported.

The captain of the ferry lost control of the ship very soon after leaving port, on his way to Tenerife because the ferry's electrical system broke down big time. You can see the video at the bottom of this post.

It looks like the pier suffered quite a bit of damage. The ferry isn't too bad off, but the bow is battered.

Here's the video. It looks like he's intentionall ramming the wall, but he's not. The ferry was just out of control.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Quite The Spring Garden Cleanup You Fellas Are Doing There

Like many people in the northern half of the nation, I'm got my spring garden cleanup going on at the moment.

For most of us, that means getting rid of dead leaves, freshening the soil, planting new stuff and just generally making things tidy. 

This guy, though, takes it to a whole new, fun level.  Love the look on the other guy's face as he watches: 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Life Accordion To Trump

Adding an accordian to Trump speeches makes them better.
There's no typo in the headline of this post.

There's a fun little video going around for those of you who have trouble listening and watching Donald Trump speak.

Just add an accordion to the mix and everything's perfect.  The video was uploaded to YouTube back in January but has since gone viral.

Watch and see for yourself!

Truck Drags Car Four Miles Along California Freeway. Truck Driver Shrugs.

An oblivious or cruel truck driver dragged a Nissan
he had collided with up to four miles along
a California freeway. 
I guess anything can be denied nowadays.

A big rig truck driver who dragged a car he had collided with up to four miles along a California freeway says he didn't know the car was stuck to his truck.


The viral video of all this is at the bottom of the post.

The first part of the incident I can accept. Accidents happen. The truck and/or the Nissan changed lanes, and there was a collision.

The Nissan got hung up on the truck and was dragged along Interstate 15 in Cajon Pass. Other drivers honked their horns and tried to get the attention of the truck driver. The person behind the wheel of the Nissan waved his arms out the window yelling for help.

I get it the truck is much bigger than the Nissan, but the truck driver couldn't figure out his rig seemed to be handling a little weirdly?

Eventually, a vehicle pulled out in front of the tractor trailer and forced it to stop. Luckily, the driver of the tractor trailer didn't try to run that person over, too.

When the truck driver was told there was a car stuck to him he said, "I didn't know it." Again. Riiight.

Not sure why the truck driver didn't stop, though, until forced to.

So far, no criminal charges have been filed, which is also odd. Truck driver must know the local cops or something.  KTLA said California Highway Patrol told them the 62-year-old truck driver showed no signs of impairment and there were no mechanical issues with the truck.

He was allowed to leave after the incident was investigated. The driver of the Nissan wasn't seriously hurt.

Here's the video:

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bernie Sanders Speaks At A Ben And Jerry's Tub Podium Where I Live And It's Weird

Bernie Sanders speaks at a giant Ben & Jerry's tub podium
at an ice cream plant in St. Albans, Vermont recently. 
I live in St. Albans, a town in northwestern Vermont where not much of national importance happens - ever.

But the internet has been going nuts the past week because Bernie Sanders made an appearance at the Ben and Jerry's ice cream plant here in St. Albans.

That' piece isn't that newsworthy. Vermont's congressional delegations always visit many of our bigger employers.

Last week, Vermont Rep. Peter Welch was at the company where I work, Gardener's Supply.

The internet is going nuts, though, because there's nationally known Bernie Sanders, speaking behind a giant tub of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

The photo has become a Twitter meme

One image was re-captioned:  "I scream, you scream we all scream for social justice reform!

The photo makes it look like Bernie is popping out of a giant tub of Ben & Jerry's. Like a stripper coming out of a cake. Which inspired this comment:

"Worst bachelor party ever."

Others re-envisioned the conversations going on at the Ben & Jerry's plant:

"Bernie: Today, the top one-tenth of 1% owns nearly as much wealth.....
B&J employee: Sir, do you want the Chunky Monkey or not?"

It goes on.

But anyway, how would you captioned the photo in this post?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dirty Cars And Trucks Turn Into Great Artwork In Moscow

A Moscow illustrator scratched at dirt on the back of
this truck to create some cool artwork. 
In northern climes, early spring is Mud Season. It's that gloomy, ugly time of year when most of the snow has melted and nothing has really greened up yet.

The frost is melting out of the ground. It's raining. The result: Everything is filthy dirty. '

Such was the case in Moscow, Russia, recently, as they went through their mud season.

As Bored Panda reports, an illustrator named Nikita Golubev has been "vandalizing" filthy dirty cars in Moscow with drawings etched into the filth and mud on the vehicles.

The results are gorgeous

On one dirty box truck, a crocodile rests in the mud on the side panel. A dark colored dusty sedan has a giant shark. Some sort of feline stares at motorists following a delivery truck.  Surfers catch waves on the side of an 18-wheeler.

Of course, the artwork never lasts. There's car washes, rain storms, and more mud to cover the artwork. But Golubev's work does bring some glory to drab, brown mud season.

Check out this link to Bored Panda for more examples.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Goose Vs. Cop: Goose Wins

A goose attacked a police detective in Clarksville,
Tennessee in an assault that was caught
on security cameras. 
From the YouTube Police Center channel, we get this video of a Clarksville, Tennessee detective attacked by an assailant as he makes his way to the office recently.

The goose gets the upper hand quickly, shoving the detective into the bushes and causing all sorts of havoc before the detective escapes.  

The goose was apparently trying to protect a nest that had young goslings. This kind of attack is fairly common in the spring.

The goose was engaged in what botanists say is "wing slapping," which uses the strongest part of their body to fend off would-be attackers.

The good news is the detective wasn't hurt, aside from a bruised ego.

So far, no charges are pending against the goose, but it does clearly seem to be a case of assault on a police officer.


Monday, April 17, 2017

North Carolina Keeps Coming Up With "Interesting" Politicians For Some Reason

Larry Pittman, a North Carolina state GOP rep, says
Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant on par with Hitler. 
I've been watching for the past year with a mix of fascination, horror and amusement as North Carolina politicians keep coming up with the strangest legislative initiatives.

For the past year, for instance, they've been strangely obsessed with who uses public restrooms with them, which resulted in those weird 'bathroom bills" in which they try to keep transgendered people using rest rooms that correspond to the gender with which they identify.

Like it would be an improvement that a beareded redneck guy must share a restroom with the fine ladies of North Carolina. Or something like that.

The inspiration for these kinds of weird laws or proposals seems to come from a bench of mostly Republican North Carolina lawmakers who have rather, um, interesting viewpoints on history and the world around them.

One of these clowns is Larry Pittman, who, according to the Raleigh News and Observer recently introduced a bill trying to get North Carolina to defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

The bill will go nowhere and this isn't the most interesting thing about Pittman.

In a Facebook discussion, somebody who noticed Pittman's obsession with gay marriage told him to "get over it."

Pittman won't. He responded, breathtakingly: "And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it? Lincoln was the same sort of tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional."

Well, that's certainly in interesting take on history.  There was that little matter of freeing the slaves the Lincoln was involved in, and why the Civil War was fought.

I dunno. Maybe Pittman thinks that slavery wasn't such a bad idea?

Somebody asked him on Facebook. No answer. The Raleigh News and Observer tried to ask him. No answer. Oh well.

By the way, Pittman, unlike other extreme right wing wackos, doesn't think former President Barack Obama is a traitor because "he didn't harm any Kenyans."

Ookie Dokey then!

Moving on:

The wife of former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory had a pretty reasonable legislative request last year: Why not require so-called "puppy mills" to treat animals humanely. Many such puppy mills have a reputation for abusing animals, so the legislation made sense and the idea had bipartisan support in North Carolina.

Then came Rep. Michael Speciale, who apparently hates puppies, indicates Slate.  The legislation called for animals at "puppy mills" to get exercise daily. Speciale asked: "If I kick (a puppy across the floor, is that considered daily exercise?"

Mrs. McCrory's proposal would also require that if euthaniasia was necessary, that it be performed humanely. That seems straight forward enough. But not to Speciale "'Euthanasia performed humanely' - so should I choose the ax or the baseball bat?"


The point Speciale was trying to make (I think) is that he thought the language of the bill was too vague. But really? Sounds like this dude likes the fact that some puppy mills abuse animals.

Slate, in the same articles that cited Speciale, also brought us Rep. Carl Ford, who wanted to establish a state religion in North Carolina.

Yes, I know the First Amendment of the Constitution says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

Ford says this only applies to Congress, not states. Of course, Ford is ignoring the 14th Amendment, which applies most of the Bill of Rights to the states.

Even so, Ford tried to forge ahead, promoting a bill that would have allowed prayers and creationism in public schools, and allowed lawmakers to steer tax mone to the churches they especially liked.

The bill went nowhere, and the courts would have overturned it anyway, but nice try, Mr. Ford!

I guess it's become a tradition among extreme right wing politicians to wage Quixotic political battles in the imaginary belief they can create a world that suits them perfectly and forces the rest of us into that world, kicking and screaming.

The danger, of course, is that they do often succeed in lurching us a little closer to these bizarro worlds they want us all to live in. But at least they're too dumb and stubborn to fully make us go there.

Damn Americans have a habit of rebelling against being told what to do and who to be just because some wacko politicians says so.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bomb Squad Makes Beeping Easter Eggs So Visually Impaired Kids Can Hunt

Bomb squad members in Missouri make beepig Easter eggs
last year so that visually impaired children can participate
in Easter egg huts. 
Hats off to a Tampa, Florida areas bomb squads for making a bunch of Easter eggs that visually impaired children can find during this weekend's Easter egg hunts.

This has actually been going on for more than a decade after a special agent learned his newborn kid was blind.

So he and his buddies decided to make an Easter egg hunt work for visually impaired children.  

The eggs beep, so children can find them. They are "hidden" in an open field at a park in Tavares, Florida for the kids to find.

Obviously, the bomb squad's work is usually more dangerous than beeping Easter eggs, so this is a break for them, too.

The beeping is annoying when the eggs are in the police station, waiting to be hidden, but it's worth it.

The officers from five Florida bomb squads build the eggs, soldering and installing wiring that make the plastic eggs beep

This bomb squad beeping egg movement seems to be growing in recent years, which is always a good thing.  Charles County, Missouri bomb squad members made the eggs last year, for instance

Here's a video of such an egg hunt last year:

Dog Pretends To Love New Bed Even Though It Clearly Doesn't Work

Just to be nice, Kenny the golden retreiver pretends that
a much too small dog bed purchsed for him works just fine. 
As is customary here in this blog thingy, I get a little overwhelmed by the news and awfulness of the world. I'm sure you've noticed.

When that happens, I retreat to fun little dog stories, or something like that.

This is one of those times.

I've decided I really like Kenny, a 10-year-old golden retriever from Elkhart, Indiana.

His human mom, Heather Stoddard, knew Kenny needed a new doggie bed, so she ordered one on line.

Stoddard forgot to note that the doggie beds she was looking at came in various sizes. The one that arrived was teeny tiny, made for pups much smaller than big Kenny.

Dogs tend to seem appreciative of gifts and want to please their human companions so he pretended the tiny dog bed was just perfect for him.

The result was a bunch of viral photos of Kenny earnestly pretending the tiny bed worked wonderfully for him.

"It was honestly funny seeing how small and thin it was. It almost looked like a pillow," said Paten Mathes, 15, Stoddard's son and Kenny's other human companion.

Kenny the golden retriever realizes the too small dog bed
is too small for him, but at least it makes a nice pillow
By the way, Stoddard realized her mistake as soon as the dog bed arrived and she went back on line to buy a dog bed that works much better for Kenny.

By the way, I get it dogs might latch onto objects that they like not entirely because they're trying to please someone, but because they like the object and it gives the comfort.

For instance, my dogs Jackson and Tonks are weird. When I sit down to watch TV, Tonks will sometime rest her head of my feet so she has the comforting if stinky scent of my shoes.

Both Jackson and Tonks want me to put down pants that need laundering on the floor so they can sleep on them, again because it's probably comforting.  

Still, I like to think part of the motivation of all this stuff that Kenny, Tonks and Jackson do are because they feel an attachment to their human companions and want to please them.

I'll go with that.

The photos of Kenny got so widespread that some pet companies sent the family some dog beds that might be a better fit for Kenny.

Kenny is testing them out and will decide which one he likes best. Any other dog beds that Kenny isn't as enthusiastic about will be donated to animal shelters, says the Huffington Post. 

See, Kenny is quite the kind dog. I have one thing to say to him. It's an approving "Woof!!!"

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Just When You Thought Adveritising Couldn't Get More Annoying, There's This

This jerk in a Burger King ad will trigger your Google Home
and other devices, subjecting you to a cacaphony of
Burger King advertising. Ugh. 

The Burger King Google device advertisement has backfired. As noted below in yesterday's post, the ad triggers voice activated to start reciting the Wikipedia entry for the fast food chain's Whopper sandwich.

So, people went into Wikipedia and altered the Whopper entry.

According to The Independent, the change in the Wikipedia definition of the Whopper describes it as containing cyanide, causes cancer and is the worst product sold by Burger King.

Take that!


Burger King has a great new idea to piss people off through advertising.

"Burger King is launching a full-fledged marketing blitz based on triggering voice-activated Google devices, in what could become a grim precedent for TV and radio ads talking directly to voice-activated gadgets like smartphones and Amazon's Echo speakers. 

The fast food company's new TV ad features a person looking directly into the camera and saying, "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger"", which - if anything goes as planned - will trigger Google devices like the Google Home assistant and Android phones that have enabled voice search."

Great. you got yourself a handy dandy Google Home assistant or Amazon Echo - and they are kind of cool - and now you have to hide them away and shut them down every time you turn on the TV or radio.

Or, you will have to endure these devices yakking on about the stupid product some advertiser has that triggered the devices.  The ad makes the devices start reading the Wikipedia entry for Burger King's Whopper. You can see why CNBC called the Burger King ad a "grim precedent."

By the way, this is not what Google and Amazon intended with their devices. Neither company worked with Burger King or anyone else to do these ads, says CNBC. 

Burger King president Jose Cil is enthusiastic about the idea. "We saw it as technology to essentially punch through that fourth wall....a cool way to connect directly with our guests."

I don't want Burger King or any other advertiser punching through any of my walls.  

I keep hearing from the ad industry that annoying ads are effective because they make you remember the brand. 

It's true I remember the brand after seeing a bad ad, but not in a positive way that makes me want to buy the product.  You'd think this would be obvious. 

Now that I know about Burger King's device-triggering ad, I can picture myself driving by a Burger King, remembering the Google Home-triggering ad and going, "ugh" before driving on as fast as I can. 

I have not found any article or information that explains to me how annoying ads can make me or anybody else buy products.  I will confess that compelling ads, done well and unobtrusively, will make me take a second look at a product and make me consider buying it. 

Why don't most advertisers understand that concept?

Some advertisers recognize we don't like them and their products with annoying ads. Proctor and Gamble is backing a group called Coalition for Better Ads to curb the most intrusive and infuriating types of ads online and on mobile devices. 

We'll see if that has any effect. 

On the bright side of sorts, there's a bit of an arms race to stop the Burger King ad from being effective. Tech Crunch reports Google did something that stops the ad from working on their devices. 

For the first two hours after the ad appeared, Google devices were triggered by them. Then, it stopped working, Tech Crunch said

Score one for Google!

But, then again, there are reports this morning that Burger King altered their ad to make it trigger Google devices again.


For the record, here's that odious Burger King ad:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Some People Are Too Enthusiastic About Technology, Get Themselves "Chipped"

Dude with a microchip to e implanted in humans, for
convenience, I guess. But what about privacy?
One of the better inventions that's been around for awhile is those little microchips we had implanted in our dogs Jackson and Tonks.

If they get lost, and somebody finds them and brings them to a vet or an animal shelter, they'll get scanned, and they'll figure out where they live.

It's peace of mind.

It would be super easy to translate that technology into humans, since it's basically the same, painless and safe from a health standpoint.

But would you really want to give somebody else the ability to track you.

A surprising number of people are saying Yes.

As the Associated Press reported, employees at a Swedish startup called Epicenter are voluntarihly being "chipped."

Microchips the size of grains of rice are being injected into their hands, and they function as swipe cards, can open doors, operate printers and buy smoothies at the wave of a hand, reports the Associated Press.

Sounds convenient!

But I'd rather just hand over cash for a smoothie than do that.

I'll let the Associated Press explain why: "......As with most new technologies, it raises security and privacy issues. While biologically safe, the data generated by the chips can show how often an employee comes to work or what they buy. Unlike compay swipe cards or smartphones, which can generate the same data, a person cannot easily separate themselves from the chip."

What if we get to a point where employers require you to be chipped. It's appropriate obviously, for your supervisors to monitor you and your job performance at work, but this would enable them to watch your every move when you're off the clock, too.

And what if the chips are hacked?   What would hackers do with this information? There's a lot there. They'd know when you're at work, when you're not home, and pretty much what you're doing and how you're doing it pretty much all the time.

Still, some people are enthusiastic about being microchipped, so maybe I'm missing something. But I doubt it.

At Epicenter, the business the Associated Press highlighted, some employees are enthusiastic. One, Fredric Kaijser, who has one of those weird tech job titles - chief experience officer - is blithe about his microchip and privacy.

He said people who learn that he has a microchip "get all excited about privacy issues and what that means and so forth. And for me it's just a matter of I like to try new things an just see it as more of an enabler and what that would bring into the future."

I guess newness trumps everything else.

I think I'll wait and take a pass for now on this Great New Thing.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Is Outrage Over United Airlines Assault A Revolt Against Corporate Authoritarianism?

I don't remember the last time an incident blew up so big on social media as that horrible attack by United Airlines on a passenger over the weekend. 

As you probably are well aware of by now, United overbooked a flight from Chicago to Louisville, and tried to get volunteers to leave the plane.

Nobody did, so they picked people are random. One guy who had to get back to Louisville objected, so United called in the Chicago cops to beat the crap out of him and drag him off the plane.

That's not how the Orwellian overlords at United would describe the incident, but anyone who has seen the video knows it's true.

This has been building for some time now: Somewhere along the line, a huge swath of corporate America has decided the customers are the enemy, and they have free reign to cheat them, abuse them.

All with the help of Congress, who have been paid off by corporations to pass laws that favor these rich donors and screw the rest of us.  You can steal a lot more money from the boardroom than robbing a person on the street with a gun.

That's why United and all the other airlines can overbook flights and kick people off. It's more profitable, and screw it if you can't make it to Aunt Matilda's funeral in Des Moines.

The United assault on a passenger was the most egregious example of corporate authoritarianism yet, and the explosion on social media, was a giant collective, "I'm sick and tired of this and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Sure, the extreme public ire was aimed at United. But the force of it was inspired by all of our experiences: Gettting screwed by the 150 pages of legalese in every consumer transaction that only a trademark lawyer can understand. Being forced to wait on hold for three hours or more until somebody at the insurance company deigns to answer the phone, then promptly hangs up on you.

That kind of thing.

And it's all dressed up in Orwellian corporate speak that's enough to make you vomit

The United Airlines assault on this passenger was a master class by United on this PR wording.

First, being beat up and dragged unconscious from a plane is not an assault. It was "re-accommodating," as if United regretfully had to transfer you from one five star hotel to another.

United's hired goons - in the form of the odius Chicago Police - said the man's injuries were because he "fell."  Because being socked in the face enough to knock you over is just your clumsiness, you understand.

Later Monday, United CEO Oscar Munoz blamed the victim, saying he had been "belligerent" for not getting off the plane. In other words, the victim apparently had no right to be upset about being denied something he probably paid hundreds of dollars for - a cramped seat on a flight to Louisville.

You're supposed to be overjoyed to be toyed with by a corporation like United!

As Jimmy Kimmel said last night, imagine going to Applebee's and being forcibly dragged out of the restaurant 20 minutes into your meal because the place was "overbooked." It's the same thing as what happened on United!

Kimmel ran a parody ad from United that was funny because it was so incredibly close to the truth. Not just of what goes on at United but many other grifting large corporations. Here's a quote from Kimmel's United "ad"

"We're United Airlines. You do what we say when we say, and there won't be a problem....If we say you fly, you fly, if not, tough shit. Give us a problem, and we'll drag your ass off the plane. And if you do this we'll beat yo so badly you'll be using your own face as a flotation device. United Airlines: Fuck you."

By the way, check out all the proposed new slogans for United in this link.

I hope the public outrage over United lives on, intensifies and spreads to other corporations who treat the public, the environment and everything else like shit for fun and profit.

People are boiling angry over a lot of things anyway, including how the government is run and how it no longer represents us, but represents corporations.

I'm sounding like Bernie Sanders, but this is exactly why he struck such a chord. He's right. The corporations are running the show, and often doing so in a criminal, morality-free way. The extreme anger at United is a symptom of that.

Let's keep fighting. But not physically, like United does.

In case you need a reminder of how brutal the assault was, here you go:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Don't Block This Woman's View When She's Watching Fireworks

This woman is accused of assaulting a teenage girl
because the kid was blocking this woman's view
of Disney fireworks. 
In today's installment of totally overreaction, let's meet Tabbatha Kaye Mature, 41, of New Baltimore, Michigan, who police say was NOT happy when a group of teenagers blocked her view of a fireworks display at Disney's Magic Kingdom.

This is Florida, folks, so you have to kind of expect this. Florida people can be weird. And people who visit Florida can catch the weird bug.

If police are accurate, Mature objected when the teenager girls in front of her stood up as the Disney Magic Kingdom fireworks went off recently, according to the Orlando Sentinel. 

Mature's family, who were seated behind the teenagers, objected when the the youths stood up, blocking the view.

Mature "became aggravated," police said. Enough so that the girls decided to leave. Which was probably a smart move.

But too late! One girl told Mature, "You can take our spot."

Reasonable enough, you'd think. But not for Mature.

Police and the Orlando Sentinel said Mature responded to the offer by wrapping both hands around the girl's neck and began squeezing.

Said the Sentinel:

"When the student started screaming, Mature released her and said, 'You dont want to mess with me.'"

I love that this woman's last name is "Mature."  Talk about a misnomer!

The girl wasn't hurt, but she and her mother want to press charges. Mature faces a felony charge of child abuse. She was briefly jailed, but released on $2,000 bond.

I hope those fireworks were spectacular enough to be worth it.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Straight Dutch Men Have Perfect Response To A Homophobic Attack; Gay Putin Banned

Many straight men in the
Netherlands are holding hands
lately to protest a recent
homophobic attack on a gay couple
A week ago, a married gay couple were brutally attacked in Arnhem, a city in the eastern part of the Netherlands.

Apparently, the five horrible homophobic teenagers that attacked the couple couldn't stand the fact that the two men had been holding hands as they walked down a sidewalk, something that many, many married couples do routinely.

The teens are in a heap of trouble, of course, and most people in the Netherlands were horrified by the attack.

According to the Guardian, a journalist named Barbara Barend had a great idea to show solidarity to the couple who had been attacked. She tweeted a all for "all men (straight and gay) please to just walk hand in hand."

So, lots of men in the Netherlands are doing just that.  For instance, Button-down Alexander Pechtold, of the Democrats D66 party, showed up at a government meeting the other holding hands with his finance spokesman Wouter Koolmees the other day.

Very straight and macho looking Dutch military personnel posted photos of themselves on social media holding hands with other men. Male workers at Dutch embassies around the world also posted photos of themselves holding hands in solidarity.

Holding hands is just symbolic, of course, and, won't in itself get rid of homophobic violence. But it does put the world on notice, that we're not going to tolerate it. Anything helps.

Meanwhile, in much more homophobic Russia, authorities have banned the meme of Vladimir Putin as a "gay clown" whatever that is.

Vladimir Putin hates this meme of him, so don't share
it with anybody! Wouldn't want to offend him! 
It probably refers to a popular meme that shows Putin with lots of makeup, long eyelashes and bright red lipstick.

The Russian government has tried to depict Putin as super macho, like that famous image of Putin, shirtless, riding a horse, which to me is the gayest depiction of Putin I've ever seen.

Of course, the rest of the world is laughing at Putin being so insecure there can't be gayish images of him.

True, the Russian government is hostile and violent toward gay people, but one tool to fight that is mockery.

Sorry, with all of Putin's evilness, a good response is to laugh at that jerk.

And we might as well let Stephen Colbert pile on:

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Bureau Of Land Management Gives Us A Lump Of Coal, But Just Temporarily.

The federal Bureau of Land Management's web site had
this photo of a giant coal seam on its home page Thursday,
prompting outrcry and suspicions that the federal government
is all about coal, coal, coal
The United States Bureau of Land Management, as the name implies, manages public lands across the nation.

Most of the land they manage is in the western half of the United States, but it does make up about one eighth of the land mass in for the country.

Most of that land is wilderness and conservation areas, national monuments, and trails and rivers. A little bit of this land is also used for oil and gas drilling and coal mining.

Of course, all you hear from the Trump administration is coal, coal, coal!  Contrary to what he says, coal is not going to make a comeback it's not going to make America great again, and all those coal miners relying on Trump's promise that they'll work in the mines again an make good money are in for a disappointment.

But the Trump administration perseveres any chance it gets. That even affected the web site of the Bureau of Land Management.

Until Wednesday, the BLM's home page had a nice picture of two boys with backpacks gazing out at scenic, hilly terrain.

The BLM home page Thursday had an image of..... a coal seam.

Yep, just a dark, unphotogenic expanse of dark gray coal. A coal seam, by the way, is a nice big mass of coal that's accessible for mining.

I guess this illustrates perfectly the Trump administration philosophy on public lands. If it's pretty, but worth money, make it ugly and take the money.
The  Bureau of Land Management said the coal photo was
just going to be part of a rotating series of photos on its home
page, depicting various aspects of federal lands By Friday,
the coal has been replaced by this image of a fly fisherman.

However, the BLM says the coal picture was not a literally dark vision of how the U.S. government would look at federal lands going forward.

The BLM said they would rotate photos on their home page to reflect different aspects of the agency and the lands they own. Or, more accurately, we own.

They said that by Friday, the picture will have changed again, and that many of the photos would reflect the natural beauty of federal lands.

True to their word, the BLM website's home page late Friday had a nice photo of a young man fly fishing in a fresh, clean looking river.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Check Out What This Drunken Driving Suspect Was Wearing

In Newville, Pennsylvania recently, police arrested a guy named Elwood R. Gutshall III, 44 for allegedly driving under the influence. 

Police there said he committed several traffic violations and that his blood alcohol level was up there at 0.217 percent.

He was also driving with a suspended license.

Gutshall's booking photo is in this post.

Check out what he was wearing

Thursday, April 6, 2017

High School Journalism Students Out Fake Principal: Investigative Journalism Rocks

The reporting staff at the Booster Redux, the student newspaper
at Pittsburg High School in Kansas. The reporters did some
investigative reporting on their new principal, which led
to her resignation under a cloud. 
Recently, Pittsburg High School in Kansas got a new principal.

Like any decent news organization reporting on a change of leadership, the kids working on the student newspaper (called the Booster Redux) decided to look into Amy Robinson, the new principal, just to see her background, where she went to school, all that routine stuff.

"She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted to be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials," Trina Paul, a high school senior and editor of the Booster Redux told the Kansas City Star.

The reporters at the Booster Redux didn't find routine information, though. "We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials," Paul said.

The Booster Redux ran a front page story on what they found about Robinson. It wasn't pretty. And soon, Robinson resigned from her new $93,000 per year position at the school.

What the reporters at the Booster Redux did was good old fashioned investigative journalism, something a few of their adult peers in the journalism biz ought to emulate.

Maddie Brown, a junior at the high school and a Booster Redux reporter, said an electronic search of Robertson's background turned up a bunch of articles by Gulf News about an English language school in Dubai that was connected to Robertson.

The Gulf News articles said that Dubai education authorities had suspended the license for Dubai American Scientific School and accused Robertson of not being authorized to serve as principal of the school, the Kansas City Star notes.

The Dubai school received an "unsatisfactory" rating every year from 2008 to 2012 and was shut down in 2013.


"That raised a red flag...If students could uncover all of this, I want to know why the adults couldn't find this," Baden said.

Good question!

Usually, school boards vet the heck out of prospected principals. What happened with this one?  Might be a good follow up story for these young reporters.

Especially given what the Booster Redux reporters uncovered next.

Robertson had said she got her master's and doctorate degrees at a place called Corllins University. By the way, the Kansas City Star checked the Booster Redux reporters' work and came up with the same thing they did.

U.S. Department of Education officials confirmed what the students said. They could find no evidence that Corllins was in operation and couldn't find it in a data base of schools closed since 1986

The Booster Redux reporters DID find several articles referrin to Corllins as a diploma mill, where you can buy a degree, diploma or what have you.

Again, I wonder why the school board didn't catch what the students did.

Robertson, for her part, was kind of defiant, as is often the case when people are caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

"All three of my degrees have been authenticated by the U.S government," she told the Kansas City Star, whatever that means.


"Robertson declined to comment directly on students' questions bout her credentials, saying, 'I have no comment in response to the questions posed by PHS students regarding my credential because their concerns are not based on facts."

Way to go! If you don't like what a reporter is telling us, just yell "Fake News!"

She could have cleared all this up by telling us what really happened if she things the high school  journalists got it wrong.

The way things are going these days in Washington and elsewhere, we need investigative journalists more than ever. And we'll probably need lots of them for the forseeable future.

Which means I'm so glad the reporters at the Booster Redux had this scoop. I hope it inspires them and kids all over the country and the world to keep asking questions, keep demanding answers.

It's what we all deserve.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Muppets And Sean Spicer Are "Phenomenal" Doing The Classic "Mahna Mahna" Song.

The Muppets and Sean Spicer have unwittingly collaborated
on a "phenomenal" new version of "Mahna Mahna."
The famous Muppet song, "Mahna Mahna " has gotten many parody treatments over the years and I've got another one for ya.  

Last October, during the Presidential debates, I brought you a Mahna Mahna episode in which we had Hillary Cliinton enduring Donald Trump's gibberish. 

Now he's president, and he and his spokesmodel, Sean Spicer keep reminding us of what a "phenomenal" job the Trump administration is doing.

Naturally, then, the ever-helpful Late Show With Stephen Colbert brought us this brief but glorious Mahna Mahna collaboration between the Muppets and Sean Spicer, with an assist from Trump himself.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It's The Satirists Who Are Keeping The Strange, Scary News Straight For Us

Satirists like Samanatha Bee are becoming
some of the most trusted news sources. 
Like most people, I get lost in the endless chatter and shoutfests and lame "analysis" on the cable news networks.

Sure, I watch them a lot, but they get to yakking about all the outrages going in Washington to the point where none of it makes sense.

When I get confused like that, I turn to satirists like Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers and sometimes the cast of "Saturday Night Live" to set me straight.

Yes, they all have a point of view, but satirists cut through the bullshit, instead of adding to it.

When the news gets confusing, satirists like John
Oliver are there for the rescue. 
I just encountered a video that backs up my point of view exactly. The point of the video, from Vox, is that comedians have learned to cover the Trump administration much more effectively than any news network.

Here's why:

Big news networks will accurately report that something Trump said is a lie, or totally fabricated, or has no evidence to back it up.

So far, so good.

Then the TV channels spend hours and hours and hours parsing the latest lie or stupid remark. Plus, they bring on Trump sycophants to defend the lie, to spin the lie, to make it all seem better.

All this has the effect of confusing the viewer. Including people like me, who are pretty sophisticated news consumers.  

Frankly, I trust Stephen Colbert more than I trust
much of what passes for cable news. 
The news network reporters all know the latest Trump lie du jour is bullcrap, but they take it seriously, and make an effort to "report all sides of the issue."

But when something is bull, just call it that, for crissakes!

Which is what satirists do. You don't necessarily have to agree with the satirsts' point of view, but at least you know you're getting to the heart of the matter.

In a humorous way. Humor often makes things so much easier to understand.

A few journalists are starting to get the message. Jake Tapper on CNN, for instance, is starting to make sarcastic remarks when a Trump surrogate says something over the top. He's calling the bullcrap.  

On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow isn't really a satirist, but she's sure doing a good job of digging through the mountains of dirt in Washington to give us some insight into what's really going on. I like how she enthusiastically explains things in ways any bozo (like me!) can understand.

So all that is a start.

Yes, journalists ought to try to over all sides and be fair. But when someone is calling the Earth flat, time to go for the jugular.

It's no wonder satirists through history have had they heydeys when the leaders are failing particularly badly. If you're a good satirist, enjoy your current success. We need people like you.

In the video at the bottom of this post, you'll hear Sophia McClennen, a co-author of "Is Satire Saving Our Nation?" give this money quote that is spot on: "Political satire is about showing you the system is faking you out...It fires up the mind to say, 'Hmmm, this doesn't seem right.'"

Yes, I think satire can inspire needed political activism.

 The video below is about seven minutes long, but you should really watch it. It's a great guide to how to report on, and how the public ought to try and understand bullcrap. The video is NSFW, because of some language, but worth it.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Apparently, Police In A Lot Of Places HATE It When You Wear A Mask

This guy was arrested for wearing a 'Joker'
 makeup in Virginia. Apparently, it's illegal
to be out in public wearing a mask in Virginia.
Dressing up in costumes is fun.

That's why Halloween is so popular.

Some people take that dress-up ethos to other times of year.  Some lawmkers, and some police agencies, hate it, hate it when you do that.

Apparently, wearing a mask presumes you will commit a crime any minute now. So some jurisdictions go after masked people, just to show their law enforcement cred, I guess.

So it was in Virginia recently, police arrested Jeremy Putman, 31, for walking around the town of Winchester dressed as the Joker, complete with makeup on his face.

He was also carrying a sword, which police didn't seem so worried about. Instead, they nailed Putman for wearing a mask.

I have no idea why Putman wanted to walk around town dressed like the Joker, and he didn't commit any kind of violent crime. But who knows what he intended?

The original intent of these laws was pretty good: Lawmakers didn't want to make these easy for robbers, or the Ku Klux Klan.

However, like almost every well-intentioned statute, some law enforcement types will always find a way to abuse the law.

In any event, police are charging Putman with a felony.  According to Winchester Police, "Officers do not believe there are additional suspects, but want to remind the community of the seriousness of the crime."

Really? Serious? Some nutcase decides he wants to dress up as the Joker and that's a crime against humanity?

The Virginia law has exemptions for Halloween, theatrical performances and that kind of thing.

Still it wold have been nice in the case of Putman to have some discretion, to at least see what he was up to before automatically arresting him.  Some people just like to play dress up.

It appears Putman is just an eccentric who likes dressing up as cartoon characters sometimes. He reported has no prior arrest records and people who know him say he's not scary or dangerous.

The arrest forced him out of his Walmart job, and Putnam says the arrest is ruining his reputation, 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sorry, But I Think This TSA Agent Was Getting His Jollies

Image of the creepy TSA patdown of a 13 year old kid at
te Dallas-Fort Worth airport recently. Ugh. 
A lot of people have been yelling and screaming in social media about Aaron Henderson, 13, who got quite the NSFW patdown from a weird TSA agent at an airport recently.

This all started at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport when agents detected what might have been a trace of an explosive substance in the kid's laptop.

There are a lot of false positives with these tests, but I can't blame the TSA from taking a closer, second look at the laptop, and Aaron. Better safe than sorry, right?

However, the "patdown" Aaron got looked like foreplay in a porn movie, though Aaron was clearly not happy about this. I wouldn't be, either.

This apparently is a new policy at the TSA, giving them permission to really feel out people for contraband.

Sorry to blame everything on Donald Trump, but things are getting more police state-ish under his administration, so the TSA "rubdowns" might be part of this.

In addition, CBS News reports that this is part of new TSA procedures that came after an undercover audit in 2015 revealed major lapses in security.

 Aaron's mother, Jennifer told CBS News, "I believe he was patted down excessively. They went over his sensitive areas, a little more than necessary, especially given that he wasn't wearing bulky clothing or anything like that."

The TSA says new procedures took effext March 2.

I get it that they're trying to prevent terrorist attacks.

But working for the TSA is a thankless job which pays poorly. Most people don't want to work there. But the desperate, sometimes the stupid, sometimes the perverts also want to work there, since nobody else will.

This won't end well.

Here's the creepy video from CBS, showing the patdown. To me, it's almost child porn, so I was reluctant to show it. But we need to know what the TSA is doing, so I tried to overcome my qualms to post it.