In a recent article in the Atlantic, McKay Coppins calls out President Cheeto-head’s disinformation campaign, designed to hide the number of people he’s responsible for killing. He points out that on February 28, Donald Trump stood before a crowd of supporters in South Carolina and told them to pay no attention to the growing warnings of a coronavirus outbreak in America. The press was “in hysteria mode,” the president said. The Democrats were playing politics. This new virus was nothing compared with the seasonal flu—and anyone who said otherwise was just trying to hurt him. “This is their new hoax,” Trump proclaimed. Six weeks later, the coronavirus has killed more than 25,000 Americans, the U.S. economy has been crippled—and Trump is recasting himself as a pandemic prophet. More recently, Trump said “I knew it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” “I knew everything,” he reiterated a couple of weeks later. Asked to assess his response to the virus, he says, “I’d rate it at 10.” Whoa. I’d encourage you to look at what Taiwan did and when they did it. Surely, it shows that we have a 2nd rate federal government and a train wreck of a chief executive.
When the pandemic subsides, I recommend visiting the Capitola Museum, in downtown Capitola. It’s chock full of historical artifacts of the area; and the exhibits are first-rate. It’s a 5 minute walk from the beach and you can expect to spend 30 minutes at least.
Museum has this photo of the SS Palo Alto, aka the “cement ship” in better days.
I have nothing profound to write; my sadness leaves me without energy. But I can’t let this great man’s passing without writing something. If you are not a fan of John Prine’s music, it’s because you haven’t heard it. But it’s never too late. Many have published a list of his best, but I prefer this Billboard list. If you want to start somewhere, his Sweet Revenge album is my fave. Or find “Hello in There”, “Grandpa was a Carpenter”, “Please Don’t Bury Me” and Bonnie Raitt’s rendition of “Angel from Montgomery”. If you don’t laugh and cry at John’s songs, you don’t have a heart.
I have to thank and offer sympathy to those people who were John’s friends and family. Thank you for helping make his life rich. He made the world a better place; how many of us can say that.
I last saw John in 2016 at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. Photo by JBahn.
It’s no secret why Americans don’t trust our politicians, and like them less than cockroaches. This New York Times article explains how the $2 trillion stimulus relief bill just passed includes a provision that’s likely to give a $170 billion tax break to the top 1% of taxpayers. Specifically, real estate speculators like Donald Trump and his henchman Jared Kushner. Even without this giveaway, we subsidize the ultra-rich. Portions of Trump’s 1995 tax return published by The Times showed nearly $916 million in losses, which could have permitted him to avoid paying any federal income taxes for almost two decades. This new rule is judged to be the 2nd biggest tax giveaway in the $2 trillion legislation.
Professor Christensen passed on Jan 23, 2020 at age 67. I note his passing in this blog because his insight helped me to become a better marketer, a more useful employee, and helped me to see that “common wisdom” is often not useful. Along with gurus like Seth Godin, Al Reis, and Geoffrey Moore, Professor Christensen provided guidance for actual strategic marketing thinking. This NY Times byline says it well: “He broke ground with his assertion that the factors that helped the best companies succeed were also the reasons some of those same companies failed.” He was an inspiration and I cannot recommend his books “The Innovators Dilemma” and “The Innovators Solution” more highly.
This is a recommendation for one of Ike’s sandwiches, #339, the James Bahn. No kidding. It’s got Steak, Cucumbers, Sriracha, Jalapenos, and Pepper Jack cheese. Other sandwiches include the Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, and Steve Jobs. Their ENTIRE menu has 400 sandwiches, and any given Ike’s may only list a dozen, so you have to ask for it.#339 James Bahn sandwich
What can you do with underwater photos which usually have an extreme blue/aqua color cast? I’ve futzed around with many techniques, then stumbled onto this simple advice today. In a nutshell, you use “image” “adjustments” “match color” “neutralize”, then use levels to boost colors, in Photoshop. I have some really old (1989) jpeg scans from 35mm film and this did a remarkable job. These Convict Tangs were aqua colored in the original photo.
If you think retirement could be boring, you haven’t thought enough about volunteering. It’s been a year since my last W2 paycheck, and there hasn’t been a day I have been bored.Besides retirement making more time for my many hobbies and naps, I sort of fell into volunteering. I say “fell into” because during my working years, I rarely spent any time with volunteer organizations. I had a job! It seems obvious, but if you’re retired, you’ve probably got some things going for you that’d make volunteering fun and worthwhile. You have time; you have skills; you have interests; and people need help. Also, if you’re doing something, you’re less likely to drive your spouse nuts.
I’ll use my own experience as an example; maybe it’ll provide some inspiration. I’ve been hiking for 40 years and always marveled at how well the trails in N. Cal are maintained. It seems that volunteers do most of the maintaining. I wanted to pay back the world for all the great hiking, and so I volunteered at a local county park. One morning a week a team of volunteers grab their tools and work on the trails. Since raising my hand, other opportunities at the park came up. Website and marketing work was needed, and I have that background. Visitor center docents are needed, and I like to meet with and talk with “outdoor” people who are having fun. And so on. Just at this one park, there are all kinds of opportunities to help out. And I’m learning a ton about the local flora, fauna, and natural history. Tomorrow, I’ll install a door closer on a porta-potty, but it’s not always that glamorous.
One thing you’ll probably notice from your volunteering … people will constantly thank you. That feels good. And you get karma points. So, find a place that combines what you’re good at with what you like, and never be bored again. Or go to one of the many websites that can help you make a match. And thanks in advance for volunteering!
According to this Forbes article, San Francisco is the 7th worst city in the world in which to live (and the worst in the Americas). Not a big surprise, even the SF Examiner recognizes its poopiness, by exclaiming “Yes, our glorious city is recognized the world over as the premier defecation destination”. Thanks to the homeless/drug problem and the cost of lodging, Oracle is moving its annual conference from SF. It’s too bad because there are a lot of natural beauty and cultural aspects of the city to like. But I’m in no hurry to go there anymore.FWIW, according to the article, Montreal is the best city in the Americas. Gotta love those Canucks.
The answer to the question is: a politician. For some reason I can’t understand, we give state governors the right to pardon anyone they like, for any reason they like. This is insane!
I think it’s pretty well accepted that politicians aren’t any wiser than the general public, or fairer, or more honest. Heck, look at this case, where a governor pardons a killer in exchange for money, and a child rapist because he figures he was smarter than 12 jurors. Or look at the partisanship in the Trump impeachment; there’s not a shred of honesty involved in half the politicians! A politician’s only special skill is the skill to be elected. Why then should we allow state governors or cheeto-head presidents to let criminals out of jail? It’s crazy. There should be some oversight, like a parole board. I’m not suggesting that they aren’t capable people; most are. So is my postal carrier, the local librarian, and the guy who put in my new septic tank. But why should we trust any governor or president to do this very special thing?