Funny that I should run across this post from Pete Brown on, in this case, saving links, but what he writes really applies to almost any save it for later service”:

I was reading a review of some new link-saving app and was about to click Install to give it a try. Then I remembered that link-saving apps—like read-it-later services—are where things go to die.

I was just thinking about this last night so the serendipity of reading his post is amusing. I used to use for saving links then bought a license for Anybox on the Mac and iOS. I use Omnivore for saving things to read later”. But here’s the thing: I don’t go and read things later. I also generally don’t use any of the links that get filed into Anybox. Pete is right - these apps are where things go to die.

That isn’t to say that they aren’t useful for certain types of professions, or for people who do things like reviews for fun, but Pete’s take, and what I hear from most people who use these services, are that they are digital graveyards. To really make use of these tools you need some sort of workflow to deal with them. I’m getting to the point where I don’t have the wherewithal to deal with this stuff. It’s just more stuff that ends up taking room in my already-too-stuffed-up brain.

But Jason!” you say. The point of these tools is so that you don’t have to remember or think about that stuff.” and you’d be right for the most part. Except for me. I keep thinking about all of the crap I’ve got stored in those tools and why am I not reviewing them. That gets back to Pete’s point about needing workflows:

I do not need to have some complicated system of reminders or whatever to point me back to this pile of archived crap to review it.

Me either.

May 14, 2024

While the pandemic thankfully left my family unscathed aside from almost everyone getting COVID after the vaccines were available I did not come out totally unscathed: it stole my main source of socializing (being in the office) and what level of fitness I had. Being in my 50s makes it abundantly clear how much I lost and just how hard it is to recover. Not more clearly than today while working outside in the yard. Rest periods by necessity have to be a lot longer now. Yikes.

May 12, 2024

I returned home from a 5 day road trip to get my daughter home from college for the summer greeted by the jungle that is my yard. The mostly-cool weather this area has been having, combined with the alternating sunny and rainy days, has been a gift to the lawn and the weeds. Yesterday I attacked the weeds with gusto via my electric trimmer. There is nothing quite like the level of satisfaction of blowing through weeds with a yard power tool.

As always this time of year feels like time ripe with opportunity for gardening. In a month it will feel like a burden. 😂

May 12, 2024

My son was in his high school’s production of Guys and Dolls” about a week ago and one of the songs, Adelaide’s Lament” had a bit about La Grippe”. Funny song and a funny name for a disease. Thought it referred to the flu but looked it up to be sure and ran across this gem of an article, circa 1917, about La Grippe”.

State of the art in medicine was certainly something else. J. H. Wysong, M.D. recommends:

  1. Coal-tar product judiciously administered”
  2. Aspirin best given in moderate dosage in combination with citrated caffein”
  3. Codeine may be added when pain is unusually severe”
  4. Apomorphine - apparently now used in Parkinson’s patients
  5. Morphine
  6. For the relief of the cough and bronchorrhea of old age, dilute nitric acid, tincture nux vomica (strychnine and brucine) and spirit of chloroform”…“is the writer’s favorite prescription”
  7. calomel - mercury anyone?
  8. strychnine

And just for a bit more fun… arsenic.

Worth a few minutes of your time to read. Very entertaining.

May 1, 2024

I really, really don’t want to write a lot about politics here but this story is so mind-boggling to me that I had to get some thoughts down.

Marjorie Taylor Greene was out in the media letting everyone know how she seemingly can’t wait to bring up a vote next week to remove Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House and having it fail because the Democrats will save him.

Greene said:

I was controlled; I was responsible. I was being conscious and caring about my conference and our majority. It was a warning to stop serving the Democrats and support our Republican conference and support our agenda. And he didn’t do it.

First of all, there is nothing controlled” or responsible” about making the threat in the first place. It’s completely asinine and a waste of everyone’s time.

Second of all, nobody is interested in this, aside from Greene and a handful of the do-nothing GOP that have the same twisted views she does.

Chip Roy from Texas:

The bottom line is, I didn’t want to go down this road last fall — as is well documented — I don’t want to go down this road right now. But at the end of the day, the legislation that we’ve been moving forward is not what our folks sent us here to do. So now we’ve got to figure out what does that mean between now and November.

I’m trying to understand what legislation he’s referring to as this is the worst Congress in memory of actually getting work done. Ukraine and Israel funding maybe? Is that what folks might be mad about? I know Greene thought they would be but apparently not.

This bit from Kenneth Kirk of Iowa took the cake:

We’re bankrupt, and if we can afford to send that kind of money to another country, we’re paying too much taxes,” Mr. Kirk said. But hearing from Mr. Johnson changed his mind, he said.

I know a little bit more about it now that I’ve listened to him,” Mr. Kirk said. I mean, I thought, I’m against it,’ but, you know — what do I do? What he said made a lot of sense to me.”

Let’s not bother with the fact that this guy is off his rocker that this country is bankrupt. Let’s also not bother with the fact that this guy is old enough to know what the stakes are and for whatever reason didn’t think it was worth spending the money on. What’s most important is that he listened to Johnson and changed his mind about the funding for Ukraine.

And let’s make no mistake about it, that funding is crucial and it was late but at least Johnson came around, likely due to being scared out of his wits by the intelligence briefings he was receiving.

From the NYT:

In an expletive-laden tirade on Wednesday, Ms. Greene savaged Mr. Johnson, saying he had been ineffective in advancing the ultraconservative agenda that she and other far-right allies hoped to achieve when Republicans took control of the House with a slim majority in the 2022 midterm elections.

Mike Johnson is not capable of that job; he has proven it over and over again,” she said. Now we have Hakeem Jeffries and the Democrats coming out, embracing Mike Johnson with a warm hug and a big, wet, sloppy kiss.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene has no idea what she’s talking about. She can’t grasp the fact that only she and a small group want to advance the ultraconservative agenda”. Does she think she’s speaking for everyone? The difference between Greene and her merry band and the Democrats is that the Democrats are serious about governing. They realize that by wasting more time with ousting Mike Johnson absolutely nothing else will get done.

They also realize that their constituents aren’t brain dead and will understand the decision. I certainly do. I’m a Democrat living in a Democratic district. I don’t like Mike Johnson and I don’t agree with anything he stands for aside from the vote he just got through on funding for Ukraine.

I’m also not stupid and know that trying to oust him 6 months from the general election isn’t going to do anything but harm to this country. As dumb as it was for Kevin McCarthy to cave to the 1-vote-to-remove rule Mike Johnson is the guy that replaced him and the Republicans have control of the House. There is no reason he should be removed at the whim of someone like Marjorie Taylor Greene. She will fail because some people in this country still have some sense left in them.

May 1, 2024

Pete Brown writes:

Can we just start calling e-bikes motorcycles” and be done with it?


They are just motorcycles with electric motors.

The problems he describes seem mostly to do e-bikes that have throttles. But there are various classes of e-bikes and these bikes can do 28 mph only under the best of conditions (for reference I own a Rad Power Rad City 5 step-through that has a throttle. The best I’ve ever done on throttle-only is 25 mph and that was on flat road). On paths where you’re trying to move around people you’re not going to be hitting 28 mph while keeping control of the bike. Likely you’re going to be in the 10-15 mph range which is easily doable on a standard bike. The real problem is bikes in general being on paths with pedestrians, not just e-bikes. I’ve seen plenty of idiots on regular bikes.

The it’s just a motorcycle” angle also ignores that e-bikes open up fitness to many people who might not have been able to ride a regular bike due to health reasons or aging. If an e-bike now becomes classified as a motorcycle then you now have licensing requirements which takes it out of the reach of many people who would benefit.

May 1, 2024