๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉOh, I get it now. Crimes on the odds days of the month, misdemeanors on the even days.

๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ“’โœ๏ธ It’s a damn sad state of affairs we’re about to enter another war while we can’t supply schools with the needed materials. Oh, also, I wonder if fiscally conservatives folks will bring up the cost of this upcoming military action (seeing as how we canโ€™t supply students with pencils). Ha, JK. It’s never about money. It’s about punishing POC and the poor.

๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’€โ˜ ๏ธ If you thought Medicare for All was too expensive, wait until you see what war with Iran will cost.

๐Ÿช• I somehow missed Justin Townes Earle’s 2017 album Kids in the Street. I mean, I know I knew it was out, but never gave it a listen. Hot damn is it a good set of tunes. It’s been looping for many weeks now. If I think I get bored I just go to his 2019 album The Saint of Lost Causes which is maybe even better. I don’t know, I go back and forth. OK, let me be clear here: All his records are just great and you should give them a listen.

๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฉน As my first act of the new year, I closed a window on my finger. Yes, yes, I know. Impressive as it is painful.

๐Ÿจ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ฐ I read this tweet about overnight hospitals stays and for the love of Mr Peterson could everyone stop using the word free?

Nothing is free! The people of these countries paid taxes for these services. They pre-paid! There may be low-to-no-cost at the point of service, but they did pay.

Why folks in the U.S. aren’t up in arms about paying taxes AND paying outrageous medical fees is beyond me. If you add up U.S. taxes and medical costs, it’s far higher than the taxes in these other countries.

โ˜ ๏ธ๐Ÿ”ซ๐Ÿ“‡ When I came across this tweet of a New Zealander giving up his gun I immediately thought “I can’t imagine this ever ever ever happening in America.” But, after thinking about it some (and doing a little searching to confirm it), I knew I was wrong. Look at this guy destroying his gun. In fact, he did it before that New Zealander turned his in.

The second amendment is not needed today and so I’m all for the collection of everyone’s guns. You see, if you feel you need a gun, you should have to apply for a license. That license has to be renewed like any driver’s license. In order to get the license you’ll need prove that you know how to use and care for it and have a place to store it safely. And, of course, you’ll need to pass a background check and psychological screening. Oh, that will have to happen each and every time it comes up for renewal. Finally, all your neighbors within a certain radius would be informed that you have a gun and what kind it is. If you license expires and the gun isn’t turned in, the authorities come to claim it.

Or we can continue to let children be shot dead.

๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ—ฝโ“

Apple bows to China by censoring Taiwan flag emoji

Apple Removes App That Helps Hong Kong Protesters Track the Police

Russia Wants To Be Seen As The Owner Of Crimea. Apple Just Recognized Them.

It is a very dark road Apple is going down. One that might not have a path back. And, if Apple does find its way, will it be welcome home?

๐Ÿง“๐Ÿจ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ Who could have expected this turn of events? Sigh. She didn’t even wait until she got the nod.

New Keyboard Smell

๐ŸŽโŒจ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ถ It always struck me that Apple, simultaneously, makes a great keyboard and a terrible keyboard.

But Apple has seen the light and is now striving to make more customers happy with a new 16-inch MacBook Pro that has a redesigned keyboard. While it definitely took too long, it’s fixed and now we just have to wait for it to trickle down into the rest of the lineup. I would guess not too long into 2020.

๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ“บโž• I suppose even if folks are complaining about Apple’s TV shows, it’s a win for Apple because people are talking about them.

AirPods Pro

๐Ÿ“ฑ๐ŸŽง๐ŸŽค The moment I saw version one of the AirPods I knew I wanted them. I had already had enough of my EarPods getting caught in a fellow commuter’s tangle. The moment an earbud gets ripped out of ear is jarring enough (enough to induce insta-rage), but it’s another when you have to start following them lest you have no headphones for the rest of your commute. Also (and this was the deal breaker), I managed to get myself tangled up in the stupid cable and smashed my iPhone 6 Plus to the sidewalk with such force you likely felt it. You certainly heard my yell. Truth be told, it was 100% my fault and not the cable’s fault. I mean, how could it be the cable’s fault? Seriously, the amount of times the man-baby in me comes out is embarrasing enough… but to have to go to the Apple store on top of it? I didn’t mention the man-baby part.

Anyway, the moment I saw the AirPods I knew I had to have them. Of course, they were completely out of stock for weeks and weeks. (Insert more man-baby shenanigans here). Thanks to a lovely co-worker’s husband (who worked at Apple), I was tipped off as to when his store got a shipment (thanks, John!). I loved the AirPods from the moment I put them in. I used them nearly every single day since I got them.

So when I tell you I love the AirPods Pro even more… Well, I can’t explain it. I’ve never, ever owned anything with active noise cancellation before and I’ll tell you: If you have a commute that involves a loud subway, you must get these. I literally keep the volume lower because of ANC. That’s gotta be good for my ear health.

I’m not saying they are a bargain. I am saying they are great. If you can swing them, get them. If you can’t swing them, save up.

I know there’s a thing going around about how the AirPods Pro aren’t serviceable enough and so Apple doesn’t care about the environment. It’s a valid stance. But I don’t recall seeing this for the decade(s) before about the wired headphones constantly being crappy. No, the complaints only rise when it’s 1) Apple and 2) When it’s a hit product. When something is bad, sure, bitch about it. But do it equally. I, however, won’t be able to hear you because of my AirPods Pro are really quite good.

๐Ÿ“บ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿผโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ› It’s been years since I watched The West Wing. Has it been 20? Boy, have I forgotten what ideals felt like. I know, I know, it’s fiction. And no one speaks in the way Aaron Sorkin turns a phrase.

But in a time of “speeches” from a worm-eaten brain, inept cronies, and criminal activities by everyone else involved, I do appreciate getting moved by President Bartlett and, for the moment, feeling like there is hope.

๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿ“บ๐Ÿ‘ It’s been a banner week in our world of entertainment for me and the boy. We went to see Joker, then I watched one episode of See and both watched two episodes of For All Mankind.

In order: Joker was excellent. Holy crap. Totally worth seeing (although I don’t think you need to see it in the cinema). I think it was the first movie my son has seen that depicted killing in such an explicit manner. Sure he’s seen lots of movies, but Joker felt different. I could see the expression in his face and it what should be expected when you see someone’s head bashed in. See’s first episode was good, although it does remain to be seen (ha!) if I’ll keep up with it. I don’t really need another gory show/movie in my life. For All Mankind has been pretty good as well, but that too remains to be seen. I will watch the third soon.

Apple TV+ is free so the value proposition is way in my favor. I’ve read/seen tweets scroll past about production values or where some shots were redone. Who gives a shit? I get it if you are in the industry, but I’m just a regular Joe watching TV so I don’t weep after reading the news. I care about the story, the characters, and if it has decent enough production values that I don’t wonder “Was that a coffee cup in the background?” I don’t yet care about the characters in See and I’m waiting for something bigger to happen in For All Mankind so that I care more about brand new people in this world.

Anyway, make sure to see Joker and give the Apple TV+ shows a chance .(there’s a good chance they’re free for you anyway). Oh, I like Apple’s start up chime before each show. Ah, the memories.

๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ‘Ž I expect more out of Apple in absolutely everything they do. I also expect restraint. Just because you can do something with a web page

Doesn’t

Mean

You

Should

๐ŸŽ ๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿคฎ It’s hard to overstate how badly Apple has failed with its current line of portable Macintosh computers. I’ve been using a 2017 MacBook Pro for about 2 ½ years and it’s near the worst Mac portable I’ve ever used (only the PowerBook 5300cs was worse). It’s gotta be the worst Mac portable in the modern era (I’m defining the modern era starting in 1998). At the beginning of the current design (2016), I assumed all the problems were exaggerated by people looking for more pageviews, hearts, etc. Surely there can’t be that many issues with this line of machines, right?

Yes, I could understand that maybe folks didn’t like the feel of the newly designed keyboard, but that’s subjective. But the keyboard not working correctly? That’s objective. At this point, I have a sometimes-not-working left shift key and now my keyboard is doing one and sometimes two spaces per press and the battery vacillates between healthy and needing service. It also gets hot (although I blame Chrome for that).

If I could use macOS on a ThinkPad I would. And if I could use macOS that way, I’d get the X1 Extreme.

One of my favorite things about using an iPad is when I can’t find it, it’s usually on the kitchen counter under a dish towel or some papers. It really is an appliance that doesn’t need it’s own room or desk. It’s just here all the time. Meanwhile, there’s no iPad emoji! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

๐Ÿง“๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿšซ My guess is that if Elizabeth Warren gets the Dem nod, she’ll begin to back away from her Medicare-for-all plan. Regardless of what her as-dem-running-for-president plan ends up being called, it will not be the single-payer system we need: health, eye, and dental.

I like Elizabeth Warren and donate to her monthly (same for Bernie Sanders), but Bernie is the only one that I believe won’t back away should he get the Dem nod. Bernie’s latest health issue is not an issue for me. We’ve had presidents in worse shape run the country (and one of them was who we need again) so it doesnโ€™t concern me (subject to change if new information comes to light).

๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ›โš–๏ธ If Dubya wasn’t charged and prosecuted for crimes, then no U.S. president ever will be. Trump is not going to go to jail. Trump is going to resign under a deal where he won’t be prosecuted. Then we all get to see what horrible crimes the next evil president comes up with. Because, why not? You don’t get punished for crimes when you’re the president.

๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿป๐Ÿง’๐Ÿผ The climate change walkout on Friday got me thinking. First, it got me thinking kids today have their heads on much straighter than their many of their parents. Second, I wonder what would happen if all kids said, “Fuck it, no more going to school until you assholes start fixing the climate”? Hell, add in the kids of the United States who could stop going to until the grown ups get rids of the guns.

You can’t really punish them all. And certainly there’s no way for every parent to supervise their children during the let (forget educate them). Parents who did decide to stay home would end up disrupting their jobs so their bosses would either can them (all of them?) or … what?

Kids have a lot more power than they understand. They are just going along with the program because they think they are supposed to (good thing we started em off early with daycare, pre-k).

โฑ๐Ÿ“ฑ๐Ÿ’ช As time marches on, it feels (literally) like the iPhones are going in the direction of cars. Heavier, bigger, and more expensive. The iPhone 11 Pro weighs as much as the iPhone 7 Plus. The smallest iPhone for 2019 is bigger than the biggest iPhone from 2016. I know that’s good for some people, but it’s a worrisome trend. Hypocrite alert: I am getting the iPhone 11 Pro.

๐Ÿคฑ๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ–•There isn’t any bridge that’s too far to cross, is there?

No war crime too horrendous to prosecute: Bush.

No killing of children too great to enact real gun control: Sandy Hook.

No raping of children too heinous to accept money from the rapist: MIT and Harvard and Bard High School Early College Queens. That NYC school one hits close to home. And it’s way after his conviction in 2008.

๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ˜ I finished The Last Astronaut by David Wellington. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book, I found the second half to be slow and, overall, none of the characters ever developed enough for me to care about any one of them.

I thought it was going to be a mix of The Martian (which I loved, loved, loved) and, once I understood the premise, maybe a little of Old Man’s War (the whole series is a blast). But The Last Astronaut never got as sciency as The Martian and never got as fun as Old Man’s War.

โ˜ ๏ธโ˜ ๏ธโ˜ ๏ธ There’s not a single person running for president who is talking about repealing the second amendment. They’ll talk about compromise, but compromise is how we got here.

๐Ÿ“บ๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿคฏ Has anyone else watched the documentary The Handmaid’s Tale? It’s good.