Monday, November 30, 2020

November Words of Wisdom

Do not make peace with evil. Destroy it. --Unknown

Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry. --Thomas Jefferson

I'm sorry if you don't like my honesty, but to be fair, I don't like your lies. 

To me, there's no better feeling than arriving home. --James Farmer

If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of other, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor. --Ayn Rand

Knowledge isn't free. You have to pay attention. --Unknown

Strong and truly brave men are rarely cruel and evil; meanness and cruelty are the traits of weaklings, never strong men. --Unknown

Where you look is where you will walk. What you think is what you will do. What you fill your mind with matters. --Greg Laurie

When nothing in society deserves respect, we should fashion for ourselves in solitude new silent loyalties. --Nicolas Gomez Davila

People living in a lie don't want to see the truth, because the lie protects them from the inner work they need to do to free themselves. They'd rather be enslaved to lies than to face themselves and their shadows. --Ali Zeck

Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool. --Plato

It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steeps on the path, and to proceed. --Ram Dass

When you're stuck, go back to your character's motivation. --David Mamet

Neither pleasure nor pain should enter as motives when one must do what must be done. --Julius Evola

The truth is still truth, even if no one believes it. A lie is still a lie, even if everyone believes it. --Unknown

Fake people have an image to maintain, real people just don't care. --Hikigaya Hachiman

Just be honest with me or stay away from me. It's not that difficult. --Unknown

If you want to be wrong then follow the masses. --Socrates

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot stay out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. --Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, November 29, 2020

RIP Darth Vader

David Prowse, who embodied Darth Vader in the Star Wars films, has passed away at the age of 85.

There were other aspects of Prowse's life - he was a champion weightlifter and his acting career spanned from the mid-1960's through 2016. He appeared in A Clockwork Orange, and his television appearances included The Beverly Hillbillies, The Saint, Doctor Who, Little House on the Prairie, Space: 1999, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and The Benny Hill Show

Although James Earl Jones provided Vader's deep, imposing voice, it was Prowse who gave him the imposing visual presence. Rest in peace, sir.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Recent reading: "Murder-a-Go-Go's"

As the subtitle explains, this anthology features crime fiction inspired by the music of The Go-Go's, and by inspired, they mean very loosely inspired, at least a lot more loosely than I was expecting. Still, there's some good stories here, although if I'd read them as stand-alones I wouldn't have made the Go-Go's connection.

My favorites from this collection are "You Thought" by Susanna Calkins, "Fading Fast", a tale of revenge with an unexpected outcome (disclaimer: author Sarah M. Chen was my editor for "Christine Thirteen", also a tale of revenge - no wonder she liked it so much), "We Don't Get Along" by Diane Vallere, "Head Over Heels" by Craig Faustus Buck, and "Unforgiven" by Hilary Davidson.

It's not a quick read - there are twenty-five stories here, so it took me a while to get through them all. 

"Unforgiven" received a 2020 Anthony nomination. The anthology also features a forward by Go-Go Jane Wiedlin.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Yeah, thanks

Thanks bunches. Los Angeles just got a whole lot more dangerous thanks to politicians playing games with our safety.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone except Gavin Newsom and Eric Garcetti


Snicked from the internets and I didn't note where from. If it's yours, let me know so I can give richly deserved credit.

Updated 9:37am: Ditto this guy and all the other politicians imposing draconian measures on us peasants while they go out and do whatever they want. Assholes.

But YOU...YOU have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Missing this

Yep, it's one of those days.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

This person is my new hero

Hilarious. Too bad he won't learn anything from it.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Where has California Representative Tom McClintock been all my life?

In this speech McClintock is speaking of course of California Governor French Laundry, aka Gavin Newsom, who was caught red-handed ignoring the shutdown orders he so gleefully inflicts on the non-political elite of our state. Our fearless leader was recently photographed enjoying a sizable, mask-free indoor gathering at the exclusive restaurant The French Laundry

This speech is just priceless. The transcript:

Mr. Speaker:

I rise in defense this morning of Governor Gavin Newsom, who recently defied his own idiotic COVID edicts, as he partied at one of the few restaurants that's not yet been forced out of business. 

I defend him because he was doing what we once all did in a free society: make our own decisions over what risks we're willing to run, and what precautions we're willing to take according to our own circumstances, to protect our own health.

Yes, COVID is a nasty bug, and a quarter of a million Americans have died while having it. But this isn't the bubonic plague. The CDC's best estimate is that if you're under forty-nine, your chance for surviving COVID - if you get it - is 99.92%. Even if you're over seventy, you have a 94.6% rate of recovery. Forty percent who get it don't even know they have it! Yet we've allowed our officials to ruin our quality of life over it, destroying countless businesses, throwing tens of millions into unemployment, robbing our children of their educations, and shredding our most cherished rights as Americans. Governor Newsom's night of partying should be a wake-up call for every American!

Every time we step outside our homes, the risks that we face multiply. A free society assumes that its citizens are competent to assess those risks, balance them against the avoidance costs, and to manage their decisions in a generally responsible way. It's called common sense, and it's a necessary prerequisite for self-government and liberty. 

The choices of an octogenarian with emphysema might be very different from those of a very healthy governor of California. Only a fool would claim the omniscience to make an informed judgement for every person in every circumstance in every community, and sadly this crisis has revealed that fools abound in public office, and that a fool with power can quickly become a petty tyrant. 

Which brings us back to Governor Newsom. 

These government nannies love to tell us that they're just "following the science". Well what does this science actually tell us? It tells us that COVID poses virtually no risk to children, but can be severe among the elderly. So what did these lockdown leftists do? They closed all the schools, and ordered infected patients into nursing homes! 

The science tells us that outdoor transmissions of the virus are extremely rare, and that 80% of infections occur in people's homes. So what did these lockdown leftists do? They closed our beaches, parks, and campgrounds, and ordered people to stay at home!

The science tells us that obesity is a contributing factor to the severity of the disease. So what did these lockdown leftists do? They closed all the gyms, and left the liquor stores open!

These lockdowns haven't saved lives. The states with the most stringent lockdowns generally have the highest mortality rates from COVID. Utah stayed open while next door, Colorado shut down. Utah currently has half the COVID mortality rate, and three-fourths the unemployment rate as Colorado.

But the lockdowns have cost countless lives, from suicides, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and deferred health screenings and treatments. 

Recently Governor Newsom demanded that restaurant diners replace their masks after every bite, but also, minimize the time they take it off. I guess that means you take really big bites. Thanksgiving dinners are allowed in California, but only when they're held outside, guests are seated six feet apart, and they last no more than two hours. Now it's alright to use the bathroom, but only if it's frequently sanitized, otherwise presumably you'll just have to use the bushes. And for God's sake no singing!

I wondered how much longer the American are going to tolerate this nonsense. So let us not criticize Governor Newsom. Perhaps he's just offered us all deliverance from his own folly. Nor should we criticize the California legislators who ignored travel and quarantine restrictions to junket in Hawaii. Nor should we ridicule Speaker Pelosi for choosing not to wear a mask in a hair salon that was forced to close for the rest of us. GOOD FOR THEM! They're demonstrating by their actions the freedom that every American citizen needs to reclaim from these very same people. The governor should make his own decisions about running his own life. I only ask that he and his ilk would stop telling the rest of us how to run ours. 

I yield back. 

HO. LY. MO. LY.  And he didn't even mention where Newsom tried to shut businesses down for the Fourth of July, but kept his own winery open. He's been a raging hypocrite about the COVID issue for some time.

I am absolutely in love with this guy. McClintock currently represents California's 4th Congressional District up in Northern Cal. I hope he runs for governor. In fact, how cool would it be to not only get Newsom recalled, but to replace him with McClintock. That would give me hope for California, and as a native Californian, I haven't felt hopeful about my state in a while.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Pathetic political "fact-checks" Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

We may be approaching the beginning of the end of It's Funny Cuz It's True. Because flat out lies aren't funny. 

Not an exaggeration.

At this point it would be funny if there wasn't so much at stake. And if there wasn't so much purposely widespread misinformation.

Seriously, your big tech/social media/mainstream media overlords don't want you to think for yourselves. They certainly don't want you asking questions and/or educating yourselves. They want you to take their marching orders without question.

You should ask yourselves why this is. Cough *useful pawns* cough.

H/T to Dana Loesch on Instagram for the Titanic meme.

Friday, November 13, 2020

These are all true, and I'll add one more

6. When you send your work out after going over it countless times, and then find typos. 😉

Via Scriptapalooza on Instagram.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Tiresome "fact-checks" are tiresome

The so-called "fact-checking" going on in social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, has really gotten out of control. I've been seeing tons of comments and complaints that the comments being added on to countless posts tend to be more opinion and agenda based than factual. So much so that although I thought this was hilarious, it also probably isn't far from the truth.

  👀 🙄

It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

It's Veteran's Day

Thank you to all our veterans who have done so much to defend this great country.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

No one lives forever


I've held off on mentioning this because I'm still wrapping my head around it, but I got some bad news from the vet last week about Sophie. She's fine for now, but her blood and urine work brought some disturbing information. Based on her labs, the technician said that she is expected to develop chronic kidney disease in the next year. 

I did some research and chronic kidney disease is pretty much an old-age issue in cats, and although it's hard to accept, Sophie is officially elderly. She turned fifteen in September. Wilma, the cat I had before her, made it to eighteen, a good old age for a cat. I've also seen people who had cats make it to twenty, but unfortunately I don't think that's going to be the case here. I'll be happy if she can have a couple more good years. Actually, I'd be happy if she lived forever, but that's not going to happen. Time marches on, and it kind of sucks.

Updated 11/11/20: Sophie had dental work yesterday and they removed two more teeth. They wanted to take a third that wasn't as bad, but her blood pressure under anesthesia wasn't cooperating, so they decided to leave that one for another time. 

She was really loopy yesterday when I got her home. It was like watching someone who's drunk trying to act like they're fine. She's still acting a little weird this morning, so I'm going to stay home with her today.

I also got more clarity on the kidney disease. First, it's more like she has a 90% chance of having it in the next 24 months. About 50% of senior cats will develop kidney disease. They often see it developing in cats between ten and twelve years of age, so Sophie being fifteen means it could have been worse - she could have developed it years ago. I asked the vet if there was anything I could do now to help out, and she recommended putting her on a diet geared to cats with this disease. I noticed they mentioned a change of diet when I was researching this, but I'll probably put her on it now instead of waiting until she's sick. We're going to wait a couple weeks until she's had her dental recheck, but then they're going to give me a couple of cans to see if she'll accept the new food. So I feel better about that, for now.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Duping the masses

This morning I saw a story on YouTube from CBS News referring to Joe Biden as "President-Elect Biden", despite the fact that no actual winner has officially been determined. There are recounts and legal challenges to deal with first. The media doesn't get to "call" an election. CBS News knows it, Biden knows it. And yet they seem to have no compunction about misleading the American public. Right now I could claim the title of President-Elect. So could you. Trump could. Right now all of us are equally entitled to it. No one has actually, officially received it yet.

Yesterday on social media someone mentioned that ABC News and NBC News had removed video of their election coverage from last Tuesday night showing President Trump leading in voting in certain states, before those same certain states stopped counting votes and received mysterious deliveries of hundreds of thousands of ballots that oddly (against all logic or statistical possibilities) favored one candidate. Despite those oddities, none of these "news" entities seem interested in reporting that. And we know if the ballots were reversed, they'd be all over it. Instead, they're withholding information based on their own bias.

This is the same media that "called" a presidential victory for Al Gore in 2000, and we all know how that turned out. This needs to be figured out; the results need to be verified so that the American public can have faith in our elections, regardless of the results. We deserve it.

On top of that social media is peppering posts with election "warnings" of supposedly inaccurate and disputed information as determined by their totally not biased "fact checkers" even as they intentionally do the exact same thing they condescendingly claim to be protecting us unwashed masses from.

What all of this shows is that it seems that the news media, social media, and politicians have no shame when it comes duping the public. It's sad and manipulative, and it isn't helping anybody. It's pure political posturing. Biden and the media have led his supporters into thinking it's a done deal. One can only imagine what will happen if investigations into irregularities at the polls gives Trump the win. The media and Democratic party know damn well they can use it to try to delegitimize a different result and that Biden's supporters will explode if the prize that's been dangled in front of them turns out to have been false all along. And yet they're doing it anyway. That's what they think of us. We're mere pawns to them, peasants who can't think for ourselves and need our political and media betters to do it for us. That's what they think of us. They certainly don't care about us.

Last week I blogged about my hair salon boarding up their windows in anticipation of rioting in the event that the election went one particular way. Countless other businesses did the same. They probably thought they would have been able to remove them by now. Regardless of what certain people are claiming, they might want to keep them up for a while.

No links. I don't want to contribute to the spread of false news or false hopes. Unlike the media and politicians, I have too much respect for the public to do that.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Honest results. That's all we want. Well, most of us apparently.

"I will not rest until the American people have the honest vote count they deserve and that democracy demands." --Candidate A

*crickets* --Candidate B

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Recent reading: "Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee"


Nelle Harper Lee's reclusive life post-To Kill a Mockingbird makes it difficult to write her biography, something Shields makes clear in his forward. However, to his credit, you'd never know it based on this comprehensive story of the woman from small-town Alabama who wrote what became one of the all-time great American novels.

Having to work without the cooperation of his subject, who was still alive at the time, Shields contacted anyone he could find who ever knew Lee. He joined an online reunion service and tracked down people who had attended school with her. He bought a 1945 University of Alabama yearbook on eBay, and went through archives and libraries. The result is a lot of information on her early years that establishes her as an outsider who wasn't terribly concerned about how she was viewed by others, and follows her slow but ultimately successful journey to becoming a successful author.

Lee's father hoped she would follow in the family business (both he and Lee's older sister Alice were lawyers) but although she tried, she loathed law school and wanted to pursue a writing career. She moved to New York City where she eventually wrote Mockingbird, and spent the rest of her life dividing her time between New York and her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Despite her quirks, she had a group of friends, her agent and editor among them, who considered her gifted, supported her, and genuinely loved her. 

I would have liked to have seen more of her interactions with Truman Capote in the later years following Mockingbird and In Cold Blood. Capote was a childhood friend, but he embraced the celebrity lifestyle and his growing notoriety as much as Lee rejected it. He could be cruel to her - despite the amount of work she contributed to In Cold Blood, she was reduced a dedication "with love and gratitude" despite the fact that Capote himself admitted to another author that he couldn't have written the resulting book without her help. Lee later told a friend that she was both hurt and angry that Capote didn't give her more credit. Shields describes it as "a betrayal". Part of it was jealousy - Capote was blindsided by the success of Mockingbird and envious when Lee received the Pulitzer Prize for it. Prior to its release she had been his research assistant, awaiting the publication of her first novel, during his first visit to interview residents of the farming community of Holcomb, Kansas about the brutal murder of the Clutter family. The pretentious and flamboyant Capote must have seemed like an alien to them, but the down-to-earth Nelle was able to make inroads with them that Capote would never have been able to do on his own. It's telling that after In Cold Blood was released, when Capote threw his extravagant Black and White Ball, Lee was among the 500+ invitees but declined to attend. Despite the damage done to their friendship, Lee never completely cut him off as many did, for reasons that she seems to have kept to herself.

A big part of Lee's story was her eventual failure to produce another novel following the success of To Kill a Mockingbird. It seems that for a number of years she was working on a second novel, until enough time had passed that she wasn't. In the mid-1980's, following Capote's death, Lee began research on what might have been her version of In Cold Blood. She became interested in the case of an Alabama man who killed five relatives for their insurance payouts, and who managed to escape conviction each time before being shot to death at the memorial service of his fifth victim, a niece. But she eventually dropped the project. In 2015, Go Set a Watchman, featuring an adult Jean Louise "Scout" Finch and initially promoted as a sequel to Mockingbird (only later to be exposed as an early draft of it), was released to mixed reviews. There was also the question of whether the now extremely elderly Lee was competent to agree to its release. Lee died in 2016 at the age of 89.

If Truman suspected the amount of damage he had done to their lifelong friendship, he doesn't seem to have taken special steps to repair it. For instance, he could have counteracted rumors that he had written all or part of To Kill a Mockingbird, but he never went to any strenuous lengths to deny it. And later, when In Cold Blood didn't win a National Book Award or a Pulitzer Prize, he used a little trick of backhanding his friend's success by asking interviewers if they'd ever heard of her book. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Crime Writer Humor: HGTV edition

Or maybe Oxygen...

"Days of Crimes and Roses" on Oxygen! There ya go. Make sure I get my producer/created by credits.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Boarded up

Rolled up to my salon this morning to find this:

This is Killer Hair in Marina del Rey, which was just voted Best Hair Salon (again) in the Best of the Westside issue of The Argonaut. It doesn't usually look like this. It was a real jolt.

It turns out that boarding up the windows is a combination of concern over potential vandalism (aka rioting) because of the election, and the fact that there is a weed shop right next door. They felt if people start looting, the weed shop will be an attractive target, which could easily lead to Killer Hair's windows being smashed. It's already been a tough year for salons, so they don't want to have to shut down again. Hopefully they can pull down the boards soon and get back to business as usual.

Also, my hair looks fabulous.