1932: Coup that failed

While the Fascist (GOP) Party is busy banging the drum about Critical Race Theory and banning books they find offensiveThe Lorax, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Handmaid’s Tale, Beloved and The Color Purple; they’re mostly grateful the masses “forgot” this inconvenient truth. I had already read about how Hoover almost refused to vacate the White House because he feared FDR would implement (gasp!) Socialism! The inept little boob demanded promises from the incoming president-elect he wouldn’t dare do such things. Who cares what the the people at large voted for. Given FDR’s nature, anything close to what the Soviet Union was doing was far from his mind and I don’t think he’d oppose what the Scandinavian nations have perfected today.

Meanwhile, what the One Percenters of 1933 had in planned makes January 6th (2021) look like the Chuck E Cheese party it transformed into, just with less shit on the walls. Read the article and you’ll see why I have believed since I was in college and will until I’m dead…rich people hate democracy! The current titans are no different. Pesky stuff such as minimum wage, worker safety, time off, public education, etc. are a pain in the ass to them. They demand a return to serfdom since the Gilded Age 2.0 isn’t enough. If you’re skeptical, you’ll change your mind if you found out how much SCOTUS Justice Clarence “Token” Thomas’ trophy wife is involved with organizations planning to take away our rights. We also found out the “legal” strategy Girth Vader’s henchmen had planned until Y’all-Qeda stormed the fences; nullify the legitimate electors from GA, AZ and WI, install flunkies. Once again, the Fascist Suits lost control of their dumber goons.

Thankfully, FBI Director J Edgar Hoover and a general who was loyal to the American people and not its money, did the right thing. The latter I can see, the former was a shock as he had no love of FDR and would’ve welcomed a dictator. FDR probably wanted to get even with these wealthy pricks yet I know he was more pragmatic than me so he figured it was better to let them believe they got away with it and gamble on getting their assistance in the future, which he grudgingly received in WWII.

Let’s remind our descendants about how much the found of Ford Motors admired Hitler and sent him birthday cards. Let’s remind everyone about Lindbergh’s isolationism, hatred of Jews and Nazi sympathies. Let’s never forget how the Dulles Brothers liked the Nazis until it was inconvenient. Always bring up how Prescott Bush, father and grandfather of two shitty, corrupt presidents, sold weapons to re-arm the Nazi regime. Many wealthy people are racists, classists and have dark hearts as DeVos (the Amway Pyramid), the Kochs (fossil fuels) and Mercers prove daily.

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Why I don’t miss cable/satellite TV 2022

I’m only a fair-weathered sports fan, aka I tend to watch Packers’ games when they play the Bears or they’re in the playoffs. However, I would say that meme is spot-on whenever I watch Fox’s Animation Domination Sundays or Futurama‘s brief run on Comedy Central. Just too damned many commercials! What’s the point? We paid to get access and yet the money isn’t enough. Plus, my other huge gripe is how overpriced the numerous products being plugged ad nauseum are. Remember, Liberty Mutual, Allstate, Progressive and GEICO are pissing away almost 20 cents of every dollar you paid them to clog up the airwaves on “savings.” It’s even more sickening with healthcare. The phone carriers are even bigger offenders. Who gives a shit regarding AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile! People only buy a phone with a plan about every two, maybe three years, some even longer. Throw in all the stadium-naming rights, I’m pretty confident my monthly iPhone bill could be at least $20 less given how we’re still using Nineties tech. Given the arrogance of Amerika’s corporations, we know they’ll never roll the savings into employee salaries, upgrading the tech, competitive pricing and most importantly, good customer service not tied to customer retention.

I think the streaming services are proving what the BBC has done for decades. If we pay for the content more directly, then we can ditch the ads. In the UK it’s a TV tax which is anathema to Amerikans yet when you repackage it as a monthly/annual subscription, they’re alright with it while being unaware the price. I don’t find Jim Gaffigan terribly funny but he said it best, “Why don’t we just bundle all the streaming services together and call it cable.” It proves my al a carte model.

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Finally under 260 pounds!

It took well over a year but c’mon, I really didn’t get serious until I finally gave up and joined Planet Fitness (or Fatness as I call it for my condition). Getting down to this lower weight was my diehard objective before the end of the month. I should’ve known better with all the holiday snacking and drinking; we never got close to finishing the Advent Beer calendar from Costco. However, with a new year, you get a chance to have a new beginning! It’s what I love about New Year’s Eve/Day!

Now to bore you about how I am pulling or pulled it off after being a fat-ass for the last several years. I get up (obviously), hit the bike until I either complete this last:

  • (Currently) 41 minutes of exercise
  • Close the Red Activity Ring
  • Close the Green Exercise Ring
  • (Currently) 11 miles
  • (Currently) Work off 540 active calories

It’s not always the same thing every day. Usually the rings get closed well before the other three. I bump up the active calories by 10 every week. Then comes the really hard part…NOT EATING that much! I think where I was going wrong in the recent past was continuing to eat enough to maintain my horrific weight plus what I might have burned off at the gym. Not a great strategy unless I’m Michael Phelps minus the weed. My other favorite activity of stairs only happen when I have more time and I’m not sick to my stomach; this worries me, because it’s how they described Darth Cheney’s heart attacks in Vice. Someone had one at a gym several years ago and it was so mild, the person didn’t know it was actually happening.

When I get home, I treat myself to a money-saving coffee-based concoction I figured out through shopping at Costco. Measuring it out helps too. It’s 200 ml of cold brew coffee (different brands until I find one I’m set on), 200 ml of Promised Land chocolate milk (there’s something in it, making the milk worth the price; I blame it on cows knowing their catechism), one teaspoon of Torn raspberry syrup and 400 ml of vanilla soy milk. I need to read the labels more thoroughly. I think all the protein in this is what’s helping.

Additional factors are wedge salads for lunch or dinner. Eating, more like swallowing quickly, avocados to cover for meat. I also drown them in dressing or lemon juice to cover the disgusting taste. Snacks of celery or carrots with some ranch.

The new goal is to keep my weight around 260 or a little lower for a while, then push for 255. I want to get their gradually, same as cleaning my house, to prevent a yo yo effect or blowback in the extreme. I would love to be well under 250 this year and then I could return to running on a treadmill as my doctors advised.

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RIP Sidney Poitier

Sidney had a greater impact on film and popular culture for my parents when they were growing up thanks to his Oscar® victory. By the time I was around, he was the straight man in those Action-Comedies he made with Bill Cosby and he starred in flicks I usually saw on Sunday mornings when WTBS let Bill Tush run the channel. He still did great things while paving the way for many other Black Americans and Canadians who wanted to pursue a career in acting, namely those aspiring to land the leading role, not the usual supporting crap they had been given. The latter was often patronizing and insulting. Hollywood still has a long way to go since Black people continue to be stuck in the “best friend” part in ensembles via TV or movies.

Thanks for everything Mr. Poitier!

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David Bowie would’ve been 75 today

It’s too bad he didn’t live as long as his contemporaries, especially given their proclivity to just flog a dead horse, e.g. Rolling Stones, The Who. I also know what I’m writing will be blasphemy, but David didn’t end his career with a good album. Blackstar is disappointing after The Next Day and what else he did with Tony Visconti in the new century. In his defense though, David was willing to take chances on trying something different when he was motivated, so some of the dislike is on me. I do like to think these crappy pandemic times would’ve served as inspiration for him to do newer material to reflect the somber move and he could’ve surprised us with something inspirational.

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Wow! The Seventies were really fashion-impaired

I definitely have it so much better than my father when it comes to work attire in the white-collar world! By the time I got to enter the workforce in 1991, blue jeans were accepted in most places but a shirt with a collar was often required. I imagine this line of short-sleeved shirts and short “slacks” were the compromise offered to men in offices during Summer. Due to the seriously wide ties, I can easily tell this was pitched in the Seventies. At least they’re not wearing sock garters. Blech! Normally, I come from the generation that says you should wear white socks with shorts yet white or dress socks just can’t hide the ridiculousness. Also, when did younger people decide dark socks with shorts was a thing? They look silly. They look like my dad in the Seventies when he would put on shorts after work while keeping those and his dress shoes on.

Anyway, could you take either of these guys seriously if they were your boss? I know I would move heaven and earth to make sure they stayed in their offices. We’d get little work completed from all the giggling. Feel free to post and mock the fashions of my time though. The Eighties and certainly the Nineties were far from ideal.

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Painfully true with many fan boys

I’ve never understood the “political” accusation. A gay couple kissing on TV has little to do with politics since there are gay men with horrendous Right-Wing politics: Roy Cohn, Peter Thiel and we all know even if he doesn’t…Lindsey Graham. Besides, it’s the 23rd Century, this is supposed to be no biggie and a standard occurrence which Humans don’t really sweat like we don’t freak out over a woman showing their ankles. I can’t speak for the other members of the Federation or its enemies except the Klingons have yet to show a female in command of a D-7 battle cruiser.

Now I will admit, I’m not perfect but I’m always trying to keep evolving and adapting. Seeing those dudes kissing back in the in the Eighties would’ve resulted in me going “Ewww!” followed by a homophobic joke. I was a typical immature young person with little sensitivity when it came to hurting others’ feelings. Plus, American society mostly approved this, including much of the Left. Overall I’m glad it has changed. We’re gradually getting closer to Star Trek‘s idealized goal even if we’re experiencing some serious tugs in the wrong direction from the MAGAts.

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One element of videogame-based D&D I hate

For those who don’t get it, the comic is mocking (to me) how crappy the AI is in games, especially console-based ones. This is why I prefer to play in person, get the interaction and figure out the real haggling. Obviously the used weapons guy is going to do whatever he can to make a profit, that’s a given but he’s not going to low ball in order to gouge someone later as if he were a Austin-based realtor trying to buy my house.

Now if the pandemic would end soon so I may return to playing in person. Sooooo bored!

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Genoa Achieved!

Today was the seventh milestone via in-door bike! Thanks to joining Planet Fitness, I could pick up where I left off almost two years ago.  It was a shorter leg than Amsterdam’s distance, only 425 miles but my laziness and Covid-19 prevented me from knocking it out sooner. The other factor was discovered through an audit of the 11 years I’ve tracked through a spreadsheet. To my horror, I discovered that I had only attained some land marks much later than my Math and data-entries said. For example, I didn’t arrive near Jeremy’s house around January 2020, it was really November 2021. Not sure where the heck I came up with all those extra miles to put me in Cork, Caracas or Honolulu sooner than I hoped. It’s all straightened out now.

What you’re seeing above is Genoa’s flag and just like Ireland, the English had to steal the design. Defenders say, “Oh, they both have St. George as their patron.” Agreed yet England didn’t experience the Renaissance until a century later so I would think the concept of a national flag follows. When I first saw it, I thought it was an error. It resembled one of the many Scandinavian states or you could say it’s Switzerland’s turned inside out.

Next destination is Moscow, a little further at 457 miles. A great benefit with an in-door bike and imagination, I avoid all those awful Russian winters!

I need to get my stairs going too. I’m over 10,000 flights or storeys. I would like to get a couple thousand more this year or whatever it takes to come closer to 100 km straight up from sea level, the official boundary of Outer Space. The outdoor bike will be back in action when the weather is nicer.

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Earth reaches its 2022 perihelion!

Despite it being Winter in the Northern Hemisphere and colder than Hell lately, Earth passed through its closest point to the Sun. I always thought this coincided with the Winter Solstice back in December but that is when our planet’s axial tilt (or position) causes the amount of light to shift for each hemisphere. Combine the solstice with our perihelion and now I understand why the Sun rises and sets at later times even though the total of sunlight increases.

Onward to aphelion in July!

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RIP Betty White

So here is my obligatory obituary for Betty as she did have an effect on my life well before the fad involving her got rolling a decade ago.

I recall seeing her on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the Seventies but I was a kid and had no clue about her character’s personality. However, I did see notice her on game shows because my grandmother watched Password religiously. Then came the Eighties with The Golden Girls. I wasn’t keen on this SitCom. Being a teenager and later a college student, staying in to watch TV on a Saturday shouldn’t be any young person’s activity given all the cool stuff at their disposal. Again, Grandma loved it. This I found unusual. She didn’t care for Bea Arthur thanks to the controversial Maude and yet all her criticism about other shows being “filthy,” rang hollow thanks to Girls‘ weak, hardly subtle sexual double entendres.

She was a regular on the usual shows of the era too: The Love Boat, St. Elsewhere and the Prime Time soap opera drivel. Betty did become part Eunice’s world as the sister who had everything turn out well for her in the 1982 movie Eunice. Although Betty’s character Ellen wasn’t in the original Carol Burnett Show skits she would continue to drop by in the spinoff Mama’s Family.

Betty did make me laugh with her appearance on The Simspons, namely with her angry rhetoric for a fake PBS pledge drive. It was out of character given her reputation for being a nice person. She was also a frequent presence in animation, loaning her voice in Hercules, The Wild Thornberrys, Teacher’s Pet, King of the Hill, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Family Guy, SpongeBob Squarepants and Toy Story 4.

Speaking of cartoons, how could I forget her comical turn with Malcolm in the Middle! Betty was grandpa’s secret wife hidden away in Canada. A great counter to the equally fabulous Cloris Leachman as a mini MTM Show reunion.

Outside of acting, she was a big advocate for animals like Bob Barker. It is why I plan to contribute to my local animal shelter on what would’ve been her 100th birthday.

Thanks for everything Betty. It’s always great to discover there was another person in the cutthroat world of Show Business who was genuinely and sincerely kind, especially with the rough times we live in today. You earned your immortality and then some.

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New Year’s Eve Bash 2021-22

I was in charge of NYE activities this year so I chose Gatsby’s House again. I’m a huge Great Gatsby fan and the Roaries Twenties fascinate me as my grandparents lived through it. I know it’s a mixed period since the Republicans left the world in the ditch as they always do, yet it might be a guide for what may come after the current Pandemic ends. The Twenties resulted in great social upheaval: women doing numerous things they weren’t allowed to do in public before WWI; the weight-loss movement starts America’s invention of the teenager is a beta; radio; jazz (the original outlaw music), film stars; and car culture.

As you can see from the photo above, Jennifer got all decked out as a flapper thanks to Amazon offering a whole package. Definitely saved her time and effort, I’ll leave it at that. Me, I just kept the same suit because I didn’t plan ahead enough to get something even stronger for the time period. You may notice, I’m pressing the limits on my vest’s buttons. Hey, it’s an improvement. Last year I couldn’t close the damned thing. Next year, Scotty won’t be warning the vest’s Kirk, “I don’t think this garment can take any more pressure!” I plan on it to be smooth while I have a new setup and a different color, something closer to what the decade had.

The celebration held at one of Austin’s numerous downtown hotels was decent. It utilized one a huge ballroom which they segregated from the VIPs, all they did was get food beyond nachos. An open, unlimited bar was all I asked for my money. There were two things I wish the promotion company did differently to make the experience better.

Firstly, if the attendee isn’t in period-appropriate attire, then they better be wearing upscale club as it’s termed. No fat slobs in a knit shirt with shorts (yes, he was there); no idiots who resemble a Venture Capitalist (blazer, open dress shirt with jeans and sneakers, at least one); no sneakers, I will allow women an exception for later since their shoes were designed by sickos; women receive more leeway overall since they know how to dress up. My camp, we don’t wise up until too late in life. I didn’t take any photos of the people who knocked it out of the park, just too private a matter for everybody involved. There was one couple who was amazing. Others who don’t adhere, they pay an entry tax!

Secondly, they need to hire a better DJ and/or be closer to the period music. I readily admit being pretty ignorant of Jazz; I can’t get behind most, I was brainwashed by Pop’s conventions; but they brought in some asshole from Vegas. He played mostly the crap you’d hear in most clubs today. Yes, I know, being 53, no one gives a rat’s ass on what I want to hear yet the DJ needed to remember what to skew to based upon the crowd and mood. If the schlub didn’t state his name I would’ve sworn it was Baz Luhrmann playing the horrendous selections he used to crap on Fitzgerald’s novel. Another request turn it down somewhat, I hate needing people to shout at me in order to be understood. I’m not that close to deaf…yet.

Overall we had a great time! I got my value via booze. I was buzzed this time and enjoyed doing nothing for the majority of New Year’s Day!

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Welcome to 2022

Thank Evil MoPac for the bingo card we can use until the next wave of Covid-19 or another wave of Ammosexual MAGAts storm DC. This month’s header is from when Pee-Wee Herman was the guest DJ at some radio station or maybe satellite thing in December. I chose it because I promised a friend/fan how I would begin making new KMAG mixes and continue the numbering from where I left off 25 years ago, ergo be on the lookout for KMAG 21 with updating “hits” I am rotating in my stream, so I must skip over all the material in queue from 2020 and much of 2021…yeah, I’m very slow, yet what I play is more likely more “new” and better than the shit on FM today. The only competitor I will give the benefit of the doubt to is KUTX since they also inspire some choices I found. OK, I think I need to give the stream playing at my local Planet Fitness too. When they’re not playing mostly Electronica which sounds alike, something creeps in, forcing me to whip out my iPhone to use Shazam.

How I love New Year’s Eve and Day though, it’s a good marker to start new goals and objectives, other than my birthday. I know not everyone agrees, however, I’m confident every person has something. Time is a human construction but in other ways, it really exists, just the universe doesn’t give a crap about it. This year is off to a stronger start than 2021. I remember remaining on edge for when I could receive my first vaccination round and being pissed on how our awful shitbag governor who pushes FreeDumb and attacks Science by revoking mask mandates…made sure he was put ahead in line. He did contract it later. Too bad it didn’t kill him. The inept Lt. Gov. is the only person Priv’d Beto could beat in the general election.

What is in the cards for 2022?

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise. I had a really solid run again from 2017-19 and within a month into 2020 it was derailed. Sure, the outdoor bike was great until Austin’s global position is a problem with daylight, plus I met Jennifer. The outdoor bike should get more action after she moves in. Weight loss via this activity is a given.
  • Strengthen my Italian. I was doing fair with DuoLingo. I need to get my flashcards back into play. It really helped with my French. A little Spanish and French will come along too. I would love to try Dutch with Jeremy. Sadly, it has no real-world application outside the Netherlands and their colonies.
  • Remodeling parts of the house. This will be in the air as I’m not sure at what it will end with. Fingers crossed the appraisal from a couple days ago will say my poor house is worth enough to get the loan.

I’m going to stop with those as Covid can and will derail the remaining ones I wish for.

HAPPY NEW YEAR Y’ALL!

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Farewell 2021, you sucked less than 2020…so, thanks?

Well…it wasn’t as crappy as 2020 is about I could say about 2021. The year got going with a big scare thanks to Freedumb Fighters, MAGAts and Ammosexuals. So will that be the closest attempt at Girth Vader attempting the Reichstag Fire or what we all fear, the dress rehearsal for installing someone even worse, a competent Fascist such as Hawley or Cotton. But c’mon, we knew these assholes weren’t going to leave peacefully because they’ve finally admitted to what I’ve accused the core GOP of for 40 years, they hate democracy.

Then matters got better until the Texas Grid crapped out when a flock of ducks farted. Nothing fails in a crisis like Kapitalism. Trust me. In all those Post-Apocalypse settings on TV, film and novels, nobody is trying to restore the market economy since it contributed to the disaster.

Rebounded with getting vaccinated in March, shot two in April, all in time to visit Las Vegas in May! Woo hoo! Summer was smooth sailing too even as the Delta Variant kept waving through. Initiated my own, original content podcast too. Hang in there. Our studio is in transition and more episodes will happen. I’m planning more in advance in the same manner as the clip-art company I worked for.

Had a pretty solid Fall. You all by now have seen what we did for Halloween and I went to my first RenFaire in years, maybe decades! We took in several bitchin’ concerts of newer artists! Jason Isbell and Lukas Nelson despite the latter’s age curve being more to my right than other shows. I dragged Jennifer through the craziness of stand-up comedy with her first Moontower Fest and I enjoyed the hell out of AltercationFest thanks to our local gem, JT Habersaat!

Now we’re in the home stretch. Everybody’s gift is late and I don’t blame it on the supply chain bullshit. When there’s disruptions, it’s better illustrated as a snake digesting its food unlike the Media’s lame-ass all or nothing presentations. It won’t matter in the end. Grampa’ Brunch is the horrible POTUS I knew he’d be and all his defenders need to remember, their establishment choose him, not the voters. I mean, they preferred Brunch over Girth yet it was a shit choice, do you want to get thrown down the stairs or out the window? Plus these dying Boomer Mummies failed to achieve much. If I hear Obamacare one more time, I will scream. Obamacare is a piece of crap for one major reason, it still involves for-profit health insurance! Grampa’ Brunch is old, out of touch and he has no spine to use his position to pimp slap the Senate into shape. Ergo, the Dems will lose in 2022 and we’ll have another two years of what Slick Willie and Obummer did, surrendering to domestic terrorists.

Is it all bad? Nah. I love my new Watch and iPhone 13 Pro in how well they work, namely improved pictures. We helped some kittens find new forever homes. I strengthened friendships and relations at varying levels. I got back in some serious exercise. I even have my house on the mend into becoming the slice of paradise I always wanted. Disney+ did some amazing TV and films while HBO Max turned out to be great.

What do I hope for in the new year? Playing D&D again. Contributing to charity with time and money. Seeing my niece and nephew on the Maggi side in person. Here’s the major one I think I can actually achieve and it’s overdue, reading an entire book. Doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or whatever, I need to finish just one lately.

See you in the New Year!

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Meet Metztli

Don’t let the grumpy-looking face fool you. It went away pretty quickly! Metztli is very focused on eating because she was starving. How do you pronounce the name I gave her? Since it’s the Aztec goddess of the moon, it’s METZ-zuht-lee, yeah the Z and second T get squished in there to make an extra syllable.

I have to go back a bit in time on how this little fink got rescued. As I was getting ready for work, I spotted a different cat walking across the street. He looked pretty well-fed, could be someone’s pet who shouldn’t be roaming around. I approached him on the sidewalk and he cautiously came up to sniff me. While I was turning around to pet him, Metztli came running out of the wet grass, mewing and immediately climbed up on to my shoulder. A wet, furry, semi-smelly parrot purring at the rate of a motorboat. Poor cat, she was bone thin, much like a different stray I met 20 years earlier…Miette.

Currently, Mietztli is contained, given food and water with a place to go potty and stay warm. She will meet the vet next week. Isis couldn’t care less. Agamemnon is jealous which I wish he weren’t. He’s still my number one cuddle bug when watching TV and no one is getting replaced or overthrown. Besides, he will need to adjust to a pair of older cats moving into Chez Maggi in the near future.

More about her as it happens!

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