Amusing cat image, December 2020 edition

I’ll follow up with a Christmas-themed one later. As is the case with Christmas music, it is too soon*.

* It is always too soon for Christmas music

A collection of stills from Reefer Madness

A few years ago I grabbed a bunch of stills from Reefer Madness, the infamous film from 1936 warning of the perils of marijuana. It’s in the public domain, so you can watch this opus for free on YouTube, among other places. It’s only 68 minutes long and totally (?) worth it.

I meant to do a write-up on the film and include the stills, but never did for some reason. Recently I came across the stills again, so here they are. Behold the evil power of marijuana!

And remember…

A random list of favorite songs

These songs are all silky smooth pop confections. And old, like me.

  • Dreaming, Blondie
  • Vacation, The Go-Go’s
  • Don’t Answer Me, The Alan Parsons Project
  • Roam, The B-52’s
  • Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys
  • Got to Get You Into My Life, The Beatles
  • Get Through to You, Blue Rodeo
  • The Logical Song, Supertramp
  • Coming Home, Prism
  • New Sensation, INXS
  • Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey
  • Ray of Light, Madonna
  • Something About You, Level 42
  • Gemini Dream, The Moody Blues
  • Graceland, Paul Simon
  • Sean, The Proclaimers
  • Catapult, R.E.M.
  • More Than This, Roxy Music
  • Birdhouse in Your Soul, They Might Be Giants
  • End of the Line, The Traveling Wilburys
  • Buddy Holly, Weezer

Asimov predicts 2020 and probably the next thousand years, too

Daring Fireball linked to a quaintly prehistoric photocopy of an Isaac Asimov piece written for Newsweek circa January 1980. As a frame of reference, this was a little under 11 months before Reagan was elected president.

It is biting, acerbic and works precisely as well in 2020 as it did 40 years ago. One might make a persuasive case for it being even more effective now. A quote:

We have a new buzzword, too, for anyone who admires competence, knowledge, learning and skill, and who wishes to spread it around. People like that are called “elitists.”

The sarcasm, it burns.

And the closer:

I believe that every human being with a physically normal brain can learn a great deal and be surprisingly intellectual. I believe that what we badly need is social approval of learning and social rewards for learning.

We can *all* be members of the intellectual elite and then, and only then, will a phrase like “America’s right to know” and, indeed, any true concept of democracy, have any meaning.

In 2020, nearly 74 million Americans voted for four more years of President Donald Trump.

Me with the head of a goat

I am getting into truly random stuff here as I try to meet my goal of at least 30 posts for the month.

Here is a picture of me last year in my office cubicle, wearing a goat mask. This was back in the olden times when people went to offices.

Sunset at Coquitlam River

I haven’t posted any photos from the trip to the Crystal Falls Trailhead a few weeks back, so here’s one of some trees in the glow of the setting sun, with the Coquitlam River in the background.

National Novel Writing Month 2020 update

Update: Many people are still writing, while many others have met their 50,000 word goals or exceeded them.

I have continued to not write a novel and actually feel pretty good about it. In the past I’d argue that making the effort and stumbling was still worthwhile but…been there, done that. I’d rather write something to my own schedule now. I think I can do that now and NaNoWriMo is more a barrier than an aid at this point, because it forces you to write a story in a specific time frame, which is arbitrary and a little weird. It’s great if you’re just starting out, or desperately need some kind of external discipline to get you started.

But I no longer need those things, so maybe I won’t participate next year, or ever again.

Now I just need to prove how smart this decision is by, you know, writing and maybe even finishing a novel. It could happen!

More on the pandemic

Just kidding. Most of the news lately is pretty terrible, with cases skyrocketing all over the place. Forty-six people died in BC just over the past weekend. Granted one of them was 103 years old, but still.

The two bright spots are local mask usage (now mandatory in all public indoor spaces) is pretty high and there are multiple vaccines that appear to be effective and may start getting distributed as early as the spring. Yes, it’s only fall now, but in pandemic time, the spring feels a lot closer than it actually is.

Some have referred to those who refuse to wear masks as “maskholes” but I don’t like it. It’s the wrong combination of cutesy and angry.

And speaking of masks, today I got the pair of masks I ordered from Outdoor Research–yes, the place that is also soon delivering me my jaunty yellow cap. They are almost but not quite too big (I have a small face), but they actually look nice, feel good and can be equipped with paper filters for better protection. I can’t say I’m excited to wear one, but I’m pretty sure it will be an improvement over what I’m using now.

This concludes YAPP (Yet Another Pandemic Post). I really hope in November 2021 I will not have any need or desire to discuss a pandemic.

November 2020 weight loss report: Down 1.7 pounds

Being down for the month might be cause for celebration normally, but alas, these are not normal times.

As it turned out, I porked up right at the start of the month, which meant being down was a pretty easy goal as long as I didn’t switch to an all-donut diet (which I did not).

I only managed to stay under 170 pounds three times during the month, a dismal showing after October. There was snacking. Plentiful snacking.

I’m going to try to go completely snack-free in December. Such an effort would normally be considered folly for December, but I’m not exactly feeling the holiday cheer this time around.

Small bright side: I am still down overall for the year–by a little!

Larger not-bright side: My body fat shot up 1.8%.

Stats:

November 1: 72.4 pounds
November 30: 170.7 pounds (down 1.7 pounds)

Year to date: From 171.8 to 170.7 pounds (down 1.1 pounds)

And the body fat:

November 1: 20.5% (35.3 pounds of fat)
November 30: 22.3% (38 pounds of fat) (up 2.7 pounds)

Back to Minecraft…and sheep

Somehow I got hooked into Minecraft again and so much has been added in the years since I’ve played that it feels like a modded game without the pesky need to install mods.

I’m currently nurturing a few worlds in their early stages and the shot below is from the Survival Island seed. As the name suggests, it starts you out on an island in an ocean dotted by islands. After some initial work on the starting island I moved to a larger and flatter island where I began setting up shop. I built a rowboat to get around and when not in use I leave it on the shore near my humble home.

One day I discovered a sheep was in it. I left it, thinking it would move on. It did not. I then sheared it, thinking this might prompt it to leave. It did not.

The sheep in question

I then tried to use the boat, thinking that this would definitely get the sheep to move. It did not.

Conveniently, though, I could still use the rowboat with the sheep in it, so I began cruising the ocean with a naked sheep in tow.

When I came back later, I as greeted by this:

The same sheep, now shorn, with a new friend to sail with, the cow

The seafaring life was apparently not for the cow, though, as it eventually moved on. The sheep is a permanent fixture of my rowboat, though. I mean, why not?

(by the way, the textures I’m using are BDCraft. The Java version can be found here: BDCraft.net

I ordered a new hat

It looks like this:

Swift Cap - Sulphur

I am unusually excited to get this hat because it is very bright and very yellow and completely unlike the other hats that I have, all of which are drab, muted colors or not even colors at all. Perhaps this will be the start of a bold new me. At the very least it will be a bold new top of my head.

For those unfamiliar, it is an Outdoor Research Swift cap, which has been my go-to head covering for the past few years. My current collection of Swift caps features these colors:

  • Black
  • White
  • Blue
  • Tan
  • Purple
  • Green

The hats with color in them are so neutral in tone they look like they are a color/gray blend. But my yellow cap will show them all! (The yellow is referred to be OR as “sulphur”, which is kind of gross, but as long as the cap doesn’t smell like sulphur, I don’t care.)