February 2020

Oregon Zoo’s pride of lions lazes around in the winter afternoon sun. I was bored and so kind of garishly over-processed the color version in Lightroom.

Someone in the writers room won the argument over whether it would be cute to spend an entire episode of The Blacklist with them pretending to be bounty hunters but good god is this ever a dreadful viewing experience.

The other day I’d needed to reboot my Xfinity modem and figured I’d go ahead and install the xFi app. It proceeded to “upgrade” my WiFi security without first asking, but I didn’t have time at the time to figure out how to disable the “upgrade”. It turns out, this is the reason I’ve been having trouble with Winno, the closest thing I’ve found to a replacement for the late, lamented Breaking News app that operated out of some arm of NBC but wasn’t restricted to NBC as a source. Winno is curated by hand, not by algorithm, and it’s been pretty great since I started using it when I stopped “hanging out” on Twitter all day. There buried in the xFi security log was a listing for having blocked access to Winno’s domain, along with a domain related to Feedbin. I’ve turned off all that “upgraded” security nonsense. The moral of the story here is don’t let Xfinity control your WiFi security and do use Winno to stay abreast of the news.

Tonight I realized that Portland General is interrupting power on my street for up to six hours between 8:00am and 3:00pm on Super Tuesday and thought, “How dare they.” They I realized that six hours without cable or internet during the part of the day where there will be no actual news probably is more of a godsend.

Midsommar’s disorientation techniques continue to echo through my mind, and someone smarter than me should compare and contrast them to Mr. Robot’s distancing effect and autopsy the different uses and meanings to which a work calling attention to its own artifice can be applied.

Oh, terrific. Inexplicably, my site’s CSS is rendering ordered lists with an unindented circle, except that I did not change any CSS regarding list-style-type or margin-left, so what the hell?

Addenda

  1. Found it. I’d commented something out but forgot to actually close the comment. It’s remarkable that didn’t wreak more havoc, somehow.

Tom Steyer has his best showing of the Democratic primary by seemingly coming in third in South Carolina…and then immediately ends his campaign.

Addenda

  1. I mean: yes, I get it. But what a fucking sideshow and waste of everyone’s time.

I’ve reached the point in watching The Blacklist where I assume I am supposed to be rooting without reservation for Mr. Kaplan.

Elizabeth Warren should ignore the tradition that only the presumptive nominee gets to announce a running mate, go ahead and announce Julián Castro as her prospective Vice President right now, and then go blow a nomination-sized hole through the Super Tuesday states.

Researchers argue they’ve found that while “the political differences between urban and rural people could not be reduced” to demographics (via Joe Cortright), “[p]opulation density and distance […] did exert an impact on party identification”, and suggest that “population size structures opinion quite differently in small towns compared with large cities”.

The more populous a place is, the more people act in a reserved and indifferent manner toward one another, largely out of the need to limit the burden of getting to know large numbers of people. There is certainly liberation of expression in urban settings, explaining why they are havens of eccentricity and new ideas, but the cost appears to be loneliness and disorder. People don’t know their neighbors, and don’t much care. Conversely, relationships in rural areas have greater depth, and the neighbors care, but conformity pressures weigh more heavily, limiting freedom of expression.

I would maybe reformulate the above, slightly, in that one could argue that relationships in cities in fact might be perfectly robust — perhaps as robust as those in rural areas — they are just not with one’s neighbors; urban social networks being more widely dispersed and offering a variety of choice and opportunity, while rural areas offer comparatively fewer options and so the robust relationships more often must by default focus on neighbors.

There’s a difference between separation and loneliness that I don’t think the above analysis takes into account in the words it chooses, even if the overall distinctions its drawing were deemed sound.

The hilarious irony of reading CJ Eller talk about marginalia and memory and wondering why part of it seemed so familiar only for Eller then to turn around and link me in fact having discussed something similar. Memory? What memory.

What a spectacular and somewhat unnerving total lack of interest I have in absolutely everything today.

Several days ago I finally figured out how to use these in-ear earplugs and I’ve got them in for a test run out to get a latte. They are supposed to be ever so slightly better, by Noise Reduction Rating, then my over-ear muffs.

Things I have put in the dryer for around five minutes each over the past two days: those cheap Bluetooth headphones, which appear to have survived functional and intact; eight Shop, Play, Win! game pieces from Safeway, which hopefully can still be moistened for attachment.

So, this is not how you instill confidence: Governor Jay Inslee issues a press release on the COVID-19 death in Washington state referring to “his family and friends”. Local and national press then report that a man has died. President Trump announces at a press conference that the deceased was a woman in her 50s. Inslee retracts and reissues his press release to refer to “their family and friends”. So, either state authorities or federal authorities got something wrong here. Feeling safe?