August 1st, 2017

I read the news today, oh boy

And I think I’m going to ignore it.

I may succumb later, though; you never know.

But sometimes these days, when I look at news aggregator sites like memeorandum or this, for example), or here.

But every now and then I take a break from adding my voice to the news and news-digesting clamor.

Which doesn’t mean I’m going to shut up; not even today.

Today I had a bunch of chores and errands to do, and (as often seems the case) they took about three times longer than my estimates of how long they’d take. It also seems sometimes that every chore or task completed has a little task prologue and then a post-task echo that goes along with it.

For example, yesterday I bought new tires. Simple, right? Just order them, have them installed, and get out your credit card. But that leaves out the 15 or more hours I spent obsessively researching tires and the people who install them, determined not to just follow my usual lackadaisical method and get whatever the guy at the nearest tire place suggests. Well, fifteen hours of internet reading later, I picked a variety of all-season tire that’s supposed to be especially good in snow, a very salient characteristic as far as I’m concerned. When I told the guy at the tire place that’s what I wanted (I’d already checked to make sure they had it, and I knew the price), he tactfully told me that some customers had been a bit disappointed in that tire because it’s quite noisy.

Now, that was something I hadn’t really thought about. He suggested a different one that was actually a trifle less expensive, and said that it had all the characteristics I was looking for. So I caved, and that’s the tire I got.

Then last night I was out driving and I noticed that my automatic car lock (you know, that thingee on the key that you press) wasn’t working too well. Did the tire guy inadvertently do something that made it less functional? Is that even possible? Do I need to get it fixed?

Not to mention my brand new cell phone that today suddenly started taking stealth photos like some sort of spy camera. No, it wasn’t on a timer, but every time I took a picture it would then go on to take another and another and another at about 15-second intervals, until I changed the screen.

Why? Why? Do I now have to take it to the cellphone place?

I’ll not bore you with the rest of my day so far, or you may end up getting ennui, too.

27 Responses to “I read the news today, oh boy”

  1. Griffin Says:

    But are there still 4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire?

  2. Romey Says:

    Some advise on auto maintenance. I retired after over 40 years in the auto repair business, in different Dealers, independent shops and even body repair. Become a good customer. Find a good place, patronize them, get to know them, they will get to know you. Over the years/ I have had many people who would ask my advise concerning maintenance intervals, tires, accessories, and because we had a long term professional relationship, would pretty much do what I suggested. The mutual benefit is tangible. The Advisor wants to keep the good customer, the customer gets good advise. Remember, everyone makes mistakes, its how the mistakes are corrected is what is important.

    The slight increase in price paid by not going for the cheapest ad is more than saved by not spending 15 hours researching tires, oil, intervals, etc.

  3. neo-neocon Says:


    That’s the method I ended up with this time, after all those hours spent—as I joked to the guy—spinning my wheels.

    I was feeling guilty about not doing my research all the previous times I’ve bought tires. It was helped along by the fact that for some reason I’d never liked the tires I just replaced. They weren’t very good in snow. So I figured that this time I’d do a better job if I figured it all out on my own.

    Doesn’t seem to work that way, though. The internet gives us access to a lot of information, sometimes too much, and it becomes hard to filter out the noise and just listen to the signal.

  4. neo-neocon Says:


    I didn’t count them all.

  5. Griffin Says:


    Well, they are rather small.

  6. John Guilfoyle Says:

    1st world problems and Beatles’ references…you know it’s going to be a good day.

  7. parker Says:

    Your car fob probably needs a new battery. I had the same problem and a new battery fixed it. BTW, nothing wrong with enjoying a news free day.

  8. parker Says:

    Just don’t blow your mind out in your car or fall out of bed.

  9. AesopFan Says:

    Many cameras / phones / have a “burst” setting that takes a series of shots in order to capture a fast moving subject (say, grandchildren chasing cats). There should be a setting that toggles back to regular mode.

  10. Liz Says:

    I concur with Romey’s advice about finding a good shop and sticking with that shop. Ask your friends for references on shops.

    One friend was always taking the family cars for repair (three cars, two teenagers) and I had him pick me up at the shop so they knew about the referral. Good service, since there was now five cars going for repair from two families.

    Check for a “sports” option under picture settings. My new camera has that option and it takes about five pictures with one “click”.

  11. huxley Says:

    BTW — the 50th Anniversary CD (Deluxe Edition) of “Sgt Pepper’s” was remixed by George Martin’s son, Giles, and is definitely worth buying if you are so inclined.

    Also in time for the 50th Anniversary is this astonishing mashup of Pepper and Star Wars. It’s a real labor of love which took two guys five years to rewrite the lyrics of Pepper to accompany Star Wars scenes and reproduce the music of Pepper. They call their creation:

    Princess Leia’s Death Star Plans

  12. Not Todd Says:

    Ditto on the fob battery. Most of the big auto parts stores will test them for you, and install a new one if you purchase it there. Mine started acting up after about five years use. I think it was $8 for a two-pack of the batteries.

  13. chuck Says:

    I scan the headlines, look at the source – CNN, WaPo, NYT – and laugh. Ain’t worth anymore time than that.

  14. Big Maq Says:

    RE: Epstein’s assessment

    He asks – Why would the russians also try to discredit trump, if they were out to help him win the election?

    The problem with this question is that it presumes that the russians “won” by having trump elected.

    If their goal was to undermine our own confidence in our democracy, its institutions, processes, and leaders – seems putin has scored not only a home run, but it might turn out to be with bases loaded.

  15. Paul in Boston Says:

    Direct Tire in Watertown. I just tell them what I need and take their advice. I’ve never been burned there or oversold. Once the warranty runs out on a car, that’s where I go for service. Face it, you only buy tires once every five years. There’s no way that web surfing is adequate for that kind of expensive purchase because of the amount of knowledge it takes to make a decision. Romney’s 100% correct.

  16. parker Says:

    Putin wanting djt in the Oval Office is a joke. Trump was a drill baby drill and pumped up military candidate. How does that serve Russia’s interests? Hrc on the other hand funneled millions from Russia into the Clinton Foundation, brokered a deal to allow Russia to control 20% of our uranium reserves, and would have weakened our military. Sounds like Putin’s candidate of choice to me.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    Did you read the quotes at the link to the end? From the article:

    A wider focus can be found, of all places, in Oliver Stone’s revealing, if fawning, four-hour interview with Putin, in which the Russian dictator makes clear that he views American hegemony, including America’s standing and respect in the international community, as a threat that Russia must counter. One way to undermine America’s standing is to provide disclosures that can be used by its own political factions, and the media, to sow distrust in America’s reliability as a democracy founded on transparency. Putin tells the truth when he says that it doesn’t matter particularly to Russia whether Clinton or Trump won the election: his goal was to install doubt in the legitimacy of the process, regardless of how it turned out.

  18. Tuvea Says:

    Word of mouth from a good friend is the best way to pick an auto repair shop. Or, probably, most other services related businesses.

    My older car needed new tires. I took it to the place my ‘motorhead’ buddy suggested. He is REALLY into cars. I talked with the salesperson. I told him I needed to buy a new set of tires and he asked the usual sort of questions.

    Then he asked to look at the car. He walked around with a flashlight and magnifying glass. After a few minutes he turned to me and said ‘I won’t sell you a new set of tires. The car doesn’t need them.’

    Of course I was amazed. I asked ‘Really? If your wife was driving this car and carrying your kids to school is that what you would tell her?’

    He chuckled and said ‘yes’.

    Needless to say that is the only tire dealership I’ve been to since. I buy whatever they recommend. Or not buy if they say to just rotate them.

    Everyone I’ve told that story to had gone there and received the same great service.

    Some guys are great professionals even in the most mundane of fields.

  19. Big Maq Says:

    @Neo – mea culpa – took all that followed the critique of the intelligence report as the russians were not looking to bolster trump but, instead, clinton.

    Epstein published that July 31, concluding that russia just wants to destroy our confidence in democracy, no matter who the winner was.

    Had that conclusion long ago, and is why it seemed/seems particularly strange our POTUS seems much too lenient and forgiving (if even recognizing the issue).

  20. Oldflyer Says:

    BigMaq, maybe POTUS seems forgiving–your characteristic—because he knows that his government has done the same thing over the course of many administrations. Or because he thinks that clumsy attempts at disinformation are not worth creating a rift; there are many other potential issues for conflict.

    What is unforgivable is that the Media and the Democrats, supposedly sophisticated people who know how it works, use this in just the way that Putin desires. Knowing that it is phony, they still scream the lies from the minarets, like the evening calls to prayer that Barack Hussein Obama so admired, in an effort to cast doubts on our political process–because they lost.

  21. TommyJay Says:

    Sometimes the spring battery contacts in a keyfob will scrape a bare spot on the battery. Many of these batteries actually use a plastic case with a thin metal film coating the plastic to carry the current.

    Assuming you can get the darn thing open and if the battery is less than 5 yrs old, you might find success by merely rotating the battery a quarter turn. Also, don’t pinch the fob too hard in normal use.

    I bought a new car recently, a modestly priced one, and you just leave the fob in your pocket; all the time. That takes some getting used to, for an old guy. Now I wonder how long my battery will last since the fob is in constant radio contact with the car.

  22. Big Maq Says:

    @Oldflyer – do you even recognize russia as a foe against our geopolitical interests?

    Did you laugh Romney off, along with obama in their 2012 debate, where he mentioned russia as one of our greatest foes?

    I’m all for a debate about how much the US should be involved in international affairs, but you go much too far in excusing an authoritarian regime, as this was part and parcel of their greater systematic conflict with us, not just one isolated part.

    The msm have been dishonestly framing it as “hacking the election”. True, and deserves much criticism, but that is a different issue.

  23. arfldgrs Says:

    Posobiec said that after the vote, a staffer near McCain’s office heard McCain say, “Let’s see Donald make America great again now.”

    and to BigMaq

    First, Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats but only after the election.

    Second, Obama told Putin to “Cut it out!”. Well, he says he did.

    That’s some tough stuff. And it only came long after he learned of Russian meddling in 2015.

    And let’s remember that Hillary and Bill Clinton were colluding with Russia to repeal the Magnitsky Act in return for cash. And let’s also remember that democrat donors were colluding with the Russians to fabricate a phony dossier on Trump:

    What is the company hiding? Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” But congressional sources say it’s actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary Clinton, anti-Trump agenda.

    “These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”

    Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And in 2015, Democratic ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group.
    [edited for length by n-n]

  24. arfldgrs Says:

    Yuri Milner

    ha! people really have to catch up (not anyone here of course, but everwhere else, right?)

    Yuri Milner
    a Russian entrepreneur, venture capitalist and physicist. Milner is Russia’s most influential tech investor as the founder of investment firms Digital Sky Technologies (DST) now called Group and DST Global. Through DST Global, Milner is an investor in Facebook, Zynga, Twitter, Flipkart, Spotify, Zocdoc, Groupon,, Planet Labs, Xiaomi, OlaCabs, Alibaba, Habito, AirBnB, WhatsApp, Wish and many others. Milner’s personal investments also include a stake in 23andMe

    In July 2012, Yuri and Julia Milner established the Breakthrough Prize, joined the following year by fellow-founders Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan, Anne Wojcicki and Mark Zuckerberg.

    its almost as if, once he got out of wharton as a exchange student, he makes all the right moves and knows the stock and so on… too bad state agencies arent supposed to help or else he may do even better, no?

    look how many awards to build him up in such a short time, so he gets to buy a 100 million compound..

    “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” – Fortune, March 2017.
    “The Midas List 2017” – Forbes, April 2017.
    “The Wired 100 – 2016” – Wired, August 2016.
    “The 100 Richest Tech Billionaires In The World In 2016 – Forbes, August 2016.
    “Time 100 Most Influential People 2016” – Time, April 2016.
    “The Midas List 2016” – Forbes, April 2016.
    “The Midas China List 2016” – Forbes, April 2016.
    “New Establishment List 2015” – Vanity Fair, September 2015.
    “Wired 100” – Wired, August 2015.
    “The Midas List 2014-” Forbes, April 2015.
    “New Establishment List 2014” – Vanity Fair, September 2014.
    “The Midas List 2013” – Forbes, May 2013.
    “Power Map: 500 most powerful people on the planet” – Foreign Policy, May 2013.
    “Most Influential 50” – Bloomberg Markets, September 2012.
    “The Silicon Valley 100” – Business Insider, February 2012.
    “Top 50 Digital Power Players” – The Hollywood Reporter, January 2012.
    “Businessperson of the Year – Top 50” – Fortune, November 2011.
    “Man of the Year” – GQ (Russian), October 2011.
    “Vanity Fair’s New Establishment List 2011” – Vanity Fair, September 2011.
    “Kommersant of the Year” – Kommersant, June 2011.
    “The 100 Most Creative People” – Fast Company, May 2011.
    “The Midas List of Tech’s Top Investors” – Forbes, April 2011.
    “World’s Billionaires” – Forbes, March 2011.
    “Owners of Virtual Reality List” – Forbes (Russian), February 2011.
    “Businessman of the Year” – Vedomosti, December 2010.
    “The Smartest People in Tech” – Fortune, July 2010.

  25. Oldflyer Says:

    BigMaq I don’t know exactly what set you off, but FYI was sitting alert with nuclear weapons in the event of a Russian attack before you were –what? I don’t know how old you are. Many years later I was part of the crew of the carrier John F. Kennedy in the eastern Med as part of a sixty ship USN force staring down a 100+ ship Russian force, and daring them to intervene in the Yom Kippur War. You cannot imagine how foolish your comment sounds to me.

    I would not be surprised if I know better than you our history with Russia. That has nothing to do with Trump and Putin. The fact is that Reagan worked for better relations with Russia; only a fool would not. “Trust, but verify.” Nuclear powers, Russia and the United States, will have to figure out a way to exist together long after that megalomaniac Putin is gone.

    By the way, I supported Romney in every way that I possibly could. I seem to recall that it was those folks with the myopic view of conservatism, who loudly proclaimed themselves its only true voices who called him a RINO; and were probably the reason he was not President the past eight years.

  26. Big Maq Says:

    “The fact is that Reagan worked for better relations with Russia; only a fool would not. “Trust, but verify.” Nuclear powers, Russia and the United States, will have to figure out a way to exist together long after that megalomaniac Putin is gone.” – Oldflyer

    I agree with that, but, actually, you said something rather different:

    “maybe POTUS seems forgiving … because he knows that his government has done the same thing over the course of many administrations.”

    …Essentially making a moral equivalence argument, and that “forgiveness” is somehow justified on that.

    I don’t see that whatsoever, as it is rather FAR from merely “working for better relations”.

    I DO see an argument to try to maintain relations and try to collaborate where it makes sense.

    I DO see an argument to change our policy regarding international intervention.

    I DO NOT see the current scenario where russian hacking of emails of highly sensitive targets and running rogue news type operations to influence our election is something to ignore / forgive / or whatever similar, in the name of “better relations”.

    There has to be some kind of consequence, and to be rather praiseful of putin, let alone practically ignoring these things, seems woefully wrong headed.

    Congress has made the right kind of choice with sanctions, imho.

  27. Big Maq Says:

    “I seem to recall that it was those folks with the myopic view of conservatism, who loudly proclaimed themselves its only true voices who called him a RINO; and were probably the reason he was not President the past eight years.” – Oldflyer

    Agree, I never liked the label “RINO!!!”, as it was greatly misused.

    But, in light of the last election, not sure the ones that were calling Romney a “RINO” are necessarily “true conservatives”.

    Several in “conservative” media made much noise about “RINOS!!!” for some time.

    Yet, we have trump, the “RINOiest” of them all, per their definition. Don’t hear “RINO” used much any more, especially not these same one who used it – do we?

    Strangely, that is not all – a lot of what they’ve said they stood for, and roasted dems for, doesn’t seem to matter much, nowadays.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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