I’ve had a pile of tabs open on my browser, with no idea what to do with them. They were too powerful to close but too much to take in one sitting.
I really want to hammer this home: every cop in your neighborhood is damaged by their training, emboldened by their immunity, and they have a gun and the ability to take your life with near-impunity. This does not make you safer, even if you’re white.
IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology
Others will step in for sure. But one fewer company selling ID software to the cops is a good thing, I guess.
John Oliver’s excellent take on police in America:
And finally, a glimmer of hope, from Camden, NJ: they disbanded their police force 7 years ago and rebuilt it from scratch. Here’s how they did it.
I spent most of the weekend working around the house with headphones in, listening to a podcast called 13 Minutes to the Moon, the first season of which detailed the Apollo 11 moon landing:
The host, a BBC World News host, spent a lot of time traveling to meet the surviving astronauts, Mission Control specialists, and NASA scientists responsible for one of this country’s best efforts. Given everything else that’s been happening, it’s been a welcome boost for my spirits. Season two goes into the Apollo 13 disaster and I’m about halfway through already.
A few weeks ago I got an Amazon alert that used copies of Fallout 76 were on deep discount, so I grabbed one. I’ve played its predecessor, Fallout 4, pretty much nonstop since my family bought me an Xbox during chemotherapy two and a half years ago, so I figured that plus a 3 month Xbox Live pass (required for this new game) was a good investment. So far, it’s everything Fallout 4 was plus a bunch of new problems to solve—there’s no pause, starvation and radiation are real game mechanics, and it’s a multiplayer environment. So far I’ve not had problems with other players, but the threat of someone coming along and murdering my character for fun is a real threat. The first couple of hours were confusing and stressful but I’ve figured out the big questions and I’m settling in to enjoy the game.
It’s been two weeks now since I put the starter in the Scout and I’ve had it out multiple times on short trips around the area. Not once have I heard the terrible grinding noise from the starter, which leads me to believe the problem is solved. It’s nice to make upgrades that work.
I ordered a cheap military-style toolbag from Amazon last week that should fit snugly inside the front of the Tuffy console, which will hold an assortment of spare parts and tools. I’ve got a collection of stuff already organized, and a list of other stuff to buy and have on hand for breakdowns:
- Zip ties
- Stainless hose clamps – I bought three sizes, for the radiator, hydroboost, and heater hoses
- Spark plugs – I have a spare set of Autolite 303’s that came to me.
- Distributor cap – NAPA FA85, and points – NAPA CS757P
- Fuel filters – I’ve got two: Wix 33032 and a Purolator F20011
- Bulbs – both 1157’s and BP194LL’s. I’ve got both bulb and LED 194’s
- Tire plug kit – it’s already saved my bacon.
- Rain-X – comes in handy when the wipers are slow
I need to pick up a few more things:
- Fan belts (the three on PP are: Gates 7350, 7525, and 7612)
- Thermostat – I need to find a pair of RobertShaw 370-FHT‘s, or something as good.
- Spare coil
- Spare plug wires (???)
Outside of this kit, I’ll also have oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant in back, somewhere…
The tomatoes in the greenhouse have skyrocketed in the last couple of days; with the sun and the heat they’re much happier and reaching their stride. I’m testing the use of some tomato fertilizer in two tubs and straight urea in one to see what results I get; nothing is dead yet (I put it in on Sunday) so I’m going to set up a rolling schedule to amend the soil. I put some basil seed in six of the tubs to see if it would grow, and there are seedlings starting in five of them. And strangely, one of the gladiolus bulbs overwintered in the greenhouse and is now sending a new shoot skyward.
It’s officially air conditioner season. Yesterday I hauled all of the individual window units out to a table on the driveway and pulled the covers off so that the girls could shoot some Clorox inside and scrub out the dirt and mold. They dried in the sunshine and after dinner Finley helped me put them back together so I could haul them upstairs and put them in place. I’m getting tired of humping them up and down the stairs in my late 40’s, and now that the front porch has been reclaimed and looks so good I’m going to feel shitty about storing them out there in the winter. My overall goal is to have ductless AC units put in sometime in the next couple of years. I’m thinking ductless—the kind where each room has a wall-mounted unit connected to a large outdoor condenser—vs. ducted—where there’s a big air handler in the attic running hoses to a ceiling-mounted duct in each room, because I’d like to keep the attic open and I figure it might be cheaper. But that may be flawed logic; one handler in the attic, which will never be finished in our ownership of this house, and is mostly inaccessible now that the stairs have been chopped down, may be cheaper than four individual units in each bedroom. More research is required.
I feel like there is so much going on and I don’t know what I can do about any of it. I’m overwhelmed with information. I found a list of 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice here, and I feel like this is a place I can start.
You can reach out and say, “Hey, I can’t imagine what you’re going through, I’m here if you need it.” Because instead what often we get is this emotional outreach of, “I’m so sad, I’ve been crying all day, I’m really struggling.” And it becomes this really selfish thing where it’s like, wow, if you, a white person, are sad and scared, ask how a black person feels.
Also tangentially related: Your Phone Is a Goldmine of Hidden Data for Cops. Here’s How to Fight Back
I poured a glass of homebrew last night and sipped it as I was downloading some photos on my laptop, and I was disappointed. I brewed it following the recipe—a recipe I’ve brewed before, with success—and I had no problems with it during the brew or the fermentation period. This is a Shiner Bock knockoff recipe, something that’s supposed to be adjacent to a lager, with some caramel undertones, slightly sweeter and with a touch of hops. What I got is a very molasses-y ale, heavy on the sweet with little to no hops at all. It’s reminiscent of the bad hefeweizen batch I brewed years ago that just turned out wrong.
The only thing different between the first Bock knockoff batch and this one is the kettle I used to brew in. I brought two of Dad’s aluminum pots home last April and thought I might make one of them my dedicated brewing kettle. It’s taller and narrower than the stainless kettle I’ve been using since I started, so I thought it would be a fine replacement. This is the second batch I’ve brewed in the same kettle, and both flavors are off. So, it’s back to the stainless pot for the next batch in line, a session IPA I’ve not tried yet.
I needed a picture of a puppy to offset the news this morning.
The frequency of my posts here have dropped off in recent weeks. For some reason I’m in a fallow period for the blog, and I’m spending too much free time just aimlessly looking at the internet for tiny dopamine hits. Weekends are different because I can get out from behind the desk and accomplish large visible things that have a tangible result, which I’m leaning on heavily for motivation. As my job-related output gets increasingly intangible it’s hard to feel a sense of accomplishment when my output for the day is a list of items crossed off on a list in a notebook.
This is not a complaint. I’m happy—and lucky—to have a job in the current climate. Some weeks it’s just more difficult to shift my mindset to the new normal.
The tomatoes in the greenhouse are beginning to perk up. After several weeks of apathy, they’ve noticed the change in temperature and are beginning to pick up their growth. When I look at my Flickr feed from last year the store-bought plants are a full month ahead of where I am this year, but I’m taking a much more careful approach to how I’m letting these grow. Being home every day means I can keep a closer eye on them—pruning back the suckers and extra branches to keep the main stem strong and healthy every day. From what I’m seeing online I need to be much more ruthless about pruning back extra branches that have set flowers, as they take the energy and growth away from fruit on the main section of the plant. But with the additional plants I’m growing, we’ll hopefully have a lot more production overall.