Just So Y’all Know…

Me and mine are fine. The horrible flooding that hit Waverly Tn. and surrounding areas, missed us. But not by much. It was just across the Tn. river from here. I heard the weather alert radio go off for a little north of where I’m at, foretelling heavy rains and flash flooding. But all we got out of it was maybe an inch and a half or so, at my location. What a difference a few miles makes…

From the news, it looks like incredible devastation. Last I heard it was 21 or 22 known dead with 40-something unaccounted for.

All we can do is hope some of the missing show up at a friends house, or survived the trip downstream. It’s times like these you count your lucky stars, hug your kids, and hope the best for those less fortunate in trying times. It’s painful watching the news knowing it could have been here, and wishing those who suffered through it, didn’t have to.

Hope you are all doing well. Busier than a six legged dog a scratching fleas around here. I’m exhausted from being exhausted. Got a good nights sleep last night, but still moving slow today and a lot of stuff to do that can’t wait any longer…

Ramblings on Fallacies

Here lately I have been somewhat focused on the how and the why our society has become so damn divided. I used to vote R at a time in my life. I did not disagree too much with the party message, being for the most part, this is America dammit! There is opportunity for us all, it is up to us to get out there, and seek it. So I did. And I prospered to some degree. It all seemed to make sense.

But there were also times I voted for a D. I never identified as a R or a D. I simply looked at what both sides had to offer and made my decisions at the voting booth accordingly. It never occurred to me it had to be an all one or the other concept. My brain just never worked that way. I always saw things are never black and white, there is always a gray area or exceptions to a rule or a norm, and I’ve seen the blinders on people who can only see either/or.

Well my personal position hasn’t really moved one way or the other really. I still try to look at all sides and form an opinion based on what I can see and hear. Over the years what really stands out to me is this. The R party, for all intents and purposes has lost it’s freaking mind! They have moved so far to the right, so far into crazytown, that my middle ground ass looks like a radical lefty. I think, for most of us with an ounce of critical thinking skill, we can effectively agree on this.

So, maybe we agree. Which begs the question, how the hell did this happen? How did we get here?

My personal opinion, the answer is, the weaponization of right wing media, social media outlets (willingly or unwillingly) letting insanity run free, and last but not least, the people we share the world with. I have sort of been harping on logical fallacies of late. I’ll often link to the page of fallacies or insert a link to a specific fallacy as a response to a obvious fallacial argument. Which I know probably tends to make me look more like a prick than I’m comfortable with, but I feel like it is important for folks to understand these fallacies, primarily because they are the oft used tool in the toolkit of a lying, misleading, all out propaganda assault, on all good people. Once we become aware of what is being used against us, maybe we can learn to combat not just the big lie, but all of the rest of the lies and B.S. as well.

Politicians, media outlets, and people parroting what they have heard from these sources, have allowed, even encouraged, a long festering deep seated primal hate, that used to mostly hide under the bed, prosper in broad daylight. It feels to me like the divisiveness today is 1000x stronger than it was a few short years ago. I know myself, depite knowing darn well they can’t all be bad people, I find myself wanting to wall myself off from anyone that walks or talks like a R. Just because the B.S. has become so deep, and they are so embedded within it, I don’t want to be anywhere around these freaking people. I dont want to feel like that. I’m almost sure, that is the outcome, our professional liars in media and politics, are trying to take us to. And there we go, bleating the entire way…

With these things in mind, I did a search today, I found an interesting writeup by someone, I never caught the who, but this is a very well written look, at what I feel is much of the source of our social ills of the day. It is an eye opening look into fallacies, understanding them, and our own human failings, as to why we tend use these fallacies. Once people understand how they are being used against us, it is the way to find our way back, I hope, to a better world. Sadly the people who need it the most will balk at the thought they have ever been deceived, or wrong about anything. It takes a certain amount of open mindedness to open the door to introspect. So, those who need it the most will likely never consider it. But I do believe it is important for us to look at it from this angle.

I didn’t agree with everything there, it is a 10 part series, with lots of great quotes, and videos interspersed here and there to help drive a point home. But overall I liked it. I’m not real sure about the part encouraging folks to experiment with psychadelics, but I’ll have to try it first and get back to you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m also not sure about the premise of making anyone smarter, but it certainly has the potential to make people think. Which sometimes is a worthwhile investment.

I’d love to see your thoughts…

How to get Smarter: A guide to critical thinking, cognitive biases, and logical fallacies

I could not for the life of me get that link to embed. I kept getting told the site refused the request. But perhaps a copy and paste will work.

After I wrote this up, I went back and perused more on this guys site. (I’ve been exploring issues that could cause the link fail, changing settings, and even trying to use IE instead of my duck duck go/chrome, to no avail so this has been sitting in drafts for a day) Anyway… I saw a bit on astral projection there, that made me wince. Even though I did dabble with it when I was a kid. So, with that in mind it is possible for someone to post really good stuff and go over the deep end in places you did not see coming. I still feel like the place I’m sending my brave friends, is worth the trip.

Again, let me know your thoughts. It’s a long series, there’s no rush ๐Ÿ™‚

The Problem With Thinking

I was thinking this morning, that’s the smell you may have noticed, sort of like hot grease and slipping belts, about the wealth of knowledge we have these days. Even armed with that, we still do not know everything about everything. New understandings, new discoveries, new models, will still tend to show us just how much we do not yet know about that which we may know a little.

I often see fallacious thinking along the lines of “we don’t know everything about “x”, therefore “x” should be avoided/ridiculed/left alone/ or sarcastically laughed off with a hardy har har. And I believe, that every little thing in our daily lives is based on what we know about every little situation, we encounter in our lives. How what we know affects our decisions, is based on personal experience, a few things we may have heard (which should be at least deemed plausible before we use in a decion making process,) and whatever study we have done on the matter. That’s it, it’s all we have to go by.

There is nothing wrong about living our lives thusly. But when we are faced with new knowledge that counters the things we thought we knew, we have to now base our decisions on the upgraded model. Andโ€ฆ “There’s Nothing Wrong With That!”

What got me thinking, and again I apologize for the smell, I don’t think all that often, the gears are a tad dry, wasโ€ฆ I overheard some asinine Faux News moron somehwere, dissing Dr. Fauci, because of some statements he made early on in the Covid crisis. He made statements based on the knowledge available at the time. Those statements were later contradicted as new evidence, new knowledge, came in. And our ass backward, fallacially wealthy simpletons at Faux News, believe that changing our stance based on new information, is somehow ridiculous.

When in fact, it is the best way for us to all make decisions. When we learn new things about things we thought we knew something about, we should base our future decisions with that new information in mind. Not doing so, is a sure sign, your logic chip, if you have one, is malfunctioning!

When I was a kid, I acquired a pack of firecrackers. Well, several packs of firecrackers. I did what comes naturally to kids, I went about lighting and tossing my firecrackes as the notion hit me. I learned in the process that most firecracker fuses will burn at a fairly steady rate. I learned that some firecrackers had noticicably faster fuses, and one should be alert to that possibility. That is, be ready to get rid of it quick! One day, I came upon a firecracker with a short fuse. That was the day that I learned some firecrackes have really, really, fast fuses. I lit the fuse and it went ssBOOM!

I didn’t lose any fingers, but I did gain some new knowledge that has helped me in all of my fireworks enjoyment through the years. And all I can say is, if you haven’t figured out yet, about how to incorporate the things you have learned, into your life adventures, you haven’t lit enough damn firecrackers!

Being able to apply similar logic to the rest of your life decisions, ought to at least be the minimum standard for having children. If you don’t understand what a fallacy is, you haven’t even learned how to think yet. Let alone, are you ready to start having children!

It’s not stupid, it’s not suspicious, it’s not ridiculous, it’s not embarrassing, it’s not somehow dubious, to modify your understanding of the things, you think you know, when you learn more on the subject. If your opinion is contrary to that, the problem is not with someone who used experience, logic, and new information, to change their view. The problem is you!

Most of my blog friends are very much aware of what a fallacy is. For some lone internet wanderer who may have found their way here. This link will enlighten you:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

Oh! And if you are wondering, which fallacy our Faux News idiot was using, it seems to me to be a combination of a few, but for the most part, it is the Poisoning the Well Fallacy. Mixed in with a bit of Ad Hominem and an Appeal to Motive. A misguided attack, because a man changed his opinion due to new information. This situation really should have its own formal fallacy. “The Faux News Fallacy.”

You learn what fallacies are, you won’t be watching Faux News much anymore…

Guilty!

On all counts. There is justice for George Floyd.

Now we need justice for all of the wrongful deaths by the police. The very people who are supposed to be here to “protect and serve,” who instead behave as an occupying force, diregarding the laws they too should abide by. Acting with deadly force when none is called for. Operating with built in immunity. The system, swallowing up police crimes with red tape, and prosecutors failing to seek charges that should have been brought forth. Sometimes even defying a Grand Jury order to do so.

It is high time the police get policed. It is also time to demilitarize the police. They do not need armored vehicles and insane firepower to do their jobs. That’s why we have a military.

Let the police, police. We need them to do their jobs. And walk the damn line as they do.

Let this jury verdict be the first step on a path to a better police force.

Why The Bleep! Does WP Do This To Me?

I’m scrolling through the reader to see what I can see, and there’s a post by someone I don’t remember. I don’t recall putting this guy on my follow list? So I click on it to see if it might jar my memory, and I get this:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/45139909/posts/3276657677

Good freaking grief! How the hell did this nutter get on my reader? No comments either. Not open to new ideas unless they are served up by Q I suppose…

And while I’m at it, where the hell did the dashboard go?

Can We Just Call It What It Is?

Here lately I’ve been hearing the word “misinformation” a lot. You know, referring to the kind of crap Faux News and Republicans are always foisting upon society. The hell with calling it “misinformation.” Let’s call it what it is.

Low down, dirty, conniving, malicious, unadulterated, LIES!

Alternative facts? LIES!

Spin? Spin isn’t quite a lie usually, but it’s always faulty logic. There will almost always be a false equivalency, or a slippery slope, or a half truth, omitting what they don’t want you to hear. Which in that case, is another LIE!

I’m sick and damn tired of dancing around the fact that the loony infested, right wing, nutcase brigade, is flat out lying about damn near everything, and no one mainstream, is calling it out. It gets called “misinformation” instead.

No, it’s LIES all the way down. The longer they get away with it, the deeper the pile of BS that gets dumped, daily, on the boob toob for all of the logic challenged, red hat wearing, dimmer than the lowest wattage bulb in the variety pack, freaking morons, who will soon be believing the lies they hear as fact. And repeating it as fact. When it’s all a bunch of damn LIES!

There is no nice way to say it. They have made a cash cow out of lying to morons. It’s a big industry now don’t cha know? Lying to people has become as valuable as Wall Street. Look at all of the companies, Fox, Onan, Newsmax, the right wing radio froot loop network, an orange idiot recent president, Facebook, numerous right wing internet sites, probably more crap out there than I am even aware of, all based on, the for profit proliferation of the LIE.

…and no one seems interested in calling it that?

I have mentioned to a few R types, that the former orange idiot president, was a damn liar of enormous magnitude. You know what the first thing that comes out of their mouths is? “Well they all do it!” “All politicians are liars!”

As if, that makes it ok? That little bit of idiocy makes it ok for them all to lie? That means we can ignore all the lies they have told, and all of the BS they have foisted upon society? Really?

For that matter, I am a damn liar too. Yes I have told lies. So have you. Some situations might call for a bit of truth stretching, or more adequetely a lie. “Do I look fat in this dress? Anyone ever been asked that? You might be better off telling a little white lie, than being completely honest in some situations. We have all done that, we have all been there, when the little white lie is a better option than the truth. But…

We aren’t making up crazy ass, nut job, conspiracies from whole cloth though. And then pawning it off on national television, or the internet, or the radio, as a matter of known fact. No. That is something else entirely.

It is high time to make this commercial lie institution responsible for their actions. The sort of lies that instigate insurrections, and make people of different opinion, or color, race, creed, or nationality, hate each other, these lies should be made to pay. There should be restitution for any victims who are a result of the lie. The lie for profit companies should pay the government huge fines, for politcizing and profiting from lie after lie after lie.

Free speech is one thing. But I’m going to say it here and now, lying for profit and politics needs to be shot in the foot. The lie that gets ’round the world before the truth can put its shoes on, needs a good dose of expensive reality. These lies need to be made to pay for their actions.

Make them pay, till they can only afford to speak the truth.

Bought Any Lumber Lately?

A friend of mine, an old diver buddy, and one of the few people I can hang out with and do a little light drinking and have a good time, decided to get a new boat motor. He didn’t trade in his old motor, a 2012 Mercury, 4 stroke, 60hp. Well, he wound up making me an offer I couldn’t refuse. The boat motor is hanging from a hoist, dangling from a swingset I built years ago, which was built heavy duty enough to double as a motor puller.

Well, I can’t leave it there forever, and as I already have a 90 hp 2 stroke Mercury, sitting on the outboard stand I built a while back, I decided to build another stand, this time a quick, easy build, from plans on the net using 2×4’s and a 2×6″. So I drove my happy ass to the lumber shed in town and told the owner I wanted three 2×4″ and one 2×6″. He tallied it up and it came to $42 and change. I was incredulous! I asked him, did he get that right? Three 2×4″ and one 2×6″? He looked it over and told me yes, that was correct. I said… no. I’m not paying $42 and change, for 4 planks that not that long ago I could have bought for a twenty, and have enough left over for a Coke. So I got back in my truck and went home, not just a little miffed.

Well I did some inventory in the shop and I have some 1″ square tube steel, but nowhere near enough to build the stand from metal as I did the first one. So I drove to our closest metal supply/scrap yard and inquired how much would it cost me for three 8′ pieces of medium grade thickness, 1″ square tube steel. It came to $42.

So you can buy freaking steel for the same price as lumber right now apparently.

As I always do when I’m at the scrap yard, I poked around in the scrap and bought some pieces of flat steel and diamond plate, the kind of stuff that comes in handy when you have a welder and are prone to using it periodically. It all came to $51.

My new outboard stand is 90% done, I still have one piece to weld in, and I have the scrap piece of 2×6″ I found while digging in the shop, drilled and drying with its first coat of polyurethane. I typically use a product, it is a spray on bedliner in a rattle can, to protect my steel creations (Dupli-Color brand), but my local Auto Zone no longer carries it apparently, so I had to order 2 cans from Amazon. It’s always something.

Anyway, consider this fair warning. If you are planning a project that will be using lumber, and it’s that time of the year here in the states, be sitting down when you hear how much it will cost you!

Oh, I went back to the lumber shed to buy the hardware to complete the outboard stand, it cost me right around $10, for four 1/4-20 bolts, 3.5″ long, with washers and nylock nuts. And two 1/2″ bolts, 5″ long, with washers and nylock nuts.

If you happen to have a good supply of lumber, and a good supply of hardware right now, you might want to consider leaving it to the kids in the will! Things are getting to where stuff like that is heirloom material.

Just in case you are wondering, you know how some things just seem to be attracted to certain people? That’s my problem with boats and outboards… and guitars. Somehow they find me.

Well That Was A Big Disappointment!

After all the hoopla, the ice storm is coming! It was a frail attempt at a good ice storm here. I am somewhat disappointed, but at the same time, quite relieved. We did get a small icing, I’ve seen more ice accumulation that went completely unannounced before. However this incident did not go without issue, though admittedly minor.

I am unaware at this time how bad it hit further north. I’m sure someone got hit hard. It is a devastating event when a good ice storm gets ya. Trees down everywhere you look. Trees stripped bare of branches, they were weighed down so mightily the branches all broke and hit the ground. Some places looking like a huge bomb went off. Power lines down all in a row. Roads darn near impassible, unless someone with a chain saw had already been through. Ice draping everything you can see, it is one hell of a time. I feel for whoever suffered that fate. I’ve been through it.

My wife, she full well knew the steps were slick yesterday morning, but heading out the door to get to work she slipped. Went on her backside and hit all three steps on the way down, with a final thump on the ground. Her bottom is bruised and sore, but she is going back to work this morn.

I was walking the labradane yesterday, he likes to pull a bit and is strong as a horse, I went to set my feet and hold him back, my feet went out from under me in a blink, I hit hard. Jammed my middle finger on my left hand, pulled a muscle in my back, and my nose bounced off the gravel in the driveway. Are we having fun yet? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hey, at least I managed to get a new chainsaw out of the deal. My old saw refused to run properly after I put the new primer bulb in it, had that saw going on 25 years, I guess it’s time. I was not going to be caught with my pants down, having no running chain saw in an ice storm. Last time I had some of my trees down blocking the main road, and a few down on a dead end lane that runs in front of the house, with a couple of neighbors back there. I made sure the trees I was responsible for were clear of the roads. Cleared a few trees out between here and the highway too for good measure. Yeah, a good running chain saw is a necessity in an ice storm… I do not regret getting a new one, not one bit.

Taking the wife to work this morning we encountered an iced bridge, some guy in a pickup truck had done the skid left, skid right, skid left again thing, and ate the guardrail. I took a country road bypass on the way back. That scenario was begging for a bad multi vehicle wreck, I didn’t want to be anywhere near it. Got home safe.

I hope ya’ll are doing alright out there ๐Ÿ™‚

‘Supposed to snow in a few days ๐Ÿ™‚ (pun alert!) February is not going to let our mild winter slide. Maybe I can wax up the sled! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s Been A Mild Winter…

But right now we are under a winter storm warning. They are calling for an ice storm, with perhaps .25″ ice accumulation here, and maybe 3/4″ further north.

We had an ice storm here back in ’93 or ’94. Caught us by surprise. I woke up that morning to continuous but staggered nosies. I’d hear a crack! Then a mild crash. Try to go back to sleep, and it happens again. So I lie there and I realize it is happening a fair bit. I finally got up and looked outside, we were covered in ice. I made coffee, put on my coveralls and went outside with a cup of coffee in my hand to investigate. I could still hear tree limbs weighed to the point of snapping and falling in the woods.

We had an old White Oak in the back yard, it was a leaner, and as I was walking close by, I heard a rustling, then a creaking and a groaning, I looked and watched that big ole tree crash to the ground. I was a bit freaked out with that. I got back in the house and the power went down. We were out of power for 2 weeks and the ice storm was followed by a terrific cold snap.

It was survival mode. It was tough, it was cold, it was difficult, but we got through it.

This one, if it materializes as predicted, could be as bad or worse. This time I have every container we have, holding fresh water on the kitchen counters. We have a well, which needs electricity to run, when the power goes down, we have no water… I also have a lot of 5 gallon buckets, side effect of being a shelldigger, they are great for short term shell storage as you can keep em in water. Now I have many of those buckets in 2 of our 3 bathrooms, all full of water. Because we can flush toilets by golly!

Im about to go to the shop and put a primer bulb in my chain saw, so I can cut some wood. If this goes as I have seen it before, we will be out of power. I have a fireplace to keep warm by if I can get the wood cut. I stopped at the grocery this morning and stocked up on milk, eggs, and bread. My boy is digging out the camp stoves in the shop. We are in all out disaster mode. I’m writing this as my pain meds get to work, so I can better get stuff done.

If you don’t see me for a while, it’s because SHTF. I am hoping the forecast is mistaken for my neck of the woods. Often I prepare for these situations and it does not get as bad as they expected. I hope that trend continues. But prepare for the worst, hope for the best is my motto. I got to get to work ๐Ÿ™‚

Y’all stay safe out there.

Covid, It May Be As I Feared

https://www.upmc.com/media/news/020321-mccarthy-duprex-deletions

Evolution is a MF’er!

Covid appears to be evolving, to become resistant to antibodies. My guess has been, and still is, this will turn out much like the flu. We will have to make adjustments to vaccines on a yearly basis, and get vaccinations at least once, if not twice a year to have some sort of protection from our new friend.

The key takeaway from the article:

“Although this paper shows how SARS-CoV-2 is likely to escape the existing vaccines and therapeutics, itโ€™s impossible to know at this point exactly when that might happen. Will the COVID-19 vaccines on the market today continue to offer a high level of protection for another six months? A year? Five years? โ€œHow far these deletions erode protection is yet to be determined,โ€ McCarthy said. โ€œAt some point, weโ€™re going to have to start reformulating vaccines, or at least entertain that idea.โ€

As is usually the case in things I fear may come to be, I hope I am wrong.

Y’all stay safe out there.