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Not a problem everywhere

After a week of driving and sleeping in Europe, I noticed that I only heard one super-loud obnoxious car [1] or motorcyle, and I never once was blinded by too-bright headlights, not even coming up over a rise and catching the lower part of their beam. And of course didn’t get bright-lighted even once [2].

So it can be done. We just choose not to, because free-dumb isn’t free.

[1] An American Mustang GT of course
[2] Don’t even get me started on pickups and the possibility of rolling-coal

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I don’t believe that personal morality and character should be grounded on hope. …

We need people who are grounded in the belief that there is a single humanity, and that battles are fought whether or not you can calculate that they’ll be successes. The struggle must be our very existence and we must never accept the limitations of the political realistic; we must act on what is necessary in the most basic sense for the survival of ordinary people.

It doesn’t look like we’re gonna survive it, but we still fight like hell. In fact, we become better fighters, knowing that it’s the fight itself is the most important thing. Maybe these are strange or antiquated values. I still believe in character. That people produce themselves through the moral choices and actions that they take, irregardless of calculations of success or wealth or anything like that. Actions that are rooted in solidarity and love for other people and the common condition.

— Mike Davis, 2 October 2020 (TrueAnon podcast)


Still not a total Apple fanboy

Apple’s idea of human interface design c. 2022:

8 point gray text on a white background, apple-plus doesn’t increase the size, and Music is still a POS app that screws up all my smart playlists by not distinguishing between the rating I give a song, and the unchangeable automatic album rating that gives every song on the album five stars if I give one song five stars. No one at Apple eats their own dog food. Or it’s all streaming to them now, and the terabytes of ripped CDs, many of which are completely unavailable anywhere, just don’t matter.

Don’t get me started on album artwork, either the complete inability of them to get the right album artwork, or even worse, that they overwrite or lose the album artwork that I curated carefully onto those terabytes of music.

Surely someone makes an independent iTunes Music replacement that’s actually good… But I haven’t found it.

I still can’t change the volume on airpods without reaching into my pocket for the phone, which isn’t possible at 20 mph on a bike, and not that convenient all the rest of the time. It’s gonna be a sad day when my two iPod shuffles give up the ghost. I already have to save an old MBP with OS X 10.9 to update those, as they are completely unsupported with newer versions of Music (the name of which by the way makes any solution to any of these problems completely unsearchable).

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Loud electric cars

Since EVs became more common, the proportion of loud cars, both from the factory and modified [1], have increased about equally. This leads to the conclusion that as all Harley goes out of business, and all the old loud cars disappear, the boys will have to find a way to make EVs loud. Will they go with the Tesla fart sound approach, and do illicit firmware upgrades to make superloud Star Trek noises?

[1] I mean seriously, when did putting straight pipes and headers on a mid-90s F-150 become a thing? That disappeared for a while. How do they pass emissions?

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Least likely book to be taken from Little Free Library ever


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I’m pretty sure he just wants to play

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Conservation of noise

Now that half the cars are going to kill me because I can’t hear them [1], the other half have gotten even noisier [2]. We’ve gone from a gaussian distribution to bi-modal, and it’s not good. As though the leaf blowers got quieter by setting off small dynamite explosions. In between, it’s really quiet. Then a Camaro, Challenger, Mustang, or out-of-compliance fartcan, rips down the residential street at 60 mph (not exaggerating), and it’s like a bomb went off.

Conservation laws imply symmetry; I’m failing to see what’s symmetry is being expressed by this.

On the upside, the loud-ass paper delivery people driving their old badly-maintained cars around, delivering papers to old people, have largely disappeared.

[1] And they can’t hear anything, because all new cars are way too soundproof.
[2] Also going to kill me, but with malice, instead of distraction.

Idiocracy was too optimistic

I have also come to the sad realization that we would be lucky to have President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho. This is a politician who identified the greatest problem affecting his nation, found the most qualified person to solve it, and risked his reputation and position defending and enacting his findings despite opposition from the public and large corporate interests.

–Fallen13 someplace on Twitter

Dazed and confused, Pb version

I just read a post with 166 comments at one of the sites [1] with better comments [2] that talked about how drinking and fighting and drugs were the ground on which the era happened, and the article and comments both remark on how kids today don’t seem to do that anymore. Control-F ‘lead’, and not a single instance of that word. Doesn’t anyone think that perhaps the cultural differences might be due to not lowering everyones IQ by 14 points, and poisoning their brain with lead?

I guess I could make that post, but [3]…


[1], and I don’t even watch sports anymore, aside from D2S.
[2] I know, never read the comments.
[3] Never post.


I had to buy the new $60 AppleTV remote, because Logitech has stopped supporting their Harmony remotes [1], and the volume and mute button no longer work, and HBOMax has adopted the (former) Netflix strategy of being as obnoxious as fuck. Of course I want to hear the tag music from whatever show they’re pushing this week that I scrolled past because I didn’t want to watch and am searching through the Criterion Channel to find something good to watch!

Of course it was stupid that the first AppleTV remote, which was otherwise fine, didn’t have a mute button. It’s also stupid that the AppleTV, which claims it can learn a different remote, actually can’t.

[1] Seriously, fuck Logitech, and their horrible Apple support.


After yet another road bike crash, one of my friends keeps telling me that I should take up gravel biking or mountain biking.

Yes, there’s less chance of getting hit by a car (except driving over to the place where I’ll be gravel/mountain-biking, I suppose). Or trying to park at one of these places on a weekend, which seems pretty aggro to me when I make the mistake of driving by.

But ‘gravel biking’ is what I did as a kid on the roads around the ranch, and I’ve got the scars to prove it. I was pretty psyched to move someplace where you could actually bike on a paved road without getting hit by a truck. Seemed like a positive change.

And all my mountain biking friends have the broken collarbones to prove it. I guess there’s something fun about it? Yet another sport with an expensive buy-in.

In either case, all the gravel/mountain bikers I meet as a regular dog-walker, on the trails that formerly had zero gravel/mountain bikers, and which used to be overgrown ‘single-track’ (except that no one was biking down them before the current craze), and which are now four-lane highways because these jerks can’t stay off of them after a rain, are assholes. So I’m not sure why my friend is suggesting I start doing something that turns regular people into assholes with almost 100% reliability.

Say what you will about road-biking (or climbing), the act of doing it doesn’t seem to turn its adherents fundamentally into assholes without exception.

If you think I’m exaggerating, ask yourself when the last time a gravel/mountain biker yielded to you and your dog, and you didn’t have to pay attention and get the heck out of the way of someone going way too fast on a mixed use trail. That’s right, never.

Probably room for a whole essay here about the how too many people using a limited resource which they have to share with other users turns people (by which I mean white dudes) into territorial assholes.

See also surfing.

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