Forty Days

It is the 40th day of 2016. Mardi Gras, in fact.

Forty days.

We’ve already lost musicians Glenn Frey (of The Eagles), Maurice White (of Earth, Wind, and Fire), and David Bowie (The Sovereign — is anybody else concerned that Dean is now in charge of the Guild of Calamitous Intent? Or is he?). Over and above that, we’ve lost impressario René Angélil, conductor Pierre Boulez, and producer Robert Stigwood.

In addition, we’ve lost actors Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Dan Haggerty (Grizzly Adams), and Abe Vigoda (Fish) — this time for real. Oh, and voice actor Joe Alaskey.

And truth be told, that’s just a few of the people who have already left us in the last 40 days.

So hey, all you great actors and musicians out there: Be careful.

Save a Life or Two

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One donation of whole blood gets processed into both packed red blood cells (RBCs) and plasma, often also other important blood products as well. An hour of your time may mean a lifetime to somebody else.

In Closing: sex sells, but more slowly; construction revolution; the freaking TPP has been signed but not ratified (still time to call your Congressmice); Sesame Ventures?; Bleeping New Yorkers freaking out over the bleeping crane falling into the bleeping street; Hillary wants to help; Kitty!

The Original One Cup Coffeemaker

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No electricity required. No proprietary pre-filled cartridge systems. Use any grounds you like. Filters are biodegradable. Environmentally friendly! Both filters and the units themselves are inexpensive — just a fraction of the cost of one of those big fancy cartridge coffee makers. Dishwasher safe.

And it makes a good cup of coffee!

What is the Long Game?

When WalMart announced it was closing 269 stores, local news included the fact that it was closing one store in Vegas. The closure of this store was no surprise to me. In fact, I was surprised it was still open at all. It was the Walmart where this happened. When there’s a shootout with cops in your store, you really ought to reconsider that location.

Now, it has since been pointed out that there’s not another full grocery store for 5 miles. Think about that for a minute: an urban area, near an Air Force Base, that can’t support one single grocery store. That’s mind boggling.

Even more mind boggling is that WalMart — traditionally, a retailer that would go into rural towns where KMart didn’t want to be — can’t seem to make up its mind concerning small town grocery stores. First, it opened up a bunch of grocery stores in small towns. The local grocers that had been serving those areas could not compete and went out of business. Now that WalMart has an effective monopoly, they are closing those stores!

So does WalMart have some sinister long game? Or is management simply incompetent?

In Closing: return of the Cat Film Festival; a recipe that looks great, but who am I kidding I’ll never make it.

Now We’re Getting Somewhere.

I’ve been griping for a while about how early the election season starts. In fact, I’ve been griping about the coverage of the 2016 elections since February of 2014.

Well, things are finally going to get started. The Iowa Caucuses are just around the corner, bringing the promise of a narrowing Republican slate of candidates, the inevitability of Governor O’Malley packing it up, the potential for Hillary to Mess Things Up, and the slimmest possibility of Bloomberg jumping straight into the middle of this game at the last possible minute. Who knows: the candidates might even talk about important issues rather than just sniping, blaming, and misleading.

Sit tight folks, November will be here before you know it.

In the meantime, you are encouraged to turn over your encryption keys, stop using cash (ha, right. Thanks to Jukkou for the link), and be afraid of terrorism instead of all the things much more likely to kill you.

In Closing: Why things are likely to get much worse in Flint; “literally not your father’s Oldsmobile”; outbreaks; and the return of practical effects.