Sunday morning, always a pleasure. I’m at the end of my half-vacation; a sorry excuse for a Spring Break. Sure, I had some quality time with the kids, but I ended up doing some project work (it’s amazing how much I get done when I’m not hassled with conference calls and requests for assistance) and wasting time with other distractions.
One of those activities was studying my dietary and exercise habits from 2016. I hit my lowest weight of all time between July and October, went back up in 2017, and never managed to get back to my 2016 lows. So I checked my old inputs into Lose It and was surprised by what I found when I reviewed my meals and exercise calories from the Spring until the Fall of 2016.
Basically, I was eating fairly reasonably but not overly strict and doing a shit-ton of exercise. A shit-ton for me, anyway, being that I’m lazy. 300-500 calories burned daily. I hit a low point on a week when I was eating coffee cake for lunch every day and had some beer on that Friday. The exercise wasn’t anything special. I was walking for about 45 minutes or more each day plus some yoga and some cardio or circuit training. Mostly just quick workouts at home with my kettlebell, medicine ball, or cardio workouts I found on YouTube. By the end of the year, I had quit doing those workouts and eventually went up over 20 pounds by the Spring of 2017.
What happened? Why did I quit my exercise routines that were working so well? The short answer is that I quit doing what I was comfortable doing. Instead, I got a membership at a martial arts school late in 2016. In 2017, Mrs Thrill and I got gym memberships. I stopped doing the workouts at home because I had those other activities. Also, I quit walking because it got too cold outside. Oh, yeah, and my eating and boozing habits went to hell.
Here’s the funny part: I not only stopped doing all the things that worked for dropping my weight, but I also stopped doing the martial arts and gym activities too. There were a couple of reasons for this. The first is that to do the training classes I was doing, I had to do two things I hate doing. Suddenly, I had to work around someone else’s schedule. Also, it’s that I had to leave the house/neighborhood and be around other people who I generally can’t stand. The second reason is that I got really sick in early 2017 and only shook it a couple of months after RVS launched.
Truth is, I was much happier doing workouts at home on account of the flexibility and not having to deal with…people. So this year, we’ll probably cancel the gym memberships and just invest in a treadmill for year-around walking (I envy those of you who live in nicer climates).
All that aside, I did an unusually good job this year of maintaining my weight during Spring Break–quite a feat with a wedding anniversary and child’s birthday during that week. I’m in good spirits and expecting to drop ten pounds in the next four weeks as I resume my old, proven, and successful healthy habits.
Let’s move on to the news of the day, filled with stories of people who haven’t gotten their shit together, shall we?
President Trump signed the Omnibus bill and the cries of betrayal among his base are deafening.
As a matter of National Security I've signed the Omnibus Spending Bill. I say to Congress: I will NEVER sign another bill like this again. To prevent this omnibus situation from ever happening again, I'm calling on Congress to give me a line-item veto for all govt spending bills! https://t.co/kYwMk5AE5k
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
I don’t know. From my point of view, he didn’t have much of a choice but to sign the spending bill his own party in Congress handed him. In my opinion, the bill reflects worse on McConnell and Ryan than Trump. Some are suggesting that since it’s not a proper budget, then Trump isn’t bound by any of the spending requirements contained within the bill. He can ignore funding for Planned Parenthood, fund the wall, and keep waging war in Syria. I’m not sure that’s true. At least, I don’t expect Trump to act on it even if it is.
For what it’s worth, I think that he was willing to take this deal for whatever reason because there’s either something he really wanted in the Omnibus that he didn’t want to delay on getting funded or he had something else to focus on than another budget battle. Time will tell but if Ryan and Trump are trying to dampen GOP voter enthusiasm ahead of the midterms and lose the House, this is how I’d do it in their place, I guess.
The March for Our Lives was the big news yesterday, I suppose. Not surprisingly, I didn’t give it much attention beyond seeing that awful video of the girl throwing up mid-speech. I prefer not to share it here, since even I have some standards.
However, I am always up for making fun of the loathsome David “Camera” Hogg.
Hogg; "YOU must give up some of your rights to keep me safer"
School requires clear backpacks
Hogg: "You're taking away some of my rights!!" https://t.co/E3KE9wUOKm
— Fusilli Spock (@awstar11) March 23, 2018
Seriously, can this little twat’s 15 Minutes be over yet? No, of course not. He’s being propped up and protected by powerful entities, for some reason.
Hogg said he became an activist because adults don’t know how to “use a f*cking democracy”:
“When your old-ass parent is like, ‘I don’t know how to send an iMessage,’ and you’re just like, ‘Give me the fucking phone and let me handle it.’ Sadly, that’s what we have to do with our government; our parents don’t know how to use a fucking democracy, so we have to.”
An edited down version of this clip was removed by YouTube as harrassment after it was linked by the Drudge Report.
It’s sick that Hogg is constantly allowed to do and say whatever he wants on cable news and social media, but any attempt to challenge or expose him is met with censorship. For whatever reason, he’s been chosen as The Face of this movement, despite his incredibly divisive abrasiveness, appalling ignorance and laughable hypocrisy.
What’s funny is that I actually agree with Hogg on this point. The clear backpacks are utterly ridiculous and won’t make any school safer. What would help is that when a person is specifically prohibited from walking on campus with a backpack is actually confronted by school security. You know, what totally didn’t happen in Parkland.
It’s still enjoyable to see him squirm under the sort of tyranny he’d like to subject others though, isn’t it? Sure it is.
Less enjoyable is Citibank actively taking measures to attack our 2nd Amendment rights by refusing to do business with firearms retailers who sell perfectly legal accessories and to people which Citibank doesn’t think should be legal.
“Today, our CEO announced Citi is instituting a new U.S. Commercial Firearms Policy. It is not centered on an ideological mission to rid the world of firearms. That is not what we seek. There are millions of Americans who use firearms for recreational and other legitimate purposes, and we respect their Constitutional right to do so,” explains the company’s blog. “But we want to do our part as a company to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands. So our new policy centers around current firearms sales best practices that will guide those we do business with as a firm.”
Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that one of the country’s largest banks is mandating unconstitutional “best practices” for their customers.
Corporations which are so large that they are either oligopolies or monopolies that use their power assault our rights, freedom of speech or the right to bear arms or otherwise, must be punished. Citi is not the only bank that’s going to be doing this, I assure you, and Congress has to act. It should be illegal to refuse to serve customers who are engaging in Constitutionally-protected activities or the banking oligopoly ought broken into a thousand pieces. I’m good with either one, honestly.
Speaking of large corporations that routinely violate our rights, we might be coming to the end of Facebook’s Timeline over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
— POLITICO (@politico) March 25, 2018
If you’ll recall, I posted last year that I deleted my Facebook account over privacy concerns. It’s not often that I get to have my paranoia validated, but come on. This one should have been obvious.
Facebook demanded that I send them a copy of my identification. I said, “No, I’m not going to do that.” It was a Friday. I made a final post to alert my friends and family that I was done and would unjack from the Matrix by the end of the weekend.
It wasn’t just because of this though, really. I’ve long had concerns about Facebook’s lack of respect for privacy and how it uses the enormous amount of data it gathers. Over the years, I finally decided that the more they demanded, the more likely it was going to be put to some nefarious use. Once they asked for a copy of my license and all of the personal data it includes, I knew I was right.
Really now. Did anybody not already know that Facebook sells the data it gathers from its willing users for such purposes as marketing and even political campaigns? It’s stupid that people only care now that it looks like it may have been used to help Trump get elected, but if that’s what it takes to make them understand how troubling Facebook’s data mining practices are, I’m good with it. Yes, be pissed about that and get off of Facebook already.
On the topic of the destructive impact of social media on our society, Heather Wilhelm asks if the obvious and ever-worsening tribalism isn’t really happening.
In any case, tribalism is hot right now — or so we are told. If you believe what you watch, read, and hear, America is hopelessly fractured among red and blue partisan team lines, poised for an endless and nightmarish cable-news-style shouting match. Support for Donald Trump, we are informed, is particularly “tribal in nature,” as Senator Bob Corker recently told the Washington Examiner. If you spend a lot of time on social media — and many journalists do — you’re probably convinced that this is correct. America is broken, we are told. People simply can’t see beyond party lines. Reason has failed. Tribalism reigns.
But what if this simply isn’t true?
Meh, I say it is.
Earlier in the week, I had considered doing a breakdown of the House Intelligence Committee’s findings in its 2016 Trump-Russia-Possible Collusion investigation. Ace of Spades did it first and well enough.
Finding #35 notes the obvious: Talk of setting up a “back channel” to Russia suggests that there was no collusion at all, as any kind of ongoing collusion would completely obviate the need for any “back channel.”
You don’t need a “back channel” when you’re “colluding” on the front channels.
I’m glad the HPSCI noted that. It’s a point I’ve made before. If there was already this grand master plan between Trump and Putin to defeat Hillary, it would make the amateurish meetings between Don Jr and Russians or Papadapolous and Russians outright pointless, I would think.
It’s worth noting that this committee didn’t have access to everything Mueller does. His investigation will drag on. It only means that for the documents they’ve seen and the witnesses they’ve interviewed, they found nothing. That’s honestly what members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have been saying for months.
Hal over at RTFLC lamented the appointment of John Bolton as Trump’s new National Security Advisor in place of General McMaster, who people who hate Trump typically like.
Bolton is, to put it mildly, a nutcase, a man whose management style is defined by bullying everyone beneath him and sucking up to everyone above him. He is the ultimate Washington insider, having parlayed a career in being spectacularly hilariously wrong about everything into book deals, commentary gigs and more power. And he’s a warmonger. If Bolton had his way, we would currently not only be at war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan but also be in Libya, North Korea, Iran and Cuba. Yes, Cuba. Bolton tried to make the case that Cuba had WMDs to justify a war then screamed at his staff when they pointed out that there was zero evidence to support this contention. In fact, the reason he’s being appointed HSA rather than nominated for a cabinet post is because there is no way the Senate would confirm him. They rejected his previous nomination on account of his being batshit insane.
Well, I don’t agree that Bolton is “insane”, but yes he is a warmongering neocon. My own belief is that McMaster was there to deal with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. That’s all but finished. Bolton is being brought on to deal with Iran. I’m not sure what all that will entail, but agree with Hal that his appointment indicates the Trump Administration is about to get hella more hawkish in the Middle East.
There was plenty more grist for the mill. ISIS struck again in France and there was an attempted terrorist attack against Travis Air Force Base. Those were deemed less important than that Trump banged a porn star some time ago by the media, but that’s fine.
Here’s RedLetterMedia reviewing Zak Bagans’s Demon House documentary.
Aaaaah, I have to admit that Ghost Adventures is a guilty pleasure of mine, just as it is for Mike Stoklasa. I have been eagerly awaiting this movie for years, with all the hype Bagans has generated over it, and am sorry to hear that it fell short of expectations.
What about you? Anything you’d like to discuss? Did you get your shit together this week or barf on national television?