The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Nerd humor

Despite being a long-term .NET guy, and despite thinking Java has lagged significantly in language features and power over the years, and despite the ludicrous claim that .NET isn't portable, I laughed very hard at this Norwegian video:

Things in my Inbox

Some articles:

Today's other tasks include cleaning my house and writing code for about four hours.

Clean dog

Parker had some time at the groomer's today. This is becoming almost an annual event, but fortunately for him, not quite.

Three unfortunate events on May 4th

Sometimes there are odd coincidences.

Three unfortunate events in the English-speaking world happened on May 4th. Here in Chicago, 130 years ago today in 1886, the Haymarket Riot occurred near the corner of Desplaines Avenue and Randolph Street.

Forty six years ago today in 1970, four students were killed at a nonviolent anti-war protest at Kent State University in Ohio. Tin soldiers and Nixon coming...

And 37 years ago today in 1979, Margaret Thatcher took office as the first woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, jolting the country rightward, destroying traditional English industries, and unsuccessfully trying to disenfranchise the poor and underclass.

But today, let's forget all that. May the Fourth be with you. And in honor of May 4th, it looks this morning like George Lucas has decided to stop beating his head into a wall, and is taking his museum somewhere else.

Maybe we should build a wall?

The Argentine national football team is messing with us in this hilarious promotion:

TPM explains:

“They’re coming from South America. These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet, little people that you’d think, okay?" Trump continues. "We have no protection, anybody can come in. It’s very easy and it shouldn’t be that way. We need to build a wall and it has to be built quickly.”

Trump's comments about a border wall play over clips of Argentine soccer players scoring a goal and cutting past a defender.

The promo closes with the caption: "The truth is the best they can do is not let us in."

Heh.

I mean, it's only funny until someone loses an election.

Presidential decisions

Five years ago yesterday, President Obama announced to the world that U.S. forces had captured and killed Osama bin Laden. Earlier that night, after making one of the biggest decisions of his presidency, he did this:

Back in September, New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik made the same observation:

What was really memorable about the event, though, was Trump’s response. Seated a few tables away from us magazine scribes, Trump’s humiliation was as absolute, and as visible, as any I have ever seen: his head set in place, like a man in a pillory, he barely moved or altered his expression as wave after wave of laughter struck him. There was not a trace of feigning good humor about him, not an ounce of the normal politician’s, or American regular guy’s “Hey, good one on me!” attitude—that thick-skinned cheerfulness that almost all American public people learn, however painfully, to cultivate. No head bobbing or hand-clapping or chin-shaking or sheepish grinning—he sat perfectly still, chin tight, in locked, unmovable rage. If he had not just embarked on so ugly an exercise in pure racism, one might almost have felt sorry for him.

Then, this weekend, Andrew Sullivan said that the U.S. has never been so ripe for tyranny. I haven't digested his article yet, and I'm probably more optimistic than he, but all of these things are related.

But hey, if you think Donald Trump has the temperament and nuance to be president, you go right ahead and vote for him.

A-Z Blogging Challenge

I didn't participate in the challenge this year, but one of my favorite bloggers, Deeply Trivial, did:

I think the biggest indicator of success, for me, is that I didn't miss a scheduled blog post. There were days when the post came really late, and on those days, I seriously considered just waiting until tomorrow and writing two posts, or just moving a post to a Sunday. But I made myself do it, and it worked. I guess I should apply that same perseverance to other things in my life.

Some lessons learned that I'll applying for the next blog challenge:

  1. Having a theme was a huge help! I can't imagine having to come up with 26 topics on the fly.
  2. Relatedly, writing up a schedule with each topic already identified before April was an even bigger help. I think the problem I encounter with blogging regularly is coming up with a good topic, and I tend to depend too heavily on momentary inspiration to put together a blog post. It might be a good idea to identify certain topics I'd like to cover, and perhaps tie them to certain days or times of year.
  3. I should have written more of my posts ahead of time. Though I did a little of this, most days, I wrote the blog post the day it was supposed to be up, or at most one day in advance. This created a bit of a time crunch. Once I finally did start writing, it was easy to keep the momentum going - I just usually didn't have the time because I had to squeeze writing in between other tasks. Having an evening I devote to writing a few posts wouldn't be too hard if I just make a writing schedule and stick to it.

All good habits in blogging.

They have to be monsters

Jeff Atwood blogged yesterday about the emotional abuse people heap on others over the Internet:

I admired the way Stephanie Wittels Wachs actually engaged with the person who left that awful comment. This is a man who has two children of his own, and should be no stranger to the kind of pain involved in a child's death. And yet he felt the need to post the word "Junkie" in reply to a mother's anguish over losing her child to drug addiction.

Isn’t this what empathy is? Putting myself in someone else’s shoes with the knowledge and awareness that I, too, am human and, therefore, susceptible to this tragedy or any number of tragedies along the way?

Most would simply delete the comment, block the user, and walk away. Totally defensible. But she didn't. She takes the time and effort to attempt to understand this person who is abusing her mother, to reach them, to connect, to demonstrate the very empathy this man appears incapable of.

As one Twitter user said, "falling in love, breaking into a bank, bringing down the govt…they all look the same right now: they look like typing."