Oxford Stone Paper

Oxford Stone Paper

I like nerd off to the stationary section while my kids pick out a cheap toy at Walgreens on our weekly holiday, “Walgreens Wednesday”. Usually nothing. I picked up a pack of Zebra F-301’s on sale and scanned the notebook section because my work notepad was on its last pages. Picked up a few of the $12+ leather bound and quirky little novelties, wishing there was something perfect the way I like perfect, and randomly picked up this $5 notepad in among them. What I’d found was a perforated edge Oxford Stone Paper pad.

(This post is an adaptation of a comment I tried to leave on the blog in that link, but the comment registration process took some precarious turns that made me feel like I was going to lose everything I had already typed so I ended up using some browser inspector tricks to retrieve and copy my comment to HariKari.com for safekeeping while I jumped through SquareSapce’s hoops, just to finally give up and find the draft of this post in the next browser tab.)

Screen-Shot-2017-05-12-at-9.23.11-PM Oxford Stone Paper
I typed up my comment, but then had to sign in with no option to dismiss this overlay.

It just felt so different in every way, and was inexpensive, so I threw it in my basket. Next day wrote on it for the first time. Super smooth. Ripped a page out. It didn’t really tear, it just separated from the spiral binding. That was weird, so I wanted to see what it felt like to tear it from the middle. Even weirder, it doesn’t really tear.

I tried it with different inks and pens. Flopped it about because 60 pages of it feels unlike any stack of paper ever. Haven’t tried burning it yet, but will let you know if I do!

An amazing week for losers: Charging Bulls pick fights with Fearless Girls

An amazing week for losers: Charging Bulls pick fights with Fearless Girls

Fearless-Girl-Charging-Bull An amazing week for losers: Charging Bulls pick fights with Fearless Girls

Fearless Girl, Charging Bull

This story topped a week filled with Sean Spicer begging forgiveness after claiming even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons against his own people and calling Auschwitz a “holocaust center“, United Airlines losing a nasty brawl with a 69 year old man despite breaking his nose, knocking out his teeth, and giving him a concussion as they dragged him off the plane for the crime of choosing not to volunteer to catch the next flight, and Bashar Al Assad making a somewhat reasonable claim that gassing his own people isn’t in Syria’s best interests while stepping confidently, as mass murderers step, into the argument that the whole thing was staged and the gasping, dying, and dead children were possibly faking it.

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Chuck Berry died today

Chuck Berry died today

Back in my radio days at KUGS at WWU in Bellingham, Chuck Berry was a staple of the Saturday afternoon “Roots Rock” show. He was perhaps the first rock n’ roll guitar god, he was a talented songwriter, and a master showman. His disciples include first and foremost The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, The Animals, and many more.

“If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.” – John Lennon

YouTube: Something went wrong. Tap to retry.

YouTube: Something went wrong. Tap to retry.

YouTube videos won’t play on iPad!

For the past two weeks my kids have had trouble watching YouTube videos on their iPads. It works for a while, then they see a message after the video’s ads play saying, “YouTube: Something went wrong. Tap to retry.” This issue has been prompting YouTube iPad users to “Tap to retry” for years.

The only solution for making the YouTube app work on their iPads has been to completely reset their “Network Settings.” I’ve googled this issue 20 times, but haven’t seen a solution, so here’s what I did:

youtube-bloody-logo-tap-to-retry-2 YouTube: Something went wrong. Tap to retry.

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The World’s View on Trump

The World’s View on Trump

Living in one of the seven countries identified in President Trump’s Muslim travel ban, you’d have to be really into American politics to pay enough attention to know that most of us disagree with Trump just as much as they do. I have colleagues in Sri Lanka who were all surprised to the point of laughing out loud when we had our first conference call the morning after the election and everyone at the table was mourning. It felt good to express our distaste for Trump to people who’d mistakenly assumed a solid majority of us were represented by the election results.

But then I read this on how Trump is viewed by Iranians, from the Guardian:

What do Iranians actually think of America’s new leader?

Screen-Shot-2017-02-10-at-8.35.00-PM-697x1024 The World's View on Trump

“My future is now very uncertain. I spent thousands of dollars applying to universities in the US to do a PhD there. I have been accepted at one of these universities so far, but now I am not sure whether I will be able to get a visa to go there. To make matters worse, in Iran if you don’t go back into education a year after graduating you’re expected to do military service. I worry that if I don’t sort out my next steps in time this will be the only option for me.” ~ Amir, 26 from Mashhad

“Iranians see Trump as just another American leader full of empty threats, the people are sick and tired of the same game being played out over and over with the same outcome. Trump’s travel ban has affected a minority of Iranians, but it has also pushed people to stay and serve their country. It is as though Trump is exposing the America that the Iranian government has being talking about for the past few decades.” ~ Anonymous, 19 from Yazd

“There is a lot of anxiety about Trump among ‘normal’ citizens, and by that I mean those not connected or supportive of the regime. That’s because at the end of the day it’s us who will pay for all these political games. There will be millions of crushed dreams as a result. I grew up with the internet, and American culture – at least the liberal part – has really shaped who I am. I am LGBTQ and it really helped me accept myself and be brave. I thought US culture was accepting, open and loving but now it seems the opposite.” ~ Amir, 24

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Karim Sulayman’s “I Trust You” Artful Protest vs. Anarchic Protest

Karim Sulayman’s “I Trust You” Artful Protest vs. Anarchic Protest

Karim Sulayman – I trust you from Meredith Kaufman Younger on Vimeo.

Who is Karim Sulayman? He is an Arab-American who has mastered the art of singing tenor. He has also mastered the art of protest. (And he performed it right in front of Trump Tower).

Sulayman’s protest touched people in a good way that made them stop and consider how they feel about Muslims. People watching him had to be asking themselves if they feared him and, if the answer was Yes, then why?

We need much more of this type of peaceful protest and much less of the anarchic type of protest that we saw in response to Milo Yiannopoulos’s scheduled appearance at UC Berkeley.

Did the Berkeley protest change the minds of any bigots who support Milo Yiannopoulos? I doubt it. The best way to protest a provocateur is to not show up at his event. People like Yiannopoulos relish conflict and chaos. It inflates their egos. So if you really want to marginalize him, make plans for a big protest and make sure he knows about it – and then make sure nobody shows up to protest.

Washington State fights Washington D.C. over Immoral Trump Immigration Order

Washington State fights Washington D.C. over Immoral Trump Immigration Order

We Washingtonians are blessed with a moral citizenry willing to speak out against the bigoted actions and orders of President Trump.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson requested a temporary restraining order against Trump’s travel ban; U.S. District Court Judge James Robart granted his request, John M. Koenig, former U.S. Foreign Services Ambassador to Cyprus, answers the moral question.

Front page story of today’s Seattle Times, “U.S. suspends enforcement of travel ban; Trump bashes judge”.

WASHINGTON — The government on Saturday suspended enforcement of President Trump’s refugee and immigration ban and scurried to appeal a judge’s order, plunging the new administration into a crisis that has challenged Trump’s authority — and ability to fulfill campaign promises.

The stand-down, a day after a federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked the ban, marked an extraordinary setback for the White House. Only a week ago, the president had acted to suspend America’s refugee program and halt immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries that the government said raise terrorism concerns.

As the White House worked to reinstate the ban, Trump mocked U.S. District Judge James Robart, appointed by President George W. Bush, as a “so-called judge” whose “ridiculous” ruling “will be overturned.”

You can always count on Trump to insult the messenger who tells him anything that counters what’g going on in his self-declared “very good brain”. James Robart, the “so-called judge” is widely respected and was nominated for the federal bench by Republican President George W. Bush. At least Bush acted presidential. Donald Trump, on the other hand, continues to act in the same very un-presidential manner he did as a candidate. SAD!

On the opinion page of today’s paper, we get “America quickly losing moral high ground under Trump”, by John M. Koenig, who retired from U.S. Foreign Services and now lives in Bellingham.

After the first week of the Trump administration, however, I feel compelled to say this: I have never been so ashamed of American foreign policy as I have been in the past few days.

Today, America steps forth not as a sometimes misguided champion of values or proponent of enlightened self-interest. Trump’s America proclaims itself an unabashedly immoral actor, its policy openly selfish, subordinating principle to fear and greed, and destroying the foundation on which international cooperation rests. We strut as a bully in the world but cower timorously at home. This is a deeply inhumane and brutish foreign policy posture, likely to cause untold human suffering and disaster.

Some say we need to give the president and his team more time, but the new administration’s rush to cause harm counsels against much patience. Others argue for fighting the Trump administration’s destructive impulses from the inside, but that approach is rife with problems.

…How does one ethically hold a post of responsibility in an administration whose destructive and immoral program one fundamentally rejects? My children are grown, and I retired in 2015 after 31 years as an American diplomat. I do not face the dilemma that many of my former colleagues now confront. But I like to believe that, were I in their position, I would have the moral courage to go — and join the resistance on the outside.

Bravo! Washington is fighting the good fight, and winning.

Approval Rating: Donald Trump Breaks Record for Fastest Majority Disapproval Ratings

Approval Rating: Donald Trump Breaks Record for Fastest Majority Disapproval Ratings

Donald Trump’s favorite topic

President Donald Trump spoke at the annual National Prayer Breakfast meeting this morning, and guess what he talked about? Himself! As in the Celebrity Apprentice reality television show’s approval rating with him as the host compared to the show’s ratings with Arnold Schwarzenegger as host.

“We know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster, and I want to just pray for Arnold if we can, for those ratings”.

Donald Trump likes to make jokes about other people’s failures, and he cares way too much about his own success or lack thereof. That’s why he whined like a baby when he found out that more people attended and watched President Obama’s inauguration than his. He just couldn’t believe it and spoke forcefully about how more people attended and watched his inauguration even though the event photos, television ratings, and transportation data clearly show otherwise. He cried about it for over a week, and will probably continue to do so until he dies.

So you have to wonder what a man who is so concerned about ratings thinks about this:

Trump-Disapproval-2 Approval Rating: Donald Trump Breaks Record for Fastest Majority Disapproval Ratings

Donald Trump’s 8 day approval-rating honeymoon

Eight days into his term and he hit a majority disapproval rating. Donald Trump won that race. Fastest ever!

In contrast, President Obama left office with a 37% disapproval rating and 59% approval rating.

Given the way Trump has governed during his first two weeks, he may never reach a majority approval rating. Seriously, he’s never appealed to more than 50% of voters and if he continues to cater to the hard right wackos in the party instead of reaching out to people on the other side, he never will.

My bills represent far less than what I owe

My bills represent far less than what I owe

I pay $10 a month for Netflix.
I have paid $10 for Hulu and other services in the same category that seemed worth it.
I pay something like $300 a year for Amazon prime.
$50 a month into my car’s gas tank.
$25 a year for Apple Music.
$85 a month for internet.
$65+ for my cell phone.
$20 for parking near work.
$185 annually for car tabs.
I can go as high as $100 in a single month for iTunes purchases.

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Watch Donald Trump jack off his ego on television in this interview with David Muir

Watch Donald Trump jack off his ego on television in this interview with David Muir

President Donald Trump gave his first major television interview since taking office and used the opportunity to jack off his ego. You can watch it in full and read the transcript on the ABC News website. Listen carefully to the first 28 seconds. You will hear him say “I Can Be the Most Presidential Person Ever other than possibly the great Abe Lincoln” which for some reason is not included in the transcript. And from there it just gets more and more self indulgent.

Here’s the YouTube video (no telling how long ABC will allow it to be shared).

Most grown ups would have moved on from comparing crowd sizes at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration to the size of the crowd at his own inauguration, but not The Donald. He spoke about it at the CIA on Saturday, he tweeted about it, and he spoke about it ad nauseam again last night. Here are a few excerpts:

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