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Shermann

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Member since: Sat Feb 22, 2020, 12:55 PM
Number of posts: 3,824

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If you had SATV in the 90's, you were somebody!

I was envious of my friends who had DIRECTV back then. The guide was a wonder to behold. Cable TV was reasonably good at the time, too.

Fast-forward to today. SATV is lagging behind in 4K adoption. I believe DISH has like two 4K channels. Blackouts due to carriage disputes are commonplace. In just the past year, DISH has blacked out NBC and FOX in my area. The amount of time devoted to commercials has been steadily increasing, making live TV barely watchable. Many of these OTA/CATV/SATV channels seems to be glorified advertisements for the corresponding streaming services (and prescription drugs). CBS reserves their best shows like Star Trek: Picard for their CBS All Access subscriptions. AMC will broadcast one series of Creepshow, but withhold the others for AMC+. Disney is doing the same with Disney+.

So if you have SATV, you are not watching the premium content any longer. You are not the envy of your friends, and your costs for this service in decline have risen faster than inflation. It's a lose lose lose.

Grant miniseries

This 3-part miniseries was on the History Channel last year, and I just watched it. It's pretty decent, kind of like a Trader Joe's version of the Ken Burns documentary. There isn't nearly as much archival footage employed. There are a handful of photos of Grant that you will see again and again. The actor who plays Grant nails it. There are way, way too many shots of him smoking cigars, however. This is based on a book, and it is a kind of glorified book on tape. There are some recreated battle scenes that don't really capture the grandness of it all. Lincoln comes across as this dorky, irrelevant character. What's up with that? Jefferson Davis isn't even in it.

Grant is portrayed as this tactically brilliant uber-general, but the series doesn't completely demonstrate that. Mostly it seems like Grant wins a war of attrition through sheer relentlessness and total war tactics. He was certainly brilliant when compared to his bumbling predecessors. The timeline is longer than "The Civil War", so there are some interesting bits about West Point and his presidency in there.

3/5 stars

What tool do Trumpers use for the purpose of gaslighting?

MAGA-nesium fire starters!

I know the cause of China's coal shortage!

Santa is stockpiling coal at the North Pole for the stockings of all those naughty anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers on his list.

Ho Ho Ho!

I kind of hope La Brea blows

It's up my alley and I recorded the first two episodes but haven't watched them. The third is on today but I'm in an NBC blackout due to a dispute between Dish Network and Tegna. I could set up rabbit ears I guess but I don't think I even have a set anywhere?

Please tell me I'm not missing anything.

As a side note, these blackouts definitely blow. No NBC? How do I get my Lester Holt fix??

Vote on the pandemic article

I'm referring to English grammar articles. They are a type of determiner and go before a noun (a/an/the). Words matter!

The MSM seems to be clustering around poll option 1. Is that really the best characterization of our shared reality?

Not only might there be another corner, there's no guarantee that this corner loops back 180 degrees towards a better place. The UK turned a/the corner three months ago. That seems to have been a 90 degree corner.

The vaccine mandate religious exemptions are a Proof of Work system

Proof of Work (PoW) describes a system that requires a not-insignificant but feasible amount of effort in order to block frivolous attempts to access something. In this case, that something is an exemption from a vaccine mandate.

Few in America have genuine religious objections. Most objections seem to be partisan in nature, as misguided as that may be. There is also some good old-fashioned apathy at play here. If a PoW system was not in place, a much larger percentage of the population would take the exemption route. This is similar to how coupons at the supermarket work. If you want to shave 5 cents off a loaf of bread, you have to go get a newspaper, find the coupon, cut it out, bring it to the store, and annoy the people in line behind you. You can't just swipe your loyalty card. There's no work involved in that.

So there need to be some roadblocks in place for those who choose this road. Make them work for it. If the roadblocks are high and numerous enough, then we simply won't need the stubborn few who make it over all of them.

Creepshow blows! (SPOILERS)

OK I'm a big fan of the genre and the original movies were great. However this reboot seems to be little more than Steven King-sploitation. I missed Season 1 and have only seen Season 2. The series employs a lot of cameos and nods to other classic horror themes. This is a balancing act between being retro-cool or just derivative. It's more the latter. Here are some highlights:

Model Kid - The kid gets assistance from his deceased mother to get vengeance, except he doesn't really need it. The plot is mostly a mess.

Public Television of the Dead - The Bob Ross satire is vaguely amusing.

Pesticide - I liked Josh McDermitt in this.

The Right Snuff - The setup on this is great, and reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode with astronauts. There are scenes which are reminiscent of The Shining. Things are kind of rushed and implausible however, and it ends up being more like "Nightflyers". The are serious issues with the physics in this episode.

Sibling Rivalry - Well you get to see Molly Ringwald.

Pipe Screams - This is a nod to The Raft and also The Blob. It's OK, nowhere near as terrifying. Creepshow the movie was mostly terrifying with some gallows humor thrown in. These jokes fall flat and just make you groan.

Within the Walls of Madness - This is a mashup of Nightflyers (again?) and Event Horizon. It's as bad as you'd expect that would be.

Night of the Living Late Show - This takes up the whole episode. It combines old footage from Horror Express with CGI. It's interesting for a bit but it ends up being mostly filler for the whole hour. It recycles "Fluffy the Crate Beast" from the original. The episode ends basically how you predict it will.

I kept hoping it would get better, but it really didn't.

Leon Panetta is an ass

He was on CNN last week basically saying that the US friendly fire drone attack in Afghanistan was avoidable. His argument was that the US should have had boots on the ground in Kabul verifying the target.

OK, except we were in the midst of a withdrawal. How can we leverage boots on the ground when we are withdrawing?

Also there is the issue of uncertainty that you get during the fog of war. Let's say we were withdrawing from Afghanistan, and our intelligence tells us that there is a 90% chance that a Toyota contains a bomb which will create carnage at the airport. Do you take it out? What about 80%? 70% 50%?

1 confirmed positive case per 5,000 fully vaccinated Americans per week

Biden quoted this stat today, and it appears on the White House website as well.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/covidplan/

The overall infection rate for the country is around 14 per 5,000 per week right now according to JHU. So that's a pretty good reduction. If you extrapolate per year, that works out to be around a 1% chance of a breakthrough infection.

We can live with that. Literally. Continue to socially distance and you can drive that 1% number even lower. Boosters will drive it even lower still.
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