Thursday, April 20, 2023

Picard….yeah I thought it sucked (spoiler)

The last episode of Picard was available so I watched it.

Oh look, the senior citizens of Star fleet take the old enterprise and manage to save the day one last time!

It had more fan service than ever, it was nostalgic. And yet it was too trite and simple. Totally predictable and unremarkable.

No plot twists. No surprises. No help from any other species. Just the borg queen took Jack and plans to annihilate all … humans? Star fleet? Every life form? That wasn't quite clear.

And your intrepid crew puts their lives at risk … but manage to come through as always and destroy the borg. Again!

Here's to hoping they are done with the next generation crew. I love 'em, but that's enough.

And may discovery, strange new worlds, or what comes next be more enjoyable.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Hypocrisy. As always

So the wife of the guy who wrote the anti drag show law essentially violates the law with some "charity event" that has some innuendo and suggestive attire.

But don't bother these people with facts! Drag show=bad because it's about other people. My wife's show=good because I am the entitled white person.

Local TV Stations Are Driving Up The Cost of streaming

A few years back, there was a service that allowed you to stream local tv stations via an app, called localcast (I think that was the name). It was "free" but to cover costs they asked for donations, and would interrupt the stream to ask you for that donation.

They got sued and had to cease operations because "free over the air tv" means it has to be free.

So be it.

And as I'm reading the article below, I'm thinking "hold on a second"… streaming service costs are rising because of the increasing carriage costs of providing local tv channels via this service?! Whaaaa?

What it amounts to is this: in order for a streamer to add a local channel, they pay a rights fee to the local channel. And they pass that on to the consumer.

…And that way everyone wins. Well. The local stations do.

So if I understand this correctly, the problem with localcast was simply that they were not passing along any money to the local stations. Full stop. Everything else was noise.

It's always. ALWAYS. About money.

Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

The big reveal in Picard season 3 [spoilers]

I was entertained by seasons 1&2 of the Picard series. Good story arcs, interesting characters. It was good. Sure, it's not the happy, altruistic view that gene Roddenberry created for TOS and TNG, but I thought of it as an evolutionary sort of view.

You fought the borg, the dominion, and then had the romulan planet destroyed, which caused dissension in star fleet. The concept was believable in a less certain future.

And so season 3 starts and it's also good. We have the "we're getting the band back together" vibe and it's well thought out. There's the changelings. There's Picards son. Lots of intrigue and mystery.

And then we get to the big reveal. We're going to find out who jack is. Why is he important.

Speculation is rampant. And personally I hoped that they'd bring back a lost storyline from TNG, or maybe some thread from another show.

But please. Please? Don't make it the borg.

The borg were interesting when they first arrived in TNG. But they got overplayed. Then they showed up in voyager too often. Then they were in enterprise.

Season 1 of Picard featured the borg
Season 2 of Picard featured the borg

And of course, season 3 features ... the borg. 🤦‍♂️

I was actually annoyed. Maybe a little mad. Why? Why the borg AGAIN? Sure there's some nice fan service, but it's just so overplayed. Why not literally anyone else?

Here's to hoping that episode 10 changes my opinion on this. Do something creative. Bring back another badass species. Don't just make it enterprise d against the borg.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

That kind of sucks

I've worked for the same large company for a very long time - like in the quarter century club long.  It was recently named one of the best places to work.  The quarter results were great and the ceo was doing a victory dance and even said there were no layoffs planned. 

And then, seemingly out of the blue, I got a meeting notification from my boss who told me I was being let go.  My department had recently merged with another one, and my staff position was eliminated.  It was especially odd because someone else who merged in with us, and had a similar job, just left the company.  So in a way two jobs were eliminated, I think. 

Now my boss and I had our issues, which I don't want to dwell on.  I can't imagine that she wasn't involved in the decision to let me go, but neither was it all her doing. Still, it felt personal because I haven't heard about anyone else being "displaced."

I have 30 days to find another job, or I take the decent severance package and look elsewhere. It sucks to be in this position.  Maybe something good comes along, or maybe this is a blessing in disguise in a way.

But what I find a little wild is that in many ways I am persona non grata where my boss has very little to say to me (other than to hand off work) and her bosses completely ignore me. I'm just a number that they dealt with.  

Meanwhile, another member of the team that I'm on has to take leave for personal reasons.  I am sorry for her.  She announces it at a team meeting and tells everyone how great it is that the team is so supportive in taking her work on while she's out.  She says how great the company is in giving her this flexibility.  And goes on to thank the leadership for their concern and communicating with her directly and wishing her well.

Wow.  That was completely insulting, and in my face.  She doesn't know about my situation (why would I tell her?), but that stung.  The company is a great company to work for...until they decide that they don't want you.  Then, all bets are off. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

What am I missing here?

Disney pulled a kind of "an end run" on the self-aggrandizing, self-appointed king of Florida by essentially using the law (as it was written to create the reedy creek improvement district) to their advantage, before he could appoint his acolytes to the board.

Remember that while he vowed to "change the law," he really didn't. Instead he changed the composition of the board, so they could decide what Disney could and could not do with the land.

Quick aside: he made a big show of what he did, and lazy reporters had headlines like "governor takes control over Disney" which is bad hyperbole and wholly inaccurate.

Up until that point, Disney (mostly) didn't abuse their powers to govern and was a good citizen. But the governor decided he wanted to be punitive with Disney and punish them for having the audacity to stand up to him and challenge his stupid anti-woke-edness.

So, the outgoing board voted to grant Disney (the company) the ability to (essentially) self-govern and decide land usage. Which was within the bounds of what they were legally allowed to do, because the law creating the improvement district was cleverly written by…let's see here…a law firm populated by CIA operatives who helped ensure that Disney had everything they needed to operate in a state that might have been described as the "Wild West" … Florida was akong the poor states at that point and had a lot of laws that were written by people who helped Florida grow - in return for something.

The outgoing board even used language like 'these new rules are in effect' until "21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, king of England" which was kind of in your face to governor (mo)Ron.

Cue the whining and the griping. And the vow for revenge!

The governor decided that he's the supreme leader and they can't defy him. Even if, legally, they did just that. He is spending taxpayer dollars (don't miss the irony that many of these dollars come from Disney) to investigate this, and sue, and otherwise carry on. He made a big show of directing the attorney general to look for criminal acts here! You have to find something!

And then went on a public tirade and made threats to stop Disney!

He absurdly called it war, and has proposed adding toll roads into Disney and taxing Disney hotels more. And being punitive in any way he can.

Of course all of the things he is proposing "could" hurt Disney in the long run … but he's talking about hurting locals indirectly (thanks for helping citizens in your state, pal!) and tourists directly. And the tourists are the ones who provide the most tax dollars to the state. You want to destroy the biggest industry? Of course you do.

Disney naturally responded to these threats, and Iger vowed to protect Disneys interests and was unequivocal in his disdain for the governor and any of his allies. In short, none of them will be receiving any campaign contributions….and that is hitting them where it hurts the most.

But here is the bigger picture on some of this. The GOP is all about small government. Staying out of the way with few regulations. And leaving companies to do their business.

The whole "citizens United" case was about just that.

Except that it's not really about that, apparently. It's about companies giving them money and keeping their mouth shut and doing exactly what the leadership in the GOP says to do. The GOP is more like the mafia that way.

So floridas governor decides to attack a publicly traded company for his benefit, and attempts to use legislation against them; and when they get to it first he throws a hissy and threatens to Sue.

Here's to hoping that some of his supporters, maybe people with half a brain?, see through this as him being a tyrant and imposing his will against a company that is (a) the largest employer in the state and (b) brings in the most revenue to the state.

In simpler terms, he's using his powers to HURT Florida.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Aye, aye admiral.

Let's consider for a moment the people at the top of the proverbial food chain, the "captains of industry" the Uber wealthy, the people who manipulate public policy and invest heavily into government.

I like to think of them collectively as "the admiral" because they are in charge and move objects around to achieve their goals and objectives. And they tell everyone else what needs to be done.

I'm going to generalize a bit, or maybe admiralize perhaps.

In my experience, I have found that the admirals are deeply unhappy. They find no joy in life. Maybe it was poor parenting, or an experience. But they achieved some "success" (as defined by their wealth and power)…. And in my estimation, money didn't buy happiness and so they want everyone else to be as miserable as they are.

So when you look at something, like let's say a drag show, you and I realize that it's about entertainment and fun. People are smiling and laughing and sometimes they make fun of the admiral in subtle (and not so subtle) ways.

That can't stand. The performers are having fun at his expense. It's *their* job to make fun of everyone else - the unwashed masses if you will.

And on and on with different groups of people. The LGBTQ group is finding joy in life. Women are having success and living a life outside the home; and we have heard the admiral referring to women as objects.

Different "minority groups" (quotes because they're called minority to marginalize them; they outnumber the admirality) are having success and are getting attention.

And all of them get derided and held back.

This isn't really about the social issues themselves. This is about being kept miserable, like the admiral.

Which is why, too, companies (populated by admirals) insist on return to work. People are living their best lives. They don't have to sit on the subway and be micromanaged for 10 hours. They are outwardly happy.

They need to be miserable.

Abortion. Guns. Other things that keep us uneducated, scared, and fearful.

They're all right up there with ensuring people live in misery.

Because the admiral gains power from suffering and knowing the one thing that truly sets him apart is the only thing that matters: money.

What I find interesting is that up until the pandemic (read when gen z started coming of age), we accepted it. We raged against it, but accepted it. And now gen z has a different way of thinking about the world. They seemingly don't care what they are told they have to do, and are unwilling to be constrained by societal norms that their parents and previous generations were bound by.

What happens from here is anyone's guess. But it would appear that things are changing in some ways.