Monday, July 15, 2024

Chaos at “the rock”

Hard rock stadium was the site of the copa America final, matching Colombia against Argentina in soccer. 

The game sold out, so 66,000 fans were expected. 

Only, it would appear that the stadium itself was not ready for that crowd, or their general behavior. As you can see in the attached articles, people had plans to go to the game, whether or not they had tickets. 

There were many instances of people trying to get in - from just rushing security, to climbing over a ticket booth to jump onto a ramp, to breaking an AC duct and climbing in that way - they were determined. 

By some estimates, more than 7,000 people made it into the stadium through those breaches. 

But the police and stadium security didn't know how to respond. So they simply shut the gates, trapping fans in a potentially dangerous crowd at the entrances. Oh and that didn't stop the determined people - only those that were following the rules. 

When they did let people in again, the chaos resumed. A bunch of people never had their tickets scanned, and there are reports of people being pushed, though not trampled or crushed. 

At some point, the stadium management made a decision that they were "at capacity" and closed the gates again. But this time, you had people on the outside with valid tickets who weren't allowed in.  

The game itself was delayed for about an hour and a quarter, while they sorted this all out. 

Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt. And there wasn't anyone looking to cause other sorts of mayhem. But you can see how easily that kind of thing could have happened. 

This is a failure in the stadium. It reflects badly on soccer, and Miami. And there are future large scale events (including a World Cup in 2 years time) that now need special attention. 

While you can blame very many failures on many people and groups, at the end of the day the stadium is owned by Stephen Ross. He gets public money for events that are hosted at the stadium. The failures and any subsequent fallout should be directed at him. 

For whatever reason, plans were not made to host this event or provide adequate security and safety measures. And that should be all on him. 

Of course, to this point, he hasn't been mentioned and is keeping quiet. Shame on him. 

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Freedom is never really free

Setting aside the silliness of the agenda and the absurd rhetoric that comes out of Tallahassee (and one particular idiot specifically), I find this a little amusing. 

Recall that during antebellum period, there were "slave states" and "free states."  Florida was squarely in the "slave state" category (and proud of it!). 

And keep in mind that while the Florida state flag purports to evoke the Spanish imperial flag with the red lines crossing on a white background, the fact that the jagged parts are missing suggests that Florida also wanted to (however subtly) recall its own past as a "slave state" and being part of the south. 

So to put up signs that refer to Florida as a "free state" is, in fact, quite funny. 

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Props to TSwift

I admit, I'm not a huge fan of her music. But I am a fan of her giving back to communities that she visits while on tour. 

She donates to food charities in every city to help with food insecurity as she believes it's the right thing to do. There shouldn't be this many people going without food. 

Props to her. 

SpaceX Suffers Engine Failure

This was an interesting turn of events. As far as I can tell, there was a leak of some kind (perhaps liquid oxygen?) and it built up as ice and caused the engine to fail. 

The video says "catastrophic" and that's not 100% accurate. 

The mission still was counted as a success in a way, as the satellites were deployed into a lower orbit, and they will use the thrusters to try and push them into the correct orbit. 

But the bigger issue was the rocket itself, which couldn't be disposed of in the "typical way" and is now more space debris. 

So there is a mission review ongoing, to see what happened and how to prevent it. And SpaceX can't launch starlink satellites for now. 

Space junk

Here's another story about a Japanese company that is looking at space debris and plans to deal with it. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Seems weird to me

Burger King is a Miami original. The first store was on US1 near coral gables. Their corporate headquarters has always (I think anyway?) been in Miami.

And their corporate headquarters are in blue lagoon (across the 836 from the airport).

The marlins current home is where the orange bowl once stood. It's maybe 1 mile away from BKs headquarters.

And yet there has been virtually no connection between the two. You would think maybe they'd have some corporate connection. Maybe a BK in the ballpark? But no.

But…I went to a game this past weekend, and there was some advertising going  on. They had crowns. And let you sit in the kings throne.

And when the marlins won, you could get a free whopper junior at participating locations.

Still. Why not have a bigger partnership?

And of course, I wore that crown for several days.

I even attached it to my bike helmet.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Maybe we could pay attention to what we’re seeing?

About 40% of the nation is under a heat alert. 

But "global warming isn't real!"

People am stupid

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

McDonald’s and plant based offerings

McDonald's saw the opportunity to sell a plant based burger, and partnered with beyond meat to create a patty that would meet the criteria they had. 

They sold some in Europe with success.

Then they decided to enter the US market with a test in Texas in just a couple of stores. The burgers didn't sell well, we have been told. It didn't sound like they put much into it - limited marketing and if we're being honest, that market may not have been the right one to test. 

They had already made a decision (very quietly) to not move forward with the sale of these burgers. But went ahead and ran another short trial in California without any fanfare. And it didn't do well either, we're told. 

But the company never said a word about it… for about a year. That left people wondering.

Then a week or so ago they announced that it was not a success (with absolutely nothing to give any insights) and they won't be rolling any plant based offerings out nationwide. 

And to add a little insult to all of it, some executive said something like "clearly people don't want any plant based offerings at McDonald's. And if they do then MAYBE we can offer salads again."

Alrighty then. 

Gaslighting and guns

The general argument we hear is that guns make us safer. You have to have the right to protect yourself. Someone's out to get you (the boogeyman presumably). And so on. 

But what I find interesting is that in most of the rest of the world, where gun nutiness doesn't exist, there is low(ish) crime, and most people aren't clamoring to "protect themselves"… and the boogeyman isn't out to get them. 

We've been gaslit for so long, "we" actually fall for this trope. 

I mean, even if you look at places in the US where guns are more restricted, you see a lower rate of crime, and people don't live in fear (at least generally) that someone is out to get them. 

Why do "we" cling to this and feel this need to have a gun? Because it's in the constitution? The same one that most people have never read?  The same one that gets trampled regularly to make some ridiculous point? 

Gaslighting is an amazing thing. And the gun manufacturers make TONS of money off of it. And they control the message. 

Wake up and pay attention. 

Fireworks, guns, and Disney world.

At one point in time, it looked like Walt Disney world might replace out some of the "traditional" fireworks shows for a drone show. 

And certainly, such a thing is entirely possible, would ultimately be less expensive and less dangerous. And could provide for a more immersive show. 

And though they've toyed with some drone additions, and have a whole show at Disney springs, the reality is that they will NEVER replace the fireworks at the magic kingdom with drones. 

And it has nothing to do with nostalgia or the guest desires to have a fireworks show. 

This has everything to do with guns. The state of Florida decided to allow for guns *everywhere* (because we're idiots) including theme parks and tourist destinations

But Disney has a special federal exemption based on the use of fireworks. And this can circumvent Florida law. 

Surely they don't want people to start bringing firearms into the happiest place on earth. So things will remain the same. 

* as I understand it, universal and sea world have different exemptions. And perhaps Disney could explore use one of those. B it for now at least, they don't want to upset the apple cart. 

Mickey=good. Actual mice=bad

My own anecdote: back when I worked there, I was picking up the days costume while the person working was standing on a chair and looking suspiciously. She told me she had just seen a mouse! 

I responded that she was lucky that Mickey had visited. She did not like that and told me what I could do with that comment. But I stand by it. 

There is a belief that Disney has been breeding an army of cats. Yes, and they're not just ordinary cats, they have a special set of skills. They're like Commando cats and they live in a barracks […] They live on the outskirts of the park [Disneyland] and at night, when they close the park, under the cover of darkness, these cats ascend into the park and they eat all the mice.

The thing that's so messed up about it all, why I hate them, is that the whole empire of Disney is built on the back of one mouse […] If you're a mouse and you go into Disneyland, you are not leaving alive

You think?

Stupid things you say can impact your business. Duh. 

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Watch "The Spectacular Failure of the Star Wars Hotel" on YouTube

I have not watched this, because spending 4 hours seems a bit like a commitment.

But I have read others who watched and reviewed her review. And it sounds intriguing. 


Saturday, June 29, 2024

Shnizzle like this makes me angry

A disingenuous silly look at universal basic income played for humor, because it's "bad"…

But what else can you expect from idiots who just want to control everything we do?

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Watch "Reggie Jackson Gives Fox Viewers a Much-Needed Reality Check" on YouTube

The host, Rick, does a good job of summing up the issues with race, as it relates back to Reggie Jackson's appearance on a baseball broadcast. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Updates to Disneys and queue skipping

The Disney company spent north of $1 billion dollars to create fastpass+. It was a free service that worked pretty well, and allowed guests to make ride reservations to mostly avoid the queues. But it had an important caveat that the scales were tilted toward locals (and not the highest paying customers). 

And so late in Igers first go-round, they decided to make a change. It would more naturally favor the people who were spending more and would charge for the previously free add-on. And arguably it would be much worse than what they built.  

Sure, some of the guts of what they built were still being used, but "genie+" was hard to plan with and the pricing and what was included could best be described as confusing. To compound the confusion, they also added a "lightning lane" that allowed you to purchase access to a single attraction. 

So this week, Disney decided to change course again, and perhaps get closer to what they had with fastpass+… but as a fee based service. 

The idea is that you have the ability to make multiple ride reservations in advance for a sliding fee (around $25 per person, per day) in the "lightning lane multi ride pass". And you can add on what might have previously been called E-ticket attractions (the big ones) for an additional roughly $15 each. And they call that the "lightning lane single ride pass"

So you pay your $150 to get into the park, and then spend somewhere around $50 to see the attractions you want with little wait time. 

This new idea sounds better on paper. And maybe it will help revenue. And maybe guests will like it. And if we're lucky, the queues might be better balanced. 

Time will tell how all of this works out. 

It's just sad that the already high price is being added onto with more costs. 

And it has the additional effect of putting people's heads into their phones, rather than just enjoying a magical vacation. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

More evidence of success in universal basic income

Look, Denver shoes that it has a net positive effect! Shocking. Said no one ever. 

Some fallout from Disneys proposed campus in lake Nona

Disney planned to move creatives to Florida then cancelled the project, screwing over some employees who made the move. 

And they're suing. 

Call it more fallout from the stupidity with floridas governor.

Monday, June 10, 2024

The Sherman’s

While the Sherman brothers are known for Disney songs, they did have one foray into music that yielded a memorable song that climbed the charts, and was performed by Ringo Starr.

"You're 16" - creepy as it is - was written by the Sherman's.

How about no!

Musk is asking small shareholders to approve his absurd multi tens of billion dollar payout.

To which I say - and have already voted - hell no!

No one. And I mean NO ONE "deserves" that kind of payout. And besides, he's not doing anything to move the needle on the company right now. Instead he's involved in other silly things (to wit, helping America destroy itself) and pet projects. 

And he hasn't helped Tesla in particular. In fact, they've lost market share and the stock has retreated 30%. Tell me again how he's helping the company?

Put that money back into the company. Find a way to turn the market share and stock around. Heck. Pay the shareholders a dividend. 

4 day work week experiment

Here's another trial that's ongoing in Germany. I would argue that while this story focuses on the general challenges faced by companies, you can read through that there is some success by most measures 

In any case, knowing and understanding these challenges will help make for a smoother transition "someday" - perhaps soon!

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Snowflake data breach

I had never used the snowflake platform before. But being a bit of a techie, I thought it might be interesting to learn some things about it. 

There's a plethora of free online training, so I took some, and then some more. 

It's an interesting tool that can be used to manipulate large amounts of data that you can then leverage to do some form of analytics. Or just to develop some sense of what aggregate data tells you so you can explore insights. 

But. And it's a big but. I noticed that in the training, security is sort of glossed over. It's mostly absent in any discussions about data manipulation. It's assumed that they're doing something or perhaps when you install it for a company, you need to put a framework around it. Maybe. 

And now that I'm reading about the data breach, I have to wonder if they have any sort of robust security, or threat assessments. I mean, I certainly don't know. 

But given how they didn't really talk about it - and this massive breach, maybe not so much. 

Space elevators

The theory is that you can build an elevator (more or less a few floors at a time) that would allow a parson to get to space. 

But no one has been able to actually build one. Cool idea. If they can get it to work.

Instant replay

The premier league in English soccer has been discussing doing away with the video replay, because there were some issues with it this season.  

It's strange to think about going backward, and using no technology to assist the referees in games.  In all sports, it's become something that's useful, and allows for fans another place to throw their outrage.  It's a part of the sporting experience. 

But as I think about it, I recall back in the late 80s/early 90s when the NFL was first experimenting with replay.  They had someone in "the booth" who looked at plays, and would radio down to the head referee if he wanted to review something, and then would provide an update.

But it was early, and the league hadn't really thought this through.  The communication that a play was under review was haphazard, and the communication sometimes caused the referee to stop play just before the ball was snapped, disrupting the rhythm of the game.  

And (worse) there were no standards for outcomes.  I distinctly remember one incident that was called out - and which led to the demise of this early version of replay.  The replay official radioed down "pass incomplete" which the referee heard as "pass is complete"… oops.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

World views

Not for nothing.... I was recently in Canada, and met some interesting people at an event.  One man was from Hong Kong that we spent some time with. 

Interesting, intelligent conversation about how the US is viewed in Chinese media and how China is viewed by the US media.  

My wife asked him if abortion is legal in Hong Kong... "of course! Just like here in Canada! It makes sense and America is backward that way" 

Which led to an interesting conversation about how, in many tangible ways, life is less restrictive in China than it is in the US. In spite of outward appearances to the contrary.

Now that’s progress

For all it's perceived problems it's amazing to me the Mexico elected a woman who is Jewish to be the president of the country and by the way did you know that abortion is legal there?

Sunday, June 2, 2024

This is awesome.

The Chinese landed a spacecraft on the "far side of the moon" - which people can't quite wrap their head around; it doesn't mean quite what most people think. 

And of course there is the immediate outrage that it's fake, that the Chinese are pulling a fast one, or whatever nonsense gets pulled. 

It's a great achievement for human kind. Maybe we could accomplish more here at home if we pulled our heads out of our asses and stopped fighting about stupid things. Just saying.

What the actual fuck?

A teacher held a slave auction and used the N word for her 5th grade class. You know, like 10 year olds.

Some kind words and a little decency

Katy Perry Shares Edited Version of Harrison Butker speech

Thursday, May 30, 2024

This is where we are

I'm happy that justice prevailed  - but I weep for our nation because people still support this shit stain of a person  

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

On graduation

I went to my sons college graduation and as I sat in the audience, I felt a sense of pride. Its his accomplishment of course, but I'd like to think I had some influence on him. 

But the reason for this post was something that occurred to me. When I graduated college, I had this deep sense of pride, of accomplishment, of feeling like I'd reached some pinnacle. Like it was bigger than me. 

But I also remembered going through whatever catechism class and having my first communion. An uncle (who went on to become a pastor) asked how I felt. Did I feel god or some such nonsense. 

I admit I felt a sort of bigger than myself moment. 

And later I realized that this is the intent of all of these ceremonies that involve a form of pomp and circumstance. 

Whether it's religious in nature or academic the same feelings are evoked. 

And this idea that I might have "felt god" is simply absurd. 

Look at that…

The program has a net positive effect. Why are so many people opposed to it?

Maybe because some don't want anyone to have opportunities. It's better for "business" - if more people remain somewhat oppressed, uneducated, and poor, then you have more ability to control them.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Bitchin' Dave's Newsletter - May 28

 Dave’s Musings

I find it hard to believe, but this newsletter marks my one year anniversary of sharing my musings!

A little bit of housekeeping. I will be taking some time off over the next month. I plan to return with a new format newsletter sometime in July. Keep an eye out for it!

This view of the ISS is pretty cool

And it's good to know that there are actually organizations looking at all the space junk. It's a step…

Scientists found human footprints that were believed to be more than 10,000 years old - but actually turned out to be more than twice as old. 

And that suggests that are theories about when humans first set foot into North America may be incorrect.

Walt Disney had dreams, plans, and ambitions.  He created a department called WED enterprises that brought together creative minds with can-do attitudes to build all manner of things.   He let their creativity run wild, and many of their innovations are on display in the theme parks (and a few beyond).

This group was rebranded as Imagineering at some point after Walt's death, but still had that spirit, that ability to create.

They went through ups and downs, and had a spell where their creativity was tempered by marketing looking at how they could profit off the ideas - other than simply using them in the themeparks.

Creativity was reportedly stifled, and there was some turnover in the group (and some left to go to other theme parks and entertainment businesses).

But now it would seem that things are turning back around and their creativity is a nice hybrid of cool tech coupled with some "possibility" of revenue generation.

Here's something fun... there's a theory that you can boost productivity by going to the movies during the work day. 

I found that it worked for me, so why not try it yourself... 

Latest video

This video contains some audio that Jack Wagner created for the Walt Disney world monorail. 

Episode 72: Jack Wagner monorail spiels 

One Little Spark … 

This is a story about a Girl Scout who opened a "Banned Book Lending Library" as a community service project.

It was a great thing, and the scouts gave her some recognition for it.

And then her school wanted to also give her some recognition as well....only the school wouldn't use the word "banned" in their honorarium, because they were true to their own stupidity, and banned the word so as to not call attention to how dumb they are.

And thus called more attention to it.


Friday, May 24, 2024

Because it’s always about what “they” want

Another example of woke gone wild. Florida passed laws that prohibit companies (you know privately held, or publicly traded who have no direct business with the state. And who provide tax dollars to the state and provide jobs!) from implementing any DEI initiatives. 

Aside: I thought Florida prided (see what I did there?) itself in free enterprise and letting companies be unregulated. 

And the state thinks Starbucks had violated that law and simply must investigate!

The world is stupid

White alpha male gets passed over for a screen writer job, and sues for discrimination. And yes it's in the woke context.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bitchin' Dave's Newsletter - May 21

 Dave’s Musings

I saw this and it got me to thinking... the land around Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City is a blight of parking lots - which are only used 10 times a year, or so.  That land could be used for so much more, so many better things.

Looks like the Artemis vehicle had some issues with its heat shield that need to be resolved. 

What continues to surprise and amaze me is that the old world NASA contractors are relying on what was learned during the Apollo missions, and trying to extend on those things. 

But technology has advanced significantly during those 50 years, but they're not really using those advancements "smartly"

To be fair, it's not that they're using technology from 50 years ago, it's more that they are using concepts learned from that era, rather than trying new things.

I read two articles about Alzheimer's recently...the first was about some some things you can do to help yourself; and most notably diet and exercise are at the top of the list.

The second suggests that the effects can perhaps be mitigated through aromatherapy of all things! Right now, the focus is on menthol, but certainly there could be other findings in the future.

This is a long form article about the guy who was at the heart of the proxy fight.  I'll let you read it and form your own opinions.  But I will leave you with this: this is the kind of person we need to hear less from in society.

Perhaps Disney could do more to help itself, but the specific things he points out are....pretty old man thinking.

A vegan cheese won an award for being an excellent cheese, and so dairy farmers conspired to disqualify the winner because its not made with milk and therefore not cheese.

People get so hung up on trivial things - cheese, milk, beef, chicken, these are all words we are familiar with and have a specific meaning in general. But why can't these things include both plant and animal based products?

Just label it accordingly, and list the ingredients. 

I am not sure why it matters.  Andrew Zimmern in his "Bizarre Foods" show used to use the tagline "if it looks good, eat it" which I think sums this up well.

Personally, I don't eat mammals, but I will eat eggs and cow/sheep/goat milk products.  Some of the plant based alternatives are okay, but most of them I don't care for.  But if someone wants to eat animal products - or cares not to eat any of them - why do I care?

Latest video

I've got some thoughts about Tesla the company, and some recent decisions.

One Little Spark … 

Recently, I posted a video about charging my EV, and then leaving it outside in the heat; the fans ran and it drained the battery a bit - which meant I had to charge along the way home (if it had remained near to 100%, I wouldn't have had to stop).

Innocuous, but interesting, and thats why I posted a video. Except that there was a very strange series of comments that came in.

The first was that "EVs are gay" because apparently middle school taunts are where its at. As if that somehow is an insult?

“EVs are a scam.” “I don't ever want to worry about charging.” And so on...

Then it shifted to some mildly personal attacks and “I’m a sheeple and do what I’m told” …

...until we got to the inevitable: “the government can't tell me what to do. I'm never driving one!” Which descended further into a bit of a rabbit hole, until I turned off comments.

The government can't tell me what to do. Except, of course, that they can and do... and when its something that you agree with for whatever reason, then its okay.

It’s so strange the way we've decided to draw lines in the sand about some topics and defend them with fervor. Even when it really is out of context...I was talking about my specific experience with something that I chose to purchase. And it turned into something unexpected and weird.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Miami meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin airs unusual climate change warning

"Please keep in mind, the most powerful climate change solution is the one you already have in the palm of your hands: the right to vote,"

Sunday, May 19, 2024

This bugs me

Every year, we hear some inane story about some prodigy who applies to very many colleges and gets accepted into most/all of them. 

And of course, they can only actually attend - checks notes - one of them.   

I have no issue if a prospective student applies to several, because you are playing against odds. 

But in this case, there are somewhere around 110 qualified students who applied to these universities - but were rejected because this kid wanted to be a show off ass about it. 

And of course, that says nothing of the offered scholarships that are unlikely to be given to the next student who has a real need. 

It's stupid.  

Ed Dwight finally makes it to space!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

This is cool

Scientists found human footprints that were believed to be more than 10,000 years old - but actually turned out to be more than twice as old. 

And that suggests that are theories about when humans first set foot into North America may be incorrect.

This view of the ISS is pretty cool

And it's good to know that there's actually organizations looking at all the space junk. It's a step…

Sir Charles makes a splash

Love that Charles Barkley comes through with a domination in support of the teens who proved the Pythagoras theorem.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Exxon Mobil is suing its shareholders…

…to get them to not talk about climate change.

How fucked up is that?!


Bitchin' Dave's Newsletter - May 14

 Dave’s Musings

I recently broke my wrist. And can I just say that the quality of care I received was outstanding. But the system associated with healthcare is so broken!

Figuring out the costs, whats in network, which tier the expense is in, and whether you can have a procedure without breaking the bank...these are all things that are so ridiculously absurd. We can do better!

The James Webb Space Telescope caused some amount of controversy in the cosmological space.  The way the universe appeared through its sensors appeared to conflict with what we had previously learned through observation and other studies.

But ... after taking some time to really evaluate the results, and how they relate to, say, what we see with the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists are re-thinking what they observe, and maybe there is no cosmological crisis after all.

It would appear that the old and new findings likely do agree, but IMHO its about perspective.  You might think about it in the same way that you think about relativity.  The location of the observer is a factor in understanding that theory - much like the positioning of the various spacecraft helps us to understand the universe.

GM is trying to create a totally new battery configuration.  Early development was going well, and they were on to something and got a patent.  But they are struggling to build this at scale for a number of reasons.  

Still, I like what they are thinking, and it may just take a while longer to get there.

Maybe you could join the growing community that is WFD (working from Disney).

I know I've seen my share of people apparently talking work on the phone, and people with laptops open (especially in the hotels) diligently plying their trade.

And to be honest, this is something I did for more than a decade while working a full time job. I would sneak off to visit the parks for a day or two, and take a call here and there so I was "working"… I rather enjoyed that way of thinking about not being confined to an office.

I reflect fondly about those times.

And if you're a Disney fan, I recommend it!

I read this and thought .... you know its funny.  When a company does something that people get offended by they use silly terms like "go woke, go broke" ... but when its a good old, fashioned southern restaurant chain that has done nothing to offend, there's a list of rational-sounding reasons why they're struggling.

And yes, you can apply these same reasons to most of the struggling businesses today, and not their "woke-ness"

Latest video

I'm looking at my Teslas total cost of ownership

One Little Spark … 

Two teens came up with a trigonometric proof of the Pyhtagoream Theorem … something mathematicians have been unable to do. 

And the truly great part is that they aren't math whizzes. They just put their heads together and figured out a solution to a problem for extra credit and a little cash incentive. 

The sad part is that they received some backlash because they are black women, "who couldn't possibly have solved this" because people are just too stupid to accept that we are all just people - born with the same innate curiosity and ability to solve problems.