Don't take the bus, or how I spent $110 to travel 365 miles in 16 hours

After taking my son back to college and leaving him there with his car, I needed to get home to Boonville, MO, from Bloomington, IN. It was quite an adventure.

This was my third time making that trip. I had previously rented cars, but the rental car expense was getting excessive. So I had the bright idea to take a bus instead. The bus cost only a third as much as a rental car. Seemed like a no-brainer.

"Never take the bus," I had been told by several people through the years, "Do not take the bus. You will be sorry."
But I'm like, "What's the problem?" Yes it will take about 3 hours longer. But, I don't have to drive and it's so much cheaper. Seems worth it. I can stand a few hours on a bus. It can't be as bad as all that. What could possibly go wrong? So..... I checked it out and the buses are nicer than they used to be. There's charging for your phone, etc. Besides, lots of people ride the bus every day.
I bought the ticket. Scheduled to leave 8am Sunday.

Fast forward to a cold January Sunday morning in Bloomington. Now, Bloomington is a nice college town and they run city buses and have a nice, big, brand-new bus terminal. So we show up at the big new bus station. And it's closed. Because Sunday. Not open. No attendant to help out or explain anything. OK, no biggie.
We are early so we wait outside in the cold. And wait. A couple of other guys are there waiting too. Now this station has like 6 islands or whatever for the buses to pull up to. So we and these other guys are waiting up by the station building. We are stuck outside, and it's pretty cold. The bus is like 15 minutes late. I cannot check the tracking on the bus because the leg to Bloomington is a subcontractor and not Greyhound. So anyway, my son and I are goofing around and looking at our phones passing the time waiting on the bus to pull up. Well, after a little while, we look up and notice a bus standing waaaayyyy over yonder at the very farthest side of the depot -- like 40 yards from us. When did that get here? Why is it way the fuck over there when all the people waiting are over here, you know, by the freaking bus station building? Why was there no announcement, or at least a honk on the horn or something? Is that my bus? It never sounded its horn and there was no announcement or communication by the driver, no attempt by the driver to see if those people over there might be waiting on this bus, the ONLY bus here. Furthermore, this bus is in graphic tour/rental coach livery, painted up like a tiger, with no destination placard in the windshield or anything. It does not look like an in-service busline bus, but some sort of private charter or something.

While all this confusion is running through my head, and about the time I decide maybe I should walk over to see what this bus is, the bus pulls away: again with no departure announcement or anything. As it is pulling out of the depot I see, in small print on the rear of the bus, the company name..... yes that's my bus, my ride back home, driving away.... $#@*#!!! And those two other guys waiting? Not waiting on Greyhound. Those imbeciles are waiting on the city buses, WHICH DON'T RUN ON SUNDAY. We had reasonably assumed they were waiting on the same bus we were, since it was the only bus coming that day. But no, they were waiting on a bus that wasn't even scheduled to be there at all. I'd never taken a bus before and since there was no instruction I was just following the crowd norm and waiting with the other people. Who waits half an hour for an unscheduled bus that's not even running? WTF? And how was I supposed to know that my bus was going to pull up way the fuck over there, and not by the building, where the people were actually waiting? And doesn't the bus driver have a responsibility to announce arrival, boarding, and departure?

So, anyway, there we are, in the freezing cold, freaking out because my ride just vanished around the corner. That was THE bus. The only bus. All other transport out of Bloomington is closed. Because Sunday. And I have work tomorrow.

Only one solution: catch the bus at the next town where I am supposed to transfer buses.

Did I mention we had walked to the bus station? So we are suddenly in a terrible hurry and now we have to walk back to the apartment to get my son's car. Brisk walk back, stressing out the whole time. Of course the car is totally on empty, having just been driven back from Missouri. So, I'm driving, he is navigating. We stop for gas on way out of town, chewing up precious time. Finally get on the road to next town. How far is it? Is there time? It's 120 miles, and barely time. So it's hammer down. Going to Evansville. It's bigger. They have recently built a new 4-lane highway to there. It's nice and new and totally empty on Sunday morning. Literally only saw like 10 cars in 100 miles. 85mph cruise the entire way. Shortest 120 miles I've ever driven. He is checking time and navigating route to bus depot once we get there and also checking other options in case I miss bus. Oddly, I notice we have never overtaken the bus I'm supposed to be on. I figure it probably stops at other towns along the way, but still weird. Of course, the bus station is on the opposite side of the city, and downtown. We have to go all the way across town and find the terminal. But we manage to get there exactly at the bus' scheduled arrival time. On the dot!

And guess what? This depot is closed-up and vacant too. And no bus. Totally empty. Deadsville. Huh??

Soo.. It turns out we crossed a time zone. Really? A time zone change on a 100 mile drive within the same state? And we were going south! All that stress and hurry and driving like a bat out of hell to get there right on time, but then arriving a full hour early! Jeez! This depot is closed too, but turns out there are several people waiting out back, and these are obviously waiting for Greyhound: luggage and all.

So we have an hour to kill. We find the only open coffee shop and chill. Then back to the depot. More people waiting. Eventually several buses start pulling in. So it's getting late and my son wants to leave, and I'm like, "should be cool, what with all these buses showing up." So he leaves. The bus I was to be on from Bloomington also finally arrives. But none of the new buses are mine. I must say here that all of the drivers of the new bus arrivals clearly and plainly announced their bus' destination and made sure that people knew what the bus was (unlike the horrible bus driver of the Bloomington bus).

About this time I realize I can now track my bus since it's actually Greyhound. I check the app and.... It's running 4 hours late! Four hours late! For real? I check with one of the other drivers, and they confirm, yes, my bus is four hours behind schedule. Crap, I've already been in Evansville for two hours! Then I check my itinerary. In St. Louis I am to get a connecting bus to Columbia, which will take me to Midway, just 20 miles from Boonville, where my wife is to pick me up. But this four hour delay means I will miss the last bus to Columbia/Midway. I will be stranded in St. Louis tonight. I'm still not making it home, and not making it to work tomorrow. My son is long gone: I'm solo. Fine.

Remember I mentioned that we had checked other options on the drive down? Well, the airport here is open, and the car rentals at the airport are open. Obvious solution: cab to airport and rent a car to drive home. Awesome.
I call about a car:
Yes we have cars available, all we need is a credit card.
Credit card?
Credit card.
I have a debit card and over $1000 in the account.
No good, has to be a credit card.
What if I pay cash?
No. We don't take cash.
What if I book online?
No. Still need a credit card.
So there is no way I can rent a car now, today?
No, sorry.
Damn.

So I'm stuck with the 4 hour late bus. Four more hours to kill. Did I mention it's Sunday? In a super-conservative city? Everything is closed. Like zero traffic downtown. I found an open Starbuck's - thanks google maps. I'm racking my brains. I can get to St. Louis, but then what? How do people get to Columbia from St. Louis? And it hits me: MoX. YES! I call them. Their last shuttle leaves from Lambert Field at 10pm, and they take walk-ups. Perfect. I should just make it. I check cab availability from the downtown bus depot to Lambert. $50 but totally doable. This is actually gonna work. So I walk around some more. Find an ATM and get the $60 cash for MoX. Find a restaurant for lunch (the converted old Greyhound terminal, which I find ironically appropriate). I must have walked 3 miles total.

Back to the depot. My bus FINALLY arrives. I board, something like 8 hours after I was supposed to get on the first bus. Boring uneventful ride to St, Louis. BUT... remember how I mentioned the bus was supposed to have power outlets for phones, etc. Yeah. They were NOT working. I've been burning up my phone battery all day because of my situation. Since I was going to be on a bus I had packed as lightly as possible. Only one small carryon is all I had. Good thing since I had to schlep it all day. But I didn't pack an auxiliary battery for my phone since there was supposed to be power on the bus. But no. My phone is definitely going to die, so I set it to airplane mode and power saver and I don't use it anymore except to call home. By the time I do eventually get home it's down to 3%.

Anyway, ain't nobody on that bus happy, including the driver: we are all on the bus that is 4 hours late. Morale is low, people are pissed. So why was that bus so late? The original driver apparently had just had enough and walked off the job, leaving the bus right where it was. They had to call in a replacement driver to retrieve the bus. It says a lot about the company that they had a driver just quit on the spot like that.
Anyway, the passengers were cool, for the most part. Half of them were college students it seemed. One of them said his mom had called the company and she said Greyhound said they might run an extra bus when we got to St. Louis so we wouldn't be stranded overnight. This is a 75% full bus after all. Looks like maybe I'll get a bus to Midway after all! Throughout the trip the driver repeatedly told us there would be agents in St. Louis to address our concerns, St. Louis being a major depot and all. We were all looking forward to having our situation addressed by the agents in St. Louis, and maybe getting a bus to continue on. Like any good company, Greyhound would take care of its customers.

Soo.. we pull into the St. Louis depot at 8:45 or thereabouts, and disembark the bus.

There are no Greyhound staff in the place.

Greyhound's counter is dark and closed. Amtrak is staffed, but Greyhound is absent, just gone. Info desk says that they won't be back for 45 minutes. Can you believe it? They ghosted us! They have known literally all day that a problem bus was arriving at its terminal station at this time. They have had all day to prepare. A real company would have had the site manager there to handle it, no matter what the hour. An airline would have hotel vouchers, at least. Greyhound? Nothing. Lights out. Abandoned customers. Stranded travelers. People were livid. Security officer was tetchy. Voices were raised. It was not a pretty situation.

But this was all meaningless to me. I couldn't wait on Greyhound as my window would be closed by then. As part of the spiel for new arrivals, the Information Desk pointed out all the connections available and they mentioned the Metro. I had totally forgot the St. Louis MetroLink! I wasted no time. I was out the door immediately. To the ticket kiosk and onto the platform. I got there just ahead of the train, and was able to hop it right away. Trip to airport took no time (MetroLink goes up to 50mph with no stops except stations). Got to Lambert lickity split and only cost $1.50. MetroLink is awesome.
You know it's been rough when the MetroLink ride is the literal best part of your day.

I got to the airport with 45 minutes to spare. Complemented the train driver on the efficient ride. Went into the airport and called MoX to let them know I was there and for the driver to expect me. Turns out MoX has a person on staff 24/7. They don't run 24/7 service, but if you call them anytime, a real person will answer the phone. They are awesome.
I chill at the St. Louis airport for 45 minutes, go to the rendezvous point, and MoX shows up. Turns out I know the driver. He had been a FedEx driver for many years. He and I talk for several minutes as we wait on his clock to count down (they are very precise about their departure times-if you miss them it's your fault). His scheduled pickup was a couple flying back from vacation. I don't know what they thought about the driver and I chatting like old buddies. I was just so happy and relieved. So now I can finally relax. It's just a 2-hour van ride back to Columbia. I dozed off for most of it. Got to MoX in Columbia at midnight. Midnight. My wife and daughter drove over to get me. I finally got home around 1am. It was quite a day.

And that is how I spent $110 to travel 365 miles in 16 hours.

So, yeah, don't take the bus.

Categories of Trump supporters/voters

After four years of field observation, anecdotal evidence review, and looking over reams of social media comments, I have come to the following conclusion:


Active Trump supporters (those with flags, bumper stickers, yard-signs, swag) come in two types:

1) ignorant chumps, incognizant of the enormity of the fuck-job he has done to America

2) assholes who are just fine with the buggery of democracy and want more


Passive Trump voters also come in two types:

1) ignorant chumps, incognizant of the enormity of the fuck-job he has done to America

2) selfish pricks who don't give a damn as long they personally suffer no direct negative impact


And of course, no matter which category they fall under, if they are Christians they are also hypocrites.

Hey, anti-maskers, you are being un-American.

I'm talking to you seemingly normal, everyday people who think you don't need to wear a mask when all the rest of us are doing it. I'm not addressing the crazy partiers, although they should read this too.  I'm talking specifically to you individuals who continue to ignore the social norms of everybody around you as you go about your day.

How many times have I seen you out and about without masks, breathing all over the rest of us? Walking around Wal-Mart without a mask, when I know you had to have one to get let in the door? And if challenged you are adamant, to the point of violence and disruption: like what happened over the weekend when two anti-maskers caused an airliner to turn around and go back to the gate so they could be ejected.

What kind of narcissistic asshole do you have to be to do that?

Maybe I'm romanticizing the past, but I believe there was a time when even assholes knew how to be good citizens. But today a sizable percentage of people living in America hardly act like citizens at all.

So, since they have taken Civics out of the classroom, let me explain this basic concept to you.

You see, America is a nation made up of people living in a society. That nation of people is prosperous and happy when all the members work towards the good of the society, the good of the body politic, the good of the country. America was founded as a collective of people bound by the idea of a better future for everybody: of life, liberty, and justice for all.

As people lucky enough to live in such a society we have many rights.

And this is where you jump in with your chorus of: “Exactly why I don't wear a mask! My rights! My freedoms!”

But those are not the words of a patriotic member of our civil society. Those are the words of a narcissistic child thinking only of themselves.

You think you are good Americans expressing the principles of liberty and freedom. BUT, sadly, you have ignored the other side of the Social Contract: the part I mentioned above where the “members work towards the good of the society.” For you see:

Rights are accompanied by duties.

Freedom requires responsibility.

Simply put, you are not living up to your end of the bargain.

You are given rights as a member of our society, but you also have corresponding duties to that same society, and to your fellow citizens individually.

Furthermore, you are tasked with wielding your freedom responsibly, and with greater freedom comes ever greater responsibility.

Even the Libertarians understand and articulate these points! You fuckers are so far out there you aren't even Libertarians. Do you get that? Get a fucking grip and check your privilege.

If we are to beat this thing we must, as a group, as a nation, follow the best advice we have available to us. When you willfully defy that advice, when you refuse to wear a mask, or wear a mask that's been cut out, or do some other stupid smart-ass shit like not cover your nose, you are not being a freedom fighter, or being funny, or cool. You are being a dick. You are being unbelievably childish and selfish to the detriment of everyone else.

And you are not just dissing and endangering those other individuals with you on the plane or in the Wal-Mart. You are in fact acting against all of us collectively. You are snubbing your nose at the body politic, at our nation as a whole. You are actively acting against the health and prosperity of the United States. You are being un-American.

We really need you to please just cut it out and join the rest of us.

Fear, Demons, and Adrenochrome

I think it's good idea to keep a finger on the pulse and all, so I cast a pretty broad net on social media. I was lurking the other day and this post came through:


Dafuq? What code-speak is this? What even does that mean?

It took awhile, but I unpacked it.

It turns out that a sizable portion of rabid Trumpers actually, for-real, literally believe:

Organized child abduction and trafficking rings run by the deep-state Dems (Pizzagate, Wayfair, etc.) abduct around 450,000 children a year from all over the country. The ones not used by the elite pedophile rings (Epstein, etc.) are handed over to deep-state Satanists who perform horrific Satanic child sacrifice rituals on the children, torturing them alive, and at the height of the children's pain and terror they extract adrenochrome from their pituitary glands (Frazzledrip) which is used as both a drug and an elixir of youth by the deep-state elite (Hillary Clinton, Obama, Tom Hanks, etc.).

And currently these goals are being furthered by the mainstream pandemic response because community masking requirements for COVID-19 are a hoax perpetrated by the Dems to facilitate easier child abductions.

But. Donald Trump is the answer. Trump is the lone Hero of the true American Christian right and is the only person able to stand up and stop these deep-state child-abusing Satanic pedophiles who have seized control of the Dems and the country. He left his life of luxury and is risking all to fight demonic forces in order to save our children and our country from impending doom. And, given the high stakes, he should be free to use any means necessary (even fascism).

Uh.. Yeah.. They are serious.

Of course support for the crazy demon-sex doctor fits right into this worldview.

In fact, she has over 9,000 followers on Facebook where she claims to be a “prophet of God” who grew up “where open warfare with bold, generational demons ... was commonplace.”

And it logically follows that the riots (demonstrations) are the deep-state Democrats' efforts to sow demonic chaos and undermine American society. They are indeed an “attack on America” just like Barr said they were, and must be forcefully put down.

Some of the vehement anti-maskers are part of this, as are those right-wingers who post hyper-paranoid concern over pedophilia and child abductions.

I will say from experience that there is absolutely no communicating or dialoging with people holding these beliefs. They ignore facts, logic, reasoning, and even simple observation. They have nothing. Whatever their number, they are hopelessly, irretrievably, lost.

Normally I would just ignore them and their irrelevant, alogical beliefs. But they are everywhere and they can be mobilized at whim by Trump or Breitbart or whoever. Just look how many showed up to support Voodoo Doctor. And they are ALL going to make sure they vote this fall.

I am becoming increasingly disheartened and concerned for our country and wary of my fellow citizens. The crazy is catching.

Notes:

I researched this mostly by going down the right-wing internet rabbit-hole.

Sources have been appropriately linked to the relevant text.
But there is also this which sums it up nicely: https://spectator.us/fear-adrenochrome-conspiracy-theory-drug/



Budget liquor recommendations

If you are like me, you don't have money to burn, but you would like a decent drink.

I have tried several different different products with a price cap of around $20/bottle.
Here are my recommendations based on bang-for-buck value.
I will rank-order them and give my comments and impressions.
Remember, these are recommendations based on value for the price, not absolute quality.


Plain Vodka
my rank order, with scores from vodkabuzz.com and distiller.com (out of 5)

1.  Sobieski  (5) (3.57)
2.  Smirnoff  (3 )(2.51)
3.  Stoli  (3) (3.91)
4.  Svedka  (5) (2.78)
5.  Skyy  (2) (2.55)
6.  Deep Eddy  (4) (3.08)

Sobieski is a very good Polish Rye vodka, made by people who really know vodka. It is one of the best vodkas, period. There isn't any reason to ever spend more on vodka.
To me its flavor profile is similar in style to Smirnoff, but it comes across as just "more" and better in every way.
And it's cheaper than most other mid-shelf vodkas: a full $2 cheaper per bottle than Smirnoff at Wal-Mart. So it's a total no-brainer.

Smirnoff is what I buy if I have to have vodka right now and I can't find Sobieski -- although it's usually worth it to make the effort to get Sobieski.  Smirnoff doesn't cost much and is ok. It tastes a lot like Sobieski (to me at least) but just isn't as good.  It's made from corn.

Stoli is totally drinkable, but just "meh."  It might be a little better than Smirnoff, but not enough better to be worth the significantly higher price in my opinion. Made from wheat and rye.

To me Svedka is "meh," although I know a lot of people love it.  It just doesn't have the vodka flavor I want.

Skyy is terrible. Do not even try it.

I tried Deep Eddy because their Ruby Red grapefruit vodka is so good.  However, their plain vodka was a big disappointment.  It was very clinical and not good straight at all. It is made from corn.


Bourbon
my rank order, with scores from distiller.com (out of 5)

1.  Jim Beam Bonded  (3.48)
1.  Old Forester  (3.23)
2.  Jim Beam Black Label  (3.22)
3.  Early Times 354 (discontinued)  (3.03)
4.  Jim Beam  (2.48)
5.  Four Roses  (3.33)
6.  Evan Williams Black Label  (2.84)

Jim Beam Bonded (100 proof) and Old Forester (86 proof) are my two favorite cheap bourbons. They tie for top place. I drink them both. The Jim Beam Bonded is probably technically better, but I like the Old Forester as well. They are just different. The Old Forester isn't as smooth, but the Beam Bonded is stronger. It just depends on mood which one I want. Jim Beam Bonded can be hard to find sometimes.

Jim Beam Black is good, but the Bonded is better for the same price.

Early Times 354 used to be my go-to, but it has been discontinued.

Regular Jim Beam is a good bang-for-buck choice.  I will buy it when I can't find the Bonded, or my budget is tighter.

I tried Four Roses because it reviews well, but I really didn't like it very much and have zero desire to buy it again.

Evan Williams Black is only suitable for mixing. It's pretty bad.


My Other Misc Recomendations
Listed by decending scores from distiller.com

Deep Eddy Ruby Red (3.66)
Grapefruit vodka made from corn. Real grapefruit; nothing artificial.
This stuff is dangerously good straight, cold, on the rocks. A splash of triple sec will fill it out a bit.
I highly recommend this, but it is doing a specific thing and only about half the people who try it like it.


Bushmills Black Bush (3.44)
Blended Irish Whisky by the oldest distillery in the world.  80% single malt in the blend.


E&J XO (3.35)
A sweet smooth brandy. Like dessert in a glass. Maybe not the best brandy, but a great value for the price.


Jack Daniels Old No. 7 (2.84)
I find this whiskey to be surprisingly good. I like it, and I was expecting not to before I tried it. However, it is a pretty expensive for what it is.


Southern Comfort Original (2.58)
Flavored whiskey liqueur, 70 proof.
Excellent mixer for egg nog, which is why I buy a bottle of it each winter. Also a nice nightcap now and then. I like that it's not very strong.


Canadian Mist (2.02)
A cheap blended whisky. It's ok for mixing, but not so much for drinking straight. It's fairly smooth, but can taste chemically.
Recommended because in its class I think it is better than Seagrams 7 or McCormick.

NO FEDERAL MILITARY IN POLICING

The Constitutional law of the United States says that the national military is not to be used for law enforcement, and the Posse Comitatus Act reinforces that rule.

Under the 10th Amendment, powers not delegated to the Federal Government are reserved to the states. This means that the states have the authority and power to regulate behavior and enforce order within their territories.

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 limits the powers of the federal government in the use of federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States. Stating,“it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress. . . .”

The Act does not prevent the National Guard under state authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within its home state or in an adjacent state if invited by that state's governor. In the cases where the National Guard is deployed, the Guard remains under the governor’s command, not the president’s.

The only times these rules can be bypassed are to protect the rights of citizens.

The Enforcement Acts allow the federal government to intervene when states do not protect the rights of citizens (minorities). The revised law states:

“The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both . . . shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it—(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law . . . .”748

This is how the Army was dispatched to Little Rock to enforce racial desegregation back in the day. But that was because of a ruling that the military forces, under the direction of the President, could be used to assist a marshal. For it was the US Marshals who were playing a large part in enforcing desegregation (i.e. by escorting Ruby Bridges to her school in those famous photos). Otherwise, federal military, para- or otherwise, have never been unleashed on US citizens.

To put it plainly: Trump and the Justice Dept. are skirting the letter of the law and violating the spirit of our Constitution and of our country by creating an ad-hoc paramilitary force to act as militarized national law enforcement acting at the behest of the President. This is unprecedented.

The forces deployed in Portland are appallingly reminiscent of Hitler's early stormtroopers, the SA . Trump's SA stormtroopers are acting with impunity to carry out his bidding for purely political reasons just as Hitler's SA did. Trump is using these paramilitary forces to circumvent local law enforcement and undermine Democratic leadership in areas without elected Republican leaders. He has publicly stated this as his goal.

According to the laws of our land, jurisdictions such as Portland or Oregon have the right to police as they see fit. Trump cannot step in with his own private army of shock troops just because he doesn’t like their decisions. We do not live in a dictatorship.

This is exactly what our Founding Fathers were afraid of when they made the anti-military policing rules in the first place.

Domestic Forced Renditions

Trump has unleashed CIA tactics on his own constituents. The actions of the federal secret police in Portland are unlawful and reminiscent of  the “extraordinary renditions” the CIA does in other countries to abduct and detain suspected terrorists. They are disappearing BLM supporters at all hours in unmarked vehicles and taking them to unknown locations.  People have gone missing for days.

These federal paramilitary forces are ostensibly with Homeland Security, but they should more accurately be considered Trumps personal Sturmabteilung (SA). These SA stormtroopers are acting with impunity and ignoring local laws and law enforcement to carry out Trump's bidding for purely political reasons.  

These detentions are, by definition, domestic forced (extraordinary) rendition. Let's not play word-games. That's exactly what is happening here.

The definition of forced rendition is:

Extraordinary rendition, also called irregular rendition or forced rendition, is the government-sponsored abduction and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another with the purpose of circumventing the former country's laws on interrogation, detention and torture. Recent renditions have been carried out (for example) by the United States government.[1][2][3] 

Just substitute “jurisdiction” for “country” and the definition now reads:

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Facemasks reduce the spread of COVID-19: reasoning, evidence, new CDC guidance


Face coverings are the simplest, easiest way to reduce the spread of the virus.  If we each do our civic duty and wear a mask we can cut the daily new case count by thousands.  This is simply a fact for which I will offer the evidence below. But first, let me dispel a common misunderstanding.


REASONING FOR UNIVERSAL MASK-WEARING

There is a lot of talk going around that wearing face coverings doesn't do any good.  That is incorrect.  This notion largely stems from earlier in the pandemic when the CDC and other experts did not advise mask wearing by the general population.  This is because non-N95/N99 masks don't effectively filter the virus and so do not protect the wearer from infection due to aerosoled virus in the environment.  This is, in fact, true.  Cloth masks and lower-rated masks will not filter small enough to stop a free virus.  Anti-maskers have latched onto this and continue to insist that masks do nothing to stop the spread of the virus.  However, this is simply not the case.    

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Uber self-driving car fatal accident

Just watched the Uber self-driving car dashcam footage.

The woman just walked out in front of the car.  In the middle of the block.  At night.  She wasn't even looking in the direction of the car. She wasn't hurrying to beat the car.  She was just strolling out there in the middle of the road.

WTF?

The car seemed to be the only one on the road at the time, like she didn't see it coming?

She did not come into view until too late.  Most human drivers probably would have hit her too.

BUT... don't self-driving cars have infrared, or radar, or some way to detect a bicycle in the road ahead of the headlights?

I mean, higher-end Audis have that tech in production now.

Love my new Android phone

Forgot to post an update after my Windows to Android conversion rant:

After the rocky transition, I took to the Android phone like a duck to water.

Android just works so well.  You can tell it has been refined and updated for years through many iterations.

In fact, the only issues I ever have with my phone seem to be app- or carrier-specific.