NYTimes: Cubs Defeat Dodgers to Clinch First Pennant Since 1945

I couldn’t be happier for the Cubs. While as a Red Sox fan, I also have a soft spot for the Indians, you just have to root for Chicago in this contest.

One thing though: Should the Cubs finally turn the corner for good and shake off its “hapless” moniker, I hope their fans don’t turn into annoying, entitled assholes like so many newly minted Red Sox fans did after 2004. Yankees fans have already perfected this attitude, and deserving or not, it’s not an example a good fan should follow.



Dear Mike Rowe: What dream do I pursue now?

[The video mentioned in the previous post inspired me to write Mike Rowe in hope against hope that he might have some wisdom to offer.]

I recently became a true fan of yours, and I only just this morning finished watching your interview on ReasonTV. I’m sold. In a sense, I always was, but I’ve rarely been able to articulate your message in such an entertaining fashion.

Please indulge me in telling my story. I came from extremely humble beginnings. I grew up in a household headed by divorced mother of three, who worked hard her entire life, often in sweat shops. We never had much, but we managed to get by.

Because of this upbringing, I was determined to go to college and learn a profession. While in school, I worked summer jobs as a shop laborer, office janitor, and a floor refinisher among other things. I saw this as temporary. I was going to college, dammit, to become a professional, and take over the world.

I eventually went to school to become a graphic designer, and embarked on that career in the mid-1980s with a measure of success, despite enduring a couple of severe recessions and a few other twists and turns.

However, as I was entering this career, I read this article in Esquire magazine that resonated with me. It was written by a Porsche mechanic with his own garage. He described a great life, fixing toys for the wealthy — people who drove their sick baby into the shop, caring only that they would drive out with a purring kitten. They didn’t tell him how much to torque the head gasket or angle the alignment of the left front wheel. They didn’t care what it cost or even when it might be done. They only cared that the car was fixed. He was king of his castle.

The mechanic talked about the fringe benefits of this life, including the invitations to his customers’ parties where he often found himself the most popular guy there.

Reading this I thought to myself that despite how much I used to love working on my old car, there was NO WAY I was going to shift gears now and become a “lowly” auto mechanic, even if I did work on the coolest cars in the world.

My 1973 Hornet in 1982, held together with bubble gum, rubber bands, blood, sweat, and love.
My 1973 Hornet in 1982, held together with bubble gum, rubber bands, blood, sweat, and love.

The story stuck with me, because I had trained myself so well on repairing my hand-me-down 1973 AMC Hornet, by the time I was done with it, I had switched out almost everything except the drive-train. Against all odds, I got that car to go at least 150,000 miles before I finally gave up on it. I actually loved the work and getting my hands dirty, but that to me was just a hobby, and I did it partly because I had more time than money. I called myself “Mr. Prettygoodwrench.”

Today, I’m 55 years old. I find myself aging out of my chosen profession as a website designer/developer, and I look back on that article and think to myself, What an idiot I was. If I had switched gears, I might be that guy today.

Mike, I have a 12-year-old daughter, and thanks to you, nothing would make me happier than if she came to me and said she was going to be an HVAC technician.

But what about people in my position? I think it’s a little too late for me to become a certified auto mechanic or a railroad engineer.

I have several friends in similar situations. We’ve spent the best years of our working lives pursuing a dream in some kind of creative profession, and it’s not working out. The prospects are frankly bleak. If I had a time machine, I’d go back to that day I read the article and beeline to the nearest Porsche dealer to find out what I needed to do to work there.

I know that I can always march down to the nearest Home Depot and get a job stocking shelves, but I don’t have to tell you how I fear that’ll affect my self worth.

What’s the alternative? What dream can I pursue now?

Thanks for reading, and please put your TV show on YouTube or start your own channel. We dropped out cable subscription years ago, and we’re not going back ever, even if we could afford to.

Hope to hear from you soon.


Randy Garbin
Recipe for an American Renaissance:
Eat in diners. Ride trains. Shop on Main Street. Put a porch on your house. Live in a walkable community.

Mathematical Definition of Wasted Votes

A wasted vote is a vote that provides no determination or effect on the final outcome of the election. According to Wikipedia: “Wasted votes are votes cast for losing candidates or votes cast for winning candidates in excess of the number required for victory. For example, in the UK general election of 2005, 52% of votes were cast for losing candidates and 18% were excess votes – a total of 70% wasted votes.”

Source: How Not To Waste Your Vote: A Mathematical Analysis | Foundation for Economic Education


First world problems: New iPhone and no headphone jack

For me, it’s going to be a real pain in the ass.
Yes, finally got the new iPhone 7, mainly because the battery was shot in my iPhone 6 and our contract with Sprint was about to expire. Normally, I don’t second-guess Apple’s decisions like this. Witness what happened when they abandoned the floppy disk and the optical disk: The rest of the industry followed along (mostly). However, the headphone jack seems to me a more personal thing.

I don’t like wires any more than the next guy, but what Geoffrey Fowler says rings too true. With this new setup, you cannot listen and charge at the same time without some kind of extra appendage. Indeed, the forthcoming Fuze charger case looks like the perfect solution, but that will cost at least another $70, which while cheaper than good Bluetooth headphones, is still another added cost to make your iPhone experience complete.

This really inconveniences me when I go to bed as I listen to audio books as I go to sleep. I’ve had to switch to my 5-year-old iPad, which takes up all the space on my nightstand. Yes, it’s a first-world problem, but I hate it when Apple wedges these things in my craw.


The Washington Post: The last thing Europe needs right now is an army

No. The last thing the United States needs right now are allies that don’t pitch in.

The United States is effectively subsidizing the national health care plans of European states as well as its other much-ballyhooed social safety net. The fact that we spend billions, if not trillions, defending Europe’s otherwise open borders means that we have less for our own people.

This article neglects to factor in that calculus. The United States, though still the wealthiest country in world history can no longer afford to shoulder this burden, nor should it.


Locker room of no gym I’d join

It dawned on me that I too belong to a gym with its own locker room. During the times I go there, it’s filled mostly with guys about my age and older, some older than Littlefinger. Not once have I heard any discussion about sex with women. Most of the time, the conversation revolves around aches and pains, stock portfolios, and how everyone’s kids are doing in college.

I’m not saying that I don’t have occasional fantasies about sex with super models or Sheena Parveen from time to time, but not only would I be ostracized in that locker room for describing aggressive sexual acts against them, I’m almost certain my mother would visit me from beyond the grave and scare the bejeezus out of me.

That all said, I think David Brooks pretty much nails the pathetic life of Littlefinger in this piece. I suppose living in such opulence would hardly qualify as pathetic, but if you consider the source of true happiness as connection to people who truly care about you, then Littlefinger’s life does indeed look as pathetic as hell.

Trump’s emotional makeup means he can hit only a few notes: fury and aggression. In some ways, his debate performances look like primate dominance displays — filled with chest beating and looming growls. But at least primates have bands to connect with, whereas Trump is so alone, if a tree fell in his emotional forest, it would not make a sound.


Donald Trump Is Going To Lose – Don’t Waste Your Vote On Him

Failed businessman. Fraud schoolmaster. Blowhard huckster.