AT (After Trump) To-Do List 2. Bring Back Real Investigative Reporting


The Young Turks, an online news channel that I have been watching since 2006 is trying to raise $2 Million dollars to fund hiring 4 new investigative reporting teams.  That is $500,000 a piece, for one investigative reporter. the necessary support staff, and legal fees necessary to sustain the effort for a year. That might sound like a lot of money to you and me but did you know that Rachel Maddow makes just under $20,000/day?  Or that Megyn Kelly is looking for $20 Million/Year for her next contract?  That's just under $55,000/day!  Have either of these people ever broke a story?  Rachel says "I'm not trying to change things, I'm trying to cover them."  What does that get us?

If you need to see what one person can do on a shoestring TYT budget take a look at the three playlists at the bottom of this post done by Jordan Chariton.  The Young Turks' first reporter?  So far he has brought the flint water crisis to the forefront and now the water crisis in East Chicago Indiana, provided the best coverage of the DAPL protests, and took down a CNN anchor Donna Brazile for giving Hillary Clinton town hall questions in advance of the event.

If you were are a Bernie supporter  you know that the mainstream media had a virtual blackout on his campaign, if you are a progressive you know that no mainstream media outlets gave more than a few minutes to the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest.  If you are a conservative you know that the mainstream media gave Hillary a pass on many issues that deserved to be addressed.  It is starting to become common knowledge that the corporation-owned mainstream media outlets only serve the interests of their master and they make untold fortunes every election season in ad money thanks to a corrupt system that they have no interest in reforming; why would they?

I donated $55.55 to the campaign, it's not much but it is symbolic in many ways.

"5" the number of total investigative reporters TYT will have (counting Jordan Chariton) if they raise the full $2 million.

The number 5 four times, they need $500,000 for a total of four new reporters.

Yesterday they reached their first $500,000 milestone and announced the first reporter watch below to learn more about Nomiki Konst.  I can't wait to see see what stories she uncovers and watch her and Jordan hold the establishment's feet to the fire.  I am proud to have played a part in her being hired.

Image Source: The National Herald

And watch the following playlists to sample some of the product that TYT has produced with their one and only investigative reporter Jordan Chariton and his team.


The Cali' Experience: Baby It's Cold Outside

I haves said it before and I'll say it again, it is super cool that Zach Braff and Donald Faison are friends in real life.  Being that I am also currently enjoying "winter" in California, how could I not share this music video they put together for the holidays!

Enjoy the contrast of them singing "Baby It's Cold Outside" while in suits in the sun with LA in the back ground and no snow to be seen.



Music: AI Attempts to Write a Christmas Carol

I found this in on the AV Club:

Their description is hilarious!

Now, researchers in Toronto have used a technology called “neural karaoke” to teach a computer to write a song after looking at a photo - The karaoke technology first listened to 100 hours of Christmas music to figure out a simple melody, to which it then added chords and drums. It then viewed pictures and composes lyrics based on the words associated with those pictures. Then, if you’re lucky, it will sing those words to you - and the little carol  it penned after viewing a festive Christmas tree is an absolutely horrifying display of what these things think of us. Why the fuck is there music coming from the hall? Who is out there, and what are they doing? Why will “you” always be here, singer? These are not lyrics, they are the moans of the damned, trapped between this world and something beyond it, just conscious enough to know they are not at rest.

System Ops: Clark W. Griswold's Electric Bill

Distractify first Brought this to my attention a few days ago and I thought it was something that I would like to share via my System Ops section of my blog.  Distractify is doing much the same as I am and re-sharing the work that Estately did with some interesting graphics.  Here are their calculations:

25,000 bulbs * 0.08 watts/bulb = 2,000 watts.
2,000 watts * (1 kilowatt / 1,000 watt) = 2 kilowatts
2 kilowatts * 5 hours per day = 10 kwh per day
10kwh * 31 days = 310 kwh
310kwh * each state’s average price per kwh

You can find the breakdown per state on their blog post I'll just share the pretty info-graphic.

Image Source: Estately

Another blog Updates From The Night Shift (where I sourced the top image from) used a different method to calculate the Clark's bill back in 2014:

"In the 41 frames, or 1.7 seconds, that this is shown, the tens dial spins around two and a half times, meaning that 250 kilowatt-hours were used in this amount of time. That’s a lot of power! How much? Well, if you divide by 1.7, and then multiply by the conversion factor for kWh/s to watts (or the number of seconds in an hour times 1000), it turns out that these imported Italian twinkle lights are using five hundred and twenty-nine Megawatts.

No wonder the rest of the city lost power. In 1989, the year of the movie’s release, Chicago had a population of 2.7 million, using perhaps 2.25 GW of electrical power residentially. That means the local electrical grid saw a sudden load increase of almost 25%. I’m impressed it handled it as well as it did."

His blog also goes into some insights into the real-world effects that such values would have had and it wouldn't have been pretty.  It turns out, "Aunt Bethany was right all along."

 Image Source: Popkey


Current Events: A Win in the Short Term for #NODAPL but a Win None-the-less

Photo Source: TYT Politics

I first wrote about the Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) back in mid-September just after the pipeline security guards used attack dogs on the Native American protesters.

At one point I was someone who would share every little environmental, political, progressive flavor of the week on my Facebook feed spamming everyone I know with what I thought was necessary to make the world a better place.  My belief that shouting things into the collective void that is the internet will make a difference was shattered during the Act-10 protests and subsequent failed recall effort against Scott Walker in Wisconsin.  Furthermore in that same period, any hope that discussing anything that would differ politically with my friends would sway their beliefs at all was shattered as well.  So for the most part what I do share that has a political slant is from a sarcastic "told you so" place after the fact.

Photo Source: Democracy Now

Seeing attack dogs dogs used on Native Americans stirred something in me that I hadn't felt since that time, the need to share the story of their mistreatment, the need to do something even though I know without a doubt that it would likely fall on deaf ears and fixed minds.  Everything I saw from that point on regarding the NODAPL movement and the law enforcement's treatment of the protesters disturbed my moral fiber to the core.

Photo Source: TYT Politics

On Thanksgiving I shared a second post hoping to encourage people to call representatives in a hope that someone would stop the mistreatment of the people and stop the pipeline.  Then the next day another post detailing how the government wanted to close the site that the protesters were occupying the day after 2000+ veterans were scheduled to arrive to protect the Water Protectors from the Police. It seemed that things were going to come to a head in a very bad way.

It would seem that on the day of the Veterans arrival at Standing Rock, President Obama has instructed The Army Corps of Engineers to deny the trilling easement and instead conduct an environmental impact review (that amazingly had not been done up to this point) of the 1,170-mile pipeline project and determine if there are other ways to route it to avoid a crossing on the Missouri River. Some hope that pushing the completion date past January 1st will kill the project all together, others are not so sure.  One thing that we (read myself or anyone who happens to read this and care) have to do is remain vigilant.  This story caught my eye not because of the pipeline -seriously we do not need it- but because if brought to light the plight of the Native Americans.  We need to do so much more for our indigenous hosts.  Not only do we owe it to them, but we can stand to learn many things from them as well.

"Of all the contributions America has made to the world, the idea of freedom from a social hierarchy has been the greatest. It was fought for in the American Revolution and confirmed in the Civil War. To this day it's still the most powerful, compelling ideal holding the whole nation together.

And yet, although Jefferson called this doctrine of social equality "self evident," it is not at all self-evident. Scientific evidence and the social evidence of history indicate the opposite is self-evident. There is no "self-evidence" in European history that all men are created equal. There's no nation in Europe that doesn't trace it's history to a time when it was "self-evident" that all men are created unequal. Jean Jacques Rousseau, who is sometimes given credit for this doctrine, certainly didn't get it from the history of Europe or Asia or Africa. He got it from the impact of the New World upon Europe and from the contemplation or one particular kind of individual who lived in the New World, the person he called the "Noble Savage."

The idea that "all men are created equal" is a gift to the world from the American Indian. Europeans who settle here only transmitted it as doctrine that they sometimes followed and sometimes did not. The real source was someone for whose social equality was no mere doctrine, who had equality built into his bones. To him it was inconceivable that the world could be any other way. For him there was no other way of life."

~Robert M. Pirsig (Lila-An Inquiry Into Morals)

Music: Something to Make You Feel Good on a Sunday (Seafret - Wildfire)

The social experiment was based on a similar one by psychologist Arthur Aron, who conducted an experiment to see if it was possible for strangers to fall in love simply by answering 36 questions while in each other’s presence.
Seafret followed the same thought process and got a group of single volunteers to agree to be put in pairs, and then to answer the same 36 questions. At the end of it, they had to stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes.


The Cali' Experience: A Moment of Levity

It's not often that I feel upbeat when I'm on a tear of shifts.  The last two months have been insanely busy at work.  When I took this picture I was on my way into a night shift after working 84 hours in the previous seven days and still had two more 2 hour night shifts to go.  But walking out of the Starbucks I had a brief moment of levity.  The temperature was in the mid-50s and the air was crisp.  The chill enters your nostrils and it opens your olfactory system and wakes up your senses.  At that moment I had a few realizations hit me at the same time.

  1. I've got a wonderful Wife and Daughter at home, in our amazing home.
  2. It's almost December and I am wearing a zip up sweater.
  3. I will only need to add a scarf, hat and gloves to this ensemble to make it through the winter.
  4. Everything is getting greener and more alive instead dying like they would be in the Midwest.
  5. I forget this from when I first moved here, but it smells like flowers everywhere.  You get acclimatized to it and you don't notice it after a while.  But the chill brought that back in all it's glory.
  6. All told, I am living a very good life!


Current Events: Harvey Milk Assassination Anniversary (Give Them Hope)

38 Years ago today, Harvey Milk the first openly gay person to be elected to public office was assassinated. RIP... the fight continues.

"Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person who all of a sudden realizes that he or she is gay; knows that if their parents find out they will be tossed out of the house, their classmates will taunt the child, and the Anita Bryant's and John Briggs' are doing their part on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says "Homosexual elected in San Francisco" and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said "Thanks". And you've got to elect gay people; so that thousands upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us's; without hope the us's give up. I know that you can't live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope."

~Harvey Milk


Music: Juanbook Picks From 1989 Billboard's Hot 100

  1. Milli Vanilli - Girl You Know It's True
  2. Neneh Cherry - Buffalo Stance
  3. Paula Abdul - Straight Up
  4. Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal
  5. Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy
  6. The B-52's - Love Shack
  7. Madonna - Like A Prayer
  8. Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time
  9. Poison - Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  10. Roxette - Listen To Your Heart
  11. Warrant - Heaven
  12. The Cure - Lovesong
  13. The End Of The Innocence
  14. Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting
  15. Chicago - Look Away
  16. Martika - Toy Soldiers
  17. White Lion - When the Children Cry
  18. Mike & The Mechanics - The living Years
  19. Guns N' Roses - Patience
  20. Bon Jovi - I'll Be There For You
  21. Close My Eyes Forever - Ozzy Osbourne & Lita Ford
  22. Skid Row - 18 And Life
  23. Alice Cooper - Poison
  24. DEF LEPPARD - Armageddon It
  25. When In Rome - The Promise


System Ops: Geisha Williams to be the First Female CEO at PG&E

While we may have to wait a little longer for a Woman to be President of the United States. I can take heart in the fact that the company I work for made an unprecedented move on November 14th and named Geisha Williams, a 55-year-old Cuban immigrant, as the first female, Hispanic CEO of a company PG&E’s size (23,000 employees). Williams then told employees at the announcement her personal story of immigrating to the United States from Cuba when she was 5, speaking no English. Now she will become the first woman CEO of PG&E, one of less than two dozen female Fortune 500 CEOs and believed to be the country’s first-ever Latina CEO of a Fortune 200 company.

“I have to tell you I could never in a million years have imagined this,” she said. “Can you imagine my 5-year-old self, thinking that someday she could be a CEO? And not just any CEO but the CEO of this magnificent company — PG&E, oh my gosh — this amazingly, forward-thinking, progressive and influential company.”

She described herself as being “incredibly honored, incredibly moved” to become the new CEO.

Geisha then outlined her priorities during what she said will be some of the most exciting times in the energy industry’s history. She spoke of PG&E’s leadership on safety, reliability, affordability and clean energy.

Geisha spoke of continuing to improve safety and modernizing our energy infrastructure. She emphasized PG&E’s push toward continuous improvement, both in operations and in processes. And she added that PG&E must do what it takes to be competitive in a changing business landscape.

After remarks from company leaders, employees asked a number of questions. Among them was a question on the impact of the recent presidential election.

Said Geisha: “I think it just underscores the importance of California and the importance of the work we do here, particularly on our clean energy policies. … There’s no question that there’s going to be a lot of unanswered questions and some consternation. But here, in California, I think we continue. We continue to lead, we continue to do the work we know matters and we continue to provide a great service to our customers. And hopefully we continue to provide an example for the rest of the country.”


Overheard At Starbucks: I Weep For The Future

Can't exactly remember the request but hearing this tween order her: Iced, Half Caff, Ristretto, Venti, 4-Pump, Sugar Free, Cinnamon, Dolce Soy Skinny Latte made me weep for the future a little bit.


Music: Goodnight Leonard

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.
A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief."

~Leonard Cohen's Facebook Page


Found Coolness: Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party

If you told me 20 years ago that this would be a thing I would have laughed in you face. I'm still laughing but also kind of want to watch it.

Also as a side note, here's the first time I ever saw Snoop Dogg,.. 22 years ago now 😁


Music: New (and Old) Music I'm Enjoying Right Now

  1. Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Tilikum
  2. Birdy - Skinny Love
  3. Ólafur Arnalds - Particles ft. Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir
  4. Grayson Gibson - Sunset
  5. Gavin James - Nervous
  6. Bon Iver - 22 (OVER S∞∞N) [Bob Moose Extended Cab Version]
  7. The Gaslamp Killer - In The Dark
  8. 888 - Critical Mistakes
  9. Glass Animals - Youth
  10. Bastille - Send Them Off!
  11. MuteMath - Changes
  12. The Black Eyed Peas - #WHERESTHELOVE ft. The World
  13. Halsey - Haunting
  14. Mike Posner - I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix)
  15. The Chainsmokers - Don't Let Me Down ft. Daya
  16. Calvin Harris - This Is What You Came For ft. Rihanna
  17. Ty Dolla $ign - Saved ft. E-40
  18. Wale - My PYT
  19. Fat Joe, Remy Ma - All The Way Up ft. French Montana, Infared
  20. TWENTY ØNE PILØTS - Heathens
  21. Muse - Madness
  22. IAMX - Spit It Out
  23. St. Lucia - Love Somebody Live on KCRW
  24. The Chainsmokers - Closer ft. Halsey
  25. Frances - Say It Again
  26. KATÉA - California Baby
  27. Kenny Chesney - Setting the World On Fire


Not-so Current Event: Love Your Spouse Challenge

Michifornia Girl: I Cannot in Good Conscience Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge

...Well, not the way I'm supposed to, exactly.

Back in August While doing some "Googling" about the Love Your Spouse Challenge that was so big at the time to see if it was anti-LGBT...

...when I found this gem of a blog-post that basically made me feel a little more normal.  I didn't share it at the time because I didn't want to rain on anyone's parade who was participating, but since it has died down now, I figured it would be OK to share.

Of Interest: Simplifying Childhood

I found this article back in may and filed it away to share at some point.  Being that tomorrow us our daughter's 2nd birthday I really wanted to re-read this article and share it with others.  For me being a parent is pretty scary, how do you know what is right for your kids?  How do you fund the right balance of protecting them and letting them learn from their own mistakes.  How do you make sure that they grow up to be happy, to be good people?  For me, I try to remember my childhood when reading articles like this one and see if they ring true with my own experience and build a hybrid of the good from my youth and the theories that make sense to my adult self.  Combine that with what Anne (who knows so much more about child psychology and development than I will ever know) knows and hopefully we will, "get it right."  This particular article reminds me of the importance of downtime for kids, it's so easy to take all of your I wish I would have been taught this/done that feelings and project them on to your kids.  I have to remember that it's OK for a kid to be bored, or for him or her to be have idle time.  For me with my shift work that means that sometimes I have to park my desires to go out and do something constructive with my daughter and be content just watching her play.

Raised Good: Simplifying Childhood May Protect Against Mental Health Issues

Suffering with a “cumulative stress reaction” as a result of the snowballing effect of too much, children develop their own coping strategies to feel safe. Parents and society are conscious of the need to protect our children physically.

We legislate car seats, bike helmets and hover in playgrounds. But protecting mental health is more obscure.

But, sadly, we are messing up. Modern day children are exposed to a constant flood of information which they can’t process or rationalise. They’re growing up faster as we put them into adult roles and increase our expectations of them. So, they look for other aspects of their life they can control.


Funny: Cluster Of Empty Picture Frames (The Onion)

Man Not Sure Why Girlfriend Having Him Hang Cluster Of Empty Picture Frames But Willing To Go With It

Music: Juanbook Picks From 2006's Billboard Hot 100

1. Lil Jon - Snap Yo Fingers
2. Bubba Sparxxx - Ms. New Booty
3. Kelis - Bossy
4. Fergie - London Bridge
5. Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous
6. Justin Timberlake – SexyBack
7. Panic! at the Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies
8. Fall Out Boy - Dance, Dance
9. Fort Minor - Where'd You Go
10. The All-American Rejects - Move Along
11. Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
12. The Fray - How to Save A Life
13. James Blunt - You're Beautiful
14. John Mayer - Waiting On The World To Change
15. Hinder - Lips Of An Angel
16. Blue October - Hate Me
17. KT Tunstall - Black Horse And The Cherry Tree
18. Cassie - Me & U
19. Eminem - Shake That
20. Pussycat Dolls – Buttons
21. Kanye West - Gold Digger


Found Coolness: Scrubs Final Scene

On the night before our wedding anniversary I'm not afraid to admit that our wedding song was inspired by Scrubs.


Music: Suzuki Violin Flash Mob (Anne Delgado Music Studio)

My wife's Suzuki Violin Studio teamed up with other's in the area to stage a flash-mob style performance at the Whole Foods courtyard in downtown Davis.  Learn more about Suzuki Violin Instruction and her studio here: www.anneviolin.com


Found Coolness: I Met The Walrus

Found this in my Facebook "On This Day" feed, I shared it back in 2011 and wondered, "Do you think that if you told him at the time of the recording what the state of the world is now that he would believe it?"  We've gone even farther down the rabbit hole since then.

System Ops: 24-Hour Clock

So I found this Seth Thomas Model 0708-3 24-Hour Clock at a second-hand store and had to pick it up for my garage.  My nerdiness for real-time ops related things knows no bounds.  It's old, it's plastic and it runs on a battery, but I like it.


Music: Juanbook Picks From 1993's Billboard Hot 100

  1. UB40 - Can't Help Falling in Love
  2. Inner Circle - Sweat (A La La La La Long)
  3. Snap - Rhythm Is a Dancer
  4. Ace of Base - All That She Wants
  5. Duran Duran - Come Undone
  6. Madonna - Deeper and Deeper
  7. Janet Jackson - That's the Way Love Goes
  8. P.M. Dawn - I'd Die Without You
  9. Bobby Brown - Good Enough
  10. Arrested Development - Mr. Wendal
  11. Tag Team - Whoomp There It Is
  12. Duice - Dazzey Duks
  13. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Boom! Shake the Room
  14. Cypress Hill - Insane in the Brain
  15. Ice Cube - It Was a Good Day
  16. P.M. Dawn - Looking Through Patient Eyes
  17. Boyz II Men - In the Still of the Night (I Remember)
  18. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
  19. Sting - Fields of Gold
  20. Duran Duran - Ordinary World
  21. Soul Asylum - Runaway Train
  22. Spin Doctors - Two Princes
  23. 4 Non Blondes - What's Up
  24. Jon Secada - Do You Believe In Us
  25. Aerosmith - Livin' On The Edge


System Ops: Shuttering Diablo

Since this for some reason is a trending topic on FB today... It's pretty funny to watch the comments.

Some people don't have enough holes in their face to spout off all their opinions.

Not a single one is talking the major impacts that this will have on the Western Interconnection and Grid Reliability. 2000 megawatts of dependable, local, carbon neutral, electric generation is going to be replaced by what? Nobody knows...


Car-ifornia: A Unique Mix

First we have a Polaris Slingshot (technically a motorcycle) spotted outside of Bistro 33 in Davis on a Saturday morning.

Then we have a Lancia Beta Coupe spotted once again spotted on a Saturday, this time at the Davis Farmer's Market.  This car is largely forgettable in the looks department (though it is the only Lancia I have ever seen "in the wild") it is however somewhat notorious as Jeremy Clarkson made one famous in the Top Gear Botswana Special many years ago now.

I spotted this old Chevy pickup at the Safeway in West Davis.

And this Porsche Panamera S EHybrid parked next to my car at work.  I actually like the Panamera, what I thought was funny was when I shared this picture on Facebook saying, "I think I'll move my Volt now." Some people took it to mean that I didn't want to park next to something so ugly.  Not the case but it amused me.


Random: This Movie (All Summer in a Day) Left A Lasting Impression On 4-year Old Juan

When I was little I remember watching a movie about some kids somewhere that never got to see the sun.  These memories are through the haze of 30+ years on this earth now but I the details I remembered: 
  1. It rained all the time, for some reason it never stopped
  2. The kids had to stand in front of sun lamps
  3. One day it was supposed to be sunny and they had to go to class to learn how to protect themselves from the sun
  4. when the sun came some kids locked a girl in a room so she couldn't go out and see it.
That was all I remembered and for years I'd go without thinking about it and then at random points in my life the memories of this movie would pop back into my head.  I could never remember the name of the movie because I was really young when I saw it, I remember identifying with the kids like they were peers.  It was a depressing memory and I couldn't for the life of me fathom why I had been able to watch this movie at whatever age I was.  Also while I had tried to google what I remembered about the movie it never pulled up an answer for me.  So I would remember it and with no way to delve deeper it would slink back into my subconscious and wait to spring forth again at some future time.

So today, I was watching the latest installment of Regular Car Reviews on YouTube this morning about a Ford Festiva...

...when Mr. Regular starts in on a literary parallel about the car he is reviewing:

"You ever read All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury?"

It's a science fiction short story about a planet where it rains all the time except for one day of the year where the sun comes out and everything is perfect, and there's this little girl on this planet who came there from earth and she lived on earth for most of her life so when that one day of sunshine comes her classmates lock her in the closet because they're all jealous and want to punish her for being from a place that's not raining year 'round."

BAM!  THAT'S IT!!! I googled it sure enough that was the story I remembered from when I was a kid!  Thanks to Wikipedia I was able to find out that PBS had a children's series called WonderWorks (immediately remembered that upon reading it) and in 1982 they made a short film based on the book:

I found the 26 minute movie on YouTube and watched it and sure enough it is depressing as fuck.  Who would think that this was a good movie for children to see?!?  And odds are that I watched this in 1982 because we didn't have a VCR when this movie came out so I was 4 years old when I watched this.  With no explanation of what was going on or what was to be learned from the story.  Just here it is at face value have fun with that one kiddo...  Anyhow the movie stuck with me to this day and it was good to finally get some answers to a random memory in my head.  All thanks to Regular Car Reviews!