Sunday, November 13, 2016

No compromise with Trump's hatred

Since the election, liberals have been told we need to "empathize" with Trump voters, to "come together" and show "unity" with Donald and his supporters, to "give him a chance", or even to "stop whining".

Well, no. I'm not going to "show unity" with a small-minded person who denigrates women and minorities, threatens to deport immigrants (my wife is an immigrant, like Donald's) and wonders why we can't use nuclear weapons against our enemies. I'm not going "stop whining" about a guy who just hired a white supremacist as his chief strategist. I'm not going to "give a chance" to someone who's 2 *million* behind in the vote count, and falling further behind every day. In a democracy, the person with the most votes wins. In any other democratic country, if the person who came in second was installed as president, it'd be called a coup d'etat.

Similarly, I'm not going to empathize with anyone who voted for him. I'm not going to try to "understand" someone who writes graffiti like this:

Or carries a confederate flag to a veteran's day parade:

Or wishes Michelle Obama had been "assassinated":

I have no interest whatsoever in learning more about these people. Hillary Clinton's description of them as a "basket of deplorables" was absolutely correct. And the fact that these idiots' votes count four times more than mine is why we're stuck with a President Trump.

This is not a mentality you reason or empathize with. This is a mentality you fight until it is destroyed. Acquiescence in this case amounts to appeasement. I am not *ever* going to tolerate behavior like this, or the acceptance of it from others. If you voted for this jerk, then you absolutely deserve to feel uncomfortable by protests and "whining" for the next four years. Frankly, you're getting off easy. You're paying a very small price for voting in favor of overt racism and misogyny.

But the rest of us need to keep fighting, not just for liberal values ("liberal values" like, ya know, respecting other nationalities, races and sexes besides your own) but for democracy in general. The huge and actually underreported protests we're seeing now probably aren't going to unseat an illegitimate president who was installed against the people's will. But what they can do is start a movement to abolish the ridiculous electoral college that gives rural voters outsize influence. No American's vote should count more than any other's.

Not my photo, but this was an anti-Trump protest in LA November 12th. This is more than a few thousand people, folks.

In the meantime, I will never recognize Donald as president of anything. He has no moral authority, and was not elected by the people. The people spoke, and we elected Clinton. Every action Trump takes should be recognized for what it is - an undemocratic, authoritarian power grab. As such, he should be resisted at every turn. No law he proposes, no court or other appointment should make it onto the floor of congress.

It's going to be an uphill battle because the rural vote holds more sway than the much much larger city centers in this country. But we should all be writing to our senators and congresspeople telling them not to recognize any non-existent "mandate" by this presidency, and to oppose everything it does. No compromises. No appeasement. No "coming together" with hatred. We should show even less respect to this president than his supporters showed Obama. Whatever you think of Obama's policies, the people voted him into office - twice. Not so with Trump. I will show him no more respect than any other private citizen who also happens to be a racist and admitted sexual predator.

In the future, people will be asking what you did to stand up against this regime, and those that put it there. What will you tell them?

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Riding an ATV through the Bahamas (Carnival cruise ship excursion)

I've got another general cruise video in the pipeline, but the first video I've put together from my recent vacation is this POV of my ATV ride through Clifton Park in the Bahamas (near Nassau). This was a Carnival-booked shore excursion, although the same ride is available through other cruises and other lines. I'm sure you can even book it separately, if you happen to be flying to the Bahamas.

This ride was intense. I wasn't expecting it. I somehow thought it'd be a fun, fast but leisurely ride at 40mph through the Bahamian wilderness. And some of it was that, but a lot of it was really difficult off-road trails that were seriously off-road, I mean just a bunch of rocks and tree branches and walls to climb over, all while balancing on this 500 pound machine beneath you and trying to keep it from overturning. (One of my most dreaded instructions over our radios was "now get ready to climb the rock wall", which we heard about 20 times.) A lot of that didn't make it into this video, because it was nothing but a bunch of blurry shaking. As long as this video is, the total ride was about 90 minutes.

My wife and I were both drenched in sweat by the end of it all. But believe it or not, it was still really fun! My wife said it was the "wildest thing" she's ever done. (That's her in front of me, btw - I think she looks really cute on an ATV!) It was obviously really beautiful - I hope I captured some of that in the video.

We did have a photo op above one of the beaches (you can see a cut there around the first third of the video) and then we had actual beach time after the ride was over. I left that stuff out because it'd probably be a pretty boring video, and also I didn't shoot any of it. But the beach was really quiet and private, and my wife said it had the best water she's ever experienced. (I didn't go in - wasn't dressed for it.)

This was also my first-ever attempt at using a chest mount I'd just bought for my phone, and I really didn't have an opportunity for a practice run, nor could I even see what I was recording as I was riding. This was all in the blind with my phone strapped to my chest. Unfortunately, early on the phone flipped down without me knowing and also switched off, so a lot of the early trails are missing from the video. Apologies that some of the footage is a little too focused on my own machine - that was me leaning forward, which was unavoidable. I just feel lucky I didn't end up face down in a ditch! Still, I feel like it got better as things went on and overall I'm happy with the result.

I've got another video coming soon - it'll be more of a relaxing overview of life on a cruise ship. So wait for that.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Summer Vacation 2016

I just got back from my 5-day late summer vacation. As per usual for my wife and I, it was a packed few days, and I was worn out by the end. Parts of my body are still recovering.

I may do some separate posts on a few things, but here's what we did:

1) Walt Disney World
2) Our second cruise this year (on Carnival Victory this time)
3) ATV ride through the Bahamas

Disney World is pretty hellish at this time of year - I do not recommend it. Certain attractions were fun, but walking around in the 90+ degree tropical weather, in the middle of those crowds (seriously, don't kids go to school anymore?) really wore me down quickly. And except for our FastPass events, which you only get three of per day, we really weren't able to do much.

Incidentally, this was our rental car:

That's a brand new 2017 Corvette Stingray. Cost basically the same amount as a regular car, so I booked it. No idea why it was so cheap. But hey, don't question it - just do it!

I gotta say, driving around Florida in this thing did feel a little Miami Vice to me. (Yes, I know, not the same car. Same type of car and same color, though... and same surroundings. And Crockett did technically drive a Corvette through season one!)

Funny thing? Brand new car (317 miles on it) and the engine light was on the entire time we had it. My theory is that the last people who had it filled it up with cheap gas. Cars like this need premium, guys!

Another funny thing: Chevrolet had this exact same car as the featured car in the showroom at Epcot's Test Track. Same color and everything. At least I got to see the sticker price, which was "only" $58,000 and change. Really not too bad for a car like this! And I could drive this car every day; it was really comfortable and well-mannered, but a beast when I wanted it to be. I've always wanted a Corvette, since I was a kid...

The cruise was fun. I've decided I like cruising. I'll almost definitely devote a post just to that.

Video of the ATV ride is coming. Just gotta edit it together. I wore a dorky looking phone chest mount through the entire ride. But I got some cool footage.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I have a new(ish)YouTube channel

I've started a new YouTube channel, so far mostly focusing on vintage computers, tech and games. This isn't my first or latest video, but it's my favorite that I've done so far (of the four or five):

I called the channel "modern classic" mostly because I suck at coming up with names, but also because I basically do want to focus on things (mostly products, admittedly) that I think have stood, or will stand, the test of time. That allows me freedom to cover a whole bunch of different stuff I like, but it should all tie together.

Check out and subscribe to Modern Classic here.

Incidentally, I've also got a long-standing YouTube channel for the stuff I put up as parts of blog posts here... you kind of get one by default. It's pretty random and a lot of the videos in it are just snippets (and some date back to near the beginnings of YouTube!), but if you want to look at it too, be my guest. I'll probably still use it for stuff that really doesn't fit in with the new channel. There are a few things in there that I wish I could move over to Modern Classic, but Google doesn't allow that.

About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.

About Me

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I'm married. I like to travel. I have no kids. I have a house... that I'm bad at maintaining. I used to collect classic video games. I own a lot of musical equipment that far outstrips my ability to use it. When I was younger, I was in a band. I like gadgets, and I'm an Android guy. Someday, I would like to live on a different planet.


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