Good morning. Hello. How are you? #505

I really need to stop oversleeping.

Good morning! Hello! How are you? Doing okay? What’s today? Wednesday? Okay. Great. I can do a Wednesday. Man. It is late. I keep oversleeping by about 30 minutes it is stressing me out I wish that would stop.

There were more eggshells in my eggs yesterday, as I continue listening to you guys and cracking my eggs on a flat surface. I mean, I gotta say, this method really seems to have increased my eggshells? But you guys seem so into it? It really is a mystery.

Also yesterday morning we had a smoky oven incident. I was running the June oven with our morning waffle and sausage in it, and it smelled very smoky. I couldn’t actually see smoke, and I was also cooking the eggs on the stove, and it took me a while to be sure which was smoking, but after a while I discerned it was definitely the June. We have an air quality monitor next to the June, and the numbers were climbing and Jane just thought that was the greatest thing, and she would read the number off as the particulate matter measurement went from its normal 4 all the way up above 500. Eventually, once the waffles were done, I tracked the problem down to a giant corn bread crumb that had slipped down onto the crumb rack. I mean, just a giant crumb. Size of a small radish or something. The crazy thing was how completely the waffles and sausage were permeated with smoky taste, and now, like, yummy hickory smoky taste, just gross smoke. It was disgusting. Weirdly, though, Jane didn’t seem to mind at all. Ate everything without mentioning it. Mysterious.

Despite all my grumbling about the company iFit, I gotta say that I really like this new treadmill. I’ve been doing a solid hour of walking — not too fast, but up a pretty steep incline. It’s now part of my morning routine. As soon as Janet takes over Jane from me around 10:30, I hop on and get an hour in before breakfast. I gotta say it’s really been helping my mood. Like the evening walk is nice, but it’s a more chill affair, and shorter, and later in the day. A nice, solid, morning constitutional really helps the mood.

I’m almost done with this pre-Civil War US history book, What Hath God Wrought. Just another 10 minutes or so of reading. It is very exciting. I’ve been reading this thing for so long. I don’t even remember what it was like to read other books. I’m super excited to switch gears and read my old friend Bree Rolfe’s new book, Who’s Going to Love the Dying Girl. Yesterday in my book John Quincy Adams passed away, which was very sad. He passed away on the floor of the US House of Representatives (I believe the only president to return to the house after his presidency), shouting “No!,” the lone nay vote in one of an innumerable pro-war votes. His last words were “This is the end of earth, but I am composed.” It made me very sad. Seemed like a pretty good guy, John Quincy Adams, staunch anti-war, anti-slavery, pro-women’s rights (he once attempted over 200 petitions, from women, to congress, one-by-one, all against slavery, when it was literally illegal to even petition congress on behalf of abolitionism). I’ve always dimly known, or been told, that I was related to the Adams family, and so I decided to bust out my rather robust family tree, prepared thanks to my uncle Jack, who is a dedicated geneologist. It took a while to find the connection, and it is tenuous, but it’s there. We’re both descended from Henry Adams, the patrician of the Adams family, who was, I think John Adams grandfather and John Q Adams’ great grandfather. He’s my 10x great grandfather or whatever, but our branches split almost immediately – my 9x great grandfather is a sibling of Adams’ father. I may be skipping a generation in there, but that’s the gist. Whoo hoo. So, nothing to write home about. But anyway, John Quincy Adams was all right.

Another fun fact: Abraham Lincoln came out for women’s sufferage over a decade before the Seneca Falls convention.

And a nice coda on Nicholas Trist from yesterday. Literally the day after Trist and the Mexicans finally hammered out their final deal — but before it could even be signed off by the negotiating parties, let alone by their respective governments — was the day that gold was discovered in California. If they had had modern communications, it’s unlikely that the Mexicans would have ever let California go. They had been searching for gold in California for three hundred years. They missed it by one day.

Read a long article about how dangerous the situation is becoming between Taiwan and China, and how virtually everyone believes that China will probably invade Taiwan in the next decade. The Chinese military gets bigger and bigger, the US military does not, the don’t seem to posess our bureaucratic procurement bloat so they seem to get more bang for their buck from their $2XX Billion a year military budget compared to our $7XX military budget, and of course they aren’t trying to project their power all over the world in the same way, they just have their eyes focused on a single tiny island right off their coast. Our military apparently war games the situation all the time, and those war games have not gone super well of late, even when we give the US all the fancy new weaponry in its procurement pipeline from hell. Of course China is emboldened by the Hong Kong situation, and the fact that the entire world didn’t do shit when they took over Hong Kong, just let them get away with it.

Honestly, there really doesn’t seem to be much to be done. Without a heroic, major endeavor from the democratic countries of the world, and Taiwan itself, I think we can safely assume this will happen someday, which is… I hope I don’t need to say this part… not good. But here’s what I was thinking. I was thinking that Taiwan should shift the Overton Window on this whole thing. Because, see, ever since Taiwan became a thing, when the ROC forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949, Communist China has been absolutely, 100% consistent on its position that Taiwan is a rebelling province and they own it. Meanwhile, Taiwan has sort of backed away from their original position that they were the legitimate government of China. But maybe they should just lean whole hog back into that and publicly announce something like “okay, China. We will re-unify if and when there is a free and fair election in China, monitored by outide observers. When Democracy comes to China, you can have Taiwan.” Of course the Chinese would never accept this, but I bet it would wig them out, and cause them major stress about potential internal strife, because howdy boy is that a thing they are terrified of.

Anyway, I am not an expert, don’t listen to me, I mean, yes, I went to college for this stuff but ignore me. It’s a funny thought, though. Flip the script.

Apple has appealed the ruling in the Epic v Apple case. This is a curious move for a company that claimed victory in the case. And, honestly, pretty fuckin brave, because reading that ruling, it seems entirely conceivable that the next judge down the line is going to find things a bit less favorable to Apple — Epic certainly thinks so, since they’ve appealed as well. In any case, it may ultimately be moot. The South Koreans have passed a law giving Epic a bunch one of the things they want: different methods of payment to buy In-App Purchases. This article is a good overview, though since this article came out, the law has been passed and signed into law. SO. What’s going to happen with this? Is Apple going to relent? Are they going to relent only in Korea? Or are they going to let the rest of us have this too? Apple is whining to the US Government that the new law violates our free trade agreement, because it targets US companies only, which is a fun twist on saying “whoops we’re the only country with companies who are monopolies!” I mean, I’m having a hard time figuring out whether the law actually applies to Samsung and LG, but it’s obviously moot, since even if it did, they are already in compliance? It’ll be interesting to see if Apple makes any headway with Biden’s trade office in this effort. The law goes into effect early next year, and it is very exciting.

Oh god, I am running behind again. I am sorry these are so short this week! I’m sorry I keep oversleeping! I’m trying, I’m trying! Here have a cute picture of my wife and kids to make up for it:

Let’s do a mix. Moody and quiet mix! Even though I’ve been in a pretty good mood this last week or so (thank you treadmill). Okay, five days. Still! Not bad! This is a fun mix, though. Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star has a new track out, well, it’s not her track, she guests on a track by a woman named Elizabeth Hart whom I am currently investigating. Still obsessed with the new Robert Levon Been. There’s a new Big Chief track a really like and a new Phoebe Bridgers that is pretty good. Mostly oldies on this one, though. Oh the Saint Etienne is new, of course. Best album of theirs in years and years and years I keep listening to it, just lovely. And a song from The Crow soundtrack which is, you know, up there in the pantheon of goth soundtracks with The Lost Boys and The Hunger. OMG I need to watch The Hunger again, speaking of Ann Magnuson.

Talk tomorrow!