Good morning. Hello. How are you? #512

Lana Del Rey, DWAC, Walmart, Dune, Birdies Beds moving.

Good morning! Hello! How’s it going how are you? I am good. I did not oversleep today. Jane is at Grammy’s and I have the day off, so today we call waking up at 7:45 “sleeping in,” and not “oversleeping.” Also I think it’s hilarious I wake up at any hour that starts with a 7 in it. I know some of you have been up for hours no, but, man, it is an amazing accomplishment I get up before 8 every day. That shit is so cray.

I had a dream last night I ran into Barack Obama in an elevator. I said “Hello, Mr. Obama,” and he was not having it, gave me one of his “I’m so cool and you are not” stink eyes because I didn’t call him Mr. President, but I am sorry I am not calling a podcast producer Mr. President. This whole thing where people have to call you by the highest title you ever earned in the past, even if you don’t have it anymore, is BS. I don’t expect everyone to call me Mr. Finished All 50 Levels of Doom on the PS1, do I?

Programming Note: I mis-labeled yesterday’s issue as #510, when in fact it was #511, and for that I profoundly apologize. You can fire me if you want to.

Additional Programming Note: I forgot to say goodbye at the end of my post yesterday, after the playlist screenshot. I know you guys look forward to my infinitely varied, witty farewells, and I profoundly apologize. You can fire me if you want to.

Lana Del Rey’s new album Blue Bannisters comes out today and I am very excited. My vinyl copy has not arrived, but I don’t think I can wait. A video came out the other day for the title track and I am definitely, absolutely here for it.

First, if the words “Trump SPAC” mean nothing to you, that is just fantastic. I mean, absolutely has a seal of the apocolypse just been opened with the combination of the word “Trump” with the word “SPAC” but don’t worry about. It’s better to not know. But if you must know, you can’t do better than reading the phenomenal Matt Levine about the topic.

Here, then, are my original thoughts and contributions to this unique topic: First, it is obviously a grift. I mean, yes, that part is not unique, but I have to say that the brazen lack of inclusion of PIPE in the deal is just chef’s kiss. Like… you have a billionaire at the help (supposedly? It is, shockingly, unclear, but let’s be real) and the dude can’t put any money into the deal? Of course not, because it is a grift. He knows it, the people buying up the stock right now know it, the people who will ultimately get ripped off know it, everyone knows it. It’s just glorious in its absolute, batshit brazenness and, in a rarity for Trump, it’s also probably mostly legal!

Which leads me to my second thought because of course Trump can’t actually pull this off in a legal way, the dude is incompetent, plus he doesn’t care. But on top of both of those things, he knows what is really going to happen when he breaks the law with this “SPAC.” The SEC will huff and puff but absolutely will not have the balls to go after him, and on the off chance they do go after him he will outspend them and run circles around them in court, depleting their resources and their ability to prosecute other securities fraud. Elon Musk already helpfully showed us that if you just tell the SEC to fuck off, and you have enough money, they will, in fact, scamper away with their tail between their legs and fuck off. There is a better than even chance that the Trump SPAC will permanently fuck up securities law in the United States for a generation. Assuming the US survives a generation, but we’re in a much better mood today we aren’t gonna bring you down with a barrage of misery today.

Finally, you may have read yesterday that the Trump SPAC stock, DWAC, had risen to a market cap of $1.8 billion. Well I am sorry to tell you that overnight DWAC doubled again, which means it now has a market cap of over $3 billion, and it’s not going to go down. Ever. Which means that while TMTG is obviously an incompetent joke, with zero chance of actually pulling off one of its hubristic goals, let alone all of them, suddenly that prospect is not completely insane and they might actually be able to pull off some of their goals. Three billion is maybe not quite enough to build an AWS-level cloud, but you can do a fuck ton of M&A with three billion dollars, and there are more than a few Stripe competitors out there with valuations under three billion.

There are more than a few languishing cable channels with in-place cable carrier deals out there with valuations under $3 billion. Buying a channel with current carrier deals in place means it would quite possibly not be that big of a revenue drain on his $3 billion, it could be an all stock deal for a struggling-but-almost breakeven media property, where adding 1-2 Trumpian shows a week would be enough to turn it around for almost zero money. This happens in cable all the time. This is what Oprah et al did with Oxygen, for example.

Regarding the AWS component, it does not seem out of the realm of possibility that some cloud provider will take an MVNO-like approach. It is worth noting that three of the largest clouds are not American, and probably don’t care about the political fallout, and if you think Trump wouldn’t use the Alibaba cloud, well, I respectfully disagree. And if you think the US government would stop him, I am in deep respect of your optimism.

Will all this happen? Maybe not. It might be just like his presidency, his own hubris and incompetence will preventing him from doing maximum damage. But then again, it might happen, he might not fuck it up, and he might not fuck it up exactly while he is running for president. It is awful and horrible but the threat is real.

Awesome.

I’m also deeply torn about the morality of investing in the stupid thing and making a little money from these idiots, but I think ultimately, as tempting as that is, and it feels like a victimless thing, it is ultimately helping Trump out with this stupid thing, propping the stock up and bolstering his hand in M&A, so I think I gotta pass. But… yeah. That’s a tough call.

Anyway. Moving on.

Went to Walmart yesterday. Did not buy the Glen Campbell Live from the Troubador vinyl. Tempted, but it was not a Walmart exclusive. I thought about it all week, and told myself that if it was still there this week, I would buy it, but when the time came, I just couldn’t do it. I really thought it was a Walmart exclusive. Oh well. They did not have those cool Witches Brew Kit Kats. They did have more of their cheap buckets and this time they were black, that is very exciting. A fun thing I like to do while I am watching maker Youtube videos is look at their buckets and infer where they shop from the color of the buckets. If they’re blue they shop at Walmart, if they’re Orange they shop at Home Depot, if they’re dark blue they shop at Lowe’s. White ones about — everyone sells white buckets sometimes, but they’re usually more expensive, because they want you to buy the ones with ads on them. So, you know, you gotta stay on it if you wanna find non-branded buckets at a reasonable price. Especially food safe ones.

Also there has been a bug for months in Walmart’s payment system, it is kind of insane. I can’t be the only one who noticed it, because it’s a really bad bug! Basically, if you open up your Walmart app, and scan the payment QR code before you’re ready to check out, and hit the okay button in the app, the shopping kiosk will “log you in” and say “Welcome, Rick!” on the screen of the kiosk in the upper right-hand corner. Except it won’t say “Rick.” I’m not being cute here and saying it won’t say “Rick” for you because you’re name’s not Rick. I’m saying it won’t say “Rick” for me. It says a different name. Yesterday it said “Welcome, Tammy!” Curiously, it’s always a woman’s name, so far, and for a while it was the same name several times in a row. It said “Welcome, Elena!” to me for weeks. I mean, this is insane, right? I forgot to take a picture of it, but I will do that for you next week I swear I am not making this up.

Speaking of broken the new Safari that we hate so much is also broken like those bad tabs don’t even work right. If you drag a tab out of the bar into a new window, or close a tab in the middle, the tabs don’t re-size and adjust like they’re supposed to, so you’re ending up with weird tab views like this:

I’m sorry but that is just sociopathic.

I am sorry about my wall of misery yesterday, by the way. It’s hard. I like talking about my feelings, you know, and when things in the world feel like injustice or make me sad, but I know sometimes it can be a lot. Thank you for bearing with me. I feel a bit better today, mainly probably because I did not read my book last night. Instead I watched Dune, at my house, not at a movie theater, because there is a global pandemic going on and I have an unvaccinated child. I do not regret it one bit, I have a fairly large TV and a nice soundsystem and we turned down the lights and made popcorn and made an evening of it with Jane at Grammy’s and it was just awesome. What an awesome movie. I am happy about it’s pacing, breaking the book into two (or more?) films, and I thought Lynch’s Dune went too quickly compared to the book. All that being said man I cannot wait for Part 2 and it sucks it’s going to be years, but I will content myself with just watching Part 1 over and over again for years, and, hopefully someday, in an IMAX theater, in a post-pandemic world.

Today I am going to try and figure out how to move a Birdies bed that is already full. I’m gonna make a YouTube video of it. It’s going to be a sleeper hit through the years, just you watch. It’ll get over a thousand views — which is a hit in my world — by next spring, bank on it.

Okay let’s do a mix! W Hotel Lobby mix. Mix of old and new. Probably shoulda mixed up the old and new but nope, it’s a bunch of old sandwiched in with some new. I am okay with that. Desert Inn is one of my favorite Yello tracks. They weirdly used it on a TV ad for a local hair salon growing up in Fairbanks, Alaska: Team Cutters. In 1985 or so. It’s how I found out about Yello prior to Ferris Buehller. Well, along with my older friend Dylan who was so much cooler than me.

And here we are at the farewell portion, where I spend an inordinate amount of the day trying to think of something witty I haven’t already said in the previous 500+ days, and it’s basically impossible. I hope you have a lovely weekend, and I hope you like the new Lana Del Rey album.