TAP’s militant Super Bowl predictions

– Aaron Donald and Von Miller will run wild as supermen as they utterly demolish a Bengals offensive line that’s thinner than the transparent candy plastic foolishly passed around this Monday

– Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth provide what sadly could be their last broadcast together as one of the only tag teams that doesn’t include a network tool hack or an insane manic tape bot man

– The NFL will put in so much pro military jingoistic glam that it’ll make a North Korea parade look like a C grade kindergarten graduation production

– The NFL (and the Rams) will try very, very, very desparately to once again convince Los Angeles (and everyone else) that Los Angeles actually cares about the NFL (which the city does not)

– Per the above, expect there to be more hardcore Bengals fans than Rams in the stadium forcing Keg Stand Stafford to go silent count, which should be fine as he’s done it for weeks now

– Roger Goodell and Stan Kroenke on camera lick their cigars with $10,000 bills, punch an orphan urchin in the face, and stare directly at the camera while mouthing four letter words, and gets away with it; then they start to make out with each other

– Sean McVay runs a lot around the sidelines in his best impersonation of an LA meth addict

– Zac Taylor continues his impersonation of a 12 year old Ivy league school candidate good lil boy

– OBJ continues his mature turn around whereas somehow this man actually now appears quite sane all the time

– Kupp and Chase achieve godhood, become co-emperors of all humanity after game regardless of outcome

– Joe Burrow will lose (see prediction #1), but it will not impede his future ability to win between like 2-4 Super Bowls in the future

– Since the Rams don’t have another draft pick until 2029, this will be their last Super Bowl for a long, long, long time, LA will not notice (see prediction #4)

– Hopefully a good time will be had by all

things you should never say in public

I’m mostly catatonic during my morning commute. I’m just not a morning person. I sit on the subway like a zombie. Sometimes I read a little, sometimes I doze off, but mostly I just exist. But things can peak my brain. Like the time last week this guy walked right up six inches from my face and nearly screamed in a menancing way: “Annnddd how are you doing this morning?” I said absolutely nothing and stared at him like he was a sedentary empty soup can and eventually he walked away. Not sure what was up with that.

This morning I’m walking out of the station and I overhear a guy say this little gem to his buddy:

“And then I shot him in the face with a silenced pistol!”

Oh yeah, hmm, yeah that’ll yield a double take even in my fogged morning brain. I’m sure he was just talking about Fortnite, but you still need to not say things like that in public. Or at least don’t talk loudly.

While I’m on the topic, all these Fortnite or equivalent massive multiplayer shooters are all pure garbage. They’re pay for play ponzi schemes for losers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love shooters, they’re a genre I play all the time. I have a higher video game kill count than Alexander’s partially genocidal Companion Cavalry. But if you’re going to play a shooter, skip the weak ass crap and play a real game. Play a singleplayer death machine like Doom or Wolfenstein.

I mean, just look at this cartoon nonsense:

Oh look the guy has a sword, and it seems they’re surrounded by zombies. Oh and she’s got a Warcraft style hammer. How cute. It’s like a Lego version of a shooter.

Here’s something actually worth your time from Wolfestein:

Ahhh, now that’s early morning commute stress relief.

Civil War – 31 January 1863 – not a routine day on the water

If you’ve ever been at sea for a significant time or been a sailor you know the art of the routine is of considerable importance.  Routine allows you to get done what you need to get done so you can do actual work, or have fun, or just stare out at the awesomeness of being at sea.

When the routine is busted is when things go bad.  During peacetime this can be bad weather, equipment breaks, some dummy does dummy things, etc.  War is of course when the routine is shattered by expected or unexpected action.

The Union blockade of the Confederate States was one of the most successful (and least appreciated) acts of the war.  By the time the war was halfway over goods might be 20 or 30 times more expensive in parts of the South.  By the end, the Confederacy was starving.

Making this blockade happen was the genius of many hands, but much credit is due to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.  But for the average Union sailor it was a boring slog of a routine, day after day, sitting off the southern coast watching mostly empty water, in an era where air conditioning didn’t exist.

So on January 31st, 1863 at least it’s not Summer, so the temperature is good.  But there’s a blockade runner’s dream in an early morning fog.  But it’s not a blockade runner the Union Navy has to worry about, the Confederates are coming out to fight:

Two Confederate rams, the CSS Chicora (Commander John R Tucker) and Palmetto State (Lieutenant John Rutledge) under overall command of Flag Officer Duncan N Ingraham, left Charleston Harbor in an early morning fog and attacked the blockading fleet.  The rams successfully destroyed the USS Mercedita (Captain Stellwagen) and the Keystone State (Commander William E LeRoy).  General PGT Beauregard commander of the Charleston district, claimed that the blockade had been lifted.  More Federal ship arrived.

Chicora and Palmetto State were modern ironclad rams, arguably two of the most dangerous warships then afloat.  Whereas Mercedita and Keystone State were wooden steam ships.  In order to blockade such a long coastline, the Union Navy had to rely on hundreds of old model wooden vessels which were fine for chasing down blockade runners but simply couldn’t compete with modern armored warships.

– The reality is the Confederacy didn’t have the industrial base to generate enough modern warships, and those they had were slowly and methodically run down and destroyed as the Union captured Confederate port after port.  Chicora and Palmetto State are exceptions in that since Charleston held almost until the end of the war, they lasted all the way until 1865 and were scuttled when Union forces finally took Charleston.

– So this was of course a very one sided battle, at least at the tactical level.  Mercedita was hit by gunfire and then rammed to the point that she surrendered.  Keystone State was disabled by gunfire afterwards.  Contrary to the above text, both ships would survive, be towed away, and continue service for the Union after repairs.  Chicora and Palmetto State would exchange gunfire with the rest of the blockade fleet before retiring.

– A one sided affair and a complete tactical victory for the Confederacy, it did nothing to change the overall scope of the war.  The Union blockade of Charleston remained intact.  Which is, of course, the purpose of an effectively executed blockade.

– All throughout the war are the scattered names of dozens of Union and Confederate generals who are just kind of there.  And even when they execute brilliant acts here and there, they’re still just kind of there.  They’re just guys.  And you ask yourself, why?  Beauregard was the co-winner of First Bull Run.  Why is he just kind of there for the rest of the war?  Well, it’s because of statements like this: ”claimed that the blockade had been lifted”.

– So if you’re some Charleston citizen, and Beauregard says the blockade is over, and two days later you look out over the water and the blockade is still there, you’d be certain that man was an idiot.  Here is a perfect example of Southern spirit over common sense.  Elan is not enough to win a war, and yet many of the South’s leaders (even those in the most key of positions) figured it would be enough to triumph.  It wasn’t.  The text above blandly notes: “More Federal ship arrived.”  Beauregard’s outlandish view of the war cannot compete with a Union war machine that can replace ships at will, no matter how many are destroyed.  And crewed by Union sailors who had one of the hardest, most thankless tasks of the war, but who completed their mission in the end.

Chicora and Palmetto State in Charleston harbor

dogs and cats make boring political statements

So the White House now has a cat. Because there’s nothing else going on in the world right now that should otherwise attract the attention of our nation’s leaders. But I guess it doesn’t matter. I bet the White House staff is so bloated there must be at least three people tasked with just taking care of the pet. After all, can’t have kitty’s litter box smell getting into the state dining room.

Dogs and cats are great, for us. Not for political theater. It shows unseriousness. Modern politicians are not normal people. If they were, they wouldn’t be in politics. So the idea that they are all somehow just like us little folk is kind of amusing and insulting.

If you want pets in a position of power, let’s get insane:

– Lion: This classic fear based weapon on a chain next to the Resolute desk is a bit predictable but who cares, it’s a freaking lion

– Komodo dragon: Lost among the people’s fascination with this unique creature is just how vicious they are, they can be placed in the lap of unruly cabinet secretaries

– Sloth: Yes, sloths, are slothy, but they’re also surly assholes, they can hang from the rafters both inside and outside the White House and stare at people like they can see into their souls

– Panda: What better way to shine on America’s global competitor than to have a White House mascot that American commandos stole from the Beijing zoo

– Aquarium: A leader’s office isn’t complete without a big aquarium full of lots of fish, some of which eat the other fish, the tropes and stereotypes that could be uttered to visiting dignitaries are immeasurable

– Alligator & Crocodile: What’s the difference between these two? I’m 40 and I still have no idea, best to get both inside the building just to be safe

– Bald Eagle: Because, of course, it could sit on a perch next to the Resolute desk and Biden could feed it raw meat during his meeting with the Deputy Undersecretary of Machine Tools at Union #438

– Mosquitos: Put them in the broom closet (there’s got to be one even in the White House) and any staff member who accidentally breaks a plate has to stand in there for 15 minutes

– Alien: Actually clone the alien from Alien, and he can greet guests at the door and pose with them for selifes, American commandos will have to be on hand to put down anybody who gets the face hugger

– Grizzly Bear: Teddy Roosevelt would approve, bear can take over the South Lawn, he would forever have a higher approval rating than any White House occupant

Aww, just look at the cute kitty! He even has a ball too! Wow, our political leaders are just like us too! They love pets just like we do! Wow! There isn’t a chance in hell that they’ll ever constantly fail us all and think we’re all shit eating peasants!

this man is an imposter

Slammed in the middle of the NFL’s usual battery of truck commercials and false fluff where companies claim how wonderful they are by lying directly to the audience was a few ads for the new Death on the Nile film.  The is a remake of something that has already been done, and was done better.  It’s a follow up to another Murder on the Orient Express which was done back in 2017.  The Imposter is show business royalty darling Kenneth Branagh who has his tentacles in so many aspects of Hollywood you can’t keep track of it.  But is basically known for making a bunch of forgettable Shakespeare films, shitty (but lucrative) remakes and superhero trash in Thor and Cinderella, and the greatest masterpiece ever made in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

The Imposter has a habit of casting himself in the leading roles while he’s the director.  Which is something that you shouldn’t ever do unless your name is legendary, of which for all his connections, The Imposter is most certainly not.  What’s even more glaring with the two Poirot remakes is The Imposter is shoving himself into an actor / director role where the character has already been played to absolute perfection by David Suchet.  It’s like some hack showing up and deciding he’s going to play Indiana Jones far, far better than Harrison Ford.  It’s patently absurd, but like a bunch (all) of people in show business he’s a narcissist for sure, so it’s okay to fail, as long as he can see his own film and smile about how awesome he thinks he looks.  I think I saw in the Nile trailer that The Imposter has Poirot holding a gun.  Which is like Indy holding a fluffy teddy bear.  Such things should not be done.

There is only one Poirot, that’s it.  And shame on Agatha Christie’s family for taking the check that was slid across the table to let Hollywood trash the 25 years of work David Suchet & Co did with Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

In my mind, this would play out perfectly in 1938.  Miss Lemon would go through the financial records and discover the location of The Imposter based on his bribery paperwork.  Hastings would jump into his roadster to get there as quickly as possible, without knowing even where he was going, and would collide with a bus full of nuns and children on their way to a Great War veteran’s event.  Poirot would solve the case by getting in the face of Hollywood executives (around a crowded circular room with many people listening to him) and the film would be cancelled.  And then Japp would drag The Imposter from his gilded hotel room at 3:34am in shackles to the Scotland Yard basement room known as “The Kiln”.  Where then Japp would grab the phone book and ask questions for seven hours such as “Well then, let’s see how many Fitzhugh’s live in Charing Cross?”  Followed by the screams.

El Paso – Franklin Mountain

El Paso is one of those few but not insignificant number of American cities that I’ve been to so much I feel like I’ve lived there when I actually haven’t. Work and fun travel will do that progressively over time. More than anything what drew me to El Paso was the people. I really miss working with those folks and their families a lot. I’ll probably never go there for work again, but whenever I find my way back to El Paso the people are always there.

Still, that doesn’t mean El Paso lacks for things to do on your own. In Franklin Mountain, El Paso has a hill that literally bisects the city, and gives it its name. It’s a good hike, and one that if done on a weekday has the always enjoyable trait of being one you can accomplish without seeing a single other human being, which always adds a nice poetic touch to the hike.

the always typical and delightful: I want to climb that.

I can’t remember what this small structure was, but I think it was a power company site back when such things were needed

east El Paso, it’s hard to tell in this shot, but this portion of the mountain has three or four feet of hiking room, with a very clear one way trip doom fall on either side of you, it was fun

climate theater – part 47

The best way to improve the climate is apparently to jet set the richest most important arrogant people on the planet into one place and get them to talk and produce nothing but bland platitudes for days. Make no mistake, lots of promises will be made, but nothing will be done.

All these countries will promise to be net zero by [insert any date here] and a bunch of corporations will produce squishy statements about how they’re committed to [insert any sanitized public relations talking point here] but it will just be hypocritical window dressing.

If they were honest, they would all scream and cry and then burn down the exhibit hall. Or better yet, not show up at all. Because the honest truth is there is no coherent plan to fight climate change. It’s all a pipe dream.

The global pandemic, the most catastrophic economic event in nearly a century, caused only a very small fraction of a dip in global emissions. Take a gander at this chart:

The economy of almost every country on the planet was detonated, hundreds of millions of people sent back into poverty, and life stopped for months on end due to lockdowns.  And that cut emissions only a fraction of what they’ve risen to in the last two decades.  So what’s it going to take to get emissions back down to year 2000 levels?  Well, if the pandemic is a guide, I guess the answer could only be to destroy the entire human race.

The way out of this mess is apparently to replace all coal, gas, and oil with wind and solar.  But these make up only a fraction of the overall power structure and it’d be 2189 before they could fully take over.  Which if you believe the projections by that point the planet will be on fire and visible as a glowing molten rock from Saturn.

Then you hear the estimates that wind turbines have to cover an area the size of India.  Because the planet has plenty of open space in its populated areas, right?  And the same nutcases who are calling for net zero are also bizarrely anti-nuclear, because clearly this net zero power source is evil, you know, if they can’t do math.

To me this is the height of unseriousness.  The planet needs nuclear power in order for the math to work, but Germany, Japan, and just about any green activist of consequence wants nuclear gone.  They might as well just admit they’re selling an idea worthy of a druid occult ritual where they promise, just promise you the blood of a deer will cure your cancer.  Which of course, it won’t.  Unless you’re a druid reincarnated from 345 BC, then it’d work, or so I’m told.

Even the Paris accords acknowledge that they only way humanity can keep temperatures below a rise of 2 degrees Celsius has to involve “negative emissions”. 

This is the idea of carbon capture and other such things that stop or even remove carbon from the atmosphere.  Without significant negative emissions, the math doesn’t work either and over 2 degrees Celsius happens.  And as of today, I think the total amount of carbon capture per year is less than what’s put into the atmosphere per day.

So then you get lunatic moonshot ideas of seeding the atmosphere with sun blocking chemicals, or throwing a giant sun shield between the Sun and the Earth.  This Bond villain lunacy couldn’t possibly backfire, honest.  I mean, we can trust the planet’s elites to not make mistakes, can’t we?

Hey to me the climate change argument is just noise.  Believe in climate change or not, because it doesn’t matter what you actually think.  You’re just going to have to adapt to the weather, regardless of what happens.

What does matter is the planet’s elites have only nonfunctional, delusional answers and plans which won’t work.  It’s complete theater.  Enjoy the ride, those who are driving are idiots.

As useful to the human race as a demolition derby event

meet your new Jeopardy host, Kal-Al-Dekbrah, Destroyer of Worlds

It’s become rather hard to keep track of just how many people are detonated in the media every day.  So, I for one don’t even try.  But I guess not one but both the new Jeopardy hosts have at one point in their life called another adult a jerk, so they must be executed in Times Square and can’t host the show.

I’m just gonna go ahead and state that Jeopardy should have died with Alex.  I used to watch this show with my Ma and Dad.  My Dad liked it.  But to me, there is literally less than zero point having the show continue without him.  Trebek WAS Jeopardy.  This show does not properly exist without him.  Everything else is just noise.

That being said, somebody’s gonna host this show, because $.  Since modern media / news / celebrities have a zero tolerance policy on any actual human behavior whatsoever, no human being will ever pass the vetting.  So we at TAP propose Kal-Al-Dekbrah, Destroyer of Worlds as the new host.  His qualifications:

1) Possesses most knowledge available in galaxy.  They can fire the scriptwriters.  HE writes the questions, live, on set.

2) Is so surly and dismissive that his dry demeanor will be treated as wise as he calmly asks questions and interacts with contestants.

3) Thinks social media is a clandestine tool to weaken humanity for the forthcoming bombardment, and thus has no black marks on his internet record.

4) Confirmed genocidal maniac who has burned planets.  But since he didn’t say anything about trans on Twitter, nobody will care.

5) Provides esoteric enjoyment during the contestant question session as he asks their opinion about drag coefficients on starships.

6) Ups the drama by requiring any contestant with a negative balance to pay the bill, in cash, on screen, as the credits roll.  Or else.

7) Lights a candle and chants a prayer for a few seconds at the beginning every show in honor of Trebek.

8) Will viciously chokeslam any haughty contestant mid-show (you KNOW the type I’m talking about) shattering their spine on the stage floor

9) Dispenses with the need of judges to adjudicate disputes, only HE judges. Objections result in chokeslams.

10) Antics will provide better ratings than any other [insert complete and total loser human here who is not Alex] new host.

it’s time for a return to bloodsports

This morning on the train a woman was absolutely out of her mind.  Likely under the influence of some mild expanding substances she was shouting nonsensical things to the train car in general.  Since the local train police are essentially nonexistent, this is not an uncommon occurrence.  Everyone ignored her.  However, what was uncommon was as she got off the train she got into another lady’s face and started yelling at a complete stranger, essentially threatening her life for no reason.

This other lady then proceeded to let the crazy lady have it, and basically shouted her down asking her in very kind, appropriate language fit for a kindergarten what her problem was and to get away from her.  Much to my surprise, this entire interaction greatly pleased the entire train car’s passengers.  It seemed to make them happy to see this altercation, made their commute more exciting.  Other complete strangers were talking about it with each other.

Why?  Well, morning commutes are boring as shit.  Plus, this crazy lady had been shouting for 20 minutes and so folks were probably pleased to see somebody hand her her ass.  But, I have a twisted mind and so my other thoughts were that folks were just happy to see some kind of non-violent altercation as pure entertainment.  It brought people together, complete strangers.

This is straight caveman shit.  This is the ape part of our brains that loves to see a good scrum.  Think evolution has solved us of this?  Wrong.  At times it seems the entire purpose of social media is to give people an outlet to express their rage at [insert anything here].  Instead of brawling with their neighbors in the market square over [insert anything here], they just output their rage on Twitter.

Not only is this unhealthy, it’s also weak.  It’s really, really easy to threaten somebody’s life over a political issue when you’re not in the same room with them.  It’s rather a different concept if you’re face to face.  Let’s take an example of this.

1) Political Cult Acolyte 1 says to Political Cult Acolyte 2 over Twitter, “Fuck you, you’re wrong, my opinion is right.  You deserve to die.  I’ll kill you and all those like you, fucker.”  A similar threat is returned.  Nothing actually happens.

2) Political Cult Acolyte 1 says the same thing to Political Cult Acolyte 2, only face to face.  Either the police are called, a fight ensues, or somebody is actually murdered.

If you ask me, (2) is more productive than (1).  (1) allows the rage to continue, let’s people live in their own narcissistic bubble, permits people to endlessly be total assholes without consequence, and in the end solves nothing.  Whereas with (2), the issue is resolved, one way or the other, immediately.

It’s time for a return to bloodsports.  The Coliseum is still standing, just slightly upgrade that venue and let’s get back to our roots.  The mandate is anytime somebody threatens somebody on the train, or on Twitter, it’s like a glove slap challenge.  If the other human doesn’t accept, they can be branded as a coward or not serious in their beliefs regarding [insert anything here].  If they accept the challenge: Coliseum.

This can be live broadcasting like the Olympics or like any number of post-apocalyptic B movie from 1987.  They don’t necessarily have to kill each other, just get the other opponent to submit.  So I’m not necessarily advocating tridents and nets.  Let them hit each other with plastic bats for all I care.  Eventually somebody will get tired of getting hit in the head and give up.  Or, we just let folks go wild and somebody can get viciously stabbed with a short sword.  Either way.

But, I guess the problem is this would instantly make these folks famous.  So folks would be picking fights on Twitter just so they could get into the Coliseum and then become #1 on Instagram.  Fuck, my idea sucks.  It solves nothing.

Hmm, how about instead of bloodsports, we adopt the ancient Mayan or Aztec custom of human sacrifice?  If two people threaten each other on the train or Twitter, they get tossed into a cenote, or have their heart ripped out on the steps of the Supreme Court?

failed train becomes graffiti

Near my place is a light commuter rail train bridge overpass under construction.  Construction’s been on hold for over a year because (shocker) the project is over budget and the government is fighting with various private companies over who pays the bill.  My bet is it takes five more years to finish this thing.  It’ll be a decade behind schedule and probably a few billion over budget.  Which seems to be how America builds things nowadays.

Anyways, since this very new and expensive bridge is essentially abandoned, people get to have a field day except for the nearby construction storage site.  That site is safe is because it’s surrounded by cameras and barbed wire.  But the bridge itself is essentially open, if you’re daring or dumb enough to climb out on the steel edges of the supporting beams.  The beams are about a person’s width wide, without a railing, and a drop of at least a 100 feet or so.  In other words, you can walk out there, but if you fall you’re done.

And wouldn’t you know it several crazy folks have done so, to spray paint graffiti on the side of the bridge.  The first guy did this months and months ago.  It was a crude word that was incomprehensible, I guess it was his art name?  I have no idea, I’m not exactly up on the graffiti scene / lingo.  This morning another artist / goon (depends on your viewpoint) put his or her tag on the bridge side next to the old word.  The new stuff was super elaborate.  It must have taken hours to spray that on there.

I draw the following conclusions:

1) Whoever did this had the mental fortitude / courage / guts of a person who in caveman times would have killed all his rivals and made ten surrounding villages his bitch.  It takes balls to stand out there with inches between life and death for hours, and to somehow spray a well composed coherent concept.

2) Like a lot of places in America, the crime rate in my local area has soared lately.  We had a carjacking the other day which is extremely rare.  This weekend the cops were back, just down the block from me.  Yesterday I had to shoo my dog along during the walk because she wanted to play with a man who made no attempt whatsoever to conceal he was dealing hard drugs.  Spray paint a bridge illegally?  No worries, the cops are nowhere to be found (for many, many reasons which we won’t get into today).

3) Despite his nighttime tactics, I’m sure the artist / goon (depends on your viewpoint) would have been visible to at least a few pedestrians and those driving in cars.  So either these folks just let him do it and didn’t care, or they called the cops and the cops didn’t show (see above).  But I guess if folks saw this and didn’t care, I’m okay with that.  Somebody spray painted a bridge, so what?  If government can’t be bothered to not completely & totally waste taxpayer money for a decade on a failed transit project why not let some dude have at it?

4) Will the most incompetent of governments take the time to paint over or remove the graffiti?  Well, like I said the one guy has had his stuff up there for months, so my guess is no.  At least not until construction resumes on the project, if it ever does.  So these dudes have their stuff just hanging out there on this steel bridge forever.

5) If I had spray painting skills, and the guts to do this, I’d spray paint the most random shit up there.  Something that would cause people near constant question marks in their heads for years.  I’d have like a woolly mammoth playing cards with a penguin, a Cossack, an elderly Incan lady, and a half full glass of water, all of them sitting on a table made of ice, next to a campfire fueled by discarded Chinese newspapers, whilst on the Moon.  It’d be great!  Losers would be searching for the deeper meaning of it for years, when there would none whatsoever.