Facebook, The Geezers, Raids, Locusts, Pestilence

My article fell apart. Two months of work down the toilet. Yes, it’s annoying, but it’s just part of the job. For the first time since the end of August, I don’t have an article in the works. Ideally, I would be using this time to reboot my brain, get back in the exercise routine, finish cleaning up after the kitchen contractors. I would also be using this time to blog and get my creative juices going again.  Instead, I squandered the day reading a crappy novel. Meh. Must have needed to do that. There’s always a little mourning period when an article bites the dust.

Yesterday, Zuckerberg testified before the Senate. The Senators proved themselves to be even more clueless than my dad, which is truly incredible.

Dad – “Hi, Laura. I want to scan a picture. What do I do?”

Laura – Well, first you go to your Hewlett Packard icon —

Dad – I lost it. It used to be at the bottom and then it went away.

Laura – OK. Well, we need to create a new icon on your dock. First, go to your applications folder.

Dad – How do I do that?

Laura – Go to your finder.

Dad – How do I do that?

Laura – Do you see the smiling square at the bottom of your screen? Click on it.

Dad – OK, now what?

Laura – Now, you have to find the Hewlett Package file. Do you see you see it? OK, great. Now, drag it onto your dock. Drag it. Yes. Draaaggggg. Pull it onto to the dock. Wait. Did you put it in the trash can? Ugh. Nevermind. I’ll deal with it when I come there this weekend.

I am certainly not going to touch the issue of Kevin Williamson at the Atlantic. But I have been reading a lot of the commentary around the issue. I like the opening to his article on the opioid crisis.

Read this by Junot Diaz.

Read about black mothers.

And as I’m typing away, CNN is talking in the background about Trump’s hush money for the doorman with info about a love child, James Comey, raids on the lawyer’s office, and it’s becoming just a blur of hubris and rot. Will we ever regain our confidence in democracy?


11 thoughts on “Facebook, The Geezers, Raids, Locusts, Pestilence

  1. For better or worse, I think I’m done with the explaining computers to old people phase of my life.


  2. I got effing phished today. Or rather, I fell for an effing phishing scam. Let’s use the active voice because I am that responsible for my own stupid actions.

    I am officially old. I’ve been excoriating myself all day for my stupidity.


    1. I’ve often wondered about the effect of persistent phone scams on the voting of the elderly. Anybody home all day who has gotten on the list will face several fraud attempts a week, mostly from people with foreign-sounding accents


      1. I tell the Indian gentleman (it’s never an Indian lady) that we don’t own a computer. That confuses them.


  3. From Kevin Williamson’s piece:

    “One spiteful dealer boasts about spiking his product with excessive amounts of fentanyl, an all-business pharmaceutical analgesic used for burn victims and cancer patients, that particular entrepreneur’s plan being to intentionally send overdosed users to the hospital or the morgue . . . for marketing purposes. Once the word got out about the hideous strength of his product, that killa went right out the door ricky-tick.”

    Oh, man. That’s evil.

    “While much of the rest of the world gets healthier and longer-lived, the average life expectancy for white American men without college educations is declining. Angus Deaton, the Princeton economist who recently won the Nobel prize, ran the numbers and found (in a study coauthored by his Princeton colleague Anne Case) that what’s killing what used to be the white working class isn’t diabetes or heart disease or the consumption of fatty foods and Big Gulps that so terrifies Michael Bloomberg, but alcohol-induced liver failure, along with overdoses of opioid prescription painkillers and heroin”

    Oh dear.

    “The typical pharmacy sells 73,000 oxycodone pills a year; six Walgreens in Florida were going through more than 1 million pills a year — each.”


    To be fair, a Florida Walgreens may have an older and shadier clientele.

    “Ground Zero in the opiate epidemic isn’t in some exotic Taliban-managed poppy field or some cartel boss’s fortified compound: It’s right there at Walgreens, in the middle of every city and town in the country.”

    “I arrive at a reasonably infamous New Orleans drug corner, where I inquire as discreetly as I can about the availability of prescription painkillers, which are getting harder and harder to find on the street.”

    If this is for real (and journalists have been known to fib in drug stories), he’s gone pretty far for his craft.

    “The current spike in overdoses is related to a couple of things. One proximate cause is the increased use of fentanyl to spike heroin. Heroin, like Johnnie Walker, is a blend: The raw stuff is cut with fillers to increase the volume, and then that diluted product is spiked with other drugs to mask the effects of dilution.”

    I did not know that.

    “The best clinical thinking at the moment — the top idea among our best and brightest white-coated elite — is to help junkies pre-plan their overdoses.”

    …by providing the antidote in advance.

    And it goes on. There’s a lot of stuff here I did not know.

    If this piece is for real, it’s a fine (and rather expensive) piece of reporting.


  4. Non-disclosure agreements seem to be working much less well as of 2017-2018.

    Maybe not entirely a bad thing.


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