Goodbye, FastCompany

Leftovers & Links #43

Happy sloth!

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A touch of optimism to start your day:

Navy launches ship named for gay rights leader Harvey Milk. 

Quote:  The replenishment oiler USNS Harvey Milk slid down the shipyard ways after a bottle of champagne was smashed on the bow... Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, and Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro watched the traditional ceremony.

“The secretary of the Navy needed to be here today, not just to amend the wrongs of the past, but to give inspiration to all of our LGBTQ community leaders who served in the Navy, in uniform today and in the civilian workforce as well too, and to tell them that we’re committed to them in the future,” Del Toro said.

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Here's a good-but-sad article about the underbelly of climate change. As the disasters increase in frequency, a new industry has emerged, sending people to rebuild communities shattered by hurricane, fire, and lately disease.

Of course, this being America, these disaster-help companies are mostly slipshod operations, employing undocumented and untrained workers, and putting them in unsafe situations. Pledge allegiance, baby — this is how America does America.

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Not really related to the above, but here’s an extract from that article:

In Venezuela, she had worked as an environmental engineer and run several of the country’s national parks. But for the past three years, living in the U.S., she had turned to manual labor to make money. 

That’s the standard story for a great many immigrants, and another reason I have only admiration for immigrants. I used to buy hot dogs from a street vendor who’d been a lawyer in his first country. My wife and I got medical advice from a waiter at an Indian restaurant, who’d been a doctor where he came from. That's some of the guts it takes to come to America.

Anyone who wants to argue the morality of illegal immigration, argue with my ass. America has a shortage of good people, and I’ve never met an immigrant who wasn’t good people. 

I once worked with a white American two-legged farm animal full of racist quips, who said he wasn’t a racist but just wanted immigrants to play by the rules. The rules, of course, are designed to keep immigrants out, and anyway, if you’ve ever dealt with any bureaucracy anywhere, you know that navigating the rules when you don’t even speak the language is effectively impossible.

Pardon my preaching, but screw the rules. I don’t give a moist rippler whether you're here legally or illegally. To anyone anywhere who can get to America, I say, Welcome to America.

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Capitalism never stops

“Renovating this is very expensive and would be out of reach for many," says a San Jose millionaire. He’s talking about Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick’s many-million-dollar investment to construct a CloudKitchens venue — several fake restaurants built for delivery service only, though the place “is expected to have limited counter-style seating along with a few tables and chairs.”

The “CloudKitchens” concept is a slash across the throat for real restaurants, and ought to obviously not be allowed. It’s already becoming commonplace, though. In a few years it’ll do serious damage to the real-restaurant industry.

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Fascinating article about Valerie Taylor, a lesbo writer who wrote lesbo fiction when it was still illegal in America to be gay. She inserted enough real elements in her fiction to provide guideposts for women who might otherwise have thought themselves virtually alone. For the times, I’d say that’s heroic.

Quote: The Pub, one of the bars in Taylor’s novel, is specifically described as being on the ‘ragged edge of the theater district,’ while, Karla’s Place is located ‘on the near North Side…just outside the business district’ and Jo and Richard in Unlike Others go to a bar called The Spot ‘north of Randolph on Wabash’ to which Taylor even gives driving directions. These locations are accurate descriptions of where many of Chicago’s gay bars were in the 1950s and 1960s. By inserting these references, Taylor gives her readers a coded, but very much accurate queer roadmap of Chicago.

I’d never heard of Valerie Taylor, and unlike most straight dudes I have nearly no prurient interest in lesbian sex, but now I have a book by Valerie Taylor on order.

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Homeless students at California college can now sleep in their cars in parking garage 

Quote:  Enrolled students who are homeless will be able to stay at the Pacific Coast Campus parking structure between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. seven nights a week.

They will have access to restrooms and wi-fi throughout the night and be able to use the showers at the Pacific Coast Campus in the mornings.

A tiny step in a smart direction. Here's me on this, earlier.

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I post links to stuff I find interesting or valuable, but I wish there was a way to post anti-links to stuff that’s of no value whatsoever, as a warning to others. Like this: 

The Verge offers “How to print a document when you don’t own a printer.” I’m a guy who does not own a printer yet sometimes needs to print a document, so I clicked and read/skimmed it, and there’s simply nothing there that wouldn’t occur to anyone with a few minutes’ thought, right down to the brilliant closing suggestion, “Buy an inexpensive printer.” 1,500 words of piffle.

FastCompany offers “4 of the most dreaded interview questions, answered,” which is just as useless but perhaps a little less inexcusable, since FastCompany has made itself all about success in business, so pointlessness is their specialty. The hell did I expect?

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Which reminds me — It’s been years since I’ve seen anything worthwhile from FastCompany. So I’ve deleted their website.

It's easy, it's fun, and it's a strategy I recommend for any site that repeatedly steals a few minutes of your life with clickbait. 

A good adblocker allows you to select and block any element on any page, and permanently remove design annoyances and obnoxious ads. At especially vapid sites, I simply select the whole page. Boom, and it's goodbye, FastCompany. Now, whenever a click too quick lands me at fastcompany.com, I’ll see only blankness, and move along without wasting any further time.

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Bill Crider was a mystery writer, and then he died. Of course, I’m belatedly saddened at his final blog entry, but more annoyed by the comments. There are buckets of spam at the bottom, of course, because it's been a few years and there's no-one to tidy up, but what goads me is that most of the non-spam comments are from people telling the now-late Mr Crider to keep fighting and prove the doctors wrong. 

People, please. I understand not knowing what to say when someone’s dying, and the urge to come up with something kind, but — when a person tells you they’re checking into hospice care, understand what hospice care is.

At that point, you say thanks for the memories, you done good work, can I bring you a sandwich? — anything like that. But please, spare the dying the bullshit.

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At a chat-site I visit, the question was,

I'm looking for the best option as an alternative to Facebook for social networking. What would you recommend?

My answer is, Facebook serves no useful purpose, so why are you looking for an alternative? Might as well ask for an alternative to being punched in the nose. Maybe, don't punch me in the nose.

Seriously — the alternative is talking to people, phone calls, maybe sending an occasional email.

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


 Sing along with Doug:
Whitewashing, by Posi

Sincere tip 'o the hat:
Captain Hampockets
Follow Me Here
Messy Nessy Chick
National Zero
Ran Prieur
Vintage Everyday

Voenix Rising

Becky Jo
Name Withheld
Dave S.


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  1. Three replies to your question, over two hours shot to hell. I know this is short-form message software, and I shouldn't try for extended answers. But it hurts to see three reasonably reasoned replies go away.

    1. That super-sucks. What happened?

      Let me guess: You typed a long reply and it went nowhere. I've had that happen too, occasionally but never three dang times in a row. Even once, it's aggravating as hell.

      And you're not the first or even the second person to complain, so I'll add a permanent invitation that anyone can email me instead. Sorry about the two hours, John. Yeah, I should've added a warning & invitation already. It's there now.

    2. Yeah, man, I've learned to select all and ctrl-c to copy my replies, just in case. For future reference.


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