Rant of the Day: Kiosk Capitalism


I mean…yeah haha

Mostly this is just a rant about RedBox, which I still use anyways and their streaming app has free stuff to view with adds. However the actual kiosk for the service is just the old video store without the charm or people and with fewer steps. You still have to return the movie in time or you keep being charged, if you want to buy the movie it’s usually more expensive to do so, and the selection is actually worse on the kiosk. I think RedBox does it on purpose so people use the streaming service and have to spend more money.

Video on demand isn’t much better than having to pay for numerous streaming services anyways. Even worse kiosk capitalism, (which after a quick Google search tells me the Washington Post wrote about in 1993!) is literally everywhere. On my recent trip I wandered into a McDonald’s without realizing that they had the ordering machines ready, which is probably why the people at the counter gave me a weird look when I went there first. I was expected to use the kiosk instead.

I’m pretty sure none of this is good, especially since it will cause people to lose their jobs and those machines usually break really easily. I would know since I deal with self check out machines at work and they cause me a great deal of annoyance and they well, break! Also something like the RedBox kiosks is really way too based on people not having Internet and also being willing to still use physical media in a world of online viewing. There’s a reason video rental stores went under in the first place.

No Tweets, No Problems


Yeah but it was my hellsite. Once.

Maybe I would care more about Twitter suspending me over a tweet about fictional characters if other social media platforms didn’t exist. But they do and honestly I’m on pretty much all of them. I’ll miss getting followed by The Last Drive In crew and Sam Neil, yet the former are heavily on Instagram anyways. This also comes at a time when I’m trying to dodge Spider-Man movie spoilers and Twitter is rifled with those.

Also they fail to crack down on bots, obvious trolls and people who definitely give off the alt right Nazi vibe. Facebook sucks at that also and they’ve suspended me a couple times for jokes about white people. Hello, I’m white. Whatever. Sure I’ve filed multiple appeals that didn’t work and even had some crypto person tell me they could restore my account for a fee (um no I’m good). I did keep the backup account which Twitter forgot about even though it has my real name as my username for that one haha.

Maybe I’ll restart again but I spent 10 years on that site and didn’t even get past more than 1500 or 1600 followers. That’s pretty pathetic. Sorry to those who relied on me for likes and comments, yet I’m sure they’ll be fine. Anyways they can find me on five other apps so I think it’ll work out alright. Plus maybe I’ll actually use the time I would waste tweeting to focus on that giant movie backlog of mine. Which I’ll probably Instagram about.

Everything Will Kill You


Amazon.com: Everything Will Kill You Motorcycle poster Everything will kill  you so choose something fun Horizontal Poster Print Perfect, Ideas On Xmas,  Birthday, Home Decor, No Frame (24" x 16" (1"=2.5cm)): Posters
That dog is way cooler than me.

I innocently Googled air fresheners today and found out they are actually bad for you. I’m eating French fries which doctors say will shorten your lifespan and also, well, kill you. Everything will kill you. Animals will kill you. People will kill you. Death will kill you. There’s a fine amount of knowledge about all the ways people can die horribly.

Sure there is a fine line between sensible facts and outright fear mongering, yet the latter sure makes for good clickbait. In fact the media seems to prefer scaring the crap out of people. Then there are those who use fear to harm others, particularly people spewing baseless conspiracy theories about vaccines which could help people. Not just in regard to covid ones, too.

Hmm “Everything Will Kill You” actually sounds like a pretentious 1990s alt rock album. I think having a healthy balance of fear and rational belief could work. Or just go with fear and loathing, it did work out for a certain famous writer…

The Famous Cigarette Holder - TarGard Cigarette Filters

Caught In The Crossfire


Stevie Ray Vaughan was an artist. Oddly his classic track “Crossfire” has a bit of reference to our current situation. I figured I would use my main blog to discuss some of the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on my store and save the politics for my other blog. March isn’t even over yet and it feels like the longest month of my life.

Things started pretty well-I enjoyed my birthday, went to my favorite bar and watched some movies. Then as the panic set in, things went to shit quickly over the next couple of weeks. I noticed something was up when I came into work and we were insanely busy on a Monday of all days. I mean usually 5-7 is when we have the most traffic, but this was ridiculous.

Then later that night after spending hours on the registers I walked through the aisles. It looked like a hurricane hit the whole place.

When I made it to the paper/dog food aisle, I couldn’t believe my eyes:

I mean, this is insane. Almost a week and a half later and we are still out of so many different things. Toilet paper goes in literally five minutes as does bread, ramen, hand sanitizer and wipes are completely gone. We were sold out of eggs last Tuesday, although we got more in thankfully. Milk is still ok because people can’t completely hoard that. Although I imagine people have tried elsewhere.

I responded last week by filling up my gas tank (thanks to falling gas prices and Fuel Saver it was really cheap) and buying some food of mine own. I am ok on toilet paper for now but I had to grab some last Friday. Things have died down a bit, however I wonder if that is because a lot of people are not leaving their homes. Luckily most customers have been understanding, and I have even gotten thank you’s from people appreciating that we are staying open.

For now I am desperately trying to fill the shelves with whatever we have or get in and helping people find things. I do worry that I will end up getting sick, and I worry that by staying open we are risking people getting sick. However for now all I can do is keep on trucking, I guess and stay inside on my off days. There’s no where to go and nothing to do anyways.

Giving Up The Drive Thru


So weeks ago I quit fast food, because I have to make some kind of life changes and that was an easy one. Well it’s been hard at times (yes I missed out on that chicken sandwich people went nuts over), however overall it’s been smooth sailing. I even came up with a list of reasons why I don’t miss fast food:

1. The name is a lie-fast food is not fast, and it’s not really food. I don’t miss waiting in drive thru lines for 30 minutes.

2. So much bad food. I’ve had crappy fries, drinks that were flat, sandwiches I wouldn’t give to my dog, and nuggets that were undercooked.

3. Rude people and bad service coupled with those in the drive thru who get way too many items.

4. It used to be cheap, but lately fast food costs so much you might as well stay in or go to an actual restaurant.

5. Too many fast food places have raised prices, yet refuse to raise wages for their workers. Plus the long list of charges against these companies as outlined by Fast Food Nation.

I will admit that a lapse is bound to happen sooner rather than later, and I still can’t quit chips or bar food. But hey, it’s a start.

You Want Racists? This Is How You Get Racists


Image result for American Idiot

At this point I don’t think the Orange Idiot pretending to run this country from his golf course is attempting to distract from anything currently, as his so called administration has numerous scandals going on. In fact the obvious to about anyone else racist tweets he sends out on an almost regular basis are a feature of his “Presidency,” not a bug. I want to blame Stephen Miller for all of them yet I don’t think that ghoulish excuse for a human being needs to force Orange Man to unleash his so called thoughts upon the populace. Also forget keeping tabs on him, blocking him on Twitter was the smartest thing I have done all year, even though way too many people I follow insist on responding to his nonsense. Let it go, folks-he wants your attention, doesn’t care how he gets it, and following him and or responding to his childish outbursts only feeds the troll.

Of course I’m not naive enough to think that is a final solution, yet it sounds like a pretty good one: Trump only cares about if you are looking at his nonsense, and he goes crazy when people focus on someone or something else. The only danger in this is that he starts a major war, although that will probably happen sooner rather than later anyways. Remember folks: if the Democrats screw up 2020 it is four more years of racism, temper tantrums, meltdowns and the continuing decline of America. Oh and it’s funny how every time he does bash a city or country he never offers any solutions, because that requires time and effort-two things he has never believed in.

Alt-Right? Yeah, right….


Hey look ma! Racists without the hoods!

Sunday I woke up to find that in Charlottesville VA a group of white people, among them infamous alt-right leader Richard Spencer, had gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. Looking at the photos of a group bearing torches and marching at night, I couldn’t help but think two things: “The KKK rises again, and wow they are Nazis.” I mean the crowd chanted “blood and soil,” a famous Nazi chant, along with “Russia is our friend.” Having lived in Iowa my whole life and thus being aware that even up north the KKK still exists, I should not be completely shocked. Yet it is rather dismal that so many people would think that removing a symbol of the racist Confederacy should be controversial. I don’t think it is preventing anyone from knowing history, but rather it is the mayor of Charlottesville taking necessary action.

Oh and funny enough, according to the AOL.com article I am currently reading:

 “A group suing Charlottesville over the Lee statue removal says it had no involvement in the Saturday events. “It has come to our attention that several out-of-town groups associated with white supremacy and (identitarian) beliefs conducted events and protests in both Lee and Jackson Parks today,” a rep wrote on Facebook. “Neither Save the Robert E. Lee Statue nor The Monument Fund were in any way involved in these events and only learned of them though media reports.” (https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/05/14/protestors-nazi-charlottesville-jackson-lee-white-supremacist-rally/22085869/)

Image result for snl alt right is why grandpa lives in argentina now
Saturday Night Live on point, as usual…

Which means that even those who want the statue to remain are even distancing themselves from a mob that felt the need to speak for the actual town. Go figure. However I think the other problem is that over the years, we have misused the term “Nazi,” and thus need to go back to only using it in serious moments. How can I take it seriously when someone labels someone a “Grammar Nazi” (by the way proper grammar is a good thing, something I even fail to practice)? These days we need to reserve the term for actual Nazis. The ones who think that racism no longer exists, who think that white supremacy should be a thing. You know, the people that our ancestors thought they defeated in World War II. It does not help that the US government throughout the Cold War decided to prop up fascist right wing governments simply because of fears of “Communism” or “Socialism.” I also fail to understand why people can be okay with a group that thinks Russia is our friend, but that is another lengthy article for another day. I also have to remember that the KKK, alt-right and white supremacists have wised up, taken off the hoods, and popped up in areas trying to sway folks, all under the guise of supposedly “Peaceful protests.” From my understanding, if you need torches and you are attempting to get a rise out of people, there is nothing peaceful about your protest.

One Day We’ll Learn..Maybe That’s Today


I’m glad that people are protesting President Trump’s Muslim ban. It’s an unconstitutional, wrong act that should be overturned. Unfortunately the people are just having to get started, as this is the beginning. I love that people recognize history being repeated. Again. Oh and the Trump administration’s refusal mention the Jewish people killed in the Holocaust is very telling.

This is all for nothing if people don’t show up for midterms and vote for people who would never back a Muslim ban. Also I already took to Twitter to find out which representatives of my state and local area have issued statements about the ban. Only Dave Loebsack, who used to represent my district before redistricting, spoke out against the Muslim ban. Time to all means necessary to push Congress to stand up to Trump. And those who don’t, we need to vote out.

The time is now. I need to go find a protest. Remaining quiet doesn’t help anyone. Oh and I need to donate to the ACLU, too. They’re part of the resistance. Fight the power. Debate Trump supporters. Punch a Nazi or label alt right facists as such. Do what you have to do. History doesn’t look kindly on cowards and the intolerant.

Politics, Politics


Over my short time voting I’ve been all over the map politically. I’ve gone third party (Libertarian), Republican, Democrat  (current party) and I’ve even considered voting Green Party. Too bad the GOP has completely gone off the rails by nominating Donald Trump, as in the past I’ve leaned right at times. Lately I’ve turned to more progressive causes, going with Bernie Sanders in a desperate attempt to find a decent candidate. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, he lost and choose to endorse someone based on research and recent Internet quizzes I’ve come to support: Hillary Clinton. 

Look she is not the best choice, and I can’t blame people for voting third party. I wonder why people vote Trump but it’s not much of a mystery: it’s based around fear. However those of us who don’t buy into his bullshit have to go with the lesser of two evils. It’s not great yet I’ll take it over the person who thinks building a wall or killing terrorists families is a good idea. Still we have the problem of Hillary being a hawk on foreign issues, albeit someone who maybe can be persuaded to not embark on too many crazy wars. Anyways the sad fact is that both parties are too close to each on foreign policy issues anyways. 

No its domestic that makes the decision easy. While I want to continue mocking Hillary’s pivoting on certain keys issues such as gay marriage, the truth is that even myself and President Obama took a while to decide to back rights for the LGBQ community. We all can’t be Joe Biden. At this point I favor gun control of some kind or another, am pro-choice, and pro-enviromment. Regardless of what you think of Hillary she either supports these issues or at least pays them lip service. And we all know that she backs the ACA and the idea of universal health care, which is a good thing. Look I may have insurance with my job but there are people who are not so lucky. 

So let’s get to the emails. She lied plenty, yet there was no indictment and therefore the matter is closed in my mind. I’m more worried about her support for the Iraq War and the disastrous Libya conflict. The last one was at least an international effort, while the Iraq War got the support and vote of way too many in Congress. As for Benghazi I’m sick to death of hearing about that, too. Guess what: more people died during the presidency of George W. Bush. Yet you don’t hear about that from Republicans. 

Oh yeah anyone who gets this much hate from many hypocritical and witch hunting Republicans can’t be all bad. I know what I am getting with Clinton Presidency Part II: Hillary Takes Over. I have no idea what Trump will do as president. He’s a loose cannon who cannot be trusted to do the right thing. I would love to vote third party again, or write in Bernie in anger, yet that is irresponsible in my opinion. I live in a swing state and don’t have the luxury of others. I also don’t want minorities who will suffer under a Trump presidency to be let down because I didn’t do everything possible to prevent “Cheeto Jesus” from taking power. We can’t survive another George W. Bush style presidency. I don’t want to live through that again, and oh yeah Jon Stewart retired so we won’t have him around this time. I’m with her. 

Bullets Are No One’s Friend


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Apparently not even cops getting shot over the past week is enough to move gun control legislation forward. Not even watered down bills, one sponsored by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, passed in Congress. It’s just as ridiculous as the NRA ignoring the police killings of two black men who owned guns legally by the laws of their respective states. The shit hasn’t just hit the fan, it’s traveled into the stratosphere. Things might only get worse from here, unfortunately. It also doesn’t help that Congress is literally owned by the NRA, an organization dedicated to serving the gun lobby. Sales are important than saving lives, I guess.

Going back a decade or so I was very pro gun. What’s changed isn’t just the amount of violence that has occurred in America over that period. It’s also my feeling that things need to change, that banning assault weapons and enacting strong background checks everywhere is a must. Plus gun and even hunter safety courses (I’ve successfully completed the last one). I’m not a fan of handguns, either, or concealed carry. In fact the mayor of Dallas said that during the mayhem those open carrying made it harder to tell who was a friend or foe.

guncontrol

Look I get that new measures or even just stringently enforcing current laws might not be enough. Yet we have to do something, and it needed to be done yesterday. It’s not enough to simply change police culture to the point where racist officers are drummed out, or make it harder for criminals and terrorists to obtain weapons (a bill addressing that last one also failed). Black Lives Matter is a start, too, but this is only the beginning. Maybe one day the body count won’t be so high. Hopefully.

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