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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

This is an actual email that I received from U-Haul (clicken to embiggen):

Uhm, yeah. Burning Man has become so mainstream that even U-Haul knows about it… LOL.

Oh, I cancelled the reservation for the truck. It was to haul stuff from my old house to the new one, but I sold the stuff instead. I am now in the new place and in unpacking hell. How did all these boxes of stuff fit in the old place? And how do I make their contents fit in the new place?! And this isn’t even including the half a truckload of junk that got hauled off to the landfill!

– Badtux the Moved Penguin

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Tomorrow is the big day where I hand over a huge check and get the keys to the new place. Then next week the movers arrive to actually move me.

In the meantime, I just bought a cat tent for my cat to hang out in while the movers are doing their moving thing.

A cat tent.

A tent. For a cat. Made out of mesh. So he can hang out watching us move, without getting underfoot or running out in traffic or anything.

Am I pussy whipped, or what?!

– Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

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I done been gentrified!

You may have noticed that I’ve not been around recently, other than quick hits on Twitter. There’s a reason for that: I’ve been gentrified.

There is a “For Sale” sign in the front yard of this duplex now, and I received a 60 day notice to vacate so the owner can cash in. He bought the place for $93,000 in 1983, and he has listed it for $1.45 million dollars. No. That isn’t a typo. $1.45 *MILLION* dollars.

That’s how crazy the housing market is here in the Silly Cone Valley. This place hasn’t really been updated since it was built in 1962, and is just your bog standard 2 bedroom duplex. But tech millionaires are buying these things up for astounding amounts of money, then refurbishing them and renting them out for $4,000 per month. Wow.

For the other part: Why am I being evicted rather than carried over as a tenant? Well, blame California law. California law says that to show a house for sale, you have to give 120 days notice. *But*, to evict someone, you only have to give 60 days notice. Say wha? Since when does that make sense?! But that’s the way California law reads right now — it basically forces sellers to evict if they want to be able to sell within any reasonable amount of time. SIGH.

Oh yeah — already found another place to live. More expensive, of course. Sigh. But I’m busy packing now. I’ve been living here for 8 years. I can’t believe how much crap has accumulated over the course of those eight years….

— Badtux the Gentrified Penguin

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I am at 85,000 words in the current novel and chugging out about 1,000 words a night heading for completion. This obviously doesn’t leave much time for posting stuff to the blog.

I’ll try to do more here after I finish the novel but can’t issue many guarantees. Meanwhile, here, have a cat. He generously left me two inches of my office chair to sit on.

— Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

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Pleasant dream

A dream I had.

I was in a college dormitory, down on the bottom floor where the lobby and break room and storage room were, and a girl comes up to me. She has shoulder-length blond hair and is wearing a t-shirt and jeans and sneakers, she looks like a youth triathlon athlete that I encountered once when I was young actually ie. not obviously buff but tanned from outdoors activities and clearly not a couch potato, and she says “Some of us were wondering if you’d like to go bike riding with us.”

And I’m like, “okay. But my bike is in storage.”
“That’s okay, we have a spare bike.”
“Sure,” I say, and I run up to my room real quick and grab a bike helmet and run down and she and three or four other people have assembled in front of the dorm and sure enough there’s a spare bike waiting for me.

So we ride and the others get ahead as I’m struggling on this old heavy POS bike and she’s falling behind to ride beside me and we talk about various stuff, and eventually after an hour or so we end up back at the dorm. And I did something that I didn’t do back when things like this actually happened, which was say “I’m sort of Aspie, I don’t pick up on social cues, you’re going to have to tell me what this was all about and what you’d like to do next.”

And that was the end of the dream as the alarm clock went off.

All in all, a far more pleasant one than my usual ones, which tend to involve zombies or robotic terminators out to exterminate humanity as a society of time travelers attempts to foil the robot apocalypse or etc.

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Back from the desert

I saw: Old miner’s cabins. Old mines. Indian petroglyphs. A lot of backcountry that I’d never seen before. Also some sad sights, like a cabin where I stayed roughly ten years ago now being half-collapsed and totally trashed :(.

Normal posting shall resume shortly.

— Badtux the Desert Penguin

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Of the 15070 murders that happened in 2016 where we know what weapon was used to kill, 11004 were committed with firearms. Over 70% were committed with handguns and 30% with long guns (or unknown kind of gun).

“Guns don’t kill, people do!” is the NRA talking point. But the numbers are clear: People with guns kill a lot more people than people without guns. Sure, you can hit someone over the head with a big rock or a hammer and kill them. But only 472 people managed to do so in 2016. Sure, you can poison someone. But only 11 people were murdered with poison in 2016. Guns just are super effective at killing people. In fact, the only other method of killing people that broke the four digit mark was murder by knife, which killed 1604 people in 2016 — a significantly smaller number than 11004. (Which, BTW, is why I don’t complain when cops kill someone who’s coming at them with a knife — it’s a deadly weapon, albeit only 1/10th as deadly as a gun in the big picture).

So what’s the NRA response to the reality that people with guns kill a lot more people than people without guns?

[CRICKETS].

So it goes. It isn’t as if anything’s going to be done. I almost didn’t even bother posting about the 19 year old MAGAt who murdered 17 people at Parkland High School in Florida, including fourteen students. Because what’s the point? It’s not as if anything’s going to be done. This uniquely deadly weapon, the gun, will still be widely available to any looney who decides to kill someone, regardless of whatever I post.

So fuck it. I’m going to watch videos of Chloe Kim pulling off back-to-back 1080’s.

She reminds me of a friend of mine, who is also short and Asian and a snowboarder, albeit somewhat older (in her late 50’s). If they’d had snowboarding in the Olympics thirty years ago, I like to think that my friend would have been up there… as it is, she’s slowed down a bit in her late 50’s, as have all of us. She still snowboards though… heckuva lot better than I ever did, or ever will.

– Badtux the Fact-based Penguin

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