I watched all the Cohen hearings.

I was discussing the Michael Cohen congressional testimony with my wife last night and we quickly hit an impasse when the topic of motive arose. I was describing how Republicans weren’t really asking questions, they were merely taking shots at Cohen’s reputation as a liar. My point, like many Democrats, was that Cohen is already going to jail, what does he gain by lying more? Perhaps I’m naive but I’d really like to believe that Cohen has indeed had some revelatory change of heart and that he genuinely feels like he needs shine some light in the shady actions of his former boss.

My wife wasn’t having that at all. In her mind he’s a career liar and everything he said yesterday was to secure some back end deal from, someone, either a book deal, or some party interested in paying him money to lie more in an effort bring down trump. My wife is the furthest thing from a trump supporter, but she did think there was some nefarious alternate motive at play here.

I have trouble with this because I can’t reconcile what that means for his testimony. Criminal investigations are built on the people inside turning on their former bosses. If we discounted all the testimony of criminals we’d never be able to catch more criminals. By merely stating that the witness can’t be trusted because he/she lied before… then what could we ever base anything on since often times the only witnesses we have are people who are involved in the criminal activity?

Personally as a man with a family I see Cohen in this light, another man with a family who has had the legs of his chair at the table kicked out from under him. All the luxury is gone and it’s not coming back. He hasn’t just lost the excess, he’s lost it all. I can’t see inside Cohen’s heart but what I’d like to believe is that he’s a guy, who when faced with losing it all, is doing the right thing for the first time, because trump the businessman is actually harming America. See I think his past efforts of protecting trump the businessman, is very different from helping trump the president, let me explain.

I do believe that in business, toeing the line of legality is the norm. Do what you can to win and most important of all increase shareholder value, but don’t get caught. Morality doesn’t really come into play with business, neither does compassion. These are the qualities I believe trump the business man treasures. The problem is these values don’t really dovetail well with the presidency. So when Cohen was protecting trump, he was protecting ruthless business villain trump, the individual who built an entire brand on the pleasure of firing someone. When you take that person and drop them into the presidency… let me restate that, when you take a person like that and make him the President of the United States of America, the most powerful nation in the world, you’re bound to get incongruities. That style of leadership, and tactics won’t fly with all the checks and balances present in the design of America. It is this style of leadership that is currently harming America and I’d like to believe that Cohen sees this, and maybe this is why he’s working to expose trump to the American people.

I own this…

When I post something to Facebook who owns that? Similarly, when I put a picture on Instagram it’s mine, but I’m sharing it there so does that make it theirs? I don’t pay them money. The only transaction provided by Facebook and Instagram is the serving of ads. I use their service and they sell my data to companies who then target ads at me. I become a demographic to a conglomerate of ad agencies who then try and figure better ways to sell to me and my cohort.

I recently suspended my Instagram account because I started to find the service boring. I don’t actually like taking pictures and when I looked at what I was sharing I realized all I was doing was helping Facebook build a profile on me. I haven’t used Facebook in months and I only posted a few things last year. Even those few things I did post made me wonder why I posted them. I thought about canceling Facebook but I do need it for my son’s cadets and for coaching football. Instagram can go. I totally don’t need that at all. This leads me to my ultimate point. I own everything I post here.

I pay for my domain and I pay WordPress money to host this site for me. So I own it. WordPress isn’t advertising on my site and they aren’t trying to get me to buy anything (other than add ons I don’t need). Everyone should do this. Start a site and and pay to host their content. I think ultimately if people had to pay money to share their thoughts the internet would be a much quieter and more civil place.

A Fresh Start

I’ve heard that there’s an age where the music you’re listening to at that time sticks with you for the rest of your life. I see it all the time with older people being stuck in a certain age. They feel that “THAT” music is “REAL” music and anything else is garbage. For my Mom it’s sometime in the late 50s and early 60s. I’m not sure what it is about those years of our lives that makes music so impactful but I certainly see it in myself as well.

For me the era that was most impactful was the early 90s. It was late in my high school years and early in college that I guess I really started listening to music and hearing it for the first time. I’ve always listened to music but the early 90s is always my go to for when I want something comfortable to listen to. Mainly I listen to the Accuradio 1990s Alternative station but the audio quality isn’t great so I started adding those albums on iMusic to build up a playlist. Before I knew it the 90s had taken over my phone and there wasn’t much else on there. During car rides I found myself pressing the skip button endlessly, not because I didn’t like the song, but because I was just so tired of it. At that point I realized I was stuck in a musical rut and had to break out.

My phone currently has no music on it. I erased everything so that I wouldn’t be able to fall back into the same boring stuff. Now on my car rides I pick an Apple Music station, but it HAS to be a modern station that plays music from the last 5 years and I can only skip a song if it’s truly terrible. Lately I’ve been listening to Apple’s Adult Alternative station and I’m enjoying it. I can’t really comment on what artists have caught my ear because I don’t actually know any of them. I guess that will come with time.

What this comes down to is forcing myself out of my comfort zone and trying new things. We all get stagnant in life doing the same things over and over again and I don’t think that’s good for anyone. Sometimes we have to be uncomfortable to grow, that’s probably why they call them growing pains. I think everyone should do this kind of thing once in a while to find new and interesting stuff, since there’s a lot of cool stuff out there that we never see since we’re buried in what we already know. I think I’m going to start trying this on other areas of my life as well. Right now though I’m really enjoying this new sonic journey. Give it a try, maybe you’ll like it too.

Morning News Observations…

I recently started watching news in the morning and it’s quite startling the differences in reporting between the different networks. This morning the big story was the buzzfeed story about how the president of the United States may be involved in perjury  by directing Cohen to lie to congress. Every single news source has this story as their top ‘Breaking News’ item and many of them have panels discussing these allegations. If true this is a huge story that has the potential to alter the political landscape of America. Even if this story isn’t true it needs to be discussed which is why every network is running it. Every network that is, except Fox. I’ve now been watching Fox for about 30 minutes and they are currently running a story about a cop who wears the badge of the Officer who saved his life. Prior to this piece there was a segment on the ‘Crisis at the Border Wall’ because apparently there are caravans of illegal immigrant who are trying to storm into America to kill everyone. FYI, as I’ve been writing this the story about the Cop wearing the badge is still going on, it’s been going on for like 5 minutes. Oh, there was also a brief story about how the Democrats want to raise the minimum wage and how that will ruin America.

This is shocking to me. I’ve read articles about Fox’s selective reporting but I’ve never actually seen it first hand. They are now back from commercial break and the Fox News breaking story is again about the caravan of people on route to America… wow. All I can say at this point is that Fox and Friends is basically just propaganda. If Fox was the only network I watched I’d probably believe that America is in urgent danger. Meanwhile Fox isn’t actually showing any evidence of people rushing the border, it’s just a reporter standing on an empty street saying that America is in danger. So basically if all you watch is Fox News you’d believe that America is in danger, and that the Democrats are responsible.

Hold up, Fox News just mentioned the perjury news, for 15 seconds. In passing, before they reported that Kellog’s is making a breakfast cereal based on the Easter candy peeps. They then went on to talk about peeps for about 90 seconds….

iPad isn’t a computer

Despite what Apple says an iPad isn’t a computer, well not a full fledged computer, like, say a MS Surface. This weekend as a test I turned off my laptop and tried to go iPad only just to see how long I’d last. I did this to see if a iPad Pro could be my next device. I didn’t make it more than a few hours before I wanted to tear my hair out. Touching a screen is no substitute for a mouse. It felt like I was surgeon forced to use a butter knife, like I was painting the Mona Lisa with finger paints, like… well you get it. (All I wanted to do was create a silly meme and it was so arduously painful to try and precisely select anything.)

Also the iPad has no file system. My workflow usually involves finding the file I want and double clicking it to open it in the appropriate app, an iPad forces you to open the app and then find the file. Working on multiple files or keeping a group of files together as a project it impossible.

I mostly use my iPad for watching football film on Hudl, reading comics, and some books that incorporate diagram that are hard to read on a phone. I think I’m going to stick with this light duty work for the iPad and leave the heavy lifting to my Mac.

What’s worse that Monday?

I’ve had a great weekend. I watched some football. I saw Aquaman in theatre. I bought and set an Amazon fire stick and my wife and I discovered The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. My son had his friend sleep over this weekend they had fun sledding and playing video games. All in all it was a restful relaxing weekend.

I’m currently sitting on my couch at 10pm knowing I should go to bed but not wanting to. It’s too late to start a movie or get into a video game and I’m slightly too tired to read so I’m just sitting here, my fingertips gripping onto the ledge that was my weekend not wanting to let go. All that’s left is for me to close my eyes and sleep but once I do it’ll be Monday… so, what’s worse than Monday? The late Sunday night dread of waking up Monday morning, that’s what.

iPad Pro

So here’s a dilemma, could I get by with just an IPad Pro? I currently have an aging iPad and a MacBook Pro from 2015. I love the Mac but I rarely use it since it’s heavy and I don’t have a laptop case. Not only that, I rarely need the Mac for anything specific. I remote into a windows machine to do some work but that’s about it. BUT, could I get by if I didn’t have the Mac at all?? It’s a scary proposition and one that I’m going to explore a bit in the next little while. Btw, right now I am typing this on an wireless keyboard connected to my iPad. I turned off my Mac and I’m going to see if I can accomplish what I want with just this setup… at the moment all I’m missing is the mouse.

Does coffee count as breakfast?

I’ve heard time and time again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you want to lose weight eat breakfast, if you want to have a better day eat breakfast, if you want to raise an army of the dead to do your bidding and take over the world… you got it, find the necrinomicon. Oh, but eat some breakfast before you begin your search.

Thing is, does breakfast actually need to be food? I wake up and have 2 cups of coffee with cream. I’d say my coffees have at least 100 calories each. So 200 calories in liquid. Is that any different than waking up and having a protein shake or food replacement drink? I always figured it was to do with getting your metabolism started but I suspect anything you put in your body would do that. So, do I actually need to “eat” a breakfast, or does my coffee count as breakfast?

Btw I am asking because I really don’t like breakfast. I love breakfast foods, just not eating early in the morning.

Atomic Habits in Action

In case you were curious why I’ve been posting more lately, it’s due to the way I interact with this site. Since I used to believe that this was hallowed ground for important long form dissertations on important topics I only used my laptop, and laptops, are for work… silly right?

When I was recently listening to the Art of Manliness podcast about habits, one of the tips for forming a habit was to make it easier to perform. For example, if you want to floss more, leave the floss out next to your toothpaste. Simple. I’ve applied that here and put the word press app on my phone. I always have my phone (I’m typing this on my phone right now) so might as well use what’s easy.

The small downside to this will inevitably be a bevy of typos, but at least I’m exercising my writing more than ever now (even if it is with just my thumbs.) I figure that I probably type a novel a week in text messages so why not do the same in this space? That being said, if you see a typo, blame autocorrect.

I am going to pick up that Atomic Habits book at some point and see what wisdom I can squeeze out of it but in the meantime if you want to hear the podcast I’ve linked to it below. It’s really good.

Here’s the link to that Art of Manliness podcast.