Some mundane observations from a grocery store in the Azores

I have always enjoyed going to grocery stores while visiting other countries. It gets you out of the tourist district and gives you great sense of how the locals actually live. I love trying new snacks, seeing what types of food the locals eat, seeing what brands dominate, what they pay for it etc.

As I wandered the aisles of this particular store on Terceira Island in the Azores, Portugal, the first thing you are struck with is the foul stench of death. I mean fish. It’s everywhere. Observation #1, Azoreans love their fish.
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Don’t tell me what you want. Don’t tell me what you really want. Tell me what you really really want. What I really really want? What you really really want.

Ahh, the 90s. How times have changed. Aside from 2 year bookends, we had a Democrat in the White House and we loved our sexually harrassing president. We didn’t ask, and we didn’t tell. Google wasn’t evil. Apple only made computers. Social media meant going to a movie with friends. Apparently Will Smith made music.

Actually, I listened to a LOT of music in the 90s. I went to college in the 90s and hung out with a group of friends who were also very into music. We played a lot of Encore. The majority of my disposable income was spent on CDs. I *love* the music from that decade.

However, time has passed. I have the benefit of a little objective distance and have spent an extensive amount of time recently listening to the the “90’s on 9” Sirius XM station and have come to a terrible world changing conclusion…
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I just saw Cars 3, A.K.A. Pixar does Rocky

My son is a huuge fan of the Cars movies. He doesn’t leave the house unless he is wearing Lightning McQueen and owns more than his fair share of Cars toys. As such, it was a foregone conclusion that we would be seeing Cars 3 on opening weekend. Having just returned from this, I was initially struck by the incredbile similarity with the single most awesome Rocky movie ever, Rocky IV. However, upon further examination, I am realizing more and more similarities with the significantly more terrible (but still oh, so awesome) Rocky III.

Let’s delve into this in a little more detail…

Theme from Cars 3 Rocky III Rocky IV Notes
Bad guy’s name is an obvious play on the good guy’s name Come on, Lightning/Storm, Rocky/Clubber
Hero is motivated by the death of a coach Rocky sure had a lot of coaches die. Seriously, the worst job in the world is a redshirt on the USS Enterprise and second is being a trainer for Rocky
Bad guy making inappropriate advances to the hero’s lady partner Well, as inappropriate as can get in a Pixar movie
Hero has to recover confidence after being soundly defeated by a black man
Training montage Honestly, Rocky 3 may have had one, but the montage in 4 really sets the bar for all time
Bad guy is a product of technology while the hero is all heart
Bad guy trains in a super modern facility while hero roughs it
Running on the beach as training
Babe who leers menacingly at the hero Granted the statician babe car is no Bridgette Fonda, but you get the idea
Hero finally beating his trainer proving he’s ready to finally do battle with the bad guy Nice play on this in Cars
Conquering age to be the champ again Fine, this didn’t actually happen in either of these Rockys. However, considering they made at least 3 more Rocky movies (Rocky V, Rocky Balboa and Creed) after Stallone turned 80, I have to think that this theme must have been touched on at some point
Competition at the end between coach and student with outcome uncertain

Verdict: Clearly, the more memorable Rocky IV should not overshadow the influence that the terrible (but oh so awesome) Rocky III had on this movie.

One of these things is not like other…

My wife and I have frequently stated during the election that Kellyanne should take away Trump’s access to his twitter feed (and when I say Kellyanne, I really mean *anyone* on Trump’s staff) – unfiltered access to every thought that pops into his head makes him seem like a thin skinned capricious petty vindictive child.

It is now clear tho, for his sake at least, that if you can’t take away Trump’s access, you probably should at least take away Kellyanne’s… take a quick look at the last 3 tweets from el hombre del peluquín‘s twitter feed :

Unlike the other 2, the third one sounds like it was written by adult. Moreover it is direct conflict in tone (if not a full contradiction) to the first. As such, (IMHO) is clearly not written by the same person.

There is a solid clarity of message which is lost when you try to correct for Trump’s missteps and while it still seems insane to me, his strategy/style is working for him. At the end of the day, you either need to totally reign him in or just “let Trump be Trump”. There is no middle ground and pretending any different is just SAD.

Believe me.

2 White Guys Debate

2 very distinct styles for disagreement emerged at the VP debate… Hermann Kaine (wait…) aggressively and obnoxiously interrupted Mike Pense at every opportunity while Pence showed his disapproval by vigorously frowning and shaking his head.

Is it me, or does Tim Kaine looks like the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island?


And Mike Pence definitely reminds me of that guy whose face melted in Raiders of the Lost Ark…


Some quick thoughts on the first Clinton/Trump debate

[sigh] The debate is over… a ridiculous amount of anticipation has left me feeling underwhelmed and empty. Overall, it was a pretty blah affair. Not a ton of excitement and very little new insight. It was entertaining marginally. It isn’t going to change anyone’s mind tho. The bases for both candidates are still affirmed that they chose the correct person and there wasn’t anything new or unique to sway the undecided voter.

Thoughts on the Hillary: Continue reading

Things that sound vaguely racist

Ok, been cleaning out my hard drive desperately trying to stay distracted until tomorrow’s ultimate presidential smack down of death, came across a slew of pics from various and sundry travels that I have been meaning to post.

While I am sure in their native language or culture they are entirely innocuous, the following four are all definitely borderline racist or at least just make me slightly uncomfortable.

Saw this one in Turkey – cookies for the black man called Negro

Saw this one in Sweden – I am 100% certain you are not supposed to say Jap (or even Japp):
On that note, how are Nips still allowed to be sold as well?

These last 2 are in San Antonio TX.

How do you ding? Ding how?

Any finally, Porky’s?? Really? Do fat people really not get offended by this?

This is why I love Austin 

In a word, diversity. This town brings out all sorts. And I’m not just talking about your regular left wing hippies or your run of the mill fringe right wing extremists… I’m talking about those who are all of the above. 

Like this guy…

On one hand he wears his fringe-right credentials proudly being a fan of and wanting to end the Fed. But on the other hand, he cares about the environment, he wants to reduce his impact and drives a car that only those to the left of Ralph Nader would, a Smart car (I think that weird thing hanging from his mirror is what he uses to feed the hamster that runs on the spinning wheel powering his engine).