Simple Addition

‘2 + 2 = ?’ is a single from The Bob Seger System on their 1968 debut Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man album.  The song is about how obvious it was to anyone but the politicians that the Vietnam War was a disaster.  Seger sings that even though he’s not a genius, he still knows how to add 2+2, and that he knows that sending young people to Vietnam is a bad idea.  It tells a story about a normal kid still in high school that was drafted to serve in the war, and all the people around him were condemning it. It’s been considered by some as one of the best antiwar songs and best anti-Vietnam protest songs.  He is not interested in killing anyone and he wants to question why he is in the war.  He ends up dying, but it was not for freedom as he was told, he died because the politicians lied.  Bob Seger was a relatively unknown artist when he wrote this song.

[Verse 1]
Yes it’s true I am a young man
But I’m old enough to kill
I don’t wanna kill nobody
But I must if you so will
And if I raise my hand in question
You just say that I’m a fool
Cause I got the gall to ask you
Can you maybe change the rules
Can you stand and call me upstart
Ask what answer can I find
I ain’t sayin’ I’m a genius

2+2 is on my mind
2+2 is on my mind

[Verse 2]
Well I knew a guy in high school
Just an average friendly guy
And he had himself a girlfriend
And you made them say goodbye
Now he’s buried in the mud
Over foreign jungle land
And his girl just sits and cries
She just doesn’t understand
So you say he died for freedom
Well if he died to save your lies
Go ahead and call me yellow

2+2 is on my mind
2+2 is on my mind

[Verse 3]
All I know is that I’m young
And your rules they are old
If I’ve got to kill to live
Then there’s something left untold
I’m no statesman I’m no general
I’m no kid I’ll never be
It’s the rules not the soldier
That I find the real enemy
I’m no prophet I’m no rebel
I’m just asking you why
I just want a simple answer
Why it is I’ve got to die
I’m a simple minded guy

2+2 is on my mind
2+2 is on my mind
2+2 is on my mind

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Equal.

Dominant or Submissive

She instant messaged me on Skype, “Dominant or submissive”, and I had no clue what she was referring to.  Sure, I had read about kinky people and I knew about BDSM sex, but I never thought that I would be drawn into that bazar world.  She was cute, so I texted her back saying, “Both,” wondering how she world respond to that.  She said, “That’s cool as I enjoy taking turns and I identify as a submissive dominant.”  I thought this was creepy, so I told her that I was going to delete her and she said that it would be my loss.  I said, “I never read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and I have no interest in bondage, but if this is your scene, then go for it, as my friend Fandango always says, whatever floats your boat.”  I thought that I should try to find a way of preventing strangers from interrupting me on Skype.  What has the world come to?

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Dominant.

An Icy Visitor from Our Outer Solar System

Don’t worry in case you missed it 50,000 years ago when it last dropped by, as it has returned.  NASA named this green comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) and it is like a cosmic snowball made up of frozen gases, dust and rock that orbit the sun.  The green color is the result of certain compounds in the coma primarily, diatomic carbon but also cyanogen, as under the effects of sunlight, both those substances glow green.  The green color will only be seen in the region surrounding the icy nucleus of the comet, because sunlight will break down the carbon molecules before they move into the comet’s tail.  The comet is likely to take a cold shower before it arrives, so it doesn’t burn up on entry.  Sorry about that, as I should never repeat any of those Alexa jokes.

People are excited about this, as C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has the potential to be the first comet visible to the naked eye since NEOWISE flew past our planet in 2020.  This once-in-a-generation comet is expected to reach its peak brightness around February 2 where it will be a mere 27 million miles away from us, and then it will fade over the following days and weeks.  The shape of its orbit (looking like an open curve) means there is a possibility that it may never return to the inner solar system, making this flyby an extremely rare occurrence, but comets are known to be notoriously unpredictable.  Observers should be able to spot it near the bright star Polaris, which is the end of the handle on the Little Dipper.  This week the comet has been passing the Big Dipper, and after it passes by Earth, you should be able to see it near Mars.  Grab your binoculars and look for it in the early morning sky, as watching a comet can always yield clues about the early days of our solar system.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Yield.

Short and Sweet

Notably or conspicuously unusual, I did not make a post today, because I didn’t see any remarkable prompts that caught my attention.  I usually write at least one post every day, but I only like to write in things that challenge me.  Over the last week my visitors, views, likes and comments are all up, so in order to keep that from dropping, I am making this short post.  I am not looking for more views, but I think some of my readers might miss me if a day goes by where I don’t write a post.  I just reviewed my All-time stats which says that I have 323,309 Views, 171,730 Visitors, 4,657 Posts and 54,525 Comments.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Remarkable.

Something To Pay Attention To

The new Covid variant dubbed XBB.1.5 and nicknamed the Kraken accounts for more than 80 percent of new cases in parts of the northeastern United States.  For the week ending January 14, it was responsible for 43 percent of new cases across the country.  XBB.1.5 has one of the most immune-evasive variants around making it a slippery sucker that seems to be invisible to the immune system and it also has this new mutation that makes it easy to infect cells.  Looking at the Kraken it seems kind of stodgy to me, but maybe I am just getting used to these spikey monsters.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed XBB.1.5 to be the most transmissible version of the Omicron variant to date and some experts are worried it may be able to dodge immunity from past infections and possibly vaccines.  People think that Covid is over, but this one could stand out among the other circulating Omicron variants.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Stodgy.

Angry Swifties

Due to extraordinarily high demands on their ticketing system and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, Ticketmaster cancelled sales of tickets for the upcoming Taylor Swift concert tour.  Over 2 million tickets were sold on November 15 at Ticketmaster for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour, which was the most tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day, however 14 million fans tried to order presale tickets, although some of them may have been bots.  The Eras Tour will kick off on March 17, 2023, and it will be her sixth headlining concert tour.  Dozens of Taylor Swift fans who are mostly lawyers, have joined forces to take down Ticketmaster after the pre-sale ticketing chaos and cancelation of Swift’s upcoming run of shows.  They reported Ticketmaster to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and they drafted a brief for politicians to take them down.  U.S. lawmakers are set to probe the ticketing industry after millions of Taylor Swift fans were shut out from buying concert tickets.  Swifties feel that high fees, site disruptions and cancelations show that Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means this company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve.  Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation is under investigation by the Department of Justice.

Taylor Swift was discovered in 2005 in the tiny iconic Bluebird Café in Nashville, and she got a record deal with Big Machine Records.  She released her self-titled debut album in 2006 and quickly rose to fame in the US and since then, her popularity has been growing at an exponential rate.  Swift’s first three albums were country where she played acoustic guitar.  Swift is a prolific songwriter famed for writing songs primarily based on her emotions and experiences which attract the young audience because they feel they can relate to most of the things she describes.  She shifted to pop music which made her lyrics more memorable and universal enough to reach teenagers.  Swift launched 5 headlining tours and has performed in more than 900 concerts.  Taylor has not been on the road in the last four years and her fans really want to see her perform.  She will turn 33 in a few weeks, as her birthday is on December 13.

Ticketmaster acquired Ticketron to give them market dominance and they opened online in 1996 but getting tickets for popular events can be a challenge.  I remember the days before electronic tickets were available and you had to stand in line to get tickets to a show.  I went with a three of my friends to Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ to get tickets for some upcoming Grateful Dead shows.  We wanted to make sure that we got tickets, so we got on the line the night before they went on sale.  It was like a party, where everyone was getting high and listening to Grateful Dead music and I finally fell asleep on the sidewalk.  I woke up the next morning because flies kept landing on my face.  Jersey City was known for having rats, cockroaches, flies and other pests and I was glad that it was flies and not rats.  These angry Swifties have no clue what it means to be a true fan.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – High.

Restoring Political Order in the UK

The Liz Truss saga ended this morning with her announcement that she would resign her position as the Prime Minister of the UK, as soon as a replacement is found.  I guess the UK will put an advertisement in the paper to see who wants to run the country, no just joking, as it is not clear yet how that is going to happen.  Liz Truss will become Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister ever, after announcing her intention to resign just six weeks into a disastrous term that pitched Britain deep into political and economic turmoil.  Her economic agenda sent markets into panic and led to a fall in the value of the pound.  It is difficult for people in the US to understand UK politics, but basically, she screwed up big time and if she didn’t resign, she may have been given the boot, because everyone lost confidence in her ability to lead.  Liz Truss faced a sordid investigation amid claims she failed to declare shady donations related to her leadership campaign in her first few weeks as the Prime Minister, while promising to deliver a higher-growth, more prosperous United Kingdom.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Sordid.

January Sixth Committee

The House select committee investigating the January 6th insurrection put forward cogent arguments that Trump knew that he lost the election and was willing to make up a Big Lie in order to try and stay in office.  Trump thought as early as May of 2020 that he could end up losing the election and that is when he started making plans to stay in office, despite the outcome.  Yesterday the committee voted to subpoena the former President to achieve some type of accountability for the American people.  I hate the bastard, but I don’t think he will end up being punished any more than getting some type of a slap on the wrist.  He is such a privileged a-hole, one that has survived two impeachments, numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, and an estimated four thousand lawsuits.  He is used to having his own way and doing whatever the F he wants.  If there is no punishment for his crimes, then this type of behavior will keep on being repeated and our whole system of voting is in jeopardy.  This malicious, manipulative SOB psychopath needs to be taken down a peg or two and it is unbelievable to me that he still has any supporters left.  I did feel really good watching Nancy Pelosi say, “I hope he comes.  I want to punch him out.”, after she was told that Trump might come to the Capitol.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Cogent.

Metrosexual Term

Fandango picked an odd one today for his Word of the Day challenge and from what I read “Zhuzh” has an interesting meaning.  This word can also be spelled as zhuzh, or zhoosh, jeuje, or even tzhuj and its meaning is to improve your appearance by making a slight adjustment, or by adding that extra something to almost anything.  This word was invented by fashion expert Carson Kressley from the show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which I admit that I never watched.  I have gone to the nail salon to bend and reach that far to get my toenails trimmed, mostly because it is easier for the ladies to cut them then for me trying to do it myself.  I have also done some manscaping at the request of my girlfriend, as grooming is vital for certain activities (I know, way too much information), but I don’t consider myself to be a metrosexual.  I don’t think that my girlfriend was trying to zhuzh me up, but I didn’t have a problem doing some light trimming and I guess this could be considered to be a slight improvement or adjustment.

A metrosexual can be a heterosexual, gay or a bisexual man, but this term is normally used for a straight male who possesses qualities of a gay male without being attracted to men.  This type of man would pay a lot of attention to his personal appearance and try to cultivate an upscale lifestyle and he would probably even be good at decorating and matching colors.  I like to be clean and neat, but I am not very interested in fashion.  I don’t have any jewelry, I don’t drink wine, and I don’t use any fancy cosmetics.  Heck, I don’t even comb my hair, what little I have left.  Zhuzh sounds a lot like an onomatopoetic word, like whoosh or zoom, suggesting movement, or perhaps the ruffling sound that is made by running fingers through your hair or a sound made on a fabric, like fluffing up a pillow, but it could be any number of things and I learned a new word today.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Zhuzh.

Chop Shop

You can work at my chop shop where we illicitly disassemble stolen motor vehicles and then sell their parts, but you have to start at the bottom.  The pay will be good, but the first thing I need you to do is watch that Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie 2000 action movie Gone in 60 Seconds, so you can get a good picture of what we are about.  We are after luxury cars that are owned by rich bastards, and it is perfectly moral to steal from those disgusting and greedy capitalist pigs who make up the 1%, especially since they are all insured.  You might think that stealing is wrong, because you are taking something that does not belong to you, but these miserable a-holes won’t share the wealth that they have accumulated, so it is our duty to take it.

The first thing I will teach you is how to hot wire a car and how to use a slim jim to gain access to a vehicle.  Later, you need to get familiar with the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port that is used by technicians to investigate the diagnostics of a car, so they can find the source of any warning lights displayed by the car’s dashboard.  Once you know your way around this, you can plug in an encryption device that will disable alarms, unlock doors and start engines by simulating a key entering the car’s ignition and you should be able to have the car rolling within just 15 seconds.  I will teach you other hacking methods that will intercept the frequency signal that is being sent by the owner of the car with their key fob to lock their car and then you will clone this key signal so that you can then walk up and drive away with the car.  Right now, I am hungry, and it is time for lunch, so I am thinking about Chinese food, and I am in the mood for some chop suey, so go out and get me some.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Chop.