Anniversaries and Other Frustrations

The opening of today’s post by one of my favorite bloggers, Nancy Nall:

click image to read the full post
Click screenshot to read the full post

If you click on the image you can read the entire post, and who knows, maybe you too will become a fan of Nancy’s writing. Her post sent me combing through the Paul’s Thing archives, looking for my own first entries about Covid, the pandemic, and quarantine. Here’s what I found:

Sunday Bag o’ Sin, February 2, 2020: I remarked on the racist stupidity (but I repeat myself) of Americans who’d stopped drinking Corona beer because they thought it was the source of the coronavirus then sweeping the world.

Baked Ziti Face, February 27, 2020: “Now to hunker down for a fortnight … good practice for the Coronavirus epidemic, no?”

Social Distancing, March 11, 2020: I worried the state of Arizona would give us Covid, because both our drivers licenses were about to expire and we’d have to stand in line at the DMV to renew them (Arizona later gave everyone a year’s extension, then another one). In the post, I also mentioned meeting friends at a restaurant the night before, so mandatory quarantine and restaurant closures hadn’t hit Tucson yet.

As I recall, we could clearly see lock-downs coming by January 2020, because they were already in effect in other countries. In the USA, the government had already imposed a mandatory quarantine period for citizens returning from travel to Wuhan, China, plus blanket restrictions on foreigners entering the country. By February, any American up on the news knew quarantine was imminent, but apparently Donna and I were still living our lives the way we always had. That all changed in early March.

Anyway, you really should read Nancy’s Covid anniversary post, because it’s a good one. I’m thinking Donna and I need to make Covid booster appointments at the corner Walgreens.

Yesterday I saw two news stories claiming the Oscar-winning movie American Fiction is streaming on Amazon. I tried to add it to our queue to watch that night, only to discover I had to sign up for an additional subscription to see it.

See, it’s not actually on Amazon at all … it’s on MGM+, and to watch it you have to sign up for that service. Technically, Amazon members signing up for MGM+ get a seven-day free trial, but when you sign up for the free period you’re also signing up for a ten-dollar-a-month MGM+ subscription, for which you’ll be billed if you don’t remember to cancel before those seven days are up (and I bet MGM+ is hoping many will miss the deadline, or forget it entirely).

This is not what “streaming on Amazon” means. Sloppy reporting? Intentionally-misleading stories planted by Amazon? I’ll let you guess.

Tell you what, though, if you’re a Hulu subscriber you can stream (for real this time) another Oscar-winner, Poor Things. It’s a keeper!

I have an appointment with my cardiologist this afternoon. I think my AFIB as well as the temporary flutter he found (and put paddles to my chest to stop it) remains under control, and I hope that’s confirmed today. Wish me luck, okay?

In a post a few days ago I said I thought I might have gout. That post, of course, was read by friends who quickly alerted my wife, who over-reacted to the news (she really really doesn’t want me to die before her because she can’t figure out the TV remotes; ditto me her because I have no idea how the bills get paid or where anything important is). But whatever was causing the pain in my foot is gone. I took Tylenol for a few days but haven’t now for a week and the pain hasn’t come back.

I plead guilty to using my blog as a TMI confessional, probably too often for most of you, and shouldn’t be surprised (or annoyed) that anything and everything I say here gets back to Donna. Shoot, she sometimes reads my blog herself and knows my secrets before her friends do! It’s a diary, but a public one, and I’ll remind readers that weblogs were once referred to as diaries … some still call themselves that.

The real secrets, of course, never see the light of day here on Paul’s Thing.

There’s talk of banning TikTok. Not sure how that’d work, or if it’s even possible, but I can easily see the the military and the federal civil service imposing a ban on surfing TikTok on government computers and mobile devices, and the mandatory removal of the TikTok app from same.

The issue is Chinese ownership of TikTok, and I suppose the possibility of the Chinese using it to spread disinformation … although isn’t it the Russians we should be doing something about? Anyway, I sure see a lot of disinformation on TikTok, and rampant theft of content as well.

When I started looking at TikTok about a year ago, I quickly became addicted to short video posts from a Dutch woman who goes on solo motorcycle adventures all over the world. I soon realized that a dozen different accounts were copying and re-posting her videos, and only one of those accounts was hers (the same thing happens to nearly all popular TikTok content providers, for example Jay Leno and his channel about classic cars).

Sometimes I report and block copycat accounts, as I’m sure lots of other users do, but nothing ever happens. If whoever administers TikTok takes action against copycats and intellectual property thieves, it’s invisible to me. I suspect they do when enough people complain, but the copycats and thieves just start new accounts with different names and start all over again. Which is the main reason I hate myself for looking at TikTok.

Click to link to Itchy Boots' YouTube videos
Click to link to Itchy Boots’ YouTube channel

So I’m not linking to the Dutch woman’s TikTok account. Instead I’m linking to her main platform, YouTube (also infested with copycats and copyright violators), where she posts the full-length videos of her adventures. Her channel’s called Itchy Boots, and it’s probably the most wholesome entertainment you’ll find on the internet. You can thank me after you check it out, and as always with social media (especially TikTok and YouTube), beware of imitators.

One thought on “Anniversaries and Other Frustrations

  • Good luck with the fib. I’m having a bad moler extracted tomorrow then an implant after months gap-toothed, just call me Jethro. This after cadaver bone build-up. For this my portion is estimated at $2,600+, which my dentist office says is a good deal.
    I had some of my bad student bass guitar solos (and their is no other kind) on YouTube, which I basically detest. Not that easy to edit etc either.
    So for about a year I put a dozen vids on tiktok instead, very seductive interface. It starts out showing you what most people want, Jerry Springer shock jocks, tits&ass, violence.
    But their algorithms soon determine, by clicks, duration of view etc, what is most addictive to mindless viewing.
    Mine was bassists who were inspiring, informative, some not much above my level sometimes.
    Generally supportive comments too, thumbs ups etc, at least not the usual social media hellhole.
    Easy interface, editing, text etc. A great duet function that allows others to perform duets or combos to your video. Sadly, none of mine.
    But basically a huge time waster. You can learn from making and posting videos, sure; but OTOH you’ll learn lots more by practicing the instrument than watching someone else do it.
    And you always get caught up in one video after another doomscrolling, it’s how it’s designed.
    I deleted my tiktok account account when China allied with Russia which automatically deleted my bad student bass videos. Bonus!
    I deleted my YouTube vids too but kept my account. So if I ever progress from student to journeyman I can post there again.
    Except YouTube directly copied tiktok’s quick cut style and made itself even harder to use and view. Hard to find your own vids in the fire hose clips flood.
    In my many years of government tech service website visits were always logged and available for the bosses’ examination. I’m trying to imagine a government worker needing tiktok to do her job.
    Don’t see why you’d allow Chinese Communist software on any US government servers since they are certainly a national adversary. And like Russia, probably a national enemy.
    Tod recently posted…Headless CB Guitar Build: Day II, Attaching ‘Tailpiece’My Profile

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