January 2017



Spot the logic in this excerpt from Bloomberg:

Some publishers are scaling back on Facebook Inc.’s Instant Articles program, in which they host stories directly on the social-media company’s platform instead of their own websites so they load faster on phones, according to a report by Digital Content Next, a trade group.

Media companies are frustrated that Facebook restricts the number and type of ads in Instant Articles, making it harder for them to make as much money as they can selling ads on their own websites, where they can better target readers, said the group, whose members include the New York Times, the Washington Post and ESPN. Bloomberg News, a unit of Bloomberg LP, is also a member of the group.

If you want your stories to load faster, having fewer ads to load with them is kind of a no-brainer. Of course, if the ads were less resource-intensive, that would help too — you could show your readers more ads if they weren't all Flash videos that slurp up bandwidth.

Another thing that hogs bandwidth is autoplay videos of talking heads essentially reading verbatim the same content as the text printed on the page, or worse, a different and completely unrelated story.

I blame public education.

Tuesday,  January 24, 2017  McGehee

One Meme to Rule Them All

Pretty much everything the elite Left — activist groups, media outlets, etc. — have said or done since early November has boiled down to one thing:

I mean seriously, if they were setting out on purpose to discredit themselves with mainstream Americans and ensure that political candidates they endorse never win another election (outside of California), what would they be doing different?

At this rate, by 2024 the two major parties will be different wings of what is now the Republican Party — Trumpian populists on one side of the aisle, equality-before-the-law constitutionalists on the other. With a few congressional seats way up in a back corner occupied by Democrats who have to be frisked for stink bombs and Ziploc® bags full of urine or feces before being allowed in the chamber.

In recent years we've seen Democrats flee the Texas legislature to try to block enactment of a congressional redistricting map, and the Wisconsin legislature seeking to block major public employment reforms. Both groups left the state to avoid being brought back by their respective state police agencies. Where will Pelosi and Schumer lead their caucuses to avoid quorum calls? Mexico? Cuba?

Wherever they go, do they have to be allowed back?

Tuesday,  January 24, 2017  McGehee

That Was Her Q

The eldest of our cats, Suzie Q, was released from her failing body this afternoon at the presumed age of 17. She had been fighting persistently against an upper respiratory infection but in the end its persistence was greater.

She came to live with Mrs. McG and me after the Mrs. encountered her living as a stray near the motel she stayed at on a work trip in central Georgia. Examination by the vet around that time revealed that she had a small number of birdshot pellets embedded in her body, but otherwise she seemed to be doing fine.

She was almost certainly the runt of her litter but her poise and her will to live made her the grand lady of our mini-menagerie from the day she joined it.

She is missed.

Update, Sunday — Here is what Mrs. McG wrote on Facebook:

We had to say goodbye to our beloved calico girl Suzie-Q yesterday. I found Suzie in August 2000 at a motel in Perry, GA. She was half-grown, half-starved, and as it turned out, abused (x-rays showed 5 shotgun pellets lodged in her body.) I shared my dinner with her, then sat outside my room while she loved up on me for an hour and a half. I hated leaving her there, but it was a week-long business trip.

After I got home I couldn't stop thinking about her, and finally drove back down there to get her. I call her my "gateway calico" because 1) she gave me a new appreciation for the beauty of calicos and 2) I actually got wonky on the subject and read an entire book on calico genetics — why the vast majority of them are female, etc. Fascinating stuff.

Over time, she went from being incredibly skittish to flopping out on the bed for a belly rub, purring madly. She was definitely the princess type, with strong opinions on what would and would not suit her, thank you very much!

This is one of my favorite pictures of her, going bonkers over my bandana after six weeks of good food and love had filled her out nicely. I hope the 16 years we spent together helped make up for the earlier hardships. Enjoy Rainbow Bridge, little girl. Love you.

Saturday,  January 21, 2017  McGehee

Obama's Future

My reply to Local Malcontent's comment on the previous post got me to thinking about what we can expect of the next four years.

"Unfortunately the unhinged Left always makes it damn near impossible not to fall into knee-jerk defense mode."

There is a key difference in the upcoming Trump presidency though, in that the 45th President-to-be so far hasn't really needed defending — which is good for him because he has caused a lot of us not to want to defend him.

Part of Trump's armor is simply his own willingness to respond to criticism in his patented manner — a trait that, while embarrassing many Republicans, also has the effect of treating his Leftist critics as the unhinged crybabies they've always been. And this causes them to behave more and more like unhinged crybabies.

But there's another asset Trump has that he had no particular hand in creating: his predecessor, Barack Hussein Obama.

In his effort to denormalize gun ownership, Obama has caused more guns to be sold in America these last eight years than any other President.

In his effort to finally bring to fruition dreams of a permanent Democrat majority, he has relegated his party to the fringes of the country both ideologically and geographically.

In his effort to help inoculate Hillary Clinton against the electoral consequences of her scandals, he created an enduring narrative of her as corrupt, petty and incompetent, leading to her defeat by the least electable Republican nominee since Alf Landon.

And he says he isn't going away, at least not for long.

If he continues to speak out in his post-presidency, Barack Obama will remain the public face of his party, preventing any future Democrat prospect from assuming a credible leadership role. Remember when I cursed him by wishing him a long, healthy life after leaving the White House?

This suggests that Republican onlookers may very well emerge as Trump's most authoritative and effective critics, an eventuality that bodes well for his presidency, the party, conservatives, and the country.

Sometimes God gives us what we pray for by giving us the opposite of what we thought we were praying for. Then it's up to us to deal with it and make it turn out right.

That's what 2016 appears to have been.

Update, after DNC Chair election: Drudge's link to this item reads, "Still Obama's Party". He's not wrong.

Friday,  January 20, 2017  McGehee

Twenty-three hours and 35 minutes

...but who's counting?

The following are comments made to this post when it was originally published on Blogspot. Preparatory to migrating this entry to static HTML (after two WordPress migrations already...), and in light of the subsequent post, I've decided to incorporate the conversation here.

The Local Malcontent, January 20, 2017 at 2:54 am
Everybody's counting down the hours until noon, Jan. 20, 2017. Till when the nightmare is over finally. This week has passed so slowly too, it seems. We're looking forward to the much more conservative agenda of President Trump, but always ready to hold his feet to the fire, to keeping his campaign promises, ready to call him out too, when he wavers from them. Let's watch it unfold~

McG, January 20, 2017 at 7:56 am
As it always should be. Unfortunately the unhinged Left always makes it damn near impossible not to fall into knee-jerk defense mode.

Thursday,  January 19, 2017  McGehee

Fifty-one hours

...until the end of an error but, let us hope, not the beginning of another. Even though the odds are it will be, in most ways that matter.

There really isn't supposed to be so much at stake in any American election.

Wednesday,  January 18, 2017  McGehee

The Second Rule of Holes

The last load of mail has been collected from the decrepit plastic mailbox across the road from our driveway, and just now, in a feat of herculean strength, I took it down with my own — er, gloved hands.

Turned out an ant colony had taken up residence in the ground the anchor post was sunk in, and softened the soil enough that I only needed to twist the box and post about 90 degrees and lift it all out of the ground.

This project came in what appears to have been the nick of time; a bad storm or a distracted driver could have uprooted that old box any time. Heck, if I'd lost my footing collecting the mail and tried to catch my balance on the box, I could have done it.

The new box, set (as mentioned previously) in a bit of Quikrete next to our driveway, is on a metal post and ought never to be plagued by the detaching-door syndrome that caused the old one to be covered in duct tape.

And there won't be any more worries about delivery people looking for us on the wrong side of the road (it really only happened once twice, but still...).

I am proud of Mrs. McG for taking the lead on this, and grateful to neighbor Cathy a couple of houses down for working the phones to make sure everyone who stood the benefit from this let the postmaster know they wanted it and would move or replace their boxes. It was nice seeing all those mailboxes appear on our side of the road as the day approached.

And of course our postmaster deserves a note of thanks for responding to the need and handling the necessary changes on the post office's side.

Friday,  January 13, 2017  McGehee

...and to the banana republic...

One down, fourteen to go — assuming only Cabinet secretaries are accorded the privilege of decorating the outgoing caudillo.

Addressing a room of men and women from the various branches of the military, Obama praised their service and sacrifice. He said there is "no greater privilege and no greater honor" than serving as commander in chief.

"As I reflect on the challenges we have faced together and on those to come, I believe that one of the greatest tasks before our armed forces is to retain the high confidence that the American people rightly place in you," Obama said. "We must never hesitate to act when necessary to defend our nation, but we must also never rush into war because sending you into harm's way should be a last and not first resort."

Prior to his remarks, Defense Secretary Ash Carter presented Obama with the Medal of Distinguished Public Service as a token of appreciation for his service as commander in chief.

Letting a subordinate pin a medal on you is not only a bad look for an American president, it's literally a repudiation of the republican values on which our government is based.

And the worst part? You know damn well Trump will ratify the precedent when he leaves office.

The military uniform covered with gold braid may take a little longer.

Thursday,  January 5, 2017  McGehee

He's Too Much

It remains to be seen whether his hothead of a brother lets it happen, but Snow Miser may be taking aim on this part of subtropical west Georgia this weekend.

I've little doubt about the temperatures — I've seen cold here that I never saw in three decades in Sacramento — what's in question is the moisture.

In fact it's the greater chance of moisture here in the South that has made snow so much likelier here than in Sacramento. Despite being so close to the Pacific Ocean, the Sacramento Valley tends to be much drier than here for a couple of reasons: the Coast Range, a modest barrier but a barrier nonetheless; and the cold waters of the California Current as it passes southward along the northern California coast.

Cold water doesn't saturate the air as effectively as warm water such as is found to Georgia's south and east. Though thousands of miles apart, the Gulf of Mexico (Heat Miser) and the Canadian Arctic (Snow Miser) often cooperate to bring frozen precipitation to Hotlanta and environs.

Here's hoping they will this weekend.

Update: All we got was a light coating of ice on trees. No significant damage here but a few hundred lost power elsewhere in the county.

Tuesday,  January 3, 2017  McGehee

To be honest,

I've lived through worse years than 2016.

New Year's Day,  January 1, 2017  McGehee



January 2017


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