How’s Trump Week 1 Treating You?

Trump Presidency Day 6:  It’s a good thing I ate a light breakfast this morning, because these headlines made me want to throw up.

President Trump intends to move forward with a major investigation of voter fraud that he says cost him the popular vote, White House officials said Wednesday, despite bipartisan condemnation of his allegations and the conclusion of Mr. Trump’s own lawyers that the election was ‘not tainted.'” The New York Times

tiffanytPart of that investigation is to include weeding out and punishing those who are registered, and supposedly voted, in multiple states.  Do you think he can comprehend that most of his cabinet, his son-in-law, and his youngest daughter are registered in 2 states?

We all remember how appalled Trump was that Secretary Clinton used a private email server, right?  Remember the chants of, “Lock her up!”?  Take a look at this verified headline: Trump White House Senior Staff Have Private Email Server  Um, Pot Meet Kettle!

First he pisses off the scientific community by “disagreeing” with their lifes’ works, then he erases all mentions of global warming/climate change from the White House and other government websites, he freezes all grants and contracts to the scientific community AND imposes a gag order on all employees of the National Parks, EPA, USDA, US Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies so that they cannot Tweet, send Emails nor comment publicly in their capacity as government employees.  In some cases, via a memo that’s circulating on The Hill, that gag order extends to restrictions on communicating with Congress!  After pubic outcry the USDA lifted their ban on public communications, but as of today, all other departments are still gagged.  Thank God for the rabble rousers over at the National Park Service who started non-government owned Twitter accounts that cannot be shut down!  Other agencies quickly followed suit.

v1Donald Trump has proven that vengeance is his main focus, and this Biggest F You yet to “The Donald” could very well result in mass firings, but I applaud the efforts of those who refuse to be silenced by the Mad Man occupying the Oval Office!

Mass exodus from the State Department:  “the emptying of leadership in the management bureaus” is “disruptive because those offices need to be led by people who know the department and have experience running its complicated bureaucracies.” And, of course, now #TeamTrump are using state run media (Fox News) 😉 to declare that he “Fired them.”  Yeah, I call Bullshit.  They needed them to teach the morons how to run things. UG!

A little levity for the morning

Since Donald Trump has a habit of using the songs of artists who absolutely don’t want their music associated with him, let’s pick one that actually fits him (as much as The Rolling Stones‘  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” does)

Do you think the Trump administration’s theme song should be:lies-lies-lies-yeah

  1. Lies” by Thompson Twins; or
  2. Highway to Hell” by AC/DC?

highway_to_hell

Both are far more appropriate choices than “Hail to the Chief.”  Hmmm

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Trump Triumph or Twitter Smoke & Mirrors?

trumpvsford
President Elect Donald Trump, who refuses to face the press for questions, announced via Twitter how pleased he was that Ford Motors was canceling their planned $1.6 billion dollar expansion of their manufacturing operations in Mexico and adding 700 jobs in Michigan instead.

“Trump has previously slammed the company for plans to move all small-car production to Mexico, and claimed that he helped stop Ford from shifting an entire factory from Kentucky to Mexico. Ford has repeatedly said it has no plans to close any U.S. plants.” – source CNBC HMMM.

 

In that same CNBC interview, The CEO of Ford, Mark Fields, was very quick to fire back that the change in plans was NOT at all to capitulate to Trumps threat of a 35% import tariff on Ford vehicles produced in Mexico for sale in the United States, but instead that the investment of $700 billion in expanding their Michigan manufacturing facilities was how they regularly do business, always first trying to keep business at home when it makes business sense, and that it was due to decrease in market demand for small gasoline powered cars and their planned move into the “electric car era.”

 

The Washington Post’s Danielle Paquette laid out in detail the actual reasons Ford canceled the Mexico small car plant:
  1. Fields was blunt about why Ford changed its mind and canceled a $1.6 billion factory slated for San Luis Potosi. “The reason that we are not building the new plant,” he said, “the primary reason, is just demand has gone down for small cars.”
  2. Ford wants to be the leader in Electric vehicles, so they are investing $4.5 billion in electric vehicle production by 2020
  • They need the electric cars to be assembled near the engineers
  • Ford currently employees 85,000 workers in the United States, but auto manufacturing at Ford from this point forward WILL become increasingly automated, resulting in FEWER jobs for line workers
  • “Each iteration of a facility becomes less like old school manufacturing and more high-tech,” Smith said. “THAT WILL ULTIMATELY MEAN FEWER JOBS.”  Automation allows companies to produce more using fewer people.
“The Ford engineers, tasked with creating the Electric models, work in Dearborn, MI, 20 miles from the Flat Rock assembly plant. Moving production to Mexico would have made their jobs harder, said Brett Smith, an auto analyst at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.”
For anyone still paying attention at this point, Ford isn’t abandoning production in Mexico.
  • They currently employ 8,800 employees in their Hermasillo, Mexico plant
  • They shipped 265,000 cars to the United States from that plant between January and August 2016
  • They intend to continue making gasoline-powered Ford Focus vehicles there.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Mexico is the United States’ third largest trade partner
  • Imposing a 35% tariff on imports from Mexico would mean tearing up NAFTA, which he doesn’t need Congressional approval to do, but Mexico will fight any change to NAFTA via imposition of comparable tariffs on American imports
  • Trump would have to get Congressional approval to impose any new international tariffs
  • International tariffs, in the past, have cost Americans money and hurt our economy

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Home Depot LED Tree Lights


Word to the wise:  when you smell something smoldering, the power goes out in the room you’re in (thank God for GFI), and it’s still there when you throw the breaker…UNPLUG THE CHRISTMAS TREE! 

Had I not been home we’d have had a fire last night with a 5 day fresh tree, new double wire strand of 150 lights and water in the stand.

I’d noticed half the lights flickering occasionally while I was decorating the tree and wrapping gifts, but it had stopped.  I thought I had a loose bulb and didn’t give it a second thought when the lights stayed on after tapping a light.

Hours later the entire wire fried, was sizzling hot and was starting to heat up the tree…keep a watch on your tree lights people!

Made for Home Depot in China.  Home Depot might want to consider spending a bit more on having their branded lights manufactured to safer standards.  Perhaps it would be wise to sell lights that don’t endanger people by burning up in 15 hours instead of lasting the “15 holiday seasons” advertised on the box. HMMM!

  • LED
  • Uses 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs
  • Energy Star Compliant
  • Supposed to last 15 years (not 15 hours)
  • Connect 30 strings on 1 outlet!  I used 1 string 😳

Are you on Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the more than 2,800 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Lighten Up People!

blazingsaddlesBefore special interest groups began dictating the tenor of the news, the 24 hour cable news cycle, cell phones (with instant video to internet upload ability), and social media’s ability to take a story worldwide in milliseconds, things that weren’t politically correct were funny.  It’s okay, you can admit that you laughed at the off-color humor of the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s everyone did.

  • Whose dad didn’t come home from a night out with the boys with a bad joke or two?
  • Who didn’t laugh at the dozens of “Revenge of the Nerds” type movies that filled the theaters?
  • “Blazing Saddles” and it’s blatantly racist humor?
  • What about the “Cheech and Chong” movies?
  • How about the very raunchy stand-up routines of Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Bobcat Goldthwait, Andrew Dice Clay, Richard Pryor and others of the era?
  • Who didn’t see (and die laughing at) the VERY R-rated Eddie Murphy “Delirious” and “Raw”?

Today if you admitted to laughing hysterically at any comedy of that type, at minimum, you’d be accused of being (depending which comic you were describing) any one of:

  • Racist
  • Sexist
  • Xenophobic
  • Anti-Establishment
  • Discriminatory (Against the disabled or intellectually “challenged”)
  • A Pedophile
  • Abusive (Spousal or otherwise)
  • Homophobic
  • Alcoholic
  • A Drug Addict (or finding the practice/behavior acceptable)

babes-of-the-sunset-stripEnvision your 1980’s party-girl bestie, who years ago would have been laughing beside you.  Now she’s among the modern-day helicopter parenting, wine drinking /judgment passing disguised as women’s bible study night, soccer-moms who, rather than just ignore jokes or delete things they’ve decided they “can’t” publicly find funny anymore:

  • Spread emails publicly shaming a person who shared an off-color joke or meme
  • Encourage mutual friends to cut a person from social circles for the same
  • No longer allow their children to associate with the person’s  children at or after school
  • Have contacted Human Resources to report the “inappropriate” behavior at work as harassing, gotten them reprimanded, and even fired
  • Have spread the gossip to their places of worship, children’s sports teams and other participatory organizations, making the person and their family feel so unwelcome they leave and even more from their home.

All of this stemming from having the nerve to have a sense of humor and realizing that there is still a First Amendment.  How one person’s right to share and enjoy humor has gone from people just deleting the offending or not funny email or just giving the person a courtesy laugh or politely asking not to hear that type of joke/language to the extremes above is everything that our society was never intended to be.  Our Constitution and protections of the many rights allowed to us within the Bill of Rights is exactly why we have gone to war.  #PeopleNeedToLightenUp

You might wonder what made me go Hmmm about this today.  Well, it was seeing another stupid headline about Donald Trump’s Twitter war with the way that he is being characterized on Saturday Night Live. #SatireIsProtectedSpeech

snl

When Saturday Night Live was actually funny (from 1975 through the 1980’s) everyone tuned in to see the double entendres that Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radnor, John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, Tina Fey, and dozens of others over the ensuing decades tossed out that danced just below the censor line.

trumpsnlBased on the personal offense that the President-Elect is taking to the lampooning Alec Baldwin’s almost weekly Saturday Night Live performances are giving him, he must have forgotten the very nature of the show he admitted to enjoying before he actually won enough electoral college votes to earn the job he was seeking.  Saturday Night Live has always made its laughs at the expense of the folly of politicians (including past Presidents), celebrities, sports figures and other notorious media personalities.

For a while (read that, when it served his benefit) Trump was in on the “joke.”  Trump appeared as a host on SNL multiple times, largely to take the wind out of SNL’s  anti-Trump sails.  He refused to poke fun at himself and was only interested, when he hosted in 2015, in an appearance that was widely criticized, in downplaying his inflammatory campaign trail statements about Mexican and Muslim immigrants.  Now he seems much more interested in wielding whatever power he retains at NBC by making veiled threats that SNL, which has survived 42 years and 7 Presidents, is on the way out.

This quote from the June 10, 2015 edition of  Salon Magazine perfectly sums up my feelings on critical opinions of satire and comedy:

  • Know the performer you are watching on TV, listening to or seeing live
  • If you’re in the public eye and don’t like what’s being said about you, especially if the truth hurts, #ChangeTheChannel
  • If you don’t enjoy raw, politically honest, racial, sexual, vulgar and other taboo topics that might be in a show, DON’T GO SEE THAT COMEDIAN OR ANYTHING THEY ARE IN! #FreedomOfChoice
  • If people you know enjoy that type of comedy you don’t have to stop being their friend, but you don’t have any right to pass judgement on their taste in entertainment.  They have no right to choose your shoes, your home, your car or your husband/wife – the same logic applies: #ToEachTheirOwn

lisa-lampanelliLisa Lampanelli,  “The edgy comic wrote a piece in the Hollywood Reporter titled “How Political Correctness is Killing Comedy,” writing “Here’s the problem: Comedy, probably more than any other art form, is subjective. What jokes crack up your mom, your little brother, and your gay best friend will be completely different — unless it’s a video of a guy getting hit in the gonads with a piñata stick. That’s funny to everyone….If you like safe, generic comedy, that’s fine. Go on a cruise ship and crack up listening to the comedian point out the hilarious differences between loafers and shoes with laces. But don’t go to one of my shows and be outraged by what you hear. Going to my show and expecting me not to cross the line of good taste and social propriety is like going to a Rolling Stones concert and expecting not to hear ‘Satisfaction.’

fpbaarClosing with a return to the theme of #PeopleNeedToLightenUp, if my kid were still small and asked for this toy, I would totally buy it if it was real!  As kids we played house in a real playhouse.  Mom and dad left for work during the day and went out on dates at night.  Well, it’s 2016, dates are now happy hour after work and my girlfriend owns two of the bars I like: that’s real life small business ownership in today’s society people!  I couldn’t care less if people agree with my humor or not.  #IWouldBuyTheFisherPriceHappyHourPlaySet

Are you on Facebook?  If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the more than 2,800 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Fat Cell Reduction Without Drugs!

I’m feeling chubby and scientific today….a very dangerous combination!

yoda_swsbFew of us regular folk work out for the sheer enjoyment of it.  Most of us do it because we need to.  I like the end results, but to be honest, if I could sit on my butt, drink wine and eat comfort food with the same result, I’d choose the latter.  Unfortunately my biology doesn’t work that way (THANKS MOM!), so, as Yoda would say, “Work out I must.”

Thanks to a discovery I read today from an article in Health Magazine, there might just be a little more motivation to get my workout on a little more often: it seems that not only does a good workout put your body to work burning icky brown fat, but research shows that the release of the hormone irisin during exercise is thought to do double duty by stopping your body from forming new fat cells.  Hallelujah!

Soon after the disovery of the existence of FNDC5,  A.K.A. “irisin“, scientists began disputing whether irisin is just an inert, naturally ocurring hormone or if the human body is actually capable of increasing production and circulating it via exercise.

In 2015, attempting to settle the dispute once and for all, Spiegleman and the rest of the Harvard team went back to work and conducted more precise testing using a technique called quantitative mass spectrometry to isolate the irisin protein.

pauley-perrette-aka-abby-sciuto-ncis-girls-25700162-1024-768For those of us not at the leading edge of scientific discovery think:  Abby Sciuto of NCIS and her, frequently mentioned, “Major Mass Spec,” tool used for breaking down chemical components when the team is solving a crime.

PowerPoint PresentationOnce the protein was isolated they were able to conduct a more precise 12 week study comparing the amount of irisin present in subjects who were sedentary to the amount present in the subjects who participated in a measured amount of aerobic interval training in the same 12 week period.

Their findings were published in the Aug. 13, 2015 issue of the Journal Cell Metabolism (Cell Metabolism, Vol. 22, Issue 4, p734–740), finally settling the lack of concensus.

The data concluded:

  1.  The amount of irisin present in the blood of the sedentary subjects was 3.6 nanograms per mililiter of blood at the beginning and the end of the 12 weeks;
  2. The amount of irisin present in the blood of the participants in the aerobic training increased from 3.6 nanograms per mililiter of blood at the beginning to  4.3 nanograms per mililiter at the end of the 12 weeks (23.96% increase); and
  3. The 23.96 increase could be directly attributed to the amount of exercise the non-sedentary study participants completed.

That bit of science was good enough for me, so, while I toiled over the citations and details (plus the fun Yoda & Abby Sciuto references), I pulled my dusty Cubii under desk elliptical machine out and decided to create some irisin while I worked.

cubiiIn a really shameless, totally unsolicited plug, I backed this fun device when it was under prodution as a Kickstarter campaign and then had to have major foot surgery, so it’s been sitting idle for about 4 months.  It connects to my iPhone (via app), syncs with Fitbit, and is a non-impact way to not let your desk job ruin your good health!

In 125 minutes (2 hours 5 minutes) the health results for my semi-sedentary, Cubii workout while researching/blogging were more than I expected, although I was admittedly dripping wet when I finished:

  • Burned 1243 Calories
  • Took 14,244 Strides
  • Logged 5.84 Miles from my dining room table & without shoes!

My only complaint with the Cubii software is that the calories burned comes in much lower than my Garmin Vivofit 2 (so, of course I am using the Garmin count) Hmmm.  It gave me a good tally, but next time I’ll put my heart rate monitor on for an even more accurate calorie burning count.

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Important Facebook Privacy News of the Day

facebook-secret-conversation-end-to-end-encryptionFacebook promised the ability of all 900 Million Messenger Users to encrypt their messages and keep them private last July.  Today, according to an announcement on Wired.com, that has finally happened.

There are caveats, of course:

  1. The encryption is “Opt-In”
  2. No one can read the conversation except the two people involved in the conversation – not Facebook, law enforcement or government agencies
  3. It has to be done new with each conversation you want kept private
  4. You can only maintain the privacy of the conversation on the same device (phone, tablet, pc) that you started it on
  5. Senders can choose a Snapchat-style expiration time for messages, ranging from five seconds to one day
  6. You can’t send GIF or Video files in the messages, but you an attach JPEG and stickers
  7. In order to receive encrypted messages both parties need to be using the updated Messenger App

The new tool is called “Secret Conversations” and when you update to the newest version of the Messenger App, you will now see an option to start a “Secret Message” at the top right of the new message screen.

If encrypting your messages, and keeping sensitive conversations truly secret, is important to you, here is how you turn it on:

If you want to start a new encrypted conversation:

  1. Tap the new conversation icon at the top right.
  2. Tap “Secret” in the top right.
  3. Choose your recipient and begin messaging.

If you want to turn an ongoing conversation into an encrypted Secret Conversation:

  1. Open the message thread.
  2. Tap their name at the top of your screen.
  3. Tap “Secret Conversation” to switch it over.

Are you on Facebook? If you are interested in blog follow ups, free or discounted stuff I find, things that make me wonder, scream like a maniac, laugh, or yell in frustration, join the more than 2,700 people who find me engaging or amusing at the page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments