America’s Drug Code is Ass Backwords

So, I had jury duty this past week and there’s something that’s sticking with me right now. I presided over a drug case, possession of a controlled substance, in this case meth. Meth is a schedule II controlled substance. I really have no argument with that.

What bothers me is cannabis is a schedule I controlled substance. That is to say, to the federal government, cannabis is thought of as worse than meth. Are you fucking kidding me?

The amount of times I have seen or heard about meth wrecking someone’s life. The subject in question this week had five previous cases, four for a controlled substance, with one of those cases having two offenses for the same thing within a month. The withdrawal symptoms of meth and its addictive attributes are something I could never say about cannabis. I hung around potheads my junior year of high school. Once I grew tired of sleeping all the freaking time, I walked away, scot free, no feeling of being pulled back in. I was able to be done when I wanted to be. And yet, you’re telling me the federal government thinks that’s worst than meth? That has to change.

And that’s without mentioning the benefits of CBD. But I digress.

Jerry West is Basically a Wizard 🏀

I never saw this coming. I don’t think anyone else did either. Somehow, someway, the Los Angeles Clippers not only landed Kawhi Leonard, but they also swung a deal to acquire Paul George from the Thunder. You’re talking the Finals MVP joining a regular season MVP candidate, both of whom are from Southern California. Talk about a dream if you’re the Clippers.

It didn’t come without the Clips giving up a lot to get George. To be specific they sent OKC:

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • Danilo Gallinari
  • Unprotected first round picks in 2021,2022, 2023, 2024, and 2026
  • A protected first round pick in 2023
  • Pick swaps in 2023 and 2025
Talk about a deal that could make Billy King blush. But, unlike that silly trade the Nets made that crippled their franchise for half a decade, the Clippers are receiving two players in their primes with plenty of time to spare. I see no reason this team shouldn’t be in contention for the next few years at least. Further, they may have finally made the Clippers a place players want to go, especially given the fact they have the richest owner in the league in Steve Ballmer, one of the best general managers in Jerry West, a future hall of fame coach in Doc Rivers, and a potential move to Inglewood, CA, which would give the Clippers an identity they don’t have sharing an arena with the Lakers.

Crazy news to start the morning!

20 Years Ago Today: The Mariners Final Game at the Kingdome ⚾️

From Lookout Landing:

People really hated the Kingdome.

They called it ugly. They said it was dilapidated. They compared it to a tomb.

I’ve always said as a Mariners fan, “it’s a shithole, but it was our shithole.” Nothing could kill the vibe of a beautiful summer day in Seattle like going into the dark concrete insides of the Kingdome.

I saw one Mariners game at the Kingdome. I remember the date well: September 8, 1998. That was the day Mark McGwire broke the single-season record for home runs when he hit his 62nd of the year to pass Roger Maris’ 1961 mark. The Mariners were set to play the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays that evening, who were taking batting practice at the time of McGwire’s feat. Everyone stared and watched the Jumbotron as the event happened followed by an ovation from fans and players alike.

Tampa Bay then continued their pregame batting practice. It was as if McGwire provided inspiration, as Devil Rays hitter Paul Sorento began driving pitches deep into the right field seats one by one.

I don’t remember much about the game. But, I did get to see Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, and Alex Rodriguez in the flesh. I remember how I lost sight of pretty much every fly ball since my seat was right underneath the overhang of the upper deck. It was then I could see how the stadium was much better suited for the Seahawks. I also remember the Mariners lost 10-0. They won the following day. So it goes.

I at least could say I’ve been there. It was a bucket list item I wouldn’t have a chance to check off a year later when the M’s moved across the street to Safeco Field. It went along with the other memories I had of the place watching games on tv. From The Double & The Comeback to Griffey scaling the centerfield wall and the Dave Valle beer special. The M’s were horrible the majority of the time they played in the Kingdome, with the team actually being competitive in their final years there.

Those memories are part of the glue which bonds me with a team I still root for today. I cried a little when I watched the Kingdome’s demolition in 2000. It wasn’t a pretty place. Yet, I felt like a piece of me remained there. With that, I kinda miss the place, even though Safeco Field (I’m not ready to call it that other name yet) is leaps and bounds better.

I look back at the Kingdome fondly. It was a shithole, but it was my shithole.

iOS 13/iPad OS Public Beta 1 Notes

  • Yeah, it’s buggy, but that’s to be expected in June.
  • The Photos app is a major improvement. The way it sorts out events and worthless photos make the app much more enjoyable.
  • The new text selection actions are going to take a little getting used to.
  • The swipe keyboard is the best I’ve ever used.
  • Dark Mode looks amazing everywhere!
  • Look Around in Maps is much smoother and more lifelike than Google’s Street View.
  • Having widgets pinned to the home screen on the iPad is a welcome addition.

I haven’t played with Shortcuts in iOS 13 yet since things like HomePod integration won’t be complete until the final release in September. That said, I’m looking forward to running my Good Morning or Good Evening scenes and having music play.

Again, it’s buggy. But, I’m betting this feels much more solid in about a month. It’s not unusable by any stretch, at least for me.

A Rebirth for the Pelicans in New Orleans 🏀⚜️

Zion Williamson joined Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, coach Alvin Gentry, and Swin Cash for the opening of a refurbished basketball court in New Orleans on Saturday. So much strikes me about the Pelicans current situation. The following adds to this:

Williamson just arrived Friday afternoon in New Orleans, after the draft, barely having time to settle in to his new NBA home. However, he noted that at one point it began to hit him that the Crescent City is where he’ll get to launch his pro career.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “I was in my hotel room and looked out the window at the balcony and was like, ‘This is my home. I’m ready to stay here.’ ”

In a matter of months, the Pelicans have gone from a team who’s GM didn’t have a bright future (Dell Demps was fired late last season) and who’s star player didn’t want to be in New Orleans anymore to what appears to be a substantial upgrade in the front office and the new star player saying, “I’m ready to stay here”.

So much of this summer for the Pels has felt like a rebirth. It’s rare a team can trade its star player away and actually be in a better spot, yet that’s where the Pelicans seem to be. They’re a team full of young athletic talent combined with a coach who’s game plan could maximize that talent. Nothing with their current setup feels forced, in which everything was forced during the Anthony Davis era.

I’m really looking forward to Summer League this year, which begins July 5 when New Orleans matches up against Zion’s former Duke teammate RJ Barrett and the New York Knicks. It should be a treat.

Let’s dance!

The California Dial Watch Face

9to5Mac posted a good write up on my favorite new watch face coming to Apple Watch with WatchOS 6, the California Dial. For a while, I wished the basic Apple Watch had a watch face that resembled the default face on the Hermès edition. Now, the basic edition will have just that.

It's been a rush of emotion this week

This week I’ve been moving between an old and new apartment. I’m in the same building, just downsizing. My new place gets me off the garden level for the first time in nearly seven years, which gives me much more natural light. I can finally see the sky and it’s wonderful!

I’m also moving away from many of the annoyances of the old apartment. I had noisy upstairs neighbors who were extremely heavy footed with two young children. There’s the guy with the big diesel truck who always left it warming right by my bedroom window at 6:30 every morning. Then there were the headlights from cars in the parking lot just feet away from my windows with little regard if they were a problem.

Yet, I’ve found myself a little down leaving this place as I get ready to close the book on it. I don’t think it’s because I’m going to miss the place, but that I had some pretty heavy moments of my life there. That would include:

  • The declining health and the eventual death of my father.
  • A break up I hoped would never happen, though I can say I still have an awesome friend in this person.
  • The burnout I felt going through the above combined with working and going to college full time.

It has all come and hit me at once from various directions. It hasn’t helped with taking work off for the past week to get settled I’ve had plenty of time to sit and stew about it all.

I’m hoping with getting back to work and to a normal routine I can start to settle in and shake these feeling. But, man it’s been a weird week.

Apple and Security

Still digesting this year’s live Talk Show from WWDC, but the one thing circling my mind from it right now is how so much of what Apple does over the past few years revolves around security. The obvious is the new features rolling out this year are obvious, but also what they don’t do right away.

For as much as people griped about the iPad Pro being limited with iOS 12, it wasn’t about those gripes that got Apple to come through with external storage support with iOS 13. Instead, they weren’t going to release that support until they could do so in a way where they could protect the kernel from viruses and malware, and that meant separating the file structure from the kernel.

I’ve found Apple will often release things, not when everyone calls for them, but when they’re good and ready. When that product or feature does come out, it’s most often polished, refined, and intuitive in a way only Apple does. It’s rarely half-assed. This dates back to the NeXT merger.

Can Zion Williamson turn NFL-loving New Orleans into a basketball town 🏀⚜️

Shannon G. Sims, writing for The Washington Post:

(Gayle) Benson is trying. She recently hired David Griffin, the general manager of the title-winning 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, to be vice president of basketball operations, with former player and Brooklyn Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon as the new general manager.

“There are signs that Gayle is taking the Pelicans seriously and hiring good people,” Butler said, recommending that ownership also find new ways to draw in fans, including bringing in brass bands such as The Soul Rebels and playing more authentic New Orleans music during games. “Bring the actual swag of the city into the arena,” he added.

I always thought the Pelicans should bring more of New Orleans into the gameday experience. The whole reason for them being the Pelicans instead of the Hornets was to instill civic pride in the team. But, catching what I can on TV, their game days have always seemed vanilla whereas Saints games have always brought Bourbon Street indoors.

I think a marriage of that flavor with Zion Williamson embracing it could potentially save the Pels for the city. I hope that happens, as this is only the first generation of fans watching the Pels, whereas the Saints are multigenerational. Just maybe we’re looking at this franchise 20 years from now as something the city can’t do without and it could all center around Zion.

Trying a Little Social Media Experiment On Myself

Over the weekend, I caught myself aimlessly staring at my phone with some kind of nervous twitch to keep picking it up. I still have active accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Twitter is full of locals, so I tend to want to keep it around to discuss local things. Facebook is the one I want nothing to do with, but I keep it mainly for event invites, since that’s how people tend to do things. I feel like I need to spend my time better, so I’m going to try a few things.

Goodbye Facebook

I’ve deleted all Facebook related apps off my phone as of this morning. It’s makes it where the easiest spot to check things is on my Mac, where I can only do so when I’m at home. This should cut down my usage significantly.

Feed the Birds

Feedbin is my RSS aggregator of choice. One of the nice things about Feedbin is you can subscribe to a specific Twitter feed. So, I’m going to look to do this with a few of my friends on there. It actually makes reading through Twitter quite a bit cleaner.

Writing More

I want to think about what I post online a bit more. This means I want to be a bit more calculated and to have things delivered with a bit more thought. This is where I want to share things initially, in which they’ll get syndicated out to Twitter from there.

Hopefully all of this will help me feel less twitchy and will allow me to focus on some other things I enjoy.

CARROT Weather Gets Even Deeper Notifications and Improved Radar

My favorite weather app for iOS, CARROT Weather, got a great update yesterday. There’s deeper notification options, including lightning alerts and critical alerts, which can override your Do Not Disturb settings, for things like tornado warnings.

But, the one update I’m giddy about is the improved radar. Not only does it now take up the entire screen on the iPad, but the animation intervals are vastly improved. Check the video below, where you can see both the lightning map and radar overlaid and animated together:

An Unobstructed View

On iOS, the operating system for the iPhone, you’ll get a reminder on the birthdays of your friends and family to give them a call or a text. This is controlled by Siri, but it works by looking at the contact cards you have in your phone for birthdays you’ve put in for those contacts.

The reminder lingers on your lock screen for the entire day until you’ve taken care of it. Most of the time this is a good thing. But, what if this reminder is for someone who has passed away?

My father would have been 74 yesterday. He passed away December 2006, making this the third birthday of his I’ve encountered since. The first one was the roughest. I had just experienced a memorial service for him a month before at his property in Baldwin County, Alabama, which was delayed until the spring to accommodate everyone who wanted to be involved. From there, my mom, brother, dad’s widow, and I drove back up to Nebraska with dad’s ashes. They are now buried next to his mother at a cemetery near Hebron.

Since, I’ve made visits down to Hebron around his birthday, Fathers’ Day, and Veterans Day, since he proudly served in the US Navy. Each visit and remembrance have gotten easier has time has moved on. The thing about me is I’m big on dates like this. They hold a lot of weight with me. But, the thing about my visits to Hebron is they give me an opportunity to talk. It’s the talks I miss the most. The same days I visit are typically the same days I would call.

When I go down there, I say hello, then I tell dad what’s been going on with me. Then I take in the open landscape of southern Nebraska. The cemetery itself is enclosed by trees on all but the south side, just like the property he lived on in Alabama. The hills are much more defined in Nebraska, however. The landscape is much more open. For miles you can see sunbeams bursting through the clouds onto the land below as they track across those hills. Unlike where I live in Lincoln, you can see thunderstorms a good 50 miles out or so. It’s stunning.

Then there’s the sounds of the birds and other animals surrounding the place. Everything is so unfiltered that you can hear a particular vehicle sometimes for miles before the sound fades. My father told be before how he could hear the Blue Angels taking off for their Tuesday and Wednesday practices from Pensacola NAS 20 miles or so away on his old property. These are things you simply don’t notice in an urban environment. My father loved his land, so I feel like there’s a definite piece of him at his final resting place. I know he would be happy where he ended up.

Tomorrow, I plan on taking that drive down to Hebron again. I’ll absorb every bit of that drive in, taking in the unobstructed view of the plains. Most importantly, I’ll get to talk.

Kinkader Nut Crusher Peanut Butter Amber

Name: Nut Crusher Peanut Butter Amber
Style: Red Ale
Brewer: Kinkader - Lincoln, NE
ABV: 5%
IBU: 23
Rating: 4.3/5
Notes: It’s a freaking peanut butter cup in a glass. First peanut butter brew I’ve had that wasn’t a stout. It’s very tasty though.

Daily Reading for April 28, 2019

News

Seattle’s cranes kept coming — and until now, operated safely | The Seattle Times

In my visits to Seattle, it was hard not to notice the cranes. At times I found it comical how many would get into a photo, especially in South Lake Union. Unfortunately, yesterday happened. I feel for those affected.

Trump Rallies Supporters As White House Correspondents Gala Celebrates The Free : NPR

In Washington, the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, an annual comedic event, was light on jokes and replete instead with warnings about the consequences of attacks on the free press.

Meanwhile, President Trump rallied supporters in Green Bay, touting economic growth and repeating familiar calls of “fake news” to a cheering crowd.

Very telling, to say the least.

Alaskan halibut, caught by a century-old Seattle boat, provides a glimpse of Amazon’s strategy with Whole Foods | The Seattle Times

Whole Foods touted a rarely seen promotional price for halibut as part of its ongoing campaign to revise the grocery chain’s high-cost reputation while maintaining its image for quality and sustainability.

“Whole Foods is one of the better ones, to be honest with you,” Bassi said. “But you know, Whole Foods, whole paycheck. … They usually do charge way more for everything than anywhere else. Which really surprises me that they’re selling this for $16-something a pound, because they’re not making anything on it.”

I have a Whole Foods walking distance from me and I’ve been thinking about them more often for things like fresh produce which are seeing a drop in price their. Jeff Bezos and Amazon have their bad qualities, but if they continue to make prices at Whole Foods more reasonable, then that’s a benefit to everybody.

Apple

A Starter Guide for Going iPad Pro Only – The Brooks Review

Of all the guides about using an iPad Pro as an everyday device, this one makes the most sense and is the most realistic.

Science & Tech

Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses | WIRED

Some scientists have speculated that viruses could someday be used to tweak the carbon cycle and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to Suttle. Zayed, who became interested in viruses while studying phage therapy as an alternative to antibiotics for treating infections, calls this potentially risky geoengineering scheme “phage therapy for the environment.”

.

Daily Reading for April 27, 2019

News

Fallen crane kills four in South Lake Union: ‘It was terrifying’ | The Seattle Times

This is a bit jolting.

Nearly 700 from LA universities still in measles quarantine | The Seattle Times

Thanks, anti-vaxers.

Apple

3 Ways iOS 13 Will Make You More Productive

I’m still taking much of this as rumor for now. That said, I’m very curious what iOS 13 brings us.

Overcast Adds Simple Podcast Video Clip Sharing – MacStories

I technically have a podcast account here, as it’s part of the video setup on this page. I’ll always take another option for sharing content.

Sports

Gators Power Past Kentucky - Florida Gators

Both of these teams need wins badly. Florida has slid out of the top 25 after starting the year as one of the top ranked teams. They’re currently hoping to hang on to the right to host a regional. Kentucky is just hoping to make the SEC Tournament. Big win for the Gators last night.

2019 NFL Draft: D.K. Metcalf drafted by Seattle Seahawks - Team Speed Kills

This looks like one door opening as another closes in Seattle, as D.K. Metcalf looks to be the replacement for Doug Baldwin, who’s career may be done due to injuries.

Taylor, Polite Chosen on Day 2 of 2019 NFL Draft - Florida Gators

Congrats to the Gators selected on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. Yet another Gator heading to Jacksonville.

Murphy, Sample, Rapp Selected In Second Round Of NFL Draft - University of Washington Athletics

And congrats to the Huskies selected on Day 2. That makes four Huskies selected so far.

Why the Seattle Seahawks selected LB Ben Burr-Kirven with pick 142 - Field Gulls

Make that another Husky selected. I always love when the Seahawks pick up former Washington players.

Trio of Gators Selected on Day Three of 2019 NFL Draft - Florida Gators

For the fifth-straight year, at least five Gators were selected in the NFL Draft.

Boulevard Tropical Pale Ale 🍺

Name: Tropical Pale Ale
Style: Pale Ale
Brewer: Boulevard - Kansas City, MO
ABV: 5.9%
IBU: -
Rating: 3.8/5
Notes: I had this while at the Mariners-Royals game in Kansas City. A little hoppy, but the tropical fruit flavors compliment that hoppyness well. I could see this being a nice summer day beer.

Agent: Russell Wilson’s new Seahawks deal sets NFL record 🏈

Gregg Bell, writing for The News Tribune

Agent Mark Rodgers confirmed to The News Tribune at 1:35 a.m. Tuesday the contract is worth $140 million in new money over four years, with a $65 million signing bonus.

That $35 million per year makes Wilson’s the richest contract in NFL history, as he had sought and the Seahawks had planned for their franchise and Super Bowl-winning quarterback all along.

I don’t care how much they paid the guy, I’m just glad they paid the guy. Now, hopefully, he doesn’t post any more weird videos from his bed on social media.

Go Hawks!

Boon Kriek

Name: Kriek
Style: Lambic - Kriek
Brewer: Boon - Lambeek, Belgium
ABV: 6%
IBU: 11
Rating: 4.5/5
Notes: This is alcoholic black cheery Kool-Aid. IMG 0739

Evil Twin Key Lime Pie

Name: Key Lime Pie
Style: IPA
Brewer: Evil Twin - Brooklyn, NY
ABV: 7%
IBU: -
Rating: 4/5
Notes: I’ve had mother key lime pie beer in the past, and it was straight up what you would imagine key lime pie tasting like. This one leaned more on the key lime than the graham cracker part. It fits in well with the New England style of IPAs.

Meow hear this: Study says cats react to sound of their name

Meow hear this: Study says cats react to sound of their name

Malcolm Ritter, writing for The Associated Press

Atsuko Saito of Sophia University in Tokyo says there’s no evidence cats actually attach meaning to our words, not even their own names. Instead, they’ve learned that when they hear their names they often get rewards like food or play, or something bad like a trip to the vet. And they hear their names a lot. So the sound of it becomes special, even if they don’t really understand it refers to their identity.

My cat, Remy, definitely knows what “food” means. He always perks up and gets really chatty whenever that word comes up.

Photo Memories

One of the little projects I’ve been wanting to do for some time is to add old photos and travel memories to my blog. As with anything, I kind of need a nudge to do things, as I get extremely scatterbrained often. My nudge in this case is Apple’s memories feature in the Photo’s app on both macOS and iOS. This is where Apple is using their own machine learning to piece together memories based on an event or subject, such as a compilation of photos of beaches or cats.

Screen Shot of Photos in iOS

With these photo memories, I can either just add the photos themselves or I can write up some memories attached to the photos, such as something from a trip I went on. From there, I’ll edit the date to correspond with when the photos were taken, so they show up in their appropriate place in the archives and with the “On This Day” feature on this site.

All of this is in an effort to remember, relive, and reflect on the past, examine on how things are now, and to look forward on to where I want to go.

Experiences With Racism In American South Inspired Gary Clark Jr.'s 'This Land' NPR

In an interview on All Things Considered, Clark told NPR’s Michel Martin that a neighbor came up to him last year and asked who lived on the 50-acre property that Clark had bought in Austin with his wife Nicole Trunfio to raise their two children.

“I do,” Clark responded.

“There’s no way you can live here,” the neighbor responded.

This type of interaction is what infuriated me about some of the initial reactions to Colin Kaepernick kneeling. So many wanted to call him and others who kneeled spoiled, because who were they to complain when they have so much money? There’s an idea that when a black person earns a lot of money they no longer have to deal with the problems other black people deal with.

NBA player Sterling Brown would beg to differ.

James Blake would beg to differ.

Gary Clark Jr. would beg to differ.

Clark Jr. covers his anger on the track (and album of the same name), “This Land”, a track I came across a couple weeks ago. I often rate songs (like or dislike) based on how likely I am to want to hear them again. This track was jarring on first listen, which would usually cause me to bypass the track. I kept listening to it, however, and ended up putting a like on it. It’s a message I feel I need to hear mixed in with everything else I listen to. If it comes up a lot, so be it. It needs to be heard.

Link

🏀 Warriors' Kevin Durant sees Kings as 'team to be reckoned with soon' - ESPN

“That’s the fourth game that we deserved to lose against this team,” Warriors star Kevin Durant said after Thursday night’s 125-123 win over the Kings. “But [we] just figure it out at the end of the games. … Sometimes you’re not going to win it with the team game and the way we always play. Sometimes you’re just going to have to play streetball, you know what I’m saying? I think tonight, throughout spurts of the game, both teams did that.”

This game was close throughout and this has certainly been a trend with Warriors-Kings games this year. Buddy Hield looked really good early before cooling off, finishing with 19 points. That said, Hield is averaging 20.5 per game. Remember, he was the prized part the Pelicans sent to the Kings in the DeMarcus Cousins trade, in which it was said at the time the Kings had gotten fleeced by then Pels GM Dell Demps.

Two years later, Hield & the Kings are growing, Cousins is a Warrior, and Dell Demps is out of a job. This only furthers my stance of not overblowing every trade for the near term. These things can play out years down the road to look entirely opposite of what they originally seemed.

Link

Who's Really Missing Out?

I checked in on Facebook this morning and was notified I posted this six years ago today:

Quick question: Would you be comfortable with paying $5 for Facebook if it meant no ads, no selling your information to advertisers, a total respect of your privacy, & a knowing your money was going straight toward platform development & improvement?

Many of the responses I received six years ago basically said paying for a social network isn’t something that would interest them. In fact, I only got one answer saying they would be in favor of this idea. For context, app.net was the service I was checking out at the time.

This was before any of the scandals, like the one with Cambridge Analytica, had come up. So, I reposted this question today, looking to see if anyone had a different view now than they did before. So far, I’ve had no answers. I figure this could be for either of the following reasons:

  • People don’t get it or don’t care.
  • Facebook may have buried my post, deeming it anti-Facebook.

It’s hard to say without any real feedback on it. That said, I’ve been pecking around on this page, categorizing posts accordingly. Just seeing how clean a page with nothing put photo posts is, with the attention strictly on the content, with no ads, no suggestions on who to follow, no side chat bar, no nagging notifications, no distractions to speak of. Just content. Why wouldn’t anybody want this?

A RSS feed full of content just like this one, again with the focus on the content, is peaceful. You check in on it when you want. You read at your leisure. I honestly feel like people are missing out.

Week 12 College Football Picks

I’ve been meaning to post these for a few weeks now, but I keep forgetting. I do a pickem game with a coworker on ESPN for a small $5 bet every week.

Here’s my picks with confidence points, in order of confidence points from lowest to highest:

  • Notre Dame over Syracuse
  • Georgia Tech over Virginia
  • Texas A&M over UAB
  • Iowa State over Texas
  • Fresno State over San Diego State
  • West Virginia over Oklahoma State
  • UCF over Cincinnati
  • Oregon over Arizona State
  • Utah over Colorado
  • Kentucky over Middle Tennessee