Book Review: Fight The Rooster by Nick Cole

At some point in the past, I got on Nick Cole’s mailing list for Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) of his books. I still owe him a review for Ctrl+Alt+Revolt.
Fight The Rooster showed up in my email a couple weeks ago. I started reading it. It’s my first Nick Cole book, and it will not be my last, that’s for sure.
Fight The Rooster is billed as a book about a director who decides the only way to save his life it to ruin his movie. He wants to deliberately wreck it so he can escape Hollywood.
But despite every attempt he makes, the movie will not be ruined. The actors work hard. The old-fashioned cameraman he brings in has rediscovered his love and updated his techniques. Even the screw-up stoner brother of a great producer who comes in to cover for his brother somehow manages to pull the job off.
Though most of the characters have names, a few are never named. “The Great Director”’s name is never given, neither is his “Perfect Robot Wife” or the “Executive Vice President”.
Though the book starts out as a comedy (and it is hilarious), it turns into a dramatic redemption story. It’s the kind of story you wish you didn’t have a job or need to sleep or anything so you can finish it. Five stars for being riveting and everything a great story should be.

Noah’s Ark

I’ve had the show “Myth Hunters” bookmarked on Netflix for quite a while. I saw that the first season is going away this month, so I have to watch it this weekend.

It has some interesting shows. The episode on “King Solomon’s Mines” was fascinating to me, as was Hitler and the Spear of Destiny.

The first episode on Noah’s Ark kind of pissed me off. It was produced recently enough that they could have done better research.

For one thing, not all Creationists are literal 6000 year “Young Earth” Creationists. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t know that. Or they do know that, but are hoping a fallacious appeal to ridicule is good enough for their audience.

For another, the episode focused exclusively on Mt. Ararat in Turkey. The Bible says the ark came to rest “Upon the mountains of Ararat.” Mt. Ararat in Turkey was named by Marco Polo, a fact mentioned then discarded in the show.

To find the real mountains of Ararat, one must focus on a land known as Ararat AT THE TIME GENESIS WAS WRITTEN, not from a 12th century explorer.

Josephus says the ark came to rest on a certain mountain in Armenia. Bob Cornuke of BASE Institute thinks Ararat was in Iran, and led an expedition there some years back.

Of course, finding the ark assumes it was left intact. I personally think it was disassembled for building material and/or firewood, of which no proof is available, but it makes sense.

Or it simply rotted away over the years. It was made of wood, after all. The Titanic has only been at the bottom of the ocean for 104 years, and it is rotting away. I doubt there will be anything left of it in 5000 years.

It would be cool as hell for somebody to find Noah’s Ark, but I don’t think it’s likely to happen.

iPad Only?

I’ve been using Michael Sliwinski’s application Nozbe for a couple of years. It’s not perfect, but what is? Wired had an article a while back about how it’s 2016 and why can’t we have a decent productivity app? There are tons and tons of productivity apps. Those that are powerful on the desktop either aren’t present or are pathetic on mobile. (MyLifeOrganized is an example). Those that are good on mobile don’t work well on a desktop type system (I consider laptops on that category- a full fledged Windows or Mac system). Nozbe seems to hit the high points and has a consistent user experience across all platforms.

Michael and a co-author wrote a book called iPad Only. I haven’t bought the book yet. Based on user reviews, I do not perceive it to be worth $10.

I have tried over the years to figure out a true mobile experience. That’s not easy for me though. I took a class a while back where I didn’t have much desk space. I brought my MacBook Pro the first day, but after that I used my iPad Mini with a BlueTooth keyboard the rest of the week due to desk space. It got the job done all right. Thanks to the integration of cloud storage, this helps, assuming you have a consistent Internet connection.

The iPad has definitely come a long way since the beginning. At first, it was pretty much a media consumption device and still very limited at that. Along the way, better apps and technology were integrated into the platform. Now it has Microsoft Office and other productivity apps.

I think the biggest limitation on the iPad at present is the fact that it is STILL run by a mobile operating system. While Microsoft has Windows 10, which even on their phones is a full fledged OS, Apple is still running mobile.

I’m convinced that the biggest revolution in mobility is a phone sized device that is a full-fledged computer. It has a full operating system, plenty of storage (at least 1TB), and is capable of docking to a laptop sized device or a keyboard and monitor for heavier duty tasks. And it appears such as device is here, or almost here: the HP Elite X3. The Lumina 950 and 950 XL have a similar capability, but not as much on board storage. No way you could keep your music library on it.

Not Quite A Book Review: The Confessions of Congressman X

A friend told me about the Confessions of Congressman X. I figured it was inexpensive, so I ordered the Kindle version.

Had some downtime at work, so I read it. It was a VERY quick read. Maybe too quick, especially for $5.

This “book” was billed as confessions of an inside Congressman. Supposedly, he’s a Democrat. He “tells it like it is”. I didn’t think so.

Some background: the book was compiled by a man named Robert Atkinson based on conversations he’s had over the years with a Demoncrat Congressman. He became friends with this Congressman, and would meet up when he was in DC. Over the years, he made notes of the things the Congressman said. At one point, he figured he had enough notes to make a book. The Congressman was pissed off at him for making notes, but eventually relented and told him to put a book together. He also edited the notes so the quotes are accurate. This is all detailed in the introduction to the book, written by Mr. Atkinson.

One of the newsletters I read took the book on a few weeks ago, before I read it. They couldn’t identify the Congressman, but speculated that it could have been anybody. I agree; the book is a selection of quotes centered around “chapter” themes. It’s more like a book of wisdom; proverbs of an asshole is a better description.

Confessions of Congressman X didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. Voters are stupid. Congressmen are more obsessed with fundraising and getting reelected than anything else, and don’t give a crap about the voters. Bills are written in secret by unaccountable committees, etc. He didn’t even touch on how lobbyists basically write the bills, although he did say Congressmen don’t read occurred

t occured to me while I was reading that this book would have been a lot better if it were written in a fake persona, like Dan Lyons’ “Fake Steve Jobs”. Now THAT was funny, but also informative.

If I haven’t bored you with the idea too much, you can buy “Confessions of Congressman X” here, from my affiliate link.

The Blind Men And The Elephant Is A Stupid Metaphor

We’ve all heard this metaphor before. It’s used at a metaphor for all sorts of things. Normally, religion, but I recently saw it used for business processes and best practices.

It goes like this: six blind men are all on a different part of an elephant. They can’t see, so they go by feeling. One man is at the elephant’s trunk. Because that’s all he can feel, he assumes that the elephant is a trunk. Another man is at the tail. He assumes the elephant is nothing but a tail. The same goes through the other parts, head, back, underside, and if you want to get really crude, reproductive organs. That last part may be appropriate for discussing politics.

Then the person using the analogy comes back to something like “so you see, each man only has one part of the elephant, but not the whole. So if you look at <religion> <business> <rap music> <etc> in the same way, you can see they’re all correct, but they only have one part of the whole elephant.”

No, they’re not. Are we assuming that all of the blind men (6 or 8 depending on the person using this metaphor) are so freaking stupid they can’t move their hands beyond the small part being used? I’ve known blind people, and none of them were that stupid.

That’s why this stupid metaphor has never worked for me. And when I hear somebody use it, I assume that person is stupid enough to hold an elephant’s tail and believe that to be the entire elephant, even if his buddy is at the trunk or the dick and claiming that is the elephant; then they argue about it.

Henrick Palgren Is A Viking

I’ve been listening to Red Ice Radio since about 2011. It’s a good podcast, with tons of interesting content. Every now and again, the topic is a miss. When he covers local Swedish politics, I fast forward. But for the most part, he’s had some fascinating guests on.

I never knew what to expect of him. He’s got a very calm and measured voice, and never seems to get over-excited. I always pictured him as an older, maybe shorter man. No. Behold:

Henrick Palmgren

Seriously, he is a viking. Sweden better not push him too far with its SJW politics. I bet he could ravage and pillage the entire nation by himself.

#Taxation Is Theft Will Go Nowhere

Like all social media revolts, this one is dead on arrival. People are retweeting and resharing all kinds of #taxation is theft memes. But after the Two Minutes Hate passes, they’ll forget about it until next year.

They’ll continue to vote for the same politicians, support the same corrupt bi-factional ruling parties (you did realize the Democrat and Republican parties are private organizations, didn’t you?) and believe the same lying media.

You won’t find any retweets or shares on my social media accounts.

Innagural Post

Welcome to the all new ericsmueller.com. I’ve been on Blogger for 12 years or so. I’ve thought about getting my own site, but never pulled the trigger. My own name was available as a domain, so I decided to do it finally.

I’ve noticed that some people seem to monitor what domains are checked. I’ve checked my own name from time to time. Sometimes it’s available, and sometimes it’s not. All I can figure is people are checking to see who wants to register a domain, then they register it and hope they can make money for it.

This time, mine was available again. I own it.

I considered an anonymous blog name, but I’ve always written under my own name. I explored this on my old blog. As a forum I’m part of says, I stand by my analysis. I write under my own name. It is my brand.

I’m still deciding whether or not to import my old posts from Blogger onto this blog. I’ve also thought about creating an eBook out of my favorites, and leaving the rest up for historical purposes and starting anew. I’m sure I have plenty of time to decide.

I plan to continue writing about topics I am interested in: libertarianism, game, history, philosophy, Information Technology, leadership, books, etc.