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The Dumpster Fire that was 2020

by tgposzadmin on December 31st, 2020

In no particular order

  1. June 10 – $TSLA market price reached $1,019 per share, pushing the company’s market capitalization to $188.2B – higher than Toyota, which was previously the world’s most valuable, publicly-traded automaker. In 2019, the Hyperchange podcast predicted Tesla would beat Toyota in market cap. At the time, Tesla’s market cap was $44B, while Toyota’s was $172B. Since then, there has been a stock split, so today’s market reflects that to a degree, but things have been on a tear. I own some of the stock, so I worry. I also think Elon Musk is a genius, especially in how he runs his companies, Tesla being one of them. So I hold the stock for now.
  2. Sept 14 – A Nikola short seller, Hindenburg Research, published a series of fraud allegations about the hydrogen and electric truck startup (Nikola). The CEO would subsequently resign, valuation of the stock becomes in question, investigations start, GM backs out of a joint venture. I never owned any of this company, it was kind of a too-good-to-be-true story.
  3. March – Schools adopt virtual learning methods to teach kids, even elementary and high school. Hangry kids, IT nightmares, and Zoom bombings ensue. Zoom valuation as a stock becomes stratospheric, but security aspects are lacking. I have sisters that are teachers, they literally started doing two jobs, with no extra pay for the 2nd one. One of them has now retired, the other is thinking about it. As with other things in the pandemic, it’s like we are burning people out, whether it’s first responders or medical support OR teachers.
  4. It was the 50th anniversary of Feliz Navidad in a weird way of showing that Latina music has finally come of age (30% of all Youtube streams). This is showing that streaming has really messed with the way the recording industry can declare something a hit or not. But, check it out:
50th Anniversary – Feliz Navidad

Taylor Swift does not have one single “Top” track in the U.S. or world.
“Top Tracks of 2020 USA”:
“Top Tracks of 2020”:

Once again, the media is out of touch with what is really going on. Not that I have anything against Taylor Swift. On a more important level the media had no idea what was going on in the 2020 Presidential race, had no idea so many people would support Trump, and that packing the court was not an issue, although there’s a chance stuff could be happening in Georgia, but odds are … What do odds even mean these days?

  1. What are facts? Well, whatever they are, beliefs come first. Facts are scary, like that you cannot make any money to feed your family. Income gap keeps widening and no one is helping to correct this. The rich stay silent, they keep their money. Will the poor bridge the income gap? They’d be lucky to survive, maybe a few can get comfortable. But then something like a Pandemic comes along and threatens your very survival. If the virus doesn’t get you, maybe the lack of food or medicine will. How is this even a possible situation in our country?

    As I write this, 341,000 people have died of Covid-19. Many people don’t believe these numbers, it’s all a hoax to them. Do you see protesting in the streets about the people dying, demanding that something be done? No, partly because there is a pandemic and most of us are in lockdown because of the 3rd (or 4th) wave of infections that are sweeping the country, while our current president continues to play golf.

    Actually, I think this more of a reflection upon us as a country, rather than just Trump. We have come to accept that (at current rates) over 3500 people can die in a week (compared to 2606 people that died in the twin towers of New York during the 9-11 crisis). And we all thought 9-11 was absolutely terrible, but now we think this Covid response is acceptable? Remember, for 9-11 commissions were formed, investigations undertaken, changes to air travel, security, our very lives changed.

    It started (the current iteration) with a few little lies, then lying all the time. The pandemic is changing our lives, too. Just in any way that I’d say is not positive, at least not now. Even the vaccine delivery is an issue. It’s here, 2 million doses are currently available. At current rates it will take 10 years to vaccinate enough to get herd immunity (70-80% of population), something the administration was trying to achieve by just allowing people to get infected (and a percentage would have died). This week, a hospital worker literally threw away vials of the vaccine, intentionally. All of this is crazy. Workers at a nursing home are going to refuse to take the vaccine. What? I am not an immunologist, but I do understand basic science. So, Crazy. We should be excoriating this administration for screwing up to badly on the vaccine roll-out, not to mention a bunch of the other things. A miracle was just witnessed, a new vaccine was created in under a year. It took 4 years to get a Mumps vaccine. What good is it if the Covid-19 vaccine doesn’t get into arms?

    It’s your choice to listen to this president and his lies. You can support your gerrymandered part of the country and how it got that way. Maybe people just want the nightmare to be over. I get it, your average citizen feels powerless and fireside chats used to soothe, and we want this all to go away. The tweets have replaced the news and the chats. Kids have to be back in school, back to work, can’t sacrifice the economy, I want to go to a movie, to a party, traveling to see Mom at Christmas because she’s important, like I said, Crazy. At this point, all I want to say is “No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service.” Period. I don’t want to hear about any of your excuses. This is the small thing, what your contribution is worth is so much more. The science is in, your “freedom” from a piece of fabric is hurting the country too much. Seat belts and motorcycle helmets are mandatory, what’s the problem? You’re hurting people. Really. That’s it. Enough.
  1. My mother died, actually in November 2019 to be precise. We went through all the motions, funeral, burial, some stuff was a mystery, she didn’t want to tell us much about end-of-life planning.

    But I put this into 2020 because it actually happened toward the end of 2019 and I don’t think I much processed any of this until 2020. There was lots of financial stuff for 2020, Mom left a house, annuities, IRAs to us, Dad had died before her. The taxes were done by me and her tax man. We’re trying to sell the house now. I think about her just about every day.

    Lots of people talked about how much they loved and respected her, but it was not easy to be her child. As the oldest, lots of expectations were heaped upon me. In the end, 3 of us became her executors, and two of my sisters largely helped her in the last years of her life (she was confined to a memory unit in the assisted living facility after she got a pacemaker implant). My brother and I live in California, while she was in Minnesota. I talked to her at least every other day until she started to mistake the TV remote for her mobile phone, which was hard enough for her to deal with, being 96 years old with dementia.

    Reggie Jackson claimed when he went to the Yankees, he was “the straw that stirred the drink.” Mom was kind of like that, although because she really didn’t like alcohol, the analogy would have bothered her. Something in her upbringing and the evils of booze. Dad took care of us, made breakfast before school, gave me an occasional job from his various jobs, like painting barns, refinishing woodwork, etc., but Mom is who we had to really answer to. Mom had to go back to work, teaching. Our family needed the money but we didn’t know that. She only had a 2 year teaching degree and she understood she had to go back to school to get her bachelor’s degree in order to make more money than she was. A strong lady, and all of us are better for her being strong.
  2. I fell while trimming a tree in the backyard, broke my collar bone, the clavicle and scapula, plus ribs on the right side. Ribs, well you probably know, take a long time to heal. In September, I drove to MN to help with the estate sale, house cleanup, and had lots of trouble breathing especially when I was traveling (at altitude) through Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota. When I got back an X-Ray showed fluid around my right lung, so my “something’s wrong” msg to my doctor probably was being pushed aside due to his diagnosis of broken ribs causing this shortness of breath. Pandemic infused logic brought on because we have virtual appointments with our doctors now. Almost 2 liters fluid was removed and I felt better within minutes and within 2 days was normal, with the lung reinflated and doing it’s job. I had stopped in Wyoming and purchased a small tank of oxygen <put in picture of tank>. BTW, driving in the Tesla Model Y was a breeze, it did take 4 days, because of my condition and not wanting to drive much more than 6-8 hrs / day.
  3. I’m looking at a tiny house, to build one, for Julia. Don’t know if it’s going to happen, but we’ll see. Just looking at this stage. The planning commission in our city/county may not allow them. After lots of shit last year, she’s got her head on straight. She’s going to use her Starbucks / Arizona State University (ASU) connection to pick up her activities for a degree.
  4. Matt’s dealing with the public is extremely hard for me, because he is the likely vector for bringing the virus home to Eunice AND because he’s got to deal with the shit where professional shoplifters come into his store, steal a backpack’s worth of merch (like 20 thermometers) and they wind up selling for $1-$2 each to street fences, a criminal crew leader of sorts, who get them to a distributor who sells them below market on Amazon. Major San Francisco Bay Area Retail Theft Ring Busted; Five Suspects Arrested; $8 Million In Stolen Merchandise Recovered

    Sure we all like cheaper stuff, but if we receive stolen merch, we have to realize we all are, in a way, subsidizing the shoplifting behavior.

    Plus it’s leading to lots of people just leaving San Francisco, by way of example, because of failed policies at the local government level; they are not prosecuting any minor crimes. As things do tighten in SF, the crime just floats out to the suburbs, like at Matt’s store. And guess what, the ringleaders laundered their money through real-estate transactions. Sound familiar? In some ways, less government is not necessarily a good thing.
  5. The George Floyd racist acts and subsequent black lives matter actions that followed, the peaceful protests, the violent responses… I used to live in Minneapolis, and this shocked me to my core. Black (or literally, non-white) people have been living with this for literally decades and somehow I had become dismissive of the issue. Now I’m really disturbed by the racist actions of many people in my orbit. People that on the one hand should be kicked out of my orbit, but I’m going to take the time to listen to them, understand them, hopefully get them to understand me. All people being equal is something my mother and father lived, even though southern Minnesota doesn’t have very many black people to associate with. I have to believe that dialog is a way out of this.

    When I started my first real job, at 23, I worked alongside great people and the color of their skin did not even register with me. We had a job to do and we worked together. Black or white, it didn’t matter. Now I understand that maybe my inaction is a contributing factor to lack of change. Unfortunately it appears, too many people are like the Bele and Lokai hatred of each other in Star Trek (TOS) Season 3 Episode 15, aired January 1969. (Let_That_Be_Your_Last_Battlefield )
Bele and Lokai c/o MemoryAlpha

Sometimes it’s really hard for us to understand, but we really do need to move forward, not backward. At the end of this episode, Lokai and Bele as the last of their kind, probably killed each other, principally because of their hatred. That’s the lesson.

Spock: “The obvious visual evidence, Commissioner, is that he is of the same breed as yourself.”
Bele: “Are you blind, Commander Spock? Well, look at me! Look at me!”
Spock: “You’re black on one side and white on the other.”
Bele: “I am black on the right side.”
Spock: “I fail to see the significant difference.”
Bele: “Lokai is white on the right side. All of his people are white on the right side.”

Star Trek (TOS) Season 3 Episode 15 – c/o MemoryAlpha

From → Electric Cars, Misc

One Comment
  1. Richard permalink

    About racism very interesting!

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