06/17/21

Thoughts On Voting

Chap sent me a thought provoking article on the state of voting in the United States. Thanks, GW. Here are the thoughts it provoked in the engine of your Big Red Car:

 1. One person. One vote. Verify the person. Authenticate the vote.

This line above is what honest people want as it relates to American elections.

If someone argues that any of those four tenets are erroneous, be suspicious. It is basic stuff like cornbread.

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06/16/21

The Return to Eating Out

COVID knocked the snot out of the restaurant business and folks have been holding their breath to see the pace at which the industry returns now that places like Texas are fully open. I have some good news:

 1. Texas is seeing some “make up” or “revenge” dining out with the rate of Yelp related reservations showing a 2X increase versus pre-COVID.

This is a stock photo. Notice the watermark. I stole it from the Internet. It is owned by Depositphotos. Please do not report me.

That is so high it is hard to believe, but call a restaurant in Austin and good luck getting a reservation.

 2. California is reporting a full recovery to pre-COVID rates of eating out. Again, my source is a report from Yelp.

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06/13/21

Milestones

So, your Big Red Car is back out on the breakfast, coffee, and lunch circuit — no dinners, please — re-making the network that was stilled by the COVID circus. Texas is fully open, more than it ever was because folks are making up for lost time.

The other day I meet up with a pal — in the garden behind Texas French Bread over by the University of Texas, one of my secret meeting places — and we chat not having seen each other in more than a year.

We are the kind of pals that can and do say anything to each other without worrying if some snowflake will melt. It is a refreshing and candid exchange as we both share similar backgrounds: trade school grads, military service, entrepreneurs, builders, fathers, grandfathers, and we both used to swim long distances at Barton Springs once upon the day.

Barton Springs Pool | Austin, TX

Barton Springs — a quarter mile, up and back. The springs discharges 31,000,000 gallons a day of 63-67F water (once it was as high as 85,000,000 during a period of heavy rain). It is pure and you can swim up and back undisturbed. It is a treasure, especially on a hot Texas day when a mile will lower your core body temperature so much that you turn off the AC.

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06/11/21

The US Army Budget Under President Biden

It is not difficult to understand the Biden approach to governance and the military priorities of his administration if one studies the Biden FY 2022 budget submittal — made late on a Friday night before an extended holiday weekend because it is not something they are proud of.

I focus solely on the US Army budget because it is the easiest to decipher and unpack, and it is a clear indication of the Biden military intentions.

Some background

During the Obama – Biden administration, the US Army was decimated. It was neglected and put the US in a dangerous posture.

During the last year of the Obama – Biden admin, the US Army reported only 3 of 58 brigade combat teams as combat ready.

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06/11/21

Yes, We Have No Bananas

COVID got me eating way more produce — fruits and vegetables — and cooking a lot more with fresh ingredients — both good things.

I am quite the guacamole chef these days — as evidenced by direct testimony from a native who has been involved with my family (raised my children?) for decades. She said, “Oh, BRC, this is very good guac. You are part Mexican?”

Guacamole is healthy as Hell. I like mine spicy so there are jalapenos, red pepper flakes, and Sirachi plus cumin and cilantro.

I asked her not to spare me her criticism and she says it is “good” which is like winning the bloody Medal of Freedom. Thank you.

But what I really have learned is how damn extraordinary the supply of fruits and vegetables is in America (or is it just Austin By God Texas?).

Here is the banana display at Central Market, 1.2 miles from the domicile of the Big Red Car.

Image

You will note that the Central Market bananas are presented — like an art gallery, really — from least ripe to most ripe — green on the right to more yellow/brown on the left. In this manner when I am instructed to pick up “some” bananas I also get explicit instructions as to their degree of ripeness.

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06/9/21

Sex, Rock N Roll, DRUGS

I am a total skeptic as it relates to the development of drugs in the United States. I think it is a rigged and corrupt system. That is, however, not the point of my blog post today.

Today we speak of Biogen’s newest drug, the recently US Food and Drug Administration approved Alzheimer’s drug: ADUCANUMAB.

[The marketing guys got ahold of the boss and the drug will be marketed under the name ADUHELM. I know, not much of a name, but beats the Hell out of aducanumab.]

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06/8/21

WFH — Lateral Movement

An emerging phenomenon is that some significant segment of the work force, having experienced pandemic driven work from home, is reluctant to return to working from an office downtown.

Companies are beginning to report lateral movement — workers going to work for another company in essentially the same job with similar compensation — at another company.

Whoa, Big Red Car, what?

That’s right, dear readers. Workers have become so enamored of WFH that they don’t want to return to status quo pre-pandemic meaning work from the office.

Companies recognize this and some employers are trying to spin hybrid models with some WFH and some work from the office.

Hybrid may not work. Many workers want WFH full time.

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06/7/21

Applying Logic and Simple Reasoning

I am going to tell you a tale. Stay with me to the end as it is not what you may think.

We live in a world in which many odd things have happened of late. Amongst them are the following:

 1. Solar Winds — Russian hackers — have cracked into the vast majority of US government computers and databases to an extent that we simply don’t know how deep they penetrated, if they left behind artifacts, and when they did it.

We do know our government didn’t tell us for a long time and they did not know about it for a long time. But, supposedly, the Russian hackers did not get the nuclear football codes.

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