Rants and Raves

Follow up links / further reading

It’s Big Y’all- Texas Monthly

I’ve never been to Indiana from DC, but I’ve driven from SA to EP.

If the president was thinking about El Paso when he was talking about San Antonio, he conflated two cities that are a truly vast distance from one another. The great state of Indiana proudly declares itself the Crossroads of America, and its capital, the fine city of Indianapolis, is a Midwestern gem smack-dab in the middle of the American Heartland. It’s also as far a drive from the White House to the city’s historic East Side as it is from San Antonio to El Paso on Interstate 10.

Source: Where Is San Antonio in Relation to the Border? An Investigation That Is Apparently Necessary – Texas Monthly

One more quote from that piece

The list of questions never asked is almost infinite: what were the mercenaries I kept meeting truly there for? What about those contractors, specifically in the intel world, who foisted a never-ending line of gadgetries on my men to be field-tested and then shipped off to the global marketplace? Why did the gear never work? Why was it so unwieldy? Why did it slow down ops, and why did no one seem to care that it usually had to be escorted by those with the appropriate clearance, which meant putting my guys

Source: ‘A torrent of ghastly revelations’: what military service taught me about America | News | The Guardian

Interesting “long read” in The Guardian

Writing this now, I’m embarrassed by the comparison. There is something ludicrous about relating foot patrols in a combat zone to Bluetooth shopping a few miles beyond a stateside base. But there was a way in which I had been conditioned, before and during my military years, to be suspicious of the outside, wherever that outside might be.

Source: ‘A torrent of ghastly revelations’: what military service taught me about America | News | The Guardian

Reading Challenges & Some Links (bonus vid of Scoot Scofflaw)

As you may know, I use Goodreads.com to keep track of books I want to read. They have a handy feature where you can set how many books you’d like to read in a year. I’ve been able to use that to stay motivated and keep up with some good (and bad) titles. Do any of you do something similar – whether in Goodreads or just on a list somewhere? What are your goals?

One of the last books I read in 2017 was about the Basque country. There was a good section about Basque eating clubs. Actually, the whole book was good, but I keep dwelling on the clubs. There’s a good article about the same in last month’s Saveur magazine (link here – warning the site is slow as shit). I really want to set up a similar club, but I’m not sure how I’d be able to pull it off.

Maybe I should set up a monthly dinner group instead and rotate restaurants and brainstorm ideas? My girlfriend has a monthly girls’ dinner that she does with some friends so whenever she plans it I get reminded of this.

Do any of you have a regular standing dinner with groups of friends (or a networking group)?

Scoot – the company I like, but with the occasional rider I hate and make fun of- announced plans to add a network of e-bikes to their scooter fleet. That could be very big with a lot of potential. E-bikes are weird, but show a lot of potential to getting people in to bike commuting. I’m always pushing for more bikes.

Speaking of Scoot:


Some quick links for the long weekend

Happy 4th of July everyone. Here are some links for you to check out if you’re so inclined:

One of my favorite authors, Don Winslow, has a new book out. I haven’t read it yet, but he’s doing pressers. He stopped in to do Brian Koppelman’s podcast here. It’s worth a listen.

And Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast is back for another “season”. I’ve just started listening again. The first episode here talks about golf and taxes in an interesting way. Of course I liked the way he brings up Theseus’s Paradox.

Russian Slot Mafia

An interesting read:

Russia has been a hotbed of slots-related malfeasance since 2009, when the country outlawed virtually all gambling. (Vladimir Putin, who was prime minister at the time, reportedly believed the move would reduce the power of Georgian organized crime.) The ban forced thousands of casinos to sell their slot machines at steep discounts to whatever customers they could find. Some of those cut-rate slots wound up in the hands of counterfeiters eager to learn how to load new games onto old circuit boards. Others apparently went to Murat Bliev’s bosses in St. Petersburg, who were keen to probe the machines’ source code for vulnerabilities.

Via Wired

Links for Jan 23-Jan 31

Hey man, where’d you buy those empanadas?!?  I bought them from Venga Empanadas – go check them out on Valencia.

Hey man, where’d you get those co-co-co-things? They’re called COXINHAS and I bought them at – Cafe de Casa

Anything to read this week?

Sure- try:



Reading and Links Jan 15 – 22

Who killed the great British curry house?

VeloNews Podcast on race weight.

Interesting research findings on the background and players in the DDoS attack. Who knew there was a Minecraft Protection Racket?

A large, successful Minecraft server with more than a thousand players logging on each day can easily earn the server’s owners upwards of $50,000 per month, mainly from players renting space on the server to build their Minecraft worlds, and purchasing in-game items and special abilities.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top-earning Minecraft servers eventually attracted the attention of ne’er-do-wells and extortionists like the lelddos gang. Lelddos would launch a huge DDoS attack against a Minecraft server, knowing that the targeted Minecraft server owner was likely losing thousands of dollars for each day his gaming channel remained offline.

I’m too depressed to post the long list of links about new #facts I was reading.

Some Readings – Jan 8 – Jan 14

Some links and things from the week:

I need to think of a better way to share what I’m reading. Not everything I save to Pocket is worth a share, nor are my random bookmarks. For example, I went off the deep-end reading about DACs and amps and DAPs when I went to look up something about a pair of headphones. Hoo-boy that was a deep dive into something…