Pressing Matters: Seeking An Oasis In The Alternative Facts Desert

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“It is never our intention to lie to you.”

It shouldn’t be for any press secretary for any president, but the above stated quote from Sean Spicer isn’t reassuring to me, especially when what followed was finger pointing and deflecting.

The Trump Inauguration had little chance of going off without any controversy. The ceremony has been under extreme scrutiny ever since the climax to election night, shooting a barrage of reports and memes daily until the magical date.

But to be fair, having a concert lineup that looks like a Greatest Hits Complication Exclusive for Walmart is a hilarious notion to highlight. Too bad it’s the only item I could laugh at.

But the biggest takeaway from the inauguration itself which is the reportage and dispute over the attendance numbers, has me frightened over the state of the press.

In case your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr feed didn’t receive this (and in this post-truth world that’s very possible) pictures were shown comparing the Trump Inauguration Attendance to the Obama Inauguration Attendance.

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As you can see, the numbers were comparably low for Trump.

Or not if you believe Spicer who reported that Trump drew

“the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”

He then called out the media, claiming their false reportage was made only to discredit Trump, and that the pictures were highly inaccurate.

It’s a case of Spicer said versus what the media said.

Ha!

No, no it isn’t!

It’s not even a fair fight for Spicer. This is like a toddler against the Hulk.

PBS showed a time lapse video of the National Mall indicating visually that attendance never came close to the same scene during Obama’s 2009 Inauguration.

The New York Times estimated that the Trump crowd was only 1/3 of Obama’s 1.8 million.

And as reported from The Guardian:

According to figures shared by the Metro Washingtonsubway system on Twitter, 193,000 trips had been taken by 11am on Donald Trump’s inauguration day, compared with 513,000 during the same period on 20 January 2009 when Barack Obama took office.”

And of course there’s the Women’s March, which took place that following Saturday, which made the National Mall look packed compared to Trump’s Inauguration, having at least hundreds of thousands at the National Mall as well as more in other big cities.

Spicer also didn’t make matters strong for his initial argument when during a press conference with the media earlier Today, he tried the method of finger pointing and deflecting.

He pointed at another agency that gave him the wrong number of attendance. And then deflected to the number of TV and online viewers who instead watched the Inauguration from the comforts of their home. And if I were Spicer, I would have probably led with that to save face, although I’m sure that by doing that, he just gave a few reporters an idea for a great follow-up story.

If I can leave with anything from this fiasco, it’s that the relationship between the press and President is going to be rocky at its best and nonexistent at its worst.

And coupling that with a decreasing number of staff in newsrooms, a news competition skewed more on being first than being accurate, and the threat of fake-news confusing people, the situation is looking grim for hard-fought, important journalism.

The Trump Team IS willing to lie to you.

Make no mistake about it. And its supporters have made it clear that they’ll drink the kool-aid even if laced with razorblades. In fact, most of them will regurgitate those razorblades and throw them right at the eyes of anyone who disagrees with their leader and his spew of alternative facts.

But my question is with Watchdog Journalism needed now more than ever, can the those in the media that really care, continue to do their job in a climate that’s trying to make them extinct? And more importantly, how much does the public really care?

I ask that last question not expecting any answer through their words but through their actions.

Is the public willing to read, watch or hear? Is the public willing to still trust? Is the public willing to pay?

Pounds: Prelude To Madness

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“I’m thinking about doing two-a -day workouts. Do you have any advice?”

Time slowed down for my co-worker, Zach, as the statement and question reverberated between his ears and brain. He stopped moving, which is an amazing feat for the 20-something whose natural stance is usually set to a kid who just chugged two cups of Kool-Aid.

His quick-witted responses usually matched my own to the point that our superiors and our co-workers were left scratching their heads, deciphering the dialogue we were already celebrating with laughter.

But here he was, silent for ten crawling seconds, his face contorting to a puzzle he couldn’t figure out.

The record had scratched.

And then, as the pause button on life lifted, laughter surrounded the room.

Holding his insides, Zach responded “ Hey DC, did you hear what Calvin said? He’s thinking about doing two-a-day workouts. Any advice?”

You could feel the mocking air quotes in his question to our mutual co-worker.

“Yeah,” DC said, with a pointed eye-brow, “DON”T DO IT!”

Advice noted.

Unfortunately my bloodline was cursed with the skill of ridiculous stubbornness.
For instance, family members that have died—God Rest their Restless Souls—didn’t just simply die. They suffered through something that should have killed them in one hit, only to bounce back for a brief encore and then die.

My sister believed that it was their way of fighting to spend one last time with their loved ones. I think it’s the family stubbornness kicking in annoying the face of death.

And though I may have to make that final trek one day with the Reaper, my stubborn kick was going to occur this time during my crazy idea.

Two workouts in one day.

It’s not that I’m trying to upstage anyone, or fuel my ego with this attempt.

It’s just that year in and year out, my workout regime feels like its in a rut.

And when someone’s in a rut, they have this drive or craving to spark some type of difference no matter how jarring or extreme. So while some people dye their hair, go sky diving, or take a BDSM class to combat their ruts, I’m just attempting to murder myself at the gym.

Really, my adrenaline shot is conservative compared to others when you think about it.

And the only hangover I’ll suffer through is sore muscles, right?

Right.

Or a dangerous injury.

Damn my family’s stubbornness.

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The Plan:

Workout A:

20-25 Minutes On Elliptical

Ab-Machine—100 Reps Or 10 Min

Ab-Machine (Sitting)–60-Reps Or 5 Min

Side-Ab Machine–60-90 Reps

Treadmill-Jogging/Walking With Increasing Elevation For 15 Minutes

Workout B-1 (Upper Body):

Bench Press- To The Point Of Exhaustion With Increasing Weight

Cross Fly- 30 Reps

Triceps Machine-30-50 Reps Increasing Weight

Pull-Down Machine Alternating Chest And Back—30 Reps Each With Increasing Weight

Dumbbell Curl—30 Reps With Increasing Weight

Push-Ups—30 For First Month (Add 10 Each Month)

Barbell Lift—30 Reps

Workout B-2 (Lower Body)

Jumping Squats—30 Reps

Barbell Front Squats—30 Reps Increasing Weight

Barbell Back Squats—30 Reps

Calf Raises—30 Reps

Squat Machine (Seated)–30 Reps

Leg Extensions Increasing Weight 30 Reps

Leg Curls Increasing Weight 30 Reps

#TBT In Pictures

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I wasn’t always a blogger living in the basement. There was a time you could call me a small town journalist, which is really three words for “Do Everything,” including take your own photos.

I was never really good, but there were a few shots I was proud of, such as this one.

Story goes that this fella who is lounging fell down a rather steep hill into the muddy riverbank unable to get himself out due to injury from the fall. So the County Rescue Squad came to save him.

30 Min Lunch Break Blues: Go-To Options For Taco Bell

 

Don’t be fooled by the five dollar Cravings Meal from Taco Bell.

It’s a trap.

It’s like the underdog fighter that’s relegated as an easy win before their music hits.

You’d be forgiven for underestimating it, especially if you’re used to conquering any of Taco Bell’s other higher-priced combos. But the Cravings Deal is as wily as an old Carny who keeps promising that you’re just one ring toss away from being a winner.

You’ll never win the bear.

The $5 Cravings Deal will leave you a regretful bloated gassy mess, pondering what led you back to this position in life and does it have any real meaning?

You’ll also feel like you’re one bad sneeze from some new underpants.

Either is okay when at home with nary a plan for the evening, but it’s horrible for a 30 minute lunch break.
No one wants to deal with hissy managers, dumb customers, and a Clock Off point that seems to never come while stuck in an existential fast food crisis. Luckily, this blog is partly about learning from my mistakes so you don’t have to suffer.

So here are four key items to keep in mind when ordering from Taco Bell on your lunch break.

1.) Whoa Big Spender

Once upon a time, the economy wasn’t too rough.

You could actually land a decent job even if your college degree was in some obscure field like Ancient Basket Weaving. Going out and being young looked more like Friends and less like Naked And Afraid. And $20 on gas could not only fill up the tank, but also net you some change. At least that’s what I assume it was like for the generations before me.

They say that the economy is recovering, which is promising, but there’s still a huge difference between recovering and recovered.

Recovered implies that we’ve already reached the state where everyone can pretty much order any of the Number Combos from Taco Bell without making a major financial decision for the next week or so. Recovering means that there’s still some of us who constantly have ten dollars left in the account to make it between now and next payday.
So when ordering from Taco Bell on your lunch break, avoid eye contact with the regular combos. In fact, they’re not even real; just some magical farting Unicorn ready to sell you magic beans.

When it comes to stretching dollars with fast food, learn the dollar menu like it’s the lyrics to your favorite pop song and you’re due to duet with its star.

2.) Mix It Up

That being said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own combos. For instance, my go to most trips is a shredded chicken burrito and a cheesy bean and rice burrito. If if I’ve got a little extra in the change tray I might splurge on a taco supreme. Or I might decide on a Double Decker Taco and a regular soft taco.

The key idea is to set up a main (regular item) and partner up with a cheaper option (another regular/ 1 or less menu). Minimum is two items but never go beyond three.

Why?

For one, if you stick to this, the worst you could spend is $5 and a bit of change, but no more than that.
Two, you’ll likely be less of a bloated mess after lunch then if you got the Two Chalupa Combo with a Taco Supreme and a huge sugary drink.

Speaking of drinks.

3. Go With Water

Look your body is going to hate you anyways for even going to Taco Bell in the first place. And depending on what you order it’ll come up with some creative ways to pay you back.

Sitting in on a meeting, well how about your stomach make a symphony of loud and weird sounds whenever there’s a moment of silence?

Have to transport some product from one end of the warehouse to another, well wouldn’t it be nice to sweat like you’re in the Sahara while stepping a mere two feet?

I’m not saying you’ll be in the clear, but water is a magic, often underutilized liquid that can do wonders for lessening a lot potential post lunch blows. You should have it with every meal really, but especially during lunch.

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If you need caffeine, you should already be stocked at work with coffee or an energy drink. Bonus points if you remedy this with a V8 Fusion Energy. You’ll have the smug pedestal of looking slightly better than your supervisor with the 64 Ounce Big Gulp of God Knows What. And that granola eating Becky with the weird name, dyed hair, and marijuana bouquet—seriously how has no one drug-tested her yet?—might give you minor props, which could open the door her dealer, boyfriend bartender, or ridiculously hot friend who works at Whole Foods.

Even in service fields, networking is essential.

4. The Only Time To Ever Order The Ten Taco Deal…

…Is if you’re trying to share it with the rest of your co-workers…or if you got fired.
Excess is acceptable only in sharing or shame.

Defend Against Hate: Escape Against A Bigot’s Grasp

Many people who are dreading having Trump in office aren’t really concerned with the man himself. And although his cabinet is looking more like the Legion Of Doom, the immediate threat isn’t them either.

The direct danger is rooted in his most ardent supporters, who seem to think they have a free pass now on being disgusting human beings to minorities in the U.S.

The F.B.I. recently reported 5,818 reported hate crimes in 2015, which is a six percent increase from the previous year.

While the finding includes minorities, women, and gays, it was Muslim Americans that seemed to experience some of the worst.

As the New York Times reported:

Attacks against Muslim Americans saw the biggest surge. There were 257 reports of assaults, attacks on mosques and other hate crimes against Muslims last year, a jump of about 67 percent over 2014. It was the highest total since 2001, when more than 480 attacks occurred in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Unfortunately one of the most frequent stories I’ve heard of are Women who wear Hijabs being attacked by people who would dare to snatch off their veil.

Fortunately, there are ways to defend against any idiot trying to snatch off someone’s Hijab, as  Zee Abdulla of Deaf Planet Soul shows in her video.

Take a look, and study her moves. And if you happen to be in the Chicago Area, might I also suggest signing up for  Deaf Planet Soul’s Self Defense Class or Hate Crime Survival Seminar. And if you’re not in the Chicago Area, you can at least help them out by making a donation.