Jump to content

I am Ram

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by I am Ram

  1. Pretty much musical chairs. But the big advantage of regular sweeps is that people don't get too comfortable in one place (i.e. trash the place and build three-room junk mansions). I have even seen people starting to take down their tents in the morning, the way things used to be. It probably also incentivizes at least a few people to use shelters or work towards getting housing.
  2. I was thinking about this thread when driving today. I take my kids two school every morning. It's about a 20 minute commute through some low-income, diverse neighborhoods. And I realized that today, for the first time since the pandemic, I did not see a single tent or RV along the way with the exception of one, which seems to have the homeowner's permission. So, yeah, Portland has been getting a lot more aggressive about moving encampments. A year ago, you'd see three-bedroom junk mansions that had been left undisturbed for months. What's frustrating is that the shittiest areas are the ones people traveling through Portland tend to see first - along the freeway and on the way to PDX. That's not completely the city's fault because the land is a wild mix of state, county, and city property, but you'd think by now they'd have figured something out. It sucks because I don't want to know how many nice conservative families drive through Portland every day, horrified and immediately deciding that everything they ever heard on Fox is true. I don't get how leaders wouldn't address this first.
  3. I personally don't see why I should pay good money just to watch commercials all night. I pay $50 for very fast internet plus a few bucks here and there for streaming services, which I cut when I notice no one in the family has used it in a while. I'm not really into TV shows, but Hulu usually has a $1.99/m offer around Black Friday, so we have that. That's about all the TV we need. My kids don't even understand the concept of linear TV anymore, and our TV is sometimes off for weeks on end. We pretty much only use it to play Nintendo Switch and for the occasional football game. Not judging. My FIL has Comcast and seems happy with it. I'm not going to try and convince him to quit. What cracks me up, though, is the thought that boomers not only pay ever increasing fees because no one else uses cable anymore, but that their sky-high charges also subsidize all that sweet high-quality American content in smelly foreign countries.
  4. No. Boise should ask Portland about some of the mistakes to avoid along the way. When I moved to Portland in 2005, we said about San Diego (and then Seattle) EXACTLY what you are saying about Portland now. What followed was a decade of (partially well-deserved) smugness about our city's perceived exceptionalism, of fawning media coverage, and of tens of thousands of people moving to Portland. Plus a city council that considered itself the Second Coming. What's happening to Boise is a carbon copy of Portland 20 years ago. Not much you can do about the trajectory, but if you avoid some of the smugness, you might get through the inevitable changes better.
  5. Yeah. Try buying a house in Portland. If you ask me, we can do with a bit of population decline. I'll take lower housing costs over a larger tax base.
  6. I'm in Portland, and I can assure you that the city is alive and kicking. Downtown is in a sad state and will be for a while, but it's far from being the wasteland Bob and Convert are fantasizing about. There have been a mind-boggling number of bad policies city- and statewide in recent years, and an equally mind-boggling amount of sheer incompetence paired with smugness. That said, though, the pendulum swings eternally. We've largely voted out the crazies, and the current city government has certainly shifted back to the center - farther so than pre-Floyd and the pandemic. Even our sad excuse of a DA seems to have understood that he won't keep his job (probably too late anyway) if he doesn't start doing some prosecutin'. Bottom line is Portlanders - the large majority of whom are shockingly normal people - are fed up, and city government has heard the message. There are some signs of progress. PPB has been hiring pretty aggressively and the city is getting cleaner. Most importantly, that general sense of lawlessness seems to be going away. Maybe most importantly, A LOT of housing is being built. Those are all good things, but we have a long ways to go. Too many things went too horribly wrong to be fixed quickly. The governor, Tina Kotek, actually did something very smart just a week or two ago. She decided not to release a whole chunk of state funding for combating homelessness because the city and county didn't present a detailed plan for actually spending the money. I was on the fence about her, but right there is good leadership. We need to stop throwing money at our problems without any oversight and accountability - which is exactly how things have been done way too long.
  7. Regulation is important, but so is enforcement. I can't find the source right now, but the other day, I read an interesting article about how seafood imported to the US (which accounts for most of what you find at the grocery store) isn't just bad - it's extra bad because distributors like to send the shitty stuff that would be rejected in Europe to the US. Only a low single-digit percentage of all imports actually gets checked. Goes like this: Asian importer: I have these fresh shrimp - wild caught in that pond next to the battery factory. Fed with only the choicest antibiotics and heavy metals. US agent: Oooooh shrimp! European agent: Hold on. Does your shrimp contain any toxins or any medications that have been banned in most of the world for 30 years? Asian importer: What, no! Never. European agent: Well, let's take a look... US agent: Oooooh shrimp! It's scary. Buy American seafood. If you live near a coast, but local American seafood. If you must buy imported, but Canadian or European.
  8. This is the only bread recipe you'll ever need if you're not into baking bread. It's a German Bauernbrot, and it's easy enough to replace most of your crappy grocery store bread with should you so choose. It's not inherently healthy, but it has five ingredients, and you can experiment with adding seeds, using whole grains, etc. The bread this recipe makes is fairly small, but you can just double the ingredients for a larger loaf. 500 g (about 18 oz) all purpose flour 7 g (1/3 oz) dry yeast 300 ml (just over 10 oz) lukewarm water 10 g (just a little over 1.5 ts) salt 0.5 ts sugar (to get the yeast all sexed up) Throw stuff together. Knead using either: Your man hands Your fancy-ass Kitchenaid (which used to be so much better before they became a lifestyle product and were made in China) Your hand mixer Do this for about 8 minutes till you get a nice smooth dough. The dough should have absorbed all the water and flour and not be very sticky. Add small amounts of flour or water as needed. Don't worry if your dough doesn't turn out great, it'll still taste awesome. Put in a bowl, cover, throw into the fridge overnight. You COULD let the dough rest for just two hours at room temp and get a decent bread, but letting the yeast work overnight at cool temperature is key to great flavor. Fire up your oven to about 430. While your oven heats up, knead the dough one more time by hand and try to shape it into a nice round ball. Put in a proofing basket or any old bowl with a bit of flour or towel to prevent stickiness. Let your oven heat up for an hour. Any oven telling you it's reached temperature before that is lying to you. Put the bread in for about 45 minutes. Score with a lame or sharp knife. Your bread is ready when you knock it and it sounds hollow. If you have a thermometer, it should read just over 200. Enjoy! Get some nice butter, nice honey and be in heaven!
  9. The image makes it look like before/after scenes, but according to the article, the tanks (above) got stuck because their supply trucks (below) got destroyed.
  10. vs. https://abcnews.go.com/US/dr-fauci-wear-goggles-eye-shields-prevent-spread/story?id=72059055
  11. What you are saying is those of us who can afford to do so take "common sense measures." Everybody else is +++++ed unfortunately. I had some junk hauled from my property the other day. The guys doing the work were huffing and puffing next to each other without adequate protection and then got into the small cabin of their truck together. Pretty sure they didn't choose to work that way. Also pretty sure they'd been fired on the spot if they had approached a customer the way they were working next to each other. I'm not entirely sure I understand how this is an issue that the government can't help solve about but individuals can. Overwhelming evidence from the US and from our "peer" countries suggests that's not true. Edit: I do agree that it's everybody's responsibility to protect themselves. But government needs to provide the appropriate policies and infrastructure so people can actually do so.
  12. Face shields may work great in certain situations, but if aerosol transmission is a major factor, they won't work without masks in many settings.
  13. And let's not assume these people can keep going forever. I'm sure many are at the brink of exhaustion now.
  14. There was an interesting article in the Atlantic last week that discussed a model which predicts that the percentage of infected people to achieve herd immunity is way lower than previously thought. I don't remember the details, but the basic idea is that people susceptible to COVID (for various reasons) got hit early and hard in some places. Those people are still the ones most likely to get sick, but they are immune now. And everybody else is less likely to get sick in the first place. So the bottom line is that you don't need to get the majority of people immune - just the majority of people who are likely to get sick (and sick again). Here's the article: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/herd-immunity-coronavirus/614035/
  15. Promising indeed. And all the more reason to follow proper safety precautions now. Experts have told us from the start: It's not about preventing every single one infection; it's about buying ourselves time to come up with better management, treatments, and eventually a vaccine. Obviously, every hospitalization and every death suck, but they will seem even more painful if in a couple months we'll look back and know that almost all of them would have been easily preventable with the right course of treatments. It's like dying from cholera just before someone realizes "Hey, tons of fluids might be a really good idea!"
  16. And the 6 feet might not even matter if you can cut the air in a classroom after a few hours. Can you imagine the fear in the teachers and staff being forced to go to work like this? If schools open and things don't feel adequately safe, we'll see mass retirements, quitting, and strikes.
  17. Haven't they already tried that like a thousand times? What's different now?
  18. But what factors into average life expectancy is car deaths per capita, not absolute numbers. And per capita deaths are way, way down since their peak in the 70s. Definitely. I follow this German YouTuber, don't ask me why. He's this 23 year old kid, used to rate fast food, talk about what he bought at the grocery store, and a bunch of video game crap. Basically spent his life in a chair. About a year ago, he had a come to Jesus moment and realized his life was in the crapper. He decided to cut the fast food and get out of the house. Today's videos are a difference like night and day. He used to have these weird lack of focus tics, slapping his forehead, making weird noises - you could tell his brain wasn't working right. Today, he's a fairly normal computer nerd. And it's not like he runs 5 miles a day now. He's still 250 pounds or whatever, and he still spends a ton of time in his gamer chair and his car. But the difference the better nutrition and a bit of exercise make is staggering. By the way, this development isn't even a major theme of the channel. I'm not sure the guy even realizes just how much better he is than just a year ago.
  19. Absolutely. Which is also what we are seeing in countless Covid cases right now. It's easy to say, "Wear your masks, avoid indoor settings!" Well, if your healthcare depends on your shitty job, and your shitty boss happens not to "believe" in the coronavirus, then good luck with that. The total dependence one's job and employer is part of the quality of life problem I mentioned above. Should have included that.
  20. I'm not questioning that. What I'm saying is that neither gun deaths nor traffic accidents are what cuts off years of average life expectancy compared to other developed countries.
  21. Pretty sure the US could afford all its gun and traffic deaths (both at historic lows as far as I know) and still compare favorably if it got its lifestyle back on track. It's a sad fact that many Americans a piss poor quality of life when it comes to factors like time off, childcare, nutrition, and exercise. I'd wager that although the members of this board enjoy above average incomes and live in places with above average quality of life (especially Fort Collins, of course), there's a sizable number of members who never eat real cheese, never had a chicken that wasn't a water-soaked monstrosity, never take a vacation longer than a week, etc, etc. Small things, but if a hundred of them add up, things are bad. You can't be healthy like living the lifestyle many people live. You can keep going somehow, but you can't be healthy as an individual nor as a society. Which is sad because fixing these quality of life issues for most Americans would be well within our means.
  22. And yet until not long ago, American total life expectancy was very much in line with the rest of the world. So what happened during the last two decades? The country didn't get bigger. Traffic deaths are near a historic low (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year#/media/File:US_traffic_deaths_per_VMT,_VMT,_per_capita,_and_total_annual_deaths.png). Canada is an even bigger (and more diverse) country with a much better life expectancy. However, I agree that declining life expectancy is not the fault of the quality of the healthcare system (it is far too expensive though). Just like the police, schools, and some other institutions, healthcare in America is asked to do far too much and far too many things outside its core duties.
  23. Not a surprise, of course, but this is sad. I haven't seen the Euro side of my family in a year, and it's increasingly looking like I won't see them this year. I'm also worried about the WH's potential reactions. Please no wine tax...
  24. I predict we'll somehow muddle through this with a mix of local shutdowns, prevention measures such as mask requirements, and hopefully some advances in treating patients, but it's not going to be pretty. And the longer we just try to wish the virus away the less pretty it's going to get. Right now we can still point at a few peer countries that have higher per capita death rates than us, but that's not going to last long. France and the UK, for instance, have both basically contained the spread. They have a few hundred new cases a day. That's a rate where you can afford trying to normalize life. We have close to 30,000 new cases a day.
  25. If most of us get this, 2% will be millions of Americans dead. Plus millions more who may spend weeks in the hospital, suffer permanent lung damage, and have their finances devastated from this. And even those who are okay with the idea of hundreds of thousands to millions of elderly lives cut short should consider these two things: 1. Do you know how many families count on their elders for things like childcare? Do you know how many grandparents take care of their grandchildren because their parents aren't around for whatever reason? Do you know how many elderly still support their families' income? The virus does NOT just kill those elderly who are already on their way out anyway - we have plenty of evidence that's not the case. 2. Thankfully, most Americans aren't okay with sacrificing their elders. So forget the idea that the country will just shrug off the pandemic and somehow go back to normal just because their governors say it's okay to do so. People will stay home as much as they can, and that's going to cause MORE damage to the economy than a few more weeks of shutdown would have cost.
  • Create New...