Welcome to the Not-So Roaring 20s

It feels like the year 2020 came out of nowhere! I can’t believe it’s been a decade since I wrote, Finally, 2010, The Year We Make Contact – and I can’t believe this blog is almost 15 years old!

Social media is still a force to be reckoned with. President Donald Trump (yes that happened in 2016) was elected largely because of his infamous celebrity on Twitter. He’s been using social media to bash, berate, and belittle people for years; his base loves it.

I’m still married to my beautiful wife, Barbara. We’re empty nesters now: Vincent married Sara this year and they live in Dallas, Katie moved to Richmond to be with Shawn, and Jake joined the Air Force this year and got stationed at Fairbanks.

In the past decade my wife and I quit smoking, and now I’m being treated for atrial fibrillation (AFib). We’ve had cats leave us, and new ones come along. There has been droughts, and there has been hurricanes.

This year I plan on attending my 30 year class reunion. If the 20 year was any indication, the 30 year should be off the chain; no worries Chuck. [I just read that my high school is set to be “remodeled” (demolished and rebuilt) in February.]

Bombs In Austin

Austin was rocked by 6 bomb blasts in 21 days. The suspect, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt of Pflugerville, Texas, was killed in the last blast. His motive has yet to be determined. Here’s a timeline of what happened.

  • March 2: A package bomb kills 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House when it explodes on his front porch.
  • March 12: 17-year-old Draylen Mason, was killed and his mother was injured after a package exploded inside their home.
  • March 12: Hours after the second explosion occurred, police reported a third blast, confirming that at least one elderly woman was injured.
  • March 18: Two men in their 20s suffered non-life threatening injuries when they triggered a bomb via a tripwire while walking their bikes.
  • March 20: A bomb blast at a FedEx ground distribution facility in Schertz, Texas, injured one person.
  • March 21: Just before 5 am police/FBI/ATF corner Conditt at a Red Roof Inn on Interstate 35 in Round Rock, Texas. He drove off a short distance then blew himself up in his car. Source: FoxNews.com

The bad news is we may not be finished with this person or their bombs. FBI agent Chris Combs, head of the agency’s San Antonio office, said, “We are concerned that there may be other packages that are still out there.” Source: KBTX.com

YouTube’s Dear John Letter

Well, I finally got my Dear John letter from YouTube. They’re raising their monetization requirements and kicking little guys to the curb if they don’t have the numbers. The new threshold is 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past 12 months.

The Great YouTube Demonetization Controversy Continues

Folks want to blame Logan Paul for this latest policy change. He’s a popular (15 M subscribers) YouTube creator who posted a video where he showed a dead body in a Japanese forest known for hosting suicides. A YouTube spokesperson had this to say, “Sometimes our systems get it wrong, which is why we’ve encouraged creators to appeal.” (Source: The Guardian). I say sometimes they don’t get it at all, but I don’t blame Logan Paul. I blame YouTube: adopting weak business practices and morphing into a traditional media outlet replete with ass-kissers for advertising dollars.

I guess there’s Vimeo…

Declaration of Independence

This 4th of July, as you’re munching on hot dogs and drinking ice-cold beer, take a moment to remember the reason for the season.

I think we should read the Declaration of Independence on July 4th like we read the Bible on December 25th. The same truths apply to today’s government as they did in 1776. The people and the politicians should always remember, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” And “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government….”

Maybe Gary, Jill, Donald and Hillary should read it twice.