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Turkeys in my back yard. I shot this through a window, unfortunately when I went outside to get a clearer picture they turned and ran away. I wasn't going to hurt them.

A friend asked me now that it's over what do I think of Game of Thrones. She hasn't watched the show, but knows that I did. I don't have a ready answer. Here's an analogy. What do I think of San Francisco? I lived in the Bay Area for a long time, and for a very short time I lived in the city (on Broadway). There are some things that are incredible about it, the weather down the peninsula is about as perfect as weather can be about eight months a year. Food is excellent. Lots of smart people. I had a lot of very positive experiences there. But the traffic is awful and you always have to be prepared for an earthquake, and I've lived through one, and didn't like it. People are obsessed with money, I find that dull, which is probably the main reason I left. I've been watching GoT for a long time. It's impossible to say what I think of it. It's a thing. It's like asking me what I think of a close relative, perhaps one who just died.

Now I think the best season finale ever was Six Feet Under. The show wasn't pretentious, in fact its point was to make mundane the most dramatic thing that happens to each of us. So the ending was an ending and nothing more. I'm not going to spoil it here. I think there needs to be a site where you can keep your watching history and you can write things like this with enough metadata so it knows not to show it to you if you haven't seen the finale of the show I'm writing about. Maybe in Internet 4.0.

The only show that I can think of that didn't punt on the ending was Mad Men. The end was a surprise, but someone I knew had guessed it. It was clever and satisfying. The Sopranos ending was almost a pure punt (we did find out the ending for a few characters in the last episode). Unlike a lot of people -- I liked the ending. I also liked the ending of Lost. Someday someone will do a show (like Seinfeld duh) that disclaims up front to be about nothing, therefore the finale, by definition will be nothing. I guess that was also Newhart. I didn't watch either of them.

Video of the last scene in Mad Men.

One of the best things I read about GoT was in a Facebook post. Maybe you can read it. I'm not going to port it. Not my job. :-)

GoT spoiler. NakedJen do not read. The sanest ending for GoT would be Khaleesi doesn't destroy Kings Landing. She takes the throne. (Keep the end of Cersei and Jaime.) She marries Jon Snow, and he takes up sculpting or pottery, maybe farming and bends the knee. Everyone relaxes and has a good time.

Nancy Pelosi: It's time to get out every gun you have and fire it. Because you're about to lose all of them. You have to wake everybody up and say listen, this is it, after this point we do not have a government.

What CJ would say to Pelosi: "The fall is gonna kill you."

GoT fans, you must watch this alternate ending to series.

Once a long time ago I wrote on this blog that we should have fewer humans, and the rage it provoked was awesome, and imho totally wrong. As we consume the life-sustaining ability of our planet, if we had fewer people, we'd consume it at a slower rate. I don't think there's any great reason to overpopulate the planet, esp when we're so resource-constrained. BTW, I'm a mystic, i.e. I believe in the mystery of it all. :-)

BTW, I did an image search for WTF on this blog and the results were interesting.

I picked some of this up on impulse and it's great on everything. I imagine I'll get tired of it, but for now.

I want to buy a cool exercise bike for home. I like the idea of taking virtual trips, and that there be inclines and declines. But I'm pretty sure I don't want to do cycling classes. Any recommendations?

So many things to say about the last episode of Game of Thrones, but I don't believe that was actually the last episode. ??

If you are pro-choice, as I am, focus your ire on people who vote for abortion restrictions. That's how we should divide ourselves. This isn't just a battle for women's rights, it's much broader than that. We need to unite, not divide. Keep that in mind when you post something clever that further divides us. You're doing someone else's work there, someone who is very much opposed to you and your values.

Who's on the throne?

Well here we go, the final episode of Game of Thrones, and the big question, assuming there still is a throne, who's sitting on it at the end of tonight's episode? Whoever it is is in some sense the winner.

I have a wacky theory about it, I posted it on Facebook, might as well post it here too.

What if...

The person who ends up on the throne is...

None other than...

Tyrion Lannister! ;-)

Hear me out.

I assume there's going to be a showdown between Jon Snow and Daenerys. What if they kill each other? Or elope to a romantic hiding place?

  • Alterately, Arya kills Daenerys, and Jon Snow, who likes Tyrion (going back to season 1) returns to the north to be with his dog and his red-haired friend. He could hook up with Brienne, who is available now that Jaime is dead. There's your spinoff! He could pick up Samwell Tarly and family (son named Jon, btw) on his way north.

It's crazy to think the Baratheon bastard is going to be accepted on the throne.

But Cersei was a Lannister. Tyrion is a Lannister. He's the next in line if you believe Cersei was a valid Queen. And why not. Everyone knows that Joffrey was a Lannister as was Tommen.

Seems old Tyrion has the best claim to the throne. And he's not a murderer, he drinks wine and likes to fuck (or at least he used to). He's been pretty good to everyone, and Sansa loves him. He would be a good king (you can almost hear him saying it).

I don't think too many Kings Landing folk are going to be begging for a Targaryen to take the throne.

I don't know if other people see this, but it seems reasonable to me.

Tyrion for King! :-)

I haven't watched season 2 of Fleabag yet. The reviews are incredible. The first season was great.

This piece really resonated with me. So many good points. When a project catches on the work really changes. And the difference between this kind of creative work, and say writing music, is that software is used not just listened to. Another thing I've noticed is that people who come along and build off your open work expect you to step aside when they want to take over. This is a big disconnect, I create the software because I want to build on it, not to create a lifestyle for you, though I don't mind if you do that, that's why I made it open. But don't ever expect the originator of a project to step aside. That's a bug in your thinking. I've also noticed that the people who want to take over rarely have any original ideas other than they want to take over (and of course that's not original).

When people I follow blame a group based on race, gender, age, sexuality, I unfollow immediately without a second thought.

The town of Woodstock, where I live, is working on a law to limit short-term vacation rentals. When I was shopping for a house here, I used the AirBnBs. But now that I own property here, I have conflicted views. I understand the reason they want the law is to have more housing available for full-time residents to rent.

I ran a poll yesterday asking what people expect from the GoT finale, tomorrow night. FWIW, I expect to be satisfied. They aren't going to pull any punches in the finale. They had something great last week, and they're going for the kill this week. I expect to be blown away.

A good afternoon song (no hidden meaning).

Look at what the AG is doing now. He's going to change the rules so the Mueller investigation is retroactively illegal. I bet they put some FBI people on trial. That'll completely put an end to investigations. In their calculations, people who work in government have to decide who they fear most, Trump or what comes after Trump.

Poll: "Thinking of famous series finales, Sopranos, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Lost. Will the end of Game of Thrones give resolution, or will it leave you wanting more?"

Suppose the worst person in the world has a great idea, but you aren't listening because you don't like this person. In normal times you would be the main loser. But if the idea could help us avert the climate or constitutional meltdowns, we all lose because of your pride. That's why I try to listen to smart people even if it hurts my ego.

Resist efforts to divide us. When people say that a certain class of people, based on age, race or gender, is responsible for something bad, it probably isn't true. If it isn't and you perpetuate the lie, you're doing Trump's work, and you should stop doing that.

My auto insurance company wants me to try a new app that will rate my driving safety using GPS and motion detector in my iPhone. What they don't say is if it will affect my insurance rates.

Rating the integrity of guests

I had an idea watching this clip from MSNBC, where a reporter does something unusual, he stops the person he's interviewing for BS, and then for not answering his question. This is so common in cable news, it's the #1 reason I switch channels.

So here's the idea -- an organization, perhaps sponsored by Knight or Newmark, maintains a database of people who are interviewed on cable news. For each, the number of questions they were asked, the number of times they did and didn't answer the question. A simple way of measuring the integrity of the interviewee. And also the interviewer.

You could publish an index for each of the shows. Do they tend to invite people on who actually answer questions? And then you could have an index for each network. They like horse race journalism. Turn it around, make the quality of their reporting a horse race.

Twist: Penalize the show double if the person has been on before and evaded the questions both times. Fool me once, okay, ask to be fooled again, I'm a fool for listening to you. ??

Another index: Time spent talking vs how many ideas discussed. For a few people the ratio would be infinite, they just speak in a word salad, they say nothing. A great example is the former head of the RNC. The best ratio, most substance to time talked would be interesting too. Michelle Goldberg seems to be the best. She ramps up quickly, says something interesting, doesn't repeat herself unless asked.

Idea for a web app. A URL shortener that sanitizes and beautifies the writing on the page before displaying it. I often won't point to interesting stories because the HTML in the page is so obscene. Example. I thought Charles Barkley had some wise words for Kristaps Porzingis, worth passing on. I apologize in advance for the BS on that site.

BTW, this is what the post above looks like in my reader. It can be much better. I'm taking a look at this now.

Also, this is what it looks like in the Chat tab.

feedRead viewer app

This is a specialized tool useful to a small number of people. I'm putting it here so I can easily find it by searching, when I need it in the future.

As you may know I have a NPM package, davefeedread, that makes it easy to read most kinds of feeds in Node.js projects. I use it in my apps that read feeds, so when I fix a bug, I just have to add it in this one place and rebuild any app that uses it.

I share it because I want people to use RSS. ??

Today I was debugging an app that generates RSS, and wanted to get a close look at what davefeedread was generating, and decided once and for all to put it in a web app, to make it easy to debug a feed. Should've done it long ago.

Here's an example link:

http://feedread.scripting.com/?url=http://scripting.com/rss.xml

It displays the structure that the davefeedread package returns for my feed.

Thanks to Dan MacTough who wrote the feedparser package that this is built on.

Quick podcast. All you need to know about Game of Thrones.

I wonder if anyone named their dog Alexa, and if any hilarity ensued thus.

You know that old story about how first they came for the immigrants, but I wasn't an immigrant so I didn't worry about it? That's a good way to view the news from Alabama, imho.

Yesterday Howard Weaver, a long-time friend, journalist, asked "What is an open identity server?" I was able to answer the question in a tweet. Briefly it's the part of Twitter that knows you're @howardweaver and I'm @davewiner. I need that in my software too. Rather than build my own, and make users establish a new "identity" for my apps, e.g. -- Little Outliner, I just use Twitter's. That's the open part.

Syrio Forel: There is only one god, and His name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: not today.

I used to sit in my hot tub in Calif, looking up at the live oak trees, and tried to convince myself that I owned them. I said to one tree, "I own you." The tree laughed: "You just got here. I have been here a hundred years, and I will be here hundreds more after you're gone."

One of my reasons for moving to the country was to have a real kitchen and to re-learn basic cooking. I used to love preparing meals. Last night I hit a milestone. A very simple dish, broccoli, carrots -- cooked lightly, then lightly covered in olive oil, soy sauce and Sriracha, over rice. Just perfect. Previous iterations were basically edible. Working my way up to a full dinner for guests, maybe by Thanksgiving. But for now I'm happy to be eating well. Living in NYC made it too easy to order delicious food that was too greasy and too much and made me unhappy.

I'm watching the HBO miniseries Chernobyl. The USSR had a lid on leaks, but the world was figuring out what was going on because the radiation spread far outside the USSR. There was huge fear that this was the end of everything. I don't recall how we survived.

I made the davefeedread package a little more robust. Under some circumstances the lower-level feedparser package will return a length for an enclosure of "None". This is not what my apps were expecting and as a result we missed a bunch of podcasts due to errors. Zero is much easier to handle, and there really is no correct value if the length is omitted, since it is required by RSS 2.0. But what can you do -- this is the real world, and it happens. Examples -- Radio Lab, Here's the Thing. I added a simple workaround. If the value is None, we set it to 0. Result: More podcasts to listen to. ??

Twitter is a great open identity server. I use it in all my apps. If they added simple storage, we'd be looking at a new world of networked apps. This was Jack Dorsey's original idea for Twitter as a platform, btw.

I gave in and ordered an Amazon Echo. No more WAMC in the morning. And whatever else comes along with the Echo. I welcome Jeff Bezos new overlord of my home.

You have no idea how strange it was to see Jay Rosen in a comedy skit on Samantha Bee's show. If you had asked me to predict the probability that I would see that in my lifetime, I would have said infinitesimal, such a small number it's impossible to measure. Life is strange. And when people say things like "We all know X" -- remember this story. You never really know for sure what can happen.

Someone please do an explainer on "Constitutional Crisis" because I'm not sure people get how serious it is.

I searched for a 76ers logo this morning to decorate a post on my blog. Now everywhere I go on the web they think I'm a fan of the team. I'm a Knicks fan you suckers. Fuck off.

I watched last night's Game of Thrones instead of Game 7 of the playoff series between Toronto and Philadelphia. No regrets, I had more invested in the GoT story than the story of either of the NBA teams, though I do have a thing for the Sixers and respect the hell out of the Raptors. When I came out from GoT the first thing I checked was the NBA schedule, and I could see that Toronto had won. But, like everyone else, I was struck to learn how they won. So many stories in this fantastic photo, taken while the stars of the both teams wait to see if the at-the-buzzer shot would go in. It would bounce four times before they knew the result. So much pent up energy in this, one of the greatest sports pictures of all time. Wonderful.

Maybe FB should be broken up. The identity system (with storage) becomes an ICANN-like thing, and everything else is a for-profit company.

My mother was in my dreams last night. I remember one part. She's in the other room lying down reading, something she did a lot, and for some reason I called her on the phone. We hadn't spoken in a long time. She said "an angel is calling" in a very sentimental way. She never said stuff like that. This morning I wonder maybe I was the one who died? Happy Mother's Day mom, where ever you are, or where ever I am. ??

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