Editorial | 2023.01.30

Westworld William cowboy hat

In this post: the Madoff documentary, Elon finally dials it back, and two nutjob comics shout at one another.
Madoff (Netflix, 2023)

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 office

Earlier this month, Netflix released a mini-series about Bernie Madoff's record-setting Ponzi scam. I was initially unimpressed since it starts out with a lot of annoying documentary tropes:
Tropeyness doesn't make the series unwatchable, but the cookie-cutterness basically says, "hey, we're not going to get too cerebral in this documentary and there will be a lot of people speculating about the dude's motives and personality".

While these tropes are used throughout the documentary, the material does get better. So here's a synopsis of the high points with a little commentary.

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 photo

The cookie-cutter intro was a groaner and I almost hit the power button when the show decided to start at the very beginning (of Madoff, not the Ponzi). As I was trying to dig the remote out of the vein of cheez-its between my Love Sac and couch (dangerously close to the Code Red Big Gulp, I might add), the deep flashback justified itself. Madoff's first career gig was running a tiny OTC trading shop with an unregistered investment office for his father-in-law's clients. The kicker: the investment fund was wiped out in a market crash and he had to borrow his way out.

The narration fast-forwards from this prelude/precedent story to suddenly it's the 80s and Bernie runs a market making firm in NYC. I like that they didn't dwell too much on irrelevant stuff, but it made me curious how he went from penny stonks to Manhattan. They could have at least put in a trading montage (get it?).

For those unfamiliar with the saga (e.g. me), Madoff ran a market maker (a core institution of Wall Street) that gained a foothold in the industry by being an early adopter of computerized trading. According to the documentary, his firm remaining open to trading on Black Wednesday helped cement his stature on the stock exchange.

Kevin Spacey Margin Call I need the money
Different movie but a similarly-inexplicable need for more money. I'm not sure if Spacey's character was supposed to be overleveraged or simply addicted to wealth.

For all his success running a Wall Street casino, Madoff maintained a side gig: an undocumented investment firm that never made a single stock trade. If you aren't familiar with a Ponzi scheme - you basically take investor money and convince them to never withdraw, say, by claiming they are getting a reliable 9% annual return.

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 feeder fund fairfield greenwich

In '92, the SEC found out about Madoff's investment advisory business and shut it down. He managed to fake enough records to hide the Ponzi angle, but it's still not kosher to run an unregulated hedge fund. It wasn't a huge Ponzi at that point, so he was able to borrow his way out of the mess (again).

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 split strike

As you can imagine, he opened up shop once again. His genius strategy? A two-leg option play. Not that there's anything wrong with covered calls and protective puts.

I wonder what premiums were like in the 90s.

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 Harry Markopolos Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 Harry Markopolos congress

The series doesn't look kindly on the SEC, the next chapter of the saga is when in 2000ish Harry Markopolos (the numbers guy at a firm that was considering doing business with Madoff) blows the whistle. Another investigation, another case where SEC managed to not mind that Madoff was running yet another off-books hedge fund.

The Markopolos saga happened over many years, but it wasn't a bunch of wild claims. They started simply with, "these returns haven't been repeated by anyone in the industry" but had some concrete, verifiable observations like, "Madoff claimed trades that exceeded the entire market's volume for a given option".

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 newspaper Jeffry Picower

While the Ponzi operation may have been lost on the SEC, the documentary indicates that it's pretty likely that one of Madoff's top four investors did catch on. Jeffry Picower made consistent withdrawls to the point that he made more money on the scam than even Madoff.

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 coders

The scam required fake trades and fake account statements for clients, Madoff had a couple of coders on staff to cook the books and even create a phony DTCC interface for demos.

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 investor richard schwartz

The documentary interviews a few investors who were left holding the bag. They're all understandably unhappy about the scam, but otherwise pretty reasonable, "I should have done more research/diversified" and "well I had to move out of West Palm Beach, it sucks but it's not the end of the world".

Madoff's main gateway to European money, however, committed suicide.

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 interview

The SEC didn't get him. The FBI didn't get him. The IRS didn't get him. The '08 market crash got him. Enough clients needed to cash out from the imaginary $60B total account value that no amount of loans could bail him out.

The documentary drives home the numerous times (early 90s, early 00's, mid 00's) that the SEC was handed a smoking gun but chose to remain ignorant. Likewise, some of the investors they interview say that they considered the lack of sanctions to be part of the reason they chose to invest. Mention is also given to JPMorgan who happily banked the billions in actual assets without asking questions.

Netflix Bernie Madoff documentary 2023 rain money

The list

Madoff (2023) belongs in my pantheon of investment films. It's a bit fluffy and watered-down, so I wouldn't claim it's among the best. Here they are in no particular order, I might categorize them in the future:

The Big Short movie poster Margin Call movie poster Panic economic crisis movie poster
Enron smartest guys in the room movie poster The China Hustle movie poster The inventor movie poster Elizabeth Holmes
Madoff Netflix documentary movie poster

Future watches

I ran across a list of financial movies. It includes stuff I wouldn't consider in-scope for this list (e.g. The Wolf of Wall Street and Moneyball), but there are some titles I'll check out.

Illbert Ben Garrison Scott Adams vaccine
I guess Scott Adams got vaccinated and then said he regretted it? He's still alive as far as I can tell.

The dudes on Serious Trouble mentioned that Scott Adams (of Dilbert) was threatening to sue Ben Garrison over the above cartoon. If you aren't familiar with Ben Garrison, he's a wingnut political cartoonist known for alt right views and labeling everything in his drawings. He hilariously walks the line between being hardcore antivax and having undying devotion to the president who claimed credit for the vaccines.

For his part, Scott Adams is well known for his incisive commentary on Silicon Valley and office culture long before the days of incubators and scrum masters and Mike Judge satires. I was reasonably familiar with the strip (and had desktop tearaway calendars) so I thought I could say with authority that Adams sympathized with his brainy, honest protagonist. The work-averse Wally and incompetent Pointy-Haired Boss always seemed to be caricatures of officeplace evils rather than role models. So I was midly surprised in 2016 when Cattle told me that Adams was a big fan of a particular presidential candidate that seemed to embody these caricatures. I expected that Adams, as a business owner, simply was another single-issue (taxes) voter. But there was some nonsense about a 'talent stack' and other six sigma-sounding garbage.


I guess somewhere between my last daily Dilbert calendar and 2016, Adams decided to write serious books about personal development. Because he's a third-eschelon mensa wizard or something. One of his big things is persuasion[TM]. Not persuasion like "toastmasters and empathy" but persuasion like "The Walrus and the Carpenter". Adams did a couple Reddit AMAs around this time, so in light of the hilarious antivax comic fight I took a quick trip down memory lane. I recall he made some aggressive political predictions and I wanted to check in:

Does it concern you that the "Trump is a dementia-addled racist" filter predicts his behavior much more accurately than the "Master Persuader" theory you've been peddling for two years?

Did your filter predict a strong economy, peace with North Korea, excellent Supreme Court picks, and crushing ISIS? Mine did.

I tried to get a North Korea tourist visa last year and they said no, what gives? Here are a few more predictions from that post:

Big gains with North Korea peace. Job gains at the lower end. Stocks might seesaw. China will agree to trade deals. U.S. will kill Chinese fentanyl dealers on Chinese soil.

In 2020, President Trump might have the strongest economy in the history of human civilization and a Nobel Peace Prize for North Korea. Unless there is a big surprise, he beats anyone.

Report card

A couple of these predictions partially worked out:
I guess Adams allowed himself to be persuaded of some things that didn't really work out:
Wait, back up one. The "U.S. will kill Chinese fentanyl dealers on Chinese soil." This seems like a relatively inauspicious claim in comparison to peace with North Korea and winning a trade war. But when you think about this claim for just a moment it's tough to conclude that it does anything except demonstrate a severe detachment from reality. Was Adams expecting drone strikes on Chinese fentanyl dealers? Or the Chinese central government embracing a joint task force with a license to kill? It's one thing to buy the Korean peace charade, thinking China is going to relinquish its sovereignty to the US demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the world.

Here's the "strong economy" in two graphs (one fiscal, one monetary):

Federal budget deficit 2001 2021 presidents

M1 M2 money supply 2022 St Louis FED covid money printer

The S&P almost doubled! Sort of like doubling your chips at the blackjack table after hitting the ATM eight times.

"My predictions don't have to be accurate because I convinced you of it"

Persuasion-wise, what would you say is the most impactful persuasion move Trump has done in his presidency thus far?

He sold the country on "fake news" being the normal, not the exception.

Perhaps two decades of being cynical about office culture turned Adams into a nihilist. There's a big difference between saying "Trump sold people on 'fake news'" and saying "Trump enlightened us to CNN's lies". Is Adams in some uber-libertarian endgame where he's saying that the truth is dead so you might as well join the propaganda machine?

Scott Adams tweet Republicans hunted

Probably not, since so many claims (his, politicians', those of people who buy his book) can be so easily disproven. Or maybe he has complete faith in the post-Harambe world of alternative facts. Maybe the final Dilbert strip will have Pointy-Haired Boss telling Dilbert through VR goggles, "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a loafer stamping on a human face - for ever."

But for real this is a parody or performance art, right?

What are your thoughts on Donald Trump and Kanye West recently collaborating on political issues? Do you foresee Kanye running in 2020 and does he exhibit the same persuasion skills that Trump embodies?

2024 seems likely. And yes, he has Master Persuader skills.

Whatever the deal is with Adams, I got a kick out of his beef with Garrison and I quite enjoyed the dead-on prediction that Kanye would run in 2024 and has Master Persuader skills.

Elon Musk blue bird ai art stable diffusion

Do you think Elon musk is wrong to be so concerned about climate change? You've seemed to be not very concerned.

When I start my electric car company, I'll agree with Musk on climate change. Stockholders will expect it.

Either by shutting up or by maxing out his controversy stats, Elon isn't getting quite so much attention in 2023. 2022 ended with a bang though.

Elon not brainwashed retweet tiny testicles
Source. Mildly editorialized.

Dude's trying to create an electronic brain interface but his commentary on mRNA vaccines amounts to retweets of Facebook-tier memes. Perhaps that's just apex persuasiveness as he tries to rebrand Twitter for a different crowd. Relatedly:

Business Insider Former President Donald Trump is preparing a Twitter comeback, with plans to drop an exclusivity agreement he has with his own platform, Truth Social, according to reports.

SEC filings show that Trump is currently obliged to wait six hours after posting on Truth Social before posting the same content on any other social media platform, an agreement that is up for renewal in June.

Could it be? Is he going to do it? Twitter CEO Donald Trump?

Elon Musk Jared Kushner world cup
"I owe them so much money they made me watch soccer."
SCOTUS revisited

Back when the Dobbs and Bruen decisions came out, I wondered if I was uber-naive to buy the line that the Supreme Court has historically been regarded as apolitical.

The Hill Americans remained steadfastly loyal to the high court for decades, Gibson said, embracing it even after the powder-keg Bush v. Gore decision of 2000, which decided an election.

But then, with Dobbs, the high court suffered "the largest decline in legitimacy that's ever been registered, through dozens and dozens of surveys using the same indicators," Gibson said. "I've never seen anything like it."

One Gallup poll, taken after someone leaked a draft of the Dobbs ruling, found that only 25 percent of the American public had confidence in the court, the lowest figure recorded in a half century of polling.

Okay it wasn't just me, nonpartisan polling suggests Americans once considered SCOTUS honorable much more commonly than today.

From the various news and interview snippets I've seen, John Roberts seems insistent that he isn't presiding over the downfall of the apolitical judiciary. So while there are zero practical recourses to last year's decisions (because 2/3rds of congress and states = lol), at least we can take some comfort in knowing that Roberts will have to come to terms with his legacy.

Infopost | 2023.01.24

Margin Call film conference room

Financial stuff from yesterday and today.

Hindenburg Research Soon we will release a report on what we strongly suspect to be the largest corporate fraud in history.

I enjoy a good Hindenburg post, the Nikola one may well be the anthem of the SPAC boom (or RTO take 2). The Lordstown one became a pandemic hobby for me. The Draft Kings exposť made a less convincing case to buy puts, though largely for cynical reasons.

The Adani post has a little of each.

Hindenburg Research The 7 Listed Companies Of Adani Group Are 85%+ Overvalued Even If You Ignore Our Investigation And Take The Companies' Financials At Face Value

The post starts with a pretty strong statement: Adani has fundamentals that rival Tesla's golden age. Beyond that, there's a whole lot of "these dudes have criminal records and/or a history of fraud accuasations" - the kind of stuff that would keep me out of a stock but not convince me to open a short position.

Hindenburg Research Adani fundamentals PE

A new Investopedia link

Investopedia Stock parking is the illegal practice of selling shares to another party with the understanding that the original owner will buy them back after a short time. The goal of stock parking is to conceal a stock's real ownership while maintaining the appearance of regulatory compliance.

The most voluminuous and Hindenburg-like portion of the post is about alleged stock parking on Adani's part. I wasn't sure what benefit there would be to owning more of a grossly-overvalued stock than what was on paper.

Hindenburg Research Publicly listed companies in India are subject to rules that require all promoter holdings (known as insider holdings in the U.S.) to be disclosed. Rules also require that listed companies have at least 25% of the float held by non-promoters in order to mitigate manipulation and insider trading. 4 of Adani's listed companies are on the brink of the delisting threshold due to high promoter ownership.

I guess the allegation is that the stock became grossly overvalued by having a tiny float.

Is there a put bandwagon?

Give me a ticker and a strike price, you think I'm reading all that?

INDA - from looking at their holdings Adani companies make up about 5.2% of this etf's total portfolio. Also may rattle other Indian companies maybe

As of this writing, INDA is +0.19% in after hours.

Michael Burry tweet January 23 2023 technicals dot com

Burry did another Tweet-and-delete. It wasn't obvious from the image, but those years say 2000, 2001, and 2002 (with SPX and the 50/100/200-day moving average). The dd is in the comments:

Oh, I got this.

50, 100, and 200 day simple moving averages on the S and P 500, circa 2001.

He is highlighting a crossover (50 crossing 100, bullish) and an almost crossover, 50 and the 200 (golden cross that mainstream financial media has an orgasm over once in a while, bullish)... so two typically bullish signals that ultimately failed and led to a nice horrific sell off.

That scenario is playing out in real time as we speak, with those crossovers already in play and the golden cross coming up next.

It is pretty cryptic if you don't know much about TA I suppose.

SOURCE: TA nerd since 2000.

I wouldn't read much into it, because, as he states... "maybe". Maybe it happens again, maybe it doesn't.

Flip a godamn quarter and make your bets.

EDIT: Nerd TA statistical gobblegook for those that actually read this: The dump he is referring to set the S and P back an additional 30%+.

Ah. Hmm. I'm not a technicals guy but I kind of feel like that dip on the left side of the circle could be considered the result of a macro event. Even if you think the market bounced back and continued doing its thing in spite of the permanent changes to geopolitics, the SMAs themselves were distorted in a way that didn't happen in 2023.

Review | 2023.01.14

Tiny Tina Wonderlands photo mode sniper

Maybe not all the genres, but FPS, 4X, tabletop, and a meme game are a good sampling.
Spacivilization (Stellaris)

Stellaris Reddit meme eat the envoys

Since /r/stellaris is often on Reddit's default front page with funny posts, I thought I'd give it a go (Steam sale). Civ made #3 on my all-time list and Stellaris seemed to have many of the same 4X elements. Long ago I played Sins of a Solar Empire and appreciated the scale of the game while feeling it largely suffered under its own weight for playability.

Stellaris Jehetma Dominion civilization select

There are a bunch of unique civilizations in the main game and lots more available via DLC. Similar to Civ, each faction has default strengths and preferred government policies.

Stellaris game details setup screen

The game creation screen is also familiar. I went with a small galaxy to minimize clicking.

Stellaris star base fleet corvette

Defense comes in the form of starships, in Stellaris you build a variety of (tech-gated) warships and assign them to fleets. Fleets can have rules of engagement, admirals, and user-defined ship designs (shields vs hull and a variety of weapon types). Cobbling together ship designs is awesome though I wonder how useful it is (unless you know you have a primary opponent whose ships are weak to specific weapons).

Stellaris events Comet Sighted

Stellaris has random narrative events that often provide resource rewards or objectives. Since 4X games are basically a sandbox, it's neat to have narrative elements (that are sometimes funny or cultural references). Alas, I found that they pop up far too frequently. They're not a nuisance, they just feel more like an income source than a neat find.

Stellaris colony ship human Stellaris systems sector map Stellaris galaxy civilizations Urzo Earth Shantar Hathgum

In Civ II, the dominant strategy was to build cities every fourth-ish tile. So the clicks per turn got really bad. Subsequent games penalized overdevelopment/overpopulation by increasing city size and having science and culture output normalized by population. Stellaris provides its own natural growth threshold by limiting the number of habitable planets. And since Stellaris has aliens, everyone has their own suite of environment needs and technology to terraform inhospitable planets.

Stellaris planet window Earth buildings governor

Having just a handful of habitable colonies means you don't have too many planet management screens. But planet management is important to keeping your colonies happy and growing.

Stellaris Hillos Wormhole Stellaris Eye of Hawking

The Stellaris galaxy has some neat scenery.

Stellaris space squids Stellaris first contact alien vessel Stellaris contact alien Star Trek Tamarian Stellaris excavation message in a bottle

First contact in Stellaris is kind of like Civ except that sometimes you find space whales or primitive civilizations.

Stellaris fleet combat battle Stellaris squid whale combat outliner

Combat is pretty. From a distance you see lasers and contrails, you can zoom in and watch ships chase each other in circles. The tactics are all left to the game, user input amounts to fleet size and makeup.

Stellaris archaeological project combat 4x

"Wait a tic, is this game turn-based or real time?" It's real time with frequent/automatic pauses. It works. The pausing is necessary since there's so much to read and click. Nondiscrete time allows for a more fluid pipeline of events.

Stellaris trade Urzo Dynastic Union Stellaris Galactic Union UN proposals

Stellaris has the usual 4x elements of trade, diplomacy, and denouncing frenemies.

Final thoughts

Since it's no longer xmas break, I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to resume my game (or start a new one now that I have some idea of what's going on). Though I have limited seat time, I suspect Stellaris has the "4x doldum" period where in the mid-game you are trying to simultaneously:
This was pretty common in Civ and Sins. It's an un-fun period that sometimes doesn't happen but often does.

thumbnail Gunfire Reborn squad thumbnail Gunfire Reborn squad scope ads thumbnail Gunfire Reborn squad Anxi Desert thumbnail Gunfire Reborn dog load screen
thumbnail Gunfire Reborn squad Elite Beetle

The lolbaters squad played some Gunfire.

Gloomhaven Elder Drake invisible low hp Gloomhaven Vermling Nest bear

A Party Has No Name killed a challenging elder drake and a bunch of squishy vermlings.
Come See My Hole

Come See My Hole stars clouds moon Come See My Hole trees stars Milky Way

The lolbaters meme game this xmas was Come See My Hole.
Wonderlands mop-up

thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands cannon attendant thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands Sunfang Oasis load screen thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands Sunfang Oasis waterfall thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands Blank Slate armor
thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands witch doctor cannon ghost ship life aquatic thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands Sentinel Aphris snake thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands Chaos Chamber
thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands Rude Alex thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands Joyful Roy ADS sniper
thumbnail Tiny Tina Wonderlands Short Cullis

Me and J finished the Wonderlands sidequests and a few rounds of the Chaos Chamber. My favorite part was how visibly angry J became with the "The Ditcher" questline. He's a huge Witcher fan and practically ragequit over the Wonderlands parody character being written as a smug a-hole.

Tiny Tina Wonderlands Stop Habitually Reloading ring
No u.

Elder Scrolls Online content flowchart 2023 Reddit

We grabbed ESO and a few other games, but have moved to The Ascent (more on this in another post). I did watch a quick ESO vid, here are my notes:
Elden Ring/Amogus/Moment of Zen

Elden Ring Among Us Reddit DLC map
Source. From OP: "Has anyone noticed this? This is the shape you get when you draw it. Future dlc location?"

Goatse: gen x and millennials

Dickbutt: millennials and gen z

Among Us s: The future is now old man.

Storypost | 2023.01.10

fantasy football unicorn trophy rainbows

This is a fantasy football post. Tldr: won one league, missed playoffs in the other, there was some banter.
Password is Taco

Fantasy football standings yahoo

Despite having Dalvin Cook, Josh Jacobs, Ezekiel Elliot, and Cam Akers, I missed the playoffs in Password is Taco. Third in PF, last in consistency.
Medieval Gridiron

Fantasy football standings 2022

My PF also looked good in Medieval Gridiron and was able to convert it to a trophy.

Fantasy football final Bills Bengals cancel ESPN

Sants was missing most of his stars so it wasn't really fair, even with the Bills cancellation. Other than benching JuJu, my late-season smart moves were getting Akers and the Jags off the wire. I also picked up Allgeier to prevent Santos (who had no waiver money left) from getting him.

Bantz from Sunday night

Before the Bills-Bengals game:

Android uninstall fantasy football
That time of the year
I don't understand these Android jokes

Uninstall meme UrbanDictionary
Self-uninstall is commonly the highest tier ragequit.
Did Santos go back to the store and return Fantasy Football?
Wait, wait, Chris hasn't even played his whole team yet
Stats guy, what is this biggest MOV for a championship final?
Quick, someone photoshop Santos's face on here
[Posts unflattering 'shop]
Poor sportsmanship from the champ, but well played

Champ-elect. The LMs still have to certify the result.
That's scheduled for January 6th, I assume?

Fantasy football championship trophy box Trophy Smack
The victory was eventually certified.

The LM note

One Trade Too Many
It's all over and Chris is d'champion once more. Numbero Uno, if you will. He jumped out to a 6-1 record, putting to shame the ESPN and Fantasy Pros rankings (7th and 10th respectively). Josh Allen was unstoppable early on, Josh Jacobs was the comeback player of the year, and as usual Kelce was in a category of his own. With his bye week locked, he stumbled into the playoffs with two games under 80, but rebounded when it mattered averaging 122.

The playoff weeks were particularly odd scoring this year. In the Championship game Chris got 4.3 from Allen+Kelce, compared to 22.3 from Aker+JagsD! Santos bench was filled with all-stars (Hurts, Hopkins, Henry). His highest scoring player? Jared-fucking-Goff.

It's crazy and unpredictable, but that's how it goes. Chris joins the elite squad with multiple championships (Brian, Ty, Dan, JR, and maybe Kevin if we count pre-espn). Santos joins an even more elite squad of losing 4 times in the championship game - ever the bridesmaid. Ty slid in 3rd for his 4th podium finish in 6 years (after not even getting to the playoffs in the first 7).

We'll see you next year. Until then, let's all think about how Santos traded CMC (27.3 points in wk17) for Henry (0), leaving him to play Foreman (3.5), and lose by only 14.4.

Allen was my keeper, I will miss him next year. For finishing the #2 RB Jacobs was very boom/bust, but I got him a little later than ADP. Kelce is my perennial WAR pick and, well:

Rank Player Points
1 Travis Kelce 218
2 George Kittle 144
3 Taysom Hill 142
4 T.J. Hockenson 133
5 Mark Andrews 123
6 Even Engram 107
7 Cole Kmet 99
8 Juwan Johnson 94

Spongebob meme about explaining memes and references
It me.

Lulzpost | 2023.01.09

Old MLB logos Reddit
Source. Some retired MLB logos.

Look, I haven't followed baseball since the strike and I hate all those sites that steal content from the Jalponiks and Reddits of the world. But here is some baseball content stolen from Reddit cause, like, it was funny and I learned cool A's facts.

Also, funny comments deserve recognition, looking at you /u/Ted_Dongelman. I just wish the /r/baseball crowd had set up their avatars so the quotes below didn't look so lifeless. (I re-scrape every time I generate the page, so maybe in the future they will populate).

Chicago Cubs logos 1934 1942 1950

old cubs logos

No Cubs logo designer had actually seen a bear until 1994. Love the nips on #1.

Sure, they aren't the most bearlike bears, but they strangely seem to capture the national zeitgeist:
Dan Snyder

Washington Football Team logos Griffins Renegades Redtails

I'm not going to post the cropped Braves logo, it's plenty visible at the top of this post. Instead, here's the NFL version.

The braves one looks like it came out of a racism competition
You're the worst pirate I've ever heard of

Pittsburgh Pirates airquotes logo Dr Evil

Before italics and boldface were a thing, people used quotation marks for emphasis. Or something, all I know is that it's hilarious that they put quotes around "The Pirates".

"The Pirates"

Just missing the apostrophe - "The Pirate's".

... and then blame autocorrect.
The dapper pachyderm

Oakland Athletics elephant 90s logo deal with it sunglasses

Near and dear to my 12-year old heart.

The only problem with the A's logo is it's unreasonably cool

That elephant picks up his date in his Trans Am and honks instead of walking up to the door to greet her.

That Oakland one is cool is hell. It also looks like the Phillies bird (why?) is scolding the Cub for being upset at the Pirates using quotes in their name.

We want an elephant with attitude. He's edgy, he's in your face. You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" This is an elephant who gets biz-zay, consistently and thoroughly.

rad elephant died on the way to his home planet


Wikipedia hole

The A's played in Shibe Park (later named Connie Mack Stadium). Shibe, first name escapes me, wanna say Ben, was an early owner of the A's.

Shibe owned an elephant.

His elephant became the team mascot.

The Philadelphia A's are the coolest team in sports. Bets team in baseball from 1910 to 1930. 6 World Series titles in 20 years. Old heads in Philly (ex. My grandparents) are still fans of the A's.

Storypost | 2023.01.07

Pauly Shore Santa Weasel

A few pics from holiday travel.

Ballast Point Egg Nog cream ale Ale Nog Westfield Mall UTC fish sculpture rain Text chat Irvine Potbelly closed sadness Glitter Globe gin liqueur snow globe gold flecks Costco Big Bear mountain ski lines

Left to right:

Christmas yard decoration AT-AT Star Wars
Hoth invasion vibes.

Christmas was pleasant. Dani loved her magnetic vegetable cutting board. I loved my white elephant National Lampoon gift box. There were dogs and bubbles and a few more rounds of Charterstone.

thumbnail Turtle night light thumbnail Beanie thumbnail Bubbles
thumbnail Bubbles
thumbnail National Lampoon Christmas white elephant gift thumbnail Toy cutting board xmas thumbnail Bubbles
thumbnail Highway Sonoma weather thumbnail Xmas yard decorations penguins snowmen camper thumbnail Golden retriever xmas Monkey Around game
Around the county

Bridge walk

We enjoyed the cold weather, the redwoods, and the cider in Sebastopol's new(-ish?) town center.

Horse carrot nom Barn horses tongue Cow hills eating Goat

Airport Prado toast

Flying to/from STS was pretty easy.
Charles Schulz airport terminal Charles Schulz airport Snoopy Red Baron STS terminal Tablet animal dress up game xmas

The same was not true for people on Southwest.

Just learned about this SWA shitshow
It's so hosed
It sounds like it lol
Like 60-70% of flights just cancelled

What stats for other airlines?
Cause the weather looked srs.
2022 Christmas travel delays Southwest
pretty sure the math says you can add everyone else up
and southwest is still on top
Did they not buy enough de-icer or what?
Their schedules too tight so crap cascaded?
scheduling software took a dump

left all their pilots to hang out and dry
Did they get cybered or did the parameters max out the 2080s running their data center?
Like how does software go TU in 2022.
From what I read there was a cascading failure after cancellations due to weather
that was the first failure
then scheduling took a dump

Cause it like tries to optimize rebooking everybody or something?
Staff scheduling
Hit the ol' programmer threshold of 'impossible scenario did not implement'?
People aren't in the place the computer thinks they are
Ah. That's why we need gps probes in the usual place.
Some speculation that they are running old ass software and that the lack of hubs (in SWA's model) makes it hard to recover from large issues.
Henhouse Brewing Google Maps Reptilian Shadow Government
Kshot get the hook ready and look for a flare near O69.
Damn those are cool
that's a short runway

Oh suddenly runways are too short. [Ed: kshot recently upgraded from prop to jet]
Must be the mo problems rappers talk about
Longer than a carrier

Jeremy Khan tweet Southwest flights
And finally

Pppppppiiooiiiikieeeeeqqqq l

(Via text)

Gallerypost | 2023.01.06

Surfing Blacks Beach La Jolla January 06 2023 barrel

Couldn't resist with that title. Photo conditions today were a bit challenging. Even at low tide, the break was pretty far out. The inside waves were also tall and mushy enough to occlude a lot of the action and throw mist on the rest. I stopped over at Scripps after Black's but the wind had killed it. I cropped the bottom of most of these.

Surfing Blacks Beach La Jolla January 06 2023 Surfing Blacks Beach La Jolla January 06 2023 Surfing Blacks Beach La Jolla January 06 2023

The California coast is experiencing its first-ever swell and a lot of people are posting pictures and videos here about it. On a few of these so-called "big wave" posts, I notice that no one has commented (yet) that the waves would actually be considered a lot smaller by Hawaiian standards.

If you're a surfer from Hawai'i, have ever visited Hawai'i, or have ever watched videos of J.O.B. / Florence bros charging massive 3rd reef Pipeline, make sure you comment on each of these "big wave" posts so that the OP and these other haole kooks know that these waves don't compare to the big waves in Hawai'i.

It's important to do this because the OPs might not realize (or care) that that what is considered an unusually large wave by their standards and/or where they're located, might be a merely average-sized wave by your standards and/or for where you surf.


  • 10' California = 1' Hawaiian scale

  • <10' California = Flat in Hawai'i

  • Mentioning the correct Hawaiian scale measurement in the comments demonstrates your superior surfing ability and comfort level in big waves

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