Mason

His mother came back from the testing and told me he can’t see much and can’t hear at all, and… you know I’ve tried and failed to explain what that moment was like. 
It was nothing I had anticipated. I expected to be hit with a pang of sadness and to be left twisting in pain of the optimism and hope being abruptly ripped away. And I thought I’d muster my resilience and loyalty to keep going and “do the best despite his challenges.” The moment was none of those. I felt n much of anything and just said “Pfffffft.”
I. SAID. “PFFFFFFT.” 
And I strung together words to say something like “He knows how to connect with us. OK, alright, so it’s not the sound or sight. It’s on us to find his channel.” 
“He’s not challenged. He’s challenging us.” 
When he wasn’t bossing me around (he *did* know how to connect, if I wasn’t clear earlier), he taught me the importance of being present and the joy of sharing a moment in life. 
I credit all of this to him and his parents. You know I am usually all about validating and accepting our “negative” emotions without judgment. His mother though, when she told me the news, showed absolutely no sadness, no pity on herself or her baby, no grief of what his life could have been. She was only looking forward to enjoying their life together. They changed me in one moment, and they did that completely unknowingly. 
I think of Mason all the time. 

Trump is swept away in the Trump fever. Winning is the last thing he wants. 

First, let’s get on the same page. Not all politicians that run a campaign want to or plan to win. 

The recent example is the Brexit. As soon as they won the referendum, all leaders of the movement scattered. They literally couldn’t find any Brexit Supporters. The position of PM was left to the reluctant Theresa May, who opposed Brexit.

Speaking of May, we have a local example in Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party of Canada. In the 2015 federal election, she promised abolition of university tuitions and pardon of student loans greater than $10K. 

Because her party was not going to win, this did not face the same level of scrutiny, only leaving a massively pleasant feeling in the hearts of many voters. This is the type of promise that one makes only when they are certain they don have to follow up on it, however. Because they can’t. Her plan to finance this plan? Raise the corporate tax to 19 %. The End. If there were any attention on May at all, there is no way this got away the way it did. 

Anyone who has been paying attention to Canada’s politics know one thing. Messing with corporate taxes is very tricky with never the expected results. For years, provinces cut corporate taxes using “stimulating economy” as an excuse. It accomplished the true aim – winning the elections – but did nothing to the economy. Raising corporate taxes are reported by many researchers as being more unpredictable (e.g. Fraser Institute, 2015). 

It would be a massive insult to Elizabeth May for me to compare her to Trump in the degree of the empty promises. 

Trump rarely even explains how he plans to make his promises come true, and, when he does, the plans are completely impossible. Not infeasible but impossible. He promises, for instance, to personally hire and appoint the best law enforcement officers and judges. That is the states’ autonomy, and POTUS has no authority to do that. 

He tells you he will eliminate violence from the streets and celebrates endorsements from NRA. He promises to look after the African American children in poverty with no details and no identification of the causes. Protection of legal immigrants without any details on what he is protecting them from. Equal rights for LGBTQ without even knowing how to pronounce it. Promises to go after terrorists fast and hard, implying USA currently does not have the best intelligence. Vowing to form alliance with Isreal with no consideration to the sensitive situations of middle east.

He is a man in a reality show that does not plan to be elected. 

His “show,” however, will have a long-lasting impact on the country’s politics. In the way you can’t stop wondering “what if” about that prom date that moved away. Our imagination favours the promises of the future. Clinton, if she is elected, will have to battle against these imaginations, not against what Trump would have actually accomplished. And, as we all know, that is an impossible ask.

Solved: Delonghi Magnifica coffee making weak coffee and spilling grounds everywhere 

I just found a solution to the problem I’ve had for years and never found the solution online. So I am putting it here just in case other people need it. 

Issue: 
Coffee is sometimes very weak

Other symptoms: 

  • Coffee grounds spill all over inside the machine
  • Some pucks are nice and thick, and some come out thin. 
  • Coffee gets stuck between the mill and the infuser in the feeder chute 

Solution: 

  1. Clean inside the infuser. 
  2. If this doesn’t work, clean and lubricate inside the infuser and replace the two O-rings. 

Long description: 

I was always told by the repair guys it malfunctions because the beans I use are too oily. I use European style dry beans, but they were insistent. So I never thought beyond it. 

When the machine is on and idol, I gently inserted a chopstick or spoon handle down the bypass feeder, trying to push down the ground coffee that’s stuck. 

Yesterday I finally realized that the bean is not stuck – it’s that the infuser is not properly depressing. 

Magnifica infuser has that metal disc filter, which is easily visible. That part is pulled down as the infuser is raised to the coffee infeed and to the water dispensing part. As it is pulled down, it creates the pocket where the puck is formed. 

When you take the machine in for maintenance, the tech would take this sliding mechanism apart, replace the o rings and lubricate the inside. After a while, it wears down and need to be refreshed. 

Otherwise, the disc filter part doesn’t properly slide down and the top of the infuser stays flat. Coffee beans that are spilling is dry, this is probably why.  

Also, the filter may only slide down partially. This is why the puck is thin. 

If it’s wet coffee grounds that are spilling, this is a weird one. Physical mechanism of this is hard to explain. But I watched it with my own eyes that the arm that scrapes the puck off broke the puck and left some on the infuser, which it scraped off backwards on the way back. All these are caused by the infuser being moved around the fixed notches on the machine side that fit into the gears on the infuser. So why should the timing be off? It might be because the disc and the rest aren’t completely fixed. Maybe other reasons. What I can tell you is that I was watching it as it happened. 

Anyway. Voila! No more wasted beans. No more frustration of not knowing if the next cup is decent or never getting a decent cup. No more frustration of cleaning the inside every day! 

This procedure should be used in between your regular maintenance and not as a substitute to it. This type of machine has a lot of moving parts, experience a lot of heat and pressure, and puts through a lot of super hot water. There are many other gaskets and parts requiring maintenance. Please do not skip the manufacturer-recommended periodic maintenance. 

Why police explanation of Charles Kinsey shooting is wrong

The officer said he had thought the autistic man had a firearm.

The officer said that he thought the autistic man was a danger to himself and/or to public. 

So the officer discharged his firearm and accidentally shoots the black care worker. 

Here is why this explanation makes no sense. 

The autistic man still had the toy truck (which is seen right next to him after he was cuffed). The officer still manages to get out from behind the cover and approach the two men. This seems to support that he was not afraid of the autistic man and he knew it was not a firearm. 

The right way to handle being wrong

en we have done, or are about to do, something less than acceptable, there are two distinct groups of people within the sane and conscientious. 
Justifiers: People who explain why what they did weren’t all that bad, why they had no other choice, how it was a big bad but still OK because it did no harm to anyone, or how they are so selfless all the time that they are allowed to be selfish once in a while. 

Accepters: People who acknowledge “Well, that was a selfish choice I made” and either accept that they are not as selfless as they wish to be and/or that they had a weak moment. 

The only one of those groups has a potential for any personal growth. 

You might write big essays citing academic papers to dispute me. You might have multiple Ph.D.s. But one fact is indisputable.

Justifiers validate my point by the very fact they are justifying their choice to themselves. Let that sink in for a second. The person does something, and they justify the choice to themselves, which is probably a response to them criticizing their own choice to themselves. There is nothing but “self” in that picture: it shuts everything else out. It protects and preserves the status quo. 
Now, I’m not saying it’s evil to do that. I am saying it needs to be recognized as an ill-adapted coping mechanism. Just like many other ill-adapted coping mechanism, it lets you survive that moment of self-criticism and, more importantly, fear of disappointing others. And, just like any other ill-adapted coping mechanism, it’s biggest impact on your life is to keep you from growing. 

But what could we have done, really. This society puts so much guilt, shame, and damages to reputation on having been wrong. This is a burden no one is expected to live with, so we have to go back and make it not wrong. 

My point is this. This, the situation you grew up with, the pressure you accept as normal, isn’t “normal.” Most of the world, if you say “well, I guess that wasn’t the best choice I could have made,” they reward you for acknowledging it not punish you for having made the mistake and encourage and support you to do better in the future. 

Every culture has positives and negatives. Our culture too, as much as we’d like to think it’s perfect, has devastating negatives. This one is one of them. It is up to us to get past it. The first step is admitting. 

Don’t accept this as your normal

I’ve been thinking about the day a stranger ran up to me and handed me a special edition newspaper on my way home from high school. I had never even seen a free copy of newspaper let alone a special edition printed mid-day.

 
I can still see exactly where I was, what I was wearing, and what it said on the front page in the biggest font I’d ever seen in my life “USA INVADES KUWAIT.”
 
I stood there frozen, hoping I’d just wake up from the bad dream. This is the day I realized that we are not past killing each other. People are killing each other in masses every day since then.
How did we get to the point a gay man shoots up a gay bar. Police officers justifying their shooting by saying “I was scared.” A protester shoots down the officers who are protecting the protest.
 
I worry about the younger people who are growing up in this. We need to let them know that “common” and “often” and “status quo” do not equal “normal.” Do not have to accept this as your normal.