'Star Wars: Ahsoka' is finally here

The long awaited Star Wars: Ahsoka offers a glimpse into the time between the fall of the Republic and the beginning of the rebellion against the Empire.

Ashoka Tano, dedicated padawan Jedi and apprentice to Anakin Skywalker, was tossed from the Jedi order on trumped up charges. After clearing herself, the Togrutan force user declined to rejoin the order and disappeared, conveniently allowing her to survive 'Order 66.' We know that in time Ahsoka will aid the budding rebellion and face off against her dreaded former master, but what happened in between?

Star Wars: Ahsoka not only picks up with the story of WHAT HAPPENED??!? after the Jedi fell, it shares a few excellent tidbits about her past well, like where those white lightsabers come from! Ashoka is aided by old friends, and new, as well as enemies. See the Inquisitors begin to rise, and the Jedi light fades from the galaxy.

I'm a huge Ahsoka fan, and this one of the best pieces of Star Wars fiction I've read in a long while!

Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

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Under-educated white guys against Trump


A bunch of dudes who lack college degrees figured out how to make a video, and they hate Donald.

I also left school early, and can't stand Donald.

(Thanks, Eric!) Read the rest

First impressions of Amazon's Echo Dot


I didn't think an IoT voice assistant was for me, but at $50 I couldn't resist the Amazon Echo Dot. I'm finding Alexa to be handy for lots of little things.

Amazon's hockey puck like Echo Dot gives you all the utility of their personal assistant Alexa at pretty low price. I felt it wouldn't be too much of a disaster if the thing never got used. Thus far it is proving to be pretty handy.

Echo Dot pairs with bluetooth speakers pretty well, and I enjoy being able to voice control my radio. Switching between news, music and podcasts is easy. I've found that this alone makes Echo Dot useful to me. Being able to occasionally stop the sound and ask Alexa for time time, weather in San Francisco or other simple, frequent searches one may perform is strangely satisfying, and temporarily provides an 'I live in the future' feeling.

Next up will be syncing it with my Fitbit, tho I'm not sure what that is really going to do for me.

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) - Black via Amazon Read the rest

Things I miss: Davey and Goliath

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No one else thought a talking dog teaching us about God's love was weird? I kinda enjoyed these as a kid but always felt something was off... Read the rest

Large dog surfing


You can really see the dogs adjusting their balance and controlling the boards! Haole and Hanzo are both awesome! Read the rest

Ruth Bader Ginsburg joins the Washington National Opera


On November 12th, and for one night only, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will portray the Duchess of Krakenthorp in the Washington National Opera's production of "The Daughter of the Regiment."

Please note: this is not the Notorious RBG's first role in an opera! Also, while the Duchess does not sing she will bust loose with the funny.

Via NPR:

It's no cameo. According to the Washington National Opera, while this opera is "best known for its vocal acrobatics, the high-comedy antics" of the nonsinging duchess "often steal the show."

Indeed, for Ginsburg's one-night stand, the script has been altered. At one point, for example, after the duchess observes that the best leaders of the House of Krakenthorp have been "persons with open but not empty minds, individuals willing to listen and learn," she looks at the audience meaningfully, and asks, "Is it any wonder that the most valorous members ... have been women?"

She goes on to list the qualifications for admission to the House of Krakenthorp, some of which sound suspiciously like the qualifications for being a Supreme Court justice — i.e., "must possess the fortitude to undergo intense scrutiny," and have a "character beyond reproach."

The 83-year-old justice will join a long list of notables who have played the Duchess of Krakenthorp — among them comediennes Bea Arthur and Hermione Gingold and retiring opera stars like Kiri Te Kanawa and Montserrat Caballe.

Ginsburg has had a lifetime love affair with opera. She often lectures about the law in opera and has said that her one regret in life is that she could not be a real operatic diva.

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80th birthday party for Emperor Norton's Bridge, Saturday Nov. 12th in San Francisco


Join the Emperor's Bridge folks for a short adventure and a fun celebration! Help celebrate Emperor Norton's bridge's birthday!

If you're in the Bay Area on November 12th, please join The Emperor's Bridge Campaign for a celebration to wish the Emperor's bridge a happy 80th birthday — and to show your support for naming the Emperor's bridge...for him!


The Emperor Norton Bridge Turns 80

Saturday 12 November 2016

2 p.m.

Gather in Rincon Park (map)

For picture-postcard views of the bridge

2:30 p.m.

Short walk to Red's Java House

3 to 5 p.m.

Red's Java House (patio) (map)

Beautiful views of the Bay and bridge

Plus: An update on the Campaign's effort to have the bridge named for Emperor Norton in 2022


Although Red's will appreciate the appropriate coin for drinks and food!

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Things I miss: Kool & the Gang


2013's Kool for the Holidays didn't really serve as the comeback I was hoping for. Read the rest

Clinton deftly managed Trump into collapse


Ezra Klein has a wonderful piece on Vox, "Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins," that well describes the master class in managing a bully into hanging himself these general election debates have been. Klein points out how Clinton pushed all Trump's buttons and practically had him performing tricks on command.

Via Vox:

Trump’s meltdown wasn’t an accident. The Clinton campaign coolly analyzed his weaknesses and then sprung trap after trap to take advantage of them.

Clinton’s successful execution of this strategy has been, fittingly, the product of traits that she’s often criticized for: her caution, her overpreparation, her blandness. And her particular ability to goad Trump and blunt the effectiveness of his political style has been inextricable from her gender. The result has been a political achievement of awesome dimensions, but one that Clinton gets scarce credit for because it looks like something Trump is doing, rather than something she is doing — which is, of course, the point.

It began in the first debate. "Donald," she kept saying. No one quite knows why Trump so loathes the sound of his first name, but he does. He quickly tried to shame Clinton into showing him more respect. "Secretary Clinton -- yes, is that okay?" he said, after she once again called him Donald. "Good. I want you to be very happy. It's very important to me."

Clinton’s next answer: "In fact, Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis..."

Each debate has followed the same pattern.

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Hot Wheels retro Batmobile


This die cast Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment collection Batmobile brings me a ton of joy.

I also have the Mystery Machine. Read the rest

Black Sabbath For Ukulele


The music book we've all been waiting for: Black Sabbath For Ukulele

Youtuber seesocovers is pretty amazing!

Black Sabbath For Ukulele via Amazon

(Thanks, Peter!) Read the rest

Weight works better than volume for my baking


I've found that weighing ingredients makes a huge difference in my baking, so I've added a digital scale.

This simple scale zeros out easily, and its maximum capacity of 11lbs pretty much ensures I won't need something larger.

When baking cookies, bread or cakes I've found that simply scooping ingredients via cup measure, or measuring spoon, and result in some pretty large differences when compared to weighing out exactly the amounts called for.

Here is an online calculator to help you convert volume based recipes to weight, if you'd like to try. I have found cooking by weight makes for a more consistent product. I have an easier time getting chocolate chip cookies just like I want them.

Etekcity Digital Multifunction Food Kitchen Scale, Stainless Steel,11lb 5kg, Silver (Batteries Included) via Amazon Read the rest

Tractor pull goes amazingly wrong


Wow! Maybe tighten down those bolts next time?

(Thanks, Tim!) Read the rest

See one of the best ventriloquists in the world, tonight in LA


Karl Herlinger is one of the best ventriloquists in the world, and he'll be performing at Scot Nery's Boobie Trap tonight in Los Angeles!

Every Wednesday at 8pm Scot Nery gathers a cast of ridiculous folk, who are also ridiculously talented, and just sort of lets them each go for a couple minutes. It is, from what I can tell a modern, madcap take on the Gong Show. Michael reviewed Boobie Trap a few weeks ago!

Scot himself is an amazing comedian and a tremendous host. If I were in LA tonight, I'd be there!

Boobie Trap runs every Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the historic Fais Do Do theater, 5257 W. Adams Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90016. There is an after party next door that sounds like a blast, as well. Read the rest

Bad luck ruins Oregonian snowmobile for weed swap

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Oregonian Jason Owens wanted a snowmobile and had a little over a pound and a half of marijuana. Craigslist seems the obvious path to success, right? Sadly, the craigslist seller Mr. Owens contacted was a cop.

Recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon, but must be sold, especially in these amounts, via a dispensary. Mr. Owens was charged with adult possession of marijuana, adult delivery of marijuana and driving with a suspended license.

Via KIRO7 Seattle:

A 29-year-old man was cited after trying to buy a snowmobile with marijuana over the weekend, Oregon State Police said.

Troopers said last week, Jason Owen contacted the owner of a snowmobile on Craigslist and asked if the owner would consider a pound of marijuana in trade for the vehicle.

The owner of the snowmobile was an Oregon State Trooper out of the Salem Area Command.

On Saturday, the trooper agreed to meet with Owen and discuss the trade at a gas station.

Several patrol vehicles initiated a traffic stop and the trooper identified himself and told Owen he was committing a crime.

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Christmas puppy surprises

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Wondering what to get your loved one this holiday season? Read the rest

Laura Benanti's baffling Melania trump-splains things to Stephen Colbert


Melania Trump's re-emergence, after her bout with plagiarism, finally allowed Stephen Colbert to bring back the fantastic Laura Benanti. Bennati's impersonation of Mrs. Trump is as wonderful as last Saturday's SNL masterpiece.

You'll want to watch to the end, Mrs. Trump's exit is spectacular. Read the rest

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