Are flapjacks and pancakes the same thing?

Where we see an actual difference in flapjacks and pancakes is in the U.K. English “pancakes” are the same as American pancakes, but English “flapjacks” are more like American granola bars. They’re commonly made of rolled oats, butter and brown sugar, then baked in a tray and cut into squares or rectangles. It’s also normal to add your own touches like chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, yogurt and toffee pieces

(Via MEL Magazine)

Now we know, and knowing is half the battle.

There is no way to escape the machine systems that surveil us, whether we are shopping, driving or walking in the park. All roads to economic and social participation now lead through surveillance capitalism’s profit-maximizing institutional terrain, a condition that has intensified during nearly two years of global plague.

(Shoshana Zuboff via NYT)

Compare this with the underhanded way Vizio spies on paying customers:

If you think that some companies want to make money the honest way, by selling you stuff, while other companies are full of evil wizards who want to spy on you in order to deprive you of free will, then the answer is simple: just pay for stuff, and you’ll be fine. But time and again, we learn that companies spy on you – and abuse you in other ways – whenever it suits them – even companies that make a lot of noise about how they don’t need to spy on you to make money.

(Via Cory Doctorow)

The outside world is surveilled. I don’t like it. What I can do about it, I do.

The inside world, the world in my house and yard and car, that I only want surveilled by one person — me.

  • When I shop for a new thing I ask a few key questions:
    • Will the device work without a network connection?
    • Without a subscription?
    • Without advertising? Tracking?
    • Do I own the thing I bought?
    • Can I repair it? Modify it? Resell it?

    Analog stuff is great. There is no debate. Getting “smart” in one’s home is harder.

    H/t Dave Pell.

    Here I go again.

    I’m back in Seoul, South Korea for work.

    I was slated to return for months. My repeated delays and cancellations were due to combinations of bureaucracy, incompetence, miscommunication (in English), inability to communicate (in Korean), apathy (mine), and a lack of urgency (not mine).

    I shall spare you, Dear Friends, of the trials of the earlier travel attempts. At least, I shall spare you of them for now.

    This final, ultimately successful journey came out of the last failed try. We shifted the Korean consulate handling my paperwork from Atlanta (I’m still not sure if anyone actually works there except for one woman who spoke no English) to San Francisco. This bit of rehoming required me to fly on 2 distinct itineraries: CHA – ATL – SFO on Wednesday morning, and SFO – ICN at 23:55 Wednesday.

    Aside: the late night flight to Korea had me leave on Wednesday and arrive on Friday! Thank you, International Date Line!

    For my itinerary to work I needed my COVID-19 quarantine exemption certificate from the San Francisco Consulate. The idea was that it would be ready for me when I landed in SFO. I would saunter to the lounge, print it off, and be ready when I could check into my flight some 8 hours later.

    There was no COVID-19 quarantine exemption certificate from the San Francisco Consulate waiting for me in my inbox when I landed. Word was that it had not made its way yet from the Ministry in Seoul.

    Two options presented themselves to me: return home and try again with a brand new submission; or lay up in SF and hope the paperwork arrives before the next day’s flight. I went with option 2.

    Which brings us to my packing for this trip.

    I wanted to bring only carry-on bags this time. The new 2 itinerary approach made it important to not check a bag. To do so would mean having to leave security, claim the bag, check it in again under the second itinerary, and again claim it at Incheon Airport.

    I got very close to achieving this goal.

    On my last trip I worked on a second customer. I was supposed to continue to support them from the US. That didn’t pan out, but the 2.2KG (about 5 lbs) laptop and charger I was given for the support still made it home with me. I have to return it on this trip, and that extra bulk was the tipping point.

    Not that I didn’t try to carry on/gate check the suitcase I used. Sadly it is the biggest of my suitcases and Delta made me check it through to San Francisco. See below for the things I brought for my 5-ish week stay.

    Another complicating factor was that I booked my flights through Delta but the SFO – ICN leg was on Korean Airlines, a Delta codeshare partner. Korean only flies the one flight out of SFO, so their ticketing desk does not open until about 3 hours before boarding with no on-line check-in option.


    The suitcase contained:

    • 4 sets of socks, underwear, t-shirts, and handkerchiefs
    • 2 sweaters
    • 3 button down shirts
    • 2 trousers
    • workout shorts/swimsuit and shirt
    • lightweight trainers
    • puffer coat, gloves, hat, and cap
    • 2 Raspberry Pis
    • camera tripod
    • 2 camera lenses
    • 2 Roost laptop stands
    • Tom Bihn Freudian Slip for my Synik 30 backpack with carious pens, cables, and power adaptors
    • set of collapsable plates and bowls
    • 50 packs of instant Starbucks coffee in a plastic bag
    • toiletries
    • belt and neck tie
    • electric beard trimmer

    The Synik 30 backpack had, among other things:

    • work MacBook Air
    • personal MacBook Pro 15
    • afore mentioned heavy laptop
    • camera with lens
    • Beats pro headphones
    • power cords, adaptors, and cables
    • emergency food stash
    • business cards and ID badges
    • water bottle
    • coffee travel container
    • 3-1-1 bag of liquids and meds
    • Logitech Anywhere MX mouse
    • copies of my COVID vaccination, quarantine exemption certificate, COVID test results
    • Apple Watch, series 2 (work) and 5 (personal)
    • travel towel
    • shemaug 

    Tom Bihn Le Grande Derrière had:

    • wallet with cash, credit cards
    • flashlight
    • notebook
    • pen
    • Apple Magic Keyboard (JIS)
    • Apple Magic Trackpad
    • Apple iPad Mini 5
    • battery pack
    • Onyx Boox ereader
    • various cables and adaptor
    • emergency med kit (sanitizer, bandages, aspirin, &c.)
    • COVID-19 vaccination card (in a rugged clear plastic bag)

    Tom Bihn Handy Little Thing had:

    • playing cards and dice
    • eye mask
    • Apple headphones
    • crystalized lime and lemon packets
    • wipes
    • beverage holders
    • pens
    • hot sauce

    On me:

    • Clothes: shoes, socks, trousers, underwear, t-shirt, button-down, travel vest, travel blazer
    • travel wallet: passport with visa, receipts, cash, business cards
    • phones, iPhone SE 2020 (work) and XS Max (personal)
    • Garmin Instinct Tactical watch
    • sunglasses

    What did I leave out that I should have had?

    • HDMI cable
    • Raspberry Pi power adaptor
    • powered USB hub power cord
    • Logitech K810 keyboard
    • beard trimmer power cord
    • nail clippers
    • drain stopper

    There is a mountain outside my front door.

    It’s not strictly my front door. I’m staying on a hotel. And yet the mountain is there, all indifferent to the distinction.

    The mountain is Mt. Namsan, South Mountain. Namsan Park encompasses the mountain.

    Namsan modest in demeanor and elevation (262 meters or 860 feet). Historical signs sprout along the manicured paths and steps. It’s delightful, and yet the mountain is there.

    I tried walking up it three different times. I’ve made it to the top exactly zero times. All three of my walks end-to-end might summit me. And yet the mountain is there.

    Groups of puffer coated elderly women chatter up the mountain. Besuited business people traipse up it. School children play running in circle games summit. And yet the mountain is there.

    That wheezing puddle of sweat on the side in the shade? That, Dear Friends, is me. I am there on the mountain. Namsan is there, too, under me being indifferent.

    Opposite of Namsan is Seoul Station. I visited it several times on my last trip including a sojourn on the departure steps waiting for my train to rapid me away to Busan. There is a big COVID testing tent there.

    There are homeless at Seoul Station. There are homeless along the walking way to Seoul Station. Much like in Japan, they are visible but not soliciting. Today I saw some of them at the station in worship in the lovely fall sun singing hymns.

    Above them is the walkway I took from the hotel to the station. Large circular planters house plants of all kinds. There are at least 3 pianos along the path. Sentries patrol the walk. In the before times there were cute coffee shops and trinket purveyors.

    My work week was typical pandemic – I worked from my hotel because I needed a 3rd negative test to go to the customer site. Many WebEx and Teams calls were executed.

    Less than 4 weeks to my return home.

    I’m back in Korea. I do not want to be here.

    I retuned to Seoul for work, to finish off a project I started in April on my last trip. It took 5.5 months to get me back, and the clock on the 5.5 months started before I left the last time. Had I been successful earlier, I would be on my way home by now, forced to return because of the magic 180 day threshold over which tax implications become expensive.

    I don’t believe in this project even though it will succeed, but that’s not all of why I don’t want to be here.

    The COVID numbers here are 4-10 times what they were when I left. The country says they’re about to reach 70% vaccination and about to enter their “living with COVID” phase. The 70% are of people with at least one dose, and that is adults. The government will change their reporting to focus on hospitalizations and deaths instead of positive tests. Restrictions will relax.

    South Korea is a great example of hygiene theatre being hand waiving – the mandate on hand sanitization is all for show, for example – but that is not all of why I do not want to be here.

    I’m working face-to-face with colleagues from all over. They are smart, capable people. In the before times I would enjoy hanging out with them, getting to know them, and establishing relationships.

    I’m reluctant to do that kind of hanging out in these times, but that isn’t all of why I don’t want to be here.

    For the first time in longer than I can remember, I am homesick. My illness began before I left. I’ve put down roots, you see, and I’m not happy to leave them. I definitely do not want to rip them up.

    UPDATE: this was a post I meant to send a week ago.

    # cerise

    ## Noun

    1. a red the color of ripe cherries
    – Synonyms
    – cherry
    – cherry red
    – Less specific
    – red
    – redness
    – Related
    – red
    – reddish
    – ruddy
    – blood-red
    – carmine
    – cerise
    – cherry
    – cherry-red
    – crimson
    – ruby
    – ruby-red
    – scarlet
    – red
    – reddish
    – ruddy
    – blood-red
    – carmine
    – cerise
    – cherry
    – cherry-red
    – crimson
    – ruby
    – ruby-red
    – scarlet

    ## Adjective

    1. of a color at the end of the color spectrum (next to orange); resembling the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies
    – Synonyms
    – red
    – reddish
    – ruddy
    – blood-red
    – carmine
    – cherry
    – cherry-red
    – crimson
    – ruby
    – ruby-red
    – scarlet
    – Similar to
    – chromatic
    – Related
    – scarlet
    – vermilion
    – orange red
    – crimson
    – ruby
    – deep red
    – cerise
    – cherry
    – cherry red
    – cerise
    – cherry
    – cherry red
    – cardinal
    – carmine
    – ruddiness
    – rosiness
    – red
    – redness
    – red
    – redness

    Officials Double Down on “Let ‘Er Rip” Strategy, Placing Undue Faith in Vaccines as Regions With High Vaccinations Suffer Infection Spikes:

    Again and again, all over the world, we’ve seen public health officials all too willing to relax Covid restrictions too early, resulting in an eventual spike in infections and hospitalizations. As we’ll explain, regulators are repeating the same experiment and expecting different outcomes, The classic example was the May CDC “Mission Accomplished” policy change of telling the fully vaccinated they could go about unmasked, even as Delta had become the dominant strain, had viral loads 1000x that of the wild type, and not surprisingly also had a much higher unmitigated R0. Yet at the same time, the CDC also told state and local authorities to not report cases among the vaccinated ex hospitalizations. The CDC backpedaled on both policies thanks to the summer surge. But considerable damage was done thanks to many of the middle and upper middle class vaccinated still seeing non-mask wearing as a perverse declaration of virtue, that they are doing so to show they are shot up, disregarding the new CDC guidance for the vaccinated to mask up indoors.

    Damien Contandriopoulo in The Year Public Health Lost Its Soul explained how we got here:

    Most jurisdictions in Western countries adopted “balanced-containment” strategies regarding COVID. This approach is characterized by the ambition to balance, on the one hand, the number of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths and, on the other hand, the economic and social disruptions caused by strict infection control measures such as lockdowns…

    As I have noted several times before, what is happening right now is due to the fundamental political economic conflict that dealing with the pandemic requires setting extremely dangerous precedents threatening the foundations of the current order — paying people not to work and canceling debts, none of which can be allowed to even be contemplated. So mass death it is instead … [emphasis mine]

    … More specifically, we know that relying on vaccines and not much else isn’t adequate to combat Covid. We and readers have cited the NIH article Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States, specifically:

    Key point: The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined, especially considering the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant and the likelihood of future variants. Other pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions may need to be put in place alongside increasing vaccination rates. Such course correction, especially with regards to the policy narrative, becomes paramount with emerging scientific evidence on real world effectiveness of the vaccines.

    … The US is opening up to countries in the midst of surges and/or rising case counts despite high vaccination rates like Singapore, the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands (although in the latter two, from a much lower level than their last peak). Peruvians can come to the US even as Lima is showing a rise in cases. Australia’s New South Wales (with the Sydney airport) is ending its quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated foreign entrants. Colonel Smithers reports that Mauritius will open to fully vaccinated travelers this month.

    It would be better if I were wrong, but I don’t expect a happy ending. The only tiny silver lining might be it would be harder to scapegoat Bubba if as with the initial Covid spread, a new wave starts from cities with major international airports.

    (via naked capitalism)

    Great article analysis, and the source material is spot on.

    Peace Communications announces its sponsorship of the local Chattanooga Weatherphone service.

    The trusted service has been a part of the Chattanooga community since the 1960s and still receives a daily average of 4,000 to 5,000 calls, according to Randall Hinton, spokesman for The Weatherphone Company.

    The number, 423-265-1411, will remain the same going forward, and Peace will use its own Hosted PBX Infrastructure to add additional overflow numbers to handle the fluctuating call volume.

    “The service was on the verge of going away forever if the Weatherphone Company didn’t find a new sponsor,” said Jim Peace, founder, and CEO of Peace Communications. “We are happy to step in and support this valuable community service for Chattanooga and surrounding Hamilton County.”


    Also, I didn’t know we had a weatherphone. Analog FTW!