Hit Coffee is the story of Will Truman (trumwill),
transplant in the mountain west with an IT background who bides his time
substitute teaching while his wife brings home the bacon.
This site is a collection of reflections
on the goings-on in his life and in the world around him. You will probably
be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the
third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.
Greetings from Callie, Arapaho, a red town in a red state known for growing
red meat. And from Redstone, Arapaho(Aw-RAH-pah-hoe), a blue city with blue collar roots that's been feeling blue
for quite some time.
Nothing written on this site should be taken as strictly true, though
if the author were making it all up rest assured the main character
and his life would be a lot less unremarkable.
This website is maintained by Guy Webster (web),
who also contributes from time to time.
Web hails from the midwest and currently lives
in Truman's home city of Colosse, Delosa. He works as a utility IT person at
Southern Tech University, their alma mater.
Also contributing is Sheila Tone (stone) a West Coaster, breeder, and lawyer
who has probably hooked up with some loser just like you and sees through
your whole pathetic little act.
I am coming around on the idea of Ubuntu smartphones, which are supposed to be coming in October. I’m not sure I will get one, but I’m a little worried that after I throw in my lot with Android, Ubuntu will get it right.
In other smartphone news, it’ll be interesting to see how the Kindle Phone does. Jose Gonzales calls it a sure thing, but I’m not so sure. The Kindle Fire succeeded in part because it was a tertiary device. It’s different to hand one’s phone over to Amazon. But it could well work out, especially if they subsidize the crap out of it.
A new report says that the Family and Medical Leave law is working. We were certainly glad to have it.
According to the Canadian Press, Mining companies that are getting visas for foreign employees are rejecting candidates with 30 years of experience.
I am inclined to criticize employers who expect perfectly qualified employees to roll up on their doorstep, and think that the notion that we have a shortage of skilled workers is built on this mentality. Dominic Giandomenico makes the opposing argument.
Atlantic Wire looks at political types who tried to make it in Hollywood and succeeded or failed. The record for Democrats is mixed, but Republicans generally failed. There are remarks each side can make about that.
Florida has approved birth certificate with three parents. I still don’t fully understand why, given the lack of rights/responsibilities of the third parent.
Paging Ryan Noonan: A man who took his wife’s name was accused of fraud. It does seem to me that there ought to be documentation for both men and women to change their names, but if you’re going to give one a pass, so should you with the other.
If you like Chuck Klosterman or professional basketball, or if you’ve heard of Royce White, I recommend this article.
Automation may not take away jobs, but they will suppress wages. This is one of the things that makes me skeptical of trade restrictions to boost domestic employment and wages. There are very often going to be other options.
I link to this article of a fire in Chicago because you have to see the picture. It’s far out.
The USPS sent Laura Northrup’s package 1,688 miles out of its way. I had a package from the east coast sent to me in the mountain west that, for some reason, went through Hawaii.
XXfactor takes exception to GQ separating out Indian and Asian women from its “Hottest Women List.” It seems to me that you can just as easily chalk this up to “Yay diversity!” rather than get irate. The follow-up on modeling specification is a good point, though.
Apparently, the magic number for an economy is $8,500. Once average purchasing power reaches that number, political extremism and populist promises start losing their appeal.
Not often, but I sometimes get conspiratorially-minded. The case of the NCAA screwing up the investigation of Miami (FL) to my usually dormant conspiratorial instincts. This has the potential to save the NCAA from making a very difficult decision. Enough so that I wonder - at least a little - if it wasn’t sabotaged. I’m sure Miami-Ohio is breathing a little easier, though.
Tom Tancredo lost a bet and will have to smoke pot. Awesome. Good on him for keeping up his side of the bargain.
I link to this article of a fire in Chicago because you have to see the picture. It’s far out.
I’ve been addicted to the Android game Temple Run lately. I can play it with one hand, which is very helpful when holding a baby. Here’s the story of how it came to be. Also from BusinessInsider, a look at where Google keeps your data.
Discussed recently on NaPP, a look at the rebound effect of energy efficiency. The “rebound effect” being that people who have more energy efficient things end up using it more and undercut the energy savings. They exist, but are not large enough to offset the energy savings.
A case for and against the Rooney Rule (actually the “pro-” says TRR isn’t enough). The Rooney Rule is the NFL’s insistence that minority candidates be interviewed.
Minnesota is taking some needed steps to prevent some of the debt collection abuse we’ve been seeing in this country.
My recent experiences with the IRS have been less than pleasant, and apparently I am not alone. But there have been some positive developments.
TechCrunch calls Utah an unlikely tech hub, though there’s really no particular reason for that to be the case. It has a strong white-collar culture, good education system, and business-friendly culture. The corridor between Salt Lake City and Provo is really quite impressive.
A lot of people don’t realize that the Catholic Church has a back door for married priests. My scumbag former pastor was fired from the Episcopal Church and is now a married pastor in the Catholic Church.
Apps are coming to cars and Ford and GM are looking for developers. I’m a bit at a loss as to why Android isn’t there yet. I have an idea of why Google wouldn’t want to do it, but somebody should. There’s no reason for this to be on a separate platform.
If you want to learn Android programming, the Linux Foundation wants to help. Meanwhile, Ubuntu is planning to release their own OS. Kinda neat, I guess, but also kind of redundant.
I love stories wherein real life intersects with our video game life. If you ever find some good ones, feel free to send them my way in an email or OT comment. I have a potential creative pursuit that involves this sort of thing (short version: a detective in a place wherein the world revolves around the virtual and most crimes that are committed occur because of something happening in a game.)
I have mixed feelings on the way that Samsung is (along with Amazon) running away with the Android tablet market. The good news is that, with it being Android, they have to keep putting out a good product. Or, at least, Samsung does.
How can Atlantic Cities write a not-brief piece on the decline of the shopping mall without mentioning Walmart? Because it doesn’t fit with their narrative? Because it didn’t occur to them? Regardless of that oversight, it’s a worthwhile piece.
So apparently, Patrick Dempsey has purchased Tully’s Coffee. There was one back in Zaulem where we used to live. There are actually a lot of places out west that serve their coffee and have their logo in the window, though they’re not part of the chain.
AndroidCentral recommends against getting the 8GB Nexus 4 because that’s not enough space. Of course, this wouldn’t even be an issue if they had a MicroSD slot.
I think Apple’s move towards cheaper smartphones is - while good for cheapskates like me (if I were an Applyte) actually a mistake.
They’re also considering multiple colors. As a consumer, I’m not a fan of the idea (there is no reason ever to deviate from black or silver). As a business matter, I don’t know that it really matters.
William Pesek writes on the road China has ahead of it. It touches on the demographics problem, as well as one of my issues (they’re not going to want to make our cheap stuff forever).
This is probably a hat-tip to my freakishness, but I think “PC City” in this Vizio ad looks blissfully practical and efficient (except for a disk drive coming out of a building and such). It’s probably no coincidence that I like the basic look of Thinkpads and standard tower computers. I want to live in PC City. (Which apparently was made from models.)
A documentary-maker on fracking is accusing Matt Damon’s new anti-fracking movie of being a liar. In the interest of fairness, it’s starting to look like resource exploitation in Alberta is doing a number on the water there.
When all of the flaws of Cash for Clunkers were pointed out, a counterargument was that aside from the economics, it was about the environmental benefit. Maybe not. I may not agree with the premise that C4C was a primary… errr… driver in the raising of used car prices, but what a stupid program.
It’s funny how for a while Sweden became the exemplar of liberal governance, when there are more than a couple things that conservatives can point to. Or would be able to point to if they were interested in developing a health care plan. Or will be pointing to if they continue to lose this debate.
The Missouri Synod has reportedly been making some serious gains among minority groups with some impressive outreach generally.
This makes me think of the little gauge on my car that tells me what mileage I am getting and how it makes me a more fuel-efficient driver. (I swear I had a post of mine on this to link back to, but I can’t find it.)
China is spending bunches trying to boost its music industry. That seems a difficult for a country that has such issues with intellectual property rights. And kind of hard to impose on the top down.
The Washington Post looks at the coal situation in India. One of the reasons that I don’t have a whole lot of hope that anything significant will happen with regard to global warming is that few developing countries are going to hinder their development for the sake of the environment. But India is an interesting situation.
A pixar animator is looking to create a new superhero for each day of the year. The girl in the confederate outfit jumped out at me.
Megan McArdle tackles the eternal question of whether government workers are overpaid or underpaid. The difference in skill sets makes comparisons difficult. So often, it depends on what they do. My wife would take an enormous pay cut to work for the government. Others get a raise.
Theodore Dalrymple pokes holes at the notion that if only there’d been a psychiatrist, Newtown might have been prevented. Those that wish to redirect the conversation away from guns and towards “mental health” - and those that flat-out want this approached as a mental health issue - have an uphill climb on convincing me that there is actually something we can do on this avenue.
Why presidents are less effective than prime ministers. I’d kind of thought this was obvious: Presidents control an office or a branch, while Prime Ministers control executive and legislative. Our presidents would be much more effective if their election assured a congressional majority (or coalition to a majority) (assuming no filibuster). [Northwestern]
Technology against technology. How super glasses may fight the deleterious effects of LCD screens. [Forbes]
Relatedly, a Russian phone company is coming to the rescue, with eInk on one side and an LCD on the other. This is the sort of product I might consider buying for my wife down the road. Meanwhile, Brazil is getting an iphone that runs Android. [Mashable] [The Verge]
Women’s ideal traits in a man change dramatically as they age. I’d be more interested in the results for men. [Yahoo!]
It may be true that states that spend and tax less also grow more, but there are a lot of confounding factors here. A lot of red states are starting at a lower base point, from which growth is easier. A lot of high-productivity states like Washington and Texas can afford lower taxes in a way that Idaho, for example, can’t. [TaxProf]
Mark Leibovich learned at least 17 things from reading The Economist’s “The World in 2013″ issue. Among them, employers in Japan face fines if employees fatten up. Could Japan’s KFC-Christmas connection be a part of the problem? [NYT] [Yahoo!]
Legos! They’re awesome, expensive, and popular. Here’s why. Honestly, I don’t really care for those product tie-ins. If the mentioned rival sheds that and the costs associated with that, I think we’ll go in that direction. [NPR]
Is correct grammar a form of privilege? Here’s the thing, we can correct grammar overtly and they can take or leave the correction, or we can decline to correct the grammar and know that they will be judged negatively for failing to adhere to standards we’re not overtly enforcing. There’s not a good answer here. [BoingBoing]
A look at Amazon and what makes it so great: Generous shareholders. I love Amazon, but their market position will become worrying at some point. [Slate]
GoogleMaps is apparently better on the iPhone than it is on Android. The Android version on my phone does everything I want it to. My big complaint is the amount of resources it soaks up. The iPhone one looks prettier, which means it may be worse in that regard. [CNN]
I can’t have one of these things without at least a couple of links on school shootings. I thought this article explained my discomfort at using high-profile shootings like Sandy Hook as a basis for gun control. [Pacific Standard]
Conor Friedersdort argues that we already had the conversation about guns and the pro-gun side won. I’ve found the notion that we haven’t had the discussion to be bizarre. It’s not a request for a first discussion, but rather a do-over. Recent events could lead to a different result, though. If they don’t here, I am pretty sure they never will. [The Atlantic]
The UN may be baffled, but good for President Obama and his European counterparts for walking out on efforts to turn the Internet over to the UN and ITU. [TechCrunch]
Bobby Jindal’s support for making birth control OTC is actually pretty brilliant. A solid pro-freedom stance that doesn’t define freedom in terms of access rather than in terms of demanding that others provide for it. [Politico]
I have to agree with Matthew Yglesias that Obama’s assurances of sparing recreational users is pretty meaningless. First, we’ve heard this before. Second, it I always worry about selective prosecution in cases like this. [Slate]
And the marriage rate plummets. Almost forty percent of Americans view marriage as obsolete. I may disagree with conservatives on gay marriage, but it’s stuff like this that are why I am sympathetic to them on the subject of marriage more broadly. [Pew]
Anaheim coughs up $400,000 for arresting someone for opossum-cruelty before eventually discovering that residents are legally allowed to be as cruel to opossums as they choose. [Orange County Register]
Government spending tends to increase with term limits. This is considered odd, but it took less than a few years of term limits in local government in Colosse to figure out why: Term limits breed ambition for higher office. If it’s up-or-out, you have to make a name for yourself, which is expensive. [Marginal Revolution]
Oil wealth has changed the dynamics in Scandinavia. Swedes that used to look down on Norwegians (Who knew this? I did not know this.) are now having to emigrate for jobs. There are certain parallels to the United States. [Slate]
What we can learn from school choice in Sweden. As with so many other things, even though this corresponds with my political preferences, I think there are limits to what a large, heterogeneous country can learn from a relatively small homogenous one. [Forbes]
The French may abolish homework. Here is a good piece on the subject. [New Yorker]
How does your local school district rank against the rest of the world’s? My old district does reasonably well, in the 60-something percentile in both math and reading. Which is kind of scary, for our country and the world. [The Atlantic]
Michael McLaughlin claims, but doesn’t really back up, the notion that anti-meth ads featuring the ravaged faces of drug use, are ineffective. I express skepticism because this is precisely the sort of thing that would have worked on me when I was younger. It strikes at a crucial element of my younger identity: vanity. [HuffPo]
Family values failure [Marginal Revolution]: Fewer children in the United States grow up with both biological parents than in any other affluent country for which data are available. Ashley McGuire thinks the GOP needs to woo women voters due to a War on Married Women. The problem is that a lot of solutions to these outlined problems are not necessarily conservative ones [Weekly Standard].
Two-state solution? Try 8-State Solution. It sounds like an intriguing idea. [Jerusalem Post]
The subject of gun control and the gun culture has come up with regard to the Jevon Belcher shooting. It’s no surprise to me that athletes are more likely to own guns, but I am pretty surprised that three out of four do. I have to say that I find it particularly troubling to link events like this to gun control. The arguments for Loughner/Aurora-type shootings are smaller. Murder-suicides can occur with private possession of any gun at any time. [USA Today]
Above Singapore, will there be a green mega-city rising? A part of me is always skeptical of this sort of central planning, but I am always interesting in seeing and learning from the results. And I prefer them to be happening in some other country. [Guardian]
Even if the FCC thinks the in-flight ban of electronics is dumb. I’m increasingly concerned that the airlines themselves will be a roadblock as they make money selling you satellite TV that keep you entertained for take-off and landing. [CNN]
In the relative peace-time drawdown, the army is looking to cut loose people that are obese or overweight. Here is why that might be a bad idea. [WaPo] [Starting Strength]
Is 200,000 miles the new normal for cars? My second-to-last car went 200k. My last car may well make it there. As someone who believes in driving cars into the ground whenever possible, I think this is fantastic. [Allstate Blog]
Fortune has a glowing article on Subaru. I hadn’t realize that the shift towards being more affordable was recent. I am grateful, as it’s one of the primary reasons I own a Subaru. [Fortune]
In New Zealand, they’re teaching dogs to drive cars. [Daily Mail]
Hit Coffee favorite Joel Kotkin looks at migration patterns within the US. As someone that wants our talent to be spread out, I consider it a positive of course that the lower-cost red states are gaining. I consider it win-win, as they’re easing population pressure in the more expensive blue states while helping the economies of the red states advance.
Independents display less motivated reasoning than partisans. In other words, less inclined to interpret evidence on the basis of predisposition. Of course, ultimately, everybody is subject to predisposition. Nobody who has been listening to my views on the subject should be surprised by this possibility. Of course, Half Sigma too.
Wired has a great article on medieval farm shapes and modern transportation networks. Or: Why Americans think that roads should come to them rather than settle where roads go to.
It is so weird to me that Android is winning the consumer market(share) and iPhone is winning the corporate. That’s completely backwards, and absolutely a failure on the part of Android handset makers.
In football, spread offenses typically stink at defense. Opinions differ as to why.
Good on San Francisco for approving super-small apartments. If we want to increase density (a liberal goal) and keep places affordable (also a liberal goal, though more of a conservative one in my experience), projects like this need to happen. Hopefully DC follows suit. Also, stuff like this is awesome.
Knock-off textbooks for free! This is a brilliant idea, if they can figure out how to make money from it. There is a bubble here to be popped (apologies to my father-in-law, who has a side-career writing textbooks).
Chris Blattman says that the connection between corruption and development is not what we think it is. Is this one of those things that we sorta want to be true because it’s so convenient to believe?
Why Belarus uses Opera Browser: Authoritarianism. Bad things have their upsides, I suppose. Opera is a pretty solid browser.
A lot of the things that people tout that should be cost-savers for medical care turn out not to be. Preventative medicine being one. Online access to doctors being another. Contrary to popular belief, limitations of access more generally can really be cost-savers for the system. Intervention begets intervention.
This is an outstanding question. Why aren’t we all using Japanese toilets?
How Eastern and Western cultures tackle learning. Some recent studies have suggesting that the Eastern method is better in the overall. But I can’t imagine it’s something that could be accomplished here.
Along these lines, this article about Singapore is really quite interesting. But there is limited applicability to the US generally. I even question its applicability to China, where Sumner focuses.
Riverside Ramblin’ is one of the first blogs that I linked to. While going through and killing dead links I saw that it has actually been reborn. Here’s an interesting post on retailing and employee recruitment.
The problem with articles like this, that talk about the sexual revolution and hook-up culture as being bad for women, is when it becomes about how women should treat other women, as opposed to how women should expect men to be treated by women.
A word of caution before entering the cloud. These are real concerns, and the inefficiency of the cloud is too infrequently discussed.
A public health proposal to issue Smokers Licenses. I’ll get on board with this as soon as we issue “alcohol drinking licenses.” The arguments for alcohol licensure is stronger. If we’re going to do this, we shouldn’t just target icky people we don’t like.
Meanwhile, on the subject of alcohol, we’re actually moving in the opposite direction. I think this is okay, but our increasingly critical legislation and proposals aimed at smokers and the obese should not be allowing this to happen. Yet here we are. It’s almost as though we are inclined to regulate the behavior of people we don’t like while supporting deregulation for behavior that allows us to do what we want.
The major thing that’s pushing teachers out of the profession isn’t training or salaries, but principals.
If liberals want regulation to become more popular (or less unpopular) and/or redeem the government as being something that is here to help, they need to take a hard look at things like this.
McMegan writes about The Incredible Shrinking Sugar Bag. I believe she’s quite wrong on this. If we’re looking at rising prices or smaller packaging, we should go with the latter. It can help people by reducing spoilage, among other things.
The case for cheap purchases. Actually, it’s more about the whole “experiences and connections over things.” It corresponds nicely with arguments about money not being everything. Wise words that nobody actually lives by.
Reason looks at politicians offering subsidies to movemakers for superhero films. When I read the title “Superhero Subsidies” it actually made me think of one of the Manhunter comic books wherein Star City tries to recruit Manhunter to relocate there as a tourist attraction.
Colorado’s new pot law could lead to a black market boon! That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, but it still deals with supply deficits and a lack of financial punishment will lead in some degree to increased demand.
Maddox tells truth. The degree of signalling going on with I F***ing Love Science is significant. And, at least in my cohort, it is a degree of signalling not easily disassociated with (ir)religion and politics.
It amazed me that on an issue where pro-life sentiment is at record highs, and when the Democratic Party has moved even further to the left on the issue, that nonetheless the issue appeared to be electorally beneficial to the Democrats. My conclusion was that the Republicans framed the issue so badly that they came out on the losing end. It’s actually worse than that. Recent events (and I believe pro-lifers themselves) have actually pushed the country in a pro-choice direction.
Michael Weinreb has a worthwhile take on Big Ten’s decision to expand into New Jersey and Maryland. The Big Ten is, for my money, the most overrated conference of the major five. This isn’t going to help.
Our legislators almost slipped a law through that would have reduced royalties for web radio. Alas, it was not to be. The libertarian in me can appreciate where the artists are coming from, but this seems to be an area where… things aren’t working right.
I’m impressed that the New York Times ran this while Chris Christie laments the death of the Jersey Shore and New York recovers. I’d expect them to run it when some stupid red state with its stupid inhabitants gets hit. It brings up a good point, particularly for those who believe that the ocean levels are going to rise due to global warming.
Patrick Ruffini pens a really good article at something the GOP needs to look at. It has nothing to do with policy, and more to do with human capital. This was something that Karl Rove understood.
Kay Hymowitz takes a look at the political gender gap and thinks it has less to do with actual gender than we think. There’s something to this. It also strikes me that one of the things that makes the GOP vulnerable in the longer run is - as much as other things discussed - the increasing dissolution of the family itself.
Mitt Romney may have paid squat in taxes, but yes millionaires do pay high rates. My fear is akin to that old joke about NCAA Sanctions Committee: They get so irate at the Miami Hurricanes that they put Miami of Ohio on probation.
Some conspiracy theory sites are just beautiful. Some are not.
An indepth article on the evolution of online collegiate learning. Meanwhile, maybe we can learn something from India and institute federal universities. I actually think that’s a pretty solid idea. If anyone is interested (or maybe even if no one is), I’ll write a post on the subject.
The title of this article (”Why do we let our kids play tackle football”) had me expecting to object, but the contents and suggestions for reform are really quite reasonable.