Curmudgeon's Corner is a weekly current events podcast

imboumastodon.sdf.org curmudgeonscornernewsie.social abulsmemastodon.social

Facebook: Facebook       Subscribe: RSS Podcasts iTunes       Patreon: Patreon

Email: feedback@curmudgeons-corner.com

Ep 839[Ep 840] Chicken Fish [2:13:57]
Recorded: Sat, 2023-Jul-15 UTC
Published: Sun, 2023-Jul-16 19:42 UTC
Ep 841

On this week's Curmudgeon's Corner, Sam and Ivan's main theme is climate change. Starting with gas milage, then on to how humans have responded to the challenge. Of course there is much more! On the serious side: Russia, Ukraine, Inflation, the Economy, and the impacts on Election 2024. On the less serious side: a couple of books, thoughts on cheese sandwiches, and this podcast now has transcripts! Yay!

  • (0:02:00-0:49:59) But First
    • Book: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984)
    • Book: The Road to Omaha (1992)
    • Fuel Economy Update
    • Podcast Transcripts
  • (0:50:48-1:24:12) But Second
    • Climate Change
    • Cheese Sandwiches
  • (1:26:13-2:13:23) But Third
    • Russia/Ukraine
    • Inflation/Economy
    • Election 2024
    • Business and Politics

Automated Transcript


Sam:
[0:01]
So you hear me now? Yes. You hear me now? You hear me now?

Ivan:
[0:04]
Yes.

Sam:
[0:06]
What my, uh, which commercial was that? Which, which? Uh, Verizon. Verizon?

Ivan:
[0:12]
Can you hear me now? Yeah.

Sam:
[0:14]
Uh, no.

Ivan:
[0:16]
No?

Sam:
[0:17]
No. Can't hear you at all.

Ivan:
[0:19]
Oh, fuck me.

Sam:
[0:20]
Well. Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, God. Um, okay.

Uh, I'm here. Are you here?

Ivan:
[0:30]
Uh, last time I checked.

Sam:
[0:32]
Okay. What do we want to talk about? Our, our, our list is very, very sparse.

I added in more stuff I watched, but I'm only going to do one today.

And the other things there was like almost nothing got added to the list.

I'm sure it is stuff that didn't get out.

Do you want to just, uh, just start, uh, our back and forth that we normally do and see where it goes?

Ivan:
[0:57]
Uh, yeah. Okay.

Sam:
[0:58]
Um, let me prepare.

I'm looking up one thing. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Okay. Can you hear the thing behind me by the way?

Ivan:
[1:18]
I hear yes. Okay.

Sam:
[1:20]
Well, we'll see how the, uh, my automated noise canceling gets rid of it.

Alex is three printing something. I don't want to stop it in the middle.

We'll see. Ah, okay. It gets removed if it doesn't!

Oh well. Okay. Bah, bah, bah. Welcome to curmudgeon's corner for Saturday, July 15th, 2023.

It is 3 0 7 UTC as we are starting to record, uh, which as I've done lately means it is Friday night for both me and Yvonne since we were in the U S and it's just after 8 PM for me.

And just after 11 PM for Yvonne, Yvonne complained because I didn't do that last time.

And so we talked about time zones for 20 minutes or something.

So something like that, something like that.

So anyway, we, we were just talking about like this last week was actually kind of slow news wise, or maybe I was just tuned out. Was it slow or was I tuned out? Yvonne?

Ivan:
[2:41]
I mean, stuff happened.

Sam:
[2:43]
I mean, yeah, stuff always happens.

Ivan:
[2:46]
I was like on the phone with some people from India and we were talking about the floods.

Sam:
[2:51]
Oh, and there are floods in, in, in, uh, new England as well.

Ivan:
[2:55]
In new England as well. Yeah. Um, stuff, you know, I mean, you put down to whether we, you know, there's been a lot of global weather.

Sam:
[3:04]
So maybe we'll talk, we will spend two hours talking about global warming and the weather and stuff.

Or I should say climate change, but not climate change.

Anyway, we're gonna, we're gonna be back in our lightning round type mode.

We're gonna do three rounds with two topics each one picked by me one picked by Yvonne and The first two this first round that we're in right now Will be sort of the light and frothy not Newsy stuff and then the later ones if we can think of news stuff It'll be new stuff or maybe we'll do more light and frothy.

I don't know So anyway, as usual Yvonne my first well, actually my first one is not gonna be a movie this time It's going to be a book, but I got a book, a bell. Yeah.

Ivan:
[3:52]
So how's the matter with you?

Sam:
[3:54]
I don't know. Like, anyway, this is one of this is one of the ones I've been reading with Alex, not one of the ones I've been reading solo, but yeah, whatever.

It's a book. Yeah. Shall I go first? Or do you want to go first with our but first, but first, but first thing thing.

That good, huh?

Ivan:
[4:17]
Yeah.

Sam:
[4:19]
Shall I just go?

Ivan:
[4:20]
Yeah, go. I mean, yeah, talk me into it.

Sam:
[4:26]
OK, so as we have said before, I mentioned it's the stuff I've been going through with my son.

We first did the whole Lord of the Rings series starting with the Hobbit and then did the Lord of the Rings.

Then there was like some book for school that like he was reading for school and I read with him and that was kind of fun.

And then we've been reading the whole Douglas Adams Hitchhiker Series, and we are up to the fourth book of the trilogy, which is now six books, I believe, total.

Anyway, the fourth book is So Long and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams.

And here's the thing I'm gonna go, I'll start with my conclusion first and then go to the explanation although I guess the conclusion should be at the end anyway whatever some thumbs sideways for this one this is sideways sideways this is one of those series that like you know Hitchhiker's Guide is a classic Restaurant at the end of the universe is pretty darn good.

What was the third one is was life the universe and everything it was okay too.

This one I guess okay, but it's clearly like as we progress.

It's get it yet the first one was just very novel at the time it was brand new.

It was it seemed like fresh and different from everything else.

Else. By the time we got to this one, it kind of feels like the author is getting tired of the the whole thing.

And, you know, he's doing more because, Yeah, it's his payday. It's, you know, people are looking for more of this stuff.

This came out in 1984, by the way.

Ivan:
[6:22]
Didn't I hear there was some author to basically, you know, at some point just started hiring people to just, you know, that has been done by a bunch of them.

Sam:
[6:32]
Yeah, right.

Ivan:
[6:33]
They're just like tired and I'm like, look, just write about this.

Oh yeah. No, no, no. Change that. Do that. You know? Yeah. I mean, just hire somebody to write it for you.

Sam:
[6:42]
Yeah. I mean, and some of them are very involved in like, you know, and it's really a dual authorship. Others are like, here's an outline, go do something. And some of them are, don't even go that far.

Just like write a sequel, please.

Ivan:
[6:56]
Write a sequel. Yeah. Read the first one. Just write a fucking sequel.

You know? Yeah. Whatever. Just, just leave me out of it.

Sam:
[7:02]
Okay. Yeah. And, and in some cases they've done it in such a way that the, that they actually like a public about it and here's the new coauthor and the new person's name is on it and everything.

And in some cases it's pure ghostwritten, like they don't even, you know, it's secret, you know, that they're doing this.

Um, and, and also of course, this is, this also happens with dead authors where they want to continue the series because. Oh yeah.

Ivan:
[7:29]
I've seen that happen. Yeah. Ludlum for example. I mean, geez. Yeah.

Sam:
[7:32]
Yeah. So anyway, it, it, it kind of, The other thing that seems to have happened, and I actually don't know anything about Douglas Adams' personal life.

There is a biography out there somewhere. I have not read it.

I have not even looked into this.

But it seems like the guy must have fallen into some kind of romantic relationship that he was quite fond of because all of a sudden there was like a love story like woven into this thing like the rest of the series so far is it's just absurdist science fiction okay i'm sure all of you out there are familiar with douglas adams and the hitchhiker's guide it's just it's science fiction but it's comedy science fiction there are all kinds of absurd situations that come up He's poking fun at various things, uh, you know, in our, in our real world by making hyper exaggerated versions of them in his sort of extended universe.

And it's that kind of stuff. But in this one, a significant portion of the book is him encountering a woman, becoming obsessed with the the woman.

Then losing the woman and not knowing where she was then trying to find her again then Them like eventually connecting.

It's like it's like a romantic comedy kind of thing and there's like a whole major section where they figure out how to fly and Then they go have sex in the air Okay While they're chasing airplanes and stuff and you know And and so the whole and then eventually the the two of them once they're a couple go on an adventure together trying to find out some sort of God's final message to his creation thing and you know They get to it at the end and I won't spoil what the message is They actually do find the message but the thing is like more than half of this book is like suddenly this, romantic comedy Slash, oh wow, I'm so in love with this woman kind of story.

And, and also in the previous books, there had been a woman that they hinted the main character might have a relationship with, but she disappears.

It's a completely new one.

Ivan:
[9:59]
Okay.

Sam:
[10:01]
So it's, and it's like, you know, it's just from a, from the point of view of, you know, are you getting more of the kind of stuff you expect from this series?

Yes, you are, but it kind of feels like Douglas Adams was going through the motions, A.

And B, he out of nowhere decides to insert this love story, which completely changes the character of how this book feels.

And okay, fine, I guess. So with all this together, thumbs sideways.

I I think I gave all three of the previous ones, thumbs up. Uh, I might've done thumbs up, thumbs up some thumb sideways. Some, I don't remember for sure.

This is definitely one of those series that the further along you go in the series.

Ivan:
[10:54]
The quality declines at least so far i have not loved by the way the board but his books also yeah.

How many days started going downhill big time i remember you don't read the last one the last one seem like a complete farce.

And I was like, okay, you know, you know, you know, I mean, that is, you know, the first book is very serious and whatever about the spy and the insomnia and the story or whatever.

And the last one seems like it was a blazing saddles.

And I'm like, what the hell is this? It's so dumb.

Sam:
[11:32]
Yeah, I, I'm looking at the Wikipedia page and even it like says this right up front the style section, it says, this novel has a very different tone from the previous books in the series.

It is a romance and also moves around in time more radically than its predecessors.

Let's see. It is set largely on earth. Arthur only returns to outer space in the final chapters. The different tone also reflects the rushed nature of the writing.

Adam's editor, uh, sunny meta moved in with him to ensure that the book met its deadline, which had been repeatedly extended.

Uh, as a result, Adams later stated that he was not entirely happy with the book, which includes several jarring Arthurian intrusions, which is biographer Neil Gaiman described as patronizing and unfair.

Yeah, so there's more here, but yeah, so that's, that's, that's where I am in that thumb sideways.

But I have, I have continued with this series.

There's a, after this, there's a, there's a really short one, which will be coming up in my list that I do for the show, like in a couple of weeks, if I continue to do what we're doing, there's a, it wasn't a full novel.

It was just a short story called young Zaphod plays it safe.

Then we're currently actually reading one called mostly harmless, which is the last one that Douglas Adams wrote himself.

And along the lines of what we were talking about, there is one more book after that written by somebody else posthumously.

So we're going through the whole thing and you know we'll see but yeah this definitely felt like even by the one that we're talking about here Douglas Adams seemed like he was kind of tired of how these were going and, you know.

Ivan:
[13:44]
There we go and that's all i have to say about that okay well so you gave it a thumb somewhere sideways sideways yes i'm not sticking the thumb anywhere else okay all right good good we're good good with the we're done with the uh thumbs yes um it's okay my turn Oh, oh boy.

Sam:
[14:15]
I know it's that kind of week.

Ivan:
[14:17]
Well, it's that kind of week because, you know, summer school ended. I've been working.

I mean, I, you know, I don't even know what the hell did I do last weekend?

I don't even, what did I do last?

Sam:
[14:33]
Oh, before you do your subject, I had to get one thing out.

Before I forget, and I obviously already forgot because I meant to say it at the very beginning this time.

We know in advance, Yvonne is going to be out the next two weeks.

Correct. Now, next week, I've already got lined up as a co-host, uh, Bruce, uh, who has been on the show multiple times before as the host, as the co-host with me.

And so he's coming next week, the week after that, I have not even sent out an inquiry, like asking people by email, like I often do.

So I'm actually asking on the show first, if anybody out there, you know, has, has an interest in put potentially put it in.

Ivan:
[15:19]
What is it? An interest in Putin? Yes.

Sam:
[15:23]
Yes. If, if anybody has an interest in Putin, no, if anybody wants to co-host who's out there and is interested, uh, send a line to feedback at curmudgeon-corner.com.

Uh, and this is for the week of, let me pull out my calendar. The week of the...

23rd to 29th, but we would usually do the recording either in the evening of the 27th or the 28th US time, but there might be some flexibility if you, if somebody out there wants to do it, but can't do any other time.

Now I want to put right out front.

If you contact me and I don't already know you from having spoken to you and had interactions with you previously, you might not get on this time.

We'd want to talk a little bit and blah, blah, blah. If you're just out of the blue, I've never heard from you before. Uh, you're probably not going to get on right away. Uh, but I would still want to talk to you and put you on the list.

You'll be in the queue as potentially, but if you are anybody who's been a long time listener, a particular participant in our Slack or otherwise know us and like the show and have been, you know, around, uh, drop me a line.

And I will probably send out my normal email to the list of people I send an email about out about this kind of stuff You know once we get to that week, but anyway, that's it so Yvonne's gonna be out for two weeks and We got Bruce next week and then unknown the week after that very exciting.

Okay now Yvonne Now it is really your time to shine You have had a few seconds to think about it while I was while I was talking about that Uh, so what is your, but first talk?

Ivan:
[17:14]
Okay. Uh, well, first I will mention that this book that I thought was idiotic by Ludlam was a book called the road to Omaha and the description of this book, uh, according to Wikipedia, it says the road to Omaha is a novel by Ludlam.

It's a sequel to the ear earlier book, the road to Gandalfo.

Both are comedic thrillers and look now for me.

Sam:
[17:41]
I was this, was this like a comedic thriller that was a sequel to an existing series that wasn't, or is this like a stand alone level?

Ivan:
[17:49]
Well, there was a sequel to this book called the road to, but it was also a comedy, but it was also comedic.

And the thing is, here's the one thing in the sequence of books that he wrote, this was the next one, if I remember correctly.

And so because it came out, Borno made him came out in 90.

OK, and so I'd read the, you know, I'd read Born Identity and I and I read Borno made them.

There was born separate. I read all the money made them. And I was like, well, 92, he came out with this book. And I'm like, oh, let me read this. And...

You know, it's like if I swear, it's like if James Bond turned into, I don't know, a Mr.

Bean. Yes. Austin Powers. That's exactly right. And I'm like reading this fucking by the way, I'd never seen that movie either.

Well, but you get the gist. And I'm like, you know, without you watching it.

And I'm reading this. What the fuck is this?

You know, I was like really getting angry with this book.

I'm pretty sure I finished it. But I was very irritated with the book, I have to say.

So anyway, I guess I will give something that I said I had not.

I've been thinking about talking about, but I had not brought up before.

And we were talking a little bit on the slack.

Oh, I'll give a fuel economy update.

Sam:
[19:22]
OK, fuel economy update. This is this is for your new car that you bought recently.

Ivan:
[19:26]
Yes. Yes. And so the station wagon, the station wagon, the hybrid station wagon.

Yes. So what the one thing about about the about it is that I expected a substantial increase in my fuel economy because the the car had about double the original electric range.

Sam:
[19:51]
OK, compared to your previous car, you mean?

Ivan:
[19:54]
Correct. Yes. The range, you know, and it's like, depending on how you drive and how you handle it, whatever, I mean, it's rated at, I think it was 22, 23, my other car. And this was rated at 41. Okay. Um, 41, what miles?

Sam:
[20:10]
41 miles.

Ivan:
[20:11]
Okay. Uh, of, of electric range. So the MPGE rating is 74.

Miles per mile, 74 MPGE. The previous one was rated at, what the heck was it? 63 MPGE.

OK, but here's the thing.

And PHEV efficiency can vary widely. OK, more than with practically any other vehicle because of the combination of fuel that you can use.

And so if you drive a lot of short ranges, like I do, you know, it's obviously going to be better than if you drive longer distances on a regular basis. Okay.

Sam:
[21:00]
You're right. Because if with short distance and recharging in the night or whatever, you, you could stay on all electric all the time, practically, uh, where if you're doing long distance, you're, you're going to run out of your 40 miles or whatever, and then you'll be on gas.

Ivan:
[21:14]
Yeah. And I know people and I know people that had bought this version of the car that basically told me, look, I spent months and I haven't refueled.

OK, and so now I had driven significantly.

I'd driven a a a a a a a variation of distances.

OK, but bottom line is that I I actually refueled today.

But I refueled today, because I was like...

At a little less than a quarter tank and i was driving past the costco gas station which has the cheapest gas and i'm like you know i like to get like get get the price while it's low well exactly i mean if i'm driving by costco i mean it's super convenient if i'm coming home i mean you know so why the hell am i going to stop anywhere else you know so it's right there so i'm like okay so let me let me just fill it up and you know the the gas tank has takes 16 gallons I had I only needed 13.

Okay, but with those 13 and my recharging I had driven over 1100 miles.

Okay at this point I basically had not fueled the car since I got it over a little bit over a month ago So so the average MPG that I had at my refueling, you know was 90 about 90 miles per gallon gallon, okay, um, at this point.

Yeah. So I mean, and that my previous car was averaging 52.

Okay. So this is a huge, huge jump in terms of MPG.

And the reality is that I, I, you know, it's on a, on a regular basis.

I mean, I mean, and just to be clear, like at with that little amount of refueling like the actual like up and downs of the price of gas is going to impact you a lot less and you're going to care a little bit less if it's a little higher on the pump this week oh yeah i mean you know no doubt about it i mean i basically you know i mean it's it's ridiculous i mean it's like.

I don't you know that's that's a material at this point, um, in, in terms of, uh, in terms of that cost.

And, uh, I, I, I, right now that our garages have common electric, I don't even have to pay for their charging of the car. So basically in terms of money, okay.

I'm basically not, I, I, I, I'm putting it very little money for fuel, like right now, uh, uh, at this point.

Um, so that's great. But I, the, but the thing is, it's like I mentioned, it's one of these things that with a, with a range like around that 40, 50, I think, you know, I, I really think that, yeah.

For most people i would say that sixty miles fifty sixty you know forty to sixty miles is more than enough for their day right.

Sam:
[24:22]
And so yeah it on a regular day to day basis assuming you're not going on a road trip or anything like that exactly so that's been working out perfect.

Ivan:
[24:34]
You know in terms of fuel economy the other thing is that they they had changed electric motors on the on the car so the car is Under electric before my car was I mean it moved, but it was slow It wasn't the it wasn't moving with any alacrity, okay?

This is different that these motors have so much more power.

It's like on electric It's it's it's fast as EVs, you know, are are reputed to be. Yeah. So yeah.

So you don't notice a difference by going on all electric, whereas my other car before felt more like a big golf cart on electric power.

This feels more like a car.

But I guess, you know, the one thing is that it confirmed at least what I thought would happen, that with my typical driving, man, I mean, I'm basically going on electric.

More well over 50% of the driving I did was using electric power because of the because of the range.

So during those eleven hundred miles, so, you know, Well, you know, there's a lot of debate right now about the stuff that you started talking about while talking about the weather a little bit and some of the events that we've having regarding the CO2 emissions of different types of vehicles and fuels and whatnot.

You know, some debates about natural gas and because of methane releases and some other stuff.

I think that the one thing is that I get I always get a little bit annoyed with people trying to seek the perfect solution to them.

And I'm just like, look, man.

If what you're if if you take any steps that are make a reduction in what you are burning or, you know, emitting, that's good.

Just just that you know, you know, people getting pilloried for not taking the perfect steps.

Is ridiculous.

Sam:
[26:56]
Well, the thing that also gets me sometimes is people pointing out perfectly valid things that say, yes, this emits less CO2, but if you look at the whole process of getting it, first of all, it's less of a difference that you think because a lot of CO2 is burned in building the car, but also all kinds of other environmental damage from getting the resources needed.

And I'm like, well, yes, yes, But right now the problem with CO2 is much more critical than practically any other environmental issue you could think of. Right.

Ivan:
[27:32]
Right.

Sam:
[27:32]
So those other issues matter. I don't want to diminish them and say they're nothing, but at this point, CO2 is an emergency.

And so reducing the CO2 output needs to take precedence over those others until we've got that under control and then we can figure out how to solve the other things we're fucking up.

Ivan:
[27:50]
But by the way, it's been shown that for for most electric cars, OK, even still, when you look at, especially, you know, depending on how the car was produced source, you know, when you go end to end on on the cars, I was just reading something today.

Exactly. You know, we're getting some better, harder data on this.

A lot of the stuff that people had been throwing around about Uh, no, it's just better to keep the gas car versus that, blah, blah, blah.

Because of the carbon emissions, it's look, the, the, it, that, that's not true.

It's just it over a lifetime. For example, I was looking at a comparison with like most cars on average.

It doesn't take that long of a car ownership of the electric car to for the, The savings on burning gas to you.

Know.

Get to the point that they overcome whatever extra co2 may have been produced by the manufacturer of the vehicle and it does vary a lot depending on the source of electricity and and also the size of the car and and the size of the car and the efficiency of of the vehicle but the reality is that that that that has been I mean, most of the people yelling about that saying, oh, that electric car is more polluting than the they're lying.

It's just it's it's it's it's it's it's it's it's in very few cases.

It's just not. It and actually, I found the article.

Look, basically enough like normally It was a recent Reuters article.

Well, not that recent. It's like about two years ago, but they had it.

I know that they had done these studies on this.

And, you know, on on a brand new Tesla, for example, it takes a 13,000 after you drive the first 13000 miles.

You're you know, that car will be far better on the environment than anything else.

And so if you think about it, um, it's, it's not that much because those cars will last a lot longer.

So that means that it, well, at the B B at the outset for a little bit, it may not be, uh, the net during the life of the vehicle is substantially, substantially smaller, right? And so, uh, right.

Sam:
[30:40]
And people do bring up this, the net CO2, and then there's also things like using up some of the things that are used for the batteries that are that are not renewable resources either, things like blah, blah, blah, blah.

Ivan:
[30:53]
But there's but but here's the other thing. They have started a lot of them to start recycling these batteries, OK?

There are already a whole bunch of those programs starting of to to recycle these batteries. So those those batteries are a lot of the components are recyclable.

And, um, so it's, look over a 12 year span, which is the average life of a car right now, so many cars are on the road, the reduction that you will do no matter how the hell the damn electric is done, no matter what the hell is on the, on the supply chain or whatever, you know, taking into account all the factors, it's just so much less, uh, uh, CO2.

And so people just have to just stop, you know.

Telling themselves these lies because they it's just the data doesn't back up there that the the bullshit and and like I but like I said again even like not perfect steps okay are still good because you know yeah I'm connecting to a power grid here that one third is zero emissions generating because we got a lot of nuclear power as well on the grid it.

The rest is, is, uh, is a natural gas.

Um, and so natural gas does, by burning it does produce way less, uh, CO2 than other fuels.

However, the concern has been recently and it's a, it's a valid concern that in the extraction and production of natural gas, in certain places, they are releasing methane, OK?

Sam:
[32:45]
Right.

Ivan:
[32:46]
At that at that point. And that the production of natural gas that are places where they have some they have let some massive methane gas be released is causing a lot.

That is a very bad thing.

Sam:
[33:04]
Methane is worse than CO2 in terms of the climate change.

Ivan:
[33:08]
Yeah, yeah. And so the thing is, but but but the thing is that look, that has been an issue with natural gas production that already exists.

The reality is that if you're driving and using the burnt natural gas, you're going to be emitting less CO2 anyway than if you're driving your gasoline car.

Sam:
[33:32]
So that shouldn't stop you anyway from doing that, but the issue is still an incremental improvement, even though you can, you can of course think of something that would be better.

And, you know, and people have pointed out that like even better than going, you know, from, uh, gas cars to electric cars would be ditched the car entirely and do public transport, better public transport and yes, maybe not feasible for a lot of people, but it's not feasible for a lot of places and, and also places.

Yeah, it depends. Like, you know, if we had a public transport infrastructure, that it was built out as much as Europe is, maybe it would be feasible for a lot more people, but we don't.

And it would take a huge effort to get there and a huge cost to get there.

So in the meantime, you make the incremental improvements that you can.

Ivan:
[34:20]
Yeah. And that's, I think the main thing, you know, it doesn't look like I said, that, um, yeah, I think that the one thing is I was thinking about this and I was thinking about what we're burning and what's been going on.

It's just, uh, you just have to be comprehensive about how we attack every single one of these sources of this. Um, it isn't one thing that will do it.

It's like, uh, there's no magic.

Sam:
[34:48]
I tell Yvonne. No, no.

Ivan:
[34:50]
It's like how I was telling my wife. If it's things like, for example, Oh, look at that cute, beautiful, bigger house. And I'm like, now I'm like, why? Because because that that's just, you know, you want to know the what are the biggest things that Americans do that burns more, that emits more CO2 is getting a bigger damn house.

And I'm just like, no, I will not. I will not won't do it.

I mean, I just you know, I don't want to do that.

Sam:
[35:18]
Because you don't need it.

Ivan:
[35:20]
And we don't need we're perfectly fine with this. It's just because I don't know.

Yes, it'll be nicer and whatever whatnot, maybe, but we don't need more space.

It's okay. This is perfectly comfortable. We're not in a place where we're tight.

Yeah, I would be more, you know, would have some more amenities and stuff, but I don't want to increase our carbon footprint so much just because it's nice.

I just don't want to. too. I, I, I'm just trying to be more conscious about that. I'm just like, no.

And I mean, I wish if more people thought like that, we wouldn't have this fucking problem, but so many, nobody, there's so many people that just walk around and just don't care at all.

As, as the ocean that is like a 90 degrees around here.

Sam:
[36:13]
Let me finish up on gas. And then I think we'll pick up environmental stuff a bit more for my first topic in the next segment, but I just wanted to mention you, you mentioned, uh, what was your equivalent gas mileage?

Like 90 something you said?

Ivan:
[36:27]
So I'm getting like 90, 90.6. What I got, that was what I got my first. Okay.

Sam:
[36:32]
So I'll just give you my car right now. My.

However, however many years old it was. I always forget my old Subaru Impreza, um, is now getting about 25.

Ivan:
[36:45]
25.

Sam:
[36:45]
Okay. Yeah. I get about 350 miles on a 14 gallon tank. So that's about 25. Yeah.

Ivan:
[36:53]
When I filled today, I got 90.3. Now. Yeah.

Sam:
[36:56]
Now it might be a little bit less right now.

Well, it's probably gone up some actually, because it was much lower because I was before they forced me back into the office, which by the way, in and of itself for what you were just talking about, I'm emitting a hell of a lot more CO2 than I was a couple of months ago. I know I am it.

Ivan:
[37:16]
Yeah.

Sam:
[37:18]
But yeah, no. Before that, almost like my driving was literally back and forth to my son's school. Like, oh, God.

Ivan:
[37:25]
So, yeah, I mean, that's it was like not that the cat. Yes.

Sam:
[37:28]
But the gas mileage was at was probably horrible because it was it was all low speed stop and go stop signs, stop lights, things like that.

And like maybe maybe to fast food or grocery store. but it was all local short hops.

There was no long-term driving at all, or it was very rare.

Now I'm doing the 50 mile back and round trip on a regular basis.

And so it's probably up a little bit than it was.

I think the 350 is probably more like what it is right now. When I was doing mostly highway, when I was commuting five days a week before pandemic, it was more like 400 miles on a tank.

And I think it was probably like 300 when I was doing all local and so, nah, split the difference. It's probably around 350 now.

Anyway, but I will also mention that at the moment, Washington State has taken the crown from California for the most expensive gas in the country. We are- Yay!

Ivan:
[38:29]
I know, we are number one.

Sam:
[38:31]
We're number one.

Um, yeah, it's routinely over $5 a gallon again here.

So, and apparently there are a number of factors, uh, regarding that.

There was like some capacity issues, some transportation issues, and also taxes went up, gas taxes went up.

So between those three things, yeah, we're, we're now number one.

So I'm very excited about that.

Ivan:
[39:02]
Well, one thing that I for, I forgot.

Sam:
[39:04]
And by the way, I just want to say this, this was a, the tax part of it was a state law.

It was passed before my wife was in the legislature and she would like to tell folks that for the record, if she'd been in the legislature, she would have voted against this.

Ivan:
[39:22]
Well, what was the tax money going towards?

Sam:
[39:25]
Oh, I have no idea. I don't know the details. Uh, they were, uh, the, the, and I would have to get her on to talk about it more.

Ivan:
[39:34]
And I was just curious.

Sam:
[39:36]
It happened before she even, yeah, I think that undoubtedly some transportation, some other stuff there's, uh, but bottom line, they, they, the, when they passed it, they were under the mistaken impression.

Ivan:
[39:50]
That's going to be cheap.

Sam:
[39:51]
That, well, yeah, they, they expected the underlying prices to be lower for other reasons.

They expected that the gas companies would swallow some of it and like, duh, what the fuck?

No, they're like, they could have taken less of a profit margin.

I'd like, have you ever met a company?

Ivan:
[40:15]
Look, I, like I had to explain to somebody that what it basically is wanted to give me stuff free. I'm like, Look, I'm sorry, but we're not a nonprofit organization. Please. You know, I mean, give me a break. Yeah.

Anyway, anyway, I was going to mention also that our electric car charging stations have been I set up an electric car charging station here at the condo to allow people that don't have a garage like myself to be able to charge.

Aside from the fact that my my charger, you know, because I'm on a one ten there is relative is pretty slow.

But but this are you going to have it? I don't.

Man, the public charger that we have here so close, I don't need to.

If I need a full, usually like I could get up the charge I need like overnight on the 110.

And if I need to charge it faster, I'll just put it on that charger and I'll get up charge like in a couple of hours because my onboard charger is relatively slow.

But we got a few people here with like, uh, Tesla's and Mustang Mach-E's and, uh, You know, I had put this charger that.

It's an 80 amp charger so it will do a throughput of about 20 KW hours per an hour okay.

And most of the public chargers that you see out there that are not like superchargers.

They output like six or seven. So they plugged into this one and they were like wow.

This thing's fast you know it's like compared to most of the chargers so they've been able to.

I mean, there was a guy with a Tesla. He just plugged in the other day and he have a in two and a half hours.

He was able to he was a little less than half and he was able to basically get the full in less than three hours plugged in.

So it's so it's working really well. And these only don't even have the fastest onboard chargers, like because these are Model Y's that they have.

And so that will go like 12 KW an hour, something like that.

But if you've got a car with a faster charger, say like a Lucid or a Model S Tesla, they'll charge at 20 kW an hour. I mean, they could charge.

I mean, that charger there could charge that car up one of those full in about five hours.

OK, from zero. So that's compared to most home chargers, you know, or or like non fast charging stations that they're pretty quick.

So people are happy with that.

And I have on the agenda for next year, in order to make that totally sustainable, after I finish this construction project, I am going to get the damn clubhouse solar.

I am going to install a full solar system. So therefore, those plugs will provide will be powered entirely by by renewable energy.

So, uh, so that's my congratulations. Thank you.

Sam:
[43:21]
So that's not that you haven't done it yet, but well, I guess, congratulations on planning.

Ivan:
[43:27]
Well, I got, well, I got the car charging stations for the solar.

Sam:
[43:31]
Yeah. The solar. Yeah.

Ivan:
[43:33]
But, but it's on the, it's, it's going to happen. We're going to get, it's on the list.

I figured out a way I think that we can finance it and get it done.

And I'm just going to have it. So that way to people that will charge cars here, I'll be using a hundred percent renewable energy.

Sam:
[43:48]
So, so that's okay. So, uh, one more thing I forgot, like logistically, I mentioned that you're out the next two weeks. The other thing I wanted to mention, I keep forgetting things, is that.

I have, for the curmudgeons-corner.com website, I have added transcripts.

Ivan:
[44:08]
Oh yes, we were chatting about that online.

Sam:
[44:11]
We talked way back in January, we talked a little bit about podcast transcripts and our listener Peter had made some posts not explicitly referencing us, but he had talked about how transcripts were important to him and to lots of people and it makes it more accessible and blah, blah, blah.

And I protested about it being hard and blah, blah, blah.

And several things happened since then. The service that I use for the post-processing of these podcasts that does automatic leveling and removing some background noises and stuff like that, they added in-built automated transcripts a couple months ago.

And at first, they weren't working all that reliably, but they seem to have worked out the chunks, worked out the chunks, no, worked out the glitches.

The first couple of times I tried it, it would do things like, it wouldn't tell the difference between me and Yvonne, so it would just be one big massive text, or the text that was coming out of it was just so garbled, it was comical.

Anyway, they seem to have worked out most of that. So I have set up a workflow now that I can very easily get the transcript out of that service, drop it onto the website.

It gets picked up on the website automatically and included.

So if you go to convergence-corner.com.

And click on a specific episode, then you'll have the general information, the description, the, all that kind of stuff at the top, and then an automated transcript below.

Uh, so it's not, if you go straight to convergence-corner.com, it's just a list of the five most recent episodes, but if you click on a specific episode, you'll get that.

Um, I was, I'm not able to go back throughout our entire history and retroactively do this.

It's sort of for the new episodes that are coming out.

So from all of the episodes at the moment from June 17th of this year forward, so like the last four or five episodes, uh, I think it's four episodes plus this one, um, now have the transcript on it and it's still not perfect.

There's still a lot of places where it clearly is confused and is saying something, not quite what we said.

It has no idea how to spell Yvonne's name. It gets, it spells it in like five or six different ways. None of which are correct.

So I'm looking, I'm looking at one, one of the ones that does regularly is Y V O N N E.

Ivan:
[46:38]
Um, I mean, you know, what's up, female. Yeah.

Sam:
[46:43]
Yeah. Um, but you know, it's that kind of stuff.

It also tends to sometimes like it's, it, it now, it does identify everything is Sam or Yvonne, but sometimes, like right when we switch talking, Like, if Yvonne is talking and then I start talking.

It the first few words it has in the part that it says was me might have actually been the last few words Yvonne said, which I actually is a little bit confusing to me because I feed it.

I feed the system separate tracks for the two of us. It's not like we're together and it's using AI to figure out who's who. I guess maybe it's doing that.

Ivan:
[47:21]
We're not using AI. No, no, no.

Sam:
[47:24]
Losers are we this is all freaking AI it is using AI it's just it's I I don't think it's trying to use that to separate our voices it should be using the fact that I'm giving it to it in two different tracks to begin with but sometimes it gets confused anyway and something that I say goes to Yvonne and blah blah blah yeah there's a bit but it's it's it's actually pretty good you can read these things and know what the fuck we were talking about when I tried I'd like transcripts, uh, you know, uh, offline back, not just when, uh, uh, you know, I was complaining about it early this year saying, uh, but like for years before, every once in a while, I would try to do an automated transcript and see how it came out.

And it was always so comically bad that there was just no point.

It's like, in order to make it usable, you would have to go in and hand, hand edit and fix it.

Now, at this point it's passable. Yeah, it fucks up every once in a while, but you can tell what we were talking about pretty good.

Um, and so, yeah, it's there now. I spent a little bit of time sort of hacking it so that I could just drop the file that the system produces.

Just transfer that file to my web server. And then it interprets that and reformats it to the way I wanted.

And I did this last weekend. It didn't, it took me like a couple hours, maybe two, three hours to get to do exactly what I wanted it to do, and I was quite happy with it.

So anyway, for those of you who like transcripts, you can now read our fucking podcasts if you wish to.

Ivan:
[49:00]
OK, now it's like a book.

Sam:
[49:02]
Exactly. You know, you no longer have to listen. You can read it instead. It is.

It is strange. I have not made it through reading an entire one.

I have skimmed because, you know, our podcasts really are meant to be listened to.

Listen to, um, and you know, and you can, the swearing stands out in a different way written than it does auditorially as well.

Um, but yeah, it's just, uh, I don't know, like it's, it's weird anyway, like, but yes, you can read it now if you want to.

Okay. And with that, let's take a break and then I will pick my first more serious topic. And like I said, I think I'm going to riff very serious, very serious.

And I think I'm going to continue off of sort of the environmental stuff we started to talk about there. So, back after this.

And that's that. OK, so let's start with, I forget exactly which day, which set of days it was, but at one point, people were pointing out first, hey, with a worldwide global average temperature, this is the hottest it's been in 100,000 years.

And then this record was broken the next day and the next day again.

And in the end, we ended up with, I believe, seven days in a row, that they weren't all.

Each one wasn't hotter than the one before. But we got to the point where the seven hottest days in the previous 100,000 years were all in the last week.

And I think we're probably down a little bit from that since then, because I haven't heard people continuing it with eight days, nine days, 10 days.

But we're we're breaking some records. And meanwhile, you know, we've got, we've got a massive heat wave in the United States right now.

Uh, Europe's pretty damn hot right now too. Uh, we've got flooding that we got flooding in new England and India.

We got other things going on.

Um, and you know, as everyone and the water temperature here offshore is at 90 degrees, right?

Ivan:
[52:10]
And an alarming number.

It's just, I mean, it is in the 90s.

Sam:
[52:19]
And I believe people have said there are a couple things that immediately come from that. First of all, like 90 degrees is damn hot for like water in the ocean. Okay.

Ivan:
[52:27]
Yeah.

Sam:
[52:28]
But there are coral reefs around Florida that may or may not survive this.

Also if you happen to get a hurricane coming your way, you're going to get some nice intensification while it goes over that water.

Ivan:
[52:41]
Hell yeah. Now it is it is for whatever reason the water that is closest to the coast.

So as you move away from the coast, it's it does cool down significantly.

But look, I mean, regardless, it's just a staggering amount of I mean, the temperature is just it's just a staggering number.

I just never seen it that like that. Um, and I, I just found it scary. I mean, nothing else.

Sam:
[53:19]
I, uh, well, and, and, you know, continuing along the lines, I mean, I mentioned heat wave, heat wave in the South, you got places like Phoenix that are hot anyway, but like the, the number of days they have over 110 degrees has like tripled in the last decade.

Like they used to get like five a year or something. and now they're getting 15 or 20. You know, this kind of thing is of course happening all over the world, and you're getting more and more extreme weather events.

And of course, look, here's the thing.

All of the climate scientists are sitting there going, we've been fucking telling you this for 40 years. Yeah.

You know, and, you know, we've been telling you that to prevent this kind of thing, you dramatic actions would have had to been taken and they weren't, and as you were saying, something's better than nothing and we are finally starting to move and there are some changes that are happening and they're happening quicker than some people thought right now, but at the same time, much slower than the climate folks said was necessary to prevent exactly what we're fucking seeing right now, which is like dramatic increases in the amount of serious climate related issues.

We've also got the wildfires in Canada going on. If you look at some of the charts of the amount of area covered by wildfires in Canada so far this year, this year is off the charts compared to previous years.

Ivan:
[55:00]
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sam:
[55:01]
You know, and you have, and the whole East Coast of the United States is feeling it because of that, because the smoke comes over there.

Even Europe is getting some of that smoke.

You know, and so we got all this coming on and, you know, and, it's going to get worse, and it's going to get worse for decades before it starts getting better. Now, I did hear Dr.

Mann, who's one of the big client scientists, he's the one who first did the hockey stick graph, the famous hockey stick graph.

What he has said is one good note about this is that they used to think, like 10, 20 years ago, they used to think that even if you cut all carbon emissions to zero overnight, the globe would still continue to warm for like another 100 to 200 years after you stopped.

And he says now that is, they don't believe that's as true.

They found additional mechanisms that can be used that basically say the earth will respond and stop heating much faster than we used to think it would after we stop creating the problem. We still have to stop creating the problem.

But basically, there are at least some indications that the Earth will be able to recover sooner than they thought it would otherwise.

But still, like the bottom line, and I mentioned this in the last segment, the carbon stuff right now is an emergency and it's becoming more and more obvious to people.

Like a lot, even a lot of the people who were outright denying it 10, 15, 20 years ago are now like, oh, okay. Yeah. Okay. Maybe, maybe we actually do need to do something about that.

Now there, there's still some holders on who are like, blah, blah, blah, blah, but they're fewer than there used to be. You know?

Um, and, and a lot of the things that you're talking about, like it seems like electric cars are hitting a tipping point, uh, where they're becoming more mainstream and the costs are going down, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Um, and those kinds of things are continuing the amount of the world's energy supply that is not carbon based is increasing every year.

Uh, it's still way lower than it needs to be. And it needs to be as close to a hundred percent non-carbon as we can get.

There may be some things that always have to be carbon, but like it's increasing every year I think it I think I saw somewhere in the last couple days that we're we're now around 30% Non-carbon world on a worldwide basis.

Obviously some places are better and some places are worse and You know, that's not as high as it needs to be but it's a lot better than it used to be so I I don't know.

But, and then we've got other people are talking about like, we have gotten to the point though so that even if we do...

Fix this through improved technology, better use of energy sources so that we're using less carbon, etc.

We are still in for lots of adaptation that is going to happen, that is going to have to happen.

Because there are places that will become much harder to live in than they used to be.

The where is fertile for crops and stuff is going to move and change based on this.

Um, you know, you've already, you've already got like the, the, the coastal countries like, uh, in Bangladesh and the, what's the island thing in the Indian ocean.

There's some of the, and some in the Pacific that are just losing land.

The country's going to disappear.

Ivan:
[59:02]
Madagascar you mean?

Sam:
[59:03]
No, no, not that one. I wanted a little Sri Lanka. No, no, like the seashells or something. Oh, okay.

And maybe it wasn't even that one of the small, like the small little Island nations that aren't like, that don't have a lot of high ground are in a lot of danger. No, no. Oh yeah.

Ivan:
[59:22]
Yeah.

Sam:
[59:23]
Now there are some that are bait letter, like on the sides of mountains and stuff and they've got high ground and, but, and, but the ones that are very flat, they're fucked.

Ivan:
[59:31]
Yeah. It was seeing talking about that a little bit about some of the islands in the Bahamas specifically Where some of the recent hurricanes that hit?

The the search because they are so flat. It's it's almost that there is no place to really Escape on some of those islands versus like volcanic islands and the the others that come out that have a lot of high ground That's a that's a much different story, you know usually I mean a lot of those the The approach to the ocean is pretty steep, okay, you know in most cases so therefore it's like they make you know, some coastal areas will you know get affected but not you know, the bulk of Of an island not that it doesn't have effects, you know regardless, but it's not the it's not the same you know, so yeah, it's just I just I just, um, you know, when this shit is going on, I just, these, these people, I just, I just get just angry.

I just started getting really angry.

Um, it, it, it just, um, I think at the, the, the, the large group of politicians that basically just, decided that this was just a game.

Sam:
[1:00:57]
Well, politicians and obviously some of the carbon-based industries like, uh, yeah, last year sometime, um, or maybe it wasn't last year.

I, a while back though, there was a frontline series. I love frontline as a TV show, by the way.

Ivan:
[1:01:11]
Yeah.

Sam:
[1:01:11]
Really high quality document.

Ivan:
[1:01:12]
I do too.

Sam:
[1:01:14]
They had a really good one on the, on Putin and the rebellion, like this week that was like, I mean, it's only been three weeks since it happened and they put one out that was really good, but no, a while back they had one that was on, it was a three part special or whatever of the history of the oil industry misinformation campaign on climate change.

Ivan:
[1:01:37]
Yeah, because I'd heard a little bit about this.

Sam:
[1:01:39]
Cause basically internally, they knew it, their scientists were among the first to definitively show that this was happening back like in the 1980s.

And there was actually a, for a very short period of time, like Exxon and some of the others were devoting significant amount of money to non-carbon based energy.

And then at some point they were like, this is too expensive, fuck it.

And they instead doubled and tripled down on pumping out tons and tons and tons of misinformation and FUD, the fear, uncertainty and doubt kind of stuff, where basically they're saying, oh, we don't really know.

It would be precipitous to do anything dramatic policy-wise, because we have no idea.

And where, in fact, they fucking knew. They fucking knew with a lot of certainty.

And they, of course, were able to then in turn affect the politicians.

And there were several times in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, where we were on the verge of passing legislation that would have, you know, potentially made a dent in this, and they killed it.

They were able to use their influence to kill it. And so, yes, it's very frustrating.

And again, like, you know, I mentioned all the climate scientists sort of saying, we fucking told you so.

Well, yeah, they've been beating this drum over and over and over again for decades and for the most part, like nothing dramatic has happened.

Now have some actions happened? Absolutely. We were just talking about a bunch of things that are a lot better than they used to be, but we are way behind the curve of where we should have been if this was taken seriously decades ago, Hey, you know, we had Al Gore pounding the table about this, you know, Let's put it to you this way, think about, yes, think about, you want to know the effects of fucking Florida election?

Ivan:
[1:03:45]
Think about how different things would be if Al Gore had been president instead of George to push on this issue.

I mean, just on this fucking issue.

Sam:
[1:03:57]
Right.

Ivan:
[1:03:58]
I mean, you're talking about another one. That was another historical mistake that this country made.

Sam:
[1:04:04]
Oh, yeah. I mean, obviously that would have affected other things too, quite a bit. But this specifically, yeah, absolutely.

The approach would have been entirely and totally different.

Ivan:
[1:04:14]
I mean, the impact it would have had on a global scale on this, if Al Gore would have been president.

Sam:
[1:04:23]
And this also, by the way, this is another thing where the fact that this issue for it's, it's still is, but it's less than it was a little while ago.

The fact that this issue became a partisan issue made it oh, so much worse because it made it harder to do anything that was useful.

I mean, there, there are a bunch of things that have been shown that like this climate, There are a lot of things that improve this situation that conservatives in very conservative red States are actually absolutely thrilled to see happen.

As long as you pitch it the right way, you don't say we're going to put in wind power because it's going to save the environment or it's anti-global warming or stuff, because they'll, they immediately turn off.

But if you're like, hey, we can install this thing and your electric prices will drop in half Then they're like right. Yeah, that's awesome.

Yeah. Yeah, right, you know It's just a matter of how you pitch it and what you emphasize as the cost-benefit analysis.

Ivan:
[1:05:31]
Look what happened? Well, listen, I don't know. Maybe that's the thing about this Look, um, I I got a $7,500 tax credit and I am basically spending And they, you know, like, what, $30 a month on gas?

Sam:
[1:05:45]
Mm-hmm.

Ivan:
[1:05:46]
Driving over a thousand miles.

Sam:
[1:05:50]
I mean, and that's part of where you see like the electric car stuff starting to take off because people are starting to see that under the right circumstances, you will save money.

Ivan:
[1:06:01]
Like a lot of money.

Sam:
[1:06:02]
Right now, they're still kind of expensive and pricey, but the tax credits help with that. And then once you got them, your cost per mile is dramatically less.

And also, by the way, this is helped by things like I saw one of those F-150 lightnings the the other day, you know, like actually driving on the street around here.

And that's the kind of thing too, where, you know, you put out like the Tesla and it's like a geek car.

It's like, you know, now, well now Elon is like, he's got his whole MAGA reputation going now, but like back then, like that was the thing the liberal, liberal hippie freaks wanted to draw, right.

You know, but you stick a F one 50 and make it electric.

Now you're going after a whole different demographic. Yes. you make it cool for them and you talk about the power of the thing has and how fast it accelerates and it's, it's torque and how much it can pull and blah, blah, blah.

You know, the fact that it's electric is like an extra cool thing, whatever. Then, but it's a, it's, it's a, it's a truck. It's the truck they want. It's familiar.

It looks roughly the same as the old trucks. And you know, it's not like some weird funky modern design. It's a fucking pickup truck.

You know? Yep.

Ivan:
[1:07:17]
Yes, it is.

Sam:
[1:07:18]
They, they do make the headlights look a little bit different and the tail lights, they, they do a few little things.

It does look a little bit different, but yeah, but, but for the most part, it looks like an F one 50. Yeah. Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:07:29]
You know, and, uh, and they're coming out with, uh, you know, the Chevy with a Silverado, which is their pickup truck.

Sam:
[1:07:36]
They're coming out with one, two, like pretty soon and also that's, and by the way, just by comparison, I I've been seeing a lot of these Rivian trucks around.

Ivan:
[1:07:45]
Oh yeah. The Rivians are cool.

Sam:
[1:07:47]
But they look distinctly different. They're going after a different group of people, I think.

Ivan:
[1:07:53]
But I'll tell you what, those are pretty cool. They're rude.

And they're pretty well-made. Yes.

Sam:
[1:07:58]
So anyway, but the point is, you can get people to adopt behaviors that are going to help by pitching it the right way. And we found this out in the pandemic, too, by the way.

And it frustrates me, but there's a whole group of the, The basic divide in our society right now, at least one of them, seems to be.

Which people can you motivate by appealing to the common good versus which people you can only appeal to by what's good for them?

And, you know, but a lot of these things that are going to serve the public good will also be good individually.

Like, not all of it is a trade-off. Not all of it is like you have to give up all your... Like, you're talking about, I want a smaller house because it's less footprint. That's a hard sell.

But I know, but I pick a, I go into the camp.

Ivan:
[1:08:58]
Uh, how do you describe the ones that do the stuff for the, uh, other common good? Right. Yeah. I, yeah, that, yeah.

Sam:
[1:09:05]
You see that that's my, but yeah, but at the same time, a pitch that just says, Hey, you're going to save a ton of money by doing this. That's going to appeal to everybody.

Even the people who couldn't give a crap about the common good.

Because it benefits them individually.

Ivan:
[1:09:25]
I know, I know, I know.

Sam:
[1:09:28]
And I think the key to getting actual significant progress in the, in this area is to double down on the second, the message.

And I hear lots of people still on the message that says the, in order to solve this problem, we need everybody to sacrifice in one way or another, do something they don't want to do.

Like I mentioned public transport before public transportation before lots of people hate that.

Hell, I hate that. I don't like it. It's not as good an experience as driving.

I like it when it's well done and it's on on my route and it's exactly what I want to do.

Like in DC when I was in there, like I Metro all the time, but like, you know, but in my personal situation, like if If I wanted to take public transportation to work, it's incredibly inconvenient.

It's at, and I have to worry about schedules and it takes twice as fucking long as just driving, you know, because of the schedules and when I would have to be aware.

So it's, it would have to be a sacrifice for me. And so, yeah, but yes, this is, this is the fundamental thing is like, as long as you.

There are lots and lots of people out there who still pitch it in the sacrifice mode.

It's like, there's this big global problem and we need everybody to come together and eat your broccoli and give up all these cool things so that we can save the planet.

That is a losing way to present it.

You have to do it in terms of here is what the benefit is for you right now and not benefit for your kids or grandkids or the world a hundred years from now.

What's the benefit to them right now instantly?

And if you can't pitch it in that way, it's not gonna happen, even if it means the whole freaking planet burns.

Ivan:
[1:11:21]
Yeah, I know. Wow.

Okay, so we have to sell it, but we have to pitch it, right? Yes.

Sam:
[1:11:30]
Okay, I'm done. Your turn.

Ivan:
[1:11:32]
Uh, wait, don't we take it out? Oh, we're taking turns. Okay.

Um, all right. So, um, did you hear about this, um, Burger King, all cheese burger?

Sam:
[1:11:49]
Oh, I did hear that. This wasn't in the U S this was somewhere.

Ivan:
[1:11:52]
It was not in the U S. It was in Thailand. Right.

Where apparently they were selling a cheeseburger. But the cheeseburger was let me let me read the description here.

It's it's, you know, the invention from this is the read. This is from an article in The New York Times.

Social media's latest food fascination. This is simple formula.

One sesame burger plus 20 slices of American cheese.

Sam:
[1:12:23]
That's a lot of fucking cheese.

Ivan:
[1:12:24]
That's a lot of cheese. I know And I love cheese and I'm like, whoa, wait this adventure for Burger King Thailand has no sauce pickle or vegetable Attorney nor does have a patty by many accounts.

The cheese is not even grilled or melted Okay, the so-called real cheeseburger prompts disbelief but Burger King Thailand's not the put doubts in a Facebook post announcing it on Sunday Not for fun.

This is real pretty cheap.

Sam:
[1:12:54]
By the way, $3 and 15 set to be to be fair here Now 20 slices might be a little bit excessive But a cheese sandwich is not actually unusual No Listen I I will okay right now for breakfast.

Ivan:
[1:13:10]
I basically I will eat cheese sandwiches every morning.

Sam:
[1:13:13]
Okay, let's be clear cheese Now do you have real cheese or just straight up like, like they were saying, not here.

Ivan:
[1:13:19]
Here's I've done, but here's my, here's my formula. Okay.

Sam:
[1:13:23]
All right.

Ivan:
[1:13:23]
For the morning. All right. I'll put the, I'll put the bread in the toaster. Okay. Okay.

Um, and then I'll take the bread out of the toaster and then I'll, I'll apply of butter and the cheese and then I will briefly microwave that for 15 to 20 seconds.

To melt the butter and the cheese and you, you, well, you'd be thinking, why don't I just put it in the oven?

What happens is my wife was complaining that when I did that, it would melt in the oven and then it would fall down on the bottom and it would burn.

It would make a mess choose, right? And so therefore, in order to avoid the mess, this is why I have my two-step preparation process for, for, for breakfast.

And so that's what I will eat. So therefore, Look, it is appealing to me to have this kind of a cheese burger, but look, it's not melted.

I mean, this is what I've had. I've had cheese.

Sam:
[1:14:23]
Now, just to be clear, like you described a grilled cheese sandwich, essentially, you know, but a straight up cheese sandwich bread, a couple slices of cheese, another slice of bread, not cook, not anything, just slices straight out of the package.

Ivan:
[1:14:38]
I've had it like that too. What I've liked that I guess.

Sam:
[1:14:40]
It's fine. It's fine.

Ivan:
[1:14:42]
I mean, but that's 20 slices of cheese. You're having one.

Sam:
[1:14:45]
She is a little excessive.

Ivan:
[1:14:47]
I mean, that's, I mean, that's all. I mean, try like, like, I would do that.

Sam:
[1:14:51]
I would do that with like two or three slices, right?

Ivan:
[1:14:53]
Right.

Sam:
[1:14:55]
Not 20 is a little excited. Now.

I also, I have been known to just eat cheese slices straight up.

I, I have to, and sometimes I'll eat five or six of those in a sitting like I've done that, but not 20, but not 20, right?

Ivan:
[1:15:13]
20.

Sam:
[1:15:13]
I mean, that's like an entire pack of craft singles.

Ivan:
[1:15:20]
Yes, yes, basically just as what, that's why I think the price, I mean for $3 and 15 cents, it's pretty good. Thank you.

You know, you're getting 20 slices of cheese. Hell, I remember.

I can't remember where the hell it was. It was at some burger place. Okay.

Where if you ordered a burger, you added cheese.

And this was a long time ago. I'm talking like probably 20 years ago.

They added 25 cents just to add one slice of cheese and the damn thing.

Okay. So think about this. You've got, I mean, you've got $5 worth of cheese in this thing and you got the bread for 315.

Sam:
[1:15:56]
Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:15:58]
So, um, but apparently they're going to, it's they're, they said that they're going to discontinue it pretty soon.

Sam:
[1:16:04]
Well, yeah, this is obviously a stunt.

Ivan:
[1:16:07]
Well, it got our attention. I mean, it's in fucking Thailand and we're talking about it all the way over here. Yvonne, I think the company said, damn it, damn it.

The company sent an email that the sandwich will not be featured in the United States nor elsewhere.

Sam:
[1:16:21]
Well, Yvonne, here's the thing. I think you now must have a mission.

Which is you will be out the next two weeks. By the time you come back, you need to have made yourself one of these and eaten it and come back with a report.

Ivan:
[1:16:37]
I will assess the feasibility of doing that.

Okay. Yes. All right. I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll see.

Now, you know, one of these things that this, this reminds me, uh, I, I, and watch the carbon footprint of that damn cheese.

Oh boy, yeah, oh yeah, that's another problem.

But anyway, I was recalling, I can't remember where in which, whether it was in my when I was getting my bachelor's in business or master's, but we had been doing a Harvard business case on international franchises.

OK, and it included like we're talking about case of it was KFC.

I think it was KFC at Burger King, but I'm pretty sure most of the stuff that I remember is related to KFC in our international franchises where McDonald's, when they franchise internationally, when they did it, they maintained quite a lot of the similar control over the production of the menus and everything like they did. it.

Uh here in the u.s which made it that uh the product was pretty consistent on a global basis but that some some others did not and i still remember the case where in kfc there were some countries that they had franchised kfc they weren't even selling chicken okay right okay all right they were selling anything else a chicken and i and i remember there was there was the other case where when franchisee in like, in like Southeast Asia, okay.

Near here where they made some deal to buy some really cheap chicken. Okay.

All right. That was being fed fish. Okay.

And they were feeding the chickens fish. The chicken tasted disgusting.

It tasted like fish.

It was just so horrible. Okay. Basically that franchisee also went out of business.

And so this here, I, I think also one of the reasons why we're talking fried chicken fish.

Yeah. So this is, I believe that this, this is part of that, where some of these international franchisees sometimes take some liberties or related to budget.

This is just, they went just a little bit off the reservation and sometimes by the way, you know, he's like, well, no, no, no, we're not doing a fucking cheese cheese burger.

Sam:
[1:19:11]
I mean, there's the whole pulp, pulp fiction routine about the Royal with cheese, but, um, yeah, but no, the, uh, but some of this is actually important to adapt the menu to the local culture and expectations, and it's not just 100% go in and have an American restaurant, like, cause not might or might not work depending on where you are.

So they take some of the classic American things, but they also add some local flair. And, you know, and that's perfectly understandable and probably a good thing.

Ivan:
[1:19:44]
Listen, but, but listen, I think that was more in the past. And the one thing about it...

You know, these global franchises say like Starbucks, right?

Sam:
[1:19:56]
Yeah. Now, now they have to be completely consistent everywhere.

Ivan:
[1:19:59]
Oh my God. Look, look, exactly. I mean, now they're, they will add some local things to the menu. Okay. All right. But look, I've tried Starbucks shit all around, all over the world.

Oh, I've had Starbucks in China. I've had Starbucks in Hong Kong, in Singapore, in Malaysia, in Moscow.

Sam:
[1:20:21]
And here's the question. France did they feed the coffee fish?

Ivan:
[1:20:28]
I don't think so. None of them.

Sam:
[1:20:29]
The little coffee animals that they slot out in order to make.

Ivan:
[1:20:33]
No, no, no.

Sam:
[1:20:34]
Coffee does come from slaughtered animals. Doesn't it?

Ivan:
[1:20:36]
No, no, that's not how that works. No, that's not how that works.

Sam:
[1:20:41]
Don't the, don't the little animals poop out the coffee then?

Ivan:
[1:20:44]
Not now. They don't know that. That's that. Well, there is that Kopi Luwak coffee where apparently the monkeys like will, will like, uh, digest and then you get them when they, when they poop them. Yes. They will do that.

Sam:
[1:20:58]
Well, there you go. No, no. Hey, yeah. I'm, I'm obvious.

Ivan:
[1:21:00]
But that's, but that's like about a hundred dollars a cup of coffee.

Sam:
[1:21:04]
Oh yeah. I'm sure that's worth it.

Ivan:
[1:21:06]
Yeah. I first heard of that in a, in a movie, uh, uh, uh, but I, I did go, I have, I know a restaurant here that served it and I saw it on the menu. I did not order it. Okay.

Sam:
[1:21:21]
You know, when I am looking through the menu to try to decide what to eat or drink, The first thing I think is not.

Has this been previously eaten, digested, and pooped out by an animal?

Because if so, oh my God, I'm willing to pay hundreds for that.

Ivan:
[1:21:42]
Hundreds, hundreds.

Sam:
[1:21:45]
No, this is not how I think about my food. Even food that actually does come from animals.

I am a meat eater, but I still am not thinking I want something that's gone through an animal in that way. Although I do understand, you know, some people's ideas of delicacies.

Ivan:
[1:22:03]
Anyway, I've, I've driven you away from your point, but go back.

The, you know, the thing is that Starbucks, most of the main drinks remain the same.

They have, you know, they do have certain local things at, at the different Starbucks, but the core products are the same.

And that's the same that I've seen with like, uh, McDonald's, you know, that I, that I I've seen globally, uh, but they do have some local added things, but the core, you know, Hey, you're going to McDonald's around the world.

There's a fucking big Mac on the main. Okay. All right.

You know, you're, you're, you know, there's a fuck, you know, you're not going like this franchise.

He has mentioned that you're going to, this one that was at Africa.

I remember that they had KFC and they didn't have chicken on the menu.

I mean, why the fuck are you KFC? Damn it. You're not going to sell fucking chicken, right?

You know, so so I think it's important that they keep those.

But yeah, but they they do things for local flavor and whatnot.

You know, but man, I'm trying to think what countries have been to Starbucks up in France, in Spain, in shit, in in Argentina, in Mexico.

Fuck in Russia.

Yeah, yeah, it's been a lot of I've been to Starbucks in a lot of countries.

They're fucking all over the world. I mean, I remember that I got off a plane in Singapore. The first thing I think it was, where did I get to? Was it?

Jesus, was it Indonesia? Yeah, but I landed a kid on a fucking plane.

First thing I see fucking Starbucks, I go, What the hell, man?

Even here, you can't escape it.

Sam:
[1:23:48]
Nope. Nope. They're everywhere.

Ivan:
[1:23:50]
Yeah.

Sam:
[1:23:51]
Okay. So shall we take a break?

Ivan:
[1:23:53]
Yes.

Sam:
[1:23:54]
Okay. We are taking our second break and then we will come back with two more topics. One for me, one from Yvonne, and then we'll wrap it up back after this.

Wait, my voice did something weird there. there. Anyway, we'll be back after this.

Ivan:
[1:25:16]
The sky of mind.

Sam:
[1:26:08]
You usually find music. Okay. We are back and it's my turn and I just want to pick up on a topic.

Ivan:
[1:26:18]
It's your turn to see what you can see.

Sam:
[1:26:22]
Beautiful, beautiful. I am touched.

Ivan:
[1:26:28]
It's your turn.

Sam:
[1:26:31]
You know, I, I, you should put that on Spotify. I'm sure a lot of people would stream that.

Ivan:
[1:26:36]
Hey, they pay for fucking white noise. Why the hell would they pay for that shit? Exactly.

Sam:
[1:26:46]
Okay. Um, anyway, I wanted to pick up on something, uh, you know, uh, the, the Putin-Pragosin meeting and just following up on that whole situation.

Cause just when we thought like, oh, okay. Like there was this thing and then...

Ivan:
[1:27:04]
You're gonna kill him?

Sam:
[1:27:06]
Yeah, first of all, he was on the way to Moscow, and then he suddenly turns around, apparently with a deal that he just had to go to Belarus.

And then it turned out that people were reporting that his private jet, Pragosian's private jet, was flying all over the place, back and forth from Belarus to St.

Petersburg to Moscow, and just flying all over the place.

There's, there was like a, an animation somewhere that I saw that just had boo, boo, boo, boo, boo, boo.

It was just going all over the place. And then, then suddenly we find out that like five days after the sudden turnaround, Putin and Prigozhin had a meeting along with all the the other Wagner group commanders, like in Moscow, like in a big room, like.

Now we didn't get a lot of reporting on exactly what came out of that But it's like what the hell and then we've had some reports that the latest I saw were reports that most of the Wagner Most of the Wagner troops actually are now in Belarus and they are starting to work training the Belarus Military and that Progo Yes, and that Progozhin may actually be with his troops now in Belarus after, yes, flying all over the place back and forth from Russia to Belarus.

But the Wagner group is not actively engaged in Ukraine anymore.

But now they are now in Belarus, or at least a big chunk of them, and they're doing something with the Belarusian military.

And I'm like, Like what, what, what's going on? And it's, it's sort of receded a bit from the headlines, but it's, it's very confusing.

It's like, I don't, and you know, I've never been a Russia expert, obviously you haven't either, you know, a little bits here and there.

So do I, but like, this is weird.

Ivan:
[1:29:05]
We may not be experts when we probably studied more than a lot of other people.

And this is beyond weird at this point. Look, usually these people, they're dead. Yeah. Yeah. They're just fucking dead. They disappear.

They get sent to the gulag and they don't, they don't, you know, the rebels don't come back and have a fucking meeting with Abbott, you know, and all his friends and just get to walk away like that.

This isn't, I, I really, and, and, and look, nobody understands what the fuck is going on. Nobody. We're all like, what the hell is going on?

We have no clue. Yeah.

Sam:
[1:29:52]
And, and so like some, some of the people who were initially saying things like, well, maybe Putin and Pragosian were in this together to begin with as a way to get rid of the other military people that Pragosian didn't like.

And at first it was like, well, that seems silly. And now I'm like, I don't know, maybe, but then, then why was Putin out there?

Like getting, like you said, he was on TV.

He seemed mad. He seemed out of control. He's like, they will be punished.

They will reverse blah, blah, blah. And then like hours later, it felt entirely like not even days later, hours later, suddenly everything's fine. Everything's fine.

Ivan:
[1:30:34]
No problem. No problem.

Sam:
[1:30:37]
We're all good. I don't understand.

Ivan:
[1:30:39]
Nobody does.

Sam:
[1:30:44]
And, and so far, at least it doesn't seem to have had that big of an effect on whatever's going on in Ukraine proper.

We looked at some, you know, on the convergence corner slack, we shared some maps that are going around from a, it is a mastodon account called war mapper who puts out daily maps of the Ukrainian situation.

And he put out a monthly summary that basically showed like the progression of who controlled what territory over the last year and a half and basically since December, the amount of actual territory that's changed hands either way has been trivially small.

But there has been a flip like for the first few months from December until a couple of months ago, it was small Russian games every month, the last.

Two months have been small Ukrainian games, but they are tiny.

They're tiny little slivers of land. Um, now apparently some of them I'm hearing are potentially strategic and important, but a lot of it is just slogging along a frontline that's hundreds of miles long and really battling over meters.

Um, and so that hasn't moved very well and sort of, uh, it hasn't gone as well as the Ukrainians have thought, but there were, there was at least some consideration, we mentioned it on the show, like with the, with the Wagner group pulling out and the Russian military demoralized, maybe they would collapse at some point and the Ukrainians would move a lot faster and maybe that'll still happen, but it hasn't yet.

And, and then whatever the hell's going on in Belarus now, I don't know.

Ivan:
[1:32:33]
It's really strange what the hell's going on now. One thing that I had been reading about.

This Ukrainian off offensive attack right now is that a big part of this also has been.

They have been trying to soften up the defenses on the Russian side before they try to make any large advances.

Sam:
[1:33:01]
Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:33:01]
Okay. Um, so that in part had been part of the strategy.

Um, you know, which is why there's been advances, but it's been small.

I don't know how long that was supposed to take.

But, but that was part of what, what I was explaining.

Sam:
[1:33:21]
Even the Ukrainians themselves have said that the amount of progress they've made has been less than they had hoped for.

So meanwhile though, and I'll make my topic more general, Russia, Ukraine, et cetera.

Um, we had this NATO meeting. Um, Um, there was some tension back and forth.

Like at first, like it seemed like, um, as the Lenski was very disappointed that they, he wasn't getting a specific timetable, et cetera, for when could they join NATO now?

Obviously they can't join in the middle of a freaking war because then that would instantly trigger article five and all of NATO would be at war with Russia tomorrow.

Ivan:
[1:34:08]
Uh, yeah, right.

Sam:
[1:34:10]
And, and like, yeah, some people have been saying, well, but we should, we should, we should do basically, we should do that.

Uh, I think, uh, Biden and a bunch of others are much more sober about this and basically like, no, much more sober, like I'd be sober. Yes.

We, we are, we are going, we are not going to do that.

Um, and, but Zelinsky at least wanted to have like some definitive.

Something. And apparently about halfway through, they did some negotiations and they got there.

I mean, basically, they made it absolutely clear and explicit that nothing happens until the war is resolved.

There cannot be an active conflict at the time you enter NATO.

And in fact, one of NATO's ground rules, apparently that's written into the original treaty or whatever, is you can't be in NATO if you have active open territorial disputes.

They have to be resolved.

And I would say this is a territorial dispute.

But they basically said, look, there will be a list of things and we will work to be more explicit about it that you do have to do.

The war has to end and there's still some sort of good government anti-corruption kinds of things where Ukraine still isn't quite up to snuff.

And you're going to have to fix some of those things before we let you in.

But I think the thing that flipped Zelensky back over is they no longer hedged around about whether it would ever happen.

Basically, everybody started saying it is not a question of if, it is a question of when.

Ukraine will be in NATO.

Certain conditions have to be met first. We're not quite there yet, it's not going to happen tomorrow, but Ukraine will be in NATO.

And in the meantime, we're going to define a whole bunch of security guarantees about what we are going to do for you while you're still in this war.

And some of that was public, I'm sure there were a lot of private assurances too about more equipment and intelligence and everything else that's going to be going towards them.

And apparently it was enough to make Zelensky happy.

In the first couple of days, it was looking pretty rocky because we had both the U S and the UK complaining that Zelensky wasn't grateful enough for what he'd already gotten and Zelensky was clearly upset.

But it seems like they worked it all out by the end. And in the meantime, we also got like the Sweden thing.

Ivan:
[1:36:57]
Yeah.

Sam:
[1:36:58]
And now, and we got the Sweden thing resolved. So both Finland and Sweden are in NATO. And once again, yo, I was about to say Yeltsin. No, Putin.

Ivan:
[1:37:09]
Yeltsin?

Sam:
[1:37:10]
No, I know.

Ivan:
[1:37:13]
He's not even alive!

Sam:
[1:37:14]
I know, I know, I know.

Anyway, Putin has been incredibly effective in pushing back the NATO menace through this whole thing because now he's more than doubled the amount of border with NATO.

And once Ukraine joins, Russia's entire European border is going to be NATO.

Now, to some degree, there is the question to me that comes up here.

I can see why it would have been very helpful to actually admit Ukraine into NATO before any of this happened. Maybe it would have been a deterrent, or maybe it would have sparked the war earlier.

But presumably, Once this war is resolved, we've also eliminated the immediate need for NATO, at least in the short term.

But I think that there's always the long term, and so I can see why they want it anyway, and there are other advantages and coordination and blah, blah, blah.

So anyway, and this is another thing, by the way, where, and we just keep adding to the list of of these things where Biden seems to just be slowly, but surely achieving things, you know, both domestically and internationally, boom, boom, boom.

He's just getting shit done. Yeah. Um, so I dunno, anything more about Russia, Ukraine, NATO, any of that? Uh, no, no.

Okay. Yeah. In that case, it's your turn.

Ivan:
[1:38:54]
It's my turn again.

That's not even a song I know exists. Um, okay. So let's talk about inflation. Okay. Inflation. Okay.

Sam:
[1:39:12]
Yes. Yes.

Ivan:
[1:39:14]
Yes. So we had new inflation data come out, uh, uh, this week.

Okay. Guess what's going on.

Sam:
[1:39:24]
It's down.

Ivan:
[1:39:26]
Yes, it's down. Uh, it's down a lot. Um. and, One of the things this week I heard people now talking.

And now saying, well, this shows that it was transitory.

And I'm like, oh, for all the fucking God, you try.

Sam:
[1:39:51]
Everything's transitory if you give it a long enough time frame.

Ivan:
[1:39:54]
Well, yes, but I think that the one thing is that.

Two things that main criticisms that have been about the Fed and the inflation situation right now. One is supposedly that they reacted too late.

I don't think there is a, I mean, hindsight's 2020.

Okay. And, you know, we are coming off a pandemic, there's a lot of things going on.

There were a lot of very good reasons why the Fed wasn't in a tightening mood because of all the economic issues that have been going on.

I mean, we had a period where we even had price of oil and be negative.

Sam:
[1:40:47]
I mean, yes, I remember that.

Ivan:
[1:40:51]
Forget this, that this was, you know, uh, not that far, not that long ago.

Um, and so, uh, you've got that, you've got that situation.

And so, and we had all these factors that during the pandemic.

I always said you know there are factors in here driving prices up that are gonna cool off.

And will bring prices down the main one that i i talked about a lot shipping containers out of china.

Which is the biggest driver in the shipping transportation.

Um, that those costs had soared, whether it was transport by air or by ship, uh, a full container from China, the, the price had quadrupled can tupled.

Uh, and that price is back to where it was right around when the pandemic started.

Um, and air freight rates to have dropped a lot, you know, uh, substantially as well, uh, where we are paying three, four times, you know, is, you know, those rates, um, and so that is a lagging, uh, effect.

On prices because inventory doesn't arrive like overnight, right?

For many products, it's very slow.

Sam:
[1:42:14]
I mean, by the way, this, by the way, is one of the themes that we have talked about whenever we have talked about economic issues going back.

As long as this show has existed, that you've pointed out, and it's just, duh, is that with big massive things like the global economy.

Or even just the US economy, if you change something now, people aren't necessarily going to feel the effects from whatever changed.

For years. There is a massive lag.

Ivan:
[1:42:53]
There are massive lags.

Sam:
[1:42:56]
They talk about not being able to turn a ship on a dime. You're talking about the freaking global economy.

We're talking billions of people and their behavior and things that take, you know, you change anything, whether it's like an interest rate change or whether it's reacting to the pandemic or whether it's like recovering after you've had a backlog, what are all of these things take time.

Lots of people.

Ivan:
[1:43:25]
I think the problem is people think about, Hey, I order an iPhone, right?

It's manufactured in China and they will put it in a box and they'll air freight it and it gets to me in a week, okay, or less or two or less. Okay.

But most products that we get don't move at that speed.

Okay. You think about other products that you typically see in a store, like chairs, You know, a plastic, you know, towels, whatever, shit like that, that is, or cars like you were talking before.

Well, well, cars actually move faster, but you know, uh, uh, the, that, but, but more specifically consumer goods, okay.

Non-perishable goods that are, have, these have very long lead cycles from order to production to shipping, to arrival at your store. They are not being air.

Sam:
[1:44:29]
And a lot of, a lot of, a lot of these things are evergreen too.

Like, if you're getting your desk chair, or...

Ivan:
[1:44:41]
Or you're buying a set of plastic plates. Okay.

Sam:
[1:44:43]
Yes, or basic like basic things like Socks like now obviously there obviously there's some of this fast fashion stuff that turns around very quickly And there's all but even the fast fashion the production site. Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:44:56]
Yeah, listen, they're so cheap You can't you're not air freighting that shit.

Sam:
[1:45:00]
Right, right, right, right, right But the point is though a lot of this stuff is the kind of stuff where it's not really that critical that you have the latest one that just came out this month, you know? No.

Ivan:
[1:45:13]
So the cycle from like, I place, I decide that I'm going to order these goods for TJ Maxx in Boca Raton, Florida. Okay.

Man, from, from the moment that, uh, somebody made the decision that this is the style that we're having to manufacturing it, to shipping it, to stocking it, whatever, could be six to nine months, right? Okay. You know, easy.

And so this is the thing where you've got stuff that was at prices.

That was from nine months ago when it was ordered.

And so, and that's what people don't see how, how long those lags are in that stuff and how long it takes to actually hit on your in, in, in, in pricing.

And I think a lot of what we're seeing is starting to relate to that.

The other thing that we forget is, you know, all of a sudden.

We had a war that started last fucking February.

That really was another. I mean, we had a fucking pandemic.

We had all this shit with inventories, transportation, all this shit.

And then throw in a fucking war while you're at it.

Sam:
[1:46:30]
OK, we had we had that ship stuck in the canal.

Ivan:
[1:46:34]
And the fucking canal, too.

Sam:
[1:46:36]
Yes. And Suez Canal.

Ivan:
[1:46:38]
And the Suez, yeah. So we had, you know, we had this, all of this.

All these impacts. And then I think that the one thing that is happening is a lot of people were predicting that we would get a recession.

Sam:
[1:46:59]
So far, so good. No recession yet.

Ivan:
[1:47:02]
Well, a lot of people today were backpedaling on it because most of the information coming out from banks and others, industries or whatever is looking a lot more robust than they expected.

And I will tell you that in part, the economy is also being helped by, we talk about another lagging effect by how long it was going to take for the inflation reduction act to really be in effect because the investments from that act are having a positive impact on the economy.

And in many cases, it's not inflationary, but it's sustaining growth in certain areas. Okay.

Sam:
[1:47:53]
And so, and that's still not fully in effect.

Ivan:
[1:47:55]
I mean, that's not, but there's more to to come, but, but, but, but money is moving.

Um, you know, plans are happening. Investments are being made.

Um, you know, you've got a lot of these things that are happening and so that's having a positive effect on sustaining the economy from other things that have been a drag, I mean, we had a drag from the fact that, um, you know, we had.

We had all of this money go into IT spending and stuff like that.

And then IT companies.

We're pulling back and everybody was like freaking out, but what they didn't realize, is that people are moving their money in one side of the economy to the other, which is why airlines have announced fantastic results because everybody's fucking traveling somewhere for a fucking vacation.

Um, all the airlines have been saying results are great.

Sam:
[1:48:52]
My wife has two business flights coming up in the next month.

You know, that wasn't happening during the pandemic.

Ivan:
[1:49:00]
No, of course not. And so you've had this situation where travel has picked up hotels, all these services industries, they are finally, you know, catching up on this hiring and training cycle, which is a very long cycle.

And so they're not having to, you know, go out and bid crazy money as as much to hire people.

Turnover is is is down a little bit in these things.

And so, again, all of these effects are finally after so many lags are finally starting to and we'll see you next time.

Come out of the economy, OK, because they were all shocks, OK, all the layoffs, all the rehiring.

I mean, the rehirings, the pandemic.

We had so many of them. It's crazy to think about how much shit happened in the twenty twenties.

Sam:
[1:50:04]
Right.

Ivan:
[1:50:07]
So far, so far, early twenty, twenty three.

Sam:
[1:50:09]
Right.

Ivan:
[1:50:12]
So inflation is coming down. A lot of people are expecting either that the Fed will either continue their pause or more likely many has said they'll raise rates one more quarter point and then call it a day right now.

We'll just hold them there.

So now I, I, I, yeah, go ahead.

Sam:
[1:50:35]
One interesting thing here. I saw some coverage of this a few days back, is that how this is also a thing where partisan perceptions come into play.

There's been polling of the simple question of, how do you think the economy is doing?

And right now, it's not 100%, but the tendency is very strong and very distinct right now.

And this almost exactly flipped when the administration flipped earlier.

But Democrats think the economy is doing well. Republicans think it is doing badly.

And it was exactly the opposite when Trump was in power.

Now, because at this point, how do you think the economy is doing has become another proxy question for, are you happy with the president?

Which, of course, the president isn't even the most influential person when it comes to the economy. the Fed is more important, right?

But, and of course, Congress has a role in blah, blah, blah, and all kinds of macro things as well that are in nobody's control.

But it has become one of those partisan litmus test questions just like everything else, where there's a really, wait, wait, let me finish, where there's a really high correlation if you ask somebody how the economy is doing.

However, if instead of asking them about the economy, you ask them about how they are doing personally, that partisan division goes away.

Ivan:
[1:52:07]
Oh, we're doing great. Ha, ha, ha. Which is why it's so important what the fuck the question that you ask is.

Sam:
[1:52:14]
Right, because once you ask them how they're doing personally, then that starts to line up much more with the actual measured numbers about the economy. Right, right.

Even there, there's a bit of a lag though.

People's perception of how they're doing lags the numbers by several months.

If I remember correctly, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Ivan:
[1:52:40]
I don't. Now, but if we take how the economy is doing translates directly into polls.

I'm not looking at election graphs right now. Okay.

Sam:
[1:52:52]
Okay. Okay. That's fine. I forgive you, Yvonne. I forgive you this time.

Ivan:
[1:52:58]
I'm looking at the RC at the RCP polling average right now and Biden is slightly ahead Okay, which he wasn't in this average for a while But but he's ahead and so I guess that that means and you know And by by the way, since you mentioned election graphs and you're quoting somebody else.

Sam:
[1:53:18]
I I, I, I did, you know, RCP are practically fascists.

We now know. So whatever, whatever, no election graphs right now.

The bottom line is it's a dead heat. Like it's a, it's a, it's a dead heat.

That's the bottom line, depending on which way you look at it.

Uh, one of my probabilistic models actually at this very instant has.

Uh, Trump ahead, the other one has Biden ahead, um, the straight up trust the polls exactly how they are, has Biden ahead by a couple of states.

Um, but, but bottom line, all of them, if you really look at it, it all translates into if the election was today, it would be a fucking dead heat. Yeah.

You fucking toss a coin. I do.

Ivan:
[1:54:08]
Uh, well, I do think that you have to take it for, and even what you were, even what You were saying, even what you're saying, a narrow, a narrow thing is a daddy.

Sam:
[1:54:17]
Anyway, go ahead.

Ivan:
[1:54:18]
No, no, no. But, but, but listen, forget that. No, no. I'm not taking the dead heat argument about this because I'm not predicting the election. Right. Right.

Sam:
[1:54:26]
But what I am saying, I'm not predicting what you're saying is Biden is looking better than he was a couple of days.

Ivan:
[1:54:31]
Exactly. Correct. That's what I'm saying. That if you look at the numbers, it's showing that Biden is, his view is basically you're now moving into the slight positive range, according to this.

Sam:
[1:54:45]
Yeah. And also, according to election graphs as well, I'll say Trump peaked in November, and month over month, every month since November.

I said that weird every month since November, my tongue did something weird in my mouth.

I don't know, you know, but anyway, um, every month since November, Biden has been stronger than the month before so far.

We'll see if it continues, but yeah, it looked like Trump peaked late last year.

Uh, and things have been moving in Biden's direction ever since to where we are right now that things are a dead heat, but the trend has definitely been in Biden's direction over the last few months.

Ivan:
[1:55:31]
I think that Biden has right now.

It, I think that he will be heading into next year with momentum.

A lot of these exogenous things that happened, probably we will not have another new war next year.

I will say, you know, I'm making my, my, my, my 2024 predictions already probably won't have a new war.

Um, and so, um, the effects of the legislation that he did because of the lagging effect, it, it, it will look, things will look positive, I think, from an economic perspective, heading into next year.

There's also an effect that we will have that is a positive effect, which is related to China. Okay. where the Chinese...

I have been there's been a change in tone recently.

Okay. Um, you know, there was a lot of crackdown on business and stuff and whatever recently by she and that seemed to have stopped.

Okay. Because Jack Ma, who was the head of.

Oh, God, what the hell's the name of the fucking company who escapes me right now?

Oh, for the love of God.

She's to do business with these people. My I'm getting old.

I'm Ali Baba. Jesus Christ. Why couldn't I get that name?

You know, he all of a sudden, I mean, she and everybody had like basically made him fucking disappear and put his businesses under a vice.

And then all of a sudden, oh, you paid a fine. You're all good.

But back to running your businesses. And, um, we had some positive meetings between the U S and China recently, including, uh, even Janet Yellen went to China, um, and the Chinese are trying to help their economy, uh, pull out of a rut that basically it, it got into during the pandemic, like Hong Kong is finally reopening and people are going back and, you know, there's been a whole bunch of isolation and business leaders have been visiting, like senior business leaders that had not been visiting China all of a sudden started visiting China.

In China. And I think that all of that.

Will have a positive effect on the us economy because.

US company sell a ton of money to the damn economy i mean you know today to china it's just it is a huge positive it's not just the apple.

Tesla walmart you name it have very large operations in china so.

An improvement in China as well, where things have been slowed down recently, will definitely have quite a positive effect on our economy at this point.

Sam:
[1:59:02]
And as is the conventional wisdom on politics, it's the economy stupid.

Ivan:
[1:59:07]
And it always turns into that, doesn't it? You know, no matter what, it's just, it's just, that is always such a big factor. Yeah.

Sam:
[1:59:18]
So, yeah, I mean, other thing I'm not saying other things aren't important where we have other issues that are clearly going to be important.

Obviously, like the abortion issue motivated a lot of people in 2022 will probably do so again in 2024.

There's concerns on all kinds of social issues, but the economy is a huge, huge factor.

Ivan:
[1:59:43]
You cannot take it yet is a huge, huge factor. No doubt about it. Yeah.

Sam:
[1:59:50]
Always.

Ivan:
[1:59:50]
Always. pandemic definitely.

Uh, was a huge factor, but it was a pandemic combined with the economy. It was both. Yeah.

Sam:
[1:59:59]
I mean, the impact obviously those were linked, right?

Ivan:
[2:00:01]
Yeah.

Sam:
[2:00:03]
So, okay. Shall we wrap it up, Yvonne? Yes. Okay. Hey, everybody.

Curmudgeon's hyphen corner.com.

You can go there and see all the ways to contact us.

Email. Mastodon. Facebook. You can see our archives going back all the way to 2007 and now, for the newer episodes, transcripts.

It's very exciting. I like how it turned out. Everybody go read the transcripts.

Read them all. Enjoy. Enjoy. You know, it's a good thing. Transcripts.

Anyway, we also, of course, have our Patreon where you can give us money.

Also give us money. Money is good. We enjoy money.

Money is fun. Um, and, uh, at various levels, uh, we will give you a, we'll send you a postcard.

We'll mention you on the show. We'll send you a mug. We'll ring a bell, all this kind of stuff, fun stuff. If you give us different amounts of money per month and if, and if you want to do a one-off, that's fine too.

Ivan:
[2:01:08]
Like, but you know, I mean, if the one-off, especially if it's like a million dollars, $2 million, $5 million, absolutely $10 million.

Well, we will make that work.

Sam:
[2:01:24]
Yeah. Yeah. We'll make it.

Ivan:
[2:01:26]
We'll make it work.

Sam:
[2:01:29]
If you're going to give $10 million, it doesn't even have to be $10 million a month to get a mug. We'll send you the mug for a single donation. No, no.

Ivan:
[2:01:39]
We'll set it for a single donation. We'll send the bug. Yes.

And we'll give you access to the Slack.

Sam:
[2:01:45]
Yeah, exactly. And for $2 a month or more, or if you just ask us nicely, we will invite you to our Commerzanz Corner Slack where Yvonne and I and a variety of other people are chatting throughout the week, sharing links, all kinds of fun stuff like that.

And so Yvonne, what is one thing that we talked about under Commerzanz Corner Slack this week that we have not mentioned at all on the show?

Ivan:
[2:02:13]
We didn't mention at all on the show. Oh, oh God.

Sam:
[2:02:21]
Let me see, uh, this is not supposed to be a hard question.

Ivan:
[2:02:26]
Oh, okay. My, okay. My pillow auctions off equipment amid massive cancellation, CEO Lindell says.

Sam:
[2:02:38]
Oh, what a shame.

Ivan:
[2:02:40]
My pillow, I know, it's so terrible.

Sam:
[2:02:42]
I'm so broken up, this is so sad.

Ivan:
[2:02:45]
My pillow auctions off equipment a massive cancellation.

My pillow is auctioning off hundreds of pieces of equipment and subleasing manufacturing spaces amid what founder and CEO Michael Lindell calls a massive, massive cancellation.

Lindell said in an interview with the Star Tribune said my pillow lost 100 million dollars.

Sounds like something from movie. Um, from a tax by box stores, the shopping networks, the shopping channels, all of that did cancel culture on us.

Oh, several retailers, including Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, which went bankrupt and Cole's pulled my pillow products from their shelves.

After Lindell continued to claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former president Trump.

Oh, poor bike. Well, yeah, his products suck. OK, all right.

Everybody that I've heard has bought them basically have said it's a scam.

Sam:
[2:03:49]
Yeah, they're horrible pillows, apparently.

Ivan:
[2:03:51]
Yeah. And and, you know. Bed Bath & Beyond went bankrupt.

I mean. Wal-Mart doesn't. Push out. Right wingers.

No, no, no, so I, you know, look, I will say that, um, he violated the main thing that that I always got taught about.

Business and politics is that if you're in charge of a company and you are in a business like his, basically you try to keep your politics to yourself.

Sam:
[2:04:36]
Right. Cause if you want to stay in our, in our divided world right now, no matter what position you take, you're alienating half the country.

Ivan:
[2:04:44]
Yeah.

Sam:
[2:04:48]
And, and this is, you know, at the same time, You know, I, you know, I, I like it when companies openly take like positive stances, but, uh, that I, that I appreciate and agree with.

Uh, but it's clear it's a business risk, right?

Like, you know, like we, we saw the whole Bud Light thing and that was a really minor freaking like thing.

They had an influencer do a single commercial and it exploded in their face. Right.

You know, but yeah, this is, uh, and, and I'm sure my pillow guy lost some amount of sales that were coming from liberals.

But frankly, also, apparently, like you said, it's a fricking crappy, really bad pillow. It was not a good product either.

And so probably most of his sales were just, you know, the people who were on right-wing radio and TV that. I saw his commercials all the time because that's pretty much where he advertised.

Ivan:
[2:05:49]
Yeah, I know. So but I think that one big impact that he keeps the seems to forget is that, you know, he lately is big promotional vehicle had been Tucker Carlson.

That show. And man, I mean, they threw him off the air. And I think that I'm going to tell you, I think that was the biggest impact on his business.

Sam:
[2:06:12]
Yeah, yeah. So anyway, yeah.

So yes, uh, companies taking any position politically one way or another is potentially dangerous for the company, but in some cases I feel like they, they have to like, you know, like the whole DEI stuff in, in the end, you know, they may get some blowback, but fundamentally there are all kinds of reasons why it's actually positive for the internal operations of companies and you get better results and blah, blah, blah.

And at some point they have to tell the people who've got their heads stuck in the 1950s to go fuck themselves.

Ivan:
[2:06:49]
You know that's hard i understand that i understand that if it's going to lose you some sales you have to be thinking very carefully about what you do or do not do for that i think the main thing is a company and i i see that and i will say that you know i i work at a company that i think that if you look at a lot of the uh employee policies what they try to do is i think they're they're openly saying anything political i mean i know that uh you know our executives have donated to Republican to Republicans in the past.

I haven't seen lately what they've done, if anything.

Sam:
[2:07:24]
I'm sure they have. The the usual thing is donate to everybody.

Ivan:
[2:07:28]
But no, no, no, no. Yeah, yeah, no, I'm sure. But but the one thing is what I what I say is that in terms of employee policies, OK, what they tried to do and and I've been in a couple of companies and no matter the politics of whoever is the leader, what I've seen usually is you try if you're trying to run a good company, you're trying, to have inclusive policies.

Basically, look, please be respectful at the office.

Please welcome other people.

Celebrating the holidays.

Those kinds of things is to be respectful of all the different cultures.

I know at this company specifically, I mean, the cultures are so vast and varied, like right now where we are, where we've got a leadership team that has Jesus.

I mean, I know men, women, you know, quite a lot of people from different countries, from India, from, from, from, from Europe, from, from the Americas, from everywhere.

It's a very varied group and I think that the important thing in these large companies is that you as a business, what you want to do is, hey, you know, be inclusive, not just internally with your employees, but out with your customers.

And, you know, I, I don't, I never think that it's bad business, um, to be accepting of.

Everybody. Okay. You know, in general, for most people, I mean, I guess, you know, I'm not accepting of Nazis. Okay. All right.

Okay. Take those out. But as long as, you know, you know, tolerance is the whole thing. thing.

And the only time that you wind up getting into a fucking battle is if for some fucking reason you wind up with what I see Disney getting pushed into a corner because the governor basically thought that, you know, he wants to use them as a political pawn.

That then you do then you have no choice and you've got to just you know.

Wait out there okay you don't have any choice i mean because what the hell are you gonna do. I wonder when you're attacking you directly.

It you left with no choice but other that you know you try to avoid that if you try to run a business he obviously might thought that he was gonna be able to.

Keep a business going while basically showing to the world that he's a lunatic.

Sam:
[2:10:11]
Look, yes. I mean, bottom line, when, when CEOs or other management folks also become public figures, then people get affected by that.

And the other big example recently, of course, is Elon. Yeah.

You know, like a year ago, even like all kinds of people were still like, Oh, Elon's so awesome. He's cool.

He's a genius. He's doing this. He's doing that.

And then he has completely destroyed that reputation.

Yeah. Yeah. I was, I was mentioning in our environmental section, how the reputation of like, Like it was all these like hyper-liberal, woke, environmentally conscious people were buying Teslas.

Most of those people wouldn't be caught dead buying a Tesla now.

Ivan:
[2:11:05]
Now I would like to hear again, reiterate that I was way ahead on the curve of Elon Musk was a fucking moron.

Yes. Way ahead! Way the hell ahead!

Sam:
[2:11:23]
Yeah. Anyway, I think we should be done, Ivan.

Ivan:
[2:11:28]
Yes, we should be done.

Sam:
[2:11:29]
Okay. Hey, everybody. Have a great week.

Be safe. And I will be back next week. Ivan will not be back.

If everything goes to plan, Bruce will be with us next week.

So look forward to Bruce, whose perspectives are very different from Ivan's.

Ivan:
[2:11:46]
Yes, indeed.

Sam:
[2:11:47]
And also, as I usually do when I have co-hosts on, I let them basically determine the agenda unless there's some huge breaking news.

Uh, and there might be, of course, we got like Donald Trump stuff coming.

There could be more indictments like any moment.

Ivan:
[2:12:02]
Uh, you never know, but, uh, there'll be a war and shit and all this stuff going on.

Sam:
[2:12:07]
And well, I'll be, yeah, if there's major breaking news, obviously we'll talk about it otherwise.

You know, I'll open the agenda to Bruce.

Ivan:
[2:12:17]
I'm planning to be on a tropical island.

Sam:
[2:12:19]
A tropical island. Nice. You, Now is it one of the flat ones or one of the volcanic ones?

Ivan:
[2:12:26]
It's one of the volcanic ones.

Sam:
[2:12:27]
Okay.

Ivan:
[2:12:28]
Well, there you go I will I will be near a billionaire Because it the island that I am staying so you could find out where I am on the map Is the island that is the big island right beside where Richard Branson has his own little island and he lives nice Nice, so maybe I'll maybe I'll see go hang out with Richard He's right there.

I mean, literally, you know. Yeah.

Sam:
[2:12:53]
So so so say hi to him.

Ivan:
[2:12:55]
If I see Branson, I'll say hi. I'll ask him to see if he'll give us a ride on one of those space things.

Sam:
[2:13:01]
Or as we discussed earlier, contribute to our Patreon.

Ivan:
[2:13:04]
Or contribute to our Patreon. Yes. I mean, what the hell am I thinking?

Of course, he's the guy that I should be asking first. Yes.

Sam:
[2:13:11]
OK, enough. We're out of here. Talk to you next week. Goodbye. Bye!

Ivan:
[2:13:17]
Bye!

Sam:
[2:13:18]
I hit the button twice, so it stopped. Here we go again!

♫ all cheese burger burger goodbye.

Full Archive

200720082009
20102011201220132014
20152016201720182019
20202021202220232024

Most Recent Episodes

Credits

The Curmudgeon's Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.
Our intro is "The Oh of Pleasure" (Amazon MP3 link)
Our outro is "Celestial Soda Pop" (Amazon MP3 link)
Both are from the album "Deep Breakfast" (iTunes link)
Please buy his music!

These podcasts are produced by Abulsme Productions.
They are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License

Abulsme Productions also produces the Wiki of the Day family of podcasts.
Check those out too!


Page cached at 2024-02-20 11:23:50 UTC
Original calculation time was 1.0822 seconds

Page displayed at 2024-02-26 08:30:25 UTC
Page generated in 0.0204 seconds