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Shermann's Journal
Shermann's Journal
December 2, 2023

Santos is immortalized in Wikipedia forever and always

Or at least until the Sun goes red giant.


It's alarming at first glance that all of the other expulsions were of Democrats. However, the 1861/1862 examples were Southern Democrat secessionists, and that was a very different time and a very different Democratic Party.

In the modern era, there haven't been enough expulsions to be statistically significant.

November 28, 2023

I buy a lot on Amazon, but bought nothing today


I keep a list of items I am interested in and checked for Cyber Monday discounts today. I wasn't really tempted by anything. One issue I see is when I search the "Cyber Monday" department for various brand names, all the hits are off-brand Chinese alternatives. Like ALL of them. Obviously, the long-term trend has been Chinese brands taking over many industries. But I don't recall Cyber Monday being a total shitshow of dumped garbage with few if any sales to be found on the "good stuff".

Am I wrong?

November 9, 2023

At what level of net worth do the banks just take your word for it?

In my limited dealings, I've had to back up any claims on loan applications with pay stubs and account statements. At what point do they just say "yep, seems legit". You'd think that with millions of dollars at stake, they could have lackey bankers verify everything.

I guess I need the TL;DR summary.

November 8, 2023

A comfortable Biden lead in the polls wouldn't be much of a story

It is sort of expected. He has the incumbent advantage, didn't mismanage a national emergency, has the right temperament for the job, actually does the job, wasn't impeached once let alone twice, and isn't facing 91 felony charges.

A Trump upset in 2024 would be, however, a BIG story. The mere prospect of that terrifies most of CNN's audience. It seems to suggest the country has gone mad. So that's the only reason CNN seems to be playing up the possibility. It isn't bias per-se, just run-of-the-mill alarmist media coverage with cherry-picked "news".

The more sober news coverage of the election out there is, well, kind of boring (and doesn't scare seniors). You can't sell prescription drugs that way.

November 2, 2023

DU4 bad links bug report

Repro steps:

1) Sign in to DU
2) Pick a thread from DU Lounge
3) Reply to the thread

The reply window has two links at the top:

Related: Latest Breaking News, The DU Lounge

Both links point to the following bogus URL which generates a 404 not found error:


October 31, 2023

Who is the scariest clown?

October 29, 2023

Doctor Sleep (spoilers)

I'm continuing my October series of movie reviews of non-recent horror movies which everybody has either already seen or has no interest in seeing.

Doctor Sleep threads the needle of being a sequel to both the book and the movie which have little in common with one another. In that regard, it does quite well. Stephen King movies often feature B-list actors and suffer for it. Ewan McGregor, however, is an A-lister and excellent as Danny Torrance (this is set decades after the events in the Overlook Hotel).

Danny and his mother appear in flashbacks set during the Overlook Hotel timeframe that are really well done.

The pen-pal scenes and the buildup are very Stephen King-like. This aspect was lacking in the original film, although it was a phenomenal example of Kubrick's imagination. The "shine vampires" feature some differences from the novel. They aren't quite as inhuman and don't live as long. They also don't really seem to have much in the way of superpowers, so it is questionable why anybody would want to join the Knot. That said, Rose the Hat is excellent.

The film ends at the Overlook Hotel, now run down. There is a dramatic scene between Danny and his father's spirit in the Gold Room. His father now identifies as Delbert Grady the bartender, mixing up three identities in a nod to the original. I was full of anticipation waiting for him to break character back to Jack, similarly to how Delbert Grady did. There was so much suspense. Would Jack take an interest in his wife and son's lives? Would he be remorseful? Would he try to help him in his situation? Would he be in need of help himself being trapped in the Overlook? Would there be redemption? Would he remain insane?

Unfortunately, all we got was him being kind of a dick trying to sabotage Danny's sobriety as the scene quickly ends. What a wasted opportunity. Oh well.

There are flashbacks from the original movie using the original footage. Why not reshoot all those scenes?

So, the ghouls from the original film made a big cameo and saved the day. There was some retconning going on as they exhibited some shine vampire steam-sucking behavior, which doesn't really make sense. But that's ok because everything gets wrapped up in a big bow.

October 22, 2023

Halloween (2018 film) (spoilers)

With Halloween approaching, this movie might be interesting to fans of the 1978 original. This was to be a return-to-form sequel that brushed off the canon from the mediocre sequels and included the talents of Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter. Was it successful? 40 years had passed both in real and story years which is unusual in a sequel. Laurie Strode was compelling as a 17-year-old teenager in 1978, and her sweet innocence provided stark contrast with the monstrous "Shape". Now we have the 57-year-old version who is paranoid, jaded, and battle-hardened. Unfortunately, her likability hasn't aged well. The babysitter "Vicky" sort of steals the show here.

The original movie featured a slow burn and less-is-more approach. The effectiveness of the soundtrack can't be overstated. Carpenter composed the famous theme himself which features an odd time signature (5/4). It doesn't rely on the go-to tritone to achieve spookiness, but rather chromatics and an odd minor to major micro-modulation. These oddities form a unique, unsettling sound, and there are also jarring, dissonant little piano riffs sprinkled throughout. I don't believe a classically trained composer could have come up with this. The 2018 version features a modernized version of the main theme. It's adequate and doesn't take any new risks with it.

The setup is painfully predictable. Michael Myers gets loaded onto a bus for transport due to...reasons. Need I say more? Myers gets right to the killing, so the slow burn aspect is out the window. Michael is spotted by the young boy Julian in his house at one point. His concerns are brushed off by Vicky, which is odd because he is somewhat adult-acting in nature. Let the bad decision-making begin!

Apparently, Laurie has spent the past 40 years planning for his return. She has built an elaborate set of traps in her house to ensnare him (this is revealed as a twist). Unfortunately, this plan was rushed. Each trap has only a single point of entry, so luring Michael as human bait means having to cross paths in close quarters safely somehow. Also, Laurie has to quickly abandon the safety of the basement bunker and perform a room-by-room search in the dark with no advantages. Despite these blunders, the basement trap miraculously works, and Michael is caught! However, the sequel is actually the first of a trilogy, and Michael is wearing plot armor as the house is burned to the ground. So, we don't get to see the body.

TLDR version: I'd say skip it unless you are a hardcore fan of the original.

October 19, 2023

Ace Ventura knows why Jim Jordan got fewer votes in the second speaker vote

Because he is a loo-hoo-ser-her!

On the first vote, some B-lister congresspeople may have decided to take a chance on Jordan. The Republican bandwagon mentality says getting in front of the bandwagon is even better than chasing behind it. In the event that Jordan had won, they'd have earned some valuable political capital. Fast-forward to the second round, and now Jordan's wagon wheels are coming off. Republicans don't want to be riding the wrong bandwagon, so time to hop off!

October 17, 2023

Hi! We're door-to-door salespeople and we're working with your neighbors BLAH and BLAH

When I answer the door, they always ask for my name right away. Originally, I thought this was just a way to feign personability and keep a foot in the door. Now I realize that on their next stop they will name drop me. "Working with" apparently means soliciting at dinnertime and getting quickly turned away.

Today it was a pressure-washing company I've never heard of. Do they think people won't actually call neighbors and check references before committing to any significant project?

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