Archive for the ‘Asides’ Category

Bitcoin is Worthless as a Currency

David Langford, O.D. on December 23rd, 2017 under Asides, Optoblog •  No Comments

Just waiting for the block chain to update..

If you deal with the Bitcoin Core app, you will deal with a lot of waiting

There has been a lot of buzz about Bitcoin lately since it’s Dollar to BTC value has skyrocketed this last year and especially month. I heard about it way back in 2009, so I fiddled around with mining for a week or two. I visited a website that had a “Bitcoin faucet” which gave away 5 cents of Bitcoin (or 50,000 µBTC), so I had that in my wallet, but I pulled the plug since my 2009 laptop was way under powered to mine. So my 5¢ of Bitcoin sat in deep storage until Thanksgiving 2017.

Bitcoin was nearly worthless until randsomware came around which made people exchange dollars for Bitcoin to pay the criminals. It has also been heralded as a “Cryto-currency” and such, but I would like to argue that it is nearly worthless as a true currency and has been behaving more like a gold investment or other commodity investment.

When the exchange rate of BTC for $ was 11K, I decided it was worthwhile enough to find where I’d stored away my Bitcoin wallet. I found it okay, but my Bitcoin-Core app was so out of date that it wouldn’t connect to the Bitoin distributed network. After updating, I copied my wallet into the app, but I couldn’t make any transactions to an exchange account until my 2009’s 250 MB blockchain had been updated to the current 157 GB (!!!) blockchain. This took 2 weeks because it kept freezing, so I’d have to start it over and -reindex and -rescan and wait and wait because my 2017 laptop isn’t powerful enough I guess. The Bitoin Core-QT app also hogs the hard drive system resources (100%) even though the memory and processor power are barely used.

ANYWAY, it worked out great for me because during the next two weeks, 1 BTC went from $10K to $19K. After finally updating my block chain, I was able to transfer 4¢ of coin to an exchange account, but I didn’t realize that the miner’s fee is really important, so I tried to underbid, which led to my transaction not being processed at all. So I figured out how to abandon that transaction and then conceded to the recommended mining fee.

After bidding for a “4 hour fee” my transaction was finally confirmed 12 hours later, so I immediately cashed out when it was $18K/BTC. So everything worked out for me, but note how my story makes it obvious that BTC will never truly be a currency or money.

If I go to a pizza restaurant, I can’t pay with Bitcoin because the transaction would not be finalized in time before I’ve already eaten my pizza and gone home (unless it was a 1980s era Pizza Hut in which case you bring a bag lunch so that you won’t get hunger pains by the time your pizza arrives for dinner). Also, the shop owner isn’t going to want such volatility in the value of the currency being accepted.

Every time a consumer pays a shop owner with BTC, the consumer has to pay the transaction fee, which is opposite of the current plastic card model. And don’t forget that there is also volatility in how much one has to pay the miners to get a transaction processed in a reasonable amount of time (or if ever).

BTC is currently more of a gold or other speculative commodity rather than a true currency, so have fun investing rather than getting paid and spending. Actually, let’s start calling it a Crypo-Investment rather than a “cryto-currency.”

BTW, John C. Dvorak has two words for you, “Beanie Babies!

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Fun Fact #001

David Langford, O.D. on January 8th, 2015 under Asides, Optoblog •  Comments Off on Fun Fact #001

The phrase “apple of thine eye” is really a mistranslation. We should be saying “Little Man of the Eye” or “Little Doll of the eye.”
If you are the little man in God’s eye that means He is watching over you so closely that whoever looks at His eyes will see you in His cornea’s reflection.

The Mysteries Surrounding Imagine Dragons, Matt Meese, and On Top of the World Music Video

David Langford, O.D. on June 21st, 2014 under Asides, Optoblog •  1 Comment

The “On Top of the World” music video by Imagine Dragons is my most favorite music video of all time.  The video portrays a faked moon landing while referencing Stanley Kubrick and late 1960s pop culture.  It was written and directed by Matt Eastin and Corey Fox.  In addition to Imagine Dragons, it features the lead actor from Napoleon Dynamite, Jon Heder, and many from the cast of StudioC, BYUtv’s sketch comedy show.   Guest appearances also include Whit Hertferd, Marvin Payne, the monkey from Friends, members of New Electric Sound, and Robert Connolly from Fictionist.  Also appearing is Alex Sermon, wife of lead guitarist Wayne Sermon, and Aja Volkman, wife of lead singer Dan Reynolds and from the band Nico Vega.

Making Of

Some great coverage regarding the making of the video includes:

Studio C and Matt Meese

Interestingly, many of the StudioC cast members are in the video, but not all of them!  Here is a list of Studio C cast members and their roles along with a link to their twitter accounts:

Curiously missing are Matt Meese, Stacey Harkey, and Stephen Meek.  It’s possible that with a tight shooting schedule that the three of them were out-of-town or otherwise disposed, but is that likely?  Sure, neither Stacey nor Stephen are  the creator of Studio C, so they may not have been asked to be in the music video.  (However, why not??!!!???   What is wrong with you guys?  Will Stacey and Stephen ever speak out about this injustice?)  Now, Matt Meese on the other hand created Studio C.  Why wouldn’t he be in the Imagine Dragons music video with almost all the other Studio C cast?

UPDATE: Read this comment by an anonymous poster who seems to know what he or she is talking about.

Well, it turns out Matt may be in it after all.  Take a careful look at this image.

TV viwers watch the Moon Landing via a shop window.  Is Matt Meese there?

I propose that the guy in the brown fedora wearing sunglasses is none other than Matt Meese! (UPDATE: The aforementioned anonymous poster says the Fedora Guy is Monson Hayes.)

Notice the face in question is baby smooth with faint lips just like these photos of Matt Meese trying not to laugh:

Matt Meese almost laughing.

Matt Meese almost laughing. h/t @Studio_C-Fan

[UPDATED: IMDB now says, :(13 Nov 2013) Music video released for Imagine Dragons “On Top of the World” – Window Watcher”  I had previously been informed that IMDB said he was a Russian cosmonaut, which he clearly wasn’t.  Sorry about the much-ado-about-nothing.]

So I apologize to Matt Meese for accusing him of not being in the video when he actually was.  It’s possible that Stacey and Stephen were in the video but their scene was cut.  I would really like an explanation.  It’s curious that more people involved in the making of the music video haven’t blogged every detail about their involvement.  The only one to do so that I’ve seen is the costume designer (see link above).  Did they have to sign non disclosure agreements  or something?

Hot Topic

Imagine Dragons currently have four official videos. This narrative could be considered controversial because, well, just ask anyone, “Do you think we put men on the moon?”

You are likely to get strong responses for Yes and No, Continue Reading »

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The Problem with Godzilla (2014)

David Langford, O.D. on May 17th, 2014 under Asides, Reviews •  Comments Off on The Problem with Godzilla (2014)

I took my son to see Godzilla in 3D on opening night. It was great that we shared the experience, but the Godzilla movie left me emotionally unsatisfied for 3 reasons:

(Spoilers ahead)

 

  1. I thought the movie was about the father, but then they take a turn, and I guess we follow the son the rest of the movie even though the father had all the emotion in the first act.
  2. Everyone knows you don’t kill the mentor until the end of the second act.  If the father isn’t going to play the hero, then I guess he is the mentor.  They kill the father in the early second act.
  3. Fine, you kill the father early on, but you’re not going to let us see any catharsis with the father and son? Seriously, the closing image should have been the son at the father’s grave or something. Emotionally I want to see the son reconcile with his father.

Anyway, other than not being emotionally satisfying, Godzilla 2014 was…fine.

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Brian Regan Divorced from Wife in Summer 2011

David Langford, O.D. on December 5th, 2012 under Asides, Optoblog •  12 Comments

Did you all know that the famous comic, Brian Regan, had a divorce all the way back in Summer 2011? Me neither.

Since I’m an optometrist and Regan has a funny bit about his visit to the eye doctor, about every 1-2 weeks a patient talks to me about Brian Regan. This is especially true around the time he makes his annual pilgrimage to Utah. He was just in Logan, UT last week. I had gone with my son on a Thursday night (he did 5 shows in little Logan that weekend). Regan even mentioned our little town in a tweet:

Brian Regan ‏@BrianReganComic 29 Nov 2012

Hey All, Thu, Fri, Sat I have shows in Logan, UT. Sun show in Cheyenne, WY. If you’re within 2000 miles of either city, love to have you.

It turns out this patient went that same night.

We got to talking about how his opener, Kermet Apio, was hilarious and that Regan seemed to have an off night. I observed that when we saw him here ~3 years ago, the crowd was more enthusiastic and Regan did two encores- even taking requests from the audience about what bits to perform. This year on a Thursday night, the crowd seemed more subdued, the show started late, and he did one encore without taking any requests.

My patient mentioned that he might be going through a hard time because he got a divorce last year.

What?!?!

The patient and his wife saw him January 2012 in Salt Lake City, one of TEN shows he did over two weeks at Abravanel Hall. (By the way that’s the same venue where they taped Regan’s 2010 album “All by Myself” which I now think of as an ironic title.) The patient’s wife commented afterwards that she thinks Regan got a divorce recently. The patient was taken aback, but his wife perceived it because of some things Regan said during the act.

They went home and did an internet search. Sure enough, they found out Regan had recently been divorced.

Here’s where it gets interesting for me. I couldn’t verify that when I searched for it December 2012, almost 18 months after it happened! It’s almost like it has been scrubbed from the Internet, or at least Google and Twitter.

Finally, I found one mention of it during a Yahoo search. Some SiriusXM radio show called Opie and Anthony had Regan as a guest on November 18, 2011 starting about 2:16:45. At about 2:29:30 they ask him, “How’s the family?”

Regan replies, “Uhh…you know.”

He goes on to say,”You move along in life…There’s some changes. Some changes in my world…but everything is good. The kids are good.”

When asked if he’s depressed about it, Regan responds a little too evenly, “No. No. Everything is hunky dorey.”

He teasingly continues, “In fact I had that worded in the divorce decree. It says hunky dorey in several paragraphs. Actually it was a very amicable situation. You know, it’s just one of those things.”

When asked how long has he been single, Regan replies, “Uhh…since June, July [2011].”

The interviewers and Regan go on to joke about how, because of the divorce, he presumably needs more money so he’s got to push a lot more merchanising like “YOU TOO” Snuggies.

Now, I don’t seek out nor follow celebrity news. Sometimes celebrity tidbits get mentioned in the RSS feeds I follow. For example, I knew that Morgan Freeman was divorced, so my question is why didn’t Regan’s divorce make the news? How come I unwillingly find out that Brittney Spears used a gas station bathroom while barefoot, but my favorite comic in the whole world gets zero news about a major change to his life?

Another thing, in a recent interview Regan did with a correspondant for a North Carolina newspaper, the reporter writes in September 2012 that,

” The 54-year-old standup comedian, who resides quietly in Las Vegas with his wife and two kids, is finding…”

Did Regan remarry? Or did the reporter just assume something because Regan’s divorce hasn’t been publicized whatsoever?

In the wake of media malpractice concerning presidential politics, it comes as no surprise to me that I didn’t find out about Regan’s divorce until 18 months later. However, I kinda feel a little bad for Opie and Anthony. Even though they seem to have the exclusive on this bombshell, word never got out. But after scrubbing through their vile 4 hour show searching for the start of the Regan segment, it’s immediately obvious why no one must listen to them.

 

UPDATE:

Apparently one reporter in the entire world is doing their job.  Brian Regan volunteered the divorce news in an Interview with Atlantic City Weekly published April 3, 2013.  He was making fun of Wikipedia being wrong about his life stats; however, I have never seen his page mention his wife, so he may have been giving a little artistic license to illustrate a point leading to a punchline.

Also, see my new post “Brian Regan Performing at Arena February 2014 in Salt Lake City.”

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What Kind of Society do We Live In?

David Langford, O.D. on November 30th, 2012 under Asides, op-ed, Optoblog •  Comments Off on What Kind of Society do We Live In?

Walking into Walmart today, the door greeted me with this poster over the retail theft detectors:

sickening poster of Farcry3 video game

What?! We’re just playing. Having fun.

Everyone who enters Walmart gets to see this intense, menacing, threatening, brutal, cruel, violent picture. Innocent four-year olds, impressionable tweens, expectant mothers, you, me…everybody!

Don’t get me wrong. Mr. Fairy-face could just as well be holding a baseball bat. The issue is not about sidearms. Every sane, law-abiding adult should be allowed to carry a gun on the beach- holstered until needed to save own/family’s life and limb. The issue here is about men wearing makeup.

The other issue here is showing such an intense, graphic, violent scenario for public display. The poster is sickening. Despite Mr. Fairy-face’s great trigger-finger discipline, he is pointing a gun at a guy’s head. A guy who has been buried to the nostrils in the sand, unable to defend himself, waiting in suspense for his brains to exit his skull. You would normally have to watch an R-rated movie to see this kind of imagery. Now Walmart uses it as their welcome sign!

Okay, America. What kind of society do we want to have? I think it would be a good idea to go to church and pray about that.

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Free Speech in Your Practice?

David Langford, O.D. on September 5th, 2012 under Asides, op-ed, Optoblog •  Comments Off on Free Speech in Your Practice?

A urologist posted a sign at his office, and some people are going nuts.

Obama voters not wanted as clients.

Obama voters not wanted as clients.

So…I’m not sure I would pick that fight because I just want money in exchange for services, but if I felt that a certain person or entity were actively fighting against me obtaining patient volume and deserved fees, then yes, I would have to push back.

This doctor also put some literature in his waiting room about the negative effects of Obamacare and its timetable. Holy cow, imagine the left’s vitriol if you stuck a Bible in your waiting room! I put NRA magazines in my waiting area, and guys love them! I also put National Geographic in there too. You know, just to keep it balanced. I think it’s the doctor’s right to put any decent reading material he wants in the waiting room. No one is forcing them to read it. They can take their business somewhere else if they want.

I’ll bet 80% of my patients don’t even know what magazines I have in my waiting area since I don’t like to keep people waiting.

I’m still participating in Medicaid until it doesn’t make it worth my while. I don’t really agree that there is such a thing as government sponsored-medicaid, but for now I think of it as getting my own tax dollars back.

Anyway, I reserve the right to express my political, economic, and religious views to anyone who will listen, inside or outside the clinic. Just because I’m a doctor doesn’t mean I can’t be active in causes I believe in. However, I don’t think people pay me to preach to them. I’m pretty sure they came in for an eye exam. Plus I don’t have time to go off on political or religious rabbit trails because I hope the next patient is almost done with their paper work.

I don’t care what a patient’s political/religious/etc philosophy is. I don’t care if I have to speak to them in English or Spanish or through a family member interpreting, I just want a fee in exchange for a service, and I want to perform as many exams per day as possible.

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2012 Cache County Utah GOP Convention Audio

David Langford, O.D. on April 12th, 2012 under Asides, Optoblog, Podcast •  1 Comment

Here is most of the audio for the 2012 Cache County Utah GOP Convention held at Mt. Logan Middle School in Logan, UT on 4-11-2012 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. I neglected to “start the tape” for the county candidates, but I got the rest. I’ve broken the audio up into two files. Here is a list of the candidates and their corresponding time slots on each audio portion.

Part 1: 2012 Cache County Utah GOP Convention Audio Part 1

  • Senate Race:
    • William J. Lawrence 0:00-4:42
    • Jeremy Friedbaum 4:57-10:04
    • Dale Ash 10:11-15:20
    • Timothy Aalders 15:26-20:26
    • Orrin Hatch 20:32-25:15
    • Chris Herrod 25:26-30:26
    • Loy Brunson 30:34-35:41
    • Dan Liljenquist 35:48-40:59
    • David Chiu 41:06-46:20
  • Congress Distric 1:
    • Rob Bishop 46:47-51:13
    • Jacqueline Smith 51:23-55:44
    • Leanord “Joe” Fabiano 55:55-1:01:06

Part 2 2012 Cache County Utah GOP Convention Audio Part 2

  • Governor
    • Lane Ronnow 0:29-5:33
    • Ken Sumsion 5:45-10:48
    • Morgan Philpot 10:55-15:53
    • David Kirkham 16:03-21:17
    • William Skokos 21:24-26:37
    • Gary Herbert 26:45-31:54
  • Attorney General
    • John Swallow 32:40-37:38
    • Sean Reyes 37:47-42:46
  • State Auditor
    • John Dougall 42:52-44:46
    • Austin Johnston 44:53-49:53
  • National Committeeman
    • Don Guymon 50:06-53:00
    • Bruce Hough 53:08-56:18

Almost every candidate felt the need to relate their connection to Cache Valley. My vote for the funniest pander of the night goes to Lane Ronnow (listen to it on Part 2 0:58):

You know, everyone tries to tie themselves to where ever we are speaking, and I want you to know that, uh, in my misspent youth when I was a television news reporter I dated the dairy princess from Cache County.

Also, don’t miss Orrin Hatch’s joke at 20:51. LANGUAGE WARNING!!! 😉

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Why Does the Post Office Want to Search My Car?

David Langford, O.D. on September 7th, 2011 under Asides, Optoblog •  1 Comment

I went to a post office that I don’t normally frequent and was met at the parking lot entrance with this sign:

USPS Can Search You!

USPS Can Search You!

For those of you who can’t see the above picture, the sign says:

VEHICLES AND THEIR
CONTENTS ARE SUBJECT
TO INSPECTION WHEN
ENTERING, LEAVING, OR
WHILE PARKED WITHIN
THIS RESTRICTED AREA.
ENTERING INTO THIS AREA
CONSTITUTES CONSENT TO
THE INSPECTION
(39 C.F.R. PART 232.1(B)(2)

And it’s not like this was some special parking lot out back. This is the front parking lot that everyone who uses the post office would enter. So here is my question: Why? Even if this is entirely legal…why? I don’t think it’s right.

When did this happen? Why didn’t the media get all over this?

When is it going to stop?

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Dear Vendors: Don’t Try to Sell Me On Green

David Langford, O.D. on June 30th, 2011 under Asides, Optoblog •  2 Comments

Dear Vendors,
Don’t try to sell me on green. Don’t try to entice me by telling me how “green” your product is. Don’t give me green bags. Don’t color your merchandising in earth tones.

The jig is up. We all know that anthropogenic global warming is hysterical. I know it’s your job to hoodwink doctoral-level-educated men and women, but this whole “go green” thing is even more of an insult to our intelligence than even the product your are trying to sell us.

Feel free to go back to marketing the old way: showing us how your product is going to help us make money and improve quality of life for our patients.

Please watch this video by Roy W. Spencer, former NASA climatologist and climate expert, and produced by Declaration Entertainment:

Note to to people on the fence: No one is advocating dumping toxic sludge into the river or aquifers.

Note to anthropogenic global warming hysterics: Move to the Amazon, you hippie. Ipso facto, America and all its greatness is not for you.

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