Today was the first time I used canvas shopping bags…

Today was the first time since California’s plastic grocery bag ban came into affect that I remembered to take into the store my canvas shopping bags.

Hardly a decent subject for a blog post except the law is a clusterfuck.  Yes, I mean it exactly as I said it and I learned that word many years ago from an asshole that enjoyed sending abusive emails to anyone that he took a dislike to.

Since the measure that was voted on that won majority was a law that had already been passed and signed by Governor Jerry Brown it meant that it came into immediate effect.  I had expected it to require signing off first and didn’t know that they had already passed and this was a measure to ratify it by popular vote because a group had forced a stay of the law.

The first time I went into a grocery store after the law had changed was the Saturday after the vote,  The stores had only a few of the ‘allowed’ plastic bags available and it was a culture shock for many.  I was not in at a busy time so I didn’t witness the ire of angry seniors.

Today in two different stores I watched angry senior citizens disgusted that they were being charged not only for plastic bags but the paper bags that had preciously been free.

I used to always get paper bags because I could fill them with the shreddings from the shredder to avoid all those annoying little shreddings flying in the wind when the recycling is collected or to find them all over around the bin when the dumpster divers start digging through the bin.   Now I guess there will be lots of shredding everyone, but I digress.

I bought four canvas bags back when I heard rumblings of a plastic bag ban and let’s face it, when one jurisdiction in California like Los Angeles or San Francisco pass local measures eventually every county and City ends up being coerced into doing the same.   I bought two that looked huge in the photo and there was either a Flowered design on them or a camouflaged design, being a guy I went for the more masculine design.   I also purchased two plain white canvas grocery bags from a different source.   Thankfully I did, the camouflage patterned bags are pitifully small the white canvas one are much bigger and can get a decent amount of produce and groceries in.

Sure it’s 10 cents for a ‘reusable plastic bag’ and 10 cents is not really much, it’s really a tax on the customer, but having used such bags in the past in the UK we found that the bags were just as susceptible to splitting when a box or something with a sharp edge slid against it and the one bag I did buy the previous week when I was caught out is not as sturdy as the reusable plastic bags that were free back in the 80’s and 90’s.  In fact I gave the bag to a friend who said that the handle snapped when they went grocery shopping and they knew that I didn’t have much in my and they only had normal groceries.

I have seen people take their groceries out to their vehicles without being bagged and then they ‘handball’ their groceries into the trunk of their vehicle or into tubs in the bed of their truck.  The most overwhelming thing I saw today was angry and irritated Senior Citizens having to pay for paper bags that were always free before.

Now why is the law a clusterfuck?

The law in itself was created by people that couldn’t see further than the end of their SJW Environmentalist noses.   The law is unfair to those that can least afford to spend 10 cents bag.

It also turns a free brown paper bag made from ‘recycled’ paper that is going to be recycled again are now subject under this law to the 10 cent charge.  Instantly these become a charged for item that for generations has been a free bag.   The reasoning given by the moron’s that created this law is that fish, birds and wildlife are eating plastic bags and it’s Killing wildlife.  I don’t think recycled brown paper bags should ever have been included in this law and it’s identifying the law as purely something that created by some fucked up pile of fecal matter, quite possibly in the Bay Area who is determined that everyone should be forced to use canvas or cotton bags.

Why did they include a bag that was then recycled and even if it ended up in land fill it’s brown paper and breaks down when wet and is not any more of an issue for the environment than the paper that they wrote their plastic bag law (that encompasses and penalizes the use of paper bags).

Nobody disagrees that the use once plastic grocery bags were bad but why punish the public for the retailer, after all for decades, we all used paper bags until the retailers switched to plastic bags and then it was the refuse collection companies that wouldn’t accept them for recycling even though the plastic can be recycled and reused.  My local refuse company has only just started including the ‘harder to recycle’ plastics such as polyethylene (carrier bags) and polystyrene (styrofoam), both of which take up a lot of space for very little recycling return.  In fact what will happen pretty soon is that the carrier bags that were being recycled to make the ‘long life reusable’ plastic grocery bags will not be available and the longer life ones will cost more to produce, expect that cost to be passed onto the customer.

You may say that the stores absorbed the cost of the one use bags but the cost of these bags in comparison are negligible, there is more plastic, more chance of these multiple use bags ending up in landfill and while it may take an incredibly long time for these bags to break down it will take even longer for the reusable bags to break down.   Back in the 80’s in the UK 7-Eleven stores used multiple use, bio-degradeable bags, and carried the cost of these bags but the important factor was that if they ended up in landfill they would break down in much less time.

Most, if not all, of the long life bags reusable bags being sold for 10 cents each are merely recycleable and we have to remember that those that would throw out plastic bags will probably throw out the long-life bags too and they won’t be going to land fill, they don’t care if the bags could be used in the store again to take home your groceries and could be used “up to” 150 times or so depending on the store though we know that is like the cable companies “up to” 50 Mbps internet service that many times is a fraction of that.

So yes, the law is badly formed,  it is not helping the environment, won’t help the fish, birds and other wild life — it will take a long time before we see any impact there — and don’t do squat except for generate a tax for the use of grocery bags.

Sure it will stop much of the single use bags flying in the wind down roads and sure eventually fish won’t be eating flakes of broken down plastic bags that get into the oceans and rivers but remember that it will take decades before any impact is seen.

Furthermore, since much of the granular plastics in the oceans is from non-USA origins and it is thicker plastics that the fish have been nibbling on it means that the whole issue is not really going to go away unless the whole world participates and not just a few states or countries.

Surely a push away from any plastic bags and the offering of cardboard boxes for large purchasers – allowing the reuse of cardboard used to bring produce into the stores — true recycling — that would end up going to recycle or waste dumps anyway and offering a lower price for reusable canvas bags instead of the $2-10 that stores are using and the sudden surge of “insulated” grocery bags that hold maybe one or two items.  Imagine if they made a necessity for people to use such things and stop charging for brown paper grocery sacks – because they are highly recycleable – then we will see an impact.

All this law has done is tax the grocery buyer and punish them for not having canvas bags and for this it should be looked at again by California and fixed to eventually eradicate the any plastic grocery bags and turn things back to the 40’s and 50’s etc.  I remember when I grew up in the UK going to the store with my mum and we always had paper grocery bags until the grocery stores eradicated them and switched to plastic, surely we should push to switch back to purely paper bags that are free rather than charging 10 cents for them and banish the plastic bags permanently and offer customers the use of cardboard boxes for some of their groceries**.

** Costco should be congratulated for only supplying groceries in cardboard boxes that comes from the bulk-supply packaging of products they sell and don’t offer plastic or paper sacks at all for purchases.

 

 

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Facebook won the Election for Trump

Donald Trump was smart, very smart!

This may get me chastised by many but it is a very smart man that utilizes social media to pull in voters and convert them than waste money on advertising. He utilized Facebook and while Facebook itself didn’t participate, heck it was blamed for fake news and anti-Trump biasing, it made a great platform for fund raising and Facebook, according to the trump campaign was responsible for the bulk of the fund raising.

It is important to remember that regardless of our political leanings we have to admire anyone that can run a campaign and win against the odds.  He really raised funds on the sly using methods that others wouldn’t use and utilized social media to the extreme in the process.

Most of what he was doing could be called, in hindsight taking into account some of the back tracking he has done in the past few days with reversals of his statements, grandstanding.  He knows how to manipulate people and while many people say he is not a politician he knew how to make blunt statements that were totally unexpected but were designed to impart that tiny seed of doubt about Hillary Clinton.

All you need to do is create the smoke and people will find the fire, even if that fire is not actually there and Donald Trump during the campaign was exceptional at doing so.  Let’s face it, he really learned much of this from Hillary’s failed Presidential nominational campaign in 2008 where she utilized or allowed another’s to utilize the creating of smoke and letting others create a fire to go along with that smoke allowing her to stay ‘clean’.  Many still believe her campaign created the seed that grew into the Barack Obama Birther movement but this has been refuted by many because it was started by one of her supporters, allegedly.

I may not agree with everything that Donald Trump said, I may not agree with everything that any politician says, personally I think they are all narcissistic assholes promoting their own personal agendas while claiming to do it for ‘the people’ and some may claim that the campaign was vicious or dirty but really it wasn’t any worse than any other campaign.  I didn’t weep for Hillary’s failure, I didn’t have a happy dance for Donald’s success, I just, as everyone else should, get on with life and let the politicians get on with making a mess of the country like they have Since before April 19th 1775.

All I know is that I am busy trying to batten down the hatches as the tidal wave of economic collapse that is starting to affect China and has been simmering for several years in the rest of the Western World builds.  If you want an indicator of how bad things are, Long Beach docks are reducing employment levels and business has been slow all year for inward and outward traffic.  It’s in the tea leaves and regardless of who would have been elected the economic collapse is on the cards…

 

 

How many MacBook Pro users will really be affected by the lack of expandability?

Yes that seems to be the question, how many people will be affected?

What tech journalists seem to be focusing as their latest whine is that the SSD and the RAM is fixed to the motherboard meaning that realistically you need to predict the most RAM and SSD size that you are going to need over the expected life of your MacBook Pro purchase.

So in real terms how many people actually upgrade those features on their MacBook?

Let’s expand this question, how many people actually upgrade features on their laptop’s at all?  Surprisingly very few people.  Sure there are some that would buy the cheaper model so that they could add, third party, RAM & SSD to a device that they purchased cheaper because they had selected the lowest memory and maybe a spinning hard drive but those are few and far between.

In fact the only upgrade I ever made was a Toshiba Laptop where I increased the RAM because it was struggling to run Windows (no surprise there) in the 2GB that Toshiba had installed which was embarrassing low for a high end device and I only did that because they made it fairly easy with nice little hatches that you opened and did the upgrade without dismantling the whole device.

Look at the number of people that buy their device and then use it, and use it, and use it and don’t care about the speed or it slowing down.  In general I’d say that there is purely just a tiny percentage of those that would ever self-upgrade a purchased product.

Apple Tax? How does that affect people?

Apple Tax as many know is the Tech Journalist Whining term for the high cost of extra RAM or larger SSD etc  that they see as a tax on users but as one blogger/journalist complained

“It will cost me an extra $400 for the upgrade on the SSD for the Macbook whereas I could buy an SSD for $400 with the same capacity and do it myself”.

Yes you see the idiocy of the whole statement.  If he was a smart person he would have paid the Apple upgrade fee, not had to do the work himself, had an Apple warranty on the upgrade and not voided the devices warranty.  The same with the RAM.  Sure he could buy cheaper sourced RAM and install it himself previously but again the same warranty issues would have arisen,  So just order your device with the largest SSD you think you will need, the largest RAM that you think you would and utilize the device.

Do they think that it is a betrayal of past loyalty? I think so!  I really think that these people feel that Apple should be cater to their niche requirements as opposed to having more hardware fixed onto the motherboard permanently during manufacture which actually improves reliability and cuts costs.

If they’re not catering for the niche, self-upgraders, who are they catering for?

Apple are catering for the majority and the majority don’t care about upgrading they just care about their device doing what they do most of and the majority of us don’t edit 4K video, we don’t run a gazillion applications at the same time.  Most of our usage is email, looking at social media, curating photographs and streaming video.  Many of us are doing that adequately on devices that are 3, 4 or even 10 years old or more and we are only purchasing a replacement when that device finally gives up, most of those devices are doing video quite successfully with just 4GB or less memory.

The niche tends to be people that grossly over-estimate their needs or usage or believed the guff literature that many of the hardware manufacturers for years that allowed for customization of specifications would push that you need this much memory to do tasks.  Back then their customization was mostly just what a user would do anyway and was really to make life easier for those that are not comfortable with upgrading themselves but those days have started to quickly pass us all by when it comes to laptops.

In fact Apple is not alone in moving towards a less upgradable product range, as the devices are made lighter and slimmer they ability to build in user-upgradability becomes harder and these manufacturers now tend to make it clear.

Why do we hear people whine about Apple’s lack of user upgradability more than those of Windows based Laptops?

Quite simply I think that Apple customers tend to be more prone to whining because other manufacturers would tell them exactly where to go.  These people tend to feel that they have a right to whine about the slightest thing because they pay a little bit extra for Apple Hardware and it only takes one or two whining assholes to make a lot of noise, you rarely hear people shouting and screaming about how satisfied with Apple’s products.  These whining customers are the same ones that fill an Apple Store demanding that the slightest issue is fixed while the device is under warranty.  These whining assholes are the same ones that Apple Store staff really hate and make them love the rest of us that only go in when there is a true crisis or problem with our purchase or we need advice or help.

So for those of us that are normal real users try and predict what your needs will be in the future during the life of your MacBook and then pay Apple for the upgrades when you order online and be happy and enjoy your device.  Don’t worry about what some Tech Journalist or someone that claims to be a ‘pro-user’ claims or whines about, they’re normally talking shit or talking down to us as normal users of their products.  If your older Mac can edit video perfectly well then the new MacBook Pro will edit the same video and you can choose to use to upgrade to more memory when you purchase just because you feel it may be worth you having it installed and don’t care about the asinine griping from the pro-user and journalists they’re mostly full of themselves and full of shit!

Remember that when it comes to lack of expandability it is only a minority that really get upset about and out of that minority it is a tiny percentage of those that would be affected.