Shaving My Head Bald During A Pandemic

It’s Day 44 (+/- a few Groundhog Days) of the California lockdown—and I’m bored. Since I’m not a vlogger, I can’t make random videos about being bored. Since I don’t have a Nintendo Switch, I can’t play Animal Crossing and invite you to my island. Last week I was so bored that I shaved my head bald with an electric clippers and s razor blade. I didn’t realize that “shaving my head bald during a pandemic” was a thing. That men who gives up a full head of hair to go bald are confidant, dominant and masculine. Who knew that looking like Mr. Magoo was sexy?

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Are Real Estate Developers Shutting Down Fry’s Electronics?

Since the Palo Alto store closing announcement in September 2019, I’ve made eight videos about Fry’s Electronics Electronics being a zombie retailer. Empty parking lot, barren shelves, few customers, and the salesclerks unhelpful as always. I mentioned in some videos that I thought real estate developers would dictate future store closings. This week the San Jose Mercury News reported on a developer’s proposal to turn Fry’s Electronics’s San Jose store, warehouse, and corporate headquarters into a multi-building tech campus for 10,000 employees. Are real estate developers shutting down Fry’s Electronics?

Watch the video on YouTube or read the essay on Medium.

Will Drive-In Movie Theaters Make A Comeback?

The last movie I saw before the shelter-in-place order took effect in California was “Bloodshot” starring Vin Diesel. With people already staying away from the movie theaters, two-dozen people watched the Saturday afternoon IMAX showing in their own row for proper social distancing. Since then I missed going out to the movies every weekend to break up the week-to-week grind. Every day in Silicon Valley is Christmas morning with few people walking about and cars on the street.

If only there was an alternative for watching movies at the movie theaters. Silicon Valley still has a drive-in movie theater called the Capitol Drive-In in San Jose. The chain that operates that location is West Wind Drive-In, which has its Sacramento, CA, and Glendale, AZ, locations open for business during the pandemic. Other regional drive-ins in the U.S. are also open for business.

Will drive-in movie theaters make a comeback for today’s social distancing?

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Are Virtual Cons The Future of Comic Cons?

Wizard World started its Virtual Experiences with the cast of “Supernatural” on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, and the cast of “Once Upon An Time” on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Each person appeared in their own window during the livestream on Facebook, Twitch TV and YouTube. It’s almost like attending a panel session in person. Tickets were available for one-on-one video chat, recorded video message, and/or an autographed picture from one of the guests. Prices ranged from $50 USD to $200 USD. With many in-person events cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, are virtual cons the future of comic cons?

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Installing The SilverStone Slim 120mm Case Fan

Every five years I rebuild my FreeNAS file server by replacing old hardware with new hardware. One component that I always toss out after running 24/7 for five years is the case fans. For the 2015 rebuild, I had Deepcool 120mm fans in front, NZXT 120mm fans in back and bottom, and a pair of Apevia 140mm fans at top. There’s nothing special about these fans except for the bottom fan, where air circulation is needed to avoid overheating the hard drives. The regular 120mm fan was 25mm thick and blocked the bottom drive bay. Not a problem when I only had six hard drives. For the 2020 rebuild, I added two new hard drives and needed all eight drive bays. How can I have a fan and a hard drive occupy the same space at the same time?

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Why YouTube’s Content Moderators Can’t Work From Home

YouTube recently announced that their content moderators were being sent home from the office and automated AI systems will handle the removal of inappropriate videos. As most content creators know too well, the AI doesn’t always correctly remove inappropriate videos. The moderators are the ones who correct the mistakes that the AI often makes from a lack of context. With the moderators gone, removed videos will remain offline until someone gets around to reviewing them.

The outcry from content creators was, “Why can’t the moderators work from home?”

Although YouTube released a video explaining this policy change, it didn’t fully address the work from home question. Having worked at Google before and after the Great Recession ten years ago, I can tell you why the moderators can’t work from home. It’s not a technical issue, it’s the business model.

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The Daily Limits Of Grocery Buying In A Pandemic

Last week it took me five days to buy my regular groceries while everyone else was panic buying at the stores. More items in stock but limit signs were everywhere today. I’ve took pictures to document the craziness for this montage video. Please consider donating CASH to your local food bank to help those struggling to put food on the table for their families. CASH donations will allow the food bank to buy food in bulk quantities at wholesale prices. If you don’t have a local food bank, donate to Feeding America (nationwide) or Second Harvest Food Bank (Silicon Valley).

The “Fridging” of Nancy Drew

This is year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that allow women the right to vote in the United States in 1920. This year also marks the 90th anniversary of Nancy Drew, the teenage heroine detective created as a counterpoint to the Hardy Boys in 1930. A beloved character still popular with generations of readers and viewers today. Dynamite Comics recently announced a new comic book series called, “Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew.”

That’s right.

Nancy Drew is dead and the Hardy Boys solving her murder. She’s not only killed off but also fridged, invoking two comic book tropes to jump start interest and sales. Only a male writer could have thought of stuffing Nancy Drew’s dead body into a fridge was an exciting way to celebrate her 90th anniversary.

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Replacing UPS Battery After Low Battery Warning

I’ve gotten email notifications from my FreeNAS file server that my APC ES-725 UPS has a “low battery” condition. The 12-volt battery inside the UPS was no longer outputting a constant 12 volts to provide backup power during an outage. When that happened three years ago, I ignored the emails for several months. One day the UPS stopped working and started whistling loudly. I had no choice but to unplug the UPS to stop the whistling. My choices then was the same as now: replace the battery or the entire UPS. Most of the time, it’s cheaper to replace the battery.

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Dear Healthy People — STOP BUYING Medical Masks

Last month I posted a video about medical masks being hoarded by healthy people were a bigger health threat than the coronavirus in the United States. A shortage of medical masks at hospitals could cause an outbreak among medical professionals and the general public. A few people told me that the medical mask shortage was just an Internet conspiracy theory.

It wasn’t.

Earlier this week a doctor and two ER staff members who identified a patient with the coronavirus at a Silicon Valley hospital are now under quarantine. A shortage of N95 masks left them exposed to the coronavirus while examining the patient. Yesterday the United States Surgeon General tweeted that healthy people must stop buying medical masks to avoid putting medical personnel at risk from a mask shortage. Medical mask hoarders are putting everyone at risk for an outbreak.

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