Thoughts & Essays

Trump, Climate change, impeachment, laptops, Dresden Files, & other Monday morning bits.

Last week I bought a new computer – an ASUS Tuff Gaming laptop – from It arrived Friday. I got it set up and over the weekend, I played some Stardew Valley, watched some YouTube and Netflix, read a few things, y’know. Nothing strenuous or unusual. Monday morning I went to plug a thing in to the USB to charge it for a few minutes, and the laptop flat refused to power on. I checked to make sure it was charged, and it was. I checked to make sure it was plugged in, and it was. It hadn’t been bumped, dropped, or had anything spilled on it. It just stopped powering on.

I’ll just pause here and let you imagine the vulgar stream of vitriol I spewed at the situation at asshole o’clock on a Monday morning.

So, yes, of course I’m returning it. I got the return labels and whatnot this morning, and I’ll ship the brick out this afternoon. I still need a new laptop, of course, but I think I’ll be buying the next one direct from HP instead of dicking around with whatever con artists are scamming out their rejects on Amazon this week.

Anyway, a few interesting things to read:

  • The Atlantic: American Jews Are Terrified – “A deadly shooting at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey is the latest manifestation of anti-Semitic violence that doesn’t fit in a neat, ideological box.”
  • Vox: These 3 supertrees can protect us from climate collapse – “Dozens of countries have extraordinary tropical forests, but three stand out: Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These countries not only have the largest areas of tropical forest within their borders; they also have the highest rates of deforestation.”
  • GQ: What the Medical GoFundMes That Don’t Get Funded Say About America – “For every viral story of fundraising for healthcare, there are thousands of medical campaigns that don’t get funded.”
  • Buzzfeed News: The 100 Memes That Defined The 2010s – “This decade, memes became something not just for a handful of internet nerds who lurked on message boards; memes are now for everyone. The online culture of this decade hasn’t just changed the words we use, it’s changed how we express ourselves.”
  • NPR: What Else Disappears If The ACA Is Overturned? – “Any day now, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans could rule that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.”

Also, a few headlines you should probably know about this morning:

And finally, some good news – or at least, good news for fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: