Roderick on the Line

Ep. 228: "Hidey Santa"


  this episode of rock on the line is [TS]

  brought to you by Casper Casper is an [TS]

  online retailer of premium mattresses [TS]

  that you can get delivered to your door [TS]

  for a fraction of the price that you pay [TS]

  in stores you can use the offer code [TS]

  supertrain for fifty dollars off your [TS]

  purchase please go and visit Casper calm [TS]

  / supertrain [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  hello hi John hi Merlin is going well [TS]

  it's a little complicated [TS]

  no dear i'm switching headphones you [TS]

  seem like you're in a different room [TS]

  yeah i'm always in a different room [TS]

  stand by here goes headphones with ready [TS]

  okay [TS]

  ah I can't hear you now because i'm [TS]

  switching John is switching so here we [TS]

  go [TS]

  we'll need to hear unfolding China's [TS]

  back John is switching his headphones [TS]

  either can hear me yeah you sound good [TS]

  can hear me Merlin yeah I can hear I can [TS]

  hear you now I can hear you [TS]

  oh ok i'm having a problem with a large [TS]

  problem is complicated huh [TS]

  are you on bart equipment what it is is [TS]

  it's a headphone jack and malfunctioning [TS]

  now [TS]

  yeah and so I only I'm hearing you in [TS]

  mono now [TS]

  oh I just in one year just in one area [TS]

  must be maddening that's not good that's [TS]

  not good that's not how I normally here [TS]

  Merlin Mann and it's what it feels like [TS]

  to be Brian Wilson this is exactly what [TS]

  it feels like to be Brian I feel like [TS]

  right now I'm and I filled my living [TS]

  room was saying its full catch em oh man [TS]

  yeah so it's almost a form of virtual [TS]

  reality or sec augmented reality this is [TS]

  kind of it's a it's a nurse at Brian [TS]

  Wilson emulator yeah it's it's like dr [TS]

  demented reality or dog mented reality [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  I'm broadcasting to you live from Venice [TS]

  California [TS]

  oh there you are can you see the beach [TS]

  no no I can't see the beach i can see [TS]

  Russia from here but not the beach [TS]

  yeah that's one thing about Alaskans a [TS]

  lot of people don't know it isn't that [TS]

  Alaska is close to Russia it's just that [TS]

  all Alaskans can see Russia from [TS]

  wherever they are [TS]

  is that it now has hasn't fallen nature [TS]

  versus nurture is that just something [TS]

  thats is something like in the water or [TS]

  do you think something genetic it's [TS]

  really more Heisenberg Ian oh sure right [TS]

  like you're not sure what happens [TS]

  well know that Russia is there by virtue [TS]

  of our observation rather than there [TS]

  being a Russian really necessarily units [TS]

  and about quantum quantum observation [TS]

  there it is that's right that's right I [TS]

  i observe Russia and then spookily at a [TS]

  distance and other Alaskans also [TS]

  observed Russian and if everybody in [TS]

  Alaska lined up at the same time you [TS]

  know who knows we would be like Hands [TS]

  Across America before for vision or [TS]

  politics [TS]

  mhm i was watching now you know they got [TS]

  bob ross on netflix nah [TS]

  yeah yeah they got like a like a [TS]

  full-season a bob ross on their endeavor [TS]

  thought of his program is happening in [TS]

  seasons he's a very interesting guy and [TS]

  he you know he don't know if you've [TS]

  watched his his old show on PBS but it's [TS]

  it's a it's it's strangely relaxing and [TS]

  kind of fascinating to watch don't see [TS]

  how you could be an American person and [TS]

  not have watched that show [TS]

  yeah because because it's not just [TS]

  mesmerizing over time it's like [TS]

  instantly mesmerizing e yeah it's and I [TS]

  mean you know what he say about bob ross [TS]

  i mean obviously he had a it was kind of [TS]

  a bit was one of those things like the [TS]

  star hustler or something where people [TS]

  knew about it and it's funny you make [TS]

  fun of it but but when you actually [TS]

  watch the show it's it's pretty amazing [TS]

  like to feel like you have a lot to say [TS]

  about bob ross maybe more than most [TS]

  well you know i am going to wikipedia [TS]

  was watch on [TS]

  but the reason I mentioned here you know [TS]

  it is on netflix if you ever get a TV [TS]

  but the other thing is that he has said [TS]

  numerous times in this just makes sense [TS]

  to me that a lot of his inspiration was [TS]

  very inspired technically by this by [TS]

  this one fella who sort of um [TS]

  popularized the wet on wet painting [TS]

  technique they eventually had a big [TS]

  fracture fracture in their relationship [TS]

  that's very sad but the fact that he [TS]

  paints the way that he does in the kinds [TS]

  of things that he does is owing to the [TS]

  fact that he was stationed in alaska was [TS]

  cute when he was in the service he was [TS]

  like a like a sergeant guy and I want to [TS]

  like supply or something like that but [TS]

  that's when he took up painting to [TS]

  augment his income he would make these [TS]

  paintings and sell them and that Alaskan [TS]

  influence is still there so that that [TS]

  maybe that has something to do with [TS]

  nature of his visions any different [TS]

  he he uses the wet on wet technique the [TS]

  wet on wet technique yeah that's what [TS]

  that's what enables the whole thing wet [TS]

  on wet now that I don't know a lot about [TS]

  this but it's my understanding that [TS]

  typically when your oil painting you get [TS]

  your campus you get your chest so you [TS]

  got your that dry stretch your cameras [TS]

  got all ready to go and start painting [TS]

  in layers and I think he ordinarily wait [TS]

  for one layer to dry [TS]

  well before you putting more on what Bob [TS]

  Ross does based on this technique this [TS]

  guy named Alexander not to be confused [TS]

  with the alexander technique he uses he [TS]

  has a hole wet canvas really uses the [TS]

  wet paint and you know what Bob Bob Bob [TS]

  rossi he doesn't call it a mistake [TS]

  because it a happy accident you can have [TS]

  these happy cloud happy tree and he has [TS]

  squirrels on a show sometimes I my [TS]

  experience loses one of the things [TS]

  growing up I didn't I guess I didn't [TS]

  think about it until i was out of Alaska [TS]

  it's one of those one of those [TS]

  Heisenberg in things where you can't see [TS]

  it until until you take yourself out of [TS]

  it [TS]

  it's like it's like a Schroedinger box [TS]

  right you can't tell if I the burgers in [TS]

  the box and does that happen [TS]

  yeah orders [TS]

  so I moved away from Alaska and I [TS]

  realized that all art in Alaska or the [TS]

  vast majority of art in Alaska is kitsch [TS]

  all Alaska absurd painting landscape [TS]

  painting is all done in this style where [TS]

  there's the northern lights and there's [TS]

  snowy it's nighttime and there's a and [TS]

  there's a a log cash and maybe you know [TS]

  definitely some some happy trees [TS]

  definitely maybe some unhappy trees but [TS]

  every Alaskan in the state has a [TS]

  painting of Alaska or multiple paintings [TS]

  of Alaska in their home and they're all [TS]

  this sort of they're all done in a very [TS]

  similar style a lot of them are actually [TS]

  painted on gold bands which is a thing [TS]

  that song in some ways you know you know [TS]

  what a gold pan looks like like a [TS]

  sentence creek pants use for pitchers [TS]

  hold ya so discreet been right so that [TS]

  is a gold pans are a canvas in Alaskan [TS]

  culture upon which all manner of dreams [TS]

  are projected but if you go into [TS]

  someone's home in Alaska and there and [TS]

  they are middle-class it's but there's a [TS]

  very good chance that they will have a [TS]

  gold pan mounted on the wall that has a [TS]

  painting on it and and their bare you [TS]

  know that these paintings vary in size [TS]

  primarily and if you go into a really [TS]

  nice house in Alaska maybe one that is [TS]

  really nicely decorated in every other [TS]

  way somewhere you will find a gold pan [TS]

  some more prominently a gold pan painted [TS]

  with the scene of the northern lights [TS]

  and a little cash and some snow and even [TS]

  the finest Alaskan painting the jacob [TS]

  Lawrence's of the [TS]

  Velasquez theme of paintings that now [TS]

  sell for tens and hundreds of thousands [TS]

  of dollars are also landscape paintings [TS]

  and they don't necessarily have the [TS]

  northern lights in them there's that I [TS]

  think maybe the very highest echelon of [TS]

  Alaskan painting you are allowed to not [TS]

  include the northern lights [TS]

  hmm but a but and this is kind of true [TS]

  of like all Alaskan culture right like [TS]

  the songs that come out of Alaska [TS]

  including my cousins albums they feature [TS]

  Alaska I prominently and the writing [TS]

  that comes out of Alaska's largely [TS]

  centered on Alaska or or takes place in [TS]

  Alaska there's there's that it's that [TS]

  it's that it's that encompass moment a [TS]

  compass in Ascension engine went yes [TS]

  alas canna Alaska which produces a last [TS]

  canna and alas canna is the primary form [TS]

  of like cultural production of Alaska [TS]

  and so now that i know bob ross learned [TS]

  that in Alaska it so much makes sense [TS]

  you know that kind of like the [TS]

  reproducible miss of it the the the way [TS]

  that those landscapes kind of come [TS]

  together [TS]

  his and now i'm thinking about them you [TS]

  know sort of located on a giant gold pan [TS]

  and all comes together [TS]

  all he needs is a little bit of northern [TS]

  lights well let me catch these paintings [TS]

  are not cheap and the gold pan painting [TS]

  some of them are I want to share [TS]

  something with you that will probably [TS]

  not surprise you when i went and [TS]

  searched on the internet for gold pan [TS]

  paintings it it auto completed with bob [TS]

  ross what gold campaigns I'm i am [TS]

  looking right now at some of the mini [TS]

  bob ross original gold pan paintings [TS]

  including one of a mountain and a cabin [TS]

  and the northern lights [TS]

  you're kidding time not i'm not even [TS]

  kidding you [TS]

  we have arrived it we've arrived at some [TS]

  kind of single again [TS]

  my gosh is a lot of sirens going by hope [TS]

  everything's okay you have noticed that [TS]

  too [TS]

  do you think what the Sanderson [TS]

  encroaching what do I think what's [TS]

  pretty cold today those those uh and the [TS]

  sound a little bit like police sirens to [TS]

  me i'm not sure there's a difference but [TS]

  you know as you know you see me [TS]

  demonstrate I can tell the different [TS]

  kinds of delivery services by the sound [TS]

  of the truck [TS]

  I can't hear many things but I'm usually [TS]

  pretty good at identifying vehicles you [TS]

  do that when planes you can do that with [TS]

  planes i can try to get pretty close i [TS]

  can try an airplane to to know what I'm [TS]

  hearing yeah it's very very distinctive [TS]

  cadence to it to US postal service truck [TS]

  that's not right that's the different [TS]

  from UPS or or any other oh yeah [TS]

  absolutely [TS]

  FedEx truck sound more expensive and the [TS]

  the Postal Service ones have a very have [TS]

  a very distinctive kind of disappointed [TS]

  sound a sound tired [TS]

  what are the ones that sound like rumble [TS]

  Rumble Rumble which ones are those that [TS]

  sounds to me like a garbage truck [TS]

  oh em that my pee yeah what I'm thinking [TS]

  of where our garbage garbage truck is [TS]

  unchanged and change the topic it very [TS]

  leisurely very leisurely garbage person [TS]

  so they really really take their time my [TS]

  garbage truck because i live in and [TS]

  maybe like a crosshatch neighborhood [TS]

  that has some some streets are are dead [TS]

  ends Cossacks the garbage men and there [TS]

  are always men [TS]

  mmm they come through the neighborhood [TS]

  in a very curious pattern where instead [TS]

  of going down the streets that are [TS]

  blocked off they they turn their trucks [TS]

  at and then back down the streets that [TS]

  are blocked off [TS]

  that's interesting yeah so that advocate [TS]

  every time [TS]

  yeah they that's their routine they you [TS]

  know they pull little T maneuver and [TS]

  then they back all the way down the long [TS]

  block to the end and then are able to [TS]

  drive forward out of there but what that [TS]

  means is that half the time they're in [TS]

  my neighborhood by volume they are going [TS]

  course fully half the time and or maybe [TS]

  even more the time because more than [TS]

  more than half the time because you have [TS]

  to account for the time that they're [TS]

  pulling the team maneuver and so and and [TS]

  they come service my neighborhood at the [TS]

  crack of dawn i am the first [TS]

  neighborhood in town to get their [TS]

  garbage picked up on fridays and so it's [TS]

  a real symphony the beeps plus rattles [TS]

  and squeaky brakes and big diesel motors [TS]

  or whatever those are now two diesel [TS]

  combined with compressed air combined [TS]

  with corn syrup and whatever those [TS]

  motors are running on and and also they [TS]

  get their route I've tried to try to map [TS]

  it as you do that you try to map view [TS]

  the garbage truck says that you likely [TS]

  you reach a certain certain and we [TS]

  talked about Rev route talk or root talk [TS]

  a.sesay and you know I think as you [TS]

  reach a certain age in life you became [TS]

  very interested in how people are [TS]

  compelled or choose to wear out their [TS]

  vehicles i think it's a very interesting [TS]

  topic and then once you start noticing a [TS]

  pattern [TS]

  yeah you can't help but notice right and [TS]

  I and I thought you know the the way the [TS]

  garbage trucks empty a neighborhood of [TS]

  their of the neighborhood's garbage and [TS]

  then move on you know that's a system [TS]

  that's part of a larger system and so I [TS]

  became curious as to whether it was just [TS]

  Emma tized across the whole city or [TS]

  whether each whether the managers like [TS]

  it's like a car and every year ever [TS]

  yeah every neighborhood is d garbage in [TS]

  a different way that's right makes sense [TS]

  up but maybe not you know maybe maybe [TS]

  it's maybe its institutional a top-down [TS]

  system or maybe garbage managers like [TS]

  listen my own neighborhood I know better [TS]

  than anyone and in our neighborhood in [TS]

  my in Sector 14 we back down every [TS]

  called a sec and the guy that's running [TS]

  some sector-12 is like that's ridiculous [TS]

  who knows i don't i'm not i'm not privy [TS]

  I you know with when I was running for [TS]

  City Council one of the questions I [TS]

  asked my team was once i'm in city [TS]

  council because I presume that would be [TS]

  sharp [TS]

  do I have the authority doing do I have [TS]

  the ability to go down to the Sanitation [TS]

  Department and get a report and say I'd [TS]

  like a report I'd like to sit here and [TS]

  be in a room with you guys and get a [TS]

  report from everybody about what's going [TS]

  on [TS]

  what kind of decreasing yeah and they [TS]

  looked at each my team sort of looked at [TS]

  each other and slowly nodded and said he [TS]

  would be able to do that I think you [TS]

  would scare a lot of people they [TS]

  wouldn't know why you were there and I [TS]

  said all climb there i just want to i [TS]

  want to go around to the city and all [TS]

  the all the agencies that are performing [TS]

  all these marvelous tasks I want to get [TS]

  a report [TS]

  thank you i'm not going to tell them how [TS]

  to do their jobs just you you seek first [TS]

  to understand [TS]

  yeah it's like Don Schaffner food safety [TS]

  podcast right I've got a lot of [TS]

  questions about how the garbages how [TS]

  about the plan is run here and people [TS]

  people who think about how they do their [TS]

  job all day long are usually very keen [TS]

  to tell you [TS]

  yeah yeah I couldn't wait but but now as [TS]

  a layperson is just a common member of [TS]

  the city community [TS]

  I don't feel like I have this thing is I [TS]

  don't want to just go like wait in the [TS]

  lobby with my hat in my hand for some [TS]

  press secretary to come out and say what [TS]

  can we do for you now I'm like [TS]

  constantly reexamining our processes to [TS]

  find efficiencies and yeah I don't say I [TS]

  just want to sit in a room with all that [TS]

  with all those district managers and [TS]

  hear how the [TS]

  garbages then they just be like listen [TS]

  we're very busy here [TS]

  yeah but if I showed up as a city [TS]

  councilman with my you know my little [TS]

  entourage [TS]

  yeah imagine the power point that I [TS]

  would get to see and I probably would [TS]

  scare people that that's not what they [TS]

  want that's not what they get most city [TS]

  council people and by most I mean all to [TS]

  not have not been to the Sanitation [TS]

  Department probably although who knows [TS]

  but uh but yes so i'm very curious about [TS]

  it and once i started watching what they [TS]

  were doing it so it's quite an elaborate [TS]

  party to do [TS]

  it's a it's a little bit of a swan lake [TS]

  that's happening and garbage trucks it [TS]

  seems to me are running a running a a [TS]

  lot of redundant trips down the street [TS]

  you know I mean like garbage truck comes [TS]

  first appears in the neighborhood goes [TS]

  past my house kind of a add up at a good [TS]

  clip [TS]

  ok it's going somewhere it's going [TS]

  somewhere yeah then I hear it beeping [TS]

  somewhere in the neighborhood and then [TS]

  another garbage truck goes by again at a [TS]

  pretty good clip on a different Street [TS]

  it's not the same garbage truck it's a [TS]

  different one on a neighboring streets [TS]

  oh I hear him go by then I hear him [TS]

  beeping and mind your mind beeping and [TS]

  then one of them goes by my house again [TS]

  in the opposite direction [TS]

  still not making any attempt to stop and [TS]

  pick up garbage and i'm watching these [TS]

  things go by and I'm like I would think [TS]

  that there would be a route through this [TS]

  neighborhood that would just sort of be [TS]

  like an S and one garbage truck would [TS]

  just go s around and pick up all the [TS]

  garbage [TS]

  I wouldn't think it would require two [TS]

  garbage trucks making multiple passes [TS]

  before they arrive at their and there's [TS]

  this is all this is all residential this [TS]

  is all residents presumably everybody [TS]

  has mostly the same trash containers [TS]

  they're all identical ok alright this is [TS]

  this is this is good this is a mystery [TS]

  as the kind of thing you know once you [TS]

  get this on your mind it's hard to get [TS]

  it off right so you know I and I'm not [TS]

  usually up at six or seven to be out [TS]

  like chasing them around with that with [TS]

  a clipboard state love that you get home [TS]

  like any just a moment [TS]

  hold on just a second here one of the [TS]

  greatest experiences I ever had was [TS]

  right when i moved into my house I'd [TS]

  cleaned out all this garbage from the [TS]

  from the house and had produced a stack [TS]

  of like 30 black garbage bags it was [TS]

  just a mountain of garbage bags out in [TS]

  front of my house and I'd gone on to the [TS]

  city website send and read all the [TS]

  information about it and city has very [TS]

  clear rules about overages they said you [TS]

  get two garbage bags as part of your [TS]

  weekly thing and then each additional [TS]

  garbage bag is eighty dollars [TS]

  quick question point of the information [TS]

  so do you have cans for those are they [TS]

  actually just bags on the curb [TS]

  these are bags on the curb I did not [TS]

  have 30 garbage cans had them stacked up [TS]

  in a pyramid and a and I was very [TS]

  anxious because I didn't you know that [TS]

  was the only place I could put these [TS]

  bags the garbage man was about to arrive [TS]

  stair dismount bags and start counting [TS]

  up in increments of 80 how much I was [TS]

  going to own and he and I'm so that [TS]

  seems like resort prices [TS]

  yeah well I mean you know there they [TS]

  they got a plan [TS]

  this is all part of the system they've [TS]

  they've determined the price of extra [TS]

  bags based on an algorithm that [TS]

  oh that I would be able to understand if [TS]

  I had gone if I'd won my race for City [TS]

  Council but I don't understand presently [TS]

  and I didn't understand them it wasn't [TS]

  exactly a dollar moves a lot of money [TS]

  that was good to take all these 30 bags [TS]

  gonna be a lot of money for the cheaper [TS]

  have a holler person come out right but [TS]

  I just cleaned the place out this was [TS]

  this was all very fresh and so I made a [TS]

  point to be standing next to my mountain [TS]

  of garbage bags at seven o'clock in the [TS]

  morning we are rolled I i had even [TS]

  dressed okay because I wanted to be a [TS]

  meeting you're taking yeah I wanted to [TS]

  make a good presentation I wanted my [TS]

  garbage person to like me [TS]

  yeah I understand your karma the bass [TS]

  player of the Death Cab for Cutie's had [TS]

  worked as a garbage man into comas [TS]

  hilltop neighborhood a long time ago as [TS]

  a young man before he was a before he [TS]

  was in a rock band and he'd given me a [TS]

  lot of garbage man inside knowledge [TS]

  stuff like this [TS]

  yes he told me all about being a garbage [TS]

  man he told the story about an old [TS]

  garbage man on his route in tacoma who [TS]

  had a very very large collection only of [TS]

  discarded Polaroid sex pictures people [TS]

  would take you know their picture of [TS]

  their girlfriend or their wife and then [TS]

  for whatever reason would throw the [TS]

  pictures away and garbageman [TS]

  I don't understand they moved pretty [TS]

  fast but somehow they're also visually [TS]

  sorting garbage probably a lot like [TS]

  crows I mean just just in the sense that [TS]

  they have a very experienced has given [TS]

  them giving them a very attenuated I [TS]

  toward a variety of kinds of things that [TS]

  they might want to know about in the [TS]

  tracking mhm i believe that too and i [TS]

  think i would love to be a garbage man [TS]

  for that reason but i think it only [TS]

  really becomes meaningful if you've been [TS]

  a garbageman for 20 years is canceled so [TS]

  so according to nick this guy carried [TS]

  his collection in the garbage [TS]

  and he had multiple photo albums just [TS]

  full of bees [TS]

  I think you told me about this am and I [TS]

  and I feel like because I have a I have [TS]

  another friend who collects Polaroid's [TS]

  that were taken in in prisons in the [TS]

  seventies and his collection of prison [TS]

  Polaroid's is really beautiful and he [TS]

  says that online there are people who [TS]

  are like also collecting polarizer [TS]

  prison life in the seventies and that he [TS]

  often gets into bidding wars with these [TS]

  people and losses to have an original [TS]

  copy [TS]

  well that's the thing it's a pole right [TS]

  right this is the direct connection to [TS]

  the event and so i'm guessing that the [TS]

  community of people who are interested [TS]

  in a giant collection of like homemade [TS]

  because the Polaroids not a very good [TS]

  picture particularly a Polaroid taken in [TS]

  a house at night in the country every [TS]

  Polaroid is very intimate right and and [TS]

  so it's it would be it would be it's [TS]

  very intimate it's on unusual all these [TS]

  pictures are from Tacoma that would be [TS]

  there lot of probably through threads a [TS]

  lot of a lot of red garter belts I mean [TS]

  I don't know exactly what all was in [TS]

  this but it was a collection is very [TS]

  proud of it made me think a lot about [TS]

  garbage men and what they're doing Nick [TS]

  armor set a great thing to do on a hot [TS]

  summer day is to fill the top of your [TS]

  garbage can with ice and put a six-pack [TS]

  of beer of good beer in a little ice [TS]

  like a little ice nest inside the the [TS]

  garbage can so when the guy lifts the [TS]

  lid off here's this little icy beer [TS]

  moment in their day and then that's the [TS]

  consumer that's left that for the [TS]

  garbage person [TS]

  yeah as a token it's like leaving some [TS]

  some beads and shiny glass for the crows [TS]

  ok [TS]

  and so one day on the hot summer day I [TS]

  was out monkeying around my yard and I [TS]

  remember this conversation and again i [TS]

  was up early and so I was like a good [TS]

  idea and I had some beer in my house [TS]

  that someone had left Iran and I got [TS]

  some ice made a little ice nest in top [TS]

  of my garbage can and put a six-pack of [TS]

  beer in there and I was so I was so [TS]

  proud of this little beer gift and so [TS]

  naturally when I heard the garbage cans [TS]

  rattling and beeping in my neighborhood [TS]

  I ran and hid behind a bush like you [TS]

  like Santa a little bit like Santa I'm [TS]

  like Heidi Heidi Santa and I'm hiding in [TS]

  a bush and i'm waiting in the end of the [TS]

  garbage trucks are going by and rattling [TS]

  beeping and it was very frustrating [TS]

  because I was like come on you guys they [TS]

  had to do their thing all around my [TS]

  neighborhood finally the garbage truck [TS]

  comes and the eye lifts the lid off the [TS]

  can it and he stops and looks at the at [TS]

  the ice nest and the beer and then he [TS]

  carefully takes the six-pack of beer [TS]

  puts it on the ground [TS]

  empty the garbage can put the garbage [TS]

  can back and then they drive off and the [TS]

  beers left sitting on the sidewalk if he [TS]

  thought was a test [TS]

  no I think he just didn't want me beer [TS]

  or i but but I thought about this a lot [TS]

  is he not allowed to take the beer sure [TS]

  is there are he and his partner in [TS]

  recovery it did he consider this our the [TS]

  Mormons did he consider this to be a [TS]

  like some kind of it an insult maybe he [TS]

  did think it was a test it seems like if [TS]

  you're going to test a garbage man you [TS]

  wouldn't go to the trouble of making a [TS]

  nice nest [TS]

  maybe the maybe garbageman culture into [TS]

  coma is really lacks and fun and [TS]

  partying and garbageman Seattle are very [TS]

  serious [TS]

  so like I didn't know but I had I had [TS]

  done this thing and it had been it had [TS]

  been rejected that you know it had been [TS]

  kicked back out [TS]

  because it feels it feels like a like a [TS]

  gesture [TS]

  maybe they misinterpreted it i cannot [TS]

  know and I can't know without having [TS]

  gone as a city councilman and got a full [TS]

  report from the entire thats really [TS]

  washing over me at this point John [TS]

  there's so many reasons to be [TS]

  disappointed or frustrated that your run [TS]

  didn't go the way we want it but I'm [TS]

  just thinking I mean like in Florida we [TS]

  had Governor Bob Graham who was famous [TS]

  for always going out and it was a [TS]

  regular thing he did as governor where [TS]

  he would go out and work for being a [TS]

  part of a day at all different kinds of [TS]

  jobs that that seems like that would [TS]

  have been right up your alley [TS]

  oh yeah absolutely I would have done [TS]

  ride-alongs with everybody yeah the [TS]

  linemen and the sewer people and so I [TS]

  you know kind of the soul totally walked [TS]

  out me look flopped out into the yard [TS]

  and picked up my unwanted beer and took [TS]

  it back and put it in my pantry because [TS]

  i don't want to either come out that's [TS]

  the other thing maybe they just didn't [TS]

  like to contact a sure all right who [TS]

  know you just no way for now I'll never [TS]

  know now [TS]

  but anyway this one day the very early [TS]

  on in my house i'm standing out there a [TS]

  garbage truck comes around i'm basically [TS]

  standing there waiting in a suit with a [TS]

  bouquet of flowers [TS]

  the guy pulls up gets out a recognizes [TS]

  that I'm there to talk to him because [TS]

  i'm standing next to a mountain of 30 [TS]

  garbage banks and he says where we got [TS]

  here and I said well I have 30 garbage [TS]

  bags and I wanted to talk to you about [TS]

  him and he looked at him and he looked [TS]

  at me and he said yeah give me twenty [TS]

  bucks [TS]

  whoa i was like really [TS]

  he said 40 bucks and I said sold i don't [TS]

  know i don't want to keep talking this [TS]

  up [TS]

  yeah and I took 40 bucks out of my [TS]

  wallet I gave it to him and the two of [TS]

  us through 30 garbage bags in the back [TS]

  of his truck shook hands and off he went [TS]

  win-win everybody wins he's 40 bucks the [TS]

  garbage [TS]

  goes away it was gonna end up in the [TS]

  same place anyway [TS]

  yep and and I didn't pee dollars a bag [TS]

  or whatever the city asked for [TS]

  so there is enough autonomy there's [TS]

  enough like opportunity for somebody to [TS]

  to make a little you know to what their [TS]

  beacon little sure [TS]

  while the garbage all goes down the [TS]

  stream so i learned a lot that day but [TS]

  but a and I don't think it was the same [TS]

  if he if he jumped out of the truck on [TS]

  on beer next day I would recognize the [TS]

  guy because he's seared into my memory [TS]

  as one of the people I'm most grateful [TS]

  to see how course and grateful for it [TS]

  wasn't that it wasn't that guy was a [TS]

  different person that didn't want my [TS]

  beer my arm my late grandparents didn't [TS]

  travel a lot [TS]

  they mainly got traveled to buy us but [TS]

  on the occasions that my grandfather the [TS]

  rare occasions my grandfather and my [TS]

  grandmother would stay in a hotel motel [TS]

  my grandfather had a system to he [TS]

  thought was pretty bulletproof and as [TS]

  did include putting the TV remote in a [TS]

  plastic bag now this before remotes but [TS]

  you know that i can think about it he [TS]

  went down he would very mindful II put a [TS]

  quarter on the floor in in plain sight [TS]

  IC and if that quarter was gone he knew [TS]

  that place is crooked stones corner that [TS]

  was his like you know quarter in the [TS]

  coal mine [TS]

  uh-huh this is kind of like in my [TS]

  experience putting a walkie-talkie in [TS]

  the middle of Florida that's right it's [TS]

  an invitation to adventure but i think [TS]

  we all we all have little systems like [TS]

  that but when something like that [TS]

  happens on that spy stuff like you you [TS]

  know you can put like a piece of paper [TS]

  you know in the door and if it's on the [TS]

  floor you know somebody's open this [TS]

  thing is all that kind of like spy stuff [TS]

  you're reading books but like I'm not [TS]

  sure if that's such an efficient method [TS]

  for determining determining the [TS]

  trustworthiness of a larger but I'm sure [TS]

  it's not yeah because they might mean [TS]

  just might not see it but on the other [TS]

  hand this this could be something like [TS]

  the sting this could be a long con but [TS]

  when he would come back to his room [TS]

  after going to the beach or or or Bob [TS]

  naps or what-have-you if that quarter [TS]

  was on the counter in clear sight i [TS]

  think that made him really happy i bet [TS]

  it did [TS]

  yeah or if somebody had picked it up [TS]

  from where it was and put it put it [TS]

  somewhere else the place of prominence [TS]

  like eyes on your court that that's what [TS]

  I'm saying that's what I'm saying that [TS]

  was that was a good sign for him i'm [TS]

  sure i've told you about the [TS]

  hundred-dollar bill under the American [TS]

  hundred-dollar bill under the tablecloth [TS]

  in Cuba story i don't remember if you [TS]

  did have another friend who was a [TS]

  journalist with things like you put [TS]

  money in the kids bible and remember [TS]

  read your Bible every day [TS]

  no it was one of those things where the [TS]

  Cuban Secret Service the Cuban spits [TS]

  knots would put a hundred-dollar bill [TS]

  under the tablecloth of someone's home [TS]

  on American hundred and so in the course [TS]

  of them cleaning their house they would [TS]

  find this American hundred inexplicably [TS]

  in the middle of their home and they [TS]

  knew not to take it because it was a it [TS]

  was a test it was a sign of hundred [TS]

  dollar and a lot of money [TS]

  yeah in Cuba 20 years ago it was a [TS]

  life-changing amount of money at least [TS]

  briefly but it was just like we are you [TS]

  know we're in your home and not only are [TS]

  we in your home but fuck you [TS]

  oh my gosh like we can prick and we're [TS]

  in your home and we are so in your home [TS]

  that we can leave this here and know [TS]

  that you won't touch it you know that [TS]

  you can touch it and see available [TS]

  yeah you would put your tablecloth back [TS]

  down and walk around knowing that there [TS]

  was this enormous amount of money under [TS]

  the table cloth and you would just leave [TS]

  it there until it was then gone most [TS]

  complicated but now they're in your head [TS]

  a little bit [TS]

  oh yeah he had a plan according to [TS]

  according to you know legend the Cuban [TS]

  Secret Service of all the secret [TS]

  services they did [TS]

  little bit less of the you know standing [TS]

  out in gorky park with a with the small [TS]

  like file folder that they're going to [TS]

  not a file folder but you know they're [TS]

  not they weren't human Secret Service [TS]

  wasn't rolling up a microfiche and [TS]

  sticking it in cigarette filters they [TS]

  were mostly a they were an internal they [TS]

  were doing most of their work within [TS]

  Cuba and they were really inside [TS]

  people's heads you know it sounds a [TS]

  little bit more like I mean I know the [TS]

  Stasi had their very technical things [TS]

  that they did but that sounds like one [TS]

  of those you know in in sort of a on [TS]

  totalitarian regime especially if you [TS]

  don't have the the money you want people [TS]

  to be policing themselves and you spend [TS]

  a little bit to put the fear into them [TS]

  and then you don't have to do it [TS]

  yourself [TS]

  right right well and this friend now i [TS]

  dont i I've started to worry because i [TS]

  don't i don't want i never wanted to be [TS]

  a one of those middle-aged people that [TS]

  was repeating themselves all the time [TS]

  and ever since I started saying that you [TS]

  said that yeah yeah yeah yeah ever since [TS]

  i've started taking my my my bipolar [TS]

  medicine [TS]

  it has been reported to me that my [TS]

  memory has suffered a little bit no [TS]

  kidding [TS]

  yeah but I don't remember it being that [TS]

  way before well it certainly wasn't i [TS]

  had a mind like a steel trap ensure and [TS]

  pretty sure I mean we did need it but [TS]

  couple hundred programs where I repeated [TS]

  a couple of stories that generally i had [TS]

  a sense of what weather story been told [TS]

  before [TS]

  well you're you're co-hosting with the [TS]

  wrong seller ya there [TS]

  I mean cuz I i do find your story is [TS]

  very interesting and and I'm like it i [TS]

  will often say to you I tried to qu as [TS]

  we say in the business if it is an [TS]

  anecdote that I remember very clearly [TS]

  but you know you don't listen to the [TS]

  show so you know how would you know but [TS]

  i but but lately i have felt like there [TS]

  have been a couple of instances where we [TS]

  talk merrily about a thing and then the [TS]

  response on the internet was I've heard [TS]

  that story before and then [TS]

  of course are our cabin marm yep says [TS]

  well that appeared in episode 18 episode [TS]

  940 you know like a little bit of [TS]

  feeling like oh gee I told that story [TS]

  and feels good I think we should [TS]

  probably assume everybody's heard every [TS]

  episode yeah I might let my favorites of [TS]

  those are when someone says you know [TS]

  john told that story before and then and [TS]

  then when he told the story again [TS]

  Merlin said exactly the same thing after [TS]

  which honestly does not surprise me at [TS]

  all well and I'm proud of the fact that [TS]

  in most cases no one says that story was [TS]

  a lot different the second time [TS]

  well that's see that's that's good so [TS]

  least you're still in it something like [TS]

  stage one [TS]

  yeah or or we got a full on David we're [TS]

  like a you the the story changes a lot [TS]

  as it gets a retold well or just told [TS]

  over and over as though as the told as [TS]

  though we've never heard that he was in [TS]

  World War two [TS]

  oh yeah right but uh but you know but [TS]

  part of that is to confirm two people [TS]

  that some of the fantastical stories are [TS]

  actually true then it would be [TS]

  impossible to remember a lie i feel like [TS]

  that needs a little bit that there still [TS]

  are the occasional listeners who think [TS]

  that your stories maybe partly or fully [TS]

  fictional they are just that they're [TS]

  just stories actually that gets on your [TS]

  skin a little bit but always drives me [TS]

  crazy this isn't as this isn't some [TS]

  stress isn't like one of those one of [TS]

  those podcasts where people are talking [TS]

  about supernatural towns [TS]

  hmm this is a this is a like it this is [TS]

  true true stories podcast true tales [TS]

  from the from the Wild West but this [TS]

  this friend who went to Cuba who [TS]

  experienced this story of the [TS]

  hundred-dollar bill he was telling that [TS]

  as a prelude to his story which was that [TS]

  he was out in the far country and in a [TS]

  group of people and he at their request [TS]

  you know you have any kids yes i do here [TS]

  is a picture of my daughter he pulled a [TS]

  picture of his daughter out of his [TS]

  wallet he started passing it around [TS]

  pictures daughter went around this room [TS]

  and then never came back to him [TS]

  oh and as it was time to leave he said [TS]

  hey who's got that picture and everyone [TS]

  was like I don't have a night I don't [TS]

  happen and it was a finite number of [TS]

  people in the room it wasn't like a big [TS]

  event it was there 15-20 people there is [TS]

  no that's nasty guy was like no [TS]

  seriously it's time for me to go [TS]

  where's my picture and everybody famed [TS]

  you know complete ignorance we don't [TS]

  know I don't know nobody nobody was the [TS]

  last person to have seen the photo and [TS]

  you know in his escorts who he presumed [TS]

  were also secret agents or something [TS]

  like time to go time to go and so he was [TS]

  hustled into his van and taken off and [TS]

  never you know in the picture was gone [TS]

  and he was you know he was hurt and [TS]

  insulted because everybody had been so [TS]

  friendly and a little vulnerable and [TS]

  that's that weird well six months later [TS]

  he's back in america and in his [TS]

  apartment one day the photograph appears [TS]

  i'll come on [TS]

  he tells the story as though that's it a [TS]

  lot of work that God's honest truth [TS]

  it does seem like a lot of work it seems [TS]

  like a lot of work to do to accomplish a [TS]

  very inscrutable goal or you know like [TS]

  obviously what they're saying is don't [TS]

  fuck with the Cubans but he's not he's [TS]

  back in seattle he's not fucking with [TS]

  the Cubans they may be saying don't you [TS]

  know be careful what you publish be [TS]

  careful what you say about Cuba whoa [TS]

  journalists got it but you know super [TS]

  spooky spooky action at a distance yeah [TS]

  literally and that you know when he told [TS]

  that story it was it was a little [TS]

  chillin and I still you know he was [TS]

  pretty trustworthy source and claim that [TS]

  this you know absolutely what [TS]

  would that was the one picture he would [TS]

  remember it it there's no way it could [TS]

  have could have appeared by accident or [TS]

  happenstance it was that same picture [TS]

  you know finger grubby with multiple [TS]

  fingers yeah and it's not like it's like [TS]

  the garbage men who are keeping a [TS]

  Polaroid album like somebody had to get [TS]

  that put it into a file folder with that [TS]

  guy's name and be able to call it up at [TS]

  a point later on I mean that that's [TS]

  that's an information that's a that's a [TS]

  knowledge management issue also mean [TS]

  that there's a lot going on there a lot [TS]

  of moving parts that had to be able to [TS]

  somewhere with his name on it and i [TS]

  think one of the other messages was all [TS]

  the people in the room who were like oh [TS]

  shows the picture of your daughter [TS]

  they were all normal citizens they [TS]

  weren't spies they were just normal [TS]

  people but someone in advance of his [TS]

  trip there had gone around and said he's [TS]

  going to be here and and you know what [TS]

  we expect or something mean there was it [TS]

  was it was a casual enough exchange that [TS]

  it it made it feel like someone was [TS]

  improvising and it was oh you know here [TS]

  comes the picture I'm going to grab this [TS]

  picture and everyone in the room is [TS]

  going to deny any knowledge of it right [TS]

  it's just very deep and very dark a lot [TS]

  of confidence expressed their confidence [TS]

  that there that control is total train [TS]

  so you know that's that's really [TS]

  something that's that is a kind of of [TS]

  like psychological control over the [TS]

  environment to kind of gas lighting that [TS]

  I really inspired by now i know i was [TS]

  thinking the same thing if you really [TS]

  want to if you really want to mess with [TS]

  somebody here here's the thing this is [TS]

  where falls apart for me like you might [TS]

  have the wiring for this but I don't is [TS]

  I'm thinking about these stories you're [TS]

  describing you know things have come out [TS]

  over the years about like the odd things [TS]

  that on one hand the odd sort of [TS]

  missions successful or abortive that you [TS]

  hear about and just that the tangle of [TS]

  like seemingly complex methods that are [TS]

  used to do something that seems very [TS]

  very strange and then cover up the fact [TS]

  that it happened because they're always [TS]

  saying it's you know you want to cover [TS]

  up the mission but that was that term [TS]

  there's you can also protect your [TS]

  methods and lightning obviously you [TS]

  don't want people to know if you've got [TS]

  a double agent someone with that's the [TS]

  term but you don't know if there's [TS]

  somebody on the inside doing that but I [TS]

  it just seems like you have to be wired [TS]

  a real weird certain way in order to be [TS]

  able to pull that off in the end to [TS]

  think that it's that's effective as you [TS]

  know what it's going to be an agent of [TS]

  chaos like I understand like if you're [TS]

  in some kind of crazy black ops [TS]

  operation part of your job is to just [TS]

  make castro think he's crazy probably [TS]

  yeah but like you know it seems like if [TS]

  you're expending resources and [TS]

  potentially you know every decision you [TS]

  make you've got to think about what [TS]

  you're risking or potentially [TS]

  sacrificing and it you know the trying [TS]

  to avoid talking about the Republican [TS]

  candidate here but like unless you're [TS]

  really sure what it is that your [TS]

  particular gambit is in service of you [TS]

  know like what why would you risk it [TS]

  right guys you know if you're if you're [TS]

  running the Cuban Secret Service or what [TS]

  are the Cuban whatever the conversion [TS]

  the CIA is like I guess he just got a [TS]

  long leash [TS]

  I can't imagine well because it it begs [TS]

  the question it does Cuba have a secret [TS]

  office of agents in seattle washington [TS]

  if so why and if not did they fly an [TS]

  agent here to perform this weird [TS]

  like we've we are watching you wear in [TS]

  your apartment mission or was there a [TS]

  Cuban secret agent who was in seattle [TS]

  for other business and they gave him [TS]

  this thing they said oh and by the way [TS]

  on friday afternoon when you're done [TS]

  with your other secret business run by [TS]

  this guy's house break-in and put that [TS]

  picture there just because we've got it [TS]

  back here at the Home Office we're still [TS]

  fucking with him like how I did that how [TS]

  do you pick that day [TS]

  yeah how did it how did it of all the [TS]

  things to do [TS]

  how did that make it to the top of [TS]

  anyone's pile and i see i see where they [TS]

  could conceivably be it you know have [TS]

  that because it's clearly a threat right [TS]

  there I can see where they would feel [TS]

  like they needed to make that threat [TS]

  right it's and it's a little bit of it's [TS]

  a little bit about the Ceausescu apples [TS]

  in the pine trees where within a within [TS]

  a totalitarian closed circle he they [TS]

  become detest so detached from reality [TS]

  that completely insignificant things [TS]

  like that take on added importance to [TS]

  them because they don't you know and i [TS]

  think at the time Cuba was still close [TS]

  to Americans large now and so my friend [TS]

  was one of the few American journalists [TS]

  who added who were in Cuba in an [TS]

  authorized way and maybe they had the [TS]

  mental bandwidth to do this kind of [TS]

  thing to the 50 American journalist that [TS]

  had come to Cuba that year you know [TS]

  maybe it was a manageable number and [TS]

  they felt like if you get the [TS]

  opportunity to to put a hundred-dollar [TS]

  bill or their table cloth at some point [TS]

  just to let them know that that Cuba is [TS]

  watching its it with it because within [TS]

  totalitarian like thought loops who [TS]

  knows who knows what they have the [TS]

  bandwidth for it maybe it maybe a jobs [TS]

  program I know like a wpa for spying [TS]

  yeah right i mean like in China [TS]

  there are army people everywhere they're [TS]

  directing traffic there standing around [TS]

  in front of buildings they're opening [TS]

  doors for people there that you know [TS]

  they're out changing tires on the [TS]

  highway there's army everywhere when you [TS]

  think about it the people's the People's [TS]

  Republic has the largest army in the [TS]

  world and what are those people doing [TS]

  all day you know they can't just be on [TS]

  maneuvers right and so it is a jobs [TS]

  program the they just there's a a they [TS]

  have a million-man army and nine hundred [TS]

  thousand of them are out directing [TS]

  traffic so a form or more right i mean [TS]

  they are they're just sort of their [TS]

  omnipresent and but they're also doing [TS]

  stuff that needs that needs getting done [TS]

  and maybe that's true the the the the [TS]

  Cuban Secret Service maybe they're [TS]

  actually out like like sneaking around [TS]

  turning off people's drippy water [TS]

  faucets and stuff changing burned-out [TS]

  light bulbs and stairwells are [TS]

  determined one time it is a self-help [TS]

  book about this called that is called [TS]

  paranoia and it's about the idea of this [TS]

  notional idea of something that's the [TS]

  opposite of paranoia so paranoia is the [TS]

  idea that forces are out to get you to [TS]

  cause usually bad things for you and [TS]

  paranoia is this kind of you admit the [TS]

  sort of hippie idea like what if the [TS]

  world is conspiring to make your life [TS]

  great and that's it i'm saying it would [TS]

  be kind of fun you know if you have the [TS]

  resources to do something more like that [TS]

  yeah it will be nice to have like a [TS]

  secret government agency that just did [TS]

  nice things for you maybe they put a [TS]

  nickel in here in your parking meter or [TS]

  something like that you know any maybe [TS]

  maybe they trim your hedge and anyway [TS]

  that would be very and maybe in a way [TS]

  you hadn't even thought of a way they'll [TS]

  be very complimentary you know just ways [TS]

  that could improve your life that you [TS]

  come get me some Roman and the and some [TS]

  kind of like CIA edward scissorhands had [TS]

  created a topiary dinosaur in your front [TS]

  yard [TS]

  so absolutely that would also [TS]

  communicate to you that they that the [TS]

  government had amazing powers and that [TS]

  they were watching you at all times [TS]

  yeah like a mean if you're going to be [TS]

  creepy about it why not make it a nice [TS]

  for people is oh so you are you know you [TS]

  got a kid with the dairy allergy you [TS]

  arrive home and in the oven there's a [TS]

  there's a nice a dairy-free like a tuna [TS]

  casserole but it didn't use any dairy [TS]

  you know something like that where they [TS]

  could use the information they have [TS]

  about you and like in a nice way [TS]

  well and I imagine we have more that [TS]

  what's so hard about that right what [TS]

  would if you had a smoke detector that [TS]

  had been beeping for a year and a half [TS]

  but it was way way up like up in a [TS]

  vaulted ceiling you didn't have a ladder [TS]

  and you couldn't get there and you [TS]

  couldn't even remember why you thought [TS]

  it was a good idea to play smoke [TS]

  detector there and it had driven you all [TS]

  crazy and then one day you came home and [TS]

  it wasn't beeping anymore but you looked [TS]

  up and saw the light on and you realized [TS]

  someone had changed the batteries it had [TS]

  to be somebody [TS]

  it had to be somebody would be inside [TS]

  your head you would be like what is what [TS]

  is going on what is reality [TS]

  oh gosh but it was also very nice [TS]

  gestures never have a proactive positive [TS]

  gaslighting yeah yeah I mean that again [TS]

  seems to fall under the rubric of Elon [TS]

  Musk [TS]

  haha he knows Elon Musk in this he's got [TS]

  a lot of projects [TS]

  mhm I had a guy i was at a cocktail [TS]

  party last night [TS]

  Elon Musk came up ok I said yeah you on [TS]

  muskets kind of a he's kind of amused [TS]

  for me I I think about him as-as-as it [TS]

  as a sort of the idea of the the the [TS]

  Platonic idea of the of the modern tech [TS]

  billionaire and oh and went around the [TS]

  room and everybody in that cocktail [TS]

  party agreed that Elon Musk was doing [TS]

  two amazing things and then one of the [TS]

  people at the cocktail party expressed a [TS]

  contribution which was that he was [TS]

  sinister figure and that there was this [TS]

  Elon Musk worship happening in the in [TS]

  endless the the person saying this was a [TS]

  was a Sanford [TS]

  scope person ok something's kind of [TS]

  insider little bit inside or just being [TS]

  in san francisco in the tech world [TS]

  they're feeling a little bit inside [TS]

  they've been to a cocktail party with [TS]

  the Elon Musk was there have you [TS]

  yeah and and it then then everybody in [TS]

  the room kind of had to defend their [TS]

  admiration for elon musk a little bit [TS]

  you know to say like oh no wait and only [TS]

  takes one [TS]

  yeah yeah wait a minute will you know [TS]

  this is what i was saying and it you [TS]

  know and then it was my turn and I said [TS]

  you know I'm not saying Ilan himself but [TS]

  more [TS]

  yeah right the Platonic idea like our [TS]

  ideal like there are so many [TS]

  billionaires who are not building their [TS]

  own vaguely sinister space exploration [TS]

  programs who are not planning to build a [TS]

  hyper space train that goes from LA to [TS]

  San Francisco but those billionaires are [TS]

  boring [TS]

  why are those billionaires not doing [TS]

  that if I were a billionaire I would be [TS]

  doing some crazy shit like that and of [TS]

  course would look sinister yeah i mean [TS]

  if i were a billionaire and I was hiring [TS]

  a secret army to go around and change [TS]

  everybody's the batteries and everyone [TS]

  smoke detector people would say what the [TS]

  fuck is this guy doing alright I think [TS]

  you would do solar probably solar right [TS]

  keep changing this will be a solar smoke [TS]

  detector but you know I got off of the [TS]

  airplane a couple of days ago and I [TS]

  turned my uber app on and every time I [TS]

  do I'm like I hate this company but you [TS]

  know but also they do a much better job [TS]

  than anyone else [TS]

  yeah every time I think I'm gonna [TS]

  protest super and I call a yellow cab [TS]

  I have an experience that sends me [TS]

  screaming back to burr and I know that [TS]

  there i know that we have a small [TS]

  contingent of London taxi drivers that [TS]

  listen to our program that thang [TS]

  conditions that is yeah that anytime I [TS]

  talk about talk disparaging [TS]

  disparagingly about about the hack [TS]

  community [TS]

  yeah he is this the the London taxi [TS]

  drivers union of podcast listeners [TS]

  responds very aggressively and to say [TS]

  uber is a bad i think that's [TS]

  understandable [TS]

  it is but one cab drivers are [TS]

  professional killed [TS]

  that are how that are a an utterly [TS]

  different class of people that have to [TS]

  pass rigorous exams and they have a lot [TS]

  of institutional pride that is not true [TS]

  of yellow cab drivers in seattle in LA [TS]

  right so I pull out my uber app i'm [TS]

  walking to the airport in the good clip [TS]

  here and and then the the app reports to [TS]

  mean with a pop-up screen we would like [TS]

  access to your location [TS]

  prior to us picking you up and after us [TS]

  picking you up [TS]

  we would like we would like unlimited [TS]

  access to your location at our [TS]

  discretion so right now we're claiming [TS]

  that we're going to we're going to look [TS]

  at your location up to five minutes [TS]

  after we drop you off to see where [TS]

  you're actually going so we know whether [TS]

  we're doing a good enough job of getting [TS]

  you there or not [TS]

  huh but that's that's at our discretion [TS]

  because what we're really asking for is [TS]

  permanent where we want you to go into [TS]

  the app and give us permanent location [TS]

  option known and then they say you know [TS]

  click yes or no or or a click yes or not [TS]

  now I guess something like that that [TS]

  suggests that this is optional for you [TS]

  and so I was of course was like no not [TS]

  now let's give me the most no answer [TS]

  that I give and I study of that and [TS]

  still be able to get arrived right [TS]

  that's anything that you got your you [TS]

  have something to do you have stopped [TS]

  because I'm I'm like you're already [TS]

  you're already biting into my time of my [TS]

  normal plan to have the driver waiting [TS]

  for me when I walk out the door and so [TS]

  then the app says oh ok if you don't [TS]

  want to let us use our location services [TS]

  which we've never had to do before we [TS]

  now require that you manually type in [TS]

  the address of your destination [TS]

  we're no longer going to give you the [TS]

  functionality of the the way the app [TS]

  used to store where you regularly when [TS]

  obviously their hands are tied [TS]

  yeah their hands are tied and now you [TS]

  need to take out a quill pen [TS]

  and write down the address where you're [TS]

  going and send it you know send a [TS]

  scented letter by the bike carrier hawk [TS]

  and I'm like I'm like listen I'm two [TS]

  minutes from the door now you've taken [TS]

  seven minutes of my precious time with [TS]

  this war shit and and it's because you [TS]

  are because here another one of these [TS]

  tech companies that's decided that all [TS]

  information should belong to you that [TS]

  that's your the mean in fact maybe the [TS]

  whole idea of Hooper has been a ruse [TS]

  just to eventually get us all into a [TS]

  position where you can collect our [TS]

  locations constantly be be a apprised of [TS]

  our location is a very interesting idea [TS]

  you sons of bitches now and so now what [TS]

  is I mean what if I mean you know the [TS]

  uber of five years ago you wouldn't [TS]

  assume they'd say okay this is obviously [TS]

  a replacement for taxis that's what this [TS]

  is [TS]

  mm but they do a lot of stuff that makes [TS]

  you wonder what they're really up to and [TS]

  it might seem like they're not sure it [TS]

  seems like they have some idea what [TS]

  they're trying to do is we don't we [TS]

  don't know what that is [TS]

  yeah it seems like unlike a lot of [TS]

  companies who hire lawyers to make sure [TS]

  that the company is in compliance with [TS]

  the law [TS]

  some of these tech companies hire [TS]

  lawyers with the full knowledge that [TS]

  they intend to break the law and that [TS]

  their lawyers are trying to help them [TS]

  break the law in the most efficient way [TS]

  possible knowing that they're going to [TS]

  be sued you know covering their tracks [TS]

  like the lawyers are in service of not [TS]

  of like protecting the law or the [TS]

  consumer but what of protecting the [TS]

  company i mean i guess that's been true [TS]

  oil company lawyers and tobacco lawyers [TS]

  but but there's something a little bit [TS]

  different about like we'd like [TS]

  continuous access to your location and [TS]

  it suggests that there's a minority [TS]

  report future where uber is selling that [TS]

  information so that when you walk [TS]

  through a mall the billboards can [TS]

  address you by name [TS]

  yeah but in ad but anyway so then I'm [TS]

  now I've stopped right I'm no longer [TS]

  moving through the area networks was [TS]

  totally disrupted right I had to stop [TS]

  how to put on the brakes dig my heels in [TS]

  he be now I'm standing there thinking [TS]

  about what I'm gonna do for your back [TS]

  and enjoy your back into a cold second [TS]

  display them i am trying to figure out [TS]

  am I going to submit to this indignity [TS]

  in order to use this thing that i have [TS]

  found to be more functional than other [TS]

  systems or am I going to make a Pyrrhic [TS]

  stand a mi Sisyphus here am I the one [TS]

  that is going to insist on a body pat [TS]

  down going through TSA rather than go [TS]

  through there a particle accelerator and [TS]

  I'm like okay / you know i do that thing [TS]

  that we all do one another [TS]

  he'll attaches itself is yeah okay over [TS]

  and i go and i turn on my location [TS]

  services and then everything the app is [TS]

  happy everybody's back to normal [TS]

  okay great and then all of a sudden it [TS]

  doesn't recognize but the credit [TS]

  information that i put in so now I'm [TS]

  stopped again what to go through this [TS]

  thing basically just to restart the app [TS]

  and then attract then it remembers my [TS]

  credit card ok so a little bit of a [TS]

  hundred-dollar bill under the tablecloth [TS]

  thing where it said you know remember [TS]

  when you initially click know what we're [TS]

  going to forget your credit card for a [TS]

  couple of minutes that'll teach you [TS]

  right little bit of that [TS]

  mhm and so it's like so by then by the [TS]

  time the app actually remembers your [TS]

  credit card and works i'm fucking [TS]

  grateful I'm like thank you / app don't [TS]

  leave me stranded here and then they're [TS]

  like and the driver will be there in 16 [TS]

  minutes the longest I've ever the 16 [TS]

  minutes at LAX [TS]

  well interesting right just a double [TS]

  little like kicking the creek in the [TS]

  drawers [TS]

  uh-huh and then final indignity driver [TS]

  arrives first time in many many years [TS]

  getting a car from from LAX driver [TS]

  didn't speak English at all he was [TS]

  Armenian or something and I asked him a [TS]

  question and he gave me an unanswered [TS]

  that was not an answer to the question i [TS]

  asked [TS]

  not even in the ballpark and then I [TS]

  realized he didn't that was it was he [TS]

  answered the question that way because [TS]

  those were the English words in you [TS]

  accept this is my proa is not on your [TS]

  mind [TS]

  no no I'm feeling like they are you know [TS]

  at that point when i click no I i got [TS]

  shunted over onto the couch in the good [TS]

  fraternity and animal house [TS]

  yeah and they were like let's send you [TS]

  know send him the sent him the the [TS]

  Armenian driver and send and and forget [TS]

  his credit card for a minute so I when [TS]

  i'm in the car and I'm fuming as you do [TS]

  and I said what would happen if I now [TS]

  i'm in the car [TS]

  what happen if I turned my location [TS]

  services off ya okay what are they gonna [TS]

  do about winning idea i'm already in the [TS]

  car [TS]

  yeah you already gave me the Armenian [TS]

  driver yep and so I did and we put it [TS]

  along on their way to my eventual [TS]

  location and then as I neared the [TS]

  location i was watching his screen and [TS]

  notice the screen was not being [TS]

  continually updated and he was and the [TS]

  blue line at directing him just [TS]

  continued off into space and he was [TS]

  going to keep driving and because he [TS]

  didn't speak English [TS]

  it was [TS]

  it was [TS]

  I wasn't able to express all the nuances [TS]

  of this situation suggesting that they [TS]

  were using the location on your phone to [TS]

  guide his GPS our cheese and so as we [TS]

  got nearer to my location I said pull [TS]

  over right here you can just drop me off [TS]

  right here and I've tried this with uber [TS]

  drivers in the past and they're like no [TS]

  sir [TS]

  one guy said I have too much pride in my [TS]

  job to just drop you off near your [TS]

  location [TS]

  you should have taken that into account [TS]

  is I insist sir that I take you directly [TS]

  to your house [TS]

  yeah and at the time I was like uh this [TS]

  is a tremendous inconvenience because if [TS]

  you drop me off here i can jump over [TS]

  this fence cut through this alleyway and [TS]

  be where i'm headed in three minutes [TS]

  especially once you're in traffic [TS]

  somewhere like you're getting dropped [TS]

  off at a hotel in a busy town and you're [TS]

  like you to left turns from where you [TS]

  need to be it's faster to just walk and [TS]

  this was the thing he was like I gotta [TS]

  go up here around the block around the [TS]

  other block and then it's gonna go over [TS]

  here but he's like I insist [TS]

  and at the time I thought this is just [TS]

  some some guy that's got the wrong idea [TS]

  of where to put his pride in his job but [TS]

  now i'm understanding maybe uber was [TS]

  saying take people as close to the door [TS]

  of where they're going to you can [TS]

  because it's all part of the system [TS]

  yeah because we want to know this is [TS]

  that it's about the data it's not about [TS]

  the not about the right we're not trying [TS]

  to earn money here we're losing money on [TS]

  the ride [TS]

  oh brother we just wanted we just want [TS]

  to get inside your bed [TS]

  we just want to put a hundred-dollar [TS]

  bill into your table arm and so I'd so I [TS]

  ice yelled at this guy pullover stop [TS]

  right here and at from for once in this [TS]

  experience the language Gulf was work to [TS]

  my advantage because he just didn't want [TS]

  to have to parse anything more [TS]

  complicated than that and it was like [TS]

  okay right here okay and pulled over and [TS]

  Johnson angry yelling Yeti in their car [TS]

  no not at all particularly one where [TS]

  where the location services on his boner [TS]

  turned off who knows where it's called [TS]

  who knows what kind of Secrets by I [TS]

  and so off you drove and now i'm i am [TS]

  i'm gonna be calling an uber today I [TS]

  don't know i'm going to turn those [TS]

  location services on immediately before [TS]

  calling of the app is the appt gonna [TS]

  remember we're gonna remember [TS]

  interesting i wanna hear how this goes [TS]

  going to punish me I don't know either [TS]

  so I mean to whatever degree we can game [TS]

  the system still to whatever degree [TS]

  gaming the system is still like optional [TS]

  built-in option i think we all should [TS]

  not just with you but with everything we [TS]

  should be constantly turning on and [TS]

  turning off our location services only [TS]

  as needed [TS]

  we should be deleting cookies to see [TS]

  your you become your kind of an advocate [TS]

  well now i'm starting now I'm starting [TS]

  to be a little bit of a like a internet [TS]

  paranoiac mhm little bit of a put the [TS]

  put the remote control in the plastic [TS]

  bag type [TS]

  yes where you know I don't know where [TS]

  that remote controls been and i'm going [TS]

  to assume it's been in the worst [TS]

  possible place I don't know what I don't [TS]

  know why instagram needs my my location [TS]

  but i'm going to presume that they don't [TS]

  yeah it's the you get the fear a little [TS]

  bit [TS]

  well you know in my case like i don't i [TS]

  don't feel as fear as much as I just [TS]

  feel like fuck you because all these [TS]

  companies are trying to profit from [TS]

  gathering this information but whoever [TS]

  they the uber CEO is I just don't like [TS]

  him [TS]

  I I already know I don't like it because [TS]

  he's not he's not he doesn't have a [TS]

  space program [TS]

  oh you know what I'm saying yes yes yes [TS]

  if this if the uber CEO was worth a shit [TS]

  I would know about him already because [TS]

  you he would be making solar powered [TS]

  airplanes this episode of Roderick on [TS]

  the line is brought to you by Casper to [TS]

  learn more right now please visit Casper [TS]

  dot-com / supertrain here's all you need [TS]

  to know Casper is an online retailer of [TS]

  premium mattresses that you can get for [TS]

  a fraction of the price that you find in [TS]

  stores Casper mattress provides [TS]

  resilience and long-lasting supportive [TS]

  comfort Casper's mattress is a [TS]

  one-of-a-kind it's a new kind of hybrid [TS]

  mattress that combines premium latex [TS]

  foam with memory foam these two [TS]

  technologies come together for a [TS]

  terrific night sleep got just the right [TS]

  sink in just the right balance [TS]

  it's an obsessively engineered mattress [TS]

  made in America and presented to you at [TS]

  a shockingly fair price [TS]

  here's the thing retail mattresses can [TS]

  often cost well over fifteen hundred [TS]

  dollars but casper mattresses so much [TS]

  more affordable prices start at 500 for [TS]

  a twin size mattress 754 fault 854 [TS]

  queen-size and 954 a king-size mattress [TS]

  that is a terrific deal remember this [TS]

  made America your your-your-your [TS]

  supporting the country to to to me to [TS]

  understand how the Casper is different [TS]

  you really gotta look at how the [TS]

  mattress industry has worked [TS]

  historically that industry has [TS]

  inherently force consumers into paying [TS]

  notoriously high prices but Casper is [TS]

  revolutionising the mattress industry by [TS]

  cutting the cost of dealing with [TS]

  resellers and showrooms and they pass [TS]

  that savings directly onto you the [TS]

  consumer Casper understands the buying a [TS]

  mattress online it can seem kind of [TS]

  weird right now how is this even [TS]

  possible [TS]

  well buying a casper mattresses [TS]

  completely risk-free Casper offers free [TS]

  delivery and returns within a 100 night [TS]

  period you try it out see what you think [TS]

  because you know you can't just go into [TS]

  some store and Lana mattress for four [TS]

  minutes and decide whether that's how [TS]

  you want to spend a third of your life [TS]

  that's no way to live [TS]

  that's why cast return the buying [TS]

  process into a risk-free experience [TS]

  casper mattresses shipped to you in a [TS]

  box that you can carry by yourself like [TS]

  a person you take it upstairs you open [TS]

  up a little bag in which the mattress is [TS]

  contained it inhales the mattress comes [TS]

  to life and have a beautiful night sleep [TS]

  all ready to go [TS]

  fantastic we've had our own caster [TS]

  mattress for over two years now i love [TS]

  it best mattress I've ever slept on and [TS]

  i slept on them all [TS]

  Ben military school I slept on a on a [TS]

  waterbed [TS]

  I've done it all I've lived a life my [TS]

  friends no matter where I travel I'm [TS]

  always so happy to get home to my Casper [TS]

  best mattress effort now here's a great [TS]

  special offer for you listeners of [TS]

  Roderick on the line are going to get [TS]

  fifty dollars toward any mattress [TS]

  purchase by visiting Casper tom / [TS]

  supertrain and using the very special [TS]

  offer code supertrain at checkout fifty [TS]

  dollars off [TS]

  terms and conditions apply our next [TS]

  Casper for all the great night sleep and [TS]

  for supporting Roderick on the long and [TS]

  so I don't want him to profit from [TS]

  knowing where you know like exactly [TS]

  which door in the hotel in the movie [TS]

  help i'm walking through like I want him [TS]

  to have to work a little bit harder [TS]

  because I don't think he's using his [TS]

  money in the creative but well yeah I [TS]

  mean one thing about this is that you [TS]

  think about the way most historically [TS]

  the way most products [TS]

  it feels like the most products get [TS]

  developed is to say it is there [TS]

  somewhere out there the is there [TS]

  something out there where there's an [TS]

  opportunity that meets a few criteria [TS]

  the criteria of is there i guess the [TS]

  sweet spot would be sorry I'm just [TS]

  thinking out loud here but but is there [TS]

  a sweet spot where there is a need on [TS]

  the one hand so whenever one is there is [TS]

  a need for something that is number two [TS]

  not currently being serviced number 34 [TS]

  people who will pay [TS]

  ideally pay a lot for it and I guess [TS]

  maybe importantly but where we have [TS]

  unique sources to create a barrier to [TS]

  entry right so you want to distract and [TS]

  they're going to say hey look you know [TS]

  if your job is like that somebody on [TS]

  recently who like send your kid letters [TS]

  from Santa and you know it's like well [TS]

  that's not you know you can't protect [TS]

  that idea and like anybody could do that [TS]

  but like in that case you're looking so [TS]

  because I'm trying to say is so [TS]

  historically say well you know in the [TS]

  case of uber that makes a lot of sense [TS]

  because and you know I realize this is [TS]

  not a particularly sympathetic point of [TS]

  view but just to underscore what you [TS]

  said you know getting taxes in San [TS]

  Francisco has four years [TS]

  and not just a source of frustration but [TS]

  like it's a joke it's a joke how [TS]

  impossible it is to get a taxi [TS]

  unless it happens to be going by because [TS]

  historically the way would work if you [TS]

  call a taxi dispatcher who represents [TS]

  one or more of these independent [TS]

  companies and they send a little ping [TS]

  one thing only and so a guy says hey do [TS]

  you want to drive for miles across town [TS]

  to go pick up this person and take them [TS]

  wherever they might say yes but the [TS]

  thing is if half a block later they pick [TS]

  up another fair you're out of luck [TS]

  they may not report that they've done [TS]

  that and so it can take it would [TS]

  frequently take us 12 in infinite hours [TS]

  to get a taxi there's a lot of date [TS]

  nights where we sat on the front steps [TS]

  paying for a babysitter [TS]

  what we couldn't get a taxi for 1230 [TS]

  hours so getting me know that that I [TS]

  mean like you know we will live out in [TS]

  the boonies as far as San Francisco's [TS]

  concern so unless you got somebody was [TS]

  coming back from the airport already [TS]

  happened to be out in our neighborhood [TS]

  anyway I'm trying to say is that that [TS]

  you understand that you go like okay [TS]

  there's this company does this thing [TS]

  initially it's going to be mostly [TS]

  limousine type things that's what it was [TS]

  at first and then we went to private [TS]

  cars which seemed a little bit weird but [TS]

  all through that you could still [TS]

  regardless of what you thought of the [TS]

  company you can look at it and go [TS]

  this makes sense this is a classic model [TS]

  of disruption in some ways anyway [TS]

  skipping over some of the like weirdness [TS]

  and unpleasant pleasantries but like [TS]

  then you eventually get to wear like now [TS]

  the app wants to follow where you are [TS]

  you're like well how does that how does [TS]

  that play in to the narrative on the one [TS]

  hand it's sensible because why because [TS]

  you know well this used to be about [TS]

  replacing taxis now we're doing [TS]

  something different which is like we [TS]

  want to figure out what patterns of [TS]

  movement are let's even say at a very [TS]

  high level we want high we want to have [TS]

  a high level of understanding that that [TS]

  in this city at this time of day people [TS]

  from this neighborhood tend to go from a [TS]

  residence to a certain kind of business [TS]

  if you don't mean if they've got a big [TS]

  data that shows certain kinds of things [TS]

  about that you can allocate resources [TS]

  like on that you know that's that's a [TS]

  classic example of how you would use [TS]

  that data sure but like but then you [TS]

  can't help but think but yet what do [TS]

  they need my [TS]

  data and why do you need 25 minutes [TS]

  after it's like what is what is the play [TS]

  for a company that is doing that and in [TS]

  in the same way that you know faceboook [TS]

  i don't know i'm starting a pundit but i [TS]

  do think it's an intriguing you know I [TS]

  thought experiment to wonder like what [TS]

  is the big play here because we want [TS]

  we've all seen you've all seen that [TS]

  we're talking to our friends via email [TS]

  saying like what are we going to get [TS]

  together for eggs like we have a [TS]

  standing egg breakfast [TS]

  me and my friends the young dads club we [TS]

  get together we all get eggs when we get [TS]

  Meg's you guys I don't know let's get [TS]

  some eggs yeah lets you know when her [TS]

  wounds are egg experience and then the [TS]

  next time you log in to anything over on [TS]

  the side there's an advertisement that [TS]

  says want some eggs like gangs come to [TS]

  Bill's egg bill and you're like that is [TS]

  creeping the shit out like what I was [TS]

  not I was not on facebook liking eggs i [TS]

  was in a private email conversation with [TS]

  my friends about going to get eggs and [TS]

  you your algorithm has mistaken what I [TS]

  what we were saying we were just using [TS]

  eggs as shorthand for breakfast [TS]

  that's a pretty it's everything I mean [TS]

  it's creepy and it's a pretty blunt [TS]

  instrument [TS]

  yeah right so uber you know at yeah i [TS]

  agree with you that their premise is at [TS]

  this super-high level we are making [TS]

  models of of human movement to the point [TS]

  that we can see that all of human life [TS]

  is just a giant anthill and it's like [TS]

  the city any city that has changeable [TS]

  express lanes [TS]

  oh my god the garbage truck is out front [TS]

  oh my god hello garbage truck and he has [TS]

  squeaky hydraulic brakes see they were [TS]

  doing they were listening to the show [TS]

  they're probably listening that's that's [TS]

  prob well that's why the skyscape [TS]

  dropped out earlier [TS]

  yeah probably listening in and finding [TS]

  out if you were talking about garbage [TS]

  and that garbage truck was a clean air [TS]

  vehicle so it was running on on like [TS]

  fumes but but uh yeah right the the any [TS]

  city that has changeable express lanes [TS]

  where the express lane is heading one [TS]

  way in the morning and then it is [TS]

  heading the other way [TS]

  the afternoon i have read in my in my [TS]

  research about city systems i have read [TS]

  multiple times people riding in to the [TS]

  city saying look I know that express [TS]

  lanes are moving out of the city in the [TS]

  afternoon and into the city in the [TS]

  morning but on the night of the big big [TS]

  football game when there's also a big [TS]

  big baseball game now with it hadn't [TS]

  accounted for something slightly [TS]

  anomalous right why don't you [TS]

  acknowledge that at at that point in [TS]

  time because the football and baseball [TS]

  traffic is backed up all the way to the [TS]

  bridge [TS]

  why didn't you acknowledge this [TS]

  difference and change on that particular [TS]

  day the direction of them of the traffic [TS]

  and the city replies even accounting for [TS]

  the large large number of sports people [TS]

  that are coming to the city still there [TS]

  is more traffic headed out of the city [TS]

  then there is coming in turns out and so [TS]

  it would make it would make no sense to [TS]

  change the express lanes because because [TS]

  in the afternoons that's the direction [TS]

  people are moving a lot more people than [TS]

  the than the paltry hundred thousand [TS]

  people that are all converging on the [TS]

  sports game at the same moment ok [TS]

  alright and so that's an example of [TS]

  obviously the city has been spending a [TS]

  lot of time collecting that information [TS]

  and they know who's moving where and [TS]

  what they're doing and they're making [TS]

  the this kind of decision of with a lot [TS]

  of confidence and when i when i read [TS]

  that which was a couple of years ago it [TS]

  made me really really want to go to that [TS]

  room [TS]

  in the city where they're all sitting in [TS]

  a giant map is sitting in a dark room [TS]

  listening to the whopper go what will [TS]

  pop up as it calculates every car on the [TS]

  road and all the the crazy traffic [TS]

  signals that are doing things that you [TS]

  do not you cannot understand why you [TS]

  talking about Heisenberg I mean we think [TS]

  about like you know for example if [TS]

  you've ever gone nothing replica you're [TS]

  going down like a cell or was it oak [TS]

  like if you're going down the Panhandle [TS]

  basically east or west and those lights [TS]

  are time to certain way you know saying [TS]

  so yeah you're changing the timing on a [TS]

  bunch of lights like that's that seems [TS]

  like not quantum crazy but like there [TS]

  could be so many unintended consequences [TS]

  of trying to social engineer that and [TS]

  not getting exactly right for certain [TS]

  ways that could go wrong you know if [TS]

  there's an accident or something and [TS]

  that that intentionally throws this off [TS]

  in a way that's not helpful at all [TS]

  well one of the most confusing things [TS]

  for me is you know I Drive past Boeing [TS]

  airport goings-on private Airport in [TS]

  Seattle uh multiple times a week and [TS]

  boeing has its own traffic lights [TS]

  private traffic lights [TS]

  well know what they've done is they're [TS]

  bowing right and so they have a lot of [TS]

  leverage and so what boeing has done is [TS]

  there on this strip there are a lot of [TS]

  factories where their their [TS]

  manufacturing and smoothing out the [TS]

  wrinkles on their Boeing aircraft yeah [TS]

  and some at some times of day these [TS]

  factories disgorge thousands of [TS]

  Engineers all at the same moment and if [TS]

  you've ever been somewhere where there [TS]

  where anything is disgorging thousands [TS]

  of Engineers and i know you have no I've [TS]

  seen it [TS]

  that's that's the thing that needs its [TS]

  own traffic light right right and so [TS]

  there are about five locations on this [TS]

  long 10 mile road that a 10-mile mostly [TS]

  strictly straight road where there are [TS]

  traffic lights that make no sense at all [TS]

  unless you are someone who is in the [TS]

  parking lot of a factory [TS]

  who's just gotten off work and there are [TS]

  four thousand other engineers all [TS]

  leaving at once [TS]

  ok and so here are these traffic lights [TS]

  and they offend me of course because [TS]

  there's no reason for that except to [TS]

  benefit this one this one situation that [TS]

  was three times a day but insanely these [TS]

  traffic lights also trigger at two [TS]

  o'clock in the morning [TS]

  oh that drives you crazy so you're [TS]

  driving Alex's dad with a stop sign but [TS]

  with a light that is that's pretty [TS]

  presumptuous right and every time one of [TS]

  these lights goes off [TS]

  yeah it also then stays red for five or [TS]

  six minutes as though a thousand [TS]

  engineers in there like carefully [TS]

  maintained Chrysler K cars as if they're [TS]

  just pouring out of this parking lot [TS]

  right he's sitting there honor you know [TS]

  in a in a giant four-lane highway next [TS]

  to a next to you know obviously a jewel [TS]

  in the crown level airport just sitting [TS]

  at this light like it like a total well [TS]

  like cock lets me an entitlement wasn't [TS]

  gonna say yeah let's let's let's speak [TS]

  in New speak for a second and say what [TS]

  you really are and so for many years now [TS]

  i will stop at that light to just [TS]

  disgustedly but I look both ways and [TS]

  i'll make it make an independent [TS]

  decision that I'm not going to sit out [TS]

  here in the dark waiting for this fake [TS]

  traffic light and what I don't [TS]

  understand is how it is that that this [TS]

  thing is in program to stay green at all [TS]

  times until you know until 4 45 and a 4 [TS]

  45 p.m. and then you realize oh this is [TS]

  just a system of command and control [TS]

  they just want to stop you out here to [TS]

  see if they can they want to stop you [TS]

  out here just to remind you they can't [TS]

  take it that's not your hundred-dollar [TS]

  bill and it's another example again [TS]

  you know what your traffic light means [TS]

  to me I'll stop I'll do the courtesy [TS]

  stop I'm gonna treat this stop sign like [TS]

  a yield sign [TS]

  yeah now who knows that's making it into [TS]

  my permanent file or not [TS]

  yeah no no I know the garbage man might [TS]

  be picking that up right now with the [TS]

  spooky action right any any amount of [TS]

  this kind of civic disobedience may have [TS]

  repercussions I may not you know I'm a [TS]

  log onto facebook and be reading you [TS]

  know reading my friends accounts of [TS]

  their recent surgery and some banner ad [TS]

  will say don't like stopping at stop [TS]

  lights maybe you should try checking [TS]

  yourself before you wreck yourself or [TS]

  maybe next time we stopped to let you [TS]

  get a pan add four eggs right yeah like [TS]

  it just pops up on my phone now speaking [TS]

  of which I don't usually look at the [TS]

  internet one talking to you because i [TS]

  don't think it takes it takes my full [TS]

  concentration [TS]

  yeah but because I'm getting on a plane [TS]

  this afternoon i just checked my email [TS]

  real fast to make sure that they weren't [TS]

  telling me that they spilled a bunch of [TS]

  gas on the tarmac and I get to emails [TS]

  back-to-back first one is from virgin [TS]

  america an airline that recently spilled [TS]

  a cup of coffee on me huh is it about [TS]

  how you get extra reward points with the [TS]

  less care it is [TS]

  yeah I just got the same one we have [TS]

  some exciting news about virgin airlines [TS]

  integration with alaska airlines [TS]

  starting today elevate members can now [TS]

  earn points when flying Onalaska well [TS]

  isn't that fascinating and then they [TS]

  have in the email [TS]

  both my elevate frequent flyer number [TS]

  and my Alaska frequent flyer about that [TS]

  so I'm like look at that you guys are [TS]

  already you're not making me go into the [TS]

  you know into your web service to try [TS]

  and figure this out you've got the stuff [TS]

  you've got the data right here [TS]

  the very next email in my inbox is from [TS]

  Delta Airlines Delta says and a big [TS]

  letters in the pin the headline our [TS]

  partnership with alaska airlines is [TS]

  ending haha boy Delta in Alaska together [TS]

  have reached a decision to end [TS]

  our partnership this is a positive [TS]

  milestone for both airlines as Alaska [TS]

  focuses on its merger with virgin and [TS]

  Delta this is the kicker line here Delta [TS]

  focuses on expanding service from seatac [TS]

  which is not coincidentally alaska [TS]

  airlines is hub so Delta is Delta and [TS]

  Alaska now we're going to war with one [TS]

  another we formed support for seeing [TS]

  this for a couple years those of us who [TS]

  travel from seatac the writings been on [TS]

  the wall how has it has it out the [TS]

  feeling that the at the bigger army [TS]

  diplomacy because they also got the [TS]

  United now right busy night apart Delta [TS]

  that right [TS]

  oh is that right who is it who is it [TS]

  then no that's not right united in who [TS]

  else was there some kind of big [TS]

  usurpation of one airline not too long [TS]

  ago and probably what United United of [TS]

  course is my sworn enemy right now I [TS]

  know [TS]

  yeah but but anyway big big big news [TS]

  right here right after each other one [TS]

  right after the other [TS]

  yeah now now what am I gonna do now how [TS]

  am I going to manage my frequent flyer [TS]

  miles [TS]

  our good friend jason has been trying to [TS]

  get me to be a gold member for a long [TS]

  time [TS]

  mm that's his nickname of course [TS]

  Goldmember hmm [TS]

  and-and-and-and every attempt i make i [TS]

  just get awarded get toward imported [TS]

  everything look at that face on the tail [TS]

  i always see it looks like Brezhnev such [TS]

  as me invisible bridge Navy when I was a [TS]

  kid the letter Y Z alaska airlines logo [TS]

  guy they have the logo guy on the on the [TS]

  tail when I was a kid [TS]

  the tale of alaska airlines planes had [TS]

  multiple figures on that there was a [TS]

  there was a totem pole there was a [TS]

  little eskimo girl there there were a [TS]

  lot of things there wasn't one symbol [TS]

  and over time they phased out all of [TS]

  them and made that one eskimo guy the [TS]

  face of alaska airlines he's the keys [TS]

  the colonel sanders the colonel sanders [TS]

  of Alaska Carol [TS]

  it's my party and I see and looking when [TS]

  the second he has like a prospector [TS]

  looking guy on the prospector that's [TS]

  right he was one of them and somehow [TS]

  this guy became more and more stylized [TS]

  and more and more cartoon yeah until now [TS]

  he's just dumb i think a lot of people [TS]

  who have never seen someone in an Eskimo [TS]

  parka might not even know what they're [TS]

  looking at [TS]

  they might I I don't know if if everyone [TS]

  looks at that picture and reads it as [TS]

  what it is not at all why is this why is [TS]

  the face of this guy in this i don't [TS]

  even know if his little hood read this [TS]

  fur it doesn't but it's very very high [TS]

  contrast so right there's not a lot of [TS]

  detail to it looks like it looks like he [TS]

  might be a fella named Oliver I'm wack [TS]

  oh I bet I that doesn't that doesn't [TS]

  surprise me [TS]

  let's say we have to make this photo [TS]

  here he's a well-known Oliver is a is a [TS]

  name not not unused in the in the the [TS]

  Native communities of Alaska ok [TS]

  something I've heard that before I i had [TS]

  a friend named Oliver ok ok story checks [TS]

  out [TS]

  mhm mhm i had if I had a friend named [TS]

  Oliver who was a who was a native [TS]

  alaskan is what i meant to say yeah I [TS]

  get it [TS]

  so there is so I yeah right he doesn't [TS]

  look it's not clear that he's wearing a [TS]

  fur Parker at all right he just is a [TS]

  he's a smiling person looks like an afro [TS]

  right in a very strange head dress but [TS]

  that is that's his / Parker he looks [TS]

  more like he's got a missile like they [TS]

  put his face on Brad delp's the [TS]

  silhouette is the singer from from [TS]

  Boston he's got a very well you know me [TS]

  a very prominent afro right well let's [TS]

  hope he doesn't end up the way by but [TS]

  brad delp ended up [TS]

  oh no did something happen while you're [TS]

  not there you're not familiar with his [TS]

  God not gonna look it up its tail alone [TS]

  now he he was regretting now own ok [TS]

  their move on [TS]

  oh dear trash picker and [TS]

  and he he committed suicide ok alright [TS]

  and he uh he left a he left a suicide [TS]

  note in French that said I am a lonely [TS]

  soul [TS]

  yes the singer of Boston our guy and we [TS]

  can you what can you do a lonely little [TS]

  speaking of bob ross i have feel like I [TS]

  have very rarely heard you talk about [TS]

  participating in the visual arts so my [TS]

  question to you is and if you told me [TS]

  this you can tell me to refer somewhere [TS]

  else but I don't remember you ever [TS]

  talking about an interest in Visual Arts [TS]

  whether that's drawing or painting or [TS]

  what have you do you have you ever done [TS]

  any visual things as something spend [TS]

  some time on [TS]

  so when i was a kid i thought that i [TS]

  would be a cartoonist wow I spent a lot [TS]

  of time drawing it was my number one [TS]

  activity it was what I did in school [TS]

  instead of paying attention tanks planes [TS]

  cars that kind of thought of the above [TS]

  and then ultimately faces and figures [TS]

  and then I started drawing cartoons a [TS]

  that I never had a I never had a stock [TS]

  cast of people it was more like bizarro [TS]

  by Pizarro or I mean it was it was a [TS]

  little not far society because the far [TS]

  side had a lot of reoccurring chickens [TS]

  and cows and stuff [TS]

  absolutely it was just your everyone [TS]

  panel man at one panel and a and it was [TS]

  always a couple of people interacting [TS]

  and I i drew a what I think we're like [TS]

  proto pretty good comics so interesting [TS]

  and hat and filled an entire one of [TS]

  those artists notebook [TS]

  sex with these cartoons and you know the [TS]

  the challenge of course was to come up [TS]

  with ideas and as I as I came up with [TS]

  funny ideas I would draw them and then I [TS]

  would encounter drawing problems as you [TS]

  do that's how every artist gets better [TS]

  you draw until you encounter a drawing [TS]

  problem and then you try and fix it [TS]

  try and solve solve for how to draw hand [TS]

  and hard right solve for how to draw a [TS]

  three-quarter view it's easy to draw [TS]

  cars but even those you have to get [TS]

  better at a car you can just draw a card [TS]

  from memory you have to go study a car [TS]

  because they don't look like you think [TS]

  they look [TS]

  yeah anyway so I filled up this notebook [TS]

  all the way through high school of all [TS]

  these hilarious what I thought were [TS]

  hilarious and which were pretty which [TS]

  sometimes approximated hilarious little [TS]

  one panel drawings and then at [TS]

  graduation I gave the book to my [TS]

  long-time high school girlfriend and she [TS]

  wasn't my girlfriend at the time but I [TS]

  felt you know I felt the lasting [TS]

  lifelong bond with her and so I gave her [TS]

  my book of all my cartoons and she was [TS]

  very appreciative of it because it had [TS]

  become a filipino was like John's book [TS]

  of cartoons that she knew there was a [TS]

  big deal [TS]

  oh yeah she'd watch me draw them I've [TS]

  shown them all to her many times and she [TS]

  was a fan of them and then somehow you [TS]

  know I i left Anchorage and I was [TS]

  hitchhiking around the country and I was [TS]

  keeping a journal and throughout that [TS]

  throughout my journal there are also [TS]

  little caricatures and drawings and just [TS]

  as I'm trying to describe something i'm [TS]

  seeing I would do a little sketch of it [TS]

  but that just sort of gradually went [TS]

  away and part of it was that I was not [TS]

  spending a lot of time sitting at a [TS]

  table where I could draw and it was hard [TS]

  to draw on buses and it was hard to you [TS]

  know to make the time to stop and do it [TS]

  because I was always in motion and I [TS]

  just left i lost the habit of sketching [TS]

  and a few years later maybe ten years [TS]

  after I graduated I was with my high [TS]

  school girlfriend and i said to her you [TS]

  know that book of of of comics she said [TS]

  oh yes and I said I mean I gave that to [TS]

  you then and probably it's just in a box [TS]

  now or something and I wouldn't mind [TS]

  getting it back if you don't if you [TS]

  don't need it because I you know I would [TS]

  it would matter to me I'd like to see it [TS]

  i'd like to interact with the guy and [TS]

  she said that book belongs to me you [TS]

  gave me that and wait a minute it is [TS]

  mine and I was like rain [TS]

  I to room and I think I do remember this [TS]

  story was like well hmm alright i guess [TS]

  what I don't suppose you would make me a [TS]

  copy of it and did this didn't has [TS]

  become grist for the idea that she may [TS]

  be lost in was gonna cop to it [TS]

  no I she gave every impression that she [TS]

  uh that she occasionally referred to [TS]

  that happen with a different note book [TS]

  oh yes no there were the they were the [TS]

  journals that were that were just [TS]

  out-and-out stolen by and by another [TS]

  roommate [TS]

  as part of our by another roommate [TS]

  as part of our that's right it was in a [TS]

  box yes okay sorry i was conflicting [TS]

  stories part of our breakup guys but [TS]

  she's not gonna that's weird [TS]

  he's got it and she's sitting on it and [TS]

  i don't know i can't imagine that she [TS]

  refers to it now but at that point after [TS]

  i was out of high school 10 years [TS]

  she was like you're not getting back [TS]

  screw screw shoot like oil [TS]

  alright so anyway but anyway so I was a [TS]

  I wanted to be a comic artist and I felt [TS]

  like comic strips and i don't mean comic [TS]

  book I understand I understand the [TS]

  difference but like comics comic strips [TS]

  one panel comics New Yorker style comics [TS]

  were a very high art form I felt and the [TS]

  truly great ones rose to the level of [TS]

  the truly great and I wanted to be one [TS]

  of those and my drawing skill topped out [TS]

  at least for the little amount of work I [TS]

  put into it you know i was i got to a [TS]

  place where I could I could draw my [TS]

  thoughts but not draw them like [TS]

  beautifully but you see a lot of people [TS]

  working within that realm where the art [TS]

  is is rough and so on [TS]

  that's what I'm thinking that's one [TS]

  reason to get such an interesting medium [TS]

  because you know arm and it is it more [TS]

  true than ever now with the web is that [TS]

  you get to decide everything especially [TS]

  with the one panel you decide everything [TS]

  about that you get to decide like what [TS]

  we know what it's about what the role of [TS]

  of language and and like how detailed is [TS]

  it going to be and if you can have you [TS]

  can create something that's like [TS]

  something you're capable of making and [TS]

  then sort of evolved within your skills [TS]

  can grow your you know whatever [TS]

  direction you want to take it it's such [TS]

  a it's such a DIY art form in so many [TS]

  ways you're right i mean what it's done [TS]

  well I different his dad was a [TS]

  cartoonist and believe it or not in [TS]

  Florida and had stuff in Playboy and a [TS]

  bunch of stuff and I just think it's [TS]

  such an interesting that's an [TS]

  interesting idea where you know you get [TS]

  to control the entire stack yeah [TS]

  and-and-and you can it's like a short [TS]

  story you can communicate an awful lot [TS]

  and that's what makes New Yorker [TS]

  cartoons so difficult for people is that [TS]

  they often presume [TS]

  a body of knowledge going in you know he [TS]

  the the art and the and the one-liner [TS]

  are the the art has enough visual clues [TS]

  in it that you know who these people are [TS]

  and where they're coming from and what [TS]

  their past experiences and that's how [TS]

  you interpret the line and if you can't [TS]

  know that if you don't look at it and [TS]

  understand who an Upper West Side couple [TS]

  where he's a psychologist and she's an [TS]

  art director if you don't know enough [TS]

  about being able to peer into their [TS]

  lives together to understand what you [TS]

  need to understand when he says um [TS]

  there's not enough almond milk in the [TS]

  refrigerator [TS]

  you know it to know what that means and [TS]

  why it's funny right [TS]

  I've been noticing more and more in [TS]

  trying to occasionally eat vegetarian [TS]

  breakfasts that the only thing not made [TS]

  of almonds is the spoon right [TS]

  even the polls like hollowed-out almonds [TS]

  almonds so interesting so in almonds [TS]

  serve and probably also is like a source [TS]

  of protein that right social source of [TS]

  protein you can milk an almond me like [TS]

  free-range almonds get out there i guess [TS]

  little tiny farmers I know how to make [TS]

  almond milk take all men's water lemons [TS]

  [Music] [TS]