January 2019

Orwellian math

by Joey deVilla on January 30, 2019

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On this day, January 30, 2019, we are now as far in the future from George Orwell’s 1984 as 1984 was when 1984 was first published.

And yes, I did some checking:

Found through @LevParikian via @Sardonicus.


I often have this frustrating conversation…

by Joey deVilla on January 30, 2019

…and I usually end up helping them make that call, or making the call myself. Sometimes, just calling them — or even better, making an up-close-and-personal visit — is the best action.

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We’d already eaten by the time we dropped by Mad Beach Craft Brewing for a drink, so I’m going to have to try their food next time. It’s just weird enough to be intriguing.

First, the more straightforward stuff, like “totchos”, which are like nachos, but with tater tots:

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From totchos, it’s a short distance to poutine made with tater tots instead of fries:

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I like the idea of giving deviled eggs the “Buffalo wings” treatment. I may have to make these at home:

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Now it’s time to get into Guy Fieri territory, where sweet meets savory meets fattening. I’m actually interested in trying out the PB&J chicken biscuit

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…but even more interesting is the jelly donut burger, served with raspberry jam between two glazed donuts in the place of a bun:

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By the way, if you think that I’m not a fan of Guy Fieri, you’d be wrong. I know his stuff isn’t fine dining, life isn’t all chateaubriand and claret; sometimes a stacked-high burger, tater tots, and an ice cold beer can be balm for the soul. I completely agree with Shane Torres’ stirring defense of the Mayor of Flavortown, shown below:


All he needs is a red cap

by Joey deVilla on January 24, 2019

This appeared in The Onion over a decade ago, but it feels incredibly relevant today.

Thanks to Erin Aebel for the find!


What my morning looked like

by Joey deVilla on January 24, 2019

The “yeoman service” computer in my home office — a ThinkPad T430 running Linux — with the various “exhibits” that I’m including with Form I-751.

I spent this morning double-checking all the paperwork for filing U.S. government Form I-751, a.k.a. “Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence”, a.k.a. “My marriage to Anitra is real and not just for the Green Card, and I can ‘America’ with the best of them.” And what’s more American than having Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj on Netflix in the background while doing so?

Celebrating my green card status the American way at Burger 21, on January 26, 2017.

Long-time readers of this blog will know that two years ago, I acquired a temporary Permanent Resident Status Card, better known by the vernacular “Green Card” (it’s in the article titled Our green card interview). Back then, I joked that I should celebrate the event the American way: by having a hamburger, just as “President Ronnie” does with you if you successfully complete the videogame Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja…

…without knowing that someday, this would be an actual scene at the White House:

Click the photo to see the parody come true at full size.

But I digress.

As I wrote two years ago:

Since my status was gained through marriage and since Anitra and I have been married less than two years, my permanent residence status is conditional and temporary. Two years from now, we’ll have to file an I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence) form to seal the deal.

Our immigration lawyer, Gerry Seipp, said that the bureaucracy takes their own sweet time processing I-751s — sometimes over a year, and how the shutdown will affect it is anyone’s guess. In less than a year, I’ll have the option to file for U.S. citizenship, and he’s seen cases where people have gained their citizenship while waiting for their I-751 applications to go through the system. We’ll see what happens later this year.

Cover sheet for my documentation, with my Alien Number redacted. And yes, I have an Alien Number! (Also, I am going to introduce Anitra to everyone as “My U.S. citizen wife” from now on.)

And so I spent my morning collating the 80-or-so pages that made up the I-751 form and supporting documentation, sent it off via FedEx, and went to the Sourcetoad office, where I think I do a pretty kick-ass job at contributing to the American economy as the law-abiding Lead Product Manager for one of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S.:

C’mon, look at that plaid shirt. How much more American can you get?

Wish me luck!


From the initial report:

The House floor erupted Thursday after Congress adjourned for the week when an unidentified Republican congressman yelled a controversial and potentially racially charged remark across the aisle as Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas was at the podium.

“Go back to Puerto Rico!” the lawmaker shouted, punctuating a stream of Republican whooping and hollering at the Democratic majority for holding a voice vote — instead of the normal roll call vote — to pass a continuing resolution that would reopen nine Cabinet departments through Feb. 28.

Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and other Democrats in the chamber shot out of their seats demanding to know who shouted the comment.

Cárdenas walked over to the Republican side of the aisle and huddled with some GOP lawmakers, but none stepped forward to admit they had shouted the remark.

The bravado of making a cheap shot from the safety and anonymity of one’s “wolf pack”, followed by the craven cowardice of not owning up to your own actions — again, from the safety and anonymity of the pack — is the not the sort of thing that people who claim to be grown men do. One would hope that they’d have left this sort of behavior in high school — perhaps this high school:

Later, this man called Cardenas to apologize:

From another report:

Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) called Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) to apologize for yelling “go back to Puerto Rico!” while the California-born Democrat prepared to speak on the House floor Thursday.

“While waiting to speak on the floor of the People’s House, a member of Congress shouted, ‘go back to Puerto Rico!’ I was shocked, because I often heard those kinds of comments when I was a kid growing up in Pacoima, California, where I was born and raised,” Cardenas told TPM through a spokesperson. “A few hours later, I received a call from Congressman Jason Smith, who took responsibility for the comment and sincerely apologized. I accepted his apology.”

“I told him I look forward to having a nice and respectful conversation when we return to D.C. on Tuesday. He agreed that we should get to know each other better,” Cardenas continued. “I appreciate his call and our future relationship. There is a saying that I was taught by my parents, de todo lo malo, siempre sale algo bueno, which in English means, ‘from everything bad, something good will come of it.’”



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If you’re in Tampa’s Carrollwood neighborhood and you’re looking for a sweet deal, there are a handful of these at the Publix at Village Center.

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