Saturday, July 25, 2020

This blog is moving

This blog is moving to substack (until I learn why substack sucks, too).

Go to Brent Noorda's Blog: Part Deux (while supplies last).

Sunday, June 14, 2020


Here's a terrific gift for that patriotic Trump fan in your life. This cap celebrates and validates their choices, while at the same time (because the visor blocks damaging UV rays) allowing them to save face.

We Made America Great Again.
Yay, Us! Now that America is so
great again, Trump deserves to
retire. Thanks, Donald, anybody
else can take it from here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Unmasked Avenger


  • This is the first time I've ever made a comic. It's harder than I expected, mostly because I didn't know how much work went into cutting down the amount of text (probably didn't get the right). The tool I used for putting it together was StoryboardThat, which was delightfully easy to use.
  • The 41 daily lives saved comes from seat belt deaths /day is from many sources, such as Seat Belts Save Lives. Some sources give lower numbers, but the exact number isn't important for a comic, is it? 
  • The 300 daily lives saved by masks comes from The Case for Universal Cloth Mask Adoption... and my own quick estimates based on current death and mas-wearing rates. So 300 isn't a precise number. Should it be 200? or 400? the point is that it's currently a high number compared to seat belt lives saved.
Text: The Unmasked Avenger
Wearing seat belts saves about 41 American lives every day ... and that life my seat belt saves is my own life.
OK. It's a little uncomfortable, but I'll wear a seat belt.
Wearing masks saves about 300 American lives every day ... and that life my mask saves is probably not my own life, but the life of someone around me.
I'm wearing a mask to protect someone else?
HELL NO, I won't wear a mask! Freedom from Tyranny!!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Fun with Dunce Masks

The CDC recommends wearing face covering “... in the community setting … ” which “... is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others”. In other words, you’re wearing a mask not primarily to protect yourself, but to protect other people from yourself, because you might not feel sick but you may still be contagious with something that this year is killing people in numbers not seen in an infectious disease since the pandemic flu of 1918.

But you’re probably seeing a lot of people “in community settings” who aren’t wearing masks. There could be two reasons for this:

  1. they’re a mean D-bag who doesn’t care about infecting and potentially killing you, your elderly parents, your friends and family with underlying medical conditions, or anyone whose immune system rolls the dice incorrectly while responding to this unfamiliar pathogen


  2. they’re unintelligent or just uninformed, and don’t understand that their behaviors are risking other’s health. In other words, they’re not a mean D-bag, but just a dunce.

I prefer to not think that people are D-bags, and so assume that those without masks are simple dunces. It’s harder to get angry at a dunce than a D-bag, and I’m tired of being angry.

Because dunces are not going to be wearing masks, I have created for them the Dunce Mask, or “D-Mask”. The D-Mask is a mask I put on people, in my imagination, so that I don’t yell at them. So far, it’s working.

For example, here’s an image of the White House COVID task force meeting a couple of days ago:

Nobody in this picture is wearing a mask except for 3 people handling the microphones and a camera. And this is the COVID Task Force! We’re supposed to take advice from these people!! Oh My G!!!

Here’s another image of that meeting, and it is just as upsetting:

And now, the same meeting with D-masks added (“D” for “Dunce” not for “D-bag”). Isn’t that at least a little more reassuring?

D-masks work in a lot of social situations. For example, here is one Walmart shopper not wearing a mask:

A lot better with a mask on, right?

How about this D-bag walking around the Mayo hospital without a mask:

Problem solved:

Last one, I promise: these Michigan protestors are a menace.

The D-mask won’t make them entirely safe (there is the matter of being a crowd in a time of social distancing … oh, and the automatic weapons) but this will help a little bit:

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, you cannot change people’s behavior, but you can change your perception of their behavior. And you can make the best of a bad situation (namely, waiting for your compromised nephew to be infected by some D-bag dunce who won’t wear a mask) by making a game out of it: adding D-masks on D-bags Dunces, even if only in your mind.



The image at the top of this post is done better in this cartoon created by Peter Kuper for The Week.

D-mask related tools:

Friday, May 1, 2020

The Monkey's Paw - 19

For about 10 years, my yearly secret candle-blowing birthday wish has been that the airline industry would collapse; that people would realize the carbon cost for regularly flying long distances was unconscionably high; that families and businesses and salespeople would realize that telephones and the internet and teleconferencing had been invented and could replace carbon-costly in-person meetings and conferences; that runners would realize it was silly to fly 3000 miles and back only to run 26.2 miles and fly 3000 miles back home again; that vacationers would realize there were hundreds of cultures and sites to visit within 100 miles of home. In short, I wished for the end of the regressive carbon insult that air flight represents as an environmental nose-thumbing by those with upon those without.

I guess I got what I wished for, but not in the way I wished it to happen. Flights are down over 90%--the airline industry has been crippled. Teleconferencing is booming. Virtual marathons are a thing!

When I made those birthday wishes every year, I didn’t mean for it to happen this way. Sorry, everyone.

My fear now, and my expectation, is that when the VID bubble pops the skies will fill up again.

But I can still wish

Saturday, March 14, 2020


Dear Mom. Dear Dad. Dear Pearl.

For the longest time, months even, I’ve been wanting to tell you something, but I could never get up the nerve to do it in person because I know if I did you’d just pretend like you were totally sympathetic and understanding while at the same time you would be giving each other that look you do—that “going through a little phase” look you’d give each other when I was a kid and… Well this is not just a little phase I'm going through!

I hope you’re sitting down now because I’m just going to come out with it: Today I’m in the hospital about to undergo the final steps in the physical transition so that my body matches the identity I’ve had all along, not the identity I was assigned at birth.

So, by the next time we meet it will be a done deal. You will have had time to digest this information, will have come to terms with it, and we’ll all be good. Right? In no time at all, you’ll accept the new me (because it’s really the me I’ve been all along). You’ll accept me because you love me. You’ll accept me because I love you. You’ll accept me because I’ll be accepting myself and will finally be at peace as my outward identity finally matches my inward identity.

So here goes (drumroll ha ha): Mom, Dad, Pearl, I am a Gemini!

Get used to it :)

Oh yeah, I have a new name now, too (of course). I’m not Alex anymore. (Alex was a great name for a Libra, but imagine a Gemini named Alex and the looks I’d get—ha ha too too funny!)  Now I am Allex. Get used to that, too :) :)

Sure, you’ll occasionally make little mistakes as you get used to the new name, clothes, mannerisms, dating and career choices, breakfast cereal choices, etc… but as long as you keep trying I promise not to get angry. Old habits die hard. Heck, even I might screw up my signature now and again (or maybe sometimes I’ll be too judgmental, ha ha, Libras, amiright!?)

Ha ha. You haven’t lost a Libra. You’ve gained a Gemini!

Love ya,