Carl T. Holscher fights for the customers.

Category: Observations Page 1 of 88

Have you ever pet a pig?

My wife was taking to her sister today and she was recently in the Bahamas and went somewhere with pigs. That swim. Or something.

My wife said, “I am not sure if I’ve ever let a pig before.” And without missing a beat I said, “You must have pet a pig at some point in your life.”

And she said No… I don’t think I ever have.

Some days I forget she grew up in a city and not on a farm where pigs were accessible. She’s the city mouse to my country mouse and while we have shared a home for over 14 years, we have a very different childhood.

Remember friends, not everyone has pet pigs. Or participated in a pig scramble.

Flashers Exist

I left my house tonight to grab a few things from the grocery store. As I drove down the road, I saw a car blocking the end of the street at a busy intersection. I thought they had broken down as they were pulled just out of the intersection but blocking the lane as there were cars parked along either side of it. No lights were on outside nor inside the car. No lights on and no flashers going.

As I approached and debated turning around, I saw shadows passing in front of the dark vehicle. So I kept going to see if there was assistance needed, or if I needed to report an abandoned car (it’s happened before…)

But I got closer, one car inches by turning on to the road as I pulled in to an empty space for a driveway. Then I pulled up to try to pass and saw there was not enough room to get by and started to reverse.

Just then, I saw someone get out of a car parked along the road and get into the Jeep blocking the road. They got in, and immediately lights came on and they backed into the intersection and turned to leave.

I followed them out as we were heading in the same way towards the main road. And when we went through the intersection and I turned into the shopping center nearby, they turned into the apartment complex across the street.

Recently, there have been cars lining the end of the road where I live and there’s no nearly enough houses for all of these cars to have suddenly appeared. Some of the cars have been sitting there for days without moving. Some have stickers on the windshield like they had been flagged for parking illegally elsewhere. Maybe the apartment complex?

So maybe there’s something going on at the apartment complex that’s causing people to park in our neighborhood. Which would be fine, except 1) don’t stop your car in the middle of the road, blocking it and 2) don’t park all the way to the end of the intersection. It’s a good way to get your car smashed into.

For a quiet, city street, we’ve had three cars flipped over in the past few years and a dozen more hit in varying degrees of severity from needing to be towed away for repair to getting a huge dent down the entire side.

Self-hosted Streaming Service

🔗 Disney and Hulu Merging Into Single App, Beta Coming in December – Initial Charge

If you’re still paying for subscriptions like this, I’d suggest setting up a Plex server and spending the equivalent of a streaming subscription each month on purchased media — be it DVDs and Blu-rays to rip or digital downloads that you can strip the DRM from.

Start building up a library of content that you own to eventually opt out of this whole subscription nonsense.

I’ve been building a small movie collection of films I love enough to not rely on licensing deals to be able to watch. Recently, as we’ve been thrifting, I will gaze along the movie shelves, as I did at the long-forgotten Video Den of my youth, for DVDs and Blu-Rays to purchase for pennies and add to my own streaming service.

I own my own streaming service. I can watch what I want when I see something interesting I can buy, it’s a simple download away then it’s available from own media empire. I don’t need to worry about who bought the rights or if removing mountains of movies will make the stock price rise.

I own my media and it’s not locked behind DRM. It cannot be taken away unless I delete it or lose it. But it’s on me to keep and to manage. And I trust myself more than I trust any business.

Why note-taking apps don’t make us smarter

Initially, I threw myself into this kind of associative note-taking. I gathered links around concepts I wanted to explore (“the internet enables information to travel too quickly,” for example, or social networks and polarization). When I had an interesting conversation with a person, I would add notes to a personal page I had created for them. A few times a week, I would revisit those notes.

I waited for the insights to come.

And waited. And waited.

My gusto for concept-based, link-heavy note-taking diminished.

Why note-taking apps don’t make us smarter

Throwing notes into a system is all well and good but it’s not going to do the thinking for you. You can have the largest collection of notes with back-links and tags and immaculate organization. But at the end of the day, you still need to do the work and review those notes and find those connections to write about or to learn from.

Deep dives into hidden niches

Three Years – Culture Study

Over time, I also figured out that I also wanted to do interviews with people who aren’t famous but spend their days deep in the trenches of a particular subject


Anne Helen Petersen’s Culture Study remains a must-read newsletter and she beautifully nails the why. It’s the interviews with people deep in their niche. It’s the insight (and exasperation) that comes from someone who has spent years toiling in a trench that’s never seen let alone acknowledged. It’s always something interesting and insightful that I never would have thought to seek out because I did not know it existed.

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