All sheen and no substance

Bet

Me: Sit down to eat your orange.
Boy: Why?
Me: I don’t want you to run around and choke on it.
Him: (rolling eyes) That’s never happened!

Don’t think things in the past are dispositive of things in the future, but I do think that they show probability.

Case in point, a month ago, wrote about the Empress Dowager and how the political corruption seemed eerily reminiscent of what’s going on in Ukraine now.

Back then, China’s navy – called the Beiyang Fleet – was supposed to be the largest fleet in Asia and the 8th in the world at the time.

According to all reports, it looked awe-inspiring.

But the basic purpose of a navy is to fight battles on the sea and, in this regard, it was all show. Because all the stuff you don’t see – ammunition, navigation tools, even basic training – was all lacking.

In other words, the Beiyang Feet was all sheen and no substance.

So, it seems the same with the Russian military machine.

Visually, its military looked formidable with modern looking tanks and such, but the less showy but equally important stuff was/is lacking.

Simple stuff like basic training, communication equipment, even navigation tools were all missing, which could explain how alla these career politicians like Putin could afford $700 million yachts.

Russian pilots are using store-bought GPS taped to their dashboards to navigate and Russian leaders are shooting their own wounded troops because they don’t have the basic medical supplies needed to save them.

And therein lies the problem with corruption, it hollows-out things of value from the inside so that everything looks good but it’s all for show.

Like I said, I don’t think things in the past are dispositive of things in the future, but I do think that they show probability.

Me: Past performance is no indication of future results. Sit down, eat your orange, and then you can play.
Him: Fiiiiine.

Me: Totally random but I’m gonna be taking my kid to Central Park on the east side on my bike today at around 5:30 or so if you’re out and about and want to randomly run into us.
Her: OMG, that sounds like so much fun!

Been biking around the city with the boy and we ended up on the East Side at some random playground not too far from the Counselor.

While we were there, the kid made friends with a little girl and they were having a pretty good time when I asked him to come over to do something for me.

He did and, presently, the little girl came over, put her hands on her hips, and exclaimed, “What’s going on here?! What’s taking you so long?”

That part made me laugh.

Counselor: I like her style.
Me: I can see the type of woman he’ll attract [in the future].
Her: Might run in the family.

It turns out that, of course, Heidi ended up going to Paris.

What’s with everyone heading to Paris, randomly?

Then again, I was actually planning on heading to Paris myself a few years back for some reasons that you wouldn’t believe if I told you.

I’m not even sure I believe it myself.

I laughed as I wrote this line because, man, I’ve been pretty starkers the past few years, lemme tell ya…

Pac: “Spam” stands for “specially proceed army meat.”
Me: Nope. It stands for “spiced ham.”
Him: Bet.
Me: $20 bucks says I’m not.
Tom: (looking it up) It stands for “spiced ham.”

As I said, I’ve been really busy lately, especially with Scenic Fights.

But, completely unrelated to it, Pac came by late two nights ago for me to fix up his laptop.

It was try number two, since the first time, we didn’t have the right items due to alla Apple’s proprietary nonsense.

We ended up trying to fix it for hours, without success. The thing about Pac is that he’s a man of his word. Without even asking, he Venmoed me $20 because of the Spam bet.

So, I told him I’d keep trying to fix his computer until it was done. It’s a gift for his dad, you see.

I know all about wanting to do stuff for people you care about.

Especially, when it comes to your parents.

And people that are more substance than sheen – like people that follow through with their commitments – get from me the most valuable thing I got besides the kid: My time.

Location: earlier tonight, just off Union Square, trying to rip off a friend’s lower leg
Mood: slightly less crazy
Music: Un peu naïve mais pas trop Pour ne jamais perdre la tête (Spotify)
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