Cabo San Lucas – Day 1

Here's the kickoff post from yesterday and the full set of photos of The Gand Solmar Land's End Resort.

First full day was spent getting a lay of the land, and lots of pool & sunshine. And, of course, lunch by the pool. $10, including tax and tip.

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Of course, some people come to Cabo for this:

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...Or, this:

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...For still others, me included, it's this:

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Sea Bass Stuffed with Shrimp and Scallops (though, a bit salty for my taste)

...And of course, "the real Mexico:"

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Taco Bar!
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Souvenirs and Tequila Shots

...Have too many tequila shots, and the signage becomes a redundancy.

All the photos were shot with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 12.1MP Micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 14-45mm Lens. Everything, including the night shots, was on the auto setting—so no futzing with shutter speed or aperture, and only a couple photos came out too blurry to publish. The rest here, on Flickr.

Finally, got word that Beatrice got so jealous that she's book a flight for Thursday. Same Alaska flight I came down on, fling back Saturday on the same flight. More later. Enjoy yourselves out there.

Update: Days 2 & 3.

Los Cabos

Got in yesterday after a great flight experience, for once. San Jose - Cabo, direct, on-time 9:22 am departure, 2 1/2 hour flight, $50 upgrade to 1st Class. Then, an effortless $17 shuttle ride to The Grand Solmar Land's End Resort & Spa.

As I may have mentioned, I've been renting out my contract rights for three years now—about 50 sets of guests, and this is the first time I've stayed in it myself. Kinda over the top. I've stayed in Four Seasons that aren't as nice. But, it's a semi working vacation. My aim is to write a comprehensive travel guide to the resort and stuff within walking distance. Been shooting tons of photos.

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Open Lobby

I'll be uploading all the photos to Flickr for anyone looking to check it out. ...Well, I just did... The Internet smokes here, even by the pool.

In the meantime, here was breakfast. When I go to tropical places, I pretty much eat only fruit & fish—some eggs & beans for breakfast is OK—breakfast meat not required.  So, here was breakfast. $13, including tax and tip; and including coffee, OJ, breakfast rolls and a pot of yogurt.

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I was kinda laughing at all the people paying $30 for the buffet, when I couldn't even eat all I had.

OK, more later. I'll hit the Marina later. Suggestions for great seafood welcome. Just don't tell me Cabo Wabo. I hate Sammy Hagar, who ruined Van Halen, as far as I'm concerned.

Update: More from the first full day.

If You Can’t Buy Your Own Government, Migrate to a Place Where You Can

I like Mafia movies; principally, because it's just a form of alternative government and indoctrinated people make meaningless distinctions about it.

Everybody pays for government.

'Mercan fanboys and girls say stupid shit like, in making bad distinctions: "it's a protection racket." Well, what do you think the fucking US Feds are—with their endless election spectacles—dumb shit? They're objective, not for hire? Laf. The POTUS commands the highest payoffs in the history of planet earth.

Oh, I know: you live in a particular paradigm, resting on a set of assumptions. You learned it, were indoctrinated with it; and as such, mount resistance to any other paradigms upon which alternative sets of assumptions rest that are scary different from your assumptions.

Let me tell you my working assumptions:

  1. I have my own moral code
  2. I recognize that others have theirs
  3. I eschew forcing anyone, but I'd be delighted to blow brains on the wall should those others engineer to impose their sets of assumptions or corollary paradigms on me
  4. Don't want to be locked up
  5. I like to trade, where something I want less goes for something they want want less too, but each wants what the other holds, more

That's pretty much it, but you ought pay for protection if you're not isolated, and what fun is there in being isolated? Conundrum.

For me, owing to the logical conclusions of my assumptions, much "bribery" is pretty moral. Let's say a zoning commission stands in the way of you developing your property as you like. Pay them off, develop it. Win win.

...Or, because of some particular sort of social-political activism—where people waste their time trying to move society—suddenly, you find your business model that contemplates voluntary trade between you and the customers you cultivate in jeopardy because someone or a group has out-bid you in terms of payoffs, favors, political swag.

...So, imagine what you might be able to do if you moved to some island in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, whatever—or many places in south America on the continental beach. Imagine that for some Jacksons hand-to-hand, now & then, a Benjamin now & then—along with invites to your parties as notable guests—you could enjoy not only freedom to go about your peaceful affairs, but actual solid protection, the best money can buy?

But no, you want to CHANGE THE SYSTEM! Well, you're not much on balance sheets or P&Ls, are you?

Listen: Unless you're into the mega-millions here in the Good 'ol USA, you have been priced out of the market for 'freedom.' Don't buy into that fucktarded DEMOCRACY!!! shtick, where you spend your entire life agitating for what you will never, ever see. The only ones who see what they want in "The Land of the Free," anymore, are those who can pay to play. Do you imagine that the Corp executives of the 100 largest companies in America agitate about politics? No. They have a concern, they make a phone call, money flows, they typically get results. The only risk they really face is getting too exuberant or well known, because then they become a target for a takedown, just so everyone "knows" that what's always in play, is never in play.

Free the Animal means assessing the landscape. If its unsuitable for survival and well being and happiness, migrate to where it can be.

Only the human animal will spend its entire life—wasting it—on trying to change the minds of others, their sets of assumptions, their paradigms, how it shakes out and most importantly: the market over your personal agents of force.

...This is why I simply hurl insults, and typically eschew long winded philosophical essays. But in the end, I just like grabbing an idea and see what I can write about it.

Sugar For A Simpler Sleep Aid or Acute Insomnia Cure

This was a rather tough little experiment I've done on occasion for quite a while now, perhaps over a year or more. That's simply because I really don't have much problem with good sleep. Since I'm human, live in a complex world, and have made my way in producing my own income since 1992, I expect that sometimes I'm going to have disturbed sleep. Or, hell, I'm married, too. ;)

...Sometime back, on the late Seth Roberts' blog, I caught wind of an intervention where one takes maybe 1-2 TBS of honey (17-34g sugar carbs) before bed each night, and has better sleep. I've mentioned it in comments a couple of times and have been told that Ray Peat and Matt Stone have advocated fruit juice for the same purpose. It got me thinking. Could that be why my dad, and so may others, like a glass of warm milk before bed? (I dislike warm milk—I like ice cold milk—and I suspect the therapeutic value is in the sugar, not the temperature.)

I'll get to my details in a minute; but first, I Googled around this morning...something like: 'sugar before bed for insomnia.' And zero of the links on the first page of results mentioned anything about sugar. Instead, it was all links to popular bogs with lists of up to 10 things to avoid. News Flash: Don't drink a Venti mega-quadruple-shot mocha chocolate latte frappuccino before bed. Some of this was from "Paleo" bolgs of the sort where you have to have a list of instructions to, literally, do anything, Cage-the-Animal, style. Curiously, when I was in college, senior year, taking a course on vector calculus for fun that I didn't need, I found that pulling all-nighters in advance of tests, with copious coffee, nonetheless didn't hamper my ability to crash at 4-5am for a few hours.

So it's taken a while, since I sleep pretty damn well. I'm BULLETPROOF! (apologies to Dave). But I also got interested because the dream state often reported with lots of fibers for the gut opened my eyes to the vast complexities of what we take for granted every night. I wondered what might happen, combining the two.

So I did. Now, I use a fiber concoction of more than a dozen things, and I often mix it with 4 oz of OJ, and 4 oz of whole milk, and often with a raw egg (Orange Julius with smoothness and texture). ...I'll be putting up my recipe soon: no longer interested in developing and marketing a product.

OK, so as I said, this took a while, because I wanted to intuitively shake out the confounders—not in a purely scientific way, but more an intuitive one. Just make sure I've done it in enough differing circumstances that I get some sense of real resolution. Obviously, someone with chronic insomnia would make a far better test subject. On the other hand, one doesn't need to be an insomniac to enjoy better, deeper sleep.

Accordingly, sometimes I take a TBS or two of honey, sometimes about 4oz of OJ, and I've even tried 4-6 oz of craft root beer, made with cane sugar (I just avoid HFCS, I doubt it would make a substantial difference towards the goal). Can't tell any difference, which leads me to believe that sugar can help you sleep better, deeper, longer. When I do this, I very often experience bouts of very deep sleep lasting 4-6 hours in a stretch, without waking up, or having to expel yellow saline. Add the gut fibers, and you get a dream novel on top of it—leading you to believe that you do, actually, have a novel or two of your own weird making, in you. Various probiotics might help too, and I'll soon be blogging about a new one from the UK—mega high dose, intended for short-bout dosages of 3-6 days, periodically.

The other thing I've done many times, and perhaps more importantly, is to not do any of that before-bed intervention, but wait for one of those nights where I wake up sometime between 2-4 am, and it takes 1-2 hours to get back to sleep. I'll eventually always get back to sleep; but what I've found for myself, including last night—which prompted this post, finally—is that it almost never takes more than 2 hours, or less than 1 if I do nothing, but it can take only 15 minutes.

Since I've been doing this a while in many different ways, last night I decided to try to bring it home for me. I went to bed tired at about 11pm, having been up since 6am. Went to sleep head-pillow like. Woke up 4 hours later. Usually, it's take a piss, go right back to sleep. Not this time. Tossed, seemingly wide awake. Had a little bout of restless leg (this is a rare acute thing for me; chronic for my dad—since I was a kid). So, after an hour—it's 4am—I go in, take about a half cup of OJ with a couple of ounces of salty club soda (straight OJ is too sweet for me), and next thing I know, it's 7:15.

So, there you go. You can try it if you like, or stupidly believe it's going to kill your pancreatic beta cells...and that it's more important to live in sleep frustration over years and decades than "kill beta cells" in your imagination, because: that's what the LOW CARB RELIGION HUMANOIDS want you to believe because they live in deprived sleep misery themselves, and want plenty of commiseration and comfort—perhaps so you can come up with a low-carb alternative.

Or, just whatever. Try it and see, or don't. And I don't care either way.

Kids Want To Learn, But Probably Not What You Want To Teach

It's always hilarious to me: reports on poor classroom performance, poor test scores, and on and on.

Thing is, that's a "report card" on teachers, administrators, bureaucrats, politicians, collectivism, socialism, and society's just-another-brick-inb-the-wall meat grinder in general—not on kids. Accordingly, it almost always comes down to MORE MONAYS! (for teachers, bureaucrats, administrators, et al.).

This is all dumb. Very dumb. Why? Because what's going on isn't really learning per se, but indoctrination disguised as learning, and "poor performance" is really a measure—and a good one at that—of resistance to such indoctrination, euphemistically labelled learning or teaching. Hell, even Hellen Keller learned, and with no visual or auditory perception—the core stalwarts of learning (indoctrination, too, though). Humans—indeed animals in general—yearn for knowledge from the moment of first breath. The acquisition of knowledge over how to survive and prosper is baked into the cake of survival on this planet.

...I got a question in email from some parents yesterday that inspired this post, and my wife Beatrice—a school teacher of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade levels for 33 years—wrote the principal response.

Hi Richard,

I've commented a few times on the blog - most recently about the gliding thread.

Seems strange contacting someone I don't know personally to ask this question - but being surrounded by closed minded relatives I'd really appreciate your opinion.

Homeschooling is something that has always been in the back of mind but never acted upon.

Due to my son recently been labelled as stubborn and difficult for acting out army games in school (play acting soldiers is now forbidden apparently) and getting in a tit for tat scrap with another kid, myself and my wife are on the verge of giving up on an increasingly fucked up education system and homeschooling our two children. They're good well mannered kids that are being hammered into a distorted shape due to a 'sit down, be quiet, and don't question anything' teaching methodology.

I confess, I reluctantly agreed to let them go to a Catholic school as my wife initially thought the 'moral' grounding would benefit them. Suffice to say she has completely changed her view on the merits of a Catholic education.

So, if you can spare a minute or two to give me some thoughts on the merits of homeschooling children vs my perception of the indoctrination process of state school I'd be much obliged.

Your opinion matters to us.

Well, as you may see, parochial or private—or otherwise cloistered—isn't really the key, because the same premise of indoctrination holds sway...it's just that you're indoctrinating over a different set of values. Sometimes, those values are closer to home, so that's likely the Occam's Razor explanation for why kids in private indoctrination often fare better than those in secular, State-indoctrination systems.

OK, here's my wife's unedited take on it. Notice that she does not write like I do (Duh!). She doesn't write for fun, or to get an endorphin spike. She writes to the issue, to the question specifically.

If he's thinking about it, he should do it. He'd have to be willing to find out what his son is passionate about and provide experiences that nurture it. It's like working backwards. Once you find the passion, it's a piece of cake, the learning follows..the reading, the researching, the math, the science, the social studies. It's called Project Based Learning, 21st Century Teaching. Look it up.

The only thing missing is the collaboration with other kids, to work towards a goal to complete a project. This is an important component, but only part of the complete process. Perhaps you could join other kids who are being homeschooled; do some skyping with kids in other countries, blog, etc.

I'm sure his son will not be the only one to benefit. I'm sure his father/mother, the teacher will be just as excited about learning and exploring... going to many cool places together, having new experiences together, delving deep to figure things out that you are excited about. It will be cool.

And if it's too much for you as far as a commitment, find a school that teaches this way.

I posted the other day about a PBL project the 5th graders did at her school: teams designed boats for four 5th grade students per boat, working only with cardboard, glue, and tape. Then, they had to get in them, in a lake, theory to practice like. What did they learn?

  • Research
  • Reading
  • Math
  • Critical thinking
  • Rudimentary water-displacement engineering
  • Materials adhesion characteristics
  • Measurement
  • Social collaboration

The list probably goes on, and with sub-lists. Now, did those 10-year-olds set out to learn all aspects of that foregoing list and pass aptitude tests? Bitch, please! They wanted to build a fucking boat four of them could get into and float across the lake. That list is just a few of the required prerequisites for getting that goal of passion done, and perhaps done better than other teams.

A couple of specific points.

  1. So-called teachers can learn too. Beatrice says that one of the things that gets her excited and motivated to get up at 5:30 every morning to get to "school," is that she's learning too. Picture a "classroom" where every student is on an Internet-connected MacBook Pro (they have iPads, too), and they're calling across the room to one-another for help or critique on the various micro-projects they engage in every day. In this way, she's not there to be an authoritarian-indoctrinarian, but a facilitator with experience, and she get's something out of it beyond the MONAY.
  2. Collaboration is the real key to all of this working as it does. Modern "education" is based upon a model of competition where, the winners eventually get the best opportunities for jobs going forward. Well, guess what? When they get to those great jobs, they find that no man is an island, so they're faced with a real world where we're social animals and one must collaborate, cooperate, and even compromise in order to get shit done. So, in this old-world indoctrination system, we set them up for failure right off the bat, by pitting student against student, rather than encouraging them to collaborate towards a common passionate goal, which is the way the world works anyway.

It's old-world prerequisite indoctrination, juxtaposed with modern Project Based Learning, where prerequisites are just baked into the colaborative-project cake. And so the goal is to first come up with projects the kids get engaged in.

Everything flows from there...backwards, piece of cake, as Beatrice says.

...Yesterday, Bea went to school early because Telemundo was there to do a segment—beginning at 5am. Yea, kids were there at 5am. Beatrice has zero problems with attendance or truancy. It's her job to come up with projects that engage them, facilitate their splitting into teams so that every kid has a good reason to not not want to be there for every moment.

What is so fucking hard about this? Oh, yea, Follow the MONAY!

And when you follow that, it become clear whose expense isn't being accounted for. 

“Land of the Free” Update: US[SR] and The Curious Case of Mohamedou Slahi

Sometimes you really need to think in terms of essentials.

Are the great, integrated-with-human-nature ideas and ideals of Enlightenment—where a state ought to be subject to the same moral code as citizens—the most important thing? Or, is the most important thing the actions of a State that was supposedly-specifically founded on such ideals?

The critical distinction to make is the one over what comes down to lip service vs. action. They always spouted lots of shit. But what do they do, at the same time they're saying? 

There's another, though. It's the one that both D and R desperately need for any political parity or gain. You must fool everyone, but the most important fools are the flag wavers who only want a State they can call their own...it's in advance of the Heaven they can call their own, too. You have to cut to chase: you just call it a war, catch-all style.

What's particularly prescient to me, though, is that American Flag Wavers lie: they don't call it Holy (Jihadists are more honest that way). See, doG fearing Republicans are politically powerful; but they principally respect Bibles and preachers, and others of like "mind." They learned to 'give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's' long time ago, cheap whores they are. They put down swords and reached into pockets instead, placated. It's geopolitical on scale.

Such is the "Land of the Free" landscape, now—far removed from the rather light theism of the founders born 300-400 years ago. Therefore, if you tell them it's war! then they think 'walls-tumbling' Joshua—or any number of other genocides—and because it's their doG, they're OK with it. They read it, or someone preached it to them and they said "Amen Brother"...because they read it, or someone preached it to them before. It's a circular thing.

...So yea, I got stirred up this morning. Made me weep a bit, even.

He's been "DETAINED" and "tortured" (when it's America, torture must be in scare quotes, see?) for 14 years. Took 6 of those for his 400+page NYT Bestseller written in 2005-ish to make it out, with redactions.

I guess there's that. At least, we don't have to worry that "freedom of speech" is actually an Enlightenment moral principle, or anything. When we don't want someone to speak or write free, then we get on the distinction bandwagon. See, he's not an American citizen under CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS!!! and even more, we've labeled him as an enemy combatant. He has no rights; and certainly not, since he's been subject to "American persuasion" now (euphemisms for tortured), for 14 years.

He has never been charged with any crime. He has never stood trial for any crime. He's been in prisson for 14 years. Be proud, Americans.

In my book, this makes America a usual suspect at very best. I reaffirm my desire to eventually become a citizen of a peaceful country, and to burn my American passport in effigy.

The last thing I want to do is die as a citizen of a place I didn't ask to be born in, and that I reject as good and moral.

I'm going to buy and read Guantánamo Diary during my Cabo runtime, all next week. Least I can do.

...Oh, and just as an aside, read that eminently cool dude Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago.

Is It Time To Move The Fuck On?

Real Food. I get it: meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, starches. I mean: I really get it. It's rather easy...so say billions of hominoids, 4 million years and counting.

I don't get this, anymore:

Here’s my PS story:

I’ve never been obese and today I’m lean (4-pack) with good insulin sensitivity (low fasting insulin). But these days I have poor starch sensitivity (BG spikes too much if I eat more than 3-4 oz starch in a meal). In 2013 I discovered it with a “sweet potato blood sugar challenge test” a la Kresser. So I went low starch. A1c improved from 5.7 to 5.1. Then I read about PS from Freetheanimal. I immediately started in Dec 2013. In January I repeated the potato test. I was *ecstatic* that my post-meal BG peak after an 8 oz sweet potato was 130 and <90 at 90 minutes!!! (It also lowered FBG from the 90s to the 80s) Holy cow! So I transitioned to PHD with 6-8 oz of white rice or potato per meal. But my ecstasy was short-lived. Some random post-meal BG tests 3 months later showed that my starch intolerance was back despite continuous PS supplementation (FBG also went back to the 90s). With chagrin I dialed back my starch intake per meal to keep BG spikes <140. Try as I might by looking for whatever else I changed (e.g. supplements, sleep, stress), I couldn't get my temporary incredible starch tolerance back. The only BG effect that remains is lower BG 90 minutes after meals. Maybe my gut flora was in a transient state in the weeks following starting PS, and the final species mix doesn't give me that wonderful starch tolerance. A recent post mixed-meal insulin and C-peptide test confirmed my post-meal insulin output is a bit less than half of a healthy person – a weak "first phase" insulin response. I hope it's due to the Incretin system and the gut flora's influence on it. (And thus fixable), rather than late-onset diabetes type 1 beta-cell-killing antibodies.

So now I'm gonna try the Inulin and Acacia supps added to the 2 tbsp PS (which Goddess notwithstanding, I like because of sleep quality). That she mentions her Inulin and Acacia "bionic combo 2" (without psyllium) "burns fat" may be a clue that it improves the Incretin system.

BTW I am curious why Steve Cooksey (diabetes warrior) has not explained why he stopped PS, and has not updated us with his "bionic" experiment since January.

For me, I love being of some service to others when and if I can, right up until I sense I'm being a disservice.

I read the above and my first thought is to wonder how it was possible for billions to live happy lives before blood glucose monitors and A1C lab testing. I've tossed all of that: see Real Food, above.

Take your chances, or don't, but I'm solidly out of the game of endless, boundless, and unbridled deconstruction and dis-integration, i.e., disintegration.

Good luck with that.

Take a Ride With An Eagle From The Top of the Burj Khalifa

This is really spectacular, folks. About a minute. They set an eagle off from the top of the needle of The Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

It's why I take glides myself.

One thing to take note of is how the Eagle pulls in his wings in order to increase airspeed in the final seconds, as he approaches the ground.

Why?

Wind gradient. In a gliding configuration (not under power; and birds typically glide into landing, only employing power in the last second...analogous to a flair in aircraft) as you get closer to the ground, wind speed decreases as a function of air friction on the surface. If your airspeed is just barely over stall and you are flying into the wind, you can find yourself under stall speed in an instant.

All in all, it's a spectacular show.

Adult School Teachers Set Up Students To School Adult School Teachers

I've lived with a school teacher for about 20 years now. Still learning.

You know what she's taught me the most? She wants anyone and everyone who comes in contact with her to do better than she did. It's her raison d'etre.

Isn't that a beautiful ethic for anyone who calls themself a teacher? If you call yourself a teacher, your Carte Blanche dispensation—for wherever you are—is to set up your students to be better than you. Perhaps you're a ghetto teacher—or you teach the kids on Park Avenue. Each teacher is there for a reason. There's no reason for any of your students to remain there long time and it's your job to simply open their minds to opportunity and inform them of the starting skills.

They'll take it from there if you've done well.

Beatrice was there, I've had pics in my email for a while. It became local news, too.

Here's what Bea's longtime mutual teacher co-worker friend, now boss by her choosing (he begged her), K.R. Smith Principal Aaron Brengard said in that video, Fifth Graders Test Their Nautical Skills With Homemade Cardboard Boats:

"We wanted to prepare our kids for this world.

"The ever changing world.

"Jobs that our kids are going to have aren't even created yet.

"Having these skills—like these STEM skills—science, technology, engineering, and math—that having the collaboration they do....our real life...

"We don't think we need to wait until they're in the real world to make it the real world."

Bea signed up with Aaron nearly three years ago as a boss (she's constantly hand picked by all bosses—she pics her boss), as a freshman Principal, from previously talking over coffee and lunch in the break room.

He had a vision. He was fully invested in taking a big risk: change the culture.

Yes, he was young, dumb, and cocksure enough to take it on.

It's always the requirement for change. When we get older, we get resigned. I feel it in myself. I know that I'll eventually die with most of my aspirations unfulfilled. It's very, very important that the young feel they can move mountains and it is up to teachers to facilitate their formation into an ideal of a belief that it's possible and it's up for grabs always.

There's your "Land of the Free," if you can tolerate it.

I Keep Getting Owned By The English

I've blogged about it—Sons of Anarchy. Just basically spent around 100 hours over several weeks watching the thing, getting so absorbed I dreamed about it over and over, every night. Ever done that? Spend a chunk of your life so cut-off that you really can't explain it to anyone, but you have to see it to the end?

Sons of Anarchy is only a TV show. That much is true.

It's over-the-top drama, too. That much is true.

Unless you're a moron, the series that ran 7 seasons ought make you question some of your premises. If it didn't, you're dismissed. It's about the dryer lint in the whole thing. What comes way out in the wash.

How may times have I written "when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away?" In that way, it's much like The Wire. Cops are, and ought be always playing catchup with smart, organized "criminals." Why? Because there are laws. It's not a level playing field.

Chew on that opiate of masses, let me know what you think.

These guys don't call the cops, unless perhaps they're on payroll.

Anyway, this counts three times I've been owned by you Brit Wankers who think you can play an American:

  • Jamie Bamber (Apollo)
  • Hugh Laurie (House)
  • Charlie Hunnam (Jax)

Hugh, I knew he was English perhaps midway through the series. The other two, not a fucking single clue until it was all over and I dug into depth on what obsessed me.

You gentleman rock. How many American actors could truly fool the British?