Wednesday, November 12, 2008
When I was a little Adam I remember my mom playing an album with a strange drawing on it of a man sitting at a piano. That album was Joe Jackson's "Night and Day." She would play this regularly when it was just her and I at home but I never grew sick of it. When I inherited her vinyl collection this was the first one that got a spin on the new turntable.
The jewel of this album is the song "Real Men." When I heard it as a child I obviously could not comprehend it's meaning, but I knew it was a powerful song that was full of emotion. Now that I've had a chance to revisit it, I can tell you that it is all that and more. I fell that I should share it with you all and maybe you can enjoy it too. The video is corny, but remember, it was the early 80s and no one really knew what they were doing yet as far as music videos went. As a matter of fact, why don't you minimize the screen and just listen to it the first time around, then you can go back and poke fun at the video. Here are the lyrics in case you want to read along. Enjoy!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
When I started back to school I had in mind that I would need some sort of part time job to give me some play money. I wasn't really sure what to do though. I came across an add in the school paper for Box Store. I went in for the interview and it seemed like a job I could handle. The first day I started I found out I was wrong.
I despise being micro managed. The owner of Box Store was there all the time. He didn't trust his employees. He talked down to them. All signs of bad leadership. I was in charge of a few folks in my military days and I was never condescending to them like this guy was.
Today I was working, minding my own business when Boss tried to correct me. Afterwords I was caught rolling my eyes. He says "What was that look for?" I responded "What? Look?" So we kind of just brushed that one off.
A few hours later he asks me "Do you remember yesterday when we were discussing writing down what you were doing?" (They had the Scrap Paper system. If I was helping you do something I was supposed to keep notes on a small piece of paper so that way if my coworker took over for me, he knew what I was doing.) I looked at him and said "Yeah sure I remember that."
"Well yesterday when a lady came in and needed help you didn't write down what you did. You had to come from across the store and tell me. Did you not think it was important to do that?"
"Wait! When?" I asked.
"OK so you're trying to correct me for something minor that I did over 24 hours ago? I'm sorry Boss, but that doesn't fly. I'm not blowing you off, but if that's what you think that's fine too."
I went back out to do some more work and mind my own business again. About 20 minutes later I was summoned back to the office again. "You know, Adam. This just isn't going to work out" he said. "We're just going to have to part ways."
"Yeah we are" I replied. "I was going to make this my last shift anyway."
"So why did you have such an attitude with us?"
"You really want to know? (I didn't wait for an answer) Well, first, your employees don't respect you. You talk down to them, you micromanage them, you talk to everyone like they're stupid. The problem is that they don't know enough to call you out on it. They're young boys who have been in school all their lives and they only know people talking down to them. I was in charge of a lot of kids younger than them and I would never treat them like you treat these boys. They're smart. Trust them."
"Secondly, you nickle and dime your customers. A gentleman came in here the other day and spent almost $200 dollars, yet you made sure to make sure he was charged for those four copies he made at 17 cents a piece. You're all about customer service but you don't hook your repeat customers up here and there."
I'm sure more was said, but I was in a "blind rage." All I remember is Jack (co-worker) looking at me with a "Right on, man! F'n A!" look.
Guess it's back to the drawing board.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I pulled in to see some scenery and a few historical markers with a small mix of picnic tables. I noticed a few cars around so I parked and headed over towards the markers. Apparently it was the site of some Civil War skirmish which, being a history nerd, peaked my interest. As I was reading a middle aged man came over towards me and mumbled some sort of greeting. I returned the favor and finished reading. As I looked up he was still there. He mentioned something about the scenery and I agreed that it wasn't too bad.
He then looked at me and said "Well looks like it's just us two."
"Yeah, that it is." I said as I looked around and backed up slowly.
He then said something about being safe or careful or something weird. Immediately the alarms started sounding and I decided that it was time to run the fuck away. Fast. I don't know, but I think that I was propositioned. I always thought those rest stop stories were a myth, but apparently this guy was the myth buster.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
I've never been good at time management, so I'm learning by trial and error and it's been mostly error. I've got a six pager due next week on some topic that I really don't give a shit about and a four pager due this week on a topic that isn't as interesting as I thought it would be. I've kind of dug myself into a hole on the homework. We get some nightly assignments on top of papers and tests. It's a royal pain in my Royal Irish Ass!
I am hereby placing requests for any and all tips on time management in relation to college life. First I'll lay out what I do have:
Day planner with big spaces for each day.
Syllabi for each class laying out the assignments and general class time.
A six year old who does require his daddy time.
The social life seems to have been put on the back burner so if there is room for that too, let me know.
Last time I was this busy was when that bus full of Swedish women broke down in front of my house. They all insisted on staying in my room with me because they were afraid of being left alone. They also forgot their night clothes so they had to sleep naked. I was only being a humanitarian at that point.
Oh yeah, I'm trying out for the Jeopardy! college tournament tonight too. Wish me luck. I'll let you know how that goes as soon as I get my results.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
So far my classes have been worthwhile. A lot of reading! I've not read for retention in 1o years, I've only read for pleasure. That really isn't that big of a deal though, I'm quickly getting the hang of it. The age difference isn't too bad either, but you can tell that it's there. One of the kids in my history class is in the ROTC who is already committed to the Army and he sounds just like I did before I went to boot camp. The headstrong, naive, bullet proof feeling of them fascinates me. I know I'm not old by any means, but it's interesting to listen to their take on the world around them and what they think and want their lives should be like.
The school's radio station put out a call for DJ's and I've decided that I am going to go for it. I think it would be a riot to have my own show. I just hope everyone else will appreciate it. I'm thinking that it would be fun to have someone else with me in the studio because I tend to be a lot more humorous when I can play off the energy of someone else. We'll see how it goes...
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I'm surrounded by boxes and I still need to fill some more, so I'll see you in Ohio.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
One mountain climbed, the Himalayas to go.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
This is the big week when I tell my company that I will no longer be working for them. There are two things that make this weird for me, 1) the last job I quit was in high school. I just walked in and said, "I'm joining the military, so I'm going to enjoy my last month of freedom. See ya!" and 2) the last job I held I couldn't quit without going to jail or something else unpleasant. Because of that little problem I found myself not really knowing how to go about this; I consulted the internets. I found a jubilee of resignation letter templates that will do so apparently quitting is not as hard as I would have imagined.
Like usual I found the best advice came from our friend, Mike. I've decided to go the route he did and treat my quitting like a break up with less yelling and hopefully they don't throw my stuff on the front lawn because I still have to pay the sugar daddies over in the apartment complex office. However, just like breaking up, I'm finding that there is really no good time.
My boss was on vacation last week and on his way home he ran into some problems which prevented him from coming to work on Monday, one day gone. Then he got home to find someone had pulled a hit and run on his car so he spent Tuesday with that mess, two days gone. Today he's sick or something, three days gone. I hate to dump this on him too so soon after such a bad week, but I'm running out of time to give them proper notice.
Either way, I'll probably wait until Friday because, "We find it's always better to fire people on a Friday. Studies have statistically shown that there's less chance of an incident if you do it at the end of the week." (+10 if you know the movie)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
As anyone who has been through boot camp will tell you that we did a lot of stupid things daily that made no sense. One such practice was tucking our shirts into everything. If you're wearing uniform pants, tuck your shirt in. If you're wearing exercise (PT) shorts, tuck your shirt in. If you're wearing a sweat suit, tuck your sweatshirt in. The point: We always had to have our damn shirts tucked in.
The military also has written directives on how to do almost everything. One such directive is the "Marine Corps Grooming Standard" that dictates our hair cut, our weight, our glasses, and how wear our clothes. There is a line that specifically states "The face will be clean-shaven, except that a mustache may be worn." It's that first part that got me in trouble. We didn't learn verbatim the shaving part, but we did shave everyday so maybe they figured we'd keep up the practice or maybe I was just sick that day.
I have the curse of having a 5 O'clock shadow by noon, because of this, shaving everyday for me is not only a pain in the ass figuratively it's a pain on my face literally. I countered this by not shaving all weekend or on days off so I could give myself a break. This was all well and good if I would have had my own place to live outside the gates, but when you live on base there are countless number of people who are waiting to not only point out your problem but also tell you loudly, it makes for some drama. One such incident occurred when I went shopping with the wife.
It was a typical Saturday morning, I was sitting on the sofa in my boxers drinking coffee watching TV when the wife then says, "I want to go to the mall." So I head to the mall without shaving. It didn't cross my mind until who should come walking the other way but the Sergeant Major who is a career grunt who is going through culture shock by serving in his first Intelligence Battalion in over 20 years. We didn't get along. He worked harder and I worked smarter. The two worlds could not be further opposite.
Upon seeing him I quickly did what any man would do in that situation, I hid in the nearest store in hopes that he wouldn't see me or my "Elvis Beard"(I know Elvis never wore a beard, but to many a Sergeant Major he did and, he was also used to illustrate all contradictions to the grooming standard.). After he passed I went back to my wife who was standing in the center of the mall with a very confused and annoyed look on her face. I thought I was safe; but come Monday it was apparent that I thought wrong.
As I passed his office I hear "Lance Corporal!" I tried the dumb approach and entered his office with a smile (Mistake 1) and said, "Good morning Sergeant Major! What can I do for you?" (Mistake 2) He told me that entrance was disrespectful and he'd address that shortly but first, "Didn't they teach you in boot camp to shave every day? Didn't you're highly motivated, truly dedicated Drill Instructors tell you that a Marine is to be clean shaven daily?" To which my prep school smugness kicked in and I responded with a very dry, "Yes Sergeant Major my DI's did have me shave everyday, but then again, they also had us tuck our t-shirts into our underwear so I just figured it was another cruel joke." As I watched his eyes bulge, his face turn red, his teeth began to grind, and I notice the vein on his forehead begin to swell I knew I was in for a real treat. He proceeded to verbally assault everything about me except my mother.
I expected this reaction, so the yelling didn't really bother me. What I took away from the whole thing, however, was this: The Sergeant Major was not a witty man. If he was he would have told me to pull my pants down to make sure my T-shirt was tucked into my underwear and then yelled at me for that too.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I had no problem saying that I wouldn't give my resume to someone else because I honestly had no intention of doing that. Mostly because I know I'll be gone by the end of August anyway, but even if I wasn't I'm fairly content in my current position. I signed the letter and returned it to Bossman with a fake smile.
We had a meeting a few days later where Bosslady (who is higher up the chain) addressed the issue of the commitment letters. Her stance was, "If you're not committed to Company than Company is not committed to you and your resume will not be submitted as part of our package." I don't know what she meant, but I took it as a notice to look for another job if you don't sign these things.
Now we come to yesterday. I arrive to work and before I even sit down I'm told that the commitment letter has to be signed again because there was a rewording. Fine. Bossman brings new letters and they say the same thing except for this little paragraph at the bottom that states, "Upon reward I will be available for immediate start and will remain with the contract for a minimum of six months..." I looked at Bossman and said, "I can't promise you six months. It's nothing personal, but there is no way I can guarantee that." The others looked at me with shock. Eyebrows raised. Mouths dropped open. Car tires screeched in the background. If there was music it would have played "Dun Dun Daaaaaa". I basically gave my notice three weeks earlier than I wanted to.
Now, you're probably thinking, "You're leaving anyway, no big deal that you didn't sign!" And your are correct, however, even if I wasn't leaving I'd have a hard time with these letters. I get emails daily about positions that are opening from other companies as well as my own. If I had signed this and got an offer paying me more money closer to home I would be unable to pursue that job. As a financially strapped single parent my eyes where always open to better opportunities. Since I've decided on going back to school my interest has weened, but prior to that I gave every opening a thorough look. I would be unable to do that if I signed.
Over all I'm not worried about it because my path is set already. I feel bad for those that signed it and will get screwed over by it. I feel even worse for those that drank the Kool-Aide and signed it blindly. After two contracts with the military I am wary of any employment contracts. I'm also new to the civilian world so I'm not sure if this is something I can expect, but it doesn't seem to be common practice. Only time will tell. As for now, I wonder if the next six weeks will bring about any blow back from above.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I've seen people smoke weed before, but never so brazenly. This guy was in traffic, during rush hour, puffing away without a care in the world. The best part of this whole exchange was that two blocks behind us were about three cops arresting arresting a couple of guys. Maybe he bought the weed from them.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Quentin will forever know him as the narrator for his Thomas & Friends movies and the voice of Fillmore in Cars.
He is most famous for the Seven Dirty Words but my favorite is the difference between football and baseball.
I cannot walk into an airport without thinking of this:
Monday, June 16, 2008
If you've never had the pleasure of seeing any of his interviews I would urge all of you to go to Youtube and watch some of the videos. Don't pay the comment section too much attention. Those guys are assholes of the highest degree.
If you would like to read more, you can start with the Wikipedia entry. There are several links and references on that page to other sites. He was an interesting man who worked in politics, journalism, and even showed up to Woodstock "wearing a Bills jersey and carrying a case of beer."
Monday, June 09, 2008
Today started off as a normal day; Quentin moving at his own speed, me fumbling around trying to figure out what to do next, and the TV telling me how hot it's going to be and how much traffic to expect. In preparation for today's heat I donned my white polo shirt and packed shorts to change into for the
We got out the door at a pretty good time and I dropped Quentin off at daycare, that's when it happened. For the second week in a row, I dribbled coffee on my white shirt. This is something that I live in constant fear of every morning. Last week it didn't happen until I was turning into the work parking lot, no going home to change there. Today I was relatively close to home so a dilemma faced me: go change shirts or try to tough it out at work. I chose the former. I darted home while loudly cursing every traffic light that decided it would turn red as I approached it. I finally got in the house, took off the shirt, ran it under water, changed into another darker polo, and made it to work only 15 minutes late.
I left my cell phone in the truck so I went back outside to get it when I looked down and noticed a fresh brown spot on my shirt. I have a great week ahead of me.
Friday, June 06, 2008
I figured that I'd get some sort of bashing at some point in my photography life, but this guy just pissed me off. As you all should know by now, I can't let things go, so I responded by politely telling him to go fornicate with himself. Actually it didn't really piss me off too much, I chuckled when I read it, but either way, I can't let it go without defending myself. I just hope in doing so I didn't look like some snooty artist wanna-be.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
I know I need to post more, but nothing is catching my attention as particularly entertaining plus I'm fighting off the annual summer cold. I hate being sick and I hate being sick in the summer even more.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I was in the mens room alone. I finished, zipped, flushed, and heard the door. As I stepped over to wash I hear, "You don't always have to use the short one, man." I replied, "I'm short. I do. Shut up." He replied with an awkward chuckle. For those of you that don't know, I'm 5'5" and I'm perfectly happy with my height (mostly because I know it's something that I can't change). Secondly, I use the one proportional to my height and therefore avoid unwanted mess. And, finally, the shut up was a preemptive strike against the obligatory dick joke that would surly follow as well as letting him know that I didn't wish to discuss this.
The biggest thing that bothers me about this is not my toilet selection, but the fact that I hate being spoken to while I'm in the men's room. There are two things you don't do, when the boss asks if there are any questions at the end of a meeting you don't ask and you never talk in the men's room.
To top it all off this is the same co-worker that came in yesterday and started asking me about building web sites, like I care at 3:30. He wanted to know how to build a MySpace or Facebook type thing. I told him that it wouldn't work because that market has already passed, no one is going to leave the Space, the Book, or that other one for some start up page. After many attempts to show him I didn't care ("How do you build websites?" "I don't know, I don't care. I go home and sit in front of the TV.") he still rambled on about how much money he thinks would be in it. I stopped listening and went back to looking at the Space. He got the point and left shortly after.
Two days in a row this guy screwed up my otherwise pleasant work week.
When we have a meeting again I'm waiting for this assbag to ask the boss if we can all meet in the mens room for further discussion.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Taco Bell started first, you order the five soft taco combo and the employee would hand you forty ounces of Pepsi. (What am I going to do with this? It's not like I can put it in the fridge for later. This damn thing barely fits in the cup holder.) The other chains followed suit and next thing I know my lunch time ended up like a night at the movies. "Would you like a popcorn the size of Rhode Island for only a quarter more?" "Sure, why not?" Smalls became mediums, mediums became larges, and larges became toddlers. No longer could I have passengers in the truck because the soda was strapped in the safety seat next to me.
From now on I guess I'm stuck ordering small combo meals. The problem with small combo meals is that the drink is what a medium used to be, but the small fries are still small if not smaller.
It's a cruel world.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I also work with a lot of bad fashion. It's hard to pick the worst, but I definitely found the brightest:
To be fair, my son has a bright green polo just like this, but I make sure he wears it with darker pants to dim it down. This guy's color combo is like sun on snow when he's under the florescent lights of the office.
I guess Obama isn't the only elitist this year.
Friday, May 16, 2008
I want to echo everything Skippy says. If I have any readers out there who are going through stuff and you don't have anyone to open up to, by all means, open up here. I've seen way too much of this stuff get pushed aside by military members not wanting to appear soft or weak or what ever. It's like Ramshackle Sr. said to me, "A real man isn't afraid to ask for help when he needs it."
I knew a lot of folks when I was on active duty that didn't have family around them like I do, so it can be tough and you may think you're alone, but there are a lot of people out there who want to help; all you have to do is ask.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
In the last election people heavily criticized John Kerry for being a "flip-flopper" and I'm guilty of it too, but the more I thought about it the more I came to see that as a good thing. You have to be careful to not just go with what's popular, but if you take time to do research and find as many facts as you can and then change your opinion on something, I have no problem with that. I was a big supporter of the current administration and I am not ashamed to say that I voted for it twice because that was who I believed represented me at the time. Now that I've done some research and read countless reports and just watched what they've done along the way I am no longer a supporter. With this coming election, John McCain doesn't represent what I believe in, Obama does. End of story. If the next election rolls around and the Republican is the one that I like, well then that's who I'll support.
The point again, folks, is think on your own, do research, listen to all sides, gather facts, and don't blindly follow party lines. The left can be just as dangerous as the right.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
There are a few things on my radar today and they are actually similar in nature so bear with me for a bit and you'll see my point.
First up is this little Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus picture drama. When I look at these photos, and this one, I don't think that they are that bad (then I immediately search the room for Chris Hansen) but, this leads to a few other questions. The first is: did she do anything different than what any other teen does on their MySpace and Facebook pages? That question leads me to this question: have we whored up our teen culture that much that we don't find these alarming anymore? When my generation was sixteen we were horny just like every generation before us, but the difference is that we didn't have the Internet to share our teases. In this light, I don't think they're different in what they're doing, but rather how they do it. We had to wait until no adults were around to see green bras and if we took pictures we had to then wait to get them developed, but then we ran the risk of our parents finding them.
The thing that bothers me most about these photos is the reaction of certain conservative groups who called for her to apologize and wanted her taken off the air. This is nothing more than a few trying to impose their morals on the many; I didn't find them a problem, most people that I talked to didn't care either, and I certainly didn't stop my son from watching her show. This is a problem not limited to teen pop stars however, it has spread all the way to the federal government and we now have something called the Military Honor and Decency Act, this act would, basically, ban the selling of Playboy magazine on the military installations.
What really drew me into this debate were these two blog postings by Skippy, who is against it (1 and 2) and this one from a conservative Army wife named Amy Proctor, who was very much in favor. As a former military member I despise this law, mostly because it seeks to take away some of the few freedoms our troops have and it is, again, trying to impose a select group's morals on the masses.
I don't care if it's Christianity or Miley Cyrus' green underwear, because either way, I am free to decide what offends me and what doesn't and I don't need the government, the media, or the aforementioned groups telling me what to think. If the selling of Playboy in the military stores offends you, well maybe I'm suffering from lung cancer and the selling of cigarettes offends me. Why are you not calling for those to be barred from sale also? At least Playboy doesn't cause cancer; however it may cause blindness!
Whether you are for or against this bill, write to your Representative and let them know. They may not read it, but at least you will have spoken up and not kept your thoughts hidden. If you are for it though, I hope you don't write.
Until next time: Cheers, Beers, and Playboy Bunny Ears!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Last night I listened to the rantings of Keith Olbermann and others on his show. They were talking about John Edwards not publicly endorsing either Hilldo or Barry-O and my first thought is, "Who flippin' cares?" Are there people out there who are so absent from their own minds that they have to see who is endorsing who before they decide? We have heard countless stories of who celebrities are supporting. I have also read the websites of several bands and who they are supporting. That's nice but, please people...
Think for yourselves!
The best part about not thinking for yourself is that if Governor X endorses Candidate Y there is something in it for X. So Joe Schmoe chillin' on his couch waiting for someone else to tell him how to vote is helping X move up in the world. I've always heard you should watch out for "old number one" but in doing this you are not! Do some reasearch and figure out who best represents what you believe and would do what's best for the country. No candidate is going to get rid of your debt, make you like your job, or fix most of the woes in your life but, if the past eight years have shown anything, they can put the wheels in motion to affect a lot in this country. Who ever you pick, don't do it on a whim!
If you are reading this, you are on a wonderful thing called the internet. Use it to do some research about those running for office from the presidency all the way down to your city council. You will learn about them, why they are there, what they stand for, and maybe where they will want to go. If nothing else you will have bettered yourself and can hold an intelligent conversation on the topic.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Last night I took Dad to see the Moody Blues, his favorite band of all time, and, I must say, that I was pleasantly surprised. They played a two hour set that included material spanning their long and illustrious career that sounded well in the acoustics at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore. The setting was fantastic and they sounded like I imagine they would have in their heyday.
The one thing that could not be overlooked was the crowd; the baby boomer's have all grown up. They moved a little slower, had less hair, and sat more than they stood; this was especially humorous when the band played Are You Sitting Comfortably. It took a few songs before they got the blood flowing but when they did you could feel the energy rise both on stage and off. The aging process was not lost on the Moodys either, with Graeme Edge making a comment that he wrote a song almost 40 years ago when, "my hair was brown and my teeth were white."
The musicianship of the original trio and four supporting musicians was right on par with the dusty vinyl sitting on my shelves. This was proven beyond all doubt on Isn't Life Strange with elaborate guitar solos, a pair of drummers, keyboardists, and a flutist all playing with precision and flawless transitions. The obligatory Nights In White Satin sounded fresh and was played with the raw emotion in which it was originally written. It was, surprisingly, not reserved for the finale, that was instead given to Question and Ride My Seesaw.
Overall the volume was set at a comfortable level, they weren't so loud your ears rang and they weren't so quiet that you couldn't tell what was going on.The sound quality was not with out flaws, however. John Lodge's microphone was a tad low, and when performing some of the lead vocals it became even more obvious. Justin Hayward's guitar had a tendency to overshadow the other instruments at various points too. As the night wound down the sound engineer made the necessary adjustments and toned it down a bit so that it blended with the rest of the band nicely.
Having never been to one of their shows before, I cannot compare it with a performance of the past, but in my own concert experiences this one is high on the list. I can say with all certainty that I would go back and catch their show anytime. The setting, the sound, the people, and the band made a combination that all shows should strive to achieve.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
I got a pretty good raise for my evaluations which is hilarious because I do the least amount of work of the three in my office. If someone comes in and needs something fixed, I go try to fix it. If it's something that I cannot fix, I pass it off to someone who has a lot of certifications to mess with. After eight years of "management" it's nice not to deal with it. In A Few Good Men, Lieutenant Weinberg has a line that he repeats a few times, "I have no real responsibility here, what so ever." I couldn't agree more!
So far there is only one person who really appreciates the sarcasm of yours truly. I guess it's better than none. Most around here smile and chuckle awkwardly when I make a crack about something.
I drink a lot of water and coffee which means I pee a lot. Just about every time I'm in there, I notice two things, blatant disregard for Men's Room Etiquette and the same pair of shoes showing from under the stall. That's a lot of poopin' for one day!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
What irritates me about this whole situation is the contradictory fashion in which the elected officials operate. There are an abundance of anti-gay Congressional members who are caught up in homosexual scandals. Now we have a guy who campaigned to bust up prostitution who sure enough got brought down for buying a hooker.
There is another thing that really irks me about this. Why isn't prostitution legal? Just think of how many more tax payers we'll get to help pay for Iraq! If people want to buy them selves some sex, they're going to do it anyway so why not reap the rewards? Just think about it like this: You go to your nearest downtown corner, spot the hooker you want, ask her to lift her skirt, and if she has the U.S. Seal of Approval across her girl parts (think: tops of booze bottles) then you're all set to have some good, clean, legal sex! After you take her back to the corner she heads off to the physician to get checked out and have her seal replaced for the next "John". Disease free romps and a new group of tax payers; everyone wins. We could tell the troops that many women in America are down on they're knees for you tonight, and some of them are in prayer.
Of course, I'm willing to bet that the senators and representatives from Nevada would throw a fit because no one would have to go to Reno anymore.
Speaking of which, if I ever go to congress, my argument for the legalization would be both the tax base and the fact that over half the room uses them anyway; the rest are thinking about it.
Friday, March 07, 2008
- I joined a bowling league. This sounds rather strange, but I've bowled since I was a little kid and I rather enjoy doing it. Once a week, on Wednesday to be precise, I am forced to get out of my house and I also get a few hours off from parenting. I'm not great, but I'm not bad so it's a good time overall. The biggest problem is that people like to try and give you advice on your game. They mean no harm and they do it out of their love for the game, but it tends to just simply confuse you and you end up looking goofy.
- Most of you know that I have heavily contemplated walking away from the IT field and going back to school for something else. I really see this happening sometime in the near future. This is another area where people may mean well, but really they just rain on your parade. I have in my head a few career options and a lot of people feel the need to tell me how horrible my choices are. To that I say, "Thanks, but are you me?" I know what I'm doing and if it doesn't work out then I will move on and try again. There is no law that says we have to do one thing and do it for the rest of our lives. If my career choice is so bad, I'll find out. I know there's money in the IT field and I love having money, but the bottom line is that I hate it and I don't want to do it. Go read In It But Not Of It this guy went o law school and didn't become a lawyer. The best part is all the lawyers I know like there careers, but agree with what he did.
- I am convinced that Quentin is deaf. That boy doesn't listen! Oh he's hearing me, but he ain't listening to me. "Did you pick up your room?" "Oh, no Dad. I forgot." I told him 30 times to pick up his room one night. I think Bill Cosby was right when he said, "Children have brain damage."
- We have some soft people in my office. They are the epitome of what I like to call Telephone Tough Guys. They will talk a good game when no one is looking, but when one of the bosses are around, they fold like a lawn chair. Now I don't pick fights, but I stand up for my self and I don't accept people talking down to me. I tell people what I think but I do it in a way that is not disrespectful. That is the one thing that I learned from my time as a Military Police Officer, all the people I issued tickets to outranked me by a lot and it was my job to tell them they were wrong but I had to do it in a way that they could not honestly tell someone that I disrespected them. It's a fine line to walk but when you walk it people tend to respect you more.
- I've become pretty valued and respected here in the office and I've done it all only working the required eight hours a day. I actually don't understand how people don't get work done in this amount of time. I get it done, done right, and have time to chill on GMail. My child may be brain damaged, but he gets as much of my time as I can give him.
Perhaps the strangest thing to happen:
- I got a phone call from a lady identifying herself as Mrs. Coworker. I have met her once, but, OK, I'll play along. She starts asking me about e-mails that I supposedly sent Mr Coworker that were, "sexually suggestive". Now before you go questioning my manhood, they came from Ms Coworker's account. (So you have this straight: single female coworker, married male coworker, and married male coworker's wife.) The gerbil in my head jumped on his wheel, the lights started to get brighter, and I was able to piece together her hysterics. This guy and the single coworker were talking dirty via e-mail. The wife found out and confronted him, he then said it was me who got into the single lady's e-mail account and was playing a practical joke on him. (Error 404: Humor Not Found. If I'm going to play a practical joke, I'm going to put glue on your keyboard, not waste my time of hacking someones e-mail account to send you naughty messages. That's lame!) He picked the wrong dude for his cover, I don't support that crap. So I told the wife that I wasn't involved and she should talk to her husband again. I expected some sort of confrontation on Monday morning only to be greeted by the sound of silence. He never mentioned it and I never did either. Maybe he realized that he picked a bad cover and that'll be it.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Now on to more important issues! Talking to Dad the other night, I was sharing my joy at playing the records and how my TV watching has dropped since I stared spinning them; I still break for hockey though. I also told him that I wanted to buy more of them because there is just a different feeling when you play a record versus other forms of media. He sounded a little puzzled and said, "Why not just buy them on CD or via iTunes?" A valid question if you ask me, so I stated like any other vinyl snob that it sounded better on vinyl; Dad said he wasn't so sure about that. So I set out to test this theory and this morning I did! I donned my Sony headphones and found all of the CD's that I also have on record and lined them up. My control group was Billy Joel, The Clash, and The Beatles. A varied group and also varied ages for extra reliability in the results.
I started by playing one song on record and then again on CD but I only noticed minor differences. I then decided that I would cue them at the same time and switch back and forth to see if I notice the difference. This method worked the best and I can finally say that I have settled which is better. The answer is: they're the same. There are differences so minor that they should hardly even be talked about. The biggest thing is the volume; CD's tend to be a little bit louder. Other than that the most common thing was that CD's tend to have a little more of a "treble" sound while the records lean toward a more "bass" sound; this is the "warm" sound that vinyl affectionados point to.
In my opinion, however, I still prefer the record for listening and the CD for reliability. Why? Well the record doesn't bring on a feeling of ear fatigue. When music is recorded now, it is cranked up so high that our ears notice even if we don't initially; this is the biggest complaint of MP3's also. Records have a softer smoother sound, even with their hisses and pops. Records don't seem as distant as CD's, they seem to be closest to the real thing as you can get.
I'm no scientist of sound, but that is my very uneducated observation.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
When someone meddles in others lives they may get a little upset, especially when it's uninvited. To then turn around and be shocked that you received some backlash is a very juvenile frame of thought. Maybe you should stand on your porch and look in your own front door before you look in someone else's window. Not once, unless I was asked, did I tell anyone how to live their life. I understand they may have been trying to stand up for someone, but they should also be open to both sides of the argument. I'm not free of blame, but I will not accept all of it either. This argument was not new, it just became a big deal when everyone else felt they had to be part of it.
Why do people feel as if they know your thoughts? Why are they so quick to pass judgment on you when all you were trying to do was be honest? I don't look at myself as a hurtful person and I find no joy in hurting people. I have tried to pretend to be an asshole in the past, but when I found people not liking me, I found it hurt more than I could stand. I want to be liked by everyone and if they don't I don't want the reason to be that I am a mean person. If someone wants my opinion, I will give them the truth and I will not just say what they want to hear. Everyone can rest assured that I don't pass judgment, I let people lead their lives and make their mistakes. I never blame people for their mistakes until they make them repeatedly. You have to learn something from them.
I made a mistake and from it I learned that there is no good day to break some bad news and even when it is unintentional, that same bad news can hurt someone. I am sorry that I hurt someone. But I will say it again, and for the last time, my intention was not to hurt, my intention was to be honest. I wish that they could stop for a second and look at it from my prospective. Should I have continue to hide how I truly feel or should I be honest so we can deal with the hurt and maybe salvage any possible friendship?If you feel that no friendship can be had, than please, feel free to move along with your lives and not make me feel bad and I will do the same for you. I have enough respect to grant you that much. I would hope they would have the same respect for me.
I like to think of myself as a good person and I like to think of myself as a good role model for my son. I have not and will not have screwing with peoples emotions as part of my enjoyment routine. I wish nothing but happiness for everyone, even those that have done me wrong. Life is too short to hold grudges, I am guilty of holding a couple though; it happens to the best of us. I want to be accepted and liked by all, but I will not compromise my integrity to gain that acceptance either.
One final note; this was not directed at anyone in particular, but instead it was directed at several of them. These are my final thoughts on what happened. I will only discuss what will happen in the future. If you would like to discuss the future, you know where to find me. I've never tried to hide.
Monday, February 04, 2008
It comes complete with prefabricated questions to answer:
1. Briefly describe duties and responsibilities during the performance period. Include proposal and marketing efforts.
2. Describe significant accomplishments, achievements, and disappointments.
3. Describe views on development needs and goals for the upcoming performance period. Include work, education and training objectives.
It's like my theory on steroids in baseball. If everyone is juicing, you have essentially made everyone equal again, so there is no point. So with all of us bull shitting our way through these appraisals I'd like to think that maybe they can see what kind of people they have on their payroll, but I doubt it. I think when you make a certain salary you lose all touch with reality and common sense. You then start speaking in buzz words and find thing that you think are motivators, but really they just make you look stupid.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Last Friday the IT shop received our weekly reviews from the students and teachers. Normally we get a cheap shot or two because we couldn't recover data for someone who never bothered to save it in the first place or I didn't navigate away from the aforementioned Gmail IM to be at their desk as soon as they hung up the phone, it's never too big of a deal. This class however has the perception is that we don't do much and we have been verbally abused the last couple weeks.
Some of the reasons for this are that we are a small shop and we have to prioritize our tasks. The other guys do it based on severity of the problem and your position on the food chain. I prioritize based on how nice you are to me and if your a woman, that breaks down again as to how hot you are. We also have the ability to fix problems through something called Remote Desktop. This program allows me to log into any computer on our network with out leaving my cube! Lazy IT nerds created this program for other lazy IT nerds because they don't want to have to leave World of Warcraft for too long. I have no problem saying that I'm lazy and I also hate being lazy but I want to not be lazy on my own terms (playing golf, hockey, guitar, etc.).
So incredibly long story just a tad longer, the director bitched to the lead contractor, who bitched to the assistant lead contractor, who bitched to the IT manager, who bitched to us. See how unnecessarily long that chain is? The end result is that we have to make more of an effort to go out and help the masses face to face. I don't have too much problem with that, it just means more "BRB" on Gmail. The real kicker though is this: we have to turn in daily reports on what we did that day. This is absurd because we already have a web based trouble ticket system that a drunk monkey could figure out how to use (it uses small words). This system has all the required information that would be in this daily report that I now have to type. Information like, time, date, problem, etc. So now I'm duplicating what is already recorded. Did I lose you yet?
When I discussed this with CJ, via Gmail IM of course, I decided to make things up.
-IMing with friends would be Remote Office Communications Assistance
-Going to take a leak would be Server File Transfer
-Getting lunch is now Installing Virus Protection
-If I have a lunch that makes me constipated and I spend some time on the can it will be known as Mail Server Back Up. If it's a Mexican or Chinese food day it's, of course, a Complete Data Dump and System Recovery (hopefully I'll recover anyway).
Thursday, January 31, 2008
A big problem is that I am used to be being a single parent but, more challenges have presented themselves since Quentin started school. He now has a lot more to do when he gets home, we have homework, projects, reading, and other school stuff. (It really is amazing what these kids are doing at such a young age. I remember kindergarten as another play land with occasional writing.) We also have to somehow get dinner and shower time in there too. Lately I find myself wanting to just want to plop my ass down on the couch and watch television or read my Rolling Stone.
Before he started school, he came home and played while I cooked. We would eat and then play followed by shower and a reading a little bit of some book before bed. I had an easier time balancing time and effort. I also wasn't constantly worn out and that is something is really bothering me. I don't know if my work inactivity or what, but I'm so fatigued when I get home. I had a job a few years ago that was very stationary and I remember the same problems. I had a job after that one and before this one that kept me moving all day and that carried over to the home front. I'm going to go out on a scientific limb here and guess that my desk job and my active job caused these two attitudes at home.
So, fair readers, I'm going to guess it's time for me to start figuring out a new career path. I hate being lazy and that is all that is going to come out of this.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
I just saw the commercial that lists all the names that Marines are called while showing images of Marines doing what Marines do and I absolutely adore that add. It is by far the best one that they have come up with. It's real. There isn't any slaying of dragons, no climbing up rock walls freehand, or playing chess ala Harry Potter. The tone is somber but also proud. If I could be in charge of advertising, it's exactly the add I would push to the masses. I can honestly say that I feel proud to have been one of them when ever I see it. I'm not a big on text messaging but I sent my good friend Rick a Happy Birthday message on November 10th (the Marine Corps' birthday) and the reply I got summed it all up for me, "You too. Once, always."
As for my daily life: I have taken a job here in Baltimore and have tossed around the idea of the reserves, but ultimately, I decided against it. I loved what I did and the time that I spent, but I'm done. I was proud of my time and I can walk away with my head high about the experience. I accomplished everything that I set out to do and then some more. The one thing that I am most proud of was that on my Fitness Report the highest mark I received was for taking care of subordinates. Nothing brought me more joy than helping junior Marines. It was a way to carry on what my seniors taught to me when I was a junior.
I worked for a Sergeant for the first two years of my enlistment who embodied everything that I wanted to be and I will never forget him, even if I never see him again. If I have one person who remembers me that same way, than my eight years were well spent. To know that I touched someones life is something that no words of mine can convey how much it means to me.
Here is the add that I really like plus one more that really says something. The best part of the second one, is right after "For Courage" there is a girl jumping over an obstacle and she has been jumping that same obstacle since I enlisted. I've seen her in that some pose for eight plus years now. If she was active duty she's probably a Master Sergeant by now. Of course these adds don't show me sitting at my computer going blind from staring at the monitor for 12 hours, but I digress...
Thursday, January 10, 2008
1. I spent the month of September sitting on my ass watching game shows, sports, and movie channels and I really miss that month.
2. When it came to the workplace the biggest thing is that I am not a "people person". I'm a very social person, but in the corporate setting I'd rather be left alone and I'll touch on that in a moment.
3. The best part of the last few days was that my e-mail was out and that makes me very happy because I hate e-mail. So it was a perfect Adam day because there was no Microsoft Office Assistant asking me if I want to read the stupid corporate e-mail that came through.
(Note: I hate e-mail because of the military. I used to get the same e-mail at least three times. It would start with the Commanding Officer who would send it to everyone that word is key. Then my lieutenant would send it around to his department, then my Master Sergeant would send it to his Sergeants and I was then expected to re-forward it to my peons. I of course would tell everyone that they wasted computer resources and that precious government dollar by clogging our mail servers with 55 copies of the same piece of mail. I even tried to put on my evaluation that I "Saved the government uncountable amounts of money by cutting e-mail traffic by 75%" they where not amused.)
The part of the day that finally made me stress at work was the damn phone. It didn't stop ringing. I actually wanted to go outside and have a cigarette because the phone calls where pissing me off so much; I don't even carry smokes to work anymore. South Park once told me that there are no stupid questions, just stupid people who ask questions. That statement has never really hit home before today. I'll give you a sample of a few of my phone interactions. The first ones were polite and I explained that we have some problems but we are working to resolve it and I will spread the word when all is well. The phone calls after that got a little worse because my mouth works faster than my mind sometimes.
Them: Do the printers work?
Me: Not yet, I'm working on it though.
Them: How about e-mail?
Me: Did you try it?
Them: Yeah it didn't work.
Me: Guess it's still out.
Them: When are the printers going to work? What's wrong with them?
Me: I don't know what's wrong yet and if I knew that I would tell you so you wouldn't call anymore.
Them: Well what am I supposed to do? I have a class to teach!
Me: I don't know I can't make these decisions for you.
Them: :slamming phone:
Me: Your welcome
Them: Does anything work.
Me: Not yet
Them: Why not?
Me: I have to keep stopping because the phone continues to ring
Them: That's real helpful (sarcastic tone) :phone slam part two:
I was told that I should try to be more polite.
Now the meaning of the name. Ramshackle is defined as appearing ready to collapse and carelessly or loosely constructed. My days have all been pretty Ramshackle and the hits just keep on coming, so there is your Parade part. That is about how I feel with my parental responsibilities and the entry to the real world along with trying to figure out what I want to do while I'm a part of it; plus, In It But Not Of It was already taken.
So with that in mind, if you have my site linked from your page would you do me the favor of updating the name? K Thanx!
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Number 1 is my new photo site. I've put the big boy camera to work and posted the photos for all to see. I've put the link under the "Suggested Viewing" section of this page too. There will probably be more updates to that site than this one, so check often!
Number 2 is an essay from Ben Stein about the elections and change. I've had these same thoughts since the "political circus" started touring last year, but I wasn't too sure how to articulate them so I'll let Ben do it for me.
Number 3 is a tough one. This was written by an Army officer who was also a blogger. He's quite the nerd and quotes Babylon 5 a lot, but it works. There is a little preamble that explains a lot so I won't beat it up here. I'll just say that you should read every word, read it slowly, and reflect on what he wrote. It's powerful stuff. It wouldn't hurt to read it a few times either.