Seen in a local paper:
I can tell the elections are over my mailbox is a lot emptier. My phone is a lot quieter.
Now if we can just get them to pick up all the signs . . .
I frequently drive through a large university. Considering that, it's safe to assume that most of the people walking around there are 18 and above.
A few days ago I was driving through and saw this "kid" standing on the side of the road. Well, wait, not exactly a kid. He was pretty tall, maybe a freshman. What made him stand out in this crowd was his Justin Bieber do. Why? First, most college kids have gotten beyond that - what college age boy wants to appeal to 13 yr old girls? (and if he does, that's creepy in its own right) Second, his hair texture was all wrong - He had thick black hair so his bangs were a big black puff.
Come to think about it, he looked like he had borrowed a really bad toupee from some Vegas act and he glued it to his forehead. Honestly, does anyone think that is the look he was shooting for? Not likely. Get a haircut kid.
Not like I don't have enough on my plate, but I've been having to fill in repeatedly for a co-worker with some medical issues. I walk into work and there are two messages from the same guy. He overnighted a report to my co-worker and then found out she's been out and I'll be filling in (or at least that is what the nosy secretary told him). Over the course of the morning I get two more phone calls and a few e-mails, luckily one has a pdf'd version of the report (so I don't have to search the office for the hardcopy that may or may not have gotten in yet). I respond to the e-mails, ignore the phone calls. The last email says he wants comments by noon and he calls again.
Here's the deal - I can talk or I can read. Can't do both. Also, I can read e-mails or I can read the report.
Seriously, dude, cut back on the coffee. I got it done, now go chill.
The one at work of course. I'd do something about the one at home if I hated it.
The one at work queues up at noon. Sure, people go to lunch, no harm, no foul for most folks. However, I have a last minute rush job and I don't need laggy-assed Symantec slowing down the load of my maps and documents. I doubt some big bad virus is going to pick today to infect my machine.
AOLnews had an article on theories why women tend to live longer than men. One theory is that women have been genetically programed to repair cell damage better so that they are better able to have and rear children. In other words, men are only needed for a few minutes to propagate the species; therefore they are somewhat disposable from a biological standpoint. Obviously this theory got stuck in some guy's craw.
grapost from aolnews.com - Actually in real LIFE women are ALMOST totally disposible because the only thing they provide the world with that is a necessity are eggs and a uterus. They build nothing, create almost nothing, discover almost nothing, invent almost nothing. 99 percent of what has been accomplished in the world since the beginning of time has been done by men. Basically women are TOTALLY dependent on men to provide for them. Men created all the industries, jobs, technologies, machines that have made it possible for women to live on their own as they do today. They had nothing to do with it. There is NO EVIDENCE of a large group of women EVER living independently from men for any significant length of time in the history or the world. That is because their survival is directly dependent on men protecting and providing for them.
Perhaps Mr. Grapost (and yes, I am assuming the commenter is male) is merely a troll. Perhaps he has a woman boss that he hates and feels his life is a waste and he is in need of some psychological counseling. No matter what his problems, I can assure Mr. Grapost that women can do plenty. If it weren't for women society would have disintegrated a long time ago. Our matriarchal ancestors needed to be tough as nails. Women needed to take care of everything at home while the men ran off to fight wars, many which were just pissing matches with other men, got drunk or just plain caroused.
From a personal side, I've heard stories of my great-grandmother plowing the field, either manually or by horse drawn plow, while my no-good, lazy great-grandfather ran off to "take care of business in town". My grandmother took care of her eight children alone after my grandfather died. The women in my family don't crawl up and wither when the men in our lives were absent.
Let's also not forget that women weren't allowed to contribute throughout most of history. I'm sure there was plenty of men who stole ideas from intelligent women. Men may take credit for all that was built, but in many instances I sure there was a woman contributing in the shadows, even if it was to take care of all the unglamorous work so that the men could take all the glory.
About the part about the only useful thing women have are a uterus and eggs - There are plenty of men more than will to contribute sperm. And there are plenty of men that only contribute sperm.
The following comment to Grapost says it well:
cetwren - Thank god for men, because without them we wouldn't have an elevated railway, an electric hot water heater, a rotary engine, an engine muffler, a medical syringe, or windshield wipers.....oh wait, those were all invented by women. And let's not forget the female scientists who discovered radium, polonium, many anti-cancer drugs, and the helical structure of DNA. The only reason that civilization has survived the multiple Millennia of war that men have subjected it to is because of women. . .
Mr. Grapost's mother must be so proud to have a son like him. Lastly, if there is a Mrs. Grapost, my sympathies are extended to her because she has surely had the misfortune of being associated with a complete moron. Hopefully she will become smart enough to know she doesn't need Mr. Grapost.
This past weekend my boyfriend and I were at a diner we frequent for breakfast. A man I know, I'll call him Ronnie, showed up shortly after we arrived and he joined us. Ronnie is a bit of a wise ass and can be very inappropriate. There weren't any kids in attendance that morning, so no harm, no foul. And frankly, I find Ronnie hilarious. Ronnie also has a habit of making "retard" motions and comments, which I also frequently find hilarious.
We were discussing various things and a topic I discussed here previously, the purging of "retardation" out of a state agency name, came up. I could not recall the new name. I was not speaking particularly loud so I was a bit surprised when a man leaving the adjacent table interjected and "helped" me out and told me the new name for the agency. I was only left to assume that he heard "retard" and his ears perked up, probably because he was offended. Eavesdropping is impolite and letting on even more so, the passive aggressive approach makes it only worse.
The one fact this fellow diner likely did not know was that Ronnie works with "special people". They are some of the most profoundly disabled and mentally challenged individuals you can imagine. Most will never have the ability to live on their own. In a nut shell, he gets to change diapers on adult sized people who have little grasp of what is happening around them. He works with people that most of us would not choose to be around for ten minutes, never mind an entire day. Ronnie treats his charges with kindness and they react in like. He has gotten some of his charges to do things others thought impossible, like saying their own name or actually asking for ice cream versus grunting. He has taken the stand and reported co-workers who abuse those who cannot speak for themselves, making him not so popular with his peers. No matter what you may think about Ronnie using the term "retard" on his day off, he treats those with mental disabilities with respect in ways that matter. I know I couldn't do Ronnie's job and I have a lot of respect for him doing it.
Ronnie basically puts it this way - he has to watch his mouth and is as caring and nurturing 5 days out of the week, and nobody is going to tell him what to do or say on his day off. I definitely get it. I think many who have to check themselves at the door at work get it. And before anyone utters "He should get another job if he feels he can use the word retard!", ponder this, if not the Ronnies of the world, then who? Any volunteers? Didn't think so.
It's that time of year again, and this year the big day is on a Sunday. This means the little ghosties and goblins won't be constrained by a school schedule. A few towns near me are "suggesting" a window for trick or treating. The newspaper blogs were on fire. People were pissed that the town was telling them what to do. Others were grateful for the guidance. Some said they would decide when they handed out candy and to whom. Others said that they would decide what was appropriate for their children.
There is part of the problem. So many parents don't use common sense. So many think their kids can do no wrong. It's sad, but sometimes someone has to point out what is common sense.
Personally, I won't be home for Halloween. I have plans of my own. However, if I were home, my porch light would go out at 8:30pm. I used to live in a neighborhood where I got about 80 trick or treaters. By 8:30 I was too tired to care. Doorbell would ring later and I ignored it and would watch out my peephole to make sure no shenanigans occurred.
Bottom line - people handing out the candy get to decide when they are open for business. They shouldn't have to feel like victims of extortion. The parents of trick or treaters should at least know where their kids are, be aware of what time it is and what time is too late. Just because you might think 10 pm is cool for ringing someone's doorbell, doesn't mean everyone does. If you are ringing my door at 10 pm, someone better need medical assistance or someone might after I get done with them.
Another point - trick or treat in your own neighborhood first. Why should some neighborhoods get hit hard and others get no one? I grew up in a fairly rural area. I walked the neighborhood to trick or treat. I didn't get a lot, but I did get something. My mother refused to take me to a sub-division because she knew our neighbors (I had to tell her where I got everything) and was reasonably sure they wouldn't poison me. I also didn't get enough candy to put me in a sugar coma for a month. Although I was jealous of my more suburban classmates, I grew to learn that was the way it was. Looking back, it was a good thing (besides, my neighbors pulled out the full size bars, complete rolls of lifesavers or quarters because there were so few of us).
Keep it fun for all. Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!
The knee jerk reaction when anyone uses something wrong is "ban it!" The latest is Four Loko, which a bunch of college students drank before dying or getting ill, causing it to be nick-named "black-out in a can". Banning the beverage won't make these "kids" any smarter. They'll just find something else stupid to do.
Lets ponder how stupid it is to imbibe this beverage. First off, 23.5 oz is one big assed can and at 11% alcohol, it is a heavy hitter, some equating it to about 5 cans of beer. The caffeine content is also pretty significant and the maker ain't telling how much, but well over a cup of high test coffee is a good guess. So drinking anymore than one of these without taking a break is pretty stupid, unless you know how your body will react.
Banning the beverage is stupid. The alcohol and caffeine trick is old news. I used to get Irish coffee on St. Patty's Day so I could party longer. When it wasn't St. Patty's Day, a Magnum 357 downed with some vodka did the trick (and in those days the Magnum 357 was 357 mg of caffeine). In other words, anyone that likes the effect can duplicate it easy enough.
If the government wants to do something useful they should require companies to include the caffeine content on the can. At least when I did it, I knew what I was taking and I had a pretty good idea how my body dealt with it. I'm living proof that alcohol and caffeine can be taken together without dying, but you can't be a dumb ass about it.
We've all been there. Stuck behind a school bus on it's outward bound trip at the end of the school day. No ones favorite spot, but a fact of life, may as well chill out and realize that stretch of road is just going to take tad bit longer to travel.
Yesterday, after a doctor's appointment I was in just one of those situations. However, I had the added joy of little miss bumper hugger behind me. When I had turned on to the road she was a good half mile away and she quickly closed the gap and then tail gated.
Eventually what do I spy? Big yellow lights turning to red, surely the bumper hugger saw it, too. I get a suspicion I need to slow before stopping all the while she is so close I barely get a glimpse of her headlights now and again. Down the road, a half dozen more stops to let out the kiddies. Every single time her mouth is going - Singing? Talking on her hands-free cellphone? Cursing me out? Not sure.
Finally my driveway is in sight, I put on my blinker. She is still on my ass. I slow a bit and try to get off the road before she hits me. Phew, it was close but I made it.
I see yellow lights out of the corner of my eye, then I glimpse again and I see exhaust . . . or is it steam? Good freaking lord, she crammed her damn Ford Focus under the back of the bus, hood crinkled like a sheet of paper. I was glad to have gotten away from her with my car intact. When the cops came I walked over and told them how she had been driving.
I don't like people getting hurt for only being a dumbass, and thankfully the passenger compartment appeared intact. She maybe got a few bruises and nothing more. I do hope that she learned a few things - 1) The big yellow bus will probably stop somewhere; 2) Yellow lights mean slow down; 3) Red lights mean stop. Yes, it really is that simple.
Since those in charge of not for profits organizations can certainly engage in plenty of behavior that might abuse a tax exempt status, the IRS has checks and balances. However, the IRS has tightened some of those requirements to the point that smaller not for profits might get the shaft. If they lose their tax exempt status, they need to refile for it and pay a fee, something that takes valuable donation money that you and I give them to diverts it from the tasks you and I may want them to engage in. That ain't right.
You can help your favorite local charities or non-profit organizations by telling them about a new law that may affect their exemption from paying federal income taxes.
A few years ago, Congress passed a law requiring all tax-exempt organizations, even the smallest ones, to file an annual return with the Internal Revenue Service. Any organization that does not file for three consecutive years automatically loses its federal tax exemption. Churches and some church-related organizations are among the few exceptions.
The first three-year deadline for filing those returns was May 17, 2010. While thousands of organizations did file, a significant number did not.
The IRS recognizes the value these local organizations give to their communities, so it extended the filing deadline to October 15, 2010. It also published a list with the names and last known addresses of organizations that are at risk of losing their taxexempt status. “The last thing we want to do here at the IRS is have these groups lose
their tax-exempt status because they haven’t filed a short, simple form,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.
The smallest organizations, with less than $25,000 annual receipts, should file a 990-N (ePostcard). The ePostcard asks only eight questions and is filled out and sent using the Internet. Larger organizations eligible to file the 990-EZ must file their past due
returns by October 15 and pay a compliance fee.
You can help by checking the “At-Risk List” or telling the local organization about the list. The list and information on keeping tax-exempt are at www.irs.gov/charities.
Some of the smallest groups do important work that no one else is doing. If you have a favorite local charity, look them up and let them know. It's not fair that that our hard earned money that we might set aside for charitable work might wind up in the IRS's pocket.
Our work is on the outskirts of town and we get a half hour to woof it down. That makes most of us brown-baggers in one sense or another. I don't pick at someone's lunch unless it is a new recipe and I am invited to try it (and the last time may have been double baked chipotle sweet potatoes - yummy). I may casually make note if someone's meal smells really good and ask what is in it and how they make it. I like to cook and new ideas are fun.
That being said, we have a secretary who frowns and pouts when I don't offer her a sample of my meal. She stops by and looks and gives puppy dog eyes. Sorry, my Capresse salad is my lunch. It's not something I am putting out for samples. I brought in what I wanted to have - not more, not less. How a Capresse salad works (to me) is a piece of tomato, piece of mozz, piece of basil, one bite together, like sushi. No, I can't just run home and get you some. And no, I am not giving out samples of mozzarella cheese. When I bring in something to share, it's obvious. It will be on the counter outside my cubicle, open and with an appropriate serving implement(s) - Like the pie or bagels I brought in last week. When I have extra of lunch to share of something I think someone else will like I offer it (like soup or lasagna).
In other words, today ain't a share day so go away and let me eat my lunch (alone in my cubicle, I might add)! Yes, I know it looks yummy - I planned it that way. This place is depressing enough, I don't want to eat ugly food. I am more than willing to share the recipe for you to make it for yourself tomorrow. It's easy, really, it is. You might not be able to find the tricolor zebra tomatoes I used, but cherries or plums will do fine. Now GO AWAY!
Duke bit an innocent bystander last weekend. Duke is Mr. Paladino's Pit Bull. The innocent bystander was a yellow Lab. Is this a case of an animal reflecting the personality of it's owner? The only good thing is Duke is probably up to date on his shots., including rabies.
Mr. Paladino got into a bit of snarling and nipping himself a few days before Duke's incident (not that snarling is likely anything exceptional given his apparent temperament). He accused a NY Daily News reporter of sending someone to stalk his 10 yr old daughter (from an extramarital affair). He threatened to "take out" the reporter if he persisted. The videos of the incident didn't show any foam coming from Mr. Paladino's mouth, but I might feel a bit better about it if he was up to date on his own shots, especially rabies.
Mr. Paladino claims he was afraid of someone molesting or abducting his little girl. I agree that most reporters and their photographer minions are bottom feeders, but did he ever think of calling a cop? Most cops don't take grown men following little girls with cameras lightly. However a man of Mr. Paladino's background threatening to take someone out sounds a bit like something you might have heard on the Sopranos not out the mouth of a would be governor.
Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party candidate for Senate in Delaware and Palin's darling, is being criticized for misleading people into thinking she attended Oxford University. She did attend Oxford, but it was a summer program sponsored by the bastion of greater learning known as Phoenix Institute.
She is far from the first, nor the last, to slowly correct (or not correct until confronted) when someone else assumes their credentials are more impressive than reality.
For example, there is a man called Walter Hang who is an environmental activist. There have been people who call him "Dr.Hang" and credited him with degrees in engineering, chemistry, toxicology and epidemiology. He has never been forthright with his actual credentials and when asked he simply states he just provides people with information (which he does on his website ). He does provide information and it is mostly information that his clients could get for free themselves from the government, just not in a custom made package with a bow on top. (He does make mistakes when he interjects his own opinions as fact, but that is another story.)
One thing Mr. Hang doesn't tend to do is go out of his way to say "I'm not a doctor", or correct the record until he is confronted. That sounds a bit like Ms. O'Donnell did.
So is it lying? Technically no. Is it a bit unscrupulous to let someone blather on about your abilities and education and sit mutely? Yes. People like this exist, so at the end of the day, only we can decide who we trust.
I think the one lesson we can learn from these two, is if someone seems too good to be true, dig a bit. Get the facts. Then decide who to trust. (And P.S. - It's OK to NOT have a grand education, if you are honest about where you get your information.)
I have a friend who works for a big company. Big is an understatement. It is a global, classic Fortune 500 Company. One whose presence or streamlining has made or broken towns.
My friend works in the supply chain on a particular type of product line (which I can't disclose without disclosing the specific company). Many of the customers/clients for this specific product line are Fortune 500 themselves. We are talking products with six-figure price tags.
My friend's job is basically to fix orders that were messed up by an over-eager sales person, messed up by a last minute change by a customer, need tweaking to standard packages, related issues or a combination of similar factors. (We won't even get into the messes that "out-sourced" staff make.) My friend is a liaison between the sales person and the manufacturing plant. I'm not sure what percentage of orders go through smoothly versus what percentage needs some assistance from my friend's group, but my friend is keep very busy. Furthermore, there are only two full-time and one part-time person in my friend's group, which makes things interesting when someone is on vacation.
Now to look at the what appears to be the new (past decade?) corporate paradigm - MBAs are valued over experience. My friend has experience. A lot of it in many areas of the company. My friend's supervisor is a wet behind the ears MBA with only a handful of years with the company. The MBA has no idea what my friend's group does. He has no idea what is involved in doing my friend's job. Because he doesn't understand, he under values, doesn't account for the specific demands of my friend's work, and asks for my friend to write progress reports to contain information not readily provided to my friend. The MBA also makes it perfectly clear that he is in competition with his colleagues and that he expects his staff, with no promise of any sort of reward, to make him look good.
If the three people doing what my friend does were to all walk out tomorrow, the MBA manager would be screwed. The orders that need special attention would sit there and some very large companies would be pissed.
My question is: Is that any way to run a business? Shouldn't a supervisor have the most basic understanding of what his/her assigned staff do? Shouldn't all of management more concerned about helping the company stay competitive than how he or she looks compared to his or her colleagues? We are in big trouble in this country. CEOs get obscene salaries and/or bonuses. Management is more concerned with playing with numbers for the appearance of making money in this quarter then they are in long-term planning for bigger profits a year or two from now.
I'm not sure what they are teaching future MBAs in business schools these days, but it doesn't seem to be what worked for this country during its hey-day. It doesn't matter what theoretical business model someone applies, unless they know the product, they don't know the company. If they don't know the company, how can they possibly know what are good choices for the company.
It is a heart wrenching scenario- A little girl hit in a cross-walk on her way to nursery school. Miraculously, she survived and seems to be thriving. However, reading the story makes me question: "Wasn't there an adult with a 3 year old?" It doesn't make the SUV backing down the street that hit her any less responsible and reckless, but it does make me question: "Wasn't there something a supervising adult could have done to protect her?"
The new law named after Elle declares that drivers that hit pedestrians while breaking the law will have their license suspended for six months or a year for a second offense. Sounds like a good plan, but then I thought about my experiences as a driver . . . and a pedestrian.
First, as a driver. I am pretty cautious. A bit lead footed, but cautious. I realize that speeding is an offense. So if I hit someone while driving a bit over the posted speed limit, which is obviously bad, I would be in violation of Elle's Law. However, what if someone had darted out between two parked SUVs into the street? I've had a couple of hair raising, swerving. break-slamming encounters, and I wasn't even speeding. Frankly the dumb-asses that did this pissed me off, I honked, but thankfully didn't hit them. Does someone deserve to be vilified when someone else's dumb-assed action could have avoided the whole scenario?
As a pedestrian I am also pretty cautious. I have the attitude that I want to live to argue that I have the right-of-way. If I walk into a crosswalk and I become a hood ornament, I may not get the chance to argue the point. It's all about awareness. I size up cars and what they are doing. I realize that they may have had break problems since their last inspection. I realize the driver might be texting. I realize that for most, their destination is a higher priority than my safety. Basically, I watch out for my own ass and for the asses of those around me. People driving recklessly are a scourge. However, it is pretty stupid of someone to walk behind a car that is backing up or stepping into the crosswalk without seeing if the person driving that oncoming car sees you.
No matter what opinion I may have, Elle's Law has been signed. I just hope that it isn't abused, or completely ignored, in its application. I hope it is used in the spirit that is intended- to punish people who are unquestionably reckless.
We may be the target of radical Muslims, but we don't have to sleep with the enemy, literally. Half a globe away, girls and young women are literally forced to sleep with the enemy, ours and theirs. Radical Muslims are the enemy of all women, plain and simple. However, there is a light of hope.
The families of some girls and young women are taking a stand and seeking an education for their daughters. In the US, sending one's child off to college is nearly a right of passage. In Afghanistan it can be a dangerous endeavor, particularly if that child is female and if that daughter is going to study in the US. However, it is happening for a handful of young women. An article in the Albany, NY, Times Union highlights two.
If the Muslim world wants to show that it is worthy of respect and not scorn, it needs to respect its women. Isolation, beatings, burnings and lack of access to education or health care are not signs of respect. If Afghanistan is to stand half a chance to succeed, it needs to value education for both boys and girls.
I for one, hope the noble experiment of educating these young Afghan women is a success. I hope their education will be part of the turning point in driving the terrorist Taliban back to their caves and ultimately causes the Taliban to become extinct. It might not work, but doing nothing for the women of that country will doom it to failure.
James Willie Jones is just a papa bear protecting his cub. Mr. Jones went on a school bus and verbally ripped a couple of kids harassing his daughter new ones. He was arrested and has now apologized. However, I and several others, do not blame him for his actions. He did what many parents would do after seeing their child crying.
Bullying is old. There have always been people who pick on those they see as "inferior" or vulnerable. It is far from an admirable human trait. I was the victim or bullying. The rotten boys in my neighbor (I was the only girl) knew after their fathers might got a visit from my father to stay away. I learned to keeping tabs on where my tormentors were and steering clear. When that didn't work, my father's threats directed toward the parents of the bullies kicked in.
Schools obsess over "zero tolerance" of relatively benign items such as small pen knives, eating utensils and aspirin which they label "weapons" or "drugs". Schools make kids remove items that might be "offensive", such as items with the American flag. However, many schools still turn a blind eye to the behaviors of those that bully the weak and different. Sometimes the bullying goes too far and someone gets hurt or hurts themselves (like Phoebe Prince). Sometimes the victims can't take it anymore and plan a retaliation (like Columbine).
It's true that Mr. Jones actions may not have been ideal; however, what is a frustrated father to do?