There was just a round of lay-offs in a friend's Fortune 500 company, right after they announced record profits. One of those was Fancy Nancy. Although she was shy and shunned social gatherings, she was a dedicated employee. Those that worked with her were dismayed at her leaving in such a manner.
Then yesterday my friend was walking down the hall in his office building. Along the hallways are large screen TV's that broadcast how wonderful the company is. In one of the sniplets was a congratulations to Fancy Nancy for completing a particular training for a certification. My friend was pissed and ranting; "If she was so wonderful, why the hell did she get laid-off?" The rant was followed by some colorful language and his co-workers were in agreement.
Later that day, his boss's boss stuck his head in this office and asked: "Are there any lessons learned this quarter?" To which my wise-ass friend quipped: "Yeah, don't successfully complete training classes because they get your ass canned." Boss was miffed and speechless and asked for clarification and my friend explained. The boss mumbled "I'll fix that."
I suppose the "fix" entails removing the congrats, not rehiring a dedicated employee. To management, it was far more important to send the job of a good employee to overseas than it was to show the same level of loyalty to an employee who completed training for a certification. I guess all that matters is that the company, which is far from struggling, is saving money
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) is crafting a proposal requiring members of neighborhood watch groups to be registered before taking to the streets under a watchman's badge. I consider this a bad idea.
I used to live in a neighborhood watch neighborhood. And we did meet with the local police informally once or twice a year, but meeting with the police was optional and informational only. What Rep. Lee proposes would gut the heart out of neighborhood watches.
Do neighborhood watches draw cop-wannabes? I sure it does, especially the frustrated ones that don't make it as mall or campus security. Will forcing these groups to register stop the cop-wannabes? Doubtful. Giving an extra hoop will just drive away people like me who just want to keep an eye out to keep our neighborhood safe. Plus a law like this could be unconstitutional since we seldom need the government's permission to peacefully assemble in our own homes and neighborhoods.
Neighborhood watches aren't a problem that need fixing. Gutting police departments so that the criminals that neighborhood watches see aren't caught is a problem. Crappy economy that gives people a lame excuse to become criminals is a problem. Fix those problems.
In my office, we occasionally get voice mails left after hours that are not specific to one person. My boss handed me one of these today. It basically said "Having the same problem as four years ago." I didn't recognize the name. The other information he left did not point to anyone else, so the ball was in my court.
I called and left a message. He called back. Initially he acted like I initiated the call, until I finally said "Your call said you are having the same problem as you did four years ago. Did you speak to someone here?" He didn't know. He found our number somewhere. He thought we could help. And he's been having the problem going on four years. He explains. It's not something we deal with.
We continue. He slightly changes angle each time. I ask a few questions, he answers with semi-disjointed answers. Finally I think I have his problem sketched out and I ask him if that is what he needs help with. He finally says yes. I tell him that we are not involved and that I really don't know who is. I make a suggestion or two. He rambles on some more, as if asking the same basic question again will illicit a different answer. We do this tap dance a few more times. I tell him I may be able to come up with a phone number of someone who may be able to answer his question, but that I need to do some digging and that I will need to go to do that. He reluctantly lets me go.
I get the phone number of a group I think might be able to help more than I did and call him back. Thankfully it went to voice mail.
Plain and simple: I don't know means that I don't know. I'm not even sure if the people at the phone number I gave him will be able to help. Honestly, I'm not even sure he knows what he's looking for.
What do you do when you are playing soccer and trip over your own feet and fall on you face? Of course you get up and give the girl from the opposing team behind you a beat down.
I've watched the video a half dozen times and it doesn't look to me like the girl in the back touched the girl in the front. The newscast says she may have stepped on the back of her sneaker.
Soccer is not a meek mild sport. Feet are all over the place while trying to get the ball. People trip. Getting up and beating the piss out of someone is unacceptable. Even if the other player inadvertently stepped on the back of Annette's shoe, then Annette nasty and mean. If the other player didn't step on her sneaker, then I guess Annette is clumsy and violent. Not a very good combination and certainly not good sportsmanship.
Coming home from work I was driving along and there was a group of about ten kids/teenagers who were crossing the road from the other side in the middle of the block. They were not in the crosswalks at either end of the block (which is where they legally should cross the road) and there is an ample turning lane in the middle for them to safely stand, but I decided to be nice and stop and wave them by rather than drive around them.
What did I get for my inconvenience? No wave from any of them to indicate thanks. I started to get annoyed and said (which of course they could not hear) "Gee, your welcome". Then I was getting dirty looks from the brats in the back, probably because I dared to speak in my own car which was idling to let their obnoxious selves pass.
Next time I'll drive around them if I see them again. Why be nice to a bunch of brats who think I owe them something?
A while back the New York Times implemented a policy that people were allowed 20 articles per month on-line at NYTimes.com. I guess 20 per month wasn't getting enough paying subscribers, so it's time to cut it in half. As of April 1st, they are changing that limit to 10. If you want more, be ready to pony up $15/month or more.
In the time since their only 20 policy, their pop-up advertising has gotten more aggressive. The NY Times advertisers seemingly are more aggressive than those on most other news websites. I'm not complaining since I get a bit of surfing for free, but it does make me wonder: How can so many other news organizations manage to make ends meet without all the carrot and stick antics? Obviously the ads are managing to pay the bills for the other guys so why can't the NY Times make it work.
I guess the next step is for the NY Times to go full subscription only. Yes, I will miss it. But I can go to so many others, including sources for many of the NY Times articles, and read them for free.
And by the way, the digital subscription does not include the famous NY Times Crossword puzzle. That'll cost ya $6.95/month more.
Geraldo Rivera is facing criticism for his statement that: "I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was." While that statement in itself is idiotic and shortsighted, Rivera did also state that Zimmerman needs to be investigated and, if appropriate, prosecuted.
However, lets look at the sentiments behind the statement another way. We trust people we can see more than those that we can not. Whether it be a hoodie or a burka, we fear the unknown. In our culture we want to see faces. We want to be able to look a man or woman in the eye. Right or wrong, that simple act makes us feel like we can tell if that person is a threat or not.
The hoodie is almost like the modern day bandito bandanna over the face. We see video of robberies where the robbers wear their hoodies low to hide their face. We've all seen the imagery. Not all kids with hoodies are hoodlums, but a lot of hoodlums wear hoodies. An unfortunate case of guilt by association.
I can't speak for anyone else, but when I see someone seemingly hiding within the shadows of their hoodie I don't know whether they are grossly self-conscience or if they are up to no good. I realize that a lot of teenagers are extremely self-conscience and want to hide. I wore long bangs over my eyes. I also realize that a lot of people don't want to be recognized because they are selling drugs or doing something else illegal. Which is it? That uncertainty makes me pull my purse a little closer and tense and prepare to defend myself. Right or wrong it is a gut reaction in almost unconscious self preservation.
Take a sense of uncertainty about someone else's intentions, mix it with out right paranoia disguised as vigilance and add a gun and you have something like Zimmerman. Would a single teenager wandering around in just a T-shirt and jeans been followed by Zimmerman? We will never know. Did the hoodie factor in? Maybe, but only Zimmerman knows.
I know that I personally feel a bit better about someone when I can look them in the eye. Of course I'm not inclined to follow someone I don't trust or ignore the police when they tell me that pursuing the person is not necessary. I doubt it was Zimmerman's fear or uncertainty of the kid in the hoodie that caused him to pull that trigger.
Although some may want to criticize Rivera for his comment, we have to admit to ourselves that he has a point - The wearing hoodies might give a wrong impression of intent.
Last week the senate passed "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century". In that bill, $24 million is allocated to research for a "Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety". In trillion dollar budgets, a mere 24 million is a pittance, but I think it is still a waste of our money and, if implemented, an unwarranted violation of our rights. Sure, everyone wants to stop drunk driving, but do we all want to be punished and have to pay for a system like this in every car. Cars are expensive enough. Of course some groups, like MADD, think this is a wonderful idea.
If something like this gets designed and approved for use, I wonder how long before they start malfunctioning. Will the new reason for being late to work that my darn driver alcohol detection system (DADS for short?) messed up? To which the boss will give a raised eyebrow? The more complicated stuff gets, the more crap there is to go wrong.
Courts already have breathalyzers installed in cars of habitual drunk drivers. So they get someone else to blow it. Then the Courts install cameras. Even when the driver is sober as a judge, they have been known to malfunction and lock the ignition. What ever the issue, the systems that are used now are far from perfect. For the next generation, there are several types of designs being considered.
Besides the potential for malfunctions, I see a magnitude of flaws in design of a one size fits all system. First up, a touch pad or sensors in the steering wheel: What if I wear driving gloves or its winter and I am wearing my thickest wool mittens. Sensor shined on the forearm: Except for the middle of summer, I likely have long sleeves on because I am cold most of the time. Sensors near the driver's head: What if I used a lot of mouthwash or I used a lot of hand sanitizer (trust me, that crap has a butt load of alcohol and it is detectable). What if the person is diabetic and is exhaling acetone. Don't assume that CSI mimics life. Chemical specific testing is a bit more sophisticated than your typical breathalyzer, which typically looks for a methyl group and assumes its ethyl alcohol even if its not.
Is drunk driving still a problem? Yes. Sweeps around where I live may nab 20 to 30 drunk drivers. But should DADS be installed on cars? No thanks. The scary part is that this is not the beginning - Phase I prototypes have been developed, so it might be jammed down our throats before we know it.
I have a meeting coming up. I just found out that one of the people who wanted this meeting with me and several other has invited another individual to the meeting. This other individual has an agenda that does not completely fit with what I understand to be the purpose of the meeting.
We've all met people like this. You state your case and try to make a point. You try to get a meaningful flow of ideas and then someone interjects an indirect thought and everything that went before was lost. The meeting spirals out of control and you wonder why you ever bothered.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope I can keep the group focused. I really want our parties to share ideas, but unfortunately when this individual comes around the topic usually gets sidetracked to his little corner of the universe.
There is a local car dealership around here that says "HUGE" in every commercial. They are the most obnoxious advertiser in this area and have been for years. I am obviously not the only one that finds it annoying and the dealership knows it. Because of this, they made a promise that if they sold a certain number of cars in February that they won't say "huge" during their commercials during March.
They made whatever bogus sales number they set and they are refraining from using "huge". All was going well and they were cutely avoiding the banned word. However, now they have a commercial where they loudly bleep out the word. Just when I thought that there was nothing more obnoxious than "HUGE" they found an loud, shrill bleep.
Here is my plea to the Karmatic forces: May whoever does their advertising develop and acute case of tinnitus until the end of March. They deserve it for making the radio alarm clock listening public around here wake up to "It's BLEEP".
Note to the dealership: I deliberately went to your main competition to buy a car because I would never support someone who offends my senses so rudely. It's my money and you will never get a dime because I hope some day you go bankrupt.
I was enjoying some corned beef and cabbage with a friend last night. The conversation turned to current day books and movies. She said that most modern books and movies left little to the imagination, that is why she tends to prefer the classics. She also mentioned a few modern authors she likes because they refrain from excessive vulgar speech, so when the occasional "bitch" or "ass" slips in, you know just how mad the character is.
We have the right use profanity laced language in this country. We have the right to discuss vulgarity in detail. The 1st Amendment protects this right (although there are some jurisdictions with anti-vulgarity statutes that the po po like to use on "outsiders" now and again). Just because we have the right, should we?
We've been exposed to all matter of obscene, vulgar and crass language and images in books, movies and art. We've all become a bit numb to the effects. If anyone dares say a word, the artists claims that we are trying to stifle their creativity and freedom of speech. However, is all the vulgarity really being creative or is it just cheap shock value? I tend to think its the latter.
The problem is, the more we are shocked, the more shocking things need to be to have the same effect. It takes a bit more to get a little shot of adrenaline. We as a society seem to now confused a shot of adrenaline for entertainment. We also don't want to have to imagine anymore, we've become intellectually lazy and want every detail shown to us.
So has vulgarity went to far? Is it stifling our real collective creativity? Have we become too immune to certain speech, behaviors and images? Has our society gotten sucked into a vortex that was created by people confusing ingenuity with shock value? Just because we can, should we?
My boyfriend and I went through the drive thru at McDonalds for breakfast. A quick breakfast because we had to go somewhere. Egg McMuffins and coffee. Not all that exotic. Through the squawk box: "Cream and sugar with the coffees?" I reply: "Both light please." No mention of sugar or sweetness on my part.
We get our coffees and sandwiches. I pull away and make the left turn out of the parking lot. My boyfriend tastes his coffee and he makes a disgusted noise. I taste mine. It's nasty sweet, like syrup. Without the time to turn around we continue, eating the sandwiches without the benefit of anything palatable to washing them down with.
After we were done with our task and on the way home we swung back around to McD's. Late coffee is better than no coffee. My boyfriend runs in and asks for the manager to explain that we never asked for sugar in our coffee. She does apologize but then asks "Is light a little cream?" To which my boyfriend told her "No, a lot of cream".
Really is it too much to expect for the employees of an establishment that sells coffee to understand basic coffee lingo?
Really, it's not that hard. Black coffee is nearly black in color. Dark has a little cream, which is white in color, to muddy the dark color. The more cream, the lighter it gets. Sugar is sweet. If the customer does not mention sugar or sweetness, they may want no sugar. If in doubt, ask.
Oh, and the replacement coffee was burnt. Thanks for a wonderful coffee experience McDonalds.
Minnewaska School District intimidated a 12 yr old to give them her facebook account password. She said she hated a school monitor and they told her she needed to apologize to the monitor. The parent of a fellow student also complained because the girl was discussing sex with her son on Facebook. The ACLU is suing the district for their actions toward the girl.
According to CNN, the school denies wrong doing:
"The district is confident that once all facts come to light, the district's conduct will be found to be reasonable and appropriate," the district said.
I'm not sure how compelling a girl to give up her password could be reasonable or appropriate, especially when in the real world we should protect our passwords unless threatened with pain of death. Because of that, I say the Minnewaska School District and the girl's school sucks. And the hall monitor in question sucks. And the parent who complained to the school about kids sex talk sucks.
Granted, a 12 yr old should not be on Facebook. And maybe the parental supervision was a bit laxed, but a lot of parents still don't know how to monitor their children's on-line activities. All of this aside, the school was out of line.
The school claims that the girl saying she hated the hall monitor was bullying. However, I presume the hall monitor was an adult. A 12 yr old saying she hates an adult is not bullying. Kids say they hate certain adults as a right of passage. Usually followed by pouting if the rant doesn't give them their way. If an adult can't ignore a 12 yr old saying she hates him/her, that adult has real problems and needs to get a life. I know if a 12 yr old said they hated me I'd tell them to tell someone who gives a crap.
Then there is the parent that bitched about the girl discussing sex with her son. News flash: Kids talk about sex. I know they did when I was 12 and that was a long time ago, and probably longer ago then when his dear old momma was 12. If her son didn't like it, he should have told girl to STFU. Besides, if the boy is 12, too, why the hell is his meddling mother allowing him to be on Facebook. Besides, who was more offended by the sex talk, the boy or momma?
So, Minnewaska School District, kiss my ass. You might be able to gang up on a kid, but you can't make me give you my passwords or make me apologize for saying you suck. I hope the ACLU kicks your butt on this one.
Yes, yes, I know its a big draw. But, personally, I don't give a crap if I have any sports channels. I know I can skip those channels, and I do. However, I don't need an email every other day telling me about how the negotiations are going. Cable Company, you are just adding to my inbox unnecessarily.
The Cable Company bundles some of these sports channels with the basic cable service. The sports channels keep raising their rates and I know that Cable Company is not absorbing those increases out of the goodness of their hearts. It annoys me that I know that the Cable Company is passing this cost on to people like me who really could care less.
In a nut shell, I don't want it and I don't want to pay for it. But of course the Cable Company thinks they are doing us all a favor. Cable Company, no thanks. And if your rates get much higher, I may say no thanks to it all.
Foxnews.com reported on a study that says that games like World of Warcraft can be good for cognitive ability in older people.
The study included 39 people between the ages of 60 and 77. At the start, participants took a series of tests, measuring their vocabulary, spatial skills, memory and ability to focus. They were retested two weeks later.
After two weeks, those who played the game saw more improvement in their ability to control their attention compared with those who hadn’t played the game.
So move over kiddies, let Grandma and Grandpa play a bit. Besides, Grandma might be willing to pad that next raid ;-)
Peter Kantorowski wants to sell his mother's house. He does own it. His mother, Mary, doesn't want him to sell her home. She likes living there. Her wanting to stay in the home she's known most of her adult life didn't stop Peter from serving his mother with eviction papers. To add to his "son of the year" status, he did it on her 98th birthday.
In 1996, Mary and her husband transferred ownership to a trust administered by Peter. The trust stipulated Mary could stay in the house until she died. Peter (now 71) then transferred ownership to another trust in 2005. Given how Peter handled ownership, it is questionable if his attempts to sell the house are completely legal.
He says he wants to sell the house for his mother's own good. Peter claims the last time he saw his mother, she was disoriented and living in poor conditions. However, he has not seen her in 8 months. (Heck, sometimes I'm a bit "disoriented" if I don't get a good night's sleep and lord knows my cleaning skills are challenged. Who knows, maybe Peter would be saying the same about me and I'm no where near 98.)
However, a judge has met with Mary and determined that she is competent. Mary's other son, Jack, thinks that his mother is still capable of living on her own and should be able to stay in the house. Mary Kantorowski has a lawyer and she is fighting the eviction.
God bless Mary. She's 98 and the good Lord willing I will see 98 and be able to still live on my own.
And Peter? Shame on you! You suck.
PETA has a new veganism campaign called BWVAKTBOOM or "Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom out of Me".
(Link to website and video: )
The campaign looks like PETA is advocating "rough sex" and the resultant injuries. Then they make it look like the chick enjoyed it, even though she is walking like her lady parts are broke. Maybe I am just an old fuddy duddy, but making tantric porn star sex does not sound like fun to me. Sure there might be those that like painful, body abusing sex, but it ain't me. PETA, BWVAKBOOM is an epic fail.
PS - I think martial arts promotes more "stamina" than veganism.