Monday, April 21, 2008

A Sense of Entitlement

Holy fuck! I just spent half an hour trying to explain to someone that they are not special, and despite what they think, they are not entitled to anything. This person was talking about how they felt insulted that a college they had applied for a position at sent him a rejection letter by email. While I agree that a form letter is more courteous, he clearly felt that they should have sent an individualized, signed letter which outlined exactly why they hired the other person instead of him. He justified this by saying, "Well, this very small school in Nebraska where I was a very close second did this, so why shouldn't this much larger school do the same?"

The simple answer? Time and money.

When I tried to present this argument, he countered by saying that someone on the faculty should take their own time and money to do this. And his reasoning for this extra time, effort, and cost? Because "you should be respectful to other professionals." Yeah, you should. But you are asking a busy professional to do something outside of their normal responsibilities and at their own personal financial cost because you think it's "nice." Speaking as someone who doesn't exactly have a lot of time or money, my answer is more like "Yeah, right! Sorry, but I simply don't the time to do that." As far as I'm concerned, they don't owe you much beyond a "Thanks but not thanks" statement, even if it is by email. And this is coming from someone who has been applying for jobs for months now! (I'll write on that at some future point, but not right now!)

On to Round Two!

Final Series Score: Avalanche 4, Wild 2
Next Up: Detroit or Dallas

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Who Knew?

Apparently, Mitt Romney has a sense of humor.

I didn't (and still don't) agree with a lot of his politics, but when I saw Mitt's "Top 10 Reasons for Dropping Out of the Race" I had to pass them on!

10. There weren't as many Osmonds as I thought.
9. I got tired of corkscrew landings under sniper fire.
8. As a lifelong hunter, I didn't want to miss the start of the varmint season.
7. There wasn’t room for two Christian leaders.
6. I was upset that no one had bothered to search my passport files.
5. I needed an excuse to get fat, grow a beard and win the Nobel prize.
4. I took a bad fall at a campaign rally and broke my hair.
3. I wanted to finally take off that dark suit and tie, and kick back in a light-colored suit and tie.
2. Once my wife Ann realized I couldn't win, my fundraising dried up.
1. There was a miscalculation in our theory: "As Utah goes, so goes the nation.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

Idiot Wind

Dylan was lucky when he wrote this song; he only had one idiot wind to deal with. Around campus right now, however, there are three of them.

Here's deal - apparently, one of the bus drivers for the free shuttle was playing a local radio station which was currently broadcasting a show by a rather outspoken and conservative host, who has been known to offend people in the past. A student complained to ASU, first back in October and then again last week. ASU decided the station had to be either turned down or turned off while they investigate the incident. The radio station, KTAR, cried foul, claiming ASU was trying to censor free speech, and they spent today broadcasting from campus.

If I may, I'd like to offer a little advice to all three parties (and quite frankly, even if you think I shouldn't, I'm going to anyway).

To the student who complained: Welcome to the real world. People are going to say, and you are going to hear, things you don't like and don't agree with. That's life. Deal with it. If you don't like it, ask the bus driver to turn it down. Don't go whining to the university. And quite honestly, even if you don't like or if you find it offensive, you might want to listen to anyway, because there will be others out there who do like it and if you've heard it yourself, you're better prepared to counter it. This is a university - you're supposed to confront ideas and opinions which are strange and uncomfortable to you.

To ASU: Quit hyperventilating. Just because one student complained, that doesn't mean there's some widespread problem. This is one person, all you had to do was tell then you would talk to the drivers and ask them to use some more common sense with their radio choices. There, problem solved.

To KTAR: Quit playing the righteous martyr. You know damn well that ASU asking their drivers to turn the station down while they look into this isn't "censoring free speech"! They aren't saying that it can't be played, simply that the drivers should use some discretion and common sense while ASU figures out what happened. I've actually listened to this particular host before, and I've found him offensive on many occasions. But he has every right to say what he wants to say - just as I have every right to turn it off!

Everyone involved has taken this whole thing and blown it way out of proportion. And knowing the other idiots in the area, I can almost guarantee that this will be all over the news for the next few day, which means I'll keep hearing about it. If you want to hear some more about this, here are a few of the things which have already come out.

ASU Student paper: Story #1
ASU Student paper: Story #2
AZ Central: Main stream media's take
KTAR: Their take on it

And just exercise my right of free speech, *ahem* You are all being fucking idiots! Knock it off, there are better things to be dealing with right now!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Now, I Find This Funny

Absolut Vodka ran an advertising campaign in Mexico, using this image. Needless to say, a bunch of people in the US got very upset. Personally, I just find it damn funny! Now, I can understand why some people are upset, but lets face it folks. Mexico got screwed in 1848. And a lot of people are still real sensitive about the whole thing. So, to have the Swedes of all people come out with an ad like this just makes me laugh!

Just Now Getting To My Coffee

I've been in the office more than an hour already - yes, I'm in my office by 7:00 AM - and I'm just now getting to my first cup of coffee. I've sent the last hour dealing with a bunch of financial stuff as part of one of my jobs. I got an email last yesterday saying that a bunch of receipts for purchases I made needed to be turned in. What the fuck?!? I make a very deliberate point to turn in purchase receipts within 24 hours. Always! (It's part of the little touch of OCD, and a bit of simple common sense!)

So, to find out that it appears my receipts weren't turned in is a problem. I had the fun of spending a while talking to the finance guy in the department (who is also in very early) and we got everything straighten out. Apparently, the statement he was given was for different credit card than he had been told, meaning that when he went to check the statement with the book for that card, it didn't match up. Now, since both cards belong to the same person (not The Overlord, but the other professor I work for at the same time), and since I usually place the orders on both, it's maybe not too surprising that this mistake was made. But it means that we had to spend a bit of time figuring all this out.

I've also spent a good deal of time this morning dealing with customer service on another order. I placed this order more than 2 weeks ago and hadn't heard anything. So I called them up and talked with one of their reps, who really was very helpful but far too perky. It seems that the order got "hung up" in their system and never processed. Well, that would explain why nothing has been delivered. I had to re-place the order, but this time I got her to enter in manually, which should help. Again, got it all squared away, but it took time. (The confirmation email just came through, which is a good sign.)

And I had to place yet another order, only to find out they no longer carry the product we wanted. Given that I was trying to order paper - yeah a little annoyed at that one. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find heavyweight (45 lb), matte finish paper? Surprisingly difficult. Glossy is easy because people use it in place of real photo-paper. They don't matte, so it's not stocked as much. We, on the other hand, need it print certificates of completion. For us, shiny is bad!

Okay, in the course of writing this, I've made it about 2/3 of the way through my first cup of coffee, and the world is a much better place. Back to work now.