Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Joys of Humidity

This is the first time in a very long time that I've lived someplace which actually has humidity on any kind of regular basis. Previously, I was living in Arizona, which if you've ever been there you know is barely even aware that there is such a thing as "humidity." And prior to that, I lived in Colorado, which is aware of humidity, but usually keeps it at arm's length the majority of the time. And, yeah, before being in Colorado I was in Hawai'i and Seattle, which are admittedly very familiar with it, but I was a real little kid then and didn't really pay attention to that kind of thing, so that doesn't really count.

Now, however, I'm getting used to living someplace with humidity. This is important and noticeable in a few different ways. First, the sticking of wooden doors. Doors which normally open and close without a problem currently require a sledgehammer-sized rubber mallet to operate. There's also the fact that breathing is somewhat akin to trying to breath through a wet rag. Breathing through a wet rag might be useful in a fire, but not so good when your walking the mile home at a pretty good pace. And let's not forget my favorite sign of humidity - my head looking like I'm from the 1970s and have just gotten a perm. Normally, my hair is very straight; when there's humidity, however, that changes. It's especially bad when I haven't gotten my hair cut in a while and it's a little long - like it is right now. You ever seen "That '70s Show"? Yeah, I kind of look like I could be an extra on it right now.

I am getting a hair cut tomorrow . . . even if I have to do it myself with my jack-knife.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

That Explains A Lot

I knew there had be an explanation.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


There are these commercials right now of McDonald's new McCafé. If you haven't seen these, it shows people doing various activities which aren't exactly considered "fun." Things like ironing or washing the car. The voice over says what the person is doing - for example "chore". Then the person drinks one of these new trendy coffee things that McD's is offering, called a "McCafé". They add the "aye" like in café, and magically, things become far better. So "chore" becomes "choré" and it's no longer a pain in the ass but something you would forgo sex to take part in. All because of a McCafé!

These are really fucking annoying. And pretentious - really fucking pretentious. The implication is that McD's coffees are somehow better than others; and you know this because it has an accented "e". Do they seriously think people are going to think "Well, I normally wouldn't have an iced coffee from McDonalds, but you know, it's 'McCafé' so it has to be something special."

It the same kind of mentality which originally prompted places like Star-fucks to start calling their drinks things like "tall," "grande," and "venti". Naturally, I'm not the first to rant of this particular piece of idiocy - check out one of my favorite Foamy rants. At least I know I'm not the only person out there who realizes that this kind of pseudo-intellectually crap is just that - crap.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not My Favorite Meeting

I sometimes hate dealing with people who simply cannot move on from things. Obviously, there are somethings in life which are so life-changing that moving on isn't an easy thing. But in this case, I'm talking about everyday failures and disappointments. I was in a meeting today which was focused on developing and refining a management plan for a particular collection of heritage related sites and programs in the area. And one of the people went off on a 15 or 20 moan-fest about how it was never going to work in their town because a past government administration had done some stupid shit.

I wanted to say "Are you fucking kidding me?!?" You're honestly saying that your present government administration isn't going to support this because a past one didn't, and so it's not even worth trying? Yes, government administrations do some dumb shit and they make mistakes. But to refuse to even consider trying this plan because something similar - similar, not the same - had been axed about 10 years ago is just being a whiny little bitch.

I really doesn't do any good to just bemoan the failures of the past. Remember them, learn from them, but don't just sit there and whine about it. Situations change, people come and go, and you need to shift with those changes. To do otherwise is to throw your hands up and embrace defeat without ever even walking onto the field.

On a similar note, I hate trying to deal with people who are only going to hear what they have already convinced themselves of. Yeah, had one of those at this same meeting.

Just to back up a little, one of the things this particular management plan we're working on seeks to do is provide a group of themes, each with various subthemes, upon which individual communities can tell their stories. The consultants who have been developing this management plan evaluated the various communities and have provided recommendations on which theme is the strongest in each community. Community A has a particularly rich history in Theme 1, while community B is strongest in Theme 3, and community C is strongest in Theme 2, etc. Pretty straight forward, right? Of course, each of these communities also has stories to tell in each of the other themes, but they are particularly strong in one, or maybe two, specific themes.

Well this person heard all of this as "Because A is strongest in 1, A and only A will be telling the stories related to Theme 1, and they will only tell stories from Theme 1." They were convinced that this was the case, even after the consultants explaining several times that just because C was strongest in Theme 2 they couldn't (or shouldn't) tell stories related to other themes; and likewise, just because A was strongest in Theme 1 that other communities couldn't tell those stories.

I was watching other people around the table as the consultants tried to explain this, and it was clear that everyone else got this, but this particular person could not let go of what they had already convinced themselves of. I even jumped in and tried to help explain it - didn't work - and only received a "how can you be so young and stupid" look from the person in question. Yes, I'm quite a bit younger that them, but that doesn't mean I'm stupid. I'm actually quite intelligent (a few notable occasions aside, I will admit), and I happen to be very good at grasping organizational frameworks, which is essentially what these themes are intended to be - a way of organizing the management of a particular community's heritage resources.

What it really comes down to is this person had decided that they needed to "save" us from making some horrible mistake and then couldn't get beyond the idea that we were the ones in the wrong. They never stopped to consider that they might be wrong in their understanding of the situation. Had they done so, they might have been able to actually listen to what was being said. But we all know those who are the most zealous are the ones least likely to listen.

New Book

I started a new book today - Storm Front, by Jim Butcher. It's one of the Dresden File books. I don't know if you've heard of this series before, but they actually turned it into a SciFi channel show a few years back. Didn't last too long, but there it is. Anyway, I enjoyed the show and when I saw one of the books on the library shelf, I decided to give them a try. And I think I'm going to like them. Here's a couple of quotes from the first few chapters:

"Science, the largest religion of the twentieth century, had become somewhat tarnished by images of exploding space shuttles, crack babies, and a generation of complacent Americans who had allowed the television to raise their children. People were looking for something - I think they just don't know what."

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

"I shook my head, bewildered. They say we wizards are subtle. But you believe you me, we've got nothing, nothing at all, on women."

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Definition of Irony

I was just messing around Addicting They currently have Pandemic 2, which given the current Swine Flu situation, is highly ironic to begin with.

Not that that didn't stop me from playing the game (I thoroughly enjoyed the first one and actually managed to kill everyone in the world as a virus!). No, the really irony was the ad that ran before the game. Lysol disinfectant.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Pot, Kettle. Kettle, Pot.

From "RNC chairman Michael Steele issued the following statement regarding filling Justice Souter's seat on the Supreme Court:

'President Obama campaigned as a moderate yet he and Congressional Democrats are pushing our nation further and faster to the left than voters bargained for.

The next Supreme Court justice will hold a lifetime appointment, and the president should take his time and search for a nominee whose legal views are consistent with and reflective of mainstream America. He should not use this as an opportunity to impose his liberal legacy on America or give political payback to the far left of his party by nominating someone who makes judicial decisions through an ideological rather than legal lens.

Republicans will reserve judgment until the president makes an appointment.'"

Really, Mr Steele? What's that saying about glass houses and trowing rocks? Despite the fact that Justice Souter only announced today that he's going to step down in a few months, you're already accusing the President of trying to appoint someone to "impose a liberal legacy" or "give political pay back to the far left of his party." Funny, two of the reasons Mr. Bush picked Samuel Alito was specifically because he would swing the Court further Right and appease the far Right after the whole Harriet Miers fiasco.

As for making "judicial decisions through an ideological rather than legal lens," what do think Antonin Scalia has been doing for the last nearly quarter century?

If you're really going to do what you say and reserve comment until you know who Mr. Obama is actually, shut up already!