Friday, August 28, 2009

Weird Goings On

I'm having a slightly weird electronics day. Given my and my family's history with electrical 'incidents' this is slightly ominous.

So far, it's just little things today. For example, I found my computer on when I came into my office today. I shut it off every day when I leave work, and I wait for it finish shutting down before I walk out the door, so there's no chance I simply left it on over night. This isn't the first time I've had this particular thing happen, so I didn't really think much of it.

But then I went to flip off the power strip where the coffee pot is a little later this morning (I bought my coffee from the shop today). Nothing happened - the clock on the coffee pot showed it was still getting power. I flipped the switch again, and still nothing. I tried a couple times with no luck. Then, a few minutes later, I saw one of my coworkers walk by and flip the switch - and the damn thing turned right off.

And most recently, I had left my office for about 45 minutes, so my monitor had gone into sleep mode, as it's supposed to. I came back into my office, saw it was sleeping, set down my sunglasses on the other table, and when I looked back up, the screen was on and it was waiting for me to enter my password - as in it was acting like I had already hit Ctrl-Alt-Del. I hadn't even touched the keyboard or mouse yet!

I always get a little nervous when things involving electricity start acting strange. We have kind of odd history with electricity in my family. I've lost count of the number of times I've electrocuted myself over the years, some of them my fault, some not so much. My dad was holding on the tailgate of a car when it was struck my ball-lighting (think massive static discharge from the sky). He was fine, but it fried the rear-defroster pretty good. And my brother just being killed when an undergrad at his school lab pulled the safety tag and flipped a breaker back on while my brother was working on installing a junction box about 30 feet off the ground. So, when I say we have a healthy respect for electricity, you know I mean it. And when things which use electricity start acting strange around me, I take notice. For example, I am currently keeping myself well grounded through the metal frame of my desk while I'm working on the computer. It took me long enough to get this new machine, I'm NOT going to fry it if I can avoid it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sign of the Times, Pt. II

About 10 days ago, I posted about a Des Moines bus company who pulled ads for an atheist group because they had received complaints about the signs.

Well, a few days later, the company reversed their decision and offered to replace the signs at the company's expense. While I'm still annoyed that they caved-in in the first place, I am glad to see that they came to their senses and replaced the ads.

In the latest development, however, a driver for the company has been suspended because she refused to drive a bus with the signs on it. Here's the story. She said the message was against her Christian faith. As I pointed in my previous post on this, the ads was NOT against Christianity - it was an ad for an atheist group.

What I really want to know is if she would have refused to drive a bus with ads for a Jewish group or an Islamic group. Not that I'm implying that either of those groups are anti-Christian - in fact, as much as some people try to claim otherwise, those three groups share a very close history and all grow out of a shared past. No, I'm interested if she is offended by the idea that there are people who don't believe in "God" or if she is actually offended that those people don't have the decency to hide the fact that they don't believe in "God." Or maybe she's just one of those people who think if you don't share their beliefs then you're actively out to destroy those beliefs; a "you're with us or you're against us" mentality. Yeah, that's what I call "compassion."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Deep Thoughts While Watching Football

Yes, I'm watching pre-season on a Thursday night, no I'm not drinking (got work tomorrow).

And while watching this game, I have come to an important realization. If your beer has to be ice cold to be drunk, you're drinking shit beer. Real, good beer is often best at just below room temperature. If you can take it out of a cool, dark cupboard and it's ready to drink, it's good beer.

This is because being just a little warm means that the beer is going to release more of its flavor and aroma. There's a reason they serve Guinness warm in the UK.

If, on the other hand, you have chill the beer until it's cold enough the label is changing colors, it's because you have deaden the flavor and smell in order to get it down.

Okay, so it's not really a deep thought. Give me a break; it's almost the end of the week, I'm tired, and I'm watching football. You're probably lucky I'm thinking at all!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Kick Off!

In just a few minutes here, another pro football season will start (or at least, the pre-season will)!

And one of the things I'm looking forward to the most this season? Madden is gone! Curious as to my reasons for thoroughly enjoying this? Check out this post from a few month's ago or this one from 2006. It should clear that my dislike of Madden is nothing new. I am pleased with his replacement, however. Chris Collinsworth is a great commentator and actually has a brain (unlike his predecessor).

There is one thing I'm not looking forward to, however. Since we're now in Up-State NY, we're in Bills country. Now, I have absolutely nothing against the Bills. Unfortunately, they acquired one of my least favorite and most dis-liked players: T.O. And now I'm going to be exposed to his shit on a regular basis.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sign of the Times*

Another news story found on An atheist group adverised themselves on bus signs. These signs got pulled by the bus company got some complaints.

Why is it perfectly acceptable for church's or church-based groups to advertise in public spaces, but it's not accepatble for an atheist group to do the same?

I could understanding if the signs had said something like "God is a lie" or "Church's are just out get your money." Sure, that kind of thing would be ofensive. But all the sign said was "Don't Belive in God? You're Not Alone." How the is that offensive?

And I will freely admit that I'm a pagan, and I will also freely admit that I'm a little unusual even amongst pagans in that I do not subsribe to any one particular pantheon or set of rituals. I am a spiritual person - it's not very often that I display that spirituality, but it's there. I think that having a belief in something/someone bigger than yourself can be a very good thing. But I'm also a very firm beleiver in freedom of speach and freedom of religion - which includes the freedom to not have a religion.

The bus company says they pulled the signs because they were never approved. But the atheist group claims that they were told that the signs had been approved. So either someone lied, or the bus company is trying to get out of an embarassing situation. Naturally, the cyncial side of me says it's that second one.

* And yes, I do appologize for the bad pun.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Oh, Grow Up

I know times are tough - but suing your college because you haven't gotten a job? You have to be kidding me!

And, no, I'm not joking. Here's the story.

Here are the highlights - a woman is suing her college because she hasn't found a job since graduating with a BA in Business Admin with an IT focus. She graduated in April. She's claiming the "Office of Career Advancement" didn't do enough to find her a job. She accuses them of putting more effort into helping those with higher GPAs than her. And what was her GPA? 2.7.

I'm sorry, but this whole thing is ridiculous. You're mad because you haven't found a job in 3 months, in a field that's really hurting right now (just ask my wife, one of our real good friends who got three day's notice that he was going to be laid off, or any number of other IT folks who are having trouble finding work), with only a BA and a rather mediocure GPA. Have you ever considered that those with 4.0 GPAs have had more sucess getting a job because they've shown they hard working and intelligent people, rather than because the College is giving them more help?

Another question for you, young lady (and I call you "young" despite the fact that you're only about 2 years younger than me because you've clearly shown you have some real growing up to do) - do you really think you're going to win this? I'm thinking it's going to be pretty hard to showing that it's the College's fault you haven't been able to find a job in 3 months. And regardless of the case's outcome, have you considered that taking this action might, in fact, make it harder for you to find a job? You're going to come off looking really bad. What company is going to want to hire someone with a track record of suing when things don't go their way? You've openly stated that people should sue their college if they don't get a job in their field. You said, and I quote from the CNN story, "It doesn't make any sense: They went to school for four years, and then they come out working at McDonald's and Payless. That's not what they planned." You have admitted that other college gradautes are having trouble finding work, which means you're situation is nothing special, which means you now have to prove that the College careers office systamatically fails to help people find employment. But you have already admitted that they have helped others do just that.

Congratulations, you've just successfully defeted your own case!