Thursday, March 30, 2006

End of the Month

For me at least.

Tomorrow is Cesar Chavez Day in this state. (It's a lot like Columbus Day because people who work for the state get the day off, but schools don't.) I suppose I should thank the Mexican-American lobby who pushed this holiday through so that I don't have to work the last day of March.

Thank you for forcing through a piece of legislature to celebrate the life of a man who accomplished some things in his life but after his death his accomplishments slowly started to disappear and continue to disappear. (Huh, much like a national holiday that schools get to take off in January. Weird, don'cha think?) It's still nice to know that we remember this man by letting me have the day off work, rather than continuing his work and providing a more concrete legacy.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Today marks the end of the third year of this "war" in Iraq. It's nice to know that the people in power can actually finish something that has to do with Iraq, isn't it?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Running Blog

Just some random thoughts throughout the day:

It's been two weeks since I've picked up my phone to speak with someone. Which is okay. (I'm not soliciting phone calls here, people.) It makes me realize, though that it really wouldn't be worth it for me to get a cell phone. $30 a month or more for a device that wouldn't be used. No thanks.

I listened to some Queen on my walk to work today. It seems wrong to me that they didn't really get famous in the US until Wayne's World.

A co-worker just thanked me for wearing my only green shirt to work today. Like I did it for her and all I could think was "Bitch." I told her that I didn't do wear it for her, that I was planning on wearing it for a while; I knew what this day was coming up a while ago. She smiled and said, "I'm just impressed that the men here actually came through." Bitch. And the reason she came to me to say this is because the day before Valentine's she told me to wear red and I said that the only red shirt that I had was dirty and buried under a weeks worth of clothes. She said I should just wash it. I said that I wasn't going to spend that evening doing laundry for one shirt. She said that I was a disappointment. Bitch.

A different co-worker forwarded me an e-mail with a Power Point document that had really wonderful satellite pictures of Earth. The best were composite shots that show the whole planet in darkness. The problem with this thing is the message in the e-mail which says: "You may notice that some are composites (such as the North Pole view of the Earth) that are made of several photographs. Remember, the Earth is a sphere and the sun is always shining on half of the Earth, so some of these photos are made up and couldn't be seen by an astronaut." (I'm the one who bolded the text there.) Who out there who is on the internet and would get this e-mailed to them believes that night falls across the world at the exact same time? How many people out there, in general, can't remember that the world is a sphere? Did the original creator(s) of this document think that people are so stupid that they'll think the pictures were taken during an amazing celestial event that happens only once in a planets existence where the sun goes out and the whole world is bathed in darkness for a short amount of time? I think many people are stupid, but not that stupid. We don't live in an Asimov short story, people.

I just admitted to a co-worker that I didn't do any work yesterday afternoon so that I'd have work this morning so I can look fairly busy for at least four hours out of my work day. While I didn't admit to this part, it's something that I do everyday now. Is it like this at most other office jobs?

Okay, for the past hour, I've screened all the mail I got yesterday afternoon, I put the stuff that goes to a judge in the judge's box, I've put the stuff that goes back to file back to file. I have only five pieces of mail left from yesterday. Four of them need me to pull files, enter stuff in the computer, and then drop the files of where they need to go. One file I need to call a law firm and pester them about sending a notice of representation so I can process the damn paperwork sometime next week instead of today. All the work I have left will take me thirty minutes after my break if I just work on it, an hour at most if I spend time reading stuff on-line. After that, I still have two hours until my lunch and more mail comes.

In the "break room" I saw a plate with some deviled eggs. Someone put relish in them. Yuck.

Whenever I wait for an elevator to arrive at my floor, I stand about five feet away from the door so that if there are people there's plenty of room for them to walk. Other people don't seem to do that. They stand right at the door and then seem surprised to see people in the elevator trying to get off and then seem angry that they have to take a step back from the door to allow the people in the elevator off. Courtesy, people, it's cheap to own, easy to give away, and I'm pretty sure most people appreciate it.

So, the movie that I really wanted to go and see this weekend, Thank You For Smoking, is opening next weekend. I guess I'll have to settle for the other move I want to see, V for Vendetta.

The hour is up and my work is done.

Just had this forwarded to me. I've read it before and don't care if it's actually true because it's funny. Read:

Remember it takes a college degree to fly a plane but only a high school diploma to fix one. Reassurance for those of us who fly routinely in our jobs. After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers. By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last..................
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.

Here's a bizarre tidbit from Wikipedia:
D'Armond Speers and his wife began raising a child bilingually in English and Klingon; Speers spoke in Klingon and his wife in English. A few years into his life, the child began rejecting Klingon and gravitating towards English, as he could use English with many more speakers. The fact that Klingon lacked many words for things that were important in a baby's life, such as "diaper", and "pacifier", was a lesser issue. At the time of Speers' attempt, Klingon even lacked words for many objects common around the house, such as "table". The experiment ultimately failed when the child discovered that his father understood English.
I've been working on this thing for nearly five hours and I haven't mentioned that I stuffed my crock pot with corned beef, carrots, and red potatoes. When I get back this evening, in goes the cabbage for another hour or so before I break that mother out and gorge myself and a delicious and fatty traditional meal.

Back from lunch. I've been taking walks on my lunch to get away from the inevitable irritation caused to me by my supervisor's lack of ability to not keep quiet when she's in a room with another person, who seems to be me more often than everyone else. Usually I take a right out of the building, then a right on the first street crossing, then a right several blocks later because I don't want to have to cross the street to cross the cross street to continue on the first street; the next right is taken when I've been on my lunch between 25 and 30 minutes and then a right on the next street; after that it's a straight shot to the street that goes in front of the building I work at, which I turn right on and then right into the building. Yesterday, I did a different walk. I walked back to my apartment because I was hungry.

One thing I like about having my lunch from one to two is that it's only an hour until I get to go on my break. That makes if feel like the second four hours of the work day go by much more quickly than the first four.

Once again, I'm sitting at my desk with a pile of work that I don't plan on doing. If I do it and I complete it, I will be expected to do someone else’s work on Monday, which I think is worse than spending most of the day pretending to do work. One of the secretaries has come through several times in the last two days and said that she thinks we're not getting as many things in the mail as we used to. I think she's right since I only have twelve pieces of work to my left. It seems that my stack used to be larger. Of course, back then there was also one less employee. And another employee was sick (or took off) for six weeks. Who knows what's true.

Just found out that the amazingly funny and smart show "Grosse Pointe" has been released on DVD. This is one I want for my collection. Too bad I don't have the money for it. The way I once heard this show described is that what goes on behind the scenes of a high school tv show is more like high school actually was. That's pretty accurate, if I remember the show correctly. It fits so well with "Popular" (which I still need the second season of, by the way), but I don't think the two shows were ever aired together. They should have, though.

I'm doing my laundry this weekend. I think I'm allergic to the soap I used that last time I did my laundry, so I'm going to go to the store tomorrow and buy the same brand that I used before the last time I did my laundry. I sure hope it's the problem because my armpits itch a lot. And what's worse, they sting if I put deodorant on. I haven't worn deodorant since Tuesday. Lucky thing I don't sit directly next to anyone.

So, I think I'm done here. According to the note I gave myself, I started writing this thing at 7:56AM and I'm finishing at the time on the bottom of this post. Have a decent weekend folks. I know that I'm not aiming for anything greater.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Go! Now!

Everyone who has lived in Cowtown, been to Cowtown, or wondered what Cowtown is like, visit this site and watch the movie.

I have to offer some thanks to my brother for posting it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Dream Last Night

It starts with me and my youngest brother (henceforth known as #3) on a bus in our home town, which doesn't really have any buses. It's built like your standard natural gas running buses, but has a second story to it. The bus pulls over and my other brother (#2) and his sort-of-fiancée (#1) sneak on through the back door. The four of us head up stairs.

When we sit down, #2 tells us that where we're going is to the hospital that's in the same shopping center as Wal*Mart, Pac 'N Save, and the 'Bucks I used to work at. #1's dad is sick. We're there for moral support.

We get off the bus by parachuting out a window down to the ground while the bus is still moving. We have to cross the parking lot to get to the hospital. It's a ten mile walk, but we can see the Vegas style neon lights flashing in the distance. We take our first step and are at the front door. The door won't slide open for us so we all take off our shoes and walk through the wall into the waiting room.

Before #1 goes up to see her father, we all go for a cup of coffee at the coffee shop. #3 also buys himself a stuffed animal, it's a seal or walrus, he wouldn't show it to me.

#1 goes up to see her father via the human sized pneumatic tube, kind of like the Jetsons use, but first she kicks #2 in the nuts to make sure he stays.

The three of us sit in chairs.

My parent's show up.

Both sets of grandparents show up.

My aunts and uncles and their kids show up. There are hundreds of kids with them. All the kids go play in the hospital's arcade.

#1 suddenly appears and is given a 64 ounce soda by one of my aunts.

Everyone is laughing, having fun. Someone has brought a plate with cream cheese smothered in a pepper raspberry jam and a box of snack crackers.

Then all my aunts and uncles and grandparents start crowding around #1 wishing her well, trying to consol her. My parents and my brothers stand against the wall, trying not to look. I stay sitting, but now I'm sitting on one of those round couch things, it's vinyl and feels sticky.

Heels and Johnny Logic show up with their baby. They wave at me and yell that they're at the hospital for the gourmet sandwiches. I wave back.

#1 bitchslaps all my aunts and uncles and grandparents. The force of the slap knocks me down.

And that's when I woke up wondering where the hell that dream came from.

Friday, March 10, 2006


A while ago, I conducted and interview with myself. Today, I did it again.

JtI: So, how are things?

JtA: Things are... okay, I guess.

JtI: And work?

JtA: Boring as… well, I don't think I've ever experienced anything as boring as this job, except for maybe my World Cultures class in high school and Geometry and Algebra II and Economics and lots of other things that I didn't choose to do but was stuck doing.

JtI: Isn't boring what you expected when you took the job?

JtA: Sort of. See, I was expecting the work that I do to be very repetitive, but I also expected that I'd be kept busy by the work. I thought that there'd be so much work that I wouldn't have to stop doing it. I thought that no matter how much I completed today there'd be more for me to do tomorrow. I never expected that I'd only be given enough work to, while working at my regular speed, fill two out of my eight hour work day. If I slow down, I can usually stretch my work to fill three or four hours total. Any slower than that and I'm reading crap on the internet more than actually working, which is actually how I spend most of my work day.

JtI: Then why are you working there?

JtA: The money and benefits. To pay off my student loans, mostly. And my credit card.

JtI: And after your loans are paid off?

JtA: To buy some land somewhere and build a decent house on. I'm so sick that I actually drew up a floor plan for the kitchen. I want one of those gas stoves with a big sheet of iron in the middle that can be a skillet and then flipped over to do some grilling, but not have the fat drip into the depths of the stove. Of course by the time I've paid off my loans and saved some money to buy some property, the price of land in California will be so artificially inflated that I'll never be able to afford even a smidge. I don't actually see that happening in my lifetime.

JtI: Then are you still going to be working for the state after your loans get paid off?

JtA: Probably.

JtI: Why?

JtA: I don't care for change?

JtI: Was that a question?

JtA: Yeah. I'm one of those weird people who don't really like to see things change, but I really don't like it when things are always the same, either. Ruts bore me. Alterations scare me. So I guess I'm saying that I'd be really happy if everything was always the same, but in a way that made it completely different. Does that make sense?

JtI: No. Moving on, other than paying off your loans, what would you like to do with the money you're now making?

JtA: Go on a vacation. I haven't been on a real vacation since spring break my last year of college. Sure, I didn't go anywhere exciting, but I also didn't have to think about anything that had to do with anything. Sure, I went and visited some friends in the East in August, but that was only a weekend and a weekend isn't really a vacation. Plus, I had just been hired by the job I have now, so that was on my mind the whole time and even though I didn't have to be back to work for a few days after my trip East I traveled to North Bay to look for a place to live and packed. I didn't really have any time off. I would really like a vacation.

JtI: Where would you go?

JtA: Right now, no where. I can't afford to go anywhere.

JtI: If money were no object?

JtA: Where wouldn't I go? Europe; England, France, and Italy mostly (I'd gorge myself on bread and cheese). Visit my friendish person who's still living in China and force him to show me the sites, but keep me from getting run over by tanks. Australia. Hawaii. Antarctica would be cool. (BOOO! HISSSS!) On a more realistic scale, Disneyworld or Disneyland would be a lot of fun. I want to go to New York and watch a bunch of plays on and off Broadway; it'd be really cool to see RENT on stage. Or maybe spend a week in Washington DC exploring the Smithsonian. I'd be willing to do all this on my own, but it'd be more fun to do them with someone coming along, though.

JtI: So why not just take the time and do something?

JtA: First, not enough money. Second, no one to do things with. Third, no drive or ambition. Fourth, no passion f--

JtI: No passion?

JtA: Not really.

JtI: Isn't there something that you want that drives you forward toward something better in life?

JtA: No.

JtI: Really?

JtA: Well, not that I can think of, at least.

JtI: Then think about it!

JtA: I have thought about it. I've thought about it a lot and the more I think about it the more I keep drawing a blank. There are some things that I like doing, but people don't get paid for doing those things, but I'm not really passionate about those things. Hell, I've tried to remember what I was passionate about when I was a little kid, tried to remember things I dreamed about being that lasted more than a week. I can't remember anything like that. There were times later in my life when I considered thing, but mainly because they seemed the practical thing to do, not because I really wanted to do them or felt any passion toward them. Last weekend, I finally admitted to my dad that I'm not going to go to grad school. I've known ever since I moved away from Cow City that I wasn't going to go back to school for a master's degree, but I continued to tell everyone else that I wanted to. I don't, though. I haven't for almost a year now.

JtI: So, what do you want?

JtA: Well, that's the multimillion, life altering question, isn't it? What the fuck do I want? Is it okay for me to say that I want nothing and I want everything? That I don't know what I want, but what I want is so unrealistic that I try not to think about it? My mom once mentioned giving me something that said “Dare To Dream” on it to help me to free my mind. Ignoring the fact that I think the idea is hokey, I don't think lack of dreaming is my problem, I think it's not having something to dream about that is.

JtI: So, what are you going to do?

JtA: Live my life like I'm living it until I find a way, a thing, or a person to make me want to live it in a different way.

JtI: That's not the happiest thought, is it?

JtA: No, but it's an honest one.

JtI: Thanks for the interview.

JtA: You're welcome.


A little later today, I will be exactly the same age John Wilks Booth was when he did what would lead to his... notoriety.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Just when I saw that I had an e-mail (about an hour ago), Gmail broke.


Monday, March 06, 2006


I'm sitting here with a headache not wanting to think or do anything. I'm on my lunch. My supervisor doesn't like it when people take their lunches at their desks because it confuses the people coming in, but I think she doesn't like it because it confuses her and she's not sure who she can toss useless, pointless tasks at. The last time I stayed at my desk for lunch, she came over to me three times in that hour and each time I had to remind her that I was on my lunch. She hasn't bothered me today.

You know, I have nothing new to say here today. I'm gonna stop right now.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Monkey Balls?

Here's a comic.

Hope you enjoyed that.

I'm really not sure what to write here today, but I want to write something.

Today, I discovered that it's perfectly acceptable for me to make an "off-color" remark if I'm one upping something already involved. What happened was one of the ladies was putting an application online and discovered that the reason he got injured was because he "jerked off a stack of barrels." Quickly, she showed it to the rest of us and we had a good laugh. Without thinking, I said, "Those must be some really happy barrels." Eruptions of laughter from the ladies. So I wondered aloud if he injured his hand or arm. More laughter. I stopped there, not wanting to push my luck, but at least I know that I can throw out the perversion every now and then.

What else to say...

It snowed at my parent's house today. Enough so that my mom's school closed for the day. She's been hoping for a snow day since school started in August. Everyone congratulate her by visiting her website and voting for it everyday until society crashes in on itself and those of us still living are being hunted for sport and food by the militia nuts up in the hills

I started using that Site Meter thing a few months ago just to see if people who I didn't know personally actually visited this place. Some do. (I don't know if they actually come back, though.) My favorite feature is the By Referrals thing. It's wonderfully weird seeing how people get here. I'll give you a list:

Someone looked up "vouryism" on Yahoo!. I'm the third down because I didn't use spell check that time.
This was a nice one. I wonder if the person read the post and got anything out of it. I still want to go and see Wicked again. (Anyone want to pay for a trip for me to New York and pay for the hotel and pay for the ticket for Wicked and, perhaps, other shows? Maybe I should start one of those PayPal things. Donate to send me to New York so I can spend your money enjoying myself!)
I thought there'd be more people before me on this one. Does this mean I'm popular?
To me, this search doesn't make any sense, but what the hell, right? (I'm at the bottom of the page today.)

Alright, works almost done. Time to pack up what little I bring with me to head out into the sun and rain.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Question

Has someone ever told you something and then seven months later you realize that it was one on the best compliments that you've ever been given?