Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Have No Candy

Last year, I had candy. I bought it at the beginning of the month and nibbled. After two weeks, the candy was gone. I went back to the store and bought more candy, some to nibble on and some to hand out. My plan didn't work, though, I nibbled and gorged on the candy and had to return to the store on Halloween, bought more candy and poured it into a big bowl when I got back, just in case.

There was no case last year. There was not one ding-dong from the door bell. There were no rap-rap-rapping or tap-tap-tapping on my door.

The next day, I was left with much candy, which I devoured with gusto. At the time, I greatly enjoyed it. How often does one get to see how many Reese's Peanut Butter Cups one can fit in ones mouth and still chew? (I started gagging at eight and got twelve in there before the drool got too bad. The secret is to have them all unwrapped before you start and use your cheeks, it's amazing what can be fitted in there.)

Even though candy went on sale late in August, I've been a good boy (especially for being a fat boy who likes his peanut butter wrapped in chocolate) and I have not bought any candy. My mother offered to buy me some when I was in Cowtown this weekend and I declined because, well, it may not have made it back here. Some may have, but it's very questionable if there would be any candy today. I'm guessing very little, if any at all.

Well, all of that was a pointless way of sharing that I'm driving up to the grocery store for some candy, just in case, and probably a pizza, because why make dinner when you're already going to the store and pizza is on the way?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Meeting, Sort Of

We had a "meeting" at three. It was over the phone with all the other WCABs in the state and the people "in charge" of setting up the system in which people can view public records.

In the "meeting," I learned that there are only supposed to be two people who take requests to view files and process them. These two people are supposed to have their own phone lines so messages can be left for them after hours and when they are on breaks (hopefully not at the same time, but this is the state and we don't actually do things that make sense). These two people are also supposed to handle any redaction that needs to happen. My office has decided to ignore that guideline (or suggestion or rule or whatever they want to call it) and keep our current system of whomever happens to be at the counter or happens to answer the phone first.

I also learned that if it's requested, we are supposed to charge people for copies. The injured worker gets charged $.10 per page plus any postage (although I was told to use "common sense" and not charge an injured worker if they don't want many pages copied; when I asked how many pages wasn't too many, I was told I already know). Anyone else who wants us to make a copy for them gets charged $1.00 for the first copy of each page and $.20 for additional copies of a page. (That means if you're not the injured worker and you ask me to make three copies of three pages, you have to pay me $4.20 for the nine copies before I hand the copies over to you.) All people who are not the injured worker must pay with a check or money order. The injured worker may pay with cash, but we do not have petty cash to make changes, so if the injured worker wants to pay in cash but doesn't want to run down the street to the bank to get dimes, he or she has to give up the whole bill. (I'm looking forward to the day I'm handed a twenty for copying 15 pages and I get to tell them that I'm keeping the $18.50 because the state doesn't allow us a bit of petty cash, but that he or she gets a nifty receipt saying that he or she was charged $1.50 for the copies.)

I was told that we are not allowed to ask to see ID because the person does not have to identify his or herself. I am, however, allowed to ask to see ID if I want to verify the person's identity.

If the person who wants to view the file doesn't want to fill out the request to view form, I'm supposed to read that person the questions and fill it out for him or her.

I learned that there are people to contact if I have questions, but not to actually contact them until I'm sure the question hasn't already been answered for someone because the people I'm to contact to ask questions will be busy answering questions. Oh, and I'm not to contact the person who did most of the speaking over the phone and who also put together the packets everyone had (and the new forms we use) because that person now works for another department. No one was trained to replace the person who created the packet (and the new forms we use).

Now that was a productive 90 minutes or work.


Row, is it something you do on boats or is it something you have with your spouse?

Friday, October 27, 2006


Got this letter from JSIC:
I understand that you have requested an Alternate Work Schedule (AWS) to stay until 6pm. I will not approve a request to work past 5:30pm.


Eight weeks ago, I put in a request for an alternative work schedule. I wanted to work Tuesday through Friday from 7AM until 6PM starting the beginning of October. The next Monday, The Supervisor came over to me and said that JSIC would never approve of that schedule. She told me that he didn't want anyone working those hours. She handed me back my request, without signing it (which she's supposed to do whether she approves it, or doesn't), and told me she'd be happy to give me the other alternative work schedule.

The other alternative work schedule is a 9/8/80. That means in a two week period a person works one eight hour day, eight nine hour days, and has one day off.

I thought about it for a while and then three weeks ago, I put in for the 9/8/80, with every other Monday as my day off (starting on November 13th) and those eight nine hour days would be from 8AM 'til 6PM. The next Monday, The Supervisor came over to me and said she couldn't approve it because she doesn't know if the state allows people to stay until 6PM, but she'd speak with JSIC to make sure. The next day she came to me and said she'd spoken with JSIC and he didn't know and he said he'd check into it.

Yesterday, I went to The Supervisor and asked her if there'd been any answer about my alternative work schedule because I wanted to start it next week. She told me that wouldn't be possible but she spoke with JSIC on Wednesday (I think she was bullshitting me) and he still hadn't heard from the personnel department, but he's sent several e-mails. She told me to be patient and maybe I'd get it approved before December.

It's nice to know that the people I work for want to help their employees.

Comic for Today

Because politics should be this fun.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Because I don't have anything interesting to say today.

Επειδή δεν έχω τίποτα που ενδιαφέρει για να πω σήμερα.

나는 오늘 말하기 위하여 아무것도가 관심을 끌 있지 않기 때문에

Потому что я не имею что-нибыдь интересовать для того чтобы сказать сегодня.

Omdat ik om het even wat niet heb die interesseert vandaag te zeggen.

Puisque je n'ai rien intéresser pour dire aujourd'hui.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Blog Post Idea Realized

This may ramble and not make a lot of sense, but here's where my NaNoWriMo is going to be coming from.

After the World Trade Center fell, my aunt was so afraid that she questioned letting her kids go to school. She lives 3,000 miles from New York. The green sign on the side of the highway that tells you that you have entered the town she lives in has about two hundred people. The entire county has about 55,000 people in it. The tallest building is, I think, six stories, but that's three miles away from the school her kids went to.

When I school started a few weeks later, I heard some of the students saying that they were scared to be there. What if something like what happened in New York happened there. And I thought they were crazy because no one was going to crash a plane into a university that no one, outside of the state, had heard of.

But hearing these sorts of things got me thinking. How would people like my aunt and those scared students react if terrorists attacked the US like they have attacked Israel? What would the average person here do if coffee shops or pizzerias were bombed? What if the places bombed were a store that had hundreds of branches in the US, earns billions of dollars each year, and nearly everyone has visited at one time or another? What if several bombings happened at exactly the same time? What if there was at least one bombing in each state?

How would people react? How quickly would people be able/willing to get on with their lives? Would those people try to have the exact same life as they had before? Would people be able to simply go to the grocery store to pick up some milk? Would the people in the cities and towns that weren't bombed be able to move on faster than the people in the cities and town that were bombed, or would they constantly be waiting for the other shoe to drop?

What would the government do? If the multibillion dollar company began failing, would they bail it out? Would stores start placing metal detectors at the doors? Would government security be provided for the stores? Would people be screened before they could enter a store to buy some ice cream? Would only a limited amount of people be allowed in at a time? (At the time, I wondered if the government would start looking at passports to get into the US from Canada or Mexico, but since that's starting at the end of this year I no longer have to speculate.)

So, I've been wondering these sorts of things for about five years, but I couldn't figure out how to use them (other than log on to some terrorist website and say, "Hey, guys, I have a suggestion..." but that didn't seem like a smart thing to do). Last month, I figured out how I can use them. Looking at all the thoughts now, it would probably make for a decent political thriller, but that's not my sort of thing (Okay, I enjoy watching political thrillers, but I don't think I could write one, at all.) and it seems like the usual way an idea like this would go.

Late last month, I figured out how to use this stuff and make it a real human story, how to make it about someone more than about something. I filed it away in my brain and assumed that I'd never write it. A couple of weeks ago, I was reading a blog that mentioned the writing month and, after much hemming and hawing, I decided that this would be the place to get this out of me.

I only hope it works.

Because My Brother is Brilliant (Sometimes)

I had to share these.
Someone I don't know.
Still don't know this person.
This last gets pretty big, if you click it.

Go and see some (but not enough) of his art on his MySpace page.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An Idea For a Blog Post

I've been having trouble writing the things that I want to be writing here. Mostly stuff about comics (especially the JSA, apparently there are some comic fans (more specifically they're DC comic fans) who don't get it) and some horrible news about one of my favorite TV shows and the general loathing I have toward my job and, by extension, my life right now. Also, there are two letters that I should really respond to right now (I should have responded to one last week, actually). I can't/don't, for some reason.

In my private stall this afternoon, I was pondering the reasons for the lack of motivation. Am I just lazy? Do I have nothing to say? Am I trying to save writing for NaNoWriMo? Which I thought was silly. You can't save writing, can you? Maybe you can. Maybe you want to write, but don't and that need to write just builds up inside of you until, in a fluffy of activity, you churn out four long blog posts and a rough draft for a short story and an outline for a screenplay in on day. What I really mean is that I can't save up writing. If I don't do it, it just disappears. Gone. Forever gone.

That led me to thinking about my idea for my NaNoWriMo and how I haven't written anything down. I haven't written sketches about the main characters, not even their names. I haven't outlined the main points the plot should hit. I haven't even come up with a title. Should I be doing these things? Is it cheating? It won't be part of the finished product, so I could do it, right?

And then I was wondering if I should just share my idea here. I'm going to be seeing many of the people who read this stuff on a semi-regular basis on Saturday and I expect that at least one person, who isn't a parent, to ask me about it. (Although he could be distracted by the goings on, and even if he's not distracted by the goings on he's usually easy to distract with certain topics.) Maybe I should head off any questions and just write about my idea here.

That's when some jackass voice said not to. Said that I should keep it a secret. Why keep it a secret? The only person I (sort of) know who's doing this madness as well has her own ideas and would never use mine. So, what's the point of keeping mine secret.

The jackass voice had no response to that.

So, guess what I'm going to do! Tomorrow, though, because it's almost time to go and I'm going to see a movie tonight.

And They Have A Plan.

(from TV Squad originally, but I picked it up at Blog@Newsarama)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Election Coming

I voted last night. (Absentee!) Filled in several bubbles completely, leaving no white areas, with a number two pencil.

I voted for the weasel, not the block of wood because I'm hoping that the celebrity of the block of wood will wear off in the next eighteen days and the people of this state will realize that the block of wood hasn't been much of a leader. In nineteen days I expect to have my hopes crushed.

I really want to get into this whole thing, especially the history of all of this and then the dumbest move ever for decreasing the state's debt. (I do not look forward to the day that those bonds come due. I guess cutting spending and increasing taxes just wasn't the way to go if you want to keep your popularity up and not actually govern.)

I can't get into it, though. I don't have the time and I can't conjure up the words to properly express my vehement repulsion at the ignorant voting masses.

I used to be one of those people who believed that everyone should vote; now I'm a person who thinks that only people who go out of their way to become informed about the elections should be allowed to vote, but if that happened, I guess no one would be allowed to vote in the US of A.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mark Foley

Bill Maher's take on it.

And I quote:
Read the labels on your food. It turns out the healthiest thing you can put in your body is Mark Foley's penis. He was probably the first fruit those pages ever came into contact with that wasn't drenched in pesticide.
(via Mark Evanier's blog)

I'm not saying that Foley was right, but at least those boys are still alive.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Since my writing about comic books was interrupted by work, I'm just going to link a bunch of comic strips that I thought were funny.

Bob The Angry Flower: The Cult of Skaro (What can I say, Daleks are awesome.)

How To Be Happy: Importance of Mood

From the creator of Cat and Girl: Mr. Smarty Pants

Real Life Comics: Lord of the Rings: The Abridged Version

Cat and Girl: They're Both Right

Diesel Sweeties: Fifty States, Fifty Slogans

ShortPacked!: The Future of Fandom

Monday, October 16, 2006


First, thanks everyone who wrote comments on last Friday's post. I meant to turn comments off because I had no clue what might be written. It's nice to know that the 'net isn't just full of assholes who should be out buggering roosters.

Second, I'm glad none of you used the s-word. It's a word that most people use to dismiss.

Third, after reading the comments, I think I need to clarify. I know the basics of going up to people and speaking and I'm not afraid of making an ass of myself in front of anyone. (Probably half of what I say makes me come off as a jackass.) What I meant by asking "how do people do it?" is how do people physically speak around people they don't know.

When I want to speak with someone at a party, or something, and I don't know the person, I walk up to him or her and open my mouth and nothing comes out. I physically can not speak. When a person I don't know says something to me, I can answer, but it's usually short and sort of dismissive, like the example from the comic shop.

That's all. Tomorrow, something more light-hearted.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I don't know how to deal with people.

Example: I picked up my comics yesterday and as I was paying, Chris, who is spotty at remembering my name for reasons that will soon become clear, asked me what I was doing. Here's the perfect moment to try and make a friend, right? He likes comics and I like comics. Sometimes even the same comics. (Last week he seemed genuinely happy to see me picking up 52, American Splendor, True Story, Swear To God, and some Legion of Super-Heroes back issues and said that my stack that week looked exactly like his. I made a comment about him already having the Legion issues. He said something about trades. I left.) What do I say? I told him I'm going to try and gets lots of sleep. He laughed. I smiled and left. When I got out to the street to cross, I realized that I'm a real asshole and maybe it would have been nice to geek-out for a while with an actual person in person rather than occasionally spout off here or throw out two sentences on another blog or hope to see my brother (HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH!).

So, I'm wondering how do people do it? How do they just start talking to someone they hardly know? How do they go around posting huge comments on blogs of people they've never met?

I haven't, and this may be hard for some people out there to believe, made a friend without the help of a friend since the fourth grade. That's, shit, eighteen years ago. The really great friends I made in high school I met because one of my elementary friends had infiltrated another group and had decided to pull me in with him. (I'm still not sure why. Especially since he went a different direction soon after.) For that, I'll always be grateful because I still see and e-mail some of those people several times a year.


Also, Tuesday was the birthday of someone who was my best friend for years and years. This was the first time, ever, that I didn't send a birthday greeting via e-mail or as a card. I haven't seen this person in over a year. I don't know why I didn't do it.

Friday, October 06, 2006


I want to be six to eight inches taller. The fat on my body converted to muscle. I'll go to the gym everyday, but only to spend an hour or so to keep myself toned. I want to look good, but not like I'm trying to look good. I should look effortlessly good. My jaw is better defined, more square, and my eyes are perfect so I won't ever need glasses. I want to be taller than nearly everyone out there so they all have to look up at me when we're standing around talking. I want to look good in and out of anything.

I want to spend ten minutes every morning carefully mussing my hair with a variety of products. It should look similar to the carefully mussed hair of guys appearing on TV and in magazines. When it gets longer, I'll use product to place the bangs in such a way that they constantly look like their going to fall in my eyes, but I can be confident that nothing will fall in my eyes.

I want to go to work wearing a suit. Some days I use a belt, some suspenders. Each tie matches only one shirt and they are all full of power. I have a different jacket for each day of the week and an overcoat that stays in my office, just in case.

I want to believe that every idea my boss has is a good one. I just go to work knowing that I'm doing what's needed, what's right. I know that my boss has my best interests in mind. I want to never have a thought against anything my boss says or does. I defend all the choices my boss makes and am quick to agree with my boss' boss because I know that in time that person will one day be my boss.

I want to work at a place that says it's out to help the world so I feel good about working there. Any bad press can be easily ignored because I believe what I'm told. I want the place that I work to reward me, in some small way, for believing everything I'm told.

I want to go out every night with people I barely know, but I call friends. Each night I'll go to a different "hot spot," but only hit the major party clubs on weekends. I can drink more than anyone there and not get drunk. I dance much better than I'm expected to and know all the current moves. I have the ability to charm any woman I see into going home with me, but since I'm a courteous fellow, I only do that on Friday and Saturday nights because I don't want to disturb anyone's ability to do the best they can for their employer.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

*sarcasm* Great */sarcasm*

Got this in my e-mail this morning:
To all employees:

On behalf of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, I want to thank each of you for your dedication to public service and for the job that you do. Your day-to-day contributions help California's workers and employers to be successful and it goes a long way to making the Golden State a better place to live.

Public service is a noble calling and we know that it often requires sacrifices. We not only appreciate your commitment to the State of California, but also the sacrifices you continue to make in order to serve the people of California.

Thank you for all that you do!



October 4, 2006, as "Thank You State Workers Day"

PROCLAMATION by the Governor of the State of California

Managing the affairs of the eighth-largest economy in the world is no small task. Without the dedicated team of men and women who work for California, our state's progress and prosperity would come to a grinding halt.

Few organizations in the world call upon such a fantastic array of talents to ensure that its goals are met. In California, we rely on state workers who represent almost every field imaginable: law enforcement, medicine, information technology, food services, administrative support, law, engineering, education, science, maintenance, aviation and architecture, just to name a few. Each serves in a different capacity, but all serve the common good of our Golden State.

Today is a special day set aside to honor the tremendous accomplishments of each and every one of our more than 215,000 state workers. No matter the responsibility, they are an integral part of what makes our state the successful and enjoyable place it is to live, work and play. I extend my gratitude for their contributions towards making California the greatest state in the greatest nation in the world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim October 4, 2006, as "Thank You State Workers Day."

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have here unto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 3rd day of October 2006.

What a huge crock of shit. It's the only thing that I got, that wasn't from the union, about what yesterday was and it wasn't sent until eight o'clock last night

I feel more used than appreciated.

It sucks that he'll be re-elected in November, but that's the stupidity of people when they're blinded by celebrity rather than actually using their brains.