Thursday, July 31, 2008


This letter was forwarded to me by a coworker. It was a PDF, so I saved the pages as JPGs to share with the world. Click on 'em to get a bigger and more readable picture.

Edit: Oh, yeah. It's a letter from Controller John Chiang to the Governator about the executive order that was signed earlier today.
John Chiang Letter to Governator
John Chiang Letter to Governator
John Chiang Letter to Governator

Forwarded From The PJ

Governor will address budget, pay cuts at morning news conference

By Bill Lindelof -
Published 6:25 am PDT Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has threatened to cut state workers salaries by executive order, will hold a press conference today to discuss the state's 2008-09 budget at 11:15 a.m. at the State Capitol.

A draft order states that pay would be cut for about 200,000 state workers to the federal hourly minimum wage of $6.55 until a budget is signed.

After the budget is signed, workers would received their full pay for all the time they worked at the minimum wage.

The governor is banking on a 2003 California Supreme Court case, White v. Davis, to slash state worker pay while the budget impasse continues.

State Controller John Chiang, who has stated that the state has enough cash to pay full salaries through the end of September without a budget agreement, has vowed to defy any executive order to pare back state worker pay.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Too Busy



Should be better tomorrow.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Here, Again

Only a few minutes left today. Been busy catching up on a huge pile of work that was left for me after being gone all of last week for training. (Again, yes.) I really want to be angry at the guys who were here last week, but can't muster it because I already knew what kinds of asses they were and I don't actually know how heavy the work flow was while they were here.

Really looking forward to not working when the next weekend comes, already.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Athiesm in the Worlds of the Fantastic, with Super Science

Kalinara wrote up a post about how hard it would be for a person to be an atheist in the DC universe. She hauls out the standard that in a world where people regularly interact with divine beings, it should be impossible, or extremely difficult, to deny the existence of gods or God or other creatures of divinity. (I've used the word "divine" and its derivatives a lot this morning.) Denying those beings as you interact with them would be like standing on the beach in San Diego watching and hearing the surf roll in and out and smelling the sea breeze and denying that there was an ocean out there, right?

It's a classic thought and pretty logical. There's good reason why it's been around so long. For a while, I agreed with it. To pretend that something in front of you doesn't exist is just stupid. I don't think that way anymore.

I decided that just because something is in front of you, doesn't mean you shouldn't question it. Especially when you live in a fantastic world. And most especially when you live in a fantastic world that has tons of super science in it.

I understand that on a world like Middle Earth or Krynn or other such fantasy worlds where the gods and magical beings talk to regular people and no one seems to be out to explain how the universe works through science and mathematics it would be very hard to deny that a being who claims to be divine wasn't divine.

But the DCU isn't like those worlds. The DCU is full of aliens and strange creatures born from the depths of the ocean. Not only do the aliens bring super suits and power rings, but there are villains and heroes who make robots that absorb energies and pills that give people super strength. Hyperspace and wormholes and beams of energy are the normal ways for people to travel between stars and galaxies. Aliens, who look human, fly because their skin absorbs and converts solar energy. Men run faster than the speed of light because chemicals spilled on them as lightening struck. Women turn invisible by pointing a "black light ray projector" at themselves. And then there are so many people who get fantastical abilities because a gene, or combination of genes, becomes active through natural or artificial means.

Super science. That's what so-called gods and divine beings have to contend with. To be taken for what they say they are, they have to convince the people of the world that they aren't just guys and gals with a flight ring or spandex made out of an invulnerable fiber or who drank the wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it) soda and can suddenly lift a bus over their heads. How can they prove that they're magical or divine by summoning a feast when the US army has a transporter that can send a man to the asteroid belt? Hurling bolts of lightening seems less impressive when there's a guy out there who can summon hurricanes and blizzards by waving the mechanical wand he built*. When a robot can age or de-age a man by looking at him, when a group of explorers or a woman invents a ray that can heal all but death or a father can take his severely mutilated son and save his life with cybernetics, why should anyone think those who claim to be divine are?

In that kind or a world, could there be anyone who didn't doubt the existence of the supernatural and divine? Probably, but I think there'd be a lot less of them than there are on our world.

PS The strangest responses to her post were that some people decided that the atheists would probably be more like, "Sure, gods exist, but why should I worship them? What have they done that I should use my precious time and energy to tell them how great they are?"

I don't think a person who say gods exist is an atheist, but, you know, I like to go by the definition of the word.
* I know it's been retconned out, but fuck that.

Damn Mickey Ape

The story:
I bought the Planet of the Apes set on sale and had it sent to my parents' house because I thought it would get there around the 4th of July, hopefully before, because I didn't want it sitting outside the door of my apartment for the long weekend.

It got there the day after I left, the 8th. I told them that they should open it if they wanted to watch the awesomeness of the Apes. And they did.

This morning, as a welcome back to the interburbs, this picture was in my mail. It was my dad's idea.

Monday, July 14, 2008

3 Days

Going down to The Bay for the next three days. Am prepared to be bored during the day, but for the two evenings am going to play and movie with a friend and friends of the friend. Am very much looking forward to that.


Edit @ 1:09: Oh, yeah, the last group probably aren't safe for most work places, if, in your work place, there's a good chance of a prude who'll rat you out catching you reading them.

I think I've met this cat before.

I think it's hilarious that he lays on his side.

I really like this strip. Don't you?

Oh, the horror. The Horror! THE HORROR!

But what if they were played on the radio?

I've had almost this dream. And I have had this discussion.

Some things start simple, and end simple.

I'd take that job, and the delusions.

I'd like to give a speech like this, someday.

I want to learn GURPS so much.

Well, things can only get better. Right? RIGHT?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Af-er Lu-ch

And so I went out to lunch. To the pretty good Mexican place that's really fast so I don't have to worry about time during my lunch break. Except it's changed management. The food's not as good. The people who run it don't clear the tables. When I sat down in the upstairs eating area, all the tables against the walls had plates and leftover food and trash, only the two tables in the center were cleared and clean. That's two out of twelve. Not a good ratio.

The biggest problem with lunch time is coming back to work. I really don't like my job. Some of the people are okay, but the job sucks. And I don't want to be stuck here. It's an okay place, but it was supposed to be a short stop on my way to something that actually required thought. If 'Bucks could pay me as much as I get paid here, I think I'd rather be there again because at least there I'd be busy the whole time and I'd get free drinks and beans and a discount on the merchandise.

I need someone to tell me a story. Tell me a story about a job that you really loved. A job that inspired you. A job that fulfilled your passions. A job that you enjoyed going back to each day. And don't give me any of that parenthood as a job crap. I want to hear about a job that paid money.

Please... I'm starting to lose hope that those sorts of jobs exist for anyone, let alone me.



I'm not really feeling HUNGRY hungry, but I'd really like to go out for lunch.

I'll let you know.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

And Now I'm Bored

Oh, sure, I have work that I could be doing and I go on my lunch break in a few minutes, but finishing that last post and getting lost in the car research was pretty much the most entertaining thing I've done today or yesterday.

Ah, well.

In an attempt to ramble on until I actually go on my lunch break I don't know if I'll write anything coherant.

Over at Comics Should Be Good!, a guy wrote about the stereotypical comic fan things he does not enjoy. Part of me really enjoyed reading his list and part of me felt like it was a sort of self-hating fan backlash post. I don't think the guy's self-hating so much as hating those who do fall into the more stereotypical comic fan world and him getting lumped into it just because he likes comics. I kind of get that, but what is it that bothers him so much when it's assumed he likes Star Wars or has read Asimov?

Me? I fall into quite a bit of those comic book stereotypes. I'm cool with that. But I also consider myself more of a pop-culture junkie than just a comic book fan. Give me a TV and a weeks worth of watching time and I'll be able to rattle off way more current pop-culture info than most people could stand. Hell, even I know how unhealthy my pop-culture retention factor can be, that's why I'm not all in peoples' faces about it.

The Road

I really want a new car.

The longer I drive the car I'm in, the closer the word "want" gets to "need."

This month is the 18th anniversary of when my current car was bought. I can remember spending the day at my grandparents' house, with my brothers, waiting for our parents to get back from Cowcity. When they got there, we were in awe. The three of us piled in as our parents got out and played Star Tours because it reminded us of the shuttle from that ride. (If our parents had bought it a year later, we would have played Star Trek, but we hadn't quite discovered the wondrous world of The Next Generation, yet.)

That's not what matters, though. It's getting old. It makes funny whine in four out of the five gears. Stuff leaks. And, frankly, I'd just like to feel cool driving a newer car.

If I had the money, I'd buy a brand new Prius or some other kind of hybrid. I figure that no new hybrid will sell for less than $23000. (Unless I get the teeny-tiny Yaris, but I'd really like to seat four people comfortably in my car, even if no one else ever rides with me.) I couldn't put more than $3000 as a down payment. That means if I want to pay it off in a reasonable amount of time, I'd have to pay more than $400 a month. I do not have an extra $400 a month in my budget, especially since my insurance would at least triple.

So, what about pre-owned? Well, since hybrids haven't been around very long, the used ones are all selling for more than $10000. All the ones at dealers, that I've seen on the interblub, are $16000 or more. My payment would be closer to $250 a month, which I could probably handle, but I wouldn't be putting much, if anything, in my savings during that time and I'd have to put paying my student loan on a much slower schedule. At a dealership, though, it's possible.

The hybrids that owners are selling are cheaper. Sure, still hovering around that $10000 mark, but that's thousands less than the dealer wants. The problem is that if I bought from someone who owns the car they're going to want the all the money the day I buy it from them. The fastest that I could save up $10000 is five months. Of course, that's five months without paying rent or utilities or car insurance or buying food or comics or gasoline. Five months with me not spending money at all. (Okay, if I drained my savings all the way to zero, it'd be closer to three months. But then I'd have no money at all. That seems like a stupid plan to me.)

Then I move on.

What type of car would I like to have if I can't have a hybrid?

Well, I'd like something that has the room to hold stuff. A car that can carry me and three other adults comfortably. I'd like reasonable gas mileage, like over 25 MPG. And, since I still hope to move up to Cowtown, 4-wheel drive would be a nice option for those all too common times that the county doesn't plow the roads until the morning after the night where all the snow that stuck froze solid and all the plows do is pack the icy snow down harder so when it starts to thaw, instead of melting away, it just creates a thin film of water making the roads even slicker than they would have been before the plows went by and then when it refreezes overnight the ice is even harder and therefore more slippery the next day when the sun comes out to tease a freezing world with its rays. (Also, they use sand in Cowtown, not salt, on the roads, which is fine when the ice is thin and going to be mostly melted away by that after noon, but not so good when the compacted snow/ice is half an inch thick.)

A car with space, reasonable mileage, and 4-wheel drive? Well, the only one that comes to mind is that Subaru Outback. I had a teacher who drove one of those when I was at JC. She was a graphic designer by trade, and used her car to pick up things that were printed and to travel to semi-faraway places to meet with clients. She really liked the car, too. Also, I used to drive Subaru Wagon, from, you know, the mid 80s. It was a pretty good car. (Yes, there were a few very expensive problems. One of the problems was caused by the previous owner putting a water tube on backwards so it was up against the hot engine so it melted and the car overheated and the engine because useless and then I got an engine, that wasn't rebuilt, just dropped into the car, and this led to other expensive problems because I don't think they really put in the same sort of engine. I really hated the place that "repaired" my car.) I could live pretty comfortably for several years driving an Outback that's five to ten years old.

Ah, but then there's the pricing. The cheapest, in my admittedly brief search, came up with a '97 for about $4900 sold by its owner. The pre '00 to '02 were all priced closer to $6000, though. Most of the dealer ones were $8500 or more. I could handle a car payment that would come off of that price. I'd rather just be able to buy it right out, though.


This weekend, I'm thinking of a test drive.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I couldn't finish the post I was working on before five. Will do so tomorrow, unless I decide to call in sick.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

As Described to Heels About 2 Hours Ago

Interview felt like it went well. There was much smiling and some laughing and I think (i.e. hope) that I asked some surprising questions and made some good observations. The woman who was asking some questions, along with the two guys, recognized me from a previous interview I had, maybe two of them. When she saw, and recognized, me sitting on a chair waiting she said she was surprised that I hadn't found a job out there, yet. Here's to hoping that this'll be the one.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Brain Fart

In the unfortunate event of a brain fart, please post a picture of an angry cat.

Thank you.

From here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Only 31

Last Friday would have been #52.

God, that would have been impressive.

Dr. Horrible

Here's a great article about Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Joss Whedon's internet musical.

Whedon described it like this: "It's the story of a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he's too shy to talk to."

And I'm going to miss it. Sure, I've watched the trailer, but I'll be away for work the week it's posted and the next and by the time I get back it'll be taken offline.

Guess I'll just wait for the DVD. *sigh*


In my dream, I declared myself Falstaff.

My brothers were Henry.

And we were quickly approaching the end of Part 2.