We make holes in teeth!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Useful Link #6

Store Wars

Store Wars, as sent to me by Cliffy eons ago. I was cleaning out some old email and found it. Very entertaining, if you try to eat healthy and like Star Wars.

Back link to Useful link #5.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Media is Off the Wall

Unless you live under a rock or, like me, don't care about the general goings on of the world, you surely know that 2 of the biggest news stories in the past week are the story of Bob Woodruff getting broke and the Muslim world reacting to the cartoons in a Denmark newspaper, which appeared something like 5 months ago. If you don't - or even if you do - here's the scoop.

Bob Woodruff is an ABC reporter who went to cover blah blah blah in Iraq, nearly got blown up, and now the entire free world (read: the media) is all like, "Wow holy crap Bob almost bought the farm." You know what? Fuck Bob. Bob went into Iraq on his own accord, to try and be some Bob Woodward of the modern era. Guess what new Bob? You're not the old Bob. You're just not, so give it up.

Ok, that's unfair. Bob Woodruff is doing what so many reporters and news agencies shy away from these days, which is actually reporting the news. Since bottom line means more than reporting, news outlets across the globe have stopped caring what news is reported and started caring about bottom lines and profit margins. Woodruff is only carrying out the last flicker of a flame that is about to go out. It's not fair for me to rail against him.

What I will rail against is the media, the base creeps who put Bob Woodruff's life above and beyond the 2000+ people who actually did die in Iraq so far. Hey, guess what? Almost all of those people didn't want to go to Iraq and die. Woodruff chose to go, and he's not dead. Yet why do we all know his name more than any dead American soldier except for maybe, just maybe, Pat Tillman? The answer: because media jerks off to its own, disregarding the lives of the people who were sent there, as opposed to realizing that if Woodruff wants to risk his life doing something really fucking scary, that's cool, but only a fraction as newsworthy as the people who don't want to go, then get shot in the face. Think about it.

The other story recap. In September, some guy in Denmark drew these cartoons about Muhammad. I linked them above but they're linked again here. Good luck finding them online, This wonderful media that wants to shove Bob Woodruff up your ass only wants to tell you how pissed off the Muslims are, but they don't want to show you the cartoons. They're not widely available, and this blog entry wonders what's up with that. I tend to agree.

Ok, so CNN, ABC, Yahoo - all the players really - they want to tell you all about this story, but fail to give you the juice? You know damn well that I want to know what these things look like. I sure as hell don't want to read these stories, not knowing what the cartoons looked like. How can you judge a story without the evidence? How can you form an opinion? I guess they don't care, just like they don't care that Bob Woodruff chose to put his ass in the line of Iraqi gunfire.

Anyway, beyond that, a large segment of the Muslim community started protesting and then setting things on fire. Hey, aren't these actions justifications of the "insensitive" cartoons? I'm no conservative, to be sure. In general, I think world policy is decidedly anti-Muslim to say the least. Having said that, reacting to a cartoon by setting shit on fire is pretty fucking retarded. Is the picture below worth 1000 words?

Did I mention that guy is a rocket scientist in real life? In fact, he was pissed that there was a police cone in front of his scooterrrrr...ah, Mercedes. No, really. Check it out. If someone calls me an asshole, let's assume I react by burning down his house. Wasn't he right? Don't the actions of many people here justify much of what the Western world thinks, even if it's patently false?

So ok, the Muslim world is going crazy. Hey, the bible-thumping right does the same when someone swears on the radio. It happens - they're all a bunch of fruitcakes who can't keep their strong opinions to themselves, for better or worse. Rather, let me say, for worse. But what's up with the media anymore? The media has turned into non-reporting, self-centered dick weeds. How about reporting the news, and not making it? Let's forget Bob Woodruff, stop censoring the content, and put Judy Miller back in jail. Then maybe the media will be respected again. For now, it's really going down the shitter fast.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I Hate the Subway

Ok, I officially hate the subway now. This week, not 1 but 2, count 'em 2, of my Metro Cards shit the bed. For those of you who don't know, a Metro Card is a flimsy piece of garbage that you stick into a machine, along with $40. Out pops the flimsy piece of shit card, and on it you have $48 of subway mojo to ride with. Buying in bulk gets you $8 extra. So obviously, it pays to not pay for a single ride at a time.

Monday I lost the first one. It had been a trusty card for damn near a year to that point. And it only had $8 left (or less) on it. So it wasn't a big deal. Figure, it happens. Life goes on. Despite the fact that the card was not expired, you give it a break because I use it twice a day, every day. It's probably a good idea to swap them out, even if they theoretically can last a year at a time.

Wednesday the second one shit the bed, and I nearly flew off the handle. Internally, not visibly. I mean sure, I was pissed, swearing at nothing in particular. But this is New York, who doesn't swear at random things out loud all the time? I was just fitting in. But fuck I was pissed. That one probably still had $40 left on it, the piece of garbage. I haven't gone to one of the red blazer-wearing dicks in the vending centers yet to complain, but I will. Meanwhile, I'm left internalizing it, thinking of nefarious ways to cost the MTA at least $50, like loading up one of the turnstiles with super glue, or something. And venting on a blog, which is like therapy, but without the educated thief on a couch. Or, maybe I get the couch. I don't know, I never went to one.

Conversely, I love the Path. The Path is the subway-like thing that I take from downtown to Hoboken after work every day. The Path is Bo Derek - in her 10 days - whereas the subway is, well, like some dead old lady. The cars are modern, clean, and on time. If it says it leaves at 4:00, it actually leaves at 4:00. What's more, the vast majority of people on the Path have showered in the past, oh, let's say 365 days. The same cannot be said for the subway, home of people who appear as if they sleep on a raft in a waste management plant.

Ideally, I'd like to work in lower Manhattan, so I could take the train to Hoboken and then the Path to downtown, then walk wherever I need to. This is the ultimate idea, when the time comes. Since I just got our bonus and a raise, I'm not itching to jump ship for the moment. But you know how that goes. End of the year I may be singing a different tune. Right now I'm content.

Of course, nobody hijacks a 747 and flies it into your workplace when you work in Brooklyn. I have to probably take that into account. Maybe the body odor-laden subway isn't so bad after all. Hell, at least I don't have water problems like Woody, who got more bad news today.

Today he found out that he has some shit called, I forget, so we'll call it Tulane, after the University in New Orleans. He's got 1 part Tulane per 2 billion parts water. 1 in 2 billion. That's .5 parts per billion. The acceptable level is something like 500 parts per billion, and these environmental fuck faces are saying it may be a problem. For real?

Consider that the drinking water supplied by your town has more arsenic in it that Woody's well has Tulane. I'm not making that up. It's ok to have fucking arsenic in my drinking water, but Tulane is bad? Are you kidding? What the hell is wrong with this world? What went wrong? How did this Hitler-like sect of tree huggers get hold of these minute areas of our lives? We allow cars on the road that dump motor oil at a quart per week, yet we have 1 part per billion of dog turd in the water and the lights have to go out? Man that's fucked up.

Anyway, the subway blows.

Shit Cake

Shit Cake
Originally uploaded by normzurawski.
Courtesy of Woody. I really have nothing else to say. Hungry?

Monday, January 30, 2006

I Work With Idiots

Yeah, I know, we all do. But really, it's worse than that. There are countless ways to describe my reasoning behind this statement, but I'll pick just one, the first of the week. It will suffice as a summary of the idiots who work around me. Here's the background.

Payroll is changing the pay calendar. For some reason, they want to adjust the week cycle on which we get paid. We get paid every 2 weeks now. Going forward, we'll get paid every 2 weeks. So far, nothing changes. But they want to recalibrate for some reason - who knows. Like, what do I care? I don't live paycheck to paycheck so I have no idea how it all works out.

Anyway, what they want to do is this, I'll even illustrate it with numbers. We currently get paid on even weeks. So our pay schedule looks like this:

2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc etc

They want to change to odd weeks, to look like this:

1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc etc

Ok, this is how they do it. They change from even to odd. That's it. The schedule transition is going to look like this:

2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, etc etc

You'll note the shift between 6 and 7. On the 7th week, we'll only be paid for 1 week. This all makes sense, right? The alternative is to skip the 7th week, and make the 9th week a check for 3 weeks instead of the normal 2. Instead, they're staying as up-to-date as possible by cutting an extra weekly check.

It's all pretty straightforward, right? The answer is yes. The problem isn't with payroll, it's with the idiots I work with. Uproar, let me tell you. Anything, and I mean anything, that represents any small change causes these buffoons to freak out. Here's how one conversation went on the other side of the cubicle wall:

"They're changing the pay periods."

"Uh oh! Oh no, that's not good!" He hadn't read the email yet. He was merely reacting to any change at all. This is the guy who microwaves his already hot water for an additional 5 minutes. Seriously.

The first guy went on to summarize it all, and he got it mostly right. What he did was to emphasize the fact they weren't getting paid on the 8th week.

"You're going to have to wait a WHOLE week to get that pay you normally get."

"Oh my god," the other guy replied. Literally. Maybe he had just taken a sip of his 400 degree water and his tongue fell off. You may object that water boils at 212, but I contend this guy lives in another universe entirely.

I won't bore you with any more of this. Suffice it to say they've been going at it for 45 minutes, and it'll probably be a hot topic of conversation all day. The bottom line is this. Well there are 2 bottom lines. The first is that this is a change that should have absolutely no bearing on you at all. If something looks wrong, it's not. It's just your miniscule ability to comprehend anything that prevents you from getting it.

The second bottom line is that this conversation represents exactly why this company is failing. These are the people who have managed to survive the layoff, and I have no idea how. This kind of talk is a daily conversation, even hourly most days. This is what occupies our time here, what our company is paying for, why we're dragging our feet through the motions. This is also why I have no desire to talk to any of these people on a remotely personal level.

The only saving grace is that we'll be outsourcing the mainframe, which means IBM will come in and cut the excessive fat. This particular group of complainers performs functions IBM will already have expertise in. You have to imagine they already have their pay schedule down, so they won't be wasting precious time complaining about things that don't make any difference in your life at all.

Accommodation in aviemore