Yeah, so, the last time I posted anything, it was about Amanda Batty. But she's fuckin' awesome.
For one, she's full of hate. For another, she was at the Utah townhall that sent Chaffetz packin' and was sending out reports. For yet another, despite the hate, she's somewhat of a voice for reason, even it it's filled with profanity. Like this.
But as for the townhalls, which are turning into a nice 10 Minute Hate, Chaffetz has made the opinion known that he thinks people in Utah were paid to be there. Does anyone recall the rise of the Tea Baggers, and how they packed the townhalls? The similarity stops where we get to the point that people showed up and shouted. Recent townhalls are because people are actually pissed off. Not because someone told them where to be and what to shout.
Amanda Batty is dismayed at the din, the chaos, and the lack of organization on the part of Dems, but shit man - these have been the first few townhalls since January 20th. People will rage, vent and then take some action.
Meanwhile, my local Congresswoman had the tact to see people in small groups. On one hand, that keeps the chaos down and makes for an intimate moment with your rep (for all of 10 minutes or something) but it also keeps the rabble from being organized.
Man, I'm just tired and annoyed. There's this guy I knew from a few gigs ago. He was just as disgruntled as I was when I left to do the start up thing. He stuck it out a little while longer before he split himself. He lasted a short span of time at his next position before ditching THAT to wind up at where I am now. And... he wasn't happy there, either. He moved on to his third new job in the span of what... three years?
My pissy attitude comes from the notion that this guy has been flushing away gainful employment while I was pulling teeth to get into the position where I am now. It's not that our skill-set is any different. I'm guessing he interviews better. Or something. I don't know. I'm really bitter. I mean - there's kids starving and he's throwing away food.
The thing is - where I am now - it's really amazingly easy. There's the every day challenge, and the codebase is a horrible, twisted mess. But it is so easy for the paycheck (which is solid). There's really no reason to quit other than, I don't know, you don't like being a code monkey.
There. I said it. Code monkey. But whatever.
And while so many of my cronies are doing the "Senior"-this or "Lead"-that and sharing all of the really smart blogposts or commenting on the next trends in user experience design, I'm just giving less and less of a fuck because I know it's all so incredibly stupid. Good design, good code, meaningful experiences - it's all bullshit when it comes down to one thing - will your product sell? It does? Then good. Keep going and try to do good work. The rest barely matters any more.
Just get out my way with the bullshit, let me write some code and get on with my life.
Whilst out on the trail - on my daily commute or on the week-end sport ride - nothing gets the blood going more than these guys. And I may have mentioned this before, but it's been so common lately, it grinds the gears, so to speak, every time.
Bald, middle-aged men wearing ear buds on mountain bikes.
No one rides like a bigger asshole than these guys. Not the little kids with mohawk helmets, not the hipsters on the fixed gear chopped bar Schwinns, not the roadies in lycra, not the flock of families that stretch for a quarter of a mile on their Sunday rides.
Bald, middle-aged men wearing ear buds on mountain bikes.
I know they're bald because they wear no helmets. I know they wear earbuds because I see the wires flailing as they swerve across the path with abandon. I know they're middle age because... Because. Because of the mountain bike, really. It seems like the go-to form factor for some jackass that wants to "ride the trail".
I know that because that's exactly what I did about ten years ago.
All I see is their inconsideration, lack of care, disregard for etiquette, rules or common courtesy. All I see is them cutting off people - pedestrian and peddler alike. All I see is their brains oozing out of their melon of a shiny head, since helmets are out of the picture (or worse yet - dangling from their handlebars).
Every time I see these guys, I must destroy them.
It's easy enough to pass them and drop them on the road bike. It's zippy. But I also have to keep myself in check, lest I become one of "them" that cannot share a two-lane multi-use path.
But it's oh so much fun to do it on my commuter. Solid steel. Heavy as shit. Decked with racks, fenders and lights. And a bell. Drop them like a fuckin' rock. Watch their face as a fully loaded touring bicycle slides past them with ease as they "crush" their "workout". Signal with a gesture that I'm coming into their lane because I got tired of drafting and going slow.
And then I watch as they return the favor, doing a no-look cross of an intersection where I've stopped because I don't want to be a hood ornament.
And so the cycle repeats. Pun intended.
If I yelled this at everyone I passed, I'd go hoarse in the first five miles of most of my rides. On your fucking left. People expect it, they know cyclists are going to pass them, but get shitty when they don't hear every single warning, every single time. On your fucking left means I'm coming past you - either move or don't but be aware that I am coming past you, ready or not.
Some people scooch to the right or maintain their lane, say "thanks" and everything is awesome. Some do nothing at all. Some, I don't bother with, because they have headphones or earbuds engaged. But still - if you're close to the center line, I'm going to say on your fucking left.
A month ago, I moved to pass a man and a woman in their casual khakis, walking their mop of a yappy dog. The dog was on the far right of the couple, but shot to the far left when it heard me coming, barking and growling. The woman gasped in fear and shock. The man controlled the cur as I broke hard and swerved. He blew me the usual shit - "Say on you left next time!" What... do you think the dog would have behaved differently? "Control your dog!" said I.
Seriously, don't take your dog on a trail if it's going to go after runners and cyclists. DON'T.
Yesterday. Three people walking abreast, stepping over the center line of the trail. Fuck. Slow up and... on your left I yelled. Nothing - no reaction, other than to scooch over the center line into their own lane. I pass with as much room as I can - which wasn't close at all.
"Say on your left or something!" Oh fuck me. "I DID!"
"Well I didn't hear you!"
Go die. "Sorry about your hearing loss!"
After many years, I've finally been able to put some real time and distance on my bicycle and the only way to continue to do that is to ride the local multi-use path. There's no way to do that without dealing with a stretch of self-important and unaware jackasses who don't realize that the world does not revolve around them and other people are going to be out there, in the world, who won't meet their every level of expectation while on a frickin' trail of all things.
Pay attention. And look around some times. Coz I'm probably going to be there - on your fucking left.
I've been going through boxes recently. Boxes upon boxes. Some of the boxes hold other boxes. Most are full of things I've collected over the years - comics, sketch pads, scraps and mementos. Some of these things have been sitting in boxes for many years.
What in the hell do I do with these things?
Ultimately it's "stuff that'd need to stay in boxes and be stored" but... stored for what? What sort of rainy day am I waiting for? What sort of scrapbook can these things go into? What portion of my soul would I be chucking were these things to hit the bin?
With all of the hubbub over same-sex marriage, good ole Indiana Governor Mike Pence was pretty quick to promise pushing for an amendment to the state's constitution that would ban such a thing. In the usual political rhetoric, Gov Pence stated...
...I am confident that Hoosiers will reaffirm our commitment to traditional marriage and will consider this important question with civility and respect for the values and dignity of all of the people of our state.
A lot of people disagreed. A lot of people visited Gov Mike Pence's administration's Facebook page to disagreed. Some people were not so nice, but many were civil. And their disagreements were deleted and their accounts blocked.
I know at least two people this happened to, personally. The administration has been quickly covering its ass as the story has come to light, saying that a "handful" of comments were deleted. It was enough of a handful to start a support group for all of those who were blocked and a website archiving screenshots of deleted comments.
Technology is a wondrous thing, ain't it? This all went down within twenty-four hours. By evening news time today, Gov Pence was in front of cameras, issuing an apology, stating that he did not realize his staff was being so zealous with the administration's policy of removing vulgar and inflammatory posts. Here's a link to his official statement:
It still don't wash.
"But this is FACEBOOK we're talking about. No one takes that seriously!" Like hell. This wasn't the man's personal page, where he might expect a right to remove anything he were to find offensive. This is the page representing the office of the governor, where discourse and discussion should be allowed to take place regarding the policies of an administration that claims to represent all of its people.
Three weeks ago, after a not so happy meeting in my manager's office, where I tried to explain to him why a sincerely fucked up project a few of us peons had been thrust upon was fucked (and having him still not "get it"), I gave notice. I shut the door to his office and I suggested that my manager get ready for more bad news. "You're leaving?" he asked. "Yup" I said. "I figured this would happen sometime soon".
There was no moment of "why," "do you want to talk about it," or "what can we do to keep you". Instead there was simple resignation and slow planning for my eventual departure from my post of thirteen years. Even his manager merely said "Oh - sorry to see you go!"
Sure, maybe there's nothing that can really be said or done when someone gives notice after having accepted an offer from another company, but I would have liked some crocodile tears at the very least. But no - my manager of thirteen years, whom I had been bugging for a raise, a review, a something for about a year (and his old boss previously for an additional two years) just said "I figured this would happen."
I hadn't just asked him. I hadn't just asked his manager. I had asked him, his manager and the manager before him. I asked all of them because the only times I had been given a raise was when HR magically realized that I was no longer being paid an amount equal to the lowest market average for someone with my job title (There's a bell curve - I fell on the lower left slope. Hell - I turned down an offer for an entry level position making almost as much as I was making as a "senior UI designer! But that's a different story).
Last fall, when discussing how I might get bumped up a notch or two, my manager said that it'd be up to my manager and his boss to review and approve the request. "Isn't that manager you?" I asked. "Yeah - I guess it is," he said.
Motherfuckin', GEE, motherfucker.
It eventually came down to slowly surmounting frustration with management and the projects to which I was arbitrarily assigned. After knocking myself out for the past two years to cover for everyone's design asses on Big Monster Project With A Catchy Name, our design services were dropped in favor of more contracted developers who didn't give a single shit about quality. Follow that up with getting the run around from New And ImprovedTM management, who couldn't organize a distributed team around a simple process without completely undermining any trust that the grunts may have had... I was just ready for a way out. Things weren't going to change. I'd seen this pattern way too many times.
And it sucks. It sucks that it came to this after thirteen years. It sucks that I had to just shrug my shoulders and say "Oh well. I tried." In the end the slowly churning gears of the mediocrity machine that had no idea how to work with designers, or people for that matter, won.
...when the in-law side of the family decides to spoil the holy living fuck out of your nieces and all you can see in the future is teen-age years filled with selfish, entitled, materialistic, down-right gimme-gimme bitchiness?
My sister can't see it. My brother-in-law only enables it. The family that doesn't have the cash to come out to dinner for special occasions can drop $400 in grown-up tech gadgets on an 8 and 10 year-old without understanding the damage they're doing, because the maturity certainly ain't there in the kids.
The most dangerous object on the path is a mother fucking track team. I can't count the number of times I've almost run down these idiots. I CAN count the number of times I HAVE run one of them down. Thankfully it's only once.
This morning, there were about ten of them - gangly youths clustered like a school of fish - stretching their line across the trail in the early morning gloom. They split their ranks, to the left and the right, making passing all the more glorious as they ran into on-coming traffic.
As if to make matters better.... worse... there were about 30 of them on the way home this afternoon. I'm not making it up. Thirty jogging idiots in tight formation like they were running a marathon. In addition to all of these runners, there were two kids in tow, keeping the pace with mom as she supervised the teens. Five year-old Hayden was keeping up well enough on his training wheels, but he just didn't get the idea when Mom said, in her best sing-song passive helicopter voice "Now Hunter, the man said he was coming up to pass, which means you need to move over."
Dakota just kept on pedaling his heart out. I prayed that there was no glass to the side of the trail and that my tires wouldn't pop if I hit the rise of the asphalt at speed.
Fuck joggers. Fuck them. They're the most unaware creatures on the planet. At least possums scurry away if you honk the horn loud enough. Joggers will just keep going - in whatever "zone" they're lost inside of. They'll turn on a dime, flail their arms in an exaggerated stretch and proclaim themselves golden gods.
Here's the latest bit of mind rattling what-the-fuck from around these parts. Late late one evening (September 30th to be exact), a local police officer was ending his shift when two of his buddies say "Hey, let's do some bicycle training". At least that's what they say they said.
So they gear up, put on the lights, helmets and glowing bits and set out into the night on one of the major international roads that cuts a swath through the nation. It's a nice big road, with two lanes in either direction as it travels through relatively flat and boring countryside.
One of the officers was struck and killed by a vehicle, that left the scene. Everyone loved this gentleman and much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued.
This has been something of an epidemic in this here town - people hitting cyclists and then just running away. The last guy killed a 20 year old college freshman. The cops found his car at an auto-body shop, getting repaired. He claimed that he didn't know that he'd hit anyone.
If that doesn't hurt your brain, just hang on.
A day or so later, police confirm that they've been contacted by a suspects lawyer who wants to negotiate a surrender. And this doesn't happen the next day. Not the day after but five days after the officer was left dead in the road, the suspect turns herself in - just shy of a day before a funeral that will be attended by thousands.
So here we have Sue Anne Vanderbeck, called "a prominent member of the community" traveling home with her three kids, attempting to entertain one of her children in the car (an autistic child from all accounts) when suddenly there was "something" in her path and she swerved to avoid it. She wasn't able to and "gave it a bump".
She slammed on her brakes, looked in the rear view mirror and saw two other people attempting to assist "whatever" it was... so she thought "oh - they have help, so I can just go home, since all of my kids are now awake and screaming". A passing cop car with its lights on reassured her that help was on the way for whoever she clipped.
Now... her account varies from the police report. She's not clear if she knew she hit a person or if it was a deer. Then seeing people behind her, she knows that she hit a person. Once she got home, she and her husband survey the damage to the vehicle and conclude "Enh - it's not bad. You must not have hurt anyone. We'll worry about it in the morning."
Then she saw the news report of the officers death. Then she got scared. Instead of calling the police, she called... her lawyer. Who called the police. Later. When he had time.
I'm not making this up. The police report indicates that police wanted to get to Sue as soon as they could, but she "didn't feel comfortable" without the lawyer present. Heh. So they had to work around the lawyer's schedule. And even still, he held up the impounding of the vehicle as evidence.
So let's run down the check-list here...
* Hit a cyclist (check)
* Leave the scene of an accident (check)
* Don't call the police or try to contact anyone even with a cell phone in your possession (not even an ambulance - check)
* Assume that help is on the way when you have no way of really knowing (check)
* Assume that you didn't hurt anyone just by looking at your car (check)
* Go home and put your kids to bed because one is autistic and is screaming and crying because they're scared out of their minds now (check)
* Lawyer up as soon as you can (check)
* Take five days to do the right thing and turn yourself in (check)
I can understand reacting poorly when you're scared but seriously? OH YEAH... the clincher... She used to be a nurse and had, as I understand it, stopped to assist at accidents in the past.
Sue Anne Vanderbeck, you're a real piece of work. I think you'll do fine in the same circle of hell as Officer David Bisard, who was drunk on duty and killed a motorcyclist while responding to a call on his radio in August.
It's dangerous on two wheels out here.
The police report:
Please, just be yourself.
If you're a Christian - be the best Goddamned Christian you can be. If you're a Satanist, by gum, wear that black and shave your eyebrows into wicked little points! If you're a drug-addict, reach for the highest high and the deepest bliss without apology. If you're a bigot, by all means fly that Confederate flag and raise your hand in salute on 4/20.
Do it. Do it well. Do it with all of your heart. With passion - with feeling. Raise your voice and shout to the heavens and let it be known. Don't hide! Never let anyone stop you from being who you are.
Because then it will make it easier for me to spot you.
Even after I called him out for watching the World Cup during a meeting today and contributing nothing to the group discussion, my co-worker went back to the broadcast, burying his nose in his laptop. My manager said nothing.
How the fuck is this right?
Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) want to introduce what they're calling the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (or CIR). Part of this bill, as I understand it, will require all legally employed or maybe even employable, persons in these United States to carry a "worker ID" card - card that says "I'm not an illegal alien and can be legally employed here."
This is more than just a slip of paper. The ID would carry handy information such as a finger prints. Then they become sort of a national ID - chipped "for your protection."
Fuck no. Hell fucking no.
This is not the way to fight illegal workers. This is not the way to provide jobs for American citizens. It is, however, a handy way to continue to monitor and surveil everyone in Oceania. We already have plenty of tools to identify ourselves as U.S. citizens. Use them.
The absolute and bold faced ability for some people to be complete and utter assholes and fucking bastards always catches me off guard.
May they rot. Please, oh please, may they rot in hell.
People give me grief because I live in an area where I hear gunfire on a semi-regular basis. I've had my property stolen. I've had kids running rampant through my yard.
But when we're all outside, digging our way out of a foot or more of snow, everyone helps each other. Everyone pushes the cars out of the drifts. People look out for their neighbor.
"Across the tracks" as it were, in the 300K priced neighborhood, you get the evil eye and the warning snarl from neighbors if some of the snow you're shoveling gets close to their walk. No offer of help. No "how are you doing". Just plain and simple hostility.
Rot motherfucker, rot.
That is all.
If you bid up an item on ebay to a dollar within the suggested retail price of said item, not including the jacked up shipping, you deserve to be poor.
Now stop bidding on my shit. Quit it. Retards.
Dirt caked. A rough powder under rubber and canvas - the daily chore of dressing. The one pair of shoes. The one pair of jeans and sometimes a shirt.
Work? Is there any? The tires of the blue Dodge sag under the weight of refuse. Garbage. Tools. Trade. Your ... livelyhood. When did it last move?
Plastic. Cheap, flexible and stressed - but yours. Planted daily, the plastic grows. It spawns. It devours until there is only dirt. Caked. Rotting.
The street is both entertainment and social circle. You yell. You guffaw. You carry your voice to places that it should never go. Your cadence reverberates for all. From three feet away, you yell.
From where you sit, in your yard, in your plastic dirt. You and your kin. Your family. Your jackanapes in grime. From where they sit, they yell. They howl. They slaver in chorus, in mimicry, following their leader. In dirt.
Is that your dream? Is that what you look forward to? To come home, to wallow, to waste away in the yard. Yelling. Surrounded by rust. Degraded by plastic. Running stupidly down the street at night, choked on the alcohol that surely sits in the cooler that now has roots. In the dirt.