Thursday, April 27, 2006

T3 (Choose the right answer)

Finals? Who are we kidding? Anyway:

1. What was your luckiest experience with finals?

I think I may have blocked all my experiences out. I don't remember any particularly lucky experiences, though I can recall a time when some acquaintences in college called in a panic about one final, and by reviewing some of it with them I demonstrated to myself that I knew what I thought I knew.

2. What was your worst experience?

The only story in my head that I can recall is not worst, but still annoys me years later. In a history class, where for good reason I did well, someone wrote on his final "I cannot answer any questions, because I went out and got drunk last night." and the professor laughed and excused him. One more nail in the coffin of this professor, who was lauded as a great teacher, and always demonstrated himself to be nothing more than a Class A B.S. artist.

3. Finally, do you have any recurring finals nightmares?

Pretty much any final that would involve calculus. Not that I think about it much, but still...

The oil crisis

is demonstrating something to me, something I suspect I knew anyway.

We are living in a country full of incredibly uneductated, ignorant people. Unfortunately, too many of them have media outlets to spread their ignorance.

I know next to nothing about economics. In that sense, I too am uneducated. I do know, however, the basics of supply and demand. When the demand is high, prices go up. This is not the fault of the supplier. The supplier charges what the market will allow. That's the basic formulation of our economic system.

When the government has restricted by red tape the ability to build new refineries; when the environmental lobby has prevented the development of nuclear power and prevented additional oil exploration; when the government taxes the life out of gasoline and insists on overregulating the types of fuel that can be produced; what do you do?

Blame the oil companies, naturally.

I'm sorry to bring this up, and I don't know a ton about it, but if people want to know why gas costs so much, you're looking in the wrong direction. Blame the government regulation that has put us in this spot. Blame Wall Street speculation on the future of the oil industry. But please stop accusing the administration of cronyism in this. If there's no economic reason for the prices, then go ahead and blame gouging. If simple economics can explain it, you're barking up the wrong tree.

More proof of the failures of our educational system, combined with the willful ignorance of the media.


I believe these so-called harrassment suits are just money hungry types looking for a score. Not always, of course - there should be standards of behavior, and too often morons in the workplace think they can behave like they're still in their frat houses. But often enough I think hypersensitive people need to relax and not sue their employer out of business.

Not this time.

I have been part of team building exercises. At 30 years old, I was asked to be part of a potato sack race, as were my colleagues, many of whom were considerably older than me. I don't think we built team that way, especially when the boss was off playing golf (this was my last job, not this one).

But what nimrod thought spankings and cream pies to the face would build cameraderie? What dolt decided that humiliating your employees is the way to improve performance? These people should get sued. And anyone who participated in this sort of thing deserves to lose their job. Fun is fun, and I'm OK with having a good time at work. I don't think jokes should be banned at work, though I agree people should understand there's a time & place for everything.

I can even live with potentially risque/embarrassing behavior - people volunteering for dunk tanks in decidedly non-business attire, bobbing for apples, whatever. All in the spirit of fun, and all volunteer. But, as if this needs to be said out loud, you can't spank your employees. Ever. Unless you are running a house of ill repute and the client asks for it, this is simply not acceptable anywhere in an employment situation.

Glad to clear that up.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Let it also be noted

that my beloved New York Rangers stunk up the joint in a major way during yesterday's hockey set-to.

One more game like that and I could be wishing for the seven years with no playoffs. I believe they gave up 13 power play opportunities to the Devils. That's the sort of stupid, brain-dead performance that gets you bounced in the first round.

I taped the game, and when I watched after shabbos I actually stopped the game in the middle of the third period. It was a dismal performance all around, and had better not be repeated on Monday night.

It should be noted

that the recent holiday can best be compared to Taco Bell. The same five ingredients combined in a myriad of ways. Instead of ground beef, cheese, bread product, etc., think eggs, potatoes, matzah, etc.

I have to take this on faith, never having eaten (for obvious reasons) at Taco Bell.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Two more days

and then leaven is allowed back in my home. Somewhere at the 7-11 is a Drake's product with my name on it, and I figure within 15 minutes of the end of the holiday I should have scarfed it down.

I shall return anon, and full of more matzah.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Guess what?

I'm baaaaaack.

Forgive me, for I have sinned. It has been two weeks since my last posting...

So, not to put too fine a point on it, where the hell have I been?

Busy. Busy busy busy. So busy that I realize now that I never finished explaining the completion of the downstairs bathroom, which happened more than a month ago. On Purim, as I recall. At the time I had plans for a long and hilarious post about getting it done, but there's no way I can remember what it was about. Suffice it to say, we did eventually get the bathroom done, and perhaps someday I will post pictures of it.

Since then, everything has hit the fan in a large way. My boss dropped the idea that I should second myself over to our intranet people. As he put it, "you have skills I think we can use." Subtext being - "people are losing their jobs, and I want you to keep yours." Scary, and yet somewhat comforting. So I finally sat down with the head of our intranet, and we have been going nonstop for a month. She's not the most technically skilled, but she's got a lot of energy & drive, and she bloody well wants to get things done.

That's good and bad. It's good because I like working with people who don't care that there are problems, we still have to try. It's bad because there are some other people who are in the way anyway, and we have a lot of drag to get through. It's a little bad because of all the work it's dumped on me, but it's a great opportunity to demonstrate that I can get things done.

So no bloggy, because I have seen more people and been to more meetings in the last month than in most of the previous year. I can honestly go weeks at a time without officially seeing another person. The last month I haven't gone more than two days without a meeting. On top of it the boss gave us a project to do in about a tenth of the time it really needed. Thankfully we got it done, but I spent two weeks seeking obscure, 100 year old articles looking for quotes, most of which I actually found. Interesting investigation, but under a lot more time pressure than I really like.

Oh, and there's a minor holiday going on at the moment that required the teeniest, tiniest bit of cleaning of the house.

And no, thank you, I do NOT want any more matzah.

(And, not at all confidentially to our Southwestern Canine-Loving readership, it's nice to be missed.)

Monday, April 03, 2006

In the great desert

that my bloglife has become, thanks to assignments handed out from on high (perhaps more on that when I have a chance) there's a tiny oasis here with something I think worth reading.

Martin Kramer, who seems to be a one-man army against the narrowminded, Islamocentric thinking of so-called Middle Eastern studies departments in universities, has posted a fairly simple disemboweling of some loser professors. Once again, I stand by my contention that the people in charge of universities haven't the slightest idea what critical thinking is. If some so-called professor can basically say that lobbies only exist if they aren't in the national interest, clearly he's a mental infant.

Anyway, Kramer guts these dopes far more effectively than I can.