chris_gerrib: (Default)
"Learn Your Craft," or how to show one's ass in public.

I was at a neighborhood restaurant over the weekend, and the lady near me ordered Oysters Rockefeller. They were served with Tabasco sauce, as per the menu. The lady found this highly unacceptable, a manager was called, and when Hollandaise sauce or an (in the mind of the customer) substitute was not immediately available our customer told the manager to "learn your craft."

To the great relief of all concerned, the customer left shortly thereafter. There are times and places where getting in high dungeon over a meal in a restaurant is appropriate. When a menu item is served in a timely manner and exactly as described on the menu is not such an occasion.

Writing

So, I got some fiction writing done today. I added a new scene in which we get some backstory about a major character and some unanswered questions. Go me!

Hugos

I have cast my final votes for all Hugo categories I care to vote in. I'm not a graphic novel guy, so I didn't vote there, and I had no opinions on the fan artist, so no votes.
chris_gerrib: (Default)
Like the label says, links!

A) The Advantage of Being a Little Underemployed. From the link: Before 1900 the average American worker worked more than 60 hours a week. A standard schedule was ten-hour days, six days a week. The only structural limits to working were lighting and religion. You stopped working when it was too dark to see or to go to church. Or shorter, you worked from "can" to "can't."

B) A bit late, but still good - the story of D-Day on Omaha Beach.

C) Wonder Woman: How real-life athletes united to populate the film's badass Amazon nation.

D) A more humorous take on Wonder Woman - Alamo Drafthouse Apologizes for Starting Manpocalypse With Women-Only Screening.
chris_gerrib: (Default)
Saturday was a quiet day at Casa Gerrib Norte. The excitement of the day was my attendance at an early-evening screening of Wonder Woman. It was a very enjoyable movie, although the last few minutes of the epic battle between the Big Bad and Our Heroine was a bit tedious. Overall, I highly recommend seeing it.

Sunday was for me also quiet, although one of my downstate relatives had a (very minor) heart attack, so I was getting several updates during the day. In part due to the miracle of modern medicine and the nature of the attack, said relative was sent home after less than 24 hours of hospitalization. Go modern medicine!

Now, if I could just find some time and energy to write, all would be well in the world.
chris_gerrib: (Default)
Ben Carson, current HUD Secretary, opened his mouth recently and said that poverty is a "state of mind." To be fair to Carson, he was born poor and got himself out of poverty. John Scalzi, another guy born poor who's no longer financially challenged, had thoughts on Carson's comments.

John rather correctly noted that being poor means not having money, which results in a lack of margin of error. To shorter his post, poor people drive old beater cars which, when they break down, they may not have money to get fixed. All the positive mental vibes in the world won't replace a busted timer belt.

I would like to focus on why Carson said what he did. It is a truism that you will find no one more demonstratively against smoking as somebody who quit smoking after developing the habit. I would submit that the act of successfully quitting smoking requires a certain mental attitude.

The same can be said for getting out of poverty, especially in one generation. It's hard work, and requires a certain mental attitude. Unlike quitting smoking, getting out of poverty also requires luck. Good luck in terms of getting opportunities and in avoiding pitfalls.

Unfortunately, recognizing that "there but for the grace of God go I" requires self-reflection and humility. Ben Carson is not noted for possessing either of these traits. It's the very lack of those traits that led him to his current position.
chris_gerrib: (Default)

Various thoughts, saved up throughout the week, and regurgitated here.


Syria


I have long been able to hold two thoughts of Syria, namely that Assad is a wart on the ass of prosperity and that US involvement in Syria, especially military involvement, would be counterproductive at best.  So I’m not fond of Trump’s cruise missile attack on the country.  It appears to be knee-jerk and ineffective, never a good combination.  As Camestros Felapton says, even if one argues that Assad is a cancer, surgically excising him requires a skilled surgeon.  Trump does not appear to be that surgeon.


Trump and the Alt-Right


I’ve not said much about Trump as of late.  There’s only so many ways I can say he’s a complete idiot leading a party of semi-complete idiots without becoming tiresome.  I will say it’s become amusing (for “walking to the gallows” values of amusing) to watch his alt-right fans do contortions about his latest action.  The alt-right, including noted military expert Scott Adams, had decided that Tuesday’s chemical attack was either a false flag or a total fake.


Seeing Trump respond as if it were real threw them for a loop.  I note that Adams has deduced that this is yet another example of Trump’s playing 4-D chess while us mere mortals are playing checkers.  Color me unconvinced.


Dreams


From serious to trivial: last night, I dreamed I was sleeping, or rather trying to sleep, in all sorts of odd places.  In my dream, when my 80+ year-old great aunt asked me what I was doing, that was the thing that woke me up.


Dreamhost


I did not read the new LiveJournal terms of service that was forced upon me.  Having been told that it makes clear LiveJournal is under Russian law, I shall be moving with deliberate speed Dreamhost.

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
...it's hard to remember that your original purpose was to drain the swamp. That's my subtle apology for not posting recently.

[insert segue here]

I recently got back from a brief business trip to (cold and rainy) Atlanta, and I decided:

1) People aren't very smart. I got into a conversation with a not-so bright bartender, a dull seatmate on the plane, and watched multiple people get baffled by the concept of boarding a Southwest plane. (Pick a row, step into the row, put your big case in the overhead, sit down. If you have a coat, put it on top of or in front of your big bag.)

2) I do like Southwest, at least for short-haul flights. The crew actually seems happy to be at work, and that's infectious. If I'm going to be treated like cattle, at least I'd like to be a happy cow (cattle?).

3) We got hit with a snowstorm in Chicago the day I flew out. I nearly changed my flight three times. I'm glad I didn't - the regularly-scheduled flight went off without a hitch.

4) I think I got a free breakfast. At my hotel, I hit the restaurant at 8, charged the $14 buffet to my room, but have yet to see a charge for it. Oh well.

Back to the swamp.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I've got nothing today - please seek your wit and wisdom elsewhere.

Well, here's SOMETHING:

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
On work days, I usually only drink one cup of coffee. Today is not one of those days. I think this is largely because, after a brief flurry of AM help desk calls, things are quiet at work. Not many people are here, and judging by the (lack of) traffic this morning, most people have started their holiday. Mine officially starts tomorrow, but don't expect much wit or wisdom to be forthcoming.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I am less than trilled about news that the Bundy clan were acquitted for their armed seizure of Federal lands. I do note that, 40 years ago, this would have been a case of white men getting acquitted for lynching somebody. Only the fact that no violence occurred allowed the Bundys out. Two steps forward, one step back is still progress.

On Twitter, I am amazed that various Heroic and Patriotic Volunteers spend vast amounts of effort to deny their own eyes and argue that Trump did not make fun of a reporter's disability. Their valor is especially noteworthy as they face the Legion of Paid Twitterers like me. (That's sarcasm, for those impaired.) Fortunately, all polling suggests that these people are a minority, and 40 years ago the reporter wouldn't have a job. Two steps forward, one step back is still progress.

I am saddened by the idea that a man who thinks foreplay is grabbing somebody's crotch is running for President. I do note that, 40 years ago, the Good Old Boys network in the media would have buried this story. Now, there are enough women in the media that they can't bury it. Two steps forward, one step back is still progress.

(this entry was edited)

Yippee

Jun. 6th, 2016 08:53 am
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
There was no post Friday as I spent all day driving to various branches. I'm short one person at work, so we'll see how today goes.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I had to drive to a remote branch today, and en-route saw two signs.

Sign The First - Real Estate Apprentice Wanted


So, on the side of the road, I saw a neatly hand-lettered sign saying "real estate apprentice wanted - call XXX-YYY-ZZZZ." I have to wonder - who calls these numbers? I mean, it's clearly a scam: either a short one to sell a get-rich-quick book or a long one to have somebody ruin their credit buying houses to flip.

Sign the Second - Hassert Boulevard

In Naperville, they have a Hassert Boulevard (note spelling). Apparently, the City of Naperville was getting enough calls such that they put up a blue road sign saying that Hassert was not named after ex-Speaker / pedophile Dennis Hastert (again, note spelling).

Presented for your consideration...
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I was not firing on all cylinders yesterday, for unknown reasons. Specifically, I:

1) Forgot to retrieve my dry cleaning
2) Loaded the dishwasher, put in soap but didn't run it
3) Forgot to turn on my alarm clock

Item #3 resulted in my oversleeping this morning. Fortunately, I had no morning meetings so it was not an issue.

Here's hoping I get my carburetor degunked.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
My day is being devoured by locusts. No blogging for you.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Chicago got hit with a big snowstorm yesterday. The weatherguessers were talking about blizzards, and in fairness Midway Airport closed due to weather. Out in DuPage County, my stomping grounds, we got about an inch of snow on the grass and practically nothing on pavement. Enough people were scared of the snow that traffic was actually lighter than normal, more like a weekend.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
It's cold out, so I'll pull out the two thoughts I've been saving for a cold day.

Thought #1

We were made for these times. Money quote: The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

Thought #2

The Pope's astronomer (I've met him, he's a really nice guy from South Detroit) has no patience for those who claim science and religion are at war.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
The school bus stops at the end of my street. As I was pulling out today, my neighbor was loading her kindergarten-aged kids into the bus. Her daughter wrapped her Mom in a bearhug, and Mom had to physically put the kid on the bus. The kid clearly didn't want to go to school today.

I felt like telling the kid that I felt her pain, in that I didn't want to go to work today. It's not like there's anything particularly challenging today - in fact, an afternoon meeting was cancelled so I have less on my plate today than expected. However, some days you're just not feeling it, and today I'm just not feeling it.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Here in Chicago we've had the warmest October ever and so far a mild November. That ends tonight, as we are expecting snow after midnight and most of the day Saturday. Fortunately, I have nowhere particular to go, two fireplaces, and a novel to outline. (And if I get bored, a key lime pie to make for T-day, although I'll probably hold off a bit on that.)

In other news, we filled my open position at work, and the new person starts Pearl Harbor day. (Tora! Tora! Tora!) Signing off until Monday or if something new happens.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
It's a Monday, and I'm back at work. On Friday night, I had a very enjoyable dinner party at my place for some Rotary friends. Four people killing three bottles of wine enjoyable!

This upcoming week is looking to be busy - I have an evening event every night this week except Friday. Writing progresses, and I find I have nothing particular to discuss.

Busy

Oct. 22nd, 2015 10:05 am
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Day after patches applied and one staffer out on comp day. Too busy to blog.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Send the cavalry!

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