An employee of mine is about to graduate from college, he is 19 years old I believe. We were talking yesterday about history, both world and American, and he expressed how little he knew. I shook my head and said “its tragic to me that your generation can use practically any technology based device placed into your hands, but you have no idea how to think or reason and have little to no knowledge of history.” Even more tragic is that I have spoken to many people around his age and many have no interest in history, but they explain why, as my employee did.
“My generation got screwed man. No child left behind, created by Bush, basically screwed us out of learning anything in school. Everything was about practicing for some stupid tests, that if we didn’t do good on the school was punished with less funding. Think about that, we did poorly, meaning we needed more help, and the no child left behind would cut funding so that we had less help. They also cut any classes that actually kept any of us interested, history being one of them, all history. Given that I sort of checked out, as did almost all of my classmates.”
My niece said the same thing – she went to high school in Florida.
“My school was incredibly violent and the teachers and staff did nothing, and really, none of the students blamed them. Why would they? The administration wouldn’t back them, and blamed them every chance they had. None of my friends cared, and most of them ended up dropping out.”
She dropped out as well. She went to a private adult school and got her diploma in like 6 months or so. Think that one through. The thing that kills me is that in her generation the rate of high school dropouts has exploded. I wonder why. Maybe because the no child left behind left everyone behind in things that mattered. Congratulations Bush on another job well done – you have managed to deliver into the world the most helpless generation to date, and they know it, and they aren’t happy about it.
So I am working late, real late, and decided that I needed a new word.
It started with “fucktard”.. a word I am quite fond of…. and sadly did not come up with by myself. The day I first heard the term fucktard I almost peed I was laughing so hard. Everything about it is wrong, and yet it describes some people so perfectly. “Who Ted? Yeah guy is a total Fucktard.”
Then I considered another word I love – douchebag.. so clean, so crisp, says so much. You can use it in various fashions – lately I have debauched it a bit into “Douchebaggery.” Used like “I am really tired of Phil’s general douchebaggery lately.”
I combined these two in some form of slang word atomic ooze vat and viola, my new word was borne… DOUCHETARD. Almost looks french.
I will use it in a sentence –
“This is our technical lead, our web designer, and our designated douchetard, the DDT for short.”
Christmas Eve, and Thraxxus made his development staff work! Furthermore, Thraxxus is making them work on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Thus – Thraxxus = OGRE, or shmuck, matters on your perspective really.
So, my new boy looks just like me – and this fact is fascinating. It is like looking at a raw version of myself that may or may not grow in similarity as he “cooks”. Also, it allows me to compliment myself indirectly when I (loudly) comment on how cute he looks in that Pooh the Builder outfit with the little beaver footies. Any dad who says having a baby isn’t at least a little selfish is kidding himself.
OK, so I was talking to a friend of mine about this fact – and how I now understand, in my infinite wisdom, why couples often use adoption as a last resort. It can difficult to “see themselves” in the child, or something to that effect. Of course, my friend informed me that his little boy was adopted, and I felt like a heel. That wasn’t enough for me, nope. I further explained that the reason I could not tell that his boy was adopted is because “he looks just like his mother”.
I didn’t mentally slap my forehead until the next day.
A few years ago, Abba was offered $1 billion to regroup and tour. Mamma Mia!
Those sharp tips at the end of whipped cream cans? A lip wound takes weeks to heal, believe me. Holy water-seared undead recover faster. Be patient…the airy sweetness will be dispensed in a timely manner.
That last one is really not all that surprising. Kinko’s apparently has sentimental value with college kids, who met socially late at night when they were cramming to finish papers. Myself, I had a computer with some sort of printer for the last 20 years. Before that, I would cheap out and go to the library to make copies. Now, everyone has a color printer. R.I.P.
I had not visited a Kinko’s in probably 10 years until a month ago, when I had to mail a FedEx package. I walk in and I literally have little clue what to do. The place was cluttered, with no real pointers on where to go to do anything. I just stood there like a schmuck until an employee, admittedly friendly as hell, saw my package and had mercy upon me. A mixed experience, to be sure.
Last night I was laying in bed listening to my wife sleep while flipping through the channels when I came across Blade Runner(1982). Let me begin by saying that Blade Runner has always been one of my favorite films for a multitude of reasons, but for some reason I seem to forget what those reasons are until I am actually watching it. I always recall that it is “cool” and “badass” and “one hell of a sci fi flick” but I can never seem to recall the specifics of why. So that I may remember these reasons I will lock them in time here as well as show you a clip from the film that is masterpiece work.
Simply put Blade Runner is a Nostradamus-ian look into our proposed future. One can guffaw at my statement all they like, but unless you are ridiculously well read about all new technologies and politics of our times, then you really don’t have a leg to stand on. Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that I am right and you are wrong, just that perhaps you should really dig into the robotic and cybergenetic advances being made now before you toss my perception on reality aside. That said, Blade Runner touches on so many facets of where we are going without smashing them down your throat that it is actually a marvel to behold. Too often these days Hollywood has a message in a movie that they want you to get so bad that they literally beat you to death with it. Just yesterday I was talking with GlazedNConfused about Wall-E, a beautiful movie and story, which doesn’t even try to hide the messages that it is portraying. In fact at the end of the film you are actually compelled to go wash your hands and take a shower just to get the residue the film left on you off.
So why a masterpiece? Ridley Scott directed the film, which is based on the book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, and apparently he got the point. Mr. Scott went out of his way to give the film a feeling of being in the future without trying to paint what many people do – something perfect. The direction we are presently going would indicate that our future will most certainly not be a thing of beauty. That said Mr. Scott does not try to beat you up with the idea either. The expansive scenes, amazing architecture and suttle way in which he injects “high tech” items into the film merely supplies the viewer with context. You are not marvelled by gadgetry in a George Lucas sort of way nor are you mystified with computer animation, or made sick of it, as in the newest Star Wars Films – shame on you Mr. Lucas. In fact, Blade Runner is timeless because it is so dirty. Reality is just not as clean as Lucas would have us believe, and Blade Runner is laden with big city filth. It looks and feels like LA feels now, but with bigger buildings and flying police cars. Go figure.
GlazedNConfused has many times told me that in ALMOST all cases he hates films with a narrative. “I am intelligent enough to figure out what is going on without some story teller ranting in my ear the entire time. Thank you.” The lad has a point. Narration in many films is done so poorly or obviously that it takes away from the story. Blade Runner has two cuts, the original with narration and the directors cut which lacks it. I actually prefer the one with narration. Blade Runner delivers a narrative in a way that isn’t one. The Narrative is delivered only by the main character and it is done so only as his thoughts. There are scenes where he is sitting and thinking and you can hear what he is thinking about. The effect is actually paramount to the success of the story, and oddly enough it supplies some of the greatest lines in film history – my personal favorite being “I’d rather be a killer than a victim.” Wouldn’t we all.
I recently visited my father who still lives in California, also where GlazedNConfused lives, and we spoke about Blade Runner as my father had recently read an article about a real estate mogul who lives in LA. My father said that the article indicated that this mogul watched Blade Runner for the first time just a couple of years ago and now is doing everything in his real estate billions of dollars wielding might to turn LA into the city we see in Blade Runner. No Joke. When I said the film will grab you I meant it.
I won’t go over in depth what the film is about because you can look that up, or heck just go Netflix the film and watch it. I will say though that the film has superb acting, an amazing plot line, staggering visuals, and scenes that will actually make you consider your own existance by watching those on the screens fight for theirs. I have supplied an example below. In this scene Rutger Hauer explains why his existance is such a tragedy, not only for him, but for something I refer to as The Human Condition. In the moment where he can finally exact his revenge on the very man who has been hunting him he shows just how important life really is. It is surreal. Enjoy.
I run a software development team. I have run several in the past as well. I take great pride in my team doing what they are supposed to do and try to instill that pride in them as well. More and more lately I have noticed that many of the companies that we interact with have staffs that lack any pride whatsoever. In fact, most of them don’t even seem to care at all that their product is broken, their customers are disappointed, and that their company is getting its ass handed to it. I look at this attitude as being akin to some Professional Sports Players knowing that free agency is just around the corner and they will be leaving the team anyway.
We are integrating with a company right now for our new system. Our old system is integrated with an old version of their software and limps along, thus the need for a new system – the reason I was hired to begin with. Over the past week my Enterprise Architect has been toiling over this integration often times getting seemingly random answers from their software package that make little to no sense.
This morning I had a call with one of their software gurus that went something like this:
Me: We followed your spec. It says none of these data fields are required.
Him: Well they are.
Me: So why doesn’t the spec say that?
Him: I don’t know, they are required though.
Me: Do I have the wrong spec?
Him: I’ll send you the right one.
He emails the right one.
Me: This spec also says the data in question is not required.
Him: I’ll tell our documentation people.
Me: So the server we were testing against also seems to be returning bad data.
Him: Your server is broken.
Me: You guys set it up.
Him: Yeah, its broken.
Me: Can you fix it.
Him: The thing is I am going on vacation, so after the new year yeah.
We pay these guys a crap load of cash and that is his response. Their documentation is wrong – oops – and the server is BORKED (broken to you normies) which is a aww gee darn I have a vacation to go.
Moral of the story is this: I am so sick and tired of hearing about companies that are having a hard time keeping their doors open when these same companies are the ones that are conducting business in a whogivesafuck manner. Do the rest of us a favor and just go under already – then maybe your free agents can go ruin another team.
Actually we didn’t, and won’t any time soon. I am of course referring to those wild promises made just a few weeks ago about the bailout. It went something like this – “The bailout will give the American Tax Payer a name stake in the Companies that they are lending to. We consider it a worthy investment that will reap profits for the taxpayer.”
According to NPR late last week (sorry I’ve been travelling and couldn’t tell you this earlier) in just 6 weeks the value of the stocks of the companies that we bailed out has managed to drop the value of our bailout 50% already. Given those types of investments I can see clearly how we got into this mess to begin with. Who hired these yo-yos? Oh thats right, WE DID.
Sorry I’ve been neglecting my blog duties – new baby, bitch grad classes, and general lethargy. Briefly, I just have to say that it is time for the government to man up and tax gas – drastically. As oil approaches a measly $40 a barrel, and gas creeps down to a buck-fifty, it is crucial that nobody gets any funny ideas. You know, funny ideas like oil must not be as valuable now so why conserve? Funny ideas like MPG is less important in a car than heated seats. American oil usage went down for the first time ever since 2007, and we need to keep it that way. We Americans can live with $2.00 – think about how much +/- fifty cents a gallon can go towards investing in alternative energy and our infrastructure. It reminds me to a much lesser extent of tobacco tax – pissing oil is bad for us as a country, so we should have to pay for it.
Also, give the mother f*cking car companies their money. $15 billion is 1.5 months in Iraq. That is 2% of the money we are throwing at the financial sector with no strings attached. It is only 13 days of Shell profits, for crissakes. Just do it.
A man, his wife, and their little daughter go to the circus. The man goes to get some snacks for them and, while he’s gone, an elephant walks by sporting a gigantic boner. The little girl points at it and asks her mom, “Mommy, what’s that?”
The mother, embarrassed, replies “oh…that? That’s the trunk!”
“No, mommy,” insists the little girl, “that thing in the back!”
“Oh, you mean the tail?”
“No, that thing between its legs!”
“Oh,” replies the mother, blushing, “that’s nothing.”
A few minutes later the man returns, and his wife steps away to the restroom. The elephant passes by again, and the daughter points to the elephant’s gigantic organ and asks “Daddy, what’s that?”
“You mean the trunk?”
“No, that thing in the back!”
“You mean the tail?”
“No, that thing between its legs!”
The father looks at the little girl very seriously and says “well, honey, that is called a penis.”
The little girl seems confused. “But when I asked Mommy what it was, she said it was nothing.”
To which the man replied “honey, your mom is spoiled.”
As you the reader (if you have ever been here before, that means both of you!) probably know, I frequently listen to NPR as I see it being the closest thing to REAL news that the radio world has to offer, in the United States of America anyway. Recently they have been covering, in many angles, and with loads of detail, the American Automotive Company problems. Unless you have been living under a rock you probably know that the big automotive companies in the USA are on the brink of varying degrees of bankruptsy, with Chevy being the worst and Ford being the best.
In their coverage NPR has noted the many different issues with the automotive industry in the USA and why the Asian car companies don’t appear to be having the same problems.
There are too many dealerships in the USA for american automakers. Given this fact that competition is fierce, which drives down the prices of the American Brands, which in turn drives down the profit margins, ultimately making the auto maker less profitable – as is evident today.
The American automaker dealerships have an amazing amount of vehicles on their lots – vehicles they pay to have there – which vastly increases their monthly overhead.
American Auto makers have totally dropped the ball in having foward thinking regarding the needs of their consumer base.
Oddly enough the part that has been missing in the coverage, or perhaps I may have just missed it, was that the American auto industry shake up, in a couple years time, may actually be a good thing.
There will be less American auto dealerships, thus less competition, thus better profits for the industry. Turns out this is not so good for the consumer, but really who cares about them right?
By actually looking at why asian auto makers and dealerships don’t have overhead problems, successful American companies may realize they don’t need 5 zillion vehicles on their lots.
This one guy on NPR today was talking about how he has always purchased American cars since the 50s! What does he drive today? A Toyota Prius. Why? Because American Car Companies haven’t made a hybrid worth driving, or at all. Supposedly that is changing – by 2012.
In closing industry shake ups typically suck for everyone during the shakeup. With any luck the American Auto Makers will learn from the debacle that American Television manufacturers went through in the 80s – that being getting totally owned by Asian Television and electronic companies through better product design at cheaper prices – and will pull through, becoming ultimately lighter, faster, and better companies.
Tyler Durden: Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.
Given the fact that George Lucas of Star Wars fame has completely lost his mind, his last four movies being proof of this, I think that his next series should be of Short Round – one of the greatest characters he ever devised. Short Round was the small “asian” (don’t think they ever specify where he is actually from) kid who plays Indiana Jones’ sidekick in The Temple of Doom. In my opinion, he made the film. Here is a crappy fan film I found on youtube. Enjoy.
Congratulations to GlazedNConfused! His wife had a baby on Thanksgiving day. Their son is 10lbs 10 ounces. Let me put that into perspective: many of you ate some turkey on Thanksgiving, and in many instances, your turkey was about 11 pounds – roughly the same weight as his baby.
Which lead me to thinking, as these incredibly important issues typically do – What is the largest recorded weight for a new born? “The world’s biggest newborn child, 10.2 kg in weight, was born in Italy in 1955. A baby from Great Britain, who was born 7 kg in weight in 1992, is the second in the Guinness Book. ”
So what is that in lbs for you Americans that have no clue what a Kilo anything is (besides cocaine :P)?
1 kilogram = 2.20462262 pounds
Thus the biggest baby on record was a whopping 22.487150724 lbs! I have to admit, only once have I had a turkey that weighed more! Now consider the mother. What kind of freak of nature would you have to be to have a baby that big? I have the answer: Mrs. Shrek.