Thursday, December 27, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
Nuance is not impossible.
I am in favor of responsible gun ownership. I am against crazy ass gun worship. There's a big difference.
I know some of these survivalist nutbags who think all the civilization in the world is going to end soon and the only way they are going to survive is to have enough assault weapons and ammunition to shoot every member of the hordes of people that are going to come after their "supplies" when the shit jumps off. They are EVERYWHERE. You are probably surrounded by them right now.
These people are MENTALLY ILL. It's time to stop glorifying these "survivalists" by giving them their own television shows and start getting them the help they need. I don't know what level of paranoia you have to be to need mental health care, but I think stockpiling weapons and explosives for the upcoming mayan/zombie/nutjob apocalypse is WAY WAY across that line.
Keeping some bottled water and a few power bars around in case of an earthquake or tornado is one thing. Keeping your basement filled to the rafters with saltine crackers and 9mm ammo is another. I think we can tell the difference, right?
I've also noticed all the reactionaries on twitter going fuck nutz crazy about gun rights. Funny how they think the constitution is absolute and unchangeable when you're talking about gun ownership, but when it's about letting gays marry they're all about getting constitutions changed. "Pass those 'Defense of Marriage' amendments, and do it quick before the fags take over completely!" You people need to calm down. Nobody is going to take away your guns. I promise.
Want to talk about people fooling themselves? They really think a glock and an AR15 are enough for them to "take up arms" against their corrupt government? The one with tanks, aircraft carriers, drones and nuclear weapons? Keep up that pretense, Billy Bob. There's some nuance there I think they've missed.
Look, I understand the feeling that if someone comes lurking around your house in the middle of the night intending to do harm to yourself or your family, you want to be able to defend yourself and you definitely cannot count on the police who have more important things to do like give out tickets to people disobeying no right-turn-on-red signs. I get that.
I just think that we can differentiate between people who have those feelings and those who think they need a bunker full of assault weapons and ammunition. That having a safely stored gun in your home to make yourself feel safer, (which in fact makes your home less safe [statistics are a bitch]) is different from someone who sleeps with a loaded 9mm under his pillow.
Guns are kind of like drugs. There are those people who can fire a gun and feel that power and handle it. There are many who cannot. They become like people who get a prescription of vicodins from the dentist and IMMEDIATELY count them to make sure the pharmacist didn't screw them over. That's a person that needs help.
I have no idea how you find those people, nor do I know how you actually help them. If you try, you'll probably get shot. I just know that we have to stop laughing at them and saying "that's how they are." They're sick. It's not funny. It's sad.
By DuggleBogey at 10:55 AM
Friday, December 07, 2012
Apparently I did something this morning that was so dangerous, so risky and so detrimental to society I must pay the government $139.75 to be punished for my behavior.
What did I do that was so dangerous I need to surrender $139.75 of my (not so) hard earned money? Well, if you look at the list of risky behaviors that deserve such punishment, I obviously must have done something pretty bad.
I could have:
Been driving 30 miles per hour above the posted speed limit.
Passed a stopped school bus.
Been speeding in a school zone.
Failed to comply with financial responsibility (I think this means driving without insurance.)
But I wasn't doing any of those heinous deeds. What dangerous maneuver did I attempt to get away with?
After stopping at a red light, I made a right turn.
I admit it! I'm guilty. Yes, there was a sign posted that said "Right Turn On Green Arrow" and I ignored this instruction and turned on a red arrow. I'm not even sure I would have attempted such a risky move if the driver in front of me hadn't done the exact same thing and I was worried I was holding up traffic. I wasn't in any particular hurry, I was only going to work for pete's sake.
I indicated to the officer that the sign did not say "Right Turn On Green Arrow ONLY," nor was there a sign that said "No Turn On Red" and that is rather confusing, but he disagreed with my logic and said "It means the same thing."
It's no wonder people hate cops. If you even question their authority or their judgement in any way they get very defensive. And it seems like most of the time their entire existence is a waste of resources. Like everyone else, I see people do hundreds of things every day that are dangerous and irresponsible, yet the police seem to be occupied with unimportant minutiae that doesn't help anyone in any possible way.
Maybe I'm completely wrong, and there has been dozens and dozens of accidents at that intersection where people have attempted to turn onto that on-ramp. But I doubt it. Based on the logistics, I doubt there have been any, and if there were the drivers must have been retarded.
So I can take a day off work someday in January and contest this ticket in court and probably lose, or even worse get sentenced to traffic court, wasting another of my days. I have to decide if one of my ten days off per year is worth sacrificing to fight this injustice, or just pay the fucking fine and get on with my life.
I think we all know what's going to happen.
By DuggleBogey at 10:13 AM
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Sometimes I have this weird fantasy about being homeless. No, not a nightmare, just some weird imaginary world where I didn't have a home. I still have the same job, but I have almost no possessions. Could I make it work?
This fantasy is kind of inspired by a comment I read on Tony Bigcharles' blog where someone asked what his bankroll would be if he didn't have any monthly expenses, such as mortgage/insurance/utilities/taxes, 2 car notes, car/health/life insurance, private school tuition for 2 kids, cell, internet, cable, gas, food, dental, student loans, pet care, savings/retirement, maintenance, etc, etc, etc. I have most of those expenses too.
Inspiration also comes from one of the people that works here in operations. He's kind of an inspirational story that aggravates the shit out of me. We are trying to hire another operator, and management keeps insisting we hire someone with higher education or training. We have hired two so far that haven't lasted over a month each. It's just not that kind of a job. Especially when you consider that the best operator we have is a guy who got his G.E.D. in prison. I wish management would look at the people who are good at the job now and try to find people like them, rather than some picture of a person that's never going to work out.
Anyway, the guy was homeless for a while, and he kind of lived in the office for that while. There's a gym with a shower, there are some empty labs and offices in our suites that he used at night without anybody knowing. It's even pretty safe considering all the keycard with punchpad access that's required to get in the building and each office. There are dozens of restaurants within walking distance and a mall nearby. I think there's even a coin-op laundry less than a mile away.
I wonder how long I could do it, and how miserable it would be? I have a feeling it would be like when I lived in Taiwan for six months. The first couple weeks were great, every thing was a challenge, figuring out how to get around, how to get food, finding things to do besides work. But after that everything became a pain in the ass, figuring out how to get around, how to get food and finding things to do besides work. Your life has routines you aren't even aware of, and you try to form new ones but when that is constantly disrupted it eventually gets frustrating.
Maybe it's just a "Peter Pan" type fantasy where you'd like to abandon all your responsibility and just live one day at a time, only worrying about what to do with yourself and your time. I'm sure I've wasted too much time thinking about it already. This is what my mind does.
I used to know guys who basically did this, but they did it by constantly traveling for work. They didn't keep a home or a car, they hit the road for work and just never came home. They didn't even pay for their own food, they ate on the company expense account. They basically traded their lives for a bank account. They all did have one personal expense. They were all, without exception, heavy drinkers. I don't think that's a coincidence.
But would it be worth it for the money? For me, mortgage/insurance/utilities/taxes/maintenance is probably two grand a month, car expenses are probably five or six hundred, plus internet/cable etc. so at most you'd be saving three thousand a month. If you did it for a whole year, you'd save $36,000. Enough to buy a mid-range car. I like cars a lot, but there's no way I'd go through that for a well-equipped Camry.
P.S. The homeless operator is on his feet now, and doing really great. He has a home and just bought a new (used) car. That's the inspirational part of the story.
By DuggleBogey at 3:58 PM
Friday, November 09, 2012
Thursday, November 08, 2012
For some reason, this is one of my favorite jokes. It's a very nerdy joke, but here goes:
Bob: "How old is the Universe?"
Dug: "20,000,000,019 years old."
Bob:"Twenty-billion and 19? How do you figure that?"
Dug: "I learned in astronomy class in college that the universe was twenty billion years old, and that was 19 years ago."
Here is a version of it I saw on the internet today that reminded me of it and I laughed:
By DuggleBogey at 3:53 PM
When I was a kid, the worst insult you could call someone was "gay." Second was Jew, by the way.
Of course it happened again a couple days ago, someone attempted to insult me by calling me gay. How exactly is that an insult? I have known lots of gay people, they seem like perfectly decent folks. To me it seems equivalent to calling someone "Australian."
"Hey you! Ozzie! Yeah, I'm talking to you! You're from down under, aren't you!" I know a couple of people from Australia, and they're quite proud of it! Come to think of it, so are the gay people I know.
The funny thing is, when someone calls you gay, they're really just insulting themselves. They're telling you they're homophobic. And being homophobic is usually caused by one of two things. It's either ignorance, or it's latent homosexuality. So the person calling you a "girly-man" is either stupidly uninformed, or is secretly gay and can't come to terms with it. So how is that an insult to me?
By DuggleBogey at 9:27 AM
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
On an election day when it seemed like people running for office were being held accountable for the stupid things they've said or done and the country seemed like it was getting its collective head out of its ass on the subject of marriage equality and bigotry, Tennessee stands alone as the state that made the dumbest move in the country.
Whether it was Missouri, a very conservative state rejecting Todd Akin or Richard Murdoch in Indiana, voters seemed to be holding politicians accountable for their statements.
Akin, of course, famously said that women who get "legitimately" raped can't get pregnant because their body "shuts that stuff down." "That stuff" presumably is the icky and mysterious inside parts of a woman that makes him squeamish. The inference being that either all women who claim to get pregnant via a rape are lying about being raped, or even worse that they were somehow asking for it. No matter how you slice it that opinion is reprehensible and Akin's political career went up in flames almost immediately.
Murdoch, on the other hand, said that a woman getting pregnant from a rape was "god's will." You should know better than to say things like that! The voters sent this ignorant jerk home last night. I understand the religious cop-out that when something bad happens it's "god's will" but come on, use your head here man! Don't say that it's god's will for women to be raped! Everyone knows that sounds bad!
It might seem that it's cruel to end these guys' careers over one comment made off the cuff. But think about it....shouldn't they know better than to talk about rape so casually? Rape is an EXTREMELY sensitive topic and they should have their policies and their feelings on the subject well thought-out and they should have the ability to be very clear about their positions on difficult concepts. If they were unprepared to speak clearly on such a sensitive issue, are they prepared to be leaders of the people? Seems like they're not.
The thing we need most from our leaders is good judgment. And these guys demonstrated that they don't have it. Period. So being rejected by states that would otherwise seem to embrace them is a good thing.
And speaking of good things there's Maryland and Maine voting to legalize marriage equality for homosexuals, and even Colorado legalizing marijuana for recreational use. A lot of the country really seems to be making progress*.
But then we come to Tennessee. Still representing the south, still backwards as hell. Middle Tennessee folks elected a man to congress named Dr. Scott DesJarlais. DesJarlais, a medical doctor, is a pro-life, anti-choice Republican, as most Tennessee politicians are. But when this guy got his mistress, who happens to be one of his patients, pregnant he pressured her to get an abortion. Seriously! A MEDICAL DOCTOR got his MISTRESS, one of his PATIENTS, PREGNANT. I'm not a doctor, but don't we know what causes this? Then THE PRO-LIFE REPUBLICAN talked her into getting an ABORTION, and RECORDED THE CONVERSATION. Another mistress, who was another one of his patients (!), claims that he gave her prescriptions for pain medications for recreational use, which is why she was involved with him. Are any of those things red flags? Does this sound like the kind of responsible individual we need representing our state in congress?
Come on Tennessee! You're better than this! What the fuck?
*(If you think that's not progress, you're stupid. Gay marriage and smoking pot never hurt anyone. If you think they should be illegal you're just plain wrong and please go back to the 50's. It wasn't wrong then either, but you'll have more company. I'm not gay and I don't smoke pot. I don't stand to gain anything by the legalization of these things. It's just the right thing you do, and every reasonable person knows it.)
By DuggleBogey at 3:42 PM
Thursday, November 01, 2012
I still love my little car, even moreso after my long trip last week. It has its quirks, I was a little worried when the seat got stuck in the recline position and wouldn't come back up. The idea of driving for a lot of hours without any back support was not exactly thrilling, but the seat finally cooperated and fixed itself. I just signed up for Fuelly, which is a website that tracks your fuel mileage. There's a smartphone app to input your fuel-ups. I also have been using Waze, a very cool traffic/GPS application for smart phones. I have even been notified of upcoming police sitting in speed traps, which is worth the price of admission. Which is free.
Scooting weather is officially over, for my commute anyway. My outdoor thermometer read 25 degrees this morning. Even with all my warm riding gear that's never gonna happen. I'm lucky to have a car I love to drive.
By DuggleBogey at 3:25 PM
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
I call bullshit on all the people crying about the replacement referees in the NFL.
All I would hear every week of a normal NFL season is how each person's favorite team is getting fucked by the officials, that every call against their team is a bad call, and every call in favor of their team was justice handed down from god himself.
Now I keep hearing the replacement officials are doing a horrible job. Really? Based on what people have said up until now is it even POSSIBLE for the officiating to be worse? Are they not bringing the game to a screeching halt every 10 minutes to go look at a replay? Because I see absolutely no difference. I'm not seeing any more coaches' challenges, I'm seeing every single turnover play called either right or wrong and being upheld or overturned by replays.
Yes, I am seeing tons of missed calls, and tons of wrong calls, and tons of silly calls. But there was ALWAYS tons of them. Has anything changed?
I've never heard anyone say "wow the officiating in this college game is so much worse than the officiating in the pro league." Because NOBODY EVER THOUGHT THAT. Nobody ever said "this ref will never make it at the pro level." Nobody even knew or cared where officials come from.
Admit it. If you didn't know there was a referee lockout/strike or whatever it is, you wouldn't even notice a difference in the officiating in the NFL this year. You'd say it sucks, because it always has sucked. Only now it sucks, and you have to hear the asshole announcers talk about "regular officials vs. replacement officials."
Those poor assholes have to fill four hours of football every game when the action only occurs for about 15 minutes of that time. Don't give them such an annoying subject to talk about! They are desperate for something to fill that time with. To them this is a gift. A painfully annoying gift.
Last I heard everyone hated officials. Why is everyone suddenly so in love with the referees they hated so much when they called your favorite team for holding last year? I've never met anyone that liked officials. Are they the guys who loved being hall monitor in school?
The officials union and the NFL have a disagreement, and they will eventually get it worked out. The replacement referees will do an equally shitty job until that happens. If you have a problem with that, get over it.
By DuggleBogey at 3:50 PM
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
For ice cream! Ice cream sandwich that is! **Warning, all computery type talk ahead**
I had a bit of a nerdgasm yesterday when I read online that Ice Cream Sandwich was available for me. For those slightly less nerdly, Ice Cream Sandwich is the nickname for version 4 of the Android Operating System. It has been available on certain smart phones and tablet devices for a while, but yesterday the company that makes my Android Tablet (Toshiba) released a version for my tablet.
This was not all good news. Most users got a notification on their actual devices that they could connect to the Toshiba update location and download the new OS and have in installed automatically. This option was not available to me. Being a nerd, I "rooted" my tablet the day I received it. It's called "rooting" because you are giving yourself "root" access to the device, derived from the unix meaning of root access, meaning total access.
Basically when you run the stock version of the operating system on these devices, you are at the mercy of the manufacturer. If they want you to have certain applications on your device, you cannot delete them. If they don't want you using certain features of the device or running certain applications, they will block your ability to use them. They aren't overly restrictive, but it's annoying that they are using up your precious memory space with programs you may not want, and it's even more annoying that you are not free to do whatever you like with a device you purchased.
When you have root access, you can delete or install whatever you like. You have unrestricted access to all the features and workings of your device. This is good and bad, you could potentially break something, which is also not impossible with a stock device but a bit less likely, and you lose access to the approved update mechanism, which gets you the latest improvements and updates. And this improvement and update was something I really wanted.
Luckily for me the people who develop hacked ROMs for my tablet were really on the ball and had a rooted version of the new operating system an hour after the official version was released. AN HOUR! To say these folks were looking forward to this release is a vast understatement.
So last night was spent backing up and downloading and installing and restoring and all kinds of nerd fun. I am really liking the new OS so far. The greatest improvement is in the speed of browsing the internet and the smoothness of video playback. Since those are two of the three things I do the most on my tablet, I'd call that a tremendous improvement.
I haven't run into any bugs or significant interface changes that have bothered me. It's slightly less intuitive than it was, which is strange, but interfaces change all the time.
By DuggleBogey at 10:17 AM
Thursday, August 02, 2012
I love my coworkers with all my heart. I really really do. But sometimes they say things I just cannot fathom.
I was reading a story online about Mitt Romney's IRA account, mentioning that I've read stories that explain how it's possible to have over a hundred million dollars in the account that you are legally prohibited from putting more than six thousand dollars a year into, but I still suspect something shady must have gone on. And my coworker asked "well, how many years has he been contributing?"
$100,000,000 divided by $6,000 equals 16,666 years. Maybe he started working really really young.
At lunch today, while telling me that the best movie he's ever seen is "Transformers 2" another coworker asked me "What's 'Citizen Kane,' is that the black-and-white movie that's supposed to be about the holocaust?"
After explaining that he's talking about 'Schindler's List' and asking him about other Stephen Spielberg movies he said 'Saving Private Ryan' was not very good and 'Jaws' sucked, but if they remade it today with decent effects, it would be a lot better. "They could show from inside the shark, ripping a guy into pieces." Yes, that's exactly what 'Jaws' was missing.
The subject of 'Citizen Kane' came up because they wanted to know what was considered the best movie ever made, and I told them that a lot of people feel like 'The Godfather' was the best movie ever made. Neither of them had seen it, but one of them said "If they do a remake with modern effects, I'll probably watch that."
My coworkers usually spend lunch time with their faces buried in their smart phones. Via this we found out that 'Transformers 4' was going to happen, but they were both disappointed that Shia Labeouf was not going to be involved. When we were discussing what films they thought were good movies and why, the word 'story' was never involved. The acronyms CGI and ILM were constant, however.
I'm beginning to understand why new movies aren't quite as good as I expect them to be. I'm not the desired audience, and the desired audience doesn't want what I want. At all.
By DuggleBogey at 2:54 PM
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Chick-Fil-A is really taking it up the ass lately.
Everything started going wrong for them when someone published a story saying that every year Chick-Fil-A gives millions of dollars to anti-gay rights organizations. It's never been a secret Chick-Fil-A is a religion oriented business, what with their being closed on Sundays. I have heard the restaurant called by the nickname "Christian Chicken," as in "Do you wanna go eat some Christian Chicken?" I went, even though I prefer my food to be more secular. Except for kosher hot dogs. Hey, I'm lactose intolerant.
But being Christian doesn't necessarily mean anti-gay. A lot of Christian people I know choose to regard the part of the bible that has been interpreted to condemn homosexuals the same way they regard the chapters that condemn getting tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) mixing two types of cloth (Leviticus 19:19) or wearing gold (1 Timothy 2:9). Not worth worrying about.
But don't tell that to the Christians in charge at Chick-Fil-A. And don't even try wearing a poly-cotton blend in that place! They will burn you at the stake. Okay maybe not. But wearing polyester doesn't make them feel all icky inside with feelings they don't understand like homosexuality does. Whatever.
Well, the publicity reached the folks that made some of the Muppet toys that Chick-Fil-A gave away to try to attract parents to the stores to buy their children chicken nuggets there instead of the fifty other chain fast food joints that have playgrounds and other good parent blackmailing mechanisms. The Muppet making people decided they didn't want to be associated with companies that give money to hate groups, and stopped providing the toys for the aforementioned blackmailing children.
All of this is fine. If Chick-Fil-A wants to give money to groups who oppose other peoples' lifestyles, whatever. Their money, they may flush it down whatever toilet they choose. I personally think that ship has sailed, and that battle is lost. Young folks could give a shit if someone is gay. Move on. Maybe go after that wearing gold thing, see how that turns out. And if the Muppet making people don't want to be a part of that mess, awesome. Good for them.
But apparently Chick-Fil-A is not as proud of their political actions as they would have you believe, because rather than admitting that the Muppet people are too ashamed of Chick-Fil-A to work with them, they claimed that there was a safety hazard in the toys, and the good people of Chick-Fil-A are doing their best to protect your children from the dangerous Muppet people's dangerous toys.
Also, Chick-Fil-A thinks you are stupid enough to believe this, and that the Internet wouldn't find out. The Internet is a hive-mind. It knows EVERYTHING. This caused a stir, Chick-Fil-A has been caught in a lie. In fact, you might say they got caught bearing false witness against their neighbors. There's something in that book they like so much about bearing false witness isn't there? It's been a long time since catechism class, but I remember that one being in the Late Night show TOP 10 list.
And when people took to Facebook, as people are wont to do, and exposed this fabrication, the fine folks at Chick-Fil-A decided to double down on the lie and create fake Facebook accounts to compound the lies and make things even worse. Because Facebook is on the Internet, and that hive-mind is still there, knowing everything.
Now that Chick-Fil-A realizes it is in the middle of a world-class fuck up of monumental proportions, it says it wants to “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Too fucking late, assholes. Are you going to get those millions of dollars back? Are you going to give the same amount to gay rights organizations? You are already contributing to the policy debate when you are giving money. You can't just back up now and say "this is none of our business."
There's a lot of places out there to get a chicken sandwich. I think I'll be going to one of the others from now on.
By DuggleBogey at 2:52 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
What happened in Aurora Colorado at the premier of The Dark Knight Rises is the precise reason I don't go see movies in the movie theater anymore.
Some fucking asshole brought a six-year old and a THREE-MONTH old to a fucking theater at a Midnight showing.
That shit is intolerable.
By DuggleBogey at 8:55 AM
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Yesterday at lunch a coworker expressed with dismay "It sucks that Bob and Tom are gone!" The other coworker said "Is that why they weren't on this morning? They're gone for good?"
Apparently "Bob and Tom" are morning radio DJs out of Indianapolis (I had to ask) and the radio station in Nashville that broadcast their syndicated antics changed format to gospel music only and gave their show the axe. It doesn't count as much of a loss for me because I haven't listened to radio in years and they were on a country station anyway, I'm pretty sure.
I have listened to "morning radio" in the past, especially Howard Stern when he was in DC and later when he was syndicated from New York. I listened to his replacement in DC, a guy who called himself "The Greaseman" and managed to tell the same dirty joke a hundred thousand times until he discovered a racist one which got him fired for telling it. When I got satellite radio I listened to Opie and Anthony for quite a while, when the advertising breaks weren't so brutally often as they are on broadcast radio. I also remember listening to and enjoying the "Don and Mike" show out of DC in the afternoons on occasion. I would consider myself a fan of the medium in the past, but not for quite a while.
Now I occasionally switch to radio when going from CD to AUX on my car stereo and 99 times out of 100 I will hear a commercial. The one other time I always hear the same Bad Company song every time. I have no use for broadcast radio at all anymore. I exclusively listen to books on tape and podcasts. Particularly Adam Carolla, Mark Maron, Jay Mohr and Doug Benson.
What makes me a bad person is that I smiled when I heard that this show that my coworkers obviously enjoyed was going away. Why on earth would that give me any kind of satisfaction? They obviously enjoyed the program. Something about the fact that it was gospel music that replaced them too made me nearly laugh out loud. All I know of them was second hand stories of their antics, which sounded typically "morning zoo" and usually fairly dirty. Was it the irony? Was it pure schadenfreude? Maybe the re-tellings of "Bob and Tom" stories were tedious? I have no idea. I understand why it didn't make me sad, but why did it make me happy?
By DuggleBogey at 11:59 AM
Friday, July 06, 2012
Someone asked me the other day if I still blog. I quickly told him that "blog" is a noun, not a verb! One does not "blog." One posts on a blog. One who posts on a blog is known as a "blogger."
Anyway, when I stopped being a grammar douchebag, I thought about it. I don't know why I'm not blogging. I used to think I wasn't blogging as much because Twitter was filling the void of saying snarky things on the internet. But they recently blocked Twitter here at work. Yes I have access to the firewall (the CIO's account is WIDE OPEN) and I could unblock it for myself, but since any admin can go in and see who has what access, I don't need said CIO going in and asking "why the fuck does Duggle think he needs Twitter?"
So now I'm not tweeting, and i'm not posting to my blog, what am I doing?
By DuggleBogey at 11:56 AM
Sunday, May 27, 2012
A lot of people will tell you I've always been at least a little off, but today I was way off.
My misadventure started off with a miscalculation. I was headed to a picnic at my boss' boss' house, which I had never visited before and wasn't really sure where it was. I put the location into my trusty dusty motorcycle GPS and headed off on my scooter to obtain hamburgers as assigned for the party and beer for myself.
The miscalculation came when I tried to buy beer on Sunday in my county of Tennessee. Tomorrow being a holiday I completely forgot it was Sunday so I was shocked that I was unable to purchase beer with my $27 worth of raw hamburger meat pre-shaped into patties. Strike one.
I arrived at the fancy house way up on the hill far too early after a fantastic ride along Natchez Trace Parkway which runs the length of Tennessee into northern Mississippi, a beautiful unspoiled 150-mile roadway that doesn't have a straightway on it. Even the bridges, of which there are hundreds, are curved.
Instead of being the first person at the party my social anxiety completely took over and told me to scoot around for a while. The beef was in a cooler on ice packs so it would be fine for another half hour. Plus it was an opportunity to find a beer store in a county that allows alcohol to be transferred between adults on the sabbath. I found a store and the clerk looked at me sideways when I asked if he would sell me beer today. Why wouldn't we? He even asked me for ID. I realize I look young for my age, but I am FORTY FOUR. Sheesh! Okay that was actually a good thing that happened to me today.
When I got back to my boss' boss' hilly driveway I was approaching it from the opposite side, so instead of a 50 degree angle it was a 130 degree turn, and I foolishly wanted to keep my speed up for the hill so I overshot the turn and my front tire went off the pavement onto the grass. I cursed and hit the brakes, looking over my shoulder to see if I could back up without backing into traffic. When I turned my head back around my bike was headed DOWN on the left side. I quickly considered trying to hold it up but instead decided to slowly guide it down.
Unfortunately I guided it right down onto my ankle, and I was foolishly wearing shoes that did not cover my ankle as I nearly always do. I can't remember a time I've gotten on the bike without proper footwear since I twisted my ankle on it last summer. I didn't want to wear clumsy boots at the picnic but instead of bringing a better pair of shoes to wear in my spacious trunk, I wore them.
I pulled my ankle free from the bike now laying on it's side with its wheels off the ground. This is the third time I have put the bike down and each time was an exercise in stupidity. This time, however, I didn't have help lifting it back up. I attempted to lift it on my own but the pain in my ankle was making it very difficult. I abandoned hope of lifting it myself and sat down on the capsized vehicle, exhausted. It would be embarrassing when the next party attendee came along, but at least I would have help getting my bike upright.
For what seemed like 15 minutes but was actually probably 60 seconds nobody came by. I noticed that sweat was running down my arms from the 98 degree heat, and gas was flowing from the overflow spout. Things were not looking good. I got angry and decided to give it one more try, this time managing to get the bike back onto it's wheels by myself. It cranked right up (thank you Honda) and I remember thinking as I slowly tooled up the hill that nobody would know that I was down at all! Score.
But when I got to the top of the hill I barely got the kickstand down before my vision started clouding up and I felt like I was going to pass out. I don't know if it was the heat or the adrenaline rush or what but I was crashing. I grabbed a drink from my cooler and downed half of it, then sat down in the grass. That was the moment other party guests decided to arrive, rushing to me to see if I was okay. They assumed I was hot from the ride, but I told them the whole story of the off at the bottom of the hill. Embarrassment restored!
The picnic was generally pleasant after I recovered, but I was worried about my ankle the whole time. I become a hypochondriac when I have a mild injury, constantly testing it to see how bad it is. At first there was almost no pain at all, but it got progressively worse as the day went on. It remained stationary for almost the entire one-hour ride home and when I got off the bike at my house it was throbbing. I now have it elevated and after take some Tylenol and Advil it feels like I have a cramp in the top of my foot. It is unpleasant but not horribly painful.
Ironically, if my ankle doesn't improve I will have to ride my bike to work on Tuesday. I may be the only guy who drives a manual car but an automatic bike. We shall see!
By DuggleBogey at 8:57 PM
Thursday, May 10, 2012
When I want to post something and cant think of anything to post, I just repeat the stuff I said on Twitter!
Duh. Kia commercial where a guy has a dream where he's driving his Kia at a Motley Crue concert. And the weird part is it's Motley Crue NOW.
We need to invent a lot of shit in the next seven years to make Blade Runner accurate.
After spending 20 minutes trying to post a new profile pic to Facebook, I have decided to delete my account entirely.
I just heard on Fox News that George Zimmerman was running for office on the same ticket as Joe the Plumber.
Does anyone watch Archer? If you don't please start. Unless easily offended. Then go fuck yourself.
Gotta love a news story that says chin implants are becoming as popular as breast implants and uses pictures of breasts as graphics. Nice.
Don't be the guy who gets the entire Secret Service in trouble by not paying a Columbian hooker $46. Just don't be that guy.
I can picture everybody in the Kansas City Royals organization watching "Moneyball" and saying "what a bunch of horseshit!"
They've replaced the toilet paper in the restroom with something more closely related to roofing shingles.
The best thing about being a libertarian is your ideas will never fail because they will never actually be implemented. :|
By DuggleBogey at 11:24 AM
Friday, May 04, 2012
I love dogs. If there is another creature on earth that is born with a greater capacity to love, I don't know what it is. The unconditional love that comes from a dog is unparallelled.
Someone (who reads very closely) asked me if I love dogs so much, why did I wait until I was 30 to get my first dog. An excellent question. My first thought was that I didn't know what I was missing, but that's not really true. Even in my 20s I used to hang out at an animal shelter and take pictures of the dogs for the local newspaper to help them get adopted. There was a dog there I absolutely adored named Mollie. (Not to be confused with my black shar-pei named Molli.)
|This is Molli, not Mollie|
Mollie ran the animal shelter. She was the most terrifying looking dog you've ever seen, maybe a cross between an English Bulldog and a Rottweiler. Of course she was a total sweetheart. When I would sit in the chairs in the lobby of the shelter she would come and lay her gigantic head on my thigh and look up at me with pure love. Mollie only hated two things. She hated the dog catcher, and she hated rats. I know it sounds disgusting, but this was a no-kill shelter. When they needed to expand they had an anonymous donor who gave them money to build outdoor cages out behind the shelter. So the place was really vast. And anytime you have a lot of cages with a lot of dog food around, you are going to get rodents. It's a fact of life. And I saw Mollie plow through 55 gallon trash barrels to try to catch a rat. It was the most hilariously terrifying thing I have ever seen.
Mollie was a sweetheart, but she was never leaving the shelter. That was her home. She was the queen of that castle.
|This picture actually ran in a newspaper once upon a time|
This was the woman who ran the shelter. Yes, it's strange that I can remember Mollie's name and not hers. They only destroyed dogs that were sick. They didn't even kill dogs that would bite. They would try to socialize the smaller dogs that were biters, and the big ones just lived out the rest of their lives in the cages. I think both the dogs in the picture above were recovering biters. Now all they wanted to do was lick you. Puppy dog kisses.
So I didn't answer the question, because I don't really know what kept me from getting a dog for so long. Maybe I never thought I was responsible enough for a dog before then? That implies a self-awareness that just doesn't fit. All I know is I always loved dogs, and I'm glad I have them now.
By DuggleBogey at 4:27 PM
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Title sounds like it would be a good P-Funk song.
The weird little thing in the corner of that picture is a ceramic cookie jar. While it doesn't technically belong to me, I have it and I don't particularly have a use for it as I do not bake. But I am not going to ship it because it will surely break, and I'm not taking it with me to Vegas this summer because I am bringing more important stuff and I'd feel dumb trying to take it through security.
Maybe you could send Waffles to get it?
By DuggleBogey at 10:07 AM
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Levon Helm died yesterday. The first song I ever heard him sing was "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." It's about the Civil War, even though it was written by Robbie Robertson, a Canadian. I love the song now as much as I did the first time I heard it. Part of the reason is Levon's amazing voice.
Obviously Levon would never have won a singing contest. Hell, he would be laughed off of American Idol. Which is why I hate American Idol. I would rather listen to Levon sing than anybody that's ever appeard on that show, including the judges.
Very soon after I heard that Levon was sick, I heard that Dick Clark passed away. I love Dick Clark, but he had a foot in the grave for quite a while. Levon's impending death was a shock to me. He even had a date to play here in Nashville in the near future. I was very worried that the death of Clark would overshadow that of Helm. I'm not sure if it did or not.
Either that or Levon wasn't quite as famous as I thought. Not that it's important. People who know music and love good music know that Helm was legendary. He was the only American member of The Band, and his Arkansas accent fit the style of the group perfectly. One might think the band adjusted their sound to go with his wonderful lilting voice.
Just because The Band hasn't played together in a while, that doesn't mean what they accomplished when they were together was any less impressive. I guess when most peoples' memory of a band is called "The Last Waltz" I guess the endless comebacks would be in poor taste.
On the other hand, The Last Waltz is a true work of art. It was directed by Martin Scorcese, and is widely acknowedged as the greatest concert film of all time. I can't believe it took place in 1976. It doesn't seem that long ago. It holds up today every bit as well as it did when it came out. The music is absolutely timeless. If you haven't seen it, check it out, and you're in for a wonderful experience.
Singing isn't all Levon did, he was the drummer for the band, and he was a multiple instrumentalist. He even appeared in movies. You probably don't realize that you've seen him. He was in The Right Stuff. "Have you got a stick of Beeman's?" He had it, and the deal was "Fair Enough."
I'm not as big a music fan as I used to be. I stopped being interested in new music a few years ago. It seems like music is more fractured now, and that music like that of The Band wouldn't have a place in today's system of labeling. It wasn't country, but it had that feel. It wasn't hard rock or southern rock either. It had a folkish sound. Songs like "Up On Cripple Creek" and "The Weight" defy categorization.
Every so often an artist dies and it hits me really hard. Levon is one of them. When I sing along with him on "Dixie" my voice breaks when he sings "They should never have taken the very best." Levon was one of the best.
By DuggleBogey at 7:34 PM
I used to be into watches. Back before everyone and their 9-year old had a cell phone.
For you kids, a wristwatch is something you wear on your wrist that can tell you what time it is. It's like a cell phone but it only does that one thing. And you wear it on your left hand, so that you can wind it with your right. I know! People used to actually wind their watch every day! Imagine how exhausted we were!
I've never owned an expensive watch, but that doesn't mean I haven't spent a lot of money on them. I have owned a plethora of inexpensive watches of many different styles and colors. I was never fashionable though, so it was never about matching a certain outfit or anything. I would just see a watch and go "hey that's pretty cool" and buy it and wear it for a few months until I'd see another...and so on. I chose them for their novelty sometimes. I had one where the numbers went around instead of a second hand. It confused the hell out of people.
I don't really need to wear a watch. I have a cell phone, I have at least two or three computers within 5 feet of me at almost all times. But sometimes I still wish I had a watch on. It's just more convenient that fishing your phone out of your pocket, pressing the right combination of buttons and hoping the angle of the light is right for you to be able to see the screen.
Especially in meetings. You can be subtle and glance at your watch to know what time it is, or you can make a giant production of picking up your cell phone and clicking away at it as if to say to the person talking "Will I need to shave again before this fucking meeting ever ends?" You may still want to do that, but if you are wearing a watch, you have a choice.
What does wearing a watch say about you? I really have no idea. It's really the only completely accepted type of "jewelry" all guys can get away with. But I still think if you wear a Rolex you're a douchebag. I get it, you can blow more on a useless adornment than I spent on my car. Good for you.
An ordinary watch can be kind of stylish, with a certain amount of function. What is the current take on wristwatches? Is it manly? Does it mean you're old fashioned now? Does it imply responsibility? Or maybe it implies a kind of obsessive behavior. Like wearing suspenders and a belt at the same time.
I really have no idea, I just feel a little different without one on my wrist. Like I'm always on vacation or something.
By DuggleBogey at 10:27 AM
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Have you ever told a joke just to make yourself laugh?
Today @KatGlimmer tweeted: Me in my meeting: "Why am I here?"
@Katglimmer Sounds like a very metaphysical meeting.
And I proceeded to chuckle to myself at this joke for no less than a half hour.
By DuggleBogey at 3:45 PM
Friday, April 13, 2012
Monday, April 09, 2012
And don't fuck with me on beer names. I am the beer fucking MASTER. You could almost say that beer is my middle name. Except it's actually Robert. But wouldn't Beer be a cool name?
The bartenders were cool about it, repeating my pronunciation and pulling on the tap. Stella ARRR-TWAH! I normally go for more amber colored beers, but I like Stella a bit and I saw the tap and thought what the hell. I had already had a couple and something lighter sounded good.
One of the laughing bartenders had a peculiar kind of accent, especially for Nashville. I asked where he was from and he said Scotland! This was only strange because I was in an Irish pub. I was happy though because I got to use my favorite (only?) Scottish joke which I think I heard from Mike Meyers. "What's Scottish for foreplay? Brace yourself!" He may have laughed. Although the more I think about it he may have scowled.
The other bartender did laugh at my joke. She was the reason we were actually there that night as one of my bar-hopping companions has a humongous crush on her. No matter where we start out we end up at this Irish Pub so he can get some attention from his favorite barkeep. At first I thought it was so he could smoke, since this is the only place I've been in Tennessee where you can smoke indoors. But after a few beers he told me the real reason. He even knows her schedule. Kinda creepy.
It's kind of shocking to me how the attractiveness of the wait staff can play such a vital role in the success of a restaurant/drinking establishment. It had not previously occurred to me that having a few good-looking and friendly folks working the floor can make the difference between people choosing your place to spend their after-work happy hours. I never really decide where we are going when I join the work folks for after-the-day libations. I had no idea how the decisions were being made.
It must make the hiring decisions at those places very difficult. I guess the lesson is if you have Jennifer Anniston waiting tables at the "Flingers" of which you happen to be the lunchtime manager, don't give her shit about the number of buttons on her suspenders. Just shut up and turn up the air conditioning.
By DuggleBogey at 11:49 AM
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
That infographic was interesting, but the most disturbing thing was that people who sleep only 6 hours a night could gain 14 pounds a year.
Does that make sense to you? It doesn't make sense to me. Unless the extra hours awake are spent eating. Then maybe. Do you burn calories when you sleep? You can lose weight if you sleep through meals maybe.
I think most of the statistics in that infographic may be misleading. You have to consider the details. What kind of people sleep less? What types of freaks and degenerates skew the statistics? Tweakers and drug addicts come to mind. Increased chance of heart disease? If you wake up early to shoot some heroin, I'm thinking that might affect the numbers.
Yesterday while reading the comments on Tony BigCharles' blog, some guy that calls himself "Shrink" posted that he'd never date a woman who had over a certain percentage of body fat. His point was that Tony had no right to dismiss a potential date because of her weight when Tony himself is a mess. Shrink himself was a fitness nut, so being picky about a woman's figure is his right.
Fuck that guy, he's a fucking asshole. Being skinny doesn't make people automatically attractive. If you're skinny and you're an asshole, YOU'RE JUST A SKINNY ASSHOLE.
Shrink is missing out on all the good women anyway, which is fine, more for the rest of us. He can go fuck his weight bench and get ready for his Jersey Shore audition. I mean if you're into fitness and being healthy, that's great. But if you think that's all that matters, go fuck yourself.
To automatically dismiss someone just because of something superficial like having a few extra pounds makes you a HORRENDOUS person. A lot of people are genetically disadvantaged. So they are unacceptable no matter how cool or sweet or awesome they are? Fuck you! They might work twice as hard as you to get to where they are. You're the lazy turd in that case.
I'm not saying people should be fat and unhealthy. But Jesus, give people a break! Life is difficult. There's a reason why so many people are overweight. It's our society, it's how life works. Being overweight is too easy in our culture. We're predisposed to it. We're evolutionarily screwed. We over eat by instinct. We're like a car gas tank that you can overfill. We put in 30 gallons when we need 20, and we attempt to shed the extra by driving around the block a million times. But some of us don't have the time or the willpower to do the driving.
And the last thing people need is some twenty-something douchebag who has the time to spend all day in the gym spouting off about his body-fat index standards. You're just another kind of moralizer. You're automatically concluding that someone is a bad person or lazy just because they have some extra pounds. You're probably wrong, and you're definitely cruel and just plain stupid.
Attraction has so much more entailed than simply someone's physical appearance. If you aren't able to learn that you're in for a difficult life of disappointment. I don't like to generalize, but in my experience fat people are nicer than skinny people. I have definitely come across a few skinny good looking people who think the world owes them something. I knew an NFL cheerleader that liked it when people called her "princess." She was a shallow fucking bitch that got pissed off when guys didn't lick her toes at every opportunity. Not all skinny people are like that, but I don't know any fat people who are.
It's not really this stupid guy's fault either. Every 22-year old guy thinks he wants a supermodel. Because Playboy told him so. Or some other reference that's not obsolete because I'm OLD! But those women don't really exist, and if they did you probably wouldn't want to be near them anyway.
And women? If you think you are attractive just because you're skinny, you're just like guys who think they are attractive because they're rich. All you'll get is guys who only care about your weight, and all those guys get is women who only care about money. Congrats.
Yes, being healthy and good looking is important. So is having enough money and being able to provide. But it should never be the only consideration. If it is, you suck.
By DuggleBogey at 12:31 PM
Sunday, March 25, 2012
I actually did a "100 Things" post seven years ago. Many of the things I posted in my 25 things are almost exactly the same as in the 100 things. No major contradictions, except maybe about being a picky eater.
I had a pretty funny wtf moment this morning. When I was taking my bath this week the bulb in the recessed lighting above the tub burned out. Of course it went out when I was washing my hair with my eyes closed, so when I opened my eyes it was pitch dark and I was like "What the hell? Did I go blind?"
So I decided to replace the bulb this morning. I needed a step ladder because the ceiling is really high. I have a tall one and a short one but I thought the short one would work. I had to put the ladder inside the tub and stand on the second-top step to be able to reach the fixture. So there I was, wearing nothing but boxer briefs and an Atlanta Braves T-shirt precariously balanced high above a steel covered in porcelain bathtub trying to change a light bulb. If I had fallen I have no idea what the person who eventually discovered my corpse would think. Did this guy do all his home repairs nearly naked?
By DuggleBogey at 12:27 PM
Saturday, March 24, 2012
1. When I was a kid I wanted to be a sports photographer. I gave it a shot and it didn't work out.
2. My favorite shoes are Vans, I have dozens of pairs. I don't skate, I just think they're comfortable and cool looking.
3. I'm the youngest of 2. My brother lives in New Hampshire and has two children. He is a lot smarter than me, but also nerdier. Which makes him VERY nerdy.
4. My mother has had dozens of strokes in her life due to a medical condition where blood clots don't break up in her blood stream. Her first came just after I was born.
5. My father is retired and my parents live in an RV and travel around the country. They seem to like it. They have wanted to do it as long as I can remember.
6. I love television. If I like a show I can watch reruns of it endlessly.
7. I quit listening to the radio, but I listen to Adam Carolla's podcast every day.
8. I have no tattoos and 99% of those I have seen are gross.
9. I have a degree in philosophy. I love logic and reason.
10. My favorite places to visit are Las Vegas, NV and Memphis, TN.
11. When I was 4 my father took me to a bar where I fell down and cut my chin which needed stitches. You can still see the scar on my adorable double chin. I believe me father took shit for it for years.
12. When I lose my temper I usually realize halfway through my rant that I'm being irrational. This usually doesn't stop me.
13. I make a lot more money than I ever expected to. I planned on being poor but things rarely go as planned.
14. I like dogs more than cats. I like dogs more than most people.
15. I got my first pet at age 30.
16. I'm not a very hairy person. I usually only shave my face twice a week or so, and my chest is almost totally hairless.
17. My favorite musical artist is Elliott Smith. I am still upset that he killed himself.
18. I have never had sex at MY workplace. I am not saying I haven't had sex at someone's workplace. In a walk in freezer. I am not saying that.
19. I consider myself a picky eater, but there's no food I won't eat. I feel like I have peculiar tastes. I do think that most of the people I know have the diet of 10 year old children. There are actually chicken finger restaurants now.
20. I think the food I cook, when I take my time and do it right, is better than what you can get in 90% of restaurants. I may only cook a dozen dishes, but they are all outstanding.
21. I am upset at Alton Brown for ending the show Good Eats on the Food Network. I learned almost everything I know about cooking from that show.
22. I recently started drinking once in a while after work with the guys. Before this I may have gone without drinking more than one drink at a time for 10 years.
23. One of the reasons I've lost weight over the last nine months is that I cannot tell the difference between being hungry and being stressed out, and I was under a lot of stress recently. Now that it's over I'm trying to continue the trend by controlling portions and eating healthier food.
24. My real name is Douglas, but I prefer Doug or Duggle. My other favorite Douglas is Douglas Adams, who was a bona fide genius. I have been a George Clooney fan since he played Dr. Doug Ross on ER.
25. I love children. Other peoples'. I don't have children because I never wanted to have children.
By DuggleBogey at 8:52 PM
Saturday, March 17, 2012
I have never been to a strip club.
I never really thought that was unusual until I asked around, and I daresay I've never met another man my age or younger who has never been to a strip club at least once. Even my most religious friends have a story, usually about a friend that dragged them there or a bachelor party they were compelled to attend.
I certainly don't have any moral objection to strip clubs. If guys want to spend their money there and they think it's worthwhile, good for them. I like boobs as much as any guy (perhaps even more) so I certainly understand the attraction. I absolutely do not think I have any moral superiority because I have never been. I don't really have the ability to suspend disbelief enough to be turned on by a woman that's primarily interested in my wallet. Some guys say that's all women, but I respectfully disagree.
I really think I just missed my opportunity. When I was young and horny (as opposed to old and horny like now) I probably would not have avoided going to see naked women. But I didn't really hang out with "strip club" guys. I hung out with "Dungeons and Dragons" guys. And there was nothing hipster cool about being a D&D nerd in the 80s.
I did go to a porno store in Washington DC once that had those booths where you put money in and girls danced behind glass. I was dragged there by some friends! There may have been a bachelor party involved! I would say I've never been more uncomfortable in my life. I didn't go into the booths, I just browsed the dildos on the shelves from afar and high tailed it out of there.
So basically the reason I never went to a strip club is that I was never invited to go to one. Nothing dramatic. More likely pathetic.
By DuggleBogey at 7:50 PM
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Okay, I had no idea there was a "Hooker Week" or a "Stripper Week" or anything like that going on. I think I'm reading the wrong blogs. Nobody I follow posts anymore. I miss all my poker blogging buddies. I think they all quit their poker blogs and moved onto some other blogs that I don't know about. Or they just Twitter, which is cool. If you have a blog in my blogroll and would like it changed to some other link, let me know and I'll do it. As it is that list is pretty pathetic.
When I heard about hooker and stripper stories I counted myself out because I've never actually recognized a hooker, even in Vegas, and I've never actually been to a strip club. So I must not know any good stories. But! I remembered a story and told someone about it and they said I MUST post it. So here goes.
I went to one bachelor party in my life. My friend's sister was getting married, and I was invited because I was nearly almost friends with the prospective groom and I was good friends with his sister. The party was in a small hotel room and there was stripper. I think the groom actually set it up. I know for sure he paid for it.
The stripper came in and got completely naked, which was kind of shocking to me. I did not expect to see bush that night. It was the 80s and I was probably 20 or 21 years old so strippers still had pubic hair. I felt very awkward and uncomfortable about it, even though the stripper barely even glanced at me the entire time. She was very attractive, but she arrived with a very large black gentleman. Actually, he wasn't so large as he was FAT. This dude was ROUND.
As part of the act she took my friend Chris (brother of the bride) and laid him down on his back on the floor of the hotel room. Kinda gross. Then she knelt over his head and lowered herself onto his face. There were no panties or anything involved here. While my friend couldn't see anything beyond the mound of flesh in his face, the stripper proceeded to put tons of lipstick all over her mouth. When she was finished she bent down and laid a gigantic kiss on his crotch, spreading bright red lipstick all over his pants.
When they both got up off the floor, you couldn't have gotten the smile off Chris' face with a sandblaster. I've never seen a guy so happy, yet he was totally oblivious to the large red stains on the front of his trousers. As friends, it was our duty to tell him what really happened. Have I mentioned that we are really bad friends?
As it would happen the groom's money ran out and the stripper went on back to her studies. (I assume she was working her way through medical school.) The bachelor party then moved to the bar where the bachelorette party was going on, with all of the girlfriends of the guys in the wedding. Including Chris' girlfriend Sandy. It was then that our duty as friends kicked in. While standing at the bar in full view of his girlfriend, we pointed at Chris' crotch and told him he might want to clean up a bit.
Isn't it great having friends?
By DuggleBogey at 2:05 PM
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Well, I'm starting month three of the new job. If I had to pick one word I'd have to go with "Fantastic."
I spent the first week or so basically just finding my way around. I don't mean "learn where the bathroom is" although I did that too. I mean learning my way around the systems. There were a lot of white-board drawings and handwritten stuff documenting how a lot of the systems around here are configured. Since I needed to learn them I transferred them to an electronic format that I could distribute to everyone. It worked out well, I learned a lot, they replied to me with corrections to my drawings and I learned even more.
I wasn't too busy though, and I was starting to feel conspicuously "not busy." All that came to and end when word got out that if you had a problem with the system I support, send an instant message, an email or just call "this guy." I was "this guy" and boy were people looking for someone to call. I got pushed overboard into very deep water and luckily I learned to swim very quickly.
But even the calls and messages coming from all directions were of a type that I'm not accustomed to. They were nice. When I responded and tried to help, they were grateful. Even if I wasn't helping, they seemed grateful that someone was actually trying to help. At first it seemed like all these people were neglected and just grateful to have some attention. But it's a lot more than that.
All my work experience in IT thus for has been in industrial settings. This means 98% male. And you can pretty much throw in the 2% females too, since they always seemed to be trying to prove they were tough enough for the all-male environment of industrial manufacturing. When guys call for help they usually do it begrudgingly. They don't like that they need to call, they don't like you if your system is broken and they aren't usually very grateful if you fix it. Support calls were often just a series of grunts.
Now at least 80% of my interactions are with women. Mostly doctors and nurses or clinical receptionists. Health care is a profession dominated by women, and in almost every interaction the women are nicer. They sound happy to have someone to talk to about their problem. They seem grateful that you care about their issue. They make jokes and laugh at your jokes. They call you sweetie and honey and say "I love you!" when you fix their problem. I never had a single person tell me they loved me at the car plant. Well, maybe the security guard, but that was during a particularly invasive strip search and I think he was just trying to make me feel better.
It's very disconcerting for me to deal with nice people all the time. I try to be as nice as I possibly can and I always have because you never know when you're going to be asking these people for a favor later. Especially for patience when you screw up something, which I tend to do. A Lot.
I told my boss I was not accustomed to people being so nice because of my manufacturing background, and he said he could take care of it by calling some folks and telling them to be mean to me. I told him I'd appreciate that.
By DuggleBogey at 4:09 PM
Monday, February 27, 2012
I used to think I knew a lot about baseball. When I actually played I was a student of the game. I wasn't great but I loved it. I still love watching it, I love the strategy of it. Like Kissenger said, most of the action takes place in your head.
There's a lot to love about baseball. I love the Yankees. I love certain players. My favorite all time player is Lou Gehrig. I was a first baseman through most of little league and high school, but I was more of a defensive first baseman with a decent obp but not much power. I might have had a chance as a middle infielder if I could have thrown a runner out from the hole. I had the hot glove, but the arm wasn't there. But even though I'm right handed I love first base, and I took it very seriously. If a throw got past me I was ashamed. I don't care if it was in the dirt or five-yards wide, I knocked that fucker down or it was my fault, errors be damned.
Another thing I loved about baseball was baserunning. I loved Ricky Henderson. Stealing bases just seemed like such an incredible feat. Talking a walk, stealing second and scoring on a single is so beautiful it feels like cheating. Stealing third and scoring on a flyout is like money from home. I was no base stealer, but I loved smart baserunning. Watching for fielders out of position, getting an extra base, I was all over it.
When I moved to Kansas City in 2000, it was really great because I was a 20-minute drive from the K. Kauffman Stadium was where the Royals played, and you could go there 82 times a year and see a baseball game. You could see the Yankees and the Orioles and the Red Sox. You could even see the Cardinals if you didn't mind a big crowd. (The Yankee crowds were the next biggest, for sure.) I saw just about every AL team in the three years I lived there. It was ten bucks for a bleacher seat, and I could leave my house at 7:00 for a 7:30 game and still see some warm-ups.
In KC I started following a baseball writer named Rob Neyer. Rob published a lot of baseball columns, and he did a personal column about the Royals, of whom he was a fan. He was a disciple of Bill James and talked a lot about sabermetrics. SABR is the Society of American Baseball Research, and learning about sabermetrics was a real eye opener to me. Sabermetricians basically believe that baseball players and games can be broken down to statistical probabilities based on a players numbers. And that certain numbers are much more important than others. Like on-base percentage and slugging versus batting average and RBIs.
The thing that stung the worst is that defense and baserunning, especially steals, are not important statistics in sabermetrics. That hurt. I loved defense and baserunning, and considered them a quintessential part of the game. Yet here I am learning they are essentially meaningless in the eventual outcomes of the game. This sounded like crazy talk. How could I be so wrong?
Well, of course baserunning and defense matter. They just don't matter enough. In general one player is not statistically better enough at baserunning or defense to outweigh a possible difference in any meaningful offensive statistic. Remember how I was a superior defensive player and put a lot of emphasis on baserunning? It didn't get me far, because those qualities just don't matter as much as being able to put the bat on the ball and making it go a long way. Period. Especially at a position like first base.
Steals are the same. Risking a baserunner that can score on the next extra-base hit costs more than would have been earned by the extra base stolen. So you have to steal successfully at a rate better than 50 percent to make it worthwhile. A great deal more than 50 percent. The risk is generally not worth it.
I always hated the whole "bloop and a blast" philosophy of guys like Earl Weaver, but while old Earl didn't know diddly or shit about sabermetrics, yet he was closer to right than a team that tries to leg out a single, bunt him to second then attempts to poke him in with a line drive. The math just doesn't bear that philosophy out. Walks and slugging are more important priorities.
And walks are insidious. Making the pitcher throw pitches is valuable. Get him tired and hit the hell out of him. Sure there are bullpens full of fresh arms, but bullpens get exhausted in long series, and that brief period when a pitcher starts to get tired are opportunities that cannot be overlooked.
I was completely wrong about what was really important about baseball. Crash Davis said, "strikeouts are boring, besides that they're fascist." Called strikes, balls and taking walks are boring too, but going deep into counts and drawing walks makes it far more likely your team will win. Everyone loves to see an amazing defensive play, a diving catch in the outfield or a shortstop that goes miles into the hole and makes the throw. But those plays are just for the highlight reels, they aren't that important in the long run.
I still love baseball. I can't wait for the season to start. One of the best parts of being a baseball fan is that there's still so much to learn about the game. More opportunities to be wrong.
By DuggleBogey at 11:49 AM
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Waffles goes to the mediator with his wife. The mediator, after considering their divorce says, "Mr. Waffles, I've considered your case very carefully. I've decided to give your wife $1000 a week."
"I think your decision is very fair," said Waffles. "And every now and then I'll try to send her a few bucks myself.'
By DuggleBogey at 8:53 AM
Saturday, February 25, 2012
It seems to me that the Republicans have really fucked themselves in the current presidential election. Somehow they've selected three possible candidates that will eat each other and can't possibly win a general election.
Mitt Romney seems front runner-ish. But he's got some serious problems, which is what gives so much steam to any "non-romney."
I don't really know a lot about the party, but it seems like there's a large group that votes along religious lines, and there's a more secular conservative movement that cares more about fiscal policy and more general social issues not dictated by religion.
The more secular cons like Romney, but he's a Mormon, which most fundamentalist Christians seem to regard a cult. Even the more secular Republicans have to be troubled by Romneycare. If their major weapon in the attack on the current administration is the health care reform act, pejoratively called "Obamacare," it would help if their candidate didn't have a government sponsored health care program of his own.
The other contenders are Santorum and Gingrich. Santorum's name is LITERALLY a gay sex joke. It's very hard to take him seriously since he scares the shit ot of everyone except hardcore fundamental Christians. Not to mention the guy oozes latent homosexuality. His only draw for Republicans is that he isn't a poygamist, and I'm not talking about Romney when I say polygamist. Newt had a $500,000 debt at Tiffany and Co. That's a guy that fucks up BIG TIME or very often. Or both.
And its pretty obvious to anyone watching that Newt is only running for the money. Yes, you cannot make money directly by running for president, but Newt has figured out a way to make being a "former presidential candidate" into tens of millions of dollars in income, so he wouldn't want to win, it would prevent him from making any money. I think that's why Palin never even ran, she couldn't stand to suspend the income long enough to have an actual campaign. Just look at her Governorship in Alaska, it was preventing her from making money so she had to get out.
So part of the party hates Romney and would never vote for him, Santorum scares all the rational members, and Gingrich is just a guy standing at an ATM machine. Which one of these guys is going to beat Obama, whose campaign can be reduced to 7 words; "GM is alive, Bin Laden is dead."
By DuggleBogey at 10:02 AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Someone called me "handsome" today. Well, they didn't really call me handsome, but they implied it. Maybe I just inferred it. Whatever. I'm taking credit.
Of course they may not have meant it, there's a chance they were just being polite, or having fun at my expense. I'm choosing to not see it that way. I'm choosing to believe that this person genuinely feels that I am a handsome guy. Guys know there is something special that happens in your head and your heart when someone special calls you handsome. There's no feeling in the world like it.
I don't consider myself handsome. I felt uncomfortable when they said it, as though they may be playing a practical joke, or I was some kind of fraud. I do feel like I am looking a lot better these days than I have in the past. I got lasik surgery a few years ago. I've lost nearly 20 pounds since I started working on it last summer. I've found a hair style that I like and my hair has a salt and pepper look that I'm not unhappy about. I'm turning 44 on Sunday, I'm glad to have hair at all. I know some guys in their 20s who would be thrilled with my hair.
Until these things started happening, not only did I not consider myself handsome, I really feel I was ugly. I avoided mirrors, and photographs were out of the questions. For someone who loves taking pictures, especially of people, I appear in very few. I always saw a double chin, crooked squinty eyes hiding behind ugly glasses, and raggedy curly hair that never ever looked stylish. I looked like the nerd I was. Revolting. So even the possibility that someone might think I'm handsome is a gigantic upgrade.
I don't even know what it means to be handsome. But there's a chance I am looking better these days. When I went for my job interview with this company I dressed up very smartly with a bright blue pressed shirt and very snazzy tie, navy blue slacks and comfortable but decently dressy shoes. I caught myself in a full length mirror and thought "not bad." I almost thought I was handsome, and that confidence really worked well for me in the job interview. I was definitely dressing up my hand. But the bluff worked.
Still, I'm not handsome. I need to lose another 20 pounds at least, and my eyes, while a decent shade of blue, still make me cringe if I see them at the wrong angle. My adorable double chin is still there, helped by a scar I earned when I was four. I still look pudgy and boyish, which at my age and weight, is not awful. But I can do better.
Sorry no pics so you can't judge for yourselves. Looks are superficial anyway. That's what all ugly people like me say.
By DuggleBogey at 7:38 PM
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Can you believe Whitney Cummings has two new television shows on two different networks....nah just kidding. I'm not posting about Whitney Cummings. Of course I'm posting about the death of Whitney Houston.
I didn't watch the Grammy Awards show this year. (I've never watched it any year.) I assume it was all about Whitney. Every acceptance speech probably mentioned her. Even Chris Brown probably got a few tears in between punches. But was Whitney's death really that tragic?
I suppose it depends on how you measure life. It might seem tragic if all that matters to you is the length. Her life was relatively short. But maybe if you look at Whitney's life as a whole and in a certain way, it wasn't so bad.
Whitney Houston was a superstar from her early twenties. She was absolutely worshipped, not only for her voice, but for her beauty and her sexiness. She may have been one of the most desirable women alive in the 80's. Her performance of the National Anthem brought cheers from the entire country. She made millions from her recordings. She lived almost her entire life in luxury.
And she partied. She obviously spent a great deal of her time seeking pleasure. Sure, people will tell you that living that lifestyle can be greuling and miserable, but it was probably a lot less so for Whitney. I picture her constantly surrounded by entourage and sycophants. If there was pleasure available to anyone, it makes sense it was available for Whitney.
She didn't select a particularly bad way to go out. I'm not even convinced it wasn't intentional. Zanax plus alcohol until you stop breathing while relaxing in a hot bath sounds like one of the most peaceful exits possible. And if the drugs don't finish the job, the water will. Maybe she hated the idea of growing old and ugly, especially as an addict. Perhaps she was facing a future that held no promise for her. She had flown so closely to the sun that coming in for a crash landing didn't appeal to her.
I know I wasn't much interested in what Whitney Houston was going to do with her future fame. She will be beloved, despite the poor example she evidently led as an addict. If you can sing or dance, you will be forgiven anything. It's all the fault of her DISEASE. She was a good person, deep down. Sure she was.
Whitney had a pretty good life. A lot of folks would probably trade with her. Forty eight years of unbelievable talent and beauty? It's almost a no-brainer.
What's sad and tragic about that?
By DuggleBogey at 7:15 PM
Monday, February 13, 2012
"These are great days we're living bros. We are jolly green giants walking the earth. With guns! These people we wasted here today are the finest human beings we will ever know. After we rotate back to the world we're gonna miss not having anyone around who's worth shooting." --Crazy Earl
I love movies. I'm practically an addict. Around 1987, my favorite movie was definitely Full Metal Jacket.I had no idea movies could be like that. Subversive, funny, perverse, horrifying, sad, disgusting and beautiful. I learned about magic hour from watching Full Metal Jacket.
I wanted to be a professional photojournalist when I was a kid. I gave it a pretty good shot, I just didn't have what it took to be an artist. I confused artistic talent with technical skill. I had the skill but I never took art seriously. I thought it was fun. When I was working as a full time photojournalist people would ask me how it was I always said the same thing, "It's better than working!" I did some good work and got lucky a lot.
So it didn't hurt that a reporter and photographer for Stars and Stripes featured prominently in Full Metal Jacket. I recall watching the film and identifying the still cameras being used. The director, Stanley Kubrick was a former photographer so the gear, just like everything else in the film, were very authentic.
I even asked a girl on a date because she had a Full Metal Jacket poster in her office/darkroom. She was a photographer at a newspaper where I was trying to get a job. I discovered later that the poster wasn't hers, someone had left it up and she didn't know anything about the movie. She was a nice girl, very bright and a good photographer. But she didn't have much of a personality and neither did I, so we didn't have much going on. I was such a nerd. I don't remember much about the date except that I met her roommates when I picked her up and they were all gorgeous. They were so happy that the girl I was picking up was going out on a date.
It's funny the things you remember when you're watching old movies. I've seen other films that I like as much or even more than Full Metal Jacket. I remember that Full Metal Jacket poster very well. But for the life of me I can't remember that girl's name.
By DuggleBogey at 1:05 AM
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
I need pants.
Two days ago I discovered three pairs of pants simultaneously needed replacement. One pair broke a belt loop, another pair developed holes that look like they were a manufacturing defect, and the other pair I spilled glue on and ruined. I tried removing the glue but that was a disaster. Maybe sandpaper was the wrong tool to try. At least I fixed the $2 item I was working on, even if I did ruin a $30 pair of pants. Nice work!
Anyhow, now that I've exposed my keen abilities in the housekeeping department, I need more pants. My new job requires pants. The dress code is, well it's not really a dress code. You have to figure out how to dress by feel. There's my office, which is pretty casual, jeans and golf shirts are pretty common. There's an operations center down the hall where it's fortunate if they're wearing clothes at all. If you walked in during third shift it wouldn't be a shock to see cut off shorts and a wife-beater. Down the street is the corporate headquarters. I wore a dressy shirt and tie with slacks and I felt under-dressed. Three piece suits are not uncommon, if you're wearing jeans you better be laying carpet or working on the air conditioning.
The vast majority of my work doesn't require me to go to the corporate headquarters, but I have to go over there occasionally. I think I can get away with bringing some nicer clothes to change into if I have to go over there unexpectedly. Right now I dress nicely if I anticipate having to go over there for something.
I love the idea of wearing jeans to work every day. They're just more comfortable. If you're going to ask your employees to spend a lot of time at an office and they don't interact with the public at all, I think you should encourage them to be as comfortable as possible. But then I really like being dressed a bit nicer in an office environment. It gives that little extra flair of professionalism that makes an office a little bit nicer. Plus I just like looking nicer if I can. I usually compromise by wearing jeans but adding a sportscoat or a pressed oxford shirt. Or I wear khakis or some kind of non-denim pants that are more comfortable than dress slacks.
But where do I go for new pants? I usually try to buy everything on the internet, because 1) I'm lazy 2)It's usually cheaper and 3)I'm lazy. But I've been burned buying pants on the internet before. And when I buy something that doesn't turn out how I wanted there's a 50% chance I won't get around to returning it. Have I mentioned that I'm lazy? I have a pair of pants that I've never actually worn that feel like they're made out of fiberglass. Looked great on a computer monitor, stain resistant even! I don't think you could stain them with a magic marker. They're like dry-erase pants.
So I plan on making all my future pants purchases in person. I wasn't sure where to go, until I found out that the "Million Moms" movement is trying to get Ellen DeGeneris removed as a spokesperson for JCPenny. Now I'm no fan of Ellen. I saw a comedy special of hers over a decade ago and thought she was funny, but I've never seen her talk show. If someone wanted her removed because she wasn't funny I'd be okay with that. Or if they wanted her removed because she acts like a cunt, I'm cool. But they want her removed because of her sexual orientation? That's bullshit. How is it anyone's business who Ellen wants to fuck? Also, don't call yourself "Million Moms" unless there are 1,000,000 of you. There's 40k. At least be honest if you're going to call someone out as undesirable. Wanna know what's undesirable? Liars.
So I'm buying some quasi-dressy comfortable yet still appropriate for the office pants from JCPenny.
By DuggleBogey at 10:59 AM
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
One of the perks of the new job, besides the bigger salary (natch) is that I actually have an office, with a door! It's fantastic. For someone who has lived in cubicle land for the bulk of his career, being able to close a door is like gaining a new sense. Now I can close the door and actually use a speaker phone! I don't have to share every conversation, personal or otherwise, with all my co-workers and people who happen to be walking by.
Of course there's a catch. The office is right next to the elevator in this side of the building, so all I hear all day is elevator going up, elevator going down. Hiss and crank. Doors open, doors close, hiss and crank. It's kind of maddening, but my coworkers claim they don't even hear it anymore. I do.
My solution was to bring in a stereo from home. About 10 years ago I bought a bookshelf stereo system and hooked it up to my PC so I could listen to music or movies or games or whatever with decent sound. It actually has a lot of features for a bookshelf stereo, like a dvd player and a wireless remote. I never used it for more than its AUX IN feature. But my desktop PC usage diminished when I stopped playing online poker and WoW. I pretty much survive with laptops, netbooks and tablets now. The desktop is the port of last resort.
One of the beautiful features of the stereo was that it played MP3 files from the disc, which was a DVD. So that's up to 9gigs of music played in random order. It's like a commercial free radio station that only plays songs you like. I burned some collections on DVDs. I had a ball making disks of various artists, discographies and interesting mixes. One DVD is all greatest hits albums, one is top 100 songs from each year in the 70's, etc.
Unfortunately, when I got the unit to the office, the DVD player wasn't functioning. It just says "no disc" no matter what you put in there. It's been so long since I tried it I have no idea when it quit working. I'd replace the system but nobody really makes anything like it anymore. Why would they? An Ipod and a speaker does the work with far less effort.
But that's essentially what I had, an Ipod speaker, except that it sounds better than 99% of those on the market. I grabbed an MP3 player that hadn't really been used in a while (I actually had many to choose from, shamefully) and cleaned the built in disc of random movies and songs that had been stored over the years. I copied several of the DVDs onto the drive and set it for random play. It's a beautiful system because I have the player sitting on my desk with a long wire running to the stereo in the back corner. I can pause if the phone rings, fast forward a track I'm not in the mood for, whatever. It's awesome.
The collection is weird though. I have discographies of Rush, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Supertramp, Alan Parsons Project, Peter Gabriel, Steely Dan, etc. So the bulk of the songs that get played are classic rock standards and deep cuts, with other occasional bands from the greatest hits collections and one disc I called "good albums" shuffled into the mix. There's still room on the player's hard drive, so I can add more music to the 3214 songs that are on there. I haven't put the "top 100" discs on there yet, and I may delete some of the Rolling Stones' albums. They have some amazing stuff, but some are almost embarrassingly bad.
Yes, I'm stuck in classic rock hell and will never listen to anything new this way. If there was a way to listen to new music (youtube?) that wasn't nauseating I might hear some new bands occasionally. This is Nashville, so going out and hearing music means both kinds, country and western. To be honest I most get exposed to "new" music from movie soundtracks and television commercials. So that puts me far behind the curve. But so what? It's all shit since Elliott Smith died anyway.
By DuggleBogey at 11:05 AM
Monday, February 06, 2012
Showers are fine, they'll get you clean and ready for the work day. But on Monday mornings, I like to bathe.
When I lived in Oklahoma, I didn't even have a bathtub in the master bathroom. There was a small tub in the hallway bathroom, but the master bath just had a stand-up shower. I suppose it was sacrificed for the huge walk-in closet, which was nice. I didn't care except that it was as dark as a dungeon. I didn't know what I was missing.
When I moved to Tennessee, I wanted a big-ass master bath. I loved the place in Oklahoma, but it was thirty years old, and didn't have the features some newer homes have. The Tennessee place was brand spanking new, and had some beautiful features you only see in a new home, like an exhaust-free gas fireplace, dual-pane energy efficient easy-to-clean windows, and yes, a gigantic master bath with a big whirlpool tub.
I was looking forward to a nice bathing experience. I filled it with hot water, or as full as I could get it. The water heater couldn't quite fill the tub before running out of hot water. I dropped in some girly-smelling bubble stuff and let the whirlpool jets generate bubbles almost to the elevated ceiling. I got in and...sat. It was a letdown. It wasn't very relaxing, the water was tepid and I was bored.
So the gigantic master bath sat unused for a couple of years. I was kind of pissed. I found out from a lot of people that their big whirlpool bath goes unused. I would have none of it.
First I would address the tepid water issue. I looked into the in-line water heaters, but someone told me that I would be better off just turning up the temperature of my water heater. I looked and sure enough, the heat was set at the lowest setting. I cranked that sucker up to boiling. It's dangerous, you can seriously scald yourself. But there are no children in my house. Sure the heater sits around with hot water cooling off and heating up all day, but it turns out it's pretty efficient and doesn't use that much more energy.
Next I addressed the boredom. I had an extra LCD computer monitor sitting around, so I hooked it up to a DVD player with HDMI output. I mounted the monitor to a swing-arm on the wall and attached a stereo. It's sad that I can't play store-bought DVDs on it, because of retarded copy-protection schemes. Good thing there's fair use.
I tend to sleep in on weekends. I generally awaken zombie style at 6am on weekdays to prepare for the work day. But weekends are for being lazy and sleeping until I can't keep my eyes closed anymore. Sometimes it even screws up my sleep schedule. I'll stay up until the wee hours. Screw morning guy! He can take it. He's tough. Let's watch Robot Chicken! Whoo!
But even if I've only had a few hours of sleep on Monday morning at 5am I get into a steaming hot bath and soak. I'll usually watch half a movie or a couple of episodes of a TV show. It's so relaxing and feels so good I don't even notice a lack of sleep. Normally if I don't get enough sleep I am nauseated in the mornings (grammar tip: nauseated means you don't feel well. Nauseous means you make others nauseated. Like noxious. If you say "I'm nauseous," you're not saying you're sick, you're saying you're nauseating.)
The only problem with the master bath now is that it has been invaded by ladybugs. Everybody likes ladybugs right? Not me. Especially when they drop in on you out of nowhere when you're naked in the bathtub. What the heck do you do about ladybugs, how are they getting into my bathroom and why? Normally I'd like a lady in tub with me, but not a ladybug. They're kinda nauseous. Ew.
By DuggleBogey at 9:09 AM