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.

Friday, November 09, 2012


To be fair to all those people that say the country and the economy are going to go straight down the tubes after Obama won re-election, I said the exact same bullshit when George W. Bush won his re-election.

Wait a minute...

Thursday, November 08, 2012

One of My Favorite Jokes

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:

Vote Republican or You're a Faggot

Seriously? Girly-man? The pink ribbon really helps your case here.

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?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Come On Tennessee...Really?

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.)

Monday, November 05, 2012



Thursday, November 01, 2012


Shadows are getting long after work these days. I suppose after daylight savings ends this weekend I will be driving home in the dark.

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.