23 February 2008

Bumper sticker...

Bumper sticker seen in Portland Oregon:

"Fixies are the new rollerblades - Fruit Booters Unite!!"

Damn, that's funny.


16 February 2008

Quote of the week...

In what was no doubt, at least for me, the quote of the week, here we have John Boehner (being from Ohio how does this guy have a perma-tan anyway??), minority leader Congressman from Ohio stating the following on the floor of the House about democrats wanting to, you know, actually look into this FISA bill update that will allow the US Government to spy on its own citizens without a warrant:

"We will not stand here and watch this floor be abused for pure political grandstanding at the expense of our national security,"

John, of course you're going to stand there and watch it. Why? Because you've done far worse on the floor of the same House than these guys are doing. Here we have the democrats, who unlike in the Senate, are looking into this bill. Exploring it. Reading it. Looking at the information behind it, and then they'll address. This is something that doesn't need to be taken lightly, since indeed it is essentially about allowing the federal government to wiretap our phones, and read our e-mails without getting a warrant, as is required by that whole, you know, Constitution thing that resides in the National Archives in Washington DC and all. Of course Boehner forgets about national security back in the days when he and his cohorts were busy trying to oust Bill Clinton from the presidency for having the audacity of being a democrat in the White House and in the Presidency. Because, remember, back when Clinton was going through his impeachment, he was also trying to kill Osama Bin Laden, except at that time, the republicans in Congress were complaining that what Clinton was doing was trying to "wag the dog", referencing a movie of the same name that showed a President embroiled in scandal who created a war in order to take the emphasis off of his scandal. We know now that Clinton was not making this up, but at the time, there sure were a lot of republicans who didn't know what Bin Laden was about, and didn't care. They were busy ignoring their Constitutional duties to try and take down a sitting President. But hey, let's make sure we allow Bush and his boys to spy on Americans without having the proper warrant. Never you mind that the FISA laws already provide for this. Bush keeps saying that democrats are making American "less safe" by not passing the bill that he wants, and how he wants it. Good lord, when are democrats in Congress going to stand up to this 30 percenter and put their foot down? Apparently, never.

Look, FISA already provides for the allowance to wiretap and intercept communications for up to 72 hours before you actually need to get a warrant. There is a special secret court that can be called into session literally at any time to get warrants issued for this purpose as well. And since FISA was established the court has denied warrants I think a total of 2 or 3 times total, out of thousands that were requested. Are you trying to tell me that our government doesn't have the ability it already needs to legally pursue people? Bush talks about how they need more latitude to pursue the bad people, but of course, they can't provide examples of where some sort of immediacy has prevented anything from happening, and something that the 72 hour part of the law wouldn't have covered. And, this is the kicker. The Bush administration also wants immunity for the telecommunications companies who did these wiretaps to prevent people from suing them for infringement of their privacy, and that's the whole sticking point right now. Hello? I would imagine that these large companies would have, you know, rather large and well paid legal departments. How is it not possible that their lawyers didn't tell them that indeed, you shouldn't do wiretaps without a warrant. The laws are pretty simple that way. No warrant, no wiretap, or e-mail. I often also wonder aloud what the reaction would be of republicans currently in Congress if say, Al Gore were President and was asking for this to happen. You can be sure that they would be screaming bloody murder, and we'd have another impeachment on our hands for crimes against the Constitution, in which case, they'd be right. I don't want ANY President, or government agency to be able to wiretap AMERICAN citizens without a warrant. It flies in the face of what we're supposed to stand for. Doesn't it? How many times does this current administration have to step on our rights, and our laws before they're called out on it?

The Bush administration is smug, and sound in their reasoning that they can pretty much do whatever they want, and Congress isn't going to do a damn thing about it. Look at Congress now. As I said before, George W. Bush has little to no support within the country as a whole, and the WORLD as a whole, and yet, the democrats in both the Senate and the House keep rolling over and giving the Chimp in Chief whatever he wants. He wags his finger, calls democrats terrorist supporters and sympathizers, and then they give him exactly what he wants. What a joke. And then you have the minority party in the Senate, the republicans, who have held up literally every single piece of legislation that the republicans didn't bring themselves into that hallowed chamber, and or didn't like, and nobody calls them obstructionists, when in fact, they have obstructed, or stopped more legislation than any other Congress before them. Look, democrats, time to get tough, take a stand, and start leading, instead of letting Bush and his buddies continue to do whatever it is they want. Stop being such pansies for Christ's sake. Do something to show us that you want to actually lead, and that you actually care about this country, its laws, and its Constitution, because so far since you took back the House and the Senate, we haven't seen it.

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10 February 2008

Jason Darden's new shoes...

I have found the perfect new pair of cycling shoes for one Jason Darden. See attached picture to the left... 

These are the Sidi special edition Bettini shoes. I know Jason is going to run out, lay down his 500+ dollars for a pair of these bad boys and I mean really who wouldn't? Well, probably me, mostly because I'm not Italian and can't pull of "style" such as seen here in there them shoes. Come to think of it, Jason isn't Italian either. The person most likely to purchase this pair of shoes would be one Curtis S. Staples. I'm sure that he's actually pining away for such a thing as we speak. I do take these shoes to be another silly example of how much money some folks will actually pay for cycling gear. Meaning, I think the retail on these bad boys is going to be about $550, which, come on seriously? Over $500 for a pair of cycling shoes? It's dare I say, crazy, or ridiculous, pick your adjective, they will all apply. But then again, this is the world where people will pay $600 for a ceramic bottom bracket that overall, ain't gonna make you faster, but dang, it says that it will. Also, the same group of people who will pay $400 for a pair of bib shorts. Don't get me wrong, I like me some nice cycling gear, and will pay some money to get some nice cycling gear, but I'm not absolutely insane, and absolutely know where to draw the line. Bear in mind, for this particular pair of shoes, I once owned a pair of the top of the line Sidi road cycling shoes. The SRS Energy 2 I think it was. This was way back in 2001. At the time, they were expensive, retail was about $200. Can someone honestly tell me what they've done over the course of 6 or 7 years that would make these new shoes over double what my shoes were? Nothing. Oh sure, they might have added some carbon fiber to the sole and all, but that's about it. Incredibly ridiculous. No thanks for me. I'll stick with my $15 specials a friend of mine got for me, and the only reason they were $15 is because I felt like I needed to give him something for the shoes. He was going to give them to me for free. 

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09 February 2008

Coming to a head...

As some of you know, after reading some of the things that I've written about my place of employment, things where I work aren't the best. Things came to what I would like to call a head yesterday. This is when my dumb ass of a boss decided that we needed to start working weekends on a rotating basis. Yep, weekends, you know, the time that I used to have free to do, well, things. No more. 

See, the thing of it is, is that I wouldn't mind coming in on a weekend here or there, if I weren't already working 60+ hours every week, but I am, and I would like to have some time off on the weekends to do something for myself, or with my wife, which would be even better. Yet, now I'll have to make the drive to my place of employ once every 3 weekends, and do MORE work. Yeah, good times. 

In lieu of this new announcement by this Lumberg wannabe, almost as soon as I got home yesterday, I started sending out resumes to various other businesses around where I live. Yes, I started the process, and continued it this morning by sending out more resumes to various other corporations and or companies. The place where I work is going to go down in a big ball of flame, and I don't want to go down with it, and I don't want to work weekends, so the job search begins. We'll see what shakes loose and what comes of it, I don't know for sure, but just about anything has GOT to be better than what I've got now. You know how they say the grass is always greener? Well, in this instance, I'm sure that it really is. 

About the working weekends thing, we (my department) basically told our boss that we weren't going to do it unless we get some sort of compensation. Meaning, extra pay, or extra vacation time, because as stated above, not only have I been working 60+ hour weeks, everyone in the department has been doing that, for quite some time now. We all need a break. The mechanical engineers that I work with, they have also been tasked to work weekends. After all of these pronouncements were made yesterday, the entire office region was buzzing with loathing for our bosses, and there wasn't really a happy person in there. Oh, yeah, and the material and production planners are going to have to come in on weekends as well. Basically, everyone is going to be working weekends. Talk about a morale boost eh?

I keep hearing from our managerial staff that "things are going to get better". Oh yeah? When is that going to happen? We've been hearing this same bullshit for well over 2 years now, and guess what? Yeah, it's not getting better, it's getting worse as we speak. And now, they're going to lose a lot of people because of this weekend business that's for sure, and from just the basic reasoning of nobody likes it there any longer. What would really suck for my department is if I left. Right now, I am the most senior person in my department, with over 7 years in at the company. I have a seriously sold base of knowledge about what goes on there, what happens with our products, how to review products, how to do our job, and I believe deep down that I do it well. Folks in my department, including my boss, come to me to ask me how to do things, or to explain things to them. When (not if) I leave, they're going to be in a world of shit. In order for me to stay, they're going to have to pony up some serious cash, or a change in title and cash, because barring that, it isn't worth it. Hell, even with that, it might not be worth it. Say I told them I was leaving, and then they wanted me to stay, and that they would bump my salary up a bunch. I might stay another year, cash in, and THEN leave. Who knows? What I do know though is that the place is getting the flush, and I, along with about 400 other people, are completely and totally unhappy about what is going on.


06 February 2008

Turns out...

So it turns out, in a previous post about the "line up" (see it below) I was talking about this woman that I work with Kara, and the other guy I work with Jamie lurking around her desk day in, and day out. Wondering probably if she was going to throw him a crumb or not, and I said, probably not in a million years. Well, turns out, I was wrong. Indeed, they are doing "laundry" together (I might call it laundry, but other people would call it doing the hibbity dibbity). Anyway, turns out that they're both heading for the big D, and I don't mean Dallas, so they have apparently found one another at work. How quaint. It makes me want to hurl. It's like a freakin' junior high in that place lately. Oh well, to each their own I suppose. Even if I weren't married, you'd not catch me dating someone at work. To hell with that.

Anyway, there are other things afoot at work. The plant manager who is what I like to call a tool bag, has been ousted. Yeah, they sent him back down to the minor leagues, back to the plant he came from (another one of our places unfortunately), but he's only been there for about 6 months, and he's been yanked. Too much. They should have never put him in there, he was not ready to do it, plenty of energy, but no experience, and well, he pretty much just sucks anyway. Yeah, I am a hard critic, but hey, it's my career just as much as his. If the plant manager keeps fucking up, then it could be my job as well. 

My boss, I would like to report has not endeared himself to me at any point in time after the New Year. Instead, he keeps really pissing me off to no end. Let's just say, since I came back after my vacation, and the New Year, there haven't been too many days as of late where I was able to come home before say, oh, 8PM. Sure, there were some exceptions to that, but overall not much really. And today, the bastard has the gall, the nerve I dare say, to call me into his office, and ask me as to why this one thing didn't get done, and then dressed me down about it. Bear in mind, I have been working my ass off for his little projects every single day, and haven't had the time to do really anything else except for Toyota stuff, and we were told, that it was the top priority, stop and drop everything else, so I did. And if someone asked me to do something else, I would tell them, I would do it, if I could find the time to do it, because I had been told that Toyota was top priority. Well, someone needed something done, he asked me, I gave him the above answer, he went to my boss, and that's when I got in "trouble". Now, if I had been sitting around for the week, not doing anything, I had not done this little task, fine, yell at me for that, I would deserve it. But, on the other hand, when I've been working 70+ hour weeks, and slaving for a place that I don't even like that much, is just a touch of respect too much to ask for? I don't think so.

Here's the thing. What he could have done in this situation would be to come over to my desk, and say something like, "Hey, I know you've been working super hard on all of this stuff that we've been asking you to do over the last 4 weeks, but could you take a few minutes and take care of this?" Did he do anything like this though? Nope, he wanted to be a dick about it, and then bring up something else that I was "late" getting over to another customer last week. In other words, he asked me if I could send this report into our customer, and I said yes, but tell them I will do it by COB on Thursday. So he tells them that I would get it to them first thing in the morning on Thursday. I didn't get it in first thing in the morning, and he flipped out about that. Funny thing is, the customer was fine about it. No problem with them. They liked the information I gave them, and closed things out on that one issue. 

My boss is worse than Lumbergh, I guarantee you that. He's just quite simply, a dick. I don't even think he can help it really. I don't think I'll have to worry about him for too much longer though, as he keeps screwing up left and right, so his days are numbered, and he's another one in way over his head. Funny thing about my boss. He was once in the same position I was, and when he interviewed for the position, myself and another co-worker said that no, we don't want him in our group, we don't think he knows what he's doing. Funny, we were right. Too bad nobody listened to us then.


05 February 2008

Hey, Republicans...

Guys, for the love of God, stop trying to "out-Reagan" each other. Do you really want to be tied back to a senile own man, through the admissions of his most trusted staff basically told the world that as a President, he didn't know what the hell was going on most of the time during his 2 administrations? Do you really want to be tied back to a man who supported death squads in South American countries for years on end? Do you really want to be tied back to a man who sold weapons to terrorists, and Iran? Do you really want to be tied back to a man who sold WMDs to Saddam? And the list would and does go on, and on, and on about Reagan's foibles, and his insane amount of mistakes. Did Reagan take down the Soviet Union? In all reality, no, not really, nothing he did brought that about, but he gets "credit" for it because he was in office when the nation started freefalling. I wonder if 20 years from now George W. Bush will be viewed in a similar light? Hell, I hope not. Old President 43 has done possibly even worse things than Reagan.

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