Correct me if I’m wrong…

MoveOn.org has been arranging protests over the election results.

Americans to Come Together in Hundreds Peaceful Gatherings of Solidarity, Resistance, and Resolve Following Election Results

Hundreds of Americans, dozens of organizations to gather peacefully outside the White House and in cities and towns nationwide to take a continued stand against misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia.

Tonight, thousands of Americans will come together at hundreds of peaceful gatherings in cities and towns across the nation, including outside the White House, following the results of Tuesday’s presidential election.

The gatherings – organized by MoveOn.organd allies – will affirm a continued rejection of Donald Trump’s bigotry, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and misogyny and demonstrate our resolve to fight together for the America we still believe is possible.

Within two hours of the call-to-action, MoveOn members had created more than 200 gatherings nationwide, with the number continuing to grow on Wednesday afternoon.

WHAT: Hundreds of peaceful gatherings of solidarity, resistance, and resolve nationwide

WHEN / WHERE: Find local gatherings here. Major gatherings include in New York City’s Columbus Circle and outside the White House in Washington, DC.

RSVP: Please email press@moveon.org to confirm attendance.

“This is a disaster. We fought our hearts out to avert this reality. But now it’s here,” MoveOn.org staff wrote to members on Wednesday. “The new president-elect and many of his most prominent supporters have targeted, demeaned, and threatened millions of us—and millions of our friends, family, and loved ones. Both chambers of Congress remain in Republican hands. We are entering an era of profound and unprecedented challenge, a time of danger for our communities and our country. In this moment, we have to take care of ourselves, our families, and our friends—especially those of us who are on the front lines facing hate, including Latinos, women, immigrants, refugees, Black people, Muslims, LGBT Americans, and so many others. And we need to make it clear that we will continue to stand together.”

WHAT?!?!!?

Isn’t this the same organization that fairly shouted down any and all opposition by disenfranchised voters when President Obama was elected?

Weren’t they the ones who said it’s a done deal, shut up, and get over it?

Didn’t they unfairly label anyone with a dissenting view of President Obama’s policies as racists?

I do find a number of the causes listed on the MoveOn website to be worthy causes. That being said, I can’t get over the irony of the organization organizing protests similar to the ones they railed against just 8 years ago.

Humm,

MoveOn, perhaps it’s time for you to take the lead in unifying this fractured nation. Instead of fomenting fear, alienation, and anger over something that is fait accompli, start meeting with the President Elect and hammer out a workable plan. 

Alternatively, maybe it’s time for you to… Well MOVE ON.

Happy Birthday Devil Dogs!

Usmc day

Admittedly, 

I have a soft spot for Marines. I was never in the military, but when most of your friends (serving and not) are Marines you really can’t avoid it. You also tend to remember certain events. 

My Calendar has a list of notable events; Achievements in Space Travel, beginnings and endings of wars, Presidential addresses that made a difference by reverberating down through history, notable historical events, and even infamous events.

Each year, when the Marine Corps birthday rolls around, I always smile and find that I’m in a pretty good place.

It’s the same feeling you get when you remember a dear friend’s birthday. 

At this stage in my life, more of my Marine friends have passed from this world, than remain.

Knowing that The Corps is marching on and has another year under its collective belt gives me comfort and an odd sense of stability.

I find myself adding appreciation for the sense of stability, to the long list of things I thank the USMC for. 

To the Marines who will be celebrating today;

Party Hard, Be Safe, Be Smart, and bottoms up.

Happy Birthday Old Friend

I’ll be raising a glass to you later tonight.

Whew, I’m glad that’s over

Don’t know who won, DON’T REALLY CARE!

All I can say is that either way I’m glad it’s over.

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Over the past year I’ve been so disgusted with the antics of our “Leaders” all I wanted to do was vomit.

What made things particularly difficult was that I couldn’t help but feel an impending sense of doom.

I suspect that the fallout will continue for months, but I’m glad that the insanity will drop back to a dull roar instead of being front & center.

I will be interested to see which of the Elite, oh so important actors and actresses do in fact, leave the USA. A lot of them have said they’ll leave if this candidate, or that one wins. I’m curious if they’re really people of principals or if they were just trying to stay relevant.

Now, in the aftermath I have questions.

Will Twitter fold and pass from the ether like a bad dream? Will Facebook still kick on and how will continued imposition of draconian terms of service affect them?

Puck112188c

Will the media start reporting the actual events of the day without infinite spin? (Not holding my breath about this one.)

What I’d like to see is a renaissance of News, you know, like it was in the old days after the yellow journalism scandals of the early 20th century. 

I’m unconvinced that there was ever a time when Journalists had absolute integrity. I do long for a time when they at least managed to keep up appearances by actually doing investigative work instead of publishing shit from the internet as true and factual.

I am by no means a journalist. Nor do I play one on TV.

This blog is not news, it is not journalism, and nothing you read here should ever be construed as the absolute truth. 

This blog is a vanity, an opinion piece, a place where I can show my ignorance or intelligence often within the same posting. 

Like assholes, everyone has an opinion and within these pages you’ll be able to see mine.

Images

Occasionally, I’ll hit on some truism, or note something that might be newsworthy or at least thought provoking. I refuse to accept responsibility for how you react to any information you may read herein.

(Unless you come up with the next million dollar idea… then I want 10%)

My point is that it’s over.  The next President of the United States is going to be mostly irrelevant. No matter which one it is, they are not imperials, they will be constrained by laws and purse strings and the folks controlling those things are by far more corrupt than; as South Park put it, Douche or Turd Sandwich.

As an aside, I find it hysterical that of all the stuff coming in over the TV, a risqué animated show that is often aimed at lampooning sacred cows, is more often than not brutally honest, in it’s representation of cultural events or movements.

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I guess that harkens back to the roots of cartoons, caricatures, and comedy. 

I don’t know if it’s ever been said this way before;

A single bitter truth delivered amidst laughter is more effective than a thousand truths delivered in a court room.

I suspect that media will be forever changed by this election.

The people have generally lost faith in a lot of things;

News, Government, our leaders, our police, the FBI, having control over what happens in our own communities, or even in the ability to change the things we don’t agree with or like.

Vincenzo Camuccini La morte di Cesare

We haven’t had a knifing on the Senate floor, but somehow I can’t stop from wondering if we missed the Et Tu Brute moment a couple of decades ago. I wonder if this is what the average Roman citizen felt like in the years following Caesar’s assassination.

If this is what they felt… Well, we know what comes next.

Oh Yeah… Gotta make sure ya get that pound of flesh!

First, I guess I took a little more than a short technology break. I don’t know how frequently I’m going to be posting but I’ll see what I can do to be a bit more regular about it.


Abusers

I’m posting about this growing trend to make sure that someone is absolutely bashed, kicked, shows appropriate contrition, and then is bashed and kicked some more.

Here’s an example.

Been working at a company 6 months, been transferring calls to the appropriate extension for all that time. Phones and extensions are changing all the time and so it was without much surprise that I get a new phone list.

Dead center of the page, there’s a RED label that says “Warm Transfer” followed by an extension. It’s an unfamiliar extension and so at a glance you’d think that the red lettering was calling your attention to a new extension.

WRONG!!!!

Beaten

Turns out someone thought that coloring only the words “Warm Transfer” was a good idea to highlight a supervisory extension on an otherwise data heavy, very busy page.

So in a chaotic, very busy environment, where you’re graded on how many calls you take in a day, and how often your associated paperwork has mistakes and people on the phones complaining about everything from their lot in life to other products, and the product that you actually are there to answer questions about, you make a mistake. In a normal workplace, making a mistake would be, meh and the employees wouldn’t live in fear. Unfortunately that’s not the case where I work.

Torturers

Someone on a call, needed to talk to a person in the department associated with the “Warm Transfer” number. So you dutifully set about to transfer them, and you dial the most prominent number on the phone list.

OOOPPPPSSSS!

An unhappy supervisor answers and asks how they can help. You explain what’s up and they respond by telling you “This is a supervisor line.” You apologize, then they ask how you got this number you explain it’s on a paper in front of you next to text that says warm transfer and tell the supervisor that you’ll let everyone around you know that the number in question is associated with a supervisor so they shouldn’t use it unless they need a supervisor.

The Sup tells you ok, and transfers you to the right extension. You take care of business, then move on to the next grumpy, annoyed, irate person.

Then your corporate instant messaging lights up asking all kinds of questions and demanding to know why you’re not paying attention to their instant messages, when you’re actually doing your job and talking to a customer.

You finish the call and respond to an interrogation via instant messaging. Then you’d think it was over.

IT’S NOT!

Screamingsupervisors

The last and final indignity is that now YOUR supervisor comes over to make sure that you are appropriately contrite, know what your mistake was, and that it was solely your fault that you interrupted a supervisor.

FOR GOD’S SAKE! REALLY?

It was a simple and easily corrected mistake. On top of that the mistake had been corrected & noted immediately after the first supervisor had said it was the wrong extension.

But in this day & age there is no such thing as an innocent mistake. 

Waiting for your mistake

So for me at least, every day is a grueling eight hour stress test.  Make no mistakes, answer every call, don’t spend too much time documenting, move on to the next call, don’t say what should be said or what needs to be said, and live in fear or terror of being chastised, yelled at, or honestly… bullied all day long.

I come home each day more exhausted than when I was working lifting and toting 50 LB bags of fertilizer, or crawling around in 100° F attics running ductwork.

I’ll tell you this, those honest jobs were a hell of a lot more personally satisfying. 

Workplace Bullying institute

Ahh well, this too shall pass.

And that’s why I’m looking for a new job and why I’ve been offline for the most part for the past few months.

We as a society need to remember that minor mistakes and problems, not only shouldn’t but needn’t be blown out of proportion. 

A simple comment, a word, or small mistake is not cause for the weight of JUSTICE to be brought to bear on the individual who misspoke or did something slightly wrong.

Most of the time, folks will correct their behavior on their own with a simple, “Hey, X, Y, or Z isn’t right.”

Took a little technology break

Guess I should turn my phone on soon…

I spend each and every day wrangling technology. Either I’m working through some broken or malfunctioning bit of client technology or I battling with what has to be one of the most kludged systems I’ve ever seen, in an attempt to find, document, or send a replacement to fix a customer’s problem.

I just couldn’t take it anymore and shut everything off. I’ve been working through a problem with my automated backup routine and had finally narrowed it down to the antivirus software I’ve been running for years. Turns out the company updated their software and appears to have a bug in excluding files or folders from on-access scanning. The practical upshot of this is, every single byte of a backup is scanned. Meaning that an incremental backup of a couple of megabytes that should take 5 minutes now takes five hours.

Well, at least I know what’s causing the problem. On the down side, that’s many hours of my life spent troubleshooting that I’ll never get back.

Which probably explains why I decided to take a break from technology for a day.

To ease back into turning technology on;

I watched the Apple event on the Apple website, this morning. I wasn’t interested in watching it live because streaming the event is often a problem because a billion other people are trying to stream the same event. It’s a lot more convenient for me to wait until its up on the Apple website then I can watch it un-interrupted without the image freezing.

This is the annual iPhone event. On that note…

iPhone 7… Meh. I like the Jet Black color, I like the water resistance, I like that the home button is solid state,  and I like that the machine has a brighter display. But these things aren’t enough to make me salivate for the new model.

I’ve got an iPhone 6s and from what I could tell my current phone will run IOS10 just fine.

I did think that their use of power management inside the CPU was clever. After all, why fire up the whole CPU for simple tasks that could be served by a less power hungry subsystem? 

I’ll be looking at the iPhone 7s next year of course, but unless there is some compelling reason to replace my phone, I could potentially see myself holding off until the 8s.

I’m like ApplePay, in those places that I’ve been able to use it but it’s not ubiquitous just yet. The iPhone 7 doesn’t do anything to advance that over what my iPhone 6s does now.

I don’t play games on my phone, and so generally battery life isn’t an issue for me during the day. Which that brings me back to keeping my current model since the display, and processing speed aren’t something I generally have issues with. I suspect that a lot of folks are thinking along similar lines.

The Apple watch series 2 could be in my future. One of my concerns about the 1st generation was the water resistance issue. I tend to forget about water being a problem for a watch, primarily since I’ve worn diving class watches for years. I have the very bad habit of expecting my watch to go wherever I do and most of the time completely forget I’m wearing one. Not a problem for a dive watch, BIG problem for a little bit of high technology.

Where I live and work isn’t exactly the best place to be wearing a Rolex, Tissot, Ball, TAG or even a higher end Fossil. So for the past several months I haven’t been wearing a watch.

I like having a time piece on my wrist though.  Having someone mug me for a $400 Apple watch is a lot more palatable than a several thousand dollar swiss work of art.

The new Apple watch has a GPS built in and that plus some of it’s fitness features could be useful. Given the building I’m working in it might also be nice to find the sweetspot at my desk where my phone can actually “hear” the cell tower and then allow the watch to notify me of text messages phone calls. (Working in a “DeadZone” is a whole other story) I also can see the usefulness of having the ability to initiate a 911 call and send emergency text messages to selected individuals, directly from the watch. 

Particularly, since there are people in my life now that are more prone to having medical events that would require 911 interventions. 

I liked the AirPods. a little on the pricy side but neat. If Apple wanted to make a splash they could have asked Nichelle Nichols, or Zoe Saldana to introduce them. As the Apple event unfolded, showing off the new AirPods I couldn’t help but see Lt Uhura. Perhaps it was just me. 

New smoke detectors in our future

This morning over a nice quiet cup of coffee. The remaining two smoke detectors in the house failed.

Busted POSs

Oh but they didn’t fail in a nice way, they failed and told me about it by going off full blast and not shutting up. (Why don’t these things ever fail gracefully. How about a beep pattern that says the unit had failed? Humm?)

I really do hate these things! In general I hate depressingly stupid machines, Protect me? Sure I’m up for that, but why not do it in an intelligent way with some fault tolerance and helpful warnings?

Let me give you the full scenario. I’d gotten out of bed and the house had been open all night. A nice cool breeze was  blowing occasionally through the house There’s no smoke, even though there are fires burning more or less local to the house. There is no smell of smoke and there was nothing cooking, no toast in the toaster, the oven wasn’t on, in fact no heat sources at all, except the life forms in the house.

It was a nice quiet morning, birds twittering in the trees, and I was enjoying watching the hummingbirds engaging in their morning aerial battles over the feeders. In short it was peaceful, and beautiful.

Then the ear shattering BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP at –120db began.

There is no way I can jump 15 feet in the air to yank these offending pieces of shit off the ceiling and they’re connected in a way that if one goes off, they all go off. So in short order every one of them is screaming and causing me intense pain. (My ears are still ringing)

A quick check around the house to determine if there might really be a fire confirms what my nose was telling me, NO FIRE!

Grab the keys, tromp down to the basement get the ladder and then…

I yanked the fucking machines off the ceiling!

I was not gentle. I was not kind. (BTW The ADT monitored smoke detector was, and is still mounted on the ceiling quietly saying nothing is wrong.)

Even after I yanked the fool machines off the ceiling disconnecting them from their external power source, they still screamed. I yanked the batteries out of them, and one had the audacity to scream even then.

It shut up with a satisfying BEEEoooow sound when it went crashing to the floor.

I am victorious! I killed the offending beast! GRRRRRR, I eyed the ADT unit daring it to make a sound. It was wise and remained absolutely silent.

Scared the poor dogs so bad they wet themselves.

After cleaning up the mess. I returned to my coffee.

New Hotness

So installation of NEST Protect units is on the agenda for today.

I’m hoping that they are built as smart as the advertisements say they are. In other words, I hope they can be shut up if they’re falsely alarming. It would be a pity for them to meet the same fate as their predecessors.


Well, that was more or less easy.

The NEST setup is interesting. You set the units up on your kitchen counter. In our case there is one for each bedroom and one in the hallway.

I set the hallway up first because it is the only one low enough for me to access the center button. (The Hall unit had failed many months ago and I’d already killed it. Which is why I only ripped two off the ceiling this morning.) 

The Hallway unit then linked the other two units, Named MasterBedroom and Bedroom to each other and presumably to the NEST Thermostat. 

About 1/2 hour of setting the units up, and 1/2 hour of unfucking the “Professional” electrician’s work and bingo, bango, bongo, I’m pressing the button on the hallway unit to tell it I want a full test.

“This is a test, please stand away from the Nest Protect, the siren is loud. Testing in 10, 9, 8,7,6…”

About  minute later, smoke and CO sensors each with their own sirens sounded, followed by a nice happy “All Clear” signal.

The thing says, “Finishing up… Everything is fine.”

That’s the way to do things!

Intelligent, efficient and polite.

I think I may actually like these machines.