Climbing Out Of The Oughts Like They Were A Liferaft

albert - December 30, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

I went in to work for a little while today. I felt anxious and guilty about not being there working and anxious and guilty about feeling that way. In my defense: I know I’m going to have to take a week off sometime this month to take care of some family business that’s come up, so the fact that I was still on vacation while I knew I was going to have to take more time off early in the new year added to my guilt. Also, I was under the impression that New Years day was Saturday, so I was all screwed up calendarwise.

I rode the bus in intending on some very high level design work and revising my yearly performance goals, the kind of work you’re supposed to do when it’s quiet in the office and the kind of output that I consider myself best at, what I do to distinguish myself. When I got there and sat down and tried to work my body was in its usual position but I was somewhere else entirely. Coffee didn’t help.

I very slowly ground my way through 4 and a half hours and then took the bus home and when I got home I was achy-bone, head-nodding exhausted.

I am just limping my way to the end of this decade people; Lurching like I’m sunblind, drunk and sleep deprived.


albert - December 29, 2009 @ 4:13 pm

I’ve finally got a little bit of time and one of the things I’ve been wanting to do is stitch together some panoramas I’ve taken with our camera.

Here’s a one from our trip to Fiji last February, click through for the hugeness. There’s a good chance your browser will resize it for your window (unless your screen is 7000 pixels wide), on firefox at least you just click again to zoom.


“Billions Wasted in Pointless TSA Screening Methods”

albert - @ 3:48 pm

Patrick Smith is one of my favorite writers. I highly recommend his “Ask the Pilot” column at Salon. He tells stories about his history as an airline pilot, weighs in on crashes and incidents, talks about the Simpsons. I think I like it because I loved planes as a kid — the technology, the romance, all that. Also because he’s got a good voice and I’m interested in professionals describing their craft.

Anyway, this article regarding the inanity of TSA screening procedures caught my eye this last week. It came out before all the Christmas excitement, which only helps to underline its message. I think Patrick is spot on that we’re pointlessly obsessed with the tactics that worked in September 2001, which were never going to work again after that morning and are generally showing little common sense in our quest for airline security.


Justice is just Justice

albert - December 28, 2009 @ 11:29 pm

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
- Abraham Lincoln

Several nights ago I heard a report on the BBC world service about the plight of Yemenis imprisoned in Guantanemo. Yemen has apparently been pushing for the release of its citizens for several years now. The BBC was reporting that there were concerns (don’t remember who they were attributed to) that many of the prisoners would go directly into the ranks of Al Queda. Further, the concern was that even though many of the prisoners had done nothing wrong, they had been radicalized by their years in military prison and would now be willing to fight against the United States. Was it a good idea, the report wondered, for the US to release these prisoners, knowing that there was a good chance they’ll end up taking up arms against us?

Well? So what? Can these men be charged with a crime? Have they been given a fair trial and sentenced to be held? No? Well, are they prisoners of war per the Geneva Conventions? No? Then how are we legally or morally justified in keeping these men imprisoned? The only morally defensible position is that these men must be released.



albert - @ 11:08 pm

Just back from Portland and pictures uploaded. Go check them out

Christmas Angry

albert - December 25, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

You told me you would bring presents and treats
Cheering my spirits with homemade sweet meats
Here I sit waiting beside the tree all by myself
Here I sit waiting beside the tree all by myself
– weezer

I just spent half an hour trying to find a download of the weezer christmas song. It was absolutely infuriating. Over and over I kept on ending up on these sites that would let me listen to the song via embedded quicktime but wouldn’t let me download it, or the alternative, a site that would supposedly let me download it if I setup an account.

This is for a song that was freely available on their website for years! And it doesn’t appear on any album, wasn’t for sale on Amazon or iTunes. I don’t even know where I finally ended up getting it. I couldn’t believe I’d finally gotten my hands on it. I’m not sure if it’s fully legit. Our copyright laws suck.

Anger fading… fading… fading… Rising… fading… gone.

In which I create a wordpress

albert - December 16, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

I found some old journals dating back to 2001 (can you believe it’s been almost a decade?). A couple things jumped out at me from the very oldest entries.

I got a flyer today for this job fair I’m going to on wednesday. I’m going to be able to meet and talk to recruiters from such fine companies as:

7-11 inc.
Dominion Virginia Power (Evil)
IRS – Criminal Investigation (Really think I can get a security clearance?)
Kroger Mid-Atlantic
NAPA Auto Parts
Naval Surface Warfare Center (Military industrial complex here I come)
Philip Morris U.S.A. (Sadly enough I really wouldn’t mind working for them)
YMCA of Greater Richmond
Rainbow Station, Inc. (rainbow station?)
Northrop Grumman Newport News.
Navy Civilian Jobs
Target Stores
Verizon Wireless (Fucking cell phones…)
Toys “R” Us (for once I actually want to grow up though)
and a whole lot of different public school systems.

Wow, it’s so crazy ironic that the first time I heard the name of the place I ended up working for for three and a half years, I found it distasteful for the same reason that haunted me endlessly for all that time. The money made me into a hypocrite. Whatever though, I can’t even summon proper anger about it anymore. Notes I took for a gigantic screed I was going to write about it just ended up languishing (it would have been good — maybe).

I dreamt that I was back in high school. Not my high school, one of the ones around here. And I was older than everyone else. Turns out that my university requires that you take certain classes in high school before you can get your college degree. So there I was, twenty three and going to class at a high school and bitching about how stupid it was to anyone who would listen…

Here it is, I’ve been out of school for 7 years now and I still have this dream every now and again. And usually I’m coming up on the final in the class and I have no idea what’s going on. I haven’t been there in months. It’s a miracle I knew it was final time. Sometimes I don’t even know where the class is meeting. Not that they moved, I don’t know where they were in the first place. I don’t know where my schedule is, I don’t know how to look it up. And because of my utter degeneracy, it’s going to be yet another endless, boring, unemployed, ridiculous semester before I can finally have my degree. And even now, after all this time, when I wake it it’s at least a few seconds before the relief of knowing that I’m done with school comes flooding like hot bathwater into my chilled heart.

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