What Leadership?

I had a blog already prepared for today, but recent events at work have caused me to change my plans. We recently had a training exercise at work, and the exercise was based around a denial of service attack on post. Basically, what would army civilians do if the web went away? And I will admit, I learned some things, but not all of them were good.

1. It seems that if we lose the Internet at work, leadership disappears. I mean, vanishes. They were nowhere to be seen. So, this leads me believe that if the Internet were to actually go down, I, as a government employee, would be on my own. Before most exercises we go over the procedures, in this case, everyone was left on their own to find a way to do their job. And guess what? I wasn’t one of the few to lose Internet, so my day went on as normal, with some extra laughter thrown in.

2. Higher leadership is terrible at keeping secrets. You can tell from the start of this exercise that they knew more than they were letting on. I admit, in the beginning, I couldn’t tell if they knew who was doing the attack, or if it was an exercise, but it was obvious that they knew more than they were telling us. And as time went on, with no real panic, you can tell it was an exercise.

3. Training exercises like this, if it is discovered that it is not real, tend to become just a joke. Nothing more, nothing less. It was actually kind of sad, but since I had the web, I took a perverse pleasure in my friends not having access. I did get most of my normal work done, but we didn’t really learn what we would do if web access ceased to exist.

4. The programmers in the army are pretty impressive. The can actually deny access to the web based on the time you come into work. That is pretty awesome to a non-programmer like me. At least that’s how it seemed. If you logged off your computer the night before, and came in after 8ish, you had no Internet access. We tested this as I left work. I restarted my computer, and lost all access.

5. Again, if this was a real situation, I don’t think leadership would disappear like they did. So, guess what, our real world scenario, wasn’t so real. Unless whatever brought down the internet also killed all of the leadership on post, and in that case, I don’t think doing my job would have been a top priority.

Pray Enough?

A CNN article covering the tornados in the Midwest shows one of the many issues I have with what certain religious people say and believe. Now, don’t get me wrong, I find what happened with these tornados scary and a waste of life. However, it was an act of nature, not an act of god.

There was a family who were lucky enough that their street made it through the storm without experiencing much damage and no loss of life. The article said that when they saw the tornado they all hunkered down and prayed and that the prayer is what saved their life. I’m sorry to have to say this, but you got lucky.

If we follow the prayer logic, we now have to assume that no one else prayed, or maybe they just didn’t pray hard enough. Or maybe, all of the people who suffered were evil and deserved God’s wrath. But then, according to the newer bible, the god is no longer a vengeful god. I miss that vengeful god.

I have this odd image in my head. Two sides of a street. A tornado in the middle. Lined on each side the families are praying. And the harder they pray the closer the tornado move to the other side. And the families on the other side, of course, pray harder shifting the tornado back.

It becomes a game. And, don’t these people realize that god is too busy watching sports? I mean, his teams are undefeated so far in the entire history of sports.

I admit, none of these are new thought, and some people are probably offended, and I apologize. But stop seeing god’s hand in everything. If a tornado hits your neighbor’s house, and not yours, you got lucky, and they didn’t. Unless those people are atheists, they were probably praying as much as you.

Zombied

After playing a zombie game one night, after my character didn’t die, an interesting conversation was had. It, of course, revolved around zombies. Zombies fascinate me, they scare me a little, but mostly they fascinate me. I think they are an interesting idea and a scary story if it is told correctly. If the story adds in fast zombies, or runners, the story is even better. What good are the slow moving zombies when I can walk faster than the zombies chasing me? And have you ever noticed how there are almost never any fat zombies?  None of this is actually what I want to blog about, but they are questions to be had.

Now, some people are also just as amazing as zombies. I know people who are actually scared of zombies. Not the bath salt zombies, but the “thriller” zombies. Ok, dancing zombies would scare me too, but these people are actually scared that a zombie apocalypse can and will actually happen. And that is just incredible. Their belief is just unbelievable.

And the irony behind this is that most of the people who are afraid of a zombie apocalypse are safe, since zombies eat brains and these people are obviously lacking in that department.

Then again, I’d be safe too.

 

10 Years (and a couple of days)

The other day it was accidentally and unintentionally pointed out to me that it was exactly 10 years ago that I proposed to the now ex-wife. I figured that now, since 10 years have passed, would be a good time to blog about it. Plus, I now have a blog, and that always helps in blogging.

First, how does one accidently and unintentionally remind someone of that? Well, first you need to know the timing of when I proposed. I proposed right after a friends wedding reception. I was in a tux, had the candles, and probably sapped all of the romantic ability out of me on that night. So, a couple of days ago I decided to call my friend to ask him some questions about my computer. No big deal, I do it all the time. Except, I could only get him on his cell phone. After I got my questions answered, I asked him why he wasn’t at work, I mean, the mas does work, usually. It turns out; he was in Florida, at Disney, with his wife. They were about to that lunch and here I was calling them on their wedding date. Oops, my bad.

I actually don’t regret proposing, though I kind of wish she said no. But I don’t regret proposing, and I don’t completely regret getting married. I admit, I do regret the lost time and the lost friendship. I am also not sorry that it ended, in fact, I am very happy it ended as easily as it did. We would have made pretty good friends, but we sucked as a married couple. Neither one of us were happy, hell, we were both miserable. You know you need to make a change when you are contemplating driving into a guardrail just to end the misery. Luckily, I was smart enough to realize that asking for a divorce was a much better option. Suicide is so much more final. And while I do have hobbies that put my life on the line, skydiving for example, I don’t actually want to die.

I don’t hate her, but I don’t want to be friends with her. And I try to have a little to do with her as possible, but having mutual friends does make that kind of hard. But, that’s life. I don’t wish her ill will, never have, and never will. Ok, there was a time when I may have, but I moved on.

Plus, I think if I were still married, I would never have gone skydiving, cage diving, or have taken up SCUBA diving. Maybe it would have been cheaper if I stayed married, but I wouldn’t have lived up life.

Weirded Out

The three cats I live with do not get along. Well, I should say, they usually do not get along. On occasion, there are no fights. There is a history of me breaking up fights almost daily as the three of them just go at it. Angel is fighting with Loki. Loki starts fights with Pips. Pips picks on everyone, including me. She is such a moody pain in the ass.  It’s a madhouse here.

However, it’s when they get along that I get nervous. Today, for example, I walked into my bedroom carrying a load of laundry, and all three cats were hanging out peacefully. I felt like I was interrupting a meeting, maybe a planning session. And knowing these three cats, they are plotting against me.

I would like to think that Loki, my cat, would be on my side, that he would have my back. I do not believe this is true, but I would like to think it is. Loki already has a history of trying to trip me up going down the stairs. He has a history of trying to scare me, trying to scare me to death. I am pretty sure that he is plotting against me already, and now he has allies. Maybe I should be happy when they fight amongst themselves, at least then I won’t be the target.

And I am pretty sure that if they had opposable thumbs and could get to the canned cat food, I would have been knocked off already.

Reality T.V.

I never watch, well, almost never watch reality T.V. I don’t get it. Shows like survivor are not reality. When was the last time you were trapped on an island with a bunch of jackasses with the ability to win money? I just cannot seem to get the big deal. And that show Honey Boo Boo makes me embarrassed to be American. That show shows everything that is wrong with this country. I will admit, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares was fun, but even that show I won’t go out of my way to watch.

Now, if you want to watch real reality T.V., watch a show like Big Cat Diary. Watch what it takes to survive in the real world. Most shows I watch are on the Discovery Channels like Animal Planet, Discovery Science, and Investigative Discovery. Now these channel show reality, and hey, you might learn something. I will admit, Animal Planet frustrated me when their producers aired their show about Mermaids and aired it as if it was real do exists.

The saddest part of that show is that a large portion of viewers believed that it was real. I wish mermaids were real, that would be cool. The show was made very well, but it’s sad that so many people believed it. And Animal Planet bragged about how many people fell for it. It’s the greatest practical joke ever played by a T.V. station. Well, at least recently.

Finning

I once had a conversation with a friend who didn’t think that “finning” was actually occurring. The argument that was made was that a fisherman would never waste that much shark. Why would a fisherman scraping by throw most of the shark overboard just for the fins. However, that argument actually proves that the poor fisherman would throw most of the shark overboard. Let’s look at this economically. Hey! I’m going to use my major!

The demand for fins is much higher than the demand for the rest of the shark, and there is much less supply for it when you consider how much more of the shark there is. So, lets say that the average price per pound of the overall shark is five dollars per pound. But the price of the fins per pound is 15 dollars per pound. It makes sense for the fisherman to dump the shark overboard and make room for more fins.

Of course, I am not supporting the finning of sharks. Come on! I love sharks. Ignoring the fact that live sharks are the sign a healthy ecosystem, and ignoring that sharks are not as dangerous as the media makes them out to be, Sharks deserve our respect. Local economies can actually benefit from shark diving. Look at Guadeloupe, Mexico. They have turned the three months when the great whites are there into a fantastic location. The Bahamas have some of the best tiger shark locations for diving. Sharks should be studied, not finned.

Now, I admit, I don’t know how much I can do for the sharks. I know that I will never eat at a restaurant that serves shark fin soup. I know that I share and repost everything I can about finning. I try to talk to the few who would actually eat sharks out of doing that. But what else is there? I guess I could blog about it…

Cholesterol

I just watched a CNN video article about a sudden increase in the prescription of cholesterol lowering medication and how doctors are going to start prescribing these medications more and more often. And this bothers me to no end. Rather than looking at the problem, doctors are prescribing more medication instead. And this seems universal. Let’s just keep medicating. Let’s ignore the fact that American population is suffering from obesity.

This country is fascinated with the quick fix. We play the lottery because we don’t want to work for a living. We use the microwave because it is quicker. Heck, we eat McDonalds and T.V. dinners because it is quicker and easier. And then we wonder why we have health issues? We wonder why our nation’s health costs are astronomical? How about we get off our collective asses and cook something healthy? How about we go for a walk rather than sitting on the couch watching T.V. and blogging? Oh, wait.

Yes, I know, I am also one of the laziest people I know. However, when my father had a heart attack, and when I learned about some of the medical history in my family, did I go to the doctor and ask him to prescribe something? No. I went out and bought a kayak. I started going to the gym. I started busting my ass to get myself into better shape. Yes, it’s a lot of work to keep my girlish figure, but I think it’s better than having to be constantly medicated.

This country is over medicated, and it doesn’t look like there is an end to this coming anytime soon.

Godzilla

I get asked frequently why I have this strange fascination with Japanese monster films, and with Godzilla in particular. And I have to admit it, I do have this odd fascination with both.

When I was in elementary school, and would come home from classes with homework, I would plop down on the floor, and begin working. Now, what is the big deal with that? Well, I would do my homework in the living room with the TV on, usually tuned to TBS. And it seemed like TBS would run one of the bad Godzilla films like “Godzilla vs. Mothra” or “Son of Godzilla” (which I have on now as I type this). And with that running in the background, I would get all of my homework done. Now, this drove my sister nuts as she wanted to watch TV, but if the TV was on, she wouldn’t do her homework. Now, with me, even when I was in college, I needed background music noise to get my work done.

As I got older, I started to appreciate the monster movies even more. Yes, you can usually tell it’s a man in a costume. Yes, you can see the strings holding the model jets. And yes, you can tell that the awesome looking tanks are just toys. But the films actually address the times that they were made. Godzilla, the original Japanese film, was made not long after we dropped the A-bombs. The cold war was getting into full swing. Everyone was testing nuclear weapons. And the story of a radioactive monster destroying Japan really addressed the feeling of the times.

I don’t believe for a moment that Godzilla films can be considered among the greatest films ever made, but for what they are, I think they can be appreciated. It’s not like Hollywood is putting out much better movies now.

Veterans Day

I was trying to think of what to write about our veterans today, and it is not an easy topic for me to cover. I know of three family members who served. My Uncle Ferdinand Klebold, My Grandfather Anthony Janeczek, and my Grandfather Thomas Klebold. All three served in the Navy during World War Two. I won’t talk about how my family is a bunch of Navy men and I work for the Army. I’m actually a spy planted by the Navy to help them beat Army.

At heart, I am a pacifist. I do not believe there is ever a “good” war. Even Benjamin Franklin said, “There was never a good war, or a bad peace.” Now, this country may go to war for just reasons (in most cases), but I always hope that there is a day when we don’t have to go to war at all. That being said, I also think that out current soldiers and our former soldiers deserve our full support, even when they fight in a war that I do not and cannot support. Supporting our soldiers is not the same as supporting a war. The blame should never fall on our soldier’s shoulders for fighting in a war that they were ordered to go to.

And our veteran’s deserve our respect as well.

The best way to sum this my beliefs up is to tell you what I saw when I went to Normandy Beach a few years ago. We all know that that France is in charge of the upkeep of the gravesites for all of the Allied soldiers who fell during the D-Day. But what is not as well publicized is that there is also a gravesite for the German’s who died during the invasion. And this gravesite is just as well kept as the site of the U.S. soldiers and their allies. The French treat the soldiers of both sides with respect for they know that the Germans were just men who died following orders. And that respect is what they deserve. Nothing less.