First Cold Day

Oh, how I love this weather. The brisk morning air to waking me up as I drive to work. Weather that is nice enough that you can take a walk during lunch without worrying if you are going to break a sweat. I love the colder weather. Not once did I complain about the snow last year, and while I will admit that summer was relatively mild, it was still too hot most days for my liking.

I love the cold air. Last night, I went to bed with the windows opened, listening to all the sounds that come with night. I can hear the crickets. I can hear the train. I can hear the cats brawling on the second floor. It’s all very relaxing. I crawled into my bed, and fell asleep under my think heavy blankets.

And when I woke up, the thermostat said it was a whopping 61 degrees in my house. I had to wear socks to walk on my hard wood floors. I absolutely love cold weather, so I am going to enjoy it while I have it. You never know when a random heat wave is going to blow through. For all I know, next week could be back with high heat and even more humidity.

So, bring on the winter. I am so ready for freezing weather. Of course, my cats may have other plans. I am pretty sure that I saw them planning on cranking up the thermostat.

Three Thing Friday

1. Top News Stories – How is the trial of someone in South Africa a top news story? How is the Ray Rice story a top news story? Shouldn’t the major news outlets keep this whole situation with ISIS at the top of the news? This should be a major concern for everyone, not just those of us here in the United States. When you have a terrorist organization that even Al Qaeda is struggling against, and a President who really doesn’t have an actual plan to handle them, you have to be concerned. Leaving the job to soldiers who are already fleeing from the fight is not a plan. Hell, some of the people in those armies may even actively support ISIS. Sure, we can support these countries, but I truly feel that this is a plan bound for failure.

Of course, I also am not sure that sending troops into the country would be a good plan either. I admit that I don’t have a plan, but I am not the head of the DoD nor am I the elected leader of the “free” world.

2. New Jersey – I bought a brand new Bengals jersey last night. And the story behind it is actually a good one. Devon Still, a 2012 Draft Pick, just couldn’t keep his mind on the game this preseason. He had other priorities, football no longer being the top concern in his life. His four-year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, and his playing was not up to par. So, the Bengals cut him from the roster, but he was not unemployed for very long. The Bengals immediately signed him to their practice squad allowing him to have access to the NFL’s health insurance. Sure he took a pay cut, but the health insurance covered his daughter’s cancer treatments as well.

Cincinnati then announced that the revenue from the sale of Still’s jerseys would go to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital & Pediatric Cancer Care. The sales of his jersey set the one-day record for sales of a Bengals jersey. Even the New Orleans Saint’s got in on the act and bought 100 of them (though I wonder what they will do with 100 jerseys from an opponent’s team).

Still has since been placed back on the active roster. He feels that he is now able to focus having spent one week on the practice squad. At least he has his priorities right. And I know it was great PR, but I am glad the Bengals shows that they can be a class act organization.

3. Weird Requirements – So, now that my next big vacation is less than a month away, I had to take care of some government requirements. I had to schedule my foreign travel briefing. I had to make sure I took all of my other required training. And I had to complete other documentation for me to be allowed to take this trip. All of this work left me wondering, does the private industry have to go through all of this? Why does the Army need to know that I am going to Guadeloupe to dive with some sharks? Why does the Army need to know what my blood type is? Although, I have to admit, knowing one’s own blood type just makes sense. It is not like the Government will be able to do much if something happens. And knowing our government, by the time they did do anything, it would have been much too late.

I did all the work I had to do because I am not risking not being allowed to go on this trip. I’ve been looking forward to it for more than six months now. I am going swimming with shark.

Inconvenient

Today I received a notice in the mail. It wasn’t a bill or another speeding ticket. Actually, I don’t know what it actually was for. What it I received is a notice that the Post Office tried to deliver a certified letter and because I wasn’t around to sign for it, I now have to pick it up in person. This was also their “Final Attempt.”

Final attempt? How the hell can I do anything when I didn’t know about the first attempts? And lets be honest, this was probably their first attempt. This is why the post office will be bankrupt in a fairly short amount of time. They don’t know how to run their business.

And now, because I had no idea that they were trying to deliver a letter that I had to sign for, I now have to go out of my way and actually go to the Post Office. Why? Because the notice said that they were going to send the latter back in a few days.

The best part of all of this? I have no idea what the hell this could possibly be. My pessimistic side of me says that it is bad. I mean… how many good things would be sent through USPS that I would have to sign for. I didn’t order anything. No one I know died, so I didn’t inherit anything.

This can only be bad news…

But it will probably turn out to be nothing.

People vs. Pets

Since I live in Maryland, a frequent topic of conversation this week has been the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Rice, and the NFL. As we all know by now, the NFL dropped the ball and gave Rice a 2 game suspension for hitting his fiancé (at the time) and then changed everything once a video of the incident was released. Suddenly the Ravens and the NFL are backtracking and trying their best to save face.

Of course, a lot of Raven’s fans are up in arms. Not all, but a lot. A lot more than there should be. The man knocked his fiancé out cold. That being said, she stayed with him and married him, though I would guess she has her reasons (I would guess there is going to be a divorce in a few years with a large alimony settlement, but that is just a guess). Rice should have been suspended for the season right off the bat, once the investigation was completed. However, all of this being said, I firmly believe the man will be back playing in the NFL. If the NFL welcomed back someone like Mike Vick, they will welcome back Rice.

Why do I say this? Well, in my opinion, the general public views on what Vick did are worse than what Rice did (not to mention Vick did time in prison where Rice will not be). But people get more upset when a “defenseless” animal is harmed. People will rise up against animal abusers. Abusers of fiancés? Not so much., that happens every day

One issue I have is with all this (one of many issues) is that a NJ politician is saying that the case should have been handled differently. The prosecutor, right or wrong, handled this case like any other that was crossing his desk. The politician even said this. And if Rice got off light (which he did), his case should not have been handled any differently than any other domestic abuse case.

Again, I think Rice got off lightly, and not because he is a Ravens player. The man did something morally wrong, and is now facing the consequences… which should have been much more severe.

But what does it say about someone who gets knocked out cold, and still marries the guy…

Drying Out

I cannot explain why, but I have not had an alcoholic beverage in over a week now. I swear to the god that I do not believe in. And honestly, that is not that much of an accomplishment, but I cannot even explain why this has happened. I love my wine, and I do enjoy a good beer. It’s not like I don’t have the stock. I have plenty of bottles in my wine fridge. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to drink with friends. I just haven’t.

I’m actually a little proud of the fact that I have not had any alcohol, and I cannot explain that either. And with the stress that is going on at work, one would think that I would be having more than one drink a night. Actually, one would think that I would have a bottle a night. But I haven’t.

It’s not like I drink to get drunk. Well, I don’t usually drink to get drunk. I really like the taste of wine and certain beers. I enjoy having a glass or two with my dinner. However, this past week I just haven’t. Maybe my drinking is in reverse… When I am stressed and I could actually use a drink, I don’t drink. When I need it, I don’t want it. So, much like Lynchburg, Tennessee… I am dry.

Yard Work

So, I bought my house about four years ago, and I like it a lot better than the house I lived in up in New Jersey. Not only does this house have more space and a better garage, but also it has a much smaller yard. Why is this great? I hate yard work, I absolutely hate it.

Now, the setup of my house has the garage door at the back of the house. And it is because of this fact that I always end up leaving the house out the back and almost never through the front door. There is no need; I usually have to drive somewhere, so why go out the front door?

Well, yesterday I finally had a reason. A friend had to drop something off, so I went out the front door to meet her. Sadly, what I realized upon exiting the front door is that the little bit of yard I am supposed to be tending has become overgrown. In fact, some of the weeds were at least four feet tall. I guess this is what happens when you do not do any yard work during the summer.

So, what did I end up doing? I ended up doing some yard work. At nine o’clock at night. In the dark.

At least it was cool.

And I am not sure, but some of those weeds may have qualified as trees.

Lost Weekend

Ok, even when I have my Fridays off, I seem to lose weekends. I cannot even remember what I did on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday were spent gaming with my friends. The problem with having weekends like this is that before you know it, you have to drag yourself back into work. The weekends just seem to go by way too fast.

And dragging my ass into work is exactly what I am going to have to do. I don’t want to go in, but who does? It’s such a struggle to wake up in the morning and drive my ass into the office. And now that we are actually in September, the year-end stress can only increase.

My customers are going to be stressed. My fellow workers are going to be stressed. My boss is going to be stressed. Hell, my cats may even be more stressed.

I should go to sleep early and get a good night’s rest. I should, but I probably won’t. I am going to relax and work on some of my gaming models, and just patiently wait for year-end to just end.

Maybe even read a book.

Three Thing Friday

1. Paying Attention – I know studies have been done on this, but it is scary how details can differ from one person to another. What I mean is this, yesterday I blogged about an incident that occurred at the building I work at. Well, when the story was being told, the description of the person involved varied between two coworkers who saw him. One person would say he was bald, and her co-worker would reply “No he wasn’t”. They couldn’t agree on what he was wearing, how tall he was, or any other aspect of how he looked. I’m not even sure they agreed on if he was white or black… ok, I’m exaggerating on that last bit.

But the point is, these two people were not under duress, and they can’t even agree on a description. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if they had to identify someone who was committing a crime and wasn’t already caught. And of course, I am not saying I would be any better. I don’t know how I would react under pressure and on adrenaline. I sometimes have problems remembering why I entered a room.

2. Tuning out – Yesterday, in our PMT, we had someone come in and brief about the Employee Assistance Program, a team of people who are there to “help” the employees. By help, I mean they are there for employees to go and talk to about some if their issues. I tuned her out pretty early in the briefing, but I did pick up on some things that she said. First, this team, while free of charge, cannot actually do anything other than talk and recommend people to go to other people who are professionals, who are not free of charge. Second, if an employee wants the EAP team to act on their behalf, the employee going to them cannot remain anonymous, so if you complain about someone, that person is going to know it was you. Third, this program, while a good idea in theory, is there for supervisors to send you to. Now, why did I tune this person out? Well, besides the fact that she came across as someone I would not want to go to with any issues I have, she also said that if you have a conflict with the supervisor, it is your problem, not the supervisors. Basically, this “Employee Assistance Program” comes across more of a “Support all supervisors regardless of how psychotic they are” program.

So, while I am sure that the idea behind EAP was good, the application is terrible. And honestly, I am not all that surprised.

3. Vice President – This week V.P. Biden came out furiously stating that we will punish ISIS for the deaths of American Citizens. In fact, he speech made him sound even more presidential than President Obama has in the last few weeks. Having said that, I have to admit that up to this week I sort of forgot we even had a Vice President. When Al Gore was our vice president, he was in the spotlight almost as much as President Clinton, and not in bad ways. Gore was actually trying to accomplish things. V.P. Dick Cheney was always hiding in an undisclosed location, except when he was shooting lawyers in the face. Biden, he just seems to not even be there, a lot like Cheney actually.

It was nice to have someone in the Whitehouse sound presidential. Heck, no one in Washington D.C., Congress included, has sounded presidential in a long while.

But really? Biden?

Too Stupid

Apparently after I got into work today, but still early in the morning, some jackass was caught trying to take pictures up a woman’s skirt. I have repeatedly complained about how much sexual harassment training all government workers are required to take. I have said that you cannot train stupid. People who know better don’t need to be trained in common sense, and those who are likely to harass a fellow employee are not going to listen when trained. It should be common sense that you do not take pictures up a woman’s skirt. And how is this guy even going to be able to show his face back at work? And the poor woman, I don’t even think I can comprehend what she is going through right now.

Another statement that I heard, but I admit that I heard it third hand, is that these kind of things happen on post all of the time. Again, this proves that you cannot train stupid. It also shows that the Army’s policy of constant training on sexual harassment prevention is not working.

And this may be shallow of me, but I want to beat the crap out of this guy with a metal baseball bat. I do not want to do this because he deserves it, although I think we can all agree that he does. No, I want to do this because this man is going to cause me to have to take even more training. I have to take harassment prevention training about quarterly already; I expect in the near future to have to take it every other month.

And still, nothing else will change. Idiots will still do stupid stuff. My time will still be wasted.

What a dumbass.

Three Strikes

There is a Tennessee man currently serving life in prison. He was convicted of breaking a law three times, and under Tennessee law, three convictions earn you a life sentence. Now, this man is obviously a pillar of society. Obviously someone who is convicted three times deserves to serve life in prison. Or does one?

This man was convicted of buying pot on three separate occasions. So while you can kill a man and get paroled in Tennessee, you get caught buying pot three times, and you start to live on the taxpayer’s dollar.

Let us think about this. He wasn’t selling pot to children. He wasn’t stealing from anyone. He was buying pot. I never said he was smart; he was caught buying pot three times. But is this really a crime that someone should get life in prison for? Heck, I am not even sure that buying pot should even be a crime.

In fact, I am pretty sure that locking this man up for his life is unconstitutional, shouldn’t the punishment fit the crime? I’m not saying this guy should have just received a slap on the wrist… ok, I am saying that. But come on, life in prison is a little excessive. If Tennessee would have legalized pot, they could have taxed this man, now taxes are paying to feed him.

So, lets have violent criminals get out on parole, but someone who is just buying some recreational drugs, that is a man who deserves to be in prison for life.