Three Thing Friday

Three Thing Friday

1. Do Not Call – I am not a big fan of talking on the phone. Actually, unless I have to, I prefer to not even answer the phone. If someone needs to get in touch with me, they can email me, Facebook me, or text me. Even at work I try to avoid answering the phone, that’s what emails are for. There is only one person I talk to frequently on the phone, and I don’t plan on increasing that list any time soon.

What does this all mean? I have no idea. Maybe I am becoming more and more anti-social. Maybe I don’t want to deal with people.

Maybe people just annoy me.

2. More Muslimphobia – So, there is a Texas politician who decided that any Muslim who enters her office has to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” and renounce Islamic Terrorism. And this is just stupid. Not because she is requiring people to recite the pledge, but because she decided to target on specific category of people. I think she should make all white people renounce the KKK up entering. Make everyone who enters the office recite the pledge.

No, this woman is just crazy. She doesn’t care about the illegality of this. I would like to believe when politicians this wacked out come up for reelection, they would lose, but history shows that the crazies are the one’s who are running this sinking ship.

3. Super Bowl Weekend – Well, it is that time of year again. It is time for the Super Bowl. It is time for the funniest commercials. It is time for a terrible half time show that makes more news that the game (ok, that hasn’t happened in a while). It is time for two teams that I don’t care about to play a game that will be talked about for a couple of months, and then forgotten.

I may watch the game. I may turn it on. Odds are I will not. Odds are I will watch some Top Gear and work on some of my hobbies.

I’ll probably be better entertained than those who actually watch the game.

A Plethora of Bad Decisions

Today I found myself telling a tale to a friend that happened a few years ago. I swear it was like I was still in college, but this took place about five years ago. It all started when I wanted to go to a NY Rangers game. I decided that I would see them play the Flyers in Philly. I bought a couple of tickets and offered to two of my friends. Here is mistake number two, number one going to Philly to see the Rangers play. Number two is that I decided to go with my two friends who are Philly fans. One at least said that they wouldn’t kill me at the game. The wife… yea, she couldn’t promise that.

And now we come up to Bad Decision number three. The day of the game called for a terrible snowstorm, a little like the one that was predicted to hit this past weekend that turned out to be nothing. Except, this storm was something. Well, a little snow wouldn’t stop me, so I drove to my friend’s house and they drove the rest of the way to the game. The game was fun, I had a good time, and everyone gave me a hard time, as I was crazy enough to wear my Rangers jersey in enemy territory. Especially those children who were under the age of eight. There were no real bad decisions made at the game, but after the game is a different story.

After the game, we drove back to my friend’s house in a slowly building storm. It so happened that my friends were throwing a party that night. We decided to make the drive to the party house, which was only a few miles away from my house. And there is another bad decision (4?). We left my car at the first house. Plus, there was an incident that was another bad decision; I was actually hanging onto the back of my friend’s car, being dragged in the snow. I have no idea what I was thinking. Again, it was like a bad (or good) college road trip.

The trip to the party should have taken about an hour. It took us about three, maybe even four. We could have made it to Virginia in the time it took to cross the great state of New Jersey. We should have turned around, which should count as another bad decision. We passed snowplows that slid off the road. Like, actual snowplows. Trucks designed to handle these storms, and we kept driving.

We did make it to the party. We had a blast. Lots of alcohol was consumed. And it is sad when consuming lethal amounts of wine is the least bad decision you make in a night.

Too Much Money

I never though I would see the day where I was told I couldn’t do something because an account has too much money. No, it’s not my money; it’s the government, which makes this tale a little more entertaining.

How things work in the Army is that I send a request someone (let’s call her Martha) to set up an account in this new and worse system we are required to use. Once it is set up, I inform my customer (Let’s call her Pat) and they fund the account and fill out a form telling me that they have done so, and with what amount. There are a few other things on said form, but they don’t matter for the story. Once I get that form, I plug the financial information into two other systems (that’s three so far), and then send the signed form back to the Martha. Martha is not a member of my team; she has nothing to do with my contract, other than to set up accounts for bills to be paid.

Here where things got a little weird in my tale. I split the money into to “checks” to go onto contract. Don’t ask why, I have a good reason for the money to have been separated and all of those reasons are legal, legitimate, and have the blessings of Pat, since it is her money. So, for ease and because I don’t know the exact amounts, I am going to use round numbers.

Let’s say Pat sent me $200,000 a few months ago. I put $100,000 on one check and a month later I put another $100,000 on a different check. Later in the year (today) Pat sends me another $100,000 and I try to put it on the second check (all of the correct forms are signed and say $200,000 plus $100,000 equals a new total of $300,000).

Well, Martha looked at the form, then looked at the amount I was trying to add to the check, noticed that the new check total would equal $200,000, $100,000 less than the form. So, according to her, I have too much money in the account to put money onto contract. Which is wrong, since she forgot the original check that she approved.

But still, there is too much money in the account for the check to be approved and sent to contract. WHAT?!?!?!? Only in the government.

To be a Weatherman

I have got to get a job as a weatherman. The forecast for this storm had consistently changed throughout the day. First we were supposed to get snow one Sunday at 10 PM. Then the forecast was pushed back to 3 am. I awoke to no snow on the ground or even falling from the sky. And the amount of snow we were projected to get kept changing, getting worse (as in less snow). Name another job where you can be that wrong that consistently, and still have your job. I want to be able to do that.

On top of that, I have to say a co-worker of mine put it best. No matter how old you get, you still look forward to a snow day like a school kid. I really wanted the storm to be bad enough for us to be told to stay home, as was forecasted. But no, what little snow we did get, started late, didn’t stick (except on my driveway), and was just no help at all.

So yes, I got all excited. I got very little sleep. I was really hoping to stay home and sleep in and shovel some snow. But no, I had to spend the whole day at work because some weathermen did not get it right.

I really want that job…

Three Thing Friday

1. Back to Normal – Well, after a few weeks of attempting to improve morale, we are back on the downslide. Things actually seemed to be changing in the office. Things actually seemed to improve. And now, it’s all falling apart again.

We had to watch the movie “Miracle” this week for a team building exercise. Let’s ignore the fact that taxpayer money could have been spent in better ways. I really should not have been paid to watch that movie. But the “team building” exercise ended up being more of a justification for bad leadership. It became more of “It worked for the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, so me being a dick to you should work for you.” Heck, I would have rather stayed at my desk and actually get some work done.

Plus, a position (that I admit I didn’t even apply for) was listed as being for people in my organization only. The position was listed as for my specific organization to be exact (though not limited to my team). Well, now it seems that the way it was written was you had to meet one of four criteria. And one of those was to be a current government employee… that opened it up to everyone. Why even bother listing it as for our organization only. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

2. Half Assed – I hate half assed snowstorms. I love snow. I love the cold (although I prefer to be prepared for it). Earlier this week we got hit with a lame snowstorm. It wasn’t enough for the Army to send me home early, but it was enough to make that 6-mile trip home a giant pain in the ass. And yes, once I got here, I had to shovel the snow and slush even though the next day it was supposed to be solidly above freezing. No, if we are going to get snow, I want it to be a big storm. I want a blizzard.

And this naming of snowstorms needs to stop. Especially when the storms end up being nothing. Before you know it we are going to be hit by Spring Storm Cody, which brought with it a whopping drizzle. Let’s keep naming hurricanes, but the rest of this crap is just a waste of everyone’s time.

3. Anti-vaxxers – I love people who don’t do any research, rely on one (discredited) report, base all of their knowledge on their belief, and then proceed to cause an outbreak of a disease that we have a vaccination for. I mean, the scientist who issued his paper about the side effects of vaccines has been discredited, but none of these people want to hear that. They still believe that his report was fact and that the entire scientific community is in on a conspiracy to bring this one “man” down.

Well, now we have a massive measles outbreak in the United States, and it is started to affect those who can’t even get the vaccine (because they are too young).

Actually, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. People want to be able to blame something for their struggles, and some of those people who have autistic children have found something to latch on to. I am not saying everyone has, but a good portion has. And once one crazy celebrity backs some crazy idea, there will always be people who listen.

I am grateful my mother got me vaccinated. How if she just didn’t pass on her craziness to me.

A Little Infatuated

A while ago, I don’t even remember how long ago it was, a friend made a comment that I am obsessed with sharks. And, proudly, I admit that I am. I have gone diving with these beautiful animals. I have seen them in Aquariums. I have pictures of them all over my house and my computer.

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Hell, I even dream about sharks. I had a dream last night about diving with some sharks,and in it were some of the people I have gone diving with. The boat was unrecognizable, as was the area we were diving in, but I knew the people. And the best part of this dream was that I was not diving in a cage! And at least one of the people in my dream (looking at you Heather Nardini) was willing to go in the water without a cage as well.

You walk around my house and all you see are pictures of sharks. I don’t have any pictures of people. While I do have some pictures of cities I have been in, sharks do take up the majority of my wall space. Even one of the best Christmas gifts I got this year was a calendar with shark pictures.

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In my cube in the office, I have more pictures of sharks than most people have pictures of their family. I have three pictures that I took, a “Shark Crossing” sign, a shark picture frame (ironically with no picture), and a few other shark items.

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Yes, I am a little infatuated. But who cares? These are amazing and beautiful creatures….

And I am looking into diving with Tiger Sharks right now… hence the shark-based post.

Three Thing Friday

1. Underside of a Bus – I, as well as a large portion of my team, was thrown under the bus today. And you know what? The underside of a bus doesn’t look all that good. What was done and said has the potential to ruin working relationships that we currently have. Sure, we may not have always agreed on everything, and sure, things are harder now than they were a few years ago, but we were able to work together.

Now, because of things that were said, and how they were said, my team may have even harder struggles in the future. It’s a shame too, because work wasn’t that bad lately.

Well, ignoring that I have to go to another “team building event” which is now a little ironic.

2. Levels of Guinness – Speaking of work, I have a good discussion with a co-worker about the levels of quality when it comes to Guinness. This was a serious discussion, because there are so many options. The best, without a doubt, is on tap in Ireland. I do not know what it is, but the quality is so much better there. It is even noticeably better than the second best option; which is on tap anywhere else. After that, things get a little weird. Guinness from the can poured into a glass would be third, followed by Guinness from the bottle (with the widget) also poured into a glass.

After these, I would say that Guinness in the bottle with a widget still in the bottle would be next. In fact, anything beyond this we get into an area that I would consider not even drinking. Guinness from the can and still in the can? I would seriously have to consider passing on this. Even with the widgets.

And that non-widget bottle? Yea, just pass. Get something else. Except Bud light… I’d rather have water.

3. Our Allies – I know that we have to make friends with other countries. And I get that we actually have to pretend that we like each other. Hell, I also understand that being friends is better than being enemies.

What I don’t get is how some of our “friends” treat their citizens worse than some of our “enemies”. Some of our allies walk all over the inalienable human rights that we hold dear. Some of our allies do not like their people to be able to speak their mind. Some of our allies will kill their citizens because they are too outspoken.

Hell, in some countries, women are not even aloud to vote, let alone think.

And these are our friends…

Ever get the feeling that we are on the wrong side?

Angel

On Saturday night (last night at the time of me writing this), my parents and sister had to make the difficult decision to put their cat Angel to sleep. This was the cat that was a houseguest here in Maryland for almost two full years. She was a skittish cat who would run away from her own shadow on most occasions. In fact, most of my friends actually though I only had two cats here because she hid from most of them. My parents adopted her in 2002, and excluding the two years with me, she lived happily with my family the entire time.

Angel

She did have her quirks, but she was a fun and pleasant guest. Well, she was excluding the fact that she did not get along with Loki, the true owner of this house. Angel would jump onto me whenever I would lie down to go to bed, but she would never let me (or anyone) pick her up. She would lie there, purring away, blocking my view of the TV.

She was also the talkative one of the group. In fact, I am not sure that some of her chattiness didn’t rub off on Loki because since she left this house, Loki has been much more talkative.

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Sadly, Angel was in pain. I’m sure if was a difficult decision for my family, but it was a decision that had to be made. I wouldn’t want her to suffer and this was probably the best option for her.

So, while this house is a lot calmer without Angel terrorizing Loki, I am going to miss her.

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She was a good cat.

Three Thing Friday

1. Discovery Channel – Finally Discovery Channel will no longer be broadcasting its fictional programming. This means that there will no longer be mermaid documentaries. This means that there will not longer be a megalodon swimming in our oceans. Hopefully this means that they will be broadcasting more factual programming., programming that I will actually enjoy.

Rich Ross, the new President of Discovery Channel, stated that these programs do not belong on his station, which I have been saying for a while now. Too many people believed that if something aired on Discovery, it must be true. Sadly, in the last few years Discovery actually lowered the intelligence of this country. People believe that the mermaid program was 100% fact.

And this is not the only damage they have done. They have burned a lot of bridges when it comes to the scientists they tricked into being on their fictional programming. Rich Ross has a lot of bridges to rebuild. I hope he is up to repairing the relationships with the scientists that his predecessor ruined.

And maybe we can have less “Shark Attack” shows during shark week too please? Maybe we can have a little less sensationalism? Or maybe I am being too hopeful.

2. Apple TV – When I first bought my apple TV, I would use it maybe once a month. I’ve had it for over four years now, and I am actually using it most of the time now. I am streaming movies, playing my music, and actually getting my $99 dollars worth out of this little black box sitting under my TV. You include the fact that most of my movie collection is now on an external hard drive (and on a separate drive as backup), and I may not even need the blu-ray player under the TV.

Oh, whom am I kidding? Godzilla is on blu-ray, I will always need that player.

3. Getting Old- This getting old crap is not working well for me. The other day I was thinking about how old I am turning this year, and it actually required a lot of brainpower to remember. I mean, I actually had to count it out, and then I had to use a calculator to confirm the number. It’s not that I was in disbelief, I just wasn’t sure that I was right.

I used to make fun of my mother for not knowing how old I am. She gave birth to me, how could she forget how old I am? Well, now the shoe is on the other foot, I have to make fun of myself for not knowing how old I am turning.

Walking into rooms and forgetting why I went in there. Forgetting my morning routine. Actually having to think about where I left my keys. I hate it when all of these happen, and they seem to be happening more and more frequently.

At least I haven’t started calling the cat by the wrong name, but since my mom never remembers my name, how long before I start calling Pips… I mean Loki by the wrong name.

Damn it.

Two Fat Males

There are currently two overweight males living in my house. I am not proud of the fact that I haven’t worked out at all last year. And I did gain a good chunk of weight to go along with my laziness. But, as my resolution for the new years, I am trying to change this. I am trying to work out.

The other fat male is Loki. The cat. The fat cat who actually owns the house. Most house cats, if released in the wild, would find a way to survive. I’m not sure Loki could catch prey that was injured. Hell, I’m not sure he could catch prey that was already dead. I mean, he catch the cat food I put out for him, but still. Living in the wild? I do not think he could pull it off.

So, recently I have gotten into a routine that will, hopefully, help both of us. I work out with my bowflex weights (that I have owned for years). In between my reps, I grab a stick with a sting, and try to get Loki to play with it. It doesn’t take long for him to get tired out, which is fitting; since it doesn’t take me long to get tired out. At least I am trying to get him active again.

So that is the plan for now. I am trying to get both of us in a little better shape. I know I need to lose more weight than him, even in a percentage of out respective weights. The one issue I am having is that I am struggling with keeping Loki focused. He just wants to eat and sleep.

Actually, that sounds like a good idea.