Contempt

Poor Kim, she is being played for the victim and being left out to dry. Once the crazies are done fund-raising off of her, they will leave her high and dry to pick up the pieces of her broken life. She will scuttle back into obscurity to be randomly evoked as a bad joke.

Of course, a simple civics lesson might have helped educate her on how her job role and the government actually works. She then might have avoided be played for the fool. Sadly, that isn’t the case. And her willful ignorance is not going to save her, no matter how the crazies spin it. They want her to lose so they can hold her up as their new martyr.

As an elected clerk, she took an oath to uphold the law. You have the right as a citizen to have a religious belief. You have the right not to be persecuted by the government (and your employer when different) for that belief. You can even request a reasonable accommodation for said belief. However, you do not have the right to refuse to do your job based on belief. An important distinction the people taking advantage of her are deliberately obfuscating. The moment the SCOTUS ruled on the Obergefell vs Hodges case, it became defacto law. If she now feels she can no longer follow her duty/oath of office because it violates her "god’s law," then she should resign. You are not guaranteed employment if you feel your personal religious belief conflicts with your employment requirements.

Not only did she refuse to do her job, she also refused to allow any of the deputy clerks to do their job. The judge gave her a way to save face and not be in contempt and she still refused.1 This negates any possible resolution through accommodating her belief. She has repeatedly and steadfastly projected her bigotry onto her subordinates. In the best possible twist of ironies, her employees could now sue her for religious discrimination. Wouldn’t that be lovely!? hehehe

Of course, the fundies might take her on as a spokesperson after she loses. Like previous made up martyrs, they’ll trot her around until the money-making dries up and then she’ll be abandoned. She’ll be the punchline of memes and jokes for awhile and after that forgotten completely. The annals of history will not remember her. And their failed (and marginalizing) attempts to align her with such great civil-rights activists such as MLK and Rosa Parks are frankly insulting.

  1. again, it appears based on advice from her representation with an agenda []

Admire

I’ve mentioned a few times I’ve become addicted to Instagram, partly for the narcissism and party for inspiration. It can be very uplifting one minute and a total shit-show the next.

I opened a can of worms a few weeks ago. This body builder guy was posting pics on his public profile of his legs, torso, and buttocks. To clarify, he was clearly a legit bodybuilder and his pics focused on showing off his hard work. The pics were also often very revealing and left little to the imagination regarding his generous package. Said pics routinely got lots of hearts and comments. One day, I guess he’d had enough with what he felt were insulting comments on his sexiness (and his generous anatomy) and goes off on a rant. Basically, he didn’t like when people left comments about how nice his groin/butt is, how sexy he is, etc when he is just trying to track his progress.

I couldn’t help myself and left this comment:

While I can understand your frustration, it is unrealistic and somewhat hypocritical to post the types of pics you do in a public forum and then act upset when people see you in a sexual way. Yes, it may not be your purpose but your implying that every random person who finds your profile should just know that your pics are meant to be solely about your progress, not your manhood or overall good looks. Of course, this set off a firestorm of comments on both sides. The comments ranged from polite banter to the extreme of being compared to rape. I think he has since made his profile private. (smart man)

I have no idea if the guy was gay or straight, it wasn’t really relevant. I just found his faux outrage humorous. If you don’t want people gawking at your naughty bits, don’t put them out there.

Destiny

I’m totally hooked on this game. Ugh! It has been over a year and I still play

Destiny, The Game
Destiny, The Game

it at least once a week. Bungie’s goal was to create a game that would be a francize for up to 10 years. I think they might have succeeded. The game is continually updated every 3-6 months with new DLC (downloadable content) to expand its maps. It also incorporates online play, alone or with others.

I’ve always been a gamer who plays for fun. While I am competitive, I prefer to do so with fun in mind. I have never been someone who focused solely on winning. The developers have managed to capture aspects of both types of game play, competitive and fun, to reach a very broad range of players. If you are a competitive player, you have to reach a certain level thru the campaigns, but once you do you can be as competitive as you like. There are whole segments that deal solely with competing. You can play in a group of friends against the game or against other players. If you’re like me and you enjoy campaign modes, there is plenty to keep you busy.

I judge my games by 1) if I finish it, 2) how many times I finish or continue to play it. The game by its nature is designed to never end. Well, not anytime soon anyway. hahaha  New content expands the breadth of the game all while tying into what you already know. I have to say the developers did a good job of building a game that will indeed last for a decade.

If you’re reading this and are a more hardcore gamer, you’re probably familiar with much of the drama that has unfolded in social media and Bungie’s own forums. Frankly, I find it a bit childish and counter-productive. First and foremost, developers rarely give the level of interaction and feedback to players that Bungie has with this game. Maybe they’ve given too much because many have taken to acting all butt-hurt and entitled because the game didn’t live up to some of the promises put forward before the game was released. One, the game wasn’t designed solely for the  hardcore player. It was designed to appeal to all manner of players. Two, if the game was such a disappointment, don’t play it.

Anyhoo, I’m still addicted to it. It has captured my attention like no game before it. Even more than the original Prototype and the Dead Space series. I eagerly await the next set of expansions.

Brand

Unless you’re a stranger to the internet, you’re probably aware of the ongoing drama with a certain brand name getting raked over the coals for bashing their own.You’d think that seeing the outcry they would apologize and shut up for awhile. As of today, they continue to dig-in in an every expanding failure to defend comments that should have been kept private.1  And frankly, no matter how you slice it, the comments were demeaning. 

You can think whatever you like and are even free to say it, but you are not free from the consequences. And acting like spoiled little brats doesn’t after the fact doesn’t improve your standing. If you own a brand name directly associated with your name is it really a good idea to insult many of the people who help make you wealthy? It is a hard lesson in the changing world though. No one is immune from the viral effects of the internet. 

As for the calls for boycott, I’m not really for it. Not every disagreement needs to result in a boycott. If I purchased their products, I’d probably stop as a personal decision. I would not however try to ruin them for simply disagreeing with me. Being free means people are allowed to disagree, even our own. Boycotts should be for those who actively work against us, not just anyone with an unfavorable opinion. Calling for a boycott marginalizes the big issues and minimize their effectiveness as well. 

Hopefully, they’ll just shut up and let things die down again. People will forget and move on to the next big scandal. However, the more they run their mouth the more inflamed it will become. 

  1. Do these people not have publicists? []

Civic

Everyone is jockeying for the moral high ground after the Ferguson verdict. Social media is a shit-show of everyone pointing fingers at each other. I won’t even go into all the judge/juries that have appointed them selves verdict makers on Brown/Wilson’s implied guilt.

I feel like I have a unique perspective on the subject.1   There is my work side that deals with law-enforcement issues every day of my career. I can see valid points from the officer’s story. There were several things Brown could have done to avoid the confrontation. Then there is my gay side that grew up at the hands of very rough and not so friendly police on more than one occasion. I can see valid points from Brown’s family. The police could have handled the situation better and not necessarily let it escalate out of control. 

The reality is neither side is blameless. No one has the moral high ground here. And no one should walk away feeling like they lost/won. We all lost. People often can’t resolve the cognitive dissonance created by the ambiguity of fault or blame. And because of this, we can’t admit that neither side is blameless. Brown refused to comply, Wilson overreacted.2

No matter who’s side you are on it still means nothing unless we act. If we truly want to fix these problems, we must move beyond the never-ending and condescending tantrums via social media. And while petitions and marches in the streets are excellent displays of solidarity, they are not enough. These things depend on someone else to fix our problems.

We as a citizenry must be involved. We cannot abandon, thru indifference, our oversight of those we place in power and be surprised when it suddenly becomes corrupt. Civic duty is not just serving jury duty or voting, begrudgingly. It is our guaranteed right thru the freedoms granted us. But we must exercise those rights. It should not be something we only do when it is convenient. It should be a part of our daily lives.3  If more of us get involved, we won’t need to constantly focus on blame. We’ll be in forums to constantly give oversight, feedback, and accountability to both sides.

Basically, I’m saying be involved or shut up and accept your servitude. It is that simple. Like any living thing, democracy must be fed or it dies from neglect. Go to your local police community meetings. If they aren’t offered,  rally your neighbors and friends and demand they have them. Go to your governing body’s public meetings. Call, write, and/or email your local and state leaders. And don’t do it once and call it good. Involvement is ongoing. Embrace your civic duties. Then and only then can we see real change.

  1. No surprise there right? lol []
  2. Please spare me unnecessary rants on the variances of this over simplification []
  3. Do me a favor and read this paragraph again []

Duty

​I’ve gotten more than a few inquiries on my thoughts regarding the Missouri incident.  In a word, it’s a mess. You have a citizenry that is under-educated and have all but abandoned their civic duties. Granted, they can’t be blamed so much for that but looting your own community demonstrates a level of ignorance that is becoming more and mor prevelant in this country.

I come from very poor means. It is hard to care about community involvement when your sole existence is about survival. But, if we hope to stop problems like this we have to encourage said communities to be and do better. We need to shift our priorities away from the accumulation of wealth and to the betterment of people. Education is a huge component. An educated community is often more involved. Of course, the powers that be want you to be dumb because you are easier to control.

Then you have a police force in a small town that has all the authority and very little oversight. This is not unusual per se. Visit any small rural area and you’ll see similar stories. Does that mean all rural depts are bad? No, of course not. But as the facts unfold, it is glaringly obvious the agency is lacking in any sort of oversight or accountability from its citizens. The abundance of hard-core military grade gadgets is simply crazy.

At the end of the day a young man lost his life. His implied guilt or innocence is not a valid reason on its own for his death. And as the facts are told and clarified, there is a larger cloud over the agency vs the officer involved. The often inflammatory (and even sometimes inaccurate) reporting from many media outlets hasn’t helped the situation. And of course, the emergent mob-mentality of our social media commentary is just icing on the cake. If social media is your only source of news, you are part of the problem. If you don’t know the details of a story or incident, keep your mouth shut until you do. Don’t share links you haven’t read because of a link-baiting headline. And you f**kers who share every story with the idea “it can’t hurt“, need a serious ass-whooping. /rant

Are there bad officers? Of course there are. But for every bad cop, there are easily 100 more you never hear about. Why? Because cops doing their duty don’t generate sensational headlines or ad-clicks.1  A few bad cops do not make them all bad and isolated stories of abuse do not paint an accurate picture.  Yes, our law-enforcement should be held to a higher standard, but humans are fallible no matter their position in life. To avoid the corruption we as the citizenry must be involved.

And speaking of, our citizenry is becoming ill-educated every day it seems. Subjective validation is often more important than facts or reason. Religious fanatacism and personal greed have trumped our morals. We’ve gone from ‘what can I do for my society‘ to ‘what can society do for me?‘ The idea of civic duty or responsibility is a foreign idea to most folks these days. A citizenry that abandons it’s overseers is quickly overrun by their own indifference. Absolute power corrupts absolute as the old adage goes. You cannot give away your power thru inaction and then wonder why the abuses keep happening. Proclaming your outrage on social media and demanding change does nothing to help and only serves to feed the problem.

Perform your civic duties. Vote, serve on jury duty and most of all, be involved in your community. Go to community meetings. Know your local policy makers and pay attention to their actions. Only then will your actions carry weight and effect change. Otherwise, you end up just being another sheep being guided by those in power, often to your detriment.

  1. Poor comparison but I see the same mis-characterization in my volunteer work with animals regarding pitbulls. []

Almost

Today was the first day in weeks I came home and did not become a heap of exhausted flesh curled up on the sofa. While I am worn out, I’m not bone tired. As the work project has moved into it’s final phase, deployment, things have been busy. Being someone who can’t just say, ‘Oh look, time to go home’ I’ve put in some long days lately. But my part is almost done. I volunteered for this project out of a desire to make our work environment better. I also didn’t want the users to get the shaft by having people who don’t use the system on a daily basis making decisions about what we got. A year and 2 months of my life has flown by and I’m proud of my work. It may not be everything I wanted but it is 5 times better than what we would have ended up with otherwise.

From a technical stand point, the rollout went off without too many major hiccups. The biggest unexpected glitches dealt with interface connections. Overall, once the new system went up, it stayed up. The glitches are still being worked on but the list is down to less than a handful.

From a user stand point, many of my coworkers hate it (so far). While we stayed with the same vendor, we switched to a new product. It looks similar in many ways but the underlying architecture is completely different. This translates into many of our day to day tasks being different or even an extra step at times. And for people who rely heavily on cognitive muscle-memory and reflex, this can be a royal pain. You, in essence, have to relearn your basic job functions over again. Throw in a healthy dose of random unexpected configuration issues1 , functions that are similar but different, and  you have a recipe for some consternation. Two weeks in and we are still whittling down the list of issues. And while mostly minor, together they collectively make for some very frustrating attempts to get thru what used to be 2nd nature.

Once we work out the kinks and the settings that work best for everyone, I think many will come to enjoy it, or at least not mind it. Right now everyone is in full ‘I hate this crap’ mode. Having the luxury of 13 years on the job, I remember when we upgraded from a very limited custom map software to a newer one. Everyone moaned and groaned about it and now those same people would cut you if you tried to take their map away. Change is hard when you develop a skill set based on not having to think about menial tasks. Ironically, coworkers who’ve been thru previous upgrades aren’t as irate. Anyway, I know after things settle in people we feel better about it.2

For myself, I’m looking forward to going back to my normal job. I miss it. Hell, I even miss talking to the public. More than anything I’m looking forward to regular schedules, hours, and days. Naturally, I have a trainee starting with me next week. He’ll be with me for at least 4 weeks, maybe 5. He scored with a trainer who knows the new system inside and out. And I don’t mind having a trainee as I enjoy teaching.

On a side note, my blog should pick up again. You know you missed me.

  1. Even something as simple as new screen resolution has been an issue []
  2. I do admit that every issue I knew would cause heads to explode has done just that. If they only knew my head exploded too. hehehe []

Edu-ma-ka-tion

After almost 2 decades, I finally won a battle against my technical school, that may sound like eye-tee-tee, and the DOE (Dept of Education).

In a nut shell, I attended said school for a whopping two semesters before dropping out. I dropped out because I was misled by the school and the recruiter on the necessary prerequisites required. The ploy was the class didn’t require 2 years experience yet all of the instructors expected you to have it and taught based on that assumption. I’m smart but I could not overcome a 2 year difference between what was expected of me and what I had. After going thru the process, I was supposed to only be billed for the two semesters.

Fast forward to the end of my loan, I was notified I still owed more. Apparently, the school had billed me for the entire first year, or more to the point,they billed the DOE. I disputed the amount and sent in the documentation showing my attendance and termination. I heard nothing and assumed it was done.

Fast forward again to the mid 90’s, while I’m living in Colorado, I get a collection bill for the outstanding amount plus interest. It’s been almost 10 years atthis point and having survived a bout of being homeless, I could not find my copies of the original records. I call, go thru the process, and request my records from the school. The school first refuses then sends me everything but my attendance dates. I submit everything and once again hear nothing.

Fast forward one more time to earlier this year. I get a new collection notice along with a new bill for interest which is twice the actual amount being billed. I am like, “oh hell naw!” I call and dispute yet again. I get the same run around as before even after they admit they can see all the original documentation notes. Yet, w/o any of the actual copies they are unwilling to proceed. I languish in limbo while attempting to have them contact the school and get my attendance records, since the school will not send them to me.1  A few months go by and I hear nothing. This time I am unwilling to just ignore the problem. I call back and get more excuses. I’m feeling very annoyed and not at all content with this nonsense.

One day, I happened to be digging thru some old papers in an unrelated attempt to clear some clutter and what do I discover? My old documentation. It had somehow survived in the two boxes I managed to keep all these years. Color me surprised. I notify the DOE, get to the proper forms in the mail, fill them out, attach all the documents, school records, etc. The school of course tries to dispute it, but being on their original forms they were unsuccessful.

I was notified today that not only am I no longer expected to pay the outstanding 2 semesters, I am also due a check for just over $500 from an overpayment! Reading between the lines here means that school will have to cough up that money. I’m absolutely tickled.

  1. Having made a dispute, legally the debt – holder has to show proof the debt is valid. []

Priority

I ran into a casual friend the other day and he got upset with me because I wouldn’t ditch the gym to go drink with him. I don’t mean just disappointed but actually upset, storming away in a huff upset.

First, we know each other from around town. We are friends on a couple social sites but we don’t engage that often. We just tend to travel on different paths. We have had a couple decent talks and they’re always cordial. Most of our interactions are often by happenstance so I was kinda surprised that he would get upset. He has never reached out to me directly to build a stronger connection.1  So to suddenly get upset when I wouldn’t just ditch my plans to go drinking was a surprise to me.

After a rather short but odd conversation, he proceeded to tell me, “I do not think we should really be friends anymore. You obviously care more about being narcassitic and shallow than actually being a friend.”  Yes, that bitch actually said that to me!  He then proceeded to storm away in a huff and promptly remove me from his friend lists. I guess he thought he was teaching me a lesson. All I have to say to his behavior is “squish-squish darling, squish-squish.2  Seriously. lol I mean it would have been different if you were a good friend that I rarely see or someone who changed their plans to spend time with me, etc. This wasn’t any of that. We ran into each other on the street, he asked me to go drink, I politely declined because I was headed to the gym, and suddenly I’m a shallow uncaring friend? In what alternate reality?

For someone who was so butt-hurt at my unavailability, he obviously doesn’t read le blog or any of my social updates. Clearly, you weren’t THAT into me if you haven’t taken any time to read up on me, of sorts. lol Maybe had he taken the time to reach out to me and actually MAKE plans we could have gone drinking. I certainly enjoy an occassional trip to liquor-ville. If my friendship was so important then he would have made more of an effort. He would have made it a priority. Then I could have at least understood the dramatics. 

I don’t believe it was ever about the gym. It was about the inferred insult he assumed when I wouldn’t drop everything on a a whim to spend time with him. He either felt like I should be honored he offered or he was just insecure. Either way, not my drama, not my problem. And had he not flown off the handle I would have offered to schedule a raincheck. Fat chance in hell that will happen now.

  1. And to be fair the same is true of me. []
  2. A reference to AbFab where Adina fakes crying for Saphie” []

Wait

I’m getting a little irritated with the invasiveness of technology at the gym these days. More and more guys are getting buried in their phones not paying attention. I’ve reached a point now where I immediately walk up and ask a person how many sets they have left. It puts them on notice someone else is waiting on the bench. You can either choose to share or you can focus on your workout and then get off of it. I don’t mind waiting but I’m sick of seeing guys just hang out endless on a machine.

And for the Fitness SF haters, it is just as true at the 24-hour gyms. Seriously, WTF? I use my phone at the gym. I text, I surf, etc. But I’m also running a workout timer between every set. The moment my timer dings, I stop whatever I’m doing and do my effin’ set! And when I’m done, I get my ass off the bench so someone else can use it. In other words, I respect the fact I am not the only person in the gym trying to get a good workout in. And I even respect not everyone might be as dedicated or at my level of working out. I am as friendly and sharing as I can be to others. But I’m so over others not returning the favor. I’ve never been a big fan of negative peer pressure but I’m beginning to rethink that now. And the next fucker who cops an attitude after I politely ask you how many sets he has left is gonna discover just how cray-cray I can get. I have no shame and will clown the fuck out of you in front of the entire gym. We all pay dues. You don’t get to park you’re ass on a bench for 15-20 mins w/o so much as lifting a weight and then throw shade when someone asks to work in.

Maybe now that I have to go during peak times, I’m just noticing it more. Has it been this bad for awhile?