mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
2013-07-15 09:36 pm
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theme song: working class hero

Today's theme song comes to me from Ryan Van Sickle, a singer whose music has a country quality that I like. The original song was John Lennon's, but Ryan sings it now as part of the ONE campaign. This global effort hopes to take protest songs of years past and broadcast them to a new generation to inspire continuing social and political change.  (Vote for Ryan at the link above if you like his rendition too.)

As soon as you're born they make you feel small, by giving you no time instead of it all.
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all. A working class hero is something to be...

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV, and you think you're so clever and classless and free.
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see. A working class hero is something to be.

There's room at the top they're telling you still, but first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill. A working class hero is something to be.

If you want to be a hero well just follow me.

This song is still relevant in too many ways, nearly half a century later. We have plutocrats who are 1) beyond the reach of prosecution, 2) unwilling to compare the value of workers lives with their own comforts, 3) insisting that they alone are responsible for their wealth, and 4) evaluating people as mere commodities from whom they can siphon more value.

Or, as this nice old lady succinctly puts it as numerous states roll back various legal protections for women...

Yes, today's post is entirely political.  It goes with the territory of this song and the ONE movement.

mellowtigger: (disconnect)
2013-05-29 05:48 pm
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worst possible scenario

My car died.  I've had it in the shop for 1.5 days, and the mechanic finally called to say he estimated $2200 in repairs.  He said the onboard computer offered a long list of problems: camshaft, ignition coil, head gasket, and other stuff. For that price, I might as well try to get another vehicle instead.  Living without a car is a lot cheaper, however, since Minnesota currently has the highest gas prices in the contiguous 48 states. I guess I'm back to being motorless again.

The bus schedule is awful.  I made it to work today on the bus.  Unfortunately, bus service operates within a very narrow window of time near my workplace, so I have to be up at the first bus stop by 7am, and I don't get home until 5pm.  It's a terribly inefficient use of time (10 hours) for what would in normal circumstances be just a 4-hour shift at work.

My leg is still not 100%.  I would enjoy commuting by bicycle, except that my leg is still not fully healed.  I can walk, yes, but very slowly with a slight limp.  The doctor warned me specifically against exercising as soon as I felt "able".  I don't have many options, though.

I finally applied for a credit card through State Farm Insurance, the same company where I've paid my car insurance for the last 20 years or so.  Maybe my long history with them will motivate them to take pity on me by granting me a line of credit.  At least then I can dump my many medical bills into a single debt for more convenient payment.  I'd rather owe money just 1 place rather than several places.

I also finally applied for a new job.  I found an opening in the Twin Cities where they wanted a Powershell programmer.  The rest of the skills were only a moderate match for me, but the job itself is something I'm certain I can do and enjoy.  Plus, they'd pay me 4-5X what I'm currently earning.  I don't normally motivate for cash, but I'll make an exception under these trying circumstances.

Meanwhile, I suppose I'll dump some money into a bus transit card and muddle through.
mellowtigger: (Pride)
2011-06-27 09:13 am
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I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that Target and Best Buy had the largest tents at Pride.  I tried to walk around them a few times rather than directly past them because they're both still on my boycott list.  Somebody had them in mind even before Pride weekend...

I ran into Patrick Scully when I was heading home from Pride, & gave him a quick hug.  "Careful," he said, "I've got a knife in my back."
Of course I had to look.
Yep.  Nice plastic knife attached to his shirt.  RIIIIIIGHT in the middle of a Target logo.
"Target stabbed us in the back, so I'm going over to their booth, lie down, and see what happens."
"Well, then let's get to it!"

Yay!  That's Patrick of Patrick's Cabaret fame.  I've also seen him out at Radical Faerie events before.  Thank goodness somebody has more dramatic sense than I do.

In related news, at least this year's Pride festival had a state governor participating for the first time.

mellowtigger: (tech support)
2011-02-07 05:57 pm
Entry tags:

i want beer

I didn't want to job hunt, but I think my stress level is reaching a point where I should start doing it.

I was already busy with my job, but then I doubled my hours to work full time.  I was already busy working fulltime, but then the CEO decides the voicemail system is wrong.  It falls, of course, upon me to fix it.  The phone database fails to cooperate by crashing due to corruption; it's not what I'd call reliable.

I'm on the verge of throwing in the towel (and some of my tech reputation) by just telling them to report their wishes to the vendor and have them assign someone to fix it.  I don't get paid anywhere near what a phone system project manager gets paid.  I'm willing to accept the reputational loss as long as it gains me some respite from the stress of attending to so many unrelated things at once.

Oh, and I've been working with a vendor's "Technical Support Analyst IV" regarding their website not working on our pcs, and I'm very unimpressed.  I trust my own tech skills far more than theirs.  And this vendor happened to be quoted on National Public Radio a few days ago, so they're no "small fry" in the marketplace.

Three years ago, someone pushed to get 2.5 FTEs (full time employees) for tech support here.  We're down to 2.0 FTEs now, even less if we put me back to part time status.  We've certainly grown during the past three years.  If I stick around, there's a very good chance that I'll become a programmer again.  I'd enjoy that role again.  I've lost faith, however, in my ability to endure until that emancipation.

Oh, and my new director-level boss wants weekly status and time-usage reports.

Beer is good.
mellowtigger: (flameproof)
2010-08-31 09:44 pm
Entry tags:

decisions. concessions.

Apparently, I'm not the only one stressed out at work. It's inappropriate, though, to share examples.  *sigh*  I'll be glad when humanity gives up any belief in the concept of secrets.  Government (or security or management) by enforced ignorance is pathetic.

Apparently, someone else remembers sex as a good thing too. It's inappropriate, though, for me to provide a name to go with the story. I want to explain.  Very much, I want to tell the story. Someone (an ex of mine, long ago) has an upscale career, though, and I wouldn't want to endanger it at all by quoting remembrances.  If I use only an initial instead of a first name, would that fool the search engines? If I include a photo in profile rather than full face, would that keep image scanning technology from identifying the man? Publishing something romantic and then hiding it from the world, though... that smells like the stench of shame. No. Oh, and... hell, no.

It's a sick, twisted world that can take a good thing and turn it into a bad thing. Me, I'm willing to take my lumps from living by strict standards.  I don't want to take anyone else down with me, though.

Civilization sucks.
mellowtigger: (disconnect)
2010-08-31 10:21 am
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Mott's workers strikeI support the Mott's workers in their decision to strike, now in its 4th month.

I especially like their cinnamon applesauce.

"Mott's Workers Stand Up For America"
(communist sociofascist pinko America only, of course)

Remember when I complained about the profitable non-recovery? This example is a perfect reason why. Corporatism is draining us. I'm ready for an alternative.

Why should I be the only one in a bad mood today?
mellowtigger: (coprolite)
2010-08-10 08:59 pm
Entry tags:

get off my lawn, you lousy kids

I've found so many things to complain about in recent months.

Definitely undesireable.  Such consternation is unhealthy.  And yet...

  • The USA cuts funding for food stamps in order to pay teachers... but don't you dare touch the military budget.
  • Global warming data continues to accumulate... unheeded while environmental/energy legislation dies again this year in the USA.
  • The Target scandal continues to worsen as more details emerge... and some people want a donation to HRC as if that group deserved the corporate dollar more than MN Forward.
  • It still seems like Christianity, Islam, and Judaism (in their various sub-flavors) want to kill each other (and the rest of us) rather than coexist... and they certainly won't convert everyone to humanism while waiting for a concerned Deity to finally announce which One True Faith is the real one.  A new one springs up every 1500 years or so.  Is it time for the next flavor of the millenium yet?
Pee-Wee Herman at Sturgis 2010At least, while thinking about it, I've discovered why "persuasion by passion" is today the American standard rather than rational argument.  I'll post more on that topic later.

Some days I wish I had a boyfriend so we could spend a few hours under the sheets in mad passionate embrace.  And it doesn't even have anything to do with the sex.

Meanwhile, at Sturgis 2010 this weekend, Pee-Wee Herman visited.  According to one twitter, Pee-Wee was a class act:

"Pee-wee Herman is my hero! Not only did he raise 1000's of dollars for orphans, but he stayed late and signed autographs!"

Ah, at last.  Some sanity in this crazy, crazy world.
mellowtigger: (Ark II)
2010-05-30 01:45 pm
Entry tags:

scatalogical bivouac (or, nature is poopy)

I left work on Friday and then drove out to Fort Ridgely.  The Memorial Day Weekend camping was so nice that I packed up a day early and hightailed it out of there as soon as I woke up on Sunday.

Cut for pictures and messy details... )

I'm no longer a walking biological hazard.  Today, I'm a big fan of civilization.  It's rare, but I think I have a reasonable excuse for the temporary enthusiasm.
mellowtigger: (coprolite)
2010-04-15 09:59 am
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Minnesota income tax is corrupt

I found 4 ways that Minnesota state income tax is vile beyond anything that the IRS could hope to achieve.

Read the 4 brief reasons... )

So... I finished my state income tax forms last night.  Even though I should be getting about $139 back, I have to pay $202 now and then wait until August to get $341 back.  They steal my money for half a year and collect interest on it, then give the principal back to me.  And that's only because I went hunting for the proper form to fill out.  So very corrupt.  The IRS is saintly in comparison.
mellowtigger: (Default)
2009-10-10 08:05 pm
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job rant

I need to find a new job.  I don't mind getting paid to work only 20 hours per week.  I can cope with getting paid less than a fulltime minimum wage job.

A part-time job that requires on-call duty, however, is a concept that just should not exist. 
  1. A 20-hours-per-week job should not require wholesale shifts in my non-work life to accommodate an uncertain schedule.
  2. After-hours work does not earn me time-and-a-half pay like it does for a full-time person.
I've been trying to attend a local science fiction convention this weekend.  I walked out of most of the sessions today to handle issues remotely.  I managed to avoid traveling east to Saint Paul or west to Buffalo.  After getting 2 work-stoppage kinds of calls back-to-back, I was in a bad mood and just left the conference entirely to come home and rest.  Sure enough, shortly after waking up, I get a site internet outage.  I just spent 20 minutes on the phone with a Qwest person, before they decided to give up and refer the issue to their central office to fix.  (Fyi, this ticket has been open since 9/1/2009 because Qwest can't keep this circuit alive for us.)

There's supposed to be a Cabaret happening right now at the sci-fi convention.  I am not there.

I need to find a new job.
mellowtigger: (Default)
2009-04-15 11:23 pm
Entry tags:

rant redux

It's been nearly 2 months since my rant. Since it involved computers and the human condition, I should have thought to spend some time wading into XKCD archives for an appropriate sample. I didn't. There was a great example to be found, though...
Final comic panel text not appropriate for workplace viewing... )
mellowtigger: (flameproof)
2009-02-21 12:21 pm
Entry tags:

rant: what's the point of being here?

I just typed up a reply to a public post, and then LiveJournal informed me that the user has set their journal to Friends-Only posting.  (Why couldn't I have been warned when I clicked the Reply button before I spent the time writing up the note?!)  I may have to make a new review of my subscription list ("friends") and start removing names that are primarily non-public.  I've tried to avoid adding names that do this kind of stuff, but everyone is compartmentalizing their lives so much that I consider the practice far beyond a reasonable tactic any more.

Most of the accounts I've subscribed to are queer folk, and they of all people should know how poisonous it is to sequester a part of your life into safe closet territory.

I understand wanting to make a Friends-read-only post every once in a while, to discuss something potentially illegal or otherwise harmful.  But must EVERYthing that some people write fall into this category?  Thought #1: You really need to consider moving to email if you want to eliminate every aspect of webpages that risks disclosure of some super-secret information that would ruin your life or someone else's.  Thought #2: Maybe you shouldn't be posting stuff like that anyway, if it's really so dangerous for someone else to read.  Consider reorienting your life to spend more time on productive and explorational topics instead of secretive harmful things.

I expect people to correct me if I state something that's WRONG.  If the rest of the community is really so delicate that they don't want public commentary, then perhaps a static webpage would be better (or, again, consider email).  It really undermines the learning opportunity of a social site to retreat into these little corners, disallowing public reading, disallowing public commenting.  I have all anonymous posts screened on my journal, but I approve all the ones that seem like legitimate users (instead of spam attempts).

If what you post here could ruin your job, then attend to your livelihood and stop posting stuff that could threaten it!  If what you post here could ruin your friendships, then attend to them and stop posting stuff that could threaten them!

I'm very disappointed in the LJ population ("community" would require use of quotes) at the moment.  I want to live as a whole person in a whole world.  I don't want to live in a world that's segmented, compartmentalized, and ghettoized.  So grow some gonads and own up to the kind of world that you're actively creating.  Which kind of world will you be a part of?

LiveJournal deserves writers who make public posts that are searchable by web crawlers like Google, so surfers can find other people with opinions and information on topics that concern them.  LiveJournal deserves writers who open their posts to everyone, so that subscribers have an opportunity to read followup opinions by other subscribers.  You never know who you'll meet online... but locking posts down is a way to ensure that people don't meet each other at all.