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Thursday, December 20, 2007

And it Didn't Even Taste That Good

The cafeteria's on the Microsoft campus are pretty decent most of the time. Sometimes the lines can take a while, so I usually choose where I eat based on that. Today I went early so I chose The Pasta ya Gotcha, who's lines can get slow. I usually order the Texas Tijuana Taco Penne or just Taco Penne for short. It's pretty good, it's easy for them to make, and they sell a lot of it. Instead of ordering the Taco Penne, I decided to give the Penne Puttanesca a try.

For those of you who don't know, Puttanesca is basically a tomato sauce. So I go up to the counter and give the girl my order, but being an English speaking person, I had a hard time with the pronunciation. I can't really spell out what I sounded like but it was roughly, "putschensciahss." I expected the girl to laugh at my bad pronunciation, correct me, and then make it. Instead she stared at me blankly. So, I tried saying it more clearly, basically enunciating each of the letters, "Putt-an-es-ca." She still had no clue. I tried pointing at the menu, and saying "the one on at the bottom of the menu." But it's hung above the counter so that the people who work there can't see it. She turned to the other guy working, who thought I wanted to know how much it cost. "No," I responded, "I want the Penne Putt-an-es-ca. How do you say it?" After some more hand waving and pointing they eventually figured out what I wanted and started to make it.

Since I was obviously still mispronouncing it, I wanted to know how to say it so they would understand if I ever ordered it again. So I asked, "How do you say it?" pointing to what she was cooking. She then said, "You don't want." with a thick Spanish accent, thinking I had changed my mind. "No, no I want it." waving my hands, letting her know to keep making it. At this point the other guy goes to the back to grab a third person. Now you would think, this third person would be the manager or at least someone who spoke English. But you would be wrong with that thought. The third person came out, and I asked "How do you say Putt-an-es-ca?" he also had no clue what I was talking about, and after a few more attempts at communication, I finally just waved him off with a "never mind." I took what they made me, and resolved myself to only ordering the Taco Penne from then on.

Bitch! If you work in a service industry, learn to speak the mother fucking language!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reduce Carbon by Using Paper

Last week, I found this site carbonfund.com. It's basically a site that will take your money and use it to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.

The thing with these companies, is they tell you they are supporting projects that offset the carbon we spit out into the air, but if you read through the sites, they never really provide details as to how they are doing that. They just say, the money goes into replanting forests, and building wind towers. But are they really? Do they have pictures of people out planting trees? And where are these tress being planted? Because when I drive down the streets, I see a lot of trees being chopped down for new housing developments. And why do they need to support building wind towers, the government already offests that cost through tax incentives to companies that build them.

This carbon fund site, has a blog posting offering to sell people post cards, talking about the great work they do, and promoting global warming awareness. I decided to leave a comment on the blog, asking about how many trees died making those post cards they are selling, and that even using recycled paper has a negative impact on the environment. And aren't they supposed to be planting trees and not cutting them down. As you can expect, they have the blog set up so that my comment doesn't post right away, someone has to approve it. And as of today, it still hasn't been approved. Big surprise, someone calls them out and they don't want to post about it.

On a similar subject, MSNBC recently did an article on Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust, a non profit blowing money on all kinds of things besides the poor. The article as a whole was an interesting read on how Americans overall are donating 300 billion dollars to charities, and there is little to no oversight on how that money is spent. "the Supreme Court has ruled there’s nothing inherently illegal about a charity that spends just 1 percent of donations on good deeds" that's right, you could be donating to reduce greenhouse gases, but are you really? It's sad when people have to start sites like the San Francisco based Great Nonprofits, to tell us what nonprofits are worthwhile or not. By the way, Carbon Fund wasn't on the Great Nonprofits site.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Seattle S.L.U.T

I occasionally volunteer down at Seattle's Center for Wooden Boats. This last weekend I was down there for the grand opening (if you could call it that) of the newly added 52.1 million dollar, South Lake Union Streetcar, or South Lake Union Trolley, aka SLUT.

For those of you who aren't local or up to date, Seattle has decided to solve some of it's transit problems by building a street car that runs a little over 2 miles, from no place to no place. What ever happened to being able to walk? I walk 1 to 2 miles every day after work with the dog. Yet, people in downtown can't walk a mile or two? Not only that, but this street car, is totally in the way. It has made it a pain in the ass to park down at the boat center. Street cars block traffic, and actually cost more to operate then buses. So why are we building this? Because we live in Seattle, and there is a reason we have the worst traffic in the country, because the people who make these decisions are fucking retards! And that's why we voted no, last month of prop 1. For those who don't like buses, and since we are like little San Francisco, let's build a subway system like the BART.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

10 Reasons to Hate Christmas

Last year around this time I did my 10 Things that Make Me Go Cranky at Christmas Time, I've decided to follow that up with this years 10 Reasons to Hate Christmas

10. Environmentalist throw out their beliefs with the trash - Read my posting on Christmas Garbage.

9. We spend money on pointless crap that usually get's forgotten about, broken , or lost by next Christmas - "In 2006, the average US household is expected to spend about $1,700 on Christmas and holiday spendings" according to a report in the economist. Maybe if people weren't so obsessed with belongings, they could just sit back and enjoy spending time with family, instead of crying about wanting the latest game for their Xbox or PlayStation. Such as the new ACE COMBAT 6: Fires of Liberation game for my Xbox 360 that is out right now.

8. Speaking of air travel - Holidays are the busiest time of the year for air travel, which equals longer wait times, delayed flights, and other travel hassle. Yet we all just accept it as part of the holidays. And of course, the negative impact on the enviroment.

7. The fat get fatter - We start with Halloween candy, work through thanksgiving dinner and Christmas egg nog, and top it off with a drunken blowout New Year's eve. And we do this every year, with a New Year vow to loose some weight that we never follow through with.

6. More fires - Yep all those lights, dry trees, paper, and candles lead to one thing; people burning themselves. One report I read stated, "candle-related fires rise by 140%" during the holidays. Although I'm not complaining about the dumbass adults who start the fire, I do have issue with that dumbass adults kids being included when the house burns down on them.

5. More traffic accidents - lets take some ice and snow covered roads, add some holiday cheer in the form of alcohol, then drive home after that Christmas party.

4. Chinese toys - Most all toys we buy come from China. Many of these toys have been recalled due to safety issues lately. Not to mention, that they are manufactured by low paid, over worked people in a communist country. Yet that doesn't stop anyone from buying them. Isn't it sad that websites have to publish articles titled 10 Green Toys for the Holidays, because it would be to hard to find 20.

3. Political correctness -When I was a kid in school we actually would get a tree for our classroom and decorate it. But now we wouldn't want to offend anyone, s0 schools don't do that anymore. But does anyone go to the PTA, the school board, to complain. Nope, they just complain at home because we wouldn't want to offend anyone. All those newspaper ads you all read looking for specials, are all "holiday" specials, not "Christmas" specials. But that doesn't stop you from looking and buying. And my favorite is how companies have a holiday party instead of a Christmas party! If t-shirt hell made one, I'd buy the t-shirt that says "Merry Fucking Christmas Bitches!" and wear that to my company holiday party.

2. Did you finish your Christmas shopping? - How often to we hear this each year? Or how often do we say,? "I finally finished my Christmas shopping" or "I still need to finish my Christmas shopping." And we always say it in the same way, it's always a chore something we have to do for Christmas. Yet we do it anyway.

1. The holiday spirit - have you ever noticed how during Christmas, if someone does something nice it's because they are in the holiday spirit. It's like the rest of the year they are total asses, but since it's Christmas they can be nice. What, you assholes can't be nice for the sake of being nice!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Hand of God in Colorado

Another nut by the name of Matthew Murray went on a shooting spree in Colorado, going after people in a local church. But instead of reading about a huge number of dead, we get to read about a couple of bad asses. The first is Larry Bourbannais. According to the story as told by him, he was wounded in an attempt to confront the guy. He didn't have a weapon but as a former Vietnam vet, he wasn't afraid of a little gun fire. When the shooting started he ran to the room to where the guy was at, and found a cowardly security guard, who was armed but not returning fire. Bourbannais did try to get the guard to hand over his weapon but the guard wouldn't do it. Personally I think Bourbannais should have bitch slapped the guard and taken the weapon, but he didn't need to because Jeanne Assam a former police officer was there, gun drawn, and ready to use it. And God was with her, because she calmly identified herself, then shot the mother fucker.

For those of you who are for more extreme gun control, and banning fire arms. This is why that is a bad idea. Because the only thing most gun control laws do, is make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to get weapons. Murray would have gotten his weapons anyway, and even if he didn't, he could build a bomb, or who knows what. But, by allowing Assam to own a firearm, she was able to stop this guys before the killing got out of control. Think of all the other shootings that have happened, and imagine if we had a couple people like Larry Bourbannais and Jeanne Assam at those locations, each armed and ready to take care of business.

MSN Article
The Denver Channel Article

Friday, December 07, 2007

Early Morning Asshole

The break room counter in my office, has to the right a water cooler/heater. It's typical of most break rooms. It has a hot, room temp, and cold. Just to the right of that, is a stack of styrofoam cups. There is also a stack off to the left of the counter near the teas.

So, I'm at the water filling my mug with a little hot water to rinse it out. As I'm standing there, a guy, a good two feet taller then me comes into the room, and reaches over me to grab one of the styrofoam cups. Keep in mind he could have went to the other stack, but it would have involved taking an additional two steps to get to. In the process of grabbing the cup, he elbows me on the side of the head. It wasn't hard, but still he did it, and it was rude. He could have waited two second for me to finish, or like I said, grab a cup from the other stack. But what really pissed me off is, he didn't do what most of us would do, which is immediately apologize. So of course irritated I was like "Excuse me." In retrospect I should have said "excuse you" but it was early and my mind hadn't woken up yet. At this point he says a quick, "oh sorry" then goes to start his coffee and leaves the room while it brews. As I finished what I was doing, I slowly get more and more aggravated. Maybe because it was early, or maybe because I was a little shocked, but I didn't actually get as mad as I normally would have while he was there. And unfortunately or maybe it was a good thing, but instead of waiting for him to come back and immediately punch him in the nuts, I left and went to bitch to a friend of about it.

As I'm writing this, I realize the appropriate response would have been to spit in his cup while he was out of the room.

It's people like this guy, that are why I don't want to be a Microsoft FTE, and why I enjoyed not being here so much over the summer. As I've posted before, they think everything revolves around them, and they don't even notice when other people are in the room. Unless of course, that other person in the room is a higher up manager, then they totally know that person is in the room. Fucking ass hounds!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

When Nature Interferes with Our Drive

the Seattle PI had an article yesterday, about the recent rain storm we had in Western Washington, and about I-5 being closed down. In the article they mentioned in order to raise the interstate through that area, so it doesn't happen again, the estimate is around 300 to 400 million dollars. And we all know, with the way the government works, if they actually do it, it will end up costing twice as much by the time it's done. Oh, and keep in mind, it's not like that money will go toward preventing any of the homes from getting flooded, only raising the highway, so we can drive past and look at the flooded houses.

Are they seriously thinking about spending nearly half a billion dollars to raise a road that might flood once in a lifetime. And the result of not raising the road is, that people will have to spend twice as long as they normally would driving from Seattle to Portland. Big freaken deal people, so it flooded. It happened, it might happen again, lets accept it, wait it out, and move on. Stop making such a fuss when nature happens.

Photos courtesy of the Associated Press

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Border Problem Solved

On the drive into work this morning, I was listing to a talk show and they were having a pretty heated debate on if we should build a wall to block off Mexico and the U.S. I'm sure we've all heard the arguments, so I'm not going to get into that. What I'd actually like to do is propose an alternative to the wall.

Instead of building a wall or even a fence we build towers. On the top of each of these towers we have snipers, and their job is to shoot anyone who tries to cross the border. We'll put up some signs, in both Spanish and English, letting them know attempted crossings will end it death. But, we will also allow anyone who makes it through to become an instant U.S. citizen.

There are a lot of advantages to this idea. First, it will greatly reduce the number of people trying to cross the border. Once the word is out, my guess is fewer people will try. Second, We will reduce the cost of border management. We won't have to spend the money on the cost of building a wall, and I guarantee we will have no shortage of gun toting Texan's willing to volunteer to sit on top of the towers. And we are helping to reduce the population growth we are experiencing. And for all those concerned about illegal aliens, like I said if they make it across the fire zone, they become a citizen and can go get those jobs picking fruit and mowing lawns.

It's a win, win situation for all. Well, except for the people who get killed, but that's okay, because as Star Trek teaches us "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"