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Thursday, May 31, 2007

3 Out of 4 = Bad

Back from vacation and first order of business is going to be the wonderful world of flying. I’m not going to talk about the long lines while checking in, or the joke known as airport security, I’m going to talk about flight comfort. Since it’s nearly impossible to get direct flights, we had to fly from Seattle to Denver to New York, totaling 4 different planes.


Plane number 1 – crammed in economy seating, I have a child sitting behind me who spends the majority of the flight kicking the back of my seat. I did say something to the father who apologized and followed it up with a half assed attempt at controlling the child.


Plane number 2 – They had the air conditioning turned so high that the old guy in my row had his coat pulled up over his head for warmth. Of course, they don’t provide enough blankets anymore, so the three people in my row hand to bundle under one blanket for the majority of the flight.


Plane number 2 – the return flight I planned ahead and wore a long sleeve shirt and brought a coat. As you can guess, they had the heat turned up so high we could barely breathe.


Plane number 4 – Other than the typical lack of comfort and screaming children, it wasn’t too bad.


Out of four planes, only one was a tolerable flight. And by tolerable, it don’t mean pleasant in anyway. All flights had at some point, a screaming crying baby. Usually at the point, they tell us to stop using electronic devices we normally would use to drown out the child. Only two of the flights had movies, and of course they sucked. If we wanted food it was an extra charge. If you got on the plane early enough, you could grab one of the few pillows or blankets they provide. And of course, the attendants could give a shit about any people actual concerns.


Where are the bullet trains so we have an alternative?!?!?!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Good Day!?!?!

“Yes, it's a good day for singing a song,and it's a good day for moving alone;Yes, it's a good day, how could anything go wrong,A good day from morning' till night” - Peggy Lee


The sun peaked through the clouds and rain in Seattle, the traffic cleared, and my last day finally arrived. No more sitting in a darkened room, with the only light being my computer monitor. No more being surrounded by Chatty Cathy’s talking about their new pair of jeans. And no more pointless projects and hours of mind numbing boredom.


It’s a good day for a summer vacation….

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Long Year

My contract at Microsoft ends this week, and so ends a long freaken year. I might talk a lot of trash about the place, it wasn’t all bad (the money), but it wasn’t all good either, as seen by my previous posts on the subject (life at Microsoft). At some point in the next month or so, I’ll sit down and type up some details for any future Microsoft contracted employee to check out. But first, I’m going to take a vacation, a much looked forward to vacation.


For my regular readers, don’t expect the regular postings I’ve been doing this last year. For one, I’ll be out enjoying the summer instead of sitting at a desk. Plus, since I’ll be enjoying the summer, I won’t have as much to be cranky about. Don’t worry though there is always politics, the police, and a typical day in the life of the Monkey to keep me somewhat cranky. So check back weekly instead of daily for the next few months. In the fall, my funds will begin to run out and I’ll probably be back in an office. It might be at Microsoft, it might be somewhere else. It will I’m sure, provide me with plenty of fodder for crankyness.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The System at Work Again

Here is a great story about why parents should have to take a test before having children, why some should never be allowed to have children, and what’s wrong with our judicial system.


This last Sunday night/Monday morning, a woman in Seattle left her 3 year old child in a car while she went clubbing. As she was partying it up, the child got out of the car and wandered around the streets in the middle of the night. Walking past who knows how many people before a gentleman actually stepped in, found the kid, and contacted police. Most of us would think contacting the authorities is a good thing. That they would put the kid in protective services and charge the mother with some crime. Not in Seattle! Instead, 3 days later, they gave the child back to the mother with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.


Full PI articles:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/315612_lostkid15.html
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/315924_lostkid17.html

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Super Tuesday

I was going to write about one of the reasons I’m not a total nutty leftist today. Yesterday, was national boycott gas day. A tradition that happens each year, in some lame assed attempt of sending a message to the gas companies, and accomplishing nothing. Is not filling up one day really going to make a difference in the corporate pockets? No. If people really want to do something, why don’t they consider taking the bus, riding a bike, or walking. This morning I didn’t notice a change in the gas prices at the pumps, but there was a potent haze of smug over the city.


Instead of trash talking the left wing nuts, I really want to rave about the loss of a right wing nut, Jerry Falwell died yesterday. Yep, while people were busy avoiding the gas station, one of the examples as to why I don’t go to church died. Falwell, is known for leading the “Moral Majority”, hating gays, hating women, hating the tellatubbies, and really just spreading hate in the name of god. Falwell, the man who blamed 9/11 on "pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America." Will not be missed in my book, and if there is a heaven, I can only hope it’s a true heaven and Falwell is now sitting in hell.


Rot in hell you conservative, right wing, religious piece of shit! Let us pray the rest of the people like you, will be joining you soon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Who Hired You?

The large cave I currently sit in at Microsoft, has a team of people, who have somehow managed to become the most annoying group of people I’ve ever been around.

On one side, we have dumb blond chick. aka, new hot or not. Some days she's a hottie, the other days, not. She tells everyone in the office about the guys she picks up at the bars. On the other side, we have the irritating brunet, who talks at an increased volume and knows she’s better than everyone because she’s an FTE. She’s also the one who asked us if we could throw our cans in the recycling a little quieter. We have the cute Asian girl, who’s laugh is so annoying the only thing you want to do is shut her up, by sticking a penis in her mouth.

It's not just the girls who are totally irritating. there are guys on the team to. they have one, who sings all the time. he doesn't have a good voice, and he usually only sings the chorus, but he does it ALL the time. And he does it in the way of, look at me, “I’m so cool because I know the words to these songs.” What he really needs is a good punch in the throat. He walked past me this morning and said good morning. I didn’t say anything in response, but I did contemplate how good it would feel to punch him in the throat.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Microsoft Mentality

I noticed something recently, Microsoft is starting to rub off on me. It’s not too bad and at least I’m aware of it, but the fact that it’s happening and I’m only a contractor, only increases my motivation not to go full time. And kind of makes me feel ill about myself. I noticed the other day a certain influx in my voice when someone asked me what I did. “Oh, I work for Microsoft.” Two days ago, I saw a guy fall down some stairs next to the cafeteria, and I didn’t jump up to offer assistance. I continued my conversation, just like the two FTE’s who witnessed the incident. And this morning, a guy was carrying something and getting on the elevator, I didn’t hold the door for him. He did make it, but I didn’t offer to hit the floor button either, until he asked me to.


I used to work with this girl at Cingular who came to Microsoft as a full time employee. When I worked with her before I thought she was pretty cool. We’d occasionally chat, joke, and trash talk Cingular together. Since becoming a manager over here, the most we ever say is "hi" when passing in the hall. And she totally radiates the Microsoft, I’m better than you essence. She also happens to manage the most irritating team of Microsoft FTE’s, I have the displeasure of sitting near.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Soldiers Blog No More

I found this article on Wired today, Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe to Death. Assuming the reporting is accurate and true, they are no longer going to allow soldiers to post blogs, and quite possibly restrict e-mail. The idea behind it is, solders might release sensitive information. I can understand the theory behind the rule, but in all honesty, it’s bullshit. I’ve read a few soldier blogs and most of them involve solders talking about missing their families. And having been in the military myself, any worthwhile soldier has enough common sense not to post about sensitive information. I didn’t serve during a time of war, but when writing letters home My writings consisted of, “I miss you and can’t wait to see you.”


What this really has to do with is, many blogs these days also include postings questioning the validity of the war, and that’s really what they don’t want. Like many wars in the past, we fight for freedoms, yet restrict those freedoms from our own people.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Receiving End

This is a great story. The disgrace of a reverend Al Sharpton, who recently was one of the outspoken people about Don Imus’s racial comment, made a comment of his own. It wasn’t a race one, it was more of a religious comment. But people were offended, and by Sharpton’s rule, if someone says something offensive they should be hung out, chastised, and fired. So should Sharpton be fired from ever speaking in public again? I can only wish.


I know, I know, for someone who always speaks about free speech, I shouldn’t be talking about taking away that right from someone. But in this case, I’m willing to make an exception to my philosophy.


Full CNN article

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Biofuel Fad

The U.N. recently published a report on the growing biofuel market, and the dangers associated with it. I’m actually impressed with them on the report and the warnings, but I’m also a realist, and I know that it won’t amount to much. Here in the United States, our government is spending a lot of effort in promoting biofuel usage, and of course the people on America are sheep when it comes to the latest fad. I am in favor of biofuels in the sense of global warming reduction. The catch is, as we grow more crops used in biofuels, we are destroying landscapes and increasing the cost of goods. I read an article recently, about how we are already seeing an increase in the cost of foods, due to the increasing market for corn and other items used in biofuels.


Think about it like this, as the market for these items increases, the cost goes up. The people who feed chickens and other animals with these crops, have to pay more, in turn having to charge more for their products, which ends up coming out of the consumers pocket. Also think about countries such as south east Asia, who already are beginning to cut down forests and planting palms used for palm oil.


I’d like to ask, what ever happened to the electric car? Tesla Motors has developed a car that can go 200 miles on a charge. For those of you who haven’t seen, the movie Who Killed the Electric Car, GM manufactured an electric car that was well received and viable. Yet, they later recalled and trashed. Although most of our electric energy comes from coal in the United States, we do have renewable resources, such as solar, wind, and wave power.


I’m still driving a gas powered low fuel efficient vehicle. My hope is when it comes time for a replacement I can look at electric, but don’t expect that to happen in my lifetime. What I will probably end up with is something that runs on biodiesel. Even though unfortunately, all it’s really doing is solving one problem by creating another.


Oh, and I guess I should talk hybrids because they are the other fad these days. It’s simple, they don’t really solve any problems. Yes they use less fuel but in the end, they still burn gas. Prolonging a problem through reduced fuel consumption doesn’t solve the problem.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Canidae, Good for the Pooch

This last weekend I was having a discussion with some friends about the latest round of recalled pet foods. I’d like to throw out some props to Canidae brand foods. I’ve been feeding my dog their products for a while now and have always been very satisfied. My dog is one of those high maintenance ones, that will get dry skin and scratchy reactions to the lower end foods. I started feeding her Canidae quite a few years ago. So when the recalls started going out, I had no worry about their products being on the list.


“CANIDAE Pet Foods also does not produce cuts and gravies, pouches, and does not contain corn, wheat, soybeans, or Glutens in any of our products or formulations, and all ingredients are of US origin, meaning proudly raised and grown in the USA”


If you are looking for something to switch your dog to, check out their products at the local pet store.

Friday, May 04, 2007

What?

For those of you in the business, have you ever noticed, how a lot of the terminology that gets worked into office project management, tries to make it sound more exciting. For example, if you are assigned a last minute item that needs to be done right away, it’s called a “fire drill”. Whooo, how dramatic. When you are contacting someone about something you “ping” them. Similar to how a submarine “pings” in searching out the enemy. “Bandwidth” actually isn’t that exciting but it still gets used a lot and I don’t like it. “Hey, do you have the ‘Bandwidth’ for that task?” is something wrong with the word time? How boring is your job when you have to use totally unrelated words to spice it up.


Here are some more I hate, just because I’m the Cranky Monkey and I hate things….


"backing into a project" – like a truck?
"throw the moose on the table" - after a good hunting excursion I like to throw my meat on the table to
“low hanging fruit" – WTF?
“thrown under the bus” – when your boss fucks up and you get blamed for it. Actually, this term isn’t just used in the office.
“F/U” – we know what it means in the real world, in the fake world it actually means “follow up” but apparently that’s too hard to type
“blame storming” – we all know who’s to blame, you are!
"don't drink the Kool Aid" – I just heard this one today, no freaken clue as to the actual meaning
“Sync” – N’ Sync broke up people
“After action review” – only if it were as exciting as it sounds
“Tag Team” – Sweet, like wrestling
"Randomization" - I find it randomazing to be randomized

Leave some feedback if you have a few that I’ve missed.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Police Academy Dropouts #18

A friend of mine called me yesterday to tell me another story about the Bothell PD. The school her kids go to, is putting on a fair. They figure it would be nice to see if some firemen and police want to hang out, and create good public relations. She went to the fire station and they totally volunteered to go down and hang out for a few hours on a Saturday. She then went to the Bothell police, thinking that they might want to have a K9 unit hang out, or maybe someone involved in the D.A.R.E. initiative.


Assuming she would receive the same type of enthusiasm from the police she did from the firemen, she spoke with someone about her request. The response as you can imagine was less enthusiastic. “If you want to pay someone, you can do that.” The officer offered. Apparently the fact that our taxes pay his salary doesn’t count. In order to get an off duty officer to come down, he needs to be compensated. So she asked, about someone just volunteering? “Well, they don’t really like doing that, they are kind of busy.” So she asked, “What about sending someone who’s on duty?” “We don’t want to take them away from their patrol.” Of course not, they might write one less speeding ticket, or actually spend a little less time down at the Canyon Park Starbucks flirting with the coffee girls and sitting on their fat lazy asses!


The lesson of this story – Next you see the firemen out with the boot, give a little. Next time you make that police officers cup of joe, toss in a little snotty ball with it.