Monday, September 30, 2002

Monday Mission 2.39

Better late than never, I suppose. Just no time in a very busy day to get things done. So sue me!

1. Who has authority over you?

Depends on the context I guess. Obviously in work, my operations chief at Metro has authority over me or the Coordinator when I'm on the road. But in terms of who has Ultimate Authority, than that would of course be me.

2. Where do you go to get a feeling of community?

I don't really feel like I have to go anywhere.

3. What do you do, or have you done, in your life that "goes against the tide?"

Wow, pretty lame questions here from the PromoGuy who usually is a bit more thought provoking than this but hey, everyone is entitled to a down day once in awhile I suppose. I don't really know what "the tide" is that is referred to here. Is this another way of asking if I'm a "rebel" or an "agitator" or a "non-conformist?" Hell if I know. Do I defy convention? Yes. Is that considered "going against the tide?" I don't know.

4. Have you ever used guilt to get you what you want? Have you ever had it used on you? How did you react?

Ah the art of manipulation. I think it's human nature to try to persuade people to our wills and I'm no exception to that rule. Yes it's been used on me and yes, like a fool, I've been susceptible to it as well. I've been called "gullible" in the past more than once. I don't think it applies to me nowadays as perhaps I'm too old now.

5. Did you ever do anything in public with your friends as a teenager that you would never do today? Tell me about that.

I pretty much do what I want to do anyways. So there's nothing that I've done as a teenager that I wouldn't feel emabrassed about doing today. Although I wish I had hair nowadays so that I could grow it out some. Going bald sucks.

6. If you were to go to an island for three months, what five "luxury items" would you bring and why?

Gee, if you're only going to an island for 3 months, who the hell needs luxury items? The idea of going to an island in my opinion would be to get away from luxury items, right? I mean the only items I'd bring would be essential survival items like matches, fishing tackle for catching fish, materials for shelter that sort of thing. But I don't think that counts as a "luxury" item. Besides, I'd probably be one of the first voted off the island in a 'Survivor' type scenario anyway.

7. If you would have had a choice, in which time period would you have like to have lived? Why?

I'd have loved to have lived in the 20s in Paris. Either that or I would have loved to have lived in during the peak period of the Maya in the Yucatan peninsula. Of course, that's kind of a difficult question because all we really know about other time periods is what historians or others have written about and that's a very subjective lens to be looking through. Fact remains is that we are who we are and when we are and that is now. All we ever have is right here and right now.

BONUS: Where do you dare me to draw the line?

Draw the line wherever the hell you want. I don't believe in limitations.

Watchdogs or Lapdogs?

Over 250,000 people gathered in Hyde Park in London over the weekend to protest US policy toward Iraq but here in the US, you'd be hard pressed to find any news outlet that reported it. I find myself looking to non-US news sources for any kind of news these days such as the Independent for any real world news these days. Whatever happened to the great American Press? The Watchdog of the people?

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Eternity as a popsicle or 1 week in Paradise? You choose.

So the folks over at New Scientist magazine are putting on a contest with a choice of prizes. You may choose from two prizes: a) Be cryogenically frozen upon your death and your corpse stored in a freezer somewhere in Michigan. And perhaps someday, they may be able to revive you. Uh huh..riiiiight. Or you could choose B) a one week vacation in Hawaii.

I'll take the trip to Hawaii I think. What would you do?


Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Super Size it!

So some blockhead in the Bay area drove through his friendly neighborhood Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet and asked for "extra biscuits" and was rewarded with 2 baggies of prime grade BC Bud. Rather than thanking the Deities for such a gift, what does this guy do? He goes to the police and turns the restaurant employee in. I imagine this is the pothead equivalent of throwing away the winning lottery ticket.


Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Am I really evil? Or just misunderstood?

What Type of Villain are You?

Yah, that's me. Evil..plotting...scheming. Off to my Secret Lair to plot the destruction of mankind!!
And we never really liked you anyway!

There's nothing quite like a rejection letter. Whether the rejection is from that dream job that you went through 5 interviews to get a shot at or the proverbial "Dear John" letter, they all sting the same. The company I'm presently contracting a year of my life out to had notified me that I was a candidate for a back up position for what was called an "Escalation Specialist". Basically this didn't really amount to much as it wasn't a permanent employee position but merely a backup "just in case" they needed more people. But the potential for permanency was there. I interviewed, received positive feedback and did well on the writing test. So today I got a nice curt email

"William, thank you for your interest in serving as an Escalation Specialist on the Complaint Management team.  At this time, we will not require your service as we have met our back-up requirement through other agents."

Gee thanks guys! Well I shouldn't be too bothered by it. After all, my contract here ends in November.

But on the plus note - the Buffy season premier is tonight. As long as my vcr timer works, I'll be happy. But seeing as this IS a mercury retrograde period, anything can happen.
*crosses fingers*

Monday, September 23, 2002

Monday, Monday

From the shores of Lake Sammamish in the Great American Northwest, I bid you all a happy first day of Autumn and what a fine one it's been so far, beginning with the most amazing sunrise I've seen in some time. Seeing the silhouette of Mt Rainier slowly being illuminated by the sun's rays from Magnolia is quite a treat for the eyes. So to start things off (allright, it's 4:30 in the afternoon, not exactly an early start but it's the thought that counts, ok?), it's time to debut this Blog's first edition of the World Famous...

Promo Guy's Monday Mission Edition 2.38

PromoGuy runs a very intereting Blog that I stumbled onto while searching for Buffy spoilers and it was from reading his site and the dozens of links to other blogs that inspired me to start my own. Basically every Monday he presents a series of thought provoking questions to answer. So without further ado,

1. Do you like to drink warm beverages in the morning or do you prefer yours cold?

Please. I live in Seattle! I must have coffee or death will be the inevitable result. Coffee must be hot by nature. Give me my mug of Sumatra in the mornings and I'm good to go.

2. Have you ever been so upset with someone that you wanted to get revenge? What did you do? Or if you didn't, what would you like to have done?

There is an individual on this planet with whom I have been angry enough that I've wanted revenge. I"ve done nothing about it because my own ethical system prevents me from persuing a course of revenge but in my dreams, I've devised all sorts of painful forms of torture to inflict on this person.

3. Looking back, are there any opportunities you missed out on that you can see now but didn't realize then?

Back when I was a sophomore in high school, my father (an officer in the Air Force at the time) had a change of station which took him to Hawaii. When I went to visit him that summer, I had an opportunity to stay in Hawaii and attend a private school. I didn't get a chance to make my decision with a clear head because I was in love with a girl for the first time in my life and couldn't stand the thought of being without her so I opted to go back to Arizona and finish high school there. Of course, as luck would have it she broke up with me a couple months later anyway. So now many years later, I can realise that this was an opportunity missed.

4. Are there any clothes you refuse to throw away even though they don't (and never will) fit? Why do you keep them?

For the longest time, I had a leather jacket that my grandmother bought for me when I was 13 or 14. I kept it for years and years and I think I still have it lying around somewhere. I kept it because it was a cool jacket, although I've never owned a leather jacket since then.

5. Do you have an accent? Are there any phrases or words you say that tip folks that "you aren't from around these parts?"

Yes I do have an accent - an American accent. At least that's what I was told when I've visited other countries. But in terms of having a regional American accent, I don't know. Certainly if I visited the south, they'd know right away I wasnt' from their neck o' the woods. I've lived in every region of the U.S so I don't believe I've lived anywhere long enough to develop any sort of accent.

6. Are there any words folks misspell or incorrect uses of words that simply drive you insane?

When people misuse apostrophes, it drives me absolutely nuts! People confusing your with you're. Aggghh!

7. Are there any pet names that you like to be called? Any you don't? Do you (or did you) have any pet names for your partner?

No, no and no :-)

BONUS: Why you so fly?

Because I am.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Goin' Home

Well that's it for today folks. That's the news and I am outta here!

Autumn is almost here

The Sun will pass into Libra at at 9:55pm PDT tonight ushering in the beginning of Autumn. Traditionally throughout the world, this time of year has been special, in Korea the celebration is known as Chusok - the first full moon of the harvest. In other traditions, it is known as Mabon and then again, to some people it's just another day of the year.

The time of the harvest, along with the change of the seasons is usually a time when you can look back on where you've been and look ahead to where your path is going. It is both a time of introspection and a time of planning. Of cultivating personal qualities that are helpful in one's path and discarding the not-so-useful. This is one of my favorite times of the year and for once, we have a lovely clear night approaching and I look forward to seeing the moon in her full glory tonight.

Happy Autumn, Blessed Mabon, Enjoyable Equinox, yada yada yada. :-)

Here's some interesting info on Mabon, Chusok and the Autumnal Equinox: <-- great site with info about Chusok

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Ah ha! I KNEW it!

When my cell phone suddenly ceased working, I had an inkling what was going on..coupled with my Mac biting the dust. So I checked my handy dandy almanac and sure enough, Mercury went retrograde on September 14th. Amazing how these things happen though. I know of a few virgos right now who probably have their own private little hells a-brewin' at the moment.

For you folks new to astrology or too lazy to view the link, allow me to quote liberally.

"A planet is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. This traditional concept arises in the illusory planetary motion created by the orbital rotation of the earth, with relation to other planets in our solar system. Planets are never actually retrograde or stationary, they just seem that way, due to this optical illusion....

"...As a rule, retrograde planets presage a period of seemingly inevitable or fated events, which relate to their sphere of influence. They present us with a series of events over which we seem to have little or no control, relating especially to the sign in which the retrogradation occurs....

"...In general, Mercury rules thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information and all means of communication, commerce and transportation. By extension, Mercury rules people who work in these areas, especially people who work with their minds or their wits:"

Yikes. Describes where I work to a T. Additionally:

"Mercury retrograde gives rise to personal misunderstandings; flawed, disrupted, or delayed communications, negotiations and trade; glitches and breakdowns with PHONES, COMPUTERS, cars, BUSES,[emphasis mine] and trains. And all of these problems usually arise because some crucial piece of information, or component, has gone astray, or awry. "

Now to be fair, not every retrograde period has resulted in troublesome events like my phone giving up the ghost and my mac transforming into a nice paperweight. After all, it's been two years since I've had any trouble with Petunia and my cell phone has never had trouble. So perhaps it could be just a giant coincidence. Or maybe there are forces in the Universe sending us puny mortals a message that while we may think we are In Control. the truth is that. to paraphrase the philosopher Oswald Spengler, only the little gnat (if even that) is truly free.

And it is especially interesting to note that the US Election of 2001 occurred during Mercury Retrograde and everyone is well aware of the mess that arose from that.

Macs are great, but PCs are easier to fix

So I've had my iMac for a couple of years now and decided to upgrade to 10.2 codenamed 'Jaguar' and was amazed at how effortless the upgrade was and how everything just worked. So right when I was about to become a new Mac convert, an old problem resurfaced - namely from out of nowhere the video display has just failed for no apparent reason. I had this problem originally when I first bought the thing and exchanged for two other macs and finally everything worked...until now.

Sooo...what was supposed to be a relaxing Saturday is going to turn into a web research day into Mac troubles although I'm pretty sure it's hardware related, a failure of the video card or whatever is inside these things. If I recall, the part in question is about 200 bucks or so. *sigh* Back to the PC for me I think.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Big Fat Friday

So there I am in downtown Edmonds buying some presents when I get dragged against my will into the theatre to see the 5 pm showing of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I'm no big fan of romantic comedies to be sure, but thankfully there was enough humor to keep me engaged for its short running time. You can find a review of this movie here.

Speaking of movies, I can heartily recommend One Hour Photo. An incredibly creepy performance from Robin Williams sure to stay with you for quite some time. Although looking back, I'm not quite sure which was scarier - his character or the musical score. I read about an earlier print of the film that was making the rounds before its major release which did not have the score and would like to see that version to see if the emotions that I felt were actually caused by the film's story or whether they were manipulated by the score.

Fall is definitely in the air. The change of the seasons never fails to amaze me. One day summer is in the air and the next, it's af if a switch were turned on and things are just...different. The temperature is the same and everything more or less looks the same but at the same time, you can just tell it's not summer any longer.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

You're just jealous 'cos all the voices are talking to ME!

What Psych-Ward do you belong to?

Well this certainly comes as no surprise, I suppose. Kinda fits in with being an Evil Bus Driver. Perhaps I'm not really a bus driver at all. Maybe I'm just imagining the whole thing. Do I even exist? It's a conundrum to be sure. In cases like these, one can only ask "What would (insert name of deity here) do?"

Late Afrernoon Boredom

What's Your Movie Dream Car?

by Auto Glass America

Well I *wish* I drove a car like that but in all honesty, I drive a 12 year old white Ford Tempo with almost 200k miles on it. Still rides quiet as a mouse though. :-)
Although my favorite vehicle to drive is my New Flyer 60 foot articulated bus.
Feelin' the love

You know they like you when they bake you cookies. My favorite time of the day is the moments before the dawn when I aim my 60 foot bus down 4th Ave to start my route to Magnolia. I love the first rays of the sun illuminating the peaks of the Olympics on the other side of the sound. Sunshine is such a precious commodity in this area. One of my regular passengers who join me when i make my trip into downtown heard I was only going to be on the route a week longer and made me some chocolate chip cookies! :-)

*sigh* I can't remember the last time anyone made cookies for me. In fact, I can't remember the last time anyone cooked for me period! Now that is what I call respect. A symbolic gesture? Perhaps. But one with so much more meaning than the platitudes that one gets in a cubicle job in some corporate hellhole.

Best damn cookies I ever ate.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Are people really stupid or just not paying attention? This is the dilemma I grapple with on an almost daily basis. I suppose the answer would be in the realm of the "is the glass half full or half empty" genre or maybe it depends on whether one considers one's self an optimist or a pessimist? As I get older, I surprisingly am finding myself leaning toward the 'not paying attention' camp, for to believe otherwise would fill me with a hopeless sense of despair and alienation which quite frankly I just don't want to deal with.

Half of my day is spent in the realm of telephone technical support. I fix problems, or at least I try to. Half the battle in any telephone position is getting the person on the other end to put together a coherent sentence. I generally don't have high expectations of my users. I require only 3 basic things. 1) That they know their own friggin' name 2) That they know what product they need help with and 3) That they know why they called in the first place. Remarkably, 7 out of every ten people calling in ( and yes I tracked this one day) failed to meet 2 or more of the 3 requirments.

I prefer my morning job - driving a bus - it's relaxing and generally stress free. People can be forgiven for getting on a wrong bus in a big city. The poor homeless man staggering aboard with no fare can be forgiven for evading payment. Like most people, he just wants to get from point A to point B. Working in two jobs with such contrasting atmospheres is unique to me. But I'll leave it for the Teeming Masses out there to answer my first question.