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Mar 30 2014

You know what really grinds my gears?

As someone who has had to occasionally beg readers for money, perhaps I should keep my mouth shut about charity requests and incessant email from politicians I’ve bent over backwards to support who, especially over the last few months, are bugging me for more and more and more money. I guess emails aren’t so bad, we can delete them in private, but it struck me tonight that it now happens in Walmart or other grocery store or box retailor every single time I shop.

I actually stopped going to Whole Foods in part because I was tired of being hit up three or four times every trip, Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 27 2014

Well, that never happened before

OK, the economy must be getting better. Or maybe I’m just dealing with more organized and/or more ethical people. I thought I had a job lined up a week and a half ago, one I wanted, tablet network support for a Fortune 500 client. Definitely a useful skillset to acquire. But as luck would have it, they were trying to squeeze me in at the last moment, I was the last guy hired and the client downsized their needs at the last second, so I was out of luck.

It was disappointing. But the reason I found out what happened is the lady who recruited me actually followed up with a full explanation and an apology, sincerely in my opinion, .i.e., treated me like an actual person. Which hasn’t happened lately, for the last few years, if you didn’t get the job, you either hear nothing back at all or you get a form letter. And that’s not even the best part.

She kept track of me. Two days ago an even higher paying, better job Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 24 2014

Statement by Nathan Phelps

So after two weeks of intense job searching and no posting, thinking I had a job twice only to have both fall thru for reasons beyond my control or the prospective employer’s fault for that matter, I have absolutely nothing to show for the effort. Today’s incarnation is yet another job, third one, that seems or perhaps seemed like a pretty sure deal, but they did not send me training instruction on Friday like they said they would. So now I’m in limbo, again. It’s a little frustrating, but I’ve gotten used to it.

Life could be worse. Just ask Nate Phelps, Son of Fred: Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 10 2014

The anti-vaccination racket

I posted a more detailed article at Daily Kos yesterday, titled in the format used on The Big Bang Theory, The Vaccination Intervention. I was pleased to see the comment section, now 500 strong and climbing, didn’t degenerate into an all out flame war. But there were a few commenters whot were making claims that sounded like they’d been piped straight from an anti-vaxxar website or seminar. Per usual, these individuals appeared impervious to evidence and reason.

As the evidence mounted that the link to autism was a dead-end,  anti-vaxxars did what most pseudoscientists do. They upped the ante with ever more elaborate conspiracies, and moved the goal posts by making claims that were less and testable. Too many too soon is a good example:

Respectful Insolence — As I’m so fond of saying, the vaccine-autism hypothesis is not “pinin’ for the fjords.” It is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If antivaccinationists hadn’t tried to nail it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! It IS AN EX-HYPOTHESIS!!

BTW, I keep waiting for my Big Pharma payoff to arrive, but so far, nada. Cheap bastards.

There’s some religious angles to this deal. Some vaccines were developed using fetal tissue, then there’s the general distrust of government, fanned by series like X-files and nurtured by the religious right whenever there’s a democrat in the WH. But by and large we’re lucky there’s not a ton of industry money or verses in the Bible fueling this particular anti-science racket. There’s a critical point in any population beyond which large scale epidemics of preventable disease can flourish. We may be pushing in that direction in some communities, but so far at least, we haven’t exceeded that line. Much to our benefit, whether you accept the science or buy into the nonsense.

Mar 05 2014

Amy Farah Fowler sets off anti-vaxxar whine fest

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You probably do not want to read the comments in the link below. They follow a post by Mayim Bialik, aka Blossom, aka Amy Farrah Fowler on Big Bang Theory, wherein it came to light she chose not to vaccinate her kids and speculation ran that she might be an anti-vaxxar. It’s not clear if the last part is true or not. Here’s an except of her post: Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 05 2014

Paul Ryan’s shiny new toy

Recent Romney VP pick Paul Ryan has a shiny new anti-poverty program that has taken the usual DC pundits breath away, because he cares, he really cares: Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 03 2014

Another day in the trenches of the unemployed

I spend most of my time these days applying for jobs, taking skills tests for jobs, doing phone interviews and in person interviews for jobs. Then there’s ancillary stuff, like working out to look trim and fit. I typically see a hairstylist to make sure my do is up to snuff, hair professionally colored, and I always see an aesthetician the day before an in person interview to touch up eyebrows and make sure nose or ear hairs aren’t sprouting out grotesquely. I also make sure my wardrobe is appropriate, if there’s a coffee shop nearby sometimes I’ll stake out the employer or peek around online, to get a feel for day-to-day dress code, and often shop for the interview with a fashion-minded friend if need be to make sure I wear just a notch or two above what my prospective employer-interviewer is likely to be wearing. So in short, it’s a full time occupation, one I’m serious and methodical about. I even tan to look as good as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 28 2014

Baby metal explodes on the world stage

If you haven’t seen this wonderful piece of Internet goodness, enjoy. That’s the Japanese Hip-Hop death-metal-fusion group called Baby Metal. With 17 year-old Suzuka Nakamoto on lead vocals, Moa Kikuchi and Yui Mizuno screaming, rapping, and dancing on each side. That video, titled give me chocolate, is tearing the toobz apart right now, probably because, in the words of Elton John, “They’re weird and they’re wonderful.” Have a great weekend!

Feb 26 2014

What a drag it is getting old

Bustedthumb

 

These days, you don’t need a boat to wakeboard. There are cable parks, where you grab a handle that’s attached to overhead cables and it pulls you right along. Of course, no boat means no wake to jump. But them young whipper-snappers have come up with a  solution, sliders and kickers. A kicker is a curved ramp, kinda like a half pipe shape to it. A slider is like a balance beam sticking out of the water. Beginner sliders might barely stick out just a few inches, more advanced ones might be three feet tall or more and have A-frame shapes to them. It’s amazing what accomplished riders have learned to do on them.

OTOH, no pun intended, if you’re aren’t a very good wakeboarder, and happen to just pop out of the water next to one of the higher sliders and maybe tap it with your board, just to make sure you can get enough air and control to think about sliding down it for real later on, and let’s just add you have a brand new Ronix Bandwagon board with a triple rocker and camber, so it’s like a flattened, recurved compound bow that launches you into the air with a surprisingly small amount of effort, you might screw up and get too high, you might get generally catty-whompus to the point that a right hand instinctively reaches out to keep you from hitting the top of the slider, and you could just possibly fracture a bone at the base of the thumb called the Trapezium. Which, as it turns out, is a bone you don’t think of much, until it’s messed up. At which time it gets crystal clear just how much that thumb is used on a daily basis.

 

 

 

Feb 26 2014

Some down home Texas politics

We have an elected office in Texas called Land Commissioner. But it’s really more about mineral extraction and distribution, i.e., big business, than just land and it’s one of several ideal starting points for a long, profitable, national political career. Alex Pareene, always a fun semi-daily read at Salon, has a short piece a couple of days ago titled GOP’s secret idiot? If George P. Bush is its future, the party’s in trouble. Wherein he makes some great points about the latest Bush-spawn running for a launching pad office in the Great Lone Star State, and may well be right. But just to take the potentially dismal counterpoint, I want to highlight one thing that jumped out at me in the post: Read the rest of this entry »

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