I’ll Be Back…Later

If there’s one thing I envy our European counterparts over it’s the ease with which they travel.

I was discussing this with Miss Monstir earlier today over Skype and mimosas. She was regaling Flower and I with the details of her upcoming trip. A three week journey through a whole mess of countries. In this case they are driving, but at the same time, on the other side of the pond, no one bats an eye when you request a month off. Which is how it should be. Yet here in the US we seem to have an aversion to taking time off. Whether it’s because of a fear that we can’t be replaced, or that we’ll return to a mountain of work. Either that or that we’ll be looked down upon. How dare you use the leave that you’ve been given as one of the many benefits of working for company X!

Personally though I’ve never been all that concerned. Frankly, if a company is going to give me n weeks a year off, then you better be damn well sure I’m going to take n weeks a year off. Frankly, enough studies have shown that employees who take more actual vacations are more productive and less likely to burn out. Yet for some reason we still have this mentality that the best employees will work themselves to oblivion until they can’t anymore or leave for another job that will work them less. I’ve seen both plenty of times already. Yet no one seems to get it…

Maximum Effort, Minimum Consideration

In any job search there is one thing that the company spends so little time considering, yet the applicant spends so much time, effort, sweat, blood, and even the sacrifice of a small rodent. That would, of course, be the résumé. Continue reading “Maximum Effort, Minimum Consideration”

Logical Conspiracy

“Anything that thinks logically can be fooled by something else that thinks at least as logically as it does.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Trilogy

With the release of most of the documents regarding the JFK assassination we see an example of one of the main issues regarding conspiracy theories: no matter how much proof someone is shown, it only makes them cling to their belief more and more.

Just look at the all the conspiracies surrounding the moon landing. Regardless of the proof, even if someone were flown to the moon chances are that would only reinforce their belief in the conspiracy.

Of course it doesn’t help that there are plenty of people who are more than willing to prey on people like this and make life that much more unpleasant for the rest of us.

“I Would Be Remiss”

I attended my first political debate today for the mayor of University Heights. I arrived early and took a seat. After the debate began I quickly realized that I was in the wrong room. In the first 27 seconds of the debate there was no petty name calling, no sexist, racist or otherwise bigoted remarks. I therefore quickly and quietly made my way out of the room in search of the correct one.

Ultimately I was left the way I feel all debates should leave one: swayed, but still in need of research.

Over the course of the hour and a half long debate I did come to one major realization: no mater how civil a discourse, the phrase “I would be remiss” is the civil way of throwing a giant middle finger to your opponent.

Zoom Zoom

If there’s one thing that this last trip to St. Thomas has shown me it’s the need for a stand alone camera. Whether that be a point-and-shoot (which would be optimal for said trip) or a full blown DSLR. Ultimately it will no doubt end up as both. Though I have actually been impressed with the way phone cameras have evolved, my main complaint is the lack of optical zoom. Digital zoom is, for the most part, worthless.

Flower and I took a point and shoot with us to Greece and even though it wasn’t top of the line, the pictures it produced were significantly better than the ones we took on our phones. It also helped that it was waterproof so we could take it swimming in a cave.

Of course if/when I do got the DSLR route my biggest problem will be what to get.

Improved

When it comes to home improvement/repair projects there is a small debate as to what I will do myself or hire someone for. Usually it comes down to either the time required or the complexity of the project. Just as an example, I’ve had painters come in for every room that we’ve had painted. Not because I can’t do it, but because every surface of this house had wall paper on it and the time required to strip, wash, patch and paint the walls meant that it would likely never get done if I was doing it myself. I know this, because until I had painters come in the master bedroom hadn’t gotten done.

Other things, such as plumbing, depend on the task.  I had a plumber come in to splice in shut off valves at the shower, bath tub and another sink. Primarily because, while I know in theory how to braze pipe, I haven’t done it enough (or ever really) to be able to do it adequately. There are some things, such as the furnace and AC, that I’ll likely always have someone come in and inspect/repair just because they’re critical components and it’s much easier to know that they’re working properly.

It’s rather nice, though, to look around and see everything you’ve done to make your home a little more yours.

The Internet of Us

Every day it seems another seemingly innocuous item is upgraded with some kind of internet connectivity. Some of it makes sense, smoke alarms, cameras, thermostats. Other’s…less so. I once bought a space heater that I didn’t realize until I got home came equipped with Bluetooth. “Oh, that’s neat,” I thought thinking that there was probably some app that I could control it with from my phone. Nope, just a Bluetooth connection to a really crappy speaker. That’s it, and it wasn’t even integrated into the electronics. Just something someone had stuck on the side because technology.

One wonders what all this connectivity is doing to us. There are discussions in universities about allowing students to use their phones on exams. After all, who is ever without their phone? If we don’t know something we’ll always have the internet it look it up on, right? For a number of years I worked in an office that, due to security restrictions, did not have internet access. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be an engineer without the internet? Medically pace makers and insulin pumps can be programmed over WiFi.

I grew up in the age before the internet. When Oregon Trail on a green monochrome Apple IIe was the height of technology. Where if you missed an episode of a show chances are you weren’t going to see it…ever. And if you wanted to hear a song on the radio you had to either hope you got lucky or call and request it…and then hope you got lucky. The Peanut is growing up in a time where every show, every song, every book ever made (with the exception of the missing Doctor Who) is available 24 hours a day whenever you want. Where a few clicks or a few words can put any number of shows or songs on any number of devices. Where information is constantly blasted at you non-stop, no matter where you are with no real way of turning it off.

Meeko showed me a neat trick today. Whenever The Hero of Time gets ornery all she has to do is say “Okay, Google,” and he’ll immediately stare at the TV. Remind me in 20 years to see if it still works…

 

 

Part of me secretly hopes the hot water heater will go so I can get a WiFi one…