Thursday, April 30, 2009

Work Week - Still Workin'

In response to Serpentine's recent comment, I've been temporarily relocated to new digs:

My station is the one against the wall with the monitor still on. During the day, there's a mass of gross humanity sitting around the room, making it hard for me to hear the person on the other end of my phone. At 7 p.m., there aren't so many distractions, because the weak have gone home to pick flowers and play games -- ONLY THE HARD REMAIN.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hiatus, Temporary

Oops. I've been pretty busy. While you wait for super fresh content, watch this:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Work Week - Welcome Wall

As promised, here's another photo from my workplace. It's the cubicle wall that I walk past every time I enter our suite. It's been adorned like this for the past 2 or years or so.

It's pictures of babies! And some toddlers! Officemate offspring! On the wall!

I always found this mass of photos (there used to be more posted, by the way, but some were taken down as coworkers found other jobs) annoying. I guess I thought it looked really unprofessional, and was a bad first impression to visitors. Lately, I've softened my stance a bit, and focused on what was bothering me.

First, these are not great photos. Many of these are the first pictures we were emailed after someone had their kid -- they were immediately printed on cheap office-grade paper via our uncalibrated color laserjet, stretched and zoomed beyond their original resolution.

Second, this was the wall that our (former) secretary faced all day. That's her monitor in the foreground. There's something offputting about an adult woman staring at pictures of other people's children all day, obsessively adding to the collection whenever the chance arose.

Last week I asked one of the babies' mothers if she'd mind removing her offspring's photos. She agreed that they'd been up there a long time, and took them down. Eventually, at the risk of being the Grinch, I'll approach the other mothers, and our office entrance will look more soul-crushing, as a cubicle wall should.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Work Week - The Office

Here's where make a living:

(Click to enlarge its 5 megapixel glory.)

Who cares if I can't see outside? See all the space I have? There's room for me to sit, and room for a visitor to sit. That's all I need. And all my visitors need. (I have no visitors.)

Let's start with my workstation. See the plastic cup adorned with the Royals logo? I brought that in to hold my drinking water. I like to have a full cup with my lunch, and one more cup during the afternoon shift. People that happen by sometimes see it and talk Royals with me. Strangely, these people know very little about the Royals, but I guess it's better than talking about the weather.

To the right of the cup you can see my eyeglasses. Remember when I polled you to see which ones I should buy? They're only for reading my computer screen all goddamned day, so when I get up from my chair I like to take them off and give my ol' schnoz a break.

Did you notice my computer's mouse is on the left side of the keyboard? Well, I'm actually right-handed, but I use the mouse with my left hand. That tradition started when my right hand turned claw-ish due to the Playstation+mouse combo. Now I can play all the video games I want, pain free! Thanks, left hand.

On the other side of the keyboard are my Grado SR60 headphones. I bought them via Amazon for about $70 -- it was money well spent. If you're like me, and spend so much time listening to music at work that you don't bust out your nice home stereo system too much, I recommend some nice headphones like these instead of that junk you stick into your ear canal.

Next to those sweet cans is my phone. It's new, but it looks like it was manufactured in 1988. Our voice mail system is a total pain in the ass. Sometimes, when callers hang up at a certain point in the leave-a-message process, a message is recorded anyway -- it is just a lot of white noise and clicks, and you can hear other people's voices, and you can hear the voice mail lady robot voice. It can go on for 10 seconds or 10 minutes. Every time I hear it, I think of TRON.

If you really zoom in you can see a robot-shaped pencil sharpener, a gift from my sweet lady, between the phone and my electric stapler. You put the pencil into his chest, and as you twist and sharpen it, the robot winds up. As the robot unwinds, he marches. I like to keep his arms pointing straight up in the air, to remind me of the robot on Conan that would raise its arms as it sat on the toilet and made robot poops.

Above the phone, you can see that I have a habit of pulling the overhead cabinet door out as far as possible. It's to block the light from some overhead bulbs that would otherwise shine in my eyes as I'm looking at my screen. Are you loving my cubicle yet? Do you love it?

On the back shelf, you can see that I keep a lot of mugs around. I like to drink 2 cups of tea in the morning -- usually green tea, using the same tea bag for each cup, but sometimes black tea.

I also keep some Cherry Coke Zero back there. It's pretty solid. I like to drink mine cold. Also in view are a bag of pretzels and a cylinder of raisins. I bring the big bags into the office instead of rationing each day's portion in a plastic baggie. You're welcome, Earth.

You can see my keys and my phone to the right of the pantry. I keep my phone on vibrate. As far as I can tell, I am definitely the only person in the office who does this. Sometimes, I might go TWO HOURS without glancing at my phone, callous acts which sometimes result in the world ending.

This concludes my cubicle tour. Later this week - a photo of another part of my workplace!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Let's Talk About Sexting

You may have been out of the country. You may be blissfully unaware of current events (like Alipete). Otherwise, you're aware that Americans have only spoken three words in the past month: "Pirate", "Twitter", and "Sexting". This concerns the latter.


You should already be listening Uhh Yeah Dude. Relax about the show's name. Hear me out. Aside from "30 Rock", Uhh Yeah Dude is the weekly program that I most look forward to experiencing. Matt loves it. Camille loves it. Gavin loves it. Join the winning team.

The most recent Uhh Yeah Dude episode discusses the recent study stating 44% of teenage boys have seen a naked cellphone photo of a classmate. (That specific exchange begins at 20:30 in the show, if you'd like to dive in. I recommend AT LEAST dipping your toe with the energy drink discussion at 12:35.)


The most recent Savage Love article expounds on the topic and makes many good points:
America’s current teen-sex panic—it’s always something—is about “sexting,” teenagers sending each other pictures of their sometimes-underage junk, their frequently underage racks, or their young and dimpled/pimpled rear ends. (Oh, if only we could return to the comparatively innocent and entirely fictional days of “rainbow parties”!) Shortly after the kids went crazy for sexting, the authorities went crazy for prosecuting kids for sexting. Take Phillip Alpert, an 18-year-old in Florida who got mad at his girlfriend and forwarded a digital photo of her naked to dozens of her friends and family members.

This Alpert kid (he had only just turned 18) pulled an asshole move—the gaping asshole of moves—and he owes his girlfriend, her friends, and her family an apology, restitution, and a pound of flesh. (And I mean that pound.) A just, proportionate punishment might involve, say, nude pictures of Alpert being displayed on a billboard in Times Square. For a year. Instead, Alpert was convicted of distributing child porn and “sentenced to five years probation and required by Florida law to register as a sex offender,” CNN reports. “You will find me on the registered sex offender list next to people who have raped children, molested kids, things like that,” Alpert told CNN.

A message for concerned parents, outraged school officials, and teen-sex-obsessed prosecutors: We’re gonna have to either make it illegal for teenagers to own camsphonescomputers, or we’re gonna have to give them drugs to delay the onset of puberty until after they’re 18. If we’re unable or unwilling to do those things—technology is hard to contain, and delaying puberty could have unwelcome health consequences (although it would have spared Levi Johnston’s DNA from the ignominy of mixing with the Palins’)—then the intersection of horny teens and newer technologies is going to require us to rethink the simplistic application of laws that criminalize the possession and distribution of sexty (ugh) pictures, particularly in cases where they were created by teenagers, for teenagers.

Yes, Alpert was a douchebag; yes, it was wrong for him to forward that picture to embarrass and humiliate his girlfriend. But if Alpert is a child pornographer and a sex offender, so are millions of today’s teenagers. They’re all e-mailing each other pictures of their junk. Making an example of one unlucky asshole who got caught isn’t going to stop teenagers from sexting each other any more than making an example of hundreds of thousands of unlucky pot smokers stopped people from smoking pot.

I'd normally just link to this stuff at my Google Shared Items page (see also the sidebar at the right under the "Browsing" heading), but I'm pretty sure no one reads that except Nick.

I think I've mentioned every single friend I have now, so it's time to this bird to fly.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Name That Goon

Another day, another hospital. I was working super hard and fast, so I didn't always get a chance to check how weird the baby names were, but I did see a "Ryun" in the mix. Putting that "u" in Ryan gives that name diarrhea. Ryun is an infected name, and it's completely gross. GET IT TOGETHER, PARENTS.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

King Of Pop (Culture) (And Also, The News)

TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE RECENTLY: This song makes me think of clear Pepsi!

ME: You mean Crystal Pepsi?


ME: It was called Crystal Pepsi. And this isn't the song. The song used in the Crystal Pepsi ads was Van Halen's "Right Now".


* * *

PAIGE LAST WEEKEND: (Something whimsical about pirates.)

ME: Pirates aren't cool anymore. They're a serious problem.

PAIGE LAST WEEKEND: I don't know what you're talking about.

ME: Modern day pirates wreak havoc off the coast of Somalia.

PAIGE LAST WEEKEND: Huh? Pirates are fun!

* * *

ME: Speaking of reality television shows, such as this not-very-good "High School Reunion" and this advertisement for "The Cougar" and that portion of "18 Kids and Counting" we viewed online, I heard the Octomom was getting her own dating show.


ME: The Octomom. Nadya Suleman?


ME: The California woman who had six kids already, and then gave birth to octuplets, and then went on every TV morning and afternoon show?

ALIPETE LAST NIGHT: I sleep until 12:30. I don't watch "Tyra".

ME: You work at the Times! The Octomom!

ALIPETE LAST NIGHT: I don't know who that is.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Let Me Stand Next To Your Choir

OH WOW, GUYS. I neglected to mention the most amazing episode of my time in Dallas.

I was meandering through the food court during our lunch break, trying to decide between soup at the Paneraesque place and the eventual winner, the cajun cafeteria's red beans and rice.

I spotted a pair of high-school-aged girls, both dressed in unflattering, black dresses, walking among the food court's tables. When a third girl appeared in the same outfit, I thought,
"Hey girls, where's the CHOIR?!"
It took about five seconds for my brain to process its own hilarity. "Why is that funny? Where's the choir? That sounds like something. OH. I took a common phrase and substituted the word 'choir' for 'fire'. That's good! That's pretty fucking good!" I was smiling, so pleased with myself, and so disappointed that my genius could not be shared. UNTIL NOW.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

No Big D

I'm back from the conference. My work-related conferences are generally okay, but skew toward dull, and I'm sure they are far less extravagant than those not sponsored by The Task Force for Child Survival and Development. (Here's their logo:
I'm sure this was a solid logo back in the DOS era, but it's time to hire an artist or hold a contest to upgrade that thing.)

Despite the limited funds, there is always good coffee available in the morning. I'm a tea fan, and was disheartened to see my Tazo herbal infusions were the only non-coffee option. Herbal tea is not tea. Tea is made from tea leaves. Herbal "tea" is made from junk. Tazo's "Passion" variety consists of hibiscus flowers, orange peel, licorice, cinnamon, rose hips, lemongrass, and red poppy. It's like drinking lawn remnants. From a very fancy lawn, but still. Gross. I stuck with the coffee.

I should have mentioned this wasn't going to be very interesting. You should have known. It's a work trip to Dallas.

I went to the Sixth Floor Museum at the old School Book Depository. If you've seen a dozen PBS/History Channel specials on the assassination like I have, the museum is basically worthless -- even seeing the sniper's nest is underwhelming. There's a memorial to JFK about a block away that's an even worse destination.

If Kennedy had survived Oswald's bullets, this concrete joke would have killed him. There are some logistical issues inherent to that joke sentence, but you get it. You get jokes.

So that was a pretty disappointing lunch hour. The next noon, I paid for admission to the Dallas Art Museum. They had a not-so-great Van Gogh. The best painting may have been "Apollo and Diana Attacking the Children of Niobe". Man, Niobe really pissed them off something bad.
I got pretty solid seats for the Mavs game, where fellow K-State alum attendee Mike Beasley was occasionally asked to guard all-star Dirk Nowitzki. Oops! Dirk led all scorers in a narrow victory for the Mavericks. The matchup as seen from my seat, with Mark Cuban's head near the referee:

So, yeah. Big trip to Dallas! Back and bloggin! Feel it!