Friday, December 30, 2005

I got into law school!!!!!

Ok, now that that is out of the way, we can all carry on. I'm not at work today, I have today and monday off....Yay!! I can do things, like lie around in bed, play with the cats and go get a new pair of tennis shoes. Oh, and the news update. Without further ado.

NSA has been sneakily putting cookies on your computer (in violation of the law). Why is this not surprising at all? Apparently you're allowed to put session cookies on computers without the user knowing (much like the cookie that my stat counter puts on your computer and deletes when you leave my page...hehe), but they are supposed to expire when you exit the browser. The NSA cookies would have remained until 2035. Um yeah.Here's the story. Inadvertant, my ass.

Dept of Justice intent on who clued the American people into Bushies illegal spying plan. So, because the Bush administration is so concerned about leaking national security information, cough cough valerie cough plame cough cough hack cough. Right, so as if calling the news room director to the White House and telling them to suppress the story wasn't enough, now they're going to hunt down the whistle blower in Bushie's administration and crucify them...what ever happened to that whole Karl Rove leaking Plame's identity as political revenge... oh go back to bed America. Right, probably no crucifixtion, but surely they could arrest him, declare him an enemy combatant, extraordinarily rendate him/her somewhere, where they will be sufficiently punished (re: tortured), and held indefintely. Because this is the United States of America. Land of the FREE.

Speaking of LIES:

Remember how "the United States does not torture"? Well, it turns out we do. The British ambassador to Uzbekistan who was forced to resign by the Britsh government because of his outspoken and outraged criticism of the human rights situation inUzbekistan (one of the most repressive regimes in the world -- here's a direct quote from Americablog: "the Uzbek government arrested Ruslan for being a human rights advocate, then, after beating him, threatened to rape him with a bottle and inject him with AIDS" - nice people huh? Be sure to check out the pic of Rumsfeld with the Uzbek dictator.) Anyway, he was pissed off and has posted on his website memos detailing how Britain and the US have been the recipients of information from Uzbekistant gained from TORTURE and we knew about it! So the Brit government dismantled the good ambassadors website, but not before the memos were picked up by the greater blogosphere. ha HA. So here's the direct link to AmericaBlog, John has all the juicy details.

Who hates that the NY times went to Times Select, as in you have to pay for the good stuff? I heard some people mention that this was quite possibly the end of the world. See, I would have thought that the end of the world was coming because what used to be a beacon of liberty and freedom, "leader of the free world" was bowing to a theocratic nitwit named King George and his neocon buddies who condoned the use of torture and stripping of civil liberties. But that's just me. Right, the NYT, well fortunately some people have paid for the service and offer us up juicy little tidbits every now and then. Here's a nugget (from Americablog, he always has the best nuggets):

Paul Kruggman's column entitled "Heck of a Job, Bushie" and the final paragraph:

A year ago, we didn't know for sure that almost all the politicians and pundits who thundered, during the Lewinsky affair, that even the president isn't above the law have changed their minds. But now we know when it comes to presidents who break the law, it's O.K. if you're a Republican.

Thank God someone in a newspaper is saying it.

And our final item (for now) Remember how I said that there would be a major war in the mid-east within the next 6 months, well, here's more on that. Actually, two items:

Goss Builds the Case for Turkey-based Attacks

Let's Stop a US/Israeli War on Iran

So, does mention the first two stories, but fails to mention the one about the US condoning the torture of women and children in Uzbekistan anywhere on its site. The headline story as of 12:21pm CST was "Iraq's 'Baby Noor' heads to US on soldiers' mercy mission."

They also fail to give sufficient ink to this story, and by ink, I mean post the pictures. The story is that artists from 25 countries in the EU were supposed to create posters reflecting on the "different social, historical and political developments in Europe." I guess someone had strong opinions about the US, Britain and France being in bed together. You got it, that's Bush, Queen Elizabeth and Chirac engaging in some good old fashioned fornicating. Here's the CNN story. Here's the pictures:

Ah, that a female Bush taking it in the bum bum? One wonders what they're saying across the globe about our "Commander in Chief."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I used some of my reward money to buy new jeans! New tennis shoes and combat boots will be forthcoming!

So, sometime yesterday, I exceeded 2000 calls for my company. And, exceeded 3000 hits on the blog. Go me...on both accounts.

It seems odd to me that though I had numerous problems with shitty phone connections at the P-thon, calls here have always been crystal clear. You would think that the P-thon would invest in some decent headsets so that alums don't get pissy when they can't hear callers and callers don't get frustrated because alums can't hear them.

My old team leader just called to say "hi" on the temp's last day - well, what would have been my last day...I got picked up for another month!!!! I told her this, and she said that's how they do it. She said that they'll probably pick me up for another month come February and just keep me on a month-to-month basis. They kept her like that for 12 months and then finally hired her. Of course 2 weeks after they hired her, she left for a different job....but that's not the point! IF they keep me month-to-month, I would totally be set until I leave for school, or not leave, as the case may be. Perhaps I can even contrive to get some sort of at-home part-time position, if I go to law school in STL and make myself sufficiently invaluable...which begs the question - the projects bossman has given me so far, have been ridiculously easy and I've finished them in about 1/3 of the time that she has allocated. Should I continue to finish projects quickly, at the risk of completing all work that she has for me sooner, or should I take my time, at the risk of seeming slow and inefficient?

I cannot verify the authenticity of this, but it bears looking at. Bush on the Constitution - "it's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

In other news, my cat scratched the hell out of my back this morning. It's not that he doesn't love me, it's just that he likes to jump up on my shoulders and wrap himself around my neck, just to you know, lounge. Anyway, to gain purchase there, he has to use his back claws to dig in at my neck, so that's what he did this morning. Now it looks like I got beat with a switch of thorns.

I can't believe that it's only 3:19 and I have to remain here for 2 hours and 41 minutes. But after that, four day weekend!

So, guy that they had temping in former bossman's spot had his last day today, along with most of the other temps. I suspect, that due to my excel prowess that I am going to be doing what was formerly his job. Sorry sir. Maybe I can rate my own cube now, one that is not entirely open for the world to see.

Oh Lord, I'm bored. Fifty-five minutes until freedom.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Photo of the Day

Originally uploaded by brainware3000.
Hey Bush!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Well, we're back from the holidays (holidays, Ariela!). I hope that everyone got everything that they wanted. I got almost everything I wanted .... some wishes, however just can't be granted...but those that were, were great. I am now the proud owner of a game from my childhood. I hated this game growing up, but my cousins used to force me to play it. Mall Madness! "There is a sale at the fashion boutique." Yes, that wonderful talking game about shopping. I saw that it was re-released, and I knew that I must have it. And have it I do. So anyone that hangs out with me for New Year's is going to be playing some Mall Madness! There is a sale at the fashion boutique -- take two shots!

So, we had lots of leftover food from the potluck that we put in the fridge/freezer here at work so that we could all have lunch today. However, some idiot cleaned out the entire fridge/freezer, leaving us all lunchless. Even my hot pockets were tossed out. Fortunately, bossman has offered to buy us all lunch to make up for our lost food. I can now look forward to a delicious pulled beef and pork sandwich, fries, baked potato and garlic bread.

One month extension! It's true. Human resources just called to confirm that I could stay on until the end of January. Go me.

What the hell is the White House doing getting involved with the Anna Nicole Smith civil lawsuit?

Oh god, four more hours.....

Let's talk about Bush willfully and illegally spying:

Rice authorized the NSA to spy on UN diplomats in the run-up to the Iraq war. (I think this is legal, but the diplomats are going to be none to happy.)

Bush authorized the NSA to conduct illegal wiretaps on international calls/email. (In violation of the fourth amendment)

Bush authorized the illegal gathering of information from domestics telecommunications. (In violation of the fourth amendment)

The FBI spied on and investigated such radical groups as PETA, the ACLU and Greenpeace. (In violation of common sense)

The Pentagon classified several gay law student groups as a credible threat. (In violation of common sense)

NYC cops infiltrated and and spied upon such protesters as a cyclist advocacy group. (In violation of common sense.)

oh yeah, and:
condoned torture
disappeared people
made up new combatant statuses
waged an illegal war
etcetera etcetera etcetera

Someone said (eek, i don't know who), that it was absolutely astounding that peaceful protesters would be infiltrated and spied upon by the cops when violent and hateful protesters are allowed to gather, without supervision in front of abortion clinics.

And then there's this: A machine that sets off the pleasure center.

"You mean the only thing that I can do with my gift card is buy something with it?" Uh, yeah, that's why someone gave it to you, so that you could buy yourself a gift. That's why it's called a gift card.

Photo of the Day

Ray of Light
Originally uploaded by Niemster.
One day, light will return to this great nation.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sometimes working for the corporate world can be ok... today I recieved my $500 bonus, a gift from my boss, a gift from my bossman, and some assorted candies from other people in the office. In addition, we are having a holiday potluck. From my desk, I can see roast beef, ham and turkey sandwiches, some fried chicken, a whole ham, gumbo, hot wings, cheese and cracker platters, salad, mac and cheese, shrimp and then the desserts - banana pudding, chocolate cake, gooey butter cake, chocolate chip cookies, fudge, fudge brownies, carrot and pound cake. This day at the office could not get any better... well, except if all these people would stop calling me on the phone!

Too fat and sassy to blog.

Hey! I posted something before Americablog did! He just got to the 400 lbs of MISSING EXPLOSIVES today. Anyone else concerned yet? He had more details on the story... apparently within that 400 lbs, there was about 100lbs of sheet explosives that can be hidden in books or letters. It was probably the gay groups, or PETA, or greenpeace...

Still bored out of my mind, but you can thank Katie for this website:

Thanks to my generalized nerdiness and the proficiency that I have shown with spreadsheets, it looks like they might keep me around for awhile longer. Bossman said that she would know more next week, but she was "going to talk to my temp agency." !

As of this time, 87,687 people agree that there is plenty of evidence to impeach bushie, that's 85% of the vote. Now, granted it's not a scientific poll, but it's heartening to see that at least 87,687 people are not blind followers of the bush "trust me" plan.

There is literally no one here. It is a ghost town.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone! Adventures will return Tuesday, December 27th.

Photo of the Day

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

When life gives you limes, lick the salt off of your wrist, take a shot of tequilla and suck the hell out of that lime.

Three calls so far today, it has slowed down massively from last week. There is cinnamon bread and cheese and crackers in our department today. I love the corporate world during the holiday season. Hopefully, I'll be getting my retention bonus sometime soon. Karen is working on it.

We got it! We will have our bonuses in hand on our last day of work!! Yay for $500! Let the shopping spree commence!

I just talked to a woman who was like, Jalynn, I am an idiot and I think I've mucked this up. I did blah blah blah. What can I do to fix this? Well, ma'am I can give you the number of our lost/stolen department and they should be able to further assist you. Yes, but Jalynn, do you have an idiot department, because that's where I need to be sent. I really enjoyed this woman.

I just got asked if the caller could take the customer satisfaction survey, because I was the most competant person that she had talked to.

Too tired to write today, maybe I'll get a second wind. The soda machine is out of Mountain Dew, and I have no Red Bull......zzzz...

No second wind...but let's just comment on how #3 in the top ten for books on facebook is the bible. :::looks confused::: the bible, does not appear on WashU's top ten list at all. In fact, they share all but 3 books, WashU has #5 Catch-22, #7 Pride and Prejudice and #9 Ender's Game. The facebook list includes, #3 The Bible, #9 Lord of the Rings, and #10 The Notebook. Do you think the greater facebook community is referring to the LOTR books, of which none of them are actually named Lord of the Rings, or they got confused and put a movie in the book category?

WashU also divurges from the "mainstream" on movie watching, kids at washu enjoy such films as shawshank redemption (#1), eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (#5), zoolander (#6) and love actually (#8). Apparently we missed out on the notebook (#1-again?!), anchorman (#3), napoleon dynamite (#4) and wedding crashers (#5). This has been your facebook update. The new feature that offers these little tidbits is called PULSE.

Minesweeper: Expert: 193 seconds.

Photo of the Day

Stüdyo Çalışması
Originally uploaded by zencefil.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Five pharmacists are suing because they claim that their religious freedom was violated when they were fired for not dispensing emergency contraception. Here's what I think, if you have a religious objection to your job, don't make that job your profession. If you are christian science, don't be a paramedic. If you are a pacifist, don't join the military. If you hate women, don't be a pharmacist.

Here's another hint about buying Christmas gifts for your employees, don't wait until the Tuesday before xmas before it occurs to you that you might want to start looking into it. And don't get mad at me, when I tell you that it cannot be done, because you waited too long.

I had this conversation with my dad yesterday: I asked him what he thought about his president breaking the law repeatedly and flagrantly. He said that after 9/11, he couldn't find me fast enough, and that he would have done/authorized the same thing. I think that's it's this kind of knee jerk reaction that Bushie plays too. My dad is not dumb, he's not ignorant, he just loves his family and he believes that the prez should do everything to protect this country. And I said but Dad, he could've gotten permission after the fact and he didn't. My dad can take this protect family at all cost view, but he doesn't run a country. He doesn't have to abide by the Constitution. The president does - the Bill of Rights is not a suggestion. Bush took an oath to uphold the Constitution, in addition to breaking that oath, he violated laws. And he'd do it again.

I understand the emotion of my father, but this country cannot be ruled by fear. In the words of Margaret Cho, "there may be terrorists, but I refuse to be terrorized" .... especially by my own government.

Americablog has a nice piece about what would happen if a terrorist shot up a US mall with an quickly would we see gun rights disappear - in the name of national security. And how would die hard pro gun supporters respond to their guns being taken away by presidential fiat. Speaking of unlimited presidential authority, Russ Feingold makes an excellent point that why does Bushie need the Patriot Act authorized if he, arguably has the authority to carry out everything in the Act by presidential order. Could it be that even he does not actually think that he has that authority?

Why is there not a huge, huge ruckus going on? The President of the United States got on the radio and admitted, admitted to authorizing a government agency to violate a law. He admitted to doing it frequently and said he would do it again. If anyone else confesses to a crime and claims that they will do it again, we lock those people up! Bush has claimed a dangerous prerogative, and the media is setting a dangerous precedent by letting it slide. No one seems to care that an honest to God crime has been committed. No one seems to care that Bushie is calling for dissenters to shut the hell up. No one remembers the Plame affair. Bush thinks that pulling out of Iraq will show that America can not keep it's word. Mr. President, you broke your bond with the American people.
Compliments of
Senate Majority Leader Tom Delay during discussion about the impeachment of President Clinton:

I believe that this nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, this path relies on truth, justice and the rigorous application of the principle that no man is above the law.

Now, the other road is the path of least resistance. This is where we start making exceptions to our laws based on poll numbers and spin control. This is when we pitch the law completely overboard when the mood fits us, when we ignore the facts in order to cover up the truth.
Shall we follow the rule of law and do our constitutional duty no matter unpleasant, or shall we follow the path of least resistance, close our eyes to the potential lawbreaking, forgive and forget, move on and tear an unfixable hole in our legal system? No man is above the law, and no man is below the law. That's the principle that we all hold very dear in this country.
Um, yeah.

There's something very wrong with the country when the president in a news conference has to deny being a dictator. From the news conference:

QUESTION: I wonder if you can tell us today, sir, what, if any, limits you believe there are or should be on the powers of a president during wartime.
And if the global war on terror is going to last for decades, as has been forecast, does that mean that we're going to see, therefore, a more or less permanent expansion of the unchecked power of the executive in American society?

BUSH: First of all, I disagree with your assertion of unchecked power.


BUSH: Hold on for a second, please.
There is the check of people being sworn to uphold the law, for starters.
There is oversight. We're talking to Congress all the time.
And on this program, to suggest there's unchecked power is not listening to what I'm telling you. I'm telling you, we have briefed the United States Congress on this program a dozen times.
This is an awesome responsibility, to make decisions on behalf of the American people. And I understand that. And we'll continue to work with the Congress, as well as people within our own administration, to constantly monitor a program such as the one I described to you, to make sure that we're protecting the civil liberties of the United States.
To say "unchecked power" basically is ascribing some kind of dictatorial position to the president, which I strongly reject.


BUSH: I just described limits on this particular program, and that's what's important for the American people to understand. I am doing what you expect me to do and, at the same time, safeguarding the civil liberties of the country.

And it's been said all over the blogosphere, but I'll say it again. Bush lies.

ThenBush: Wiretaps "Require a Court Order." "Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution." [President Bush, 4/20/04,]

YesterdayBush: I Authorized Secret Wiretap Program Without Going Through the Courts. "To save American lives, we must be able to act fast and to detect these conversations so we can prevent new attacks. So, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, I authorized the interception of international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. … This program has targeted those with known links to al Qaeda. I've reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for so long as our nation is -- for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill American citizens." [President Bush, 12/19/05,]

I just talked to a woman on the phone who had a number of gift cards and when she went to use them, the person running the card said that if she did not know the exact amount on the card, the machine would take all the money off and decline the card. (this is patently wrong, btw). so the woman ran the cards, the were declined and she ended up having to pay by check. She wanted to know how she could get her money back so that she could cover those checks. i had to explain that she still had the money, it was in card form and there was no way to get that money in cash form out of the card. she didn't seem to understand that we were not going to give her the money to cover the check, when the money was still hers on the any rate, i have no idea how she got our number and why she didn't just call the number that is listed on the back of the card....

And then there's this: Where are the gigantic stories of Bushie's spooks spying on Americans because they are members of gay law groups, eco-activists, animal rights activists? these allegations broke today, and i have yet to see them on the major news sites? Um, isn't there a rule about not spying on domestic groups....violent, fringe and hate groups, yes. tree huggers and puppy cuddlers, no. Also back the hell of the gay people, we're trying to carry out our secret agenda here...

In other, completely unrelated news, SERENITY, my new favorite movie, comes out on dvd today. Not only was I on the pre-order list, I was on the list to be notified when it would be available for pre-order. It's just that good.

Speaking of under-reported news, headline from "150 pounds of explosives missing from NM." Um, yeah...scary. Apparently 150 pounds of "highly energetic, military style explosives" are missing alone with 2,500 blasting caps and 25,000 feet of detonation cord. An agent with ATF cautioned that "there was no evidence to suggest a link to terrorism." Um, what exactly else would someone want 150 pounds of explosives for? A high school prank? An underfunded demolition crew? I am very concerned about the missing explosives. Isn't Bush supposed to be protecting America....why is there only one agent on the scene? That's enough explosives to level a building and can fit in an SUV or truck. Um um um, I'm concerned.

Oh, ok, I had the previous story a little wrong... it seems that actually 400 pounds of explosives are missing. And this is the second time that explosives have gone missing from this site. The first time 350 pounds of explosive ammonium nitrate pellets were stolen ?<- the same kind of material used in the OK City bombing. How comforting. I think a local gets it right when he says "You have to question the logic behind federal regulations that prohibited you from carrying nail clippers onto an airplane, but allow you to store high-grade explosives in a poorly protected site in the middle of nowhere." Maybe this is why the 9/11 comission gave Bush & Co 15 D's and 9 F's for homeland security.


Let's talk about this "War on Christmas" crap that the conservatives are getting into a tizzy about. Let's just take a quick example of why they are missing the point. go here:, ignore the article, just look at the picture. It's a guy, in a santa suit- cause that's the real meaning of Christmas ....let's review.

1) It is generally accepted that Christ was not born in the winter, but was actually born sometime in the spring or summer, thus Dec 25 is an arbitrary day.
2) Almost all traditions surrounding Christmas, predate Christ. The early Christians put Christmas on a day that was already occupied by a pagan holiday (saturnalia, winter solstice, yule) in order that they could transition the pagans to christianity without making them give up their pagan holiday.
3) Santa is the decendent of the pagan father christmas, otherwise known as old winter, otherwise known as the pagan god Woden.

Back to the War on Christmas...specifically this picture - guy "defending" christmas, dressed as the decendent of a pagan god. hmph. futhermore, the fundie christians entirely miss the point. it doesn't matter what day you celebrate christmas on, it's a time of good cheer, of giving and of hospitality. it doesn't matter if someone doesn't celebrate in the same way you do. as a christian it is your duty to be hospitable, kind, and giving. what does it matter if stores aren't marketing Christmas (maybe that's a good thing - didn't the pope admonish people for being too materialistic at this time of year?)

What does it matter if people say happy holidays? it makes me crazy when christians are hateful, mean, and otherwise not treating others as they would like to be treated. what other people believe does not change your relationship with your god. If you believe that the son of god was born to a virgin more than 2000 years ago, that is between your heart and your god. i guess what i'm saying is, shut up. wish people happy holidays, celebrate the spirit of the season, and don't get caught up in hyper religious rhetoric of godless men.

Minesweeper: expert in 3.5 minutes.

So, Ohio right? They have a bill sitting on Governor Taft's desk that would make it legal for the po po to ask for your name, address and birthdate, without provacation. If you refuse, they can arrest you. I don't think I'm overreaching when I call this Gestapo tactics. Also scary, there's only three hits if you search for it on Google News...

Photo of the Day

Originally uploaded by nevercalm.
I don't want to go
to Gitmo!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Photo of the Day

Capitol Police at Union Station
Originally uploaded by rllayman.
Police State
From Bushies speech on Sunday night: "We would abandon our Iraqi friends -- and signal to the world that America cannot be trusted to keep its word." Oh right, you mean like kyoto? you mean like the un convention against torture? you mean like Geneva 3? you mean like holding a german citizen without telling his government? you mean like lying to the world about WMD? you mean like that?

I took down the black out sheets that were hanging over my window and replaced them with plastic sheeting. So now, the cold air is blocked out and I get woken up by natural light. Previously, the black out sheets were so good that my room was murky and dim even when it was full daylight out. I honestly think that's why I've been having such a hard time waking up in the morning. My body didn't know that it was time to get up. Hopefully this will help. Also, by duct taping the doorway that leads to the sunroom, I've drastically cut down on the draft (the sun room is about 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the apartment). However, there was still a noticeable draft this morning. Fortunately, my blankets are warm, and cats are cozy... I guess Tasty was feeling lonely this morning because he definitely came into my room, bit my head until i let him crawl under the covers and sleep with me.

Work is slow. Most everyone that wanted gift cards or cheques has realized that it is probably too late to get them and so they've stopped calling. I've had 7 calls in two hours, contrast this with last monday: 18 calls, for a total of 95 calls last monday. I think I'm on track for about a third of that today. A day of boredom and fun. But it is relatively warm in here today, which is good, because I wasn't really paying attention to what I put on this morning and suffice to say, it's not much clothing.

Imo's Pizza. I could eat leftover Imo's for days and days. It's almost better leftover. I just had 4 slices, and I could eat oh so many more. I love the thin crust and the provel cheese .... almost no sauce...pepperonis... delicious.

This is the bane of my existence, and it comes compliments of dan: Sudoku

Let's talk about the president publicly saying today in a news conference that if it became necessary to spy on domestic phone calls, he would authorize the NSA to do so without a warrant. Furthermore, he thinks that the constitution gives him this right..oh and he wants the Patriot Act so that he can have more powers. Why is no one taking him to task for this?! By authorizing wire taps without a warrant, he violates the Constitution! And he's admitted to doing it 30 times. Thirty times. Clinton lied a little about his sexual affairs. This yuppie violates the Constitution at every turn. Impeach the bastard.

She asked for $16k in gift cheques and I actually laughed. I guess she wasn't feeling too good about her prospects of getting that number of cheques after I laughed in her face...

Well, he was irate- I even filled out a complaint form for him. Honestly, with what he's been through, I would be irate also, but I also wouldn't be so dumb. Here's the story:

Guy calls in and just starts to lay into me, he's like here's my story- I called so and so and he told me that gift cheques were fee free online and i was little leery about that so i asked to speak to his supervisor who was manager so and so, however manager man wasn't available. so guy calls the company's corporate office and they confirm that cheques are fee free online and that there is a discount off of the face value. guy gets on the website only to discover that they are not fee free and thus he calls me. and i'm all like sir, i have always been under the impression that there is always a fee ...well then why did so and so say that there isn't. well sir, i don't know who that person is-well isn't he in your office? no sir, the department you talked with isn't even in this country, so no, i don't know so and so. well blah blah blah why would i purchase these if there is a fee? i could just go into xyz bank and purchase them fee free. well yes sir, but you see, there is always a fee and if the bank is offering them to you fee free, that just means that they already paid the fee. you see, when you purchase a product, you have to pay for it. it's called commerce. well well, blah blah blah yes sir, i'm very sorry that you had such difficulty, but there is always going to be a fee, you can purchase them online or over the phone, but there will be a fee- huff huff puff puff (hangs up)

the sub moral of the story everyone, is that there exists large companies, and sometimes they don't train their people, and sometimes they tell different departments different things, and sometimes people are incompetent, and sometimes people get confused, the trick is to get frustrated and then get over it. the big moral is one of my favorites, and i think gordy would agree, nothing is free. i have this product, if you want it, you have to pay me for it. see, simple.

Listen, woman. We do not do gift cards here. SO, if you purchased gift cards and you want a refund, we cannot help you. If you talked to gift card and they gave you our number, they are wrong. WE DO NOT DO GIFT CARD! AHHHHHHH!

Here's a hint: if you are a customer service rep, and you have a client on the line, that should be the first thing that you tell me. In fact you shouldn't do that, you should dial my number, determine whether or not i can help you, and then bring the client over, or not. But if you must be impolite and tell me there is a caller on the line - fucking idiots.

Just checked my stat counter, looks like the IRS checked me out today. I love government surveillance

Friday, December 16, 2005

"Well, I'm a Centurion Card Member" um... well so what? That doesn't mean you have free license to be a jack ass, sir.

So I just had my meeting with my bossman - basically I ripped on a whole lot of people, and I was like, I don't think that I should be bad mouthing like this, and she was like, I need to hear it. and I was all like, (shrug) ok. And then she mentioned that she would be setting up a new round of meetings with us after the new year... so i mentioned that uh yeah, the temps last day was like dec 28th or something. SHE HAD NO IDEA! so she said that she would talk to big bossman about that.

Tell me, is this question hard: Are you purchasing on behalf of a company, or for personal use? Is it hard? Is it? Really?

Also, this is compliments of Ariela - Cute Overload.

News Round Up:

When Clinton Lied – Nobody Died …

So, it comes out that Congressional Democrats weren't lying when they shouted about not having all of the information that Bushie had before we went to war. Turns out the Prez and company gets more information on how intelligence data is gathered, who gathers it etc. In other words, some pretty important information needed to place in context the information presented. So by withholding information, the prez could skew the perceptions of the Congress … lying! The new revealation lends legitimacy to dems who supported the war but are now saying they wouldn't have if they had all the information. The common criticism of these dems was that they did have all the information. Lies, all LIES! Meanwhile, Bush & Co, must have known that Congress does not get all the same information as the Pres. So when his people said that Congress had all the info, he was lying.

Makes you believe conspiracy theorists…

Some time ago there was a German citizen vacationing in Macedonia…the CIA confusing him for a wanted terrorist, picked him up and shipped him off to Afghanistan where he was held for five months and tortured. When the CIA realized their mistake they dropped the poor guy back off in the countryside with warnings not to talk about his time in US custody. Then the US ambassador asked a German minister to keep it quiet. They didn't and the case has caused an uproar in German politics. Futhermore, the US allegedly paid the abductee to keep quiet. He didn't and now with the help of the ACLU, he is suing the CIA, in the first legal challenge of "extraordinary rendition." Does this bother anyone else? The CIA makes a mistake, you get shipped off to a random country and then tortured. Tell me this doesn't make you believe the conspiracy theories just a little bit?

Impeach NOW!

More on conspiracy theories…for three years the President has authorized the NSA to eavesdrop in US citizens without the benefit of court oversight in violation of US law. Are we living in a police state? This latest news helps me believe it. How is it that Clinton (who did so much for the country) get impeached for some personal matter, that yes, was an abuse of power, but didn't get anyone killed. He didn't withhold national security information from Congress. He did not allow extraordinary rendition. He did not authorize the spying on of American citizens. And yet, he was impeached. How is it that the calls for the impeachment of bush junior are not resounding and widespread. He broke the law. It wasn't an ethics violation, it wasn't perjury in the 8th degree. He authorized the NSA to break US law. He authorized the military and the CIA to break international law. Who does he think he is? Without the law, without due process and oversight, we are no better than the terrorists he tries to thwart. And they wonder why there is such opposition to renewing certain articles of the Patriot Act. It's like this: we don't want to legally give you any more power to run rough-shod over civil liberties because you have demonstrated that you cannot respect the rights of Americans. And btw, just because you happen to be the president (even though you are grossly under qualified and incompetent), you do not get to authorize your cronies to break the law. You can tell them to, but they damn well better not follow your orders. They and everyone else in the government must be loyal to a higher authority and that, is the rule of law.

Speaking of human rights ….

Bushie finally caved (after a long arduous fight) and agreed to support the Torture ban…was this a no brainer or what? Decent people don't support torture. This seems so easy. And the Administration has been playing games with the American people for weeks … "The US does not torture" "The US follows international law" and yet the US definition of torture has been so narrowly construed as to only mean that which would cause death or organ failure, or bring your within 10 seconds of either of those. Cruel and inhumane treatment, in this definition does not constitute torture, though it is banned by the Third Geneva Convention. Funny that. So bushie has finally said ok ok, we'll ban cruel, inhumane and degrading practices too….however Alberto Gonzales dodged the question of whether or not the odious practice termed "waterboarding" would be including. Waterboarding is the process of strapping a detained down and dunking them in water to make them believe that they might be drowned. Article 1 of the UN Convention on Torture defines torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession." I think that "waterboarding" qualifies as causing severe mental suffering. Correct me if I'm wrong. THIS IS NOT HARD! Let's run a thought experiment, you are the detainee, you may have information, or you might have been mistakenly been picked up, let's go with you were mistakenly picked up – would you prefer that your captors abide by the Geneva III and the UN Convention on Torture, or would you rather that they had the opportunity to cause you pain and suffering as long as it didn't threaten organ failure or death? Hmmm…


Anyone else concerned that Iran has a nuclear program and North Korea has nuclear weapons and both are led by leaders that are just a little bit crazy? I mean, it's not really different from our own country, I mean, having nuclear weapons and being a little looney. But, I rarely hear anyone say anything about invading either of these countries or working for regime change or spreading democracy, when arguably, they are a much bigger threat than Iraq ever was. Could it be, that these countries would actually put up a fight? We're like the bully on the playground that beats the shit out of relatively minor players, but leaves the real dangers to run amok, because we don't want to take a beat down of our own…

Meanwhile, I did those projects for my boss and never heard a word of thanks... she is not a good manager.

James just implied that he would be taking over what used to be Beth's job -- apparently they're going to make some sort of announcement soon about that. Hopefully, I'll be around to see the day.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

There is no better way to start your morning.

Unless you get to work and your coworker has brought in the never ending plate of cheese and crackers.

Let's talk about Apparently, they somehow noticed my comments on the small town of, they then proceeded to quote me, on their CORPORATE website and blog. I discovered this when reviewing the websites that had linked to me with my stat counter. Just to recap, a company, cited me, Jalynn, on their website as some sort of authority. Here it is -- Check out Dec 5th

Karen is bitch-slapping gift card customer service, and really, it's about time for someone to. What's so funny is that our bossman thinks that we don't go through this shit, or doesn't believe that this stuff happens. The seriously need to listen in on some of these calls. Whoa, as you may remember, I mentioned Wreck the Nation, a political board game a couple of weeks ago, well looks like they were checking people that cite the game because they have me now under the heading "Blogs that Have Written about Wreck the Nation." Go internet. Also, it is number one on the blog list, that could be due to the fact that they are alphabetized, but I prefer to think that it's because I'm just that cool.

Lets talk about Americablog. This blog almost singlehandedly got Ford to reverse it's earlier diabolical agreement with the AFA (a Christian fundamentalist hate group) to stop targeted advertising in gay publications and to withdraw their support of gay events. It is unconscionable that Ford even met with these people, let alone made a deal with them, but they reversed their position and did the right thing in the end. Point is, Americablog gets shit done. You all should go there and check out his week long campaign that helped get Ford's decision reversed. Also, his commentary on current events/politics and causes is witty and insightful.

I think I need to figure out how to get rid of the massive list of previous posts and just put those in the archives, if anyone knows how to do that, and they could tell me, that would be fantastic. Sage advice from Karen: "Be wary of ordering from an internet site that fails to list a working and easy to use pone number." Speaking of phone numbers, why don't they just list the gift card customer service line on the website order form for the gift cards? Would that be so hard? Also, would it be so hard to include on the list of locations, which you can search for by zip code, the phone number of that location. I can not tell you the number of times that I have read off locations to people and had them ask me for the phone number, to which I have to reply, "I'm sorry sir/ma'am I don't have that information." But, honestly, how hard would it be to have that information along with the address?

Check this out.
Here's the main site:

You'll all recall that I called on the Republican Party to make some changes and restore some honor to the Grand Old Party, well looks like they've taken some advice from lowly old me. They could wise up and do the other things as well, but baby steps right? Here's the original 11 point plan.

To date, the GOP has addressed two:
1) Support the torture ban. No explanation needed. Decent people don't torture.
5) Take responsibility for bad pre-war intelligence. Say we were wrong about going to war, but we have to finish what we started for our troops and the Iraqi people.

so kudos to the GOP, but get on those other 9 before this country is ripped apart.

So, my boss had me do another excel job....really really easy....these people are excel illeterate.

Photo of the Day

cheese cheese cheese CHEESE
Originally uploaded by ranjit.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Today is a good day! I got lots of sleep and woke up happy and refreshed. Though the day is gloomy and ugly, I feel great. I got my cup of hot chocolate, compliments of Karen and my pop tarts, which really are not great, but I'll live. I want the work day to be over, so I can go and play. Eight hours and 15 minutes to go!

My temporary coordinator just informed me that he had spoken to bossman, and they were going to pull me off of the phones for a little while and make use of my excel skills. Nothing like making yourself useful just before your temporary assignment is up…

I enjoy callers that try to flirt with me, male callers… female callers would be awesome and I would be entirely entertained, but that has never happened. So back to flirty male callers…I always say sir and ma'am, it's just the professional thing to do, everything is "yes sir," and "no sir." Today when I was just sitting quietly doing my job "yes sir" and "no sir-ing" happily along, I get a caller who says "ohhh, you're all business today, aren't you Jennifer?" I responded (with the only acceptable response), "yes sir." "Where are you located Jennifer?" "Missouri, sir." Blah blah blah "You should really try to relax and loosen up Jennifer…" "Yes sir, I'll certainly try and do that." "I guess you can't really at your job … " "No sir, not really … have a nice day sir." "Yes ma'am, you too." Oh Rick, you are a kidder.

Ok, so I had written some entries here, and managed to accidentally erased it, but I’ll attempt to reconstruct them. So after I ate lunch ….the only way to eat half of a frozen pizza is to fold it in half…have you ever had the feeling that you didn’t want to eat anymore? Not that you don’t want food, just that you don’t want to take the time to make it and eat it. So, if you could take a pill and get all of your nutrients and vitamins that would be good. But I only sometimes have that feeling. I mean, who could turn down Outback, or mom’s home cooking, or Imo’s? Why don’t non St. Louisans not like Imo’s? They say that it’s like a cracker with cheese. Um, it’s called thin crust and that cheese is provel. Provel is one of the great chesses along with brie (with pears), havarti (with or without dill), and cheddar, white or orange, as long as it’s sharp. Who could give up cheese? Which is why I don’t really understand vegans.

So I just did this project for bossman, she was all like, if I could have it by the end of the day, that would be great. Twenty minutes later it was on her desk, and I was like SNAP! She was like, that was quick. And I was all like, yes, I am completely useful and you should keep me around for as long as possible. But that last part was in my head, and I didn’t really say it out loud. I also helped out our temporary coordinator with some excel stuff… I kindof wanted to grab the keyboard out of his hand and finish the damn project on my own. It wasn’t that he couldn’t do it, he was just very slow and deliberate, and slow. I honestly think that I could have had the project that he’s been working all day on, done in about 2 hours.

Ok, I’ve had enough, I’m ready for the day to be over. My immediate bossman is lurking about…she’s introducing herself to her new department and sitting with people and chatting for a few minutes. I’d like to meet her, but while I’m not meeting her, I’d like to be playing on the internet and I can’t do that when she’s sitting right there.

Dilemma: I just heard a rumor that they are going to “keep” one temp. I don’t know if that means they are going to hire, or if they are going to just keep a temp. I have an interview with immediate bossman on Friday. I don’t know if I should play up my temp status in order to look good as someone they could just have for a little while, and pay a whole lot less OR if I should play down the temp status and imply that I could stay for a long time to come. And I could stay, for about 8 more months, but law school beckons. If they were going to pay me a great deal, I would put off law school and save money before heading off to law school. I’m not sure what they pay the full-timers, but I believe it’s on the order of 35k a year, I only spend about 1k a month, which means I could save almost 15k after taxes….plus benefits…any advice would be much appreciated.

4:52pmSome guy just made a weird analogy about the ordering limits that we have on our products. He said, “I just don’t understand why there are ordering limits, I mean, if I go into a delicatessen and order 12 apples, they’re not going to tell me that, that is higher than their ordering limit.” Naturally, I said “yes, sir, but those are the limits in place, here are your options….” What I should have said is, sir, this is why your analogy sucks, a) we are not a deli, b) why would you order apples at a deli c) if you were to try and order 12,000 apples at a deli and they didn’t have them, that would be their ordering limit. Dip shit. So it’s like this, we only have so many apples available and you’re trying to order more than we have, here’s what we can give you, and here’s where you can round up the rest of your apples, now fuck off.

Photo of the Day

looking at the mirror
Originally uploaded by lil aNNa.
Who takes pictures of snails? Who posts pictures of snails?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What was with all of the cops today? I saw at least two lurking about, running radar and two more had pulled someone over. It was like cop fun day or something, except it meant no fun for everyone else. Also, I completely failed to reset my alarm after it went off at 8am, and I didn’t wake up until 8:48am. Note: I usually leave my house at about 8:55am, so I was running a fair bit late today… which made the drive all the more stressful because I was speeding and there were fucking cops everywhere!

And yesterday, I topped out at 97 calls, that’s 26 calls more than my previous high. Six of my eight one-hour periods of calling had 10+ calls. I was hoarse when I got home. And who plays beer pong on a Monday night? We do.

Ok, after a cup of hot chocolate and some pop tarts, I feel much better. However, I fully intend to be in bed and asleep by midnight tonight.

“1” for existing accounts, “2” for new accounts. Why is this hard?!

Let’s talk about how confusing our parent company makes things for us. Ok, first, through their website, there is an ordering limit of 50 cards or $5000 whichever comes first. On the same page there this message:

“Ideal for employee rewards and incentives, as well as sales promotions for motivating and retaining customers and valued clients. Purchase up to 50 cards or up to $5,000 online ($3.95 per card) or purchase more than 50 cards/$5,000 by phone (1-800-555-5555).” (emphasis mine)

(That’s our phone number listed there by the way.) Now this message would be all well and good if a couple of things were true, ok, just one thing. We don’t have anything to do with gift cards! So, when a customer sees this little message telling them that they cannot order more than 50/$5000 online but they can purchase more by calling that number (our number), they call us. Imagine how annoyed they are when we tell them that we don’t actually have the gift card. Imagine how irritated I am when I take calls from these annoyed customers all the live long day. Why, why does this sentence exist? All they would have to add to save everyone heartache and heart break, is a few words. Such and such company, of which we are a parent company, does offer xyz product for businesses to purchase that would allow you to purchase more than 50. Oh, that was easy.

So, not only is there little message wildly misleading, it is also the only freaking number listed on the website so that when anyone has a problem with anything on the website they call us. This includes, problems with their orders, tracking an order, general questions about the products on the website. Things we cannot help the customer with! WE ARE NOT THE GIFT CARD DEPARTMENT! Stop transferring people/giving them our number and calling us the gift card department.

Moreover, when we do transfer them over to the customer service line that supports the website, we have to tell them to hit the pound sign three times to get out of the automated system. In other words, the number we have for gift card customer service is completely useless, if someone were to call it and not know to hit the pound sign. Why the hell is their customer service line automated? It tells them to enter their account number…what if they have a problem with an order, they don’t have the cards yet, so they don’t have a number to type in there, it’s maddening!

And I hate, I HATE, when corporate services, or platinum or gift card or whoever (it’s usually gift card folks that do it though) who call me and “have a caller on the line who wants to purchase x number of gift cards” and I have to explain that a) we don’t have the gift card and b) if they are not corporate, we can’t help them. Usually at this point, they cut me off and say something like “yes, but can I bring him/her over” because they haven’t listened to a word I’ve said and they just want to drop them like it’s hot, on to me, and make it my problem. To this I say NO! All the while I can hear that beep every so often in the background that alerts the caller/rep that they are being recorded. I love that beep, because with every beep, I am reminded that somewhere, someone is recording how incompetent that person is. Hopefully sometime, someone will listen to that tape AND FUCKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEIR INCOMPETANT PEOPLE!

Because, really, how hard can it be? I mean, I do my job, and I know what the people at the other numbers that I have on my phone sheet do. In fact, I can look at maybe 85 or so numbers and tell you a little bit about what the people at that number do. I’m a fucking temp for heaven’s sake. You would think their full-time, permanent reps would be better trained. Here’s a hint folks, ask a few probing questions to determine what the caller really needs, and then they won’t be transferred around four or five times. And then they won’t yell at me, when I tell them that I have to transfer them one more time, and they have to trust me. But they don’t want to trust me, because incompetent people have been playing hot potato with them for hours. The real rub is that I can get them to the right place, and I want to, but as I said, they don’t want to trust me and demand that I do ridiculous things… like take their order myself. I can’t take your order sir, we don’t even have access to that system and it’s a different fucking company! AHHHHHH!!!

Here’s something else that I hate; callers that want impossible things. They wouldn’t have been impossible had they placed the order/called us earlier, but since they waited, we tell them no, and we get yelled at. Ex: Caller: “I need $10,000 of your product by Friday.” Me: um ….no.

We have all of our callers here today, minus Greg, and yet we are still trending towards more calls than yesterday.

Wow, I just beat the Expert level again, this time in under four minutes. That’s more times in two days that I’ve beaten that level in years.

4:21pmI am officially tired, and tired of being here.

Photo of the Day

another eye shot
Originally uploaded by SophieMuc.
Awakened, I but cried, that I might dream again.
So I walk into the office and there is this absolutely giant package of instant hot cocoa mix… eight different kinds! Karen bought it for me. She didn't really say why, but it put a huge smile on my face. Which was good because I was actually dreading drinking my "ValuTime" instant stuff that cost a dollar.

Have you ever woken up after a night of drinking to find that you have lots of new bruises in interesting and amusing locations? Do you wonder how you managed to get said bruises? And you know, you know that all during the week your friends are going to fill in the gaps for you, for instance: Hey, remember when you cut your foot really badly on the fire escape? Remember when Lauren punched you? Remember falling on your face? Yeah, it was one of those weekends.

My roommate enjoys the benefits of a certain herb that grows naturally upon this planet. She smokes every night sometime after 8pm, like clockwork. She says things like, "My lungs are lanterns of bliss and joy." She reads the bible and the book of Mormon. She paraphrases bible stories for us. She takes notes on what we say and do, and reads them to us later. She's like our official recorder. We utilized her skills most recently at our party on Saturday. She read us quotes from the party, last night. Apparently, I was drunkenly encouraging people to accept me as their lord and savior. Someone said, there are men in our midst, and something about not having anything against the penis, just not wanting it, etc. etc. etc. Thank you Carissa, for always taking down notes!

Speaking of the party, everyone looked hot. Cops and Robbers, what a great theme, I mean who doesn't have handcuffs, an airsoft pistol, and a leather holster lying around? Ok, so most people don't have those things, but even so, everyone did a really excellent job on their outfits. From Nicole and her fatigue shorts and double holsters, to Jessica's cat burglar, Tristan's bandit and Betsy's police blues. Also, beer pong = happy times.

Um, Greg was fired. He just came in to pick up some things (what? I don't know). Note the time—we thought he just had a really wild weekend. But apparently our temp agency called him on Friday night to tell him that he didn't need to come in on Monday, ouch. Excessive tardiness, a customer complaint and excessive internet surfing. (I hope I'm not next on the chopping block due to this offense. As such, internet activities may be restricted for a little while.) So yeah, Greg = fired. This makes me a little sad because I was actually starting to like him, and we did always walk down to our cars when we were done here. I'll miss that. Meanwhile, he was going to go talk to bossman and give her a piece of his mind… I don't know if he got the opportunity to do that or if he was escorted from the building. At any rate, we are down a person for today.

Um, one of my other coworkers just left. No reason given, he just left for the day, that along with Greg's departure, and another coworker leaving early today is going to make for some hellish times.

Hellish times, in the past hour I took 19 call – the most I have ever taken in a single hour, the previous record had been 14. If the day keeps going like this, and it will, then we are on track for an 80+ call day. Back to back to back. Well, I wished to be more busy, and I finally got it.

With the departure of Greg, and the way that I hear that bossman handled it, I think that my $500 bonus at the end might be in question. This does not please me. I've already spent that money in my head! I want, no need new combat boots! I need the giant pillow. I need lots of random shit that I don't need!

Make that a 90+ call day – that's what we're on track for. I've now had four consecutive hours of 10+ calls. Whew! I am going to be tired and hoarse tonight.

Ok, since I'm not playing on the internet today, I can't really comment on the news, so I'll just have to talk about things I know. Here's one. Salad Fingers is a fucking strange cartoon. Truly deranged. You should all check it out. However, don't watch it alone, and don't watch it right before bed, because you will not, not be able to sleep. Here's some memorable quotes: "The feeling of rust against my salad fingers is almost orgasmic," "I like it when the red water comes out," "Margorie Stewart-Baxter, you taste like sunshine dust…Hubert Cumberdale, you taste like soot and poo!" Um, yeah, check it out. Here's some analysis Salad Fingers

We just broke the record for the most calls I've taken in a day. 75 calls so far, two hours and 17 minutes remain.

"Got it girlfriend."

5:46pmI just beat the expert level of minesweeper in just over four minutes. Go me.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I got a new phone! The owners manual is 140 pages long, fortunately 70 of those pages are the spanish translation, unfortunately it looks like the actual 70 pages of owners manual stuff is completely useless. And my eye won't stop twitching.

I think I might have come out to someone at my offce, quasi randomly.

Ok, KG matters have been taken care of, I'm starting to look through the news and we'll do the roundup, in a little bit.

Dems need to find their unified voice on Iraq. Murtha and Pelosi are on the same page, but Dean has got something different going on, so does Kerry, Clinton, and let's not even talk about Lieberman. For the dems to take advantage of the disarray that the gop is in, they must come up with a unified plan for withdrawing from Iraq. Anything else and the party will remain splintered and we will lose the opportunity to make gains in the '06 election. Not only that, but failing to come up with a plan could cost us the '08 election too. It's the important. Iraq is THE issue. Here's an idea, we cannot just up and leave, and we can't stay forever, let's develop certain goals that would bring troops home, when those are met, we bring them home. Seems so easy, doesn't it?

Ford. Ford recently caved to the religious right and has stopped targeting the gay market to sell certain line of their vehicles. They have also said that they will stop sponsoring gay events. All to forestall a boycott by the religious right and their ilk. AmericaBlog has been following the story and they can explain it more succinctly than I, and how you can make a difference. Make these shitheads think before they bow to a hate mongering minority.

Speaking of hate mongering. Anne Coulter, (ewww, ugh. I feel dirty just talking about her) was recently booed and heckled at a University appearance, she then went on to comment that she loves speaking to audiences stupider than she is. Oh really Anne, really? Can you find alot of crowds like that? I doubt it. Anne Coulter is the personification of everything wrong with the GOP. She spews hate, intolerance, and just blatant stupidity, everywhere she goes. Who could forget her comment after 9/11 about how we should bomb their countries, kill their leaders and convert them all to christianity. Now, that doesn't sound too Christian Anne. And people just gobble her up. ugh I can't talk about her anymore, I need to shower.

Photo of the Day

Originally uploaded by puja.
I know I've posted it before, but it bears posting again. KG on Saturday - headquarters!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Snow sucks. The highways are a mess. I woke up this morning at 8:10, looked outside to see if it had started snowing and if I needed to get up and get ready to leave for work early. There was no snow to be found, so, I went back to sleep for 20 minutes. When I woke again at 8:30, snow was everywhere, shit! So I ran out of the house without breakfast because I knew it was going to take every second of 40 minutes to get to work, and it did. And I couldn't see shit on the way...white out. But I could see the swirls on the road that the snow drifts made...and they were hypnotic. I had to fight the urge to forget about anything else and just watch the changing patterns.

A woman tried to complain to me that she didn't want to go back out to the bank in her area because it was raining. I informed her that it was snowing here. She agreed that I was worse off. At least I've talked to rational people so far today.

I was literally on the phone with that woman for 20 minutes.

Thank you Mr. Thxmas, you just made my day. He said "There's a $3.95 surcharge?" Yes. "well, that's life." Thank you sir, thank you.

Apparently parts of 44 are closed due to ice build up.

Two to two and a half inches on the ground so far. Looks like the system has mostly moved out of the area, so I think the worst that I can expect on the way home is 3 inches. ugh. There are rumors of a 3-lane at a time plow. I would think that they could only use a monster like that at night.

My cubemate brought in a space heater from her house, it's currently blowing warm air across my face. Ahhhh.... 3 inches of snow on the ground.

Photo of the Day

Originally uploaded by ElseKramer.
Girls in uniform...are hot.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

They say it's going to snow 1-3 inches tomorrow, I can only imagine the hell that is going to be driving to work. Also, Greg isn't here yet. Maybe he quit. I've heard rumors that our temp coordinator hates working here and might resign. But we did get a direct boss at the manager level as opposed to bossman who is at the director level, and really doesn't know what's going on with us. So hopefully midbossman will be able to provide some much needed leadership for us.

Good grief, would it be so hard to change 2 lines of the gift card people's training? Orders under $5000 should go to the website, don't try and bring them over here, and just drop them with me. Because all I'm going to do is direct them to the website.

I've seen it again, first at the New Republic, now at MyDD, good reasons why Mr. Obama should run in '08. I'll summarize:

1) By 2008, he'll have a longer political resume than John Edwards
2) for a total of 12 years in elected office
3) He's been improving his national security credentials
4) and spearheading the avian flu response
5) If he doesn't run this year, he'd have to wait until '12 to challenge an incumbent, or wait until '16 to have another go at it, this means 8 more years in the Senate. Eight more years of votes on the floor that the Republicans can twist until Mr. Obama looks like a flip flopper.

I have my reservations about Mr. Obama running, but he may not get another chance. I think that I still support Hillary, but I don't think that she can reach out to independents and repubs. On top of that, she is a huge lightning rod, people love her or hate her, she might drive the GOTV on the repub side, not just to vote for their people, but to simply vote against her. Given these problems, I'm not convinced that any other democrat primary candidate can beat her in the primary...except Mr. Obama, the subject of many a facebook group (see: Barak Obama 08... the only silver lining). Mr. Obama is a powerfully persuasive speaker, engaging, likeable ... everything Hillary is not? He is adored by legions of young dems and I think he can reach out to moderates and independents while maintaining credibility with his own party. I'm not casting my vote for Mr. Obama just yet... but look for him to run, and if he doesn't, maybe he should.
Good Lord this man is moving, selections from his keynote speech at the DNC:

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream, born of two continents. My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be rich to achieve your potential. They are both passed away now. Yet, I know that, on this night, they look down on me with pride.

I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible. Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation, not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago, "We hold these truths to he self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody's son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will he counted - or at least, most of the time.

Don't get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don't expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead and they want to. Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or the Pentagon. Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

A while back, I met a young man named Shamus at the VFW Hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, six-two or six-three, clear-eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq (news - web sites) the following week. As I listened to him explain why he'd enlisted, his absolute faith in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all any of us might hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he was serving us? I thought of more than 900 service men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who will not be returning to their hometowns. I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or with nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were reservists. When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief - I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper - that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America - there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards (news - web sites) calls on us to hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism here - the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. No, I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope!

In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; the belief in things not seen; the belief that there are better days ahead. I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. America!

Tonight, if you feel the same energy I do, the same urgency I do, the same passion I do, the same hopefulness I do - if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you and God bless you.
(emphasis mine)

Never have I been so repeatedly, choked up, and moved to tears.

I swear I just heard a jazz version of TLC's "Waterfalls" while on hold.

She actually just said to me "Buh bye," in that voice, you know the voice "buh bye." And she called me hon. bleh!

So after the article in The New Republic, the blogosphere is ablaze with talk of Mr. Obama. There does seem to be somewhat of a consensus, that he cannot beat Hillary in the primary and that he should run in '12. Personally, I think that is being both optimist and pessimistic, if he ran in '12, that would have to mean that we lost in '08. I'm not ready to concede the '08 election, no matter how weak Hillary is. a) she's not our candidate yet, b) the gop doesn't really have anyone better.

From Shira's facebook profile:
"I just learned that potential employers check the facebook to get dirt on candidates. Thus, i am deleting any incriminating evidence."

Today Bushie addressed a conservative crowd and talked about our 'amazing success' in Iraq. What?!? Is this guy on a completely different plane of reality? He goes on to cite Lieberman (a democrat in name only, at this point), "what a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will,' and, in a famous phrase, 'to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory." What? what?!? WHAT?!? what victory, what defeat, realizing that you cannot accomplish the impossible and arbitrary goals that you set forth in the run up to the war, is not defeat, it is pragmatism. Further he emphasizes the reconstruction efforts, turning on the power, getting the water and sewage systems going....why are these broken you might ask. Oh right because WE BOMBED THEM INTO THE STONE AGE. So, yeah, the now have democracy, and can vote, but many Iraqis are jobless, and don't have power and don't have water, and schools are bombed out and the violence is increasing. So thanks a lot Bushie, thanks alot.

Coca Cola Blak - Coke is releasing a new coke product with coffee extracts -> as if coke needed any more caffeine. No word on what it tastes like, but as mentioned in yesterday's post, the taste of coffee is not pleasant.


Ok, so Rep Murtha respondes to Bushies idiotic speech about how the war is going so well in Iraq.

Murtha: Twenty years it's going to take to settle this thing. The American people is not going to put up with it; can't afford it. We have spent $277 billion. That's what's been appropriated for this operation. We have $50 billion sitting on the table right now in our supplemental, or bridge fund we call it, in the Appropriations Committee. They're going to ask for another $100 billion next year.

QUESTION: Can we come back to the $100 billion? You said that you expect the military to ask for $100 billion. Where are you getting that figure?
MURTHA: Where I get all my figures: the military.

Ahh, I like this guy, and he should know stuff about the military having been in it for 30+ years and being the ranking member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Yeah....he's a dem with credibility. Speaking of cred, here's what he said in response to lieberman:

yesterday: "It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

Murtha today
: "Undermining his credibility? What has he said that would give him credibility?"

Um...I just checked the site stats. Yeah .... apparently at 10:13am, the US Senate Sergeant at Arms ran across my blog .... he used technorati and searched obama .... this is sortof creepy....

And with a cool little tool called WHOIS(compliments of Katie), I've found out his address. Maybe I should call and ask why he was checking out my site?

His name is William H. Pickle. here's a pic I wonder if they've started a file on me... I wonder if he googles his own name. I wonder if they technorati all the senator's names. Do you think they do it every day?

In other (unrelated?) news. Roko has a blog, you can find it here. Looks good.

More on the government spying on me. As of 4:33, Technorati had in excess of 18,000 hits on the search phrase "obama." I cannot go back and see how many there would have been this morning. As I mentioned, the New Republic Article sorof exploded everywhere late this morning, so the hits for obama in the blogosphere are way up. But say there was only 1000, this morning at 10:13, do you think that they sat and went through all of them? Just what were they looking for?

Photo of the Day

sunset over loch ness
Originally uploaded by theparadigmshifter.
"This country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come." -Barak Obama

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It snowed! And I heard that it is 20 degrees colder than normal. Yay! The low tonight is between 8-10 degrees. Fortunately I have to cats to curl up with at night. And a shrink-wrapped apartment. I think that I need to shrinkwrap the window in my room, and the doorway (that is currently boarded up) leading to Jeff's room (who is still MIA after the Thanksgiving Break) because his room is about 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the apartment and the air seeps into my room. Brr.

Meanwhile, I hope that my boss doesn't look to see how much time I am and am not on the phone because my seniors here routinely have me hop of the phones to help them with some software issue, whether excel or outlook. Hopefully they would tell bossman the reason that I'm off the phone so much... oh and the bosses bought us pizza today!

So I just talked with author Tom Clxncy's secretary. She offered to put him on the phone. I said that wouldn't be necessary. We got him squared away after a bit though.

I've heard rumors of things:
1) Rumsfield has gone completely off the deep end.
2) Bushie might nominate Lieberman to replace Rummy
3) Obama may consider a run for the presidency

The first is pretty common in the blogsphere, the second I've seen in a few places, and the the third I've seen once. Rumor and speculation.

I heard this on NPR last week, but here is the link compliments of Audra (link) Essentially a chemical pesticide called methyl bromide was banned by the Montreal Protocol because it depletes the ozone layer and can cause neurological damage. Bush has some how convinced the signatories of the Protocols that the US needs an exemption for methyl bromide because we simply can't do without it. Here's the simplest objection, from the article:
"Once a conventional farmer, her epiphany came one day when she donned protective gear and locked her dog in the car so he wouldn't inhale methyl bromide leaking from a nozzle. 'I thought this was an insane way to make food,' she said"
Uh, yeah. And most farmers objection to the ban is that there is nothing that works as well... uh yeah, but in the end it's going to help kill us all, and in the short run just give a whole bunch of people brain damage -- I think we can find a better way.

So I tried to choke down some coffee today, just because I wanted something hot to drink. Coffee sucks. Also, it makes me jittery as hell, and I only had half a cup. Ergo, I'm going to the store tonight to purchase some much needed hot chocolate. Yeah. I would say Red Bull, but I drank a ridiculous and disgusting amount of Red Bull on Saturday night when the four of us were busy polishing off 10 Red Bulls, a dozen bottles of water, a two liter of coke, two 64 oz Gatorades, 750 ml of Vodka and a liter of rum. Yeah. No more Red Bull for awhile. Well, until Saturday....unless we get that keg...

Compliments of Audra (again), a followup to that boneheaded professor who made the disparaging commnents about fundamentalist christians. (link). Now, I know that I said he was a bonehead, but I didn't think he deserved to get beat.

I kid you not, some guy just told me that he loved me.

Oh god. I not only know the numbers that we most often transfer to, but I also am beginning to learn which sales rep has which territories. I've been here to long already. And now, the have set us up with voice mail, in addition to our named email accounts. Could they be planning to keep us on? Hopefully we'll know soon.

I've just learned that they have also set all of us up with accounts to place orders, and you have to ask yourself, why bother with temps that have just over two weeks left to work here.

Whoops! We've got a new boss, more on that later.

Photo of the Day

Roll ... die.
Originally uploaded by LaserGuided.
Photo association, I look at this and think "domino" even though it is a die, with a pack of cigs

Monday, December 05, 2005

First, it's damn cold out. I think I saw the temperature at 16 degrees. I heard that the windchill was actually 4 degrees. It is amazing though, how much warmer the sun being out can make it seem. It's not really warmer, but it does seem like it.

Second, send Julia to Uganda! My friend Julia needs to raise money to go to Uganda for the US/Uganda Youth Summit in under a month, for a more detailed explanation and information on making a contribution, please check out Trainlove. Please give as generously as you gave to me when I ran the send Jen to Chile campaign. (Sorry, Julia, "Send Julia to Uganda" just doesn't have the same ring as "Send Jen to Chile" shrug, we'll try and get you there.)

Third, there is nothing like spending the day and night camping in the woods to make you really appreciate indoor plumbing. Below freezing temperatures, and half nakedness does not really provide a conducive environment to peeing. I was never so happy to pee inside as when we got back to JZ's house, and it was warm, and cozy.

Fourth, driving 30 miles in the wrong direction is not the best way to start your camping trip. Forgetting the key to the cabin is not at good way to follow up the 30 miles in the wrong direction. Getting drunk and playing board games while half naked. Priceless.

Who picks out "on hold" music? Is that someone's job? On Hold Music Coordinator? Customer Aural Relations? Maybe they should have a job like that, because I've heard some really awful hold music, and I've heard some fairly good stuff. I wonder if it affects the mood of the caller if there is really crappy/good music. Someone should do a study. Maybe someone already has.

WHEW -- 10 calls in the first hour, what a way to start the week. ICK.

The Saga of the Stupid Sales Rep is far from over.
So last week, I took a call from client who had initially called three or four days prior and we had taken her information, but she had not recieved a call back. (The sales reps are supposed to call the client back within 24 hours of us taking the information.) So I pulled her information and emailed her sales rep to tell her to call the poor woman back. in addition, I took the liberty of emailing the client with her sales rep's name and direct office number. The first is standard procedure, the second is my own little addition. A couple of hours after I send the email, the client emails me to thank me for being so helpful. Fast forward to today. I get an email from the clent informing me that we had some information wrong in her account and that she needed it changed before she would be able to order. (Now, when a client is assigned a sales rep, they also get another person that handles the account. The sales rep makes the sale, and the relationship rep handles the account thenceforth. Customer support does not handle these things.) So, after consulting with the former space cadet (who has actually turned into a pretty helpful resource) I emailed the proper person, CCed it to the client and the sales rep, brushed my hands off and went on my merry way. Two hours later, James has me read over a complaint form that he is filling out on behalf of my client. She apparently had called back into customer support because her sales rep had told her that she needed to call me, named me by name, to fix the problem with her account. The crazy sales rep had a) told a client to call customer support, when in reality her relationship rep should have handled it, and b) told her to ask for me, a temp, who has zero access to the systems that contain said information. She is completely losing it. And just to be clear, this is the same rep that emailed her boss last week and chewed us out for not knowing how to do our jobs. scream scream scream

My office has decided that I will be President one day. My "supervisor" refers to me as Madame President, he is my Chief of Staff, I've got a National Security Advisor and a Veep. And bless Greg, Dexter asked him to name five world leaders, and he did it!

Wow, my boss either wants to entrust me with more responsibility or she hates me--she gave me a big stack of things to do, and I'm still working on it.

It's official, she hates me -- basically the stuff she had me do could be compared to solve this 1000-piece puzzle, now undo it, and do it again.

If you need 180 of our product by Friday, why the hell would you wait to order until the Monday before?