Thursday, June 28, 2007

You know, if it weren't for that pesky Iraq thing, I think I would sign up for the reserves. I mean a $20k enlistment bonus looks pretty sexy for one weekend a month, two weeks a year - and I like to shoot guns.....but alas, there IS that pesky Iraq thing.

Pride weekend. The one weekend in the whole year that all the gays come out (so to speak) or the woodwork - all 100,000 of them. We started Saturday and Mokabe's for breakfast,then Pride then watched the cards game on tv (we would've watched it at the game, but they inexplicably moved the game from 3pm to 12pm....and our tickets were driving in from Indiana, so no live game for us), but then we went back to Pride, returned home for some delicious enchiladas and mojitos, then blue margaritas, then Novak's. Novak's was as packed as I have ever EVER seen it. We waited 45 minutes to get in, the line was literally around the block. and it was entertaining, if not a bit claustrophobic...afterwards we went to after and rounded out our night with some spudsters - delicious mashed potato bits deep fried and dipped in cheese. yum yum. and it didn't matter TOO much that it took the waitress damn near forever to run our debit cards. I was exhausted upon getting home.

Annnnnnnddd, my sunburn has mostly gone away, and by gone away, I mean peeled off. sad.

Jen and I are going to take fencing lessons. Love it, love it.

Ummmm. I just took at nap at my desk. The phones are slow, the day is gloomy and my eyelids were heavy heavy. I don't really want to be awake, and I could kill for some chocolate, just a piece, just one.

The Neverending Call
Last night, I was stuck here until 7pm, even though the call center closes at 6pm. Why? you might ask. Because a client called in at 5:55 and said the dreaded words "I'm having a problem with my upload." These are the most hated words in my department because there could be any number of problems with their spreadsheet that is preventing it from uploading it correctly - and I can't see the spreadsheet. Inevitably you have to have them email you the spreadsheet and you have to pore over it, looking for that stray comma or out of place period that is causing the problem.

All these thoughts flashed through my head when she said "I'm having a problem with my upload." Knowing that I couldn't put her off until tomorrow, we started in on the spreadsheet. After about 15 minutes, I realized why I had recognized her company name. We had received an email earlier in the day warning us that this woman might be calling in and that she needed to be handed with "kid gloves" and rightly so, I suppose - it was a $250,000 order. At that point, I knew that I definitely could not put this woman off until tomorrow.

So we attempted to load her spreadsheet with 1000 entries, no go. We tried 100, and 10 and finally, just one. After several minutes, the one entry uploaded. Now, this process, this whole uploading thing, should take only a minute and a half, tops. But this one entry had taken three minutes. If that held out for the entire upload, we would have been waiting for it to upload for over two days. Lucky for me, I was able to talk her into waiting until the next day, that one of my colleagues would call her back after speaking with IT, and finally I was able to get off the phone. This was at 6:30pm. Then, I had to write a long, detailed email to my boss and this woman's handler so they could be apprised of the situation. I finally left work at 6:50pm - and if you think that I am not going to charge them for over time, you are very very mistaken.

So this morning, when I get in, I have two emails in my box with such glowing praise as " Sounds like you did a great job of keeping the client comfortable and explored many options. Good work!" and "she had great things to say about your willingness to assist her" and " This has been a sensitive client and you contributed to restoring that relationship last night". Go fucking me. I win.

Now they just need to fucking hire me, thank you bye bye.

UPDATE: That giant order, from last, placed on a credit card, for a quarter of a million dollars....was declined - they're kinda freaking out here.

Meanwhile, the world is falling apart.

Inherent Contempt
The White House is refusing to honor the subpoenas that Congress has issued and says they will not turn over the required documents and Sara Taylor and Harriet Miers will not be testifying before Congress. So they basically sent a giant FU back to Congress. It is my fervent hope that Congress does not take this lying down, does not agree to a negotiated settlement, does not send it to the DOJ to be prosecuted (we know how that would turn out) but instead, grabs their balls and hold them in inherent contempt. Here's your primer on inherent contempt:

"Under the inherent contempt power, the individual is brought before the House or Senate by the Sergeant-at-Arms, tried at the bar of the body, and can be imprisoned" until they comply. The inherent benefit is that you don't have to take the contempt charges to the DOJ, the matter can be resolved entire "in house."

Chairs of SJC and HJC respond:

Leahy: "This White House cannot have it both ways. They cannot stonewall congressional investigations by refusing to provide documents and witnesses, while claiming nothing improper occurred."

Conyers: ""This response indicates the reckless disrespect this administration has for the rule of law....At this point, I see only one choice in moving forward, and that is to enforce the rule of law set forth in these subpoenas."

Click your heels three times and say it with me "inherent contempt, inherent contempt, inherent contempt."

A conservative calls of the impeachment of Cheney - just go read the article - The title: Impeach Vice President Cheney. Subtitle: The Vice President has run utterly amok and must be stopped. read it.

In other news the Supreme Court has gotten all wacky lately, they've:

1. Gutted campaign finance reform.
2. Restricted a citizen's right to sue the government over tax-payer money going to faith based institutions
3. Restricted the free speech of students
4. Gutted Brown v. Board of Education.

This is what your vote for George W got you. This will be his only legacy. Pray, Pray for a democratic President and Congress in the next election. Intrade puts the probability at 53.8% Dem President, 77% Dem Senate, 80% Dem House. This does not mean that you should not donate and donate frequently.

Speaking of donating, Q2 is coming to a close soon, so if you have a favortite candidate, and you want to give them a boost - now is the time to do it. Speaking of donators, Obama is approaching 250,000 unique donors. That number is HUGE. Even if you don't know that he's your guy, go give $5 and be part of history. As of 5:00pm, he had 248,370 unique donors. That's more than 6400 that have signed on today. And I'm one of them! go go go let's have a little gorbama, a little alobama

Oh, and the immigration bill was shot down....again.

Fifty high school students were at the White House to be honored as Presidential Scholars, instead they delivered a message to Bush himself. Don't let America stand for torture. Even kids know it's wrong...dummy.

Gore beats all dems in New Hampshire polling, posting a 6% lead of Hillary.

The New Orleans Disaster
Ok, CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) just released a report based on 7500 pages of information they requested through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request that they submitted shortly after the Katrina disaster requesting information on the governments long-term planning of a hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast. Most importantly, they found that the government did not follow their own recommendations. And when Bush said that "no one could have predicted" that the levees would not hold...he was lying. flat out lying. Key findings:

Critically, CREW found that FEMA had created a "Southeast Louisiana Catastrophic Hurricane Plan" (SLCHP), which forecast a range of specific consequences, including:

* New Orleans would be flooded with 14-17 feet of water, the levee system inundated with at least 10 feet of water and the hurricane would move into Mississippi;
* One million people would evacuate, but flooding would trap at least 250-350,000; and
* Each hurricane victim would require a minimum of two Meals Ready to Eat, one gallon of water and eight pounds of ice per day.

The SLCHP included plans to:

* Evacuate residents and position resources pre-hurricane;
* Provide power, water and ice to hurricane victims; and
* Provide short-term shelter and longer-term temporary housing.

Hmm, and what happened when Katrina hit?

Levees breached, New Orleans flooded, hundreds of thousands of people stranded - left without food, shelter and water. Now tell me that this is not an impeachable offense. The government's own report said that given a strong storm, New Orleans could drown and drown it did, while the PRESIDENT was on vacation. click your heels together and say it with me. George Bush let an American city DROWN. Your word to keep Americans safe (from terrorism) means nothing when you cannot prevent a humanitarian disaster on your own soil.

Romney's Dog
Apparently, 25 years ago, on a 12 hour car trip with his family, Mitt Romney tied his family's dog carrier WITH THE DOG INSIDE to the roof of his car. The dog spent 12 hours in the carrier, and ultimately defecated on the back of the car. Romney stopped at a service station, hosed down the car and the dog and continued along his merry way. Romney may well have been breaking the law by endangering the animal - not to mention transporting the dog inhumanely and cruelly. Sadly, it would appear that the statute of limitations has passed. what a wanker. who straps their dog to the top of a car? why didn't the dog ride in the car? why didn't the luggage ride on top of the car? why, if you couldn't fit the dog, did they not leave it in someone's care while they went on the family vacation? what the fuck?

Original article
Times covering it

And now Russia seems to think that it can claim large areas of the North Pole - including it's minerals, diamonds and oil. uh-huh.

And I'm going to get myself rained on tonight.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I have been a terrible person, what with not every updating anymore. I have no real explanation for my long absence, other than I was burned out. I had (and have) been reading so much about politics and the world, I was just too sick to write too. Thus adventures time was taken over by my new hobby of chainmail making, of other website surfing, of reading, anything but writing at adventures. That was very bad of me, because I have missed it.

I have thought to myself, on occasion, "i should write about that", like how i always get a chuckle when reporters say "sunni on sunni" or "shia on shia" it's just a little to close to "girl on girl"....and yet I have not written about it. That will stop. I think I can manage to post at least once a week - so fear not adventurers. I have returned, and hopefully I won't be disappearing anytime soon... on to the updates!

Work news:My boss today told me that I should have my resume to her in the morning and that it was just a formality, so I think that means that they might actually, for real, hire me soon. This means for me, retirement plans, insurance, eligibility for bonuses, maybe a raise, a different schedule, etc. Incidentally, the entire team might be moving to different positions within the company, making me the senior client support rep - that alone should get me a raise, because they won't be paying out everyone else's salary from this sections payroll - and I have been here for almost a year, and I was here for 6 months before that too. I think I definitely deserve the MOST that they will pay me...

Meanwhile, I got really and stupidly sunburned on Father's Day on account of going out on the river and not thinking that I needed any sunscreen. I promptly fell asleep on the boat and awake with a mighty sunburn. You know it's bad when your forearms get sunburned. You know it's bad when you get chills for three days. You know it's bad when you look purple. Note to self: wear sunscreen.

I saw an excellent concert in chicago two weeks ago. Check them out, both the opener Smoosh and the main event The Pipettes. Smoosh is a pair of sisters on the keyboard and drums. The keyboardist is 15 and the drummer is 13. They are excellent. The drummer does not stop grinning the entire time, and she is GOOD. You will find yourself grinning along with her.

The Pipettes are a three female singers backed by a four piece band. They do 50's style music and dancing and wear variations of the same dress. their songs will get in your head and never leave. Look out for "We are the Pipettes" and check them out if they get within 300 miles of St. Louis What else?

Gray Matters came out on DVD the other day, I know Katie will be thrilled. Using our shiny new Blockbuster online membership, we were able to take one of our mailed movies and return it to the store for a free movie rental, and thus we rented Gray Matters. Despite being incredibly awkward at times, along with hitting you over the head with public service announcements, I liked it - and found myself, at times, laughing out loud. But I still like Imagine Me and You, better. This could be because IMY had better actresses, and Gray Matters had Heather Graham. Shrug. I like to see mainstream gay movies - and like to see them have three shelves at Blockbuster. Go gay movies. Heard about any new ones that are in production?

I love Afterellen is the special place I go to when I'm sick of political news, or random news, and I just need some quality gay. on to the news in a nutshell:

Iraq - still blows (up. quite literally)Yeah, we're still there. Still getting blownup. Still not helping matters. But, conservative pundits and Bushie insist that we should know if the splurge has worked by september, why will they know in september, no one seems to know. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Congress is planning on taking a two month vacation while we continue to, oh, get blown up. Thanks guys. But, not to worry Dear Mr. President, they plan on passing the "oil revenue sharing plan" before they go. It seems like that plan would be good for Iraq, but in reality the only people that it's good for is the big oil companies. no surprise there.

Alberto Gonzales - still thereDespite the continuing scandal, the AG refuses to leave and Bush refuses to fire him. He's now been implicated in trying to coach a witness, trying to get the signature of an incapacitated man to authorize an illegal program, and repeatedly lying under oath to Congress. And yet, he refuses to leave. Expect this story to have legs well into July, former White House consul Harriet Miers and Rove deputy Sara Taylor have both been subpoenaed to testify early that month. I'm buying popcorn.

Presidential Race 2008 - still early

Romney - also hanging in there, polls around 10% though, intrade puts his support at 20%

McCain - somehow holding on. even though national polls now peg him at about 10%

Giuliani - he's seen gains over the past few weeks,but has lost frontrunner status nationally - 27% intrade 29%

Thompson - hasn't quite gotten into the race yet, but the GOP think they've found their man, stripped Giulinai of his FR status nationally - 28% intrade 30%

Clinton - going strong, holds a 10% lead over her nearest competitor nationally, and 20% intrade

Obama - flubbed an attack on clinton, came off looking like the bad guy, 29% intrade 27% national

Edwards - having trouble catching up, nationally 16%, intrade only pegs him at 5%

Gore - hasn't entered, still a rockstar, some national polls have him defeating all GOP challengers, intrade puts him at 10% look for a boost from Live Earth on 7/7

Bloomberg - just switched to Independent, could very well make a well-financed 3rd party run. do not be fooled and do not vote for this man, switched to GOP when it was convenient, supported BUSH and the Iraq debacle.

meanwhile, there was that whole missile defense thing in europe. basically we want to put missiles in old soviet satalities and point the missiles at Iran. Russia isn't too keen on this plan because we'd be putting missiles on their doorstep. cue bush throwing a hissy fit.

Palestine is now Palestine and the Islamic republic of Palestine.

And cheney thinks that he is now the FOURTH branch of the government