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July 29, 2005

Employee Discount

I can't imagine how incredulous I'd be if I worked for one of the US auto manufacturers right now. I mean, with these "employee discounts for everyone" deals I keep seeing on the ads, I hope they all got five grand in cash as a replacement perk...

But really, the most insulting manufacturer has to be GMC. They have this ad that features a bunch of employees saying things like "I designed the best truck..." or "I innovate" or some such lofty claim of being a pioneering engineer.

Only problem is, if you take a close look at the captions, none of those people are engineers! Not a single one. They're all marketing and advertising or whatever. If I were a GMC engineer, I'd be pretty pissed off now. I mean, these schmucks are taking your credit!

And really, the bottom line here I think is that when it comes down to it, these discounts just aren't that impressive. Something like you get a $35,000 SUV for $28,000. Sure, a 20% discount... but I'd like to think that with any decent amount of planning around the model year, good negotiation skills, and a little luck, you could get something pretty close to that without this discount. Now if they gave discounts like the software industry gives, that SUV would be $3,500. Hah.

I'm glad I don't work for an auto manufacturer, that's all I can say.

July 26, 2005

Lunch Meetings

Be it resolved that henceforth, any meeting taking place during the noon hour (local time) must include food and drink, provided by the proposer of the meeting, at his or her (or his or her corporate budget's) cost, for all participants of said meeting.

Furthermore, any parties inconvenienced by the meeting, such as friends of participants who were counting on that participant for their own plans, should be duly compensated by having their lunches paid for at the cost of the proposer of the meeting or his or her corporate budget. This compensation should be regardless of where the inconvenienced parties choose to have lunch, and should be in the form of cash or cashier's check within 24 hours of receipt of an expense report detailing such cost.

The penalty for failure to meet the requirements of this law is that the proposer of the meeting shall be responsible for providing $100 (USD or local equivalent) meal gift certificates to the restaurant of the participant's choosing, anywhere in the world, for all participants.

This law takes effect immediately.

July 7, 2005

Slackers II

So my office building has one of those ADA-inspired or -mandated (not sure what the law says, exactly) automatic doors for folks with disabilities. The idea is that if you're in a wheelchair or crutches, you can come up, hit this big button, and the doors will automagically swing open for you. This is probably extremely helpful to those people who cannot otherwise open the door themselves, and I applaud our building management for being so considerate/within the legal requirement.

What irks me is that people who clearly do not have physical impediments preventing them from operating the door without mechanical assistance use this button. Okay, I can understand if you have a stack of books or a couple of coffees in your hand... sure, pressing the button would be easier than balancing everything and then pulling or pushing on the door.

But otherwise, it's kind of sad. Like just today, I was behind a 6 ft. tall guy, pretty well built, walking without any noticeable limp on his own two legs, with two arms that appeared completely functional, and he uses the button. Which, by the way, has a big blue handicapped sign on it. I mean, the guy probably works out at the gym every night, but he can't trouble himself to use those muscles that he works out to tone. Have you no shame? Right.

And then there's the people who press the button behind me when I'm already in the process of opening the door for them. This annoys the hell out of me because once the motor gets engaged, the door is actually slower to open than if I just pull/push it myself. So they're actually actively slowing me down and being complete lazy bums.

Of course, all of this makes complete sense in the context of America as a whole. We are a nation of shameless, lazy bums, yes we are. Man, I'm feeling proud today.


So J works at a software company where the norm is that people waltz in at 10 AM and leave sometime after 6 or 7 PM. Certainly this is not unusual in the software industry, and in fact, it's something that I envy a lot. I am forced by corporate mandate to work a standard 8 to 5 day. I can attest that it is infinitely more painful to do the 8 to 5 than the 10 to 7. Infinitely. Think of it this way: every minute before 10 AM that I have to wake up causes an infinite amount of pain. So 180 minutes times infinite pain...

Anyway. That's not the point of this particular rant. I've learned to deal with stupid society dictating when I'm supposed to wake up. What is appalling to me is that there are people there who she is concerned see her as slacking because she works 8 to 5 instead of 10 to 7.


You fucking slackers, I say. As far as I'm concerned, you have never worked a real day in your entire life if you have not experienced the pain of waking up at 7 AM to fight through ass crap traffic, and then having to fight the idiots again on the way home. So here's someone who actually chooses to work real hours and how on earth can you possibly have to gall to think that you have the moral high ground? Must be Republican. Ah, right. Fuckers.

July 1, 2005

Resolutions Revisited

Now that we’re halfway through 2005, it’s time to revisit the resolutions I made back in January and check on the progress. I can’t believe that half the year is gone, but man, looking back, I’ve come a long way and there have been a lot of accomplishments and changes...

Summit Mt. Rainier. Not yet, but I am trying to do a 2000 ft. ascent every week for training. Watching my nutrition better. Yes, I’ve been eating pretty well and in general have no complaints here. Getting into the same shape I was in during soccer season in high school. I’m in better shape, I think, than I’ve been since college, but not quite high school. Still working on that. Learning how to not die on a mountain. Not yet.

Play a lot of volleyball. Check.

Play a lot of soccer. Check.

Keep getting out more. I think I’ve been doing okay on this, but there’s probably room for improvement. Building Friendships. Yes, one in particular, but I should probably endeavor to build some relationships outside of that one like ones at work, and just other friends who are in the area who I don’t hang out with regularly.

Continue the Resistance. I’ve been grossly negligent on this. I haven’t even blogged about political and social issues lately. But there has been a lot of negative movement in the direction our country and our world is going, and I need to redouble my effort here.

Not be so averse to dating. Check.

Rediscover my love of photography. Check. I got the Nikon D70 back in January, and have taken it on a number of trips and have shot a variety of subjects. I think a huge catalyst for this was J, because she’s such a good sport about me turning her into a supermodel.

Nurture my love of music. At the behest of friends, I’ve gone to a few good live music shows, and of course attended a couple of recitals and symphony performances as well. I’m still pretty averse to actually buying music but I have picked up a few titles recently, mostly salsa music to dance to. Make music again regularly. Well, this has been pretty bad. I should get around to this. Karaoke all night. This, at least, is a check. A very big check.

Travel. Check. At mid-year, I am at 59,987 Premier qualifying miles. That’s all I need to say. Visit old friends. Well, I’ve been doing a little bit of this, but not as much as I should. Had a good “ski” trip back in March with an old friend, and of course hit up Italy to visit the N with the J, which was a lot of fun. I’ve also been splitting some trips to visit family and J’s friends and family, and it’ll continue to be like this the rest of the year.

Hang Glide. Shute. Grossly negligent, again. Achieve my Hang 3 rating this year. This won’t happen unless I get off my arse now.

Keep playing poker for fun and profit. Check. I did take the month of May off to blow off some steam, but I’m back baby.

Host more parties. I’m going to check this even though I haven’t actually had a party at my own place since January. I have, however, been responsible for at least part of the planning for a number of parties since then, probably about once a month or so, in fact.

So in general, I’d have to say things are very good right now. Certainly not perfect in terms of meeting all my resolutions, but hey, there’s still a whole other half of the year left.