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Showing posts from February, 2005

Thursday Thoughts

I had another post for today (concerning how to reverse the trend of outsourcing), but recent events led me to make a new post. I'm sure I'll get the other one up sometime soon.
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Human beings have a split personality when it comes to other human beings. We want to think of ourselves as unique even though most of us are more similar than different.

An “emergency” came up at work today. Because someone did not follow the procedures, a few needed documents fell through the cracks and a client was complaining. I had to stop working on my existing projects, change gears, find out what was wrong, address it to everyone’s satisfaction, and then go back to what I had been working on. No one could see that this “10 minute change” would take me a lot longer because of when it was occurring, how long it would take me to figure out where the task was, get it fixed, then go back to my previous job and figure out where I was, and what I was doing before I was interrupted. When I asked one…

Thursday Thoughts

I love it when it rains. Matter of fact, I love any type of weather except for wind.

It’s raining today, the slow, steady drizzle where each drop is about a foot apart and falling in near vertical symmetry. The kind that you can almost imagine could last for days or weeks at a time. It’s light enough that the rain hasn’t turned the world cold and dark, but overcast enough that you can look at the world through lids half-lidded from contentment. The only thing better is the overwhelming silence that encompasses a thick fog.

This is the type of rain that thoroughly soaks the ground and enriches the soil on which it falls. A few weeks back we had a deluge, which super-saturated the ground, caused a bunch of flashfloods and mudslides but then washed into the sea and was gone. That kind of rain is purely destructive; it doesn’t last long enough to be enriching and it is powerful enough to cause destruction.

I think what I like about the slow, steady sprinkle is that, as it nourishes the soil,…

PDFs of Existing Printed Work

Wizards of the Coast, the current publishers of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game system, have started to release their books in PDF for sale. These books, which cost $29.95 for the largest (the Player’s Handbook) to the smallest (any of the new “splat” books), are being sold in PDF for the exact same costs.

The publishing industry has for years claimed the main reason the price of books has gone up is because the rising cost of paper, printing, binding, and publishing. If this is true, then why would a PDF of an already published work cost the exact same amount? In a PDF you don’t have the same advertising costs and there are NO paper, binding, or publishing costs. These are not new works, but ones that have been publish for at least 2-3 years each.

There are inherent differences between an electronic book and a printed book. For example, you can only use an electronic book online or you must incur the cost of printing and binding the book yourself (and considering the cost o…

Valentine's Day

Dove used to make a pink, plastic heart filled with heart-shaped chocolates. I believe they called it Dove Desires, or something similar to that. A few years ago, for two years straight, I received one of these Dove plastic hearts from an anonymous person on Valentine’s Day. No one, not my office-mate, not my other friends and coworkers, ever copped to being the person who left that gift for me.What made it more interesting was that whoever left the gift had replaced every instance of the word ‘Desires’ on the card and label that came with the Dove treat with the word ‘Fantasies.’ As the card had a very steamy little description (I remember something along the lines of “Indulge your Desires”), replacing the key word with another had an interesting effect (now it reads “Indulge your Fantasies”).To the best of my knowledge, no one else at the company received that particular gift under those particular circumstances. And it only happened those two years.So, now, every Valentine’s Day I …

Thursday Thoughts

Technology is both a boon and a bane to our existence. We have the means now to store, track, research, and resolve most any question or concern that we have, however, that same capacity also limits our creativity, personal knowledge, and memory.

The television and the internet have made the world smaller and allowed us to get more information than ever before. Conversely, they also provide for biased information, the spread of hate and intolerance, and skewed views of the cultures and people presented. Both tend to cut back on a person’s creativity, attention span, and ability to focus. Cell phones, PDAs, and related gadgets keep us connected in a way never before imagined. The need to stay connected also allows students to cheat in school, rude behavior toward others to predominate, and an increase in information junkies who are addicted to their connections.

This conundrum is at its worst in the arena of politics. All across the globe, leaders and would-be leaders use these devices…

Thursday Thoughts

I have enjoyed Smallville again this season, after the crap-fest that was most of last season's episodes. On last night's episode, however, the situations that came up really caused me to notice the inconsistent ways that the writers of that show treat their characters and past experiences.

Clark, for example, has many opportunities where he could easily reference situations from the past where he was right to follow his instincts, where the person in question did "get better," and where everything was a case of mistaken identity. Yet, when his parents are uncharacteristically harsh and accusatory over his relationship with Alicia, all Clark can manage is a stupified look.

Chloe, of all the characters on the show, should help people keep their facts straight, yet she was one of those who is on the bandwagon for accusing Alicia as well. Granted, she did not go as whole-hog as Lana, but she did give Clark some grief over Alicia.

Lana has been through so many of these s…