Showing posts from September, 2010

Dinner for Schmucks (Seriously)

If the reports are to be believed, Roy Williams got Dez Bryant back for not carrying his pads by inviting the defensive players to a dinner Bryant was hosting for the offensive players at a local Dallas steakhouse. The grand total as reported is nearly $55,000 for the meal.

Let me give you a moment to wrap your head around the fact: ONE DINNER cost this rookie twenty grand more than the average salary in America. One meal. One. If the entire roster of players showed up, all 53 of them, the nearly $55,000 price tag of the dinner means that each player had approximately $1000 worth of food and services.

Bryant got over $8 million in guaranteed money. He can afford it. But was this prank by Williams the right thing to do at time when most Americans can't afford to go watch these millionaires play a game for a living? During these tough economic times, was it a good idea to flaunt just how far above the people of Dallas these players are in terms of money made?

The question also ar…

Random Thoughts

1. California sent me an absentee ballot for the upcoming November election. They sent me a full ballot, however. Reading carefully, and then going to some overseas voter information websites, it appears that if I use this ballot, even to only vote for the two federal election areas (Senator and Representative), California can claim I am a resident and tax me next tax season, even though I live out of the country. Pretty tricky, says I.

Following up on that, I found the FVAP (Federal Voter Assistance Program) which helps overseas military and nonmilitary personal to vote. When I filled out everything correctly, the ballot I got ONLY had the two Federal selections on it, as I should have received in the first place. So I'll be faxing that in as my vote, which should help me avoid any taxation issue.

2. Looks like my current contract is winding down earlier than expected. I was too fast in doing some of the work (I could have been faster, actually, but didn't get all the trainin…

Working Globally, Struggling Locally

Globalization makes communication difficult. English is currently the "common language" used, but often you are dealing with people who know English as a second, third, or tertiary language, so communication issues can arise. On top of this, you may be dealing with people in multiple time zones and locations, so your window for communicating is narrow.

I have an issue with my current contract. I am in one time zone, the person I am working with is in a time zone 6 hours ahead of me (Israel) and we both are working with developers who are plus hours to that (India). So, basically, I have a window of about 2 hours at the early start of my day to communicate with everyone. Therefore, we use email as our most dedicated system of communication.

However, the developer in India doesn't like to respond to my emails. When he does respond, it is usually only to answer one question out of the 2 or more that I sent. The responses I do get assume a level of knowledge that I've re…

Getting Older

I've noticed lately that it takes longer for my eyes to readjust to not wearing my PC or distance/night glasses when I remove them.

I notice that, similar to puberty, I have hair growing from interesting new places. Why does your body say that it needs to grow hair from the nose, ears and other strange places as you age? Didn't we go through this once already?

I notice that, while I still have enormous issues with sleep in general, I can't stay functional as late as I used to. Which means, on those many nights I have insomnia, that I'm awake but not really able to do anything with that time.

I notice that I get strangely upset each time I see the kids in our yard. Especially when they ride their bikes through/over/across it.

I notice that I don't have the same patience for today's music, preferring stuff from the 70s, 80s, and 90s much more than what I hear today. I also notice that today's music seems to pretty much all sound the same. The other day at Qui…

Living Each Day As If...

I was recently chatting with someone on the instant message service within one of my favorite games. He asked everyone if they "lived each day as if it was (their) last". To which I responded, "No. That can be a dangerous thing for people to do." He became indignant and a bit self-righteous with me, proclaiming that he was doing it right now and it was the best choice he ever made. Everyone should do it; it is so freeing and creates so much love in the world.

The point I tried to make, but his righteous indignation wouldn't listen to, is that not everyone is inherently good.

You see, the catch with people extolling you to live each day like it is your last is the assumption that people are inherently good and want to do good things to others. What if the person who decides to follow that advice is not a good person? What if they are, in fact, a sociopath? A sadist?

There have been a rash of news reports about people going to work and shooting their coworkers. W…

Dreams and Nightmares

This is the dream I had last night. Each time I startled myself awake, I fell back to sleep into the same dream, in sequence, and kept the story moving forward.

I was a detective in a desert community. No pariah or outcast, instead I was a decent detective, well-respected, and involved. However, my one quirk was that I thought a serial "killer" was at work. The twist being that the killer didn't actually kill anyone; instead, this guy serially targeted people, captured, tortured, fed them Ketamine, and lobotomized his victims. He effectively killed them-- they were no longer the people they were prior to his intercession in their lives-- but they were technically still alive.

Soon, my forays into finding him came to the serial killer's notice. He started taunting me in letters, emails, and such. However, everything was just inside the letter of the law for harassment and/or stalker rules, so there was nothing I could do. Soon afterward he started targeting peop…

Weighty Issues

When I saw "205" on the scale, I knew it was time to be more active about weight management. For my height, that was simply too much. While it is true I have mitigating circumstances that help me to gain and keep on the weight, that number had steadily increased over the last three years in particular to an out of control amount.

It's funny, because except for the belly, I don't look like I'm carrying that much weight. The rest of me is normal sized in nearly every way. I just have this suddenly large, round belly on top of it.

Since many forms of exercise are out of the question due to the arthritis I have throughout my body, especially anything that is too harsh on the hands or feet, dietary changes were where I decided to start first. To that end, I have been trying to eat healthier, having snacks of oranges and other fruits instead of chips, ice cream, or chocolate. I've been eating more salads with dinners and as entire meals. Limiting pasta and other ca…