Showing posts from April, 2011

Shoe's On the Other Foot

When I first came here, my new friends often grilled me about American politics. Especially prevalent were questions about why and how Americans could re-elect President Bush with all that he did to the American people. For my friends here, who had news people who were more probative and more willing to ask the tough questions and dig after the truth than what was going on in America at that time, it was obvious to them that Bush was up to no good. The lies, the obfuscation, the repealing of Constitutionally guaranteed rights, all this was more obvious and was commented on in their news, even while our news was refusing to do its job.

On May 2 Canada is having a new election. I'm reading and experiencing all that Harper and his Conservative Party people have done recently (broke the law, prorogued (or "shut down") the government to keep from being ousted, lied, gave huge contracts to friends of the government, trying to change the official name of the government to "…

Whose Show Is It Anyway?

This last week's episode of Bones, a favorite of mine, had Bones and Booth heading out to Florida to find a body. Booth then says, "I've got a friend who can help us." At this point, the entire show is taken over by a pilot for a new show about a new character from a different set of books. The Booth and Bones characters (and a couple of others) show up briefly during the episode, and then are back to bookend the "Bones" episode and wrap it together.

This irritates the shit out of me. I watch Bones because I like the show. I don't necessarily want to see the pilot for a new episode, starring new characters and actors.

Now, it so happens that I found the trio quirky and interesting and may give them a chance when "The Locator" comes to a TV screen near us (either this summer or next fall). But the point is moot, as I would have been just as happy to check out the real pilot when they released it and given it a chance on its own merit. The fact …

Civil Discourse

I have read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights a few times. I am a big fan of the Bill of Rights, and have had debates about it. Yet for some reason I never noticed, nor had it pointed out to me, that the Bill of Rights does not actually grant anyone any rights, as most of those with whom I discuss it always believe (and I did, too, until today).

If you read each of the first ten amendments, they discuss in detail what the government, and specifically the Congress, cannot do. Or, more precisely, what Congress cannot make laws to do.

For example, here is the entire text of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Congress cannot pass a law establishing or prohibiting the free practice of a religion. It cannot pass a law infringing …

Work Until You Bleed

If I promise a deadline or a project, or if something happens that causes me to have issues with getting it done on time, I'm more than willing to work overtime and on weekends in order to get the project done on time or as close to it as I can. However, when it is someone else's issue(s) that causes the delay, a lack of support, an arbitrary deadline that someone else has imposed or agreed to on my behalf without discussing with me, or acts of God or similar, then I get frustrated if I have to work OT or weekends in order to, in essence, cover someone else's butt.

My current contract has been too much of the latter lately.
People who have no knowledge of the tasks involved have been promising due dates to the end-client without discussing with me first and there is an abject refusal to change the dates when I bring up objections.My main reviewer has taken a couple of weeks off (2 in the last 6 weeks), plus individual days here and there, which has caused my processes to co…

Character Issues

I'm not sure why the sports world is consistently surprised when those players with questions marks for character reasons go ahead and do something stupid. Some, like Michael Vick, hold it together or hide it longer and better than others, but, at the end of the day, those character issues always creep up.

LeBron James didn't go to college. People never questioned his talent but they did question both his maturity and the group he hung around with. He still hangs around with the same people, he made one of his friends from the old days into his closest adviser, and he has made a ton of poor decisions as an adult just like when he was a fresh-faced kid with all the talent in the world. His lack of education crops up frequently whenever speaking about ... any subject at all, including basketball. Many other straight-from-high-school sports kids managed to continue to read and educate themselves enough to speak intelligently on subjects, why didn't LeBron?

There are a wealth …

Dungeon Master

For many years, I enjoyed being a Dungeon Master/Game Master (DM/GM) for my group of friends who like playing Roleplaying Games (RPGs). I enjoyed the creation of the world, the telling of the story, and the cooperative nature of the games.

I was complimented on my GMing and the stories I told. I don't think I was all that great, but I came at it from a writer's perspective, I didn't let the rules hamstring me if something interesting or cool came up, and I wanted each character, and by extension the player running him/her, to have a chance to shine each session. I enjoyed creating bosses that were challenging to overcome, simple puzzles to solve, worlds and reasons to adventure in those worlds. Most of all, I enjoyed the shared activity of the group story-telling sessions that are the foundations of any RPG.

In my current location, I started as the GM for the group I currently game with. I created a world (or, rather, a valley in which they started, with the intent of fle…

White is a Color

I just took a survey for a prestigious North American company. When the survey got to the question about race/ethnicity, it listed several, including: Hispanic, Pacific Islander, African American, Native American, and Asian, among others. However, it listed "White" as the alternative race to all of those.

Um, excuse me? There were no other colors listed in this section.

Why would a prestigious company list a proper race/ethnicity for every other group and choose not to put "Caucasian" down as one of them? Or, at least, why not write "Caucasian/White?"

This makes no sense to me. White is a color, not a race or ethnicity. I nearly selected "Other" and wrote in "Caucasian" just to make a point.

In an attempt to be racially sensitive to others, this North American company wound up being insensitive to a primary race/ethnicity. Shame on them.