More Than Just Vaguely Disturbing

Okay, I’d like to know whose bright idea detaining Jose Padilla [sorry, I ain’t usin’ his Islamic name … I wanna irritate him] indefinitely without charging him. Something about “writ of habeas corpus” just keeps jumping to mind.

Yes, this is a bit different, but this guy is an American citizen nabbed in an American airport. Give the creep his civil rights and nail his balls to the wall.

Just Exhibit #986281 as to why John Ashcroft needs to be removed from office yesterday.

Piss on Minnesota

Really.

I mean it.

Just piss on ’em.

They had the right idea–make Carl Pohlad, who’s rich as hell, pay for his own damn park, thankyouverymuch–but they caved when ol’ Bud Selig threatened to buy back the franchise this winter. How’d they cave? The state Leg has passed a stadium bill that does the following: “The state would sell $330 million in taxable revenue bonds to build an open-air stadium in an unspecified city. The Twins and the private sector would make a tax-deductible $165 million gift to a state fund that the proposal’s architect believes could earn more in interest than the rate due on the 30-year bonds. Surplus money in a Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission account — some $15 million — also would go into the fund.

The only direct state subsidy is a sales-tax exemption on construction supplies, an incentive valued at $10 million.” [Quote from the linked story, without permission, ©2002 ESPN Internet Ventures and the Associated Press.]

The best quote is this one, from Rep. Mike Osskopp: “All we’re doing is reinforcing that extortion works.”

Yep.

The Rants

I have a case of ’em today.

My telco screwed up my home phone service enough to have me change back to BellSnot, er, BellSouth. Hit the Curriculum Vitae if you want the number. I warn you, I have Caller ID, and I use it judiciously. If I want to talk, I’ll talk. If I don’t, I won’t. That’s just me.

Amy’s dad’s not going to make it much longer. Talked to Amy and Jeff for a bit. It takes me to another time in my life, and all I can say is that it’s just all unimaginable and untransferrable. I don’t know what Amy’s feeling, if she’s feeling anything. All I know is that I can just sit there and listen and talk about whatever she wants to talk about and not talk about what she doesn’t. I think they call that being a friend.

Zits in your earlobe hurt. They really do. For whatever reason, probably because I was wearing earphones and tugging on my ear all weekend, I have them in my right earlobe. They hurt. I’ll be happy when the medication I have for them clears them up. [Sorry, but you get to read it.]

Weird thing … I worked seven hours today. Really odd, considering how dead I feel. But that’s just because I forgot about my weekly meeting with the other IPT team leaders. Dammit, I feel like an idiot.

I have to go to class. I don’t want to go to class. I just want to graduate. I just want the piece of paper. That’s all it is to me. Other than IPT, I’m not learning much that’s going to be useful to me in my brief career as an engineer.

My boss knows I’m going on a job interview next week. I even told him who it was with. I told him the truth, though–they’ll have to knock my socks off to land me. If I wore socks, that is. Might ought to do that for the interview.

I’m really tired, but I have a midterm tomorrow morning. I can’t just collapse when I get home. I have to go study for a while, then collapse. But collapse I shall.

I better go to the class I don’t want to attend. He gets irritable if I don’t go, and I lose track if I don’t go. I don’t want to lose track in this class. It’s enjoyable from time to time, but not particularly useful. Getting back into a rhythm will help me acclimate to being back home.

I’m not making sense. I haven’t made sense all day. But I’m getting paid to be incoherent. Riddle me that, Batman. -wave-

Jay and Silent Bob: Homosexuals or Homophobes?

I always have liked conversation-stopping headlines…=)

This is weird to own up to, but I love watching Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob movies. They’re eye and brain candy–and heck, I laugh like a madman. Yes, it seems a bit odd for a rather strait-laced individual to consider such things uproariously funny, especially when you consider how some Christians approached Dogma‘s satirical tear-down of Catholic theology. [This nice Protestant boy got several, several laughs out of that movie.]

So I’m shocked to hear that GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, after viewing a screeing of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, “were overwhelmed by the potential negative impact for the film with what we would assume is a large share of its target audience: teen and young adult males.” Whatever. Kevin Smith has a great rambling essay on the subject over on newsaskew.com. I suggest you read it, especially if, like me, you find Jay and Silent Bob funny.
Continue reading Jay and Silent Bob: Homosexuals or Homophobes?

Sleep Patterns

After posting my rant on sleep earlier this afternoon, I remembered what I’ve learned over the years about proper sleep patterns. We here at the Indiana Jones School of Management take sleep very seriously, teaching Circadian Rhythm Disorders 171 as an elective for freshmen in their second semester. I’m applying lessons learned in teaching the class, so I’m going to teach it again today and then see if I will follow my own advice again…

Seriously: if you find your sleep out of whack, try the following. It will require you to be off of work and school–or having understanding bosses/teachers–as well as help from your friends and family. But really, it’s worth it.

Reset the clock.

To reset your sleep clock, you’ve got to get out of your sleep debt and then find out how many hours of sleep your body needs on a regular basis. So first, you gotta spend a couple days [I personally suggest the weekend, even if it means missing religious services] sleeping as much as you possibly can in a completely dark and quiet room. This will allow your body to get over its sleep debt, which usually requires two hours of repayment for every hour of debt [your mileage may vary].

Once you’ve gotten over the debt, continue sleeping in the dark and quiet room. By the third night, you should be back to some normality of sleep. Do your best to time this period, from the last time you remember at night until the first time the next morning your eyes flutter at the clock. [If you’re like me and rarely sleep through the night, mark the first time you look at the clock and don’t immediately groan.] That’s what you should aim for as a sleep time, give or take 30 minutes. [For most folks, I recommend adding the 30 minutes.]

Set the clock.

Now that you’ve decided how much sleep you need, you need to set the clock. Figure out when you have to be at work or school in the morning. Time your normal wakeup routine [best ones involve hygeine as well as breakfast, but YMMV], add in your commute time, and add 30 more minutes. If, like me, you can be showered, shaved, clothed, and fed in 45 minutes, and you live just five minutes from work, you want to wake up eighty minutes before you have to be somewhere. [Why add 30 minutes? Why not enjoy waking up rested? Why not enjoy a little morning nookie with your mate–assuming your schedules mesh–or a little mental/spiritual preparation for the day?]

So get a good alarm clock–one that will wake you from a dead sleep–and put it on the other side of the room. No nightstand-topping, snoozebar-slapping for you, bucko. Make yourself walk at least three steps, if possible. That requires coordination, and coordination requires wakefulness. Yes, your family/roommates will be somewhat angry with your alarm clock going for 20 seconds, but you know, if you’re a nicer person to live with, they’ll be okay. =) Set it for your wakeup|commute|mind-prep time, then start waking up at that time.

Obviously, since you figured out in Step 1 how much sleep your body needs, try to go to bed that many hours before the time you just set. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it sucks. You’ll live. [This part is always the hardest for me.] Something that I’ve found to help is to have a go-to-bed routine. Do something, anything, but just make it repetitve. [I like prayer or meditation, but that’s just me.]

Even if you fail to set the sleep time right, get up when your alarm goes off! Since your body likes N hours of sleep, it will eventually adjust you to that time.

Stick to the schedule.

Yes, even weekends. Sleeping in is the worst thing you can do. It’s always better to go to bed on time. If you stay out late, get up at your normal time, putter around for half an hour, and go back to sleep. Why? Your body secretes hormones when it’s time for you to wake up each morning. If you keep to that time, the hormones [heh] will wake you up. [Yep, you’ll get to the point that the alarm clock is superfluous.] If you try to sleep directly through them, your body thinks it’s time to reset the sleep clock. [This is why your first few days overseas suck–your body secretes hormones at the wrong time, and it doesn’t reset quickly. Most of the guys at work note that they change their sleep clock about four hours a night. When you’re in Japan, that sucks for about four days.]

The weekend bit is hard. I try to go to bed early on the weekends, but I’m a 22-year-old male. Seriously, I’ll go out and hang with my friends until past my normal bedtime. If I get up on time, putter, and crash again, I’m okay. If I sleep through…ohhhhh, the headaches!

In the future, we’ll explain how to “condition” your body to need less sleep. Takes time, patience, discipline, and experimentation. I don’t really recommend it, but I do it when needed.

The Phone Is Not a Phreakin’ Toy

Good morning, kiddies! Welcome to my world, where the phone never stops ringing and, apparently, I am never supposed to sleep.

This time, it’s not my darling roommate–he’s sitting out in the living room in some state of chemically-induced nirvana. [What, I’m not sure, and I don’t care.] But the only reason that I am awake at this unGodly hour is because someone is completely unable of grasping this concept:

The telephone is not a toy.

Continue reading The Phone Is Not a Phreakin’ Toy

The Phone Is Not a Phreakin’ Toy

Good morning, kiddies! Welcome to my world, where the phone never stops ringing and, apparently, I am never supposed to sleep.

This time, it’s not my darling roommate–he’s sitting out in the living room in some state of chemically-induced nirvana. [What, I’m not sure, and I don’t care.] But the only reason that I am awake at this unGodly hour is because someone is completely unable of grasping this concept:

The telephone is not a toy.

Let me clearly state this: if you call my residence, and I do not answer, it is because of one of three things:

1. I am not home. This is very often the case.
2. I am asleep. This is somewhat often the case.
3. I am unwilling to answer the phone. This is very rarely the case.

In any of those cases, it is advisable that you choose to leave me a message on my machine. If I am not at home, I’ll get it when I come in the door. If I’m asleep, I’ll get it when I awaken. And if I’m in an anti-telephone mood, I’ll get around to it when I feel like using Alexander Graham Bell’s invention yet again.

But the absolute worst thing that you can do is to call, let the phone ring four-and-a-half times, hang up, and hit redial. To wit, let’s go over the reasonable excuses for doing so:

1. My apartment is on fire, about to be demolished, or is in the path of a tornado. [In any case, calling my cell phone in that case is a better idea. It’ll allow me to talk and run at the same time.]

2. You are a member of my family or are currently the object of my romantic desire, and you have a Darned Good Reason to talk to me–on the order of #1 above.

3. You are calling me to leave more than one million dollars. If so, you must say it like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers, even though I’ve never seen the movies and personally don’t plan on doing so in this lifetime.

Specifically, calling enough times to wake me from a dead sleep–I remember last looking at my clock 90 minutes ago, which means I was just into REM sleep, and if you want to find somone that’s a cast-iron female dog to awaken when he’s in REM sleep, just come live with me sometime–is a very bad idea. I do wish the darling individual would call back so I could let them know just how much I appreciate their entreaties.

[In case you’re curious, I’m pissed off enough that I booted my computer up, which takes at least two minutes because it’s a piece of crap, and had the urge to write about this here on IJSM. Dear reader, let this serve as a reminder that I’m a nasty son-of-a-quality-engineer when I am loosed from the Arms of Morpheus.]

This is Geof Morris…good night!

Awake…for no reason

There are reasons to be awakened at 12:30 a.m. Among them are:

1. Your apartment being on fire.
2. The love of your life calling you on the phone, crying insensibly, waiting for you to listen to her.
3. A family member being suddenly ill.
4. Ed McMahon calling to tell you that the letter wasn’t a joke: you have indeed won a million dollars. Now, get out there on the front porch in the morning, preferably in a bathrobe, and smile for the cameras. Remember: look surprised!

But no, this isn’t why I’m awake.
Continue reading Awake…for no reason

Awake … for no reason

There are reasons to be awakened at 12:30 a.m. Among them are:

1. Your apartment being on fire.
2. The love of your life calling you on the phone, crying insensibly, waiting for you to listen to her.
3. A family member being suddenly ill.
4. Ed McMahon calling to tell you that the letter wasn’t a joke: you have indeed won a million dollars. Now, get out there on the front porch in the morning, preferably in a bathrobe, and smile for the cameras. Remember: look surprised!

But no, this isn’t why I’m awake.

No, I’m awake because my lovely, darling roommate [I’m trying to cut back on vulgarity, though it’s hard right now] called because, well, he doesn’t remember his PIN number on his new ATM card, and could I look it up for him?

I was awakened by the house phone ringing. At this time of night, I’ve learned to ignore that–it’s never for me. If it’s Jared, he’ll call my cell phone, usually because he’s too drunk to remember where he left his key, or something similarly banal. But no, this time he called–four times–on my cell. I had the ringer off [but the vibrating battery was still ringing], and only when the house phone rang did I awaken enough to ring it.

Seeing “3 missed calls” on the phone, I waited to see if a fourth came. I figured, “Hey, the apartment might be on fire, or ol’ Ed may have called Jared out for a brewski or two–ooops, it’s Sunday. Scratch that.” At the point that I closed my eyes, it rang again. Having almost passed into sleepyland yet again, I wasn’t really wakeful, and I was asked to look hither and yon for this.

I’ll be glad when mid-July comes. I’ll be rid of this inconsiderate rube who leaves cigarette butts–many of them–in glasses; wet towels on the bathroom floor; beer cans in the bathtub; cigarette butts in the toilet; the toilet unflushed, routinely; trash in the sink; dirty and clean clothes in front of the washer and dryer. The only part of the apartment that doesn’t positively reek of cigarette smoke and unwashed dishes is my bedroom. I “lucked” into this guy as a roommate a little more than a year ago, and he thinks he’s the best roommate since sliced bread. I think he’s got a few more things coming.

That, and he still owes me $40.

Ugh. Now to see if I can go back to sleep. If he comes in here to apologize, I think I’ll ask him why he didn’t get his lazy sack of skin home to look for it himself, rather than calling me four times. I mean, dang, how hard can it be to realize you’ve forgotten your blasted PIN and decide, “Well, rather than waking up my roommate, why don’t I go home and look for it myself?” But no, he’d rather not trouble himself.

Screw hiim. I know his girlfriend does often enough…