Turf Marking

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Things you need to know:
  • Some posts, or the links they contain, are NSFW. This is your only warning.
  • This blog serves the cause of my freedom of speech, not yours. I wield censorship like a 10 year-old boy who just found his father's handgun.

Friday, July 21, 2006

I'm a complicated man. No one understands me but my woman.

Who Should Paint You: Salvador Dali

You're a complex, intense creature who displays many layers. There's no way a traditional portrait could ever capture you!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Last week, I attended a public lecture by the very man who invented the term "power nap," Cornell University professor and researcher Dr. James Maas. His research and presentation have convinced me to take sleep hygeine a lot more seriously. I figured if his advice was credited by Sarah Hughes to help her win the gold medal in the 2002 Olympics (apparently, she's come down every fall since then to visit his Psych 101 class, gold medal in hand), it was good enough for me.

Maas's solution--eight hours of sleep at the same time every night. "Can't do it," you say? Well, like anything else, it's going to take some shoe-horning, to say the least. But, if a then-budding professional figure skater can make it work, I can't imagine what excuse most of the rest of us has.

Check out his stuff, all backed by current scientific research.

I can only say that after 4 days of implementing this, I've noticed a significant change. It's not a "magic bullet" for a quick energy boost, but I just don't feel like an utter zombie anymore.

The most facinating bit of research, the specific bit that helped Hughes in 2002, was a brand new finding around that time. (This might be of specific interest to Guru Mushtaq, if he hasn't heard this already, though I wouldn't be surprised if he had). Between the sixth and eighth hour of sleep (sleep that 71% of us cheat ourselves out of, according to the University of Chicago), the brain uses calcium to help cement the neural pathways to preserve practiced motor skills.

Getting adequate rest before and after learning only helps you retain it. And, not only that, the 71% of folks who think they're "getting by" have brains that are functioning just a little better than those of untreated narcoleptics and sleep-apnea sufferers.

That opened my eyes--or rather, closed them for 8 hours, every night for the past four nights. I've concluded that I don't have the time NOT to sleep like I need to be.
If I wasn't on a watchlist before for openly mocking what passes for Homeland Security in the State of Ohio and spreading it around, then I must be now, after this.

Doesn't it just want to make you bang your own head on the table?
(Maybe it should be "Semi-" at this point? Maybe, "Bi-"?)

I know I've taken a different version before, but it never hurts to re-assess.

Which Doctor (from Doctor Who) Are You?

You are the second Doctor! You act the part of the clown quite well. However, this is merely to mask your massive intelligence and catch your enemies off guard. You have a fondness for music, even if you're not particularly talented in that area yourself. You'll face a variety of monsters before your through, and have a great time at it.
Take this quiz!

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Doctor Who, Series 2 is now over. It was good, and light years ahead of the old series in every conceivable way. It didn't keep me on the edge of my seat as much as Series 1 did, though, until the last story arc and the episode "The Girl in the Fireplace." I agree with what Neil Gaiman said--that episode deserves a Hugo.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I sent a link to the blank version of this to Mr. Ellis earlier this evening.

He put it up about 10 minutes later. I hate to malign my home state, but idiocy is idiocy.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

There are moments when I miss Ohio. And, there are moments when I'm truly, truly ashamed.

Apparently, this is a form from the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety's Division of Homeland Security that one fills out nowadays when anyone applys for any sort of public service job. Steve-o got one, and was understandably incensed. Note his response.

I fully understand the "why." But, are they serious??

"Hey, maybe--just maybe--the terr'rists will slip up and turn themselves in!"


Yes, this is real--here it is.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Good! Use your aggresive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.

-Emperor Palpatine, Return of the Jedi

So, the benefits office at the Big Red school on the hill made Error #2 concerning my health benefits. The first error was simple, easily understood, and more importantly didn't cost me much in time and effort to fix. This new error could potentially cost me an extra $170 per month for the rest of 2006 unless I get it fixed now. On top of that, I'm utterly mystified as to how a mistake like this could be made.

Now, I'm sure the benefits office will do their utmost to correct the mistake. But, I also know how bureaucracies work. Corrective action is slow, especially when other bureaucracies are involved, and never painless for the person seeking remedy. That's no one's fault, really--just the way things are set up oftentimes.

I'm pretty much prepared to make someone's life a (metaphorical) living hell come Wednesday. I have not only my righteous anger, but documentation to back me up. I am utterly in the right--SO right that should they ask (as most bureaucracies will) for my indulgence and patience in the corrective process, I could tell them to kiss my @$$.

I've lined up my paperwork. I've lined up the sorts of verbal and non-verbal behaviors designed to keep them off-balance, and I've done most of the homework necessary to know about their chain of command, and whose name to drop if I had to. I'm prepared to go in there like Chow Yun-Fat with two glocks (Metaphorically speaking!!!).

I know about 75% of the folks that read this will say, "Damn straight! This is your insurance, you can't mess around with that. Fcuk them!" Heck, at least 20% of those folks would advocate me going in there and reciting Al Pacino's speech to Kevin Spacey in Glengarry Glen Ross. ("I don't wanna hear siht, and I don't give a siht!" "Your excuses are your own!") But, I know some of you may rightly ask, "What, you've never made mistakes? You've never incurred someone's righteous anger?"

I have to admit that yes, I've done both and repeatedly.

Some may ask, "Doesn't that give you any sympathy for the poor slob whose day you're bound to ruin--some schlub who was unlucky enough to get assigned to fix a problem he/she probably had no hand in causing, whatsoever?"

The unfortunate truth is, not as much as I used to have. Yes, I've shown sympathy and mercy. But, as I become involved in more and more things where the stakes get higher and higher--insurance for my family, money matters, etc.--the more inclined I am to use every means at my disposal, fair and unfair, to get what I need done.

It's all become a simple equation, really. I can either accept and shoulder some of the burden (that I don't deserve) as the bureaucratic, corrective process takes effect, showing understanding and sympathy to all involved. Or, I could use--and abuse--my modestly extensive knowledge of how bureaucratic systems work. I could raise holy hell, use all sorts of psychological verbal and nonverbal strategies, drop names, involve supervisors and higher ups (You know I've shmoozed with the ones in my area since Day One, for just such an occassion.) until I get what's legitimately mine, probably causing someone at least some amount of psychic damage for the sake of expediting the process. Let's face it, the squeaky wheel, etc.

It's perfectly reasonable to ask, "What would Jesus do?" It's also just as reasonable to wonder, "What would Jesus do if he had a family to take care of in a world of rising health care costs?"