Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New pic of me. I dispense these like three times a decade so...

Three things I despise about my job.

1) Being asked "can I ask you a question?" Well, sure, but you really ought to ask me if you can ask if you can ask me a question. Then, just to be positive, you should ask me if you can ask me if you can ask me if you can ask me a question.

2) Asking "how many feet do you need" and the customer looks back like a dog that's just been shown a card trick. But wait, there's more! The answer that invariably follows is "Gee, maybe 25 feet? Do you think that'll be enough?"

To which my reply is always "definitely."

This is my favorite part! For about two seconds they have this sort of internal battle where they can't decide whether to get mad at me for pulling an answer out of my ass about something I know nothing about or at themselves for asking such a stupid fucking question.

3) Affected ignorance. What is this prideful, stubborn insistence on not understanding technology?

Had this woman in a few weeks ago lamenting the demise of that old chestnut; the VHS recorder. She really needed one to tape her TV shows. So I figured, "what the hell" and started to explain that a DVD recorder might be a good solution because DVDs were smaller, cheaper, easier to navigate and the 5,000th play would be as sharp as the first if cared for properly. I didn't get five words into the comparison before she interrupted me with "I'm not a technology person."

I almost said "that's probably OK since nobody asked you to fix one."

Saying you can't learn to press two buttons like a trained monkey because you're not a "technology person" is kind of like saying you can't drive because you aren't a mechanic.

One woman begged off comprehension by claiming she "wasn't a technology queen." Well what exactly is a technology queen? I really want to know. Are there technology princes and kings? How about technology jesters? I bet they'd be funny.

This sort of exchange isn't exactly uncommon but what really set her apart was when I made a parallel between audio tapes and audio CDs. I began by pointing out the "next track" feature of a CD vs. the hit-or-miss fast-forward annoyance of a tape when she interrupted me to explain she not only never used CDs but was completely unaware of this ability.

Ok. So a CD player was sitting right in front of me. I pressed the "next track" button. "See how I can skip from one song to the next immediately instead of having to press fast-forward and guess, later, rinse, repeat?"

Now she seemed flustered because she clearly understood the concept, she couldn't find a way to explain why this concept was confusing, but if she admitted that she "got" the idea then she will have lost her claim to "not a technology person." Heavens to fucking Betsy.

This concept baffles me. She wasn't stupid. It's like a badge of honor for some people. Look, I don't expect you people to know this shit off the top of your head but I have a hard time respecting your ignorance-as-badge-of-honor mentality.

A guy came in recently and asked how to hook up his DVD player. I pointed out the yellow, red and white cables on the back. "Just connect the white jack on the DVD player to the white jack on the TV with the white cable, then the same for the yellow and red." He expressed confusion, said he wasn't a "techie type."

"Sir, have you ever seen a coloring book?"

You laugh. That's what I said.

Me, I'm actually doing halfway decent. Could be better, could be worse. The podcast is picking up steam but trying to do something original, something other than chase the parked media, that's harder than it looks.

Here's a bone.

Last month the Army Corps of Engineers awarded Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root a $385 million contract to construct detention centers somewhere in the United States, to deal with "an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs," KBR said.

Later, the New York Times reported that "KBR would build the centers for the Homeland Security Department for an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space."

Hm.

Monday, February 06, 2006

From 11AM until now -- past midnight -- I have been reviewing the NSA spying testimony by Gonzales and taking notes.

I feel like clawing my eyeballs out. Every time that the AG said he couldn't answer a question I spit a watermellon seed at my monitor. Some of them stuck in very amusing ways. It's hard to take, say, Sen. Sessions serious when there is a giant seed sliding down his face.

I mean even harder than usual.

And to think I took the day off for this.

Leahy was great. Feinstein was great. Kennedy started just fine but then he wouldn't STFU.

The radio show is definitely evolving. Organization is ...way harder than is obvious. I generally line up a week's worth of news, print it all out, read it, highlight it and decide what I'm going to run with. Then comes the ordering, the research and the writing of the show. Then recording it and basically rewriting it all over again because how I write is not how I speak.

Then I re-record the thing, edit, chop out the sound of my ferret rolling balls across the floor, add sound effects for segments that need it. Another hour for listening to the finished product. Upload it, tweak the XML feed and the website and it's done.

Much harder to do than I originally expected. Much harder. I guess I do it so I don't feel like I've blown through another without accomplishing anything. But now I feel like I've wasted the day listening to Congress. *sigh

And while I'm on it, I need a new job.

Might start pimping the show on some of the political blogs (Kos, C&L, Echaton, HuffPo, FDL, etc.), see what happens. It would be both amusing and just a little bit scary if anyone started listening. I despise my own voice.

My ferret should chew his food. CHEW YOUR FOOD!

Admittedly, it's the cutest choking sound you'll ever want to hear but Jesus. It's not going anywhere. It's kibble, Stewie, not a gazelle.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

This is the first and last time you will see me pimp Grover Norquist.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006