Sunday, December 31, 2006

My Resolution

Rex writes in with the question “Why doesn’t Kanrei blog at his own blog?” It is a great question and I only have a three word answer that will not satisfy anyone, but it is the truth. Those three words are “Company of Heroes.”

For Christmas I got many Best Buy gift cards; $350 in total to be honest. The problem is that there is nothing I really want, so I bought a little of this and a little of that. One “that” is a WW2 real time strategy game called “Company of Heroes” and is one of the best I have ever played. One of the “this” is the DVD set of “Firefly”, a Sci-Fi/ Western that was created by the guy who did Buffy. There are only 24 hours in a day so you can see my dilemma.

My resolution this year is to pay more attention to my blog. It is not just mine any longer, but ours and I have a duty to keep it fresh for you. I promise more political opinions to make your blood boil, more movie reviews of films you never thought to bother with, more details of how video games are stealing my life, and more of those random things that you have grown to love here. I am sorry for being away so much.

I hope everyone is safe and happy this new year. I am in an Iron Maiden song at the moment: Two Minutes to Midnight. Party on Garth!

Friday, December 29, 2006

AP Reporting Saddam Hung

Guess it's over, call it a day
Sorry that it had to end this way
No reason to pretend
We knew it had to end some day, this way

Yes, it's over, the kids are gone
What's the use of tryin' to hang on?
Somewhere we lost the key
So little left for you and me
And it's clear to see

Too much, too little, too late to lie again with you
Too much, too little, too late to try again with you
We're in the middle of ending something that we knew
It's over (Oh, it was over)

Too much, too little, too late to ever try again
Too much, too little, too late, let's end it being friends
Too much, too little, too late, we knew it had to end
Ah, it's over (It's over!)

Yes, it's over, the chips are down (Oh, baby!)
Nearly all our bridges tumbled down

Whatever chance we try, let's face it widened-eye
It's over (It's over)
It's over (Ohohoho!)

Too much, too little, too late to ever try again
Too much, too little, too late, let's end it being friends
Too much, too little, too late, we knew it had to end
And it's over! (And it's over)
It's over! (And it's over!)

Too much, too little, too late to ever try again
Too much, too little, too late, let's end it being friends

By Johnny Mathis

The Last Friday of the Year

It’s the end of the surreal year and not a moment too soon if you ask me. Welcome to the year end edition of “its Friday.” I am your host, Kanrei (waits for applause to die down) and I would like to welcome you to the first probably-won’t-be-annual year wrap-up-over-use-of-hyphens-in-a-title extravagance (waits for laughter to die down). Black ties are optional for this affair, but red frilly thongs are required and all guests will be checked upon entrance (waits for “ooohs” to die down). There is no “going commando” option for this affair, sorry Rex (waits for laughter and applause to die down).

This year has been quite a long year. 365 days to be exact and each one kept adding to the weirdness that this decade has thus far been. I mean it has been quite a while since the last time a Vice President shot a guy after all. Truth be told, there was just entirely too much happening this year to really sum it all up here and there are tons of “Year in Review” articles all over the internet that will do it much better than I. Instead I am going to go in a different direction.

This year was the grand opening of the Kanrei Home for Wayward Lemmings. For about four years I was a chorus member of another blog. I was a part of that white noise that you hear behind every news story that comes out of people sniping from the safety of the shadows; the pompous people who do nothing but could do everything better than everyone else if they bothered. I was the sarcastic smart ass one who points out the folly of everyone else and ignored his own- a rock star in my head and an asshole in reality. I had debated trying to start a blog of my own for some time, but was scared to put myself out there. The safety of shadows is addicting, but I had to try. Six months later and I am still here and so are you and I want to thank you all.

To Serena, Rex. Variant, Il, Phan, Lisa, Joanie, and all the other Lemmings- I hope 2007 is better than 2006 could even aspire to be. I hope you have to strain to think of dreams yet to be filled. I am so thankful for each of you and am so lucky to have met you all. Have the happiest of new years.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Choose Your Own Story: Adventure Two

Today's Choose Your Own Story is not celebrity based at all. Instead I will simply give you a quote from a commander serving in Iraq today and compare it to one made by President Ford 30 years ago. The story once again should write itself- enjoy.

"I have come to the conclusion that this is no longer America’s war in Iraq, but the Iraqi civil war where America is fighting"

This is a quote from Maj. William Voorhies in an article appearing in The New York Times. He is currently serving as “the American commander of a military training unit in Baghdad” according to the Times story.

"Today, America can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by refighting a war that is finished as far as America is concerned."

This is a quote from Gerald Ford explaining why he withdrew from Vietnam.

One last quote: those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it.

Time to thank them for the flowers and candy and come home.

Da-Na-Na-Naaaa: Dorky Power

I am not cool. There is nothing about me that could even be mistaken for cool. The closest I come to being cool is that I love the fact that I am tragically uncool. It is not that I am a square either though. Do not mistake my lack of cool for an over abundance of nerd. I am not smart enough to be a nerd for one thing. I think if I had to pick a title for my social level of hipness it would have to be dork. I like nerdy things without the IQ to reach full nerd status.

Yes, Kanrei is a dork. I love Sci-Fi and cartoons. I play video games and collect toys. The phrase “what a dork” usually follows my answer to the question of “what did you do this weekend.” Over the weekend I watched documentaries on things ranging from the history of the firearm to the various uses for concrete and how it has changed evolution. For lunch today I tried to go to Toys R Us but it was still too busy. Tonight I will continue waging the virtual warfare in 1944 France and love every second of it. Is there any other term for such a person?

The only problem with being a dork is that pressure of trying to explain to people that you are only a dork and not a loser. Many people would assume a straight 35 year old who plays video games and has no interest in dating is a loser and, if it were not a conscious choice for me they may be right, but I have designed my life to be this way. I cannot think of any other way I would be happy to be perfectly honest.

Most people hate being alone, fear having nothing to say, and feel the need to repress their selfish ways. I am the opposite. I love being alone and am happiest when I have not said a word all day. I see no problem with being selfish since I see myself as the only person who will be with me every day of my life. Why not take care of myself first as long as I cause no harm to anyone else in the process?

I am not an asshole and I should state that now. Re-reading the above I see that it can convey that attitude. I go out of my way not to hurt others. Being selfish does not mean I am mean. It just means that I take care of myself. My opinion is the one that matters most to me in my life’s course and I am here to make myself happy. In a nutshell, I do not care what other people think of me as long as I am having fun. For most people that would define cool, but one cannot be cool if one does uncool things.

I am the King of the Uncool. Long live the dorks!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Twas the Night Before Work

Twas the night before working
It is Christmas day
Nothing is open
And I have little to say
I slept very late
All snug in my bed
Without a thought of work
Occupying my head
My refrigerator is stocked
For the stores are all closed
I short-changed myself on soda
I drank more than I supposed
So ration I must
And ration I will
Pouring each glass with care
Not to cause the slightest spill
And I sit on my computer
Cat on my lap
Hair all disheveled
From my long evening’s nap
Sipping my soda
With the greatest of care
In hopes that tomorrow
Some soda will still be there
As I slowly wake up
And the fog leaves my eyes
I start to wrap this up
As I start to realize
I have nothing to say
Except one last wish:
That my soda lasts today
And you have a great Christmas

Thursday, December 21, 2006

An Early Holiday Wish

It does not matter to me what holiday you celebrate just so long as you celebrate it and have the most wondrous time of it. I hope you spend every minute only with those you actually want to spend minutes on and avoid those who will drain you of your good cheer. I hope Santa leaves you and yours everything your heart dreams of and does not leave a hint of coal unless you are cold or were wishing for a diamond. I hope the turkey remains juicy and moist while it cooks and everyone arrives for dinner on time and safely. Most of all I hope that each of us gets a 10 minute window in the store of our choice where we will not have to wait in long lines or settle for something different because they were sold out of our intended gift. In short, may this holiday season exceed your wildest dreams in every regard.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Relapse of a Bad Habit

I did something last night I used to do every night but stopped a few years ago. I am not proud I did it, but I did and it has given me something to write about so maybe everything has a time and place. I stopped doing it nightly because of the shame I felt when people found out I did it, but last night I had a relapse. Yes, last night I listened to George Noory and Coast to Coast AM. I am so ashamed. For those lucky enough to have no idea what a George Noory is or a Coast to Coast AM allow me to ruin your streak of luck for a moment.

The show Coast to Coast AM is a late night talk show that is, obviously on the AM dial and is on stations from coast to coast. It is basically, for lack of a better description, X-Files on the radio. The subjects deal with UFO’s, Bigfoot, religion, government cover-ups and a myriad of other tin foil cap related subjects. Being a call-in show it also happens to be the best freakshow on radio.

Last night, as I said, I tuned in. I think it was masochistic curiosity or some desire to punish myself over perceived wrongs, I am not sure to be honest, but there I was listening in at 10:00 last night and oh my was I treated to the freak calls of all freak calls ever. If it were not for the fact that I used to be a regular listener I would have thought the call a joke, but I know these are the exact types of freaks the show attracts so I knew the caller was sadly being honest to his real thoughts and opinions. This caller was pissed at Christmas. I hope you are sitting down.

The caller, who called himself “JC” was rambling and raving in a very high and shrill voice over the satanic influence of Christmas. He claimed that Santa Claus was actually Satan. It was obvious by his red suit, his desire to take Jesus away from the holiday and, are you ready, his use of material possessions to buy people’s love. Yes, he claims Santa gives children presents in order to distract them from the spiritual by fulfilling their material desires. He claims the tree is a satanic symbol used to replace the cross which is why he hangs crosses all around his abode during this time of year. Just when you thought the “War over Christmas” could not get any weirder or more absurd.

I must give credit to George Noory for keeping this call on the air as long as he did. He was even asking questions to further aggravate this caller and keep him ranting. It was very entertaining and really funny. There are a few people I have come across in the blogosphere that I am convinced are JC to be honest. I think I may need to start listening more often. It is a great source of material it seems.

For the record, if you thought I was talking about some other nightly bad habit you are a pervert.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I Know You Have Seen This Before

But just in case not...

Just let the whole thing play. It keeps getting more and more intense. Total time is only 3:02.

Lazy is Love of Tomorrow

There are few concepts I love more than the concept of “lazy.” I know sloth is one of the seven deadly sins and all, but sloth and lazy are not the same thing. Remember that sloth is an unmotivated undirected lack of anything. Being lazy is a purposeful lack of anything. There is direction to being lazy. The sloth cannot think of anything better to do while the lazy person cannot think of anything they would rather do. To be lazy is to reach the pinnacle of happiness, why does it get such a horrid rap?

Think about how often in your life activities were forced upon you simply to avoid the appearance of being lazy. Our mothers demanded we go outside and play when we wanted to lay down and watch hours of cartoons. Not my mother of course otherwise I would not be the lazy person I am today, but I saw my friend’s parents occupy every second of the day with various nonsensical distractions from boredom. Why? They did not want us to be lazy. Free time would be occupied by chores if there was no will to go out and play, so we were actually punished for being lazy. We forget that laziness is the mother of all invention.

It is true, every single thing we have in life to make life easier is due directly to man’s desire to be lazy. If we end all forms of lazy then we end all forms of progress. Why do we have cars? We were too lazy to walk that far. Why do we have remote controls? We were too lazy to change the channel. Why do we have phones? We were too lazy to walk to the person we wanted to talk to. Why do we have cell phones? We were too lazy to find a phone to talk to the person we wanted to talk to. Every single invention you can think of was motivated by a desire to be lazy.

History books will never speak of this facet because, as I said, to be lazy is to be committing a mortal sin in the eyes of most people, but that does not lessen its impact on progress. The lazy mind has time to dream and dreams become the future. Never disturb the dreamer please.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's Late for a Friday

I know I know I am late with today's "It's Friday", but I have not missed my chance to update yet so here I go. I have yet to miss a single "It's Friday" since starting this blog and am actually shocked about that, but now I must keep it up. Every week I remember is even more pressure to not forget the next week. If you do something every week for a month or so then it might be a short term engagement, but this has been six months so I am obligated. I enjoy it anyway to be honest.

Today we had our official office Christmas party. The party a few weeks ago was just a party for a company we work with, but this time it was our party. Last time I knew no body, this time I knew almost everyone. I also got to just hang out with employees instead of being the boss. It is nice to see them as people and to let them know I am a person as well. I tend to take my job seriously so they rarely see the side of me my fellow Lemmings gets to see. That is the curse of management I suppose.

The party was held in a new hotel in Coconut Grove and was just perfect. We were on the eighth floor over looking the bay and gazing at all the sailboats and the horizon and it was amazing. This was the best party I have attended since joining the company. Probably because this is the first year without the ENT group. They are nice people, but we do not know them at all. The parties were supposed to be a chance for our two groups to get to know each other, but each group stuck to their own so that never worked. This year we decided to just cut to the chase and have just our party. We have grown too big to share a party anyway.

It is a pity I work in an office of married women. When you see them all year in scrubs it is hard to see them as women. Today, with the make up applied and the nice dresses and everything else I notice how good looking our staff is. My G-d how can every one of them be married? They don't care about my blogging so I can say that here and never worry about them knowing. My boss may know, but she already makes fun of me for that fact anyway. There is one, but she is young and I went the 19 year old route once already...

I am feeling the blogging bug so I probably will update over the weekend. I am finding myself with things to say and bugs up my ass (not literally) so, unlike most weekends there should be new stuff here. I did not find a new game yesterday at Best Buy either. Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 is the way to go by the way. See ya soon.

My Mind Has A Mind of Its Own

Is there anything more embarrassing than a Freudian slip? I swear my mind is working against me most of the time. I trust it to keep the internal monologue internal, but not my mind. Instead it has to work it into the conversation I am having. I should have killed more of its cells while in college. Pass the damn pipe. Ok, I will back up a little.

My Sirius went kaput a few weeks ago. The power cable kept blowing my cigarette lighter’s fuse and I got tired of going to have it changed. Ok, I had it changed only once and am lazy beyond belief, but that is not important to this tale. The important thing is that I went today to finally get it installed properly.

I called Best Buy before going to make sure it would not be an all night affair. I am a lazy and impatient bastard after working all day. They told me it would be a nothing job and they were actually rather slow tonight so hop in my car did I. Sorry, channeled Yoda there for a second. I was under the impression it would be a 90 minute ordeal at most.

By the time traffic allowed me to reach Best Buy, there were two people ahead of me, but it was only 6 so I had time. One person was in and out of the store and not around much, but the other person was around the entire time and was bored and was chatty. I mean circular conversationalist talking to hear his own voice chatty. Somewhere in the neighborhood of just would not shut the hell up chatty. You get the point.

It was not even that he was chatty, but he was boring and chatty. I do not care about his home theater system or the one he had before that one. I do not need to know the inches of the screen, the wattage of the speakers, the number of sub-woofers in the room, or the dpi of your old and new television. I do not need to know the intimate details of your weight loss, brother’s dog, or your son-in-law’s finger. Most importantly, I do not need to hear about these things more than one time within a single conversation. Conversation is the wrong term; lecture works better.

I went outside to have a cigarette while I waited. My cell phone was kind enough to let me know I had been there 90 minutes already and there were still two people ahead of me. Usually a cigarette is kryptonite to most people. I assumed it would be chatty boring guy repellant as well, but no such luck. He followed me out and continued the lecture on every wire, speaker, cable, and other detail of his massive system. I was shocked.

In my head I was saying “shut up shut up shut up where is that other person she has not heard this stuff yet it’s only been 90 minutes and I can already repeat the story along with you shut up” but he could not read minds. He had an Energizer battery hooked up to his mouth or something because it kept going and going and going. Obvious joke I know, but it’s late.

Anyway, I kind of slipped up as I told him I was going to go back inside. I wanted to say “I am going to go in, it’s getting humid out here”, but as I said my mind had other plans. Instead I said “I am going to go in, it’s getting annoying out here.” I actually heard my mind fall down and burst into hysterical laughter as my conscious went “oh shit did I really just say that?” That is not like me at all. Thankfully it went right over his head and became lost in the details of his new television and how the screen used to drop from the ceiling in his old house for his projector.

I behaved the rest of our four hours total time together and politely listened to every story of his weight loss, his brother’s dog, and his son-in-law’s finger. The other person eventually returned and joined us and I was saved as he regaled her with his ponderous repetitive tales. I can’t believe my mind did that to me though. I was lucky he missed it this time, but now I know I can’t trust it to keep secrets any longer. He was a boring guy and a ponderous guy, but he was nice and harmless. My mind should not have done that to him even if he did miss it.

Oh crap, what if he is a blogger...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Choose Your Own Story: Adventure One

Every once in a while a story just writes itself. Other times you do not really even have to go that far. Today is an example of the later. I am not going to even write on it, just post it and see if you can see it yourself. It should hit you over the head like a heavy thing hitting you over the head.

From People online comes this story of Lindsay Lohan speaking on the subject of Alcoholics Anonymous. I hope you are sitting down. I am only going to post two quotes from her in the article and the rest should just write itself for you.
"I've been going to AA for a year."

"I haven't had a drink in seven days. I'm not even legal to, so why would I?”

Have fun.

A Lesson to All Future Warlords

Iraq is something that can be turned into a positive, but it is up to every world leader who will follow to bring out the positive there and only time will tell if the positive is learned. The positive is not what you might think it is however. The positive has nothing to do with any of the stated or implied goals we entered into that country under. The positive has everything to do with the historical lesson in pride used as a basis for policy and how the path to Hell is paved with the best of intentions.

There is no doubt that those who planned the war in Iraq really did believe everything they claimed going into it. I really believe they thought we would be greeted as liberators and not occupiers. I really believe they thought the war would pay for itself. They really thought that the Iraqis were so angry with Saddam’s rule that they would welcome anyone who liberated them from his reign. There is also no doubt that these people were so convinced they were correct that they did not even bother with a plan “B”.

What was learned upon taking Iraq was a slap in the face of every Neocon ideal. The Iraqis turned out to be a very nationalist people who were weary of any outsider. We learned the Iraqis are a splintered group of people who were only paused in their civil war because Saddam gave them something they hated more. We learned that the enemy of my enemy is probably my enemy as well. We learned that good intentions are not the basis of policy and that wars should always be the last resort and not the primary option. We learned the dangers of unbridled pride run amuck. We learned that doing the right thing at the wrong time is always the wrong thing.

I think the perfect analogy for the Middle East is to view it is a sweater. Follow me with this. The Middle East is a sweater and each country is a different thread of wool. There was a frayed end on one of the threads, let’s call that thread Iraq. The frayed end was annoying us and posed the risk or ruining the entire sweater, so naturally we pulled on that thread. What we missed was the fact that the thread was holding many other threads in place and now, with that thread removed the sweater we tried so hard to protect is now destroyed by our act of salvation. I never said G-d is opposed to irony. I think it is His greatest of joys personally.

This is the main reason I am such an isolationist. It is not that I do not care for other people or their plight, but that my helping may cause more damage than doing nothing. If they ask for help I am the first one there. I let them know I am there if they need anything, but I never take it upon myself to help someone if not asked. I probably do not know the entire situation. I would be working on assumptions and that never leads to good things. Look at Iraq.

Back to the subject at hand, Iraq in the proper light is a noble and valiant lesson in the value of restraint. If Bush had taken as long to decide about invading as he has about what to do next the lack of weapons of mass destruction would have been knowledge and we would have more that 20,000 troops in Afghanistan.

More pride can be found in the thought that 20,000 troops can do what the Soviet Union failed to do in 10 years. Afghanistan broke the U.S.S.R. as much as Reagan and rock music did and now it is going to break us. The Taliban are even regaining lost turf as we play in the sandbox known as Iraq.

Of all man’s sins pride is by far my favorite one- Al Pacino in “The Devil’s Advocate”

Soldiers die so that other might live in a better world. If the deaths in Iraq prevent the next rushed war then the deaths will not have been in vain. If every nation learns that war is a beast unto itself and does not care about your intentions then they can rest in peace.

If we continue on our proud path then we murdered our children to feed our egos. We cannot undo the death. We can only learn from our folly. I hope we learn.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's a Miami Thing, Part II

This is not a long post. I have said everything about this subject I have to say already, but he has just lowered the bar of discourse once again and I must respond with a quickie.

"I hope to some day return to Miami when it has been able to extricate itself from the clutches of the radical multiculturalists"- U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo

This was said because he claims to have canceled his speech in Miami due to threats. The police say "We're not calling it a threat" and the Rusty Pelican,the place he was going to speak has said: "We thought it was in everyone's best interest if he didn't speak at the restaurant... All the vehicles would make it difficult for clients, and we have a completely packed restaurant, one small entrance way. If you add in 30 TV stations and such, it would have been way overbearing for us." This is true because we could not book our Christmas party because they were booked solid everyday.

So now I must once again say "F*ck you very much Mr. Tancreepo!" The opposite of "the clutches of the radical multiculturalists" is to be under the control of a racist bigot. I will worry about my town and you worry about yours. Denver has many more problems than Miami could ever have.

Here Come the Hypocrites

There is a new video game out and you do not have to worry about me writing about another game, this is different. I have no intention of playing this game to be honest. It is getting bad reviews and just does not interest me that much, but I find the protest that is coming for this game hypocritical. The hypocrites are not my usual target though. This time the ones protesting a video game’s content are on the left.

The game in question is based on the popular Christian book series “Left Behind” and is called “Left Behind: Eternal Forces.” It is a real time strategy game that allows players to join the Tribulation Forces who fight for G-d or the Global Community Peacekeepers who help the anti-Christ and duke it out in the ultimate End of the World videogame for the whole enchilada. There are many groups who want Wal-Mart to remove the game from their shelves due to the fact that this game’s central play is either making people convert to your side or killing them. The game is designed so that the forces of good ultimately win which means the forces of good are being made to mostly kill the non-believers. How middle ages, but I really have no problems with that personally.

I mean I play games where I kill cops and sell drugs and have body counts in the thousands by the time the game is over and I do not believe in any of those things so why should I really worry that a game is having Christians kill their opponents? Is not killing the central aspect of most games and are they not usually based on a popular movie or story? Do we not constantly say that video games have no impact on real life behavior when we defend our GTA and Mortal Kombats? Why then should these same people now be concerned about this?

Maybe it is the Wal-Mart aspect of the equation and not the game or maybe it is the Christian aspect and not the game. Both of these things do tend to bring out the ugly side of the left and this time they are together in one package. Both of these things usually do something to warrant the protest to be perfectly frank, but not this time. Wal-Mart is not the only place selling this game and, to be honest, I doubt real Christians are really in love with this concept either. “Thou Shall Not Kill” does not leave much wiggle room when you think about it. The pseudo-power-hungry fanatics however…

The funny part of this entire story is that people are overlooking the part where this is a multiplayer game. This means one person can play as G-d and the other as the anti-Christ. The G-d side has the advantage of course, but the anti-Christ has better weapons. The game is also getting really bad reviews and is $35, so this is much ado about nothing and this game will be in the cheap bin in no time.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Writing a Post Does Not Mean I Care

I wish I cared about Princess Diana. I really do because it seems like a story custom made for a conspiracy freak such as myself, but I just cannot get into it. Was it the paparazzi who caused the crash or are they just the cover for some multi-national conspiracy to kill off the future Queen of England? I think she would be Queen of England that is, but I never really cared enough to even know that much. Either way, that is just screaming “Kanrei Konspiracy” and I am ignoring its pleas.

There is a political aspect to today’s revelation that the NSA was tapping her phones and monitoring her activities and that sorta gets my attention. The story of the NSA keeping tabs on Diana means that Bill Clinton did use illegal wiretaps just like the right has been screaming all along. The stories of the secret recorders that would trigger when certain words were uttered over the phone are true as well. In fact, now every horror story about the Clinton presidency is fair game and must be considered by any proud wearer of a tin foil cap.

This also moves Bush from the most evil and sinister President ever to just another hypocritical politician who will say anything to get elected and do anything to stay elected. Pity- at least criminal mastermind had an air of intelligence behind it. Now there is nothing left for Dubya other than the role of bungling boob lame duck that followed the wrong white rabbit and took the other pill.

I do not even know which is worse to be perfectly honest anymore because both are horrible. Bush’s assaults on our personal liberties are at least done in the guise of trying to protect us from another terrorist attack. There is even the remotest of chances he really believes the best way to protect freedom is to limit it, I don’t really know. I do know that Clinton did not have the benefit of the same good cover story, so his may be worse, but then I continue with my train of thought.

The truth is that there is no reason as of yet to suspect that Clinton ever did wiretap private American citizens. Princess Diana is not a citizen, was not in America when she was bugged and is a world figure. While England is an ally, I do not know if bugging world leaders is the norm or if this is like the bugging of John Lennon. I just know I wish the story was about someone else because I just cannot put any effort into this tale.

I do not even know why I wrote this much about it to be honest. Insomnia in the form of late night finger babble I suppose.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday Rant: Minimum Wage

It has been a very interesting blogging day today. I have not really gotten into a debate at my old haunt for a very long time, but today was a tad slow in the office and I had some time. The other blog I post to was under a lockdown (damn trolls) so I was at the older place for most of the day. I know blogging at work is bad, but I got everything done that I had to get done today plus some bonus work I did to help the office staff out so it is not that bad really.

The main debate of the day was over minimum wage increases and whether the Federal government really can/should pass laws in regards to this. It was sparked by an article about the 6.5 million people earning minimum wage in America today. That is quite sad and it is impossible to live off $5.15 an hour, but is this really something we want the government involved in? Is this something the government really has the right to have a say in?

It is impossible to say that I oppose a national minimum wage without sounding like some cold hearted Neocon prick, but you must take my word I am not any of those things. My problem is that I am trapped in a literal reading of the constitution combined with a black and white view of the meaning of words. By that I mean the Constitution says what it says and the words used mean what they mean. There is no subjective interpretation to it.

“Congress shall pass no law” for example means just that: that no law shall be passed by Congress in regards to that subject. It means a law supporting it cannot be passed nor can a law suppressing it; it is a Congress free zone. There is noting grey about that nor is there anything grey about the Tenth Amendment when it says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.”

Nowhere does the Constitution give Congress the power to enact a national minimum wage that I can see. It does give Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce in Article One, Section Eight, but does that really apply here? Are wages paid in Georgia traveling to those in Alabama?

Those at my old haunt have argued that it does and that it is the responsibility of the Federal government to ensure a minimum standard of living for all citizens. This is a very valid argument and they are correct in theory, but the Constitution has yet to give the Congress this power. I would support an amendment to give them this power, but I would still oppose a national minimum wage. The government already assumes too much power over personal matters for me to turn my head because they accidentally over-reach and try to do some good.

There is also the case that I am a “Free Market” kind of guy. I assume the business owners know what they can best afford to pay their employees and stay in business. They realize they must pay their people a decent wage or else risk losing their staff to a competitor. Forcing an employer to pay more than they can afford to pay will only serve to put the employer out of business. Before people start saying that has never happened, I can tell you it has because it did to me when the minimum was raised to $5.15.

I was working in a pizza delivery place when the hike was passed. I worked day shift as a cook with one driver and we worked from 9-6. Business was slow, but lunch was viewed more as a service for the loyal customers we had. It did not generate enough business to pay for itself, but dinner and late night brought in enough to justify the expense of opening for the day, until we became more of an expense. Having to pay us more on top of paying the electric, gas, insurance for us, social security, and the myriad of other hidden expenses became more than diner could support. Yes, that tiny little bump made a huge difference to me. He closed down for lunch and did not need me any longer. Yay for the raise, huh?

This could very well be the one in a million case, but since it is a personal experience it colors my view on the subject. I could be so wrong on this that even Bush knows I am wrong, but I cannot help it. I cannot support a minimum wage increase because I have been the victim of it and I fear such a large increase will only multiply the chances of similar stories happening.

I babbled longer on this then I intended so I must end the rant here and let the other subject take up its own thread. I am curious about what you think about this though because I want to know if I am off base on this. I can only learn from other’s personal experiences so please tell.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Good- Politics Bad

I know I am a political blogger who has neglected the political landscape for the last few weeks, but seriously how many times can one person say the same things over and over? Everyone and their mother recognizes that Iraq is in a full Civil War and everyone and their mother recognizes that we must change how we have handled the mess we created…Well, everyone but the person whose opinion on this subject matters that is. Bush is still very deep in denial. He still rejects any talk of leaving Iraq regardless of the fact that that is the only way occupations end.

Right now talking about Iraq is like banging your head against a wall- it does nothing but causes yourself pain. It seems Bush is trying to stall so that Iraq will fail on the next President’s watch to be honest. Just like the Republican Congress has done nothing at all this year and are leaving everything for the Democrat Congress to do. That way they can blame the Dems for their failures because the Dems are the ones who voted for it. They have steered our car towards a massive cliff and are handing the wheel to someone else just as the front tires have left the ground. This way they technically are not the ones driving the car over the cliff.

I am sickened by these pathetic attempts by our leaders to save their historical face at the expense of our future and safety. The Demoncraps are just as guilty of this selfish self-preservation instinct as the Rethuglicans. They have let Iraq fail worse than it had to so they could score points against the right and the right is refusing to change anything because they fostered the country’s “flip-flop hatred” and find that it will hurt them now if they reverse course. The right cannot admit they were wrong in their beliefs of how Iraq would respond to our presence. As a result, we true Americans who love this country are left to do nothing but watch our nation go the path of Rome, Greece, and the Soviet Union- collapsing in the face of pride.

This is why I have avoided politics lately. There is nothing good or positive to be said and I am tired of being negative. There is nothing new and nothing being done to change what is old and wrong. Everyone is so convinced they are right that they will not even listen to anyone else so why bother? I think I hear Pop Culture calling me and offering salvation. Come Britney and Paris….maybe “come” is the wrong word.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Pearl Harbor Day Thought

I posted this as a comment on another blog, but I feel it is worthy of its own post.

In honor of the fallen and those who continue to fall I will not be political today. This day is for rememberance and not fighting from within.

My thanks to every solider who has ever laid down their life so that I might breathe in a better world. We must all work now so that you died for something.

The Sign of G-d

I am back! My head hurts and my nose is a sieve, but I am back. Not only that, but the news today has me converting. Yes, you read that correctly. I am converting because the news has shown me beyond a reasonable doubt that my beliefs have been incorrect and I must adjust my belief system from believing in Evolution to becoming one of the Intelligent Design people.

I know it is a shock and I promise you this is not some aftereffect of my illness typing. I am thinking clearly and know my new beliefs are correct. The news today has given me that last bit of proof I needed and I must thank Taco Bell and New Jersey. They are the major contributors to this newfound sense of clarity.

As many of you probably know there has been an E. coli outbreak in New England over the last few weeks. So far 47 people in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania have been confirmed to be infected with at least a dozen more cases being investigated. Taco Bell has been associated with 15 outbreaks in New York with another 15 being investigated. In response to the outbreak, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred Jacobs has asked that every Taco Bell in New Jersey throw out all of their food and that the restaurants undergo a thorough sanitizing. Fire would work maybe?

I never believed in intelligent design before, but this story is making me second guess that belief. Taco Bell sucks and I have known it for pretty much my entire life. I have never understood how they stayed in business and how G-d could allow such a nasty and foul-tasting product to continue under the guise of being food. Their mere existence was enough proof of a void in the Heavens for me, but now I see I was wrong and G-d was just taking His time.

The L-rd works in mysterious ways indeed and E. coli is His latest ploy. Considering that Taco Bell is owned by the same company that owns Pizza Hut and KFC it would appear that maybe G-d is reclaiming all food in His name and driving out the false servers of nourishment.

All praise E coli as long as it continues to do this noble and needed work without a body count!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ah AH AH...Ah-Chew!

Want to know one of the more ironic parts about coming home from work sick? Sleeping so much during the day that you find yourself wide awake at midnight and still feeling rather ill. My head is killing me and my throat hurts. Can’t decide if I am cold or hot which is really annoying. I have to work tomorrow for a little while as well which means that I am going to repeat this procedure and be wide awake at midnight tomorrow as well.

I know I should call in and I will probably go in a little late, but I must enter payroll tomorrow otherwise a lynch mob forms and I lack the energy to fight them off with my usual whip and chair. Co-workers understand anything as long as payroll gets entered on time. I would have to rise from my own funeral to do payroll. I am so loyal I probably would too.

Suppose if I do go in tomorrow and do the schedule as quick as possible and payroll I can get home by one and that half day with today’s would only make one real day of work missed. I think that is the best plan since I do not see myself crashing for at another hour.

The things I learn at work are perfect for these situations. I must sit in my room, but not in bed. I must, after typing this, turn off my computer and listen to the radio, but not music. Music is great for most people, but it tends to energize me rather than relax. I tap my foot and drum with my fingers and imagine the band performing in my head. It keeps me up for hours.

I find talk radio works best. It is more like someone telling me a bedtime story. Discovery Channel is the ultimate as long as they are avoiding those damn Wedding Stories or Adoption Tales. Court TV is my back up. Political talk radio is worse for me than music is. I actually start arguing in my head with the host or callers. And I fear silence so there has to be something in the background.

I think it is time to try and sleep again so I bid you a good night or good morning depending on when exactly you are reading this. I really hope I get a full day work in. I am out of documentaries on my Tivo.

One last thought...funny thing about being a blogger is I can tell you the last time I went home sick was September 22nd. Funny statistic, huh?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sick of Monday or Sick on a Monday?

I am awake, alive, and ill. My lovely and wonderful co-workers decided to share the illness that has been causing them to call in sick with me. They seem to have wanted me to know they were, in fact sick and not faking it for the holiday season. Let me just say that I finally believe you. Next time a simple doctor’s note will due just fine. I do not need to experience the germs to know you cannot work.

It hit me like a ton of bad mood bricks right in the middle of Saturday’s party. I went from social and happy to lost in Bejeweled in exactly ten minutes. Bejeweled is the only game I have on my phone and it helps me concentrate on something other that feeling ill. It helps usually, but a party is not the place to be lost in a game. As my slowly increasing drunk co-workers got more and more social I got more and more anti-social and ill. I wanted to go home, but I hitched a ride with my parents to the party (I always get lost) and was trapped there.

No I am not a pathetic loser who goes with his parents to parties. It was a company party and I work for family so naturally they were invited to the same party. With gas prices being what they are and the party being an hour away it made more sense to just go together. I just did not want to ruin their good time with my illness so I went to a bench and played my game instead of saying I wanted to leave. Like I said in my weirdness challenge post, I will put other’s happiness ahead of my own.

It was a great party and I wish I had the energy to enjoy it. I should have the energy by the time we have our party. Jessica out did herself this year as always hosting it and made sure everyone had an amazing time and felt appreciated. She is the life of that office.

There is so much happening in the world of politics today and I lack the energy to really dissect it to the degree these things deserve. Bolton is leaving the United Nations when his recess appointment ends this year and Rummy seems to have written a bomb of a memo before resigning, but I just don’t have it in me to do these stories justice yet. Instead I want to crawl back into bed for a few more hours until this pounding in my head passes. Sorry I abandoned the Lemming House this weekend. I slept.

Happy Birthday Phantom who had his on Saturday. I was at the party and could not post here, but I was celebrating your day at the party as well.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fried Day

It has been a weird Friday today. Not so much a bad one as just a roadblock intensive one. I have managed to confirm all my techs, but not all the techs I needed so we have to cancel some patients this weekend. It is noting that is my fault or the tech’s fault: they are really sick and it would not be fair to the patients to give them a tech who possibly could give them a cold. Come in for insomnia and leave with the flu is not exactly the marketing we are looking for. I do feel bad for the patients though who must be cancelled. It is not fair to them to be honest, but this is something that happens.

Most of the techs came down with their sickness over the last two days so people who were going to work this weekend cannot now and those who could have already worked so much that it would burn them out to work more. That does not mean I did not ask and even try to bully them into doing it, but it means I understand and sympathize with why they cannot. I try guilt and I try to bully once and, when those do not work, I move on and let them know it is ok.

Three patients are not really that much to cancel and we are really not canceling them so much as trying to move them to another night. The scheduling girls HATE me right now though for the chaos I have brought to them. I am not the cause but I am the messenger and I am being shot for the news I bring. Canceling patients is not fun at all and I know that. They are going to be yelled at by at least one patient for canceling them last minute. I have offered to help, but there really is not much I can do to help them short of being a tech myself and letting them keep the patients, but that is NOT going to happen. I am clueless as to what a tech must do and do not have the patience to deal with patients.

On the bright side….there is not one. Well, maybe that I only have 90 minutes left today, but I am not sure that is true. You know Fridays have a nasty habit of giving me a 4 o’clock surprise. Pray for me and I will for you….deal?