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Thu, May. 20th, 2010, 12:01 am
Does this offend you?


Seriously?

I'm astonished that there are millions of people in this world who would gladly kill me for this poorly drawn stick figure. That's what "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" is all about, not looking for ways to upset Muslims, but establishing that we will not be intimidated into following the edicts of someone else's religion with threats of violence. It wasn't okay when Tomás de Torquemada did it, and it's not okay now. The extremists can try to redefine the debate as being about "respect" or "courtesy" but in the end, it's about making me follow their rules against my will.

I hope you'll all take a moment to draw the big M, and stand up for your freedom.
 

Oh, and I'm also going to continue eating bacon cheeseburgers.  



Edited to add: As one might expect, Greta Christina says it much better than I.
http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/05/why-im-drawing-mohammad.html

Wed, Mar. 17th, 2010, 08:27 pm
Happy Amateur Night

I'm sure clever folks like my readers know that St. Patrick didn't drink, but was always up for killing some pagans (or snakes as he called them).   Still, on his feast day, I'm much more comfortable with binge drinking than religious persecution, so let's stick with the popular fiction.  

[raising a pint]
Here's to the memories we'll never remember, and to the friends we'll never forget.


Mon, Mar. 15th, 2010, 05:55 pm
Decisions, decisions...

I'm trying to make a decision and finding myself a bit flummoxed, so I thought I'd borrow a page from a friend's online strategies, and seek out the collective wisdom of my friends lists. 
Smartphone ditheringCollapse )

So please, chime in and let me know what you think.   iPhone fanatics, convince me that I should wait and scrimp and save for the wonders of Apple.  Open Source gurus, dazzle me with the wonders of Google Android, and tell me why any true geek simply must have one.  Blackberry boosters, try and change my mind about the business orientation of your favourite toy.  Are there any Pre fans out there?  Convince me that it's not dying.   Frugal friends, remind me that the Pre will do the job, and that I have better uses for that cash than fancy toys. 

Fri, Dec. 18th, 2009, 03:06 pm
I've got a job!!!

Let the bells ring out, for I am once again employed. (Or at least I will be in January)

It's for less money than I wanted, but it's in my field, and at this point I can't be too terribly picky. So on January 4th I start at B2B Trust. I've liked everyone I met in the interview process (a total of 4 interviews) and I'm looking forward to working there.

Mon, Oct. 19th, 2009, 10:11 pm
Things change in seventeen years

This morning I girded myself for battle.

The last time I entered into the UI offices was 1992. I spent all day sitting in waiting areas (not rooms, just different sections of seats) going from one grumpy person to the next, and all of them did their darndest to wear me down, and convince me that I didn't deserve to get any of the money that I'd been paying into the system for all those years. It was frustrating, humiliating, annoying, and ultimately pointless. I got a job before the first payment was due.

As of last Wednesday, my relationship with my former employer (referred to here has Kobayashi Maru Inc.), came to an end. The severance period ended, and I still don't have a job. I went to the UI website, and filled out the forms. They were full of dire warnings like "If you have failed to [thing I didn't know I had to do] your claim may be denied" And questions like "Why haven't you [thing I didn't know I had to do]?" That one was multiple choice, and didn't have "I didn't know" as an option. I winged it. It also had a lengthy page laying out my responsibilities as an applicant. (I was supposed to keep track of that?) In the end, the site told me I had to submit my ROE. That stands for Record of Employment. Any employer in Canada has to issue one when you leave their employ. I emailed Kobayashi Maru Inc. and was assured that mine was in the mail. [sigh]

Fast forward to Friday, and sure enough, the ROE appeared. So I made my plans for Monday. I would rise early, I would have all my documentation prepared, I would dress for an interview, I would have a good book, an MP3 player, and I would kick bureaucratic ass. I spent a few hours Sunday going through all of the emails and websites of my jobsearch so far. I summarized, and prepared a presentation to prove that I was a good little applicant. I had hardcopies of my termination letter, my application for UI, a list of the jobs I've applied for, the agencies I'm listed with, and the interviews I've been to.

I rose early this morning, put on my suit, grabbed my nice leather portfolio, and headed off to City Hall. When I got there, I got a large coffee at the cafe, and asked the security guard where I should go. She pointed out the Service Canada office, I took a deep calming breath, and ventured into the belly of the beast.

There were two desks, someone was seated in front of one, being dealt with, and the young man behind the other smiled at me and waved me forward. I started to trot out my documentation, but he just wanted my ROE. He stamped it, and told me I was done. No fuss, no muss, just hand it in and have a nice day. WTF?????

I drank my coffee on the walk back home.

Fri, Oct. 9th, 2009, 03:10 pm
A classic, updated.

The webcomic "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal" has been doing little video skits. Most of them have been okay, and the last one (seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlqDu2cDT0A ) amused me, but the newest one is sheer genius.

Sat, Oct. 3rd, 2009, 08:53 am
Weird morning thoughts

How would our world be different if God had sent his only begotten daughter instead?

Yeah, that's the kind of thing that my brain catches hold of just as it's booting up in the mornings.

Would Paul have written more complimentary things about women, or would he have been some obscure scribbler who was never included in the scriptures?

Were women executed by crucifixion? I can't be bothered to do proper research at the moment, but I suspect women were just stoned to death, so would good Christians be wearing a little rock on a chain instead of a cross?

We can still assume that Jessa would have been born into the same society that Jesus was, an impoverished woman in a strictly patriarchal agrarian society. That story about being found impressing the scholars with her knowledge of scripture would have to be changed a bit, or at least, it would be a lot more audacious than it is now.

She probably would've gathered twelve women, rather than men, after all, one woman traveling with twelve guys would have very different implications. Their merry little band of religious rabble rousers would have faced some very different challenges. The church might have developed some much stronger prohibitions against rape, much earlier.

Without some of the more sexist verses in the gospel, women in Europe would have had a much greater role in our society. Perhaps they'd have been permitted to take leadership roles in the church. (I can't see them being allowed to hold land, but I can see nuns and priests switching roles.) Imagine what would happen to European history if ambitious second sons, instead of becoming priests, had to make their way in the world. Would it just be a more violent history, or would be see an earlier and more robust rise of an entrepreneurial middle class? Would some of those second sons become shopkeepers and artisans? (Yeah, I know, I'm being way, way too optimistic.)

What about the world today? How would feminism be different? Might feminism be a Christian movement? These days cutting edge feminism tends to be very secular, largely because the major religions all have some strong anti-woman stuff in their holy books. Wouldn't that change if the Christian church was worshiping Jessa?

Now I think it's time for me to wake up properly and start my day, but feel free to play with the idea if it catches your mind like it did mine.

Wed, Sep. 30th, 2009, 02:45 pm
Awesome in different ways

My last post was awesome for several reasons, this one is awesome for just one, but it's really, really awesome.

Wed, Aug. 26th, 2009, 08:45 am
Sad morning

Last night "Fast" Eddy, my beloved feline passed away.
I wish I could say it was peacefully, but he loved being out on the balcony, and he loved exploring. He fell, and injured himself badly.
I also wish I could say that I was there for him, but I'm in DC for the week, visiting fatesfolly. My dear friends dchip39 and mistress_gir were looking in on the beasties for me, and found him. They rushed him to a vet, but there was little that could be done for him. I asked the vet over the phone not to let him suffer any more.

While he was with me, Eddy became fearless and aggressive. He was confident, strong, and loving. He was affectionate, demanding, and he was my little buddy. He was with me for far too short a time.

RIP buddy.

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