Saturday, July 13, 2002

07.13.2002 7:18 PM EDT

A lull in the laundry . . .

I looked at a couple of the "blogs of note" and "recently posted" blogs. One I read was written by a loyal Bush supporter, complaining about the fact that people are wanting to take a closer look at the Harken Energy story. Not surprisingly, the blogger in question feels that Harken's a non-story, but we'll most likely never know for sure. What we do know is this: 1) Even though Bush campaigned for Governor of Texas partially on his record as a businessman, it's clear that he was perhaps the least successful oilman in the history of Texas. His main talent seems to have been for finding dry holes. 2) The SEC doesn't investigate you very carefully when your father is the President, and the chairman of the SEC is one of your dad's good buddies.

From what I've read about Harken, the impession I come away with is that Bush was too stupid to have realized that he broke the law. Which is fine, I guess. A recent Rhodes Scholar President had his own problems.

Another thing I've noticed, and I'm not sure why this is, but -- it seems to be an article of faith among conservatives that global warming is bunch of bunk, scientifically unsupportable, etc. On this one issue, more than any other, there is a unity of opinion and a stridency of tone among conversatives on the subject. Why should that be? OK, let's admit that scientists are not unified on this subject. The vast majority belive that global warming is real (say, 98%) but there is opinion both ways. But, why the intense resistance to even cutting back on greenhouse gases, just in case the global warming theory is correct? If it turns out 20 years from now that it was a big false alarm, fine, everybody buy a Hummer, burn coal in your fireplace, and generally have a huge fossil-fuel party. But might it not be a good idea to more aggressively cut back in the meantime?

Eventually, controlling global warming will become a recognized industry, and then all will be well. Conservatives hated recyclling, until a few large companies figured out that there was money in "waste management." And so it shall be with global warming . . . at a certain point, all the so-called "debunkings" of global warming will miraculously be forgotten and/or discredited, GE will get into the "Climate Management" business, and the Big Lie will be complete. . . . I can hear them now . . . . "Global warming is a serious problem. Global warming has always been a serious problem. We must stamp out global warming."

By then, of course, conservatives will have found another issue on which to train their quasi-religious fervor. Doubtless it will be one where 98% of the scientists are wrong, the PC pundits and the liberal press have everyone duped, etc., ad nauseum . . . please guys, save time and jsut haul out your old global warming articles and make the necessary minor changes.
7.13.2002 6:09 PM EDT

So yesterday was in fact his last day. We went out for a couple of beers after work. This was something I wanted to do, but was also my good deed for the day, since he was actually going to stay late at work last night. That was too much for me to take -- steps needed to be taken. So . . . a quick subway ride uptown and there we are at some nondescrtipt bar . . . it's not even 6:00PM when we get there and already there's a group of drunks singing along to Neil Diamond on the jukebox. I hadn't been out to a bar on a Friday after work in so long I"d almost forgotten what it's like.

Anyway -- no e-mails yet. Has anyone actually read any of this? It's really cool that blogging is this new form of free expression blah blah blah . . . but the thought of advertising one's personal thoughts in some way is somehow way too self-absorbed. I actually might say something important here. Really. OK, well, maybe.

And a note to the virus bomber that keeps sending me (and lots of other people, apparently) viruses on a daily basis -- no, I still haven't fallen for the subject lines "picutres of my girllfriend" "a really funny joke" "very cool software" or "message undeliverable." And to the spammers, just so you know -- "make your cock 3 inches bigger" "hot college sluts want to talk to you" "my name's cindy and I just got a webcam" "make big money from home" "herbal viagara" and "lowest mortgage rates in a decade" aren't working either.

Let's see.. . . I think that covers it for now. Laundry is calling as only laundry can.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

07.11.2002 8:23 PM

I'm having a hard time fighting off the traffic to my website after last night's blog. Ummmm, not really. Which gets me to thinking about this whole thing -- who reads this? Is the minutae of people's lives interesting? In a way, I suppose it is -- there is, at base, a story there. And a story always has the power to draw us in, if the elements of it are at all compelling. It helps if the writing is good, obviously, as well.

Anyway . . . so the least I can do is keep telling the story of co-worker and his job situation. Which, for today, has no new developments. Tomorrow will be his last day. But, unlike most situations, I will keep in touch with him after we're not working together any more.

Watch this space . . . and, if you've seen this blog, send me an e-mail at . . . someone is out there, I'm sure of it. OK, I'm reasonably sure of it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

07.10.2002 8:53 PM EDT

Well, OK. My co-worker, it appears, will in fact be jobless after Friday. But there's a chance that he can hook on with another part of the project, out of the reach of the crazy client. That would be good. He told me tha he needs a "win" in his working life. Which, well, I still don't get (see last night's blog), but, if that will make him happy, that's cool.

I make Winamp skins in my spare time (of which I have very little these days, alas). Most of them are based on pictures that I've come acorss on the web. My Winamp skins are of course free . . . they're a labor of love (and besides, the concet of somebody paying for one escpaes me, given that thousands of very fine skins are available on the Winamp site and various other places). Anyway . . . after I make a skin, I e-mail the person in question, along with the finished skin, and ask if it's all right that I publish the skin on my site, explaining that it's not a commercial venture, etc. I do this becasue . . . I am out of my mind, perhaps? Actually . . . I figure that image theft of all kinds is so common on the web that I'll do my tiny little part in the opposite direction. How's that for a refreshingly naive attitude? oh, by the way . . . the skins can be found at but please, keep the kiddies away . . . most of these skins feature "adult content." And please, if ou're thinking of sending me e-mails with virus attachments, please don't bother. I get several every day . . . and any e-mail I get with an attachemnt that originates from someone I don't know, I delete without opening. And no, I don't use the preview window.

Anyway . . . I've only gotten two "no's." In one instance, I was able to talk to the person out of saying no, by making a modification to the skin, and in the other, the person's reason was so compelling and absolute that I couldn't really argue the point. So . . . there's one skin that no one will ever see. Which is an odd thing, becasue Winamp skins were made to be seen and used. But . . . in another, it's sort of cool that there's a skin that only me and this other person can ever use.

The larger question, of course, if why do I go trough al the trouble of making the skin BEFORE asking permission. These do take me some time (10 hours or more, typically), For that one I don't have a good answer, other than that they pretty much alway say "yes." More on skins and stuff next time.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

A strange day. A co-worker of mine (we are both consultants) was let go today . . . well, sort of, he thinks. Our client is crazy, and it wouldn't surprise me if this changes 10 more times between now and Friday (his theroetical last day).

In talking with him, what struck me was that he still thinks/exepcts that every new assignment is going to be the one that really makes him feel good about what he does, fulfilled, productive, etc. It made me think about people's varying attitudes about work. To me, a job is what pays the bills while you're waiting to win the lottery and tell them all to take a hike. I forget sometimes that other people are very heavily invested in their work, in highly personal ways.

LOL . . . I wonder who's the crazy one. . . . well, we'll see whether he really loses his job (I pray not) . . . and whether this assignment changes his attitude about work, or mine, or neither.