A month has passed, and you have quickly been cheated out of seeing my most recent march updates, including my famous "drunken" update. I guess you'll just have to check out the archives, if you care enough.
I don't really have much to say, but I feel like I owe you, my reader, at least something. Life has been lately unremarkable, but not bad, in the least. I love the car, and the initial expenses will have passed soon. I still have to pay sales tax on the car, which will instantly pile up credit card debt for me, which I will steadily pay off over the next year or so. Brian has been tweaking his page a bit, making it easier on the eyes, for people who use Internet Explorer. In browser news, the April-first build of Phoenix is almost a perfect browser: fast, compliant, pretty, fun to use, and packed with great features. I highly recommend you go and install it today.
I made a slight update to the site, in particular, in the way that images are shown, on my pictures pages. I have hemmed and hawed for as long as I've had this page, about how to get it to look like it should , for all the ignorant, lazy, or evil people out there who continue to use Internet Explorer. It's such a monument to bad, unchanging, unimproving software that they(Microsoft) have officially removed themselves from the World Wide Web Consortium, an organization dedicated to establishing web standards, so the web, and the means of viewing it, don't wind up in the hands of one company or organization. Web technologies continue to get more and more exciting and capable, yet Microsoft sits complacent, holding down over 90% of all web users, keeping them from being able to see that which the internet is capable. For this unfortunate 90%, I have placed a browser snoop on some of my more enhanced pages that will redirect IE users to a crippled, scaled-back version of the actual page, while users of basically every other web browser will be shown the actual, enhanced content, as I intended it to look. This is currently evident in the Ireland pictures page, and more cripplings will ensue
This weekend, daylight savings began, and the Royals extended their season-opening winning streak to five games. Brian and I were at the game, as can be seen in the pictures section. We had a very good time, though it was not as warm as we would have liked. Brian spent a good part of the game physically shivering, and after a while(after the beer wore off) so did I. I have been working on some new features for the site, and have worked the new thumbnail preview mode into my page-generation script.
Work is a bit the same as it has been in previous weeks, except that it looks like we probably will be getting shift differential, under our new organizational heading. Another change that will soon go into effect is that the supervisors from my shift and first shift will be switching shifts. Neither of them appear to be overly excited about it, though it'll be a new set of opportunities for both of them.
Guster is this weekend.
Brian and I dodged a bullet today. Quakecon has been moved from its incumbent location in Mesquite, TX, to a new, bigger, arguably better one, in downtown Dallas. This news was released on the Quakecon website, and I wasn't as diligent in checking the site as I normally have been. By sheer luck, I checked the site within 24 hours of when the new location was announced there, and managed to reserve an executive room on one of the higher floors of the 42-story hotel, for a very good price. You, the reader, can expect regular updates and pictures from the event, from me.
It is confirmed. We now earn shift differential at work. With a nice addition of $6760 to my annual income, paying for my car wil be a lot easier, and also will help with just about everything else. I went out for dinner tonight with Joel and Susie, to whom I will lend my help tomorrow, in their move back to the Bellerive, where I live too, happily. Guster awaits tomorrow night, in Lawrence. It will be fun, and stuff.
It's tax day, and I quite deliberately waited until today to put my remittance in the mail. Man, this has to change. I don't see it as anything but theft, and as it literally punishes people for being productive members of society(and hence keeps some people from working), it is only counterproductive. Enough about that. I got a new chair yesterday, and I am very happy with it. Brian and I are going to Peoria for Easter, this weekend.
I just read this article, and was awakened annoyingly out of the incognizant trance I had settled myself into, regarding Congressman Gephardt, his colleagues, and the opinion of the average voting American. As no one will deny, this country is still quite entrenched in hard economic times. I tend to think things aren't that bad, but that's just my opinion. I have talked to plenty of people who seem to think that the economic angel of death will not have passed us over until sysadmin jobs are growing on trees again.
Richard Gephardt, the Missouri Democrat who is seeking(and will probably get) the nod from his party to oppose the President in next year's election has stated that he opposes the President's tax policy, and says that it isn't doing anyone any good. He purposes to repeal the cut, either in part or in whole, and instead dump inexcusable billions into a healthcare system that will perform almost as well as the education system our government subsidizes.
As my affiliated party says, government has fouled almost every non-governmental entity they have put their hands on(education, unemployment, medication, retirement, highways, etc). I see no reason why they would improve healthcare, in spite of the rest of their failures. But, this entire paragraph is tangential, and is not at all the larger issue I wish to address. I just wanted to make a point that our government is really really good at wasting your money.
The piece of that article that bothered me the most was not something new to me. I have seen it before, but I have never fully responded before, because I thought that mention of such idiocy would be dispelled by most properly functioning minds. Unfortunately, the media have an agenda, too, and is in general pretty well in-line with the agendas of folks like Congressman Gephardt, so they continue to "itemize" a tax cut in dollars, as an expense. An expense! Well, this is an irretrievably stupid thing on which to report, and refer to as "objective journalism."
Income taxes are collected each year from all the little corners into which the Internal Revenue Service has lodged its swarthy grasp, and never once has anyone been able to precisely predict what the total fruit of that legalized theft is, until the money has been counted. Now, politicians and news agencies alike have been "objectively" predicting how much money will be made by the federal government, as many as ten years prior to the actual occurrence of the tax collection, much less the income being earned! That isn't smart journalism, and it isn't good planning. It's pure idiocy.
Against an increasingly unpopular President, and with the media behind him, Congressman Gephardt wants to increase taxes. There are some nice things that he might be talking about doing, but I don't think they will happen, and they won't make a lasting impact on the nation's economy. I refer to reducing/eliminating income tax for the lower/working classes. It is a crime against humanity that these people's incomes are taxed at all, and further, it makes no sense, as their share of the total amount collected is negligible, compared to the highest-earning 10%. However, to offer these people tax relief will not jump-start the economy like putting extra money in the hands of people who start companies and employ these people. Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that the lower classes are paying taxes needlessly, and that that needs to stop, but 1) Gephardt won't do it, and 2) it wouldn't help the economy as quickly.
To elaborate a bit, I will state that when economic prosperity happens, the most successful catalysts are the large moves. The most obvious sign of economic depression I can think of is unemployment. It is directly proportional to crime, substance abuse, suicide, and a good number of the rest of our country's problems. When a large company comes to a small town, or an impoverished neighborhood and opens a facility that offers good, reliable, numerous jobs, the people who get these jobs fill with what is called "consumer confidence." As a result, they buy homes, cars, and send their kids to college. All of this puts even more money back into the economy, and the cycle keeps repeating itself. However, the initial, concrete catalyst was the large company coming in, and employing everybody. If these people are taxed heavily, they do something that even lower-class people do: they stop spending money. Extra, disposable money is the cornerstone of any healthy economy, and tax increases ensure that disposable money is in short supply.
Now, Congressman Gephardt is talking about commiting a double-whammy, against the prosperity of our country. If elected president, he plans to back out of a tax reduction, and pour nonexistent money that he predicts, along with CNN, will somehow exist, into programs that don't work, and will only damage the current healthcare industry, and hence the economy at large. Madness.
I thought about naming this little ditty "Dick Gephardt is an idiot," but I thought better of it, because that would be absolutely untrue. I find that Democratic leftist thought is generally caused by one or a combination of two things: ignorance and evil. Proposing what he proposes, he obviously has no idea what he's talking about, but he's still willing to lead America hopelessly deeper into recession. For that, I name him evil, and probably ignorant, too.
Easter was nice, and I got just about enough sleep to feel slightly less than horrible. Brian, who gave up drinking anything but water for Lent, was enthusiastic about going to get beer on Saturday night at midnight. Therefore, we came home at 3 AM, and felt like zombies for much of the next day. We enjoyed a good long sleepy trip back to Kansas City. I took a couple pictures of Peoria, which I will post here soon. In a bit of last-minute planning, I will be heading to Nashville, this weekend, while Brian pays his lady-friend a visit in Baltimore.
They are telling us that we definitely will be changing our location to somewhere in the damned state to the west of Missouri, even though there really isn't any reason for us to move. Our control room is getting cramped, but it seems to me that there are three main reasons for this problem. One: the room is massive, and we only use a small portion of it. Two: We have five massive projector screens that serve no real purpose but to show usually inaccurate realtime statistics about activation and system status, in small, blurry text. These screens, bear in mind, will not exist at our new location, but management doesn't seem interested in getting rid of these screens to save us a move.
Third, and most importantly, our group is pointlessly divided between 'Enterprise,' and 'Renaissance.' The differences between the work of the two sides are cosmetic, and provide no real basis for separating people into 'teams.' Alas, we are separated physically, and the Renaissance side, which keeps hiring people, is basically out of room, while the Enterprise side is perfectly comfortable. If there was no division, and everyone who works here did everything, it would be easier to 1) carry out our operations, and 2) lose people, which, despite repeated assurances from management, will have to happen.
I will stop ranting now, but I think I will email that text to management.
Because one, I have started to feel my belly fold when I put on a seatbelt, and two, I have no original ideas, I have decided to stop putting off losing weight. To motivate myself, and to give you something entertaining to read, I will chronicle the experience, week by week, on a new section of bahua.com.
I just ran for the first time. I'll tell you more about it in May. Southwest Airlines broke my camera. It makes me sad, frustrated, and angry. At the moment, however, I feel nothing but relaxed fatigue. Work should be interesting.