A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


So, I have an admission to make.

I have not been very productive at work lately.

In fact, I have largely been the opposite of productive.

The problem? Distraction and procrastination.

So, I'm attempting to fix the problem (before it gets worse, or becomes a for real problem).

Oddly ironic, though, that I'm blogging this, and spent more than a small amount of time looking on the internet - lifehacker mostly - for productivity tips and such.

So, I'm still developing a strategy, but I have some ideas. I'm now going to link-dump. Maybe you'll see something interesting to you, but mostly, this is for me, so I can refer back to these links.



















I feel compelled to mention that this is not a clever trick by my subconscious, to procrastinate about work by blogging about procrastinating about work.... Also, I know that's a ton of links for stuff, and I'm not trying to give myself an unworkable anti-procrastination solution. Really I'm going for the spaghetti approach, where I look through all of those things, and try some of them to see what works.

I know what by biggest distractions are - my google feed reader, and D&D 4e forums. And wikipedia. My plan with those things is mostly to limit my time on them. I can, unfortunately, spend the whole day wasting time with those things. So, on top of reducing distractions, I also need plans for being better organized and more proactive... time management.


I noted my time-suckers. So that's the "less of", now a little "more of"

I need to do better about:

Cleaning out and keeping track of/organized with email.

Cleaning my desk and office area. It looks like a file cabinet hit a server rack at 200 miles per hour.

Using tools that I already have available to me to better keep track of projects, small and large.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Indiana Jones

Went and saw the Crystal Skull over the weekend with some friends.

Somewhat spoilery thoughts below:

and scroll down, to keep it friendly to feed-reader people

in 3..



I liked it, with all of its flaws. I find myself willing to overlook its many flaws, and accept it as a fun Indiana Jones flick. I can't swing a dead alien right now without hitting five or six insightful blogs with their feelings about the movie, but we've already established that I'm in love with my own opinion...

I think my friends were put off by the alien stuff. I am too, just a little bit, but not enough to be upset, or to have not enjoyed the movie. Aliens were big stuff in 1950's fiction, I'm okay with seeing that mirrored here. Also, we've already had magic (religious) rocks, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Holy Grail. I'm willing to swallow aliens. And I loved the flying saucer. I mean c'mon - a flying saucer!

Like I said - its flawed, and I won't sit here and try to list its flaws. If you haven't seen it yet, and have read this anyway, I recommend going to see it. Just be prepared for aliens and some of the Indiana Jones pulp camp that we've come to love.

Duh duh duuuh duuUUUUUH, duh duh DUUUUuuuh....

Monday, May 19, 2008

What Gives You The Right?

(Post title stolen from last week's episode of The Office, which was hilarious. Why did I steal it for this post? I don't know.)

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain accused Democratic front-runner Barack Obama on Monday of underestimating the threat posed by Iran and ridiculed his pledge to meet Iran's leader if elected.

Since when has dialogue with other national leaders been something so heinous that one candidate "ridicules" another for his pledge to do it? Especially the leader of a nation that is such a potential powderkeg. I get that we're not interested in chatting with bin Laden, but what's with the policy of isolation for Iran? I'm no political scientist, but I seem to recall how isolation on the global politics scale only makes problems worse.

I'll buy that Ahmadinejad is no saint, but I fail to see what we stand to gain by not talking with him.

House Painted

Quick update: House = Painted.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

amazing wall-painting animation

Saw this link on penny-arcade.. Go check it out, fer serious.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So. Frustrating.

So I posted recently, angry about some email forward I'd gotten from someone.

That was annoying... annoying enough for me to post on here about it, and argue the point.

Today, I got an email in my work email, from a coworker, addressed to all users in the organization, that contained a brief message expressing concern about what would happen if Obama was elected president, and a link to a video. The video is a thirteen minute vid that explores Obama's "three islamic names", his link with that nutcase pastor, his refusal to wear an american flag button, accuses him of anti-christianity, antisemitism, and marxism, etc etc etc.

I'm so fucking pissed.

Not only does the content of the video make me froth at the mouth a little, but someone sent it to everyone in the org. I've casually dismissed previous junk org-wide mailings, cause they're infrequent. But this?
I work in a place that leans pretty hard to the right. The company owner is hard core republican.

I don't feel like I can/should reply to everyone and dispute - both because I don't think its good form - and she shouldnt have done it in the first place, but also because I'm pretty sure that I'm solidly in the minority here, and don't welcome any politically-based discrimination or so forth. I don't even feel like I can email her and suggest that she not use org-wide mailings for political stuff, because I'm almost certain to come off as hating on her message.

I'm not trying to be nazi here - I'm down with everyone's right to their opinion - political opinion included. It pisses me off though when its incorrect, or when biased information is shoved down my throat. I try to avoid politics generally. John is right-leaning, and while we banter about politics from time to time, I try to keep it low-key, and am not into shoving anyone's face into anything.

And what's with the hating? I have yet to see video or email forwards about how McCain is the white devil who steals people souls and wants to invade a bajillion countries and hates black people.... So what gives? I'm not saying that we lefty folks are without bile or spite, but I am continuously astounded and horrified at the volume and tone of politico-spin-bullshit that comes out of the far right machine.

If you don't like Obama, and want to vote for McCain, that's fine, it is completely your right to do so, and you won't catch me badmouthing you for it. I can respect someone for not agreeing with the positions and policies that a candidate stands for. Its called reason. I have less respect when your position is "Well he has three islamic names."

Let me sum up:

Don't use your work email to send political messages to people who have not already asked you to do so. Company Use Policy, people.
If you want to send me a note, asking me to consider your candidate instead of mine, that's fine. Please do not spam me with it, insult me, or try to tell me that he is in fact Hitler in a bunny suit. I respect your opinion, please try to respect mine.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Totally Freaking Random

I watched this movie over and over and over again on VHS cassette, complete with commercials, cause we'd recorded it at some point. Eventually it developed sections of the movie that were unwatchable, due to wear and age of the VHS tape. But I loved that movie.

Friday, May 2, 2008



Despite its recent death, I continue to bludgeon the horse

I continue to get (unwanted,) (forwarded,) (ridiculous,) emails from people.

The ones from my immediate family have slowed down. Either I've helped to educate a little bit, or they just quit sending the stuff to me. Either way....

I got one just a few minutes ago from an old high school friend who routinely sends this junk my way. This one was about a fellow who went to a religious panel discussion, where he confronted an imam, and asked the imam if all muslims were supposed to kill infidels, and the imam said yes! OH NOES!

For starters, this isn't true - in two parts. Muslims are not tasked with killing anyone, as far as I'm aware. Also, this even never really happened, at least, not in the way described.

But its more than just being incorrect. That's annoying. If she's sent me an email that claimed that there's a new study indicating that sheep can do complicated algebra, I'd let it go. But its not, it is spreading and stoking intolerance.

I bet that none of the people that received this email from her know a single Muslim. So - what's the harm? They aren't going to go commit hate crimes, right? I'm not really protecting anyone by refuting the email, publicly, to her and to all of the people that she forwarded this thing to, right?

No, I feel like I have a moral imperative to refute and disagree with her. Ideas are powerful. Hate is powerful. It doesn't matter that these people are unlikely to go and commit violence on someone else, based on this junk. They'll tell their friends and family and their children, and it spreads and spreads. These people don't know any better. They don't read about Islam or know any Muslims. So there is nothing that differentiates Muslims from baby-eating blood cultists.

So, I hit "reply-all", and gently noted the snopes link, and commented on how we misunderstood and mistrusted people of other faiths, and that most are just simple folks, concerned about eating and sleeping and working and raising kids, and that religious fanaticism is unfortunately found all over the place, not just amongst Muslims.

So we'll see what kinds of replies I get.

Harrassment in Memphis City Schools?

text of the article:

Take a stand against anti-GLBT harassment in our schools!

In a Memphis high school, Principal Daphne Beasley made an announcement over the PA system demanding that teachers provide her with the names of all “hetero and homo” student couples. Principal Beasley then publicly posted the list in her office.

Two boys – Nicholas and Andrew – suddenly found that the whole school new about their relationship. Worse still, Principal Beasley called Nicholas’ mother to inform her that her son was part of a gay couple. Ms. Beasley also told the mother that she did not like homosexuals and that homosexuality would not be tolerated in her school.

It’s time to take a stand against anti-GLBT harassment in our schools.

Write to the Memphis City school board to demand that Principal Beasley be reprimanded for her actions and that policies be implemented to protect students from future harassment by school staff.

The link at the top contains a button to auto-form and send a letter to the school board people.

Update: Related article- http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/may/02/district-rebuts-aclu-claims/