Quiet.

After a weekend of being relatively unplugged from the Internet, I shared this tweet this morning:

Please stop being outraged. Listen, consider, and breathe before you tweet. This is my new mantra.

Scanning through my Twitter timeline I realised that a good chunk of the content was people shouting. Now, some have good reason to shout, as I have several Twitter friends that work in some role with the U.S. Government and they’re going on nearly a month without a paycheck. That’s a really good reason to shout. They get a pass, and more.

Other than that, there were too many people shouting from their digital rooftops about how awful Trump is, how terrible the events in D.C. were this weekend, and how ridiculous Rudy Giuliani is.

I’ve been an avid tweeter since 2007, taking a few breaks here and there. At one time it was a good way to keep tabs on what was happening in the world.

These days it’s a bunch of noise.

Social Media may prove to be a failed experiment. There has to be a better way to connect with people.

I hope we find an answer soon. In the meanwhile, I may retreat to the quiet.

The Best Men Can Be.


Bullying. Harassment. Is this the best a man can get? It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more, that we can get closer to our best. To say the right thing, to act the right way. We are taking action at http://www.thebestmencanbe.org. Join us.

Yesterday, Gillette released a campaign called “The Best Men Can Be”. The campaign includes a short film showing the effects of bullying and other “boys will be boys” behavior and how we influence the next generation of men, and how we can help them become better.

I’m surprised, though I don’t know why I am, at some of the outrage expressed on Twitter about this campaign. There are so many people on Twitter proclaiming that they’re not going to be told how to act in public, accusations of SJW (Social Justice Warrior) activity, and declarations that they’re boycotting Gillette and buying something else.

Gillette is bringing awareness to their brand, I’ll give you that. But they’re urging us to be the best that we can be, and to help the next generation do the same.

Are guys at a construction site really at their best when they’re cat-calling women as they walk by. Are young men really being their best when they bully or beat up on a non-stereotypical classmate who may dress or act differently?

We don’t need the labels and declarations that “boys will be boys”. We need to become better as a society. And any message that encourages us to do so is a great message.

Be The Best You Can Be. Follow this link for further information.

Walls.

Photo courtesy of Fanpop.

So yesterday I had a little rant on Facebook about “The Wall”. Now, if you’ve been paying attention to anything in the United States since Flaming Cheeto starting running for office back in 2016, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s the big, beautiful, impenetrable wall that he’s been blowing hard about since his first campaign speech. You know, this wonderful wall that Mexico will pay for? The one that Mexico will pay for so we can keep the Mexicans out of the United States, because after all, God Wants Borders.

This ridiculous idea is stupid. The majority of Americans know this wall is stupid but the stupid people have learned how to share their opinions online and thereby have a voice so now we have to reduce our country to the absolute, lowest common denominator of human existence.

Flaming Cheeto wants $5 billion dollars to pay for this wall before he’ll sign a bill to end this government shutdown. It’s not really a government shutdown, because elected officials are still getting paid and protected by the Secret Service, Pumpkin Spice Mushroom Man still has aides and cooks and assistants, but “essential personnel” are expected to arrive at work and do a diligent job even though they have no idea when they’re getting their next paycheck.

Personally, I’d be looking for a new gig.

Back in the late 1990s I was able to find a photo of our cat Tom sitting in the driveway of our home online. This photo was taken from a satellite orbiting the Earth literally hundreds of miles in space. This was in the late 20th century. With all the advancement in technology in the 19 years since then, you’re telling me that we have to spend billions of dollars to build a concrete or steel physical barrier along 2,000 miles of a shared border with Mexico to keep folks out of the country?

Ladders? Tunnels? Airplanes? Boats? Anyone? How do you build a wall down the middle of a river?

The truth of the matter is, we have the technology to adequately patrol the border without building an actual wall. There’s no wall around Area 51, but I bet if I were to drive to Nevada and set foot onto the restricted area without permission I would be greeted by scary looking officials in less than five minutes. They would know that I’ve crossed into Area 51, they would greet me quickly, and I would be vacuumed off the face of the Earth for an indeterminate amount of time until I had been thoroughly questioned, detained, and if some porn videos are accurate, we all had a grand time with funky music in the background.

We don’t need a wall. We need border security funding. We need better immigration centers along the border. We need education. We need to fund proper staffing levels to process the requests for folks looking to find a better life in what we laughing call “The Greatest Country on Earth”.

$5 billion dollars is not chump change. There’s a lot of things we could do with $5 billion dollars. I tried to get this point across on Facebook yesterday, and I believe I did, but I also believe there’s a slim chance I’ll be invited to a reunion for that side of the family anytime soon.

The crisis that the Flea Dipped Orange One talks about is manufactured. There is no crisis. There is hysterics. That’s what sells, right? Hysterics. People like to clutch their pearls and fear that which is different from what they know. When someone challenges that only certain people have a right to live in the U.S.A. I ask the challenger what they did to become an American. I occasionally get a blank stare. They can’t comprehend the difference.

I’m all for improving immigration and securing our borders. But we absolutely do not need a physical wall to achieve that goal. The money could be spent for better technology, education, and controlled access.

Stop living in the Dark Ages.

Length.

I purchased two items at CVS today. You’ll see the receipt in the photo above.

Many, many years ago I wrote point of sale programs. At the time, when popping out a receipt, one of the goals was to conserve paper, as there was a time expense involved with changing receipt tape and there was also the expense of the actual paper. Programming guidance manuals advised, “print the header of the next customer’s receipt during the current transaction. This will eject receipt paper without using up blank space.”

Today’s modern point of sale programs spit out feet of paper for marketing purposes. I’ve turned off the “print my receipt” options in the app. I’ve modified my preferences on the marketing website, but here we are, still receiving over a yard of paper for the purchase of two items.

Is our technology really evolving in the proper direction?

Next time I go to our local CVS I’m going to shop anonymously to see how long the receipt is.

Humanity.

Cross-posted from my Facebook feed.

Today I’ve posted pictures of successful baking adventures, wished a loved one and a friend both happy birthdays, and shared a wonderful photo of a cherished memory. As we move into Christmas Eve, I wish each and every person that reads this the most joyous of days, no matter how or if you choose to celebrate.

This evening on CBS’ “Madam Secretary”, the story line reminded us of what’s still going on our southern border today: children separated from their parents who are seeking asylum in the United States. The episode broke my heart and had me in tears from the beginning minutes of the story. We can share all the cat photos (I love cats!) and cake photos and merry moments photos here on Facebook, and it’s great that we can do that, but we must never lose sight of a worldwide view, and how the moral foundation of what made this country great is rapidly eroding. Sticking our heads in the sand does not make this country great. Ignorance is not bliss.

The people of the United States deserve honest, truthful leadership. We deserve representatives that work for the people. But most importantly, we the people must never turn our back on basic humanity, and we must never allow our representatives to do so.

All of us reading this post are fortunate to be where we want to be in life and to have the opportunity to share good tidings with anyone we choose. Others come to the U.S. to seek the same, escaping a life that we probably can’t even imagine, and we turn them away or worse yet, separate parents from their children as a deterrent.

This does not make us great. Our humanity brings greatness to this country. Every night I pray this inhumane nightmare will come to an end in the New Year. The sooner, the better.

Happy Holidays.

OCD.

The numbering scheme of the checkouts at this Best Buy really makes my eye twitch. Behind register 10 is register 3. Behind register 2 and to the left of register 12 is register 9.

Indiana Toll Road.

The Indiana Toll Road has a split speed limit for cars and trucks. The limit for cars is 70, the limit for trucks is 65. This encourages unnecessary weaving, creates backups behind trucks driving slower than the flow of traffic in the left lane, and subsequently increases tendencies of road rage.

The Indiana Toll Road is also a fan of bunching up construction areas so that vehicles are pushed into one lane at a reduced speed for dozens of miles. This even happens outside of “construction season”.

As a traffic engineer I can not determine a valid reason for the split speed limits. It does not increase safety and it does not improve traffic flow.

It generates revenue.

4 Comments

Abcde.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES APOLOGIZES FOR EMPLOYEE WHO MOCKED NAME OF 5-YEAR-OLD GIRL CALLED ABCDE (link to Newsweek)

The Southwest agent was wrong for what she did, but the Mom’s outrage has be questioned. Did she not think her daughter would suffer ridicule her entire life when she named her daughter Abcde? In an even more shocking twist, 373 children in the United States have been named “Abcde” since 1990. I wonder if the family dog is named Lmnop.

And I thought the woman screaming at her kid a few years ago in a Utica Wal*mart was nuts when she called the kid by his name: Ampersand.