26 July 2009

From Stone Soup to Apocalypse

“Doctor, is there something wrong with him?” they stared at the drooling patient who’s blank eyes stared back at them. A bell rang somewhere and the patient immediately shot out of his chair and began making his way to the door mumbling the words “Orders. Where are my orders?”

“I think Maam, that he has a case of under used brain. It is seen in some cases where a person has been locked up in isolation for too long. But I’ve never seen it in anyone outside of prison.”

“What can I do doctor?”

“What does he do for a living?”

“He works at a warehouse.”

“Does he work with anyone?”

“He does most of his work by himself.”

“Do you have a music player?”

“What do you mean?”

“He should play music or audio books at work.”

I am glad I thought listening to audio books while working before I ended up a drooling, brainless, empty sack of a man. I have been enjoying quite a selection these past few weeks, everything from Wizard of Oz to an audio play called The Dead Girl. The Audio plays are most interesting because they feature sound effects along with the spoken words of the well-trained voice actors. There have been several moments when I have stopped in the middle of what I am doing in order to hear better during an intense moment in the story of the audio play. I wish I could find more of the radio theater productions but a Google search on the subject has yielded mostly stuff that is not free. I have to save up as much as I can so that I can go to college.

Luckily, there are several wonderful sources where I can find audio books. Most of the stuff isn’t current; you won’t find Harry Potter on audio free. However, you can find a lot of stuff that is in the public domain. Look at Librivox.org or search for the Gutenberg project.

One more pro to this whole thing is that it is a good way to get into self-education. During the Fourth of July, we went to visit Jason and Denise, two of the most incredible people I know. Jason and I had a friendly chat and he let me in on the secret that if you can really get into self-education than there are several ways it goes above and beyond college or university education. I still need to expand my genera beyond fiction, but I am getting there.

19 July 2009

Audio Blues

Have you ever been walking down the side of the street and then someone nearby says "Hello, how can I help you." and you turn to them thinking that they are talking to you. You try to respond but then they give you a dirty look and point at their bluetooth ear peice. Don't you hate that? I hate it.

This makes me kind of embarrassed to admit that I actually bought one of these blasted little devices, and suffered the repeated remark "we are the Borg" from my dad. What would drive me to such insanity... Well, I'll put it this way...

I work in a warehouse job. I do a lot of lifting and moving and boxing and so forth. I don't work with anyone in particular because they had to fire the other guy in the economic downturn. This leaves me with a lot of quiet time. I go insane with too much quiet time (as you can see from some of my other posts). So I decided that it would be a good idea to bring along some music to listen to. It was an improvement to listen to music or to audio books but a problem came with the fact that my earbud cords kept getting caught on boxes or on tables or on air or on anything. This is frustrating to put it mildly. So to remedy this problem I decided to buy one of those little bluetooth contraptions and see if I could get my music to play through it. That was the biggest mistake ever. I can't get the thing to play music, my phone can route calls through the pinky sized black device but it can't do music. Now I have the device and I have taken it out of the box and all and so it will be more problematic to get a refund for it. Meanwhile I still had the problem of the cord getting stuck on things, and I risked getting chewed out by my boss who doesn't like me listening to music on the job.

I had to come up with a solution to these problems and my little brother helped me out in this respect, he suggested just threading the cord through my shirt. I did so, it is a little bit uncomfortable but I found out that I can easily take the earbuds out, throw them behind my back, underneath my shirt and my boss will never find out. Now if only I can get the phone to turn off the pressure sensitive skip and pause buttons to deactivate.

Why do MP3 players do that? don't the companies realize that many of these people want to just slip the thing in their pocket and go. The people don't want their favorite song interupted by accidentally bumping into something and triggering their player to skip to the next song. I say there should be a hold switch installed mandatory on every portable music playing device so that it can be placed in the pocket without fear of it fast forewarding to the next chapter of the audio book. *shakes head in disaproval* silly electronics companies. Why couldn't you get it right the first time.


The Great and Terrible Debate...

Have you ever done something and for a moment were glad you did it, but then afterward were harrassed by other people because of it?

On facebook you have the capacity to join various causes or other pages that show support on various issues. I joined one that regarding Marriage between a man and a woman. For quite some time I just ignored the updates and posts that it posted to my home page, just like I ignore the updates from most of the cause or fan pages. I don't realy want to give face book that much of my time or effort. Yet, last night I decided to take a look at the posts and the discussions. I kind of wish I hadn't. Most of the people on there are either A) Gay bashers with only as much creativity as it takes to repeat the last 18 people in saying "Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve." or B) Anti-Gay Bashers who call everyone else idiots and ceaselessly throw out the used up old arguments that have been circulating ever since the debate started, including attacking some religions and then saying that they aren't attacking any religions.

I posted some very moderate remarks trying my best to avoid falling into either of the two groups. Afterward I felt good about it, regardless of the fact that the concepts that I wish I could convey would require a lot of prefacing explaination in order to be understood. But then something deperessing happened. I get complete strangers from both Group A and group B who all of the sudden want to lable me under one or the other. There is one guy who is harrassing me and attacking me personally rather than attacking the issue. and I have annother random group A lady who sent me a friend request???

Fact is, Both groups are wrong in my point of view. Neither shows much love, respect, tolorance, understanding, forgiveness, or any other decent quality that should be redily found in a citizen of this great country. In my oppinion, this country can't handle this topic; this country doesn't possess enough people who can look at this subject in a mature manner. So for the record, I say, LAY OFF IT, calm down, go to your corners and count to ten and take deep breaths and then come back and sit and listen completly and intently to the entire argument of the opposing side, then when you are both on the same page and can cast asside your prejudices and false views of one annother, then and only then can you hope to do anything with this war... But even then, I don't think it would work.



15 July 2009

Warranties, Insurance and the Fustration Coproration

I note that I haven't mentioned the fact that I have had a car accident in the last few weeks. Luckily it wasn't a major car accident. The car still runs fine and there was no other car involved. The experience was a little bit nerve racking and I about passed out, and my face looked messed up from the air bag rug burn.

It is a good thing that we have insurance, right? Well, not in my particular case. I was completely uniformed as to what I should do in a situation such as this. Had I been informed, I would have pulled the still functional car to the side of the road somewhere, rested a while till the adrenaline wore off, then drove the car home.

What really happened was this. The police said I looked pretty banged up and told me that I should go to the hospital “just in case”. The called a Tow truck which ended up not delivering the car to my house as I had asked. I got carted off in an ambulance to the hospital in the next town where everyone just poked and prodded me and finally stated that I was fit as a fiddle (other than my scraped up face). While sitting in the hospital I was approached by one of the officers and she informed me that I now owe the city of Olathe $240 because my car skidded on a patch of wet road. I managed to get home, by aide of a good friend, only to find my car not there. I recuperate for the next few days and later receive a bill in the mail for my ambulance ride totaling $419.95.

Later I found out that my insurance doesn’t cover the tow truck. I am still waiting to see if my health insurance is going to cover the ambulance ride. I will pay the City traffic fines although I think I was taken advantage of; especially since the officer serving me the fines told me that she just about crashed on the way to my car.

Why do my parents pay this insurance if the insurance doesn’t cover this stuff?

My answer is that the Fustration Corporation is behind all the insurance companies. They promise much, deliver less, make the arrangements of payment difficult and complex. They develop different systems to avert the payment to another insurance company. Last, when all else fails, they increase your insurance payment for making them go through all the trouble of running around in order to determine that they aren’t going to pay your debts.

At least my laptop warranty hasn’t failed. My processor fan stopped working and the computer began to overheat. I am planning on taking it in and taking advantage of my warranty. I decided it would be good to at least look at the warranty before hand and I found this to be quite amusing…


under paragraph 13 C. (Bold added)

C. Damage or other equipment failure due to causes beyond our control including,

but not limited to, repairs necessary due to operator negligence, the failure to

maintain the equipment according to the owner’s manual instructions, abuse,

vandalism, theft, fire, flood, wind, freezing, power failure, inadequate power

supply, unusual atmospheric conditions, or acts of war or acts of God.

Someone has humor..


05 July 2009

And your point is?

I know that there are plenty of excuses and reasons why I should give my professors a break. They do, after all, teach at a community college. I shouldn't expect too much. But really, is it too much to expect the calculus teacher to not go on a 40 minute tangent and try to solve a problem to which he is obviously not finding the right answer. I mean it isn't like I am asking for them to change the whole cirriculum of the class (as nice as that would be). But seriously 40 minutes is a long time to be muttering to yourself in front of a class of people who, if given the choice, would give a major overhaul to the course cirriculum so as to teach them the stuff that is actually relevent to their future studies.

It is true that I don't reallly need the class for the feild I have chosen to enter. You don't really need upper level math when it comes to family counseling, (or being an author). However, when given the choice to pay $200 for a class that is going to teach me nothing, or $200 for a class that will teach me something I may or may not need, I am going to choose the class that is going to teach me something. The one problem I have is when I pay $200 and get a teacher that stands in front of a class and mutters for 40 minutes about nothing. And after about 20 minutes of this mindless rabbling, everyone else was beginning to wonder the same thing. "Do I really want this class?"

What is worse is that he was going on this tangent, I believe, to prove to us that a certain shortcut works, then he never actually tied off his thoughts and gave us the shortcut. The shortcuts are the things we all want. The shortcuts are the things that most of these students will be using in their carreers most of the time.

What is the point teacher? Why do you put us through this agony? Half your class is failing. Don't you wonder why? It is because you ramble on and do the problems yourself instead of insisting on us comming up and demonstrating what we understand. You only ask questions about things which are so painfully obvious that noone cares to answer. And you tell us we aren't doing well.

What is my point? Try not to take community college classes unless you actually know the subject matter, then you won't have to rely upon the teacher, because chances are, they might not know how to teach you.