Friday, March 23, 2007

Plane rides with eeek!

Another trip, another trippy experience. This time, from Seattle to New Jersey to Salt Lake to Sacramento to Seattle.

In three days.

50 people unwrapping a snack.

Folks next to me yelling things like "peeing in public" or "do I need to loan you some Trojans?"

Whatever happened to "indoor voice"?

I'm lost in Clinton, New Jersey, and thankful I got a lousy car from the rental agency, because I'd be expecting to get carjacked. OH MY GOD! I'm a f**king racist after all. Just because they're black and possibly not living quite as well as you do, does NOT make these people criminals. Not all of them, anyway.


Anyway, perhaps it was the fact that it was taking me over an hour to get to my hotel (situated less than a quarter mile from the airport), thanks to a single wrong turn on my part. Yes, it was my fault, but dammit, I'm a victim of improper sign-posting (no, not really), and poor directions from Hertz (well, sort of). So I got to the hotel just in time to go to the bathroom for an HOUR.

Then, bad food followed.

Next day, walk through a warehouse, staring intently at girders and wires, then run to the airport for the next flight. To Salt Lake, then to Sacramento. And they gave me a Mustang convertable (wooo hoo!). Nice ride if you have a lot of driving to do, which I did that day.

Stuck in the airport again, this time with only a Gordon Biersch(itt) and a magazine stand for food. I had the sausage. (and a LOT of beer - how else do you kill four hours in an airport?).


Say what again...

Friday, March 9, 2007

Bad blogger, no biscuit!

We just had our employee agreement meeting today, in which I learned that I could not say anything bad about the company I work for, nor any of its employees, directors, officers, etc., in this blog space.

We also found out that if we're on Medical Marijuana, and we test positive for it. out on yer ass! Even if a doctor has said we should have it. (because it's against "federal law")


I guess I won't mention where I work. Of course, everyone I know knows where I work. And some of my coworkers read this blog (you know who you are). And some of them are dorks (you know who you are).

Actually, the main reason I stay where I am is the people. The work itself has never been terribly inspiring, and there are definitely days when I feel as if all I am is a giant rubber-stamp (giant because of the weight problem, really). But my coworkers are generally very decent people with a mostly twisted sense of humor.

Higher up the food chain, there is what I would call a lack of transparency. Decisions are made and no one knows quite why. They show you how decisions get made, but usually only well after the fact. Some times they claim they asked for suggestions (and if you're in town and get your e-mail in time, you'll find out); some times the suggestions are based on "informal interviews with particular managers". Ahhhh, the silent minority.

Outside of it all, I am pretty happy. The house is still too small, the cats still too... insane. The yard large, imposing, and there's always the sense of where the hell do you start? I mow the lawn. Occasionally, I water the lawn. I take out the trash. Soon I will have to dig out and level a large area in the back for a parking pad. We're looking at jacking up the house to accomodate potentially a new foundation. I also need to replace the old stairs and the little walkway behind the house leading to the basement door. I'm working on a film shot in French, which is mostly getting decent reviews by everyone who's seen it. The feature version is soon to be into shooting.

And meanwhile I am studying Kant, Mill, Aristotle and dwarf-tossing.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Is, too...

Kant, mustn't, won't.

I (have already mentioned this) am in college again, or near it, or something. How do you describe an experience that feels just like work, without the attendant lectures, seminars, hot angry discussions, etc? No cheerleaders either. So last week it was Aristotle and Nichomachean ethics. This week it's Immanuel Kant and a Grounding for a Metaphysics of Morals.


Normally, once our professor begins the week with a reading assignment (usually some contemporary or near-contemporary news story), even if they haven't done the reading yet, everyone weighs in with both feet in the discussion forums, yakking about The Golden Mean, or whether gambling can be considered an ethical act by Aristotle's standards, etc.

This week - zilch. No one is saying nothin'. I can understand why. We've been given a simple text by Immanuel Kant (who uses one very long word where eight short ones would do - apologies to Len Deighton) and an article about a European Union MP who wants to ban dwarf-tossing. But mostly it's about a particular dwarf and the pub owner who gets him tossed every night of the week. But the reading... Jeebus... from what I can tell, Kant was a rather dull fellow (you could set your clock by his daily walks) and a major effing egotist to boot. From what I'm reading, it's like he's thought this stuff up and has to write it down, and then proclaims himself an authority on this particular thing because he has arrived at these conclusions by using Pure Reason. And as I'm reading it, I keep thinking:

Spock Spock Spock
Not that Kant is wrong in his conclusions (who the hell am I to say that anyway, I've barely read the one little volume?), but damn. Lighten the f**k up a little! I can't tell if he thinks that art in and of itself is a good thing (as it is not derived from pure reason). He does mention that now that many types of labor (including the arts) have been divided between various skilled craftsmen that excellence is a more likely result than when one person tries to do everything, and bungles the job. I guess he's never worked on a government project...
The one thing that struck me that I thought interesting was the idea of Universal Law. Basically, don't do anything unless you think it would be a good idea if everyone did it. Do not make it a law for yourself, unless you think everyone should obey that law. It's not the Golden Rule deal "do unto others..." etc. It's more like, if everyone did it, would that be a good thing for everyone (including you)?