kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-07-23 12:15 pm

Thoughts on the Star Wars universe

I really wasn't in any way interested in seeing Rogue One, but it showed up on Netflix the other day, so I thought what the hell. Turns out, it's a really good movie. Even with the ending it has, it makes it all seem worth it, so kudos to whomever directed/wrote it. Question though: are those bug-eyed aliens the Bothans? Because if not, the line from the first movie, which I went and watched last night, about many Bothans dying to get them this information wouldn't make any sense.

The more that time goes on, the less and less I want to see more in the current small moment in the universe. Granted, it's a cool story and all, but the one thing the Star Wars films did was lay out a huge map of possibilities. Even if they're not cannon, the various games and books made over the years have shown just how much more there is possible. There are so many numerous events that could be played with, and everyone just keeps trying to milk to Skywalker clan and their timeline. I would love to see another great story in KOTOR line. Heck, even just a movie running through the first KOTOR story would be great.

That said, I have to point out that I've been noticing a few disturbing things about the Star Wars universe that I keep seeing, specifically regarding non-human(ish) species. First off, if the galactic senate, troops, and Jedi were all different species, why is the empire made entirely of humans? Clone troopers were human (Mandalorian, but human really) because Fett was, but why were all subsequent storm troopers human? Why is there not even one single alien species even among the grunts, much less in command? Every other part of society seems well-integrated, and no one from the empire ever comes across as particularly "racist" or anything, yet there we are. It bugs me.

Though honestly, the part that really bothers me is how droids are treated. Specifically, they are treated, at best, as pets. Despite clearly displaying emotion, thought, and well-defined personalities and sense of self, droids are treated as property/slaves/equipment and are often wiped or rewritten to fit the owner's need. I've noticed several times throughout the various movies where someone mentions that a droid is getting quirky and should be wiped. Heck, between the prequel and original, 3PO gets his memories completely erased. To be fair, if I had to put up with him, I wouldn't want him to know me either, but I digress. In episode 4, which I just rewatched last night, droids have restraining bolts that are basically collars to keep them from running away. As soon as he can, R2 gets Luke to remove his, then scarpers to find Obi-Wan (who doesn't remember him? who got their memory wiped again?). I can't help but feel like droids are one bad command away from a major uprising and revolt, like how The War in the Matrix started... It's all pretend, of course, but I still chafe at the thought of such massive, all-encompassing slavery that no one seems to notice or care about.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-06-30 07:14 pm

(no subject)

I can't help but notice every time how much I love pistachio flavored things, like ice cream and pudding, but I really don't care much for pistachios. I really dislike how I can't get such things without a ton of nuts in them. I'm generally not a big fan of nuts. Why must I put up with them? First world problems, am I right?

Fun fact: the reason why banana flavored things don't taste anything like bananas is that they were modeled off of the old, nearly extinct banana, the Gros Michel, that was wiped out around the 50s due to blight. It was bigger, tougher, lasted longer, and was by all accounts much more flavorful than the current Cavendish banana. The old banana was also where we got the slippery banana peel idea, being so slick and causing so many accidents that they are the reason for public trash cans to become a thing in New York City. The Mythbusters episode on the slippery banana peel really pissed me off because they used modern bananas and never even addressed the old ones, which were the slick ones.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-06-18 11:39 pm

Sooo hot.

So our swamp cooler sucks. It was 108 degrees out today. 98 inside the house. And humid, thanks to the swamp cooler. There is so much sweat.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-06-11 11:02 am

Hoo boy, computers are fun...

So I've spent well over 12 hours total (8-9 straight) getting linux up and running on my laptop. I tried it once before, but couldn't figure out how to get the damn thing to work. I know it's supposed to be super-simple, so it has to be something with this laptop. Either way, windows was starting to bug me, so I figured it was time to try again. After several wipes, installs of both linux and windows, and a crap-ton of googling, I finally kludged together enough to get the damned thing working...more or less. I'm still having an issue with the bootloader not working the way it's supposed to, taking entirely too long for it to boot, which is annoying. I have one or two more ideas to try before I give up completely and let it just take forever to boot from here on out.

The super annoying part is that linux (Mint, in this case) really is very easy to install and run. The issue is entirely the fault of Toshiba, who decided that they were just going to hardcode the EFI boot into the laptop to always check/boot windows. This has been nice whenever I've had to reinstall windows, since it already has a windows code and I don't have to jump through any hoops. Unfortunately, it means that trying to get anything else whatsoever to even be recognized by the computer is a frustrating, tedious, and sometimes fruitless endeavor. The only (somewhat) workable solution, it turns out, is to rename the grub bootloader and replace the windows bootloader to fool the computer into doing something, anything, differently. Blarg.

I am quite happy that so many games in my steam library are still playable natively too. It means fewer things I have to attempt to get working through wine.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-05-23 04:14 am

(no subject)

I have so many things to say, yet I open this thing up, and just blank out. I always wonder why that is. It's like walking into a room and completely forgetting why. Life is so odd sometimes.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-05-17 03:48 am

So I've been sick...

Going on...3 weeks now? I think, anyway. I have to say though, this is probably the longest lasting illness I've yet come across. It started out as your garden variety cold/flu. Mucus, aches, headache, that sort of thing. Normally that slowly transfers from nose to throat/cough, then it slowly fades. Not only did it not fade, but after a week or so, I started losing my voice, and may have ended up with bronchitis. Having never lost my voice before, it's been quite a novel experience, though it did mean that there were a few days where I had to call in sick when I was supposed to be on the phones. We're not the kind of phone place where you can get away with whispering...

On the plus side, after two and a half weeks, I've finally started losing what I've started calling custard nose. Partly I call it that because that's what it looked like, in both color and consistency (First time I've ever gone through an entire box of tissues in a week, too), but also because I quite enjoy the reaction I get whenever I tell people. I do so enjoy painting word pictures... Thankfully too, we've had a bit more work of late at work, so they've needed me to do my job in the back room, rather than on the phones, so I not only haven't had to call in sick, I've been getting a decent amount of hours at work. Too many, perhaps.

I worked a 9.5 hour shift today, which was super rough. Someone at work once mentioned that one can really only stand our work for 4-5 hours in a given day, and darned if he hasn't been right. My job in particular can be particularly stressful. I can multitask so-so, but when you end up running like 9 jobs more or less simultaneously, followed by hours of reports for every single one that performed poorly (double the work for each job if both landlines and cells did poorly), well, no one can handle that very well. And I'm the laid back one.

The worst part of tonight were the four jobs we've been running for the past few weeks and that have yet a number of weeks to go. The problem is that the jobs have problems. They crash constantly, which requires 20-30 minutes for tech to fix each time, they have a constantly decreasing pool of usable numbers to call, and our metrics are not even close to being correct. Normally, after a few days we have enough data from a job to rebid with a client if something hasn't been lining up with the initial expectations. In our case, not only is it a lot harder to get hold of people who qualify for this particular survey, but the average length for these bastards are anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes longer than they said they were supposed to be. At that's on top of the 20-some-odd minutes they're already supposed to take. Do you know how impossible it is to try and hit your goals for completes per hour when completes are twice as hard to get and take twice as long to finish? And then, having to spend so much extra time every single damn day to send up to 8 reports for the lot, all saying variations of the exact same thing you've said every single day prior? The futility of it all is super frustrating.

Oh! And not only that, but something in the coding of these jobs is borked, meaning some of the simple calculations we do for each one don't work properly, so each report requires several extra, time-consuming steps for what should be a simple look-up. Blarg.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-04-22 07:31 pm

Well crap.

So my phone has decided to start dying on me. Apart from the fact that it's really the only way I have to communicate with my parents (I talk with my mom several times a week), it also serves several key functions in my day-to-day life. For starters, it has been my only alarm clock for years now. When it decided to die on me last night, and I had to be up for work early this morning, well... I immediately thought of my watch, which I've used for an alarm before, but it seems to need a new battery... Not exactly something you want to discover at 1 in the morning. I had to go tinkering with my laptop's sleep/hibernation functions so I could set an alarm on it without it turning itself off after an hour.

My phone did decide to work again this morning for a few hours, but as soon as I got home, it died. It keeps powering off completely, and hangs on reboot, even safe boot and factory reset, which is frustrating as crap. For the time being, I can use a roommate's phone to call my mom every so often to say I'm still okay, but I face a more pressing concern. Specifically, my job contacts me every day in the morning to tell me when to come in that day. Kind of really important. At least I don't work until tuesday.

It wouldn't be as much of an issue if I couldn't just go to Verizon and get a new phone or something. Problem is I'm short on cash until next Friday. And I currently run a prepaid phone, so even though I monthly pay Verizon a nice chunk of change, they don't consider me an actual customer, so no deals for me, no replacements or upgrades or anything. And since my credit is crap, I can't even get a phone included in a plan without a bit of money down. Blah. I so, so wish I had a credit card; this is exactly the kind of emergency that they are useful for. Stupid credit keeping me from getting one. Bad credit is a vicious cycle wherein it's so frickin difficult to repair it since no one gives you the ability to do so.

Ugh. I just have to figure out how to survive (possibly near) phoneless until next weekend.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-04-16 03:44 am

Oh joy.

Apparently I can't cross-post to my old livejournal without agreeing to some new terms of service or something, and naturally, the passwords I thought I had for it are all wrong and I'm blocked from trying again for an hour or so... I really need to get in there and download all my old entries and fully close up shop there. I have no idea how much longer a (now) Russian based website will be a workable thing, much less a good idea to have.

In other news, I've been slowly settling in to my new digs, and I have to say that I quite like how it's all starting to look. I like my room, I like my house, and I like my roommates. Well, one is a bit annoying at times, but he's okay, so it's not terrible. I've talked more in the past week or two in general conversation with them than the past many months combined with my old roommate. He was only home a few days a week and wasn't terribly talkative anyway. It's nice to chat, though there does seem to be a tide of built up verbal diarrhea that I need to temper, but otherwise it's good.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-04-08 08:30 pm

Why?

Having just watched Gremlins for the first time, I just have to say, why would you ever allow even the one to live? Sure they're cute and smart and all, but when the smallest accident can lead to everyone dying, why would you not hunt them all into extinction? Seriously.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-03-25 06:22 pm

Always a joy

I am in the midst of moving. My current digs was only supposed to last maybe a month or so, but it ended up working out for both of us for me to stay. It's been over half a year now, but I never really ever moved in. I basically just left everything boxed up around the room, even leaving a few boxes in my car. This is the first time in maybe 8 months that I've seen the back of my car empty... The problem with this place having started as a transitory place is that I never had any idea how long I'd actually be here, especially after my roommate had to get a job 3+ hours away from his house, and then when he got engaged. Either way, he's about to sell his house, so I had to find a new one.

I actually spent more than a month looking for a place. Every single time I would find a promising lead, God would pluck it away rather spectacularly; leading me to realize he probably had a specific place in mind. Hopefully my current digs are just the place. I've only met two of the four roommates, but one I definitely like. I don't dislike the other one I met, and I most definitely hit it off with the guy who owns the house; him having just gotten married a month ago, hence the opening in living space. It's only a month to month lease agreement, but it feels like a good place to settle into for a good while, and I think that was something he was looking for in a tenant anyway.

The funny thing is that I think I'm most excited about having a microwave again. Not having a microwave drastically changed my eating habits, and mostly for the worst. When it will take more than hour to cook something, or five minutes to go get takeout, well... Plus, there are a lot fo quick meals that I just couldn't easily make. Microwave quesadillas were a common snack for me when I had one, and I didn't care for the taste or crunchiness of making them in a pan. I'm also quite pleased to still have a washer/dryer in my new place. Laundromats are ridiculously expensive and many even tweak their heat settings so you have to use more money to dry 'em longer.

I'm super grateful that I've had a leisurely time to move most of my stuff too. I hate moving with a passion, and have like zero strength or stamina, so having the week to do a carload at a time has been much less stressful. I have maybe a car and half left of small stuff, and then just the handful of larger things. That last one I have to wait for my current roommate, as he is the only person I know with a truck. He's super busy and I've been working (plus it's been raining non-stop the last several days, though not today), so our schedules have yet to line up. It will depend on how badly he needs my stuff out of here, I guess. :P
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-03-16 07:06 am

More thoughts on God

It's so amazing to me how different each and every one of us are in our walks with God, and yet how similar an experience it can be at the same time. We all have the same strengths and weaknesses in regard to life and sin, but we also specialize, as it were. We all struggle with the basics; pride, coveting, lust, idolatry, etc.; but we also all have our own little pitfalls and strong points. How varied yet the same is the human experience. I, for instance, am not burdened by an overwhelming need to gamble. Neither do I struggle with drink or drugs, nor have I ever been accused of being haughty, arrogant, or narcissistic. Boy do I struggle with fear, though. Not to mention lust, laziness, gluttony, and probably idolatry.

I find interesting the things that God teaches us and things we all struggle with, like trusting him. I do think some of that is simply due to us being unable to physically interact with him. Most people can't just sit down at a table and chat with him over coffee. How many of our fears would be assuaged if we could ask him questions and have him answer clearly? I recently heard part of a sermon where the guy was saying how much greater our gift of faith to him is now, versus the time when we finally see how it all makes sense. The idea being that it's more weighty when he have to trust without knowing it all. We so easily forget that God's end goal is to glorify himself, and the best way for that is for us to reflect him - to be our shiniest.

C.S. Lewis, whom I love dearly for his many apt words, wrote on several occasions of how God was working to turn us from one thing into another. He said that we were like tin soldiers who were being transformed into real boys, that we were houses that he was turning into mansions. At any given moment, we see only that wall he's knocking down, or moving pipes, or any number of things, knowing only that it hurts, things are changing, and they don't often look like they're changing for the better. I cannot imagine any house being renovated and liking much of the experience along the way. But the results... This is how we find ourselves. We are told that God plans for us great things, but it's hard to believe that, and not simply because of what he's doing now, but what he's done to us in the past, as well as the things he hasn't done. How many times do we just want him to slap some duct tape on some part of our life and call it good, and he knows the plumbing is altogether shot and needs replacing altogether?

Taking the analogy further, I can also see how we might distrust that he really wants us, that he could possibly love us in the condition we are in. And if he's going around knocking holes in things, we would naturally feel worse about ourselves and think even more that he doesn't care for us. Of course, it's all well and good to look at such a situation dispassionately, but it's so amazingly difficult to believe when we're going through it ourselves.

I wonder why it is that we don't trust God. It's been there from the beginning though, that, at least, we know. Mankind's very first sin occurred when Satan asked if God really said that, and implied that he had lied to us. Our first sin was distrust and pride, thinking we knew better than he the way things should be. Though why that is, I do not know. Why would one of our very first actions be to distrust the very one who made us? You can see it fairly blatantly in children who are very self-willed when you tell them not to do something, or that something is dangerous. "Don't touch it, it's hot." "Touch."

I have been an odd duck, I've noticed. Maybe it's because I got saved at age three, but I've always been the person to not only obey directions, but to learn from the mistakes of others so as not to make them myself. I tend to have a very clinical view of things. It has given me an interesting outlook on how we approach God. Specifically, I often find my thinking at odds with christians who are all about emotions. Emotions are important, but I see so many believers these days needing to "feel" God, to feel his "presence". The problem lies in allowing emotion to lead, rather than inform and aid. The truth is, it doesn't matter how I feel, it only matters whether it is true, whether it is something that God wants me to do.

Our culture is one of, "truth is what I feel", but that's a load of crap. There have been several key moments in my life where God prompted me to do something that I really, really didn't want to do, but I sucked it up, asked him to help me, and eventually managed to do those things. It doesn't matter what we like, it doesn't matter. We focus so much on feeling God's love that we forget that he is God. He created us, he owns us, and he is the boss of us. Yes, it is absolutely better to do something he said because you love him, because you feel his love and want to please him, but we must act either way. He even said so: "To obey is better than sacrifice." This, of course, presumes we are obeying out of the correct motives. Jesus had the harshest things to say for the leaders and priests who seemed to follow all the rules, but weren't actually obeying.

I have had to do many things in my life without, or in spite of, emotions. I have had to come to the same conclusion time and again in my darkest moments, which is the same as the apostles after many people abandoned Jesus. Basically, where else am I going to go? He's God. I can do nothing about that, and it is utter madness to try. Try and run away? I don't think so. At best, you end up like Jonah. At worst, you run straight into hell. God is good, and has told us so. I must believe him, even when I really, really don't. Now I just have to learn how...
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-03-15 10:49 pm

(no subject)

It's so funny how hard it can be at times to believe what we already know to be true. I wonder why I'm so often this way with God. How many times have I gone through things and had him come through? Granted, he rarely comes through the way I expect or even like, but he does. If I distrusted anyone else the way I do with him, they would give me no small amount of grief, if not leave me altogether. It's weird how, whenever I question God I usually already know the answer, but still don't believe it or him.

I think that it might be due to how ephemeral he appears to be. He so rarely speaks directly or specifically to a given situation. And while he has made me one or two promises that I believe he will fulfill, they all seem far off, without any specific time to cling to. We're not guaranteed anything else either. I know he doesn't mean for me to die yet, for instance, since some off the things he promised me are at least a few years off, but he never said I'd get there smoothly or easily. I think about that sometimes, when bad things happen. My first reaction is like, well, I'm not going to die yet, but it doesn't mean it couldn't lay me out for a while.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-02-25 04:13 pm

Let's get uncomfortable

I have thought about it, and I think I should speak on that subject which hardly anyone (particularly in christian circles) ever talks about, or even wants to talk about; that which makes us all squirm a little: porn. It is a pestilence which, sadly, most of us have contracted. I have met but one man my entire life who has never struggled with the allure of porn. I can name but a handful or two more who have completely put it behind them. I cannot speak of the condition of women, but we men are hard beset by it.

Other than sex addicts, most of what I say applies only to fellow christians, since we are mainly the only ones who try not to indulge in it. And struggle we do. I once, in college, went an entire year without masturbating, and have never again been able to even approach replicating the feat. Some don't see a problem with masturbation, and perhaps if it were entirely disconnected from porn it might be ok, but it is not; indeed it is intricately linked with all manner of sexual thought, to the extent that I do not believe they can ever be truly split. I look at porn, I masturbate. I want to masturbate, I usually look for something to arouse me.

I still vividly recall my college Young Life leader telling our guys group that porn is false intimacy. Many times now I have thought on how true that is. A lot of us medicate with porn, be it by image, photo, drawing, movie, or game. Loneliness and boredom are a nasty combination, and porn offers the idea of the perfect man/woman who is always there, always willing, doesn't judge, and doesn't require anything. How many of us long for that perfect someone who accepts us for us? And she is never not in the mood, never intrusive, never questioning. Pity it turns out to be so hollow.

But hollow it very much is. God made us to work a specific way. He said that it was not good for a man to be alone, made a woman, and together they are to become one flesh. It is to be a mirror of Christ and his church. Porn, at best, is uniting a man to himself in sinful gratification; at worst it is idolatry and adultery both. It is placing the idea of sexual pleasure above all else, as the utmost in importance. Porn allows us to commit adultery on scale that defies belief.

And that's not even addressing the physical, emotional, mental, and relational fallout. Is there honestly anyone who catches their loved one with porn and doesn't feel anger, grief, and hurt? It feels like betrayal, and it is. They are saying, in brief, that when compared with yourself, you are the one lacking. Porn destroys relationships, creates unrealistic and unhealthy expectations, and usually treats women as merely an object to get off to. I've seen a handful of animé (hentai) that treat women as equally important, but I don't think I've ever seen the like in our stuff. It's always some scary meathead with a disturbingly thick neck and red face being serviced by the woman or women, as if she's some willing slave. When he does bother to do anything, it's usually really aggressive and demeaning.

Watching such things also effect how we view the world. How many guys I have spoken with who, because they watch so much porn, see it everywhere they go, mentally undressing and screwing every pretty girl they see, whether they want to or not. That episode of Friends where Joe and Chandler get free porn is actually fairly accurate. That hot banker wants you, that pizza delivery girl is totally asking for it, that lady on the street wants you to bend her over...Bleck. I tend to notice faces more than anything, but if I have been lately sinning with porn frequently, I start to mentally x-ray before I can catch myself. Lust begets lust.

I don't want to treat women like objects, and I neither want them to be so treated, nor to offer themselves up as objects. Sometimes, in those rare moments of sanity when I am trawling the net for naked women to ogle (assuming I'm looking at a real one and not animated), look at all these absolutely lovely, stunningly beautiful women baring themselves for everyone to see and masturbate to, and want to cry. These things should be private, between a husband and wife only. A wife's body should be a special gift for her husband, and vice-versa. On the surface, I am aroused, but inwardly I desperately long to tell them that they are worth more than that. If I see you naked, I want it to be just for me, and I want all of you: mind, heart, soul, and body.

The reason porn is hollow is that it is one-sided. There is no give, no love, no true interaction between equals, just take, take, take. You are here to pleasure me; who cares about you. Porn in the male community is like heroin or meth. Every hit is poison, and even as we indulge we know that it is toxic. Some don't care at all, some a little, and some of us try our best to get healthy.

I know there's more rattling around up there, but that's all I can think of at present. I welcome any questions or thoughts on the matter. Better to be an open book with no secrets. Sin abhors the light, after all.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-02-22 09:49 pm

Dreams

Every so often, I have this thing happen in my dreams that bugs the crap out of me, both in and outside of the dream. I know why, but it's still extremely frustrating. I'm speaking of when, in the dream, I attempt to read or write anything. Especially write something. When reading in a dream, I just know what it means, even though it's all jumbled up. Writing however, is frustrating, because I know precisely what I mean to say, but can't convey it to anyone else. I spent so much time in my dream last night trying to write a simple text. It was weird, because it somewhat held up the dream. I'm sitting off to one side, trying to write a text to figure out some simple little thing to the game we were all about to play and couldn't do it. So the other people just sort of milled about and talked little things.

I know that when we sleep, the part of our brain (the left side, I think?) that processes writing shuts down. But it just feels soooo frustrating. It felt like I spent 20 minutes in the dream trying to craft a simple text that JUST. WOULDN'T. WORK! Ugh.

Also, I'm really lonely. In the long dream I had last night, I just kept dreaming about these two lovely girls (I'm pretty sure one was just co-opted from the show I've been binge watching the past few days) who I spent hours just hanging out with and talking to. At one point, one of them and I were both in our respective beds (in the same room for some reason), with the lights off, and we were doing that lovely thing where you just lay there and discuss whatever comes to mind. Makes me ache thinking about it. My most poignant dreams are never the random sex dreams, they are the ones where I'm being mentally and emotionally close with a girl. I want so badly to sit down with a girl in a coffee shop and just talk for hours.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-02-22 09:24 pm

Huh

So I ran out of gas on the highway on my way to work yesterday evening... My gas gauge showed that I should have at least 10-20 more miles to go, but yeah, not so much. Honestly, I've been half expecting it to happen some day, ever since I heard that gas gauges can become less accurate over time. Still, it's an odd thing to happen. Thank God for giving me calm all throughout. Where I broke down, I knew I was just a couple of miles from a rather large truck stop and gas station, so I figured I'd walk down there, buy a gas can, and hoof it back. I'm so thankful that my walk there occurred while A)the light was still out and B)the cold wind was at my back.

As I walked, I attempted to call and text the few friends I have in the area. Naturally, the only two I could get a hold of were out of town, or a major douche-canoe who said he was too busy to help, respectively. God is funny though, since I received help from two strangers. The first one was a christian lady who picked me up halfway through my walk to the truck stop and took me the rest of the way there. The second came after I discovered that this major truck stop/food place/gas station didn't actually carry gas cans. The attendant told me that there was a grocery store/gas station that he thought carried gas cans and it was only like a mile away. So, after calling and making certain that they actually did, I started off across the parking lot. I quickly realized that the direction led off into the dark country-side and I'd better make damn sure I knew how to get there. I asked a guy filling up his truck where the place was and told him my situation. He was awesome and told me he'd give me a lift. I thought he meant just to the store, but he meant there and back to my car, which was so, so awesome. We got talking about all sorts of things. He was interested in my job and is looking for work himself, so I may end up seeing him again. He was a total stoner, so he'd fit right in with a lot of people there.

Anyway, got the gas can, filled it, rode back to my car, then spent 10 minutes on the phone with my dad trying to figure out how to get the damn thing to actually pour. Some of these new gas cans have these really intricate mechanisms in the nozzle to make sure it doesn't pour until you really want it to, but which is a little difficult to figure out in low light situations. But got it figured out. I immediately drove back to the truck stop, filled up my car, then went home. I felt fine throughout, but afterward I started feeling rather physically and emotionally drained. I was so glad that I had called work when it first occurred and didn't have to go in after all that.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-02-20 11:05 pm

(no subject)

To date, I have yet to see a single show or movie that takes place in Maine that is not somehow related to Stephen King. Turns out the show Haven is no exception.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-02-12 10:07 pm

Work and such

It's so often rough to have a job, or anything really, when the requirements are difficult to the point of impossibility. Working the back end of call center (no selling, just surveys), I am one of two or three others who have the onerous duty of making sure that the actual surveys we get fit the required quotas. Age, ethnicity, gender, area, political affiliation, and occasionally many others, all are numbers that we have to try and manipulate. I say try, because while the client may say we have to get 70 completes in one specific ethnicity, there is zero guarantee we will be able to.

Granted, the numbers that we get all have data associated with them. Most jobs are not randomly dialed at all. Culled from voter registration or sold from pretty much anywhere and everywhere, the vast majority of the numbers we work with are already associated with the required demographic information; meaning we have some granular amount of control. Too many females? we can dial more males, or even only males. Naturally, many numbers are not valid. Half the job of being on the phones is screening out all the answering machines, wrong numbers, disconnected numbers, fax lines, etc. It can take up to 100 numbers to get one complete. But we do have some amount of control.

Sadly, it's still a very organic job, since it's all about people. The people we're calling, the people manning the phones, how each is feeling at the moment of answering, etc. And damned if there isn't always one or two quota groups that WON'T COOPERATE. *headdesk* When a job of hundreds of surveys is closing up and the whole thing is screeching to a halt because you need 20 more of this age, or that ethnicity and, despite running through thousands of numbers and dwo dozen people on it, you have only acquired one in two hours...

Sometimes a job going wonky is my fault, not catching something quickly enough, or mishandling my resources, but just as often it's not. For doing nothing but manipulating numbers all day, my job is oddly organic and fluid in nature. It can be both rewarding and highly frustrating. I left work today, having managed to close up a job that, while not great, at least did okay, with anything wrong with it not my fault. I think I'm tired, because I feel kind of crappy about it. Not terribly so, but more so than is usual for me. I'm normally quite calm, even when shit hits the fan and blows every which way. I tend not to take much of it personally (even when I perhaps should), but today, when it really wasn't a huge deal and no one was upset about it, I am. Maybe I'm just contrary, as I am in so many situations.

Thanks goodness tomorrow is my day off though. I don't even normally work Sundays. They just needed some extra help today. I do wish it payed a little better, especially now that I have to look for a new place to live. My roommate is selling his house and I'm not likely to find such nice accommodations at the price he's been charging me. Making only a buck more than minimum wage (even Cali minimum wage) is perfectly livable when you only have to pay $200-250 a month for rent, but will be much less fun once I move elsewhere. It's been a nice break, living here though, that's for sure. I'll definitely miss having my own washer and dryer.

Apparently I had a lot to say.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-02-05 10:22 am

Puppies! And books.

I can be such a voracious reader sometimes. As with many things in my life, I tend to binge when I read. I'm always reading articles and such online, but I mean when I read books, I READ books. I just finished my 5th in maybe 4 days? Granted, they're all books I've read before so I go faster than if they were brand new, but it still wowed me a bit. I'm not quite burned out yet, so I've got at least one more to read before that occurs. So far, I read 4 of my Anne McCaffrey books, and just finished World War Z. Next up looks to be one by Orson Scott Card I haven't read in many years, so much of it should be new again to me. Most people don't know it, but OSC writes some really good horror when he wants to. Not like slasher horror, but, as he put it, that dread you feel when you get home and the window or door is now open that wasn't before...

As for the puppies part, that comes from work. We haven't had many jobs at work lately, so I've had to return to doing surveys on the phone. I haven't been able to do my regular position in like a month, which feels a bit like a demotion. Of course, pretty much all of the supervisors are right there next to me on the phones, so it's not like I'm the only one, but it is still a bit frustrating. Spending a whole shift trying to talk to people who don't want to and not being allowed to actually converse with anyone, either over the phone or even sitting right next to you is not my idea of fun. Granted, I'm still pretty decent at doing it. I read well and have excellent voice inflection, but it's still a difficult job.

The weird part has been the puppy survey this past week. This survey is one of least offensive surveys I've ever had to do. Basically, we call people, ask them if they've gotten a puppy in the past 5 years, then try to find out the means by which they did so. I think the point of it is to find out how willing people are to get theirs online, and how much of a problem puppy mills are. Pretty innocuous, but boy howdy, it was consistently difficult to get people to do. I really don't get why people will get angry about political surveys but will still do them, but tell people you're doing a study about pets and ask them a single question about if they've ever brought a puppy home and everybody immediately hangs up. I kept fantasizing about starting every call by just yelling "PUPPIES!" at whomever picked up. I'm not sure it would have gone much worse, honestly.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-01-26 08:31 pm

Memory

Memory is such an odd thing sometimes. For many years I wished that I had a photographic memory. There are so many things I wish I could remember, especially as I always loved the Sherlock Holmes type who could remember everything and know its import. Not only do I not have that, sometimes I think I have the opposite of a photographic memory. I forget so much, so quickly. I can't think of a single movie or book that I've watched or read that I haven't had to rewatch or reread. My favorite books I've reread easily a half-dozen times. On the one hand, it's nice to be surprised again and new things to discover, but I dunno. It's also nice that if I dislike something I'm likely to forget it. Sadly, bad things are a bit more difficult to forget, which is annoying.

I've never even thought it odd, but the part that does strike me on occasion is how many conversations with friends I've had over the years that I so utterly forget. Many times I've started talking with a friend, only to have them remind me that we've talked about it before. It's definitely a weird feeling.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
2017-01-21 09:52 am

Fringe

I've been flitting from show to show of late. A few seasons here, a season there, but I've not been able to stick with anything for terribly long. Not sure why. Mostly rewatching things anyway. I watched a season or so of The Mentalist, a season of The Finder, the first season of X-Files, and I'm currently watching season one of Fringe. I think I got two seasons in a few years back? I just know that if a show starts to get overly heavy, I tend to bail. I think I tend to be more sensitive when I'm more anxious/depressed (as in, I need to get my meds upped).

Anyway, I just have to say, Anna Torv, oh my. She is absolutely lovely. I'm not even usually big on blonds, but she is spectacular. I love her face. Which is a weird thing to say, but she has an amazing smile that you can tell she makes a lot because her whole face has the permanent smile creases. But I think the part that gets me the most is her eyes. Her eyes smile, and really smile. Her eyes smile better than pretty much anyone I've ever seen. So yeah, totally smitten every time I watch this show.