Sunday, December 30, 2007

The current best reason to have caller ID in NH

We live in New Hampshire: the first primary state. Yes, Iowa has their caucuses before we have our primary, but that just means we get to share the attention with them.

Over the last several weeks, we have gotten more and more phone calls from various and sundry political campaigns and survey organizations. We pretty much don't answer the telephone any more. We have a great phone system in our house. Not only does it have caller ID, but it has a voice announcement of the ID. So, we can be sitting in the living room watching television when the phone rings. We merely pause whatever we're watching (even live TV, since we have TiVo), and listen to the ID of who is calling. If we don't recognize the name we return to our 'regularly scheduled programming'.

This afternoon, we have gotten three calls in less than two hours. The first two were announced as "number available", which means there is no name associated with the numbers. The last one was "private caller". The first two got me to peak at the display and then walk away chuckling. The last one was a complete no-brainer. None of our friends block caller ID.

We still have a little over a week until the primary. I wonder how many more calls we're going to get. Maybe I should start a pool?

Enjoying a small vacation

I'm on day two of a mini five day break from work. My office is closed both Monday and Tuesday, and I decided to take Wednesday off (since I was one of the few who worked after Christmas last week).

Dropping my class for this semester bummed me out, but I think it helped relax me somewhat. Yesterday, we ran a few errands. While we were out, I splurged on some holiday-related crafting supplies since there were some sales going on. We were home for less than half an hour, then my husband and I went out to see "Alien verses Predator: Requieum" When we tried to see it Christmas night, it was sold out. This time there were less than thirty people in the theater by the time the film started. It was a pretty good flick, for what it intended to be.

Today, I caught up with some bill paying (slightly depressing), and played around at my craft table (painting some suggestion boxes for my church, and toying with designs for next year's holiday cards). I'm about to go back to bed for a lazy mid-morning nap. Later, I need to run a few errands.

Our son is going to Vermont for the day with a friend to break in the snowboard he got for Christmas. He's never been boarding before, so this should be interesting. We do, conveniently, already own a set of crutches. (hee hee)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Riding the knife's edge

It's been a while since I've really vented here. Since last summer, I've tried to stay away from pure ranting. So, my apologies, in advance, to the Power of Positive Thinking Princess (if she happens to check in).

For the last couple of months, I have been trying to lead a huge project at work which involves replacing an organically homegrown, undocumented, critical application server with a commercially supported appliance. Lots of things that 'just work' on the homegrown system are proving to be problematic on the new system. It wouldn't be so bad if I was leading an actual team who were accountable for the success of this transition. As it stands, my 'team members' seem to view any effort that they put forth on this project as (more or less) helping me out. They come to meetings when they feel like it. They address their assigned tasks when it's convenient. Our upper management (two levels up from me) began calling these meetings in July when I was making no progress on 'my project'.

The eight other people who were 'invited' to these meetings seem to feel that the meetings are there for me to report MY progress. Sometimes, someone will volunteer to help me with a task. Sometimes, they'll actually deliver on their offer. Tasks that obviously can only be accomplished by someone, other than me, are never delivered in a timely fashion. And, our management (who attend these meetings) never call these folks on the carpet for their lack of contribution.

There are a ton of issues getting our applications to work through the new appliance. I do not understand how most of them were configured to work through the old, homegrown, server. The folks who administer that server never documented what they did to get the stuff working. And, now, they don't seem real anxious to assist in getting the stuff to work through the new appliance.

When, and if, this project ever goes live, these folks will no longer have to support a MAJOR application server that impacts everyone in our VERY large organization. You'd think that they'd be more than forthcoming in order to get rid of this albatross!

Speaking of albatrosses, once we cut over to the new appliance, I'll be the sole support for the new appliance. Someone else on my team went to the same training that I did. HOWEVER, the woman has only been out of college for a little over a year and is relatively incapable of troubleshooting the appliance if an application doesn't work through it. So, while the homegrown server is antiquated, there's a team of about 3 or 4 guys who, more-or-less, can troubleshoot an issue if push came to shove, since most of them are experienced server administrators.

So, folks, in a nutshell: I'm EXTREMELY stressed right now.

That said, I had registered for a class that starts in a few days. Tonight was the last night that I had to pay for the class before my registration would have been canceled. As much as I really wanted to take the class, I feel like I've been riding the knife's edge the last few months. As 'my project' gets closer and closer to going into production, I could not envision taking on the additional stress of a rigorous class right now. So, instead of paying for the class, I logged onto the registration system and canceled my registration for the upcoming term. I'm bummed, but I don't feel like I had any other choice. (And, crap, I already bought the really expensive text book!)

Afterwards, I decided to surf a few of the local hospitals' job sites. The Fates must have felt my pain! The first site I hit had a job ad for an Information Security Engineer position just 25 minutes from my house. So, of course, I applied.

Wish my luck! (Man, wouldn't that turn my frown WAY upside down?!?!?!)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What does this say about us?

On Christmas night, my husband and I decided to go out to see the new "Alien verses Predator" flick. Unfortunately, for us, we waited until just before the movie started. The theater parking lot was FULL. We waited in line for about five minutes. When we got to the front we were informed that the 7:30 show was sold out.

OK. We were part of the problem, but what does this say about our society? It's Christmas night. There's nothing open ... except for the movie theaters. So, of course their packed!

Are we compelled to go out and about? Can we not sit at home and merely enjoy the company of our families, for just one night a year?

I was fully prepared to turn around and go home. My husband suggested that we see one of the other flicks that hadn't (yet) sold out. I vetoed that in favor of finally watching our family's twisted holiday classic: "The Ref"

Now THAT'S family bonding.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ordinary miracles

I have attended a Unitarian Universalist church for about six years now. Their focus is on community and spirituality, and not dogma. This proved to be the best spiritual home for an agnostic looking to bring community and spirituality to her child.

That said, I have a lot of anti-Christian baggage. Mind you, I have nothing against Christian beliefs. At the core, the teachings are very akin to how I think the world should work. However, traditional organized Christian institutions rub me like sand paper, particularly evangelical churches.

I have attended several Christmas and Easter-themed services at my church over the years. Our services have a tendency to deal with these holidays with a broad brush. This evening's Christmas Eve ceremony was no different. Tonight the them was what I'll refer to as 'ordinary miracles'. The point being that we are all called on to make today the first day of a new, better, world. We are all usually too caught up in our own lives to hear the angels calling to us. For many UU's these 'angels' are metaphorical.

The message boils down to this: "Experience the world. Look for opportunities to see love and miracles. Spread the word, literally or through your own actions, that love and understanding are ordinary miracles we can all experience and create."

When I came home, I read a story on Yahoo News about an ordinary miracle. A soldier adopted an Iraqi child with cerebral palsy. This one really pulls at your heart strings. Combine this story with the story of the war dog adopted by a fallen Marine's family and you can really begin to appreciate the love that ordinary people are capable of.

Do I have issues with our presence in Iraq? YUP. Do I think we need to change course? YUP. Do I think that a horrible situation has given ordinary people the opportunity to display extraordinary courage and love for their fellow man? YUP.

Every day, hundreds of horrible things happen in Iraq. We all need to continue to pressure our government to find a way out for us, and hopefully for the Iraqi people. However, I think we all need to soak up these stories of ordinary miracles to remind us of how good humans can be. I think we certainly get enough reminders on a daily basis of the negative side of humanity. If people in such horrific conditions can find the strength and where-with-all to perform compassionate acts, maybe there is hope for the human race after all.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Heroine of the highways

Muriel Gladwin of Hereford, England, taught herself to drive at the age of 12. Eighty two years later, Muriel has driven an estimated 600,000 miles and hasn't gotten a single ticket. At the age of 94, she has decided to give up her keys and let others drive her where she needs to go.

As most of us know, as we age our vision and reflexes begin to diminish. Time and again, I have encountered older drivers on the highway going under the speed limit, impeding the flow of traffic. Sometimes they are aware enough of their differing operating principles to at least ride in the right hand lane of the highway, and to try to avoid rush hour traffic.

My husband told me a story about fifteen years ago that is probably an exceptional situation, but still makes one wonder 'how old is too old to drive?'? He was coming off a major highway onto a pretty long exit ramp. Coming the wrong way down the exit ramp was a quite venerable woman in a very large older vehicle. The woman was going about fifteen miles and hour and could barely see about the steering wheel. My husband honked her horn several times and then pulled to one side, not knowing quite how to handle the situation. Fortunately, a police car quickly pulled up behind the wrong-way driver with lights flashing and pulled her over. My husband assumed that he got the driver turned around in the proper direction. He also hoped that he gave her a 'must appear' ticket so that a judge could discuss her driving future.

As much as driving represents freedom, it is a dangerous privilege that should only be granted to those capable of comporting themselves in a safe and serious manner on the roads. When I am no longer sharp enough to react quickly to the changing situations one encounters on the highways, I hope I have Muriel Gladwin's sense to know when it's time to retire from behind the wheel.

For more information on safe driving in your Golden Years check out AARP's driver safety program, which used to go by the name "55 Alive".

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This week's heroine(s): Miss Navajo

This weekend, I watched the documentary film, Miss Navajo on PBS's Independent Lense. The film follows a young Native American woman, Crystal Frazier, as she prepares to compete in the Miss Navajo Nation contest.

The first time the title was awarded was in 1952 at the Navajo Nation Fair. Initially, the crown was awarded to the most popular contestant among fair attendees. Over the years, the contest evolved. The winner represents the Navajo people to the rest of the world, acting as a kind of ambassador of good will. Contestants must demonstrate skill in traditional Navajo ways, including fluency in the Navajo language. This particular talent has become a difficult hurdle for many, since most Navajo families now speak English at home and English has been the dominant language in the public schools attended by the Navajo.

Some of the other skills that contestants must demonstrate include rug weaving, fry bread making, and sheep butchering. This last bit is very grueling, for the contestant as well as the animal. Contestants are questioned on their knowledge of Navajo culture and history by a panel, typically in the Navajo language.

The winner of this pageant exemplifies a beauty of cultural spirit. Since Native cultures and traditions are threatened by modernization and more than a century's worth of subversive intentional assimilation, I applaud the intent of this contest. Wouldn't it be fantastic if other pageants encouraged contestants to embody certain spiritual, cultural, or intellectual ideals? While many Miss America contestants pay lip service to social ideals, how many actually do anything to further those ideals in more than just a mock fashion?

So, Hooray for Miss Navajo, and all the runners up who try to live up to the spirit of the contest.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Snow wuss: the day after

I left work just before 7:30 p.m. last night. The roads were frightening, and my insane/stupid fellow drivers just made it more so. With at least an inch of snow covering the road in most places, a prudent driver would keep their speed down and give themselves a huge buffer zone around their vehicle.

My top speed hit about 40, on a portion of the road where I occasionally saw pavement interspersed with white stuff. Mostly, I was going about 25. I made sure to keep at least six car lengths between myself and the rare driver in front of me. If I miraculously found myself going faster than someone else on the highway, I made sure that we had at least twenty or so feet between us when I passed them. This must epitomize my "snow wuss" mentality.

I encountered dozens of drivers who were going over 40 (some over 50). Folks who thought it was fine to get as close as two car lengths behind me. And, folks who passed me with less than five feet of space between me and them.

Lesson learned. The next time there's a threat of snow, I am not leaving my house. People are supreme jerks.

On the bright side, it took me just over an hour and a half to get home. My poor coworkers (with similar distance commutes) who left at 1:15 didn't see their houses for four and a half hours.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The snow wuss

This morning, I considered taking a mental health day. I haven't been sleeping very well and I've been under a lot of stress regarding my 'big project'. But, I have this silly work ethic thing, so I came in.

I planned on leaving around 2pm, because I had an appointment after work and I had heard that we were supposed to get some snow this afternoon. Then, at 12:30, the word went out that we were closing at 2pm because of the coming storm. I managed to leave at 1:15, but almost immediately regretted it. It took me twenty minutes to get out of the parking garage. It then took me another twenty to resign myself to the fact that it would take me at least another hour to get to the actual road. I spent another twenty minutes getting to a place where I could pull into one of our parking lots.

Many of my coworkers never bothered trying to leave. They knew how horrible it could be trying to get anywhere when Boston declared a snow emergency during the workday. Most of those with reasonable sense started leaving around 4pm. It's after 5pm, and I'm still sitting here in the office.

The problem is: my back. I can take about 60 minutes in the car before my back starts to seize up on me. Current estimates for highway traffic from my location to the NH state line are about 120 minutes (a 30 minute trip during non-rush hour, a 50 minute trip during 'normal' rush hour). Plus, it'd probably take me at least 20 minutes to get to the highway right now.

I typically take alternate routes anyway, which normally costs me about 30 minutes during rush hour. If the multiplier is the same for the alternate routes as the highways, it's probably a 75-90 minute trip on the alternate roads ... if they are safe and passable.

Once I hit the state line, it's usually another 20 minutes to my house. I'm guessing that it's 35-45 minutes from the state line to my house from the traffic reports I am reading for the highway conditions at the state line.

So, optimistically, if I leave right now and take the alternate route, it's at least 110 minutes. (Assuming the back roads are in fair condition.) For the highway route, it's probably about 160 minutes.

Therefore, I sit here and wait. My back is already stressed and spasming slightly. No need to rush into a situation that I can't dive out of easily (very few places to pull over to and take a break on either route).

I think less than 1% of our staff are still in the building right now. Minorities rule!?!?!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is it warm in here, or is it just me?

Oh, ok. It IS just me.

It really is amazing that more violent crimes aren't committed by women. From puberty until menopause, PMS can make a woman virtually homicidal. Then, with menopause, you have different inspirations for losing your cool (total pun intended). Once this phase is over with, I wonder what else is in store for me physically.

Is it wrong to want to turn the AC on in December (especially when its freezing outside)?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bah humbug?

I have finished my holiday shopping. Hooray! I haven't dealt with the holiday cards yet, though I keep meaning to. (Remember, I wanted to hand make a bunch of them... fool that I am).

Our tree isn't up and isn't even on my radar to go up. Since I am the driving force for such things in our house, it may not go up. I really can't be bothered this year. If the boys want to put it up, they are welcome to it. I have different priorities this year ... like surviving through the first week in January when my big work project launches.

I did listen to some holiday music today while I baked cookies for a function my son was going to this afternoon. And, I am looking forward to some holiday video traditions that we have at our house: the original "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer" and Denis Leary's "The Ref". We may also watch "Home Alone 3" and "The Santa Clause".

If someone finds my holiday spirit, could you mail it to me, maybe C.O.D.?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Heroine for the season ... if you like champagne

While I do enjoy a glass or two of bubbly, several months ago I was quite taken with the story of Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin (1777-1866), who later became Madame Clicquot (upon her marriage to Fran├žois Clicquot, son of a prominent French businessman). Upon the death of her husband she took over his company and focused all her attention on improving their production of champagne. Prior to her influence, the beverage was often cloudy and not so highly regarded as it is today. The brand Veuve (french for widow) Clicquot is often associated with royalty.

So, as you celebrate this holiday season, raise your glass of bubbly in honor of Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin, aka Madame Clicquot for the sparkling goodness she gave to the world during a time when most women had little direct influence on the affairs of the world.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Delayed stress, but I won't look a gifthorse in the mouth

My big project at work was scheduled to go into production next Saturday (the 15th). But, of course, several gotchas came up at the 11th hour. So, in our team meeting yesterday I proposed, and everyone accepted, that we delay our launch until the first Saturday in January. I still have a boatload to do (hence the reason for the delay), however, I now feel that I may be able to address most of the issues that have come up before we launch. I'm sure that our user population will still find issues that we haven't found in testing when we finally do launch. However, I couldn't go forward when there were known issues staring us in the face.

One thing that we did agree to that should be interesting: Any known issues that we have when we launch will be documented on an internal Wiki server. So, basically, our response to unresolved issues will be: "Yeah, we know about it. We'll fix it when we can. Get over it." So, as long as we 'advertise' that we know there are problems, we should be fine, right? I guess it is the nature of technology. Nothing's perfect. But, if we admit that we know about it, maybe the user community will get that warm fuzzy feeling that we care and plan on addressing the issue at our earliest convenience.

All things being equal, I was SEVERELY stressed this week, and my back is revolting in ways that it hasn't done in many months. Fortunately, I have a massage scheduled for today. Hope it helps!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The "duh" of physical therapy

I'm having a pretty stressful time at work right now. The huge project I am in charge of is about to be cut over, and all 3000+ staff will be forced to use it. No pressure not to F it up, or anything. Today, a mere week before launch, a major gotcha came to light. I plan on recommending that we delay launch for another three weeks while we address it appropriately, and not slam together some half-baked response that will merely cause more issues. (Foolish of me, I know.)

This evening I had a physical therapy appointment. My PT, who I've been working with for over a year, postulated that stress could be a contributing factor in the myriad muscular pains I suffer from. I nearly laughed myself off the table. Then I sarcastically tapped my head and said, "Hmmmm.... Stress might be a factor in the multitudes of seemingly unrelated pains throughout my body? (pause) Wow! (pause) I NEVER considered that before!" He and I have a great relationship, so we had a good time with the whole thing.

Did you know that oranges are often times orange?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Getting too old for concerts?

My husband picked up tickets for the Evanescence concert this evening. While I like the band well enough, I have a tough time enjoying a mid-week night out. I typically rise at 5 a.m. So staying out past 10 p.m. is a bit tiresome. On top of that basic math, I do have chronic insomnia, and the last couple of days have been pretty brutal on that front.

The concert was pretty good, though we left before the end by mutual agreement. My back was bothering me a lot, along with being exhausted. The food at the arena was crap. And the music was a wee bit loud (fortunately, I did have ear plugs).

Looking around at the crowd, I was more than a bit amused. A lot of the crowd were Goths. Most of the younger girls who weren't Goths were wearing their pants tight and virtually falling off their butts, which looked unflattering even on the most well proportioned of them. Then there was a whole cadre of girls wearing outlandishly short skirts with obscenely high heels or boots.

Boy do I sound like an old fuddy duddy.

We may go to another concert in March. This one appeals to old people like me: Van Hanlen. Maybe their show will be over by 10. After all, they're old like us.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Book list meme

Thanks Barbie2be for yet another horrible meme that I couldn't resist. It's a lot of work unless you really like the stuff of the bait, which I do: Books!

Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you want to read. Don't alter the ones that you aren't interested in.

  1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)

  2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

  3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee).

  4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)

  5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)

  6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)

  7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

  8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)

  9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)

  10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)

  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)

  12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)

  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

  14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)

  15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)

  16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)

  17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)

  18. The Stand (Stephen King)

  19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)

  20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

  21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)

  22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)

  23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)

  24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)

  25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

  26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

  27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

  28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)

  29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)

  30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)

  31. Dune (Frank Herbert)

  32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)

  33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

  34. 1984 (Orwell)

  35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)

  36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)

  37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)

  38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)

  39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)

  40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

  41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)

  42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

  43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)

  44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)

  45. Bible

  46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)

  47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

  48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)

  49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

  50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)

  51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)

  52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)

  53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)

  54. Great Expectations (Dickens)

  55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

  56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)

  57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)

  58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)

  59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

  60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)

  61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

  62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)

  63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)

  64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)

  65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)

  66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

  67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)

  68. Catch 22 - Heller

  69. Les Miserables (Hugo)

  70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

  71. Bridget Jones's Diary (Fielding)

  72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)

  73. Shogun (James Clavell)

  74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)

  75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

  76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)

  77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)

  78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)

  79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)

  80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)

  81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)

  82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)

  83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)

  84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)

  85. Emma (Jane Austen)

  86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)

  87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

  88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)

  89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)

  90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)

  91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)

  92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) -

  93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

  94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)

  95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)

  96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)

  97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)

  98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)

  99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)

  100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Monday, December 03, 2007

There's nothing like a snow day make me really hate snow.

The last few days have been increasingly painful for me, back-wise. Since I had heard that we were due for an overnight snow storm (and I hadn't gotten my snow tires on my car yet), I figured that I would probably call in 'unwell' today. Sadly, I knew that I had a boatload of crap to get done this week, so I really couldn't afford to blow an entire day off.

I should have. I REALLY should have.

My home office is not as ergonomically friendly as my work office. The longer I sit at my home desk, the more I regret it. I probably worked at least 75% of the day. And, what do I have to show for it? Well, I did accomplish some of what I needed to today. However, my body is in twice as much pain as it was twenty four hours ago.

Since I was going to be home, I kind of got it in my head that there were some much-neglected home tasks that I might try to accomplish today. Now, of course, I'm pissed at myself for not getting to those either.

Maybe I'll call in sick tomorrow, and mean it.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

(Primary) Politics = Ridiculous (Doh!)

As most of you know, I live in NH. We traditionally hold the first primaries in the country for Presidential elections. Politicians favor us with an inordinate amount of attention, relative to the size of our population (41st according to Infoplease), since our primaries influence the rest of the primary elections.

This week, the Democratic Party ruled that all Michigan forfeited of its delegates by moving the date of its primary ahead of the official February 5th start date of the primary season. New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina have traditionally held early primaries/caucuses, and were thereby exempt from the wrath of the Party.

Look, I (somewhat) enjoy all the attention that the candidates pay to NH. I like that they visit my small (by populuation standards) us a great deal in the months leading up to the primaries. Though I do wish they'd stop calling my house. However, this 'race to be first' has gotten out of hand.

All state-residency-loyalty aside, here's how I see it. Wyoming is actually the least populated in the country. Let's let them hold their primaries/caucuses on January 2nd. Let's make everyone else hold theirs at least one week out after that. Currently, Wyoming waits until May to hold a convention to determine their selections. If they would like to continue to do that, perhaps they could offer to sell their slot!

Any state that would like to take on Wyoming's slot, could bid for the privilege. Wyoming is not a wealthy state. Imagine the benefit to them to selling off their preeminent position in the primaries. As the least populated state in the union, they could garner some financial benefit to their position (once every four years) by auctioning off their preeminent primary slot every fourth year in (say) October.

What do you think?

I promise to do a weekly hero post tomorrow. This one was just too annoying to pass off today.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

All quiet on the blogsphere front

Now that NaBloPoMo is over, many a blog has gone silent. It's not surprising. Committing to posting everyday for 30 days is hard work, even if some posts are just "I know this is a lame post". It was still a commitment to say something, anything, every day.

All of us had days where we were exhausted from our lives, where we couldn't even think of dragging ourselves to the computer, much less actually stringing a few coherent words together for the blogsphere.

So, allow me to applaud everyone who kept their commitment every day, even if some days ' posts were not earth shattering. Life is like that. Many days are unremarkable. But, each day we get up and persevere.