Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Employment Drought Ends - Temporarily!!!

Yes, an employer has finally been guilted into hiring me! For a few months, at least.

Now, I'm sure that, once y'all have recovered from the shock of such unexpected news, there will be questions. You know, "Who are you working for?" "Do they actually pay you?"  "Do they actually pay you in cash?" and so forth. So I'll try to answer some of those questions now. I've only been employed two days, so there will be updates.

1. Where are you working?


2. Okay, smartass, for whom are you working?

  This is where things become complicated. I'm sure that everyone has read or heard various theories about the Government (federal, state, county, city, grange hall, etc.) being a hideous conspiracy to oppress the rich. Well... it's true. Whether it's making them pay livable wages and Social Security for domestic help (instead of offering room and board for escapees from Central America) or trying to tax them to pay for the freeways built so they can enjoy their Hummers and BMWs, the Government is all about oppressing the rich.

Some of you are saying, "The President/Governor/Mayor/Grange Hall President is rich! Why would they be interested in oppressing themselves?" Think of professional sports leagues - baseball or football, for example. Notice how there's an American League and a National League? Yes, they're all rich, but still, there are two leagues. Well, it's pretty much the same in government. Two leagues, both rich. So whichever league is winning (or running the government) wants to take at least some money from the league that's losing (or not running the government).

And that's where my job comes in. I'm a foot soldier in CORPS - Coalition to Oppress Rich PeopleS. It is a secret govt. agency, to be sure. I may have told some of you that I work for Roads and Bridges, or Housing for Indigent Mammals - and in a way I do, indirectly. But mostly I'm going to be about this:

If our training materials are to be believed, usually when we get a rich person to this point in our proceedings they'll agree to hire registered aliens or pay an extra $500/yr to repair the bridges they drive over every day.

I know this makes me sound like a class warrior. But I'm not. I'd love to be rich. I just wouldn't try to cheat the poor, that's all. Because we all know the poor control everything.

3. You actually get paid for this?

  Yes. Cash, health & dental, vacation and sick leave, and a bus pass.

4. This really sounds as if it should be a volunteer job...

  They tried that at CORPS and had 50,000 applicants. Too many to weed through. So they made it a real job. There were over 800 applicants for the platoon that was just hired on (of which I am a member).

5. And they really do pay you in cash?

  Some of my readers may wonder why the hell I'm making a big deal out of this. But my friends and former coworkers at Megadynecorp Technologies appreciate my obsession with cash. MDC Technologies paid in bags of expired croutons from the Marie Callender's restaurant up the road (cases of them if you were a unit manager) and belly button lint.

Oh, I almost forgot Binder Clip Day (BCD)! Once a year at MDC T we'd get to fill one pocket with all the binder clips it could hold. I would rent a kangaroo for the day, stick a plastic trash bag in its marsupium, and enjoy a binder clip bonanza! (So now you guys know why I always looked funny and refused to speak on Binder Clip Day.)
Other details about the job - 1 hour for lunch, two 15 minute breaks, non-stop snacking opportunities. And there is decent coffee (and a sucky restaurant) within a five-minute walk. And we get chairs at our desks, instead of having to construct our own out of busted-up shipping pallets and staples (thanks for all the splinters, MDC!).

My fellow platoon members all seem quite nice - in fact, they've elected me the most sadistic member of the group - woo hoo! But it's an intelligent group of people - after all, in the Puget Sound area, the rich generally do not advertise by wearing tiaras and floor-length mink coats. We have to be able to tell the shabbily-dressed rich from the shabbily-dressed working class.

I've met a couple of our IT folks - yes, we use the Interwebz to hunt down people - and they  seem really nice, friendly, competent:

One thing I want to mention - I've reported some MegaDyneCorp Technologies policies here in an unflattering light. These policies do not reflect on my friends and former coworkers there, who suffered as I did under the crouton and lint policies!!! I just want to make that clear.  I hold CEO Torquemada Johnson responsible for such policies, him and his Bored of Directors...

Anyway, as stated above I've only been working two days, so there's not much news yet... but I'll keep you updated on all the fun at CORPS!  And hey, you guys at MDC Technologies - save me some croutons, if you can spare them. I kind got used to them!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm rich! Rich, I tells ya!

Fresh from my adventures of being an unwitting spammer (can we say "AOL has no defenses against hackers"?), I was happy to see my luck improve with the announcement of a fine, large inheritance:

From: Mr. Thomas Glasgow
Remittance Manager
Barclays Bank Plc.
Phone Number: +44-762-419-0409
Attention: Beneficiary
This Is To Officially Inform You That We Have Verified Your Contract Inheritance File Presently On My Desk, And I Found Out That You Have Not Received Your Payment Due To Your Lack Of Co-Operation And Not Fulfilling The Obligations Giving To You In Respect To Your Contract /Inheritance Payment.
Secondly, You Are Hereby Advice To Stop Dealing With Some Non-Officials In The Bank As This Is An Illegal Act And Will Have To Stop If You So Wish To Receive Your Payment Immediately. After The Board Meeting Held At Our Headquarters, We Have Resolved In Finding A Solution To Your Problem, And As You May Know, We Have Arranged Your Payment Through Our Swift Card Payment Centre In Europe, America And Asia Pacific, Which Is Then Instruction Given By Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
This Card Centre Will Send You An Atm Card Which You Will Use To Withdraw Your Money In An Atm Machine In Any Part Of The World, But The Maximum Is (Ј15,000.00) Five Thousand British Pound Per Transaction. So, If You Like To Receive Your Fund This Way, Ј15,000 Gbp For You To Withdraw For A Day And Each Transaction Is Ј5,000gbp Minimum Which You Have To Withdraw Ј15,000 Gbp For One Working Day Also Be Informed That The Total Amount In The Swift Atm Card Is Ј14.6 Million Gbp.
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Your Address Where You Want the Payment Centre to Send Your Atm Card.:
(3) Phone and Fax Number:
(4) Age and Occupation:
(5) Your Nearest International Air Port in Your City Of Residence:
We Shall Be Expecting To Receive Your Information You Have Stop Any Further Communication With Anybody Or Office. On This Regards, Do Not Hesitate To Contact Me For More Details And Direction, And Also Please Do Update Me With Any New Development.
Thanks for Your Co-Operation.
Best Regards,
Mr. Thomas Glasgow
Remittance Manager
Barclays Bank Plc
Barclays Bank Plc. Registered In England. Barclays Bank Plc Is Authorized And Regulated By The Financial Services Authority (Fsa). Registered No 1026167. Barclays Insurance Services Company Limited Is Authorized And Regulated By The Fsa. Registered No 973765. Registered Office For Both: 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5hp. "The Woolwich" And "Woolwich" Are Trademarks And Trading Names Of Barclays Bank Plc. Barclays Business Is A Trading Name Of Barclays Bank Plc. Barclays Bank Plc Subscribes To The Lending Code Which Is Monitored And Enforced By The Lending Standards Board And Is Licensed And Regulated By The Office Of Fair Trading For The Provision Of Credit Products To Consumers And Related Services.
See? Good things can happen to all of us. I, for example, am going to send a copy of this along with my resume so they can see I'd produce much better written unsolicited emails than this one. Sooooo many things wrong with this I don't know where to start. But I'm intrigued by the idea that you could get 14,000,000 pounds from ATM machines.

If you have any suggestions on how to spend this munificence, please let me know. I expect to get my card any day now, as soon as I send them my SSN, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and send them the deed to my mother's house... 14 million pounds is nothing to sneeze at, after all!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Pleasant Discovery

My French is better than Google's translator!

I've been listening to Daniele Balavoine's 1978 hit song, "Le Chanteur".

Interesting how different musical presentation is - I love that he just sticks his hands in his pockets! That bit at the end where he looks like he's undergoing some sort of monstrous transformation? Well, he's saying that he wants to (after achieving great fame) die unhappy but without regrets. (Considering he died in the mid 1980s in a helicopter crash in the deserts of Africa, he probably was unhappy, but in a different way than he meant in the song, I'm sure.)

Anyway, I can pick out some words here and there but wanted a better understanding of the song than my extremely rusty skills could manage. So first I found a good version of the French lyrics (not as easy as one might thing - lots of free lyrics sites out there but they often get lyrics wrong, even in English). 

Here are the first two stanzas (there's a reason you non-French speaking types are getting this):

Je m'présente, je m'appelle Henri
J'voudrais bien réussir ma vie, être aimé
Etre beau gagner de l'argent
Puis surtout être intelligent
Mais pour tout ça il faudrait que j'bosse à plein temps

J'suis chanteur, je chante pour mes copains
J'veux faire des tubes et que ça tourne bien, tourne bien
J'veux écrire une chanson dans le vent
Un air gai, chic et entraînant
Pour faire danser dans les soirées de Monsieur Durand

And here's the Google translation:

I m'présente, my name is Henry  (s/b something like "Let me introduce myself")
J'voudrais do well my life, to be loved (s/b "I want")
Be nice to earn money
Can be especially intelligent
But for all that would have j'bosse full time (s/b work hard, slave away, etc.)

I'm singing, I sing for my friends  (s/b "I'm a singer" - that one is like first month French!)
I Want to tubes and it runs well, runs well  (Idiomatic for "I want to make hit records" - Google gets a pass on that one)
I Want to write a song in the wind
A gay, chic and resulting  (it left out the word 'air', which I think is either a light song or an attitude)
To dance in the evening Mr Durand  (I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be "I will dance at the soirees of M Durand - soiree means 'evening' but is a very common word meaning an 'evening gathering', etc.)

For those who are concerned with the lyrics (that would pretty much be just me), this is pretty ridiculous - this isn't terribly idiomatic French in these two stanzas. The translator should do better than simply plugging in the first dictionary definition it comes to.

And for those who don't give a rat's ass about Europop, let this be a warning about how far to trust Google translator. Even if you use it, make sure you find someone with knowledge of the original language, or who knows what sort of mad scientist activity you'll end up involved in.

Monday, March 29, 2010


News flash (not) - a lot of people are on Farcebook these days, for many hours a day. And from what I can tell it’s mostly designed for office workers and students. I mean, I’m unemployed but if I spent as much time on Farcebook as other folks do, I’d have died of starvation by now.

That’s not intended as criticism of people who spend a lot of time on the site. Actually, I kind of envy them. But I think I might not be envying much. Like my friend’s young daughter who saw the Snuggie ad on TV and envied those people their fun-inspiring blankets. Only to discover, when she finally got her Snuggie, that it wasn’t the blanket that was the agent of fun.

So even though I am on Farcebook, I’m still antisocial and cranky and would rather be looking at Victorian knitting patterns. I guess I need a site for the cranky and antisocial. Snarkbook, perhaps.

What I’m really trying to say about being on Farcebook is that I don’t belong there.

It’s not that I don’t like, or am not interested, in what my friends are doing. But Farcebook replaces meaningful conversations with something else, the equivalent of sound bites, and games instead of actually one-on-one meetups and hanging out. I miss seeing the people I worked with and chatting with them, and making them look at my knitting. Farcebook is no replacement for that.

Perhaps if validation by others was important to me, I wouldn’t notice the shortcomings of such a site. But I’m self-absorbed enough that I don’t care if everyone knows what I’ve read in the NY Times today. I have a few people who get that sort of spam from me all the time - I figure the rest of the world can live without it. So status updates aren’t something I’m driven to do. “Still unemployed” would cover it pretty much every day.

And then there’s the Farcebook activities. I suck at those.

When I first joined all my friends were inviting me to this thing and that - like Super Pets. Since I haven’t fed my pet dragon in something like 9 months to a year, I’m sure he’s now a specimen in the Museum of Natural History.

 What's left of my SuperPet Khan

Or the farming games. I got invited to two of them by people whom I really like. But I simply don’t have what it takes to check on my crops. I tried, dear readers, I really tried. But my poor Farcebook friends who’ve invited me to be their neighbors have an absentee landlord. My farms, last time I visited, looked like the Dust Bowl.

My Farmville plot last year

I fixed them up… but haven’t been back in months, and my turnips were going to need harvesting within three days… I’m sure that once again I’m lording it over plantations of dried crops, starved livestock, and tumbleweeds blowing everywhere.

Trying to save the farm - yet again.

 Getting the hell out of Farmville while we still can.

There are other games that I joined, find the monster egg, etc., and some of the gift things were fun, I thought. But no one seemed interested in getting pestilences from me, and I could find no one to give me 20th Century composers. Wimps - what, are y’all afraid of Xenakis or Takemitsu?

Xenakis & Takemitsu only look scary...
and sound scary...
but they were really nice guys.

I do check the site once a day. And realized last week that, since they changed the setups recently, I hadn’t seen my wall in ages. When I finally discovered how to get there, I had several birthday wishes that were ignored. Not because I wasn’t looking for them, or hated the senders. It was because I couldn’t negotiate the damned site.

So I’m going to stay on Farcebook and check it once a day, and continue to suck at being a good citizen, and dream of the day when Snarkbook gets up and running.

{Oh yeah, Twister? I have a Twister account. I’ve participated in two Twister knit-alongs (KALs). Yes, I only joined for the knitting. I had a follower, some young lass, I had no idea who she was. I guess she eventually figured out she didn’t know me either, because she quit following me…}

Aurantium Shawl, KAL #1
(not the one I'm knitting)

Twister KAL #2 - Lithuanian Wristers 
(not the ones I knitted)

Friday, January 8, 2010

"But I was so hungry, I had to eat it."

Russian cannibal who ate his mother given lighter sentence by judge who says 'he was starving, he needed to eat'
A cannibal who killed and ate parts of his mother had his sentence reduced by a judge who said 'he needed to eat'.

Sergey Gavrilov secured reduced time in jail after confessing: 'I did not like the meat very much. It was too fatty. But I was so hungry, I had to eat it.'

The 27-year-old was given a lenient prison sentence because the judge said he was starving and needed to eat after spending all his money on vodka and gambling machines.