Monday, September 27, 2010

I want you to stop being afraid

See the original at :

I want everyone to stop being afraid of everyone else. I want the Tea Partiers to stop being afraid of Mexicans, Muslims, progressives, and President Obama. I want Progressives to stop being afraid of Tea Partiers and Republicans. I want this country the way it used to be when we got together to solve problems instead of screaming at each other.
Maybe I am being delusional. Maybe it WILL end up in a civil war. God help us if it does, but I seriously doubt that things are going to be pretty.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Future - the Rollerball/Robocop scenario

This country is starting to sound like Rollerball. The 1970's version that was really a criticism of the corporatization of America. In that world the corporations WERE the government and Rollerball was the game that kept the masses in line. It provided cheap fodder where the violence of the game was only outdone by the indifference of their corporate masters.

By the way, the film was critized at the time for being extremely violent. Indeed, some of the scenes are difficult to watch but are tame compared to what is being offered on today's movie screens.

The other film is Robocop. This is where an indifferent corporation in a world of corporations where government has been rendered impotent by violence the governments turn to Corporate industry to provide security and other "unprofitable" ventures. How soon will this world come about?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

13 things overheard during a colonoscopy exam

Things overheard at a colonoscopy
A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominantly male) while he was performing their Colonoscopies.

1. "Take it easy Doc, you're boldly going where no man has gone before!
2. "Find Amelia Earhart yet?"
3. "Can you hear me NOW?"
4. "Oh boy! That was sphincterrific!"
5. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"
6. "You know in Arkansas we're now legally married."
7. "Any sign of the trapped miners Chief?"
8. "You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out..."
9. "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"
10. "If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!"
11. "Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."
12. "You used to be an executive at Enron didn't you?"

And the best one of them all...

13. "Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is, in fact, not up there."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I did to get international fame -Tthe 10 hour work day

Yes, I am now internationally famous. Last night, as usual, I was driving around in my truck and I heard my name on the radio! That's not something that normally happens. Plus I was listening to our local NPR station's rebroadcast of the BBC World Service which makes it doubly interesting. Apparently I am now internationally famous as my words were read over the air far and wide for all the world to hear. The wonderfully inflected British accent pronounced my name with a more Germanic sounding inflection and called St. Louis (which locally is pronounced Lewis) as "Looie," but it was me because I recognized the words I wrote.

Whats the story behind this international turn of events? Well I am a big fan of Lucy Kellaway's commentaries which are featured regularly on the World Services' Business Daily report on Monday Nights here locally. She writes a rather cynical column for the UK's Financial Times newspaper. Her humorous take on the sometimes bizarre practices of the business world provide constant fodder for her column's.

On July 2 of this year, she wrote a column dedicated to the idea that businesses should eliminate Fridays for a variety of reasons. While I am sure she meant in as a tongue in cheek reference to the fact that nothing really gets done on Fridays. Her commentary was repeated on the BBC on 23 August of this year.

However, I had given the matter serious thought and I posted my thoughts on the BBC website. I wish I had saved the link, because I can't find it now! You may listen to and download the podcast for the next week or so at the following link. Click on the link for the 20th and my comments are read at the end of the broadcast. It might be available for longer at the following link which is up for good I hope.

Anyway, the gist of my comment was that we could eliminate Fridays by going to a 40 hour week/10 hour day. This would leave the last three days of the week, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, free for leisure time and worship as most of the world's major religions worship on one of those three days. I emphasized that the savings in commuting times, energy usage and the like would be considerable. Productivity would increase since we would have essentially two shifts for many jobs. The "weekend" shift would be correspondingly smaller since these would be part time workers, or said workers could be given the option of coming in on any of the other four "working days" and complete a 10 hour shift to have a full 40 hours. Most people could have a lot more leisure time since a three day weekend gives one a lot more time to do home projects and recreation.

Granted the 10 hour day might be a bitch, but then it would be able to have more productivity since we will be working longer in the day and services would be available longer. On a three shift job, we might still have the same 8 hour day, as the times don't match up really. I was thinking on some jobs an "on-call" arrangement might be floated or for others, an overlapping of shifts might be necessary or some might be filled by "weekenders" working partial shifts to cover for those intervening times. Few workplace regulations in the US would change since a minimum of 4 hours is required in some jobs for pay. If you get called in you have to be paid 4 hours no matter what. Of course, the big one would be the 8 hour day.

Overtime would be at twice pay because we don't want people working too much of a day. Many jobs ask you to come in early to set up and some violate regulations by not paying for that set up time. This shift would give adequate time for that set up with four hours a day down time in dome factory jobs. Most would work 9am to 8 pm with an hour allowed for lunch and that hour would always be time off required by law. Now some people would not adapt to this because of the fact that commuting distances have increased in the US especially, but this might encourage the use of trains or other public transit to get people into work. It might also encourage people to live closer to work since a schedule like this would discourage long commuting times. Another idea would be to require a 3 day work/10 hour day and make a fourth day "floating" be it by choice or schedule as long as positions were filled for those long commuters. Also, it might encourage telecommuting for workers who are able to take advantage of that kind of situation.

I wasn't able to provide much detail on my proposal as I have done above, but essentially that is it as depicted above. With the increased lack of leisure time this would be a more accurate reflection on the kind of efficiencies that business today utilizes.

I'd appreciate any commentary on this proposal and what one might think about it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Its 12:12. Do you know where your bodies are?

I haven't talked much about work in my blog. Officially, I am not supposed to on pain of termination. However, I will refrain from presenting this in a negative light as much as possible. I only wish to point out the comedic aspects of this.

There has been controversy of late concerning a proposed exhibit which will visit my Mall. In the wake of the wave of business bankruptcies in 2008, the Mark Shale store, a 12,000 square foot hunk of retail clothing space, closed down. The North End of Death as I like to call it, has claimed another victim. (Stores on the North End of the mall seem not to last long as there is little parking on that end. However, this has changed slightly as some of the newer stores have lasted longer than most have in the past). This leaves a large space a the North End of the Mall unoccupied.

Last year, the space was occupied by a store styled by the name "Halloween Express." Normally this seasonal store occupied the empty Blockbuster space across the street from the mall. Last year I guess they decided to move up a notch and the large space gave them ample space to display their wares. Such included fake cadavers, zombies, witches and other full scale Halloween paraphernalia.

This year, I suppose they decided to try something different. Seems the mall has rented out the space to a company entitled Premier Exhibitions. Premier has several traveling road shows going on including one about the Titanic. However, the subject of the exhibition at our mall has little to do with the mysteries of the sea. No, our exhibition has to do with the Human Body. The exhibit is of various configurations of the Human Body with organs and muscles preserved through a process of plastification. The bodies are posed with the organs showing, the muscles stretching in various sports poses and the like. Needless to say this is somewhat creepy.

Last night, 4 tractor trailers arrived loaded with 250 plasticized cadavers. Then the heavens started to open up. Like a scene from a horror movie, lightening started to crackle and rain started to fall. Eventually they started to unload the trucks in this deluge. Eventually they unloaded the trucks and put all 250 plastic people in the space.

This whole exhibit has led to some bizarre speculation on our part as these are the preserved remains of real people. Since I work nights, the creepiness factor increases. One has the vision of zombies wandering the mall shopping. Lets hope that Michael Jackson's Thriller is mere speculation and not actual fact.

The only controversy the exhibit has engendered has been concerning the origin of the bodies in question. A conservative congressman from a district to the North of St. Louis has threatened to take legal action against the exhibit and its promoters because of the Chinese origin of the bodies. He believes that the bodies are from Chinese prisoners who have been tortured and thus exhibiting them would be cruel. While I think it is creepy and not cruel, the exhibition will now carry, thanks to an agreement between the exhibitors and the State of Missouri, a disclaimer stating that the origin of the bodies cannot be verified. Nice.

Anyway, if you hear of me in the coming zombie Apocalypse running through the mall, I will be calling the police and heading for my home, thank you very much.

Please understand that none of this represents the official opinion of the management of St. Louis Galleria or the company I work for, Valor Security.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What would you do if you saw a tree filled with money

Remember when your parents said that money didn't grow on trees? Amy Krouse Rosenthal wondered what people would do if they saw a tree filled with money. She and a few friends got together and put $100 on a tree on a busy street. What happened was very suprising. The reactions of people were telling about how we notice things.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My memories of 9-11

My best friend in Texas had 5 friends die that day who worked for Bank of America. My supervisor at work was a Paramedic with a local company. He volunteered and went to NYC and worked for as long as he could till work called him back to St. Louis. I remember this day as the day everything was quiet.

I worked at an air cargo company in Louisville, KY. For those who are not aware, Louisville is the hub for UPS, the worlds largest shipper. WorldPort is running 24 hours a day with 747's and Shorts Skyvans taking off at all hours of the day and night. At night the planes come in from all over the world and the sky is filled with airplanes. I lived in apartment complex across the highway from Runway 35R at the airport. I am well aware of airport noise and that was the day everything became quiet.

I was at work when one of our drivers came in and said that he heard on the radio that a plane had just dived into the World Trade Center. I got on the internet which was jammed and saw a picture of the burning building. Then we got the call, that they shut the skies down and every airplane in the air around Louisville came there to roost. Airlines which never had landed there did do and those passengers were stranded, with no way to get home.

I called people I loved. Not sure why I did it, but I did, just to be sure they were OK. Apparently thousands of others thought the same way because it was a wonder I got through. Eventually I went home and watched the aftermath.

Then I noticed the quiet. The planes had all landed so the airport was shut down. But then I noticed the highway was quiet too. Like a Sunday, with no traffic. Everyone was at home, just like me, glued to the Television or surfing the net and watching the aftermath.

I remember Sting watching the live broadcast of his song Fragile and looking at the TV and watching the rain falling on the rescuers and wondering at the words he was singing.


About Me

My photo
I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.