May 17, 2020

It’s funny how life prepares you for certain things.

When I was growing up, there was a period of time after my parents were divorced where I lived with my mom. My mom who has since left this mortal coil was a person who lived a really, really hard life.

That‘s not an understatement either, my mom and her sister were put into foster care for reasons that were never really clear and the amount of physical abuse they suffered was shockingly apparent when my mother would talk about it even though she downplayed it. Foster kids go through a lot as it is, and in my mom’s case, her parents were alive and around so the fact that the two of them (her and her sister) were shuffled into a foster home doesn’t speak to a good start to begin with.

There are a lot of lessons though that my mother taught me. She was a very simple woman who never got much of an education and her life of hard knocks didn’t end when she escaped foster care. My old man was really something of a prize in a lot of ways and I can’t say he ever did right by her.

So, here she was a young woman in her late twenties raising me and not getting anything in the way of child support. I never could say I noticed how poor we were but we were so fucking poor it’s not funny and she was working at the glamorous job of being a chambermaid. We all can imagine how well that was paying her especially at the time (late sixties, early seventies).

I always had a roof over my head though, there was always food on the table and as I said she really did install a lot of values in me in her own way. She was a tough women to have made it through the things she made it through and life never really got easier for her either. My biggest regret at this point is that I never was in a position to really make her life easier and give her the kind of things, the ease that she deserved.

I always consider myself lucky to have had such a devoted, caring and loving mother.

Even today, I’ve saved the cards she has sent me through the years. I value them and they’re a reminder to me that no matter how little she had she would still sacrifice for me (which bothered me more than I can say and which I continued to tell her not to do).

Neither of my parents were geniuses in any way and the two of them really never understood what I did or how I made money.

Well, getting back to the subject at hand in a long, circular fashion... when I was with my mom for those years after the divorce on the weekends without being able to afford or to have anyone she could have watch me, my mom would bring me along with her to work. You have to picture this, a kid, a young, young kid going to a rural motel and spending hours amusing himself which mainly meant being left in a motel room with a TV.

There were a lot of Saturdays where a TV was the only company I might have and especially on Saturdays after cartoons were over around 1 pm the pickings got a lot slimmer and this was well before the days of cable when you had only seven broadcast channels some of which you wouldn’t be guaranteed of getting a signal on.

I can remember these plastic holders for coffee cups you could have in the room and coffeemate creamer to put in them. All those little soaps and things that are the hallmark of motel life.

That was weekends for me for a couple of years as a kid.

So, the thing is today in the days of the pandemic, things don’t seem all that strange. I mean there are hours spent alone with a TV on in the background and it’s not as if it’s unsettling in the slightest. I know there are people who are desperate to have others around them to interact with but I don’t have any such problem. I can operate easily and quite effectively this way.

Who could imagine that such a childhood would equip me for self-quarantining so well.

May 16, 2020

I wish you hadn’t done that.

So, one of the things that’s interesting is watching the people who are phonies try and maintain their presence when working remotely. I mean these are the folks who think they’re more important than they are and who regularly sidle up to the people in management.

One person is one of those ‘early arrivers’ who spends those precious hours before anyone shows up having a tea party. The other thing is that they’re desperate to be liked, that is to say you can get a fairly clear picture from their appearance where they were in the food chain and how they managed to create a presence.

It’s really fucking horrible of me to say but think really ugly sassy girl.


Anyway, I’m one of those people that I don’t take to being treated like a peon ever. Nor do I think it’s my role to do someone else’s work for them. When someone is rude I have a three strikes rule, three strikes and you’re out. So sassy had her three strikes and that was that.

Still it’s hard to be a center of attention remotely and so she has taking to posting pictures from around the office of various events over the years because we all ‘miss’ each other. That’s REALLY funny because anyone I miss I keep in contact with so it’s not like I’m missing them and then there’s the thing about posting pictures of people who recently have gotten laid off which strikes me as just something that’s in poor taste.

Hey look! We’re all a great TEAM!

Sorry, I call bullshit.

Unless it’s your company you’re a fucking mercenary and you have a job only as long as you’re useful and profitable for your company and if you believe anything else you are either naive or delusional.

Anyway, my picture was in the feed today. UGH!

First off, it’s a reminder to me I look like I’m cresting my second trimester and entering the beginning of my third trimester. I don’t like pictures of myself because it’s just a reminder of how much I let myself go. So, now I’m the older FAT guy.

Look, on the good side at least I’ve gotten my teeth fixed but I still have to work on that gut.

I guess it’s just another thing I have to thank sassy for.

May 15, 2020

Zen and working remotely.

So, the days pretty much run into each other but the difference from working at the office and working from home is that I am often starting work before 7am and then finishing after 5. This means longer days and more hours and truthfully I spend a lot more of my day attached to my desk than I ever did when I was working in the office. That’s the funny thing about all of this because an employer would think there’s more goofing off when there really isn’t. You feel compelled to produce and to show results.

I don’t mind, I sit in front of my window and I like the view out of it. The TV stays on all day and I start with watching the market news and then work my way through the day. I might eat but often I wind up working until the afternoon before remembering I should. Even then I just heat something and return to continue working.

We’ve been busy too.

Now, one of the good things about this is not being around my peer. That is to say, I don’t have to deal with him at all and I’m not subjected to his histrionics. He is undoubtedly one of the noisiest people in the office, he has to be. He wants all the attention he can muster, he wants the people in charge to recognize him and he wants to very specifically work on the things he likes and the way he likes.

We have four people in the area I work in. It’s me, my friend who works across from me, my peer at the opposite corner and diagonally opposite our junior account person. No one makes a lot of noise outside of my peer. It’s a relatively quiet place except my peer feels compelled all day long to pick apart everything. He needs to have everything spelled out in great detail because he doesn’t want to be blamed for anything but at the same time he wants things his way so every question or issue becomes a debate and because he’s very loud he’s used to intimidating people. I mean it’s pretty obvious this is modus operandi for him and I only feel for his family.

My friend and I spend  a lot of time on our side of the quad just looking at each other when the latest tantrum is happening, really.

Me, I know I’m a prick.

I try to keep it under control but at the same time I’m a bit of an unmovable object in some ways so it’s something of an interesting contrast. I don’t kiss up either... I’ve never been really good at that. If I respect someone and that respect is mutual I don’t have a problem but I don’t have much patience for fakes or glad hands even more so if they are in a position of authority.

Last week, something happened though.

I’ve been lucky in the sense that I handle my projects and my peer has been handling his projects and there isn’t much overlap which is a joyous thing for me. I cannot tell you how many times I picked up one of his jobs and got bit in the ass because I didn’t check his work and the hot potato was last held by me. It was becoming very tiresome to say the least.

Now though, over the last few months I’ve managed to move us away from swapping out work between people because it’s something that leads to problems and I’ve been able to convince account how much more likely it is to bite us in the ass passing along something to another person just because they are idle.

This week though my peer was idle and sure enough he managed to cause problems.

He made an issue out of something that was a non issue and once more he did it loudly and long enough that it became a bigger issue. Thing was, in doing so he put the company in jeopardy. We had just completed a ton of work, work that he hadn’t been involved in and work that had gone off smoothly and without a hitch meanwhile apparently that hasn’t been the case for many of the projects he’d been working on so now he had his chance!

Anyway, account gave his concerns some credence without thinking the whole thing through and when it blew up I wound up giving the account person a barrage (which I apologized for - it was unprofessional of me, I know it and it wasn’t fair to him) but it was such an incredibly stupid move and it could in the long run have very severe repercussions for the company and the account.

Thing was it was a non issue that sprung from my peer getting called on something and then wanting to push the thing he was called out on to all jobs when it didn’t apply to everything.

I had to go back and “fix” some jobs that I was currently working on but not before I had a long talk with my boss about it and the ramifications that could spring from this idiocy. I care about doing a good job but at the same time I work with a very disorganized client whose materials are often a moving target and who doesn’t want to accept responsibility for their decisions. Under the circumstances, giving them ammunition to cut our throats when they are more than willing to do it on their own is amazingly stupid.

So, it was a case maybe of winning the battle for my peer but losing the war because he got what he wanted but in the long run it’s clear that his actions could have negative ramifications for the entire organization and so in the future he may not find he has the impact he wants.

It’s hard to kiss ass remotely for some people and I see who does it and who doesn’t and you can tell they are worried.

Me, like I said I already know I’m a dick so whatever happens I likely deserve it.

May 14, 2020

So, really! How are things by you?

So here we are in the middle of THE PANDEMIC!

I’m lucky. I mean I’m REALLY lucky and I know it. Even though I’ve taken a hit on my pay as my company gave everyone a paycut overall, I still have a job and there are a lot of people in this country who don’t and that’s truly a horrific thing.

At the time I’m writing this, 84,059 people have lost their lives due to Covid 19. That just sounds horrible. That’s a LOT of people!

But, here’s the thing...

Currently we have 22 MILLION PEOPLE THAT ARE UNEMPLOYED!

So what does that equate to?

0.003820863636364

In other words the number of deaths when compared to the number of unemployed is actually less than 1 percent.

That’s important.

And it’s important because a lot of those people are struggling and because they’re struggling you can be assured that people will dying because of that number. They simply don’t have income. Not only do they not have income, they don’t have a cushion that will help them get through these times of no income. They are struggling to pay their rent, they re struggling to buy food for their families. It’s not a small thing when someone says that unemployment number are at a point not seen since the Great Depression.

Now, in some quarters, they will blame the current President. The truth of it though is, this problem was a problem BEFORE this President even took office.

Now, one of the things that you also hear is about states reopening! Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod! They’re going to reopen.

That’s actually a good thing.

Look, honestly, I like things the way they are. I like not commuting, I’m fine being home. I’m still working... these are not bad times.

But, people need to be working again.

Truthfully, let’s focus on the hysteria here for a moment...

While everyone has been sheltering in place, there are people who have been out in the world on a daily basis doing their jobs. I know, AMAZING!

They take the precautions necessary to keep themselves safe and while they may not be 100% effective they manage. We may not be able to go back totally to the way things were but, we can start to gear up as long as people take the proper precautions to insure their health and to limit the spread of Covid 19 and really we should be doing it.

Covid 19 is NOT going anywhere. I mean, it’s not as if we’ll wake up on June 1st or July 1st or August 1st and it will suddenly be gone. It won’t that’s just the way things are. People are working on a vaccine and you know, we’ll find one and it will be surprisingly quicker than it’s been in the past and this is coming from a person who is cynical to say the least.

We do however, have to adjust.

It is vital for us, not just for us personally but for our society. Here in the US, people rail against being restricted in any way. It’s the reason why what the Chinese did to stem the tide of Covid won’t work here. We can do this though.

Don’t let anyone tell you we can’t or we shouldn’t. There are people who will ignore the basic precautions and you can’t help them but we do have to do what is necessary to restore some sense of normalcy to our country. It’s in all of our best interests.

May 13, 2020

I’ll take two!

So, earlier this week I got a chance to go out for a little bit. Truth be told, I’m liking these pandemic days which just shows how much of a selfish ass I am probably.

The truth of it is, I don’t really have a problem with my own company. I’m not one of those people that desperately needs others around me and I can have interaction remotely anyway so I’m fine with that

Plus now, I get up, walk the few feet to my drawing table and that’s my work commute. I don’t have to deal with people having loud conversations around me. I don’t have to deal with being interruppted. I don’t have to deal with commuting and being on the subway or the train and the press of stupid people in the city and I like that.

I went out though and it was a nice day as I drove around and got a second in series of shots that I was supposed to be getting before starting this other medication they wanted to put me on. In the second half of last year with all that was going on with the stress at work I was also dealing with other health issues and wound up spending about three or four months getting tested and everything and they found something.

It’s not as if any of us will live forever and what they found while something of concern was not the kind of insurmountable health problem others face but it would require me to undergo infusions on a regular schedule for the rest of my life if I agreed with the course of treatment.. Problem is this treatment has side effects one of which is lowering my immune response in my respiratory and gi tract.

Before you start the treatment though, what they do is they vaccinate you from just about everything so your body is in the best possible shape it can be as far as fighting off anything.

So I got the second shingles shot (and another).

It was good because I also got a couple of masks at the place which the woman at the door was nice enough to give me.

And I get the two shots and then I do some things like get takeout and go and pick up some groceries since I’m out and I come home afterwards and don’t think much more about it.

Not much until the next couple of days when I notice that the site where I got the shot is ready and hard and a little swollen. I}m thinking to myself, “Hmmm... that’s odd.”

And I wiped it down later with some peroxide and it got better after that but it still feels a little weird although the redness is going away and what I didn’t realize until I looked it up is that it’s pretty common to have a reaction to the shingles shot.

Now, a couple of things vis-a-vis how I had been feeling made sense. I’m not so concerned because while I had a reaction it doesn’t appear that I had the worse case scenario of reactions and to tell the truth I know someone who died from shingles, had a friend who had it and was on morphine and even my boss had it earlier in the year and the alternative to what’s going on now seems way, way worse.

May 11, 2020

Nothing provides me with a better laugh...

...than Peter David.

Another one of those supposedly ‘smartest people in the room’ never fails to embrace his inner child by having tantrums on a regular basis

David has his normal Freak Out Fridays which are usually good for lots of laughs and it’s because he’s playing to the cheap seats. Peter David is the epitome of why the folks on the Left just won’t wind up getting their way.

It’s simple really.

For all that talk by Michelle Obama about going high when the other side goes low you could see that was put into practice was getting high and nothing more.

I checked David’s site earlier today for the first time in a month or two, I do it rarely but when I do I am never disappointed because in one of the more recent posts, David made analogies to the President being the Anti Christ and that’s not over the top at all now is it? I can’t help but laugh even as I write it.

You have to understand though, Peter is ANGRY! Peter is OUTRAGED! His sensibilities have been WILDLY OFFENDED!

Well, as an ex used to say, suck it up.

In the meantime as outraged as this clown gets he doesn’t seem to be all that bothered by his own Governor who he talks up. A governor who decided to send Covid infected people from nursing homes BACK into nursing homes which is one of the most vulnerable populations to this virus.
“They get paid to provide a service. They get regulated by the state government. There are certain rules and regulations that they must follow and we put in additional rules and regulations on nursing homes in the midst of this crisis,” said Cuomo.

One of those emergency rules has arguably made operating a nursing home harder during a very difficult time. A March 25th health department directive states nursing homes cannot deny “readmission or admission sole based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”

Oh wait, I must be another propagandist, right? I’m making this up, aren’t I?
California, New Jersey and New York have made nursing homes accept Covid-19 patients from hospitals. Residents and workers fear the policy is risking lives.
 Yeah and now, Cuomo is going to INVESTIGATE nursing homes because he did a GREAT JOB?
An executive at the unnamed Queens nursing home says that the facility was coronavirus-free until Gov. Andrew Cuomo forced facilities in the state to accept coronavirus patients on March 25.

Following the order, the nursing home took in two residents who had been recently discharged from local hospitals after COVID-19 infections, and were stable. When they took in these patients, officials sent them a box of personal protection equipment for the staff designated to treat these residents, and in the same box was a supply of body bags, the executive said.
That was just genius right? You can bet that if it had been the President taking the same kind of action we would have been deluged with claims about the President’s stupidity and disregard for people’s lives, safety and health.

Snowflakes like Peter doing that with Cuomo?

Not so much.

Then there’s Bill DiBlasio, the perfect example of how voting straight party line is often the worst thing a voter can do.

Since DiBlasio has come into office, his stewardship of New York has been marked by failure and corruption. In public housing, in the school system, in the transportation system, in the homeless problem all things that have gotten worse under DiBlasio who has had no problem skirting campaign finance laws, tossing over money to his wife, pretending he had a snowball’s chance in Hell of being President (while avoiding working and being Mayor) and doing the kind of job that cost a lot more New Yorkers their lives since the outbreak.

Yet, in true Democratic fashion, it’s another story of passing the buck and trying to shift the blame.

Now, is a snowflake like Peter outraged about things like that?

No.

See, that’s because genius that he is and like so many others of his ilk he sees the world in only the starkest contrast of black and white. Of course, Peter is one of the ‘good guys!’

That‘s another laugh.

I won’t take anyone seriously who doesn’t hold EVERYONE to the same standard.

So have your tantrums all you want but I’ll tell you this much. A tantrum does little to win an argument or sway people to your side of the opinion and the truth of it is, that’s what lost the Democrats an election in 2016 more than anything else.



May 10, 2020

If you haven't seen it.

You really should watch this:




I have a dear friend who is a health, ecology, left all the way person and after she saw it she said she had to go and watch a Disney movie and cheer up. Basically the bill of goods being sold by the ‘green’ folks is just that a bill of goods. The Green New Deal would be a tremendous waste of money and hurt us more than it helps but once again but into the propaganda at your own peril.