Archive for November, 2003

Another Vikings Loss, and Another Great “Simpsons”

Sunday as usual.

All Done

If I hadn’t planned on this being my last day at the Post Office, it probably would have been anyway. It was long and slow and frustrating. First, it took me until noon to get out of the Post Office and 5 hours to deliver. What made it the worst was that it snowed a week ago and many of the streets still needed cleaning. At a lot of the boxes, I couldn’t stop at the box and frequently had to back up once I did stop, and couldn’t get going once I got the mail in the box. It doesn’t sound all bad, it probably sounds like I’m just bitching about a little thing, but when you have to stop the car 380 times (no exaggeration), it does really get frustrating.

On the upside, I had no accountables (certified letters, registered mail, C.O.D.s, or insured mail) so I didn’t have to ring doorbells for signatures. This is actually quite rare, there are usually at least 2 certified letters to deliver. Not having any is nice.

One thing I learned working there is that it’s nice to have a friggin huge mailbox. The less the mail carrier has to go to the door the better. If I had a package the size of a shoebox, it won’t fit in most mailboxes, but if the person has an extra large box, it will. I like those, and will probably have them at any future homes I own as a courtesy to my mail carrier. The most frustrating thing on the day-to-day part of the job is when you have a box that’s a quarter inch too big to go in a box and have to walk up the driveway and leave it by the door. Actually, if I got paid for time worked, not rated time, it wouldn’t be as bad, but when I work 10 hours and get paid for 7, every minute that takes longer really is frustrating.

Thanksgiving Friday

The down side to a new job and Thanksgiving. It’s the day after and I’m one of about five people in the office. It’s almost 3:00 and I have been surfing the web to kill time since after lunch. I wish I had some PTO saved up, I could have stayed home today. I should have some saved up by Christmas, and will likely take the 26th off. Christmas falls on a Thrusday this year, so working the day after will be just like working the day after Thanksgiving. Taking it off will make for a nice long weekend. This company gives Christmas Eve as a Holiday, so taking Friday off will make for a two day week.

On top of my current boredom, I have tomorrow to look forward to. It will be my last day at the Post Office. I am very much looking forward to being done there. I like the job, it’s very self-paced and easy going. It’s the 6-day work week I don’t like.

I ponder how nice it will be after I get moved to Granite City. Just a few months ago, I didn’t work at all. Then after working part-time at the Post Office for about two months, I got a full time job and now work 40 hours at one job, drive about 2.5 hours a day for that same job, and work about 8 hours on Saturday. Once I get moved, I’ll be down to 40 hours with 10 minutes of driving (or maybe even walking). A paying job, and time to enjoy life, how much better can it get?

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving. I am thankful to have a job, but not have to work. My grandmother, uncle, and aunt are planning on coming to my parents’ house for dinner. My aunt’s brother may come too, but my guess is he won’t. Other than dinner, visiting with family, and relaxing, I have no plans for the day. (What more is there on Thanksgiving Day?)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Bush the RINO

I’m very disappointed in the “Republicans”. We took a huge step backward today. Today they passed a prescription drug program that is going to cost this country a fortune. There are 1.7 million people in the U.S. (roughly 1% of the population) who claim they can’t get the prescription drugs they need. As a result, the government has decided to spend $400 BILLION on prescription drugs. That sounds high, but then figure in that MOST government programs end up costing more than three times their initial estimate. In five years, this will very likely be over $1 Trillion. Many argued that rather than an expensive government program, we help those few who need it. This plan says we help the 99% that not only don’t need help, but most don’t want it.

I wish people understood politics. This country would be a much different place if people knew who they were voting for, and knew how to read the Constitution. I’m voting Constitution Party in the future, even if the people I vote for have very little chance of winning.

By the way ‘RINO’ is Republican In Name Only.

Apple is Evil

In my last post, I mentioned that I personally feel Apple is evil. I didn’t think it would would be appropriate to the topic of the post to explain why, so I will here. The reason I think they are evil is mostly because they are mostly used by people who are liberal (yeah, that’s a sweeping generality, but for the most part I think it’s true) and I’ve never met anyone who uses only Macs who doesn’t seem to think they are somehow morally superior for doing so. Yeah, Microsoft is a big evil company that is quite anti-competitive, and I being a staunch capitalist am pro competietion. I think Apple is worse though. Microsoft controls the software they make, but they don’t make the computer. Apple, on the other hand, will not allow anyone to make computers that run their software. If you want Mac OS X, it’s going to be on an Apple machine. If I get Windows XP, I can run it on a Dell, Gateway, Compaq, Toshiba, Alienware, or even a homebuilt computer. I can also get it on a machine that is less than half the cost of a competitive Apple.

As for the person who hates microsoft and doesn’t want to use their software, yeah, you can buy a mac and not run any microsoft software (aside from the operating system, I bet you do run microsoft software anyway). You can also get a PC and run Linux. That’s the system I would grant a modicum of moral superiority to. It’s all open source and most of the software you run on it can be gotten for free. The programmers are in it because they love it, not because they want to rule the world.

Please note, I am not arguing why I think Apple is evil, I’m only explaining it. This means I don’t expect the reader to agree, nor do I invite a counter argument.

Cheap Music

Since I use a Mac at work, I have been using iTunes to listen to mp3’s, both local and streaming. I decided to download the windows version at home and give it a shot. I even tried out the music purchasing/download feature and bought an album. It’s pretty cool, a CD that costs $15 can be had through iTunes for $10. Once you download it, you can burn it to disc. The only thing I wish you’d get is a picture file (.jpg) of the CD Cover to print and make a CD case. Not a big deal for $5 savings though.

The biggest drawback to iTunes is Digital Rights Management (DRM), which means you can’t copy the songs to other computers, and it’s not MP3 so it won’t work on a portable player (unless you have an iPod). It’s easy to get around all this though because you cna burn it to a CD and then from that CD you can rip it into mp3 files which don’t have DRM and can be played in a portable player. I have two portables that I listen to mp3s in a lot, one is my car CD player and the other is a portable CD player that reads mp3 and windows media files.

Overall, so far I like iTunes. I’m interested to see what the Microsoft version will be like when they release theirs in the near future. One theory is that Microsoft will try to undercut the competition, so songs will be less than the 99˘ that iTunes charges for a song or the $9.99 that they charge for an album. Microsoft is big and evil, but I personally think Apple is evil too; so I don’t have a problem with one vs. the other.

2 Down, 1 To Go

How I long for this time tomorrow. With Thanksgiving on Thursday, this is a short week; and with my work at the Post Office not yet finished, tomorrow is one of those rare times I can go out at night without work the next morning. Yeah, I’ve always had Saturday night, but as I’ve said time and time again, I’m usually too tired. I only wish I had some vacation time saved up so that I could take Friday off too, but this being only my third week at this job, I have about 20 minutes of vacation time saved up. Right now the plan is to go out with the guys for dinner, and if I have the energy, maybe a movie. It’s been a while since we’ve done that, and it should be a good time.

As far as the job itself, things are going well. I’m still learning, and I’m still “the new guy”, but things are coming along good. There are only 5 other people in the Architectural department, with another starting next Monday. I won’t be “the new guy” any more, but it will still take time unitl I really fell like “one of the guys”. I still very much look forward to moving, and I think I’m still on pace to do so about Christmas time. I haven’t looked at any apartments except on the internet, and I hope to find a good one that is close to work and has the ammenities I want. There is a building across the street that looks promising, and when I have the money for the deposit and first month’s rent, I’ll take a look at it.

That’s all for tonight…..

The Simpsons Rule!

After more than one season of the Simpsons rumored to be the last, they keep churning out good ones. Season 15 has not been a disappointment. Tonight was a particularly funny episode involving a trip to England. I like the bit at the beginning with “Hockey Dad”, a violent video game where Dads fight over their sons’ hockey games.

To Fox and Matt Groening: Keep ’em coming!!

Vikings Win!!!!!!

After four bad games, the Vikes finally pulled one off. Although they were never down, I was worried they may allow the Lions to break their 20 game on-the-road losing streak. Thankfully that didn’t happen. They also managed to stay a game ahead of the Packers in the NFC North. I just hope this is the boost they need to get back into a substantial winning streak.

The game itself was a bit slow in watching, which actually makes for a good game. High scoring games are fun to watch, but in the end it means that the defenses are playing badly. The Vikes scored in the first quarter and held a 7-0 lead until the third. In the fourth, they jumped to a 10-7 lead and held it into the last three minutes. Then they pulled a rabbit out of a hat and scored off an interception. After the extra point and the kickoff, they quickly scored off another interception. Both interception/touchdowns happened within 19 seconds of gameplay! They gave up another touchdown with 44 seconds left, and finished the game without another score, to end 24-14.

With a 7-4 record and 5 games left, my hope is that they can finish the season at least 8-8, and there is a relatively good chance that will happen.