A couple of weeks ago I was walking through the hallway at work and I noticed something on the floor: a wad of gum. I suppose the bright color caught my attention. Anyway, it got me thinking… Who spits gum on the floor? Especially inside. You can even argue that it makes sense to just spit it on the ground outside. (Though I wouldn’t say there are any good arguments for it.)

Let’s start with this and agree that swallowing a wad of gum occasionally isn’t a completely horrible thing: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-chewing-gum-takes-seven-years-to-digest/

And then let’s just take a moment to acknowledge the fact that gum being on a hallway floor is kind of gross, but there are also a lot of other gross things that end up on floors.

And then we can move along quickly to my main point, which is that there should not be a single person spitting gum out anywhere. It doesn’t make any sense. I have never heard someone say “I love stepping in gum.” No one likes doing that. So, why would there be gum on the ground anywhere?

No, seriously. People who spit out gum onto the floor or on sidewalks… Who are you? Do you like stepping in gum? If not, what has driven you to subject others to it? If so, what is appealing about the sticky mess on your shoe? I am legitimately baffled about this.



Are you serious, DC?

I’m a huge comic book fan. I’m especially into DC. So, here I am with 4 TV shows to watch. It’s great. Arrow explores some pretty intense issues and I appreciate the backstory character development. Flash gets into some pretty nerdy stuff that DC is well known for, including the multiverse. The new Supergirl series is really just delightful, for lack of a deeper description at the moment. And now we have Legends of Tomorrow.

Here I am something like 15 minutes into the first episode and I’m already slightly disturbed. Excuse me, DC, but are we promoting underage drinking now? I have yet to continue the episode, but I did find this article which already makes me think that I’m not going to be too happy with the rest in terms of moral decisions. (No, I won’t get into the question of time travel being right or wrong. I’ll leave that to the true nerd blogs.)


In the episode, Jefferson (one half of Firestorm) clearly states that he’s a “20-year-old auto mechanic.” The Arrowverse wiki claims that he is born in 1995, just to back us up on this. He’s turning 21 at some point this year, obviously. But this old dude (Stein, the other half of Firestorm) just pours him some whiskey like it’s a normal thing.

I have to question if part of the problem is Geoff Johns being left out of this equation. (If you don’t know who Geoff Johns is, then you should definitely look it up. His stories are amazing.)

Allow me to continue watching now…

In traditional DC style: End?



what I’ve learned in the past two and a half years…

It’s been a while since I’ve been here. I was reminded about this blog when a topic related to a previous post came up with a friend. Ah, the memories. Anyway, here are some things that I’ve learned in the past couple of years:

  1. People will almost never read signs. And when they do read signs they don’t usually pay attention to them. The only reason to post signs is so that you can say “well, I posted a sign about that, sooo…” or to justify the glare of death you give someone. Example: I have literally watched people stand in front of a sign on a door (presumably reading it), look around, attempt to open the door (which the sign said wasn’t a door for them and pointed them to the correct door), and then turn around and ask me about the locked door.
  2. I would rather drive literally across the country than drive in some of the parking lots near where I live. My choice of destination or activity is often influenced by the parking situation. I’ve come to terms with this and acknowledge that as I get older I am far less willing to deal with poor traffic flow.
  3. Seeing a lack of growth or a willful regression in someone thoroughly annoys me. It annoys me on TV shows. It annoys me at work. It annoys me in my personal life. This probably also comes with getting older. I’m big on self-improvement, discipline, and moving forward in life. I’m also big on acting your age when it comes to the important things. Example: I don’t care if you like playing video games, but if you’re playing video games instead of taking care of your bills or your family we’re going to have a problem. (Note: Physical and mental disabilities aside, of course.)
  4. People spend too much time thinking. Let’s do a little. I know my personality is one of action, but seriously… You can’t ignore that things need to be done sometimes. Example: If you’re forming a committee, make it count. Discussion is great, but action is greater. If the result of your committee meetings is to present suggestions that other committees be formed, you’re doing it wrong.
  5. I really don’t care if anyone reads this blog, but I’m thrilled to provide entertainment through it for those who do. I also don’t care about posting again in any reasonable period of time, so don’t expect anything.

You’re clearly not Vulcan.

It is often that I find myself wondering how people have made it to where they are. I mean, I’m sure they’re intelligent, talented people. Or, they were at one time. Maybe it’s that technology has changed their profession so much that they can’t keep up. Maybe the company has grown too much and they can’t keep up with demand. Maybe they’ve been asked to take on things that weren’t part of their original job description. Sometimes I feel really bad for those who have to deal with all the changes that are thrown at them. In those cases, I understand that patience is required.

Here is my real issue: Doing something the same way 2,999 times… Then changing how it’s done the 3,000th time! And then complaining that it doesn’t work. Don’t do this. Don’t do this to your IT people, or your friends, or your pet, or anyone. Just don’t do it. To be clear… Mentioning that you tried a new method that failed: okay. Complaining that you can’t do something suddenly: not okay.

More simply put, I’m talking about following steps. Steps 1 through 4. The same 4 steps that have been taken for years. One day, the steps don’t produce the intended result. Sad face. I understand. Things happen. Things break. I try to fix them. So, when I say “hey, the thing that was broken is fixed now”, what is the response? Logical people have the following thought process: “oh, let me try steps 1 through 4 again. oh, it works now. happy face.” Those people move on with their lives, say thank you, maybe laugh at how upset they got over something that took five minutes for me to fix. The people I work with generally do this: “it wasn’t working before, so let me try that funky workaround thing that i was trying that never worked to get around the problem, so i’m going to try step 3 and do something that mirrors step 3 on the side, restart at step 1, continue through step 4, and then… oh, geez, i’m getting all these errors, what the heck?” I scratch my head. I try so hard to understand. Why does this happen?

I wonder if these people get caught in some sort of … loop? Is it that they’re stuck on the idea “broken” and their brain won’t move past that? So, instead of moving past it, their brain creates a new way for it to not work.

Sometimes I spend time with people like this, explaining the concept beneath what they’re doing. The idea behind each click, each step, to try to see if juices start flowing… on a rare occasion, I see a lightbulb. I feel happy. On most occasions, people are totally stuck on “broken.” They just can’t move on. I try eight different ways to explain it, each attempt being a slightly more dumbed down version of what I said before. Eventually, I’m drawing pictures with markers. Usually the final attempt ends with something like “Just go back to doing it the same way you used to.” A simple instruction. Just do the same thing you did the first 2,999 times you did it.

And then there’s the grumbling. They decide “you know, we used to do it all on paper and folders, maybe we should go back to that.” Yes, that’s the best response you could have. Especially because there was a simple glitch that I fixed and you’re back up and running now. Especially because we actually do have a very good solution in place for your task. Let me ask this: If you went back to your paper and pencil system, and then the pencil broke one day, what would happen? Based on the previous argument, we’d have to go back to chiseling information into stone tablets.

So, that’s what I’ll do. The next time someone does this to me I’m going to say “you know, you’re right…” and hand them a hammer and chisel.


things i really don’t want to work on…

This will be short and to the point.  I’m in a no-nonsense kind of mood.

1. Computers that smell like they came from a bar.  In case you missed it, computers have fans that blow air through them.  If your computer smells like it’s a chain smoker, it’s not something I want in my office.

2. Computers that have never been updated… ever.  Companies put out updates for a reason.  It makes things work better and keeps your computer from getting viruses and malware.  Removing a virus that could have been prevented by a patch released before I graduated from high school… NOT at the top of my list of things to do today.  Please install updates.  For me?

3. Computers that you have tried to repair yourself.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, please don’t touch it.  If you think you might know what you’re doing, still don’t touch it.  If you are 99% sure you know what you’re doing, call me so I can tell you to not touch it.

4. Computers or mobile devices that have layers of your grime on them.  Putting my hands on something that looks like you’ve used it as a dinner plate… not cool.  Putting my hands on something that looks, feels, and smells like you used it at the gym… also not cool.

5. Computers with fur.  This has happened.  If your computer contains the remnants of your last three pets, there is a problem.

6. Computers that contain someone’s porn collection.  I don’t care if you have a 13-year-old son who’s just learning how to use the internet.  I don’t care if your husband has nothing better to do while he’s at home being useless.  I don’t want to see it.

End of Line.


How Hands-Free Impacts Me…

I’m really glad new laws are being passed to crack down on the number of distracted drivers.  I’m very much in favor of what lawmakers are trying to accomplish; that is, making sure drivers have better control over their vehicles.  I’m not sure I was quite prepared for how this would play out in my life, though…

On a normal long drive, I make the effort to attach my headset in advance of putting the car into drive.  This means I’ve already gotten the headset out, untangled, and plugged in.  Thankfully, mine is not wireless and I don’t have to worry about the little battery light…

On the other hand, what happens when I forget to prepare in advance for the possibility of a random phone call from my mother?  (I will preface the following with this:  I understand that it is entirely unnecessary for me to be on the phone while driving and that complete silence is perfectly acceptable and that really a car is just a means to get from point A to point B… I could go on.  Let’s assume for a moment that I’m an irrational human being who feels like the world will end if I don’t answer my phone or call my mother while I’m driving.)  Well, before the law was passed, I would have just answered and held the phone to my ear.   No problem.  Now, I’m forced to get the headset out.  So, what does that look like?   I hear the phone ring.  “Oh, crap.  Where is my headset?!”   I take my eyes off the road to look at the seat next to me.  “Where is it?!”  I glance back at the road long enough to plot out my potential course for the next 5 seconds and then resume my search.  I find the headset in between the seats and start pulling.  It won’t come out.  “WTF?!”  I realize that it has somehow wedged its way down further than I could have possibly imagined.  On top of that, it’s become entangled with the other 16 chargers and A/V cables that I have.  I grab the mass and drop it on my lap to start untangling.  At this point, the phone has already stopped ringing, but I’m on a mission.  I cannot let the cable get the best of me.  Moments later, I have finished untangling enough of the mass that I have separated the headset from its grasp.   Both of the rubber earbud covers are still properly attached at this point.  I’m thrilled that I don’t have to go in search of those as well.  I start to hold it up triumphantly when I feel another pull.  “Seriously, what are you caught on now?”   The end of the cable has magically wrapped itself back around my armrest.  I gently hang the earbud end of the cable around some part of my steering column and start moving the cable around until the armrest releases its death grip.  At this point I’ve managed to get the headset to a point where I can plug it in to my phone.  “Great, I’m set, I just need to put it in my ears.”  So, I attach the clip to my shirt and look down again to grab the earpieces.  I pick up the first one and put it in the appropriate ear.  (Yes, I do pay attention to the little L and R markings.)  I take the second one in my hand and start to put it in when I notice that it’s happened again… the stupid little rubber piece from the earbud is missing!  “How in the world did it manage to fall off?!  It was just there!!”   Without this piece, my ear will feel like someone has attached a razor blade to the earbud, so I’m determined to find this before using the headset.  Eventually, I manage to find the piece, which has somehow made its way to the middle of the passenger seat next to me.  About ten minutes after I start this whole process, I’m ready to make the return call… and start paying attention to the road in front of me.


You’re not *that* special.

Don’t take the title the wrong way.  I believe that God created us all uniquely and perfectly for his purposes.  We’re all here for a reason, to fill a specific role.   However, there are limits to what people should be doing.  The fact that you are special in God’s eyes or your parents’ eyes doesn’t entitle you to break rules in the world around you.  Let’s think of a couple of examples of people acting like they’re special, but in reality they’re not.

1. The guy who goes through the “employees only” door.  I mean, really?  There’s a sign (usually).  And if there isn’t, doesn’t it occur to you that everyone else is going to the customer service counter to be served?  Seriously, there is no way that you missed that.  Just because you can open the door and enter the back room doesn’t mean you should.  Not only does it make you look like a tool, but the employees feel trapped when you do that.  Their space has been violated.  How would you feel if the mail man came in your back door and dropped your mail on the table and acted like nothing was unusual about it?  Don’t go where you don’t have permission to go.  You’re not that special.

2. The student whose mommy writes him a note to get out of homework. I’m sorry, you had how many other classes to do homework for last night?  6?  So did everyone else.  And you had what after school activity?  Oh, right, so did four other people in this class.  You had to get your BMW washed last night?  I’m sorry to hear that.  Joey had to work last night to help pay for the insurance on his 1991 Mercury Tracer.  He managed to get the homework done.  What’s this?  Your mom wrote you a note?  I don’t really care.  If everyone else can get it done, so can you.  You’re not that special.

This sense of entitlement that we see all around us is getting out of control.  Parents teach their children that they’re special.  Sure, your kid is special to you.  Not gonna argue there.  You know what, though… if your kid is getting average grades in school, they probably aren’t getting average grades because they have some sort of learning disability.  I know you’d like to think that, but let’s be real here… someone has to be average.  As a matter of fact, someone has to be BELOW average.  Hence, an average.  Or, get this: your kid may just not care.  Yes, that’s right, motivation is a factor.  That being said, please, get your kid tested for everything under the sun.  Just don’t be surprised when there isn’t a disability or genuine hyperactivity problem.

And, how about those traffic laws?  Yeah, I won’t go into that or we’ll be here all day…

So, go on, feel special.  But don’t expect me to treat you like royalty when you come breaking my door down to complain about some problem you’re having.  And don’t come in my room without knocking first.

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