November 16, 2008

Racism is an ugly disease

Guess what's new again? Racism in America! It's ugly, it's stupid, it's based in falsehood and fear. Racism is one of the most toxic things in our society, and it has long been the time to put a stop to it. If you say, or do something racist, whether you be black, white, Indian or other, you should feel shame. Think about what you're doing. Is it something you would do in front of a stranger of the race you're mocking or talking about killing? How would you feel if it were being done to you? Do you seriously think that people will think that you are an intelligent human being, and are worth anything to society? Do you think that your value to society will out-value the infection that you are spreading?

In the workplace, we have spent decades evening out the working environment to make it a place where sexual and racial intolerance were not stood for. Yet, it still creeps in every now and again... It is because we do not stamp out the little things. The jokes, the sexual and racial humor...we let it slide...then we let it slide a little more. The next thing you know, someone feels uncomfortable, and then they feel threatened..and it's back. The jokes become reality. You need to NIP IT IN THE BUD. Racism will be the new thing in 2009. And it's up to those of you intelligent enough to read this message to stop it NOW before it gets too late.

I know it's starting already. You think I haven't heard the jokes, seen the videos? The Pimp-Force One? It makes me sick to my stomach that someone I know would share that video with others and laugh about it. I'm disgusted. No, it's NOT O.K. just because the black guy in the office is laughing along with you. It's wrong, and it's virulent.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I beg of you...don't follow in the footprints of your parents and grandparents. Don't make the same mistakes they made. Grow up, wise up and Change Yourselves before it's too late. Need scriptural help? Start with Matthew 7:3-5. Look in to yourselves and change yourselves to act with righteousness so that you can be an example to your children and your neighbors.

That's my random rambling for today..

November 11, 2008

Proud Owner of a Kindle

I am the proud owner of a new (used) Amazon Kindle. So far, I am impressed by its capabilities, its ease of use and its potential. I very much like the built in dictionary capability, as well as the search capability. Finding text in a book is extremely simple, and the keyboard is very easy to thumb-type with. The really nice thing is the built-in basic web browser which has made it very easy to find and download compatible Project Gutenberg texts. For my first forays into electronic ink, I have chosen:

1. The Adventures of Sherlock Homes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
2. The American Crisis - Thomas Paine
3. The Art of War - Sun Tzu
4. The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama (only $4.50 or first Amazon purchase)
5. Cabbage and Kings - O. Henry
6. The Call of Cthulhu - H.P. Lovecraft
7. Common Sense - Thomas Paine
8. I, Robot - Cory Doctorow (I didn't realize it wasn't the original until I downloaded it - I may read it anyway)
9. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
10. The Rights of Man - Thomas Paine
11. When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth - Cory Doctorow (a salacious title beckons...)

The only complaint so far is that I fall asleep while reading and in so doing, my finger rests on the 'next page' button too easily, losing my place. Holding the Kindle differently may stop me from doing that. I'll report on more experiences later as I enjoy it.

November 10, 2008

Secret Excel 2007 Tip #2098126.23

Using Excel, I had data that was presented as a percentage, but the source data was not output in decimal notation. Thus, 67.53% was in the original data as 67.53. I wished to graph a pivot table of this data, but didn't want to go through the extra steps to convert the data by dividing it by 100 and re-graphing it.

When going in to the Axis Format and choosing Number, when I chose Percentage, it would multiply the data by 100, giving me 6753% and such on the left axis. That wasn't what I wanted, so I took a leap of logic, diving from my programming experience that I could use an escape character, and walla! It worked! '0\%' displayed the numbers with a trailing % sign without the multiplication.

November 09, 2008

Why Consumers Aren't Buying

Just a few suggestions as to why consumers (the ones that are left) aren't buying things. Perhaps those of us who still have our jobs don't have anything left to buy. There is absolutely nothing out on the market today that I need, apart from foodstuffs. HDTV? Got one, Blu-Ray player? Who needs it for $300, Computer? Sorry, my two year old laptop does everything I want or need at the moment. Just about anything else that's for sale is something I already own or can't see a good reason to buy.

I walked through a mall today, and apart from browsing through Target, it was full of clothing stores and video-game stores. Even Radio Shack isn't interesting anymore, as their push to sell cell phones makes them just like the 100 other cell phone stores in the mall. I don't think they even sell electronic parts anymore, do they? I'd probably be lucky to find a replacement LED if I needed one.

The consumer that has a job is BORED. He/she has what he/she needs and is just waiting for something useful to buy. We've over-engineered our lives until we are so spoiled and so capable that there's nothing left to buy. We've seen it all and bought it.

The rest of the consumers don't have jobs and are selling all their stuff on E-bay, so that's going to cut into your market-share as well. I just bought an Amazon Kindle on E-bay to get 25% cash back from an online search engine. I saved $85. Did I need the Kindle? No - but hey, a deal's a deal.

Just blabbing - not well-thought out...but that's why I call them randomblings.

November 04, 2008

What would be nice...

Here's one final hope for Congress. Why don't you try DE-regulating some of the stupid laws put into place by your former congressional sessions? Instead of concentrating on passing NEW laws that work for your goals, why not pay some attention to repealing stupid laws and old ideas that didn't work? How about aiming for lessening the regulatory stress of the federal government, and repeal some things, perhaps even start with The Patriot Act?

Just a thought....a new approach....some REAL change in Washington.

Virginia doesn't even matter

In the end, whether Virginia switches or not doesn't even matter. The race was close, and it looks like Barack Obama may carry the state, but with Ohio, it won't even matter. The nation now has it's 'Hope' candidate for President. It's going to be a long and grueling road for Mr. Obama. He's left with a mess of a country. It's going to take hard work, intelligence, compassion and some very hard decisions. I hope that his Presidency reflects a balanced path rather than a party-aligned path to correcting what is wrong with this country. I hope that the Democratic party does not over-involve the government where it does not belong. I hope that that they realize how important individual liberty is to the people. I hope that there is some real change in Washington.

However, I'm not going to hold my breath. The Democratic party will likely go with their plans to further socialize the United States. In some areas, this may be warranted, but readers of my randomblings will know that I don't support government forced distribution of wealth, power or privilege. I do agree that the government has so far molly-coddled big business and corporations to the detriment of the needs of individuals, and some correction is warranted. However, the Republican ticket did not do enough to ensure the American people it would address these concerns. In all, I did not vote for either major party candidate. To that end, I'm going to be a bit of an elitist here and wash my hands of the whole affair.

Whatever happens, America - you did this to yourselves. I hope you're happy.

Back to 220 and a diet

Ok, making it known that I have gained back all the weight I had lost, and I am now cutting myself off from 'diet' soda, coffee and other caffeine products (including candy). Public accountability has to be part of a diet plan. I am switching from Subway sandwiches to Subway salads for lunch, and will do my best to avoid non-complex carbs (sugars, pastas, etc.). Let's see what I can do about getting back to a healthy size again. Of course, my suits won't fit, but that will be a price I'm willing to pay. Now day 2 without the sodas....boy am I tired.