Stress.

At work these days, I really can’t do the amount of work that’s put in front of me. I really can’t. I’ve mentioned this before, and recently, even, but it’s just getting worse and worse.

We have three salesmen, where we once had no salesmen. These are people dedicated to getting us work, and they do. Unfortunately, Ed and Jerry both used to help around the office, but now spend most of their time actually selling stuff. So I’ve lost those two helping hands. Elyssa is pregnant, and leaving in a few weeks. So I’ve lost that set of helping hands. Margaret helps out a lot, and there’s still Rebekah. So basically there are two people to handle all the grunt work. Where once there were at least four, and sometimes five.

I have no one to delegate to. I have to do everything myself. I have no help to do things that need to be done but are secondary tasks. I have no associates, no team, no nothing to help me get the work done. Not a living, breathing soul to keep me accountable, to make sure that I’m actually getting stuff done, to work with me to eliminate errors.

It’s not that these people are hard to find. Office workers are pretty much a dime a dozen, if you’re willing to train them. It’s not like they’re terribly expensive either. I mean, I understand that your human cost is high in any company, but it’s a necessary cost, you know? Eliminating jobs by attrition may be good for the bottom line, but I doubt it’s a very good strategy overall.

So I don’t know what I’m going to do around here. I can’t keep saying, “Well, that didn’t get done because I didn’t have enough time in the day to do it,” because that’s starting to sound like a line, I say it so often. I work ten hours a day here, regularly. I’m not stupid. I’m not working dumb.

And it’s not just me. Everybody here is pretty much either underpaid or overworked, and sometime both.

I’m still not sure how to make this work, you know? I’m getting extremely stressed out with the amount of work I have waiting for me. It’s like this huge thing, always trailing behind me. And it’s really getting on my nerves.

680 News sucks, part deux.

I know, you’re sick of the constant whining. But I gotta say this, I really do. 680 News sucks. Big time. The only thing that sucks more than 680 News is talk radio. Which, as you might imagine, leaves this void on my radio, where most of the AM band is garbage.

Let me explain why. Today, 680 ran a story about Arnold, governor of California, arriving in Toronto. One of the things they keep saying is that “no one knows much about his politics, but tonnes about his movies.” I get that. We’re in Canada, we don’t care so much about Californian politics. But he’s here on a trade deal, so maybe we should, eh? Yet instead of informing the general public of what the Governator thinks and does, 680 sends out a reporter to ask Torontonians what their favourite Arnold film is. Yeah, thanks for raising the level of debate there, guys.

-10 score for pointless, information-light, bush-league, tabloid journalism. You basically found a way to turn a story that could have been about the debate over stem cell journalism, or Republican politics, or the cult of personality, into a crap non-story about a bunch of substandard films.

Then, there’s a story right afterwards about A-Rod (a baseball player or something), being seen with a woman, not his wife, after partying it up at a strip-joint. I don’t even need to comment, but really? A story about a baseball player? In Canada? And not even a Canadian player? Or a player for a Canadian team?

-20 for ridiculous, sensationalistic, paparazzi-style celebrity-magazine so-called-journalism. Another in a long line of things that just don’t matter and no one in their right might gives a crap about.

To top it off, as the coup de grâce, a story about gun crime. Okay, a topic I care about, marginally. Reported on as if it were an epidemic, as if guns are falling from the sky into the hands of our precious children. You know how many gun crimes there are per person in Canada as per the UN? 0.00502972 per 1,000 people, that’s how many. Compare that with 0.0279271 per 1,000 people in the United States. Yes, that would 550% more. And of course no one mentions that though crime may be up slightly, it’s up from historic lows. Yes, that’s right, violent crime in Toronto is down, not up, at least from historic levels. Yet the frenzied calls for a ban on hand guns (a ban, co-incidentally, that no one has taken the time to explain how it will work), the frantic cries of “gun crime epidemic!!!!”, and the shrill sky-is-falling think-of-the-children rhetoric of those out to push an agenda take forefront over a rational approach to what is, yes, a problem. Who is at the forefront of this fear-mongering, you might ask? 680 News. If I hear them use the words “epidemic” and “sweeping gun violence” one more time, I’m going to… well there’s nothing I can do.

-50 score for fear, uncertainty, and doubt. A big thumbs up to 680 News for their quality reports, standards of journalism, excellent grasp of facts and issues, sterling choice of stories, and sense of fair and balanced reporting!!! Way to go, only -80 points from me today!

FF 3.0 commentary.

Situation: The Mozilla dev team is adding a thing called Places into the 3.0 branch.

Response: People are all like, “oy vey how will this help me?”.

My commentary: People don’t know what they want before they get it. They instinctively want what they had before, unless they’re forced to accept an alternative. Like tabbed browsing, for instance.

On the topic of excuses.

Women, stop making excuses for your men. They’re not having a bad day, they didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed, they don’t just every once in a while do that, they’re not flawed but essentially good people, they’re not whatever excuse you’re making.

Look, sin is sin. I don’t talk about it a lot, but still, those are the facts. Whether your husband or your brother or your father or your boyfriend is having sex with animals or screaming curses and throwing stuff at the wall or beating you or constantly demeaning you, it doesn’t matter.

It comes down to whether you’re helping or hurting? Because I know this much: excuses never make anything better. You cover something up, it doesn’t go away. It grows.

I don’t have a title for this, really.

There’s pretty much nothing in the world that can destroy that last vestige of respect, that can tear away the one tiny remaining shred of hope, that can crush whatever slim aura of dignity managed to survive, that seeing a grown man act like a spoiled, petulant three-year-old. And then seeing him do that over and over and over again well into middle age.

That’ll do it, Mr Ballmer.

Ten things that need to be destroyed (or drastically changed).

A note on this list: these are actual things, not concepts.

  1. MPAA/RIAA (destroyed)
  2. Spam and spammers (destroyed)
  3. Microsoft Windows (destroyed)
  4. McDonald’s (destroyed)
  5. Software patents (destroyed or drastically changed)
  6. Robusta coffee (destroyed)
  7. The internal combustion engine (drastically changed)
  8. City density (drastically changed)
  9. Films that rely on effects rather than plot (destroyed)
  10. Commercials and ads sprinkled everywhere (destroyed)

Talking to a talking brick wall.

When you talk to certain people, do you ever feel they’re just not listening to what you’re saying? Or do you feel they grab a few words from what you’ve said and wrap their conversational agenda around that and run?

Listen, a conversation isn’t some sort of armed conflict. It’s an exchange. You give, you take. You interface with other ideas. You listen to what the other person is saying and then you respond, you don’t craft a response beforehand and then figure out a way to make the conversation about that.

If you want to make speeches, get a soapbox. If you want somewhere just your own where you can say whatever you like for better or worse, get a blog. If you want the ability to step back from a discussion, think, and then come back, sign up for a forum. If you want to develop a thought over a long period of time, write a book. If you want a captive audience, talk to trees.

The simplest and easiest answer.

I found this post in my “saved but not posted” section and thought it was interesting. So here goes.

You think to yourself, there is a reason. And yes, you’re right, there is. Or maybe there isn’t and you just don’t realise it yet. That’s the obscenity of the whole thing, isn’t it? Even in these things you need to believe a reason’s out there somewhere, when the simplest and easiest answer is that there’s no answer at all.

If you turn over the coin, people suck, and people do horrible things to eachother, and people aren’t worth it. Then again, you and I aren’t so different in that we do horrible things to other people, are we? We simply do different horrible things. And while this may sound to you like a measure of equivocation, I assure you it is not. It’s the difference between throwing a brick at someone’s head and mortaring bring upon brick until someone is suffocating and must somehow escape.

Different people escape differently. There, that was equivocation. Of course, it’s still true. The truth of it doesn’t make it right, though it’s still true. Remember that. Different people escape differently. You may find yourself in a long line of people scrambling away, if you keep turning that coin over in your fingers.

I think there’s something about yourself that you don’t know. It must be, because in all the years I knew you, there was something about you didn’t know either, and I was as close to knowing you as I think anyone’s ever gotten. Do you remember talking about the distance? Was it me, or was it you? I still don’t know, and in all likelihood never will, though I’ll stop caring in a while.

I still think there’s something about yourself that you don’t know. I hope you find it, and face it. I hope you stop the dichotomy of self-love and self-hate you’ve always seemed to present.

I think to myself, there is a reason. Of course there is. Nothing never come from nothing. Or something always comes from something else. I don’t believe for a moment in things a priori. The simplest and easiest answer here is, of course, that the answer is somewhere you have yet to look.

These are a few of my favourite things.

  1. Hot coffee on a cold morning.
  2. Kisses from my honey.
  3. Warm bread dipped in olive oil spiced with bitter herbs.
  4. Sinking into bed after a long, hard day of work.
  5. Friends. Either way you want to take that.
  6. City lights at night.
  7. Writing in a coffee shop, even though my comp sucks.
  8. A good book, way too late.
  9. The UK.
  10. A park in the middle of the city.
  11. New York.
  12. Games of Scrabble with people better than me.
  13. Hearing you laugh.