Monday, April 30, 2007

yanked from Foley

go figure.
I thought I was more libertarian than this, but the internet quiz is not to be questioned!

What political ideology do you have?
Your Result: Democratic Socialist

You are the standard European socialist who believes that the government should spend large amounts of money on social welfare programs. You also believe that these social welfare programs are mandated by the people who vote in your ideal democratic government

Authoritarian Capitalist
What political ideology do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My sarcasm meter is broken

I can't tell if this is supposed to be a joke.

"You would think that members of Congress would have considered the warming effect that an extra hour of daylight would have on our climate. Or did they?"

It hurts me!

(from Boingboing!)

jobs and careers

I wrote this up earlier and then google ate it. Apparently, they have bugginess when you try to go to blogger from your google home page. I experienced three crashes trying to do this, even after a restart?


Second time around writing something up is never as fun.

As I get narrower on my career, and I find that things like "product manager," "product developer," and "project manager" interest me, I'm shifting into the "how to get there" phase more and more. Sometimes these titles seem to overlap, but all require experience, usually specific to their industry, which I lack. I'm an information gatherer and project coordinator, strategizer and problem-solver.

What about this job below as a stepping stone to a more engaging career? It doesn't ask for too much specific experience, and it might have good visibility since this person works with all departments (which I enjoy). The downside is that of course I wish I'd made this move 6 years ago, but I guess there's no time like the present to start over again at the bottom.

I know someone who works at this company, who would be very happy to help me if he can, and even has experience working with me in a project management sort of capacity, and believes in me.

In the meantime, I need to also talk with people who have these jobs I think might be the right career path for me, and ask them how they got there, what they really do, what they like and dislike, etc. Mainly, how can I get on the right track?

So, any hot tips on people I might talk to would also be greatly appreciated.


Job Title:
Activation Specialist I

Key responsibilities include:

  • Reviews request mailbox, creates tracking cases in CRM system, folders email for review.
  • Processes service moves for partners and partner customers.
  • Gathers and organizes information from variety of sources.
  • Quickly recognizes errors or unusual events and escalate via the proper channels.
  • Trains company Partners on ordering process.
  • Troubleshoots and resolve technical and business issues that might delay customer activation.
  • Escalates urgent problems requiring more in-depth knowledge to appropriate internal resources.
  • Works with multiple departments to gather information for project execution.
  • Multitasking and peak performance under pressure.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Great interpersonal skills.
  • Working as a team player.

Required skills:

  • Requires a bachelor's degree and 2-4 years of experience in customer support.
  • Must have great communication skills, efficient, responsible, professional, work in a team environment.
  • Familiar with standard internet concepts within the email and IT world.
  • Ability to learn quickly while paying close attention to detail.
  • Works under general supervision.
  • Salesforce experience a preferred.
  • Understands project management concepts a plus.

compensation package consists of salary, equity and attractive benefits. Principals only. No relocation.

How to Apply:
Please email your resume to

Thursday, April 19, 2007

unintentionally funny websites

Young & Active
Deligent & Creative
Reliable & Successful
Rich & Comfortable
Satisfied & Perfect
Please just click on & on to be satisfied.

I'm supposed to want to buy fabric from these people?
Actually... they sound so... sweet! and sort of cute. Maybe I do want to buy fabric from them.

"please just click on & on to be satisfied!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I have always been stubborn.
Really. I am a vegetarian for, now, 17 years? Because I am stubborn. I was being a brat in class in 6th grade. I was saying the girl sitting next to me, her brand new leather boots stank, they were made of dead cows, something, I don't know what. I think they had fur bits on them, which must be what I was complaining about. Fur bits. Fur is bad. At 12, I did not wear fur. (duh)

My teacher asked me why I was being a pain about it. "Don't you eat hamburgers?"


And I never did eat a hamburger again.

Tomorrow (I was hoping to put this off over the weekend due to being out for dental work on the day it was due) I will be asked to sign, with a witness, a form saying that I consent to my company's new drug and alcohol testing policy, including that I consent to being randomly drug and alcohol tested (the policy says we should expect to be testing every two years)

I have been employed at this place for a little over 4 years. I have been Employee of the Month twice. I have been promoted twice. I arrive early, stay late, and usually am the one to set the alarm at night. I frequently work from home in the evening.

I am clearly a threat.

I had to think about this one. The policy is clear that you will be terminated for refusing. I kind of don't see that happening, at least not immediately, but I have to consider it a given anyway. I figure that most likely they will pressure me, realize I won't sign it, and then quietly try to figure out how long it will take to get caught up on how to do my job and replace me.

The reason for all of this is supposedly tied into some Homeland Security C-TPAT bullshit for importers. You know, the terrorists. They love their dress pants, they do. I know, it's for UHMURKA, I should not question it. Civil rights are for people who hate our freedom. Or something.

Here's the way I see it:
1.) I have a contract with my employer. I give them work, good work, and I give them time, and talents. In return, they give me money. End of story. I don't give them my whole life, my off hours, or my medical information. It's none of their goddam business, as long as I fulfill my half of the contract. And I do, I fulfill it well enough to be recognized, as noted above. If I go on a coke bender every night after work and show up every morning and do my job well, that's MY business.
2.) I do not drive a forklift, or control air traffic. I do not do surgery, or answer 911 calls. I sit in front of a computer and draw pants and tell China what to do and solve problems for our customers. Occasionally I explain computers or very simple scientific principles to my boss.
3.) Drug testing procedures are really icky and invasive. I'm totally disgusted that they even asked.
4.) They expect us to give them a list of every prescription and non-prescription drug we've taken in the past two weeks when we get randomly tested. Um, hello, complete invasion of privacy and potential for abuse? That's ok, it will be "confidential." Your name won't be attached, only your social security number. (How stupid are these people? I would rather give my name!)
5.) You just really cannot do drug testing in the fashion industry. Duh.
6.) I don't even like this job.

For the record, of course, no, nothing would come up but the advil I just took this afternoon (which is not working). But, again, I am stubborn. I have wondered, though, if this were a dream job, and they asked this, would I be able to be so stubborn?

Have you ever been asked to drug test for a job that didn't really need it? What did you do?


So, the other terribly exciting thing that happened on Easter was that I busted my toe. I kicked the treadmill in the Blue Room on accident while changing the sheets and my little toe got all hurty. I tried milking sympathy from Paul, but I think he thought I was exaggerating. Until we got home and I showed it to him, and it was all purple and swollen. Not just a general purple, it had a one-quarter inch, vector-based stripe of eggplant running up it. Two days later, the skin started to peel.

I never could get a decent photo of it, so this one is lost.

Besides limping for the past week and a half (and I see no sign that it is nearly done hurting), I also have this cracked molar deal. I did have a little luck with the dentist, and they've rearranged their schedule so they can do the work this Friday, rather than May 22nd. Yay! I really miss chewing on the left. I'm sure I will then promptly crack my right molars. Oh, the fun part? It costs upwards of a thousand bucks per tooth. Insurance might pay half of it. Maybe, we'll see. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate insurance companies?

The upside to this is that my tooth will be fixed before the Sheetiron, where I plan to do a lot of gritting my teeth. I got my number, alright, and it's #103! Damn, and I totally sent it the first day allowed. Of course Paul is #102, they always do that to me. One time I was #11. Feh. Well, truth be told, I did not have a good time last time at all. It really is just not the same without James. And the weather was the stink. Oh, yeah, and I am the stink. Feh.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Won't Someone Think of the Children?!?!!?

We went to hang out with Jennifer this weekend in Santa Cruz. She has all kinds of wonderfulness in her life right now.

Saturday we got travelers and headed for a walk in a lagoon that has a wooden plank walkway built through it. You stand in the middle of the lagoon with water and critters on either side. It is really beautiful. There were tons of ducks and grebes doing duck and grebe things, and some giant fish (carp?) and even a few out-of-place domestic ducks. They looked ridiculous, and immediately waddled over when I sat down, presumably because people have been feeding them. I held out my fingers, and they bit me a bunch. QUACK!

After a drink at a bar looking out at the wharf, we decided to go out to see sea lions. More cool birdies in the water below, and then some sea lions appeared in the water below us. Sexy beasts! Two of them got rather friendly, and then, OMG, totally had the sex in front of us! Jennifer had her camera, thankfully, so now you all get to enjoy this precious moment as well:

As they did this, another male approached and sort of kissed the male, and then the three of them sort of slithered around on each other. What kind of example is that?!?!? (well, at least they weren't like the gay mallards we have in SF)

Scandalized, we explored the rest of the wharf and then proceeded to the Boardwalk, where some kids were getting together for prom. Apparently, guys can wear platforms too now. Good for them, I guess. Now they can trip on nothing too. The Boardwalk still has all the cool old video games from way back, which we oo'ed and aaahhh'ed at, but did not play. Instead, we returned for dinner and giant margaritas. Much better than the organic beer we had at Saturn Cafe on Friday. That shit is nasty.

Sunday we got up extra-early so we could get back to Berkeley in time for naps-- on the grass, in the hammock, in the bed, with the cats-- it all had to be tried. We supplemented this with ice cream (mine: lemon and vanilla. Paul had a fudgesicle) to make for a very nice lazy day.

Easter Weekend

My dear sainted brother came for Easter, bringing his wife and ginormous baby for a flash visit.

Saturday morning I went to meet with Lionel and Jen, two of the most amazing and wonderful friends I have. They enjoyed some coffee and Bizmarkie at Coffee Society in Campbell, where I also ran into an old high school friend I had not seen since, well, high school.

Ben and Megan arrived around 5 or 6, and the family promptly launched into a chocolate and port (and then red wine, white wine, bourbon and goldschlager, but who's counting?) party. I brought some fancy-pants chocolates from Cocoabella to cut into a lot of tiny pieces so we could each try each flavor. Perhaps I am a bit compulsive, but it's my goddam chocolate!

Ben got really drunk and insisted there was something wrong with my keyboard. Whatever the problem is, seems to have righted itself!

Amazingly, we did not feel too bad in the morning. Paul got many photos of the local folk sunning themselves on rocks.

Family and friends started showing up, so I finally got dressed and proceeded into the beer. We ate all kinds of food, loafed and visited, and then finally had to go home.

The week was busy (work stuff) but otherwise uneventful. I ordered more memory so that my wee iBook might better run NeoOffice (need to install now, and I am skeered) and I became re-focused on my career change search. I had fallen off the wagon for a bit, probably a combination of busy and overwhelmed, and a little bit avoidance of something a bit worrisome. BUT, I am back on it now, and I think relatively close to deciding, more or less. That would be a nice first step.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Leo July 23 - August 22

If there's a drinkable liquid in the world that doesn't cause loss of motor function, impaired judgment, slurred speech, dehydration, and eventual unconsciousness, you don't want to know about it.

Monday, April 09, 2007

If you are this stupid, no one can help you.

A person on a motorcycle was killed this afternoon after colliding with an Amtrak train three miles east of the Richmond Amtrak station, an Amtrak spokeswoman reported today.

Let me guess, the train made a left turn in front of you?
"but officer, it came out of nowhere!"

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Finally, instructions

First there was!
Now, this!

Yep, there's my neighbor again

This time, put away for good, supposedly.

I'm not a great proponent of the 3 Strikes law in general. But in this case, this is a guy who doesn't belong on the street.

Ouch! Real dental pain!

Apparently, getting my two molars fixed (one cracked definetely, one in progress) is going to cost $1025!!!!

Good thing I am not going on vacation this year. I guess.

The upside, I guess, is that if this is correct (and I won't really know until after I wrangle to insurance company) I should have enough FSA health dollars left to get my glasses? Maybe. Eye doctor is very expensive.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Saturday night after the races, we were beat, so after Picante, we passed out early (well, I did, at least)

Sunday was beautiful so we went for walkies out to Cesar Chavez Park and Berkeley Marina?

There were a ton of birds everywhere, which was super cool.

This seagull and crane were in Aquatic Park:

Out in the marina, there were tons of other birds. This is the view North into Richmond and Marin. This is as close as I choose to get to Marin*:

there were several varieties of duckies, including these rude ducks that mooned us, repeatedly:

Being Spring, there were also a lot of butterflies out, including this Tiger Swallowtail:

I found this sign:

Paul seems to think this is how I feel about going for walkies. But LOOK:

It is all backwards!

We finally got to the end and found what we came for: the "gong" thingie that sounds every 13 seconds (or whatever). It was not picturesque, but it was on a breakwater, where we could not reach it. I presume it is there so no one goes and shuts it up.

then we headed over to the other side, and, this being Berkeley, we found lazy hippies flying kites. Except they weren't really doing anything, they just had these big kites staked in the ground, and I guess they just sit there and have a big lazy social scene around it. Which is fine and all, but it's kind of funny that they all had essentially the same kite. Who knew Berkeley was so conformist? Luckily, my shattered imaged was put back together when we saw a guy wearing some silly elf costume running around with bow and arrows in the bushes. I could not get a picture, sadly.

Lastly, I think it's important to point out the wonder of modern society: Dogi-Pot. I hope this speaks for itself:

* It is a well known fact that the reason we are connected to Marin by bridges is so that if we ever get too tired of their bullshit, we can just knock the bridge down, and BAM, it's like, no more Marin! Pretty soon you'll forget what they were even like, and no one will miss their whiney self-centered NIMBY faux-liberal bullshit. Awesome!

Brandon's in the Hole! (again)

Friday night we watched idiocracy, which was somewhat funny, somewhat depressing, occasionally witty, and oftentimes stupid.

Saturday morning I went to the dentist, who told me my molar was cracked, and he could probably fix it in a two weeks (but it turned out he can't do it until the end of May) and then I returned home so Paul and I could go to Carnegie to watch the Hillclimbs! Which were, like, totally awesome!

The whole experience can be summed up thusly:

but, specifically:
-$15 per person just to watch is steep. Way too steep. I guess that's why we don't go every year. It takes an off year for me to forget how ripped-off I felt the previous year.
-it was sunny. And hot.
-There is a fence to keep the specatator area separate from the starting line area. I don't know why, becuase by the end of the day it was apparent that it wasn't to keep people out. Of course the racers were there with their machines and the guys putting gas (and other things) in, etc. But also a bunch of random children, a bunch of hoochies, some guys who were drinking beer, and, in the end, a pregnant lady?!? All at the start line.
-It was pretty funny listening to some teenage hottie-type (I mean she was average hot, not, like omigod hot) lecturing her boyfriend (who was racing) on "where the hell have you been?! I've been looking for you all day! I looked (here) and (THERE!) and I couldn't find you at all!" Seriously pissed off. He just looked at her with no answer, cuz, ummm, he was racing. Which, I imagine, is exactly where he said he would be?
-The open class champion is named Dusty Beer. There is a whole team called "Beer Racing." You can see "Beer Racing" on the rear fender of this bike:

And if you look closely, on the front of this bike:

The Beer Clan seems to be large, but at this pit, you can see that two of them are pitting together: Jonn and Don:

-I don't think I've ever seen someone who's own dog had no respect for him before. But I can't blame the dog.
-It was announced that a rattlesnake had been found at the start line, which they flung over into the tall grass on the other side of the wire fence. (It was a sizeable snake-- I saw it fly) At which point, a self-professed "rattlesnake hunter" jumped over the fence to, I guess, hunt it? In the tall grass where it had been flung. Wearing shorts and sandals. Genius! It turned out to be gopher snake or something. Which is a good thing, because apparently, if you get injured at this thing, you end up in the back of the "EXTREME SPORTS Medical" Ambulance, where, I assume, they administer Red Bull and blast Limp Bizkit while trying to remember which way to the hospital.

-Sitting in the spectator area, you get hit with a ton of dirt clods. These bikes put out a LOT of horsepower. I mean, when you consider that these people are taking, like FJ1100 and GSXR1000 motors and powering up a VERY steep hill, in the dirt, just WFO. It's pretty insane. I would be afraid to do this in a level, paved place. I suspect there may be an inverse function of brains to skill in this sport.
-the kids are the cutest.
-This guy has a bitchin' custom tank:

These photos do not do the hill justice at all. The hill is really, really really steep. And tall. These people are insane.

My Dental Plan

"Just chew on the other side of your mouth" is my new plan, as Paul has pointed out.

Bruxism + big metal fillings = cracked left rear molar.

I knew this needed to be done. I discussed it with my dentist in the Fall, opened a Flexible Savings Account for 2007 in December, and planned to schedule it at this Saturday's appointment. Only, at this Saturday's appointment, we disovered that the molar cracked. Which is good in that now the insurance company might actually pay for the work (they don't cover needed prevention, only the more expensive work needed after problems occur), but bad in that, I wanted to do this as prevention, not damage control. And more bad because it turns out my dentist isn't open to do this until the end of May.

So, two months of chewing only on the right. That's my dental plan.
On the upside, that will be just after the Sheetiron, so I won't ruin my new porcelain gritting my teeth riding in the dirt?