Wednesday, September 29, 2004

It's kind of funny that SpaceShipOne's 20 or so rolls are being reported as 30... 40... 50... I say when they get to 100 somebody should sell.

I just got off the phone with my wife. She's holding up pretty well for being in meltdown. She just had it confirmed in a letter from her younger sister, that her 19 y.o. son Misha, still in Sevastopol has tuberculosis. I wish I could take this burden away from her.

She called Theda to beg for my job back. I already knew what the result would be. Apparently she talked to her for quite some time and then did a good job of relaying what Theda said to her, to me. Interestingly, Theda told my wife she would let me have UI. Very interesting turn of phrase. Actually, my wife said that Theda told her she would let me have UI for a month and that I should apply right away. I'm not sure what to make of that. I have until Friday to be qualified for this week. I really do need to get it started. I also know that they let the other employees know I was laid off, since some contacted me Monday.

If only people could be trusted. It would make life so much less stressful.

Firefox just lost all my bookmarks... that's a bummer.

It's a slow burn. No, I'm not talking about SpaceShipOne which I just had the pleasure of watching make the 1st of 2 x-prize attempts on the tube thanks to being free this week (the plus side of being laid off.) No, the slow burn is because I'm just pissed at the way the company I worked for, told me I was no longer working for them without giving me any notice that they were going to do so... then following that with a letter that is clearly designed to provide a legal basis for denying me any unemployment insurance.

This is the first sentence of that letter...

"As you know we have been looking for someone to replace you ever since you told Theda and Travis that you were going to get a job that paid more."

There are 5 points of bullshit in just this one sentence.

1) As you know.... False, I didn't know until a phone call last Friday at 5pm.

2) ...you told Theda... The only time I spoke with Theda before her husband Ed called me last Friday were when I asked for a raise which she said would not happen for a month, and a month later when I asked again. I never told her I was going to get a job that paid more and she never told me they were looking to replace me. Although, from her reaction to my request for a pay raise, and the facts of how they treated several employees over the years I've worked for them, I did suspect strongly.

3) ...and Travis... Ah yes, I can see through this snake like he was made of glass. He called me 'as a friend' and 'just between us'... 'Ken, are you planning on quitting or getting another job'. I told him emphatically that I was not looking for another job. I didn't tell him that I was trying to create a new company. That would be foolish. He went on to say, 'because if you are, without you here I'm going to find another job' He added, that he was upset that he had to use his wife's health insurance for coverage since our company didn't cover us. I'm really not sure what he was probing for with that statement.

4) ...you were going to get a job... What? One of Theda's many arguments for not giving me a raise (and they came so rapid fire that I don't recall them all) is that my weight and health would prevent me from getting ANY other job. She was really and truly the personification of evil during that call.

5) ...that paid more... I sent her this link which shows that most programmers of my skill level earn almost exactly twice what they were paying me. I had to fight my way up over the years to get to that level (to half of industry standard.) I was just pointing out that for what they were getting from me, the industry pays considerably more for. I've been out of work before... I know how hard it is just to find a job, let alone one that pays more. I never told her I was looking for a job that paid more or any job at all. The fact is, I asked them if they would consider putting me on as a contractor, because they were worried that CA would catch on to the fact that they weren't paying my payroll taxes and insurance like they are supposed to.

we have been looking for someone to replace you While this is certainly a true statement, it's also their modus operendi... one of the many reasons they moved their company from CA to WA was because they couldn't get and retain programmers in the little town of Sonora were they were for over a decade.

6-1/4 yrs. ago, when they hired me, they were involved in a lawsuit with one of their former employees. Currently they have a pending lawsuit involving another former employee. These people know I live from paycheck to paycheck and if they do attempt to prevent me from getting UI so that I can survive until I get another steady source of income is pure evil.

The punch line to this whole story is I'm done working for anyone else as a programmer. For the last 3 months or so, I've been putting together what I need to form my own company... so I never have to work for such evil people ever again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Somebody should tell this guy how clueless he is.

How clueless is he? Let me count the ways...

"...blogging itself has found its way into the media food chain, taking credit for uncovering a slew of media omissions and boo-boos..."

Like instapundit pointed out... people know stuff. When you have enough eyeballs looking you are bound to uncover stuff. That's a good thing, isn't it? Funny thing is, the ethics of blogging seems to be more of giving credit where it is due, rather than taking it. Your thoughts betray you!

"...hammering away on a noisy subject that ultimately distracts from more important issues..."

Who decides what's important? You? The collective elite?

"...True, there are indeed constructive, thoughtful Web-log commentators online. But they don't draw crowds like Glenn Reynolds..."

Watch it... he's a lawyer ya know. Defamation and slander is it?

"...he has relentlessly flogged the question of whether John Kerry's boat was actually in Cambodian waters on Christmas Eve, 1968, as the candidate claimed."

So a potential leader of the free world being a serial liar is not a suitable subject for discussion?

"This attitude disappoints those who had hoped that bloggers would improve that system, not amplify its faults."

Good to see such a hopeful bunch, but here's a clue... to fix things, you need to turn the lights on the faults.

It must be difficult for you to actually see the unwashed masses doing there thing, eh?

Update: Looks like I was late to the game.

Spaceship Summer makes the comment that... "It's interesting to see the other teams continuing to forge ahead despite the race being seemingly a done deal" ...with regard to the Ansari X-Prize.

But that's exactly what an x-prize does, provide a lot of bang for a little buck. When you get all the people working on all the projects you get momentum. It is amazing to me that we don't use the power of this more often to solve other problems.

Would we have an anouncement that a venture will be taking passengers into space within 3 yrs. if not for the X-Prize? Perhaps, but I doubt it. Then orbital hotels after that? Yes, a lot of bang for the buck.

Keep on dreamin'

Monday, September 27, 2004

Powerline talks about Kerrys Sister in Australia.

When does free speech become sedition? When does political ambition cross the line and become a crime? What is it about an electorate that has such difficulting seeing through the spin and bullshit? When are the insane going to be put back into the asylum?

Ain't it the truth! Real people know stuff.
Via Instapundit

Sunday, September 26, 2004

One of the difficulties of starting a new business is that generally, before you see any income, there's a lot of out go. I've been spending money for the last two months getting ready, but there's always something else. Today it was $37 for a black ink cartridge and some paper. Good thing I have lots of change in my car and around my desk. Of course the (non-stop) topic around the house is how we are going to pay the rent after my wife already spent the money... apparently it's my fault... and I've been designated spirit lifter upper and all around positive guy.

We do have other negotiables, but apparently my wifes diamonds and fur are off limits. Now I'm not talking about her wedding ring... she has other diamonds besides that. Selling my car is perfectly alright though. See my car is paid for. We still owe about twice what her 2004 Toyota is worth.

The world is a funny place... I'm so glad I have the sense to know it.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

This is interesting. It appears that congress has given itself at least four illegal pay raises. I always thought that COLA provision that says they get a raise if they do nothing was pretty sleezy.

BTW, I found this while looking for some info on the ninth amendment (which I was thinking of making a link to in my new tagline.) See this book.

Friday at 5pm my boss called me to tell me they were letting me go. What a liberating experience. He's going to send me a letter making it official. After giving me his lame reasons my only response was, "ok." I had a terrible headache at the time and really didn't feel like a discussion. I am free at last.

My wife has been freaking.

After the call, my wife wasn't home to share the news (and I wasn't ready to tell her anyway) so I drove the 45 minutes to visit my sister. I spent the night. I didn't want to spoil my wifes weekend, but I also didn't want her to spend money we didn't have, so I called her the next morning at 9am. She seemed to take the news well, but it turns out that she was in shock.

The worst thing is she was planning to attend a wedding of a coworker (which had fallen off my radar completely) and didn't go. I'm sad about that. If I'd have remembered, I would have held my news until the evening.

The situation is that I live in California and my job was in Washington. I worked remotely, which being a programmer certainly makes sense. On the phone, my boss told me they were hiring a new programmer monday, so they were letting me go today. I'd been waiting for the axe to fall ever since I asked for a raise some time ago. You see, asking for a raise is the lowest form of treachery known to my former employers.

BTW, his lame reason given to me over the phone was that since I had moved to Sacramento (a better job market than the little town I was in) and was obviously looking for work, they decided to let me go.

Hey, I'm a capitalist. Personally, I don't think a company needs to give a reason to hire or fire. I believe the standing reason should be that it improves the profitability of the company. The timing is a little bad for me.

I have $30 in my pocket and no savings. I had just turned over the bulk of my paycheck to my wife (I discovered early that if the bills are not in her name she doesn't pay them.) Tonight I learn she hasn't budgeted to pay next months rent (even tho' it's due on the 5th and she knows my next paycheck wasn't due until after that.)

My paycheck is due on the 1st, but the company has been playing frik'n games with me by not mailing it to me directly here in California, but to a friend in Washington I'd stayed with when my wife was here and I was still there. So I've usually had to wait a week to ten days before I have a check to deposit. My wife assumed she could call my boss and get them to deposit the check directly, which they always seemed reluctant to do.

It's a lot to deal with, but at least I'm free from these control freaks. I'm faced with having to sell my car to survive, but it's a small price to pay.

I'm too fat and ugly to get another job, so I'm going to do whatever it takes to put myself in business. I've really waited too long, dealing with so much stupidity for so much less than my worth. I have had it, and I'm never go back again...

The only jerk I'm ever going to work for, ever again, is me. I'm taking responsibility. Everybody else can just take a flying leap. I really have had it.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

One of her best columns ever... because it's the simple truth.

The tide is turning. ...and Allawi just hit it out of the park before congress today.

Update: Text of Allawi's speech.

In the meeting with Bush afterward, his straight-forward talk help clarify some items that Bush was less than articulate in presenting. The press is focusing on minor setbacks without looking at the whole picture and the progress that is being made.

Kerry looks ridiculous in comparison.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Why CBS is important. A solid and important point.

I have to agree that this is slimy!

Although I wouldn't trust Rangel as far as I can throw him... all those involved need to be not only thrown out of power, but turn the power off on their microphones. Their voices should only be as loud as their morals.

This is not how to keep your bicycle safe.

Click [t]here to see video.

What is truth? - Pontius pilot.

Never be afraid of the truth. - me, but someone else must have said it first.

Michelle seems a believer in truth. which begs us to ask the question of ourselves...

Can I handle the truth? Can my government? Well, no government is very comfortable with truth because politics is it's antithesis.

The truth is scary at times, but we must be brave... and try not to be too disappointed when our government doesn't quite live up to the ideals.

The truth is worth fighting for.

ok. I'm done.

So how hot is 41.11?

Via Drudge... so I imagine quite hot.

Trains, Tracks and Wisdom

Knowledge: Trains run on tracks.
Understanding: You should not stand on tracks that trains run on.
Wisdom: Getting off the tracks.

Read it all (including comments.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I believe the lady may be on to something.

Via Rand

Friday, September 17, 2004

Assaults are illegal, and the person that did this can and should be arrested.

Update: You do bear some of the blame if you put yourself into a dangerous situation... but does standing outside in daylight in America qualify... well, in a mob I guess it does.

I still think Americans aught to be safe standing in the street (although I understand that sometimes they are not.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The only problem is, he didn't say that.

David Shuster writes... Cheney said, and I quote: "I think some have hoped that if they kept their heads down and stayed out of the line of fire, they wouldn't get hit. I think what happened in Russia now demonstrates pretty conclusively that everybody is a target. That Russia, of course, didn't support us in Iraq, they didn't get involved in sending troops there, they've gotten hit anyway."

...the idea that if Russia had only supported us in Iraq, had only sent troops there, they wouldn't have gotten hit. That is insane.

He didn't say they wouldn't have gotten hit, he said they got hit anyway. This is an attack on a strawman... something the truly insane seem to do quite often. At least he provided enough of the quote to see the fallacy.

Finally, someone who gets it right. This is a criminal act against society, regardless of your political leanings.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

So the question of the day is, who is Dan Rather protecting?

While this is a joke, the reality is that those partisan subversives are going to have tools in the future that will make it easier for lies, frauds and hoaxes to be perpertrated without fear of getting caught... not that they have much fear in any case. I'm afraid we may act too late if we don't start taking credibility more seriously.

The Aliens and Sedition Acts were bad law, but perhaps not bad in principle.

Should we not consider stripping citizenship and deporting those that want to destroy this country? I would strongly support any form of speech to be protected from such seditionary claims, unless that speech included criminal acts (such as forgery of official documents for political aims.)

Someone smarter than I should figure this one out.

Zell does well, in answering his critics.

We can all be proud of this old marine.

Bush AWOL remedial math.

The cold war just went hot again.

How will the world get democracy when some hold the nuclear card?

Unless a massive intelligence war is won, nukes are going to fly one day.

The hammer is starting to hit the nail.

Cbs may try to spin themselves as victims, but perpertrators (or perhaps just traitors?) is more likely.

It is true evil when reporters lie. The least that should happen is that they disappear... and never see the light of day... ever!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Power Line rightly points out that we must question our assumption that major media sources will protect their good name and credibility first, so we can trust them not to lie to us...

"So we have entered a new era. We now know that our richest and most powerful news organizations are willing to blow themselves up--to destroy their own credibility, once considered a news organization's most precious possession--to achieve a political goal. The landscape will never look quite the same again. Those of us who still value truth must look at the mainstream media in a new, more skeptical and critical way, taking nothing for granted. Because, like suicide bombers, the mainstream news organs will go farther to achieve their political goals than we ever imagined."

It's time to get the word out that credibility and lies matter. We need to put these guys out of business (regardless of their political leanings.)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

...and I'm stealing his tagline.

Friday, September 10, 2004

These guys aren't just crossing the line... they can't even see the line from where they're standing.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I'm bloggin' again!
Looks like they could have used some airbags?

Will I be able to publish? Not so far, in the past two days... but I neeeed to blog... so we will try again now.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

We can now put those rumors to rest... the press was not actually AWOL.
Via Betsy

Monday, September 06, 2004

What to make of this?
Via Robot Factory

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Good history lesson, should be required reading for politicians too quick to label.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

It'll be a long time before we start a conversation.

Chris finds out what hardball is. Go Zell Miller!
Via Q and O

The young lady takes note.

Yeah, I would love to see the un-toned-down version of Zell's speech!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Text of Arnold's speech.

I believe truer words were never spoken.

"...John Kerry must be an awfully weak candidate to be neck-and-neck with President Bush despite a built-in 15-point advantage."

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