Monday, November 28, 2005
So I got my Christmas present early from my lovely fiance. Sirius satellite Radio. To be exact, it's the brand new Sirius S50
. Here's my little review, after one and a half days of usage:
First of all, it is NOT portable. At least, not like they want you to believe. It is portable like a kick ass Ipod, without the trendy pricetag, in that it will record and play back about 50 hours of music. The satellite feature, however, is not currently portable. I was told it was, and that's the main reason I bought it. So I was mad.
But it turns out that, unless you live in a REALLY metro area, the "portable" xm radio is not portable either. The satellite isn't strong enough, so you need little reflectors built in to the urbana around you. So far about 14 cities have those. Guess what, Bemidji isn't one of them. So I guess I would have been even more upset to get one home and have it not be portable when it could be. And this one automatically records and stores your three favorite stations, so when you DO take it on the go (to use like an MP3 player) you can listen to, again, 50 hours of SIRIUS content. That's pretty close to "portable". Still, I am a little mad.
But then I started playing with it. What an amazing product. The controls seem confusing at first, but you quickly learn how to use them: they work more like a home theater than an mp3 player. The playlist feature is EXACTLY the same as ipod, the battery life is amazing (I have been playing it nonstop since 9 am and it has not even registered low yet). And it is sleek.
I quickly figured out how to hook it up both in the car and at home, so I have it playing through my 1800watt surround right now. The sound quality is excellent. Not scratchy like local radio.
The actual MP3 function is nice. I loaded 50 songs (randomly from my PC) is about 2 minutes. While I was working out today I found how easy the mini controls are to use. Really, it is very searchable, and easy to navigate, and feels secure in the included clip. I was a bit worried of scratching the shiny face or hitting it with a weight (it was spendy) so I think it will usually stay in it's homebase while working out.
On the drive home last night we listened mostly to comedy. That was refreshing, not to have to listen to top40 radio. But when we wanted radio, we had so many choices. We found ourselves singing along to songs we didn't remember we liked, and one button later, recording them. I even saved a very funny clip from a stand up doing a GW Bush impression to share with my boss. Neat.
Since it is pre-release (it will hit all stores in about two weeks) their aren't any accessories for it. However, I was able to pick up a home antenna and adapter for another unit that work just fine. I doubt I will spend the 100 bucks to get the actual dock when it comes out.
Overall, I like the thing. I guess not having the portability is a bit of a turn off, but really the other features more than make up for the jump in price (color screen, mp3 player, "other" portability) Buying an ipod and a Sirius radio separate would have cost a bit more, and essentially that is what I got.
Let's say 8 out of 10, and wait until they make the backpack unit to make it truly portable to see if it gets better. I would recommend this to someone else, just with the warning that the people selling it are promising something SIRIUS does not (yet) offer.
Friday, November 25, 2005
or Pat Morita, to those of you not watching movies in the eighties, has passed away.
He was 73 years old.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
4 cells: PETA and humans
3 cells: no blood for oil/escalade
I promise these will make sense in pictures
I just sketched the PETA one. Carly didn't think it was funny. At all.
She didn't get my guitar joke, either.
Lucky for all of us she isn't the funny one.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Chronicles of Nonsense
It is pretty well documented, in this space, the trials I have had with a certain parent of a client. Well, the hits just keep on coming.
The latest is this: the client just underwent surgery to remove a granuloma from his plantar fascia. Man, that hurts just saying it. The guy was in pain, and the only one who could sign off on the surgery was a legal guardian (his mother or father). That idiocy is a topic for a whole other post: it makes no sense that we provide primary care and cannot opt for surgery when needed. In this case, they parents waited two years. That's two years with a growth inside his foot the size of an egg. Everytime he aggrivated it he had trouble walking.
But surgery DID happen, and then shit DID hit the fan. The idea was he would miss two weeks of work, which is no big deal because he makes so little anyway, and he would split time between our home and his parents'. Well, the Mother decided to keep him the whole time. That's cool, it's her right. But then we had a med problem.
Our nurse comes once a week to fill medicine and insulin. We have very strict orders that she is the ONLY one who can do this. Our lincencing and hers depends on this. The previous staff supervisor was lax in enforcing this with the mother from hell, because she diodn't want to be bitched at, so they would get insulin supplies and fill the syringes themselves.
Now, that's not such a big deal. Once you know how to properly fill a needle, not a lot can go wrong. But we have to keep track of all our supplies, and account for all of them. It's simple, we HAVE to do this. What the Mother was doing was going to the pharmacy and picking up her own supplies, but under her son's name. Which meant they were our supplies. And when we would run short, they would not refill, because they already had.
So I put the kabosh on that one. I told all staff that the parents were not allowed to take ANYTHING from our site. Of course, they took issue with this. And then they blew it up. I explained exactly what I just wrote. I was even very nice and polite, and calm, even when they were screaming in my face. It should be a non-issue. It is just something we have to do, and it saves them having to do it: instead of drawing needles, they just have to use the ones we already drew, that are already marked for his possible levels. So you just match the number on the chart with the number on the needle. It could not be easier. It could not be safer.
But they gave me all these rediculous reasons why this system wouldn't work.
1) the needle bins take up too much space in the refrigerator
They are tupperware containers roughly the size of half a sandwich, and
there are three of them.
2) When they leave for Florida (are they gone yet?) their daugther will not understand the "new" system.
Her daughter is a math teacher, and is married to a doctor.
3) it wastes insulin, because we fill more needles than he needs, to cover all possible levels.
Insulin can be stored in a needle for a month, we refill every week,and rotate old needles to the front. Further, we have to fill for a week anyway, and sending more supplies with her does not reduce what we fill, it adds to it.
So basically, she is full of shit. And we cannot figure ou twhy this is sucha big deal. But the problem doesn't stop there. She has brought this issue up three consecutive times, each time, even after multiple explanations by me, the owners of the company, and the nurse, she reverts to her old above arguments. She just won't listen to reason. And she has no reason (we have all asked) for taking a negative stand on this "issue".
And that's the problem. I have billed 6 hours dealing with this. That's six hours of tax payers money billed to this little pety thing. That's six hours of care I could be giving the other clients. And there is no end in sight.
She made the last supervisor cry, and eventually have a clinical breakdown and quit. She must think I will do the same. I won't. I will continue to do what is in the best interest of my clients and the company. Even if that means going against the wishes of the parent. Especially if the parent is a nutjob.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
FIRST OF ALL
A thanks to Sean
for pointing this out.
Now on to the news.Here
is an article explaining how Iraq DOES or DID have WMDs, and Bush was right, and everyone who has lambasted him is sort of an ass. I am, of course, paraphrasing.
It might be important to note that "The Vanguard" is about as right as Rush Limbaugh, so they may just have an agenda. That being said, I decided to dig on my own.
I started at the UNMOVIC
website. God bless the web, they had the last briefing on Iraq available by download and adobe. It is a bit long, so I won't go into the detail, but it actually supports the article, and says "yeah, dude, we found us some interesting shit" OK, so it doesn't say it LIKE THAT, but really, it says it. I couldn't link to it, so just follow the link to UNMOVIC and see for yourself.
What does all this mean? Well, for one, it means George Bush might not be the idiot or asshole everyone wants to think he is. For two, it might mean I know A LOT of people who owe him a great big kiss on the ass.
Pucker Up, America!
Friday, November 18, 2005
That's my new word for the smut peddling, irresponsible "journalism" that has finally permeated the sports world.
Trade rumors have always been speculation, and management was always careful to point that out. Most of what was said in ESPN or in the sports section of local papers was fact. Now, in the age of "reality" TV and rating wars, sports has bought a front row ticket.
Will Kevin Garnett be traded? We have heard these rumors for about 8 years no (just about when the T Wolves went one and done in the playoffs) That he is the most versatile player cannot be denied. That he needs help to win a championship cannot be denied. It follows that if the Timberwolves cannot get him this help, he could walk. Of course, in 11 years of coming close, he has NEVER ONCE stated he wants to play ANYWHERE ELSE, the rumors still swirl.
And I take them. Who the hell cares what writers get paid to write. Except now, they are stirring up controversy over nothing. Here's a quote from the star Tribune:
Garnett, who always has handled his contract talks in the offseason, was critical of management in the interview for failing to do that with Cassell and Sprewell, both of whom were seeking contract extensions. "It should have been done in the summertime so when September got here, it was all about basketball," he said. "We're not going to re-sign you, we're going to re-sign you, OK, cool, end of discussion. ... The dialogue was just trashy. ... That set the tone for the whole year."
Notice the last line The dialogue was just trashy. ... That set the tone for the whole year."
Sort of makes it look like he is poking at the franchise, there.
Here is what he actually said:"The dialogue was just trashy, just trashy dialogue," Garnett told TNT. "Now, Sam wants one thing, organization wants one thing. Sam takes it off and says he's not coming to camp, and that set the tone for the whole year. Now you got the organization saying it's Sam's fault, it's Spree's fault Â? Flip's fault, Kevin's fault, Kevin Garnett's fault. You know what? It's everybody (expletive) fault. No one person looked themselves in the mirror."
Hmm, a whole different message there, no? But you cannot run the headline "KG Criticizes Management" With the real quote.
We will, in the end of days, know what actually went on behind the scenes if he gets traded or if he stays. Certainly no one would fault him for requesting a trade: this current Timberwolves team has a lot of questions, and in 11 seasons the best player on the planet has not seen the finals. But until I hear it from the horses mouth, and more importantly, until SPORTS WRITERS HERE IT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH, we all need to end the speculation. Worry about this season. Win some games.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I am dragging ass today. All because of a little ball of fur that can't weigh more than 6 ounces. That's right, a mouse. A mouse in our house. It somehow got into our baseboard heater, and couldn't get out. So it just ran up and down the filament, making the most horrible sounds and making sure we stayed awake.
It was hard to track down, because everytime we would move to try and find it, it would get quiet again. I finally figured out where it was hiding, and had the chore of trying to remove it. I tried taking the screws that hold the heater to the wall out, but after two hours of sleep when you should have 8, manual dexterity is at a premium. Lucky for me brute strength is not. I just ripped the heater off the wall. The mouse was still inside, but I was not quick enough to catch it with my bag.
No more noise, but we still have a damned mouse running around somewhere. I don't like the thought of that.
And now I can't sleep, so my mind is acting like the TV on the fritz. I am tuning channels at warp speed, and I can't get rid of the fuzz.
It occurred to me that you are lucky when the person you are saying "I Love You" to has more people around her that want to be the one to say that. You are blessed when you don't give a shit about them.
A Hippos mouth can open 180 degrees. That's amazing.
The reason Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
is a better than average chick flick is because the antagonist is also likeable. Huh.
There aren't any good stage show bands anymore. Digitizing killed the touring star.Sean
and I have another site
. It got twenty hits yesterday. They were all for the phrase "Keira Knightley's boobs" This internet thing is great.
I also decided the problem with the Timberwolves isn't personnel. In fact, I think the coach has been grouping the wrong packages, and not allowing people to just play. In the game against the rockets Kandi had 10 points in the first quarter, and was containing Yao Ming. He was taken out so Ronald Dupree could play. That's not smart. Kandi is only worth so much, and limiting his time when he is effective (and may not be for a few more games) is bad coaching. Dwayne Casey is a new coach, with a middle of the road team, and he may not land on his feet this year.
And speaking of coaches, how tough is Mike Tice. He tore three ligaments in his knee when someone slid into him on the sidelines. He stayed in the game and coached the rest of the way, on his feet. Tough guy. Big, too.
Ok, your eyes and my brain can't take anymore of this, so I just need to go force myself to sleep. Is it too early for a martini?
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I WANT YOU
to look around the internet today. Think of all the great things it provides us: we can communicate with people, for free, in real time. We can purchase things without waiting in line. We can masturbate in the comfort of our living rooms, the way God intended.
Fifteen years ago, there was none of this. That's right, just a decade and a half ago, this day, this social and economic crutch did not exist. Not until Some brit got it in his head that things shoudl be different. He thought the world could be made flat again. 15 years ago, he made the world wide web a reality. 14 years, 364 days ago, the first picture of someone's naked mother was painstakenly downloaded.
Science, ain't it grand.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I should explain, a bit, what I do for a living. My official title is Staff Supervisor and Program Director of (house name) project. That means I am in charge of a house of mentally disabled and mentally retarded adults, and the staff that cares for them. My function is to oversee program, and make sure they are cared for medically and nutritionally. As far as the state is concerned, that is all.
Of course, these aren't plants we are working with: they need more than just what is required to grow. We also staff events, and make sure they are having a generally good time. I took them camping and to Fargo Halloween shopping in this last quarter, and we have movie nights, dances, meet and greets, etc every week.
I also implemented a work out routine, to make sure they get some damned exercise. As a result, one of my clients has lost over 30 pounds in the past 6 months. I am as proud of that as I am of anything I have ever done. Ever.
So does it sound like I am tooting my own horn? Damn right. And I do this as a sort of affirmation, because I have to deal with an overbearing mother who has the wrong idea about her son, his capability, and the level of staff competence, mostly directed at me. She makes it very personal.
See, he son has a functional IQ around 45. That is very low. For her credit, she has him functioning MUCH higher than tests would indicate, and it makes my staff's job a lot easier. However, he functions as an automatron. He is NOT thinking about the processes, he is just performing them. That means if the process breaks down, he does not think of a solution, he does not report the breakdown, and he does not care about it. Basically, he is a dog who has been taught to fetch. So what people see, in passing, and what his mother wants to see, is his high level of daily functioning. What my staff sees, and what is more accurate, is an uncaring, unforgiving routine that does not allow for human growth or interaction. And one that is now, after 45 years, starting to fail, and demesia and tardive dykonesia start to take over. The result is a daily struggle to help him function, all the while having his mother telling us how he ought to be functioning.
And the larger issue here is that he is a dick. Most people who just read that sentence will be shocked. Yes, mentally retarded people can be mean assholes. They aren't all cute and cuddly like Corky from Life goes on. In fact, most are pissed off at being treated that way. This client isn't, because he really does not understand his actions, but that doesn't stop him from being mean, all the time.
The big revelation here is that mentally retarded people are still people. The people who work with them like to think of them as something different, something that can be categorized. It's just not that easy. They are as varied and unique as functioning people. They are not peter pan, and they are not corky, they are a clever mix of what has happened in their lives. And they are still humans, and still (legally and in some cases emotionally) adults.
This all comes from a meeting where the mother put words into the clients mouth, and gave him excuse after excuse for his actions. I am a firm believer, in this venture and previously when program directing the scouts, in owning actions. I think if he was made to won those actions for the past forty years he wouldn't be such an uncaring prick. But she has told him how to feel and how to act so much, he does not feel or act on his own anymore. It is sad.
This is only related in that it is from a client(not the same one) But I wanted to write it out, to share it and reference it later. One of my other clients, who is much higher functioning and has a functional IQ just shy of 70, had a very candid conversation with me about his retardation. His is not medical, it is developmental, so it is, in my opinion, the saddest of all. It really could have been prevented, but now it is too late. Anyway, he is fully aware he is limited, and that people think of him that way. He has the desire to prove them wrong, but his body and mind betray him. He is very much aware that he is trapped in a situation that limits him, and that there is no end in sight. Yet, through all this, and as hard as it must be living with that, he is OK with it. He is happy to have staff and clients who care for him, and that he can do things for, and that will look up to him for advice (in the valley of the blind...) He feels more needed and accepted now. And he has a heart as big as anyone's.
So they aren't all shitty stories. I need to keep that in mind.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Is a big, whiny bitch. There, I said it. I used to think it was cool that an NBA owner would take time to blog. I thought he would provide some insight into the world of NBA. I was wrong.
He seldom blogs about anything basketball related, and when he does it is to flame officials, praise his fluffed up team (the Mavericks) or throw stones at legends.This post
was meant to be the latter. In it, he says, "Let me just say this. There is a reason why Kenny and Charles haven't gotten head coaching jobs. There is more to running a team these days then thinking you know what you are talking about. Kenny, if you want to bust on us for switching on the pick and roll, get some stats to back it up. We track conversion rates on everything we do. High pick and roll, elbow pick and roll, whatever, we track it. If its not working Kenny, we adjust. I know that is probably a new concept to you and Charlie B, but that's the NBA of 2006. With all that money you guys make (hey if you are going to talk salaries, lets see how you like it), go out and hire some kids to track what actually happens in a game rather than having TNT bring in kids to go out and get donuts.
Here is a little test. How many deflections did we have last night versus our season average last year. Do you remember what a deflection is guys ? Its a nice indicator of defensive effort.
And rook..I mean Reggie Miller. Remember this rook. Every year TNT brings in the guy who was good, but retired last year, and puts them in that same seat you were sitting in. You may have noticed that they aren't there any more. Do something more than just try to be another guy who tries to fit in and trade nonsensical barbs with the boys. Charles has earned the right to be the comedian who has some insights. Kenny wants to be the coach, but wont do the work, so never will be more than a sidekick. Rook, you need to add some value, or in a few weeks we will see someone else sitting in that seat. Maybe Derrick Coleman can come in and give us a Whoop De Damn DoÃ?
But I digress. After listening to some of the idiocy, we just turned it off."
A bit childish, no? Calling out Kenny the jet Smith, Charles Barkely, and Reggie Miller is like sitting at the pearly gates and calling out Jesus, God, and Gabriel. Honestly, for a guy as out of shape and un-athletic as him to call them out is disgusting to me. But he wasn't talking about athleticism. He was calling out their basketball knowledge.
Two of those three were named to basketball's 50 greatest players. All three have been all stars. All three have been defensive first team selections. The Jet has two rings. Reggie has a scoring title. Barkley andReggiee have gold medals.
The Mavericks? Nadda. No championship, ever. Ever.
And it didn't stop there. He posted AGAIN to call them out. Read it if you want. The point here is, Mark Cuban has gone off the deep end. He is using this to drum up more bad press. He is turning into the T.O. of basketball. If T.O. had no talent, a bad haircut, and ran a cut-rate team.
Here was Kenny Smith's response,
"...in terms of basketball, I don't think there's anything that Charles and myself haven't seen or heard or haven't been a part of in an NBA basketball game. There is nothing that's been done in the game of basketball that I can't comment on, but I don't think you can say the same.
To use the term 'idiots' was offensive and I took that personally. I think if you put us in a room and we had to describe the game of basketball people would want to hear what I have to say over what you have to say. If you really understood the game, you would realize that coaches and players have always had different philosophies. That's what makes the game great, that people have different philosophies and some work better than others. It doesn't make the Dallas Mavericks philosophy wrong just because I don't agree with it, and it doesn't make us idiots just because we don't agree with you.
I don't need a stat sheet or the Internet to know how a guy shoots or how he plays the game. My brain and eyes are my computer and I log on everyday. "
And all this came because the TNT crew wasridiculingg the way the mavericks never seem to play defense. And they are right. Check the stats, Mark Cuban, youlovevthemm so much. Wheree does your team rank in defense? Fourth quarter stops? Steals vs. Turnovers? Any statisticalcategoryy that actually effects the game? You load them with offensive talent, and they are fun to watch during the regular season, and they NEVER make it deep into the playoffs. Good teams run them down like chickens. It's simple. Instead of flaming out when you hear something you don't like, learn from it:
Stop whining, get your club to play defense.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
MY HANDS SMELL LIKE FISH
because I finally received, via the wonderful people at WOOT!
my sushi making kit. It also came with serving dishes, sashimi molds, double layer molds, and, to my surprise, 4 sets of pretty high quality chopsticks. They looked like throw away ones in the picture, but they are actually quite nice, if a little plain.
In addition, it cane with a sushi cookbook. Can you really call it a cookbook when you hardly cook anything to make sushi? Well, a cookbook we shall call it, because a recipe book is for grandmothers.
I made maki (roll) tomaki (handroll) and nagiri (that's a lump of fish on a lump of rice). The main ingredient tonight was seared salmon with apricot sauce.
**I am quite proud of the sauce, actually. It turned out EXACTLY as I remembered it tasting at OYSY and I puzzled out the ingredients myself**
The salmon is sitting a little odd in my stomach, but I think it is because I just read about freshwater vs. Saltwater salmon. See, the salmon we get at our local deli is freshwater, and almost always carries a parasite. That means you have to be a bit more careful handling it and you have to cook it before eating it. Saltwater fish, generally, do not have parasites. So you can eat them raw (sashimi). Of course, I seared my fish, but I still had to try a bit raw, just to see. Now for the next two days I will wonder if I have a stomach virus or if I am a paranoid idiot (though excluding the virus does not exclude the idiocy)
IN OTHER NEWS
The Timberwolves play the season opener against Portland tonight. You can all bet I will be posting long and hard on that one tomorrow. Also, I am planning on watching the Jacket again tonight, so I can post about plausible endings and angry moviegoers on BADMOVIEREVIEWS
tomorrow. I basically write these things here so I will feel obligated to actually do them. Still, it's 50/50.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
AFTER A QUARTER
century, my body is slowing down. I had a few drinks on Thursday, to shut down a bar we have went to since we were old enough to drink. The bar serves micro brews, and usually that means the next day you get gut rot. Well, I went drinking Saturday, too. So I had gut rot until yesterday. Sad. I used to (in college) be able to go on a week long bender and not be the worse for wear.
In other news, basketball season has finally started. The T Wolves open tomorrow, but I will watch one of the two games tonight, just because they are the opening games. Basketball, in my opinion, is the most refined of the professional sports, and the most entertaining.
In other other news, Halloween was cute. My clients handed out candy, and it was cool to watch them interacting with strangers. They all did such a good job. Sometimes, I really like what I do.