If you are interested…

I am migrating many of my old MySpace blogs over here for safe keeping.

They are being published with their original publish date but you can watch the tag cloud in the upper left corner of the page for “MySpace Blogs”.

That will bring them all into view for you.

I will likely skip the stuff that dealt with my divorce and frustrations around that. I am not sure yet. I suppose it would further enrich what you know about me and how I tick, or used to anyway. My son has likely read all of them, and he is the only one that I would be concerned might take something wrong.

I think by now he knows that I love him VERY much.

Some of them are just scraps of thoughts, but I do not want to lose them to the ether.

 

Free Trade

Just what does free trade mean to you? Does it mean, a globalized way for someone else to take your job? It is one of thoughts that crosses my mind when I think of it.

Go ahead, tell me that I need to run for office… read my blogs from end to end and see what you think. What do I give you? my opinions. I have the balls to tell you the way I see it.

Free trade has sold me out, my job and many others’ jobs have gone to Mexico, the Philipenes, India, or insert country of choice.

The current administration seems to have done nothing to take care of the people. Our jobs are disappearing, the jobs left behind are being devalued, our children (yes I know they are primarily 18-24, that is still young) are losing their lives in a BS war. Granted we are in a position that we can’t just bail out on the war, even though it looks like we went in under fraudulent circumstances. The Iraqis and Afghanis are in really hard positions, we helped put them in those bad positions, but I guess that is really another blog.

We get issues buried in the papers or barely mentioned in the news in order to make time for Anna Nicoles funeral, or custody battle for how long? over a month? how much REAL news passed under the radar?

While we are distracted by a Senator getting convicted of a misdemeanor from being an ass in a men’s room and him flip flopping over his resignation… A kid cracked the iPhone code so that their users can access T-Mobile instead of JUST AT&T… Our administration opens our freeways up to Mexican truckers. Yet more jobs being impacted. While I was driving, we were told that if we were to attempt to take our truck over the Mexican border, we would spend a fair amount of time in the prison system of Mexico. Not that we really wanted to take our trucks over their poorly maintained roads or dealt with the need to bribe this official or that group to allow our drivers safe passage. So now we have drivers hauling loads of all types (yes, hazardous materials included) anywhere in our country, without even knowing our language.

Do you have any special instruction signs in your area? I know that in the area where I live, we have tunnels that prohibit various substances, but they are posted.
Hmmm… Do we think that we have a hope in Hell that the drivers will be able to read those directions?

This also has an opportunity to add to the illegal immigration issue. Now they can just have a co-driver that they can bring across the border and deliver them where they want to be dropped off.

What does “free trade” give us?Oh let me see… cheap toys for Mattel to recall because Chinese companies can’t figure out that lead is NOT a chew toy, and they poison our pets but not having the common sense to actually clean the conveyor belt after producing toxic substances before starting to run pet food production… Which also begs the question… WHY do you make poison in the same factory as FOOD? Even if it is pet food, in some places those pets ARE food. Wy add the toxins to the food chain? Then as a future topic China has preferred nation status…. Why, who did they…

If free trade is supposed to reduce trade barriers between Canada, The United States, and Mexico, the why is our trade increasing with non NAFTA countries more than with NAFTA counties?

Well history shows that the country with the strong industrial sector, has the strong financial base. hen we started sending our factories overseas, we lost that edge. The money just keeps leaving our pockets, communities, states and country.
Factory after factory gone, call centers, customer service centers, even sate and local government is outsourcing. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have your unemployment office staff being laid off due to outsourcing? WOW!

It is my belief that this President and his staff mishandled the economy when he took the reins (and at the same time I admit that the economy was due to turn) when he was “handed” the job. In the effort to save the economy, the interest rates had to be dropped so low that the mortgage companies are having problems working with the razor thin margins on top of the enormous salaries being given to executives. If you add the numbers of families unable to live on the wages that have been devalued in the process, and the change in the constitutional protections to us… Remember the bankruptcy laws? Where Bush pushed to severely limited our forefathers efforts to protect us by giving us a way to reset our financial positions, it set the stage for the record number of foreclosures that we are seeing today. Will we have to have a bailout of the mortgage companies, like we say in the savings and loan industry or Chrysler? How much will that cost us?

Many of us want to “Buy American”, but simply can’t afford to.

We end up having to buy at Wal-Mart or Target or other major store filled with cheap foreign crap. Not that we American are too well known for our high quality products of late… we all need to take pride in the work that we do, so that our products can make people want to pay the extra dollar, yen, peso, yuan, baht or whatever currency for our goods.

No, there is most assuredly a heavy cost to “free trade”.

Hmmmm

Well, there was an announcement of further cutback at Earthlink today.

Major pain for their families, over 900 people losing their jobs nationally.
My heart really goes out to them. For those who may find their way to this blog…
you guys are in my prayers, I know the feelings, and they suck.

I went to New Edge today after hearing the news. Wanted to be there for my friends, and something interesting happened, something that has never happened before. Andre was sent to see me by HR… I was asked to sign in. I responded with the fact that I did not intend on entering the building.
The is the perfect honest truth, I was in the smoking area, where I would not be getting in the way of anyone doing thier jobs. With as long as I was there… I would be a distraction for many.

It makes me wonder if I am on some sort of blacklist… There was a person who did not seem happy to see me, but very often that person is not very happy in general. It is a shame, he used to be a very happy person! I am not sure if he went to HR because he failed to have the balls to tell me something, or if someone else is worried about my presence. I am not recruiting, hell I don’t have a job to recruit for! If he doesn’t want me around… I will miss him, and hope that he is able to shed some stress and find his happiness again.

For those of you that know me from the office, please don’t forget to hit my IM from time to time, you should all have it. If not, send me a MySpace mail and I will give it to you.

Illegal Immigration

Those that know me, know that I am not a racist… While I may know and tell off color jokes.

HOWEVER with that said, I must say that regardless of nationality, I am not willing to tolerate illegal immigration.

I do not care what nation they have come from, I want them gone.

When I, as a white male, make this suggestion, I am going to be branded a racist… To the groups that make that brand on me, KISS my ever loving ass.

Yes, my political bones are being rattled, I am tired of seeing this.

When they want to group in mass in our city squares saying how unfair it is that we want to prevent illegals from getting drivers licenses, why doesn’t INS close off those streets and start checking ID? Here in The Portland Ore area, we had INS raid a business who was employing illegal aliens. What did the latino community do? Protest! Cool, protest is fine and I support is whole heartedly. Do you think that when the FBI busts a piracy ring, do you think that the pirates will gather to protest? no… they will do it from the safety of the web. If you are a CRIMINAL, you tend to not gather for a public protest. Did America and the latino community forget that we are talking about CRIMINALS? Hence the term “illegal alien”. Obviously the penalty for being an illegal by itself is not working.

What do you think would happen if we were to charge the countries of origin for returning their residents? I am sure that we can find a way to recover the funds from those countries. We don’t want to hold them in our jails or prisons, as the cost would be far too high, unless we were to pass that cost on to the host country  as well. Maybe we could transfer the prisoner to their corrections officers.

Sure there are times of frustration, where I would like to see heavy handed measures taken, but this is not one of those moments. When we have situations where a legal resident (either by birth or naturalized) driver gets into an accident with an illegal alien driver who does not have a license… we are told, well they would have gotten a license if it were allowed and that the offending driver isn’t a criminal… WHAT!?! You mean that they made 1. being an illegal alien  2.  driving without a license and 3. driving without insurance is no longer against the LAW? Hey, that’s three strikes, they are OUT!

I do understand that kids born on American soil are citizens and I am really torn there. I care a great deal about kids. I am not sure if they should be allowed to be citizens since they were here in an illegal alien. Kind of a fruit of the poison tree concept. Or, we can take the kids, and let them be raised in American homes as the American citizens that they are, but deport the rest of the family. Perhaps the expectant mothers won’t want to take that kind of risk. The other side is that I wish no harm to the innocent children of the world.

The current population of undocumented aliens is quite significant. We must call upon ALL of our legislators; federal, state, and local to enact laws/ordinances to bring a halt to the illegal immigration and enforce current laws. We have some cities that have put safe haven type laws into effect.. those have to end.

For the blind patriots out there… Yes, I am AWARE that America is a melting pot…. wait, it is NOT a melting pot. I wish I could remember who it was that pointed that out…  in a melting pot you end up with an alloy from the mix. We do not have a grey population, we have a very wide variety of color in our country. We are very diverse, which is wonderful to me. So much to learn from each other. We live in a mixing bowl, kind of like a huge fruit salad. We are able to identify most of the components in the mix at a glance, others… well we have to look closely and still guess. Just WHAT is Michael Jackson, besides a talented artist?

It is up to US to tell our elected officials about our feelings in large numbers, otherwise they will hide behind fears that they don’t want to lose this ethnic group or that ethnic group’s votes. Let them know that they do have to worry about the votes from those of us that can and do legally vote.

A Little Something

Wow… I have not written in quite a while.
I noticed that the other regular (well frequent, perhaps regular is not a good adjective to use in their case (and yes, you know who you are)) writers have also been quiet.

I do so miss the daily interaction that NEN provided…

On the third weekend of June the local ham radio club participated in the global field day. I myself participated for the first time since getting my license a couple of years ago. Between myself and a 15(ish) year old boy we keep one of the radios jumping in the contest to get the most contacts in the most regions. Because we were using an Extra’s callsign, I was able to use bands that I am not normally able to use since I am only a Technician class. I worked 25-27 stations from Hawaii, to Texas and British Columbia. Yes, I got hooked. I love working the HF contest and look forward to my next chance. I hope that finances will allow me to put an HF radio in my truck sometime in the near future.

Still no word on if we are getting training funding from the government or not.
I would sure like some NON-technical training.

Memorial Day and Patriotism

Ok, time for a little change of pace for a few minutes.
We, in The United States of America are celebrating Memorial Day weekend.
So, just what does that mean?
This weekend, the customary celebration will consist of tossing red meat on the barbecue  listening to one’s music of choice, perhaps watching a parade, and drinking. This is the same for the Fourth of July except then you add fireworks…

What escapes me is how this has anything to do with what the day is about. This is a day to reflect on those who have sacrificed their lives so that we can do what we do here in America. Those who gave their most precious gift so that i can write my silly blogs.

Since you are reading, it is kind of hard to give a moment of silence, so let’s try it this way… Take a moment to think back in your family, all of those stories around the BBQ’s, picnic tables, dinner tables with your friends and family members. Do you have a connection to those sacrifices? By taking that moment, you have ensured that their gift was not forgotten. Fortunately  we ALL have friends and family who only had to sacrifice time away from their loved ones, and those like me who were just injured, but we came home.

Another thing to not be forgotten is Patriotism. Our current political climate seems to be requiring blind patriotism… to blindly accept the smoke the country’s leaders try so hard to blow up our collective hind ends. Please remember that you do not have to follow blindly. If you think for yourself and find that you agree, FANTASTIC! If you take the time to think about it and end up not seeing things the same way, you have a duty to say something or better yet DO something.. Perhaps the sheep need to do some thinking. I guess then they wouldn’t be sheep. I watched an exercise in the Army that seemed to expose various levels of patriotism. It was extremely interesting to watch these privates as they were corralled into a room with what we were told was a Soviet officer. We had already been taught that we had to give foreign officers the same respect that we would in our own services. The U.S. Army drill sergeant in the Soviet uniform then started spewing Soviet propaganda and perspectives. Oh good God! You should have seen these kids (remember our military wants them while they are still moldable) going bonkers. Some people like me were intently watching the show for what it was, others were going totally insane wanting to get their hands on this “Ruskie” and every level in between. It was so funny to watch these 18-20 (most of them anyway) year old “men” trying to maintain their military bearing. Some privates actually had to be restrained and a couple were removed from the room.

Bottom line is that patriotism is the love of one’s country and the people in it. It is perfectly ok to disagree with the political leaders opinions and policy making. It is perfectly patriotic for me to publicly proclaim the I feel that the Patriot Act passed by our Congress and President is extremely unpatriotic as it strikes down the liberties that the American military has served to protect. Why is it patriotic for me to make that statement? It is because I have looked at the legislation, considered the ramifications and came to my own conclusion.

So please, celebrate those who served and the country full of people. Just respect their personal political truths. EVRYTHING is open to debate, those who feel it isn’t is either a sheep or wants you to be a sheep.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

How Funny

For those who have been reading along as I have started writing these entries, you know that I VENT here… that this is my mental therapy room. I can say anything i want and my friends can let me know if I am on target or just whacked out of my skull.

Yesterday, One of my co-workers Mike Kief was given the address to my blog. I thought nothing of it, but then realized that he was named in a venting session…. Mike not being a long time reader took exception. oh well…. Since this is theraputic for me, I cannot care to terribly much if my readers are offended by my vents or truths,

The amusing part is that Mike took such strong exception that he took his life in his own hands… he invited me outside, I did give him the option to change his mind. I was dressed as a pirate for the days events. when he said that yes, he was serious in wanting me to step outside, I started to take my  (toys) pistol, sword, and Pirate Mickey Mouse Ears (Damn they are cool) off and plac them on my desk. I then did something that I have not done since about 1981… I declined… I will not fight on compay time, or company property. I will however meet him wherever (not in Oregon) and whenever, provided that Mike understands my philosphy to fighting. It is pretty simple.

Strike hard
Strike fast
Strike to kill.

With that in mind, the choice is his, I am not a violent man, but I will defend myself to the fullest extent of my abilities

What a Sad Day

Well yes it is a sad day indeed…

We the call techs of the New Edge Networks Technical Assistance Center in Vancouver Washington are now officially extinct. We have been outsourced to other call centers, one for the time being in the Texas, and the more permanent site in the Phillipenes. We have been chatting with these techs for quite a while now. Some of them are really kind and caring people, but most are just not technically strong enough to do our job.
While I disagree with Earthlink’s decision to outsource, I respect their right to do so. It is also my hope that they will see that our business is much more complex than the dialup services that they have outsourced before. Dialup services are very easy from a technicians standpoint, DSL and faster technologies are very different. It is not rocket science, but there are so many variables that come into play. From what I have heard from our outsource partners as well as other companies’ partners… when you try to step outside of their flow chart, they freak out and  do not know how to handle the situation. As an example I was calling a LEC to open a trouble ticket for an ISP partner, when the LEC was asking what the operating system was… I was puzzled why the operating system mattered for a no sync issue, so I asked the rep why. Her complete tone changed and she went to bitch mode really fast. She ended up transferring me to her supervisor in order for the supervisor to attempt to chew my ass. For those who have dealt with me, I am customer service to the core (My ex-wife found it infuriating when trying to argue with me while I was in the even tones of customer service mode) and I explained that I had complied with the request once the rep told me it was just a form they needed to fill out, since they were non technical. I didn’t get my butt chewed, she got hers chewed for being unprofessional.
I think that the powers that be, should take a second look at processes that worked. perhaps if they worked with the front line people they could find a compromise between the magical managerial spreadsheets and reality there is a workable solution, where the business, the customers AND the employees win. I know that many, perhaps most of my co-workers do not understand why our customers are SO important to me. I have been known to get emotionally wrapped up in getting the circuit issues resolved. I have heard too many cases where their businesses were teetering on the brink of disaster. I have taken cases when they belonged to other techs (normally letting them know (and as we know case techs are happy to get a case out of their bucket)) and ran them on my own to maintain a high level of customer service and close involvement with the customer.
I think some people may think (after I re-read my blogs) that I have been bashing Earthlink, or the management at New Edge Networks. Maybe I have, but it is only out of frustration. It really isn’t intended as bashing, it is that i want the customers to be happy with our services, both as a carrier, and as a technical support group. We have so much tribal knowledge to cure whatever customers, LEC’s and ISP’s can throw at us. We just what to keep providing that service, before the customers go  to a company that  provides support in clear English. The customers have told us exactly what they want, our management has noted the results  but I fear that the results will not please the people that pay our checks or buy our stock… God bless Earthlink and New Edge Networks with the wisdom to resolve its issues (faster than Manila triages/works our cases) and grows and prospers.

What an Ouch

While reading my son’s bulletin I was pretty hurt…

what I read was this:
40) Who is your daddy? and what does he do?
hmph! who gives a rats ass? he couch surfs last I checked

ouch.
yes, I was couch surfing for over six months while I paid his mother’s expenses…
wow, now I am reclaiming my life. ALL of it.
this will take a while to deal with as it sinks in, but i expect this pain will last a long time.

09-F9-11-02-9D-74-E3-5B-D8-41-56-C5-63-56-88-C0

So why is the following little line of code so powerful?

09-F9-11-02-9D-74-E3-5B-D8-41-56-C5-63-56-88-C0

oh yeah.. now I remember… DRM doesn’t want us to have it.
Why? Because it will unlock a protection scheme. Yes it will allow you to make the backup copies that you are entitled to under the law…

So here, take a copy or the key, post it, share it.
Revel in the fact that you can take a moment to protect your right for archival copies of your dvd’s. When you child plays frisbee with your copy of Office Space, you can recover it from your backup.