August 2, 2015

Sports Fans Are Stupid

As most of you have probably guessed, I am a huge New England Patriot fan. Like it or not, the Patriots have the best winning pct. of any team of the past ten years. However, I'm not here to talk about that beyond pointing that salient fact out. What I'm here to talk about is the major disconnect that most football fans and the NFL has between reality and fantasy.

For those of you who live across the pond and thus don't really follow American Football, the uproar over the Patriots (specifically Tom Brady) is over the fact that some footballs during a playoff game lost some PSI's. Forget the fact that the Patriots were the better team and the opposing team simply did not bring their "A" game to the field and instead concentrate over the American equivalent of flopping/diving on the pitch.

Now, we all have teams we love to hate, simply because that team is very good at what they do and they don't have a problem in pointing that fact out to everyone. In baseball, there is a love/hate relationship with the New York Yankees; basketball, it's probably the LA Lakers; hockey, probably Chicago or Detroit; football, the Patriots hands down.

Anywho, Tom Brady received a four game suspension for using a slightly deflated football. By and large, most sports fans who are not the Patriots and talk radio/television have been raising cane over the fact that this suspension was TOO LIGHT. That's right, too light. For a deflated football.

For the past several months, people have been going slugnutty over this issue. Now, on the other side of the token, let me bring up another story that will justify my opinion about American sports fans.

Last year, football player Greg Hardy was arrested and charged with DOMESTIC BATTERY. Initially, he recieved a 10 game suspension for DOMESTIC BATTERY. However, he reached an out of court setttlement with the woman he beat the snot out of , the charges were dropped and his suspension was reduced to 4 games.

4 games people. For beating the snot out of a woman who didn't deserve to be treated like that.

In its infinite wisdom, the NFL feels that deflating a football is just as bad, if not worse, as beating the snot out of an innocent woman.

Let's see: a domestic violence incident that originally got the player 10 games, reduced to 4; deflating a football that the NFL is taking a hard intractable line on, 4 games.

Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture? How can people, of all persuasions, call for the head/career of a marquee football player over the fact that he MAY HAVE used an underinflated football to win a playoff game, yet remain stunningly silent over the fact that another marquee player beat the snot out of innocent woman?

Personally, I think the underinflated football is much ado about nothing and in fact, it's nothing more than a witch hunt against the Patriots, because after all, once you have been caught legitimately doing something wrong (Spygate some 12 years ago), it's always good to be considered guilty right off the bat. Because you know the old adage, shoot first, ask questions later (maybe).

I am on hiatus until Tuesday, as I'm going with my wife to see Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick at Foxwoods tonight and I'm planning on not being on the 'net for Monday, so all comments will be answered then.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 30, 2015

Amplitude Modulation Of Your Radio Signals

I are back (inside family joke) with tales that would scare even the brave Walter Mitty out his fantasy world and back into the conceptual reality of today. Tales so horrific, so mundane, and dare I say, so ordinary, that you'll scratch head and yell at the screen, "What is this drivel?"

Seriously though, after seeing exactly 8 pageviews for Monday's post (six were from others and two were from me), I decide that it would be a very good idea on my part to write a post that actually made some sense, at least for those who regularly wander by.

So, here is my sensible post to finish off the week. You know how it's sensible? The title of the post contains language that would make the average person say, "What?", while the non-average person would probably whip out a encyclopedia to look up the phrase, "Amplitude Modulation".

If you consider yourself to be non-average, I'll wait for you to Google it, or in my case, Bing it.

Got it? Excellent!

I've enjoyed listening to Amplitude Modulation of Radio Signals ever since I was daughters age, when I'd first listen to Boston Red Sox games on my little transistor radio to help me fall asleep (shades of things to come, eh?). Nowadays, Amplitude Modulation of Radio Signals is my go-to preference of listening pleasure on the drive home, in the evenings running errands, and on the weekends.

And you may ask yourself, "G.B., how come you don't listen to Amplitude Modulation during the daytime?"

Good question, which deserves a good answer.

Two main reasons as to why I don't: #1, I get crappy reception in my cube for the Amplitude Modulation Radio Signal; #2, most morning syndicated talk radio shows suck major elephant testicles.

I will not listen to people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and the majority of frat boys that populate FoxSpoorts radio, because quite frankly, my IQ is just a shade higher than their collective shoe sizes and I won't lower myself to listen to a lifeform that is below an earthworm on the food chain of life.

I actually listen to New York sports radio (660 WFAN) because they have announcers that don't insult the intelligence of the radio audience. I also listen to some local programming because where else can you get a good spin on local/state issues. I also listen to some very bizarre sports programming. I used to listen to New York Mets on WFAN, but the owners threw a hissy fit and moved their programming to 710 WOR. I can barely get WOR because I'm like 100 miles away from Long Island, but I can get WFAN just fine.

So depending on the season, I can listen to the following sports teams on Amplitude Modulation side of the Radio Signals: Hartford Wolfpack (NY Rangers affiliate); CCSU B-ball & F-ball; the local minor league baseball team (long story on money grubbing owners and stupid politicians connected with that team. Yard Goats anyone?); Yale football (seriously.)

I do listen to the occasional syndicated talk show, but they are few and far between. I also listen to ESPN radio, but mostly for New England Patriot football (comments from the peanut gallery will not be tolerated about Patriot football), as their syndicate shows suck (we have local boy made good Rob Dibble, who isn't very good).

So my friends, this is my listening pleasure while I'm in the car or at home and neither the Frequency Modulation nor the shortwave can fulfill the need for sound.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 27, 2015

What To Do, What To Do?

Once upon a time, there lived a relatively old buzzard named Junior, who could not run as fast as the wind, but certainly could mosey faster than bird flying in a hurricane, which is to say he wasn't too terribly swift in the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other deportment department.

Junior lived in of those modern rundown apartments that are all the rage amongst the millennials, which is to say, poverty is the new chic, and while yes, technically his income was just above the poverty line, he wasn't considered to be poor, because it would politically incorrect to call a WASPy half century old man poor. Instead, he was what you call, lower middle class, in that he made too much money to qualify for all those wunderbar entitlement programs, but not little enough to be qualified to bitch about the lack of income.

So Junior, like most of his milquetoast-y brethren that were at the half century mark in age, was considered to be expendable, or at the very least, eligible to be downgraded to the point where he would have to answer to someone roughly one third his age. But Junior wasn't about to take his demotion in a horizontal position of any kind. No sir. Not gonna do it. Not even if you put him in a locked box for safekeeping, because you just know he won't fasten his safety-belt.........

My friends, don't let this happen to your fellow bloggers. Have mercy on them. If you should see a blog post like the preceding three paragraphs pop up on your screen, shoot your fellow blogger a quick e-mail to let them know that's no shame in saying the following words to the big blue marble:

I'M STUCK AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT!

Because there's nothing worse than coming to a blog post and seeing a title that was pulled directly from a Mel Brooks movie, because you just know nothing good is gonna come out it.

I mean, really, Mel Brooks? Mel Brooks? Mel Brooks? I'm sorry, but pulling a quote from a Mel Brooks movie is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. You're better off trying to explain to the masses why a deal with Iran that features absolutely no givebacks (like returning four Americans being held in Iranian prison) is a good thing than trying to get away with using a Mel Brooks quote.

Anyways, this PSA has been brought to you by no one in particular, but if you really need to blame someone for this collection of roughly 460 uninspiring words, then you should probably blame me, 'cause I wasn't particular inspired to blog today. I did have a basic idea on what I wanted to write about,  but this weekend was mostly shot to piece with family obligations to do and another very good book by Walter Mosley that I simply couldn't put down.

Life.

Sure it's noisy shiny crap, but sometimes even the noisy shiny crap becomes just a tad redundant.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 23, 2015

Powdered Toast Man I Am Not, But I Am A Reasonable Facsimile Thereof

Bonus points if you get the pop culture reference from post title. Extra bonus points if you do, but really don't want to be bothered with pop culture today.

Sarcasm comes very easily to me when my brain is pretty much a piece of charcoaled blackened toast, which is why the opening paragraph is being re-booted.

Anywho, we have reached this state due to the following items:

1} Post from Monday is causing serious stress.
2} Weather has been hot and/or muggy and/or both this week.
3} Serious lack of consecutive hours of sleep.

So.

Today, we is hanging ten at Shooting Suburbia today. Come join me at a place where time has no meaning, logic makes as much sense as the POTUSA yelling at a reporter who had the audacity to question why the four American prisoners being held in Iran weren't part and parcel of this toothless nuclear deal (true story), and my caption writing will make even lesser sense than the EPA explaining why it's more important to protect wild birds/animals in Alaska than to build a road that will save Inuit people's lives (also true story).

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 20, 2015

E-Mail 2.015

Before we get into the main subject of today's post, I want to give everyone an update on my writing. This past weekend, I just finished chapter the III of my current project. For those who don't think that isn't much of anything, please keep in mind that I first write everything out by hand then transcribe, so it takes me an incredible amount of time to write. I'm currently sitting at 14,639 words.

Now, on to the show.

Disclaimer: This is something that I feel very passionate about because it is affecting my career quite insidiously. If the tone is too sharp for you to handle, please feel free to check out my Tumblr blog, which contains recaps of the previous weeks blog postings (please note, it sucks up lotsa bandwidth).

I mostly have a hate-hate relationship when it comes to business e-mail. I find it to be a smelly skidmark on the underwear of work and hands down, can do untold damage to one's career, especially if you have a supervisor who is unwilling to look beyond the 2% complaints, thus holding you to impossibly unobtainable standard.

Before  I go any further,  I must explain the difference between true customer service and pseudo customer service. True customer service is what you experience on a day-to-day and even hour-to-hour basis in your life. You patronize a business and expect to be treated not necessarily special, but like an equal to the person helping you out with your particular issue, because we all know that you usually get back what you put into it. By the same token, if you have crappy customer service, besides making a complaint about it, you can also punish them by closing your wallet.

Pseudo customer service is what you forced to deliver when you're working a large guv't entity, usually on the state or federal level. Pseudo is usually internal, and for the most part, especially if you're working for a large entity like I do, its dealing with temper tantrums from people who can ruin your career just because they can.

Where I work, it's mostly dealing with temper tantrums from those kind of people. These temper tantrums are the direct result of a deeply embedded dual destructive culture of entitlement/inability to accept the word no.

The litany of complaints I've gotten over the years just directly due to this dual destructive culture is absolutely mind-boggling and staggering. In the real world, 95% of those complaints would be instantly dismissed, but here, they're treated as the equivalent as the tail wagging the dog.

As a few of you have probably ascertained over the past 8 years, I can be extremely blunt/sharp, honest and have an extremely low tolerance of stupid. Some of you even had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of my retorts, which I have sincerely apologized for over the years, so you know how nasty, yet entirely professional I can be.

Over the past 10 years at my current place of debauchery, I've had the misfortune of creating that bad (in some eyes) first impression and it has haunted me ever since. To whit, out of nine annual evaluations 2006-14, I have only gotten a "good" for Ability To Deal With People only once, a "poor" once and "fair" seven times. This, in spite of the fact that I am told numerous occasions that they want me to move on because I can do the job, if only I would do better with "customer service."

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but this is your fault. You chose to focus on the 3% negative instead of the 97% positive. You, not me, have sabotage any and all chances that I have in trying to transfer out of my agency or even out of my unit. You, not me, have ignored any and all viable solutions that I have offered to rectify this problem, and because of that ignorance, you still decide to punish me.

And yet you wonder why I don't give a shit anymore. It's directly due to you, and everyone else, demonstrating that what you do speaks at 120 decibels, whereas what you say, speaks only at 50 decibels.

Remember, what comes around goes around, and continuing to give maximum effort for zero return is ultimately workplace suicide. Especially when you're forced to practice pseudo customer service and forced to swallow everyone's garbage, because heaven forbid, you utter the infamous N word (no not the one that starts with n and ends with r, which I find personally abhorrent) at someone who makes twice your salary, has 10% of your smarts and suffers from inflated sense of importance that is larger than The Donald's.

And that, my friends, is how you properly start off a Monday.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.