IT Pilgrimage

A Journey From IT to Freedom

Archive for August, 2008

Only the Independent Parties Followed the Rules?

Posted by IT Pilgrim on August 29, 2008

Only the independent parties followed the rules? What!? You have to be kidding. I found this article claiming that both the Republican and Democratic parties missed the deadlines to file for ballot access in Texas. Now, I think we all realize that whether it is true or not, they will not be held to the rules either way. Anyway, its still funny. How funny would it be to watch Bob Barr win Texas? Here’s an excerpt:

Section 192.031 of the Texas election code says that political parties must certify their presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the November ballot no later than 70 days before the general election. It says, “A political party is entitled to have the names of its nominees for president and vice-president placed on the ballot if before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before presidential election day, the party’s state chair signs and delivers to the secretary of state a written certification of the name’s of the party’s nominees for president and vice-president.”

This year, that deadline is August 26. UPDATE: At 2:30 pm Texas time, August 27, Kim Kizer of the Texas Secretary of State’s elections division says neither major party’s certification has been received in the Elections Division. The Executive Office of the Secretary of State refers all questions back to the Elections Division.

This year, neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party obeyed this law. See this link to the Secretary of State’s web page showing a blank for the Republicans and Democrats for president. It does show Bob Barr on the ballot; scroll down a little bit. If the Republicans have indeed filed, one wonders who they listed for vice-president, and why their filing is missing from the state web page.

That deadline had always been 60 days before the general election, until 2005, when for some reason the Texas legislature amended it to 70 days.

The Texas Secretary of State website did have blanks where Barack Obama and John McCain now reside, but they have since fixed it. It was funny while it lasted. Guess neither parties ever learned to play by playground rules, or perhaps, they think they’re above the law now? Will we ever give them the rude awakening every bully gets eventually? I for one, am not holding my breath.

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The Price Game

Posted by IT Pilgrim on August 28, 2008

Last week, I had a bit of a hunch, a certain sub sandwhich shop seems to have changed their sandwhiches for the smaller, or at least, the thinner, and eliminated their small size from the menu. When I got home and added it all up, hmmm, I had paid more than usual for the exact same thing.  I know, I should have noticed when I was paying, but sometimes that old autopilot kicks in. For some strange reason, I saved the receipt. Then, this week, I go back again, and what do you know, they’ve “lowered” their prices. I paid slightly more than I would have before, but less that I did last week.

So this made me think, where else have prices been inflated so that they can then put things “on sale.” I also noted the same at a major grocery/department store. So I wonder, has anyone else seen the same? Is it just my city, or is this nationwide? Does anyone else have proof in their hot little hand?I would be interested to see how many other people have noted the same thing. Anyone?

Photo by the justified sinner via Flickr

Posted in Frugal Living | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Goodbye Big Black Box

Posted by IT Pilgrim on August 27, 2008

This is my official goodbye to the Big Black Box Computer Company, where I was contracted to until October. However, it all ended last Tuesday, abruptly. They gave me some crap about wanting someone with different skills, but I am not that stupid, I know the real reason. The real reason is one the employees, the Team Lead no less was repeatedly trying to physically intimidate me. At over 6 inches taller than me, and a big guy, he tried to use his size to push me around. I told him Exactly what I thought about such behavior, and contractor or no, under no circumstances was I going to tolerate it. So here’s my five quick tips on assertiveness, something I use all the time.
From Wikipedia:

Assertive people have the following characteristics:

* They feel free to express their feelings, thoughts, and desires.
* They know their rights.
* They have control over their anger. It does not mean that they repress this feeling. It means that they control it for a moment and then talk about it later in a logical way.
* They have a good understanding of feelings of the person with whom they are communicating.

For Assertiveness in the Office:

  • Use “I” sentences. Using “we” or “us” makes a much softer point, save it for when you are actually trying to be nicey-nice.
  • Stand-up straight and tall, no slouching or rounded shoulders. That conveys vulnerability.
  • Be crystal clear in what you say and what you want. Always try to stay on message and leave no wiggle room.
  • Say No occasionally. Rather than be the world’s dumping ground, say no to some requests, but try to pick something fairly reasonable if possible. Remember, clarity.
  • Use your voice. Speak up, especially you ladies and you very soft spoken gentlemen. There is a time to be quiet, but its not all the time. Make youself heard. Use those lower tones to convey seriousness.

I could probably go on and on for hours about it, and about how important it is to be assertive. Sometimes, its better to err on the side of aggression than to err on the side of doormat. The funny thing is, I did not learn assertiveness in school, or even in a seminar. Assertiveness is a skill you learn when trying to command a thousand pound horse at 40 feet away. So next time you are not sure, just think, would your attitude stop that horse before it ran you over?

Last, but not least. To Big Black Box Computer Company. I will miss your empty parking lot, empty, because no one ever shows up for work. I will miss your white male dominated buildings where the desks are great, if you are 6 feet tall. OK, I won’t miss you persay, but I will miss your great toys that almost no other company can ever afford, and the 3rd largest SAN in the United States.

Photos by by jepoirrier via Flickr and by -= ierkof =- via Flickr

Posted in Life in IT, Office Skills | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Back in Business

Posted by IT Pilgrim on August 26, 2008

 

 

OK, all back in one piece, and back in business. Hopefully by tomorrow it will all be back to normal around Pilgrim Home. Thanks to all my loyal readers who did not run away.

Photo by mag3737 via Flickr

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Computer Meltdown

Posted by IT Pilgrim on August 25, 2008

All, I have had a major computer meltdown. I am not quite done restoring from backups, hopefully will finish later today.

Pilgrim (in temporary exile)

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