Monday, September 10, 2012

Various and Sundry

Writer Neil Gaiman, Suranne Jones, and Matt Smith.
Image attribution.
Bear with me. I've got a few questions I'd like us to explore together.

I've done these kinds of laundry lists before and never really gotten anything out of them other than just getting some stuff off my chest. I don't want to get all kinds of political right now (I'll save that for late October) and the blog really is about telling stories, so let's ask some questions that should lead us to actually telling stories, right?

So yeah. This one's going to be kind of all over the place.

How many of us have day jobs? Raise your hand. Ah, good. Most of us. Do you ever get someone who comes along and complains about the kind of job you're doing? I bet that happens more often than the opposite when you might get a compliment from the boss or someone you helped. Do you ever abuse someone who's just trying to do their job? I'm not counting the obviously insensitive jerks who should be in different lines of work, I'm talking about the poor, bedraggled clerk who is overwhelmed. Ever been that person? Keep that in mind next time you're getting upset, how much it sucks to be abused by someone who doesn't understand what your job really is and why you're not able to do it the way you were trained. Or weren't, as the case may be.

Now, onto the real items of interest.

  1. Ever been in traffic and seen the bumper sticker "Driving Safely? Call 800-whatever"? What do you think would happen if everyone behind that guy called the number to either compliment his driving or tell on him? Think people who drove vehicles would do better? I know that compliments are even more powerful than criticism. Which would you rather hear? I propose that you should call once a week - just once a week, mind you - and compliment the driver when he's doing well. See what happens.
  2. Just as a matter of politics, why aren't term limits more attractive to the average voter? The fatcats that live in Washington rather than really in their home communities are counting on name recognition to retain their jobs. Everyone knows who POTUS is (the President of the United States) and most voters know who's running for the job this November. But do you know who your Senator is? Or your Representative? If you don't, why do you think that is? I'd rather vote for someone who actually lives in my district and more than occasionally makes a stop in town to hear what's on our minds. Wouldn't you?
  3. I'm thrilled to have BBC America and be able to watch Dr Who as it launches the seventh season of its current iteration. I have fond, fond memories of watching Tom Baker as the Doctor late at night on PBS for a couple of years then in the afternoons when I got home from school. When he regenerated out of the role it seemed that we could no longer watch the show in my area. Weird as it was, that cemented my love of the show, even though I never got to watch Peter Davison or any of the others. I caught up via DVD when it became obvious that the series had some legs again and now I'm hooked. My favorite episodes are Blink and The Doctor's Wife. I'll tell you about them every time I know they're on. 
  4. We got a ton of rain over a couple of days recently and the brown grass in the yard that was only just hanging on in a state of dormancy seems to be coming back. I'll still be planting grass when I can, but not as much as I'd originally thought. The summer's long, brutal heatwave is probably a combination of both man's existence and use of machinery that produce greenhouse gases and a natural swing in shifting climates. As a society we need to work on reducing our impact on the environment. Let's not take away everything, but let's invest in technology that'll create jobs and be good for everyone into the future. What do you say?
  5. I'm reading Richard Kadrey's new Sandman Slim novel - Devil Said Bang. It's living up to every expectation that I've had of the series and I encourage you to read it if you like hard-boiled urban fantasy that's maybe the bastard child of Raymond Chandler and Mike Carey.
  6. I've also given in and gotten an iPad. This means I'll be reading more ebooks, too. I don't know what else to say about that.

That's what I've got for now. If you want to talk about any of these things speak up in the comments. I'd love to know what you think.