Thursday, February 26, 2009

She Surprises Me Sometimes.

My Missus has been trying to get into the Rochester Police Department for some time now. Her and I have talked about plans, preparations, training, the usual discussions I'm sure any couple would have when one of the members wishes to do something different, and potentially dangerous. I support her, I figure if this is something she wants then I should support her in any way I can.

However, we had an interesting conversation, a surprising conversation the other day and I wonder how it will pan out. She started looking at guns. Whats more she started talking about guns, about learning to shoot as a way to get ahead in her academy training. She asked about martial arts, and expressed a desire to begin training. I honestly was shocked. She had always maintained a no guns, no way mentality and I had despaired in ever changing that view. Even her looking to join the police and carrying a gun did not seem to change her perspective. Now this. Her interest in martial arts is not anything new, she has watched many of my Judo classes, and had commented in the past that she might enjoy it. Yet she had never actually initiated a conversation on the subject. I will admit the thought of her training with me excites me more then the thought of her wanting to learn to shoot. I enjoy Judo, and it's something I want her to enjoy with me.

I thought I had her all figured out, yet she manages to surprise me yet again. It's a good feeling. Let's see if it pans out.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just Not Feeling It

I was going to write a long post about Aliveness, as a tandem post to my Whistles post below. Yet after seeing that Calvin and Hobbes strip I just don't have it in me.

Maybe tomorrow.

Kids These Days....

I saw this spoof of a Calvin and Hobbes comic and felt that it expressed my feelings on what exactly is wrong with our society more succinctly then I ever could.

I'm not going to speak to the message, anyone who has ever read Calvin and Hobbes the message should be clear enough. I only want to try and convey the sorrow I felt reading that. It hits far too close to home for comfort. I was never medicated and I guess I never did get around to thanking my mother for that. I guess I should. Thanks mom for letting me be a kid.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I read a blog post yesterday. I can't find it today, I tried looking, checked my history, checked all my usual haunts online and simply can not find it.

It wasn't anything huge or epic or awesome, but it made me think. In fact I was still thinking about it hours later and when I realized that I had to ask myself why. Let me recount the story to the best of my ability.

There was a woman, a nurse if my memory serves me, and she had some ex-boyfriend issues. She asked her friends for advice and one of her friends, the person who's blog I read this on, suggested she get a gun and carry concealed. Her other friends suggested a rape whistle. Several weeks later she was found beaten to death in the parking lot, rape whistle still between her teeth, filled with blood. She blew it till she died and it did her absolutely no good.

I don't know if the story as it was related is true. neither do I care. Details don't matter, but the moral of the story does matter.

A few weeks ago The Missus asked me why I had a sudden interest in guns and I couldn't think of a good answer. I knew why, sorta, but I couldn't articulate what I was thinking, what I was feeling.

I stood outside an IHOP several months ago and watched a man drag his girlfriend out of the restaurant by her hair, spend minutes in the parking lot yelling at her, then hit her and toss her in a car before driving off. I stood there, and watched. I stood there because I had called 911, and the cops were on their way. They arrived minutes too late. Like always.

I ran that night through my mind a number of times, should I have fought, should I have intervened, what if... what if.... what if. At the end of the day I know that my skills might have kept me alive in a fight, he might not have a knife, he might not have a gun, it might have been ok. or it might not.

Let's go back to the nurse in the parking lot. She chose to not arm herself, to not be able to defend herself, to accept that if she were attacked the best she could hope for was someone else to willingly intervene on her behalf, and save her. This decision cost her dearly. It cost her her life. Had I been there, would I have intervened? I didn't in the IHOP parking lot and I'm trained to fight, I know how to strike, throw and grapple yet I did not intervene. neither did anyone else in that parking lot that night.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is I have an interest in guns, I want those around me to have an interest in guns, so if something should happen, if I need that weapon it's there. I want to know that those in my life who matter to me don't resort to a whistle. I want to know that if I ever have another chance to get it right.... that I won't stand there scared to fight, that I would do what was needed.

I'm a sheep, all be it a sheep with eyes open, I don't want to be a sheep any more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Goodbye Old Friend

I received an e-mail this morning.

"Well, it has finally happened. It has been just more than 3 years since ITS was brought under F&A, 2 years since ITS was moved under Jim Fisher, and just less than 6 months since Laura/FAST was moved under ITS' new CIO, Jeanne Casares. Effective yesterday FAST officially no longer exists. I wish I could say that what I've predicted would happen didn't, but it has. I wish I could say this is a good change, but unfortunately its neutral at best...."

It goes on to detail the current state of things, and the direction things will most likely move. It's sad, reading that e-mail felt as if I was reading an obituary for a friend. I worked for Finance Administration Systems Technology (FAST) on and off during my time at R.I.T. and had the pleasure of taking classes with the head of FAST Development, Dan Pedersen. I miss him, and though we have kepr in contact it's not quite the same.

So I guess I have to say the following.

Good luck Dan, I wish you only the best, and if at some point your ready to strike out on your own I'll help in any way I can.

Rest in peace FAST, hopefully down the road someone with more foresight then those in charge now will realize this mistake for what it is and give you back your people and your culture.

Good luck all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nothing Says Family Like 14 Kids

It's true!

A welfare mother, single, on food stamps and receiving disability money for some of her kids goes to a fertility doctor. She already has six kids. This doctor then decides to impregnate her with no fewer then eight more. They all take. She gives birth to eight premature babies. This runs up a million dollar hospital bill. Remember she has no job, no husband, and not no fewer then fourteen kids.

Now I'm torn. As a libertarian I don't feel the government should regulate the number of children a person can have. Yet, I can't help but feel upset as my tax dollars are going to support this woman.

I have to now ask myself who do we blame, if anyone, for this debacle. Can we deny this woman governmental aid? Can we deny her children aid for her follies? Can we strip the doctor of his license? At what point do we say that the individuals need to take responsibility for their own actions?

Let's look at the facts.
* This woman, has six children, I'm assuming to multiple fathers. She is unemployed and unmarried living at home.
* She then goes to a fertility doctor because she wants to have more children, the doctor either a) does not check and therefore does not know she has six other children, or b) knows and chooses not to care.
* All eight eggs take, she refuses to abort any of them.
* She gives birth on the taxpayer dime, a million dollar hospital bill.
* Even with modern medicine some of those eight premature babies will most likely require some sort of governmental assistance.

So, who is at fault and can we as a society punish them?

The woman clearly acted irrationally. Yet some people just like kids. yet I can not help but wonder what sort of life will her children now lead. It's expensive to feed fourteen.

The doctor was negligent in checking if she had other kids and/or reckless in impregnating her with eight eggs, and/or insane for giving a woman with no means to pay fertility drugs. Of everyone in this mess he should have known better.

The government is negligent to the point of criminal waste in supplying this woman with aid for the fourteen children she now has.

I am all for liberties, and making ones own choices, yet as a society we must act in the best interest in pruning those who are unable or unwilling to make intelligent choices. My only suggestion is take the kids, foster them out, deny the mother any and all aid, and promptly forcibly sterilize her because I guarantee she's not done.

Cats Are Like Kids

And I have two of them...

I once heard a very wise man say you should never let your kids outnumber you. I think the same applies to cats. Dealing with one was easy, a piece of cake. Dealing with two is quickly becoming a trying experience.

Soleil, the second cat is roughly a year old. he was a stray for a portion of his life and when we adopted him he had a cold. We were told it was not going to be an issue. The vet who told us that, lied.

Within a week or two Puma, our original cat, was sick and it all went down hill from there. What started as a cold morphed into a deep racking chest cough and then she contracted an eye infection, most likely from Soleil as well. By the time we took her to the vet her eye was pussing up, she was hacking horribly and had lost almost a pound of weight.

We got her on eye medication and considered returning Soleil. In the end we kept him, and she began to recover. Yet this past weekend we return home to find that in the span of 24 hours her eye has gone from fully clear to swollen shut and covered in green puss. So, off to the ER we went.

In the ER the vets diagnosis was much the same, viral URI, bacterial cold, and a viral eye infection. Keep her on the eye ointment and now antibiotics. Joy.

So, after sinking several hundred dollars into this cat she is hopefully on the mend and has reaffirmed my desire to never, ever, have kids.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Back to School!

So, I'm looking to get my Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certification. This is a fairly big deal and I'm excited. However, as a stepping stone is the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) Certification. This certification is the "Bachelors" of .NET certification. Once I have my MCTS It's a short hop and a jump to the MCPD certification.

I'm strangely excited to have an exam in my future, a test, new knowledge. I'm hoping with the certifications and my current education and background I'll be highly marketable which can't ever hurt in the current economy.

I guess it boils down to god I hope I pass!