Saturday, January 19, 2008

I Was An Asshole

Tyson is a man of many contradictions. He finds paper pushing as the most disgraceful of occupations.  However, he did work a number of years behind a desk surrounded on three sides by textile covered portable walls, cowed by overhead tubular lights.  He effectively collected a paycheck from the government by moving a scrap of papyrus deftly around the vinyl top of his workspace.  Every now and then when the forms and memos gave his pushing finger a break he would busy himself by composing songs about the things he abhorred most. Namely useless people getting paid for being burdens on others.  (He now has a more respectable job) 


(Sung to the tune of "Highwayman" by Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash)

I was an office clerk 
computers I did command 
databases at my hand 
I typed up memos to the management up high 
I turned off the fax and printer every night 
although I worked in that grey cube with little light 
I made it alright.

I was an auditor 
in your finances I pried 
pad and pencil by my side 
I wrote letters on behalf of the IRS 
leaving many people's bank accounts a mess 
and they would ask me how it was I rest at night 
but I was sleeping tight

I was a salesman 
many an auto I did sell 
many a white lie I did tell 
I sold a lemon to an elderly Miss Brown 
That left her stranded thirty miles out of town 
and when she asked me that her engine be replaced 
I laughed in her face

I'll fly a starship 
across the universe and hide 
And when I reach the other side 
I will start tabulating the stars in the night 
Then I will bill you for each increment of light 
perhaps you thought the entire universe was free 
I will charge a fee

Original song mp3 (Highwayman)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Notes On Sensors

Well, as my friend the Cowboy notes (Technobabble), sensors are invading the bathroom. I'd like to reflect for a moment on the fact that the reason for these sensors is the fundamental inability of humans to properly operate bathroom equipment. As evidence of this take the large sign posted above a sink at a local coffee shop, which details the instructions for washing ones hands (Of course I'm paraphrasing parts of each step here, but not the list as a whole):

1) Turn on the water.
2) Wet your hands.
3) Apply soap and lather for a while.
4) Rinse soap from hands.
5) Grab paper towel from dispenser to the right and dry hands.
6) Using paper towel turn off the water.

I doubt very much that many of us actually follow this procedure in the bathroom. In particular, the action of actually letting the water run while you dry your hands and then never touching the sink with your skin again is one that is likely observed by only the most unique of individuals. Its intent is to eliminate the likelihood that germs from your hand which had been deposited on the sink's hot and cold nobs will not be redeposited on you hands again after they have been rid of the evil microbes. Personally, I wonder whether such an action has any merit at all for me as an individual. Of course, in many of the places where these signs are posted, food handlers are using the restroom after touching raw chicken and the like, but part of me says, "My immune system could use a challenge every once in a while. I mean how long ago was it that humans never washed there hands and here we are today, not wiped out by germs, but actually killing off entire species ourselves much more efficiently then germs will ever be able too." And so on.

Anyway, the fundamental thing that the list implies is that even though, we as individuals have been trained on how to wash our hands for our entire lives and food handlers in particular have literally had training to do exactly what this list says, people still fail at doing it "properly." And so we develop technology to protect us from ourselves, and the result is we go around wiggling at sensors, which makes us feel less human; and maybe we are.

P.S. Here's a tip for those of you who want to wash your hands in something more closely resembling "the old fashioned way" when you encounter a sensor driven faucet. Affix a wet paper towel to the sensor of the faucet and enjoy the non-stop wiggle free flow of water.

Friday, January 4, 2008

More on Chicken

Port Arthur, Texas; In response to recent trade inequities relating to the price per pound of imported Mexican chicken, what is alleged to be a coalition of Arkansas chicken farmers dressed as Native Americans, illegally boarded a Mexican shipping vessel carrying 10,000 lbs of poultry and proceeded to dump it into the port.

Port Arthur police department reports that at approximately 2.30 am on May 12, a security guard called police after witnessing what he reported as "Indians dumping chicken into the bay". The police responded but not before the accused could dump approximately 8,000 lbs of the poultry into the port.

"It was quite a scene" said Port Arthur police chief Brian Dunahoe. " We boarded the boat and there they were. All dressed up in Indian garb, drunker than 7 ...chicken farmers. Throwing the chicken into the water. A couple of them were stumbling and making Indian war cries. When we tried to apprehend the perps, a few of them started chopping at us with their plastic hatchets and one of my officers took a moccasin in the face." the Chief continued. "Only one of them went quietly, stating that he would, 'fight no more forever'"

The accused were then booked into Port Arthur police station for questioning and arraignment. The names of the persons in question have not been released but it is assumed that most of the 5 men were members of the Arkansas Poultry Farmers Coalition. The APFC was unavailable for comment and it is possible that all five of its charter members were a part of the event.

The 5 men were seen earlier in the night drinking at some of Port Arthur's night spots. They were Identified as wearing full head dresses and carrying plastic hatchets and rubber tipped plastic bows and arrows. They were last seen at the Shipwreck Tavern. Approximately 1 mile from the dock that the Mexican shipping vessel "La Bonita" was ported.

"It was a strange sight indeed" said Shipwreck Bartender Larry "lar" Lalonde. "They were hootin' and hollerin' and carryin on an the like." Larry continued, "They were a nuisance to say the least. They drank a lot and tried to barter for drinks with beads and old stinky carpet they insisted was fur pelts. Eventually they paid up". Larry then said that things turned sour. " It was closing time and I told them they had to drink up. they started whooping and shouting about fire water then they started circling me shooting plastic arrows." At this point Larry with the help of some other patrons convinced them to leave. "they stumbled out the door and that's the last I saw of them".

The 5 men then proceeded on to the vessel in question. Sources say that they were trying to mimic the Boston Tea Party presumably to make a statement that Mexican chicken is no longer welcome in the United States.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Chickens Don't Fly

Is stupidity and unbridled rage directly related?  Probably not.  I've known a particularly  intelligent man who snapped from fairly innocuous torment and proceeded in attempted vehicular homicide.  Maybe I just attribute stupidity to the feeling of entitlement victims have in exacting disproportionate and unmitigated justice on the perpetrators.  Of course this isn't a universal.  I'm only referring to petty annoyances and political bullshit and not rape or genocide.  Things that get folks up in arms for no tangible reason.  
Top 5 topics that illicit irrational anger
1) Differences in religious beliefs 
2) Gay Marriage 
3) Foreigners 
4) Bad driving 
5) Smoking 
Yeah, I just got done reading 'High Fidelity'.  For your perusal I submit this blatant satire of # 3 on my list.  This is part 1 of 2 composed by frequent contributor Ty.

edit:  Here is a link to a creative revenge scenario on a criminal discussed on the Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier podcast Smodcast
To me this is an example of a reasonable reaction.  What do you think?
Arkansas chicken farmers are up in arms over tens of thousands of pounds of Mexican chicken dumped into the U.S chicken market.

Some 40,000 lbs of Mexican chicken has been shipped to grocers in the south and southwest over the past month. Mexican chicken, which sells for 75 cents a pound, is over a dollar cheaper than the 1.90 a pound chicken Arkansas farmers garner for the same bird.

"Its killing us" says Arkansas chicken farmer Paul Hamilton "We used to worry about foxes in the hen house. But now we have bigger fish to fry. I mean we have more foxes than hens now. Its time to start selling fox meat. And that's no silver bullet my friend because foxes don't lay no golden eggs!" says Hamilton.

Mexicans are whistling a different tune however. Mexican chicken farmer Jesus Lyle Menendez says

" I can't help it. I have chickens, I sell the chickens, I feed my family mostly chicken and beans, rice, tortillas" he continued " I sell chicken for .75 cents a pound. That is a good price. I feed my family on that price. What do you want from me? I cannot increase my price. I sell no chickens then. Then what do I do with my chickens? Take amusing snapshots of them posed like human beings doing human being activities like observing their pocket watch or fishing by the lake? That idea just doesn't fly.. and neither do chickens".

President George Bush in a campaign stop in Little Rock had this to say when queried about the chicken crisis. 

"I believe the people of this great nation grow excellent chicken, The chicken that I have had here was good chicken. It's time that we stand up to these people who can threaten our way of life and pander poor quality poultry to the citizens of this god fearing nation" When asked if trade sanctions and elimination of foreign aid would be levied against Mexico if such practices continued the president had this to say.
"I can't speak for Mexico. Do I look Mexican to you? But I can say this. This country and its god fearing citizens will back down from no one. We will not be bullied around by any country promoting cutthroat business practices. America is too good for that".

A recent FDA inspection of most chicken facilities in Arkansas tells a different tale however. Of 127 chicken farms in Arkansas, only 3 passed the FDA's poultry standards and 15 were actually told to shut down until modifications to the facilities were made to create more sanitary conditions for the birds. A recent inspection of Mr. Hamilton's chicken ranch found 67 birds that were missing beaks and were fed through catheters collected from the nearby medical waste facility. when asked about this atrocity Mr. Hamilton had this reply.

" Well that's really neither here nor there. Its somewhere in the middle." he continued " I mean birds is kind a like plants right. Who cares what you feed them or how. My birds are like Baseball players. full of steroids and chewing tobacco. makes the meat spicy. I mean look at my kids, they were raised off my chickens and their eggs." Closer inspection of the Hamilton progeny reveals that two of the three are retarded and the third is a strapping young man of 7 replete with chest hair.