HuffPo Just Lowered the Bar for Men Everywhere

The Huffington Post has been one of my go-to news sites since a friend first told me about the Canadian edition years ago.

This is despite the right hand column of things HuffPo thinks would interest me.

Suggestions that have amused, irritated and befuddled me…sometimes simultaneously.

I’m a 51 year old, single, male computer programmer.  Sometimes HuffPo seems to think that I’m extremely interested in what celebrity is feuding with some other celebrity,  or how to deal with menopause,  or fashion faux pas to avoid.

This column has links with outrageous click-bait headlines.  You know things like “Meet the 5 year old girl who is better at your job than you are!”

Occasionally I’ve found some of these teaser headlines mildly insulting.  Seriously…anything that involves Tim Hortons, or a moose, is automatically “THE MOST CANADIAN THING EVER!!!”.

Seriously,  everything Canadians have accomplished and a chain of coffee shops, or an animal most Canadians have never see in the wild is the most Canadian thing ever?

All that aside today I ran across a headline that I thought would lead to a touching story  (yeah, I like to read those sometimes, so STFU),  but didn’t.

huffpo1
Click to read the story

There are a lot of things that would’ve made this a great story.  But none of them apply here.

This guy’s wife wanted a weave removed.  When her husband found out what it costs ($50),  he decided to learn how to do it himself.

That’s it.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing….what I’m saying that if doing that makes this guy “THE HUSBAND OF THE YEAR” then the Huffington Post has a pretty low opinion of men in general.

I have a friend who once spent an entire weekend shopping for the perfect computer desk for his wife, and then assembling it for her.  All because she wanted a keyboard tray, but not one of those keyboard trays you can attach to an existing desk….

He didn’t even get nominated for HUSBAND OF THE YEAR.

Seriously HuffPo,  most of your hyperbolic, feel good click bait headlines are annoying,  but this one just insulted men who support the women in their lives, not because they want to save a buck, but out of love and devotion.

The Case of the Mysterious Loufa

Last Saturday morning, while performing my morning ablutions (which is a fancy term for washing up),  I noticed that my beloved, bedraggled loufa was in the bathroom trashcan.

This was a bit disconcerting because I was planning on taking a shower at that particular moment.

I peeked behind the shower curtain to ascertain the loufa situation.  I saw a bright pink loufa that I was pretty sure belonged to my housemate, Holly.

There was a strange, blue loufa hanging there.  An interloper, if you will, into the collection of shower related instruments, lotions and liquds. (1 of which was mine, 47 of which belong to Holly….and 1 strange loufa).

There was a very real possibility that this strange loufa was left behind by a recently departed house guest.  For the more maudlin of my readers, I’ll point out that by ‘departed’ I meant she went home, and is not “dearly departed”.

I guess I should point out that I am in no way implying that she has cooties..its just that a loufa’s sole purpose is to remove cooties…so would therefore have cooties…

I peeked out and saw that Holly’s door was closed.  She had not yet bellowed out her reminder to bring back French Toast (with maple syrup…there had better be maple syrup!) from my usual weekend breakfast trip to Romeo’s Corner Cafe,  so I presumed she was asleep.

One of the things that I have learned in my two marriages is that you should always let a sleeping woman continue doing exactly that.  No matter what…

This left me with a difficult decision.

Do I either risk infecting myself with the cooties of the aforementioned, recently departed (but very much alive) house guest…or just go through my day smelling bad.

I approached the dogs to see if my odour would repel them.  It did not.  But then I remembered that they will happily root through garbage and weren’t the best indicators of whether or not body odour had reached the level of socially inappropriateness.

I went to breakfast, and watched Nancy carefully for any indication that I was overly, and unpleasantly, fragrant.

She is a seasoned professional though, so I didn’t really trust that she would give any such indication.

I apologized for any discomfort I may have caused by way of a generous tip.

To be on the safe side, I decided to forego my usual weekend ritual of running errands and socializing,  and opted to return home to sit on the couch playing video games.

Hahaha!  Yeah,  lol,  “usual weekend ritual of running errands and socializing”…omg,  I typed that with a straight face!

I soon lost myself in trying to escape Mold Men and crazy Jack Baker in Resident Evil 7.  It can be a very tense game…made worse when Holly came downstairs looking for French Toast.  I did mention that she did not bellow a reminder?

A few hours passed before I remembered about the mystery loufa.

I started out by asking Holly if I smelt bad.

She was a bit startled by the question, and told me I in fact did not.  (In the time that I’ve known her Holly has often pointed out that I am fastidious about my personal hygiene…especially for a “big guy”).

I then asked about the strange loufa.  Explaining about how I didn’t want to get cooties, so I opted to go with ‘smell bad’.

It was with no small amount of laughter, and exasperation that she explained that she had purchased a new loufa for me (and not the house guest),  and reassured me that the loufa was in fact cootie free.

I finally felt it safe to shower, and acquaint myself with this new, strange loufa.

I found it rather large, cumbersome, and somewhat dense…and not at all like my old, bedraggled, and lamented loufa.

Oh loufa, how I miss thee…

 

 

 

 

So long 2016….

I usually do some year end post,  so this is my adieu to 2016.

It’s been a tumultuous year,  not just for me,  but the entire world.

At the end of 2015,  I had hope.   I was seeing that people were standing up against hate and bigotry.    To the point where those who victimized others with hateful prejudice were on the defensive….complaining that people were making them feel uncomfortable by being intolerant of their intolerance.

Now, a year later things are radically different.

Trump’s election victory has emboldened those who are so insecure that they transfer those insecurities on minorities,  homosexuals,  and, well anyone who isn’t like them.

Hate crimes have spiked, and even here in Canada there have been instances where Canadians have bragged that “Trump is gonna come up here and  [insert whatever here]”

It’s gotten so bad that the ‘alt-right’ dismiss any evidence that goes against their beliefs as “left wing media bias”,   even if the evidence is a video posted by one of their kin, showing Trump spewing vile hatred.

Here are some common responses from the alt-right crowd when challenged:

  • Left wing media bias!!
    • The rare time they respond when asked for a non-biased version they turn to Fox, or worse,  Brietbart
  • Libtard!!!
    • Because insulting someone is a great way to get them to see your point
  • Threats and bullying
    • Because that’s an even better way.

On the other hand,  they believe anything that plays into their twisted beliefs,  no matter how outlandish.

Take for instance the travesty that came to be referred to as #pizzagate. A story that started to circulate about a pizzeria in Washington was a front for a child-sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton.

Unfortunately,  the pizzeria in question is an actual restaurant.  Staff have been threatened and harassed.

Doctored pictures have circulated around the internet as proof.

On Dec 4th, some mad man fired into the restaurant in an attempt to “self-investigate”

Read the wikipedia article and see for yourself the level of crazy that now passes for social and political discourse.

Add to that the baffling trend for some of those on the left who have started to preach that we should be more tolerant and accepting of the alt-right ideals.

More tolerant of bigotry, ignorance and hatred.  Can you even imagine?

In my humble opinion, it now even more important for those of us who are accepting of others regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, orientation,  or any other factor other than their level of ignorant asshole,  to stand up and speak out.

While it is doubtful that we can change the minds of those bigots posting on social media and other outlets,  if we fail to challenge the misinformation and fear mongering we allow it to grow.   Even if we cannot convince bigots that they are in fact bigots,  we may be able to reach the silent lurkers,  who have not yet swallowed the poison pill.

2016 was bad.  2017 and the four years after might be worse.

I will continue to speak up, and to fight against hatred, tyranny, ignorance and bigotry.

Will you?

 

 

 

Donald Trump will NEVER be the Leader of the Free World

In 2016 there are 22 countries that are deemed to have more freedom than the United States

Despite this,  the President of the United States is also referred to as “The Leader of the Free World”.

For some reason, millions of ordinary Americans ignored the psychotic, childish, bigoted ravings of a lunatic and elected him as their president.

So,  now, to have some Americans tell it,  Donald J. Trump is soon to be “Leader of the Free World”,  even though most of the free world didn’t get to cast a ballot.

Trump has made it clear that His World will be terrific.  He’ll make everything so much more better….so much more better unless you’re not white, not straight and not an adherent of a Trump approved religion.

You’re also allowed to practice Freedom of Speech,  unless he finds it offensive, or it hurts his feelings.

I’m tired of being told that the President of a foreign country is my defacto leader.

I’m disgusted at the thought of Donald Trump being called “Leader of the Free World”.

It’s time to tell journalist and bloggers everwhere to stop this!

Please sign my petition!

 

 

Amateur Theater: Notes from the Tech Ppl

Please Note:    This blog post was the result of conversations I’ve had with other amateur theater techies from all over….Ontario,  Idaho,  Alberta, and Nova Scotia.

So literally “TECH PEOPLE EVERYWHERE”

I reached out to find out if I was out of line with letting a particular incident bother me.
The consensus was that I wasn’t.
The other techies didn’t want to raise issues out of fear of not being invited back.
I decided to post this publically after one girl said, “I go into every production hoping they won’t forget about me…again.”
I don’t have any issues with my group as a whole.  The incident that irritated me is an isolated one.

Hi there amateur theater performers!

Let me start by saying that we think you’re fantastic!  We’re in awe of your acting and singing abilities.  We love watching you perfect your craft during rehearsals,  then dazzle audiences during the actual run!

But, at the same time, we have to be honest.

Do you people actually know we exist?  If you do,  are you aware of what we contribute to the production?

A lot of us suspect that you don’t….

We’re the “behind the scenes” tech crew that you rarely have to interact with.  You know sound and lighting…you do know who we’re talking about right?

Let me amplify:

We’re the people you see coming in as your show gets closer to open.  You may see us taking pictures, and/or furiously jotting down notes as we watch you rehearse.

It might surprise you to hear that these notes and pictures aren’t precious keepsakes,  but rather to help us in our design work between rehearsals.  (We sometimes show them to our friends to convince them to buy tickets)

When you’re belting out your amazing solo during cue to cue’s–we’re the ones stopping you mid-aria so we can fix a light or sound issue—then asking you to start over…several times.  It might sound like the stage manager…but no….its us!

We’re the ones you see hard at work fixing things while you socialize before and after dress rehearsals.  We do this so we don’t have to interrupt your rehearsals.

Once opening night comes, we’re also the ones you might notice slipping out quietly through the after show crowds gathered to tell you how fantastic your performance was.

We just want to take a moment to point out some things….

  • We are volunteers,  which means we don’t get paid for showing up and helping you look and sound fantastic
  • We suspect that no one really knows we exist unless something goes horribly wrong
  • If, after a rehearsal, we ask that you give us the theater so we can get stuff done,  please move along…we want to go home too!
  • If we ask you to (not) do something,  there’s a reason,  and believe it or not,  that reason has nothing to do with wanting to make you look bad
  • Remember that we care about the show just as much as you do, also
  • We are as much a part of the production as you are
  • You receive accolades at the end of each performance,  ours come on closing night–from you,  so take a moment and acknowledge our hard work (and existence)  and say thank you.

We do what we do because we love theater,  we love being part of it,  we love watching you shine.

We know you perform because you love these things too…but would you keep performing if the audiences didn’t show their appreciation?

Thanks,

Tech People Everywhere

Working in Healthcare vs IT

I turned 51 a couple of weeks back.

I’ve had a few different jobs over those 5 decades.   The majority of the first two were pretty much being a major pain in the rear to my parents and any associated adults.

I think the two careers I’ve had where I’ve been most useful to society was my time as a military medic,  and  the last 16 years or so working in healthcare IT.

 

There are advantages to being a front line clinical worker.  You get to drape a stethoscope around your neck and yell “STAT” at various people.   If you’re dressed in scrubs leaning against a wall looking pale and haggard,  people just assume that you’ve pulled a 36 hour shift and not that you’ve only been at work for 5 minutes,  but are very hung-over.

If you work in IT,  and you look haggard,  people presume  you’ve been at work for 5 minutes, but pulled an all-nighter raiding in World of Warcraft……even if you’ve just pulled a 36 hour stint trying to solve a critical issue.

Don’t even ask what happens if an IT guy dons a stethoscope and starts yelling “STAT!”

But there are some distinct advantages to working in IT instead of healthcare.

In healthcare, if you have a patient that you’re having problems diagnosing,  there’s no way in the world you’d get away with telling your patient this…

Look,  you’re baffling the crap out of me,  so I need you to sit here and wait while I go get a coffee and think about what’s wrong with you.
I might end up googling you,  and/or talking about you with my friends.
It might even come to discussing you and your condition online in forums and chat-rooms…..maybe someone there can help me figure out WTF is wrong with you.

Yeah…trying saying that to a patient….

We’ve all heard stories about surgical mistakes where somebody literally hacked off the wrong leg,  or a case I remember reading about years ago where a teenager went in for brain surgery and ended up with a vasectomy….

In the IT world (if you’re smart),  mistakes of this magnitude are embarrassing,  but not fatal (career or otherwise).   That’s because we can always revert to the last good configuration!

I will admit that I miss my days as a medic.  There’s great satisfaction in seeing someone walk out of your facility who otherwise might not have.

I might have a similar blog in the future as I’m contemplating another career change….I just need to figure out how one goes around becoming part of the Idle Rich.