Saturday, January 31, 2015

I sure wish he were playing tomorrow for a different trophy

He deserves this -- he really does -- but Aaron and I both wish this wasn't his last honor of the year:
It wasn't the hardware he was after when the season began, but the award Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers received Saturday night at the NFL Honors event solidified his place among the league's all-time best.
Just 13 days after the Packers bowed out of the playoffs with a 28-22 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game, Rodgers received his second NFL most valuable player award.
He's the MVP, hands down. Look how bad we sucked last year while he was out hurt. Congratulations, Aaron. Now come back next year to get us that damn Lombardi Trophy:

If you can't do it for me and the rest of the owners, do it for Olivia:

How is that not inspiration enough?

I feel like such a failure

After hitting a record 72 posts in December 2014, I was hoping to average three posts per day in January 2015. That would be 93 posts. I think this is post number 89 for the month, and I only have 45 minutes to do 4 more. Frankly, I don't think I have it in me. I feel like I have let Eff You followers down. On the other hand, how many posts did you suckers put up this month? Yeah, gotta keep things in perspective. Feel free to send me hate mail in the comments.

The Netherlands Antilles? Really?

The Netherlands Antilles paid their first visit to Eff You yesterday. I was touched. Normally, obscure nations only come by after I taunt them and their friends say, "Um, you know, that Eff You guy is really making fun of you. You should go by so he'll shut up." I'm looking at you Mongolia. How long did it take before peer pressure drove Mongolia to come by? Actually, not all that long, so I should probably find another target. Anyway, I have never mentioned the Netherlands Antilles, yet here they are. So, without further ado, we give them the Eff You travelogue treatment.

First of all, we have some confusion as to why Google even shows the Netherlands Antilles as a visitor to this blog:
The Netherlands Antilles, also referred to informally as the Dutch Antilles, was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although the country has now been dissolved, all of its constituent islands remain part of the kingdom under a different legal status and the term is still used to refer to these Dutch Caribbean islands.
The Netherlands Antilles consisted of two distinct island groups. First, the "windward" or "ABC Islands" — Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao — are located in the southernCaribbean Sea, just off the Venezuelan coast. Second, the "leeward" or "SSS islands" — Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius — are part of the Lesser Antilles; they are approximately 800–900 kilometers (500–560 miles) northeast of the ABC Islands. The Dutch colonized the various islands in the 17th century and united them as the Netherlands Antilles in 1954.
The Netherlands Antilles was dissolved on 10 October 2010.  Curaçao and Sint Maarten became distinct constituent countries alongside Aruba which had become a distinct constituent country in 1986; whereas Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (the "BES Islands") became special municipalities within the Netherlands proper.
Please note that the entire entry is in the past tense. Apparently, the past imperfect is making my future tense. According to Wikipedia, at least, there no longer is a Netherlands Antilles.

We're not going to let that bother us, though. The Netherlands Antilles date to when the Dutch were still kicking ass and taking names:
Spanish-sponsored explorers discovered both the leeward (Alonso de Ojeda, 1499) and windward (Christopher Columbus, 1493) island groups, but Spain founded settlements only in the leeward islands. In the 17th century, the islands were conquered by the Dutch West India Company and were used as military outposts and trade bases. From the last quarter of the 17th century, the group consisted of six undisputedly Dutch islands: Curaçao (settled in 1634), Aruba (settled in 1636), Bonaire(settled in 1636), Sint Eustatius (settled in 1636), Saba (settled in 1640) and Sint Maarten (settled in 1648). Before, Anguilla(1631–1650), the present-day British Virgin Islands (1612–1672), St. Croix and Tobago had also been Dutch.
Really, I don't want to get into why and how and whatever when it comes to whether the Netherlands Antilles still exist as a political entity. What we have here is a new visitor to Eff You that is fucking gorgeous. Doubt me? Try this:

Or this:

Or this:

Face it. It's cold outside, this looks pretty good, you want to go. So do it. And when you get there, give them a big Eff You welcome, and tell them to come back soon, and bring their friends. From Belize, for instance, who still has not come by. Or Antigua, which might not even be a country. I don't know. Anyway, go there, and start shaming their neighbors into coming to Eff You.

If this is a good economy, we're fucked

This is a little like confirming that the sky is up and the ground is down, but it is pleasing nonetheless. Speaking to a bunch of Democrat members of Congress, the president recently spewed forth his usual bunch of horseshit:
“There is no economic metric by which we are not better off than when I took office. And that is because of the extraordinary will and dedication of the American people, but also because all of you have done a terrific job. And I’m proud of you for that,” he declared, eight minutes into his speech.
It didn't take long for his official spokesman to have to admit that may there was at least one economic metric by which we are not better off than when Emperor Shit for Brains took office:

Of course, there are many more. The workforce participation rate is at historic lows. Most of the jobs being created are not the full-time jobs lost in the recession, but part-time jobs. The list goes on. This president's policies -- cutting oil and gas leases on federal lands, regulating coal out of business, destroying the health-care industry, crippling businesses with regulations, destroying competition with more regulations (hint: big, established companies can afford to cope with more regulations. Start-up companies cannot. That's why big corporations don't mind more regulations) -- are why the economy took six years to even begin to look like it was recovering. This is the worst economic recovery in modern times, and the president wants to act like he's done a great job and we should thank him. The nation has fewer full-time jobs than it did when he took office, and we're supposed to say "thank you"? This dickwad can't be gone soon enough.

Apparently my cover is completely blown

It never took a rocket scientist to figure out who does this blog. The only reason it was ever anonymous was because the project that gave birth to the blog was run by paranoid freaks looking for a reason to fire people. Good times, good times. Anyway, I have become less and less concerned over the years who knows who does this blog. The content these days is, after all, probably less than half commentary on Temp Town, I never ID firms or agencies, and I don't ID individuals except by my own esoteric nicknames.

Nonetheless, the blog finally bit me on the ass. At least a little bit. As y'all know, I took a break from a project where we had descended to 40 hours per week and had nothing to do. We were being kept on as a fire brigade, in case things turned to shit somehow. That's great if you can live on 40 hours a week; I can't. I took a higher hours project that was only supposed to last 2 weeks. I decided to try for a leave of absence from my old project because it seems unlikely to die in the next two weeks and, if my new project plotzes, I might want to go somewhere else, and 40 hours per week beats 0. Got it all?

Apparently, someone at the agency running my old project keeps tabs on the blog. Go figure -- who the fuck reads this thing? Anyway, they deduced that I had gone to a new project, and at some point had used their mad internet skillz to determine who authors this blog -- it would take your average cretin about 45 seconds to find that out -- and so yesterday they cut me from my old project. How do I know this is why they cut me? A contact of mine at the agency whom I trust told me, "The blog got you." This, to me, is where it gets interesting.

I wrote back to my source:
Does anyone else appreciate the irony that I can't take a break from a project [and] keep my slot if I need to come back, but the same project did the reverse on me, twice? Sent home for a week at the end of summer, 10 days at end of year. Either time, for all [they] know I worked elsewhere in those periods but was allowed back after the layoff, no questions what I was doing, just didn't get paid for the time away. So obviously it isn't the working elsewhere bit that matters. Maybe I should fire [the agency]. Not blaming you at all (seriously, though, who reads my blog?). Besides, I'm currently better off, and couldn't stay on that project at those hours, regardless. Nonetheless, give a holler if the shit hits the fan and I'll decide whether I've fired [the agency].
Maybe some day soon I'll just come out of the closet about the blog. On the other hand, I am mostly too busy trying to make a living to worry about who knows I do this. Further, why should it matter that I do this. Ultimately, though, I think this episode just illustrates the hypocrisy that governs Temp Town. They can do it to me, but I can't do it to them. Well, fuck them. I'll decide later whether I've fired them.

Friday, January 30, 2015

In case you were wondering

I haven't been posting as much lately because Central America is a very demanding place, and I spend long hours touring the guerrilla-filled jungles. I should be back soon, though.

I could never eat at Carl's Jr. after this

I am truly disgusted by this commercial starring Charlotte McKinney. I only use the word porn; I don't ever actually show it. Of  course, this is pretty racy, but it isn't porn:

Don't know if we'll be seeing this during the Super Bowl or not. So I give it too you here in case the NFL, the network or even Carl's Jr. wimps out.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I was not aware anyone thought the Taliban was not a terrorist group

Well, color me mistaken. Apparently, the current administration, governed by Emperor Barry the Munificent, First of His Name, Ruler of All He Surveys and Forgiver of Sins, But Only Those Committed In the Name of Islam, Not Those Committed by Nasty Ass American Conservatives, does not think the Taliban is a bunch of terrorists, at least according to Deputy Press Sec. Eric Schultz, who apparently thinks the Taliban is, um, not a bunch of terrorists:

This non-terrorist status might come as a surprise to previous administrations:
According to ABC News, the last two administrations have been treating the Taliban as a terrorist organization (even though this White House declines to use that word) since at least 2002.
 Armed insurgency? Really? So I guess that excuses this:
We need not re-litigate the myriad horrors perpetrated by Taliban fighters in order to justify the group’s designation as a terrorist organization. We only need to note the most recent one: December’s atrocity in which Taliban fighters stormed an elementary school in Peshawar, Pakistan where they killed 141, including 132 children, and wounded 121 more.
Killing women and children is totally armed insurgency and has nothing to do with terrorism.  Sweet baby Jesus, we are governed by clowns.

Hat tip to Hot Air.

OK, this is the last post on Central America orientation

Two days of orientation and training ought to be enough for anybody. Anyway, one of the most important things I learned is that my radio reception is good enough to listen to Bobby Bones and Tony Kornheiser live, rather than listening to the podcasts later -- especially since Tony's podcast only goes up about a month after the show airs live.

I couldn't help but note that, despite multiple warnings that we had to be in our seats, clear of security, all forms filled out and ready for training by 10 am Tuesday that at least half a dozen folks staggered in as much as a half-hour after that. Temps.

Naturally, during orientation, Milhouse asked three questions, all of which were answered in the materials given us. I still can't understand why it is illegal for me to kill him. Speaking of which, some guy cited some kind of building code claiming that the suite's kitchen could not be called a kitchen because it did not have a sink. Really? The agency's response was that there is a sink in the kitchen in the second suite in which we are working, and that if anyone needed a sink they could go to that kitchen. Me? I'd have shot the dude. Call it a fucking snack room, shit head. Are we really citing building codes? He's probably been saving that one for years, waiting for some agency to call a room with no sink a "kitchen." What a fucking tool. They were telling you where the refrigerator is to store your fucking lunch. They're not asking you to move in.

And,  yes, the project has a dude who probably has a freezer full of women's heads.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More on the first day of my Central American cruise

Orientation on Tuesday was exactly what you would expect if you've read this blog for any length of time. There were, as usual, a number of people I recognized but would not claim even as acquaintances -- out of the 10 or so I recognize, I would classify one as competent -- and he's a fucking Patriots fan, so even he is suspect. but I like him and know that he actually knows his ass from a hole in the ground.

There are a number of survivors of the L Street Massacre on this project. Among them are Santa Claus, the guy who wore his pants around his knees and his shirt around his chest, and, naturally, the Hippy Dippy Clickin' Chick. It is not encouraging.

The Hippy Dippy Clickin' Chick managed to live up to her reputation during orientation yesterday, asking three stupid questions that had already been covered before she asked them and then getting combative with an agency representative over something that was beyond the agency's control. I put the over-under on her getting fired at Monday.

Milhouse, bless his heart, tried to ask an "intelligent" question yesterday, beginning it with "What I have gathered so far . . . " The associate doing the training session informed Milhouse that what he had gathered so far was just fucking wrong. I don't think it will deter him from further "intelligent" questions, but we'll see.

Yes, I kept my mouth shut.

I embark on my Central American cruise

So, having taken a leave of absence from my prior project (the one I have been on since June but which now is on life support, with only 40 hours a week and no actual work to do), I am headed for Central America. As I boarded my cruise ship, I managed to snag a seat at the end of the row (not the end against the wall, unfortunately), thus limiting my potential exposure to a single temp. Alas, my back is wide open. Still, it is not the worst seat ever.

I can see from here that this cruise has no buffet, nor are there private staterooms. In fact, they seem to have chained me to an oar:

Damn.  That sucks. As vacations go, this one is turning out not so good.

On the other hand, I have just been informed that there will be more than 30 hours of overtime available per week. So we have that going for us. On the other hand, since we started yesterday, we have been in orientation and training for two days now and have totaled only 14 hours. There will not be 30 hours of overtime this week, for sure. I'm not real clear on what kind of training and orientation we need to go to Central America, especially since none of it involves learning Spanish, but there you go.

There are a number of familiar faces here -- at least three people from my last project who apparently decided it was a good time to go to Central America. Tempted by the overtime, no doubt. There also were a pretty good number of folks from the L Street Massacre back in September. They were not among the most competent of temps then, either. Yes, Milhouse was one of them. Of course, he got here late enough that he couldn't find a good seat, and so he wanted to go to the other suite we're using because he "wanted to see if I like this side better." I sympathize -- your seat is all you have, after all -- but you go where they tell you. You're a temp, dude. Choices R Not Us. Deal with it.

I will have more comments on orientation later.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pathetic snow event

OK, so Monday it snowed basically all day and all night into Tuesday morning -- sometimes it was sleet, some rain, but a lot of snow time -- and the snow was so light that we got, in more than 24 hours of winter precipitation, what appears to be less than 3 inches of snow. Seriously, fuck me:

Seriously, this barely covered the grass. Yet, the area shut down for this. Sweet baby Jesus, I am surrounded by major league pussies.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Why would you send your kids to college if this is what they are learning?

Arizona State University is now offering a course called "The Problem With Whiteness." 'Nuff said.

Holy Shit! Mongolia came by!

That's right, after I begged, pleaded and offered bribes, the homeland of Genghis Khan has decided to represent, Eff You-style! Just about fell out of my chair when I saw that in the stats. Without further ado, we bring you the first-time visitor travelogue on Mongolia.

Mongolia is a landlocked parliamentary republic in east-central Asia, bordered by Russia on the north and China on all the other sides. Ulaanbaatar (often spelled Ulan Bator), the capital city, is home to nearly half of the nation's roughly 2.9 million people. The economy traditionally has been based on herding and agriculture, although a boom in mining of a number of important minerals has driven industrial development.

And I wasn't kidding about the yurts:
The traditional Mongolian dwelling is known as a ger. In the past it was known by the Russian term yurt, but this is changing as the Mongolian term becomes better known among English-speaking countries. According to Mongolian artist and art critic N. Chultem, the ger was the basis for development of traditional Mongolian architecture. 
Here's one:

And let's not forget Genghis Khan:
In the chaos of the late 12th century, a chieftain named Temüjin finally succeeded in uniting the Mongol tribes between Manchuria and theAltai Mountains. In 1206, he took the title Genghis Khan, and waged a series of military campaigns – renowned for their brutality and ferocity – sweeping through much of Asia, and forming the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in world history. Under his successors it stretched from present-day Ukraine in the west to Korea in the east, and from Siberia in the north to the Gulf of Oman and Vietnam in the south, covering some 33,000,000 square kilometres (13,000,000 sq mi),[21] (22% of Earth's total land area) and having a population of over 100 million people. The emergence of Pax Mongolica also significantly eased trade and commerce across Asia during its height.
Mongolia is at a high elevation, with hot summers and very cold, windy winters. Ulaanbaatar has a mean temperature of 0 degrees Celsius, making it the coldest world capital. I guess they're OK with that.

Mongolians are known for their horsemanship. The nation is often known as "the land of the horse." Traditional Mongol culture centers around horses. The breed is reputed to be largely unchanged since the days of Genghis Khan:

So there you have it. Let's all give a big Eff You welcome to Mongolia. Come back soon, and bring your friends.

Goin' to Central America, y'all

Actually, I'm not. A young lady I know on this project left a couple weeks ago for some big tour of Central America, and she asked to be put on leave of absence so she could return to the project if it is still going when she returns. Looks like it will be.

Naturally, this got me to thinking, so now I, too, am going on a leave of absence, starting tomorrow, so I can go to Central America. The "trip" is only supposed to last two weeks, but there will be significant overtime on this particular tour. Can't wait. I've always wanted to see Central America.

Wow, who could have seen this coming

I'm sure no one predicted when President Doofus proposed normalized relations with Cuba without bothering to get any kind of reform commitments from the Castros in return that Cuba would, in fact, insist that the U.S. normalize relations while Cuba maintains its tyrannical dictatorship just as it is. Yeah, nobody. Absolutely nobody. So I guess this news comes as a complete shocker:
HAVANA - The start of talks on repairing 50 years of broken relations appears to have left President Raul Castro's government focused on winning additional concessions without giving in to U.S. demands for greater freedoms, despite the seeming benefits that warmer ties could have for the country's struggling economy.
Following the highest-level open talks in three decades between the two nations, Cuban officials remained firm in rejecting significant reforms pushed by the United States as part of President Barack Obama's surprise move to re-establish ties and rebuild economic relations with the Communist-led country.
"One can't think that in order to improve and normalize relations with the U.S., Cuba has to give up the principles it believes in," Cuba's top diplomat for U.S. affairs, Josefina Vidal, told The Associated Press after the end of the talks. "Changes in Cuba aren't negotiable."
Yeah, that one came straight out of left field, huh? Who would think a dictator would insist upon maintaining his absolute power while we make all the concessions? Yet another foreign-policy "success" for the emperor. Not sure how many more of these successes we can stand.

Barry mailing it in

I get it -- Barry's just marking time until he can golf everyday without anybody giving him shit. But could he at least stop embarrassing the country overseas?
President Obama is being knocked by local press for chewing gum today at the Republic Day parade in India.
"In an ungainly sight, cameras caught US President Brack Obama chewing gum during the Republic Day parade on Monday. In the picture captured by cameras and posted on Twitter by some users, Obama was spotted removing his chewing gum while PM Modi was seen trying to explain something to the US president," reports the Times of India.
It's even worse than it sounds:

India's prime minister is talking to him. Barry is playing with his gum.

It's not the first time, of course. In June, at D-Day commemoration ceremonies in France, he angered his French hosts (not to mention the British) by chomping gum throughout and managing to get himself filmed doing so while applauding Queen Elizabeth's arrival. And in November, the Chinese, used to very formal appearances by leadership, were aghast to see Barry get out of his limousine, chewing away like a waterfront hooker. Oddly enough, USA Today described the incident accurately and described it like this: "Obama emerged from his car chewing gum; he's a well-known user of  Nicorette, the smoking-cessation gum."

Haven't we been told for six years that Barry quit sucking on butts his first year in office? And that he quit smoking at the same time? I guess we can file that with a bazillion other statements by Barry that are "no longer operative."

RIP, Ernie Banks

Somehow I missed this over the weekend, but former Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks died Friday. Mr. Cub was 83.

Banks was the first National League player from a losing team to win the MVP, topping Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for the award in 1958. He won it again in 1959, even though the Cubs stank again. Banks, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, personified the best in baseball with his unflagging enthusiasm despite playing his entire 19-year career with the Cubs, never making the postseason and only topping a .500 record six times. Banks' catch phrased says all you need to know about his love for the game: "It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two!'' Take one deep, Ernie.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Another snowstorm dud?

There is some talk of a 4-6 inch snowstorm tonight/tomorrow, but there also is talk that such totals are unlikey.  Guess we'll see.

Now THAT'S a wave

 There is a surf spot on Maui -- been to Maui, never been to this surf spot -- that apparently is a top-notch big surf beach. And I mean big:

This is what is known as a "clean-up set:"
Photographer and filmmaker Giora Koren, of Maui, shot dramatic footage of these extreme-sport athletes taking on waves dozens of feet high at Peʻahi, a popular island surfing spot also known as Jaws.
“It became a really competitive sport, big-wave surfing. And people are challenging themselves to catch the biggest wave possible,” Koren said in an interview with Yahoo News.
One of his videos shows a gathering of surfers dive underwater to avoid getting crushed by a colossal wave.
That clip was filmed during what’s known as a cleanup set: a particularly large set of waves that break farther outside than usual and “clean up” the surfers caught inside.
 I've been there -- not at that size, because that is fucking huge and well beyond any skills I ever had. But every surfer has experienced a clean-up set. You position yourself where it is most likely you can catch the waves you're seeing. Occasionally, you'll see a set of bigger waves that break farther out. It's never good, but when the waves are this big, it really sucks. On the other hand, if your are in position, you can get a great ride. Like this guy:
Some of the world’s best surfers, including Kai Lenny, were in town this week for the Peʻahi Challenge, which is organized to coincide with forecasts for huge waves.
Koren shot footage of Lenny, who was born and raised on Maui, inside an enormous barrel.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Snowstorm dud

Earlier this week, there was a pretty good possibility that we would be in line for 4-8 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow. Systems shifted just a little, apparently, and we are right at the snow/rain line, so right now, we are getting nasty stuff falling from the sky, but it isn't snow. It was earlier, and it might be again tomorrow for a while, but right now it is just wet-cold-nasty stuff, sleet and the ever-popular wintry mix. Not nice to look at, but it still makes the roads dangerous as hell. Give me snow, every time. Of course, that's the forecast for Monday, so I guess it could still happen.

This actually is a little overdue

In Temp Town, on almost every project (especially when they are capped at 40 hours) there will be a temp who games the system and tries to work two projects simultaneously. Obviously, this is highly unethical, and probably criminal. It certainly would be a good way to lose your law license were the Bar to find out about it.

Normally, it's also difficult to pull off. Both projects have production benchmarks, and if you aren't coding enough documents at either (or both) you're fairly likely to be cut. It's easier on big projects, where the agency and firm are a little less likely to notice long absences, and the tolerance for a few slowpokes is higher.

On a project like this, at the stage where we are -- no work, just being held in the bullpen in case we're needed -- it's actually pretty easy. Come sign in, go to another 40-hour project, work there, come back here for your lunch break to be seen around the project room and make it look like you're still here, then go back to the real project. Finally, you come back here to sign out for the day. A pretty fair number of people have been absent a lot during the day. I don't know where they go, but we got a little indication today.

The agency sent out an email reminding us:
In regard to billing of time, please be professional, ethical, and honest in the hours you record. While I neither require nor expect you to be at your review station for the entire time you bill for the day, your time should reflect an honest accounting of how long you were on site and available to be put to work.
I want to thank those of you who have always done this, those whom I see whenever I pass through the review floor. I am forced to make the announcement above due to the abuse of the few, one of whom we have had to release for fraudulent timekeeping.
BOOM! Almost undoubtedly not the only person doing it, but I think we might see the practice halt, at least for a while. It looks like this project is going to continue staggering along, so it will still be tempting for those so inclined to try and double bill. Always does my heart good to see one of them get the ax as a result.

I think this makes his priorities clear

Israeli  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be addressing Congress in March, at the invitation of Speaker of the House John Boehner, but the White House plans give Netanyahu the "Mean Girls" treatment (hat tip to Ace!) and to act like he isn't in the country. The White House, apparently, is pissed that Boehner didn't tell them before inviting Netanyahu to speak, and is really pissed that Netanyahu accepted and will be talking about the dangers presented by Islamist terrorism, Iranian style. The White House claims it isn't in a snit, it is following precedent:
President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to Washington in March.
Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan says that in keeping with "long-standing practice and principle," the president does not meet with heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections. Israel is scheduled to hold elections in mid-March.
Gee, there's only one problem with that. Netanyahu is not Israel's head of state, nor is he seeking that position. President Reuven Rivlin is Israel's head of state. But I don't think we would really expect this White House to know that.

So, Barry is going to go all Regina George and pretend Netanyahu isn't here because Barry didn't invite him. So who will he meet with? Oh, yeah, baby. Stay classy:
With more than 10 million views, GloZell Green rocketed to YouTube fame by swallowing a ladle-full of ground cinnamon then gagging, retching, spitting and coughing for two and a half minutes.
It is a far cry from her next gig: interviewing President Barack Obama.
After his State Of The Union address on Tuesday, the POTUS has confirmed, he will sit down for interviews with three YouTube stars - including GloZell.
The Los Angeles-based vlogger, who characteristically wears green lipstick, starts each video with 'Hello this is GloZell! Is you ok? Is you? Good, 'cause I wanted to know!'

One of her biggest hits was eating a bathtub full of breakfast cereal -- looks like Fruit Loops:

Prime minister of Israel? Cold shoulder. YouTube freak show? One-on-one meeting.

Yup, that about says it all.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

You should pay attention to what the people who employ you are doing

When your project seems to be running on empty, you have to ask yourself -- what are the firm employees doing? If the answer is "not showing up anymore" or "bailing to other projects the firm has," then maybe you should consider other employment options.

Yesterday, one of the staff attorneys for one of the firms on this project was in the room in which I am seated (I decline to say "in which I am working," because that hasn't been true since November). Other temps in the room were asking him stuff, mostly not work related (which I would never do -- I don't give a fuck about anything not work related with respect to a firm attorney. It has no bearing on my employment and, thus, on my life, so I don't care.) What he said was useful, but did not surprise me, and so not asking him did not deprive me of information I needed. What he said was, "I should probably try to get on another case." No shit, Sherlock. There is no work on this case, and hasn't been for more than six weeks. As a firm employee, he needs to keep his billable hours up. Staying on this case isn't doing that, and what he said confirms that billable hours aren't on the horizon. That means it is time to get out.

That, of course, is why I have been applying to every project with either a higher hourly rate or more hours. While this project might not die for a while, it apparently is not going to get better, either. I can't live on 40 hours, so it is past time to beat feet. On it. This swordfish might not be dead, but it might as well be.

That didn't last long, either

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced that 2014 was the hottest year since records began in 1880 or so.

Oh, yeah, they left out a couple things -- like the words "maybe" or "actually probably not:"
The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.
In a press release on Friday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’.
The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.
Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.
As a result, GISS’s director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted Nasa thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. However, when asked by this newspaper whether he regretted that the news release did not mention this, he did not respond. Another analysis, from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, drawn from ten times as many measuring stations as GISS, concluded that if 2014 was a record year, it was by an even tinier amount.
Yeah, they neglected to mention that the "increase" over the last "hottest year ever" was negligible, and that the margin of error made it quite possible that 2014 was not even close to the hottest year ever. NASA's level of confidence -- 38 percent, seriously? -- makes it more likely that 2014 was just another year. Gavin Schmidt is famous for this kind of puffery, so it's not really surprising. It has a lot of folks criticizing NASA's honesty.

Even before Schnmidt admitted NASA was trumpeting something that was quite likely untrue based on NASA's own numbers, many climate scientists were slamming NASA for going on about a statistically insignifcant "increase" that is contradicted by other, more reliable data. Marc Morano, who heads the Climate Depot website, said:
“There are dueling global datasets — surface temperature records and satellite records — and they disagree. The satellites show an 18 year plus global warming ‘standstill and the satellite was set up to be “more accurate” than the surface records. See: Flashback: 1990 NASA Report: ‘Satellite analysis of upper atmosphere is more accurate, & should be adopted as the standard way to monitor temp change.’
Any temperature claim of “hottest year” based on surface data is based on hundredths of a degree hotter than previous “hottest years”. This immeasurable difference is not even within the margin of error of temperature gauges. The claim of the “hottest year” is simply a political statement not based on temperature facts. “Hottest year” claims are based on minute fractions of a degree while ignoring satellite data showing Earth is continuing the 18 plus year ‘pause’ or ‘standstill’. See: The Great Pause lengthens again: Global temperature update: The Pause is now 18 years 3 months (219 months)
Even the numbers put forward by the climate alarmists show an 18-year pause in warming that the alarmists are at a loss to explain. Further, given the fundamentals of the theory of anthropogenic global warming, the satellite measurements are the ones that matter. If you don't understand why that statement is true, perhaps you should either do some homework or else stop swallowing whole every alarmist statement about climate change, global warming or whatever the alarmists decide to call it next.

That didn't take long

For 40 years, The Sun, the United Kingdom's largest circulation daily newspaper, has run its Page 3 Girls feature -- pictures of hot women, topless, on Page 3, naturally. About a week ago, after a long pressure campaign by, well, somebody, The Sun Page 3 girls started appearing in bikinis, lingerie and the like, scantily clad to be sure, but clad nonetheless. The nags who had been protesting declared victory, patted themselves on the back for their historic triumph and then went home along to empty apartments to pop off about their accomplishment to their cats.

Well, they spoke too soon:
Baring her breasts and winking at the camera, ‘Nicole from Bournemouth’ today brought to an end speculation that Page 3 had been killed off.
It had been widely thought the controversial segment in The Sun newspaper had been dropped after 44 years - and Government ministers welcomed the move.
The newspaper had not published pictures of topless glamour models since last Friday, instead advising readers the pictures would be available on its website.
But under the headline ‘Clarifications and Corrections’ on page three today, the paper published a topless photograph of the 22-year-old model.
It stated: ‘Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth.‘We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.’
The No To Page 3 campaign group, which had all but declared victory in their battle to have the feature axed, admitted that its war was not yet won.
Please note the line I bolded -- The Sun was still publishing pictures of women topless online. Kind of makes you wonder exactly what kind of victory the No To Page 3 nags thought they had won, as I have no doubt that far more people read The Sun online than in the print edition.

Now, this blog has published a lot of food porn, especially game food porn, and a fair amount of gun porn. I make a lot of jokes about needing to put a little porn on the blog because it drives visitors. Because of all my uses of the word "porn" -- or sometimes "pr0n" -- variations on porn are among the top search terms that hit on this blog. I'm sure they go away disappointed, because I have never published porn on the blog, and I never will. That would be wrong. I leave that task to The Sun.

You're welcome.

Boy, talk about a war on women

This is a war on women:
Three female lawyers have reportedly been executed by Islamic State militants as the UN warns that educated women in Iraq are especially at risk.
Today, the UN human rights office condemned numerous executions of civilians in the country by ISIS and said the jihadist group is showing a 'monstrous disregard for human life'.
ISIS, which controls large swathes of territory in Iraq and in neighbouring war-ravaged Syria, last week published pictures of the crucifixions of two men accused of being bandits, and of a woman being stoned to death, allegedly for adultery.
Other women have also reportedly been executed recently in ISIS-controlled areas, including Mosul, UN spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.
'Educated, professional women, particularly women who have run as candidates in elections for public office, seem to be particularly at risk,' she said. 'In just the first two weeks of this year, reports indicate that three female lawyers were executed.'
Weird how the U.S. media is happy to tout the horseshit Democrat talking points about a Republican "war on women," but we have to go to overseas to read reports about an actual, really-happening war on women being waged in the name of the Religion of Peace.(TM)  It's not just women, of course -- the ISIL terrorists have also been busy throwing gay men off of roofs, executing children for watching a soccer match on TV, slaughtering infidels for declining to convert or pay the tax, crucifying people for various violations of sharia law, including raising pidgeons. Read the whole story -- it's in there. And then, before you get your panties in a wad and declare that these guys aren't Islamic because serious you guys it's the religion of peace (TM), go read "Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik." That's sharia, kids.

Oh my God, it's started again

Last winter, we had a record amount of total snowfall. If snowed every damn week, I swear. Anyway, our first snowfall this year was at Thanksgiving -- very early -- but December was not very cold and we had no snow. It's back:

Mrs. Wolves was over at The Farm today, taking care of dogs while folks are away, and it started snowing. We wound up with more than 3 inches but less than 4. This made for a pretty good overall snow cover:

The forecast was for 1-3 inches, but we got a touch more -- more than 3, but less than 4 inches:

More coming Saturday, apparently. I'm already starting to have flashbacks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

They're cute, what can I say?

Yeah, I post a lot of kit-tay pictures. Mrs. Wolves takes them. She sends them to me. I post them. That is how the world works when you are married.

I don't even know what the basket she is in is used for, but I think that basket actually is set up as a bed for the kit-tays, so she's not getting into mischief. That's Mayhem, by the way.

Temp decides he never wants to work again

Apparently, a temp is suing a law firm for racial discrimination, claiming that he was let go from a project attorney position when white project attorneys were kept on:
A former project attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has sued the firm for racial discrimination after it cut his job while his white colleagues avoided furloughs and layoffs.
Lyle Silva, a 41-year-old lawyer from Bowie, Md., who is black, took a job as an at-will lawyer with Cleary's Washington office in mid-2011 and worked there for about a year, according to the complaint filed Tuesday in Washington federal district court.
Silva’s legal projects involved a banking regulation matter and a federal investigation into a West Virginia coal mine explosion. Silva said he received positive feedback throughout his time at the firm—even written 'thank you' notes and praise from his supervisor and a $2,500 bonus at the end of 2011.
The coal mine-related work ended at the firm in July 2012, the complaint said, and Silva would need a new assignment. Instead, he and another project attorney, a Hispanic woman, were furloughed.
Within two weeks, the firm had cut Silva's and the female attorney's positions, the lawsuit said. The firm reassigned project attorneys who were white to new tasks within the firm, Silva said.
I couldn't address the merits of his case, as I have no knowledge of it, although I do know a project attorney at Cleary who is, as far as I know, still employed. Project attorneys are essentially staff attorneys -- they are full-time employees who do the document review work most firms farm out to temps. When there is no work, though, they get fired just the same as temps when a project ends. Job security is not a feature of that sort of employment any more than it is in Temp Town.

I actually kinda-sorta know the guy, having been on at least two projects with him (he was on this project for a while).  I really wouldn't comment on him based on my personal experience, as none of my observations relate to this time at Cleary and I have no desire to become involved in this litigation nor to become a target of litigation myself. However, it is public knowledge that he appeared on "Donald J. Trump Presents: The Ultimate Merger in which former Apprentice baddie Omarosa tries to find love." I was on a project with him right after he had filmed the show. He seemed quite proud of it. You can read all about it here.

The law firm issued a statement to the ABA Law Journal, which was quoted at Above the Law:
We are aware of the lawsuit and believe that the complaint is without merit. The plaintiff filed a complaint approximately two years ago with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which dismissed the matter last September.
The statement is understandably self-serving, and does not mean the suit has no merit, but racial discrimination suits in at-will employment generally haven't gone well for the employees, as the National Law Journal notes and Above the Law documents.  The plaintiff better have a pretty good statistical case to show discrimination if there is no other evidence of racial bias. Dismissals that come when a project is downsized to comport with the amount of work available tend to be kind of random in my experience. Maybe this one's different, but it will not be an easy case to prove. And it is worth remembering the old saying, a man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client.

I find it difficult to believe that Silva won't run into a lot of trouble getting work in Temp Town after this. Most agencies now have large corporate parents. Once they find out about at temp suing for racial discrimination, I would expect legal departments in those corporate parents to send legal memos to the agencies they own advising about avoiding hiring potentially litigious employees. Silva might end up needing to find another line of work.

Why didn't I think of this?

Apparently, Michelle Obama turned 51 a few days ago, and the Democrats did exactly what everyone's initial inclination would be. I mean, really, who hasn't used their birthday as a fundraising opportunity?

In possibly one of the most cynical and tasteless birthday celebrations of recent times, Mrs. Obama has featured prominently in the Democratic Party’s promotional emails and social media feeds in recent days in order to try and extract money from followers.
Firstly, and undoubtedly approved by Michelle Obama, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent out the following email to party members.
“I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Michelle Obama’s 51st birthday is three days away.
And I bet that you think the First Lady is pretty great — so I wanted to make sure you got the chance to sign your name to her birthday card:
Thanks, — she’s going to love this.”
If you click the link to sign the card, you then get directed to a donor page seeking a financial contribution. Here’s what you’re greeted with.
“Thanks for signing our card for Michelle! Now, can you take the next step and support the democrats?
Unlike our opponents, we don’t take money from special interests, corporate lobbyists, and political action committees.
What we have is supporters like you. Join us by making a donation today.”
And I thought I was cynical. Put aside for a moment that of course the Democrats take money from "special interests, corporate lobbyists and political action committees. I'm used to lies coming out of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's mouth. But this seems just a bit like bait-and-switch. puts up all the Twitter and website solicitations for donations based on the First Lady's birthday. I don't suppose anyone wonders why polling shows record lows in respect for the institution of the presidency. This is just crass and unnecessary. On the other hand, she is the White House resident with a positive approval rating, so maybe she's the last personality the Democrats have left to inspire fundraising.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Who says cover versions of songs suck?

Not me, kids, not me. I spent a number of years in bands, most of which were cover bands -- we played songs written by other people for the most part. We often messed with the arrangement -- we did AC/DC as honky tonk, a Stones song as funk, and "Amazing Grace" as a punk song -- but they were cover songs, nonetheless. There are, of course, three rules of covers:

1. I can name that song in three notes.
b. It's got a good beat, you can dance to it, I'll give it a 95.
III. Refer to Rule No. 1.

This list makes little sense to people under the age of 45 or so. Rule No. 1, of course, is a reference to a very old TV show called "Name That Tune" -- certainly from the 1960s, possibly starting in the 1950s -- where contestants had to "bid" on how quickly they could name a song. Three notes was the realistic low end of how quickly you could name a song. Rule b is a reference to American Bandstand, hosted nationally by the famous vampire Dick Clark from at least the early 1960s until I don't know when. Audience members would rate a song, and Rule b was the most common response, apparently.

As long as you obey those rules and play competently, you can keep a bar rocking all night long. Anyway, I have no problem with playing cover songs. It worked for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Van Halen and countless others of big-time bands who scored major hits with cover songs.

Which brings us to our discussion for the evening. One of the great duos in music history, The Everly Brothers, in 1960 for their album "A Date With The Everly Brothers" recorded a song written by Boudleaux Bryant  called "Love Hurts." It was never released as a single by the Everlys, but remains popular as an Everly Brothers staple. Mrs. Wolves was playing a CD this past weekend with three different versions of "Lover Hurts" on it, all in a row. It started with the Everly Brothers, then Roy Orbison's 1961 version, which was the first version to be a hit (OK, it was the B side to "Running Scared" and was only a hit in Australia, but still), and finally the 1975 version by Nazareth, which hit the Top 10 in the U.S. I consider the sequence illustrative of how cover songs need not be like the original, and can actually surpass the original. In this instance, first I will give you the original by The Everly Brothers:

It's a pretty song. If you aren't paying attention to the lyrics, you might not realize the agony infused throughout the song. Then, a year later, we have Roy Orbison:

Again, a pretty song, but Roy Orbison had a talent for lending a song a beautiful voice that nonetheless conveyed the pain behind the song. You can feel his hurt, even though his vocal is beautiful. Roy did this continually throughout his career, as on this song written by Elvis Costello that appeared on Orbison's final album, "Mystery Girl", called "The Comedian":

No offense, but if that doesn't rip your heart out, you don't have one. And Orbison brings the same power to his cover of "Love Hurts." So, in my opinion, Roy's version is better than the Everly Brothers, primarily because with the Everlys, it is possible to just hear a pretty song. With Orbison's version, the pain expressed in the lyrics audibly underlies the beautiful vocal, so it is both a pretty song and a powerful testament to the pain of lost love.

Sorry, kids, but both lose out to the 1975 version by Nazareth. No one ever accused Nazareth of pretty vocals, but dear God! you can't miss the agony the singer is feeling in this version:

So no more smack-talking about cover versions. This has been your musical history lesson for the day. Stay tuned for more. This isn't a music blog -- unless I say it is.

Another document review haiku

Still no work, still no overtime, still no idea when this will end. Must be time for a haiku:

Near fatal boredom.
We are still idle, no OT.
How long will this last?

Adding to The Rules

We've talked about The Rules quite a bit here. I've even laid out what The Rules are here and updated the list with new additions here. Well, time for a new addition:

No. 11: On every project there will be at least one person who looks like there is absolutely no way he does not have a freezer filled with the heads of young women.

Yeah, it's a gruesome one. But I'm pretty sure it holds.

It's a pretty picture

Like I said, sometimes Mrs. Wolves takes pictures and sends them to me. Sometimes I put them on the blog, sometimes I sleep on the lawn. Sleeping indoors tonight:

She likes clouds. And God's fingers. Me, too.

Game food porn, Part III

So the final part of the game food porn was macaroni and cheese. Yes, I've done the bacon-cheeseburger mac and cheese, but this one is meat-free and is suitable for use as a side dish or as game food. And yes, this recipe makes a metric shit ton of mac and cheese.

You will start with 8 tablespoons of butter (one full stick), 1 lb of elbow macaroni, 1/2 cup of flour, 5-1/2 cups of milk, 4-1/2 cups of grated cheddar, 2 cups of grated Gruyere, 6 slices of bread, torn into pieces, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp red pepper and 2 tsps of salt:

Yeah, not everything is pictured, but you get the idea. So put the torn-up bread in a bowl, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, and pour it over the bread:

You know what to do here, people. Mix it up right:

Now set that bowl aside. Grate the Gruyere:

Melt the remaining butter over medium heat. I used a large pot rather than a skillet so I could do the whole dish in that one pot, start to finish:

Whisk in the flour:

Whisk it up right until the flour is blended in Keep whisking and add the milk (yeah, I'm not whisking in the picture -- I ran out of hands):

Whisk it up right, again. Stir until the mixture thickens:

Add four cups of the cheddar:

Add 1-1/2 cups of the gruyere:

Mix it up right, people:

Once the cheese is thoroughly mixed in, stir in the macaroni, which you cooked earlier even though I didn't tell you to. And you know what to do -- mix it up right, people:

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar and 1/2 cup of Gruyere over the top of the gooey, cheesey goodness that you are concocting:

Remember the bread you tore up and mixed with a melted butter? Yeah, bring that stuff over here and top the macaroni:

Bake for 30 minutes at 375. Don't let the bread topping get over-browned:

That's some good eatin', there. Bon appetit, y'all.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Game food porn, Part II

I fixed two new game food dishes yesterday, so I made sure to capture for posterity the process of making those two dishes. Whole bunch of steps involved, so I decided to break each one out from the main game food post. First up, we had Cheese Potato bites. You will start with about 2 pounds of potatoes. The recipe recommends using bakers. Those are really gummy when boiled, so keep that in mind. It becomes relevant later. Anyway, peel about 2 pounds of bakers, cut them into chunks and boil them:

Once they're done, mash them until smooth:

Scramble one egg:

And thinly slice two green onions:

Mix both of them into the mashed bakers.

Now cut some Velveeta into cubes so you have about a dozen and a half cubes:

Yes, that Velveeta. Your grandparents might be dead (or your great-grandparents, depending upon how old you are), but Velveeta is not:

Take some Shake-N-Bake Extra Crispy, and pour it into a pie pan:

Using a large spoon (I told you this stuff is gummy -- in this photo, I had not yet learned to use the spoon) and make a ball of the potato mix -- about two tablespoons per ball. Insert a cube of Velveeta into the center and close the potato mix around the cheese, or whatever the hell Velveeta is:

Roll that sucker in the pie pan of Shake-N-Bake until coated, and place the balls on a greased pan:

Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, and enjoy. You can dip them in stuff like salsa or catsup, if you like. Really good.

I got game food porn in three parts; Part I

Yes, we saw an epic collapse in the last few minutes of last night's NFC championship game. It was inexcusable. I damn near killed myself. Had they presented themselves, I probably would have killed some random strangers. Fortunately for everyone, none of that happened. But the Packers did, in fact, lose a game they should have won. It was horrible.

The game food wasn't, though. Actually, the game food was excellent. Nephew to Wolves and his girlfriend, Knows Fuck-All About Wolves, were in attendance, so in honor of her vegetarianism, we had several veggie-friendly dishes, including a veggie tray:

We also had caramel dip and apples, also veggie friendly but on the menu mainly because of the presence of Marrying Into Wolves:

Instead of bacon-cheeseburger macaroni and cheese I fixed a vegetarian friendly mac and cheese (the recipe and instructions will follow this post):

Did some fondue, too:

Finally, meat makes an appearance in the form of brown sugar bacon dogs:

Back to meat free, I did some cheese-stuffed potato bites (recipe will follow in a later post):

Of course, we had stuffed potato skins:

Yes, we had veggie versions, too. At one point, the table looked like this:

Cpl. Wolves and Marrying Into Wolves both enjoyed the game food, although I think Cpl. Wolves enjoyed Marrying Into Wolves more:

Oh, yeah. For desert, we had bacon-wrapped doughnuts:

Those are really good. Game sucked (at least at the end). Game food didn't.