Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bits of Randomness

[To the left is a picture of the vortex at the south pole of Venus courtesy of NASA. Did you know that NASA images are considered public property so you can post them without worrying about copyright infringement?  It's true!  So is the data that they collect, by the way. This image came from an article on Venus's weather that can be found here.]

I have several things on my mind right now so I'm going to place them here to get them off my chest.

First up is this KFC commercial.

Excuse me, KFC, but to paraphrase your commercial:  What part of the chicken is the POPCORN?!? Huh?

I'm sorry, but... I work for a poultry company.  We make chicken nuggets.  Our nuggets are whole chunks of white meat chicken, not pieces and skin pressed together like other companies sometimes sell.  I've no idea what popcorn chicken is, though.  The trimmings? *shrugs*  
Secondly, I have to rant a little about this report:
Yes.  Believe it or not, there are still people who think that there is a link between autism and vaccinations!  Still!!  I find this totally unbelievable!!  This kind of ignorance just blows my mind!  Good grief, people!  Get your children vaccinated before they die of a disease they shouldn't have!
Thirdly, 3 bad words:  Breed Specific Legislation!  An online acquaintance mentioned a case in the UK in an area where there is a law against owning a pit bull.  A dog was classified as a pit - even though it appears not to be one - and it looks like it will be put down.  Now - this dog did nothing wrong.  It is simply being killed because of it's appearance.  People, this is just plain wrong!  The notion that any particular breed of dog is more aggressive than others is faulty!  Any mistreated dog is more likely to be aggressive than one that is treated right!  Instead of educating people about proper care, we are blaming a particular breed of dog!  This is just wrong.  Heck, I'm old enough to remember when Dobermans were the "dangerous" dogs!  There was a German Shepard phase, too!  When are we going to realize what the real problem is? 
Okay.  I think I feel a bit better now.  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Warning: Geek Inside

So... a couple weeks ago I attended Intervention which is a convention in Rockville, MD. This is my second year attending and the second year of the convention.  I should note that this is the only convention I've ever attended - though I've been curious about Comic-Con and Dragon*Con but my major drawback is that they get so crowded and I'm nervous in crowds. (though I'm getting better)

Intervention isn't over-crowded because it is just starting out.  The first year saw 500-some attendees and this year I'm told that number doubled.  Quite a few of my internet friends have attended so that is a bonus. I've gotten to meet some folks that I've chatted with for years online. Very cool.

I've always considered myself a geek-wannabe.  I figured I wasn't smart enough or nerdy enough to be an actual geek. I didn't think I qualified because I don't play D&D or cosplay and I don't work in technology - even though I have a computer programming degree.  I just liked talking to folks who I thought fit the term "geek" and I do love science - but from the sidelines and I certainly don't have scientific knowledge to speak of. (and I didn't get good grades in science classes in school, even!)  My interests are too diverse and I tend to dabble - not specialize.

Well, at one point during the convention I found myself sitting in a room listening to a panel. I was seated next to people I had never met before and I realized that I understood all the inside jokes that were being told and I could easily comprehend - and appreciate - what was being discussed.  I wasn't bored or lost.  In short, I fit in very nicely.  I've realized at that moment that I am actually a geek - even though I don't speak Klingon.  I'm not a specialist, certainly, but my geekiness isn't something that I can overlook any longer.

So... yes.  I'm going to just embrace my inner-geek and the heck with people who don't understand me.  There are tons out there who do!  I met an entire convention full of people who get me just fine!

Seriously, though, if you live near the DC area - or close enough to drive there like I do - check out the Intervention website.  There's a lot of people and topics that may interest you there - webcomics, bloggers, steampunk, cosplayers and gamers! Check out the convention next year!  I know I'll be going back to Rockville again! (Despite REM's admonishment not to...)

Image of the Pacman Nebula courtesy of NASA

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Six - August 24, 2011

1. Do you consider yourself more of a giver or a taker? I hope I'm more of a giver.

2. What is the biggest drawback to being whichever one you identify with?  Um.. I guess one could be taken advantage of.

3. If you had the chance to immediately become the opposite, would you take it? Why or why not? No.  It really is fun to give so I wouldn't want to give that up.  Also, I don't like taking advantage of others.

4. Take the quiz: Are You a Cheapskate?

You Are Incredibly Generous

You are very giving when it comes to money. And it doesn't go unnoticed.

Sharing the wealth makes you feel good, and you never want anyone to feel slighted by you.

As long as you can afford it, being so generous is a very good thing!

5. A woman approaches you in a shopping mall parking lot claiming she needs $1.00 to catch a bus. You see the bus turning into the mall parking lot at a distance, and you have a dollar bill. How likely are you to give it to her? Pretty likely.  It's only a $1 and if she needs it, fine. I think I'd stick around and see if she actually took the bus or not, though.

6. If it were up to you, how would you get more people to volunteer to help others? By reminding them how good it feels to help others, I guess.

These questions are the Saturday Six from Patrick's Place.  You can play along, too!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Overheard in the cafeteria...

I know... I know... I said I'd start blogging again and then I didn't.

I'm lame that way.

It isn't even that I haven't had things to blog about in my life.  It's that I just haven't taken the time to do so. 

Let's try again...

There is an incident which disturbed me yesterday in the lunch room.  The CEO of the company was seated near us and he started talking to my co-worker who was seated across from me.  He mentioned that he walked into his living room the other evening and discovered that his wife and daughter were watching Dancing with the Stars and he was upset because this season's show includes Chaz Bono.  This bothers him greatly, apparently, and he declared - rather loudly and with a look of total disgust - that as far as he is concerned, if a person is born a female then they are a woman!  He vehemently objected to his family watching the show - which he equated with supporting Chaz and all other transgender people.
To her credit, my co-worker stated simply that she disagreed with him. He muttered something about having to agree to disagree and soon wandered off.

It took me until just a couple minutes ago to realize why the incident disturbed me so much.  See, a CEO in this day and age has to be very careful when he or she speaks so as not to appear to be discriminatory towards people. Despite this, he thought it was appropriate to declare that he is uncomfortable and generally outraged with the idea of transgender people.  That's the thing.  It is still socially acceptable to loudly declare that one is uncomfortable with transgender people. Therefore it is still socially acceptable to discriminate against them, mock them, and avoid them.  

Do you imagine that there will ever be a time when people are accepted for who they are?  All of us?!?
In other news, I went to an absolutely awesome convention last weekend!  (Intervention)  This post is long enough so I will talk about that on the next one. 

photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Center

Monday, September 12, 2011

And... we're back.

Or I am, rather!

My, my... what a busy/hectic/disorienting/disorganized several weeks I've had!  I've no idea where to begin to try to explain other than to say there was camping out in a tent (planned), being essentially cut off from the outside world by flood waters (unplanned) and adjustments that will continue to take place over the next several months.

Then there was the 10th anniversary of 9/11 so... yeah.

I'm not going to go into all that - any of it - because all is well (relatively) and that is that.

Now then.  Where was I?  I know I thought out a rant about something or another but I've clear forgotten all about what I was preparing to rant about so... *sighs* I guess we'll let that pass.

Heck!  I've not had time for my weekend memes, for Pete's sake!

Alright, alright.  I guess the purpose of this particular post is to let folks know that I am alright.  I'm not going to take the time to blog right now...  I think I have to ease back into it. I will probably go to the other blog and do a couple memes.  That should help matters, I think.

I'll be back - perhaps even tomorrow! (but don't hold your breath)

photo by The Dancing Raccoon