Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Disruption in the Cosmic (Company) Order

The New Horizons probe made its closest pass to Pluto. For us who have grown up with nine planets, this marks the completion of the solar system family portrait. It is an amazing experience. We have never seen a clear shot of Pluto and now for the first time, the whole world can. A new world seen for the first time.

I entertained the thought that there may be something to astrology. As this new world was being revealed, there was some major upheavals at work. Carmen, one of our most beloved coworkers didn't show up for work. It took us a bit to realize that she wasn't there because we are not always at our desks but once we did, we got worried because it was so unlike her to miss work and not call in. My supervisor called and there wasn't an answer but a little while later he got a call from her. She quit. Just like that. I didn't even notice last night when she left that she had put her badge in the drawer and took her big tube of M&Ms with her. It was stunning when we were told. Apparently she claimed that it was personal issues and that it was nothing to do with us. We can only speculate as to what she meant by that. Within a couple hours, news had spread to the other buildings on campus. Jim, our IT guy, even called asking why he got a termination ticket for Carmen--as if someone was playing a joke on him. It is going to be tough until we can get some replacement help. I plenty of people that the company could hire two people and they still wouldn't be able to do as much as she did. It is such a mystery why she left so suddenly.

Most of the day was talking about Carmen and the various reasons why she might have left but to finally end it, we had two temps get into a verbal showdown that escalated to one of them threatening to kill the other. Of course, that kind of threat isn't going to be tolerated so one of them was immediately let go. I'm not sure if the other one is going to be there tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

An important victory but not the end.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that bans on same-sex marriages were unconstitutional. It was expected that the court would rule on this beginning sometime last week but most thought that it would come towards the end of this week or possibly on Monday. While I was at work, Roy sent me this message about 15 minutes after the decision was released. I found a bit of humor that I would be getting US news first from Great Britain. 

I am happy with the decision and I think it was a correct one but I am disappointed that it was a 5-4 decision. I had really hoped that Chief Justice Roberts would have joined in with a 6-3 decision. In the arguments, he brought up that this could be gender discrimination and teased the possibility that he could be another pro-gay vote. It has been said that Roberts wants to avoid 5-4 decisions and has angered the right when he sided with the liberals when it came to the Affordable Health Care cases. On the other hand, his positions in the cases on DOMA and Prop 8 suggested otherwise.

I’ve been busy at work but I do intend on reading the opinion.

Just because gays can now marry, it doesn’t mean the march for equality is over. It seems that the backlash is going to be in the form of religious freedom (to discriminate) laws. And it is still true that society is divided. Even my own family.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Personal Inception?

I woke up in an apartment at Western Michigan University. I was confused as to why I was naked in the living room, on a mattress which was on the floor. The morning sun was shining in through the window which was uncovered. I was horrified at thinking how many students had probably walked by and looked into see me in all my glory but I rubbed my eye and made my way to the window to shut the blinds and then I realized the situation was much worse: someone had stolen the door and replaced it with another whose dimensions were shorter than the one that should have been there.  It had gaps at the top and bottom and the color was white instead of dark brown. Then to top it off, there was graffiti indicating that this was some kind of practical joke. I started having a mini panic attack because I would have to deal with this when I had classes coming up.

I woke up in my bedroom, in my dorm room at Michigan State (a real place). I was relieved that I was not a victim of a practical joke but I glanced at my clock and noticed that it was 15:45. It was the middle of the afternoon! How did I sleep in the whole day? I knew I had missed classes but what were they? How can I have forgotten my schedule? How long have I been missing classes? Were there any tests that I've missed?  Logically, I knew that it was probably too late to even worry about it that day and that any worrying would have to wait until I could answer those questions. Still, I was having a mini panic attack.

I woke up in my room and in the real reality here in Buchanan. It was early in the morning and I was not a victim of a practical joke, I am not a horrible student at State, It's Sunday and I could role over and debate with myself I should get up early and do chores or sleep in a little bit more.  It's now close to 11:00. I think you can guess which I chose.

Monday, June 15, 2015

What's wrong with being Facebook buddies?

Today I just noticed that I got de-friended again. This is the second time in as many weeks. I try not to take it personally as the people who did aren't really friend-friends but it still stings a little you know?

I'm a little aloof when it comes to Facebook. I don't rarely post status updates or interact with any friends on there. I've tried to step up my game a bit but my heart really isn't it. More than anything it's more of an intelligence gathering tool for me! Yeah, I know that sounds creepy but I gladly take in whatever friends throw out there for public consumption.

I wonder if it is because I don't interact that much that people don't really care to be friends with me. Then again, it's not like people take the first step to interact with me. One of the biggest things that really gets under my skin is when I have to always have to initiate an interaction. Relationships shouldn't be one sided and I have let some friend fall to the side because I got sick of being the one to start. So I guess I was guilty of that in Facebook world and was let go.

It could have been my political views...


Oh well. To Brett and Susan: all the best.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What's on fire? Canada.

I went to work in hazy conditions today. There was so much haze that you could see the sun without having to instinctively avert your eyes. The solar disk hung there-big, glowing, orange. It was a sight that you don't get to see often so I savored it for a few minutes before heading in.

Wildfires in Canada are throwing up smoke high into the atmosphere and has been making its way over the Great Lakes. With that much particulate in the air, I was looking forward to the end of the day because this would be a great day to see a sunset. With that much particulate in the air, I figured I could expect a beautiful red sunset.

Perhaps my expectations were running a little high but it was a lovely sight nonetheless.

Friday, June 05, 2015

A Prisoner's Briefcase

I've watched two episodes of CBS's new series The Briefcase. The show is about two families that receive a briefcase of $101,000. A sort of Prisoner's Dilemma is created. Each of the family is given the option of keeping all, some, or none of the money with the understanding that any money that they don't keep will go to the other needy family. The thing is that each family doesn't know that the other has been given the same opportunity.

Although I find the stories of theses families compelling, I can't shake this dirty feeling that comes over me while I watch. For the sake of our entertainment, families in need are put into the position where they need to make heart-wrenching decisions that can cause strife in their own families. What does one do when one spouse wants to give all the money aways while the other insists that the best thing to do is put their own needs ahead of others and keep the money?

I'm not sure if I will continue watching this.

h/t to CBS for posting this video on YouTube.