Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ha. Happy Thanksgiving. Also, you heard it from the horse's mouth. The Packers' season is officially over.

On a more somber note, I'll be in Berlin, Wisconsin for the weekend. A good friend of mine from childhood has passed away.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Nice to see Boomer Esiason's back to his old self. Mike Tice for coach of the year? Ha!

Friday, November 18, 2005

I think the Dems are making a big mistake to vote with the GOP to continue the war, regardless if their re-write of Murtha's resolution is a cynical ploy or not. The Midterms will not be won on nuance. Either you're for it, or against it, right? That's how the GOP has decided to frame it. Well, yeah, I'm against the war, and I'm FOR an immediate pullout. Dems should vote for this. Can someone convince me otherwise? Nuance lost Kerry the election, and I fear this could be a big mo-shift for Repubs during the midterms, because they can use this as support for their lies. "Rep. So and So voted against pullout" and toss flip-flop in there. By the time the Dem Rep. gets into the second paragraph of the explanation, they will have lost about half of the people in the district actually listening. Call their Goddamn Bluff of the Bluff, Goddamn it!
A four word, Hamradiocentral plea to any Democrat or Republican opposed to continuing this conflict in Iraq, now up for a vote: Don't be a pussy. Think things will be any more chaotic if we pull out? We kept that logic with Vietnam, and eventually had to pull out anyway.
Need I repeat your own words, Mr. Cheney?

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction, and he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, against us." August 2003.

Who's irresponsible? Who's dishonest and reprehensible? Fuck you, Dick.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I was wondering when someone would write an article about customer rudeness and how it's handled in the outsourced call centers.

It's interesting that the escalation process routes these customers to second tier centers back in the United States. Which begs the question, does this represent a hidden cost? And if so, is the savings by outsourcing significant enough to outweigh those costs? And if not, what about company perception?

I've spent far too long in a CS envionment, and I can tell you that there's a significant number of customers who know how to work the system. They bitch and escalate, and most companies give them what they want. If customers are polite, they get no freebies. Kind of a fucked up system, eh? If I were to run a company, I'd run it exactly the opposite. Fuck churn. Go ahead and cancel. We do not reward assholes. I believe that's how Southwest does it, but I could be wrong.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Samkon Gado for President.

Michael Newdow should suggest that we change the slogan on Wisconsin money to say "In Gado We Trust."

Kidding aside, it was nice to see a win. Hey, if we win the rest of our games, we can still have a winning season. Just 7 games to go for that 8 game winning streak.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Champs Elysses Posted by Picasa
Happy Veterans' day. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black:

"Bush singled out Syria for particular criticism, saying its government had taken 'two disturbing steps' in recent days. He cited the arrest of Syria pro-democracy activist Kamal Labwani and a 'strident speech' by President Bashar Assad. In that speech, Assad said his government would cooperate with a U.N. investigation that implicated Syrian officials in the killing of a Lebanese leader, but warned he would no longer 'play their game' if Syria 'is going to be harmed.'

Bush said Syria 'must stop exporting violence and start importing democracy.'"

Didn't we stop "playing their game" (meaning the U.N. and some of our allies) when we went into Iraq unilaterally? How many different ways can I say that the war in Iraq is making matters worse? We've escalated the conflict. We've inspired young jihadists to strap on a bomb and walk into hotels and restaurants all over the world. It's only going to get worse, my friends.
I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I'm starting to think that the U.S. Government is piping some strange chemicals or hallucinogens into Ralph Nader's water.

The NFL Players' Association should realize that wrapping their cause around a purported crusader like Drew Rosenhaus will do them more harm than good. Beware false prophets.

So much for last thoughts. The story's not going away because I think anyone vaguely interested in sports realizes what's at stake. If Rosenhaus gets his way and the Eagles are forced to play T.O., it will be bad for the league and, ultimately, bad for the players and the agents representing the players, not to mention the game. Why? Because others will follow the lead, feigning injuries in a contract year, mouthing off to the press about their fellow teammates. If this is the kind of thing that organized labor wraps itself around, then in the long run management will win the hearts and minds of the majority.

On a related subject: Creationism. I liked Charles Osgood's take on "Intelligent Design," and I'm paraphrasing through what my wife recounted from listening on the radio: "I wish I had that as an excuse when I was taking my final exam in biology class." And from this point on, anyone who mentions "Intelligent Design" to me will be corrected. It is creationism. Repeat it early and often: Creationism, creationism, creationism. Kudos to Dover, PA. As for Kansas, here is an interesting article, not directly related to creationism, but it will be to the politics in the state in the long run. As more people from other regions of the country, especially California, heh heh, move to places like Kansas for cheap housing and wide open space, the dominance of the Operation Rescue folks will get watered down.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Last thoughts on T.O. Boomer Esiason's a cock, but he's right on with this take.

I'm about to go into a meeting to tell the folks who want to sell us a $5,000 a month self-service phone system that our average call volume per day is 1.5 calls.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Heh heh. Sterling Sharpe's on the radio as I write this. Suit up, Sterl. We need 'ya! I don't understand why Rome keeps bringing up the subject of giving Rodgers a shot to run the Pack. The team's problems are not Favre's fault and putting Rodgers in, before he's ready, would make matters worse if that's possible.

It appears more and more likely that the last member of the old company, the one I was hired out of the blue for back in August of 2004, may be leaving soon. That would mean I am the last employee of that company, still around to witness a complete turnaround of personnel, including the Chairman, CEO, owner. If someone would have given me a looking glass back in October of 2004, when my boss first told me I was going to be let go (before the new person who took over told me I'd be staying the the very next day...both are now gone), I would have laughed. But here I sit.

I've taken the book back up (finally). I'm awaiting the edited version of my previous draft from my second cousin, who used to be a big time copy editor in the 60s. In the mean time, I'm moving on and paring down. There are a lot of technical details and family anecdotes that I've decided to cut. I need to tighten the narrative, and keep the comic angle. Well, it's not going to be a complete comedy...I'm not capable of sustaining that. But it will be an insightful look at how to navigate through the wilderness when you're not entirely sure what your foundations truly are. Where are your roots? Do you have any, or are you stumbling through life, haphazardly. Mine's the latter. Whether anyone will be interested to read it is another matter entirely. If I can pass a dozen readers, then I will consider it a success. Mainly it's been a good way to pass the time through boring day gigs.

Next Blackbirds session is slated for 11/19. I'm going back up to Chris's studio for help with guitar overdubs. My new house won't be ready for any functional recording for a while. It's a little bit at a time 'til then.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Terrell Owens is the Dennis Rodman of the NFL. With each passing year, he regresses further into childhood, like he was born on the planet Ork. Besides how crappy the season has been for the Pack, another reason why this football season sucks so bad is because of all the attention being given to crybabies like T.O. I think Andy Reid's about to pull a Gruden, meaning to send T.O. packing like Gruden did with Keyshawn Johnson a couple of years ago. Of course he's talented, but so was Jeff George. George had a rocket of an arm, and now no team will touch him with a ten foot pole. And why would they? Football's a team sport, and the last thing any team needs in such a competitive league is a fucking nut-job or a head case keeping the public eye on the locker room. If Reid doesn't pull a Gruden on him, then I'm losing respect for him.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

There are a lot of boxes in our new digs down here in Santa Clara. The vocals for the Bye Bye Blackbirds have just about been completed, just prior to my move south. I think some things may need to be re-done, but not much in my estimation. It's interesting, because I've been kind of a hard-ass on the pitch of the three part harmonies they've been doing, and I get really bogged down when in the thick of it. In older days, I would have reacted against some of the things I am doing and saying now. Then, a day or two later, when I roll tape again to go over the session, I'm pretty fucking amazed at how often those guys pull off the harmonies together at once around one mike. And these are not always the basic 1-3-5 harmonies. They'll do tri-tones, all sorts of different combinations. Billy Duke's got the best intuitive sense of vocal harmony that I've ever worked with, better than my own. Ian also has this great voice that adds an interesting timbre and quality to the group stuff. And Bradley's solid. All three, as well as their drummer, Lenny, are multi-instrumentalists. So it's interesting to work with others who share my sensibilities.

I'm also enjoying this process because it's helping me to regain my confidence at tape-op and behind the board. I don't have a lot of gear knowledge (well, because I don't have a lot of gear) . Nevertheless, I DO have access to better rooms than the early days of Beulah when that was my primary responsibility. It would have been nice to have the option to set up a mike in the shower stall and have some reverberation from the bathroom tiles on "Heartstrings," for example. Back in those days, I was a little feisty and feeling claustrophobic in that sweaty old practice space.

Chris Palmatier has been invaluable so far, especially in the room/mike/pre setup to capture the live takes. I've learned two things. 1. I will never record drums by themselves and layer everything else later, one by one, again. 2. I will track these live takes to analog first, before moving to a digital program. I wait to stand corrected that Protools sounds better than even 1/2" analog, 16 track tape. As far as headroom issues or hiss, here's what you do: crank up the levels as high as you can without them distorting on playback, and print with the built-in DBX or Dolby S.

My place of employment is now less than a 10 minute drive away. I have to say, even though the company's going nowhere and I expect to be laid off or for the company to go under any day now, in the time I have left, I am going to enjoy the short commute and my "maytag repair man" role. For once I don't have to work Satan hours or have Satan's commute.

Finally, on a political note, the Special Election is a joke, of course, but this one's easy: NO on everything except Prop. 79. If anyone reading this thinks that the best form of protest is to abstain, may I remind you that the best form of protest is to show up and vote no on everything, even 79 if you want to take a stand against the idiocy of having this special election in the first place. But I am voting yes on 79. The proposition system itself in California is obviously getting out of hand, and should be abolished. There is no such thing as "direct democracy." Never will be. Until this state repeals these stupid propositions, like 13, for example, it will always be in credit card debt.