Category Archives: Random Rambling

“Curse” words

My wife (whom recently redesigned her site, check it out) is very active on one particular message board. On there, they not only go on about the actual topic of the message board, but they go into discussions about just about anything.

One topic that Tara was telling me about that I actually took an interest in was the use of profanity and how it affects some people. Again, the views on this went all over the place, from those who felt that the use of a “curse word” didn’t hurt anyone to those who felt that the use of vulgarity ruined the message board for them, and is a sign of “stupidity”.

I have a tendency to curse a decent amount when I speak. I know when it’s not appropriate (around children, old people, etc), and in my case, it happens a lot more in certain situations (like driving) than others. I also don’t curse a lot when I write. When you write, you have a lot of time, generally, to think out what you’re saying, and therefore can think of the best way to say what you want to without offending anyone and making your content acceptable to anyone who might come across it.

However, “curse” words are just words, and have as much value as any other word. What makes “asshole” any worse than “sphincter” has been completely lost on me, except that your parents made sure that you never said the former, and just looked at you strangely when you said the latter. To say that choosing one word over another shows how intellegent someone is depends on the word, and even then, it still comes off snobbish. You can be a gifted scientist without a good vocabulary. At the same time, you can speak well and be a toal idiot.

It’s kind of funny that people will hold their language skills as their true sign of intellegence. Of course, it’s funnier when people who think that actually have a horrible vocabulary and try to compensate by using large words they don’t know the meaning of in their daily communication. That’s funny.

What the hell, Dusty?

    Have to love professional sports people. Generally the least educated people who are constantly asked to make comments to media, the things that come out of their mouths sometimes are fascinating.

    Take, for instance, the words of Dusty Baker, manager of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, taken from an ESPN.com article:

    Baker, in his first year as Cubs manager, delved into heat and skin color when talking to reporters Saturday, saying black and Hispanic players hold up better under the summer sun and heat.

    “It’s easier for most Latin guys and it’s easier for most minority people because most of us come from heat. You don’t find too many brothers in New Hampshire and Maine and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Right?” he said with a chuckle.

    “We were brought over here for the heat, right? Isn’t that history? Weren’t we brought over because we could take the heat?”

    “Your skin color is more conducive to heat than it is to the lighter-skinned people. I don’t see brothers running around burnt,” Baker said before the Cubs beat St. Louis at Wrigley. “That’s a fact. I’m not making this up. I’m not seeing some brothers walking around with some white stuff on their ears and noses.”

    These comments were made Sunday. Comments like these have gotten people fired from jobs and been the cause of public outrage. “Non-politically correct” comments from people such as John Rocker have turned athletes into hated bigots and racists, despite any prior actions. So, is Baker on the hotseat? Is his job in jeopardy? Is this even a major news story? Not at all, simply because Baker is black. Society has deemed it appropriate for pig-headed and insensitive comments to be acceptable if the person making the comments is making them about his or her own race, creed, or conviction. John Rocker makes negative comments about New Yorkers, people with AIDS, and unwed mothers and he’s in a press conference the next day begging for forgiveness about things he may or may not really have even meant (I have my own theories about that.) However, it’s doubtful that anything will be done in reaction to Baker’s comments (Rocker was originally suspended for the entire length of spring training and the first four weeks of the regular season, with a $20,000 fine, but that was later reduced). Outside of discussion on some radio talk shows, the story is pretty much dead.

    The little bit of irony/coincidence mixed into this whole story is how the name Al Campanis plays into it. Campanis, who himself was a player, was the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1968-1987, where during the course of his tenure with the club, he traded for one Dusty Baker. Campanis, who spent almost half his life working in baseball in some aspect, saw his career come to an end one night after making comments on an episode of ABC’s “Nightline”. Campanis, being asked why he felt there were so few black people as managers and executives in baseball, stated that he felt that black people “lacked the necessities” to be able to be successful managers and executives. These comments, deemed racist, caused a PR nightmare for the Dodgers, who immediately fired their general manager of the last twenty years.

    While Baker’s comments aren’t insulting like Campanis’ and Rocker’s comments, they all share something in common: stupidity. Baker’s implication that black (and Latino) people are better than white players dealing with heat implies that blacks and Latinos are somehow genetically different than whites, which is an implication that people have been trying to overcome for hundreds of years. And while Baker may stand behind his statements all he likes, it still doesn’t change the fact that if a white manager had made the exact same comment, it’d be front page news, and they’d be asking for his head on a platter.

    Equality is great my friends, but the good has to be taken with the bad. Equality isn’t getting rid of all the negatives of being “different” while keeping all the positives. Equality is exactly what it is; treating everyone like everyone else, regardless of what they look like, where they come from, and what they worship.

    And that, apparently, will never happen, because people don’t want to make sacrifices for the greater good. Sad, really.

Starting to wonder what’s wrong with me

As expected, the job that I interviewed for twice (and if I do say so myself, I nailed them both) went to someone else. I got word today, and although it’s extremely disappointing, it’s not totally unexpected. It’s not that I didn’t think that I was qualified for the job, but just that I’ve gotten to be so negative regarding employment that I refuse to think things otherwise until I’m actually filling out a W-4.

This one I thought was a given. My last four jobs all worked to my advantage for this job, as all gave me valuable experience for the job that I was being interviewed for. This job didn’t fall into one of the usual “toruble” areas that I run into with other jobs like this, which are:

Overqualified – Employers may feel that hiring me for the position won’t fill it for a long period of time, since I would likely move onto a better position once one opened up. The “overqualified” term can also be a negative when it comes to salary. A college graduate makes more than a high school graduate, and a college graduate with job experience may seem too “pricey” for potential employers, who wish to fill a position with a less qualified employee to justify a lower wage.

Underqualified – Probably better described as “lacking experience”, while I have job experience, I don’t necessarily have the number of years doing one particular thing that some employers look for to fill a position. Over the past few years, jobs have had me doing help desk, computer maintinence, human resources, data entry, writing documentation, retail management, non-retail management, among other things. Why a person is more attractive who does data entry for five years than a person who can obviously do more than that is beyond me, but I’m not a hiring manager (obviously).

Too young – The fact that I’m under 30 scares off a lot of employers in regards to management positions. People (especially those who have been working at jobs “lower on the ladder” for an extended period of time) tend to be less “supportive” of coworkers put in a position of authority when that authority figure is younger than them. Regardless of education or job experience (I had 8 employees under me at the age of 20), this still scares off employers.

Too old – So-called “entry level” positions are generally lower paying, but provide the opportunity for a company to develop a young person right out of college in that company’s “style”, making that employee someone they can develop towards years of future employment. The person generally hired to fill this position is fresh out of college, 21-23 years of age. Being closer to 30 than I am to 20 (and actually having job experience), I’m not as easily developable (if that’s even a word) and not an “entry-level” guy.

So, none of thse were the case, and I still didn’t get the job. What the hell else can I do? Who knows.

For the record, we got stomped in our softball game tonight. I only got technically one at-bat, thanks to the mercy rule coming up and the final out being made on a stolen base attempt as I had two strikes on me. I think we got three hits total, and I wasn’t one of them (although I didn’t strike out, which I can’t say for most of the rest of the team. So, that puts my line like this for the season:

 G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG2    4    1    1    0  0   0    0   0  0   0   0 .250  .250  .250

Did I just buy a car?

Well, happy Father’s Day, if you happen to be one, or if you’re just lame like me and act as a father to two pain-in-the-ass cats. My dad passed away a little over 5 years ago, so Father’s Day just kind of comes and goes for me now, and it will until I have a child of my own.

It’s be very easy for me to celebrate Father’s Day, as I have two people who I could direct the gifts/support/etc to. My father-in-law, who reminds me way too much of my father some times, is a very good man in general, and is the closest thing I have to a father right now. He and my actual father would have gotten along great, it’s really a shame they never got to meet. My mom’s boyfriend now could easily be my father figure right now as well, considering his placement in my family and that situation. Of course, I will never let that happen, not because he’s a bad person, but just because I won’t let it happen, and certain things just work that way. He’s been supportive of me, helped me out a lot over the last few years, and is always willing to lend a hand or a few words of support, without a word in return (what he mumbles out of earshot doesn’t count, and shouldn’t.) It’s unfortunate, because he does get called my father a lot, simply because he’s the elder male in my family circle, so people make assumptions, despite the fact that I look nothing like him. Then again, if my father were alive today and you put him next to me, you wouldn’t think we looked alike either.

Anyway, bought a car today. As you know, my ride has been pretty much nonexistent lately, and it was totally necessary. I actually bought a car instead of a truck or SUV, which was odd just because I’ve never been a car person. But, I drove a Toyota Corolla when I got into the accident and had to rent a car, and it surprised me with its comfort and space, something a 6’2″ guy needs. That’s what I ended up getting today, and I’m quite happy with it. It’s the best car, I feel, that I could have gotten for the money, and I don’t think I would have been any happier with an SUV. I know my dad was there with me today, just kind of in spirit, and he was probably shaking his head at the fact that I was buying a car AND a Japanese one at that. But the man drove a Toyota pickup for the last five years of his life, rusted all to hell and startable with a flathead screwdriver, but he liked it. So, I think he’ll let me slide.

I’m sorry it’s not red. Trust me dad, this one’s better.