So. . . *that's* where the phrase "hung like an elephant" comes from.
NSFW, if your work has a problem with pachyderms mating.
Thankfully, my work encourages that.
It is a cruel trick of biology that determined that Gwen Stefani should have a flatter chest than an 8-year old boy.
Oh well. Nobody's perfect.
I gotta post this Drudge bit about the Helen Thomas story, if only for the photo:
White House press doyenne Helen Thomas is plenty peeved at her longtime friend Albert Eisele, editor of THE HILL newspaper in Washington, D.C.
In a column this week headlined "Reporter: Cheney's Not Presidential Material," Eisele quoted Thomas as saying "The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself. All we need is one more liar."
Thomas also said: "I think he'd like to run, but it would be a sad day for the country if he does," according to Eisele's column.
But Thomas said yesterday at the White House that her comments to Eisele were for his ears only. "I'll never talk to a reporter again!" Thomas was overheard saying.
"We were just talking -- I was ranting -- and he wrote about it. That isn't right. We all say stuff we don't want printed," Thomas said.
But Eisele said that when he called Thomas, "I assume she knew that we were on the record."
"She's obviously very upset about it, but it was a small item -- until Drudge picked it up and broadcast it across the universe," Eisele said.
Still, he noted that reporters aren't that happy when the tables are turned. "Nobody has thinner skin than reporters," Eisele said with a laugh.
Speaking *on* the record, I think it's safe to say no reporter has *thicker* skin than Helen Thomas. Seriously, I've seen leather sofas with less skin. She's a wacko jowl-puppet.
The gaps between tiles have made both our lives painfully interesting.
Then again, faults in my tiles don't lead to incineration, probably because I never plan to de-orbit my bathroom.
SPACE CENTER, Houston - A couple short strips of fabric dangling from Discovery's belly may require an unprecedented repair by spacewalking astronauts, if engineers determine there's even a possibility that the problem could endanger the shuttle during descent, NASA said Sunday.
Teams of experts were scrambling to understand just how serious the problem was, with "strong arguments" raging on what to do, if anything.
The trouble has nothing to do with foam or other launch debris, but rather the accidental slippage of ceramic-fiber cloth used to fill the thin gaps between thermal tiles, which some engineers worry could trigger potentially treacherous overheating during re-entry.
It will be Monday before the analysis is complete and mission managers decide whether to have the crew's two spacewalkers cut or pull the two hanging strips.
If lives didn't (potentially) depend upon this sort of thing, this situation would quickly grow intolerable. After all, we're faced with a situation where we will be launching Space Shuttles into orbit in order to. . . examine how well they reached orbit. That's one heckuva expensive safety inspection.
Now, I can only assume that future shuttle flights will feature less time spent on these safety inspections as they become more "routine." The problem with the inspections, however, is that the volume of information they provide will inevitably lead to discoveries of ever greater flaws in the orbiter-- flaws that almost certainly have occurred numerous times before and have never posed a threat to the vehicle and her crew.
Only this time, NASA will be denied the blissful ignorance it had before and instead have to deal with multiple problems in every space mission. Problems that will demand a fix, detracting from what little time remains in the Shuttle mission.
Information paralysis will doom human spaceflight as surely as accidents and mishaps.
I haven't been around to blog, sorry.
Still in bathroom hell, many days after I thought I'd be done. Nothing is ever easy, and nothing is certainly ever cheap.
Bathroom stripping is done. Bathroom wall and ceiling painting is 95% done (a little touchup needed-- see "bad news"). Tile re-grouting is done. After harsh overnight cleaning, bathtub looks decent enough for now, decided to postpone refinishing bathtub until I can pay a professional to do it perfect. New door is installed. New curtain rod is up. New light is purchased. New medicine cabinet is purchased. New register for the wall is purchased. New pedestal sink is installed, baby!
I'm going to have to put up crown molding to cover up my bad paint job up top. Dummy me taped the bottom of the walls where the paint meets the tile, making it look like crap after pull up (instead of taping, I coulda just scraped the excess paint off the tile, duh). Need to recaulk bathtub. New light fixture needs to be installed. New light switch/socket combo needs to be installed. New door needs to be painted. New register is too small for the hole in the wall.
New pedestal sink leaks like Sandy Berger. Alas, this one is a soul-crusher.
My buddy Mike selflessly helped me out all day long. Well, okay-- I earned his loyalty with pizza. We tore out the old sink and put the new one in just swell (fits perfect, exactly what I was looking for), and yet we made a real amateur mistake-- we didn't hook up the drain and fitting to the basin *before* mounting it on the pedestal and securing the pedestal to the wall. Thus, now we can't get back there to properly tighten the fittings-- I don't have a strap-wrench-- and besides, we think one of the fittings may be busted. We we're sooo close to being perfect, but obviously, it only takes a little hole to make a big leak.
Anyway, I'm not messing around with plumbing any longer-- I've called a professional, and I'm sure they'll fix it in, like, thirty-five seconds flat. For, like, $300.
Sigh. At this rate, I may never use my bathroom again.
So, how was *your* summer vacation?
This NSFW short film here (alternate iFilm link here) is very old-- 1975, in fact.
It's a sex education film made by Planned Parenthood, intended to provide information to sex educators in order to teach trainables about sex.
Oh, one more thing-- "trainable" is an obsolete euphemism for "mentally challenged."
Most. Surreal. Film. Ever.
I couldn't tell you which part of this film most made me uncomfortable.
Is it the lede, with the, uh, "trainable" woman being lured into the sexual predator's car?
Or is it the session where a teacher leads a bunch of "trainables" in reciting their favorite euphemisms for "penis"?
Or is it when the man wakes up the young boy, wondering why he hasn't gotten up out of bed, and the boy replies "I'm wet and sticky!"
[Author's note: Hey, story of my life, boy.]
Or is it when the Mom walks in on her son pleasuring himself, and then launches into a soliloquy about how normal "Me Time" is that's lifted straight out of a nightmare and/or the plots to Taboo's I through XXI?
Or is it when the teacher has to stop Sandy from diddling herself at the table and tell her to go back to coloring her snowman?
Or is it where the man rubs the "trainable" man's back at a urinal?
I really feel violated after watching this. I just don't know what to say or do. I'm lost.
Oh, but I did learn that a woman has *three* holes between her legs. Amazing!
That's what Paul "Five Stacked Feet Of Old Spice" Krugman argues in the NYT, saying that the shorter work week and more vacation leads the French to a better lifestyle than us hard-working Americans.
My good friend and mentor Ace actually has the gall (Gaul?) to agree with our midget economist's thesis.
Funny enough, I kinda agree too, up to a certain point.
I can't see a magical reason for only two weeks of vacation versus four weeks, or more, either. Surely, America is not L'Hyperpower just because we work all that overtime-- we're L'Hyperpower because we're better than those cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
The real issue, of course, is where that tipping point is between work and productivity. If I can get a $1000 worth of work out of you for 40 hours, will I get $1500 worth of work out of you for 60? Or will there be diminishing returns?
Overtime-- *especially* unpaid overtime-- is a boon to nearly any professional employer, i.e. one that provides ancillary benefits such as health care and retirement. Your employer can get an extra 20 hours of work out of you for less than it would cost to have a second employee with full benefits performing that work, one that would require additional overhead to employ.
Then there's the flip side-- if you do $1000 worth of work over 40 hours, would you necessarily do $900 worth of work over 36 hours? Or would you, perhaps, be even more productive with the extra time off, and do $1100 worth of work? Where is the tipping point?
Obviously, it is a challenge to measure productivity, particularly white-collar productivity, with this level of precision. As America increasingly finds itself a "knowledge economy", this challenge will grow. In fact, many employers already know how difficult it is to measure workplace productivity, which is why many don't. They basically establish performance benchmarks-- projects, tasks, deadlines, etc.-- and give their employees the free reign to achieve them. If it takes 40 hours, great; if it takes 60 hours, that's fine with them, too. Your time is your own to manage your deadlines.
Now, many of you reading this are scoffing at such a prospect-- "Gee, I wish my job worked like that." Well, guess what? It probably does, and you're just not noticing it. That's why employers pad the work day-- they know the average employee will "waste" time in pursuit of their job.
None of this old news to folks with experience in the tech sector. The vaunted "Microsoft model" of employment may have begun in the dot.com world, but its reaches have extended everywhere. The basic rule is this: make it as easy as possible for the employee to take care of their "human" needs while at work. Once done, you've roped them into a 60 hour week, and purchased a little corporate loyalty on the side.
Want a Coke? Take one from the fridge. Need to make a phone call? Go right ahead. Surf INTERNET? Here's your broadband connection. The company knows they've got you in the end: they own your time.
Now, your project is still due at the end of the month, and the more time you waste playing Minesweeper is time you'll inevitably have to make up at the end of the day, or at home, or over the weekend. And, BTW, as long as you're still here working that project, why don't you work on this other little task that we've got going on? I mean, as long as you're here and all.
Basically, that's the story of *my* job. The people in my office are trusted to manage their own time-- and that perceived freedom breeds inhuman commitments of time and energy. Sure, there's always a shirker here and there, but they exist in every job. At least this way, the people who *will* work have their abilities maximized.
Case in point: I don't get overtime, but I get comp time. I'm thinking that many of you just went "Oooh, I wish *I* got comp time."
Well, guess what? My employers still expect work to get done, and tasks to be performed in a certain manner by a certain time. So, all that comp time is absolutely worthless unless I can finish my work, and then find the time to take it. Yet, like the carrot tied to a fishing pole, the fact that I have this *option* to take comp time motivates me more to work later. I optimistically think I'll get repaid in the end, even when my logical mind realizes I should be leaving at 4:30 every day.
Same deal with my *four* weeks of vacation provided each year by Uncle Sam. Even after this week off, I will still have two weeks coming to me this year. . . and that's on top of the four weeks of vacation I already have stored up (I can carry over four weeks a year, so that's what I have saved up from *last* year).
So, I'm on board with Ace here-- I don't know what the magic number of vacation is, but two weeks certainly isn't it. I don't think this should be mandated by the Government-- after all, it was the free market that drove tech companies into giving perks, and subsequently taking them away when the economy hit a rough patch.
Unfortunately, all that unpaid overtime is like a drug to companies, why would they want to give it up? The question remains whether is actually *is* a drug, however, and one worth taking.
The solution, if there is one, is cultural. But that's the real trick-- the French Government didn't force a short work week and longer vacation on French citizens, it enshrined them. Since Americans don't take much vacation to begin with, I doubt there will ever be a drive to extend the laws beyond where they are already.