For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

They were surprised by this??

I, for one, was expecting this.
Demand for Do-Not-Call-List overwhelms system
by the Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Thousands of Canadians hoping to put annoying telemarketers on permanent hold jammed a government website Tuesday, trying to register their numbers for the national Do-Not-Call List.

I found this part funny...

CRTC spokesperson Denis Carmel said as of 1:30 p.m., more than 223,000 people had register via online and telephone.

"It's way beyond anything we'd expected," he said.

"On the telephone side, more than one million people tried to access the system. It's clearly over any estimation we had done," he added.

"We'd no idea that it would be so successful on initial phase."

Is he serious? Unexpected?

My husband, darling that he is, registered us very early in the day, since he's up so early to do his work out before heading to his job. He'd sent me the link to the site yesterday. We were talking about it that evening, and we both were expecting the system to crash. I guess the CRTC just didn't realize how pissed off people are with these calls.

It's not to bad for us right now, but at one point we were getting up to 20 calls a day. Yes, twenty. We went from getting almost none at all, to that. What a pain!! Virtually all of them were recordings. It's why we got call display. We no longer answer any number we don't recognize, or anything that says "private number" or "unknown number." We also won't answer any of the 800# variations. The funny ones are when the display reads things like 123-456-7890 or 000-000-0000.

It took a while, but eventually the calls slowed down. Now we get about 2 or 3 a day. We don't answer. Our view is, if it's a legitimate call, a real person will be on the line, and they'll leave a message. If it's a recording, we don't even listen to it and delete it automatically. We frequently have messages with nothing but silence for a few seconds.

While I don't know anyone else that has been getting as many calls as we did for a while, this is a very common problem. I knew that, as soon as this became available, people would be eager to register. A system crash is no surprise to me at all!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Racism? What's your opinion?

I'd been finding stories referring to "racist" comments made by a Conservative MP, but it was a while before I started seeing articles that quoted the actual comments made. Here they are. You tell me - are these racist comments, or where they deliberately taken out of context and blown out of proportion?

"If you behave and you're sober and there's no problems and if you don't do a sit-down and whatever, I don't care," Lannigan said. "One of them showed up the other day and was drinking."

"Are you calling me an alcoholic?" asked Matchewan.

"I'm not calling you an alcoholic, no," Lannigan said. "It was just to say that you're in a federal office. If you're coming in to negotiate, I expect, there's decorum that has to be respected."

This is what I'm seeing, based on these quotes.

Lannigan, having had someone arrive drinking previously, specified for future contacts to be sober. Does race play a part in this? If someone shows up at a meeting I'm holding and they're drinking, I would consider it reasonable to insist that it doesn't happen again. What does race have to do with it? It just happens that the people involved are First Nations.

Then we have Matchewan asking, "Are you calling me an alcoholic?" Where did that come from? She was clearly referring to someone else who showed up drinking. Why does Matchewan jump to accusing her of calling him an alcoholic? Why is he internalizing her statement? Was he the one who showed up drinking? I don't get that impression, but I suppose it's possible.

Lannigan restates her position; "If you're coming in to negotiate, I expect, there's decorum that has to be respected." What's unreasonable about that?

Later on, Matchewan is quoted as saying:

"Our whole community feels insulted," he said. "We went there to try to talk to Mr. Cannon about issues we feel are important and he totally ignored us. And then to hear what Ms. Lannigan said, well, that was very insulting to me."
In fact, the title of the article I'm quoting from is Natives Insulted to the Core. Thing is, if race had never been mentioned, there's nothing in the comments made that would've made me think "native." There are plenty of idiots out there who drink at inappropriate times, and it isn't limited to any racial group. If the person who showed up drinking were from some other ethnic group, I don't doubt Lannigan would have made the same stipulation. Showing up for negotiations while drinking is just plain stupid, and stupidity is pretty universal.

Is it just me, or are these people going out of their way to be insulted? If they're going to be pissed at anyone, shouldn't it be the person who showed up previously while drinking? They're complaining that they're not being taken seriously. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe it's because some dufus showed up with a bottle! I'd be hard pressed to take anyone seriously if they did that. The fact that the others with him (her?) didn't do something to stop that person before hand is a reflection on them, too.

Or am I totally off base here?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just moving on...

... 'cause life goes on.

Things have been "interesting" these days.

I went and got myself a new job, since I wasn't getting through to the office at the old job to even find out if any shifts were available. Half way through training, I decided this place wasn't where I wanted to work. At first, I was a little perturbed that a multi-billion dollar corporation would make their staff work with such an obsolete POS system. Then there was finding out that a strike is looming - and it's one of those times when I think a strike would actually be a good thing! The corporations proposal of an increase in the base pay would actually result in a pay cut for the majority of the staff. Meanwhile, as we spent time learning the various produce (some of which are pretty exotic), I came away not wanting to every buy produce there again, the stuff is handled so much. The kicker, though, as their lack of proceedure for a Code Adam, the missing child alert. They don't take it seriously at all. Anyone deciding to abduct a child in one of these stores would have an easy time getting away. :-(

Then, just to make my decision easier, I finally got through to the banquet office and now have shifts again in the other job. Just two so far, but two shifts in this place is more pay than 3 shifts in the other.

Meanwhile, Dh has been having struggles. First, it was side effects from one of the new meds he's taking. The morning medication, too, which made him so sick he ended up missing a lot of work. That seems to be straightening out - or he's simply stopped telling me about it and working through it, which is certainly possible. Then his back went out again. Badly. The poor guy could barely walk or stand up straight, and is in so much pain. He's still hobbling about with a cane. The frustrating thing is that there's really nothing he can do about it, other than pop painkillers. OTC painkillers, since the prescription ones wipe him out completely and make him sleep all day. It's not an injury that can be repaired surgically, and it just won't heal. So he suffers through it as best he can.

On it goes.

Last night, I rediscovered why I'm glad we don't get any tv. Youngest and I went to the public lounge to work on our crochet while watching The Food Network. When we got there, a guy was watching CNN. So for the next hour or so, for the first time, I watched election stuff on tv. What a farce! I think it was Larry King Live, and it was on a Palin theme. More like a Palin bashing festival. He had this weird woman (Joy?) that was spewing the most sexist drivel I've ever heard. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Then some panels of people were brought on - one of them was 4 more women. I think it was supposed to be a mix of both pro- and anti-Palin, but I really couldn't tell which was which. Not only did the sexist diatribe continue (while at the same time calling Palin anti-feminist, the irony of which seemed to escape everyone), but they twisted things completely out of context. Incredible BS.

What I found interesting was when I started chatting with the guy who was watching this. He was clearly an Obama supporter and didn't like Palin. According to him, this is the first time the news has been showing anti-Palin sentiment, and that until now, it was all Palin-worship. I found this a bit of a surprise, since in my daily news perusals, I've seen the opposite.

Youngest and I ended up leaving earlier than I intended - I wasn't going to get to watch my Iron Chef America anyways ;-) - and I came away glad we don't have this drivel accessible at home. What I'm reading online is bad enough.

On the Canadian front, there's a lot of noise about the Green Party being shut out of the leadership debate. I've thought the Green Party should've been part of the debates back when I used to actually vote for them. Normally, I'd still think so, but with the arrangement May worked out the the Liberals, I agree that it would not be appropriate for her to be there. I am a bit surprised that Layton and Duceppe both refused to take part in the debate if she were there. If anyone doesn't belong there, it's Duceppe, since he only represents Quebec. May can blame the "old boys club" all she wants, but in the end, its her own fault she isn't there for shackling her party so closely with the Liberals.

*sigh* I hate politics.

update: Well, that didn't take long. I barely finished posting this when I saw a new headline. Layton has apparently changed his mind on May.

update: May is in! Personally, I think the Conservatives have a point in saying that having her there is like having two Liberal candidates, but at the same time I am glad to see the Green Party is represented, rather than being shut out due to May's own manipulations.