Saturday, March 26, 2005

Rebuild Islam

So I got my RNS's and my DPS's all straightened out, and delivered a perfect route again today. Now, let's talk about Islam.

When the US led forces went into Afghanistan, there were a bunch of Islamic fundamentalist hotheads running around yelling "They're destroying Islam! They're destroying Islam!" And, apparently their maniacal leader, the head hothead Osama Bin Laden, designed this whole thing that way, and wrote something that he passed off as a prophecy, saying that they'll try to destroy Islam.

Well, when you pull a stunt like 9/11, there is going to be some consequences. Just as surely as the setting of the sun will be followed by widely scattered darkness, and later the rising of the sun, there will be consequences. So it's no surprise the US would start this war on terror.

Mr. Bush, in his eloquence of half-manipulating the media to his own advantage, explained that the War On Terror was not a war on Islam. We have no bone to pick with Islam. It just appears that Mr. Bin Laden was a bit more adept at convincing a bunch of disaffected Arabic losers, the Arabic Generation X, to join his army, which he called Al Quaeda, than Mr. Bush was at convincing the rest of the world to join forces with his army. This was even more the case when it came time to go after Mr. Saddam Hussein.

But all that's said and done, all history now. What we have still failed to do was a proper correction of the root cause. Mr. Bin Laden recruited the people who had become dissasociated with their otherwise all-important families, young people who had nothing more to lose, and nothing to hope for, and he gave them a cause.

There are those who create, and there are those who destroy. It's not hard to tell the difference.

How about if someone went over there, and found all those same people who had become dissasociated with their otherwise all-important families, young people who had nothing more to lose, and tought them a more tolerant, more liberal, more understand, more loving version of Islam? Hmmmm? Is that so hard to understand? I don't think that Mohammed taught his followers to go murder thousands of innocent civilians. Neither did Jesus. No religion supports war; it's the mislead people who misuse religion to support their own agenda to the exclusion of others that cause war. This term "Holy War" makes no sense. War is not holy. War in the name of God, any god, is profane.

If we went out there and taught these people to create, even in the name of God, then they wouldn't be blowing themselves up, and trying to fly planes into buildings. We wouldn't be "destroying" Islam, we'd be building a new Islam. Now, wouldn't that be a worthwhile endeavor? It seems that these people prefer Theocracy to Democracy, even though we've demonstrated that Democracy is a more effective form of government. Maybe, instead of forcing our brand of Democracy on them, couldn't we give them a friendly form of theocracy? Is there anyone out there who might like to take this up, and make it happen? Anyone?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Web Writing Class, Week 4

B121.14 Web Content Writing And Editing, Week 4

  • I've spent entirely way too much time reading. Oh, but we're supposed to read a lot. I started one of those blog thingies. There was a list somewhere of how to promote your blog, so I bookmarked that, and did most of what it said. Reading through other people's blogs, most of them are really boring. Like, school girls talking about their social life. People apologizing for not updating their blog. A bunch of jokers posting blog spam to promote their online business. Occasionally, there's some people that post poetry, or even political commentary. The hottest topic du jour is this Shiavo case, where some hospital decided to pull the plug on some lady, and her husband raised a big stink.
I really can't believe how pathetic people are. Post about who your latest crush in gradeschool is. Or about what happened at the office today. Boring! Can't you people get a life? You hate your job? Be glad you got one! You hate your girlfriend? Be glad you got one! You hate your life? Be glad you got one!

Try my life out for a week, and see what you think. Oh, that'd never work. See, I'm just throwin' newspapers for a living because I refuse to work for those corporate meatheads anymore. I counted the number of time's I've been laid off once. I lost count at about 10, or I got so depressed thinking about it that I didn't want to remember the three month jobs, or the two day jobs. I sent out 600 resumes, and got a handful of interviews. So that's why I decided to go into business for myself.

It's not easy. I'm completely rebuilding a new career. Starting over. I heard stories of how people were getting a lot of money setting up web sites. I can do that. So, I got the certification. I took the basic web design classes last year.

This paper route thing was supposed to be short term. Enough time during the day to take the classes, build my business, stuff like that. Getting up at 1:00 AM every single freakin day of the year really wears on me. I take the vitamins and supplements to fight the fatigue. But it only goes so far. Coffee only helps so much. I still end up sleeping with my contacts in (bad for the eyes) during the day.

So I actually paid the $150 for a membership on, a job site for freelancers. It's the same damn bullshit there! I've submitted bid after bid, and no-one will accept my bids. Even for the simplest job that I could do in 15 minutes. The employers are such arrogant assholes. I have this bid invitation sitting on my desk for an ecommerce site. I have an extra license for the software, and I could sell it to him for $150 (which is $50 less than he'd have to pay if he bought it himself). I could have it installed in a couple of hours. This guy wants skills in every web programming language known to man. He wants knowledge of tax rates and shipping rates. Been there done that. He wants the pro to reside within 60 miles of zip code 80303. That's me. Here's the kicker: "If you have zero references on guru, don't even submit a bid." I thought I'd let him stew on it for a few days, then offer the $150 solution. Well within his $2500 budget. I logged onto guru just now, and the project was closed.

What's the point of even trying anymore?

Liberian Dubya Bush Coins

I got an offer in the mail to buy these commemorative George W. Bush $10 coins.

If you look at the top of the obverse coin, it says “Republic Of…”, with the remainder of the logo being obscured by the other coin.

I thought to myself, “Republic of Texas,” his home state? No. Look closer at the banner at the bottom of the obverse side. It says “Republic Of Liberia.”

So why would the United States be issuing Liberian currency with Bush’s image on them?

The mystery deepens. The literature says to visit Well, that’s not the same as, the official web site of the United States Mint. The same mint that issues the currency that United States citizens use in daily transactions, not to mention much of the free world.

So I go to, and there it is again; the same coins with the same Republic Of Liberia inscription. And there’s a gold $10 Dubya Bush coin, but with a different design, and again, with the same Republic Of Liberia inscription.

Why would the president even authorize such a coin? A coin not even produced by the United States Mint, and not even in honor of the United States Government?

I decided to find out what I could about Liberia. I have an old 1992 Information Please Almanac. In the section on nations of the world, I found some basic information. It’s located on the southwestern corner of western Africa, next to Ivory Coast. It’s comparable in size to Tennessee. It was established in 1822 as a settlement for freed American slaves. Its 1988 per capita income was $395. Its principal products are rubber, rice, palm oil, cassava, coffee and cocoa. In 1980 there was an uprising by native Liberians against corruption and misrule by the Americo-Liberians who had ruled the country since its founding.

So the question remains, why does Dubya Bush allow someone other than the US Mint to issue coins with his image in the name of an African nation descended from freed American slaves? I can only speculate. American imperialist expansion? Political self-aggrandizement? Maybe Dubya Bush has some financial stake in, and is doing this for profit. Maybe, all of the above.

I don’t know, Davey. I just don’t know.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Once Poetic Days

Days like this used to be poetic. As I would drive home, there would be a thin layer of fog over the fields, with trees sprouting out of the top. There’d be frost on the grass, and maybe a fox or a rabbit moving about. The eastern glow would illuminate the orange and grey clouds on the horizon, with a lightening blue sky overhead. With the adrenal fatigue syndrome beginning to set in, I’d be tired from the early morning route. That Doors song would ring in my brain as I struggled to maintain consciousness

Keep your eyes on the road, and your hands upon the wheel!

I’d slip into a near hypnogogic state, and have a mystical experience, contemplating the fate of the world.

Today, it’s a different story. It’s all “Been there, done that!” Today was arguably the most screwed up, most confusing route I’d ever driven. I deliver two regional newspapers, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Denver Post. Those, and a smattering five nationals: the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, and Financial Times.

They decided to start the DPS campaign – Denver Post Special. I don’t know or care what’s “special” about those; they’re all the same to me, and apparently to the customers too. And when the customers don’t want their “special” sample papers anyway, the whole thing is one big farce. But it pays the bills.

Then, they did that with the Rockies. Then they did it two more times, one with a “weekender” schedule, and one with a TS schedule. TS? Tough Shit? Oh, uh, Tuesday through Sunday, i.e. skip Monday. So now, I’ve got at least four sample-start campaigns going on at once. One just started two days ago, and wasn’t delivered yesterday.

Normally, I would have the “Tuesday Shift” happening, when I stop delivering to the weekenders (which are Friday through Monday), and start the TS-ers. When a weekender is right next to a TS-er, the paper shifts from one house to the other on a Tuesday, hence the “Tuesday Shift”.

Complicate that with a Bonus Day. Bonus Day is when everyone gets the paper, regardless of their schedule. It’s usually just like a Sunday route, except I gotta remember who the Snowball Rockies are.

Snowball Rocky? Well, it’s like this. On Saturday, everyone gets a Rocky, and on Sunday, everyone gets a Post. Okay? And there’s a bunch of people that get the paper on Sunday Only (SOB, Sunday Only, and Bonus), so they should always be a Post, right? Once, on one of the first Bonus Days I ever had, I got to the end of my route, and was short a Post, and had an extra Rocky. Apparently, I had thrown a Post where I should have thrown a Rocky. So, I went over my route list, looking up all the Rocky addresses. Then, it hit me like a snowball square in the face: one of those SOBs gets a Rocky, on Sunday Only, when everyone gets a Post anyway!

So, today was the Tuesday Shift, and I had all those DPS and RNS sample start from four different campaigns (at least), and it was a Bonus Day too. But wait, that’s not all! It wasn’t a regular Bonus Day, it was Bonus Day for the Rocky only! I got all the Snowball Rockies figured out, and figured out which people that were SSers (Saturday and Sunday) all this time were RNS, which I suppose is another variation of the Snowball Rocky.

Now, I get to the end of my route, and I’m short a Rocky and I have two left over Posts! What’s that mean? Well, le’ssee. I must’ve thrown a Rocky where I shoulda thrown a Post, and I musta missed a Post somewhere else. It’s 5:30 AM, and the Early Risers have already been picking up their papers for the last half hour, and it could take another half hour to re-drive the route backwards, and try to simultaneously read this screwy route list. I’m suckin’ fumes, physically, mentally, and automotively. You think I want to re-drive the route trying to figure out what went wrong? HELL NO! I’ll take the complaints, and lose my bonus if I have to! And I don’t care about no poetic sunrise! I just wanna go home and have breakfast!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Toner Mishap

Toner Mishap
"All the news upon which it's fit to comment"

That's a play on the New York Time's motto,
"All the news that's fit to print"

15 of my customers get the New York Times every day; 32 on Sunday. Once, someone got a double subscription, 'cause the nosepickers downtown don't know how to handle an early vacation return restart. The guy called in a "memo stop", which means the nosepickers downtown still couldn't figure out why he wants to stop delivery, but he still wants (one copy only of) the paper. So, they put in a memo, saying "only deliver one paper here", and left both subscriptions on my route. I ended up taking the extra NY Times home every day. I told a friend, Bob, about this. Bob asked if he could have it, so I dropped it off at his driveway every day.

The NY Times has a more global perspective on the news than the Denver Post. The one that I read had an article about China's leader changing. You don't find articles like that in the local newspaper. We're so isolated from everything outside our own county, or even our own hometown sometimes, that people lose touch with what's really happening in the world.


Huh? Wha? I spend an hour writing my first blog, pouring out my heart, telling my story. Blogger screws up and trashes my work. Figures. Just like my old girlfriend. Just like all my past employers.