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Probably the most depressing thing is those countdown-to-retirement clocks that people keep on their desks.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.29.09

Mo McArbie comments about his dad retiring to a gated golf community.

I'm struck by the juxtaposition in this country about how entitled we feel about retirement, and yet how unentitled we feel about vacation time or paid maternity leave or anything that detracts from our intense worker-bee-ness. On the whole, we seem to feel entitled to a retirement which equals endless summer vacation. (Or at least the commercials aimed at seniors with gorgeous dentistry and luxurious, if silver, hair, lead me to believe we feel entitled to this.)(Well that, and endless anecdata of building retirement homes in the country and getting out of Dodge when we hit 55-ness.) We do not reserve retirement as a compassionate alternative for those who can no longer work. Also, we're not particularly fostering towards partial-retirement, although people can try to work things out on a case-by-case basis. (I know several people whose grandfathers have committed suicide. At least in one or two cases, the family lore attributes it to empty time on his hands after the forced retirement.)

And so we seem to value free time, but only if it's crammed all during childhood and at the end of life. We have miserable vacation policies and long hours and inhumane sick leave and maternity leave packages and generally lack all the of the quality of life stuff.

I don't think this is solely a free market thing. It's got to be cheaper to keep on your productive 60 year old worker than to train a new idiot. Some of the employer-side policies are probably ageism, but the Viagra-sailing-retirement fantasy certainly isn't ageist. So a big chunk of this is probably the tension between ageism of employers vs. promotions of marketing departments.

But that's not the part I'm most struck by. I'm most struck by the hard worker who is skimping on vacations and working long hours so that one day they can retire and coach little league. I think this is really common in our country, and I tack it onto the long list of reasons that I think US is not a first-world country.


 

horizontal rule

 

In Defense of Golf

Posted by Stanley
on 08.29.09

I've got nothing.

Maybe it's fun to someone somewhere?

I've really got nothing.


 

horizontal rule

 

Well now they call him W. Breeze. He keeps blowing down the road.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.28.09

He submits submissions, too. My first! He writes:

OH HAI!!!!

I drive a SUV -- a really big monster truck style SUV. You might think it's difficult to park in a country as crowded as England, but I have a clever solution. You see, if I roll up the windows the SUV is a closed and bounded subset of Euclidean space and therefore compact. Problem solved!

....

Have you picked yourself up yet? This is my (first) suggestion for a post: workplace humour. What lame sad sack jokes do you make at your workplace and/or about your profession? Because we need more tired worn out jokes at Unfogged. Though I'm technically a computer scientist, my work is closer to maths, so I'm going to go with my favourite mathematical joke: category theory!

...

See what I did there! It's easy as Pi once you get going!

Your humble commenter, etc. etc.

W. Breeze

PS: I don't really drive a SUV. Most of the time I don't even drive!

I do have some (tedious) math jokes as well. A mathematician, an engineer, and a biologist are watching a building. They see two people walk in, and then a little later, three people walk out.
"They mated!" said the biologist.
"That's absurd," said the engineer, "We must have miscounted."
"That's nonsense," says the mathematician, "If one more person goes in, the building will be empty."
Then everyone had a good laugh and found five dollars.


 

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I'm not unfaithful, but I'll stray.

Posted by Stanley
on 08.27.09

I've been trying to abide by a no-caffeine-after-4pm rule, in the interest of getting to bed at a more reasonable hour. And while hurriedly trying to get a 3:55pm cup of coffee down the gullet before the cutoff doesn't technically violate the letter of this rule, it certainly feels like I'm cheating.

Moreover, it's certainly not making me feel any less precious to be using one of these at work to brew my own coffee, but I'm standing by it.


 

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Now you can play along at home!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.27.09

I think it would be fun to solicit guest posts from the 'tariat. I think it would inject some novel directions into conversation. Here's a few problems: I don't want this to be work-intensive for me, and I'm really not the best judge of what makes a good post. I could do a whole post on which of my posts that have bombed, and I wouldn't be able to predict if such a post would contain itself or not.

So: you have a standing invitation to send me guest posts. What I'll do is stick them in a slush-pot in my e-mail bin, and then post whatever catches my fancy periodically. (Use heebiegeebie at the domain here. No hyphen or anything.)

Here's what would be a death-knell: if I thought I were signing on to write rejection e-mails. I do not want to ever outright reject one. I'm not actually an editor, just a poor sap looking for ideas. Plus, what if it seems like the perfect post in two weeks? So e-mail them to me, but be braced that you're really e-mailing them to a big cavernous black hole which is subject to the whims of my busy schedule and mental flightiness.

Update:The e-mail address above isn't working. If you submitted something, could you resubmit to heebie dot geebie at g'mail?


 

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Let's not wear dumb shoes.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.26.09

I am trying to find a photo of my new sandals, so that I could gush about how perfect I find them. They have a sneaker sole, and yet they are cute and work-appropriate, and I could just gobble them down. Instead, I keep turning up photos of things like this, so I gather they are all the rage. (It's the "What's Hot!" page, even.)

I find these insane. I could fathom them if they were only being pitched as gear for a specific workout regimen, but that doesn't seem to be the case, since several are dark brown or black. Maybe there's a case to be made that these shoes are perfect for the person who doesn't want to carve out time to work on their core muscles, but uh...I think it's more likely to be the perfectionist who feels their body is inadequate and wants to squeeze every last ounce of resources towards compensating. Plus they look so, so dumb. So dumb. That's really the heart of the matter, isn't it?


 

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Almost

Posted by Stanley
on 08.25.09

ABC says Ted Kennedy's shuffled off. I was hoping he'd be able to hold out for this health-care mess to get a little less messy. Here's to honoring his public service by not squandering his work on the issue.


 

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Not funny

Posted by Standpipe Bridgeplate
on 08.25.09

What is it about this stupid blog that commenting gives your family cancer?

Ogged's comments gave him cancer, and then went back in time and gave his dad even worse cancer. I could multiply the examples, but it'd be too depressing and too W-lfs-n a discretion error.


 

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What a way to make a living.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.25.09

I'm finding being a working parent to be completely crazy-making. Today is my seventh day. (If I were God, I'd take the day off.) But I'm glad to be back. I forgot how much I like parts of my job. I'm placing all my faith in the notion that there's a learning curve and I'll get more efficient and less harried.

Also, I truly didn't think I'd feel guilty about leaving Hawaiian Punch at daycare, but I totally do. Not the fact of daycare itself, but the length of the days. I feel awful when she's there from 7 am to 6 pm.


 

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It's not as if anyone's saying "Uncle" here.

Posted by Stanley
on 08.24.09

It popped up in comments for a bit, but reading Yggle's take reminded me: when I first heard the news of Al Megrahi's release, I thought, "Hmf. It's a sort of Secular Mercy. I approve."

So, I guess I've been watching too many episodes of Kings or something.


 

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Do not fear

Posted by Ben
on 08.24.09

I know you were all horribly put out last week because I didn't do my radio show, but don't worry! I'll be back tomorrow, from three to six pm, on the same old station, to play a bunch of stuff, including folk music from Italy, a love song from Iraq, weird metal from Sweden, unusual trumpet, and usual daxophone, playing from Germany, microtones from Boston, some guy from metafilter, music for ballet from France, two strange groups from Poland, a tuba-based power trio from Portugal, and a band called Wiener Kids from Oakland. Also: This Heat and Deerhoof.


 

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Stranger

Posted by Becks
on 08.23.09

So I just discovered Omegle. It's like a stateless time-wasting machine. Don't quite get the appeal, but maybe I'm just not doing it right. Perhaps the key to a good session is to open with a bold, thought-provoking question.


 

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