Stevie at Caught in the XFire is having a birthday today. Please pop over there and wish her a happy one.
Happy birthday darlin'. I hope this year brings you lots of wonderful times.
Canada's biggest high-technology company's shares dropped thirty percent today after the company fired its top 3 executives. That's a loss of almost $10 billion dollars. As if that weren't bad enough, the loss also triggered a 1.3 cent drop in the Canadian dollar.
All the cheeseheads could talk about was how rough it was for them.
''Yesterday was a very long day for the board and its advisers,'' Nortel chairman Lynton (Red) Wilson said in announcing the firings. ''The decision to terminate Frank Dunn was particularly difficult, but it is the right decision for the company.''
Poor babies. What about all the Canadians who who saw huge chunks of their pensions & personal investments wiped out the last time Nortel tanked, and were desperately holding onto their shares hoping to salvage at least a little of what they'd lost? And how about the companies that are going to get hammered by the sudden, unforseeable plunge in the dollar? You've just kicked the shit out of a huge segment of the Canadian public again, Nortel. This time it's your own damn fault, not the result of difficult market conditions.
If it turns out the fired CEO & financial officers are responsible for this, due to attempts to 'creatively' protect their 'must show a profit by 2003' bonuses, I hope they get their asses fried.
How the hell de we go about policing these massive companies so their malfeasances don't keep creaming the rest of the economy?
Think you're a shit-hot writer 'cause you're getting thousands of hits a day? How about over 1 million hits on a single post??? Forget looking for answers from other bloggers. Learn from this guy. He's garnered over a million (final update - 6.8 million!) hits on one Ebay listing for his ex's wedding dress!
Methinks someone struck a chord. Plus, he's hysterical.
A lot of folks were asking me if I wear women’s dresses a lot. I can honestly say that this is the first time I have ever donned female attire. It’s also the first time I’ve been inside something feminine that didn’t nag me to take out the garbage.
It sounds like he's getting more email on this than most of us get comments in months too.
If ya wanna read the whole thing, hurry over, as the auction ends tomorrow (April 28) at 3:00pm Pacific time.
From the "what the hell were they thinking?" file.
I received an email from a local camera store for whose mailing list I signed up. The email address of every person on their mailing list was inserted into the CC field of the message, which means every address was listed for everyone else to see. Bloody morons. And to top it off, when I wrote to complain, I was informed the mail had actually been sent out by the communications company that handles their mailings!
Now, just so y'all don't think I'm just anal retentive about this, there are several reasons why this is both a stupid and infuriating thing to do.
First, you can bet that the company's competitors are all on that list, in one form or another. So you've just supplied your entire hard-won mailing list to your competitors for free.
Second, you've just violated of the privacy of the very people to whom you swore you'd protect their addresses. I always use a throwaway address for mailing lists, but because this was a company I had developed a trusting relationship with via personal contact, I gave them my real address. Lesson learned.
This is no trivial violation. Not only do all those people have my address, so anyone with their own mailing list can freely add me & waste more of my Inbox space, there is a far worse repercussion. The current crop of viruses like Netsky et al do their dirty work by harvesting email addresses anywhere they can find them on an infected machine. They then send mail to those address, and also send as if they were from those addresses as well.
So each of the several hundred people on that list who had infected machines are now spewing out virus laden crap to me, or to other addresses as me which will also probably bounce back to me. Up until that bulk email went out, that personal address hadn't receive a single spam email in the year and a half it's been active. (I defend that address with everything in my arsenal) Within hours of that message being received, the shit has started flowing in.
This is about the 10th time somebody's done this in the last couple of months, which is why I usually use a throwaway address. Some of my personal contacts have done it too though. Each time, I politely write back trying to explaing why their gaff is not just an innocuous little mistake, but a massive blunder. My last couple of replies have been considerably more blunt: Learn to use the tools of your trade, or put down the damn keyboard! In this era of heightened privacy concerns, there's just no excuse for such carelessness. This virus problem is also reason enough to finally just tell your forward-every-joke-and-chain-letter acquaintances to knock it the hell off.
Just in case somebody finds this rant via Google, I'm going to post the explanation for how to not piss off the multiple recipients of your message.
If you're ever in a situation where you have to send an email to a number of people, put the primary recipient's address in the To: field, and all the rest of the addresses in the BCC field. (That's the Blind Carbon Copy field.) If there's no primary recipient, just put your own address in the To: field.
The only time this doesn't apply is if it's imperative that each person know who else received the message. And if that's the case, it's still better to just put a list of who you're writing in the body of the email. If you're sending to a Distribution List, put the distribution list in the BCC field instead.
If your email client doesn't show the BCC field as an option in a new message, it's easy to add it.
In Outlook, open a new message and click in the View menu at the top of the window. Click to put a checkmark beside the Bcc entry and it will appear as an option in all future messages. You are also given the choice of putting an address in the BCC field when adding recipients from within the address book.
In Outlook Express, open a new message and click in the View menu at the top of the window. Click on All Headers to active the BCC field. You are also given the choice of putting an address in the BCC field when adding recipients from within the address book.
In Mozilla Mail, there is a drop down menu at the beginning of each To: field. Click on the down arrow and select bcc. Thunderbird functions the same way.
Eudora has the BCC field available by default.
So there ya are. Go blind or go home.
You know that queasy feeling you get when you punch in your PIN number for a debit card purchase? You know damn well you have enough money in the account, but there's always that unfounded moment of angst?
I had to get a criminal record check done by the RCMP for my new job. Even though I knew I had absolutely nothing to worry about, I still had to sneak a furtive glance at the form when it was handed back.
The check mark was in the right box.
I'm officially clean.
I'm sitting here with goosebumps rippling over my entire body.
I have just about the world's weirdest taste in music, but one thing I love above all else is that orchestral "wall of sound" of full string & wind sections ebbing and swelling to the point where you can almost feel the music pushing you deeper into your chair. The kind of music that absolutely begs to be played as loud as your system will handle without distortion. The kind of music that can blow the entire day's worth of shit right out of your head, that you listen to with closed eyes as it washes over you, leaving you with a physical and emotional release.
Right now the headphones (can't play this volume through speakers in an apartment!) are hammering Roch Voisine's I'll Always Be There, from the album of the same name. The song has the extra benefit of a big-assed choir added to the orchestra behind his vocals.
He's massively popular in Quebec and France, selling out 30,000 seat venues, and is also well known in English Canada. If you get a chance, give him a listen. He's got a terrific, clean voice with the power & range to carry over all the instrumental with ease. He writes his own stuff, and as a songwriter he's up there with my favourites too. He's probably best known for his ballads.
The Beatles Let It Be is another favourite example of what I'm talking about. I know there are many who feel it was over-produced, and I'd like to hear the "original" version, but I love the released version. Simon & Garfunkel are great for that 'wall of sound' too. (The Boxer) For more recent example, listen to Enya's Memory of Trees album.
Of course, when I really want to go for it, I reach for the left end of the CD rack - the classical section. If I'm looking for a quick fix, my disk of assorted Overtures is my drug of choice.
Most of the stuff released today? Drivel. Yes, I am becoming an old fart. Bite me.
Listening to the Flames/Canucks game on Internet radio. Gotta love the Weird Wide Web.
Almost to the end of the second period of overtime. Though I've said before I wouldn't go to an NHL game even with a free ticket, this is the kind of game that could change my mind. Coming back from a 4 - nothing deficit to take it to a 2nd overtime period? Make that 3, as the period ends. This is what playoff hockey is supposed to be. I just hope it doesn't end with a fluke - such a distinct possibility with everybody so exhausted.
Wanna know the ultimate irony of that 'free ticket' comment? My new job incorporates a Ticketmaster outlet, which sells Flames tickets. The fans were lined up out the door Friday morning waiting for tickets for tonight's game. My boss & the 2 others I work with are at the Saddledome tonight. Talk about getting their money's worth!
Update: Crap! The very instant I hit post, Vancouver scores. Freaky.
Wanna test how fried your brain really is on a Friday? Try out flysui and let me know what your first score was.
Note: If you're already having a really bad day, you might wanna leave this one for another time.
Yup, heavy snowfall warning in effect for the Mountain Parks. It was a glorious sunny afternoon as I left to come home, but by the time I hit the driveway after stopping off for wing night at a client's restaurant, the evil-looking grey clouds were boiling up over the peaks to the northeast.
Due to shifts in the Gulfstream this time of year, we on this side the Rockies actually become the upslope, and get the heaviest snowfalls of the winter during April. This one's slated for about 20 cm's but spring storms here routinely escalate into blizzards of 50 or 60 cm's in a blink.
I've always loved snow, and especially snowstorms, so I'm secretly hoping we get a major dump. It snowed for a couple hours just after dark, but as I get ready to head for bed here, it's temporarily stopped. The clouds still look pretty ominous though, so I guess I better leave myself an extra hour in the morning in case I need to dig myself out.
Come on white stuff! Let 'er rip!
I consider myself to be a pretty smart fella, but sometimes it takes awhile to get things through this thick skull.
I've been getting thoroughly exasperated and frustrated by the lack of decent paying jobs in this area. Employers around here are famous for wanting top-notch skills and extensive experience, but expect to be able to pay peanuts for such expertise. (Often under $10 an hour) In part, they get away with this because the area is so attractive to those looking for an outdoor lifestyle. Many workers will accept the low wages in order to live here for year or two to indulge in their passions. I've finally realized that the only times I've made decent money in the six years I've lived here have been when augmenting my income by freelancing in either computer consulting, photography, or any of several other of my areas of expertise.
I've also realized that a big part of my quest for full-time employment has been a desire to finally have it easier for a change. Having been self-employed for so many years, I really wanted to be in a position where it was someone else's responsibility to make sure there was money to pay me at the end of the month, to pay for benefits, and little luxuries like paid stat holidays and two weeks of time off a year. I'm finally having to accept that’s simply not going to happen here.
The problem with trying to survive on just freelancing here is the fact that most of my potential clients are directly or indirectly involved in the tourism industry, and that industry has been incredibly volatile for the last several years here. The combined effects of 9/11, the Mad Cow scare, Avian flu, the SARS epidemic, and last season's extensive forest fires, have led most businesses to cut way back on anything that can be considered an optional expense. This makes surviving on freelancing an incredibly dicey proposition. Because of that, up until now I had been concentrating on trying to find a full-time position.
Then things got interesting.