Archive for the Life and Times Category

One Long Month

Posted in Life and Times on August 2, 2011 by Sardonic Pariah

August is upon us.  Since yesterday.  Guess I was too busy playing with ornamental explosives at a barbecue to post anything about it.  That or I’m a lazy bastard.  Your choice.

So, what’s going to make August long?  No classes.  No job.  Boring!  Perhaps what I should do is try to find a job with all the time that lack of classes is going to give me.  Perhaps work on some research for my again-stalled writing.  Fucking stolen thumbdrive.  Rage.

I’m having a hard time pinning down work for what I think is a pretty obvious reason: I’m a dick.  At my last job I got fired.  I blew my lid, and managers can’t do that.  Doesn’t matter that the kid was baiting me.  What matters is that I played my part as the bull quite nicely and charged the red cloth.  Pretty stupid, I’ll tell you what.  So now I’m out of work for over a year, with no reference from the last place.  Not a sweet spot to be sitting in.  On the other hand, I do have a reference from the co-ordinator of my program.

Professor David Pastirik, this is my shout-out to you, thanking you for having faith in my abilities.  And for telling me to shut up (in a nice way) when I answered all the questions in your last lecture without letting anyone else in the class get a chance to mull it over.  And for taking it with good spirit when I wrote the answer on Ana’s piece of paper so she could respond instead.  You’re undoubtedly the best teacher I’ve ever had, bar none.

Now, to get far enough in the hiring process somewhere that they’ll actually use the reference.  I’ve done hiring for places before, as both assistant manager and manager, so I know what these people are seeing as the problem.  Wish there was something I could do about it short of lying about why I left the last place.  Perhaps I should sugar coat it a bit, without actually uttering a direct untruth.  I do have a lot of soap at home with which to scrub off the dirt; the shame will take years of expensive counselling to repair.  So I should aim for a workplace with a good benefits plan and some kind of left-wing liberal feeling that they should turn all their employees into cuddly Care Bear types.

Aside from writing this post, which has currently eaten up all of ten minutes of the month, what else can I do with August, aside from the relatively futile job search?  The writing.  That’s right, write!  I need to replace all the research I had done, and add it to the bits and pieces I’ve compiled since.  Mostly stuff about terraforming and sentience quotients.  The former comes from the wonderful Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.  If you like hard science fiction, this trilogy will knock your socks off.  And if it doesn’t, go play World of Warcraft, you elf-loving son of a… Sorry.  Got off track there.

The latter is really interesting.  This fellow, Robert A. Freitas Jr., came up with this thing in the late 70s.  He must have been anticipating my need for it in the early 21st century.  Thanks, Bob!  This is a wondrous little equation, that I shan’t record here, that can be applied to any system that processes information.  Animals, computers, houseplants.  You name it.  What it boils down to is this: it compares the system’s ability to process information (in bits per second) and compares it to the mass of its “brain.”  Thereby we find out that human beings have a sentience quotient of +13.  Houseplants have 0 (though those carnivorous little beasts like Venus flytraps have an astronomical +1), and the Cray-1 computer had +9.  The most recent “artificial intelligence” supercomputer, the IBM Watson, scores somewhere between +11 and +12, so we can see that computers have made some headway, but we’re still winning.  Nyah nyah, Asimov.  None of this relates to sapience, which is a reference to a being’s intelligence or cognitive ability.  The limits are set at a minimum of -70 (I guess a rock or something) and +50 (God, or maybe one of those Q guys from Star Trek, or that nerd next door who can quote everything that Spock ever said).

Given that I got my ass fired, it’s fairly questionable whether I genuinely score a +13.


For Shame!

Posted in Life and Times on June 23, 2011 by Sardonic Pariah

Two weeks and more since I posted.  Slacking!

Why?  Because I have other things to do, and I’m immensely forgetful.  You may be asking what I’ve been up to, and if you aren’t, you’re going to read the response anyway, and you’re going to like it.

School.  Fun thing, that.  I’ve got some classes that require group work, which requires a quarterback, which requires me to be said quarterback.  Being the quarterback, in this case, resolves itself into generally ignoring the people willing to work, and endlessly chasing the people who aren’t.  Not that I truly ignore the people that are working, but if they’re going to get the job done, I feel I should focus on getting other elements of the team producing something.  This requires a lot of potentially unnecessary effort.  Except that it is necessary.  Because firing someone in school is considerably more difficult than firing someone at work.

Tutoring.  Being smart is a royal pain sometimes.  It can also generate income.  So I’m making money for my pain.  I tutor in several classes, all unofficially, and thus receive a few bucks here and there, or beer, or food, or attention.  I’m like a cat: I need you to pet me at all times, except when I decide that I don’t.

Work.  Or rather, the seach for it.  As much as I may loathe risking some of my OSAP money for real, taxable dollars, I haven’t much of a choice.  Hurray!

Girl.  Yes, one of them will talk to me.

So, you can see I have a multitude of things that I am doing.  I’m so tired.


Posted in Life and Times on May 30, 2011 by Sardonic Pariah

I’m not sure if it’s positive or negative, but I’ve found myself with additional workload this term at the school.  It’s negative because it means less free time for me, but it’s positive because it means I continue learning.

I’ve been tapped as a learning resource down at the old college.  I’m not an official tutor; I had considered applying for that last term, for Introduction to International Business, but I never bothered going through with it.  This term I’m apparently covering a number of subjects, some of which I haven’t even taken.

Firstly, I’m doing some stuff with the International class.  Nothing particularly in-depth, but enough that it keeps it fresh in my mind.  I’m also tutoring three people in Financial Math (amortization tables FTW), two people for Microsoft Excel, one person for Entrepreneurship, and even one person in Modern History.  Funny thing: I shouldn’t even be in the Excel class, as I could have easily written a Prior Learning Assessment and gotten out of it.  I hate Entrepreneurship with a passion, as I have no particular desire to work 70-90 hour work weeks for limited income and the opportunity to watch my business tank within the first three years.  And I’ve never taken a college history course in my life; every paper I’ve discussed with the guy has done exceedingly well in the class, so it might be an idea for me to take it as one of my non-business electives.  Pad the numbers.

What’s the benefit of all this?  I get to feel smart.  Winning.


Posted in Life and Times on May 9, 2011 by Sardonic Pariah

Well, I’m back in college for the summer.

Most people who attend college in the summer have a good reason.  Maybe they started in January, so summertime is their normal second term.  Maybe they’re just picking up a class or two and would prefer to do it when the place isn’t crawling with people.

In my case, it’s because I’m a colossal asshole.  I managed to pass only two classes of my second term, probably due to the fact that I slacked so hard it actually took effort.  How counter-productive is that?

So, here I am again, spending another few thousand dollars to retake a bunch of things I could have passed the first time around.  Brilliant.  On the plus side, I should get some tremendous marks, as I just stumbled my way through these classes, and there’s probably going to be a decent number of chicks walking around with short shorts.  I guess find the silver lining wherever you can, right?

Found it. 😉