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July 2003
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September 2003

"Power to the People"

As a liberal I've always been strongly in favor of the first amendmant, and all that it represents. But at the same time I've seen it as a balancing act. I am what many people would consider a conservative democrat, I am more pro-business than a lot of my more liberal friends, but I do have some very liberal beliefs. Gee that's nice, where the hell is this going....

Well I've seen the reports about the librarys being forced to install website blocking software, for fear that little children might stumble accross some porn or something of that nature. I've seen the stories about companies restricting internet and e-mail access of their employees, and I've seen the stories about people war-driving and spreading the word about open wi-fi networks, because they believe that internet access should be free to everyone. I've got opnions on all of these issues, but lets put all of them asside except for one which I have been mostly un-touched by until this weekend.

As you may or may not know/remember I work for a consulting firm and as a result spend my working time on client sites. On my current project I was warned about certian "cultural" aspects of the client (read company), and I understand that as a counsultant I am an outsider, and I must conform to and respect these rules and policies, but what bothers me is a policy for policy's sake. This client seems to have a lot of those type of policies. For instance we as consultants cannot parking in any of the company, or employee lots, I can respect that, especially coming from Chicago where we don't even have company lots, I understand parking is at a premium and I respect the fact that we more or less guests here and should act like it. Well when arrived imagine my surprise when I discoverred two parking garages, as well as several parking lots, including one wich was just being finished. Of course you say, they need to add more parking for their employees, right, wrong. Once the new lot was finished I walked accross it every day for several weeks - empty I might add. One morning I walked through one of the parking garages into the building, it too was suspicously empty of vehicles, odd. But OK parking on the street and walking 4 blocks is no big deal, I can swing it.

I have come to notice what appears to be an over abundance of empty space, the area where I work was a previously 75% empty floor, now I work at a "work station" that consists of a six foot table with two PC's on it, once again I have had to endure worse circumstance in a lab at school, granted I wasn't working between 50 and 90 hours a week there, but whatever. So I arrive and we have about 15 PC's in this area, and there are several tables set up behind our PC areas with LAN cables and outlets for us to setup our laptops, cool. So what is the logical thing to do we setup our laptops at the tables behind us, facing us so we can just spin around and scoot over to them. Well apparently they had to be facing the other way.... Do you see where this is going. None of these issues alone are big thing, but when you keep piling and piling and piling.....

So I had to spend last weekend here on site, rather than get to go back home to chicago, and on friday evening they take down the network for routine maintanence. Anyway when it came back up they had blocked a ton of websites. Now I've always been of the opnion that it's undertandable for a company do to that, they are paying for the bandwith, they aren't paying you to sit around and surf the web, and so on and so on. But I'd never had it happen to me, and I'm special damnit! I mean, if we (the consultants) are expected to meet our dates that means putting at minimum 10-12 hour days, and we are stuck out here in hotels far from home, the least we could have is un-restricted internet access, could they at least put a time filter on it, so after the general business hours when most people have gone home, and only us consultants are left we could visit sites as we please.

ARRRRGHHH!!!! comments?

"Everybody's workin' for the weekend"

OK, so maybe not everybody, but I was. Who needs a weekend anyway, this just adds 19hrs more overtime to my paycheck, so hey it's worth it. In other, happier news, Panera Bread is offering FREE Wi-Fi access at selected locations how awesome is that (now if only Erie was on the list), now if only Starbucks, McDonalts, and Borders would follow suit and kick T-Mobile to the curb, changing their Wi-Fi access to free.

Hmm, maybe I'll cancel my internet at home and just use the Panera down the street, nah I'm too much of a broadband junkie to ever do that (besides I can't download all that porn at Panera j/k!).

Gotta run, back to the grindstone.

in my defense

I never claimed i could spell and Days Inn got it wrong too.

Also in fairness to Chicago O'Hare - the baggage claim in general there isn't horrible, it's just the United terminal, since they have so many flights coming in and out I guess... But over in terminal 2 (US Airways, Northwest) things just aren't nearly as hectic and chaotic....

Return to the mothership

Well I'm headed back to Iowa for Labor day weekend. It will be the first time I've been back since graduation, and starting work. I can't believe that summer is almost over, and so many people will be starting back to school (suckers!). So if you're going to be in Ames for Labor Day weekend let me know, we can have a rockin' good time. I'm looking forward to a trip back to Welch Ave, I haven't been there since that Thursday night when, well nevermind. So I encourage you to make the return pilgramage back to Iowa, it'll be a great time. I'm flying back to Chicago on the night of the 28th, and then driving to Ames on the 29th, so I'll be there sometime on Friday, and ready to go out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights...