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Thursday, July 24, 2014

WOLFIE

A recent television show featured several people who keep wild animals such as tigers and pythons as pets. The naivete of the people who never believe that their animals will escape and harm anyone is astounding! (CLICK HERE to see article "Why A Wolf Will Never Be Man's Best Friend")

I have known two people who kept wild animals. One was named Wolfgang, but all the guys at work called him "Wolfie". He had come to this country from Germany after World war II and was a Tool and Die Maker. I had noticed quite a number of scars on his hands, arms, and neck, but I certainly was not going to ask about them. One day Wolfgang asked, "Would you like to see pictures of my babies?" I looked at the pictures, gasped, and asked, "Are those wolves?"

He answered, "Yes, aren't they beautiful?" I said, "Yes, they certainly are but are you allowed to keep them?" He seemed surprised that I would suggest that and replied, "Oh, they won't hurt anyone." I asked, "Did you get those scars from the wolves?" He answered, in a blasé tone, "Oh, no, those came from the lions." I fairly screaked, "LIONS? You have lions too?"

I recall reading Wolfgang's widow's obituary: "preceded in death by her husband of 44 years Wolfgang, and by their beloved lion Victor." (see here)

I often wondered if the love of wolves started because of his given name.

The other man, Alex, also a German, was the Engineer for the Robotic Welders at work, and he also kept wolves as pets. Although I don't believe in stereotypes, I wondered to myself, "Can there be a connection between these guys both being German, being mechanically inclined, and both loving wolves?"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GODWIN'S LAW

Godwin's Law Of Nazi Analogies, an internet law which is now more than twenty years old, is described like this: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. The first to 'play the Nazi card' loses any argument and all respect."

CLICK HERE to see the article from The Huffington Post which details the prevalent use of the analogies. Any time I hear a commentator--whether conservative or liberal--use a Nazi analogy, I immediately spurn them.

I understand that I was attacked on a local hate sheet by being referred to as a "GRAMMARNAZI". I don't--and won't--read the scurrilous screed, but a "reliable source" informed me about it. I ignore those reprehensible hate-mongers, but this one was just too ludicrous to disregard. It's almost as reprehensible as the vile invective spewed by that radio personality who uses the term FEMINAZI!

If "the Gang Of 5" knew anything about me, they would know that I am the exact opposite of a Nazi as I am an admitted left-winger. Oh, silly me, that would mean that they actually knew the difference between a right-winger and a left-winger.

The Nazis would have been rounding me up along with the Jews, Gypsies, atheists, intellectuals, and homosexuals.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I'M GOING TO PANERA BREAD

After learning about the policies of Cracker Barrel, I have boycotted the restaurants for years. A relative with differing political views than mine gave me a gift card to use at Cracker Barrel. I faced a moral dilemma: what to do with the card. Les said, "She's probably expecting you to give it back, so why not re-gift it ala Seinfeld?" The difference between her and me: I wouldn't waste my money to "get someone's goat" and I wouldn't consider imposing my political beliefs via gifts. Les said, "Make a contribution to the ACLU in her name."

Instead I went to the gift shop at Cracker Barrel and got what I know is a very-collectible item and I donated that item to a fundraiser for my local women's shelter.

I sent a thank you card and to let her know what I'd done with the "gift"; she called and laughed and said, "We were betting you would return it." I said, "They don't allow cashing it in for money." She said, "No, I meant you'd return it as a gift to ME." Les was right! I'm very glad I donated the item to the fundraiser rather than re-gifting.

CLICK HERE to see an article about Cracker Barrel firing a 73-year-old veteran who gave cornbread and some condiments to a homeless man.

Also in the article, read about Panera Bread's policy of having customers pay an amount of what the customer thinks Panera's products are worth.

I'm going to Panera Bread!

Monday, July 21, 2014

THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE TOMATO

While working at Rockwell in Columbus in the 1980s, I noticed that there were a large number of Mexican restaurants in the area. There were numerous Hispanic workers in my departments and I learned that there was a sizable population of Hispanics in the area. George, one of my Team Leaders, was Hispanic and he and I talked a great deal. I learned that his family had lived in the area since the 1950s because his grandparents were braceros who had settled there. I attended the quinceanera when George's daughter celebrated her fifteenth birthday. As it happened, none of George's team members were Hispanic but any time I needed a translator in other areas I would call for George to help.

It was my habit to leave flyers, discounts, menus, coupons, and other items of interest on the break tables of the employees. During garden season I would leave extra produce from our garden.

My mother loved Mexican food and I told her that we were going to try out all the Mexican restaurants during February and although we usually had a "birthday week" with her choosing her favorite meals for a week, I thought a whole week of Mexican food would be a little much. She asked, "Why? Don't Mexicans eat the same food all week?" That's a valid point.

Because of patronizing Mexican restaurants for Mother's birthday week, I had a bunch of stuff from the restaurants to distribute. One day as I was leaving the items from the Mexican restaurants on the table, George was there at the table with his crew.

One of George's team members commented that I must really like Mexican food. I told them about my mother and I said, "I can't believe all of the Mexican restaurants in this area." George chuckled and said, "Well, after all, Sue, Reynoldsburg IS the birthplace of the tomato." I laughed but nobody else did. One of the team members asked, "I didn't get it; what was funny about that?"

George said, "If I have to explain it, then it wasn't THAT funny." However, George did explain the connection of tomato-picking braceros, and the prevalence of Mexican restaurants in the area.

Over the years I have attended the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival several times and I have been pleased to see the number of Hispanic girls as royalty which was not the case in the 1980s.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

DYSTOPIA--THE WORD DU JOUR

In the 1960s, "charismatic" was a fashionable word used to describe JFK; until then I had never known the word. In subsequent years, I have heard numerous words become trendy and then fade away; e.g.: "paradigm", "wonk" and "dudgeon".

I recall when my nephew told me that he could tell when a modish word was passé: when he'd see it on a bumper sticker. When I saw the bumper sticker SUBVERT THE DOMINANT PARADIGM, I laughed, recalling my nephew's rule.

I have several friends who report to me each time they hear the word "schadenfreude" used (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article SCHADENFREUDE BUG). The "bug" happens whenever we hear a new--or unused--word used and then we cannot believe the number of times we hear it used afterwards; we have a compulsion to keep track of and report about the usage.

I said to Les, "I swear I've heard the word dystopia used three times this week." He said that every time he hears a promo for any science fiction work, a grave voice intones, "In a future dystopian world...."

Definition of dystopia: "an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one." It is the opposite of Utopia.

DYSTOPIA, your time has come and gone; it's now on a bumper sticker! I was very happy to see Orwell's picture on the sticker.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

NEW WORDS FOR THE WORK PLACE VOCABULARY

My friend Patty forwarded this to me from her friend John.

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BLAMESTORMING

Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

SEAGULL MANAGER

A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

ASSMOSIS

The process by which people seem to absorb success and advancement by sucking up to the boss rather than working hard.

SALMON DAY

The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.

CUBE FARM

An office filled with cubicles.

PRAIRIE DOGGING

When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on. (This also applies to applause from a promotion because there may be cake.)

MOUSE POTATO

The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

SITCOMs

Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids or start a "home business".

STRESS PUPPY

A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

XEROX SUBSIDY

Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE

The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

ADMINISPHERE

The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the "adminisphere" are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve. This is often affiliated with the dreaded "administrivia" - needless paperwork and processes.

404

Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located.

OHNOSECO

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake (e.g. you've hit "reply all" in error).

CROP DUSTING

Surreptitiously farting while passing through a cube farm, then enjoying the sounds of dismay and disgust.