Friday, May 27, 2005


Thought 1

I've been thinking about the time I spent with big companies (Pratt & Whitney and Delphi). My experiences there were great but not at all happy.

When the stockholder ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

At the same time, when the stockholder is happy, more than likely the only people happy are the stock holders.

Monday, May 16, 2005


Playing Favorites

Favorite Beers:

Friday, May 13, 2005


More Forms

There seems to be more forms to fill out and worry about every new day. When I went back for my masters at RHIT some department within the school would, every quarter, fill out all of the paper work to put both of my student loans on deferment. This was a luxury I really didn't even know that I had. Now that I am going to a big school I have to fill out these two forms every semester. I have to mail these forms to the registrar every semester. And every semester I will have to worry about the form reaching the registrar's office and if the registrar's office actually filled out the form. The conversation with my lender that goes something like, "no, no, I'm still in school," and then working to get the mess sorted out will have to be time consuming at a time when I will have no time.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


More Randomness

Sunday, May 08, 2005



I just heard Paul Senior say, "That's Hot."

I ran 2 miles today and lifted (back and shoulders).

Another good reason to move to ATL, if you had a boyfriend at GaTech, is -- essentially -- a free membership.

(P.S. Am I the only one that thinks the sole reason of "boyfriend" is apparently a not good enough reason to move to ATL?)

Saturday, May 07, 2005


And in Music News

I saw Velvet Revolver last night. Slash was awesome to watch. That man can play; he even makes funny faces when he's really getting into a song.

Nickel Creek has a new album coming out: Why Should The Fire Die and the release date is August 9th. I think I will have to buy this for Palila's birthday.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Better to be my friend

I found Dan Gransinger's blogger account and Internet page.

This guy is an idiot. Anyone that wants to improve their written score on the GRE or GMAT should provide a written critique of each of his articles. They are full of holes and contradictions that are easy game for an astute writer. Any comprehensive rebuttal should be able to provide between 5 and 10 different arguments against his point with common knowledge of politics and the world (aka. no special knowledge). I will happily provide my feedback to you and I have provided an example argument for most of his Blogger articles.



Why would a person want to move from the HUF region to the ATL region?

Just some thoughts.



Is it wrong to drink beer from a wine glass? The wine glass was dirty, from wine, and now I have beer to drink, and good beer to: Sierra Nevada. It is really one hell of a wine glass from Three Sisters Vineyards that fits a full 12oz. beer easily. I think I'm going to start drinking all of my good beer from a wine glass, my shit beer from a pint glass, water from some form of plastic, and coffee from coffe cups. What is Chilort drinking? Just look at the glass.



I am always amazed how after a long hiatus from running how much work running 1 mile really feels like.

Monday, May 02, 2005


More Box

I don't know what bugs me more about Dan Gransinger's response: the lack of format or the lack of intelligent, well thought out content. Considering I like to argue, it is probably the content more than anything. His reply to the original post has generated even more thought on the subject. When it comes down to it, we are really discussing a cultural issue that will never be solved by lying pharmacists.

First off, I have been trying to think of ways he could argue his point to me in a manner that would have impressed me. One angle would have been, no pharmacy will fire a pharmacists for refusing to fill a prescription on moral grounds simply because there is such a strong demand for pharmacists right now. This is a true statement. Pharmacists are in very high demand right now. The problem, however, is the large disproportionate wages will not last forever. Colleges throughout the world are gearing up to graduate more pharmacists. Pretty soon India and China will be pumping out pharmacists who can memorize the phone book by the tens of thousands: just like they have done with engineers. For a primer on how disproportionate wages balance across borders over time I would recommend "The Future of Capitalism: How Today's Economic Forces Shape Tomorrow's World" by Lester Thurow (new and used from $1.30).

The other argument could be on a purely moral ground. In this type of setting the argument would be based, not upon religion, but on respect for life. This argument only carries so much weight. Like so many people that signed up for the military just to get the college money only to find themselves on a military transport headed for Afghanistan, too bad. You knew what the stakes were when you signed up. As a student, a pharmacist learns about all kinds of things, including birth control and morning after pills, and has the opportunity over a 5 year education to switch to any number of other professions. "If you can't take the heat, get your ass out the kitchen" - Coolio. Many Americans do their job, in total, day after day no matter how much they like or dislike it. Because that is their station in life, what they must do to pay the bills, and they are reprimanded when they do not follow company policy. I see the American public having little sympathy for the ousting of any rogue pharmacist.

My original thought, to reprimand or fire the offending pharmacist, does provide for a somewhat difficult situation called escalation. We must first assume that pharmacists have a considerable amount of power, would congeal around this subject, and have sufficient public support. These assumptions being true, then some pharmacists, believing birth control and morning after pills are the devils drugs, with some business acumen, and some contacts in the pharmaceutical industry, could start their own chain of moral pharmacies. Given enough backing from the portion of the population supporting their effort to provide an alternative to baby killing pharmacies, this might actually work as a business model, for a while.

Eventually someone in Self-Righteous Pharmacy Stores, Inc. would realize the are selling other drugs made by the same manufacturers making the birth control and morning after pills (no pharmaceutical company in existence today lives off of just one drug and, if they are, likely have several other drugs in the pipeline to eliminate this dependance). If Self-Righteous Pharmacy Stores, Inc. is selling the other drugs then they are supporting the companies killing babies and potentially supporting the development of new baby killing drugs! To stop this support, Self-Righteous Pharmacy Stores, Inc. pulls all the drugs from these manufacturers off the shelves. By the time all is said and done the pharmacy sells no prescription drugs and gets bought by The Family Dollar.

The scenario painted above is escalation. An example of escalation was the cold war. Peter Senge provides great examples of all types of causal loop diagrams, including escalation, in "The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization" (new and used from $5.39). For a more mundane example than the cold war I turn to CSI. In an episode, neighbor 1 is stealing cable from neighbor 2. Neighbor 2 cuts the cable. Neighbor 1 retaliates by cutting part of neighbor 2's tree down. Neighbor 2 then kills neighbor 1's dog. By the time the story is finished at one person is dead. That is escalation.

The real problem has more to do with people having sex than anything else. People have, amazing as this may be, always had sex. Adam and Eve had sex and I don't even remember reading about their wedding ceremony (gasp!). The problem at hand is cultural. A culture that promotes sex and has the capability to wipe away the consequences of those actions. The tension between these two factors has never been in balance. Promoting lying, my point even now, is not the solution.

Culture change takes a very, very long time (I have more references here than I wish to provide). It is also easier to pull a culture down (lie dear pharmacist) than it is to pull a culture up (provide counseling or work in big brother/sister program in your spare time). It is easier to pick a quick fix than work in the long term, gathering momentum, to change the long-term direction of a society. I am sorry Mr. Gransinger that you, apparently, cannot think that far out and attack those that can.


My Soap Box, Part II

---- Blogger would not accept much of my HTML in comment format. I feel I must respond to the comment left about my original post. All italics below have been added to make the quotes stand out from my rebuttal. Any item in brackets has been added, removed, or changed to correct the original text of any typographical errors.----

This is great. I have a readership of about three people and I actually managed to be flamed for my comments. Of course, the author of the original article simply searched Google for his name; probably just so he could fire back a response to any critics (thanks Sitemeter). By the way, if I wanted stream of conscience I'd read Faulkner. I now see why your opinion articles are so short (this is my last low blow).

  1. "We have something called the first amendment in this country that protects free [speech]." Yes we do. I used my right to express my opinion of your statements. What's your point?

  2. "Some people feel that lying to save the life of baby would be worth it." & "What is morally wrong, to some people, is killing a baby." Morally, this may be a true statement, but that depends on where you base your moral values. Religion maybe? Made in a religious context this argument does not hold water; in fact, it leaks badly. Contact your nearest religious expert and I believe you will find that all sins are considered equal in the eyes of God. Against the democratic principals of most western cultures (a graduated system for progressively more severe crimes), all sin has equal value. Lying (choice of the pharmacist) and killing a baby (choice of the mother) are equally bad. In other words, by lying, the pharmacist has not done anything to correct a reprehensible situation -- sin -- to God.

  3. "I know you depressed liberals embrace death." Somehow my positive comments on corporal punishment and statements against abortion masked my overwhelming liberal behavior (we call this sarcasm). I would generally place my views as right-of-center (I am much more a traditional conservative than the current tax-and-spend administration). Unbelievably, there are several types of conservatives in the world. As a reference try "The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America" (used and new from $5.83).

  4. "but you should force your way of life on other people who do not share your beliefs" Isn't this what loose cannon pharmacists are doing by not filling the prescriptions that come across their counters?

  5. "So I guess a bartender saying to a drunk in a bar asking for a shot of Vodka [saying], 'I am sorry but we are all out of Vodka is morally wrong to you.'" No bartender in their right mind would say "I'm sorry but we are all out of Vodka." There are hundreds of other types of liquor and most drunks don't really care all that much. While bars likely have policies against serving overly drunk patrons they are much less likely to lie about their policies and more likely to say, "I'm sorry but you are cut off." Telling a patron they are cut off is not morally wrong. Lying about it (see above) is a sin.

  6. "I am sure you have given your opinion about your workplace before on your own time away from work. Should you have been fired to for that?" I give my opinion about my workplace at work and away from work. I generally do not discriminate between the two. In the instances where I have disagreed with the practices of the companies I have worked for I have written letters, spoke with management, and, more than once, I quit in objection. That's a slightly larger statement by a slightly larger person: one that doesn't lie.

  7. "Your analogy of pulling a cable wire through the ceiling is a little different than leaving your job knowing you ended a life when the whole reason you went into the medical field is to help life and not to destroy it." My analogy was different and not nearly as grave. This is true. As a pharmacist in today's world, however, you must know about birth control and morning after pills. Pharmacists get paid to do a job. Quit if these things are so objectionable. I am sure there are many recent graduates ready to fill that position and take on the high 5 -- low 6 figure-a-year salary. Once a pharmacist has quit they will have the time to go back to school to aid in research that helps save lives or can work as a social counselor aiding young women struggling with difficult life decisions.

  8. "Please post where you work so I can inform your boss." I work at Integrated Control Solutions. My boss, an owner of the company, and I have actually discussed this topic. Please feel free to call him so he can disagree with you also.

  9. "Perhaps if you knew the feeling you would understand instead of promoting violence against someone." By informing my boss aren't you being somewhat aggressive -- violent even? He will, more than likely, just hang up. He might even laugh at you first though.

I know I have used logic and fact as the basis of my arguments. These types of things probably do not sit well with a reactionary opinion writer. My point, still, in a world of every decreasing moral fortitude, please do not exacerbate the problem by recommending one sin to correct another. Recommending lying to solve a problem, no matter how big or how small, sets a bad example for everyone. Pharmacists are, generally, well educated people that do care about life: pillars of a community. It would be a tragedy to see this profession, proud of its ethical standards, tainted and debased by infighting and politics.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


First Timer

I slept outside last night. I did have a good reason; a better one than getting drunk and passing out in the front yard. I did my first overnight trip on the Appalachian Trail.

Saturday was very rainy but, I'd been listening to the weather on scanner, I figured things would eventually clear up enough for a hike. Things have just been getting to me recently, nothing big really, just things that add up and try my patience and I need some sort of get away. So even thought it was spitting and there were threats of more rain, I took off around 1:00pm for a 9.4 mile hike from Unicoi Gap to the Low Gap shelter. The first 1.4 miles is a 1000' ascent of Blue Mountain followed by, what basically amounts to, a 8.0 mile 1000' descent to the Low Gap shelter.

It never did stop raining Saturday. Most of the time it was the kind of rain that you can stay dry in though. The rain is so small and your body is so warm from the hike that the water just evaporates. Well, you stay dry except for your shoes. Even with the rain it was still a good hike. It was misty out and you could hardly see more than 50-yards, or so, in front of you. I'd never been hiking in that kind of weather so it was very interesting. I'm pretty sure I saw a coyote too. I just barely saw it as it ran around a corner, spun around, and quickly headed back the way it came. Angus was all bristled up making it very interesting as I continued to walk around the corner. But as quick as I saw him he was gone and I saw nothing else of him than the skid mark in the mud.

One thing that surprises me about the Appalachian Trail is the number of people on it all the time. Even though it was rainy and supposed to be cool, I passed probably a dozen people on my hike to Low Gap shelter. If you want to be alone for a while the A.T. is not really the place. When I got to Low Gap around 6:30pm I was shocked to see several tents and a full shelter. I had not brought a tent, since I don't have one, and wasn't quite sure what to do. The people at the shelter were very welcoming and several of the people hanging out in the shelter were actually the owners of the tents. As it would turn out, most of the people were from Chicago and we ended up getting along fine and having a good evening. They kept trying to give me their food even though I brought a ton.

I was kind of looking forward to a solo event but things turned out nicely. The people at the shelter had already scavenged for firewood and started a big fire that lasted past midnight. I brought my propane lantern thinking I would not start a fire of my own. It turned out to be of little use and much extra weight. My new water filter pump worked out well -- I used it to fill up my two 1L bottles a couple of times -- and kept me in good water throughout the trip. My sleeping bag is only rated down to 40F. I was worried I would end up very cold by morning since it was supposed to get down to 43F. My Coleman sleeping bag did a great job. Now that I have a sleeping bag tall enough for me I can hunker down in it to stay warm. I was also sure to bring my sock hat, which turned out to be a very wise decision.

Morning came way to early. I did not sleep well. Angus kept growling at various noises and the dying fits of the fire. One of the guys in the shelter kept having coughing fits of his own. I guess I probably slept okay from about 1:00am until about 5:00am but by 6:00 or 7:00am several people from the Chicago group were up, about, and making noise. I did finally take some of their food, rather liquid, when they offered me coffee. I packed up, leaving my old pair of socks hanging from the shelter rafters by accident, and headed out around 8:30am or so. The hike back was chilly to start and I was sore. My sock hat turned out to be useful once again since it was also kind of windy. It was, however, much more clear and sunny; I finally got to see all of the views on my way out that I had missed on my way in. Things were rather uneventful on the way back. I chose an easy section so it was just an 8.0 mile slow climb followed by a 1.4 mile down hill back to the car. By mid-day it was warm enough to take off my flannel shirt and I was back in the car headed for home by 1:30pm. I spent just over 24 hours in the woods and it was a great experience.

I am looking forward to doing some more hiking very soon. Now that I have a sleeping bag, a pack (that needs some slight work), and the ability to make clean water, I am really only limited by the amount of food I can carry. Even though there are several people out on the trail, seemingly at all times, it is nice to get away from humanity for a while. Sometimes on the trail, you can't hear anything but the noise you are making. As I was headed back down the hill for my car I could hear the cars and motorcycles coming through the gap bringing me back to the world of work and responsibility before I think I was ready.

I'm tired, I'm sore, and I will continue to be sore for the next few days. These trips are well worth it, cheap once you have some of the materials, and a great get away.

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