Dear “my” Federal Government:

Author: admin  |  Category: Observations, Politics  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

I don’t even know who to address to.  President Obama?  My senators and congressmen?  The secretary of the treasury (Timothy Franz Geithner), Uncle Sam?

Since I don’t know, I am putting my request in the best place I can think of – the internet.

We see on the news every day how large corporations are crying poor and how they’re laying off tens of thousands of workers every day.  We see them begging for help from the government and the government is hading out BILLIONS of dollars to these people.  We also see how the executives for most of these companies take these billions and selfishly stash it away in their banks, they sill go ahead with the layoffs, cutbacks, and outsourcing thus making our economy worse.

I am putting in my official request -

I am requesting $5 million US dollars ($5,000,000) to help me and my family with a stimulous package of our own.  First of all, this is less than 1/10 of a percent of the smallest “bailouts’ that our government has given so it sould be looked at as not even a small drop in the bucket.  What’s 5 million when you’re throwing around billions and trillions?

Why should I get it?  We would do our best to pump this money back into the economy, directly. We would:

  • Pay off our debts (home loans, car loans, student loans, etc…)thus making more money available for bank loans, thus directly helping with the credit crunch.
  • We would invest the money so my wife and I can peruse our own careers and starting our own businesses.  Not only would I be able to quit my full time job, I would be opening up a position that someone who is collecting unemployment would be able to get.  It would create one more job in the economy.
  • With our increase revenue, we could continue our schooling and hire people to help us with our ventures, thus improving our educating, our productivity, and creating new jobs.
  • We would be able to afford to “upgrade” our services (faster internet, cable TV, even long distance on our phone) to send more money to these troubled companies allowing them to possibly hold onto more workers.
  • We would be able to upgrade our existing equipment (computers for work, fuel efficient cars since my wife would be traveling a lot visiting clients), maybe even be able to afford some office space for our ventures, thus improving on the commercial real estate market and helping out the retail and manufacturing sector (we would try to make sure anything we purchased was made in the USA).

As you can see, just from this short list, I would do far more to help the economy than what these large corporation are doing with over 1,000 times the amount I am requesting.

So, now the ball is in “my” government’s court.

Will you take me seriously?  if you do, I’m sure you can find out who I am and call me on my cell phone.  Don’t worry if I don’t answer – we have creditors calling us and I don’t answer the phone unless I know who it is.  Please leave a message with legitimate contact information.

Please do not ask me to travel anywhere, unless you pay for the tickets (you can take it out of my $5 million when I get it).  As things are extremely tight with my family, we cannot afford any travel at this time since my wife hasn’t had a job since June of 2008 and my company is laying off people in the thousands.  As you can see, I’ve even fouled this site with AdSense to attempt to hope to pay for some bills (and other living expenses).

If you don’t care about me, ignore this please.  This will be a sign to over 300,000,000 American citizens who are sufering in this economy while theelite few squander every penny they can so they can afford caviar for breakfast before flying in their private jets to some foreign vacation spot.

How much is one TRILLION dollars?

Author: admin  |  Category: Politics  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

A little while ago I wrote about how much $700 billion is and concentrated on the interest from that (assuming a 1% savings account). Most of the numbers were scary to think about it. But now, the new number is “one trillion dollars”. As CNN wrote earlier this morning, “A trillion is the new billion”.

Well, now I’m going to base it on how much a trillion actually is. No interest, just the number since many people tend to think that there isn’t much of a difference between a million, a billion, and a trillion.

This is a trillion:
1,000,000,000,000

A one followed by 12 zeroes. That is 1,000 billions or one million millions. Most lower end calculators don’t even go this high (many in total don’t either).

If you spent a million dollars a day and to have spent a trillion dollars by now, you would have needed to start roughly 2800 years ago – about 800 BC. This predates the Roman Empire by about 500 years.

A million dollars an hour you would have needed to start 33 years ago (1976 – probably longer than many people reading this article).

If you spent a dollar a second you would have needed to start roughly 31,709 years ago (about the time that the oldest known cave paintings are known to exist).

Assuming 300 million people live in the USA – each person would get a check for $3,333 (roughly). Assuming 25% are under 18 (according o a 2008 census – 20.1% are under 15 (source)and you only gave it to people over 18 then it would turn out to be about $4,444 per person over 18.

With a trillion dollars you could purchase (April, 2008 values):
The New York Yankees for $1,306M (M= Million)
The New York Mets for $824M
The Boston Red Sox for $816M
The L.A. Dodgers for $694M
The Chicago Cubs for $642M
The Anaheim Angels for $500M
The Atlanta Braves for $497M
The S.F. Giants for $494M
The St Louis Cardinals for $484M
The Philadelphia Phillies for $481M
For those of you who aren’t keeping track – that is the “10 most valuable baseball teams” for a whopping $6.738 billion dollars or less than 0.7% of a trillion dollars. I’m sure with a trillion I could buy all of MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, and many other acronymed sports industries.

In 2008:
Walmart posted $378 billion in revenue ($12 billion in profit)
Exxon Mobile posted $372 billion in revenue ($40 billion in profit)
Royal Dutch Shell posted $355 billion in revenue ($31 billion in profit)

Those three add up to $1.105 trillion in revenue (and these are the highest revenue companies in the world according to their 2008 figures).

According to the 2008 CIA FactBook – only 15 nations in the world have a GDP (Gross domestic product) of over $1 trillion (The European Union, The USA, Japan, China (PRC), Germany, France, The UK, Italy, Russia, Spain, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, and Australia).

You could buy South Korea and still have enough to purchase several major league sports teams. You could purchase Indonesia twice and still have about $10 billion left over. You could purchase Iran ($382B), Venezuela ($331B), and Nigeria ($220B) and have a hold on a large percentage of the world’s oil reserves. You’d still have $67B left over to buy yourself a nice little Caribbean getaway – like Cuba and a second getaway – Madagascar. After that, you’d have just enough to purchase a nice little south Pacific getaway – Fiji.

So, as you can imagine, one trillion dollars is not only a large number, it is an extremely scary number. And for your viewing pleasure, I give you a series (totaling about 45 minutes) called “Money As Debt”.

Part One:

Part two:

Part three:

Part four:

Part five:

So you think your IT person has an attitude? It could be because of you!

Author: admin  |  Category: Observations, Rant  |  Comments (2)  |  Add Comment

Ever wonder why our IT guy might have an attitude?  Most people think that it’s because we know computers well enough to have an elitist attitude with it, that “we’re better than you”.  Well, for the most part this is not true.  I’ll admit – there are some bad eggs out there (and I’ve worked with some) but most of the time it is because of the users we support, sadly.  It’s not just one person (but there usually is one or two people who do deserve it).  It’s the whole collective we call “users” and some times, even to go as far as calling some (L)users (or L-users, a.k.a. I.D. 10-T).

First of all, the redundancy.  No, I don’t expect my average user to know how to reinstall Windows, configure their wireless network, put their computer on the domain, or manage DNS but when something is as simple as going to an intranet (internal network) site, entering some information (supplied to you) and clicking INSTALL, it gets tedious after having to either walk though or do for several dozen clients.  At my work, we had a new print queue installed though a new server so none of the mapping though the old server would work.  Sounds like a big problem, right?  No.

We sent out instructions, go to this site (type SITE into your browser), enter in the building ID (supplied) and then select the floor you’re on (you push the button on the elevator several times a day).  Find the printer(s) you use, they’re named after the room number that they’re in but attached was a PDF of the floors with the names in each location.  Then, click INSTALL next to that printer and when the window appears, click RUN.

Simple, right?  Nope.  I had to do over 40 of these the first week.  I guess those instructions were to complicated for most people.  

Next – many issues are caused by the users.  I’m not talking routine maintenance (update drivers, defrags, cache scrubbing etc..).  I get tired of having to sit and figure out how to remove a spyware you installed which is preventing your computer from working.  Sure, go ahead, install the Google toolbar, the Yahoo toolbar, AOLIM, Yahoo messenger, Opera, Firefox, and tons of unapproved software then complain to me because “your piece of shit computer is too slow”.  Well, don’t install anything that you shouldn’t install.

On that subject – if I tell you a new piece of software is coming out, that is NOT permission to go ahead and install it.  So what if Google has their own browser now, it makers changes to your internet settings and will prevent some of our web applications from working (and then read back one paragraph).  If it’s on our intranet’s software installation page, then you’re allowed to have it.

Appointments.  I don’t know why IT is the exception.  If you have an appointment with your boss at 9AM, you’re there at 9AM.  If you have an appointment with one of your subordinates at 9AM, they better be there at 9AM.  Your time is important but why do people think mine isn’t?  A 9AM appointment is for 9AM not when you feel like meandering into my office sometime between noon and 3PM.  Also – don’t get pissy at me because I’m working on someone else’s computer and you now have to wait – my time is important, too.

I get lunches, too.  Don’t be 2.5 hours late to your 9AM appointment expecting everything to be done while you’re on your lunch.  I get one too.  If I’m heading out the door with my hat on, jacket on, and keys in my hand, it’s because I am going out.  This is NOT the time to decide to approach me with a dozen questions (this also includes when my hand is on the bathroom door and I am trying to open it).

Also, don’t tell me “I’ll be there in 5 minutes” and take over 2 hours to get to me.  Again, my time is important.  I don’t like sitting on my ass waiting for you while I need to be elsewhere with someone else.

Vacations – don’t submit a ticket 10 minutes before you leave for vacation and expect me to pull the perfect fix out of my ass before you go.  You’re going on vacation – that means you can leave it since you won’t need it (it’s supposed to be for work, that’s why work paid for it).

And while we’re on the subject of vacations – I get them too.  Don’t get mad because I don’t answer your 10 emails (including the out of office reply stating that I’m on vacation), 15 voicemails (where my message says I’m on vacation) and countless text messages.  Also – complaining to my boss won’t help you.  He knows I’m on vacation.  The world will not fall apart while I am gone.

“Freebies”.  We’re an IT department – we fix things.  We’re not a kiss-you-ass / free-upgrades department.  If you want an upgrade – contact your boss and have your boss go though the proper channels.  Don’t have them tell me to give you a freebie, I don’t answer to them (and yes, I’ve said no to vice presidents before – quite harshly).  Our equipment is though warranties.  When your car breaks, you don’t expect them to give you the latest and greatest at no cost, do you?  Then why do you expect it from me?  The same goes for software.  No, I won’t install Dreamweaver.  You’re a sales rep, not a web developer; learn how to use Office first.

We are not trainers nor are we grand masters of all knowledge.  Sure, I may give someone a quick hand on how to do something simple, but don’t expect it all the time, don’t expect redundant trainings (no, I won’t show you how to turn on the out of office reply for the 20th time) and don’t expect me to teach you how to make a word document pull specific pieces of information from Excel and integrate it into a PowerPoint presentation.  There are two things:  one is called the Internet, learn how to use it, and the other are called books – learn how to read (it gets tricky when you want to buy books from the internet, though).

It can take time to get parts in.  No, I don’t (my department doesn’t have the budget) to stock every piece of every piece of equipment we’ve had in our office.  Sometimes I have to order parts and sometimes it takes a while (3-5+ days) for them to come in.  My ass isn’t a magical bag of holding where I can pull anything I need out of it.

Don’t expect me to fix things I don’t support.  Don’t bring in your home computer and drop it off at my office expecting me to fix it – legally I can’t.  Don’t expect me to fix something I don’t support a few examples include (but are not limited to): plumbing, elevators, doors, electrical wiring, cars, chairs, and windows.

The old “woe is me” story.  No, I don’t have time to spend to listen to your life’s problems – how all computers hate you, and how nothing works right for you.  Get to the point.  Again, my time is also important.  Also – don’t speak cryptically and don’t leave out important details.  Don’t expect me to be able to know what is exactly wrong if you only tell me “I got an error message”.

Second guessers – I don’t care if you’re neighbor’s kid’s school friend’s nephew plugged in his parent’s computer.  That does not me he knows more about it than I do nor does he know our systems.  But – if you really want to, go ahead (and good luck without admin rights).  I’ll see you tomorrow grinning with a Windows disc in my hand to reformat your drive. Also, for the most part, you are not more knowledgeable with computers than I am, if you truly were, then you wouldn’t have the problem in the first place.

So as you can see, your average IT person deals with a lot on a daily basis.  Next time you think they are giving you an attitude, think for a minute of this post.