Whoever is happy will make others happy too
I got one that really miffed me to get. I don't think anyone, especially a government, has much right to see what's inside me, or what led me to be where I am.
For one thing, they don't care about people. They care about votes and retirement plans, their own. No government has ever been able to care about people. Government cares about itself and only responds to people when it has no choice. It reacts only when its own life is at stake. That's governments nature like all living things its seeks only its own survival.
Like my agent always said; "Don't trust anyone until you can see what's in it for them.
So I had to get this document. Had to FAX them a notarized statement attesting to who I was and asserting my right to a copy of this document.
Fair enough. I wouldn't want any bored jerk having access to this stuff. There'd be no point to it other than some sort of scam or nasty nosiness.
I got the doc and when I looked at it it was the wrong one . . . It was painful to look at. More so when I slowly realized it was the wrong one. It made me feel bad seeing someone else's pain and loss laid out like that. It made me want to give up.
I got reasonable. I called the government and asked them what was going on. They only paid attention because they had sent me stuff I had no right to. My issues, of course, meant nothing to them. The only issue was that they violated their own self generated laws.
I didn't expect anything more.
I got to speak to a supervisor. I got threatened because to get this doc I clearly had to say I wasn't who I said I was. When they got the notarized statement they semi admitted they'd made a mistake, only semi admitted.
The super told me something I found deeply interesting. They'd only gone on computers since 2002. They'd had the prisoners, convicts, people in jail do the actual entry.
I thought about Chino and Tehachipi prisons. These aren't the white collar prisons, or even the high profile crime prisons. These are the fundamental jails. I thought it sort of made sense to have a gang banger type learning data entry. Its an honourable, if deadly boring, job. I asked how much they were paid, like minimum wage, ten bucks an hour or like 15 cents an hour. She wouldn't tell me. Probably didn't know. Government employees always find its better to make you feel like you're treading on thin ice instead of admitting ignorance.
In any event they can't find the doc. They'll have to do a physical search. RAH!
There'll be millions and millions of scraps of paper, all stored in a warehouse. I worked in one of those document warehouse for a week. Thirty foot ceilings with those wobbly steel racks stretching from the floor to the ceiling. I used to think they had little robot arms that would descend from the ceiling. An operator would sit in the booth and type in a name then the robot arms would ratchet on over and pull out the right box and place it on some slate gray table while a guy in slate gray overalls (old records are dusty things) would, without pomp, riffle through and pull out the right document then complete the required 26 forms to show he had removed it, when, for whom and where it would be presently located.
Actually its some poor guy, not making enough money, pushing one of those library like ladders down the aisle, the amble up, worry about falling then dump the thing on a table. It sits there until they feel like going through it. If they don't find it right away it gets pushed to the back of the table to be looked at when the boss is looking at you and you need to look busy.
I despair ever seeing the document, but who knows.
They're searching today. I have to call them this afternoon.
You know if you're Irish or Italian or from almost any place that is not America, and you are over seas and you are unlucky enough to get robbed the Embassies for that government will get you a meal, find you some accommodations and try and help you get home with the least amount of stress.
The American embassies were always the worst in the world but during the Bush years they got even worse.
I was scuttling through Trafalgar Square one morning when I was approached by a guy I hardly knew, but I did no him. He was well dressed but looked rough as hell.
He was n London on his honeymoon. He'd been staying in a hotel in Earls Court! Not the smartest place to stay. He'd gotten robbed in his hotel, cleaned out. He was relieved only that he nor wis wife were hurt. The hotel chucked him out when he couldn't pay. (They were only there for a few days before heading on to see the Continent).
He went to the Embassy and the clerks, who are never American, asked him, "What do you expect us to do?"
After fighting for a couple hours to speak to an American he got pretty much the same response, at least this time it was said to him with a Texas accent, which I guess made him feel better.
The extent of the Embassies help to this poor slob was that he could use the Embassy's address so the credit card companies could send him new cards. They didn't give him a meal. They gave him a list of homeless shelters . . . They wouldn't even let him use the Embassy phone to call them.
Hell of a honeymoon. He was lucky, I had enough to spot him a hundred pounds or so, to at least get cleaned up and feed him and his wife.
I never did get the money back, but he did call me when he finally got to go back home, which i something.
The thing is that until Obama changes the face of the people who are the contact we have the government things are only going to get worse. At the top the people we've elected keep getting proved to be corrupt and self serving jerks. That's the only part of trickle down that Bush allowed, even the small clerks are lazy, venal and totally unconcerned about the people paying their salaries. Why should they care? They won't lose their jobs by being rude or by doing nothing.
Doing something is the only thing that puts them at risk.
We are getting my friend a new computer. Getting it on the never never. The cheapest MacBook. I was surprised to realize that it is about three hundred bucks cheaper than my 8 year old Powerbook!
The powerbook is still functioning, but it's 512 meg of ram and 846 mhz CPU are . . . not quite up to it. I might make it into a media server or an eBook, except the battery holds no charge anymore.
This was prompted by Apple's upgrades yesterday and by the fact that I did their recommended software updates yesterday and got the dreaded linked files in the B-Catalog. For Windows people that like a corrupt FAT directory.
Apple drives seem to fail faster than WIndows drives, but that might just be me and the fact that its easier to abuse a Mac drive than a Windows drive.
I wasted some time and managed to get everything back up and running without any noticeable data loss. My friend uses the Powerbook for mainly personal stuff. It doesn't make the data any less valuable. The new MacBook can run Windows (yuk) via BootCamp so it will have some appreciable value in work and maybe getting some clients who can only conceive of working in Windows . . . Since Mac can read Windows files and can also save in a Windows environment I figure Windows won't be all that much in evidence. It is still an ugly OS and I remain startled by people who still find it synonymous with computers.
I just hope it lasts as long as my relic PowerBook, a relic from when Apple cared about its products.
For me, its daily back-ups and waiting for the internal drive to fail . . . again.
I did manage to finish "The Delightful Forest" last night and stay awake! It was pretty excellent. It ended in one of those "Hero vs the army" style combats. Very cool stuff. Lung Ti is always inspiring.
The final resolution was fascinating. Lung Ti ends up becoming a blood thirsty Toasist holy man! This seems to be intended as a happy ending!
I got new clothes. Returned most of them. I like them all but I'm terrified about money.