30 September 2008
Went up to see Snow today. The solar array we're going to put up on the main shop has gone through a minor design change, but it'll still work. The slope to the racking isn't the best for our latitude, honestly, but the power generated is still well within what's expected, and it also allows for additional air flow underneath the panels.
As for the solar array on the Strip, we're still waiting for Unirac to deliver the racking feet. It's frustrating! Even with all these delays, our timeline remains the same, so that Snow and I will have to get 45+ panels up per day. It can be done but...it won't be easy. He told me he's going to really ride me and I'll have to work under pressure, which is fine, I'm just still a little nervous about the possibility that I won't work out for him, and it'll make him look bad. But, he told me not to worry about it, and I'm making it a point not to. Worrying doesn't help anything, it's just wasted energy. I'll just have to get out there and try my best to work hard at making it happen, and hope for the best.
At very least, I can look up the cut-sheets online and I have a set of prints to study, so I'll be that much further ahead. Now if only I could download the inverter's installation manual...
28 September 2008
As mentioned in my last post, Saturday was overflowing with stuff.
After going first thing in the morning to the DMV (post forthcoming), I took my Jeep in to get serviced. It was no less than irritating. I originally scheduled my 3-month maintenance along with wanting someone to check out a few things. I can't get my tires to inflate to 33 psi even though they're supposed to be at 44 psi, so I wanted them checked, balanced, all that good stuff. Also, I bought my Jeep used (it's a 2007) and it came with an alarm but I didn't want to pay for it, so they disconnected it. A few weeks ago, at a gas station, it went off and I had no way to stop it or start my Jeep back up until I disconnected the leads to the battery to "reset" the system, so I wanted that checked out too. Lastly, the "passenger airbag" light seems to come on and off at will, whether or not something is in the seat. It did it alot a few months ago, and hasn't in several weeks but still. Would be nice to make sure it's not malfunctioning. So anyway, I told them all that and when I got down there, all of a sudden there was only time for the oil change. Oh, and Saturdays are off limits for the other problems because they have to call in specialists. Oh, and even though I was told that my service appointments were free for the duration of my warranty, it was actually $22. WTF. All that and when they gave me the keys, I found that not only had they neglected to check tire pressure, they didn't even fill the tires up. I'm never going back to the dealer for that again. Jiffy Lube or Firestone is cheaper, quicker, and with better service.
Then, for a few hours, I helped out with the Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day at the local UU congregation. The admission price was a non-perishable food donation, which was nice. There were tons of booths: massage, herbs and stones, music, readings, information booths on classes and meetings...a pretty good selection. There were live bands, too, and lectures in the main hall. Even Mary Kay, which is awesome, because I'm 30 now and the fragile, floppy skin is only a matter of time. (Yes, I signed up for a free consultation.) It was a relaxed and fun atmosphere and even though I didn't get time to eat anything, I found the time to buy a few things: a cookbook, blue tiger's eye, a magnet...trinkets, really.
Immediately thereafter I met with Tannah to head over to Hot Rod Grille for Tenno's 30th. We got there about 20 minutes early and were informed that it had already been reserved for some kind of drunken pajama party with a door charge and 2-drink minimum. Called Tenno; he got to work on other plans. In the meantime, as we tentatively decided to move the party to Buffalo Wild Wings, some of his guests decided to go ahead and pay the door charge. Some other guests showed up to BWW but left after they realised the UNLV/UNR rivalry game was on all screens, and not one of them were football fans. Still some called Tenno and suggested a PT's Gold (local pub) where they'd decided to set up camp. At teh end of the night, Tenno said it had wound up being really kickass, but Tannah and I had decided to leave from BWW at about 22h00 and skip it. Sad, but at least we still have Tenno's delicious alcoholic birthday gift waiting for him.
Okay. That was my Saturday in a nutshell.
27 September 2008
I'm exhausted, as I've been out all day, but here are some upcoming posts soon to be published (when I'm finally done editing them):
~The arrival of my amazingly sexy straight CHERRY luscious PV-themed license plates;
~The oddity of a third birthday in as many years to be completely destroyed due to lack of planning.
There you have it. Now I've given myself a deadline, so I have to get on editing so I can post. I can't be lazy here, right? Right.
26 September 2008
Today was absolutely ridiculous. I can't go into detail because of privacy issues, but for anyone who reads this with any regularity at all, I'm pretty outspoken about prints being all fucked up. It's more than a pet-peeve for me. Sometimes I'm told I big-deal discrepancies but this was beyond that.
For over a year, we've been using the same style of prints. They were updated, of course (we're on ASI 47 for now) but the prints themselves were always in the same format. I knew where to look for lighting, for power, for data and surveillance, for mounting heights...no issues there. Then for some reason, suddenly, we got a new set of "combined" prints. Supposedly these were superiour: in any given area of any given floor, turning to to appropriate page would give all that information at one time. Sounds great in theory, I guess. However, when there's a wall unit with two duplex receptacles, a box for phone and data, a few switches and a card reader all squished into a small area, it's a little difficult to read exactly where they're supposed to be mounted. Even if the power, data and phones are mounted at 18" and the switches and card reader are supposed to be at 48", it makes you sit and think when the wall unit only allows a foot of space to fit it all in. I had to ask for clarification from the foreman, who had to ask for clarification from the general foreman, who had to ask...yeah well anyway, it went up the ranks and in the meantime, I had plenty of time to try and read these new prints. I noticed some issues, so I took the old ones out to compare.
Somehow, the new prints added tons of changes compared to the old prints, but with no addendum bubbles to signify the changes. At the same time, things on the old prints weren't included in the new prints. I know that when something's deleted it won't show after the initial change, but according to the dates, they were released at the same time, same ASI number. If I went strictly by the new prints, I'd have to remove half of what was installed and then install about as much as I'd just removed. This, after we passed inspection yesterday.
So I brought it up to my foreman once he came back from trying to find out exactly how to read these supposedly-easier-but-totally-fucked prints. He looked at them after I insisted I really wasn't misreading them. He laughed, I laughed, everyone who came by and realised how ridiculous it all was also laughed. We wasted so much time trying to figure out which to use, it was crazy. Turns out, the new prints are flawed and we need to go back to the old ones. More laughter.
On a side note, it irritates the fuck out of me when a journeyman will scan prints to get a basic idea about what to do, but miss the important things, like "branch circuits to be run in #10 AWG" and in their haste they run everything in #12, so that when I try to be nice and let them know that it needs to be one size larger they flip out at me and try to blame it on everyone but their own inattention. Man up, guys, and accept responsibility.
24 September 2008
Let me give an example:
You and I sit down at a table in a restaurant. Even though we're a party of two, there is only one place setting. I offer to call the waiter for another place setting, but instead you prefer to quietly bitch about it and proceed to ruin the experience. You refuse to bring the waiter's attention to it, while you silently fume and swear to leave the shittiest tip ever--if at all. When, in exasperation, I ask why you don't just end the issue and ask for another place setting, your response is, "I shouldn't have to."
Well, whether you should or shouldn't is moot. A waiter isn't clairvoyant and I'm sorry, with all the things that can go on during anyone's workday, a missed place setting is pretty minor. We all make mistakes at work, at home, whatever. Just ask for a damn place setting. More than likely, the waiter will appreciate the heads-up and bring it immediately.
The bottom line: if you aren't getting the service you want, the attitude you want, the answer you want...if anything you desire or expect is missing...say something. You'll be happier for it, those with you will be happier for it, the world will be happier in every aspect. Worse than a complainer is someone who sits angrily while refusing to say why, even though it's both completely avoidable and easily remedied.
22 September 2008
Aside from that, which signals to me that the hellacious cold weather is fast approaching, there's not really much going on. Tannah and I thought about going to the Greek Food Festival over the weekend, and didn't. My mom RSVP'd us to go to the Erotic Heritage Museum in a few weeks...she brought it up as a joke, and then found out I truly wanted to go, and so now we are. I think it'll be incredibly interesting. I'm also getting my new tat in a few weeks...um...shit.
The thing is, things are quite normal and not at all special right now. Maybe I'm just tired or something, because I don't even have much to say on our nation's economic attempted suicide or the religious debate I had via e-mail with an in-law. (I might go there later, I just have no ambition to get into it right now.) Maybe it's that I was so worried and psyched and freaked out and elated about the prospect of working on that solar project that now I'm getting used to the idea, I'm being a realist...I think I tired myself out like a 3-year old at a toy store.
What sucks is that I'll wake up in the middle of the night and remember all the things I wanted to get into this blog, and I won't be able to fall back asleep until I do. LAME.
19 September 2008
I think I forgot to mention that a few days ago, I was told that the delivery of our solar panels had been delayed, so my transfer was also delayed. That's fine, really...it seemed to be coming to quickly for my liking. That, and I still get to study a bit more. They estimate I'll be out there in two weeks or so.
In other news, I had to take an AQ (Autism-Spectrum Quotient) test...it looks for the possibility of autism. The more intense forms are noticed at a young age, but the high-functioning form called Asperger's Syndrome is sometimes completely missed until well into adulthood. They suggested that I take it because I apparently have some "abnormal social behaviours" and "mild autistic qualities". According to the little handout I got on it, the test scores on 5 different areas, such as poor social skills and hyper-attention to detail...which is totally me. (The other 3 had something to do with attention span, communication skills and something else. I'm sory, I don't remember the last one.) Somewhere between 15 and 20 is a normal score, but it's above a score of 32 that "could indicate" Asperger's Syndrome. Above a score of 34 is an "extreme" case.
So I scored a 39 the first time. Without telling me the score or why, I was asked to take it again. I scored a 33. Then again, and I scored a 34. Now they want me to see a specialist and I'd really rather not. I don't know how accurate that test is, there's no way it can be a reliable diagnostic tool, and if I've survived my first 30 years in life this way, maybe it's not a big deal. It's not like there's a cure. Granted, I hate social situations, I don't like crowds, I don't understand the concept of emotion other than the most basic, and I big-deal the smallest detail and it must be implemented just-so. Are those autistic behaviours? Sure, maybe. But maybe not, and I certainly won't run out for an official diagnosis for the hell of it when I don't feel I'm impaired.
Besides, I looked up the autistic spectrum online and I really just don't think it describes me. Which is good, since I don't want another doctor to visit. Hahaha...yeah, like I need another diagnosis!
Everyone was in a great mood (including Papa G, and that's rare for him these days), no one gave me hell for my switch issue, and it's Worker Appreciation Day...AKA pay day.
One thing that made me laugh for about half an hour was a new issue with my switches. And this time, it wasn't even my fault. Papa G --my general foreman, for those that don't know-- came up to see what I'd accomplished in the past week. He asked questions and I answered them, just the basic weekly deal. He came upon my switches, which I had just finished completely. After some of his queries and my explanations, he realised that I had put two circuits from different panels in the same junction box, and that one of them was an emergency circuit. That used to be acceptable by the NEC (National Electrical Code) so long as there was a divider present in the box, separating them. However, either it's changed in the 2008 edition or our inspector doesn't like it because I was told this morning that they needed to be in separate boxes regardless of what the prints say, and also the lights connected to the emergency circuit cannot be switched, they've got to be hot at all times...also regardless of what the prints say.
So here's the deal: I installed these switches originally as two in a 4-square box, one pair of switches per room. It was hard to cram it all in there but I did it, and without cutting my wires short, simply because the specs called for a 4-square box. One box containing two switches in two separate but adjacent rooms, equalling four switches total. Got that? Okay.
Was told to remove the switches and re-install in a 4-11 box. This was because my foreman thought it was ridiculous to squish so much into that size j-box when I could go a size bigger. I was just trying to go by the specs but whatever makes everyone's life easier, I'm okay with it. (No sarcasm there, I'm serious.)
Then, after being re-installed to a larger box and pulling my home runs, I made them up incorrectly, and I'm not going to repeat all that bullshit here, it's in the post immediately preceding this one. But anyway, I was so upset because I really got it so incredibly incorrect, it blew me away that I had to re-do it all...again.
And now, today. I had to take it all apart --again!-- cut into the metal framing members to make room for my second box, retrace everything back, then reroute it --again!-- shove all those wires back into the tiny 3/8" MC connector (and this is 10-3, people, it's a tight fit), make it all up --again! but correctly this time-- and have it all back together by the end of the day.
Needless to say, it was a bit frustrating, but not as much as yesterday was, and at least I'm employed which is more than some have going for them right now.
Also, today was International Talk Like a Pirate Day: "Yar, there be termites in me leg!"
18 September 2008
Okay, so I'm an idiot and I can't figure out switches.
Yes, a switch. That thing that turns your lights on and off. Am I that dense?
I've installed a handful of switches, ever. Most were 3-way and a few were single-pole. I don't have much switch-installing experience and yes, just so you know, it's killing me to admit this.
Jay is having me completely rough in these two rooms: power receptacles, data and phone, dimmers, lighting, everything except the fire alarm. I like it because I'm working by myself most of the time and that gives me a chance to think things through all the way, which is good with a foreman as patient as Jay. He even helps when he has a few moments or if it's a task a little difficult for one person to handle alone; in fact we pulled most of the home-runs (main power from the panel to the first junction box of a given circuit) today. I was feeling pretty good about figuring all this stuff out. After all, as an apprentice I didn't get to do a lot of thinking, just a lot of doing as I was told.
So now here I am, rerouting some MC for exit lights, and Jay questions one of my switches. I won't go into it because even now it's so convoluted I'm not sure I understand it enough to explain it without scanning my crude diagram and posting it here. But anyway, I fucked up so egregiously that I seriously wanted to cry. Jay said splice on the line side and I took that to mean "cut the home-run for the circuit, install a pull box, and connect". No. He meant to use two of the unnecessary wires tucked in the back of the made up switch box to give power to another leg of the circuit. He gave me directions, I thought I understood them; I repeated them back, he thought he understood me. We both thought all was well and going great and...
Anyway, he helped me for an hour to completely take apart this box, remove an entire 15-foot run of 10-3 MC, reconnect what was left properly, and then have me explain to him what he just did, so he could make sure I had it down. He drew a diagram and I redrew it, just to be certain.
I can't make such silly rookie mistakes. That was time wasted, material wasted...I was told that I couldn't really be blamed as I hadn't much experience with it but still...It's a switch. What's so amazingly difficult about a that? One j-box, with two switches. Each switch is fed from a different circuit, different panel. (One's emergency power.) Home-run from electrical room; that's 2 MCs. Then two more MCs to the j-box in an adjacent room which will also have lighting from the same two circuits. Then the whips for the switch-legs to the fixtures...then runs to go all the way to the other side of the work area to feed more lights. All run in 10-3, so the red could be the switch-leg...and I got confused over the neutral and what needs one and what doesn't...I feel ridiculous.
I'm going in tomorrow to just try and do my job without making my foreman wish I'd leave his crew already.
14 September 2008
Really exhausted. I've done well to fuck up my sleep cycle and I'm trying to force it back to (my acceptable) normal. I can't fall asleep before 02h00 or so for the past few days, and having to be on site at 0600 tomorrow will really make it a very not-good Monday. This happened Friday night, when I sleepy but kept waking up and rolling around in bed. Woke up early Saturday, attended the annual IBEW picnic, then straight to my nephew's first birthday party, and I crashed for an hour. Bad idea. Wound up staying awake til 03h00 today, waking up at noon, and now it's all backwards again. Need to stay awake til at least 20h00 tonight or I'll hate myself tomorrow.
Gonna experiment with quinoa, I think. I've tried couscous and kasha--which are yummy--and I've expanded my rice intake from calrose (what we traditionally use for Asian cooking at home) to include jasmine, risotto, and wild rice. Now that I have time to cook again, I'm kind of experiencing a rebirth in cuisine, of sorts. There are these awesome Vietnamese wraps I want to try also: filled with rice noodles, shredded vegetables, egg, maybe some shrimp or meat. I tried them once and they were incredible. We'll see if I can pull it off. Now I need to get back into cooking German again...I achingly miss European food.
Tomorrow will be an interesting day. I won't get into it now but...I'm hoping for the best. :)
09 September 2008
08 September 2008
I think I'm hallucinating. I'm smelling something akin to a men's cologne...except Tannah doesn't wear any, and no one else is here. I've given no hugs today, and really I don't know many people who use cologne anyway. It's a clear scent, and it's bizarre.
Yesterday, Tannah and I finally got our hanbok photos done. Hanbok is traditional Korean clothing, and the style that Tannah and I have is rather formal and worn for weddings, funerals, graduations, religious ordinations...things of that nature. They're exceedingly expensive, and I'm so fortunate to have one. As for the final choices we made for the photos, I'm really happy with them, the colours are so vibrant; I am rarely satisfied with my appearance in photos (or otherwise) but I actually like these. I'm going to post some to MySpace sometime soon, I think...maybe here, too, but I haven't yet decided. We'll see. :)
Otherwise, I'm exhausted, I can't sleep, I think I forgot to take my meds today, and more than anything I want to get deliciously intoxicated. I don't care how. There's alot on my mind, alot of worry and yes, I understand that it doesn't help the situation when I freak out. Part of me wants to turn back time and change my course, and part of me wants only to move time forward to a more stable time.
So is smelling the cologne some kind of detached memory I'm experiencing? Or am I gonna wind up with late-onset schizophrenia? That would be really fucking unsavoury.
I want to hide in a dim room, wearing plain grey clothing and no shoes. I want to sit, think, practice stillness. I feel like an unfinished puzzle, and it intrigues me. Logan's been quiet again, Rhiannon too. Should I investigate? I need to sleep; I have only one week left on Jay's crew so I need my energy to completely drive him insane before I go. They're all gonna miss me...
06 September 2008
A poem taken from the Nag Hammadi Library, translated by George W. MacRae. I love it, even as it's incomplete. When I get into meditation, or thinking on spiritual matters, or when under stress, I think of it.
I was sent forth from the power,
and I have come to those who reflect upon me,
and I have been found among those who seek after me.
Look upon me, you who reflect upon me,
and you hearers, hear me.
You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves.
And do not banish me from your sight.
And do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing.
Do not be ignorant of me anywhere or any time. Be on your guard!
Do not be ignorant of me.
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
I am she whose wedding is great,
and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring.
I am the slave of him who prepared me.
I am the ruler of my offspring.
But he is the one who begot me before the time on a birthday.
And he is my offspring in (due) time,
and my power is from him.
I am the staff of his power in his youth,
and he is the rod of my old age.
And whatever he wills happens to me.
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name.
Why, you who hate me, do you love me,
and hate those who love me?
You who deny me, confess me,
and you who confess me, deny me.
You who tell the truth about me, lie about me,
and you who have lied about me, tell the truth about me.
You who know me, be ignorant of me,
and those who have not known me, let them know me.
For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Give heed to me.
I am the one who is disgraced and the great one.
Give heed to my poverty and my wealth.
Do not be arrogant to me when I am cast out upon the earth,
and you will find me in those that are to come.
And do not look upon me on the dung-heap
nor go and leave me cast out,
and you will find me in the kingdoms.
And do not look upon me when I am cast out among those who
are disgraced and in the least places,
nor laugh at me.
And do not cast me out among those who are slain in violence.
But I, I am compassionate and I am cruel.
Be on your guard!
Do not hate my obedience
and do not love my self-control.
In my weakness, do not forsake me,
and do not be afraid of my power.
For why do you despise my fear
and curse my pride?
But I am she who exists in all fears
and strength in trembling.
I am she who is weak,
and I am well in a pleasant place.
I am senseless and I am wise.
Why have you hated me in your counsels?
For I shall be silent among those who are silent,
and I shall appear and speak,
Why then have you hated me, you Greeks?
Because I am a barbarian among the barbarians?
For I am the wisdom of the Greeks
and the knowledge of the barbarians.
I am the judgement of the Greeks and of the barbarians.
I am the one whose image is great in Egypt
and the one who has no image among the barbarians.
I am the one who has been hated everywhere
and who has been loved everywhere.
I am the one whom they call Life,
and you have called Death.
I am the one whom they call Law,
and you have called Lawlessness.
I am the one whom you have pursued,
and I am the one whom you have seized.
I am the one whom you have scattered,
and you have gathered me together.
I am the one before whom you have been ashamed,
and you have been shameless to me.
I am she who does not keep festival,
and I am she whose festivals are many.
I, I am godless,
and I am the one whose God is great.
I am the one whom you have reflected upon,
and you have scorned me.
I am unlearned,
and they learn from me.
I am the one that you have despised,
and you reflect upon me.
I am the one whom you have hidden from,
and you appear to me.
But whenever you hide yourselves,
I myself will appear.
For whenever you appear,
I myself will hide from you.
Those who have [...] to it [...] senselessly [...].
Take me [... understanding] from grief.
and take me to yourselves from understanding and grief.
And take me to yourselves from places that are ugly and in ruin,
and rob from those which are good even though in ugliness.
Out of shame, take me to yourselves shamelessly;
and out of shamelessness and shame,
upbraid my members in yourselves.
And come forward to me, you who know me
and you who know my members,
and establish the great ones among the small first creatures.
Come forward to childhood,
and do not despise it because it is small and it is little.
And do not turn away greatnesses in some parts from the smallnesses,
for the smallnesses are known from the greatnesses.
Why do you curse me and honor me?
You have wounded and you have had mercy.
Do not separate me from the first ones whom you have known.
And do not cast anyone out nor turn anyone away
[...] turn you away and [... know] him not.
What is mine [...].
I know the first ones and those after them know me.
But I am the mind of [...] and the rest of [...].
I am the knowledge of my inquiry,
and the finding of those who seek after me,
and the command of those who ask of me,
and the power of the powers in my knowledge
of the angels, who have been sent at my word,
and of gods in their seasons by my counsel,
and of spirits of every man who exists with me,
and of women who dwell within me.
I am the one who is honored, and who is praised,
and who is despised scornfully.
I am peace,
and war has come because of me.
And I am an alien and a citizen.
I am the substance and the one who has no substance.
Those who are without association with me are ignorant of me,
and those who are in my substance are the ones who know me.
Those who are close to me have been ignorant of me,
and those who are far away from me are the ones who have known me.
On the day when I am close to you, you are far away from me,
and on the day when I am far away from you, I am close to you.
[I am ...] within.
[I am ...] of the natures.
I am [...] of the creation of the spirits.
[...] request of the souls.
I am control and the uncontrollable.
I am the union and the dissolution.
I am the abiding and I am the dissolution.
I am the one below,
and they come up to me.
I am the judgment and the acquittal.
I, I am sinless,
and the root of sin derives from me.
I am lust in (outward) appearance,
and interior self-control exists within me.
I am the hearing which is attainable to everyone
and the speech which cannot be grasped.
I am a mute who does not speak,
and great is my multitude of words.
Hear me in gentleness, and learn of me in roughness.
I am she who cries out,
and I am cast forth upon the face of the earth.
I prepare the bread and my mind within.
I am the knowledge of my name.
I am the one who cries out,
and I listen.
I appear and [...] walk in [...] seal of my [...].
I am [...] the defense [...].
I am the one who is called Truth
and iniquity [...].
You honor me [...] and you whisper against me.
You who are vanquished, judge them (who vanquish you)
before they give judgment against you,
because the judge and partiality exist in you.
If you are condemned by this one, who will acquit you?
Or, if you are acquitted by him, who will be able to detain you?
For what is inside of you is what is outside of you,
and the one who fashions you on the outside
is the one who shaped the inside of you.
And what you see outside of you, you see inside of you;
it is visible and it is your garment.
Hear me, you hearers
and learn of my words, you who know me.
I am the hearing that is attainable to everything;
I am the speech that cannot be grasped.
I am the name of the sound
and the sound of the name.
I am the sign of the letter
and the designation of the division.
And I [...].
(3 lines missing)
[...] light [...].
[...] hearers [...] to you
[...] the great power.
And [...] will not move the name.
[...] to the one who created me.
And I will speak his name.
Look then at his words
and all the writings which have been completed.
Give heed then, you hearers
and you also, the angels and those who have been sent,
and you spirits who have arisen from the dead.
For I am the one who alone exists,
and I have no one who will judge me.
For many are the pleasant forms which exist in numerous sins,
and disgraceful passions,
and fleeting pleasures,
which (men) embrace until they become sober
and go up to their resting place.
And they will find me there,
and they will live,
and they will not die again.
05 September 2008
I don't know why, but today I was the victim of merciless (good-natured) teasing all day at work. First thing in the morning, I found my plastic work bucket attached to my cart with a multitude of self-tapping screws. I had to empty my bucket, use my drill to remove all the screws, and then sort everything out. Then one of the guys on my crew took one of the conical paper cups we use on-site, balled up some duct tape inside and placed it onto my hardhat. It was on for perhaps an hour before I noticed in; at first I thought it was some kind of dunce cap but I was instead told that I had been "coned". Later in the day, someone unraveled a length of rope and attached it to a hook, which they fastened to one of my back pockets. I have no idea how long I was wearing the tail before Papa G informed me of it. At one point, my hand tools were hidden around level 72' while I was away from my bucket, a joy for me to find. (I never did find my sidecutters, so I have to buy a pair this weekend.) Really not sure why all this is going on suddenly, I wasn't angry or anything of course...it made me laugh. But it is a bit odd.
In other news, it's official: I'm transferring to the solar job on 15 September. Elated and terrified at once; I guess we'll see what happens.
04 September 2008
So I was skimming online news headlines this morning (as I often do), and stumbled upon this: "American columnist Kathleen Parker is causing a furor with her newest book, Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care, in which she argues that feminism has neutered men and deprived them of their noble, protective role in society." I decided to give the excerpt a read.
There are aspects of this that I don't agree with. It's decidedly biased at some points, but I understand it's to make her case and I also understand that to every statement, there is a valid counterstatement. I posted this because I believe in true feminism, not militant feminism. As I understand it, true feminism is "Anything a man can do, I can do equally well, whether or not I do it his way or my own, so long as it's of equal quality...while not being afraid to work with or brainstorm with a man in order to work together to complete the task at hand." Militant feminism is "Anything a man can do, I can do better, and not only that but all men are rapists and serial killers, let's harvest men for their semen, then use them for manual labour, while having babies but neglecting them for our carreers."
It irritates me that there are still facilities that don't have baby changing counters in men's restrooms; two-father families and single dads are pretty common these days, and what about the father giving his wife a day to herself while he takes his infant out and about? Where are they supposed to change diapers? Sadly, I've seen men having the change them in shopping carts, on a table in a diner, and (I've heard) in the sink of the men's room. It also sickens me that legislation is so slanted in many (not all) states so that women are automatically granted primary or full custody of children during a divorce; I have heard stories of men fighting for their children from a drug-addicted mother or other abusive situation. I'm not saying men should get automatic custody, I just think things should be a little more equal. I feel it's come down to the sad fact that in trying to raise women up, we've pushed men down.
Men and women aren't equal: aside from the rare exception, men can't give birth, for instance, and women can't impregnate. The bodily muscles function differently. Scientists have found that even the brains of either sex process differently. However that doesn't mean that men and women can't compensate for those differences in many cases. I don't think society needs to get silly in making everything equal (there just isn't a market for male bras) but come on: think outside the acceptable norm. If there can be female-only gyms to accommodate women shy of men watching them, can't there be a male-only parenting class, for men who might be ashamed of asking a question that women might think of as common knowledge? It can't be "equal but separate" on only one side of the playing field.
Yes, there are still some instances where men are paid more than women for the same job. It's heartbreaking. I'm fortunate enough to work in a union and I get paid the same as the guy next to me. (That has it's disadvantages at times, too; pay isn't based on merit, productivity, or experience, so the drunken idiot you're working with is also making the same as you.) I also know that many women don't realise the opportunities available for non-traditional work; after high school, I was convinced that I'd be a teacher, a secretary, maybe a nurse...I had no idea that I could get into construction, and honestly, many women don't. If you're not afraid to work or get your hands dirty, you can probably get out there and do the job, male or female. I think alot of that is a lack of resources, a lack of education, lack of understanding. If mom and aunt and sister are in traditional female-dominated positions, why would a girl even begin to think there are other options? (On the other hand, having worked in the medical field, many of you probably don't realise the degrading shit that male nurses and medical receptionists have to go through; I knew a male nurse who was constantly called a "fag" by his female counterparts and often found tampons in his locker. He complained as was told to "be a man and deal with it". Not to mention male teachers who many assume are sexually deviant for choosing that career.)
So anyway: what this all boils down to is that, as far as gender equality goes, America has come a long way on some issues, has become stagnant in others, and has turned 180-degrees on others, causing a reverse gender bias. And it's sad, because we have the potential to solve all of this, but hurt feelings and the mentality of "I was hurt and held back, now it's his turn" is, unfortunately, more common than many think.