The trolliest car on the road

You want to get over a lane, and the car you’re planning on getting in front of speeds up and prevents you from doing so.  Never mind the fact that there is nobody behind them, you’re just not getting in front of them.

You want to merge onto the interstate, and the car in the lane you’re trying to merge onto doesn’t speed up or slow down and makes you have to adjust your speed for them to wait for them.  Never mind the fact that there is nobody in the adjacent lane for them to have made the courtesy move into, you’re the one who’s going to have to adapt.

You are in a parking lot that flows one way, and around the corner comes the car going in the opposite direction.  Whether they realize their folly or not, they still own it and act as if you are inconveniencing them, when they inevitably glare at you as they pass going in the wrong direction.

You have a parking space that you like to frequently park in, and it logically does not make sense for anyone to want it otherwise.  You’re on your way to park in it, and the car is already there, sitting precisely where you were planning on parking.

You have been stuck in traffic for an hour on account of an accident, and when you approach the scene of the incident, out of the corner of your eye, you see the car, involved in the fracas.

This car is the Hyundai Sonata.  The trolliest car on the road.

I declare this because sparsely does a day go by where at least once one of the aforementioned scenarios, or any other scenarios occur, where a Sonata driver is not the culprit of the grief, regardless or not if it were deliberate.

This is not to say that all Sonata drivers are trolls themselves, it’s solely based on the simple fact that Hyundai Sonatas are at the perfect price point where they’re affordable and easily accessible, while at the same time being just enough physically robust and peppy to be capable of such dickish behavior, right out of the box, from the basest of base models.  I have friends that drive Hyundai Sonatas.  My mom drives a Hyundai Sonata.

Needless to say, this is also admitting that the Hyundai Sonata is indeed a good vehicle, which I admit to without hesitation.  There’s a lot of bang for the buck, even with the base model Sonata; it’s big enough to be justifiable for cargo, it’s gas mileage is adequate enough to justify being efficient, and it has just enough juice in the engine to give others some grief, all while not breaking the bank, or be sought after by collections when non-payment inevitably happens.  Their ease of availability means that there’s that much of a greater chance that a troll ends up becoming the primary driver of Sonatas, than anything else on the road.

Preceding the Hyundai Sonata were the fourth and fifth generations of the Nissan Maxima (94-03), as well as the eighth and ninth generations of the Mitsubishi Galant (96-12).  Such vehicles were basically in the same circumstances of existence as the Hyundai Sonata is currently, in which both were in competition with Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord in the mid-size vehicle category, and had to have an enticing price point in order to compete.  And much like the Sonata is today, both the Maxima and Galant had their days of being commonly seen, driven by dick drivers.

Obviously, these are all opinions and assessments of solely me, but I’d be willing to wager that anyone reading this might begin to notice the sheer volume of Hyundai Sonatas on the road, driving like retards.  Especially those in Atlanta or any metropolitan cities.

Quarians and Geth in the workplace

More recently, I made an analogy about workplace dynamics in regards to someone else’s workplace, but then came to realize that such an analogy could apply to most every workplace to some capacity, naturally of course, referring to my own as well.

But basically, in the workplace, there are workers that are Quarians, and then there are workers that are Geth.

Quarians are workers who are basically trying to survive.  Quarians have habits and tendencies that may seem dated and obsolete, but hey, they’ve worked at keeping us alive for X amount of time, there’s little reason to deviate from them, regardless of the fact that if superior, more efficient ways exist.  It’s like the Quarians in the Mass Effect storyline, they’re so caught up in general survival, that they’re never really able to put up an earnest fight against the Geth that have taken over their home world.

However, the Geth are technologically superior and have overcome their creators in the Quarians.  Survival is a secondary objective for the Geth, because the Geth are always trying to evolve and grow.  They are adaptable and by virtue of being more or less robotic, they are willing and capable of changing how things are, as long as it’s more efficient and there’s a logical rationale behind it.

Despite the fact that for the most part, Quarians are good guys and Geth are bad guys, ultimately, being Geth is the superior choice.  There’s a reason why the Geth overtake the Quarians in the ME storyline.  In the real world, it’s probably better and preferable to be Geth.

I’ve made no secret that things have been somewhat busy and stressful for me at work, much in part to the existence of PowerPoint.  Which got me thinking about this analogy again, because how it applies in my case is the simple fact that my office is full of Quarians, while I feel like the only Geth here sometimes.

Without being too specific, there are a lot of, well, older people in my office.  I’m still somehow the youngest person here, and I’m 32 now.  Needless to say, there are a lot of people with lots more years than I do under their belts, who have some habits and preferences that I personally might find to be somewhat dated, and might be better off with some updating to current times.

Unfortunately, in spite of my suggestions, and in some cases, pleas, the Quarians don’t wish to take any of my advice under consideration.  It might lead to infections or the collapse of their comfy state of mundane office life.  And ultimately, I get saddled with making egregious charts in PowerPoint, despite the fact that I could re-create any piece of shit done in PowerPoint in InDesign to perfect consistency, and a fifth of the file size, because it’s what the uncompromising Quarians are “comfortable with.”

The Geth may be mechanical and adaptable, but even a single unit would have difficulty surviving when surrounded by obtuse Quarians.

TLC’s Risking it All is a crock

Because I’m a fan of TLC’s array of trainwreck shows, it was kind of a lock that I was going to watch Risking it All.  Long story short, the premise of the show is three families (the Kemps, Watfords and Elliotts) that decide to begin lives anew “off the grid.”

Quotations, because of loose interpretations of what living off the grid really means.

Sounds like a recipe for more TLC goodness, right?

Forget the notion that the impetus behind the families’ starts with the breadwinners of each respective families losing their jobs, so the logical next step would be to go off the grid.  That’s basically like saying I lost my job, and instead of doing what other people do, which is to look for another job, deciding that I was going to uproot my family and go move into the woods.

No, the reason I call the show a crock is because none of these families are really living off the grid.

The Kemps are probably the most well-adjusted family with the least amount of baggage.  Their family unit functions well, without a lot of angst or drama, but the fact of the matter is that they live “off-grid” as much as the Atlanta Braves will be playing “in Atlanta” when they move.  Now all three families have essentially done the same thing, buying large plots of presumably abandoned land, that comes with whatever existing structures were on it, conceivably functional at one point, but it’s not like they packed their shit and went into the woods.

But the Kemps, as much effort as they’re putting into it, and moving into the woods, the fact of the matter is that they’re never more than a mile away from an actual paved road that has cars traveling on it occasionally, that takes them into civilization (as much as Sparta, North Carolina can be called civilized).  And when it came time for them to lay down foundation for their “off-grid” home, the first thing that happened was a delivery truck delivering lumber to their property.  You read that correctly – a truck delivered wood to a family to build their home in the woods, where they are surrounded by wood.

So off the grid.

The Watfords are much of the same thing; they have an existing structure that they all shack out in, but the kicker was what’s seen in the picture above – when they needed a chicken coop to wrangle their livestock, they didn’t build one, as much as it would be assumed for those people supposedly living “off the grid,” but they had one delivered to them.

Yeah, real off the grid.

And then the Elliotts, kind of a hippie family from Kansas, moves to Oregon, for the frail wife’s health reasons.  Same story, but all off-grid credibility goes out the window when Blake, the patriarch of the family, fires up the solar-powered generator and then dad and his three daughters are suddenly all in front of laptops, tethering their cell phones in order to get internet access.

But they’re outside, so it’s clearly off the grid.

Can’t we just have a show that follows Cody Lundin around or something?  At least we know for fact that he lives off the grid, legitimately.

The power of PowerPoint

I try and not have a lot of things in my life that I can legitimately say that I hate, as unbelievable as that may sound.  But seriously, I think that it takes a modicum of emotional attachment to hate something, and there are times in which I don’t want to give any particular person, place or thing the satisfaction of having some sort of attachment at all to me, even if it is one that of hatred.

But god damn, do I ever fucking hate PowerPoint.

Seriously, nothing ruins my day faster than having to do something in PowerPoint.  Projects in PowerPoint not only make me want to quit my job, they make me feel like the world is this gigantic flawed place where nothing can possibly go right.  They make me question existence outright, and make me feel apocalyptic feelings of ending the world and that everything on the planet is putrid shit.

The image above is an actual project that I had to do at work.  It’s not a PPT slide presentation at all, which is the sole reason why PowerPoint exists in the first place.  But because it has the rudimentary capability of doing some layout, it’s the de facto layout standard to the masses of luddites who think it’s the greatest most versatile software on the face of the planet.

To add insult to injury, the rationale behind everyone wanting their shit in PowerPoint is typically the same across the board – it’s so that they can request a copy of it when it’s done, and they can modify and edit it as they see fit.

How would you feel if someone asked you to build them a gun, so they could shoot you with it?

The irony is that they’ll get their PowerPoint, because some asshole coined the phrase that the customer is always right, and then they’ll inevitably screw it up, and then it’ll be the job of mine, or some other unfortunate graphic designer, to fix it.  So, it’s more like a gunshot to the kneecap, where we’re not dead, but honestly, we might wish we were.

The reality the project is however, it’s some sort of series of charts and boxes that is really, really difficult to edit, because PowerPoint is a piece of shit program where everything takes forever, and the littlest tasks such as zooming in, adjusting tabs and drawing arrows are roughly the equivalent of trying to shovel snow with chopsticks.

This particular project ruined my day, to say the least.  It made me feel like every other project on deck couldn’t be gotten to today.  It made me feel like I had a 275 pound sack of shit on my shoulders that I had to crawl on my knees and fingertips to get out of.  It made me feel like the entire day was going to be wasted on this fucking project.

And worst of all, it made me have to skip going to the gym, because it was deemed excessively importantly crucial to have done THIS DAY.  If I were in charge of the world, the latter offense would be punishable by death.  I fucking hate skipping the gym.

Getting a PowerPoint project like this makes me fantasize about going back in time and eviscerating the person(s) who invented PowerPoint in the first place.  Seriously, it’s like, if I could go back and alter one event in time, without any repercussion to the space-time-continuum or some other SyFy (yes, spelled deliberately) horror scenario, I wouldn’t go back and prevent AIDS or Ebola, or stop any of the major wars, assassinations or any events that truly really mattered in the history of the world.  No, I’d still go find the person(s) responsible for the creation of PowerPoint, and wipe them out of history before it could actually happen.  And then I’d return to the present time, where hopefully, people might actually, see the merits and efficiencies of making stupid giant posters of boxes with words in them, in something like InDesign.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I would actually prefer to build a chart like this in Quark, over PowerPoint.  Seriously, I fucking hate Quark, but compared to working in the Ford Festiva of PowerPoint, Quark looks a Corvette.  The existence of PowerPoint, has LITRALLY made me find one good thing to say about Quark.

Fuck both of them, but definitely PowerPoint more.

Now trending

I don’t really want to get too opinionated on the whole current issue of police officers killing unarmed black people, but I do want to point out what I think.

As unfortunate it is that this is all going down, it is still ultimately one gigantic media trend.  I can’t believe that I’m the only one who sees this for how it is, but the truth of the matter is that in light of one high-profile cops killing civilian story, all of them have been thrust into the spotlight for everyone to see when every single occurrence happens.

See, the thing is that if one scours the internet on a daily basis thoroughly enough, I’m willing to bet money that they can find a story of a police officer forced to kill a person in the line of duty, every single day.  Granted, they may not be allegations that the deceased may or may not have been armed, or allegedly yielding when it happened, but the fact is that police probably kill people every day.  Sounds gruesome, but not that it makes it any better, people, regardless of occupation, kill people, every day.  Shit, sparsely a day goes by where looking at local Atlanta news doesn’t yield a death happening in the AM hours.

Unfortunately, thanks to one particular story that has caught the momentum of a runaway train, all stories involving police officers killing a person have taken the spotlight frenzy.  It doesn’t matter what the circumstances behind the killing was, everything’s going to be spun and turned into a way to relate to the more recent Michael Brown incident.

There was an incident a while ago when a teacher got busted having sexual relations with a student.  It just so turned out that the teacher herself was extraordinarily hot, and the story gained a tremendous amount of momentum.  It wasn’t long afterward where almost on a daily basis, news stories broke all across the country of teachers having sexual relations with students.

But the thing was, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, it’s just the media put the spotlight on the topic and everyone responded accordingly.  Teachers occasionally have sexual relations with their students, this isn’t anything out of the ordinary.  One of my old high school teachers married one of his students as soon as she graduated.

Around 2005-06, when conflict in the Middle East broke out again, and there were stories of shit like torture of POWs and beheadings of hostages began to emerge, I admit, I got caught up in the horrific curiosity behind it all too.  But once the trend caught on, as terrible as it was, stories of killings, torture, and more beheadings began cropping up regularly until the interest died down.

Unfortunately, the torture thing appears to be emerging once again now, but that’s a different story.

As morbid as it all sounds, cops killing people is all ultimately one gigantic trend.  The media loves to rile people up, as it creates controversy, and controversy creates cash.  As long as people keep biting the bait, sharing their clickbait stories, and continuing to get angry for the sake of being angry, this is a machine that will never stop running.

It’s times like this when I feel that my fairly general ambivalence and lackadaisical approach to trending events is definitely a positive.  On social media, I might post fluff and inconsequential things, but when the day is over, I find it way preferable to caving into anger, and getting into arguments with my peers. I’d rather be happy than sad, mad, or upset.