"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
1. the act or process of knowing; perception.
2. the product of such a process; something thus known, perceived, etc.
In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. --wikipedia
I was going to write a piece on my personal experience with cognition.
I love my job! Even during the "bad" times, when those around me ask me with overwhelming concern in their eyes, "How are you doing?", I love my job. There's been some stress, but I think I still don't know enough to be truly as stressed as I ought to be, and there's been some uncomfortable decisions, but as long as those decisions don't get me fired, I'm fine.
I have two people who sort of report to me. I'm not in charge of their human resources items, but I oversee the system and workload that they're responsible for. When workload or system decisions are needed, they come to me. This last month, that's been just about every day.
I'm learning both how to oversee a process and how to be a boss. It's very strange.
My team is still very happy to have me with them, and I'm overjoyed to be part of this team.
I even love my other job, doing stuff for my husband's family business. Though there are times when that's stressful, too. For instance, in January I have to create the 1099s. I remember last year's attempts...
The year before, we let our payroll company do it. We'd send them the information for each 1099 recipient as we paid them. If we wrote a check to Mr. Jones, we sent in Mr. Jones's information and what we'd paid him to our payroll on the regular payroll day. They kept track and at the end of the year produced the 1099s.
Not only did we pay Mr. Jones, we also paid Mr. Jones's son. Somehow, Mr. Jones got all the 1099 dollars, and none went to his son.
I spent until early March trying to correct this. So this time, I figured I'd do it. Certainly I couldn't do worse.
In January, knowing they had to be out the door by the 31st, I began to hunt for how to do these. I did the research and found what the current reporting rules were. I found all the people we'd need to send one to. I was ready!
I tried to find the form I'd need. The IRS site has downloadable forms. What luck! I went out there and downloaded both the 1099-MISC and the 1099-INT, since I had at least one of each. I downloaded the instructions, too, since someone had told me these things had to be typed, and I haven't had a typewriter in years.
I opened and read the instructions, but found nothing about typing the things. Well, maybe that was on the form itself.
So I opened the 1099-MISC form.
The very first page says in big red letters that you can't use this form to actually send anything to the IRS. (So why have it available?) So where was I supposed to get the form, then?
There's a number on the IRS site, so I wrote that down. Of course, when I was doing this was too late to call, so I called it from work the next morning.
"Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service," a pleasant female voice said. "For English, press 1."
I pressed 1.
"Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service. For English, press 1."
Hadn't I already pressed 1? I did it again.
"Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service. Our Web site is www.irs.gov. Goodbye."
And the pleasant female voice hung up on me. I tried it again, sure I'd done something wrong. I got hung up on a second time. I was frustrated and began to panic, but I couldn't do any more about it from work.
That afternoon I called my accountant. "Oh," she said, "I can send you some, no problem."
I sighed with relief and watched my mailbox. Within three days, I received the forms. They didn't look any different.
However, I still didn't know if I had to type them (it hadn't occurred to me to ask my accountant).
I looked over the IRS site again. Nothing there was helpful for me. I looked over the actual forms I had, and there was another number. I called but they were closed.
The next morning from work I called the number. I got someone very helpful (and real) who told me where to find the actual filling-it-out instructions and that while they preferred typed, hand-written was okay if it was legible. I thanked her.
The next day, Saturday, I began to fill out the pesky forms. My accountant had also sent me two 1096s, which I hadn't known I'd needed. Everything went well until I started on those. I needed two, one for the MISC and one for the INT.
But after I'd filled them out, I couldn't tell if I could send them together or not.
On Monday, I called the helpful number. They weren't so helpful this time; it was Martin Luther King day and they were closed. So I called my accountant again.
Of them all, she is definitely the most helpful.
Finally, the task is done, and I'm confident I did a better job of it than my payroll company.
Watch Earth roll by through the perspective of ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst in this six-minute time-lapse video from space combining 12 500 images taken by Alexander during his six-month Blue Dot mission on the International Space Station.
A new Guest Blogger Wannabe sent me the following:
Here are some jokes I borrowed from the Internet:
Whiteboards are remarkable.
What do you get when you cross a rhetorical question with a joke?
My fear of moving stairs is escalating.
Words cannot express how limited my vocabulary is.
I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
They took my mood ring, and I don't know how to feel about that.
Six out of seven dwarfs are not Happy.
I have an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one.
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?".
The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard.
Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"
A young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer, "This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you." The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, "Which do you want, son?" The boy takes the quarters and leaves. "What did I tell you?" said the barber.
"That kid never learns!"
Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream parlor. "Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?"
The boy licked his cone and replied: "Because the day I take the dollar the game is over!"
A guy said to God, "God, is it true that to you a billion years is like a second?"
God said yes.
The guy said, "God, is it true that to you a billion dollars is like a penny?"
God said yes.
The guy said, "God, can I have a penny?"
God said, "Sure, just a second."
A guy walked into a bar with jumper cables. The bartender says, you can have a drink, but ya better not start anything.
Mischa, we take comfort in knowing there is no God. That you are not enslaved in Heaven, made to kiss God’s ass forever. What you have is better than Paradise. You have blessed oblivion.
Thomas Harris, Hannibal Rising
I agree with the above statement of Hannibal Lecter. According to a dictionary, the meaning of oblivion is the state of being unconscious or lacking awareness of what is happening around you.
But in my mind, oblivion is the complete and absolute non-existence of awareness.
Incipient Sunrise Over The Rincons
Word For Today
beginning to exist or appear; in an initial stage.
"Are you looking for sympathy? You’ll find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis."
--Thomas Harris, Hannibal Rising
I thought we were set for any sort of power crisis. We have a backup generator, and it powers the house automatically after the electric supply has been interrupted for sixty seconds. It's rather fun, because the reaction when the lights go suddenly dark is for everyone in the house to start counting. We stop whatever we were doing (we can no longer see it anyway) and breath quietly to ourselves, "One, two, three. . ." At thirty, the generator starts. At sixty, the house lights come back on.
So when we heard about three vicious storms heading our way last weekend, we weren't concerned. Friday morning at just after 6:30 a.m, the power went out. Harry started counting. He got to thirty and the generator didn't start. He got to sixty and the house lights didn't come back on. He waited a bit longer and then went to check the generator. It wasn't running.
He stood in the soaking rain and bitter wind and took the cover off. He tinkered with a few things, checked the air filter, spark, and connections. Everything looked good. The meter said the generator had forty-two hours of running time on it, which isn't much. He flipped the switch so it would try to start.
It tried. Chug, chug, chug, bleh. Ten seconds passed and it tried again. Chug, chug, chug, bleh. Everything looked good, but the generator wouldn't start. He went back in the house and dried off, then called the generator service place. A few hours later, three guys came out to look at the generator. They did the same things Harry had done, with the same result. We'd have no power this time until the utility company restored it.
Discouraged, Harry came back in the house. He was wet and chilled through. We spent some time cuddling, getting the circulation back into his fingers and toes. After that, we tried to figure out what we could do. The power had been out for almost twelve hours. The house was dark, except for the candles scattered about. (Candles don't put out very much light.) All the usual entertainment options were not options this time. We obviously couldn't watch television or a movie, but we also couldn't read a book or put a puzzle together due to low lighting.
But there was one thing in the house that didn't require power: the billiard table. We could play pool!
Excited, we went to the Fox Room, set some candles up on the beer shelf on the wall, and eagerly uncovered the pool table. We got the triangle and the balls. As Harry racked the balls, our excitement faded. It was too dark to tell much about the balls from a shooting distance. We couldn't get the candles closer, as the table has space around it for play room. Setting candles on the edge was not as useful as you'd think, and in the way. Undaunted, we started a game anyway.
The stripes were pretty obvious, as they have so much white on them. The cue ball was easy to find, as were the three ball (yellow) and the four ball (orange). The rest of them were problematic. After the break, we got close to the table and squinted, finding out which one was the eight ball (black). After that first shot, we kept an eye on where the eight ball went, and either one of us could point to it almost always. But each shot, we had to re-evaluate the layout and find the stripes or solids we needed.
We had one help; a wind-up flashlight. When it was my turn, I'd eye the layout, find the eight ball, decide which balls I thought were fair game for me, and then have Harry shine the flashlight on the pocket I was aiming for. Then he'd turn it off, and I'd make my shot by memory. Voila! Memory Pool was born. For Harry's shot, I'd do the same for him.
It was fun, too. We played several games, and I even won one!
The power was out for fifteen hours, but thanks to Memory Pool, it was an experience to treasure. (And the generator motor has been sent off for repair.)
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
If your parents referred to sex as "the birds and the bees," they were wrong. Nearly all male birds don't even have a penis, and after drone bees mate with the queen their penis explodes and they die.
On this day in 1936, writer George Orwell delivered the manuscript for his book The Road to Wigan Pier, which chronicles the difficult life of the unemployed in northern England.
George Orwell was the nom de plume for Eric Blair, who attended school in London and won a scholarship to the elite prep school Eton, where most students came from wealthy upper-class backgrounds, unlike Orwell. Rather than going to college like most of his classmates, Orwell joined the Indian Imperial Police and went to work in Burma in 1922.
Orwell, choosing to immerse himself in the experiences of the urban poor, went to Paris, where he worked menial jobs, and later spent time in England as a tramp. He wrote Down and Out in Paris and London in 1933, based on his observations of the poorer classes, and The Road to Wigan Pier in 1937. Meanwhile, he had published his first novel, Burmese Days in 1934. His barnyard fable, Animal Farm (1945), shows how the noble ideals of egalitarian economies can easy be distorted. The book brought him his first taste of critical and financial success. Orwell's last novel, Nineteen Eighty-four, brought him lasting fame with its grim vision of a future where all citizens are watched constantly and language is twisted to aid in oppression.
Orwell died of tuberculosis in 1950.
WORD FOR TODAY
gallant [GAL-uhnt gal-AHNT] adjective
1. brave, spirited, noble-minded, or chivalrous:
2. exceptionally polite and attentive to women; courtly.
3. stately; grand: a gallant pageant.
4. showy, colorful, or stylish, as in dress; magnificent.
5. amorous; amatory. noun
6. a brave, noble-minded, or chivalrous man.
7. a man exceptionally attentive to women.
8. a stylish and dashing man.
9. a suitor or lover.
10. a paramour.
Tim Conway is an American comedian and actor, who is best known for his role as the inept Ensign Charles Parker in the 1960s World War II-set situation comedy, McHale's Navy, for his sketch comedy as a co-star on the 1970s variety program, The Carol Burnett Show, for starring as the title character in the Dorf series of comedy films, and for cartoon voice work as the voice of Barnacle Boy from the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants.
Helen Slater is an American actress. She appeared as the Kryptonian superheroine in TriStar's 1984 film Supergirl. In the following years, she starred in several successful comedy-drama films such as Ruthless People, The Secret of My Success, and City Slickers. She additionally found work as an actress in television, and stage projects, including three guest appearances on the series Smallville. She was a series regular for the two-season run on the ABC Family series The Lying Game.
Don Johnson is an American actor, producer, director, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for his role as James "Sonny" Crockett in the 1980s television series Miami Vice, and as the lead role in the 1990s cop series Nash Bridges.
Now I know how sheep feel, but more about that in a minute. First, a work update: I love my job! I love my team, I love the work, I love being there, and it's been way too long since I felt this way (about work, anyway).
I still don't know much about what I'm doing; every day is a massive learning engagement where I suck up everything I can around me, from Analysts trying to fix things to Processors going about their daily job. Terms are unfamiliar, programs are foreign, and everything is often confusing.
Take, for instance, reprocessing a packet. Sound pretty easy, doesn't it? Just re-send it out, right? Well, no. We only reprocess when there's been a change (otherwise it would be "send a duplicate" which is easy. . . I think). Before we can send the revised packet, we need to verify the change has been made.
So we run a sample packet for what it will "look" like, to see what it will, well, look like. While that's generating (because it's really slow), we go check our maintenance system (think: big database) to see what it says about it right now. You'll note that "right now" and "what it will look like" are two different things and often aren't supposed to match.
Then we check the maintenance system against the piece of paper we have that requests the reprocess (and tells us what the change is). We check this, check that, check that over there, check this thing, check that date, and then check this other thing. We write all these down because we'll need them all again when we view the sample. Now we change screens and check some other stuff, writing it own, too.
OK, over to the renewal system, to check the sample, which may or may not be ready by now. When we can, we verify that what we've written down is showing accurately on the sample.
Whoops! Something isn't. Where we go to fix it depends on what it is. If it's this, ask Information Technology. If it's that, ask Group Data Entry. If it's this thing, we can fix it ourselves. And if it's that stuff from the other screen, we set the whole thing aside and wait. Why? Because sometimes these things magically fix themselves overnight. Truly.
Then tomorrow, we start over, because any of the data anywhere except on the printed paper could change. Ack. The scary thing is the people who do this (that I'm learning from) can pick up a reprocess request sheet and do the whole thing in under five minutes. Sometimes less than one minute, if the sample is generated quickly enough. Amazing!
When I learn the ins and outs of what they're looking at, I suppose I'll get it. Until then, I'm pretending to be a sponge and simply sucking in information. Even with the drawback of having access to four (yes, four!) email in boxes, I'm loving it.
I left the job I love a bit early today. I had an appointment with a woman named Melanie, who cut off my hair for me. Again, truly!
I've sent my long locks to Locks of Love, a not-for-profit organization that makes wigs for kids (and some adults) who have lost their hair for some medical reason. Visit them at www.locksoflove.org. Perhaps some child will enjoy that twelve inches of hair more than I did. I was forever catching it in things. Under my purse strap on my shoulder. In the shoulder seat belt in the car. In the headrest at the massage parlor (don't ask). Oh, and in a few other places I can't decently mention. Now it's short and bouncy and just above shoulder length.
Tomorrow morning I'll have to let my donation to the children warm my heart, because I'll no longer have hair to warm the back of my neck. Why did I do this in winter?
Here I am again, out of the city of Tucson and out in the scrubland for the rest of this month... just Eva and I rambling around this huge house while the owners are off to Maine for Christmas.. off to the land of holiday snow.
The weather forecast for Tucson today is lots of rain released by the big storm in the Pacific. But aside from a few clouds, there is actually little indication of rain. Perhaps it will miss us.
While watching a weather report, I heard mention of the closing of San Francisco's Embarcadero. I did not know what that was, so I looked it up and found, at Wikipedia, that:
The Embarcadero(Spanish: Wharf), is the eastern waterfront and roadway of the Port of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, along San Francisco Bay, constructed atop an engineered seawall on reclaimed land. It derives its name from the Spanish verb embarcar, meaning "to embark"; embarcadero itself means "the place to embark". The Central Embarcadero Piers Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 2002.
The Annual Billiard Bash went well. This year was a lower turnout, around 23 people, but they all seemed to have a good time.
For me, this event is a form of dangerous living; allowing people - as many people as want to come - into my living space. alaHouse becomes an open house, and people wander in and out all day long. It's not easy for an introvert to do.
Each year, as the event draws close, I wonder why I do it. Each year, as the Bash swirls around me, I say I'm done and want to go home. And each year, after it's over, I'm glad I've done it.
It's an odd thing, but I think I actually enjoy it, even through the anxiety and terror it can create.
This year's Bash is now over, and I'm not the only one living dangerously.
I have a new cleaner shrimp in my reef tank. He's very small, about as long as a Bic lighter but not much thicker than a Bic pen. He reminds me of San Diego during the fires of 2007.
You see, living conditions for the shrimp and living conditions for the people in the San Diego area have a bunch of similarities.
* The shrimp, and many of the people, have been mis-placed; forcibly removed from their homes * the shrimp, and those in evacuation centers, have taken up residence in an alien environment * and the shrimp, and many of the people, are currently living in precarious circumstances.
For the people, it means watching and wondering if they'll need to evacuate from the evacuation center, waiting and worrying whether their home is still standing, watching and worrying about friends and family members and pets lost in the shuffle and smoke.
For the shrimp, it means hanging out in the shade of a sea anemone. I don't know why he chose that particular corner to take up residence, but so far they seem to be getting along. He's cautious about foraging, and the anemone doesn't eat him. Yet.
Like conditions in San Diego, who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.
Did You Know . . .?
Adults account for almost half of the consumption of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
On this day in 1933, a federal judge rules that Ulysses by James Joyce is not obscene. The book had been banned immediately in both the United States and England when it came out in 1922. Three years earlier, its serialization in an American review had been cut short by the U.S. Post Office for the same reason. Fortunately, one of James' supporters, Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare and Co. in Paris, published the novel herself in 1922. Ulysses, with its radical stream-of-consciousness narrative, deeply influenced the development of the modern novel.
WORD FOR TODAY
1. offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved: obscene language.
2. causing uncontrolled sexual desire.
3. abominable; disgusting; repulsive.
An obscenity is any statement or act which strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time.
I couldn't find any suitable celebrity pics today... sorry.
...To make up things to take people to war. That's just got to be the most obscene, immoral thing to do.
I think it's pretentious to create art just for the sake of stroking the artists ego.
Yesterday it rained all morning and into the afternoon out here in the scrub east of Tucson. Eva was plenty pissed off about not being able to get outside to run laps around the pool and chase away the wild critters that presumed to invade her territory. So she napped in the front parlor... napped a lot.
RAINY DAY EAST OF TUCSON - December 4, 2014
Stephen William Hawking is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.
Stephan Hawking has stated that God does not need to exist.
If there were no journalists and national press to investigate politicians then they would get away with even more crimes than they currently do and government would be filled with even more sleaze and corruption than currently exists. Similarly, if atheists were not proactive then theists would get away with even more delusional beliefs and rational crimes than they currently do. It is insufficient for atheists to simply sit back and ignore the theists and hope they'll go away. History shows that they will keep beating their religion drums until the end of time, irrespective of what philosophical or experimental evidence is put before them.
As I said, this is a pretty darned good website... for those who have a working brain, and are not afraid to use it.
Did You Know . . .?
Benjamin Franklin wrote a scientific essay about farts. Because he thought European academic societies were pretentious, he responded to a call for scientific papers with his essay, “Fart Proudly,” which suggested research be done to improve the odor of human flatulence.
ON THIS DAY IN 1933 the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America. At 5:32 p.m. EST, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the requisite three-fourths majority of states' approval. Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified it earlier in the day. After the repeal of the 18th Amendment, some states continued Prohibition by maintaining statewide temperance laws. Mississippi, the last dry state in the Union, ended Prohibition in 1966.
WORD FOR TODAY
pejorative [puh-JOR-uh-tihv] adjective
1. Tending to make or become worse.
2. Disparaging; belittling.
Walt Disney was an American business magnate, cartoonist, and filmmaker. As a prominent figure within the American animation industry and throughout the world, he is regarded as a cultural icon, known for his influence and contributions to entertainment during the 20th century. As a Hollywood business mogul, he and his brother Roy O. Disney co-founded The Walt Disney Company.
Paula Patton is an American actress, who has appeared in such films as Idlewild, Déjà Vu, Mirrors, Swing Vote, Precious, Just Wright, Jumping the Broom, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Baggage Claim, and 2 Guns.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
After giving it much thought, I have decided to limit my viewing of TV News shows. And I aim to severely limit my blog commentary regarding all these stupid racial events. They are presented by the networks in inflammatory film clips which are repeated over and over until they eventually become nearly meaningless.
I watch and I grow angry.
There is one thing I can do to avoid being invaded by all this media manufactured anger.
Stop watching. Fox News. Stop listening to Bill O'Reilly. No more Tavis Smiley -- Etc.
If I cannot find anything but controversial and rage-inducing subjects to write about in my blog, then I am not looking hard enough.
There is way too much anger this world now. I do not want to add to it.
Did You Know . . .?
Coffee beans are not beans. They are actually the seeds of berries, which are often called “coffee cherries.”
On this day in 1872 the Dei Gratia, a small British brig under Captain David Morehouse, spotted the Mary Celeste, an American vessel, sailing erratically but at full sail near the Azores Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was seaworthy, its stores and supplies were untouched, but not a soul was onboard. The last entry in the captain's log shows that the Mary Celeste had been nine days and 500 miles away from where the ship was found by the Dei Gratia.
Apparently, the Mary Celeste had been drifting toward Genoa on her intended course for 11 days with no one at the wheel to guide her. Captain Briggs, his family, and the crew of the vessel were never found, and the reason for the abandonment of the Mary Celeste has never been determined.
WORD FOR TODAY
to look or stare with sullen dislike, discontent, or anger. noun
a look of sullen dislike, discontent, or anger.
Jeff Bridges is an American actor. He comes from a well-known acting family and began his televised acting in 1958 as a child with his father, Lloyd Bridges, and brother, Beau, on television's Sea Hunt. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Otis "Bad" Blake in the 2009 film Crazy Heart and earned Academy Award nominations for his roles in The Last Picture Show, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Starman, The Contender, and True Grit. Among his other best-known major motion films are: The Big Lebowski, Fearless, Iron Man, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Jagged Edge, Against All Odds, The Fisher King, Tucker, Seabiscuit, Arlington Road, Tron, Tron: Legacy and The Giver.
Marisa Tomei is an American actress. She is regarded as one of the greatest actresses of her generation. In a career spanning three decades, she has received critical acclaim and various awards and accolades for her performances. Tomei came to prominence as a cast member on The Cosby Show spinoff A Different World in 1987. After she had appeared in a few films, making her debut in 1984 with The Flamingo Kid, she came to international attention in 1992 with the comedy My Cousin Vinny, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Kevin Sussman is an American actor of television and film perhaps best known for his recurring roles as Stuart Bloom on The Big Bang Theory and as Walter on the comedy-drama Ugly Betty. Starting with season 6 of The Big Bang Theory, he was promoted to series regular