Today was… odd

4:15am Woke up. I had a schedule today that involved two things – the first was going to a meditation class, and the second was going to an appointment at a job interview provider in the afternoon. Given the first item on the agenda wasn’t until 10:00 start, and it took only 40 minutes or so to get there, waking up at this ridiculous hour was, well, ridiculous. Obviously I needed more to do with my time as a general rule, so I started looking for a job – a bit of a priority at present.
6:20am The rest of the household, who all have things to do during the day and reasons to wake up early, wake up. I continue applying for jobs.
8:03am Inspired by something that I can’t quite put my finger on, I decide to leave the house early and get a coffee on the way to my meditation. Because logic dictates that if you’re about to try and relax every part of your body and take your mind to a higher state of conciousness, you need a caffeine hit before that.
8:43am Get on tram. Have my phone with a few games on there. Decide that the games will be able to stave off the boredom for a 40 minute tram ride.
8:48am Bored with games.
8:51am Decide to go through to another job listing site that I’m aware of, despite the fact that I know that there is rarely anything on there worth applying for, and knowing that it will be a waste of my time looking on there.
9:06am Have found about 8 jobs that are worth applying for. One in particular is a previous employer that I haven’t worked for for over a decade, and I thought had shut up shop in the meantime. Figure it’s worth giving them a call, but decide to hold off on trying to sound professional on the phone until after I have had my coffee. Realise another thing I was going to do today is try and find an auto salvage place that will take my old car that is currently sitting there rusting.
9:11am Google has disappointed me in not being able to locate an auto salvage place, so decide to have a look at yellow pages. As I’m there I realise that there is an app I can download which will make yellow pages searches faster and easier. Realising this is the ideal way to locate the auto salvage places I’m after I dsecide to download the app.
9:13am Yellow pages has hardly any places worth calling, but I figure I’ll go through the list one at a time – there’s two pages worth – and see how I go.
9:15am Sorry, we only deal with 4 wheel drives
9:17am Sorry, we only deal with Nissan
9:19am Sorry, we only deal with Volkswagen
9:21am Realising this app is showing me the same 4 businesses 5 times over, decide that maybe I should go back to Google. Don’t think I’m likely to have any luck with the first place, but give them a call anyway.
9:23am Okay, they’re willing to pay me for the car. Why didn’t I try Google to begin with? Tram is at right stop. Furiously try and find the address of the place I need to take the car while walking to cafe. How many ways can you spell Eldermire Street?
9:30am Get to cafe and order. Apparently there is only one way to spell it, and it’s Edelmaier Street. Makes perfect sense.
9:33am Coffee
9:37am Caffeinated, I start walking to my meditation class. Feeling more professional and ready to take on the day, I ring up this place that I was going to apply for the job at. (I speak grammar goodly). Conversation goes well, until I have to say Wait a minute while I get past this construction site so I can hear you. I’m rarely critical about people in wheelchairs, but I wonder if guy in wheelchair should really be working in hard hat zone.
9:40am Have made appointment for Midday. I know the place used to be located about 5 minutes walk from tram stop I need to be at, and girl I make appointment with advises that they’ve only moved another 5 minutes from that address. If interview finishes at 12:30, then have half an hour to walk the maximum of 10 minutes, and then tram back to 1:00 appointment should take about 30 minutes. If I speed walk I’ll make it on time to later appointment, give or take 5 minutes. Meh, should be okay. Frantically try and write address of 12:00 interview in phone. At least I can spell Johnson.
9:47am Cigarette before meditation class, as I need the nicotine to add to the caffeine that I need to be able to relax. Notice I have voice mail. Listening to voice mail and I hear if it’s urgent then send me a text message, as I’m a courier. I think it’s the gymnasium I applied for a job at. Why does a courier recruit for a gymnasium? I’ll listen to it again after my meditation class. Battery on my phone is running low anyway, so I’ll turn it off.
10:07am I have to take my shoes off and follow an elderly French woman into the back room to be part of this meditation class. Feet are smelly. Why is this elderly French woman teaching me to become a barefoot Yogi?
11:09am Meditation class was good. Nobody levitated. Determined that of the 7 people who attended, only 4 are likely to come back, given how quickly the others ran off. Need a cigarette after all that relaxing though.
11:14am Walking past a place called The Welcome House or something like that. Figure that it might be worth going in to see what it’s about, as there’s always a possibility that they need someone to work for them. Kind of hard to tell what they’re welcoming from the signs out the front. Something to do with animals, world peace, and community involvement. Seems a very welcoming place, but I’ll wait until I’ve finished my cigarette.
11:18am Ground floor gives no more indication of who and what this place is. Decide to just wander up the stairs. Get to first landing and sign on door says House of Welcome. STRICTLY NO ADMITTANCE EXCEPT BY INVITATION! Feeling less welcome, so head off in search of caffeine.
11:27am Chocolate!
11:30am Phone battery is slowly dying, but this chocolate, in fact this entire place needs celebrating. I’m feeling fantastic. Decide to tweet about it.
11:31am Hot chocolate and Pink Floyd’s Dark side of the moon. If I was being fellated life would be perfect!
11:50am Outside job interview. Realise that I’m probably about 5 minutes drive from where the place used to be. This means that I’m unlikely to get to my 1:00 appointment on time, but if I back out of interview now I’m unlikely to get the job. Bugger!
12:05pm It’s a group interview. By which I mean that I’m in a room with the team leader (who used to work there when I did 11 years ago) who tells us all about the company. Other than the change in location it’s exactly the same job. Better pay though, and now they have computers.
12:27pm Um… we’ve all just agreed to attend training on Thursday. That means we all have the job. But when are you going to actually start interviewing us? Done? Mad dash to tram stop.
12:40pm On tram. If I time this well I’ll be half an hour late. Bugger!
1:33pm Get to appointment. I’ve missed it, but explain what’s happening. Spoke to nice woman. Took a while but got done what I needed to. Realise that I actually need to get to the bank today. That’s a half hour bus trip away. Bugger!
2:13pm Done banking at three different banks. Spoke to ex-colleagues from two of them. Going home now. Finally. Battery is now all but completely dead.
2:43pm Check twitter: @PuppyOnTheRadio You never hear @velvetblaq say “If I was being fellated”. That’s because it’s “if I WERE being fellated”! #education Either way, I still think grammatical correctness would be the last thing on my mind.
3:23pm Home finally. Start charging phone. Have message from @mysskitn asking for a phone call.
3:33pm Reminded by @mysskitn that I had a doctors appointment at 3:00. Ah.
3:40pm Call doctor to cancel appointment from 40 minutes earlier. Think I might check those messages again.
3:47pm Three messages. Two asking for calls back relating to applications I’d emailed off this morning. Listen to message I had this morning. if it’s urgent then send me a text message, as I’m in Korea. Why on Earth do you put your phone number down to be contacted about a job you are advertising if you can’t answer because you’re in a completely different country? I mean when I called it would have been around 4:00am Korean time. What kind of stupid operation are you running there?
3:55pm Phone interview. Nailed it. The place that I would be working, assuming I get the job after the second round interview tomorrow morning, I walked past while on the way to Job service provider. The place is called – and I’m not joking – Cummins.
4:04pm Phone interview. Nailed it. The place that I would be working, assuming I get the job after the second round interview tomorrow morning, I walked past while on the way to Job service provider. The place is called – and I’m not joking – Cummins.
4:27pm Another Phone interview. Nailed it. The place that I would be working, assuming I get the job after the second round interview tomorrow afternoon, I also walked past while on the way to Job service provider.
4:57pm I decided to change an image I created the other day, to make a car look more like a penis.
5:17pm Realise that I’ve just spent 20 minutes playing with someone’s penis. I realise my brain has now stopped working. Crash and go to nap.
7:30pm Masterchef
8:27pm Start writing this blog entry.
10:29pm Catch up to where I am in the day. Type catch up to where I am in the day. Realise I am on the precipice of an existential crisis. Have to deliver a car tomorrow morning at 6:00, and also have two job interviews. Decide to stop writing blog entry
10:31pm Sleep

Thank God it’s Friday

I’ve been thinking a lot about how religion shapes the way we think, and mainly about the way we speak recently.

The first phrase that I’ve been thinking of is the title of this post. The classic “Thank God it’s Friday”.

The first thing that springs to mind is why we are looking to thank any Deity at all. Okay, if I assume for a minute, beyond any evidence to the contrary, that there is an interventionist God, why would I thank them for Friday?

Doesn’t time continue moving constantly? Isn’t one day followed by another? If it is, then no intervention is needed to get to Friday. You can spend the other six days of the week praying that Friday will appear, and there’s an extremely high likelihood that it will – much the same as if you spend the previous six days not praying.

And why Friday especially? I know, I know, end of the work week, yadda yadda. But Friday is still a work day. Why not Saturday? After all, if Friday is exciting because it means the last day of work for the calendar week, wouldn’t Saturday being a day of rest be more exciting?

Of course, I wonder if we don’t get excited about Saturday because once it arrives we’re disappointed. “Hooray, It’s Saturday. Now I have a day when I have to do all the cleaning that I didn’t get a chance to earlier in the week. Plus I have to mow the lawns, fix the car. Oh, and the in-laws are coming to visit… How long until Monday now?”

But, assuming that Friday is the most exciting day of the week, and assuming that we have only gotten there due to the intervention if a deity – yes, I’m asking for suspension of disbelief – then which God are we thanking?

Now many in the western world will automatically assume a Christian God. To me, this is a false assumption. Basing it on the while of the phrase, the Christian God is only assumed due to the lack of name. (After all, we don’t say “Thank Allah…”, “Thank Jehovah…” or “Thank Bhudda”.)

Now we do suggest that we are looking at a single deity, by the use of the singular. But that doesn’t automatically assume that we are looking at a mono-theistic concept. We are looking at a deity that intervenes in a direct way with mankind – otherwise why would we need to give thanks?

So the only identifier we can go by to really narrow this down us the specific in the statement – that it is Friday.

So, of all the Gods in belief systems universal, which God has the most to do with it being a Friday?

Well, in English we call it Friday from the old English frīgedæg, after the Goddess of love – Frigg (Aka Frige, Freyja, Freya, Freja, Freyia, Frøya, and Freia). In Latin we have dies veneris from Venus – likewise Goddess of Love.

And thinking further on this, Friday is often considered “date night”. We’re often encouraged to wear casual dress in the corporate world, which allows us to show ourselves in the most flattering way to our work colleagues.

This means that Friday is more related to Goddesses of Love, then it is to any other God.

Now Christian commandments suggest we shouldn’t be using the name of God in vain. Secularism suggests that we should avoid using God in places where it’s not appropriate. So I’m thinking, for the point of accuracy and causing the least offence, that the saying should be changed.

So, from here on, I’m now looking at saying “Thank Frigg it’s Friday” as the more polite version of the phrase. And I’m encouraging others to do the same.

Tip-off to Media Watch

This is a copy/paste to a tip-off that I sent to Media Watch. (NB edited to improve formatting only.)

Just a quick note here, that I would love to see more investigation into, of the comment moderation policy.

Although I haven’t been able to find a written copy of the policy, there was this article here that expressed that they were moderating comments to remove ” However as a publisher we have a duty not to print comments that may be defamatory or would incite religious or racial hatred.”

Also “No decision not to publish or to edit a blog posting on the grounds of suitability is undertaken without proper consideration and sometimes apprehension of straying into perceived bias and censorship.”

Having said that, it seems the policy itself is actually the opposite – to actually use posts that only seem to scew an argument in one direction or another, and to potentially incite racial friction.

A significant number of the comments refer to “Muslims” and “building mosques in every street” and “their own law”, yet the article itself doesn’t mention the Islamic faith. However others who have supported this campaign – which is a reiteration of what is actually put forward by the ABS here

This, admittedly, may be an isolated incident. But given this particular incident, and many other comments that are published in other forms, I’m wanting to know why it is that many comments are excluded, including one that was reposted (although slightly extended) here, and other comments that are openly hostile to a religion/racial background are included.

In short, it appears that the moderation policy has stumbled over the lines of censorship and headlong into propaganda.

For some reason I just can’t seem to get this to work

A friend of mine suggested Put it aside for a while, do a bit of work on your perpetual motion device, then come back to it with a refreshed mind.

Mark “No religion” campaign

There is a campaign at the moment relating to the upcoming census to tick “No Religion” on the census form if you don’t believe in a particular religion, or have only a passing familiarity with a religion.

Read the article in the Courier-Mail here.

It’s funny how people have reacted to this story, and this campaign as a whole, as a push to be anti-Christian, anti-Jedi, or, somehow, pro-Muslim.

I can’t agree.

I am definitely pro-Australian, and support the right of everyone to follow their own faith, and to live according to their own beliefs.

This means that I don’t want to see sites of religious significance desecrated – vandalising a church, synagogue, mosque, sacred site, graveyard, and so forth to me is equally terrible. All of these are protected by Australian Law.

I am against assault on Indian students, gays, women, people wearing hajibs or storm trooper masks equally. We recently had a government sponsored campaign that told us “Australia says no” to violence against women.

I feel that people ought to have the right to marry no matter their race, colour, creed, or sexual preference. There is a significant percentage of Australians who share this belief with me.

But I get criticised for being Un-Australian when I defend those who are gay, Muslim, Indian, or whereever they come from. I get told we are living in a “Judeo-Christian” society, even though our laws recognise common-law marriage, and there is no legal impediment to adultery, but there is to stoning.

I am told that we can have an unmarried female PM, but we can’t have two men marrying because it goes against our traditional beliefs as a culture, and we have no legal provisions to ensure that women are treated equally in the workforce.

So, because I am an Australian, with no particular religious conviction, I’m marking no religion.

If for no other reason because I agree with the pilgrims who fled to the US to be free of religious persecution

I agree with Father Bob Maguire, who has advocated not putting down a religion simply because your parents raised you in that way

But mainly I agree with Rev Martin Luther King.

I dream of a day when Jew or Gentile, Protestant or Catholic, heterosexual or homosexual, Muslim or Christian, we can all lay down our arms and sing together “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last,”

We all have a right to be free.

There is no blog post here

Given that I’ve already shown how horridly sporadic my writing of posts here is, and I have recently ceased being an active editor at Uncyclopedia, I thought I’d add a post about posting on a blog.

The problem is, I actually have nothing to say today.

Had a job interview the other day that I was knocked back on due to the fact that I was “over-qualified”. Which is amazing as I have the right level of qualification to be a janitor.

I am going for another interview at the same place, which is for a similar role. I have been advised to undersell myself to avoid the same outcome.

I’ve finally managed to get Centrelink to accept my claim for assistance. So they now recognise that I’m not working. This was difficult. Me telling them and my employer telling them wasn’t enough – they also wanted me to prove that what they already had had proven was true.

But I’m digressing. Which isn’t surprising. I’ve always been of the opinion if you have nothing to say, spend so long saying it that nobody realises that you have nothing to say.

Of course, now that I’ve explained that trick it probably won’t work in you, as you are obviously an intelligent reader. Otherwise why would you be here?

So, uh, yeah.

One kvetch for the day though. It amazes me how people who have recently complained about the use of the word “bogan” have gone in to defend the racial slanting of an 11 year old as a “ni**er”, and the use of a racial slut directed at indigenous Australians shown on prime time tv yesterday.

Yep. Done.

If you fare evade, then you might be saving money

Bus drivers cannot refuse a person getting on the bus without a ticket. Bus drivers also do not view mykis when travellers get on buses.

The notification of a valid myki is a high pitched beep, an invalid myki is three low pitched beeps. A library card going past the reader will not register, and no sound is heard.

There are twelve bus ticket inspectors who work across Victoria. They go out in groups of three. Each group has two myki readers, but they are often faulty.

There are over 300 metropolitan buses across Melbourne, and over 100 rural Victorian buses. That means given four groups of ticket inspectors, assuming they work 8 hours a day and buses run for 16 hours a day, that there is a 1:200 chance of them being on a particular bus line, let alone on a particular bus.

The authorised met officers, if they do catch you, may issue a report of non-compliance. This report is then reviewed and a fine may be issued. The fine for not having a valid ticket is $180 for an adult, and $61 for a child (under 18).

The cost of a daily travel between Zone 1 & 2 is between $10-$12. Monthly, 10x2hr tickets, etc, can reduce the cost. A full fare myki travel for a month (30 days) is $170.

Assuming you catch the bus every weekday, and you get fined for travelling without a pass one 1:100 trips and you get fined $180 for the offense, then over the course of the year you will pay $360 for fines – assuming that the fine is not contested and you are charged.

If you do the same with a valid myki then you will be charged, over the equivalent period, $2,000. the saving in non-payment of travel costs but paying a fine is around $1,640 a year.

This is an issue for the government and the privatised organisations running these services. According to Metlink’s figures “Fare evasion costs Victorian taxpayers and fare-paying passengers an estimated $80 million a year.”

The cost of Metro advertising, as reported in the Age June 2011 is as follows. “In fact, details from the Victorian government’s agreement with Metro, previously held from the public but revealed by The Age in April, confirm that at least some of the marketing extravagance is contractual. One part of the agreement describes a budget of $10 million over eight years for ‘public relations’. That is in addition to $3.4 million for an ad campaign to launch the Metro brand name.”

The Victorian taxpayer subsidises public transport around $300 million per year.

But to the Victorian government – I have some swamp land in Florida that you may be interested in buying out of state government funds…