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By theboz (Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:52:21 AM EST) (all tags)
Sitting in San Antonio, a little hung over, I consider the options.


Work

I'm sitting here because I have to train people on how to use the system I support, and they plan to start testing today or tomorrow.  Unfortunately, I have a massive case of Don't-Give-A-Fuck-itis, so I went to the hotel's free (poor quality) drinks thing last night.  Then I came back to my hotel room and watched a movie.  I have no idea what the name was (yes, I could google for it) but it was where Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy steal a gold car from a rich guy, played by this old guy from M*A*S*H.  That time was meant to be spent on the computer doing work, but I did none.

Overall, I've decided in January to look for a new job.  The market is pretty good right now, but I'm not wanting to start a new job around the holidays when I plan on goofing off and taking time off.  The main problem is with the company that purchased mine.  They have done some really stupid things as an organization, such as implementing a policy from HR to hire people at 60% of the market rate.  You can imagine the quality they get as a result.  Unfortunately, I have to work with this caliber of person, and it's proving to be a challenge.  It's almost to the point that I need to explain what a keyboard and mouse are to system administrators.

Home

I never realized how important schools are to where you live.  I've been fairly happy with my house and where I live, until my daughter started kindergarten.  Now that she's there, I'm faced with either moving or going back into consulting so I can put my kids in private school.  We're still about a year or two off from my wife being able to work.  Anyway, my daughter also has some of my problem with being bored at school, and I've been unofficially told that she's already reading at a 2nd grade level.  Either way, a school where the bus a bunch of kids in from outside my neighborhood that require financial aid is not an ideal place for students that actually have their parents read with them and such.

My next door neighbor sold his house recently, and he was asking too high of a rate in the past.  I don't know what the final price was, but I bet he either made no profit or a little profit, but didn't pay below what he paid for it.  I'm thinking next spring may be a good time to put mine on the market.  Unfortunately, I won't have enough money saved up to actually buy another house, so we would be renters for a while.

I just had my ten year anniversary.  It's amazing how quickly time flies, but I'm glad that we are doing so well in the face of a tough couple of years.  The toughness was all external, of course, but that can still cause problems.

Nexus 7

I'm thinking of getting one.

Politics

I tried to stay out of it as much as possible, and those of you that have me on facebook saw a dearth of political posts from me.  What allowed me to do this was mostly that I removed the majority of friends and family that are crazy from my news feed.  It seems like the best way to calm yourself about things that infuriate you is to simply not pay attention to it, in situations like this.  I know lots of people who are ignorant and proud of it.  I simply have to accept that is who they are, and will remain so.  I can choose to like or dislike them based on that and other factors, but I shouldn't try to focus on that.

Suffice to say, despite how disappointed I was with Obama's first four years, they really weren't terrible.  I was happy to see him win as opposed to Romney.  I'm not sure what else to say about that, because politics is still very frustrating, but it's nice to see that the majority of my fellow countrymen aren't that easily persuaded by nonsense.

Atheism

I've struggled to openly discuss the fact that I think religion is basically unnecessary and little more than a coping mechanism that people should outgrow.  The majority of my family, and a few friends, are extremely religious.  I don't mean thinking religious people such as some of our folks around here like Lee or Ana, but I mean those who simply buy into whatever an authority figure tells them.  My parents, for example, left their religious Christian cult years ago, but they still hold on to aspects of their beliefs.  Overall, I do believe that people should be allowed to openly discuss their beliefs but the consequences of it are unknown to me.  I suppose to some degree, it must be like coming out of the closet.  Anyway, I've been thinking about it for a while now and wondering what I should say.  It doesn't feel like simply saying, "I don't believe in anything, that's it" would be sufficient.  Admitting atheism is basically going to have me labeled as a Satanist and people will honestly believe I'm going to hell and all that.  Anyway, this has come back to mind more lately since a friend of mine has posted a lot of pictures from Atheist Meme Base and I've clicked like because some of them are pretty damn funny.

Holidays

This is related to the above item.  I celebrate the holidays because I enjoy the festivity of it, and my kids enjoy it immensely.  I want them to have some of the same traditions and experiences that I had as a kid.

Anyway, I accidentally mentioned Krampus in the presence of my kids, and I explained him as the guy that gives coal to kids who are on the naughty list.  Sure, this is probably cruel, but my kids are too young to do a Google Image search or find information on the "real" story about Krampus.  Hopefully the belief in Krampus isn't what allowed German and Austrian children to grow up to become Nazis.

< Things we will not talk about... | Date 3 >
Remember The Alamo | 35 comments (35 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
We believed in Belschnickle/Peltschnickle by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:46:38 AM EST
who is the good guy associated with Krampus.

Not a Nazi. Our kid still get presents, not Nazis.

As far as schools go, we figured we could live in a cheaper, poorer district and compensate for it (the city of Rochester).

We have, though some of that was due to getting into a charter school that is demographically more like a rich suburban school. In eleven_year_old's class there is one lawyer, at least four five doctors, at least four or five professors (one of whom is a teaching doctor), and a bunch of other over-educated sorts.

The high school that sixteen_year_old is in sometimes leaves me unimpressed, despite it being the most selective school in the city. But at least we can afford our house.


Why are they in your kid's class? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 3) #2 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:04:04 AM EST
Who forced them to re-do 5th grade?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Doh! by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:22:29 PM EST



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I went to a ghetto high school by theboz (4.00 / 1) #21 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:51:02 PM EST
I'd prefer my kids to not have to carry guns to school.  I wouldn't worry so much about going to school with snobs because while it may suck, at least they'd be physically safer.  I'm not saying my daughter's kindergarten is like my high school, but apparently the school system decided to bus people in that aren't from the neighborhood and come from a poorer area.  At a minimum, that's not a good influence on my kids.  At worst, the teachers are unable to do their jobs because kids who have no upbringing at home show up and disrupt the class, which has already happened.  Apparently the child was removed this week because I contacted the superintendent of the school system and the principle and asked for something to be done (although I didn't frame it as asking to have the kid removed, because my personal opinion is that he just needs help because he likely has emotional or learning issues.)
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That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
Religion by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:53:56 AM EST
Generally speaking I'm incredibly anti-religion, but I do believe in God.  Puts me in a weird position with religionists.  My kids have been reaised in a secular fashion with little mention of religion.  I want them to make their own decisions when they get older about religion without the hangups of their parents.  I was raised Catholic and it took a lot to work through the Catholic hangups that were ingrained from youth.  I attended a Mass maybe eight years ago, alone, and it was incredibly alien and I didn't understand most of what was happening.  It took a lot of work to get there. 

These days I follow a pretty strict policy of not talking religion, politics or econimics with most people.  Matter of fact with the exception of Husites I can't remember discussing these things with anyone for a few years.  Most people don't have the informational background to have a constructive discussion and even fewer have an ability to focus on the facts and drop their personal beliefs in those discussions.  This is part of the reason I completely cut off Facebook.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Exactly by dmg (4.00 / 2) #14 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:04:43 AM EST
Most people don't have the informational background to have a constructive discussion and even fewer have an ability to focus on the facts and drop their personal beliefs in those discussions.  This is part of the reason I completely cut off Facebook.

So true. You only have to look at the antropomorphic global warming 'debate' to realise this.
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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

[ Parent ]
My family is fairly religious by theboz (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:53:43 PM EST
It's basically impossible not to talk religion and politics in my family despite any attempts to leave it alone.  If there is a genetic predisposition to being a religious nut, we have it (just like alcoholism.)  Anyway, I would like to be able to be honest with my relatives and not feel like I have to hide from them.  It sucks when as an atheist you are asked to say a prayer over the dinner at a relative's house, for example.
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That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
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I don't interact with my family much by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:39:07 AM EST
but I do have an advantage that they are mostly cafeteria Catholics.  I'm only disturbed by the ones earning less than half my salary who vote Republican.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
school by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:13:50 AM EST
We really lucked out where we landed, the more I learn about the school here the more I want to stay in this little borough even if it means giving up some of the amenities I would like in a house.

The pre-K The Dude goes to is also fantastic.  It's 2 blocks over in the Methodist church.  There is ZERO religion in the curriculum, so being at a church doesn't bother me at all.  He loves going (it's 5 mornings a week), he's learning a lot, and he's made a lot of friends (many of which will go to K with him next year). 

We also 100% made the right choice waiting a year to send him to school.  He's socially thriving in pre-K and I don't think he would have in kindergarten.

I have to say, I'm really enjoying renting right now.  While I miss painted walls SO MUCH (living in all white drives me nuts), I really love everything not being our problem.  No yard work, no repairing the leak to the basement, etc.  Refreshing!

I'm still happy with the preschool. by theboz (2.00 / 0) #23 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:55:36 PM EST
The preschool my daughter went to was great, despite being in a poorer area than where I live.  It seems to be a specific public school problem, at least around here.  I talked with my former boss that lives in an area near here, and her solution was to buy a house nearby that her and her husband rent out.  That rent house is in a different school district, so their kids go there rather than the one they were supposed to.
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That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
Housing prices by kwsNI (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:26:26 PM EST
Try Zillow - you can probably get exactly what your neighbor sold his house for and a pretty good estimate of what yours is worth (mine sold within $1500 of their estimate despite my realtor thinking we could get 10k more). 

zillow prices by lm (4.00 / 3) #7 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:15:25 PM EST
One year, I sold three houses (two of which I inherited). They were 50% over on one, 50% under on the other, and spot on with the last.

So, on average, they're right.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Zillow is all over the place by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:18:58 PM EST
at one point they had my old place listed at $40k more than it ever could have possibly been worth.  and when mine was for sale, they said it was worth only a couple grand less than what I paid for it, not the $20 less I had to sell it for.

and now, it shows my old neighbor's houses with the same floor plan as mine worth just a couple grand less than what we paid for them.  Unless all the foreclosures and short sales are gone and houses are now selling for a butt-ton more than what we had to sell for.

[ Parent ]
Religion and the USA, a UKian perspective... by dmg (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:28:38 PM EST
I have had two employment opportunities in the USA which would have required me to relocate there (Chicago,NYC), and on both occasions I turned them down.

I see little difference between the USA and the Islamic Republic of Iran when it comes to religious freedom, and whilst I could cope with that level of idiocy on a personal level, if the price was right, there is no way in hell I would expose my children to it (in the event that I were to reproduce). All that pledging allegiance bullshit also puts me off, as does the nightmarishly complex and ineffective healthcare system.

Anecdotally I know at least two people who abandoned highly paid gigs in Silicon Valley because they could not envisage raising children in such a fucked up place as the USA.

In fact, I don't see myself ever returning to the USA what with all the intrusive security theatre with the TSA, and Obama's kill lists etc. I don't feel I want to lend my support such an oppressive theocratic regime. It's sad because its a nice place to visit.

I may be jumping to conclusions, but the religious mindset of Americans seems to easily translate to an interventionist mindset with respect to foreign policy.

The hilarious part of it is, I'm not even an atheist, merely an agnostic who thinks that non-dualistic zen and gnostic Christianity might be onto something.
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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

in my new area by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #10 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:23:08 PM EST
religion is totally different than it was in TX.  this is a heavy Jew area, so you don't get much of the crazy Christian stuff (at least, not the crap I was used to).  Also, you have lots of church wars here:  St. Bob's Catholic Church is the Italian one and it's 2 blocks from St Martha's Catholic Church which is Polish.  There has been bad blood between these churches for so long, nobody even remembers what started it, but NO WAY IN HELL would a member of one go to the other.  Nice and Christian, huh?

[ Parent ]
In this area by yankeehack (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:12:11 PM EST
the church thing is more ethnic "rivalry" than anything else.

"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
[ Parent ]
still by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 03:35:59 PM EST
it's a very different thing than what i'm used to.  it's part of what makes Philly feel so foreign to me at times.

[ Parent ]
Large cities are relatively derp-free. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:28:18 PM EST
That shit gets thick out in the 'burbs though.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
and they call Americans uneducated. by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:10:45 PM EST
Sheesh.

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I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR BALLS! ->clock
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I'm far from uneducated. by dmg (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:38:11 AM EST
Perhaps you meant to accuse me of lacking wisdom?

I've spent far more time in he USA than most Europeans have, and I'd put money on having visited more of it than the majority of Americans.
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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

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FYI by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #26 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:25:08 PM EST
My kid goes to a school run by religious followers of this guy.

Your comment says a lot more about UKian biases than what actually occurs in the US.  It is amusing to think of someone not wanting to move to Silicon Valley because they're afraid of some sort of religious theocracy.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
The point is by dmg (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:31:07 AM EST
San Jose is part of the USA entity. For sure the religious nuttiness may not be as bad there as it is in some places, but the political system pf the united states as a whole is influenced strongly by religionists in other parts of the country.

 For example, I understand it would be impossible for an atheist president to get elected,due to appeasing bible belt mentalists, whereas in the uk, prospective prime ministers would play down what religious beliefs they have (if any).

These people were in Silicon Valley and left for that reason. You cannot imagine how strange/alien the USA appears to someone brought up in a Western European nation.

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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

[ Parent ]
If we're talking anecdotes... by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #34 Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:00:11 PM EST
I'll just put out there that in my office, where a hundred or so people work, we're running somewhere on the order of 20-25% foreign born, including many from Western Europe (Including off the top of my head three Brits, two Swedes, a German and a Frenchman.)  My observation is that the only ones who seem intent on eventually going home in significant numbers are the Japanese.

This percentage is pretty much in line with the local area as 1/4 of California residents are foreign born  (Though we skew a lot more towards Europe and Asia and away from Mexico than the state as a whole).

(Looking at statistics, I see the UK has 8% foreign born, far less than my state, and significantly less than my country as a whole, so there's that.)

I am sure the US seems strange to Western Europeans.  Europe seems strange to Americans and parochialism is everywhere.  But I know a number of people who seem to have gotten over it to the extent of putting down roots here.

Certainly hardly anyone claims the US has troubles getting foreign nationals to come.  Usually the complaints run the other way.  It's kinda hard to swallow the idea that our culture, dysfunctional as it sometimes is, is driving people away, even enlightened Europeans.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
My office is around 60% foreign born by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #35 Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:58:52 AM EST
and probably 90% of those are from India, but it comes with the territory.


[ Parent ]
atheist kids by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:09:28 PM EST
My son has been having trouble with thinking about death. He doesn't want to end up in a black void of nothing. It's very upsetting to him.

In some ways, I wish I had the certainty of religion to give him. We've talked about the concept of Adam Kadmon, the primeval soul that contains all souls, from which we came to to which we refer. And I've also framed it with Carl Sagan's ideas that we are star stuff, and that we are the universe trying to understand itself. In both cases, when we die, it all gets bigger.

But I can't tell him he'll go to heaven and be with Jesus, the easy comfort of the Christian family. I do my best not to lie to my children.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

kabballah and sagan... by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:09:48 AM EST
at least they're not being lied to! 


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I frame them as concepts that people believe by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #16 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:30:51 AM EST
I frame them as ways to think about it, that no one can know. We talk about why we are not religious, but that not having a religion means that I can't give him easy certainties. I'm not sure where you get lying from talking about concepts as concepts.

Besides, I'm not going to tell a crying child afraid of death, "That's it, we're worm food"? You might, but I won't.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
still looking for illustrated classics' edition of by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:25:10 PM EST
the portable nietzsche here.

maybe "that's it, we're star stuff" sounds better to you -- works well if you're dressed up as a babylon 5 character for halloween. but if the embrace of god's love is a lie, why is kabballah different? people believe in both "concepts," you know. maybe you meant it would be a lie to tell them that's what you believe?




[ Parent ]
I'm a militant agnostic by iGrrrl (4.00 / 3) #19 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:22:23 PM EST
I don't know, and you don't either.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
must feel good not to be a liar, by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:29:00 PM EST
in a world full of liars, especially. 

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why yes by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #25 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 09:37:30 PM EST
I'm rather smug and self satisfied, and never experience an iota of self doubt. How nice of you to notice.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
cool. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #28 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:49:22 PM EST
still listen to nirvana? 

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never did like Nirvana much by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:24:54 PM EST
I was more of a King Crimson girl.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Black voids by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #27 Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:27:02 PM EST
People fear a black void of nothing after death, but no one remembers the black void of nothing before life as bad.

We go wence we came.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Spot on. by dmg (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:34:52 AM EST

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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
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