Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something... Yeah, the title was hard too.

As I find myself soaring above the clouds at 30,000 ft., I decided there wasn't possibly a better time to contribute to the collective mind of the 100MC. Firstly, I will not apologize for the absence, as I am sure another will happen at some point during next semester and maybe even as soon as next week with finals looming. These things are just a matter of course, not from the time constraints, but from being mentally zapped for writing by the demands of my classes. But, I digress.

I am in the air and it is an easy place to write, since I deliberately left my school books and notes at home, so I could take one last real break before tackling the end of the semester. So, what does the Knowledgemonger ponder while flying across country on his own? His mental health? The fickleness of the American people in regards to the elections earlier this month or their want for safety, but not to be touched or have their naughty bits exposed when walking through a scanner to a TSA Agent? How about Oprah's "Favorite Things?'

The problem with having not tackled anything recently, is that I am now caught with a new problem: The ability to write about anything, but not being able to grasp at a theme with which to run. So, as mentioned 2 entries down, I am going to "write about what I know.

So, for right this very instant what I know is this: AirTran's customer service is awesome! The flight crew are very friendly, had a few conversations with them before we left the ground. Having WiFi Access that works is a plus, not like some other airline that I flew recently. *Cough*United*Cough* And being able to listen to XM Satelitte radio in-flight is a great plus to me. Now granted, the XM comes at the cost of no inflight movie, but with the WiFi access, who cares, I get to choose my own entertainment.

They have come a long way since, they changed their name from ValuJet to escape the plague of 2 fatal crashes in the 1990s. But, this seems like a company that has made a strong recovery from such disasters. Granted, if something should happen to the flight that I am on after this post, someone call Alanis Morissette and tell her what the definition of "ironic" really is. (BTW, that page linked by the word "ironic" is a gem.

Okay, Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll! "Is this Plymouth? We've just come from Plymouth. We've gone around in circles, lads. Get back on the boat!"

One Turkey To Rule Them All

Just when all hope was lost. Just when there was no light left in the building. Just when I feared I would have to close the Diaries due to lack of interest, my Muse returned to remind me that I still have important things to say ... snarky things to say ... about the gall and the stupidity of people.

And for that, I truly thank The Night Owl (or, as I think I may have to start calling him, The Gift That Keeps On Giving).

Mr. Barry has been giving away turkeys at the Union Temple Baptist Church for the several years now. It's a very popular program in my Ward 8, which is the most economically depressed area in my fair city. You will not hear me breathe one bad word about this program. The holiday season is especially hard on those who are struggling and anything to help make their Thanksgiving better is alright in my book.

But I do have to call out incompetence.

Last year, the demand far exceeded the supply and Barry promised such an oversight would never happen again. This year, people who wanted a free bird had to sign up ahead of time to get one. Once all of the people listed got theirs, whatever was left would be handed out to whoever showed up. (Or at least that's my understanding of how this was supposed to have worked.)

Well, this year's giveaway hit another snag that left people frustrated and upset. All because that evil Giant wouldn't deliver the birds.
First of all, I must apologize to the Ward 8 community for Giant’s failure to provide timely support to the Community. It’s simply pathetic and incomprehensible to me that a multi-billion dollar corporation, like Giant, would take a position that would deprive children, seniors and other adults of food for the Thanksgiving holiday.
But, you see, the fact that the turkeys were a no-show wasn't Barry's fault. Except for that part where it was.
D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), well known for his annual turkey giveaway in Southeast Washington, had no Butterballs available for residents Tuesday morning after he failed to pay Giant food stores $26,000 for their delivery.

In a news release, Barry said he had $17,000, falling short by $9,000, but promised Giant that the rest was coming. " ... Giant insisted that the full $26 thousand dollars be received by the store on Monday and that without full payment, the Company would not delivery the birds to Barry," a news release read.
Look, I know people are suffering. I know that some residents in Ward 8 depend on this annual event to put a decent Thanksgiving dinner on the table. But this whole mess could have been avoided. It's not like we don't know when Thanksgiving is going to happen from one year to another. (Not like that blasted Easter.) It's the fourth Thursday of November, for Pete's sake! Mr. Barry had plenty of time during the year to raise whatever funds he needed to ensure that his turkey giveaway would happen on time and without issue. The fault lies on him, not on Giant.

(Giant, by the way, did deliver some of the birds with the rest coming today, even though they still haven't been paid for them.)

I have a suggestion to my fellow Ward 8 residents. Stop putting your faith in Marion Barry. He will fail you constantly and consistently. Next year, if you need some extra help putting food on the table, make a trip out to Landover where you're far less likely to walk away empty-handed.

(Cross-posted on The District Diaries)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Is TSA the devil? I think not.

I'm highly annoyed with all the whining (aka major bitchfest) from US consumers about the new TSA security screening rules. This has been my standing thought about this as advertised via Google Buzz

"all the people bitching about the new TSA screening processes and how this is such a 'huge invasion of privacy' and these policies should be abolished will also be the same people first in line to bitch about how a successful terrorist event was able to occur and these policies could have prevented with these same policies and where was TSA then.

people really need to stop being such sissies get the fuck over it. as someone who travels for work a good deal of the year both domestically and internationally a pat down if it prevents my plane blowing up is a SMALL PRICE TO PAY if it could potentially save my life and the lives of hundreds of people on board if not thousands should it be hijacked and used as a weapon and flown into a highly populated area."

But thoughts? This really comes to mind because it's all over the news before a major US holiday (Thanksgiving) I was offsite at a procurement training where our case study was based off of this issue and I was shocked to see how so many people, mostly Federal employees from across the nation, felt about and how apparently ignorance really is contagious.

And if you plan to make the argument of why the US turned cheek towards implementing Israeli-ish security policies please be mindful that the US consumer base for commercial air flight travel is 100% different then that of Israel which means they have the advantage (some would say luxury) of implementing unique security polices where as the USA has to focus on a much more diverse consumer base that outstrips Israel in business 10 to 1 on any given day.

anyway, thoughts because I'd really hate to think I'm the only sane person out there.