LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
airliners veer off course because your neighbor's christmas display has become a magnetic anomaly.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
A Stage Three Vacation.
I'm really getting sick and tired of this. No, not the election. That's toast. I mean the idiotic power crisis in California. Here we are building stuff that sucks down major wattage and we're running low of electricity. And just how did we screw ourselves into this? Politics!
We decided that deregulation would drive down prices. So we decided that companies like PG&E would have to sell their power plants and buy power from a collective market. Now in general, competition tends to lower prices in open markets. But in California, we haven't had an open market, and you can argue that we still don't. Many conflicting forces have made this new market a violent maelstrom.
The price of retail electrical power has had a cap for years. In fact, this is the last part of the deregulation that will take place in 2002. This means no matter what happens to the wholesale price of power, retail customers do not have to pay over the capped price. This has brought California to the brink of rolling black-outs. The distributors of power in the state are paying hundreds of times more for power than the cap. (If you sell a product for less money than you pay for it, people usually call you a dot com.) This is threatening the very existence of these companies. Getting rid of the cap will not lower the price of power, it will just pass on the cost to the consumer and save the companies. Keeping the cap, or getting rid of it does not solve our problem.
We don't have enough power. Not in the summer when we want to run air conditioning, and not in our relatively mild winters when we want heat. There's not enough power because people don't want the plant in their backyard. So we buy our power from out-of-state, where plants charge what the market will bear.
So the people of San Jose who voted against the power plant should be the first to get a rolling black-out, but the Sierra Club Headquarters in San Francisco should have it's power permanently switched off. This isn't some game here. The sixth largest economy in the world is swinging in the cold like a Florida chad. (You didn't really think I was going to let the election get away, did you?) California has the tightest environmental regulations on power plants in the universe. Anyone who says no to one of these needs to disconnect from the grid.
When is all this crap going to end? When we all start bitching enough, that's when. (It's no different than Staff meetings.) It's time to start planning communities for a change. To date, planning a community in California has meant finding open ground and building houses on it. That's why there is no more open space and we have grid-lock on the freeway. It's time to start thinking about where people are going to live, where the industrial parks will be, and how the infrastructure will support the plan. It's also time to tell people that power plants in their backyard are cheaper, and cleaner since the power plant back east is allowed to pollute more. Finally, we're going to have to start thinking about the difficult problem of population growth. Very soon, we're going to have to light the "No Vacancy" neon on the "Welcome to Sillycon Valley" sign. On that day, The Valley's boom days will be over.
Yup, It's Sillycon Valley
Ellis Street in Mountain View
It's the final two weeks of the year/century/millennium. I'm on vacation. Just before leaving I was doing my Forrest Gump at WTHAIS, "You know what vacation is? It's when you go away and never come back." Of course this is just to keep them wondering.
To me there are two types of vacation. One where you go someplace and do so much that you need a vacation when you get back, and the other where you sit around the house and watch the cartoon network all day and drink Diet Coke. I'm doing the latter. Yesterday, I got up at 11 AM, puttered around the house until I decided I was hungry. Took at shower and ate lunch. The rest of the day, I worshipped my Sony.
Today I was an over-achiever. I called Moockie and set up a lunch for later in the week. Then I worshipped my Sony for the rest of the afternoon. Tomorrow I might do some Christmas shopping, but I need to pace myself. After the past few days, a mall hike could give me the bends. Maybe I'll get a massage first.
If you're in dire search of my point, it's that sometimes it's right to work very long hours, and sometimes it's right to do nothing. In fact, I'm doing nothing so well, that I've managed to remove the usual Christmas stress, where I freak out looking for stuff to buy people. I'm almost disengaged from Christmas, and some people on my list may not get anything this year. Maybe I'll videotape some cartoons for them -- if the freaking power stays on.
One thing that Mrs. Fek'Lar and I have done this season is drive around The Valley looking at people's decorations. All bright and flashing in the middle of the Stage 3 Power Emergency. Even the City of San Jose keeps their stuff lit while telling people to conserve. I love Christmas lights. I happen to live in a neighborhood where people really put on quite a show. However, a few could use some lessons in design.
Some home owners seem to think more is better. I disagree. The best displays are subtle. A small tree decorated in all red lights of varying size is my favorite this year. I stare at the shear spectral beauty of it. Then two houses later, it looks like Las Vegas threw up on a Nativity Scene. This house had two baby Jesus figures. One was on a high ledge, and the other was on the front lawn. So were these the before and after scenes of an attempted suicide? Did one of the three wise men push Jesus? This looked so much like Vegas, I kept searching for the buffet.
Sometimes less is more. Less activity on my vacation is more relaxing, and fewer lights on your house looks better.
Madonna Gets Married
Scotland Smokes a Cigarette
Let's play, "Who said this?"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"That's how I made it in, you didn't interview me."
"I would have loved to have been the little bunny for that experiment."
"You suck up just enough."
"Why haven't they filtered that? I mean, "Betty Crocker" could be an anagram for "Mofo Whore"!
"You're much nicer in email."
"I'm very rarely awake when I'm doing this sort of thing."
The Coyote is painting a tunnel on the rock. I love this bit.
(Inventor of Chocolate Cheesy Bunny - Morale Officer - The Last Honest Geek)
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