Ed Horch: Completely Nonymous
10 entries back

Date:2012-01-15 21:46
Subject:Really Australian
Current Mood:devious spendthrift

I love my Uggs (sort of like these), but after I bought them, I found out that they're about as Australian as Outback Steakhouse. The company is American, and they make everything in China. ("Made *for* kids like you *by* kids like you!")

So when I wanted a black pair, I bought these direct from EMU's web site. They make a lot of stuff in China, but you can get items from their web site that are made in Australia[1].

If nothing else, this lends veracity to the Australian-made claim:

People think I'm crazy for going out of my way to buy stuff from anywhere-but-China, but in my own little way, just as we'd like to reduce our dependence on Middle-East oil, I'd like to help reduce our dependence on Chinese manufacturing. I lived through the Arab oil embargo of the early 1970's. If, for whatever reason (and there are plenty I can think of), China were to impose a manufacturing embargo on the U.S., we'd grind to a halt. Now, I can't say I'd mind Wal-Mart not being able to stock their shelves, but the double worry I have is that when we started making everything in China, we not only closed down the American factories[2], we tore them down. If we had to ramp up manufacturing today, we wouldn't be able to. The more we figure out how not to buy from China, the less vulnerable we'll be to drastic action their government might take.

[1] Yeah, I know, probably by aboriginal wage slaves, but that's less likely than your typical Chinese product being made by kids in sweatshops. See also: American Apparel.
[2] Yeah, I know I just sounded all "buy American" after just talking about how I bought Australian. There aren't any (lower-case) ugg boots made in America. I looked. See also: Is my Ford, built in Hermosillo, Sonora more or less American than a BMW built in Spartanburg, SC?

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Date:2011-11-22 14:20
Subject:Quite an interesting shopping experience
Current Mood:angry angry

Mr. Glenn K. Murphy
Chairman and CEO
Gap, Inc.
2 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

Dear Mr. Murphy:

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking advantage of the 40% off storewide sale for Gap
card holders. The store I visited was neat, clean and uncrowded, and the staff were
friendly, knowledgeable and never pushy. This allowed me to browse unhurriedly, which
is my favorite way to shop.

The piped-in store music was primarily rap and hip-hop. It was presumably cleaned
up, as I heard more than one occurrence of obscene lyrics being muted out. However,
it pains me to point out that the cleanup was incomplete. During my hour or so in the
store, I heard in one track the term "dirty bitch" at least four times. Across other tracks,
I heard at least three uses of the slur against African-Americans commonly referred to as
the N-word.

This particular location has a Gap Kids attached to it, and while this music was not
playing in there, small children did occasionally come into the adult store. I do not like
the thought of my six-year-old daughter asking me what those words mean, and I’m sure
other parents feel the same way.

When I brought my concern up with the cashier, she was visibly shocked and
embarrassed, as were the other store employees who listened to what I described. For
them, the background music is exactly that, something switched on in the morning,
switched off at night, and largely ignored throughout the day as they perform their other
duties. I cannot blame them for not having noticed those lyrics.

This incident in no way affected my purchase, nor will it deter me from shopping at Gap
Inc. stores in the future. I have been a happy customer since the mid 1970s. However, it
is certain to me that racial and misogynistic slurs have no place in creating the shopping
atmosphere you wish to present to a diverse customer base, nor in creating a pleasant
workplace for excellent employees you wish to retain.

I urge you to contact whoever you use as the source for your in-store music and ask
them to listen more closely to the tracks in their playlists, so that embarrassments like
this can be avoided in the future.


Edward B. Horch

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Date:2011-11-07 09:08
Subject:Perhaps it is time for a new Refuse and Resist
Current Mood:hopeful hopeful

First, go read this, the founding statement of Refuse and Resist, from 1987. While references to apartheid, Iran/contra, etc., date this manifesto, the ideas behind it are sadly, more true than they were 24 years ago.

I'm not sure what you'd call the movement that a new Refuse and Resist would be refusing and resisting. There's nothing easily labeled like "Resurgent America", because what's being done today is too diverse to be called one thing. It's not just the Tea Party or the neocons or the dominionists or the TSA or the plutocrats or their mouthpieces at Fox News. Their motives and actions overlap, but they're not one and the same,

But let's see if we can't update the original a bit...Collapse )

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Date:2011-09-16 13:00
Subject:Offensive to Unitarians
Current Mood:sick sick

[If you're a Unitarian and are not offended by at least one of these then you haven't been paying attention.]

Lay-led services I hope to see:

  1. Baked Goods: Discussing the issues surrounding medical marijuana. Dessert potluck to follow.
  2. You and your car: Can newcomers sign the membership book without proof of Prius ownership?
  3. Eating Green: The carbon footprint of raw broccoli and its byproducts.
  4. Nontraditional medicine: Casts are a barbarism perpetuated by the global plaster cartel. Today we show you the homeopathic alternative for setting fractures.
  5. Sin and Damnation: In Hell, what will we serve at potlucks?
  6. Music Series: Bolivian communist womyn's music, followed by Bolivian socialist womyn's music. Brush up on that Quechua!
  7. The economic justice committee presents Trialectical Materialism: Android vs. iPhone vs. BlackBerry.
  8. Leadership update: What we've been up to since the number of committees finally exceeded the number of members.
  9. Vespers: Shut up, that's why!
  10. Volunteer burnout: Are you one of the handful of folks who seem to do everything? Good! We need you people!
  11. UU Sacraments: The Water Communion, the Fire Communion, the Flower Communion and the potluck.
  12. The anti-child-labor committee has discovered a toy not made in a Chinese sweatshop! You'll have to come to this intergenerational service to see what it is, but here's a hint:
    What rolls down stairs
    Alone or in pairs
    Rolls over your neighbor's dog?
That should get us through a summer.

I'm delirious with fever right now; what can I say?

Two-letter words starting with O: OD OE OF OH OI OM ON OP OR OS OW OX OY
Two-letter words ending in O: BO DO GO HO JO LO MO NO SO TO WO YO

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Date:2011-09-06 11:32
Subject:Not sure, but
Current Mood:annoyed distracted

Judging by the stuck-pig screeching sounds coming from upstairs, I think Maggie and her friend are playing "Super Mario Livestock Violation".

Both kids have friends over, this being the last day of summer vacation. I shouldn't have tried to work from home. The cacophony is close to Great Wolf Lodge, where we went for the weekend.

BTW, it still sounds better to me to put the accent on the first syllable of "cacophony". More onomatopoetic.

Two letter words starting with N: NA NE NO NU
Two letter words ending with N: AN EN IN ON UN


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Date:2011-07-09 10:15
Subject:Materials (Hazardous)
Current Mood:cold itchy

Hitting week three of the Season of the Itch, brought about by exposure to years-old, dead, nearly invisible poison ivy ground vines. (Of course I can spot living plants.) I've decided this should not go on.

The poison ivy is in an area of dense brush and very small baby trees. I'm going to remove everything but the trees and the black raspberry bushes. For this, I have procured:

1. A pair of knee-high Hunter Balmoral wellies
2. A pair of forearm-length 30-mil neoprene gloves
3. Four sets of Tyvek coveralls

So far I'm lucky enough not to react to aerosolized urushiol from ripping out the plants, so I was able to hold off on the full-face respirator. The massacre will occur as soon as we have a cool enough day to do hard labor in all that gear.

Two-letter words starting with M: MA ME MI MM MO MU MY
Two-letter words ending with M: AM EM HM MM OM UM

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Date:2011-06-14 15:32
Subject:Life in post-9/11 America
Current Mood:busy busy

Went on a campout with Himself and other 9-12-year-olds and their dads. These things are pretty mild, but at that age they tend to get into dust-ups with the girls' cabins. At one point we came back to find our firewood partially stolen and the rest scattered around our cabin. As the kids were about to go torch Cabin 12, I reminded them that they had only a little circumstantial evidence that the girls had anything to do with it.

As I was pointing out that there was exactly zero physical evidence, one of the other kids looked around and said, "There's gotta be cameras around here!".


Two-letter words starting with L: LA LI LO
Two-letter words ending in L: AL EL (El-Al?)


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Date:2011-05-24 15:10
Subject:Just answering machines and voice mail
Current Mood:irritated irritated

Never a human.

Why do I bother dialing phones?

Two-letter words starting with J: JO
Two-letter words ending with J: none


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Date:2011-05-17 13:28
Subject:It's always fun
Current Mood:amused amused

...to have a recruiter contact you about a job in your own organization. Now, to be fair, my online resume never indicates who my current employer is, so the poor guy had no way of knowing. But it's still entertaining to see an ad for a job whose candidates I'll be (and have been recently) interviewing.

I love the way the introduction had such friendly wording:

I would like to proceed you candidature for the below position with one of my client and would like to know your interest and availability on the same.

To proceed further you are required to send me your updated resume and two professional references for the same

(I would have challenged CANDIDATURE.) I always have to remind myself that in British and British-influenced English, "require" has a milder connotation than in America, where it's equivalent to "demand".

Oh, and one more thing, Mr. Recruiter, which I can't stress enough: No, I am NOT going to send contact information for friends and colleagues to someone I don't know. I'll give them to you after a face-to-face interview has convinced me that I want the job.

Two-letter words starting with I: ID IF IN IS IT
Two-letter words ending in I: AI BI HI KI LI MI PI QI SI TI XI

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Date:2011-05-09 15:55

When I'm doing candidate interviews, I like to ask the people to tell me their best horror stories. It's not so much the story, but they way they tell it that I'm interested in. I want to hear that they're proud of what they did, even if it's something they hope never to go through again as long as they live. This tells me a lot about how they view their work, whether they like to be challenged, and how they rise to the challenge. On a related note, I also like to ask them how they handle being completely stumped.

The other thing I'll ask is for them to rate themselves on some technical issue from 0-5, where 0 is "never heard of it" and 5 is "if it didn't already exist, I could build it". Don't overrate yourself on this folks. Most people will never be a 5 at anything they didn't work on at prior jobs. A 5 should be able to tell me about undocumented features, famous bugs, how the product has evolved over time, other variants of it, how it works internally, etc. If I'm hiring someone as an expert on something, a 4 will almost always be plenty good enough.

I will NEVER ask someone what their biggest weakness is. When I'm asked that, my answer is, "I'm very bad at giving people reasons not to hire me."

One last thing: Most job requisitions have lists of requirements a mile long. Nobody could be expected to have them all and be willing to work for the (likely lowballed) salary being offered. In many cases, I'm much more impressed with someone who's willing to say, "I don't know" and then demonstrate through the rest of the interview, and what skills they do have, that what's missing could be learned quickly.

One last thing: i will never ask candidates to summarize their experience, or anything similar that basically asks them to read their resume to me. That shows them that I haven't done my homework, and can make them think twice about wanting to work for my company.

Two-letter words starting with H: HA HE HI HM HO
Two-letter words ending with H: AH EH OH SH UH

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